Author's Note: To be filed under: "Reasons Why Trish Is Not Allowed To Drink Vodka Alone In The Middle Of The Night While Listening To John Mayer Songs." I know it's a quick update, but sometimes I get overcome with feels and things just happen. Quick piece written while my brother was in the hospital last night. He's fine at the moment, but I felt guilty because he was apparently having severe stomach pain during the Liverpool v. Tottenham game I begged him to accompany me to and he never said a word. It turns out he's fine, but while he was in the ER with my parents and I was stuck home, I put a song on loop and tried convincing myself that it wouldn't have been any different if we were at home instead of the footie.

LunaShadow99: I think you mean "ANDERSON". Things are okay, but hectic as hell. I was just talking to John about how we haven't heard from you since we took you to see The Avengers all those months ago. You should deffo email me because every time I go to my inbox, I just get distracted by all the RPs I have running.

mw: I seem to have a secret soft spot for writing angst. I'm not sure why. I have a bad habit of falling in love with a character and either destroying them or killing them. I'm not sure. I don't know how often I'm going to be updating, but this one just sort of happened and relatively quickly after the last, so who knows, haha. I'm glad you're enjoying them.

Angel's Anthem: I have to admit that checking my phone and seeing all of those reviews stacked up made me wonder if I was getting anon hate again. So glad that assumption was wrong, haha. I try to keep everything balanced out in the way of smut/emotionalism/fluff/humor/etc. I can't really claim I do everything in here intentionally (like the beginning and ending with the same concept), it just happens to work out that way. I like trying to show off different sides to the characters because when you only focus on one aspect of their personality, it feels like the characters are stagnating and not growing and they feel one-dimensional and a little more fictional. I'm not sure if that makes sense. As far as the pairings go, I'm a notorious OmniShipper. I have an armada of ships for every fandom I'm in. (The worst of which being Avengers, wherein I ship everyone with everyone else and have no regrets in doing so) So my "favorite" pairing for this particular fandom is Soap/Ghost, with Ghost/Roach and then Soap/Roach coming after. But I've also written a few more interesting pieces (there's even a Price/Makarov one-shot if you know where to look), so really the pairing usually comes down to whatever mood I'm in, haha. Insofar as your request goes, I do believe I have one or two "Ghost in charge" pieces. I'll dig them up, dust them off and bring them to light for you. :)

Some days, when it's all said and done and the screams die down and you've scrubbed yourself until your skin aches and you know it's all psychological but you can still smell the blood, you don't feel much like a soldier. Some days when everything is quiet again and you're alone with the dark things inside your head, you feel very much like a scared kid drowning in a uniform that hardly fits and trying to get used to how damn heavy your boots are. Sometimes your wounds itch as the heal and you have to fight the urge to lost your mind and start throwing things and overturning tables because some days you're too convinced you deserve worse to be thankful for what you have now.

Some days, Simon remembers odd things about his life before the military. He vaguely remembers his mother, but not in the sense of comforting him or anything like that. He remembers she had a deep love for the color blue and he remembers she had an antique sapphire ring that never left her hand. Sometimes, when he's lying in bed, the memory of watching sunlight filter through the square blue stone comes to mind and he closes his eyes and for a second he's home again and everything is right in the world. He remembers the pale yellow sundress she wore with a wide smile and the way it whipped around her knees when the wind picked up and made her laugh all the harder. That's most of what truly sticks out in his mind when he's feeling he's beginning to lose it; just the way her ring looked in the sunlight and that day she wore the yellow dress.

It's the perfect kind of night to die outside, he decides. The sun's setting and the clouds are painted a post-apocalyptic shade of orange. It's a warm night and the humidity is low for the time of year. He lays back on the mostly-forgotten picnic table and watches the stars struggle to make themselves seen as the sunlight continues to fade away. The perfect kind of night to die outside. A meteor blazes across the sky as it's burned up in the atmosphere, ceasing to be before it even has a shot at reaching the surface of the world. He closes his eyes and remembers the time his father had 'been away on business' and he'd stayed up late with his mother and they'd watched a meteor shower together. She'd smiled so easily that night.

Fireflies skip across Simon's vision and he watches them, blinking on and off, searching for a mate in the warm air. He pulls one hand from behind his head and holds it in the vicinity of one of the insects, allowing himself a faint, sad smile when it lands on one of his outstretched fingers. It blinks for a few moments, resting its wings, before deciding it would have a better chance in the air and it takes off once more. He puts his hand back behind his head and resumes watching the sky.

The mission had been successful, in terms of objectives. But Grim and Colt had still died. Granted, they weren't part of the 141, part of the liaising American force they'd been forced to take on, but it still cut deep. Why had they deserved to die out in a foreign country where their bodies couldn't even be recovered while he got to go back to their home country and contemplate bleeding out over the worn wood beneath his back? His thoughts weren't necessarily 'dark' or 'depressed'. They simply... were. They passed through his mind with the same sort of ineffable calm as an idle notice of the weather. He wasn't caught up in hating himself at the moment, he was just convinced this was the perfect kind of night to die outside and he knew that in lieu of his sidearm (back in his temporary barracks) or a length of rope, the knife in his back pocket would make short work of him in a matter of minutes. Not morbid, just simple scientific fact.

The street lights started winking on closer to the barracks and the car park and he ignored them, still watching the bright orange glow be overtaken by the closing press of the darkness that would come, no matter how much you wished for a few more hours of sunlight. The moon was a tiny sliver of light against an inky backdrop as its appearance became more and more obvious and Simon focused on it for a while. His mind doesn't stay focused there, and he soon finds himself thinking about all the men he's lost on missions, whether it was his call that got them killed or not. He's still running through his mental checklist when footsteps break through his concentration. He ignores the sound of combat boots scuffing over the pavement and then pressing through the grass. He ignores the warm body that lays too close to his own in the summer heat and continues staring up at the sky.

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm asleep and landed in a stranger's dream. I'm half-waiting to wake up one of these mornings to be 16 again and wearing my brother's old jacket and carrying a backpack with more holes than books in it," Gary said slowly. Simon didn't acknowledge him and the silence settled around them again and it was the same kind of confining comfort as wrapping up too tightly in an old blanket when you find yourself feeling sick.

"Sometimes I wake up because someone's screaming and I realize it's me and it's hard to remember what life was before this. It's like I get little flashes of normal life, of an inside joke I had with someone in high school and it still makes me crack a smile and then another mortar round lands too close and there's nothing but my training anymore. It scares me some days," Sanderson continued. This time, Simon looked to him instead of to the sky. Gary returned the gaze, face nearly unreadable.

"It's the perfect kind of night to die outside," Simon murmured before looking back at the stars.

"Yeah. Yeah I guess it is," Roach agreed. He watched Simon now, instead of the stars, wondering what had Ghost dealing with his demons so calmly in the middle of the night and all on his own.

"It's the perfect kind of night to die outside, but then there'd be no one to look after you, so I'll wait a little longer," Simon smiled.

"My fault you're sticking around, is it?"

Simon met Gary's gaze, still smiling and said, "Your fault entirely, Roach."

Time passed and they spoke little, watching the stars wink at them from billions of billions of miles away. Most of those stars were dead and the news just hadn't reached their distant viewers just yet. Their memory was still lingering, still keeping an eye on a tiny little speck of blue and green far out in the vast empty of space. Simon shifted, trying to restore circulation to his shoulders, but he soon gave up and sat up. Gary followed not far behind, both of them still watching the stars.

"You know, I think we were wrong," Gary murmured.

"About what?"

"This is the wrong night to die outside. My bed always feels too big when you're off and away and I'm pretty damn sure I need to sleep sometime this week."

Simon smiled at him and stood up, offering his hand to help Gary rise. The Sergeant took his hand and they made their way back towards Simon's temporary lodging. They'd be headed home soon enough, and then they could worry about finding the perfect night to die outside. Because tonight didn't work for them, not when they still had the excuse of long, lingering touches in the safe darkness of Simon's room. There would come another warm night when the only witnesses were silent stars that were almost assuredly dead themselves already. There would be another night in the future when the sun-parched dirt could drink up their blood like it was never there except as an old stain. But tonight was for enjoying the night while their hearts still beat strong enough for them to feel how warm the breeze was.