4th of July

by leejeeg

I had to write this while it was still hot on my brain. I was inspired on July 5th as I walked my baby in our local park the day after Independence day.

Heero and Duo, slight hint shouen ai, mention of others, environmentalism.

The day was absolutely spectacular: blue skies, white, fluffy clouds and a very pleasant breeze. Heero could think of a few things he'd like to do today, but Duo had said he would be in the park, and everyone knew, that is everyone except Heero, that the former Wing pilot liked to be wherever the former Deathsycthe pilot was.

The park was spacious and verdant. It was virtually perfect except for...........Heero lost his train of thought having sighted his friend. Duo was a few yards away, holding a giant plastic bag in one hand and a piece of trash in the other, while his dachshund capered about like a dancing sausage. Duo retrieved something from the dog's mouth. "Good boy, Mustard!"

Heero groaned inwardly. Only the braided idiot would name the so-called frankfurter dog "Mustard". He smiled when he looked up and saw Heero. "Hey buddy. What's up?"

Heero nodded towards the garbage bag. "I thought we could do something this afternoon. What's up with the bag?"

"Just cleaning up the trash. Last night was July 4th. Lookit all these firecracker wrappers. You would think that the effort required to set these off was so taxing that the people who set them off were exhausted or somethin' to clean up after themselves."

"People are slobs," Heero said with a tinge of disgust. Duo ambled away from him and began scooping up more trash. Heero followed him. "Duo? Why are you picking up all of this garbage? Won't the Parks Department do it?"

Duo shrugged. "I came over to walk Mustard and he nearly choked on the plastic from a bottle rocket. Then I started looking around and noticed all this trash. I started cleaning it up for him, but," he scratched his head, "I guess I got carried away."

Heero nodded in understanding. "Let's take a ride to the beach-we can go to that clam bar you like."

"Oh, man-I'd really like that, 'cept I have to finish what I started, ya know?"

Heero frowned. Duo always took things upon himself, took too much responsibility. He said as much to which Duo replied, "you don't understand, Heero. Where I came from, trash was commonplace. I had to live on the streets when I was a kid and it was disgusting. Now that L2 has been cleaned up and reformed, it's great. But I'm American, right? Yesterday was our celebration of us becoming Americans, and it is a disgrace to see what little respect people have for that. Just over there," he pointed with a finger, "a group of people were barbecuing. They left the coals on the ground like this was their personal space to use. Sure, it isn't my fault or my responsibility, but in a sense it is all of our responsibility to care for public property; we all share it, want to enjoy it and that means being accountable for its upkeep."

In less than an hour a few phone calls from Heero brought Trowa Barton, Catherine Bloom and the members of their circus, Chang Wufei and Sally Po, Lucretia Noin, with royal husband Milliardo Peacecraft, sister-in law Vice Minister Relena Darlian and her assistant Dorothy Catalonia, and the one and only Quatre Reberba Winner with his Maguanac corp. They all helped clean up the park, gaining momentum from observers and passersby who were startled and impressed to see the humble work of these public people.

And the Gundam five and their friends celebrated a belated tribute to the country they now called home at Skinny's Clam bar.