Title: It's A Wonderful War 4/?
Author: Mighty Mouse uh I mean Sony_Mouse (Sony_Mouse@hotmail.com)
Pairings: If you don't know by now .joking 1+2+1
Warnings: Language, AU (well OUR Universe really), non-traditional western or propaganda-full outlook on previous WW2, Duo being ignorant, stuck-up, full of himself (hey he's a lot better by this part, and slight OOC
Disclaimers: GW not mine, knowledge and info used for this fic (everything except for the plot and the story) was learned through reading great books like James Clavell's Shogun (I cannot recommend this enough, if you want to learn about Japan, this is THE book to read). Author Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, David Mak's Kabuki (it's one of the really great AMERICAN comics that are like a manga, not surprisingly Mr. Mak spent a good part of his life in Japan learning about the Japanese). Informal interviews with Japanese, Anthology of Japanese Literature, and from the great help of Misa and Katu. (whew what a disclaimer).
Archives: If for any reason you wish to read my other fics or the first 3 chaps of this one go to www.gwaddiction.com
Author's Note: I'm looking for really great sayings about war (like the last one I used in Chapter 3). If you know any please send em my way.
The one for chapter four, I don't know who wrote this, but I read it on the GW MLs. If you know who wrote this (or if you did) please tell me so I can give you credit for it.
From part 3
"Ahhhhhhhhh, so it all comes together. And here's me thinking that you might have some western blood in ya."
Heero looked positively stricken at the idea. If anything he was 100% Japanese and proud of it, he would die gladly for the better of the country and this American dared accuse him of being some part western. Standing up quickly, Heero started to clean up without looking over at Duo.
"You were mistaken, as usual." Turning away from the surprised young man, Heero stormed off.
Duo could only slump back down to his laying position wondering what he had said wrong. He had really thought they might be able to at least pretend to get along. He cursed Heero for being such a stuck up snob.
If only Heero could be more like him.
"The winner of a war isn't who was right, but who was left"- Anonymous (so far)
The rest of the day passed by quickly for Duo. Heero returned to camp several times throughout the day, sometimes bearing food to eat, and other time just to apply some ointment onto the American pilot's leg. Duo was sure it must be some kind of poison, or truth serum. He was also starting to wonder where Heero kept on finding all this stuff. When he first met the Japanese man, he had nothing but his own uniform and a gun.
Heero had remained upset during the day, not speaking more than two words per hour, but as the day cooled off, so did Heero. By dinnertime he had returned to his normal stoic and strict self, leaving Duo feeling oddly glad that the soldier was okay and still willing help him recover. Heero had even gone out of his way to find him a strong stick that he could use as some sort of crutch to walk around on.
As night fell Heero gave all of his attention to the fire, making sure it was warm enough so Duo wouldn't catch a cold or something else during the night. Duo could only chuckle softly at how the act reminded him of his mother in his youth; it just seemed like something she would have done.
Drifting off to sleep, he relished in the feeling of once again being safe from the outside world, and wondering when he had started to feel like that again, it just didn't make much sense.
The next morning Heero found himself once again waking up before Duo's subconscious mind could even comprehend that the day had already started without him. Doing a few quick stretches Heero gathered his soap and towel together, heading in the direction of the small lake. He was about to jump in when he realized that it had been ages since he had preformed any type of exercise to clear his mind.
Placing his belongings on the ground he started to jump over logs and bushes as he began his jog around the lake.
What Heero didn't know was that his early bath preparations had actually woken Duo up. As soon as the Japanese soldier had left the small camp, Duo had quickly tried to stand up with the help of his crutch, curious to find out where Heero went in the mornings, and hoping it wasn't far, his leg was still too weak for a real walk. After several failed attempts he finally figured out how to walk with the stick and went off in same direction as Heero.
After Duo had walked for about ten minutes he was about to give up on the whole idea and sit down when he suddenly saw the lake. It wasn't that big but Duo was amazed he hadn't realized it was there sooner. It certainly explained why Heero always seemed so fresh in the mourning.
Deciding to give up on the soldier and just sit in the bushes to enjoy the sunrise, Duo was surprised when a fast moving figure quickly ran past him. As the figure ran further away from him he realized that not only was it human, but it was Heero. The Japanese boy had been so dedicated to running around the lake that he hadn't even noticed Duo in the bushes.
Content to sit down, the American watched as Heero ran around the lake more times than he could count, and with out seeming to ever tire from the exertion. This went on for about one full hour, and Duo was left wondering if Heero was really human. Either way the young man seemed like the perfect candidate for the marines...if were American that is.
Just about then Heero jumped over his last fallen log and stopped running where he had begun, in front of where Duo now remained hidden in the bushes.
Duo could see that contrary to what he had believed before; Heero really was tired from the run. His face was red from the exercise, and sweat glistened over his entire body, rolling down his neck to reach his damp T-shirt, which now clung to his well-defined muscles thanks to the exercise.
Duo was absolutely shocked and appalled to find himself looking at his captor's chest longer than was necessary. The Japanese soldier may have been well built, but that only meant that he could hurt him more if he tried attack, or catch him faster if he tried to escape. It only meant trouble.
Pleased with finding something wrong about the soldier, Duo sat back and watched as the young man began to strip away his clothe and toss them aside. Duo's stomach did a turn as he realized he defiantly shouldn't' be watching this, or enjoying it. No matter what, Heero was still the enemy, a heartless, selfish, stuck up, evil, barbarian who delights in killing his enemy.
But a little voice in the back of Duo's mind was trying to tell him he was wrong. Those were only the things he had been told about the Japanese. So far Heero had saved his life, treated his wounds, taken care of him, fed him, watched over him and promised not to kill or torture him, but instead to send him home in trade for soldiers he cared enough about to try and get back.
The inner turmoil Duo was facing right now really did hurt him. All of a sudden he felt like he couldn't breath. It was no wonder Heero had hit him before, if he had acted like that back in America, his comrades would have done a lot worse.
Although he didn't fully trust the enemy soldier, he did realize that perhaps not insulting the man every chance he got might actually help his cause, and all it would cost him was the pride he felt he had already lost anyways.
Duo brought his thoughts back to reality and realized that Heero had already finished his bath and was now sitting down on his towel wearing his combat pants and was staring out at the lake as if it was about to give some great answer.
The contemplative look Heero was giving was so intense that Duo found himself listening to the lake as if it was going to speak. As soon as he heard a voice speak up, his first ridiculous thought was that the lake had spoken, but he soon realized that the soft mellow voice actually belonged to Heero, he was just speaking in his native tongue. Whatever he was saying it sounded sad to Duo's ears.
"Y no naka wa
Mukashi yori ya wa
Waga mi hitotsu no
Tame ni nareru ka"
Without thinking Duo said what he was thinking out loud.
"What does it mean?"
Quickly turning around Heero almost fell backwards in his attempt to seek out the owner of the voice.
"D-duo...what are you doing here?"
"Hey don't get all defensive, I came here to get away from the camp, or did you think I'd only use these crutches in that small area."
"No, I mean no, in Japanese we say yes when you ask a question like
"You guys are weirder than I thought."
"Listen, I did mean for you to walk around. I just didn't think you'd..."
Heero practically growled out his next word. "NO!"
Standing up Duo leaned on his crutch and walked over to wear Heero was still sitting down.
"You know you're kind of adorable when you get all flustered like that." Heero's features crunched up in disbelief as he reverted back to Japanese in surprise at Duo's statement.
"Gee, it sure doesn't take much to get you all worked up, I was just joking. Now tell me what it was you were saying back there in Japanese, unless it was personal."
Heero remained speechless for a couple of seconds. This was a whole different Duo he was seeing before him. Not only did he feel no hatred coming from hatred, but Duo was trying to tease him not insult him. It made Heero wonder if the American pilot had somehow contracted amnesia. Composing himself Heero responded to the inquiry.
"I'm sorry if I seem flustered, it's just the first time you have ever `just joked' with me before. I had wondered if you had been injured again."
"You know, Heero, I *can* be nice."
"No, I did not."
"Hey, lighten up, I'm trying to make peace right now."
"Fine, I was just reciting a Haiku, and yes a Haiku is always personal. But I have no qualms with sharing mine with you."
"Umm thanks...I think. What's a Haiku, is it like a vision or something? And what did yours say?"
Heero shook his head, but with patience. "No, a Haiku is a poem of five lines. It expresses what you see, sense, touch, hear, and most importantly feel."
"I guess that would be personal."
"I had said;
Can this world
From of old
Always have been so sad,
Or did it become so for the sake
Of me alone?"
After hearing it Duo looked somewhat skeptical. "I think you cheated, that's not five lines."
Heero shook his head in frustration at the American's unwillingness to look at the whole picture. "It is when spoken in Japanese."
"Ah...well, I still say you cheated but I guess I'm no Japanese scholar."
"No, you're not."
"Hey! Mr. I-can-speak-English, before you condescend me again, I bet you didn't know that I can also speak more than one language." Heero actually raised his eyebrow at that.
"Yeah, I speak French. So don't think you're the only one who can learn other languages." Duo thought this might wipe the growing smirk off of Heero's face, but it only seemed to make it grow larger.
"Ah oui, vous parlez Francais? Le meme que je parle maintenant?" (Translation: Oh! You speak French? The exact same that I'm now speaking?) Duo narrowed his eyes dangerously at Heero.
"Shut up! So what, you speak several languages, can you fly a plane? Didn't think so buddy."
Heero smirk didn't fade one bit as he shot back his retort. "At least I know how to take a bath."
Now it was Duo's turn to be all flustered. "I do too know how to take a bath, but we're in the woods, and I was always told not to take wash when you are in a survival situation."
W-well because then the enemy can't use dogs to find your sent, and they won't be able to catch you."
"And so the animals can't smell you, so you can hunt them easily."
"I do the hunting, and I have provisions."
"And so the bugs don't bite."
"You didn't tell me there was a lake."
"You should have figured it out, so why don't you have a bath now." Surprisingly Duo's face turned to dread, Heero was amazed at how much emotion the American always displayed. But he had learned from experience that Americans were as easy to read as children were.
"I-I can't with my broken leg..."
"I'll help you. I'd rather that than you go on like this."
Duo tried to protest loudly but could do nothing as Heero picked him up in his strong arms and walked into the water. By now Duo was really freaking out. Heero on the other hand seemed to be enjoying the whole situation.
"This will teach you to spy on me." Heero then threw Duo into the water, making sure his leg remained uninjured in the process.
Staring down at the screaming young man, Heero realized that even with one leg bound, he really shouldn't be having this much trouble in the very shallow water. Reaching into the water, he quickly picked the frightened young man up and held him for a few minutes trying to calm him down.
"What is wrong with you? A bath is not such a bad thing?"
Glaring at the man who was still holding him, Duo took a few quick breaths before starting to rant. "You incentive asshole, and to think I was going to be nice to you. I should have known you would try to kill me."
"What are you talking about?"
"Fine, I'll admit it, I can't swim, there are you happy? That's why I joined the Air Force, I thought it was the one element that I wouldn't have to swim in. Mind you, I didn't know about the flying over water bit at the time, but I just figured I would never crash into the sea."
"Baka, the water doesn't even go up to my waist, you could sit in it and not drown."
Peering down at Heero's legs, Duo realized that the Japanese soldier was in fact still holding him over water, and true to his words, it came up just past his knees. Duo looked back up at Heero, but still seemed unsure about the whole thing.
"If you don't get clean, you will find it hard to recover quickly, then you will have to spend even more time with me and in Japan."
"Fine...but let's go a little...no, a lot closer to shore, and then I guess I can sit down. But you can't leave, cause I can't even remember the last time I went willingly into a lake. Deal."
"I'll take that as a yes." Heero sighed as he carried the overreacting pilot to more shallow waters. Placing the young man into a sitting position, the Japanese soldier quickly ran off to get some soap and returned before the American could protest.
Stripping the American down, Heero flung the wet combats onto the shore where his towel lay nearby. Heero even went so far as to remove the bandages that were surrounding Duo's healing leg. He then began to scrub vigorously, wanting to get rid of any traces of dirt, grim or blood that remained from the crash many days before.
Duo would have protested to being completely stripped naked and washed like a child, but the truth was he couldn't have manage it on his own, and he really did want to be clean again. Heero was still only wearing the combat pants he had had on earlier, but his only thoughts was getting the American clean without having him become even more frightened of drowning again or irritating his injuries.
Luckily for Duo, the fear of water kept him from fully realizing his very vulnerable situation or letting his mind wander back to his earlier thoughts about Heero's finally tuned body.
As soon as Heero was satisfied with Duo's state of cleanliness, which was too long in Duo's opinion, he then began the difficult task of attacking Duo's hair, which was covered in so much dirt, mud and bits of blood that Heero didn't even know it's true colour. Taking the soap he scrubbed hard, ignoring Duo's yelps of pain, knowing that if the American really wanted him to stop, he'd let him know it.
After that was done, and he had successfully rinsed the pilot, even with several cries from Duo about how he was trying to drown him again, Heero picked up the sopping wet young man and carried him over the short distance to the shore. Careful not to let any sand or dirt get near the American, he let him stand on top of his boots, using the stick as a crutch once more.
Seeing Duo shiver as a breeze washed over him, Heero took the warm towel, which had been lying the sun for the past little why, and did a complete rub down over Duo's wet body, drying him and using the friction to make him warm at the same time.
He then told Duo to lye down on the towel. Picking up Duo's dirty, wet clothes from the ground, he looked down at Duo and ordered him once again to rest in the sun, dry his hair, and not move until he came back to rebind his leg. Duo couldn't even ask him where he was going before Heero had turned and ran back into the forest.
Not even twenty minutes had gone by before Heero returned to the small lake, caring a small bundle of clothes with him. It was clear that he had run the entire way, but the run seemed nothing compared to his early exercise this morning.
Kneeling down next to Duo, he wordlessly started to spread some new medicated cream unto Duo's broken leg.
"So Heero, where's my clothes?"
"I bartered it." Duo tried to sit up but was held back down by Heero.
"It was necessary for supplies. Food is not easy to find anywhere in this area. I had to offer something good, like an enemy uniform, for food and supplies."
"Well you could have asked, that was the last piece of American property I had with me."
"Hn, you still have your plane, and trust me, no one will mistaken you for being Japanese. Soon enough you will be home again and can buy many, many American uniforms."
The thought of going home quickly cheered him up. If going home meant he lost his combats, he could live without them.
Duo watched as Heero wrapped the new white bandage around his broken leg. Tying the end off, Heero then reached over and helped Duo get into the new clothes.
"I don't need your help to get dressed, I'm not afraid of cotton you know." Heero looked unsure but tossed him the bundle of clothes anyways.
As soon as Duo unraveled the outfit he regretted his words. There seemed to be so much cloth that he didn't know which part went where.
"What is this?"
"Why did you get me this, why didn't you just get me something for everyday use."
"That is for everyday use, a Johfu would be the more formal kimono and would be made from silk. This is only a Yukata and is what peasants wear in Japan. Or what the rich might wear as a bathrobe. I thought you might prefer that to wearing a Japanese uniform."
Duo had to admit that Heero was right, but he still didn't know how to get the thing on. He tried several times to wrap it around himself and after ten minutes he finally thought he had it. He then asked Heero what he thought.
"Well I'm sorry, it's my first kimona."
"Yeah, yeah. So show me how to put it on then." Heero helped Duo put the Kimono on without actually putting it on for the pilot. He also explained each piece as he went along.
As soon as the largest part of the Kimono was placed over Duo's shoulders, Heero motioned for Duo to wrap the long robe like clothes around himself.
"This is an Obi." Duo looked puzzled at the long piece of cotton.
"You mean a belt?"
"No, and Obi. It is similar but not the same thing." He then wrapped the soft cotton Obi around Duo's waist, showing him how to tie it properly.
Satisfied Duo reached over to wear his now dry boots lay and was about to put them on when they were roughly grabbed from him, only to be replaced with a set of socks and shoes.
"Your boots will only aggravate the leg, for now it is more practical to wear these.
Duo had never seen odder footwear. The plain white socks seemed to have been made for the shoes, leaving a space in the material for the shoe's strap to slip between the first and second toe.
"That is a Tabi. It will be much softer than your gray wool socks; it's also made of cotton. And the shoes you are putting on are called Geta."
Duo looked slightly frustrated. "Can't you just say socks and sandals? I do speak English you know."
"No, no. Those aren't socks and sandals; they are Tabi and Geta. If you wish to learn anything about the country you can easily bomb, then please at least learn what you are wearing."
With a sigh Duo gave up. "Fine, fine, they're Tabi and Geta, and Obis and Kimonos and Yukatas. See, I'm listening."
After that was done, Duo instructed Heero to go into his cockpit and retrieve his hairbrush. Duo thought that he must be the only pilot in the history of the U.S.A Air Force to bring a brush along with him on a mission, but he had anyways.
Brushing his hair with quick strokes, Duo was soon done, and he expertly tied it back into a braid in no time. Finally tying it off with the elastic he had had on before the bath.
Finding his crutch, Duo tried to stand up and model off his attire. "So do I look Japanese?"
Giving Duo a quick once-over, Heero stopped at the long hair and though about trading the kimono for a female version as a joke, but knew Duo would kill him for it. He was however amazed at how different the pilot now looked. Not only did he look much healthier than he had in the last few days, but by being clean, Heero could get a good look his fair skin and long chestnut hair that shone from finally being washed. The traditional peasant's kimono, which was a simple pattern of indigo and white, also added to Duo's figure, making him look stronger and more masculine than he had before, yet at the same time adding such elegance to the American pilot, something Heero didn't know he had in him. In short the American looked good, really, really good.
Heero quickly shook the very idea out of his head. Not only was the American, well an American, but he was in no place to start thinking about the pilot looking anything better than a good trade for his lost men.
It startled him that he would think about Duo as anything else. Liking other men was a very common practice, especially among the troops. But Heero had never had that `leaning' before. He'd never had any `leaning' before, and especially not for an enemy.
"I'll take that as a compliment, even if it was an insult."
"Hn, let's get away from the lake before you get my kimono dirty."
"YOU'RE Kimono, I thought it was MY kimono. I bought it didn't I?"
"Well my uniform was traded for it."
Heero and Duo continued to squabble as Heero began to pick up all their belongings, which now littered the shore of the lake. He then turned and walked briskly back to the camp, smirking as Duo trailed and yelled behind him.
"You bastard, I have a broken leg, you could at least wait. Where are these Japanese manners you keep talking about."
Well there ya go, part four done with. That beach scene was supposed to be about one paragraph long, but then I got it in my head to have Heero run and well my imagination just wondered away with me (mmmm, yummy, Heero running).
By the way, neither Heero nor I really wrote that Haiku, it's an anonymous entry in my Anthology of Japanese Literature, I thought it expressed Heero's sadness about his troops and his heritage and his homeland and the war all in one (but hey it's open to interpretation.)