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Rolling Stone, Oct. 5, 1999

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The day Chuck turned 18 and Herc lost all control over his public image (already nominal, since he was technically a public figure) was the day that Herc’s sanity slowly started melting away. Three weeks legal and they have him doing some softcore pinup calendar for fundraising and awareness, like the PPDC isn’t funded by every country with a coastline and awareness isn’t raised every time a fucking Kaiju attacks. But of course Chuck, the narcissistic little shit that he is, jumped at the idea of slutting it up for the camera and the PPDC and the whole goddamn world.

 

Now Herc has to stand behind some scruffy, emaciated-looking arty boy in impossibly tight pants with a camera who’s fawning over Chuck’s natural grace or whatever. That’s aggravating in and of itself, but what’s really putting him on edge is that Chuck is only wearing the spandex lining of his drivesuit.


Correction: Chuck is wearing the spandex lining of his drivesuit to the crotch, and then letting it hang down around his legs like a billion-dollar wetsuit. He’s also- and Herc is going to read him the riot act for this later- playing with his goddamn tits and giving the cameraman the same ridiculous bedroom eyes he’s been giving Herc since he was sixteen.


Somewhere deep down Herc knows that he should be more worried about the fact that his discomfort is not that people are going to see Chuck like this and instead only I get to see Chuck like this, but then the photographer is calling for a break and Chuck is getting dragged quite willingly back to wardrobe for a change. Herc has no shame about following after him and throwing an arm around his shoulders as they walk.

 

“Having fun, kid?” he asks, and kisses Chuck’s hair roughly. Chuck’s still young enough that he can get away with it in public, it’s just an awkward father embarrassing his son. No one knows that Herc is put off by his boy smelling like expensive product and powder, not like cheap shampoo and sweat and engine grease.

 

“This is awesome, why didn’t you let me do this earlier?”

 

“Do you know how many perverts are gonna jerk off to this? Like I was gonna let you do this while I still had any say in the matter.” Herc pushes him into the makeshift changing room with a smack to the back of his smart head. 

 

The wardrobe girl that follows Chuck into the room gives Herc a sidelong glance that’s equal parts disdain- probably because his PPDC-issue t-shirt is dirty torn, as are his PPDC-issue trousers, and he hasn’t shaved in a couple days- and interest, which he assumes is an indication that she has the same terrible taste in men as his son. She also has a very large armful of what look like very small, very expensive clothes.

 

“What’s this one supposed to be?” Chuck asks from inside the room.


“Halloween. How do you feel about cross-dressing?” The scrawny photographer materializes at Herc’s side just in time to answer. Herc wants to punch him for the way he’s rubbing his hands together.


“Eh, why the fuck not?”

 

“The Herve Leger, then, the red one,” the photographer orders. Herc thinks he should probably have gotten the guy’s name, just so he knows who’s pressing charges after he decks him for drooling. “Can you walk in heels?”


“What? Course not.” Chuck sounds offended. The girl with the mountain of miniscule clothes is grunting orders and muttering something about cornstarch. This doesn’t bode well for Herc’s sanity. When Chuck bursts out a few moments later, Herc decides he needs to get her name too, because he’s going to deck her for putting her hands all over his boy in that dress. Skin tight, red shading down into black around Chuck’s arse, some kind of opening between his shoulder blades that shows off the beautiful definition in his back. It makes Herc want to throw two years of caution to the wind and get his teeth in Chuck’s throat. It makes Chuck’s arse look like an oil painting.

 

Herc knows nothing about women’s clothing other than he likes it bright and tight. He was a kid in the 80s, a teenager in the 90s, and in the RAAF in the aughts, so he barely knows anything about men’s fashion outside of a uniform and acid washed denim. Even so, he can tell that whatever thousand-dollar scrap of spandex Chuck’s wiggled into is the kind of thing a lot of women would kill for. Hell, most women Herc’s dated would kill to look that good in a scrap of thousand-dollar spandex. Chuck looks obscene in all the right ways. He doesn’t look at all like a woman, not at all like a drag queen, not at all like a little boy playing in his ma’s clothes. And when they plop him back down in the make-up chair and start smudging stuff around his eyes, soot black and sloppy, Herc realizes what it reminds him of: the pictures of Brad Pitt that came out when he was eighteen or nineteen, wearing fuck-ugly 90s dresses and trainers, the ones that he jerked off to more than once.

 

But where he vaguely remembers the pictures in the magazine being ridiculous, like a joke, Chuck is lounging in the makeup chair like some feral, transgressive little prince who knows all is right in his world. Herc stares, and knows he shouldn’t. Chuck stares back when the makeup girl steps away, meets Herc’s eyes, and adjusts himself in the dress. Deliberately. Like the little shit he is. And then he slouches even further into the chair, making himself right at home. Of course Chuck doesn’t know how to sit proper-like in a dress, so he’s sprawled with legs spread as far as the dress and the arms of the chair will let him. If Herc wanted to- okay, he wants to, so if he weren’t surrounded by strangers- he could bend just ever so slightly and see right up Chuck’s skirt.

 

“Can you put your boots- the ones you- these,” the wardrobe girl interrupts their little fucked up staring contest with her disjointed muttering and rustling around for Chuck’s flashy custom boots. Chuck takes them and pulls them on, leaving them half-unlaced, then levers himself out of the chair.


Herc bites back a laugh at Chuck’s little wiggle to adjust the fit of the dress around his arse and thighs; it’s a move he’s seen more than one woman in a bar do to catch his eye. Chuck on the other hand does it unconscious of how it draws attention to the curve of his hips and the bulge of his dick. It makes the move that much more appealing, knowing how garbage Chuck is at seduction; he’s never had to really try with Herc, since Herc’s been easy for him since he was sixteen, and as far as Herc knows he’s never tried to pick up anyone else.

 

When he finally is happy with how the damn dress fits, he makes a little ta-da gesture that’s distressingly reminiscent of Newt. “How do I look?”

 

“Like my idiot son in a slutty dress,” Herc says, but he ruffles Chuck’s over-gelled hair, only to elicit a tormented wail from the make-up girl, who elbows in and fusses it back into the proper kind of disarray.

 

The rest of the photo shoot is a blur of Chuck trying to smoulder at the camera and failing because he keeps making himself laugh, and Herc getting too distracted by the play of muscles in Chuck’s back and thighs to properly scowl at the photographer when he gets too close. By the time Chuck is released back to the changing room to put his regular dirty jeans back on, Herc is edging past worked up and heading into sexually frustrated territory. He just wants to get his hands on his boy, and all these fawning arty cunts are taking too long.

 

Chuck finally emerges from the changing room with his bag slung over his shoulder and the stupid swagger he’s adopted recently that’s dangerously reminiscent of the Beckett brothers from their glory days. He’s back in his civvies and boots, but still got the eyeliner on, smudged dark around his eyes like a sorority girl on her walk of shame. It’s a strangely good look on him.  “Ready to go, old man?”

“Been waiting on you, princess.” Herc grabs Chuck into a headlock and fucks his hair up properly now that no one is going to flip out at him for ruining their creative genius of bed head. Chuck swears and puts up a cursory attempt to get out of Herc’s grip, for show, but he lets himself be dragged along for a few feet before Herc releases him.

 

Back at the Dome, back in the quiet concrete confines of their quarters, Herc assumes that he’ll be able to work out some of the afternoon’s frustration with a good old fashioned fuck before supper. No such luck. The dog needs a walk and a piss, and it falls to Herc to take Max out before the latter of those happens in the corner near his bed again. All he gets to tide him over until Max is done taking care of business is a quick kiss that’s nowhere near satisfying.

 

“You can wait half a fucking hour,” Chuck informs him as he shoves the end of Max’s leash into Herc’s hand. “You made me wait six months.”


“Are you gonna keep track until I’ve paid you back six months’ worth of waiting? You’re a Jaeger pilot, not a fucking banker.” Herc swats Chuck across the arse, but then the door is open and their public faces are back on- nothing to see here, nothing but perpetually bickering father-and-son, heroes of Sydney and the world, and the best fucking dog ever.

 

Half an hour turns into two-plus. He gets shanghaied into dealing with a synapse problem on Striker, which is really Chuck’s area of expertise, not his, and then a call from Stacker planning their next deployment up to Manila. By the time he gets back to their quarters, Max is dragging behind him like the fat, lazy blob he is and Herc just wants to get off his feet. Max plods straight to his bed in the corner as soon as Herc lets him off leash and hunkers down with a grumble.

 

“Chuck, come get your damn dog a bone,” Herc calls. He can hear Chuck in the bathroom making more noise than any one human being should be able to make.


“Just a minute, hold your fucking horses. You got anyone else out there?”

“No- why?” Herc is instantly suspicious. He rifles through the cabinet where they keep Max’s treats to get him a bone or a chew or something.

 

The bathroom door opens with a bang. Herc looks over his shoulder to see Chuck displaying himself in the doorway. Somehow Chuck managed to get the dress from earlier back to their rooms, and now he’s back in it, eyeliner, boots, and all, leaning against the doorframe like he thinks he’s some kind of pop tartlet. He’s also flushed, pink under his freckles and sweaty, and he’s even more enticing than he’d been under the bright studio lights.

 

“Figured you seemed to like it well enough to borrow it,” he says, smoothing the wrinkles down over his hip. The motion draws Herc’s eye down to his groin, where the line of the dress is deformed by Chuck’s obvious semi. Clearly the kid is as worked up as Herc was earlier. He’s not a noble person, and it occurs to him that putting Chuck’s oversized ego in its place every once in a while never hurts, as badly as he wants to throw Chuck down on the bed.


“It’s not bad,” Herc says. He turns back to the cabinet and finds the box of rawhide chews, tosses one to Max. He wipes his hands on his trousers. He slowly puts the box away, tidies the cupboard a bit before he turns back. He takes in the faint twitch of Chuck’s fingers, the shuffle of his feet. He meets Chuck’s eyes. There’s a long standoff where he looks at Chuck, and Chuck looks back at him. His dick stirs in his trousers. He blatantly reaches down and adjusts himself, not looking away from his son.  

 

Chuck breaks first. He stomps straight into Herc’s personal space. He takes handfuls of Herc’s shirt and yanks him into a kiss. Herc wastes no time in getting one hand on the tempting curves of Chuck’s arse and the other around the back of his boy’s neck to guide him. This is what he’s been waiting for, what he’s wanted since Chuck first came out of that dressing room. Chuck ruts against him, greedy little pushes against Herc’s thigh. Herc walks him backwards until he’s pinned against concrete, still teenager-skinny enough for him to get his hands under Chuck’s thighs and hoist him up. Chuck’s legs go around his hips and his arms around Herc’s neck.


“C’mon, old man, I’ve been waiting for hours,” Chuck hisses, dragging his lips against Herc’s cheek.

 

“Payback’s a bitch, innit, sweetheart.” Herc takes advantage of the angle to suck on Chuck’s earlobe. He hitches Chuck up and works a hand under the edge of the dress, pushes it further up his thighs until it catches on his erection. “Coulda done this right away, but you wanted to be a smartarse.”

 

“Mmmmbut I wanted… wanted to surprise you. You weren’t supposed t’ be gone for that long.” Chuck uses the wall for leverage to push against Herc, grinding his hips against Herc’s stomach. Herc steadies him, holding him firm. He’d never let Chuck fall. But then Chuck presses his lips against Herc’s ear and hisses. “Fingered myself open waiting for you.”

 

Herc nearly drops him at that. He slides his fingers up to Chuck’s arse, feeling the slick drying on his inner thighs and the looseness of his hole. “Clever boy,” he praises, pressing one fingertip up to see how prepared he is. He’s slick and loose and open, so open Herc wonders how long he was in the bathroom with his fingers up his own arse, probably staring himself in the mirror like the vain little princess he is. “Clever, slutty little darlin’. Bet I could slide right in.”

 

Chuck moans into the crook of Herc’s neck. He’s clutching at Herc, fingers digging into his shoulders, all greedy whines and desperate rolls of his hips against Herc’s stomach.

 

“Dad, please,” he whines as Herc works his finger deeper. “C’mon, I’m so ready, please.”

 

“Oh, now you’re ready, huh? What if I’m not ready?” Herc bites at his son, his boy’s, throat. “What If I like you like this, sweetheart, all worked up and pretty?” He’s never been one for pet names, really. Even Angela was at most Angie, but Chuck brings something out in him. Sweetheart and darlin’  and love trip off his tongue as soon as his dick gets hard. And, admittedly, even when he’s not fucking Chuck, just when they’re alone, or when no one else can hear. Chuck always grumbles about if they aren’t in bed- or against a wall- but when he’s this worked up the endearments just make him flush and squirm in Herc’s arms. “My pretty boy.”

 

He pulls out and reaches up to turn Chuck’s face back towards him. Chuck is pink. His lips are red where he’s clearly been biting them and his eyes are bright, the green brought out by the smudged black around them. When he kisses his boy, Chuck’s eyes flutter shut. Herc kisses him slow and filthy, using Chuck’s legs around his waist and the leverage of the wall to grind against Chuck’s arse.

 

“Shit, Herc, I already came twice, please, fuck me,” Chuck pleads, letting his head fall back against the wall. Herc swallows his own groan at that, imagining Chuck not just fingering himself open but coming from it, twice, wearing his pretty dress and his pretty eyeliner. He ruts up against Chuck once, twice more, then reluctantly pries his son’s legs off his waist and sets him back down. “Herc, goddammit, please.”

 

“Soon, sweetheart, soon now.” Herc pulls back, then leans in for one more kiss. “Get that sweet little arse of yours to bed.”

 

Chuck doesn’t obey immediately, but as Herc goes to the bathroom to grab whatever’s left of the lube, he hears Chuck’s boots shuffling across the floor and the thud of a sturdy teenage boy dropping arse-first onto a mattress. Herc grabs the bottle and slicks his fingers as he returns. Chuck’s sprawled inelegantly across the bed, the hem of his dress hiked up around his waist. He takes a moment to just take the whole sight in, just staring at Chuck in all his debauched glory and borrowed finery, before he takes charge and takes action. His shirt hits the floor as he settles in between his boy’s spread thighs. When he slips two fingers up his hole Chuck shudders, his whole long, lean body shivering. The noise he muffles with the back of his hand isn’t even a moan, it’s closer to a wail; Herc fingerfucks him long enough to be sure that he’s good and slick, then pulls his fingers out.

 

Chuck immediately scrabbles for the fly of his pants, freeing Herc’s cock and shoving his trousers down just far enough.  Herc’s not even sure which of them is really responsible for getting a handful of slick around his cock, but Chuck’s legs are back around his waist and Herc is pushing in, deep in one steady movement.  Chuck wails, muffling his cry against Herc’s hair. Herc rests his forehead against Chuck’s shoulder as he catches his breath, giving them both a moment to adjust. Chuck clings with one strong arm and gropes for his dick between them; he almost always loses his erection with the first few thrusts. He’d been mortified the first few times, like he’d done something wrong, but after two years he’s gotten over his embarrassment.

 

It’s only when Chuck starts tightening those strong legs around his waist that Herc starts rocking forward. He grabs Chuck’s wrist to stop his rapid jerks, and on a whim pins his hand over his head on the pillow. Chuck, quick learner that he is, raises the other without being told and lets Herc wrap his fingers around both wrists.  Herc kisses him, and bites his lip, and slams his hips forward so that Chuck chokes on a wail. He does it again. Chuck indulges him with another muffled cry. Herc wishes their quarters were actually soundproofed, so Chuck could let loose and make as much noise as he wants, but until the war is over and they have their own place again all they can do is try to keep it down.

 

Herc tugs his boy’s hands higher, urging his fingers around the sturdy headboard. He settles into the slow, deep rhythm Chuck likes, pausing only long enough to hitch Chuck’s knee up. It doesn’t take long before Chuck is moaning, sweet and eager in his ear. He’s bordering on too noisy, as much as Herc loves the greedy way Chuck whimpers his name. Herc kisses him to muffle the sound, but he’s still loud.


“Can I, sweetheart?” Herc asks, running his hand up Chuck’s arm, over his shoulder, up his throat to cover his mouth. Chuck nods and whines behind his palm, all pink and pretty and sweaty. Herc presses his hand down and Chuck’s eyes close for a long moment. It’s something that shimmers across the Drift sometimes, and another thing that Herc is saving for after the war, when he can take Chuck home for good. For now, it’s a hand across his boy’s mouth and Chuck’s hands clutching at the headboard, and it’s good enough for both of them.

 

With Chuck muted—muted, stretched open and pinned—Herc settles into the slow, driving rhythm Chuck prefers. Chuck squirms under him, trembling and rolling up to meet Herc’s movements. His breath is coming rapidly under Herc’s palm, but his moaning subsides, like being muffled means he doesn’t have to make the sounds any more. Herc kisses his boy’s forehead, the smudged shadow across his eyelids, the tip of his nose. Chuck is hot and slick around him. The dress bunches between their stomachs, damp with their sweat and Chuck’s precome, and he pushes it up blindly to get his fingers around Chuck’s cock. Chuck moans then, long and low and deep in his throat, his hips stuttering up and throwing off Herc’s timing for a moment.

 

“Shhh, sweetheart, Daddy’s got you,” Herc murmurs. He can already feel the pressure building low in his belly. This is not going to win points for endurance, this fuck isn’t, but that doesn’t matter much when Chuck is so wrecked that he’s almost in tears. He pulls his hand away from Chuck’s mouth, reaching up to tug his son’s hands down from the bedframe, tangles his fingers through Chuck’s.  His boy smiles dazedly up at him. Herc can’t resist kissing his dimples.

 

Chuck apparently has other ideas about what they should be doing, though, and squirms. “I wanna- fuck, wanna be on top,” he says, right against Herc’s cheek, sweet and filthy. And it’s not like Herc would ever not give his boy what he wants, so he pulls out and sits back, taking the briefest of moments to shuck his trousers the rest of the way. Chuck tackles him a moment later, straddling Herc’s lap and smashing their mouths together sloppily. Herc urges him up and guides his cock to Chuck’s hole again. When Chuck sinks back down, they both groan. As Chuck starts rocking, Herc’s grip on his son’s thighs is probably too tight. He leaves white trails behind his fingertips when he adjusts his grasp, helping Chuck move.

 

The tug of Chuck’s fingers in his hair draws Herc’s attention from the lazy, sloppy kisses they’re trading and to the insistent rub of his cock against their stomachs. Herc starts jerking him off, slow and steady. Chuck buries his face in Herc’s neck, panting and clinging and shuddering every time Herc runs his thumb across the head of his dick. Chuck’s orgasm comes as a surprise, a quiet whimper bursting out of his throat and a scant quantity of come splattering over Herc’s hand. Herc strokes him through it, kisses the beads of sweat trickling down his temple as Chuck keeps bouncing in his lap. Herc drags his come-covered fingers up to Chuck’s lips.

 

It’s watching his boy absently licking his own spunk off his daddy’s fingers that triggers Herc’s orgasm. He thrusts up into Chuck once, twice, three times, hard, then holds his boy, his son, tight as he comes deep inside him. By the time his balls are empty and his cock is starting to soften, Chuck has gone sweet and pliant and limp in his arms and Herc’s vision has gone from white at the edges back to normal.

 

Chuck essentially melts out of Herc’s arms and off his lap in a stunning display of post-coital laziness and teenage flexibility, sprawling across the bed in his come-and-sweat-stained finery. He scowls up at Herc until Herc shifts up next to him; Chuck’s too full of idiot youthful machismo to ask his daddy to cuddle a bit after fucking, but Herc knows that look all too well. But first…

 

“Roll over, sweetheart,” Herc orders, urging Chuck over onto his stomach with a mostly-gentle nudge. “Let’s get you out of this rag before it’s glued to your pretty arse.” He unzips the dress, all the way down to its bunched-up hem, and unhooks the clasp at the base of his boy’s neck. It’s easy from there to get the straps down and off, and the dress is discarded. Chuck’s boots are next, hitting the floor one after the other, and then nothing is between them but sweat. Chuck clings to him like a limpet, kissing along Herc’s shoulder. “So how much are you gonna owe that girl for stealing her pretty dress just so you could ruin it?”

 

Chuck yawns into his chest, so loud and so adorably that Herc knows he’s avoiding the question. Herc can’t resist smirking at his little shit of a boy, but now he’s curious. “Chuck.”

 

“She said it’s dry clean, figured I’d get it done off base and send it back. She said I could borrow it,” Chuck mutters. There’s a heavy pause, then Chuck’s chin digs into his sternum. “Did you like it?”

 

When Herc cranes his head down to look at his boy, all sweaty and red with his pretty smeared eyeliner and his rats’ nest of sex hair, there’s a cautious look in his eye and a hesitancy in the twist of his smile. Herc lets his hands wander in answer, until he’s got the curve of Chuck’s arse in one hand and he can squeeze to rut briefly against Chuck’s stomach even though there’s no way he’s getting hard again for a while. “The dress? It was a dress, Chuck, I don’t know shit about dresses.” Chuck’s dimples slowly start to disappear as his smile tightens, and Herc knows he’s said the wrong thing. “No, no, sweetheart, I loved your slutty little arse in it. If you wanna keep it, say the word, I’ll fuck you in it six ways to Sunday.” He kisses the top of Chuck’s head roughly.  “Don’t need the pretty dress or the paint for me to want to fuck you, baby.”

Chuck curls against him tighter, digs his fingers into Herc’s shoulders. “I dunno if I’m gonna keep it. Maybe send it back, get something else to keep it interesting.”

“Whatever you want, baby.” Herc relaxes at that, starts thinking about maybe getting Chuck cleaned up and going out for dinner. They’re still technically on a day off, couldn’t hurt to take the boy into town and let him eat some food that doesn’t come from the dome’s industrial kitchen. He kisses the top of Chuck’s head again, comfortable in their faintly damp sheets with his son wrapped all around him. “Whatever you want.”