'Gosh dang this heat!' thought Percell, tossing restlessly in his sweat dampened bunk, wondering if he'd ever sleep between crisp cool sheets again.
He propped himself up on an elbow, punched his pillow into a different mis-shapened lump and flopped back down feeling the momentarily cooled dampness before it heated back up to his body temperature.
He lay there listening to the men around him. Most of them, he thought, were managing to ignore the furnace their barracks had become. He listened to the shifting and rustling in the dark.
He craned his neck hearing the plastic clicking of Doc's glasses as he fumbled for them and put them on as he sat up.
"Doc?" he called in a raspy whisper.
"Can't sleep either, huh?"
"Too hot, man." Doc's answer was muffled in the t-shirt he was pulling over his head to wipe the sweat from his face.
"What time is it?"
"D'know, ‘bout 3, I guess." shrugged Hockenbury weakly, love beads and dog tags rattling gently in the dark. . .
"That's it. I'm going for a shower." decided Percell, rising gracefully from his bunk in one muscle rippling move.
He snatched up a towel and headed for the door.
"Mind some company, Danny?" asked Doc nervously.
"Suit yerself, Doc." he shot back not breaking his stride as he pushed through the door.
In the shadows of his bunk, Alberto, unable to sleep either, turned a knowing smile to Marcus who nodded in silent agreement as Hockenbury grabbed a towel and followed Percell outside. The two understood the feelings Doc and Percell were having.
Percell draped his towel over the chest-high wall and stepped absently out of his skivvies.
Doc lay his towel a self conscious distance from Danny's and slowly peeled off his own boxers. A smile spread across his face as he watched Percell slump happily under the cascading water. His eyes traveled over the man's magnificent physique, lingered a moment on his groin.
"Aaahhh, Doc, this is great!" growled Percell, making Doc jump with guilt.
"Is it?" he chuckled nervously, grabbing his own faucet chain. the tepid water ran down his body, a cluster of goose pimples danced across his arms and belly.
"Uh, how's that bruise these days?" asked Doc, glancing at Percell who'd latched his fingers around the neck of the shower nozzle and had his face directly under the spray.
Squinting through rivulets of water, Percell met Doc's eye.
"Okay, I guess," he looked down at the fading bruise on his chest and turned a little to expose his pec to the medic, "I still get a little stiff across the shoulder though."
"You, Danny Percell, need a good massage."
"Couldn't hurt." shrugged Doc.
The two men were quiet for a stretch.
" . . . You any good at them massages, Doc?" asked Percell.
"Me? . . . Hell, these hands are registered in 3 counties." he grinned at Percell, imagining what those muscles would feel like under his long fingers. To feel that body slick with sweat and oil.
"Whaddaya thinkin' about, Doc?" asked Percell noticing the dreamy smile on Hockenbury's angelic face.
"Uh . . ! Nothing, Danny. Nothing." answered Francis turning away and stepping under the streaming water, not able to meet the man's eye.
Percell watched Doc raise long slender fingers to his head. Watched as they slicked back the blonde hair gone dark with wet. Watched the rivulets of water find their way down Hockenbury's tapered neck, narrow back, wash over the small firm cheeks of his bottom, to draw trails down the golden hair on his legs.
"You really that good at massages, Doc?" ventured Percell.
"Uh, well, y'wanna, maybe give ‘me' one?" asked Danny, nervously swallowing a sudden dryness from his throat.
Doc turned around and peered into the fiery ice of Danny's blue eyes.
"Yes." Hockenbury answered with a smile, anticipating the feel of those muscles beneath his nimble fingers.
"What do I have to do?" asked Danny.
"Uh . . . just stand there and try to relax."
Danny stepped from under the shower and settled himself facing Doc in a sort of at-ease stance with his arms hanging loosely at his sides. He took a last look at Doc and closed his eyes.
Doc stared at the Mid-western Adonis before him and thought he might be suddenly too nervous to touch him. But slowly he lathered up a bar of soap, substituting it for the oils he would have preferred to use.
He moved soapy hands across Percell's chest, pressing the heel of his palm into the flesh. He could feel the muscles ripple and jump beneath his touch. He continued with slow steady movements, feeling Percell begin to relax beneath his hands.
He slid outwards across the broad chest then down over the arms. Repeating the motion smoothly and evenly, getting a low moan from Danny who seemed unaware of his audible display of pleasure.
Doc slid his fingers down over Danny's hands, rubbing his thumb into the palms, pressing deeply and repeatedly. Curled his fingers around Danny's blunt ones, he felt the stiffness fall away with little clicks and pops as it released the taut tendons and bones from its grip.
Doc's soapy fingers wrapped around Danny's thick wrists before gliding back up the hardened forearms, up the mountainous biceps. Slid quietly back over the broad shoulders back down over his chest.
As Doc massaged Danny's chest, he leaned in close, concentrating on the job, kneading and plying the stiff slabs of muscle. Suddenly, Danny was tilting Doc's face to his and kissing him on the mouth, taking a handful of Doc's hair in his hand to hold him there as his tongue invited itself into Doc's soft welcoming mouth. Percell kissed him deep and long. As he did so, his other hand circled Doc's thin waist and pulled him against his hard body.
They parted slowly, silently, both a little breathless from the experience. Danny freed his hand from Doc's hair to curl around the nape of Doc's slender neck, stood forehead to forehead with him. Neither of them spoke.
Doc stared into Percell's eyes, seeing for the first time, the raw lust in their arctic depths. Seeing Danny wanting him, needing him as much as he needed Danny. He slid his slippery hand down the smooth hard muscles of Danny's chest. His fingers moved down Percell's washboard stomach, lingered a moment at the edge of his pubic hair as Danny's vice-like grip came down on his wrist stopping his progress.
"It's okay, Danny." Doc gave him a twitchy shy smile before Danny would release his wrist.
Doc continued to peer into the fiery ice of Danny's blue eyes and watched his expression change as he circled his member with his long tapered fingers, rubbing circles with his thumb around its head.
Danny's grip tightened at the nape of Doc's neck as he responded to the touch. He squeezed his eyes shut and groaned as Doc's soapy hand began to move along his swelling penis.
"Oh, God, . . . yes." sighed Percell, laying his head on Doc's shoulder, nuzzling Doc's neck.
Doc looked up into the sky, his eyes going wide as he watched the trip flare reach its highest point and begin its eerie silent decent.
His sharp whisper brought Danny's head up off his shoulder.
"Look." he pointed unnecessarily at the falling ball of light.
"Something's set off a trip flare." said Danny as a second then a third were tripped.
"Shit! Charlie's moving in! Go get the Sarg!!" yelled Danny shoving Doc into action and making a half-assed attempt at getting some of the soap off him before jumping into his skivvies and pounding across the packed dirt of the camp himself to get back to the barracks and alert the men.
"Sarg! VC! Flares! Sarg!" squawked the winded Doc as he hammered at his NCO's hootch door.
"Taylor! Ruiz, Johnson!! Movement on the wire! Trip flares!" hollered Percell yanking the barracks door open and charging in to retrieve his gun.
The other men were up and grabbing for their weapons before they were fully awake.
"Percell? What the hell . . ." started an irritated Taylor just as a round struck not too far from their hootch.
Taylor, in skivvies, and that's it, grabbed his pot, plunked it snugly onto his head and ran for the door. The rest, in similar states of undress were right behind him.
The sappers successfully inflicted casualties and damages as intended and those quick enough slipped back into the dense jungle returned to their people with tales of their brave deeds, others not so fortunate still hung suspended in the death grip of the perimeter concertina wire. The razor sharp teeth biting deeply into their now cold flesh, suspending them in grizzly marionette poses.
The unit gathered its dead, treated its wounded and slipped back into a nervous sleep, all fearing a second wave. The fear gradually subsided in the barracks and trenches as the enlisted men worked at processing the exploding madness just tossed in their laps.
Team Viking crawled back into their hootch, weapons discarded carelessly on the floor, all quietly dropping into their bunks, too wiped out to talk.
Doc lay staring blankly at the ceiling. Listened to the sounds of the aftermath outside. Listened to the sounds of the men around him struggling back into their personal corners of sleep. He turned his head on his pillow, found Danny's shadowy shape stretched out on his own bunk. He smiled remembering.
Doc pleasured Danny Percell that night in the sweltering heat, in the middle of the crazy war, in a way that Percell would never forget. Would even come to depend on and crave.
Doc also taught Danny Percell how to do the same for him in that sweltering heat, in the middle of the crazy war, in a way that Percell didn't know he could.