This started as exercise to fix writer's block by doing something different. It was meant to be scene where Stackhouse survives but became very abstract instead. Could be any two people and any war. Whole thing is cliche. I know is not very good but since I review other stories is only fair I give you target too!

The officer walked up to the downed enemy flier. The man at the center of the circle of guns was on his knees. The soldiers had tried to get him up but his legs would not support him. Blood stained his torn flight suit. He stared at the muddy ground in front of him. The officer moved closer and stood on the spot the enemy was staring at.

"Where is the other one?" The officer asked.

"I am alone," the flier replied.

The officer slapped the flier's face hard. The man on his knees fell sideways, catching himself with one hand before he would have sprawled in mud.

"You lie. We saw two parachutes. Where is your friend?"

"I am alone." His voice had a desperate sound.

Another slap. Harder. The man was on hands and knees now, his face inches from the officer's boots. The officer grasped the flier's hair with his left hand and forced his head up. Forced him back up to his knees. Showed him the cocked pistol aimed at his head.

"You decide if you live or die. Tell me where the other man is."

"You bastard." His breath was coming in ragged gasps. "Kill me. I am alone!"

The officer could feel the prisoner's whole body shaking. He pulled the other man's head up to meet his eyes. The flier's face was pale under the streaks of blood and his brown eyes were wide and frightened.

"I am alone!" the enemy repeated.

The officer came to a decision. "You will not die today." He turned and gave orders to his men.

The military hospital was like any other. The officer hated the smells. He hated the sounds. He hated the feel of the place. It reminded him of being a patient instead of the visitor he was today. He almost wished he had not come.

The nurse at the desk told him where to go and turned back to her work. He went to the bed the nurse directed him to. The man in it was awake. He watched the officer approach him. He said nothing. He waited.

"Your friend got away," the officer told him. "Your people came for him. He is safe."

There was no reply. The silence seemed to drown out sound.

"I thought you would want to know," the officer said to fill the silence.

"Thank you," the enemy flier said. "And thank you for my life. You are a good man."

"Do not call me good. I am the same as what your propaganda says I am," the officer replied, finding it hard to express his thoughts in a language not his own. "But I could not kill such a brave enemy."

"I wasn't brave. I was scared to death."

"Who needs courage if he is not afraid?" the officer asked.

There was no more need for words. Followed by those brown eyes, the officer quietly walked away.