A/N: Merry Christmas everyone! As an apology for my abysmal frequency of updates this year and a thank you for all your amazing continuous support, here are three new little fics, including a special holidays themed one (which is not this fic, but you already knew that if you read the summary hey!).
This fic is set immediately after the events of Ice Station and can be read as gen, pre-slash, post-slash or as a reunion of an established couple. Schofield and Trent are one of my few pairings that I happily read as both BroTP and OTP so I deliberately left it a little vague here. Read into it whatever you want.
As with my last little ficlet, this is a scene I've sort of inserted into canon so naturally, there are some lines I've lifted straight from the book in order to make the context clear. Not my words, just borrowing them.
As for the title, there was supposed to be a little dig about Hawks and Crows in there but it's also about the similarities between the two characters. We don't see an awful lot of Trent as a character but what we do see seems awfully resilient and stubborn (the guy spent twelve days wedged in a crack in a cave being dripped on by god only knows what), two traits that he shares in common with Schofield and as the saying goes… I thought it was a cute idea for a reunion fic, separated but now together again. I dunno, I'm rambling. Enjoy the fic.
Also, I'm gonna call this one for my 'reincarnation' square on my trope bingo.
Birds of a Feather (We'll Stick Together)
Schofield, Kirsty and Renshaw all got out of Kozlowski's car, totally confused. The navy-blue Buick was surrounded by a swarm of Naval Police, all with their guns out.
Schofield turned to Walsh. "What's going on? How did you know?"
Walsh nodded over Schofield's shoulder.
"Looks to me like you got yourself a guardian angel."
Schofield spun, looking for a familiar face amid the crowd. At first he didn't see a single face that he knew.
And then suddenly, he did.
But it wasn't a face he had expected to see.
There, standing ten yards behind the ring of Naval Police surrounding the Buick, was Andrew Trent.
Andrew Trent was alive.
Objectively, Schofield had known that little fact ever since he'd received an email from a supposedly dead man. Andy Trent - who had been Schofield's first friend in his second round of Basic, who had nearly got him thrown out of said basic more than once, whose empty coffin he had cried over – was alive.
But it was one thing to know and quite another to see it in literal person, waiting at the end of the pier where the Wasp had docked in Pearl Harbour, with hands stuffed in his pockets and sneakers scuffing the ground. His muscular frame was diminished, his shoulders sagged and there were thick black bags beneath his eyes but he was undeniably not, was dead in a cave in the fucking Peruvian mountains.
Before Schofield really knew what was happening, his feet had carried him right up to Andy Trent.
By the time he reached him, Trent had regained some of his swagger – he had always been the charming one, had a way with people that Schofield had never been able to replicate. Trent would drag him into all sorts of messes and was only ever there to get him back out of them again about half the time.
Schofield stopped short with three paces to go.
They both just looked at each other – Schofield, battered and beaten, and Trent, significantly less dead than reported.
"You look like shit," Trent said, taking in all the scrapes Schofield had acquired. Once upon a time he would have smirked and artfully tossed his hair. Now his lips were tight but the trace of a grin could be found if you knew where to look.
"You can talk," Schofield said.
And then he hit him.
In the face.
The blow sent both of them reeling back – Trent clutching his jaw where a bruise was already blooming and Schofield doubled over, holding his broken ribs as though he could put them back together again with sheer force of will.
"Jesus Scarecrow," Trent moaned, "Was that really necessary?"
"I cried at your funeral," Schofield said with a slight wheeze, his ribs making an ominous crunching sound as he straightened up and dammit, the corpsman who set them first time around was gonna be pissed, "Actual tears. We've got a while to go before we're even but that's a start."
Bent over double with his hands on his knees, Trent laughed a deep, real, belly laugh until his eyes were bright.
From behind them, someone cleared their throat and both marines spun around. They snapped to attention at the Captain's uniform, Schofield admittedly with a small hiss of pain.
"At ease, gentlemen," Jack Walsh said, his eyes found Trent's blackening jawline and the way Schofield was favouring his left side. "Everything okay here?"
"Fine, Sir. Just old friends catching up," Trent replied.
Walsh raised an eyebrow at them.
He didn't need to say anything.
Trent slung his arm around Schofield's shoulders and grinned casually.
"I owe Lieutenant Schofield a beer," He said.
"Two," Shane muttered and Trent's shoulders around his shook a little with a silent laugh.
Schofield stepped away, waved a hand between the two men and made the introductions.
"Captain Jack Walsh," He said, "Got me out of that mess in Bosnia, meet Andrew Trent, supposed to be dead."
Walsh didn't appear phased in the slightest, as though he met dead men every day.
"Had a run in with the ICG," Trent offered by of explanation.
Walsh nodded evenly.
"I've heard a lot about them over the last few days," he said, "And quite a bit about you too Lieutenant Trent. So who'd have thought it? There I am, on the bridge of my wrecked boat, minding my own business, when the comtech comes running in and says he's got some guy on the external switch who says he has to talk to me. Says it's an emergency regarding Lieutenant Schofield. Says his name is Andrew Trent." Walsh smiled. "Figured I oughta take the call."
"I'm not a lieutenant anymore," Trent said with a bitter smirk, "I'm not even technically alive but let's not start there. Did he tell you about the time we got arrested and Buck Riley had to bail us out?"
That was Schofield's signal to protest but the casual mention of Book hit him like a knife to the guts and his part in this little exchange went flying away.
"On second thoughts," Trent continued, "Don't ask him. He always lies – makes it sound like it was all my fault. Buck tells the story much better."
The knife twisted deeper.
"Andy," Shane interrupted softly, "Buck's dead."
The words felt like ash in his mouth.
"ICG?" Trent asked, voice flat.
Schofield shook his head.
"Barnaby and the SAS," he reported, it felt like using someone else's mouth but his voice never wavered. "He died saving a little girl before the ICG even showed up."
"That's something at least," Trent said wryly, "Stupid bloody hero. You okay?"
Schofield snuffed a laugh, even though there was absolutely nothing to laugh about.
"Of course not. I lost a lot of good men."
They were all dead and Fox and Mother might very well join them still.
But Andy Trent was dead and he was standing right beside him.
Maybe, just maybe…
Schofield shook his head to clear it, pushing those thoughts away before they could take root. They were all dead and nothing was going to change that.
Hope could be as fatal as a bullet on occasion.
Trent gripped his shoulder.
"Me too, buddy," he said, "Me too."
As Kozlowski and his driver were taken away in handcuffs, Trent explained how he had recognised the damage to the Wasp and her curious location close to the Antarctic, put two and two together and naturally jumped straight on a plane to Hawaii. Only to find Kozlowski already there waiting. As soon as he had seen Schofield and the others escorted to Kozlowski's car, Trent had launched his one man rescue mission, calling the only person he could think of who could – and would – pull rank on Chuck Kozlowski.
"I'll take that as my cue to go," Walsh said, breaking the silence that had fallen when Trent finished his story, "Somebody blew up my deck, now I gotta oversee the repairs."
Trent turned to Schofield, who shrugged sheepishly.
"I might have done that," he admitted.
Trent shook his head fondly.
"It's never a dull moment with you," he said, putting his arm around Schofield's shoulder. "You've been through a lot. Want to go get a sinfully greasy pizza? Then we can get started on those pesky death certificates we've acquired. Who would've known the paperwork involved in coming back from the dead would be such a bloody nightmare?"
"You should talk," Schofield said. "I'd like to hear about Peru sometime."
"You will, Shane," Trent said, steering him over to where Pete and Alison Cameron were waiting to be introduced, "you will. But first, I have a proposition for you. How would you like to be on the front page of the Washington Post?"
Schofield just smiled.