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fic - benchwarming [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - benchwarming [haven]
Title:  Benchwarming
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  The boys warm a bench.  Duh.  Probably could have just turned this into a dialogue fic.

A Moment of Haven

He settled down slowly on the sunwarmed stone bench next to Heero and sighed as the heat soaked into his back.  "Hey."

"Hey."  Heero's eyes were closed, but he had heard the scuff of Duo's boots against the concrete and recognized the source.  His pose didn't change as he spoke.  He'd gotten nice and comfortable during his wait.  "Get through class okay?"

"Yeah.  Starting to feel it?"


"Me, too."  It had been alright during class.  The rush hadn't faded for a while, and it had carried him through having to demonstrate a few moves for his class.  Now that it was over, just thinking about it made him ache just a little bit more.  "You didn't actually go work out after, did you?"

Heero had gone to the work-out place.  Did that count?  And he'd seriously considered a swim.  Got as far as the locker room, as far as pulling his shirt off and feeling like he had pulled a muscle in the process.  "...I took a nice hot shower."

"Damn you."

"I can wait...?"

"Nah, I'd rather just go home. ...In a bit.  This bench is warm."  It was pretty nice for a day in late January.  Minus the whole aching body thing.  Kind of made him think about those hot stone massages he saw advertised once in a while, only they were kind of frou-frou so he'd never get one, obviously.  Especially if a hot stone bench could do a pretty decent job.  Toss in Heero to take care of the massage part, and life would be pretty darn good.  Minus the whole aching body thing.  "Hey, if I'd known, I'd've told you."

Heero didn't even bother twitching his shoulder into a half-shrug.  He wasn't sure it wanted to move like that, anyway.  "Improv, right?  Don't worry about it.  You did wait until after my class was over."

"Yeah, but I know you like plans."

On the bench between them, Heero moved his hand on top of Duo's.  "I like you more."

Duo chuckled tiredly.  "We just sort of started talking about improvising during combat situations.  Sort of started out with movie references, like one of those martials arts movies we've watched, with the guy using the stuff around him as weapons, like chairs and tables and stuff.  Remember that?  Then we started getting imaginative with ways to use a ball point pen to hurt a person.  Then we wandered off onto the topic of sporks."

"You're not likely to be carrying a spork in your pocket."

"Yeah, I know, but it was fun anyway.  We found they were surprisingly versatile.  And then we got into what you could do if you had to fight with a handicap, like if you got shot in your arm and couldn't use it anymore.  They thought I was full of it, of course, talking about stuff they didn't think could be done by someone that wasn't like a mad kung fu genius with a full staff of choreographers behind him."

"So, are we mad kung fu geniuses?"

"Yeah, I think so."

Their fight hadn't resembled a choreographed kung fu duel in the slightest, he thought.  There was no bamboo thicket, for starters.  "Heh, why do I think of drunken masters, all of a sudden?"

"I hope you were talking about you, not me."

"I think Quatre deserves the title most."

"I'll drink to that."  One day.  One day, and he didn't even know why he promised himself that except that one day, he wanted to get drunk because it sounded like a good life experience to have, and he wanted to have it with Heero, because Heero made all of his life experiences better.  And a tipsy Heero had been rather adorable.  "Anyway.  Handicaps, fighting with arbitrary restrictions."

"Bean bags."

"Bean bags.  Devised a set of restrictions in an artificial environment just to test out the theory.  Used what I had on hand.  I played a little catch with the kids, but obviously I was too good for them, so naturally, one thing to another and... sorry for dropping in on you like that.  Just kind of happened."

Heero squeezed his hand lightly.  "It's not a problem."  He stretched a little, just a measured shrugging of his shoulders.  Yep, he sure was starting to feel it.  "It was a good exercise.  I didn't think it'd be that difficult to hit someone with a bean bag."

"Well, difficult to hit -me-, anyway."

His eyes fell open as he hid a small smile, but he forewent casting Duo a sidelong glance.  "Maybe I should pencil in some time to my class for working with handicaps."

"Nah, your kids couldn't handle that."

"You're daring me to do it."  They were both speaking casually, but it wasn't hard for Duo to add a light, fresh bouquet of challenge to his words.

"Just saying, s'all."  Duo let that sit in the air between them for a few seconds before dropping his next innocuous statement.  "If they really want to expand their minds, they should sign up for my class."

"That's an unfair comparison," Heero retorted idly.  "My class is more focused than yours is."

"And that's my point entirely, isn't it?"

"Is it?"

"Well... no."

Heero snorted.  Good thing he'd asked, then.  "You just taught your class that real life can be like a kung fu movie."

"A good kung fu movie, mind you.  Not one of those really lame ones."

"You think 'B' movies are good movies."

"As if you're not sitting right there, watching them with me."

"Mostly because you're sitting right there, watching them."

"Ha, so I'm a good influence on you, then.  Though we'd totally be an 'A' movie."  He got his hand flipped over so he could squeeze back on the hand still resting upon his.  "No good 'B' movie has two such hot leading men."

No good 'B' movie would be able to field the kind of budget that would be needed to create the special effects of their pasts.  "I'll be doing 'B' movie tomorrow.  Bad guys are always terrible when they attack in groups, but the good guys still need to practice fighting them, at least enough to know what the right decisions are."

"See, you get downgraded to a 'B' movie when you're without your stunning co-star.  That'll teach you to fly solo."

"You'll be back in the sequel, just in time to be my love interest, won't you?"

"Count on it.  I'll swoop in with a dramatic entrance, just in time to save you from the horrors of your class."

"Not an option.  I've already saved myself from my class tomorrow.  They'll be beating up on each other and leaving me out of it.  Good thing, too."

Duo was certain he'd be able to arrange for his class to carry on tomorrow without any movement from him as well.  He'd have to be subtle about it, though.  Wouldn't want the kids to catch on.  He could deal with a bit of razzing, but it would probably get old pretty quickly.  "I did say something about still being able to go to work tomorrow, didn't I?"

A short silence stretched between them.  It wasn't a very comfortable one as they both looked off at some point in the middle distance.  "Sorry for getting a little carried away," Heero started.

"Hey, I was right there with you, getting carried away."

"I shouldn't have taken that shot to your side."

"I clipped you on the chin."

"I could have done real damage to your hand."

"I didn't pull that shot to your leg."

"I didn't have to slam you to the mat so hard."

"I almost nailed you in the nuts."

There didn't seem to be anything to add after that one.  It wasn't a complete listing, but they'd gotten the point across.

Duo felt it was time to move on.  "Don't worry.  I'll make it up to them tonight.  Or, uh, sometime soon, anyway.  I get the feeling I might not be up to it tonight."

Heero smiled.  "They're patient.  They can wait."

"Ha.  Are you sure you're a guy, Heero?"

"Want me to prove it to you?"

Blink.  Recover.  "Think you'll be up to it?"

"You know I enjoy a challenge, Maxwell."

Blink blink.  Fizzle.

Heero half-turned for the first time in this conversation to throw a faint smirk in Duo's direction.  A muscle in his neck complained, and his smile turned to rue.  He turned to face forward again.  "I think you should have proof enough of it already.  I shouldn't have gotten carried away."

Duo sighed heavily and ran his free hand through his hair.  "Tell me about it.  Now that everything's all calmed down again... I gotta say, I don't feel very good about what happened.  Not that anything terrible happened, but... shit.  I don't know what it is about having a circle of people around you, cheering you on, but... that's some powerful shit right there."

"So it seems."

"Or else bean bags just inspire higher levels of violence in us."


"We're good?"

"Of course we're good."


The pause between them was comfortable again.  Heero exhaled like it was almost a content sigh.  "But let's not do that again."

Duo made an amused sound.  "No arguments here."  Nope, only his body was protesting at the moment.  "Let's grab some takeout tonight."


"Just as soon as I can peel myself off of this bench."


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