On the ground MacCready and Riley stood looking up at the Prydwen which hovered ominously over the airport, a black shadow that represented an irrational fear of the new natural order. Danse gestured them to get onto the Vertibird so they could meet with Elder Maxson. Riley was quick to lock lips with the Paladin as soon as he climbed aboard, a sight MacCready was used to seeing by now.
“I’ve missed you Danse,” he said nibbling on Danse’s lower lip.
“I can tell,” Danse replied with a smile as MacCready looked at them with slight disgust.
“Save it for the bedroom guys, there are people watching,” he said climbing in beside Riley.
“Sorry man, oh by the way I hope you don’t mind if I abandon you to do some repairs to my power armour, Ingram hasn’t had time to repair the damages after the fiasco with Cait and Vault ninety-five so I said I’ll handle it myself while she takes a break,” Riley said to him as the Vertibird took off.
“Don’t worry about it, it’ll give me some time to scope out the place…and steal stuff,” MacCready replied whispering the last part.
“And that Cread is why you’re my best bro, bro five” Riley said high-fiving MacCready.
“Yeah but you owe me big time,” he replied to Riley who now staring at Danse with a fond gaze. MacCready rolled his eyes, sure it was good to see Riley had moved on from the tragedy that was losing his wife God knows he understood that loss. And he had grown used to Danse and could even consider him a sort of friend, a friend with an intense look most of the time who managed to nearly crush him with his power armour.
The Vertibird arrived at the Prydwen and Riley and Danse left to head inside the airship to start repairs on Riley’s power armour, leaving MacCready alone on the deck.
“Find us by bay three if you need anything,” Riley called to MacCready before he shut the door to the deck. MacCready sighed and walked towards the front of the airship. There was a great view of the Commonwealth from the ship and even he found it impressive. He leaned on the railing watching the setting sun, the loud noise of the ship disturbed what could have been a peaceful moment, but he didn’t mind as he looked for the Capital Wasteland in the distance. The Capital Wasteland had become a distant memory to him, although the thought of Duncan’s health plagued his mind, did Daisy get the cure to him in time? And if she had, perhaps it was time to bring Duncan to the Commonwealth, bring him to Sanctuary Hills, he would be a bit younger than Piper’s sister Nat, but other kids around would be good for Duncan now that families were migrating to Sanctuary Hills, even the ghoul family from Quincey had moved up to Sanctuary Hills after Gunners returned to the wrecked town.
As MacCready’s mind drifted towards memories of Little Lamplight, he felt arms around his waist and hot breath against his neck.
“Well, I didn’t expect to see you here, it’s been a long time RJ,” said a voice, a voice that rang with authority but was familiar to him, a voice that he hadn’t heard in a long time.
“Arthur?” he asked turning around within the confines of the arms that held his waist. Sure enough it was Elder Maxson, holding onto him tight, the last person he thought to see.
“I didn’t expect to see you in the Commonwealth, the last time I saw you was…I believe it was a year and a half ago, in that bar,” Maxson said still holding onto MacCready.
“I decided that I’d seen enough of the Capital Wasteland, what are you doing here?” MacCready asked him.
“Brotherhood business, you understand, but when I saw you get out of that Vertibird, it made me remember, the taste of that night, the warmth of your skin, the scent of you, remember what I had before you left,” Maxson said breathing in.
“It was one night, I never remember it meaning anything to either of us,” MacCready told him. He had nowhere to go, he was trapped between the railing and Elder Maxson, he was thankful that the coat Maxson was wearing was thick.
“One meaningless night, at a Wasteland bar where you said ‘You’ll never forget my taste’ and truer words were never spoken,” Maxson told him. MacCready remembered the night clearly, the alcohol, the dimly lit room they had rented, the creaking mattress springs, and the faint moans of him saying ‘fuck yes’ as Maxson pleasured him. How could he forget that one night?
“Clearly I never forgot yours, a year and a half is a long time,” MacCready said.
“Too long RJ, too long,” Maxson said before he kissed MacCready. MacCready relaxed himself, returning the kiss and wrapping his arms around Maxson. He hadn’t realised how good it felt to be wanted like this. He wanted Maxson again, just to relive that memory, no memory den trips needed.
His night with Maxson happened not long after Lucy’s death, he left Shaun in the care of a family in Rivet City, he had to go and do a job for the Gunners which meant being away for a few days to earn caps. He had stopped off in a bar for the night before he would continue to the next town and that’s where he saw Maxson. He had a Brotherhood patch sewn on his jacket but he was drinking alone. Maxson ordered him a drink and they started to talk, and as the night went on, they drank more and ended up renting one of the available rooms. He distinctly remembered The End of the World by Skeeta Davis playing on the radio that night.
“Do you remember the song that was playing?” MacCready asked Maxson.
“The End of the World…yes, it certainly felt that way when you left,” he replied. Maxson remembered the morning more clearly than the night. He remembered watching MacCready put his shirt back on, give him one last kiss, pick up his gun, and leave.
Maxson brought MacCready back to his private quarters and locked the door, before he did MacCready caught a glimpse of Danse and Riley, not working on the power armour because they were too busy making out against the wall. They barely noticed him, which was probably a good thing.
Quiet. That’s how the Prydwen felt, quiet. The gentle hum of the engines could be heard if you listened hard enough. The clock read three in the morning, and MacCready was lying beside Maxson, the bed sheets strewn about and their clothes everywhere. This was nothing like the night in the bar, it was different, but still had that familiarity. The radio was on across the room playing Diamond City radio and Travis was telling the tale of an infamous bar fight in a cool tone. MacCready liked Diamond City radio more than Galaxy News radio, Three Dog was more energetic than Travis was and he preferred the more sombre relaxed tone that Travis now brought. Maxson’s nuzzled MacCready’s neck, it was like he was eighteen again.
“I can’t remember the last time I felt this relaxed,” he muttered.
“You ought to relax more often,” MacCready replied. Maxson smiled slightly and kissed MacCready, he ran his hand over his stomach and ran his finger down a new scar MacCready had obtained.
“How did you get that?” Maxson asked him curious to know the story.
“Synth shot me, nearly killed me as well,” MacCready replied. That particular scar was mostly Riley’s fault. Maxson left the scar and let his hand just travel down to MacCready’s hips where he stopped.
“You know, there were nights when I would remember you and I’d wonder what you were doing at that very moment,” he said.
“I often wondered the same thing,” MacCready replied. As they lay there, MacCready wondered what would happen when the morning came, Maxson would go back to leading the Brotherhood, hell bent on destroying the Institute, and Ghouls, and Super Mutants and he’d go back to being a mercenary. He didn’t want morning to come, he just wanted it to stay three AM forever. “But what happens tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow…we never thought about it last time,” Maxson replied. The thought had never occurred to him.
“Last time, we knew what it was, but what is this, what will happen in the morning?” MacCready said sitting up. Maxson looked at MacCready with sincerity.
“You stay,” was all he said. He pulled MacCready into a hard kiss, hand gripped in his hair, tongues clashing. Why didn’t he stay last time?
“You don’t need to convince me,” MacCready said a little breathless from the kiss.
When morning came, MacCready did what Maxson asked of him and stayed. As Maxson left to lead the morning announcement to the crew, he stayed in the quarters and examined Maxson’s holotags around his neck. He eventually got changed back into his clothes and left the quarters to find Riley and Danse working on the power armour some more.
“He lives, we thought you fell off the Prydwen,” Riley said cheerfully to his best friend as he handed a screwdriver to Danse.
“No, I hung around,” MacCready replied as he saw Maxson enter the grease pit.
“Knight, Paladin, RJ, good to see you stuck around,” he said.
“You said you wanted me to stay, so I stayed” MacCready replied, Maxson walked over and kissed him, prompting a surprised look from Proctor Ingram and two Scribes, and Riley’s jaw to drop.
“Good choice,” Maxson said. MacCready watched Maxson walk away to get back to his duties and turned to Riley and Danse who stared in slight confusion at what had happened.
“What did we just witness?” Riley asked Danse as he picked up another tool. Danse didn’t know how to answer, he just watched his boss, and Riley’s best friend kiss each other in front of everyone. MacCready chuckled at their dumbfounded gazes and picked up a roll of duct tape to throw to Riley. It was going to be one hell of a story to tell them.