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Title: becoming a part of something bigger (because ray’s Humvee has more leg room)
Rating: PG +13 because Marines.
Pairing/Characters:  Walt. Leans a little toward Walt/Ray at the end.
Word Count: 1,067
Summary: Walt’s been integrated into the Bravo Humvee dynamic; here’s how.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction based on HBO’s Generation Kill, and nothing but the words are mine. No money is being made off of these fabulous words, or else I’d be doing it full-time.
A/N: I’ve been meaning to finish this since the war-a-thon, but it’s dandy now. Not sure how it’s come out, but I kind of just wanted to fit Walt into the Humvee dynamic because he wasn’t originally part of Brad’s team. Bit of a character exercise I guess.
 

                Since becoming a part of Bravo’s Humvee, Walt has realised a few things about the dynamics of this team; this dysfunctional family.

Walt had shared space with all these men back at Matilda, yelled ‘kill’ alongside them and eaten his food across the table from them. But while he knew each of them; their personal habits and their social habits- like how Brad slept completely still, plank-like on his back, but with one hand held tight over his heart as if protecting himself, and that Trombley had a tendency to verbalise thoughts that were socially inappropriate and only vaguely related to the topic of conversation at the time. Walt knew them, yet he hadn’t known them so well that he could envision himself in their Humvee’s environment; sharing their space and sharing their lives so closely. So intimately.

He’s been part of Brad’s Humvee (Ray will protest this, because who drives this baby again?) for a few weeks now and already they have accommodated their habits to integrate him. They’ve made space for his corn-fed figure and made him a fixed point of their awareness.

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                Walt isn’t quiet, isn’t so quiet as Reporter as he observes, or as quiet as Brad when he’s not arguing with Ray, but he is quiet by nature. The Marines have made him feel more alive, his will to talk and express opinions has flourished in this desert- he argues and complains and debates, but he still has periods where he’s so separated from the group that he dissolves back into a content state of silence. As they drive, he can only listen to the murmur of voices below him and the rushing of wind as Ray drives them to their destination.

He’s not upset or angry or hurting, he’s just silent.

But it’s when he’s silent for too long that he knows Brad worries.

Brad doesn’t worry like a mother hen, doesn’t even worry like the LT- all demand and not-so-secret caring glances- Brad worries with a watchful gaze and words of wisdom.  Brad asks if he’s okay and retreats soon after; as if he’ll spook an animal. He doesn’t push too far but he always pushes enough that Walt will come back to himself and join in. If only for his TL’s sake.

And if Brad smiles like he’s accomplished something, Walt lets him think he has.

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                Sometimes Walt will get irritated; his country born patience wearing thin. Walt will lash out, and everyone will go quiet and let him yell through his frustration. But not Trombley. Trombley tries to make things better.

Trombley’s a fucking psycho most of the time, but really, he’s still a kid like himself- just caught on the wrong side of it all.

Trombley sits next to him, and doesn’t take the hint that Walt needs space to blow off steam. He sits next to him and talks about his home and his babies back home; his girl and his kid. Sometimes Trombley will say some stupid shit, but sometimes Walt thinks that maybe he’s a little less fucked up than they’d thought.

And if the world can give someone like Trombley a better life, then maybe the worlds ain’t so fucked up after all.

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                Everyone in Brad’s (Ray’s) Humvee keeps secrets and keeps private life private; though occasionally Ray proves this theory wrong. Everyone keeps secrets, but since Reporter lost his girlfriend’s picture to the sand and sweat of the Marines, he’s kept the most secrets.

Walt thinks maybe Reporter’s the only one who would understand a normal life and normal relationships; because Walt can’t imagine any of the others in a civilian world though he’s sure they must have been civilians once.

So when Walt’s perfumed letters stop coming, when Trombley’s talks don’t make him optimistic and Brad’s pushing just serves to make him shrink up more, Ray’s chatter a constant background noise, he looks to Reporter and wonders if in those secrets he’s experienced this fear. Wonders if his girl sends him letters and wonders how homesick he is for her right now.

And Walt must have been unsubtle in his worry because after a few days Reporter cranks up his courage and approaches him. Reporter approaches him and tells him that he misses her and he knows and it’ll be fine just a loss of communication for the moment, and it somehow makes Walt feel better to know he has someone to confide in. Someone who understands.

But Walt hadn’t told anyone, so he thinks maybe Reporter’s got some freaky mind-skills hidden in those secrets too.

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                Out of all the guys, Walt hadn’t thought that Ray would give two shits about him; because sure, the guy spoke to everyone, but it’s all thinly veiled insults and two-up-man-ship’s with everyone other than those closest to him. Those who get under Ray’s skin and who he can trust; like Brad and the LT, even Trombley.

But Walt’s realised he’s one of them too.

All the guys in the Humvee look out for him in their own ways- make sure he’s on the ball and there for him when he ain’t, and Ray does that too. But the thing about Ray is that he lets the others work their magic before he even gets close.

Lets Brad talk him out, lets Trombley talk him up, lets Reporter talk at him until he feels kinship.

Ray lets all this happen before his comforting background chatter dries up and he grabs Walt’s leg to steady him, leans back and smiles up at him through the top of the Humvee with those stupid pimp shades on and his fucking burn crinkling.

And somehow that makes shit better. Walt doesn’t understand it because he’s supposed to be the goddamn ray of sunshine according to Ray, yet Ray’s the one giving him a little light and making him think that maybe everything will be alright.

‘Cause if Ray can still smile an honest smile and not just his giddy drug-induced grin,  maybe Walt can take that as some sort of reassurance and man-up for the team.

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                Walt’s part of Bravo Humvee now, and he knows these men like no one else, and he’s pretty fucking glad he got stuck with this lot and not some other group of Marine hicks.

He’s got all the hick he needs right in his Humvee. Even if that does sound kind of homoerotic.