John Porter Drabble

Events in these two small pieces take place in the same alternate timeline as presented in the "So I Met John Porter…" series. I'm trying to develop the friendship between John and Dariush a little bit. All previous disclaimers apply.

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He and Dariush had created and studied insertion and extraction plans, checked their equipment, caught up on their kids and girlfriends, and talked shop. Now they watched the helicopter's shadow whipping over the arid landscape beneath them in silence. They were still forty minutes out.

"What squadron is that?" D's voice startled him out of a near doze.

"Excuse me, sir?" the copilot replied.

Dariush reached into the cockpit and poked at the patch on the pilot's shoulder, a lightning bolt of rainbow colors shooting from a small cloud.

"That's an unofficial patch, Rainbow Dash."

John looked quizzical. D. looked absurdly incredulous, "Christ, my daughter watches that show." D's daughter was nine.

"What show?"

"My Little Pony: magic friends…something."

"What?" Well-known cartoon characters had been making appearances on American uniforms since World War II, but this was a bit beyond the pale.

"Do not piss of a Brony in mid-air, gentleman," the pilot warned, "or you will find yourself walking to your insertion point."

The two Englishmen mouthed at each other, "Brony?" but shut up.

Times, they are a changing.

"Danger Mouse," D. said quietly, holding out his fist.

"Hush, Penfold." John replied, bumping D's fist with his own.

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"You ducked out of there pretty fast the other day, buddy."

John sighed inwardly at the word that came all too frequently from Scott's mouth. In Afghanistan they had been less friends than partners, tapped by ISAF C&C to interface between Latif and their respective special forces. Spending extended periods of time with an American so stereotypically loud, egotistical, and, worst of all, sloppy was like fingernails on a chalkboard. For the most part Layla kept them on separate assignments, but social occasions, like the lads meeting for a round, it was impossible to avoid him. John polished off his pint. "Had places to be."

"Did you make it home before she ripped your pants off?" Scott asked. MI-6 had held a small Armistice commemoration. Families and S.O.s had been invited to attend long with the usual dignitaries. As the resident military group, Section 20 had taken point in the ceremony in their No. 1 kit. John had been sorry Alex was overseas, but glad Kip had been able to attend and see a little of the life he could not normally share. Scott chuckled. "Gotta love working that uniform angle, and your lady? Red up top, fire in the hole!"

John let the stony silence across the table drag out.

"I didn't know the Yanks were recruiting straight out of year nine." Dariush remarked dryly. John said nothing, watching Scott stammer out his apologies. Stonebridge's eyes seemed smile a bit as he let his partner twist in the wind. Hard to read young sergeant Stonebridge. He seemed to have a stick up his arse, but then how did he put up with Scott?

"Your round, Casanova." John nodded at his glass to complete Scott's dressing down.

After Scott left the table, John's eyes met D.'s and they both broke into grins, "She actually felt little bad about it, what with the day and all."

"Did you tell her most of the poor sods would have been cheering you on?"

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