C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hold the Roses

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

Hold the Roses


Captain Chris Redfield decides celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional way is not for him. His second-in-command on the battlefield, and his partner at home, Lieutenant Piers Nivans, comes up with an alternative celebration; but Alpha Team have other ideas for their two commanding officers.

You and I (Nivanfield) by the talented tuzkiyoushi, at deviantart. My thanks.

Chris Redfield’s house, the 'Old Cave', as his partner Piers Nivans called it, was now sold. And their new home, given the military codename the 'Deuce of Hearts', had the builders in. Barely three months after having left, they found themselves back in Chris's suite on the top floor of the Officers’ Mess.

It had quickly become obvious to both of them that it would be impossible to do all the work on the Deuce of Hearts on their own, much as they had wanted to. So with their renovation plans drawn up and approved, they had reluctantly turned the work over to a local construction company in Williamsport. Chris had simply said, "Make it so" to the project manager as he showed the man the detailed plans. He left it to Piers to make the detailed caveats.

"I shall be watching, closely." the young Lieutenant had said in the cold, clipped voice he usually reserved for his training classes. "I'm a trained sniper." The man laughed, nervously.

"Of course Mr Nivans, as you wish."

There was a lot of Piers in the internal changes. As he and Chris had agreed, their new home would be 'old' outside and 'new' within. And naturally, they both wanted the work to be completed as soon as possible.

Chris smiled at the man. "Don't worry about Piers. He's a bit OCD, as well as being our best shot. Ha! What he means is stick to the plan, it's always the best advice." Chris grinned amiably as he patted the project manager on the back with a large paw. The poor man staggered under the blows. And he could have sworn he heard the Lieutenant growl . . . .

"That went well." said Piers cheerfully after they'd left the builder's office.

"Yeh, bad cop, bad cop, never fails." Chris chuckled.

"Hmm, I thought you were meant to be the good cop?"

"Ha! You don't know how hard I patted him."

Continued below the jump . . .

And so Chris and Piers found themselves living in the Mess once again. Apart from their clothes and a few personal items, most of their belongings, including the cherished oak furniture that Chris had made for his parents, were moved into temporary storage. The back of No. 3 hangar, to be precise. At Piers' suggestion, they'd both got rid of a lot of old stuff during the process. He'd approached the task with an almost obsessive zeal until Chris, fearing that nothing of his previous bachelor life would remain, had reined his partner in.

"I see most of the stuff you're throwing out is mine Piers. How come?"

"Cos' you've got more junk than me Babe . . ." Piers had smiled sweetly. ". . . probably because you're so much older."

"Yeh, probably . . . Hey! Wait! Was that irony?"

"No Babe, that was sarcasm."

"Oi, I'm your commanding officer you know!"

"On Alpha Team yes, but in our new home we're gonna be equal partners." Another sweet smile.

"Hmph, seems like one is being more equal than the other to me." Chris frowned.

"I've only got one old thing to my name, and I can't throw that away." replied Piers.

"Oh, what's that?"

Piers put his arms around Chris' neck. "What do you think?" He pulled Chris' head down and kissed him full on the lips.

"Um, was that sarcasm again Ace?"

"No, that was love Babe."

Chris pulled Piers into a hug and whispered in his ear. "Nicely off the hook Nivans . . . but keep your hands off my sports trophies."



There had been a degree of gossip and speculation on the base about their return. Mostly fueled by Andy Walker and Carl Alfonso, who had invented most of the rumors anyway. They were particularly pleased with the ones about the Captain and Lieutenant upsetting their Williamsport neighbors with drunken late-night parties and equally late-night arguments. And of course there was the 'police stake-out' incident. Andy was especially proud of that one. Chris and Piers knew they weren't malicious when they got to hear of them. They knew the strange sense of military humor their sergeant and corporal shared. And besides, the rumors had soon dried up after Chris and Piers instigated a particularly grueling training program especially designed for the two Alpha Team members in question.

Now, when they weren't on duty, both Chris and Piers liked to spend their spare time helping the builders. Piers had encouraged Chris to make as much of the wooden furniture and fittings needed for the house as possible; in particular, the stairs and the bed. Chris hadn't forgotten his old skills, and Piers was a willing pupil. Working together helped strengthen their partnership. But if it was Chris who drove the physical activities, it was Piers who managed the timetable. He was never far from a calendar or a wall-planner.

"Monday, February 10th. Project week 2 commences Babe." said Piers, looking at the calendar as he prepared their morning toast and coffee in the small kitchenette of the suite.

"The 10th? So this Friday is the 14th then?"

"Er, yes . . . why the interest?"

"Well, it's our first one together, as a couple."

"What? A Friday or the 14th?"

"No, the Friday the 14th. It's St Valentine's Day. This time last year I was missing in Edonia."

"And I was there on Ops."

"So we were sort of together I suppose."

"But we weren't a couple."

"Piers, I read your diary . . . what was it you said? Something about 'One way or another' wasn't it? You'd already decided we were going to be a couple."

Piers blushed. "I remember what I said. It was . . . it was a pretty emotional time."

Chris pulled his partner close. "We do well at those, don't we? Emotional times."

"Yeh, we've had our fair share." Piers shivered.

"Hey, we got through them. That's the celebration Ace. We're both stronger for it."

Piers looked up into the reassuring brown eyes. "So, you wanna celebrate this Friday then?"

"Yes . . . and no . . . that's the problem."

"Hmm, plenty of scope there then. What's the problem?"

"How to celebrate."

"Well a romantic candlelit supper is always a good start."

"Yuk! See, that's one problem. Candles, flowers, champagne. It's so . . . er, well it's so um, what's the word?" Now Chris was blushing.

"I don't know, what is the word?" teased Piers.

"Soft, soppy. Especially with two, um, of the same, er, people."

"Two men, you mean?"

"Yes, it's sorta, er . . . . Oh dear . . .” Chris was blushing furiously now.


"Yes, er that, gay, yes."

"But that's what we are, two gay men. Aren't we allowed to be romantic?"

"No, yes, of course, but not, well, not in public."

"Well, I think most people have already guessed by now. You're not ashamed, are you Chris? We've gone through all this."

"No, no, it's just that I get, er, embarrassed."

"You get embarrassed?" Piers found it hard to hide the amazement in his voice. "Chris, you're six foot plus and weigh over 200 pounds. You're the most senior and most respected Captain in the BSAA. You kill zombies and bio-organic monsters for a living . . . with your bare hands . . . and you get embarrassed?"

"Um, yes."

"Isn't that rather soppy? Soft even?"

"Arghh! Don't do this to me Piers, tying me up in your logic."

"I was being ironic."


It was obvious to Piers that Chris was suffering one of his awkward emotional attacks where his heart and his brain came into confusing conflict. He was always more the doer, not the thinker. It was sometimes difficult for the action man to express his feelings clearly and concisely, especially the romantic ones, in what he considered to be a suitably manly way. Chris tugged at his shirt collar, and sweat beaded his furrowed brow. He clearly needed help, so Piers stopped teasing and came to his rescue.

"Don't worry Babe; I don't really like romantic dinners either." He lied. "Over-priced chocolates and wilting red roses, all that stuff, it's so naff. Hmm, I know, how 'bout we camp out? In the woods by the house. Just the two of us, and Mother Nature, under the stars. Nothing soft or soppy there."

Oh Piers, that would be wonderful! Can we? B,but what about the cold? I know how much you hate it." Chris looked worried again.

"For you, Captain, I'll make an exception. Besides, there's plenty enough wood lying around for a roaring camp fire. And, um, there's always a shared sleeping bag." Piers emphasized the word shared and raised his eyebrows suggestively. Even Chris saw the connection.

"Now that's what I call a celebration! Aww, you're so good for me Ace, how can I ever repay you?"

Ha, ha! I'm sure I'll think of something come Friday night. Now, finish your coffee or we'll be late on duty . . . and people will talk."

Chris deliberately refilled his mug, sat down on a stool and smiled. "You know what Ace? Sod 'em!"


It was lunchtime on the same day. Andy and Carl were sat in deep conversation in the mess hall, plotting. Alpha Team’s two remaining members, Corporal Ben Airhart and Private Finn Macauley pulled up a couple of chairs and joined them.

"Have you seen the 'O's ?" Andy inquired, looking around suspiciously.

"Yeh, we just spoke to them, they've gone up to the house, checking on progress." said Ben.

"Excellent! Did you ask them?"

Finn giggled. "Heh, heh. We did . . . Cap'in got all growly . . . he said Valentine's Day was 'mushy' . . . he and Piers don't like romantic dinners and flowers and stuff . . . I do . . . but no one ever asks me, I can't think why . . . anyway Gran did once . . . but it wasn't the same . . . not really . . . we did have candles . . . but I forgot the chocolates . . . and the flowers." Finn finished wistfully, and somewhat out of breath.

"And the El Tee rolled his eyes, twice!" added Ben. "They said they want to avoid the crowds apparently. So they're going camping, up in the woods by their new place."

"Can we go camping Friday night?" asked Finn brightly. "I could bring some flowers and chocolates."

Andy gave him a withering look. "No Finn, you can't. Alpha is gonna be busy Friday night."


"Don't pout Finny, you look like El Tee but without the good looks. Now listen up Alpha, your Sergeant has a plan. Captain's been riding Carl and me pretty hard lately, I think it's time to even things up."

"Heh! Don't rope Finny and me into this. You two started all the rumors. We're innocent, remember?" said Ben.

"One in, all in, Corporal Airhart . . . this will require all of us."

Carl looked across to Andy in admiration. "Lay it on me Sarge, this sounds sooo good."


Which explained why, come that Friday evening, as smartly dressed diners arrived at the Mess for the Valentine's Day celebratory dinner, the BSAA's finest were trying to leave inconspicuously. But instead of tuxedos and bow ties, Chris and Piers were dressed for the great outdoors. In fact, they looked like a couple of lumberjacks. Thick plaid jackets over thick and equally plaid shirts. Fur hats, complete with ear muffs , heavy jeans and sturdy hiking boots completed the picture. For two men highly skilled in the arts of camouflage and covert operations, they stood out like, well, like two backwoods lumberjacks in a swanky reception lobby. So they were easily spotted.

"Ah! Mon Capitaine, Lieutenant, zer you are at last. Ziss way, pleaze!" The imposing figure of ‘Maurice’, the Officer's Club's maître d’, got behind them and propelled them towards the restaurant entrance. He ignored the stammered 'B,b,buts' and protestations. Maurice may have been his professional name, but Rick, actually from Brooklyn, not Paris, was used to handling lumberjacks, especially ones who were in a state of shock.

"Nivans, did you plan . . . ?"

"No Captain, I swear . . . !"

There was a round of warm applause as they entered, followed by some wolf whistles and a few ribald comments.

"Nice tux, Redwing!" it was Captain Rob Ellis, sat with Mary.

"Ooh Lieutenant, plaid suites you!" Susie Casey laughed mischievously. "No one told me it was fancy dress tonight."
"Where's your choppers? . . . Staff entrance is round the back! . . . TIMBER!" They ran a gauntlet of humorous calls as Maurice directed them to the only empty table.

"Oh shit!" said Chris.

"You can say that again Captain."

"Oh shit!"

The table was right next to the stage, and underneath a spotlight.

"Monsieur et monsieur." Maurice showed them their seats. "Zer is champagne ‘ere. " He indicated the bottle in the ice-bucket. "I will take your order soon, mais, for now, enjoy ze show gentlemen." He bowed and left a bewildered and blushing Babe and his Ace.

Before they had a chance to talk, the lights in the room dimmed, all except one, that was. The one directed at their table. Then Maurice appeared up on the stage.

"Mesdames and messieurs, ladies and gentlemen . . ." Maurice looked directly at Chris and Piers. ". . . Capitaine et Lieutenant, pleaze welcome ze Sunny Sombreros!" He put a hand out as the band trouped onto the stage from the wings. Four men, resplendent in tight-fitting Mexican costumes, colorful serape cummerbunds and, of course, large sombreros. Two had guitars, one a pair of maracas and one a trumpet. They all had large drooping mustaches. The audience applauded heartily, whilst Chris and Piers squinted under the glare of the spotlight.

"Isn't that . . . ?" said Piers, shading his eyes. But before he could finish speaking the band started up and headed straight for their table. They were playing the famous mariachi song, “Cielito Lindo”, but with rather different words. Rude ones.

My sister Belinda,
she leant out the winda',
and threw out my brand new sombrero!
I said, Oh drat, why did you do that?
She said I don't give a f'care-oh!

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Me and my dirty sombrero
I said, Oh drat, why did you do that?
She said I don't give a f'care-oh!

My sister Belinda,
was sick out the winda'
right into my dirty sombrero!
I said, Oh shuck, that's awful bad luck
She said I don't give a f'care-oh!

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Me and my soggy sombrero
I said that's sick, she called me a hick
And said I don't give a f'care-oh!

All the diners burst into applause, except two. Chris suddenly found a microphone shoved in his face. He looked closely at the man holding it.


There was much giggling from the band, then a loud sneeze. The maracas player's mustache fell off, to more laughter and applause.


"Any requests, Gringo?" said the band leader, smirking.

Chris reached for his wallet and pulled out a twenty. "Can you play 'On the Street Where You Live'?"

The leader looked at his band, they all shrugged their shoulders. "Si, Señor Capitan."

"Well, here's your taxi fare, now bugger off!" It did, as they say, bring the house down.

As the band took their bows and headed for the bar, Maurice reappeared at the table. He looked somewhat annoyed.

"I am so sorry, messieurs, there should be flowers and chocolates on your table. I will go and fetch zem tout-suite, and zen I shall take your order."

Piers put out a restraining hand. "Two lots of chocolates, please, Maurice."

"And hold the roses." Chris growled.


Much, much later in the evening there was a drinking competition, between Team Lumberjacks and the Sunny Sombreros. It entered the annals of BSAA history and quickly became known as the second St Valentine's Day Massacre. The funny thing was, everyone agreed it was on St Valentine's Day, and it certainly was a massacre, but no one could ever agree who won. Whatever the result, Chris' collection of sports trophies now includes a sombrero . . . and a false moustache.

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