I’d touch your mouth, your lips, press the tips of my fingers to that stern, disapproving line. I’d trace over the curve of your cheekbones, feel the softness of your skin, the damp trail left by tears. And your green eyes shining in the dark, the soft gleam of your hair, pale blonde and gold.
Iraq draws weeks and weeks of dirt onto Nate Fick’s cheeks within the first 24 hours of the invasion, if not less. In the days to come, the level of dirt will rise and fall, will change position, move across lightly tanned skin in swoops and streaks. Fine sand, grease, and dust will mount tactical maneuvers against the clean expanse of skin, will find unexpected temporary allies in the form of a careless pen, an unwitting MRE. Ground will be lost and ground will be won by both sides; when Fick scrubs up with a bare handful of water, when Fick is pressed to the ground with the rest of them, when Fick drags the cuff of his MOPP suit across his face.
Mike notices these not just because they ride in the same vehicle. Mike keeps track of Nate Fick with a kind of fatherly interest invested in the man, because he’s young and capable, and too damned smart by far for his own good, too damned caring, and just…
Fick’s a good man. Now, with Fick’s eyes reddened and lips pressed into a thin line with frustration after another quiet, but intense discussion about the fuckups, Mike wraps a hand around the back of his neck and pulls him into a hug made awkward by the bulk of their gear.
Nate Fick’s too good for them, and that’s the truth of it.
Gunny Wynn’s not surprised when Fick announces he’s leaving the Corps.
So you make it through cop academy with your powers and your secret intact, and you’re now a rookie. You’re a good cop, a decent man, even if you’re a little bumbling, a little careless on the outside. You’ve got a little bit of a past behind you - but it’s nothing major, just the very thing that set you on the path to being a cop, a bit of tragedy that’s taken as your impetus to protect and serve.
When there is a fairly midsummer caliber thunderstorm an hour before the official start of winter.
When said storm knocks out the power as you are on the phone with tech support to fix your poor parents’ wifi. And the nice but not so fluent Indian dude is confused when you suddenly start cackling that you will have to call back later.
When the dog suddenly cuddles up as if he were scared of the dark. Like power out dark is different than normal sleep time dark.
You go about the nighttime regime by the light of your cell phone.
You enjoy rubbing the dog with the blanket to watch the little static sparks in the dark.
Before saying fuck it and just going to bed… you post about it from your cell phone.
This is my life.
Oh. And your mother’s cousins that are helping pack up the house have trumped you for use of the guest (which is actually your own) bed. So you are sleeping on the couch.