The Musketeers started 3 years ago, on january 19th, 2014. With Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles, Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Maimie McCoy, Alexandra Dowling, Tamla Kari,
Ryan Gage, Hugo Speer & Peter Capaldi.
Wherever we draw breath, make a stand, save a life, that is the garrison, we are the garrison. ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL!
It’s easy to get restless without anything to do, and there isn’t any paperwork to sort through (the Minutemen have no paperworks at all, apparently) or guns to clean (the laser muskets are an utter mystery as to how they work), so Rhys elects to sit in the doorway of the separated portion of the Castle with his crutches propped against the wall. The walls provide shade from the sun, and with few people ever occupying the armory (other than that one woman who chain smokes, looks very strangely out of place with a completely different uniform than the rest of the Minutemen, and doesn’t say a word to Rhys anyway), Rhys doesn’t have to suffer anyone’s presence.
He wishes he could do something. For the most part, the Minutemen at the Castle don’t seem to be doing much in the first place. Some of them come and go on patrols or to settlements that need help, and a few of them offer goods for sale. Rhys would offer to help, but it seems like the Castle is well-staffed and rather suffering from a lack of jobs than a lack of people.
The shadow over Rhys darkens, and he looks up to see Danse with a cigarette between his fingers.
“May I join you?”
“I’m not doing anything at the moment,” Rhys replies. “So if you want to join me in boredom, feel free.”
It’s odd to speak to Danse without formality. He’s not used to being on the same level as him. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that he’s not used to the lack of rank separating them. Danse sits down next to him and blows out an exhale of smoke, his body much more relaxed than Rhys remembers ever seeing.
“Do you need any Med-X?” he asks. Rhys shakes his head; whatever liquid medicine that smelled vaguely of something floral he’d been given is doing a good enough job with the pain. For now the pain is more of a dull discomfort, perfectly manageable for Rhys. He reaches for his pocket for a pack of cigarettes, and his hand pats against his hip. No pockets. Right. Haylen has his lighter too.
Danse plucks the cigarette out of his mouth and holds it out in front of Rhys.
“Oh. Um. Thanks.”
It’s not like he hasn’t shared smokes with his comm- with Danse before. Trudging through the Commonwealth running recon meant that sometimes you didn’t get quite the comforts you wanted, and what you had you shared with your brethren. Sometimes it was a bottle of bourbon, sometimes it was a cigarette.
Rhys crushes the filter a little between his teeth as he inhales. Today has been stressful, between seeing Haylen nearly get dragged off and jumping off of the Prydwen and breaking his leg. He probably shouldn’t take it out on a cigarette Danse is sharing with him though, so he hands it back after taking another drag. He lets the smoke curl in his chest before blowing it out in a loud puff.
“I may slip up from time to time,” Rhys says. “About- I just need to adjust. For me and Haylen too. I’m not a knight anymore, and she’s not a scribe.”
“It will take time,” Danse agrees. “I understand.”
The cigarette is passed back to Rhys, and he takes another deep drag.
“You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to,” Danse says. “The Minutemen would be more than happy to have you, but it’s your decision.”
“Where else would I go?” Rhys asks. “Vaultie’s letting us stay. You’re here. The hell else am I good for?”
“I didn’t join the Minutemen because I can shoot a gun.” Danse’s response almost sounds defensive, and Rhys worries that he’s insulted Danse somehow.
“Do they really want me?”
“Danse, you’ve always talked about doing good for the Wasteland and how the Brotherhood is the best way to that goal. The Minutemen keep saying they want to help the Commonwealth, so I guess you fit right in. I’m just here to shoot the nasty shit before it comes crawling out of the ditch and eats us all. I didn’t join because I wanted to ‘do good,’ I did it because there’s nasty shit out there and if we shoot it first, it can’t come slaughter us.”
“That sounds like you want to protect people.”
“I’m not shooting ferals because I’m being selfless.”
“You’ll make the Commonwealth a little safer, regardless.”
Rhys snorts, before realizing he’s left the cigarette in his hand. He hastily hands it back to Danse.
“The choice is still yours,” Danse repeats. “But I believe you and Haylen would be fine Minutemen.”
“I don’t have a choice. There’s nowhere else to go, and you’re here.”
“I wasn’t aware that I was a necessary part of that choice.“
“Of course you are.”
“You didn’t leave the Brotherhood when I was exiled.”
It sounds almost like an accusation, even though Rhys knows it’s not. Danse is just pointing out that his presence isn’t what kept Rhys in the Brotherhood.
“It fucking sucked without you there.”
Danse doesn’t respond to that. Rhys looks down, staring at the brick-tiled ground. He’s silent, but a sudden thought comes to him. “The Minutemen don’t have ranks, do they?”
“Just the General and the Lieutenant General. ‘Vaultie’ as you and Haylen are so inclined to say, and Garvey.”
“Good. Then you wouldn’t outrank me.”
Rhys desperately hopes Danse understands what he’s saying. When Danse doesn’t say anything to that either, Rhys lets out a frustrated huff and turns away.
Danse moves a little closer, and Rhys takes a deep breath before he turns around again to face him. This is starting to push the limits of his personal space, but he doesn’t pull back.
“Are you alright?” Danse asks, his brows tilted in concern. Rhys leans in closer, enough so that their shoulders bump.
“I’m tired,” he admits, and wonders if that’s enough of an excuse to keep Danse from thinking too much about him leaning over to rest his head on Danse’s shoulder. Apparently it’s not, because instead Danse crushes the burnt butt of the cigarette into the concrete and tilts his head to get a better look at Rhys’s face.
“What do you need?”
Rhys curls in and buries his face into Danse’s shoulder. Danse shifts, and Rhys feels a kiss against the top of his head.
It’s quickly replaced by Danse’s cheek pressed against the spot and one arm looping around Rhys’s waist. For a moment Rhys doesn’t trust his senses, doesn’t believe what he thinks just happened. But Danse’s hand is warm against his hip and Rhys doesn’t realize he’s holding his breath until his chest feels tight, and he exhales rather loudly all at once.
“Don’t suffocate,” Danse says with a humorous lilt to his voice.
“Yeah yeah,” Rhys grumbles.
“And be careful with your leg.”
Rhys responds to that by lifting his cast-wrapped leg and draping it across Danse’s lap. Danse shakes his head and gently pushes it off, but he’s smiling and Rhys feels his chest unclench just a little.
“Do you want me to stay?” Rhys asks.
“I would… I would rather you stay, yes.”
“I guess that means I have to learn what the fuck is up with those laser muskets, then,” Rhys sighs, and Danse lets out a stifled laugh.