Title: Survivor’s Guilt (1/1)
Word Count: 503
The moonlight shone off the water like a million jewels as the medical ship sailed silently onward toward their destination. Leckie had decided to stay put on topside as the explosions on Peleilu started to become a distant memory. His eyes slid shut as the cool mist blew gently against his face and he finally felt his mind quiet down.
He was lost in his thoughts when he noticed someone’s fingers running gently through his hair. Looking up in surprise he found his friend Wilbur “Runner” Conley looking down at him with a smirk as his fingers continued their massaging journey through the dark locks.
After sitting there in friendly quietness Leckie looked up at his friend who had miraculously survived.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” Leckie asked in a quiet voice tilting his head toward the sea.
Wilbur looked down and took in his friend’s haggard appearance and couldn’t help but notice raw emotions swimming behind Leckie’s eyes as tears threatening to fall. Runner licked his lips and swallowing took a deep breath before whispering “yes.” Leckie gasped as Wilbur leaned down and gave Leckie a small chaste kiss as his thumb rubbed against Robert’s jawline.
Leckie closed his eyes trying to erase the images of his injured friend that seemed to be burned into his cerebral cortex from earlier in the day. He hadn’t noticed the tears that slid down his cheeks as he felt his heart breaking in his chest. He had let Wilbur down, he had let Hoosier down, he had let Chuckler down, and in the end he had ultimately let himself down by not finding a Corpsman in time. If only that blast hadn’t slammed him into that tree knocking him out cold.
Leckie felt the world crashing down around him as he found himself being held against Wilbur’s chest as he sobbed out his anguish until he had no more tears left.
“Stop it Peaches, it’s not your fault” Wilbur chided as he gently massaged Leckie’s neck with his hand.
Leckie swallowed the lump in his throat before croaking his reply “it is."
Wilbur knelt down in front of Leckie and taking his hand gently forced Leckie to make eye contact.
“You listen to me. We survived. We survived that goddamn fuckin’ piece of shit island and you know what?”
Reaching up Conley wiped a stray tear off Robert’s cheek.
“We’ll get to see tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, and the tomorrow after that and you what the best part is?”
Leckie shook his head as he felt hope start to bloom in the barren desert of his recent existence.
“Well get to see those tomorrow’s together.”
Leckie wrapped his arms around his friend like a drowning man with a life preserver as he held on for dear life. Robert felt for the first time since joining the service that maybe, just maybe everything might just be okay after all.