[ john wayne and eddie ]

by lt. mac

"Just leave it, Corporal. Get your sorry ass over here, right now!"

barked Goldman losing his temper with the new recruit. Fumbling with his belongings, Cpl. Trotter, stumbled his way over to the Lt., nearly colliding with him.

"Sir, yes sir." he squealed, saluting.

Goldman backed away looking down his nose at the kid's name tag. "Corporal.. Trotter, is it? What is all this crap doing scattered all over the place like this?"

"Bag broke open, sir." he panted nervously. Goldman screwed up his face and looked away.

"All right. Get it cleaned up and get settled in. Welcome to the Nam, kid." Goldman turned and strode away before the soldier could speak.

"Lt. Got a minute."

"Walk with me, I'm on my way in to see the Major."

"Yes, sir." Anderson fell in step beside Goldman.

"What's up, Sargent?"

"Well, sir. I was jus' wondering what you had in mind for your R'n'R."

Goldman returned a passing salute before answering. "Hadn't given it much thought, Zeke. Why?"

"Well, sir, don't get me wrong now. I just think you should get away from this war for a good 72 hours. Get away from the stink of this place."

"Too much paperwork, sargent."

"You shouldn't be spending your r'n'r working on paperwork."

"Goes with the bars, Anderson."

"I hear you, sir."

"What are you going to get yourself into for three days?"

"Clean my weapon. Wash some socks."

"That's where that's coming from." he teased, grinning as he glanced down at Anderson's boots.
"Tell you what. I'll go and see what Darling wants and we'll get together and kill a bottle of whiskey I've been neglecting." suggested Goldman.

"It's a deal." nodded Anderson.

A sharp rap rattled the door.


Anderson stepped into the Lt.'s hootch.
"Pour yourself a tall one." he said holding up his own full glass as an example.

"Thought any more about that R&R, Lt.?"

"Actually, I have." he grinned at Anderson.

"I'm all ears, Lt" he shrugged excitedly looking forward to time off with the Lt.

"Here's the plan; we head into Sin City, get good and drunk and get ourselves a couple of tattoos."

"Tattoos?" Anderson just looked at him.

"Not what you had in mind?"

"Well sir, now that you ask . . . "

"Okay, okay, how 'bout this; we find ourselves a respectable bathhouse, soak in a hot bath for like 5 hours then have a little geisha walk all over our bodies."

"Geishas are Japanese, sir."

"We'll pay them to pretend." shrugged Goldman.

"Hot bath and a massage. That's too hard to pass up."

"Let's go sign out a jeep." said Myron before downing the last of the drink.

The sights and sounds of Sin City surrounded them as they made their way through the milling crowd. Myron screwed his cap tightly down on his head, the brim dipping down to shade his expressive brown eyes.

"So, which bar do we hit first?" he asked and casually slung an arm around Zeke's shoulder.

"One that don't water the drinks down too much." said Zeke turning a happy grin on Myron.

"In Sin City?" laughed Goldman, gently shoving Anderson in the direction of the closest bar.

A little Vietnamese man with only one arm watched as the two American soldiers came into the bar and instinctively sought out a table in a corner where they both could have their backs to a wall. They eased themselves down into their chairs and instantly had bar 'chickies' climbing into their laps.

"Sorry, not tonight darlin', find yourself another soldier." discouraged Zeke hoisting two girls off him at once. He snorted at the look on Myron's face who was having his ear licked.

"That was nice, but some other time maybe. Dee-dee." he finally said sending the walking tongue on her way.

"I think I'll need a cold shower, not a hot bath." he groaned dramatically, rolling his own eyes and wiping at his ear.

"I bring you drinks, G.I. okay?" chimed the little man shuffling up to their table.

"Beer." ordered Zeke.

"Beer." mumbled Myron around a cigarette.

"Ah, I bring you drink stronger than that."

Myron shot an amused look at Zeke. Then squinted up at the man through a cloud of exhaled smoke.

"Yeah? Why's that?"

"Cause you strong, brave American G.I. You drink whiskey like John Wayne."

"Like John Wayne, huh?" he flashed a dimpled grin at Zeke.

"Like John Wayne." the little man nodded repeatedly.

"All right, bring John Wayne and Wyatt Earp two whiskey." he shouted hoarsely over the bar's din, pointing at Zeke and then himself. The little man zipped away.

"Wyatt Earp?"

"Yeah, a cowboy hero, didn't he always get his man?"

"I thought that was the Canadian Mounties, Lt." teased Zeke, enjoying seeing the Lt. letting his hair down.

"Okay then, I'm Nelson Eddie. You wanna play Jeanette MacDonald?"

"If'n it was an order I would , Lt."

A look lingered between them.

"Here, G.I. John Wayne. These plenty good. You see."

Myron threw a couple of Army dollars on the tray and took the drinks. The little man bowed gratefully as Myron held his drink out and handed the other to Zeke.

"A toast."

"A toast." parrotted Anderson, clicking his glass to Myron's.

"A toast to what?"

"A toast to . . . John Wayne." declared Anderson.

"To John Wayne." laughed Goldman in agreement.

They uup ended their drinks and slammed the empty glasses on the table together with a gasp.

"I'll go get us a couple of beers" offered Anderson.

"Each." called Goldman as Zeke thread he way through the crowd. Myron smiled as he watched Zeke interact and cajole with the other soldiers on he way. Zeke was a good friend. Hell, he was his best friend. Myron had never really let anyone get as close to him as Zeke had. He never cared for anyone as much as he did for that man heading back to him with 6 beers clutched in those battle calloused hands of his.

"These ought to keep us outta trouble of a while." grunted Anderson as he sat down.

"Or at least get some started." said Goldman grabbing a bottle by the neck. He watched Zeke's happy face before raising the bottle to his lips.

"Now, Lt., I don't mean no disrespect here, y'unnerstan', but why in the world would 'you' wanna get yourself a tattoo?" he asked shaking his head.

"Little souvenir of the war?" grinned the Lt., seeing the puzzled look.

"All right, that's a fair answer, Lt., my next question is where, no disrespect, you gonna get it put 'exactly'?"

"None taken. Don't know Sargent. . . where would you suggest?" he levelled a penetrating gaze at the soldier.

"Well, Lt., I don't rightly know."

"Let me rephrase that; where would 'you' like to see one, on me . . . ?"

Myron looked away leaving the question hanging between them. Zeke stared at the Lt. a moment. Maybe these here drinks weren't watered down after all. He took a deep swallow of beer before speaking.

"Well sir, it would look mighty fine on that little buttocks of yours."

Myron laughed approvingly.
"Which cheek?" he flashed a self conscious dimpled grin at him.

"The left of course."

"Of course." he nodded in agreement. He finished off his first beer and started on his second.

Zeke sat back relaxing, smiling to himself. Imagining that little round ass with a tatto.
'My, my'.

"Papasan!" called Myron waving the little man over.

"What, G.I. John Wayne?"

"Papasan, Nelson Eddie and Jeanette Macdonald here need to find clean hot bath. You find?" asked Myron.

Zeke sat silently with a shy grin on his face.

The little papasan didn't have a clue who Nelson Eddie or Jeanette Macdonald were but he understood bath.

"Got just the place for you, 'eddie', come, come."

Taking their beer with them, Sgt. Anderson and Lt. Goldman followed the little man from the bar.

"This is gonna be great." purred Goldman and elbowed Anderson gently as the stepped out into the sunlight.

They hesitated just inside the door letting their eyes adjust to the darkness. Cushions and rugs served as furniture. A few other G.I's on r&r were lounging about imbibing accordingly. Scantily clad women casually wandered around adding to the extremely relaxed atmosphere.

"John Wayne and 'eddie', come in." called the little man, inviting them deeper into the den. Motioning them to follow him through a sliding door.

Anderson and Goldman stepped into the shadowy room feeling their sweat begin to flow. In the far corner stood a generously stocked bar. Shelves of towels stood to the side of the bar. Invitingly, in the middle of the room sat a huge tub with plenty of room for the two to stretch weary limbs in. Above the tub hung a dish where a smoldering incense cone sat filling the room with an intoxicating fragrance. Zeke smiled lazily, imagining the watery heat enveloping their naked bodies as he watched tendrils of steam rise from the tub's black surface. He looked over at Myron and they smiled at one another.

"Papasan. This is beaucoup good." smiled Goldman.

"You want lady, wash?"

Anderson glanced quickly at the Lt.

"No, papasan. No women. Here, now go."

Myron gave the old man a wad of money and ushered him out the door, sliding it shut behind him.

Myron didn't move right away. Was Zeke feeling what he was? He needed to gather his thoughts, think this through. Yes, he knew they both wanted this. Zeke was an incredible guy. He didn't know if it was the war making them want this but he knew he felt totally okay about it. He hoped Zeke did too. Gawd, it's Zeke, who wouldn't. He felt a sudden stirring as an image of Zeke with Percell together came to his mind. Straightening, he turned around. Zeke stood there watching him. Watching him the way he did, with head bowed, giving him that hooded gaze of an eagle about to devour its prey.
Slowly discarding his shirt Goldman moved silently towards Anderson, until they stood only inches apart and only then did he look up into Zeke's face, seeing the same raw wanting he felt. Leaning forward, hesitating a moment then moving in again, he closed his eyes dreamily and gently kissed Zeke's delicious waiting lips.
Their arms circled one another comfortably as their tongues explored hungrily. They broke away from the kiss both a little breathless, neither sure what to say. They stood there arms around each other, forehead to forehead.

"Myron . . .?" Zeke hesitated a moment.

"Don't stop . .Zeke." Myron whispered hoarsely lifting his smoldering eyes to meet Zeke's.

Zeke took the young lieutenant's face gently in his hands and closed his mouth down on his again giving into his hunger.

"Gawd, I want you." he murmurred against Lt.'s soft mouth as Myron worked at Zeke's shirt, fingers fumbling with the buttons.

Myron slowly pulled Zeke's shirt tails free and slid his hands down his stomach and began working the belt loose. Zeke groaned as Myron's excited fingers fumbled about.

"Sorry." Lt. breathed softly.

"'S okay . . . it feels good." came Zeke's own breathy answer as he licked and nibbled at Myron's jaw.

"Zeke, . . . Zeke."

"Yes? . . . Lt?" he answered busy nibbling his way down the young man's neck.

"Listen, uh, we should get out of these fatigues . . ."

Zeke's eyes sparkled as he bent to the task of getting his boots off.

Stripped down to his skivies, Zeke toed a boot out of the way and joined Myron, also still in military issued boxers, who sat on the bench beside the tub. Grinning happily, he leaned over and gave Myron a quick peck on the corner of his mouth. Myron looked at him lazily, giving him one of his dimpled grins that went straight to his heart.
The steam rising from the water behind them licked at their backs leaving beads of moisture on their naked flesh.

"I'm going in . . ."decided Myron, standing and hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his skivies. " . . . care to join me?"

He eased the boxers off over narrow hips and small round buttocks. Zeke took in the younger man's lank physique admiring the long defined thigh muscles, the firm, well shaped bottom, nicely dimpled and as smooth as a baby's. Ah to be the tattoo that ends up there. He peeked at the taut flat belly with the sprinkling of hair that lead down to--

"G.I. John Wayne, G.I. Eddie!"

The little papasan's raspy voice penetrated their sanctuary as he rattled at the door. Myron turned away pulling his boxers back on as the door slid open enough for the little man to stick his head in.

"Papasan?" Zeke came to his feet seeing the worried look on the little Vietnamese's face.

"G.I. John Wayne, you go now. Come back later."

Zeke looked at Myron, who was reaching for his clothes.

"Big trouble, Papasan?" asked the Lt. pulling on a pant leg, not liking the look on the old man's face either.

"You go." was all he would say between nervous glances over his shoulder.

Zeke began throwing his clothes on too, deeply regretting this untimely interruption as he watched the Lt. cross to the door and peek out the narrow opening into the main room. It was completely deserted.

"Something's going down." said the Lt. dropping to a knee to lace his boots. Movement from the front entrance caught his eye. A party of five shady looking characters strutted their way into the place.

Myron twisted in his crouch and flattened himself against the sliding door and reached for his gun. Gone. His gun and holster lay across the room on the floor beside Zeke's. He bit his lip to keep from calling out as he watched Zeke finish tying his boots, rise and freeze. The little Papasan was looking at him with regret and behind him stood the five thugs, glaring at him, each man carrying his weapon of choice. Anderson forced himself not to look in the Lt.'s direction and tip off the gangsters that there was another person in the room. He raised his out at his sides palms forward in a surrendering gesture.

The little papasan jumped , terrified, when the apparent leader of the motley crew barked at him.

"He say you come out. Go on knees."

After another string of orders, Papasan turned to Zeke.

"You put hands on head."
Very slowly, Zeke did as he was told.
With Adam's apple working, swallowing hard, Myron frantically glanced around the room for any other escape routes, any closer weapons, and avoided watching the Sargent make his way across the room. Goldman chanced a quick side-long glance at the frightened little man. Their eyes met for a moment and then Zeke was there stepping through the door between them. Both the Lt. and the Papasan jumped when another string of unrecognizable words flew. The little one armed man began to slowly push the door further open. As he did so he looked down at Goldman with terror in his eyes. The Lt. shook his head and gestured frantically for the frightened little man to stop looking at him.

"Lt.! Lo. . ." Zeke's warning was cut off.

Goldman turned, pushed off and dove for the pistols. His fingers wrapped desparately around a holster as he felt the cold barrel of a gun press threateningly at the base of his skull. He lay where he was, slowly withdrawing his hand.

Cpl. Trotter blindly followed his buddies along to the next bar, praying they's quench their thirst soon. He wouldn't die on patrol, he thought, he'd die from liver failure first.
The early evening sky was clear and pink around the edges. The street was buzzing with excitement, news seemed to be moving up and down the street like a brush fire. Service men around him seemed agitated.


"What, and it's Roo, man."

"What's going on?"

"Someone's saying that there are a couple of G.I.'s being held hostage by a bunch of drug runners."

"Really? Where?" his interest piqued.

"Some opium den past the Beaucoup Bar, I think."

"Past the . . . ? Opium Den?" Trotter mumbled to no one in particular as he craned his neck to get his barings.

"Hey, Alb, . . Roo, why don't we go take a look?"

"Nah, probably some bullshit story some grunt's made up cause he lost at poker or something."

"Oh. . . . . Say, has anyone seen Lieutenant Goldman?"

"Not since this afternoon back at base, why?"

"Did anybody say who the hostages were?"

"Give it a rest man. The press is already covering it, all right?" bitched Taylor, wondering who invited this newbie along on this pub crawl.

"It's just that . . ."

"No. Trotter, it's just nothing, okay? it's just about us drinking and nothing else, okay."

"But I saw . . ." Taylor's glare silenced him.

"Ease up on him Taylor, will ya." piped up Percell, defending the talkative cherry.

"What's got your shorts in a knot, Trotter?"

"Well, um, I saw the Lieutenant and that Sargent Anderson going into a bar back there."

"What?" Johnson turned and looked at the kid.

"I saw them earlier. They're here, in town. Down there." he pointed over Johnson's shoulder.

"Show me where exactly, Trotter." said Percell taking the kid by the arm.

Zeke made a wabbly tackle attempt at the thug that had thunked him across the side of the head when Myron let out a pained yelp from the other room. He knocked the smaller man sidways, taking out a table and its chairs on their way to the floor. They struggled in the rubble before another of the thugs stepped in and clubbed Anderson in the head and sent him sprawling.
The little man Zeke had tackled scrambled to his feet seething and leveled his pistol at Zeke's head.
Zeke's little papasan screamed in protest and leapt between the shooter and Zeke as the gun discharged.

The crowd milling about in the streed dove for cover or scattered like frightened pigeons before an oncoming car when the shot rang out.

Percell shoved Trotter behind him instinctively protecting the innocent. Johnson and Taylor exchanged big-eyed looks. Ruis and Hockenberry ducked in reflex.

"ZeeeeeKKKKee!!!" screamed Goldman hearing the report.

Anderson lay beneath the little man who'd taken the bullet ment for him. A small entry hole in his forhead dribbled blood. Zeke's face and chest were covered with bits of bone, blood and brains from what was now a dripping cavern where the back of the little man's head used to be.
He narrowed rage-filled eyes at the gunman, jaw muscles twitching. The growing rucus coming from the tub room distracted all of them. Goldman and his watcher tumbled from the room in a stangle of arms and legs, fists flying. Myron was visibly getting the upper hand and when he spotted Zeke covered in blood, his hands closed in the man's throat and squeezed.

"Lt.!" yelled Anderson as a rifle butt was raised.

With a grunt, Myron dropped like a rock. The man squirmed out from under his dead weight and kicked at him repeatedly in anger.

"Hey!!." yelled the sarg., easing the little papasan's body to the floor. "Stopit!! Stop it!!!" he screamed getting to his knees. The barrel of the rifle was levelled at his face.

One of the runners positioned at the door as a look-out began blurting out something in rapid-fire jibberish Zeke had no way of following. All he knew was that it made the rest of them very nervous.
The one with the rifle held on Anderson motioned him sharply to his feet. He grabbed Zeke's arm and kept the gun trained on him as he pulled him over to the doorway.
A ring of jeeps faced the Den. An assortment of m.p.'s and g.i.'s were positioned around the building with weapons drawn.

"Don't fire!" called Zeke as his captor, using him as a human shield, eased into the doorway.

"Don't shoot." he repeated as half a dozen guns were levelled and cocked.

"Where you hit, Sarge?" called an M.P.

"It's not my blood."

The gun man squawked in Vietnamese at the crowd. A small voice answered and a little toothless old lady worked her way to the front of the crowd. The crowd watched as the gun man yelled at her making wild agitated gestures.
A long fingered hand came down on the woman's boney shoulder and a Johnny MacKay's velvety voice spoke politely into her ear.

"Mamasan. What is he saying?"

She looked up at Johnny's worried face.

Percell and Ruis boogied down a litter scattered side street between the Beaucoup Bar and The Hot Noodle House to get to the back alley that ran behind the buildings. Taylor and Johnson ran off and approached from the other end of the alley. Doc agreed to babysit Trotter behind the jeep line.
Advancing slowly at a crouch Percell and Ruis reached the back corner of the Den and chanced a glance inside through a bamboo covered window. They could only see into the storage area and not any of the public rooms. Johnson and Taylor arrived, silently going into a crouch beside the other two. With eye contact and hand signals they communicated their plan.
As Johnson reached in and held aside the bamboo blind, Percell and Taylor lifted little Ruis up and through the window, easing him down into the room.

Ruis squatted a moment below the window letting his eyes adjust to the shadows as Johnson lowered the blind back into place. He pulled his revolver from his belt and checked the chamber. He rose, silently crossed to the door and lay an ear against it to listen for any movement. Cautiously, he opened the door and peeked into the hall. From his vantage point, down a dim corridor, he could make out two Vietnamese standing with their backs to him and at their feet lay two bodies. One Vietnamese and the other an American G.I.
He nervously licked his lips before slipping from the room and inching his way down the hall to the back entrance. He gently eased the door open, admitting the other three and they edged their way slowly closer to the public rooms.

Myron woke with a jerk, a trickle of blood running from his nose, confusion scrambling his thoughts. He made a bumbling attemp to push himself to his feet not yet in full use of his motor control. He froze on one knee as a pistol poked painfully at his temple, and suddenly he remembered where he was. His eyes flicked across the room as the leader dragged Anderson back inside. The man gave Zeke a shove and he crossed over to kneel beside Goldman.

"I thought you were dead!" mumbled the Lt. grimacing, looking at Zeke's splattered face and shirt.

"I hear you Lt. , . . . Lord, I just about was." he nodded in the direction of the little papasan.

The thug leader barked at them.

Ruis and the guys froze in a crouch when they saw the Lt. struggling to rise. They gestured quietly to one another and proceeded.

"Now what the hell do we do?" muttered Myron, stealing a glance at Anderson, relieved to see that Zeke was not dead.

"Wait. . . There are MPs and a bunch of GI's out th. . ." He glared up at the man who'd suddenly back handed him across the mouth.
The rag tag band of drug runners stood in a huddle and to Zeke and Myron, appeared to be discussing their next move.
Goldman's penetrating brown eyes flitted about the room looking for anything they could use to turn the tables in this situation. He glanced at the tiny windows across the room, at the bar to see if there was something there they may be able to use as a weapon, he glanced over his shoulder into the tub room. He looked at the huddle before chancing a glance down the hall. He took a double take, not trusting his eyes, spotting the men, then quickly looked away.

"Zeke. . . ," he brushed his hand gently against the sargent's thigh. "our 6 o'clock."

Anderson stole a peek over his shoulder. Ruis hand motioned to him to drop and roll on the count of three. Anderson answered with a barely indiscernable nod.

He looked into Goldman's questioning eyes and gave him a quick, tiny smirk.

On three he grabbed an alarmed Myron roughly by his collar and pulled him against him, dropping and rolling out of the line of fire as Ruis, Johnson, Percell and Taylor burst from the hall taking the huddle of gangsters by complete surprise.

The brief volley of gun fire was over in seconds. One thug lay dead, the others four wisely threw down their weapons and surrendered.

Zeke lay protectively over Lt.'s body, his strong arms clutching Myron against him.

"Sarg, Lt., are you two all right?" asked Percell in his raspy voice, squatting beside them resting a concerned hand across Anderson's back.

Zeke and Myron untangled arms and legs and climbed to their feet to be pounded happily on the back by the guys.

Doc and Trotter rushed into the Opium Den just behind the MP's to see the guys standing around the Lt. and Sarg, grins of relief on all their faces. Johnny nearly knocked them over as he rushed in to see if everyone was all right.

"Myron!" he called hurrying across the room to the other lieutenant.

"Myron, are you all right?" he asked resting a hand on Goldman's shoulder.

"I think we're fine." he answered as he turned and grinned at Anderson.

"Okay, everybody, it's all over, break it up. Go on about your business." declared an MP as the criminals were marched from the place.

"You heard the man, gentlemen, we better get back to base." said Anderson beginning to steer the men of Bravo company from the room.

"Sargent." called Goldman.

"Sir?" said Anderson turning to look at Myron.

"See me in my quarters after you've freshened up, will you." he held his gaze a moment.

"Yes, sir." answered Zeke and he turned and followed the men out.

"Come." he called, setting down his whiskey tumbler.

The door rattled open and Zeke, freshly showered, climbed into the Lt's hootch.

"You wanted to see me, Lt.?" he asked closing the door behind him.

Myron crossed the room, reached around Anderson and locked the door.

"Yes, Sargent, I wanted to see if you were all right." he brushed a knuckle gentle across a bruise over the sargent's jaw.

"Nothin' a little lovin' couldn't mend, Lt." his eyes went dreamy as Myron leaned into him and pressed his soft lips to a scratch over his left cheekbone.

"That feel better?" purred Goldman.

"Lordy. . . Yes sir." he answered a little out of breath and Myron's tongue delicately traced the length of the cut.

"Would you like a drink, Sargent?" asked Myron before laying a lingering kiss on a bruise at the corner of Zeke's mouth.

"Don't mind if I do." he was barely able to speak, his legs were beginning to shake. Myron reluctantly broke away, giving Zeke one of his dreamy-eyed grins.

"Make yourself comfortable." suggested Myron as he poured Zeke's drink.

Zeke eased himself down into the easy chair, watching Myron approach with the drinks in his hands.

"How 'you' feeling, Lt?"

Standing above him, Myron handed Zeke his drink and pulled open his shirt revealing a cluster of bruises across his ribs. He sucked in his breath as Zeke reached out and slid his finger tips gingerly across the bruises.
Zeke set his drink down and rose to stand facing the Lt., slowly looking over the officer's own cuts and bruises.
He trailed a finger over an abrasion over Myron's eyebrow, rubbed his thumb tenderly over his split lip. Myron's eyes fluttered closed as he took the thumb between his teeth and rolled his tongue around its tip. Zeke pulled his thumb away and quickly replaced it with his mouth, his tongue finding Myron's.
Not wanting to hurry this, Zeke broke away and slowly began to undress the young lieutenant's, lean, taut body.

"C'mon, Lt. . . ." whispered Zeke leading the Lt's across the room to the bed. Myron padded along behind him dreamily and let Zeke ease him down onto the matress.

"I'll get the lights." said Zeke hurrying across to the light switch. He stood a moment looking back at the Lt. stretched out on the bed invitingly, those hot chocolate brown eyes promising delights he's only dreamed of. He flicked the switch and pulled at his clothes as he crossed the shadow blanketed room.

"Lt. . . ?"

". . . Come."

[ lt mac ]           [ index ]