- Hey guys! Sorry it’s been awhile, I needed to make sure this one did the prompt I received justice. Thank you @snufflesandfluff for the idea and I sincerely hope you all enjoy and let me know what you think! (Jay tries to deal with PTSD while Erin is in New York.)
[there’s mention of death and injuries from war so just a fair warning it’s kind of dark!]
She’d been gone three weeks now. Three weeks in the Big Apple with her nice new, hopefully cushy job and with her hopefully kind and welcoming boss and with her hopefully significantly larger paycheck.
He wanted the absolute best for her, he did. There wasn’t a doubt in his head that he did but there was that nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach that he needed her to come back, because the nights were getting longer and darker and his sleep was getting to be less and less and the only thing that could bring him any semblance of comfort anymore was a bottle of alcohol when it used to be her hands and her lips and her tongue and he seemed to be going backwards in all the progress that he had made in going to therapy and in talking to other struggling soldiers and he really, really hated himself for that.
Newt took two steps into the darkened corridor, thought better of it, turned, noted the slime on the walls from where he’d come (when had that happened…?) and faced the corridor again. He made a pained sound in the back of his throat, hopping from foot to foot.
exploring one another’s bodies + keeping the other person warm. excellent choice, anon
it’s nearly 3am when hermann drags himself into their quarters. he’s been at the lab for the past eight hours, and newt is already in bed. hermann approaches him quietly, leaning his cane against the nightstand and stripping down to only his underclothes. he turns off the bedside light.
“finally,” newt mumbles. “thought you’d never come.”
hermann kisses newt’s forehead before settling in. he hadn’t realized how exhausted he was until now. once he lies down, he lets out a long sigh. all the day’s tension leaves his body.
“you fixed it?” newt asks. “typhoon’s code?”
hermann hums an affirmative.
“good.” newt’s eyes flutter closed, and hermann gives a small smile.
they lie next to each other in near-darkness. it’s quiet, save for the hum of hermann’s ancient desktop computer. he’s about to drift off to the sound of it when he feels newt’s foot bump into his own. newt whines, grumpily.
“your feet are freezing!” he wiggles closer and wraps one arm around hermann’s waist. “god, you’re cold all over.”
hermann closes his eyes as newt’s hand slips beneath his undershirt and strokes up and down over his back.
“gonna warm you up,” newt says. he tangles his legs with hermann’s. his skin is warm, and hermann curls in a little so that newt can reach more of him. “I hated sleeping without you,” newt murmurs. his hand wanders over hermann’s stomach, then up to his chest.
“I had to finish the patch,” hermann whispers. “I couldn’t let what happened today happen again. the weis almost–”
“I know.” newt presses his hand against hermann’s ribs, then settles over his heart for a few moments before wandering back down. he strokes hermann’s bare thigh. “you did it, though–fixed it. you’re a hero.”
hermann is a little startled by how much that word affects him. he watches newt silently, thankful that the lights are off to hide the blush that spreads across his cheeks.
“fingers cold, too,” newt mumbles. he takes hermann’s hand and holds it against his stomach. his skin is so warm; hermann doesn’t want to move. he shifts on his pillow until he’s as close to newt as he can get without disturbing him. he closes his eyes, his breaths coming slower. newt’s grip starts to loosen. they finally drift off to sleep.
hermann laughs, and the whole world melts away. newt’s breath is caught in his throat. he looks out at the ocean in front of them, willing the waves to stop his heart from pounding.
“you must have been a handful when you were a child,” hermann says. he takes a sip from the bottle they’ve been sharing. “every story you’ve told me is proof.”
newt snorts. he takes the bottle from hermann’s hand and gulps as the sun goes down in the distance. the roof gives them a perfect view of the harbor.
“easy,” hermann murmurs. “that’s the last quality beer we’re likely to see for at least the next three months.”
newt pulls it from his mouth with a pop and sets the bottle down on the cement. the sky is turning gold. the water is calm, and the peaks of each tiny wave catch the sunlight, making the ocean glitter. hermann shivers. it was warm when they stepped outside, but the chill of night is starting to take over.
newt shrugs off his jacket. he passes it to hermann, who gives a small smile as he drapes it over his shoulders. newt takes a deep breath. his skin is tingling, and it’s not just because of the cold.
“have you ever–” he stops. when he doesn’t continue, hermann turns to face him.
“have you ever wanted to hate someone?”
hermann blinks. his brow furrows in that familiar way that newt loves. “why would you want to hate someone?”
“because it would be easier.”
“no.” hermann looks out at the horizon–the spot at which newt is still stubbornly staring. “no, because I don’t think it would be easier.
“you don’t even have any context.”
“you didn’t give any.”
“true.” newt clears his throat and swallows twice.
hermann finishes off the beer. he sets the bottle behind them, where it won’t blow away, and leans back on his hands, turning towards newt for just a moment.
“then my answer doesn’t change.”
newt nods. he looks down at his feet, then at hermann’s. “just wondering,” he says. waves crash against the wall below them, white curls of foam clinging to the cement. out of the corner of his eye, he sees hermann reach for him, then stop, and rest his hand in his lap. newt closes his eyes.
The Sisters Brothers, believe it or not, is about a pair of brothers. The narrative is told through the eyes of the youngest of the brothers, Eli. Eli and his brother, Charlie, are a pair of hired killers who have been sent on a mission to find a prospector who had reportedly stolen something from their employer, The Commodore.
This book has a great story to it. There are no flash twists at the end, and no intertwining stories going on, but it’s just an all round hilarious and adventurous story. The highlight for me was the contrast between the two brothers. Eli is heavy set guy with a fairly moral view, whereas Charlie is always drinking and gets on with his job without giving it two thoughts.
I also enjoyed the way the characters react to other characters throughout the book. There’s a bit where the brothers cross paths with a young boy waiting for his father, and I was literally laughing at loud with the way they were dealing with the situation. The poor young boy mentions a few times about how his head gets repeatedly knocked about for no reason.
There is also an element of romance in the book as well with Eli and a couple of young ladies he meets along his travels, and you really do feel a bit sympathetic for him because he only wants to be happy and his misfortune just seems to linger everywhere he goes.
As I mentioned beforehand, I really love the story, and I couldn’t put the book down. I felt totally involved on the adventure, as if I was riding my own horse with them. You have the perfect leading characters to create some drama, and the fact the story is set in 1851 during a gold rush also makes it easy for some excitement to be created.