Leo rubbed his temples angrily as he listened to the frequencies again. Stupid, stupid, stupid agent Powers who was batshit insane and delirious. So delirious if actually he thought there was something out there. Two weeks of silence and he still wasn't convinced? Carajo1, this guy sure was optimistic or, as he'd already said, completely loco2.
He slipped the headphones off with a tired sigh. Closing his eyes he leaned back. Night-shifts always ended up like this. Alone in the office, listening to nothing but silence. Powers would push and push and push and all Leo could do was let him. As a subordinate he had to follow his superior's orders to the letter so that meant doing everything he was told even if the orders were useless, illogical and most all-
Leo snapped to attention, eyes flying open and sweat collecting at his brow as he fought down an angry blush. Shit, he shouldn't have fallen asleep like that! If it was agent Powers then he'd be facing the night shift for a month– a month of torture! He'd be lucky if it was lieutenant-
“At ease, kid.”
At hearing the voice a second time, Leo sighed in relief and sagged back into his chair. It was him, thank God. He heard, rather than saw the man walk around the desk to face him. He looked up at him with a grateful smile.
The agent was wearing his customary Sector Seven uniform, complete with sunglasses (inside the low-lit room of all places), dark fingerless gloves, and that silly beret with the Sector Seven insignia. Leo would laugh but at the moment all he could do was nod. Agent Simmons had saved his ass on more than one occasion and for that he was grateful. He was probably one of the few agents who wouldn't mess with him like the others did.
The agent lifted a hand to slip off his shades and leaned his hip into the desk. Suddenly he swallowed. Oh God... Of course this agent was also the one who knew exactly how to mess with him. Not the smirk. Not the smirk. Not the smirk. Not the- oh...
Simmons' lips quirked at one end and an eyebrow shot upward. A sole finger moved along those lips leaving a suggestive trail in its wake. Leo flushed darkly, averting his eyes. Of all places Reggie...
“So what has the resident prodigy been ordered to do tonight? Following up on the Cali incident? Or perhaps he's been overseeing the new simulation the Autobots are testing for holographic forms?” Simmons grinned, “or better yet he's been asked to study the structure of the new Decepticon that landed in our lap two hours ago?”
“You fucker,” Leo whispered in awe. “You did all that? Today?”
Simmons shrugged but a smug smile remained in place, “can't say. Classified you know.”
Leo shook his head helplessly trying not to grin. Classified, yeah okay. He knew this game.
He turned back to the computers and picked up the headphones, ready to resume his duties (he couldn't have his superiors walk in to see him slacking off just because another agent had walked in and-)
“Wait,” Simmons hand came to stop his. “You okay kid? You look like you haven't slept in days.”
Leo resisted the urge to swat the hand away, “of course I'm fine.”
“Powers pushing you to take the night shifts again?”
“You could always refuse.”
Leo snorted and shook his head, “so that way he can fire my ass? Nah.”
“You need your sleep kid.”
“Nothing I can do about that,” Leo muttered.
Simmons nodded and turned away as Leo's eyes moved back to the screen and began scanning.
It must have been what? a year now? that he'd been working at Sector Seven? To be honest, he wasn't very sure when he started working for them- all he knew was that sometime between first launching TheRealEffingDeal and meeting up with a hardware techie (Glen) he realized he was being watched. It wasn't hard to miss, considering how many times their firewalls and servers went down whilst uploading new videos. There were only so many times a server could fail. So he had Glen come over and work his magic. He knew how to hack into anything undetected.
Yet he failed Leo. Oh, getting in hadn't been the problem- he got in all right- it was when he found out who it was that he refused to go further.
“No...way,” Glen muttered.
“What? What is it? Did my baby get some kind of virus? I told you not to disable the-”
Glen closed the terminal and watched the screen go black. Leo stared for a full five seconds before he exploded.
“What are you doing?!” He hissed angrily. “You're supposed to be telling me who-!”
“Leo, listen to me you don't mess with these people,” Glen raised a finger at him, adjusting his glasses. “I mean it, just drop the whole thing-”
“Man, what are you talking-?”
“Leo, listen!” Glen raised his voice. “Get a new hobby like kitten calendars or some shit like that. Forget the whole thing- it isn't worth it.”
The hardware technician shook his head and scooped his bag up, “I mean it. There's no way to stop them from messing with you unless you stop messing with them- they mean business.”
Leo glared as he watched him go.
So what had he done?
He'd worked that much harder and messed with them- he set up codes, blocked their way in and hacked his way in. He'd found a lot of shit for five glorious minutes- that's when they had cut the feed.
He should have realized fucking with them would lead to problems.
“I'm Maggie Madsen,” she smiled at him. “Agent at Sector Seven.”
“You're saying it wrong. Again. Really, it's supposed to go like this, show the badge, say 'we're in the government, sector seven' he'll say 'never heard of it' and you'll respond, 'never will.' Is that so hard to remember Madsen?” A voice floated from behind her.
The blonde rolled her eyes and turned just as Leo craned his head over her shoulder to look. A man was walking up to his apartment, clad in a black suit and red tie. He slipped off a pair of sunglasses and put them into his jacket. He raised a brow and a badge.
“Is that even accurate to say?” she asked, batting his badge away. “I mean we don't officially unofficially exist in the government at all anymore.”
“Doesn't matter,” the man replied curtly. “You're still supposed to say it.”
“Ohh... kay?” Leo swallowed a little nervously, waving behind the closed door to his associates. He heard fumbles and scrambles in the room behind him. “Well, look since I see no search warr-”
The blonde smiled apologetically as the man behind her raised a paper to his face, “sorry Spitz, Simmons here isn't going to let me go home till we get in and do our job.”
“So kindly remove your foot from the door and allow us into your apartment before I knock the damn door down,” Simmons huffed.
Leo pursed his lips, “if you knock the door down, you bring harm to me and I can get you for assault on a civilian.”
Simmons raised a brow at him, “kid knows how to threaten with the law- I like that. Good trait for any aspiring agent.”
“Oh shut up Simmons, not all of us want to be an ass-”
“Anyway!” Simmons cut her off short. “I won't need to break into the apartment if you kindly allow us inside. Really, we're just here to talk.”
“I call bullshit,” Leo narrowed his eyes. “I've heard that line way too many times to take it seriously.”
The agent gave an exasperated sigh and between one second and the next he heaved his weight into the door, pushing it open. Leo attempted to hold his ground but the first push was too fast for him and by the second he was knocked to the floor of the room with a yelp.
“Nice digs.” Simmons commented, stepping over him easily. “Oi Sharsky, Fassbinder give it up, we've got copies of everything already.”
The other two guys stared over at him, still busy in their attempts to wipe out everything, but waiting for his orders. Leo simply sighed, waving a hand for them to stop- it was useless to keep up now that the "agents" had gotten in. He stood to face them and crossed his arms over his chest defensively, glaring at them both.
“So you're the ones who've been hacking into my site?”
“Someone's gotta keep the information from the public,” Simmons muttered. “They aren't ready for what you're trying to feed them kid.”
“Kid?!” Leo fumed. “Listen gramps just because I look like I'm fifteen doesn't mean I am. I'm-”
“-still underage,” the man scoffed, peering over the CDs stacked on the table. “Huh, ACDC, at least the kid's got some taste. Can't say same for the posters though.”
“Look I don't know who you are but-”
Maggie sighed and stretched her hand out to him. Pausing only for a moment, he shook it (his mother would kill him if she found out he had ignored another person's courtesy), still glaring in the direction of her companion (yet she'd probably be yelling at the pendejo3 currently looking through his stuff). She extended her hand to the other two and smiled at them, as she introduced herself again, “Maggie Madsen- agent at Sector Seven.”
“What's Sector Seven?” Sharsky asked.
“Sector Seven is private agency that deals with extraterrestrial technology and threats. It's primary focus how-”
“Wait, wait, wait hold up. Did you say extraterrestrial?” Leo's eyes went wide, anger momentarily forgotten. “You mean aliens right?”
“I take back what I said,” Simmons muttered, running a hand through his hair. “This kid is a rank amateur. Amateurs never make good agent material. Training probably wouldn't do a thing to help ei-”
“Training?” Fassbinder cut in. “Hold up, training for what?”
Maggie smiled at them all and shook her head, “well, let's just say you guys are about to get the ride of your lives.”
Leo yawned as he turned the key in the doorknob. Opening the door he dropped the keys on the parlor table and toed off his shoes. Stifling another yawn he closed the door and gasped as a person grabbed him and shoved him up against the wall.
“Took ya long enough,” a low voice hissed in his ear.
He chuckled a little at that, “well it's your fault. You distracted me-”
“For the rest of your shift?” A tongue made its way down his jaw. “Damn, I must be good if ten minutes of my presence was enough to knock you off.”
Leo rolled his eyes, and shuddered under the mouth latched onto his neck, sucking, “A-arrogant bastard.”
“You love it.”
Oh God help him, he did.
Leo sat at the desk, waiting for the agent to come in. He twiddled his thumbs as his two friends spoke in low tones. He wasn't sure what they were doing here exactly but Simmons had promised him an explanation sometime around 1700.
“Seventeen hundred?” Maggie had rolled her eyes. “Really Simmons? We're not in the government anymore- can you please just stick to the regular way of telling time? At least for their sake of these bo-”
“The newbies' sake?” Simmons had laughed. “They're going to get training and that's the first thing that'll be hitting them in the face- military time.”
Leo rolled his eyes. Really, he hadn't even known the guy properly yet but already he was sure of just how much of an asshole he was. The guy even looked the part- with that expensive looking suit of his, his arrogant know-it-all way of speaking to him, but not really even looking at him. It was just so irritating!
Suddenly a door opened and (speak of the devil) in walked agent Simmons and another man. The former had changed his suit for a new black uniform that looked like it was jipped off of the military uniform except for a few modifications. Instead of any blend of camouflage his outfit was completely black with the insignia of the badge he had seen earlier. The man by his side was instead wearing a pristine black suit and held a briefcase at his side. Simmons moved away from the light, choosing a nice secluded corner to brood in as the other nodded at them and closed the door behind him.
“Good afternoon gentlemen. I'm Tom Banachek. I'm one of the directors of this division,” he opened the briefcase and slid out a sleek Macbook. “Now, as Simmons may or may not have told you we're a private agency that monitors extraterrestrial activity. However, for the past year we've also been monitoring you three,” he turned the laptop around to face them, showing them a window of their website as well as another of-
“Oh shit,” Leo flushed and looked away. “So you mean to tell me, you've um... got everything?”
“Copies, receipts, originals,” Simmons grinned from his corner, “everything kid.”
Leo rubbed the back of his neck, “um...”
“I don't mean to put you on the spot son,” Tom offered kindly. “I am merely showing you the capabilities of our own personnel here at Sector Seven. They're quite well at what they do.”
“I can see that,” Leo muttered, refusing to look his friends in the eye who were likewise looking away as well.
“I have a question,” Sharsky began, “if this agency is to monitor aliens and all that- why is it so small? If you guys really are what you say you are then shouldn't you be government funded?”
“Our agency is not as large as it should be, yes but there's an explanation for that,” Tom replied. “We were terminated from the government, more than a year ago when... well when things in L.A went wrong.”
“L.A!” Fassbinder exclaimed, “dude I was there! The robots and stuff? They trashed that place.”
“Yes, well the events in Mission City weren't exactly favorable towards us and eventually we were shut down for... our mistakes,” Tom sighed. “However, the committee came together to save the agency. They shared the belief that the division should continue and so it has. We have downsized a great deal since then and have lost a number of our personnel due to budget cuts,” he eyed the three of them levelly. “Boys, I'll get straight to the point. Each of you have showed extreme passion in your website and your hacking into our system has given the directors plenty to worry about. You have their admiration and their anger.”
Leo gulped. So this was the place they hacked into a couple of months ago. He had recognized a couple of things- but he hadn't been sure. Raising his eyes to glance at the agent in the corner he found those dark eyes narrowed in his direction. His eyes swerved back to center, as he tried valiantly not to blush. Somehow he still felt those eyes on him.
“What we're offering you three is six months worth of training, a job in something you're passionate for and a-”
“-piss poor salary,” Simmons cut in. “Tom's sugar-coating this shit for you. This job we're offering you is going to take away your entire life if you say yes. Little to no money, shitty hours and not to mention the possibility of dying.”
“Simmons,” Tom began warningly. “We're recruiting- not trying to scare them away.”
Simmons grumbled, crossed his arms again, and returned to his brooding corner. Leo watched him for a moment, caught up in the agent's anger- there was an odd glint in his eyes and the tension in his shoulders was radiating off him in giant waves of “don't fuck with me” looks.
Still, he could tell the guy was pretty obsessed with the job. He certainly wasn't pissed with the salary. And to be honest Leo wouldn't be either- if this meant aliens then hell yes he was in. He glanced back at his friends and he confirmed their decisions as well.
Training actually turned out to be pretty fun. Leo still remembered those days fondly- months on end in which he and his friends practiced hacking into different types of programs, bypassing firewalls, fixing and rewiring computers to use for Morse code transmissions (they weren't entirely sure why they did this but Simmons was really anal about it and Leo loved to do it wrong on purpose, just to see him get all riled up- it was amusing sometimes). It was all amusing and fun and they even got a couple hours of training in shooting. Sure it wasn't a lot but they got to learn all the necessary tactics. They learned how to hold guns, aim and shoot them.
They were required to train in the gym and there they'd shit around with the trainers who were actually agents a couple years older than them. It was fun. It really was.
Until they forgot about calling into work for sick days. Until they forgot to pay the rent. Once. Twice. Four-five times. Until they forgot to go to work. Until their savings started to cave in on them. Until they found themselves out on the street one day, the landowner having evicted them from their apartment.
That's when the fun, simpler, and easier times in their lives just stopped.
“Let me get this straight,” Maggie held up a hand to stop his babbling. “You three have gotten kicked out of your apartment because you haven't paid how many months of rent?”
Leo lifted up his hand and extended his fingers, wincing at the Australian girl's glare, “look we may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the training program... and then our boss didn't like the idea of us forgetting about work so he fired us.”
Maggie shook her head and opened the door to her apartment, “Fine get in.” Leo let out a whoop of laughter as he and his companions rushed inside. “But! Tomorrow you three are talking to Simmons about this.”
Leo groaned as the door closed behind them with an audible click. Fassbinder and Sharsky snickered at him. Of course, they'd find this amusing, seeing as how they weren't the ones who were always pestered by the damn agent all the damn freaking time.
He pouted as pathetically as he could, turning to face the girl, “c'mon Maggie- you can't possibly expect him to help us! He hates my guts!”
Maggie smirked, “I think you're wrong there. Simmons is very taken with you.”
Leo blinked at her and laughed outright. Who was Maggie kidding? Simmons hated him.
Leo sighed and rubbed his eyes looking over at the clock on his bedside table. He had to get up to buy some groceries now. If he didn't-
“Stay,” Simmons' arm around his waist tightened as he moved to get up.
“Let go,” Leo muttered. “One of us has to go buy eggs and milk since you sure as hell aren't going to do it, you lazy ass-”
Simmons hand came up to clamp around his mouth and with a muffled squeak Leo realized that something was poking at his thigh. He blushed. He did not need this right now. He had to go buy food. But apparently Simmons had other intentions for him that morning.
Not that he was complaining. By all means he was more than fine with these ideas.
He eventually did talk to Simmons. You know after hearing three lectures from Maggie and a half hour of pleading from his friends to just suck it up and tell him! He did... about a month after moving in with Maggie.
“You three... lost your jobs?” Simmons repeated.
“Yeah, you see-” Leo began but he was abruptly cut off:
“-a month ago!” Simmons ran a hand through his hair. “A month ago, kid and you're telling me this now? What? Haven't you spent enough time with me to know I don't like being the last to know? Haven't you learned that despite the shitty money we're trickling down your way the heads might care that their bright new recruits are now homeless?”
Leo winced and looked away, trying to force down the embarrassed flush rising up to meet his Adam's apple. Well, when he put it that way...
“Maggie took us in and we thought we'd land a job soon enough anyway and-”
Simmons lifted up a hand and Leo knew wisely to shut up. After a few more minutes of berating and ten minutes of silent pacing on the older agent's part the man looked up and fixed him with a look.
“I can probably get an agent of mine to take your friends in for a couple of weeks but that still leaves you homeless,” Simmons sighed. “I suppose since I've got no better alternative- you can move into the spare room at my apartment-” Leo's face lit up “-with one condition! If you're going to order gay porn again, please invite me along for the show.”
Leo blushed furiously, trying to glare but failing to meet the agent's eyes, “Mierda que-4” he cut himself off before rambling off in Spanish again. “I already told you that was a mistake!”
“Uh-huh,” Simmons smirked. “Seventeen orders and three hundred illegal downloads are obviously mistakes- I'm sorry for making such a huge mistake on my part.”
At first he thought he'd gotten the worse end of the deal but later on, Leo realized that he had in fact gotten off much better than his friends had. As it turned out Fassbinder and Sharsky were taken in by the Head of Security Agent Powers. A complete and total asshole who thought himself such a big-shot since he had under his orders three buff idiots who were only called in when an experiment went wrong.
He had them waking up at five in the morning for a run, made them go on a special diet and even started giving them special training. Meanwhile Leo's time in Simmons apartment went by in the same fashion as it had in his old apartment. He'd get up around eight, get a quick breakfast and head into the training facilities underneath the Sector Seven building where he'd find Simmons already waiting for the three of them. Sometimes he'd get up with Simmons and they'd eat together and head in to work- occasionally starting up conversations about Star Trek and Star Wars.
“Star Trek,” Leo replied stubbornly, “is not a kid's show.”
“Please, it's all for you kiddies.”
“How can you even say that when there was so much damn flirting and man-whoring from Kirk?!”
But of course, seeing as how this was Simmons he was living with, the occasional teasing and innuendo ran high between them. To be honest however, it was father fun.
“What took you so long?” Simmons grumbled, pushing past him on his way into the bathroom. “Got another magazine this week?”
Leo had sputtered the first time but come the third time he was coming up with comebacks instead of blushing like a teenager.
“Nah, I was just wanking off to a picture of Powers.”
“Oh God kid, that is not something I needed to hear.”
“What? Would you prefer if I got a picture of you?” Leo laughed outright as the older agent paused, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
“Now there's an idea- I'd say you'd have spectacular tastes then. Till I see it though you're still a sick twisted fuck.”
It was how Leo spent his last month of training before he and his friends were finally debriefed on the entirety of the operations at Sector Seven. They were finally finally named official agents at Sector Seven. Things looked promising and with a full-time job in Sector Seven, they expected things to be a piece of cake. Except... they weren't.
Leo flushed as he listened to the conversation going on above his head. He was going to kill someone soon if they didn't shut the fuck up. Stupid bigots and their stupid close-minded fucking minds. Of all the assholes he'd met in Sector Seven these were in fact the fucking worst.
“Man, I saw some girls walking by, holding hands!” one of them- agent Sullivan- threw up his own hands. “Fucking dykes don't know what they're missing.”
“Oh you mean those two hot chicks by the Starkbucks?” another asked- Perkins, Leo's mind supplied helpfully. “Dude, I asked them for a threesome and they just flipped me off.”
“You idiot,” Sullivan replied. “You don't go asking them like that! You gotta take it slow- pretend you take it up the ass or something and then they'll-”
Leo slammed his headphones on his head refusing to hear another word any longer. Fucking assholes. But of course, oh no, that wasn't the end of it. There had to be more. Of course.
“And did you see the fags who met up with them later on?” Sullivan made a face. “Honestly what the fuck is up with that? God created so many hot chicks why in the hell would these idiots think it's all right to choose a guy over them?”
“I know! And what's even worse, one of them was a total girl. Fucking wearing high heels, make-up and my fucking God-”
“If I hear one more word out of your mouths I will make sure you both land night shift for a month,” a voice behind them boomed coldly.
Leo was about to shoot the agent a grateful smile when he realized just exactly who it was. His heart sank a little as he flicked his eyes back to the screen before him. Of all the assholes to shut these assholes up- it had to be him. Of course.
“You boys have more important shit to be doing and I'm sure that discussing the crap state of our country isn't going to get you a paycheck by the end of the week,” Powers muttered.
As as the agent left however, the older men went right back to their earlier conversation.
To be fair, Leo had put up with worse shit than this but that had been before he'd known he was bisexual. He'd never participated in the discussions and that had been mostly because he'd felt uncomfortable in how vehement people were against a people who were simply... living. He'd had countless of debates about it with his closer friends and even a few girls (the ones who were nerds at least) about how stupid it was of people to get so riled about something like that.
He always thought people were people- albeit people who still sucked on the media's sac but people nonetheless. So when he got curious he decided what the hell, he might as well look it up. Five pages and different wiki links later he found himself with two pressing problems. One, his pants were too tight. Two, he had to find more gay porno sites.
That had been when he turned fourteen. It was right before his unrequited crush on his best friend, Kyle and his drunken hand jobs at tech camp with Esteban. That had been damn, four years ago.
And that was another issue. His age. Fassbinder and Sharsky were fine- they were eighteen too but were living with agent fucking Powers. Surprisingly enough, after a month of having the two under his house, Powers had become something of a mentor to them. What was more shocking however, was how they still managed to be the nicest guys that surrounded the power-hungry agent.
“How do you do it?” Maggie had asked the two of them. “He's the worst.”
Fassbinder shrugged, “reminds me of my old man to be honest.”
“He's also pretty paranoid,” Sharsky nodded sipping at his iced coffee. “We have a pretty hard time trying not to laugh all the time.”
“You're lucky he looks after you guys,” Leo muttered bitterly. “I've got him breathing down my neck all freaking day. He seems to hate me.”
“Nah, he doesn't,” Maggie smiled. “He's like this with everyone. Even Simmons.”
Still, that left Leo alone to deal with the pokes at his “immaturity,” his “smallness,” his-
Leo gritted his teeth and kept his eyes on the numbers in front of him- he had to reinforce the codes today otherwise Tom would be disappointed in him and that was worse than getting a tongue lashing from Powers-
Leo sighed and turned around, “Yes... sir?”
It wasn't fair. Really it wasn't. All of them were nerds here and just because he was a couple years younger than them didn't mean-
“So you heading to that Star Trek convention for the new movie that's coming out?”
Leo stifled a groan as he returned to his computer, trying to ignore the continued questions of his colleagues. It was so stupid. So stupid. He was eighteen. Eighteen! And they acted like seventeen year olds. Roughhousing, making lewd comments about everything because obviously they couldn't get any so they took to watching porn during work hours- mierda5, the amount of times he walked in on one of them going at it in the rec room made Leo look like a saint.
And that was saying something.
In retrospect he was happy that the whole mess had come out to this. He had a job he loved. Met new people every day and eventually got to meet the great great grandson of the guy who found the N.B.E. 1 and his hot (“criminal” Simmons had muttered to him) girlfriend. It was an exciting place to work and all, but at times, he really, really hated ever falling into it.
Accidents happened. Just like in any workplace, falls occurred, minor injuries involving experiments and even a few mysterious disappearances no one ever commented on. However Leo always took care to brush them off- they never felt too close to him and as far as he was concerned it didn't mean much to him hearing about it. He knew the signs of when another agent was going to break the news but as far as he was concerned these accidents were far away from him and his friends.
But he was so wrong.
When Simmons came in, eyes downcast, jaw clenched and beret in his hands, Leo already knew. He swallowed and fisted his headphones in his hands. He watched as the agent sat before him, fidgeting.
“How?” was the only question he could spit out.
“The experiment on the AllSpark sliver went wrong. Locked themselves in and no one could get in.”
“No one?” Leo's head snapped up.
“Your friends were gifted hackers Spitz, none of our override codes worked,” Simmons' voice grew quiet. “Tried to talk sense into letting the security team in to handle it but... dammit, those kids refused. Said...-” he ran a hand over his face, “...said that if they opened the doors, we would have no chance at shutting them down.”
Leo stared down at his hands, numbly. He couldn't fucking believe it. Sharsky... Fassbinder... Just...-
“Left you something though,” Simmons dropped an SD card in front of him, “figured you'd want to be the first to see it so the heads don't know about this. You might want to keep it that way.”
The young boy nodded, face twisting in pain as a hand landed on his shoulder and patted him. A brief clench of fingers and then it was gone, pressure fading with each retreating step.
It took him an hour before he could move again. And then it was only to drop his headphones on the the table and pick up the memory card. He moved it between his fingers, feeling the ridges and tracing the small letters. Within another half hour he moved to get his personal laptop. Another half hour before he plucked up the will to boot it up. He was trembling and biting his nails as he slid the SD card in and waited for the window to pop up. There were a bunch of files and folders and sub-folders he recognized as dummies to be looked through for later but now all he saw was the folder with the initials “FTJ.”
Leo couldn't help it, the lump in his throat grew and stifled his breathing as he clicked on it. A video was the sole item in the folder and it took all of his willpower to finally open it.
Sharsky's face swam into view, amid crashes of light and sounds of bullets. He drew in a sharp breath- he had been there. Just this morning. Oh God...
“Hey Leo, look man I-” the young man ducked as sparks began to fly from the hanging lamps, “-looks like I won't be able to pay you back for the coffee the other day. This place is going to hell and those agents honestly think they'll be able to take them. You know them, those skinny kids would get their asses handed by anyone-” the boy laughed, rubbing away at the blood streaming down his face. “Anyway, look I know this is probably way outta line but me and Fass, we'd appreciate it if you could tell our folks how we really went down. We don't want any of that covered up mickey mouse bullshit- tell them the truth.”
Fassbinder was kneeling beside him now, nodding as he sported a- oh God- bullet wound in his shoulder.
“I want my parents to know I was right about one thing for once and that...” He smiled, wincing as a table behind them exploded. “...well that I wasn't a complete loser... Ask your boyfriend if he can help you with that favor. We'll miss you man-”
Leo watched helplessly as the video came to an end. The media player closed on its own (Sharsky had programmed it that way) and the wallpaper of the himself wearing goggles and a lab coat (Fassbinder had taken that picture) came up. Carajo.1
He stared at the screen, and watched it fade slowly to black before he realized there were tears streaming down his face.
“Fuck,” he breathed.
It was another hour before Leo was roused from his stupor. He didn't know who was at his elbow, dragging him away. He just saw a pair of shiny looking shoes, a pair of hands grab his laptop and stuff it into the bag before swinging it over a suited shoulder. He probably heard a voice but he didn't really pay any attention to it.
He was walked passed a couple of offices, a few people patted his hair or head and he heard a few murmurs of sympathy but it all fell on deaf ears as he followed whoever it was that was leading him out. The endless mutters and pats stopped and he found himself, an eternity later, standing out on the sidewalk, Simmons at his elbow and hailing a taxi.
The older agent shoved him inside, barked the directions at the driver and then they were speeding off. He didn't notice how much time it took, only noticed the hand on his elbow before the ride and the feel of the hand on his elbow again, as he blinked out into the night, preparing himself for the stairs he knew were before him.
A moment or two of endless stairs and he was within the apartment, collapsing into the warm body next to his, fumbling to make contact with anything- hand, shoulder, skin, just need skin-
Suddenly Simmons pulled away, gasping for air and holding him away at arm's length. Leo felt oddly cold as the man struggled for breath away from him. Then the closed eyes opened and descended on his, “I'll stop if you want me to.”
Leo didn't answer. Licking his lips, he watched, fascinated as the agent's gaze traced the motion. He surged forward and pulled the warmth back in. He needed it.
He moaned (later he would deny sounding anything remotely like a hooker) low in his throat, thoughts of wantthisneedohgodneedsomuch running through his mind chasing away the bitter memories of his friends. He needed them to go away. God, he needed to see nothing. Nothing.
Simmons thrust, licked, bit and made him gasp as searing white pleasure burst beneath his closed eyelids.
He whimpered as a mouth descended on his, nipping at his lips, sucking on his tongue- no, God, no too much- and suddenly he bit back, drawing blood and a startled intake of breath. He focused on the blood, allowing it to flow into his lips and ground him as teeth tugged at his own lips. The pain grounded him, bringing him back.
As Simmons flipped them over, he found himself crying- tears dropping hot and wet on the curls on the chest exposed beneath him. He clung to him, burying himself in the warmth, listening to the steady heartbeat thudding under his ear.
“Shh,” Simmons, whispered. “Sleep.”
Things changed after that.
A month before his friends died and five months into training Leo heard a piece of gossip he'd always dismissed as simply that- gossip. It wasn't until he confirmed it that he realized how fucked up things were at Sector Seven. He had thought his co-workers were assholes before but now, he was sure they were nothing but worthless sacks of meat with the luck to have some brains to actually keep the job that he worked so hard at every day.
The story was just so horrible and it enraged him to no end. He wasn't angry that Simmons had had another lover before him- a lover he had been willing to leave Sector Seven for. No, he was angry that Simmons hadn't gone with him.
“The story goes something like this,” Maggie explained pouring herself another cup of coffee. “The guy was a new recruit. Older than most of them, fastest hacker than anyone we'd seen before and with looks to boot. When Simmons saw him the first day- I swear my life on this- he was utterly speechless,” she grinned in spite of herself. “To be honest, I was a little taken back too. He was gorgeous. Here,” she got up and took a photo album from her desk. “Let me show you a picture.”
Leo looked at the picture and gaped. The guy really was gorgeous. He was tall, built, brown curls, peeking around his neck, wide brown eyes, and a smile that made even Leo's insides squirm- and it was just an innocent picture of himself sitting in one of the labs.
“Wow,” Leo breathed. “Just wow.”
“I know,” Maggie smirked. “Great looks but apparently that made him a target for the other older agents who were young enough to be immature morons like the idiots you work with.”
“I doubt anyone can be as bad as those assholes,” Leo muttered. “Every single day they never stop talking about how wrong things are and how they should just send a damn fucking robot on the world to rid themselves of people they hate. Not without an orgy first though,” he rolled his eyes. “Fucking idiots.”
“Yeah well, that's tame compared to what this guy had to put up with,” Maggie muttered. “He was always open about his sexuality. It made us girls so frustrated sometimes because he was just so...” she sighed. “Perfect,” she folded her hands over her cup. “He chose Simmons somehow and they did manage to keep it together until word got out that the guy was seeing someone- the committee fired him.”
“Wait, what?” Leo blinked. “But didn't you just say everyone practically knew?”
“Yeah well,” Maggie rolled her eyes. “Thing about bigots is that they figure if they stay in denial- it really isn't true.” Another sigh. “So basically Simmons was ready- so ready to leave. He had his resignation letter ready, his uniform pressed to be handed back in and then from one day to the next the guy disappeared. Simmons was a wreck. No one saw it but me- they all chalked it up to the idea that he was pissed that his best recruit turned out to be a poof.”
“What happened to him?”
“Who else, the guy!”
“Oh,” Maggie shook her head. “Well I heard Simmons found him but...”
“Well,” Maggie shrugged. “I don't know- Simmons was fine the next day. He had gotten over it or something. Moved on. I'm not sure, I never asked him.”
Leo was quiet for a moment as he eyed the picture and looked through the rest, seeing a couple more of the man with Simmons at his side or with Maggie hanging onto his arm.
“Hey, you never told me his name.”
“His name was Jonathon.”
Leo shifted in his seat and listened carefully, closing his eyes to focus just as Maggie has advised him. He knew that across the room she was probably doing the same. It had been a hectic week of activity. First the disaster in Shanghai, now the robbing of the AllSpark sliver. And still not only was N.E.S.T in the dark but they were as well (not that N.E.S.T knew they were trying to figure anything out- they were still undercover, private, and working pretty damn hard to keep it that way), wondering how the hell had those Decepticons found out about Megatron's location.
He screwed his eyes shut even tighter- the only way they could find out was if they'd been right there or if they'd bugged the entire world and the only way to do that was by way of sate- and suddenly he stopped. Wait a second... Considering the level of technology those bastards had, he wouldn't put it past them.
He pulled a terminal and began to type as fast as possible. He pulled up a list of likely suspects and chose one at random. If he could just get a little peek then he'd be able to see if-
The satellite. He- it- shit.
He swallowed hard and stood up, “a Decepticon has infiltrated our satellite.”
Leo didn't quite know what to do after he and Simmons had sex. Especially not after he remembered this little piece of gossip when he woke up the next day. He knew had sort of wanted Simmons before this. Okay maybe more than sort of.
But it wasn't because the man was drop dead gorgeous or anything- no he was average and pretty much still a bit of an asshole. Yet he was his mentor. He was his friend. His only one now. Even before when his friends had been living with Powers, Simmons was still the only one who could pull him through any bad day.
His friends hadn't understood some of his obsessions and although they shared a passion for aliens and anything to do with them, it wasn't to the same level. Simmons was the only one who could be up to his level of craze for aliens.
Although Simmons teased him and called him a kid from time to time, he was to put it simply, his equal. So why was he hesitating right now? Why was he so...-?
Simmons nudged him in the ribs now, “you're thinking too loud.”
Leo frowned and sat up. He eyed the man sleeping on his side, waiting for those eyes to open and look at him.
“I was just...” Leo bit his lip. “Can I ask you something?”
“I believe you just did, but go ahead and ask me another,” Simmons muttered. “Still too tired to say no.”
“What happened to Jonathon?” Leo felt his companion stiffen beside him in bed and he quickly began to explain, “I heard the rumors about him from the older agents and then Maggie told me what really happened but... she didn't know what happened afterwards... when he left. And I... well...”
Simmons nodded and ran a hand over his face, “Figures, that woman can't keep her mouth shut. Well turns out he lives in Brazil now, found himself a new boyfriend, and got married, even works for their government.”
Leo stared, “you mean... he just forgot about you?”
Simmons turned on his back and away from his questioning gaze, “he never really... did care much, I guess. Said he loved me and then he left. Can't call that love- so he must have just never cared.”
Leo frowned, “well he's an idiot. He may have looks and brains but apparently not enough to have just forgotten someone as good as you.”
“So you're saying I'm a better catch than he was?” Simmon's eyebrows were raised and the teasing tone in his voice was enough to make heat pool in Leo's cheeks.
“...I'm just saying he was an idiot for forgetting you in the first place,” he didn't look up as and kept his eyes trained carefully on the sheets in front of him. “You deserve better than that.”
A hand reached up to grip his chin and Leo allowed his gaze to follow the movement as Simmons tipped it down towards him. The smile on the older agent's face made his heart skip a beat and for a moment all he could do was stare.
Then tentatively, he smiled back.
Leo knew things would be tricky. He knew if word got out that he was seeing someone, they'd eventually start to ask just who the lucky girl was. And if word got out that it wasn't a girl but a guy who happened to be his superior- then he was fucked. God, he was practically sleeping with his boss seeing as how Simmons was definitely higher in rank than he was.
He didn't know how they managed it those first few months. It was so hard not to melt into every touch Simmons briefly gave him- whether it was a pat, a slight squeeze of the shoulders or a simply stare. The older agent was simply a bad influence on him. No matter how hard he tried, that damned man always managed to get under his skin and wind him up.
What he didn't know however was that he had the same effect on Simmons as well. How was he supposed to know that a simple act of biting his lips and sticking a pen in his mouth would cause any sort of reaction? So when Simmons dragged him off to a private office to fuck him into a desk, the first time around, he made sure to stick a pen in his mouth at every available opportunity. It was dangerous, sure, but he couldn't help it, and neither could Simmons.
Those first few months were the best of his life. He finally managed to ignore the assholes who he worked with. He managed to ignore the snarks about his age. And he even managed to keep his relationship a secret amid all this.
For a while at least.
Leo shook his head and rubbed his eyes. Of all the shit that had been going on this week, a second alien attack was not what he needed right now. Three night-shifts in a fucking row and he still had to get up for his regular shifts in the mornings. He had only slept two hours last night. Two!
And that was only because he had finally, finally gotten a call from Simmons telling him he and Sam were heading to D.C and he was expecting him to be there to help with a break-in.
“The Smithsonian Simmons?” Leo echoed. “Really? What do you want us to loot out the White House afterwards because you know, their security must be a lot less than the Air and Space-”
“Kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, kid you compromise this mission? You are dead to me!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah I heard you,” he rolled his eyes despite knowing the other wouldn't see it. “I'll be on the next flight out of here. Just call up Powers and Tom to let them know I'm the one you wanted.”
Powers had been furious when Simmons was assigned the job of protecting the kid but he had been even more infuriated by the fact that instead of calling for back-up from the Security department he'd asked specifically for him, “the pipsqueak newbie recruit.”
Leo leaned back into the plane's seat and tried to get some sleep. At least he could rest easy in knowing he'd be seeing his boyfriend in about an hour. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore the sinking feeling in his gut that something bad was going to happen.
“So have you told him, you love him yet?” Mikaela asked.
Leo sputtered and turned around to face the girl, blushing a bright red, “what are you talking about?”
“Oh don't lie,” she replied. “I've seen the looks you've given him when you think no one's looking. And I've also heard the noises he makes when you-”
“What's your point?” Leo cut in.
Mikaela gave him a kind smile as they watched the men across the room, “you know what the Decepticons are capable of... you can't tell me you aren't at least the tiniest bit scared that those two will lose their heads and take on more than they can handle.” Leo looked away from her knowing gaze. “C'mon Leo, why haven't you?”
“Because, it has to be perfect,” Leo replied quietly. “...I don't want him to think I don't mean it. I have to say it at the right time and-”
“You're so cute,” Mikaela whispered shaking her head. “But seriously just stop worrying and tell him- everyone else who's seen you two work together already knows.”
Leo growled angrily as Simmons ran off, leaving him alone to deal with the injured soldiers in the helicopter. Of all the arrogant and stupid things he'd seen and heard today, Simmons' stunt had to be the worst ever. He clenched his fists and stared up at the twins, daring them to say anything.
They looked away, whistling innocently to themselves.
“What the hell are you doing standing here?” Leo barked. “Go with the others by the pillars and help Sam!”
Apparently his rough demeanor and harsh tone was enough to get the two Autobots moving. He nodded as he watched them leave before settling down to wait for the other agent to return from being a hero.
Carajo, este idiota se va matar.
Leo ran. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him. And finally, there, there he was walking towards him, dirty, slightly hunched over but victorious. Ignoring the grin on the other's face he raised his arm and punched him as hard as he could.
“You! You- You idiot!” He hissed, towering over the other agent. “Don't you dare ever, ever do that again!”
Simmons smiled up at him, rubbing his jaw, “nice to see you too kid.”
His anger deflated now. He couldn't help it. Simmons was there, on the ground, still smiling.
“Oh God,” Leo felt himself crumple and fall to the ground beside him. He reached out and dug his fingers in the other's warm leather jacket. Burying his head in his shoulder he released a sob, “I thought... fuck I thought-”
“Shhh,” Simmons' hands came up to wrap around him and he felt the sudden thoughts of he'salivehe'salivehe'snotdeadalivealive crashing together and choke up inside him. “I know. I'm here.”
Now that N.E.S.T knew they were still around things began to change. Amid the quick cover-ups and hurried debriefing Sector Seven received a major make-over. Although they were still apart from the government, and privately funded the military organization was now relying them more heavily on information they didn't have. Such as data from the experiments they had managed to preform on the AllSpark before all the slivers were gone, a few leading theories on the remaining transformers living in disguise on Earth, and a foolproof agency dedicated to the sole purpose of research without taking any part in protecting Earth from potential threats. That, they were to hand over to N.E.S.T.
It was between the debriefs and training of new recruits that Leo was summoned before the committee.
“You're dismissed,” Powers growled.
Leo didn't even ask why. He simply nodded and turned away. He knew exactly why he had been fired and to be honest he didn't give a damn. He had noticed the way his co-workers had thrown him and Simmons dirty looks whenever they were discussing a new rotation of shifts or a future experiment. It was no secret to anyone now. He was done. He was so fucking done with the hiding.
When it came down to it however he did wonder how he had become so careless as to not realize they weren't alone on the plane back to headquarters. Sam had been there, Mikaela, Lennox, a couple of other soldiers and one sole Sector Seven agent that had unfortunately been the one to find them kissing in the bathroom.
“You are so dead Leo,” Perkins had whispered, clenching his beret at his side, so tightly, Leo could see the whites of knuckles. “So fucking dead.”
Leo had looked at him levelly and leaned in to lick Simmons' ear, watching with cynical amusement as the agent had turned tail and ran.
He supposed, it was bound to happen sooner or later. He just wondered what taken them so long.
About an hour after he got home, Simmons stormed into the apartment, yanking him up from the sofa, “get into your uniform, we're going to call in a favor. Right fucking now.”
“What are you-?” Leo began but was abruptly cut off as the man glared at him. He raised his hands defensively, “all right, all right- no questions.”
He did as he was told and pretty soon they were speeding down the road in the direction of where he knew the N.E.S.T headquarters lay. He hoped Simmons knew what he was doing.
With Simmons' hand on his knee though, somehow, he knew everything was gonna be okay.
It didn't take long to figure it out what favor Simmons was talking about. In fact Sam and Mikaela were the ones who told him the news before Simmons got a chance.
“What do you mean he's the official liaison between Sector Seven and N.E.S.T? When did this happen?” Leo blinked.
“Just now,” Sam replied with a smile, “Lennox and Tom both agreed to it and since they're both very important to their own organizations now all that needs to be done is for him to sign the papers.”
“He'll still be working for Sector Seven then?” Leo asked.
“Yeah, but now he gets to have an office here. And guess just who he's naming his personal assistant?”
Leo gaped in amazement, “no.”
“Who else was I going to chose?” Simmons's voice snorted from behind him. “The rest of those idiots are just not worth my presence anymore.”
Leo turned around to see him and smiled, “so... does this mean I don't have the opportunity to run off to Brazil to meet a nice young boy my age to marry?”
“Not a chance,” Simmons murmured grinning down at him.
It was later when they were finally in bed, almost half asleep in the afterglow of their rough lovemaking that Leo said it.
“I love you,” he whispered fiercely, kissing the brim of the other's nose. “But if you ever, ever, ever decide to make a meal again, please, please, please don't. Jesus, just wait till I get home or call Maggie to help you.”
Simmons' laugh rumbled beneath his ear and he smiled when the agent answered, “love you too kid.”
1 Spanish for "hell"
2 Spanish for "crazy"
3 Spanish for "idiot," "asshole," "fool"
4 Spanish for "Shit that-"
5 Spanish for "shit"
6 Spanish for "Hell, this guy is going to get himself killed."