An interesting bug
All of the platoon stared at Callon. Maybe… Nope, no mistaking it. They were staring at him as if he was a bug they had never seen before. Damn it. Gunny had warned him, but somehow, he didn’t think it would be this bad. Fuck it. He stared back. Be damn if he was backing down from an entire platoon of Fae Marines. He swallowed hard.
Gunny kept giving them their orders. And they kept staring. As he finished, Gunny said, “This is Second Lieutenant O Raithbhertiagh. He’s on temp duty with us until further notice. You will obey him just as you would a Marine officer.”
Like synchronized swimmers, their eyes turned to Gunny then riveted back on Callon. He didn’t blink. He would win this stare down. After all, he had enough practice with Brant trying to intimidate him, and the entire platoon had nothing on his former fiancé.
“Is that understood?” Gunny barked.
“Sir, yes, sir.” They all roared in unison. Expressions blank.
Shit. There was going to be trouble. Serious trouble. There was no mistaking it. Callon wished he could loosen his collar. Shit. Shit.
“Dismissed.” As the men left, Gunny picked up his gear. “Grab yours. I’ll show you to your room. It’s not fancy.”
“That doesn’t matter.” Callon was proud his smile didn’t tremble. Small wins. That’s how he would get through this. Small wins. Not going home. Small wins.
“Gunny.” Gunny’s Staff Sergeant saluted him. “I can show the Lieutenant to his quarters.”
And it wouldn’t be a pleasurable experience. Not from that look he shot Callon. He would be getting the fifth degree the whole way. Gunny didn’t lie when he said they were protective. What the devil did he do to make them this way?
“It’s okay, Drew. I need to finish up. Make sure the men get their gear stowed and then get them ready for dinner.”
“I’ll make sure the Lieutenant gets oriented to the barracks, and he’ll be joining us for chow.”
Drew looked as if he had swallowed a lemon. Callon gave him his sunniest smile.
Gunny twitched, and Drew’s eyes widened. He stared at Gunny, who shook his head.
“Yes, sir.” Drew saluted and did a perfect about face.
“Smart ass,” Gunny muttered.
“Nothing. Come on. Your room is off the office.” Gunny led the way.
Callon glanced back at Drew. He had the strangest feeling whatever happened wasn’t done.
“Get up. Your ride’s here.” The Petty Officer hit the bars with his nightstick. The men sprawled on the racks didn’t move.
“It’s about time, Sarge.” One swung himself upright and froze. “Gunny. I mean Master Gunnery Sergeant, I… we… oh,shit.”
As the Petty Officer unlocked the door, the others shot to their feet.
“Out here now!” Gunny barked.
They shuffled out slowly.
“Your mother, Marcus?”
“She was surprised she had died. And she wants you to call her immediately. She also wants to know how she ended up with four nephews.”
“Oh, shit… Sir…”
“Not yet. First, she gets you then I get you. You will call her as soon as we get back to the barracks.”
“I can’t hear you.”
“Yes, sir!” Marcus roared.
“Then you will report to me.”
“As for you four. We will discuss this as soon as you get done policing the barracks grounds which will commence as soon as we get back.”
One brave soul spoke up, “But Gunny…”
The look worked on him too.
“Master Gunnery Sergeant, sir, it will be dark soon.”
“I’ll make sure you have flashlights.”
“Yes, sir.” That was weak.
“Now outside and form a line.”
Gunny grinned as they scuttled from the room. The Petty Officer First Class was suppressing a laugh.
“No problem. They are going to wish they were back in the brig, aren’t they?”
This time they both laughed.