Disclaimers: Not mine!!

Pairings: 2+1/1X2
Warnings: AU, shounen-ai, romance, dirt, archaeobabble, ANGST, catholocism, adventure.

Author's Notes: Written for the GWYaoi.org Novella Challenge, but not finished in time for the deadline.

Summary: Duo and Heero meet as teenagers on an archaeological dig in Israel. Raised in the field with a trowel in hand, Heero is slow to see the skills Duo can bring to his work.

by Granate

"Again?" the Father sighed, getting up from his chair.

"They started it!" the little boy claimed in his defense as he wiped blood from his swollen lip with the black sleeve of his Catholic school uniform.  

"You always say that, Duo," Father said, leaning down to place both hands on the boy's shoulders.

"S'true!" the boy insisted.  "They're always pickin' on Timmy!"

He sighed again and led the child over to the chalkboard.  "You've been here two months now, Duo, there's no excuse for not knowing the rules.  Fighting is not allowed here," Father reminded the young pupil as he handed him a new piece of chalk.

"I don't understand!" Duo said, gripping the chalk in his fist.  "I was jus' stickin' up for Timmy, he's too little to fight!  Isn't that good?  Those older boys shoulda known better anyway!  Someone's gotta teach 'em!"

"It is a good thing to defend your friends and those weaker than you, but fighting is not the solution to everything," Father tried to explain.

"That don't make sense!" Duo argued, "You gotta stick up for yourself an' your friends!  That's the way it is!  I don't get this 'Jesus' stuff!  Real people ain't like that!"  The chalk broke in his hand.

"Duo," Father spoke gently and knelt next to the boy, "I know you are confused sometimes, but we are not giving up on you here."

Duo gave him a sullen look as he ruffled the boy's bangs and stood.  "Lower case first," Father said, sitting back behind the desk.  Duo turned to the chalkboard with a huff and started writing.  "And recite," Father added.

"Alpha," Duo spoke as he wrote.  "Beta.  Gamma.  Delta.  Epsilon..."

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