kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
[personal profile] kaigou
I'm trying really hard to get this DONE, okay? Bear with me. (This segment's not long enough to print out and enjoy -- or gnash -- over tea, sorry, RS.)

Someday, I'm going to be seventy -- hey, a man can dream -- and I'm going to be stuck in a hospital bed much like this one. I'll confess it right up: I won't be thinking about catching nurse-action, I'll still be wondering how the fuck Heero could fake out an entire room full of machines. I sure as hell can't. I wish I knew his secret, and I wished it again upon coming to, finding nothing but water-stained ceiling tiles over my head, and within two seconds, a doctor's face.

Which was about the point i realized I was restrained, wrists and ankles.

"Hey," I coughed out. I wanted to play it cool, but it's been a helluva long time since I've closed my eyes on one sight and opened them to something else completely, and waking up to find I've got a mouthful of Hilde's sofa pillows doesn't count. At least all she ever took off me were my boots, and she sure as fuck didn't make me wear a paper napkin with string. I felt fifteen again. Worse.

"Mister Maxwell," the doctor said, and frowned when I gave him a blank look. "Don't play coy with me. Anyone here, down to the newest janitor, knows your face."

I was about to make some crack about the size of my fan club, and then I saw the two Preventers standing behind the doctor. Must've shown on my face.

"These are your current babysitters." The doctor looked quite pleased with that phrase. I glared at him, but only half-heartedly. He had nurses as backup, after all. "This is the Preventer's detention center clinic. You were suffering from severe dehydration and sleep deprivation. I'm half-surprised you weren't speaking in tongues."


He half-smiled. "Point is, a few more hours of rest, and then you'll be ready to carry on with the rest of your mates."

I blinked at him. My mouth sure felt like I'd spent a few hours eating one of those sofa pillows. Maybe this was all a massive hangover hallucination, because I could've sworn he meant... I closed my eyes, took a breath, opened my eyes. Nothing changed.

The doctor noted something on his stylus pad, and tucked it back into his coat pocket. He glanced around, as if making sure he'd not forgotten anything. Me, I wanted to tell him, me, remember, I'm one of the good guys, haven't the other pilots told you that?

Except I wasn't, not anymore. I sighed and relaxed into the bed. Well. There it was. I might've busted up the ring, and I could at least be proud that I'd taken out as many as I could, but in the end, I guess it was those so-called friends busting me. Hunh, just like the war all over again, with the quiet ones always the flashiest, and the joke always being on me. I spared a half-second to wonder why I was the only loud one in the group, but then, don't that just figure.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," the doctor muttered, brows lowered. "A man of your stature, sunk to these levels." He nearly hissed the word, revulsion written across his patrician features. "Ashamed, Mister Maxwell."

I nodded, slowly. Yeah. Ashamed. Right. Only that I'd ever agreed to work with those bastards in the first place. I closed my eyes again, refusing to let him see any more of me -- granted, a thin cotton blanket and a large piece of paper masquerading as a nightgown aren't exactly sterling defenses, but it'd have to do. I could fake the rest, for at least a little while.

When I opened my eyes again, one of the Preventers had remained -- then I realized the other one was still there, but by the door, with his gun out.

"Maxwell," the first said. "If you want to take a shower before we transfer you to the regular holding cells, I'm sure your future roommates would appreciate it."

I wrinkled my nose at him. "Hard to do when I'm pinned in place."

"Don't make any sudden moves," the Preventer warned. "We'd be more than happy to have one less of your kind in the solar system."

Nothing like a little officer ambiguity to make one really want a shower. At least they had the decency to not come in with me, though the lack of shower curtain, towels, shampoo, hell, even toilet tissue or even a toilet seat was rather annoying. What did they think I was gonna do, hang myself with sixteen feet of one-ply tissue? A bar of soap's not the best for hair, but I've had worse, and I tried to ignore the sensation of dripping water down my backside, soaking through the paper gown. I refused to look at myself in the mirror, after a quick glimpse of my split lip and a massive purple bruise on one cheek. That was enough.

Don't know how much later, but they did at least give me something less paper-like to wear: old khakis that were two sizes two large in the waist but at least long enough, and a beat-up gray sweatshirt. The sleeves were two inches shy of my wrists; I folded them over and pushed them up and told myself it could be worse.

I wasn't sure how, but I didn't want to find out. Not like I had a choice, but at least I could still turn heads. Not quite being dragged this time, though, but still, the handcuffs and ankle manacles felt almost like old times. The one difference? No one had to crane their necks to see around the Ozzies dragging me to my execution. This time I was at least four inches taller than the tallest of the two Preventers. Plus, not being out cold made for a better impression -- I could smile politely at nurses, and do my best to ignore that I was being led like a dog on a leash, with a second Preventer training his gun on me. What the hell did they think I was gonna do, charm my way free? Besides, my stomach had started grumbling, and by the time we reached the elevator, it was hitting thunderous levels. The two Preventers frowned at me. I didn't even bother trying to grin and shrug it off. I was ready to eat my handcuffs.

Not that I had a chance. After all, before you get a roof over your head and three squares a day, first you must pass through booking. What was it Quatre once said, back on Peacemillion? Right. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. This is me, hopping with joy, buddy. Look, look, I've lived to see another day.

I was more than ready for it to be over.

Date: 9 Jul 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
ext_42681: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kracken.livejournal.com
It's very interesting so far.

Date: 10 Jul 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solitude1056.livejournal.com
Hey, figured I'd steal a page from your book & see if I couldn't make it worse before I let it get better. ;-)

Date: 9 Jul 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penship.livejournal.com
This is fantastic. I love Duo's voice. Poor guy, he kinda does get kicked to curb in both the series and EW. Wonder how he'll manage to get out of this one.

I really need to find time and re-read this fic!

Date: 10 Jul 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solitude1056.livejournal.com
What always gets me about the series is that even though he does get kicked to the curb, he never seems to really care. He just shrugs and keeps going. Right there is his personality in a nutshell, I suppose.

(And sometimes it makes me wonder how the writing group thought would be an 'American Archetype' if that's what they came up with.)

Date: 9 Jul 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okaasan59.livejournal.com
Ditto on the voice. Seems very real.

Date: 10 Jul 2007 03:21 am (UTC)