Most days, being a stormtrooper wasn't that bad. They had training early in the morning, early in the afternoon and sometimes late at night, and between that all they had to do was stand at guard in designated rooms. The most difficult thing about this job was having to wear a helmet all the time – and having to relay bad news to Dr. Doom.
Victor was their boss and, truthfully, the butt of every joke that had ever been told on the ship. It was one of the biggest mystery of the universe how Victor had became so powerful – seriously, with all the tantrums that he threw all the time, Peter was even surprised no one had killed him yet.
“Hey, did you hear?” loudly whispered Miles, making Peter lose his train of thought.
Peter pretended that he couldn't see him and kept on looking right in front of him. He knew Miles was taking quick steps to the right along the wall to join him but they had already been scolded twice that week and there was no way he was going to be on cleaning the toilets duty. No way.
“Hey! Psst!” continued Miles.
It was a miracle he hadn't been killed either, although Peter was pretty sure Miles would end up firing a laser beam at himself and finally put an end to the nightmare he was putting Peter, every other stormtrooper that ever crossed his path and Captain Drew through.
“Come on Peter, don't be like that! I heard that Doom finally did it!”
Peter's head whipped around so fast, he got dizzy for a second.
Peter could feel Flash glare at them from the other side of the room even through his helmet.
“Yes!” whispered-yelled Miles. “He finally managed to kidnap her this morning, right before lunch. Anya heard it from Doom himself and told Ben who told Gwen who told me.”
Even if he couldn't see his face, Peter was 100% sure that Miles was beaming at him.
“And now I'm telling you because I swapped our night shift with Ben and Kaine's so we'll be guarding her. Are you super excited? Because I totally am!” he exclaimed, jumping just a little bit on the ball of his feet, earning a pointed throat clearing noise from Flash.
“But we had the nights off this week!” cried Peter, ignoring Flash.
“So what? It's not everyday we have a princess on board, is it?”
Peter considered shooting him in the knee – and even if Captain Drew would probably thank and promote him, he'd still have to clean everything up and as long as he couldn't find anyone else to be paired up with him, it was useless to think he could get rid of Miles so he ended up sighing, for a long minute, before returning to his original posture, with his back to the wall and staring at the lone couch in the middle of the room (no one knew what this room was here for, although there were rumors about Doom and some kind of soap opera.)
He could still feel Miles grin at him though, and that didn't help him contain his anger.
Turned out, Miles and Peter didn't directly guard the princess, or even her cell, but the doors leading to the hallway leading the her closed cell. In short, they never saw her or even heard her at all for three days.
“That sucks.” sighed Peter, his helmet resting on the table next to his salad that Kaine had been eying for the past five minutes.
“Yeah well, we can't exactly choose our partners.” replied Ben, his mouth full.
Kaine groaned in what Peter assumed to be agreement.
“Shut up, you're happy about this since your nights are now completely free thanks to Miles.”
Ben grinned at him and nodded eagerly.
“You gotta admit that you're curious too, right?” he asked after having swallowed.
Peter shrugged, “I guess, but I don't exactly care that much. Miles is completely obsessed and I have to hear him talk about the princess on and on for hours. I swear, even Captain Drew doesn't come near us anymore because she's tired of listening to him.”
Kaine's hand slid closer to the salad on the table and Peter sighed before handing it to him – he didn't receive a “thank you” but a nod instead, which was Kaine's equivalent of a smile.
“Duuude!” groaned Ben while the exchange was happening. “I so wish she'd leave us alone, you know, with the whole Kaine scaring everybody off thing, but no! She's always harassing me for stupid stuff!”
“I mean, you did set your dormroom on fire. And started the bet pool about Doom's breakdowns. And you tried to blackmail Harry into admitting he had a crush on you, which almost started the extinction of every stormtroopers. Wait… I think I'm forgetting something.”
“Fight club” mumbled Kaine around a carrot.
“Ah yeah!” exclaimed Peter, snapping his fingers. “You tried to star a fight club.”
“Uh uh, I did start a fight club, it's just that Kaine was always winning until Captain Drew joined too and almost killed everyone. Also, that fire in the dormroom wasn't me, it was Kaine.”
Kaine chuckled but didn't comment – and it was probably one of the first time Peter ever heard that sound coming out of his mouth, which was super weird so he quickly decided to abandon the subject.
“Anyway.” said Ben after a two seconds long silence. “Have you heard about the new guy?”
“What new guy?” asked Peter, watching Kaine murder a lettuce leaf.
“We have a new stormtrooper on base! I can't believe you don't know that! He arrived, like, two days after the princess. Anya said he's super hot.”
Waggling his eyebrows, Ben waited until Peter was watching him to lean against the table, a shit eating grin on the face.
“And Gwen said he's totally your type.”
Peter rolled his eyes.
“You say that all the times.”
“Yeah, except that this time it's true. So far only Gwen and Anya talked to him but from what they said this guy is totally your soulmate!”
“Meaning?” asked Peter, raising an unimpressed eyebrow.
“Bad sense of humor.” said Kaine.
“Cute little butt.” said Ben at the same time.
Kaine smacked Ben upside the head.
Peter got introduced to the new guy the very next day during his morning training. And Ben had been right, Peter was mature enough to say that this guy was 500% his type and 100% cute.
“My name is Johnny.” he said, smiling, his hair perfect despite the fact that he had jut taken his helmet off.
“Peter.” was the only thing Peter could reply, throat dry.
“I heard so much about you!” continued to smile Johnny, taking a step closer to him – and oh gosh, he had dimples, that made him even more cute, how was that even possible? – “Ben said you're looking for a new partner.”
“Oh uh… kind of. I mean, I have nothing against my current one he just… uh, well, I'd just like to try to work with someone else.”
“Great! You could try with me!”
Peter blushed without even knowing why but he nodded before putting his helmet back on and going back to training (today was shooting, the worst).
“You totally abandoned me!” whined Miles at lunch, a week later. “Everyone did, but especially you!”
His fork was pointed at Peter but he ignored it – and Miles' glare – in order to focus on his salad.
“Even Miguel doesn't want me as a partner!”
“I wonder why.” mumbled Anya, munching on some bread.
“And now I'm stuck with Venom!” continued Miles, too absorbed in his whining to pay any attention to the others – and their snorts. “Venom! This guy is like… the second worst, right after Doom!”
“Does that mean that you like him less than you like Captain Drew?” asked Ben.
“Of course!” replied Miles, rolling his eyes. “She's annoying but at least she isn't creepy. I woke up to Venom's face all of an inch away from mine yesterday. I was so scared, I haven't slept ever since!”
“Is that why you were napping in an emergency space-raft this morning?” asked Gwen.
Miles nodded, pouting.
“Being paired up with Venom sucks, that's for sure, but think about Peter and his blooming love story with Johnny!” exclaimed Ben, gesturing wildly with his arms. “They needed you to be stuck with Venom so they could be together. You're a hero, Miles, and sometimes being a hero means doing some sacrifices.”
Kaine choked on something while Peter turned crimson red and everyone else started laughing – except for Miles who just stared at Ben with bulging eyes.
“Of course!” he cried out. “If they get together it'll be thanks to me!”
“Hell yeah!” replied Ben, loud enough for everyone in the cafeteria to send them dirty looks.
“Guys I'm not...” tried Peter
“I'm a hero!” yelled Miles, suddenly getting up and beaming.
Some guy on the other side of the cafeteria threw an apple at his head but that didn't stop Miles from beaming the whole way through lunch.
Peter was back to guarding the doors leading to the hallway leading to the princess' cell when it happened.
One second he was trying to keep himself from staring at Johnny, who was standing next to him, all tall and perfect, even while wearing the same uniform as everyone else, the next an unknown guy in regular clothes was standing right in front of him and pointing a laser blaster at his chest.
Johnny took his helmet off at the same time as Peter raised his own gun.
“Reed don't shoot him!” cried out Johnny, taking a step to the left so he was shielding half of Peter's body.
Surprised, both this Reed guy and Peter lowered their guns.
“Oh Johnny, thank god it's you! I was starting to wonder if they hadn't found out about you and killed you. Do you know where Sue is?”
“What the hell?!” asked Peter.
Johnny turned to him – his gun pointed right at Peter's chest – and offered him a sheepish smile.
“Sorry Peter, but I'm doing it for my sister.”
The other guy violently smacked him on the side of the head with his laser blaster and Peter passed out before he could even understand what was going on.
When Peter came back to himself, he wasn't wearing his helmet anymore and was laying on his back, his head propelled up on something hard and warm.
Blinking blearily up at Kaine, he frowned.
“Hey dude!” called Ben right before he entered his line of sight, his forehead almost bumping into Kaine's, “You'll never guess what you missed! The princess kicked Doom's ass, became our new boss and I'm pretty sure she's gonna marry the guy who was with her next week.”
“What?” groaned Peter.
“It was super cool! Too bad you were unconscious. Your boyfriend was a part of the whole revolution thing, by the way, you should have seen it… I'm pretty sure Miles took pictures for you!”
Kaine violently shoved Ben away, earning a loud laugh, and looked down at Peter.
“Doom is gone,” he started, “the princess was freed by some guy named Reed and banned him from his own ship. Johnny's apparently her brother and helped. They're part of something called the Rebel Alliance.”
Peter dumbly nodded and slowly got up, blushing as he finally realized that he had been using Kaine's thigh as a pillow.
“Johnny said he wants to see you.” added Kaine when Peter shot him a tiny smile.
“Where is he?”
The princess, who's name was Susan but preferred to be called Sue, did get married to Reed, the guy who had smacked Peter with his gun and had apologized non-stop for twelve minutes the next time they had met.
“Doom was throwing a tantrum and destroying Captain Drew's office when Sue attacked!” loudly said Miles to a small group of other troopers for the millionth time since Peter had woken up a few days ago, “I was there and he wasn't wearing his helmet when it happened and let me tell you, his face was the best thing I've ever seen!”
People laughed as Peter looked down at the tiny cup of something he was holding.
Johnny sneaked an arm around his waist before he could start pouting and kissed him on the jaw, smiling broadly.
“You shouldn't look so bored at a wedding.” he said right before kissing him again – on the cheek this time. “Especially since the groom and bride are part of the group of badass people who put an end to the dictatorship you were living under.”
“Please.” said Peter, rolling his eyes, “you kicked Doom away, not Captain Drew, so as far as everyone's concerned the dictatorship is still there. She's just less dramatic.”
“Yeah well, at least now you don't have to hide those beautiful eyes under an ugly helmet.”
Peter snorted – and rolled his eyes again, this time harder.
“You're only saying that because you keep on harassing me with kisses.”
“So what?” replied Johnny, right before kissing him fully on the lips. “It's not like you're complaining.”
“I'm not… but if I have to hear one more time about the moment Miles finally saw your sister and the angels in his head started singing, I might pull a Doom-tantrum and destroy everything I see.”
Johnny laughed. “Let's go to our room then.” he said, grabbing Peter by the wrist and gently pulling. “We deserve to celebrate.”
Peter followed him with a huge smile, handing his drink to a confused looking Flash as they were passing him.