Rating: T
Genre: angst
Warning: references to war and violence, language.
Spoilers: none
Prompts: drabbles100: 018. green
Word count: 500

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime."
Ernest Hemingway

It didn't happen all the time, and Richard was glad because it scared the shit out of him. It always did, it always will, just as much as the first time.

It had been silence to wake him up. Milo had the loudest snore Rick had ever heard and the walls on Milo's tiny bedroom made it echo endlessly. But Rick was used to sleeping with some background noise (be it the rush of the ER or just the television) and, whenever Milo left the room, he could tell the difference, even in his sleep.

That night, there was no snoring. There was nothing, not even the sound of his breath.

With a lazy movement, he turned on his back and found Milo staring at the ceiling quietly, as if the shadows that the faltering street lamp projected through the window were a fascinating painting. His thick fingers were crossed over his chest and his whole body felt stiff, as if he were too scared to move.

Rick called his name and Milo turned slowly so he could meet his eyes, burning green under the glow of the yellow street lamp. Only, they weren't of the bright color of grass any longer. They were something different. Something like the green of a wild Asian jungle and they were not beautiful, but dark and deep, endless.

Once, Rick had asked him about war and Milo had tried to explain it. But now, for a split second, Rick can actually see it, the mud and the blood mixing up with death inside his eyes, and he feared the eyes he loved so much wouldn't come back. That Milo would stare at him with the memory of battlefields shining empty and insane forever.

But Milo blinked once and it was gone.

Rick felt his heart returning to a regular beat once he heard him say, "Hi."

"Hi." Rick answered, realizing he had been holding his breath.

He watched Milo go quiet, uncross his fingers slowly, then frown, searching for a long lost answer. His mouth opened, but he allowed his chin to hang loose a moment before he finally found the words, that came out in a groggy and almost timid voice, "I think I had a bad dream. But I can't remember."

Rick sighed, relieved, "Good. That's good."

Something flashed inside Milo's eyes. "I think someone explod-"

Rick rushed to shush him - he didn't wanna hear that, he was not going to hear that. "Come here, Big Guy." And pulled him to his shoulder, making sure to hold him tight against himself. To feel him fall asleep slowly and the heaviness of his head against his shoulder was somehow comforting, but Rick could not go back to sleep that night.

It is not a recurring thing. It just happens, and it's less and less each year. But the flash of that Asian jungle that invades his mind in rare occasions and reaches into his eyes still gave Richard a cold chill.