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fic - royal gardens [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - royal gardens [haven]
Title:  Royal Gardens
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  A walk through the Royal Gardens of Sanq.

Royal Gardens
A Moment of Haven

They weren't outside for very long at all in the mild afternoon sun to enjoy a post-prandial stroll before Duo piped up.  "And that, my dear, is how you fish for information."

Heero let the smug tone slide.  "Yes, I noticed that without you having to point it out."

"There are ways to ask things without just, well... asking."

"Are you fishing for a compliment right now?"


Heero kept the fond, exasperated roll of his eyes entirely inside his own mind.  "Duo.  There is a reason I let you do all the talking.  It is because you are better at it."

"Thank you, schnookums," Duo cooed, bumping shoulders with him.

"I hardly think anyone would tolerate that sort of babbling from me, anyway."

"And by babbling, you mean...?"

"Rambling," he rephrased smoothly.  "Without apparent purpose."

"But truly masking a skillfully masterminded go at maneuvering the conversation in the direction I command?"

"Something like that."

"That's true, I suppose.  But give yourself some credit.  I've seen you being all subtle and smooth before.  Maybe it was dumb luck or something, but that still means you're perfectly capable of it.  Maybe not the rambling thing, but certainly the not-straight-out asking.  And hey, even the straight-out asking thing could be used to your advantage, in the right situations.  There's actually quite a bit you can accomplish if people expect you to be blunt as a buster cannon."

"Does that mean I'm allowed to go about establishing a reputation as such?"

"Uh, no need to be as blunt as a buster cannon about it..."  A quick dart of his eyes in Heero's direction led him to no solid conclusion on whether or not Heero was joking.  He decided to move on.  "So, feeling any better about Quatre, now that you've got Relena's thoughts on the matter?"

"I'm not sure."

Duo took on a somewhat dramatic pose.  "Aw, all my hard work for nothing?"

"You've given me another data point to work with... I'm just not sure what to think about it yet."

He indicated his acceptance of this with a pleased sound.  "Even if you did conclude that he's working too hard or not liking his job or whatever, what would you do about it?"'

"I'm not sure," Heero admitted easily.  "But knowing is better than not knowing.  It just seems appropriate to know, given how disturbed Quatre seemed when he learned he had failed to know about us."

"Is that what that whole thing was about?"

"It's what I conclude, after putting together all of the things he said at various times."

Duo wondered how many of those times included that one drunk time.  "It makes sense, I guess.  Makes it a little less creepy, at least, if he was just bummed that he didn't know what his friends were up to.  Funny way of showing it, though."

Heero shrugged.  He'd been told that he had funny ways of showing various things, too.  It didn't much bother him.

Duo drew breath to say something else on the matter, but then took the conversation in a different direction.  "Wow, I think I can smell the gardens already.  Can I smell the gardens?"

"Yes.  I believe you can."

He inhaled deeply one more time.  "Wow.  That's... garden-y."

"Sure is."

"Did you ever hang out here?  You know, back when you were here?"

"No.  I did follow my nose once, explored it briefly... didn't linger."

"Ooh, come linger with me."

They strolled down the packed-earth lanes side by side, content to go where the paths would take them.  The tour started in a rose garden.  Duo felt compelled to stick his nose into the personal space of several flowers to test their fragrance, resulting in one sneeze and one close encounter with a pollinator, but he was pleased with the results.

An event pavilion lay at the boundary of the rose garden, unreserved for the day.  They loitered in its shade for a moment.

"Kushrenada was really into these?" Duo asked somewhat skeptically.

"So it seems."

"They're... well, I don't think they're the flowers I would choose, that's for sure."

"So, no roses in the yard?"

"Well, unless you're interested in them..."

Heero gestured neutrally.  "I don't have a strong opinion.  I wouldn't want this many of them, certainly.  The smell is a bit... overwhelming."

"Yeah, no kidding.  Thorns are an interesting idea, though."

"They wouldn't establish much of a perimeter.  In all likelihood, we would be the ones most bothered by them since we'd be the ones to prune them."

"Yeah, I can see that.  Think we can find a smell less... like this?  I kind of like the idea of being able to smell all the hard work we've done paying off, but, you know, not like someone spilled a bottle of perfume."

Heero nodded in the direction of the next section of the garden.  "Let's keep walking."  And so they walked.  Once their noses had gained some distance from the roses, Heero's reminded him of something.  "Dirt has a smell."

"Oh yeah... It was... earthy.  I can dig that.  Ha, no pun intended."

Heero snorted.

"What do you think jasmine looks like?"

"I thought you had a vendetta against jasmine."  As such, Heero had quietly changed brands of shampoo.

"Well, I never said it didn't smell nice.  I just didn't want it coming from your head."

"Maybe we can ask the master gardener.  He might have some ideas."

Duo paused for a moment to cautiously test the texture of a leaf along their path.  "I feel kinda bad taking up his time.  I mean, he must have his hands pretty full keeping this huge place under control.  Doesn't really matter how nicely Relena asked him.  I'm sure the guy has better things to do than babysit a couple of plant noobs."

"It's only a waste of his time if we waste his time.  Besides, we can't get access to the edibles if we don't talk to him."  Heero sounded as if he approved of this for some reason.

"Mmm, edibles.  Oh, hey, you know that salad we ate for lunch?  Do you think that came from the garden?"


"Wow.  That's... cool."

As they continued their journey, Heero mused over Duo's unending fascination for certain things, and decided he might venture a question to draw out some enlightening answers -- a tentative question, because he was certainly aware that buster cannons weren't really the appropriate tool in very many situations, but a question nevertheless, because he was also certain that some things would never be answered if never directly asked.  "What was it like... back then?"

"...Which then?"

Heero indicated his lack of preference with a shrug.  Any then Duo was interested in talking about, really.

"Need a refresher in colonial history, do you?"

He was expecting the snide response, and let it pass over him harmlessly.  "I know the facts.  I don't think I really understand the reality of it, though."

They walked for a bit before Duo started his deliberately narrow answer.  "Things were rough.  Of course.  You only have so many options when you're that young.  We grouped, looked out for each other when we could.  You could really only survive out there if you knew the tricks.  You could pick up some scraps here, beg a little bit over there.  Couldn't wear out your welcome anywhere, though.  Even the folks that wanted to help, their pity only went so far."

"Was there no chance of fresh food?"

"'Fresh' took on a pretty relative meaning.  If you were really sharp, you could go hang out by the port and watch the shipments.  Sometimes you could nab something loose, or sometimes, after they'd gone through the haul and culled out all the stuff that got damaged or went bad enroute, you could get your hands on it."

"Regular shipments?"

"More or less.  But like everywhere else -- no, more than everywhere else, it didn't pay to hang out around the port too much.  Lots of shady characters there, gathering where the money is.  When I got older, though, sharp enough to hold my own... yeah, I hung out there a bit.  Had to go where the money was."

"And eventually, your ticket off-colony."

"Yeah."  He smiled faintly, remembering that ship he'd managed to sneak his way onboard.  The expression faded as his thoughts got pulled back to the colony.  "I promised myself I'd get myself outta there and never look back.  Hell, I even promised other people I'd do that...."

Heero pondered the conclusion unsaid and offered what he could.  "You've told me before that... it doesn't have to be my duty to save everyone.  That I did... what other people couldn't, eliminated the obstacles that they couldn't...  And now it's up to them to do what they can, to do their part in saving themselves."

A branch in the path provided Duo's feet with a convenient excuse to stop.  His body followed suit, standing still as he looked over the green fertility of the earth.

Heero let him stew on that for a few silent seconds before sealing the deal.  "You haven't abandoned them, Duo."

His head twitched in Heero's direction, but it was many more seconds before he could complete the action calmly.  "You telling me my martyr complex is as big as yours?"

"Never."  The declaration was accompanied by a wry twist of Heero's lips.  He waited for some part of Duo's face to echo the amusement before continuing.  "Now, do you need me to finish the pep talk, or can you take it from here?"

"I got it covered, thanks.  You've... done what I couldn't.  And now it's my responsibility to take care of the mop up."

"I wouldn't abandon you."

He blinked several times in surprise at the earnest statement, unsure of how to react, but quite sure of how much it meant to him.  At length, he dispelled the strange tension with a self-conscious laugh, a quick casual glance around to make sure there was no one with line of sight to them, and a brief, heartfelt kiss.  He pulled back with a bright smile.  "Come on.  We've gotta go make the most of our date with the plant guy."

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13 comments or Leave a comment
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 12th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I want to hug them both so *hard*.... ^____^

Maybe Duo will feel like looking up roses and discover that they don't all stink to the heavens or have thorns. ^___^ Wouldn't surprise me either to find that some intrepid rose breeder has named a new variety after someone relevant. *snicker*


turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 12th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're good at hugging each other; don't worry about it. =)

Hey, no spoiling a future scene on roses. =D
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 12th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

*snerk!* My hyper-active, zero-dark-thirty brain started feeding me bits of them taking in a flower show. Thank Sap I've woken up enough to have forgotten most of it. ^____^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 12th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Duo would prefer not to be seen at a flower show. ^^ The main focus of their backyard gardening will be a neighbor-free snogging zone, and edibles.  The only flowers they really need are just for the pollinators.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 13th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Now the mental tangent is wondering if Duo might get competitive about his vegetables... >_>



turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 13th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, no, I don't think so.  It's nice to look at, and you think WOW think of all the people that could feed, but once you look into the details of competitive vegetabling, you realize that it's a complete waste.  In the time that it takes you to grow those ultra-large veggies, you could have grown a whole bunch of smaller ones, and eaten them right away, too.  Also, to get huge veggies, usually you have to go for the most promising ones and then throw away all of the other ones so the plant can put all of its resources into that one.

So, it probably wouldn't agree with him.  Mental tangent averted? =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 13th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay! ^___^ My mind was just running all over the place this morning. I won't even go into the parts about Henry and the crazy hybridist. >_> You'd probably have to hurt me. Or Duo would. ^___^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 13th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmmm, well I don't think Heero would really be a supporter of the whole genetic-manipulation thing... (well, in practice, my heero might not care since i'm not into the whole genetically-enhanced!heero thing, but you know, in theory. ^^)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 13th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

My doppel-Duo was rather horrified over the notion of Henry having been 'engineered'. O_o

I'm thinking it really must have been the coffee. My kid worked an early shift and made melt-the-spoon coffee. Never a good thing.


turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 14th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Henry's not 'engineered'... just the child of an arranged marriage. ^^'
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 14th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ah, spoken like a true 'heero'! ^____^

ramenkuri From: ramenkuri Date: September 21st, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
love! so charming, the two of them.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 22nd, 2011 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
And so charmed by each other. ^_^
13 comments or Leave a comment