Title: Though The Heart Be Still As Loving, (aka The One in Which Chuck and Tam should spend less time evolly enabling each other)
Rating: NC-17, to be on the safe side.
Words: 628 says Microsoft, so caveat lector.
Prompts: Mortar, Song, Bribe and Ritual.
Warning: Born-a-girl genderswap, soldierly language, gore, Fedcakes.
Characters: Donna Eppes/Colby Granger
Summary: Donna Eppes was never what anyone expected.
Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly. Title appropriated from Byron's poem 'So We'll Go No More A'Roving'.
Notes: So, Tam, would this count as a firstborn?
Captain Donna Eppes decides that she’s going to rip the incompetent bastards in Intelligence a new one when the convoy she’s in switches from dull and sandy to a moving target practise for the Taliban.
She’s rehearsing the speech in her head as she detaches herself from her unconscious charge with terse orders to her Lt and dashes through the cloying stench of burning flesh and superheated metal encased in an inch of dust. The mortar's made a helluva mess of what used to be an armoured personnel carrier, and god, she’ll never forget the pieces of people she passes as she sprints towards the soldier desperately trying to shift his buddies to safety.
(Her hands burn on the jutting pieces of tank as she clambers to help).
Thick acrid smoke curls up from the gaping hole, and she chokes and they pull, and this blonde linebacker of a man is trapped, burning red metal chaining him, and he’s crying out for his dad and it’s breaking her heart but if they don’t get him out soon none of this is going to matter.
But then he’s free and she’s grabbing his belt as his buddy grabs his body armour and they heave, and they fall heavily, they fall backwards and as Don’s back hits the blistering sand and the soldier hits her chest, and she can’t remember a time when she’s hurt so much.
Later in the EFI, he’ll buy her a beer and she’ll declare them even so long as he gets the next round in, and they’ll sit there swapping stories until they almost forget her hands are bandaged and his arm is strapped across his chest. She’ll look into is bright green eyes and suspect he may have just stolen her heart (and damn, if that doesn’t happen when she’s not paying attention).
When the LA nights get too much for her, and the demons are waiting in the shadows beyond sleep, she calls the same number. The phone never rings more than three times before it’s answered, because Colby too knows what it’s like to wake up screaming the soldier’s song, Makeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstop!
Don's already been the CID liaison to the FBI for nearly 7 years when her mother calls her up out of the blue. She's barely heard the words ‘cancer’ and ‘stage three’ before the good Jewish daughter in her is calculating how much emergency leave she can get and how fast she can sweet talk, bribe, or threaten her way on the next transport to LAX (because God knows Charlie’s going to be less use than tits on a fish).
It costs her a date and a brief make-out session behind the armoury, but she’ll be in Pasadena before midnight, emergency leave beginning as soon as her feet touch American soil, her honourable discharge with extenuating circumstances pending, and after she completes the entry course at Quantico, she’ll be less than an hour away for as long as Margaret needs her.
Don knows long hair is impractical. Believe her, she knows. She can't count the amount of times she’s brushed her hair before hitting the sack to discover a handful of gritty sand piled on the floor beside her. It becomes a ritual she carries out in the times when her gun will sparkle if she cleans it anymore and there is fuck all but sand to look at. But even in the fierce heat of whatever stretch of desert she’s in now, she can’t bring herself to cut it. So her hair grows, her skin darkens and the piles of sand on sand mark her days. And then Colby appears, and suddenly her hair isn’t quite such a burden with two to count the sand.