Author: Kris721 PM
Based on the episode "Cobra CLAWS are Coming to Town" D/S fic.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 3,449 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Published: 07-21-03 - id: 1438149
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
by: Kris "Scarlett" Soltis
Disclaimer: Hey, I know…long time no fic…but here's one now! I don't own the characters, or headquarters. Only the ideas are mine. I hope you all enjoy. This is actually based on the only episode of GI Joe I hate "Cobra CLAWS are Coming to Town". I'm sure you know why I hate it! And to think, I used to be IM pals with Flint Dille (the writer of said episode). Ugh!
Scarlett boarded the plane from Atlanta to La Guardia with a sense of anticipation. Spending Christmas with her family had been joyful as always, but she had left some unfinished business at base and was very much looking forward to returning. She found her seat, on the aisle. She smiled. At least she wouldn't be squeezed between two people for the flight. She pulled her fiery mane of red hair into its usual pony tail and got her carry-on situated under the seat.
The plane quickly filled up, all seats taken. Two passengers claimed the seats next to her and she let them in.
"We just got engaged!" the girl smiled widely spreading her news.
"Congratulations." Scarlett smiled back as the couple took their seat next to her. The girl was quite animated and excited about her news, as she should have been. Scarlett smiled thoughtfully of the day she may be excited about news of her engagement. It wouldn't be for quite awhile, but in her heart she knew who she'd be with. And she was going to tell him how she felt as soon as she got back. Scarlett closed her eyes and leaned back against the seat and her thoughts rewound to the joe Christmas party. Everyone was laughing and chatting and just having an absolute blast. This year the government went all out and booked a DJ. Scarlett felt the corners of her mouth lift into a light smile as she remembered the dance she shared with Duke.
"Scarlett?" she heard someone call her name from behind her. She whirled around.
"Hey, Duke. Great party, don't you think?" Scarlett asked him.
"Yeah, but this tie is killing me." Duke tugged at the accessory. She laughed. She knew what he meant. Dresses and pantyhose weren't her thing either.
"Next year we lobby to wear our uniforms. I'll support that." Scarlett raised a glass of champagne she was holding. Duke laughed nervously.
"I, uh, wanted to know if you wanted to dance." Duke offered sounding casual. Scarlett smiled broadly. No one else had asked her.
"Sure." she put down her glass and her clutch bag on the table and they went onto the dance floor. A slow melody began. Scarlett put her hand in Duke's while Duke's other arm snaked around her waist.
"You look nice." Duke complimented her as they swayed to the music.
"Thanks, but I'd rather be in sweats." Scarlett laughed lightly.
"Well, it's really nice. You look good in black." Duke complimented again.
"You look great too, Duke. It's nice seeing you out of uniform." Scarlett complimented back. A new melody started as the DJ announced it would be the last song of the evening. Martina McBride's rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" began to play.
Duke slid both his hands around to her back. Scarlett caught her breath as Duke pulled her closer. She could feel his breath on the nape of her neck.
She slowly swayed with him enjoying the feeling of being in his arms. This incredible friendship she had with Duke had taken over two years to build. In that time she had become closer to him than any of the female joes. Some days she caught herself wondering just how close she and Duke were, and how close she wanted to be to him. She was attracted to him, there was no doubt in her mind about that. Sometimes she got the feeling he was attracted to her too, like now. Just the way he was holding her…as if she perfectly fit in his arms. It made her heart flutter.
"Faithful friends who are dear to us,
Gather near to us, once more.
Through the years, we all will be together
If the fates allow…"
She could have sworn Duke pulled her closer as those lyrics passed. Scarlett bit her lip to make sure she was awake and this was really happening. Yep, it hurt. Butterflies were hatching in her stomach. Something was going to happen, finally. Everything was too perfect for them to let the moment slip by.
"Shana…" Duke softly spoke. Scarlett pulled away a bit to lock her eyes on his.
"I-" Duke started but stopped when yelling from nearby distracted him. Scarlett looked over in the direction of the yelling to see her room mate and friend Lady Jaye in tears and standing opposite of her lover, Flint.
"I'm leaving!" Lady Jaye yelled and stormed out of hall.
"Good!" Flint yelled and walked out in the other direction. A murmur fell throughout the crowd of joes.
"I, un, better do some damage control." Scarlett replied softly, boiling inside that she wouldn't hear what Duke was about to say. "I'm…sorry." Scarlett sighed not really sure what else to say and she ran after Lady Jaye.
Scarlett sighed, Lady Jaye and Flint had always had impeccable timing with their fights. It had turned out that the fight had been over the fact that Jaye was going home for Christmas. The original plan was for them to stay on base together, but a distant cousin of Jaye's was flying in whom she really wanted to see. After following Jaye back to their suite, she held her friend as she cried, angry and hurt by Flint's reaction at the party. Flint came over soon after to apologize. And the fight was over. No blood, no grenades, no nothing. Scarlett readjusted herself in her seat before she let her mind drift to right before she left for the airport.
She was all packed and had her bags out on the tar mat, waiting for her lift to the airport. She saw Duke in the distance running towards her.
"Hey," she waved.
"Hi, I wanted to see you before you left." Duke shuffled his feet.
"What about, Top?" Scarlett asked zipping up her jacket.
"Well, it's just I didn't really get to say much to you last night after our dance was cut short." Duke replied nervously.
"Yeah, those two have great timing." Scarlett shook her head with a laugh.
"Sarcasm noted," Duke smiled and then spoke softly, "I really enjoyed our dance."
"Me too" Scarlett smiled back fidgeting with her watch.
"Maybe we could, um, do it again sometime." Duke stumbled on the words.
"Well, the next Christmas party is only 364 days away." Scarlett reminded him.
"Actually I was hoping I wouldn't have to wait that long." Duke replied and locked eyes with her just like he did when they had been dancing. She smiled at him, knowing where this was leading. Finally, the friendship barrier would come down. "I know this is going to sound corny, but last night was pretty special to me." Duke admitted feeling like a schoolboy with a crush.
"No, you don't sound corny." Scarlett shook her head and took a deep breath, "It felt special to me too." Duke began to close the distance between them. Scarlett clutched her stomach as the butterflies did a dance inside her.
"I'm glad. It makes this a whole lot easier." Duke smiled.
"Makes what easier?" Scarlett asked in a whisper. She had suddenly lost her ability to speak.
"We're close friends, right?" Duke asked. Scarlett was taken aback. Was he just talking about friendship?
"Duke, we're best friends." Scarlett corrected him as she tried to not let the hurt that she felt show in her voice.
"Have you ever thought…that maybe there was more than us being 'just friends'?" Duke cautiously asked and looked at Scarlett for her reaction. Scarlett, who had been waiting years for Duke to breech this topic, stood frozen…unsure of what to do or say. "For a while, I've felt something deeper than friendship when I'm with you." Scarlett still stood with a frozen expression on her face. She bit her lip to make sure she wasn't dreaming. Yup, it hurt. A jet flew by overhead causing Duke to raise his voice as he went on, "Last night, I think you felt it, too." Scarlett saw Duke waiting for her to say something, to save them from this awkward silence.
"I did... I felt it. I've been feeling it... I just never..." Scarlett rambled not really sure where to start or how to finish her statement.
"Thought it was the right time to mention it? Yeah, me either." Duke finished her statement for her.
"You think it's the right time now?" Scarlett asked with a spark of hope in her voice.
"I don't know, but I do know I couldn't let you leave without telling you. I stayed awake until 4 this morning getting up the courage to do this…" Duke admitted. Scarlett thought she saw a hint of blush creep onto the sergeant's cheeks.
"Oh, Conrad." Scarlett softly smiled and took his hand. Using their first names was a very emotional bond for them.
"I can't make any promises, and I don't know what will happen. All I'm asking Shana, is do you want to try to find out what would happen if we were more than 'just friends'?" Duke asked entwining her fingers in his.
"I think I would very much like to find out what would happen…"Scarlett trailed off as Duke leaned in for a kiss. The sound of chopper blades above made them jump from each other like they had contagious diseases. They backed away to give room for the chopper to land.
"There's my ride." Scarlett announced and picked up her bags.
"Better not keep Wild Bill waiting." Duke replied and helped her by taking one of her bags for her. She threw them in the chopper and then turned back towards Duke, her red hair flying behind her like crazy.
"I'll see you in a few days." Scarlett smiled trying to tame her hair.
"I'll take you out for dinner when you get back." Duke offered.
"Is that a date?" Scarlett raised her eyebrow.
"Yeah I think you could definitely call it a date." Duke smiled. They hugged briefly before Scarlett turned back and climbed into the chopper.
"Have a Merry Christmas, Conrad!" Scarlett called as the chopper lifted off.
"I'll miss you! Have a great time with your family!" Duke yelled and waved as the chopper lifted into the sky. She looked down at the tar mat until she couldn't see it anymore.
Scarlett fluttered her eyes and felt a warmness surge in her chest, like the feeling she got when Duke leaned in to kiss her. They had been so close on the tar mat. If Wild Bill had only been a few seconds later. She must have dosed off for quite awhile because the plane was descending, ready to land. It taxied to the gate and emptied shortly.
"Red! Over here!" she heard a voice call. She turned to see Ripcord waving his arms. A small part of her thought Duke would want to pick her up at the airport. She shrugged it off and met up with Ripcord.
"Hey, Merry Day After Christmas." Ripcord greeted and hugged her.
"You too. I only have one checked bag." Scarlett greeted back and the two walked towards the carousel to get her bag.
The ride back to base was pleasant. Scarlett heard all about the toys for tots delivery and how it turned into a Cobra attack. She laughed hysterically when Ripcord described how the giant Polly came to their rescue.
"So I guess it wasn't a dull Christmas after all." Scarlett chuckled.
"Nope. Not at all." Ripcord shook his head as they approached the gate to headquarters. He flashed a pass and they parked in the main garage. Scarlett got her two bags and walked to her suite. The excitement of seeing Duke was bubbling inside her. She slid her access card through the slot and her door opened. She entered to find that Lady Jaye had not returned to base yet. Scarlett threw her bags in her bedroom and dialed Duke's extension. There was no answer. Scarlett left her suite on a search for her man.
She finally stumbled upon him in the lounge. He was watching some football thing on ESPN. Shipwreck was reading the paper in the corner. A few others were playing pool. She crept up behind him and covered his eyes.
"Cover Girl…" he sighed and pulled the hands away. He craned his neck to see Scarlett standing there with a puzzled look on her face.
"Oh, hey, Scarlett!" he greeted and jumped from his seat.
"Hey…"Scarlett replied slowly, watching him closely.
"You're back. That's good. We'll have to, uh, catch up later." Duke smiled quickly and excused himself from the room.
"What the hell was that?" Scarlett thought out loud. She heard Shipwreck crinkle his newspaper as he tried to hide behind it.
"Shipwreck…" Scarlett began icily.
"I don't know nothing." Shipwreck replied a little frightened by her tone.
"Awk! Duke's in the dog house! Awk!" Polly squawked on Shipwreck's shoulder. Scarlett's head snapped towards the bird.
"Polly, what do you know?" Scarlett stared the bird down.
"Polly, doesn't know anything either." Shipwreck gave his bird a stern look.
"Not a thing!" Polly changed his tune.
"You know Roadblock has been dying to try his new recipe for boiled parrot." Scarlett threatened the bird. "And I know of a certain incident which happened to a drunken sailor which led to…" Scarlett didn't even have to finish the sentence.
"Alright, alright we'll tell you!" both Shipwreck and Polly exclaimed at the same time. Scarlett folded her arms across her chest and narrowed her eyes at both of them. Shipwreck stood up.
"Spill it." Scarlett demanded.
"I wish you wouldn't ask me this…" Shipwreck pleaded.
"What is it?" Scarlett shifted her weight onto her other foot.
"Well," Shipwreck nervously spoke.
"Duke and Cover Girl." Polly started
"Polly!" Shipwreck snapped.
"sitting in a tree." Polly continued.
"Shut up bird brain." Shipwreck demanded.
"K-I-S-S-I-N-G." Polly spelled.
"That's it! You're dead!" Shipwreck lunged for his bird. Polly flew to the top of the cabinet. Scarlett dropped her arms in utter shock.
"Kissing in a tree?" she asked softly.
"Well, it wasn't exactly a tree more like a snow bank." Shipwreck corrected.
"Cover Girl and Duke kissed?" Scarlett asked seeing if she at least had that right.
"Afraid so, Red." Shipwreck confirmed.
"You saw this, first hand?" Scarlett questioned.
"Yeah, pretty much everyone did…except Ripcord. He was trying to salvage some equipment." Shipwreck nodded.
"Thanks, sailor boy." Scarlett smiled fakely and patted his shoulders, "You get to live another day for cooperating." She began to walk calmly out of the room.
"What about Duke?" Shipwreck called. Scarlett spun on her heels.
"He won't be that lucky." Scarlett assured Shipwreck and continued walking in a business like manner.
She passed a solider in the hallway who informed her that Duke was in a meeting. She stormed right into the briefing. She saw Flint, Duke, Roadblock, Barbeque, Wild Bill, and Cover Girl all sitting around the table. They all looked up at her. She stormed over to Duke who was sitting at the head of the table.
"Merry Christmas, Conrad…"she spat and slapped Duke across the face so hard his head spun to the side. She looked around the table, her eyes stopping on Cover Girl. Tears pricked her eyes, threatening to spill over any minute. She took a deep breath and walked out with her head held up high. She didn't even hear a pair of boots behind her until she was spun around.
"Just what in the blue blazes was that for?" Duke demanded.
"A little bird told me you and Cover Girl shared some time while I was gone." Scarlett threw at him and pulled away from his grip.
"Oh boy…" Duke sighed.
"Yeah... oh boy and girl.. how could you!!!" Scarlett exclaimed.
"Shana…" Duke called softly trying to calm her.
"Don't Shana me. What was our whole conversation about before I left? That meant something to me! That made me look forward to getting back here! Getting back to you!" Scarlett cried not calming down one bit. Duke's calm state was actually making her more agitated.
"Shana, I'm sorry. I can explain." Duke began.
"I'm sure you can... can you come up with an excuse that wasn't old 40 years ago?" Scarlett challenged.
"You're being unfair... I'm not even getting a word in here." Duke's temper rose.
"Being unfair? You told me you wanted to see what was between us. Did you change your mind that quick?" Scarlett asked fuming.
"No!! Of course not!!" Duke cried trying to clear himself.
"Then why?" Scarlett asked.
"It was just a friendly kiss…at least from my end." Duke defended himself.
"Sure it was." Scarlett commented in disbelief.
"She had the key to my handcuffs." Duke explained.
"Oh god, it's worse than I thought!" Scarlett cried throwing her hands up.
"What?" Duke was confused and then realized how handcuffs made the situation sound, "No! Listen, Cobra Commander had put me in those handcuffs. Cover Girl had the key. I was just so happy at the prospect of getting out of them, when she leaned in to kiss me... I kissed her back." Duke explained.
"On the cheek or on the lips?" Scarlett asked.
"The lips." Duke said slowly, knowing it was a bad answer. Scarlett said nothing, but turned away has the tears started to flow. Duke realized at this moment he had hurt her more than any battle she had ever been in. "I know I screwed up, big. I screwed up very, very big... But you have to believe me it doesn't change what I said to you, and it certainly doesn't change how I feel about you." Duke tried to sooth her.
"I wish I could believe that." Scarlett whispered wiping tears away with her hand.
"You know, hurting you is the one thing I promised myself I'd never do." Duke shook his head and looked at the ground.
"Shouldn't make promises you can't keep." Scarlett advised while trying to compose herself. Duke hunched his shoulders in defeat.
"This has got to be a new record... a relationship over before it even starts." Duke angrily spat.
"Over?" Scarlett's ears perked up.
"I've screwed up big time. YOU don't deserve someone like me." Duke shook his head.
"Conrad, I just need to know why it happened." Scarlett still was trying to get to the bottom of it all.
"I told you. For me it was just a friendly holiday kiss between friends. That's all she is to me. You're just so much more. In every single way I can think of, you mean more to me than anyone! If I could take this all back I would. I want you." Duke finished stressing the last you. Scarlett looked up at him, her tears subsiding.
"Really?" Scarlett asked.
"Really. It's always been you. From day one, I knew it was you. I knew I wanted to be with you…and hold you…and…" Duke trailed off. He took a deep breath and pulled her to his lips. Scarlett protested slightly, trying to break away from him. She felt her heart flutter as Duke deepened the kiss and ran his hands through her hair. She relaxed and sunk into his kiss.
"That is how a feel about you. Amazing." Duke softly spoke after breaking apart.
"You'll never kiss Cover Girl again…" Scarlett trailed off as both a wonderment and warning.
"My lips are yours and yours only for as long as you'll have me." Duke promised. They kissed again, sealing the deal.