Hello, everyone. Long time no post. I decided I wanted to start posting again, so I am going to start with this story from last July. It happens to be what is sometimes called "flash fiction", a slice of life under 500 words. It is complete, and these characters have no more to say to me. I will probably update with another short story within the next couple of weeks, and I hope to start another serial sometime next month. Thanks to everyone still reading what I write, and I hope you enjoy.

Jackson snorts. "What the fuck are you wearing?" he asks, laughing.

Rick just looks at him. "Army uniform," he says at last, unnecessarily.

It takes a moment for Jackson to understand. "No," he says when he finally does. "What are you doing? You weren't even drafted."

"I enlisted," Rick says. "I ship out tomorrow morning."

"You can't," Jackson protests desperately, the laughter gone and his voice growing softer.

"Jackie," Rick says quietly, and Jackson doesn't like it when Rick calls him that, but he doesn't bother to protest. "The commies have already taken Russia, China, and part of Korea. You know we have to stop them in Vietnam, because if we don't, we're next."

"I know," Jackson says miserably. Rick reaches up and puts his hand on the nape of Jackson's neck, stroking up and down with his thumb. It gives Jackson goosebumps, but he tries to look like it doesn't affect him at all in that way.

"It won't take that long," Rick pipes up, and it takes a moment for Jackson to recall the thread of conversation. "We'll just get in there, show them who's boss, and get out." He glances around to make sure they won't get caught, and moves closer. "I'll be back before you know it, Jackie. I promise."

Jackson closes his eyes, leaning into Rick's touch. "Tomorrow morning?" he whispers, once the urge to cry has passed.

Rick nods, and then clears his throat and follows with a quiet, "Yes." He looks down at Jackson, a question hidden in his dark eyes, as he waits for a reaction. Jackson opens his eyes.

"Maybe you should take off your uniform, then," Jackson nearly whispers. "There's not enough time to clean it if it gets dirty."

Rick nods again, and this time, Jackson thinks his eyes look a little moist.

They kiss, and then Rick starts to remove his uniform. Jackson helps.