by Zillie
AU high school
warnings: zucchini, women's colleges, Hephzibah has two daddies.
Guide to zucchini: just so you know, there are so far three zucchini- babies. Hephzibah is Heero and Duo's; Zippy belongs to Quatre and Relena; and Zuleika is Trowa and Catherine's (no relation, btw, in case the idea of an inbred zucchini is bothersome to you ;)
notes: I'm not sure about this part--it might not be quite ridiculous enough. But Hilde shows up in part three, so don't give up on me yet!
other note: when I went to visit Wellesley, my tour guide really was called Helen of Troy. Or maybe it was Helena Choi. Something like that.

Having His Zucchini + Part 2
a second helping. . . . .


"You wanna send her off to a convent."

Heero glared. "Graduates of women's colleges have a higher rate of success."

"Yeah, and of celibacy." Duo rolled his eyes and helped himself to some more-what had Heero called it? Oh, yeah. Pocky. "No, wait. Let me guess. She's going to save herself for marriage, isn't she?"

"I sincerely hope that my daughter won't feel any need to treat her body like a cheap toy."

"You sound like a virgin," Duo said.

Heero looked down at his paper. "Hn."

Duo eyed the Pocky, but settled for chewing on the end of his pencil as he studied his 'husband' as the other boy flipped through college brochures.

"I spoke to Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Wellesley, but Smith hung up on me when I said it was for me."

"You told them you were interested in a woman's college?" Duo said, then considered the idea. "I guess that's one way to make sure you don't stay a virgin. . . ."

Heero flushed. "I then called Mount Holyoke and told them the truth."

Duo laughed out loud. "You told them you were looking for information for your baby zucchini?"

Heero nodded.

Duo nearly choked.

"The girl-Melanie-laughed, too," Heero muttered darkly, "but she sent me the information. Along with, um, an invitation to stay with her should I choose to bring Hephzibah for a visit." His voice dropped a bit. "She called me 'dearie'."

Duo, still laughing, took the booklet that Heero handed him. "She sounds interesting. Did you get her phone number? I'll have to give her a call sometime, maybe go with you on that visit." He waggled his eyebrows. "And Wellesley?"

Heero blinked. "The girl who answered the phone said her name was Helen of Troy. So I lied and said it was for my sister." "You have a sister?" Duo asked.

"Hn." Heero shifted papers in front of him. "I researched the science departments at these schools, and-"

"Heero?"

"Hn?"

"I don't think she's into science." Duo studied Hephzibah, who sat on a pillow on the table, surrounded by toys. He picked a rattle up and shook it. "I'm definitely getting a culinary vibe from her. I think she's going to be a chef. Or a cocktail waitress."

Heero's jaw tensed. "Please don't pigeonhole her. Just because she's a zucchini doesn't mean she can't be a great physicist."

Duo leaned over and picked Hephzibah up; Heero tensed visibly. "I wonder if there are minority scholarships for zucchini?"

Heero looked up at him. "I'll look into it."

Duo rolled his eyes and had some more Pocky. "So," he said, after a few minutes of silence. "What's your job?"

Heero looked startled, as if he'd forgotten Duo was there-the though made Duo scowl. "Computers. It has to be something you can justify, and you have to turn in a paper or something to prove that you can really be doing this job." He studied Duo. "Can you work up a paper on child care?"

Duo smirked. "I might be able to." He reached for the Pocky again. "Heero?"

"Hn."

"How come you didn't get upset when Mrs. Elephant paired us up?" He bit into his Pocky deliberately. Umm. Strawberry. "You queer?"

Heero looked startled; Duo wondered which of them was more surprised by his frank question. He'd never been shy, but there were usually limits. Usually. "Uh." He shifted papers again. "I thought she was right about single-parent families."

"There are worse things," Duo said. Like no-parent families. "How come you didn't pair up with some pretty girl in the class?"

"There was an uneven number."

"Why were you the one who was left alone?"

Heero's face was expressionless. "That's just the way it seems to work."

Duo emasculated another stick of Pocky*. "You know. . . Quatre said I should stop by his house when I have a chance. To get to know his, uh, son. Since it's for the project-you want to come with?" He shifted, pulled a paper out of his pocket. "I've got his address and everything."

"It's almost Hephzibah's bedtime," Heero said uncertainly.

"Dude. It's six. Come on."

"I guess. . . we could. . . ." Heero looked uncertainly over towards his left. "Let me just. . . ." He stood and walked into the next room.

A minute later he came back, followed by a young woman with a head of purple hair and quite a few piercings. Duo smiled at her. "Hey."

She smiled back. "Hi."

"Annabel, this is Duo; Duo, this is Annabel. She's going to give us a ride to Quatre's house." He hesitated for a minute. "She's my mother."

Duo's eyes shot to the belly button ring that was peeking out in the space between her low jeans and small t-shirt. "Yeah? Cool. I'm his husband."

Annabel laughed. "So I hear. You guys ready?"

"I have to pack Hephzibah's diaper bag," Heero said in a monotone, disappearing down the hall.

Annabel sighed. "I could watch her, you know!" she called after him. "I did raise you, after all!" She winced, and winked at Duo. "Maybe I shouldn't have reminded him of that."

Duo laughed. "He's survived sixteen years-I'm sure the zucchini could survive one night."

"He won't let me near the thing," Annabel said in a whisper. "It's a little unnerving, to tell you the truth." She snuck over to the table, cast a glance down the hallway to make sure the coast was clear, and stole a stick of Pocky. "So you're new?"

"Heero told you? Yeah. Today was my first day."

"Bet you weren't expecting to become a father quite so soon," she commiserated. "So where do you live?"

Ah. The fun questions. "You know Halley Church?"

"The big Catholic one with the attached orphanage? Yeah. I drive past it in the mornings." She blinked. "You live there?"

"Yeah. My foster mother's a nun," Duo said, as if it were perfectly normal. "She specializes in orphanages, so the church moves her around a lot." He shrugged. "I go with her."

"Sounds like an interesting upbringing, to put it mildly," Annabel said.

Duo eyed her bellybutton again. "Doesn't sound like Heero's was too boring."

"Not for his lack of trying," she muttered, turning away. Duo was pretty sure he wasn't supposed to have heard that; he pretended his hearing wasn't as good as it happened to be and just kept smiling.

+ "Thanks for the ride!" Duo yelled at Annabel as she drove away; Heero, beside him, was silent. Just standing there. He looked, Duo observed, to be mortally afraid of the door of Quatre's house. Duo eyed the door. Sure, it was big. And wooden. And looked really expensive.

But it was a door.

He reached out and rang the bell.

"Ring the bell! Riiiiing the bell!" Quatre shouted, opening the door. "Duo!" His eyes flickered to the side. "Heero."

"And Hephzibah," Heero said, holding the zucchini in front of him like a sacrifice to a capricious god.

Quatre Winner shrugged and stood back. "Come on in."

Duo entered, looked around the huge foyer. "Dude, this place is a shack. Must only have, what, two hundred bedrooms? How do you live here?"

Quatre grinned. "I keep an illicit lover in every room. That makes the whole thing more bearable."

"You cloned Trowa?"

"Would if I could. Imagine the threesome possibilities." Quatre grinned at Duo over his shoulder as he lead the braided boy and the, well, zucchini boy into a tastefully expensive looking room. Trowa was sprawled on the floor with a couple of zucchini and a book. He looked up as they came in.

"Welcome to the zucchini playgroup." He nodded towards his squash charges. "You know Zippy, I believe."

The zucchini had a silver ring through his, uh, top, and what looked to be a really small spiked dog collar. In black leather. "Did you raid Barbie's S&M collection?" Duo asked curiously.

"It was something my partner had lying around, apparently," Quatre shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure what Relena does with it, but, well." He shrugged again. "Figured it was safer not to ask."

"So this must be Zuleika." Duo squatted on the floor next to the zucchini. . . who was wearing sequins. "Dude, what kind of clothes is she wearing? Did you raid your hooker's closet?"

Trowa smirked. "Quatre doesn't wear sequins."

"Not for very long, at least," his boyfriend agreed. "Duo- drink? Heero?"

"Yeah, sure, whatever you're having," Duo agreed, turning back to the zucchini. "You know what she really looks like? One of those horseback riders in the circus."

"That's the idea," Trowa said cheerfully. "We're hoping she'll run away and join the circus before too long. Be the Amazing Flying Zucchini or something like that."

"Do you have cranberry juice?"

Duo craned his head to look at Heero and Quatre, horribly afraid he knew where that question was going.

"Um. We have apple," Quatre offered.

"Can you dilute it with water?" Heero still clutched Hephzibah. "Apple juice is highly acidic-I don't want her to have any problems with her teeth."

Trowa snickered.

Quatre grinned. "I hope to god you're kidding."

"Heero," Duo put in before anyone could say anything else, "they're only baby teeth, after all."

"Good dental health isn't something you can start too early," Heero said solemnly.

"That is true," Quatre said. "Diluted apple juice it is." He dashed out-Duo thought for half a second and then followed him.

Quatre was debating between vodka and gin. "Which do you think he won't notice?"

"The water."

Quatre rolled his eyes and took a sip of vodka. "You're gonna tell me you don't wanna see Heero Yuy drunk?"

God. The thought was appealing. "Not like this." Duo accepted the small amount of gin Quatre offered him but didn't sip. "You could just ask him if he wanted a drink."

"And get a lecture on the evils of drink? And how drinking in front of infants probably means they'll grow up to be alcoholics or, worse, fun?" Quatre took Duo's untouched glass and drained it. "My father never drank in front of me. Not at all the thing, you know? And we all know how well I turned out."

Duo surveyed him. "You could be worse."

"Yeah? Tell that to my father."

Duo twisted around. "He here?"

"Nope," Quatre said. "Just me and my sister, and she's not home yet. My father kicked me out of the house the day he found me giving head to the boy next door." Quatre grinned and toasted the other boy. "Bet he wishes now he'd gotten drunk off his ass in front of me every night I was growing up. Bet he'd rather I drank liquor than come."

"That would be a shame," Duo said, smiling but serious. He pulled Quatre to him-the slight boy came easily-and rubbed his hair. Just like he would if it were Jo or one of the other kids. "Then what would I have to dream about at night?"

Quatre peeked up. "Heero?"

Duo laughed in spite of himself. "He is sorta cute, isn't he? Even if he already has picked out colleges. He-"

Quatre kissed him. Nothing major; just a light peck on the lips. Duo studied the other boy's face; Quatre buried it in his shoulder again. "I feel like I know you a lot better than I really do."

"Yeah, well. Keep that in mind the next time you think threesome," Duo said softly in the blonde's ear. "I may not be a Trowa clone, but. . . ."

Quatre laughed.

Heero cleared his throat.

Christ! Duo thought. How long has he been standing there?

"I thought I'd see if you needed some help." His disapproval was obvious; Duo rolled his eyes and separated from Quatre.

"Apple juice," Quatre said. "Sure you wouldn't rather have vodka with that? Gin? I think there's some Archer's in the cabinet-"

"Apple juice will be fine," Heero said, his face blank.

"Apple juice it is," Duo said, grabbing the glass before Quatre could say-or do-anything else. Here you go. Where's Hep-cat?"

"With Trowa." Heero studied the glass in Duo's hand.

"Just Sprite." Duo reached over and grabbed the vodka before Quatre could help himself to any more. "We're both just having Sprite."

Quatre rolled his eyes but followed the other two back to the living room, where he promptly straddled a recumbent Trowa. "Hi!" he said brightly, and leaned to kiss his boyfriend.

Trowa returned the kiss almost absently, then looked at Quatre. "Vodka?"

"Shh," Quatre said, placing a finger on the other boy's lips. "Not in front of the kids." He looked over at Heero. "I guess this means the porn marathon on AMC is out?"

Heero had this smile on his face; Duo was pretty sure that the other boy was simply imagining this as 'socially interacting with your partner's boss.' Nothing fun-just a required part of life. Hell, he'd probably mention it in his journal-come out and tell Mrs. Elephant all about it.

Duo frowned.

"So, I was thinking. This Saturday," he said, cutting into the non-conversation they were all having. "We'd probably get extra credit or something if we took them to, y'know, a park. Or something."

Quatre grinned. "Quality time! Sure!"

"That would be. . . .acceptable," Heero said grudgingly.

"I have to work," Trowa said.

"You could call in sick," Quatre said, nudging the other boy with his nose.

"I did that last weekend."

"You could do it again."

"Not if I want to keep my job."

"You don't want to keep your job. It sucks."

"Yeah, but I do want to keep the money," Trowa said, sitting up and in the process forcing Quatre off of him. "I have to work on Saturday."

"Fine," Quatre said. He crawled over and laid his head on Duo's lap; the braided boy didn't know what to say. "Duo and I will go. And Heero." He turned his smile on Heero; even with the nose ring, the eyebrow ring, and the hint of his tongue stud, he looked downright angelic.

"Whatever," Trowa said, and went back to his book.

Duo thought he might be the only one who was sensing Quatre's tension.

"I should probably head out," he said. "I've got to be back. . . home by eight. My job and all that."

"People with jobs suck," Quatre said, staring at the ceiling.

Trowa stood. "Do you need a ride home? Heero?"

"Heero doesn't have a job," Quatre said quickly. He sat up and placed a hand on Heero's leg. "Heero's going to stay for a while. I'll take him home later."

Trowa was expressionless. "All right." He looked towards the door, then sighed, leaned over, and stuck his tongue down Quatre's throat. The blonde boy responded enthusiastically.

"So," Duo said. "Are you keeping Heppie?"

Heero nodded. "I'll give you more time to get used to the idea of being a father before I expect you to share equally in custody." He looked down at the zucchini. "I will see you tomorrow. In the morning. By your locker."

"Fair enough," Duo said, hesitated, and then reached down to pat Hephzibah's head. "G'night, Hep-cat." And, because he knew it would satisfy Heero, he waved goodbye to Zippy and Zuzu as well. And waited for Trowa to come up for air.

+

Trowa eased his car-a beat up old thing-to a stop in front of the church. "Duo," he said.

Duo waited.

"I don't know if Quatre mentioned his father tonight."

"A little," Duo admitted.

"I don't know what he mentioned about his father, but. . . take it with a grain of salt." Trowa chuckled humorlessly. "I was sleeping with him for four months before he told me the truth. I think I heard about six versions before that."

"I'm not going to sleep with him," Duo said quietly. "And I don't think he wants me to."

Trowa sighed.

"He loves you."

"Sometimes," Trowa said. "Yeah. It's almost eight-didn't you say you needed to be home?"

"Yeah, right." Still, Duo hesitated. "Uh, Trowa?"

"Yeah?"

"It was, uh, cool meeting you guys. I'll, uh, see you around."

Trowa managed a brief smile. "Yeah. See you."

Duo watched his car turn the corner before he went inside to put a dozen or so orphans to sleep.

[part 1] [part 3] [back to Zillie's fic]