Title: Turbo Lover
Fandom: Top Gun
Pairing: Maverick/Iceman and a little Hollywood/Wolfman.
Disclaimer: The appropriate owners own Top Gun and all related characters. This story is for entertainment purposes only.
Summary: Maverick is in need of a fuel injection in his life, and Ice is willing to oblige him. Also includes "A New Day".
Maverick knew the word love. He loved to fly fast and ride hard. Every time he took to the sky he felt it, rushing through his veins, arousing every sensation, satisfying every thrill, and fulfilling every dream. He was wild and free. And he couldn't get enough, taking his love of turbo to the road in his two-wheeled machine. The thrill was less. It was a different feeling, but the principles were the same. Riding, ruling and flying.
Pete "Maverick" Mitchell was a fighter pilot. One of the most loved and loathed among all who knew him. He had been called many things; usually "dangerous", but Maverick disputed that, he liked being the center of attention and showing off his flamboyant skills in the air, but he never really considered himself dangerous. That was until Goose died.
The death of his best friend had hit him hard. He felt responsible somehow, if it wasn't for his impatience, Goose may still be alive. After that disaster, he had walked away, quit on the life he loved. He remembered having a 'heat-to-heart' with Jester. He couldn't help but think that he was making a mistake; that Goose wouldn't have wanted him to run away the way he did. He was advised to "Let him go." He'd never do that. Jester had good intentions, but forgetting the ones lost was easier said than done. And it wasn't a good idea repressing so much pain, especially in the job they did, and with Maverick already having a reputation as being dangerous, the rest of the guys were wary he'd lost his magic touch and understandably they doubted him. He proved them wrong. Got back in the seat and saved the day. Proved them Maverick could still function.
But ever since then, he'd felt different. Lived for the turbo running through his veins. He'd looked at his priorities differently too, As soon as he had got to the diner after all the excitement. His girlfriend Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood was there. She was the last thing he wanted to see since she had quite happily broken off their relationship not long before to accept a high profile job elsewhere. He had already made his peace and said goodbye. It was not a good feeling seeing her again. She felt like a stranger to him, despite being the very same woman he'd chased after for weeks.
Thinking about it, Maverick came to realize afterwards, that he'd acted like a jerk before, leading her on like some booty call or one-night-stand seemed like something more solid. It puzzled him how some silly little song and lame-ass bar flirting with Goose's assistance ended up lasting so long. But then he remembered; she turned out to be an instructor at Top Gun. Yeah, that was awkward. He couldn't shake her even if he wanted to. And just like he had played games flirting with her, she too had played games with him. Unfortunately for Maverick, Charlie was ambitious, she wanted to go places and not remain in some would-be happy family situation with Maverick. She did stay. For a few months before they both agreed they should move on; it was mutual that way.
After graduation, Maverick stayed on at Top Gun, teaching. Yeah, it was a little less exciting than his life on the skies, but he needed to cool down for a while. Get used to being single again after a nearly a year playing cat and mouse with Charlie. Instructing wasn't all it was cut out to be. Sure, he got to show off and fly, manage to keep his reputation in some ways but it wasn't satisfying his needs. He needed more.
"Commander, could I see you in my office for a minute?" Jester had softly knocked on his office door before quickly poking his head through the crack. Maverick looked up at him from his paperwork.
"What's wrong with my office?" Maverick had a smirk on his face. He still looked about twenty years old, despite being in his mid-thirties. The only thing that was different was his sporting goatee. Jester was looking ragged and tired, but managed a nod as he sidestepped around the door and closed it quietly behind him. Maverick leaned back in his leather chair, it squeaked, and put his palms flat on the desk in front of him. He could already tell that this was going to be an awkward conversation for Jester, who hardly ever acted in a manner that wasn't straight to the point and the way he wasn't making eye contact until he stood—not sat, in front of Mavericks desk.
"Listen. Maverick… I've been here for a long time. Longer than I should have really." Jester held his hands in his lap, fidgeting with his wedding band. Mavericks face dropped, he knew this was coming but didn't expect to hear it so soon. "I'm retiring. This coming month."
The room fell into a silence. Maverick could only offer a sharp nod in response having no idea of what to say. One side of him was completely distraught, a man he had come to look on as a father, leaving. On the other side, Maverick was excited; it meant change, something he had desperately been seeking. But either way he felt for Jester, he had always expressed love for his job and pure passion. He was patient enough to keep Maverick on board after all.
"Oh man…" was all he said regarding this situation. It was shocking to him really; like getting splashed with cold water. He had put his hands to the back of his head, leaning his head back in the chair. Jester seemed to be curiously quiet, but maverick was grateful, he needed some time to process this information. "So…" He said finally, after taking a deep breath. "Who's gonna… you know." Take over. He didn't want to say the words though—he was trying to be sensitive since if he were retiring he wouldn't like to hear who was going to replace him. Jester nodded, appreciating Mavericks rare demonstration of tact.
"It's not you." He said sternly. Maverick had to double take at that.
"Hey—no, no. I wouldn't want…" he stuttered, earning a raised hand from the older pilot just to imply his comment wasn't intended to fluster him in any way.
"It's Kazansky, Maverick." His words cut. He leaned forward to brace against the desk once more.
There was that awkward silence again.
"Kazansky." He stated it, but meant it as a question. "Iceman." His answer was met with a solemn nod. Maverick had to think about this; his old rival from Top Gun. He hadn't seen him in god knows, ten years? Twenty? It felt like a lifetime since those good old days of alpha rivalry and chest poking. He'd heard from him every so often. They hadn't really kept in touch though. He heard from Slider strangely once maybe a year. The Iceman was much more elusive than his blunt RIO. He liked Slider once the whole rivalry thing fizzled out, it was almost a shame when Slider and Iceman teamed up, and they always gave him crap about him being reckless. They were usually just trying to rile him up, but the nicknames stuck.
"Yeah. He'll be here in a week so I can show him the ropes." Jester made a move like he was about to leave, but brought his hands out from behind his back and leaned against the desk. "So play nice." He smiled behind his moustache. Maverick would have smiled back if he wasn't so shell-shocked.
Maverick lay awake on the top of his bed, fully dressed and thinking. Well, not thinking. Trying to think. Trying to have an opinion on what the hell happened. Maybe this was the change he had been looking for. He sighed, wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling of his two-floor house. He lived just off base. Not too far away, but far enough to show off some more and ride through the empty early morning streets. He looked over at the red, blinking lights in his digital alarm clock. 'Just four more hours.' He thought. He was thinking about the Iceman again.
Pete Mitchell hadn't thought about Tom Kazansky in a while. Not in detail anyway. Sure, he'd heard from him, but it wasn't like they were best friends or anything. Maverick bit his lip; he wondered what he looked like after all these years, whether he was still a pushover, whether he was still lithe and pretty… Maverick didn't care to think about it, it was reminding him of the past too much, and a guy like Maverick; they didn't look back. But despite this, he still remembered his face. He didn't understand why. He'd all but forgotten the rest of the old gang. But that had more to do with seeing them semi-often. Sometimes they had arranged meetings; Ice never showed though. Hollywood and Wolfman always did, getting heavily drunk and making asses of themselves, but Maverick couldn't help but smile—these were his friends and his family now. Granted they weren't as close as most families, but they all fought together and depended on each other. Bonds like that are hard to break.
It seemed like a lifetime away, those youthful days of partying with the guys and having fun. Maverick shook his head in disdain; he wondered how they lost all of their vigor, but in the end the past was the past and that's where it should stay. Remembering a happier time usually led to depression for Maverick, who liked life in the fast lane a little bit more than the slow lane.
"Dangerous…" He whispered to himself. He had a smile on his face. "This should get interesting."
Soaring high on the wings of adrenaline, the skies his only world, Maverick was showing the students how it was done; he blazed so close passed them that the wings almost scraped. Maverick was scaring the hell out of everyone out there, but he needed to do this; he needed to get the old Maverick back.
"Maverick! What the shit?" A student exclaimed.
"That's commander Maverick to you." He flipped off the student and continued on his way to what would become an infamous moment to all concerned. Flying the Iconic Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor head-on into the flight path of an F-14 Tomcat, rolling left and rolling right, they were some distance away but moving in closer—fast. The other pilot lost their nerve, and Maverick took the shot. "You're dead, Fury."
"Damn it!" She pounded her fists against the controls.
"Shove off Spider."
"You know you love it Fury." Spider set into action, trying to engage Maverick in a hard-lock. "Alright commander."
"Just you and me Spidey." Maverick had Spider on his tail, he narrowed his eyes, forcing his nose forward into a daring Immelmann, changing direction and gaining height, but Spider was good. He reminded him of himself when he a young show-off. He matched his every move with the same lust for thrills like he had. He was secretly proud that this was one of his students.
And the dogfight went on just like that; just the two of them in the skies, with everyone else returning to ground, looking up and watching—except Fury, storming off, living up to her call sign. Even Jester had taken a minute out of his pre-retirement business to look out of the window. The fight went on for a while longer, neither one gaining much advantage over the other, both proving to be as skilled as the other. But it ended with a tone; Maverick gaining height advantage over Spider, but somehow Spider sidelined him and forced him to turn and he went in for the kill, getting directly behind Spider. But forcing Maverick into a sure panic, Spider slammed on the brakes and pulled back hard as he looped over and behind Maverick, getting tone.
"Mavericks dead?" Spider blinked. "Mavericks dead!" Radio noise was full of incoherent shouting and whoops of victory. But throughout all of the celebrating, Maverick could taste metal. He was still a sore loser.
After landing, Maverick wasted no time in getting up-close and personal with his protégé. On the landing strip, a couple of guys were high-fiving in a typically high-school fashion. 'Jesus please tell me I wasn't like that' Maverick thought, grimacing; he saw so much of himself in Spider and he couldn't help having that feeling at the back of his mind that he was jealous. As Maverick approached, he had a deceptively civil smile, biting back on all he wanted to say wasn't really his style though.
"Was that fun for you Spider?" His tone was somewhat venous, and the others quickly decided that they wanted no part in this and cleared to the showers. Probably the right idea, unfortunately for Spider, he had to hang about and face whatever was coming. He braced himself, holding his helmet underarm and leaned against the outside of the plane. He shrugged. Maverick gritted his teeth and looked down before letting out a bitter chuckle before coming within inches of the younger man. "Have something to prove?
"Sir?" Spider was visibly unnerved by his commanding officer, it seemed quite obvious that Maverick was pissed, but he knew better than to start some war of words with someone so unhinged. Maverick stared him down; it was more than intimidating—hands on hips and his lips parted to a smile.
"Come on then… hit me. I know you want to." Maverick grinned. He was starting to scare Spider now, and he wasn't easily scared. He had no response, just decided to be the bigger man, he tried to side-step around Maverick, who was physically about the same height and weight as him; Spider had black hair, slightly longer than Mavericks and blue eyes. He didn't get far though, as Maverick pushed him with both hands. Spider simply raised his hands in a submissive gesture, and dismissed whatever problem Maverick had with him and walked away, leaving the older man steaming and in need of an outlet for his anguish. "You're dangerous Spider!" He called out after, watching him enter the bunker.
Maverick avoided contact from Jester, he knew him well enough to know he wasn't above slipping in the word hypocrite to their conversation, but he knew the word would get out about Mavericks' outburst eventually—he'd just wait it out until then.
Maverick was sitting in his office, cooling down, literally; pressing a cool can of soda against his forehead. He figured he'd just go home and take a shower and crawl in bed with a bottle of Jack and go to sleep. It was getting dark out and Maverick had closed all of the blinds in the small room, lit only by a desk lamp. Maverick was so busy with his self-depreciation, he hadn't noticed the door creak open, and Jester was standing there. Watching him silently. Finally Maverick looked up, and almost startled.
"Hell of a show out there commander."
"Drop it… sir." Maverick gritted his teeth; Jester raised his brow. He did drop it since Maverick was in a mood far too strange to deal with ever since he told him about his pending retirement.
"Kazansky will be here tomorrow—just got the call." Maverick nodded as Jester left as silently as he entered, just after he left the other man with one last warning. "Play nice." Maverick scoffed, he had no intention of 'playing nice'.
Maverick was sweating, heart beating like mad. He so wasn't ready for this. Walking into the office, he found a call waiting for him, Tom Kazansky had arrived early which wasn't a surprise really, and was in Jesters' office, getting the run-down. 'Shit…' Maverick thought; He had no reason to intrude, so hung about, hoping to not run into him, which was easy considering how much Jester needed to explain.
The first class went relatively smoothly, the odd dick joke flying about as usual and Maverick felt like suicide; they weren't paying any attention to what he was saying. Evidently word had gotten out about Mavericks apparent near-assault of Spider and the whole group was somewhat on edge. He may as well have sat on ass and let it be a class on awkward silences—because that would have given everybody A's.
He did, at one point just sit, elbow resting on the desk and his cheek leaning into his hand. He just pressed play on the video and as some boring retro safety briefing tape was playing, Maverick turned his face to the door of the dark classroom; all lights out, to see a familiar yet ghostly face of a memory, watching him, grinning. Standing just behind the door, through the window in the door. It was like watching an impending disaster, he knew it, but he couldn't break away from the Iceman's scrutiny-filled gaze.
Maverick tried to smile, but he was frozen, true to the Iceman's call sign. He was a little awestruck, it was dark but he could still see, like an image untainted by time; Iceman looked the same. Aside from his hairstyle, a little straighter, combed. He looked good. 'God, stop messing with my head.' He found himself praying to no particular divinity, Ice was unnerving him. It felt like an unbearably uncomfortable showdown that seemed like none of them moved for an eternity, but actually had only been a few seconds.
Ice showed him the mercy he so sought after, and walked on by, but not before offering Maverick a playful, and if not slightly unforgettable chomp of his jaws. Mavericks eyes fluttered down to his desk, he realized he had been chewing a pen, and so stopped that promptly and then turned his attention back to the window to find him gone. He finally smiled.
After class, the awkward reunion was still on his mind. He couldn't forget it. It was like watching a light in the black; coming closer, making him warmer inside. 'Something is wrong with me' He said in his head while taking a break in the cafeteria. He felt down, alone. Class had been a disaster—he silently vowed to never again take to the air with his students, he always lost his cool. And he was getting less and less cool thinking about Iceman, his neck felt hot and he needed to pop a button open. At just that moment, he felt a warm but gripping hand on his shoulder and a whisper close to his ear.
"You are still dangerous." His lips so close to his skin made Maverick jump right out of his seat and back up against the table. Iceman burst out laughing, Maverick just looked at him with a 'you're crazy' expression on his face. But he couldn't help his emotion shining through and brightly smiling. He grabbed Mavericks hand, which was offered to shake, but Ice gripped tightly and pulled himself in close for a ten-year reunion hug.
"Kazansky, you son of bitch!" He wrapped his arms around his shoulders, pressing his nose into his shoulder, hiding his bright smile.
"Mitchell." It was quiet, but he was close enough to just hear Ice call his name, just. And it was his name, not snidely saying Maverick like he was trying to get to him. "You look like hell." He said, grimacing at Mavericks disheveled appearance when they broke apart—he straightened out Mavericks collar. "And what is this?" He smirked and tugged on Mavericks goatee with his thumb and index finger. "Trying to look like man Maverick?" There was Maverick again. He was still smirking. Asshole.
"Screw you Ice." He nudged Ice's shoulder lightly with his knuckles; he was also smiling, which after some extended eye contact opened them both up to full-blown laughter. "Man… It's good to see you…dick! Why didn't you get in touch with me?" He slapped his shoulder, and Iceman's eyes softened, as did his smile.
"You too Mav." Ice rolled his eyes and turned his back, starting to walk away. Maverick was confused.
"Hey, where you going?" Maverick grabbed Ice's sleeve and he simply looked back at him until Maverick released him, awkwardly. Ice then took Maverick by both shoulders and held him firmly for a second.
"Some of us have a new job to get to Mav." He whispered.
"Ah, right. I heard. Congratulations." Maverick felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up, a sensation he hadn't experienced often.
"Thank-you." They were close now, too close for Mavericks comfort, but Ice's eyes and his white toothy smile were dazzling him in some way that drove him to distraction. Ice took a few conceited steps back, hands in his pockets and turned to leave through the double doors of the cafeteria.
Maverick had to sit down for a moment; he was sweating and felt dizzy, not a good thing considering his profession. 'Well that was weird.'
Maverick was back at class the next hour. It went no less awkwardly, but at some point someone cracked a joke and everyone burst out laughing and the tension had been broken just like that. It was still awkward but the atmosphere had been thinned considerably, and it wasn't an unbearable couple of hours. He was still distracted through it all however and barely said a word—just showed more safety and instruction videos. He was still thinking about Iceman; his new position meant he had some control over his own station and Maverick wasn't so sure that that was a good thing.
Later, Iceman appeared once more, it was shorter than before, maybe a little rushed, but nevertheless he opened the door to Mavericks office. "Drinks at the Officers Club tonight? Good. I'm buying." And just left again, not giving Maverick a chance to say whether he was coming out or not. He though that behavior was a little strange, but he needed to wind down after the day he'd had and since Ice was buying who was he to complain?
Iceman pretty much considered himself a peacock; a proud and majestic specimen that was meant to be admired, even now, nearing forty, he still had the same mentality, and asking Maverick out was one of the rare lapses of his confidence where he felt self-conscious. But despite his skepticisms, he managed to get Maverick, his former rival, out to the Officers Club, their old hangout. It made him feel old, seeing all the youth of the nineties around flirting and fighting. But he was still a peacock, and dressed in his best whites and made no attempt at humility where his personal appearance was concerned.
"It's getting late Maverick." Ice found himself alone sat at the bar, swirling Ice around his glass. He felt pretty stupid, his confidence taken down a notch and his feathers withdrawn. He figured Maverick lost his nerve, but he wanted to wait around just a little more to finish his drink; Tom Kazansky wasn't waiting on anyone who stood him up. Then again, he thought, maybe he should have been a little clearer regarding his intentions, but his palms were sweating so damn much by the time he reached mavericks office, it was all he could do not to let the door handle slip from him.
Iceman cursed himself, he had no business asking Maverick out like some cheap bar date, he didn't know what he thinking. But he was sure Maverick had got the signals. He was ready to leave, feeling defeated, he downed his drink and grabbed his coat, turning to leave when look who happened to show; They looked at each other, Maverick looked a little sheepish, and he noted that he had freshened up; shaved and changed, he too appeared to be a peacock.
"Well… look who decided to show up." Maverick had to stop in his tracks at that, he had a smile on his face that was suitably cautious, he could never tell with Iceman; whether he was being serious or not.
"Never mind Maverick, I'm going." Ice didn't meet his eyes, he was a little drunk it seemed and staggered—still gracefully somehow past Maverick, but turned his head slightly to look at the other man, who just looked at him with a confused expression.
"But I just got here." Maverick offered a half-hearted laugh at this, he wasn't getting what exactly was the Iceman's problem but then again he'd always had a problem with Maverick, but he figured that would have dried up by now.
"Mav. I'm tired." Ice pinched the bridge of his nose, shifting his aviators up, and made a sharp move to walk out.
"Tom" he whispered, not meaning to say Tom so harshly, and grabbed him by the wrist, fingers encircling gently. "What's your deal?" Maverick was just looking for a fight he knew it but couldn't turn back now.
"My deal Maverick… is that I don't like getting stood up." He was up in Mavericks face now, and his smile was near deceptive, hiding his emotions the best he could, but he balled up his fist, just in case Maverick wouldn't back off.
"What are you talking about? You're crazy." Maverick had released Iceman's wrist by this point and had thrown his arms up—the few remaining patrons of the bar raised their heads in interest at the raised voice, but quickly disbanded with Iceman walking out of the club. Maverick thought about following him, but that would have implied far too much, not to mention he didn't want a bloody nose tonight. But something in his mind said Ice would require an apology at some point. But that would have to wait.
He stayed at the bar until they closed, having had time for a couple of drinks, he had the strongest he could. His mind was cloudy and he could barely think straight, he could taste metal in his mouth and he couldn't stop thinking about what Ice said. 'I don't like getting stood up.' He wasn't sure exactly the meaning behind it, but he got that he had somehow inadvertently hurt Ice's feelings, something he regretted and wished he hadn't taken so long making himself look good.
Oh my god, did Ice think-? No… Maverick ran a hand through his freshly cut dark hair, feeling stress wash over him. To him, he had always thought Ice had acted a little weird around him, a little too competitive, a little too attentive. And whatever was going on with him and Slider at the time was just in plain sight. Shit. I've been that blind all this time… have I been leading him on? Maverick's thoughts were whirring around his mind so fast he felt dizzy—or possibly it was the alcohol, because he found it hard to stand or walk, let alone drive, and after a miracle, someone had hailed him a cab.
"Well look who it is. Wild night Maverick?"
"Hollywood?" Maverick blinked, looking at the man sharing the cab with him. Still under blurred vision, he saw the man whose call sign was Hollywood. He still looked great, Maverick was surprised at how he almost gasped and was left lost for words. Hollywood just showed him a white-toothed perfect smile. He was looking straight ahead at the seat in front though; he glanced sideways to Maverick and nodded in reply. "God…"
"Yep that's me." He looked back and winked. "Though people usually call me a combination of the two; usually sort of like; Oh god Hollywood, oh god yeah." Maverick chuckled, and relaxed leaning against the seat. Wood had leaned over and was absent-mindedly rubbing his jean-clad crotch. He hadn't changed much, he had been drinking too it seemed.
"Hey 'Wood, you didn't see Kazansky running out around here did ya?" He asked, finally coming to realize Ice was still on his mind. Hollywood looked over at him, his head coming to rest on Mavericks shoulder in a slumped fashion.
"Who? Ice? Nah man, sorry. I heard he was in town though." Both men seemed near to passing out on each other, slurred speech and lazy eyes. Maverick nodded, turning to look at Hollywood, he ended up with his nose in his hair; he smells good… Maverick's mind said, but his senses made him pull back slightly. "'You seen Wolf?" He asked quietly, an almost-whisper.
"No… why?" Maverick hesitated asking why, but he couldn't help it, Hollywood sounded sad, and it worried him.
"Hmm-never mind man, It's my problem, not yours." Hollywood wiped his eyes and Maverick suddenly felt uncomfortable. Is he crying? Maverick didn't like this, he didn't care what he and Wolfman got up to in their private lives but he sure as hell wasn't going to get involved in their mess, he had to change the subject fast, before they ended up in some awkward confessions moment.
"Why is it that where Iceman goes, everyone follows?" Maverick asked. Hollywood seemed to appreciate the change of subject and sat up, taking his head off of Mavericks shoulder and wiping his red eyes with his sleeve discreetly.
"'Cause we're like a family man, some kind of… pssh, I have no idea. I guess it's 'cause he was the best pilot—fuck don't tell anyone I said that!" They both laughed drunkenly. "Well… he was the best pilot… and then a certain young go-getter came along." Hollywood began pushing his knee against Mavericks in a slow steady rhythm. Maverick gulped, and closed his eyes. This shouldn't be arousing to him, but it was. "You know; back in Top Gun…" Hollywood had leaned over again and his lips were practically touching his ear as his arm encircled his shoulders. "We all wanted you… But Ice had you man; we all knew it, even if you didn't want him… how times change eh, Mav? Hah, god Slider was sooo jealous!" Hollywood thankfully had disengaged his touchy flirting with Maverick and slumped back in his seat, reminiscing with a smile on his face, giving Maverick some space to breathe, and to hide his erection.
"What are you talking about 'Wood?" Maverick's cheeks felt hot and he was just grateful that the sight of Hollywood's street had just come into view. The taxi jerked to a stop.
"This is me." Hollywood reached for the handle and pulled himself out of the Taxi, while paying the driver. Maverick remained. "So, hey Maverick, if you need a hint; you were wanting to know where Ice was tonight—I think you know what I mean." He winked, lingering at the cabs' door. "You can come in… you know, if you want." Maverick blinked.
"I think I'll pass 'Wood." They both smiled as Hollywood nodded and closed the door, saying goodbye with a playful little salute and watching Maverick's taxi leave.
Maverick spent the night on the couch, not sleeping much, he was very drunk, and he was surprised how he managed to pull himself away from spending the night with an equally drunk Hollywood. He wouldn't have done that; not so soon after finding out Ice had long since harbored feelings for Maverick. He couldn't help but feel smug at the new knowledge that half of the pilots at Top Gun were gay and found him desirable. He laughed a little to himself, hugging a pillow to his chest. He just laughed. He felt so stupid and clueless, and had finally had the fog cleared from his mind. He thought about it; Ice was gay, without a doubt in his mind now, and had somehow misinterpreted their friendship as being something more implicit. It wouldn't have been such a bad thing if Maverick hadn't had they feeling he'd been breaking heart for quite a few years.
He didn't want to deal with this, or how to go about talking to Ice. But he had to be a man for once. Ironic that gay me weren't considered very manly men; but most of the pilots he'd come to know were very manly, and as recent knowledge would have it—very gay. He was thinking in circles for such a long time, he had decided to make coffee and sober up, and then he came to thinking about Charlie, and why they called it quits. He wasn't in love with her; she wasn't in love with him. Could Charlie be? Nah. Maverick had somehow come to the conclusion that the reason they had no spark in their relationship, was because Charlie was a lesbian. So, still a little drunk, he picked up the phone and dialed her number.
"Why did we break up?"
"Pete what the hell? It's two-thirty in the morning." She sounded tired, and vaguely irritated, picking up the phone from her kitchen table, still working through the late hours.
"Why did we break up?" He repeated, like a slurring robot.
"Have you been drinking?" Now she was irritated. The last thing she wanted was a drunken early-morning call from an ex-boyfriend.
"Just answer the question Charlie!" He was shouting and Charlie could already see that this was going to be a fun conversation.
"I don't have time for this." She made to hang up, and although Maverick couldn't see her, her language was clear enough to convey her intentions.
"Wait… no, okay." He calmed down enough to pretend to be sober. He could hear her sigh but needed his answers. "I have… questions. Questions that only you can answer."
"Just don't break in to song and I'll try my best." She deadpanned. "Okay. Shoot."
"Are you a lesbian?"
"Ahem, you wanna run that one by me again?"
"Are you… a… Lesbian?" He spoke slowly, as if talking to a child—it was humiliating to Charlie, who could only blink at his out-of-the blue question.
"Excuse me while I laugh. Okay, done."
"It's a serious fucking question!" He shouted, throwing his hands up in the air as he begun pacing his living room, getting worked up with his ex-girlfriend not giving him a straight answer.
"Okay I'm hanging up now, what is it with you and the potty mouth?" She rolled her eyes but hung on the line anyway, expecting another apology.
"I mean—It's okay if you are, I mean I get it, it's fine! But… was—was it me? Did I turn you?" Maverick stuttered, he couldn't bare the thought of turning a woman gay, it was a fairly embarrassing statement against his manhood. But Charlie had had about enough of these drunken ramblings.
"I'm not a lesbian relax." She rubbed her temples; this conversation was making her already big headache even more unbearable.
"You mean your not?" Maverick sounded almost upset.
"No… I'm not. Why do you ask?" She didn't care to know but put on a very unconvincing polite voice, asking him why he bothered with this line of questioning. She was eager to stop the work and fall in to bed.
"Then… why? Why did you dump me?" His voice had become barely audible, as a whisper.
"Was I inadequate… in bed?" He sounded choked up as if desperately in need of something.
"It wasn't working Maverick. I told you this… Your heart wasn't in it. I wasn't going to waste any more of my love life on a cactus." She was really ready to hang up and hoped he got that she was frustrated enough to add a cactus into the conversation in a stylish-sounding attempt to end this.
"What?" It seemed he wasn't following; or maybe he was, all too well, and it was finally starting to sink in, even if he didn't want to believe in what he was hearing himself.
"I just told you; you weren't in love with me." She tugged on her cardigan sleeve, as if plucking up the courage to just tell Maverick the true reason behind the mysterious break-up.
"No… Pete don't you get it? I'm not gay; you are!" She hung up. It was no good; he had to talk to Iceman. Every option had ran dry and he was feeling uneasy about somehow these facts had slipped him. 'Am I really that naïve?'
"Ice I think we should talk." He said awkwardly catching him in the locker room in the morning; it was freshly empty and he figured Ice would be avoiding him and he'd guessed right. Ice never turned from the sink where he was washing his hands.
"So talk." He said, splashing his face and then grabbing a handful of paper towels, he left the locker room abruptly, with Maverick trying to keep on his heels.
"You didn't have to walk out on me last night… I mean what the hell?" Maverick hadn't rehearsed this conversation at all and his only plan was to eventually apologize but Ice's attitude jus pissed him off and he couldn't resist giving him a piece of his mind. "So I was a little late!"
"You weren't a little late Maverick." He drawled, fishing out his office keys and twirling them skillfully on his finger by the key ring. "Try a lot late." He fit the key in the lock and quickly unlocked the office door.
"Fuck you." Maverick gripped the door handle, stopping Ice from opening it. Ice was glaring at him. And Maverick glared right back.
"This conversation is over." He stared cold into Mavericks Ice until Maverick felt unnerved enough to take his sweaty hand off of the door handle and stuffed his hands in to his pockets sheepishly looking at the floor. He didn't move until he heard Ice slam the door in his face. He turned to walk down the hallway, feeling defeated, but he was quickly filled with another reaction, seeing a familiar face heading down the same hallway towards him, a sly smirk on his face; It was Slider. Maverick couldn't help but stare, he looked good, no—hot Maverick thought; suited and stylish, Mav's eyes were wide after spotting his former antagonist. Slider simply cupped Mavericks cheek and kissed him on the other cheek before smacking his ass and rounding him to get to Ices door.
"Still tight Mav? Is he in?"
"Slider? Um…" Mavericks face was flushed and Slider didn't give him the time to respond before walking straight in to the office, closing the door behind him. 'Damn… they're cropping up everywhere'. Maverick shook his head and laughed to himself.
Maverick found some peace in his office after class, flopping boneless in his big leather chair, slumped shoulders and rolling a fresh can of soda over his forehead and neck. Fury was giving Spider crap about his impulsive ways, and it sounded so badly familiar his head was starting to spin. He was thinking about the past; something Maverick swore he'd never do. He remembered Ice, consoling him after Gooses death, or rather, his attempt to console, but he chickened out and left Maverick in the locker room to suffer in silence. He hadn't thought about that for so long. Ice had walked in knowing he was alone and seemed to be lost for words, frosty façade falling, Ice seemed sorry for Maverick, and other than Jester, was the only person who cared enough for Maverick to approach him in person. He seemed to have so much more to say but only managed to stutter out his empathy. He also sniffed, he seemed to be holding in tears, looking at the ceiling, he didn't want to look at Maverick, and despite he was facing his back, still he was struggling.
Maverick sighed heavily, racing for his wallet; he stroked a photograph of himself and Goose, one that he'd held on to for all these years.
"What should I do Goose?" He whispered.
The door abruptly opened, snapping Maverick out of his melancholy. It was Jester.
"Sir." Maverick straightened up and shoved the picture back in to his wallet. He got up and walked around the desk.
"I just thought I'd let you know; I'm leaving today." Maverick nodded, sober-featured and clasped Jesters' shoulder.
"It's been an honor sir."
"Don't get all sissy on me Commander, there's a leaving party later. But I thought I owed it to you to talk to you in person." He led Maverick to sit, and he sat next to him.
"What about?" Maverick looked at him, his brow furrowing.
"I think you know." Jester looked sternly at him, Maverick felt hot at the back of his neck, he didn't have to say it, he knew somehow what had been troubling Maverick since Ice left. "Watch yourself. He's your superior… It'd be bad for all involved if something went bad. I'm just saying."
"Sir…" Maverick cleared his throat. "I'm not sure what you're implying."
"Son, I now your not that stupid—and god help me I don't care about your personal life; But just let me say one thing, and then I'll say no more about it." They had at some point lost each other's eyes. Maverick knew what he was about to say but Jester just couldn't let it lie.
"Okay." Maverick gulped, he hadn't wanted any of this to come out so fast, but Jester wasn't stupid either, and probably knew before he even did.
"Don't get your heart-broken… You're a son to me, and I don't want to see you get hurt." Their eyes finally met and Maverick nodded, his eyes tearing up, he didn't know what was wrong but he couldn't help it. Jester offered a small smile and reached a thumb to wipe away Mavericks stray tear. "He'd be proud of you—your father, I know he would. And so am I. And wherever he is, I'm sure him and Goose'll be looking down on you and watching over you." And that did it, Maverick broke down and wept, and somehow Jester had softened enough to hold him in a tight embrace, feeling Maverick shudder as he helplessly cried into his arms.
Everyone was there for Jesters' farewell party; old students and colleagues, family and friends, it was unbelievable and overwhelming. But despite the sad occasion, the party had a positive air about it, laughing and reminiscing, hugging and hand shaking. Maverick met much of the old Topgun gang; all except Goose, he couldn't help but notice. Others seemed to notice this too.
Iceman had tried his best to keep his distance from Maverick; the awkwardness was still heavy around them like thick clouds as the fighter jet gained height. But then their eyes, met, slowly, from across the busy room, and the clouds began to clear. Ice couldn't help himself; he missed Maverick like crazy and hated hating him for such a selfish reason. This time Ice was the one to break the ice. He crossed the room so fast as he could have passed as a blur, Maverick needed him and they needed each other. They weren't out of sight from the rest of the room but the didn't care, they couldn't hold back any longer, couldn't hold on. Ice stopped, taking the wine glass Maverick had in his hand and set it on the table next to them, and their eyes never left each other's'. And Maverick just melted into his arms as they wrapped warmly around his waist and pulled their bodies close and neatly against each other.
"I'm sorry." Ice whispered in to Maverick's ear, swaying them together as they stood. Maverick reciprocated and hooked his arms loosely over Ice's shoulders, and rested his head on his shoulder. They stayed like that for a few moments, they had a hard time breaking apart, and years of miserable loneliness and denial that had taken them both had finally evaporated in their warm embrace. But they did so, slowly, still holding on to each others' forearms like they were unable to break apart. Maverick smiled, wide and bright, and reached over to the table, taking two wine glasses and handing one to Ice, who happily accepted it sipping, never letting his eyes leave Mavericks.
"It's okay. We'll make up for it." Maverick said, quietly, their words only for their own ears.
"Should I even ask?" Ice rolled his eyes, but he had a happy smile covering his face that just didn't seem to ever move.
"Tomorrow night? Twenty Hundred. My place." Maverick said. Iceman couldn't help but blush softly. He nodded shortly to Maverick, and took a last swallow of wine before planting the empty glass on the table. They didn't need to say another word, Ice left satisfied to return to the party and mingle with a group of suck-ups. And Maverick felt so damn accomplished and proud of himself, they evening sped on and Jesters farewell ended up being one of the happiest nights of his life.
The next day started business as usual, which was unusual since Maverick felt like a new man, and Topgun wasn't left untouched from the changes. It seemed a few guys stayed behind after the party; Maverick walked in the lounge to find Hollywood on the couch rubbing the sleeping Wolfman's socked feet in his lap, Slider was on the chair next to them.
"Oh come on man…" Slider began, sipping coffee.
"No, really, most of the party saw them, how could you not?" Hollywood's hair was mussed and he looked like they'd been up talking all night. Slider sighed, standing and getting to the vending machine inserting a few coins. "Apparently they were in a fight or something—and made up and shit, all repressed homo-ness came out…" Hollywood was speaking but his eyes were closed and Slider kicked the vending machine a couple of times before it finally gave him a packet of chips.
"Shit—wish I saw that." Slider slumped back in his chair and saw Maverick standing in the doorway. "Hey boss." He waved a little sheepishly, signaling Hollywood to turn, and upon seeing Maverick standing there, jolted in surprise, standing up and knocking Wolfman's feet out of his lap and stirring him awake, as he embarrassedly shuffled over to the television to pickup the remote and turn it on.
"Mmph… why'd ya stop?" Wolfman muttered into the cowboy hat, which was sat on top of his face, but quickly seemed to fall back asleep as he shifted about.
"Morning." Maverick looked at them, not really caring about them talking about him and pretended he never heard anything, going over to the vending machine to get his morning snack. Hollywood had a scowl on his face as he flicked through the channels. He was apparently grumpy in the morning judging by how roughly he pressed the buttons.
"Morning lover boy." Slider chuckled, bringing his knees up to his chest in the chair trying to keep warm. Maverick shook his head and gave Slider the finger before sitting down in Hollywood's place by Wolfman's feet. Maverick sipped the coke he just purchased and winced at its coldness.
"What are you doing here Slider?" Maverick asked, not intending it harshly, but as more of a conversation starter.
"Didn't Iceman tell you? —He hired me on." Maverick tried not to react at this news. "Apparently he couldn't fly here without me at his back. Can't blame him really." Maverick gritted his teeth, he liked Slider, but he wasn't sure if having him that close to Iceman was going to impede on his new 'friendship'.
"You're an asshole Slider." Wolfman mumbled, earning a laugh from both Maverick and Hollywood. Slider tried to take it personally, them taking sides, but let his head flop back and laugh out loud.
"Well…" Maverick started cheerfully. "I've got a job to do." He didn't need to check his watch, he was already running late, and downed his coke like he was suffering from dehydration, crushed it and threw it to the bin in one. He winked at the guys and then made to leave, closing the door behind him.
"Nice shot." Slider scoffed and Hollywood sat back down where Maverick had just left- taking Wolfman's feet in his hands again. They were all pretty tired and had little attention to early-morning news. Slider looked from the door, to Hollywood, and then back, over to Hollywood.
"We should have a threesome." Slider stated, munching chips. Hollywood looked at him, raising his eyebrow. And Wolfman lifted the hat from his face and craned his neck in joining Hollywood's shared expression.
Maverick was eagerly and nervously waiting for the night to come around when Iceman had agreed to a low-key date at his home. He was terrified, but knew this was what he wanted. He couldn't help but laugh, 'Charlie was right', he thought of little else but Ice for the rest of the day, and how he was going to go about making the night special. He luckily only ran in to Ice once during the day, when he was addressing the class, Ice had given his shoulder a squeeze before leaving and he was fast falling for Iceman without even being fully sure of his own sexuality. He had no idea what they would do the day after; he just figured taking it one day at a time was the best way to approach it.
"Welcome to casa de Maverick." Maverick said nervously as he answered the door in his jeans and black t-shirt. Ice just raised his brow, wearing a white button-down shirt and dark jeans and his hair was gelled. Maverick couldn't get over how good he looked.
"Douche." He smiled and gently pushed Maverick inside with his palm on his chest. Maverick gulped and let him. "Sorry I'm a little late." He grinned and pushed Maverick down on to the couch and fell on top of him, his warm hands sliding up his shirt and softly caressing his toned body. Maverick hadn't the time to gasp, feeling Ice's soft lips press upon his own, he couldn't have predicted this would happen this fast, but Maverick couldn't just push him away, so he gently held Ice by his elbows, and tried to ease him up. The kiss was warm and sweet, no tongues, just a slow, long press and their lips fit together perfectly, the curve of his lower lip matching with Ice's. Their first kiss, it was as soft as he'd imagined, but combined with a sense of urgency as Ice ground his hips down against Maverick, earning him to gasp in surprise, and the blond man took this opportunity to breath, and stare down at him, grinning proudly. "You have no idea how long I've wanted this—wanted you."
"Wait—um—Ice. " As Ice fell into him for another kiss, Maverick managed to cut him off, holding his face in his hands, he just wanted to stare in to his eyes. And he wasn't disappointed, the beauty of his expression would stay with him a lifetime. Ice waited patiently, drawing each breath slowly, savoring the feeling of being so close to the man he'd wanted half of his life. "Tom…" he whispered, unable to resist any longer, and drew his face together, unable to stop to beautiful, loving kiss they engaged in, it wasn't rushed or needy, and it was perfect.
They had silently agreed not to rush things any more after getting that out of their system and ended up sat on the grass in the backyard by ten o'clock, just starting at the stars.
"Hey Ice?" Maverick broke the comfortable silence.
"Mm?" Ice opened one eye to look at Maverick, who had leaned slightly against him. It felt nice and Ice wondered how it took them this long to explore their feelings for one another or why he'd been so vague earlier.
"What have you been doing all these years?" Maverick said quietly, playing with the light hair dusting Iceman's arm. Ice looked at him, a very mild feeling of annoyance came over him; he wasn't big on personal questions, especially after such a lovely evening, but he couldn't be mad at Maverick.
"You read my file didn't you?" Maverick shook his head, Ice opened both eyes and raised his head. "Really?"
"I wanted to hear it from you." He whispered shyly, leaning close and kissing his shoulder lightly, shyly.
"God." Ice sat fully up and pulled Maverick in to his lap and laid back, taking him with him, so he was nestled against his chest. "I saw combat. Middle East. It was Hell, some guys couldn't cope, Slider… well, Slider requested to be transferred after a couple of years, I stayed and almost got shot down last year—it scared the hell out of me. Until I finally decided on a change of scenery."
"So you requested Topgun?" Maverick asked, nuzzling his neck.
"Not at first, no. I tried to go in to crop-dusting and shit like that."
"Really?" Maverick stared wide-eyed at him. "I bet that was exciting."
"Hell no, It sucked, then Slider mentioned he was paying visits to Topgun and said you were still here and I was like 'Shit—really?' I was stunned. I really thought you'd be long gone. And he said something about you and Blackwood calling it quits, and I thought why not." Ice was quiet for a long time, as was Maverick as they just stared contentedly at each other. He couldn't believe Ice made such a drastic choice just to see him again, Maverick decided he wasn't going to question him in that line any further. "And no—before you ask, I never found anybody. I was kind of too busy for romance and shit." He shrugged.
"I wasn't going to ask." He chuckled and kissed Ice, softly on the mouth, and Ice sighed happily. All the evidence was coming to a head to Maverick, and he realized Iceman was madly In love with him—had been, always. He couldn't believe he never realized before how much he cared for him either. He was almost crying, but wouldn't let Ice see him do that and changed the subject. "Hey, what do you think about 'Wood and Wolf?"
"Well…" Ice breathed a chuckle and stroked Mavericks hair softly. "I haven't asked either of them out." Maverick patted his chest.
"No. No… I was wondering what's up with them."
"Hollywood is crazy about Wolf." Maverick had to laugh.
"How'd you know?" Maverick curled his arm around Ice's waist and Ice pulled his arms around him.
"When you've spent so long pining after another man for so long, it tends to be a trait easily spotted it others." Maverick sat up, looking down at Ice; his findings had proved true. "Plus he talks a lot when he's drunk." He had caught Mavericks eyes. And smiled warmly. "What?" Ice was surprised to find Maverick sitting on his chest and his pulling off his t-shirt. Iceman bit his lower lip, looking at him with a confused, but definitely receptive eyes.
"How long have you been in love with me?" He asked, confidence returning to his voice. Ice gasped, he was lost for words, put on the spot like this he wasn't quite sure of what the right thing to say was.
"Pssh, ego much Maverick?" He laughed, but it was shaky.
"How long?" Maverick pleaded for an answer, laying against him, his face buried in his neck delivering hot kisses as his fingers worked Ice's shirt buttons open. Ice could barely breath, feeling Mavericks mouth slide down his chest, placing hot open-mouthed kissed down his chest and stomach. But Ice needed to speak the answer equally as bad as Maverick wanted to hear it; he sat up and gripped Mavericks face in his hands, pulling them so close together that their foreheads were pressed against each other. His eyes burned into Mavericks, their breathing heavy and hot and Ice spoke, clearly and intimately with more meaning as he'd ever said anything before in his life;
"Since I first laid eyes on you." And with that, Maverick's heart felt so full and gratified for the first time, cutting away the loneliness he'd suffered for so long, Mavericks eyes watered and he whimpered and pulled Ice hard against his chest. "I love you Pete Mitchell..." Ice whispered, sucking his throat tenderly. Maverick was in tears and fell back against the grass, as Ice worked the belt off of Maverick, tossing it away as if it were a snake and doing the same with his. "I always have." Neither man had no reason to wait any longer, they wanted this so badly and were going to get it if it was the last thing they did.
Maverick couldn't say he loved Iceman, not yet anyway, he wished he could, but he didn't know how, not fully, but he was fairly certain that this is what it felt like. He knew the word love, and was ready for every thrill it would give him. And that night he let Ice show him. On the mighty wings of love they soared like the steel angels they flew. And Ice was his guiding hand.
Short- "A New Day."
As the early morning light shined across the sky, all was quiet at Topgun. Maverick was riding down the empty roads, wind blowing through his hair. Ice was close behind in his shining black Mazda sports car. They raced on, playing games, overtaking and inter-cutting. Maverick lived to shine, always taking the lead, and as they met in the parking lot on the Topgun Academy base, they squinted through their aviators, watching as the sun came up behind them.
"Boy that's beautiful."
"Pussy." Ice scoffed, but flashed a knowing smile at Maverick as they leaned against the railings, shoulder-to-shoulder. It was beautiful, even if he wouldn't admit it out loud. They wordlessly watched, together as the blazing god of the sky took up it's place to start the new day. Ice felt warm tears prick behind his eyes as Maverick took his hand in his discreetly and lovingly stroked it. "We should get inside." Ice whispered, pulling away, only grateful Maverick couldn't see the tears behind his shades, he cupped Maverick's cheek and they gazed in to each other's eyes.
Just before they parted to start the new day, Maverick leaned in and kissed him, the sun silhouetting their love in shadow at their feet. And that was all they needed to say to each other all the things they wanted to. And as they walked side-by-side into the building, they made no secret of their presence, letting doors slam and their shoes tapping loudly.
"Oh, shit! Wolf, wake up…" Hollywood jolted awake, sliding his jeans up while still romantically entwined with his fellow pilot Wolfman on the floor of the lounge. It was just unfortunate that Wolfman was a heavy sleeper.
"Hey—whoa…" Maverick stopped in his tracks, and so did Ice bumping in to him.
"Figures." Ice drawled. And they looked on highly amused; flustered shirtless Hollywood who had just covered Wolfman's decency with his trademark cowboy hat. He just waved sheepishly. Ice was shamelessly admiring the spectacle before them and just as Maverick burst out laughing, a naked Slider appeared standing behind the couch. "Slider!?" Ice rolled his eyes. "I'm out of here, see you later." He didn't see much point in hiding it any longer, and brought Maverick in to him for a very possessive kiss in front of the three naked pilots before grabbing his ass. "This is mine." He winked, leaving Maverick to deal with the unexpected situation.