Fandom: The Pacific
Word Count: 428
Genre: post!war fic, angst
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, just my interpretations of them. Based on fictionalized representations, no disrespect is intended.
Teaser: Sledge says nothing about the war, and everything about the way things are now.
Notes: written to The Gaslight Anthem's We Did It When We Were Young off of awoken's lovely sledge/snafu mix. I couldn't not write something with this song.
And Snafu opens the letter like it's a sentence calling him to report in, solitary confinement, the brig waiting for him with patches for his uniform. He spits out tobacco and pretends his hands aren’t shaking as he wrestles free the parchment -- all perfectly folded and neatly addressed. Merriell Shelton, in hesitant writing, like the addressor couldn’t decide if the name was proper after all.
He knows, before he unfolds it. He knows, because the l’s in Merriell look just like the 1°’s scribbled onto dirty pages in a bible. He shouldn’t remember, but he can see Sledge’s hands clutching a pencil and the dulling shade to his eyes as he forgets the date again. Snafu coughs out a curse, and drags the letter across his palm, wipes fingers against his trousers before he unfolds it.
Sledge says nothing about the war, and everything about the way things are now, about Mobile, a wife, a home they made in a house Snafu can picture all pretty and white and paid for with old family money. Sledge got his address from Burgin, he asked about him at the last reunion, has Snafu seen Burgie’s wonderful wife? They really did meet in Texas, it sure was a long way from Melbourne. He’s glad it worked out.
Does Snafu have good weather there? Snafu crushes the letter into a mess of paper, trying to shrug off the heavy sick that settles against his chest. He ain’t got any reason to send anything back, they ain’t nothing but the past. He has to go to work, he’s got to make a living, you know, he can’t sit here reading pretty letters from ghosts who have the luxury to write things to old comrades with an easy conscience.
He can’t remember Sledgehammer. But he folds the letter back into the careful little creases it came in, and places it on the counter next to the tin can full of extra change, for cigarettes or beer or a broken window. Nothing worth much, never gonna amount to much, but nice to keep all the same.
He leaves for work and doesn’t check his mailbox again for two weeks.