A/N: This was entered as part of the first ever FMP drabble contest on the Livejournal FMP community, TDD1. I would highly urge people to join the community and partake of its wonderful people and great concentrations of knowledge and creativity. We have yet to see if this wins, but I think it'll fill the gap nicely until more Hollow Men starts happening.

On with the show!

Small Victories

No battle was ever won with complexity.

Every single act is important. Every supply chain, every coordination of movement and command staff, every infantryman, every action, reaction, inaction; every engagement, every disengagement is part of the battle.

I am a specialist for the very reason that we are geared to win the battle. I will train every single task that I bring forth to that point.

It is the small things that win battles, and it is battles won that end wars.

Every single action I undertake is based upon that principle. Analyze, act, summarize, proceed. Every part of my life is set upon that example. It is how I have fought, succeeded, failed, retreated, move, stop, go, think, and act.

It is small things. Basic things. Simple things. Everyday things.

It's taken me many lessons to hammer that down, and many experiences to hammer down the lessons. I've learned from the best. On good occasions, it came from the Lieutenant Commander, from the executive officer, from Sergeant Weber, Sergeant Major Mao, and even the Captain herself.

It is incorporating the simplicity of the small things that makes a success.

Yet far too much of the simple things I need to know still evade me.

Simple things. Basic things. Everyday things. Small things.

It takes a great deal of pondering for me to be able to take in the small things to life. It is these small things that challenge and frustrate me. Yet along the line, somewhere, somehow, it just happened.

These basic small things that you have brought to me – usually forcibly, almost always unexpectedly – have been the most difficult small tactical maneuvers I have ever had to deal with. There is so much that I have yet to discover, so many of them the simplest things, that make life... simply happy.

They are single actions. Knowing when to say something, when to stay silent, when to spring to your defense, or when to simply stand aside and let you do what you want. They are small, happy things. A smile. A step in the right direction. Even when I make the worst possible situation happen for you, it's answered with a sigh and a smile.

In that, I can see the small things coming together. I can see that I have not only acted in a tactical manner to maintain control over the situation, but I have done something for you. Something to make you smile. Something small, yet something happy.

There is something about the small things that is critical to success. The singular, tiny, insignificant things are the mosquitoes that infuriate the hammer-wielder. They are small, they are not strong on their own, but they are what makes hearts – and wars – less burdensome.