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Old 02-04-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
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Seconds - Chapter 8

Title: Seconds
Authors: GraceRyan & wo_speaking
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: This didn't actually happen. U2 was not born until the 1960s.

********************


Adam looked over the night’s mission as Larry walked into the hangar.

"Is she ready?" Adam asked.

"As she'll ever be," Larry said. "How do you feel?"

"Eager," Adam lied. He knew this night would finally arrive, when he'd have to return to the skies that almost ended his life.

Larry heard the trepidation in his voice. "Well, she's ready for you. Added a new plate to protect the pilots."

Adam nodded. "Good thinking."

Paul yawned as he zipped up his flight suit. "Mornin'"

Adam cocked his head. "Morning?"

"I just took a nap on some parachutes back there. You want me alert, right?" Paul asked.

Adam shook his head at Paul's hair shooting up in every direction. This was the man he trusted with his life. Adam wondered about Paul's nonchalant attitude to everything when they were paired with Irishman. The predominantly British crew were not pleased as the Irish did not have the best reputation. Yet Paul had proven himself to be the sense of humor the crew needed and a precision hitter. He was at the top of the list for strikes.

"This schedule always takes some adjusting," Adam nodded.

Paul shook his head. "Night flying is for the birds. When are we off again?"

"Six days," Adam said gravely. "And it doesn't fall on a weekend."

A groan escaped Paul’s throat. No weekend meant no Ava, no drinks, and no fun.

"Let's get this bit of nasty over with," he sighed. Flying over the English Channel, cities and countrysides used to be a thrill for Paul who never thought he'd see outside of Dublin let alone Europe. It looked all the same now - a blue hue under the moonlight. He envied those warm in bed as he fought to keep his weapons warm.

Nigel, a pilot in the Dirty Beaver - the Lucky Bird's sister craft, strode to his plane. "Ladies," he tipped his head.

"Nigel," Adam replied tersely.

"Hey Nigel, how did you make off with that cow the other night?" Paul asked.

"She wasn't a cow," he made a face. "But she was a screamer. 'Oh Nigel, you're sooo good'."

Paul rolled his eyes. "I'm sure that how it went down."

Nigel punched Paul’s arm rather hard. "Well, she sure did. Get it? Get it?"

"You are as subtle as a Zeppelin," Adam remarked.

"How did you do, Hewson? I didn't see you at Coach and Horses," Nigel said.

"We were over at the White Hart to see friends," Paul said. He didn't have a tall or blonde tale to tell just yet.

"Anything good there?" Nigel picked his teeth.

Adam and Paul exchanged smiles.

"It's all right," Adam shrugged.

"Huh, maybe I'll give it a go,” he eyed Adam nervously. “You good to be wingman? How's the leg?"

Adam's chin clenched. "It's fine. And you can be my wingman."

Nigel laughed heartily. "Sure Clayton. Be safe, mates."

He left to find the rest of his crew.

"I don't know why his crew doesn’t just push him out of the plane. Call it a malfunction," Paul mused.

Adam chuckled gently.

"You got in late last night,” Paul said casually.

“Were you up waiting for me, sugar?” Adam affected a terrible southern drawl.

“You sleep a foot away from me. I’m bound to notice when you get home,” he gave him a playful shove..

“You’re usually dead to the world. No one sleeps as heavy as you. The Nazis could be at the door and you’d be in deep slumber,” Adam gave him a shove.

“You are changing the subject,” Paul wagged his finger. “Were you out with Lyneth?”

Adam wasn’t one to kiss and tell. “I was. We were supposed to go out tonight as well, but the RAF had other plans.”

“How’s that going?” Paul asked selfishly - the more Adam saw Lyneth, the more he would get to see Ava.

“It’s been one date, Paul. I’m not looking to drop to one knee just yet,” Adam laughed.

“Good God, I hope not. I never understand why anyone decides to do that,” Paul scoffed.

Adam raised an eyebrow. “Do you not believe in marriage?”

Paul kicked the dust off his boots. “It’s fine for some, just not for me.”

“Not even with the right girl?” Adam challenged.

He shrugged. “Maybe. It’s many years away though. There are too many lasses to meet and kiss.”

“Do you ever wonder if there is more to it than shagging up against a wall?” Adam recalled some of Paul’s tall tales.

Ava flashed into Paul’s mind as the one woman who might capture his interest for more than an evening. Could she keep his interest satiated for a lifetime? It didn’t matter since she was set to marry someone else. Yet before she did, Paul was determined to taste the forbidden Georgia peach.

“Time will tell, Adam, time will tell,” he clapped Adam on the back.

Adam didn’t come into this war with designs on finding a girl to settle down with - in fact it was quite the opposite. His father was a flying ace in the Great War who had risen the through the ranks to become Squadron Leader. He was killed in a dogfight over France in 1918 when Adam was only an infant - he never knew his father, but it was in his blood to follow in his footsteps.

His mother never really got over his death, and Adam grew up hearing her revel in the memories he’d left her - of military honour and bravery, and a woman’s role to support her husband at every turn. It seemed as though having a strong woman by your side was almost as important as your natural ability if his mother was to be believed. Having someone to come home to was vital to one’s success at war, she’d told him.

“How’s the leg?” Paul watched Adam wince a little as he bent to get his parachute.

“It’s fine,” Adam straightened his back.

The last thing he needed was for the crew to not believe in his ability. Until the accident, he had been so close to a promotion to Pilot Officer. For months, he plotted his career and alliances to climb the RAF ladder. He hated Nigel as much as Paul and maybe more as he was in direct competition for the next rung. Yet he was jovial to Nigel and his crew; he knew to keep his enemies close.

“It’s still a bit sore at times, but I’m feeling good.” The plane loomed before him.

“She won’t bite,” Roger called from behind them. “How you feeling mate?”

“Ready to get back to it,” Adam wanted to believe his own words. He was eager to get that first flight over with.

“You know, there’s rumblings that they are looking for pilots for a new fleet of Spitfires,” Roger said.

Adam took a thoughtful drag from his cigarette. “I did hear the rumours.”

Only commissioned officers were in line to fly those planes, and he’d need a promotion to sit in the cockpit. He’d already mastered flying the Vickers Wellington, but he was ready to move on to aerial combat on a smaller, faster level. He’d miss the bomber crew, but if he wanted to make his mark, it wasn’t by flying a slow old plane like the Lucky Bird.

“You’d be perfect,” Roger offered. “I’d miss flying with you, but you are better than this.”

Adam was well aware of the opportunities on the horizon. Things were starting to fall into place - a possible promotion, a new girl. He smiled to himself thinking about the future.

“Think he’s okay?” Larry asked Paul as he grabbed the rest of his gear.

Paul looked over at Adam and Roger with their heads lowered in conversation. He certainly hoped Adam’s nerves were level as lives depended on it - his own included. Adam’s hands appeared steady - Paul took notice of that fact.

“I think he’s right as rain,” Paul winked at his brother. He knew that Larry paced until the Lucky Bird was safely back on the ground.

“Did I overhear that he took Lyneth out?” Larry asked.

“Aye, he did. What a sad sap,” Paul shook his head.

“Eh?”

“Who in their right mind would start something in the middle of this mess?” Paul scoffed.

It was hard enough to leave Larry every time he flew, but he didn’t understand the men that had girls back home worrying for them. At least Larry saw Paul land to safety and wasn’t waiting by the door for a letter to ease his fears. Paul thought of the girls back home and none of them had been worthy of a letter. He came to England free from all commitments and was rather enjoying himself. Here was Adam possibly binding himself willingly to Lyneth who had to be a phenomenal kisser.

If Lyneth was a firecracker, then Ava was the dynamite. He could tell just watching her move across the stage. Why her fiancé brought her to England only to leave her in a strange land, he could not understand. This eejit should have set her free back in America so she wouldn’t pace the floor for him, and he could do whatever he pleased in foreign lands with foreign tongues. Yet, if her fiancé shared Paul’s thinking, he would have never met Ava - and that would be tragic.

“Are we ready boys?” Adam called into the gathering dark.

Playfully, Paul punched Larry’s arm. “Until the morning, brother.”
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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The next bit is longer involving all the characters. This is one of those bridging chapters.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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It was good for a bridging chapter.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #5
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I love this AU idea!!! it's so cool!! It fits perfectly with them. This story is so good I LOVE IT <3
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