Pacific Rim, or “How I found out this summer that yes, buff conventionally attractive men actually do it for me sometimes, IDK why, I thought muscular men turned me off, what even is this, why do I want to bang the entire cast, help please.”
oh man. ohhh man.
okay, so. Once upon a time, Herc and his brother Scott were copilots, but Scott apparently did something terrible and Herc saw it in the Drift and their Jaeger got destroyed and Herc reported him and got Scott kicked out. That part’s canon.
so after that, imagine Herc going on a full bender afterwards, guilt and remorse and anger and all of that thick in his throat. Picks fights with strangers in bars who say the wrong thing, laugh a little too loud, get a little too pushy in his space. People see his tags, and vaguely recognize a Jaeger Pilot / Hero from the vids, and try to look the other way, but he eventually gets picked up and thrown in the drunk tank - or some storage room in the Shatterdome that doubles as a brig.
And Stacker comes in, impeccable suit and totally wrecked expression as he looks down at his friend and one of his best goddamned pilots in a slumped mess on the floor. And he’s like “Herc, you gotta get your shit together. The program needs every pilot-“
And Herc laughs, like “What good is a pilot without a partner, without a Jaeger? The program doesn’t need me, mate.”
And Stacker sighs and crouched close in front of him, and says, quieter, “Our children need you,” phrasing it that way because it’s true, Mako and Chuck need all the guidance they can get, and besides, there’s a whole world of children out there they’re supposed to protect…
And Herc looks at him, weary and broken and wary as he says “Our kids, Stacker?” and a wraith of a smile flickers in his eyes, a trace of his old humor, before it gets shut away again.
Stacker realizes how it sounds, and grins ruefully back. ”What, you think I can handle Mako and Chuck all on my own? Bit much, even for me.” He lets the mask slip, just a little, and says, honestly, “I need you.”
Stacker holds out one hand, and waits.