Title: What Is Behind Him
Characters: Gaius, Geoffrey
Summary: Geoff reports to Fort Dix in the morning. He and his lover are having a hard time of it.
Warnings: period-typical homophobia
Word Count: 353
Prompt: 366, Historical AU
Notes: "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton
Gaius sat next to his lover quietly as they rode the subway to their stop on Broadway. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and take the hand of the man to whom he'd pledged his life, but the older woman sitting aross from them was already casting glances their way.
Geoff nudged Gaius with his elbow. "Well, you're finally getting me to see this play."
"Hmm. Too bad it took being drafted to convince you." Gaius shook his head and responded quietly, "I'm sorry. I know we agreed not to argue tonight."
Geoff nodded, his face becoming grim. "Two years. I'll be back in two years. Besides, you'll be in school in England for most of it." Neither man wanted to let themselves think of what might happen to turn that two years into never. Vietnam was so far away but it was the specter that hung over every American man.
The woman across from them stood when she heard her stop announced and gathered her things together, dropping an apple. Geoff leaned down and caught it as it rolled past him, handing it back to her with a smile. "Ma'am."
She smiled back at him. As she tucked the fruit back in her bag, she looked Gaius in the eye. "When my man went off to war, I was so angry with him that I let him go without telling him how much I loved him. He came back, thank God, but it took us far too long to re-establish the bond we had before he went off to fight. Life and love are too short to let the idiocy of politics get in the way." She patted a speechless Geoff on the knee as she passed. "God bless you and keep you safe, young man."
Gaius fought back tears after she was gone. "Do you really want to see the play, Geoff?"
"Not really. I'd much rather we go home and just hold each other. At least there I can touch you."
"Then let's go home. We need to stock up to tide us over until you get back."