Word Count: 1,016
Summary: “Best. Present. Ever.”
Notes: For primeval_denial: July prompt:
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness."
Terry Pratchett - Men at Arms
Danny leaned his weight against the metal door as something thudded against it from the other side. Matt and Becker had both told him that the door would hold, the storeroom being one of the few defensible places in the whole complex, but still…
The anomaly had appeared in the middle of the underground bunker, endless concrete corridors, glass-walled labs and empty rooms. It looked as though the previous inhabitants had cleared out in a hurry, the labs and workshops still full of scattered equipment that Matt had been picking through for the past half hour.
“This is ridiculous,” Danny grumbled. “No way are those things going to bugger off; we’re going to have to make a run for it.”
Becker looked over at him from where he was checking what little ammunition he had left in his tac vest. Not that it had much effect against the creatures outside – they didn’t flinch at the sound of a shotgun, nothing short of a direct hit to the head even slowing them down.
“Stupid idea. They can see in the dark and you can’t.”
“Well what do you suggest, huh? We just sit in this room forever?”
Matt didn’t look up from the pile of what appeared to be junk that he was meddling with.
“Making a run for it isn’t such a bad idea,” he mused, then seeing Becker about to say something, he added, “We let Quinn go first and, while they’re chasing him, we leave quietly in the other direction.”
Danny huffed. “Arsehole. What are you doing over there anyway?”
Matt turned to them holding out a mess of pipes and metal, fastened together to resemble a mutated rifle, with a flourish. “Making this.”
At Danny’s puzzled expression, Matt rolled his eyes and turned the valve on the canister on the workbench behind him. A squeeze of the trigger and the flick of a lighter and a flame shot out of the end of the barrel.
“Becks, you’ll have to carry the canister in some sort of a harness over your shoulder but it should last long enough to get out of here. I doubt the little fuckers are fireproof.”
Becker just stared at him for a moment before a smile lit his whole face. “You made me a flamethrower?”
Taking it, Becker examined it delightedly.
“Hey, how come he gets a flamethrower? Why don’t I get one?” Danny asked, offended.
Becker smirked. “Because I’m his favourite.”
Danny pulled a face and stuck his tongue out at Becker.
Pulling open the doors, Becker let out a jet of fire from the flamethrower, catching one of the creatures as it tried to charge at them.
“Barbecued beastie, extra crispy!” Danny announced.
Becker looked down at the dead creature in front of them. “Definitely not fireproof,” he said, hefting the flamethrower as he aimed it at the creatures which were edging closer again before turning to beam at Matt.
“Matt, I could kiss you right now! Best. Present. Ever.”
Matt smiled. “Maybe later,” he murmured.
Becker glanced up from his new toy, eyes wide as he realised just what he’d said. And heard Matt’s reply.
“Gentlemen, flirt on your own time,” Danny interrupted. “I, for one, would like to get out of here before that thing runs out of fuel.”
A short time later, when Becker pulled the trigger, there was a sputtering sound and the flame went out, plunging them into darkness.
“Can you light it again?” Danny asked desperately. “I can hear something coming.”
“I think the tank is empty. Ready?”
“To make a run for it,” Matt finished for Becker. “The way out should be about a hundred metres along the corridor to the left then up the steps. I think.”
“Yes, Danny, I think. In case you haven’t noticed its bloody dark in here.”
“And with that in mind,” Becker said, stopping their argument, “don’t lose the person in front of you. I am not coming back in to find anyone who gets lost.”
They ended up each with a finger hooked into the belt of the person in front of them, Becker’s warning making them realise just how bad it would be to get left behind. Matt was at the front, using the light from his phone to check for obstacles. They weren’t worried that it would alert the creatures – the creatures could hunt them in the darkness, without needing to see – but a broken ankle if one of them fell over an unseen obstacle would be disastrous.
All in all it was a relief when they stumbled out into the bright outdoors, putting a safe distance between them and the darkness where the creatures still lurked. It was even more of a relief to find that whatever had been jamming their phones and comms inside didn’t reach out here, allowing them to call for reinforcements to deal with the creatures instead of them.
Sitting on the steps outside the bunker, waiting for their backup to arrive, Matt edged closer to Becker. “About what you said inside…”
“I- um- ”
Matt laughed softly. “You know, it’s kind of cute when you blush like that,” he teased.
“Oh, shut up,” Becker muttered, clenching a fist into the front of Matt’s jacket and pulling him in for a kiss.
Beside them, Danny sighed. “I’ll just go for a walk, shall I?”
Much later that night…
Becker lay on his back on the bed, knackered, sated and deliriously happy. He was likely to ache tomorrow morning but it was well worth it. He still couldn’t believe that he finally had Matt here, in his bed. It was even better than he imagined as, this time, Matt was still there when he opened his eyes. Dragging the covers over them both, he curled himself against Matt’s side and was almost asleep when he heard the other man laugh.
“What’s so funny?”
“Just thinking that if this is what I get for giving you a flamethrower, what would you do for a tank?”
“Try it and find out.”