Blaine wiped the sweat from his brow. There was only so much of the California heat he could take while they were just sitting around. He was listening to Bryan “Jester” Ryan drone on about basic flight maneuvers and simulation before his ears perked at the mention of a new instructor. He turned around, and looked at Sam, and slid immediately down into his seat as he saw the person walk down into the flight bay. If it wasn’t Hunter himself. He groaned at the thought, just thinking that when they had been talking about Captain, it was some other person.
Sam looked to him, “B you have all the luck…” He continued writing as he followed along with the lecture as Hunter picked up and started explaining the process of flight simulation.
Sebastian sat in the briefing the next morning listening to Bryan ‘Jester’ Ryan go on about the kinds of things they’d be expected to perform, and rules they’d adhere to.
“You boys are here, because you are the top one percent of our recruits at the moment,” Jester said. “The elite. But we’ll make you better. This school is about combat, and there are no points for second place.”
Although he wished Cooper ‘Hollywood’ Anderson was speaking again, Sebastian listened attentively, and did not sneak glances up at where Blaine was sitting. It wasn’t his fault Killer and Trouty had sat up a few rows and on the other side of him and Viper. He heard a throat being cleared as Jester introduced yet another instructor and he turned his head, eyebrows shooting up into his forehead. If it wasn’t Hunter ‘Captain’ Clarington himself, in the flesh, again. Sebastian definitely didn’t mind seeing him in flightgear.
“Isn’t that…” Tristan trailed off to his left.
“Yup,” Sebastian smirked, watching as Blaine slid down in his seat. Some days my life is too good to be true, he thought to himself. He nodded to where Sam was now leaning down to say something to Blaine, still slumped in his seat. “Notorious,” he repeated.
Hunter knew going out to the bar before would be a big mistake. There was no way he’d be able to avoid Top Gun pilots in a place like that, but still he went, because if the rumours were true, then this class had a few of the best; some who’d even had experiences he was still trying to get all of the information about. What better way than to get it straight from the source. So Hunter knew, walking into the briefing this morning he’d encounter not only Sebastian again, but Blaine as well. Even after the years that had passed he’d last run into Sebastian, Hunter swore he could still feel the other’s eyes on him. And when he allowed himself a moment to scan the group, there Smythe was, his trademark smirk firmly in place; as if Hunter didn’t know exactly how to wipe it off. Meanwhile ‘Killer’ was slumped in his seat. He fought the sigh that threatened to escape. Maybe he wasn’t quite so different.
“I may not have as much time in an actual plane as you’ve all had, but I put my time in the simulator,” Hunter explained. “And my expertise here is the enemy aircraft we’re training you to fight against. The government makes sure I am as up to date as possible with the specs and abilities of these jets. And it’s my responsibility to make sure you know them too and learn how to use this intel to your advantage.” He took a breath. “Or at least, not let them use it to theirs.”
“If your expertise is in fact that aircraft, you should know that it can pull the force that the simulators say it can not,” Blaine said as he sat up and cleared his throat.
Hunter crossed his arms over his chest and took a step closer. “Are you doubting my expertise? The government sees to it that I have a higher security clearance than you do. Although since most of the information we have on these aircraft are from our own reconnaissance, there are definitely some areas where there are still gaps we are looking to fill in.” He uncrossed his arms and took several steps back, until he was able to sit on the corner of the desk at the front. “So where exactly does your intel come from?”
“I’m not doubting anything sir, I just wanted to let you know that the data is incorrect, because I was the pilot inverted over an enemy aircraft,” he licked his lips and looked back at Hunter, “are those the gaps you were needing filled in sir?”
Hunter was unable to stop the small smile that played on his lips. “So you’re the one…” he trailed off softly, eyes on Blaine. He shook his head. “So just what exactly were you doing when you were inverted with this enemy aircraft?”
Sebastian couldn’t help but roll his eyes as he lightly smacked Tristan’s chest. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Infamous,” Tristan repeated softly. “Born under the luckiest fucking star.”
“Shooting him the bird,” Blaine said with a soft smirk as he looked up at Hunter, “anything else you would like to know from the file that is somewhere at the Pentagon.”
Sam looked at Blaine, “it was a damn good shot.”
“Why were you doing that?” Hunter asked. “Seeing as I am on the other side of the country from that report, and you are in fact, right here in front of me…” he stood up and walked over closer to where Sam and Blaine were sitting. “It would save me a couple of phone calls later today.”
“We were trying to improve foreign relations,” Sam quipped as he looked at Hunter and then back at Blaine.
Blaine chuckled as he looked at Sam, “I’m sorry I can’t really tell you anymore other than it’s classified and if I told you I would have to kill you.”
“Really,” Hunter smirked at Sam. “I’m sure flipping off our enemies may be one way to improve foreign relations, but maybe not the best way.” He leaned against Blaine’s desk. “Cute,” he said softly. “I guarantee you my security clearance trumps yours. We’ll discuss this another time then.” He turned around walked back to the front, trying to compose himself; ignoring the looks from Hollywood and Jester.
“Captain’s got balls,” Tristan hissed to Sebastian.
Sebastian just smirked back with a raised eyebrow in response.
“I count on it sir,” Blaine said as he watched Hunter walk back to the front.
“We have a hop to catch let’s get this started,” Cooper said as he cleared his throat. He didn’t draw attention to what had just happened fully aware of his brother’s inclination to be a hot shot.
Blaine paused to gather his things when he heard a throat clearing behind him, “Lieutenant a word.”
Sam turned and noticed Hunter standing there in front of them. He stopped as he heard the other, “Good luck, see you in a few.”
Blaine looked Sam and nodded him off, “see you in preflight.” He turned his attention to Hunter, “may I help you sir?”
Hunter waited until Sam, and the others were long out of earshot before he spoke. “I’m sure you are wondering why I didn’t say anything last night,” he started. “I had a feeling, once you gave me your name, and then when you mentioned your family, that I knew who you were.” He tilted his head. “Obviously I know Hol--Cooper.”
“Yeah the biggest exception in Navy history, having a brother train his sibling when his sibling has a reputation with the Pentagon,” he let out a sigh, “you didn’t exactly tell me who you were either “Captain.”
“You were a last minute add to the list, to sub in for Slider and Babyface,” Hunter said. “And it’s not like Cooper alone is training. I’m here, and so is Bryan. Plus there are a couple of others from time to time.” He shrugged his shoulders. “If you and Sam had made the list the first time, Cooper would have been reassigned temporarily and someone else brought in.” He gestured towards the door, and indication that maybe they should walk and talk; Hunter didn’t want to be responsible for Blaine being late. “I’m an instructor here and I see twenty new hotshot pilots every couple of months. And when I’m not here, I’m in Washington, whining and dining, catching up on classified intel, and schmoozing for more money for the military and this combat training school, jets, and other technology.” He put a hand on Blaine’s shoulder. “I could read all about your ‘foreign relations’ but I much rather hear it from you.”
Blaine looked and listened as Hunter spoke. He licked over his lips and ducked his head a bit, “then I’ll see you tonight same booth.” He smirked as he stepped through the glass doors to head up to the preflight area.
Hunter chuckled softly, eyes watching as he licked over his lips. “You drive a hard bargain but I think that can be arranged.” As Blaine stepped through the door, he looked up. “Go get ‘em Killer.”
Blaine looked back and gave the other a small smile. He was just rounding the corner into the preflight room when he saw Sebastian sitting there. “Aren’t you coming you’re going to be late?”
Sebastian saw Blaine come around the corner, a smile on his face, cheeks a little flushed. “Worried about me? I’m touched Killer,” he smirked as he stood up and followed Blaine. “I’m not going to be anymore late than you are, unless you plan on holding me up.” His eyes dragged over the other. “You’ve got this swagger, and a bit of confidence, but at the same time you’re a little bashful sometimes. Not usually my thing, but you definitely make it work for you.”
“Not worried, just don’t want my only real competition sitting out here and missing the airtime,” Blaine quipped. He didn’t quite know what to make of Sebastian’s edge. He looked over at him and licked over his lips as the others eyes dragged over his body, “yeah well, what can I say? What are you waiting on Crab?”
“That’s cute that you consider me competition, but I’m not here because someone else dropped out last minute,” Sebastian smirked. “Don’t worry, I don’t plan on missing any airtime. Like Jester said, there are no points for second place.” He pulled his harness and the rest of his equipment from his locker and pulled it on. “I don’t mind having a little patience for what I really want.”
Blaine rolled his eyes. The other guy rubbed him wrong, but he was so incredibly attractive. “Yeah well I’m sorry Slider gave it up.” He quickly pulled on his clothing and dressed to get into the air. “What’s your beef anyway, you out to get me or something?”
“You say that like you played no part in what happened,” Sebastian shrugged. “I’ve never known David to just walk away from anything.” He shut his locker hard and turned around. “It’s your attitude Killer. The enemy is dangerous but you are worse because you’re dangerous and foolish. I mean who’s side are you on?”
“Woo, Jester is dead, how’d you guys do,” Sam asked as he walked back into the showers. He and Blaine had just managed to shoot down “Jester” and were elated. It wasn’t often you got a missile lock on an instructor.
Blaine laughed and opened his locker and started stripping out of his gear, “he was sweating that’s for sure.”
“Hell no, we got our butts kicked,” Nick ‘Ken’ Duval answered from his spot under the spray.
His RiO Jeff ‘Barbie’ Sterling made the motion of one of his hands crashing into the other as he leaned against the shower wall.
“Thirty seconds. We went like this, he went like that. I said to Ken, ‘Where'd he go?’and Ken says, ‘Where'd who go?’,” Jeff laughed.
“And he’s laughing at us on the radio,” Nick said. “That asshole!”
“That was me laughing at you guys,” Tristan said as he and Sebastian stepped into the locker room. “We won; Crab and I.”
Blaine turned around, “wait we nailed that son of a bitch, and I’m going to have to hear about you tonight at dinner?”
“Below the hard deck doesn’t count,” Sebastian stated simply. “The rules are in place for a reason. To keep everyone safe… and accountable.” He leaned against a locker and put a finger up to his temple. “What’s up with the whole dinner comment Killer?”
“I guess we’ll see who gets the points and who doesn’t,” Slider smirked. “But nice attempt Trouty, Killer. Maybe next time.”
“Same for you two as well, and nothing,” Blaine said not wanting to out the situation. All parties involved knew, and he had taken some strings. He didn’t want them to know Cooper was his brother yet.
We earned our points fair and square,” Slider said. “We’re kind of known for playing it by the book and not messing up. Crab won’t allow it.”
“Doesn’t matter Sebastian felt a stirring of something uneasy in his gut. “Right. Of course. Who wouldn’t want to know all about that.”
“What’s the deal Smythe,” Blaine said as he turned around, “you seem to have this whole aura about you, especially when it comes to me. I don’t know what I did, or do, or whatever, but I’m going to win, we’re going to win. He nodded to Sam.
“My problem with you Anderson is that you think you’re above the rules,” Sebastian countered, stalking over to where Blaine was. “That they are there for everyone but you. The fact is you're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe.” He put an arm up on the wall near Blaine. “I don't like you because you're dangerous to every single one of us here.”
Blaine turned and looked in his eyes and got right up in his face, “that’s right, Crab..I am Dangerous.”
“Killer, Trouty, Hollywood’s office NOW,” Bryan “Jester” Ryan called out as he stepped into the locker room.
Sebastian was surprised when Blaine turned, looking right in his eyes and getting in his face. Not only was he surprised, but he was a little turned on as well. He opened his mouth to say something, when Jester’s voice echoed into the almost silent locker room, and he quickly stepped away from Anderson. He couldn’t afford to let Blaine get into his head.
Hunter slid into the booth with two bottles of beer in between his fingers. “I didn’t know if you’d already be here or not,” he held up the beers. “I doubt they’re going to go waste.” He took a moment to take in Blaine’s more casual appearance and nodded his head. “I’ve been reading the file. Why didn’t you go in for a missile lock?”
Blaine smiled as Hunter slid into the booth and he immediately took one of the beers. “We were instructed not to fire unless fired upon, so rather than lock on him, I decided to have some fun,” he sipped his beer as he looked across at Hunter, “don’t tell me that’s all you wanted to know?”
“Would you be disappointed if that was the only reason why I was here?” Hunter asked. His eyes locked with Blaine’s over top of the cool bottles of amber liquid. “I have other questions about it though, yes. Just because you were instructed not to fire unless fired upon; I mean, he could have easily locked on your wingman. He could have fired. These were not friendlies… this was not a training exercise.” He blew out a breath. “How did you manage to stay so...calm, and go for something so unconventional in the face of something so dangerous?”
“I don’t know,” Blaine said as he looked at Hunter with a soft smile, “I just did what I did in the moment. I have no idea why I made the choice I made in that moment, and that’s the truth. I was having fun doing my job, and I was making sure he was distracted. I guess.”
Hunter returned Blaine’s smile. “I can appreciate enjoying your job. But one could argue maybe you were distracted? And it’s not just you up there.” He took a swallow of beer. “I’m not… criticizing. I’m playing devil's’ advocate.” Hunter put his hands on the table. “Slider has a wife, a family. So does your RiO, Trouty.”
Blaine put his beer on the table, “I didn’t come here for this.” He stood and took the last swallow of his beer, “and to answer your question I wasn’t distracted I was deliberate, and I’m fully aware of Trouty’s family. He reminds me daily.”
“Blaine,” Hunter stood up, and reached for his hand. “Stay. I’m sorry. You’re right. I think sometimes I forget how to not to do my job. Especially when I’m in this kind of a situation. I do want to ask you more questions, I do want to know more, but I won’t. I don’t want you to feel like I’m picking you apart under some microscope when we’re not in class.” He sat back down. “Stay. Please.” His fingers pulled at the wrapper around the bottle. “I’ll admit when I walked into class and you slunk down in your seat, I thought you were just like every other pilot that’s passed through here. But maybe, just maybe,” he lifted his eyes and offered a small smile, “you’re not.”
Blaine looked at the other and turned back to sit down. He sipped his beer and looked at his hands, “when you’re like me, you’re under constant scrutiny to not be your father and be like your brother.” He sipped his drink again.
Hunter reached across the table and put a hand over Blaine's. He understood that far better than anyone. It wasn't enough that he was still here at Top Gun as a privately contracted specialist instructor. He wasn't here as a pilot; his name would never be on that plaque. “And you don't want to be either?” Hunter hazarded a guess. “But where exactly does that leave you?”
Blaine sighed, “I want to be the best and I want to be known for being the best in my own right. Yes Cooper can teach me, you can teach me, hell even Smythe can show me things, but when it comes down to it I want out of their shadows and to be known for being me.”
Hunter shook his head barely held back a snort at the mention of Sebastian ‘Crab’ Smythe showing Blaine something. “Don’t let Crab know he got to you. He’ll really be insufferable then. It’s what he does best. He gets into the competitions head, makes them believe he really is the best. Then they second guess themselves and it makes him look better.”
Blaine sighed looking at their hands, “yeah I suppose.” He took another sip of beer, “So I’ve told you my story what’s yours.” He looked at the other and then moved his hand away, “unless of course you don’t feel like telling me.”
“My story,” Hunter sighed, sitting back, “is that I always thought I’d be here, at Top Gun. My father was a pilot. A damned good one if the stories are to be believed. And I was to follow in his footsteps. Military schools, the whole bit. But I was a kid, and thought I was invincible and learned the hard way that I’m not.” Hunter tipped his beer to his lips and swallowed a large mouthful. “I had an accident and lost a good chunk of the peripheral vision in my left eye. Not enough to make every day life dangerous, but enough to end my chance of being a pilot outside of the flight simulator.”
“So you teach pilots then,” Blaine said as he looked at Hunter, “only feasible I guess.” He chewed on his lip and brushed fingers against Hunter’s, “Did you want to go get the actual meal now, or just sit around here and drink liquid dinner all night?”
Hunter shrugged. “How’s it go? Those that can’t...teach?” He laughed. “I’d already been assembling and reading up, researching, everything I could on enemy aircraft, because I thought it would make me a better pilot. Fast tracked myself through two advanced degrees and here I am.” Hunter looked up at Blaine; “food would be good; do you have somewhere you want to go? Or would you be open to letting me take you somewhere?”
Blaine chuckled darkly, “ yeah, that’s how it goes.” He looked up, “two advanced degrees and here you are.” He sighed, “I’d be open to letting you take me somewhere, what did you have in mind?”
“Are you okay with making your own food?” Hunter asked, raising an eyebrow. “I have a couple of steaks in my fridge at home, and the makings of a salad. If you wanted to follow me home.” He smiled. “I think I might even have more beer in the fridge.”
“Inviting me home Clarington, nice…,” Blaine said with a smirk, “I’d like that. I’ll follow, I’m on the bike that’s in the lot.” He stood and pulled on his jacket and headed into the parking lot.”
“Don’t make me regret this Anderson,” Hunter smiled as he stood up. “Bike huh?” he asked as he followed Blaine, surprised when he stopped next to a motorbike. “Damn. It’s a shame I drove, I’d love to get on the back of that thing sometime,” he whistled lowly. He pointed out a dark green jeep down a bit. “Give me a minute and just follow me.”
Blaine smiled and pulled his helmet on, “yeah, does that really surprise you.” He looked to the other, “maybe after dinner, I can take you around the block.” He nodded and started the bike after Hunter walked off to get in his jeep.
Hunter drove the couple of miles to his house, checking the mirrors to make sure Blaine was following. Not that he’d admit to it, but it was arousing that Blaine had a bike, and watching him pull on the helmet, and straddle the bike was very hot. He pulled into his driveway and went to the front door to unlock it as he waited for Blaine. “I’m definitely up for a ride after dinner, hoping for more than just around the block though,” he said as soon as the other was within talking distance.
Blaine stepped into the house and then looked at Hunter. He’d caught what he thought was a double meaning, and he pressed the other against the wall and kissed him before pulling back. He was blushing as he pulled back, “sorry.”
Hunter was a little surprised to find himself pressed up against the wall, with Blaine’s lips on his the moment they stepped through the door. He reached behind the other to push the door closed before his fingers twisted in the leather of Blaine’s jacket and pulled him back in. “Why are you sorry? I’m not,” he grinned, their lips meeting again.
Blaine grinned, “just normally not that forward that’s all, but something about looking at you, I couldn’t resist.” He kissed him back and slipped his fingers through his hair and pulled it gently, “I say we forgo dinner,” he said softly as he slid his fingers underneath the others t shirt.
“I could lie and say I’m not either, and that I’m not used to forward, but that’s not true,” Hunter admitted. He smiled when Blaine said he couldn’t resist. “That’s a line if I ever heard it,” he groaned softly as Blaine’s fingers tugged at his hair and then raked at the skin under his tee shirt. “Bedroom’s that way,” he said, nodding down a small hallway. He peeled the leather jacket off Blaine’s shoulders and tossed it onto a nearby chair.
Blaine nodded and pushed Hunter’s shirt over his head and tossed it aside as the other peeled the leather jacket off his shoulder and tossed it onto a nearby chair. He walked towards the bedroom then and waited on the other to follow.
Blaine walked out across the hard deck. It was another beautiful day. He looked on as Jeff and Nick walked up. He was flying a maneuver with those two today, and he was excited to see what was going to happen.
“Hey Killer, Did you hear about Crab. He got another lock,” Nick said as he walked by.
Blaine shook his head, “I hadn’t.” He looked at Trouty, “you know what...I feel the need…”
Sam laughed and joined in, “…the need for speed!”
Blaine chuckled as they geared up then took off. He listened as Jester went over the current state of points, but it wasn’t too long before he heard another voice.
“Good morning gentlemen. The temperature is 110 degrees and I’d like to remind everyone the rules of engagement for this round,” Cooper ‘Hollywood’ Anderson announced over the coms. Normally, he didn’t go up in the air as often as Jester, but since Crab and Viper had already taken Jester out, and so had Killer and Trouty, although theirs was by breaking the rules, Cooper wanted to get up in the air and experience their flying for himself.
“Holy shit it’s Hollywood!” Barbie said.
“Hollywood’s up here, great… oh shit,” Sam said as he spun to look.
Blaine pulled his mask over his face, “Great he’s probably saying ‘Holy shit, it’s Killer and Trouty.’
Sam laughed knowing all about Blaine and Cooper, “Oh I’m sure that’s what he’s saying.”
Cooper laughed. “Glad to see my reputation precedes me gentlemen. I am looking forward to flying with all of you today. I know some of you have already gone after Jester, and succeeded, so now it’s only fair that you get a shot at me.”
“That’s a shot we’re up to taking,” Viper said, confident Sebastian would want to go after Cooper.
“To make things a little interesting though, Jester is also back in the air,” Cooper said. “So watch your back, and watch your wingman.”
Nick laughed, “ Two instructors at once, this gives me a hard on.”
Jeff smirked as he snapped his mask into place, “Don’t tease me.”
“Aye, sir,” Blaine smirked as he pulled up, “okay Ken, you take the lead and I’ll cover your back. I want to get this asshole.” This was almost to good to be true for Blaine. He was having a chance to go head to head in a dogfight with his brother. It was something he’d often wished he could do, and now he finally had the chance. He licked over his lips and continued to breathe, feeling a little bit of nervous tension, “Alright Trouty, there’s Jester ahead of Ken, so he’s good, so find me Hollywood.”
“TMI Ken and Barbie. TMI,” Sebastian snickered.
“Uh Crab, I think Jester wants payback for us taking him out first day,” Viper said. “He’s behind us and closing in fast.”
“C’mon big boy. I’m always up for round two.” Sebastian looked back over his shoulder, catching a quick glimpse of a plane behind them.
“If we had a proper wingman,” Tristan murmured.
“Bullshit. We don’t need a wingman,” Crab said before breaking off, and attempting to circle back on Jester.
Blaine noticed Sebastian’s break in formation, “What are you doing Crab?” He licked over his lips, “is this the game we’re playing now?” He pulled out from behind Ken, and that’s when he caught site of Hollywood, “C’mon Trouty, keep an eye on Hollywood, “Crab’s got Jester and I want Hollywood.”
Sam rolled his eyes at Blaine, “C’mon man it’s our job to stay with Ken, stay with Ken man..”
“I don’t play games in the sky, Killer,” Sebastian said, trying to catch up to Jester and get a lock on him. “But if you want to play games, come visit me when we’re on the ground.”
Viper swore. “Damn it Killer, Trouty, stay with your wing man. This what you did to Slider and Babyface?”
Cooper laughed. “C’mon little brother. Don’t let him distract you with his smooth talk. You want the kill? Come get it.”
Blaine pulled out and went right after Hollywood. This was what dogfighting was about. He twirled the aircraft, and flipped, doing his best to get a lock on his brother’s aircraft. It wasn’t long however until Jester flew up behind him and he heard the familiar buzz, “Shit..”
“And Killer is dead folks. Let this be a lesson,” Jester said as he split off and looked to be heading back to the hard deck.
“The defense department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid, maybe I should become a truck driver. You remember the number of that truck driving school that was on TV the other night, Truck America or something like that,” Sam quipped. He was sick of dealing with Blaine’s crap sometimes.
“I got ya, don’t worry,” Blaine said as he lined up to head back to the field.
“Little Brother?” Sebastian laughed. “That’s just great.” In all the excitement it wasn’t difficult for Sebastian and Tristan to slide themselves in close to Jester. But he wasn’t able to get a lock before Jester got one on Blaine and the two of them headed back for the hard deck. That left Tristan and Sebastian in a decent position to go after Hollywood while he got a lock on Ken and Barbie.
“Hope I didn’t kill your hardon with that missile lock,” Cooper said as he locked onto Nick and Jeff’s aircraft. “Join the others on deck while I clean up up here.”
“Sorry Hollywood,” Sebastian smirked. “I’ll finish what your brother couldn’t.”
“Damn Crab,” Tristan laughed. “Don’t pull any punches.”
Jester laughed then though as he pulled in behind Sebastian and Tristan, “and if you’re without a wingman, never let your guard down.” He locked on as he chuckled, “head on back to hard deck as well. Show’s over and it’s time to hit the showers.”
“I wasn’t so sure about this idea when Jester suggested it,” Barbie leaned in and all but whispered in Nick’s ear. They were at the beach and had just finished a volleyball game against Blaine and Sam, who were now warming up to play Sebastian and Tristan.
“And that has nothing to do with the fact that everyone is playing shirtless now would it?” Nick laughed raising his eyebrows.
“Well it’s not a problem,” Jeff laughed.
“Do you need a moment to catch your breath Killer?” Sebastian smirked as he pulled his shirt up and off, as he and Tristan stepped onto the court Jeff and Nick had just vacated. It had been a good game, if a little one sided. Jeff and Nick obviously wanting to have fun, while Blaine and Sam wanted to win.
“No need,” Blaine said as looked up at the other and quickly fumbled for his water. He took a drink before rubbing more oil on his skin, and then checking his watch, “let’s go Trouty, we have to defend our title.” He reached for the ball and tossed it to Sebastian, “C’mon let’s see what you can do with balls.”
Sebastian licked over his lips as he watched Blaine rub more oil onto his skin. “You know, if you ever want a hand with that… bigger hands.” He held up his hands as if to demonstrate.
Viper pulled his sunglasses down and shot a pointed look to Sam before he started to laugh. He pushed his sunglasses up on his nose. “You’re pretty much talking to the ball expert here Killer, ” he said, slinging an arm around Sebastian’s shoulders.
Sam laughed and pulled his shirt up and over his head as well. He wasn’t totally sure about this game, but after all maybe it would instill a little trust into them as units. He lined his body up, “you guys ready, let’s go.”
Blaine chuckled, “maybe sometime, but don’t flatter yourself.” He watched the other two as they geared up and stretched out, “we ready to do this or are we just going to sit around? I for one would personally like to see Crab play with himself.”
“Damn Trouty, you’ve gone and grown up,” Seb said as Sam pulled off his shirt. He shook his head with an awkward laugh. “Been thinking about that huh Killer? It might be able to be something we can arrange,” he winked. He tossed the ball near his feet to Tristan.
Tristan turned just in time to see a moment of fluster cross Sebastian’s face before the ball was tossed to him. “Yeah, okay. Let’s go.” He walked to the back of the crude sand court and threw the ball into the air before serving it over the net.
“Oh really, you don’t say,” Blaine said with a wink and a smirk.
“Didn’t think you had it in you,” Sebastian countered. “Isn’t there something going on with you ‘Captain’?”
Jeff looked over at Nick. “Told you,” he grinned.
“Nope,” Nick shook his head. “I can’t see Hunter ‘Captain’ Clarington dating a student. Besides look at Killer and Crab, I’m surprised they haven’t just gone for it in the locker room or something.”
“Not everyone gets turned on by dangerous flying Ken,” Jeff murmured. “Besides, it’d be just a one time thing, you know how Crab is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with the same guy for very long.”
“I don’t know Jeff. I think there is something really different about Blaine,” Nick said. “And I don’t think Sebastian knows what to do about it.”
“If there was do you think I would tell you,” Blaine said tight lipped about his situation with Hunter. They had been spending more time together, and the sex was amazing, but he wasn’t sure if it was a forever connection, considering every time he looked at Sebastian he felt a tense attraction.
Sam hit the ball over the net sliding against the sand as he did so. He scrambled to stand just as Tristan volleyed it back, and Blaine knocked it over the net past Sebastian, “Woohoo!! Score!!”
“Well, it doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you,” Sebastian sniped back to Blaine regarding his relationship with Hunter. He couldn’t help feeling a little distracted though, and mentally cursed himself when he missed Blaine’s return of the ball. He stretched his neck, listening to it crack on each side before shaking out his shoulders.
“Shake it off Crab,” Viper said, throwing an arm over his shoulder. “I don’t know what’s really going on with you right now,” although he had his suspicions, “but get it out of your mind and let’s just wipe the court, I mean sand, with these two.”
Blaine clapped as he stood and stretched out, “oh so that’s how it’s going to be then?” He went and grabbed water, drinking more before going back to the court. He deliberately took the moment though to “accidentally” knock the shirt he’d tossed aside to the ground and bent over to pick it back up. He wanted to get under Sebastian’s skin.
Sam looked back at Blaine with a laugh, “C’mon man, let’s go!!”
Blaine stood then and headed back to the court and took the ball to serve.
Sebastian chewed on his lip laughing. So maybe ‘Killer’ was going to give him a run for his money out of the air. He focused in on the other, watching his serve so he could easily setup Viper for a tip over the net. They volleyed back and forth competitively for a while and then Sebastian set Tristan up for a spike.
When it was his turn to serve, Sebastian took a moment to watch them both, before serving more towards Sam.
Sam moved and volleyed the ball back across the court and eyed Sebastian and Tristan. He wasn’t quite sure what was going on with he and Blaine. He licked over his lips and moved back as the ball came back across the net.
“I got it,” Blaine said spiking it, only to be met with Sebastian’s hands right at the net, “fuck man..” He groaned as he hit the sand and scrambled to get up. “One to one let’s go.”
Sebastian crouched down seeing Blaine sprawled in the sand. He hooked his fingers in the bottom of the net. “Looking good Killer,” he snarked before getting up and going to serve again.
He served in Sam’s direction, but something went a little wonky and it skimmed the top of the net.
Tristan turned to look at Sebastian. “What the fuck was that?”
Sebastian shrugged his shoulders and ran a hand through his hair. “Poor spin?”
Tristan looked to Sebastian, “get it together man!”
Blaine laughed as the ball hit the net and he flashed Sebastian another smirk as he served this time and Tristan ran to get the ball, “ wake up Crab, you’re falling behind.”
Sebastian pushed his glasses up to the top of his head and rubbed at his eyes with the heels of his hands. “Bite me Viper.” He dashed to the net as Tristan bumped the ball high and got ready to hit it over as well. He was close enough he could have spiked it, but he opted to bump it high but shallow, since Trouty and Killer looked about ready to double block him. “If I’m falling behind it’s only because I’m enjoying the view Killer.”
Tristan looked over at Ken and Barbie who were sitting watching them. He made an ‘I don’t know face’ and shrugged his shoulders.
Blaine laughed lightly and smirked, “glad to know the view has you spinning.” He pressed his lips together as he hit the ball that fell in his path. He looked over Sebastian’s body as the ball flew towards him, “you’re not bad yourself.”
Sebastian rushed for the ball, hitting it square on, allowing it to sail over the net. “Didn’t think you were blind,” he grinned large. He and Blaine continued to volley, not only the ball, back and forth, leaving Tristan and Sam standing near the net just looking at each other.
“Ever get the feeling you’re not even needed?” Tristan joked. “I mean I’d almost like to leave now just to see how long it takes them to notice. Almost.” He glanced back at Sebastian. “But I don’t want to miss it when this thing between them finally goes down. Who’s gonna crack first, you know.”
Sam laughed, “I doubt Killer is backing down.” He licked over his lips, “though this time he might. I don’t know.”
Hunter looked out the window over the volleyball court with a sigh. He wasn’t quite sure what he was doing, why he was dating a student, and as he watched Sebastian and Blaine’s interactions on the court. He couldn’t help but think that maybe it was just a stupid idea. He shut the file he had been reading when he heard footsteps behind him.
Bryan and Cooper were walking in, and also looked down over the court. Bryan picked up the file along and looked it over, “you know, his fitness report says it all. Flies by the seat of his pants, totally unpredictable.”
Cooper laughed, “he’s my brother. It shouldn’t surprise you that he’s a hot shot.” He noticed the look on Hunter’s face, “ Oh shit, he got you, didn't he?”
Hunter looked away, but barely whispered, “Yeah, he got me, but it’s not going to work.”
Cooper looked at the other and put a hand on his shoulder, “well then maybe now’s the best time to tell you, that you got that assignment at the Pentagon.”
Hunter looked at Cooper, “are you fucking serious? He looked to the other, “well maybe at least I should tell him.”
Cooper nodded, “sounds like a good idea, but are you sure you want to go out there? Those guys are animals.”
Hunter laughed, “never stopped me before.” He smirked at the other, and headed on down to the courts. Once he was outside he stood on the sideline and continued to watch the game and Sebastian and Blaine’s continual flirting, “Hey Killer.. A word?”
Jeff elbowed Nick in the side. “Look who’s showed up. Wonder what the chances are that we can get ‘Captain’ shirtless and on the court.”
Nick rolled his eyes with a fond laugh. “I’m more interested in his thoughts on just what’s going on between Killer and Crab. I mean, if the rumours of Captain and Killer are true.”
Jeff put his thumb and forefinger between his lips and blowing. “Looking good ‘Captain!’ Any chance you might like to tag in?”
Sebastian was just about to serve again when he heard Jeff whistle and Hunter’s voice. He spun the volleyball on the tip of his finger. “Yeah Captain; get comfy and stay awhile,” he grinned.
Nick watched the two from the sidelines for a moment and singsonged, “Hey Captain, you big stud!”
Jeff chimed in with a look, “Oh no that's me, honey.”
Nick laughed and added just for effect, “Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
Jeff smiled and leaned in against Nick, “Show me the way home, honey.”
Hunter looked at both and shook his head, “not in the mood.”
Blaine looked at the other a brief flash of concern, but otherwise no emotion. He walked up to Hunter, “Yes sir?”
“I have performance appraisals from today to go over. With all of you,” Hunter exclaimed. “Anderson just get’s the luck of the draw to go first because of his name. Carry on as best as you can.” He gestured to Blaine and lowered his voice. “Let’s take a walk; it’s too nice a day to be cooped up inside. And Blaine? Please put your shirt back on.”
Blaine could feel the tension rolling off Hunter as he nodded, grabbed his shirt and pulled it over his head. He could feel the grit of the sand against the oil and once they were out of earshot of the other’s he sighed, “is this really appraisals or just a way to get me off to a back corner somewhere?”
“Blaine,” Hunter rolled his eyes and flipped open a file he had in his hand. “If all I wanted was to get you away from everyone I wouldn’t have disguised it with appraisals. These need to be done. They can’t be put off.” He let out an exasperated breath. “I see some real genius in your flying Killer. But you go up there, half cocked, determined to make a name for yourself. Like earlier, when you went after Hollywood, your brother. Don’t pretend that had nothing to do with it. It was good, right up until the point where you got yourself mock-killed.”
Blaine looked at the other and let out a frustrated noise, “he had everything to do with that too, so don’t just say it was me. You heard the taunting on the radio. Besides Ken was good, he was tailing Jester, Crab and Viper were also in the air, I had time.”
“Was the MiG taunting you too?” Hunter asked. He stopped walking. “If you had time you would have gotten it done. You left your wingman; which could have left him vulnerable, but more so, made you vulnerable too.” He shook his head. “These rules are in place to keep you safe, to keep everyone safe. And when you decide that you’re too good for the rules, you don’t only put yourself at risk, you put everyone else up there with you at risk.” He put a hand on Blaine’s shoulder. “All I’m saying is that you could stand to follow the rules more, and not be so hell bent on not being your father, and better than your brother.”
Blaine shrugged, “I knew what I was doing, they were good, and I had the time.” He shrugged his hand off of his shoulder and stepped back, “and where are the rules in the air? If I’m up against a real MiG? I will do what I have to do to keep people I care about safe, and that comment was completely out of line, Sir.” He sneered a bit, not at all impressed with Hunter’s analysis of his flying.
“The evidence suggests that if you had the time, Jester wouldn’t have gotten you,” Hunter crossed his hands over his chest. “The rules are still there in the air. The rules of engagement, and the fact that you shouldn’t leave your wingman. You got hit by Jester, Hollywood got Ken, and Jester came back and got Crab too. So no everyone was not safe.” Hunter kept walking. “I’m here to analyze your flying and try to figure out why you’re doing the things you do in the air. You think Cooper wants to have to give you this kind of analysis? Hell no.”
“In the interest of full disclosure, there are other things I need to say.” Hunter frowned, trying to decide what to start with. “I know Sebastian too. I mean, I knew him. We were in college together for a while. And while it’s been a few years since I’ve been around him on a daily basis, I’ve never known anyone to get under his skin like you do. I listened to you guys on the coms today. I watched you on the court from upstairs… there seems to be something between the two of you.”
“He’s an arrogant jerk, yes there is attraction there, but he’s not my style,” Blaine said as they continued to walk. He breathed out a bit and took the hint though, “so you’re saying that attraction is the real reason he and I don’t get along, that it’s denial? I’m not using you though I hope you do know that.”
“I’m saying whatever it is between the two of you, it's really up to the two of you to sort it out,” Hunter said. “I didn't think you were using me, but thank you for confirming it. Cooper had some news for me today, though. News that made these assessments necessary to get done as soon as possible. A couple of months ago I applied for a promotion of sorts.”
“And were you planning on just ditching out and leaving me to deal with Sebastian on my own, or at least having one last night to think things over,” Blaine said as he looked up at him. “I don’t know how successful he and I would be to anyone as anything more than enemies in the air.”
“This isn’t exactly the kind of thing I can just turn down Blaine, it’s the Pentagon! This is part of what I have to do,” Hunter said. “We’re… I mean what did you see happening here. In eight weeks you leave, go back to wherever you’re stationed right now. Sure you have family and a connection to Miramar but what does that mean for a casual relationship?” He stopped and leaned back against a tree. “You’re not even willing to find that out? Look, like I said, I haven’t been around him in a while, but he’s… different around you.”
“I don’t know, but I certainly don’t expect you to turn down the Pentagon,” he smiled at him, “I’m willing I just don’t know. I’ve been burned a lot. I won’t lie and say there wasn’t something instant there this feeling that I couldn’t and still can’t seem to shake. I can feel his eyes on me pretty much all the time.” He looked at Hunter, “I just we’ll have to see.”
“Look, I’m not going to lie and say I don’t like you or we haven’t had fun,” Hunter smiled. “But I don’t think I want to start something casual and long distance. Especially not if you have a connection with someone else; even if you don’t think that is going to work out.” He reached out and pulled Blaine by his shirt a little closer. “Feel free to look me up if you’re ever near the DC area though.”
Blaine blushed a bit and smiled, “fine I get it.” He leaned in and pressed his lips to Hunter’s with a smile and then pulled back, “be safe in DC and if I’m in the area and not otherwise occupied or taken I’ll look you up.” He smiled and turned to go back towards the volleyball game, “are we done here otherwise?”
Hunter kissed Blaine back. “Yeah, pretty much. I mean, stay safe. Consider what I’d said, please?” He moved away from the tree as Blaine pulled back. “Look me up no matter what. We’ll go for a drink; and celebrate whatever other foreign relations you’ve participated in.” He winked at Blaine.
Blaine nodded, “I’ll do my best.” He headed back towards the sandpit with a thought in his head and a smile on his face.