A/N: I wrote this story for a fanfic challenge on another website. I'm posting it here, also; I thought some of you might get a kick out of it.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Hogan's Heroes characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
Blimey, 'ow did I get meself into this? RAF Corporal Peter Newkirk thought as he trudged along the road leading to Stalag Thirteen. Granted, he certainly didn't look like himself at the moment; wearing a black dress that fell to just below his knees, a brown wig on his head – the long hair hanging in a braid down his back – nylons being held up by a tight, irritating garter… And high heels that he swore were making his feet swell from all the walking he'd done this evening. Why me? Why do I always get sent on missions like this? Louie could pass for a bird any day! He shook his head as he kept walking. But no, the colonel makes me ruddy do it, like he always does. He just likes to see me squirm…
Newkirk was suddenly brought out of his reverie by headlights barreling down the road from directly behind him. He instinctively moved to the shoulder, hoping the car would pass right by. But he knew his luck wasn't with him when he noticed the vehicle slowing as it approached. When it reached his position, it came to a complete stop, and he had to forcibly squelch the panic that was rising in him.
Newkirk stared, his heart racing as the back seat window was rolled down. An older gentleman poked his head out, and Newkirk's blood froze as he recognized the uniform; an SS General! He wasn't sure whether to make a run for it, or faint dead away, when the general spoke.
"Fraulein! What are you doing out here all by yourself? And so late at night, too!"
Newkirk's brain switched on long enough to remind him that he was dressed like a girl. "Herr General," he replied in German, using the most feminine voice he could muster, "My car broke down just outside of town, and I am walking home."
"What?" The general exclaimed, "A pretty fraulein like you, out here all alone? Nonsense!" Then he smiled and opened the backseat door. "Please, let us give you a ride."
Newkirk's alarm bells were going off, but he drew a little closer to the car and peered inside. There were two other generals seated in the back, and one of them was holding up a bottle of schnapps.
Oh, bugger! Just what I need… A car full of drunk generals! "Thank you, Herr General, but I can make it by myself," Newkirk replied as he took a step back from the car.
The general swung the door wider and climbed out of the car. As he approached Newkirk, he said, "Now, what kind of gentleman would I be to let you walk home by yourself at night?" He reached up and laid his hand lightly on Newkirk's shoulder. "Come, we will give you a ride… I insist!"
Every nerve in Newkirk's body was screaming at him to bolt, but he knew if he did, he'd be in a lot worse trouble than he was now. Instead, he smiled at the general and replied sweetly, "How can I resist such a kind offer, General…?"
The general leaned in slightly and smiled wide. "Schmidt… But please, call me Hans. And you are…?"
Newkirk could smell the alcohol on Hans' breath, and fought the urge to wrinkle his nose. "My name is, uh, Wilhelmina," He responded politely, uttering the first name that popped into his head.
"Wilhelmina… A lovely name for a lovely fraulein," Hans swayed almost imperceptibly for a moment, and then gestured towards the car. "After you, Wilhelmina," he said, bowing slightly.
"Thank you, Herr Genera… I mean, Hans!" Newkirk replied, and stepped over to the car. As he leaned down, he noticed the other two generals scrunching together to make room for him. He smiled at them and slid into the back seat, wondering how on earth he was ever going to get out of this mess.
Hans slid in behind him, and after he closed the car door, he leaned back in the seat and casually put his arm around Newkirk. "Wilhelmina, I would like to introduce General Klein, and General Berger." He pointed first to the man on Newkirk's left, and then to the man seated to the left of General Klein.
"Call me Dieter," General Klein said, smiling at Newkirk, then he pointed to Berger, "And that's Karl."
"Nice to meet you," Newkirk said pleasantly, desperately trying to mask his growing panic.
"So, where is your home, Wilhelmina?" Hans asked, looking at him with more than a little interest.
Newkirk felt his gut tighten as he realized he'd been heading straight for Stalag Thirteen. Oh, for… he inwardly kicked himself, what the bloody hell do I do now? "If you don't mind me asking, Hans," he said, hoping to redirect the general's attention, "Where are you going this evening?"
Hans smiled and looked at him conspiratorially. "We're on our way to a party at General Schneider's house. It's his birthday, you know." He winked at Newkirk, and then his eyes grew wide. "Say, why don't you join us?"
The last thing Newkirk wanted was to attend a party with a bunch of inebriated German generals while dressed as a woman, but considering he couldn't tell them his real destination, he didn't see any other choice. "Why, thank you, Hans," he replied graciously, "I would be honored."
"It's settled, then," General Schmidt announced happily. Then he called up to the driver, "Sergeant, take us to General Schneider's house!"
"Jawohl, Herr General," the sergeant responded as he put the car in gear and started down the road.
As the vehicle picked up speed, Newkirk was beginning to wonder if he would have been better off making a run for it. He looked at the men crowded around him in the back seat, and they stared back; lecherous smiles plastered on their faces. Blimey, I've got meself into a right mess this time! He inwardly shook his head, Somethin' tells me this won't end well…
"Would you like a drink, Fraulein?" General Klein asked as he shoved the bottle of schnapps under Newkirk's nose.
"No thank you," Newkirk said; a bit too quickly. When he saw the disappointment in Klein's eyes, he added, "I think I'll wait until we get to the house, if that's all right, Dieter."
General Klein smiled at the use of his first name. "Of, course, Wilhelmina," he replied, patting Newkirk on the knee, "That's fine." Then he proceeded to unscrew the cap and take a swig of the liquor himself. When he was done, he passed the bottle to General Berger, who wasted no time following suit.
"As you can see, even Generals need to unwind now and then," Schmidt whispered into Newkirk's ear as he clasped his hand on the Englishman's shoulder and pulled him closer against himself.
"Oh, Hans!" Newkirk exclaimed while pushing himself away as much as he could in the limited space, "I'm not that kind of girl, you know!"
Schmidt smiled at him and grabbed the bottle from Berger. "The night is young," he murmured, and then took a big swallow.
Newkirk fought the urge to let out a disgusted sigh. Maybe bein' interrogated as a spy isn't as bad as it sounds… It can't bloody be any worse than this!
* * * * * *
When they finally reached General Schneider's house, Newkirk couldn't wait to get out of the car. He'd spent the entire short trip fending off General Schmidt's busy hands, not to mention a few attempts by General Klein to slip his hand underneath Newkirk's dress – when he wasn't guzzling down the schnapps. As soon as his feet touched ground, he once again thought about making a run for it, but still he hesitated. He didn't think he'd make it very far in the dreadful high-heeled shoes he was wearing, and once they caught him, his suspicious behavior would no doubt lead to a body search; or worse. Cor! If they find out who – and what – I really am…
Newkirk's thoughts were interrupted by an arm landing across his shoulders. "Shall we, my dear?" Schmidt asked as he gestured towards the house.
Newkirk turned his head to the right and smiled at him. "Lead the way, Hans," he replied, feeling more like he was being led to his own execution, rather than a party.
Just then Klein appeared on his left side, and grabbed his arm. "Alllow me to assissst you, Frauleinnnn," he slurred drunkenly.
"That's quite all right, Dieter," Schmidt stated tersely, "I can take care of Wilhelmina, myself."
Klein's eyes narrowed, "What'sss that supposssed to mean?"
Newkirk had a pretty good idea where this was going. "Gentlemen, please," he said, glancing between them, "You may both escort me to the party." He smiled demurely at first one man, then the other, hoping to diffuse the escalating tensions between them.
Fortunately for Newkirk, it worked. The two generals smiled back, and then proceeded to walk him to the house; General Berger bringing up the rear. When they got inside, there was no mistaking the sounds of a celebration in full-swing coming from the back of the house. Music, laughter, and loud conversations floated towards them as they traveled down an impressively decorated hall, complete with a large, crystal chandelier hanging from the center of the ceiling, and expensive paintings adorning the walls.
The noises grew louder as they neared the end of the hallway, which opened up into an enormous living room, filled with expensive-looking furniture and more ornate decorations. A large crowd of people were milling about, and Newkirk instinctively took stock of the dozen or so men in the room; most of them SS Generals, with a few Colonels seemingly thrown in for good measure. There were also a number of women scattered throughout the gathering of German Brass, and Newkirk couldn't help noticing that they were all young and attractive, and the outfits they had on were rather tight-fitting; showing off their curves in all the right places. It didn't take him long to figure out that they weren't the officers' wives.
One of the generals happened to look in their direction, and Schmidt raised his free hand to wave him over. "Heinrich!" he called out as the man approached, his arm still draped around Newkirk, "Happy birthday!"
"Hans! It's good to see you!" Then his gaze turned to Newkirk and he grinned slyly, "And I see you brought a date."
"We brought a date," Klein stated matter-of-factly, still clutching Newkirk's arm, and then began to sway dangerously to his left.
"Ah, I think you've had a bit too much to drink, Dieter," General Heinrich Schneider said, and gestured towards one of the plush chairs near the fireplace, "Why don't you come in and have a seat?"
"What? And let Hansss have her all to himself? I don't think ssso!" Suddenly Klein yanked Newkirk away from Schmidt and pulled him forcefully against himself, wrapping his arms around him tightly. "Come here, Fraulein…give me a kissss…" he drawled, his face mere inches from Newkirk's.
Newkirk brought his hands up and frantically attempted to push Klein away. "Dieter, please, control yourself!" He exclaimed, turning his head slightly to keep from gagging at the intense odor of schnapps emanating from Klein's mouth.
Schmidt grabbed Klein and yanked him off of Newkirk. "That's enough!" he yelled angrily, "Wilhelmina is my date… You keep your hands off of her!" When he pulled Klein away, the intoxicated general latched onto the material covering Newkirk's upper arm. There was an audible ripping sound as the seam split, exposing Newkirk's shoulder.
"Now see what you've done!" Schmidt hissed at Klein.
Klein's eyes widened briefly, and then he looked apologetically at Newkirk. "Oh, Fraulein, I'm ssso sorrrry!"
"It's all right, Dieter, I forgive you," Newkirk replied, "But I think you better go and sit down for a while; you don't look well." Bloody 'faced, more like!
"Yes, you may be right," Klein answered, swaying a little on his feet. Then he turned and staggered over to the chair that General Schneider had pointed to, and plopped down on it. It was only a matter of moments before he was out.
Schmidt sidled up to Newkirk and put his arm around him once again. "I'm sorry you had to go through that, Wilhelmina. Dieter never could hold his liquor."
"Oh, that's all right, Hans. I understand." Newkirk said, glad to be rid of Klein, but becoming even more wary of Schmidt. He looked at General Schneider and asked, "Is there somewhere I can go to repair the damage to my dress?" And maybe I'll just slip out the bloomin' window and scarper, while I'm at it!
"Of course, Fraulein," Schneider answered, pointing behind him, "Down the hall and to your left; there's a room where you will find anything you need."
"Thank you, Herr General," Newkirk replied gratefully, but before he could take one step toward the hall, Schmidt piped up, "I would be happy to accompany you, Wilhelmina."
"Don't be silly, Hans!" Newkirk said, smiling at him, "You stay here and enjoy yourself, I won't be long."
"No, no, I insist!" Schmidt responded. He tightened his grip on Newkirk's shoulder and began to lead him in the direction of the room that Schneider had suggested.
Newkirk inwardly sighed and let himself be led away by Schmidt, knowing by now it was futile to argue with him.
When they got to the room, Schmidt opened the door and gestured with his arm for Newkirk to go first. "After you, my dear," he stated courteously, giving him a slight bow.
Newkirk smiled politely and nodded. Then he walked into the room, and his alarm bells started going off again in force… It was a bedroom! As he stood there, wondering what to do, he heard a click behind him, and whirled around just in time to see Schmidt locking the door.
"What are you doing, Hans?" Newkirk asked, trying to keep the fear that was escalating in him out of his voice.
Schmidt slid the key into his pocket. "I thought we could spend some time together," he replied, a determined expression appearing on his face. Then he started to advance slowly on Newkirk. "You're quite a woman, Wilhelmina."
As Schmidt approached, Newkirk began to step backwards. "Now, Hans, I already told you… I'm not that kind of girl!" Then his eyes lit up as an idea hit him. "Say, those women at the party; I'm sure one of them would be happy to, um, spend some time with you." Blimey, why couldn't I 'ave been masqueradin' as an SS General tonight, instead of wearin' a dress? I'd like to spend some time with one of those birds, meself!"
"Those girls are nice," Schmidt replied, "But they're all too… Eager, shall we say?" Then his eyes narrowed seductively and he took another step toward Newkirk. "I like the ones that play hard to get…"
Newkirk took another step backwards, and felt himself bump up against the wall. He barely had time to start panicking when Schmidt suddenly closed the distance and stood in front of him, placing his hands on the wall to either side of Newkirk's head.
"Yes, I like you much better…" Schmidt whispered, and began to lean in to kiss him.
With lightning speed, Newkirk ducked under Schmidt's right arm and slid out from between the general and the wall. He bolted for the door, momentarily forgetting that it was locked. When he turned around, he saw Schmidt coming after him again. He ran over to the bed and circled around it; attempting to put the large piece of furniture between him and Schmidt. "Really Hans, you need to stop this right now!" he scolded angrily.
Schmidt leered at him, a predatory smile spreading across his face. "Oh, you're a feisty one aren't you?" He walked up to the opposite side of the bed, "Just the way I like them!" He began to step to his right, moving around the bed towards Newkirk.
Newkirk moved right also, keeping the bed between them. "Hans, I'm warning you," he said, beginning to sound more scared than angry.
Schmidt changed his direction, circling to the left. "And just what are you going to do, Wilhelmina?" he smirked, then started to step to his right again after Newkirk switched to match his movements.
They went back and forth a few times, until Schmidt apparently decided he'd had enough. He waited until Newkirk was directly opposite him, and began to climb onto the bed, aiming for the other side. Newkirk took the opportunity to run out from behind it, making a beeline for the window. But Schmidt was too quick for him; he'd already jumped off the bed and, as Newkirk passed by, he reached out and grabbed him from behind, wrapping his arms tightly around his waist.
"Aha, I got you!" Schmidt exclaimed triumphantly.
"Hans, please, let me go!" Newkirk shouted while he struggled to free himself, "You don't know what you're doing…"
"Oh, no, you're not going to get away," Schmidt tightened his grip, "I caught you now."
Newkirk's mind was racing, trying desperately to figure out a way out this latest turn of events. If he kept struggling, he was afraid Schmidt would find out he wasn't really a girl; especially if the general decided to reach for something that should be there and wasn't – or worse – something that shouldn't be there, and was. Against his better instincts, he stopped fighting him and said, "All right Hans, you caught me."
Schmidt smiled wide. "That's better," he replied, and then released his hold around Newkirk's waist, brought his hands up to the disguised Englishman's shoulders, and turned him around to face him. "I always win, you know," he said as he once again leaned in to kiss him.
Newkirk quickly raised his hand, covering Schmidt's mouth. "Not so fast," he responded, smiling playfully at him, "You have to give me a minute to get ready."
"I do?" Schmidt asked, his eyes twinkling with delight.
"Yes, you do," Newkirk told him, "Now, turn around…"
"Okay." Schmidt let go of Newkirk's shoulders and turned around. "Don't keep me waiting too long, Liebchen."
"Don't worry, I won't," Newkirk answered, glancing around the room frantically. His eyes lighted on a large book sitting on the nearby dresser, and he slunk over and picked it up. Then he snuck up behind Schmidt, raised the book, and brought it down as hard as he could on the general's head.
Schmidt slumped to the floor; unconscious.
Newkirk breathed a sigh of relief. He returned the book to the dresser, then walked over to the motionless figure on the floor and knelt down. After he checked the general's pulse, finding it strong and steady, he reached into Schmidt's pocket and pulled out the key. He got up, went over to the door and let himself out. Then he strode quickly back to the party and, spotting General Schneider, approached him with a worried expression on his face.
"Herr General!" Newkirk called out, "Please, come quick; General Schmidt is hurt… He fell and hit his head!"
"What? Is he all right?" Schneider exclaimed, already starting to head down the hall.
"He's breathing, but he's unconscious," Newkirk shouted, "Please, hurry!"
Newkirk watched as Schneider quickened his pace, and was relieved to see the entire room emptying before his eyes as the party guests followed. When the coast was clear, he ducked out of the room and sprinted to the exit, heading straight for the row of parked staff cars once he got outside. As he approached, he saw the drivers huddled together in a group; smoking cigarettes, swapping stories with each other, no doubt trying to determine who had the worst boss. He ran up to them and panted out breathlessly, "Please, you must come quickly…they need you inside…one of the generals…he's hurt…hurry!"
Half-finished cigarettes flew to the ground as the drivers took off towards the house, none of them wanting to get in trouble for not obeying orders. As soon as they left, Newkirk hopped into the nearest car and reached over to start it up. Oh, bloody hell! The driver took the bloomin' key with 'im! He jumped out and ran to the next car, grumbling loudly. When he got in, he again thrust his hand forward and, luckily, the key was in the ignition. He started it up and backed out of the space, then drove down to the road, picking up speed as he pulled away from the house.
Newkirk got as close to Stalag Thirteen as he dared, then pulled over and left the car there for someone else to find. He took off through the woods, moving as fast as he could, his feet protesting loudly from the abuse they'd suffered from an evening spent crammed into high heels. He stumbled a few times, actually falling flat on his face twice, until he finally made it to the tree-stump entrance to the tunnels. As he climbed down, he thought he'd never be so grateful to return to a prison camp!
When he got below, he limped to the main tunnel area, not surprised in the least to see Colonel Hogan there, along with Kinch, Carter and LeBeau; standing around like a bunch of parents; waiting to see how their kids' first date went.
"Newkirk!" Hogan exclaimed with irritation when he spotted the corporal, "You should have been back hours ago!" Then he took a good look at him and his expression softened. "What happened to you?" he asked, concerned.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you, Colonel!" Newkirk replied, limping over and plopping down on the bench next to the wall. His dress was ripped in several places, and the tear in the shoulder seam had widened; causing the sleeve to droop halfway down his upper arm. He was covered with splotches of dirt, including his face, and his wig was tilted at an odd angle, with leaves and small twigs sticking out of it.
Newkirk bent down and, as he removed the offending shoes from his throbbing feet, he groaned with a mixture of pain and relief. "Cor! How do women wear these ruddy things every day?"
"Practice?" Carter suggested, while leaning against the table that supported the radio equipment.
Newkirk threw him an irritated glance. "Why, thank you, Andrew," he replied sarcastically, "That never would 'ave crossed me mind."
"All right," Hogan interrupted, "Did you get the information we needed?"
"Yes, sir," Newkirk said. He reached under his dress and pulled out the tiny camera that had been concealed in his garter. As he handed it off to Hogan, he gestured to LeBeau and muttered, "Next time, let Louie 'ere do the sightseein'."
"Oh, come on, Newkirk," LeBeau protested, "You make a better girl than I do."
"I don't know about that, mate," Newkirk shot back, "You were pretty convincin' when you dressed up like Charlene Hemsley a few weeks back." (1)
"But you're far more convincing dressed like Ginger. Or at least, you were…" LeBeau seemed to change his mind as he took stock of Newkirk's current appearance.
"I guess you won't be wearing that outfit again anytime soon," Kinch piped up, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
"I bloody well 'ope not!" Newkirk replied as he reached up and yanked off his wig. Then he got up and moved over to where his uniform hung, waiting for him, and began to change.
"I'd still like to know what happened," Hogan stated, becoming impatient.
Newkirk let out a sigh, and as he dressed and cleaned himself off, he proceeded to fill them in on his little adventure on the way back to camp. He got as far as General Schmidt leading him into the bedroom when he paused, wondering how much of what occurred in that room he really wanted to reveal.
Kinch took advantage of his hesitation. "Sounds like a general nightmare," he quipped.
"More like a general catastrophe," Hogan added, a smirk appearing on his face.
Newkirk glared at his commanding officer. "Do you want to bloody 'ear this or not, Colonel?" he retorted.
"Sorry, go ahead," Hogan replied apologetically.
After hesitating a few moments longer, Newkirk decided to continue. "Well, after General Schmidt got me in the room, he started to get a bit, frisky…"
"I told you, Newkirk; you look good in basic black."
"Colonel!" Newkirk shouted indignantly.
"What do you mean, he was getting frisky?" Carter asked, confused, "What was he doing?"
Newkirk eyed him with frustration. "Never you mind, Carter."
Just then LeBeau asked the question that was on all their minds, "How did you get away, mon ami?"
Newkirk looked at the inquisitive faces in front of him, and said, "I told 'im to turn around, then I picked up a book, what was on the dresser, and hit 'im over the head with it. Knocked 'im out cold, I did!"
Kinch's eyes widened. "You knocked him out with a book?"
"That must have been some book!" Hogan exclaimed.
"Well, I did 'appen to glance at the title," Newkirk informed them.
LeBeau looked at him impatiently. "So, what was it?"
Newkirk grinned wide. "War and Peace!"
That got a few chuckles out of the men. When it grew quiet again, Carter asked eagerly, "Then what happened?"
Newkirk, still smiling, continued, "Then I went and told General Schneider that 'is pal Schmidt was hurt, and ran out in the confusion."
LeBeau's eyes grew wide. "You ran all the way back to camp? No wonder you were such a mess!"
Newkirk shifted uncomfortably. "Well, I didn't exactly run all the way back; I, uh, just 'appened to find one of the staff cars with the key in it, and drove back most of the way."
The silence hung heavy for a moment, then it was dispelled by Hogan's booming voice. "You stole a General's staff car?" he thundered.
"Blimey, Colonel, what else could I do?" Newkirk replied defensively, "I couldn't let them catch me, now, could I?"
Hogan glared at him for a moment. "Where did you leave the car?" he asked at last, his tone still conveying annoyance.
"Along the road, what runs right through the woods; it's parked in the middle of bloomin' nowhere. Don't worry, sir, they'll never trace it back to me, or the camp."
Hogan sighed and folded his arms. "No, they probably won't. But you really took a chance out there, Newkirk…"
"No more than you would, Colonel," Newkirk stated flatly.
"You're probably right," Hogan acquiesced. Then he glanced around at the men in his charge and said, "Well, I'd say we've had enough excitement for one night. It's time we head up to the barracks and get some sleep."
"Yes, sir," they all replied in unison. As they made their way to the ladder, Hogan turned back and looked at Newkirk. "Oh, one more thing," he said, placing his hand on the Englishman's shoulder.
"No more dates for you… You're grounded."
To his credit, Hogan kept a straight face as he walked over to the ladder and climbed up.
As Newkirk watched him go, he rolled his eyes and then shook his head. Yep, the gov'nor loves to see me squirm…
(1) I Look Better In Basic Black, season one