?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

On a Cold Unfeeling Sea - Chapter 3: Greer

Title: On a Cold Unfeeling Sea
Fandom: Ghost Ship
Pairings: Munder/Dodge, Greer/His Girlfriend
Ratings: R for homophobia, prejudice
Word Count: 3830 (12,195 so far)
Disclaimer: What do you think?
Summary: It isn't easy being queer salvagers (Dodge and Munder through the eyes of their crew).

Chapter 1: Murphy
Chapter 2: Epps


Greer is convinced that it’s a prank for about two weeks. Kind of a weird joke to be sure but there’s no way that Murphy would have hired a couple of fags out of the blue, not without warning the rest of them first.

Besides, the navigator likes Dodge; the man’s good at his job, doesn’t whine about the harsh conditions, and has started to reveal a wicked sense of humor now that the work is almost done. So obviously the blond can’t be a fairy and while Greer’s not as sure about Munder, the welder seems like a decent sort and decent sorts marry women where he’s from. Which means that Epps and the others have to be fucking with him again.

So the navigator keeps waiting for someone to crack a smile and admit that they were just hazing the new guys or getting revenge for that trick he played during the job near Barrow a while back.

He keeps waiting and waiting and eventually Greer gets uncomfortable. Because Dodge and Munder never drop the act and he doesn’t care if they’re the best friends ever, they should have been freaking out by now. Friends don’t hang all over each other like that, at least not without a lot more alcohol, and they certainly don’t whisper sweet nothings when no one else is around. But the third time Greer walks in on the pair doing exactly that, he finally realizes that Dodge and Munder aren’t joking after all.

They actually are in some kind of relationship, which is just… what? The navigator doesn’t get why anyone would want to fuck another man when women are all soft and curvy and beautiful and while he can understand wanting a bit of stress relief during a long voyage, these guys are way past that.

At least in the Navy people had the good sense to be ashamed of their actions and everyone knew that it was never anything serious. But Dodge and Munder are in love or something and that is more than Greer can handle without freaking out. He’s not sure how he should treat them, the usual jokes suddenly risking argument and he doesn’t want to screw up this job over something personal. Though he’s also kind of angry: at Murphy for springing this on him without warning, at the rest of the crew for not caring and Dodge and Munder for being fucking fags in the first place.

Why should he have to second-guess himself just because those two decided to be freaks and don’t have the good sense to hide the fact? Of course the pair came cheap – it’s not like anyone else would want to work with them – and Greer kind of wishes that he didn’t have to now.

Except that their work is damn good, the both of them, and that’s the problem. If Munder and Dodge were bad at their jobs then the navigator could just hate them and be done with it because he would be justified in telling Murphy to let the pair go the next time they made port. But as it stands the captain is going to be pissed if Greer’s discomfort costs the Arctic Warrior some of the best hands she’s seen in years. Welders in particular have been hard to find in recent months and the navigator wasn’t all that sorry to see Grimley’s back.

So maybe he should just thank his stars that Munder made himself unhireable until Murphy came along, call their sins the price of doing business and chill unless one of them tries to get his ass.

Only that’s a lot easier said than done when Greer can’t seem to find his equilibrium. Because, in all honesty, thinking about their… relationship still makes him twitchy and he keeps running off his mouth even when he’s not trying to.

Really the navigator has been waiting for Dodge to punch him in the face for a while now since he keeps insulting Munder accidentally. His mama raised him better than that – you look down on people quietly instead of making some big fuss - and Greer would have punched himself already if he’d talked about his girl like that. Not that the welder is the woman or anything, assuming that there even is a woman since not having one is kind of the whole point, isn’t it? And he really needs to stop thinking about this now.

Which is why the man is almost relieved when Epps decides that the four of them need to get hammered because at least the beer shuts off his more sordid thoughts.

He may still be uncomfortable but at least he’s not the only one acting like an idiot after the first few bottles and he had forgotten how hilarious the others are. It’s hard to be freaked out when he can’t breathe for laughing, Epps handing him a new beer whenever his runs out.

Greer hasn’t gotten that drunk in ages and when he wakes up the next morning, he can’t remember how most of the night went down. However, Epps is kind enough to provide him with a summary once he recovers slightly, one that he most definitely does not want her to repeat. Particularly not when his girl is anywhere around because he wants to marry Delia someday and he refuses to allow his crew to scare her off.

Although it quickly becomes clear that keeping Epps silent is going to take a few concessions on his part since she's definitely noticed the friction between him and Dodge these days. But while he’s a bit annoyed at her interference and he could have done without the hangover, it is her job to keep this crew running smoothly whether he likes it or not.

Besides, as soon as he was drunk enough to forget that they liked to fuck each other, Greer got along with Munder and Dodge just fine so Epps isn’t asking anything that he wasn’t already thinking of.

It’s not like she wants him to suddenly be their biggest cheerleader; she simply wants him to stop poking at the tiger and Greer has lots of practice with Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Even if everyone knows the truth here, the same principle applies because if he doesn't think about their relationship then he doesn't have to deal.

Who knows, the navigator may even get used to the idea someday if Dodge and Munder stick around. But selective ignorance is the best that he can manage at the moment as his respect for his crew-mates wars with everything that he was raised to believe.

---

Despite Greer's misgivings, the threat of Epps’ spilling everything to Delia and his own firm denial serves to keep his disgust under wraps. The navigator just tells himself that the other men are extremely close friends with a penchant for pushing his buttons until he almost believes it and he makes it back to Anchorage without anymore arguments.

Of course, when they pull up to dock, Crawford's waiting and as much as part of Greer's mind still wishes those fags were off his boat already, he's instantly furious when Crawford demands them gone. Because while they may be freaks and sinners and a thorn in his side, no puffed up bully boy is going to walk all over Murphy while he's there. That's just respect for another captain's territory and if Crawford wants to get his kicks beating up queers, he can do it after Dodge and Munder aren’t part of the Arctic Warrior's crew anymore.

Of course the other captain has always been an asshole so the navigator isn’t very surprised that he crossed this line and Greer’s actually kind of looking forward to a fight. Beating the crap out of the redhead’s henchmen will help to relieve some of his pent up aggression and he has a lot of it after everything that’s been going on.

Although, even if it’s entirely unnecessary, the blond’s willingness to face the consequences of his choices head on is actually a point in his favor as far as Greer’s concerned. The man may be a fairy but at least he isn’t hiding behind the rest of the crew when the hammer falls.

So the navigator's actually kinda disappointed when Crawford proves himself a coward, slinking off to lick his wounded pride instead of throwing down. It would have been satisfying to kick the shit out of him and the navigator doesn’t like leaving enemies at his back. But whatever, he’s not the one who has to worry about being jumped in a back corner, and Epps is bound to make sure that their welder doesn’t get damaged needlessly.

Anyway, there’s no point in dwelling on it since there’s work to be done and he hasn’t seen his Delia in weeks. The thought of their reunion puts a spring in his step as the crew stows away the rest of their gear, although Greer does stop to talk to Epps after he finishes.

“I still ain’t entirely sure about this,” he says, jerking his head toward Dodge and Munder where they're standing on the deck. “But I’ll back Murphy’s play as long as those two keep things professional on the job. So there’s no need to mention anything about you-know-what to Delia when you see her next, yeah? She might come by the bar with me once I drop my stuff at home.”

Once Epps promises to keep her trap shut, Greer heads up to the Harbormaster’s office to use their telephone. He stopped bringing his cell on trips after the second time he dropped it in the ocean and while Delia would normally be here to pick him up already, the Arctic Warrior got back ahead of schedule this time around. But that just means that he gets to surprise her, the delighted shriek she gives after he says hello making him grin into the phone.

As much as he loves his job, the constant separation is hard on his relationships and the navigator sometimes wishes that they had less time apart. It’s actually one of the few things that he and Delia used to fight about when they first started dating and the fact that she’s stuck with him anyway is how he knows it’s real.

Now Greer just needs to save up for a ring before she realizes that there’s much better choices out there for a girl as fine as her.

He worries about that sometimes, worries about Delia finding someone else while he’s gone, but all his insecurities blow away as soon as he sees her pretty face. Even in a ragged hoodie and his old combat boots she’s gorgeous and the navigator has to lean through the car window to kiss her hello. But eventually they manage to pull away from each other long enough to drive back to their apartment and Greer drops his bags off in the entrance with a tired sigh.

The navigator is sorely tempted to stay in tonight; he wants to grab his girl and have a party of their own. But when he tries to kiss Delia again, she dances away from his hands with a giggle, one that means he’ll have to wait until later for his prize.

Because she likes going out and listening to the salvagers talk shit to each other and trade stories about the past jobs they’ve done. Delia likes walking into the bar and knowing that she’s the hottest thing most of the guys have ever seen and to be honest, Greer likes it as well. While their hungry gazes do make him jealous sometimes, he’s also proud that he’s the one who won her and that strut makes him hornier than anything.

So he’ll go do his social duty for a couple of hours and then he’ll take Delia home so that he can pound her into the mattress like he’s been dreaming of.

By the time she finishes getting ready, the rest of the crew is two beers in and the couple is greeted with easy smiles when they finally walk through the door. They stop by the bar to grab a couple bottles of their own before joining the others at their table and it’s only then that Greer realizes he completely forgot to mention Dodge and Munder to Delia.

But no one seems to notice when he stumbles slightly over the introductions and the pair is as polite as he could reasonably expect from a couple of salvagers. Actually, the men are a heck of a lot more polite than some of their former crewmates since they don’t stare at her assets with lust in their eyes. Instead Munder treats her like any of the other guys at the table and while Dodge is a bit more charming than the welder, there is clearly no interest here.

Well, I suppose that’s an unexpected bonus to the whole queer thing, Greer thinks to himself, At least I won’t have to worry about her virtue when they’re around.

There had been a few other salvagers in the past who hadn’t wanted to take no for an answer and although the navigator is perfectly happy to crack a few heads when necessary, that tends to make things awkward on the job. So really, other than his own repulsion, Greer hasn’t seen all that many downsides to Dodge and Munder being wrapped up in each other and he resolves to stick with his denial as long as it works for him.

Besides, the blond keeps making him look damn good when telling Delia about their latest job and the second time that she turns to him with wide-eyed admiration, the navigator can’t be bothered to care about anything else that’s going on.

He can vaguely hear Munder and Santos arguing about something in the background but his girl is looking at him like he’s the center of her universe and Greer quickly decides that they’ve been here long enough.

“Ready to head out, baby?” he asks Delia to a wave of catcalls from his crewmates, the navigator flipping them off with a mock scowl as he waits for her response. Greer isn’t actually sure what she’ll say since she hasn’t even finished her second bottle and his girl doesn’t like anything to go to waste. But Dodge’s tales must have her hot and bothered because she chugs down the rest of her beer in an instant before grabbing her purse and staring at him expectantly.

“Well all right then,” Greer laughs, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and nodding goodbye to the others as he steers her out the door.

The drive back to their apartment seems to take forever, the couple unable to keep their hands off each other on the way to their floor. He pushes her up against the door as soon as it closes shut behind them, swallowing down her breathy moan in another heated kiss. Their bed is going to be creaking loudly in a few minutes, the headboard knocking loudly against the wall. But while Greer and Delia always get a bit frisky when he’s back from a job, their neighbors are resigned to the disruption and no one ever gives them shit about the noise anymore.

So the man just slides his hands under her thighs and lifts his girlfriend up, strong legs wrapping around him tightly as he buries his face against her neck. Greer has to stop and catch his breath for a moment, his body drowning in Delia’s tempting softness after months without.

He has missed her dearly, missed everything about her, and he absolutely has to kiss her sweet mouth again. Though considering the filth that she’s whispering against his lips, sinful may be a better adjective. Her words stoke the fire inside him, arms wrapped around his neck as she presses their hips together and Greer is pretty sure that his girl is going to be the death of him. However, if he has to go, this is how he wants to do it, and he grabs two handfuls of her ass for leverage.

It takes all of his concentration but Greer manages to get them to the bedroom where the couple tumbles down onto the mattress and sets about making their reunion memorable.

---

Things settle back into a routine pretty quickly after this, the navigator spending every free moment with his lady while they wait for their next job. Not that there isn’t work to be done since salvaging isn’t all sailing around the ocean, but there’s something nice about coming home to an actual bed at night.

Delia’s warm body next to him is a damn sight better than the bunks on the Warrior even if their mattress kind of sucks and the couple has to make up for his absences somehow.

So while Greer sees the rest of the crew nearly every day, he can’t be bothered to think about them all that much when they’re not right in front of him. As for Dodge and Munder, denial is still the navigator’s go to solution and he actually forgets about their relationship for a while there. It’s the kind of thing that lives in the back of his head but never gets brought to light and he would have been quite happy to leave it there.

The only reason that he doesn’t is because of Delia since his girlfriend is far too curious about the pair for her own good. But apparently Dodge made quite an impression that first evening with his stupid charming smiles and even if the other man likely didn’t mean it, Greer is starting to get jealous here.

“What the heck do you want to know any of that for?” the navigator bursts out one evening after his patience finally snaps. “He’s just some guy I work with, not your new best friend.”

“Relax, babe. You know you’re the only one for me,” Delia responds with a smile, leaning up to kiss away his frown. “Dodge just seemed like a nice guy and my friend Angela has been alone for way too long. She needs a boyfriend who’s going to take care of her and dating a salvager has worked out for me just fine. Besides, you don’t talk about your new crewmates when you talk about your work and that makes me curious.”

“I don’t?” Greer repeats dully, mind stuck between horror and laughter at the idea that Dodge would be a good boyfriend for anyone.

“No, you don’t. Which is odd since you went off on Santos’ music for twenty minutes the other day and you used to complain about your last welder all the time.”

“Well, there's just not much to complain about anymore. Munder's a damn sight better at his job than Grimley used to be,” the navigator says, the explanation sounding weak even to his own ears. He's told his girl about every job he's ever been on and every guy he's ever served with, so of course she wonders why he hasn't done so in this case. She wonders and asks in that pointed way she has, the one that the navigator has never been able to resist. So all it takes is one sharply raised eyebrow for Greer to crack like a cheap glass window and spilleverything.

Delia just listens quietly as he pours out all his buried frustrations, the disgust and distrust that's been living beneath his skin. Apparently denial hadn't been working out as well as he thought if the navigator still has this much to say.

But eventually his well of hate runs dry, its loss leaving Greer panting awkwardly upon the couch as Delia looks at him. Now that he's regained his composure, the man is actually a bit nervous about her reaction since he's never wanted his girl to think less of him. Delia has always been the type to see the best in everyone, even him, and that's exactly why he fell in love with her.

This moment proves no different, his girlfriend not even blinking at the revelation of Dodge and Munder's twisted relationship. Instead she leans up to kiss him on the cheek, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as she murmurs, “I don't know. I think it sounds rather sweet.”

Somehow Greer can't find it in himself to argue with her even though sweet is the last word that he would pick. But Delia's calm acceptance makes the navigator want to be a better person where even the pair's professionalism has failed to change his mind. He wants to live up to the admiration that he sees in her eyes even though he knows that he doesn't deserve the way she looks at him.

“You really think so?” he asks softly, still trying to wrap his head around the idea. “But it's a sin. And unnatural, you know that.”

“And a few hundred years ago neither of us were considered people, so you'll have to excuse me if I don't necessarily agree with what everyone believes. It's not like they're hurting anyone but each other and I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of them both. It must be nice to be able to spend all their time together instead of having to say goodbye every few months like us.”

Greer has never thought about it that way; it never even occurred to him to draw that parallel. But while he would have dismissed this argument out of hand if anyone else had made it, the navigator has no defense against Delia's calm certainty that Dodge and Munder are all right.

So while he still thinks the pair is weird and he's probably always going to be a bit creeped out by the thought of them doing anything together, maybe he can try. Maybe he can try to see the men as friends instead of people that he just has to work with and if he's going to do that, he can't live in denial anymore. Because Greer takes his friendships seriously and that is more important to him than even sin and infamy.

“Fine, babe. Next time you get the urge to throw a party we'll invite the whole crew along. And I'll try to get to know the guys better in the meantime. Okay?”

“That's all I can ask, love, so thank you. You don't have to like them, but if you're going to hate someone you should hate them on their own merits instead of for some kind of old school prejudice. You're a better man than that.”

He really isn't but for Delia, Greer will pretend otherwise. Because she deserves to have the man she thinks he is even if that man's a lie.


Chapter 4: Santos