Title: We Were Soldiers Once

Author: HalfshellVenus

Category: Sam and Dean (Gen)

Rating: T

Summary: Though this be courage, it is not casual…

Author's Notes: This title is taken from a book on Vietnam. These words have been waiting to form a story for some time now. Written for Debbie (particlesofgale)—something poetic on her birthday. Also written for the kazy25 challenge on "Weapons".


We were soldiers once, and young.

Our arrows sped like watchwords in a prayer. Through flesh and phantom, armor and apparition, we struck the core of chaos buried beneath.

In the still moonlight, our swords gleamed like Truth dividing darkness. We slashed and sliced, plunged and plundered, a dangerous dance of destruction and release. We carved enemies out of mortal cloaks, freed spirits bound in bodies they once owned. Liberating, conquering and judging in turns, we cleaved the Evil from this world and sent it onward.

In stretching silence, our guns awaited battle. Brought to bear when the target was sighted, they fractured the Undead, the Unholy, the Undelivered. The power of distance-- of hope-- kept us safer than a warrior dares to wish for. Not unscarred and not unscathed, we hauled ourselves up and staggered away.

We were soldiers once, and young.

Our dreams are of a Peace we cannot keep. Through stealth and sacrifice, bloodshed and burning, we leave answers and quietude behind. We give resolution we never found, we bring safety to families like our own. We leave a quieter world in our wake, a space for laughter to rise up again.

In our still hearts, our mission glows like a stream of lava. It flows and surges-- urging us to fight when the odds seem hopeless or all hints and leads are lost. The molten metal of our souls holds strength where others fail. We take up arms against the ancient, the unfamiliar, the beings of legend. We are brave in our beliefs… we are mortal to the marrow.

In the span of years, we leave no measure of glory. We do what we are, and we are what we do—and no other has yet called us home. We yearn for serenity, but it slips through our fingers. It is not a destination we will know.

We were soldiers once, and young.

Our corps is small but not yet broken. Through lasting love our spirits survive; with lifelong devotion we protect our own. We are twinned in our purpose, intertwined in eternity, and our aspect shall not be separated or softened.

In the still moments of our daily communion, the longings beneath our words remain. If the world—the cosmos—would let us, we would lay this burden down. A path of sunsets lies before us, out of reach but ever-glowing. We yearn to no longer be needed, to one day belong at last to ourselves.

In the distant stars, the answers yet await us. Their timeless voices speak a siren song of Soon. We press forward though our battlegrounds are shaken. Our swords are heavy, but our mettle bows for none. Together we shall fear no curse or creature. We will fight each newfound enemy as one.

We seek the riches of simplicity, the reward of lasting relief. May we know them while we both can still draw breath.

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