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fic - age and good looks [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - age and good looks [haven]
Title:  Age and Good Looks
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  Casual conversation about growth and other things on the way back to base to drop Wufei off.

Notes:  You know what I just realized when writing this thing?  This series technically cuts EW out of the loop.  Technically, this should mean that the guys still think Zechs is dead.  O_o;  (not to mention, i wrote him into showing up in that super old xmas chapter, didn't i?  >_>)  *waves fingers in jedi mind trick* Surely no one reads this series for its continuity... =p

Age and Good Looks
A Moment of Haven

Wufei contemplated the view out the window as the jeep navigated sedately toward the highway under Heero's guidance.  "Do you know your neighbors?"

"Yeah," Duo answered, happy for something to do.  Heero was such a meanie, refusing to let him drive when the road this morning was open and clear and tempting.  "I mean, we know them all by name and sight, of course, but it's not like we'd all hang out or something."

"Some neighbors we know better than others," Heero added.

Duo grimaced.  "Some neighbors I wish we didn't know so well."  When Wufei made a curious sound, Duo gestured vaguely over his shoulder, back toward the house and sort of across the street.  "Like Old Man Keller over there."

"He's not that old, Duo," Heero chided, sounding like he'd said something to that effect before.  "He has a daughter our age."

"Yeah, and that's the problem, isn't it?"

Wufei put two and two together and raised one eyebrow.  "He thinks you're interested in his daughter?"

When Duo only crossed his arms grumpily, Heero answered in his stead, with just a tad too much cheer.  "His daughter has her eye on Duo."

Duo emerged from his cloud long enough to scowl at his partner.  "Yeah, well her friend's got an eye for you, too.  So there."

"And meanwhile, you two only have eyes for each other?"  Wufei shook his head.  "How tragic."

"Oh hell, as if we'd ever tell Keller that."

"He's homophobic?"

Heero glanced briefly at Duo before returning his attention to the road.  "We haven't seen any evidence of that.  Duo here is just assuming the worst."

"Only because he assumes the worst of us!"

"Even without his daughter, I suspect he would still be suspicious of us.  He's ex-law enforcement, and from what he can see from across the street, we do seem a little shady."

"That doesn't mean he has to go assuming stupid shit about us."

"To his credit," Heero directed halfway over his shoulder for Wufei's edification.  "He's not the type to spread rumors.  He's kept his assumptions to himself."

Duo jumped right back in to it.  "As far as we know, anyway.  We haven't been in touch with the locals, lately."

Heero exhaled almost audibly.  "I trust Suzuhara-san would have let us know if something was wrong."

Wufei decided that now might be a good time to jump into the conversation.  "How much do the locals know about you two?  Your pasts?"

The tangent disrupted Duo's flow, and coincided with Heero merging onto the highway.  Having to catch himself from glancing reflexively over his shoulder into the jeep's blind spot further broke his stride, enough for him to drop his previous line of debate and answer the question.  "Well, depends on when they got here.  When we first signed up, we didn't hide who we were from the guy in charge.  That just didn't seem fair.  So then a few people right at the beginning knew, but besides them, I think it was always a little vague.  Most people, if they know anything, they probably just think we fought in the war on one side or another.  There were lots of groups out there, a lot of them not ashamed of recruiting young guys like us."

Heero nodded his agreement with the account.  "Most civilians like to assume that the Gundam pilots were in their twenties or so."

It wasn't an unreasonable assumption, Wufei thought.  Twenty-something was still young and passionate enough to be crazy enough to be a Gundam pilot, and old enough to be responsible enough.  There was, however, at least one slight flaw in the general assumption.  "Pictures were broadcast of you."

Duo made an interesting sound, half snicker, half grimace.  "Yeah, I guess, but to a limited audience.  Heero got his ugly mug passed around some of the military circles, too.  Then you've got the dudes that were all at Moon Base.  Or Siberia.  Or Sanq.  God, some people in Antarctica, too, maybe?  Geez, *some* of us really got around."  He threw a pointed glance at their driver and didn't even mention a certain penitance tour around Europe.  "Okay, so I guess there's more than just a few people that actually knew who we were.  But most of them were military."

It only took one of those people to talk and their anonymity could be blown, though mentioning it now certainly wouldn't help.  Wufei liked to think he'd managed to stay under the radar, but he had to admit that he had been at Moon Base, too, and there had been that brief stay amongst Sally's ragtag group of rebels.  He paused to give a mental nod of respect and apology to the men and women that had lost their lives while he had been adrift.  And then, because life couldn't be all about past regrets, some levity.  "I heard rumors that you weren't a real Gundam pilot."

Duo's head whipped around to question Wufei directly, a humorously offended look on his face. "Say what?"

He shrugged slightly.  "When people learn something they think unbelievable, they often deny it, even when evidence is right in front of their eyes."

"What, you mean like, no one thought a kid as devilishly handsome as I could possibly be a badass Gundam pilot?"

Wufei heard a snort from the driver's seat, freeing him from the responsibility of making such a sound himself.  "The broadcast wasn't that clear, and most of your face was hidden much of the time."

"Well, obviously I had an aura about me."  Duo puffed himself up slightly.  "Wait, so some people thought Une's goons just went out and kidnapped some poor, random kid and beat the shit out of him, just for the PR?  Man, that's rough."

"I wonder where the Gundam came from, then."

"Could have been a fake," Heero proposed.  "To fool the population into believing that OZ was doing better than it actually was."

Duo deflated, turning back in his seat to face forward.  "Man, I wish it was.  Not all of us were lucky enough to have bored rich dudes building replicas of our suits so the blowing-up could be faked."

"I take no responsibility for that.  Zechs was..."  He tried for a second.  He honestly did.  But he gave up with a lightly disgusted sound.  "I don't pretend to understand that man."

Duo was glad Heero stopped where he did.  Determined to switch gears, Duo turned around again.  "Hey, so what kind of flak do you take for being a full-fledged Preventer?  I know we get some weird looks, but at least we can claim that we're not real agents.  But you actually work in the office and stuff."

"People have had several years to get used to it.  People who were there from the beginning.  My public background isn't too dissimilar from yours, actually.  That I was recruited at a young age by one of the many military or paramilitary rebel groups that existed during the war.  Many of our agents were members of similar groups themselves.  I may be young, but not in a way that strains their credibility too much."

"All the same, man..."

Wufei sighed softly.  "All the same, I am sure my appearance colors their impressions of me, and consequently their attitudes toward me.  That is true.  I... try not to take on assignments where that inconvenience can negatively affect the outcome."

Duo rubbed his usually-stubble-free chin.  "How old does a guy have to be before he starts looking, yanno, old?"

"Do you mean, 'not young'?" Heero asked dryly.

"Old to me, man.  Even before I was measuring my life expectancy in days, I... you know.  Didn't expect to last too long.  Anything after that's 'old' to me."

"It's all relative, I suppose."  He was well aware of the fact that physical age and emotional age didn't match up in the slightest sometimes.

Duo stretched his legs out in front of him.  It took him longer than he would have liked for his feet to hit the end of his available leg room in the front seat.  "Wonder how many more centimeters I can squeeze out of this ol' frame of mine.  Not that long ago, I did find a pair of pants that I'm sure were shorter on me now than they were last year, and I'm just gonna go ahead and admit that that was embarrassingly cool to find out."

"I think Trowa will stay the tallest of us," Wufei judged.

"Yeah, I guess he's got a good head start, but damn, have you ever seen Quatre's father?  The guy was huge.  Musta shared some blood with the Maguanacs or something.  I mean, damn, standing next to Rashid really does a job on a guy's ego.  I'm gonna go with Quatre as number two.  The guy's probably just a late bloomer or something.  But if he does any growing, I'm thinking it has to be fast and soon, given the way his mind's been in the gutter lately.  I'm guessing that means the hormones are kicking in with a vengeance."

Heero chuckled just loudly enough to reach Duo's ears..  "Should I be expecting a growth spurt out of you soon, too?"

"Ha."  He jerked his thumb over his shoulder toward the back seat.  "Nah, Wufei here's gonna be a solid number three.  Me and you are gonna have to fight it out in the bottom two."

Wufei had rarely had the privilege of considering himself to be tall, even by comparison.  He felt obliged to share the wealth.  "The wide variety in backgrounds in the L1 cluster has historically produced individuals of good health."

"Or," Duo refuted in a dramatic tone, "it could be because it's L1, closest to Earth and with the best tech and stuff."  He shrugged, knowing that they knew about the cultures of each cluster as well as he did.  "But regardless of background, most of L1's citizens haven't done the high-grav training this crazy guy's gone through."  He jabbed his thumb in Heero's direction this time.  "That kind of pressure's gotta stunt a guy's growth something good.  And don't tell me about 'wide variety of backgrounds', anyway.  L2's a giant compost heap of backgrounds.  I'm sure I'm just a mutt."

Heero reached over to pat his leg reassuringly.  "A mutt of the highest caliber."

Duo couldn't help the little smile that sprang to his face.  "Aw, gee, thanks, babe."

Wufei was equally complimentary, but far less adorable.  "You're very healthy... given your background."

Duo felt he could answer such a diplomatically phrased point.  "Yeah, well, when ol' G got a hold of me and decided he could use me, you can bet he cleaned and prettied me up.  Said I'd stick out too much, looking like I'd just crawled out of an L2 gutter, and, well, after seeing what I've seen, I can't say the old guy was wrong.  Could have been a little bit less of a bastard about it, though."

"He provided you with the proper nutrition, then."

"Yeah, sure, and I've still got vitamin supplements now and stuff -- heck, even Heero does -- but there's kind of no making up for lost time on this one."  He heaved a loud sigh.  "Well, I'm sure it'll come in handy some day, being able to squeeze into some tight spots."  There was a pause, and then a laugh.

Heero glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, several times to split his attention between the road and his partner.  In the periphery, he saw Wufei looking politely inquisitive.

Duo smirked and shook his head.

It was the smirk that gave it away, at least to Heero.  He started to ask, but stopped himself and shook his head.  "So, I should be expecting a growth spurt out of you soon, right?" he murmured.

"Heh, yeah, before you know it, I'll be bigger and better than ever."

"But then you wouldn't be able to squeeze into any tight spots anymore."

"...You know, I think I had the wrong thought earlier.  This doesn't make sense anymore."

"Did it ever?" Wufei asked.

Heero magnanimously gave Duo the benefit of the doubt.  "For just a second there, sure."

Duo's sigh was not far from content.  "Bet Wufei won't be sad to be rid of us loonies."

"Next time you're in Brussels," he answered seriously.  "Don't forget to drop by for a visit."

The answering smile was genuine, the wink a little more mischievous.  "Call us if you need help moving into your new place."

Tags: ,

41 comments or Leave a comment
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: August 4th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea why I love these sort of fics in Haven the best, but I do. A little past here, a little wonderment there.. and then the innuendo. Perfect formula!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, really?  I was always afraid these rambling little parts were the boringest parts ever!  ^^  Glad to hear I'm wrong for at least one person!
miss_strumpet From: miss_strumpet Date: August 4th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
oh yays!
i love that you're on LJ now and I can actually leave you a comment so easily. t'is awesome.
this fic was great, as usual. do you think someday you're going to try your hand actual lemon >:D the chit chat has been getting dirtier every day. in a completely adorable way, you understand.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
What makes you think that Haven lemon wouldn't be just as adorable as the rest of their dirt? ^o^ It'd probably be kind of, I dunno, lemonade-y or something. ^__^
bloody_winged From: bloody_winged Date: August 4th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
God, I love haven :D You know, these are nearly the only things I'm sure I can read without having any problems at the moment :D And why is that? Because they are so... normal. As now: Three guys discussing normal things, a comfortable setting, a joke here, a bit of affection there... nothing too much and yet *so* good^^ I love you for this series^^ (god, I love you for your other work as well, but haven just... I love it. There is nothing more to say about it^^ :D)
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are plenty of other people out there torturing the guys.  I think they deserve a break now and again.  ^_- *snugglesguys*
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 4th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! ^___^ Duo almost sounds like he'd be a little miffed if he actually did get a growth spurt. Like losing a sorta/kinda/virtual bet. ^__~
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor guy just can't win, can he? ^o^
miyun From: miyun Date: August 4th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
*snickers* oh duo. 8D

Surely no one reads this series for its continuity

continuity? what's that? XDD
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
continuity? what's that? XDD

*boots something under the bed*   Haven't a clue.  *whistles innocently*
fractured_sun From: fractured_sun Date: August 4th, 2008 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this series it always leaves me in a good mood.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 5th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I just love the guys when they're in a good mood. ^_^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 4th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now see? In the old days I would not have looked for more Haven until Monday night. (Having looked Friday/Saturday/Sunday night already) and would therefore have NOT made myself late to work. So there IS some worth to 'the old ways'. *snerk*
Not that I minded starting my day with a Duo/Heero induced smile. ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 5th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but in the old days, what if you had gotten an e-mail about it from Plaid while you were at work, and then not only would you have lost out on the who-saw-it-first, you would also have had to spend the day not reading it!  Which one is worse, hmm? ^__^

(unless you read at work. ... unless you don't read your e-mail at work.  in which case i totally lose this argument. -_-)
penguin_sama From: penguin_sama Date: August 4th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah! Thanks to you, the day has gone from "crummy" to "worth getting out of bed, after all." ^^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 5th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy to oblige. ^_-
jukeboxhound From: jukeboxhound Date: August 5th, 2008 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You never fail to make me laugh aloud.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 5th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as it's the good kind of laugh.  ^o^v
roseya19 From: roseya19 Date: August 5th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just LOVE Haven. *sigh* You never cease to satisfy me with these little glimpses into Heero and Duo's everyday life. I hope Haven never ends. I could read these forever and never get tired of them. Really. *nods*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 6th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope I have a lot more Haven to write, then.  ^_^  *rummages through pockets*
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Duo and Heero

Well its been about a month and poor me has not been able to get by, where is the continuation for Haven?? Come on and update..
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 31st, 2008 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Duo and Heero

I AM updating.  I'm just updating something else at the moment.  =)
berneynator From: berneynator Date: February 6th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Review. Part... seven? Maybe?

Maybe it’s mean of me, but I’m rather enjoying seeing the boys get underestimated by their students. Probably because I like seeing idiots who judge on appearances get shown up. I especially like Duo’s class, just because it has so much flexibility – plenty of room for confrontation in a CQC class, but less for creativity (as far as I can see. You’ll probably prove me wrong in about two paragraphs). Duo, on the other hand, practically has permission to pull all sorts of stunts. This should be entertaining.

Yup, Caulfield got shown up, and he more than deserved it. I have some doubt the lesson has thoroughly sunk in yet, though. And yes, Heero is extremely cute when offering to choke people out, and being confused when they don’t seem interested. He’s already beating himself up, though – but I’m sure Duo will set him straight.

Duo is disappointed that Heero doesn’t smell like parsley? That’s just so… odd. I mean, I like food, but I don’t think of ‘parsley’ and ‘sexy’ in the same context very often. I’m glad Duo’s so into the “making a home” thing, though!

I almost died laughing at the ‘whip ‘em out and get a ruler, already’ bit. The boys were hot, of course, but I love the interactions, too – Duo’s mouth might need reins occasionally, but I don’t think he’s going to argue with these results!

Valentine’s Day! I always love it when the nicknames come out to play, especially ones involving ‘tea’ or ‘nut.’ Yay for Duo’s improv skills!

Ooh, Duo loose in with a license to trip his students up! This is sure to be entertaining. And Duo expensing lube and wet naps – I’m having fun imagining the poor clerk who had to challenge him on that one.

I loved the bean-bag fight, and how intense they got about it. Even more, though, I loved that they were able to back down. Of course, it’s always fun to show off to the students just how awesome their instructors are; and Duo’s thoughts on making each other feel better later seem much more satisfactory than smushing each other into the mats. A very fun scene, all in all!

Mmm, massaging and touching and kissing and licking… making each other feel better is definitely one very nice benefit, even if they don’t have the energy to get any further.

Yay, getting to see Wufei again! It’s nice to get another perspective, and much as I like Heero and Duo, it’s nice to see the other pilots once in a while.

Heero may have a bad heart? I think Duo just settling down to listen to it and reassure himself is incredibly sweet.

Dirty minds = growth spurts, huh? I suppose mine’s not all that dirty, but I could definitely make the effort for a few more inches! I hate being unable to see over the shoulders of normal-sized people, not even tall ones. Interesting that you/Duo thinks Wufei would be taller than Duo or Heero – an Asian friend of mine is 5’1” and taller than her dad, and even I’m taller than another friend’s dad, so I guess I tend to think of Asian men as severely short. Of course, Heero is supposed to be half Japanese. A question – where do the (fandom?) assumptions of nationality come from? Quatre and Wufei I saw the justification for in the series, but where did it say that Heero was half-Japanese, that people from L2 were of American descent, and I don’t even know what Trowa is supposed to be, it seems to vary.

It’s nice to see the boys re-establishing contact with the other pilots, especially this universe’s Wufei. For some reason I like him better than the Haven Quatre and Trowa, probably just because he’s been more accepting and actively supportive of their relationship.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: February 7th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Review. Part... seven? Maybe?

Heh, Duo's class was intimidating for me because I know I don't have the creativity to properly render a creative Duo!  Ergo... we saw very little of his class. >_>

I don't think Duo thought parsley would be sexy... maybe more like he just wanted to be reminded of their herby dinner?  Because herbs are a strangely meaningful thing in their relationship?  Sort of like oatmeal and haircuts. ^^' So I think it would have just been neat to be reminded of their life journey together in that small way, rather than being reminded that they did something, and then it sort of evaporated like it didn't happen.

I think the official stats for the characters, as given in artbooks or other random GW paraphernalia, includes their nationality.  Or maybe it said ethnicity.  I don't recall.  I think Trowa is listed as 'unknown' or something.  That's where we all get their canon eye color as well (the whole cobalt/prussian nonsense), though let it be said that Heero's hair is canonically 'moss green', so... O_o

In my personal canon, Heero isn't really Japanese, per se... he's 'L1 colonial'.  Many nations were involved in the building of the various colonies at L1.  It'd be difficult to imagine a country like today's Japan suddenly fielding a space colonization program all on its own.  It doesn't really have the infrastructure for that.  I think they may have infiltrated the initial ranks of colonists by way of their engineers, though, since I think their tech would have led the way to successful space colonization.  And then as colonists moved out there, there would inevitably be 'neighborhoods' where more Japanese tended to settle.  Construction in L1 was completed in *looks up timeline* ~102AC.  There would have been, what, like five generations worth of mingling with other immigrant bloodlines?  I think it'd be difficult to find a 'pure-blooded' Japanese person in L1 in AC195 (not counting fresh immigrants).  So I think Heero has perhaps a strong Japanese genetic heritage, but he's probably a mix of a few things.  Culturally, I like to pretend that L1 happens to have a strong Japanese influence/roots, but also that it has developed its own separate style as well.  The casual observer would not mark the difference between the two, but the knowledgable one would be able to distinguish the differences easily.  For instance, I have Heero understanding Japanese, but even within Japan you've got regional dialects like Kansai-ben and Osaka-ben, so I can easily imagine he is actually familiar with L1-ben, so to speak, where the accent is a little different and there are different casual phrases and so forth.

A whole bunch of Chinese clans were exiled to L5 A0201, where Wufei is from, and I think they'd have stayed 'pure-blooded' Chinese.  That being said, however, there's no reason to assume that the Chinese couldn't have gained some average height by AC195.  Also, there are some pockets of tall Chinese people out in the mountains and countryside today, I think.  I'm Chinese and 5 foot one half a damn inch, but I've got Chinese friends who are almost 6'. (I settle for seeing between people, not over them. =D)

Also, claiming that Wufei would be taller than Heero and Duo isn't saying much since the real claim is that Heero and Duo would end up shorter than Wufei. ^_^ For the reasons of high-grav high-impact training, poor nutrition during the formative years, etc., as stated.  And the notion of a growth spurt is somewhat alien to me since I never had one ^^, so I'm going to imagine that, since Duo was a canonical 154 cm at the age of ~15, I find it unlikely that he would shoot up another 12"+ over the next few years.  I dunno, does that happen in real life?  Mutant freaks, I say.

Quatre would be supportive of them... if he weren't so busy angsting over the way his own life is turning out. =p And Trowa is supportive of their relationship... he just thinks their relationship is something else. ^^'
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