Simon peered through the binoculars from the bell tower with Axel standing next to him. The Germans were now sitting on the ground and seemed to be having some sort of meeting and from the body language it was not a meeting that had everyone's agreement as quite a few of them seemed to be arguing with what looked to be the only officer in charge. All Simon and Axel could think was the men, or at least a lot of them, wanted to surrender and the officer didn't as he was standing up with his hands on his hips and yelling his head off at them.
"Axel go and get a white flag, I'm going out there to talk to them."
"NO Simon! You will get killed."
"Do it now, it may stop more killing and tell the others I am going out and don't shoot me by mistake! Tell them only if the flag falls, open fire."
"I'm coming with you and don't argue, you are English and will need an interpreter."
Simon stepped out with a pillow case attached to a broom stick held it up high and waited. The Germans saw him and stood up with their weapons ready. Simon continued to wave the flag with both sides looking at one another.
Eventually Simon took a few paces forward followed by Axel, both made sure the Germans knew they were unarmed by raising their arms. The Germans remained still and Simon slowly walked towards them. When they were 50 yards away they stopped and Simon told Axel to ask the officer to come forward and talk. After sometime the officer slowly walked towards them, Simon and Axel did the same until they stood no further than 10 feet apart.
"We are here to ask you to lay your weapons down. We have massive fire covering every one of your troops. If you lay the weapons down you may walk away. The war is all but over and there will be nothing to gain if either of us opens fire."
"And who are you to tell an officer of the German Wehrmacht to surrender?"
"I did not ask you to surrender, just lay your weapons down and walk away. For Christ sake man even you should know it’s all over. Why carry on with the killing?"
"I ask again, who are you? I do not recognise that uniform or your assumed authority."
"I am Commander Simon Walsh of the Royal Navy and was captured and sent here. We have taken the village over and all the German occupiers are prisoners and safe. I ask again, please tell your men to lay down their weapons, I won’t ask again, we have 20 machine guns pointing at you plus many rifles. We will not open fire unless this flag drops."
"Germans NEVER surrender. I am Hauptmann Hans Ritter and my men will remain under my command and orders."
"For Christ's sake man your men are surrendering in their thousands!" Simon tried humour. "I repeat, I am Commander Walsh of the Royal Navy and I didn't fuck anyone to get it." Nothing.
"Look Hans, the war is over, go home and be with your family, or do you want your men to become even more victims of this bloody war?"
Hans Ritter looked at Simon and smiled at him and then looked around him. A look of resignation came over his face. He looked around him again and then back at Simon.
"You really don't have any idea what we Germans are all about do you."
Before anyone could move he put his hand behind his back and bought out the Luger he had in his belt, he stared at Simon as he put the gun to his head and blew his brains out.
He had carried out his last act on behalf of his former Fuhrer who had blown his own brains out just the day before.
However, by shooting himself many more would die needlessly. Hearing the gun shot and Ritter falling to the ground, his troops could be excused from thinking he had been shot by Simon and open fired themselves followed half a second later by the villagers.
Two minutes later 112 men stood with their hands above their heads, the rest were dead or wounded.
Axel got to his feet screaming for help, Simon had been hit and now laid on the ground with blood pouring out of his abdomen.
He was taken to the doctor’s house and laid on the kitchen table and he went to work in an attempt to control the bleeding and keep Simon alive, but he was in serious trouble and the doctor knew he would need help.
Without giving it a second thought Axel and three of the younger men got the captured German car out and flew off towards where they hoped the British were. Luck was on their side, they had only travelled 15 miles when they came across a medical unit and after scaring the shit out of the guards they were taken to meet Captain Alan Forsyth of the 4th Medical Corps and after taking to Axel he knew he was about to meet Tony's lover. He also came to realise that although all four lads were so worried about Simon, Axel was beside himself as he pleaded with Alan to go and save Simon's life.
Alan got a small team together and as much medical supplies he would need, more would follow them as soon as they got themselves organised and tend to the German wounded.
Alan's driver had a hell of a job keeping up with Alex and co as the they broke all speed records to get back. He was taken straight to the doctor’s house and together with the medics with them began to work on Simon.
Alan looked down at the seriously wounded Simon and looked the man Tony had fallen in love with. "No wonder, if looks are anything to go by."
An hour and a half later he had removed the bullet and Simon was given all they could to help him through the pain and hopefully to stop infection, but he was seriously ill and the next few hours would be critical.
Alan left Simon and went out to talk to the villagers, every one of them were outside the doctors house. He said all he could to reassure them. "But I have to tell you Simon is very ill."
An hour later a field unit turned up and they also got to work on the 23 badly wounded former enemies, the surrender had already been announced.
Simon's condition remained critical, but Alan was hopeful as he appeared to be stable. He gave himself a break and sat outside in the small front garden. Axel came and sat with him.
"Will he come through Alan?"
"I can’t be absolutely sure, but he does not seem to be getting any worse. It’s still a bit early to say anything positive, we just have to hope there will be no infection. We have done all we can and I have to get him back home as soon as possible."
"My parents have told me I have to go the Brussels and try and find my grandparents. I have to go tomorrow, do you think I can see Simon before I go?"
"Of course you can, you can go and sit with him now if you want, but make sure you don't wake him up. I take it you two were close friends?"
"I like to think we were very close." He was quiet for some time looking at Alan.
"Alan I may never see him again, but he is the reason we are all still alive and I would have liked to have thanked him from all of us. I will go and get writing paper and while I am sitting with him I can write to him and thank him that way, will you please make sure he gets it?"
"Of course." Axel went off leaving Alan thinking about him and Simon and then about himself and Tony.
Axel came back and went into the lounge where a bed had been made up for Simon and he sat next to him and wrote his letter. He remained with Simon until Alan and a medic came in to check him over. Axel took one last look at Simon and Alan noticed the tears running down his face.
"Thank you for what you have done for Simon Alan. No one deserved to die in this bloody war and I put Simon on top of the list." They looked at one another one last time and Axel went out to begin the long journey to find his grandparents.
Two days later Tony finally caught up with the 4th and the first thing he did was try and find Alan, but was told he had gone to Lowifontaine to help with the wounded there. He went to report to his Colonel.
"Just the man I have been waiting for. Tony it’s good to see you again and my dear man I have some good news for you, you are going back home and after two weeks leave report to the Cambridge and finish off your time there. We are hoping you will stay in the Medical Corps for another six months and from there dear fellow we will help you get to where ever you want to go, but we all hope you continue in medicine."
"Yes of course I will stay in and I will also stay in medicine and hope to get a training hospital when I get out of the Army. May I go to that village to meet with Alan?"
"Go tomorrow we have a little celebrating to do Tony."
"Celebrating? Celebrating what sir?"
"Congratulations on your Military Cross Tony, we are all so proud of you."
Simon remained stable and had woken a couple of times, but seemed unaware of what was going on. Alan on the other hand was more than aware of what was happening and needed to get him away. He contacted his unit and arranged for an ambulance to arrive early the next day and for the communications officer to get an emergency evacuation slot on the first DC3 as a priority 10 patient.
The ambulance arrived and Alan told them they would see how he was overnight and he would make his mind up first thing in the morning.
He sat with him all night and half the village sat outside the cottage taking it in turns to come in one at a time to spend a few minutes and then changed over with another one. It had quite an effect on Alan, Simon was truly loved by these people.
Alan made his mind up and at 11 the following morning Simon was taken to the ambulance with the entire village standing quietly by and whispering their best wishes and thank you. Alan looked around, there was not a dry eye among them.
Tony was on his way to Lowifontaine to meet up with Alan and could not wait to see him again, he had missed him terribly during the past six months. He had to pull off the road as an ambulance was coming towards him. He allowed it to pass and drove off again. He and Simon had been within feet of one another.
Alan was in his tent when Tony arrived, he was told where he was and he went to find him. They took one look and threw their arms around one another and held on for a long time. They sat on Alan's bed and talked through all that had happened during the time they had been apart.
"Christ I have missed you so much Alan, but thinking about you kept me going and I knew we would get through all this shit. Thank GOD it’s all over." Alan meanwhile was wondering what Tony would think when he told him about Simon.
"Did it help thinking about Simon as well Tony, you surely must have done?"
"Of course, I have thought about him a constantly, but most of it that he is dead. I'm getting myself used to the fact he has gone and I will now have to think about my life without him."
"Did you see an ambulance pass you when you were coming here?"
"Yes I did, why?"
"Simon was in it. He had only just gone before you got here, he is on his way back home."
"He was HERE? Why? Tell me everything please Alan." And then broke down in tears of relief.
When he had regained some sort of composure he sat there and listened while Alan told him all that he knew what Simon had been involved in while he had been in the village and how he had become badly wounded. He did not know all the details and could not explain why Simon in fact ended up in the village and not a POW camp.
"All I know is he did some fantastic work and as far as Axel tells me, he most probably saved the entire village from being executed when the Germans surrendered. There is a lot I don't know, but as I am staying here for another two weeks, I hope to find out."
Before they could continue a medic came to the tent looking for Alan. "Sir, I have just cleared the room the Commander was in and found this letter, it’s addressed to him."
Tony was still trying to let all this sink in and did not have time to find out much more because he had to get back to camp and get ready to fly out himself the following day.
"What do you think his chances are?"
"Between reasonable and not bad. If he does pull through a lot of it will be down to his own fitness."
"I have not prayed once during this fucking war Alan except for Simon and I won’t stop until I know he will pull through."
Alan smiled to himself in a resigned sort of way. "Life can be cruel at times" he thought, but despite that, he was of course happy for both of them.
"Look Tony I have to go back to work, why don't you go to the mess tent and I will meet you there in an hour or so. You will have to go soon anyway, but we should have a little time before you do. Oh, you had better have this letter from Axel and give it to Simon when you meet him."
Tony sat there looking at the letter and was telling himself off for even thinking about reading it, but it may help him to understand what Simon had gone through while he had been in the village. Simon would not mind, he had never hid anything from Tony. He continued to stare at the envelope for some time and then made his mind up.
He read the letter over and over again and as he did the joy he had had a short while ago became nothing more than despondency. He laid the letter on the bed and went out for a walk and all the time realising that unlike him, Simon had not been so faithful and even became angry as he thought about him and this bloke Axel having sex.
"I went to the mess, have you been here all the time?" Tony did not reply and just handed the letter to Alan. "Read it."
It was four pages long and for three and a half of them it was all about what they had all gone through when Simon took charge and freed them from the Germans and how much every one of them were sure had it not been for him, they could also have died like the five villagers already killed by Albrecht and the four British prisoners who had been murdered by the same man. There was no mention why they had been shot as Axel knew Simon would know what he was writing about. So far anyone reading the latter would realise Simon had done a fantastic job and the high regard all of them had for him. No, it was the last paragraph that was the killer for Tony.
Simon, we all have a great deal to thank you for, but none more than me and my memory of the time we shared. You were sleeping when I came to say goodbye and this is why I am writing to you, but mainly because I need to tell you of my deep affection I have for you and wish that we will meet again one day and join together once more and make full love only under much more peaceful circumstances. As I told you I hope to go to St George’s hospital in London very soon and become the same as your friend you told me about. Should you ever wish to, just contact St Georges in a few months as I am sure of my placement there.
Take care and hurry back to good health.
Thank you for my life. With much love and all of my love.
They sat there for a very long time unable to say anything. Tony's world had fallen apart and even Alan could not take it all in as he had been so sure that Simon would never get involved with someone else, from what Tony had told him about the two of them. He certainly knew that Tony wouldn't. He had mixed feelings about all of this and if he was a complete shit he could just push a button and Tony would be his, but even though that's exactly what he wanted there was something not quite right about the whole thing.
"Well, I guess I did not know him that well then. For Christ sake he only referred to me as being just a FRIEND!" Tony thought for a while longer and Alan just waited.
"Ok, I'm not going to be angry, I am just going to think circumstances bought them together like it must have done with thousands like him. All I am glad about is I read that fucking letter and now know Simon is not the person I thought he was, better late than never I suppose." Tony looked at Alan and half smiled at him. "You have been such a good friend Alan and never made my life difficult although I know how you feel about me. You told me of your love and now I see no reason why we should not get to know one another better and see what happens between us. At least I know you will never go behind my back. I have to go soon, but if I didn't I would stay with you tonight. As soon as we can perhaps I can come and stay with you at your home?"
"Of course you can, but you are going home and it will be some time before I do, meanwhile it will give you time to think all this through. Tony I am convinced there is more to this."
"He had FUCKING SEX with that Axel bloke, that's ALL I need to know Alan. The only time I need is to forget him, I won’t even think of the times we had together. I just wish I did not have to go back and get ready to go home and I could stay with you tonight." He laughed, "There is no fucking home to go to anyway."
Tony saying that meant he did not have to say no to him about staying, Alan was still sure something was wrong, he would try and find out when Tony left.
They cuddled in to say goodbye and a very unhappy Tony left Alan who was thinking hard. He wanted to find out more about Axel and Simon, but at the same time he didn't. Tony was sure Simon cheated on him and all Alan had to do was let him think that and it would not be long before they were together. BUT, Alan would always feel sure Simon did not cheat, something happened that he needed to find out about and the reason he thought that was what Axel said, or rather didn't say in his letter.
The celebrations throughout the country was at its height, but none more so than those who had been told their sons were coming home! Andrew was in his newly refurbished cottage when he got the call that Simon was one of them. He listened to the surgeon who told him that Simon was at St Thomas's hospital in London and would need to be operated on again.
"Commander Walsh is a very sick man, but with the care he received with the surgeon over there and Simon's own fitness, I am confident he will pull through." Andrew asked that Simon would be told he was coming up the next day and then phoned Trevor.
"I will drive you up Andrew and don't argue, meanwhile get your ass over here." Andrew had no intention of arguing and got his ass over to Trevor's place.
Even though both men were slightly the worse for wear the following day, Trevor managed to get Andrew to St Thomas's without doing any harm to them or anyone else.
He dropped Andrew off and went to stay with his sister and told Andrew to call him when he was ready to go back but not to hurry. "We have all the time in the world now Andrew. We are free of this war and the filth will be no more. Go and enjoy your son and give him my best wishes and welcome him home."
Andrew was shown into Simon's ward and quietly sat down beside his bed and looked at his son as he slept. His arms were on top of the sheets and he held a hand and waited. While he looked at Simon and thanked God for his life he wondered about Tony and prayed he had survived as well.
While he sat holding his sons hand, Andrew's thoughts went back to when he and Trevor stood outside the renovated cottage admiring the transformation and the conversation about the boys coming home and being together again. “I just wish they had a place like this Trevor." And the Trevor came up with the answer. They were sitting in Trevor's lounge drinking a watered down whisky. Times were getting hard in the whisky department.
"Andrew I have a suggestion. You have said you would like Simon and Tony to have a place of their own, well why don't you think about coming here to live with me? That would give them a place of their own and we will have the company of one another. I am sure we would get on very well, we already do and, for me anyway, I would love to have you here. Don't take it the wrong way, but you have become a very close friend and my home is your home should you wish it."
"Do I have to sleep with you then Trevor?"
"Not unless I am totally pissed and you grow another leg!"
"Will you let me off repayment of the loan?"
"Christ, Simon and Tony have a lot to answer for. Two young lovers and here is me wanting his dad to come and live with me! No you bugger, the loan repayments stands, but having you here will go towards delays in repayment if you should fall on difficult times."
"Sounds good, but repayment will never be a problem, my company is assured for some time to come. We have enough orders for the next five years and that will give us time to explore future developments. I feel the same as you, you are a great friend and thank you for all you have done for me Trevor and yes, I would love to come and live here."
"Right, that's that then. Let’s get the two lads home and settled, then we can think about ourselves, meanwhile it’s your round and mines a large bottle of Brandy."
"Can I take a loan out?"
Simon woke up and saw his father for the first time.
"It’s all over son, welcome home. Just get well, I have shit loads of work for you!" Simon could not take his eyes off of his father. Andrew lowered his face to his son's and just gently touched cheeks whilst holding his hand. Simon did not have much memory of all that had happened but knew he was now safe, his dad being there told him that. He looked at Andrew again and smiled, then went back to sleep still holding his hand tight. When he was able to, Andrew got to a phone and called Trevor.
"I'm staying here Trevor to be with Simon for however long it takes."
"Andrew, I am also staying here, for however long it takes."
It did take a lot longer than expected, but as each day passed the better Simon became and everyone knew Simon was well and truly on the mend. After a week Andrew and Trevor returned home, a boat yard and a bank needed them back.
By the end of the war millions had died and the whole world would be affected one way or another for all time. However, there were many who survived and because of the war found happiness, these four amongst them.
John Masterson, the RAF Sergeant Pilot Simon and Tony had pulled from the English Channel, ended up a Flight Lieutenant with five confirmed kills to his name and the DFC.
His lover Flight Sergeant Robin Osborn CGM had been posted to Malta and was there when the Island was almost bombed into extinction. They lost contact but had agreed to keep going to a certain pub after the war in the hope they would meet again. John had been demobbed and got a job with an insurance company and after work every night he would pop into the pub for a pint then go home. He spent longer in the pub at weekends and on this particular Sunday he was at the bar when he got a tap on his back, turned round and the two were reunited. They would be together for life.
Lieutenant Commander Steven Williamson DSC and Simon's second in command of the boat flotilla served with Lieutenant Robin Miller when he joined the flotilla for the rest of the war and after it they would be together running their small hotel in Cornwall.
Two of the four men shared one thing, John and Steven had Simon's phone number.
It was Steven who phoned first and introduced himself to Andrew and asked about Simon. After a long chat a relieved Steven put the phone down called Robin up to the bedroom and made love to him. After Steven had released a rather large load into his man and Robin had released a rather large load all over himself, he asked what bought that on.
"Just heard Simon has survived, although he is still quite ill from being shot. He is in St Thomas's hospital and should go back home in a month. I could not be happier Robin."
"And while you were fucking me, you had Simon in mind?"
"Of course, always do!" Robin was very very strong and he made Steven suffer massively, they loved it and even more so when they made up.
John phoned a week later and Andrew repeated the information. After a long chat he went down to the garage where
Robin was up to his elbows in grease and oil servicing their car. John went to him and dropped his overalls and gave him a blow job.
"What bought that on?"
"Just found out Simon is back and in hospital recovering from being shot and just wanted you to be a part of the celebrations."
"Anyone else you know who survived!?"
"No, but pretend you do." Ten minutes later John went back indoors and showered all the oil and grease off his cock, balls and bum.
Meanwhile Tony was getting on with his work with his usual enthusiasm, but once he took a break, became miserable as usual. He had been at the Army hospital in Aldershot for nearly a month and by that time he had hoped Simon was getting further from his mind and at the same time waiting for Alan to call him when he had got back to England. He was in fact disappointed that neither had happened, but that was about to change.
"Hello Tony." Tony spun round and looked at the smiling Alan.