Pairings/Characters: Colonel Hessler, Wilhelm Klink, Robert Hogan/Ivan Kinchloe, Peter Newkirk, Louis LeBeau, Andrew Carter
Fandom: Hogan’s Heroes
Genres: Angst, Drama, Historical, Holiday
Summary: In December of 1944, luxuries are few and far between in Stalag 13.
Date Of Completion: April 2, 2009
Date Of Posting: April 10, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Paramount does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1134
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for khylara for the Food Fic Prompt Request. Pairing: Hogan/Kinch. Prompt: Chocolate cake. :)
I’ve got a few more ideas for these last days of the war, but no idea when I’ll be writing them.
Colonel Hessler and the chocolate cake are courtesy of the 1965 film, The Battle Of The Bulge.
I fixed the names. I had used first names for Hogan and Kinch as I had written a postwar novel using those names and was still in the habit. ;)
The young, blond Panzer officer sat ramrod-straight in the staff car as an older man drove. He exited the car with the typical arrogance of a German officer, striding into Klink’s office while carrying a small box.
In Barracks 2, the coffeepot was dragged out in Hogan’s office and turned on, activating the listening devices in Klink’s office.
“Silence! Klink, do you know what this chocolate cake means?”
“It’s your birthday?”
“No, idiot!” A hand slammed on the desk. “It means that the Americans are using petrol to ferry chocolate cakes across the Atlantic while we scrounge for petrol for our tanks!”
“The war has ground on a long time…”
“Yes, and the Americans have no conception of defeat.” Boot heels clicked on the floor. “The American soldier is undisciplined, erratic, and scornful of authority…and yet able to function without direct orders. Wild cards, idealistic fools, but dangerous, backed up with limitless resources.
“And they still have no conception of defeat.”
Hogan and his band smirked.
“Perceptive type,” Newkirk said laconically as he blew a ring of smoke from his cigarette.
“Mais oui.” LeBeau rubbed his hands.
“Colonel Hessler, we are tightening our belts here,” said Klink. “Even my men are on hard rations. As for the prisoners…”
“Bah, Kommandant. I have no time for this. I must attend a meeting and then see to my Panzers. We need all the men we can get with the Americans and British swarming over France.”
The sound of the office door slamming reverberated through the coffeepot.
“He doesn’t sound like he’s running scared,” Kinch said, putting the coffeepot back together.
Hogan nodded. “Officers of that caliber rarely run.” He stood up. “Let’s finish decorating.”
The small tree in the barracks common room looked forlorn, its branches scraggly with a few needles already on the floor, but the men carefully decorated it with saved wisps of tinsel and a handful of homemade ornaments, carved wooden pieces or sewn bits of fabric shaped like stars and snowmen.
Robert Hogan wished that he could do more, but in December of 1944, luxuries in Stalag 13 were few and far between. The Allies were too busy trying to push forward, consolidating their gains from D-Day back in June, to make any more supply drops. LeBeau had been doing his best to scrounge food and make something out of scraps, but their meals were getting smaller by the day.
Kinch sighed. They couldn’t leave as the S.S. had tightened a cordon around the camp, furiously preparing a scorched-earth policy and arranging hideaways and traps for possible invaders. The men of Stalag 13 were risking their lives more than ever by sabotaging even a few bunkers, barely evading capture. Hogan had called a moratorium on further missions for awhile.
Of course, it was even worse with dysentery and severe colds sweeping through the camp, and Hogan worried about pneumonia and influenza. At the tail end of the last war, influenza had killed more people around the world than the Great War itself. He subconsciously rubbed his chest, stifling a cough.
Kinch's radio was broken, and there were no replacement parts to be had, so except for their small Philco radio hidden in the barracks, they were virtually cut off from the world.
“Why are we decorating now? It’s more than a week ‘til Christmas,” complained a thin young corporal.
“Eggleston, my friend, why not? Didn’t you decorate after Thanksgiving back home?” asked Hogan.
“This dump needs cheer when we can get it,” said Newkirk, putting a scrap of tinsel on the tree.
The windows rattled from a gust of wind.
“The weather’s going to turn,” Kinch murmured.
“Hmm.” Hogan looked at the sky through a frost-edged window. “Could be snow.” He coughed, a hollow sound that worried Kinch.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t slow down our troops.” Kinch picked up Hogan’s muffler and wrapped it around his friend’s neck, getting a small smile in return.
LeBeau slipped outside, the leaden skies promising colder temperatures and possibly snow. He wrapped his scarf tighter around his neck. The elbows of his jacket were threadbare, holes in his pants letting skin feel every sting of wind.
He sneaked through the outer office. Both Klink and Hilda were at lunch, as meager as it was these days, even for the Germans. He entered Klink’s office.
There! The box was still on the desk. LeBeau lifted the lid, satisfied that the contents were still there, and left in a hurry carrying his precious item.
“Another Christmas in this dump.” Hogan rubbed his face, trying to ignore his sore throat.
Kinch was sitting in the desk chair, Hogan in the lower bunk.
“It’ll be our last.”
“God, I hope so.” Hogan sighed. “I’d like to be back home, looking at our nice, big tree with real tinsel and ornaments, presents piled high underneath it, the smell of the turkey and trimmings cooking, Mom shooing us out of the kitchen and Dad getting ready to carve it when it came out of the oven, my sister shaking presents…the last time I was home for Christmas, everyone was all jittery over Pearl a few weeks before.”
“Yeah, that was my last Christmas home, too.”
Hogan looked down at his loosely-clasped hands. “There’s one thing I don’t regret.”
Hogan looked up. “Getting to spend Christmas with you.”
Kinch smiled and put his hand over Hogan’s.
“Hey, Louie, whatcha got?” asked Newkirk as LeBeau slipped into the barracks.
“Decadent American chocolate cake.”
Newkirk’s eyes lit up. “You are amazing, Louie!”
“Let’s get this party started, mon ami!”
A knock on the door separated Hogan and Kinch, Hogan straightening his flight jacket. “Come in.”
Carter poked his head in. “LeBeau snatched the cake!”
“The cake…oh, the cake!” Excitement shone in hazel eyes. “C’mon, Kinch.”
The party quickly got underway, everyone savoring a razor-thin slice, then LeBeau smuggled the remainder to the next barracks.
Hogan ate the slice of chocolate cake with almost orgasmic bliss, Kinch right beside him.
Finally, something good in these last days of the war.
All they had to do was hold out a little longer. With the Allies in France and Belgium, they would soon be marching to Germany, and the Russians would approach from the East.
Just a little while longer.
Snow clouds began to gather in the next few days as in the Ardennes, small outposts of Americans preparing for Christmas in eleven days decorated freshly-cut trees and dreamed of home.
The clank and rattle of hidden Panzers starting up echoed through the still, snow-covered Ardennes Forest as the first flakes began to fall.
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