Chapter 10- Return

"I don't care what Hawk says, that dumbass couldn't follow a direct order if his life depended on it" Courtney swore as she and the rest of the Joes waited on the chopper. Wild Bill had radioed that they were on their way with walking wounded. Namely one crazy Master sergeant who had decided to run across a damn mine field to take out the damn target.

A mine field!

Courtney stood there, red-faced, and arms crossed as the sounds of the incoming chopper grew louder. Jaye looked over at her and couldn't help but laugh.

Courtney Krieger was mad as hell.

Jaye almost felt sorry for Beach. He was going to get it, boy was he ever.

Doc was waiting, and not happy. Beachhead was one of the worst patients the man had ever had to deal with.

This would not be pleasant. Too bad Ed was away on leave. Lifeline was really good at managing Wayne. Well as good as anyone could be.

Wild Bill expertly guided the Chopper down on the landing pad. Killing the engine, but Cover Girl wasn't waiting; she was already at the door watching as the team jumped out. Stalker smiled at her.

"Evening Cover Girl"

She gave the cheerful man her best Wayne snarl.

Ducking his head, Stalker headed to the armory to turn in his gear.

Wayne was next out. Being supported by Clutch. There was a bloody bandage wrapped around his left thigh, and blood trickled down it onto his boots.

Courtney briefly thought that Wayne was going to have a hell of a time cleaning his boots this time.

He hobbled over towards Doc, who just pointed to the stretcher and said "On".

Wayne let out a string of curses.

"Ah don't need no damn stretcher, Ah can' damn well walk."

He snarled at the medic.

Doc gave him a hard look and held up a hypodermic needle full of a clear liquid.

"Either you get on it on your own free will, or I will put you on it knocked out."

Doc said very calmly, and then gave the Master sergeant an almost evil grin.

"Aww, fuck."

Wayne got on the stretcher, but kept the scowl in place to let everyone there know he was not happy about it.

Clutch looked up and saw Cover Girl standing there with her arms crossed, tapping her foot.

The Mechanic chuckled and backed up. Catching Lady Jaye's eye, he winked.

This was going to be good!

Cover girl rounded on Beach head and gasped when she saw fresh blood soaking the clumsily applied bandage.

"I thought I told you to be careful?" She yelled.

Beach Head glowered at her

"I was careful, dang it. Ah ain't blown up am Ah?"

Courtney gasped, her face growing redder.

"You RAN across a mine field, how the hell is that careful?"

Wayne's face got red to.

"Ah had tah take out the damn guard tower, what the hell was ah supposed to do, walk up ahn knock."

Courtney smacked the side of the stretcher with her hand, causing Wayne to grimace in pain.

"You think this hurts?"

She said, seeing the look that passed over his face.

"You just wait till I get my hands on you!'

Wayne suddenly grinned up at her, heedless of the other teammates standing around listening to them.

"Why, Barbie doll, where yah gonna put 'em"

He asked huskily. And then had the nerve to wink at her.

"Grrrrrrrrr… O, you knuckle dragging meat head, I'm gonna….."

Doc stepped in as she balled up her fist and lunged at the grinning Ranger.

"All right, as much as were all enjoying this, I need to get my patient down to the infirmary."

Cover Girl looked up at that, and noticed everyone standing around, even the damn Greenshirts. Who were staring open mouthed. Not used to seeing anyone talk to their Drill Instructor like that.

She had the grace to blush.

Stepping back, she allowed the two greenshirts holding the stretcher, a little red faced at supporting the hulking Ranger's weight. To move towards the sliding doors to the lifts. Wayne reached out and grabbed her hand.

"Come see me later, Cinderella?"

He asked, almost a little shyly. Now mindful also of the many eyes staring at them. Courtney was a little shocked. Wayne hated PDA.

"Yea, Ranger Man. I'll be there in a minute." She said softly.

Wayne just grunted in return as he dropped her hand and let the straining Greenshirts take him onto the lift. An amused Doc trailing behind them.

Jaye was still smiling as she watched Cover Girl walk over to the Motor pool.

"Well that was interesting." A soft voice said behind her. She twirled around to see Flint smiling. His Rifle slung over one arm. The other holding his gear.

He dropped the duffle to embrace her as she threw herself in his arms. Hugging her tightly.

Jaye pulled back to take in his appearance, He had a scrape on his forehead, and a slight purple smudge under one eye. But for the most part he was sound.

"Well, I'm glad you didn't go running across any minefields!" she exclaimed.

Flint laughed, and then grew serious.

"They had us pinned. Intel was wrong; there were at least thirty guards there. Beachhead is crazy as hell, but he saved our asses."

Jaye knew he couldn't tell her more, technically he shouldn't have told her that. And frankly she didn't care. He was back, and safe.

She stood on tiptoe and kissed him on his dirty check.

Stepping back she looked into his amused eyes.

He reached out and grabbed her with his one arm and brought his head down for a crushing, hunger filled kiss. Jaye could feel the heat searing her all the way to her toes. They separated to numerous cat calls from the other Joes.

"Welcome home" she said huskily.

Reaching down she picked up the duffle, and they walked arm in arm to the infirmary.

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