"I'm about to lose my mind. You've been gone for so long. I'm running out of time. I need a doctor. Call me a doctor. I need a doctor, doctor... To bring me back to life." -Ineed a doctor by Dr. Dre feat. Eminem and Skylar Grey
Three weeks had passed since Kyle had lost his temper on his wife. She hadn’t once brought it up to him but still she managed to avoid him more.
‘do you feel guilty kylie…?’
Kyle didn’t respond but instead kept grading the papers that had stacked up in the midst of his families arguing.
‘i wont go away just by you pretending you don’t hear me…’
“Kyle… what’s this…?” the delicate blonde came into their small ‘living’ room. A crisp ivory letter was gripped tightly in between her fingers. “It’s from the military…” her hands trembled as she held out the letter to him.
He slipped the letter out of her hands and ripped it open with mild hesitation. His face paled as he read the letter.
“What does it say sweety?” Crystal sat down on their beige couch amidst Kyle’s graded and not graded papers.
The words could barely escape his mouth as his breath caught in his throat. His left hand rested against his temples, “They found him… They’re flying him back on Friday…”
They both fell silent.
‘how do you feel about that…?’
Crystal pretended not to hear his ‘random’ comment as she took the letter from him.
“They want me to go and pick him up I guess… It’s been two years…” he ran his fingers through his unkempt curls.
Friday came quicker than Kyle’s nervous stomach could handle. Being a POW for a year and a half meant a certain amount of mental damage had to have been done but that also meant physical damage had been done as well didn't it? He picked up a frappechino on the way to the airport to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
The digital clock in his beat up Honda read 4:30 am.
A tall young man met him outside the gate. His brown hair was shaved and hidden beneath his cap. His military uniform was perfectly pressed into submission, “Mr. Allen? I’m Private Nathaniel Greys.”
Kyle nodded, “Has his plane landed yet?”
The young man seemed a little surprised by the question, “Oh no no. It should be here in another hour or so. They must have misinformed you.” He managed to half snicker. “You’re here early so I can warn you of something involving Mr. Hatake.”
“Yes, Mr. Hatake, as you should already know, was a captured while serving part of his tour in Iraq, and because of that he is a little… Well, very beaten up if I might say so myself. From what I’ve heard he is also a little… more aggressive than you might remember him to be,” the young man smiled as if he wanted to lighten the mood.
A small sigh escaped Kyle’s pursed lips, “I see. So, you knew him?”
He smiled again at the question, “He was my captain. He is actually the reason I’m still here.”
The two sat outside the terminal and as they talked Kyle began to realize how young the man was.
“I enlisted during my senior year,” he removed the cap from his head. “Probably the biggest mistake I’ve ever made but… I don’t know. I’m glad I did at the same time. You really develop a family relationship with those you’re teamed up with. Captain was really a father to me. I guess he thought so to,” a genuine laugh escaped him. “He really was a great guy, I hope he hasn’t changed too much from what you remember him to be.”
Kyle smiled as he remember growing up with his long lost friend. His overbearing need to father everyone seemed to be the one thing that kept him mentally in check, but when he had left the same mentally crippling voice came yelling back in.
Private Greys glanced down at the leather watch positioned perfectly on his left wrist, “The plane should be arriving just about now.” He stood quietly.
With a nod Kyle did the same.
They watched the moving doors that separated the gate from the baggage claim area as newly arrived passengers walked out into the not-so-fresh air of the East Coast of New Jersey.
Pure white snow was beginning to fall outside of the terminal windows.
A tall figure passed through the threshold of the revolving doors. A clean bandage wrapped around his head, through his silver hair, and over his left eye. His silver spikes hung just slightly in his heavily tanned face. Scratches and cuts mapped out his pain all over his golden skin. An army jacket covered his shoulders, a pair of camo pants covered his bottom half, and a white t-shirt covered his torso. Bruises lined his visible cheek bones. He was thin, a miserable existence. Those who passed him or walked beside him as he walked toward the two by the windows merely stared at him for a while then turned away and kept their shamed eyes low or pretended to check their phones for messages that didn’t exist. The silver haired man’s gaze remained down on the letters in his bandaged hands until he almost ran into Kyle and the Private. He glanced up at them with a smile as if he had only been gone for a moment. “Hello little one,” he let the duffel bag slip off of his thin shoulder as he wrapped his arms around the smaller brunette.
He couldn’t help the tears that fell from his eyes at that moment. His best friend; his brother was finally home. "Kakashi..."
“Aw, don’t do that Kyle,” he laughed quietly as he let him go and smiled at the Private.
The Private clumsily lifted his had to salute the newly returned captain, “Sir…”
“Glad to see you’re still as slow as ever,” he laughed again as he ‘tousled’ what little hair the boy had. “Lets go home Kyle,” the silver haired man bent down to grab his duffel bag from the dirtied floor and pushed the little brunette towards the exit. “I’ll see you around Nathaniel,” he saluted playfully and walked with Kyle out into the brisk morning air.
Snowflakes landed in their hair as the wind blew into their faces.
The taller of the two said nothing as he followed Kyle. His gaze focused on the few things around them as if he wanted to take them in and hold onto them forever.
Kyle smiled softly up at him. For the first time in a long time he was happy to be going home.