"Our leave has been cut short and we have to get to Rosyth where she is having a refit and we have to leave on the 3rd, so boys we will need the hut on the 2nd!" Spike said.
"We will have it on the 1st then." Tony said.
"And the 3rd and 4th." Simon said.
"Greedy shits." Brian said.
They spent most of the remaining time together including both homes with parents. Simon borrowed his dad's camera and they took a whole reel of film including several of them with all four together taken by Andrew. He had a friend in the village who would develop the film before Spike and Brian left to join the Hood.
Simon and Tony took one last look around the hut and smiled their satisfaction at the place. They had given it a really good clean up and got a big pile of wood ready for the fire. There was plenty of time so they walked most of the way pushing their bikes and holding hands.
"We are going to miss them Simon and we only have four days left. You will be going to sea soon and I'm really scared. Fuck, I hate Hitler."
"Let’s not think about it, nobody knows how this will end up." They walked the rest of the path in silence and then got on their bikes and raced all the way back to the cottage.
Spike and Brian sat naked in front of the fire facing one another. Spike was in between Brian's legs with their arms around one another, kissing. They had made love and were now just cuddled up enjoying the last few moments of being themselves.
"Nervous?" Spike asked.
"A bit, but we will be together and that makes it a hell of a lot better. I wonder if we will get the chance to do this again?"
"Not for the want of trying that's for sure, just hope we are on the same mess deck. You never know there may be a deck for just homosexuals."
"I wonder how many would be on it."
"Dunno, but if there are any, keep your hands to yourself. Come on, we have to get back."
With one last look around the hut, for this time anyway, they shut the hut door and rode slowly back.
Spike and Brian came to see Simon and Tony the night before they were off. They had a few glasses and chose the photos they wanted that Andrew had collected that morning.
"Good memories, I will keep that one with me all the time." It was the one with all four of them together.
Simon and Tony went to the garden gate and they all cuddled in for the last time all saying their goodbyes. The four friends parted and Simon and Tony watched as they climbed the hill towards Spike's house until they went out of sight.
They went back indoors and sat in front of the fire just staring at the flames.
"Yes love?" Tony looked at Simon.
"I have got a horrible feeling. Something's wrong and I don't know what it is."
"Just missing the boys like me I expect?"
"Could be, let’s go to bed please."
They did not go to the hut on the 3rd, but instead spent it with Andrew who drove them to Southampton and found a small restaurant that served up a decent meal. From there they went to a theatre and watched a verity show and then back home.
"What are you two doing tomorrow?" Andrew asked.
"Going for a bike ride then nothing, just stay at home and pack I suppose. It’s our last day and we both want to be home with you dad."
"What time is your train again?"
"10, Tony's is at 12. Be a bit strange Tony and you seeing me off."
"Who says we are?" It was Tony's attempt at humour.
"We might as well Tony, just to make sure he goes."
"Let me know when to laugh both of you."
"Come on, we need a drink." Andrew got up and got half a bottle out.
Simon was sat leaning against a pile of blankets with Tony laying on his back with his head on Simon's lap. They had taken their uniform jackets, ties, boots and shoes off. Each had their braces off their shoulders and they hung down their sides. Nothing was said for ages and for them very unusual as most times they never stopped talking.
Simon was looking down at Tony stroking his hair and cheek, he leant over and kissed him.
"I love you so much Tony, never forget that. None of us knows how long this will go on for or even if we will come through, but there is one thing I want you to promise me?"
"Depends what it is."
"Be serious dim shit."
"Ok, being serious."
"If anything happens to me, promise you won’t be on your own. Promise?" Tony looked at Simon for a long time.
"I promise, but you must do the same."
"I promise." They looked at one another and then kissed for even longer.
It was now their turn to look round the hut for the last time, on this leave anyway.
The three of them arrived at to station to see Simon off.
"Right, I will say goodbye now Simon, you two need time to yourselves." Simon burst out laughing.
"Can you take this lot with you then?" There were at least another 50 passengers waiting and those seeing them off.
"No dad, please stay we said goodbye this morning."
"Bet you did, dirty buggers."
Simon lent as far out of the window as he could without falling onto the track waving to Andrew and Tony until the train went round a bend and sat down imagining them walking home together and Andrew repeating the send off two hours later. It was a miserable journey back. All sorts of thoughts were going through his mind and one of them was thinking about Tony and Gary back together. Try as he might, he just could not get them out of his mind. He trusted Tony and knew he would do nothing behind his back, but he also knew that there was a huge risk, people changed particularly at times like this when circumstances could bring people closer together because of all the stress of what was happening and of course he and Tony now at a stage that they would not see much of one another. He remembered Tony saying that he felt that something was wrong when Spike and Brian left. He had that same horrible feeling right now.
There was only one thing to do to help himself, get stuck into the final parts of his training with even more commitment and try to finish and get a posting to a ship and of course write letters to Tony as often as possible.
Andrew and Tony stood on the platform and as miserable as they had been a couple of hours before.
"This is shit Andrew don't you think?"
"Took the words out of my mouth Tony. Look, don't forget you must come home any time you want, even if Simon can’t get time off. This is your home as far as Simon and I are concerned. Contact between you two will now get more difficult, but maybe not so much between Simon and me, so what I'm saying is ring me and I can give an update as to what he is up to."
"Thanks Andrew, I know I will be coming and ringing you." He paused for a while.
"Andrew, I have put Simon down as my next of kin, just in case anything nasty happens. I have known for some time now this is home and you are both my family."
"Take care, son. Come home anytime." The train pulled out and Andrew knew they would never get used to this. Parting is so difficult.
Spike and Brian stood looking up at the massive "Mighty" Hood, all 42,100 tons of her. She looked even bigger standing as they did and they can be forgiven thinking she was impregnable and they and the other 1418 crew could not be more secure.
"Fucking hell Brian, she is amazing, there must be somewhere on her for us?"
"One track mind young Spike, still I hope so too."
"YOU TWO, GET THE FUCK UP HERE!" They ran like hell up the gang way and saluted the quarter deck.
"Gunners Able Seamen Smith and Freeman, Chief."
"Gunners? Thank fuck for that, the captain can relax now."
They were given their deck and hammock space and were pleased they were at least side by side. They did not have time to think and as soon as everything was stowed away the training started all over again, but this time in every department of their action stations. They was no let up and the next two months flew by as they got accustomed to their new life, made mates and become a full part of their particular mess deck and crew. They went to sea a number of times and that is when they first witnessed live firing and the incredible experience of a full broadside from the 8x15 inch main guns as they thundered out as the whole ship shook and recoiled.
After two months they had been given their permanent action station which was way down in the bowls of the Hood's aft magazine.
In early May she and the battleship Prince of Wales set sail to search for the German Bismarck and Prinz Eugen who were on their way from Norway to the Atlantic sailing North of Iceland and into the Denmark Straights. Once they had got into the North Atlantic they would search for British convoy shipping. The two ships were a major concern and had to be engaged otherwise they would wreak havoc on top of what the U-boats were already doing.
They tried hard but Spike and Brian could not engage themselves, but in quite a different way to the mighty ships of the British and German navy's, until they got lucky again that is.
"You two report to the small arms store and check the weapons over. Don't forget to lock the hatch after you."
They had no clue as to how many weapons there were, but went around the whole lot rubbing down the rows of rifles and Bren guns with an oiled rag making it look as though they had done much more.
They found a safe spot and got naked. For the next two hours neither of them thought about any weapon other than the one they were sucking or had up his bum. It was a lot more than just sex though, these two were in love and devoted to one another other.
"Have I ever told you I love you Brian?"
"No more than I told you and when we get out of this war, we will find a way to be together and have a life. If any fucker tries to stop us, then it’s their problem."
They kissed once more and cuddled in hard.
It was now the 18th May and Simon was back in the CO's office. He had already guessed the reason and just waited to hear what ship he was going to be sent too.
"Congratulations Mr Walsh, or rather Sub Lieutenant Walsh I should say. Very well done Simon you are going to Liverpool where your ship is having a refit and boiler clean, HMS Blossom will be your new home for the foreseeable future, she will look after you I am sure. Blossom is one of the first Corvettes built and will have a new crew, it will be a good start for you. Sit down Simon please."
"Thank you sir." Simon made himself comfortable and waited for Lieutenant Commander Watts.
"Simon we have been more than pleased in the way you have trained and your obvious talent in all aspects of navigation, I have never come across anyone better. That's not meant to be anything more than encouragement and I will say now if you continue like this when you get to your ship you are on your way to command. I would hope you remember what I have said, we need every good man available in all departments and that includes officers who can lead. Believe me Simon a good commander will make the difference between a good ship and a much better one. There is a lot of work to do and we are having a hell of time of it, but the Royal Navy never gives in and despite all that's going on, we WILL win. Good luck and enjoy your 7 days leave. My regards to your father again please." They shook hands and once again Simon ran to the cadet mess and rang Andrew, wrote a letter to Tony and then went to the clothing room to get his new uniform.
Sub Lieutenant Simon Walsh shook hands with his class mates and got the transport to the station. During the journey he thought about what the CO had said and then dismissed it. "What happens, happens, meanwhile I just hope to stay alive."
Tony opened the letter, it had taken two days to get to him so Simon was already on leave and now he was at home he could ring him. He was on a short break and then into the operating theatre where he had become assistant to the anesthetist. He had been promoted to Lance Corporal and Gary had been as pleased as Tony in that it was entirely due to his own ability and not a matter of a nudge from him to get it. Outwardly it seemed Gary had changed a lot and gave no hint of a problem for Tony since he had come back from Christmas leave and both men seemed to have settled down to a good working and professional relationship. Tony was as happy as he could be in his work, but at the same time missing Simon and dreading the future.
"Hamble 362." The operator put the call though. Andrew had answered the phone and listened.
"Simon Who? Don't know anyone by that name, but there is a new Sub Lieutenant looking at me, will he do?" He turned to Simon and held the handset up and after a smiling son took it, went out to the Linney for a bath.
"You’re coming home tomorrow? How on earth did you get that?" There was a short pause.
"Gary has given me a long weekend, I will have to come back Monday evening ready to start 6amTuesday. Simon I will be there 11am, can we go straight to the hut?"
"Don't break my fucking nose this time?"
"Just duck then!"
"NO dad, why?"
"You two have got just three days and I want you to have that time together. The Major is fine about me staying with him and we will talk all night and not only will we win the first war again, this one will be over before you go to "Blossom". There, now argue."
"Does arguing my father's bullshit count?"
"I want to spend time with you dad as well, it’s not fair you getting out of your own home because of Tony and me." Andrew stopped all arguments. He went to his son and wrapped his arms around him.
"Shut up and don't argue with me Sub Lieutenant, just remember who out ranks who? Besides, I really want you two to have the time, it’s important to me Simon. We will have time together when Tony goes back." They cuddled in close and said no more about it.
Simon was waiting for Tony's train at the rear of the last carriage and Simon knew he would get off where he was this time. The carriage door opened and the new Lance Corporal of the Medical Corps stepped off into the arms of the new Sub Lieutenant of the RNVR. All the other passengers were walking off towards the exit and had their backs to them and so would have missed the embrace they gave one another. After a long time stuck together they looked round them and found they were by themselves and were able to kiss their welcome to each other.
"Welcome home Tony, the hut is ready."
"Got the cards?"
They arrived at the hut opened the door and stepped inside. Simon closed the door and in that instant their world would be contained within that tiny hut and would show nothing but love and the sublime acts in showing it. Two beautiful young bodies and minds were about to join together in a physical way that could only be equalled, never surpassed.
"Lance Corporal, you may now undress me."
"Fuck off SUB Lieutenant, YOU undress me."
"NO, I am an officer and therefore superior to you and you should go to your knees, not just to pay homage, but also to unbutton my fly, take my dick out and suck it."
"Oh fuck it... Pleeeese Tony?" Tony went to his knees, unbuttoned Simon's fly's, dropped his trousers and took Simon's dick out of his pants and, stood up!
"What the fuck are you doing back up here? I did say please."
"I am going nowhere until I tell you how much I love you and we spend a little time kissing... I love you Simon."
"You’re definitely homosexual then?" Simon asked.
"Wait there." Tony went to his knees and took Simon into his mouth.
"Yep, seems I am." Silly, but sweet.
They now laid naked together with Tony on his back with his legs over Simon's and felt the whole length as it gently slipped into him. Simon was on his side and leaning over kissing Tony and stroking him at the same time and like that they went on their sweet way until they both reached the point of no return and both came together, many times. After sometime getting back to normal, Simon reached over for another blanket and covered both of them. They wrapped arms and legs around each body and gently kissed one another for the next hour.
For the remainder of their time together they were hardly ever more than two feet apart and they made love all over the cottage, even on the top of Andrew's desk! Tony had opened the drawer containing Andrew's .38 revolver and threatened Simon with it.
"Lay down or get this."
"Shouldn't you load it first?"
"Oh yeah! Forgot that bit."
Monday evening they went back to the hut. They had only taken their jackets and ties off just to make themselves more comfortable. All they both wanted was to be there to start the long goodbye. They laid on the blankets and like that cuddled in and kissed. They would break off now and then to talk.
"Simon, I'm spending a lot of my time in the theatres and I'm sure if we invade Europe some time I will go and work in a field hospital. I hate to say it but I really like my work. I have been involved in quite a few really bad injuries and learnt a lot. So, you never know I might see some action as well. Now that you are going to sea I will write home all the time so you will get them when you come home. If I get posted I will ring your dad to give him my new address." Simon kissed him.
"I expect you will get my letters more often than I get yours now, but there will never be a time when I won’t be thinking of you."
"Already do. Just stay safe Simon."
"I will try to and hope that when all this is over we can meet up with Spike and Brian and all of us have a good life."
"Can’t wait for that to happen." It was now the 18th May.
Once again they stood on the platform waiting for Tony's train. The previous times had been difficult of course, but this? It was dreadful as Simon was going to sea and neither of them had a clue when the next time they would be together and there was of course the small matter of survival. Neither of them mentioned it, but it was in the forefront of their minds. They just stood there in silence and when at last the train pulled in, it was in fact a relief for the pair of them.
"Take care please Simon, I love you."
"I love you so much and I will try Tony, just you do the same." With one last look and a squeeze of their hands Tony got on board and was gone. Simon stood there for a long time even though the train was out of sight, he didn't want other people to see the tears.
Two days later he was back on the station with Andrew.
"I'm beginning to hate this station dad."
"Me too, love it much better went you come this way though. Good luck son, no father can be more proud. Take care and keep your boots dry." They hugged and Simon went to war.
"I won’t ask you what sort of time you had Tony, but I'm guessing you are feeling pretty pissed off right know."
"Right on both counts. God knows when we will all see one another again. I'm just glad we are busy, it will help to stop thinking too much." Tony didn't think too much of it, but Gary had met him again at the station and he must have been waiting for hours as he had not told him what time train he was coming on.
"I'm just glad I sent you for the weekend Tony. You deserved it." Gary was asking to be thanked and be grateful.
"Thanks Gary, I'm really grateful."
"Hey, that's what friends are for and any time I can help, you know where I am ok? You know I would do anything for you Tony, anyway come on, time for a couple of beers." Gary led the way across the road and Tony obediently followed.
Simon arrived at the Albert docks and found his ship HMS Blossom and just stared at her, she looked somewhat weather beaten and hardly ready for sea. His heart sank, but managed a smile.
"I bet Spike and Brian would laugh their socks off if they saw her." He stood at the dock side looking up and saw men all over her working to get her finished.
"Not very pretty is she?" Simon looked round and saw his first Captain, a Lieutenant Commander RNVR.
"I'm Charles Thickness and I'm guessing you are Simon Walsh, our navigator. Welcome to your first ship Simon." They shook hands and then Simon saluted and got told off.
"None of that bullshit unless there are senior officers about of course, come on lets get on board and I can introduce you to the others." Simon suddenly felt at home.
They were all RNVR officers and by the time he had been introduced he felt even more at home.
"You are bunking down with Patrick Childs who is our Radar/Asdic/Radio officer and apparently a whiz kid at anything that goes ping, he is about your age as well. It’s funny really, the two youngest officers and us old farts will be depending on both of you to keep us out of the shit! He will be here tomorrow. CHIEF!"
Chief Petty Officer Bob Frazier came into the wardroom and was introduced to Simon and tried to hide his broad smile as he looked at him. Simon did himself a lot of favours as he smiled at the CPO.
"Don't worry Chief, I trained with the Sea Scouts for a whole week."
"Well DONE sir, I will show you your cabin and then jump ship! Welcome aboard."
The following morning Simon got busy in his chart room which was aft of the bridge when he heard his name called by the First Lieutenant, Lt Peter Warburton RNVR.
"Simon, this is Patrick Childs." Simon was looking at one of the most handsome men he had ever met. He guessed 19/20. He was taller than him, about 5ft 11 and very slim. They shook hands and both men liked the firm grip.
"Nice to meet you Patrick."
"And you too. Apparently we are together, hope you’re not an untidy person, I hate that." Good start.
It was late on the 23rd May and four Royal Navy ships, the Hood, Prince of Wales and the Cruisers Suffolk and Norfolk were at sea looking for the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen in the Denmark Straights west of Iceland when the two German ships were spotted and began to shadow them. The four ships were at action stations with Spike and Brian standing by the winching gear ready to load shells onto the winch if and when they were needed. When it got dark they were told to stand easy, but stay at their stations. Sandwiches and hot coco arrived and Spike and Brian lent up against a 15 inch shell to eat and drink.
"You scared Spike?"
"ME? Nah Brian, never." Spike lied. "You?"
"Yes, nearly shitting myself." Brian said truthfully.
"Ok, me too." He leant over to Brian.
"I love you and always will." There was no time for Brian to reply, the alarms went off again.
The Battle of the Denmark Straights lasted for only 17 minutes. Both the Hood and Prince of Wales took hits and although the Prince of Wales scored hits on the Bismarck she would have to withdraw because of her damage. The fifth salvo from the Bismarck smashed through the Hood's decks and exploded in the aft magazine. The Hood was blown apart and sank in under 3 minutes.
Of the 1,418 crew only three survived, but did not include Spike or Brian.