Leon had just gotten out of the Gauntlet. He was worn out and tired, and now he had to fight the Overboss of Nuka-World. Colter. He could tell this was going to be a long fight, and long it was. He didn’t have his weapons, as he decided to leave them with Danse, but he wasn’t in the arena with him, so all he had was a squirt gun called Thirst Zapper and a sword. He did however have a shit ton of stimpacks with him. He always made sure to have plenty of those. Having been in the military before the bombs went off, he knew just how important they were.
The doors on both sides of the arena closed. He knew it was vitam aut mortem here. He had to make every hit count. The person who had given Leon the squirt gun was a raider named Gage. Gage wanted Leon to win this fight. Leon was immediately brought back to reality when he felt the ground start to rumble as Colter began to charge at him. He abruptly threw himself over a Cola-Car and shot Colter’s power armor with the Thirst Zapper. Its effect was immediate. His power armor had electricity shooting out of it. That meant that if it got wet, it’d have an effect that would pacify the field that would normally be impenetrable by normal means. Leon used this moment to rush forward and start hitting the armor with his sword. He managed to knock a few pieces off. But not enough to render him exposed. So he kept ducking behind cars and shooting water at Colter.
Eventually, he had knocked all of Colter’s armor off. He took one single blow to chest, and he was dead. Leon was covered in blood. Everyone watching was either booing, shouting in confusion or cheering.
Leon walked up to the door on the other end where Colter came out of. He saw Gage in person. He was taken aback by his… Beauty as he would say. He knew he was a Raider, but something seemed off about him. Like he was a Raider, but also as if he didn’t like the place. Gage said something about being the new Overwatch or something. But Leon wasn’t listening. Instead he was staring at the beautiful raider standing before him. Watching his lips move. Looking into his eye. He had an eye patch covering the right eye. His hair cut left him with a strip of hair in the middle. He couldn’t tell how old he was, but that didn’t matter. Finally he started to listen to Gage, and then he heard his accent. All over again he was entranced by Gage.
Gage seemed to notice the man standing before him was staring at him. In a way that he had not seen in a long time. For the time being, he cast it aside and not knowing how the man would react he lightly tapped his shoulder. Leon came back from wherever he was. Gage told Leon to follow him. After walking out of the Arena, Leon saw an entire new place. Its name was Nuka-World. It was a pre-war theme park. Leon had heard about it. He couldn’t remember everything about it but he had heard about for sure.
After Gage had lead him to Fizztop Mountain, he had many questions. Like, how did an average wastelander make it through the Gauntlet? It almost seemed like he had training with the sort of things he was dealing with. Once they got up to the top, where the view was of the entrance to Nuka-World, Gage started by telling Leon that he is going to have to start getting to know the different gangs that resided in the park. Leon was taken aback by this, as he didn’t realize there were entire gangs here.
After Gage described the three gangs to Leon, which Leon now knew the names of: The Disciples, The Operators and The Pack, he decided to ask Leon some questions about himself. Leon was happy to tell Gage about him.
Gage asked him where he was from, how he got through the Gauntlet without a scratch, who he was and many other things. Leon told him that he was from a pre-war vault, Vault 111. He was in the military and had many years of experience with the things he dealt with in the Gauntlet. He was married before the bombs went off and she died while in the vault. He told Gage the whole story.
“Well shit” was Gages response.
Leon laughed a little, at Gages short response. He usually doesn’t tell many people the entire story, but when he does he gets one of two responses. Most people will start apologizing or giving him a hug or expressing their sorrow, or people say something similar to Gage, the only exception being, it’s filled with more emotion. But since Gage was a raider, he didn’t expect much. Like he thought before, he had a feeling about Gage, that he wasn’t your typical raider. That wasn’t always hopped up on chems or that he had no brains. He could tell right then and there that he was different. He was special. Leon knew in the back of his mind that he wasn’t interested in females, although he couldn’t recall any raiders that were in any relationships.
Gage asked him who he was married to and Leon responded with,
“My wife, Nora. We had been married for two years and we had a child named Shaun. The Institute kidnapped him and shot Nora in front of me. After that, I fell back into my cryogenic sleep, and here I am. I’ve been out of the Vault for about 6 months now.”
Gage was surprised that someone like him hadn’t found someone else yet. But then again, it’s hard to move on from something like that. Maybe one day, Leon would find someone, Gage was starting to like Leon, a little more than just, Boss and Overboss. But he couldn’t just tell Leon that. So he decided to wait. Well, he thought he could wait until Leon said this,
“Hey, Gage. Eyes up here.”
Gage suddenly looked up and met Leon's gaze. For Christ's sake, the Vault Dweller was beautiful. He had a nice thick beard. He had such sharp eye-brows. Perfectly arched. His eyes were, a dark brown, but there was a hint of grey in them. He was perfect. Gage hadn’t felt this way in years. Leon’s gaze was a stare that looked as if he had just murdered someone. But, it was just the way he was looking at him. Once Leon leaned up again, he had a smile on his face and said, “I hope you weren’t distracted with my Pip-Boy.”
Gage then thought that Leon must’ve thought he was staring at his arm. But in all reality, Leon’s arms were pretty muscular. And he was indeed staring. Marveling the pre-war man before him. Thinking back to three years ago, when he found someone similar. Only, Gage was interested in the other man. He was in a relationship already, so he subtly told him that he liked guys. The other man’s name was *Stadius. He was perfectly fine with it. Stadius and Gage became great friends. They would travel together, go take out different marks. All sorts of things. But one day, his girlfriend broke up with him, and he was heartbroken. They had been together for years. They had been through so much. Stadius told Gage about how they met and of all the things that happened. Gage felt sorry for the poor guy. He was about to say “I could help you, if that’s ok with you”, but then he realized that Stadius knew he liked guys. So that might cause some issues.
Instead he went with “Hey, I know this isn’t the best time, and this probably sounds really weird, but I can help you, possibly, if that’s ok with you.”
Stadius looked up at Gage, as he was sitting down on the ledge of Fizztop Mountain. He was crying. Of course he was. He just lost one of the most important people in his life.
Gage laughed a little, “Are you asking to help me feel better or to help me feel better?” He put emphasis on the last better as he knew that he could make Gage laugh a little in this situation. Gage blushed a little.
“Woah, Gage did you just blush?” Stadius teased. Gage turned away, never blushing before like he was now. He stuttered, “I-I uh-“was all he could get out before he felt something laying against his legs.
He looked down and there was Stadius, leaning against his legs. He looked so peaceful. He could see his tears fall on to his cheek. He felt him exhale deeply. Gage bent down quickly, and wrapped his arms around Stadius. He pulled him into a loving hug. Gage had a strong grip, and when he had to he’d give someone a hug they wouldn’t forget. They sat there for what felt like an eternity. It had started raining. They both felt so comfortable there. Neither one of them wanting to move, until they heard the lift start to move below them. They both scrambled to get up and go over to the bar. Gage quickly grabbed a random bottle of alcohol. He struggled to open it and that’s when the life reached the top. Nisha, Mason, Mags and William walked off of the lift and into the bar area.
That’s where the flashbacks ended.
Stadius had left some time after that. Although, Gage was sure that wherever he was, with whatever he was doing, that he was happy. Even though part of Gage missed him, a lot, he knew that he had to move on one day. Perhaps that day was today. Now that he thought about it, Stadius and Leon had some similar features, body build, eyes, hair. That was about it. He didn’t think about it much. After all, Stadius had left years ago. There were some days where Gage would think back to the bitter-sweet goodbye they had. They were on good terms when he left, but it was saddening. He looked back up at Leon, and for a second he thought he saw Stadius.
“Stadius?” Gage murmured.
Leon glanced at Gage, giving him a look of confusion.
“Stadius? Who’s that? A friend? Comrade? Another fellow raider?” Gage had peaked Leon’s interests. Gage suddenly told Leon that they needed to go find some work to do. He started walking towards the lift, with tears threatening to come out. He shook his head to rid his mind of the memories. Too much had happened today, and he wasn’t willing to look weak in front of the new Overboss. He turned around and saw that Leon had found a picture frame.
“Ah, shit…” Gage whispered. He had completely forgotten about the picture of him and Stadius, side by side. Gage knew he had a shit ton to explain. He didn’t want to, but he knew it was inevitable. He took a deep breath in. And then he exhaled only to see that Leon was elsewhere in the bar, having moved on form the photo. He felt relief. But also more sadness, but he quickly let it go and called Leon over to the lift. Leon walked over and got on the lift, but he thought he sensed someone’s sadness. He looked around and all he could see was Gage. But it can’t be Gage, he would never let anyone see him when he’s weak and vulnerable. So he just dismissed it as nothing. They went down the lift and once they reached the bottom, Gage asked him one thing.
“Hey Leon, could we go somewhere for a little bit?”
Leon was initially surprised at first, but then he thought that maybe he was going to give him some pointers. So he agreed.
“Yeah of course Gage! Lead the way.”
So Gage started walking to the entrance of Nuka-World. In his mind, for some odd reason, he had already built up enough trust with Leon to show him where he and Stadius would sit after a long day’s work. Far away from Nuka-World.
It was an old bunker, beneath the ground. It was under the foundation of an abandoned house. Gage made sure to see if anyone was around. He checked for several minutes and saw that no one was there. Leon was a bit confused but he could sense anxiety and excitement within Gage. When the door opened, Leon was assaulted with a cloud of dust. He put his hands in front of his face and tried his best not to breathe in the dust.
Once the dust cloud had cleared, they made their way into the tunnel. It was only a few feet long but it led to another door, however this was a Vault door. Leon was far too familiar with it. He asked Gage, if this was a vault, to which Gage replied with no.
Leon let out a relieved sigh. He had spent too much time in a vault, and he wasn’t really looking forward to going back into another one. Gage and Leon waited for the door to open up, and on the inside he was so ecstatic. But on the outside he was keeping a stoic look on his face, as he didn’t want to seem too suspicious.
When the door had stopped moving, Leon gasped. The sight before him reminded him of before the war. It was a house that had no damage done to it. Everything was still standing perfectly tall. Nothing was in the slough of ruin that he had awoken to 6 months ago. The wall paper was still attached to the wall, and it was perfect. Or so Leon thought. He felt someone grab his arm, so he turned around to see who it was. Gage was holding his arm. He tuned in to what he was saying and it all made sense.
“Hey, Leon! Are you ok? Are you there?” Gage shouted. Leon woke up, realizing that he was dreaming. The house looked different. Everything was either broken or laying on the ground. Gage had his hands on Leon’s shoulders. He looked worried for a second. He must’ve noticed Leon come to his senses, because he let go and backed up a few steps. He quickly changed his facial expression to look a bit confused. Leon looked around and then looked at Gage.
“Gage… What just happened? It felt like I was in a dream, but it felt super realistic.” Leon said, somewhat disoriented. Gage was just as confused as Leon. He didn’t have an answer for him. He only reached out and gave him a pat on the shoulder to make sure he was ok. Leon flinched at the contact, but he realized there was no reason to be afraid. Even after 200 years, he was still traumatized by the war he had fought. Of course he didn’t want to be reminded of that every day, so he taught himself how to not let his trauma show. He’d cut away parts of himself, certain emotions. Feeling weak, feeling helpless and that feeling of not knowing what to do in dire situations. He would occasionally feel them, but in the instant following the feeling, he would shake them away, as if they had never existed.
He put his hand on Gage’s hand. “I’m ok. Don’t worry.” Leon said, in a rather quiet voice that was foreign to Leon. Gage on the other hand, was completely convinced that something was wrong. He wanted so badly to ask him what was wrong, but at the same time, he didn’t want to pry too much into Leon’s personal matters. He never was one to go out of the way to do the something of the sort. That’s not the way of the Raiders. Even still, knowing that he had flinched at the contact concerned him a little bit. He decided to not worry about it now, and ask him when they got back to the base.
Fighters of the Crystal. Within the Giant. Fighting Fate. War: Warrior Worth a Thousand. Servant of the Crystal. What Becomes of us.
All songs that Leon was familiar with. From before the nukes went off. He looked at what Gage was talking about. He was holding a big bag. It had holes and it was fraying everywhere. Not too surprising. Mostly everything now was in bad shape. Leon took the bag, and it was heavier than it looked. Inside of it there were some items. Pictures, frames, books. He noticed something. They all had a little mark at the bottom. Almost like a cut. But it was a signature, “PG”. He didn’t know what it meant, but he could ask questions later. He carried the bag over to a couch that had definitely seen better days. He sat down and dumped a few things out of the bag. He picked up a stack of photos that had a rope around them. Gently, he unraveled the rope, trying his best to not ruin the photos. After a couple knots, he had all of the photos free. The first one was of Gage and Stadius. At that moment, Leon understood why Gage accidentally called him Stadius. They had similar features. He looked through a few more. One of them standing outside of the Arcade in Nuka-World. Another of them both passed out on the floor of the room that Stadius had owned, which now belonged to Leon. Passed out due to all of the work they must’ve done. He could relate to that. A third picture depicted Gage and Stadius walking out of the Arena. He figured they must’ve dealt with some people or person who had successfully made it through the Gauntlet. In his mind, he never liked the word ‘Gauntlet’ so he started calling it ‘Gaunt’.
He looked up to ask Gage a question, but he wasn’t there. Instead he was standing over by the wall to his left.
“How long has he been standing there?” Leon thought. Gage was facing the wall, looking at a frame that was hung up using some scrap metal. He carefully put down the pictures, and he quietly got up and stepped over the mess he had accidentally made. He made a mental note to clean this up after. He slowly walked towards Gage, being vigilant to the obstacles that lie on the ground. Once he reached him, he suddenly thought about what and how he was going to do this. One touch could be fatal.
He slowly and as carefully as he could, raised his hand, and put it on Gage’s shoulder. Gage didn’t even flinch. Instead he coughed. Then he put one hand on the wall right next to the frame. After a couple seconds passed by, he took his other hand and rested it on Leon’s hand. He let one tear fall and that was his one mistake that he had made. The one mistake that caused Leon’s grip to tighten, and pull him back into his arms. They stood there like that, for what felt like an eternity. Gage, now crying even more, tried standing up, but all of the emotions he was feeling, were too much. His knees buckled underneath him and he fell to the ground, Leon right there, still holding him. Leon reached into his pocket and pulled out an extra bandanna that he had. He gave it to Gage to wipe his tears with. After five minutes had passed by, Gage’s body started to tense up again. Leon gave Gage a squeeze. A notion to ask Gage if he was going to be ok. Gage nodded his head and said yes, in a whisper like voice. Leon let Gage go and he got up first, just in case Gage had trouble standing up. He walked around Gage, and knelt down in front of him, because it didn’t seem like he was going to get up anytime soon. He put his hand under his chin and made him look at him. Eye to eye.
“Gage, are you sure you are going to be ok? I won’t leave you like this.” Leon said in a much more worried, but calm voice. To which Gage responded with a simple yes. Leon moved his hand down to Gages and grabbed his, and pulled him up. Once he was up Leon cupped his face, and told him that everything was going to be ok, and then he wiped his tears away. He gave him another hug. He pulled away and he walked back to clean up the mess he had made. He picked up all of the pictures, and he told Gage that soon, he would find frames for them.
All that night they spent time cleaning the place up. This was going to be their new base of operations. This was their new home. Or rather their second home. Leon still had the Commonwealth as his true home, but this place was like a second home. In his mind he described it as that feeling that you get when you go somewhere that you’ve never been before, and then you just feel at home there. Like you never left where you came from. A feeling of comfort, nostalgia and happiness. He finally felt peaceful for the first time in 6 months.
They had set up some chairs, a TV and the couch, which they had fixed. In the kitchen they still had some work to do. They had managed to clear the floor of debris and other stuff. Weapons, magazines, books, you name it. Once they got the floor cleaned, they started clearing the counter tops. They had lots of empty bags, so it was easy to get everything in one spot that was trash. This task took a little longer, as they had to make many trips outside and back in. They both decided that they would keep a lookout for dishes that had survived the explosion. They had 4 more rooms to clean, but they decided that what they had done that night was an incredible improvement. So they both decided to stay there and sleep the night.
The next morning Gage woke up first. He looked around, slightly confused as to where he was, and then he remembered everything that had happened the night before. He got up careful not wake Leon who was below him. He carefully made his way over to the door, and at the last moment decided that opening the door, wasn’t the best idea. It would wake Leon. He walked into one of the rooms they still needed to clean. Inside, there was a safe, surrounded by tons of papers.
“Do I really want to try and open this after all these years, it almost seems like breaking a promise, but I’ve never promised anything of the sort.” Gage said sadly, he knew not what was in the safe, but he knew of who put the things in there. Of course it was Stadius, everything that Gage knew had to have either come from him or Stadius. But, why was he feeling this way about a safe? It’s just a… a giant metal box.
“Of course, this so called, giant metal box, could possibly have clues as to where Stadius went after he left that day. He did say he was going to come back here for a few hours. Agh, but he said he just wanted to pick some things up. That’s all, right? God, this is so frustrating!” Gage was about to yell, but then he realized that Leon was asleep. He didn’t want to wake him up, due to his internal frustrations. So he decided to wait, until he woke up to ask him for help. He decided to stay there and clean up that room until Leon woke up, which coincidentally happened to be right then and there.
Leon rubbed his eyes, stretched and then got up. He looked around and couldn’t find Gage, so he walked in to the back part of the bunker, and he saw a door open, he peered inside to find Gage moving stuff around. He didn’t want to scare Gage by saying something, but Gage must’ve had great perception, because he said good morning without turning around.
Leon jumped a little, he wasn’t expecting Gage to say something first. He walked in and knelt down next to his companion.
“Good morning, Gage. How are you doing?” Leon said, somewhat slowly, yawning at the end. Gage laughed a little bit, noticing how tired Leon was.
I’m doing pretty good. I was going to ask you how you were doing, but it looks like you’re about ready to fall asleep again. Why don’t we head back to Fizztop or wherever you want to go, eh Boss?”
Leon nodded, and with that they packed all of their things and left.
I didn’t take them very long to get back to Nuka-World. It was a reasonable distance from the bunker to Nuka-World, but by no means was it a long journey. They fought lots of creatures, alongside some crazy people. But this was nothing that the two of them couldn’t handle. They had handled the different gangs of raiders in the park. This was a stroll in the park. By the time they got back, everything was still the same. They went up to Fizztop Mountain and they both started working on separate things.
In the back of Gage’s mind, he wanted to do something for Leon. After what had happened the day before, he had to do something. He wasn’t used to this kind of thing, but that didn’t deter him from doing something for him.
In the back of Leon’s mind, he wanted to find this, Stadius, and bring him back to Gage. They seemed to have a pretty good friendship. He wanted this for Gage because he saw a picture of the two, and he broke down. He had to find him. This would be perfect for him. He couldn’t afford to see Gage like this. But then he started to think, ‘what if he doesn’t want to see him again?’ Maybe it’s because they were so close and then he left, that it ended so abruptly…
“I’m thinking too much” Leon said, not realizing he was speaking out loud. Gage looked at him, due to the fact that he interrupted the silence that they had there. It didn’t bother him, but he wasn’t expecting it to happen. “What are you thinking about, if you don’t mind me asking, Boss?” Gage asked, with a hint of curiosity, but mostly, confusion.
“N-nothing, Gage. Don’t worry.” Leon said, stammering. Now he had so many thoughts going through his head. What if he liked Stadius? What if he called Leon, Stadius, because he reminded him of the other man? Did that mean that Gage like Leon? Too many thoughts and he couldn’t ask them. It’s not that he couldn’t, it’s just that he didn’t want to make Gage feel like he had to answer all of these questions. He decided that tonight he would ask Gage about all of this stuff.
Hours passed by, they both ate in silence, they worked in silence, aside from the occasional question like, ‘could you pass me that wrench or could you give me a hand with this?’ along other things. Tension started growing between them, but neither of the men were willing to bring it up. They were either too nervous or too uncomfortable. The problem would soon be brought to attention when Mason and Nisha both came up the lift and walked up to the two of them and told them that it was pretty quiet, especially since the both of them were there. Nisha and Mason could both tell that Leon and Gage had feelings for each other. However, they also knew that Gage still cared about Stadius, even though he had left years ago. Even they had developed feelings for him, while not romantic feelings, they took him in. They were always there for him if he needed their help. But after he left, they changed.
They told the two men, that they felt something was off between them. Gage and Leon both looked at each other with confusion in their stares. Leon went over to the bar and got himself a drink. He brought Gage a drink as he could tell that he was just as confused. They all decided to go sit down at the bar, just so they could talk and not get tired of standing. Nisha had a plan on how to bring this up. She wanted to make Leon jealous of Stadius. That was her original plan, but the more she thought of the similarities between the two, the more it became harder to do so. So she had another plan that was much more her style. Being blunt and upfront.
So she caught Mason’s attention with her finger, rapidly tapping the counter. Gage and Leon didn’t notice as they were both talking with each other, trying to figure out what the problem was. Mason cleared his throat, interrupting the two talking. They both looked over at Mason.
“We have something to tell you or rather, Nisha does. I’m here for support.” Mason said this as calm and kind as he could.
Now Gage and Leon, we so confused to the point where they found the strongest thing to drink and they shared it. This was starting to become too much to process at this point. Nisha walked forward and grabbed Leon by the arm and dragged him to his room. While Mason started taking to Gage to prevent him from going after Nisha.
Nisha locked the doors, and told Leon to go sit down and get ready for a very personal conversation.
Once he sat down Nisha started talking, bringing up small stuff. Once Leon noticed that it wasn’t very personal, he spoke up. “I’m sorry to interrupt you Nisha… But none of this sounds all that personal. Forgive me if I’m wrong but-“Nisha stopped him right there. She clapped a few times.
“Finally Leon, that took a little while, but you caught on. I’ve was waiting. Alright, so you know this is supposed- You know what? Im just going to do this my way. Leon, I know Gage has feelings for you and I know that you have feelings for him. Do you get the picture?”
Leon looked at her, like she was crazy. But deep inside, he was confused. How was he going to respond? ‘Am I going to deny her, that I like Gage?’
“I guess I let myself become too close to him. Alright, I won’t deny that. I guess I do have feelings for him. But what about Stadius?” Leon asked.
Nisha looked at him with a surprised look on her face. She had not known that Gage had told him about Stadius.
She walked up to him and punched him the face and then kicked him to the ground.
“Don’t you dare ever mention him again!” Nisha yelled. It was at this moment that she looked up and saw Gage standing there. His eyes wide. Full of fear, hurt, betrayal and confusion. He ran towards Leon and threw his arms around him. To protect him. He looked up at Nisha, who now had Mason at her side. He had a look of shame on his face. As if he didn’t want this to happen. He could’ve prevented it.
After the two gang leaders left. Gage helped Leon get on his feet, and helped him walk over to his bed. He was gently set down on the bed. Gage was checking Leon for any wounds or bruises. He was bleeding a little bit. His eyebrow must’ve split. He looked around frantically, and Leon grabbed his hand.
“Hey, Gage, I’m going to be fine. I’ve had worse. This is nothing, it’ll heal in no time.” Leon said this with such certainty that Gage stopped and just stared. How can he have so much confidence? Easy, these past 6 months have tempered him. They’ve shown him how to survive off of the things he finds. How to make friends and enemies. They’ve shown him how to be a better person and help those in need.
He told Gage to stay by his side until he felt better. Gage was more than happy to stay with Leon.
They told each other stories from their travels. How Leon jumped off the Prydwen. How Gage had survived a massive attack from some Commonwealth Raiders. So many stories. They knew more about each other than they had learned in an entire week. At some point or another, Leon must’ve started nodding off. Gage noticed and put a blanket over him. He started to get up, but at the last second, he knelt back down and gave him a little hug. He got up and walked over to a chair nearby. He carefully lifted it up and carried over to Leon’s bed. As quietly as he could he set it down and propped his feet up on the table next to the wall. He leaned over and hit a switch on the wall, dimming the lights. He laid his head back and closed his eyes, yearning for sleep to come to him.
Hours passed by and Gage had awoken with a start. He thought he heard someone talking, but it was only Leon talking in his sleep.
“Gage….. I need… here with me.” Leon mumbled as he was fast asleep. Gage smiled a little and got up and walked over to the bed. He sat down and saw that Leon’s hand was moving, as if it were trying to grab something. He hesitated a little bit, but after contemplating the worst things that could happen, he went for it. He reached out his hand, and he let Leon’s hand feel it. It grabbed his own, and in that moment, Gage knew that Leon was hurting. In the morning, Gage would ask Leon if there was anything he wanted to talk about.
For some reason, which Gage could not figure out, he found it oddly, relaxing and comforting.
“I could almost fall asleep like this… I guess I should probably go sit back down- Huh?” Gage looked at their hands. He had tried to move away, but that seemed to only tighten Leon’s grip. He laughed a little. He was starting to get closer to Leon. He didn’t mind. Sleep came to him faster than it had in a long time. He didn’t try and fight it. He let it claim him, and he fell asleep.
When morning came, Leon woke up, only to find that Gage wasn’t in his chair. He tried sitting up, and then he felt resistance from his hand. There was Gage. Holding his hand. He was a bit confused a first, but then he decided to let him sleep. So he sat there, for a couple minutes, and then he felt Gage stir. He kept his hand there and waited for Gage to open his eyes. Once Gage looked around and then at his hand, he instantly started to blush.
“I uh… About this Boss… I can explain.” Gage tried to throw something out there, but Leon’s gaze was far from angry or upset. In fact, it looked more like happiness or excitement.
Leon got out of his bed and stood up, not once letting Gage’s hand go. He pulled Gage up, and grabbed his other hand and they looked at each other. Never looking away, trying to read the others thoughts. Leon pulled Gage in and kissed him. Gage stood there, frozen, not knowing what to do. He had never been kissed or kissed anybody before.
He did have to admit, his lips were really soft. They felt really nice. It was an interesting feeling that he definitely wanted to experience again. Leon put his hands on Gage’s waist. Gage put his arms around Leon’s neck. The two stood there until they needed to take a breather. They both looked at each other. Both about to speak at the same time when Leon got an alert on his Pip-Boy, saying that Sanctuary Hills was under attack. Gage told him to get his things. He was going to help Leon. In any and every way possible. They went and got their weapons and supplies, and then they were off.
Once they were back in the Commonwealth, Sanctuary Hills wasn’t far to the west, they rushed straight for it. Gage was following Leon, as this was his first time being there. Within minutes they were drawing near the settlement. They heard many gunshots. There were tons of Synths. Gage had seen them before. Robots, but so much more human like. They were also lots of settlers fighting. He noticed a strange group of people, and some robots that were fighting the synths, a dog with a bandanna and sunglasses on, and a Super Mutant. They were all protecting the settlers and fighting the Synths. Leon ran straight for them and started fighting with them, and he stood back and took them out from behind.
After what felt like hours of fighting, the last Synth finally ceased all functions and died. Gage looked around for Leon, and he found him a fair distance away, he was inside one of the houses. It looked like he was yelling, and it turns out he was. That big group of people were all arguing, and Gage wanted nothing more than to just go in and take Leon out, but he didn’t know any of them. So he didn’t know how that would turn out. He opted to stay out of it. He saw someone limping, struggling to get into their house. Now, Gage would help people, but, only if they let him. He hesitated for a moment and then he started walking near the settler. He realized he had his gun out, so he had two choices: drop his weapon or keep going and risk scaring the settler.
So he decided to drop his weapon and call out to the settler. He walked up to him and asked him if he needed help. The settler responded with a simple but pained yes. He sat him down on a metal chair. He took a look at his leg and it had a laceration along the backside of it. He told him to take a deep breath in, and he did. Gage took two fingers and as quickly and gently as he could, entered the wound. There was a bullet, within his reach. The settler groaned in pain. Gage apologized for the pain and said it would be over soon.
It was then that Leon had come out of the house and saw what was happening. He decided to not go over and see how things turned out. Gage was still prying around in the man’s leg when he felt something.
“Hey, this is gonna hurt, and I’m really sorry, but we’ll get you patched up right after this, ok?” Gage asked with such sincerity. Leon felt a warm feeling inside of him, knowing that Gage was changing.
Gage pulled a bullet out of the man’s leg and he let out a sort of scream. Gage stood up quickly and put his arm under the settlers arm to give him support. He thanked him and told him that if there was anything that he could do, he was always welcome to come to him. Gage nodded and they proceeded to walk into the house. Once they were in, Gage told the man his name, and he learned that the settlers name was Gladius. Gage froze, but then relaxed. He said he would go find Leon as he would know what to do next. He took his shirt off and he wrapped it around Gladius’s leg, to keep it from bleeding any more. He left the house only to find Leon standing by the door way. He looked at him and then down at his chest. He started blushing again. ‘Damn it, not again.’ He stood there feeling awkward when finally Leon gave him another shirt. He put it on and said thank you. He told him what happened and Leon went in to take care of the rest. Gage sat down for a minute to think about had just happened.
“Have I gone soft? I mean yeah, he was hurt, but I’ve never been one to help people I don’t know. Maybe it was just a onetime thing. I should probably just let it go.”
He fell asleep there, and he didn’t even notice. He was awoken by a dog laying down on him. He looked down and saw the same dog he had seen before. He let it stay for a while before getting up to go find Leon. It didn’t take long to find him. He was standing near a path behind a house. He walked over to him and he could hear Leon talking to himself. He didn’t want to scare him so he stepped on a branch that was on the ground. Leon turned around and sighed.
“Oh, Gage it’s you! Kinda scared me, next time just say something. Anyways, there’s something that I wanted to show you. It’s very personal, and you’re the only one that I truly trust. I thought that I could let you into my past. If that’s ok with you?”
‘Leon of course! I will always be there for you, no matter what.” Gage reached out his hand and grabbed Leon’s. He stood there, giving comfort to Leon. Leon squeezed Gage’s hand showing him his thanks. Leon and Gage walked hand in hand up a hill. Once at the top Gage saw a cleared area with a patch of grass and a blanket over top. He was a little confused at first, but then Leon kept walking him over to the blankets. Once they got there, Leon wrapped his arms around Gage’s waist. He squeezed him, letting him know that he was there. To tell him to relax and let nothing come in between them. They sat down and Gage sat in Leon’s lap. They had never done the sort of thing before. It was a wonderful feeling. Gage looked back at Leon and they met each other’s gazes. And after a brief second, they kissed. But this time it was more passionate. Gage reached around and put his hand on the back of Leon’s head. They kissed for several minutes. After several minutes, Gage turned around. He faced Leon and put his head on Leon’s head. They stared for several seconds before Gage threw his arms around Leon and pulled him into a tight, compassionate, loving hug.
“Leon, I love you.”
“I love you too, very much Gage.”
The two continued to embrace each other. This went on into the night.
After they got tired they just lay there. Staring at the stars in the night sky. It was absolutely beautiful. The stars were so bright. Gage had never seen so many in his life and he was in awe. Spending time here with Leon was so much more than any words could describe. He was the happiest that he had been since Stadius left.
Hand in hand, the two talked all night. About life, their pasts, their friends, and everything else in between. They cried, they laughed. Gage at one point cuddled up to Leon. Leon held him close and tight. Leon kissed Gage’s forehead, and told him that he loved him. Gage draped his arm off of Leon’s chest. He could feel his heart beat among other things. His chest, was impressive, as it felt hard and toned. He knew Leon worked out, but he had never felt it before. It was nice. He had abs that anyone would love to have. Not to show off, but to know that all that hard work had paid off in the end. His arms were huge, not much bigger than Gage’s but he had much more definition.
Leon stretched and his lower stomach was exposed. Gage noticed a few black streaks coming from further up his chest. He reached out and Leon knew what he was going to ask.
“Yes, I have a tattoo. It’s of a Lion. Its name was Lionheart.” Was all that he said before he lifted his shirt up. Gage was met with an eyeful. Leon’s abs were much more toned than he had thought before. He gracefully grazed his hand over his abs. His fingers moving gently along the lines of the tattoo. Tracing them. He was amazed by it.
“I really like it. It looks amazing.” Gage said, but with a hint of sadness.
Leon picked up on it very quickly. “Gage? Something wrong?”
Stadius had a necklace of the same thing, and he had given it to Gage when he left. He pulled something out of his pocket. It was a small black box that fit in the palm of his hand.
“Here, uh… Open this. I think you might be surprised by what’s inside. I’ve had it for a couple years. I never gone anywhere without it on me.” Gage put the box in Leon’s hands and he nodded, as if to signal that he was ok.
Slowly, he opened it. He saw a chain, but once he lifted it, he saw it; Lionheart.
He quickly sat upright, and put the box on the blanket. He grabbed the chain by the hook, and let it fall to its maximum length. There was the pendant. That beautiful pendant. He ran his fingers over the edges. He still had his, but it was back in the Vault. Still around Nora’s neck. Of course she still had her wedding ring on. But, he hadn’t gone back there since he left. Why would he? He was scared and felt a sadness that was too much to bear, even at the thought of going back. He shed a tear without even knowing. Gage sat up too. He couldn’t leave his- Wait, what was he thinking? Are they a thing now? He could wait and ask questions later. He put his arms around Leon and pulled him close to him. He didn’t mean to hurt him. He pulled him even tighter to him and he could start to feel him calm down. After a couple minutes, he started to talk about why he was this way. The reasons why he had all of these emotions within him. Gage understood a lot of the things he talked about, he had been in a Vault, frozen, for 200 years. Gage gently gave Leon’s chest a squeeze every now and then to let him know that he was still listening.
Once Leon had just about stopped talking, Gage told him to look up.
He looked up and saw the most beautiful thing in his life. Aside from Gage, of course. What he was, a splendid show of lights. It was the Aurora Borealis. Leon had read all about them as a child. How beautiful they were to see in person. He was struck by how beautiful they were. Being here with Gage had made him feel so happy, and loved.
Of course he had Danse… But, this- this was so much more. Danse had been there for him as his Commander. As his mentor. They both truly cared for each other. But Leon had no idea if Danse could reciprocate the feelings Leon had. So, he had decided to just let it go. Which he had a very hard time doing. After losing Nora, all he wanted was for someone else to be there for him. He thought that Danse, could be that someone. Eventually their contact started to become more and more seldom. They still talked, but it wasn’t as meaningful. Perhaps after the time away, they’d start talking more again.
He looked at Gage and just kissed him on the cheek. They sat there and watch the dancing lights in the night sky. The fluorescent green. The vermilion red. The azure blue. Blending together to make the most interesting and extravagant display of color.