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Chuck is pretty pissed.


Rationally, he knows he shouldn’t be. Rationally, he knows Raleigh would never cheat on him. Rationally, he knows Raleigh loves him like there’s no one else in the world. (Also, rationally, he knows Herc would murder Raleigh if he ever cheat on Chuck.)


But Chuck has never really been a rational person. “Chuck.” Mako says, narrowing her eyes. “You are being ridiculous.” She looks offended that Chuck might even think so. “Raleigh would never cheat on you.”


“I know that.” Chuck responds, a little crossly. He sounds like a petulant kid, but he can’t even care at the moment. “It’s just – well. You know. He wasn’t gay, before. You remember. We read those articles on his scandals together.”


Mako rolls her eyes. “Okay, yes, Raleigh fooled around with many women. But he is not ‘fooling around’ with you.” She actually makes air quotes with her fingers. Chuck thinks it’s a habit she picked up from Newt. “He loves you sincerely, Chuck. You know this.”


Chuck grumbles and reaches down to rub Max behind the ears. “He has been spending a lot of time with her lately though, you have to admit.”


“Well…” Mako sighs. “Okay, yes. But that does not mean anything. He is still spending a lot of time with you, yes?” She raises an eyebrow at him, and he nods, even though Raleigh hasn’t really been coming to his room anymore at night.




“Maybe you aren’t giving him enough sex.”


Choi. This is my son we’re talking about.”


Chuck makes the mistake of asking Tendo when Herc’s nearby. Or rather, Herc wasn’t nearby when he first started talking, but suddenly is. Apparently Herc was supposed to come in to meet up with Tendo, and Tendo conveniently forgot to tell Chuck. So Herc walks in just as Chuck says, “Do you think Raleigh is cheating on me?” and then sits in for the rest of the conversation.


Tendo shrugs. “He’s a grown-up man, Herc.” He snickers. “But come on, Chuck. Aren’t you refusing him a lot of sex? Which blows my mind, by the way. I thought you and Raleigh would be spending all day rolling around in bed.”




“Grow up, Herc.”


This is turning more into an argument between Herc and Tendo on how often Chuck and Raleigh should be having sex, and it’s quite frankly really disturbing. So Chuck slips out during the heated debate, and neither of them even notice.


Chuck makes his way around the Shatterdome after that, looking for Raleigh. He hasn’t seen his boyfriend in days, and he doesn’t even know how that’s possible in the enclosed space. Max will waddle ahead, plop down and wait, waddle ahead again, and plop down and wait again.


He spots Raleigh, and he’s about to walk over, a grin scrawled on his face. Max is happily making his way over, too. He can’t help it – he gets happy near Raleigh. He’s about to call Raleigh and make his way over when someone else does first, and Raleigh turns. Chuck’s gaze shoots to where he’s turned to, and finds the blonde bombshell that Raleigh’s been hanging out so often these days. “Max.” He calls, lowly, and Max turns. “Come on, boy. Let’s… go.”




He hasn’t seen Raleigh in over a week. He’s new at this relationship thing and he doesn’t know if that’s normal or not. Mako’s not even available for him to sulk to, so he jams his hands in his pockets and finds Newt and Hermann instead.


“Dude, did Raleigh like… break up with you?”


Chuck freezes. “What?”


“I mean… this girl is going around telling people Raleigh’s her boyfriend. But I thought, that can’t be right, since, you know.” Newt points at Chuck. “But… I mean. He’s been hanging out with her awfully often lately, hasn’t he?”


Before Chuck can say anything, Hermann cuts in. “Don’t be ridiculous. Chuck, you should know better than anyone that Raleigh wouldn’t cheat on you.”


Right. Chuck knows that.




He’s okay with it for a bit, and then the more he thinks about it, the more pissed off he gets.


He’s no longer doubting if Raleigh’s cheating on him. He knows, sure that Raleigh would never. But he’s now certain that Raleigh is treating this blonde bombshell well enough for her to think she’s his girlfriend, or at least to think she’s got a decent chance that she’s telling everyone she is.


“That’s the problem”, Chuck seethes to Max, because Mako glared at him when he tried to stamp to her and he’s not stupid enough to approach Mako Mori when she’s pissed. “Raleigh treats everyone nice. I mean it’s okay with Mako since she’s Mako. His copilot, you know. But this new bitch..” He sighs. “I’m not being weird, right?


Max whines at him, mostly because he’s stopped petting him. “Okay, Max.” He tells Max, and Max looks up, wagging his tail at his name. “Project Figure-Out-What-the-Fuck-Is-Going-On is a go.”




It takes him two more days to track Raleigh down, and when he does, he stamps his foot as hard as he can on the fucker’s foot. “Ow. Hi to you, too. Chuck.”


Chuck narrows his eyes. “Yeah. Hi.” He doesn’t lift his foot, and Max obediently goes to sit on Raleigh’s other foot. “Are you breaking up with me?”


What?” Raleigh looks alarmed enough that Chuck soothes down that little sore happily. Sure, he’d told himself Raleigh wasn’t, but it was still nice to have that doubt squished. “Are you breaking up with me? What are you talking about? Do you – am I not making you happy? Is there something I did?”


Chuck stares, and slowly lifts his foot up off of Raleigh’s because he’s pretty certain by this point that Raleigh isn’t thinking of running away. Plus, Max is still sitting on Raleigh’s other foot, and Max is heavy. He narrows his eyes at Raleigh and jabs him in between the ribs. “I haven’t seen you in almost two weeks.” He hisses. “And you didn’t tell me what you were up to.” He doesn’t mention the rumors of the potential girlfriend, only because he’s not sure if Raleigh’s heard it yet.


Raleigh looks apologetic.  “I know.” He tries to smile, but Chuck glares. “I promise I had a reason.”


Chuck can’t help it. He says, “What, hanging out with that girl?”


Raleigh looks confused, and then understanding dawns on his face. “Oh, you mean Amber.” Blonde bombshell now has a name. Amber. Chuck decides he doesn’t like it. Raleigh smiles at him. “Oh, Chuck. You were jealous.”


What. “What!” Chuck stomps on Raleigh’s foot again, because he’s not above childish antics. “You – you’re supposed to be sorry, all right, mate? I wasn’t jealous.” He was (and is) but that’s not the point.


Raleigh leans forward as best as he can with Max still on one foot, and presses a kiss to Chuck’s nose. “Come on. Get your dog off my foot, and I’ll show you what I was doing.”




“What is this?” Chuck says. For something Raleigh claims to have worked on for the past two or so weeks, the pendant that Raleigh shows Chuck with flourish doesn’t look that amazing. In fact, it looks a little crude. “Did you make this?”


“Kind of.” Raleigh says, smiling. “Guess what it is.”


Chuck turns the pendant in his hands. It’s small, a long rectangle that’s about the length of his dog tag, but much narrower. It’s made of four hunks of metal, one blue, one silver, one khaki, and one black, welded neatly together. The pieces look beat and scratched, but it’s cut neatly and smoothed down at the edges. The touch of the khaki metal feels familiar, and the shade… “Oh, you’re shitting me.” He breathes. “This is – the khaki, it’s my drivesuit.”


“Yeah.” Raleigh’s eyes soften. “It took me some time to find it, but Newt pointed me in the right direction.” He looks a little pale. “They didn’t bother cleaning your blood off of it, though. Not the point. Keep guessing.”


“The black’s your drivesuit, then.” A nod. And the silver… “Striker…”

“Yeah.” Raleigh’s eyes soften. “And the blue’s Gipsy. It took me ages to find, and actually the Gipsy part’s from the pod, not the Jaegar herself, since… you know. She’s lost. I found parts of Striker floating around in the black market. They’re trying to collect the pieces that floated to shore, and I managed to get my hands on one. I’ve been hanging out with Amber because she’s a Jaegar tech and I needed her to make sure all the pieces were actually legitimate.” He squeezes Chuck’s wrists. “It’s for you.”


“For me.” Chuck repeats.


Raleigh nods. “Yeah. Look, I made one for myself, too.” He takes out a twin pendant hanging from leather straps from the same drawer he took out the original one. “You don’t like it? I… was going to give it to you for your birthday. It’s a little early, still, so if you don’t like it, I can get you something else.”


“No, I..” Chuck feels his throat close. “Fuck, Raleigh. This is amazing.” He crumbles down onto the bed. “I thought – Fuck. I mean. I didn’t think you were cheating, but then she was going around telling people she was your girlfriend. And I knew you loved me and all, but I got all mad because you were treating her-“


“Wait, wait. Back up.” Raleigh cut Chuck off. “She was telling people that she was my what?”


Oops. He wasn’t supposed to tell Raleigh that part. But now that it was out, he may as well. “That’s what Newt said.”


Raleigh repeated drily, “What Newt said.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I had no idea. Wait, and you heard this. From Newt, of all people.” He let out a groan, and gripped Chuck’s hand. “Sorry. I didn’t mean for that to happen. At all. Listen, I’ll go have a talk with her, figure out what she was thinking.”


Chuck stops him. “No, don’t. Whatever. I don’t care what people think. You know that. I don’t care. I just feel bad because I had this elaborate plan to get your attention back to me, and Tendo said it was because we weren’t fucking enough, so I bought lube -“ He cuts himself off. “Fuck. You weren’t supposed to know that part.”


Raleigh’s eyes glint. “You bought what?” He grins, “What was that?”


“Nothing!” Chuck says, flushing a bright red. “Nothing, all right?”




Lack of lube, technically, isn’t really their problem, mostly because Raleigh once bought lube in bulk. But the lube Chuck manages to get his hands on is supposed to –


“-Make you tighter.” Raleigh reads from the label, sounding giddy. “Oh, and make me last longer. ” Chuck’s ears are flaming by this point, but they’re both naked in bed, Raleigh kneeling up between Chuck’s thighs, so he figures there’s no wriggling out.


Not that he doesn’t like sex with Raleigh. He loves sex with Raleigh. And let’s face it – he’s a 21 year old. He’s got a hyper sex drive. He wakes up from a wet dream almost every day, and most of them involve Raleigh. The biggest reason, though, why he’s so hesitant about having sex with Raleigh is that Raleigh is incredibly experienced in sex, and Chuck isn’t much better than a fumbling virgin.


Sure, Raleigh says it’s cute, but Chuck would like to keep a sense of ego, please.


Which is why he flips them over and straddles Raleigh’s hips, rubbing Raleigh’s cock purposely on his ass. Raleigh looks surprised. “Chuck?”


“Shut up. This is your fault.” He squeezes lube onto his hands – it feels hot – and he pushes a finger into himself.


Raleigh’s eyes widen, and he sits up a little, tugs Chuck’s legs toward him. “Fuck.” He says, pushing Chuck’s legs open. “Fuck, Chuck.” His pupils are blown wide, his gaze focused on Chuck’s fingers sliding in and out of himself. Chuck almost feels embarrassed, but Raleigh looks almost reverent, so he continues, angling his arm so he can push in deeper with the second finger. “Hook up your fingers. Feel around a little there.” Chuck does, and he groans when he finds the bump of sensory glands. He pushes it again, hard and relentless, unlike Raleigh’s own fluttering, teasing fingering, until he’s coming all over Raleigh’s stomach.


“Raleigh.” He gasps, pulling his fingers out.


“Wait, wait.” Raleigh grips his wrists and guides them back inside. He gently pushes his own finger inside Chuck and makes Chuck writhe around them. “Jesus Christ.” He says, his eyes still glued to where Chuck’s preparing himself. “Fuck.”


Raleigh sounds like he can’t take anymore, and since Chuck can’t either, he pulls his fingers out, and slants his hips backward so Raleigh’s falls out. He grabs the lube and fists it onto Raleigh’s cock, a little clumsily, before he starts to sink himself down onto it. “Slow.” Raleigh says, sounding wrecked. “Slow, Chuck.”


“I know.” Chuck snaps, squeezing his ass just to hear Raleigh groan. He would slam himself down out of spite, except that would literally hurt him, so he takes it slow. In this position he feels like he’s going to puke his guts out. He doesn’t know if it’s actually the lube, or the position, or maybe it’s because they haven’t fucked in so long, but Raleigh feels almost too big inside him.




“Shut. Up.” Chuck says, grits his teeth and forces him to go down all the way. A whimper punches itself out of his throat, and Raleigh’s hands rub his side. He leans up a little so he can get better leverage, and slowly slides up until he’s sitting up, Chuck in his lap. He leans in for a kiss and Chuck goes on the offensive on the kiss, and Raleigh laughs, letting Chuck control the pace.


He suckles on Chuck tongue and Chuck experimentally pushes himself up and down, and finds himself an angle and speed he can go at. He hugs Raleigh around the shoulders, burying his face in Raleigh’s hair. Raleigh’s arms are loosely around his waist, and he mumbles into Chuck’s shoulder, “I’m close.”


Chuck leans a little more forward so he can move faster, and Raleigh’s breath hitches. It’s not long before he fills Raleigh spurting inside him. He tries to fist his own cock, but Raleigh swats it away. “What?” He says, indignant.


You seduced me.” Raleigh laughs. “We’re going for more than just one round. Unless you want to be so sore and sensitive you can’t even wear boxers tomorrow, I suggest you hold it.”


Chuck stares, and Raleigh flips them over, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. “This is more than I bargained for.” He complains, but Raleigh kisses him and he settles himself comfortably on the bed.




Two days later, Mako looks triumphant and Chuck is still rubbing his sore ass. “She is no longer here.”


Chuck raises an eyebrow. “Who?”


“Amber.” Raleigh says, before Mako can give him the Chuck-why-are-you-so-dumb look. “I… asked Mako to look into things.”


“It turns out that she thought if she spread that rumor, Chuck would get so betrayed and angry that he would break up with Raleigh. It did not help, of course, that you went around asking people if they thought Raleigh was cheating on you.” Chuck gets the Chuck-why-are-you-so-dumb look anyway. “So she created a plan to date the ‘hero’. Except, apparently she did not account for your trust in Raleigh.” The look turns fond. “Anyway, after I found out, Tendo and I talked very loudly about what Raleigh got you for your birthday. She quit, no doubt because she was so embarrassed.”


Raleigh ducks his head to press a kiss onto Chuck’s lips, and Chuck can feel the pendant on his shoulder when Raleigh tugs him toward his chest. His own pendant hangs below his shirt, with his dog tags, and he can’t help but grin.


“Aw, look at the happy couple.” Tendo says, and his grin turns wicked when Chuck rubs his back with a wince. “I told you it was the sex, didn’t I, Chuck?”