Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, cos if I did, well, I think we all know what I'd be doing to Tariq! LoL

The song is "HERO" by Keni Thomas

Spoilers: Not that I'm aware of

Content Warning: None…right now…

Summary: Frank Dumphy decides to write a book about his time in Iraq.

Some say a hero's born to brave

But I'm here to tell that a hero's a scared man that don't walk away

Frank Dumphy sat at his desk, trying to figure out to best write the story of the Sergeant that risked everything to save one small boy. He hadn't really thought about it in the year he'd been home until Eddy had been hurt. As he sat in the hospital praying for the recovery of his stepson, he thought about Staff Sergeant Chris Silas and what he risked for the life of a young man outside of Baghdad.

Sergeant Scream was sitting in the sun, trying to clean his weapon. Privates Frank Dumphy and Maurice Williams sat opposite of him, doing the same thing. Things had, for all intents and purposes in a war, had been a little slow. Even Staff Sergeant Silas acknowledged the weirdness of it. He had seen too much combat action to dismiss this as mere coincidence. He knew something was up.

Private First Class Tariq Nassiri and Private Avery King were standing guard. Roadblock duty was a constant in this war. Terrorists seemed to fancy trunks of the cars of the citizens. Some could have been sympathizers and others may have been coerced. Regardless of how the citizens became involved, this small group of men had become the so-called 'go to' small man team. Roadblock duty? Get Sgt. Silas' crew. Prison duty? Protecting porta-shits? The Commanding Officer felt that this small, five-man, sometimes two women, team could handle anything.

So they sat, waiting for the shit to start.

Frank sighed. He wasn't sure if he should write in third or first person. So, he decided that he would write the next part in first person, to see how well it worked.

I watched our Sergeant for a moment. I was awed by him. He was at least 13 years older than any of us and had more experience, not just in life, but in death. He had become, in a weird sort of way, our hero. We all looked up to him, metaphorically speaking.

Frank wasn't sure if he really liked how it sounded written in first person, so he rewrote it.

Frank Dumphy, the one they called 'Dim', silently watched his Staff Sergeant, awed by the power and finesse the elder gentleman had. His nickname was 'Scream', but he really should have been nicknamed 'Hoot', for he was as swift, as deadly, and as quiet as an owl seeking prey. He had seen plenty of life and death to be an expert in both fields and tried to instill the seriousness of them into his young squad, each of whom were at least 13 years his junior. He sat there, quiet, cleaning his weapon, seemingly unaware that these young men looked up to him and perceived him as a hero.

Somewhere in between the fight

He finally knew what it meant to be alive

Frank liked how the story went in third person, so he decided to stick with it.

"Frank?" Vanessa's voice boomed through the small house. "Frank?"

Frank sighed. "In here, Vanessa." Their marriage had not been an easy one, but Eddy was too important to Frank to walk away. The kid had come to see Frank as the dad he never had and Frank loved the young man as his own son and vowed to make his marriage work for the sake of Eddy.

"What are you doing?" Vanessa sat next to Frank.

"Writing." His answer was shorter than he wanted it to be.


"Sorry. I'm writing, but it's not easy."

"What are you writing about?" Vanessa stood up and behind Frank.

"Iraq and what my sarge did for a little boy there." Frank looked up at her.

"What did he do?"

"You're going to have to buy the book." Frank teased.

It had become an unspoken competition between Dumphy and Williams on who could clean their weapon the fastest. Williams and Dumphy seemed to live off of competing with each other. There was the chess game that Williams, known as 'Smoke', beat Dim. It had even gotten to be a sick competition on who could kill the most rebels and/or insurgents. The others couldn't get into the competitions and were often distressed by the competitions the two men shared. Dim had entered the war with an analytical point of view, but as time wore on and as he continued to be shot at, he lost all analytical powers and sought to end the lives of those who sought to end his.

As Smoke clicked his gun, ending the gun cleaning competition, his head turned to where Nassiri and Avery were shouting at an oncoming car. Sergeant Silas and Dumphy finished cleaning their guns quickly and jumped up.

The car wasn't slowing down.

"Didn't we just go through this shit?" Smoke held his gun at the ready.

"Get ready to shoot, Smoke. Angel, Tariq, stay steady on your toes." Scream shouted. He steadied his gun at the car as the driver refused to stop.

Frank stopped typing, noticing his breathing became faster. The memory, he figured, was still too new and he could still see and hear Scream shouting and gunfire exchanging. He rolled his head and started to type again, only with more trepidation.

The car refused to stop and headed straight to where Scream, Dim, and Smoke were standing, guns cocked and ready to shoot. "DIM! SMOKE!" Scream yelled as the car drove into the small shack they called home for the past three days.

Dim ducked behind some sandbags, expecting an explosion. He was half disappointed, half relieved to find there wasn't one. Instead, an angry man got out of the car and ran towards Scream. The unusually calm Sarge yelled at the man to stop. When the man didn't listen, Scream fired, dropping the man at once.

The young squad, holding their guns closely, carefully walked towards the now wrecked car. Tariq spoke Arabic, commanding all in the car to come out. No sound was heard. They half wanted to open the trunk, but considering the last time they stood roadblock duty, carefully considered all options, before deciding on opening it with wire, as they had the last time.

As Tariq carefully wound the wire, he heard a small cry from inside the trunk. "Sergeant, we have someone in the trunk."

Scream pondered a moment. "They wouldn't stick C-4 in a trunk with a live body, would they?" He asked the question as though he already knew they answer. He looked at Tariq. "Carefully open the trunk and we'll keep you covered, Tariq." Scream sighed. "On my count. One. Two. Three. NOW!"