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No one come in, thinks PFC Howard desperately, as he undoes PFC Clark’s uniform with trembling fingers. He knows that this can only lead to a world of trouble. It doesn’t seem fair, that men can do all kinds of things to each other, all kinds of grabbings and fondlings and jokes and mock-flirting, so long as it comes with the excuse of “boys will be boys.” What happens in the field stays in the field. Whatever people want to call it. But he…he doesn’t have an excuse at all.

“Everything Ok?” whispers Clark, and he looks at Howard with those brown eyes, almost black in the low light. His fresh $6 haircut makes him look as vulnerable as a shorn lamb, but there is such decisiveness in his face, such surety in his arms, in his hands, as he pulls Howard towards him and kisses him.

Howard’s been kissed before; the girls, hanging around bars who get excited whenever they see a uniform, see someone heading from the base. He’s shared kisses with other brats when they were sixteen years old and bored, sharing the tedium of being picked up and hiked halfway across the country, across the world. But this a different side of that familiar action - like using your blunt knife after it’s just been sharpened

“Just worried, that’s all.”

“Well don’t be,” says Clark. He suddenly grabs his shirt and rips it off, pushing Howard down on the bed. He slides his hands up Howard’s shirt. Howard hasn’t realised that simply feeling someone else’s warm hands caressing his chest can feel this hot. He pulls Clark towards him, and before he knows what he’s doing, he’s undoing Clark’s pants, wanting to slip his hands in there and touch Clark. 

He wants to fuck him. He wants to fuck him so badly that he doesn’t even care about being a soldier any more.

“I want you,” Clark moans, his lips touching Howard’s cheek. One of his arms is still pushing up Howard’s shirt, the other is on his hip, caressing his butt.

Suddenly, Howard flips his buddy over onto his back and straddles him.

“Oh god,” hisses Clark. Howard suddenly realises he can feel Clark’s cock stiffening under those half-pushed down pants. He thinks about stopping and tearing off the rest of Clark’s clothes but he wants this now. He’s grabbing Clark’s head and roughly kissing him again, feeling his own cock harden against Clark’s abs. He grinds into him, his ass against Clark’s cock, and hears a whimper escape Clark’s mouth.

“Wait - “ pants Clark, “let me - “ and he’s struggling out of his pants and tugging down Howard’s. There’s definitely no time to take their boots off. Before Howard knows to think, Clark has his hands in his underwear and oh god. 

Clark is stroking his cock.

Clark’s licking a trail down Howard’s chest, his tongue tracing over Howard’s abs. 

He has Howard’s cock in his mouth. 

Howard leans back on his hands for a moment, flustered, watching Clark, now kneeling between Howard’s knees, his hand on Howard’s bare thigh, his mouth, hot and wet around Howard’s cock. He looks up at Howard now and grins - as much as he can with his mouth full - and then he’s back to it, sucking with what might be called military precision. 

Howard puts his hand on the back of Clark’s head, feeling the bristles of his hair between his fingers. He touches Clark’s cheek, like he’s a girl he’s about to kiss on prom night. Howard moans desperately.

It could just been the feeling of Clark’s mouth on him but he wants to marry this man. He’d get down on his knees right now and offer him whatever form of jewellery he had - dog tags maybe? - get him to promise they’d move to Massachusetts, if it weren’t for the fact that Clark’s already kneeling instead. 

He can’t think about it any longer though, because of how good this feels, how right. Clark - sluttish, but also the perfect bride, and the man you know will always have your back, and the one who’ll hold your hand when you’re worried you’re going to die. Clark is everything the army should be, Howard realises, and then he feels himself come, gasping like he’s just seen a dying star.

Clark grimaces slightly, and rummages around in his pockets for a napkin to spit into.

“Sorry dude. It’s only the second time I’ve done that and I’m not quite there yet with the taste.”

“Sorry” says Howard, flustered. 

“It’s ok,” says Clark, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he gets to his feet. He lobs the napkin into a trashcan on the other side of the room, and readjusts his clothes.

“Can I touch you?” says Howard shyly.

“Shit yeah, you think I’m gonna leave just cause you’re done?” But he’s smiling, and Howard doesn’t feel pressure. In his own time he’s licking his palm and reaching into Clark’s underwear, feeling the weight of Clark’s cock in his hand. He tentatively gives it a stroke, and then more vigorously, tugging Clark’s briefs down in the process. He gives Clark’s cock an experimental lick and hears a sharp intake of breath in response. His hand is on Clark’s butt, feeling his muscles tremour as Howard reaches forward to suck him.

 

A sudden blast of light. Fuck. Howard whips around to see Hall and Johnson standing in the doorway. There’s no time to try and disguise anything - he can immediately see in the sergeants’ faces that they know, that this is beyond compromising.

 

Clark hasn’t even bothered trying to move. He’s standing there, pants bunched up around his thighs, underwear half down, his lips wet. 

 

What seems like an eternity passes between the four men.

 

“Private Clark?” Hall finally says. His voice is the worst of real life. He sounds like uneaten food scraped into the canteen bin, like the bitter taste left in your mouth when you can’t swallow a pill fast enough. When you know that you’re in some shit, and there’s no way out but to keep going forward and face the consequences.

“Yes, sir,” says Clark, looking at the floor between Howard’s legs. 

“You’d better get back to your unit, Clark.”

“Yes, sir.”

Silently, he turns and starts putting his clothing back on, deliberately looking at nothing and no one. Howard catches his eye, and gets nothing, like checking your reflection in a blackboard. 

We’re fucked.

“Get dressed, Private,” Hall says to Howard.

The two stand there, watching as Clark and Howard do up every last button and zip, straighten every last fastening, unrumple every wrinkle. It’s the longest fifteen minutes of Howard’s life.

I’m dying. Why isn’t Clark holding my hand? 

Hall’s sombre as he silently takes Clark by the arm and leads him away. 

“You’d better pack your bags, Private,” mutters Johnson. “The army’s no place for faggots.”

 

When he’s called into the commander’s office the next day, Howard almost feels relieved. What’s the worst that can happen? 

 

After all, he’s dead already.