Disclaimer: Here be more shippings. Ye hath been warned... again.

"This... is not good." Proton glanced up when he heard Petrel say that, frowning. They had been heading the Johto branch of Team Rocket for two days, and so far, everything had gone rather smoothly. There hadn't been any lab accidents, any riots, or any fights out of the ordinary (not to say there weren't any at all, just the usual number, and that was, overall, a good thing), and though the two friends had been completely swamped with work, they had still been able to find time here and there to relax and chat. Overall, Proton felt as if they'd had a very successful reign, thus far- of course, now Petrel was completely ruining it by saying that.

"Don't tell me we screwed somethin' up," Proton sighed. "I don't think I could handle it if we did." Petrel glanced up from his reports.

"Ah... no, not us, exactly," he said, "but, well... that whole Silph fiasco... it seems we've got some pretty low morale, after that. The base's entire output is down. If we let this continue..." Proton grimaced.

"I get it," he replied. "So what are we going to do about it, then?" Petrel's frowned deepened, and he stroked his goatee thoughtfully.

"You know, I'm not sure," the purple executive said. "I've never had to deal with this shit, before... I remember back in Kanto, Boss would organize something fun to get everyone back on their feet... Maybe we could give that a try, eh? We could do a mass movie night."

"Oh?" Proton snorted. "And where would you fit the entire Lugiadamn base, and what movie would you play that would get enough people into it? And even then, two hours to chill out? Not gonna help, man."

"Well, what do you suggest?" Proton paused and stared at the floor for a minute before snapping his fingers.

"Oh, I know! A rave!" Petrel's eyebrows rose in minor interest.

"A rave?" he repeated. "When is that ever a good idea?" Proton rolled his eyes.

"Oh, c'mon. Don't tell me you've never been to a rave. In fact, I know you've been to at least one, remember I took you to that dance club three months ago? We had a good time, there."

"We went to get laid- we didn't even join the rave."

"We got laid. It was fun."

"No, you got laid, and only because I took pity on you and found you a hooker."

"Wait, she was a hooker?"

"I'm surprised you even remember half of that, anyways, you were so wasted." Proton frowned again.

"This is an upsettin' development, but either way, raves are fuckin' fun. We're havin' a rave." Petrel threw his hands up, acknowledging his defeat.

"Alright," he agreed, "we're having a rave. When, where, and how?" Proton reached across him for a map of the grounds and pulled it between them, grabbing a pen to scribble on it.

"Okay, so, there's not much space in the auditorium, but I figure we can have it right over here, by the lake..." He circled the large space next to the main building, and proceeded to draw little boxes into it. "We'll have a DJ here, food here, drinks here, and we set up some dim lighting and hand out glowsticks like they're candy." He sat back to allow Petrel to look over the plan. "As for the time, we start just as the sun's setting, and we party all night. And who knows? Maybe we'll get laid and not have to pay for it, this time- both of us." Petrel took a moment to study the map before nodding in satisfaction.

"Let's do it," he said. "Hand me the PA." He pointed to the microphone on the far side of the desk, and Proton leaned over to grab it, passing it on as asked. Petrel thanked him, glanced over the plans one more time, and then smiled, pressing the 'broadcast' button. "Greetings, Rockets. This is Executive Petrel, coming to you live from Archer's office. It has come to the attention of Executive Proton and I that y'all are feeling a little down in the dumps, so we've decided to put together something fun for you..."


It had taken the rest of the day for Proton and Petrel to run around and make all of the arrangements, having to apologize profusely to the mess hall for having them cater on such short notice. Finding a DJ had been much easier, as the freelancers from the Entertainment Department had been all but lining up to request the position. From there all they had to do was secure lighting from the Engineering department, and steal some glowsticks in bulk from both Espionage and Security.

Soon enough, it was nearing dusk, and Rockets began to trickle out slowly onto the grounds, first one or two, then some larger groups of friends, some wearing their uniforms and some dressed casually. Proton and Petrel, of course, pretty much had to attend in their uniforms, set and example and all that, which Proton actually was kind of upset about, as he recently had gotten a new outfit to go clubbing in and had wanted to break it in. On the other hand, his uniform was still snazzy as hell, so he supposed it wasn't that big of a deal.

By seven o'clock, the grounds were swarming with Rockets, and Proton was rather proud of himself. Psh, mass movie night, what had Petrel been thinking? Silly, silly man. Of course, the swarm of Rockets meant a swarm of pretty girls to flirt with, and Proton was perfectly happy with that. His first manner of business had been to get himself a drink (some fruity, girly punch laced with some sort of scotch or vodka, he wasn't sure which), and then to throw himself into the crowd, stalking passed groups and keeping his eyes open for any of the fangirls he knew he had. He had gotten to the other side and had taken a few steps back to decide his next path when, as luck would have it, two female grunts approached him, and from the way they were giggling, they were definitely fangirls.

"Ladies," he greeted smoothly, sipping his punch, "ready to have a good time?" He gave them his most charming smile, and their giggling increased. Score.

"We were super excited when we heard," one said, "it's been way too long since the last Team-wide party night."

"How about you, Executive? Are you and Executive Petrel going to be able to partake the festivities?" the other asked. Proton chuckled and shrugged.

"Well, hey, we've put so much effort into this, it'd be a waste if he and I didn't party a little, ourselves," he answered. The two burst into another fit of giggles, and he felt his smile becoming strained. "What's so funny, girls?"

"So you like partying with Petrel?" the first prompted. Proton frowned slightly; the fact that she had emphasized 'partying' like that struck him as slightly odd.

"Yeah," he replied slowly. "I mean, I know he doesn't seem like it, but he's a bit of a party animal..." Ah, and that infernal giggling. He was about to snap as them for it when he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he glanced to the side to see Petrel standing there, smiling pleasantly at the grunts.

"Janine, Alissa," he greeted. "Sorry, but could I borrow Proton for a minute? We need to start the event, now." Without waiting for them to answer, he steered Proton away from them and towards the DJ table. "Trust me, Pro, you'll thank me, later."

"What was that all about?" Proton asked, peering curiously over his shoulder back at the two grunts.

"Those were the leaders of the resident yaoi fanclub," Petrel replied.

"...We have a yaoi fanclub?"

"Yyyyyup." Petrel glanced back at them, as well, rather wearily. "They love to post their fanfictions up on my cork boards. So far, I've seen them shipping me and Archer, you and Archer, Archer and Giovanni, and most recently, me and you."

"Ew." Proton's nose scrunched slightly and he took another sip of his punch. "I mean, seriously? Either of us with Archer? Just... no, man. That's disgusting." Petrel laughed.

"Yeah, I gotta agree," he said. "Though, Janine writes all of those, and she does them rather well. In fact, there was one including you and Archer where he used a-!"

"I'm not listening! Lalalalalalala..." The two took a moment to laugh before Petrel motioned to the microphone.

"You wanna do the honors?" Proton shook his head.

"Nah, you're way better at PR than I am. This one's all you, P-trizzle." Petrel rolled his eyes good-naturedly, grabbing the microphone and tapping it several times to make sure it was on. Immediately, a hush fell over the decidedly large crowd, and all eyes turned towards him. Petrel smiled out at the sea of Rockets; Proton took another sip of his drink.

"Hey, folks!" Petrel greeted. "Welcome to the first annual Rocket Rave! First off, I would like to thank the mess for catering on such short notice, and MKII studios for so graciously providing the mix list and DJ. Now, I know we were expecting that stunt at Silph to go over way better than it had, but, let's be serious, who was honestly expecting some ten-year-old to come in an mop the floor with us?" When no hands were raised, he offered them a winning smile. "Exactly. We didn't even think a kid would be the one trying to stop us, so we all humored the brat. That's why, today, we're gonna have a good time and forget all about it!" There was some scattered applause. "So, without further ado, let's get this party started! Unless Proton has anything to say, of course." Suddenly, all eyes were on him. Proton glanced slowly around at the crowd, frowning when he saw the yaoi fangirls from earlier, though after a moment, he smiled, as well (albeit a little forced), and raised his drink in toast.

"Everybody have a good time!" he shouted. His words were met with cheers, and Petrel got the DJ up and running before putting the mic down and taking the spot next to Proton.

"We did good, Pro," he said as the electronica began blaring.

"That depends on whether or not we get laid, tonight," Proton replied loudly. "I'd stay out of that mess in the middle, if I were you- even a big guy like yourself can get hurt, in there." Petrel laughed.

"I'm going to get a drink," he called, "need a refill?" Proton peered down at his now mostly-ice drink and nodded.

"Yeah," he replied, "I'll go with you."

"Nah, just wait here or start trying your luck, or something, I won't be long!" Petrel sort of forcibly removed the plastic cup from his grip, and before Proton could protest, he made his way dodging and weaving through the crowd and towards the drink table. Proton shook his head and leaned back against the side of the building, beginning his search for single, bangable girls. It didn't take long before he'd spotted a few potential candidates, and he quickly set to work evaluating them.

The first he had to rule out right away, as she was most definitely taller than him, even with his boots, and he simply could not handle being the short one in a relationship- short meant less intimidating, and less intimidating meant less power. The second looked nice enough, but Proton was convinced she was a freelancer from the Entertainment department, and he probably wouldn't be able to get into her pants without paying quite a hefty sum. The third seemed to be his best bet- she was tall, though not taller than he was, with gently waving auburn hair, her uniform clinging to her frame just right, and briefly he considered approaching her, seducing her, taking her to some dark, shaded corner of the grounds and using her for some much-needed stress relief, though as he continued to watch her, he couldn't help but scowl. She was quite pretty, that was true, and he was certain that any day prior he would have gotten quite aroused by the plans he was carefully cultivating in his mind, but one single thought stood in the way- he was, in all honesty, quite sure that her lips were in no way as soft or warm as Petrel's had been.

It took Proton a moment to realize what he was thinking, though as soon as he did, he started, and looked around quickly as though expecting a psychic-type to be reading his mind. When he realized there was no one even relatively close to him, he scowled and crossed his arms, eye twitching slightly. It was a fluke- that was all. It didn't mean anything. All of a sudden, however, he was broken from his musings by something ice-cold pressed against his cheek, and he swore angrily, whirling around to face his antagonist. Petrel had to quickly move both of the drinks in his hands upwards to avoid Proton knocking them to the ground, and he frowned.

"You've got that broody look, again," he said. "What's up?"

"None of your Lugiadamn business!" Proton sneered. Petrel shrugged and held out one of the drinks, which Proton gladly took, tossing his head back and downing it. He was happy to report that this drink had more alcohol in it- definitely vodka- and the warmth spreading within him from it calmed him, slightly. "Ah, fuck, thanks, I needed that..." Petrel snickered.

"No problem, buddy of mine," he replied. He motioned to the crowd with his drink, his other hand sliding into his pocket to keep warm. "So I'm guessing you getting all pissy means no good prospective sex partners, tonight?"

"Not a one," Proton agreed. "This sucks, man. You see any?" Petrel frowned and peered at the crowd for a moment before replying.

"I honestly have no idea. I can't pick a single person out of that mass." He shook his head, and the two remained silent for quite a while, simply watching their underlings bust some moves, get wasted, and interact. Proton was rather amused when he spotted a guy trying to seduce that hooker he'd seen earlier, and even moreso when she seemed to realize he didn't have any money and left his ass to go dance somewhere else. "Hey. Pro."

"Mm?"

"Wanna dance?" If he'd still had his drink, Proton was quite sure he would have sprayed it everywhere when Petrel asked that. As it was, his head snapped quickly to gaze at the purple executive, then down to his extended hand.

"Dance?" he repeated. "As in, with you?" Petrel shrugged and peered down into his drink.

"I mean, if you don't, it's cool, I just thought..." Proton glanced out at the mosh pit, then back to Petrel. Well, it couldn't hurt... right...? They were friends, after all. It was cool. Briefly, his mind returned to the yaoi fangirls, and his face heated slightly at the prospect of what they would be writing if they saw the two of them dancing.

"I know what you're trying to do," he said at last, "don't think I don't, bastard. I know enough psychology to understand the Mere Exposure Effect." Petrel laughed awkwardly.

"Alright, I get it, you don't have to rub it in."

"Good. Now, let's dance." He grabbed Petrel's hand before he could lower it and tugged; Petrel stumbled forward, and before he even formed a protest, Proton chucked their drinks into a nearby trash can and dragged him out into the party. A line dance was playing, and even though Petrel just sort of stood there awkwardly, Proton quickly jumped in near a couple grunts and picked the movements up, easily. When he noticed several moments later that Petrel was still just sort of standing there, he frowned. "Hey! You said you wanted to dance- don't tell me you were lying, asshole. Get over here and learn the fuckin' moves."

"Ah, r-right!" Petrel stammered, falling in next to him. "How does this go...?"

"It's easy, P, c'mon... Just step, step, step, clap, turn, wait... And now it starts over... and we add another move to it..."

Petrel picked up on it easily enough, and by the time the song had ended and the next had started, all awkwardness between the two had been forgotten, and they simply laughed and fucked around as they pulled off more and more impressive dance moves. Eventually, it became a sort of contest, with Petrel putting his best street dances to the test, and Proton displaying his proficiency in break-dancing. A circle began to clear around them with grunts and admins cheering them on, and even though he slipped up a few times, Proton couldn't help but laugh. This was probably the most fun he'd had in a long while.

Soon enough, their movements began to synchronize, and they began using each other to pull off even more complicated moves. The crowd around them began to clap in time with the beat, and more and more Proton found Petrel and himself meeting in the middle for joint moves until, finally, they stopped parting altogether, and found themselves in a sort of contemporary swing dance. It was... nice. The noise of the crowd washed out somewhere before really making its way to his mind, but that was alright- it allowed him to capture every last detail, every last movement, every last expression. He stopped caring what was going on around them; all he payed attention to was the fact that, for once, Petrel just seemed so indescribably happy and full of energy.

All too soon, however, the song was over, leaving their dance finished at a dip and the two of them panting with exertion. The crowd dissipated as the DJ announced they would be having a brief intermission so he could eat, and Petrel wasted no time in pulling Proton back to his feet, though as he straightened there was a cracking sound, and he swore loudly, his face contorting in pain. Proton swore, as well, as whatever had happened forced Petrel to let go of him, and he felt himself falling backwards. There was another swear from Petrel, and the next thing Proton knew, the two of them were tangled in a heap on the grass; the greenette found himself laughing, again, and he poked at Petrel's head.

"Hey," he said, voice laced with mirth, "hey, you alright, Petrel?"

"Fuck... no..." Petrel groaned in reply. "Ugh, my fuckin' back... Yeah, okay, I'm never doing that, again."

"You're the one who wanted to dance," Proton pointed out, scooting out from under him and pushing himself to his feet. He took a moment to dust his pants off before offering his hand to his friend, who cast him a thankful look and took it, hoisting himself back to his feet.

"I probably should have thought it through better," he agreed. "Fuck, man, forget stabbed, it feels like it's on fire..."

"Maybe you should chill out for a bit," Proton said, frowning, now. He pulled Petrel back towards where they had been standing earlier, forcing him to sit against the wall of the base. "Maybe some booze, too."

"Make it something stronger than the punch, huh?" Petrel grunted. "That was a pansy drink to begin with..."

"Sure. I'll be right back." Proton spun on his heel and began the trek to the other side of the designated dance floor, slipping and spinning around and in between groups, as there was no real straight line to the drink table. Several fangirls tried to accost him as he proceeded, but for the most part, he blew them off, much to their disappointment (he also pretty much ran when he saw the yaoi fangirls coming for him, but, y'know, such was life). There were only a couple people manning the drink table, but despite that those few were highly efficient- not that it mattered how fast the line was moving, of course, because everyone was more than willing to get the fuck out of Proton's way, especially, it seemed, when he voiced his frustration at such a long fuckin' line. It was good to be an Executive.

"What can I get for you, Sir?" one of the grunts asked as he cut straight to the front.

"Good question," he replied, peering across the table to see what, exactly, they even had. "Uhh... no, not punch... not beer, either... Hm..." He perked up when a specific bottle caught his eye, and he grinned madly. "Ooh, ooh! Raspberry vodka! Fuck yeah! Okay, yeah, give me two of those, straight up, no ice." With much bowing and 'of course, Executive's, Proton made it back to Petrel three minutes later, drinks in hand. The purple-haired executive was peering broodily at the mass of people, and idly, Proton wished he had asked for ice, just to get revenge for earlier. Since he hadn't, of course, he had to settle for plopping down on the ground next to his friend and handing him his drink like a normal person. Petrel peered down at it and took a sniff.

"...I smell raspberry," he said after a moment. "Is that raspberry? It smells like raspberry." Proton laughed.

"Yes, it's raspberry," he replied, "raspberry vodka, in fact. I know, I'm the bestest friend ever, you don't have to say it." Petrel grinned.

"Amen to that," he agreed. He raised his plastic cup, and Proton mimicked him. "We did good, Pro. We did good."

"We didn't do good." He pressed their cups together. "We did fuckin' amazin'. Petrel's grin broadened.

"Cheers."


The last time his head had hurt this much, it had been because Archer kicked him really hard in the skull while they were in Kanto. Now, Proton wasn't quite sure, but the amount of alcohol he'd ended up drinking the night before and the obnoxiously bright sunlight filtering in through the window definitely had something to do with it. With a slight groan, his eyes cracked open to meet the morning light, and he hissed and closed them again, immediately. Yeah, way too bright. On top of that, he was sore everywhere, especially his waist and abdomen. Fuck, he must have pulled off some pretty amazing moves if everything from the waist down hurt that fuckin' much.

Aw, who even cared? His head hurt, he was tired and lazy, and he was remarkably warm. He was going back to sleep. He sighed and snuggled down, pressing instinctively into the wall of warmth behind him. He had to pause and wonder, of course, why it was so warm behind him, because his bed was never that warm, and it was about then he noticed the arm draped around his torso, and also that he kind of wasn't wearing anything, like, at all. Putting two and two together, he couldn't help but smirk- yeah, he totally got laid, last night. Too bad he couldn't remember any of it.

He had just been drifting off when he realized something- he was facing the way he always did, yes, and he was sleeping the right way, yes, but the sun was directly in his face. The sun was never directly in his face in the morning. He purposefully set up his bed to avoid having the sun in his face in the morning, because he had to sleep on his left side. There wasn't any debate about it- he had to. And now, he was on his left side, close up to the headboard, and the sun was in his face. As in, he wasn't in his own room. Of course, this wouldn't have been the first time he'd woken in some grunt's apartment, but the problem was, he wasn't. It still smelled like their apartment, though with a slightly heavier stench of smoke... Wait... smoke...? His eyes shot open wide, and slowly, Proton tilted his head down to stare at the rather masculine arm he knew quite well, following its path to a slightly scarred shoulder, curving up an exposed neck to a strong jaw and tell-tale goatee.

He simply lay there for a moment, trying to process what, exactly, that meant before his eyes, if possible, widened further and he yelped, flailing and scrabbling as far to the edge of Petrel's bed as he could without falling off, turning to face said friend. His cry woke Petrel with a jolt, and the man swore and bolted upright, swearing again when his back cracked painfully, just as the night before, and also at the sunlight, as he threw his hand up over his face to block it out.

"Fuck!" he growled. "Who th' hell forgot to close the curtains...?!"

"Dude!" Proton said loudly. "I think we have a bigger issue here than the fuckin' curtains!" Petrel shook his head, brow furrowing in confusion.

"What?" he replied. "Uhnnn... Pro, what are you even talking about...?"

"Here, I'll let you guess!" Proton snapped. "Hint one: hangovers- we were probably drunk as fuck, last night! Hint two: we're in your bed, naked! Hint three: my ass fuckin' hurts!" He scowled when Petrel cracked one eye open to stare blankly at him. "Oh, for the love of Lugia, do you seriously need me to say anything else? I fuckin' spelled it out for you, you idiot!"

"Not so loud," Petrel complained. "Jeez... it's too early for loud... Anyways, sorry, what were those...? I couldn't focus..." Proton let out a growl of his own and held his head in his hands. Petrel's eyebrows rose and he decided, instead, to investigate for himself, taking in the sight of their clothes scattered throughout the room (and as the door to his room was ajar, possibly out in the den, too), as well as the indentions of where the two of them had initially been laying, before he frowned and lifted the covers to peer underneath. After a moment, he let the sheets drop back onto the bed and he cast his gaze awkwardly towards the wall. "...Oh."

"Yeah, oh," Proton sneered. "Just... just... what the fuck, man?!" Petrel sighed and face-palmed.

"Look, I'm sorry," he whined, "I didn't mean for this to happen, Pro, I swear, it was an accident!"

"An accident?" the young executive repeated incredulously. "Oh, is that all this was, a fuckin' ACCIDENT?!" Petrel winced and grasped at his ears as if that would protect them.

"I said not so loud," he exclaimed. "Shit, man, just go ahead and blow my eardrums, it's cool!"

"Yeah, just one more thing that gets blew by accident!" Proton stood, gritting his teeth, and began collecting and equipping his clothing. "Fuck this, man! I'm out!"

"Pro, c'mon..." He ignored him, getting on his hands and knees to get one of his socks out from under the bed (how it had gotten there, he would never know), and once his sock and his pants were securely on his body, he made his way out into the den, picking up the rest of his uniform and donning those, as well. From there, he marched into his bedroom and grabbed his old knapsack, raiding his closet for an extra uniform, and then heading into the bathroom to grab his super special awesome shampoo/conditioner combo (he didn't think he could live without it, anymore) before slipping his boots on, grabbing his keys from the couch, and heading for the door.

"Don't do this, Pro!" Petrel all but begged, following him towards the door (it seemed he'd taken the time to at least put some pants on, much to Proton's relief). "C'mon, I said it was an accident! Hell, I'm sorry, man, I never meant for this to get that far! Lance!" Proton stopped in his tracks and spun around, keeping the door propped open with his boot.

"Was Alex an accident, too?" he asked, voice dripping with malice. Petrel just stared, surprised and unspeaking, and that honestly pissed Proton off even more. "Well?! Was he?! You get a kick out of getting guys too drunk to say 'no' and then tellin' them it was a fuckin' accident?!"

"Don't you dare bring him into this!" Petrel finally replied, scowling. "It was nothing like that and you know it, bastard!"

"Oh, oh, good!" the green executive said, almost hysterically. "Great, good to know I'm the only fuckin' one! Yeah, no, just fuckin' swell! I'll see you in hell, motherfucker!" He had just enough time to register Petrel's look of mixed outrage and confusion before he stepped fully into the hallway, slamming the door hard behind him and setting off at a brisk pace towards the elevator. The only thing he could think of as he walked was how much of a fuckin' asshole Petrel was, and how, despite her more than likely substandard kissing and dancing capabilities, he probably would have been better off having that one-night stand with the grunt when he had the chance. There's no doubt that, if he had, he wouldn't be feeling as these weird emotions surging through him- confusion, anger, longing, need... Normally, if he had too many emotions to make sense of, he would talk to Petrel. He couldn't quite do that, this time. Not after that fight.

Not too much later, he found himself outside of the apartment of the one man he was certain would be too much of a pussy to turn him down a place to sleep for the next few days, and after only a brief hesitation, he knocked sharply and waited. A few seconds later brought the sound of footsteps, the pause as the person peered out at him through the peephole, and the opening of the door to reveal one rather unsurprised Leo Decarli, appearing only mildly interested in Proton showing up at his door.

"I had a feeling I'd be seeing you, today," he said, stepping back. "C'mon in, make yourself at home. I cleaned off the couch for you, already. You like breakfast ham?" Proton blinked and walked in, only to be stopped by Decarli grabbing his arm. "Ah- sorry, boots off by the door, please."

"Uh- yeah, sure." After doing as instructed, Proton wandered over to the cushy-looking couch and placed his bag down on the floor. "You said you were expectin' me, Decarli?"

"Yeah," the admin replied, heading back into the kitchen to tend to said breakfast ham. "I mean, I assumed, at least, with the way you and Executive Petrel were, ah... socializing." Proton snorted and shook his head slightly in reply.

"I guess it was too much to hope we'd been discreet. What happened, anyways? I remember Petrel hurt himself dancing, so I made him sit and got some drinks, and then we stargazed a little bit... But after that, everything gets too fuzzy."

"Well, I dunno about stargazing, but when I went to throw my plate away, I saw you guys having a steamy makeout session against the base," Decarli said bluntly. "Honestly, the only thing that really surprised me was how aggressive Petrel seemed to be behaving, I've always found him rather reserved..."

"So he started it?" the executive prompted. Decarli paused to think for a moment, then slowly shook his head.

"No," he answered, "no, I'm pretty sure you started it. Not one hundred percent sure, though, you'll have to ask him when you go back." Proton laughed outright at that.

"Oh, no," he said, "no, no way in hell I'm going back."

"Well, you can't stay here for more than a few days, we only have the one room and bathroom, and the missus is expecting. Ah, speak of the devil- morning, Sheryl. Look, we have company."

"I saw," the ginger said, smiling. "Good morning, Executive." Proton glanced her over briefly- not his type, he decided almost immediately, so there was no fun to be had, there. He mumbled his reply, and she laughed. "You said he was going to be staying a few days, Leo, dear?"

"At most. Boyfriend trouble. You know how it is, Sher."

"Oh, do I ever. You were a handful, back in the day. Is that breakfast ham?"

"He's not my boyfriend," Proton muttered. They ignored him, not like he could blame them. He ignored himself, too, sometimes- especially when all his mind wanted to do was pry through the fuzziness to the events of the previous night, desperately trying to remember not how things had led to that morning, but just how good of a kisser Petrel had been. Yeah. He was ignoring himself, now.


It had been days since Proton had woken to find himself rather intimately positioned in bed with Petrel, and the two hadn't talked a single bit. Of course, they saw each other in the hallways- Proton was living out of his office, and had taken to using the showers in the chem labs and in the training rooms for bathing, and once or twice they'd passed each other as he went to do so. They'd barely acknowledged the other, only glaring and meeting gazes briefly before ignoring each other entirely. Each time that happened, of course, Proton couldn't help but imagine shoving his friend up against the wall and attempting to repeat the events of that night. Even when he wasn't passing Petrel, the longing- the need- persisted, and he found himself thinking of the purple-haired executive during the most random of times, even once when he'd been showering.

The constant feelings- no, the constant obsession- began to simply drive him mad, and he became rough, and quicker to anger than usual. The past two days, in fact, he'd tried to alleviate the feelings by heading out into town and picking up where he'd had to leave off in his string of serial rape-murders, attempting to sate the desire with those pretty, green-haired girls. When the first hadn't fixed anything, he immediately moved on to find a second, and when she hadn't worked, he continued, on and on, until finally he stopped caring what they looked like, and grabbed any girl out walking alone that he could find, spending less and less time taking them and more and more brutally rending their flesh until he couldn't stand it, any more, and he had to return to the base and lock himself in his office.

He'd been in there for nearly twelve hours, now, and truth be told, he was getting kind of hungry. Briefly, he thought of how Petrel would simply roll his eyes at his complaints and suggest they take some time off and go to a sports grill or buffet or something downtown, but he quickly cut that thought off, growling at air as he stood and let himself out. He had been rounding the corner on the way to the vending machines when he heard that ever-so-familiar voice, and his heart began pounding (just another thing to piss him off). He considered turning around and finding another vending machine, but he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold up, and with a suffering sigh, he completed taking the corner and headed straight for the vending machines, keeping his eyes peering anywhere besides Petrel; hopefully, as the man was conversing with a grunt, he wouldn't be spotted, and Proton quickly began to slip coins into the machine with trembling hands.

As luck would have it, he was rather uncoordinated with the final coin, and it slipped out of his grip, rolling to hide under the machine, itself. He swore under his breath and rolled his eyes, laying flat so he could try and find the coin amidst the dust bunnies. Damn, they needed to clean under the machines. With another sigh, he slid his arm into the space between the machine and the floor, painfully aware of a pair of eyes on his back as he began his search. One pair of footsteps, heavy and clunk, wandered away- not Petrel. Petrel's footsteps were light and quiet, graceful like a persian- he was still there. He was watching him. Proton gritted his teeth and tried to ignore it, but the silence was starting to become too much for him.

"...Say something...," he murmured. Petrel didn't reply. Proton took several deep breaths to try and keep himself calm, and he withdrew his arm from under the machine and pushed himself to his feet, still refusing to turn and meet his gaze. "I said say something." Again, silence, and his hands clenched into fists as he sneered and whirled around, striding easily towards the taller executive. Quickly, he grabbed him by the front of his uniform with a vice-like grip, and shoved him back against the wall; Petrel's eyes widened significantly. "Say something, you fucking BASTARD! Tell me why!"

"I told you, already," Petrel said quietly, "we were drunk, it was an acc-"

"Not. That," Proton snarled. "Tell me why I'm fuckin' feelin' like this!" Petrel stared at him through narrowed, confused eyes, before his expression morphed into one of exhaustion.

"How the hell am I supposed to know?" he replied. "Like I have any idea what the hell goes through that screwy head of yours."

"No. Unacceptable." He glared up into Petrel's eyes, sharp green piercing through void black, and his grip tightened. "It has to have been you! It has to have been something you did! Tell me! Tell me why I can't stop fuckin' thinkin' about you, you asshole!"

"I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess it's not lust," Petrel said after a moment. "You handle lust way better than this, Proton. I know what you've been up to. I watch the news."

"It has to be," Proton muttered, now more to himself, "no, it has to be lust- lust, bloodlust, that's what fuels me, it has to be lust... But why didn't it go away? I did what I always did, but it didn't go away, it's still there and it won't get out of my fucking head, why is it still there?!" With a savage growl, he let go of Petrel's uniform and turned around, grasping the sides of his head. "This has to be your Lugia-damn fault!"

"Will you just stop fucking blaming everything on me?" Petrel snapped. "Let's get something straight, here, psycho- you kissed me that night! Alright?! You were the one who got up and led me to the apartment! You were the one who had to convince me to have sex! And you know what?!" He smirked and spread his arms to the side. "You fuckin' liked it, man! So, forgive me if I thought something would actually work out!"

"What the hell sort of excuse is that?!" Proton sneered. "Idiot, I was wasted! None of that means jack shit!" Before he realized what hit him, he found himself slammed hard into the wall, hurting his back, and he hissed and sneered at Petrel, who was pinning him there, a glare of his own on his face.

"Prove it," came the dangerous growl. "One word, Lance. That's all it takes. One fucking word, and we're done- with everything. Go on. Say it. I dare you." His face was millimeters away from Proton's own, and the green-haired executive wondered if his friend could feel the way his heart was hammering away in his chest. After a long moment of silence, Petrel's angry glare turned into one akin to hurt and betrayal, and it seemed he was ready to turn and leave. Proton wouldn't let him. He didn't even think about what he was doing; his body reacted on its own, and just as Petrel was about to pull away, he grabbed him by the uniform again and gave a mighty tug, crashing their lips together for an intense, heated kiss. Almost immediately, he felt Petrel's arms snake around him, pulling their bodies close together. Soon, they had to break for air, and when they did they simply stood there, staring at each other, before simply melting into their embrace. Proton rested his head against the crook of Petrel's neck; Petrel rested his head on top of Proton's.

"I'm sorry," Proton murmured. "Those... those things I said... I didn't mean any of them. Not the ones about Alex."

"I know," Petrel replied soothingly. "I know. Don't worry about it. But... y'know..." His hold on Proton tightened, and he buried his face in the shorter executive's hat. "Accidents don't always have to be bad things... right...?" Proton didn't reply; he simply inhaled deeply, relishing in the bitter scent of smoke clinging to his friend's uniform.

"I'd like to come back to the apartment, now," he said.

"I'll clean off your side of the bed," the purple-haired executive agreed. They parted, and once Proton had retrieved his coins from the vending machine, they turned and walked side-by-side back towards the elevator. Proton frowned slightly as they walked, and his eyes slipped down to Petrel's hand. He bit his lip and glanced between the floor and the hand awkwardly for a moment before, slowly, he slid his own into Petrel's as nonchalantly as he could. Petrel cast him a glance.

"What?" Proton asked stiffly. After a moment, Petrel smiled and turned his gaze back to the corridor in front of them.

"It's nothing."


It's a little early, but happy Valentine's Day. Finally- finally- I got the shipping element implemented. Whooooo, Olympicshipping! ...Why aren't you clapping? Clap, dammit! x3