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Title: Soldier Boys
Author: Cat_13145
Pairing: Don/Ian
Rating: PG-13
Summary: AU Ian Edgerton is the first person Don meets after being shipped off to military school
Author's Note: Thanks to my lovely beta, [info]mercilynn mainly for not murdering me when I sent her a second fic less than a month before the closing date and for not getting mad at me for nagging her. Originally posted to [info]numb3rs_newyear for [info]cerealkiller0. Hope she still thinks I'm the coolest author. Thanks and Enjoy!

This place sucked and it was completely and utterly unfair he'd been sent here.

Derek Steinman had made Charlie's life miserable for months and the one time Don decided to do something about it, give Derek a taste of his own medicine, the school, and his parents, decided he had discipline problems and sent him off here.

Well screw them. They were the ones always telling him that he needed to look out for Charlie, then punishing him when he did.

He aimed a kick at the statue of the school's founder, some dead military guy whose name he had been told when he was being dragged around here, and fished in his pocket for the cigarettes and lighter (flinched from his father's stash in the garage, did he really think Don was as stupid as Charlie and couldn't smell them every time he went in there?) and prepared to light up.

"You shouldn't do that."

He spun around, ready to tell the do-gooder, buzz cut military freak to fuck off when he saw a kid about Don's own age. His skin was swarthy, his hair dark and almost completely shaven, suggesting he'd been here for at least a year; but that wasn't what made Don stare. It was the brown eyes that stared out at him. They were the most unusual eyes he'd ever seen. Not their color. They were a common brown - just like Charlie's, his own, his dad's - but it was the way they looked at you.

It was like they already knew everything about you, and weren't judging you on it, weren't assigning you to a box. They seemed to say, "I know what everyone says about you and I don't give a crap."

While this was still going through his head, the boy continued, "The security cameras sweep here every twenty-two minutes and old man Granger is a Nazi about that shit."

The sentence made him grin. "You've timed them, then?"

The other kid shrugged. "I've been here a while." He started to walk away, then looked back and added, "You coming or what?"

Without thinking, Don followed him to an area just around the corner from the teacher's dorm (barracks, they called them barracks here) that seemed more exposed than the back of the statue. They were right underneath someone's window for goodness sake.

The kid apparently had read his thoughts as he said, "Cameras can't see around here, and Stonewall is drunk as a skunk and blind as a bat."

They exchanged a look, then a grin, and suddenly Don found himself laughing with the other kid, honestly laughing for the first time since this whole mess started. The kid grinned at him as he dug cigarettes and a lighter out of a battered wooden crate that was pushed up against the window. Don spotted some candy bars and a couple of porn magazines hidden there.

"Ian Edgerton," the kid said, lighting up and holding out his hand.

Don paused for a moment before doing the same.

"Don. Don Eppes."
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May 2011

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