Pre-Edit Count – 2,233 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: ‘Til The Last Shot is Fired by Trace Adkins
Disclosure: I own nothing but the idea behind the story. The characters are properties of the appropriate copyright owners.
This song always sits in my mind when I hear it, and today is the first time I got an idea of a story. It will be sad and will contain different fandoms…
I was there in the winter of ’64
When we camped in the ice at Nashville’s doors
One of the things that didn’t seem to change when he became a vampire is that he could still sweat. Damon Salvatore wipes the sweat off his forehead, wanting to get it before it freezes.
You wouldn’t think you would be sweating, but in this firefight, there was more going on than the freezing temperatures. The fear, the adrenaline, the sheer need to be the best you can be to survive this fight is enough even to make a vampire sweat and react to what is going on.
When he was first changed, he had wanted nothing to do with the war anymore, but once he found that vampires can feed best around battlefields, he had joined back in the Confederate Army. And he could not do that without fighting after making friends with the humans.
This is what Stefan could never understand, the camaraderie you have with your fellow soldiers. The sheer amount of trust and belonging you have after battles, knowing the man beside you was often the only reason you lived through the past battles.
While he might be a vampire, he couldn’t give up on the people fighting next to him, those which fight for a reason more than he had in the past. Now he is trying to give them that one more battle, that one more chance at life. A chance he no longer has.
He admits that being a vampire is another reason that he is here. He didn’t want to be this being who needs to drink blood, to be by himself for eternity since the love of his life is dead. The whole reason he was a vampire was to be with her, and knowing that she is now dead is enough to have him where he would have never transitioned.
Now, he is fighting not for the Confederacy. Instead, he is fighting for his brothers in this war to have the chance to survive and to lay down their guns.
Three hundred miles our trail had lead
The march to this god forbidden town has been hard won with battles and fights. Then the previous day had been a battle that had been fought with so many casualties. Redoubt 1 had fallen after a drawn-out battle with the Yankees, making it where the left flank of the Confederate line has fallen.
We barely had time to bury our dead
When the Yankees charged
Last night Damon didn’t have time to feed since they were all desperate to bury those who had fallen close enough to bury. Normally Damon would bring in ammo when he comes back from feeding, making sure they had whatever the Yankees that he drained had. But the dead tonight deserve the peace that he will never receive.
Instead of being able to rest after a night of burying their fallen brothers, the Yanks had charged as soon as there was light to start the battle. So here lies Damon in a trench trying to hold the line they have in hopes of winning for the living, and for him, a chance not to lose more brothers.
A shot rings out between him and his brother in arms, Clarence. Neither care as they are loading their guns with their limited ammunition. By now being shot at has become so common that they don’t even flinch at the sound or even when they graze their skin.
It had been hours since they had started, and the only indication is the loss of light that slowly crept across the battlefield. Damon had already lost most of his unit, Clarence and he are the only two that were side by side. Not from anyone wanting to fight by themselves, but by the sheer amount of people they were fighting against.
Any movement was impossible for if you stopped firing, it was a sure thing another person in your unit would die. The sheer hell of knowing that a moment of even loading your ammunition to keep up the firing, would mean the loss of another human being was unforgettable. Damon was sure that many of them, if they survived, would never forget this day. He wouldn’t. It is with the feeling of knowing this is now a losing battle, that Damon brings his rifle up to his shoulder, shooting to save those he can.
And the colors fell
Overton Hill was a living hell
When we called retreat it was almost dark
Clarence had died beside him, and the loss of rifles being fired told Damon the dark tale of there not being many of his unit alive. When the call for retreat had been called, Damon almost wanted to curse those in charge, for allowing the loss of life being this high.
He holds the line, knowing that of all of them, he would be the one who could survive this battle even if shot. Damon wants to give the living that much more of a chance to get out of this living hell. For he cannot imagine a hell worse than this as he hears the cries for loved ones and the moans of pain from the fallen.
When he hears the shout to tell him that he could leave, Damon turns to leave, only to feel the pain of a gunshot burning its way through his body. He falls, shocked with the pain.
I died with a grapeshot in my heart
In June of 1944
I waded in the blood of Omaha’s shores
Logan was rolling his shoulders, as he waits in the ship for them to get as close as they can to the shore. He looks over at his brother, who nods back at him, then to the scared kids in the ship surrounding him.
He shakes his head looking over the poor saps who are praying, looking at photos of loved ones left behind and even throwing up. Giving them the peace to make their peace with those that will be left when they charged this god forsaken beach. For the cannon balls are already landing in the waters around them, already telling those in the boats that are lucky enough to still be in one that life is going to be a precious commodity.
His thoughts are derailed as the boat shudders then the gate at the front is dropped, signaling that it is their time to make the trek.
My heart poundin’ in my chest
Ignoring those that couldn’t move from the fear that they stank of, Logan and Victor made their way to the land, dodging what bullets they could, firing on anyone that they can as they charged towards the first checkpoint.
I almost made the first seawall
When my friends turned and saw me fall
Fighting and ignoring the shots that would have felled normal humans, Logan and Victor battled for the 330 yards between the shore and the first seawall. They had crawled every god-forsaken yard, listening to others fall and cry, or watch them get chewed up by the infantry firing. The worst were the ones that were blown apart by the mines that the engineers were trying to clear.
Victor growls out, “Jimmie Boy, hell cannot be any worse than listening to this.”
Logan nods, shooting someone aiming at his brother, as he tells him, “And this is the first battle. The one that was supposed to be easy.”
Both brothers snort at that, having to remember World War I. But they are here to do what they can for those poor souls who volunteered to free the world. They were to have been part of Canada’s army, but neither brother wanted to be part of that. They had volunteered to be part of the US military forces, and with their backgrounds, had been quick to be promoted to leading this charge.
Victor crawls forward the few feet he can, as Logan covers him until it is his turn, then gets up to run the last couple of feet to the seawall. This had allowed them to move up without taking too many hits, though either would grab the other to drag him along until they can be under cover. The chances of having a bomb dropping on them were too high to leave them behind to catch up later.
When Victor pauses to cover Logan’s advancement, Logan makes his way out of the wire that they had been crawling through. Once free, he jumps up to make it to Victor’s side.
Instead of getting very far, Logan gasps as a rain of bullets hit him.
He gasps out Victor’s name as he can feel the blood draining out of his body from the multitude of bullets that had hit him. Victor had turned to watch Logan fall to the ground. He yells out his brother’s name.
I still smell the smoke, I can taste the mud
As I lay there dying from a loss of blood
Logan’s vision grows blurry as he cusses out the bad luck that this happened at this point. He knows his brother will come after him as soon as he can, but he grimaces from the pain he is feeling, watching as younger men fall around him, no chance of them getting up later as he will.
The smell of the smoke, the blood in the air as well the taste of the mud from when he hit the ground all combines to make Logan curse the need for war. He can feel the blood draining out of him as his thoughts become dim, the last one hoping that the ones who had fallen, had found their peace, their spirits free from this hell.
Leaning back, Eric Northman looks over the latest news from the media. He shakes his head at those imbeciles who report on the different wars.
For it never seems to change now that the media is covering the wars. They never seem to understand the need for those that fight for freedom.
He remembers his father telling him that they have to fight for their freedom. For no one would give that gift up to anyone. Eric remembers what the hell was with those battles back then, and even now, they are no better.
The fields of Vietnam,
For he had been in the Vietnam War, doing what he could at night to fight. Battle is in his blood, from the family that he had been born into, or from Godric himself when he made him Vampire.
So, at night, when the American troops were there, sleeping in that gods-forsaken jungle, he had patrolled, feeding on the people who had hunted the Americans he had decided to protect that night. He had watched the men go mad from battle lust, as the actions of others sickened the rest.
No matter what mankind thinks, the worst crimes against humans have always been committed by humans. The concentration camps, the prisoners of war that he tried to free when he could, the sheer brutality of the troops who are fighting for something that had been lost in all the blood they have spilled.
It had sickened him, but at the same time, he also saw the atrocities that had driven those soldiers to their limits done to them by the enemy. There had been times he had left the battlefields to find peace, to remind himself that this has always been the truth of freedom.
The mountains of Afghanistan
But now, sitting here watching the soldiers battling in the mountains of Afghanistan, Eric shakes his head.
For the troops that are fighting for the freedom of Americans are being booed. He had wanted to attack some idiot one night when he had been in an airport, and the soldier that had been making his way through the same building had been attacked. The soldier never did anything to the civilian, ignored him as he worked around the man screaming in his face about how he was a baby killer.
Unable to take it, Eric had grabbed the idiot, then gave a nod of respect to the soldier. The soldier had looked at him, studied him, and something in him gave a nod of respect back to the vampire.
Like recognizing like.
The idiot had been glamoured and freed. For the confrontation had been too public if the civilian had gone missing.
But right now, he was listening to some churl mock the war, as he watched with respect a soldier being carried home on the backs of his brothers.
For a warrior fighting for freedom in any time, any battle deserves that respect for giving the last thing he can for that pursuit.
And I’m still hopin’, waitin’ prayin’
I did not die in vain
Say a prayer for peace
For every fallen son
Set our spirits free
Let us lay down our guns
Sweet mother Mary we’re so tired
But we can’t come home (no, we can’t come home)
‘Til the last shot’s fired
Final count: 2,240