Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, otherwise I'd own Tariq! : ) And have Scream stashed away in my closet: ) Hell, I'll take Bosco (Who will be mentioned in this story. Kinda a Third Watch/Over There cross over. Don't know how well it is though…)
Spoilers: Nope. Not in this story…
Content Warning: Language, but it's typical for the military.
Summary: Friends realize Army Ranger Christopher Andrew Silas isn't who he was before his deployments. Deals with his deployments to Mogadishu, Afghanistan, Iraq, and September 11, 2001.
(There may be parts where Scream is OCC, but we only saw one side of him in Over There. I'm sure he just didn't scream and bark at everyone. LoL)
No one ever considered Chris Silas sentimental. He was all business and so for him to kiss the ground after the transport plane had landed, thankful to be back on American soil, was out of character for him. Those who knew him, and knew him well, would have laughed at the site of his 6'1" frame, bending, kissing the asphalt of the tarmac. As he stood up, he smiled to himself. He had all these images in his mind. His mom and dad greeting him, flags unfurled and waving. Katherine would be there, arms open and greet him with a kiss, welcoming him home, promising of what the night would have in store for them.
But, as they got off the bus, he saw no one there to greet him. Truth was, he expected noone. No parents. No brothers. No sisters. No friends or family. He may have been upset, but this was normal for them. After all, they didn't think he really belonged in the Army. Chris rolled his eyes as he remembered what his father had said to him a few days before he left for training before deploying to Somalia. Mark my words, Christopher. You're going where the US doesn't belong. If they want to starve and kill each other, what business is it of ours? But you and this whole I have to do something other than sit here, Pops, attitude of yours, well, it's bound to kill you. And don't look for us to support this fiasco that the President has gotten us, you, into. Trust me. You don't need to go. It's their business. But, that's the US. Have to protect the whole world. That's why you joined, ain't it, Christopher? Because you always have to protect others?
And, so his deployment to Somalia had begun. No letters from home, but he didn't care. Unless he counted that one from Katherine that stated she didn't want to date someone who put others before her. He had spent whole five minutes angry at that, but after a mission to capture (or attempt) the warlord responsible for the genocide happening in Somalia, he didn't care. If she couldn't or wouldn't stand behind him, than he was better off without her. And, if he really thought about it, the only ones that mattered to him were the ones that he was fighting alongside of. His brothers in arms. His fellow Soldiers; fellow Rangers.
He hadn't even told them he was deploying to Iraq. After all, what difference would it have made? They didn't want him in Somalia or Afghanistan. He had played his father's speech over and over in his head about how they didn't belong there to make the lack of support from the family easier. Not that it had been. There were a couple times that he sat in front of the phone, wanting to call his folks, but found he couldn't. If they couldn't try to reach out and support him, why then should he reach out to them to let them know he was okay? So, instead of calling home, he gave the card away to the first Soldier he met.
So, the family wasn't there to greet him. They weren't there after Somalia, why the fuck would they be there now? He looked as Angel was being mobbed by several people who were crying and yelling "THANK YOU, JESUS! THANK YOU, JESUS!" with their hands in the air. Captain Baron was being hugged as if there was no tomorrow by his wife and kids. Smoke held on tightly to a woman that he kept calling "Moms" and crying. Even Dim and his estranged wife seemed to have called a truce for the homecoming. Scream smiled. He could feel the chill in the 90 degree day.
He smiled over at Tariq, who smiled broadly back. Scream could have felt jealous for one moment, but he couldn't. He didn't. He looked over to his right side and saw black and gold. He stopped for one moment. He blinked, wondering if he had really seen what he thought he'd seen. He admitted only to himself that he was a little disappointed that it was merely his imagination. He slightly shrugged and adjusted his pack.
Scream hailed a taxi and headed to the airport. Welcome or not, he was going home to Long Island. He longed to see how it had changed since he left a little over the twelve years after he left. He hadn't been back since he came home for Christmas of 1995. An argument with his family over his choice of career ensured that visits home would only be welcomed if he gave up the Army and settled down with a nice girl and started a family. He almost had, but he knew the Army was his life. And, if he were the sentimental sort that believed it, his destiny.
He made his way into the men's restroom and quickly changed into the jeans and tee shirt he managed to pack and cursed that he forgot to make sure his tennis shoes were within easy reach. He had worn his boots thin and his feet complained with every time he put them on. He silently apologized to his feet as he laced up the worn boots and walked to the ticket counter.
He got a ticket and headed off to board. He never let his guard down. He remembered when he returned to New York after he came back from Somalia. He couldn't sleep for what seemed like days without having to feel like he had to secure the house. His dad had enough by the time Chris left that the elder Silas told his son to not contact him again until he decided that saving the world was no longer his mission in life.
As the plane flew towards Kennedy Airport, Scream looked to where the Towers once stood and realised that saving the world was always his mission in life. He leaned back and closed his eyes and remembered that day.
"Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!" The scream woke up the sleeping Chris Silas. He couldn't complain, really. He'd been having that nightmare again about getting lost in the streets of Mogadishu again, and the skies raining bullets and missiles.
"What the fuck? Some of us are still trying to fucking sleep, assholes!" He rubbed his eyes and walked towards the common room.
PFC Matt Taubers looked at Chris. "Ain't you from New York, Sarge?"
Scream rolled his head. "Yeah. What of it?"
A few of the men moved and Chris saw it. The World Trade Center Towers on fire. He knew he shouldn't watch. He knew too many people that worked in that area, but fear and anger kept him glued to the television. "You know what this means?" Sergeant Darryl Sturgis sighed.
"It means I re-up." Scream sighed. He was angry. He had been in the military long enough to recognize an attack when he saw one.
Sgt. Sturgis looked at Scream, disbelief present. "What about your life that you planned?"
Scream pointed to the television. "That's my life, Sturgis. Those mother fuckers can not come into my goddamned country, kill our brothers and sisters and not expect me to help kick the living shit out of them. They not only attacked the wrong country, they attacked the wrong city. New Yorkers love our city and we'll be fuckin' goddamned if we're going to let some yellow bellied chicken shit mother fuckers blow our city up." Scream stormed off, anger running through his veins.
As Scream strolled out of the airport, he smiled and laughed softly to himself. That was the start of it all. He adjusted his pack and hailed a taxi. "Where to, pal?" The taxi driver asked, his accent heavy.
"Ain't nothin' there, pal. Just a hole."
"Yeah? Well, take me there anyhow. Maybe I like holes." Scream eyed his taxi driver heavily. He didn't seem to trust him, but, if had been honest, he didn't trust anyone. The only two exceptions were now back in California. He had learned to trust Angel and Tariq immensely. Here, back home in New York, he trusted no one.
"Ground Zero." The driver seemed to loathe that he had to drive a stranger to this place. "Ya know, all the tourists want to see this. Like it's some sort of park or somethin'."
"I ain't no tourist, jag off. I'm from Long Island." Scream kept his voice soft, though harsh. "I lost a few pals here and I fuckin' fought for them. The least I can do is come and see where they breathed their last breath." For the first time he could ever remember, Chris Silas was thankful for New York traffic. He tossed a $20 at the driver. "I'll walk the rest of the way."
He made his way through the throngs of people heading about their day. He wasn't sentimental, but he felt he had to somehow see where Katherine had spent her last day. He had to make his losses and his gains real. He felt he had to know what he really fought for.