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28 February 2012 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Myth and Reality  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge February 2012 Rewind - Soldier, Serve, Foreign, Desert

Title: Myth and Reality
Pairing/Characters: Ian, OCs
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 400
Spoilers: Sniper Zero, Toxin
Summary: A soldier's homecoming leads to a new and welcome reality
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

175. Soldier

Other soldiers whisper as he passes, but he's used to it by now.

Snipers are better heard of and not seen, but occasionally he does manage a day or two at a base for a brief layover between assignments. He alternately eats alone in the mess tent, those around him too daunted to approach, or is surrounded by anxious privates begging for tales from the mysterious Sniper Edgerton.

He obliges sometimes, knowing that no matter how banal a tale he tells it will be embellished later.

People don't want reality.

They prefer to revel in the myth of the man.

311. Serve

He serves at the pleasure of the President.

The chain of command issues orders and Ian fulfills them even if it means killing a father in front of his children, a man beside his wife, a freedom fighter cum terrorist giving a speech at a university.

He has to trust that those he shoots have been determined to be dangerous. Second guessing in his line of work is deadly in more ways than one.

He just does the dirty work that his country tells him will keep the world safe.

He serves, yet he takes no pleasure in his kills.

262. Foreign

He steps off the plane after back to back deployments and suddenly it feels as if the United States is foreign soil.

Women wear fashions that look absurd to him, the newspapers are filled with names and faces he doesn't recognize.

Friends have moved on, married, changed their numbers. Few have more to say than just welcome home. No one thanks him.

One throws him a lifeline. He tells Ian there's an opening for a weapons instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico.

Teaching was never in Ian's plans, but being paid to shoot but not kill sounds about perfect.

321. Desert

He wakes violently, artillery fire still rattling in his ears as he ejects sweat-damp sheets and yanks his gun from beneath his pillow.

It's just another nightmare: exploding humvees, heat from flames singeing his flesh and the bitter taste of blood and desert sand in his mouth.

He washes it out with whiskey, still shaking, still feeling the lingering sting of ruthless sun on his fading tanned skin.

The weather report for Quantico says chance of snow.

Ian throws open a window and breathes in the bracing cold.

He welcomes the chill; it reminds him this is his reality now.

riverotter1951: Jewelsriverotter1951 on March 6th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
Poignant about Ian and his life. You got into his head.
Candi: Ian Gazingmustangcandi on March 6th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
I really love this look at Ian's life. Another lovely rewind. I especially love the line "Teaching was never in Ian's plans, but being paid to shoot but not kill sounds about perfect." That says so much.
cat_13145cat_13145 on March 6th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
Hugs Ian.
rubynye on March 6th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
What a transformation! Oh, the layered beauty of your drabbles!
Damereldamerel on March 7th, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
I really liked this look into Ian's head. It's sad, but I can't see how any look into Ian's head can't be. Very nicely done!