ashmusing: (Default)
Ash ([personal profile] ashmusing) wrote2010-09-01 07:53 pm

Fic: Soldier Girl

TITLE: Soldier Girl
FANDOM: M'ways (24/Avatar)
WORDS: 592
CHARACTERS: Trudy Chacon, Carl Benton
SUMMARY: In which Carl Benton meets Private First Class Chacon
A/N: Written for the millirific prompt: Millitime.

Trudy comes to Milliways wearing the American flag on her arm, looking a mess. A battlefield mess, filthy with dirt, grime, blood (her own and other people's) and smoke, and he doesn't see her. He sees a scared kid holding a rifle with a highly trained (if nervy) competence, a kid wearing a Marine uniform who looks like he's been through hell.

It's not until she speaks that he realises the kid is a girl, and that the kid is Trudy.

Fucking Milliways, he thinks with one breath, and with the other he slips back into the familiar stance of Captain Benton, US Army. It's never been a side of him that he shows Trudy – for all they joke about D-boys and Marines, their relationship is based on other things - but this kid has another eleven, twelve years to live before she becomes his Trudy. He figures she could use the familiarity of military authority.

(her door is gone, too; and when he explains, the look on her face - that anger, fear, and relieved guilt that she has a break from whatever hell is going down – slices into his heart)

Fucking. Milliways.

He sees her again, the day after. She's at a table near the front door, and although she is scrubbed, her uniform is not. Makes sense – not point in advertising she's been somewhere with running water and soap. She smells a hell of a better, though.

She's cleaning ammunition. Her handgun is loaded, and within easy reach, but every other piece of ammunition she brought with her is on the table, being cleaned. It's a boring, shitty job, but it means when she gets outside her door, there is less of a chance of the ammo jamming her weapons.

He'd be impressed at her initiative, but without her body-armour, without her helmet and the grime, her familiar face is young enough to shock him.

You should be in school, he thinks, not killing people.

(the fact that she's shaved off nearly all of her hair just makes her look younger still)

He asks if he can sit.

She glances up at him, and then she asks if he's someone else who knows the other her.

(she's always been sharper than her easy smile suggests)

He doesn't see any point in lying, but she just clenches her jaw. He stands there, unsure of what to do with this Trudy-who-isn't-Trudy.

I had, she says, voice far too calm, someone tell me that at least I know I survive.

(he suspects he knows)

They didn't say anythin' about my friends, sir.

(he knew)

(her calling him sir, and meaning it, is almost too strange)

Then she says, I'm a pilot, in the future?

One of the best.

She looks at him suspiciously, but he speaks nothing but the truth, and in a way that suggests he wouldn't say that lightly.

So she says, okay, and when he asks if he could help her clean her ammo – not fight for her, not kill for her, but help her – she nods.

That, at least, is like Trudy.

The next time he sees Trudy, she has her long ponytail, and her flightsuit, and eyes that aren't nearly as haunted. She's herself again, albeit a self who marches straight over when she sees him.

Guess where you came from, last time I saw you, she says, giving him a tight smile.

Slowly, thinking he has a bad feeling about this, Carl shakes his head.


...Fucking Milliways.