Pairings/Characters: Chet Kelly, Hank Stanley, Henry, Marco Lopez, Mike Stoker, Roy/Johnny
Series Notes: Inspired by my essay, Old Married Couple Moments. :)
Genres: Fluff, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: It’s Movie Night at Station 51.
Date Of Completion: September 4, 2010
Date Of Posting: October 3, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 963
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: To be honest, Movie Night wasn’t mentioned in the essay; it just seemed like a moment that fit! And after I got the idea for this story, I saw scenes in which the boys were watching the 1931 classic horror flick, Frankenstein, in the Halloween episode (Séance), and, yep, Roy and Johnny were sitting off together by the side wall while everyone else was grouped together in front of the kitchen table and on the couch. I moved our favorite paramedics, for reasons you’ll soon see. ;)
The entire series can be found here.
When the guys on Station 51’s A-Shift watched a movie, they did it up right.
Movies on the schedule could be Chet’s beloved cheesy horror flicks, classic sci-fi, Westerns (with Johnny’s running commentary on the Indians being played by every ethnicity but Indian), Bogart flicks, and just about everything that the local TV stations were running.
Mostly Movie Night was Saturdays when their shift fell on that day, though Fridays on the local UHF station was also a good candidate, especially when running the monster movies. Most nights, network TV programming satisfied the men unless they were watching sports or playing poker in between runs.
They had Movie Night down to a science. The kitchen table chairs were arranged in front of the TV, three in front, two in back, and one man would sit on the couch with Henry, using him as a pillow and fending off his basset hound nose from the popcorn bowl.
Each man had their own bowl, though inevitably at least two had to share a bowl as there wasn’t enough to go around. They had an old popcorn popper to mix up a batch, though Jiffy Pop was used in a pinch.
The lights were turned off in the kitchen and dayroom, a small nightlight on over the stove, and enough light shone in from the bay so that if the klaxons sounded, men wouldn’t stumble in the dark until the first man got to the light switch.
Tonight’s choice of movie was a science fiction classic, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Unlike the cheesy horror flicks that provoked a mocking running commentary, the men were mostly quiet, talking only during the commercials.
It was during one of the commercials that Hank gently pushed Henry off his lap and levered his lanky form off the couch, heading for the coffeepot for a refill.
The guys were joking and teasing, Mike smirking over the old trope of calling in the Army to meet the aliens. In this case, one alien, played by Michael Rennie, and a towering robot by the name of Gort.
“Hey, who else is gonna meet them?” Chet asked. He was sitting between Mike and Marco in the front row, Roy and Johnny sitting in the back. Roy had complained of a stiff neck from watching the TV at an odd angle over by the side wall, so he and Johnny had moved several Movie Nights ago to the new position.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Marco agreed. “I mean, they wouldn’t send the Fire Department, would they?”
“Not unless Gort was on fire,” Chet said as he noisily crunched some popcorn. A curly-haired kid was singing the Oscar Mayer jingle on the TV.
“So the emissary Klaatu is here to scold us for our nuclear weapons,” Mike said thoughtfully, “even though they’re showing the Cold War paranoia. Pretty bold for 1951.”
“That’s why it’s a classic.” Chet shook his popcorn bowl.
Hank finished pouring his coffee, looking up just in time to see Roy rub Johnny’s shoulder. His arm was stretched out behind his partner’s chair. Johnny turned and gave Roy a shy smile, illuminated by the nightlight.
Jeez, no wonder Roy’s so smitten.
Roy’s hand slipped up to caress the back of Johnny’s neck as he turned back to the TV, the nimble fingers playing with the silky, dark hair while Johnny’s hand rested on Roy’s knee.
Huh, now I know why they always sit in the back, Hank thought in amusement. They were careful, playing under cover of darkness and knowing that Hank knew about them.
Suddenly he felt sadness wash over him. It just seemed so unfair that the two of them had to hide all the time, but they could not hold hands or just give each other a kiss, at least not in public.
Hank took a sip of his coffee, wondering if anyone on A-Shift besides himself knew the true nature of Johnny and Roy’s relationship. It was hard to tell, and hard to guess each man’s reaction. He’d like to think that Marco, Chet, and Mike would be accepting, at least to some degree, but homosexuality was a topic that made it tough to hazard a guess.
Hank crossed in front of the TV on his way back to the couch. Chet was saying, “So Klaatu is pretty much an intergalactic U.N. kind of guy.”
“Exactly,” Mike said smugly.
“I like the guy from the Government talking to Klaatu in the hospital.” Marco got up to replenish his bowl. “He doesn’t seem like a jerk, which most Government types seem to be.”
“This movie doesn’t stereotype too much.”
Hank settled on the couch, scratching behind Henry’s ears as the basset hound draped himself over the captain’s lap.
Chet turned around. “What do you guys think?”
Hank saw Johnny’s hand quickly leave Roy’s thigh and dip into the popcorn bowl that he was sharing with his partner. Roy brought his arm from behind Johnny and scooped up a handful of popcorn.
“I think Mike’s right,” Johnny said. “This movie is really progressive. Hell, we could use more thinking like that today.”
“I agree.” Roy crunched his popcorn.
“You two always agree,” Chet complained. “You’re like the freakin’ Bobbsey Twins!”
Marco and Mike snickered, Hank shaking his head as he continued to pet Henry.
“Hey, you asked, we told,” Johnny mumbled around a mouthful of popcorn.
“Commercial’s over,” said Mike as Marco returned to his seat.
As Klaatu and his faithful sidekick Bobby headed for Professor Barnhardt’s house (there was always a professor in science fiction movies), Chet turned back toward the TV while everyone resumed watching the movie. Roy and Johnny continued eating, hands brushing against each other in the bowl.
Just another typical Movie Night at Station 51.
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