Disclaimer: I don't own Band of Brothers. This is entirely fictional and based off the characters as portrayed in the miniseries, not the men themselves. I mean no offense to these men, whom I respect very much.
A/N: I truly struggle to conclude things lately....
One of the men shot himself today, in front of a couple of the other boys in the company. Dick didn't see it but I think he felt it most of all; tonight is the first night he's let me hold him since we reached Bastogne. He's worried that someone will need him and find him in a compromising position. I've told him I don't think anyone will care; there are more important things. He won't listen. He's too damn hung up on being perfect for the men. I can't convince him that trying too hard to be perfect is an imperfection.
But now he rests his head on my chest and I kiss his hair, his forehead. His shoulders tremble and though I can't feel his tears through my uniform, I know they're falling. I reach for the bottle resting against the side of our hole but think better of it and run my hand down his arm instead. He shifts and turns so his face is against my neck. I can feel tears now, cold against my chilled bare skin. I circle my arms around him and, after too many minutes, he's no longer shaking.
With one hand I tilt his chin up to look into his eyes. If we weren't so cold, they'd probably be red and puffy. But in the moonlight slipping through gaps in the tarp over our heads, all I can make out are tears frozen on his cheeks. I feel like I'm years away, looking at a snapshot from another point in time.
But Dick is real and this is now and as much as I wish we were anyplace else, I wouldn't want him to be anything but. I lean down and just barely touch his lips. He leans up, kissing me harder and deeper than I think he's ever done. It's not passion, really, or desperation. I've seen him desperate and passionate, and it blows me away each time. This is so much more basic, simple. Need. It blows me away even more.
He doesn't like to need people; it might be the most fundamental tenet of his personality. Well, aside from that crazy desire to be the one getting shot at that he displays on occasion. But there are times, few and far between as they might be, that he simply needs me. And I've never felt more useful or worth something in my life.
He's still now, his breathing even, and I know he's fallen asleep. My neck feels slightly frozen but if it lets him sleep, it's worth it. He's earned it. Because even perfect men need to rest, relax, remind themselves that there's a reason for everything they've lost.