Your name is John Egbert, and you have just fallen in love. With another man. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s a soldier in your goddamn unit, leaving you frantically kissing each other in the middle of the night.
You wonder if this would have happened even if you and Private Strider hadn’t had to share a tent. Especially since he made fun of your hair and you thought his aviators were funny (he’s not even in the Air Force!).
But maybe, just maybe, you were meant to be.
The first time you kiss, it’s New Years’ Eve 1941. Not even out of basic, sitting next to him and listening to the countdown on the radio in your barracks. Maybe you saw it in a movie or heard it in a radio play, but when the man says “Happy New Year!” you grab him, pull him down to you and press your lips together, tangling one hand in his slightly-dirty blond hair. He’s a little shocked, and then goes right back into it, lips finding each other like a new home, until you finally let go of each other.
“You’re a good kisser, Egbert.”
You smile at him. “Thanks.” and kiss him again, frenzied and quick.
“Whoa, slow down there,” he says with that twang and you wonder how the hell you’re in the same regiment.
“Where’re you from?”
“Why are you here?”
“Moved.” He shrugs and leans over to kiss you again. “Doesn’t matter.”
Giggling, you kiss him back, and he pushes those sunglasses up on his head, making his hair look all silly. Another kiss, this one romance novel material, deep and passionate and whywere you in love with another soldier?
“I think I might love you, Dave.”
He laughs a little, arms on his knees. “I’m goddamn sure I love you.”
“I hope you ain’t got some lucky lady back home.”
You shake your head and fall asleep next to him, the first of a thousand times.
The second time you kissed wasn’t the second time at all, but dammit you’ll never forget that smooch. It was after one of your first battles, a bloodbath that left the remainders of the US troops running like hell back to their camp, and when you got there, sweaty, blood, out of breath, with broken glasses, he’s gone. The goddamn man who got you called a fairy and a pansy and a fruit and you didn’t care but still was gone and probably killed by a Jap. You half-ran back to your tent and tried to forget him, tried to forget his smile and his glasses and his scars he says he got from his father’s World War One swords and the feel of his skin under your hands and the freckles on his back and you can’t ever forget him.
Just as you start sobbing, there’s a rustle and an unzip and his smiling face appears, just as dirty and bloody as yours. “D-Dave? You’re not dead.”
He shakes his head and sits down to hug you without saying a word.
“I was so scared.”
“It’s alright, John, I’m here now.”
“I know… just… I missed you.” You smile back at him and press him into the floor with another kiss, fast and hard and tear-strewn and he tasted like blood and strawberries andDave and you never realized how much you loved kissing him until you thought it was gone forever.