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fic - rumble [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - rumble [haven]
Title:  Rumble
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  More or less, the anticipated rumble.

A Moment of Haven

"Hey, I was thinking..."  He trailed off naturally for maximum effect, and heard Yuy shift in the seat beside him.  He turned his eyes briefly to his partner before returning his attention to the road.  "Did you... just *brace* yourself?"


He spared another few sidelong glances.  "Are you sure?"

"Duo.  Think about who I am and what I've done.  Do you really think I'd need to brace myself before listening to you... suggest something... 'creative'?"

He looked Yuy up and down with a mental eye and measured his mettle.  "Yes."

Heero affected an offended expression.  "What do you mean, 'yes'?  Wait... why?  What were you thinking?"

"You are so bracing yourself."

"Isn't that the whole point behind starting a conversation with 'hey, I was thinking...'?  Aren't you attempting to ease me into the topic by giving me time to prepare myself for whatever might follow?"

Dammit, always with the logic.  The best defense was a good offense.  "You're such a wuss."

"Oh?  So you think your creative might is nothing to tremble before?"

Uh... Dammit.  Ooh!  "When I want you to tremble, I'll let you know.  So you want to hear me out or what?"

"Wait..."  Heero braced his hands against the dash in front of him.  "Okay.  Go."

Duo snorted.  "Anyway.  You know what I said the other day?  About our classes having a rumble?  I was thinking we shouldn't do it."

"...Oh."  He relaxed his position.

"Well, I just mean that *we* shouldn't do it.  I think it should just be between our two classes."

"Oh."  Heero didn't quite tense up, but he did feel a little less relaxed.

"Because I want to see what the kiddies have learned, and, well, given our prior history... I'm pretty sure we couldn't just decide to call it a tie this time.  And while I do love bragging rights..."

"You love me more?"

Duo chuckled.  "Totally not what I was thinking, but yeah, you get the point."


"But then, like, I was thinking that even if we didn't personally take part in the games, well, there would still be a winner by extension, and that wouldn't really fix the problem.  So maybe we should mix the groups up or something.  They should be able to work together reasonably well, don't you think?"

It would appear Duo had spent a lot of time thinking about this.  Or perhaps he had done an awful lot of thinking in one short burst.  It usually surprised Heero how much Duo could get done with his inefficient thought processes in a very small amount of time.  "That could be another aspect of the evaluation."

"True.  Then we wouldn't really have to explain why we mixed up the teams.  Or rather, we could give them a different reason."

"We should talk to Shevtsova," Heero proposed, lending his own two cents to the plan.

"Think he'll want in on the action?  Oh, wait, I get it.  To get some people to lead the teams, right?  Yeah, I guess we haven't been training them in tactical planning, so it wouldn't be fair to send them off into a tactical situation without any leadership.  Hey, then it could be one big, happy seminar family, and none of our handlers have to look at us funny!  I mean, if Shevtsova's in on it, surely we can't be planning to do anything crazy, right?"

"When we speak with him, please don't say anything like that, or else he might not agree."

Wasn't Duo's fault Shevtsova was old and boring.  Well, alright, probably not that old and not that boring in fact, but definitely in comparison.  "All we have to do is ask if we can borrow a few of his kids."


"Yeah, borrow.  We'd return them unharmed and everything."

"Duo.  Allow me to repeat myself.  When we speak with him..."

Well, it really was a much better plan if they could get Shevtsova on board.  "Hm.  I know I'm usually the front man here, but maybe you ought to be the one to talk to him.  You straight arrows know how to speak the same language."

It always amused Heero when people seemed to think he liked following the rules.  Maybe he did so more often than not, but only because there was no reason not to in those situations.  "You do know how to restrain yourself, you know."

"Yeah, but I just save that for special occasions."

"Hn.  That reminds me..."


He shook his head, dismissing the thought for a later, more appropriate time.  "I hope your class knows how to restrain itself."

"Whatever.  It's Shevtsova's class' problem.  I'll let you take the lead and set the tone, okay?  Just don't be surprised if I sorta jump in there every once in a while."

Shevtsova nodded approvingly to himself as he listened in on the planning sessions of the two teams.  The details seemed to be coming together quite well.  He checked his watch and turned to the other two in the room.  "It's just about time."

Heero nodded once, professionally.  He had found the preliminaries to be quite interesting.  In his classroom, the students devoted their time to advanced hand-to-hand combat techniques, but that didn't mean that they didn't have other talents.  Their contributions to the tactical discussions had given him a new insight into some of their personalities.

Duo nodded once, amiably.  He didn't say anything about how field missions didn't always conform to preset schedules, and though he had wanted to, he hadn't spoken up five minutes ago, when he'd thought it would be more interesting if they cut the planning sessions short to see how the teams dealt with the unexpected.  Perhaps that was because there were other unexpected things planned for them.

Shevtsova unmuted his mike and addressed the teams below the control center on general broadcast.  "Time's up.  We will begin momentarily.  You all know the rules.  We will be your referees in addition to your evaluators.  We have been your teachers, but after these months of training, we hope you will be able to learn for yourselves what there is to be learned here today in this field exercise, and to take these lessons with you when you leave this place..."

As the little inspirational speech continued, Heero tapped his elbow against Duo's.

Duo shook his head slightly with one last eye roll, but obediently schooled his expression into something less mocking.

Shevtsova finished up and turned around.  "Any last minute advice to your students?"

They certainly hadn't planned on making any remarks, but they both thought they would look sort of bad if they didn't.  Whether because someone would think they were slacking in comparison to Shevtsova, or because someone might think that they had had a hand in Shevtsova's somewhat high-handed speech.

Duo stepped up first, gathering a few words together as he hit his comm.  "Hey-ho, kiddos.  I know what we've been going over this whole term.  But I want to remind you, that as important as it is to go with the flow and think on your feet and improvise... you're part of a team now.  Don't do anything that will screw your teammates over, okay?  And yeah, it's just a game, with maybe some stupid rules, but even real life's got some stupid rules, so if you're gonna 'cheat', cheat within the parameters of the game, yeah?  You don't win your bragging rights if you improvise your way into winning a game we're not even playing.  So go out there, have some fun, kick some ass, and do us proud."

Heero exhaled softly, recognizing that it was his turn to speak.  "Do us proud," he echoed.  "But more importantly, do yourselves proud.  You may or may not win this battle, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that you acted rationally, confidently, in a way you won't regret when looking back at it.  Do yourselves proud."

"You're such a downer sometimes," Duo whispered to him.

He shrugged and ceded the floor back to Shevtsova.

Shevtsova looked at him for a few seconds, evaluating the tone of what he just heard, before activating his comm unit once more.  "Well, what are you all waiting for?  Go!"

The teams sprang into action.

"And they're off," Duo murmured.  "I'm putting twenty down on Blue getting to waypoint one first."

The answer required little thought on Heero's part.  "No deal.  Red's putting too much focus on A3 to be able to quickly compensate for the inaccurate intel we gave them."

"Yeah, tough break, that one.  Seems like a decent plan, otherwise."

"I'll take thirty on Red making up ground at the walls, though."

"Hmmm... I could see it going either way.  You're on."

Shevtsova coughed.

Duo turned to him.  "Want in?"

The other agent blinked for only a moment before donning an appropriately stern expression.  "I do not believe it is... 'polite'?  To be wagering money on your students."

"Money?  We weren't talking money.  We were--"  He paused, then turned to his partner with a somewhat nonplussed look.  "We weren't talking about money, were we?"

Heero shook his head.

"Man, we are so three years ago, aren't we?"  He, too, shook his head, though with a different meaning entirely, and finished his sentence to Shevtsova.  "Nah, we traditionally bet push-ups."

"Push-ups?" Shevtsova repeated, a pinch of skepticism in his voice.

"Yeah, push-ups.  Kind of a win-win.  I win, and he gets to be more fit."

Heero countered that with a snort.  "Blue's about to hit the water."

The three of them refocused their attention on the displays in front of them.  Cameras and other sensors planted around the course gave them good visibility into what was going on in the field.  The comm frequencies of each team were being piped through the speakers into their control center.

"Your Charlie's got quite the gift for language," Heero observed mildly.

Duo laughed dryly.  "Said he's got a kid at home.  Can't curse there, so he saves it all up for the workplace."

"He should save it for a team that's familiar with him," Shevtsova inserted.  "That kind of language can disrupt a person's concentration if they aren't expecting it.  Not to mention the unnecessary chatter possibly clogging the line."

"I'll make a note of it," Duo responded.  He could be friendly with someone who knew how to voice constructive criticism in a more or less pleasant way.  "He is familiar with half of his team, though.  Wait... aw, come on, Jess.  Have a little more respect for me than that."

Heero chuckled almost soundlessly.  "After that glowing review, Kirilenko will be sure to have a little more respect for you."

"Hey, it's not like I'm the only one who trapped this place up.  You all were in on it, too."

"Well, you have the reputation for it, given your class, so you get to take all the credit for it.  Be happy."

"Hmpf, I'm only taking credit for the ones that really throw them for a loop, then."

"I noticed Blue's plan never really considered the possibility of the course being rigged," Heero noted to the room at large, breaking the exchange.  "And none of the members brought it up, either.  Maxwell's students in particular.  They should have expected it."

Shevtsova nodded thoughtfully.  "I noticed the same thing.  I wonder if that's because they were just careless in their assumptions, or if the team members were being too docile to the commands of their leadership..."

Duo tilted his head in the direction of the speaker spitting out the comm traffic of the Blue team.  "Interesting question, but at least listen to 'em go, now that it's been brought up."

"The extra prep isn't helping Red all too much, anyway," Heero pointed out.  They watched the progress of the Red team intently as it came up against a dead end.

"And this is just the initial rush for position," Shevtsova reminded them.  "Once they've established their lines, we'll enter the next stage of the strategies."

"Heh, yeah, then your kids will have a bit more of a chance to strut their stuff."  Duo nudged his partner in the ribs with his elbow.

Heero bumped him out of his personal space.  "They've been doing fine so far.  There would be no point in strengthening one's CQC technique if that person isn't even good enough to close in on the target in the first place."

"True, true."

The two teams soon had their territories occupied.  The groups started splitting up into smaller task forces, some for defense, some for offense.  Their three instructors had designed the course for balance, and now it was simply up to the two teams below to work things out.

"Ooh, check out the squads in B3.  I got forty on Red taking that corridor."

"No one's identified your clamber line yet."

"That doesn't mean they can't bust their way through there in other tricksy ways."

"I think Red will take the corridor, but Blue will slip a few past them.  What kind of bet would that be?"

Shevtsova coughed again.

"Why, Agent Yuy, I'm ashamed of you," Duo intoned piously.  "Taking bets on your students like that.  Tsk tsk."  When Shevtsova's back was turned, he signaled a wager of fifty and a question.

Heero took a moment to consider it, then nodded.  "I got first blood."  He signed another bet of fifty.

"Just saying that in a totally non-wagering kind of way?  Like a statement of fact?"  Duo mouthed, 'You're so on,' before smoothly finishing his piece.  "I dunno about that.  My guys got the advantage of distance with the weapons we gave them.  Even if your guys can take 'em down, hand-to-hand, I'm gonna think at least one of them would get nailed first."

"They're short range weapons," Heero replied placidly.  "Of course your guys would have the advantage if we'd given them something like a sniper rifle, but we tuned the beams to only work pretty much within hand-to-hand engagement distance."

"Hmm, we'll see.  Oh, geez, Garrison, what the heck?  I can't believe you fell for that!  Andrei even talked about doing that in class!"

"Getting first blood on yourself doesn't count, Maxwell."

Duo whacked his arm.  "Oh, shut up."  He scanned the monitors quickly.  "Look, over there.  A couple of your guys are about to go toe-to-toe."

"Hm.  Johnson and... Carlisle, I believe.  That should be-- Wait, here comes back up."

"Whoo-hoo!  Surprise attack from the right!  Score one for me."

"Technically, I think the point goes to Shevtsova.  His people are the ones who planned it."

Shevtsova spared a moment for the two odd agents in his presence.  "Tactical officers can take credit for a plan, but the credit for its execution goes entirely to the people on the ground.  A good tactical officer remembers that and gives credit where credit is due."

Duo smirked at Heero.  "See?  Now that's totally score one for me."

Shevtsova treated them both to a look of consideration.  "I... must give credit to the two of you as well.  I've heard nothing but praise from your students."

"And probably a complaint or two from the staff," Duo snickered.  "You're not doing too bad at this seminar thing yourself."

"Yes, but I..."  He trailed off for a moment to find the proper words.

Heero filled in the blank for him.  "Anticipated something different from the two of us?"

He nodded.

Duo shrugged.  "'S'all good.  Take it as our little lesson to you.  'Course, things'll be different if you make the same mistake twice and a-ha!  Take that, Yuy!"  He pointed at monitor three.  "My Joey took down your Diaz."

Heero confirmed the notice before pointing his thumb over to monitor five.  "Manning already took down your Sanford."

"What?  Come on, by a whole five seconds!?"

"Five seconds can be the difference between a hundred lives or deaths out in the field."

"Yeah, but look at the stats!  Joey had Diaz pretty much incapacitated way before that.  It just took him a little while to make the kill."

Shevtsova shook his head and left them to their debate.

Tags: ,

24 comments or Leave a comment
windiain From: windiain Date: January 20th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
That was oddly compelling and fun to read. I want it to go on!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 20th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I... wanted it to go on, too. =p Had a punchline ready to go and everything.  Just couldn't figure out how to get from point A to point B!  Think I'll have to go for point E instead...
windiain From: windiain Date: January 20th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Funny how it's something where we get no clear picture of the action so it should be boring, yet it's still interesting to read about it here. That's down to how wonderfully your Heero and Duo interact, I think. I'm in love with them placing bets with each other with hand signals. :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whew!  I'm glad this chapter had a point of some sort, then, because I was pretty sure I was just rambling. ^^'

Military hand signals have many uses. ^o^ They're not going to let Shevtsova stop them from being them!
jaefire From: jaefire Date: January 20th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely concur. More of this, please!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, there will always be more Haven... >_> I think I might have to fast forward to the end of the rumble, though.  There will be aftermath!
lisagems From: lisagems Date: January 20th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, oh man, I have *heard* this conversation before. Between the two black belts in my judo club back in college, and the visiting BB from the Y. *snicker*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 21st, 2009 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Good to know Heero and Duo are still such *guys* at heart. =)
keristars From: keristars Date: January 20th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It reminds me of the debates members of my family have while watching sporting events, but very Duo-and-Heero-esque. A fun read, I agree!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 21st, 2009 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess it's a good thing they mixed the teams up, or they could have gotten even more excited about *their* teams. =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: January 20th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool! I trust there will be no arguing over the final totals of 'pushups'? ^___^

You do the absolute best non-action action scenes. ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 21st, 2009 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Man, I had a good punchline about the final tally of pushups, too, but I couldn't figure out how to use it.  Guess I'll have to try to work it in somehow in the next chapter.

('pushups' doesn't deserve quotes.  they really do mean it literally.  although it's funny, cuz i never once imagined someone taking that to be duo being creative about the truth.)

I started out trying to write more action (and failing), but then I figured, heck, who really cares about the action anyway?  Let's all just admit that we only care about what Heero and Duo are doing. =D
aisushi From: aisushi Date: January 20th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC) (Link)
It's totally neat how you did the rumble. ^_~ Ahaha and Heero was so cute at the start, turning the table on Duo like that. *pets Heero's logic*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 21st, 2009 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Every time I tried to write a line of actual rumble, I just sat there drawing a blank.  On the other hand, I could picture the guys making commentary on the whole thing.  Ergo, you got much of one and not much of another. ^_^

Heero and Duo each have their own special brand of logic, don't they?  *pets* ^o^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: January 21st, 2009 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Duo... tried to de-competitive the competition? *snork* I note it didn't really work. At least, not exactly. :P
This was a really fun piece to come home to. Thanks for ending my day with a grin! ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 21st, 2009 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it worked... I mean, can you imagine how much worse it would have been if it had really been *personal*? ^^ I can tell you, they'd be betting a lot more than pushups, then!
issen4 From: issen4 Date: January 21st, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Totally neat.

"Wait..." Heero braced his hands against the dash in front of him. "Okay. Go."

I love Heero's sense of humour.
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Concurred XD
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Duo was driving at the time, so Heero knew he was safe from retribution. ^o^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Duo totally asked for it! =D
From: _d_s_a_ Date: January 22nd, 2009 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
...and...? Argh! You cannot simply leave it there! It is entertaining- I want to see who wins- and also, who ends up doing the most pushups. DSA
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think we'll see who wins, and who ends up with the most pushups... but I think I'll have to continue this in another form, with another scene.  This one just sort of stopped when I ran out of gas. ^^ Figured at that point that maybe it was time to cut things off before I started rambling.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 8th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Such a great pickup after my shity week; I love the fact that they bet push-ups over money, freaking amazing.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: February 9th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I knew guys back in high school who would bet push-ups... I'm just sure they had a lot more trouble paying up than Heero or Duo ever will! ^o^
24 comments or Leave a comment