Under the bus

Lewis jogged up the drive to the Den aware of the silence as he did so. Checking his watch, he noted the time: 7:36am. He was not just late, he was 'oh my god - so fucking late' late. Entering the Den front doors, he triple timed it down the long hallway to the Pipers wing and let himself into his room. Jumping in the shower, sadly removing Reign's scent, Lewis quickly dressed in his BDUs and head back out to the dining hall to get a quick cup of coffee.

His head had stopped pounding at this point, chalking the quickness of the fading hangover to his innate abilities. Less of a reminder of what the guys basically did to him the night before. Not that what happened was a bad thing, it was just completely unexpected, especially since he had seen Reign on the property before and never once gave her anything but a passing glance. But then, he never gave any woman anything but that - he just always had code running through his head. Curiously she was only on the very edge of his mind now, mostly because he was just plain scared.

They were Pipers. You not only protected the Alpha, you bled for leadership. It was first and foremost on their priority list. You lived for the Alpha's protection and you died for him - and you sure as shit showed up on time for your shift. Lewis always came in early with the Commander and was the last to leave; he had no life in that regard. He thought all these things as he ran down to the dining hall and was sadden to see the coffee dispenser out of order. Well, no coffee for the late.

Turning back, he ran down to stairs that led down to the Situation Room, forgoing the steps and just jumping from landing to landing as quietly as he could. Dougie was probably still at his post, making Lewis feel sick to his stomach. He didn't trust Dougie, not even as far as he could throw him, but that was another story.

Pushing open the door, he immediately smelled where the coffee had gone - and about eight Pipers.

"Awwww....nuts," Lewis said as the door slammed closed behind him.

Brig Jameson 12 years ago
"You don't want to come down?"

Viv pulled the covers over her head and grumbled.

"Ok, ok," Brig laughed, kissing her through the blanket. And with that, he left their quarters and ran down to meet Hammer and the others down in the Sit Room. For the second time one of his Pipers was coming in late after what appeared to be a wild night.

Lewis was not just punctual; Brig struggled to get down to the Pipers domain before his IT tech did. As far as Brig could tell, Lewis had no life, other than his computers. Not that he minded - Lewis handled all IT operations for the Alpha's Pipers. He was literally an entire IT team wrapped up into one man. The other Piper Squads had at least three to four men whereas Lewis did it all and was Lead IT Piper within the global Field Pipers. He had to be, to serve the Alpha's Pipers. So was Brig going to cut the kid some slack for showing up late? Of course. Was he going to let it go with just a talk?

Oh no, baby. This was half the fun.

Entering the Sit Room he ran into LT and Red.
"Did you get it?"

LT nodded his head, his face expressionless. He pointed behind him and Brig walked to the hallway leading to the other offices. Seeing the item in question, he walked back and sat himself down on one of the table tops forming a U along the wall, behind Lewis' main console.

With a sigh, he waited.
Iov Hammerthynn 12 years ago
Hammer came down the hallway and heard Brig and the others gathering. Turning the corner into the main room, he stopped and was surprised at who all had shown up and for what.

"Why are we all here again?" he asked walking up to his cousin. Brig's smile was typical of him, considering what they were going to do.

"They did it to me, sir," Red said and not without a whiny attitude. Hammer shot the Sergeant a look who cleared his throat and turned away.

"We did do it to him," Brig conceded with a deeper grin. "It was funny."

Hammer rolled his eye and took a seat next to Brig. Leaning closer, he whispered,
"Isn't this a bit below leadership to be participating in?"

"This is exactly where we should be. It doesn't hurt our position...and plus it's pretty fucking funny." Brig slapped Hammer's back with a snort.

Hammer's son would appreciate the joke, even if Hammer did not. Resigned to be part of it, he crossed his arms and waited for the late Piper.
Lewis Kearney 12 years ago
Lewis looked from left to right: the Beta, Commander, then smiling Red (that fink), JT, Dom, Marko, and the LT. They were all looking at him stoically, making Lewis gulp.

"Little late, aren't you, Lewis?" The Commander asked with a solemn look of disappointment.

"I overslept. Sir." Lewis looked back at the Commander who slipped off his perch on the table.

"But you found time to go get a cup of coffee," LT said, to which the Beta snorted unhappily.

Lewis began to babble.

"I went to get a cup but there wasn't any there. There's always coffee there. Every single morning I get up, get a cup of coffee. I come down here. I run my diagnostics. Ialwaysrunthemitsvitalforthesystems...."

The words came tumbling out of his mouth, to the point that he had no idea what he was saying, just that he was saying something to fill the silence. They were all staring at him. Disappointed. Pissed off. Lewis talked till he ran out of breath and then he took one large gulp of air and started again.

"Whoa, whoa, Lewis!" LT said, laughing. "Come on, he's had enough. Look at him, he's going to explode."

Lewis stopped talking, his eyes open in shock and terror as the Commander walked up to him and gave him a hearty slap on the back. "My boy's a man now. Your first 'nighter!"

"Oh come on, that can't be his first!" Red squealed.

"I've never done that before," Lewis said in all seriousness.

"Well, welcome to the world of debauchery and dirty gratification. You'll have a nice time. And as for your coffee?" The Commander pointed past LT and Red to Dom and Marko wheeling in a coffee dispenser and setting it next to his console. "That's allll yours because you're going to be spending the next 72 hours, chained to your desk, for your penance."

"Yes...sir." Lewis replied with a sigh.

LT walked up to Lewis and put his hand on his shoulder. "Hope she was worth it, Matty."

Lewis blinked at the LT and gave him a half grin.
"She was. Miss Reign is actually very nice. She knows a lot about astronomy."

"Who?" the Beta said in an uncharacteristically surprised yelp.
Iov Hammerthynn 12 years ago
"Who? You...WHO?" Hammer rolled his eye up to the ceiling and grit his teeth so hard he thought they might break right in his mouth. "Reign Sorensen? The Alpha's personal friend?"

"Dude...." the LT said, not too eloquently for a man of his position.

"Brig?" Hammer asked, looking at his cousin who sighed deeply.

It went without saying. The Pipers protected the Alpha and by extension any quests he has on the property. Even as a human, Miss Sorensen was effectively sacrosanct, not to be entered in so many words - UNTOUCHABLE by the Pipers. It wasn't Alpha Law, but Brig and Hammer impressed upon his men not to partake in the fruit.

Hammer looked at his Sergeant.
"You didn't say it was Reign Sorensen he went home with."

"We didn't make him and she was...well...fine with it," Red replied.

Hammer rubbed his head furiously.
"Guess what you're doing for the next 72 hours then, Sergeant." Red opened his mouth to protest but Hammer shot him a look that could have cut the Sergeant in half.

"It shouldn't be that bad, Hammer," Brig said softly. "It's bad, but not so bad that the Alpha will come down on him."

"Me?" Lewis yelped.

"It may not be his law, but it was ours. Jesus, some of you may look like you're in your twenties, but you need to start acting your age and show your positions a little more respect."

And with that, Hammer shook his head and exited the Situation Room.
Lothias LT Jameson 12 years ago
"You're an idiot," LT said looking at Red.

"I pull 72 hour duty because he got lucky?"

"Really? That's what you're going to argue with?" the Commander said. Giving LT a look, his uncle added, "Take care of this. I'll deal with the Beta."

LT nodded and his uncle left. Lewis was starting to turn green and staggered over to his chair at his desk and slumped down into it. Looking back at Red, LT shook his head.

"This looks bad for you, Red. You had rank here, whether or not you were off duty." Then LT looked at JT who had been silent the entire time. Something in LT flared and his anger narrowed in on the newbie. "And you could have said something, prepared at least me for this."

JT just glared at him, making LT's anger burn even hotter.
"You all get to pull duty with Lewis. Double shift on the perimeter and, just for fun, washing and waxing the vehicles."

"Man...." Dom mumbled unhappily.

"Anything else happen that you might want to bring up now before leadership hears about it?" LT raised his eyebrows and looked at all of them. It was Marko who spoke meekly, if that was possible with his deep voice.

"Well, there was the Nakubili that was there."

LT closed his eyes and fought the anger simmering within.
"You had an encounter with the Nakubili...and failed to mention it? To anyone?" LT looked at Red. "Red, are you trying to get your ass demoted?"
JT Paulson 12 years ago
JT said nothing as the LT came down on them. At the time, he had no idea that pushing Lewis in Reign's direction would be that big of a deal, but he couldn't claim being 'new' as an excuse. He knew this, but the LT ripping him personally just pissed him off.

Red explained the situation with the Nakubili and JT remained quiet. He offered nothing extra that Red and the other two Pipers couldn't add. Still, the LT glared at him as Red spoke.

"So let me get this straight," the LT said, not without a bit...well a lot of sarcasm. "Their Second addressed you?"

JT took a deep breath and gave the slightest shrug.
"He asked me who I was."

"Why?" The look on the LT's face was incredulous and insulting.

"I don't know. Sir." JT emphasized the sir with as much insult as he could muster without being overly disrespectful, but it was still said with contempt. The LT zeroed in on it, but quick.

Stepping closer till he was within three inches of JT, the LT said softly, "Take care of that mouth, Piper." And that was it. A threat, a promise, a command wrapped all into one. JT maintained eye contact with the LT and suddenly, he felt something in him almost push.

The LT's hard expression faltered, but only for a second.

"LT?" It was Lewis, but neither JT nor LT broke their stand off. "Excuse me, sir?"

"LT?" Red's hand came into view and he put it on the LT's shoulder. Finally LT looked away and at Red's hand. "Can I speak with you privately?"

JT felt the tremor beneath his skin begin to recede as the LT nodded, then blatantly turned his back to JT. All at once JT felt the wolf beneath his skin ripple with anger and he began to take a step when Marko's large hand came down on his shoulder.

"Don't," Marko said softly. The large man squeezed JT's shoulder gently, not out of aggression but support. The LT and Red left the Sit Room, leaving Dom, Marko, and Lewis staring at JT.

"What the hell just happened?" Dom asked quietly.
Reese E Deardon 12 years ago
Red led LT out of the Situation Room and back up to the ground floor of the Den. He was pissed things turned out the way they did with Lewis and Reign, but something was going down with the LT and JT now. Something he knew the other Pipers didn't know about, at least it wasn't openly talked about in front of him, and it just spilled over enough to fuck with Red's reality making now the time to say something.

"What was that back there?"

Red watched as the LT's expression progressed through a multitude of phases. Confusion, anger, back to confusion. LT's face hardened back to its normal expressionless facade. More often than not, Lothias was more like his Hammerthynn cousins than his immediate laid back family of Jamesons. LT and JT just experienced, what Red seems to think was, an alpha confrontation.

Finally LT shrugged. "Just regulating. Don't try and change the subject, Red."

Warily Red nodded,
"Ok. I'll write up the next 72hr schedule and have it to you within the hour."

"You need to stop and think about what you do with the men and how they perceive you, Red. You've stepped up, you're Sergeant now - do the job the same courtesy Charlie would have."

Red flinched at the mention of Charlie. It wasn't the first time they had compared his flaws to Charlie's successes and he knew it wouldn't be the last. The thick layer of depression that always seemed to follow him around settled onto his shoulders, making his concerned expression flatten out. LT put his hand on Red's shoulder and turned away.

His attempt to address the tension between JT and LT had been deflected by his own flaws. Typical. Why be in an position of authority when no one seemed to think that he deserved it. Pressing the flat of his fist up against the wall, he leaned into it before finally punching it fiercely, leaving a dent. The pain ebbed up his arm, centered around his wrist, and basically made him feel like utter shit.

((Red and LT out))
Brig Jameson 12 years ago
Brig and Hammer walked toward the dining hall in silence. Occasionally Hammer would take a breath to say something, but then just shake his head and not say anything at all.

"I know, Hammer," Brig replied.

A few moments later Hammer took another breath.

"I dunno, they're adults."

Hammer grunted unhappily.

"It may not have been just a one nighter. You never know. And even if it was, it's not our business."

Hammer slowed his walk and looked at Brig silently.

"Awkward, yes, I know. Considering we've both done it, too."

"I hate you," was all Hammer said.

Brig smiled and slapped his cousin's back.
"I know, but what's the worse...."

"Please don't say that. Every time you say that, something worse
does happen."

"Not always." Brig grinned and considered the weird one sided conversation they just had. It reminded him of Vigo and Duncan - their ability to speak without even speaking was uncanny and really strange, but together for all of their adult lives, it was a gift that they certainly did not want squander and impressed upon their sons to emulate. Knowing exactly what Hammer would say, literally what the one-eyed galute was thinking, made conversations easier, that's for sure. Still, Hammer glared at him with his one eye and sighed.

"It'll work out. If Xeph doesn't kill him, we'll know it was a good thing." Brig sighed. "Hungry?"


"You sound like Viv."

"Thank you. Really." Hammer turned back toward the dining hall. "I'm not going to be the one to tell him."

"Well, odds are he'll hear about it from them anyway."

"I want some eggs," Hammer said unhappily.

"I know, precious. Let's get some eggs into my little man and you'll feel all better." Brig wrapped his arm around Hammer's shoulders and laughed.


((OOC Hammer and Brig out))
Lewis Kearney 12 years ago
Lewis watched with sad eyes as the LT and JT got into it. It wasn't like the LT to get in someone's face like that, especially one of the Pipers. JT's reaction was incredibly confusing. He never much reacted to any type of conflict, much less start something. JT was friendly enough for a medic Piper, but otherwise he kept to himself, rarely contributed to the bullshit sessions that Lewis himself would just sit quietly at, confused over a lot of what the other Pipers said. But now....

"Listen," Lewis started and Marko, Dom, and JT all looked at him, "I appreciate what you guys did for me. All the confidence and stuff. I'm really sorry I got you guys in trouble."

"It's not your fault, Matty," Marko said with a reassuring smile.

"Everyone is mad now."

"It's just a misunderstanding. Reign is a grown woman. There's not much they can do about it. It's just...awkward."

Lewis was surprised JT said anything, but his reassurance was helpful.

"You ok, JT?" he asked quietly.

The newest Piper cracked a grin and walked up to Lewis as he sat in his chair. He put his hand on Lewis' shoulder and tapped it as he passed him to leave the Sit Room, but did not answer. Lewis looked up at his console, scratching his head when he flipped through his programs, starting his diagnostics.

It was going to be a long 72 hours.

((OOC Everyone out))