All dressed up and a potential no-show!
'Meeting one's Dream Bo is never easy - the possible reasons being the expectations running way to high, but especially when the possible suitor won't even bother to show up for the blind date!'
"Come out to the 79's. We'll get together. Have a few laughs… Yeah, right!"
Hardcase was fuming in his pants, literally. And it wasn't the good kind of fuming either. No, he was totally pissed, utterly karked and damming all his so called friends to kriffing sithspit hell!
And why was Hardcase so angry on this particular outing's eve, especially planned for all the fun and drinks one could possibly imagine to digest?
Well, it was quite the lengthy tale, as the saying goes.
But, Hardcase seemed to have all the evening now. For himself to dwell on the could have beens.
Hardcase had been having difficulties in finding that one perfect man in his life. Sure, there had been hook-ups of plenty for him. That was the way of the vode, right? And the notches in his belt were certainly starting to accumulate.
But… and there was always a but there somewhere, naturelment!
Because Hardcase was becoming sick and tired of the one or few night liaisons. As all around him, his friends were starting to couple up.
Echo and Fives, Jesse and Kix, Rex and Cody even, to name but a few. Of course not all of them were the monogamous-never-ever-having-the-option-to-look-around-again and-if-seeing-something-good-getting-a-sampling kind of agreement.
But yeah, Hardcase wanted what the others had. Because, why not?
How great could would it be? Having someone waiting there for him when coming 'home'. Using the word rather loosely there, as home was pretty much an abstract concept for the clones. But, the point being, Hardcase wanted someone special to be there for him and visa versa when the long and hard fighting streak was over.
Because Hardcase did envy his friends, of what they had. Even if Hardcase had always been the loose cannon. The one never to settle. The happy-go-lucky type. The one with a slight disorder.
But didn't they all have it? Having something which wasn't quite 'normal'? Still, it had never hindered Hardcase in any way. Not out there in the battle fields. And certainly not when picking up the odd vod or few whenever the itch needed some scratching.
So, having had a heart to heart with Jesse and Kix, they had decided to set Hardcase up with someone they knew. A clone, naturally. But not of the 501st nor the other affiliated legions. Too close to home, had been one of the comments from Jesse on the matter.
Yeah, that had been Hardcase's first reaction. Like really, what? They were all keeping it in the 'family', so why not for Hardcase? Why would his vod need to be from some other Force forsaken legion? Most likely one whom operated somewhere in the who-even-knew or cared area of the galaxy?!
There was a kind of a catch-22 to it as well.
Because, Hardcase, being himself and all, and well, having earned the certain kind of a reputation, where playing fast and loose had earned him the title of king of one night stands. Meaning he had bedded so many of the vode in the legions working closely with theirs, that nobody would take him seriously if Hardcase was to suddenly make a one-eighty and become legit. In the sense of wanting a serious relationship.
So, guess Jesse and Kix had been right in their assessment of what kind of suitor would be the best one for Hardcase.
And then, one thing leading to another. Which was that the two lovebirds had set him up with someone. A new comer on the scene, which only meant no longer a cadet but still, rather fresh in the battle fields. But yeah, they all needed to start their journey somewhere, now didn't they!?
And so, here Hardcase was, sipping on his drink at the bar. Having waited for a long while for this, supposed Dream Bo to appear. Only time had been ticking by and the blind date was looking more of a no-show and a bonafide blow in Hardcase's face.
Hearing his friends laughing and having fun a little farther away, made Hardcase fume even more.
As Hardcase turned to look at them, he could see they were loudly quarrelling about something. Which usually meant, at this point in the evening, that… yeah, it was about to start! And then he heard it. The familiar notes taking flight as his brethren were starting to sing. It was usually the same ole war shanty. The Mando'an medley consisting of various songs mashed up together.
Sure the invite to join his squad on this outing had been on a short notice. And possibly, due to that tight schedule, Hardcase's date had not been able to come. But, they were all soldiers, in a war. So, short notices were kind of the status quo. Besides, Kix and Jesse would have warned him if for whatever reason this 'new clone' from some mystery legion had not made it to Coruscant as scheduled.
Hardcase gave his friends a very annoyed scowl. The best one he could muster at the moment, which most likely fell on blind eyes as they were all totally wrapped up in their own fun. All of them singing their little hearts out. Then again. Hardcase could not really blame them could he. They were all living hard times and having fast fun was the only way to cope with it.
Hardcase decided to give it a few more moments before he would call it quits and retreat to the barracks to lick his wounds. As he was totally starting to think the galaxy was against him and finding that special someone had never been written to the cards dealt for him. Or then it had been with some invisible ink, which had already disappeared.
Hardcase waived the waiter over for one more drink before he would take his leave. As fun was not on the table for him tonight, that much was for sure.
Little did Hardcase know though, that someone had been watching him during his long wait for the no-show date.
Chance encounters - friendly faces in the crowd
Sometimes, unrequited crushes can be a bitch, then again…
Hardcase was sipping the last from his drink, ready to leave this, misery, behind while stepping out from the bar. Having made a thorough self inventory of his current state of mind. His feelings, yeah, he really did have those and they did run deep, no matter how jovial Hardcase might have seen on the outside. But, Hardcase could get hurt, his heart getting wounded, with the invisible kind of cut, just like the rest of them.
Leaving the odd credit on the bar for the waiter for prompt service, Hardcase waved his goodbye and started towards the exit. Hardcase was in no mood of talking with his friends, still making quite the ruckus at their table. He would give his explanations tomorrow. Not that he needed to.
Just as Hardcase pushed through the throng of people, someone grabbed his arm and pulled at him. Making Hardcase stumble just a tad. Quickly gaining his momentum though. Hardcase was none too pleased. Having most likely been pawed by some drunken vod, who was looking for a quick fix for the evening.
In general Hardcase would not have minded, getting his fix with some nameless vod. But not tonight!
Fully intent in giving the man a piece of his mind, Hardcase found himself been pulled towards someone standing close by at the other end of the bar where he had just passed on his way out. The tight grip holding Hardcase in place until he was reeled in by the mystery patron.
Hardcase was ready with several chosen words when he found himself face to face with a rather familiar vod. Not anyone he had expected to see at 79's. Not tonight anyway. But, there he was, having a coy smirk on his lips, after having hauled Hardcase to where he was at.
It was a surprise. And a nice one too. The 104th Battalion was not supposed to be back from their mission yet, but clearly they were. The two of them being somewhat friendly, even if they really did not run in the same circles while off duty. Not really. But, it was somewhat of a known secret to Hardcase's inner circle, that he had harboured a small crush on the Commander for some time now.
Well, guess the evening was not a total loss after all!?
"Can I buy you a drink?"
Wolffe was all smiles while giving the most lame pick-up line ever invented.
Then again, Hardcase had no qualms that being the case at all. After all, Commander Wolffe was in a league of his own. And the vode he hang out with? Well, Hardcase had no delusions of his crush becoming anything more than just a spell spent in friendly banter over drinks with the Commander.
"That sounds, um good."
Even if having been on his way back to the barracks for a sulky quite night. But Hardcase would certainly not let this opportunity pass him by. Even if it was just a friendly drink with a few laughs shared.
Wolffe waved for the bartender and signalled 'two' with his fingers, earning a nod from them.
Hardcase was standing right at Wolffe's side now. Literally, as the Commander still had his hand on Hardcase's arm. The tight grip having loosened some, but the grip was still felt by the other clone. Sending all kinds of good chills and sparks through his being.
Hardcase let his glance follow the connection from his arm all the way up to the Commander's eyes. Keeping his eyes locked with the other man for perhaps a tad too long.
"Um sorry 'bout that."
Wolffe let out a light chuckle. Not even with a hint of embarrassment present as he released Hardcase from the grip. Leaving the trooper mourning the warm touch of the other man. But, this was the Commander. So, it was time for Hardcase to remember that. And then adjust his inner furnace, to simmer the heat and whatever else there might have been thrown in the mix at the very moment. Which was a lot!
Hardcase was fine, would be fine. Because the night was turning out to become so better each passing moment. Having drinks with this formidable legend, not to mention that he was everything Hardcase could possible want in a man. But yeah, this was just drinks.
The drinks soon arrived. Rather quickly. Then again, Commander Wolffe commanded people both in the military and outside of it. Even getting a light hearted quip and a smile from the barkeep upon delivery. Wolffe awarding them with a rivalling wide grin.
Hardcase could not help feeling a little jealous of the interaction.
Still, this was Wolffe. Having seen plenty of vode trying to get the Commander's attention, the reasons varying. And of course, there were plenty of rumours about the mans prowess, outside the battlefield.
But there were always rumours. Some of them having more truth in them than others. Alas, mostly not though. Hardcase knew it was a sort of an entertainment for the soldiers spending lengthy times in space and fighting. Chatting about whatever they thought was going on with others, especially when it was someone interesting like Commander Wolffe.
Wolffe raised his glass and clinked it against Hardcase's.
Hardcase mirrored the Commander's notion as the two then took their respective tastes of the beverage.
The stout taste of the drink making Hardcase squint both his eyes and nose. Even if he was no stranger to the somewhat harder liquor. But this was something else completely. The after burn in his throat pretty much present several moments later after having swallowed the liquid.
Wolffe let out a low chuckle, as he observed the trooper's reaction to the shot.
"Not to your liking?"
Hardcase did not think it was, well, bad. Not really. It was just getting some used to it, is all.
"No, it's fine. Just, well, I wasn't excepting it to be so, um, strong?"
"Yeah, guess it is."
Wolffe was taking another sip from his glass. And certainly not showing any sings of it being too much for him. Not that Hardcase had excepted it to be as he observed the other man drinking.
"Well, then bottoms up!"
Wolffe challenged Hardcase as he clinked his glass again and started gulp down the drink.
Hardcase never the one to back down from any challenge, simply cheered back. And then, trying to match the other man, the hard drink pouring down his throat. Even if it was causing some discomfort the second time too, Hardcase certainly did not let it show.
Earning another chuckle from Wolffe, the Commander even patting Hardcase on his shoulder, leaving the hand linger there for a long moment.
It must have been the hard core stuff Hardcase was drinking combined with his predisposition of having feelings for the Commander which caused all kinds of sparkles of fire to flicker deep in his core. From the top of his shaved head, straight across his torso, running down his legs, reaching his toes and then back up again and ending smack middle of his groin.
Yeah, it was definitely becoming way too hot for Hardcase just then! Suspecting someone had cranked up the heat of the place, or something.
Hardcase swayed ever so slightly, as the alcohol hit his system fully having devoured it all in one go. A big mistake!
Wolffe was immediately beside Hardcase, placing a supportive arm around the trooper.
"Hey, Hardcase! Are you alright?"
Wolffe sounded worried, knowing Hardcase was a tad too uncontrolled usually. Always running head first into situations he had no business in being. Not that Wolffe could blame him for that. Hardcase was an upstanding and dedicated soldier. Always ready to jump into danger and save others. But guess this challenge had been a tad too much for him.
"Come on vod, let's go and have a seat."
Wolffe guided Hardcase towards a less crowded place in the bar. Waving for the barkeep to bring them some water. Being a regular, like most, but also a Commander and a great tipper at that, the personnel of the establishment knew always what Wolffe required without too many words needed to explain it.
Hardcase was only too pleased to be guided through the crowd, even if it felt both good and uncomfortable at the same time having Wolffe's arm around him. But it was the price he had to pay for once again diving into the unknown without looking.
Wolffe, having been the one observing Hardcase at the bar for quite a while after entering 79's himself and having seen the other clone there. Hardcase standing in waiting, while his friends were seated elsewhere. And Wolffe had known the very reason to the why.
Commander Wolffe's surprise revelation
'Pining can go both ways, and if you are lucky, it will be the very same person you had your heart set on doing just that'
Commander Wolffe's legion, his pack, was back. The mission long and arduous, but they had pulled through in the end. Managing to bring down the resurrection and bring down several war lords from the enemy's side as well. A victory for sure to be celebrated.
After getting off loaded and settled in their Coruscant barracks, Wolffe had made his way to the mess hall. Wanting to taste something else that the bland ration bars having been chewed on for the better part of several months. Even if it was already late and the mess would not be open too much longer.
Wolffe had quickly found something he could enjoy and then having seen a group of familiar clones still seated there, even if their food was long since consumed. Then again, while on Coruscant they were all on leave, so their time was their own, mostly.
"Fellas! Mind if I join you?"
Wolffe greeted the rather chipper group of vode. Rex, Jesse, Kix, Fives and Echo.
As whom else would he had excepted to be so loud and not be following the guidelines of the mess hall. No loitering after the food was consumed. But none of them were in a hurry, rather discussing something eagerly.
Rex was the first one up and welcoming the Commander, his arm out to grab the others in the familiar greeting.
"Good to see you!"
The others followed with their greetings. None of them getting up though, as it was a comfortable setting rather than an official function. And that usually meant dropping the ranks too. After all, they were all friends there.
"You are back early."
Rex was surprised to see Wolffe there already. But then again, the man was nothing if not efficient as were his troops.
"Yeah, and it's a good thing too!"
Wolffe admitted as much as this had been a long and hard op for his legion.
"I hear you got a major win too."
Echo piped from the other end of the table, having already heard the chatter come through the holo-grid.
Wolffe grinned widely.
"With minimal losses on our side, thank the Force!"
"Guess congratulations are in order then!"
Rex forever the one to give out kudos to those whom were deserving and his friend Wolffe certainly was one very deserving of all the accolades.
Wolffe took the empty seat and glanced around the table. Seeing that one of them was missing. But before he could ask, Jesse was already ahead of him and started to explain what the five of them had been planning. Most likely not that interesting topic for Wolffe in Jesse's mind, But as it had been mostly him and Kix who had done the hard work in getting things right. So taking pride in it as well and so sharing it even with Wolffe now as he was there.
"We were just about to hammer down the last details for a blind date."
Jesse smirked, because it was a surprise for Hardcase after all. Still thinking he was only going out with his friends for some fun and drinks. But they would spill the news at the bar, after having already agreed with a vod they had made friends with. A newbie from another legion, even if they already had earned quite the reputation out there in the field. Coil, as he was called.
Wolffe's eyes flew wide of surprise and well, shock too. As far as he knew, all the vode around the table were already promised to either each other with Rex being rather tight with Cody these days as well.
"Who's going on a blind date?"
It sounded more shocked and chocked than Wolffe had intended it to come out as. But, as there was only one missing from their group, and the other five seemed rather suspicious in their planning… Well, it really was no brainer as to whom these gents were trying to setup.
Kix sounded totally eager of his revelation. After all, Jesse and himself had done a lot of research, conducted several interviews and planned this outing to the hilt. As they wanted it to be perfect for their team mate. The perfect blind date.
Wolffe wasn't sure, but he felt his eyes bulge out even wider, if possible. The cybernetic eye looking rather scary from the onlookers point of view. Realising his little slip there just then, Wolffe quickly calmed himself down. Before making any follow-up queries.
"Um, does Hardcase know, that you are setting him up?"
Wolffe knew Hardcase almost as well as the rest of them did. But what the others did not know, was that during the few missions together and the off duty time spent chatting, playing games and sometimes even sparring with this group of vode… Well, somewhere along the line Wolffe had kind of formed a more romantic interest towards the man. Hardcase. Even if it had not gone anywhere, always being thrown to one battle, a mission or another.
Still, Wolffe had hoped… Well, he had liked to have invited Hardcase for a drink. Now that they finally had some down time and were both in the same place. But, this piece of news was a development Wolffe had not seen coming. At all.
After all, Hardcase had a reputation. Then again, plenty of vode did.
Even Jesse had once known to have been quite the cruiser, before finding his other half, Kix. And Rex? Well, Wolffe had to smirk a little just then, while thinking back how Rex had been when they were much, much younger. Thankfully, Rex had settled down to some extent with Cody.
And Wolffe himself?
Well, the rumours were hardly true. Always exaggeration and blowing things out of proportion. Especially when running through the GAR's holo-grid grapevine. There were even special chatrooms for those kinds of rumours to be talked about and spread. Apparently.
Still, whatever Hardcase might be, Wolffe was not afraid to approach the man. Because he had tamed bigger prey in his life time.
"So, when is this, blind date, going to take place?"
Wolffe tried to sound a tad more gossipy and curious, not wanting to give his personal interests away. Not if there was not going to be any favourable outcome for them where he himself was concerned.
"Tonight. We are going to 79's."
Fives sounded thrilled as well. They all did. Clearly thinking they were doing their friend a favour.
"Yeah, we are gonna take him there and only then let him in on the jig."
Jesse rubbed his hands together coyly, like this was some great conspiracy the five of them had concocted.
Echo asked and laughed at the word.
"Who uses the word 'jig' anymore?"
"It's a legit standard galactic word. Just look it up!"
Jesse was on the defence now, the two of them always chiding each other, in a friendly manner of course.
And so, the chatter around the mess hall table went on. Wolffe eating his meal listening in on the others talking mostly about the nights plan. But also other topics soon popped up. None of them caring that the mess hall was long since closed and that they were supposed to not be there after closing.
After leaving his friends and retiring to his quarters, Wolffe was debating internally.
The things he had heard and what his own intention had been. Making his decision was an easy one. Because Wolffe knew what or rather whom he wanted. And he was pretty sure, that no newbie would ever be a match for the ever hyper and lively Hardcase.
Those qualities, so very different from his own were the exact ones which had drawn Wolffe to Hardcase on a more personal level in the first place.
So, deciding to make his way to the 79's and check out his competition. And if needed, Wolffe would still be there. Just in case the blind date would not be as perfect as the other vode had redeemed their planned outing to just be.
Commander, soldier, vod, friend… lover?
'When the lonely heart yearns for something impossible, the improbable might just turn out to become quite the possible'
Wolffe and Hardcase had been sitting a while on the comfortable albeit small size sofa. Making their seating arrangement perhaps a little too close and cozy. Especially with Hardcase feeling the heat radiating from Wolffe. His own senses on high alert. But it was his problem not Wolffe's and Hardcase needed to deal with it.
Hardcase had been sipping water and feeling already better. The dizziness soon dissipating.
"You seem to feel better."
Wolffe having observed Hardcase, keeping a keen eye on the man just to make sure he would be alright. Admitting to himself the challenge had been rather stupid. There were only two others who were able to drink Wolffe under the table. Fox and Gregor. And so, a reminder of what not to do in the future. In case the two of them would enjoy drinks together some other time too. In a more than friendship kind of manner that was.
Hardcase smiled then, feeling giddy. But it wasn't because of the alcohol anymore, rather from the intensive stare of Wolffe's. Being a mixture of worry and something… something else Hardcase could not pinpoint right at the moment.
"Good. I am glad."
Wolffe's smile grew even wider.
"So, care to tell me why you were at the bar all by yourself?"
Wolffe did not want to expose his hand, not just yet. Knowing what the story was, but also not wanting to seem like a stalker. Even if he had a clear plan of his own.
Hardcase looked up, surprised.
Both of the fact that Wolffe had seen him there in the bar with so many other available vode in the room. But also, that he had noticed Hardcase being by himself, most likely after having observed for a while. As it had taken some time before Hardcase's patient had ran out of waiting for his date to show up. A blind date!
Sure, they had been friendly. Having spent some time together when off duty. And having worked together during a few ops. But, Hardcase had never noticed any interest there, from Wolffe at least, beyond friendship.
"I," Hardcase hesitated, before he spilled it out. "I was supposed to have an, um arranged date."
It was what it was. Arranged. By his vode no less. Not a pleasant surprise at all! To have been dragged out to the bar, which was alright of course. Only then to have been informed of the actual surprise. That they had set him up with someone new.
Him! Hardcase! What the kriff!?
Wolffe looked at him. Really looked at Hardcase for a long while before saying anything.
"And they never showed up."
It wasn't a question. Not any more. It was time to place all the cards on the table and then only hope the chips would fall the correct way. In his favour.
Hardcase wasn't sad or anything. Not because of the date having gone awry. But because he had wasted time in waiting. Time he could have either had spent with his friends or then, looking for some easy hook-up for the night. Force knew he needed one! Especially now, after all the sensations Hardcase was having from simply being in such close proximity to Wolffe.
Wolffe gave Hardcase another long stare. But this time, it was more, intimate. More probing in a way, as Wolffe let his gaze linger on the other man. A while longer than perhaps needed. But there was nothing unpleasant nor awkward in the gaze.
And then, it happened. Something totally unexpected, at least in Hardcase's book.
Wolffe leaned into Hardcase. Face to face, so close their noses were almost touching. Feeling the other man's breath on his own lips, Hardcase could not help but lick his own lips in anticipation. And the rather audible gulp heard as he swallowed his confusion.
The confusion soon forgotten, as Wolffe pressed his lips on Hardcase's. The kiss soft and gentle. More probing than passionate. The touch causing Hardcase's already simmering fire to heat up several grades. And then all too soon, Wolffe's lips parted from his.
Hardcase let out an involuntary whimper of the loss of Wolffe's contact.
Wolffe had his eyes on Hardcase's again. Seeing the wide eyed stare, pupils blown out of proportion, the uneven breathing. Mirroring his own condition and the sensations he was feeling from a simple touch of the other man's lips.
Wolffe had decided to gamble. And then, call out his own bluff. But still, he had managed to come out as a winner.
There was no doubt in Wolffe's mind any more, that Hardcase was as interested in him as he was in Hardcase.
"I for one, am glad you got stood up."
Wolffe's voice was soft. Even if there was a hint of mirth behind the words, Wolffe was speaking from his heart as it was becoming obvious to the already smitten Hardcase as well.
Hardcase, never the one with a loss of words or a snappy come back, was so now though. He had no words to give to Wolffe.
So, deciding on the next best thing, Hardcase placed his hand behind Wolffe's neck and drew him in. Kissing the man. Hard. Conveying what he too felt. About missing his no-show blind date and ending up with a much better option.
Because Wolffe was a far better surprise date for Hardcase than any other. Ever. Pressing his lips hard and demanding onto Wolffe's eagerly accepting ones. The heat certainly cranking up while the two of them continued their exploration from the friends to lover status.
Inside Wolffe's comfortable quarters, all in their own privacy, the two of them laying claim to the other's body. For the very first time. Well, at least, in this manner, as shared showers after training sessions without any hanky-panky involved really did not count.
Hardcase was flat on his back with Wolffe on top, marking Hardcase with his kisses, nips and bites while travelling down the other man's body. The totally exposed skin being covered with exploratory yet heat filled kisses promising anything and everything. Wolffe loved to take things slow with his partners, as he was in no hurry. Not any more.
With Hardcase it was even more unhurried. Because Wolffe had managed to catch him.
After all the pining for the longest while, the man Wolffe had come to, well, admire and want, perhaps some deeper feelings were present there even. Only naming them now, would not be ideal. And so now, having caught Hardcase after his vode's badly planned setup with someone else, Wolffe could not have been happier.
Having heard part of the conversation of the others. Especially the one about Hardcase having become ready to throw out his dubious title and settle down. Well, it was one more point for Wolffe to make his move when he had. Not wanting to miss on a chance to have that something else with Hardcase, the settling part and all. As it seemed to be time for them both to do just that.
Wolffe kissed every inch of Hardcase's torso, his hands roaming over Hardcase's sides, his stomach, reaching further down. Careful not to touch the bulging arousal, teasing the other man for a spell longer. Loving to hear all the various sounds being expelled from Hardcase at the very moment. The moans, the sighs, even whimpers and the followed pleads.
Moving ever downward, tongue dipping into Hardcase's navel, licking the perfectly round dent he found there. Despite Wolffe loving to take it slowly, now that he finally had Hardcase where he wanted him. Naked on his back in Wolffe's bed. But the pleads of his lover becoming more frequent with the urgency growing, Wolffe moved himself between Hardcase's legs.
Wanting to make Hardcase feel really good, Wolffe decided to continue his exploration of the other man's body, the quest for figuring out which buttons to press. As Hardcase was growing more and more impatient, the need for release growing stronger, the evidence of it all displayed right in front of Wolffe's hungry eyes and mouth.
And with that thought, Hardcase was finally claimed by Wolffe - devoured, fully.