Burn Out

By Kay

Disclaimer: Do I have to say it again? Idon'townanything.

Author's Notes: Drabble. David x Jalil, very much so. Post!series. Very tired, so this is short. Er, enjoy? Thanks for reading!

He recognizes it when Jalil starts slowing down. It's common in all of the soldiers. David can spot the signs like they were storm clouds: the quiet bog that a man sinks into, the hard angles of cheekbones, the wavering motions of no sleep. First, Jalil struggles with it. Then he simply falls under, but he's learned the trick few others have and keeps walking forward.

Seeing the dead skip beside the living would be less disturbing, honestly.

"Go sleep," David tells him. Then, later, "You're talking to me, but you're not really speaking. You want to explain now, why I won't listen to you?"

But Jalil is clever. He knows the answer and he knows that David knows, so he says nothing. Just clutches the table, leans forward on his arms, and shakes his head. He rests on the maps he had worked so hard to create. They mean nothing to him now, and because they don't, they mean nothing to David.

David says, "Don't."

(Much later, when David digs his fingers into a tightly clenched jaw and twists it so he can kiss Jalil properly, when he can hear his bed creak so for the first time, he wonders if he's trying to save Jalil or bury him.)