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fic - of showers and cotton [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - of showers and cotton [haven]
Title:  Of Showers and Cotton
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  They speak of showers and cotton, with a strange shot of angst in the middle.

Of Showers and Cotton
A Moment of Haven

In the time it had taken him to transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer, he had sort of expected Heero to have already gotten into the shower.  Heero was rarely ever a slouch about things, and he was such a stickler for matters of personal hygiene.

And yet there he was when Duo passed by the bathroom, standing there staring into the bathtub stall, still dressed in his running shorts and tanktop.

"Uh, problem here?" Duo asked, leaning against the door jamb.

Heero didn't turn around as he responded.  "How do people have sex in the shower?"

Duo slipped off the door frame and caught himself before he fell.  "Pardon?" he choked out.

"Seriously," his partner answered gesturing at their bathtub/shower.  They didn't have an actual shower stall, but he was able to imagine one pretty easily.  He wondered if having rubber duckies on the shower curtain would kill the mood.  "Obviously they'd have to be standing."

"Uh... yeah..."  Duo didn't really know what else to say, though he supposed that they could theoretically be sitting.  He might have pointed it out under other circumstances, but he didn't think he wanted to encourage Heero right now.

"They'd have to use the wall for support," Heero continued, utterly unfazed.  "Wouldn't the tile be really cold against one's back?  Even accounting for a hot water spray.  The tiles just don't soak up that much heat."

"Well... maybe they don't have tiled walls?"

"Hmm.  Maybe.  But fiberglass walls probably wouldn't offer as much support."

"It, uh, doesn't have to be *firm* support...  As long as it doesn't collapse."  He had a sudden flash of two people he vaguely recognized as himself and Heero having sex against a shower door and having it snap open at a very inopportune moment.  He winced even as he flushed.

Heero visualized the strength of fiberglass walls and accepted the theory, though he doubted that most people considered the material of their shower walls before engaging in conjugal relations within.  He moved on to his next point anyway.  "So if the person with the cold back is standing, he'd probably have to have at least one leg up to provide access, right?  Which would be rather uncomfortable, I'd imagine.  If he had any of his legs up, then his partner would probably have to help hold them up if they were going at it for any length of time.  Even so, with one leg up, wouldn't you start losing circulation, or get a cramp?  And if his partner is supporting all of his weight?  While the force exerted to push his back against the wall would partially balance out the force in the downward direction, it would probably get pretty tiring after a short while, wouldn't it?"

"...Assuming that the average joe doesn't have the strength and endurance to pilot a Gundam during a really long battle?  Uh, yeah, probably."  What the hell kind of porn flicks had Heero been watching behind his back?

"And speaking of force, I don't think the water would do nearly enough to ease the friction between skin and wall.  Assuming they're doing things vigorously, I think that would definitely chafe after a while."

"Umm... that's nice."

"And the safety issues," Heero went on, finally turning around to look at his partner.  To Duo's dismay, he found Heero's face quite serious.  "What if one of them slipped and fell?  When you're having sex, I doubt you really have enough presence of mind to consider the proper distribution of weight, or any other physics matter, and if you find that you really can still think about those things, then you're probably not enjoying yourself.  You could end up with a potentially life-threatening head injury."

"Well, maybe they... wear helmets!  I don't know!  Why are we talking about this, Heero?"  Duo forestalled him with the frantic waving of both his hands.  "No, wait, I don't really want to know.  You're thinking way too hard about this.  Besides, maybe they do it from the back."

A simple solution that hadn't occurred to Heero.  He mulled over that for a second.  "Possibly.  ...Isn't that rather impersonal?  All you'd really get is a close-up view of the grout."

Duo threw up his hands in exasperation.  "If a guy's getting nailed against the locker room shower wall, I really doubt he cares about it being a personal experience!"

Heero frowned.  "Hmm.  I suppose.  Do me a favor?"  Duo's eyes widened.  He didn't really want to hear it, but Heero continued anyway.  "Never nail me to a locker room shower wall."

He let out the breath he'd been holding.  On the list of weird things Heero could have asked, that wasn't up there among the worst offenders.  "Yeah.  Sure, okay.  I'll add it to my list of do's and don'ts."  When the hell were they ever in a locker room shower anyway?

Heero nodded in apparent satisfaction.  "Thank you."

Duo snorted in response.  "Whatever.  Now hurry up and shower.  Ami will be by soon."  He turned to go, but paused before he left completely and threw his final parting words over his shoulder.  "And don't think any weird thoughts in there!"

He knew they agreed to talk openly about any concerns they might have about sexual relations since before was definitely better than during, but this was ridiculous.  Helpful in some small way in defining their boundaries, but still ridiculous.

Heero entered the living room, hands empty.  "Hey," Duo called out with a grin, glancing away from the laptop monitor off of which Ami was currently working.  "Done indulging your underwear fetish?"

"My clean cotton fetish, you mean."  There was something very pleasant about clothes fresh out of the dryer, something clean, warm, fresh and fluffy.  It seemed almost a shame to break the heap down into neat, folded stacks, but on the other hand, Heero got a kick out of seeing things organized and in their place, too.  The clothes could be clean, warm, fresh and fluffy inside their drawers just as well.  It was simply coincidence that the load of white laundry consisted of mostly socks and underwear.

"What's a fetish?" Ami piped up from her place on the floor between the sofa and the coffee table.

Heero's lips twitched.  Duo blinked at him, then glanced over to Ami, hoping she hadn't just asked that.  She blinked expectantly back at him.  He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came to mind, so he turned back to Heero.

"Don't look at me," his housemate calmly refused.  "You brought it up."

"But you're the one that answers these kinds of things!"  This was not a conversation he wanted getting back to the poor girl's mother.

"I'm not cleaning up your mess."  Heero moseyed over to the sofa next to him and leaned back casually against the cushions, obviously waiting for events to play out.

Duo rewarded him with a slap on his shoulder.  "But if I hold out long enough, you'll feel bad and cave in eventually."

Heero smirked.  "I'd make you pay for it."

"Does it have to do with sex?" Ami asked, displeased with being ignored.  If they wouldn't answer, she'd have to come to her own conclusions, and in her experience, most of the things that adults didn't want to talk about had to do with sex.  "...What does laundry have to do with sex?"

Silence.  Heero decided to move things along.  He turned sideways in his seat and looked expectantly at his partner.  "Well, Duo?"

Duo blew a raspberry at him.  "You're not helping, Heero."

"Sure I am."

"You're not helping *me*, Heero!"

Well, how would the girl feel if they were both sided against her?  Heero sure didn't want to be the one to explain things.  "You started it."

Sure, Duo had no one to blame but himself, but that didn't mean that Heero had to go and make things difficult.  Not that there was really an easy way out of this situation.  If he didn't answer, Ami would kick him in the shins eventually and pout at him.  Which still probably wouldn't make him any more inclined to answer.  "You like her better!"

'I do not' was not the proper response to the accusation when still in the presence of said girl, who was indeed watching the proceedings with a sharp, exasperated, amused expression.  It was fun watching grown-ups get embarrassed.  "She has the right of it in this case."

"You'd answer her better.  This is your job.  You take care of these things.  She likes you better."  Now he was just saying whatever he could to get out of his jam.

"You have to stop with this 'she likes you better' thing, Duo."  They were just playing around, but he didn't like that Duo had that idea in his head.

"It's true!  She likes you best.  Everyone likes you best!  You're smart and wise and reliable and--"  He choked himself off suddenly, just as soon as he recognized a sneer creeping into his tone, or maybe it was jealousy.  He'd meant it to be fun, a listing of Heero's positive traits, a compliment, even.  He got wide-eyed and stunned when he realized what it had turned out to be.

Heero got a little wide-eyed, too.  A few seconds later, without words, without regard for their audience, he wrapped his arms around Duo in an embrace from the side, his chin coming to rest upon Duo's shoulder.  He stayed silently comforting for the space of several breaths before he murmured quietly near Duo's ear.  "What are you doing, Duo?"

"I don't know, Heero," Duo murmured back, one hand rising slowly to grasp the arm across his chest.  Something just came out of hiding and ambushed him.

"I thought you guys were supposed to be a secret," Ami ventured, uncertain what was going on.  Of course, she already knew the secret, but that was beside the point.  Just because she knew, didn't mean that they were supposed to get all kissy in front of her.  Not that they were being kissy.  If they were, she knew what the proper response to that was: ewwww.

"It's not a secret that people just need a hug sometimes," Heero advised her softly.

She stared at them critically for a couple of moments before she threw her arms around Duo as well, surprising and warming them both.  Heero let her stay for a while before he tipped his head down to look towards her.  "Ami, could you go--"  He cast about for a legitimate excuse to send her out of the room, but found nothing.  "--just give us a few minutes?"

Having looked up at the sound of her name, she considered him solemnly before nodding, uncurling herself from the others, and heading towards the kitchen, confidence in her step.  Something was wrong with Duo, but Heero would fix it.  Heero-niichan could fix anything.  And besides, he didn't give her some fake reason to leave the room.  That was neat.

When she was gone, Heero let out a small puff of breath.  "Duo..."

Duo heaved a real sigh.  "Don't ask, Heero.  Just don't ask.  I don't know.  I really don't."

"I like you best," Heero reminded him, dropping a kiss on Duo's shoulder.  "You're smart, too, and wise and reliable and probably everything else that was about to tumble out of that mouth of yours."

Duo smiled tiredly at him.  "You sure?"

"Of course.  I'm smart and wise and reliable, remember?  Trust me on this one.  You're..."  So many ways to end that sentence.  Instead, he chose a way he knew Duo couldn't complain about and loosened the embrace enough to land his lips on Duo's cheek and kiss his way towards the mouth.  Duo was very cooperative, but they were mindful of the little girl in the next room, so they were reduced to snuggling soon after.

Keenly aware of Heero's tendencies, Duo spoke up as soon as the thought occurred to him.  Such things were best nipped in the bud.  "Don't even start, Yuy."

Heero shifted.  "Hm?"

"Don't even start thinking about finding some way to take responsibility for this somehow.  This has nothing to do with you, understand?  My problem, not yours."

"Your problems are my problems."

"No, they're not," Duo responded firmly.  "Not all of them.  This one's inside *my* head.  My problem, got it?"

Heero didn't agree, but he didn't argue, either.  He did eventually say something, though.  "Watch your tongue next time."

"Bah.  You said it, too.  Hell, she probably picked it up from you, not me.  She--"

"Duo.  Stop."

He realized where he was going with that and gave himself a mental slap on the wrist.  The sound he made was somewhere between exasperation and disgust.  "Damn, that's insidious.  I always thought that was a joke, too.  When the hell did I get so...?"

Heero gave him a squeeze before murmuring a warning against his shoulder.  "Don't let her know."

"Oh, hell no."  He couldn't do that to a kid.

When Ami poked her head out of the kitchen, she found them in much the same position that she left them in.  Heero caught her eye and nodded that it was alright for her to come back, and she crept back to their side with hesitance in her step.

Duo mustered up a rueful grin for her.  "Hey, squirt.  Sorry 'bout that."

She shuffled awkwardly from one foot to another for a moment before she shook her head vigorously enough to send her hair flying.  "I'm sorry, Duo!" she blurted out.  Her sabbatical in the kitchen had left her some time to think.  "I'm sorry I asked!  You don't have to answer!"

He had a moment of stricken panic before he reached out and tugged her into another tight hug.  "No, no, Ami.  This isn't your fault, kiddo.  Me being stupid has nothing to do with you.  Nothing.  Not your fault at all.  Never, ever hesitate to ask us something, you hear?  I'm the one that's sorry.  I'm sorry I got all weird.  I'm sorry I worried you."  Heero kissed his shoulder again in silent comfort.

Ami sniffled against Duo's shirt before looking up with wide brown eyes.  "I like you, too, Duo.  I like you both the bestest!  You're my favoritest people in the whole wide world!  'Cept for Mom, maybe."

Duo smiled, ruffling her bangs fondly.  "Glad to hear it, kiddo.  You ain't half bad yourself."

She sniffed again.  "Okay... But you don't hafta answer anyway."

He might have sighed in relief for dodging that bullet, but after putting the kid through the wringer, she kinda deserved it now.  Completely clueless as to where to start, he turned to Heero for help, ready to wield the puppy eyes if he had to.

Heero sighed softly, and not in relief.  "A fetish is... some little thing that a person has some strange fascination for."

She frowned through another sniffle, the joy of learning a new word overcoming her worry.  "So does it have anything to do with sex or not?"

Duo muffled a cough, but Heero caught it anyway, and shot him a look that clearly informed him that he had better be on his best behavior, or else Heero wouldn't cover for him anymore.  Once Duo had settled down, Heero continued.  "Usually."

"I don't get it."

And thank all the gods for that.  "You don't have to.  I don't get it a lot, either."  Sort of like sex in the shower.  "Do you understand the non-sex part of it?"

She nodded.

"Then that's good enough.  Now do us a favor and don't use the word for a few more years, okay?  Little girls shouldn't know words like 'fetish'."

She nodded again, always happy to oblige her niichan.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2015 11:19 am (UTC) (Link)
So, I am going through my annual read through of all your stories again, and noticed something in this one that you just revisted and answered. Isn't that just ducky! I love your Haven series.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 22nd, 2015 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I wrote this 11 years ago. x_x At least there's some continuity, I guess.

Thanks for reading!
2 comments or Leave a comment