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 'Cause you burn with the brightest flame, @Steve Rogers
LAUREN PST SHE/HER THIRTY Offline ACTION
90 POINTS EARNED
21 POSTS MADE
SAM
33
HE/HIM
DIRECTOR OF VETERAN AFFAIRS
HETEROSEXUAL
SINGLE
LIBRA
PLOT WITH SAM
you can run the mile
you could walk straight through hell with a smile
Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Falcon requesting backup from Raven.

The words that echoed from his cell phone chilled him to the bone. His old unit buddy, Tom 'Sawyer' Sullivan, had called him out of the blue that morning; while it was unusual to hear from him, it wasn't necessarily surprising (at first). It was pretty standard for his squadron to fall out of communication and then reappear awhile later and it was if no time had ever been lost.

But today...

It had been a fairly normal day. He ran with Steve, got his ass kicked by Steve, same thing every morning. Not that Sam minded-he considered it training worth while. Quality time. Steve was his best friend.

Work was standard - a squadron had just returned home to the area not long ago so he was monitoring the routine intake procedure for each soldier, learning their deployments, identifying the best counselor for their 1-on-1 sessions while he took care of the group sessions. Busy, sure, but expected. Safe.

But then he got the call. He was initially excited to hear from Sawyer, and had expected it to be a catch up call, but the tone of his greeting had Sam instinctively on his guard.

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Falcon requesting backup from Raven.

It didn't make sense. Riley was dead. Sam had seen him get hit, fall, had carried the coffin. He had his flag. So there should not be a mayday call from Riley, old or new. And who else had known that Sam's former call sign was Raven? He hadn't always been Falcon - no, that had been Riley. It wasn't common to switch callsigns; typically, they were life. But when Riley died, his squadron had respected Sam enough to encourage him to honor Riley by adopting his call, so he did.

But no one knew that. Not even Steve had, until today.

Sawyer had a location, and that made it even worse. It was not exactly where Riley was shot down, but close enough to rise suspicion. One or the other and they could write it off as coincidence or malfunction but both? It was too shady, too real.

Sawyer ended the call quietly, knowing how heavy this would hit Sam. Sam helped other soldiers adjust to being home, helped them work through their PTSD. But he had a few things of his own to work out, and dealing with Riley's death had been a major one.

He definitely considered the fact that this could be a trap, or a joke, or a trick but what could he do but investigate? It was too...coincidental. If someone was posing as Riley, or bringing him into something, Sam wouldn't stand for that. Riley's death would not be marred by disrespect, he would not be mocked. Besides, Sam needed to -know-.

And he knew that Steve would back him up. It's what they did. Sam would drop everything if Steve needed his help and he knew that Steve would do the same, so it's what he did. He called Steve.

He knew it would be easier to explain in person, and so when Steve met him at the VA and Sam showed him the Mayday call, Steve met his concern with his own. They knew there would be risks, but Sam wouldn't ask Steve to take those risks if he didn't truly believe that something was amiss. He wouldn't endanger Steve for nothing, and he was thankful to have a best friend like Steve that would jump on a plane with a minute's notice to go on some wild goose chase.

And that's how they ended up in Afghanistan, geared up and ready. It could be that they were talking into a trap, or that someone was waiting for him, or he was being set up...Whatever it was, they needed to be prepared. So he had his wings, Steve had his helmet and gear, and they were ready to head to the point of location where the Mayday signal originated from.

Where Riley fell.

THANKS!
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