9-11-2005

Title: #103 Preparation - Part 4
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: September 10, 2005
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance, Domestic, Drama
Pairing: 1x2, OCxH
Rated: FRT (Fan Rated suitable for Teenagers)
Warnings: Language (Coarse Language, Profanity)
Archives: At my site http://www.calic0cat.net and at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves; anyone else, please ask.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Author's Notes: This is an open-ended arc focussing on Duo and Heero's lives together, starting about two years after Endless Waltz. The length of each story in the arc will vary, anywhere from ficlet to multi-part. Warnings, rating, genre, and POV will vary from story to story as well. The arc as a whole will probably never truly "end", but the smaller plot arcs within it will.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
*** Time passing or scene change

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Pausing before moving the last box of electronics components off of the inventory table, Heero asked, "How do the numbers look?"

Rick grimaced and shook his head in response to Heero's inquiry. "Not good. We'll be lucky to break even on expenses."

"Damn." None of them had been expecting a windfall from the contents of the old sheds, but they had been hoping for a modest profit. 'All this work for nothing...' Heero thought dispiritedly. Well, it wasn't *really* for nothing; they had to do the inventory or they would, at best, risk losing their salvage license. At worst, they could be fined *and* lose the license. So it wasn't exactly for nothing, but it would have been nice to have had a nice little payoff for all the work that they'd been doing.

Shifting the box over to the appropriate pallet of inventoried salvage, Heero observed in frustration, "We might as well have just scrapped the works. The time we'd have saved would have probably been worth more than the cost of the extra dumpsters and the loss of whatever little bit of salvage we'd have sacrificed combined."

"Most likely." Rick stretched stiffly, yawning broadly. "Maybe we should change tactics and do that now?" he suggested wearily.

"Maybe," Heero agreed after a moment's hesitation. "You mean, just give each shed a cursory survey for anything noteworthy, then scrap the rest?"

"Right," Rick replied. "Rather than half kill ourselves trying to do the job properly, maybe it's time to just cut our losses on the whole thing.

"If we just pitch everything straight into the trash dumpsters right inside the shed - no sorting, no inventorying - it shouldn't take more than a couple of days to finish up."

"It sounds like a good idea to me." Though Heero wasn't too sure that Hilde would go for it; she had a more personal stake in thatcollection of - well, *junk*, to be perfectly honest - that her family had built up over the years. Good business decision or not, deciding to just trash the lot of it might not be a choice that she was willing to go along with. In which case, Duo would be left with the deciding vote and, while Heero *thought* that Duo would see their point, it was also possible that he would choose to side with Hilde. Duo took a certain satisfaction from salvaging as much as possible from a pile of what anyone else would consider junk; he might not be any more thrilled than Hilde by Rick's plan.

On the other hand, maybe they would both be so tired and frustrated that they'd quite happily go along with it. Though he was frankly glad that it was Rick's idea rather than his; his relationship with Hilde was pretty good now, but he'd rather not put it to the test if he didn't have to, and this suggestion had the potential to prove a bit... controversial. "Maybe we should call it quits a little early, you can put forward the suggestion, then we can discuss it as a group?"

Nodding, Rick replied, "Yeah. We'd only planned an eight-hour shift today anyway... Why don't you get'em to quit when you pick up the next load, then the three of you can inventory it while I run the detailed figures and see how the options play out?"

"Agreed," Heero acknowledged as he swung himself onto the driver's seat and started the forklift. Just the *possibility* of being done with this job ahead of schedule made him feel a lot less tired and frustrated.

After all, the sooner that they got it over with, the sooner their lives would get back to normal, and the sooner that he and Duo could pick up where they'd left off back when this damn inventory started.

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