Call of Duty – Ghost/Soap short stories (EN)

I’ve written a few dozen (mostly erotic) short stories featuring Simon „Ghost“ Riley and John „Soap“ MacTavish. While I won’t be re-posting them to this website, you can read all of them freely on Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In the post are a few exceprts just to give you an idea what to expect:

The Road

There’s no answer, but suddenly, there is Ghost’s arm around Soap’s shoulders, pulling him close. Soap goes willingly, leaning against Ghost’s solid frame. Johnny sighs, feeling the tension gradually leave his body.

“Better?” The soothing timbre of Ghost’s voice sounds intimately close in the comms.

“Aye,” Soap admits, leaning on Ghost more. “Could you… keep talking? Please?” That’s a tall order, and they both know it. Between the two of them, there’s only one talker, and it’s not Ghost.

Ghost hums, clearly contemplating the request. “What would you have me say?”

“Anythin’ really,” Soap closes his eyes, too tired to explain his request.

“Alright,” Ghost’s arm tightens around Johnny’s shoulders, providing even more comfort. There was never any need for him to explain, Ghost knows him well enough by now. He thinks for a minute, searching his memory for something that wouldn’t be a horrible choice, like quoting the field manual or telling some horrible jokes. Both of those have a place in their communication, especially their infamous banter, but it doesn’t fit this moment. A possibility presents itself, and Ghost goes with it. It’s unusual, but he has a feeling that Johnny might appreciate it. “On the far side of the river valley the road passed through a stark black burn. Charred and limbless trunks of trees stretching away on every side. Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened lightpoles whining thinly in the wind.”

Soap filters out everything except Ghost’s nearly monotonous voice, which actually suits the picture he’s painting with his words. It feels melancholic. “’S nice… what is it?” Johnny asks, already on the verge of sleep.

“The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You should read it sometime.”

Sweep Away All Monsters And Demons

The third time happens in the field, too. They’ve wrapped up and are waiting for an exfil that should arrive in the morning. Dead tired, they sleep in an abandoned building. It used to be an office; there are desks and chairs, all covered by dust and debris. It’s good for hiding.

Soap jolts awake, hand on the gun. It’s a reflex. There’s no one. Then Ghost, leaning against his side, twitches in his sleep. It takes Soap only about fifteen seconds to recognise the signs of distress. It would be faster if not for Ghost’s mask. Quickened breathing, that tremor in his hands as he clutches his thighs on either side.

Soap wakes him up, noting the flash of fear, of absolute terror, in Ghost’s eyes. It disappears quickly.

After that, Soap does the math, and honestly, it’s an easy one. He has his own share of trauma and demons, he understands. And he wants to help.

Close your eyes and let it happen

Soap has no idea when he has fallen asleep. When he comes to again, the sky is inky blue and filled with stars. It’s beautiful, and he knows he should appreciate it more. Be touched and humbled or something. He can’t bring himself to care.

 Something rustles softly near his head, and Soap cranes his neck to look. A big, burly shadow sits mere inches from his head. They’re far enough from the base for the lights not to reach them. The only detail Johnny can make out in the darkness is the haunting white skull.

“I was wondering where you disappeared to,” Ghost says quietly. Soap feels the brown eyes on him, even if he can’t see them in the fathomless void of the skull’s eye sockets. There is a deliberate admission in that simple sentence. Ghost has been keeping an eye on him.

“Just needed a bit of quiet, I guess,” Soap replies just as quietly. There’s nobody around to overhear the conversation, but the intimate veil of darkness hushes them all the same.

Ghost shifts a little. “That’s the first,” Ghost chuckles, but there’s no bite to it. It’s not a jab; it’s Ghost’s way of asking if he’s alright.

Soap doesn’t even know what prompts him to speak. Not that he’s not open with Ghost otherwise, but this feels different. “I’ve been feeling off lately. Dunno why. It’s stupid, ‘m not a bloody teenager to just have these wild mood swings…” he trails off because he doesn’t know what else to say and because there’s now Ghost’s hand on his shoulder, and Soap is unsure how he feels about that.

“It’s the life, Johnny,” Ghost says, rubbing his gloveless palm on his shoulder over the place he usually rests the stock of the rifle.

Soap blinks, trying to parse the words, but the meaning slips. “Come again?”

“The life. We’ve got the Reaper on the speed dial; there’s not much opportunity to ponder the other side of that coin.”

That both does and doesn’t make sense. Soap reaches up and touches Ghost’s hand. He expects it to be cold for some reason. It’s not. Just pleasantly warm, the skin’s texture marred with veins and scars.

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