AN: No copyright infringement is intended. Hasbro owns the characters. Alannis Morrisette owns the song. Reposting of a previous work, now that songfics are no longer listed as banned!


If it weren't for your maturity none of this would have happened
If you weren't so wise beyond your years I would've been able to control myself
If it weren't for my attention you wouldn't have been successful and
If it weren't for me you would never have amounted to very much

Sgt. Shana O'Hara surveyed her new students. Most of them had no hope to make it into the Rangers, Green Berets or any other elite military squad, no matter how hard they tried; they didn't have the heart for it. It took a special spark to be able to supplement the physical and mental strength needed for those teams. She looked over the list of men and women, making notes on them as she passed, watching them spar. Falcone, Vincent - he fought with skill and yet carelessness that surprised her.

"Falcone! Are you trying to get yourself thrown out of this class?" She put her notes down as he looked up guiltily and his sparring partner got in a good punch in his solar plexus.

"Ma'am?" he gasped the word as he tried to recover from the late hit.

She sighed in exasperation, "You are leaving your left side wide open, even though I know you've heard it before. Your attacks are obvious at times, while at other points you do everything perfectly." She saw him smirk at the compliment she inadvertently gave him and she wiped it off quickly, "So are you just stupid or are you lazy?"

The rest of the class laughed and surprisingly, despite the color that rose to his cheeks, he maintained his cool. "No ma'am. I didn't want to hurt my fellow trainees. I wanted it to be fair." Many of his classmates gaped at his arrogance, but Shana just smirked.

"You think any enemy in the field will ever go easy on you?" He shook his head, "You think they'd ever go easy on anyone else here?" Another head shake. "Right. Now. You do not kill your sparring partner but that is the only line you do not cross. Better you to teach them their weaknesses than the enemy. Now. We're going to spar. I assure you that no punches need to be pulled despite the fact I am a woman. I want to see you going all out, understood?"

"Yes ma'am." They bowed to each other lightly then circled each other twice, getting a feel for the other's rhythm. Vincent made the first attack which Shana easily deflected and turning around connected with a punch of her own. He was thrown off balance, but managed to recover without falling. The class watched as Sgt. O'Hara smoothly beat down Falcone, but each time she was ready to call it quits in the match, he would hop back up and be ready for more. She had to admit that he had talent underlying his arrogance.

Finally, Shana swept his feet out from under him, kneeling on his neck and putting her forefinger against his skull, "Bang. You're dead." She released him and he got up again, rubbing his sore neck. "Never take it easy on a sparring partner. Otherwise, you may mistakenly do so when in combat with an enemy. You alright?" He nodded, thinking about her words. "You've got some talent, kid. But you need a hell of a lot more discipline and practice before you can go anywhere with it."

Falcone smirked, accepting her compliment. "Thank you Sgt. O'Hara.". After the class had filed away, he asked if he could get some additional help outside of normal class sessions. Barely paying attention, she had nodded and he figured that was good enough and jogged off to shower.

Ooh this could be messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

It had started innocently enough: just help with his hand to hand technique. She wasn't even sure how it had progressed past that, just that one evening when they were sparring, it ended with their lips meeting. She had pushed him away; she was in his chain of command, not to mention nearly ten years older than him. But he was nonplussed, kissing her again. The last thing she whispered before she surrendered her protest was, "Don't tell anyone."

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this

"Team, I'd like to introduce you to a new member of G.I. Joe." Duke's voice rang clearly over the group. All eyes were focused on him, except for one set of blue eyes fixed on the young man standing in the corner of the conference room. "This is Falcon. I expect you to treat him like you would any other rookie to the team." Mischief sparkled in the eyes of the First Sergeant of the team and the man in the corner gave him a withering glance.

Scarlett didn't know how to react; she hadn't seen Vince for five years, not since he left her unit. She kept her face blandly neutral, technique practiced through years of intelligence work. Inside though, her mind was racing. She tried to catch his eyes and to try and figure out what he was thinking and what he was planning on saying. Either he hadn't seen her or was working as hard as she was to make a show of not recognizing her. The rest of the meeting passed in a blur and the next thing she knew, Duke brought Falcon up to her to personally introduce them.

"Falcon, I'd like you to meet Scarlett, she's counter-intel and a few other things on the side." Duke smiled at her, but her stomach dropped uneasily, her face not betraying her unease, allowing him to speak first.

Falcon held out a hand, "I think you may have been one of my hand to hand instructors before I went Beret?" He asked innocently, meeting her eyes.

"Probably, I've taught a lot of people. Welcome to the team Falcon." She couldn't tear her eyes away from his for a moment, shaking his hand for perhaps a moment too long. Duke touched the small of her back, snapping her out of the trance and she dropped Falcon's hand like it was on fire and nodded to Duke as he motioned that he was going to be taking Falcon over to Flint and Jaye, who were conversing over in a corner. She watched them leave, relief flowing through her veins, thinking perhaps that it wouldn't be an issue at all.

You're essentially an employee and I like you having to depend on me
You're kind of my protege and one day you'll say you learned all you know from me
I know you depend on me like a young thing would to a guardian
I know you sexualize me like a young thing would and I think I like it

Despite being one of his superiors, Shana couldn't bring herself to break off the affair. She knew how many rules she was breaking, but they went out the window every time they were in her apartment. He had a passion for everything that she just hadn't felt for a while and his youth just made him more attractive. She gave him a glowing recommendation to the Berets, knowing that despite their relationship, he was an excellent choice. But she couldn't help but enjoy the appreciation he lavished on her when she told him what she'd done.

She listened to him, lying in his arms, telling her about his family. He had a half-brother who was also in the Army but he rarely saw or spoke to. His mom had died when he was nine, and she shared her own shadowy memories of her mother's life and death. She couldn't help but be frightened that the only thing worse than the sexual relationship she was having with him was that she was afraid she could actually be falling in love with Vince. She loved the way he looked up to her and was so eager to learn what she could teach him. He provided a welcome escape from the other troubles in her life; he knew just what to do to make her day seem alright. She seriously began to contemplate on how to bring their relationship into the public.

Ooh this could get messy
But you don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

Vince was leaving her apartment early in the morning to run and finish the PT they had started before light touched the sky. They were kissing their goodbyes when he heard footsteps and quickly pulled away from the doorway. They were being careless; kissing in the hallway of her quarters. He straightened his shirt and then hurried away from her, without even saying goodbye. A woman arched a brow, seeing the good-looking Lt. jog past her. She called Shana's name as she saw the door closing to the woman's apartment.

Shana clenched her jaw, realizing she had been caught, and then smiled and opened the door. "Hey Marcia."

Marcia whistled, "Who was that, running out of here? Nice ass under those PT shorts. I can see why you were trying to watch them run away." She winked at the redhead.

"Lt. Falcone. His performance in my hand-to-hand class has been inconsistent. I've been supervising extra PT sessions and training." Not entirely a lie.

Marcia laughed, "Be careful girl. If I was supervising watching that man do extra pushups, I'd be real tempted to violate some regulations!" Shana laughed with her, even though her insides were twisting uncomfortably. "Really though, I would be careful, you don't want anyone accusing you of anything untoward when you are just trying to help a student."

"Thanks for the advice. You're probably right. I'll just have to be less lazy and wake up earlier so I can get PT done outside of the comfort of my own home." She chuckled, just wanting this conversation over. "Have a great day, let me know if you ever feel like going on a four am run with us."

"No thanks! You can torture your students without me. I need my sleep." With that, the other instructor moved away from Shana's doorway and she closed the door, her knees starting to shake.

We'll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you've washed your hands clean of this

At the mess later in the day of Falcon's arrival, Scarlett nudged Duke, "You seem terribly excited about this new recruit, is there something going on?" She was curious because she wanted to know what was going through the man's head about Vince. She had never told anyone about the relationship they had so many years ago, and she never thought it would be an issue in her future with G.I. Joe.

Duke looked around and then gave her a wink, "Don't spread it around, but Falcon's my little brother. I don't want him getting special treatment because of that." He grinned, puffed up with pride that his half-brother had been invited to join the elite squad.

It took every ounce of control that Scarlett possessed to not react to that pronouncement, "Really? I didn't even realize you had a brother, just a sister."

"Half-brother. His dad and my mom," Duke explained easily. "We really weren't close before, there are a lot of years between us, but it feels nice to have him here with me. I'm hoping we'll get closer now."

"That's just great, I'm happy for you." She mustered up all the enthusiasm she could, but her nerves were starting to wear thin. He looked at her oddly, but she reassured him with a big smile. Satisfied, he turned the conversation to more mundane and normal topics.

What part of our history's reinvented and under rug swept?
What part of your memory is selective and tends to forget
What with this distance it seems so obvious?

It was not until the end of his first day that Scarlett was able to corner Falcon alone. They stared at each other for several long moments, until she finally broke the silence, "How have you been?"

"Fine. You?"

"Fine. Congrats on making the Joe team." Another awkward silence prevailed. She decided to just dive in, "So we're just going to tell people you were my student once?"

He nodded quickly, "That seemed to be the easiest explanation."

"Have you told anyone? Anyone at all?" She watched him carefully for his answer; she needed to know if Duke knew about it, even if he didn't know the name of the woman involved.

He met her gaze, speaking quietly, "Never." He wondered why she was quite so relieved about that, but brushed it aside.

They stared at each other for what felt like forever until he broke away. "I've got to get to my quarters. See you Shana."

"Of course. Goodbye Vince." She watched him leave. They had parted with mutual agreement back then too, he had to switch bases and neither was willing to take the relationship to a point where she would follow his assignment. They could have continued long-distance, but she was ashamed to admit that much of the appeal of the relationship had worn off when it was no longer off-limits. She suspected the same held true for him as well. They had written and phoned when he first moved, but then they both got increasingly distant until they stopped speaking and just tried to block the affair from their minds.

Just make sure you don't tell on me especially to members of your family
We best keep this to ourselves and not tell any members of our inner posse
I wish I could tell the world cuz you're such a pretty thing when you're done up properly
I might want to marry you one day if you watch that weight and keep your firm body

Scarlett was in Duke's quarters later on that night, snuggled up against him, trying to not think about his half-brother. There was a knock at the door, with Falcon's familiar voice calling through the door, "You there, Conrad?"

Eyes wide, she looked at Duke and motioned to the bedroom, planning on hiding. She had been conducting another illegal relationship, only this time with her superior officer and this was not a time when she wanted the past and present to collide. "Yeah I'm here, just a second." He turned to Scarlett and grabbed her wrist, pulling her up, speaking quietly, "You think that he would care? He's my brother." He kissed her, knowing she was worried about his career because of their relationship, "Anyway, you know as well as I do that they turn a blind eye to this sort of thing here."

She hesitated, then nodded, covering her unease at having both men in the room together as unease of being discovered. She still hadn't told Jaye and she was sure he hadn't told Flint about their liaisons. Duke smiled reassuringly to her as he opened the door.

Ooh this could be messy and
Ooh I don't seem to mind
Ooh don't go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

Duke led Falcon into his living room and the younger man started when he noticed Scarlett's presence. He looked at his brother and then back to his ex-lover, finding it hard to keep from laughing insanely, "Extra PT sessions?" He looked at Duke when he spoke, but she knew the comment was intended to barb her, as that was what they used to call their trysts.

"You could call it that." Duke chuckled as he wrapped his arm around Scarlett's waist. "Here's a little more informal introduction, Shana, this is my brother, Vince, and this is my woman, Shana." Scarlett blushed furiously as she shook hands with Vince yet again.

"Don't sweat it Shana," he spoke casually, knowing how difficult this was for her and not being able to help being rather amused by the whole situation, "I understand sometimes how you can fall for a superior officer. Happened to me once." Her eyes widened, casting a quick glance to Duke, trying to catch his reaction.

"Oh really? You never told me about this. Who was it? Who needs a court-martial for abusing my little bro?" Her stomach dropped as he said the words. She knew he was kidding, but that didn't make it any easier to listen to.

Falcon came to her rescue, "No abuse. No more than what appears to be happening with you now." He winked at Shana, "It doesn't matter who she was, but I was lucky to know her and hope one day I'll run into her again and we'll get to become friends."

Shana thanked him with her eyes as Duke spoke, "Sounds like a hell of a woman."

Falcon nodded with a smile, looking straight at Shana as he spoke, "Looks like you have a hell of a woman right there." She blushed again as Duke laughed and agreed, then leaving to the kitchen to get some beers.

"Thanks Vince," she whispered furtively.

His voice matched hers in volume, "I meant every word. Do better with him than we did, ok?" She smiled and nodded and they sat on the couch together, getting to know each other again as they waited for Duke to return with the beers.