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fic - high-risk behavior [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - high-risk behavior [haven]
Title:  High-Risk Behavior
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  And thus they begin their annual check-in with HQ.

High-Risk Behavior
A Moment of Haven

Back in school, Duo had considered the regular check-ups with their handlers to be a joke, a waste of time, a token gesture of submission to the powers that be, a pathetic attempt by the government to assert an authority they didn't have.

These days, he thought of them as free health care, free air fare, and free lodging on a trip to visit old friends.

He was quite proud of himself for that shift in thought.

He high-fived his doctor for the day as soon as she walked into the exam room and closed the distance.  "Yo, Sal, wassup?  You miss us?"

"You wish," Sally replied smartly as she accessed the appropriate pages in his file on her e-chart.  "I happen to be on rotation at one of the local hospitals, and even without my full-fledged I'm-allowed-to-practice license quite yet, I am still your medical liaison and have every right to drop by for your check up."

"Aw, but you didn't have to, so I'll take that as a yes, you ever-so-much missed us, yes you did.  No?  Okay, then, that just means you wanted the opportunity to ogle my hot bod."

She choked down an unexpected laugh before fixing him with a glare over twitching lips.  "Maxwell, as a doctor, I pretty much study exposed body parts all day long.  You've got nothing I haven't seen before a hundred times over."

"Wow, way to make a guy feel unspecial."  He held his arm out for her to slide the pressure cuff on, having already rolled his sleeve up in preparation.

"I came all the way out here, just to check up on your health.  Doesn't that count for something?"

"You just said you just happened to be in the neighborhood.  That's like, what, all the way out here, just down the block?"

"Well, I am a very busy lady, you know.  But I'll happily make the sacrifice.  How else would I get all the good dirt on you?"  She took down the numbers the cuff spit out on its display and removed it.

"Woohoo, you know what my blood pressure is now.  Gosh, I hope you don't go spreading that around.  What would that do to my reputation?"

"That's just the first little bit of dirt."  Sally calmly held up her checklist.  "Here's the rest of it."

Duo let out a low whistle.  "That's a lot of dirt.  We really gotta answer all those questions?"

"We'll breeze through them in no time.  And then we can gossip until Heero gets here.  Now, you've answered most of these before, but we need to make sure everything is current, so bear with me."

"I can read.  Can't I just mark all the ticky boxes for you?"

"That would be irresponsible of me.  And I wouldn't have the pleasure of watching you squirm.  Now.  How much exercise do you get regularly?"

And on down the list they went.  Mostly harmless -- no, no dizziness, migraines, anything like that.  A few ever so slightly embarrassing -- no, it doesn't hurt when I pee, thank you very much.  Several discretely passed over -- no, no immediate family member had any of those problems that he knew of, Sally was quite sure.  And then, a question that hadn't really registered on Sally's radar until Duo hesitated to answer.

"You know that anything you tell me is in strictest confidence, of course, right?"

"Well, yeah, of course, that's not what's stopping me..."  He fiddled a little with the end of his braid.  "It's just... how sexually active is 'sexually active'?  Like, how often is 'active'?  How far do you have to go to be 'sexual'?"

This was unexpected.  Wasn't the first clarifying question Duo had asked during this session, but it was the only one accompanied by nervous actions.  Sally made sure her expression was completely appropriate as she moved forward.  "Have you had intercourse in the last year?"

"No."  The answer was steadily given, but not without the briefest of delays.

"But you have engaged in other sexual activity?" Sally guessed easily.

"Please tell me you don't have a sub-list going through the different kinds."

"I'll take that as a yes.  How many partners?"

"One," he answered, happy to do that quite firmly.  Zero One, in fact, but she didn't need to know that.

"Male, female, or animal?"

"Is that seriously on the list?!"  Well, there went all his happy confidence straight out the window.

"You'd be surprised what kind of answers people give.  Well?"

"Male," he mumbled.  "Does that really matter?"

"It does, insofar as it determines what kinds of risks you're opening yourself up to."

"Spare me the safe sex lecture.  I'm not doing anything high-risk here."

"Now why am I not inclined to trust a Gundam pilot's idea of 'high-risk'?"

He paused, thoughtful for a moment, then shook his head.  "Okay, just because I've engaged in some high-risk behavior in the past doesn't mean I didn't know it's high-risk.  And in this case, I know I'm not doing anything high-risk, okay?  And yeah, a lot of idiots my age would probably claim that, too, but I'm not an idiot.  I learned the ins and outs of this stuff long before I was even old enough to care."  Not to mention, Heero didn't even like risking a wet spot on the sheets.  An STD was small fry compared to cracking one's skull open while engaging in shower sex.

And Duo would completely not even think about Heero's thoughts on the risk of there being a sniper somewhere with a good angle on the bed through their window.

"Alright then," Sally concluded brightly, ticking a few things off the list.  "Moving on..."

"How sexually active is 'sexually active'?"

Sally blinked.  Unexpected, but at least she already had an answer prepared.  "Have you had intercourse in the last year?"

"No," Heero answered firmly, before adding a helpful afterthought.  "But I expect to shortly."

"Alright."  Years of professionalism got her through that odd moment without a waver.  "How many partners?"


"Male, female, or animal?"

"Male," he answered steadily, though not without a raised eyebrow.

She directed a strange look at her checklist instead of her patient, studying it until the look fell away.  It also gave her the time to consider the young man in front of her a little more carefully.  "Do you... have any questions about that?"

Heero appeared to give that some lengthy thought before shaking his head.  "Is there something you think I ought to know?"

She spoke briefly on some of the risks, moving on each time he indicated with a curt nod that he was familiar with the matter, and then resumed their journey through the checklist.

Duo was examining the toes of his boots while slouched as comfortably as he could get in an uncomfortable waiting area chair.  He stretched his legs out as far as they could go, pleased by the length.  It wasn't as if he wasn't aware of his own measure, but hearing it officially from a professional with a ruler and all that made it that much better.  He was getting taller.  Alright, slowly perhaps, and not for long, but still.  It was, to quote his actual words, 'cool beans'.

He looked up as he heard Sally escorting Heero out, then got to his feet as they came near.  "Hey-o, good to go?"

Heero only nodded, but Sally confirmed it a bit more verbally.  "Yep.  Glad to see you boys still taking good care of yourselves.  I hope you continue to do so."

Duo grinned.  "Looking forward to many long years of driving Heero nuts."

"If I snap," Heero observed, "you'll probably be the first person in the line of fire."

"I know.  I'm so self-sacrificing, aren't I?  Sigh, but I guess you'll always have me beat in that category."

"I deserve to win something for putting up with you."

"Well, you can win that one, as long as I get to win everything else."

"No deal."

Sally chuckled.  "Well, if laughter is the best medicine, I guess I don't have to worry too much about you two."

"I'm not laughing," Heero noted with a completely straight face.

Duo patted his shoulder.  "Don't worry, I can laugh at you enough for the both of us."

"I don't think maniacal laughter counts."

"They didn't specify, so it's totally in.  Man, I haven't had a good maniacal belly laugh in a long time."

"Don't even think about it.  You'll give some poor innocent passerby a heart attack."

The words triggered a memory in Duo's brain and he turned to Sally.  "Oh, hey... I've got one last question."


"Yeah.  What's up with Heero's heart?"

Heero's bland expression sharpened suddenly into a glare.  "What about it?"

"I just want to hear what's up with it."

"Nothing is up," Heero stated emphatically.  "I told you.  There's nothing to be concerned about."

"Yeah, that's what you said, but I'd rather hear Sal tell it to me straight."

Sally held her hands up in a defensive gesture.  "I won't discuss any of my patients' medical details with other people."

"Heero could authorize it, right?"  He looked at Heero expectantly.


"Oh?  Is there something you're hiding, then?"  Duo raised his chin defiantly.  "You seem to be implying that you've already told me everything there is to know about it.  So if you'd just let Sally tell me what's what, I'm sure I won't hear anything I don't already know."

Heero made an exasperated sound.  "Fine."

Duo turned primly back to Sally.  "Well?"

She glanced back and forth between the two of them before shrugging.  "You'll have to be more specific than that, Duo.  I'm not spilling the beans on his entire medical file.  What do you want to know?"

"I want to know about his heart condition."

"I do not have a heart condition," Heero enunciated slowly.  "I may be in a high-risk group for developing a heart condition, but I do not currently have a heart condition.  There is nothing to be concerned about."

Duo more or less ignored his words by looking instead to Sally for confirmation.

She sighed.  "Well.  Technically, he's correct.  There's no detectable damage to his heart at this time.  Some of his crazier stunts just, as Heero here put it, put him in a 'high-risk category' for developing some sort of problem later on down the road."

"How high a risk?  How far down the road?  How severe of a problem?"

She glanced over to Heero, who didn't seem inclined to field this question on his own, so she went ahead and answered, but decided to stay as vague as possible unless pressed.  "It's impossible to say with any surety, of course.  It's only a possibility.  Given Heero's history, I wouldn't be surprised if he dodged the bullet entirely, so to speak.  As to severity, it could be so slight we wouldn't even have to do anything about it, or on the other end of the spectrum, it could be something that could inhibit his heart's functioning.  We'd be able to detect it fairly early on, before it actually causes any problems, and then it'd be a relatively safe procedure to repair the damage.  The severity would only get worse if you let it go for years and years after that point without doing anything to fix it.  That's why all we're doing is keeping an eye on things for now."

"Is there anything he should avoid to keep his risk from getting higher?"

Heero cut in again at this point.  "If another extra-large chunk of space debris goes plummeting through the atmosphere toward the planet, I'm not sitting back and watching it happen, high-risk or not."

Duo snorted.  "What, and that's the only thing that would increase your risk of a problem?"

Sally rolled her eyes ever so briefly, but neither of them was even looking at her.  "Regular daily activity will most likely not have an impact, Duo."

"And by 'regular daily activity', you're taking into account what Heero would consider 'regular daily activity', right?"

"Yes.  About all I would say at this time is, don't take up a job as a test pilot.  I might not recommend taking up base jumping as a hobby."

Heero shook his head impatiently.  "I think I can handle most other things, if my blood pressure has managed to survive living with Maxwell."

"Wow, uncalled for," Duo complained, punching him lightly in the arm.  "Guy's just trying to be concerned and all."

"Guy's not trusting me to know my own limits, you mean."

"You?  No.  Not really."

"This is why--"  He paused for a moment in thought.  "I don't even remember why I told you this at all."

"I was probably making a nuisance of myself."

"Probably.  I just remember it was one night, before bed..."

"Oh yeah, 'cuz I..."

Sally glanced back and forth between the two of them again, immediately putting on a blankly innocent face when Duo looked her way.

He blinked at her, then leaned over to whisper into Heero's ear.  "Hey, did Sal ask you if you were sexually active?"

Puzzled by the non-sequitur, there was a brief silence before Heero answered.  "Yes."

"What did you tell her?"

"The truth."

"How much truth?"

Heero finally pieced together the implications, probably the same as Sally had.  "Enough for her to add two and two together?"

The good doctor in question pursed her lips together to suppress a smile.  "I know nothing," she said blandly.  "And I would definitely consider any conclusions I might draw based on the information you gave me as confidential as the rest of your medical information."

Duo shifted uncomfortably, sorting through the possible consequences before coming up with a smirk.  "Oh.  Hey.  Do you talk to Wufei much?"

"Wufei?"  Duo was apparently fond of non sequiturs.  "Occasionally."

"That thing you don't know?  Wufei knows.  I totally authorize you to discuss it with him.  So does Heero.  Only I don't want you to actually talk about it.  You should, yanno, just drop vague hints that imply stuff."

"No, she shouldn't," Heero interrupted with a stern glare.

"Oh, come on, that is such low-level screwing-with-his-head.  What's the problem?"

"The problem is that Sally is bound by patient-doctor privilege to not speak of this.  Wufei has no such privilege to shelter behind."

"So?  He doesn't...."  He trailed off as he recalled the reason behind Wufei's initial discomfort about their relationship.  "If Wufei had patient-doctor privilege, he'd probably just end up even more conflicted.  He's just the kind of guy to overthink this stuff."

"And knowing that, we shouldn't deliberately add more for him to overthink."

Duo sighed loudly.  "Fine.  Sheesh.  Woulda been cool, though."

Tags: ,

17 comments or Leave a comment
merelymir From: merelymir Date: March 13th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
*snickers maniacally and sets about her day with a bounce in her step*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 13th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool beans.  I writes ficz that attach springs to people's feets!?
salmastryon From: salmastryon Date: March 13th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so love your dialogue. :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 13th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
The snark is strong in these two.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: March 13th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's wonderful to see the extent of Duo's concern for his fellow man. *snork!* Including the thought of giving Wufei brain-lock.

That's so cute. ^_____^ Love, love, love it.

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 13th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Duo's just looking on the bright side of Sally figuring things out. ^^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: March 14th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Messing with Wufei is certainly a bright side. ^___^ Got to keep Duo busy; never know what he'll come up with if he gets bored. *snicker*

sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: March 13th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh boys... the down-side of being so darn honest. :D Sally is quite the professional; I would have had a 'What?!' moment, and not been able to be all cool like that.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 14th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I don't think Sally added it all up quite immediately... It was more like, Duo being in that particular point in a relationship = 2, Heero being at the same point in a similar relationship = 2... Duo and Heero bickering like an old married couple = 2000. ^^ At that point, there's not much to be surprised about anymore. ^o^
sablewick From: sablewick Date: March 14th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
You are completely awesome. I love updates from you. It helps me survive Mondays.

I love that you're still carrying on with the Gundam Wing fandom as well. You're particular characterisation of them is one of my all time favourites.

I also adore how you don't ignore the fact that the Gundam Pilots abused their bodies when they were young and that that abuse might have a long term effect.

I love concerned!Duo.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 14th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I suspect I'll be around for a while yet... I'm too much an old stick-in-the-GW-mud to quit. ^o^

Well, because they're just awesome and I'm a softy, they probably won't have terrible long term effects... but hey, there's more to old war injuries than PTSD and sexy/angsty scars.

Concerned!Duo hates unconcerned!Heero. ^o^
trafeane From: trafeane Date: March 16th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice! I like to see that your boys are still going on strong - I've been neglecting my reading, so have been getting caught up. And it's good to see Sally again! Thanks!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 16th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back. ^_^ I've neglected my Haven boys for a few months now, but they'll always be going in one story or another around here. =)
miyun From: miyun Date: March 16th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Heeheehee. This made me snicker healthily. Okay, more than mere snickers, I was laughing loud enough for my sister to check up on me...again. XD

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 16th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Laughter is good medicine. *nodnod*
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 27th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Honey, I have been randomly cheking in on Haven for years now. I am never dissappointed an always love to see an update. You have a great story, and I love to re-read it from the beginning every year or so. Keep up the fantastic work.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 27th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!  Glad to see you've stuck with me through the years.
17 comments or Leave a comment