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11 December 2009 @ 12:47 am
devil's arcade - interlude I  
May 20th, 1943, Bizerte

“So I’m finally gettin’ some company?” Sawyer asks, taking another drag from the cigarette held between his fingers, and Desmond sighs and answers something that he hopes sounds like aye before taking a drink of water. Of course he’s getting some company; this is the day when some American faces join their unit and Desmond is absolutely neutral on the matter.

He isn’t excited about it and he doesn’t dread it; after six months of desert, Sawyer, Sayid and Charlie are the only familiar faces in the unit apart from another couple of people. Faraday got moved to another unit, Gault was seriously wounded in Wadi Akarit and got shipped back to Australia and they still need to replace him. Possibly with one of the Americans coming in today.

He can see that Charlie is off at the camp’s infirmary to gather stuff he probably doesn’t even need and Desmond isn’t stupid; he might be friends with that American nurse Desmond met in Cairo, but there has to be something more underneath according to him, but whatever, not really his business. If Charlie has other intentions... well, they’re in a war and it’s not like there are many women around, and he has to say that the American is pretty enough. Whatever, he just hopes they get a new medic at least because the last of Faraday’s substitutes got killed some twenty days ago and they’re currently without one. Just because they haven’t been fighting, of course.

They’re all standing and watching jeeps arrive; the camp is the largest Desmond has been in if you exclude the Alamein one and well, there’s a reason since they’re preparing to land in Italy in a short while. Maybe a month. Maybe one and a half. Whatever, Desmond is sick of dry sand and the only thing he knows about Sicily is that there’s no desert; that’s more than enough. Right, he figures the heat won’t change, but still. As long as he isn’t eating sand anymore he’s fine with it. Sayid observes in silence, but Desmond lets him; after six months, he has learned that it’s just in the man’s system. At least they all got promoted, just a rank higher than they were at the beginning, but it doesn’t really matter. As long as he gets out of this alive, Desmond will be fine. Actually, he isn’t even planning to stay in the military if he does and if they win. He might go to London, find himself some job, sure as bloody hell avoid Clydebank for the rest of his life. Doesn’t sound like a bad plan.

“I think you will, shortly,” Sayid says then, a minute after Sawyer asks the question. Right. At least someone answered properly. Sawyer shrugs and takes a battered old paperback out of his pack, always the same he has read over and over for the last months; Desmond has noticed it a long time ago. It reads The Sound and The Fury; Desmond doesn’t really like the title.

“Aren’t you sick of that, brother?”

“Why don’t you lend me yours then?”

Desmond scowls and lights up a cigarette. He’s missing just a hundred pages, but for some reason he doesn’t want to finish it now. Even if he thinks he will have to. He still has work ahead of him and surely he isn’t out of this. Not by a long shot. He looks at Sayid, who has a small book in his hands now, too.

“What’s that?”

Sayid turns it and Desmond sees that it’s some kind of Italian compendium.

“I need to refresh my memory,” Sayid says then, and Desmond figures that since he is the interpreter, he’s got a point. There’s no one else he really wants to talk to; he takes another drag and stands when he sees a good number of people coming in their direction, included someone whose uniform suggests a pretty high rank. Gault’s substitute maybe? Could be. He puts the cigarette back with the others and moves along with everyone else from the troop, arranging themselves in neat lines.

Just after he takes position, the guy signs at them not to and he’s glad about it. Really.

When he reads the rank, he reads Major. Which he supposes is their chief warrant officer. Well, there’s the whole of the troop waiting for him, so that’s what he was expecting. He’s in his mid-fifties even if he’s pretty fit; he’s bald, with two piercing blue eyes and a thin mouth. He introduces himself as Major John Locke, goes through the usual routine and then they break the lines. Desmond, Sayid and Sawyer move a bit away along with two other ones who arrived two days ago, Jenkins and Jackson if Desmond doesn’t remember wrong (well, they’re also named Scott and Steve so he tends to confuse them), and that’s all of their section that survived except from Charlie, who is still lost somewhere in the infirmary. They need at least another four people here, if not five; he takes out his half-smoked cigarette when someone asks for Sayid who, as the only corporal in there, is in theory in charge of the patrol. In practice he isn’t because it’s not like they’ve been fighting or anything lately, but still.

They all turn and indeed, here are five people. One is a tall guy with short black hair, hazel eyes, a regular face and a red cross on his arm (he figures he’s the medic); his rank reads Lieutenant, which Desmond thinks means warrant officer. There are two sergeants, one is a tall bloke with black skin and the face of someone who’d rather be anywhere else than here (not that Desmond doesn’t share the feeling) and the second looks Asian, a bit shorter than Desmond but well built and he has a friendly face, so what the bloody hell. All gained. The last two are privates, both without any particular traits except for an expression that is way more pissed than the black bloke’s. Whatever. The lieutenant clears his throat and nods at Sayid when he answers the call.

“My name is Jack Shephard, we got assigned here. They said your squad needed men, right?”

“Yes, that would be correct. It’s the five of us and another private who is currently on duty at the infirmary, but he should get back here shortly.”

Desmond thinks that it’s all wishful thinking, the currently on duty and the infirmary bits both, but then again he figures he should just at least learn the names. The privates introduced themselves as Radzinsky and Pickett, not even sharing the names; the two sergeants are friendlier, they introduce themselves as Michael (the black one) and Jin (the Asian one), and Desmond isn’t too surprised when Sawyer first says it’s nice to meet some people from some civilized place and dubs Shephard Doc, Michael Robert Johnson and Jin Charlie Chan. He had expected it. Not for anything for six months he has responded to Braveheart, Sayid to Prince Feisal and Charlie to any possible variation on the word midget.

Shephard thankfully takes it with a shrug and the other two don’t argue with it. When he realizes that the privates are not alright with their new identities which Desmond hasn’t really caught, Desmond says he’s going to the infirmary to drag Charlie away from whatever he’s holed up doing in there.

Ends up that Boone needed help with changing the dressings for at least twenty people and Charlie was there and all the other nurses were otherwise occupied.

Right.

Desmond tells Charlie that he really should move his ass. Especially since considering Shephard’s rank he’s pretty much in charge right now, so he really shouldn’t wait ages to show his face.

Boone seems merely amused.

Right, again.

When he gets back, Sawyer is back to smoking and downright staring at Jack who is asking Sayid information, or so Desmond thinks.

Whatever. He can’t wait to put his feet on dry land.

Part III
 
 
feeling: okayokay
 
 
 
Shonatoestastegood on December 15th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Eeeee, Charlie/Boone! I love the way you're setting up all of the pairings, it makes for such a good read. I also grinned like hell at the mention of Scott and Steve. Bless!
the female ghost of tom joad: tangerinesjanie_tangerine on December 15th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
I can't not have Scott and Steve!!! Also I needed random people to mention, lol.

Thanks so much! :D I'm so glad you're liking it! And heee, yes. Some Charlie/Boone never hurts. *cough*
a geek in such the wrong way: lost-Des-wasting awayhaldoor on February 2nd, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
Liking it so far! I know I'm late to the party, but just popping in here to let you know I'm finally reading! Love the set-ups! ;-)
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des/charliejanie_tangerine on February 4th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Nah, no one is ever late to my party! ;) Doors are always open, lol. I'm very glad you liked it this far, thank you! :D