It's not that Brad has a type. He knows he doesn't. It's been a thoroughly-proven fact over a span of a millennium that Brad doesn't have a type, female or male or whatever else. But if he did, this man would fit it perfectly.
It pains Brad to admit even to himself but this messenger-bag-carrying snapback-sporting carefully-casual-hoodie-wearing supposedly-caffeine-seeking clean-cut preppy liberal college dicksuck of a man, who just waltzes into Brad's purposefully-shady-looking establishment seeming like a fucking jailbait yet possessing a collected and confident conduct of individuals much more experienced, is the physical realization of a fantasy Brad never knew he has. Despite the getup, that is.
Having positioned himself at a vantage point in front of the counter, the man looks up to the board and appears to contemplate the menu thoughtfully before turning his attention to Brad and pleasantly uttering "Okay, I can't figure it out. Why November Juliet?" with beatifically amused seriousness.
After a moment of silence, one corner of the man's mouth quirks up a little more, like a challenge, and Brad's breath would be taken away if breathing was still a vital part of his being. But as that isn't the case, Brad instead is able to pronounce "It's classified." with practiced calm and calculatedness.
"Are you not the proud owner of this independent business and thus able to exercise your power over allowing careful restricted circulation of the subject in question?"
"I am. And I intend to continue prohibiting anyone, myself included, from disclosing that very pertinent piece of information." A smirk tugs at Brad's mouth. "Also, no further information pertaining to any item on the menu other than that already displayed is permitted to be disclosed before purchase, either."
"Then I'm assured of this." The man states, resolutely deadpan. "I'll have an order of SNAFU, then."
Brad gives him the most sarcastic, most sleazy smile in his arsenal. "Outstanding." It's still early but the shop's alcohol license is not without its reasons. "And what's the name for the order?" Brad asks, feigning casual, when in truth he's imagined all the ways they can fuck through the next month already.
The man pointedly focuses his impressively unimpressed gaze at Brad's name tag -- which reads "Iceman" (ironically, Ray's name tag proclaims "PERSON", although Ray himself is on break doing fuck knows what with Walt in the back) -- then directs those piercing brilliant green eyes back to meet Brad's icy blue ones before obscenely enunciating "Foxtrot."
Brad never believed in love at first impression. Or love, period. But damn.
Brad's a warrior, a hunter with a calm yet ruthless killer instinct. Being subjected to this cruel and usual punishment is an affront to his Viking warrior spirit.
Looking back, maybe he shouldn't have pissed off his commanding officer. But then again, his commanding officer shouldn't have pissed off Brad. If that had been the case, Brad wouldn't have had to off Encino Man and Godfather wouldn't have deputed him here to the sunny beachfront of Buttfuck, SoCal. (And if it had been just him, Brad would've said fuck no. But the promise of "consequences odious to those you govern" was enough to make him accept the reassignment. Brad didn't want that on his conscience, among other things.)
Normally, a headquarters is stereotypically disguised as a bar or a funeral parlor. But the fact that Brad was specifically chosen for this delicate and crucial task because he and his subordinates don't burn as easily as most of their associates means that any nighttime-operated establishment would've defeated the purpose of their strategic presence. That combined with the fact that a funeral parlor on this stretch of beach would've looked suspiciously out of place have led to Brad becoming the proprietor of a fucking unwittingly-hipster café/bakery.
The shop was, after tedious rumination, initially conceived as a bakery. Walt at the time was able to bake a few passably-edible mostly-solid substances and the last thing Brad wanted was the great unwashed coming into his place of business, so, a bakery had seemed as good for the purpose as any.
Ray's "You see young Walter here with his pussy-licking/dick-sucking mouth, Bradley? Unsuspecting mortals are gonna wander into this shithole and die of literal fucking thirst after witnessing his tantalizing fuckability and, next thing we know, the law's gonna come knocking and where will our sorry asses be, homes?" argument and Brad's general willingness to let the debate remain one-sided had resulted in the place turning into an amply-equipped coffee shop.
Which still doesn't explain how they end up in this predicament. November Juliet was supposed to be just a front for a much shadier operation and, as such, a derelict shithole by design, intent and purpose -- complete with mismatched and tatterdemalion furnishings that are barely clean enough to pass the health inspection. The damn place wasn't supposed to generate any viable financial gain or establish any clientèle, let alone regular patrons.
But then Walt managed to slowly but surely learn how to make more and more palatable things and Ray found a way to channel his inner Fruity Rudy (Ray might be able to fully heal from any non-fatal injury but Brad takes some comfort in the fact that he's sure having your face burned off still hurts like a motherfucker no matter what), which shouldn't have made any discernible impact except Brad hadn't taken into account the exceedingly low sanity level of the local populace and the uprising of those who reject the established culture and advocate extreme liberalism in lifestyle.
(The recent proliferation of younger squanderers is also due to November Juliet now having its own social media presence, thanks to Brad's having stumbled upon a sex-crazed dolphin-loving wet-behind-the-ears deviant yuppie bisexual liberal dicksuck evolving meme personified who's somehow become a wifi-demanding part-of-the-furnishings-constituting loiterer cum Brad's surfing companion. But that's a story for another day.)
The sultry colloquy between Brad and 'Foxtrot' continues over the course of several days -- during which 'Foxtrot' comes in to order a different drink each time and then pulls out his laptop and situates himself ostensibly to work, on a seat at the counter next to the outlets.
Right in front of Brad.
Which is fine since Brad doesn't work the register nor does he make drinks -- those are Ray's job and Ray's body parts to risk getting mutilated. Brad is mostly out in the front because the back consists of a fully-furnished kitchen where Walt needs the space to holistically spread out and commune with the baking gods and Brad's office which Ray had outfitted so it bares a high resemblance to the underside of a Humvee in case Brad needs a sanctuary to tactically retreat and regain his mental soundness, which means Brad rarely steps a foot in it lest Ray gets the pleasure of knowing he's right. Oh, and a bathroom.
So, in the duration of what can be described as these days, Brad 'works' on his own laptop in close proximity to 'Foxtrot' and they exchange scintillating pleasantries every now and then. In one instance Brad, when questioned about his dark blue jeans with a black tank top and a black leather jacket everyday ensemble, replies with "I can assure you I'm not much of a serial killer, more of a mass murderer." and proceeds to take off the jacket, satisfyingly earning a blink-and-you-miss-it reaction from the intended audience.
'Foxtrot' leaves with some baked goods for his 'gang' around lunchtime each day. Then Brad goes back to the benign monotony of -- for lack of better words -- life.
That is, until the morning in which, instead of 'Foxtrot', a real-slim-shady wannabe and his deceptively-normal-looking homie walk in, announcing "Yo! Our LT said his November Juliet's gonna have to be Oscar Mike for today."
"Q-Tip, we're supposed to refer to the LT as Foxtrot," deceptively-normal-looking homie whispers into real-slim-shady wannabe's ear loud enough to be heard over Ray's shitty non-country fucking music. Then the both of them gets distracted by the display case, elbowing each other and excitedly pointing out all the grubs they're gonna get with the earthy money their 'LT' issued to them. "Screwby" can be heard intermittently, whatever that means.
The afternoon of that same day, Poke comes in with a rueful expression that suggests he's about to spout some fucked-up shit real soon, and real soon does he starts spouting some fucked-up shit. "You wouldn't believe the fucking shitshow me and my crew ran into last night, dawg. Three words. Motherfucking lizard folks."
With Poke having spent the time between then and now to mull over the actuality of last night's events, Brad declares November Juliet closed for the rest of the day and they call in relevant personnel for an unscheduled meeting.
Despite the company they keep, Poke's close encounter of the lizard kind that "probably enjoy eating puppies, too, dawg" is a whole other level of unhinged. Predictably, Ray gets some really truly inspired conspiracy theories out of the narrative: the center of the earth, hidden underground passages, the lost world of Lemuria, acid-spitting serpent folks, mutant turtles practicing the art of ninjutsu, abominable lizard presidents, evil reptilian humanoids from outer space; the infiltrating and manipulating human civilizations are worn out by this point. Good thing Walt's there to contain him.
"Stay fucking frosty." is all Brad can offer for now. No one has any clue on exactly what kind of shit is gonna hit the proverbial fan next. The surveillance cameras around the area somehow all malfunctioned so there's no footage. They got no concrete evidence except the statements of Poke's crew members supporting and expanding on their pack leader's claim.
"The fucking snowman? Iceman, that shit might come natural to you but us filthy canid fuck-ups need some MOPP. What's the sit-rep on dick-warming condoms?"
'Foxtrot' comes in the next morning, looking like a personification of a sigh.
Brad knows how that feels. "Rough night, LT?"
"Yeah," 'Foxtrot' lets out, like a sigh. Then he meets Brad's eyes -- it's not eye-fucking regardless of what Ray has said. "You know what? I'm Nate. Nate Fick. You can call me Nate."
"Brad. Brad Colbert." Brad offers his hand. Nate's grip is firm.
"Oh, good. Now you two know what to scream during your combat jacks." Ray pipes up from where he's caressing the steam wand. "Do us all a favor, Nate. Take Brad into his office and fuck some of the pissiness out of him, would you?"
"I'll take it under advisement."
Days passes and none of them has seen anything weirder than their normal level of weirdness. Although there are rumors of "crocodilian dog-murderers from the sewer" going around the blogs.
Brad debates taking flight to cover more ground. Ray offers to whip up some bat-themed costume so as not to raise any suspicion from the masses -- and that's saying something about the inhabitants of their current AO. The wolves are on increased night patrols. They are the best trackers by scent although they can't see in complete darkness, which is why they hyperbolically refuse to go down the sewage system unless absolutely necessary.
Nate stays until closing time now -- November Juliet does have the best wifi in the tri-state area. 'Q-Tip' aka Evan and the other one, John, join their 'LT' for lunch before going back out for more 'recon' and sometimes Nate takes calls from 'Gunny' who hasn't materialized in the flesh yet but Brad's pretty sure doesn't get his namesake from coarse jute fabric.
Also during these days, Brad has come to learn how soundproof his office is (the answer is thoroughly; "Where did you think Walt and I've been making sweet daytime love, homes?") and how easy Nate is with Brad's hands pinning him to the wall and Brad's mouth on his dick (the answer is Brad doesn't kiss and tell).
They continue on with their lives -- or, in certain cases, undeadness.
It all comes to a head the night Nate agrees to spend, well, the night. Brad can't even enjoy the afterglow peacefully without Pappy calling him to give a sit-rep about the lizard people terrorizing the village.
Brad tells him to furtively trail them but keep their distance and not to initiate contact unless the situation truly calls for and that he'll be there soon, to which Pappy responds with "I'll make sure no one pets a burning dog."
Nate is already dressed when Brad comes out of the en suite bathroom that he went in to talk to Pappy. "Duty calls?" Brad asks, a little disappointed but at the same time glad he doesn't have to lie about why he needs to get going. Nate nods with an apologetic smile, comes to give Brad a lingering kiss, and then leaves.
Brad orders his designated attack teams to converge to Pappy's position while maintaining dispersion and the rest of his teams to stay vigilant and spread out to cover the area with weakened offensive elements. Ray remains at headquarters as his RTO and coordinates the operation. They don't want any surprise.
"Iceman, this is Romeo. The lizard people know they're being followed and have high-tailed into the sewer. Over." Rudy's voice chimes in from the comm just as Brad gets visual on his position near Pappy.
"Pot-Pie, Romeo, prepare your teams to follow the lizard people. The wolves aren't gonna be very effective in confined space where there's little to no light and the scents are unreliable. We need vampires for this. Make sure everyone's paired up and able to stay on comms at all times." Brad says after he lands behind his TLs, then picks up the comm. "All attack units, this is Iceman. Brass-check your weapons and be prepared to engage. We will try to flood the lizard people out. Team Pot-Pie and Team Romeo are to go into the sewage system with extreme caution. Team Echo will provide support from above ground. Everyone else stay alert and report any abnormal activities to HQ. Over."
Poke's "Iceman, this is Echo. Solid copy. Over." can be heard over the comms when Walt catches up to him. "Think they're hostile?"
"For everyone's sake, let's just hope they're not. But then again, they might try to fling throwing stars at us so who the fuck knows?"
Pappy's and Rudy's teams are in position and Brad's about to order them to go in when a sudden flash of bright light appears before him and--
"Call off your teams, Brad. Our ROE dictate every weapon should be set to stun but I wouldn't risk it if I were you. While no one wants anyone to be disintegrated, Dave can be unpredictable and Eric might not be able to counteract in time."
It might take less than a split second for Brad's eyes to readjust but he would recognize that voice anywhere. "Nate, what the actual fuck?"
"Iceman, this is HQ. Movement detected right under Lima's position. Over." Brad's comm chatters with Ray's voice.
"Our comms never chatter," Brad observes, glaring incriminatingly at the unmistakable cause standing before him.
"Temporary electrostatic side effect from the teleporter," Nate gazes back, unflinching. "Brad, I can assure you the situation can be dealt with pacifically and that I'll explain later. Please call off the attack."
There's very little reason to trust him, but somehow Brad does anyway. Fuck. "All attack units, this is Iceman. Hold your position until instructed further. Over."
"Nate, you're alive!" One of the lizard people cries after Nate coaxes them out. (Brad makes sure to keep an eye on the alien-esque firearm with what looks like its laser bayonet activated.) They look disturbingly human, except for the green, scaly skin and saurian eyes.
"I am, Dave. Is everyone alright?" Nate's eyes scan over them as he speaks the words.
"This is the last place that we should be. Right now at any time, we could die. They sent us to die!"
"All of us are alright, LT." Another one answers, looking relieved to see Nate. Brad gets a strong feeling that 'Dave' might be the lizard equivalent of their commanding officer.
"That's good to hear, Eric. What happened? You guys haven't been on comms and you know we can't locate you with your cloaking devices on. And why isn't any of you in disguise?"
"Needed to watch for infiltrators. They could be coming from all sides!" Dave is beyond the salvageable amount of belt-fed at this point, Brad decides.
"Our comms got fucked soon after landing," Eric answers, pained, dog-tired, and eying Dave implicatively. "Things have been nuts ever since."
"Well, let's get everyone back on the ship. You all look like you could use some rest," Nate addresses the whole group sympathetically ("And a shower or ten," John adds helpfully.) then "Gunny, they're ready for extraction." And the lizard people start dematerializing with flashes of light two or three at a time in rapid succession.
Brad turns to Nate. "Is my non-disclosure regarding what November Juliet stands for the reason you haven't mentioned I've been getting real acquainted with one particular lizard dick from outer space?"
"Not all extraterrestrial beings are Reptilians and you'll know if you ever see one, I assure you," Nate says simply. The "You haven't mentioned your particular state of being, either." is somewhat implied.
"Let me guess, you come in peace," Brad begins when they're back at HQ.
"Come in peace? Look, we all get it, Brad. You live long enough, you gotta keep finding new freaky ways to get off lest you risk--" Ray takes up and is contained almost as soon as Brad signals Walt to suppress him.
"We do come in peace," Nate says, a little amused but reassuring. "We've made numerous contacts over the years. You must have known of ancient pyramids, Stonehenge, Nazca--"
"NASCAR?!?" is all Ray can get out before Walt reels him back, this time in a firmer hold.
"And who might this 'we' be?" Brad continues.
"'We' refers to the alliance between Reptilians, Greys, and Whites. Dave, Eric, and the men you briefly met earlier are Reptilians. Myself and the rest of my platoon are Whites."
"Damn, I already play on a white man's team as a human and a white vampire's team as a werewolf. Now you're telling me as an earthling I have to pick a team from three alien races? My money's on the Whites, dawg. White man won't be denied. It's destiny."
Brad ignores Poke's lecture on the white man's oppression and, with his eyes still trained on Nate, says "What are your ragtag alien confederation's intentions toward us? Depleting our planet's resources? Harvesting organs from our populace? We've all heard of alien abductions. You have to agree our concerns are fucking reasonable."
"Yeah. No offense, but when's the invasion?" Walt adds from behind Ray, who's given up on struggling.
"If we was getting some, we woulda got medieval on your asses way back before y'all fucked up the dragons." Evan hollers, his do-rag-covered cornrows move as if sentient. "Us Whites are all about eco-friendliness and prospects for peace and shit. Feel me?"
"We find our true dharma, brother," Rudy intones.
"The alliance has no malicious intentions. There have been rogue efforts with questionable moral dispositions before and after the alliance established itself in this sector of the universe, some of which we've failed to prevent, yes. But make no mistake, we are here to make sure there will be no invasion and any such attempt will be met with progressive preventive actions and extreme diplomatic consequences," Nate declares, without question and beyond doubt.
"In all fairness, we ourselves have been harvesting human life-sustaining humor and subverting humanity from within for millennia," Pappy contributes.
"Yeah, take their side, dawg. White man's gotta rule the universe," Poke elucidates, as is his wont.
Brad sighs. "We'll take your word for it. Judging from just what we've seen, I'm guessing we lowly backward earthlings -- no matter how supernatural some of us may be -- would need to pray for cosmic divine intervention if you decided to schwack us."
There's a long heavy silence that Nate definitely doesn't break.
"Doesn't the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms postulate a secular concept of creation? Seriously, homes, is eternal damnation even real?" Ray chisels in after he breaks free, Walt's hold having gone lax.
"So," Nate starts, back in Brad's bed and several orgasms later. "Were those your way of assuring me you'll keep making me come in peace?"
Brad pretends to contemplate for a moment. "It depends. Would you keep letting me explore your otherworldly physique and one day tell me about your home planet?"
Nate's growing smile lights his face. "Would you tell me about your dragon-slaying days in exchange?" The smile then fades a little after he sees the expression Brad's now wearing.
"I didn't slay them so much as bond with them. They were fierce and loyal creatures. Too bad we couldn't save them," Brad reminisces, and is surprised to see Nate's rather incandescent reaction.
"Then you'll be happy to know we've managed to rescue a healthy number of them and their population has been thriving in a nearby star system."
Brad blinks while that sinks in, and then feels a smile spreading across his own face.
Nate's incredible. (Brad wouldn't be caught dead describing him as 'out of this world'. (And Brad is -- technically -- dead, so.))
(A tiny bit of) Epilogue:
"Answer me this, homes. What would happen if you drank his blood?"
"I'm not sure I want to find out."
"But, homes, you can't just take his cold, dead heart and leave his immortal ass high and dry. Your star-crossed, undying love for each other should remain undyingly so for eternity. And don't worry about the thousand-year age difference. It's not gonna matter millions of years from now when our sun fucking explodes."
"I assure you our life expectancy is just as long and we've got contingencies for every situation imaginable. Also, I'm closer to Brad's age than you might think. And is that what happened to you?"
"Then I'm assured, homes. And yeah. I'm no vampire but I drank Brad's blood so I can keep gracing all of you with this beautiful fucking face. Walt did, too, but he was already a wolf so now he's a crossbred monstrosity. Looks really cute when he shifts."