Disclaimer: I don't mean any disrespect to any of the real men of Easy Company. This is an act of fiction based on the miniseries inspired by their lives. However, some of the events casually mentioned in the story actually did happen in the lives of the real-life men.
I've overhauled this story since I completed it in April of 2011, so if you've read it before and are coming back to read it again and remember it being different from how it is now, that's the reason. I originally wrote this story when I was thirteen and, looking back on it, I didn't want anybody reading it the way it was because I thought it was rather embarrassing and I could do much better, so I decided to revise it until I was okay with it.
Anyway, whether you're reading it for the first time or not, either way, feel free to drop me a review and let me know what you think. It's always welcomed, no matter if it's a critique or just letting me know you read it. Thanks and I hope you enjoy. :)
Chapter 1 — Currahee!
May 19, 1942
I stepped inside the cabin and shut the door behind me, looking around at the men hanging out around their beds in various attitudes of casualness. There was a circle of poker going on with maybe five guys involved and almost everyone else was watching the game. But then eyes swiveled towards me and I just kind of stood there awkwardly, looking around for an empty bed to put my stuff.
There was an open bunk against the wall near the door and I swung my stuff onto it as casually as I could with everybody staring at me.
"Well, fellas," I said, turning around to face them again. "No need to give me a warm welcome or anything."
A short guy with tan skin and dark eyes swaggered up in a slightly exaggerated manner and folded his arms across his chest like he was trying to intimidate me, even though I probably had a full inch on him and I barely topped five feet six inches in boots.
"A new guy," I said, turning and standing practically toe to toe with him and folding my arms to mirror him. "I thought that was pretty obvious."
He stared me down — up? — for a few seconds before his face split into a grin and he held out his hand for me to shake.
"You're alright, kid. Frank Perconte."
Who was he calling kid.
I shook his hand anyway.
"Let me introduce the guys," he said, waving his arm around the cabin and then he started pointing and spouting names. All I could do was nod at everybody and hope I was going to remember a few of them later and not make an idiot of myself by calling everybody the wrong name. If I did, oh well. I hadn't really been planning on making friends anyway, given the delicate nature of my situation.
I sat on my bunk and Perconte went back to whatever he was doing and everyone turned back to watching the poker game.
Wait. What the hell was Perconte doing?
"Hey, Perconte," I said, "What the hell are you putting your boots on for?"
He looked at me like I was some kind of an idiot.
"So I can blouse my trousers, of course."
I looked at him like he was some kind of an idiot. Which he obviously was.
"You're gonna get caught,"one of the poker players said, looking over his shoulder at Perconte, who was tucking his trousers into the tops of his laced boots. "You know they said we're not supposed to blouse until we've got our jump wings."
"Yeah, yeah, Christenson," Perconte waved it off. "Nobody's gonna know."
"You people are at the position of attention!"
Well, no shit, Captain Obvious. That was pretty clear. My back was dripping with sweat and straining from standing up ramrod straight for twenty minutes on end. The air was hot, hotter than hot; an oven in the atmosphere of the world. The mosquitoes were everywhere and the gnats everywhere else, darting at our eyes and into our noses and our mouths if we tried to talk and even crawling into our ears.
I hated Georgia. And I didn't think I liked being in the army either, if this was what it was like.
The guy marching around us and yelling about how we were unfit to go into combat was our commanding officer, this asshole named Sobel. I was starting to think I was going to like him even less than the gnats if that was even possible. He kept marching around and he kept yelling and really, man, like, you couldn't wait to have this conversation inside or something where there weren't any bugs?
"Private Perconte, have you been blousing your trousers over your boots like a paratrooper?"
I was so close to laughing. So, so close.
"Then explain the creases at the bottom."
Well, he had a good point there.
"No excuse, sir!"
I really didn't know how I was going to get away with this. I was — how to put it — too female to be legally enlisted in the Army, although they never actually ask you if you're girl or boy when you're enlisting. It's just kind of understood that men belong in war, apparently. And maybe they did belong in paratroop infantry. The only thing I'd actually had a problem with was the physical inspection, which is required to enlist, and I'd walked in to have my inspection and stuck a fifty dollar bill in the doctor's face and waited for him to say yes.
Really, it wasn't even that hard to pull off. But I was just starting to realize that maybe this hadn't been the most brilliant idea in the world. A girl has to do what a girl has to do to run away from her problems, but joining the Airborne was apparently not as great of a solution as I'd first thought.
And Sobel kept walking around and yelling at men and revoking weekend passes.
The private said it so fast, I couldn't quite catch it and I couldn't see his face since I was standing behind him. It almost sounded like he said Judge Fuzz, but there was no way that was right.
"Dirt in the rear side aperture, pass revoked."
And then he searched the ranks for someone else to pick on. I thought his eyes landed on me for one second, standing stiffly in the very back of the far right line, but his gaze either moved on or he never even saw me at all. Instead, he was all, "When did you sew on these chevrons, Sergeant Lipton?" and "Rust on the butt-plate hinge spring, Private Bullshit."
Yeah, I officially decided I didn't really like Sobel that much. Private Bullshit — his name was actually Malarkey — seemed really disappointed that he wouldn't get to go to town that weekend.
Sobel slapped some guy's head with his own bayonet — he obviously didn't know that bayonets are for stabbing people, not hitting them on the head — and then held up the bayonet to use as an example as he continued yelling: "I wouldn't take this rusty piece of shit to war, and I will not take you to war in your condition." He threw the bayonet into the ground. Thump. Someone was into being overly dramatic. "Now thanks to these men and their infractions, every man in the company who had a weekend pass has lost it. Change into your P.T. gear, we're running Currahee."
Yes, because throwing a supposedly dull and rusty bayonet into the ground is going to make it not only cleaner, but also sharper. That made perfect sense.
I really needed to keep a lid on my sass if I was going to make it in the army.
Almost exactly two minutes later:
"I ain't going up that hill."
A man burst through the door of the cabin, tying his shorts' drawstrings.
"Hey, Perconte, what are you thinking of, blousin' your pants?" He demanded, storming past us.
"Shut up, Martin, alright? He gigged everybody." Perconte retorted.
"Yeah, well, you should know better. Don't give him no excuses!"
"Excuses? Why don't you come here, look at these trousers, get down and you tell me if there's a crease on 'em?"
Even in PT gear, I managed to escape suspicion with my bandaged chest, which actually wasn't even noticeable under the white shirt. Since I'd never exactly been well-endowed, it wasn't that hard to hide what I did have. I'd even stuffed my pants, attempting to help myself keep disguised, if you know what I mean.
To be honest, I wasn't too concerned about passing as a man. I know that might sound weird to say, but ever since I'd cut my hair in preparation for it, people had been mistaking me for a man left and right, so I had sufficient cause to believe I could get away with it.
I was only lucky that I didn't have snow white cheeks that blushed with the tint of autumn or some shit like that. In other words, to clear things up a bit, I wasn't overly feminine appearance-wise. I had full lips and high cheekbones and I was really short for a man, but other than that there wasn't anything too womanly about me. Straight nose. Straight teeth. Green-brown eyes that weren't quite hazel. Dirty blonde hair that looked a bit mousy now that it was buzzed down to an inch long. Nothing spectacular.
Of course, I doubt if the men would've even noticed if I looked like Rita Hayworth as long as my hair was buzzed and my chest was bandaged. They weren't exactly the most observant people I'd ever met. Perconte and Martin were still arguing about the bloused trousers when the sergeant came in to herd us all out to run Currahee. Rolling my eyes at Perconte's stubborn hardheadedness, I took off my jacket and threw it across my bunk on my way out. It was time to find out if I could actually get away with this or not. After all, I'd already made it out of W Company, which meant I was already past the toughest part.
I'd already done some PT in W Company and nobody'd noticed anything strange, so I knew it was possible to get away with it. I decided to escape scrutiny by jogging in the very middle of the crowd. It couldn't be that hard, right?
Wrong. Damn shit fucking idiotically wrong. Completely and totally wrong.
When they say that Currahee means "stand alone," it's notbecause it's the only mountain or hill around and there's nothing else anywhere, so it just stands there alone. That makes sense, but that's not why. It's because if you try to run up with a bunch of other people, you're going to be standing at the top by yourself, simply because unless they're being forced to, nobody in their right minds would actually try to run Currahee.
Unfortunately, we were being forced to.
My lungs were burning and my legs were burning and the bandage was sweaty and my face was sweaty and dripping and oh my dear God almighty I couldn't go on—
But I did — I did go on. Every time I was about to give up, Sobel would say something in his stupid, stupid voice and I would look at him running like a weird, flapping duck, and I would decidesomething along the lines of "Hell, if he can do it, I can do it," and I would keep going. A guy up at the front tripped and almost fell.
"Do not help that man! Do not help that man!" Sobel was yelling at us yet again. He always seemed to be yelling, the son of a bitch. A few of the guys helped the tripper anyway. "We do not stop! You've got thirty minutes to get to the top of this mountain if you want to serve in the paratroopers. Hi-ho, Silver!" Sobel somehow found the strength to speed up and forge into the steepening incline. Finally, some twenty impossibly long minutes after starting, I was almost to the top, and I could hear Sobel's voice, yelling: "We are coming on twenty-three minutes! That may be good enough for the rest of the 506th, but that is not good enough for Easy company!"
Lieutenant Winters was encouraging the men as they clambered to the top to tag the stone Sobel was standing next to with a stopwatch. We were all panting, our tongues hanging out of our mouths, breaths coming heavily, our lungs tight and straining, our shirts drenched in sweat, our muscles complaining. And through it all, I couldn't help but think one thing, during the very exhausting scramble up the final incline: the man in front of me had a decidedly nice ass.
Like I mentioned before, I really wasn't looking to make friends there. It was going to mess up my ability to stay disconnected, to keep from being discovered. If I made friends and I got comfortable, I was going to slip up and say something I shouldn't say, something damning, something about — oh, I don't know, bleeding once a month. So I tried to remain inconspicuous and unknown by keeping the talking to a minimum and for the most part it went pretty well.
That all changed one fateful lunch about three days after I'd arrived. I was contemplating the "food" — slop, more like — rather intently when I was kicked out of my eating trance by the guy sitting next to me.
"What's your name again?"
What's your name again? Really?
"Well, that's a very interesting question," I retorted before even so much as looking up or thinking. What's your name again, my ass. "So original. I've never been asked that question before in my entire life."
I was rather irritable that day. We'd just finished a Currahee run and I was just done with everybody's shit. So I was maybe a little bitchy when he asked me my name that day and maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was.
When I glanced up at the guy when he didn't go away, I half-recognized a man I'd seen somewhere before. He was probably in my cabin, which would make sense. I'd stayed pretty quiet so far, so most of them probably didn't even remember my name. Guys were always getting kicked out or dropping out. I think everybody just assumed that since I was so short, I would eventually end up leaving either way anyway and so they didn't bother even trying to become friends with me.
This man was a bit taller than me, but that's not really surprising. I was probably one the shortest people in the entire army. Either way, he probably had about half a foot on me. He was looking at me waiting for an answer and I finally shrugged mentally. He looked like he wasn't going to go away until he knew my name at least.
"Shoemaker," I told him. "My name's Shoemaker."
"Jesus, I can't call you that. That's a terrible name. What's your first name?"
Great alias, wasn't it. Daniel Shoemaker. Really original. Too bad I hadn't actually come up with it.
"Danny it is. George Luz. Where you from?"
Oh. Judge Fuzz.
"Maine," I answered, wondering when he was going to go away. "What about you?"
"No way," I said, because I didn't really know what else to say.
"Yeah, why — have you ever been there?"
"No, I was just trying to sound interested."
Ah, fuck. I just couldn't keep a watch on my mouth, could I.
He stared at me for a second.
And then quite suddenly he started laughing and slapped me on my back.
"Yeah, you're okay," he said, like he'd just decided to adopt me. And even if he'd decided to adopt me, it took me a couple of minutes longer to be convinced I wanted to be his friend too. Actually, if I was being completely honest, I only decided to be friends with him because he threw out a random joke that made me laugh. He was actually quite funny and I hadn't known very many guys who tried to be funny and succeeded.
George Luz. Large dark eyes, dark hair, a dimple when he smiled and sometimes when he talked. His eyes got this certain sparkle whenever he was about to play a prank.
He was a — fairly — nice guy, George Luz. Once the first awkward conversation was over, we became friends quickly, probably because he liked playing pranks and I was always excellent at pulling stints off. Once I found out that he was great at mimicking voices, well, that was already material for some fantastic pranks right there and the immature child in me just couldn't resist having a little fun. And, subsequently, since he was arguably the most popular fucker in the unit, it then became impossible to be "inconspicuous and unknown" since I was like his partner in crime. The name Danny stuck and that was what everyone started calling me.
Thanks, George Luz, you funny little fucker.
That wasn't a good thing sometimes. Since George made a place for himself very quickly as the company jokester and I always naturally joined in, having almost uncannily excellent hearing and being naturally mischievously inclined, I didn't escape attention quite the way I'd originally planned to.
For instance, there was this one time about a week after I'd arrived when George decided our cabin needed a bit of "group bonding." And while that might sound like a good thing, what with us probably eventually going into combat with each other, his idea of "group bonding" was… strange, to say the least. We were gathered around engaging in card games and Perconte started telling us about an awkward sex story he'd endured once and pretty soon everyone was pitching in their own awkward sexual encounters — everyone had one — and then it was just me and this one other guy named Roe who hadn't spoken up about our experiences with "the other gender."
Gene Roe was quiet, but not necessarily because he was actually shy or anything like that. He was just self-contained, self-possessed, respectable, polite, grown up. He was mature. In other words, he was everything most of the other guys weren't. We — the other guys and I — never messed around with him too much in basic or, now that I think about it, most of the time we spent in the army. We felt bad doing it, like we were overstepping our boundaries. He treated us with respect and we returned the favor.
That being said, that made it nearly impossible for the guys to pick on him about anything related to sex, so when there was a lull in the conversation — which there inevitably was — and George looked around the room, his eyes landed on Gene Roe and then on me, and of course it was me he decided to give a hard time.
I hadn't joined in comparing awkward sex stories because I was a girl, obviously. And I couldn't tell anybody stories about the one time I'd been on a date with a guy and he'd gotten a boner in the middle of dinner and tried to hide it with a napkin. (That hadn't worked out too well for him. I'd tried to be nice about it and ignore it — come on, it was the 1940's, not the eighteenth century, for Christ's sake, we weren't prudes — but it was still ridiculously awkward.) But telling that story would have made it obvious that I was either a girl or a homosexual and I had a feeling either of those revelations would make the guys uncomfortable. And I was uncomfortable with the thought of having to make up a story about a girl and how I was a guy and I had parts that I didn't actually have and something happened that was really awkward—
No, thanks anyway. I didn't feel like having to use my imagination to go into the kind of detail that some of the guys were going into.
So that's why when George piped up and said, "What's the matter, Danny? Why're you being so quiet? C'mon, tell us a story," I opened my mouth and stuttered for a few seconds. I honestly had no idea what to say for probably the first time in my life.
When George saw how hesitant I was, he practically pounced on me.
"Aw," he crooned. "What, is Danny uncomfortable with talking about sex? Is Danny—" His eyes got big and exaggeratedly wide and he grinned like some kind of evil maniacal villain. "Is Danny a virgin?"
"No!" I protested, but he just kept grinning and talking about how I was a virgin and finally I gave in and told them yes, I was a virgin and I was terrible around girls for some reason and my hands always got clammy and—
Honestly, I was just glad to have a way out of having that conversation, regardless of whether or not I would have to endure seemingly incessant teasing about it later.
My eyes caught Gene Roe's gaze and he was watching me from his bunk where he'd been reading a book and he looked at me like he knew I wasn't telling the truth about being terrible around girls and my hands getting clammy.
He had an instinct for people, like he could look at them and really see them. He didn't necessarily keep himself separate from us, but he was definitely different than us in some intangible kind of way. A few of the guys were like that, but I think I noticed it about Roe the most. It didn't really surprise me that he was chosen to be trained as a medic after boot camp was finished and we were being designated our squads and our areas of specialty, although I have a feeling in his case it was a random draw and not actually something the higher-ups were responsible for deciding. Either way. He was well-suited to being a medic.
I made a conscious effort to not shower at the same time as the other guys. Since they were open showers with only a tarp separating your shower from the rest of the world and most of the men went at the same time, it was going to be kind of hard to take off all of my clothes and take my bandage off and shower without somebody noticing that I had things that men didn't have and I didn't have things that men had.
So usually I just showered during free time. It actually wasn't that hard to find a time when nobody was in there, since everyone usually showered at the same time anyway, like I said.
The training was hard, obviously. Sobel put us through hell physically. I'm not really surprised that only one out of ten guys made it into the Airborne. Sometimes Sobel's face was literally the only thing keeping me going, just because I just really didn't want to give him the satisfaction of telling me I was out of the Airborne and I wasn't good enough and I wasn't strong enough and actually knowing he was right.
He liked sending us on ridiculous night-time marches or making us run Currahee, often double-time with a full pack.
We all mutually hated him. Sometimes — more often than you'd think — some guys would get together a group and go run Currahee at night for a little extra workout. Everything was geared towards showing Sobel up and making him quit his whining about how we weren't going to cut it.
The training only seemed to get tougher. Sobel seemed to have a tendency to try and think of the most ridiculous, exhausting exercise he could think of and then he would make us do it. In his defense, most of the time he was right there with us, yelling at us in our faces about how we weren't good enough, but still. That didn't stop us from hating him all the more.
George invented a "game" — if that's what you want to call it — called Grab Fanny. If the name itself doesn't tip you off, George liked grabbing asses and he liked having an excuse to do it, so he devised a game where you got points for grabbing someone's ass without making them mad (in Easy Company that wasn't particularly easy) and you got points depending on how easy-going the target was, the scale of points being from one to ten. Easier target, less points. For example, Liebgott would probably be somewhere around a nine during basic training, simply because he was literally always angry about something and it was pretty complicated getting him to cheer up enough to not mind you copping a feel.
Also, extra points were awarded per the target's rank, but that rule wasn't actually established until much, much later. (And to be specific, it was established after Lieutenant Welsh joined us, if you know what I mean.)
Whoever had the most points after a month won. At first the winner didn't really win a prize or anything. The first couple of months were just for George's own amusement. But then somebody came up with the genius idea of betting on who the winner would be and of course I protested that you couldn't bet on somebody's chances without giving them something for winning as well, so that's when the betting started. The pot always got larger as the month went on. To bet on who would win, you had to put in a small amount in the winner's pot.
Obviously, it wore out after a while but there were a few minor revivals of it whenever we got particularly bored.
One Friday night, we were marching along the road, almost back to the camp, completely dehydrated, when Bull Randleman started complaining to Lieutenant Winters about Sobel making us march without water and how he must hate Easy Company and Lieutenant Winters, handling it like it was nothing at all, replied that Sobel didn't actually hate Easy Company — he just hated Randleman.
Of course, that pleased Bull. A lot.
"Seriously though," I said to Smokey Gordon, who was walking next to me. "Does Sobel not realize how ridiculously stupid this is? He doesn't even march with us on these stupid walks and we're not allowed to drink water, which is of course terrible for us. We're out here dehydrated and deliberately dehydrating us is going to do literally nothing to make us more ready for combat, it's just going to screw with our immune systems."
"Well then, Danny," Smokey drawled in what seemed to be amusement. "How do you know so much about my immune system?"
I glanced over at him and rolled my eyes because he was ignoring my point, but allowed him to distract me from my rant anyway. Talking about my thirst and how ridiculous it was just made me thirstier.
"I lived with my granddad for a while. He was a doctor. I picked up a few things."
"So basically if I get hit by a bullet, you're the guy who's going to rescue me?"
"No, you idiot," I retorted. "That's a medic."
We got back to the camp maybe thirty minutes later and by that time I was almost drooling at the thought of water. Georgia summers were hot even at night and my body still hadn't finished adjusting to the extreme weather shift, plus we were in full gear and our packs were heavy and stifling and we were sweating.
Sobel paced in front of us and eyed us up and down for a few seconds, as though we were supposed to have come back magically laden with huge muscles and great stamina. Nope. We were all exhausted and sweating and really, really pissed off that we hadn't had any water to drink in God knows how long it had been.
"Lieutenant Winters, I want canteens out of belts with the caps unscrewed," Sobel said. I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me I was about to hate him even more, if that was even possible.
"Easy Company, canteens out and open."
"On my command, they will pour the contents onto the ground."
"On the CO's order, you will upend your canteen."
I turned the open canteen upside down and when I saw all that beautiful, sparkling, life-giving, thirst-quenching water come pouring out to splatter uselessly so the dirt could soak it up, I felt murderous. Dehydrating me and forcing me to march twelve miles for nothing but his own stupid ideas of what physical fitness is—
I did my best to not look at the seeming river coming out of my canteen. It just served to make me more mad and more thirsty and at that point, it was hard telling the difference between the two because they were both related.
Sobel paced in front of us, watching this display with something akin to a sick kind of glee. Then his eye caught on something in my direction and my breath hitched, afraid that I'd done something wrong or he'd heard about that joke I had told at his expense and had decided to punish me for it in front of the men or — even worse — he'd found out about me or spotted something different about me and he was marching straight for me and my heart practically stopped beating and—
He went straight past me to the man behind me in the ranks and I almost sighed I was so relieved.
"Private Christenson! Why is there no water in your canteen? You drank from your canteen, didn't you?"
Oh, shut the fuck up, Sobel. Drinking water is hardly a mortal sin.
"Sir, I was—"
And then Sobel made a huge deal out of asking Lieutenant Winters whether or not he'd specifically told everyone to not drink out of their canteens for that night's march, creating a big spectacle and just being overly dramatic in general just because one guy had gotten dehydrated and drank some water from his canteen like a normal human being, and—
"Private Christenson, you disobeyed a direct order. You will fill your canteen and repeat all twelve miles of the march immediately!"
As Christenson hurried to do exactly what Sobel had told him to, I lowered my canteen, which, by this time, had run out of water.
Sobel marched back to the front of the company, pointing to the ground where he wanted Winters to stand and started talking to him. Well, maybe not talking to him. More like talking at him. I didn't exactly strain my ears to hear it, but I automatically assumed that Sobel was blaming Winters for literally everything possible. That happened a lot, more than actually realistic. I had a suspicion that Winters hated Sobel even more than the rest of us did and was just either too polite or too self-controlled to let it show.
We were dismissed. I went to bed after a very long shower.
The next day was Saturday, but since we'd all had our weekend passes taken away earlier in the week for some stupid "infraction," Sobel decided we would run Currahee and — for the first time in what felt like forever — we were just in our PT gear, not in our full kit and caboodle. I was running next to George and I just kept thinking about the night before and how ridiculous it was that Sobel was doing this to us and physically torturing us on purpose, what with the dehydration and everything. Poor Christenson was so bent out of shape that he was struggling running Currahee in just his PT gear and it had been a while since we'd actually sincerely struggled with that, especially since our muscles were really starting to develop and our lungs were getting used to being so active.
I decided that I needed a little bit of revenge. For my sake and for Christenson and for everybody else. We just needed some good old-fashioned revenge.
So I waited until the boys piped up into one of the usual marching songs.
"George," I said, as quietly as I could, which wasn't that quiet. "Are you up for humiliating Sobel a little?"
"Any day," he said, matching my tone.
I told him my idea. He grinned.
"Alright," he agreed. "Split off little by little and then give me the signal."
Slowly, very slowly, I started to veer away from him and I let a few guys come between us, slowing down until I was somewhere near the back of the group. There were always three groups of runners and Sobel always ran in front of the second and behind the first for most of the three miles up. We were only about halfway through, so he was still in his usual position.
George glanced back at me as discretely as he possibly could and I gave him a thumbs up. And just then, the marching ditty ended and there was a very pregnant pause. Suddenly, there was a wolf whistle — George — and a voice that definitely didn't belong to anyone in Easy Company — also George — yelled, "Captain Sobel's got some nice girly legs."
Sobel nearly tripped over himself. He stopped in his tracks and looked around wildly.
"Who said that?" He demanded, obviously taken aback and quite frankly furious at the blatant disrespect. "Who the hell said that?" Everyone else just kept running. We knew not to stop when he stopped.
I waited until we were past him so he couldn't see who was talking to him and I tried to pitch my voice deeper than usual and I slipped into a Jersey accent I'd learned from a kid at primary school and I yelled, "Hey, Cap'n Sobel, wanna come to the movies with me this weekend? I need a nice girl on my arm."
Sobel was fuming. I could tell by the way his voice cracked when he demanded to know who was talking.
Then, quite unexpectedly, there was another wolf whistle from the third group and then another proposition from the group ahead of me and suddenly there were pick-up lines and whistles shooting at Sobel so fast, he couldn't even yell anymore.
Project Humiliation was an even better success than I'd imagined it would be. I sped up just enough to catch back up to George before Sobel would notice we were ever apart and we just grinned at each other. Running Currahee suddenly didn't seem so hard.
Sobel's face was priceless. He couldn't court-martial all of us and there was no way to be sure which of us had actually done anything, but we already knew for sure that there was no way we were getting weekend passes for a very long time and our PT was about to be even more grueling and our cabins were going to be very thoroughly searched and most of our stuff was going to be deemed contraband and taken away from us, since that was the only real control Sobel had over us.
It was all worth it anyway.
And from that day on, Sobel never wore his PT shorts in front of us ever again. He always wore his olive green uniform trousers, even though we were running Currahee and at that point it was still the middle of the summer.
Revenge was sweet.