This is in response to challenge 26. Thanks goes out to Jennaya, my wonderful beta. I don't own anything just like to play with them. Please read and review.

Sergeant Andrew Carter was laying on his bunk, reading a book while recovering from a bad sprain he had received the last assignment they had been given from London. His leg had fallen squarely into a foxhole, twisting his ankle. Since then, he had been ordered to stay in bed with limited time he could be up and around, the order lasting for a few more days. They were trying to give his ankle as much time to recover, but Andrew really wanted to just get up and play cards with the guys, but he knew they wouldn't let him.

The other men that shared the same barracks as him were sitting around the hut, keeping one eye on the demolitions expert. It had been about 4 days since London had sent an assignment their way and Carter's accident and it seemed like there was nothing to do. Newkirk was playing gin with Kinch, LeBeau, Hogan and Olsen, when he suddenly looked Carter's way.

"Hey Andrew?"

Andrew looked up from his book, startled for a moment. He looked over at the table. "Yeah Newkirk?"

"I want to know something mate. Now you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but why do you wear a wedding band on your finger when you are not even married?"

Andrew, looking embarrassed, looked down and began playing with the plain solid gold band that adorned the ring finger of his left hand. "Aww, you'd think it was silly if I told you."

"No we wouldn't mon ami," LeBeau said, looking over at the young sergeant.

"It seems like it's something important to you," Hogan said, glancing at Andrew.

Andrew played with the ring for a moment before he blew out a breath.

"Okay, here goes. Before my parent's got married, my mom's parent's didn't like my dad all that much. Sure they let them date, but then they realized that mom and dad were getting serious. So my grandparents kept my mom away from my dad as much as they could, you know, chores those kinds of things. Mom was upset, she knew that my dad was going to pop the question to her soon, and she really loved my dad. So one day, she slipped away and went to a small clearing where my parents would meet. She had written a note and tacked it to a nearby tree. She knew my dad went to that clearing everyday, whether with her or to go there to dream. She sincerely hoped that dad would see the note and got home before my grandparents knew she was gone."

"What did the note say?" Kinch asked, noticing that not only he, but everyone in the barracks was getting into Carter's story.

"Mom wrote that her parents were keeping her bodily away from him, but her heart and love would always stay with him. She told him that she loved him and really wanted to be with him for the rest of her life. She signed it, "Love, Me."

"Did your dad find the note that day?" Hogan asked.

"Yes he did. So he went and bought a simple ring," he held the ring up for all to see, "this one. He then wrote a note to her and left the ring with it. He wrote that he loved her so much that we wanted her to be his wife, but he wanted to ask the question properly. But until he could, would she wear his ring, as symbol of their love."

"What happened then?" LeBeau asked, the Frenchman's natural feeling of amore stirring inside of him.

"Mom couldn't get back for another day or so. But when she did get there, and she found the note and ring, she broke down crying. She knew he loved her for who she was and no matter the way here parents acted, she would belong to him. She put the ring on and it never left her hand, no matter what. About 2 months later, my dad got the courage to go to my grandparents and ask to let their daughter marry him."

"I'm guessing they said yes," Newkirk said.

"Yep, they did. Suprised my dad completely. He was so giddy, he never heard my mom come down the stairs. He almost knocked her over on his way out of the house. You see, he wanted to ask for her hand in marriage in the little clearing where they had been writing notes. But, he managed to catch himself before he fell flat on his face. So they went to the little clearing, where dad asked mom to marry him. He gave her another ring that matched the small one that he left in the clearing before. They got married about 6 months later. I was born a year after they were married."

"Aw, that was sweet Carter," LeBeau said, his head resting in his hand, a dreamy look in his eyes.

"Yeah, since I was the first born, mom gave me this ring when I became of age. She told me this story and explained that someday, a girl would catch my eye and I'd love her with all my heart and want her to be my wife. And she may have parents that wouldn't like me all that much. But I could give her this ring as a symbol of my love for her. I thought I found that girl once, in Mary Jane. I gave her this ring, because I wanted to marry her. Then I got drafted, sent over to England to fight in the war, got shot down, and ended up here. Then I got the Dear John letter from her, with this ring. I knew it would be a while before I could let myself love again. So, I vowed this ring would not leave my finger until I found my one true love. So here it sits and here it will stay until one day, I find the girl who will become my wife. So that's why I wear this ring on my finger. See, I told you it was silly."

"Not it's not Andrew. You thought you found the right girl, but she turned out to be the wrong one. You definetly are one of a kind Andrew. Any girl would be lucky to have you as a husband. I think that is an awesome story. I hope you do find that girl someday. Actually, knowing you, you will," Hogan said, standing and getting a cup of coffee. He didn't want to admit that Carter's story had touched him, making him keenly aware of the absence of a feminine presence in his life.

"Thanks Colonel. Honestly, I've never told anyone this story. I just couldn't, especially after Mary Jane dumped me. But, being a part of this unit helped with the loneliness. And I came to the conclusion that there was a life after Mary Jane. And I have all of you to thank. You really helped when I got that Dear John letter. I'm just glad I have friends like you," Andrew said, still playing with the small gold band that had come to mean so much in the young sergeant's life.

"That's what friend's are for, mate. That's what we are for," Newkirk said, coming beside Carter and slapping him on the back.

"You want to play gin Carter?" Hogan asked, sitting back down at the table. The others made room for the demolition's man.

"Yeah Colonel, I'd love that."