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He didn't remember much about the guy from last night save his pretty green eyes.

The same eyes he woke staring into before glancing around and noticing where he was. The bright white walls and the even brighter lights. Was he in a hospital?

"Am I in a hospital?" He asked, his head hurt but he didn't remember drinking enough to warrant a hospital visit. The green eyed man cleared his throat. Looking nervous and twitchy.

"Do you remember what happened?" The man asked. Voice strained.

"Not even a little." Grif admitted. He watched amused as the man turned red.

"Well this is awkward." The man muttered. "So doctor Grey. said I should explain. It to you if you didn't so here goes. Um so last night... Well... Okay so sometimes I forget my arm is made of metal when I'm drunk and... And there was this fight... I sorta knocked you unconscious."

"Then drove me to a hospital?" Grif was amused by this. Some random stranger punched his lights out then is nice enough to drive him to a hospital. This guy had to be a total nerd.

"Well yeah, it was the right thing to do." The ginger defended. Face growing rapidly redder.

"Then you sat with me till I woke up?" This guy was pretty cute.

"I had to apologize!"

"For punching me during a bar fight? Isnt that a bit contradictory?" 

"Shut up! I was trying to be nice you asshole!" He shouted. Face a nice shade of embarrassed.

Just then the doctor burst in. "Hope I'm not interrupting a domestic squabble." She said cheerily. 

Grif grinned "Not at all doctor. No squabbles in this relationship." 

"Relationship?" He heard the man hiss next to him.

"Oh too bad, I've always wanted to delve a little into the human brain during a fight. Anyway! I have your release papers here. You have a mild concussion so make sure there's someone at home to watch you." She said, smile no longer cheery, just creepy. She eyed him and the other man with a weird look in her eye.

"Thanks." Grif muttered taking the offered papers. Both watched her stride out the door with looks of relief.

"Well that was fucking creepy." The man in the chair stated.

"Right. so whatever your name is want to come back to my place?"

"What?!"

"Calm down, I have no one home to watch me. And since this is all your fault it's up to you to make sure I don't die." Grif shrugged. Like inviting a stranger over wasn't weird at all.

"I- Fine." The other man sighed. "Its Simmons by the way."

"What is?"

"My name. Richard Simmons. But just call me Simmons."

"Mine's Dexter. Call me Grif."

 

Chapter Text

So when he did this, it was more out of spite than out of any actual desire to summon a hellspawn in his basement. The teal wizard Tucker bet him he couldn't summon a powerful demon like his (Stupid beefy Wash.). And like he always does he opened his mouth without thinking and took it. Now he has to do it or lose his stash of ice cream.

He had everything perfect.

The calling sign painted on the floor with a pint of blood ( it said goat blood but he couldn't find a goat so the container of owl blood he stole from his Master would have to do), a personal sacrifice (a bag of cookies from his stash), five black candles (he got from the pink wizard Donut. They smelled like blackberry's.), and last but not least he must add a drop of his own blood to the center of the containment/summoning circle.

With that finished he slowly moved back and began the repeating the words out of his study guide.

"With this sign i call to thee. this sacrifice, I offer to thee. With these candles i light your way. With this blood i bind thee to my soul." His voice echoing through the room. He stood ready, waiting for something to happen. After a few moments nothing stirred. He huffed. "Great, now I have owl blood staining my floor for no reason. Typical."

He began to turn away when a maroon light suddenly sparked inside the circle blinding Grif for a moment. "Shit, fuck!" He hissed closing his eyes and turning from the light.

When the flashing stopped Grif was startled to hear a very human voice talking to itself.

"Fucking bullshit, I demand you send someone.. Else?"

When grif opened his eyes and turned back to look back at his demon he was disappointed to be greeted with the nerdiest looking demon he'd ever seen. The guy had short cropped waves of bright orange hair, glowing green eyes hidden behind a pair of bone frame glasses. He was tall and almost too thin. He didn't look like he could punch out a fly. And if that didn't make him lame enough already, he was dressed in a white button down long sleeve shirt and a pair of black Kakis. And dress shoes.

"Wow, pretty fucking lame." Grif blurted startling the 'Demon' from his inspection of the room around him. The man whipped round and growled.

"Fuck you asshole, who uses owls blood and blackberry scented candles to summon a demon?" Nerd demon snapped.

"Well forgive me for not wanting to go out and slaughter a goat and be burned at the steak by a mob of hillbilly's. And for you information I like the smell." Grif defended. "Not to be rude but your pretty lame for a demon. Where's the horns? The pitchfork? The bloody teeth and claws?"

"I'm not on contract duty fat ass i work in UT! I shouldn't even be here but you had to use owls blood! What did you think would happen?!"

"I didn't know there was a difference!"

"Well there is, how do you not know this Grif? It should be in your lesson!" Nerd demon snarled. Grif was about to scream back, he wasn't sure what, but paused when he realized the demon called him by his name.

"How do you know that?" He demanded.

"Know what? The name or the lesson?" The demon asked confused.

"Uh both?" Grif said unsure.

"Your name was whispered into my head and carved into my flesh and bone. Speaking of, can I get something like a towel or maybe some gauze?" He asked holding up the bloody arm Grif hadn't noticed before.

Right there. Right there was the name 'Dexter. Grif.' Carved into the poor mans arm.

"Oh my god! Are you okay?" He asked stepping closer to look at it.

"Uh, I'm fine, your my summoner and my master, your name cannot hurt me, just like mine can't hurt you. Why don't you know this?" Nerd demon asked again, staring suspiciously at Grif while Grif stared back. Nerd demons eyes widened with a sudden realization " Oh my god you-"

"Gauze!" Grif interrupted. "You need it. I got it. I'll be right back!" He said hurrying from the room

"Grif you haven't finished wizards training yet have you?" Nerd demon called from his current prison at Grifs back.

Grif cringed. "No." He admitted. 

"Wow, so I'm trapped with a master who's still in school. Pretty lame." Nerd demon snickered.

"Shut the fuck up Simmons!" Grif snapped at him. Freezing in place with a horrified look. "Who the fuck is Simmons?"

"Me." His demon said, moving to sit down before looking distastefully at the blood he's been getting all over the floor. 

"Your name is Simmons? That's so lame." Grif laughed.

"Hey I didn't choose it you did, your mind named me. So according to you I am now Richard Simmons."

"My mind named you?"

"Subconscious reflex from a contracting. It's pretty normal. The only time you say my actual name is when giving an order. Otherwise everything you say to me will be an order and that can get confusing." Simmons shrugged.

"It's already confusing." Grif muttered as he left the room to get gauze. Simmons was never going to beat Wash and Tucker.

Chapter Text

Grif hated his job. HATED IT. His boss was some crazed ex-military man who ran his pool like he was running a boot camp. Insisted he be called sarge and made them run drills to 'stay in people saving shape dirtbags!' 

It was hot and not a day went by that the sun wasn't shining overhead like an unforgiving god. Grif hated being a life guard cause that ment he couldn't take a nap when he wanted without one of his coworker's showing up to nag at him.

They had a fued going with the pool two blocks away and sarge just couldn't let it go that Flowers team won in the 'Best Summer Business' award the mayor gives away every year.

So now he was stuck in a uniform of red shorts, though there was a mix up and one pair came in orange. He claimed those much to Sarges protests. Flowers caught on and now his employees are trapped in blue. 

Donut flounced by and paused for a moment to grin at him.

"What?" Grif grumbled not looking up from the game mag he was reading. He didn't like talking to Donut. Not cause he didn't like him. It was just that Donut could say things that made you cringe.

"I caught Simmons in the showers playing with his balls."

Like that. Grif grimaced. 

"What?" He asked. Wanting a clarification... Just in case.

"They were big balls too. I didn't know he could juggle." He laughed delightedly before wandering away.

Thank fuck. Grif thought. He hated the way this kid phrased things. He was sure Donut did it on purpose.

The door to the showers opened.

"Was that Donut?" The new arrival asked.

Grif shrugged. Looking up from the magazine that sat in his lap to watch the other boy come and sit down in the chair not a foot away from Grifs own.

"Who cares." He grumbled. Watching Simmons get comfortable in his seat from the corner of his eye.

"He say something weird again?" Simmons laughed. It was a nice laugh. It made Grif smile when he heard it. He likes his laugh.

"Doesn't he always? He said you were playing with your balls in the shower." Grif snickered. Watching as Simmons flushed from ears to shoulders. He liked this too. The way he would flush so easily and couldn't hide it due to the 'shirtless saves lives' rule Sarge had.

Grif was pretty sure the rule only existed because Sarge liked to walk around shirtless because of the heat. Grif didn't blame him.

"I- Why would- I wasn't-" Simmons grew more flustered the longer Grif stared at him. One eyebrow raised. "I was juggling!"

"I believe you." Grif said with a smirk. Better stop before the kid embarrassed himself anymore.

Simmons scowled at him until Grif returned to reading his magazine. They sat in a comfortable silence.

"I juggle to practice moving it you know." Simmons blurted.

"Huh?" Grif muttered. Not bothering to look at him. "Practice moving what?"

"My arm." Simmons nearly whispered. that definitely caught Grifs attention. He hadn't ment to bring it up.

He looked over at the other boy. It wasn't often Simmons acknowledges the prosthetic arm that replaced his left arm.

"I forget its there sometimes." Simmons really does whisper this time. Grif forgets too sometimes when he tries hard enough.

It had had been four years ago. Sarges pool had just opened on Blood Gultch Ave and everyone had been so excited. The streets and sidewalks were packed with people for weeks. Grif and Simmons had been at Sarges applying for a job as lifeguards at the same time. While bickering and filling out paperwork the two suddenly heard screaming coming from outside. Both stood to go see what was going on when a car cane crashing through the wall.

He doesn't remember anything after that but waking up in the hospital with skin graphs covering the left half of his body. He was told that a drunk driver had been behind the wheel. After a while he asked about the other boy. He kept asking until one of the nurses finally took pity and wheeled him to Simmons room.

Grif is proud to say the first thing he noticed was the boys face. Covered in gauze like his own. And how peaceful he looked before he glanced down and saw the missing limb. He felt sick. Guilty. How had he made it out with so little damage and this boy was missing an arm? 

"He saved your life, you know." The nurse spoke up behind him as she went about checking monitors. "If he hadn't shoved you out of the way you'd both have been killed." She patted his shoulder  before leaving the room. 

Grif wheeled himself over to the bed and sat there waiting for Simmons to wake up. After a week he noticed Simmons didn't get visitors. No family showed up save for his mom here and there when she was in town. On the ninth day of Grifs visits Simmons was being brought out of his induced coma. He watched as the other boy woke up confused. And sat there while they explained the arm and the accident.

He watched Simmons panic and shout and cry for his mother until he couldn't take it anymore and grabbed Simmons remaining hand as gently as he could.

Simmons startled and looked down at him. "Its you." He said. Voice hoarse and painful.

"Yeah, its about time you woke the fuck up. I've been bored." He replied. Causing Simmons to scowl.

"Fuck you."

After a few days Sarge showed up at the hospital wanting to talk to them.

"You Nancy's will be working for me every summer till you quit." He informed them.

"Fuck that." Grif protested. Looking to Simmons for back up only to find the other boy nodding along to whatever sarge was going on about with a large frown.

"I don't think you'll want me working as a lifeguard."Simmons motioned to his missing limb.

" That's stupid." Grif blurted. "You'll be like half robot..."

"What?" Simmons asked, confused.

"Simmons the amazing half robot lifeguard, who wouldn't want that looking out for them?"

"I agree, your robot ways will be a great addition to the team." Sarge nodded. Agreeing with Grif for what would be the one and only time.

"Alright I guess." Simmons shrugged before turning to Grif. "And its called being a cyborg, not half robot you idiot."

"Whatever nerd!"

And that's pretty much how Grif has been stuck at this shitty pool every summer since he was 16. 

Grif looked up at Simmons hand on his shoulder. "What?" He asked the freckled boy.

"Its our patrol, and I'm pretty sure Sarge just ran passed the window with the water gun..." 

"Oh god yeah let's go stop the old man before he kills one of the blues." Grif grinned. Grabbing Simmons hand and curling their finger together. Making the other boy blush. Yeah he liked to see Simmons blush.

Working here wasn't that bad.

Chapter Text

He was going to strangle Donut. And Tucker. That asshole. The two thought it would be a great idea to shove him and Grif in a closet over half an hour ago. Stating "You guys need to work out some of that tension." When asked what tension they giggled and left. Leaving a livid Simmons and furious Grif behind to argue with each other.

After ten minutes Simmons had made a hilarious attempt to break out. Grif shrugged when invited to try citing lazyness. This caused more yelling and arguing.

After twenty minutes Grif began to complain about hunger. Simmons complained about needing to get work done. Grif called him nerd. Sparking another bout of yelling.

At the thirty minute mark Grif could no longer handle standing and flopped down on the floor. Catching the back of Simmons legs and taking him down as well.

That's how he found himself currently sprawled across Grifs lap in an awkward position. His shoulders and head landed on Grifs legs while the rest of him was bunched up against the wall.

"Nice going fatass." Simmons seethed. Attempting and failing to sit up. There just wasn't enough room for him to manover. And he wasn't about to ask for help.

Grif for his part seemed to be fine with this and just leaned back to try and take a nap. Tucker would come back and let them out soon enough.

Try being the key word here. Every time he started to doze off Simmons would start to squirm in his lap. 

"For fuck sake man can you stop moving?" Grif sighed. 

"Why?" Simmons growled. "I'd like to sit up thanks."

"Well I'd like to take a nap, and there's really no room for you to sit up." Grif growled back.

"Yeah cause your taking up all the room!" Simmons snapped. 

"Rude." Grif said simply. Getting comfortable again for a nap. Only to have Simmons start to shift around again. "Oh for god sakes!" He hissed grabbing Simmons and lifting him enough for the guy to shift and sit next to him. Half on his lap to be more specific, but Grif wasn't going to point that out. 

Simmons gave a choked squeal, but quickly covered it with a cough. "Thanks." He mumbled.

"Mmhm." Grif grunted before dozing off. When he woke up twenty minutes later he wasn't shocked to realize they were still locked in the closet. What did surprise him was the weight on his shoulder. He looked down and immediately stiffened. Simmons was fast asleep, drooling on Grifs shoulder. It wouldn't have been that bad except for the fact that he looked so fucking adorable, even with drool dripping down his cheek. Grif could feel his face begin to burn.

Fuck. Slowly he began to relax. Not wanting to wake Simmons with any sudden movements. This was going to be so awkward if Simmons woke up like this, but Grif couldn't convince himself to move the man. Fuck it. Grif settled in for another nap. Settling his head on top of Simmons.

This is how Tucker and Donut found them when the two decided to let them out. 

Chapter Text

Grif kicked off his armor for the first time in days. He was relaxed and tired and wanted nothing more than to curl up in his bed. A real fucking bed at that. He was excited. One for having a bed. And two because he didn't share a room with anyone. Not Simmons and especially not Donut. That's happened only once and it took all of twenty minutes before he was begging Simmons to share his room instead.

He let out a content sigh as he slipped under the covers and got comfortable. He lay back and waited for sleep to come.

And waited.

And waited.

"Fuck." He sighed. He couldn't figure out why he couldn't sleep. He was comfortable. And it was gloriously dark. And it was quiet.

That was it wasn't it? It was quiet. There was dead silence in his room for the first time in who knew how many years. No snoring. No faint mechanical wheezing from artificial lungs from the nerd across the room. Nothing but the sound of his own borrowed lungs.

After a few minutes he sat up. Maybe if he made up something he could convince Simmons to stay in his room for the night. He could say he saw a bat in his room. Or maybe he could casually walk by Simmons room and say there was a snake in it. That would be believable right?

Probably not. But he prayed Simmons bought it. Or pretend to at least. Simmons was nice like that.

He stood and walked over to the door. Before he could open it there was a loud thud and the familiar sounds of Simmons cussing right outside. Grif grinned. At least the nerd had the decency to come to him. He hit the door release and took in the sight of Simmons sprawled on the cold ground in nothing but a pair of sweats. It was an enjoyable sight.

"What are you doing?" He asked with a smirk.

Simmons huffed and sat up with a groan. "I tripped on my way to bed." He wouldn't look at Grif when he said this. Cheeks flushing. 

"Really? Your rooms the other way." Grif pointed out. Watching the flush spread to his shoulders. He wasn't nearly as nice as Simmons.

"Shut up fatass and help me up I think I hurt my ankle." Simmons growled holding out his hand. 

Grif didn't hesitate to reach out and grasp the offered hand, pulling Simmons up off the cold metal. His hand was rough and slim. It felt warm I'm Grifs own. He liked the warm feeling it gave him. It was comfortable.

He didn't realize he had started to space off until Simmons spoke.

"Do you feel weird?" He asked gripping Grifs hand tightly.

"What?" He asked. Realizing just how clouded his thoughts had become. When Simmons didn't answer he looked up just in time to see the other start to slump over. "Simmons?" 

He felt himself begin to grow weak in the knees and had enough time to pull the other man to his chest before everything went white.

"...Grif?" Someone was calling his name.

"...Grif!" It sounded a lot like Sarge. That was weird. Usually Simmons woke him up for patrol. Sarge refused to go anywhere near Grifs room. So something must be wrong. He felt fine. Better than fine actually. So that means something's wrong with Simmons.

He let out a groan as he fought to wake up.

"Finally. I was worried there for a second. Such an extreme reaction like theirs could have had dangerous consequences on their bodies." A woman started speaking. Grif shuddered. It was just like the tank accident all over again. "The dangers of human skin transfusion in the heat of battle could kill a man, not to mention also melding man with robot. It could kill you both!" Rang in his head. He pried open his eyes to see a mousy woman leaning in front of his face. 

"Um." He was confused.

"Oh! Its me Emily..." He stared at her blankly. "Doctor Grey?" She tried. Oh god the crazy doctor. Grif shuddered again.

"Yeah." He huffed. He finally realized how exhausted he felt. His head was throbbing. "What happened?" 

"Grif I told you if you're gonna die leave Simmons out of it!" Sarge exclaimed. Grif felt his heart speed up. His eyes widened in a moment of panic before Wash cut it.

"We found you on the floor." The man said. Grif confirmed this when he realized that's what he was currently laying on.

"Holding hands!" Tucker added. He sounded like he was holding himself back from making his usual jokes.

"Holding hands." Wash agreed. He sounded just as amused as Tucker. Grif flipped him off.

"Clarify please?" He asked the only sensable one here. A scary though to consider as he moved his head to look at Dr. Grey. 

"Well it would seem that you both were a bit overwhelmed by the sudden bond forming." She explained. "It was too much of a headrush and you both collapsed. This usually happens when soulmates are around each other for extended periods without touching. This is so interesting! I haven't seen a case this bad ever I thought you were goners!" She babbled excitedly.

"Excuse me?" He interrupted. He was even more confused than before. 

"I'm you're soulmate idiot." A quiet voice piped up from his left. "God can I get something for my head?" Simmons groaned.

"Finally, someone sane wakes up." Grif mutters to himself. Quietly relieved that Simmons was okay.

"You're awake! Good, I was afraid you were slipping into a coma." Grey smiled stepping around Grif to get to Simmons.

"Well I'm not. So please stop talking so loud, my heads throbbing."

"Must be a side effect from the bond. Grif did hit his head." Grey said as she checked him over.

"This fucking sucks." Simmons complained. Sitting up awkwardly. He was still holding Grifs hand. His body refused to let it go. 

"Dudes. I can't believe you two have never touched before." Tucker said from where he and Wash were sitting against the wall across from them. "Like, I used to watch you two from blue base and you were always together. How? I thought you we're married."

"Yeah, I did too." Wash nodded.

Sarge added. "You two bunked together, not once in all those years you even bumped into each other?"

"Not really no." Grif shrugged awkwardly where he was still sprawled on the floor.

"We usually were in our armor, the only time we weren't was when we were asleep." Simmons agreed.

"You two are lucky, if this had gone on longer it would have killed you. As it is Grif got a concussion from the fall." Emily sighed. "I have to go get my med kit from the office, I'll be right back."

"Grif was your knight in shinning armor Simmons." Tucker snickered a moment after Grey disappeared.

"What?" Both Grif and Simmons looked at him confused.

"When we found you Grif had you cuddled to his chest." Tucker broke laughing.

"What he's trying to say is that Grif cushioned your fall." Wash explained, elbowing Tucker.

"Hey see, I'm already a good boyfriend." Grif laughed. Wincing when his head throbbed. This only made Tucker laugh harder.

"Shut up." Simmons sighed nudging him with his foot. "You'll hurt yourself."

"I told you you're the mean one in this relationship." Grif muttered tiredly.

"Enough pillow talk you two. Patrol is in an hour. I expect you to be ready!" Sarge ordered. Standing and walking off.

"We should go, our patrol starts in five minutes." Wash said, hauling Tucker to his feet and dragging him away.

"Have fun with your honeymoon! Bow chicka bow wow!" Tucker called over his shoulder before being pulled around the corner.

"Assholes." Grif groaned. After a few moments Grif addressed the elephant in the room. "Are you okay with this?" He asked Simmons seriously.

"If I wasn't would I still be holding your hand?" He asked back.

"I guess not." Grif smiled. "I think I love you." He blurted out. Simmons hand tightened its grip and he was suddenly aware of every little thing about the man sitting beside him. How badly he could ruin this. Ruin them.

"I think i love you too fatass." Simmons said after a moment. Hesitating, but truthful. "This doesn't make me like the fact you hide cookies under your bed. Remember that."

Yeah nothing was going to change. Well... Not nothing.

Simmons bent down and kissed him softly. He'd be lying if he said he'd never wondered how Simmons lips felt. They were warm and soft and Grif had to wonder how he managed that when he knew the dork ran out of ChapStick years ago.

 

 

Chapter Text

They didn't speak. They were not friends. They were not anything. Subject 0r4_n93 hated his guts. Simmons couldn't blame him. He'd hate him too. Being trapped with someone who suppressed your natural powers probably sucked. Not that Simmons would know, being the one doing the suppressing. But he did know what it was like to be out there, then suddenly trapped in here. He wanted to see the sun again. And talk to his mom. And read a fucking book. He missed comic books.

He was getting off track.

0r4_n93 hasn't spoken to him since Simmons was thrown in his cell and that was only to tell him to shut up. Didn't acknowledge he was there except to glare at him for hours on end. That made Simmons squirm. He hated that feeling. Being watched by people that he knew hated him. It wasn't Simmons fault he was here. Hell if it wasn't for some maniac blowing up the department store he worked in Simmons wouldn't be here either. But it happened. And he couldn't fix that. It was bad luck that got him caught and it was shitty luck that stuck him in with the ever scowling 0r4_n93.

Simmons wished he knew the guys real name. He hated having to call him by his research title. It was demeaning and dehumanizing, but it was all he had to call him. He tried asking the boys name on that first day only to be met with a wall of silence.

"What are you doing?" A voice asked. Simmons didn't hear it. Too lost in his thoughts.

He kept on trying and trying. Day after day. But the other boy refused to speak. Simmons was highly aware that if he didn't get a distraction at some point he was going to snap.

"Hey!"

His brain couldn't handle the silence. The empty white walls. The lack of windows. Lack of anything that would stop his brain from going on and on and on. He'd been here for so long he couldn't even remember how long it had been since he passed out in reality and woke up to the horror of being some government experiment. He needed out!

"Uh! Oh fuck what was your name? Simmons?!"

Simmons thoughts seemed to freeze all at once. Quieting down into nothing but faint whispering in the back of his mind. He didn't understand why. Why did they stop?

Someone was talking to him. Right? Was the voice real? He wasn't hallucinating?

"Hello?" The voice called from across the room. He looked up at his roommate, who was half sitting and half standing from their bunk. A worried expression plastered all over his face. "Simmons, are you okay?"

Why wouldn't he be okay? 

"Your starting to glow, I've never seen you do that." 0r4_n93 answered. Stepping fully off the bed and taking a step toward the center of the room.

Glowing? What glowing? He shouldn't be glowing? 

He lifted his good hand to his face and promptly began to panic. His skin was glowing. It was letting out some freaky pulsating glow that traveled up his arms and down the rest of his body. It had never done that before. Why now? Why was it doing it now?

"No." He said flatly in denial. 

"No?" The other boy parroted questioningly.

"Absolutely not." Simmons closed his eyes and tried to will the glowing to stop. Tried thinking of home. Of his old room. Of clouds and grass. Of anything else that calmed him in the past but It just seemed to make the glowing worse. He could feel it, like a heart beat all over his skin. A vibration his head. If he didn't stop now they would notice. They would come for him. He didn't want to go back! He didn't want-

"Hey! Calm down!" 0r4_n93 hissed. Stepping over and climbing onto Simmons bed. Trying to calm him down. "Simmons its fine. You just need to calm down they won't come if you calm down."

"Shut up!" Simmons cried. Tears beginning to spill from his eyes without notice.

"Simmons calm down!" The boy demanded. He was starting to panic. If Simmons didn't calm the fuck down the Director was going to send someone in here.

"Shut up! Shut up!" Simmons spat. " You wouldn't talk to me for weeks, now suddenly you think you can just tell me to calm down? Calm down because my bodies doing something weird again! Because I'm glowing and those assholes watching are going to put me back in that fucking room! You think you of all people can tell me to calm down? Fuck you!" 

"Oh for god sakes! I'm trying to help you fucking cockbite! I wouldn't even be here still if you weren't stuck in this room with me!" He spat back. Pissed and a little thrown by this kids anger toward him.

"Oh yeah, cause it's my fault I'm trapped here! Its not like I volunteered to be here! Some fucking jackass turned himself into a living bomb and volunteered me! So don't act like this is my fault!" Simmons screamed. Shoving the other off his bunk and on to the floor. He froze when his brain registered the thud of the other boy impacting on the floor. 

"Uh..." Shit, he still didn't know the boys name. "Huh-hey... Are you okay?" What if he had killed him?

He would be a murderer. His brain helpfully informed him. He ignored the thought and peeked over the bed. The boy stared back at him and grinned.

"Your not glowing anymore." He said. He looked a little dazed.

The kid definitely had a concussion Simmons concluded. He climbed off his bunk anyway. Sitting on the floor next to the other boys head.

"Why is your arm metal?" The boy complained, rubbing at his right shoulder. A bruise already starting to form.

"A man ran into the store I worked at and blew himself up trying to make a statement." Simmons answered. Even though he knew the boy wasn't looking for an answer. It felt nice getting it off his chest. "That's how I got in here. My blood put a doctor in a coma."

"Oh."

"How did you get caught?

"I ran to the store for a bag of Oreo cookies and stumbled into a robbery." The boy admitted with a shrug.

Simmons laughed. It felt so good talking to someone. "You know my powers, what are yours?"

"What is this? 20 questions?" 0r4_n93 complained.

"Answer it."

"Fine. I can breath fire." He hesitated. As if knowing the next thing Simmons would say.

"Like a drag-"

0r4_n93 cut him off. "If you say like a dragon so help me I will kick you in the shin you giant fucking nerd." 

"What's your name?" Simmons asked finally. He didn't expect an answer this time, though he was surprised when he got one.

"Grif."  Grif whispered. Grinning at Simmons until the boy smiled back.

This was good. Talking was a start. Maybe... Maybe they could be friends?

The boys talked well into the night... Or what passed as night. The lights auto shut down when it was time for bed. And turned on when it was time to wake up. Days could be measured like this if one counted and kept track. Grif and Simmons did not. They simply lived as best they could in the timeless place.

No one came for Simmons and he reassured himself that they must have missed it. He wasn't sure how many people were in the facility. He'd only been back and forth between a lab and his old cell before being thrown in with Grif. So it could be possible that they were busy.

After thirty rotations of the night day cycle in their cell the two woke to the sound of heavy gunfire and such a huge explosion that it rocked the building. Knocking Grif from his bunk.

"What the fuck?" He hissed. Lying prone on the floor even as the gunfire continued. Followed by screaming. A lot of screaming. How many people were there in this place? 

Simmons stumbled out of bunk and over to Grif to help him up. He was shaking in fear. "What's happening?" He asked uselessly.

Grif shook his head. Allowing Simmons to pull him into a sitting position and to continue to hold onto his hand afterwards. Grif would fully admit that it was comforting him as well.

As suddenly as it started the screaming died off. Leaving an empty silence in its wake. A few moments later the door chime sounded. Both boys scrambled up. Dread pooling in their stomachs. The door slid open revealing a haggard looking man dressed head to toe in blood red armor. Helmet tucked under one arm he did a once over of both boys before glancing down at a paper he had clutched in his hand.

"Richard Simmons and Dexter Grif?" He asked, glancing up at them both.

"Who's asking?" Grif demanded. He felt Simmons fingers digging harder into his own hand and grimaced. He could practicality hear Simmons silently screaming that he was an idiot.

"The man who just saved yer life you ungrateful shit." The man frowned harder. He crushed up the paper and tossed it away.

"Why?" Grif asked. Skeptical of this whole thing. It wouldn't be the first time they've been thrown in some weird test.

"I'm shutting this place down boy, why else? I can't just leave ya here... Well maybe you, but Simmons there has been here over a year already. Its high time to move on." He shrugged turning away from them and striding away.

"A year?" Simmons whispered. He was really starting to cut circulation off in Grifs hand. Grif would have tried prying his fingers out of his most likely bruised hand if he didn't know that as soon as he did the guy would faint.

"It's cool. Think of all the school you didn't have to go to." He said, trying to distract him.

"I liked school." Simmons argued.

"Of course you did."

"Are you two coming? Or do you want more time for pillow talk?" The scruffy man asked sarcastically as he popped back into the doorway.

"Coming sir!" Simmons said quickly. Pulling Grif behind him as he followed after the man. "God I missed sunlight." Simmons muttered as the passed through the door and were met with rows of windows along the wall.

"Can't disagree there." Grif nodded. Not paying heed to the windows. Instead staring at Simmons. The boy had started glowing. Grif had to admit, it was kind of pretty.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Grif stared out the window from behind the counter of the new bakery he worked at. The place was new, having opened just a week prior to his getting the job. He'd tried looking into the other bakerys said to be in town but hadn't been able to find any of them. Just empty lots where they should have been.

He'd placed in an application out of desperation. Having his younger sister move in with him, and moving to a new town, ment he needed a steady income. That didn't mean he liked the job. He was bored. The place had a single customer seated as far from Grif as possible. Removing any chance at conversation.

The door chimed as a tall man with wild ginger hair, and large buggy glasses stumbled into the shop. He held a pile of papers in one hand. Obviously out on a lunch run. He walked up to the counter and began to look over what was there. After a short while he cleared his throat.

"Excuse me, does this one have banana in it?" He asked pointing at one of the pastry's. Grif grit his teeth. If it was one thing he hated it was picky assholes on their lunch break.

Grif didn't bother giving it more than a once over before he sighed. "Nope." 

The man nodded his thanks, picking up the pastry and dropping money on the counter. Grif began counting the money when there was a short cough. Then another. Then a longer one. He glanced up just as the man dropped his pile of paper, followed shortly by the pastry. 

"Hey, what the hell?" Grif stood from the stool and began to walk around the counter. The man was wide eyed and panicked. Gasping for air.

"can't-" he wheezed. That's when Grif realized what was going on.

"Aw shit!" He hissed pulling out his phone. "Do you have a pen with you?" He asked the guy as he dialed 911.

The man shook his head frantically. He tried to suck in another breath, but he couldn't get any air. His vision began to go spotty.

Grif explained what happened to the operator and glanced up just in time to watch the guy faint.

"Shit!" He yelped, dropping the phone. The guy wasn't breathing. Fuck. He laid the guy down and tilted his head back. He needed CPR. Grif knew CPR. He began administrating CPR when the other customer rushed up.

"Oh gosh, I'm sorry I couldn't find it fast enough!" The man with a long braided ponytail apologized. Stabbing an Eppi pen into the unconscious mans leg.

Grif didn't let up the CPR until the man on the floor gave a choking cough a minute later.

"Shit, I thought you were dead." Grif sighed in relief.

Later at the hospital Grif was seated next to the mans bed in an uncomfortable hospital chair.

"So, you thought I was just being picky?" Simmons snorted. He'd woken up an hour ago and had spent half that glaring daggers at Grif while Grif explained what happened.

"Look man, I'm really sorry." He repeated. "I just get a lot of assholes in on lunch."

"As you said." Simmons huffed.

"If its any comfort I probably lost my job because of this." Grif sighed. Running a hand down his face. He'd really needed that job too.

"As surprising as it is, I'm actually not comforted by that." Simmons said. Shifting until he was sitting up. "Hand me my papers please."

Grif picked up the stack of papers he'd collected off the bakery floor while the EMT"s loaded Simmons into the ambulance. He handed them over and watched carefully as the man leafed through them until he found what he was looking for. He held it out for Grif who took it with a suspicious look at Simmons face.

He almost tossed it back in confusion. "An application?" He asked dumbfounded.

"Yup. I was going to give it to you after I tasted the product but some asshole nearly killed me before I could. Simmons snarked. 

"I don't think I understand." 

Simmons huffed. "My boss owns the only other bakery in town. He doesn't want competition. Believe me when I say the mans crazy enough to have burned the place down around your ears. Thankfully I convinced him to let me poach their supposed baking master." He explained.

Well that explained why Grif hadn't been able find the other bakerys that were supposed to be in town. As uncomfortable as the thought was.

Still. This whole thing wreaked of weird and suspicious. "Me?"

"You." Simmons agreed.

"You want to hire me even after I nearly killed you?" Grif figured Simmons boss wasn't the only crazy one.

"Wouldn't be the first time working for Sarge has nearly gotten me killed." Simmons muttered to himself. "If you're still ify about the whole thing just look at the bottom of the application."

Grif glanced down and nearly choked on air. There was no way in hell he was passing up this job.  Not with the amount of money they were going to pay him.

"I'll take it." He didn't even hesitate.

 "That's what I thought." Simmons grinned. "First day of work starts Monday."

 

Chapter Text

 

Simmons had a problem. His boyfrind wasn't all that normal. In fact you could say he was supernatural. He had been trying to figure out how to bring it up since he found out. It wasn't like Grif was doing a good job of hiding the fact that he turned into a giant fucking wolf every full moon. 

This left Simmons in a weird position. Did he just out right say he knew? Or did he wait for Grif to tell him? Or the third option. Did he wait for Grif's laziness to backfire on him and pray he wasn't nearby?

It was a cold night in August when option three reared its ugly head. As the couple lay sleeping in their bed a shudder ran through Simmons sleep partner. Simmons woke slowly as the shuddering continued. He was aware that Grif seemed warmer than usual. In his sleepy haze he cuddled closer to the warmth. That was, until he realized that the warm body was also quite a lot furrier than Grif.

He felt like ice had been pumped through him as he jolted back out of bed. Landing on the carpeted floor with a loud thud. His actions startled the wolf in his bed causing the wolf to fall off the other side and on to the floor. Simmons lay panting on the floor for a moment. Reminding his brain that the wolf was just Grif. Only a lot furrier... And deadlier. With sharp teeth. And six inch claws.

Holy shit he was trapped in the room with a werewolf!

Usually Grif snuck off in the middle of the night to do his wolf business. At first Simmons had thought he was cheating, but after a while the thought died. Grif hadn't almost literally chased him down to stop him from signing up to be stationed off planet after they had gotten into a huge argument, begging for him to stay, only to turn around and cheat on him.

Simmons was brought back to the present situation when a small growl made him freeze. He turned his head to look under the bed and saw a large chocolate brown snout poking underneath the bed covers. Sniffing at him curiously. 

"Gr-Grif?" Simmons whispered. Afraid raising his voice would set the wolf off.

The wolf sneezed and the snout disappeared. Simmons sat up slowly and peeked over the bed. Coming face to face with a wolf half his size wasn't something he'd ever wanted to experience. It was terrifying. Large glowing honey colored eyes stared back at him. Staring him down. It looked hungry.

Simmons slowly shifted to his feet. Still crouching but getting ready to make a run for the door. No way in hell was he staying in this room while Grif was a giant man eating monster. He counted to three in his head before sprinting for the door.

There was an almost silent sound of air shifting a second before something large slammed into him from behind, taking him to the floor. The weight shifted until it was removed. Slowly Simmons rolled onto his back. Nearly shrieking when he saw the wolf standing over him.

It stared down at him, curiosity clear on its face. The wolf tilted its head and began to sniff aggressively at Simmons. Simmons was frozen in place as the wolf stuck its cold nose on his chest, sniffing around his bare chest before moving on to his armpit.

This made Simmons squirm. "Stop that!" Simmons snapped without meaning. Freezing again when the wolf jolted back. It gave a small growl. "Oh god please don't eat me." He rasped in terror. 

The wolf huffed. Did it just roll it's fucking eyes at him? Simmons shook his head. He let out a squeal when the great beast flopped down. Curling up on top of him as if he were a doggy bed.

"Are you fucking serious?" He hissed. Jolting when something wet ran up his face. "...DID YOU JUST LICK ME?!" He shrieked, squirming about, trying to dislodge the wolf from its new bed. He soon gave up when it was apparent the wolf wasn't moving. He wasn't moving, and neither was Simmons. 

"I fucking hate you Grif." He whispered even as he got comfortable.

The next morning he woke to his boyfriend muttering in his ear.

"Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck. Simmons? Simmons wake up. please!" He sounded distressed.

Simmons opened his eyes and took in the sight of Grif kneeling naked on their bedroom floor and wondering why he was naked on the floor before remembering the night before. He glared daggers at him.

"You fucking asshole!" He hissed. Sitting up and feeling the aches in his body from the night he had on the floor.

"Simmons I can explain!" Grif pleaded but Simmons cut him off.

"Thanks to you I had to sleep on the floor AND I have dried dog slobber on my face!"

Grif was taken aback. "You're not... You're not surprised that I'm a werewolf?"

"Surprised?!" He scoffed. "You get out of bed almost every full moon to howl at it! And have you seen how much hair you leave everywhere? I'd be surprised if you WEREN'T a werewolf!"

Grif grimaced. "I didn't hurt you did I?" He asked. Not looking Simmons in the eye.

Simmons sighed, letting g his frustrations go. "Other than making me sleep on the floor and terrifying the shit out of me? No, you were a very nice wolf."

"This isn't a joke." Grif growled. "Did it hurt you?" He asked again. 

Simmons raised a brow. He knew it wasn't a joke, but he also wasn't going to let Grif flounder in whatever mood he was in. "I'm not lying. Besides if you had hurt me I would have called the dog catcher." He grinned.

Grif let out a small laugh. "Shut up nerd." He smiled back. Getting to his feet he held out his hand to help Simmons up. "I'll make breakfast, as a sorry for scaring you last night. Then we can talk about this."

"Sounds good." Simmons muttered taking Grifs hand and being pulled off the floor, he watched Grif start to walk off towards the kitchen. He quickly wrapped his arms around Grifs waist, tucking his head into the crook of his neck. "You know I love you right? No matter how hairy you get every month."

"I love you too. I wanted to tell you but... After last time I was afraid you would actually leave." Grif whispered back.

"I'm sorry." Simmons mummers. Kissing his his neck before releasing him. "And Grif?"

"Yeah?"

"Please put on clothes before going in the kitchen."

"Wow, way to ruin the mood Simmons."

Chapter Text

He isn't quite sure how it happens, or well, he is. he's just not quite sure why it happens.

Grif was out patrolling the perimeter of their designated safe zone alone. He'd been rudely awakened with a shotgun aimed at his face and threatened into patrol duty. As he wandered down from one of the overhead paths he hears the faint sound of sniffling. He paused cocking his head to listen better. Again he heard it. Curious he began to creep towards the sound coming from behind a large boulder. Peeking around the corner he found the blue teams rookie crying into his knees.

Watching the kid sit and cry made Grif fidgit awkwardly. Debating whether to turn and sneak away or say something. The kid began to hiccup, crying harder. Well shit. Grif cleared his throat. Caboose jumped, looking up at Grif with big teary eyes. He looked like a sad puppy. Grif stepped out from behind the rock.

"Uh... You okay?"

The question makes the kid cry harder.

"I'll take that as a no." He shifted down the rock and sat next to the kid. Unsure what to say. What would he do when Kai was little? He tries to remember. "You want to talk about it?" He asks, rubbing the kids armorless back. After a while Caboose begins to calm down.

"I mi-miss my sisters!" The poor kid hiccups. When he finally stops sobbing. Well at least Grif can understand that. 

"Yeah, tell me about it. I miss my sister too." 

Caboose looks at him with a smile. Rubbing at his tear stained cheeks to dry them. "You have a sister too?"

"Yup, her names Kai. I had to leave her behind when I got drafted, but I still send her emails when I can."

"Emails? I can send them emails?" 

Grif looks at the kid funny. Shrugging he pulls off his helmet. "Yeah, but only once a month. When you get back to base you can ask Church to help you."

Caboose nods, but he doesn't move. After a minute he speaks again. "You have a sister... Does that mean you know how to braid hair?" He asks quietly. "I asked Tucker cause I thought he would know, but he doesn't."

"What about Church?"

"I don't think he has hair." Caboose whispered.

Grif snorted. "Well you're in luck. Not only do I have hair, but I can braid too."

"Really! Oh mister yellow guy would you braid my hair please!" Caboose pleaded.

"I guess it couldn't hurt." He ignored the yellow part of the whole thing. 

That's how he got caught an hour later braiding the kids ridiculously long black hair. Seriously he needed at least five inches trimmed off. He wasn't sure how Caboose was going to get it into the helmet he needed to wear.

"so how may sister do you have?" Grif asked curiously, tucking and twisting away.

"Umm..." He began to count off his fingers, mutrering names under his breath as he went. "Mary, Suzy, Liz, Beth, Anna- Eighteen!" He cheered happily. Grif nearly pulled his hair in shock.

Holy- "That's a lot of sisters. I thought I had too many sisters." Grif laughed. Putting the finishing touches on Caboose's new braid.

Caboose laughed. "That's silly, you only have one, you don't have enough sisters."

"What the fuck is going on here?" Church's voice echoed. Startling the two.

"Church the yellow guy is helping me braid my hair!" Caboose grinned. Excited that his very best friend was here. "Do you want him to braid your hair too?" He asked.

"What? Hell no!" Church snapped. Crossing his arms and cocking his head. Grif could tell even wit the helmet on that he was glaring at them.

"Is it because you don't have hair?" Caboose asked sadly.

"I have hair goddamn it!" He stopped, taking a deep breath to calm himself. "Caboose what are you even doing out here?" 

Grif saw the hesitation in Cabooses body. The boy obviously didn't want his friend to know he'd been crying. So he cut in.

"Dude, if you don't want your hair braided then scram, i still have to figure out how to help him fit his long ass hair into his helmet."

"Shut up red, i didn't ask you!" Church snapped.

Before Grif could say anything Tucker came skidding around the corner. "Did you find him yet man? I think we should get the reds to help-" he stopped talking when he noticed what was going on. "What the hell?"

"He's getting his hair braided." Church sighed.

"Really? Dude you made us panic because you wanted your hair braided?" He demanded.

"Lies!" Caboose shouted. "There were no picnics!"

"Lay off man, he's out here cause he misses his sisters, all eighteen of them." Grif glared at them.

"Eighteen? Holy shit! That explains so much." Tucker laughed. He walked over and sat down against the opposite rock.

Church sighed. "Look if you're done here can we go?"

"I'm not done, i already said i have to fit all this hair inside his helmet." Grif snapped. "You're going to have to wait."

Grumbling Church sat down right were he stood. The blues watched with mild interest as Grif tucked and wound Cabooses hair around his head.

"Where did you learn to braid?" Church asked after a few moments.

"My sister." He answered simply. He didn't want to get into the whole story. He tucked the last of the braid. "Alright, i'm done."

"Finally." Church went to stand when he was knocked back to the ground as a body rounded the rock and tripped over him.

"Fuck!" SImmons yelped.

"What the hell Simmons!?" Church hissed. Shoving Simmons off him.

"Oh I'm sorry! i wasn't the one napping behind a rock!" Simmons snapped. Picking himself up off the ground.

"Hey Simmons what are you doing out here?" Grif asked.

"Looking for you fatass. It's been almost two hours i figured you either fell asleep or got yourself killed by the blues. I see now that you just conned them into napping with you." Simmons walked over and pulled Grif to his feet.

"Naps!" Caboose yelled, flopping back onto the ground. taking care not to mess up his braid.

"Aw come on, he gets a nap? i haven't gotten a nap!" Grif complained.

"No Sarge is looking for you, you're on warthog duty." SImmons gripped Grif's wrist and started to drag him away. 

"Simmons!" Grif whined. 

As the reds walked off Tucker continued to stare. Church could tell he was grinning. you just learned to feel these things when living with people for years. 

"Okay, spill." He prodded Tuckers leg.

"They are so in love." Tucker sighed.

"Jesus christ. Alright. i think that's enough of those shitty romance novels you get shipped in." 

"I keep telling you i'm not the one ordering those!"

"Really? then who is it?"

"Tucker did it!" Caboose sang, springing to his feet and began dancing around.

 

 

Chapter Text

 Things were going crazy after the crackdown on the third law of hunter code. Citing that all supernatural's needed to be kept under a certain number. City's were rioting. People were fleeing the country. Whole clans were going into hiding. That had been three months ago.

When they started cutting down clan numbers only one or two people would go missing at a time. Now supernatural creatures were being hunted in droves. Not a day passed where where a clan wasn't wiped out. 

Simmons was running for his life through the woods. A team of hunters hot on his trail. Three fucking days they've been hunting him. Three days. You think humans would get tired. They'd wiped out his clan while he'd been at work. Coming home to a house full of dead family and an ambush had been the worst moment of Simmons life. Right under being bitten by a vampire in the first place.

He swerved in and around trees trying to lose them. He was so focused on getting away from them he didn't pause to check the path in front of him until he was almost literally running off a cliff. To be fair, he was bleeding pretty badly from a wound in his chest where one of the hunters had gotten a lucky shot and the loss of blood and on setting hunger was slowing him down and fogging his mind.

He stumbled to a stop mere inches from falling off the cliff. He looked over the edge, then glanced behind him at the lights growing closer to them. Oh god he was going to have to jump off this cliff wasn't he?

He took a step back, still debating whether or not to jump, when a growl from the shadows made him nearly jump over the edge on instinct. His head snapped to the left where the growl came from. His nose picked up the smell of werewolf before he saw it. Blended in with the foliage around it. He hissed stumbling away from the wolf. It blinked lazily at him, head moving to look in the direction of the Hunters. He growled again. Slipping back into the shadows.

A few moments later lights started blinking off, and Hunters started screaming. Before he knew what was happening the lights were gone and the men were dead. Not a single bullet had been fired.

He stood at the edge of the cliff ledge. Unsure what to do. There was a loud snap and suddenly a man was walking out of the woods. Simmons gave him a hazy once over. he was at least a head Shorter than Simmons. Dark brown hair and Glowing yellow eyes. His arms were covered in tribal tattoos. Eyes traveling down he saw the man was well muscled, even if he had a bit of a belly on him, he was also wearing a fur pelt around his waist. The mark of his clan probably.

"Well at least you're not naked." He slurred before blacking out.

"Wake up. Wake Up Simmons!" Someone was prodding at him with their bare foot. "I really hope you don't need CPR."

He snapped awake, and panic flooded his system. His first instinct kicking in he went to bite who ever woke him.

"Woah!" The man stumbled back. "Don't bite my fucking face off asshole!"

Simmons tried to stand but found he was too weak. "Where am i?" He asked when he flopped back to the ground. "How do you know me?"

"You're in my house." The man answered. "And you told me your name while you were muttering to yourself last night."

Simmons looked around and confirmed that he was in a house. He was also on the floor. Rude. Still the guy had drug him back here. He could have left him for dead. Speaking of. "Thank you, for helping me."

"You're welcome." He held out his hand for Simmons to take. pulling him into a sitting position. Simmons almost didn't give him back his hand. Almost. He was hungry, but he had more control than that. The man noticed. "You're hungry."

Simmons sighed. "Please don't say hunger. The longer i ignore it, the longer it is before i try to eat you."  

"Right. Even if my blood taste like mangy dog?" He laughed. Simmons looked at him funny.

"Says who?"

"You."

"When?" Had he woken up once before? how long has he been here?

"I tried offering you blood when you were delirious. You told me you didn't want any mangy dog blood." The man laughed. "I figure you smelled the wolf more than you did the blood."

Simmons was horrified. "Sorry. I uh-"

"It's fine. When's the last time you ate?"

"I-Don't remember. I think it was the day before the Hunters showed up. That was four days ago." He wanted to cry. No wonder he felt like he was starving. It wouldn't be the longest he's gone without feeding, but he'd also never had a bullet in his chest. If he didn't eat soon he really would try to maul his new friend.

"Well I'd say you could run out and have a snack, but those hunters are sniffing around." The man sighed, taking a seat next to Simmons. Simmons could smell him. He smelled amazing.

Fuck. He could do this. Don't eat your host Simmons.

"So you want some?" The man broke into his thoughts.

"What?"

"Blood. Do. You. Want some?" He asked holding out his arm. Simmons stared at him like he was insane. Was this guy insane?

"Are you insane?" He might as well ask.

"Not that I know of. Look i didn't save your ass only for you to die of hunger, or to be eaten by you. So please just take my offer and drink my damn blood." He waved his arm in Simmons face.

"I'm not going to- I don't know if i'll stop once i start. In case you didn't notice i have a bullet in my chest and it's making making my instincts run on full. If i drink your blood i could kill you anyway." Simmons tried to reason. The man shook his head.

"That's why i have my sister outside the door with ready to break it down and eat you. Trust me. I wouldn't be offering you this if i thought it would kill me." The man laughed again. He seemed to be a little too happy for a werewolf trapped in a room with a hungry vampire. "Besides you've been eyeing my arm like its a bag of Oreos."

Well Simmons couldn't argue with that. He could however feel embarrassed. "Sorry." He apologized. He still didn't move to take the offered wrist.

The man stared at him for a solid minute before muttering. "Jesus Christ." with that the man stiffed his wrist in Simmons mouth. 

Simmons tried to jerk away but the man just followed, wrist still in Simmons mouth. Simmons could feel his fangs begin to extend and his nostrils flair as the smell of blood hit him. He made a distressed noise but he could get his mouth to open.

"Just bite nerdpire, i give you permission." The man wiggled his wrist. "Now eat."

Simmons couldn't stop himself. His jaw snapped closed tighter around the mans wrist. Fangs puncturing the vain. They retracted and the blood began to flow. As soon as the first drop hit his tongue he was gone.

When he woke up for the second in an unfamiliar place, he was at least in a bed. He was also a lot less hungry. He guessed since he wasn't dead he hand't killed the guy who fed him. His mouth tasted of blood and for some weird reason, chocolate.

"You're awake. Good, for a second there i thought my blood had killed you." The man was seated in a dinning room chair placed next to the bed. He was munching on what looked like a bag of chips. "Names Grif by the way."

"You fucking cockbite." Simmons groaned. Sitting up in bed.

"Hey that's rude. I saved your life. Twice." The man, Grif pointed out, jabbing his bag of chips into Simmons chest for emphasis.  

"I could have killed you twice." 

"But you didn't. Like i said. I wouldn't have offered if i thought you would kill me. Though you freaked out my sister when you passed and started drooling blood. We thought we'd killed you instead." He laughed. 

"You seem a little too happy about this situation." Simmons pointed out. 

"Well excuse me for being happy that I not only managed to save your ass, i also happened to save a vampire from death. Sarge is going to be skipping down the street like a fairy." 

"You shouldn't be happy about that!" Simmons snapped. "We're not supposed to like each other. What the hell is going on here? Who the fuck is Sarge?"

"Dude you don't know?" Grif asked.

"NO! In case it's news to you I've been in your house for the majority of my waking hours."

"He's the guy running this place. I just thought you knew since I found you on our land while out on patrol"

"What the hell is this place?" He hissed at Grif. 

"A supernatural sanctuary. How else did i manage to get away with killing six guys?" 

That.. actually made sense.

"Right... well... Why does it matter that i'm a vampire?"

"Cause Blue base has one and we don't. I've had to listen to sarge bitch for days now. You are a life saver Simmons." Grif laughed. Simmons realized that was the reason he was so happy with this whole situation.

"You're a fucking lunatic." Simmons whispered in awe. Grif had almost gotten himself killed because he didn't want to listen to this Sarge guy bitch.

"Welcome to the team!"

 

Chapter Text

This was it.

The end of the line for Dexter Grif.

Son. Brother. Baker.

Died valiantly for a pack of Oreos.

He closed his eyes as the monster above him began to snap it's jaws down on his arm. When he expected pain, instead came the sound of the monsters jaw snapping shut on something metal. His eyes snapped open and he saw an arm locked in the zombies mouth. He followed the arm back around where a man was struggling to hold the zombies head back.

"Move!" The guys hissed. 

Grif scrambled out from under the flailing body. He looked back just in time to watch the man snap the zombies neck. "Holy shit." he panted. "Your arm?" it sounded like the zombie had bit into metal.

"It's fine." He shrugged, lifting his sleeve to show his arm. A metal arm.

"Well that's useful." Grif huffed. He walked over to the counter and picked up his pack. "You do that often?" He asked, turning back to watch the other man pick up his stuff.

"What?" The man asked shrugging his own pack on.  He walked up to the front of the store and poked his head out to look around.

"Stuffing your robo arm in Zombie mouths." Grif had to admit it was pretty awesome.

"Not usually no, i only reinforced the casing today." He answered distractedly.

"You've been tweaking your own metal arm?" Grif asked skeptically. This guy was kinda hot, his red hair flying wild on his head, and the freckles spattering across his face.  The way the too serious look on his face made his nose scrunched up. Grif could also be feeling the effects of not having been around anyone in two months.

"I've had nothing better to do." The guy said. He seemed embarrassed by the fact that his arm was pretty much a weapon. 

Nope, that definitely wasn't helping the crush Grif's suddenly gotten for this complete stranger.  

"We should go."

"We?" Grif gave him a look. The man blushed.

"We. Yeah, i'm pretty sure a group of those things wasn't far behind me when i got into town, and it's safer to go together."

"Alright lets go then." He said nudging the guy on his way out the door.

If Grif was being honest the next few weeks were some of the best he's had in a while. It turned out that the guys name is Richard but he preferred Simmons. Before the whole apocalypse thing he worked as a technician for the army. He'd lost his arm in an accident with a tank four years earlier.  He was a giant fucking nerd, Grif's already gotten in more that one argument with the man over superheros. 

They traveled from one town to the next, avoiding the big cities and highways. In one town they found a carnival. Simmons even managed to get a few of the old games to work. Grif couldn't help but feel like he was on a date half the night but it was nice. 

"So real talk, how long has it been since you've had real food?" Grif asked. He'd been craving real bacon for days now. The old food stands weren't helping. Currently he and Simmons were sitting on that one huge slide that carnivals always had. 

"Man, don't even start." Simmons sighed. He bit into the granola bar he'd been trying to force down for the past twenty minutes. 

"I would kill for a steak right now." Grif sighed back at him. "Medium rare, well seared. Juicy. Tender."

Simmons grimaced. "How can you even think about eating meat after running away from cannibalistic monsters?"

"Well i'm not planning to eat people- Oh my god!" Grif gasped as he realized something. "You're a vegetarian aren't you?"

Simmons ignored him.

"Everything makes so much sense now." He laughed. Simmons huffed.

"I'm not a vegetarian you ass." He scooted closer to Grif, he was shivering from the cold. Grif figured they should go find somewhere to stay for the night, but he was having too much fun. Looking at Simmons he was reminded again how cute the guy was. He wanted to kiss the freckles off his face. An urge he'd had since he met the big nerd. He doesn't think he's ever wanted to do that to anyone before. It's a strange thought.

 Simmons was staring off to their left, head cocked. Grif leaned in, giving in to the urge.

"Do you hear that?" Simmons muttered. Grif froze. Nothing ever good came from asking that. He looked down over the carnival, listening for whatever it was Simmons had heard.

Footsteps. Shuffling, slow, stumbling. They were getting louder.

He scanned the surrounding buildings. Anxiety and tense anticipation settling in his gut like they always did when he heard the sounds of incoming Zombies. "Should we run?" He whispered. Standing up and pulling on his pack. Simmons followed, stuffing the unfinished granola bar in a side pocket.

"Yeah, on the count of three." 

"On three? or after three?"

"On three!" Simmons growled. He began to walk backwards toward the stairs.

The first zombies spilled from behind a kiosk to their left, hissing as soon as they caught sight of the duo.

"Three!" Grif hissed and bolted. Simmons hot on his heels. They thundered down the stairs and sprinted between booths.

"You ass that wasn't a proper countdown!" Simmons panted.

"It doesn't matter just run!"

They turned down a path between two exposition tents and nearly slammed into another Zombie. Grif took it out with a swing of his bat. Another one sprinted at him from the right.

Simmons shoved him down another path. "Keep running!" Simmons called after him.

Grif skid around the side of the tent, running as quickly as possible. The zombie behind him was gaining fast. He'd lost track of Simmons, he couldn't hear a third set of footsteps behind him, and while that filled him with anxiety and dread he couldn't stop to think about it. Simmons was the first person he'd found that wasn't a zombie, or wanted to kill him, he didn't want to go back to being alone. He liked Simmons. He couldn't say that about many people, even before all the zombies.

His foot caught on an exposed cord, nearly taking him down. A mistake. The Zombies hand latched onto his pack. He spun trying to get his arms out of the straps. Oh god why? Just like the Oreo incident all over again.

He nearly pissed himself when a metal fist punched through the monsters skull. Skull and brain splattering everywhere.

"Holy Shit!" He yelped side eyeing Simmons, who had popped up from the shadows like some nerdy guardian angel.

"Holy shit!" Simmons parroted. Watching the body slide off his fist and land on the ground.

"You put your fucking fist through his skull!" Grif said in awe as pulled his pack from the zombies fist. He wiped some zombie splatter off it with his sleeve.

"I didn't mean too! I just meant to punch him!" He was holding his arm out in front of him with a horrified look on his face.

"No, dude. That was fucking hot." Grif grinned, throwing an arm around his shoulders. "Who knew you could be so badass?"

"Hot? I just put my fist through a zombies skull." He hissed. His face was flush with embarrassment at Grif's words none the less.

"Who wouldn't be turned on after being saved by their knight in maroon hoodie." Grif laughed. Grabbing Simmons hand. "Just... no more messing with your arm. I don't want my hand crushed when i hold your hand."

 "Is that going to be a thing?" Simmons asked shyly, wiping his bloody hand off on his pants. He was avoiding Grif's eyes.

"Hand holding? Hell yeah, if i didn't find you hot before, i seriously do now." He stood on his toes and planted a soft kiss on Simmons cheek. "Now come on, we gotta go before more zombies show up."

Chapter Text

Simmons is a boy trapped in a shitty small town called Blood Gulch, in love with a guy who has no idea who Simmons was under all the shit talk and banter. Well he didn't, until Simmons had to go and open his big mouth.

"Grif, you have any good memories from this summer?" Simmons asks. He's feeling a bit melancholy today, and despite having a full list of chores from his dad he's decided to lounge around inside the shitty tree house he and Grif built last year.

 "I guess i have a few yeah. I wanted to learn to surf, so my mom bought me a surfboard." Grif shrugged. He'd gone to Hawaii with his mom for the summer. Leaving Simmons alone with the infamous Blues, and Donut. He shudders thinking about the Sleepover incident.

"You're lucky really. My dad was a total asshole. I wanted to join the mathletes summer program but he made me try out for the girls soccer team instead. I ended up just running track with Sarge and Doc as usual." Simmons sighs. He doesn't like thinking about that. Doesn't like thinking of home if he can avoid it.

"The girls team? why not the boys?" Grif opens his eyes for the first time in an hour. He stares at Simmons questioningly. Simmons can practically see the wheels turning in his head.

"No idea, ask him." Simmons jumps to his feet. "I uh...you know what, i think i should head home and start my chore list." He feels like an idiot. Why'd he have to say that? He clambers down the shoddy ladder as quickly as he's able without falling to his death.

"Hey wait!" Grif is quick on his feet, rushing after Simmons. He catches up to him before he can slip out the gate, grabbing him by the elbow. "Simmons wait!" He gives Simmons a once over before clearing his throat. "Are you a girl? Cause i mean, a few things would be explained if that were the case. Like your weird chocolate craving every month. And why you didn't want to go swimming. Is that why Felix, Locus and O'Malley keep leaving tampons in your locker?"

"Stop!" Simmons voice cracks. As it always does when he lies, or panics. But he isn't a girl, no matter what's in his pants or under his shirt. He's a boy. And right now he's panicking.

"It's okay if you are." Grif reassures.

"I'm Not!" Simmons snaps, ripping his arm from Grifs hand. "I'm not a girl!" His eyes start to sting. It feels like arguing with his dad all over again. He wraps his arms around his chest. He'd done so well at hiding he couldn't blow it now. Not now when everything was going so well.

"You're not a girl." Grif throws his hands up in surrender. "It's okay." He moves till he's standing in front of the gate.

"It's not... not okay." He can feel the tears start sliding down his face. He wants nothing more than to run home, but Grif won't get the fuck out of his way.

"You want to talk about it?"

"No. You wouldn't get it."

"Shouldn't i judge that for myself?"

"No you-" He cut himself off. Running a hand through his hair. "You like this Simmons, the one that's easy to get, not the fucked up Simmons that hides under this stupid fucking hoodie."

"How would you know?" Grif challanged. "You've never shown me the other Simmons."

"Because that Simmons isn't who i want to be!" He said desperately. Scrubbing at his eyes with his sleeve. "I want to be Richard not Rachel! I want to be a mathlete not an athlete, i want to be who i really am and not who i was born as!" 

"Simmons it's okay, really."Grif shifts, trying to find a way to make Simmons hear him out but Simmons doesn't stay to listen, shoving past Grif and escaping through the gate.

He doesn't stop running until he's sitting in his room.

He looks around at all the things that remind him of who he is and frowns. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that he has three dresses in his closet that he's forced to wear on family outings. It's not fair that his walls are pink because his dad won't let him repaint it. It isn't fair hes trapped here in this house. Simmons father isn't home yet. So he pulls out the bag he has stashed under his bed. He unzips it and tosses it on the bed. It's like a ritual by now. Pull the bag out. Put another article of clothing in it. Zip it closed and back under the bed it goes. It started long before he met Grif, maybe around the time his mother left. He'd always wanted to follow her, where ever it was she had disappeared to. Where ever his father had driven her off to.

He stares down into the bag holding the few boys clothes that Donut had given him over the years. Donut was Simmons oldest friend, they'd known each other since third grade, it would take a blind person not to realize Richard was really Rachel. That Rachel had suddenly disappeared during the summer before seventh grade and Richard had taken her place. The thing was Donut wasn't the only one who knew, all the Blues did. They just pretended they didn't. Well... maybe Caboose really did think he was someone else. You could never tell with that boy.

Now Grif. He didn't want Grif to know. He'd tried so fucking hard to hide it. Now all that hard work, and all the anxiety for nothing. 

The sound of the doorbell echoed through the house. Simmons quickly tossed the bag of clothes under the bed. He ran downstairs to answer the door. 

Grif grinned back at him. "Hello sir, i'm here to buy any unused Oreos you may have."

Cold panic gripped him. "No." He said and started to close the door.

Grif quickly grabbed the door."Woah wait!"

"Go away!" Simmons hissed, pushing against the door. If his dad caught him here he'd be in so much trouble. Not only that but his neighbors liked to watch him out their windows then talk about him at their shitty desperate housewives get togethers. Especially when Donut came over. It was even worse when Tucker dropped him off after school.

"Please, I just want to talk." He refused to budge. "Simmons, I had to bribe Tucker into giving me your address. He took All of my daredevil comics." Grif sighed. "Please let me in."

Simmons bit his lip. He could let Grif in. They could talk. Or Simmons could tell him to fuck himself and close the door in his face and they could probably never talk again. 

Simmons sighed, opening the door to let him in. His dad wouldn't be home for another hour at least. "Hurry the fuck up and get in here. Mary from next door is a terrible gossip, and if she tells people i'm having sex with strangers again i'm going to bust out her windows."

"What? Who were you having sex with?" Grif asks, giving Simmons a skeptic look.

"According to her, Donut." Simmons shuddered, shoving Grif up the stairs.

"Jesus, i'm going, slow down." Grif stumbled on the last step.

"When you go into my room, i don't want you to say a fucking word about it. Got it?" Simmons growled. Hand resting on the knob. He waited till Grif nodded before shoving the door open and motioning him in.

"Holy- that's a lot of pink." Grif blurts before giving Simmons a sheepish look. "I mean, it's... nice."

"It's shit." Simmons says bluntly. The desk chair gives a small creak when he sits in it. Grif flops down on the bed.

"So." Grif drawls eyes drifting over the room. 

"What are you doing here?" Simmons sighs.

"I want to talk, like i said." He shrugs, giving Simmons a small smile. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said all that stuff."

Simmons is a little taken back by that. He's never heard Grif apologize unless it's to his mother. He scrubs a hand over his face. "I didn't want you to find out." He admits. "I just wanted things to stay the same. I like you and i thought that if you realized i'm not a boy you'd think i was a freak." 

"I said it was fine. I meant that." He reached for Simmons hand. "I like you too, you not having a dick isn't going to change that for me."

Simmons can feel the ache in his throat. He really doesn't want to cry again today. "Grif I... I like you a lot, and I wanted you to like me as a boy."

"I do you idiot."

"No you don't understand. I like, like you, a lot. Ever since that time in science when the beaker exploded and you tackled me to the floor like it was a bomb-" He started to ramble.

The feeling of lips pressing against his own silenced him. It took too long before he realized Grif was kissing him. Grif pulled away with a shit eating grin.

"I get it."

Simmons stared at him owlishly "Yeah." He mumbled. Grif tugged him over to the bed. Simmons face burned. "Uh- I- I don't.."

"Calm down. I've wanted to cuddle you since i met you. That's all this is. Cuddling." Grif reassured him. He seemed to pause. "Unless you don't want to, that's fine too."

Simmons lied down flat on his back, awkwardly trying not to squirm. He didn't know how to cuddle, wonderful. If his face got any redder it would catch fire. Grif didn't seem to mind, curling around his side like a octopus. Slowly Simmons relaxed in Grif's arms. He could feel Grif grinning into his shoulder.

"You know, I've wanted to kiss you since the first time you called me an asshole"

"That's the first thing i ever said to you."

"I know."

"You're ridiculous." Simmons huffed sleepily. Grif was warm, and comfortable. It was no wonder he drifted off to sleep.

He woke up some time later to the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. 

"Stop wiggling." Grif muttered. Still half asleep. Simmons startled, he'd forgotten Grif was there.

A car door slammed. Simmons blanched, scrambling out of bed. "Get up!" He hissed grabbing Grif's arm, tugging him up off the bed. "You're going to get me into so much trouble if my dad finds you."

"Alright, i'll go." He pecked Simmons on the cheek. "Walk me to the door."

Simmons rushed him down the stairs.

"Calm down!" Grif hissed. "I'm going!"

Simmons reached for the knob when the dining room door opened. Simmons froze, a wave of nausea hit him. Oh no.

"Rachel, who is this?" His fathers voice demanded from behind them. He glared at Grif like he was a burglar. Or possibly the boy his daughter had just been doing the dirty with. 

"Uh, i can explain-" He started, but Grif cut him off.

"Hello sir, I'm Dexter, a friend from school, Rachel was letting me copy her notes from math." Grif lied. An easy smile on his face. He even pulled a wad of folded papers from his pocket.

"So late?" The elder Simmons interrogated. 

"Sorry about that. My job keeps me late, this was the only time i could pick up the notes."

"Right. Goodbye Dexter." 

"Goodbye sir." He grinned as he stepped out of the house. Simmons following out after him.

"What the fuck was that?!" He hissed.

"What?" Grif asked innocently.

"That bullshit with the notes, is there even anything on them? You're lucky my dad didn't ask to look at them."

Grif scoffed. "Hey you think Tucker took all my comics just for your address? Hell no, i could have gotten that for free from Donut. Tucker set me up with the excuse and fake notes." 

"You're insane."

"No i think the fact that Tucker knew to set me up with fake notes is insane." Grif said opening his car door. "Said your dad nearly shot him once for dropping you off after school." He paused before climbing in. "Are you going to be okay?" He asked.

 "Yeah, i'll be okay." Simmons smiled. "I'd give you a goodnight kiss but..." He nodded towards the door where his dad was looming. A scowl plastered on his face.

"Right, you can kiss me before school tomorrow. Deal?"

"Deal. Now go before he decides to shoot you for loitering."

"Later nerd." Grif waved goodbye to Simmons dad before climbing in his car and driving away.

 

Chapter Text

"Say Dexter." Grif pleaded with his sister in an attempt to get her to talk. He's read everything he could get his hands on about babies and they all say she should be talking by now. "Come on, i know you can do it." He'd even gone so far as try and bribe her with candy, and toys. Yet she never said a word. Simply giggling at his attempts.

A loud sigh echoes down the hall from Simmons room. "Give up already, she'll talk when she's ready." He says walking into the living room.

Simmons had moved in three months after Kai was dropped off at Grif's door at an ungodly hour of the night. Grif nearly cried when his friend had offered to help him take care of the baby. Even going so far as to buy the baby books for him. Every other night Grif would call him nearly in tears because she just would't sleep, and how had Tucker made this seem so easy? It hadn't taken long after that for Simmons to simply move out of his dorm and into Grif's apartment. For the most part it was an easy arrangement. Grif would admit that it was nice having Simmons around all the time. It helped that the other would split getting up at night to put Kai back to sleep. Sometimes Grif would get up and find Simmons passed out in the big leather chair next to the living room window, Kai curled up on his chest. Grif loved those mornings.

"Why isn't she talking Simmons?" Grif demanded before his emotions shifted to concerned. "I've done everything those stupid books told me i should do to encourage her growth and health but she hasn't said a word. Do you think somethings wrong with her?"

Simmons had read those same books. He picked up his backpack off the floor next to the couch and started stuffing his school books inside off the coffee table. "Shes fine Grif, you just have to wait for her to be ready to talk." He looked over to watch Kai scoot around on the floor a moment before resuming his book stuffing.

Grif absently picked up Simmons math notes and handed them over. "You don't think i should take her to the doctor?"

Simmons gave him an unamused look. "Grif leave it alone, she's fine. Now i have a class in twenty minutes and i won't be home till two, are you going to be fine or should I leave class early?"

Grif always felt a little guilty when Simmons had to leave class early so he wouldn't miss his his own. "No i'll be fine, my classes start at three today." He made a point to try and get into the late classes. Grif remembered something at that moment that made him frown. "Hey Simmons, you remember that power surge we had last night?"

Simmons looked at him questioningly not seeing what Grif was getting at. "Yeah?"

Welp this sucked. "I think i forgot to reset the clocks." He admitted, readying himself for the oncoming Simmons freak out.

Simmons looked panicked, digging his phone out of his coat pocket to check the time. 9:26 glittered at him smugly. "Oh my god!" He hissed. Shoving his phone back into his pocket he rushed out of the living room to grab his shoes. "Grif you freaking moron! Oh man i'm going to miss Sarge's lecture on AI enhancements." He stumbles back into the room, tugging his sneakers on. "You are such an a-"

"Simmons!" Grif admonishes. "No curse words while Kai is awake, you know the rules." 

Grabbing up his backpack Simmons flips him off. He rushes towards the door and promptly trips over one of Kai's toys. He lands flat on his back. Groaning his sits up. "Son of a-"

"Simmons!" Grif cut him off again. He would not have his sister learn any swear words before age six thank you very much. Simmons grimaced and gave him a sheepish look. Grif took pity and walked over to help him up.

"Nimmons!"

Both boy's freeze. Looking over at the toddler as she giggled and bounced in place.

"What?" Grif asked her.

"Nimmons!" She squealed, pointing at Simmons. "Nimmons Nimmons Nimmons!"

"Holy crap." Grif breathed. Kai grins at him. "Her first word."

Her peals of laughter echo through the room. "Nimmons!"

 Simmons lets out an amused breath of air. "Did she just call me Nimmons?"

"That's so unfair!" Grif cries. "I've been trying to get her to say Dexter for forever and her first word is your name!?"

"Well she is at the age when she copies those around her, you only have yourself to blame Dexter." Simmons says smugly. He walks over and gives Kai a kiss on the top of her head. "Yeah, he only has himself to blame huh?" He asks her.

"Nimmons." Kai makes her little grabby hands at the nerd. 

Grif scowled hard at him. "Don't you have class, Dick?"

"Oh shi- shrimp, i gotta go!" He rushes to the door, taking care to step over the toy this time. "Be good, i'll be back at two!" He calls. The door closes behind him with a soft click.

Grif stands scowling at the closed door. He could totally admit that he was jealous, it was his sister. Simmons did have a point though. How often did he say 'Simmons' that Kai would copy him? 

"Nimmons." His sister says very seriously from behind him. He looks over at her and smiles. It was pretty adorable though.

"Yeah, Nimmons alright. The big nerd." He huffs. Walking over and taking a seat next her. "Can you say Dexter?"

She giggles. "Nimmons."

"Figures."

 

Chapter Text

"No that ones ugly." Tucker heard from behind him. Tucker froze, bright aqua shirt in hand he turned to look at his son. He was standing a few feet away talking to a blond man who looked like he hadn't slept in a few years. He was dressed in a military uniform, and looked like he was trying very hard not to stand out. It wasn't working very well. The guy was H-o-t Hot and Tucker was definitely staring.

The man looked startled, staring down at Junior. "Excuse me?"

"That shirt, it's ugly." Junior repeated. He pointed to another hanging on the rack. "That ones better." Tucker wished his son had taken after his mother a little more in the brain to mouth filter department. Then again, his son was probably the best wing man he could ask for. He tossed his shirt back on the pile with the others and walked over.

"I agree, that one's pretty awful. Not your color at all." The man startles again. "Now Junior here has it right. The black and yellow one will make your eyes pop."

"Um... Thank you?" The man grabbed the other shirt and put the first one back. "Do you always go around harassing strangers with your...son?"

Tucker snorted. "Only when they're about to commit fashion man slaughter. Right little man?" Tucker beamed down at Junior.

Junior nodded sagely. "Right."

A small smiled broke on the strangers face. "Cute." he muttered. Tucker could 100% agree there. The guys smile was like a ray of sunlight after a storm. He turned to walk away, leaving Tucker floundering for something to say when he stopped and turned back around looking nervous and unsure. "Uh... look not to be weird but, I've been away for a few years and i'm not really sure whats 'in style' anymore. So i was thinking since you and your son seem to know your way around clothing, would it be possible for you guys to help me out? If i go home looking like i lived under a rock for the last five years my mothers going to cry." He gave them a sheepish smile. Rubbing anxiously at the back of his head.

Tucker looked to Junior, who nodded at him. "Yeah, no problem. Step this way sir." Tucker said dramatically. "Call me Tucker by the way." 

"Uh call me Wash."

Junior giggling and following behind him grinned up at Wash. "You're gonna look sick dude."

Yep this child definitely belonged to Tucker.

"How old is he?" Wash asked, watching Junior run over to look at the new line of Superhero clothing. They'd finished shopping for mother approved clothing a while ago and were now wandering through the children section after Junior got an eye full of their Hawkeye Pj's.

"Just turned six two months ago." Tucker answered proudly.

"He's a smart kid."

"Hell yeah he is."

"Where's his mother, if you don't mind my asking?" 

Tucker shifted uncomfortably. "Oh, well a few months after he was born there was a car accident or something and she passed away."

"Or something?"

"She wasn't from around here. She was French maybe? I never had a chance to ask. I didn't even know she was pregnant until the child services lady showed up at my door with Junior." Tucker admitted.

Now Wash felt uncomfortable. "Oh."

Tucker huffed, trying to lighten the mood. "Yeah, that's nothing compared to my friend Grif's story. His mom dropped off his barely one year old sister that he didn't know he had and disappeared into the night. Now him and his Not Boyfriend are living together to take care of her."

Wash gave him a weird look. "It sounds like you're jealous."

Tucker scoffed. "Fuck that, I've been trying to set those two up for years. If i'd known that's how to get them together i'd have knocked up his mom myself-" Tucker cut himself off abruptly.  Oh god, someone throw him over a fucking cliff.  He wanted to walk over and bury himself under the pile of children's clothes. Wash raised a brow. "We're going to pretend i didn't say any of that. Deal?"

"What ever you say Tucker." Tucker saw him trying to hold back a grin and scowled.

"You're a jerk."

Wash held up his hands. "Hey, i'm not the one that would impregnate a woman to get my friends together."

"Impregnate? What am i an alien?" Tucker demanded. 

 Junior broke into the conversation. Tossing a pile of clothing to his dad and looking up at Wash. "You want to get coffee?" 

Tucker felt his face grow hot. The urge bury himself under a pile of close was back. Good god. His son did not just ask Wash out for him. He was mortified, a little proud, but mortified.

Wash started laughing, loud and freely. "With you? Not a chance. With your dad? Maybe." He looked up with that stupid smile that made Tucker want to melt into the floor.

"Maybe?"

"Well it all depends."

"On?"

Wash giggled. Actually fucking giggled. "On if you're going to try and impregnate my mother to get me out on a date."

Tucker glared at him. "Fuck you man."

Wash looked like he was going to say something but thought better of it when he glanced down at Junior. "Speaking of my mother, I should go now before she thinks i got lost. She acts like since I've been in the army i won't understand anything about civilian life."

Tucker laughed. "Well a six year old helped pick out your clothes."

 Wash huffed. "My mother doesn't need to know that." He dug through his pockets and pulled out a paper and pen, scribbling something down he handed the paper Tucker. "This Friday at nine, i have an hour of free time. Text me the place." He winked. Looking down at Junior. "It was nice to meet you Junior." He said holding his hand out to shale with the child.

Junior beamed. "Nice to meet you too." He said shaking the mans hand enthusiastically.


 

"Hey dad?" Junior asked as the got in the car a while later.

"Yeah?" 

"What's Impregnate mean?"

Oh holy shit. Tucker was so not ready for this conversation. "I'll explain when you're ten. You can write it down in your book of questions. Deal?"

Junior sighed. "Should i write it down next to 'Things Uncle Church talks about'?"

"Yep."

Chapter Text

"Do i have to go?" Grif complained as Tucker and Donut drug him through the hall of the school building. It was after hours and Grif was pretty sure they weren't supposed to be here.

"Yes, it's super important." Donut said he was nearly shaking in excitement.

"Why?"

"You know how you're getting anxious whenever Simmons sneaks off?" Tucker asked. 

"No." He did not want to talk about that.

Tucker ignores him. "Well so were we. We thought he had a friend we didn't know about." Tucker snickered. "But it's so much better than that."

"What's this have to do with a dance studio?" Grif asked, staring at the plaque on the wall above the door they stood in front of.

"You'll see." Donut sang quietly.

Tucker gently opened a wooden door, peeking in before signaling that it was clear. They crouched down and shuffled into the room, carefully closing the door silently behind themselves.

"Carolina this isn't working." Simmons voice echoed through the room. "I don't study this style." Grif froze, peeking up over the row of chairs they were hiding behind. Simmons stood on a small stage in gym shorts, tank top and sneakers. Carolina stood off to the side, dressed in what looked like a skirted leotard and tights. Her hair was pulled into a ruthless bun on top of her head.

"You're not letting it work." The girl sighed. "Look, you just sway your hips to the left and spin ten degrees to the left." She demonstrated. "Now try again, from the top." She walked over and flicked on the music. 

Simmons began to dance across the stage. He made it five moves in when he stumbled and fell with a loud thud. "Son of a bitch!" He hissed.

Carolina bit her lip thinking. "Alright, i think i know what your problem is." She dug through a bag near her feet before pulling out a hair band. She marched over and slid it into Simmons hair. 

He blinked owlishly at her. "Seriously?"

"Do you want to get better at this?"

Simmons sighed. Hand running over the band self-consciously. "Yeah."

"Look once this is over you can go back to your normal dance classes. Until then you're stuck with me." She walked back over and turned the music back on. "Now begin."

Simmons started again. Twirling across the stage like a ballerina. He dipped low, spinning down into a crouched position on one heel, the other leg kicked out as far as it would go. He tipped forward, placing his hands flat before kicking off with his heel. He held himself in the air, legs above his head, before dipping down backwards. He dipped low into a crouch before springing up and twirling, followed this by hopping forward with his left foot. He jutted his hip to the left and spun the ten degrees like Carolina had instructed. Holding out a hand for her to take. 

She grabbed his hand and spun in close, her back to his chest. He spun her out and she slid a few feet away. Holding herself and looking away sadly. 

The music stopped abruptly.

"That's good, a few more practice's like that and we'll be ready for Thursday." Carolina grinned and patted him on the shoulder.

"You think so?" Simmons asked timidly.

"It's a vast improvement than the first day, you actually talk to me now." She laughed, plucking a water bottle off a bench and tossing to him.

Grif was speechless. Out of everything he had suspected Simmons to be sneaking off and doing it wasn't this. This wasn't even close. He never realized Simmons could be so graceful. Simmons had always been pretty for a six foot tall bookworm that hated the sun and stayed up till three studying, but this was something else entirely. Grif swallowed. It was hard enough to share a room with him already, now he had to pretend he hadn't seen this.

Clapping from his right made him jump. Donut had stood up, giving away their position. So much for pretending he hadn't seen this.

"Donut you idiot!" Tucker hissed.

"What? That was amazing!"

"What the fuck are you three doing here?" Carolina demanded. The grip on her own water bottle changed, making it seem like she was about to pelt one of them with it. She probably would. Grif stayed low.

"We were afraid Simmons was getting caught in a bad crowd so we wanted to check in on him." Tucker said, smirking at her. "I have to say, looks like we were right." The three boys shuffled over to the stage where Carolina glared at them.

"You three are idiots, do you even know whats going on?" She asked.

"You're dancing, obviously." Grif said, he'd yet to take his eyes off Simmons. The guy'd gone beet red, hiding his face in his hands.

"Listen you three need to leave we-" The door slammed shut startling the group. Carolina's face contorted in anger. "Son of a- You guys scared him away! How am i going to teach him the dance before the play if people keep barging in here?!"

"I'll go get him!" Grif called already jogging out the door. He sprinted after Simmons, catching up to him quickly. "Dude wait!"

"Go away!" He hissed.

"Simmons!" He panted, maybe sprinting after Simmons was a bad idea. "You still have Carolina's hair band." 

Simmons froze. Conflicted about returning it or not. Grif came to a stop and collapsed against his shoulder so he couldn't move without knocking Grif to the ground. Simmons could be an ass, but not a big enough ass to toss someone with asthma to the floor.

He took a moment to catch his breath. "That was pretty awesome." Grif said casually. "With the whole flip thing."

Simmons pulled the band out of his hair and ran a hand over it nervously. "You think so?"

"Really. I didn't even know you could dance."

"I'm kinda surprised no one figured it out sooner. I've been dancing since before i got here." Simmons admitted. "You guys just noticed I go missing after dinner?"

"Yeah." Oh Grif had noticed, he just thought the nerd had been at the library. The first night Simmons had been gone longer than his usual two hours he'd nearly panicked. He thought something horrible had happened. When Simmons had shown back up Grif had nearly strangled the guy for making him worry. "I don't see you as the kind of guy to join a play." Grif plucked the headband from his hands. "How'd you end up in one?"

Simmons laughed quietly. "Carolina walked in on me while I was dancing and demanded I be her twin in the play. She wouldn't leave me alone until I agreed."

Grif snorted, yeah that sounded like something she'd do. "You two don't look that much alike."

"It doesn't matter, I get murdered before act one ends." 

Grif slid the headband back into Simmons hair. "So do I get a free ticket?"

 Simmons took a step back and looked away from him. "Fuck that." Grif caught the smile on his face.

"But Simmons!" Grif whined. "How am i gonna get to see you be murdered?"

Simmons heaved a dramatic sigh. "Fine. Half off."

Grif grinned. "You're the best Simmons."

"Remember that when I make you do the homework for Sarge's class." Simmons huffed.

Chapter Text

"Simmons Look!" Donut cried. He was hovering around a picture on the wall of the crowded bar. An old bar they used to frequent before leaving for the army. One Grif was honestly surprised was still here. He looked over at Simmons on the stool next to him and found the man grinning at him.

"What?" 

Simmons grin widened. "It's a picture of us from before we left." is all he said.

"Amazing." He deadpanned. 

Simmons punched his shoulder playfully. "Oh don't be like that. I know you're happy to be home." 

"Happy to be alive. There's a difference." He grumbled.

"Oh stop being such a sourpuss. Have some fun!" Someone started the jukebox, Simmons face brightened. He looked from the dance floor back to Grif excitedly. "Come dance with me?"

"Did someone say dance?" Donut appeared out of thin air beside him. He grabbed Simmons arm. "Oh come dance Simmons!"

Simmons laughed and allowed himself to be drug to the dance floor. He gave a wave to Grif before disappearing into the throng of people. 

"You are so drunk." Grif laughed. He caught glimpses every now and then of Simmons being led around by Donut. He stayed at the bar and nursed his beer. He was designated driver for their night on the town. It was their third night back home from the army and this was their first night getting out of the apartment. As much as he wanted to stay home and nap for the next three years, he'd promised Simmons they could go back to their favorite bar if they made it home alive.

He was half way through his beer when something in his peripheral vision caught his eye. A man had wandered over and was dropping something into Simmons girly drink. Something that looked suspiciously like a pill.

 


 

A shout brought their attention back to the bar where they had left Grif. A scuffle was taking place, people were shouting and crowding around the bar. A bad feeling settle in Simmons gut as he fought his way through the crowd, and came face to face with an angry Grif. Currently pummeling a mans face in. Simmons rushed over and grabbed Grif's shoulders, pulling him off the guy.

"What the hell?!" He shouted. Dragging Grif a few feet away from the bleeding man.

An older man with graying hair hopped over the counter and stepped in between the two. "What in the hell is happening out here?!"

Grif shook Simmons hands off. "He's going around spiking peoples drinks!"

The man gave a signal to two beefy security guys and they drug the bleeding man outside. "You should have just said something, not beat the man half to death."

"Yeah Grif what the hell?" Simmons asked, he had grabbed Grif's hand to check if he had hurt himself.

"He spiked you're drink." He admitted. "I wasn't just going to let him get away with that. Sorry if i'm not in the mood to put up with that."

Simmons chuckled. "Well thank you for beating a man nearly to death for me." 

Gril glared at him. "Don't patronize me Simmons. It's not the worst thing I've done for you."

The old man startled. "Hold up!" He said causing the two men to pause. "Grif and Simmons? Holy Hell! I barely recognize ya'!"

Grif suddenly recognized the older man. "Holy shit!" Grif laughs. "Sarge is that you? Man you got old."

"Grif, you're still fat! How is that possible?" He gave Simmons large grin. "It's good to see you!"

"Uh hey Sarge." Simmons said sheepishly. "It's good to see you too."

"I missed you boy's." He said, motioning them to follow him as he walked into a back room. "How have you been?" The backroom turned out to be an office. He pulled over two extra chairs to his desk. 

Grif and Simmons took their seats. "Good sir, we just got back from our last tour Wednesday."

"You in town long?" He asked.

"Yeah, we just moved in to Butch's apartment complex."

Grif huffed. "It's been a load of fun." 

Sarge chuckled. Leaning back in his chair and kicking his feet up on the desk. "Yeah, that man stops by every now and then, box of crazy that one." 

"So when did you buy the bar?" Simmons asked.

"A year ago, bought it right out from under that Doyle fella." He eyed Simmons prosthetic arm. And the scars on the left half of Grif's face. "See you two got some battle scar's." 

"Oh yeah." Simmons said, like he was just remembering the arm. "There was an explosion." Simmons shrugged.

"Oh no, don't let him give that story." Grif cut in. "Tell the truth."

Sarge looked between the two. "The truth?"

"Our heavy weapons expert here." He jabbed a finger at Simmons. "Decided to try and defuse a bomb with no suit."

"There wasn't time to suit up!" Simmons defended. "And I couldn't just leave it. There were children around."

"I know that. It just sucks that out of all the people there the only three of us caught in the blast were the three not wearing blast suits."

"I told you and Donut to run." Simmons said weakly. He knew Grif and Donut would never have left him behind.

Sarge interrupted their argument. "Hold up, Donut was with you too?"

Simmons nodded. "Yeah, we had him evacuating the building." 

"You notice the blond out front with the scar on his face?" Grif asked. Sarge thought about it, then nodded. "That's him."

Sarge chewed his lip. "Sounds like you three were put through the ringer."

"That's putting it lightly." Grif chuckled.

Sarge stood up and walked around the desk. He grabbed them both by the shoulder and pulled them into a hug. "I'm proud of you boys. And I'm glad you're back, but if you start another fight in my bar i'm kicking you both out, understood?"

"Yes sir."

Chapter Text

"Okay okay, we just need to add the eggs and stir- No not like that you have to make sure there aren't any shells in it!"

"Like i know how to make a cake!" Church snapped.

Tucker read over the recipe for the eighth time. "Dude it looks easy in the book."

"Bullshit!" Church shook the spoon angrily. Splattering batter on the counter. "Does it say anywhere in the fucking book how to make the batter not look like i vomited in the bowl?"

Tucker looked into the bowl and grimaced. "Look dude, you missed a step." He pointed to a cup of oil. Church grabbed up the cup and dumped the ingredient in the bowl. He began to stir it vigorously.

"It still looks like crap." Church muttered.

"It'll look better once it's cooked." Tucker reasoned, taking the bowl from Church and dumping it contents into a metal pan. He threw it in the oven and set the timer. "I really hope the Red's can keep Caboose occupied for another twenty minutes."

Both men flinched when another explosion rocked the base.  Sarge was, for some ungodly reason, letting Caboose play with the rocket launcher. He was using it to make 'fireworks'.

Church huffed. "Yeah I'm pretty sure they can."

"Should we go make sure no ones dead?" Tucker asked, digging out a can of frosting that Grif had (unknowingly) donated for the cake.

"You want to go out there while Caboose has a rocket launcher?" Church asked him, he stood at the sink and scrubbed flour off his hands and face.

Tucker laughed. "Yeah, I realized what a bad idea that was as soon as i said it."

An hour and a few minutes of faint panicked screaming later the cake was cooled and frosted.

"Are you ready?" Church asked Caboose.

"Yes! Show me the surprise!" Caboose clapped.

Tucker placed the cake down on the table. "Happy Birthday Caboose."

The look on his face was priceless. "Oh My GOD!"

Tucker lit the single candle on top of the cake and stepped back. 

Church picked up the single party hat Donut made for the occasion and dropped it on Caboose's head. "Blow out the candle dude."

"Oh OH!" Caboose inhaled deeply, taking a moment to think of his wish. Before unleashing his breath of air.

The flame on the candle exploded outwards like a flamethrower.

Tucker dove out of the way. "HOLY SHIT!" 

 Church stumbled back. "CABOOSE WHAT THE FUCK?!"

"I'M A DRAGON!!"

Chapter Text

The first time Grif hears about Simmons it's because Tucker's just walked into the lounge and thrown his helmet across the room. Screaming about how some asshole in Maroon Armor stole his kill.

"It's fucking bullshit!" He screams. Collapsing face first on the couch across from Grif.

"Huh?" Grif grunts. Not really caring but if he doesn't ask Tucker could go on for hours and if Grif wants a chance at a nap he needs to cut the head off the snake.

"I had the shot lined up. It was perfect. The guy would have have been spattered all over the podium!" He boasted. "Then out of nowhere a fucking rocket comes smashing in through the window! I follow the smoke and there's this asshole three buildings over packing up his big ass rocket launcher and sauntering off into the sunset!"

"That's nice." He muttered. He honestly didn't care. Hit stealing happened all the time. Just last week he stole a hit from some asshole in Pink Armor. The kid had thrown a grenade at him in anger, Grif was lucky his Armor was durable or else he'd have been a splatter on the wall. As it was he had a pretty bad headache from the impact. The pink one had a mean arm.

A hand waving in his face broke him from his thoughts. "Are you listening to me?" Tucker demanded.

"Dude, just ask to be assigned to his next hit, get revenge." Grif waved him off.

"Yeah... Yeah! That's a great idea, thanks dude." Tucker smirked, and idea coming together in his head as he disappeared out the door.

The second time, Grif sees Simmons through the scope on his rifle. He's not sure what the other man is doing. Other than scaling down the side of a building as the floor above him explode. The only reason Grif knows that this is the same man Tucker was talking about is because despite being half naked the guy still wore his helmet.

This was the man Tucker had said walked into the sunset like a badass. Now scaling down a building in nothing but his maroon boxers and maroon helmet. It seemed Tucker got his revenge after all. Grif started laughing. He honestly had never seen anything more hilarious in his life. Apparently his laughter was so loud the guy's helmet picked it up, because the next thing Grif knew the guy had turned and flipped him off. The best thing about the situation was the Grif could tell the guy was blushing. He had a nice view of his bright red shoulders.

The man spells out asshole in sign language and jumps three stories into a moving truck. Grif admits the guy's kind of cool.

The third time, Grif meets Simmons while out on a job. He knows Simmons is on the same hit because Tucker had slipped the file into his hand and cackled all the way out the door.

He hated Tucker sometimes. Today wasn't one of those times.

He walks in to the Hotel room where he's supposed to take care of the Russian ambassador or some shit, he doesn't really care. The first thing he spots when entering the room is the trail of clothing leading to a door he's sure is the master bedroom. He sees a pair of maroon glasses lying just outside of the door and sighs.

If he find's his mark dead he's going to find Simmons and strangle him. The guy's stolen all five of his last marks and it was just getting unfair at this point. 

Grif crept forward and pressed his ear to the door. He frowned when silence met him. He checked his watch. 2:43am. He was early. There should have been noise behind this door. Then he hears it. Faint and surly.

Simmons voice creeps through the door. "Son of a cocksucker!" 

He carefully grabbed the handle and pushed the door open. Revealing the body of the Russian dude he was supposed to kill splayed out on the floor. He's breathing, but out cold. His eye's trailed up to the bed. He very nearly shut the door again. Simmons was trussed up like a holiday ham. This would be the second time Grif's caught the guy with his pants down.

"I think i figured out why someone wanted you dead you fucking cockbite!" Simmons hisses. He tugs at the ropes keeping him tied to the bed posts.

"Am i interrupting something?" Grif asks casually.

Simmons yelps. Body jerking in surprise. His eye's are covered with a black cloth. His head swivels towards the door. "What are you doing here?" He demands.

"My job." He answers. "What are you doing?"

"The same."

"Really? Cause it doesn't look that way to me." Grif can practically see Simmons rolling his eyes under the blindfold. He smirks. 

Simmons flushes. "Shut up and untie me." 

Grif steps around the body. Careful not to wake him too soon. "You know you're supposed to kill the guy before he ties you to the bed." He says smartly as he reaches up to free Simmons from the bed.

"Yeah well, that's what happens when someone slips something into your drink." He snaps.

Grif instantly loses his playful mood. "What?" He doesn't stop untying Simmons from the bed, but he quickens his pace.

Simmons must notice the change in mood. His breathing slows and his movements become nervous. "He must have realized who I was and slipped something into my wine while I was trying to get him to tell me what the client wanted." He explains.

Grif pulls the last of the rope from Simmons wrists and quickly pulls the blindfold off. "He didn't... hurt you, did he?" He asks awkwardly.

Simmons looks startled. "God no. I woke up before he uh... could do anything. I kicked him in the teeth."

Grif lets out a sigh of relief. "Good, that's good." He helps Simmons sit up and steps back to give him some space.

Simmons rubs at his wrists and glances over to the Russian. "Is he dead?"

Grif walks over to the body and pulls his gun. It's over with a single shot. "He is now. By the way, this counts as my kill."

 "Bullshit!" Simmons squawks. "I was here first!"

Grif picks up a pair of what he assumes were Simmons pants off the floor and toss them at him. "Yeah nope, my bullet my kill." 

Simmons catches them with a thankful smile. "You can't prove that."

"I can, our helmets record our missions now remember? You designed the software." He laughs as he steps out of the room to call a clean up team.

"You're such an asshole!" Simmons yells at him as he pulls on his pants.

Grif's stepping back in the room and spots something odd just as Simmons finishes pulling on his shirt."Hey, quick question."

Simmons is looking around the room for his glasses. "What?"

"Was that a Blade Runner tattoo on your back?" He asks rubbing his neck.

Simmons eyes his suspiciously. "Maybe. Why?"

Grif grins and tugs at the collar of his Armor. Revealing a Tattoo on his neck. It's a tiny origami unicorn just behind his ear.

"Is that from the movie?" Simmons asks.

"No the comic." Grif corrected. "What's yours?"

Simmons sighs and lifts his shirt up showing off a small shield decorated with an owl, the words 'Genetic replicants/ More human than human' around the borders. "I got it after i got drunk on a job. Woke up hungover in a hotel room full of dead people and a new tattoo, Sarge was pissed." Simmons admits.

Grif had to admit. He might be just a little bit in love.

The fourth time he meets Simmons, Grif is on a date.

 

Chapter Text

It's the cold hours of morning when Grif's front door is nearly busted off it's hinges. He's thankfully awake when it happens. He's been up all night, waiting for the others to finish their newest job and trying not to worry. It was just a quick in and out hack job, they only needed Simmons and Church, maybe Tucker. Grif'd had a bad feeling about it.

The door bounces off the wall as Church and Tucker rush inside.

The cup Grif was holding shatters on the kitchen floor. "What the fuck?!" Church marches past him towards the room that Grif has deemed to be Simmons room. Simmons stays over a lot. So much in fact he has a closet full of clothes, a toothbrush, and his dietary foods in half of Grif's fridge.

"Clear, bring him in!" Tucker calls out the door.

"What's going on? Where's-" He catches sight of who's coming through the door and feels time slow to a crawl. His breathing stops, and for a single moment he thinks he's going to pass out. "Simmons?" He chokes out.

Wash walks through the door with Simmons cradled in his arms. Simmons isn't a small person, but the sight of him in Wash's arms makes him look every bit like the angry teen that called Grif an asshole, helped him with his math homework, and fell in love with him. Simmons glasses are missing, and there's blood caked in his hair. Bandage's have been wound around what used to be his left arm and leg. Grif can feel his chest tighten, his breathing quickens.

Sarge files in last and slams the door closed. "Move the boy to his room-"

"No." He find his voice. The others stare at him. "Take him to mine, the bed's wider and lower to the ground." He isn't sure if they listen because the next thing he knows he's sitting at his kitchen table with a glass of water in his shaking hands.

"Grif can you hear me?" Tucker hisses in his ear.

He looks up at Tucker with a desperate feeling in his chest. "What's happening? Simmons, what happened to Simmons?" 

"The job went bad." Wash answers from somewhere behind him.

"Bad? That's not bad! That's fucked! So tell me. What. Happened. To. Simmons?" He demands. He's not going to sit hear and listen to gentle words. He wants the truth. He wants to know who fucked up. Who got his best friend hurt. Who is he going to have to kill?

"We were having trouble getting into the systems on the Mother Of Invention, Church managed to break through the firewall long enough for Simmons to get in. They knew we were coming. They waited for Simmons to get in before reverse tracing his signal."

Grif scoffed. "Impossible." Next to Church Simmons was nearly untraceable, he might be a bit slow, but that's what made him good at his job. Like Simmons always said. It's not how fast you can do the job, it's how good you are doing it. 

"That's what we thought, Church tried to intercept the trace but it's like they knew what to expect." Tucker fiddled with his sword. Avoiding Grif's stare.

 

Grif stared at him harder. "What are you saying?"

Tucker took a steadying breath and finally looked Grif in the eye. "Someone sold us out." 

"Who would do that?" They were a family.  Why would they do this to one of their own?

"We're going to find out." Church says, stepping out of the hall. "Grif, before they got to him he managed to get us the files we needed on the project Wash hired us to look into, problem is we need you to tell us where they are."

"How would I know? You guys didn't need me for this job, remember?" He spits. If he'd been there he could have done something. That was his sole job. Watch Simmons back, make sure he can do his job, make sure nothing like this happens. He failed his only fucking job. "It's a simple job, Sarge will be nearby in case anything happens." Grif mocks.

"I know." Church grits his teeth. "I'm sorry, i'm so sorry about what happened to him, but I can't take it back. What i can do is make sure the people who did this are taken care of."

Grif's tempted to tell him to go fuck himself. "What makes you think i have the files?" He asks instead.

Church nods at Tucker. The teal armored man presses a small grey button on the recorder sitting on the table. Simmons voice crackles to life.

"These are my final words of before whoever is outside my apartment door breaks their way in and drags me off. I'm not sure how they found me so fast, it's like they knew i would be here, i think someone sold us out.” Simmons took a shaking breath. "That's not important right now. I found what we were looking for. Project Freelancer. The file's are hidden with Agent Orange. He'll know the password." Another pause. When he speaks again he sounds upset and resigned. "I'm sorry Orange, I might miss movie night."

The recorder on the table clicks off.

"I want who ever did this found." Grif grinds out. He has the armrests of his chair in a white knuckled grip. Of course Simmons would hide the files with him, Simmons was the only one he would trust if he thought they'd been betrayed. He stands from the table and numbly walks over to the picture of him and Simmons hanging on the wall near the TV. It's a nice picture. Taken of them before all the shit that turned them into criminals went down. They're standing in front of a street sign, Boner st. It says. Both boys are laughing uncontrollably and leaning on each other so they don't collapse. Grif loves this picture, the last picture where Simmons has a real smile on his face.

Tucker walks up behind him. "Grif we need those files."  He says gently.

"You can have them." There's only one place Simmons would send those files. One place he would trust Grif to remember. He pulls the picture of the wall and sets it softly on the table under it. Behind the picture is a small wall safe. About six inches tall and six wide. He punches in the code. The day Grif would remember as clear as day. 12-25-2559. The day Simmons kissed him under the explosion of a missile they'd manage to stop from impacting on a small city. It had been an adrenaline fueled mess of a kiss. Grif had never been so happy to kiss someone senseless as he was at that moment. They'd never gotten recognition for the missile. Simmons didn't care about that, he was in it for the sake of protecting people. Grif loved him all the more for it.

Grif pulled the small wireless drive out of the safe and pressed it into Tuckers hand. "Hook it to the computer in Simmons room, It's a lonewolf terminal, or whatever the fuck he'd called it. It's an isolated terminal. He used it to store pictures and documents... don't fuck with anything." He tacked on.

"Thank you." Church says, taking the drive from Tucker and disappearing down the hall.

"They're not going to let me see him yet are they?" Grif asks Tucker.

"Not until they know how bad it is." He agrees.

"I wish we could take him to a hospital." Grif growls.

Tucker says nothing to that, he just places a hand on Grif's shoulder and prays Simmons makes it.

Grif is sitting at the window, with a glass of booze that Tucker had brought him, he's not really bothered with it but he feels better having something in his hand. When Church comes out of Simmons room an hour or so later.

"I got the files, there's a lot of stuff that will shut them down a lock them away for a very long time. Simmons saved hundreds of people from ending up in these guys hands." He pauses and looks at Grif uncertainly. "Uh, I didn't mean to look but the file opened up a sub folder labeled... wedding photos." Church said cautiously. 

Grif knew they'd find out sooner or later, you didn't consider yourself family with a bunch of rebels and hackers without them finding out some of your secrets at some point. He sighed. "Christmas of '64." He says, answering Church's unspoken question. "The idiot almost fainted when I asked him."

"Why didn't you tell any of us? We're a family." Tucker asks, he's standing behind Church, a hurt look on his face. 

"We didn't want anything to slip, we didn't want to be used against each other if we ever.... if we ever got caught." Grif explains. It's the reason Simmons doesn't live with him. The reason they've never had children even though he sees the way Simmons looks when people talk about them. Wistful, wanting, sad. Grif has always had their escape plan ready, at any moment they could disappear, start a new life somewhere they weren't wanted by the government. But Simmons would never abandon their family, and if Grif was honest with himself he knew he wouldn't either. "We were going to have another wedding when we all got out of this, one we could share with you guys."

"Oh." Tucker collapses into a chair.

"Congratulations."Church says awkwardly before disappearing back down the hall.

Someone clears their throat. "Sarge says that he'll live, Doc's on his way over." Wash look's very uncomfortable. "He also says you should consider the possibility of taking Simmons out of the city until he heals."

If Doc was coming it only meant one thing. "Did he say anything about the prosthetic's I know he's having Doc bring him?" Grif asks. 

"Uh, yeah actually. He wants you to know that he's got a friend that'll help with the physical therapy."

Grif waved that away for the moment. "Can I see him?" He asks quietly.

Wash shrugs. "I don't see why not."

Grif shuffles past him and Tucker. He can hear them start a heated discussion as he leaves the room, but can't be bothered to care. He taps quietly on his door and waits for Sarge to grunt at him. Simmons looks awful. Paler than is healthy, he hopes Doc is bringing blood bags and an IV. 

"That lady you know... She any good?" He asks.

Sarge scoffs. "If she wasn't i wouldn't be sending my boys to her."

Grif nods and bit's his lip. "Can i have a moment?"

Sarge stands from his chair and leaves the room with a pat on Grif's shoulder.

Grif moves to sit in the chair, he moves to take Simmons hand before remembering it's no longer there. "Welp, this sucks." He sighs. Running a hand down the back of his head. He doesn't think he's ever felt this tired. "So you're going to be like, half robot, bet you're going to love that." He says to his sleeping husband. "The others know about us. Like you said, it was only a matter of time before they found out. Tucker was upset but, he did try to hook us up for like an entire year. Poor guy." He can feel his eyes sting for the first time that day. He sniffs and rubs at them. "If we leave the city... i'm not sure if i could come back to this. Not this time."

Last time had been hard enough, the scar running from his shoulder to his hip still ached. Simmons had given him a kidney and half his liver to keep him alive. "I hope you stay with me, we can help from our own private island you know." He sits back in his chair and stares out the window on the far wall, watching the sunset reflecting off the gray buildings outside. "Where it's warm, watch the sunset on the beach. We can buy a lifetime supply of sunscreen for your pasty ass. Just, please be okay Simmons. Please, i don't ask for much, so i'm cashing in all my unused nagging and telling you that you better wake up and be your stupid nerdy self do you understand me private Simmons, first class nerd, grade A asshole. No matter how messed up you are after this, nothing will make me want to be anywhere but by your side."

 

Chapter Text

Grif, maybe sorta, kinda, had a small, really it wasn't that bad, problem. When they first got transferred, when he'd been amazingly promoted for reasons he honestly never understood, he figured Simmons would be the one promoted, in fact when he hadn't been he'd taken the news surprisingly well. Even going so far as to genuinely congratulate Grif. At first Grif had been suspicious. He asked Simmons bluntly if he was plotting to kill him in his sleep. Simmons had laughed and admitted that he would be too overwhelmed in Grif's position.

"At least back in Blood Gulch i knew the Blue's didn't give a fuck enough to actually kill anyone." 

Grif gets that. He understands the weight that puts on someones shoulders. It's only been four months and he's already lost a guy to a grenade.  

But that's not the problem he's having. At least not the one he's currently having. The problem he's currently having is the uncomfortable feeling under the cod piece of his armor. He's currently glaring at the cause of the problem. The way he's bent over the crate trying to do as he was ordered. It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't in the middle of a firefight. If the Blue's had just stayed home while everyone else was off on leave then he could have avoided this situation, or at the very least taken care of it in private. Grif had the urge to whisper 'Bow Chicka Bow Wow' under his breath. Now really wasn't the time.

"Simmons report!" He ordered, not taking his eyes off of man.

The maroon soldier huffed. "Three Blues still holding their position, sir" He grunts, shifting to get a better position himself. He's got the sniper as far as he can get it on the crate so he won't get shot but he's still able to see people. It's causing him to be bent at the waist over said crate. Causing him to have to shift every few minutes to get comfortable. He's pretty much wiggling his ass in Grif's face. You see if he had know that this was going to happen he wasn't sure he'd have taken the promotion... actually, who was he trying to lie to? Of course he'd take the promotion. 

"You think they're going to give it up and go home any time soon?" He asked. Still staring at Simmons ass.

"Highly doubtful, sir." Simmons sighed. He wanted to go home just as much as Grif, though Grif figured for very different reasons.

Another thing causing Grif's little problem was something he hadn't even thought would be a problem. Simmons was a kissass. Always looking to please authority... Grif was that authority now. He was aware there would be Simmons usual asskissery. Knowing this in no way prepared him for the affect having Simmons call him sir had on him. Having Simmons agree with him on everything, well almost everything. Getting an exasperated "Yes, sir." at the dumbest of requests had started giving him problems only three weeks into his new job. The fist time it had happened Simmons had been helping him fix the thigh piece on his armor. He was kneeling down trying to get the part to latch and Grif had snapped something about just grabbing a different one, who gave a fuck of it was a different color, they could get a new one in a week anyway. Simmons had paused, looked up at him and replied with "Yes, sir." with a throaty growl, no doubt trying to contain his frustration. Grif had never been more thankful to wear armor.

He probably has never been so hard in his life as he is at this moment either. "You have an idea that can help us get the fuck out of here?" He asked. Shifting and trying to ignore the ache in his lower extremities.

"The other's can get here in under two hours." Simmons growls. "Sir." He tacks on as an after thought. Grif can feel a twitch in his pants. 

He swears to god if he ever finds out that Sarge had this kind of reaction he's going to have to kill the man. Everyone back at base knew Simmons was off limits except Simmons himself. The one time he heard talk from one of his soldiers about how hot Simmons was, the guy ended up scrubbing the toilets for a month. After that if there was talk, Grif never heard it, and no one seemed willing to say anything to Simmons himself.

"We're making a break for it." Grif decides. There's no way the Blue's don't know their here anyway, it's only a matter of time before they decide to come shoot them.

Simmons slides down of the crate, leaving the sniper behind. "That's a terrible idea, sir." He gives Grif a look. Grif know's, even if he can't see it, he can feel it.

"Two hours is a bullshit time, might as well sell our ammo to the Blue's and be done with it." He really should make his men work harder, but that would mean setting an example and he's much too lazy for that. "We'll go on three." 

Simmons nods, climbing to his feet. "One... Two..."

"Three." Grif hisses and bolts for the currently empty red base behind them. Simmons jolt and sprints after him seconds later.

Surprisingly no one fires at them, and no one notices their escape. They skid to a stop just inside the base and shut the main door.

Simmons is panting for air as he leans against the wall to catch his breath. "The one fucking time you actually go on three you fucking asshole."

"That's. You fucking asshole, sir." Grif laughed.

"Whatever you say, sir." Simmons mocks, bur he's still trying to catch his breath, making his voice breathy. Grif can't stand it even a single moment more. It's like he's being punished for all the shit he's ever given the nerd. All the time's he's called him a virgin and made him go red from the tips of his ears to his skin and metal shoulders. He pries his helmet off and drops it to the concrete floor. He's quickly in Simmons space, shoving him more firmly against the wall behind him. He presses the release on the maroon helmet and tosses it over with his own.

Simmons face has confusion written all over it. "Grif what are-"

Grif shut's him up with a kiss. He presses his entire body flush against Simmons'. After a moment of awkward inner panicking on Grif's part, Simmons leans into the kiss eagerly. His lips parting enough for Grif to explore with his tongue. Simmons begins squirming against him, but finds no relief there thanks to his armor. After a while they pull apart for air. 

"Jesus christ, sir." Simmons pants. Grif knows the sir is now just a habit but god damn of it doesn't turn him on more. If he get's any harder he's going to break through his cod piece. He whispers this into Simmons ear. The man snorts and shoves him towards his room. "Better get it off then."

Fuck. Why are there so many latches and clips?

Chapter Text

The ginger drops down into the seat next to him. Grif is kinda pissed. It's seven am, the room is practically empty, there is a test today, and this asshole chooses to sit right next to him. Not even a chair over. No. Right next to him. He glares at the guy.

"Hum?" The guy grunts. He's using the rest of his energy into keeping his eyes open.

It takes a moment for Grif to realize he's talking to him. "Why this seat?" Is all he asks.

He blinks. "Needed to make sure someone can call 911." He answers slowly. Half asleep and peeling off the lid to his coffee. He leans down and pulls something from the bag at his feet. He plunks the can of Monster down on the table and pops the tab. 

"What?" Grif's actually less mad and more than a little confused.

The guy upends his can of monster into his coffee until it threatens to overflow on to the table top. He picks it up and goes to take a drink when he finally notices Grif's stare. He looks at Grif looking at the cup in his hand. He shrugs and downs the entire brew in one go. The guy slumps back in his seat and sighs. 

He drops the empty cup on the table. "I'm going to die." He whispers. 

Grif doesn't answer. Can't answer. Holy mother of god, this guy was insane. Grif was in awe of this man. That was Amazing. He needed to get to know this lunatic. First he needed to make sure the guy didn't die. But afterwords, he was totally asking for the guys number. His life will mean nothing if he doesn't befriend this man.

 

Chapter Text

"Donut look out!" Simmons yelled shoving the pink soldier out of the way just as another pirate jumped at him. The pirate caught the edge of his armor before falling over the edge and he felt the world start to tilt. He jerked to a stop when Donut caught his chest piece. Simmons was now tilted back over empty air, his feet planted on the edge of the rocky cliff.

"Simmons hold on!" Donut cried. He was slowly skidding towards the edge trying to keep Simmons from falling backwards off the cliff to his death. If Simmons didn't think of something they were both going to go over. Donut grunted trying to pull Simmons back. It was useless, they were standing on an incline. When the first pirate had knocked Donut down here Simmons had followed without really thinking about what would happen if two heavy sets of armor got flung around in the gravel. As they fought they had slid steadily closer and closer to the edge until they had their backs against open air and a shear drop.

Simmons calculated the odds of Donut being able to pull him back up verses him surviving a fall into the waters below. "Donut let go." Simmons ordered calmly. 

Donut's grip tightened, and he slid closer to the edge. "Are you insane?" He demanded. 

"If you don't let go we're both going over." He said, again his voice was calm. "Let. Go." He ordered again. Donut shook his head.

"The other's will be here soon!" He tried to reason. The sounds of gunfire still echoed down to them. 

Simmons would have let loose a deep sigh if he hadn't thought it would drag Donut closer to the edge. "They won't get here before I pull you off this cliff with me." He reached up and began popping the latches on his chest piece.

Donut felt panic rise in his chest. "Simmons you stop that this instant, that's an order!" Donut cried. 

"You can't give me orders Donut, we're the same rank." Simmons reminded him. "For what it's worth, i'm sorry." He popped the last latch.

"No!" Donut stumbled back and landed on his ass. He quickly scrambled to the edge, but there was no sign of Simmons below. No miraculous save thanks to a knife gun. He sat back, it took him a moment to realize he was holding something in his hand other than the chest plate. He turned and opened his hand, he'd caught Simmons dog tags when he'd grabbed the chest plate. He began to sob. What was he going to tell Grif?


 

When the others finally found Donut he was seated at the edge of the cliff staring off into middle space. He had tears streaming down his face. A maroon chest plate hugged to his own. Sarge, Wash and Grif skid to a stop behind him.

"Donut?" Wash called to him. Donut sniffled again but didn't turn to look at them. "What happened? Where's Simmons?" He asked. Looking around for Simmons. Pointless he knew, he already guessed what had happened, but he wanted to be sure.

Donut hiccuped and held out his fist. Grif reached down to pull him up but Donut dropped something in his hand instead. He looked down at the dog tags resting in his hand and nearly dropped them. The chain held Simmons tags, a small locket, and a ring.

"Oh no." Wash whispered behind him when he saw the items.

"He's over the cliff ain't 'e?" Sarge asked. His voice void of emotion. It was obvious he was trying to hide that he was upset. 

"He said we would both go over!" Donut cried, bursting into tears all over again. "I ordered him to wait but he wouldn't listen!" He sobs into the chest plate he has crushed against himself.

"Grif, you okay?" Wash asked. Grif had yet to take his eyes off the chain in his hand.

Grif's head snapped up. "Hm? What? Oh yeah. I'm fine."

Wash made an unconvinced noise. "Grif, Simmons is gone."

"Yeah i know." Grif shrugged.

"He's dead." Wash clarified. In case Grif was in some kind of shock.

Grif huffed. "No he isn't, after all the stupid shit that could have killed us over the years some shitty cliff isn't going to be it." He hooked the chain around his neck and started back up the incline. 

"What just happened?" Wash muttered to himself.

"It's called being married." Sarge spoke up. "If he says Simmons is alive, then the boys probably alive." Sarge reached down and began helping Donut to his feet. The man refused to let go of the chest plate. "He hasn't been wrong yet when it comes to Simmons, i doubt he's gonna to start now."

 


Simmons woke feeling as if he had been tossed off a cliff. It took a moment for him to remember that he had in fact tossed himself off a cliff. He pried his eyes open and looked around. He was laying at the edge of the river he'd fallen into. He gave himself a moment to be amazed that he'd survived the fall at all, let alone not drown. Slowly he started to climb to his feet. It was painful to say the least. He's robotic leg gave a quiet pop and he nearly fell face first into the mud. 

"Shit!" He hissed. He tried again and was relieved that it held his weight. It must be water logged. He figured that the more he moved the better the leg would get. His arm however was another story. When he tried to move it he got nothing but an odd feeling where his arm should be. It felt like nothing was there. His arm was dead weight. Wonderful. After positioning his arm so it was rested against his chest, he locked the armor plates in place. This way it wouldn't be just swinging limply at his side. He looked around and decided to head east. His helmet had thankfully decided to survive his dive off the cliff and sudden swim. Well mostly, a few of the things on his HUD had reset when his armor rebooted to compensate the missing chest piece, specifically the time and date. Both flashing at him to rest them. This must be what Grif saw for the past 12 years despite all the times Simmons fixed it, it still managed to reset, how had it not driven Grif insane?

He walked for what must have been hours. On this planet night fell, he never thought he would miss the canyon's never setting sun. He debated continuing on in the dark but decided against it. It was hard enough to get through the forest in the daytime with one arm, let alone trying to wander around at night. He had night vision sure, but it was still like trying to walk around with a shitty blindfold on. He dropped where he was and leaned back against a tree. He reached up to run his fingers over the ring on his chain when he realized it was gone. He nearly panicked before he convinced himself that Donut must have grabbed it when trying to save him. The tags he didn't give a shit about, it was the other two items on the chain that mattered to him. A locket given to him by Sister before they left the canyon, it held two pictures. One of Her and Grif before Grif got shipped, and one of Simmons and Grif the day they got married. The other item was his wedding ring. Something that they'd picked up while on vacation to the Vegas Quadrant, their only chance to get them they'd had since they had gotten married.

He sighed, getting comfortable for the long night ahead of him. He hoped Grif was okay. 


 

Grif was not okay.

The lieutenants stayed back and watched as the remaining captains and their friends came back empty handed again. Kimball refused to let them go out again, telling them to wait till morning when there was more light.

"Fuck that!" Grif snapped. Storming out of the mess. Sarge, and Donut hurrying out after him.

"It's dinner time. Isn't he gonna eat?" Jensen whispered to the others.

"Jensen you really think he's gonna eat when his friend is missing?" Smith asked.

"He did when Captain Sargent and Captain Donut were missing." She pointed out.

"God you guys are idiots." Bitters sighed. "This is different, it's Simmons who's missing."

"So?" Palomo shrugged.

"They're close. Have you guy's paid any attention?" He waved his spoon around. "Those two are probably fucking."

Jensen's face flushes bright red. "You really think so?" 

"Now that you pointed it out it's kinda obvious." Palomo nodded.

"It makes sense. They do seem to be in love." Smith sighed. He wore a small smile on his face at the romantic notion.

"What if we go?" Bitters said suddenly, he honestly hated watching his Captain going through this. Not that he would ever admit that. Not even on threat of death. The other three looked at him confused. 

"Go where?" Jensen asked.

"To look for Captain Simmons." He clarified.

"Kimball said no ones allowed to go at night." Jensen pointed out.

"No one's going to notice, they're all trying to avoid Captain Grif." He looked each one of them in the eye. "I'll go alone if i have to." He admitted. He stood from their table and casually walked from the mess. The other three were quickly on their feet.


 

 Simmons refused to sleep. It wasn't that he was in the middle of the woods, wouldn't be the worst place he's had to catch some sleep in. It was that he was in the middle of the woods with no idea what was waiting and prowling in the dark. He's been sitting here for a couple of hours, he hazard a guess that it was probably around one in the morning. He knows he should have asked Kimball for a study guide of this planet. At least asked about the wildlife. He'd been busy trying to save the planet, so really he couldn't be blamed for not thinking he'd need to. At least he wasn't hungry. A perk of being married to a guy who literally was always hungry, Simmons had gotten in the habit of keeping ration bars hidden in a thigh pocket on his armor, Grif had surprisingly not discovered the hiding place yet.

A loud growl echoed through the trees to his left. "Shit." He muttered. It looked like it was time to move. He climbed awkwardly to his feet and began his trek east. He didn't want to find out what had been growling at him. As he headed east he could have sworn he heard the sound of an engine now and then. It seemed to be getting closer too. He stops and listens harder. It is an engine he's hearing. And it's most definitely getting closer. Was that screaming?

Trees in front of him begin to crack and topple. "What the fuck?" He shifts to his right a few feet just as something burst through the trees. It speeds past him so quickly he barely get's a look at it, it's enough. He's frozen for a second. That couldn't have been his lieutenant, she isn't allowed to drive the warthogs anymore. There's an awful sound of metal on wood somewhere behind him. He let's loose a deep sigh. Yeah that was Jensen alright.

"I told you that you were going too fast!" He can hear Bitters yell as he walks up.

"Sorry! It's hard to drive these things! Why are there six peddles?" 

"What," He begins. The four Lieutenants spin around startled. "Are you doing out here?" He finishes.

"Captain Simmons, sir!" Smith cries.

Palomo give a little whoop. "You're Alive! We found you!"

"You didn't find anything, i found you crashed into a tree." Simmons points out. "What are you four doing out here?" He asks again.

"Bitter's said we should come look for you, sir!" Jensen answers. Climbing out of the warthog.

"Bitters said you should?" He looked at Bitters. "Who authorized you to take that warthog?"

"Uh, Wash, sir." Bitters looks off into the tree's.

"Really. Wash let you four take the warthog? In the middle of the night? On your own?" He asks skeptically.

"Please don't be mad, sir." Smith pleads. "We were upset because Captain Grif wasn't taking your absence well."

"Yeah, he didn't even eat dinner." Jensen added.

 Simmons looked over the four young adults standing before him looking like scolded children. "Grif thought he was a widow already huh? Well sucks for him, he's not getting rid of me that easily." He laughed. This made the four perk up. "Next time you steal a warthog, say Caboose gave you permission, it's more believable."

"A widow?" Bitters muttered.

"I'll explain on the way home... you do know the way home right?"

"Yes, sir." Smith saluted.

 "Good, as soon as we get back I'm letting Wash give you your punishments."

"Oh god not more laps!" The four groaned.


 "Grif get out here!" Tucker called through his door. He sounded excited. Grif groaned.

"What do you want?" He called. he wasn't in the mood to deal with anything right now. Just an hour ago it had been reported that  Bitters, Jensen, Smith and Palomo had stolen a warthog and left the base.

"Dude, the lieutenants are back.  You'll never believe who's dragging Bitters in by his ear." Tucker laughed.

Grif rolled out of bed and stumbled out the door, Tucker grabbed his arm and pulled him along. He was going to give Bitter's the worst punishment he could think of for pulling this stunt. He looked up as the main gate slid open. As soon as Grif got a good look at who was leading the Lieutenant's into the base he dropped his helmet and sprinted. Catching Simmons around his waist in a crushing hug, knocking his helmet out of his hands and lifting him of the ground.

Bitters slunk away to hide before Kimball or Wash took notice of him. The other three lieutenants followed his lead.

"Grif, crushing me!" Simmons wheezed. Grif just shook his head. He could feel tears running down his face. He didn't want to admit that he had started to believe Simmons was dead. He waited until he got his tears under control before finally setting Simmons back on his feet. Taking a step back to get a good look at him, but he refused to let him go.

Simmons was bruised, and had a few cuts on his face. His robotic arm was curled to his chest. He looked exhausted. But he was smiling, and breathing. Alive. Grif felt suddenly, very angry at Richard Simmons. "You. mother fucking. IDIOT!" He screeched. "What were you thinking?!" He smacks Simmons real arm. He's so fucking mad right now that he doesn't even notice the audience they've gathered. 

"I was thinking that we both didn't have to fall off a cliff!" Simmons defended. "I calculated the odds of Donut's survival over my own and it was the better choice."

"You threw yourself off a cliff!" Grif yelled.

"So have you!" Simmons yelled right back. "Or did you think I didn't notice that you willingly let my hand go!?"

"You were going to be pulled over with me!"

Simmons makes a noise in the back of his throat that sounds like a scream. "This is fucking pointless!" He growls. Grabbing the back of Grif's head and crushing their lips together. Their kiss is interrupted when Donut crashes into them. He wraps them in a hug. 

"I missed you!" He cries.

Sarge saunters over. "Welcome back soldier." He says gruffly. Donut reaches out and pulls him into the hug. He gives a little sniffle. "Aw who am i kiddin', I missed ya too."

Someone clears their throat and the group breaks apart.

"Welcome back Captain Simmons." Wash says. "If you would please report to medical so you can be checked that would be great. You'll have to excuse me, i need to go find four idiots." He nodded and headed off to find the lieutenants.

"Alright." Simmons sighs. He starts walking. Grif follows, he still hasn't let go of Simmons.

"You okay?" Grif asks him.

"I've had better, and I've had worse." He shrugs. Grif noticed that only one of his shoulders moved. Confirming his guess that his arm had gotten fucked up.

"Your arm?" He asked, prodding it with his finger. He always worried about the cybernetics in Simmons body giving out. Like the time Wash set off that EMP he remembers spending the whole time they had been stranded in their dead warthog thinking that the idiot might shut down. In a surprising show of logic, Sarge had made sure to prevent this by giving Simmons a back up power source.

"Took some damage, i think the water fucked it up."

"Your leg?"

"Fine, a little slow, but it works."

Grif pulled him to a stop outside of medical, he clutched Simmons to his chest despite the man being a head taller than himself. "Please don't ever, Ever, do that again."

"I love you too, but you know i can't promise that." 

"Then it looks like i can't let you out of my sight Captain Simmons."

"Oh how dreadful Captain Grif, how ever will i get my work done?" 

Chapter Text

The first time Grif sees Simmons face, it's one in the morning and their getting in the locker rooms so late because of the argument they'd gotten in earlier. They'd been ordered to run the training coarse until they could work together. After three hours they'd managed to get into a sort of rhythm, finally getting through the coarse without failing. That didn't mean they had stopped fighting. Oh no, even as they got to the end they were still arguing about what colors could be considered appropriate for Red Team armor.

Grif pries his helmet off and sets it on the shelf in his locker. He hears a quiet hiss behind him and turns to look at Simmons. The guy is tugging at the mess of curls atop his head.  Attempting to get them under control. His freckled face is scrunched up as he runs his hand through his hair. Simmons notice's him staring and turns his blazing emerald eyes on him.

"What?" His voice, it turns out, is very gentle when not being filtered through a ten pound metal helmet.

Grif's mind goes blank for ten agonizing seconds before a single clear thought pops up.

Oh no, he's So Hot.

Simmons is still staring at him. Grif grasps for something to say. "Orange is a shade of red." He blurts out.

Simmons is silent for a moment. Grif will later learn that this silence mean Simmons is gathering his opposing argument  like a giant nerd. For now all he knows is that Simmons probably think's he's an idiot.

"It's not red though." Simmons says. "We're on red team, not shades-of-red team." 

"Dude, your armor is brown."

"It's maroon."

"Let me guess, it's a shade of red?" Grif challenges. Thus sparking the fight all over again.


 

Sarge hums quietly the first time he sees Simmons. That's the first and last acknowledgment of Simmons appearance. Other than to comment on his robotics, but that's much later.


 Donut sees Simmons and nearly falls on his face in his rush to run his hands through Simmons hair.

"Oh your hair is so fluffy!" He praises. Simmons is standing very still, looking to Grif for some kind of help. Grif forces an amused smile despite feeling anything but amused. If he tried to help he would only make the pink soldier suspicious. "What do you put in it?" Donut demands.

"Uh, shampoo?" Simmons shrugs. Seeing he's going to get no help from Grif he gently but forcefully removes Donut's hands from his head. Donut leans in close to his face. Inches away from their noses touching.

"Simmons your eyes are really pretty." Donut whisperes.

"Okay! This is getting weird!" Simmons blurts. He backs away and marches from the room. Muttering about fixing his hair, and being creeped out.

Donut turns to Grif with a smile. "How do you keep from running your hands through his hair all day?"

"Donut, shut the fuck up." He snaps, cause honestly how is he supposed to answer that without being honest and saying that it took a great deal of self control, that Donut obviously lacked.


 

"I thought he'd be the typical nerd type under there." Tucker mutters from beside him. He's watching Simmons clean a cut above his eyebrow, his only eyebrow. "How is it possible that having half your face made of metal could make you hotter? I feel bad for you man, i see why you haven't made a move yet, his looks are intimidating."

"Tucker!" Grif hisses. He's pretty sure Simmons can't hear him over his own muttering but Grif doesn't want to risk it.

"Dude, chill." Tucker waves a hand in Simmons direction. "I'm pretty sure he doesn't even realize how hot he is, and that's just sad. I mean everyone should be lining up to tap that, hell if he were my type i would be all up in his space like 'hey baby, you a know any leprechauns? Cause there's a pot of gold-"

Grif punched him in the thigh. "You finish that and i will kill you Tucker."

"FUCK! Ow you asshole!" Tucker rubbed at his thigh and glared at Grif. "Fine, all i'm trying to say is, make a move before someone else does. Jesus."


 

Tucker was right, of course he was. He should have made a move before someone else did. That someone else being the girl dubbed Volleyball on Simmons squad.

"She asked me out." Simmons blurts. His face is impossibly red. The color shows off his freckles nicely.

"Who?" Grif drawls casually. He can feel something in his chest tighten. Just beside his heart. He refuses to call it jealousy.

Simmons flops down on Grif's bunk and groans. "Volleyball."

"Okay." Grif forces himself to keep his cool. "What's the problem?"

"Well other than i can't talk to girls?" He huffed. "I don't want to go on a date with her." 

That nasty feeling is gone as quickly as it had come. Grif covers the smile by stuffing another cookie in his mouth. "Tell her that." Grif says through a full mouth,

Simmons ignores it, he's used to it, it no longer bugs him as long as he doesn't catch sight of the half chewed food. "Are you kidding, she fucking terrifying, i'm pretty sure i saw her lift a warthog so Jensen could get underneath it." He shivers at the thought.

"Well you can't not tell her." Grif pushes. "It's rude."

Simmons runs a hand through his hair. "Yeah, i know."

"Give her some speech about not fraternizing with fellow soldiers or something." Grif suggests.

"That's actually a good idea." Simmons turns his head to give Grif a bright smile. "Thanks Grif."

Grif has to stuff another cookie in his mouth before he returned the smile.

He was so fucked.


 

Oh. Fuck. No.

Grif could handle the crush from Volleyball.

He could handle the fact that he caught Bitters staring at Simmons ass, because well... it is a nice ass. Also because he's been caught doing it by the visor cam, and everyone had laughed about it. Bitters was looking and not touching. That was what Grif is trying to get at here.

Not touching, unlike that asshole Felix and his stupid asshole muscles, and his stupid asshole laugh.

He'd been talking to Simmons about their plan of attack against Felix for the next training round. They stood just outside the showers, when said asshole had come sauntering around the corner in nothing but a towel and after making a low whistle he'd smacked Simmons across the ass like he was that one creepy coach of a sports team. Grif and Simmons conversation died like Sarge had taken his shotgun to it. Or like Donut had come in the room.

"Nice ass." Felix winked and disappeared into the showers.

Simmons flushed scarlet from head to toe. The look on his face was horrified shock, quickly morphing into embarrassment. "Uh... Wha- What just happened?" He looked to Grif for explanation.

Grif was seconds away from hunting Felix down and punching him in the face. "Fucking merc!" He seethes before storming away. Leaving a confused Simmons to gather his stuff and follow after.

They do surprisingly well during training the next day. Captain Grif really pulled his team together to take Felix down.


 

Ever since they'd fought off Felix and Locus, and joined up with the new republic it's like every time he turned around someone new was hitting on Simmons. And while Simmons laughed it all off, Grif was getting more frustrated.

"Are you seriously that dense?" Grif asked one evening after, as they were heading to bed, Simmons had been stopped in the hall by a young soldier, who promptly and awkwardly asked him out on a date. 

"No?" Simmons gave him a confused look. Simmons had laughed the boy off, telling him the same garbage about not getting involved with other soldiers he'd said to probably everyone in this stupid army at this point. Next thing Grif would know, Caboose would be hitting on Simmons. What the hell was wrong with everyone?

"Simmons, nearly everyone, and i do mean nearly everyone, has asked you out at some point. You know that right? You are aware of it?" He asked as they stepped through the door to their room.

"Yeah, I know." Simmons shrugged. "I don't really get why."

"You don't-" Grif was at a loss for words. "You know, but you don't know why?" He repeated.

Simmons sat awkwardly on his bunk and watched Grif pace the room. "Yeah, i mean, i'm flattered but I don't see why they would ask me out."

"Holy shit Tucker was right." Again. "Simmons you have to be one of the top five hottest guys on this planet and you don't even know it." 

Simmons looked away. "I don't really think i'd count myself top five." He said, gesturing to his robotic half.

"You think looking like you walked straight out of an action movie makes you less hot?" Grif demanded incredulously. "That's the dumbest shit I've heard out of your mouth."

"Hey, fuck you!" Simmons snapped. He bit off whatever else he was going to say when Grif got in his face.

"You are by far the hottest man I've ever met, and I've thought that since the moment you first took your helmet off. So tell me why on Chorus you haven't accepted anyone's offer for a date?" Cause that's what he really wanted to know. Simmons could literally point someone out in a crowd at this point and choose his dates that way. Why wasn't he?

"Oh... I uh... I was waiting for someone else to ask." Simmons smiled awkwardly.

"Who?" Everyone's asked by now, except maybe Lopez, or "Please tell me it's not Sarge?"

Simmons face twisted in disgust. "No, god no. Fucking gross Grif."

"Then who?" 

Simmons started laughing. "And you call me the dense one." He snorted. "I've been waiting for this asshole to ask me out since I heard him and Tucker talking about how hot I was. He's yet to get up the nerve to make a move, but i'm willing to wait him out."

It takes a moment for that to sink in. When it does all he can say is. "Oh."

"Yeah 'Oh'." Simmons smirked. "So what was that about me being the hottest guy you've ever met?"

"Shut up." Grif  grinned, swooping in for a kiss.

Chapter Text

Grif knew this would happen. As soon as that grenade had gone off under the warthog and launched them into the air. As soon as Doc Grey had said something about loose wires and that Simmons might have been electrocuted. As soon as he sat down next to Simmons bed and waited for him to wake up.

When he'd gotten his bearings and the ringing had quieted down in his ears he'd climbed to his feet. Searching for the maroon armor he knew would be nearby. When he'd found him, Simmons' helmet had a crack in the visor and a dent in the side. It was obvious he'd been caught by a piece of the exploding warthog. Grif managed to escape with a graze in his arm that was quickly stitched up.

The ginger pried his eye open slowly and frowned. Probably wondering why half his vision was black. The wires in Simmons' eye had been jarred loose and until they could get a replacement he was flying blind. He lifted his hand to feel around his face. Felt the metal that covered a good third of the left half and promptly panicked. 

"What the fuck?" He hissed. Sitting up too fast for Grif's liking. The nerd needed to get rest.

"Calm down." He ordered. Simmons ignored him, opting instead to continue his exploration of his metal body. His hand trailed down his neck and to his shoulder. Still the metal continued on. Simmons finally looked down at his arm.

"What the fuck?!" His voice rose. As did his panicking. He lifted his metal arm to his face to get a better look. Even in a state of confusion and panic he was still a giant nerd.

"Simmons?" He called to get the mans attention. Still he was ignored. Grif bit his lip. He didn't want to be right. "Hey!" He yelled.

Simmons head snapped up. He froze, hand clenching and unclenching for a second. Grif could see the moment Simmons gathered up his questions. "Who are you? Who am I?  Where am I? And what happened to my arm?" He demanded. Shoving his hand in Grif's face for emphasis. 

It was like being punched in the gut. Or having his balls stomped on by Tex. He took a calming breath. He would explain this, because he can't just leave Simmons in the dark. "I'm Dexter Grif. Never call me Dexter, only Grif. You're on a shitty little planet named Chorus, fighting off pirates. You kindly donated your arm to me like, jesus, ten... twelve years ago?" He paused to see if he was overwhelming Simmons. Seeing that he wasn't he went on. "You're a member of the Red Army... well you were but i'm not sure if there even is a 'red army' anymore. You wear maroon armor, and your name is Richard Dick Simmons, the heavy weapons expert and tech support for our group. Any other questions?"

Simmons swallowed and looked at the half of Grif's face that was pale and freckled. "Why did i donate my arm and apparently my face to you?"

"I got run over by a tank." Grif Shrugged. "Anything else?"

"Yeah. What happened to me?" He asked hesitantly. "Why can't i remember anything?" He shrugged. "It's weird. Like my memories are there, but i can't get them?"

Grif was almost afraid to answer this one. "Well, while out on patrol we got ambushed by pirates and they tossed a grenade under our warthog. One of the wires in your eye came loose when you hit the ground and electrocuted you." He thought about the moment of panic when he'd realized Simmons wasn't breathing. When Tucker and Sarge got to them he was in the middle of CPR. For a heart stopping moment he thought Simmons was dead. With Simmons sitting here it was almost like the Simmons he knew was dead.

"Oh. Okay. Um Grif? Is something wrong?"

Grif could feel the tears sting his eyes. He wiped them away quickly. "What? No. Hey listen, there's gonna be an old guy that comes in soon. Don't listen to a word he says okay? He's crazy."


 "These are the warthogs." Grif gestured to the vehicle bay. Simmons' mouth pinched.

"Why are they called that?" Simmons asked.

"What? Warthogs?"

"Yeah. They don't really look like warthogs... more like big cats." 

Grif nearly choked on air. "Like a puma?" he asks quietly.

"Like the Athletic company?" Simmons looked over at him confused.

"No like- It doesn't matter." Grif decided. They'd had this argument. Once was enough.

There was loud echoing crash behind them. "Captain Simmons!" Jensen's voice rang out. When they turned she waved wildly at them from a pile of overturned ammo crates.

"Who is that?" Simmons whispered. Grif can hear the anxiety in his voice. Simmons fear of girls is back in full force. Grif snorts.

"Your lieutenant. Jensen. She's not allowed in the warthogs, just so you know."

"Oh." He waved back at her awkwardly. "Uh He- Hello."

The girl pries herself from the wreckage. "I'm so glad you're okay, Captain Tucker said you'd been in an accident."

Simmons bites his lip and looks at Grif. 

"Tucker's the teal or aqua one." Grif explains. "With the dreads." He adds.

"Oh, right!" Simmons smiles. "The one who had the alien baby?"

"Yeah." The look on Simmons face when Grif had told him that story had been priceless. "Hey, why don't you go see Sarge about your new helmet." He remembered what he'd drug Simmons out here for in the first place.

"Alright, but if he sings that weird jingle about shooting you again i'm walking away." Simmons smiled and walked off towards the equipment room. Simmons was definitely happier without his memories. Grif didn't dwell on that.

"Try not to crash into anything!" He called after him. They still hadn't gotten the guy's eye fixed.

Jensen looked between the two men before she spoke up again. "Um, Captain Grif?"

"Yes Jensen?" He'd almost forgotten she was there.

"Why didn't Captain Simmons know who Captain Tucker was?" 

"Oh, right. I guess you don't know." Grif scratched at his stubble. Without Simmons to remind to shave him he'd let it grow out. "He's got amnesia."

"What!? Oh gosh is he going to be okay?"

"Calm down, Church says the memories are there, he just can't really get to them. Something should spark them sooner or later." Church had also said that Simmons brain was as neat as the man himself. Save apparently for a single room. He wouldn't say what was in the messy room of Simmons mind, all he would say was that the man needed to work out some unresolved tension. Grif figured he meant Simmons daddy issues.


 

"So then, we got our asses kicked by like a hundred robo-Tex's. It was awful." Grif laughs. He and Simmons are sitting down by the little irradiated pond. When he first brought Simmons down here he had to smack his hand away from the water. As soon as he told him of the radiation Simmons had quickly backpedaled away from the water.

Simmons laughs with him. Full and free. Without the weight of a twelve year war resting on his shoulders. "That doesn't sound like an amazing story." He'd told Grif that morning that he thought he remembered fighting a lot of people in black armor. So Grif had decided to tell him all about the adventure hunting down and fighting the Tex bots.

"Well I did get kicked in the balls an amazing amount of times. Does that count?"

"Not even a little bit." Simmons laughs. His laughter trickles out and he frowns. "Hey Grif?" He sounds a little sad.

"Hum?" Grif looks over at him. Simmons looks thoughtful.

"Why are you here?"

"What?"

"Why are you in the army? It sounds like you could have left at anytime."

Grif didn't even think about it. "Honestly, I have no fucking clue."

"Well... I think i remember why i stayed." Simmons whispers.

"Because you have a chance of actually being a good soldier?" Grif guesses. He was happy that Simmons seemed to be getting a few memories back.

Simmons huffs. "I think i might have given up on that a long time ago."  

"Then why are you here?" He asks.

"For my friends." Simmons smiles at him. It's a sad little smile.

"Seriously?"

"What?"

"You have always been an awful lair Simmons. Please stop trying."

"You are my friend."

"Simmons."

"Why else would I be here? I mean it's not like I'm only here because you're here. You think after so many years a guy would get fed up with not having his feelings noticed." Simmons says. He's pretty much talking to himself at this point. He tends to do that when he feels under pressure. "So I mean, of course I stayed for my friends, cause even if i'm in love with you I'm pretty sure even you would have caught on by now-"

"Whoa! Wait? You're in love with me?"

"I didn't say that.... did i?"

"You did. Explain."

"Look, i tried saying something years ago, but you had to go and tell me you ran up my credit cards on hookers or, something... peep shows?"

"You remember that?"

"Of course i remember that! I think my deep feelings of anger towards you are helping this process along quite nicely."

"Wait." Grif said suddenly. They'd gotten off track. "Were you going to tell me you loved me right before we were going to die by firing squad?!" He demanded.

"Well i was waiting for the right moment but you had to go and sell our ammo! So i had no choice it was now or never!"

"You could have told me before!"

"I followed you to rats nest. That place was a dump, and i had to call you sir when you ordered me to get you a bag of Oreos!" He threw up his hands. "I thought you would have noticed!"

"No! I'm literally the worst person to try and be subtle with! You know that!"

"I know! That's why i was going to say it, but then we got picked up by Sarge, and dropped in more bullshit with the blues! I didn't have time to say anything! Why does this matter?!"

"Cause we could have been making out this whole fucking time!"

"Not with that nasty fucking beard on your face we aren't!" Simmons scoffed. "I'm pretty sure i saw an entire box of snack cakes in it!"


 

"Was that... Simmons yelling?" Tucker asked. 

Sarge looked up from cleaning his shotgun. "Yeah, he sounds angry... You think that means-"

"That he got his memories back? I hope so."

"Well they're making out now so I assume so." Carolina said walking in to the room and flopping down on the couch.

"Ew, how do you know that?" Tucker demanded.

"I wanted to see what the yelling was about, walked up at the wrong moment."

"I'm gonna need to delete a few memories now." Church spoke up. His hologram phasing into view. "Grossest thing I've seen."

"God Dang It!" Sarge cursed.

"What's wrong with you grandpa?"

"I thought i had a few more years before they figured it out. Now i'm gonna have to deal with them making kissy face's at each other." He wailed. "Stupid Grif can't do anything right."

Chapter Text

It was safe to say Dexter Grif was not good at making first impressions.

This is the story of how Dex met Dick.

And how they became Grif and Simmons.


 

 He'd been looking for his sister after school. Having to drive her to and from school kind of suck but at least he could keep an eye on her. That was if she stopped running off after school. As he walked towards the side of the school he noticed a group of boys running from the area. Dread pooling in his stomach he jogged around the corner. His sister was standing nearly flush with some ginger haired asshole. 

He may or may not have lost his cool.

"What the fuck are you doing with my sister!?" He has the kid up against the wall quicker than he thought he could. 

The boy looks terrified. "What the hell!?" He grabs Dexter's wrist trying to pry his hand off his shirt collar.

Dexter refuses to loosen his grip. "Answer me!"

"Dex Stop!" Kai yells behind him, pulling him away from the boy. "You fucking asshole! What's wrong with you, can't you see he wasn't 'doing anything with me'?" She snaps. Shoving Dexter out of the way to help the boy off the ground. That's about when Dexter notices the arm. He hadn't noticed it at first because of his seething rage, and also because it was covered by they guys long hoodie. The sun glints off the shining metal of his artificial hand. Dexter now feels like a asshole.

"Sorry about that asshole, he's my brother." Kai says, shooting a nasty glare to her brother.

"I guessed that." The boy deadpans. He's fixing his backpack. "I really should get going." He says casting a nervous glance in Dexter's direction. "It was nice meeting you Kai."

"You too gray guy!" She waves as he disappears around the corner. As soon as he's gone she turns on Dexter. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

"I thought-"

"I know what you thought. Next time ask before you go around beating up people." She snaps.

"He wasn't hitting on you?"

"No. In fact i'm pretty sure i'm the last person he'd hit on. If anything he'd hit on you long before he made a move on me."

"What?"

"I'm saying he's hella gay Dex."

Now Dexter felt like an even bigger asshole.

It figures he'd nearly punch the only guy in school not hitting on his sister.


 It turns out fate has a nasty sense of humor.

As Dexter files in for gym on Monday he catches sight of a lanky boy with a shining metal arm standing awkwardly to one side of the room. Trying and failing to make himself fade into the wall. Not that it was working very well. Nearly everyone was staring at him. Or specifically his arm. The kid looks ready to bolt from the room and hide.

He walked up to the boy and felt guilt pool in his stomach when the boy tensed up at the sight of him. "Hey." He says, going for casual. 

If anything the boy looks even more terrified. "Hey?" He says quietly. They lapsed into an awkward silence. The guy refused to look at him longer than a few seconds at a time.

Dexter decided to bite the bullet. "Look I'm sorry about the other day. I'm just so used to dealing with every asshole in this school trying to get into my sisters pants."

"It's ah, it's fine i guess. I probably would have done the same if i had a sister." The boy shrugged. He gave Dexter a small smile as he shifted nervously from foot to foot.

"Names Dexter." He held his hand out for the guy. Only realizing afterwards that it was his left. It's too late to change hands without looking like an ass.

"Call me Simmons." He doesn't seem to mind Dexter's hand choice. The feeling of the metal is smooth and cold against his warm palm.

"Simmons is kind of a weird first name." Dexter points out.

"It's not." The boy replies. Quickly adding. "My first name that is. It's my last name."

"What's your first name?" Dexter asks. Simmons mutters something too quiet for him to hear. "What?"

"It's Richard." Simmons sighs. And yeah Dexter can see instantly why he'd go by his last name.

"So your name's Dick?" Dexter snickers. Simmons glares.

"Whatever, Grif." Simmons grins. 

"So that's how it's gonna be? Are we just going to call each other by our last names?"

"If it stops you from calling me Dick, then yes." 


 

There were three things that could shock Grif. 

One) Bats. Bats would always shock Grif. Fuck Bats.

Two) Kai deciding to become a nun. Only in his wildest hopes.

Three) That he would ever find Simmons drunk. At a fucking senior party no less.

The boy was leaned against the railing of the front porch steps when Grif found him. He looked absolutely miserable. That explained the text Grif had gotten twenty minutes ago telling, no, begging him to come get him.

"Dude, you okay?" He asked. The drunk boy looked up at him and his eyes watered. Oh god, it figures that the nerd was an emotional drunk. Simmons stumbled his feet and would have fallen flat on his face if Grif hadn't caught him. "You're wasted." He pointed out.

"Don't ever let Donut talk you into coming with him to a party." Simmons slurred. His warm breath ghosting against Grif's neck.

"He tried, I told him to fuck off." Not even free booze could get him to follow Donut to a party where he had the chance to get drunk. No one needed a repeat of Officer Hot Pants. "What's wrong?" He asked. Cause it couldn't have been just Donut or the party that had Simmons begging to be taken home to his pissy dad.

"I don't want to talk about it." Simmons moaned.

Alright, Grif could get behind that. He half helped half dragged Simmons to his car. He loads him into the passenger seat, making sure he buckles the fuck up because Grif doesn't want another ticket.

Their half way to Simmons house when Simmons decided he does want to talk about it.

"He tried to sleep with me." He says.

"Donut?" Grif asks. He's pretty sure Donut's dating Doc and not even Officer Hot Pant's would cheat on Doc.

"No. Felix." Simmons says like Grif should know that. 

"Felix tried to have sex with you." Grif says ludicrously. Everyone knew Felix swung that way, but he'd always treated Simmons like shit before. "Why?" 

"He found out I was into guys, asked if I was a virgin and if he could fix that then got pissed when I told him to fuck off." Simmons threw his hands up. "Like it's my fault i wouldn't want to have sex with him if he was the last guy on this planet!" Simmons drops his hand and presses his forehead against the cool window. "He probably lost a bet."

Grif can feel himself getting pissed. It's too easy to imagine Felix taking advantage of a drunk Simmons, the guy'd once tricked Wash into getting into a fight with Locus just to see who'd win. Grif takes a deep breath to calm himself before asking his next question. "Are you okay?"

Simmons shakes his head. Grif nearly turns the car back in the direction of the party before Simmons elaborates. "My dads going to be pissed if i show up smelling like cheap beer. I was going to stay the night at Donuts..." He trails off and rubs at his head. Grif takes it as a sign that he's sobering up. 

It's an easy fix really, Grif hardly thinks about it when he makes the u-turn.

"My house is the other way." Simmons points out when he notices the change in direction. Like Grif doesn't know where Simmons lived by now.

"We aren't going to your house. We're going to mine."

He doesn't even try to sneak Simmons into the house. He just pushes him through the front door and up the stairs. His mom knew all about Simmons Sr. and what an asshole he could be. Besides she liked Simmons, thought he was a good influence. If she saw him now. Grif chuckled at the thought as he guided Simmons to his bed and dug out an old pair of pajama pants for him. Grif himself preferd to sleep in his boxers, but knew how uncomfortable that was for Simmons. So he tossed him the pajamas and ordered him to get changed while he took a piss.

When he came back carrying a glass of water and an aspirin he finds Simmons curled up on his bed snoring away. "You fucking asshole." He sighs. Once Simmons was out it would take a bomb to wake him up. Well it wouldn't be the first time he's shared the bed with Simmons, probably wouldn't be the last considering their track record.


The next day finds Grif having to haul Simmons bodily away from Felix before he could do more harm than the metal fist to the sternum. Grif isn't sure what happened. One moment it was calm, he was just stepping into his math class. The next he spotted Simmons making a b-line across the room and attacking Felix before the boy could put up a fight. They'd been fine when they'd gotten to school. What happened in the three hours they were apart?

Grif pulled the other boy into the hallway and pressed him against the wall so he couldn't move. "What the fuck Simmons?" Because honestly, what the fuck? Simmons didn't just attack people for no god damn reason.

"He told everyone I slept with him!"  Simmons says. He looks close to tears. Grif tightens his grip. "Everyone think's I got drunk and slept with him! South propositioned me like a fucking rent boy in english! And Tucker wouldn't stop whispering Bow Chicka Whatever the fuck he says all fucking morning any time I got within three feet of him!" Tears are dripping down his chin. "I don't know what Felix said but no one would listen when i told them I didn't sleep with him."

Grif sees red begin to creep in the corner of his vision.

Grif let's go of Simmons so quickly the boy stumbles. After his mom got Kai into that all girls private school, Grif thought he'd be done with this kind of shit. His fist connects with Felix's face before anyone even realizes he's back in the room. He may or may not have lost his cool.

He ends up with a week long suspension. A black eye courtesy of Locus. And three bags of Oreos from Simmons.

"Thanks." Simmons says quietly as he hands the bag containing the cookies over. He's got an ice pack pressed against his own black eye.

After Grif had knocked Felix to the floor, the room had erupted into an all out brawl. Sarge charging in to help avenge Simmons honor or whatever he'd spouted while tackling one of Felix's friends to the ground before the kid could get to Grif. Caboose followed not long after that close-lining a kid trying to get to Sarge. Dragging Church and Wash into the fight. Tucker had shown up, even though he didn't have that class, he'd been passing by when he saw Grif drag Simmons from the room and had stuck around to see what was happening. Simmons had been chased back into the room by a pissed off Locus. Who thought Simmons had actually slept with Felix and was pissed about it.

By the time a teacher had followed the commotion the room was a war zone, and everyone involved got suspended.

"Felix is an asshole." Grif says instead of 'you're welcome'. Simmons smiles and flops down on the other side of Grif's bed. They talk about what their plans are for their sudden vacation and fall asleep a while later.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Fuck. Everything had gone so wrong once the leaders had been taken out. So much for their rebellion. You would be surprised if you didn't die in the next few hours.

Now while the mother gems were raining death down on the planet. You were trying to find something in all the destruction. No matter how much you prayed it wasn't here.

There's a sound above your head. You glance up, jumping out of the way before Sarge tripped over you. You met Sarge years ago during your first years in the kindergarten. You don't really like him. It was the Garnet that talked Simmons into running off to 'Fight the good fight'.  The older gem paused, glancing at you.

"Where's Simmons?" They asked. "Ya didn't lose 'em in this mess did ya?" 

You ground your teeth. You don't know where Simmons went. Before the battle had started you two had gotten in an argument. You didn't want to fight, you just wanted to slip away and go somewhere you wouldn't be found. He'd refused.

"We need to fight Grif!" He'd pleaded. "Please!" You wouldn't let go of Simmons' hand.

"No, this isn't- We could leave. No one would know where we went." You begged. You didn't want to risk losing him. Not to a war you didn't belong in.

"Grif!" Simmons looked so horrified. "We can't just abandon them."

"So you'd abandon me instead?"

"No that's not- Grif that's not fair!"  He used his free hand to gesture out the window. "They're our friends!"

"Fine! Go!" You snapped. Dropping his hand. "I'm not going to die for this shitty war! If you want to then that's fine by me!"

He stood shocked for the longest time. "Fine." He whispered. Finally finding his voice. "Come find me when you're ready to stop acting like a child." 

That was the last time you saw him, over a week ago. You still can't believe you said that to him. That even angry at you he'd left you instructions on how to find him.

Looking at the Garnet next to you, you swallow your guilt. "I don't know where he went." This was the last place he'd left you clues for.

"Hmm, well ain't that a shame." The Garnet looked around with a frown. "I'd help ya look, but these are the last day's a war! Gotta be on yer toes!"

As if on queue a large weapon buried itself in the ground a few feet away. The earth shook knocking you to your knees. A large gem landed next to it a few moment's later. They must have been fusion. Fusions have this sorta aura about them. You've never seen homeworld gems fuse before. It was a taboo.

"Charge!" The gem next to you roared. Standing from their crouch and charging the fusion at least three times their size. The Garnet materialized their weapon, a simple shotgun. The fusion flicks the Garnet away easily. It raises it's arm to smash down on the gem below it. Sarge rolls out of the way.

You stumble back. Just as you're about to turn and run you see what you've been looking for. Resting in a notch on the fusions capture belt. A maroon Spinel. Such an odd color, but most definitely who you've been searching for. "Simmons!" Before you're aware of yourself you're charging the raging fusion. You pull a weapon from your gem. You notice it's actually something useful this time. A replica of the fusions larger gun. Sweet.

The fusion raises it foot trying to stomp on Sarge again. You fire at them. It's nice to be fighting with a weapon that actually works. Not like that one time you materialized a traffic cone. That was embarrassing and Simmons hadn't stopped laughing for days. The fusion jerks towards you moments before crushing Sarge.

You decide you're going to make a run for Simmons gem. 

Sarge looks up from where the fusion knocked them into the ground. "Grif, what are ya' doin'?" they call as you run past them. "That's a suicidal plan of attack! I approve!" You can hear him scrambling to follow behind you.

You lunge at the fusion. Hooking the knifegun into their leg you use it to climb up. The fusion roars. Swatting at you. You dodge and scramble up until you're holding onto the belt. Your fingers brush across the smooth surface of Simmons gem, you feel a pulse. Alive. Before you can have time to be relived you feel a shock in your side. Your body starts to dissipate as you fall from the fusion. 

Fuck.


 

You wake up to a splitting headache. Rolling on to your side you hear the sound of someone yelling echoing down to you. You open your eyes and find yourself inside a homeworld ship.

No. No no no no no! This couldn't be happening. You had to find Simmons. 

You climb painfully to your feet and cast a look outside your cell. You already know not to touch the field keeping you in. 

"Hello?" You call out. The yelling stops. "Hello?" You call again.

"Grif, that you?"

"Tucker?"

"Dude I thought you weren't in the army!"

"I'm not! Wrong place wrong time!"

"Well lucky me!" The Amazonite let out a little whoop. "Materialize something to get us out of here!"

"Not sure if I can." You take a step back and looked down at your gem. Well it wouldn't hurt to try right? You take a deep breath and hold your hands out. You feel something come to rest in your hand. When you look down you see a bright pink umbrella. You were thinking of an orange one, but you guess pink works.

"Well?" Ticker calls to you.

"I think I got something hold on!" You step close to the force field and stab the umbrella through it. You feel a slight buzzing in your arm, but no other side effects. You open it and step through. "I'm a fucking genius. Tucker where are you?"

"Here!" Echos from a cell to your right. You creep down the corridor until you find Tucker beaming at you. "An umbrella? Seriously? I never thought your gem would be useful."

"Shut the fuck up. It works doesn't it?" You laugh, holding up the umbrella for Tucker to leave the cell.

"Where's Simmons?" Is the first question they asks as soon as they're out of their cell. The smile drops off your face. Tucker's smile follows. "Aw fuck dude, he isn't... cracked, is he?"

"No!" You nearly shout the word. You don't even want to think about that. You take a deep breath. "I don't know where he is. The last I saw him he was attached to a capture belt."

Tucker watches you for a moment before nodding. "Alright. Let's go look for him." 

You follow Tucker through the ship until you come across a pink Rhodonite humming to themselves.

"Uh, hey." You say awkwardly. The pink gem looks up at you and smiles. 

"Hey yourself!" They wave cheerily. 

"You want out?" You might as well ask.

"You bet!" The Rhodonite stands. "This place isn't feng shui at all."

You and Tucker share a look before you hold up the umbrella for the Rhodonite.

"Thank's. Names Donut." The pink gem grinned at them.

Tucker give's him a disbelieving look. "Yeah... I'm Tucker and the one with the pink umbrella is Grif."

Your name makes Donut perk up. "Grif? Like Simmons' Grif?"

You nearly drop the umbrella. "You know Simmons?"

"You bet!" Donut laughs. "I met Simmons on the front lines, we were fighting this big mean fusion. Before i got hit with that grenade at least. Last I saw, he was trying to help a Tiger’s Eye to his feet."

"The front lines?" You mutter. At least you know Simmons has to be on this ship. That he's alive. But do you really have time to search this entire ship before someone noticed you all missing?

The three gems continued on their way through the ship. Tucker and Grif quickly figured out that Donut liked to talk.

"So i told them 'I'm lightish red, not pink!'. Then i tossed a grenade at them, i missed though, i think that just pissed them off more. They could have probably used a good blowing -"

"For the last time! I DON'T SPEAK HUCKLEBERRY!" Echoes down the corridor cutting off whatever Donut was talking about. Thank fuck, you don't think you could have listened to another second of that.

Tucker grins. "Oh man. That was Church." They take off down the hall. "Come on!"  You and Donut jog behind them to keep up.

Another voice drifts down the hall. "Huckleberry's? I want some!"

"Caboose SHUT UP!" Church screams. "I'm going to be driven insane before we even leave the planets orbit! Holy Shit!"

"Church!" Tucker yells as they slide around the corner. "Guess what motherfucker? Rescue party!"

"Keep your god damn voice down!" You hiss. Jesus the whole ship didn't need to know what was going on. 

The Blue Star Sapphire looks over at you. "Is that Grif? I thought he wasn't in the army?"

"I'm not." You groan. You hold up the umbrella like you've done the last two times and watch Church crawl out of their cell. You turn towards the other two occupied cells and find Caboose grinning at you and Sarge scowling. You let Caboose out first cause you're spiteful. When everyone's out of their cells you glance in a few of the others. Finding them empty you feel frustration bubble up. "He's not here!" You hiss. "Where is he?"

You feel a hand on your shoulder making you jump. Sarge is standing behind you. "We'll find him." the gem assures you.

"Oh! Oh!" 

Church sighs. "What is it Caboose?"

"Are we looking for Simmons?" They asked.

You look over at them. Wondering why they would bring it up. "Yeah buddy. Why do you ask?"

"I saw him when they brought me on board!"

Everyone stares at the Dumortierite, speechless.

"Which way is he?" Donut breaks the silence. Caboose grabs their hand and starts dragging them down the hall. You rush after them. Caboose trails through corridor after empty corridor.

Finally when your about to say the idiot's probably lost you hear someone talking from the path to your left. You all pause and crouch against the wall.

"You aren't ever getting out of here Spinel. Think of it as punishment for the missile to the face." This is followed by a gravely growl. 

"You deserved it." Your heart nearly stops. That was Simmons. That was your Spinel. Sarge's hand is on your shoulder again, holding you in place.

The first voice lets out a pained breath. "I hope you're saying that when Yellow Diamond chooses your punishment. Come on Maine. We need to get your mouth looked at." The first voice orders. Two sets of footsteps fade away.

You hear Simmons growl. "Fuck!" Echoes through the corridor. You shove Sarges hand off and practically sprint into the hall. You skid to a stop in front of Simmons cell. The Spinel only looks shocked for a few seconds before his shock morphs into anger. "What the hell Grif!?"

You frown. You thought he'd be happy to see you. "What?"

"When I said find me when you're ready, I didn't mean onto a ship headed to the fucking home world!"

"I really don't give a shit Simmons." You hold the umbrella up. "Come on." You watch him walk out of the cell and turn to face you.

"What are you doing here? Seriously." He asks. His arms are across his chest and he's still frowning. 

You take his hands and tug him down you bump foreheads. You look him in the eye. "Look, I didn't mean that shit I said about going off to die. As long as we're together I don't care where we are." You admit. Probably the sappiest shit you've ever said to him.

Simmons smiles. "I missed you too, you fucking idiot."

Chapter Text

 

Grey smiled a the group as she explained what was happening. "This compound isn’t one of Charon’s typical munitions factories or radio jammers. They’re not disassembling alien artifacts here, they’re trying to turn them back on. And that tower you saw seems to be their primary target."

Church's hologram splayed it's arms out. "Ohh, see, who called that? Me!"

Simmons ignored him, too curious about the alien towers to argue. "So what does it do?"

"That’s exactly what I intend to find out! Now, who’s down for a field trip?"

Tucker frowned. "Uhhh, what?"

"Well, if I’m going to take a look at this tower, I’ll require an escort. How about you, Simmons, you’ve always seemed intelligent."

Simmons looked startled. "Oh! Thank you!"

"Well, compared to your friends."

"Wh- why did you feel the need to add that?" Simmons muttered to himself. "Yeah i'll-"

Grif scoffed, cutting him off. "No way! This shit’s got Blue Team Problems written all over it."

"Aw, c’mon, man!" Tucker looked at him and pouted. "It's just gonna be me and the crazy doctor?"

"Hey!"

"Not to worry blue, ol' Sarge here's got yer back."


 

"What the hell was that?" Simmons demanded later as they walked back to their bunks. They'd put Donut and Lopez in charge of the armory, it gave them some down time before they had to go make sure Donut hasn't gotten into an argument with anyone... again.

"What?" Grif asked, picking at his gloves. 

Simmons rolled his eyes. "That shit you pulled back there after I said I'd go with them." He slid the door open and motioned Grif through first, only because he knew the other wouldn't bother to close it behind him.

"What shit?" Grif looked up at him confused. 

Really? It was going to be this game? Simmons hated when Grif did this. "Grif I wanted to go and you just didn't let me." 

"Doesn't the alien tech give you a headache? Besides It's blue team problems." Grif shrugged. Like that was the issue here.

"Grif it's always blue team problems." Simmons growled. "Has that ever stopped us before?"

"No."

"Exactly. So why would you just unvolunteer me for that mission?"  He still had a headache from the teleportation cube.  He rubbed at his temples. He's also pretty sure unvolunteer isn't a word, but he can't be bothered to correct himself.

"Blue team problems means someone is getting shot at, or blown up, or discovered to be an A.I, or fucked by aliens. So no i'm not gonna let you go."

"How is that any different than our normal problems?!" Simmons demanded. Grif scowled at him like he was an idiot. Further confusing Simmons.

"Cause the people we're fighting against are ruthless on this shit hole planet Simmons!" He snapped. His voice raising as he spoke. "They stopped underestimating us, they know the kind of shitty luck we have and they know it's a matter of time before it runs out!" 

"You can't control that, we're going to be shot at one way or another. I don't really see the difference in waiting around!" He didn't understand why Grif was so pissed about this. Grif was the one that made him stay behind, if anyone should be mad it was him.

"God dammit Simmons! I see the difference! Why can't you just accept that I'm doing this because I care about you and don't want to see you die!"

"What?" Simmons was startled. That hadn't even crossed his mind for reasons why Grif would make him stay behind. 

Grif wasn't done. He stepped into Simmons space until he had to tip his head back to look him in the eye and keep yelling at him. "You just like to run off into danger without a thought about yourself, and i know you get it from years of following Sarge's orders but can you fucking stop!"

"Grif I-" Simmons tried to interrupt. He wasn't sure what was happening anymore.

"I love you and it's killing me every time we have one close call after another and i'm so tired of watching you nearly die!" He rested his head against Simmons chest. The fight in his body left him, his shoulder sagged as he leaned heavily against Simmons. "I don't want to watch you die." His arms wrapped loosely around Simmons waist.

Simmons wrapped his arms around Grif's shoulder without thought. His head buzzed. He knew. He realized. He knew Grif had loved him this whole time. Had known in fact, since the moment Grif had asked him to follow him to Rats Nest. Just like he'd known he loved Grif from the moment he volunteered his body so Grif could live. Like he'd tried to confess when Grif nearly got them shot over stupid ammo. Like Grif was confessing now.

Simmons used one hand to tilt Grif's face up. He stared into the same mismatch eyes he's been looking into for eleven years and smiled. "I love you too." He leaned down and captured his mouth.

Grif pulled back after a moment. "I'm not about to let you go get knocked up by an alien, you know. If you're having anyone's baby it's mine." It was clear he was joking.

Simmons felt his face heat. "I'll think about it." He blurted. It took him a second to realize he was being serious. He was shocked at himself. A baby with the notorious Dexter Grif didn't sound that bad.

Grif looked just as shocked by his reply. After a moment he shrugged and pulled Simmons back into a kiss.

Chapter Text

It happened terribly fast. One second he was telling Simmons where exactly he could shove his polished rifle. Fucking prick.

The next he was eating dirt as bullets pelted the wall above their heads.

Uhhh! "Why are we being shot at!?" Grif demanded over the hail of bullets. He flicked Simmons hand off his head and lifted himself into a crouch behind the crate he'd been sitting on moments before Simmons had pulled him into the dirt.

"Why are you asking me?!" Right, dumb question.

"Well do you know who they are?" It was Simmons after all that had spotted the shooters first and grabbed the back of his head to pull him off the crate.

Simmons glared at him. "You want me to pop out and ask!?" He called back sarcastically. He shifted his rifle like he was preparing to do just that. Grif grabbed his shoulder and shoved him back into the crate. "What the fuck?!" 

"You're not wearing armor idiot!" Grif wasn't about to let Simmons get himself shot. 

Simmons rolled his eyes, shoving Grif's hand off his shoulder. "I only need a few seconds to see where they're coming from!"

That's an awful idea. "It only takes a few seconds to get shot in the face!"

"I'm doing this!" Simmons warns. One of his hands grabs a fist full of Grif's shirt before he swings his head around the side of the crate, using Grif's weight to keep himself from falling on his face. It's not the first time Simmons used him as a handhold when doing something stupid, he knows the drill. Grif count's to five before yanking Simmons back. 

The look on the other mans face isn't comforting in the least. "How many?!"

"Like ten... maybe twenty!" He says shakily.

"Is it ten or twenty!?" Grif demands. Big difference between ten or twenty. Like the number of bullet's being shot at them.

Simmons bites his lip. Grif can tell he's recounting the enemy in his head. Grif's always been pretty impressed by his ability to remember shit he's only seen for like a second. Finally Simmons comes out of his mental recount. "Eighteen!"

Eighteen. EIGHTEEN! "We're dead." He mutters to himself. Hand running down his face. He didn't want to die armorless and weaponless behind the armory. That was too much irony for him. He glanced at Simmons and saw the other man going to peek around the crate again. Grif caught his arm and tugged him back. "They're going to be expecting that!"

"We can't just wait to die Grif!" Simmons lifted his rifle and readied himself to shoot back. He growled when Grif once again shoved him back into the crate. "GRIF FOR FUCK SAKE I HAVE A GUN WITH BULLETS LET ME FIRE BACK!" He shouted. They both jumped when a bullet hit the dirt near Simmons feet.

Grif bit his lip. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. We're going to die!  He was so busy panicking that he didn't hear the gunfire slowly dying out. It was a split second decision made by his brain that he honestly couldn't control at that moment. "I love you!" Echoed through the sudden silence. Simmons looked at him with a blank expression. Face the color of Sarge's armor. It took a moment for Grif's mind to catch up with the fact that they weren't dying, and the fact that he'd just confessed his love at the top of his lungs. Fuck fuck fuck. "I- Just... Fuck. Pretend you didn't hear that!" His voice cracked. He felt his face flush. 

"The whole fucking base heard you." Simmons says flatly. He sit's for a moment. Completely silent.

Oh god he's probably trying to figure out how to let me down easy. Grif fidgets with the hem of his shirt.

Simmons neutral expression cracks. Laughter spilling forth from his lips. His body shaking under the force of his sudden laughter.

"Shut the fuck up!" Grif hisses. He doesn't think he's been this embarrassed in all his thirty-one years of life. He glares at the man beside him. Shaking with laughter and tears streaming down his face. "Simmons you're a fucking prick."

The man looks at him and wipes away his tears. "I'm sor-sorry!" He wheezes. "It's just, you said it so loud." He snickers. Trying to catch his breath. "I thought Donut was going to pop out of this stupid crate and marry us on the spot!" His laughter starts all over again.

His stupid fucking laugh. Grif feels a smile tugging at his lips. "Or Tucker." He snickers. Shoving Simmons into the dirt. "I was being serious you know. I thought we were going to die."

"I know." Simmons smiles up at him. 

"You know." Grif glared at him. "Well?" He asked.

"Well what?" Simmons blinked at him innocently. Sitting up and brushing himself off.

"Simmons."

The other man grinned. "I love you too, I thought you knew that already."

"Fucking FINALLY!" Someone says from above them. They jump and find Tucker leaning over the crate with a cocky grin on his face. "You want me to marry you?"

"Holy shit. Tucker what the fuck took you so long?" Grif demanded.

"Hey, you try shooting through a small army. Oh wait you two were hiding behind a crate." Tucker threw up his hands.

Grif rolled his eyes. "Dude does it look like i have a fucking gun?"  Simmons glared at him.

"I do you asshole!" 

"I wasn't about to let you get shot." Grif huffed.

Tucker looked between them and grinned. "I was serious about that marriage thing just so you know. I'm ordained."

Both men turned their glares on him "Shut Up!" They shouted.

 

 

Chapter Text

It's no surprise they got nightmares.

Simmons would be found in the wee hours of morning running laps to forget.

Donut  would bake anything he could think of to take his mind off them.

Even Sarge with his shotgun at the ready attitude could be found doing pointless upgrades around the base after a nightmare.

The only way Grif even knew he had nightmares was the fact that the mornings after they happen Simmons would nag less, Donut would give him extra cookies, even Sarge would be less of an ass. 

They never talked about them. It was an unspoken rule never to pry about anyone's issues. Sometimes things would slip.

Simmons parents were abusive assholes.

Donut was from a small close minded farming colony.

Sarge used to be a father. 

Grif used to be in therapy for his OCD.

Thing's slipped and they ignored them. It was routine. The standard way of going about things. Things tend to change over time.

Some mornings Sarge or Donut can be found running laps with Simmons.

Grif can be found in the kitchen helping Donut bake. It's what he did before the being drafted.

Simmons and Grif can be found helping Sarge test his upgrades.

Sometimes they give Grif an extra hour of sleep.

They still never talk about it.

They don't talk about the way Simmons sometimes shuts down when blue team says something about his parents.

They don't talk about Donut's avoidance when it comes to talking about home.

They don't talk about how Sarge will get this soft, almost sad, look on his face when he watches the three of them goof off.

They don't talk about how sometimes they find Grif in the bathroom washing his hands for the seventh time.

The nightmares become something they can't avoid.

Simmons will mutter in his sleep. Choked off words that end in whimpers. After the tank sometimes Grif can hear his own name being called in a panicked voice. Grif will crawl out of bed and curl up in Simmons bunk with him. He'll sometimes whisper things, 'I'm alive.' or 'Shut up and sleep kissass.'.

Sometimes Donut will sneak into one of their bunks late at night and curl up with one of them. Usually Simmons. Grif isn't partial to nighttime visitors waking him up, they tend to get shoved to the floor if he's woken up.

Sometimes all three of them will end up on the floor in a pile of limbs and blankets.

Sometimes they wake up to find Sarge sleeping with his back against their wall after slipping in at some point in the night. They don't wake him. Slipping past and waiting for him to wake up on his own.

Sometimes Grif will wake up and find Simmons curled up in his bunk. Long arms wrapped around Grif's waist, head tucked into his chest. It's always Simmons. He's the only one who can slip into Grif's bed without waking him up. No ones sure how he does it.

Things get bad when they're split up. Grif and Simmons are lucky enough to be placed in the same base. No one's sure where Donut got sent. Sarge stayed behind in Blood Gulch. 

He fucks up. He fucks up now Simmons is going to be shot along with him because he's a fucking kissass and stupidly loyal and refused to say he wasn't there when Grif sold their ammo. He know's what Simmons wants to say but he won't die thinking about what could have been.

He doesn't think he's ever been glad to see Sarge pull up in that stupid Warthog. Even if Sarge refuses to acknowledge the Grif is now the same rank.  They drive off on some stupid adventure to find the blues.

They still have nightmares. They still don't know where Donut is. The Freelancers can fuck off, seriously.

Grif panics when the EMP goes off, they aren't out of range. The jeep dies. Simmons makes a choking gasp and tumbles from the back of the warthog, his heart monitor lets a loud wail as he flatlines. He can hear Sarge cursing and jumping out after him. Grif scrambles after them. He's pissed. How could Sarge not think of this kind of thing happening? They get into a screaming match all the while trying to keep Simmons alive.

They do, but it's touch and go for a while. He woke up having a panic attack. It takes a while to calm him down. He's sitting against the jeep with Sarge and Grif on either side. He hasn't let go of the heart monitor in his chest since they calmed him down. The UNSC shows up a while later. Thanking them and offering to send them to a new base. They take the offer.

They have nightmares often. 

Simmons wakes up clutching his chest.

Grif wakes up with the horrible feeling that Simmons won't be beside him.

They find Sarge sleeping against the wall outside their room sometimes. 

They don't talk about it. They still have no idea where Donut is until he shows up half dead muttering about the desert. It's Sarge's idea to leave Simmons behind. The two haven't had the best relationship since the EMP happened. Grif has no choice but to shrug and go with it. Caboose comes along. They end up in a mine field.  Grif's anxiety isn't having a good day at all.

After being locked inside a temple with Tucker and now a floating ball that Caboose claims to be Church. He's thankful to finally be out of danger. Their call to Simmons doesn't go well. Sarge orders Grif to get in the jeep. Simmons is being held hostage. They leave Tucker and Caboose behind to go save their friends.

Donut's dead. Lopez is dead. Simmons has hardly spoken a word in since they saved him from Wash and the Meta. The floating eyeball that is Church is dead. They brought it with them anyway.

Caboose and Church are gone. They need to leave before Wash and the Meta catch up to them, before the Aliens decide to kill them. Simmons has started talking again. Tucker asks them to come with him. Simmons is the first to agree, despite Grif's complaints that it's blue team problems.

They fight Tex all over again. Church has a new body. The two go off on their own to do who knows what. Grif doesn't care. If he ever sees Tex again it'll be too soon. His balls still ache. They're not real soldiers, it kinda hurts to find out that everything they've been through has been for a shady organization. Sim troopers. Test subjects. Unable to go home because they knew too much. Because they were canon fodder. 

Caboose asks them to go with him to look for Church all over again. Grif decides they need to get Church a tracking chip, and a shirt that says 'If found return to Caboose'. Despite being upset Sarge agrees instantly. He tells them he's proud of the men they've become. He's still prepared to die for something. Simmons and Grif reluctantly agree to go, they won't let Sarge do this on his own. They're a team. Simmons says he has an idea, this is how Grif takes a crash course in Pelican flight.

The Meta is still terrifying. Fighting the Meta feels like fighting a boulder made of anger. Sarge nearly dies. Grif goes over a cliff. 

They have have nightmares.

 Simmons sobs in his sleep. Grif is already curled around him. Whispering thing's like 'I'm alive.' and 'It's okay.'.

Grif doesn't remember his, just knows that he's glad Simmons is sleeping next to him.

Sarge sleeps to their right. Shotgun resting near his hand. He grunt's in his sleep. Muttering things like 'Not my boy's.' and 'Please not my boy's.'. Grif kicks his his leg to wake him up. 

Wash is part of Blue team now. Simmons is a pretty forgiving guy after everything that's happened, even if it takes him forever to get a sentence out through his stammering when talking to Wash. Grif isn't as forgiving. Neither is Sarge. It takes a while before they can talk to Wash without feeling distrustful or glaring their way through a conversation. 

They meet a woman called Carolina. She's also a Freelancer. Grif wonders when they'll finally stopped being dragged into Freelancer shit. She want's help getting Epsilon/Church back. Blue teams already halfway packed when Red team decided to tag along. Fighting through a military base the second time still isn't fun. Breaking out isn't much better. 

Church is still a dick. Caboose is still an idiot, but at least his heart is in the right place. Grif's balls ache when he sees all the Tex bots. The fight stops when Church shuts the bot's down. Grif almost had to have a funeral for his testicles.

They for some insane reason get thanked by the president. They're 'Heros'. Grif laughs at the picture on the news. Simmons hiding behind Donut, not wanting to be in the picture. Grif says something insensitive about Simmons parent's being proud. Simmons looks at him and says he doesn't give a shit, as long as they don't know how to get a hold of him. Turns out they do know how.

They don't talk about it.

They don't talk about Simmons panic attack when his parents try to contact him. 

They don't talk about Donut rubbing the scar from the bullet that almost killed him when he's anxious.

They don't talk about how Sarge has barely let them out of his sight.

They don't talk about Grif's need to be within touching distance of Simmons and vice versa.

They're going home. To Earth. Back to empty lives and empty homes. At least they had their bank accounts released back to them. You tend to accumulate a lot of money when there is nowhere to spend it.

Grif proposes he and Simmons get married. The idiot faints. Sarge yells a lot, so does Donut but for very different reasons. For some reason Tucker looks like he's about to cry, no one has the gut's to ask why. When Simmons wakes up he just nods his head. They get married in the little chapel by the ship captain. 

Everything's great. More than great. They're finally going home. No more being a soldier. No more being shot at. No more worrying that the people you've adopted as family are going to die around you.

They crash on a backwater planet on the edge of space.

It's no surprise they got nightmares.

Chapter Text

 

 

Simmons was okay. He was fine. He was a little in shock but it really wasn't anything to worry about.   He stared out at the water as he stood next to Doc. Not ten feet away lay bright pink, unmoving, armor. He didn't look over. Couldn't look over. It made his stomach twist when he thought about it. Sure it seemed like he couldn't stand Donut, but that wasn't even close to the truth. T hey were friends, teammates. He closed his eyes and breathed deep. His artificial lungs expanded and deflated.  Beside him Doc sniffled quietly. He looked at him, even without being able to see his face he could tell the purple armored man was crying silently.   

"Were you and him..." He started to ask. Trailing off, unable to finish. He's curious, but he doesn't want to open any wounds. To early for that, way to early.   He licked his lips nervously and shifted in place.  

Washington walked into view followed by the Meta, or as Simmons had taken to calling him; the monster. They came to a stop in front of Simmons and he could feel his panic  rise.  

"Okay listen, we need you to contact your friends and bring them back here." It was more of an order than a request. Simmons hands curled and he stood up straighter.   

"What makes you think I'm going to lure my friends into a fucking trap?" He demands. Thankful that his voice sounds stronger than he feels. Beside him Doc's breath hitches. He knows without a doubt that If these people wanted him dead he would have a bullet in him faster than Donut. He's fully prepared to die for the idiots he calls his friends and teammates.   

He always knew he would die in the army. Either by his own team or by a completely random series of events that would never be explained . He never thought he would die actually protecting something important.  

"Look, if you convince them to come back here then I wont have to shoot any more of you." Washington says lifting his gun subtly and pointing to the radio.  

"Fuck you." He growled. Before he could react the Meta bashed him across the head with his weird ass gun. He stumbles back, bouncing off the wall hard. The world spins fast and nauseating. He tastes metal, he's bit his tongue.  

"Meta!" Washington snaps. Kneeling down he grabs the back of Simmons armor hefting him upright and unsteady on his feet. "We want him alive, they won't come if Doc calls." He gives Simmons a little push toward the radio.  

Before Simmons can tell him to fuck off  again  the radio crackles to life.   

"Simmons, come In Simmons."  Sarges voice echoes through the base.   

Washington pointed his gun at Simmons head and motioned him to answer the radio.  He could feel the gun bump against the back of his helmet as he moved forward.  

Simmons knew what he had to do. He just prayed he didn't fuck this up.   


 

Simmons was okay. He was fine. He was a little in shock but it wasn't anything to worry about. He stared out at the empty land in front of him. Not ten feet away was the warthog. Thirty feet away was Sarge.  He had no idea where Grif had gone, probably looking for prime napping real estate .  

They were parked near a group of trees, taking a break to stretch and relieve themselves. He didn't want to do either. So he sat in the grass.   Sarge would have a fit if he saw but the man was busy rooting around the trees for who knew what. He runs his hand  over his helmet  and breathed deep.  The bruising on the side of his face hurts where the Meta had hit him. His helmet had done its job of keeping his skull intact at least.  

He jumps a little as Grif sat down on his left. He hadn't heard him come up beside him.  Grif's always been weirdly silent for a guy his size.  

"You're a little jumpy." He comment casually. As if he hadn't burst through a wall in the warthog and saved his ass from being slaughtered by a crazed man/monster.  

"Yeah." He said distractedly. He couldn't really focus on much. All he could think about was Donut's "I think he shot me." The Meta's weird  predatory noises as he watched them. Doc's crying. The regret in Wash's voice as he ordered Simmons to betray his friends.  

"...You okay?" Grif asks looking at Simmons through his helmet. His voice was concerned, and curious.  

"I... I don't know." Simmons admitted. And it felt like a relief to admit it to someone. He felt, kind of numb. Detached. It was like right after he had woken from his surgery and looked at himself in the mirror for the first time. His glowing new eye and his metal arm ached at the thought.   

"Do you want to talk about it?" He asked. He sounded so serious and sincere that it threw Simmons off for a second.  

He shook his head. "Not much to talk about." He said quietly.  

"You were held hostage by two crazy freelancers.  Could have died Simmons, I think that's a lot to talk about."  Grif  sighed. Laying back in the grass and stared up at the sky.  He remembers the way Grif  had babbled at him two days after waking up and finding Simmons skin grafted on to his own. Talking about anything and everything that popped into his head because it was better than sitting silently in his own head.  Even if it had taken him days to actually look at Simmons .  

Simmons looked over at him and just  stared. He could still see Donuts lightish fucking red armor sprawled on the ground next to him. Unable to help him. When he'd tried a bullet was lodged inches from his head .  

"We've almost died more times than I can count  Grif ... But this shit... When my friends are shot in front of me. It's so fucked. When you got flattened by that fucking tank I could help you. I did. But I just... They wouldn't let me help him!" He panted, hands gripping his knees as he pulled them to his chest. "They made me watch him bleed out Doc was crying the whole time! I had to leave him behind because I couldn't pry him from the wall! I don't even know if I left him to die or not. haven't been able to sleep in two days because that fucking monster was just looming over us the entire time .  

Grif was silent for a long moment. Long enough that Simmons started to suspect he fell asleep. When he spoke again it was quiet "... You think Doc is dead ?"    

"Dude, have you seen the Meta? He punched Doc so hard he fused with a concrete wall."  He said with a small shudder. Staring at the swaying  trees.     

  Grif turned to face him. "Simmons... I-"   

"Lets get a move on solders!" Sarge called from the warthog. Cutting Grif off.  


 

Two nights later they finally had a little  time before things could all catch up. A night where they could sleep without their uncomfortable armor in the hot desert.  

Simmons pulled his helmet off and dropped it to the sand.  He was in a small secluded area for a little privacy. He slid off his boots and kicked them into a pile with his helmet. He began to work on his chest piece.  

"Dude what the fuck?" Simmons startled opening his eyes to see  Grif standing there, his own armor already in a pile nearby.  Grif raises his hands in peace. Simmons hand had unconsciously gone to his knife.  He dropped his hand and ran it over his metal arm.  

"Grif don't fucking do that!" He snapped, prying his chest piece off and tossing it in the pile.  He was ignored as Grif got closer, staring at his face. "What?" He asked, suddenly self conscious.  

 "What happened to your face?" Grif asked. He had this look, not quite anger and not quite concern either. It was starting to make Simmons twitchy.  

"The Meta." He said flatly. Bending to start on his legs.  "He hit so hard I saw fucking stars inside my helmet."  

There's a hand cupping his face. He doesn't flinch back, but its a close call. The hand runs along his face, careful of the bruising. Suddenly he's looking up and into Grif's stony eyes. His jaw is clenched tight. Simmons, in classic Simmons fashion, mistakes the reason for his anger.  

"It's not like I was just going to willingly call you guys into a trap, so stop looking at me like that." He tries to sound cold, but the hand is still running along his face. He ends up sounding more tired than anything else.  

"I'm not mad at you."  

Simmons frowns. "I didn't think you were. It's just, I let the enemy-"  

"I'm not disappointed either. I'm not Sarge." It seemed to be his turn to snap. "I was worried, I thought things were fine when we called, but Sarge said you were speaking in code, I didn't even pick up on anything wrong. When Sarge filled me in it felt like my heart stopped."  

"Grif-"  

"What if it happens again? I can't lose you Simmons, I've lost too much to this shitty war to lose you too." He's not looking at him anymore. Too afraid to look him in the eye. He's shifting from foot to foot like he's about to run.  

Simmons stands upright and stares at his friend, who if he would admit only to himself was maybe a little more than a friend, more than his accidental husband. Studying the contours of his face he feels the urge to kiss him, the curiosity of what Grif's lips would feel like on his own. He takes a steadying breath before letting go of his self control.   Simmons grabs the back of  Grif's  head, crushing their  lips together before Grif has a chance  to protest. The kiss is hard and needy and weird. Yet Simmons feels warmth spread through him at the contact. He likes the feeling of running his hands through the  mans  too long hair. He remembers after a second that humans do need to breath, breaking off the kiss he smiles. Grif is panting, pupils dilated, when he stares up at Simmons he grins.  

"Wow, who knew you could be so forward."  Grif says out of nowhere. Simmons feels his face heat even more. "We haven't even gone on our first date yet."  

Simmons grins a little "Shut up you idiot, we're already married.  

"And i'm so glad we didn't get that divorce. " Grif says grabbing Simmons head to pull him into another kiss.  

Chapter Text

 

 

They shouldn't be able to do this. Shouldn't sync so well together. No one thought they would, not even themselves. Hell no one even knew ho w they got their own jeager in the first place. They barely passed the tests to get into the UNSC.   

They've been friends for years. Long enough to know that drifting would never work between them. They were surprised to be proven wrong.      

"Are you boy's ready?" The woman asked over the intercom.  

"As ready as we're gonna get." You snorted. Even without the drift you could feel the anxiety rolling off Simmons.  

"Alright. Golden Puma Initiating Drift in 3..."  

"Hey! It's not gold!"  

"Grif, I think I'm gonna puke." Simmons moans.  

"No you're not." You  sigh. Simmons has been going on about that for two hours. If he was gonna hurl he would have done it by now.  

"Two..."  

"I don't think I can do this." Simmons voice shakes when he speaks.  

"Simmons, you're fine. We've known each other for years. There's nothing in your head that I don't already know and judge you for."  

Simmons chuckles weakly. "You're such an asshole."  

"One!"  

You're ten and watching your mom leave through the front door.  "I'll be back soon." Your mom  calls behind her.  

You're alone with your sister. She's five and colorblind and confused. You try to keep a smile on your face for her.  

You're fifteen and being told you're worthless. Your grades aren't good enough. You aren't strong enough. You don't get to choose your future. He does. He's your father and an asshole.  

The  day you argue with him for the first time over an after school club is the day you admit to him that you don't feel like a girl.   

You're eighteen and got accepted into a collage on the mainland. Kai cry's. She's so proud of you. You did this for her. Did this to give her a better future. You've been trying since your mother walked out the door.  

The day you pack up to leave the world explodes with terror. A monster rises from the sea and decimates a city. People call it a Kaiju. You think it means giant monster. You don't really care. It takes too long for them to kill it. That scares  you.  

You're eighteen and moving into your first apartment. A year ago the world was terrorized by a giant sea monster. Everything on the coast is cheap enough for you to afford living on your own and going to school  because no one feels safe on the coast anymore.  You think about how risky your plan is. The thought alone is enough to give you resolve.  You're doing this to spite your father.  

You start school and meet Dexter Grif. He's an asshole. You have to keep telling yourself not to punch him in the face. You don't have the energy to make enemies.   

You're twenty two when the second monster rises from the ocean. You, Kai and Simmons are out of town when it attacks. It's your camping weekend. The only reason you know about the attack is because Simmons somehow gets service up here.  

You're twenty five when they realize that maybe the attacks aren't going to stop. Its been one a year for the past five years. The government unrolls a new weapon. When you see it you nearly drool all over yourself.  

They call it a J eager  and it's beautiful and mean.  

You're twenty six when Simmons tells you he's joining the  UNSC . You don't speak to him for a week. You're too angry at him for throwing his life away. He was at the top of his classes and ready to graduate next year.  

You're twenty six and you enroll in the UNSC right beside him. You don't trust him not to get himself killed.  

"You guys okay in there?" 479ers voice breaks into their thoughts. It's only been a few seconds but to them it feels like hours have passed.  

"Yeah, we're okay." Simmons answers. His voice is steadier than before. His nervousness is still there, hovering at the back of Grif's mind.  

"Well boys, looks like it worked fabulously. You have a near perfect sync. Congratulations." She chuckles.  

 You can hear Sarge grumble in the background about how you were going to be  an awful pilot. You feel a shared irritation through the drift and smirk.  

 "You ready to move?" 479er asks.  

You lift your right arm and Simmons follows suit. You feel almost giddy. You realize a second later that  its  not you, it Simmons. "Stop that." You huff. You can't concentrate with him wanting to dance in your head.  

He grins at you. "We're drift compatible." Is all he says. It almost sounds like one of Tuckers pick up lines with the way he says it.  

You don't think about that.  


 

It's only your fourth Kaiju and things have started to go horribly wrong.  

Beside you Simmons is screaming at you to "Just Drop The Fucker!" He sounds so much like you when he says it. Just another sign you've been in the drift too long.  

 The Kaiju thrashes in your hold. It was too big for only one team to fight so you are trying to hold it still long enough for Tucker and Wash to get their shit together and take it out. But it keeps digging its spines into your left side. Digging out deep gouges of metal. If it keeps that up its going to hit something important.  

"Its going to hit our reactor!" Simmons points out. Correcting your thoughts even in the heat of battle.  

"If we drop it, it's gone!" You yell. Its a slippery little bastard and its taken you two hours to grab hold of it. There's no way you're letting it go.  

The  kaiju  shifts in one last desperate attempt to free itself. It's spines sliding upwards around your left side. It wraps itself around your  jeager  like a snake and squeezes. The sound of groaning metal echoes around you. You try to find  whats  being warped but your screens are flickering.   

There's a pop of pressure releasing in the cockpit. "No you don't!" You yell. Trying to grab it and pull it off. It continues shifting away just before you can get it.  

The sound of metal tearing startles you. Its coming from your left side. Simmons side. Your hearts already in your throat before you can register what's happening.  

Simmons screams seconds before white hot pain floods your brain.  Your vision goes white and a wave of hear sweeps over you, and you feel almost like you're on fire.

When you get your vision back you're first act is an attempt to leave your harness. Sarge and 479er are screaming in your ear for updates. You ignore them. Getting more and more agitated the longer you're trapped in your harness. You need out. You need to get to Simmons.  You keep demanding Simmons talk to you only to have silence answer back. His  HUDs  flashing at you that his life signs are dropping. You still can't get out of the fucking harness! You scream when you realize the problem is your arm not responding.  

You feel the  jeager  shudder with the weight of the Kaiju still wrapped around it. If it keeps doing whatever the fuck its doing, you don't know, the screens are down, then the  jeager  is going to topple and you and Simmons are going to drown. For one heart stopping moment you think the  jeager  is tilting backwards,  its  not until a hiss sounds above you that you realize Sarge has remotely activated your escape pod. You look over to make sure Simmons is being loaded into his pod. He is, but you see for the first time the amount of blood running in rivers down his harness.  

And it's only when the drift breaks that you realize the amount of pain you're in. Its agonizing. You cry out. The pod seals, and as it launches you to safety you black out.  


 

You wake up screaming. You wake up screaming at the memory of white hot pain coursing through your shoulder and arm.  Its  not your own pain you're screaming about. You can't feel Simmons in your head and you panic.  

Tuckers there in seconds trying to calm you down. When he can't he yells for your sister.  

She has you curled up in her lap as she rubs your back a while later. " Its  okay. You're okay." She's saying. You don't care if you're okay. You want to know where Simmons is.  

"You can see him when you're better." She whispers.  

 He's alive.  

The words repeat in your head for days.  

When you can finally see him he's asleep. He looks like death warmed over. You count yourself lucky never the less. Most pilots don't make it into the escape pod in time. You have Sarge to thank for that. The pods hadn't even crossed your mind.  

 You nearly cry when you see his arm.   

"We had to remove it." Dr.  Grey  explains to you. "When the Kaiju spine went through it, it severed a lot of stuff, but I guess the spines are heated to cut through a jeagers hull because it cauterized the wound before he could bleed out."  

"You couldn't reattached the arm?" You ask.  

"No, it was too damaged. Even if we had reattached it, it would be a dead limb." Before she leaves she gives you a hug you really don't want and a reminder not to stress your wounds.  

You take a seat next to the bed and wait.  

 All you got in that fight was one less kidney and a nasty looking scar running from your armpit to your hip. You don't even remember how you got it. Sarge said something exploded in your jeager . You remember what Simmons said about the reactor and cringe. You're lucky it didn't take out the entire jeager and half the coastal town with it.  

Your sitting there for a while before Simmons stirs. He wakes up with a jolt not unlike how you've been waking up. When he notices you he starts to cry.  

"I can't feel you." He chokes out. You understand that feeling. Its like an emptiness in your head that Simmons should occupy. You also understand that  its  a side effect from drifting for six hours straight trying to catch that fucking Kaiju. Even so you choke back your own tears and carefully climb into his bed. Resting against the wall you pull him up to rest against your chest so he can hear your heartbeat.  You  wrap an arm around his chest and slid a hand around his wrist to feel his pulse. You bury your face in his hair and tell yourself that everything's going to be okay.  

Chapter Text

Grif had no idea what to expect when he walked into his and Simmons bunk that day. Simmons and his squad hadn't shown up for practice. So Grif had been tasked to look for his boyfriend and the girls.  

Their bunk was the last place he expected to find them hiding. Before he even walked through the door he paused when he heard something unexpected.  

 "The skirt is supposed to be short sir." One of Simmons girls was saying.  

"But why?" Simmons demanded. "It's barely covering anything." He sounded flustered. What the fuck was going on in there?  

"That's the point. It's supposed to look sexy." The girl they nicknamed volleyball laughed.  

"It's working." Jensen giggled.  

"Jensen!" Simmons squawked.  

 Unable to stand anymore mystery  Grif  opened the door.  " Simmons you missed  trai -... Oh."  

The girls spun around in shock at the noise. Simmons froze completely on his way out of the bathroom. His entire face was flushed scarlet in a matter of seconds. Silence settled heavily. No one sure what to do.  

"Uh we should get going!" Jensen broke the silence, shoving the girl next to her in motion. The girls rushed past  Grif . Nudging him inside so they could leave. The door clicking shut being them.  

Grif was still staring at Simmons. Clad in a miniskirt that did in fact barely cover anything.  

Simmons cleared his throat.  Grif's  eyes snapped up from his stocking covered legs to his face. "I can explain." Simmons forced out.  

"Go on." Grif prompted when Simmons didn't follow up with anything.  

He took a deep breath. "The girls found that old skirt Caboose gave me when he thought  e veryone on red team  was a girl. I guess they just assumed that I frequently wear girls clothing cause they cornered me before I could change into my armor, and uh they brought over a bag of clothes they wanted me to try on." He finished awkwardly , playing with the hem of his skirt.    

"And you just went along with it?" Grif's eyebrows rose.  

Simmons shifted nervously. "Well, I don't  really... mind  wearing girls clothes."  He admits quietly.  

Grif nodded. Well, it wasn't the weirdest thing he's ever found out about a teammate. And Simmons didn't look too bad in a skirt.  He had one question though. "Are you wearing underwear?"  

Simmons hands fist the hem of his skirt. "Ye-yes!" He rasps. He's avoiding  Grif's  eyes.  

Grif glances down at the length of the skirt and frowns. Grif nearly chokes on his own breath when realization dawns on him. "Are you... Are you wearing women's underwear?"  

"Shut up!" Simmons hisses. He buries his face in hands.   

Grif almost wouldn't believe it, if he knew for a fact that Simmons  briefs  would peek out from under the skirt. "That's... Pretty fucking hot."   

"Oh my god." Simmons groans into his hands. He looks up and glares at  Grif . "If you  breathe  a word to Tucker I swear to god I'll kill you."  

"No  ones  going to hear a word about this."  Grif  promises. If he told Tucker, Tucker would say something to someone else and then everyone would know, and he wouldn't ever get to see Simmons in a skirt again.  He's not stupid enough to risk that.  

Grif glances at the bag of clothes and takes a seat on his bunk. "So anymore clothes you need to try on?"  

Simmons looks between him and the clothes.  "No t a single word  Grif ."  He  growls, grabbing the bag and dragging it into the bathroom.  

Grif  grins.  Its  gonna be a good night.  

Chapter Text

 

You thought you were an only child. For the longest time you thought that the director was your only living blood related family. Not that he counted as even that anymore.  

You find the truth a little hard to swallow as you stare down at the paperwork. Actual paperwork, made from trees. It was strange, but you figured if the director wanted to hide it, this was the best way.   

The files show a picture of a young toddler. Age three. Grinning brightly at the camera. Her face  spattered  with freckles and her bright red hair a mess. If you held a picture of yourself next to this child you knew they would be almost identical.  

In your hand you held adoption papers for a child named Ella Simmons. It couldn't be a coincidence. No. There's no possible way that one of the idiot sim troopers shared the name.  

You didn't believe in coincidence anymore. There was a reason you're Carolina, singular. No north. No south. The fiftieth place held for a freelancer that would never be.  Because your father had given the child away in hopes that the child would turn out differently. 

Just another experiment for him.  

You wonder if he knows. Simmons. If he knows he's not Dutch-Irish, but from the southern states of America. You close the folder and stuff them in the duffle bag of your  fathers  belongings. You hadn't wanted to take them with you, but he was dead and this was all you had left of him. So you zipped it up and slung it over your shoulder.  


 

It eats at you.  

 You watch him flirt with that idiot  Grif  and it eats at you.   

Why was he a male now? Why was he a cyborg? Why didn't he look at you and see himself staring back like you do now?  

Wash notices you burning holes into the sim troopers head. He questions you with a look in his eye. You ignore him. He wouldn't understand. He'd tell you to talk to him. It's not that easy. You've witnessed the way he speaks to women. How utterly terrified he is.  

You wonder why he's afraid. You wonder who hurt him. You wonder if it was because of the director. You wonder if it's because he shares your blood.

It's cursed. A bloodline with a streak of bad luck stretching on into infinity.  

You tell Wash that in the cover of darkness. Bad dreams come easy to you. Always have. You think he's the only one who would understand the nightmares.  

It still eats at you after you walk on board the ship to earth. You wonder if you should talk to him before you both part ways on your home planet. You know  Grif  is eager to drag Simmons away to his home island. He rambles on about it all the time.  

You read over the file on Richard Simmons once you're alone in your room. It's bad. You wish you hadn't pried into his past like that.  

His adoptive father was a strict man with a no nonsense attitude that wanted his 'Daughter' to be the perfect child. His mother treated him like a verbal  pinching  bag.  It isn't a happy story to read. In fact it makes you want to shoot something. You look for his adoptive parents and find them both in prison. A generous gesture from the director.

Just another part of his experiment in trying to make the perfect soldier.  

You feel sick. You read the file until it starts to get better. Richard officially changed his name four months before joining the army, at the behest of a 'Councilor' who told him the military was the perfect place for him.  

His  over all  scores were great. He would have been a perfect soldier with the right training. Would have been adopted into the freelancer program with no problems. Until he met  Grif .  

It says this in his file. 'Would have been amazing soldier. Shame he met Dexter Grif.' You laugh. It makes sense. The two of them can't go a day without bickering and arguing. The two of them together were a nightmare to someone trying to run a real army.  

You read on and find the moment he's sent to blood  gulch . It coincides with the day project freelancer crashes and burns.  Grif  is sent with him, the two don't work at all if they aren't together. They appear to be a packaged deal and people find that out quickly.  

Sarge's  reports are flattering on Simmons part. Grif's... Not so much. At least not until the 'Tank Day' report. You find out why Simmons is a cyborg and you feel something warm settle in your chest.  

You shut the files away and sit on your bed, taking it all in. It's been a month since you met the boys. You feel attached to them. Despite your anxiety over the future you feel a sense of peace around them. They just accept all the crazy shit happening and roll with it. Tucker had an alien baby for Christ sake! No one even cares!   

Epsilon chooses to phase in with his hologram. "I don't... I don't remember my life before being an AI... Or... I don't remember being the Director. So Simmons... I don't remember him from before Blood Gulch."  

"It's okay Epsilon. I didn't expect you to. My father probably made sure to erase those memories."  

"I could tell you about blood gulch... If you want."  

You smile. "Yeah. I'd like that." You feel at home in the boy's crazy adventures.  


 

When you wake up after the ship crashes you wake up to Simmons wrapping your head with gauze. You startle but he gently holds you in place.  

"Wash said to do this. I'm sorry if it's a bit awkward." He says the entire thing without stuttering at you. You take that as a sign that he's more comfortable with you. It makes you happy.  

"It's fine." You say distractedly. This is the first time you've been this close to him. You can't help but stare. He shares your fathers nose and your mothers eyes. You wonder how Wash hasn't put two and two together.  

You want to tell him. You want to tell him everything. You can't. You can't do that to him. It wouldn't be fair. Simmons has a chance to live without the burden of your father hanging over him. Simmons has a chance to be the only person from the Church bloodline to make it out happy. You wont ruin that.  

"Carolina, is something wrong?" Simmons asks. You realize you've been grinding your teeth. "Are you in pain?"  

"No, just... Frustrated that the ship crashed." It's not a lie. Not really. You just wanted to go home.  

"Something's wrong with this planet."  

Epsilon whispers in your head.  

You decide you need to leave for a while. You need to see what else is on this planet with you. You need to make sure your idiots stay safe.  


 

You're surprised they aren't angrier at you. Well Tucker and Wash are pissed. But the others just shrug and roll with it. They knew you could handle yourself.  

 Wash looks on the verge of crying when he confronts you.   

"You guys are my family." He grinds out. " I already lost one family, I will do whatever it takes to keep these idiots safe. That means you too. You can't- you can't just run off without telling me!"  

You hug him. It's not something you do often so it's a little awkward and stiff. But he doesn't seem to care. It looks like his time with Tucker, Caboose and the reds softened him up a little.  

You end up fighting with Grif over a gun, he seems really attached to it. Grif is  surprisingly  quick. Simmons is trying to talk sense into him. You smile.  

When the gun goes off and almost sends a bullet through your head Grif drops it completely. He looks a little sheepish. You get it though. You kinda wish you'd kept that brute hammer from forever ago.  

You watch Simmons scold him. Wash stares at you when you smile. He seems happy knowing you're happy too.

You're starting to forget that only one of these troopers is actually blood related. It's for the best.  


 

That changes the moment you hear the gun shot echo in your ear. The man who shot the bullet is dead before he can get another shot off. The shot wasn't for you. The only other people out on this patrol are Wash, Grif and Simmons.  

You turn and find them standing in shock behind you. Simmons is staring down at his chest. He looks you dead in the eye before collapsing. It takes all of a second before Grif panics.  

"Simmons?!" He's on his knees in the dirt.  

 Wash is next to them in seconds. He's pressing a wad of cloth to the wound. Wash has started a first aid kit in his pockets for Caboose, and anyone unlucky enough to be near Caboose when he has something sharp.  

Wash looks at you, you realize he's panicking too.  Simmons is their family, they can't lose him.  

"I didn't think... getting shot would hurt anymore... being half a robot." Simmons gasps through pain.  

"Shut the fuck up!" Grif snaps. "This isn't a joke!" He turns his attention to you. "He needs a doctor now! They managed to hit the right side of his chest, he doesn't have any metal plating there!"  

This is the first time you've seen him so serious about something. You look around for anything that will help. You four didn't bring a car. It was supposed to be a quick patrol to this empty outpost.  

"You're faster than a car." Epsilon speaks up. "I can activate your speed unit."  

"I don't have it anymore!" You growl. It was taken from you after you used it unauthorized in the field. You never thought to get it back.  

Grif perks up at that. "I do."  

You give him a funny look.   

"Simmons installed it before we teamed up with Tex to fight Wash and the Meta." He explains quickly. He starts to reach around to the back of his armor but Wash stops him.   

"You can't just rip it out. Here let me." He unhooks the unit quickly and attaches it to your suit. "Be careful." He warns.  

You nod, kneeling down to pick Simmons up. "You two follow behind me, do not deviate unless being shot at. Understood?" You stare them down until they both nod.  

You cradle Simmons to your chest. Bracing him for the sudden burst of speed. You're aware that he's bleeding out in your arms. It drives you to go faster.  

The guards at the gate don't even realize you've passed them. You skid to a stop directly in front of Dr.Grey. She startles. Hand going to her chest until she sees Simmons. She shifts to Dr. mode in seconds.  

"He needs to get on a bed." She orders, you follow behind obediently.  

You aren't sure who told Sarge, but the man comes sprinting into the room minutes later. He zeros in on his boy laying pale on the operation table and starts peeling off armor. He suits up in scrubs in no time at all.  

You stand back. Out of the way. You've done what you can. You want to leave. You don't want to stay and watch another member of your family die.  

You wait in the hall outside the door. When Grif and Wash show up Grif doesn't say anything to you, simply rushes past you and into the room.  

Wash stands next to you. You can feel him staring. You can feel him wanting to say something.  

"What?" You sigh.  

"He's going to be okay." He says. "He's going to be fine. I've watched these guys get up after being blown up, and shot at, and pulled off cliffs."  

You stare at him and frown. "I need to tell him something... It's not a good thing Wash. Do you think he'd forgive me?"  

Despite not knowing what you're talking about Wash places a hand on your shoulder. "I once held him hostage after i shot his friends. Afterwards he forgave me. On the basis that i was temporarily insane, but he still forgave me. Tucker ran over the love of his life and he's forgiven him. Whatever it is you need to tell him can't be as bad as that."  

You find little comfort in that.   

Grif comes back out of the room moments later. He doesn't hesitate to walk right up to you and glare. "He's losing a lot of blood, and they don't have his stupid rare blood type handy."  

You feel your body go cold. "Why are you telling me this?" You ask.  

Grif isn't in the mood to play this game.  "Look, despite everything telling you otherwise, I'm not an idiot. I have eyes. You and Simmons would be the spitting image of each other if he grew his hair out and  regrew  breasts. I know Carolina, and i don't care why you're keeping it secret, he needs blood, specific blood."  

You know what he's telling you to do. It would require an explanation. It would require you to admit out loud the secret you've been keeping. It would allow Simmons to live, to move to earth with the short angry Hawaiian standing before you and have a  life that wasn't overshadowed by your father .  

Wash looks like his worlds been turned on it's head. "What are you talking about?"

"I'll tell you later." You push off from the wall and head through the doors of the operating room.

Your cursed blood saves Simmons life. Sarge repaired the damage done to the cybernetics while Grey  repaired  the organic damage. You sit in a chair next to the bed and watch your blood flow into Simmons veins. You feel like you're corrupting him with every drop.  

After he's stitched up and resting in one of the recovery rooms you take a watch shift from Grif so the man will get some sleep.  

You study him. Is he what you would have been if you hadn't agreed to the Spartan enhancements?

Now you tower over everyone but Wash and Caboose. Simmons is tall, coming up to your chin, but he's still unenhanced. He's thin and pointed. Despite the muscle he reminds you of a baby deer. You hardly see him him out of armor and you kinda wish you hadn't at all. He  looks  like a strong breeze could snap him like a twig.

You realize how ridiculous that thought is. He's the heavy weapons expert. Of course he can hold his own. You've seen him fight. You've seen his test scores.   

You wonder what it would have been like growing up with Simmons. Would he have turned out differently? Would you have been close?  Would it have been a Dakota situation?   

You try to imagine Simmons on any of the freelancer missions, you can't. He doesn't fit into that family. He's perfect In this one. The oddballs, and misfits.   


 

After Simmons is recovered you corner him in his room. You don't mean to actually. It just sorta happens. People think you plan these things out, you aren't actually that creepy or organized. You aren't going to tell people the truth, you like having that little bubble of mystery.  

Epsilon's the one that tells you when Simmons is by himself that day.  

You take the old battered dufflebag with you and find him picking at his still raw scar. He looks up at you confused when his door slides shut.  

"Uh, hey Carolina." He  fidgets  with the blanket over his lap.  

You set the dufflebag down on the floor next to the chair beside the bed.  

"We need to talk about something." You start. You see him bite his lip nervously. "It's important that you listen to everything I have to say okay?"  

He nods. "What's wrong?"   

You huff. Of course he'd think something was wrong. "Simmons, do you know who your parents are?" You decide to start there.  

Simmons face closes off. "Yeah. They're in prison."  

"No actually, those people... They aren't your real parents." It's like ripping off a band-aid, you think to yourself. "Your real parents died, one of them died much more recently than the other."   

"Are you trying to tell me I'm adopted?" Simmons asks quietly. He looks at you like you've gone insane.  

"I have this." You pull the file from the dufflebag and set it on Simmons lap. He looks down at it like its a bomb. "I understand if you'd rather not read it."  

He glances up at you and swallows. He flips open the folder and starts to read through it.  

One thing you've learned about Simmons, is that despite not having Spartan enhancements he was an extremely quick study. He read through the entire folder in under fifteen minutes. An entire folder containing his life up until he went off the grid with the other Sim Troopers.  

You wait in silence. You watch him for signs of distress and find them when he looks back up at you.  

"Is this... Is this real?" He rasps. He's holding back tears.  

"I found it in a box of my fathers things." You watch his face crumple.  

"My real father is the madman behind project freelancer?" It's a rhetorical question.

"I'm sorry." You say awkwardly. You'd probably cry too if you hadn't known since you were a child that your father was insane.  

Simmons wipes the tears from his face. "My entire life. It was all an experiment?"  

You aren't sure how to answer that. You remind yourself of the band-aid method. "Yes."   

Simmons hands are curled together in his lap on top of the folder. He's glaring down at it. You watch as he seems to come to a realization.  

"You said... You're... Are you related to me?" He asks quietly.  

You take a steadying breathe. "Yes. I'm technically your sister."  

"My sister." He whispers. "You've known this whole time. Why didn't you say anything?"   

"I didn't want you to have this burden." You admit. You stare down at your own hands.  "I don't expect you to forgive me for hiding this from you. Or for being a part of the thing that ruined your life."  

"That stupid." He snorts. Your head snaps up. He's got that look on his face that says he's calling bullshit.

"I don't understand."   He should be angry, should be more upset. Not looking at you like you're going to burst into tears at some point. You aren't.

"It's not like either of us could have prevented this. Some advice I picked up from Grif, is that 'if you can't stop it, and if you can't prevent it, then it's not worth beating yourself up over, you just need to let some things go or they eat at you'... Well when he said it there was a lot more explitives but you get it."  

You aren't sure what to say to that.  

  Simmons moves the folder off his lap and slides from the bed. He steps toward you and wraps you in a hug. Hugging him is like hugging Wash, stiff and awkward. But you lean into the hug. His metal arm is surprisingly warm. You thought it would be freezing cold.  

He steps back and rubs at his neck. " I can't forgive you if there's nothing to forgive in the first place ."  

You smile at him. "Will you tell me about Blood Gulch?" You ask. "Epsilon only knows about things from Cabooses point of view."  

Simmons sits back on his bunk and snorts. "That's gotta be confusing." He puts a finger to his lips in thought. "I suppose I should start with Grif getting us both in trouble the moment we stepped foot off the pelican."  

Listening to him talk of happier times is soothing. 


 

You're there when Simmons and Grif get married for the second time. You asked about that. Grif explained that the first time around they were drunk in Vegas and Simmons had complained that it didn't count.  

Everyone thinks it's Simmons that's going to cry, you aren't surprised when it's Grif that's sniffling into his sleeve. They both look so happy.

You think back on what Simmons said about letting things go. You don't have to wonder why Simmons can still be happy twelve years into a war that almost cost him everything twice over.  

You stopped wondering what life would have been like with you two together from the start. It does no good to look back. So you look forward to the kids you've heard Grif's been whispering with Tucker about.

Speaking of Tucker, he got to be Grif's best man. You look over and find him subtly trying to wipe away tears. Sarge is doing the same to your right. You can hear him sniff every so often. You grin and look over all the grooms men.  

Your family is safe, and you couldn't ask for anything more.  

 

Chapter Text

 

“Darnit Grif!”    

“But Simmons i'm hungry!”  

"There's no time for snacks we're being shot at!" Simmons yelled peeking his head above their cover.  

Grif side eyed the bag of chips sitting on the table in their base. The ones he'd been ready to eat before the blues decided to take charge and attack them first today. The one day Sarge was too sick to come out.  

"Man this bites!" He yells kicking at a rock. He jerks his leg back when several darts land in the dirt where his foot had been. "Do they have Tex with them?!" He panics. Tex was a monster when they went to war. He thought they had banned her from playing after she pelted Donut in the head with that grenade. Poor kid still had that scar on his forehead.  

"I don't know! But they're bringing Sheila!" Simmons replies. He grabs Grif's arm and drags him roughly into the base. Closer to his bag of chips.   

"Sweet." Grif sighs. Before he can take two steps towards the table something shakes the base.

Sheila!  

Both boys turn around just in time for the huge tank of a dog to come bounding into the base. Oh no! "Simmons duck for cover!" He yells. It's too late. The dog has pounced on his friend. Simmons squeals and try's to squirm away. But Sheila is just too heavy.  Shes  sitting on Simmons back with her muzzle buried in his hair. For some reason the dog really liked Simmons hair.   

"GRIF SAVE YOURSELF!" Simmons screams as the blues flood the base.  

"Don't move dirt bag or your friend here gets dumped into the lake!" Tex growls. Pointing her nerf gun at Simmons forehead. Grif sees Simmons eyes go wide in terror. He can't swim.  Grif is frozen in place.  

Behind her Church clears his throat. "Tex, we can't do that."  

"Why not?" She demands.  

"He can't swim." Tucker pipes up.   

"What?!" Tex scoffs. "Who can't swim now a days? Hes seven ain't he?"  

"Oh Oh!" Caboose raises his hand.

"Yes Caboose?" Church sighs.

"Is it cause he's half robot?" Caboose asks Grif.

"Yeah Caboose, it's cause he's half robot." Grif rolls his eyes. "His prosthetic arm makes it hard to swim."  

"Oh." She nods in understanding. "Maybe we could dunk him in, then pull him right back out?" She suggests.  

Church shrugs. "Yeah that could work."  

"No way!" Grif yells. He knows how scared Simmons is of water, especially after his accedent. "You guys are gonna let this crazy girl try to kill Simmons!" He accuses.  

"I'm not gonna kill him!" Tex protests.  

"Um something is wrong with Simmons." Caboose interrupts. "His face is leaking."  

 All eyes snap to the boy still pinned under the dog.  

Simmons is trying and failing to wipe away the tears running down his face. "I don't wa-wanna get in the water." He hiccups. Sheila whines and licks at his face.  

Grif walks over and shoves the dog off of him. He's done playing for today. He's always done playing when Simmons starts crying.  He helps Simmons sit up and wipes the dog slobber off his face.  

"No ones making you get into the water." Grif promises, glaring at the others.   

Tex walks over and Simmons tenses. She claps a hand on his shoulder and nods. "No waters getting anywhere near ya kid."  

"We'll think of a different surrender tomorrow when Sarge comes back, no water though." Grif says pulling Simmons to his feet.  

The blues nod in agreement.  

"Its getting late." Tucker says. "Should we head home?"  

"No way!" Tex huffs. " Its not even dinner time yet!"  

Grif turns to Simmons. "You wanna come to my house? My moms making cookies."  

Simmons nods and grabs Grifs hand.  

 Together they leave the blues behind to bicker.

Chapter Text

 

The problem with making bets at a party, was the person accepting the bet was usually drunk off their ass.

As was the case with Dexter Grif nodding along with his friend Tuckers bet.   

"Alright, kiss one redhead before the nights over and you'll do my homework for the rest of the month? Got it. You're trying to get me punched in the face by Carolina, but jokes on you cause i accept the bet." Grif flips him off and climbs to his feet. Eyes scanning the crowded room until he spotted a flash of bright red hair. Grinning he heads off in that direction. He elbows his way through the throng of sweaty teenage bodies until he's standing behind the redhead.   

Without even hesitating he grabs the persons arm and spins them around. Green eyes, red hair. Check and check. The eyes widen when he leans in for the kiss.  

It takes him a half a second to realize his mistake. One) Carolina isn't flat chested, or this thin. Two) The person he's kissing smells surprisingly like booze and Simmons shampoo.  

Simmons shampoo.  

He's kissing his best friend.  Whom he'd forgotten was also at this party. Who also has bright red hair and green eyes.  

He pulls away and opens his eyes to stare up at Simmons scarlet flushed face. The boy looks absolutely scandalized.   

Simmons opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out but a questioning huff of air. "Huh?"  

Grif shrugs. "Well, you do have red hair. So I guess I can tell Tucker I won the bet."  

Simmons confusion quickly burns away to fury. "A bet?" He snarls.  

Grif really should have expected he was going to get punched in the face anyway. When the world stops spinning Tucker's in Grifs face with a pitying look.  

"You're an idiot dude."  

"Yeah?" Grif snaps sarcastically. "What makes you think that?"  

"You made Simmons cry." He holds out a hand to help Grif up. "Connie's pissed."  

Grif sits up and rubs at his sore jaw. "Did I really make him cry?"  

"Well I'm pretty sure I saw tears on his face when he elbowed me in the ribs to get to the door." Tucker glances behind Grif and blanches. "Dude, you need leave. Now." He yanks  Grif  to his feet and shoves him towards the front door. "I'll hold her off, go apologize to Simmons."  

Grif makes a beeline toward the door, only glancing back once to catch sight of Connie in all her angry glory marching towards him with the look of murder in her eye. Tucker quickly steps in her way.   

Grif  doesn't stay to see how it turns out. He's out the door and on the street in seconds. Grif was Simmons ride, meaning he's probably walking home.  Grif  knows better than to drive right now. So he takes off at a jog in the direction he's pretty sure Simmons is going. He's  half way  to Simmons house when a thought occurs. Simmons is probably as drunk as he is. A drunk and upset Simmons most definitely isn't going home.  

Grif  turns down a side street and cuts through a hole in a metal fence onto the field of an old elementary school. This is usually where he and Simmons end up when they drink. He walks around the building until he spots him. Sitting alone on the swings ,  Simmons is a sad sight.  

For the first time that night, Grif feels actual remorse for kissing his friend like that. He makes his way cautiously over to the swing set. Simmons' head is resting against the chain of the swing he's seated on. His eyes are closed, but Grif can tell he's been crying.  

"Go away Connie." Simmons sighs without opening his eyes. "I'm not in the mood to listen to you rant about  Grif tonight."  

Grif clears his throat. Simmons eyes snap open in shock. They stare at each other until Grif decided that it was too awkward to keep staring at Simmons in silence.  

 "Uh, hey." He waves his hand awkwardly.  

Simmons doesn't say anything to him. Instead he stands up to leave. He stalks across the grass towards the fence.  

"Wait!" Grif calls, rushing after him. "Simmons, I wanted to apologize." He says desperately. He has the terrible feeling that if he let's Simmons walk off the boy wont ever speak to him.  

Simmons pauses. He doesn't turn around. Just stops and crosses his arms.  Grif sees his foot tapping on the grass. A nervous tick he picked up on years earlier.

Grif takes it as a sign to continue. "Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kissed you like that." Grif's aware that if he wasn't a little drunk right now he would probably never say any of this. But if he wasn't drunk right now he wouldn't be in this mess. "I shouldn't have kissed anyone like that. But I did, and I did it to you, and I upset you. So I'm sorry."   

Simmons lets out an explosive sigh. "I'm not mad that you kissed me." He says. "I'm angry because you did it for a bet!"  

It takes a moment for that to sink in. For Grif to really understand what that meant. He feels his throat go dry. "You're mad I kissed you for a bet, but not that I kissed you." He mutters. "So if I kissed you because I simply wanted to kiss you, you'd be fine with that?" He asks.  

Simmons tenses. "I- Yeah. I'd be okay with it."  

Despite everything telling him to do it. To kiss the nerd all over again. He listens to the small part of his mind telling him to wait it out. To not jeopardize this chance.  Grif places a hand on Simmons shoulder. "I'll hold you to that in the morning. But right now I think we should go home and sleep the booze off."  

He feels Simmons hand reach up and grab his. Grif feels like they're going to be okay. Better than okay.  


Chapter Text

 

"...penis." Tucker whispers. Simmons eye twitches.    

"Penis." Church whispers slightly louder. Simmons knuckles go white.  If someone else so much as breathes the word again hes going to do something fucking drastic.    

"Penis!" Grif whisper yells from the table across from Simmons.

Oh my god.

Oh my fucking god!    

No. No! He can't take this anymore.

They've been whispering the word penis for almost an hour! Simmons just wanted to study!  But the three biggest idiots from his class just had to be here of all places.    

Simmons takes a deep breath. There's only one way to stop this. One way to make sure they'll shut the fuck up so he can work.

"PENIS!" Echoes through the library.

The librarian looks up and scowls but says nothing. She's been listening to them for an hour too.     

It's silent after that.  The three boys a table over have stopped what they were doing to stare.  Simmons turns back to his work.  He's halfway through a paragraph in an essay about robotics when someone clears their throat    

Simmons growls and glances up at the chubby Hawaiian  smirking down at him. "What the fuck do you want!?" Simmons feels like hes about to commit murder.    

"You won the game." He says.    

"Fuck off!" Simmons hisses. Looking back down at his book.    

The guy sits down in the chair across from him. "You don't even want to know what your prize is?" Grif asks.    

Simmons growls. "I already have my prize and that's you three shutting the fuck up!"  He resists the urge to throw his book at the guy. When he looks up, the guy is holding out a  piece  of paper. Simmons looks at Grif questioningly. What the hell is this idiot up to? Grif slides the paper over and Simmons sees its a phone number. Simmons snorts. "Are you serious?"    

Grif winks at him.     

Simmons stares him dead in the eye when he slides everything off the table into his backpack. The smile drops off the other guys face. He looks almost upset. Simmons stands and starts to leave when he pauses, thinking about the sad look on Grif's face .

Fuck.

He was too nice for his own good sometimes.

He turns around swipes the scrap of paper off the table and walks away as fast as he can.    

Behind him he hears a quiet "Yes!" From  Grif and vows that the first thing he's sending the guy is going to be a picture of his middle finger. His cold unfeeling prosthetic middle finger.

Chapter Text

The moment Grif kissed him he knew he was fucked. Panic slammed into him like a truck. He shoved Grif away and scrambled to his feet.


"Simmons I-" Grif looked upset.


Simmons cut him off. "I'm sorry!" He blurted. "I can't. This... This isn't going to work." He turned and fled from Grif's apartment.


That was the last he'd seen of the man. The last he'd seen of anyone from the BGC. He'd sent them into hiding the next day with one sentence. Texted to Grif in the early hours of the morning.


'I'm a cop.'


He realized he'd outed himself. Painted a target on his own back. But he couldn't bring himself to lie anymore.


"It's a shame you have to go Simmons." His boss sighed for the third time in an hour. "We were so close to getting the BGC."


"I know sir, but this is better for me. A fresh start." He replied. Closing the lid on the box of his things.


"I don't know what spooked you into deciding your better off across the country, but if you ever come back, you're welcome here." The man said patting Simmons on the shoulder.


"Thank you sir." He mumbled. He knew he'd never be back.  He carried his box down to his car and tossed it haphazardly in the trunk. He wouldn't need any of it. He was retiring from police work. Maybe he'd open a flower shop. He wasn't sure yet. But whatever he did it would be as far from police work and the criminal underworld as possible.


The drive home passed in a haze. He stopped once for gas, wanting a full tank for the night ahead of him. He parked in front of his apartment building and jogged up the steps to his door, he'd planned to leave tonight. Not wanting to postpone the move.


He froze when he saw his door was open. He pulled his gun and crept inside.


Nothing seemed out of place. The light was on in his living room. Simmons froze in the doorway when he saw who was waiting for him.
His boss stood in the middle of the room.


"S-Sir?" He stammered. "Why are you here?"


"Cut the crap Simmons, we both know why I'm here." The man rolled his eyes.


"I... Don't know why you're here actually." Simmons admitted.


"Your friends never tell you how many crooked cops there were in this town?" The man asked. Simmons shook his head. "No one in this town is clean Simmons. Not even you. Don't think I didn't notice that fact that you're head over heels in love with Dexter Grif, same goes for him. Poor guy falling in love with a cop. A lot can go wrong."


"You're going to take that knowledge to the grave, I wont be used against him." Simmons said. Voice shaking. He raised his gun and pointed it at the mans head.


The man grinned. "You've got balls kid." He lifted his own gun. "But do you have what it takes to kill another cop?"


The gunshots were loud inside the near silence of Simmons apartment. Simmons stumbled back as the bullet slammed into him. His gun dropped to the carpet to be forgotten.


Simmons crashed into the wall behind him. Sliding down until he hit the floor. Blood began to run down his arm, dripping from his fingers onto his carpet.


He looked at the lifeless body of the man he'd been working for, for nearly a year. He felt numb. Only a faint flicker of regret.


Simmons pulled out his phone. He would be an idiot to call 911. And he could no longer call Doc. His fingers paused over Grifs number, for a minute he debated calling him. He shoved the thought aside and called someone else. An old contact from his army days.


"Simmons?" The woman answered.


"Conni... I need your help." He whispered. His vision started to spin.


 


Simmons life for the past several months included torturous physical therapy for his arm. A boring job at a local florists he was being forced to go to. And being stared at as he walked down the street.
If he needed to go into town Simmons usually wore the most concealing clothes he owned. He hated being stared at.


On this particular day, Simmons had run into town to fill his gas tank. When he reached his house he was startled to see another car sitting in his driveway.


He didn't get visitors. Only Conni occasionally, to check on him and make sure he wasn't dead.


Simmons didn't carry a gun anymore. Hadn't since shooting his old boss. Doesn't keep one in the house, at Conni's insistence.


So with that in mind Simmons gathered himself and walked into his house. If someone was here to kill him, then they could make a good attempt.


Grif was standing in the middle of the living room, staring out his window. He looked bored. Simmons very nearly turned and ran, but knew that if he had been found here, he could be found anywhere. So he stood in his doorway. Waiting for the man to say something.


"I can't believe you moved here." Grif said finally. His voice oddly flat.


"Grif-"


" Running across the country Simmons? Really?" Grif cut him off.


"It was better this way." He said. He didn't want Grif to be here, standing in his living room asking for answers to things Simmons didn't want to think about.


"Why? So you didn't have to think about your guilty conscience?" Grif huffed.


"No!" Simmons snapped.


"Then why?!" Grif demanded.


 "I was tired of lying to people Grif! I lied to you! I lied to the cops! I'd been lying to myself the whole time, telling myself things were fine, but they weren't. So I left." He lowered his voice. He may not have neighbors anymore, but he still hated shouting inside his own house.


"Jesus Simmons, don't you get it?" Grif growled. "You were part of our family. We trusted you!  Was anything you told us true? Your father? Your time in the army? Hell, can you even knit?"


Simmons grit his teeth. "Other than the fact that I used to be a cop, everything I've ever said to you has been the truth. Everything."


"But I can't trust that." Grif said. He sounded defeated.


"I know."


Grif straightened suddenly. "What do you mean by 'used to be a cop' aren't you still one?"


Simmons frowned. "Its not like I could have continued to be one even if I'd wanted to."


Grif turned from the window, looking at him for the first time. Simmons knew what he looked like. Bags under his eyes, thinner than what was healthy, hair a wild mess. He looked sick. And, in a way, he was sick.


"What happened to you?" Grif asked. "When I went to find you, to talk to you. You were gone. There was blood in your apartment. A lot of blood. No one had any answers. No one knew where you went. We thought you were dead."


Simmons realized that Grif didn't know. He didn't know about what happened the day he left.


 "I... I killed my boss." He admitted.


Grifs eyes widened. "What?" He breathed.


"He broke into my house to kill me. Thought I knew about him being a crooked cop. Knew that I... Knew things he would have used against me."


"Why did you run away? If he was a dirty cop you would have been hailed a hero."


"I had to leave Grif." His hand reached up and gripped his own left shoulder. "It wasn't safe for me in the city... It wasn't safe for you to have me in the city."


Grif caught the motion and frowned. "What happened to your arm?" He asked. Stepping towards Simmons and reaching out to grab his wrist. Simmons let him. He brought Simmons hand up and began to pull off Simmons glove.


He sucked in a hard breath when he saw the shinning metal hidden under the glove. "Simmons..."


"The bullet shattered my shoulder. Severing the nerves from my shoulder down. When I couldn't move my fingers I realized something was wrong." Simmons said quietly. "I... I had them remove it. They told me I'd never have mobility in it. It would be a dead limb. I came out here to recover."


"Were you going to come back?" Grif asked.


"Probably not." Simmons says honestly.


Grif ran his hands through his hair. "If... If I asked you to come back. Would you?"


Simmons heart stuttered. "Wh-why would you ask me to come back?" He stammered.


"God you're an idiot." Grif sighed. "You're still family."


"I don't understand." Simmons said quietly. "I lied to you. I tricked you. I-... Aren't you here to kill me?"


"What? No!" Grif burst out. Horrified. "When the cops never showed up, never even tried to raid our old safe houses, we realized that you hadn't sold us out. So we tried to find you, wanted to talk. But instead of you we find your apartment empty and bloodstains in the carpet and trailing down the wall! We thought you died Simmons!  There was rumor going around that you'd been killed by an angry gang member!  But we still couldn't find any trace of you, not even a body! Not until Carolina showed up." Grif took a steadying breathe. "We missed you... I missed you. It was hard... When we thought you were dead. Donut still cry's about it. Sarge refused to talk to anyone for a while."


Simmons opened his mouth to apologize, but Grif held up his hand, still not done getting everything off his chest.


"I almost quit." He said quietly. "I almost quit the crew. But I didn't. Because I was angry at you. I'm still angry.  I'm angry that you ran away. Angry that I thought you were dead. Angry that you lied to me. But worst of all I'm angry that I fell in love with such a fucking asshole."


Simmons could feel his eyes start to burn. His throat ache. "I'm sorry." He choked out. "I wanted to tell you. I did. I hated every second I had to hide it from you. But when you kissed me I realized that I put you in danger. Because I fell in love with you, you lazy prick."


"Oh my god! Stop crying!" Grif demanded. "God, look at us. We're like one of Donuts soap operas."


Simmons let out a startled laugh. It was slightly on the hysteric side, but neither of them said anything about it.


"We're idiots." Simmons muttered.


"Yeah." Grif said, curling his fingers around Simmons'. "But at least we're idiots in love."


"You're such a fucking sap." Simmons snickered. "I'm telling everyone. Your reputation will be ruined."


"Shut up." Grif huffed, tugging him in for a kiss.

 


 

Chapter Text

It had been years since the boys had seen their fearless leader looking so upset. The only hint the man had an emotion other than 'Battle ready' was the occasional deep sigh of dissatisfaction.  

So to say they were shocked when he stood before the duo, eyes watery, lip trembling. Was an understatement. They were scared. Confused. They sat frozen while their leaders face crumpled. Tears threatening to spill down his cheeks.  

"Si-sir?" The tallest of the duo spoke. Breaking the heavy silence that surrounded them. Simmons voice rasped. The time he spent choking on smoke from the flames of the wrecked ship playing hell on his vocals.  

Sarge said nothing. Shaking his head slightly. He seemed almost afraid to speak.  

Beside Simmons, Grif bit his lip nervously. He had a headache the size of their crashed ship and his arm still ached from being dislocated. It had taken a moment for Simmons to orient himself before he could pop it back in place,  the crash had scrambled him a bit. His eye wasn't working and his arm was a little jerky.  Grif  put those worries to the back of his mind, Simmons would get around to fixing them later. Right now they both needed to recover  energy to actually move.  

That didn't explain what the fuck was wrong with their leader.  

"What?"  Grif  demands. He's starting to feel twitchy with the man just staring at them.  

"I-" Sarge cuts himself off. Afraid to voice his fear. It doesn't matter. It's enough for  Grif  to realize the problem.  

"We're fine." He states bluntly. "Obviously."  

It's a miracle, honestly. That they survived the crash and no one else... Well maybe someone in the half of the ship that was missing survived.  

Grif  had woken up trapped under a metal slab. He didn't know what part of the ship it was, didn't care either. All he could focus on was the man pinned under him. He hadn't been sure what's going on at first, but his memories soon cleared. The alarm. The ship rocking and trembling as it tore apart in the atmosphere. The panicked instinct that had him tackling Simmons to the deck.  

He'd shifted the slab off of them and had removed their helmets. The smoke from the fire had become thick. Their air filters were fucked, so he removed their helets so they wouldn't choke.

He'd checked Simmons pulse and when he deemed the man alive, he'd sat back against the wreckage and waited. It had only been three minutes before Simmons woke with a choked gasp, his lungs clearing the last of the clinging smoke with a deep cough. Simmons had sat up looking around bleary-eyed until they landed on him.  He didn't need to ask, he crawled over to  Grif  and grasped the arm hanging limp at his side. Grif didn't need a warning about the pain. He didn't get one either. Silently they worked together to tend to their wounds. Simmons had a nasty gash across his forehead that  Grif  managed to get the bleeding to stop. And other than the arm  Grif  had a puncture in his under armor where the a piece of metal had slid across his back. Leaving a bloody tear.  They both ached too much to move far, so they stayed put. They weren't on fire, and the air was fresh, they saw no reason to move. So they sat tucked against each other and propped up on the rubble.  

They'd almost been asleep when Sarge stumbled upon them. It had taken two hours for him to make his way over to their part of the ship in his search. He'd very nearly given up hope. He'd felt such gut wrenching relief when he'd seen Grif's stupid flashy orange armor that his knees had nearly given out. The last time he'd felt such keen joy to see it was when they'd pulled him back up the cliff.  

Sarge  stumbled over to them on shaky legs, standing over their dozing bodies he was overwhelmed with emotion. He couldn't pinpoint what he was feeling. Anger, relief. Fear,  joy . He couldn't get himself to put on his act. Couldn't order them to wake up, to stand and look for the Blues. He'd spotted Caboose carting Tucker around near the front of the ship. The smaller man had been complaining through slurred speech that he was fine. Caboose had ignored him  in favor of his continued search.  

Sarge stood waiting for his two boys to wake up. He popped his helmet off and tucked it under his arm. The thing was busted anyway. The  hud  had been flickering, he'd ask Simmons to check it later. Much later.  

When the boys had become aware of him they'd both cracked their eyes  (eye, in Simmons case)  open and looked over at him. Frowning when they saw what a mess their leader was at the moment.  

Even with Grifs reassurance that they were fine Sarge couldn't stop the trembling in his hands. He was getting too old for this war. Too old to watch his boys dance with death again and again. Always managing to escape by the skin of their teeth. One of these days they would run out of whatever strange luck they'd been gifted. He just prayed it wouldn't be him left to pick up the pieces.  

"I need a nap." He muttered, carefully sitting himself across from them. They could take a moment to rest. It wasn't like they were going anywhere soon. He'd let the Blues find them.  

Grif grunted. Settling back against Simmons side. He wouldn't sleep, not really. He'd need to make sure Simmons wasn't concussed. For now he'd doze. Surrounded by his makeshift family. After surviving yet another shitty mishap that was bound to get them shot at somehow.  

Sarge watched his boys fall back into sleep. Soft snores coming from Simmons the moment his eyes closed. Grif remained awake, partially. A skill he'd perfected over the years.   

Sarge was proud of these men. His men. His boys. They'd started out a group of misfits and outcasts, barely enough survival skills between the two of them, three if he counted Donut. Now here they were, light years away from Earth and fighting in wars that would make weaker men tremble. Sarge placed absolute faith in his men. Even the Blue boys. He trusted them like he'd trust his shotgun.  

Chapter Text

"Grif-" Simmons rasped. Making an attempt not to choke on the blood he could feel beginning to trickle down his throat. Doesn't want to panic Grif more than he already is.

Grif hummed. Busy trying to staunch the flow of blood spilling from the bullet wound in Simmons chest. The fleshy side, right next to his lungs.

"Grif." Simmons said again. Stronger. Forceful. He wants his best friend to fucking look at him.

Grif glanced up. Sees the determined look on Simmons face and turns away. "No." He ground out between teeth and sorrow and anger. No. He's not losing him here. Not like this. Not now. After all the shit they've been through.

"Grif, please." Simmons gasps. God it hurts. It hurts so much. It's taking everything in him not to pass out. Not to start crying, because if he starts he wont stop. He doesn't want that to be the last thing Grif sees of him.

"Shut up!" Grif snaps. His voice wavers. "The others will be here soon. Just stay awake." He orders. He can feel burning behind his eyes. Blames it on the tear gas Hargrove's men tossed into the room before this one. Before Grif heard the man beside him grunt in a familiar way. The one that screams silently that metals slammed into flesh. Before he'd pulled him away and hid them away in this room. Unfortunately they couldn't hide forever. He could hear the men outside, in the hall, searching for them.

"Grif. You'll get caught, I don't want you to die with -" A hand slams over Simmons mouth.

"I said shut the fuck up!" Grif gasps. He's losing it. He knows he's minutes away from a panic attack. This stupid war has taken everything from him. His life. His body. His sister. He's not letting it take this away from him too. He won't let it take the man he'd fallen in love with under a never setting sun. The man he'd married after too much booze and not enough regret between them. "Not you!" He chokes. He feels slim fingers run through his hair. Feels breath stutter under his hand. A gentle hand moves his hand away from Simmons mouth.

"Not me." Simmons repeats. Holding Grifs hand over his heart . "I promise." He whispered. It's a stupid promise. One he regrets making instantly. It's a promise he wont be able to keep. He can feel his breathing becoming shallow. Knows he's going to pass out soon. The signs of blood loss are all there. Lurking. He wants nothing more than to stay awake. To keep talking and running his hands through Grifs hair. Like this is just another panic attack. Like this is just simple routine. It's not. It hurts worse than the bullet to admit that.

"Fuck." Grif gasps. "We were so fucking close to going home."

"We'll get there." Simmons reassures. His eyelids slip closed. God he's tired. Not just from the blood loss. He's tired of this war. Tired of fighting. He want's nothing more than those days back in that box canyon. Sitting on top of the base with Grif. Being talked into naps, or sometimes being forced into them when Grif would pin him down and refuse to get off him until he 'chilled out you fucking kissass'.

Grif jolts when he realizes Simmons hand has fallen slack. He looks up and the red glow of his eye had dimmed. The other one slipped closed. Grif panics shoving his helmet on his head. Simmons vitals are fine, considering he's slowly bleeding out in Grifs arms. Not dead. Yet.

"I swear to god. If you think for one fucking second I won't have Sarge Frankenstein your ass back to life, you're wrong!" Grif growls.

There's gun fire in the hall. Shouting. Someone's fucking pissed. Grif flicks through everyone else's vitals. All fine. A few have signs of extremely high blood pressure. Not surprising.

The shouting becomes clear. It's definitely Sarge and that nut job Doc yelling insults at the soldiers. Though Sarge sounds a lot angrier than the usual gun fight bantering. Meaning he's probably gotten the same ' Simmons vitals dropping' warning that Grif's hud had flashed as him about ten minutes ago when he'd been shot. Had it only been ten minutes?

Grif turns his focus back to Simmons. "They're here." He informs his husband. He's just beginning to feel the edges of panic slip away when his helmet gives of an alarm. Simmons vitals flash on screen once again. He's losing too much blood. Grif's losing him. "Fuck that!" He digs around his armor until he finds the simple healing unit it comes with. He thought Simmons' unit might keep his vitals under control until they could get out of here. He was wrong, he shouldn't have counted on the useless fucking nanotech. He blocks out the gun fire. Blocks out the yelling. He works at hooking his unit into Simmons armor. He may not have the mechanical know how like Sarge or Simmons but he wasn't an idiot. He'd read up on and studied this shitty armor for years. Simmons wasn't the only one who had a back up plan for the back up plan.

Yelling becomes frantic.

A soldier has come to the last door in the hall.

A door hisses as it slides open.

A gun cocks.

A shot shatters heavy silence.

 


 

Simmons doesn't realize he's drifted off until he feels Grifs hands on his face. Harsh words whispered in his ear as the man demands he 'wake the fuck up! I swear to god-'.

Simmons gasps for air. Crying out when the rise of his chest sends his ribs screaming in agony. His eyes crack open and he realizes they're not in the same room as before. They're in a pelican. How long had he drifted off?

"Wha-" What happened? He try's to ask. The only thing he gets out is a sad wheeze of air.

Grif's leaned over him. Hands gripping his armor to keep him in Grif's lap as the Pelican rocked. "It's over." Is all he says. "You missed all the fighting asshole."

Donut on the other hand refuses to leave it there. Popping into view like a jack in the box.

"You should have seen him Simmons!" The man grins. "It was so cool looking! He didn't even turn around to shoot the guy that was going to kill him! He just shot behind himself and BAM! The guy was dead! And the whole time he didn't stop hooking his healing unit into your suit!" Simmons can practically see the little hearts and stars dancing in Donuts eyes.

"Which was risky." Wash cut in. "You could have overloaded his body with nanites and killed him."

Grif stares at him blandly and shrugs. Like it doesn't matter. Like he wasn't agonizing over that risk the entire time. Like he hadn't refused to hook his unit to Simmons to begin with because of that. But back up plans for back up plans came with higher risks. Grif was so very aware of that. Maybe more so out of everyone on this pelican, save the man in his lap. Getting meshed together with another person wasn't a plan B. It had been a plan X. Just like risking what little life Simmons had, had been a plan Z. Simmons would understand.

"Grif?" Simmons rasps. Breaking him out of his darkening thoughts. Grif realizes he's still staring Wash down. He holds the mans gaze a few more seconds before looking down at Simmons.

"What?"

"We earned a nap after this." Simmons says quietly.

Grif grins. "You have the best ideas."

"That why you married me?" Simmons jokes. An attempt to lighten the mood. Grif knows instantly that he's pretty out of it if he's joking about that in front of the others. Considering he's not one for public display's of affection. Neither is Grif really but he shrugs and goes with it. Ignoring the startled looks he's getting from the people who didn't know of his and Simmons relationship.

"Well I certainly didn't marry you for your god awful cooking." He chuckles when Simmons flips him off.

Chapter Text

 

 

He had saved your life once. You owed him a life. Gave him your loyalty. Grudgingly respected him.

You hate his guts.  

You  laid bleeding out under a harsh sun. Your ship crashed mere feet from youYou had come down on an unknown canyon somewhere on a shitty little colony planet in the outer reaches of spaceYou didn't know where. Hadn't worried about it as you were busy dodging gunfire.  

"Agent B03060, it is time. You have been deemed a liability by the council. I am here to put you down." He stated. Standing above you with emotionless eyes. Not caring in the slightest that he was about to shoot an ally in the head. "Do you have any last words brother?" He asked.   

"Go fuck yourself."  You spat. Trying not to gag on the blood you could taste. With your last bit of strength you flipped him off with your remaining arm. You didn't think about the other one. Missing. Presumably taken off by something when you crashed. It didn't matter, you'd be dead soon anyway.  

"Please Father forgive this wayward soldier." The other agent began. "He was brave and strong. He was caring for his brothers and sisters in arms, watching over them as a guardian. Yet he was weak against the enemy, showing mercy where none was allowed. Defying of the council that governs all we do."    

You had never thought you would have ever begged someone to hurry up and kill you before this moment. But as you lay listening to his empty words all you wanted was for him to hurry up and shoot you. Listening to him was worse than losing the arm. If you'd known weeks ago when you saved that family from being burned alive, that this is what you would have to listen to before you died. You would have... you would have saved them anyway. Who were you trying to fool on your death bed Simmons? You were always a defective soldier. From the moment you decided to give yourself a human name it was glaringly obvious there was a glitch in your genetic makeup.

"Fucking shoot me already." You wheezed.  You wondered if this guy's original was as religious as this. If so, you pitied his victims.

"Oh Father please watch over him at his time of execution, as he passes from one universe to the next."   

You readied yourself, eyes slipped shut. Waiting for the instant of your death. The gun above you cocked, signaling your time on the godforsaken world was almost over.   

The gunshot rang out through the canyon. Yet you did not experience the bite of the bullet. Nor the transcends of death. You opened your eyes and the sight before you was confusing.  

005A04 lay dead at your feet. Shot through the chest. Behind him stood a man completely dressed in orange. He smiled down at you as he walked closer.  

"Holy shit. Good thing that guy liked the sound of his own voice." He laughed breathlessly. "Names Grif, I'll be your host this evening." He grinned at his own joke.  

It was then that you realized he was an idiot.   

"So any requests? Other than the hospital of course." He'd asked as he rooted around in a bag until he found bandages and a healing pod.  

 "Shut up." You had slurred at him. As you finally succumbed to your blood loss  your last thought was of how such an idiot could have survived this long in the colony wars. An idiot who happened to wander over at just the right time. An idiot that saved your life.  

You would later learn, after waking in the hospital, that he had  defied orders to go look for survivors. He had carried you back to his base after you had passed out. He managed to convince his superior to let you stay by stating that you owed him a life debt. Merely because you had nowhere else to go where Hargrove and the agency wouldn't find you.  

You would come to find out many things later in this war. That Grif was a lazy asshole. And a slob to boot. That despite those  facts he was also a good person. You were nearly willing to shove him under a tank and give him half your already ruined body just to fulfill the life debt at one point.  

But  you  think the one thing  you  truly came to realize is that hate is a little too close to love for comfort .

Chapter Text

 

If Grif was the sort of guy to spout poetry, or if he was some sort of hopeless romantic. He would say that the way he met Simmons was fate. But he isn't that kind of guy. So he would say that the way he met Simmons was  because Simmons was insane.  

He was freezing his ass off for a job, staking out a warehouse for this guy that liked to call himself Sarge. Grif didn't ask why, didn't give a shit. He just wanted his money.  

About an hour ago it had started to rain. He had pulled up his hood and glared at the building across the street.  

He glanced at his watch and clicked his tongue. Already two in the morning. He had maybe an hour of this shit left before he could leave.  

That's when something across the street caught his eye. A van pulled up and a couple of big muscled men climbed out. Behind them a man was shoved roughly from the van. He stumbled and one of the henchmen caught him before he fell. The mans hands were bound behind his back.   

A hostage?  

The henchmen began to drag him into the building.   

Grif counted to ten before making his choice.  

He climbed down off the roof of the building he was on and walked to his car. He sat behind the wheel for a total  of eight seconds before climbing back out and walking around to his trunk.  

"Too fucking nice for my own good." He growled. Tugging his vest on and picking up his rifle. He picked up a orange mask and slipped it on.  

When he got around the the door of the warehouse the van was gone. There was a single light on inside the building.  

Grif reached out to check the door when it was thrown open. A man came rushing out, slamming into Grif and sending them both to the ground.  

"Fuck!" Grif snarled.  

"Wha- Move!" The man ordered, scrambling up and tugging Grif with him.  

"What the fuck?" Grif let himself be pulled along. The man doing the pulling was tall. Easily six foot at the least. He had wild curls and hair bright enough that Grif could tell the color of it even in the darkness. Over his face he wore a mask similar to Grifs in every way except the color.  

"Shit shit!" The man muttered. He glanced down at a watch before shoving Grif behind a dumpster. He dove after him pressing him full body into the side of the buidling.  

Grif was about to demand answers when the world exploded. The night sky lit up bright enough that Grif could see the mans bright green eyes through his mask. Grif was absolutely sure the man was grinning.  

Grifs ears were ringing when the light died down.  

"What the fuck was that?" Grif yelled over the ringing in his ears.  

"Sorry!" The man yelled. "I didn't realize anyone else had a job tonight, I would have waited to set the explosives!"

"Wait!" Grif suddenly remembered the hostage situation. The clothes the man was wearing gave him away. "Didn't they have you tied up?"  

The man shrugged. "It was easier to find their warehouse if they took me there themselves!"  

"You blew it up." Grif said as the ringing died down.  

"Yeah, It's efficient." The man nodded.  

Grif shook his head. He'd met plenty of crazy people in his life. This guy seemed to be no different. Grif stood to leave. The man climbed to his feet as well.  

"Sarge didn't say he had anyone else working this job." The man said.  

Grif's head snapped up. The man was nearly a head taller then him so Grif had to crane his neck to stare him in the eye. "Yeah, he didn't. Hired me just to watch the building."  

The man nodded. Holding out his hand. "It was nice meeting you anyway. I'm Simmons."  

Grif stared at the guys hand in disbelief. That didn't even sound like a codename. Was he seriously just telling Grif his real name? Grif looked up at his mask covered face. Yeah, he seemed to be serious. What a fuckin weirdo.

Grif shook his hand quickly. "I'm Grif."  

"We should probably go before the cops show up." Simmons suggested. He paused rubbing the back of his head. "Um, not to be weird or anything, but do you think you could give me a ride?"

Grif blinked at him slowly. "You know what, fuck it. Follow me." Simmons trailed along behind him as he walked back to his car. This was the weirdest dude Grif's ever met, and thats saying something considering he's taking jobs from Sarge.

 

Chapter Text

 

Simmons stared at the small orange kitten staring up at him with wide sad eyes. He glared and frowned. He was trapped under this overhang until the rain let up, unfortunately, he was also trapped sharing the space with the small flea bitten creature.  

Simmons didn't like cats. Cat's were assholes. They lazed about and ate your food and expected you to love them for doing absolutely nothing. It kind of reminded him of another lazy asshole he knew. It didn't help that cats were also fragile. Fragile things and Simmons didn't mix well since the accident.   

Simmons stared down at the kitten and it stared back at him. "What?" He demands. The kitten gave a small  m ewl. "I'm not going to buy into your sad  look." He huffed.   

He glanced at his watch and sighed. He had to be back at the apartment in fifteen minutes, it wouldn't be a good idea to leave Grif alone with the others for too long. Last time he was late he walked in and found that Sarge had lit the oven on fire while trying to show Grif how to make a 'proper' roast. Donut and Lopez had been drunkenly making out in his entryway.Church  had somehow been shot by Caboose despite the lack of weaponry in Simmons apartment, and Tucker had stabbed a knife through his arm somehow. He hadn't even asked, simply turned around, shut the door and called the fire department and an ambulance. He was hoping that with Tex, Wash and Carolina around now, that won't be what he comes home to this  Thanksgiving.  

He jumps when he feels something rubbing against his ankle. He glares down at the feline. "Shoo!" He hisses. The kitten mewls at him once more.

Not wanting to spend another moment away from his apartment and potential emergency's Simmons steps out into the rain. Lighter now than moments before thankfully. He began to walk in the direction of home when another noise picked up over the pittering of the rain. The kitten was making distressed cries  behind him. Glancing back he spotted the poor rain soaked feline making an attempt to keep up with him. It slipped in a puddle and ended up more soaked than before. It gave a pitiful cry.  

Simmons sighs. Crouching down and waiting for the sad little creature to catch up. "Determined little asshole." he mutters reaching out for the animal. It rubs itself against his gloved fingers and mewls at him. It looks up at him with wide sad eyes, water dripping from it's little whiskers and Simmons feels his resolve break. Picking the little monster up carefully with his right hand he tucks it inside of his coats inner pocket. He's quickly on his way back to the apartment. He figures Wash would be willing to adopt the little beast. The man had a soft spots for cats the size of the state.   

Simmons could feel the small kitten purring against his chest.  

"I hope you like Wash, cause I already have a lazy asshole at home." He informs the kitten. "Wash's nice. He has a cat, named Epsilon after our friend Church. They're both kind of assholes though. Church not Wash...  Actually   maybe Wash isn't the best choice." He pondered. "Caboose would love you... But he has Freckles, and that huge mutt gets pretty jealous. And like I already said before, Church is an ass. I don't think Carolina would have time for a cat. I wouldn't even dare ask Tex." He glances down and found the small kitten had fallen asleep against his chest. He hurried the rest of the way home.  

He jogged carefully up the stairs to his apartment on the third floor. Or as Sarge had dubbed it Red floor, due to its garish red painted walls. The elevator had been broken for about a year now, and Sarge refused to call an actual repairman. Instead insisting he could do it himself. Which wasn't a lie. He could fix it if he put in the time, but like the rest of them he was busy during the day.  

As Simmons rounded the last bend in the stairs he could hear the loud commotion coming from his apartment.  

"Caboose leave the candied grapes alone man!" Tuckers voice echos through the hall. "You know what a bitch those are to make!"  

"But Tucker! They're like eyeballs!" Caboose announces excitedly.  

Simmons grins. He'd be worried about his neighbors filing a noise complaint if they all weren't currently crammed into his apartment. He opened his door and was assaulted by the smell of baking pie and the chatter of an overcrowded home.  

He walked farther in, stepping over Donut where he was spread out on the floor playing with what looked like pink glitter glue. He walked around Carolina and Tex arguing about the football game while Church tried to mediate between them. As long as it didn't come to blows like the Forth of July Simmons didn't much care. He made it through with no incidents.   

Grif looks up from the table and grins at him. "Hey, how was physical therapy?"  

"Good." Simmons answers. "Got caught in the rain on the way home though."  

"You should go change into something dry before Donut realizes you're back and tries to make you put on a costume." Grif laughs.  

Simmons turns to walk away when there's a loud mewl from inside his coat. Simmons freezes. The room goes silent. Everyone is staring at him.  

"Did you just meow?" Tex and Carolina ask at once. A smirk on Tex's face as Simmons flushes red.  

"No I didn't meow!" Simmons snaps, flustered. He'd completely forgotten about the cat. He reaches into his coat and pulls out the kitten. The little orange cat looks around at everyone nervously. Letting out an uncertain mewl. It grips onto Simmons gloved hand like a lifeline. It give another pitiful mewl.  

"Kitty!" Caboose stage whispers excitedly. Not wanting to startle the little feline. He comes in close, reaching out to gently pet the kitten.  

"A cat?" Grif questions. "Why do you have a cat? You hate cats!"  

"It was trying to follow me home." Simmons explains. "Kept tipping into puddles though. The idiot, it was the saddest thing I'veever seen." He chuckles.  

Grif had never seen Simmons smile at a cat, let alone touch one. Watching him hold the small orange kitten was like watching hell freeze over. Everyone knew how much Simmons disliked cats.  

"What are you going to do with it?" Wash asked. He had that gleam in his eye that said he was itching to pet the kitty like Caboose was currently.  

Simmons pauses, truly thinking over what to do with the kitten. "I guess I'm going to keep it." He shrugs.  

"We're keeping it?" Grif asks incredulously. Not really believing he heard that right.  

"Yeah." Simmons answers.  

"What are you naming it?" Donut asks from the floor.  

Simmons mouth twists into a mischievous smirk. "Dexter."  

Chapter Text

 Night's like this aren't unusual. Sadly enough they're pretty common now. Since coming back home and attempting to pick up the tattered remains of a normal life around the gouges left by the war it's been difficult for all of you.  

Caboose freezes at loud noises. Whimpers and hides when there are storms, before he's curled up in pain from the plates in his shattered skull. In a way the Caboose you all knew is long gone. In his place a confused child. You don't love him any less for not being the man you all once knew. In a way he's a new friend.  

Church has days where he forgets where he is, who he is. Those days Caboose sits with him and talks his ear off for hours. Speaking of memories, of things he'd seen on TV, of what they'd done just yesterday. Sometimes Tucker joins them. Some days it was Carolina, those were the days everyone would find a reason to leave the house, it was better to give the Church siblings privacy.

Donut takes his injuries the best out of them all. Accepting the scarring and the blind eye. He's happy to be alive and you guess that's really all that matters. He spends his Wednesdays at a support group helping others with scars to match his own. Where he met his boyfriend Maine. The man is a Hulk, towering over even Simmons.  

Sarge and Tucker made it out with a few large scars and a life times supply of nightmares. They'd been the ones to get you all out of there with Tex. Had been forced to watch their friends bleed out around them while they tried to get help. They tend to hover now. Tend to be the first ones up if something happens.   

Then there is Simmons. You feel guilt rise in you everytime you're forced to remember that failed mission. You can't even blame Church for the accident that stole Simmons' arm and leg, despite it being his mission. You blame yourself. Simmons tell's you not to, feels guilt of his own when he sees the look in your eye. So you try hard to keep it to yourself. How can you not feel guilt when you remember the look on his face when he spotted that mine. You weren't paying enough attention. Focused on the fact that this was supposed to be a routine mission. You weren't supposed to be running for your life in an attempt to find somewhere to reload and catch your breath while men shot at you. You should have been paying attention to the road under your feet. You knew this place was boobytrapped, had seen what happened to Caboose.  

The impact of his body against yours still makes your chest tighten. The explosion still rings in your ears at night. The memory of regaining your sense's and finding your best friend bleeding out next to you still haunts you. You couldn't move. Couldn't speak. Your side torn open, arm broken. You watched his blood soak into the dirt.  

For Simmons there is no clear memory. Only pain. Only the carved out worry for his friends, his family. The last they'd seen of Caboose and Church was a fiery explosion. Tucker panicking in an attempt to get to them. Sarge had been fighting with little more than a knife. Donut dodging grenades. Doc and Lopez yelling at each other as a man with a minigun marched into the room. You stepping on that mine.  

Then emptiness.   

So night's where you woke to screaming, or to something breaking weren't uncommon. It was routine to find one of you waking from a nightmare, or stuck in your own heads. Or sobbing in the dark unable to remember where you are.  

 You climb from the bed and make your way to the kitchen. The other's are there already. Standing anxiously in the door. Sarge turns to you and shakes his head sadly. A bad episode then.   

When you look in Simmons is pressed against the counter. Knees to his chest. Hand's fisted in his hair. It's obvious what happened. The jelly jar is shattered on the floor around him. You feel a pang of regret as you step carefully into the room. You can't help but wonder what he's seeing in this state.  


 

When the dust settles and the gunfire goes silent you alone stand in the aftermath.  

You look out upon the crimson stained dirt and feel a tightening in your chest you identify as sorrow. Keen and deep it seeps into your bones and makes them ache. You gasp at the carnage around you and feel bile rise up in your throat. You swollow it back down. You search for the others. For a glimpse of red or blue or purple, mainly you search for orange. You can't remember his name. Nor his face. Just a voice in your head telling you everything would be fine.

You stumble through room after room, unable to remember where you lost him in the confusion of bullets and blood and screaming. So much screaming. So much of it belonging to you and the others. Screams of pain, of danger, of victory, of war. You're half deaf from the noise, can't hear your own breathing. You hear your artificial heart ticking in your chest. Reminding you that you're alive.  

You don't find him.  

You think you find Doc. It's hard to tell through the blood and other bodies. You're too afraid to move the body. You stumble away. In the next room Lopez is torn apart.  You throw up when you see him. You stumble away quickly, your legs moving without prompt.  

You find Donut lying peacefully in a corridor. Propped up against the wall with a grenade in his hand, finger near the pin, he hadn't had a chance to pull it before an enemy grenade got him  first. You choke on a sob when you see the damage to his face. Something in you cracks. You don't stop. Can't stop. You stumble away from him.  

Tucker and Church are curled together near a crumbled wall. Tuckers is the kind of quiet he shouldn't be. Church is paler than usual. There's a gaping wound through his chest from where he took the bullet meant for Tucker. Caboose is a foot away curled up on himself.

Caboose...  

You feel tears in your eyes. Tearing your gaze away from the crumpled bodies of the men you considered   brothers. You walk unsteady from the room. Still searching. Your gaze catches something red, brighter than the blood staining your armor. Sarge has a combat knife through the under armor covering his throat.  

The cracks you can feel start to crumble away.  

You search for orange among red. You listen for something sarcastic to come spilling from his mouth. You finally  find him. Or... pieces of him.   

You feel yourself shatter.  

Pain explodes through your side.  

You choke on the air in your lungs.  

A scream tearing itself from your throat.  

"Simmons."  

There's a weight in your head. Pressure wanting to burst. There's a murmur of voice's around you.  

"Fuck, the jelly? Really man? " Someone hisses. They're wrapping their arms around your shoulders, forcing you to stand. They lead you from the room on shaking legs. They take you to the bathroom. You're vaguely aware of them helping you out of your clothing. Of the shower turning on behind you. Sitting you down. When they touch your prosthetic's you whimper. When the arm and leg are removed they gently move you until you're both sitting under the warm spray of water. Holding you as you shiver against them. You can feel their head against your shoulder.

"Simmons. Come on man. Come back to me." They whisper. "It's alright. Everything's fine. You're safe." You shake your head. It doesn't matter if you're safe or not. They pick up on this. "We're safe. All of us made it out. Remember?" They ask. You don't. You don't remember and that scares you more than anything else. You choke on your answer. Unable to say it  out loud. They nod against you. "Donut likes to throw dirt across the fence at his gardening rival Flowers, he makes you Battlestar Galactica themed pancakes on your birthday. Church is still an asshole who likes to make out with Tucker when they're drunk, we won the betting pool for when they would get together too. Caboose helps out at the children's hospital, he likes to take Freckles to visit the sick kids. Sarge is still a fucking nut job, but his customers like his weird prosthetic designs." They whisper soothingly. Reminding you gently. "I opened a small restaurant cause you tricked me into it. It's pretty awesome, even if you refused to help me run it. Instead you wandered off and decided working as a teacher was better. I'm still pissed about that." They say, not sounding very angry at all.  

"You're a fucking liar." You slur. Your voice still doesn't want to work. You force the words out. Force them out because you actually remembered the pancakes and now you need to take hold of it. Need to look at that memory until it becomes real again.    

"What?" They huff.  

"You make the pancakes. I asked Donut." You say. Clearer, louder.  

"You caught me." They laugh. "I just love watching the way you smile when you see them."  


 

You sit behind him with your arms around his chest. Head resting against his back, listening to his heart thud in his chest. You can't stand the way he stares at everything in confusion. In fear. Fear that he can't remember, fear that he doesn't understand what's happening around him.  

He told you once that when he gets like this he can't remember your name. Can't remember what you look like even when he's staring at your face. It's your voice he remembers. It's only your voice that can get him to calm down and come back to the present. You remember the incident that had you rushing to the college. Something had set him off during a lecture. Unsure what to do one of his student's had gotten his phone and called the most dialed number. None of his students has spoken a word about it afterwards. Listening to you talk him through the episode over the phone before you got there. Watching you lead him from the room to his office for privacy.

You hate that he has these episodes. It scares you to think that he forgets you for even a moment, but you do your best to help him through this. So you wait it out. You wait and remind him of the little things happening in his life right now. About the kid in his class that reminds him of you so much so he almost called him by your name when the kid said something impressively idiotic. You remind him of the other day when you all went to the park and watched Caboose play fetch with Freckles and the dog brought back a living squirrel instead of the stick. You talk about the waiter you hired that you're pretty sure is trying to flirt with Simmons everytime he comes in. Volleyball's a good kid though, so you keep her around despite the winks and smiles that Simmons seems determined not to notice.  

"Grif." Simmons interrupts you. He sounds steadier. Stabler.  

"Yeah?" You hum. Ignoring the relief in your chest that has your heart thudding harder. Forever grateful for every time he's come back to you. For every time your name's on his lips.   

"The water's getting cold." He says quietly.  

"Let's get dressed and go back to bed." You suggest, helping him from the shower and into his clothes. You carry him to your room, it's stopped being akward right around the third time this happened, leaving his prostetics in the bathroom to retreive in the morning if one of the others didn't return them. You shuffle him into bed and wrap around him tightly. A reminder that you're there. Will always be there, even when he can't remember your name.

Chapter Text

 

Simmons woke to a tingling in his left arm. The kind of tingling that happened when you lay on a limb for too long and it goes numb so you try to wake it up. In this case it was that static tingle all through out his left arm up into his shoulder.  

Simmons ribs ached, and when he tried to take a deep breath the cold air assaulted his lungs and mad e him cough in pain. He was confused. Lightheaded. Opening his eyes did little to clear up the situation. He was upside down, strapped into his seat in Grifs' car. He looked around the interior and found Grif in a simil ar  situation in the passengers seat.  

"Grif?" He wheezed. His lungs felt like they couldn't get enough air in them.  

Grif didn't move.

Simmons reached up with his right arm, his left refusing to move, and undid his seatbelt. Dropping to the roof of the overturned car with a painful thud left him breathless and dizzy. When he got air back into his lungs he shoved at his door until it opened. Crawling into the snow he looked around, trying to remember what happened that left them in this situation. They were at the bottom of a hill. The car having left a trail from the road all the way down to where it came to a stop.   

So they rolled their car. Did they hit a patch of ice? Simmons couldn't remember. He couldn't remember why they'd been in the car, or why they were driving through the mountains. Or why he'd been the one driving and not Grif like it usually was. What he did remember was waking up that morning to Grifs excited voice telling him to put on pants. Then nothing. He shook off his worry and trudged around to Grifs door. Pulling and pulling with his one good arm until the door was open wide enough to crawl in. He reached up and around to get to his seatbelt. He found that it was jammed. Cursing he crawled around back to his side and began rooting around until he found the  pocketknife Grif kept under the seat, it was now in the backseat. Before he could start cutting at the belt, Grif let out a low moan.  

"Grif?" Simmons wheezed again, this time through chattering teeth as the cold finally began to settle into him. "Grif can you hear me?"  

"Simmons?" Grif grit out through clenched teeth. Peeling his eyes open he took in the  scene around him. "What-" He bit out before he flinched in pain.  

"Hold still. I have to cut your seatbelt." Simmons wheezed soothingly. He still couldn't get enough air into his lungs to talk properly. He reached out and began to saw through the belt.  

Grif held out his hands to catch himself as he fell. Coughing when he hit the roof. He continued to cough for far too long. Simmons tossed the knife away and crawled closer. Reaching out and grabbing Grif's hands to pull them away from the his face. He flinched back with he saw Grif's hands covered in blood.  

"Grif!" Simmons dropped his hands to rub at his own chest, trying to get air into his lungs. "Fuck!" He wheezed. "Grif you're bleeding."  

"So are you." Grif coughed, pointing at Simmons head.  

Simmons frowned reaching over to touch the left side of  his face. Sure enough, he felt blood under his fingers. "I must have hit my head" 

Grif began coughing again. A rattling sound in his chest that made Simmons chest tighten. "Fuck." Grif choked out.    

Simmons felt like he was on the verge of tears. "My fault." He wheezed.  

Grif looked up at him confused. "What?"  

"It's my fault. I was the one driving. I should have done something. I-" He doesn't know what he should have done. Because he can't remember what happened. Or how they got down here. That make's everything worse.  

"Simmons quit. It's not your fault. It's not like you purposely drove us off the road." Grif huffed, only to start coughing again.  

"Stop talking!" Simmons snapped, then regretting it when his head  and lungs protested. "You need to stop talking. You're bleeding." Crawling closer until he was leaning forward against Grifs shoulder, head tucked into his neck.  

Grif coughed again.  "You think the others will find us soon?" He asked.  

Simmons bit his lip. Unsure if he should admit to Grif that he couldn't remember the past few hours. In the end he decided to be honest. "I... Grif I don't remember what we were doing in the car. I don't remember driving at all. It's all blank until I woke up a bit ago.  

"Oh." Grif breathed. His air coming out with a wet rattle that had Simmons heart clenching. "We were going to Churches house. It's the day before Thanksgiving."   

That sounds familiar. Barely. He think's he remembers talking to Church over the phone about it. "So the others should notice we're late." Simmons wheezed. He reached up to fix Grif's coat, zipping it up the rest of the way to keep him warm.  

"Why do you keep doing that?" Grif asked. Grabbing Simmons good arm and holding it to his chest.  

"What?" Simmons frowned.  

"What's wrong with your other arm?" He coughed.  

Simmons looked down at his left hand and made an attempt to move his fingers. Nothing. "I don't know." He admits. "It won't move. It can wait, I'm not the one coughing up blood. Tell me where it hurts." Simmons ordered.  

"Everywhere." Grif snorted. "Nothing we can do until we get out of here. Don't worry about it." He shook his head. Tugging Simmons closer.  

They sat together and waiting. Huddled for warmth. They dozed off a few minutes later. After what seemed like eternity Simmons heard the faint sound of car doors slamm ing shut.  

"Grif! Simmons!" Tuckers voice echoed down to him. Panic obvious in his voice.  

Simmons grimaced. Knowing he didn't have enough air in his lungs to call out and hoped they came down here to investigate. He was too cold to move.  

"Grif the others are here." Simmons wheezed, turning to look at his boyfriend. Frowning when Grif didn't respond. "Grif?" He tried again, hesitant to reach out and shake him. "Grif?" He tried louder, gaspingStill Grif didn't move.  Leaning in he put his ear next to  Grifs mouth. Waiting to hear that rattle of breath. Tears stung at his eyes as the silence seemed to grow. Then, he heard it. Faint, worryingly faint, but there. Simmons let out the breath of air he'd been holding. Spots darting across his vision.  

Behind him the sound of footsteps drew closer.  

"Grif? Simmons?" Tucker called out. Closer now, just outside.  

"Tucker!" Simmons wheezed, gasping for air. He turned to look out the door. Watching as Tuckers legs came into view. The spots where still dancing across his vision.  

Tucker crouched down to look into the ruined vehicle. "You guys okay?" He asked. Getting down so he could crawl into the car with them.  

"He's coughing up blood." Was the first thing Simmons thought to say.  

Tucker froze. Eyes widening in horror, he leaned back out of the car. "Church! Call an ambulance!" He turned back to Simmons. "What about you man? Your head is bleeding."  

"I hit my head ." He wheezed. He blinked at the white spot s  in his vision. "I... Fuck," He paused, blinking again to try and get rid of the spots. "I can't breathe right." He wheezed, rubbing at his eyes. He was starting to feel really dizzy.  

"Simmons?" Tucker reached out for the mans shoulder. Only to have Simmons collapse forwards into his chest. "Shit! "  

---------------  

When Simmons woke again it was to Donuts large watery eyes looking down at him.   

"He's awake!" Donut turns and announces to someone Simmons couldn't see. He turned back to Simmons and sniffled loudly. "We were so scared when Tucker called us and told us what happened. I've never seen Lopez get dressed that fast." He laughs quietly.  

"Where's Grif?" Simmons manages to get out around what he identified as an oxygen mask over his face.  

"He's in the room across the hall. Church talked them into keeping you two close by." Donut informs him. "Also talked to them about your parents. You won't be seeing them during your stay." He assured.  

"What happened?"  Simmons frowned. Why was Grif here too?  

Donut frowned. "You were in an accident. Do you remember that?"  

Simmons closed his eyes. A flash of memory. Hands covered in blood, snow covered hills, not being able to breathe right. Simmons shakes his head. It's not enough  

"You hit some ice, your car rolled off the road. You two were lucky to have survived. " Donut looks over his shoulder. "Sarge is coming up now. He was refusing to leave until one of you woke up. Caboose and Lopez had to drag him out so he would get a good nights sleep."  

"How long have we been here?"  

"A week. The doctors weren't sure if you guys were gonna wake up. Cause of your head injury, and his lungs. But Grif woke up yesterday, and well, you're awake now!" Donut says with a watery smile.  

Simmons smiled back, reaching  up to move the oxygen mask. Donut caught his wrist, a panicky look in his eye that had Simmons frowning nervously.  

"You shouldn't take that off yet." He explains. Gently laying them mans hand down on his chest. "You weren't breathing right, the doctors think it was cause of the head trauma, but they aren't sure. So you should keep it on for now."  

Simmons patted Donuts hand. "I feel fine Donut. The mask is really uncomfortable."  

Donut bit his lip before nodding and helping Simmons take the mask off his face. "If you feel like you can't breath you just say something and one of us will help you put it right  back on okay? "    

"Sit the poor boy up Donut." Sarge says from somewhere Simmons  can't see. "It'll be better for his lungs."  

Simmons bed begins to move. Slowly he rises into a sitting position.  Sarge is right. As soon as he's sitting up he feels a lot better. His eyes roam around the room and he's shocked to see a hoard of balloons and cards on every available surface.  

"Grifs room ain't too much better looking." Sarge says from the doorway.  

"Who sent all this?" Simmons asks.  

"Practically everyone. That cluster in the corner is from Kimballs' kids. The handmade ones are from the daycare kids Carolina and York look after. Over there is some from your students. That one is from Doyle." Donut explains. Pointing to each one as he went around the room.   

"There were a bunch of flowers in here but we had them taken out cause of your allergies." Sarge says, coming to take a seat next to the bed. "You were already having a hard enough time breathing."  

"Thanks." Simmons says quietly, glancing at the door. He wanted to go see Grif. The last thing he remembered of him was blood on his hands.  

Sarge subtly motions Donut out of the room. Donut nods and waves his goodbye to Simmons, a promise to come see him again soon.  

"He's fine." Sarge says after Donut leaves. "He had a few cracked ribs. Nothing major. He'll be back to his no good self soon enough." He assures Simmons. "Probably even lazier than before."  

"This is my fault." Simmons says quietly. Reaching up to rub away the tears stinging his eyes. Or he would. If his arm would move. Attempting to move his arm again. Still nothing. He feels a bit lightheaded suddenly.  

"Simmons. You're gonna want to keep breathing son." Sarge says, standing up and moving closer to the bed.  Reaching out and tugging the mask back over Simmons face.  

 Simmons wheezes. "I got him hurt."  

"Now stop that." Sarge says slowly. " You didn't do anything wrong. It was a  bit of bad luck."  

Simmons shakes his head. His vision going spotty seconds before he falls into darkness.  


It's just a car. Just a car. There's no reason to be this terrified of a car.   

At least that's what Simmons keeps chanting in his head as  Grif  leads him down the stairs to the parking lot.   

"You're going to be fine." Grif says quietly. "Nothing bad's going to happen."  

They make it to the parking lot without incident. They make it to the parking spot without Simmons puking, again . Simmons takes in the jeep. Sturdy looking thing. Safer than their last one had looked.  

"I can't." Simmons says quietly. Just the thought of getting behind the wheel of another car makes his hands shake. He can feel the anxiety claw at him.  

"Simmons-"  

"No!" Simmons snaps. "I can't Grif. I can't do this. Just thinking about it makes my chest hurt."  

Grif sighed. He grabbed both of Simmons hands and held them tightly. "If you can relearn how to use an arm no doctor thought would work again simply out of spite, then you can get behind the wheel of this really nice jeep I went out and bought just for you because it needed to have every safety measure in the universe."  

Simmons swollowed the lump in his throat. "What if I hurt someone again?" He asked quietly. "What if I hurt you again?"  

"You won't." Grif assured him with such confidence that Simmons felt a little of his anxiety melt away. "We can start slow. Today all you have to do is get in behind the wheel. You don't even have to start the car."  

Simmons nods. He'll do it. For Grif if nothing else.  

Slowly he makes his way to the driver's side of the jeep. Opening the door his hands shake violently. He stands there, body unwilling to move. He jumps a bit when the Jeep jerks. Looking up he sees Grif climbing into the passengers seat. Taking a shaking breath he climbed in and shut the door.  

This was... fine. He was fine. The seats were comfortable. He liked the look of the dashboard. The jeep was an automatic, that was nice, Simmons hated driving manual. Their last car had a sticky gear shift that always seemed to stick at the worst moments.  He'd always said that they were going to end up in a ditch somewhere because of it.  

Simmons grip tightened on the wheel. He felt his chest tightening.  He shouldn’t have thought about that.   

"Simmons you're fine." Grif said soothingly. Reaching over to rub his back. "Keep breathing."  

Simmons nodded shakily. "Yeah, I know." He said. It was the truth. Other than the anxiety he didn't feel like he was crashing all over again. "I'm fine."

"Say that after you start the car." Grif chuckles.  

"Maybe next time." Simmons says. He wasn't ready for that quite yet.

Chapter Text

Most people you asked would tell you that the children living under Doyles golden dome were lucky.  

 Others would tell you that the children living inside the safe space created by the Mutant sanctuary leaders were cursed. 

If you asked the children they would sneer and explain slowly, that both answers were correct.  

The life under the protective barrier was a blessing and a curse.   

If you were lucky enough to make it there without mobs hunting you down. Without your powers mutating beyond their already freakish nature. Without wanting to toss yourself into the pit that Doyle and Kimball both insist doesn't exist under the mansion. Then you were blessed.   

If you were cursed. You probably spent your days screaming inside one of the many panic rooms built into the building at random intervals. Or you locked yourself away from the other children because, despite your own mutations, they frightened you. Or maybe you hunted for that famed hole that "doesn't exist", because anything would be better than knowing you could probably never live a normal life with normal people. At least not without the occasional asshole spitting on you.  

Or maybe you had to watch your best friend sit in isolation for an hour every day because the energy in the house pressed down on him like a fifty ton weight on his chest. Being able to sense every single person with the mutant gene when his eyes closed raked at his mind like a tigers claws. The knowledge that everyone around him was afraid to get too close, to touch him, left him twitchy and anxious. Left him unable to cope with his mutation. Left him 'unstable', so the doctor claimed.  

If that's the case, then you're probably Dexter Grif. Living snowman, able to spit ice and empty a fridge in under ten seconds.  

Grif stared at the door to the isolation room. Jaw set, grinding his teeth harder and harder with every minute that passed. He hated this room. Hated that Simmons of all people was locked inside. Simmons, who wasn't even the most dangerous mutant in the house. That title was tacked onto Church. Who, with a single touch could pick apart your brain and leave you a drooling brain dead mess.  

Grif could feel his body heating up. Taking a deep breath to cool himself before they decided he needed to go inside the room along side Simmons.   

Its been a long time since hes had to isolate himself. A long time since he froze something because his emotions got out of control.  

Picking at a scaly patch on his arm he glanced at the clock hanging to his right. Half past three.  

Right on time he heard the tell tale click of heels coming towards him.  

"You again, wasn't Sarge supposed to take over for you today, and yesterday?" Kimball asked.  

"Sarge is busy again." Grif answered shortly. In truth he'd argued with Sarge for an hour to get him to give up watch. It wasn't that Sarge didn't trust him to make sure Simmons was okay. It was that despite living here for nearly a year he still didn't trust Kimball, or Doyle.  

"Is that so. Well you can tell him that Simmons is doing fine." She informs him. Seeing past his bullshit.  

Grif snorts. "Sarge would probably disagree."  

Kimball frowns. She always frowns when they have this conversation. "You know this is for the best. This is helping him."   

Grif rolls his eyes. "It would help if people realized he wasn't going to suck the life out of them cause he bumped into them for half a second."  

"A lot of our students need their mutations to survive." She reminds.   

"He has more control over his power then you people think. Locking him away isn't going to help him adjust to living here with so many other mutants." Grif argues.  

"He gets overwhelmed. You know that. He gets unstable when hes overwhelmed. Look what happened last week during his math test." She sighed.  

"It was one time. He doesn't do well under pressure. We told you this when we came here." Grif defends.   

"The other students weren't able to use their powers for three days. As much as I would rather find a different solution. This is the best we have." She pauses. "This isn't what you're really worried about, is it?" She questions. Watching him carefully.  

Grif doesn't answer, but his silence was enough.  

"You're afraid his powers are mutating." She states.  

She was right. Grif was afraid Simmons was going through another mutation. Lately he'd been complaining of headaches. Of aching bones and blurry vision. Grif put it off as the nerd simply getting sick. Simmons had the worst immune system. It was the math test incident that made him realize that a cold might not be the problem.  

 Grif was the only one currently in the building that could touch Simmons without his powers being shut off like a running faucet. Grifs mutation didn't developed when puberty hit. He was born with it. That was his theory anyway. It helped that Simmons has been learning to control his powers, enough that Donut was able to give him a hug the other day and shock the shit out of him. That had been hilarious, but the bright smile Simmons had after recovering from the electricity was full of pride at his control.  

If his powers are mutating, then what the fuck else is he going to have to worry about. What else is he not going to be able to do? Would he even be able to leave this stupid isolation room without collapsing from the pressure of the crowded mansions occupants?  

Grif doesn't say any of that. Instead he stands and says. "It's time to let him out."  

Kimball nods. Taking the sentence for what it is. Grif doesn't want to talk about his feelings anymore. It was bad enough that he was worried about Simmons at all. He worried so much that he'd let Simmons talk him into coming to this school in the first place. He wasn't ready to admit that he cared enough to worry about how Simmons mutation would effect their relationship.  

Kimball unlocks the door and steps back as it slides open. Revealing Simmons seated on the cot staring at the opposite wall. He looks up at them, spots Grif and smiles. 

"Let me guess, its lunchtime?" He smirks.   

"You know it, now hurry your ass up nerd." Grif grins. 

Simmons hurries from the room. "You know I feel like you only want me for the extra dessert you steal from me." 

"You caught me." Grif deadpans.  

Kimball watched the two teens hurry down the hall and frowns. Looking down at the tablet she held in her hand. Swallowing as the results of Simmons blood test flash on screen. 

Gene X check up: 40% spike in X gene mutation. 

She glanced up in time to see the two slip around the corner. Grif slipping his hand into the other boys as they dissapear from view. 

She felt bad for lying to them, but until Simmons showed signs of his mutation becoming dangerous she would leave it alone to run its course. It wouldn't do to worry them too much.

Chapter Text

Several hours after Simmons waved to her friends as they took off to the gem shard that had crashed down onto the planet. She finished sweeping the hall outside the inner sanctum and was making her way towards the stairs to the upper part of the sanctuary. When there was a loud echoing thud from the entrance. Simmons froze on the middle steps, staring down towards the front room.   

There was another thud. Followed soon by a loud explosion.   

Startled, Simmons stumbles down the few steps to the bottom floor. Rushing forward into the front room shes faced with a frightening scene.    

Two large gems are making their way into the sanctuary  through the remains of the front door.   

"Halt!" Simmons orders, voice cracking nervously. "This is the crystal gem sanctuary, yo-you're trespassing!"   

The two gems stop. Turning to look down at her.   

"Well well. Looks like the little traitors left behind their servant." The Nacre sneered.   

"We're here on a mission. We don't have time to play with traitors. Just catch her and lets go find the shattered gems they're keeping, yellow diamond wants them." The other gem huffed.    

Blanching Simmons lifts her hands to her gem. Focusing to summon her weapon. She felt a building of energy, her gem began to glow. Then nothing. The light fizzled out.   

"No!" She hissed. Not now! She had been doing so good before!   

"Oh how cute." The Nacre laughed. "A pearl trying to summon a weapon. What a joke!"   

Spinning on her heel, Simmons takes off towards the Armory. The gem began to give chase behind her with a giddy laugh.   

"Come on, come on!" She urged. Hands still raised to her gem. Trying to focus.   

She senses movement behind her and dives to the left. Barely dodging the swing of the other gems weapon. Panting she springs to her feet, still trying to make it to a weapon. If she couldn't summon hers she at least knew how to wield a sword. She silently thanked Tucker for that. 

"Come on little pearl. I don't have time for this. You're outmatched." They taunt. Launching their hammer towards her. It slammed into the wall inches in front of the pearl. 

"Shut up!" Simmons cries as she slides around a corner. Chest heaving as she began to panic. She couldn't let them find the gem room. She growls as she tries to force her weapon into reality. 

"Little pearl!" The gem chasing her snarls. "End this now! I wont have to hurt you if you stop this game!  

Simmons grit her teeth. She hated hearing those words. A game. Everything she did was a joke to them. Just because she was a pearl. Well she'd show them. She wasn't just A pearl. She was Simmons! And god dammit she was going to protect her family! 

 She burst into the Armory and snatched up the sword with the pearl pommel. Spinning on her heel she lunged for the Nacre.    

Taken by surprise the Nacre couldn't defend herself quickly enough. Simmons sword pierced her chest.   

"You filthy-" The Nacre cut off with a pop as her body disappeared. Her gem hitting the ground with a soft clink.   

Panting Simmons grinned and started back through the door.   

"You're something interesting." The voice of the second gem whispered behind her. "Pity."  

Simmons has a moment to register a sickening crack, and pain as her head hit the wall behind her at a damaging speed, before everything goes dark.


 

Grif and the others rushed into the sanctuary. Passing through the ruined doors the quickly spread out in search of Simmons and the hunter gems.   

It didn't take long for Grif and Donut to stumble across a lone hunter Gem standing in front of their Armory. Simmons sword laying a few feet away. Behind her there was a horrible impact crater in the wall.   

"Where is she?!" Grif demanded.   

The hunter turned to her. Regret clear on her face. "I made a mistake." She said. She held her hand towards them. In her palm lay a shining maroon pearl, a crack running up is left side.   

Donut gasped. Hand covering her mouth in horror. "What have you done?" She breathed. Tears coming to her eyes.   

The gem opened her mouth to speak, but Grif didn't give her time. Picking up Simmons abandoned sword she rushed the gem. With a cry of rage she sliced through the gems body. Catching the pearl before it fell to the ground as the hunter gems body disappeared.   

Clutching the pearl to her chest she felt tears well up in her eyes. Dropping the sword as a numb sort of feeling filled her. She felt Donuts arms slide around her shoulders as the pink gem buried her face between her shoulder blades.   

"She can... She can be fixed right?" Donut asks desperately. "You can do that right?!"   

Grif blinks away the tears in her eyes. "No." She whispers. "No we don't... We don't know how to do that."   

Donut lets out a pained whine. " There's nothing you can do? Please Grif! Please! There has to be something?!"   

Shaking her head miserably, Grif sunk to her knees. Donut still wrapped around her in a death grip. Grif let out a shaking breath as tears begin to slide down her cheeks.   

It was only a short time later that the others found them. Still huddled in the hall.   

"Did you find Simmons?" Church asks.   

Grif nods numbly.   

"Where is she?" Sarge asks.   

Donut lets loose a wretched sob. Grif tightens her grip on the pearl in her hands. Shes not ready to look at it. Not ready to have the damage confirmed.   

"Grif, Donut. Is Simmons in her gem?" Church asks, coming to kneel down in front of them.    

Again, all Grif can do is nod.   

"Let me see." Reaching out, Church gently peels Grifs hands away from her chest. "Shit!" Church hisses.   

"Oh fuck." Tucker curses when she sees the pearl. "We- We wait. Maybe she's still in there. Maybe she'll come out." She offers.   

"Flowers didn't." Grif whispers.   

"What?" Sarge frowns.   

"Flowers didn't come back. She didn't come back!" Grif cries. "Now Simmons-"   

Sarge marches up to her. Moving Church out of the way. Taking hold of Grifs shoulders and shaking her a bit. "This is not like Flowers. Do you understand me? Simmons still has a chance. She can still come back."   

"What if shes not the same?" Grif demands. "What do we do then?"  

"Then we do what we did when Donut and Caboose showed up out of that kindergarten. We take care of her. And treat her how we always have. Besides, she can hear you in there. You think she wants to listen to your belly aching? Hell no! Get it together!" 

Donut reaches out towards Sarge, gripping the other gems sleeve and pulling her forward into their small group huddle.


 

It was exactly five weeks and four hours after the fight that had left the maroon pearl bodiless and broken.   

Grif lay under the blossom tree near Simmons favorite stargazing spot. The cracked gem resting on her chest above her heart. She hoped that the sound of her heart reached the depths of the gem. Maybe Simmons was listening.    

Or maybe she was gone.   

Grifs heart dropped at the striking thought. No. She couldn't believe that. Not after all the progress Simmons had made in accepting herself, of choosing her own path. Choosing to stay with them on chorus. To protect the life here from destruction.    

Grif smiled fondly at the memory of Simmons face the first time she'd summoned her weapon. The startled excitement that lit up her eyes as she stared down at the gun in her hand.   

The day Simmons chose her human name. She'd been so nervous. Asking Grif every few minutes if she thought such and such name was good or not. Until she'd stumbled across the one that clicked.   

Or the first time she beat Grif in a fight. She'd been so proud her gem had literally glowed. Grif couldn't bring herself to tell anyone that the reason Simmons won was because Grif had tripped over a piece of rubble.   

Grif opened her eyes and stared out at the stars. If Simmons was here she'd be going on and on explaining each constellation and star they could see.   

There was a quiet whooshing sound that interrupted Grifs thoughts. Abruptly Grifs chest began to glow.    

Startled Grif jolted up. Catching the now glowing pearl before it could hit the ground. Gently Grif laid it down on the dew covered grass. Watching intently as it began to rise from the ground. A body forming around it.    

It was quickly apparent that Simmons was struggling. The light flickering as she strained to take shape.   

Grif stared horrified at the gaping hole opening in the center of the gems chest the more the pearl struggled.   

"Simmons stop!" Grif cried.    

Just as suddenly as the body had appeared it vanished with a quiet pop. The light fading from the gem as it fell in the grass with a quiet thud.   

Grif quickly scooped the gem up and rushed towards the sanctuary.   

"Sarge!" She called. "Sarge!"   

"Whaddaya want?!" The andesine cried, tossing down her tools as Grif rushed into the room.   

"Simmons!" She panted. "She's trying to form!"   

Sarge frowned. "Grif... I know you miss her, we all do, but it's been over a month. I don't think shes coming back." The older gem stated sadly.   

"No you crotchety old cat, listen to me!" Grif snapped. "She just tried to form, but I made her stop. There was something wrong with her shape." Grif hurriedly explained.   

"What do ya mean?" Sarge humored the short gem.   

"When she was trying to form a hole started to open in her chest."    

"She is a broken gem Grif." Sarge reminded her slowly. "Sometimes when that happens the gems conscious has trouble remembering what they looked like. Or in some cases they're unable to form parts of their body, and when trying to reform they're not aware of it. She might be trying to form a complete body, when in fact shes unable to."   

"So it's tearing at her projection." Grif recalled lessons from long ago.   

"You're gonna have to talk her through reforming like this. Despite being from HomeWorld She wasn't taught this stuff. They created pearls for decoration, not knowledge. Our pearl just decided to have a little spark in her."   

Grif nodded. Cupping Simmons gem to her chest. Turning she made her way to her room inside the sanctuary's inner sanctum. She guessed that Simmons would want somewhere private and quiet to concentrate on reforming.    

Opening her door she walked past the arch into a small beach like room. Sand shifted under her toes as she made her way to the gazebo that rested in the center of the room. She moved things around until there was a clear spot in the center. She placed a pillow on the floor and rested the pearl gently on it.   

While waiting Grif began to pick up some of the clutter around her room anxiously. She felt like it needed to be a bit cleaner in here for her guest. She made her bed. Smiling as she remembered how confused Simmons had been the first time she saw it. Explaining sleep to the pearl had been a lesson in frustration.   

Grif dug up an old broom Simmons had handed her once with an order to clean the sand off the steps to the multidoor. She swept now, around the pillow. Moving sand out where it belonged.   

When she finished that she settled on the steps and stared out at the artificial sunset. The artificially created wind gently tugging at her messy hair.   

She sat and waited. Talking loudly to the gem about what Sarge had told her. About the things that had been going on in the town nearby. How the mayor wanted to get the gems to come to a town meeting soon. Simmons would have enjoyed the meeting. She had a strange fascination with humans thought process.   

The following two days Simmons attempted to form. Each time resulted in her becoming too panicked and frustrated, or her straining herself to the point of tearing.   

On the third day there was a familiar whooshing. Turning on the steps she saw the pearl once again begin to hover. Moving quickly Grif kneeled down in front of the pearl as her body tried to take form.   

This time there was no tearing. Her head formed around her gem, followed by her torso. It was when her arms began to form did Grif notice the problem. Her left arm stopped right below the elbow. The pearls legs begin to take shape. The left limb refused to form below the knee as well.   

She watched as Simmons light began to flicker with frustration and panic. The missing limbs flickering brighter in Simmons attempt to make them grow.   

"Simmons." Grif spoke calmly. "Simmons its fine. Just form with what you have now. If you force it you'll tear and start back at square one." She was on the verge of pleading. "This shape is fine." She stressed.   

The pearls light grew blinding and with a snap Simmons body solidified. Eyes popped open with a gasp she reached out for Grif in a panic.   

Grif quickly caught the toppling woman.   

"Grif?" Simmons grasped at the gems back with her right hand. Gripping the fabric of her shirt tightly. "Grif I can't -" She choked off, burying her head in Grifs shoulder.   

"It's okay." She whispered. Running a hand through the pearls red curls. "It's going to be just fine." She promised.   

After the pearl calmed, Grif carried her to the bed. Checking over the unformed limbs. The damage wasn't too bad. They were simply unformed. No tearing, or threat that Simmons was going to retreat into her gem.   

"You're okay." Grif muttered quietly.    

"What am I going to do?" Simmons whispered.   

Grif frowned. "What?"   

"I'm back to square one. I can't fight. I can't help you guys. I'm useless. Again." She sniffles. Tears running down her cheeks as she stared at her missing limbs.   

"No you're not." Grif denied vehemently. "You've had a set back, but you'll learn to work with it."   

"Grif I'm missing pieces of my body." The pearl stressed dejectedly. "How am I going to be of use?"    

"You don't have to be." Grif reminded her. Running a hand through her hair soothingly. "This isn't HomeWorld. You're not here to serve anyone but yourself."   

"But I don't know how!" Simmons cried. "I don't know how to do that!"   

"You'll figure it out. Just look at what you've managed to do. You've reformed despite the crack in your gem. That's hard enough, without adding on to that reforming to your original shape. Not even flowers managed that." Grif reached out and took Simmons hand. "You should be proud."   

Later, much later, after Grif is sure that Simmons is ready. She leaves her room and follows the quiet murmurs that echo through the hall to find the others. They're seated in the conference room, talking amongst themselves.   

"I'm worried." Tucker states. "We haven't seen her in two days. I don't think she's come out of her room at all. It's not healthy for her to be locked away like that."   

"Did you say something to her again?" Church asks.    

"Hey I wasn't trying to be mean last time, but no, I haven't said anything about Simmons since then."   

Sarge clears her throat. "Look, I think it's safe ta say that shes still going through a grieving process. Let her have a day or two more, then we bust into her room and eject her from it."   

"There's really no need for that." Grif pipes up.   

Everyone's head snaps up to look at the door.    

"Hey. How're you feeling?" Donut asks gently, a watery smile present on her lips.    

"I'm fine. Better even. I have a surprise for you guys."   

The others share a worried look before standing and following Grif back to her room.    

She slid her door open and led the others across the sand to her gazebo. Parting the screen she motioned the others inside.   

They quickly froze when they realized they weren't alone. Simmons sat atop Grifs bed and waved nervously at them.   

"Uh... Hi guys." She stammered.   

Donut started to move forward, before she could lunge as the pearl Grif grabbed the back of her shirt to keep her in place.    

"You're back." Church stated in amazement.    

The pearl awkwardly rubbed at her shoulder. "Yeah, surprise!" She joked weakly.   

"You're okay?" Tucker frowned.   

"Not exactly." The pearl stated. Lifting her left arm to show the damage. "My left legs like this too."   

"So she wasn't full of it." Sarge beamed. "Its good to have you back Simmons!"   

"Thank you." Simmons pauses when Donut lets out a loud sniffle. "What's wrong?" She asks.   

Donuts expressions cracks. "We thought you were gone forever!" She cries, pulling free of Grif and rushing for the bed. She slams into Simmons with enough force that they sprawl back on the mattress. "I'm sorry! We should have been there!" The pink gem sniffles into her shoulder.    

Simmons frowns, wrapping her good arm around the younger gem. "I was responsible for watching the sanctuary while you guys were out collecting that cluster shard. It's not your fault. Besides, I held them off long enough to protect the sanctuary. I'm okay with that."   

"No! The whole point of being a crystal gem is to watch out and protect each other!" Donut protested.    

"She's right." Tucker agreed. "We should have left someone here to watch your back."   

"You didn't know HomeWorld was still sending hunters after us." Simmons spoke quietly.   

"We still shouldn't have left you behind like that. Especially since you're still learning to summon your weapon." Grif states. Walking over to climb into the bed. "But, you did manage to take one of them out on your own. That's impressive."   

"Yeah, I'm proud of ya." Sarge grins. Coming to sit in the floor against the bed.   

The two blue gems climbed into the bed as well. Curling up behind Donut.  

"Yeah, I bet you screamed like a wuss though." Tucker laughed.   

"Did not." Simmons defended. "I said something totally cool, I just know it."

Chapter Text

The first time he sees the scar it doesn't click immediately. They're in the showers at a time that Grif really could be using to sleep. Except Sarge had dumped a bucket of water on him that morning. Grif dragged himself to the showers, cause as much as he tended not to give a shit about his hygiene, you could only spend so long with your own scent inside cramped armor. So he walked like a zombie into the locker room and noted Simmons already there. In bathing suit bottoms. Having shared the showers with him before he wasn't surprised. This didn't mean he couldn't poke fun.

"You still wear those?" Grif asked with a snicker.

Simmons jumped. Not used to Grif being up this early. "Yes." He said tightly. Turning to face Grif. "You know how I feel showering completely naked." he huffed. Toweling at his damp curls.

The other man took the opportunity to let his eyes roam over Simmons pale freckled chest, well half of it is freckled anyway. The other half was covered in a bland slightly off colored synthetic skin that stopped right under his ribs. Not the first time he's seen the other man's chest obviously, but he enjoyed every chance he got to eye it up. He's not sure why he's never noticed it before now, but for some reason his eyes catch on a thin scar just under Simmons right pectoral. By now it's almost blended in with the other scars he's picked up over the years but this was obviously surgical. Grif notes this distantly. Giving a mental shrug and shucking his clothes off, he trudges into the shower.

It isn't until later, after breakfast, after he's had time to wake up. Does the image of the scar resurface. He frowns into his toast wondering where a scar like that would come from. Something about the scars placement reminds him of something. He can't put his finger on it, so he puts it out of his mind.

Days later he happens to walk in on the man getting ready for bed. They haven't had to share a room since Blood Gulch or Valhalla. Unfortunately it was still a habit, that if the room contained Simmons he could just walk in like it was his room too. He'd done it back in Rats Nest too. Much to the other mans irritation. Only that time he'd held command, so there wasn't much Simmons could do.

"Grif!" Simmons shrieks. Voice cracking as usual. He starts to cross his arms over his chest before stopping halfway and balling his fists at his sides.

"Ya know, you'd think you would have hit puberty by now." Grif jokes. Eyes flicking over Simmons body. He's dressed down in nothing but a pair of loose shorts. His chest once again exposed for ogling. Grif's eyes land once again on that thin pale scar. His eyes track left and he notices that there's half a matching scar on the other side as well. Something about it tugs at a memory that he just can't seem to grasp. It's really starting to irritate him that he can't remember. Grif's eyes snap back up to the mans face.

Simmons is getting progressively redder in the face the longer Grif stands there.

"What do you want?" He demands. Voice tight as he holds his anger in check. He always hated yelling, even if it wasn't almost midnight and the very real threat of a sleep deprived Donut loomed over them. Grif could never figure out why Simmons hated yelling. Simply chalking it up to daddy issues.

"Huh? Oh! Right. Have you seen my shirt?" Grif asks. "The one with the sauce stain near the sleeve."

Simmons frowns, confused at this point. "No? Why would I know where your shirt is?"

"Cause I threw it in with your shit before we left." Grif answers.

"Why?" Simmons asks very quietly. In fact it was more of a hiss than an actual word. He really didn't want to wake up Donut. Grif could understand that.

"Cause I had no more room in my bag." Grif shrugs.

Simmons scowls. "You stuffed your bag full of junk food didn't you?" He accuses.

Correctly.

"Yeah, ran out of room right about the time I put the snack cakes in my bag. Mans gotta have options Simmons. It's vital to his health."

Simmons snorts. Rolling his eyes hard. "I haven't seen your filthy shirt. Now get out of my room." He orders.

Grif throws his hands up in surrender. "Alright." He concedes. Backing out of the room quietly. It wouldn't do to incur Donuts wrath by making a big deal out of it.

It's a few nights later, after a day filled with Wash pretty much driving them into the ground with training, that Grif finally figures it out. It's mostly by happenstance.

Grif is up long after everyone's dragged themselves to bed. He would be asleep with everyone else, but after the day hes had he feels its only fair to treat himself to a few of his oreos. He's sitting at the kitchen table in the common room of the bunk house tiredly munching when he hears the door across from him slide open. Glancing up he nearly chokes on the cookie he's currently got in his mouth. Which keeps him from no doubt blurting out something he would regret.

Shuffling through the doorway like some kind of zombie is Simmons. This wouldn't be anything worth choking on an Oreo over. If Simmons hadn't been drowning in a overly large orange t-shirt. A shirt that just so happened to have a sauce stain on the sleeve. Resting on wide hips and slipping off one shoulder. It hung on the thin man like a dress.

That's when it finally clicks.

Sure he checked him out when he got the chance, but Grif's never really taken note of Simmons figure. The curve of his waist, the width of his hips.

The scars.

It was kind of obvious now that he thought of it. Simmons had slowly filled in, in more feminine areas of the body over the course of Grif knowing him. Grif had assumed it was simply muscle mass. He realizes now that it's a lack of hormones. It would be pretty hard to get hormones in the middle of a war. The fact that Simmons hated being naked. The aborted movement to cover his chest when Grif walked into his room a few nights ago. Now that he thinks about it Simmons has always kinda done that. Like a habit he was still trying to break.

"The fuck are you staring at?" Simmons slurred voice demands.

Grif startles from his thoughts. He looks up at the mans face. Grif opens his mouth to speak but finds he can't. Instead he points to Simmons chest.

The other man frowns, confused. Grif bets himself that Simmons didn't even look at the shirt before he put it on. Too tired to care as long as it was warm.

Simmons glances down at himself. "...Oh..." He breathes. His face flushing a startling shade that nearly matched the mans armor. He refuses to look back up at Grif. Quickly he starts to peel it off, an action that would leave him only clad in a pair of maroon colored boxers. He even removes his shirt like a girl would. Starting from the bottom and pulling it like he would need to tug it over a set of breasts he doesn't have.

"Don't!" Grif blurts.

Both men freeze in place.

Simmons with the shirt half way up his abdomen looks even more embarrassed and confused than before.

"You can... You can wear it or whatever. I don't care." Grif rambles. Cause he really didn't think now was the time to blurt out that he thought Simmons was actually kinda hot in his shirt.

Simmons slowly lowers his arms. "It's disgusting." He states, but doesn't make another move to remove it.

They stand there in silence for a few moments. Pointedly not looking at each other.

"How long..." Grif starts to ask, but stops, unsure how to phrase his question in a way that won't have Simmons bolting from the situation.

Simmons frowns. "How long have I had your shirt? Since you stuffed it my bag, remember?"

Grif shakes his head. "No... I uh... How long has it been since you stopped taking the hormones?"

Simmons goes deathly still. "What?" He asks, voice cracking.

"Dude I've seen you naked, a lot. I was bound to notice eventually." Hes actually surprised he's never noticed sooner. Then again, he's never really been one for observation.

"You haven't seen me naked." Simmons points out quietly.

Grif rolls his eyes. "Almost naked. Whatever. That's not the point."

"I don't- Are you- Why-" Simmons starts to stammer. Unable to figure out what he wants to say. Simmons studies him nervously. "You aren't... Mad?" He settles on. The way he sounded so hesitant threw Grif.

Not once in the five years they've known each other has he sounded that unsure around Grif of all people. Grif found that he really didn't like it.

"Why fuck would I be mad?" Grif asked.

Simmons shrugs, hunching his shoulders as he shrunk in on himself. "Cause... I don't know. Cause I didn't tell you I guess." It's obvious in the way he says it that it's happened before.

Grif scowls. "It's not my fucking business Simmons. You don't have to tell me shit. I'm not going to be an asshole about it."

"How'd you figure it out?" Simmons asks.

"I saw the scars, and uh... you've kinda filled in." He adds gesturing to Simmons body awkwardly. "When my sister was going through her transition I read up on a bunch of the side effects of hormone therapy."

Simmons nods, staring down at his body with a small frown. "I had to stop taking the injections around the time I got sent to Blood Gulch." He admits. "They couldn't get them shipped out to the Halo. I had enough with me to ween off of it so I wasn't too sick when I ran out." Simmons explains. "And we weren't in Rats Nest long enough for me to put in an order for more."

Grif frowns. Knowing that it was partly, okay completely, his fault for that. He feels like telling Simmons that the whole not being able to get them shipped to the Halo seemed like bullshit since he was able to get his OCD medication monthly. "That sucks. Have you talked to Kimball to see if she has any supplies here?" Grif asks. Honestly, he's always been a bit worried about Simmons health, mental and otherwise, since the Tank accident. This whole thing must have been taking a toll on him.

Simmons shakes his head, rubbing at his arm. "I don't know how to bring it up. She's really busy, I wouldn't want to inconvenience her."

Grif scowls. "It's not an inconvenience Simmons. This is your identity. It's important."

Simmons stares at him with watery eyes. Grif feels his face heat up under the other mans stare.

"Thank you." Simmons whispers.

Grif studies the mans face. Open and honest in a way that Grif could never really be. So instead of answering with something heartfelt. Grif stands up, tosses his empty milk cup in the sink and stuffs an Oreo in Simmons hand as he walks by him out the door.

"We'll talk to Kimball in the morning." He promises quietly. It's the best he can do.

He doesn't stay long enough to see the tears well up in Simmons eyes. Then again, he knows the man well enough to know that he's going to nibble on the cookie with tears running down his face.

The next morning he wakes up stupidly early and posts up outside Simmons door. He knows if he doesn't help Simmons do this the poor nerd won't ever get up the courage to do it on his own.

As he expected, at half past seven the door to Simmons room slides open and he slips out quietly.

"Hey." Grif greets quietly.

Simmons lets loose an embarrassingly loud squeal, spinning on his heel with his hand clutched to his chest.

"Jesus Simmons." Grif wheezes through his laughter. "You'd think you'd killed a man."

"Shut up." The other man grumbles. His cheeks flushed as he glares at the floor. "What are you doing lurking outside my door?"

"We're going to talk to Kimball remember?" Grif asks.

"Oh, ri-right. Kimball..." He stammered nervously. "Are you sure this won't inconvenience her? I don't want to be a-"

Grif cuts him off harshly. "If you finish that by calling yourself a burden, I'm going to kick your fucking ass." He growls. Grabbing Simmons by the wrist he drags him towards the Command room.

They make it there under the passing curious stares of various rebel and federation troops. It wasn't everyday they got to see their laziest captain escorting their most socially awkward captain through the base while holding hands. Simmons pointedly ignored them.

"Kimball!" Grif called out as he barged into the room.

The four people standing over the table lift their heads in unison at the interruption.

"Can we help you?" Doyle asked cautiously, eyes locked on their joined hands.

"You can't, no." Grif rolled his eyes. Turning to Kimball. "You can though."

"Is this about the steak again?" Wash asked.

"What? No. We need to talk to Kimball about something private."

Kimball frowned. "Are you... Getting a divorce?" She asked curiously. Looking between the two.

Simmons made a choking noise, face flushing darker. "You told them about Vegas?!" He hissed.

"They asked why I was wearing a ring!" Grif defended. "What was I supposed to say?"

"Vegas?" Doyle questioned. He went ignored.

"Anything but admitting that we got drunk married! Did you also tell them you ate an entire wedding cake and made yourself sick and that's how we found out?!"

"Hey drunk me has no self control when it comes to food."

"Neither does sober you!"

"Excuse me!" Kimball interrupted loudly. Silencing the argument. "What is it you need?"

"It's not the divorce is it?" Carolina asked. Everyone looked at her confused. "What? They make a cute couple." She shrugged.

"Also Tucker would probably cry if you two divorced." Wash tacked on.

Grif rolled his eyes. "Okay I don't care how invested Tucker is in our love life, it's getting creepy. Also, we aren't getting a divorce!" He snapped. "We need to talk about looking into certain supplies that Simmons needs."

Kimball frowned. "Supplies? We're not talking about condoms right?"

"We're not having sex." Grif states.

"We don't even share a room." Simmons mumbles.

"Oh, I thought I reassigned you two to a larger room." Kimball frowned.

"It doesn't matter, we're fine with separate rooms. Simmons would have a fit if we shared a room." Grif waved his hand.

"Then what do you need?"

"Hormones!" Simmons blurts, becoming overwhelmed by the constant interruptions.

Everyone stops to stare at him.

"Hormones?" Carolina questions.

"I... I need hormones. Fo-for my body. I was taking them, back before I si-signed up. I had to stop when they refused to- to send them to the canyon. I uh..." He trails off. Glancing desperately at Grif.

"He needs to start taking them again. His body has started to return to its original state because he never finished hormone therapy. And the fucking Sim Trooper program refused to allow him the chance." Grif finished explaining.

"Why are you only bringing this up now?" Kimball asked, frowning worriedly. "You aren't getting sick are you?"

Simmons flushed and mumbled something she couldn't understand.

Grif rolled his eyes. "He didn't want to inconvenience you. I would have dragged his ass here sooner but I only found out last night."

The others look shocked by that.

"Really?" Wash asked.

"Yes really." Grif ground out, starting to get annoyed.

"If you need hormones we can find you some. I'll have Dr. Grey start looking into it." Kimball promises. "Next time you need something important like this you should come to me right away." She chastises.

"Yes ma'am." Simmons mummers.

"Great. Now that that's settled I think they're serving breakfast." Grif states, dragging Simmons back out of the room.

The group listens to the sound of their bickering fade.

"I'm glad they didn't come for that divorce." Kimball says after a moment. "I don't think I would have been able to do it."

Wash nods. "For as volatile as they are, they do make a pretty good couple."

 

Chapter Text

Dextra Grif was just trying to have a good day. Maybe have a beer and lounge on the patio before her brother came home. The only thing stopping her was her obnoxious new neighbor. The woman had moved in a few days ago. Kai had watched eagerly as the moving men hauled boxes into the empty house.

Their neighbor turned out to be a tall thin ginger, sporting glasses and a lab coat tucked under her arm. Grif sighed. So much for a cool neighbor, someone to throw parties with. Instead they got a giant nerd.

Today Grif perked up when she heard the door slam open next door.

"I know Donut!" The woman was yelling into the phone tucked between her shoulder and ear. "Keep the roses near the fence and the poppies near the front. I know!" They carried a large planter box tucked to their chest.

Grifs curiosity was peaked. She watched from behind her sunglasses as the woman set the box down and huffed into the phone. "Donut, you act like I'm not a scientist. I'm smart enough to figure out how to grow plants... Okay yeah, but the super cabbage was a freak accident… No… No don't come over. I'm hanging up now. I 'll see you Monday." The woman sighed as she slid her phone into her pocket.

It was then that Grif noticed what she was wearing, or the lack of. She wore shorts and instead of a shirt she sported a maroon colored bikini top. Showing off her lean figure. Before she had looked almost sickly thin. Now Grif could clearly see the muscle definition in her movements.

She caught herself staring, jerking out of it when the woman leaned down to pick up a Hoe. Grif had never been one to check out other women before. So her new fascination with the woman was confusing. Like with all things that confused or bothered her, Grif simply chose to ignore it.

It went on like that for a while. The woman working on her garden, and Grif dozing in between watching her.

She didn't hear the back door slide open. Didn't hear the footsteps behind her.

"Cute isn't she." Kai's voice whispered in her ear.

Grif jumped. Sunglasses falling into her lap. "Dude, what the fuck?"

"You can't deny it. You've been out here for an hour staring at her." Kai winked at her.

"I have not!" Grif sputtered. Heat rising to her cheeks.

"I'm gonna go say hi." Kai grinned.

For some reason this made Grif nervous. She jumped to her feet to stop her little brother but it was too late. Kai stood at the hedge and called to the woman.

"Hey!"

The woman startled. Dropping her shovel. She looked over with a small frown. "Uh… Hi." She waved.

"I'm Kai," He pointed to Grif. "And that's my big sister Dex."

The woman gave a nod. "I'm Rachel, please call me Simmons." She stood. Wiping dirt off on her shorts. She walked over and held out her hand.

Kai shook it eagerly. Grif was more hesitant. Taking a step forward. She could feel her hands start to get clammy.

What was wrong with her? It's just their nerdy neighbor. Nothing to be nervous about.

"Sup." She managed to get out. Taking the woman's hand.

Simmons smiled. Grif felt a weird flutter in her chest.

She was so fucked.

Chapter Text

Simmons felt the world around him fuzz out, reality becoming nonexistent. His feet still firmly planted in it as he shifted through space. He hated the feeling of his stomach rising like he was falling, or about to fall. Yet he still only had this option. Shifting space around him to get across town to the weekly student outing.

The world slowed, solidifying. He stumbled, as he always does. You don't get used to shifting reality. His stomach dropped and he gagged a bit. He opened his eyes and froze.

This wasn't the meeting hall. The wooden floor that he should be standing on is instead a gross orange colored carpet.

"Uhh…"

Simmons' head snaps up in horror. A human was staring at him with wide confused eyes. Shit.

"Okay I can totally explain everything." Simmons started to ramble, pulling his wand from his pocket and aiming it at the man. "I just need you to hold still and let me do something first."

The man stumbled back. Hands raised in peace. "Woah dude, if you're about to men in black me I ask that you don't. I've had a shitty week and the last thing I need is some weirdo doing things to my brain."

Simmons paused. This was bad. A human couldn't know what he looked like. Couldn't know that he existed. "I have to though…" He trailed off awkwardly. Unsure what to do here. Usually humans started screaming, rushing for their crosses or the phone to call the police. Not complaining about their lives.

"Rules right?" The human questioned. Then shook his head. "Everyone has rules. Look if you leave now I'll pretend this never happened. I probably wont even remember this later." He indicated a bottle of vodka sitting on the living room table. "Parents are out of town with the sister. Time for myself, you know?"

Simmons nodded. He hated the memory wipe spell anyway. The downside to it would be him adopting any memories of the person he cast it on. So he tucked his wand away. "Sorry about dropping in. I must have remembered the street address wrong." He paused. He didn't want to cast another apparation spell. Casting more than one a day always made him sick. "Weird question but, do you know where I can find an abandoned green building? It has a creepy dog house in the front yard."

The man smirked. "Down the road and on the right."

Simmons nodded heading for what looked like the front door. "Uh thanks." He hurried out and down the street.

By later that night he'd put the incident out of his mind.

Two weeks later, while working the midnight shift at a local Magitech store with his coworker Wash. He was greeted by the sound of the bell jingling over the door. He noticed Wash tense next to him at the counter and looked up. Startled to find himself staring at the human from before.

"Uh… How the fuck did you get in here?" He demanded. He looked over the mans shoulder to the door that was supposed to be magically sealed to humans. The seals were still in place, the magic undisturbed.

The man shrugged. "I was walking by and-" He cut himself off, huffing and starting over. "Alright I was actually looking for you."

"Simmons who is this?" Wash asked.

Simmons could feel a faint flush starting on his cheeks. "Why?" He asked ignoring Wash. Mostly cause he had no idea who the guy was.

"Cause you're the only guy I know who can wave a wand around and have actual magic happen." He stated bluntly.

Simmons blanched. He could feel Wash glairing holes into his face. "Right, you said you would be too drunk to remember that." Simmons pointed out harshly.

"Well I was. Until some asshole with a tail showed up in my living room looking for you." He snapped. Arms crossed over his chest.

"What?" Wash and Simmons asked, equally confused.

"He just popped in like you did, only he didn't almost puke on my floor. He started demanding to know where the hell the wicked idiot of the west was. I assumed he was talking about you."

Simmons shared worried a look with Wash. There was only one person who called Simmons that.

"What did he look like?" Wash asked.

"Uh, tall, brown hair, creepy smile… Oh and he had this weird stick he was waving around. I'm pretty sure it had been spray painted gold."

Simmons groaned. "Felix."

Wash nodded. Pulling his wand and aiming it at the human. "What's your name?"

The human rolled his eyes. "Dexter Grif, and I'd ask you nicely not to wave your stick at me. Also who is Felix and why is he stalking me?"

Wash hesitated. "Stalking you?

Grif nodded. "He thinks he's clever, but he sucks at blending in with a crowd. He's been following me all over town."

Wash walked around the counter, hurrying past Grif to the door. With a whispered word the entire thing vanished.

"Okay, pretty sure I needed to use that." Grif muttered.

"No you don't, not anymore." Wash stated walking back and grabbing his forearm. Pulling him along into the back room. Simmons following behind.

"Is this the part where you kill me?" Grif laughed nervously.

"This is the part where we abduct you. Murder comes later." Simmons sighed. Obviously joking, but it didn't make Grif feel any better.

Wash marched him to a door in the back. Opening it with a wave of his hand he ushered Grif through.

Grif stumbled when he got a look of what was on the other side. A vast library. Shelves soaring miles above his head. The place definitely wasn’t part of the small building he'd come through.

"Amazing right?" Simmons asked next to him. A knowing smile on his face. "I was speechless when I first came here."

"Come on, they're waiting for us." Wash said.

Simmons nodded nervously. They walked through the library and into a parlor.

A woman was standing with her back to them. Dressed in what looked like knights armor. At their entry she turned and frowned.

"Is this that boy?" She asked.

Simmons nodded. Looking very much like a child about to be scolded.

"Well, he's cute I'll give you that. You still should have wiped his memory Richard." She chided walking up to them.

"I know miss Sheila. I was in a hurry and I made an error in judgment." He stated. Eyes averted to look at the floor.

The woman smiled. Reaching out and patting his head. "Everyone makes mistakes. Nothing to worry about."

"I would disagree ma'am." Wash spoke up. "Simmons mistake put this humans life in danger."

"Oh?" She turned to look at Grif. "From what?"

"Felix is back." Simmons blurted. "He followed my magic signature. Started stalking Grif."

The woman shook her head thoughtfully. "Well I guess that means he's our guest." She smiled. She reached out and took Grif's hand. "Welcome Dexter Grif, to the school for the magically advanced. You're under our protection for the time being. Any questions dear?"

"Yeah, what the fuck is happening?" He demanded.

Sheila just laughed. Turning and walking away humming a tune.

"That didn't answer my question!" He called after her. He turned to Simmons. "So? You want to explain?"

Simmons sighed. Shoulders slumping. "A demon Tucker and I summoned is trying to find us after we tricked him out of our souls."

"Oh… I'm guessing he's pretty angry." Grif wasn't sure what to say to that.

Simmons laughed. "You don't know the half of it." He held up his hand for Grif to look at.

Grif watched in amazement and horror as the flesh shimmered away revealing metal fingers wiggling at him.

"I'd say that's pretty angry." He breathed. And that angry demon was coming after him now. "Well shit. How am I going to explain this to my mom?"

Simmons blinked at him before laughing. "Good luck with that."

Chapter Text

Simmons didn't like Grif's new friend. Didn't trust him. There was something so Off in the way he acted. No one else noticed of course. The man only got weird when he was alone with Simmons. Where others couldn't hear, or see.

The thing is, Simmons didn't start out not liking the guy.

The Guy.

He doesn't think of his name. It made it Too Much. The anxiety. The feeling you get in your gut when your hind brain Knows something is Wrong.

The Guy, when first introduced, was cool. A little brash, but he seemed to make up for it in humor. In fact he was a lot like Simmons in his mannerisms.

It was his smile that fist made Simmons feel Off.

A wide thing that at first glance, seemed effortless and true. Unless you really looked. His eyes. No matter how big the smile. His eyes were cold, still a humor in them but the kind of humor that makes you feel like the joke is on you and you can't figure out the punchline.

To Simmons, his smile started to look manic. Made him feel like prey staring at the thing wanting to eat him.

The first time he realized that something wasn't right with The Guy, he was hanging out with Grif and him. Seated on Grif's couch with The Guy at the other end.

Grif had gotten up to get them snacks. Knowing him it would take a while.

"You know... There's something so special about you."

The Guy said this blandly. As though it was a normal topic for small talk.

Simmons flushed. Not a flattered flush. The heat you get in your face when you're embarrassed in a confusing situation. There was no happy feeling at the strange complement.

Instead something twisted in his gut. An unhappy, deeply instinctual, feeling of dread.

Grif had come back before Simmons could respond. It was for the best. As Simmons wasn't sure he Could respond without giving away how freaked out he was.

The situation started like that. Small Odd complements. Only stated when they were left alone together.

"There's just something about you that makes me want to get to know you deeper."

"The freckles on your cheeks make me want to trace them."

That one made him flinch. Sounding so much like what (Felix) someone else had said to him once during a dark time in his life, he didn't want to fucking think about it.

"When you get a partner, they're never going to let you leave the house. They wouldn't be able to stand others leering at you."

It was the last one that finally drove Simmons to talk to Grif about it. He had started to avoid any interaction with The Guy, this caused him to also avoid Grif by proxy.

"Grif..." He started.

His friend was lounging on his couch. They we're watching some movie that Simmons wasn't paying any mind to.

"Hmm?" The man responded. Lazily looking over at Simmons. Grif wore a small frown. A slight feeling of worry in response to Simmons tone.

"I- It's just... Have you noticed anything... Off about Gene?" He looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him for even asking.

Grif hummed. Thinking about the question. Knowing Simmons wouldn't bring this up unless it really bothered him.

"Not really. Why?" He finally answered.

But that wasn't quite true now that he thought about it. Gene had been acting a bit weird. Fidgety and a bit manic. He tended to track people with his eyes a lot more lately too, like he was paranoid.

"It's nothing. I just noticed he seemed a little weird lately. I was uh... Worried. You know how my anxiety is." Simmons waved it off.

They went back to watching the movie. And after another hour Simmons excused himself back across the hall to his own apartment.

Grif was eating dinner when Simmons question came back to him. He hadn't said so, but Gene Was acting weird. Grif tried to pinpoint when it had started.

There was the time he had gone to get snack and come back to find Simmons practically burrowing into his couch with a flushed face. Only he wasn't smiling, he was eyeing the other man on the couch like he was a lion.

Grif had put it off as Gene having made a crude joke. Knowing how easily Simmons blushed at the slightest raunchy words.

That was weird, but not what really caught Grif's eye. No. It was after he had gotten drunk and blurted out his stupid secret to Gene one night when it was just them.

"Dude..." He had slurred. "Dude. Like. I'm so fucked."

Gene had smiled his wide smile. "Why?"

"I'm stupidly in love with Richard."

Gene had gone rigid for a moment before laughing.

"Yeah, I think the only people who haven't realised that we're you, and Simmons."

He'd said this with his bright smile.

Grif had noticed for the first time that his eyes didn't hold the same humor.

Grif abruptly realized that the tracking Gene was doing wasn't random either. No it was only focused on a single person.

Simmons.

Grif put his fork down as he realized this.

Shit. Did Gene also like Simmons?

Grif brushed the thought aside. It didn't matter. Gene could flirt all he wanted to. The way Simmons looked at him already told Grif that the flirting would go nowhere.

He got up and placed his plate in the sink, running water on it to let it soak overnight with the pan already there.

Across the hall Simmons was sitting rigid on his bed. Staring at his phone.

'I'm gonna stop by tomorrow. Around noon. I want to hang out a bit before work. We never get to hang out just us.' -Gman (8:28pm)

The text glared at him. Simmons did not want to hang out. In fact Simmons would rather jump out of his forth floor window, than hang out the The Guy.

But it wasn't a choice. No. Not the way the text was phrased. It was a man stating what he was doing, no thought to make it a question of "Can I come over?". The Guy was going to do what he wanted regardless of Simmons protests.

A ping made Simmons jolt out of his thoughts.

'You really do have beautiful eyes.' -Gman (8:45pm)

Simmons felt his eyes heating with the promise of tears. Anxiety cramping in his stomach.

'I won't be home.'-You (8:48)

He sent the message with shaking fingers.

He waited. Waited for a new message. Nothing came.

Simmons fell asleep curled into a ball under his blankets. Anxious tears drying on his cheek.

The next day found him dressing to leave the building. He didn't work today. Had no obligations. But he told The Guy he was going to be gone. So he was.

He pulled on his coat and grabbed his wallet. Tucking it into his pants pocket. He was going to meet Grif for lunch at the man's favorite food cart downtown.

'Omw, don't you fkn eat without me asshole. I'll be there in 15'-You (10:20am)

An immediate response pinged back at him.

'hurry up btch'-Groff (10:21am)

Simmons finished putting his shoes on. Double checking that everything was off in his apartment.

He smiled, grabbing his keys and opening the front door. Walking smack into a body standing on the other side. Simmons stumbled back into the apartment.

"Shit sorry!" He blurted out. His next words died on his tongue when he saw who it was.

The Guy stood in his doorway. A blank look on his face as he stared at him.

"O-oh um, sorry I'm not able to hang out today, I was actually on my way out." He forced the words from his throat.

"Simmons." The Guy took a few steps forward. Enough to have Simmons back away. Enough that he was now past the threshold. He kicked the front door gently closed. Reached back and flipped the lock without looking.

"What are you doing?" Simmons questioned, brows pinching together. Anxiety clawing at him. His gut twisting in fear as his fight or flight response started up.

"It's Grif you're meeting isn't it?" The Guy asked. Only it wasn't a real question. Oh no. Simmons knew better than to answer. "It is. Don't hide it. I already know."

He stepped closer. Hands balled up at his sides, clenching and unclenching. That was the only sign that things were going to/could possibly get worse depending on how Simmons handled this. His face was still blank.

"Why are you here?" Simmons asked. Forcing his tone to be light.

The Guy shrugged. "You don't see it like I do. That you're better than them. Special." He rambled.

"Better than them?" Simmons whispered. Not meaning it to be the question it was.

"Better than THEM. All of them. Those unspecial people out on the street, living boring unspecial lives." His face twitched for the first time. A furrow of his brow. There and then gone.

"I really don't understand." Simmons stated honestly.

The Guy waved his hand. "I know. That makes you beautiful. More beautiful. You don't even see how much better you are." He ran his hands through his own already messy hair. Tugging a bit.

"But I see. I saw it the first time I laid eyes on you. That idiot Grif didn't see it. No one saw it. That special something that you have."

He walked forward. Simmons backed away. This was quickly spiraling out of control. He needed a plan. He needed to get control of the situation. To get The Guy to drop his guard, even for a moment. So he would play this game. Move his pawns to flush out The Guys strategy.

"You know what. You're already here, and I... I bet Grif has already started lunch without me anyway, so I won't be missed. We can hang out today. Why don't you make yourself at home in the living room, I'll get us some drinks. We can talk about this better." He said gently. Smiling at The Guy.

The other man scowled at him. "Simmons."

It was a warning. A dangerous tone that promised a violent response to anything Simmons did.

Simmons cleared his throat. "You're right that we don't see each other enough. And I'm glad you think I'm... special. It... It makes me happy. I just... I just want to talk about it. Tuh-to get clarification on why you think that." He rubbed the back of his neck. Trying not to over think his plan.

The Guy smiled. Tight and manic. Like a switch was flipped. "Okay Richard. You want to watch a movie?"

Simmons nodded. Backing towards the kitchen. "Yeah. It's your pick. Let me get snacks." He turned an hurried into the kitchen.

'where are u??'-Groff (10:37am)

'Simmons???'-Groff (10:43am)

'Dick I stg u better not be fucking dead. If u changed ur mind about lunch that's fine'-Groff (10:50am)

Simmons was pulling snacks from shelves. While so typing out a message on his phone.

'pls help Apartment Locked in Hurry please Gene lost it'-You (11:00)

He hit send and stuffed his phone in his pocket. Scooping up the snacks and drinks he had pulled out.

He walked softly into the living room. The Guy was seated on the couch. So Simmons set the snacks down on the table. He sat himself down on the other end of the couch watching The Guy.

An old black and white movie played on the TV. The sound quiet enough to talk over.

"Richard. I know I scared you. I'm sorry." The Guy sighed. "I've been think about this for a while. That it isn't right the way Grif keeps you to himself. Dragging you into his unspecial life."

Simmons nodded like he understood. He didn't. Of course he fucking didn't. The Guy had fucking lost it.

"You know that the first time I saw you was at a Lecture for Bioscience. You were sitting there. Taking notes and really listening to the teacher. You had this something about you that called out. Something Special. Like. Finally, someone who was on my level." The Guy shifted closer. The couch wasn't large. There was nowhere for Simmons to go. Hands clasped together The Guy went on.

"I knew then that I needed to get close to you. Needed to help you see how special you are." At this point The Guys brow furrowed. "But there was someone in the way. Someone who was blindly dragging you down."

"Grif." Simmons stated. Unable to stop himself from engaging. "You're saying you became friends with Grif... To get close to me. To suh-save me?" Simmons stuttered at the end. His stomach was practically a black hole at this point. Twisted up in nerves and fear so much it imploded.

The Guy nodded. A real smile on his face as Simmons finally begins to understand.

But Simmons doesn't understand. Not the way The Guy thinks he does. No. Simmons understands that the man who locked him in his own apartment has fucking lost touch with ground control. Drifted off to planet crazy.

"Richard. I know it's sudden." He shifts closer again. Close enough that his thigh is flush with Simmons own.

Simmons wiggles around until he's facing The Guy. His knee against the others thigh. Simmons is going to have a nervous break soon, if he doesn't faint from the stress first.

The Guy reaches out. Running his fingers over Simmons cheek. Trailing them down his jaw, and coming to rest on the junction between neck and shoulder.

"You deserve to be treated for what you are. So special. You're so much smarter than those people you hang out with." The Guy whispers.

And there it is.

Simmons is going to faint. He is. He can feel the start of a disconnect in his brain from the situation.

"Uh Uh-I don't..." He trailed off. Not sure what he was even going to say.

"I'll treat you how you're meant to be."

The Guy leans in. The grip on his shoulder turning firm.

"So special."

There's a breath of space between them when Simmons brain reboots. The Guy was going to kiss him.

Nope.

Simmons body reacted before his brain could form the thought. He shoved The Guy away.

The shocked look on the man's face wasn't pretty.

"Don't." Simmons said. Leaving no question that he did not want this he stated his no firmly. "I don't want this. I don't even understand what's going on!" He cried.

The Guy sat back for a moment. His face pinched. "Richard." He let the name slip out. He reached forward and took one of Simmons hands. Curling his fingers around Simmons slim wrist.

Simmons tried to take his hand back. Only to have the hold turn painful.

"Richard. You don't understand now. But I can help you." He leaned in again.

Simmons suddenly felt angry. Hot and overwhelming. He snapped his hands up and shoved hard at The Guys shoulders. Backing him up enough that Simmons could get his leg between them.

"Fuck Off!" He shouted. Kicking out.


Half an our ago Grif was sitting in the park near his favorite food place. He was waiting, playing around on his phone.

As the minutes ticked down he started to grow antsy. Simmons was never late.

When 15 minute had come and gone he started shooting off texts. If Simmons changed his mind he could at least let him know. It wasn't like Simmons to go radio silent.

He decided at 10:40 to walk to their apartment. Simmons still wasn't answering texts.

At least not until now.

'pls help Apartment Locked in Hurry please Gene lost it'-Semminz (11:00)

Grif's stomach gave a jolt. Dropping into the void of panic and fear.

Grif had never run so hard in his life. Skipping the elevator in his building and sprinting up the stairs. He dug his keys out of his pocket. Flicking through until he had the copy of Simmons key in his hand.

"Fuck Off!" Echoed through the hall on the forth floor of the building. Followed by a loud crash.

What he expected to find beyond the door, was maybe Simmons being murdered. It wasn't a pretty thought. But it was what entered his head all the same.

Instead when he creeps into the living room he finds Simmons pacing back and forth in his living room.

And the other guy splayed out on the floor. Around him are snacks from the table that was knocked over.

"What. The. Fuck?" Grif panted. Hand braced against the door frame.

Simmons jolts. Eyes snapping up to Grif's with that wild glazed look he gets before he has a complete meltdown. He stops pacing and stands frozen.

On the floor the guy rages. "YOU! It's always you!"

Grif looks him over. He looks unhinged. "Okay asshole." Grif drawls. Jerking his thumb towards the door. "Get the fuck out."

The Guy picks himself up off the floor. Snarling as he storms past Grif.

"This isn't fucking over! You can't keep him to yourself!"

Grif clenched his jaw. "Sure buddy. Whatever you say." He bit out. The moment the guy passed the threshold Grif closed the door and locked both the nob and the deadbolt.

He turned and hurried back to Simmons. Now on the couch. Face tucked into his knees.

"Simms... You wanna talk about I?"

Simmons shook his head. Not wanting to look at anything at the moment.

Grif flipped the table back. Picking up the snacks. He snagged a back of cookies and sat down.

He knew the only thing to do was wait Simmons out.

He texted his work. Letting them know there was a family emergency.

"Grif." Simmons muffled voice croaked.

Grif set his phone aside. "Yeah." He responded.

Almost instantly all 6'2 of weirdly buff nerd was across the couch. Curling himself into Grif's lap like it was something they just did normally. Grif smashed down his jolt of excitement at this change. It wasn't the right time.

"You wanna talk about it?" Grif asks gently. Running his hand through ginger curls.

"He wouldn't shut up about me being 'special', like 'Finally someone on my level'." Simmons mocks. "Said he only became friends with you to get to me, like some psycho bullshit."

"He told you all this so you knocked him to the floor?" Grif asked.

"Fuck no. He cornered me on the couch and tried to kiss me after I told him no so I kicked him."

The arm Grif had unconsciously curled around Simmons tightens.

"What a fucking nut job." He makes a note to let the others know to keep an eye out for Gene. He has a feeling they haven't seen the last if him unfortunately.

Grif feels Simmons shiver every few moments. Tugging him into a better position he snags the remote from the end table and changes the silent and ignored movie to star trek. Knowing it will make Simmons feel better having something familiar to listen to in the background.

"Sorry you missed lunch." The man in his lap mumbles after two episodes go by.

Still petting his hair, Grif shrugs. "S'fine. I can always order a Pizza so we don't have to go out."

Simmons hums. "You don't... You don't have to stay." He whispers. Sounding not at all like he really meant that.

Grif snorts. "Yeah right. I'm not gonna fuck off right after some insane nerd tried to aggressively woo you to the dark side." He makes sure to phrase it in a way to get a rise out of the other man.

It works.

Simmons giggles. Tucking his face into Grif's chest. Grif's heart flutters a bit, he ignores it. As long as Simmons is safe and happy then he's not going to fuck it up by selfishly bringing up his own feelings right now.

In the end they order pizza and spend the rest of the night camping out in Simmons living room. Grif staying the night to make sure that Simmons is okay, and that Gene doesn't make an appearance.

And if he gets a text from Tucker later, letting him know that they've got an eye on Gene. That Carolina and her Freelancer friends have an eye on Gene. Well that's between him and them and Simmons doesn't need to worry about it tonight.

Chapter Text

"Simmons!"

The sheer volume of the cry is what startles the man awake. He lies there a few moments, the other side of his bed is cold.

Weird.

"SIMMONS!" Someone yells for him again. It almost sounds like Wash.

Simmons scrambles out of bed. Not bothering with changing into day clothes. His pajama pants will just have to stay.

He's outside the front of the base in record time. He spots Wash, Carolina and Sarge standing off to left.

"What?" He pants, jogging over to the group.

They all point to the top of the base. Simmons follows and quickly understands why he was being yelled for.

Huh.

The giant person standing on the roof is so clearly a fusion. Simmons can tell right away who it is.

"They've been like that since 4 in the morning." Wash states.

Simmons frowns. It was about 8 when he had glanced at the clock on his way out. "Why?"

Carolina shrugs. "They haven't moved in literal hours. We've been trying to talk to them and they aren't responding."

"We're hoping you can at least get that no good Grif talking." Sarge tacks on.

Well that explains why they were yelling for him.

Simmons looks at the fusion again. He starts back inside the base, going for the stairs.

When he makes it to the roof the Fusion still hasn't moved.

"Uh... Well shit." He realizes he doesn't know what their name is. He shrugs to himself. Moving to stand beside them.

He hesitates for a moment before reaching out and grabbing their hand for attention. Remembering that's what Grif told him to do last time he fused with someone who wasn't Simmons, as it will catch his attention.

In the space of a second, between grabbing their hand and opening his mouth to speak again. He's being swept up into strong arms and hugged.

Gently. Way gentler that any other time a Grif fusion has hugged him.

Locus then.

Someone below whistles.

Tucker.

Simmons doesn't hesitate to wrap his arms around as much of them as he can. If these two need a hug of all things, well then, he's not gonna deny them a hug.


Grocus knows the others are trying to talk to them. They know. But what would they say about why they're not talking.

I- we are here because I- we are Lonely.

I- we are Lonely and that is freaking me- us out.

I- we think everything I- we touch is going to die- go to shit.

God they want to leave but there's -Simmons, sister- nowhere to go.

People are nervous around them.

The others have stopped trying to talk to them. They've scared them. Like they always do. Why are they like this?

Wash -Washington- is yelling.

"SIMMONS!"

Oh. Okay. Yes. They can talk to Simmons. Simmons will understand. He's nice. Sometimes. Usually.

Yes. They will talk to Simmons. He'll help them figure out what to do about this feeling of anxiety.

Can he help?

They're sure he can. Simmons is good at anxiety.

They don't startle when they hear footsteps. No one else has tried to get closer. So that means it's either Simmons, or Caboose has stopped hiding and is wanting and ready to make a new friend.

It's Simmons. They can tell by the sound of his left foot.

A small hand slips into their palm. Their thoughts go quiet.

Warmth spreads through their chest.

Without thinking they scoop the man up into a hug.

But gentle. Gotta be gentle. Don't want to hurt Simmons.

They -love- like Simmons. They don't want to hurt him.

And oh Simmons is hugging back.

That's weird. But it's nice. It's new. Sorta new.

And really nice.

They feel warm.

There's a sense of

Shock confusion fear warmth love

Acceptance.

Mostly acceptance. Still confusion.

They open their eyes.

This was... Nice.

Their head was quiet. No more overwhelming fear and paranoia and anxiety. Only acceptable levels of anxiety. Of paranoia and fear.

They looked down off the roof. A long way down off the roof. They were very tall. Really really tall. Woah.

They gave a small very tiny wave to the others still watching them. They didn't like being watched. But the others were worried. They we're okay if it was only out of worry.

It was worry right? They didn't think that Logrimmons would hurt anyone right? They know it's hard to trust them but. But the others were also a mess and can't judge them.

No one's judging them right? They know no one is judging them. They are fine.

"Hey!" Tucker is calling up to them. "You okay?" He actually sounds a bit worried.

It takes them a moment to realize that their eyes are watering.

They nod, scrubbing at their face to get ride of any possible tears. Not the time to cry. They can do that later. When no one is watching. 

They don't feel like talking either. People might be scared of them if they do. Well, they don't need to talk. Talking is for losers.

"Okay. Well... What's your name?" Sister is there now. Or has been there. They did not notice.

That was fine. They didn't need to notice everything. Did they? No. No they didn't.

They think for a moment on how they should respond. They still don't want to talk. They tilt their head at her.

They like Sister. She doesn't hide how she feels. They can read her emotions easily.

It's okay to talk a little bit, for her at least. 

No one is afraid of them anyway. No one will be afraid of them if they talk. They bet their voice is scary though. It doesn't matter. No one is scared, or will be scared, of their voice.

"Logrimmons." They say quietly. Their voice is calm. Sorta calm. Like gentle ocean tides. See not so hard. No one started screaming, there's no crying. Not scary.

"Sweet. You want to come down off the roof Logrimmons, buddy?" She asks. She's really nice. They like her. She's a good sister.

But do they want to come down off the roof? They are very comfortable up here. But sister did ask. And they trust her. Even though it's very hard to.

They don't bother with the stairs. They are too tall for them anyway. Instead they carefully, so so carefully step down off the roof.

"Woah, your way calmer than I thought you'd be." Tucker states.

"I mean think about who they are." Sister shrugs. "Makes sense to me."

Logrimmons doesn't say anything. Simply crouching down a bit so they didn't tower too much.

They don't really feel calm. They're not gonna say that though. It's better if the others think they're calm.

Oh god what if they want them to be more talkative?

If they talk everyone is going to just know how not calm they really are.

No, no one has to talk if they don't want to talk. They've been through this. No talking unless they want. It's cool, okay, not a problem.

... Is it a problem?

No. It's really not.

Or is it?

Oh god.

They need- Just ask - It's fine- Just -

They start to feel fuzzy.

No. They don't want to be alone  just need-

Ask. It's Safe . Just ask.

"Do. You want me. To talk more?" They manage to ask. Quietly. They direct the question at Sister. Shes safe. She won't get mad. She understands.

She gives them a soft smile. Reaching out and taking their hand. Well their finger. They are very big. "Nah. You don't gotta talk. Not if you don't want to."

The others are starting to look a bit more worried. They don't want to worry them. It's okay if they worry. It means they care.

Unless they're worried that Logrimmons is going to hurt someone. But they're not. They don't want to hurt anyone. They won't. They'll try really really hard to make sure that no one gets hurt.

Even if no one trusts them. Does no one trust them?

It's fine. That's okay. No one has to trust them. They know they are hard to trust. They don't need anyone else to trust them.

They trust themselves. A bit. Enough.

They trust themselves enough. That's all that matters right now.

"Seriously though. Are you okay?" Tucker asks again.

They nod their head again.

"We are okay." They say quietly.