(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) Part 4 (Part 5) (Part 6) (Part 7) (Part 8)
Teddy struggled to move forward. It was cold, and the mud caked on his legs wasn’t helping matters any. Tommy was beside him, lucky enough to have gotten into his squad. France was a different place than he’d imagined. The countryside was desolate; the people were frightened into their homes, though some ventured out to offer things like clothing and food.
“Altman, c’mon, you’re lagging behind.”
“Yeah, I’m coming.” Teddy pressed onward, trying not to pay attention to how numb his fingers were, or how much he wished he could hold Billy’s hand to warm it back up. He stole a glance at Tommy, finding it harder than before. His brain was picking out too many similarities.
Tommy wasn’t faring as well he made out to be. He stumbled a few times in the mud, cursing under his breath before straightening back up, repositioning the gun on his back. These times were miserable, and the worst part was being slowed down. Should the enemy attack, they were going to be sluggish and the probability of death was great. The Germans knew the lands better than they did.
“We’ll be stopping in the next town!” Their commander called. “We’re meeting up with some American troops.”
“Americans, huh?” Tommy furrowed his brow. “Wonder if I’ll see some familiar faces.”
“I’d almost forgotten you spent a good three years abroad.” Teddy grumbled back. “Do you think Billy got my letter?”
“Course he did. The question is, did he read it?” Tommy sighed, shaking his head. “He’s more than a little upset about this.”
“How would you feel, being sent off while Billy and I went off to war?”
“I understand how he feels, Altman, but that obviously didn’t change our decision. We’re here, just like we ought to be.”
Were they really supposed to be here, out in the cold, wandering around? What could they do to protect these people? Sure, they had guns, but they weren’t as trained as they should have been. This war had been going on for too long, and everyone was afraid. Now that America was finally getting into it, hopefully it would tip the scales and the war would end.
That night was spent shivering, thinking of Billy. Tommy also wondered if his brother was alright. Tim and Kon were supposed to be watching over him, making sure he didn’t commit suicide or enlist himself. Those two were trustworthy, and he hoped they could handle the strain of his heartbroken twin.
Teddy was enough to take care of. The crestfallen expressions, the daydreaming, and worst of all, the glances he kept sending his way. It was bad enough to receive the glances, but knowing that Teddy was replacing his image with Billy made him uncomfortable.
That morning they walked for two hours before finally arriving in the next town. Tommy let his jaw fal open as he stared down one soldier who had just taken off his helmet to run a hand through his hair in stress.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Tommy hissed, hauling the soldier back around the corner of one of the buildings. “You’re supposed to be watching my brother!”
“Damn it! Where’s Tim?”
“He’s back at home.” Kon answered, only slightly bothered that Tommy hadn’t let go of his uniform. “I sort of pulled a you.”
“Look, I know it sounds bad. I didn’t exactly tell Tim I was leaving, and I’m sure he’s freaking out, but he knows better than to just leave Billy.” Kon looked towards his boots, grimace worming it’s way onto his lips. “It wasn’t pretty when I left. Billy’s a wreck.”
“Billy?” Teddy rounded the corner. “Tommy, is this the friend you were talking about? The one who’s supposed to be looking after Billy?”
“Yeah, this is him. His partner is still in New York.”
“How is he?” Teddy pushed Tommy away from Kon, taking his place. “Is he okay?”
“He’s a wreck man. He’s not taking it well at all.”
“But he’s safe?”
“There’s nowhere safer. Tim’s good at this sort of thing, he’ll help him through it.”
“Why’d you come, Kon?” Tommy asked, crossing his arms. “This wasn’t exactly the plan.”
“Yeah, well, you think I’d just let you two do all the hero work around here? I need to do my own part.” Kon ran his hand through his hair once more, offering a guilty smile. “There are people I want to protect too, you know.”
Tommy kept quiet and Teddy nodded solemnly. Kon brought the bitterest of news, and Teddy wasn’t sure how he felt at the moment.
“It’s good to see you’re both well, though. We’ve been worried.”
“Yeah, good to see you too, I guess.” Tommy slumped against the wall. “Now I’ve got two lovesick morons to watch out for.”
(I take all of your cries and produce them into more fic. I really need to record my reactions to every single new like and reblog of this fic. I just can’t even fathom how awesome you guys are right now. Seriously, thank you.)