Disclaimer: I own Gundam Wing. But I'm also certifiably insane, so don't expect that claim to hold up in court.... AND I knowingly DO NOT own the title "Teenage Dirtbag" I stole it from the band Wheatus because I'm lazy as shit and couldn't think of my own.

Pairings: 1xR, 2+R
Warnings: non-yaoi, duo pov, au (present day Ohio), ooc?, language, drug abuse (kidstuff), and ANGST as only high school can inspire.
Additional Warning: LANGUAGE! Lots of it and BAD. Plus bad grammar. I don't like adhering to the rules, this ain't no english paper! Makes me wonder how Faulkner's editor felt when he first saw 'steam of consciousness...

Author's Notes: Sprung from the Wheatus song "Teenage Dirtbag," but takes quite a different turn. Please don't be afraid that this fic is technically 1xR, it really does focus on the growing relationship between Heero and Duo.   Thanks to Anria for Beta-ing! ^_^

Summary: Duo forms an odd friendship with his crush's bad-boy boyfriend and it's one neither of them will forget.

Teenage Dirtbag
Part 6
by Granate

Heero emerges from the house and squints in the sun. He surveys the yard and runs a hand through his wet hair, which is only a little less unruly then when it is dry. I think he's looking for me. He spots me under his IROC and suddenly he bolts off the porch, shouting at me.

"Hey! Don't touch my car!"

"I didn't do anything to it!" I nearly squeak as he roughly pulls me out from under the car.

"You drove it," he fumes. I sit up to defend myself.

"Hey, you should be thanking me! I got it off that big rock for you!" I argue, crossing my arms. I wobble on the old skateboard and quickly lower my hands to the driveway to steady myself. "Besides, I'm not the idiot who was drunk off his ass and left the keys in it."

"Yeah? Well, keep your hands off now, got it?" he threatens as he looks it over. The way he strokes the body of the car would be mildly disconcerting if I hadn't been doing exactly the same thing five minutes ago before he got out here. It's a sweet automobile. If you want 80's Muscle, it doesn't get any better than this. V8, manual transmission, those kick-ass removable glass roof panels, vented hood... man, I could go on. I will probably start thinking about his car in the shower instead of his girlfriend.

"What year?" I ask of the Chevy while he's checking the jack to make sure I did it right.

His eyes cut over to me and he scrutinizes me for a moment before answering, "Eighty-seven."

"The front bumper is dented, and I think the engine really grated over that rock, you might want to check that out," I offer. He only glares at me. I grumble and get off the old skateboard I was using to get under the car and offer it to him. He gets on and rolls under the car as I dash to the garage and grab my other old skateboard. I don't know why I have two of them, my skateboard career was brief but physically scarring enough to last a lifetime. I get down on the board and scoot in next to him. He glares at me again. At least he smells much better now, which is a big improvement in itself. My shirt is tight on him, it kind of makes me embarrassed. I can see why he skipped the jeans.

I helpfully point out the scratches and dents to him on the underside of the bumper and a few of the pans under the engine. Good thing that rock wasn't any bigger, he'd have had serious problems. When he's seen enough, we roll out again and he lets the car down off the jack. I pop the hood for the second time this morning and lean over it. I've been wanting to ask him about this, the engine can't be original to the car. He comes over and pulls the rod down as if he means to close the hood right on my fingers. I put my hand up to hold the hood.

"So, what'd you do to it?" I ask, undeterred by his dirty looks. He's done something to the engine all right, but I can't quite figure it out. Granted, I don't have a lot of car experience, but I know the basics. His engine is definitely not basic. He must have modified it.

He shrugs. "Just a few alterations," he says evasively.

"Like what?" I persist.

He shoots me a dirty look but locks the rod again and goes to the tool box I brought out. He certainly is well-practiced with killer glares. His ice blue eyes can probably make most people shut the hell up, but this is me we're talking about. Plus, after being so nice to him last night, he can't really be mean to me. Right?

"Come on, I know a thing or two about cars, I can 'follow along' if that's what you're acting so stuck up about," I say sarcastically. "Why don't you just show me?"

He just narrows his eyes and ignores me as he selects a wrench and bumps me out of the way so he can have a better look inside the car. Something occurs to me as he works. I'm on his right, and I can see his left wrist now. Sure enough, there's a scar to match the one I saw last night. This couldn't have been just some 'cry for help' type thing, he's obviously tried to end his life before. It makes me kind of scared. Scared about what he was doing last night, out driving so drunk. He could have gotten himself seriously injured... or killed.

I watch what he's doing for a while, and I begin to figure out what he's done. Suddenly, I get it. I explain it to him, and he just looks at me like he can't believe it.

I smirk at him. "I'm right aren't I?" I say.

"Un-hn," he nods.

No wonder his car runs so nicely. "Where'd you learn how to do this kind of stuff?" I ask.

He shrugs. "No where really," he says, still focusing on the car. "I read some books... just mess around now and then..."

Just 'mess around'?! Jesus. And learning it from books? Sure, I understand what he's done, but I could never do it myself. I just don't have the skill.

Satisfied that everything's in working order, he carefully closes the hood, this time making sure all observers are out of the way. He swears when he sees the slightly dented bumper.

"I don't think I have anything to fix that with," I say.

"I can probably do it, but it's a real pain in the ass," he grumbles. Oh my god, are we having a conversation? He squats down and runs his fingers over the indentations. "Yeah, do-able..." he mutters absent-mindedly.

"And it runs. So there you go," I say, expecting him to take off now. I start picking up tools and putting them back in the box before putting it away in the garage. I come out and he's still standing there. I give him a questioning look. What else does he want? Lunch? Or maybe I'll get a thank you, that'd be nice.

"What about the yard?" he asks, looking over at it and grimacing. He looks a little embarrassed.

Well, this is a surprise. "Oh, you noticed," I say with a teasing grin. He frowns and looks at the ground. "I was going to take care of it," I tell him with a shrug. I go back into the garage and get a shovel and some other lawn-care implements. Before I even know it, he's standing next to me. He grabs the shovel from me. I pick up the rest the stuff and we wordlessly trudge to the end of the driveway. He smoothes out the tire tracks while I collect the iris bulbs and the strewn mulch and replant them. We finish and tackle the fence last. It's a simple peg and hole design and we reassemble it easily together. None of the pieces were broken, just scattered. He braces the posts as I push the horizontal pieces back it.

"Did you mean that about your family?" he asks suddenly as he rights a post and stomps the ground around it to hold it in place.

"Yeah," I answer, glancing up at him for a second. He's not looking at me. He just nods, and then after a moment he says very quietly, "I won't... do that again." It's weird, he didn't say 'sorry' or 'thank you', but it seems like enough for some reason, and I believe him too. It's weird that I might understand him.

We get done quickly, and he silently follows me back to the garage to put things away. Neither of us has said anything in a while. Silence may be normal for him, but it feels odd to me. "Looks much better," I try to fill the quiet. He nods. I really don't know what to say now. He's looking at me expectantly.

"Ummmm do you want lunch or anything?" I ask, unsure of what else he could want.

"No thanks," he says, still looking at me.

"Oh!" I laugh at my stupidity. "Car keys are in the front seat."

He nods his head again and opens his car door. He looks at me briefly through the windshield and the IROC roars to life. I give him a half-smile and go back into my house as he backs out of the driveway.

My aunt notices the residual tire tracks where the grass is missing, but doesn't say anything about the fence or the flowerbed. And they look good, if I do say so myself. She thanks me for taking care of the tire marks and I let her think what she will. Heero leaves me alone at school. That's a relief. I don't have the guts to actually say hi to him, but sometimes we make comfortable eye contact. Maybe he'll nod slightly. Wow! Visual confirmation of my existence! Whatever. It's more like some kind of mutual understanding. Maybe he's grateful that I haven't told anyone. Contrary to what people will tell you, I can keep my mouth shut. I don't think they'd believe me anyway. My friends still make fun of me. Sometimes, when they see Heero coming down the hall, they shout, 'Run!! RUN!' and then bust up laughing. But the funniest was when Heero heard Nikol do it and slammed HIM into the lockers! He did it harder than he'd ever done it to me. It was so great, he just walked by, stuck an arm out, and kept walking. It was my turn to nearly fall over laughing.

But that's not even the strangest part. I'm doing homework on a Tuesday afternoon two weeks after Heero crashed in my yard. There's a knock on my bedroom door.

"Yeah?" I ask, turning around in my seat.

Aunt Helen pokes her head around the door. "There's someone at the door for you," she says with a smile. That's weird, cuz if it were any of my friends, they'd have chatted with my aunt, and then just bounded into my room, sans formal introduction and dying to catch me doing something embarrassing like looking at internet porn or lip-syncing to pop music. Yeah, I love my friends.

At the door I find none other than Heero Yuy glaring disfavorably at the pot of pansies on our front step, which appear to be withering under his consternation.

"Uhhhhh hi," I say, bordering on shocked-into-silence. Maybe he left something here? I never found anything.

He looks up at me now through his dark mass of hair, his look practically daring me to tell him to fuck off or something. Like he's half expecting it.

"C'mere," he says, turning on his heel. Wow, he just made the sentence, 'Why hello, Duo, you look well, won't you please come look at this?' sound like one word. He's amazing, folks.

I trot after him to his car. "Hey, way to park in the driveway this time," I quip. He ignores me and opens the hood

Shit. I'm in trouble. Did I fuck up his car? Does he think I did? That'd be just as bad. Is he here to collect on that ass-kicking?

"Whadya think?" he asks, jerking his head toward the engine. I blink at him. He blinks at me, a totally serious expression on his face. I check out the engine, looks like he's been playing with it again. Shit, this guy's good.

"Pretty cool," I tell him.

He cocks an eyebrow at me. "You usually have more to say than that," he says, making me laugh. True.

"You really want to know what I think?" I asked, finding it difficult to believe. He nods earnestly. He asked for it. I do have a few thoughts, come to think about it, so I launch into them. He listens to me and answers a few questions and shows me something else. He even asks me a few things. And he doesn't look bored.

"Hey, want a pop?" I ask after a little while. He throws me an odd look, then shrugs in a 'Sure' kind of way. It's scary that I can read these things. "What do you like?" I ask him, wiping my hands on a rag. The shrug he gives me this time says, 'Whatever.' I shake my head and make for the kitchen.

"Dr. Pepper ok?" I call as I toss him a can.

"Yeah," he says, catching it. "Pop," he contemplates the can before cracking it open. Then he looks at me dubiously, "It's soda."

I laugh at him out of pure surprise that he might have a humorous side. "Welcome to the midwest, asshole, it's POP here! Oh shit shit SHIT!" I swear and jump back as my can fizzes out everywhere.

He smirks at me hopping around like an idiot, and almost laughs. "Dork," he snorts. He doesn't get mad that I called him an asshole. I can call him that if he keeps calling me 'dork' right? That's fair.

We tinker a bit and before I realize it, my aunt is calling me in for dinner. She asks if he'll stay and he politely declines. I have to stifle a laugh when he her calls her 'ma'am'!

"That was Heero Yuy, right?" Helen asks as she passes me the green beans. "The boy who lives down the street?"

"Mm-mm," I answer, nodding with a mouth full of pork chops.

"He seemed nice, not nearly as bad as I've heard," she comments.

"Wha 'ave oo 'eard?" I ask her. She totally understands what I say. Gotta love her.

"Well, I've spoken to his uncle now and then," she tells me. "He's lived here for several years before Heero moved in with him. He's a scientist. Yes, a physicist I think. Worked for the military for a long time. Anyway, last time I talked with him, he and his nephew weren't getting along too well. He makes trouble in school, doesn't keep up with his classes, gets into fights, drinks, smokes. I'm sure you know more than I do, you go to school with him."

"Yeah, sounds right to me," I say with a shrug.

In a fashion I should expect from him by now, Heero Yuy isn't done surprising me yet. He comes over a few times after that. It's totally weird. He pulls into the driveway, rings the bell, and asks for me. I get him a pop, he tells me it's soda, we hang out by the car and look at the stereo or the new exhaust line or the engine. He even lets me sit in it! He's not showing off or anything. He wants to get my opinion on something he's done, or ask what I think of a new idea. He barely talks, he'll suggest something, and then just let me blab on about it, which I do at length. Sometimes, we mess with my car, but let's face it, that thing is beyond help. You should have seen the look on his face the first time he saw it! Anyway, the whole thing is totally strange. He always has this serious, concentrating look on his face, like he's actually listening to what I say. And that's funny, 'cause I don't think anyone really takes me seriously.

on to part 7

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