Another plot bunny run rabid from the Twitter crew! Many of the ideas came from brainstorming. Thank you to my friends!
This is not set at any particular time, except I guess well after the current stories as StormShadow is part of the Joe team now. Sometimes the Joes have to do things new to them, even the best of the best don't know everything about all subjects. This includes BeachHead, Flint, LadyJaye, CoverGirl, SnakeEyes, Stormshadow, Scarlett and Clutch. Guest appearance by Duke and perhaps some more nefarious characters much later on.
Thank you to LadyJaye1 for her tireless beta work also!
Duke sighed and rubbed his eyes. "I don't care Beachhead. You are with Flint, Jaye and Covergirl. You will try your best to learn. Hawk and PsycheOut both think it's a good exercise for you to learn how to fit into a civilian setting anyway."
Flint smirked at both the grumpy Ranger and Duke. "And what does 'Duke' think of the idea?"
Giving his second a baleful glare, Duke snorted loudly. "Duke thinks that they'd have a better chance of teaching SnakeEyes' wolf to fit into a poodle parlor. But that's why they get paid the big bucks and I get an extra bottle of asprin every week." He motioned at them all to exit the hotel room. "Get going. Everyone have everything because if anyone forgets something you're not coming back here until tonight."
Clutch hefted his bag onto his shoulder and grinned. The trim on the bag matched his loud plaid shirt which he claimed was perfectly in fashion, despite it clashing dramatically with the striped pants. "Hey, I'm more than ready. I haven't gotten onto a good course in forever, much less on a course like THIS one!" He settled his floppy golfing cap onto his head and gestured for Scarlett and LadyJaye to precede him through the door.
Grumbling under his breath, Beach walked out ignoring them. Covergirl gave Duke a bright smile and flounced out, in high spirits to match the high skirt she was wearing. Duke suspected half of Beach's objections were due to the shortness of her outfit and the fact that Clutch was in the group. The addition of both SnakeEyes and StormShadow to the outing wasn't making him any happier.
Duke was merely happy he got to assign himself as one of two suited bodyguards rather than having to actually go undercover disguised as a regular civilian. He wasn't all that certain that the chosen teams would be able to pass as normal citizens, considering the personalities. They'd just have to do their best.
Once the Joes got to the vehicles, Clutch insisted on taking the drivers seat of one, StormShadow, Scarlett and SnakeEyes climbing in with little fuss. SnakeEyes had endured LadyJaye assisting with his lifelike mask appliance. A set of dark glasses made him look normal. He and StormShadow had donned casual buttoned shirts and slacks, while Scarlett was dressed in a sedate knee length skirt that Beach had pointed out rather loudly was 'decent'. Covergirl had deliberately ignored the comment. Clutch however had managed to point out that Covergirl's skirt was much MUCH shorter and probably quite comfy, at which point Beach started making a warning rumble.
Flint and Covergirl ended up doing rock-paper-scissors to drive the second SUV. Flint won out and got in with a relieved sigh. Jaye happily took shotgun in her fashionable outfit, smiling as Beach and Covergirl took the back seat.
She twisted to look at them while fastening her seatbelt. "You look very nice Beach. You and Flint both look like quite the dapper gents here."
Beach scowled. "I don't see why I hafta go dressin' up to go play some stupid game followin' a little ball around a buncha cowfields. This is ridiculous." He reached up to fiddle with the collar of his polo shirt and Covergirl slapped it down. "Cut it out."
"Don't mess with your shirt. You look very handsome." She smoothed her short skirt a bit. "This will be fun! I haven't played golf in forever."
He grunted at her. "I ain't played golf in... ever." His eyes flicked over to her and then back out the window as they drove along the busy roads. "Mainly cause it's the stupidest game ever invented."
Jaye twisted to eye him again. "Golf is a institution, Beach. All the best and brightest of society play golf." Adjusting the sleeves of her sweater so they laid over her shoulders just right, she smiled. "It's about being seen and socializing with your peers, not about the ball."
"Well, how come you gotta chase the danged ball around then?" Beach was beginning to sound resigned instead of annoyed as they passed through the elaborate gated entrance to the exclusive country club. "Hawk oughta just go to this Congressman's offices and talk to him there. Why do we gotta go out golfin' to learn how to do it right, just fer Hawk and him to show up tomorrow? We could just be regular armed guards insteada bein' disguised. Why he's gotta go out golfin' and make a big security thing outa it is beyond me."
Flint carefully steered them into the valet parking area. "Like most nice things in life are beyond you..."
"Shut up!" Beach snarled under his breath as he swallowed down the annoyance. "Sorry sir. Ah know about plenty of 'nice' stuff, sir."
Looking rather pleased at the rise he'd gotten out of the Ranger, Flint simply nodded graciously. "I'm certain you do, sergeant major." He tried to ignore the glares he was getting from both women. "The congressman doesn't like visible security, he likes to think he's one of the common man. So he only allows one or two body guards, even when he'd be exposed to potential threats. So it's either let Hawk roam around with a big fat target by himself, or go undercover as golfers. And to be undercover, everyone needs to be able to look like a regular golfer. Does that explain everything out for you, again?" Jaye's eyes narrowed slightly more and Flint cleared his throat. "We're here, remember to stay in character." He pulled up to a valet and stopped, stepping out and handing over the keys casually.
Covergirl hopped out, smiling disarmingly at the young valet who opened her door. He stared rather fixedly at her smile, obviously struggling not to let his eyes drop to the slightly exposed cleavage. It became much easier to ignore her chest when the large annoyed looking man rounded the back of the vehicle to glare at him. The valet edged around him while being glared at and grabbed two of the golf bags out of the back to take them to the entrance.
Covergirl placed one hand lightly on Beach's forearm and discreetly pinched him, hard. "Wayne, settle down and look harmless..." she whispered.
"Ow! Dang it." He shut his mouth abruptly although the tightness around his jaw told her he was still grumpy over the enamored valet. "Why're they takin' the equipment?"
She restrained him from heading for the valets carrying off the golf bags by hanging onto his arm. "They're valets, they're carrying our bags so we don't have to. It's fine." He grumbled under his breath again but stopped once they stepped inside. The lobby was as posh as the country clubs she remembered from her modeling days. Flint strode in confidently to check the group in for their appointed tee time, Jaye on his arm smiling. Beach watched him joking with a thin malnourished looking guy in a tight suit for a few minutes, Jaye tittering at the amusing comments like a vapid socialite. When Covergirl pinched his arm again, he realized he was frowning at people and struggled to put on a more pleasant expression.
Eventually the pair of Joes came strolling over. "We're right on time guys... and the greens are just superb today, so we're in luck, hey?" Flint laughed heartily.
Jaye hugged his arm and shooed at the other two Joes. "Oh today will be simply fabulous! I just can't wait to beat the pants off you, Wayne!" Her light carefree laughter sounded again as they headed out.
Trying to follow the lead of the others, Beach walked through the spacious rooms. He didn't see their golf bags but no one else seemed concerned so he figured the valets would return them before they actually needed them. Courtney strode along with her head up, looking confident and gorgeous. He felt the corner of his mouth quirk upwards as he watched her long shapely thighs with the ridiculously short skirt fluttering around them. Jaye had made a comment that the skirt was more suited to tennis than golf, which didn't make a lick of sense to Beach. Any woman playing any sport in a skirt that short was just plain crazy. If they took any sort of spill, they were sure to get their legs scraped up.
"Wayne?" Courtney caught his wandering attention and crooked a finger at him playfully. "Don't loiter around, we'll miss our tee time!"
He grunted to himself but stepped along quicker. "That's be a danged cryin' shame, wouldn't it." He smiled tightly at her warning look. When they arrived outside, they followed a pathway that curved around neatly trimmed shrubs. Beach spotted the second car of Joes arriving and turned his gaze away. The ninja, Scarlett and Clutch would be the group right behind them on the golf course... if the plan went right. The Ranger let his eyes slide over his surroundings again, checking for threats, escape routes, his teammates, and a young man eying Courtney's legs more than necessary. That one blanched and turned to walk away quickly. Feeling a bit more satisfied, he turned his attention to his teammates again. Jaye and Flint both looked as if they belonged in the country club, strolling arm in arm. Personally he thought they looked like a couple of preppies. He'd point it out, except he was dressed almost the same as Flint. Both men wore polo shirts and slacks, although Beach had completely refused to tie a sweater around his neck. He had claimed he wasn't putting a garrote on his own neck for a random attacker to use. In truth, he didn't want to look any more like a useless fobbit than he already did.
Beach slowed his steps slightly, thinking back to when Duke had asked the assembled Joes if anyone knew how to play the game of golf well. Only a small handful of Joes had raised their hands, including Flint, Jaye, SnakeEyes, Scarlett, Clutch, Shipwreck and Covergirl. Duke had looked at them for a moment before clarifying slightly. "...and putt-putt golf doesn't count..." SnakeEyes and Shipwreck had dropped their hands in chagrin.
Somehow even though HE hadn't stuck his hand up, hadn't played the stupidest game in the history of stupid games OR volunteered for the mission, Beach was dragged along. He would have preferred to be assigned as one of Hawk's two 'bodyguards' like Duke and GungHo. Instead he was assigned to be a 'golfer' who would happen to be playing on the course near Hawk and the congressman. StormShadow and SnakeEyes had pointed out that they could just hide nearby using their considerable talent at not being seen. Duke had pointed out the almost complete lack of cover on much of the course, meaning that even the best ninja would be forced to stay up to a couple of hundred feet away. The fact that the two ninja were both unfamiliar with golf just like Beach was a little consolation. However, not only had he endured Scarlett and Covergirl rummaging through his scant wardrobe of civilian clothing for "suitable" outfits to wear, but he'd also had to listen to the unnecessarily complex rules regarding the game of golf on the plane ride out to this extremely expensive, extremely exclusive country club. Flint had been completely insufferable since the two four-man teams were chosen. He and Jaye spent a lot of time instructing the less-knowledgeable team members in the basics, including some of the terms for various things.
Flint had tried to drill Beach on which golf club should be used in which situation, only to be told "Ah don't see why Ah'd need more than one danged club, Ah ain't swingin' more than one at the stupid ball, right?" Then he'd had to listen to the long list of why different clubs were used for various conditions on the golf course and what the alternate choices of clubs were for some of the situations and how intelligent Flint was about the stupid game in addition to how well Flint played it.
They stopped at a spot that had nothing to note about it, other than a nicely trimmed shrub and some blank pavement. Everyone else seemed content to stand around like a bunch of pogues, so Beach stood impatiently and resisted the urge to sigh or smack Flint with a decorative rock. He did take the time to admire Courtney's legs again, because passing up the opportunity to look at legs that fine would be a real shame. His gaze flicked up to her face to see her giving him one of those looks that either meant she was flattered that he was looking at her... or that she was going to kick him in the nads. One day he'd learn to interpret the two looks better. Right now, he did the safe thing, looking her in the face blandly and then turning away slightly to look elsewhere. He wasn't sure why that usually led to him not getting kicked in his parts, but as long as it still worked, he'd still use it.
"Wayne." Courtney smiled brightly and took her sunglasses to put on as two golf carts drove up. Beach watched the young attendants as they got out and introduced themselves in a display of submission and ass kissing that made him twitch. He'd seen general's aides that didn't brown nose as badly as the employees here did. Courtney practically preened under the smiles of the two guys assigned to them. Jaye and Flint were already getting into the cart with their two, so Beach stepped up to grunt at Courtney. She turned to him, placing a warning hand on his arm reminding him to look pleasant. "Wayne, meet Andy and Greg. They're our caddies! Aren't they just sweet!"
His gaze traveled over the skinny frames, the deep even tan and the perfect hair on each. They were so alike, he wasn't certain he'd be able to tell them apart. "Hi." He tried to sound 'friendly' but the polite smiles turned slightly nervous anyway.
He felt her fingers pinch his skin before she turned loose to wave at their cart, pointing at the departing Flint and Jaye with their 'caddies' sitting on the back seat. "Come along, Wayne, we don't want to get left behind!"
Sighing a bit because he knew what was coming, Beach settled into the front seat, not even trying to take the driver's position. Courtney scooped her skirt underneath her shapely behind as she slipped into place. Grinning widely, she turned to the two youngsters sitting casually on the rear facing backseat. "Hang on!"
Beach tipped his head back. "She really means that..." He grabbed the top as she slapped her foot onto the pedal. To his surprise, the little electric motor didn't catapult them at any high rate of speed. Instead they trundled along at a speed he could have outrun without breaking much of a sweat. He grinned at her disappointed expression. "Well well... "
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Shut up." Instead of following directly behind Flint's path, she turned to take a slight upslope to the left. "We'll just see how fast it can go..."
"Barbie, you better keep it..." Beach clamped his mouth shut as they topped the hill and began barreling down the much steeper slope towards the other cart. As they picked up speed, Covergirl regained her happy expression. The gravity assistance increased their speed, although the little motor began to whine in a distressed sounding manner. Beach cringed slightly as they headed right for the oblivious Flint, casually steering his cart while chatting with Jaye. When it was evident that Covergirl wasn't going to veer away, he raised his voice in a warning shout. "Watch it Fl... uhhh... FAIREBORN! LOOK OUT!"
Flint twisted and gaped as Covergirl's straining cart rocketed just past the nose of his own conveyance. "HEY! Cut that out!" He shook his head as Jaye laughed. "Lead-foot!"
Courtney laughed as well, although once they were back on the level grass, the cart slowed itself to the more sedate speed to match Flint. Beach turned to check that they hadn't lost the attendants and found them both hanging on for dear life. "She told ya'll to hang on."
"Yes sir!" One nodded although he didn't turn to look. Beach frowned and tried to ignore the term. He reminded himself he was fitting into a civilian world, thus being called 'sir' was a mere sign of respect from a toady, not a mistake on the part of a recruit. Flint shouted for them to take the left hand lane, causing Courtney to circle around a tree to bring them in behind the other cart. They arrived at a smaller building with an outdoor bar and several parties already sipping on drinks and enjoying the place. Beach snorted softly and got out to look around warily. Courtney strode by, giving him a sharp poke in the ribs as she passed.
"Wayne, smile... it's a lovely day. I'm sure Dashiell will take it easy on you." She laughed lightly over her shoulder, but the look she gave him over the tilted down sunglasses said he wasn't behaving like a properly brainless civilian so he tried to put on a smile and followed her.
When Beach saw the caddies picking up the golf bags, he stepped over to get his own only to have it snapped up by one of their assistants. "That's mine." He held out a hand for it impatiently.
The caddy hefted it to his shoulder. "No sir, I'll carry it for you!" His bright cheerfulness faded when the burly Ranger frowned at him.
"What? Ya think I can't carry a measley bag of golf equipment?" Beach twisted at Flint's throat clearing. The warrant officer was standing next to the other pair of caddies, loaded down with his and Jaye's bags. Flint's eyes flicked over to his caddy and then back to Beach twice. "Fine. Carry my danged bag then. Gawd knows I need help toting around a little..."
"Wayne, stop teasing your caddy." Jaye looped an arm through his to drag him along. "Come on, the first hole is just over here. Aren't these greens simply lovely? They must pay the groundskeepers a fortune."
Looking around at the lush grass, Beach sighed lightly. "Yes, it's wonderful. Very green." They arrived at a starting spot with a '1' up on a small tasteful sign.
Flint sighted across the area with a hand shading his eyes. "Looks like a good first hole, Alison. Par three?" This last comment was made to his caddy who was pulling out a golf club to hand to the man.
"Yes sir. There's a small waterhole just to the right over that rise." With that comment, the caddy stepped back out of the way a little and Beach watched Flint put one of the little wood spikes into the ground and balance a golf ball on it.
Courtney stood next to him, a rather vacant smile on her face as she watched Flint concentrating on the ball and adjusting his stance slightly several times while they waited. When he swung, there was a little crack of the club hitting the ball and they all watched it fly over the grass in a neat arc. It landed somewhere out of sight due to small rises in the ground.
Jaye and Courtney both made approving remarks about how good a shot he'd made. The caddy nodded and accepted the club to put it back into the bag. Courtney walked over to put her ball into place and he watched with a lot of appreciation as she settled in to swing. She kept wriggling her hips in a way that made him think of anything but the sport of golf. He blinked when she swung, the sharp whoosh and crack of the ball being hit startling him. He watched her ball follow Flint's over the hill.
"Nice shot Court!" Jaye patted her and she smiled as she handed her club back to the caddy who congratulated her as if she'd just preformed brain surgery. "I thought you said you were just a casual player?"
"I am. It was a lucky shot." Courtney came over to Beach who smiled at her. "Oh... loook at you. Better be careful, you might enjoy this day off here!"
He rolled his eyes as he covertly watched Jaye line up her swing and take her shot. He didn't want to look like a complete idiot when it was his turn, but it didn't look too difficult. He generally hit things he took a swing at. "Well, that's the point ain't it? Enjoy the day and fresh air and junk?" The smile came back as he looked at her legs again. "At least the scenery is good." He paused as she beamed happily. "I mean, look at how green the grass and trees are..."
She smacked his arm as Jaye snickered. The intel agent pointed at the spot and crooked a finger at him. "Your turn Wayne. Come on, I'll show you." Jaye let him place one of the tiny wood stands in the ground and watched him struggle to balance a golf ball on top of it. Taking pity on him after a moment, she readjusted it all and stepped back. The stupid ball sat on top like it was glued in place when she did it. "Okay... step up..."
The caddy offered him a golf club which he took and looked at briefly. He wasn't certain what he was looking for, but Flint had looked at his club so he figured he'd look too. No hidden implements popped out so he hefted it slightly and looked down at the ball. Arranging himself like he'd seen the others, he lined up the club carefully.
Jaye spoke up. "You need to stand closer, Wayne." Glaring briefly, he stepped closer anyway. "There... spread your feet apart a little more. Okay." She shut up and he gazed down at the stupid little white ball.
Suddenly he looked up. "Where the hell is it supposed to go?" All three laughed but Flint pointed out the general area, the same spot everyone else's balls had gone, so Beach supposed that made sense. Looking at the ball, he tightened his grip on the club and took a swing guaranteed to send the ball winging past all the others. Looking across the grass, he failed to spot his ball, so he looked to Courtney to see her with a hand clamped over her mouth in an attempt to stifle laughter. He frowned and looked at Flint to see him cast his eyes down with a smile. Looking down, he saw his ball sitting on the ground next to the wooden peg. "Dammit."
He picked it up and put it back on the peg. Someone cleared their throat and he glared. "That don't count. It's still touchin' the dang peg. It don't count as a try if'n it's still touchin'."
Jaye nodded at the other two. "That's fair."
Flint frowned. "This isn't checkers... you can't just say 'I was still touching it'." With two glares on him, he relented and shrugged. "But it's the tee shot, so I suppose it doesn't hurt anything. Take another swing, try to relax though, don't swing as hard as you can."
Beach frowned mightily at the ball. "Well I gotta hit it hard to make it go way over there."
Jaye took pity on him again. "Yes, but you don't need to strangle the club there, big guy." She came over to stand behind him and patted his hand. "Loosen up. You just grip it, don't clamp down. It's like baseball, you swing hard, but not as hard as you possibly can, right?"
He shrugged free of her. "Yeah, okay. I got it, I got it. Get outa the way so I don't whack ya." She stepped away and he frowned at the ball, concentrating on holding the club tight but not too tight, standing in the right way, gearing up to swing in a straight line with a crooked metal stick... Courtney giggled suddenly and he lifted his face to glare at her. "What now?"
"Nothing." She wiped the amusement off her face and tried to look innocent. He snorted and went back to lining up to hit the ball when she giggled again. When he glared, she waved a hand at him. "Sorry. I'll be quiet."
Once again he got ready to hit it, determined to make club and ball connect this time. When Jaye tittered softly, he straightened up and glared at them both. "Whut the hell is so damned funny?"
Courtney gave and laughed outright. "You're sticking your tongue out... when... when you're staring at the ball, you stick your tongue out..."
"Dang it.." He took a breath and ignored them to line up a shot and swung powerfully at the innocent ball. The soft crack of success made him yelp as the ball went flying across the grass. "Well hell." His ball went off to the left a bit and didn't go nearly as far as the others. "Why'd it go and land way over there?"
The caddy stepped up to hold out a hand for his golf club. "Just a bit of a hook, sir. Can I take your driver?"
The burning glare turned onto him and made the caddy freeze in instinctive reaction. A low growl emerged along with the human speech. "Whut about mah driver?"
Courtney reached to take the club away and handed it to the young man. "Your golf club... the one you just used to 'drive' the ball. Remember? Drivers, irons and putters?"
Beach's expression cleared. "Oh yeah. Use the driver to hit the ball a long ways, the irons to make it go far and not as far and putters to knock it around when it ain't far at all." The caddy breathed out a sigh of relief as Beach turned to walk away. "I still think someone oughta make one club to hit the dumb balls with." The foursome walked across the thick carpet of grass and then Beach stopped to look around. "Dang it... how do I find the stupid ball?"
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Next chapter... Clutch, Scarlett and the ninja tee off!