Sleepless on Hammersley

Chapter 6

Rating: Gone up to K+ for some swearing

Spoilers: Only if you haven't watched Season 5 yet.

A/N: I don't know if Australians really celebrate Fool's Day (April 1rst), but in this story they do :)

It was twenty minutes before midnight on the bridge of HMAS Hammersley. The sea was calm, the patrol boat was the only ship in the area (at least according to its radar) and there weren't any mayday calls- in short, it was a boring night just like many others on patrol in Australian waters.

Ryan White was staring out of the bridge window, trying not to fall asleep. After finishing school, he had recently joined the Hammersley crew. He liked life aboard (especially if one Seaman Jessica Bird was around), but the nights when he was on duty watch and absolutely nothing happened...

Suddenly Ryan felt someone nudge his shoulder from behind. He turned around to see Leading Seaman Leo '2Dads' Kosov-Meyer standing there with a smirk on his face.

"Hey 2Dads, what's up?" Ryan greeted him.

"I can't tell ya in here!" 2Dads whispered back and left the bridge. Ryan sighed. "Dutchy? I'm going to the bathroom, will be back in five minutes."

Petty Officer Dylan 'Dutchy' Mulholland nodded: "Hurry up, okay?"

"Sure Dutchy." Ryan left and found 2Dads waiting for him in front of the door. "So what was so important that you couldn't tell me in there?" he asked quietly.

"This." 2Dads held up his mobile. March 31, 2342, it said on the screen. Ryan shrugged: "So what? 18 minutes till midnight."

"18 minutes till the first of April!" 2Dads corrected him. "Fool's Day!"

"Oh, yeah, right. And who d'you wanna fool?"

"Well, I was thinking about the CO..."

Ryan fought hard to hold back a gasp. "You can't do that! You wanna be kicked out of the Navy?"

"Hey, I won't throw a stink bomb into his cabin or somethin' like that... Just wake him up for his watch, which starts in"- he checked his mobile- "15 minutes exactly. You're in?"

Ryan thought about it for a moment. "How d'you wanna wake him up?"

"By telling him the ship's sinkin'."

"Yeah, sure. He'll never believe you."

"Maybe, but he'll believe you."

Ryan crossed his arms over his chest. "You want me to sneak into the CO's cabin, wake him up and tell him Hammersley's sinking? No fuckin' way."

"No, I'll be the one sneakin' into his cabin. You'll be the first person he'll see outside and ask if the ship's really sinking, and your answer will be..."

"... no Sir, that was just a bad Fool's Day joke?"

2Dads frowned. "Come on Ry! Have a little fun while you're young!"

"You're not really much older than me, 2Dads."

"And that's why I wanna have fun, too. Come on!" Before Ryan could protest, the older sailor dragged him along to the door with the sign saying, CO cabin.

"Ready?" he whispered when they had arrived. Ryan sighed. "Yeah."

"Okay." 2Dads quietly opened the door and slipped into the room.

Commander Mike Flynn had served on many different ships during his time in the Navy and thus experienced many Fool's Days aboard. After being woken up by a living jellyfish (no poisonous one, fortunately) placed on his face, he had made it a habit to put a metal bucket of water right in the doorway on the night before April 1rst. Potential intruders would stumble over it and the falling bucket (not to mention the intruder's swearing) would be loud enough to wake Mike.

This method had already worked several times and tonight was no exception: 2Dads' foot hit the bucket and the bucket hit the floor with a loud clatter. Mike opened his eyes and saw someone standing in the doorway. "Who's there?" he asked, even though he was pretty sure who it was: Leading Seaman Leo Kosov-Meyer. We should call him Troublemaker instead of 2Dads.

The intruder switched the light on and Mike saw that his suspicion had been correct: The person balancing on one leg next to the door was indeed the blond Leading Seaman.

"What's the matter, 2Dads?" Mike asked all innocently.

"Uhm, well, I wanted to wake ya for your watch boss. It's ten minutes till midnight," 2Dads explained.

"Oh, thank you very much. Why are you standing on one leg, by the way?"

"You, um, left that bucket on the floor and I hit it with my foot when I came in." Damn, someone must've told him about my plan! And then he placed that freakin' bucket there for me to stumble over so that he'd wake up before I could play my trick on him.

"I'm sorry. Does your foot still hurt? Should Swaino take a look at it?" I think he's fine, but it'll teach him not to play tricks on officers.

2Dads carefully placed his foot back on the floor. "No, it's okay. Can I leave now?"

Mike nodded and 2Dads left the cabin. The first person he met outside was Ryan.

"Hey, where's the boss?" the boy asked.

"Someone must've warned him," 2Dads growled. "Boss was prepared, put a metal bucket of water right in the doorway. I fell over it and he woke up."

"Oh shit." Ryan yawned. "D'you mind if I go to sleep now? I'm really tired." He left.

The next morning, 2Dads found a post-it note attached to the inside of his cabin door. It read:


I don't want to know what kind of joke last night was supposed to be. But I do want you to know that years of experience in the Navy have taught me to be prepared for almost everything. So if you're already thinking about another joke, remember:

I'm prepared and Hammersley has many toilets that need cleaning.

Sincerely, CO

As if that'd stop me, 2Dads thought. Well, maybe it will... One day when the're enough others to take over...