“What did you say?” Gabe yelled over the rattling fire of a siege automaton's sub machine gun.
“You heard me!” Jack yelled back, shoving the barrel of his rifle into the chest of another Bastion unit and blowing it wide open.
The omnic fell back and Jack blasted its head into oblivion.
“I just want clarification,” Gabe shouted, blasting another omnic open like a tin can with those stupidly big shotguns of his.
Jack rolled his eyes, swinging around to grab Gabe by the back of his hoodie and pull him closer. “I said: will you marry me!”
“Good, that's what I thought I heard. Incoming sentry mode at two o'clock.”
“I got it. Hold still.”
Gabe stood still as a statue while Jack put the heavy pulse rifle on his shoulder and adjusted the power output to a sniper setting. He lined up the shot and took it on the exhale.
The Bastion that was in the middle of reconfiguring crumpled to the ground, head unit gone. Jack snapped the rifle up, allowing Gabe to spin around and fire at the omnic on their six. Jack took aim, the pulse rounds tearing apart the the lead Bastion of the wave coming for them.
“So is that a yes or no?”
“I'm thinking about it,” Gabe said, tossing his empty guns away and drawing out a new pair. “Gotta weigh all my options, consider other offers.”
Jack rolled his eyes, spinning around to cover Gabe while he was vulnerable. “Don't pretend like I'm not the only one stupid enough to try and marry you.”
“Hey, I'm a hell of a catch!” Gabe lifted his new guns, pointing one to each side and blasting off the heads of two omnics at once. “Anyone would be lucky to marry me.”
“If they could get past your snoring,” Jack said, flicking his rifle setting to the Helix rockets. “Let's not forget the drooling in your sleep and your terrible taste in TV. Rockets on your nine o'clock.”
Gabe shifted out of the way and Jack took a clean shot. The rockets exploded on their targets, vaporizing three tin cans and wounding two more.
“I do not drool!” Gabe snapped, spinning around so they were face to face.
“Got the stains on my night shirts to prove that you do.”
“Grenade.” Gabe grabbed Jack by the back of the neck, spinning them to the ground as he fired.
The bang and heat weren't nearly as uncomfortable as Gabe's elbow pressing down on his spine. Jack grunted, rolling them over so he was straddling his commanding officer, their noses almost touching.
“Either you're wearing more armor or you need to cut back on the late night snacks.”
“Coming from the man who lives off a steady diet of mayonnaise, cornbread, and deep fried everything.”
“You love my deep fried Oreos, don't even try to deny it.”
Gabe put a shotgun to his face. Jack tilted his head to the side, activated his targeting earpiece's noise dampener just as Gabe pulled the trigger.
“I was starving. I had to eat something,” Gabe grunted as the omnic above them bashed to the ground.
“You loved it.” Jack rolled off Gabe and to his feet, activating his earpiece again. The holographic HUD popped up, showing him move movement on their flanks. “We got a corridor at eleven o'clock.”
“See if you can keep up.”
Gabe tore off at a sprint. Jack went with him, just half step behind. They raced through the torn up suburban sprawl turned battlefield.
“Still didn't give me an answer,” Jack shouted.
“Where's my ring?” Gabe shouted back.
“Not getting it until you say yes.”
“It better be good,” Gabe snapped. “With a big ass diamond.”
“You think I could afford a diamond? On the shitty salary you pay me?”
“I don't write the checks I just pass 'em out. Cannon!”
Gabe flung out his arm and brought them both to a screeching halt. The cannon configured Bastion turned its gun on them. Jack grabbed Gabe by the waist and lunged, sending them both sailing through the window of a bombed out house. The round exploded behind them, sending a mix of pavement and dirt raining down on them.
Both of them sprawled on their stomachs as more sub-machine gun fire splattered the walls above their heads.
“Ring,” Gabe demanded, holding out his hand.
Jack fished the small black box out of his pocket, flicked it open and handed it to Gabe. His commander was silent for a moment. He closed the box and put it his pocket.
“Jack Morrison, I could kill you. How much did that cost?”
“About three months pay.”
“Pinche estúpido! ”
“Pure platinum,” Jack said. “Because you think gold is tacky, mi luna .”
Gabe grabbed his shoulder and pulled him close, his lips pressing firmly against Jack's. They savored the chaste kiss for a long moment before breaking apart.
“I like certain kinds of gold,” Gabe said, running his fingers through Jack's hair.
“Do I need to call my mother with news or what?”
Gabe rolled his dark eyes. “Of course it's a yes you moron!”
“Could you say that one more time? Just for clarification,” Jack teased.
Gabe grabbed the end of the blue duster and yanked it up and over Jack's head. “Move that flat ass of yours. Mission isn't over yet.”
They army crawled through the remains of the house and out the back. Jack sniped two Bastions from the doorway before they sprang to their feet. Gabe took point, Jack falling in, his back to Gabe's as they moved along the rows of houses.
“Fall,” Jack said as Gabe checked the gap between two houses, deemed it clear, and lead them across. “I'm thinking early October. After Mom and Dad have the year's crops in.”
“If we're doing October we're having a Halloween wedding,” Gabe said, as they worked their way through the housing track.
“We are not having a Halloween wedding, Gabriel.”
“You are no fun.”
“Fine. I'll agree. But you have a wear a white gown as a costume.”
Gabe growled. “No way in hell am I dressing in drag for my wedding!”
“November is too close to the holidays.”
“Then let's do it before the damn harvest. May.”
“Then we'll only have three months to plan.”
“Next May then.”
“I'm not waiting forever to marry you. It's happening this year.”
“Aren't you pushy. You think I'm going to stay home and keep house for you?”
They made it to a park area with low hills and plenty of trees for cover. They slipped behind one and Jack yanked Gabe to him, pressing a hungry kiss to his lips for a moment before pulling away.
“No. I don't think that. I want to be your husband. Sooner rather than later.”
Gabe pulled him back in for another kiss. Jack slid his tongue along Gabe's lips and they parted, letting him in.
The clanking of omnics closing in interrupted them. Gabe pushed him back.
“Fine. Early October. The colors will be gold and black.”
“Is this a wedding or a high school prom?”
Gabe smirked at him. “I'll let you change the colors if you wear the dress.”
Gunfire tore up their tree and sent them running through the park.
“I'm not wearing a dress!”
“Gold and black it is.”
Jack opened his mouth to argue, but Gabe caught a bullet in the shoulder. He turned the stagger into a spin, turning around and returned fire. Jack's heart clenched. He knew Gabe would walk off a little wound like that, but any wound made him nervous.
“Keep going, it's nothing!” Gabe shouted as his shotguns roared.
“Almost there!” Jack said. He reached back and touched Gabe's waist.
Gabe spun back around, running shoulder to shoulder with Jack. They raced up a hill to a concrete building, taking shelter behind it. Jack yanked a biotic emitter from his belt and tossed it to the ground.
The little canister sprang open and emitted a golden glow. Jack jerked Gabe to his chest, kissing him as the biotic field eased away the bruises and scrapes. “Don't get shot,” he growled. “We're in the middle of tactical planning here.”
Gabe tossed his empty guns away, wrapping his arms around Jack, one hand in his hair, the other on the small of his back. Jack let his rifle drop to his side, tilting his head back. Gabe pulled away.
“It's a scratch, cariño . You shouldn't have wasted the emitter.”
“You are not going to ruin the wedding photos with a missing limb or more scars.”
“You love my scars,” Gabe said, kissing his cheek. “Sugarbutt.”
Jack brushed his fingers over the two old scars on Gabe's right cheek. “Scars do look good on you, buttercup.”
Gabe leaned close. Jack eagerly brought their lips together, opening his mouth. Gabe slipped inside, running his tongue along his teeth. Jack's eyes fluttered closed.
“Gabriel. Jack. Are you two in position yet?” Ana asked over coms.
Jack ignored her as he sucked on Gabe's lips.
“Gabriel. Jack. Do you copy?”
Gabe pulled his mouth away. “We copy, Ana. In position. Reinhardt? Torbjörn?”
“Ready and waiting,” Reinhardt answered.
“Give the command so we can be back in time for dinner. My wife's waiting.”
“Blow it up,” Gabe said to the coms. “Jack, where's the detonator?”
Jack grinned at him. “Somewhere.”
The first explosion rumbled through the ground.
Gabe gave him an annoyed look. “Jackie, now is not the time.”
“You can always try to find it,” Jack said with a shrug. He cocked his hip out. “It's on me somewhere.”
“You are a naughty boy,” Gabe rumbled running his hands down Jack's chest.
The second explosion rocked the earth under their boots.
“You love it when I'm naughty,” Jack teased.
Gabe grabbed Jack's ass and squeezed. Jack leaned back in. Gabe squeezed harder, making Jack moan.
“Say our first dance can be Can't Help Falling in Love and I'll give it to you.”
Gabe kissed him as the third explosion split the air. “Our first dance is going to be The Way You Look Tonight. Detonator.”
Jack pouted. “Please?”
“If you get the song I get the cake.”
“Fine. Back pouch.”
Gabe only took one hand off his ass. Cheeky bastard. He unsnapped the pouch, pulled out the detonator, and hit the button.
The explosives they had so carefully placed let out an earsplitting boom as the omnium went up in flames.
“Red velvet,” Gabe said. “White frosting. Swans as the toppers.”
“You don't want a shotgun shell and a rifle round for the toppers?”
“Swans,” Gabe insisted.
“Anything for you. Rendezvous point?”
They broke cover and ran perpendicular the route that got them here. The omnics in the field were all looking back at their base, temporarily out of commission as their order signal was interrupted.
Gabe looked over his shoulder. “Sunflowers!”
“For the centerpieces?”
“Everything. They work with the colors.”
“You carrying a bouquet?”
“No. We'll make the groomsmen and women hold them.”
Oh. He hadn't thought of that. “Good idea. You have an idea for your best man?”
“My oldest sister. You?”
“Well, under any other circumstances it would be you.”
“You're so sweet, mi sol .”
“Torn between Ana and Reinhardt. Was thinking Torbjörn could officiate.”
They vaulted over a fallen tree.
“He's got kids we could borrow to be flower girls.”
Jack considered. “Fareeha won't want to be left out.”
“Ring bearer. We can dress her up in a cute little suit.”
“But she likes dresses.”
“She'll be cute in a black suit and a golden tie.”
They ducked behind cover as a platoon of Bastions marched out, cutting off their escape route. Jack checked his rifle. Running low on rockets. It'd take too long to go around. They had to go through.
Jack put his hand on Gabe's shoulder. “You'd look stunning in a white suit.”
“You really want me in white don't you?”
“Just want you.”
“Would it be too tacky if we both wore white?”
Jack chuckled. “With my skin tone? It'll look tan.”
Gabe turned and kissed him again. “Fine. I'll wear a white suit with a black tie, you can ware black with a gold tie. But your father is walking you down the aisle.”
“Love you.” Jack kissed him. “Only got a few rockets left.”
“Lay down cover fire for me would you, sugar plum?”
“Don't call me that one. Don’t like it.”
Gabe chuckled. “Then what should I call you?”
“How about Mr. Morrison-Reyes?”
“No. Mr. Reyes-Morrison.”
“We'll fight about this later.”
Gabe looked at him and arched an eyebrow. “You wanta do it?”
“Save it for the honeymoon, Gabriel.”
“Hawai'i is paradise.”
“With a million people.”
Jack smiled at his fiancé. “You just want to speak Spanish around me all day and have me completely at your mercy wherever we go.”
“S í ,” Gabe said, “ y disfrutarías cada minuto de ello .”
Jack bit his lip and shivered as that melodic voice washed over him. “Spain it is.”
“Good. Now, do you want to do it or not?”
Jack checked the dozen Bastion units blocking the only way through to the rendezvous point before turning back to Gabe. “There's no one I trust more to do it with.”
Gabe kissed him once more before pulling away. “For luck. Let's go.”
Together, they rushed headlong at the omnics. Jack turned off the regulator on the pulse rifle as he and Gabe matched strides, flying across the ground.
The omnics fired on them. They wove through the hail of bullets. In unison, they leapt, landing in the middle of the units, cutting their line in half. Gabe's shotguns roared like thunder, blurring as they whipped from target to target, tearing through metal like tissue paper. Jack turned loose the full power of his rifle. Two dozen rounds in a blink shredded armor.
When Jack stepped, Gabe went with him, ebbing and flowing with his partner, always at his back. Jack activated his eyepiece. It flared into a real-time HUD, marking all targets. It sent the data to Gabe's matching piece, which returned its data, giving them a three-hundred-sixty degree view of the battlefield.
Gabe's shotgun appeared over Jack's shoulder, blasting an omnic that he was just about to shoot.
“I had that!”
“Just watching out for you, honey bunny.”
Jack's tactical HUD flashed a warning of a reconfiguration. He flicked his rifle to the last of the Helix rockets, turning—the eyepiece locking onto the cannon Bastion—and fired.
“That one was mine!”
“Only helping my stud muffin.”
In a blur of black and blue, the omnics fell into smoking helps of slag. Panting, they both stopped, back to back, weapon barrels smoking. Jack ejected the spent clip, jamming in a new one. Gabe tossed aside his guns, turning around and gathering Jack into his arms.
“For the meal, spicy rice, pineapple chicken, puerco pibil , pan de elote, and as much sangria as it takes to get the both of us drunk off our asses.”
Jack leaned back into Gabe's chest. “You had me at food.”
“I'll have a few churros made just for you.”
“I knew there was a reason I was marrying you.”
Gabe tilted Jack's head back and kissed him. Jack reached up, grabbing hold of the back of Gabe's head and pulling his head down to deepen the kiss. They stood there for a while, just relishing in the adrenaline and each other.
“Boys,” Ana's voice said over coms, “Fareeha and I have dinner plans that I don't want to miss. Where are you?”
Jack let go of Gabe and pulled his lips away. Damn work. “Inbound.”
“If I catch you two making out when we should be getting out of here I will put you both to sleep for the entire ride home.”
Gabe kissed Jack's neck. “Duty calls.”
The plane was already warmed up and hovering above the ground. Gabe leapt on first, turning and reaching out. Jack took his hand and let him help him into the plane, shutting the door behind him. Gabe banged a fist on the wall and the pilot took off.
Ana gave them an arched eyebrow and her “annoyed at my children” look. Reinhardt was sprawled out, taking up a good eighty percent of the space. Torbjörn was typing something on his tablet.
“And what took you boys so long?” Ana asked.
Jack smiled, grabbing Gabe's hips and pulling him flush. Gabe didn't stop him when Jack leaned in and captured those full lips for a nice, long—finally uninterrupted—kiss.
Reinhardt scoffed playfully. “Rubbing it in?”
Gabe said nothing, taking off his left glove and holding his hand out.
Reinhardt gasped, putting a hand over his mouth.
Torbjörn leapt to his feet. “Is that what I think it is?”
Ana grinned. “About time.”
Jack smiled into the kiss as their friends all started talking at once, but he only had eyes and ears for one man.
Gabe slid one hand behind Jack's back and twisted him down into a dip. Jack grinned at his dramatic fiancé, wrapping his arms around Gabe's neck.
“You're such a fucking sap for proposing on Valentine's' Day,” Gabe said, leaning in and kissing him again as their friends cheered.