Steering a tipsy, overly cheerful woman down a few hallways and getting her settled safely in bed was a simple enough task in theory. In practice, Storm Shadow was considering gagging her, tossing her over his shoulder, shoving her in his room, and sleeping out in the hall tonight. Sure, he wouldn't be getting any for a long time, but if he had to hear one more off-key rendition of 'We are the Champions' or 'King Nothing', he wasn't sure he'd care any longer.
It wouldn't have even been so bad if she'd just stuck to one or the other, but she kept hopping from a line of one to the chorus of the other, both sung to a tune that had no relation to either song. Actually, the fact that he even knew the songs was sad, since he didn't particularly like either one. He sighed.
Finally, his door. Hey keyed in his code while she hummed absently, miraculously actually managing to hit the general tune of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. He steered her inside; she sat down on his bed.
"Ooh. Your bed is cushier than mine." She started wrestling her boots off.
"I know. You tell me every time you stay here. Will you be okay…" He groaned as she casually pulled her shirt off. "No. We've been over this. Not while you're drunk."
She blinked innocently at him. "Don't like sleeping in my clothes." Her pants followed her shirt onto his floor, which was normally a situation he was highly enthusiastic about.
But she just tugged back the blankets and settled down without further prodding. "There. I'm in bed and not causing trouble or trying to jump you. Happy, ninja man?"
"Very. Stay there, please. I've got more people to go scowl at."
"Have fun." She still sounded almost irritatingly perky. She was energetic normally; drinking seemed to egg that personality trait over the line into 'hyperactive'.
Sighing, he headed back to the rec room.
By the time he and Snake had wrestled the final partier back to the barracks, Storm was convinced that bouncers probably had the most irritating job in the world. More than once, he had to grit his teeth and take a few calming breaths to keep from simply knocking someone senseless and shoving them into a broom closet to sleep it off.
Despite her earlier perkiness, when he opened his door again it was to a snoring pile of blankets on his bed. He showered, finally getting the dried viper blood out of his hair (the laundry crew complained on a regular basis about having to bleach bloodstains out of his white uniform) and collapsed into bed.
It took him a few minutes to pry enough of the blankets loose for himself. Sherry had a surprisingly tenacious grip when it came to maintaining blanket monopoly. Finally he elbowed her (fairly gently) in the ribs. She half woke, loosening her grip. He quickly claimed his fair share of quilt, and she rolled over and promptly burrowed into the new source of body heat before dropping back off.
He shut his eyes and was asleep in seconds.
The next morning he woke, as usual, exactly five minutes before his alarm went off. Sherry had, as usual, somehow reclaimed most of the covers at some point during the night. He rolled upright, yawned hugely, ran a hand through his hair, and started digging through his dresser.
He was just lacing up his boots when the alarm went off. There was a moan from somewhere under the covers.
"Make it stop."
Grinning, he shut the alarm off. "And how are we feeling today?"
"You still have PT today, you know."
"Oh, Christ…BeachHead yelling…Kill me now, please."
"You didn't even have that much." Of course, he was one to talk. He winced in memory of one particular night in a dive bar near a military base in the jungle.
"I don't drink often. Do you have any painkillers around here?" Sherry reluctantly poked her head out of the blankets.
Storm fished a bottle of aspirin out of the top drawer of his dresser and tossed it to her. She raised an eyebrow. "Wow…really? I thought you hated painkillers."
"Generally, yes. Doc gave me that after I refused prescription painkillers after that little incident with that Dreadnok and the tire iron. Over the counter meds don't bother me."
"Oh." She dry-swallowed two pills and tossed the bottle back to him. "Thanks. I may only collapse instead of dying now."
"Bad idea. If you collapse with a hangover, Beach'll just drag you through the rest of the course by the neck. And then yell at you when you come around. You'd be better off dropping dead."
"He would." She reluctantly crawled out of bed. "I'll live. Was I standing on a table last night?"
"How did I not kill myself?"
"Luck, I believe."
She located her clothes from the previous night and tugged them back on. "Shiny. Just shiny. Thanks for dragging me out before I had much more. If I felt any worse, I would never make it through PT."
"You're welcome." He smirked slightly. "Lets go…I'm looking forwards to seeing Beach get his hands on 'Wreck and Clutch. They are not going to be happy men today." He grinned. "They were way worse off than you were, so it should be very amusing. More so than you."
She raised her eyebrows.
"I'll have to listen to your complaining after Beach finished with us, so it won't be as funny. I also can't taunt you as much. I don't think I'd much enjoy getting castrated with a sidewinder missile."
"Oh, that's why you dragged me out when you did." She narrowed her eyes. "And here I was thinking that it was because you didn't want me to feel quite so bad the next morning. And you're right; you wouldn't like it."
"Well, that too."
"Uh huh. Right." She shook her head, but rapidly stopped the motion. "Ow. Okay, doing that is a mistake." A huge sigh. "I want some coffee."
"If you hurry, you might get a cup or three in before PT starts."
"Yeah. Good idea. See you on the course." She rubbed her hands over her face and trudged out the door.
Tommy, smirking, headed for the stairwell and the surface. Watching the agony of hungover men (and women) dragging themselves through PT would more than make up for the torture he'd been put through the night before.
Snake Eyes, as usual, was already outside with Scarlett, who was looking distinctly grumpy, which was fairly standard for her pre-caffeine consumption. BeachHead, of course, was already waiting impatiently for the rest of the team to show up. Tommy shook his head; the Sergeant Major, in his considered opinion, was crazy.
Tommy, when he wasn't on a mission, tended towards early rising. He, however, had nothing on BeachHead, who considered six in the morning extreme sleeping in.
"Morning." Tommy nodded to Snake, who was stretching kinks out of his shoulders.
Snake Eyes nodded. BeachHead perked up; Tommy listened, and recognized at least eight Joes making their way out to PT. That...He grinned. That was Clutch.
Under his balaclava, BeachHead was smiling. While for once the Grin of Imminent Pain was not directed at him, Tommy knew that this could change at the slightest provocation. He carefully schooled his face into indifference and waited for the show.
"Good mornin'" BeachHead's voice was deceptively cheerful...and very, very loud. Tommy glanced back and saw Clutch and Grunt wince, sealing their fate. "Well well...you two have fun last night?"
Clutch eyed the ranger warily. "Is there an answer to that that doesn't mean pushups, Sergeant Major?"
"Nope." BeachHead sounded almost happy. "An' just since you seem so eager to get a start on them, you can drop and knock out twenty. Now. You too, Grunt."
Both men groaned. Beach scowled. "Make that forty. How we feeling about that 'good time' we had last night, hmmm? Faster, Clutch. You ain't gonna slack off just 'cause you've got a headache."
By the time the rest of the team had straggled out, Tommy was having a very, very hard time not smirking. After warm-ups, it was becoming almost impossible. Thankfully, during running BeachHead and the more hungover individuals dropped back, the miserable Joes desperately trying not to be sick (and, in Shipwreck's case, apparently losing the battle) and the drill instructor seeming to take great delight in yelling at the lot. This left Tommy to snicker quietly to himself unnoticed.
By the time the three miles was up and Beach verbally whipped the lot of them over to the obstacle course, Storm had managed to regain his bland non-expression. BeachHead eyed him suspiciously, but Storm just blinked calmly back and the sharp brown eyes moved on.
He was sent over the course with Spirit and Flint, both of whom were feeling fine. He crossed the finish line first, per usual, covered with the usual post-PT coating of grass clippings and grime but grinning.
Really, military obstacle courses were so easy. It really wasn't fair; he could (and once had) turn handsprings across the narrow wooden beam bridging the gap between two high net climbs. (BeachHead was fond of REC's and narrow edge-along-inch-by-inch board bridges. Unfortunately for the Sergeant Major, a walkway that gave you four whole inches of space to play with was considered fantastic footing by ninja. The fifteen foot fall with no handrail didn't matter; height was all objective, really. A ninja didn't think about height.)
That particular display of balance and coordination, while drawing applause and hoots of approval from his teammates, had not made BeachHead happy.
Snake Eyes had to run the course with Stalker, who was one of the worse off. Snake hung back, keeping an eye on their friend, who was quite plainly considering the pros and cons of just hanging himself with the rope swing dangling over one of the mudpits.
Sherry got sent out with Tunnel Rat and CoverGirl. She wasn't as badly off as some of the others, and suffered through with only minor groaning. She did manage to lose her grip on the rope and land in the mudpit with a wet squelch, which earned her fifty pushups and a chewing out.
When BeachHead was finally satisfied and dismissed them, Sherry fell in next to Tommy. "Remind me to never, ever, ever look at vodka again when I've got Sergeant Hardass the next day."
"I would have thought that would more or less be common sense." Tommy raised an eyebrow. "How are you feeling?"
"I'll live. The aspirin and coffee are working, and the exercise actually kind of helped."
"Good. I like you better sober anyway. You sing less."
He easily dodged the swipe at his ribs. "Hand speed. You've got no hand speed. I've told you that you need to work on that."