A/N: Still not mine. Other pairings? What other pairings? Once one has read Webner/Hunks, there is no unreading it, for it is good crack. (I apologize for the unintentional pun and any bad images that may have inspired. Welcome to my world. Really though, there are a couple crack pairings on the Pumpkin Scissors livejournal group, and even they are well-written.) None o' that here, though, unless you read things that way. While I'd have loved to get a bit from Lily, Hunks, and maybe even Merc, this is the last part of the four-shot. And now, I must pass the bunnies over to you until I can finish my fics in other fandoms. (Fly, my pretties! Fly!)
It had been a really lame excuse, even for him, but Lily seemed to appreciate how much everyone was pitching in with the minor chores today. "There are all sorts of advantages to a new romance," the dark-haired girl had said, smiling rather speculatively in Martis's direction as Oreldo left to pick up coffee.
Whether the other sub-lieutenant would be making his own hasty excuse and rush out, awkwardly attempt to reason it away, or remain completely oblivious was one bet Oreldo wouldn't be taking. Four-eyes had his moments of brilliance, but he was an absolute blind idiot when it came to members of the opposite sex, and all his best friend's training just made him more self-conscious. It did add to his nebbish nerd-boy charm, the blond supposed, but what was the use in getting kissed by a princess if a man couldn't set himself up to repeat the experience, let alone take full advantage of it? Martis had been his best friend since they were a pair of poor townie ankle-biters in the gutter, and would be until the day they died, (old, fat and happy, and even more easygoing than Section III had started out, if Oreldo had any say in the matter,) but he had to admit that the man was hopeless.
Randel, however, Oreldo still held a little hope for. Sure, the big guy stuck those giant feet of his in his mouth whenever he attempted to speak on topics of a more personal nature, but at least Oland had noticed that their lieutenant was in fact in possession of a pair breasts, - rather nice ones, at that, not that Oreldo was prepared to mention such a thing to her face. With some work on his delivery, there was a chance that the big corporal could even show Alice Lee Malvin why he was something of an embarrassed legend whispered in equal parts awe and frustration throughout the hospital orderlies and no one would ever again attempt to hand Oreldo a sample jug. A man had to have a dream, after all.
Alice, however, was nearly as bad as Martis: she could comprehend conceptually what happened in a marriage, but still didn't seem to understand how it applied to her. The LT tended to think of unarmed combat practice when they talked about fun and exciting off-duty activities that a man might want her assistance with. Oreldo wanted no part in that particular train of crazy, no matter how well-formed its caboose might be, but he did feel a little sorry for the men who did go after her. Idiots like Schultz who jumped before taking a good long look at what went on inside that pretty blonde head frankly deserved what they got, but if a guy like Randel took it too slowly…There was becoming friendly with a girl one liked and there was establishing a friendship with a girl with the intention of creating something deeper than the enjoyable but by no means long-term associations Oreldo generally preferred. Unfortunately, Alice wouldn't know the difference between the two if her company members attempted to explain with flowcharts, music, and interpretive dance, and she ended up giving her would-be swains a tangled mess of mixed signals. The man who ended up cutting through all of them would have to either be a genius, (and therefore smart enough not to get involved, surely, Lionel aside,) or patient and stubborn as a stone. It certainly took plenty of Orledo's patience to maintain a much more brotherly friendship with the LT.
But patient he could be, even if perhaps never quite as patient as it would take to let Alice and Randel figure this out entirely on their own. Oreldo dithered on his way over to the coffee supplies, picking out the milk and sugar well before pulling the pot from the heater and casually pushing the cubes around the inside of the otherwise empty mugs until he heard footsteps emerge from the general direction of the mail room and Webner's garage. He went ahead and bent over the coffee mugs to obscure his profile, adding the appropriate amounts of milk. That was innocent enough, surely. He didn't think his quarry would be checking around for him, but they might be on the lookout for little out-of-the-way nooks like the one that sheltered the office coffeepot, too.
"You know, I think this gives us a new deadline, Lieutenant - Alice." The big guy sounded a little out of breath. Slowly, Oreldo began adding coffee to the mugs of sugared milk.
"Hardly." Alice paused just long enough for her corporal to begin an uneasy protest, then cut him off for nearly a minute before she actually spoke again. "I said that I'd take care of this as soon as possible and I intend to be finished with it as soon as possible. You can't speed up 'immediately' by adding another reason, not that we've added another reason."
"We haven't?" It was amazing how quiet and shy a battle-scarred, seven-and-a-half foot bruiser of a man's voice could be. The curious sub-lieutenant scuttled closer, careful to remain out of sight.
"Corporal Randel Oland," Alice spoke the words with much more warmth than she'd ever used for Sub-lieutenant Kilroy Oreldo, but the note of exasperation in the full name ultimatum made the blond man instinctively flinch a little even if it wasn't yet directed at him. "You think I just fell in love with you today?"
Apparently, Oreldo's next beer was technically on Webner, but he decided to be a gentleman. A swaggering, devilishly grinning gentleman who was expected back at the office nearly fifteen minutes ago, but a gentleman nonetheless. At least the coffee was still hot, if Alice and Randel managed to arrive in a reasonable amount of time. And if they didn't... a good gentleman never told.