The trio headed towards the armory to find Yoshida. Shevchenko gave Farouk a relentless earful of scolding as Roudan carried him on his back.
“I hope you’ve learned your lesson after this,” she said.
Farouk reached inside his trouser pocket, and replied, “Yes ma’am.” Then he pulled out another chocolate truffle and whispered, “Don’t tell Emmett! I snuck this one off the worktable when Thomasa wasn’t looking.”
Shevchenko gasped and quickly snatched the candy from him as he snickered. She tucked it inside a pocket on her vest before Roudan curiously glance at her. With a flirtatious giggle, she abruptly pressed her bosom to his arm. The gesture caused Roudan to stagger in surprise.
“Um, Lily, are you alright?” he asked.
Farouk tried to hold in another snicker, but was unsuccessful. Shevchenko thought it best to distract Roudan from knowing about the second truffle.
“The temperature must’ve dropped since the sun went down. Tonight’s air has me chilly,” she replied as she pressed herself closer to his arm.
Roudan paid Farouk no attention, but did not know what to make of Shevchenko’s sudden teasing.
He stopped walking and said with a boyish grin, “You’re setting me up for failure. There’s no way I can concentrate now that I’m distracted.”
Shevchenko was flattered by his interest in her. She had nearly forgotten about Farouk until he squirmed on Roudan’s back. Roudan had never been mean spirited towards any of his squad members. Shevchenko was astounded that he did not rebuke Farouk, but nodded so they could continue their way.
“Thank you for doing this, Emmett,” she said, then quietly popped Farouk on the leg to make him sit still. “Is he heavy?”
“Not at all. Maaz is a featherweight, which is why the truffle hit him so hard.”
They arrived at the armory just in time to watch Yoshida release the junior cadets for the evening. He looked comfortable in charge of his crew. The junior cadets both respected and feared him. His previous career as 3rd lieutenant of the Gokudō made it impossible to ignore his prowess. Roudan had often wondered why General Benavides chose him as Skull Leader and Captain of the Alpha squad, instead of Yoshida.
Roudan strolled up to the armory with Farouk in tow. He saluted Yoshida, then said, “Looking mighty sharp there, senpai.”
Yoshida slowly returned the gesture, puzzled by the peculiar arrival of his squad. Farouk also attempted a salute, but his exaggerated movements caused Roudan to lose balance. Roudan carefully set him down on his feet, but Farouk’s knees instantly buckled and legs gave way. With quick reflexes, Yoshida caught him before he fell to the ground. The men dusted themselves off and rushed to open the front door to the armory. Shevchenko scoffed, appalled by their folly, then entered first. Roudan had to steady Farouk with an arm around his waist as they stumbled inside behind Yoshida.
The armor’s office was piled with several weapons. Some were disassembled, while others had green tags. Yoshida and his crew had been busy with a requested inventory for weapons to be shipped out in the field. As acting sergeant, he could not leave the armory until all the weapons were accounted for. Which caused him to be moodier than usual.
Once inside, Farouk tried to salute Yoshida again. This time was less disastrous, though he still needed to brace himself on Shevchenko. She was annoyed and abruptly pushed him onto Roudan.
“Nice form,” Yoshida cackled.
Farouk stood at Parade Rest, and drunkenly replied, “Thanks. I managed pretty well, didn’t I?” He leaned back on Roudan and snickered. “Even though I ate the whole thing!”
Yoshida furrowed his brow in confusion.
Roudan shook his head and jabbed Farouk on the arm to silence him. It was Shevchenko’s scowl that made matters worse. Farouk stiffened up, and answered, “What?” as if he did not remember what he had said just moments ago. An awkward silence descended upon them until Yoshida walked to his desk with his hands in his pocket.
“Alright, I give up. Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?” he asked.
Roudan and Farouk looked anxiously around the room, then Shevchenko blurted, “He’s a hot mess, and we have Thomasa to thank for it! She gave him drugged up chocolate candy, instead of being a real friend.”
Yoshida looked at Roudan, then at Farouk.
“Ok, but why’d you bring him here?” he asked calmly.
Roudan replied, “I’m embarrassed to admit I know nothing about how to sober him up, and clearly we can’t leave him alone.”
Yoshida smirked, slightly annoyed. He sat down and said, “There’s nothing to be done at this point. He will have to wait until it wears off.”
Shevchenko got more riled up as she watched Roudan wrestle to get Farouk settled in a chair.
“Thomasa should be tending to him. This isn’t fair to any of us,” she said.
“Well, it’s not like she knew he would take it all at once. Besides, she probably can’t leave the lab anymore for a while,” Roudan sighed.
Farouk perked up and interjected.
“It’s true. She told me so herself. I guess after what went on, Lt. Co. Adame will watch her like a hawk.”
Shevchenko gasped and looked at Roudan. They wondered if Farouk heard all that had transpired between Savoi and Molvik. Yoshida was none the wiser, and asked, “What do you mean?”
“I guess you wouldn’t know, since you’ve been stuck in here all day. Cadet Molvik heard from Charlie squad that they got in trouble last night watching you and Thomasa have sex in the computer lab,” Farouk sang as if it were lyrics to a song.
“It wasn’t the computer lab you dolt, it was the science lab!” Shevchenko shouted.
“Oh, yes! That makes more sense,” Farouk giggled.
Yoshida leapt to his feet, completely dumbfounded.
“Both of you are wrong! Those Charlies got what was coming to them on their own accord, and it had nothing to do with Thomasa and I having sex,” he replied.
Shevchenko felt a breath of relief for a moment.
“So, the rumor was a big fat lie?” she asked coyly.
~The Waring Robins~