I don't own GI Joe.
Hell on Wheels
"Faster Wayne, faster!"
Wayne Sneeden obliged his wife by pushing the wheelchair as fast as his aged and arthritic joints would allow him. Needless to say, the nurses were less than pleased to see a wheelchair containing an elderly woman flying haphazardly down the hallway, with sprightly old man attached to the other end.
"Ah'm pushing Darlin'," the aged ranger replied. "Ain't mah fault you've got a fat ass now!" That, as it turned out, was not the right thing to say to a woman, no matter her age. A wrinkled hand reached around and managed to swat his thigh.
"You want me to stop?" Wayne drawled. He had never lost the accent, despite years away from Alabama. "Cause Stalker and Lydia are probably knitting doilies down in the rec room. Ah'm sure they'd love the company." Okay, Stalker and his wife probably weren't doing that. They were probably swapping stories with Dusty and his wife.
"Watch it Beach!" An elderly Footloose dodged out of the way just before Wayne nearly hit him. The former Joe leaned on his cane while he watched the path of destruction blaze its way down the hallway. There was a strange expression on his face while he stared after the retreating wheelchair.
Wayne Sneeden no longer remembered whose idea it had been to form an "old people's retirement home" for former Joes (there were more than a few former Greenshirts there now as well). It may have been Mainframe or Tunnel Rat, who had been reminiscing about the good old days, as aging veterans were apt to do. Other former Joes had latched onto the idea and had decided to work on making it a reality. There were still Joes who were alive who weren't residing at the General Flagg Retirement Home, otherwise more popularly known as the Pit IV by its residents. However, a significant number of former Joes had been attracted to the idea. They had decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their days with their former teammates, testament to the bond that still held them all together.
Even a certain Arashikage Master had taken up part-time residence here. Other members of the ninja clan periodically dropped by. There was usually one or two ninja around at any given time. Wayne suspected that the Arashikage clan was doing it for the protection the Pit's residents.
Not, of course, that they didn't have any other protection. Many of the Joes, aged as they were, were still a force to be reckoned with…and that didn't even count younger, but equally deadly family members.
It had been Courtney's idea to move here, and Wayne had finally given in to the idea.
"Let's go see where Flint is so we can run him down," his wife suggested, now bored with terrorizing young nurses. The former ranger, ever up for tormenting his former superior, easily agreed.
Flint was outside in the back garden, it turned out. He was playing croquet with Gung Ho and Spirit. At least, it was probably croquet. Beach Head was fairly certain that the mix of swear words, thrown knives, and wooden baseball bat probably weren't part of the official rules of croquet.
But what the fuck did he know about croquet?
As the wheelchair trundled closer to the game, he overheard the trio arguing amongst themselves.
"I don't care what you say Charlie, you don't get ten points for every ball that you hit!" Dashiell Faireborn shouted hotly, referring to the plastic ball that the former tracker had just pierced with a thrown knife. Gung Ho, meanwhile, was laughing heartily while he warned Spirit to make sure that the nurses didn't find out that he still had knives left. One of the meaner ones had confiscated a set of knives a few days ago, which a young ninja apprentice had helpfully stolen back for him.
Spirit muttered something and the trio suddenly hushed and stared at the incoming two Joes. Wayne pushed the wheelchair towards Flint while Covergirl muttered gleefully under her breath.
"Run him down!"
"Ah don't think Jaye would take too kindly to that," Beach told her. "How about Ah clip him instead?"
"Awww….fine," Courtney pouted. Her bottom lip puffed out like that of a pouting child. Wayne's lips quirked up.
"How are you…two today?" Charlie Iron Knife asked kindly. He had hesitated slightly after 'you.'
"We're fine," Beach Head drawled. "Courtney wanted me to run the rooster here down, but Ah told her that Jaye wouldn't like it….shut it Courtney!" His wife had just muttered something obscene, which the other three men pretended not to hear. They were used to Cover Girl's bad mouth, which had only worsened in old age.
"Yer embarrassing me, woman," Wayne added. Cover Girl leered up at him.
"Gawd woman, how old are you?" he asked her. "Our 'parts' don't work as well anymore," the former ranger added. He was, of course, referring to certain intimate areas of the body. Not that he wasn't still game to try, of course. However, Courtney's health wasn't so good anymore. The doctors said that her heart was in bad shape.
"Beach…Wayne…" Flint said, struggling to say something. He gave up on whatever words he was searching for. "I think Clutch set up a racing track in the front," he said instead. "I think he wants to race Courtney."
"Bring it!" Courtney Kreiger Sneeden shouted. Her husband felt his heart soar. Even now, his feisty wife never failed to make him weak in the knees.
"Grease Boy's goin' down," Beach Head replied hotly. He pushed the wheelchair around and began to follow the sidewalk around the side of the Pit. Irises and long ivies trailed along the brick of the retirement home, while rosebushes lined the pathway. Courtney rather liked the flowers, when she wasn't too busy racing her wheelchair around.
"Hurry it up!" His wife's voice ordered. Beach Head complied and pushed the wheelchair even faster.
Meanwhile, a trio of Joes silently watched as the former ranger pushed an empty wheelchair towards a waiting Clutch. Once he arrived, the aging mechanic dutifully pretended that there was still a woman in the wheelchair, even though she had died four months ago.
The wheelchair soon rattled around a pathway constructed of stolen garden hoses. Clutch's wiry arms pushed hard at his wheels. Cover Girl urged Beach Head to run faster, so he did.
*Author's note: I've had the idea for a while now to do a GI Joe retirement home story. However, the original idea was to make it humorous. Today, however, I spotted an old man pushing an empty wheelchair while I was driving. Thus, this plot bunny was born. The original title that I had in mind was "The Empty Wheelchair," but then that would have given away the story from the beginning. It was a struggle to find another title that worked.