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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 23 [novella] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - i backward cast my e'e part 23 [novella]
Title:  I Backward Cast My E'e
Part:  23

I Backward Cast My E'e
sequel-lite to for promis'd joy
Part 23

Heero was making idle chatter with Trowa over IM while working on some homework when Trowa asked how he was doing in his quest for post-graduate employment.  He tapped out a brief answer.  "Waiting."

"ETA?" Trowa answered similarly.

Sadly, this required more than a single word in reply, plus a few more in anticipation.  "Couple of weeks.  Not sure how many people they interviewed total.  Then they have to deliberate."

"Do you have to have your backgrounds checked and everything?"

"They did that before the interview callbacks."

"No government types called me looking for dirt on you.  Must not be very high security."

Odin had some interesting stories to tell about security concerns.  He could never go into complete detail, of course, but there was enough to get the gist of things.  The Cold War had been a great time for secrets and spies and sleepers.  "They probably don't have agents doing legwork manually anymore.  Seems like all the information they need can probably be found on the internet these days."

His phone rang half a minute later.  It was Trowa calling.  "The internet age creeps me out.  Suddenly I felt like we shouldn't be having that kind of conversation over IM.  We probably tripped some keyword sniffer into activating a bug on us or something."

Heero chuckled.  "They could just as easily and illegally tap our phone call, too."

"Damn, you're right.  Oh well.  Time to drop some red herrings, then.  They probably would have found better dirt on you if they'd tried to contact Cathy."

"I don't think they're looking for that kind of dirt, Trowa."

"Yeah, but she could shovel enough 'he was SO adorable!' stories to make them lose interest and go away."  He managed to adequately convey the squealing despite only drawling his words wryly.

"Hmm, I'd be interested if they could talk to Howard, then.  Maybe I'd finally get some hints on why Duo flips out over clowns and brussel sprouts."

"You can't get him to tell you?"

"He prefers not to speak of such things.  I prefer not to push it."

"You're just not sure you would be able to keep yourself from laughing.  You know it's going to be something absurd."

"You just can't think of any non-absurd reason for someone to be afraid of clowns."

"Clowns are by their nature absurd.  They deserve a reason no less so."

Heero pondered it, then sighed over a tangent.  "I think for those things, a lot of times they dig into family history.  That'd probably make Duo flip out, too."

"I thought you said he'd more or less worked things out with that lady."

"Yeah, I guess you're right.  Doesn't mean he can't be touchy on the whole subject, just for kicks.  So anyway, what about you?  You decide yet whether or not you want to apply to that program?"

"I think so.  Nothing to lose, right?  I can always say no."

"Nothing nearby that interests Quatre?"

"Didn't ask."

The answer wasn't worth a reprimanding tone, but it did merit at least a mental sigh.  Heero didn't feel he was in much of a position to do more, anyway, given that he was pretty sure he'd probably act pretty similarly in the same situation.  "Talk to him yet?"

"What about?  I mean, sure, we've talked about after-school stuff."

At least he wasn't pretending complete ignorance.  "But you haven't talked, right?"

"That's just stirring up trouble, Heero.  As my best friend, you're supposed to try to keep me out of trouble."

"Or get into trouble with you."

"You're volunteering to talk to Quatre for me?"

"Ha.  Hell no.  By 'with you', I meant 'behind you'.  It doesn't have to be a 'talk' with a capital T."

"Don't you have any talks of your own you should be having with Duo?  You still haven't managed to get any, right?"

"Whoa, hey, we were talking about you."  Besides, he'd gotten 'something', except 'getting some' had the same meaning as 'getting any', so his tongue was tied by semantics.

"Duo's had plenty of issues before.  What makes you think you haven't run into another one here?"

"Hey, Duo's messed up in some places, but not all of his places."  Heero maybe wouldn't be surprised if there were some small issue at work here, but sex was not an insignificant thing.  There was nothing wrong with approaching it with caution.  "Does Quatre get upset if you bring it up, or do you just not bring it up?"

"Quatre's too slick to get upset about something.  He'd just talk his way out of answering.  You're two young hot-blooded guys, Heero.  If there's not an issue somewhere, then I don't know what the problem is."

"A -- I'd have trouble classifying myself as 'hot-blooded'.  B -- no.  For all you know, then, Quatre would love to discuss the issue with you."

"A -- no.  B -- no.  Especially when he's stressed out.  Maybe Duo's stressed out.  Got performance anxiety or something."

"Hasn't Quatre always been stressing out over something lately?  You can't keep waiting forever.  And nothing really awkward has happened on our end or anything.  Just..."

"Nothing's happened, Heero.  For all you know, then, Duo would love to 'discuss the issue' with you, so go initiate that 'discussion' already.  Quatre thrives under pressure.  Sometimes that appears to be stress."

"Oh, so if he's not stressed, then maybe you should discuss your issue with him.  I'd love to 'discuss my issue' with Duo, too.  I'll just wait for it to come up.  You, on the other hand, have a deadline."

"I didn't say Quatre wasn't stressed right now.  Just that it's not always stress.  You can't keep waiting forever either.  Or is it really you who has the issue here?"

"There aren't any issues here," he repeated firmly.  "We have always moved somewhat slowly on that side of the relationship.  This isn't any different than anything else.  You're the one who's been together for, what, six years now?  Have you seen any improvement in the situation?  Do you talk at all about your plans post-grad?"


His glee at realizing he'd finally managed to end the secondary conversation on his own relationship was interrupted by the lack of further information coming from Trowa beyond just the one word.  Heero picked up a pencil and started twirling it over his fingers.  He could tell this would be a long conversation.  "Does he at least make condescending assumptions that of course you'll stay faithfully by his side?"

"...I don't think I like my options in answering that one."

Heero smirked, secure in the fact that Trowa couldn't see him, and also secure in the fact that he'd have smirked anyway, even if Trowa had been in the same room as he.  "It's a good sign if he's at least assuming that you'll be together after graduation, even if he's ignoring the inherent difficulties there."

"You keep assuming there are 'inherent difficulties' to be worked out, Heero.  That's negative thinking.  Until it gets to where we have to commit to a program or a company, it's all just a hypothetical situation you're gnawing at.  No reason to get all worked up over a hypothetical."

"I know our two approaches can be pretty different sometimes, but I don't think it's ever a bad thing to know where you stand with each other.  That's not being negative.  That's being practical."

"It's not as if you've never been in the dark on where you stand with Duo."

"You're right," he answered calmly.  "But in those cases, I usually pester Duo until he works it out with me.  I'm told I can be a rather persistent son-of-a-bitch."

"Good to know Duo isn't blind to the obvious.  Look, you've told me that Duo said he wanted to concentrate on school first, right?  As crappy a reason as that is for abstinence, whatever, it's a reason."

Heero had never once regretted his decision to transfer to a school that kept its students so busy with schoolwork, no matter how much it took away from nookie-time.  "Are you trying to say Quatre's just decided to concentrate on his future first?  That future you're supposed to be a part of?"

"The future's kind of important, Heero.  I've known a few jugglers in my time, and even the most badass of them prefers not to be distracted while they're dealing with tricky objects."

"I thought you could just toss another object into the mix, and the most badass of them would be able to juggle it, too.  That's really all I'm saying, Trowa.  Yeah, I get that you're not going to get any concrete answers right now, but just make sure you're still in the mix, that he hasn't just dropped your ball.  Or help take some of the balls out of his hands.  Or wherever this juggling analogy is supposed to go.  But don't just stand in the audience, waiting to clap when he's all done."

"...Yeah, I don't think you really took the analogy in the right direction.  But I get your point."

It figured that it would take a circus analogy.  "Hey, you're the juggling man, not me.  Why don't you show Quatre a few tricks?  Impress him with your dexterity?"

There was a brief pause as Trowa considered the possibilities.  "I'll show Quatre my dexterity if you show Duo yours."

Heero laughed.  "Okay, you're on."

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5 comments or Leave a comment
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 3rd, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! And here I thought Trowa and Quatre were all snuggly and good to go. O_O Oh, my... I shall have to worry about them...

Oddly enough, I have great confidence in Heero and Duo to work out Duo's issues. Even the clown one, eventually. Brussels sprouts... maybe not... ^___^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I think Heero and Duo are all snuggly and good to go now, which means transference to the Trowa / Quatre arena. =p

Duo's going to get through life just fine... It's not that hard to avoid clowns. =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 6th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as he doesn't get suckered into attending a performance... O.o

Man, I'll be that wouldn't be pretty...


sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 4th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I completely understand the clown thing. I didn't like them before I read Stephen King's 'It'. *shudder*
These two have the most interesting conversations. ^^;
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
You have to wonder what those soldiers in Mariemaia's army thought when looking upon the clown mask of Heavyarms. -_-'

Either these two have a conversation with practically no words, or you just can't get them to shut up. ^^
5 comments or Leave a comment