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>>the cards — chapter one: poker night::

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>>THE CARDS — CHAPTER ONE: POKER NIGHT::

Ringshadow

Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.

 

Fox looked up when he saw his father wander by with a duffel bag over his shoulder, scrolling through cell phone messages as he walked. "Poker night, dad?"

"Yeah, I assume so, but I can't get through to the guys. Will you be ok here for the weekend?"

"You kidding? I'm always ok." Fox grinned, leaning back in his chair.

James looked amused. "Right. If you throw any parties, I expect the house cleaned up before I return, and no cops to be waiting for me. We good?"

"We're excellent. See you later."

Falco watched in amazement as James saluted lightly and walked out the door, then turned back to Fox. "He trusts you enough to leave you here for the weekend?"

"Well yeah. He always grocery shops beforehand."

"That's not my point. My parents would never leave the house to me for the weekend, it'd be leveled by the time they got back."

Fox looked at him. "You heard him. Besides, that's enough to keep me honest usually. Who likes cleaning? Argh."

James sighed, propping his heels up on the console of his Arwing as it held it's position. That's the only thing that annoyed him about this monthly trip. It took an hour of sublight to get to the station itself, and usually about the same amount to get in. The station, a huge one on the rim of Lylat proper, always had huge ships around it that were docking or launching, and even a small fighter had to be delayed to get by the traffic snarl.

Pigma always gave him shit about this. Not only was he trusting enough to leave his son alone for the weekend, instead of playing poker with his team, he met up with some old friends that Peppy and Pigma didn't even know. Which was alright with James, it wasn't so much that they wouldn't get along or anything, he just liked it when not everything related to work. These particular friends of his were the crew of a freight cruiser, an independent group he'd known most of since elementary school.

And it was bugging the hell out of him that he hadn't been able to get through to him. He'd spent a small fortune on a cell phone that could roust ship frequencies, and he'd been unable to connect to their freighter. Frustrating, but nothing to be done.

The radio buzzed at him, an AI intoning that he was clear to dock and rattling off the docking bay number. He took his feet down and followed the instructions, dodging between cruisers and through the busy dock, taking his slip without an issue. The dock workers were busy enough they didn't even notice him.

He clambered out with his duffel bag back over his shoulder, closing the fighter and heading out of the bay. Once in the main halls, he was able to find a terminal, and brought up the list of ships currently docked with the station. He wasn't too surprised when his friends' freighter didn't show up on the list, so he put in a call to station offices resignedly. Nothing like being put on hold on a terminal after being put on hold to dock.

After several minutes, one of the dock officers appeared on screen, looking at him. "What do you need?"

"I need to know if a certain heavy freighter is scheduled to dock tonight. The Axenstar."

"The terminals should be able to show that on a search."

"Terminals don't show military vehicles and the Axenstar is a converted battleship." James replied patiently.

"Ah, right, let me look." There was a pause, typing could be heard and the dock officer was obviously looking offscreen. "Well, she was but it was cancelled less then an hour ago. Are you James McCloud by chance?"

"Yeah, why?"

"The crew of the Axenstar left a message for a Commander James McCloud, would you like me to send it to your terminal screen."

"That would be nice of you. Thanks."

James watched the terminal screen blank, then text pop up.

James Sorry, last minute thing, triple pay to haul cargo long distance. Catch you next month. We left a room deposit for the weekend at the following account number. Peace out.

"Well that was nice of them." James finally grumbled to himself, staring at the screen, then hitting the touchscreen sequence to activate the room deposit. Hell, it was a nice room too, a suite! He pondered, rubbing his chin, then hit the button to make the terminal spit out the keycard for the room. Even if he wasn't going to play poker, hell, he could change and hang out in one of the bars.

"This really burns my ass."

Wolf looked up from his aimless game of solitaire on one of the ship terminals. "Lord almighty, Leon. They're late. It happens."

"Yeah, but read this." Leon sniveled, shoving the printout under Wolf's nose.

Wolf took and read it. "A two day delay? Well, nice to have a time estimate."

"Apparently it's already gone through Andross, so we're just supposed to hang out for the time being and wait to escort." Leon huffed.

"Well, that works fine for me then." Wolf stood and stretched languidly. "You going to hang here?"

"Yeah, probably, why?"

"I'm going to check out the station bars. See you later."

"Provided you can find our docking slip while drunk, sure."

"Yeah, yeah." Wolf left the command deck of the ship, grabbing his duffel on the way out, sighing once he was in the station hallway. Man, it felt good to be out of there. Leon was alright, but he was wound tighter then a thirty day clock and it did nothing for Wolf's nerves. Besides, if he had his way, he wouldn't have to bother coming back to the ship drunk. At the very least, he'd splurge and get a room on the station. Screw it.

It wasn't too hard to figure out where the station bars were, and he picked the one with the most attractive name, Midnight Velvet. Walking in, the décor matched the name. The metal of the station had been blacked out, the lights were dialed to a low hazy blue in most areas. A dance club, not a bar, lit well enough to see but dim enough to be flattering to almost anybody, the darker corners of the club almost lost in obscurity.

Hell, Wolf felt right at home, and the music wasn't bad, oscillating between dance and goth tunes. What did surprise him was that the club was decently populated, apparently this is where the younger space-fairing crowd hung out. After glancing around, he headed for the bar, grinning.

He was waiting for his drink when he felt someone eying him, and turned, getting ready to defend himself and being caught soundly off-guard. The person doing the eying was a vulpine man, older then Wolf but he couldn't tell by how much. He was standing and leaning on the bar with one arm, wearing a concert tee and leather pants. Wolf did a double-take on the leather pants, and almost whistled. Hello there.

"Your uniform." The owner of the nice pants prompted, leveling a finger at him, the rest of the attached hand holding a beer bottle. "BlackSky Mercenary Corps, right?"

Wolf lifted his eyebrows, getting his drink and thanking the bartender bot. "Good eye, in this light."

"Eh, the shoulder badge is pretty unique." The vulpine took a drink, eyes still lingering on Wolf. "You guys are good. Never seen a bad pilot in BlackSky. Which brings me to the question, dare I ask what you're doing here? This is a commercial station."

Wolf snorted, taking a drink of his lager. "I was contracted to do an escort job, with the open-ended option to take more jobs with the same employer afterward. But the shipment's been delayed at least two days. So I'm stuck here."

"Believe me, I understand. That's the military at its finest, hurry up and wait." James chuckled, setting his now-empty bottle down and tapping the bar next to it. The nearest bartender, a living person this time, gave him another.

"Ah, military man yourself?"

"Indeed." James offered his hand. "Call me J."

Wolf shook his hand, mildly impressed with his grip. "Wolf, and yes it's a callsign, not my real name. So, J as in the letter or Jay as in the shortened name?"

"Yes." James grinned at him.

Wolf lifted an eyebrow. "So that's how it is, hmm?"

James only kept the grin, turning so he leaned back against the bar, watching the dance floor. Wolf did the same, sneaking looks at the older man, and wasn't surprised when he didn't get away with it. "What pray tell are you examining so intently?"

A tight ass in excellently cut leather. "Eye candy." He finally replied, letting himself smirk before looking back at the dance floor.

"Flattery can get you all sorts of places." James was amused. "You're only, what, a decade younger then me?"

"What's your point?"

"None yet." He took a drink, looking at Wolf sideways and pondering, smiling a bit.

"And what are you looking at, then?"

"Mm, I'll let you know." James made himself look back at the dance floor, trying to convince himself toward sanity. He really hadn't come here to hook up with someone, let alone a guy, but how long had it been since he'd met someone who put his hackles up like this? He'd wanted to make some somewhat normal chat, but common sense was being drowned by curiosity, wondering what was behind that eyepatch, wondering how loudly he could get Wolf to howl.

Wolf kept his eyes on the dance floor, turning his now-empty mug in his hands, feeling his hackles go up as J's heavy gaze raked his body again, nearly returning the favor. He'd wanted to spend the night with someone anyway, but didn't figure it'd be the first person he spoke to at the bar. He huffed, sliding a glance toward the older man, who was leaning on the bar, like nothing was going on here, watching people on the dance floor and smiling to himself a bit. Dear god, he's hot… I could only hope to age that well. Wolf twisted to put his empty mug back on the bar, pondering. I wonder how old he is, anyway. I doubt he's ten years older then me, he looks too good. Then again… He glanced again, and this time accidentally caught J's eyes.

James stared back, eyes half-lidded, and wasn't surprised when Wolf's return gaze was just as electric, Wolf actually twitching but refusing to back down. "You know, if I was any more tactful I'm sure I'd come up with some flowery thing to say about not wanting to spend the night alone." He finally remarked, voice quiet, but Wolf still heard him, lifting an eyebrow. "But I've never been one for tact." He shifted and stood up straight, setting his empty bottle on the bar and dropping some credits next to it.

Wolf stayed where he was, watching this silently and fighting the urge to growl.

"That said, I'm just going to ask if you want to fuck."

"Your place or mine?" Wolf replied, not surprised that his voice was nearly a snarl, scooping his bag back off the floor.

"I've got a suite on the station."

"Yours then."

The two wandered out of the bar side by side, James pausing by a station map to double-check how to get to said suite then heading for a lift, Wolf close behind him. The lift was empty, and Wolf growled and pounced, pushing James against the wall and kissing him hard, hands wrapping around James' wrists. James growled back through the kiss, biting one of Wolf's lips nearly hard enough to draw blood, getting his wrists free and spinning, hands in Wolf's back pockets, holding the hard kiss. Wolf fought for a few seconds for the upper hand, but before he got it, James let him go and keyed in the floor they needed, grinning. "This will be interesting." He finally said, breaking the silence. "We're both used to being tops."

"Speak for yourself, old man." Wolf heard himself say. "Because you're going to be under me within ten minutes."

"Dream on, kid." James lifted an eyebrow. "I take that as a challenge."

The lift opened, and they proceeded down the hallway, James keying the door open and letting Wolf go in first. Wolf allowed it, and wasn't surprised that he was grabbed from behind the minute he set his bag down, James biting his neck as he ran both hands down Wolf's front, not stopping at the beltline. Wolf allowed a moan before jerking free and turning around, catching James' mouth for another fierce kiss, yanking on the concert shirt. James ignored the impatient tug, simply grabbing either side of Wolf's uniform shirt and yanking, the buttons flying off. Wolf growled in protest through the kiss, then yipped when James' response was to pinch one of his nipples, giving up and tearing the concert shirt in an attempt to get it off, breaking the kiss and grabbing James' wrists again.

"Guess we're almost even." James said begrudgingly, looking at his ripped shirt, panting. "It's an old shirt, I don't care."

"Whatever, take it off."

"Depends, are you going to take yours off?"

The two stared at each other. James tugged on his wrists, and when he wasn't released started to growl, not an angry noise as much as a dominant one. Wolf growled back, baring his teeth.

"We came here to fuck, not fight." James finally remarked, eyes narrowed.

"Blood only makes it sweeter to me." Wolf replied, panting, shuddering at the idea.

"Be careful what you wish for, kid." James flipped his hands so he held Wolf's wrists, and moved.

Wolf wasn't surprised when James threw him, he was nearly expecting it, landing on his toes and lunging back at the older man. James didn't bother dodging, letting himself get tackled to the floor. At least the suites have carpet, Wolf thought to himself, crouching over James and growling. James snarled and flipped them both, pinning him to the floor and kissing him, biting at him. Wolf responded, struggling against the hold as best he could, tongue diving into James' mouth hungrily. James returned the favor, the entire embrace a small war, eyes mostly shut. He was uncomfortable now, damn uncomfortable, the tight leather looked good but gave no quarter when he was aroused. Under him Wolf was barely better off, and didn't totally appreciate it when James released part of the pin to feel him up again, a frustrated moan escaping him.

The confident grab was a distraction, Wolf admitted to himself, but since he was partially free he took the opportunity to shove James off, panting and glaring at the older man. James glared back, knocked on his ass, also panting. "I can't decide if this is fun or completely frustrating." Wolf finally said, shaking his head.

"I'm going with fun." James replied, taking off his torn shirt. Wolf blinked, eyes raking up and down his chest and abs, then lunged at him again, hands running over the older man greedily, biting at his neck and shoulder. This time James laughed, sprawled on his back with his head tipped back, submitting for the time being. "Doesn't take much to set you off, does it?" He panted this out, body arched into the attention, hissing when Wolf bit his shoulder hard.

"You are fucking gorgeous." Wolf drug his claws lightly down James' body, not surprised when the subject of his attention growled and thrust his hips upward, squirming. "And I love your pants, by the way. They're practically the first thing I noticed." He grinned, shifting to cup one hand over the front of James' pants, prompting another thrust. "My god, are you submitting to me?"

"Nope." Not waiting for that to register, James grabbed Wolf's uniform and pulled him down, then rolled again. "Just giving you time to take a good look at me." He grinned, holding Wolf's wrists above his head one-handed, the other hand tugging on Wolf's belt. Wolf glared up at him but didn't protest, rather begrudgingly figuring fair was fair. "So tell me this, when was the last time you were on bottom?"

"Oh hell, I was a teenager…"

Seeing the shift in Wolf's behavior, James released his wrists and simply flopped on top of him, body jolting as their hardons pressed together, pants or not. "I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess someone hurt you. Which is why you're not in a hurry to let me stay on top."

"I'm so not dignifying this with an answer." Wolf glared. "Had I wanted this to be personal, I'd have suggested dinner and a movie first."

"Fair enough." James agreed amiably, then leaned to whisper in his ear. "I'm not going to hurt you, and if I do it'll feel fucking excellent." Grinning when Wolf actually shook under him, he moved and knelt straddling Wolf, tugging him up so he was sitting, kissing him again as he tugged at the uniform again. Wolf moaned, eyes closing and shrugging out of the top section of his uniform, claws scratching James' back when his nipples were pinched again. "Submitting?" He whispered this against Wolf's mouth, who growled feebly. "I'll ask again once I get you naked."

Why the hell does it break my brain every time he says something reasonably dirty? Wolf groused to himself, burying his face into James' chest, then blinking when the other man promptly moved away, walking to the bed and sitting on the edge of it, unlacing his boots. At least he keeps me on my toes. "For the record, you're extremely fucking weird." This came out in a frustrated tone of voice as he took off his boots and staggered to his feet, eyes widening when James replied by standing back up, now just in the leather pants. No panty line? Oh dear god, why didn't I notice that before?

"That probably goes for both of us." James turned his back, crawling on the bed. Wolf shook and lunged, tackling James into the bed with a growl. James laughed again and rolled, pawing at him.

"You presented the target." Wolf knelt over him, looking down at him and pondering if there was anything in this bedroom to tie him up with. Not that he figured it'd hold the older man for more then two seconds. "You're still completely convinced you're going to be on top, aren't you?"

"I plan on having you howling within half an hour or so." James lifted an eyebrow lazily. "And that's before I even get inside you."

"Uh huh. How do you plan on doing that?"

James stuck out his tongue and curled it up, showing that he could not only lick his nose, but curl the tip of his tongue over the top side of his muzzle. Wolf's eyes widened again. "Answer your question?" James' voice was playful.

"You're serious."

"Mmhm, but there are some strings attached."

"Boy that figures." Wolf shoved off of him and sat next to him, staring down at him. James didn't move, just stretched out languidly, his eyes barely open. "Which are?"

"Get naked, lay on your back, and stay there. And if I can get you to howl, you're on bottom the first round."

Wolf stared at him, then nodded. "Alright, old man. You're on."

"I most certainly will be shortly."

Wolf shook his head and rolled off the bed, turning his back as he hurriedly undid his pants the rest of the way, then stopping when he heard another zipper, looking over his shoulder. James was also stripping down, but wasn't in a hurry, kneeling on the bed with his pants undone. Wolf stared. "No. Keep the pants on."

"Alright, fine, but they're staying undone." James fidgeted with his pants until he was marginally more comfortable, not surprised when Wolf climbed on the bed and got behind him, kissing his neck and sliding his hands down James' front again. "Hey. We have an agreement."

"That was before you undid your pants. Your fault for being so fucking pretty." Wolf trailed his fingers up and down the open zipper line, then wrapped a hand around James' hardon. James groaned and leaned back into him, eyes fluttering. "So. Fair is fair, when were you last fucked?" He licked James' ear to follow the question up, other hand wrapped around James' hip to hold him in place.

"It's been a while, a few years at least." James admitted, a small frustrated growl escaping him, almost falling backward when Wolf let him go and moved, flopping onto his back with one leg bent.

Seeing James' surprised look, Wolf smirked. "I agreed to something. Just had to get my hands on you first."

James shook his head and moved to crouch over him, biting his throat with a growl. Submit. Wolf sighed and went limp under him, whining softly, and was rewarded when James moved, a warm talented tongue licking his neck then shifting downward to continue the torment on his nipples. Wolf panted, shoving at James shoulders, whining in frustration when James only moved slower, then sniggering when James' whiskers tickled his stomach.

James himself was schooling his willpower. The impulse to just grab Wolf's ankles and fuck him hard was there, but he brushed it off. Better to take it slow, maybe then he'd get to keep Wolf most of the weekend. It was obvious Wolf was obscenely horny, more so when Wolf yelped the first time James' tongue ran down his length. James replied by grabbing and pinning his hips, preventing him from moving as he kissed and licked, winding his newfound lover up even more before he wrapped his mouth around Wolf's cock.

"Oh dear GOD!" Wolf threw his head back, hands tangling into the blanket, wrapped in hot wet velvet, the danger of sharp teeth there and teasing. This wasn't half-assed, either, he was taken down to the base, a shockingly hot tongue rolling over him. "Uhn… don't stop… nmh…" Unable to thrust into it, he shook under the assault, panting. "James… you are really good at this…" The soft hum that sounded off may have been acknowledgement, either way it nearly made him let go right then and there, the faint vibration almost too much.

James drew it out as long as he could, until Wolf was writhing under his attentions, smiling when he heard Wolf's piercing howl escape, the younger man's back arching. He didn't bother moving, taking it with an easy swallow and pushing himself up a few moments later, licking the side of Wolf's muzzle. Wolf pulled him down into a kiss, hands trembling, he returned it passionately but broke it off too soon. "So, our agreement?" He asked, speaking in a whisper next to Wolf's ear, tongue investigating said ear after a moment.

"Dear fucking god, man. How the hell did you get so good at that?" Wolf shook his head wearily, moaning when James started nibbling his ear. "I agreed, I'll willingly sub to you. Besides, if you screw as well as you use that tongue…"

"Mm." James reached one hand down to gently wrap around Wolf's still-hard member, rolling his thumb in a way that made Wolf gasp. "I'll let you form your own opinion, how's that?" Wolf nodded, watching James roll off the bed and hearing him rummage, about to ask but James came strolling back twirling a small bottle in one hand, crawling back on top of him with a low hungry growl. "Get comfortable. You'll be staying that way a while."

Wolf replied by rolling over onto his stomach, reaching and grabbing a pillow, wrapping his arms around it and settling his chin on it. James only lifted an eyebrow, brushing Wolf's tail aside and exploring him with lube-slicked fingers. Wolf whined softly, arms tightening on the pillow, then cried out when the invasive pair of fingers very accurately found a soft spot inside and stroked over it, his back arching helplessly and shoulders jerking. James growled softly, removing his fingers and pulling Wolf's hips up, dragging the younger man to his hands and knees then shoving inside, fingers curling as he groaned.

"You are so… fucking… tight…" James' voice was raw, moving one hand to stroke down Wolf's back, who was shaking gently, head bowed. "Mm. Are you alright?"

Wolf nodded weakly, the warmth inside him almost felt strange but it hadn't hurt, which almost surprised him. James seemed to fill him, and Wolf was glad for the tension release of his earlier orgasm. If he had been tense, this would have hurt like a bitch…

James had to school himself again, every instinct said to go as hard and as fast as he could, he delayed instinct and took it as slow as he could stand it, shifting with each thrust until he found an angle that made Wolf groan and scratch at the bed. Only then did he let himself speed up, body slapping and grinding into Wolf's, tossing his head back. Under him, Wolf was moaning and howling, and he let his voice mingle with Wolf's.

Wolf also had his head back, eyes closed and voice dazed. There was no responsibility here and he loved it, dominance set aside for now. Hearing James' voice change, tremoring and desperate, he pushed himself up, also kneeling, leaning back against the older man and howling louder at the change in angle. James hissed softly, one arm wrapped around Wolf's chest and the other giving Wolf's cock a single pump as he thrust one last time and stilled, Wolf jetting into his hand as James emptied inside him, shaking.

"Do you have somewhere to be anytime soon?" James asked after several moments of dazed silence, chin rested on Wolf's shoulder.

Wolf shook his head, trembling in James' arms.

"Good. Because I'd be very pleased if you stayed here for the rest of the weekend."

Wolf shifted to look at James over his shoulder. "You're serious?"

"You're way too hot for just one go around." James smiled a bit. "Besides, the idea of waking up holding on to you turns me on almost as much as you naked." He grinned when Wolf lifted an eyebrow, kissing him gently.

"I don't think anyone has asked me to stay and cuddle before."

"First time for everything, kid."

A few minutes later they were both sprawled on top of the covers, James on his back and Wolf flopped on top of him, cuddled in his arms. James traced lazy circles on Wolf's shoulders and stared at the ceiling, not entirely surprised when he felt Wolf relax into sleep.

Wolf sighed and leaned, bowing his head. The shower spray washed down his neck and back, hot water soothing sore muscles. He stared at the tiles, letting his mind wander. James had told him the rooms came with nearly unlimited water, and that the station water was clean, not recycled. Good enough, he was going to take advantage of it.

The weekend had been interesting, he could say that much. James knew the station well, and when they weren't busy crying each other's names they were wandering about. By Wolf's count, he'd eaten at four good restaurants so far, which was surprising considering this place was just a trading station really.

The one thing that was frustrating him was, he still didn't know his lover's real name. He knew it wasn't 'J,' and he felt somewhat lame yelling that. He wanted to know who this guy was, that could hit every button he had like it was an inborn talent, and on top of that was apparently a very knowledgeable pilot. During meals and their wandering, they talked, and ended up discussing work more then once. The mysterious 'J' never mentioned locations or names, but was able to explain air battles readily, and was a dictionary on planes, especially space fighters.

Wolf was totally convinced the man he was sleeping with was a master pilot, and he could not figure out who the hell he was, who lurked behind those horribly green eyes. 'J' was not a straightforward man, he knew how to be evasive, how to answer questions and give absolutely no information. Worse, Wolf was pretty sure Corneria's Air Force had several fighter aces that were vulpine, though he didn't know how old they were.

Of course that was assuming that 'J' was Air Force. BlackSky wasn't the only space-fighting mercenary corp.

Dammit, J, who are you?

As if summoned the shower door opened and red-furred arms snared him from behind, that lean-muscled body that Wolf had come to love pressing up against his back, and that almost freakishly long tongue licking one of his cheeks. "Hi."

Wolf murmured, twisting his neck so he could nuzzle at 'J'. "Hello yourself, decided to join me?"

"Mm. I have to say goodbye to you later today, don't I?"

Wolf blinked, then nodded. "Yeah."

"Then I'm going to look at your beautiful body as much as I can before then. If I get my fill now I think I can manage not to grab your ass in front of your copilots." James sniggered, giving him a squeeze. To him, this weekend had gone by too quickly, and he had already grown used to waking up holding on to the younger man. A bad sign, he knew, but he didn't care.

"J?" Wolf leaned back into the older man, ignoring the hot water, which mingled their fur together as it ran.

"Mm?"

"Who the hell are you?"

"I've told you, I'm a pilot and have been most of my life."

"You know what I mean. Why won't you tell me your name?"

"Why won't you tell me your last name?" James asked, one of his fingers drawing circles on Wolf's stomach. When he didn't get a reply, James continued. "I think we both know that there isn't any commitment here. We both needed something, we both got it, and lucky for us both, we actually get along." He gave Wolf a squeeze. "I like you a lot, alright? But I don't think either of us are in a position where dating is really an option. Am I right?"

"… Yeah." Wolf sighed. "Guess I just want a better name to scream."

James burst into laughter, unable to help it. "Pretty soon, I don't think that'll be a problem, kid. But then, you'll probably haunt my dreams for months."

"It's because of the war isn't it?"

"What?" That brought James up short.

"The war that's coming up. That's why you don't want to say your name." He turned accusing eyes to James. "You don't know what side you're going to be on."

James blinked at him, and there was a long silence before he spoke. "You're good. But since you said it, that's your reason too isn't it?"

Wolf sighed and nodded.

They were both quiet for a long time, standing in the hot water, eventually helping each other wash up then just holding each other, unsure what to say.

"Tell you what."

Wolf looked at James, opening his eyes.

"If we DO end up on the opposite lines of a small deadly space, here's what we'll do." James put him to arm's length, smiling a bit. "We'll get one on one, beat the crap out of each other's planes, find a quiet place to land because of 'damage' and fuck each other's brains out before anyone can figure out what's going on."

Wolf began to laugh helplessly. "Unreal. Are you serious?"

"Sure, why the hell not? We're hot together. And even IF we're caught, whatever man. We can say it started as a fistfight and ended up going horribly wrong. Or something." James sniggered.

Wolf stared at him, then just grinned. "Alright, J. Fair enough." That said, he moved and pushed James against the tile wall, still grinning. "One last time before I go be a wage slave?"

"As if you have to ask, kid. Room's soundproof, make be yell all you want."

Leon was sitting on a random crate waiting when Wolf walked into the docking bay half an hour before launch, bag over his shoulder and smiling to himself. As Leon watched, he turned and slapped hands with the older man that had walked in with him, grinning and exchanging a few words, then wandered over. "Hey, Leon."

"You're in a good mood."

"Might I say the bars are excellent, some of the restaurants are just as good, and I had an excellent weekend." Wolf smiled. "Shall we?"

"Sure." Leon hopped of the crate, looking toward where the unknown man had been to wave at him, but he was already gone. "Who was that anyway?"

"J."

"Jay? You don't know his last name?" Leon sounded incredulous.

Wolf smiled at him. "I'm not even sure that's his first name. Spent most of the weekend bullshitting with him, met up for meals and stuff. He's Air Force or something though, knows his shit. Gave me some tips."

"Alright then." They were quiet for a few minutes until they arrived on the bridge, Leon rubbing his chin.

"Something on your mind?"

"Didn't get a good look at him, but from what I saw, I'd have done more then bullshitted with him. But that's me." Leon shrugged at him.

Wolf just grinned.