So, I did this quiz thing, where you list your fave characters from the show in a random order and answer questions. When one of them asked about a Stanford/Vert/Zoom fic, well, how could I resist? Constructive Criticism is always welcome! Enjoy.

As cliché as it sounds, it all started with a look.

Climbing into his car, Vert glanced out over his teammates, a quick visual check that everyone was ready to go. His gaze traveled easily over three vehicles, only to come to an abrupt, startled halt when it reached the fourth. A pair of green eyes were gazing back at him, watching him with a surprising intensity. Vert hesitated, feeling like maybe he should look away.

And then his teammate gave him the smallest of smiles—not a ready-to-go grin, or one of those I'm-better-than-you-and-cocky-about-it smirks—just a smile. A tiny, brief twitch of the corners of his lips in an upward direction which lasted but a moment, before it vanished, along with the man whom it belonged to, all in a blur of purple paint and blasting base.

The look was followed by another.

Training, as Agura was always quick and more than happy to point out, was integral to the team's ability to survive its missions in one piece. And so she never missed a chance to suit up and drag whichever of her boys were available out into the desert for yet another session of team building, maneuver practicing, plan building training exercises.

It was after one of these daylong sessions when Vert was trudging his way back to the hub, weary both in body and mind, that he happened to glance out of his bubble windshield, eyes finding his closest teammate.

As if sensing his leader's gaze upon him, Zoom glanced back, dark eyes meeting light.

Vert spent the next few days wondering if it had just been a trick of the light, or had Zoom actually winked at him.

(His question was answered when, during a late night trip to the restroom, he happened to pass the younger boy in the hall. That time there was no mistaking it for a flash of sunlight on a helmet visor.)

And another.

Frowning into the chaotic mess of belts and pipes, tubes and wiring, pistons and gages that formed the guts beneath the Reverb's hood, Stanford had idly tapped the wrench in his hand against his leg as he struggled to decide where to start. His initial thoughts had been that if his engine wasn't starting, it was clearly a dead battery. All he needed was a jump from one of his teammates to get his sound machine up and running once more.

Yet, that seemed too simple. Surly the epitome of Sentient technology couldn't just need a little recharge to get going again. And so he'd instead dove into his car's inner workings, tools at the ready, prepared to sniff out the real problem.

Three hours later, and a triumphant looking Zoom was standing between their two vehicles, gesturing to the jump cables connecting their engines. Sighing, Stanford turned to Zoom, a thank you on his lips, which mumbled off into something unintelligible when their eyes met and Stanford simply forgot what it was he was saying.

For a long moment they simply gazed at one another, until a door slamming in the distance startled them, their sheepish glances skittering away from one another.

And then the looks became a touch.

The mission had been hard—adrenaline pumping, breakneck paced, mind blowing hard. Everyone on the team had taken their fair share of hits, the team's youngest rider most of all. It had been more than once where Vert had seriously worried that the Chopper's pilot might not be making it back through the portal with the rest of his team.

The blonde would forever firmly adhere to his story that it was the rush of relief at seeing Zoom whole and basically unhurt back at the hub that had resulted in him grabbing the smaller boy and pulling him into a brisk, kind of tense, slightly awkward hug.

As soon as he had initiated the contact, Vert was stepping away, turning and silently hurrying away, leaving a bewildered Zoom in his wake.

A touch that wouldn't be the last.

The first time Stanford had grabbed his arm and yanked him into the nearest closet, it had by no means been anything like the romantic scenarios everyone pictures when they think about those few minutes of alone time in the dark with no one but your loved one and a few mop buckets for company.

It was quickly apparent that the darkness of a broom closet was not your friend, as it cheerfully sent blindly tripping over ever other bucket, mop handle, and misplaced cleaning rag. Getting clobbered by a broom the two of you have knocked loose from the wall was not uncommon, and not tipping over a container filled with strong smelling cleaners was so unlikely that if it didn't happen, you would be advised to check that you actually are in a broom closet at all.

And yet, it hadn't taken Vert long to realize that the closet chaos wasn't so hard to forget about when you're being distracted by fingers tangling in hair and burning kisses against soft skin and dear god, that feels amazing.

And it all just went downhill from there.

Sighing through his nose, Vert allowed his eyes to drift slowly open, his gaze wandering lazily across the face of the person lying beside him. As if sensing the blonde's stare, dark eyes opened and then narrowed mischievously.

"What?" Zoom asked, his voice lilted with laughter.

"Nothing," Vert mumbled. "Just…wondering how we all ended up here." Zoom's eyebrow quirked.

"You mean you forgot?" he asked. "Personally, I thought last night would be a little more memorable." Vert's response was a small snort of laughter.

"Uh, no, I remember that," he said. "What I meant was—"

"Was why are you talking about this so early in the morning?" a third voice groaned. Vert rolled his eyes as Stanford shifted around behind him. He then made a startled sound as the redhead clambered over him, dropping gracelessly into the space between him and Zoom.


"Shush," Stanford responded, pressing his face against Vert's chest. "Less talking, more sleeping." Zoom laughed, and then showed his agreement by curling up against Stanford. Vert rolled his eyes, but didn't push the matter, instead wrapping his arm around Stanford's waist and resting his cheek against his teammate's hair.

But with boys like this, it was really to be expected.