It was just another day like the one before, if not the one before that. Hotter than most, definitely drier than some, half the platoon was sprawled in a loose circle on the backs of a half-dozen flatbeds. It was hot, though two weeks before, Quatre believed they'd all drown. After nearly two months, Quatre thought he would be used to the place. But then, he didn't want to get used to it - he only wanted to survive it. Survive the marches, survive the bugs, survive the explosions. Survive killing.
He was in a heavy drowse when the AFN switched from 'News from Home' and the weather report, and the disc jockey began going on about some festival coming up at the end of the month. At the first sounds of vocals, Quatre sat up, his look frantic to find Duo. The guitar had barely started when Duo was there, pulling on Quatre's arm, and coaxing him from the truck bed.
"No, Duo," Quatre pleaded, his eyes wide with an embarrassed horror. "Not here."
With a laugh, Duo dropped his arm. "Whatever you say man." He spun on his heels, picking up the song mid-beat, and began those shuffling steps so familiar to the both of them.
Quatre watched, apprehensive turned wistful nostalgia. How many times had they worked out the kinks of their routine? It was home; up in his room with the radio blasting, in the living room, record player on repeat, even in Howard's garage with the other mechanics watching.
The GIs were sitting up, watching, clapping in time. Two jumped from the truck Quatre sat on and joined Duo. It was a bastard mix of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and James Brown thrown in - all hip thrusting and shuffling steps - it was two boys working their way through fifteen and into sixteen.
Another joined in during the guitar solo, and Quatre was up, his first strut faltering. Duo whooped, and jumped to his side. Their dance came together, synchronized just as it had been. Quatre could almost picture Iria there, laughing and clapping her hands, could almost see Josie blush with the "dirty dancing" moves.
The song ended, and Duo collapsed against Quatre, laughing. Quatre slung an arm around Duo's shoulders, and grinned at the cheers and whistles. Duo straightened long enough to bow with Quatre, before roping him back to one of the trucks. They sat side-by-side shoulder's brushing.
"It's been awhile," Duo said, wiping sweat from his brow with a forearm.
Quatre nodded without saying anything. It had felt good, letting himself remember how they'd been, how cool they thought they were then. It felt good to remember that there had been fun.
"Here," one of the GIs said, passing Quatre a beer bottle. Quatre took it with a smile of thanks, and saw Duo was already hefting his to his mouth. "For a white boy, you can dance," the soldier laughed, tilted his bottle up, and drank.
"Thanks, I think." But Quatre put the bottle to his lips anyway, drank deep, and closed his eyes against the sun.
It wasn't home, but sometimes there were glimpses of what used to be. And maybe that was enough to get him through; bring him home.