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fic - calling dibs [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - calling dibs [haven]
Title:  Calling Dibs
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  So not what I was intending to write.  Or maybe it's just a prelude that got long enough that I ran out of juice.  Whatever.  Working on a day off.

Calling Dibs
A Moment of Haven

"Time to get cleaned up, Duo."

Duo made a sound to indicate he'd heard, but kept shifting the tools around in the workbench according to the new organizational scheme he'd devised.

Heero leaned on the inside door to the garage, watching him work for a while.  He liked the way Duo treated the tools, not with an absurd care, but with a confident respect.  They were tools, strong and meant to be used, but that was not a license to abuse.  "Duo?"

"I heard you."  Duo decided he wanted their hex nut driver set pointing the other direction and turned them around.

"You can finish up here later."

"I know."

"So why aren't you getting a move on?"

Duo pulled their torque wrench out of the corner it was hiding in to move it to its new home.  After lifting it clear, he stared at its former resting place for a few seconds before laughing.

Heero blinked.  "What?"

He held up the fastener he'd found lurking underneath the wrench.  "Get it?" he asked, grinning.

"Get what?"

His mirth cranked up another notch.  "It's you!"

"Excuse me?"  He caught the small object when Duo threw it at him and looked at it skeptically.  "It's a wing nut...?"  He had scarcely finished saying the words when he figured it out.  Despite himself, he chuckled and shook his head.  "Are you coming or not?"

"Oh, well, if you're giving me a choice, then 'not'," Duo chirped casually, going back to his task.

"I'm not giving you a choice," Heero responded dryly, tossing the wing nut back to him.

Duo leveled a mock-glare at him as he caught it and put it away.  "Then don't go saying things like that, Heero.  Get a guy's hopes up, why don't you."

"Why are you stalling, Duo?"

He briefly considered hemming and hawing, even opened his mouth to start it, but cut himself off with an annoyed sound before it happened.  "It's our day off, Heero."

"We get the weekends off, too, you know."

"I don't want to go in on the weekend, either."

"It's just a staff meeting, Duo.  It'll be over and done with in an hour, tops."

He picked up a dirty cloth and rubbed half-heartedly at a smudge of grease on the side of their tool chest.  "But there's driving into the city, and driving back again..."

They'd been doing that four days out of seven recently.  What was a fifth day?  "I know you don't have much patience for administrative tasks, Duo, but they're a necessary evil sometimes."

"Sometimes.  Not this time."

"We haven't even had the meeting yet.  It may be very important for all you know."

Duo's expression darkened.  "They're checking up on us, Heero."

"They're checking up on everyone, not just us."  Heero shifted in the frame of the door, unsure of why he was even bothering to justify this.  It was just a task that had to be done.  End of story.  "This is the first year they've done this en masse.  It's important that they get feedback so they can adjust the program for maximum effectiveness."

"Ugh, can't they survey the students or something?"  The set of his shoulders displayed his exasperation with the situation.

Heero grit his teeth for a moment before continuing to be the level-headed one.  "I think they are doing that.  They still need to let us know the results of the surveys, though, so we can adjust our own courses as necessary."

"Why couldn't they have held this meeting after class or something?"

"I don't know, Duo," he answered a little more sharply than he intended, suppressing the urge to cross his arms.  "Maybe because everyone's classes are at different times?"

"Am I starting to piss you off?"

"A little."

Duo scowled, but threw down his rag anyway.  "Dammit."  He rubbed his forehead with the back of his dirty hand and heaved a sigh as he got up.  He paused next to Heero for a moment before going back inside to clean up.  "Sorry."

Heero trailed after him, staring at the back of his head for answers.  "You hoped we were done with all this."

"Yeah, I guess.  I should know better, I know.  We won't be done with this for the rest of our friggin' lives."

"Maybe it'll get better, after some more time has passed."  If they lived under the radar for long enough, surely they'd be forgotten eventually.

"I wonder if we make the government happy."  Duo's steps were slow as he took the stairs to the second story.  "I mean, since we've been domesticated and all that.  We decided not to go work for them in the field, but this has got to be their second best choice for us.  They've gotta love that we decided to settle down in some out of the way place and not make trouble for them."

"Don't start resenting this just because they probably like it."

"I know.  I know!"  He spun around once he got to the top and looked semi-apologetically at his frowning partner.  "I just... I just remember all that time I spent back then trying to figure out how I could stick it to them.  And now look at us."

"All happy and in love," he answered dryly.  "Goddammit."

Duo kicked his shin lightly.  "Don't get all sappy on me.  I'm trying to be grumpy here."

"And you're succeeding admirably at it."

He'd thought he was done with being grumpy, too, done with being grumpy at the government and at plain and simple reality.  It seemed that maybe he still had a bit of growing up to do.  That made him sort of grumpy, too.  But he saw Heero park himself in the frame of the door again, this time the bathroom, as Duo started scrubbing the grime from his hands, and he thought maybe it wasn't so bad, being able to grow up with Heero by his side.  Grow up, and grow old.  They'd come this far already, and it hadn't been bad at all.  "Do you think... do you think that, if we'd joined up before, instead of coming out here... do you think we would have lived together?"

Random question.  But better than something grumpy, so Heero went along with it.  "Hm.  Maybe.  If it was just the two of us.  Depends on if we went to the same base, I suppose.  But if we went somewhere, it probably would have been the same place Wufei went, and then there would be three of us, and I don't think all three of us would have wanted to live together."

"Yeah, but Wufei had a single back then, too.  Maybe he would have decided to live on his own."  He turned the water off, flicked the extra drops off, and dried his hands.

Heero backed out of the door to give him the room to exit.  "And you don't think you would have wanted your own space finally?"

"Well, yeah, maybe..."  He brushed his fingers along the wall on the way to their room, getting a small kick out of knowing that this was their house, their home.  Sure, they were paying off the mortgage they had inherited from Haven's 'housing commission', way back in the day, but it was theirs.  He was sure that, if he'd gone on to work with the Preventers, he'd definitely be in a rented space, and it would have felt like just another waypoint between here and there.  "I didn't come out here intending to live with you again.  Just thought maybe we'd kind of, you know, be in the same neighborhood."

"I didn't think too much about the accommodations when I came out here," Heero admitted.  "They said they would make arrangements.  I actually thought it would be more like... dorm housing.  Something communal."  He caught the Preventers t-shirt that Duo threw at him and stared at it for a few seconds.  "You know... now that I think about it... I think I pictured barracks."

Duo snorted, pulling another standard issue shirt of the drawer.  "Figures.  I woulda been happy with a tent or something.  Wasn't sure how bad it was out here before we got here.  Who knew they had all these empty houses hanging around in this corner of town?"

Heero had his gaze directed out the window now, still not putting on his shirt.  "I'm such a..."  He trailed off, shaking his head.

"What?" Duo asked, with a gentle impatience.  As if Heero could get away with leaving it at that.

He glanced over to his partner.  Duo had taken his shirt off, but hadn't pulled the new one on yet.  Heero looked him over absently, seeing strength and good health there.  It was comforting, even if it made him feel faintly weak in return.  "I chickened out.  When choosing a place.  I wanted somewhere that needed rebuilding, so of course, it had to be somewhere that had been destroyed... but I chickened out when it came to choosing a place that had been destroyed by an attack or something.  I thought it'd be too..."

Duo nodded, studying the shirt in his hands for a moment.  "Yeah.  I guess.  But hey, it's a good reminder, yeah?  War has a lot of consequences.  It's not just the people that were on the wrong end of the weapons and stuff.  That whole area got burnt because they couldn't get the resources out here to stop it.  And the other stuff besides.  No one came out here stomping around with a suit, but it's still the war's fault.  And it's not your fault you didn't want to come out here and stare at... you know... 'reminders'."

"I didn't come out here to forget."

"You came out here to do something positive.  Well, I came out here to do something positive for a change, at least.  I can't imagine you'd come out here for any less."

Heero smiled faintly and let it drop.  Time was a'ticking, and they had somewhere to be.  He pulled his shirt over his head and folded it somewhat neatly before laying it down on the bed for later.

Duo chuckled, finally continuing with his own change of clothes.  "You amuse me, Yuy."


He waved his hand at the shirt as he closed the distance between the two of them and laid a hand on Heero's bare chest.  "Tell me something, Heero.  Say for a sec that one day, we actually manage to get out of all of our clothes before making a mess of ourselves.  Heck, even 'some' of our clothes would be a step up.  You gonna take the time to fold everything all nice and neat then, too?"

"That would be an entirely different situation."

"Mmmm."  Distracted already, he ran a finger lazily across Heero's collarbone, circled back on a shoulder, and let it brush down a firm pectoral muscle.  "Hmm."


Duo looked up with a grin.  "One -- you're filling out past that whole funny-looking-teenager phase.  Two -- I still can't believe how sexy I find this.  And three -- it's all mine."  His grin stretched into a satisfied smirk.

Heero raised an eyebrow at him.  "I hope I can claim a piece of it, too."

He pretended to consider it for moment.  "Oh, very well.  You may have a piece or two.  I got dibs on the good stuff."  He gave Heero's groin a squeeze before withdrawing with a wink.

That seemed acceptable to Heero.  He finished putting his shirt on, tucked it neatly into his pants, and gestured with a tip of his head out the door that they seemed ready to go.  On the way down the stairs, a plan struck him.  "Hey.  It's been a while since we took the bikes out.  Let's go for a drive."

"Ooh, hey, there's an idea."  Duo went through his mental checklist to make sure they were still in tip top shape.  It really had been a long time when he could barely remember the last.  They weren't anything special, just ones they'd gotten off the old Preventers stockpile.  They'd probably belonged to the Alliance at some point, but they were still zippy enough to get excited about.

"After the meeting, we can grab some dinner in the city, maybe, stick around for a while, and when it gets late enough to clear out, we can take the scenic route home."

Duo slung a companionable arm over Heero's shoulder.  "Asking me out on a date, Yuy?  Or just bribing me to play nice today?"

"I prefer the term 'convincing'."

He shrugged with a little laugh.  "Whatever.  You're on."

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