Join the Club
In a nebulous domain precariously situated between the worlds of Broadcast, Cable, and Syndication, an unusual group of men assembled. Such a meeting could only take place in this misty and amorphous environment, where worlds collided and universes crossed over. Where alternate realities could be found in abundance and men were free to frolic with their soul's true mate. It was the Slash UberReality, where beloved characters came to relax and while away the time between the episodic existence that constituted their screen life.
It was in this atmosphere of creativity and sexual emancipation that the Beautiful Sidekick's Association (BS Ass, for short) met every other month. The Blond Division gathered in the side room of the Chattel Caf‚ and the group was eagerly awaiting their newest member.
"I don't know about this guy," the oldest man in the room said, looking downright delectable in the vest that nicely set off his bare chest. His long curly hair looked particularly blond against his tan skin. "Looking at his letters of recommendation, he's almost too good to be true."
"Be fair, Iolaus," Dr. Jesse Travis said. In contrast to his companion, Jesse was dressed in an extra layer, a lab coat that covered his khakis and pink dress shirt/tie combination. Hair a little darker than Iolaus' just barely brushed the back of his shirt collar. "You're just uncomfortable because his Dylan looks a little bit like your Hercules."
"They look nothing alike," Iolaus retorted. "Herc wouldn't be caught dead with his hair that short."
The other men's laughter was cut short by the appearance of someone popping his head, topped with spiked blond hair, through the door. "This the place I'm supposed to meet the BS Ass group?" The newcomer took a good look at those assembled and answered his own question as he stepped fully into the room. "Short. Blond. Cute. I gotta be in the right place."
"Hey, you must be Seamus Harper," Jesse said as he approached the stranger. "I'm Jesse Travis. Welcome."
"Thanks, but it's just Harper. To most people, anyway," The young man had a folder tucked under his arm and awkwardly relinquished it to Jesse's outstretched hand.
"No problem," Jesse reassured him with a smile, ushering the newcomer more fully into the room. "We'll call you whatever you want."
"Unlike some of the Heroes," A soft-spoken man towards the back said. Oddly enough, given his gentle-seeming nature, the man was dressed in what looked like fatigues. "Sometimes the nicknames they come up with aren't the most romantic. Take Space Monkey, for example."
"C'mon," The man in the vest rapidly crossed the room and unsuccessfully tried to peer over Jesse's shoulder. "Is his paperwork all correct? Everything look legit?"
"Well, you can see for yourself that he's blond," The doctor said.
Iolaus wasn't impressed "No kidding. What about his test scores?"
Jesse closed the folder with a snap. "The results of his kinetics test place Harper firmly in the energetic category, more towards the manic side than the bouncy, but it's safe to say he's got pep to spare. As for the personality, you know that's qualitative rather than quantitative, but he's got the requisite courage under fire and general deference to a Heroic figure..." Harper snorted and Jesse grinned at him before continuing. "Even if that deference is a bit reluctant at times. He also showed a stronger leaning towards sarcastic wit than a sweet, naive personality, but that's a perfectly acceptable Sidekick variation." The doctor shot a sly glance at Iolaus, "As you well know."
"So," the object of their discussion asked, "Am I in?"
"One more test," Jesse said, leading the newcomer to the wall by the door. "We've just got to check how tall you are."
The room was painted white, so the bold, blue line stood out clearly against the pristine surface. As Harper got closer, he could see printed letters that read: "BS Ass members must be shorter than this size."
Harper easily met that qualification.
"You're in," Jesse Travis confirmed for him.
The other men in the room came up and offered their congratulations. As the soft-spoken man shook Harper's hand, however, the newest member of the club couldn't help but notice that he was taller than the prerequisite. "Hey," The feisty engineer said, chin pointing at the measuring line. "How'd you get in?"
"I got a waiver," Daniel shrugged. "I have glasses."
"The short factor is mostly a vulnerability issue," Iolaus explained, fully accepting of Harper now that the younger man had proven he met the requirements. "An alternate way to convey vulnerability will let you get by with a couple of extra inches, especially if the guys around you are still taller than you are."
"Yeah, we're pretty lax on some stuff," Jesse agreed. "Like hair color. Daniel used to be blonder, but he's gone kind of dark lately. And Richie," A strawberry blond man wearing a leather jacket and jeans nodded at Harper, "really stretches the definition of blond. But, we're not picky about the cosmetic stuff as long as you've got the right character traits for a proper Sidekick."
"So, what do you guys do, anyway?" Harper asked, as he was led to a circle of chairs and invited to sit down. "I mean, a friend of mine said I should come but I'm not really sure what this is all about. She's purple and sparkly and some of her ideas are kind of out there, if you know what I mean, but mostly, Trance knows what she's talking about. She's just not so good about explaining what she's talking about."
"Well," Daniel explained, seeing that Jesse, who'd done most of the talking so far, was taking a sip of water. "Being a Sidekick is hard. You've got to be supportive of the Heroes; provide either the angst or the comedic element, if not both; AND you've got to attract trouble."
"Lots and lots of trouble," Richie chimed in.
"And owies," Jesse added, having finished his water. "Don't forget the owies."
"So, it's a lot to juggle," Daniel concluded. "Especially if your Hero is also your lover."
Iolaus giggled. "What do you mean 'if'?
Daniel Jackson ignored him, used to Iolaus being the jester of the group. "BS Ass is sort of a support group."
"We give each other advice," Richie said. "Talk about issues that have come up."
"Or sometimes there's a guest speaker," Jesse said. "Last meeting, we had a round table discussion about how to deal with the Obligatory Female Love Interest."
"Lovingly known as 'How to get rid of the bitch without anyone finding the body,'" Iolaus smirked.
Their discussion was interrupted by someone tentatively coming through the door. The dark hair was a dead giveaway that the newcomer was not in the right place.
"Umm...I'm Billy Brennan," The doe-eyed young man said, "And I think I've got the wrong room."
"No problem," Jesse grinned. "Blair Sandburg runs the brunettes' meeting down the hall." Spotting a familiar figure walking down the corridor behind the stranger, the young doctor called out, "Tao, wait up a minute! Could you take Billy here with you? He's a little lost."
"So, now that you know a little bit about us," Daniel said, after the brown-haired men had left to find their own meeting. "Are there any questions you want to ask? Some of us have more experience than others, but we all should be able to give you advice on whatever you need."
"I dunno..." Harper seemed oddly reluctant.
"From what I've seen, you've got both the comedic and the angst angles going perfectly," Richie encouraged.
"Oh yeah, I'm not worried about angst. Those little eggs in my tummy'll provide enough angst for seasons." Harper patted his stomach with affection.
"And your wardrobe should provide enough comedy," Iolaus said, eyebrows moving up and down as he gestured towards Harper's baggy pants and Hawaiian shirt.
"Hey!" Harper protested. "That's settle down a bit. I'm wearing more dark colors and solids. And more form-fitting stuff, just you see."
"You've got a cool hobby too," Jesse said, giving his fellow surfer a thumbs up. "And I saw you give that Beka woman a puppy dog look. She's a girl, though. You've just got to try it on another guy." Something in Harper's expression showed Jesse that he was on the right track. "What's the matter? Haven't you gotten together with your Hero yet?"
"Well, it's just..." Harper hesitated before blurting out his dilemma. "How do you choose?"
Daniel looked at his companions and, seeing that they looked as confused as he felt, asked, "'Choose?'"
Agitated, Harper got up and started pacing. "Yeah. Choose. There's Dylan. The man's a god. He wears these High Guard uniforms and, man, let me tell you, Dylan fills his uniform out quite nicely, thank you very much. His weapon of choice is this lance thingie, is that the ultimate phallic symbol or what? And, talk about being a Boy Scout, I just bet that Dylan would be the type of lover that would bring you soup on a tray when you're sick with the flu and cuddle all day until you feel better, never worried about getting sick himself."
Jesse smiled, listening to Harper's description but obviously picturing someone different in his mind's eye. "So, he sounds perfect. What's the problem."
Harper's pacing become faster. "Well, there's Dylan... and then there's Tyr. Tyr's got a body that even a god would fall down and worship, even if he's got an attitude to match. Tyr's got this coffee-with-cream colored skin that I'm just achin' to lick, he wears leather pants that look like they've been painted on...." The engineer's voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. "And chain mail. The man wear a sleeveless shirt made of chain mail. Except, of course, when he's wearing one that's made out of black netting."
Iolaus sat forward in his chair, his eyes lit with appreciation. "Gotta love those bad boys in leather."
"A contrast can be a good thing too," Daniel piped up. "Especially when the two guys you're paired with have different personality types. Variety is the spice of life."
BS Ass' newest member stopped his pacing, looking at his colleagues with uncharacteristic wide-eyed shock. "You mean, I'm not the only one trying to choose between two buff and available Heroes?"
"Nah," Iolaus said, sitting back in his chair and looking very pleased with himself. "Hercules isn't my one and only, although he is my one and usual. When I need a walk on the wild side, though, then I look for Ares. Talk about tight leather pants...."
Harper looked at Daniel. "You too?"
The anthropologist looked a bit sheepish. "Yeah. Jack's the military one. He's sarcastic, but loyal. Teal'c is the alien. He's the big and quiet type. But each is a brave man and knows how to take care of me." He shrugged philosophically. "I love them both."
Richie sighed. "Yeah. Duncan's the big Hero, but Methos...." Richie shook his head and laughed. "The 'old man' may not be as physical as Mac, but he more than makes up for it in experience."
"What about you?" Harper turned towards Jesse. "Do you have a matched set of Heroes too?"
Jesse Travis blushed, looking, if possible, even more adorable that way than when his smile dimpled his cheeks. "No, not me. I'm a one guy kind of guy."
Daniel draped a companionable arm around the shorter blond's shoulders. "Nothing wrong with that Jesse. Our founder, Illya Kuryakin, had a solo Hero too." When the other men snickered at his accidental pun, he rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean."
Richie whispered an explanation in Harper's ear. "The only other man that Jesse regularly interacts with is his Hero's father. The guy's at least 70 years old." Both men shuddered at the thought of that relationship turning into a sexual one. Part of the Hero/Sidekick dynamic was usually that the Hero was older than the Sidekick, but there were limits.
"So, what we're trying to say..."
Daniel started to conclude his point but Iolaus beat him to the punch.
"What Daniel will eventually get around to saying, Harper, is why choose? You've got two gorgeous guys, you should have your cake and it eat it too."
Harper looked around at the circle of men, each earnest face topped by a head of blond hair, all of them looking at him with encouragement. "Okay. Thanks, guys, I feel a lot better."
Jesse smiled. "Good. Does that mean that you're going to become an official BS Ass member? Be a part of our group?"
Harper only had to think about it for a second. "Sure. What do I have to do? Is there a secret handshake or anything?"
"Nah," Iolaus said, handing out a round of drinks. "But we do have a special toast." Leaning over, he whispered something in Harper's ear.
"You've got to be kiddin' me," The engineer looked at the older man in dismay.
"Oh well, when in Rome..." Harper said philosophically.
Thus, Seamus Harper's voice rose with the other blond Sidekicks in a tradition toast of...
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