Fandom: Band of Brothers; The Pacific
Word Count: 950
Genre: post!war fic, gen
Rating: pg-13 (cussing; brief mentions of war)
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, just my interpretations of them. Based on fictionalized representations, no disrespect is intended.
Teaser: Liebgott stares at him. “Seriously?” he says, “I’m offering you a free meal and all you’re gonna ask for is coffee?"
Notes: 'cause miss rivlee wanted to know how snafu and liebgott met in post!war verse. title partly gleaned from alexander ebert's 'truth.'
When they pull up to the diner, the cabbie follows Snafu out onto the street, turning his collar up against the rain. He shrugs as Snafu looks at him, then gestures to the flickering sign and says, “I eat, too.” He spits his gum out on the pavement. “Hell, I’ll pay, I’m feeling kinda generous. Besides, you look fucking pathetic.”
“What,” Snafu says, “You living like a big man out here driving your cab?”
He laughs, says "No," and tosses his head to the side like he can’t believe what he’s hearing. “Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t make shit.”
Snafu follows him into the diner, disregarding the “Please wait Patiently, We will be RIGHT with you!” sign propped up against the wall. They slip into a booth crowded in behind an assortment of tables and a broken drum set. The cabbie says, “Joe Liebgott,” and Snafu says, “What?”
“My name, you idiot.”
Snafu props his feet up on a chair for the table across the way. The vinyl squeaks underneath his wet boots. “Jus’ thought you knew nobody remembers that shit, ‘specially not from their cabbie.”
Liebgott ignores him and asks, “Who’re you?”
Snafu grins at him, says, “Snafu.”
Liebgott snorts. “Yeah, right,” he says.
“Hey,” Snafu replies, and spreads his hands wide. “I’m not the one who’s paying for some stranger’s dinner. Hell, I haven’t even paid fare yet.”
“Aw, shut your trap. Look,” Liebgott presses his hands onto the table. “It was the end of long day, nobody wants to be out in this damn rain and I ain’t closing for business, so I’m bored.”
“Ain’t had anybody’s ear to talk off?” Snafu gives him a slow smile. “Feelin’ lonely?”
Liebgott makes a rude gesture in his direction, and the waitress stepping around the corner rocks back on her heels and says, “Is this a bad time?” She starts to walk away, but Liebgott calls after her, “Naw, naw, hey!” and Snafu gives her his best wide-eyed innocence. She pulls at her apron and doesn’t step too close, putting on a commerical smile for Liebgott after giving Snafu a wary glance. “May I take your order?”
“Yeah,” Liebgott picks up the menu, raises his voice conversationally, “I’ll have uh, that burger? And the biggest load of fries you got. Make it freakin’ huge.”
“Coffee.” Snafu says.
Liebgott stares at him. “Seriously?” he says, “I’m offering you a free meal and all you’re gonna ask for is coffee? What the fuck are you, stupid?”
Snafu leans forward and opens his mouth, gazes at Liebgott. “Naw,” he replies. He keeps staring as Liebgott mutters something under his breath and then orders another burger, anyway. When he turns back to Snafu, he says, “What the hell are you staring at?” and Snafu shrugs, blinks real slow.
Liebgott rubs the side of his neck and says, “If you’re fucking crazy, I don’t wanna know.”
“I ain’t shell-shocked.” Snafu says, and tips his chair back, balancing with his hands against the table’s edge. “If that’s what you were thinking.”
“I was in the war,” Liebgott says.
He’s suddenly closed mouth, for all his talk earlier, and Snafu stares at him. “Where,” he demands.
“Europe.” He shoves his hands into his pockets, “Look, I don’t wanna talk about that shit.”
“When we were in Okinawa,” Snafu drops his hands and leans forward. He stares Liebgott down. “Okinawans kept runnin’ toward us, bombs strapped to their chests, Japs using them like shields and us gunning them down all together.”
The waitress steps over, balancing a tray and the coffee pot. She sets the mug in front of Snafu and then slides a burger in front of each of them, rattling off the order, “Two hamburgers, biggest load of fries in the house, and coffee for a late night.” She gives them a once-over, frowning. Snafu's still staring at Liebgott. “Let me know if you need anything, boys.”
Liebgott tucks in as she walks away, ripping into his hamburger with relish. “I’m fucking hungry,” he declares. As he swallows, he looks over at Snafu and asks, abruptly, “Hey, where you from?”
“Louisiana,” Snafu replies, gesturing his hand in a vague direction.
“Louisiana? I had a buddy who was from Louisiana. Hey, the fuck are you doing in California then?”
“To go west,” Snafu says, in mock reverence.
“Yeah?” Liebgott snorts. “Well, you got pretty damn far west. As far as you’re gonna get unless you’re planning to steal a boat.”
Snafu shrugs. Liebgott stares at him for a long moment, and then shifts, digging into his pocket. “What the fuck,” he declares. “You ever need a place to stay, you call me.” He pulls out a scrap of paper and calls out to the waitress to borrow her pen, then hands Snafu a scribbled note of his number and address.
“You in a habit of picking up strays?”
“Fuck no,” Liebgott says. He shrugs. “I like ya.”
“You the crazy-ass one?” Snafu says, but he pockets the scrap anyway. Liebgott swallows the last of the fries and gets to his feet, slapping some money down on the table. “I got to get the hell out of here before some asshole tries to steal my cab. Eat the damn burger, show some friggin’ manners .” He sticks out his hand. “I’ll see ya, Snafu.”
Snafu stares at him, and then reaches out to shake his hand, slowly. “Sure,” he says.
Liebgott grins, raising a hand in farewell as he maneuvers his way back to the door, and Snafu stays in the diner, rubbing at the grime on his coffee mug and picking at the burger until the waitress kicks him out at closing time.