[at the circus]
Duo: Hey Tro!
Trowa: How did you recognize me? I’m wearing a mask—
Duo: You can’t mask that ass
[at the circus]
Duo: Hey Tro!
Trowa: How did you recognize me? I’m wearing a mask—
Duo: You can’t mask that ass
I have very long, complex dreams as anyone who’s read my journal before knows. I dream in novels/full-fledged series. (I also have a lot of dreams staring a transgender character.)
So, background information first. It was AU-Gundamverse, only without any actual Gundams. The colonies in this functioned more like planets in, say, Star Trek or Firefly, in that they are each run by independent governments only loosely united through a ‘federation’ of sorts. Some colonies are tied very closely, others barely if at all.
L2 in this case is a fringe colony with little to no Federation-influence. It has a strict caste system in place, with a rich elite class at the top and casteless ‘untouchables’ at the very bottom (street people basically). The casteless are barely considered people, have pretty much no rights, can be used as slaves by the elites, aren’t allowed to hold legal jobs, enter certain areas, etc. (Think DragonAge casteless dwarves.) Right below the elite caste is the military, which is also pretty much the only way someone can advance their caste. Any caste can enlist in the military, except casteless of course.
(The Federation maintains trade relations with L2 despite not agreeing morally with their whole thing. People from the Federation can travel and do business but must abide by the rules of the colony. This ties in later.)
Okay, back to the military. This isn’t like a modern military set-up but more like SPARTA. Children can be enlisted as young as 10 and as late as 13, and some begin training at home even younger. Enlistees attend a central academy for five years where they live, study, and train until they ‘graduate’ as full-fledged soldiers, anywhere between age 15-18. Training is very strict and regimented, but the majority of low-middle caste families have children enlisted because again, it’s like the only way to advance. The military is controlled by the elite caste, but not many elites enroll. Those that do are highly respected, however. Within the military, things are pretty much egalitarian/achievement-based. Males and females train together and have the same standards, although they do have separate sleeping and showing quarters. During their time at the academy, trainees are forbidden to leave except for being released to their family at holidays, and only then if the family requests it. Post-graduation, all soldiers are enrolled for life or until injured past ability to serve. They serve as police force, quash rebellion, and have the potential to combat wars in the colony’s defense, although it’s been a generation or two since that’s been necessary.
The reward? Status, pay, and basically the ability to do anything you want to anyone lower than an elite. In fact, at the Academy, there is a ‘Game Room’ staffed with lower caste ‘employees’, open for use by both trainers, soldiers, and trainees in good standing. Think light stuff like food and entertainment, but also things like gambling, porn, and prostitution.
Okay, so character stuff. Duo starts out more or less the same: an orphan on the streets of L2. This means he’s casteless. Solo cares for him, before dying of the plague. Duo survives and is taken in by the Maxwell Orphanage, which is run by volunteers from the Federation to care for casteless children. This is border-line following the colony’s rules so while it’s allowed by L2, they don’t have support from the Federation government. This means that when rebels shelter there, and the military destroys the orphanage, the Federation can’t really do anything except pass some pretty ineffective sanctions. Same as the original, Duo survives. He’s caught at the ruins, having stolen military weapons (his canon) to get the rebels to leave, and when the military attempts to capture them, he attacks them and does pretty damn well for a kid. The commander grabs Duo and notes that the kid has no fear of death and no computation about killing and decides on a whim to make Duo his new pet project.
The commander is also an elite and concerned to be a little eccentric but brilliant and effective, and he’s able to use his influence to get his way. There’s no actual LAW about casteless not being allowed to enlist, just custom. He overrides everyone’s protests and forcibly enlists Duo in the academy. Duo HATES it and tries to get away numerous times but is well and stuck. He’s also brilliant at it, so despite all protests, he continues as head of his class for years.
So, some complicated stuff in the mix here. When the commander – we’ll call him Commander G… He’s not G, but maybe like his son (but, you know, handsome)? When Commander G gets Duo back to the academy and scrubbed up clean (they let him keep his hair… it’s anime military, all in uniform but crazy hair everywhere), it turns out Duo is a GIRL. More accurately, Duo is biologically female but has never identified ‘herself’ as such, which Solo, Sister Helen, and Father Maxwell were always very accepting about, so ‘she’ hasn’t really had to deal with too much. Despite the caste system, L2 is pretty loose about homosexuality and gender equality. So, actual gender identity isn’t a huge deal in society, but it obviously for Duo, who at age 10/11 is suddenly bunked up with a bunch of women and not able to quite put his finger on why he feels so uncomfortable with that. ‘She’ also hasn’t hit puberty yet (childhood malnutrition + the extensive training at the Academy = delayed puberty and a lot of female trainees never getting their period), so dysmorphia hasn’t quite become a thing yet. In addition, at the start, the casteless thing is a bigger deal. Despite the military being pretty much egalitarian, a lot of that develops the longer trainees are together, plus casteless is not just low, but pretty much untouchable. Like, no one wants to sit near Duo, or be on ‘her’ team for assignment, she has to bunk on her own way over in a corner, etc.
Eventually, this starts to improve a little. Duo still passionately hates being forced into the military that slaughtered ‘her’ family but knows the skills will be useful and is basically just biding ‘her’ time. But like I said, Duo is brilliant when it comes to training. ‘She’ still keeps to herself mostly but eventually a group of other trainees take Duo with them to the Game room, half as a joke on the misfit. Duo eventually becomes sexually active and Does Not Like. To clarify – Duo is bisexual and capable of enjoying sexual activity but at this point is starting to develop so the body dysmorphia is coming into play. He starts to become more aware that his body doesn’t match his identity and starts to have issues with this that affect his training. THIS grabs Commander G’s attention who’s been keeping a distant eye on his little pet project. Duo obviously doesn’t trust anyone and isn’t about to talk about it, so Commander G pretty much gets to the bottom of it by raping Duo (not considered rape in L2 because remember, Duo is casteless and still effectively has no rights).
Next? Now that Commander G knows the issue, he solves it. He gets Duo top surgery and moves him to the male dorm. Easy-peasy if you’re an elite and have endless wealth, resources, and rights. He also basically promises to cover Duo’s full conversion so long as he behaves until graduation – ie. no more attempts to run away. This leaves Duo basically beholden to the man he hates the most in the world.
Fast-forward to Duo’s last year at the academy. He’s one of only a dozen students selected for an elite class, who after graduation will be L2’s version of special forces. This is also the first-time piloting is involved, because the special forces gets all the aircraft. Duo gets thrown into the pilot seat kinda accidentally in training and ROCKS. He’s already excelled at stealth, hacking, assassination, infiltration, etc. Piloting he’s better than his instructors and Commander G is super creepy proud. He’s become a little obsessed as one may notice, as in his mind, Duo is a resource that he’s taken and developed into a very useful, deadly tool. This is also the first time Duo actually starts to bond a bit with his other trainees. They don’t quite become friends but the closest thing to it at this point. This whole time though, he’s contriving a plan to escape on graduation day, knowing at that point security will be the lowest. He gets his surgery along with a creepy speech from Commander G about how he’s been a successful gamble. Graduation day, he hightails it out, knowing everyone is going to be occupied until it’s too late.
Of course, he’s still stuck on L2 and pretty much aware at this point Commander G at least is going to be after him.
Remember that bit about others being able to travel to L2? Well, the circus has arrived! Trowa’s circus in fact, which has travelled from L3. The dream didn’t get too much into detail about backstory, but Quatre is with them and it’s kinda inferred the Winner Corp is funding the circus. It’s also inferred that although the circus is real enough, Quatre and Trowa are also working together to travel around the Federation incognito to help people and look out for potential issues, which L2 is FULL of. Duo runs into them and is prepping himself to get turned in and is shocked when they instead agree to help him (Trowa a bit more reluctantly/suspiciously than Quatre).
The dream pretty much ended with them helping to smuggle Duo off-planet using the circus as cover. The rest was kind of like to “next time on such-and-such” preview. We see Duo piloting a ship with Trowa and Quatre behind him, implying that he’s teamed up with them. Heero is seen working on another ship with the implication they’ll be meeting up soon, and there’s the briefest glimpse of Wufei. Back on L2, we see Commander G steaming and gathering the special forces graduates from Duo’s class who he ‘betrayed’ to go after him. There’s some arguing about it between G and the L2 government which kind of foreshadows a military coup and the L2 military possibly declaring war against the Federation for ‘interference’.
And then I woke up, lol!
So–I get this question a lot on Stand. Will it be 1x2? Will Duo and Heero ever get back together?
And I’ve always been hesitant to spoil it. But I also realize that if I were reading Stand, for me, I’d want to know what the final pairing was. So–if you want to spoil yourself, now you can.
SPOILER FOR STAND WITHOUT FLINCHING and the STARS THAT HAVE PEOPLE NAMES series below the cut! Read at your own risk!
‘a cute thing they do’
when one of them is playing the game, as heero is on the right, the other will bring a drink up and sit on the bed while they play.
i love it so much that they want to be near one another!! i headcanon this so hard!! <3
‘duo is smitten’
heero is smitten
jana is smitten ^_~
‘more shenanigans in front of the fireplace’
so not only did the game update yesterday *not* fix the fireplace glitch, it has added a new one!
whenever they get hungry they cook something, and then cook something else, and then something else! i do not know if they keep going beyond three meals, because i stop them! lol
oddest thing about it is that they never stop to eat any of what they made unless i tell them to! wth? the fridge is packed full after only a day!
‘never trust a man that gets a crazy look in his eyes when handling semtex’
‘heero is sad because duo is unhappy’
something i am seeing right now for the first time!
no worries! duo will be fine once he pees and has a shower! lol
‘fabulous times two’
you will not be hearing any arguments from me!
Duo: The fact that make up is considered to be ‘mature’ and ‘sexualized’ implies that being a clown or mime is the sluttiest job out there.
Trowa: And they’re right.
‘heero is smitten’
another sentiment from heero and i could not agree more!
this was such a sweet interaction! <3
‘please give me all the sap’
i am living for it today…
‘duo is… dirty’
that trail of green mist behind duo indicates that his ‘hygiene’ is needing some attention ^_~
fortunately, he is right where he needs to be! eventually, they do take care of their most urgent needs before nasty stuff happens - without my intervention!
‘anatomy of a kiss’
i would have liked to combine these into one, but i am still learning how to use GIMP after years and years of using only ph*toshop and illustrator, and the progress is slow - much slower than i’d like.
‘quatre’s look says it all’
quatre finds outs - by walking in on heero and duo slow dancing in the bathroom! wufei walked in several minutes later, and so now everyone knows or has witnessed *something* between them.
why they were slow dancing in the bathroom is not known ^_~
‘socializing over a meal’
meals in the kitchen are one of the only times they speak to one another without my interference. unfortunately, it is rare that all five of them are hungry at the same time!