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Fall, 1939

Blake's been trying to control himself, really he has. And he thought that that Overmyer gal was Richardson's gal until tonight. But the way Richardson laughs at the notion—"naw, brother, she's more like the most annoying little sister ever. Or maybe cousin"—it’s clear that isn't true. Which makes things a little more dangerous.

Despite all his fine intentions, here he is at a little table in the corner of the Officer's Club getting slowly and comfortably drunk with Richardson, since they have the day off tomorrow and couldn't be bothered to go into town with the rest of the fellas. Blake's earned his respite; he's gone out tomcatting with that crowd more than enough over the last few months. Richardson has, too, but he's always a little aloof, a little closed off. Of course that draws in the dames like honey.

It's drawing in Blake, too.

He's not drunk enough yet to do anything truly idiotic, but just enough to relax a little, let a layer or two of self-protection slide away. He just made Richardson laugh, which gives him an excuse to look at him for a while because seriously, how can he be on the level with those eyes and that smile?

Then Richardson looks up, right at Blake, and before Blake can even start to panic or figure out a good cover the fella is blushing. Which puts a whole different spin on the matter, for Blake. A fella who isn't queer doesn't blush when another fella stares; he knocks that fella's block off.

Blake gasps. "Jesus," he says, before he can think better of it.

Richardson's eyes widen and he looks for the door, but Blake's in his way to get away from their corner table. "Um," he says, "it isn't—"

"It is," Blake says, and he can't help it; he starts smiling. Grinning. Fucking beaming.

Richardson blinks. "Really?"

Blake nods. "Really."

"Fuck," Richardson says, but he's smiling too. "Fuck."

"Love to," Blake says, and winks.

They stumble out of there, neither of them steady on their feet though Blake's not sure if it's the Canadian whiskey or the rush of adrenaline and relief. All he knows is that leaning into each other drunkenly as they walk down the road is a pretty damn good cover and hey, Richardson's even more solid than he looks.

Richardson steers them to an equipment shed near the airstrip that's sure to be safe for a few hours at least, given that none of the other airmen would bring a girl back for a grope in a shed. They look but there's no one to be seen, so they run in quick and close the door. There's a chink in the siding, just enough to let in a little moonlight, and Richardson has Blake up against the door.

They kiss and it's better even than Blake imagined it would be, Richardson suddenly all confidence and open like a book where he’s usually humble and closed off. Hands are everywhere, pulling off jackets and shirts and trousers and Blake has gone from zero to hard as hell when he wasn't even paying attention. He can feel Richardson against him and really, there's only one thing for that, so he starts to drop to his knees.

"No," Richardson says. "Let me."

So it's this scion of the south, Harvard man and all, dropping to his knees on the dirt floor of a shed for Blake Lewis, some noname son of a Seattle grocer, and God Bless America, seriously, or maybe he should say God Bless Canada. Richardson is damn good at this, too, and somewhere in his mind Blake thinks that maybe he should start calling him "Chris" if he's gonna be giving up blow jobs like this. So that's the name he uses, quiet as he can in the dark, just loud enough for Chris to know that yes, Blake knows who he's with.

He pulls back, draws the back of his hand across his mouth, and he's beautiful in the pale light. "C'mon," Blake says. "Let me." He drops down next to him and decides that he wants more kissing, so it's a hand job for ol' Chris but Blake makes it really fucking good, both hands so he can play with his nuts, test out the future fucking waters with a wet finger and gets a sharp intake of breath so that's good, a note for another time. When Chris shoots it's quiet and clean, nothing on their clothes and only a little on Blake's hand which he promptly licks off.

"Well, don't that beat all," Chris says, panting and grinning, and so fucking gorgeous, and it slams into Blake, pow in his chest, that love thing all the songs are about. He's never even come close to it before, and now here he is about to go off to war and who even knows what will happen, but maybe that's the whole point. Take it where you can, that sort of thing.

"Beats a sock in the mouth, anyway," Blake replies.

Chris laughs, and slides a hand through Blake’s hair and along his cheek and damn, because yeah, Chris feels it too. Blake's sure of it.

So now they just have to keep from dying. Blake's been doing pretty well so far without a reason as good as Chris, so he figures that's gonna be the easy part. It'll be hiding this light under a barrel—Jesus, more like a goddamned supernova and here he is with only a thimble to mask it—that’ll be tricky.

Well, there's Amanda. They'll just have to find another girl, is all.