Rating: PG-13, for mild swearing, references to m/m sex, and a bit of underage-Dex-lusting-after-Joe.
Summary: The story of how Dex came to work for Joe, what happened at his eighteenth birthday party, and how they fell in love.
Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing and no one, and make no money from this.
"Come work for me," Joe had said.
The fifteen-year-old kid had watched him from behind the counter of the malt shop with wide eyes, and then put down the rag he'd been using to wipe it with a flourish.
"Hell yes," he'd said.
And that was how Dex had come to work with the Flying Legion.
His parents had been none too happy - their son was useless, they'd told the Sky Captain. As sharp as a tack, but far too much of a dreamer to ever make anything of himself. His head was always in the clouds, while his nose remained firmly in one of his damn comic books. He had just turned fifteen two weeks ago and he still chewed bubble gum like a child and didn't have a girlfriend. He was a smart-mouthed little brat, too...they'd told Joe Sullivan all of this the day he'd gone to tell them that he was taking their son on as his primary engineer. And Joe had smiled brightly at them to say, "Well then Mr. and Mrs. Dearborn, I'm sure you won't mind my taking him off your hands for you, then."
Dex had been enraptured from that moment on, standing in the doorway of his parents' living room and listening to them berate him to a man he'd idolized for years - only to hear said man stick up for him. No one had ever done that before. If it wasn't his teachers at school telling him that he needed to focus on what was as opposed to what could be, it was his parents telling him he was hopeless and praying out loud all the time that he'd make enough money working at the malt shop to move out someday. Dex Dearborn had spent his entire life being told that despite his genius, he was useless, and to hear someone he hero-worshiped so much say otherwise to his parents had made him fall head over heels in love with Joe that very day. Of course, he hadn't quite understood what that feeling was when he'd felt it, but by the time Dex turned sixteen he was well aware that there was a reason he'd never been interested in dating any of the vapid, giggling girls he'd gone to school with. The only girl who had ever sparked his interest was Franky, and that was mainly because she liked to talk about plane designs as much as he did. And okay, the eyepatch was sexy.
Joe was older than him, though - twenty-four at the time. A whole eight years older. Not to mention, being queer was, well...kind of illegal. But he'd always been one to think outside of the box as it was. And so he decided to at least wait until he was eighteen. Joe slept around with all of his high-class whores, and Dex kept his mouth shut because he knew he didn't really give a damn about any of them, and the two became closer and closer with each passing year. They had one thing in common - the ability to live and think above and beyond, as well as a certain sarcastic humor that they enjoyed in each other. Joe continued to stick up for Dex, and Dex continued to give him the best of himself and never any less. It was the perfect relationship. Except there wasn't any sex yet. But Dex was determined to remedy that part.
"Happy birthday, Dexter!" Joe said on the morning of his eighteenth, popping the cork of a bottle of champagne over his bed as he woke up, laughing uproariously as it fizzed and frothed all over him. Dex sputtered, both at his wet blankets and the fact that Joe had called him 'Dexter', and sat bolt upright. Polly, Franky and plenty of the soldiers were there as well, and he glared at all of them.
"Jesus, people. You couldn't have waited for me to take a shower first?!" he demanded, unable to hold back his own laughter. He knew he looked a mess - his hair sticking in every which way. Joe looked golden and perfect as always though, his green-gray eyes crinkled with laughter and his soft honey-brown hair perfectly wavy, his white teeth shining against his tanned skin.
The party was fun. There was cake and he got lots of new comic books and tools, and when it was over everyone filtered out, leaving he and Joe alone in the big, empty base. Perfect.
"Hey Joe, guess what?" he said, watching Joe as he bent over to pick up some discarded wrapping paper.
"What's that, Dex?"
"I've been in love with you since I was fifteen. What do you think about that?"
Joe dropped the paper. And stood up. And then turned to face Dex with wide eyes.
"I'm sure I should be acting surprised."
"Was I that obvious?"
"No. But I know my way around sexual tension, young man."
"Yeah, you're getting old. You're still sexy, though. I don't think that will ever change."
"I am not old."
"I said you were getting old. Not that you are," Dex retaliated, sticking out his tongue at Joe. "Stop avoiding the topic. What are we going to do?"
"Nothing public. I'm not letting them take you away from me."
"Shall I wine you and dine you?"
"Don't people usually dine in public, o' Sky Captain?"
"I'm bloody trying, all right?"
"Gosh, I used to lie awake at night thinking about that accent of yours. You have no idea what it does to me."
"So I suppose we can just skip the wooing part and get right to the fun stuff, then?"
The 'fun stuff' did indeed happen that night, and when they woke up the next morning naked and sweaty and tangled up in each other, Dex ran his fingers through Joe's disheveled hair. "I never thought I'd see you with a hair out of place."
"I love you, Dex."
"Well, obviously," Dex said, wrapping his arms around him and pulling him in for a kiss that left his lips warm and puffy-swollen.
They broke apart a moment later and, "Obviously," Joe agreed.