“I can’t believe you talked me into this.”
Fandom: The Flash/Legend’s of tomorrow
Pairing: Joe West/Martin Stein
This was not Martin’s ideal version of a date. Given the option he would always pick a nice dinner, if one wanted to go traditional, or maybe stretch to a museum tour or an art gallery if it was early in the day.
Even the opera or… heaven forfend, a sports game.
But Joe had insisted it would be fun. And educational, he promised.
“You won’t always be able to rely on Jax,” Joe had cajoled, hands comfortably on Martin’s sides in an easy closeness that never failed to make Martin melt.
“Please, it’ll make me happier knowing you can defend yourself.”
So here they were, on a gun range, and Martin had never felt more out of place.
“Relax!” Joe laughed, hand touching to Martin’s lower back to get his attention, adding, “You don’t have to look so scared.
“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” Martin sounded more on edge than he would like, and every time a gunshot went off (which was often) he jumped. Joe laughed and rubbed his back reassuringly.
“Come on, you’ll feel better once you start.” He put a hand on Martin’s elbow and led him to a free booth. It was no secret Martin wasn’t comfortable with guns; he’d never been given an opportunity to familiarise himself, and he thought he would never need to.
Even with his new position in Firestorm, shooting fire as part of a symbiotic being was vastly different to holding and firing a gun.
But Joe had been insistent, and after days of worry and persuasion, Martin had finally acquiesced to letting Joe teach him how to fire.
“Don’t tense up so much.” Joe was a competent, if frustratingly good tempered instructor, and he apparently didn’t seem to notice when Martin faltered every time he pressed close to adjust his stance.
“Okay, just like that…” Joe was at his ear, and Martin was using every ounce of his not insignificant concentration to stare at the target many tens of meters before him.
“Squeeze the trigger when you’re ready, and remember the recoil.”
The crack of the handgun was a shock when Martin finally worked up the nerve to apply enough pressure to the trigger, but it was the vibration from his wrist to elbow that really surprised him.
“Oh!” The shot went wide, and if it even hit the paper target, Martin was too surprised to notice. Joe laughing at his ear didn’t help in the slightest.
“Are we done? I fired the blasted thing, can we just–”
“No no no,” Joe laughed, bundling close to Martin again, pressing against his side and reaching up to reposition his arms, “Try again, that was fine.”
Joe’s voice was insistent and encouraging, but it was clear on his face that he found the scientist’s evident embarrassment and nervousness completely adorable.
But still, Martin was helpless to resist his encouragement, and begrudgingly obliged; taking a breath and aiming before firing again. The jolt that went through him was less terrifying this time and faintly exhilarating.
And but the end of the session (and with Joe pressing up close many times) he was at least hitting the target more times than he missed.