Title: Our Actions will be Remembered (1/1)
Word Count: 873
Author's Note: Peconte learns the lesson of think before you speak. Takes place during the episode "Why we Fight"
Disclaimer: This is based on the actor's portrayals in Band of Brothers and in no way reflects the actions and thoughts of the real men of Easy Company. No disrespect intended.
“Jesus Frank!” Martin said smacking Frank upside the back of the head, “What the hell were you thinkin’ scarin' the crap out of some new replacement?”
“What the hell you talking about John?” Frank said grimacing as he rubbed the back of his head.
“You going off on that poor kid O’Keefe” Martin said leaning against the wall arms crossed.
“He was going on and on about wanting to see action just like every other replacement we get in Easy Company. Jesus, it was the only thing I could do to shut the kid up before he got hurt!" Frank replied defensively.
"Oh, yea goin' on about entrails bein' on the outside of the body is your way of shuttin' a kid up? Well news flash Peconte, the kid went and told Winters he wants out of Easy!" Martin said glaring down at Frank.
Martin strode forward and leaning down got right in Peconte's face. "So? The kid was under my leadership. Now he wants out, and you may not be thinkin' long term Peconte but I is. What happened to 'Currahee'? "We stand alone TOGETHER." He's gonna go home and tell his friends and family that he was placed in Easy Company and that they were the scariest son of bitches you ever saw. They don't care about nobody! Is that the view you want strangers having of Easy Company Frank? After all we've been through? Just remember what you say and do Frank. Because someday they'll remember you for it!" Martin hissed slamming his hand down on the table making Frank jump.
Frank watched helplessly as Martin strode away his "I didn't know..." falling on deaf ears. Martin stopped at the doorframe and turning said "get your rifle you, Luz, O'Keefe, Bull and some others are going to do a sweep of the forest. Winters orders!"
Frank had to make it right with O'Keefe. Just as he got up Luz wrapped an arm around his shoulders and steered him in the opposite direction.
After an exhausting day of taking care of the concentration camp survivors, Frank couldn’t shake the haunted scared look he had seen in the new replacement O’Keefe’s eyes. He needed to speak to the kid and “mend fences” as his Pa would say for going off verbally on the poor kid. Patrick didn't deserve it. Martin was right, action and words will be passed on. After staring death in the face he knew he wanted his actions to be remembered for good, and not for ill.
He found Patrick in his room sitting at the end of his bed staring out the window motionless. He didn’t even turn to see who had walked into his room. Frank walked over and saw the tear tracks on O’Kieffe’s face. Frank did what any good friend would do. He sat down next to Patrick and waited for him to speak. Frank waited for what seemed like twenty minutes when in fact it was about three.
“I know I’m not special Frank” he started but before Frank could respond he continued, “but I know I’m a good person.”
Turning Frank was caught off guard by the hardness in the kid’s eyes.
“I know you’ve seen too many kids like me die because they want to be a hero. I ain’t one Frank. What I do want, is to pick up my gun and go kill as many German’s as I can to avenge those poor souls we saw….”he stopped to compose himself.
Frank wrapped an arm around O’Keefe’s shoulder.
“I know. I’m sorry I went off on you like that. Just hate seeing too many good men die is all.”
O’Keefe blew his nose and nodded in understanding.
“I get it, I do. I just don’t want to end up so hardened I lack humanity, because then I’m no better than those damn German’s who killed all those people.”
Frank grimaced as he thought “am I that hardened that I can’t even shed a tear over what I saw today? What kind of monster am I?” His inner monologue was interrupted by Private O’Keefe going on “I know you and the other older soldiers’ have been through so much what with D-Day and Bastogne, I ain’t looking for glory. I just want to make the world a safer place to live in.”
"Well that makes two of us O'Keefe and you know what?" Frank asked.
When Patrick shook his head, Frank continued on "with people like you in the world it's going to a safer and better place for our kids, and their kids."
"You think so Frank?"
"I know so. So, do me a favor okay? Don't leave Easy Company. I got your back. Just don't do anything stupid okay?"
"I won't Frank!" O'Keefe replied earnestly.
Laughing Peconte ruffled Patrick's hair and replied "I know, now come on. I hear there's a mean poker game going on for chocolate bars."
"But, Frank...I don't know how to play poker."
"That's okay kid, I'll teach you."
"First can we go find Major Winters? I want to tell him I changed my mind."
Frank ruffled O'Keefe's hair again and laughing replied, "sure thing kid...sure thing!"