gelbes_gilatier: (generation kill)
[personal profile] gelbes_gilatier
Title: The Answer, My Friend
Fandom: Generation Kill
Rating: M
Genres: gen, Brad/Ray, if you squint. A lot.
Summary: "For a moment, you try to be disgusted with yourself because folk, isn’t that the sentimental, naïve little brother of country, even more retarded?"
A/N:  It's all Joan Baez's fault. Any my parents', because they introduced me to Joan Baez, way back when I was a kid and they were as hippie as you could be as an East German who wanted to keep your job and not go to jail. Thanks so much to my parents for introducing me to Joan Baez (although Ray would probably disagree).

Also, a gift to [ profile] 0_noctifer_0 and a contribution to opening a Generation Kill category over at (once I translated it, that is). Yes.

The Answer, My Friend

“How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.”

Joan Baez, “Blowin’ in the Wind”

Day on the road, driving on through dust and desert, from one fuck up to the next. Been going on for a while and you pretend you stopped counting days and kilometers. You pretend you stopped counting songs, filing them away in your head into neat little boxes of interprets, albums, years. You just ride on, Ray’s incessant chatter and Rolling Stone’s retorts streaming by the fringes of your mind.

Walt’s silence is there, too. It’s louder than Ray’s bullshitting and Rolling Stone’s occasional come backs. Louder even than the fucking Humvee. Rolling along the endless road, something creeps up at you and before you know it words you haven’t heard in years roll off your tongue in a steady, haunting tune.

For a moment, you try to be disgusted with yourself because folk, isn’t that the sentimental, naïve little brother of country, even more retarded? Kind of like the Special Olympics of the Special Olympics or something but you just can’t stop yourself. It’s a song from your childhood, with that certain dusty quality old vinyl records have and it’s damned hard to stop once you started singing it.

Desert is rolling by and words are rolling off your tongue and suddenly… something changes in the Humvee. One… two… “What the motherfucking shit are you singing there, Brad?”

Here we go, you think. You can even refrain from rolling your eyes. For about a second. “It’s a classic, Ray.” It is, it’s just not something classic for the Corps. You can’t help needling Ray. “You wouldn’t know that, having grown up in trailer park Heaven.”

It was lame and overused but looking out a window at basically nothing is slowly making your mind go as flat as the hard backed dirt outside. You resent the desert for it. “It’s some hippie shit by some hippie girl and can you please stop singing it, Sergeant?”

“I’m amazed, Ray.” You truly are. You have to be honest, you never did give Ray credit that he’d know more than the weird mixture of pop, hip hop and the occasional attempt at country he’s throwing in your face.

Ray probably always knew that, or so you keep telling yourself. “About what?”

“That you know who Joan Baez was.” No-brainer, wasn’t it? You ignore the snort you just heard from behind you. Just a matter of time until Rolling Stone will make a contribution to the conversation, being from a fucking music magazine and all.

You’re kind of grateful Ray seems to be too enraged to let anyone else be part of the conversation. “Man, she was a fucking hippie. We're invading a goddamn country and you're singing some hippie bitch's song about the fucking wind? Can you be any more retarded?"

No, you probably can’t. But you’re bored and Ray sometimes makes such an easy target your next answer comes out of your mouth before you could even think of it. “She was posing a few philosophical questions worth contemplating. I suggest you do that, too. Maybe something halfway sane and sensible will come out of it, after all.”

“Fuck it, Brad.” The entire time you didn’t look at Ray. You kept looking out the window, scanning the landscape for the enemy, farmers, a camel, just anything that would give the flatness texture. But when Ray just gave you a suggestion what to do with the hippie song still echoing through your head, you almost turned around. He did sound just a bit too pissed off to fully ignore it.

So you don’t. Ignore it, that is. You don’t turn around and you don’t tell Ray what he can do with his suggestion but you don’t scold him, either. You even wait a couple seconds before you start humming a different Joan Baez tune, just loud enough so Ray can hear it over the Humvee.

Maybe you just heard Rolling Stone finally chuckle. Maybe you just heard Walt finally groan under his breath. It doesn‘t matter; not even that. Not when you can finally hear Ray starting to hum along to “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” softly under his breath. You grin.
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