Friday, August 22, 2014

fic: Santa Clarita: Settling In: Math, Faith, and Nuts 1/1

Santa Clarita: Settling In: Math, Faith, and Nuts

by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

Warning: Religion and gender are discussed.  I have a feminist pov. While I’m atheist, I think I’ve given a broad range of religious pov, leading to a positive presentation of Christianity, but that is always going to be subjective.

The boy’s locker room held onto a quiet moment like it maybe had never seen.  Duo, still in his cheer squad outfit, short blue and silver shorts and a half top that left his waist visible, lean and muscular. He wore once white shoes that had just as many grass stains as the half of the team that had stayed for Gavin’s math lesson.  He had a silver heart painted on his cheek and there was blue paint in his braid, but violet eyes were narrowed, lips tightened, and any of the other pilots would have understood that now would be a good time to make nice before shit when bang. Duo pointed the dry erase marker at them, felt a flash of headache, and then a twinge of nausea. “Why don’t you understand? Look, you gotta understand the rules of algebra before you can do calculus. The order of operations don’t fucking change.”

Jimmy, a linebacker who likely more than doubled Duo’s mass sat on the bleacher, elbows on his knees, chin in his palms. “but.... why didn’t no one ever tell us this?”

The hand holding his marker rested on his hand and his other hand reached behind his head to pet his braid. “Uh.. Yeah.. I gotta say that all the shit we’re supposed to know don’t seem to come in the right order. That’s such a pain in the ass, but I’m tellin ya... this is how math goes. If ya don’t do it in the right order, shit blows up when ya don’t want it to. I knew some guy that got the o2 mix wrong once and there was salvage for a month.”

“What do those things have to do with each other,” Randy said. “The o2 mix wrong? What’s that mean?”

“So like each space has it’s own oxygen processors and you’ve got to make sure the mix coming out has the right amount of oxygen coming out of the mixer. Oxygen’s a catalyst - makes shit go bang.”

Roy rolled his eyes, snapped his fingers. “Oxygen doesn’t make things explode. All this math shit is just... like alchemy. It’s all just some weird science religion. My Gran says it’s evil, but I gotta pass if I want that scholarship to state. I’ll give you $150 bux, if you do all my homework. Teacher gives me take home tests too, so them and the homework and I’ll give you $200 and a signed football.”

Roger nodded, “Me too man. I ain’t never going to use this shit in real life. If I pass my classes, I’m going to play for Whipple. Gavin said you were great at this shit and I buy it. I’ll give you $200 and I’ll get Amy to suck your dick on Saturdays.”

Duo’s face went pale, an eyebrow arching. “Uhhhhh.”

Gavin came back in carrying a couple of pizza boxes. “Are you fuckers bugging my tutor? I told you to be nice to him.”

“Hey,” Roger said, “I just offered him my bitch’s nice warm mouth.” Roger smirked, made a motion like he was grabbing her tits, squeezing them just so. “Gotta make sure that cow gets milked, baby.”

“That cow’s been milked,” Gavin said, giving Duo a look like he won’t want to drive that car. “‘Sides, Maxwell’s got ass to fuck already.”

“Yeah, but how long’s that gonna be,” Roger said. “I don’t think I could do some Asian chick. I hear their pussies are... small.”

Duo tilted his head, air feeling way too thin to do him any good. The edge of his vision threatened to turn into a headache or go red or a little of both. His first instinct was to say that there was nothing small about Heero, but then it was just like... something was wrong.. and he didn’t understand what he was even upset about.

“Maxwell’s got a boyfriend,” Gavin said, folding one slice of pizza over onto another and taking it like a pizza sandwich.  “So what’d I miss?”

“Oh my god,” Roger groaned, “He’s a faggot?” The fullback growled, face twisting up in instinctive disgust. “Oh man... fucking some tight chink ass... maybe.. I don’t know.. that could be good.. I guess. Does he squeal all cute like when you fuck him? Laura makes these little whimpering sounds when I fuck her ass.”

Duo was in the air before he realized, one hand reaching for Roger’s jersey, the other pulled back in a jaw breaking punch. The only thing that saved Roger’s face was that he went over backwards off the bleecher and into Cade.who was just as surprised as he was.

It took Gavin, Roy, and Jimmy to pull Duo off the bigger guy. “Stop,” Gavin growled, his voice filling the locker room. “We’re men! We don’t fight over bitches!”

Duo ripped himself free from the others grabbed a football up, gripped it so hard he popped it and then threw it at Roger. “You Ever! I mean EVER say anything that suggest that Heero is anything less than human and I will rip your dick and nuts off, shove them so far up you, you’ll bleed once a month for the rest of your fucking life! What the hell is wrong with some people here? Why in the hell would Laura have sex with you if all she does is whimper?”

“They’re women,” Roy said, reaching for pizza. “That’s how god made’em. They’re meant to serve and put out. The Bible says so.”

“Fuck does not!” Duo said, arms folded across his chest, feeling really threatened and fearful. “Father Maxwell ni Sister Helen nev said none that shite!”

Jimmy reached down and pulled his backpack up to where he was. “No, it’s true. God created women to serve men. 1 Corinthians 11:9 .. neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. Are you saved, Duo?”

Duo wasn’t sure what book that was or ... well.. .there just had to something wrong with that. “Saved from what?”

“Hell,” Jimmy said, seriously. “You have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior or you’ll go to Hell.”

Duo rolled his shoulders then reached down to offer Roger a hand up. “Wullllll... uh, Father Maxwell said God loves everyone.”

“Sure,” Jimmy said, “We he... Catholic?”

“Was he your real dad,” Roy asked.

 Duo scratched his head. This was a great deal harder than math. Math was super easy. You got it right - you lived. You got it wrong - you probably blew shit up.  Either way, math was what it was. What they were asking him, while he understood all the words, he really wished Zoe was there to help him understand. “So.. Father Maxwell ran the orphanage. He took me in when I got stealin shit. I guess he was Catholic... Christian, Catholic... close enough. God loves everyone.”

Jimmy held his big black book between his palms. “This here is my Bible. I got it when I turned 16. See, I’m Baptist. The Catholics aren’t really Christian. They kinda worship Mary and stuff. It’s like pagan shit. You gotta get right with God then he can heal everything. He can even make you like girls.”

“I like girls just fine,” Duo said. “I ain’t the one who compared a girl to a cow. You all talk like you think girls are different than you, but they’re just the same.”

“Oh no they ain’t,” Roger said. “Eve was made from Adam’s rib. Women were made to be wives and mother. God has a plan for everyone. God does love everyone. If it wasn’t the best way, He won’t have made it that way.”

“Oh,” Duo said, brows drawing down. He wished they’d never stopped talking about math. Math was safe. “Yeah,” Duo hedged, just completely overwhelmed and freaked out. “I gotta go!”

“Duo! Wait! We should  pray!”

“What about my homework!”

“Email me,” Duo said, grabbing his backpack and racing for the door. “Really gotta go!”

“Maxwell! Wait!”

He wasn’t waiting though. He hadn’t thought about God since the Battle of Chico. Those prayers had seen him looking up to having Relena standing over him, arms out, like some fucking angel. The panic attack was like the ground dropped out from under him. His chest hurt, heart raced. He could hear people screaming, explosions, feel the dislocated shoulder he’d had, the blood running down his side, his fingers broken from when the guy had slammed them in the door and he didn’t realize he was standing in the road, one arm hanging at his side, the other holding onto his backpack.

The oncoming car didn’t see him until he hit the windshield.  The driver screamed, swerved, sending Duo flying back off the hood.

Gavin, who had followed Duo out from the locker room, was scrambling to get his phone out of his pocket. “Hi! Help! We need help! We’re at the high school! A car hit my friend!”


There’s a kind of place where you don’t feel any pain, but it’s not because you’re not in pain, and you know it, because you don’t feel anything at all. There had been a dream, that he was living in a house with a lot of other people and it was like family and there was more than enough food and he had his own room and he was going to school and mostly people liked him. It was a complicated and detailed dream, almost as real as the fighting in Chico had been. The same people were in both though - the big black guy and the little girl. Dream. The fighting was real.

He wished with all his heart though that the house had been real. It could never be real. Places like that just weren’t real. His eyes wouldn’t open and he couldn’t hear Heero. There was no typeity-typeity.  Heero had gotten him away from the battle - he did remember that - being in Heero’s arms.

He couldn’t remember having woken up after that, not till this moment, not counting the crazy ass dream. There couldn’t be any little girl who thought he was her big brother or strange people that walk around on four legs. He could remember a blond guy so vividly talking about there being eggs inside of some people. It had been a crazy, surreal dream.

Heero had the most beautiful eyes. A blue like that shouldn’t be natural. He didn’t really think there was anything after death. If there was, the ghosts would have killed him already.  He’d been really lucky though, having had a chance to kiss Heero. It wasn’t so bad. They knew that they were going to die doing something in the war. Maybe his injuries after that battle had just been too much and Heero OD’ed him. How long did it really take for the brain to shut completely down.

“Get out of my way, before I have him hurt you,” Martha growled in a voice that would one day cow five Gundam Pilots with one breath.

She’d been so obnoxious in the dream, but hearing her voice fade away, Duo thought he really wished she’d been real.

“Dr. Murphy! He’s not your patient.”

“Well, he fucking is now. Joel.”

There was a squeak and Duo knew in the very core of his being that people were what they made of themselves, that no one was made to serve anyone else, and that it was all about what one chose to do. It made him so sad, because he so wanted to choose to do so many things.  He could make the house real, kinda, maybe. Maybe Heero would help him build a house like that and they could take in kids.

“You can’t use that experimental mumbo jumbo in my hospital!” A man growled and Duo just floated, enjoying the bitch slap that his Martha muse was going to give that crazy bastard.  Ain’t no one try to talk to Martha like that. He wished so hard that it hurt that she was his real mom and that babies really did grow inside people, that she’d wanted him so much she let something the size of a small cantaloupe be pushed out.  He imagined being very small, held in her arms, as she and the big black guy, the blond, and the twins smiled at him. Parents.

Then a buster rifle blast hit his chest and he was pretty sure that anything that might have counted as a soul was vomited out against his teeth. He still couldn’t open his eyes, but he could see... see like he’d never seen. There were colors he had no names for made swirling and glittering patterns. Heero smiled at him, a feather hanging from his hair.

Then he was standing  over his passed out body at the battle, Relena shouting gibberish at the  enemy commander, and there he was with Father Maxwell, and he knew without any shadow of a doubt that he was dead, right there on that battle field, but Heero was running towards him and time moved so slow. He turned to Father Maxwell, who wasn’t nearly as tall as Duo remembered him. “So there is an afterlife?”

“Maybe,” Father Maxwell said, pulling Duo into a hug, “But if there is, it’s like a new life in each breath.”

Duo hugged back, but he was staring at the small pale boy laying on what had been a parking lot at some point. There was a lot of blood, most of it not even his.  “I was trying to save them,” Duo said. “I was trying to do good.”

Father Maxwell caressed his hair. “Most people are trying, which is why there are still people. We do more good than bad. I’ve always had faith in you. I’ll always have faith in you. I’m so proud of you.”

Duo pulled back a little, tears in his eyes, “I wanted to marry Heero.”

“And you fucking will,” Martha said, voice tender now as she rocked him, fingers brushing sweaty hair from his face, “Well, you might anyway, but I don’t see why not, at least if you can please stop getting turned into mince.”

“Martha? You’re real? I wanna live in a house with many people. I told Sandy I’d read to her tonight.”

“The pig?” Martha said still rocking him gently. “I’m sure she’ll understand. Why the hell were you standing in the middle of the street?”

“I was... in the battle ... in my head.”

“It’s over now. You’re home and you’re safe. We’re not going to let anything happen to you.”

“We live in a big house?” Duo asked, finally getting his eyes open, though he was pretty sure they weren’t fully open. Either Mary, or M2, as it was really hard to tell the difference, was kissing the white haired doctor who’d been yelling. “Heero’s okay?”

“Heero is fine in Seattle and yes, we live in a big house. Can you please move your feet for me?”

“Uh,” Duo said wiggling both feet and feeling them move under the blankets. “Sure... “  

He wanted to know why she was holding onto him all tenderly, but he really kind of liked it, so he didn’t say anything.

“Hands now please?”

He moved his hands, memories coming back like settling glitter. “So like is okay if I do the football team’s math homework?”

“No,” Martha said, cross. “Of course that’s not okay!”

“Where did people come from?”

“I will explain natural selection to you at another time,” Martha said.

“At least that’s not me this time,” Joel said, holding the guardian nurse as one of the twins deep throated her with a kiss.

“I don’t think she should kiss her if she doesn’t want to. That’s never okay, right? Women weren’t made to be used, right?”

If Martha had been holding something, she would have dropped it. “She’s not really kissing her. She’s using a special talent. Don’t tell anyone, at all, ever that we were here tonight. We’re not going to show up on the security recordings either. I will explain everything to you when you get home.”

“Okay,” Duo said, feeling very small and fragile as she laid him back down on the bed. “Are you my mom?”

“I am now, aren’t I? Rest. You’re going to be sore for a couple of days, but you should be fine.”

Joel gently grabbed his foot, shaking it to get his attention. “Glad you’re okay, brat.”

Duo smiled softly, happy to be in such a good dream. “Thanks. I’m hungry. What time is it? I want to go home.”

“Okay, well, in the interests of the least questions asked, you need to spend the night here. Tomorrow, they’ll check you out. No nasty malpractice for the hospital, no nasty accusations of experimental medicine, see,” Martha coaxed.

One of the twins pulled a couple of sandwiches from her basket like purse, and then an apple, and a bottle of pop. “I just knew you’d be hungry.”

“Thanks!” Duo said, sitting up to reach for the sandwiches. “Is my backpack here? I got homework!”

“Only your own, right,” Martha said, holding his backpack up, but out of his reach.

“Yeah, but they’re gonna be pissy about it. What’s a faggot?”
“Where’d you hear that,” Joel asked, green eyes cold.

Duo took a big bite of sandwich and was thus unable to answer, but he still felt like he’d unleashed the hounds on something.


Heero smoothed over the tablet that he wasn’t supposed to have watching Duo’s vitals like he was watching a train wreck that he was powerless to stop. Duo was dying. Duo was in the hospital for over forty minutes before any serious intervention was applied. When his heart rate stabilized it was sudden and after a huge spike. Something very unusual had happened. They system monitoring Duo’s pain levels had dropped steeply as well.  For a moment, Duo was dying, and then he wasn’t.

Something was very unusual in Wyoming.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

fic: Santa Clarita: Preventers: Holding Valor 1/?

Santa Clarita: Preventers:  Holding Valor 1/?

by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.

Allen sat, hands in his lap, lips parted, brown eyes glazed over. There was a touch of gray at his temples and he wasn’t built like a professional quarterback anymore. His hands were softer, much more the hands of the school teacher and foster father. He was a man that had taken in 138 children, most of them damaged by war.

Most of those children would have found live very difficult anywhere else.

Duo Maxwell knelt before him, thumbs rubbing the back of his hands. Allen had been his foster father for half his life, from the day the courts had placed a scared, skinny 15 year old on the home, until a 30 year old Dr. Maxwell knelt before him, rubbing his hands. “We’re going to get him back, Pop. I promise.”

Heero Yuy sat at the table, focused on his computer, still in his Preventer’s uniform.  The only trace of emotion in the Japanese agent was a tight jaw and the nearly muted beep of a continually attempting to connect call by their commanding officer.

There were no more small children in the house. The older kids were all in school, except Didi, who had refused to go. She was as close to a biological child as Allen was ever likely to have with ebony skin and dark eyes, long dreadlocked hair, and smooth curves. She rubbed her face, pushing straggling bangs back, and stared at Duo, as if he were going to  have all the answers, somehow. He’d been her big brother, the person she was closest to after Allen.

Martha sat, watching everything, face grim. She was always the commander of the family, the one who decided things. When things were completely out of her control, she rarely had anything good to say.

Mary sat in M2’s lap, head on her shoulder.

Mary, Martha, Allen, Joel, and M2 had been together longer than any of the kids they’d raised had been alive.

In four hours, Joel Murphy was going to be executed by a terrorist group.

“We’re going to get him back, alive,” Duo promised.

Allen grabbed his wrists, holding tight. “No.”  The first no was soft, reasonable, but what followed ripped through the room. “No! Two teams have gone in already. Twenty two Preventers are already dead. War is coming back! They’re going to boil my husband alive!” Allen started shaking, eyes wide as if shock was all that held raging grief from boiling him where he stood. “Joel.”

Duo shifted his hold, so that he had Allen’s wrists instead.  Still shorter than his foster father, he was no child any more though. Broad shoulders, a braid down to his waist, he moved his hands to his pop’s face and forced their eyes to meet. “I will bring him back - alive.”

“Answer that call or turn the sound off,” Martha snapped. “Duo! If you go after him, if you and Heero do that, you’re just going to die too.”

Heero looked up and for a short moment he was the boy that came into the house fifteen years before, unsure of himself, frightened by a world after war the he had never been trained for. Martha had given him structure and saved both of them and before he could stop himself, he’d answered the call.

A furious Colonel Une appeared on his screen. “Major Yuy! Are you listening to me!?”

Heero gave her his full attention for about long enough for her to draw another breath. “You can not go after Lt. Colonel Murphy! He knew the risks when he took that mission! Do you understand?”

Blue eyes stared at her. His fingers started typing again.  “We are going to complete his mission and extract him.”

“No! Request for mission denied. If you disobey me I will strip you of rank and discharge you! Do you understand?”

Heero arched an eyebrow. “Would you like my resignation?”

“No! Listen! You stole his mission briefing! You know they have biological weapons that we can not allow to be used! We’re going to fire bomb the entire base, reduce it to black glass. Do you understand me? If you go in there, I can’t call that off.”

Heero actually paused, glared at her. “There are roughly five thousand human beings on that base, in addition to a man I consider to be a father to me.  They are not human beings that I like, but killing them is beyond the scope of Preventer’s sphere of activity.”

“Saving lives, millions of lives, is within the sphere of my activity,” Une growled back. “I feel fond of you and Major Maxwell, but I will still drop that bomb and spread your atoms to the Khaiber Belt and back.”

“Then I guess we’d better hurry,” Heero said, moving to end the call.

“Did you tell Duo? Tell him what’s going to happen,” Une pleaded.

Duo appeared over Heero’s shoulder. “Hey, Une! it’s too bad you can’t just turn off the air in the base for a while, uh?”

“I have apologized for that,” she said. “I am sorry that Lt. Colonel Murphy’s mission didn’t complete more successful, but he has given us useful targeting information and we will be able to prevent any further death.”

“I mean... other than the some five thousand crazies on that compound.”

“They are hostile combatants,” Une stressed.

“Every human’s a dumb fuck” Duo said, wrinkling his nose. “We got four hours to get in and get Joel. We can take out their weapons stash.”

“Lt. Colonel Murphy is an excellent agent,” Une said, but that’s all she got to say because Duo reached over and ended the call.

“She might have given us useful information,” Heero chided..

“I never liked working for her anyway,” Duo said, kissing Heero’s temple.

Another call came in, this time with the theme from Jurassic Park as the ringtone. Duo made a long face. Heero shrugged, but answered.

Relena looked grim, professional, and very much like a person in control of the most dangerous weapons known to humanity. “Heero,” she said, smiling very slightly, a touch of fondness in her voice. “I am appointing you and Duo as an independent commission. I have sent you... transportation. Retrieve Joel, neutralize the threat. You have four hours.”


“Thanks bunches, ‘Lena. We gonna make it work.”

She straightened the cream colored tie she wore, smiled with an edge of vicious political ruthlessness. “I know you will.”

“I’m coming,” Martha said, standing up.

Duo brushed his bangs back, mouth open. “Whoa.”

“No,” Mary said, brushing her fingers through M2’s hair. “Martha, you’ve never done field work. I’m going.”

Duo’s  head tilted, hands on his hips. “Like you’re gonna say you’ve done field work?”

Mary smiled. A shiver went down Duo’s back.

“More than you know,” she said.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Santa Clarita: Settling In: Lunch 1/1

Santa Clarita: Settling In: Lunch 1/1

by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing
Note: Santa Clarita is a big arc. There are lots of bits at
Warning: Where babies come from talk. 

“Maxwell,” Mr. Arnet yelled, “Come back here!”

Duo turned, watching back through the flow in the hallway. “What?”

The first couple weeks, the crush of people and noise had nearly ruined him. Then he started thinking about all the other students as if they were cats. It was something Martha had said about herding cats. After that, he didn’t like the crowded hallways, but they bothered him a little less everyday. His braid was tucked into his shirt because some bright guy had thought it was a great idea to grab hold of it. Duo punched him. Sandy, his strict ass parole officer, had added a month onto his parole. He also wore a vest with decent pockets and blue jeans. He wasn’t supposed to have a little mouse in a box in his vest pocket, but he did.

Mr. Arnet, the advanced mathematics teacher motioned for him to come back.  Duo’s shoulders slumped, chin lifted, face mimicking a zombie as he trudged back through the flow of students.  

Arnet held the door open and Duo stepped back into the classroom. He gave him a great big innocent smile, a smile which had gotten him out of many deadly and unpleasant situations.

“Oh don’t give me that damn Holly Kitty look,” Arnet growled. “I wanted to know if you’d be willing to tutor Gavin Wade. He’s the quarterback and a really good guy. He thinks he wants to be an engineer, but his weak in math. You get extra credit with will help you graduate on time, plus his uncle will pay you twenty dollars an hour, with a bonus of three hundred if he passes pre-calculus.”

“Wow,” Duo said, scratching the back of his head. “I, uh, sure, I’d be happy to help. I gotta ask Sandy and Martha if it’s okay first though.”

“Well, let me know tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Duo said, slipping out the door, “Sure.”

It was - lunch - after all and he wanted food.  It wasn’t great food. He got free lunch because they wouldn’t let him have access to his money until they decided he was 18.  

Like how unfair was that?

Zip found him, waved and made sure she had his attention before laying a hand on his shoulder. “What did Arnet want?”

“Wants me to tutor some guy, offered me money and credit.”

“You going to do it,” she asked, pointing to where Zoe and Kat waited for them.

“Yeah, sure,” he said, sitting down at the outside table.
Kat had picked up his lunch and gave the brown paper sack a push in his direction.

“What are you going to do?”

“Tutor the quarterback. Man, I hope this is good today,” Duo said as he pulled out the sandwich and chips.

“Oh! That’s my boyfriend!” Kat said holding up her hands, shaking her shoulders. “He all mine because I got what he wants, but he isn’t gonna get it, no way.”

“Uh,” Duo said, a mouthful of sandwich. “What’s he want?”

Kat rolled her eyes. “Where have you been living? Under a rock? He wants my cherry, if you know what I mean.”

“Uh?” Duo said, really confused about why anyone would be anyone else’s boyfriend for a piece of fruit they weren’t gonna get. “I guess.”

Zoe, who was a freshman, pulled a book out of her backpack “Oh I got this! I love these language issues though!  I really want to study L2 culture! I think I want to be a linguist and an anthropologist! Here! Duo, so like look, this is my sex ed text.”

“Oh I know how to have sex,” Duo said, another bite of sandwich in his mouth.

“Okay, so did you know that women have a hymen,” she asked pointing to a picture.

“Where’s the dick,” he asked chewing slower as he pulled the book closer, turning book sideways as he looked image of female genitilia. “And the balls. I bet that hurt like a bitch.”

Zip choked on her soda. “Have you never seen a pussy? How did you get to be fifteen and never see a pussy? Don’t they have porn where you come from?”

“Fuck you. I was busy doin shit,” he said blushing, turning the page to look at purple and pink drawings of female internal organs.  “What the hell is this? Maybe that’s why women are harder to stab in the gut.”

Kat paused, a spoonful of yogurt on her way to her mouth, “So... Duo,” she asked teasingly, “What’s the difference between men and women, I mean more than just being harder to murder.”

“I didn’t murder no one,” Duo said, looking at a diagram of the inside of a breast. “That’s super weird and uh, women have breasts. Most guys don’t, unless they get really fat.”

Kat pointed her spoon at him. “Do you know where babies come from?”

“The factories. Everything comes from the factories. I was in once once, seemed crazy big to me at the time.”

“Maybe on L2,” Zoe said, turning the page, “Look, see this is inside humans. Women have wombs and babies grow inside them.”

“Oh yeah,” Duo said, remembering the time Jackson had tried to get him to tip cows over. “How does the baby get out, uh?”

“Through the vagina,” Zoe said. “But the cherry is the hymen, which gets broken the first time a girl has sex. It bleeds a bit so that’s why they call it a cherry.”

“That sounds like it would suck,” Duo said, air in his cheeks as he opened his chips. “But... why would your boy want that and .. I still don’t understand. If he wants it, why wouldn’t you give it to him, if you want it too. If you don’t want it, why do you want him?”

Kat snapped her mouth shut around her yogurt. “So why does your boyfriend want you?”

“Because I can field strip 16 different types of guns, fix anything with an internal combustion engine, pilot pretty much anything, calculate reentry vectors without so much as pencil, and I really love sucking his dick,” Duo said, eyes dreamy. “I hope he always wants me. I want him because,” Duo paused, chin on his palm a chip, bouncing on his lip for a moment as he tried to think about how he felt, “he makes me feel as if the world is beautiful.”

“That’s disgusting,” Kat said. “the part about the sucking dick, not the world being beautiful. I hate sucking dick.”

Duo wrinkled his nose. “Well, don’t do it then. You gonna eat that sandwich?”

She pushed it across to him. “Not now. So you suck a lot of uh...?”

“Naw,” Duo said, happy to have the other sandwich. “Just Heero. I did see a girl half naked once. It was awkward. Maybe you like girls.”

Kat’s mouth dropped open. “That’s not possible. Let’s talk about that new routine!”

Zoe put her book away. “So who’s up for pizza after school, uh?”
Sketch books came out and domination of the cheerleading world was discussed. It was, indeed, a very different world.


Duo burst through the back door, backpack on one shoulder, a bit of hay in his hair. “Hey! Allen! Martha!”
Didi glomped his leg. “DDDDDDUOOOOOOOOOO!”

“Hey Didij-chan!” Duo said, reaching down to pull her up into his arms. “DID You know that on Earth, babies rip their way out a woman’s vagina to be born? Vaginas are like inverted dicks! Isn’t that crazy?”

Martha dropped the slice of apple that was on its way to her mouth.

Duo’s eyes were wide, “Seriously! Did you know that?”

“Yes, Duo Maxwell,” Martha said firmly, one eye narrowed, “I am a woman.”

“You are a little flat,” Allen said, pointing his stylus at her.

Martha threw the next slice of apple at Allen’s head. “Duo, are you kidding?”

“No! Zoe had a book and everything. Women have two walls of muscle in their abdominal area too!”

“And we bleed for a few days every month,” Christina said as she brought in a bucket of milk.

Didi had crawled up him to him to his shoulders, her chin resting on his hair and when he went “No!!!!” She did to, as if she knew him well enough to know it was coming.

“Duo,” Allen said, gently. “Go find Joel. Tell him that I said he should explain the birds and bees to you.”

“What do they have to do with anything?”

“Go ask Joel,” Allen urged.

“Well,” Christine said, with a smirk. “And once a month, guys when they cum, it’s bees.”

“No way!”

“Give me Didi, go see Joel, and no, bees are not coming out your penis. Go.”

As soon as Duo bounced off, Allen typed a message to Joel, “Sent Duo to you. Please explain human reproduction. He seems to have missed sex ed while on L2.”

Joel’s reply, “FUCK YOU. Je vais vous faire pour cela.”

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fic: Santa Clarita: Settling In: The Feather 4/4

Santa Clarita: Settling In: The Feather 4/4
by Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing.

There was no such thing as a commercially convenient flight from the Ranch to anywhere. Joel had his own jet, way smaller than Wing Zero or anything made for war. He was a stealth operative and his jet used some of the same technology that Deathscythe had used.  Getting to New York wasn’t an issue for Joel. Worrying about how upset Allen was going to be with him, was.

The world was more than just Allen though and Joel trusted his commanders in Preventers, trusted that they understood how to balance the world and keep lives safe. If Duo was a risk to peace because there were people who would use the boy to reignite fighting. The real seed of the problem was that every political group had tried to reject Duo.  The US government had filed three lawsuits with the international courts to prevent his placement in the United States.

During the second lawsuit, a shadowy group had formed claiming to be the legitimate government of the United States, deposed illegally and claiming Duo Maxwell as their king. It was completely and utterly ludicrous. The group kept making gains though. They promised a primitive and intoxicating freedom - and promised that Duo Maxwell would defend the rights of all humanity, that he was sent by God to do so.  

So the international courts and forced the United States to take the boy and place him in the middle of no where, with skilled and ruthless guardians who would carry out orders to execute him if needed. Originally he’d thought the orders would be to disappear the boy, but when the orders actually came through they were for a public execution that looked like the group that wanted Duo as a figurehead did it, to make Duo look like a martyr and a hero.

It was the first time in his life that Joel seriously considered quitting his job.  There had to be another way.

As soon as he was in the air, he gave into a temptation that he’d had for sometime. Mary had become Martha’s lover before the wars, because of Martha’s biological research. They’d never talked, but he was pretty sure she had to know he was a Preventer’s undercover agent and know that he knew she was what was left of MI6. By sending her this message, he was actually quitting his job, giving his loyalty to the family, ragtag weirdness that it was, rather than to his agency. Sometimes that’s just the way shit went. He sent a detailed and coded message disclosing his position, the orders he’d been given, and a proposition that they work together to end the group.  God, he really didn’t want to kill the kid.


Mary was giving a dance lesson when Joel’s message arrived at her box. Internal sensors were aware of the urgency of the message, but she had nine students and a life that had come to mean more than anything before. “Lift your arms. You’re beautiful. You’re brilliant.”  

It wasn’t like she didn’t know what was in Joel’s message anyway. Everything was going to change.


A commercial flight from Cheyenne to New York would run in the range of five hours, given the type of plane and who was flying. The moment the plane left the ground though, Duo felt freer than he had in months, maybe ever. It was almost like kissing Heero. He pulled back and climbed. G forces squeezed the little plane and him, but he had been modified to deal better with it, trained and enhanced. It occurred to him that  if he could deal with gravity during acceleration, he ought to be able to deal with gravity while washing dishes, but it just, really, really, wasn’t the same thing. He wasn’t sure that climbing wasn’t somehow sexual, like he was fucking the very sky itself. The little plane hung together, sweet and tight.  At the height of his arc, he really wished he’d thought to bring some oxygen.

The descent was a whole different ride, fast and only barely controlled, just enough control to keep the wings from busting off. A gundam it totally was not.  The starboard aileron had stopped responding and worse, the GPS on Zip’s phone wasn’t exactly sure which building Heero was in. Zip totally needed a better phone. Sweat broke out over his forehead, dripped down his temple, and he just bleeding picked a building.

It had to be close to where Heero was.  It was just one city. How big could it be?

The little plane touched down lightly and then the breaks failed. His mouth fell open, eyes wide. The building across the street was coming at him very quickly. He pushed harder and the metal under his foot gave. The next thought felt cold in his mind, as if those neurons were never going to fire again. He didn’t have a parachute.
At  the very edge he suddenly started unstrapping to jump out and shit, shit, shit... there were going to be people in the dark valley between the buildings and he was going to kill... again... people like Didi and Allen and dogs and maybe Heero and there was nothing he could do! The straps refused to unfasten.  The nose went over the side and


Lightheaded, he sat there, wet all over, eyes wider than they’d ever been as something lifted the tip of his little plane up and pushed him back onto the roof.  God. It was God. God saved him.

Or he was dead and god... god was  coming for him and he sat there with his hands on the yoke, his mind melting down.

He was still sitting there, eyes forward, mind gone, when Joel ripped him out of the plane, jerking him one handed by the front of his tee-shirt.  He hit the pavement, skidded on his face, and rolled to look back at Joel spraying the whole little plane with fire extinguisher.

Duo scooted back, back resting against a vent.  Joel was something Duo had never seen before - an adult who could solve problems. He was strong and powerful and when he spun around, fire extinguisher still in his hands, he was pissed all to hell.

“You sorry little sonofabitch! Do you realize that you almost died and nearly took out a city block with you?  You pushed that plane beyond any reasonable limits and oh fuck me,” he growled, setting the fire extinguisher down and covering his face with his hands as he leaned back. “I’m going to be in so much trouble!”

Duo shifted onto his knees, his breath coming in ragged chunks, mouth wide and grief and fear and pain wailed out of him. Tension shook his arms, his hands, both up, in some primal prayer to no god in particular as he sobbed.  He felt Joel’s arms go around him, awkward and tentative and if he’d had any more sense about him, he would have pushed him away, but then the blond was hugging him tightly, petting his hair.

“What the hell was so important that you had to break your parole and wreck that plane, uh?” Joel asked after a bit.

Duo felt stupid as he wiggled his hand up to wipe his nose. “I gotta be back to school by the game,” he said, voice raw.

Joel had him by the shoulders, pushed him back just enough to see his face. “You were going back to the Ranch?”

“Yeah,” Duo said, looking at Joel as if he were insane. “Yeah, I promised Zip I’d make the game, but.... Heero’s in trouble.”

Joel sat back, rubbed his forehead. “Duo Maxwell you are an exceptional pilot.”

“Yeah,” Duo said leaning back against the ventilation shaft. “Yer not gonna get Zip in trouble are you?”

“No. I don’t give a shit about those things. Seriously, did you really think I’d only have the one tracker on you?’

“Yeah. So... you tracked me? Not like the government or anything, you?”

“Yeah. Me. I’m not good at parenting. There are two reasons I’m going to tell you what I’m about to tell you. The first is that I love Allen more than anything else in all of reality. He cares about you a very great deal and if I fucking kill you, he’s going to know when he looks in my eyes, and I can’t bare how he’s going to feel about me, if I follow those orders.”

“You’re supposed ta kill me,” Duo asked, pale.

“Yeah, but you’re also a really good pilot. You make calculations and move through space so easily. I am not going to kill you. I can’t. Do you want to be king of the Earthsphere?”

“No!” Duo said, drawing his knees back, jaw tight. “Kings and queens and shit... that’s not right. Allen told me about why we built America. Everyone gets a chance.”

Joel smiled, sighed. “Okay. There’s a group of crazies that wants to make you king.”

“Fuckers,” Duo said, arms around his knees.

“Yeah. So. What makes you think Heero’s in trouble?” Joel pulled out his smokeless cigarette and drew a long drag.

Duo held out his hand to want some too.

“Oh hell no. I’m more afraid of Allen than I am of my boss and there is no way I’m giving you nicotine.”

“It’s not like I haven’t had plenty of beer and nicotine,” Duo said, chin in his palm.

“You won’t be a kid forever. Now. Heero?”

“Yeah, okay,” Duo said, pulling out Zip’s now smoke damaged phone. “He left me a voicemail. Not the one about the salon shit, the one before that.”

“Okay,” Joel said, listening to vm as he put his cigarette’s battery to work. “So you’re sure that he’s distressed?”

“I think he’s going to try to kill himself,” Duo whispered. “Please. Help me? I’ll go to prison or whatever, but Heero... something’s hurting him.”

“You are not going to prison. You’ll make game. You’ll also never tell another living soul about this. Ever. Got me?”

“Yes. We can check on Heero? I’m gonna have to fix that plane too. I only borrowed it.”
“Kid, you’re gonna have to build whoever you ‘borrowed’ that from a brand new plane. You ripped the wings off with that insane reentry. I could hardly keep up with you and I have good plane.”

“Yeah. Yeah? Well, it’s shit compared to Deathscythe.” Duo sniffed, violet eyes glaring.

“That’s true, but maybe I’ll let you fly her home. She does have the same stealth technology that Deathscythe had.”

“Really,” Duo said, getting to his feet. “That’s why I couldn’t see her! I think you were God!”

Joel burst out laughing as he put his cigarette away. “As far as you’re concerned, I might as well be god.”

“Yer not god,” Duo said firmly, running his fingers along the edge of Joel’s personal jet. “She’s still warm.”

“We did have to fly hard to keep up with you, but WE weren’t on fire.”

“Oh yeah,” Duo said, turning back to the ruined little plane. “Oh man....” Duo said, moving to the poor thing, “Oh man... this is fried.”

“Someone is gonna be spending the weekend in the machine shop. Come on. You smell like smoke and I need to do a little research.” Joel pulled a hoodie out of his jet and tossed it towards Duo. “Let me show you around New York. Hood up. I can’t have you showing up on the cameras.”

“Yokay,” Duo said. The hoodie was several sizes too big for him, the shoulder seams hanging halfway to his elbows and when he pulled the hood up all that showed in the shadow was violet eyes. “Good?”

“No,” Joel said, holding out sunglasses. “Don’t mess those up. They’re mine and I like them.”

Duo rolled his eyes, but put the sunglasses on. “Okay. Now we look like a blonde perv and his twink.”

Joel’s lips twitched. “You’re such an asshole, you and I might be biologically related. Move, down the stairs, boy.”

“There ain’t no way I’m related ta you,” Duo said, but was on his way down the stairs.

Joel got them in a cab, and then into a hotel.  He ordered new clothes delivered, refused to buy Duo a new knife, actually smacked his hand when he attempted to pickpocket the smokes and bought them room service.  Duo ate sitting cross-legged on the bed, Joel’s hoodie baggie around him. “So you really were gonna kill me?”

“Thought about it.” Joel said, “I have his actual address now. He’s living with a senator’s family. Any chance I could just ask you to stay here?”


“Okay. Fine. The family seems to be out, so we will go, take a look at the place. If you don’t do what I say, even a little. I might actually kill you. Got me?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Duo said, “Just you know, if you’re gonna do it, something painless would be nice.”

“Don’t piss me off then,” Joel said, holding the door open. “Hood up.”

The building Heero’s foster family was staying wasn’t that far.  Joel turned out to be very good at taking freight elevators and had gloves in his pocket and he opened the door to the condo faster than Duo could have. It made Duo smile.

The place was big, for a box in a stack like this place was. Duo didn’t like the art in the place. It didn’t look... he wasn’t sure, other than he just didn’t like it.  He let himself out onto the porch because being in Wyoming was more like wide open spaces. Being on L2, at least in the areas he’d been in as a child had been open to him. The closed in boxiness of New York made him feel ill.  

On the narrow little balcony, he found a feather, gray with dark streaks.  That he liked!

“Put that down!” Joel hissed. “Pigeons carry diseases.”

“Hey! This is mine now,” Duo said, shoving the feather into his pocket.

“Oh man,” Joel complained, “You put a pigeon feather in my pocket.”

Duo wrinkled his noses as he walked by.   “This place gives me the creeps. I want Heero to live with us.”

“After he finishes his probation,” Joel said, working on the lock to the second room.

“This is Heero’s room,” Duo said, standing in the doorway.

“How do you know that?”

“Smells like him,” Duo said gliding into the room. He picked up a shirt from the hamper.

“Now that’s creepy,” Joel said, “Creeper.”

“Shut up.” Duo said, dropping the shirt, so he could bounce on Heero’s bed.

Joel was in Charles’ room and past the commercial security on it. The look on his face when he’d said he was thinking about killing Duo was down right joyful compared to looking through Charles’ files.  He quickly collected copies of the entire drive and put the computer back to sleep.

Standing in the door to Heero’s room, he found the boy some people thought ought to be king wrapped up in his boyfriend’s blankets, sitting there like a little violet-eyed Eskimo. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Uh. It just felt right.”

“Okay, well, come on. I have what I need to get Heero moved.”

“Are they hurting him,” Duo asked and a chill went down Joel’s spine.  

One moment the brat was a brat, and the next he was like the Black Plague the next.  “I’ll take care of it. I’ll give you proof that it’s taken care of. I’m the grown up. That’s my job.”


“Yup. We have about ten minutes to go. The mom is in the elevator.”

Duo nodded, slipping out of Heero’s blankets. He pulled the feather out of his pocket, kissed it, and slipped it under Heero’s pillow.

“Oh don’t,” Joel groaned. “I’m telling you pigeons have diseases.”

Duo grinned crookedly, struck a pose. “I’m like a cheer pigeon.”

“Dieu sauve-moi,” Joel swore, motioning towards the door. “Move. We’re going to have to fly hard to get you home.”

“Can’t we take Heero too? Please?”

“No, but he will be safe. I’ll get him moved all the way across the country. I promise.”

Duo stared at the hamper for a moment, but Joel had him by the scruff of the neck, powering him towards the door.

They made it into the stairs just as the elevator was opening.

Joel was nearly dragging Duo by the time they got out of the cab where the planes were.  The I- don’t-want-to-leave-Heero got met with I’ll-take-care-of-it at least a dozen times.  It finally ended up with Joel letting Duo pilot, so he could work on the problem. By the time they landed, Heero was booked on a flight to Seattle.

Duo actually gave Joel a hug, which made the tall blond squirm and make a face.

People were happy to see Duo though and he didn’t get caught putting his house arrest anklet back on. Zip was glad to have a new phone.  The cheers were good. The team still lost. Zip drove Duo home. He dreamed of Heero.


While Duo was at the game, Joel flew to DC.  He dressed nice this time though, hair pulled back into a ponytail, a black suit, as smile like ice. Amazingly, he had an invitation for the party that the senator was at and glided in like someone’s favorite son.  He was all flirt and smiles until he finally found the senator and then they were alone in a side room.

She was a tall woman with dark eyes. “I knew you were too driven to be a gigolo.”

“Alas,” he said, handing her an envelope full of photos.

She glanced through the photos, not even a flinch of expression on her face because of the damning photos of her son and her foster son. “What do you want?”

“As you know, Heero was relocated earlier today,” Joel said, wishing with all his heart he could have a smoke.

“Yes. I was aware. I thought there was a security risk.”

“Well, I’d say that those photos represent a security risk. What I want is to make sure that your son gets helped so that he doesn’t take advantage of vulnerable people again. That way he’s much less likely to come to harm.”

“Are you threatening my son, Mr. Rivers?”

“No. Not at all. I just thought you should know. What you do with the information, is up to you.”

She pocketed the photos. “I’ll take care of it.”

“Good. I don’t want to have to.”


Joel made it back to Wyoming, but missed the game. He got a message from his boss that he still had a job, barely. Mary gave him a file with useful information. Martha suggested that he pay his part of the household expenses soon. M2 complained that his invisible plane was bothering her chickens.

Allen just gave him a smile, accepted a hug, and lifted him off his feet with a return hug when he whispered, “I’ve been to New York twice today, didn’t kill anyone, passed up on an excellent blackmail opportunity, and I really want a blow job.”


Heero was very happy to be moved to Seattle. On the plane, his fingers brushed over and over a single gray feather.

On the whole, it was an okay day.