It had started with Floyd, as it always did. Joe thought vaguely that he should really stop listening to him, as he stumbled along the narrow corridors of the house in town where they were posted up for the night. Joe reasoned that it had probably really started with Nixon. The captain had tasked himself with the job of getting any of the alcohol, that he hadn't already taken, to the company. Tab had wheedled and whined his way into more than his fair share of liquor. That's where it was Tab's fault, when he wheedled and whined at Joe until he was well on his way to shitfaced. This brought him to his current dilemma; he couldn't remember which room was his, Chuck's, Tab's, and Grant's, and it wasn't like there was anyone around to really help out.
All of a sudden, Joe heard sounds coming from a room up ahead. He wasn't sure if he was just too drunk or if it was really the dulcet tones of Vera Lynn. As Joe tried and mostly failed to creep up to the door, his suspicions were confirmed. As he peaked in around the doorframe, he saw David Webster sitting on his bunk, cradling a more than half empty bottle of what looked like very good whiskey, lightly crying. A record player spun beside him, playing a Vera Lynn record, something Joe didn't think would be found in Hitler-vill.
Joe knew he should have left, but not before he heard Web sing through the tears along to the record,
"...I know we'll meet again some sunny day. I'm sorry I wasn't there, Hoob. Fuckin' wish you were here. You'd be laughing your ass off at me, crying like a dumbass at a fucking song."
Sober Joe would've have, should have, left him to it at that, but Drunk Joe and his shitty foot-eye coordination made a racket as he tried to sneak back the way he came and ended up on the floor instead.
"Who's there?" Web asked, quickly trying to wipe some tears. When he looked up and saw Joe struggling to right himself, Joe saw his face turn hard.
"Oh, it's you," Web said, and Joe could hear the slur in his voice.
"Ain't happy to see me, Web?" Joe asked as he finally righted himself, clinging to the doorframe. He cringed at himself. That isn't what you say to a guy when you find him crying and apologizing to his dead buddy. He tried again.
"You ok, Web?" He asked as he moved in through the doorway.
"No, I'm not fucking ok, Joe!" Web got up, gesturing wildly with the bottle, "I'm tired of having to be ok! All of us! I'm tired of paying for the fact that I couldn't be in Bastogne! I'm tired of waking up screaming, seeing Hoob die a hundred fucking different ways because I never saw it! I'm tired of seeking Klink go down right in front of me! I'm tired of seeing Bud with a fucking hole in his chest! I'm tired of this whole fucking war! I'm tired..."
Web broke off with a sob, dropped the bottle to the floor and sank down to follow it.
Joe moved as quickly as he could and joined Web on the floor.
"We don't gotta be ok all the time. Everybody breaks, Web."
"You don't..." Web started, but Joe cut him off.
"I don't, what? Understand? Maybe I didn't lose anyone, but you saw Landsburg, didn't you? I fucking broke after that, Web. You know I did." Joe could see Web was remembering that night. In their billet that night, he trashed his room in some family's house in the town. They probably knew; the entire town must have known. How could they not have? Everyone pretended not to hear him as he screamed, cursed, threw all kinds of furniture against the walls. When he had come out of his ruined room, Web had taken him by the shoulder and let him sleep in the extra bed in his room. Things had changed that night, like they had been changing since Haguenau. After that night, Joe felt like they were hurtling towards some unknown destination, with no end in sight.
"Only fair I do the same for you, right Web?" Joe asked as he wormed his arm around Web's shoulders. Web almost tried to shrug the arm off but allowed it in the end. When he was sure Web wasn't going to shove him away, Joe wrapped the other arm around Web and pulled him close. They sat there, David leaned close against Joe's chest as the record played and played, song after song.
Somewhere in the middle of "White Cliffs of Dover," the air between them changed; it became charged with something Joe couldn't really name, wasn't really sure he wanted to name. As the song played out and shifted to the trumpets of "Yours", Joe could hear David's breath hitch, just for a second. Somewhere in his sleepy, half-drunk mind, Joe wondered when Web had become David.
As Vera Lynn crooned her way through the second verse, Joe threaded his fingers through Web's curls, marveling at how soft they were. David's breath caught again, but he didn't pull away, just settled deeper against Joe's chest.
It occurred to Joe that this might have been what they were hurtling towards, either this easy intimacy or something more.
"I've never loved anyone the way I love you, how could I, when I was born to be, just yours," Joe found himself murmuring along with the end of the song. When he looked down, Joe saw David looking up at him. David's eyes were still red-rimmed from crying, but it still couldn't dull the bright blue eyes staring up at Joe.
Whatever song came next was lost on Joe as he drowned out any other thoughts, leaned down and softly brushed his lips against David's. He pulled away a scant few centimeters and saw David's eyes flutter closed, his eyelashes fanned against tearstained cheeks. Without thinking, Joe cupped his hand to David's face, his thumb traced the tear tracks before he leaned back down again. He was rapidly sobering up and could feel the quiver of David's lips beneath his own. He pulled back again.
"Are you ok with this? Ain't gonna hate me in the morning, Web?"
"Couldn't hate you even if I tried," David mumbled and tried to close the distance again. Joe pulled back out of the reach of the searching lips.
"Nuh uh uh. Firm yes, David," Joe said sternly. David rolled his eyes, but said,
"Firm yes, Joseph," and locked his lips to Joe's again.
This time the kiss was different; hotter, desperate. Not the sweet questing kiss from before, a needy kiss. Joe was happy to fill that need and flicked his tongue out to trace the seam of David's lips, who opened his mouth to Joe's advance.
Joe nearly growled as David lightly sucked on his tongue and felt himself getting deeper and deeper in, but he regretfully pulled back. David chased after him again, but was met with thin air this time. Joe pulled himself to his feet and left David panting on the floor as he closed the door, mentally punching himself for leaving it open in the first place. He turned back to see David looking ruined, debauched, like a dirty pinup, all bright blue eyes and curly hair. That damned mouth that was always giving him so much trouble was wide open and kiss-bitten. Joe shook back to the moment and discreetly adjusted himself in his skivvies.
"We taking this to bed or what?" Joe asked and held out his hand for David to take. Once David had a tight grip, he bodily levered him off the floor, straight into Joe's arms.
Joe pulled David flush against him and brought him in for another kiss, settled his hands on that perfect ass and ground against David.
David was the one that pulled away this time, barely taking time to catch his breath before he pulled his shirt over his head.
"Hiding this from me, princess?" Web jutted his chin out, defensive.
"Are you telling me you weren't looking in the showers?" Joe admitted he hadn't. He hadn't pictured David as he saw him, muscled chest from hard training, covered with thick curly hair.
"You telling me you were?" Joe fired back. He could imagine it; David sneaking little glances in the shower tents, heart pounding at the danger of it, remembering late at night, his hand wrapped around his cock, biting his shirt to keep quiet.
David ducked his head and his blush just got deeper.
Joe chuckled, pulled off his own shirt, and tugged David back towards him.
"Wish I'd noticed. Could have been doing this a whole lot earlier," Joe said, walking David back toward the bed.
The bed creaked as they fell back onto it, Joe pinning David with his thighs. He made quick work of both their pants and rubbed David through his army issue boxers. David bucked up against his hand, eyes rolled back, panting.
"Fuck me," David moaned.
"Don't think we have time tonight, princess," Joe said as he shucked both their boxers off and he heard David moan as he took both of their cocks in hand.
"Christ, Lieb," David stuttered out, before moaning into Joe's mouth again.
Joe stroked a heavy hand up their cocks, thumbing over the head of David's, and smirked at the answering moan. He wondered how much and how often he could get David to make that same sound, because he didn't think it would ever get old. He did it again and this time David bucked into his grip.
"You like that, David?" Joe asked,
David just moaned and slumped his head to rest on Joe's shoulder.
Joe got lost in the feel of David's cock, rubbing hot against his, the pant of David's breath against his shoulder, and faster than he'd hoped, he felt himself getting close; by the glassy look in David's eyes and the way his breath quickened, he wasn't far off either.
Joe picked up the pace and relished the hitch in David's breath in response. Now it was his turn to lean his head into David's shoulder, hurriedly sucking a mark in between harsh breaths, as he got closer and closer before he finally came with a gasp as waves of pleasure wracked his body. Again, David wasn't far behind and a few more strokes had him coming between their stomachs, gasping, face contorted into pure pleasure. Joe collapsed down onto David, not even minding the mess they'd made on their stomachs and they laid like that for several minutes, as they just breathed each other in.
"Good there, David?" Joe asked, his voice a bit muffled by David's shoulder. David just hummed.
After a few more minutes, Joe came back to himself, registering the cooled stickiness between them. He started to try to get up but David wrapped his arms around him.
"No," he mumbled.
"David, you gotta let me go a sec. Someone could walk in," Joe said, as gently as he could. David slowly released Joe, a pout on his lips.
Joe walked over to the sink in the corner of the room and when he turned back with a damp washcloth, he saw David, the hungry look in his eyes again as he looked Joe up and down. Joe chuckled.
"Don't think we're up for another round, princess." David just pouted again and didn't lift his head from the pillow as Joe cleaned them up, just humming when Joe's hand drifted close to his cock where it lay spent against his thigh.
Joe threw the washcloth back into the sink from the bed and laid back down next to the drowsy David, who burrowed into his side almost immediately, face pressed snug to Joe's ribs. Joe froze for a second before settling his arm around David's shoulders, stroking the mark he'd made there.
He was still worried about the prospect of one of the guys drunkenly stumbling in and catching them off guard, but Joe was willing to risk it if he could keep looking at David as he dropped off to sleep, breath settling down into a calm pattern, those dark lashes fanned against his cheeks again.
Joe's last thought before he fell asleep himself was that he should probably thank Floyd, for giving him this gift.
The next morning at roll call, Captain Spiers called the company, either hungover or still drunk, for a head count to make sure no one had gotten disastrously hurt or lost in the escapades of the previous night. Even the Captain himself looked a little worse for wear, eyes dulled by an obvious hangover, hair still a ruffled and tangled mess. Joe noticed a slight bruise peaking above his collar, but Spiers fixed him with a cold, empty stare, almost daring him to say anything. Joe looked away.
He found David's eyes in the ranks and winked discreetly at him. They'd been in a rush that morning to get moving and get Joe back to his room (which had turned out to be the one just before David's) and dressed and presentable that they hadn't discussed the night before. Joe had wondered, left alone with his creeping thoughts, if this would last. Seeing David flush at the wink, Joe started to think that yeah, maybe this would last.