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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 9 [novella] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - i backward cast my e'e part 9 [novella]
Title:  I Backward Cast My E'e
Part:  9
Notes:  Featuring the return of one of my favorite characters!  ^_^

I Backward Cast My E'e
sequel-lite to for promis'd joy
Part 9

Heero got back to his apartment with a strange sense of disquiet.  He put his bag down, hit the power on his laptop, turned on the ceiling fan, did all the things he usually did when he got home, as he resigned himself to acknowledging that this thing with Duo was getting to him.  In the end, he sat down on his futon sofa feeling disoriented.

It wasn't as if he was unaccustomed to being in his apartment alone.  While Duo was a frequent guest here, they didn't spend every night together.  He glanced to his side and shook his head glumly at the big blue bear sitting there.  I've gotten soft, he thought at the bear.

Grumpy agreed, and hadn't he warned the foolish human?

Feeling vengeful, Heero snatched the bear up and gave him a tight hug, proving just who the soft one was here.

The bear protested.  He was plushy, and couldn't help being what he was.

Well, Heero thought, I'm human, and I can't help it either.

He brought Grumpy with him to his desk as he sat down in front of his computer and tried to get back on track.  He still had some bugs to work out in his networking assignment, and he worked diligently on those until he managed to iron out all but the last.  Figuring he would take a break before making the last sprint to the finish, he opened his instant messenger and located Trowa's handle.  "Us plus two for Thanksgiving," he typed.

"Okay."  The response was swift.  The follow-up, a little less so.  "Quatre almost changed his mind."


"His dad thought it was a good idea for him to stay."

Well, at least Trowa and Wufei had decent relationships with their fathers.  "Hasn't he learned yet that asserting his independence doesn't mean rebellion?"

"He did decide to stay in the end.  He just wants to chill with his friends, but his dad thinks it's good for him to strengthen his connections with his peers before joining the business world."

"It's the same thing in the end."  While he had never actively sought out Quatre as a 'connection', he certainly was one.  It made him remember Duo trying to reject Odin as a connection.  "Hey, you don't have any family drama going on, do you?"

"Cathy-drama, or drama-drama?"

He smiled briefly.  "Either-or.  There's just been some family drama going on on this end, and I think Duo will be much less grumpy if he doesn't have to put up with anyone else's." He patted Grumpy on the head in apology for taking his name in vain.

"I thought he and Howard were pretty much on their own?"

That was a fairly diplomatic way of putting things.  He debated how much information to pass along.  After so many years, there wasn't much that he didn't tell Trowa anymore.  "They are, or were, maybe.  Duo just found out that his dad died."

There was a long pause before the reply came, and Heero found himself waiting anxiously for it.  "Mixed feelings, huh?"

He nearly laughed aloud.  "You could say that."


Good question.  He tapped his fingers on his desk for a few seconds in thought.  "Wild ride sometimes.  Just gotta hang on through to the end."

"Try to avoid the whiplash, yeah?"

"I'm trying."  He tried to come up with a follow up to the simple statement, but summoned up only another 'I'm trying'.

Trowa responded to the conspicuous pause.  "I know you want to help him, Heero, but some things, a man's gotta work through on his own."

"I know.  Doesn't make it easy to watch, though."  He leaned back in his chair for a few seconds and blew his breath out into his bangs.  "I don't think I'm doing this right." 

"Doing what?"

Another good question.  "Whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing."  Maybe if he knew, then he'd be able to do a better job of it.

"Like what?"

Great.  Trowa didn't have any answers he was willing to hand over.  Heero sighed and sat back in his chair again, playing with Grumpy's ears and staring blankly at Trowa's question.  He didn't realize how much time passed in that way until the cell phone on his desk rang.  He blinked himself back to attention, glanced at the caller ID, and answered.  "Hey."

"I'm still waiting."

Heero ran his hand through his bangs and let Trowa wait some more while he put his thoughts together.  "Duo's home tonight.  He shooed me off early.  It's got me depressed."

"Since I know you're not that pathetic, can you be more specific?"

It was hard to say.  Duo had given him a hug and a kiss and suggested that it was getting late when it wasn't late at all.  Heero was no expert on these things, but he knew better than to argue.  He said good night and left with a hug and a kiss of far firmer conviction, and one stern look at Howard to keep an eye on things while he was gone.  "Maybe he just thought we all needed a break."

"From him?"

"Maybe."  Too bad it was unlikely Duo would be able to get a break from himself.  "He snapped at me tonight.  I'm not sure what it means.  He didn't mean to.  Either he's wearing that thin, or... I'm getting on his nerves."

"Probably both.  The second because of the first."

"I just don't know what else to do.  I'd probably get sick of me, too.  He gets cranky, and what can I do?  All I've got are hugs."  He laughed quietly.  It was a frustrated sound.  "I don't understand what he's going through.  When I found out my dad died, it was a complete non-event!"

"I remember that."  Trowa had been with him at the time.  There had been a few seconds of awkward silence, and then life had continued on.

"And hearing what kind of people they were, I can see why he would be angry at his parents, angry and traumatized, but... well, I probably would have dealt with it differently.  Very differently."  He put Grumpy aside, got out of his chair, and started pacing.  "So in good conscience, there are very few times when I can feel comfortable telling him it'll be okay, or that he'll get through it, or whatever other trite little things I'm supposed to say."

"You obviously just want to help him, Heero, and I understand how much you hate problems you can't solve... but this isn't really your problem to solve."

"Can't I.... Can't I help him solve it?"

"This kind of thing?  This kind of thing, like I said, a man's just gotta work through on his own."

He sighed.  "I know.  I'm... I'm no good with people, Trowa.  Other people probably don't have to think as hard about this as I do.  I don't know how to be like other people."

Trowa chuckled.  "He didn't choose you because he thought you had good people skills, Heero.  If you listen to him tell it, he was first attracted by the fact that you had no people skills.  He chose you for being you.  And he knows you are a cranky bastard.  He's helped decorate your apartment to that effect, almost as much as Quatre has."

He glanced over to the two dwarf figurines on top of his tv.  Grumpy had been a gift from Quatre.  Bashful had been a gift from Duo.  "Maybe he didn't know what he was getting into."

"Maybe he wants you to stay the cranky bastard you've always been.  Maybe he needs a good kick in the rear once in a while, if he's getting stuck in a rut.  Maybe you shouldn't be so afraid of damaging his sensibilities."

"I don't really see it as damaging his sensibilities, so much as kicking a man when he's down.  He's got enough shit to deal with.  I don't want him being on the defensive with me."

"Okay, how about a good nudge in the rear?  Oh, hey, there's an idea."

"Excuse me?"

"Have you thought about sex?  As stress relief, that is.  Or a distraction."

"What the...?"  His brain finally made the connection between sex and rear ends.  He stopped his circular pacing of his small living space.  "No, I haven't, thank you very much.  Wait.  Have you and Quatre...?"

"Have we what?"

He made a disgusted sound.  "When could you two have possibly have found the time to have sex?"

"How long do you think it takes?"

Though it took a second, Heero finally recalled to whom he was speaking.  This was Trowa, who found it amusing to misrepresent himself to others.  As long as he wasn't affirming anything with a definite answer, Heero could be fairly certain that Trowa was only fooling around.  Relatively certain.  And pretty certain he probably didn't want to know.  He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Normally, he wouldn't have fallen for it at all, but he was definitely not at the top of his game right now.  He took an extra second to close his eyes and recenter himself before continuing on.  He started off with a wry sound.  "If it doesn't take that long, then it's not much of a distraction, really."

"The benefits last a lot longer than the actual deed itself."

"I wish it were that easy."  He slumped back into the chair at his desk and picked his bear up again.

"Hey, can't know until you try."

Well, if nothing else, Trowa's little tangent had gotten him off the track of his little self-pity party.  Did Trowa know him well enough to have calculated that?  Maybe.  Sort of brought him back to his original problem, though.  He sighed.  "I'm not so pathetic that I question whether or not Duo would be better off without me.  But I am pathetic enough that I wish I could know if he is better off with me."

A puff of air was transmitted through the phone, the sound of Trowa making an exasperated noise into the mic.  "You're right.  You are pathetic.  Look, Heero, whether or not you always know the right thing to say or do, you're really good at what matters -- at standing by someone no matter what kind of shit happens.  So do what you're good at, dammit.  Helping Duo deal isn't only done by spouting out the right words."

Heero stayed silent for a few seconds before he gave up his resistance.  "Okay.  Fine.  I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of telling you that you're right, but... my moment of emo-angst is over now.  Thank you."

"Sure thing.  Give Duo a good kick in the rear for me, yeah?"

"Maybe.  The nudges are all mine, though."

Tags: , ,

18 comments or Leave a comment
miyun From: miyun Date: August 31st, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I love your Trowa. 8D And your emo-angsty Heero.

"Since I know you're not that pathetic, can you be more specific?"

*dyings!* XD
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 1st, 2008 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Let this be a lesson to Heero: brevity is not always a good thing!  ^_^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 31st, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trowa is so matter-of-fact. ^___^ Between him and Grumpy, Heero should be much better. If only Duo were so... not easy, but... tractable? O.o A kick in the rear would at least be distracting, though... Hm... "Nudges" would probbly just freak him out. ^___^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 1st, 2008 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Luckily, Heero responds well to matter-of-fact.  =)
miss_strumpet From: miss_strumpet Date: August 31st, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
is your favourite character Trowa or Grumpy? Because both are awesome. Still love this arc!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 1st, 2008 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Grumpy!  Easiest bear to write ever!  In fact, I had to work at keeping him from overtaking the conversation.  ^o^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 31st, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was great! I loved both conversations; you do the best dialogue. I really felt for Heero in this part; wanting to do the right thing so bad, but not even being sure what that is.
Excuse me while I go indulge in some fangirly, sappy sighing. ^___~
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 1st, 2008 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Someone long ago commented that I should be screenwriting.  I've always wondered if that was like saying I have a face for radio.  Are my non-dialogue parts THAT bad?  ^o^

Wait.  Ha, BOTH conversations?  The bear has a fan, does he?  ^_^

*pets heero*  There will be many more opportunities for him to cuddle in the near term future.  =)
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 1st, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
*snort* As if. But bad dialogue can kill the other parts no matter how good they are.
And the bear might have a fan. >_> Not that I spent a bunch of time trying to find one or anything. Did you know that Grumpy spent some time (apparently) being politically incorrect? Couldn't find one on the shelves for love nor money. *cough* Uh... just a bit of Care trivia...
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 2nd, 2008 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Grumpy is actually a pretty hard bear to find in the stores.  I'm guessing that they didn't make very many of him because they didn't want the kids all learning how to be grumpy.  =p  Obviously Share Bear or someone was a better role model for them.

Consequently, Grumpy has become something of a chase item for collections or profit.  Those in the know snatch him up whenever they find him.

If you look up pictures of the original Grumpy, he was one decidedly grumpy blue dude!  His expression in the relatively recent Care Bears revival was dimmed down to something a bit more blah.  He doesn't look like he's having a good day, but he doesn't really look grumpy, either.  The newest Grumpy that they've released is sort of modernized, where his expression is a little wry, with one raised eyebrow and a lopsided smirk.  That one's not really my kind of bear.  Too trendy.

... ... Not that I would have a giant Grumpy hiding in my closet right now.  >_>
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 3rd, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Mine is small. But in the closet as well. >_> And your fault when one gets right down to it...
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 3rd, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
My brother scored a whole box of small ones one day as he was walking through Walmart, I think it was, so I've got one of those, too.  >_>

*spreads the grumpy love*
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 1st, 2008 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)

I Backward Cast My E'e

I really liked chapter 9. Can't wait to see how Heero helps Duo out. Thanks
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 1st, 2008 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I Backward Cast My E'e

Heero can't wait to see how he does it, too.  =D
ramenkuri From: ramenkuri Date: September 14th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love Heero's conversation with Grumpy bear.

This is definitely one of my favorites series that you've written.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Grumpy is full of sage advice, for those with the ears to listen. *nodnod*

Yay!  Thanks for sticking around!
xazis From: xazis Date: January 13th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)


I have read and re- read this series, and the line about Trowa misrepresenting himself is still my favorite. I love how you write him. Both he and Quatre have their cannonical characteristics, and still fit so smoothly into everyday life. I'm also overjoyed that this is a not-oneshot. You keep writing, I'll keep reading.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 13th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Trowa!

I always picture Trowa having a really demented sense of humor.  It's always the quiet ones, yanno? =D

This is a multi-shot, but it has to end after this arc!  After graduation, they live happily ever after.  *waves wand*  I need to move on to other things.
18 comments or Leave a comment