Title: About Face
Characters: Adam/Austin; Joey
When the alarm sounded for the second time and Austin didn't hear any movement from the bedroom, he decided he'd need to go wake Adam up. Leaning on the bedroom door, Austin grinned at the sight of Adam sprawled face down on the bed, one hand on the alarm clock.
"Hey you," Austin called out. "You've hit the snooze button on that alarm enough. You need to get up for work."
Groaning, Adam mumbled out, "I'm awake. I'm lying here gathering my strength for the day. I just need five more minutes."
"Come on, oh Powerful One, get up." Austin laughed. "I think I'm supposed to be the one who wants to sleep in. You're supposed to be in charge here."
One eyelid slowly raised, but it was enough for a glare to shine out. "Not first thing in the morning. After 9, I go on the clock and can be the boss."
Austin decided to take drastic measures to get his man up and moving for the day. Sitting down, almost on top of him, Austin ran his hands over Adam's back. Their bodies were different. Where Austin had firm muscles, Adam had a thin layer of fat over his. Austin poked Adam in the ribs.
"You'd be laughed out of the infantry! You're squishy," Austin said. Then he gave a very unmanly yelp when Adam grabbed him.
Austin huffed out a laugh. He'd never understand how Adam could take him by surprise and have him held hostage so quickly. He, Austin, was the warrior! But in less time then it took him to blink, he was flat on his back with Adam looming over him.
"Squishy?!" Adam growled, straddling Austin's thighs and pinning his hands above his head, completely immobilizing him.
Austin's body responded to Adam's dominance. As they both grew harder Austin moaned, "Yes," his body and mind in agreement about submitting to Adam.
The men ground their bodies together, a contrast of lazy thrusting and urgent need. Austin lifted his hip when Adam held both his wrists in one hand and with the other yanked at Austin's pants. Austin wanted to keep going, feeling, but he knew Adam needed to get to work. He murmured against Adam's lips, "You don't have time for this. You're gonna be late."
"I can always find time for you," Adam mumbled as he kissed Austin.
"You mean for sex."
"Are you complaining?"
Austin groaned out, "No, no complaints at all."
The thrusts became less lazy and more urgent. Austin squirmed, testing the strength of Adam's bonds on him. The hands held firm over his wrists and Adam's legs tightened fractionally. The illusion of being completely at Adam's mercy soon had Austin finding his release. Adam's wasn't far behind.
The men lay there, panting heavily, Austin's wrists still captured in Adam's hands.
"I wish we could stay like this forever," Adam whispered, his forehead resting against Austin's.
Austin grinned. He knew Adam and he knew that once Adam was awake, he wasn't one to sit around. Adam liked to have a purpose in life, and liked to be working toward that purpose. When Adam suddenly gave him a quick, demanding kiss, and then levered himself up, Austin knew the day was starting. He watched as Adam walked un-self-consciously to the bathroom.
Austin finally roused himself off the bed when he heard the sound of the shower. Knowing their love-making was done for the day, he still joined Adam in the shower.
When Adam quirked an eyebrow at him, Austin explained, "Just saving water."
After a quick shower to wash away the evidence of their morning play, Austin left Adam to finish getting ready for the day. He pulled out a couple of frozen biscuits and put them in the microwave to cook. Adam rushed into the kitchen just as the buzzer sounded.
Grabbing a biscuit, Adam gave him a quick kiss. "I'm going to have to eat this on the run or I'll be late."
The house felt uncomfortably silent and Austin felt oddly unsettled after Adam had dashed out the door for work. He didn't want to look at the help wanted ads in the newspaper again. He'd done that almost every day that week. Austin had come to realize that his years in the service had not prepared him for civilian life. Not many job openings for a crack shot. The only jobs he was qualified for were part time at fast food restaurants or as stock boy in department stores. He wasn't destitute; with his savings and Adam working he could afford to be a little picky when it came to choosing a job. But he still needed a purpose in life.
Austin decided to do a bit of cleaning, but that didn't keep him occupied for long; neither he nor Adam were messy people. He had learned in the army to have a place for everything and to keep everything in its place. Adam by nature didn't create a lot of clutter. Vacuuming, dusting, and mopping took less than an hour.
A trip to the grocery store ate up another hour of the long day. Austin glanced at his watch; soon it would be lunch time. He didn't want to eat another meal in the quiet of the house. Austin called the group home where Joey, Adam's brother, lived. He was on the list of people that could take Joey out, and after confirming no special outings were planned, Austin got the ok to take the autistic man out for lunch. With a grin of relief that he wouldn't be eating lunch alone, Austin grabbed his keys and went to get Joey.
The restaurant he'd decided on was one of Joey's favorites, a small, quiet cafe nestled between the business district and a residential neighborhood. Far enough away from the hustle and bustle that Joey wouldn't become distracted or over-wrought.
Austin led them to a booth in the back, away from the windows. He knew that Joey could become obsessed with any particles that could be seen floating in the sunbeams that streamed through the windows.
As soon as they were settled, a waitress came over, asking if they needed to see a menu.
"Grilled cheese. French fries. No menu."
Austin grinned. Joey knew exactly what he wanted; there was no dithering about, and he had little patience for anyone who did. Knowing that, Austin quickly decided on what almost every diner and cafe had. "I'll have a club sandwich, no tomato. Fries and a coke."
"Coke to drink. Need a coke. Need a drink," Joey stated.
It wasn't the words or the tonelessness that Joey used, but something in the way that Joey's body tensed, Austin knew that Joey was worried he hadn't ordered a drink. For whatever reason the waitress seemed to understand.
"Don't worry. I'm writing it down now." She bent over and made sure the ticket was in Joey's line of vision as she wrote in large block letters: COKE. Giving Austin a wink, she said, "I've a friend who has a sister that has Down's Syndrome. I know how to avoid a tantrum."
Austin didn't bother to explain that Joey was autistic; he figured a tantrum was a tantrum. And they were best avoided. He gave a quick smile of thanks to her.
"Well Joey, I don't think we'll have to wait long for our lunch," Austin said after the waitress brought their drinks and told them their order was in.
His prediction proved correct as their sandwiches came out in less than 15 minutes.
As they ate their lunch, Austin started talking out his worries. He knew he was mostly talking to himself, but at least there was another human close by so he didn't feel so silly.
"I know leaving the army was the right thing to do, but what do I do now?" Austin asked as Joey ate a fry. "The only jobs that seem to be open are at fast food joints. There's not a lot of jobs for someone who can shoot a M4. Even with expert marksmanship. What can I do?"
Joey alternated between taking bites of his grilled cheese and eating french fries. He'd glance up at Austin and quickly look away. Austin knew that Joey was just happy to be out eating; human interaction wasn't a necessity for Joey. But the silent, non judgmental way that Joey behaved encouraged Austin to keep talking out his worries.
"Who am I gonna be? I'm can't just be Adam's partner. I need something more," Austin said.
"You're a soldier," Joey stated simply.
Smiling softly, sadly, Austin replied, "Not anymore I'm not. Remember, Joey, I'm outta the army now."
Austin reeled back a little as the autistic man did something he rarely did: he looked Austin right in the eye.
"In your heart. Soldier in your heart. Blood in your heart. Blood is life," Joey stated in his monotone voice. And then, losing interest, went back to silently eating.
Words of wisdom from the least expected source, Austin thought. He too went back to his lunch, but his mind was full of possibilities.
After taking Joey back to his group home, Austin decided to take a chance and see if the possibilities could become realities.
Pulling into the driveway, Austin cursed loudly at the sight of Adam's car already there. The morning had crept by, but the afternoon had flown. Austin parked the car, took a deep breath, and went in to tell Adam that once again he had a purpose to life.
"I was getting worried," Adam said, walking out of the kitchen as Austin came in the door.
"I am a big boy, I've been to war, I think I can handle this little town on my own." Austin flinched as he heard the sharpness of his own voice. Then he froze. The direct look that Adam gave him made his stomach clench.
Austin couldn't understand how Adam, who so naturally dominated him, had originally been hesitant to be his Top. Just a look from Adam could have Austin changing directions fast.
Clearing his throat, Austin said, "Sorry, I didn't mean to snap."
Still with the stern, steady gaze, Adam asked, "'You got yourself together now?"
"Yes, sir," Austin quickly assured Adam, hoping to defuse the situation.
"Good. Now, I'll ask again. Where've you been?"
"Can we sit down and I'll tell you? It's going to take a bit of time," Austin said.
Austin felt awkward as he sat down, nervous to tell Adam of what he'd done. Afraid Adam wouldn't understand.
As if Adam could sense his unease, he said, "Austin, we're still adjusting to living together full time after being apart for so long. We are doing things differently than other couples, but you shouldn't ever be afraid to talk to me."
"Oh, I'm not!" Austin said, and then corrected himself, "Well, I'm not afraid to talk to you, but I'm a little nervous of what your reaction's going to be."
Austin felt Adam's body become very still. Thinking of Joey at lunch, he wondered if it was a family trait. Then bringing his mind back to the matter at hand, Austin said, "I've done an about face, and I'm not sure what you'll think."
"What does that mean, 'an about face'?" Adam asked, his voice tight and controlled.
"I went and talked to a recruiter. The Army National Guard recruiter," Austin clarified. Deciding he was making a mess out of this, he took a deep breath, and made himself explain. "I miss the service. And I didn't learn a useful skill. Going into the National Guard gives me the opportunity to still be a soldier and learn a skill I can do when I get out. It's part time." The last was said with desperation. Austin wanted Adam to understand, to give his consent. Austin didn't have to have Adam's consent, but that was part of his submissive tendency. He wanted Adam's approval.
"What does part time entail?" Adam asked quietly.
Austin couldn't tell if Adam was upset or not. He didn't seem to be, but Austin wasn't sure if that was his own wishful thinking or if Adam truly wasn't.
"It's one weekend a month and two full weeks once a year," Austin explained. "Unless the unit gets called up. But that's one of the reasons I talked to the recruiter. I wanted to find out what units were open."
"And what units were open?" Adam asked when Austin fell quiet.
"There's a first responder unit that has openings. I went through the MOS's available, and there's a medic position open. I could be trained as an EMT. An emergency medical technician."
"You could be or you are going to be?" Adam asked.
The question threw Austin for a moment, but he finally understood what Adam was asking. "I COULD be. I've not signed the papers yet. I wanted to talk to you about it first."
With those words, Austin saw Adam's body relax. Austin hadn't realized he was so tense also, until his own body relaxed too.
"But I think it's what I really want to do," Austin admitted. "I'll still be a soldier, but I'll be learning a skill that I can do when I become a full time civilian. The only time I'd have to be away would be if there was a major disaster. Like a hurricane or something."
"When do you have to decide?"
"I have up to six months to stay at my rank, but I'd like to sign up soon," Austin confessed. Then nervously he asked, "What do you think?"
"As much as I'd like to say go right ahead, I do think we both need a few days to think about it," Adam said. "Why don't we take the rest of this week and the weekend. Keep talking about it and give you a chance to do a bit of research to make sure the EMT thing is what you want to do, but I think it makes sense."
Austin threw his arms around Adam. He rarely acted so spontaneously, but he couldn't hold himself back. "It does make sense," he whispered into Adam's neck. "Thank you for understanding."
He felt Adam kiss him hard on the side of his head.
"I won't be so understanding if you don't learn to leave a note or at least a text if you're going to be late," Adam growled.
"Maybe you need to spank me so I'll remember," Austin said and then let out an unmanly yelp.
Adam had grabbed him and had him flipped over his lap before he could blink. He'd never understand how Adam could hold him hostage so quickly.