AN: This chapter is a bit longer than the previous one. Thanks to my reviewer who convinced me to carry one.
The rest of the assembled conquering heroes seemed not to notice, as they were rather enjoying the festivities themselves but Yvette could spot from a mile away that Helga was drunk.
The usually so poised and icy Private was not staggering, or singing, or being particularly amorous, but Yvette could see it. Her eyes were unfocussed and for the first time she seemed rather put out to be in Herr Flick's company, which, the waitress supposed, was probably her true feelings appearing unguarded. Aside from that the German woman was badly concealing her absolute boredom at being stuck with the officers and Yvette briefly felt sorry for her.
Very suddenly the General turned to Helga and pulled her to her feet to dance with him. Caught unawares and spun around forcibly the blond woman suddenly looked very queasy to Yvette and she knew before it happened what Helga was going to do. Luckily for the General Helga seemed to realise too and pulled away from his arms and began to move towards the café kitchen after Yvette threw the door open and beckoned her through it. She had barely got the door shut when Helga fell to her knees and began to throw up the contents of her stomach.
Yvette felt the sympathy for the other woman swell up again and fell to her own knees to hold her as still as she could.
"I'm sorry." Helga managed to choke out between heaves and Yvette knew she wasn't really sorry for being sick but was highly embarrassed.
"Shhhhh, you'll feel better afterwards."
She put her hand to Helga's forehead and felt the heat and perspiration and briefly wondered, as she fetched a glass of water, how Helga's make-up had not yet run.
"'ere, drink this."
Yvette was surprised when Helga did as she was told without any protest. The German woman leant against Yvette and the waitress could feel her shaking and the unstedyness showed in her face.
"Come on, get up."
"No. I'll be alright, I just need to stay here for a while."
"You can't sit 'ere all night. Let me get you to bed."
Helga was silent for a long time and Yvette felt certain she was being ignored before she spoke.
"Alright. But please do not let the other officers sees me."
Yvette knew this was impossible but as Helga couldn't open her eyes she had a feeling she wouldn't notice them anyway. She pulled the taller woman to her feet and realised how right she had been about Helga's unsteadiness when the woman leaned on her heavily.
"It's ok, just start moving."
She manoeuvred Helga to the door relatively easily but knew the other Germans would probably ask questions. But there was no other way. Thankfully they were lucky. Madam Edith had begun to sing and Yvette could move very quickly to the stairs with Helga and was quite pleased that she managed to make it look as though the other woman was capable of her own movement. Of course she promptly fell back into Yvette's support once they were out of sight, but that was to be expected really.
Together they staggered to Yvette's bedroom and the waitress was surprised when Helga moved onto the bed without any help.
"You don't mind do you?"
Helga's eyes were still tightly closed and her head was slightly bowed and Yvette knew from her own experiences how much effort it suddenly seemed to lift your own head when you were drunk.
"No, you can sleep 'ere."
Helga kicked off her shoes easily but began to have a great deal of trouble when she pulled up her skirt and tried to remove her stockings without undoing her suspenders. Yvette had to suppress a laugh.
"Let me 'elp you."
She rolled Helga over a little to reach the zip of her skirt and pulled that away ignoring the spark of jealously that always appeared when she was faced with better legs than her own rather good ones. After removing the offending stockings and suspenders she wondered whether Helga would mind in the morning when she saw Yvette had undressed her. She certainly wasn't protesting much at the moment. She removed her own jacket then nearly strangled herself removing the black tie and Yvette had to force away another laugh as she gently removed it from Helga's neck. Finally she unbuttoned her crisp white shirt and noticed that the back of it was nearly soaked through with cold sweat. Without comment she folded all the clothes as Helga began to fruitlessly try to take down her hair.
"Wait a moment."
Yvette placed the clothes neatly on one of her chairs and began to unpin Helga's hair, noticing the kinks in it that seemed to be omnipresent due to the tight plaits she wore.
"Now go to sleep. There is a bowl under the bed in case you feel sick again and drink plenty of water."
Helga nodded wordlessly and settled herself under the covers. She was asleep before Yvette left the room.
The following morning Helga awoke feeling very strange. She knew she was in a foreign bed and remembered Yvette putting her to bed after she had been sick. That drunken feeling had gone and despite what she had always been told about hangovers she didn't feel too bad, perhaps a little queasy but that was all. Apart from her mouth being painfully dry. She sat up and opened her eyes in search of water and noticed she was not alone.
Yvette began to stir next to her on the bed.
"'ow do you feel?"
"I feel fine. I just have a horrible taste in my mouth."
Yvette snickered briefly, yawned and placed her arm over her face to shield her eyes from the morning light. .
"I am not surprised. It took me a while to clean up the liquid contents of your stomach, it is not pleasant."
Helga had the good grace to blush at this.
"Don't be. We all have our moments."
The German woman lay back down on the bed and sighed.
"Mine would have to be in front of all the other officers."
"They didn't see you. When we went through Madam Edith was singing so they were all covering their 'eads with their coats to block the noise. I don't think she even noticed."
Helga laughed and they lay in silence for a while.
"It's fine. Just promise not to threaten to shoot me for a few months."
Neither of them smiled at this. For a brief few moments they had simply been two women, one helping the other and joking about it the following morning, but the reality of their sides in the war came back sharply.
"I told you, it is –"
"Not for that."
Yvette was silent and Helga felt the air growing uncomfortable.
They continued to lie in the bed, back to their companionable silence.
"Stop saying sorry."
"No, not that. Why do you have mistletoe hung over your bed?"
Yvette's eyes shot open and this time she blushed.
"I was…expecting somebody else last night."
"So the entire town does know?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Is it Christmas morning?"
"I'm sorry. I should have got you a gift."
"That can be your present. Kiss me like you would 'err Flick."
Yvette thought she would back down. That the paragon of German womanhood would laugh nervously and pretend she hadn't said it. She didn't expect Helga to pin her to the bed and shove her lips against her own. She stopped as abruptly as she started and had Yvette not been so shell-shocked she may have protested.
"Do me a favour and clean you teeth next time."
They both burst out laughing. Helga once again docilely did as she was told and they proceeded to spend the morning giggling like children and practising kissing, which Yvette assured her was something lots of women did.
It was 10 'o clock before René disturbed them and they sprung apart like criminals caught in the act, which to Helga's political party they technically were. He however seemed to have no reservations and smiling informed Yvette that Edith wanted her downstairs soon. He left with a grin and the two women looked at each other again.
Then burst out laughing.