AU Meme | Mark/Eduardo, World War II (@earwen-neruda)
Mark flexes his fingers. He always forgets to move them, has always had cold hands. Eduardo rubs feeling back into them with his own careful fingers, and Mark isn’t superstitious but if anyone could have healing hands it would be Wardo. Mark does finger excercises, soundless scales and arpeggios that are embedded in his muscle memory from years of practice, and watches Eduardo breathe. Eduardo is beautiful like Bastogne is beautiful.
Mark isn’t supposed to think that.
They aren’t supposed to be here. They should be at Harvard, both of them, except that war came and Eduardo didn’t go back and Mark didn’t get to go at all. Eduardo talks about it, recreates the halls and streets, the quad, the Square for Mark, until Mark can see red brick instead of white snow. He puts the two of them there, walking by the river in wool coats, meeting for a beer after class. Eduardo would drag Mark to a dance, and Mark would watch him attempt the jive, limbs everywhere and Eduardo would smile at Mark when Mark laughed at him. They would graduate and marry nice Jewish girls and write to each other and their children would be friends and hear stories about finals and pranks.
But instead Mark is here, with frostbite and a rifle by his side that he knows how to kill with, and Eduardo has shadows in his eyes and he smells of blood. And they are pressed together, shoulder to shoulder and thigh to thigh under their blanket and Mark can’t stop thinking that Eduardo is beautiful like Bastogne. They’re both made lovely by nature and sharper by man and they will probably be the death of Mark.
And that’s the thing, the reason why Mark can’t, as much as he wants to, fuck, he wants to. He aches to press his mouth to Wardo’s, give up the warmth there to him, show him what Mark doesn’t have the words to explain. He’s good at fast and stinging, but this, this is monumental, not shrapnel but a bomb. It’s a bandage and Mark’s not the medic, here. But the odds of just one of them surviving are infinitesimal, almost uncalculable. There’s no way both of them are getting out of this alive.
Mark knows what the classics have to say about anticipation being sweeter than the act. But he doesn’t think that would be true, with Eduardo.