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Something New - Carry that Weight 
18th-Oct-2007 11:07 pm
Imagine Central Park
Something New

Title: Carry that Weight
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Jude/Max
Summary: Max remembers a friend he lost in the war.
Dedication: This story is special to me, and I wrote it specifically to honor my uncle. The helicopter he was flying was shot down during the Vietnam War, and therefore I've never met him. This story is a tribute to him. This is also dedicated to half_life_wolf's grandfather, who also died recently. May they rest in peace.

These are short stories that could all stand alone, and are all part of the same universe, and (for now) are in chronological order:

1. Here Comes the Sun
2. In My Life
3. Baby It's You
4. In Spite of All the Danger

5.

It’s the kind of chilly in New York City that gives you the excuse to cuddle with the person you’re walking with – or at least, that’s what Jude is doing. He’s wandering around the city aimlessly, his arm around Max’s waist, and he loves it. He loves America, he loves New York, and he loves Max. He loves being close to Max like this.

They’re walking through Washington Square Park, which is in Greenwich Village, which is one of the coolest places ever. There are all sorts of people everywhere, and Jude thinks he could just stay here forever, people watching and sketching and being inspired.

They walk through, and see this, this thing. There are flowers and candles, and lists of names. It’s a memorial to the people who have been killed in Vietnam, Jude realizes. And he doesn’t want to look at it. He grabs Max’s hand, intending to lead him away.

“Stop,” whispers Max.

He’s staring at a candle with a picture next to it. Robert F Ball, Jr, it says on the picture. The guy looks stoic, like the perfect solider.

“I knew him,” says Max.

Jude doesn’t know what to say, and Max gets it. “He was a helicopter pilot,” Max says. “When I went over to battle, I was scared out of my fucking mind. I couldn’t hold a pen I was shaking so bad. He – Bob – he made jokes. Really corny jokes, to keep my mind off it.”

“He sounds like a great guy,” says Jude, uselessly.

“He was.” Max stares at the candle and bows his head. Jude stands next to him and does the same. He’s only had a casual relationship with God in the past, but he prays for Max’s friend anyway.

He looks at the names, and it’s easy, it’s too fucking easy to imagine Max being one of the photos, instead of the living, breathing body next to him. He thinks about how fucking lucky he is. He reaches for Max’s hand, if only to assure himself that Max is still there, and Max squeezes back. Jude pulls Max into his arms and holds him tight, and they stand there, in the middle of Washington Square Park, clinging together.

And then he hears this choked sound that he can’t quite identify – and it’s Max. Max is sobbing and Jude holds him more tightly, stroking his back. “It’s not fair,” says Max. “It’s not fucking fair.”

“I know,” says Jude. “It’s not. None of it – it’s fucked.” And he can’t stop a few of his own tears, because he doesn’t know if he’ll ever recover from his own months and months of fear, waiting for news that something had happened to Max.

“I hate crying,” says Max, sniffling. “Fuckin’ useless.”

“It’s okay...”

“I just – he knew, though. He knew the risks. And I remember asking him why he wasn’t more angry about everything, about being there. And he said – he said, ‘My country needs me.’ Not trying to be heroic or anything.”

Jude nods, and kneels down next to the photo. “Robert Ball, you were a good man. A brave man.” He touches the photo softly. “You’ll be missed.”

Max kneels next to Jude and runs his fingers along the picture. He smiles for a moment and says, “And that thing with the guy back home? It worked out, you were right. Rest in peace, I miss you.”

Jude gives Max a funny look. Max shrugs, feigning innocence. “We had time to talk,” he says simply.

Jude takes Max’s face in his hands. “You have no idea how fucking glad I am that you’re not one of those pictures.”

Max looks away, nodding. “Me too.”

Jude cups Max’s chin, and they kiss for a brief moment, and then Jude exhales. They pick flowers and set them next to Bob’s photo, and then wrap their arms around each other’s waists. This isn’t going to go away – this war is going to haunt Max for a long time. And all Jude can do is help him find his way out of the darkness.



...

Good news - I'm going away this weekend, so I won't be bugging you again for a few days.
Bad news - I'm seeing AtU again, so when I come back, I'll be back with a vengeance. You've been warned! HA!

PS - I really need a better AtU icon. Srsly. Alas... I write, I do not make icons.
Comments 
19th-Oct-2007 03:28 am (UTC)
that was so good. *sniff*

My dad served in Vietnam and thankfully made it home safetly (well, everything below the shoulders still worked :/)

So this kinda hit home as well. *hugs to everyone who was affected by the war*

very good story. bravo.

And wah that you won't be around. I'm new to this fandom but you're like this sorta god for the max/jude fic and now im going to be in withdrawel!

i must pursue the cause myself then. At least until you return reloaded. :)
19th-Oct-2007 07:02 am (UTC)
I'm trying to get the coming-back-from-Vietnam experience as realistic as possible. It's been difficult. How does the war affect your father now? If you don't mind telling me. I'll use it for fic, I swear. And if you say something like, "It makes him have lots of nasty buttsex," I won't believe you.

You called me a sorta god. I think I'm going to go through the rest of my life like this now: XD!
19th-Oct-2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
The war affected him in different ways - most notably (at least that he tells me) in that they lied about school benefits. He didn't get any since it took him more than ten years to "snap out of it" and even try his hand at school again (he went in, voluntarily, when he was 18). So he's got no love for the government anymore (if he ever really did).

He's also been in therapy for like, ever. He was lucky and wasn't on the front line persay, he was a teletype repair man so got to sit in tents fixing machines mostly. Though he saw some pretty horrific shit. :/

I wonder maybe you can write something with Max going to therapy... could be interesting. Maybe Jude drags him there cause his nightmares/delusions are real bad.
(Deleted comment)
19th-Oct-2007 07:04 am (UTC) - Re: OHH HOW I LOVE
Dude, I already have several more parts of this planned. Not to mention my other, non-AtU related writing projects. So no worries.

Oh, and? MUCH LOVE! I'm glad I'm helping spread teh luvvv.
19th-Oct-2007 04:05 am (UTC)
I'll make you an icon. What do you want it of?

*goes and reads*
19th-Oct-2007 04:08 am (UTC)
He smiles for a moment and says, “And that thing with the guy back home? It worked out, you were right. Rest in peace, I miss you.”

asks dlgkjas Love that right there. It wasn't that emo.

...Okay, it was, but in a good way. *luffs it*
19th-Oct-2007 07:05 am (UTC)
I want something slashy, that doesn't look exactly like what everyone else is using. Alas, that's impossible, because of the limited images we have available to use.

And thanks. Thanks for sitting with me through the creation of this. And I'm friending you, because why the crap haven't I yet?
19th-Oct-2007 04:26 am (UTC)
All of your stories are fucking brilliant. I must admit, I sort of live for this now...
19th-Oct-2007 07:07 am (UTC)
I'm just going to sit here and be ridiculously flattered. Actually, it's 3am. I'll probably go back to sleep ridiculously flattered.

LOVE!
19th-Oct-2007 04:31 am (UTC)
*hugs* Top notch fic, mate. Very good. I don't know what to say, but I loved it.

Also: Your weekend sounds almost EXACTLY like my weekend, except I get to go away TO A FUNERAL. *hugs fic, drinks hot chocolate for comfort* In any case, I loved the fic a lot. And thanks for partially dedicating it to my grandpa- he never fought in a war, but he raised my Dad to not be fucked up, and he was pretty special to me. *hugs you* Please do write again when you get home.

(PS: I need an icon too. Mine only proves to me how much I should NEVER MAKE ICONS EVER AGAIN, OMG.)
19th-Oct-2007 07:08 am (UTC)
Your icon is funny. Funny icons don't need to be overly well made. And it's not bad. It could be better but it's not bad.

Much love to you, darling. I look forward to reading and harshly criticizing what you come up with. Feel free to print this story out and bring it with you for when you get emo. BECAUSE MY WRITING CURES ALL WOES.

LOOOOVE!
19th-Oct-2007 06:09 am (UTC)
Nuuuuuuuuuuu! bug us! Buuuuug us with another one!! D:> this was sad and painful story but warm at the same time. good job!
19th-Oct-2007 07:09 am (UTC)
Thanks! I was afraid no one would wanna read this because it's too sad... so glad I haven't been shunned. Woot. LOVE!
19th-Oct-2007 07:04 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I haven't commented on this series yet, because I really have loved it and your writing.

But I had to comment to this one to say thank you for that, the personal touch. I'm not affected personally by the Vietnam War, but my late Great Uncle Billy was a medic in the Korean War. He didn't die in it, but it was something he absolutely refused to talk about, so I get the emotional scars.
19th-Oct-2007 07:12 am (UTC)
It was important to me to write something for my Uncle Bob, because of how closely related this fandom is. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and though you never knew him personally, I get the sense of loss - I get it too.

Thanks for reading my stories. I am always such a lazy ass and forget to leave comments - except for this fandom, because I'm so hardfreakingcore. MUCH LOVE!
19th-Oct-2007 07:20 am (UTC)
oh god, this nearly brought tears to my eyes, made me shiver the entire time even though i was drinking hot tea, and made me squeal on top of it, pure beauty, you just capture them so well, i can really feel both the chaos, and hurt and loss of Max, and Jude's hurt for him, and his feelings of trying to do the best he can to help Max, i just adore your writing, i know i've said this all before, but goddamn, you just keep being brilliant! thanks so much, and i'm soooo sad u arent going to be around for a few days, but since your seeing the movie again, i expect to see more great stuff, i'm going to see it again tomorrow as well, anyways, have a good time! and keep the stories coming ;)

~Oni
19th-Oct-2007 11:14 am (UTC)
When I wrote this, I thought it was going to be too depressing and self absorbed (like, too much of a tribute to my uncle, not enough of a story) and I wasn't sure I was going to post it. I should've remembered that you adore anything I write.

Thanks for the kind words, darling. I mean, I know these things aren't very long, but 5? 0a9posdjams I need a life.
19th-Oct-2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
you are my life! XD lol

~Oni
19th-Oct-2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
I think the words good and bad on your bits of news need to be switched. Personally, I really enjoy reading your stuff. [& I don't think you can see ATU enough, so that's far from bad news, ha.] Enjoy ATU & please do keep up the good fanfics!
20th-Oct-2007 05:13 am (UTC)
Right, my insomnia makes for good fic reading, and I've just read all of your little stories here. I really love them, and. I'm too tired to be more articulate than that, honestly. But I really love them. They're well-written and wonderfully sweet. :)

I can't wait to see more from you.
20th-Oct-2007 05:15 am (UTC)
I love this pairing, and i love you for writing it. ^_^
Keep it up!!
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