Angst, so much Angst
So, I think @msridcully passed on a really bad case of the Sad Mumps to be because all I could think of writing was this in my fic and I thought I’d share it with you, since you’re the reason my soul died a few times while writing it. To provide some background, Brad and Ray are having a movie night of sorts, watching Band of Brothers and at @msridcully‘s suggestion, I decided to focus on The Breaking Point. Brad and Ray aren’t having any discussions on the episode yet, this is just Brad’s sad, angsty thoughts.
I hope it hurts you to read it as much as it hurt me to write it! :)
So that’s how it went that day. A constant stream of banter and discussion, ending after insults were traded and vows to shut up were said, only to promptly be forgotten 5 minutes later. Brad felt him get sucked into a time long gone, sympathizing with these men, their losses and struggles, and it made him realize how goddamn lucky he was. Iraq was a series of eternal fuckups and command holding their dicks in their hands but everyone in Bravo came back home alive.
They might have been bruised, battered, and missing parts of themselves they hadn’t realized were there (innocence, sanity, faith, confidence, hope… all of it slowly dwindling away) but at least they’d done it all together. He’d been so focused on fixing the next mess, he hadn’t stopped to think about what he would have done if any of his men had died right before him. Glancing to his left, he wondered how he would have gone through life without Ray there bitching next to him and decided he’d be content that he wasn’t in that situation and move the fuck on.
These guys they were watching, they didn’t have that. Malarkey, Winters, Liebgott, Toye, Guarnere, all the others, they’d watched friends die and marched on. Everything life shot at them, they marched through it with their heads held high. Watching the last few episodes, Brad and Ray both got quieter, each lost in their own thoughts. For Brad, it was wondering if Bravo would have survived the situation Easy Company was in at Bastogne. They had similar harsh conditions, incompetent officers, loyal and brave men, and isolation from any aid. So close to each other, yet so far. If their places were reversed, would all of them still be alive? Would he live to sit here on this couch with Ray, warm and full of food, enjoying each other’s company while watching tv? Would they have shown nearly half the courage and resilience if it was called for? If these men saw the marines of Bravo and the war they had fought, what would they think of him and his men?
Shame, maybe, at what they’d done. Or understanding, knowing that they’d done their best in a horrible situation. The paratroopers had fought in a war with a just cause, helping to protect the freedom of those who had been denied and defending their country. The invasion of Iraq was a mockery of everything they had stood for. Nevertheless, he decided to be optimistic and believe that his team had done their best in the shitty situation they were thrust into, handling it in a way Winters would approve of. That was all that could be asked of anyone. They were home now and the past was in the past.
Still, watching The Breaking Point with Ray, they couldn’t help but bring themselves to comment and draw comparisons between the guys and Bravo.