Across the Universe of Time
In the deep blue of the light shine the millions of stars and my spirit burning bright.
"No, no, fuckin' no! She ain't comin' with us." Aldo stated in the back of the truck while Wicki drove. "We're takin' her to her house!"
It seemed that Elenore had been right; Hellstrom hadn't called many men. Now she had six men, including Hellstrom, lying dead in her tavern. Currently she was seated in-between Hicox and Stiglitz in the back of the Basterd's truck. Hicox had mentioned that they were going to have to bring Elenore along with them and Aldo was having none of it.
"We can't bring her to her house! They're going to be looking for her and they'll kill her!" Hicox argued to the lieutenant.
"That ain't my fuckin' problem." Aldo argued back.
Elenore came into this argument now. "Yes, it is your problem, mister Raine. You all came into my tavern and cause this catastrophe. You owe me!"
"I don't owe you shit! Yer the one who killed the major. Y' almost ruined our mission." Aldo declared.
"I almost ruined your mission?" She asked incredulously. "If I hadn't killed Hellstrom he would have killed Hicox and I, then he would have killed you and your men, then I'm quite sure he would have sought out Von Hammersmark and kill her as well. I saved your mission!" She countered back harshly.
The truck became silent, minus the sounds of the engine. Hicox grinned at the woman. "She does make a very good point."
Aldo said nothing. He and Elenore were staring each other down. Hugo looked between the two. The German was conflicted about all of this. For one, he did not want Elenore joining them on this crazy mission to kill Hitler and his followers. But more importantly he didn't want her going home only to get killed for aiding them. He was still having a little trouble believing that she actually killed someone. When he was with her she wouldn't have even hurt a fly.
Elenore sighed audibly. "Mister Rain, all I'm asking is for you to save my life." She stated in a calmer tone. "I saved your mission and I sacrificed my life in France for it. I don't want any money, any prizes, or even recognition. Just my life. That's all I want." She told him honestly.
When Aldo looked into those big green eyes he remembered making her announce her child's death to all of them and he felt his heart clench a bit with guilt. This woman did something huge for them; she killed the man who was going to make sure they were all taken out and now she'd never be able to return to her tavern or even her home. Now he's trying to send her back to certain death. He was just as bad as a Nazi.
He sighed in defeat. "Alright, fine. Yer with us."
Elenore let out a sigh of relief and she smiled at the lieutenant. "Thank you, mister Raine." She said gratefully.
He made a noise from the back of his throat in response. She leaned back in her slightly relaxed. Her mind and body were still coming to the terms that she had killed a man tonight. Tonight she became a murderer. It was bittersweet really. She believed that Hellstrom truly deserved to die, but never in a million years would she think that she would be the one to kill him.
She suddenly realized that Hugo was watching her. Despite herself, she glanced at him.
He spoke. "What was her name?"
She looked at him curiously, but she knew who he was talking about. "I named her Astrid." She answered moving her eyes away from his and looking down at her hands.
"What… what was she like?" Huge asked hesitantly.
Elenore noticed how silent the truck had gotten as all the men awaited her answer. She found it almost improper to speak about her deceased daughter in front of these men. Nonetheless, she reached into her pocket and took out a small snapshot of a little girl. She always kept this picture of her daughter with her. "She was a lot like you." She said handing the picture over to him. Hugo took it from her slightly trembling hands carefully and gazed down at the black and white picture of his daughter. In the picture the girl, Astrid, smiled shyly at the camera, her hair in pigtails. "She was silent around people she wasn't close to. She had your eyes too." There was much more Astrid had in common with her father, but Elenore was saying as little as possible in front of these strangers.
Hugo rubbed a thumb over the face of his child. She had dark hair just like her mother used to have. Her eyes and lips were shaped like Elenore's, but he could tell that those irises's were his. They were a piercing blue. He would never get to know her. He missed her entire five years of life and he felt his cold heart break at that fact. "Why did they kill her?" He asked numbly.
Elenore's eyes shut. This wasn't a conversation she wanted to have in the back of a truck. Aldo seemed to sense that. "Stiglitz, maybe that's a conversation that can wait when y' two got some privacy." The lieutenant suggested.
Hugo said nothing but he nodded, continuing to look down at the picture.
The rest of the ride was silent.
The place that they were staying at was not what Elenore was expecting. It was worse. It was an old run down animal hospital about an hour away from her tavern. She never knew it was here. She was thinking that almost no one in France knew this place was here. Aldo had stated that the owner worked for the American government; this was the closest place where they'd be safe until tomorrow night. There was only one problem with this place… there was only one spare bedroom.
So now they all stood outside the bedroom arguing on who was going to get it while Elenore stood in the background wondering why the hell she got stuck with a bunch of children.
"I'm telling you I deserve the room the most!" Donny argued earning a harsh glare from Omar.
"Why the hell do you deserve the room the most?" The shorter man asked.
Donny glared back at him. "Cause I'm the one who kills Nazi's with a bat. You use a gun. I actually use physical force!"
The two men went on to argue bitterly with one another. At the time, Elenore felt something rubbing against her leg. She looked down to find a gray and while cat rubbing its face against her ankle. Smiling lightly, she picked up the cat and massaged it behind its ear to which it purred appreciatively.
Elenore closed her eyes remembering Astrid's love for animals.
"Mère, Mère!" The five year old shouted as she ran into the house.
Elenore quickly ran out from the study expecting the worst not even noticing the bundle of fur in Astrid's hands. "What's wrong, mon cher?" She asked worriedly.
Astrid gave one of her rare grins. "Look at what I found." She said lifting up the gray kitten that mewed at Elenore innocently.
Elenore blinked once. "Astrid… where did you find a kitten?"
"I found it in the backyard." The little girl replied just as innocently as the kitten. "There's a maman and two more babies." She continued straining with her English a bit.
Elenore always told her that they would speak French in public, but at home it was English. She wanted her daughter to know both languages just in case she ever decided to return to Canada. Things in France were getting worse.
"Oh my, show me where they are." Elenore requested, to which Astrid smiled and took her mother's hand to lead her outside.
They lived in a small cottage in an open field. Elenore didn't own the land, but the old couple who did were very kind to her and her daughter. They lived just up the street. They were the only two houses on the land. Elenore loved the privacy but Nazi's still managed to bother her sometimes.
Astrid brought her mother over to her garden. The garden was practically all dead because Elenore barely worked on it because… well, because she knew she was a horrible gardener. Astrid had been right. There in the abandoned garden was a white and black cat lying in the dead leaves with two other kittens sleeping against her. One kitten was all gray just like the one Astrid had cradled to her while the third kitten was all black with just a white tip on the tail making it look like it was dipped in paint.
"Can we keep them, Mère?" Astrid asked looking at her mother with big clear eyes.
Elenore usually tried to ignore that look. It was a look Hugo always used to give her when he asked for something; curious and calculating. Shaking herself from that, she smiled at her child. "Well, they were born here. They're going to have to stay."
Astrid gave one of her reserved warm smiles. "We'll be a famille." She exclaimed happily.
Elenore laughed lightly and nodded.
The family never lasted because a week later the Nazi's came and ruined Elenore's life.
"Shut-it!" Aldo yelled causing Donny and Omar's arguing to seize.
Elenore's eyes snapped open as they cat squirmed in her arms. It was getting nervous from the yelling. She gently dropped the feline to the floor and it quickly scurried away. She watched the animal leave suddenly feeling detached.
"Th' lady get's th' room." The lieutenant stated firmly.
Elenore's eyes snapped onto the southerner shocked. She had the impression that he didn't like her. Some of the men didn't seem too happy about it, especially Donny. "Why the fuck does she get the room? She ain't even one of us!" The Jew Bear exclaimed.
"She's getting' the room cause she's a woman and I ain't gonna have her sleepin' downstairs with a bunch of men." Aldo explained with his arms crossed over his chest.
"Well, then can we share the room?" Donny asked not wanting to spend another night on the floor.
"Get yer ass downstairs, Donowitz!" Aldo demanded pointing towards the stairs.
"I didn't mean it like that way." Donny defended. "I meant that I'd get the bed and she'd sleep on the floor."
"Unless she wants to share—"
"I said downstairs! All of y' now!" Aldo yelled pointing.
The men grumbled and began scrambling down the stairs. All except Stiglitz. Just before Aldo was about to head down he gave the German a look. Hugo couldn't really tell if it was a look that told him to take his time or one that said don't try anything funny. He didn't know and he didn't care. He wanted answers.
Elenore felt him behind her as she walked into the spare bedroom that Aldo Raine had so 'graciously' bestowed upon her. The room was small. All it had was a bed, a dresser, a dirty window, a not so clean mirror, and a disturbing painting of a cat doing surgery on a dog on the wall above the bed.
Hugo was about to speak, Elenore turned on him. "What happened to your wife?" She asked him and it wasn't in an angry way. She was curious.
He was silent a moment. "She died." He said lowly. "She was killed because she was a Jew."
Elenore bit down on her bottom lip. Now she understood why Hugo had gone against his own kind; they killed his wife and now he found out they killed his daughter as well. "I'm sorry to hear that, Hugo." She told him sincerely. And she really did mean it. She wasn't a heartless person, even after he left her and even after her daughter was killed, she felt her heart break when she found out someone innocent was killed.
Hugo nodded. "Now, please tell me why…"
Elenore looked down at the floor. Her plain brown shoes seemed very interesting at the moment. She took in a deep breath. She needed to do this. She looked back up at him with sad eyes. "It was such a stupid reason. The people around town I lived in thought that I was… a whore."
"Why would they think that?" He interrupted.
"Because I was an unmarried mother." She replied. "It was three of them. They were so convinced that I was one. They had bothered me beforehand a couple of times." She closed her eyes as she recalled that dreadful night. "They followed me home one night when I was coming home from work. They were drunk. My neighbor was watching Astrid and she had just left when they came in." Her fists clenched as she remembered one of them throwing her down her down onto the floor while another began ripping off her clothing. Astrid was in the background crying. "I really didn't think they were going to shoot her."
The room became silent. Elenore crossed her arms suddenly feeling a chill. Finally, Hugo spoke. "What did they do to you?"
Elenore sighed. "They thought I was a prostitute; what do you think they did to me?" She didn't mean to sound so harsh. Really, she didn't. Hugo said nothing. "After they left… my neighbor came back when she saw the Nazi's leaving my house. She and her husband saved me… they gave me money and told me that I needed to get away before those men came back to do worse to me. I left, I changed my name and my appearance." She shook her head. "But I'll never forget."
When Hugo still said nothing, she glanced up at him. His body was tense and his fists were clenched. She half thought that he was going to punch the wall or something. His eyes were blazing when he looked at her. It made her feel very uneasy.
"This is my fault." He said through clenched teeth.
She raised an eyebrow. "Why would this be your fault?"
"I should have stayed. I should have divorced my wife and stayed with you." He said in his fit of anger.
Elenore immediately felt guilty. His wife, she never knew the woman, but she was the woman Hugo promised to be with forever. Then she had to enter the picture and fucked up two years for the couple. Then like always, the Nazi's fucked everything up for Hugo and his wife.
"Hugo, that's a little drastic. You did what—"
"I didn't love her." He said suddenly. Her eyes widened at this statement. "Well… I didn't love her the way I loved you. She was… she was my best friend. We were never in love."
Elenore's eyebrows scrunched together. "Then why did you marry her?"
"My parents idea. They wanted me to get married and thought that she was a good choice. I went with it because I trusted her more than anyone." He explained. "I regret that decision. She never got to experience love." He said uncomfortably. He's always been bad with touching moments. He was a rough guy.
Elenore touched his arm. She was about to make it a bit more touchier. "I'm sure she did experience love; the love of her best friend."
Hugo nodded before taking her hand into his. Elenore expected him to say something but instead his lips crushed against hers. She didn't respond at first; her mind didn't register it at first. Soon enough she was kissing him back though.
It wasn't soft or gentle. It was hard and desperate. His hand buried itself in her unnatural golden hair and he gripped onto it tightly while her hands gripped at the back of his neck. They kissed until they couldn't breathe. In that moment of catching their breaths he lifted her up and her legs instinctively wrapped around his waist. And before they knew it they were on the bed; her back into the not so comfortable cushions and him hovering atop her. His lips were on hers again and they both were pulling and yanking each others clothes off.
Elenore was having difficulty with his Nazi uniform. "I hate this ridiculous suit." She growled out against his lips.
"So do I."
The men downstairs looked up at the ceiling when they heard constant squeaking of the spare room's bed. Aldo tried to ignore it while his men just couldn't do that.
"Now how the fuck is it that Stiglitz is the one who ends up gettin' some action?" Donny asked quite pissed that someone was having sex upstairs and it wasn't him.
"I know right?" Omar asked. "And especially since you gave that great suggestion that we kill her." He continued teasingly.
"Yeah, I'm surprised Miss Ferland didn't throw herself at you." Utivich joined in on annoying the Bear Jew.
The rest of the men, minus Aldo and Hicox, chuckled. Donny glared at them but especially the two smaller men. "Shut-up, assholes." He muttered harshly.
As the soldiers joked around, Hicox approached Aldo. "Why did you leave them up there alone?"
The lieutenant shrugged. "They needed to talk. Didn't think it'd result t' that." He said somewhat darkly. He was a little disappointed in himself for not being able to foresee this.
"Shouldn't… shouldn't someone perhaps… stop them?" Hicox asked and Aldo shot him a look of disbelief.
"You wanna go up there and interrupt them? Be my guest." He said shaking his head at the British man's lack of thinking things through.
Hicox frowned now realizing his mistake. The last thing he, or anyone else for that matter wanted to do was interrupt Hugo Stiglitz being intimate with a woman. None of them really wanted to die at the hands of the German traitor.
Elenore's fingers dug into the back of Hugo's head at his final thrust. He stayed on top of her and inside of her for a moment longer. He was breathing heavily in her ear and her hands moved from his neck to his shoulders, her finger nails scratching him slightly. It didn't bother him, he liked it. She turned her face and kissed her cheek loving the feel of his damp skin on her lips. He pulled out of her, she gasped lightly at the friction, and plopped down right next to her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, bringing her close to him. He kissed the top of her head and she draped her arm around his waist.
There was only a moment of silence.
"How did you get over her death?" Hugo asked her.
Elenore closed her eyes. "I never did."
A/N: This chapter's longer than the rest. I don't know when I'm gonna be updating again. Life's been pretty hectic as of late, but I'll try to get it posted soon. I feel like I'm making Stiglitz totally OC and it's annoying me. So apologize if I'm making him out of character. Really I am.
There's a picture of Astrid on my profile. Go on and check it out.