Dumb Bets

By Kracken


Dumb Bets

Wu Fei and Trowa friendship

" I'm not calling him," Wu Fei protested and crossed his arms over his chest and glared out of the cockpit window at a rock wall.

"Well, unless you have a laser cutter... or even a can opener... I suggest that you swallow that pride of yours," Trowa replied irritably as he checked his straps for the hundredth time to make sure that he didn't fall out of them leaning at his precarious angle.

"And you're not calling, because?" Wu Fei demanded.

"Not the one with the working cell phone," Trowa pointed out.

Wu Fei reached towards him with it without looking at him. Trowa didn't take it.

"I wouldn't dream of using your personal-" Trowa began, but Wu Fei cut him off.


Trowa glared. "I wasn't the one who suggested this stupid bet. I shouldn't be the one to hear Maxwell's, I told you so."

"Agreeing to a bet doesn't make you less guilty of perpetrating it," Wu Fei pointed out as he stared at ants making their way along the rocks in single file. They seemed undaunted by the insertion of a jump ship engine into their nest.

"I think it does," Trowa replied as he blew his bangs out of his one eye and looked at another rock wall through his window. This one had cracked the window, and come close to cracking his skull as well. A slight roll to the left and... he didn't want to think about it.

"Hot shot," Wu Fei growled.

"Suicidal maniac," Trowa shot back."Any idiot could see that the angle wasn't right by watching the instruments. You're the copilot. You should have-"

"The proximity lights weren't good enough of a warning for you?"

"Who pays attention to them?" Trowa grumbled.

"Real pilots," Wu Fei countered, and then smugly, "I made it through."

"How many times are you going to say that?"


"I trusted you," Trowa ground out.

"You should only trust your own senses."

"That was a compliment. One that I'm taking back now, forever."

"I thought that you were aware of the situation," Wu Fei admitted as he leaned his forehead against his window and sighed. "That was a compliment that I'm taking back as well."

They glanced at each other, and then away, angrily.

"Call Maxwell," Trowa ordered.

"I don't see why we're calling him," Wu Fei argued. "Do you expect him to have the equipment to extricate us from between these two desert plateaus?"

"He'll be able to hide the evidence," Trowa explained.

"Hide the evidence?" Wu Fei snorted in contempt. "Do you imagine that Commander Une won't notice that her best jump ship is missing from the hanger?"

"Maxwell can make it look like an accident," Trowa countered.

"An accident?" Wu Fei sighed. "Care to explain why we were here in the first place, or are you going to relocate the wreckage and falsify reports as well?"

"Well, if you're giving up..."

"Facing reality, I call it."

"Speaking of call..."

Wu Fei sighed and put in Duo's number. Putting the cell phone to his ear, he asked, "Do we even know our exact location?"

Trowa tapped at a control. "No. Our satellite is smashed on the rocks along with our radio." he tried to peer up through the cockpit window to the narrow view of sky above, re tracing the route in his head. "Roughly, Alpha, Charlie, Tango, Doug, Vector."

Wu Fei glared. "That doesn't make any sense."

"Just saying that I have no idea where we are."

"Then, just say it."

"Near fatal crashes make you irritable," Trowa grumbled.

"Because, I'm stuck with an idio- Maxwell?" Wu Fei changed tracks as he continued, "Hm? What?" and then crossly, "I told you so? Why are you assuming that something has gone wrong? Because, it's us? That is an insult of the highest order, Maxwell."

Wu Fei paused to listen and then swore explosively in Chinese.

"That wasn't our fault! How was I to know that Yuy changed the specs on that transport, last month?" Wu Fei argued.

"It would have done that roll over, otherwise," Trowa interjected. "I know my machinery."

Wu Fei glared and put his cell on mute, long enough to say, "Stuck between two plateaus of solid rock, Barton? Remember?" and then, taking it off of mute he said to Duo, "Reason for calling? Well, we do need some extricating from our current situation, but it was definitely not co pilot error."

He listened some more, face going red.

"We were not hot dogging!" Wu Fei protested. "We were testing out the abilities of this jump ship. If we don't continue to fine tune and improve our machines, how will we ever stay ahead of the criminals who seek to destroy our peace?"

"Good one," Trowa whispered with a grin. "Une might buy that."

"Yes, I know that you warned us about engine number two having a delay, and that we shouldn't take it out without a breakdown and maintenance, but I did do exactly that, Maxwell. I'm not suicidal." Wu Fei retorted and then angrily, "Could have fooled you? No, I didn't put the maintenance in the logs. I was going to write my report on our return. What do you mean, I owe you one and don't be so stupid, next time?"

Wu Fei pulled the phone away from his ear, glaring. "He hung up on me," he spluttered.

Trowa said, as he continued to smile, "Call rescue."

"I thought that we were trying to avoid trouble?" Wu Fei replied, mystified. "Should I be polishing my resume, too?"

"I don't think that you need a resume to be a grease pit mechanic," Trowa snickered.

"Or a hamburger flipper," Wu Fei retorted, meaning Trowa.

Trowa glared, but then, smiled again. "You don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?"

"Maxwell just handed us our alibi."

"Which is?"

Trowa stared at him. "Did you hit your head or are you always this dense?"

"Enlighten me?"

"Engine number two caused our crash," Trowa told him.

"There will be an investigation," Wu Fei pointed out.

"What are they going to find? It's smashed into the rocks."

"It's dishonest," Wu Fei complained.

"Une might make us pay for the ship," Trowa warned, "or make us see jail time, when we can't produce two million credits. After that transport incident, she might not sweep this one under the rug."

"It's what we deserve," Wu Fei replied, suddenly getting sullen. "We were hot dogging."

"Yeah, well, we were, but, lesson learned, right?"

"I suppose."

They sat in silence for a few long moments and then Trowa asked, "Are we getting old?"

Wu Fei arched a black eyebrow at him. "No."

"I didn't think so," Trowa replied with a fierce light in his eye as he hit switches and then turned on the remaining engines.

"What are you doing?" Wu Fei exclaimed in alarm.

"Hot dogging," Trowa chuckled. "If I can make this damned ship limp back to base, we might, mostly, get out of trouble."

"Or we might crash," Wu Fei pointed out.

"Are you sure that you're not getting old?" Trowa shot back.

Wu Fei's jaw set and then he checked their angle and called out numbers. At last he said, "Punch it."

"Whoooooohoooooooo!" Trowa bellowed in an adrenaline rush as he jerked the yolk and pulled the ship off of the rocks. Metal detached and took the long drop to the ground, sputtering fire, but the rest of the ship shot out of its trapped position with a loud shriek of metal.

The ship went down, before the other engines took over and brought it back up again to clear the plateau in front of them.

Wu Fei loosed his fingers out of his death grip on his straps and said, unnecessarily, "Not level, but heading in the direction that we wish to go."

"I'll make it," Trowa promised as he used every skill that he possessed to keep the ship in the air.

"I know you will," Wu Fei replied tightly.

"A compliment?" Trowa wondered in amazement.

"Don't make me take it back," Wu Fei warned.

"Not on your life," Trowa replied and didn't leave too many parts on the runway when he finally landed the ship at the base.


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