2-1-2002

Chapter 4 of Heero's pledge

Pairings: 1x2 5+2 3+2 ?X1 and prolly more to come as i think of em.

Disclaimer: I do not own any. except for my big headache and the neopolitian ice cream I'm eating. repeat:
I do not own g-wing or honors pledge!

 

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Duo threw the cloth into the dishwater when she saw Wufei saunter into the yard. "Oh, Fei! you're free!" She ran threw the open door to meet him. "You gave me a terrible fright!"

"Came straight over as soon as they let me out."

"Didn't Marshal Haggerty get Mr. Yuy's message?"

"He said I may as well spend the night for good measure." Wufei jammed his hands into his pockets. "Come and walk with me."

"I have to finish the dishes."

"I'll wipe." He followed her in and picked up the cloth to dry as she plunged her arms back into the sudsy water, then dunked the dishes in the hot rinse tub. Wufei made a cursory swipe and set them on the board.

"I hate to think of you spending the night in that cell on that terrible little bed. I hope its taught you a thing or two."

She handed over the heavy iron skillet.

He grunted. "It wasn't so bad."

Of course he'd say that. He always was in one scrape or another and never admitted the hardship. She doubted very much that any number of nights in jail would change him, but he'd given his word, and that he'd keep. Duo wiped her hands on her apron and pulled it off. "There now. We can run off for a bit anyway Mama's gone to town, so she won't be needing me yet."

They headed down the path from the house toward the shelter of the craggy vale. The day was dry but it hadn't yet worked up the heat of the previous. No cloud marred the china blue sky. Suddenly, Wufei grabbed her hand and took off at a run, rushing down the slope between the mounds of scrub oaks toward the rocky creek at the base. Duo collided with his chest as he stopped short. Laughing he did not release her but looked down and grinned.

"Tell me the truth, Duo. Are you my girl, or are you not?"

"Wufei Chang, unhand me immediately!"

:Not until I get my answer."

Duo made a face. "I told you yesterday."

"But, you Didn't mean that did you?" Wufei pouted.

"I wouldn't of said it, if I hadn't meant it."

"Yes you would. I know you would help me out any way you could."

Duo softened. "Well, I guess so, but I really did tell you the truth."

"Are you sure of that?" He tightened his arms and kissed her with all the fervor he possessed.

"Wufei!" Duo wrestled free and shoved at his chest.

He stumbled back, laughing. "Ah, Duo. Didn't you like it a little bit?"

"I certainly did not. You might be able to get away with kissing Beth Ryder, but not me."

"I was seven years old when I kissed Beth Ryder!"

"Well your manners haven't improved in ten years!"

His face sobered. "Duo, I love you. I've loved you as long as I can remember."

"Wufei, you can't mean that. You're like my brother!"

"Well, I am not your brother. And soon, I'll be able to file for my own place and make a home for us. If you don't run off and marry someone else, that is."

Duo tossed her head. "And who would I marry?" She pushed him aside. "Let's not talk about it. I'm gonna wade." She sat down and removed her high topped shoes. Wufei grinned. Sitting down beside her, he pulled of his own boots and stockings and rolled the legs of his pants. Duo tucked up her skirts so that her legs were bare to just over her calf. "Don't you tell Mama, now." She ordered seeing his eyes trail from knee to ankle.

"Of course not." He grabbed her hand and steadied her against the rush of the icy flow. The first minutes hurt as the water tugged at her ankles. She stretched to a flat rock further out, avoiding its sharp edge and the myriad of other stones. Wufei leaped over behind her. "Numb yet?"

"Getting there." She lifted her reddened foot, then plunged it back in. A blue dragonfly rode the air on opalescent wings. She reached up to it, slipped, and Wufei caught her.

"There see how much you need me."

"Your strong arm is appreciated, but that doesn't mean anything." She watched a leaf spiral in an eddy, then shoot past. The hem of her skirt slipped down and dragged along her calves. She tugged it up again. "I should get back now. Mama and I are replacing the ticking today. She won't want to be held up."

Wufei helped her back to the bank, and they held their bare feet up to dry in the sun and breeze. Duo stretched her toes.

"You sure have pretty feet."

She pulled them down immediately and rubbed the, with the edge of her skirt, then tugged on her shoes and headed up the slope. Wufei scrambled up and followed.

"I better get back to the shop myself. I sure hate the thought of sweating today."

"Your pa just wants you to learn smithing, Fei. You don't have to do it forever."

"That's right. First chance i get I'll be on to better things."

Duo smiled. "You might find any work just as onerous."

She let the word slide glibly from her lips to taunt him.

"Just as what?"

"Never mind."

When they reached the house, he tugged on her arm. "You think on what I said, Duo. It may seem to soon to you know, but I don't want any one getting a head start on me."

"And you think of what I said, Fei, and look elsewhere. If you're hankerin' for a wife, try Hilde. She's been gone on you for a year now."

He grinned. "You can't get rid of me that easy. I know you'll come around.

"Think what you like." Duo turned up her nose.

Wufei laughed. "One of these days you'll beg me to kiss you."

"Oh go away!" She huffed. "You're simply impossible anymore!"

"You think on it," he called over his shoulder.

Duo flounced into the house. Really, It was intolerable for him to have gone crazy all of a sudden. She had half a mind to ignore him all together.

Mama was inside, and Duo unpacked the bolts of ticking and heavy thread and spread them on the floor between them.

She almost blurted out that Wufei was out of jail, but she was still hoping that mama hadn't heard he was ever in.

"Was that Wufei?"

"Yes he's off to the smithy." She caught her wet hem under her ankles as she settled onto the floor.

"Mama? How did you know that you loved Pa?"

Mama took a good long look and removed the needle from between her lips. Then as she applied it to the material, she said, "Well, you remember that your Pa worked at the newspaper in Kansas City."

Duo nodded. She knew this part of the story.

"We'd just come to town and my pa planned to open a general mercantile, so he stopped at the newspaper to learn what was available for sale. He'd thought he'd get a more honest run-down there than at the land office."

"And Pa saw you..."

"Do you really want to tell the story or shall I?" Mama raised her brows. "Really Duo, you must curb you're enthusiasm. Never interrupt, and never, never let on that you know something already."

"I'm sorry."

"Yes Joshua saw me in the wagon and plumb forgot how to speak. My Pa couldn't get a word out of him, and thought him simple minded."

Duo laughed, imagining Pa without something to say. "I wish I could of seen his face!" "Well, I had no idea he'd noticed me. But he told your grandpa that if he returned the following day, he'd have a list of properties. And he did indeed have a list that he had complied the night before, naming only the opportunities near the newspaper. My Pa chose one and set up shop,and one day, as I was working your Pa came in and introduced himself, and then told me he was madly in love with me, and asked me to marry him."

"Oh Ma! You must have been swept off your feet!"

"I was appalled," she said flatly, not lifting her eyes from her work. "I'd never met this man who brazenly offered himself, and i told him I was sure I'd do no such thing."

"How did you change your mind?"

"He kept after me day after day, claiming he'd never realize his dream if I wouldn't go west with him. He said he'd be forced to keep up with his father, who was not an easy man, unless I consented. He bought me flowers and candies and tokens of his affections, and refused to be daunted by my continued refusal, until one day I heard myself agree."

"Had you fallen in love with him?"

"It seemed more that I had free'd myself from a nagging gnat." She laughed dropping her hands into her lap and tipping her head. "but I realized little by little that he had worked himself into my heart, and I've never regretted it. Your Pa is the finest most high minded man I've ever known."

"But...Didn't you feel just a little crazy about him? I mean.."

Her mama grabbed up the fabric again. "I give my self credit for more sense than that. A love that starts from fluttering hearts and mooney eyes, is one that seldom lasts. I hope you'll find a husband that is intelligent and thoughtful rather than one who sweeps you off your feet."

Duo tossed her head. "Wufei has got the silly notion that he'll be my husband."

"He said so?"

She nodded. "He believes he's in love with me."

Mama laid her hands together on the ticking in her lap. "I think that was inevitable don't you? The way you two have run off together since you were small, and now that you've grown into such a lovely young lady... if only you acted like one more often."

"MAMA!"

"Do you feel the same for Wufei? He's a nice young man, and our families have been-"

Duo threw up her hands. "You sound like a newspaper advertisement. I think its a ridiculous notion. Wufei is...well, he's... I thought you wanted me to find a cultured, educated man. Wufei was too stubborn to learn more than rudimentary skills in all his years at school."

"Nevertheless, he's an intelligent boy and well-mannered."

What would she say if she knew he'd stolen a kiss and tried to shoot a man? And spent the night in jail?

"At any rate, you're young enough not to rush into anything. Perhaps you'll find he's the best choice, or perhaps someone else will come along, there's plenty of time."

Duo worked her needle in and out. She kept her voice light. "Mr. Yuy's nice, isn't he?"

"Yes. Your Pa enjoys talking to him. Lord knows he has few enough men that know how to talk about literature. Did you enjoy your supper?"

"Yes."

"How exactly did you find yourself there at that hour?"

"I went to go talk to him about a concern."

"Oh?"

"It was nothing really, and I Didn't think you would mind, as we'd been properly introduced and pa was so fond of him.."

"Id prefer you not call on gentlemen in there homes uninvited, Duo. You are, need I remind you, A young lady. I know things aren't what they were back east, but some semblance..."

"Yes Mama. But did you know he has colored servants?"

"I'd heard."

"They used to be slaves, but he pays them now. They came with him, even though they were free not to."

"That speaks well for him. Obviously his family was not one that mistreated the poor slaves in there care."

"Its strange to be waited on like that."

"Many people have servants in other parts of the world." Mama sighed. "There's so much you don't know. If it was possible to scratch enough together, we could send you to one of the schools back east, or even the south. The woman there are taking girls into boarding schools and teaching them the arts of fine society in order to survive the poor things."

Duo groaned. "Heero already thinks I'm unacceptable for southern society."

Mama paled. "don't tell me you've embarrassed yourself already! Did you forget your manners last night? And how is it you call him Heero?"

Duo cringed. "He asked me to call him that, and I Didn't forget my manners. We were merely discussing the differences between the stuffy old south and here."

Mama rocked back on her heels an pursed her lips together. Duo knew that look. It was her all-knowing, Ferret-out-any-unrevealed-detail look. She imagined God looked at her that way, too. She pocked her needle through her fabric.

Her head came up, though, as she heard the sound of hoof beats sounded out side. A boy knocked on the open door. The horse he road was too fine to be called his own, judging by his scruffy pants and shirt, and Duo perked up when she heard that he had a letter for miss Duo Maxwell. She took the note, written on the same paper she had used yesterday.

"Dear Miss Maxwell, would you honor me with your company for a ride this after noon? I would call for you at one o'clock. I sincerely await your reply. Heero Yuy."

Duo's eyes met her mothers and she giggled. "I told you I remembered my manners!"

Mama glared, indicating the presence of the boy with her eyes. "Would you like to go?"

"Can you spare me?" Do breathed hopefully.

"I can."

Duo turned eagerly to the boy. "Tell Mr. Yuy that I accept his invitation."

He stuffed his hands into his pockets. "don't ya wanna write it down?"

"Gracious, cant you remember that little bit?"

He shrugged sullenly.

"Oh alright. Hold on a minute." She rushed to the desk. Their paper wasn't as fine as Heero's, but she wrote a pretty hand and scribed her acceptance with an extra flourish at the end of her name. She turned as the boy left. "It'll be two hours before he comes for me. If we hurry we can get these done, and stuffed as well.

"You're a good girl Duo." Mama smiled. "Even if you are over enthusiastic. But please try to maintain your poise this afternoon. Mr.Yuy is new here and not accustomed to a more socially relaxed order.

"Oh Mama, you worry to much. Mr.Yuy is perfectly relaxed himself and not at all concerned with the way things are." Duo tossed her braid over her shoulder, and Mama sighed.

 

That's it for chapter 4! Thanxx to everyone who's reviewed! It is MUCH appreciated! I love ya guys for it! I apologize if I've offended any one by requesting reviews.....*sniffles* but please review????? please? *gets down on her hands and knees*