Dis·claim·er [disˈklāmər] - noun

1) A written statement that denies something, especially responsibility.

"This story carries the usual disclaimer about the writer bearing no claim or ownership of the characters portrayed within "

2) An act of repudiating another's claim or renouncing one's own.

"The writer makes no claim on the copyrights in question and gains no financial gains from this related work."

3) A fan fiction's writer's go-to way to avoid getting sued

"I don't own Chuck or any of its registered trademarks! Please, call off your ravenous pack of lawyers!"

000000000000000000000000000000

Fragile Balance

000000000000000000000000000000

From the moment he'd woken up, Lt Col. John Casey had been having a bad day. The coffee maker was broken, the slide on his lucky Sig Sauer was jammed and he didn't have any clean socks left.

Matters didn't improve after he reached the Buy More, either. He'd been about to sell a $1200 barbeque to some suburbanite when some filthy, dreadlocked, patchouli-sticking hippie ran up and started wailing about animal rights. Casey's absolute and unwavering devotion to a duty and country that ensured the 'man' lived to whine another day. Later some moron dropped a box on his toe, then a soon-to-be dead man stole his lunch and WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T his left shoelace stay tied?!

The day mercifully ended and he practically sprinted to his car. He ground his teeth for the entire drive home and had to restrain himself from literally opening fire on other drivers more times than he'd care to admit. On returning to his apartment building that evening to find Dr. Devon Woodcombe sitting on a patch of grass and staring off into the distance.

"Hey there, John." The young doctor greeted him happily. "Awesome sunset, isn't it?"

This type of comment was fairly typical from the appropriately dubbed Captain Awesome, but for no particular reason it proved to be the straw that finally broke the camel's back.

"You're fucking ridiculous Devon, do you realize that?!" Casey snapped. "You're like an overgrown child with a favourite word! Does everything really have to be awesome? Is there anything...anything...that isn't automatically awesome to you?"

Devon looked over his shoulder at him, but didn't seem compelled to react to Casey's outburst. He didn't say a word, his calm expression never wavered and after a few minutes, Casey began to wonder if the man might be under the influence.

"Watching a dying six-year-old trying to comfort her crying parents, for a start." Devon eventually replied, turning his eyes back toward the horizon. "Holding a woman's heart in your hands when it finally stops beating probably qualifies too."

Casey tried to respond, but Devon cut him off. "A fifteen-year-old who slashed his wrists because a girl wouldn't go out with him isn't particularly awesome. Neither is that way a junkie stares hungrily at the narcotics cabinet. Or the expression on the face of a homeless man who hasn't eaten in days while a chronically obese man with heart, liver and kidney problems devours a cheeseburger right in front of them."

He turned to stare Casey in the eye. "What about having to stitch up a two inch gash in a little boy's cheek while his trembling mother tries to conceal her black eye, then tries to tell you that he fell down on the playground? Does that strike you as awesome, cause personally I'm just not feeling it."

"Devon, I..."

"Something has to balance it out." Devon stated, looking back toward the orange and crimson sky. "So what do you say, John? Maybe just let me have this one?"

Casey was silent for a long moment. Finally he lowered himself to sit next to Devon on the grass and joined the younger man in gazing toward the western sky.

A few minutes passed in silence, then Casey turned his head slightly toward Devon. "You were right. That's a pretty good sunset."

"Yup." Devon nodded. "Definitely awesome."

000000000000000000000000000000

End