When the exhaustion sets in, cold and weighty against his chest, Snafu starts trying to count. Glints of metal against the pulse of the flares, broken trees illuminated for split seconds, the whispering down the line, everything blurring together until his shoulders are slumping and his vision is splotches of color. He pushes a finger through the rip in the fabric on his knee and scrabbles down his skin to an open sore, presses hard against it and winces. His eyes feel heavy lidded and sore, prickling from the cold sweat tangling in his eyelashes. He ain't gonna fall asleep, and he turns sideways to try and spit out the rusty taste in his mouth, stops when he sees Sledge.
He's curled up like a kid, looking half his size and tucking himself into the space next to Snafu. Every inch of him is curled inward, careful in his own box of space with his dirty bible tucked close to his chest. Snafu spits to the other side, pauses, then crouches down lower in their hole, lining up against Sledge until their knees are a centimeter apart, their shoulders separated by a tiny stretch of dirt. He hoists his weapon a little higher and scans the perimeter again, quiet except for the rustling of the trees, for the moment.
A minute or an hour passes. Sledge reaches out a hand and grabs at the leg of Snafu's trousers, fingers pulling against the fabric, the clink of gold in his pocket rattling. He starts at the touch and bites his tongue hard enough to bleed. Sledge blinks up at him, pushing the remnants of restless sleep from his eyes, says, "My turn." Snafu swallows down the taste of copper, nods an "okay."
Sledge's hand stays on his leg.