shelter from the storm

AN: Ahh…finally, a good fan fiction. I've delved into this fandom before, but never posted a story. The OC you see in this short piece is from another longer work. A China Beach crossover no less. This is an Anderson fic, so read on and enjoy!

Oh! And thanks muchly to Raven and Sah for their feedback and comments.

Disclaimer: No one in this story besides Maddy belongs to me. the two songs in this fic are: The War Drags On by Donovan and Hold Me, Kiss me, Thrill me by Mel Carter. They belong to their respective owners!

This story is for entertainment only—no infringement is intended.

Rating G?

And there's no more war,
for there's no more world,
And the tears come streaming down.
Yes, I lie crying on the ground.

The War Drags On Donovan (no infringement intended)

She was waiting.
Covering her face against the wind from the chopper, sand flew into her mouth and stung her bare arms.

She knew it was bad.
Knew it the second Sgt. Zeke Anderson stepped off the chopper. Saw it in his haggard face, blood smeared across his face. His soiled bandanna was torn and he held his M-16 loosely in his right hand.

She looked up.
Caught his eye from across the heli-pad, his shoulders sagged. Her breath caught in her throat and she turned her face away from two bloodied and beaten soldiers who were rushing a man with half a face to the hospital.

No time for a Medi-vac. No time to breathe. No time for anything.

She touched his arm softly.
He started and looked up, it took him a moment to register her face.

Real. Real. Real

He collapsed in her arms.

She stumbled back.
"Maddy," he whispered, his voice was thick and her name caught on his tongue. He took in a deep breath and stiffened in her arms.
"Come on," she said softly, gently.

He grips her arm tightly, so it almost hurts.

His hooch is dark and cold, he stumbled over to the bed.
"Zeke..." she whispered. He was so still for a moment she was afraid he was dead until he turned slowly onto his back. "Let me help you." She reached for his bedside table where he kept his lantern and matches.
"Leave it."
She settled down on the edge of his bed. He stunk of the bush, of heat and fear, blood, tears, death. "Your boots."

She remembered.
Remembered her Mama slipping off her fathers' boots. She struggled with the knot and finally managed to loosen his left boot enough to pull it off. It made a hollow sound when it hit the floor. Zeke curled his toes and sat up to help her with the other one.
"It's okay."
He reached out and stroked a finger across her cheek, she pulled off his right boot and then let him pull her onto the bed beside him.

He was trembling, quaking, and wouldn't meet her eyes.
"Zeke," she said gently, she reached up and brushed off his bandanna. He took her wrist, stared into her face unflinching. She didn't dare breathe.

He dropped his head.
Crushing his face against her neck, resting his lips in the hollow of her collarbone. His trembling turned to shaking turned to sobs. His voice cracked as he wept and his lips muttered illegible words against her throat.

"Shh," she ran a hand through his matted hair.

She remembered her Mama singing, her sweet voice floating over the melody as if it were nothing.

Maddy's voice fumbled, trying to find the right pitch. She whispered the words so soft...
"Hold me..." She's never sang for anyone besides her Mama, "hold me...never let me go until you've told me," her voice wavered and dropped, "told me what I want to know..."

Zeke took a deep shaking breath, and finally his sobs subsided. He hiccuped against her shoulder, then took a deep breath and pulled back. Her mouth hung open and he reached out and brushed his fingers across her lips.
"Your singin'... I have a harmonica..."

She smiled at the memory, "I remember." He played it for her, happy that finally someone was willing to listen to his warbling, squeaking half songs.
"I-" his voice caught again.
"Ssh," she whispered again.

He closed his eyes and inhaled her sweet, gentle feminine scent. Like rose water and honey. He opened his eyes and took her hand in his, hands that never flinched to touch him. Hands that smoothed down all his rough edges.
He pressed his heated lips to the inside of her cool palm.
"Mad," he whispered, then he kissed her.

His lips were soft. Sweet gentle kisses. Slow. Searching.

That little piece...that little piece of something...that little piece of anything.

Somehow, she thought. Somehow for now. This would be enough.
Enough to keep him from falling.

He sighed, his shoulders sagged and gently lay him down. He tried to speak but she shook her head.
She lay behind him and pulled him against him, wrapped her arms around her shoulders, locking him in place. Locking him in solace.

He opened himself to her and she let him in.

~end~

Review and let me know what you think. No flames please!