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Want (three "Fix Bay'nets" drabbles)

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Daegaer ( daegaer) wrote, @ 2003-12-21 09:47:00
Happy (belated) birthday, zarahemla!
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Bill Gedge doesn't know what he wants. Or rather, he does, but only in dreams that fade the moment he opens his eyes. Even if he did know, he doesn't have the words to say it, or the sense that he's the sort of person anyone would listen to.

All Bill Gedge knows is he tries harder when his officer is nearby to be a better soldier, to be a better man. A kind word buoys him up, a reproof casts him down. He thinks he wants to die, heroically saving his officer's life.

In his dreams, he knows better.

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Edmund Bracy wants to be perfect. He wants to be an officer his men respect and love, one that gains the approval of his fellow officers. He wants to be useful, and eagerly accepts every assignment.

He does not simply accept the admiration of the men, but works to earn it, putting his own life at risk to safeguard even the greenest boy. He wants to be remembered as someone who had his men's welfare at heart.

One night on a freezing mountainside a young soldier takes his hand, and Bracy discovers he didn't know what it was to want.

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Andrew Roberts wants a long and celebrated military career. He's brave, but not foolhardy. He cares for his men, but doesn't try to be their friend. He's willing to die for Queen and Country, but he'd rather live to enjoy victory.

His friend is not helping in this plan, is in fact courting disaster and risking the reputation of his friends also.

He keeps tally of the private smiles and moments that no officer should share with an enlisted man. Long past time to do something, he thinks.

Roberts wants to keep his friend, but he wants his career more.

* * * * * * *

(The only character in Fix Bay'nets! to be given a first name is Pvt William Gedge. I have supplied Lt Bracy and Cpt Roberts with first names of my own invention.)

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