A photograph doesn't show you the pain, nor the loss.
Photographs don't show the pain.
Photographs don't show you anything.
They're just moments, blink of an eye. You'll never know what happened first. You'll never know what happened after.
But they say a picture's worth a thousand words.
Rage. Pain. Jealousy. Regret. Loss.
She swallowed. Look at them, so happy without you. They don't care. They don't give a shit.
Tears started to well up.
They said they loved you, but they lied, they lied, they lied.
It's not fair that they're alive and you aren't.
I should burn it.
A single thought. So simple. It felt so pure.
But it was Lindsay's photograph. She'd just found it, casually, while putting the groceries away, because that's what you do when it gets harder, you help each other.
But her husband's alive.
He's alive, and he's breathing and you're not, so I'll burn it, and she'll never have to know.
That way I'll be closer to you. That way, she'll have lost something too.
She smiled and it was a sad, joyless smile, and shadows pushed against the ever so fragile boundaries of her mind.
She turned one of the oven's bruners on - I could breathe all of the gas in I could be dead in an instant - and she burned the photograph.
She chuckled, at least tried to, but the sound was dull and empty. There was something missing.
There was something so painfully broken.
The photograph burned quietly, and she marveled at the way the paper curled, and how it was flames and light and heat and then ashes, then dust.
She stared into the darkness, dreamed his lips against hers, his fingers brushing against her skin.
"Sleep well, my husband. My love."
I'll soon be with you.
June 13th, 1944
"Come on, Frankie!"
Gerard laughed, the first time in days.
They'd won. The front was theirs.
Frank's heartbeat increased suddenly at the sound of it echoing. He couldn't help but smile.
The first time in days.
He ever so subtly brushed his fingers against Way's, although Gerard had just dragged him - completely, totally and utterly against his will - in front of a camera.
"I wanna send this to the girls back home!"
Bang. Guilt, all of a sudden. Unexpected. It bit down harder as he realized that Jamia and the "girls back home" had been the last thing on his mind, substituted by the sound of Gerard's breathing mingling with the smell of the ocean next to them in the cold, wet nighttime darkness.
"Yeah, they'd like it."
He smiled, weakly. Absently started chewing on his fingernails. They bled, after a while.
"Oh no you don't, you fucker!"
Ray was fumbling with the lenses. He looked up towards Gerard, slightly puzzled.
"I want you in the picture too, Toro."
But Ray's gaze met Frank.
If your fucking body dares to come even an inch closer to mine I swear, I fucking swear I'll rip your head off.
"We're still a gang, after all."
Even though we're missing a piece.
Even though that piece will never come back.
Even though there's chasms so deep it's going to take years for them to heal.
If not forever.
Gerard marched over to Toro, grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him up against Frank.
"Ross! Hey, Ryan!"
The other soldier looked up from the gun he was cleaning.
"What is it, Way?"
"I - Ross sighed as Gerard's smile widened - Sure, I'll take your Goddamn picture."
Frank swallowed and shied away from Ray's body, pressed up against him.
Oh shit. Shit.
He longed for Gerard's arms to hug him tight.
But Gerard was miles away, trapped in his little happy world where everything, sooner or later, would've worked out.
"This one's for you, little bro!"
He laughed again. But this time, it was bittersweet.