A/N: This can be read as an epilogue to "The Velvet Dark," but not necessarily. It's just a silly, fluffy little piece! Dedicated to and inspired by the ladies on the TVD thread who weren't quite finished with Hinz yet! Thanks to HB and Wobble-Duck for the poem and translation.
YOU ARE THE CALM
She knew the day it happened. It was when they were on holiday, visiting Heinrich's estate.
The sun blazed orange and red in the sky, but there were clouds rolling in from the west promising rain, and a gentle breeze cooled them as they lay there under the suStoriesmmer sky. They had set their picnic things at the bottom of the rolling hill that dipped and undulated down from the back garden and on to the vineyard. The only sound was the buzz of insects and the rustling of the grass, so tall that it obscured the view from the house, and they seemed, for a moment, the only two people in the world.
It had been a lazy day. Oskar and his new wife, Marta, had taken Charlotte to the circus, and they had slept in and enjoyed the morning to themselves. They had finally decided on a picnic lunch out by the abbey wall, and Heinrich had even brought the old gramophone out with them. They listened to lieder and opera and now, she was singing softly as "The Way You Look Tonight."
They were feeling full and content from the wine, and he was lying now, eyes closed, with his head in her lap. She pulled a grape from the bunch in the picnic basket and brushed it against his lips. He smiled and pulled it from her fingers with his teeth. She raked her nails across the stubble of his cheek. "Do you intend to shave today?" she asked teasingly.
"No," he said, and turned to rub his face across the bare skin just above her knee. She gave a protesting laugh and moved away.
"I'll put another record on. What would you like?"
He rolled toward her onto his side and propped himself up on one elbow. "That one, there," he said, and nodded to the record on the top of the stack. She pulled it from its sleeve, placed it on the turntable, and cranked the handle. The record hissed and popped, and then came the sound of piano and a voice, singing in a clear, bell-like soprano.
She curled in next to him, her face against his chest, drawing in his clean, masculine scent. She loved the solid feel of him, his arms around her.
"It's lovely," she said. "What is it?"
"Schubert. 'Du bist die Ruh.' The singer is Elisabeth Schumann. I saw her in Salzburg before the war."
She closed her eyes and listened, lost in the yearning, silvery tone of the singer's voice. She felt him ease her onto her back; a gentle hand stroked her cheek. He kissed her forehead, her eyes, her mouth, and then his fingers slipped inside the front of her dress and skimmed the soft skin there. "What do you think you're doing? As if I didn't know."
He kissed her chin, her neck, down to the valley between her breasts. "I am trying to make love to my wife."
"The children. They'll be back soon," she said in half-hearted protest.
"I don't care." His fingers plucked slowly at the buttons of her dress. She raised one arm and bent it behind her head.
"You're terrible," she said with a soft moan. She laced her fingers through his hair and listened as the music went on. "Mmmm. It's beautiful. What is she saying?"
"Du bist die Ruh…die Friede mild. You are the calm, you are the gentle peace."
Her dress was open in the front, and one breast had sprung free of her underthings. He lowered his mouth onto her nipple and coaxed it to a peak with his tongue.
"More…tell me more."
"Die Sehnsucht du und was sie stillt," he said in a low murmur as she reached up to unbutton his shirt and ran her hands down his smooth chest. He lifted one of her hands and placed a kiss in the center of her palm. "You are longing and what stills it."
"Yes. I love that," she said dreamily.
He was kneeling between her legs, and he pulled one leg up, leaning down to lay a trail of kisses from above her knee down to her ankle. She wriggled as his stubble tickled against her inner thigh. "Ich weihe dir voll Lust und Schmerz. Pleasure and pain."
"Pleasure and pain," she repeated. Yes. It was true. All they had been through. Pleasure and pain.
She tugged at his trousers as he worked at the belt. With his hands on her knees, he pushed her legs back and moved between her thighs, easing himself down to whisper in her ear. "Treib andern Schmerz aus dieser Brust. Voll sei dies Herz von deiner Lust. Drive other pain from my breast. Fill my heart with your pleasure."
"Yes," she said, the word coming out as a noise of contentment as he moved inside her.
"Kehr ein bei mir. Come live with me."
"Forever, my love."
"Und schliesse du Still hinter dir Die Pforten zu. And quietly close the gates behind you."
"Yes, my love. Forever. I love you."
There voices were a tangle of breathless English and German, rambling and tumbling, until he let out a ragged cry, and she shuddered around him, calling out once in the stillness of the vineyard.
The holiday ended, and they returned to England. Her monthly cycle had been erratic for a year now, and so she didn't give it much thought when three then four months passed without an appearance.
But then she realized her dresses no longer fit despite the fact that she had hardly eaten anything for the past three months.
"I've been to the doctor today," she said one night as they lay in their bed nested against each other like spoons.
"Oh?" he asked.
"And they've found out why I've been so tired lately." There was a silence. She rolled to face him.
"What is it?" His brows were drawn down in concern.
"Yes. Well, it's the funniest thing, really." She let out a breath and gave him a curious smile. "I'm pregnant."
It had happened that day, that perfect summer day, when they had made love in the tall grass by the vineyard. Five months later, their second child was born.
She had been in a frenzy one Saturday afternoon trying to ready things for the nursery, when she felt a sharp twinge in her belly as she reached up to hang the new curtains. Heinrich was there, and they drove together to the hospital. He held her hand and whispered soft, encouraging words as she panted and gritted her teeth against the pains as they came more frequently.
He kissed her once as they wheeled her off, and the nurses left him with reassuring smiles. Then she knew things had gone wrong as the doctor and nurses' smiles faded into frowns. "What is it? What's wrong?" she managed to say before a nurse dropped a gauze mask over her face, and the sickly sweet smell of ether filled her mouth and nose.
When she awoke, she knew she was in the hospital, and she knew it was a beautiful morning. The sun was streaming in through the windows, and Heinrich was holding her hand.
"Hello…" she croaked.
"Hello," he said back. His face was bright. He rose and sat on the edge of the bed next to her. "We have a son."
"A son." She gave him a weary, joyful smile. "It's perfect."
Felicity watched as his face momentarily darkened. She was becoming aware of the pain in her abdomen, not the way it was with Philip and Charlotte. "Something's happened. Something you're not telling me."
"There were complications." He said after a pause, his hand still in hers. "You and the baby are fine, but…there can be no more children."
She thought for a moment. There was a brief stab of regret at what had been irrevocably lost, but then she smiled. "Well, I'm forty-six," she said wryly. "And we have two perfect children. A girl and a little boy. What more could we hope for?"
The nurse came in then and lowered the baby into his mother's arms. A beautiful boy with blue eyes and white-blond hair. "Perfect," Heinrich echoed and slipped his finger into the baby's grip.
Some weeks later, after she had recovered, they had him baptized. Both sides of his family would be honoured. His Christian name would be Manfred, for his lost brother, and they would call him Freddie, after Felicity's father, Frederick. She had wanted to christen him in the same gown that Philip had worn, but it had remained behind on the island for future generations of Dorrs. Still, it mattered little. She dressed Freddie in the same gown she had bought for Charlotte after their perilous journey to London. She liked that idea. It was fitting. New beginnings, new traditions.
They were all there, their whole far-flung family. Charlotte, of course, who at six considered herself very grown-up indeed and took her role as big sister very seriously. Philip and Patricia. Even Oskar and Marta came for the occasion, and any residual tensions were forgotten for a time as they gathered for the service at the village church and then back to the house for lunch, where Philip and Patricia announced that they were expecting.
She felt herself grow weepy as she watched them all sitting by the fire, making plans, talking with animation, Charlotte happily chattering to her older brothers. She carried Freddie upstairs and was nursing him in the rocking chair when Heinrich found her.
"What's wrong?" he asked, kneeling next to her.
"Nothing. Nothing at all," she said with a teary smile. They sat for some time as Freddie's eyes began to droop, and he fell asleep with a contented, snarfling little baby sound. She lifted him and laid him gently into his cot.
Charlotte wandered in then and tip-toed over, peering in through the rails. "Can I touch him?"
Her father lifted her up and bent her down into the cot, where she ran a gentle hand across his curls.
"What do you think of your baby brother, Charlotte?" he asked.
"I quite like him," she said very seriously and then leaned her head against her father's shoulder.
They stood in silence for a moment.
"I've been learning German, you know," Felicity finally said to her husband in a whisper.
"Yes. Kehr ein bei mir und schliesse du Still hinter dir die Pforten zu."
He smiled down at her. "Come live with me and close the gates quietly behind you."
"Yes." She smiled back at him and wrapped her arms around him. The three stood in an embrace as the baby peacefully slept.