Ride Home by DD Agent
Disclaimer: I do not own Island at War or any of its characters, or its settings.
Notes: Set after 1.03. : )
She had needed to get out of the house, and indeed out of her own garden. She was so used to the Baron being there, sitting in her garden and wanting to talk that she just needed to have some space. So after dinner she had taken her bicycle and rode it into town, and went inside the 50/50 club and enjoyed a few drinks with Angelique, who was very eager to sit away from the German soldiers. So was Felicity, she was tired of seeing them, especially in her own space. They could take her house, their car, but her garden was the one place that was hers. Apparently even that belonged to the Germans now.
"Thank you for your company Angelique, but I think I'm going to head home now."
It was getting late, and she still had a long journey ahead of her. It was cutting it very close to curfew and although Angelique didn't have far to go, she did. Ah well, so be it. She was tired of toeing the German line. The young woman nodded and together they moved out of the club. They ignored the German soldiers watching them, and once outside the cool air seemed to revive them a little - it was very hot in the club. Angelique went off in the direction of her house, and Felicity tried to find her bicycle. However it wasn't by the wall, locked with a padlock like James had recommended. It wasn't anywhere in sight.
As she looked around, she finally caught sight of the bike, resting in the back of a truck. She stormed forward and noticed that it was a German vehicle, and that one of the soldiers must have commandeered her bike. As she tried to find a way to get it out, the driver's side door opened, and out stepped the man she had been trying to avoid all evening.
"Is there a reason why my bicycle is in your vehicle Baron?" Felicity hissed, looking at him with menace. She wasn't up for playing games.
"Your husband said that you were out in town this evening, intending to come home late. I decided to bring you home in one of our cars, it is quite a ride and I did not want you to come into contact with any of my officers. I understand what they're like when they have been drinking, and you are..."
He didn't finish his sentence, and she wanted to hear what he had to say about her. But she just shook her head and returned to trying to get her bicycle out of his vehicle. He moved around and took her hands, taking them away from the machine and back in front of her. He didn't let go.
"Please, Mrs Dorr. Let me drive you back, it's still quite a drive back to the house, and it's an even longer bike ride. I do fear that if you ride, you will go way over curfew. Please."
Felicity didn't know what to say, it wasn't very often that the Baron acted truly human. She wondered what his ulterior motive was, but she didn't really care at that juncture. It was a heck of a ride back, one she hadn't been looking forward to and he was right about the curfew. That was evident in the smug expression in his face. Accepting his lift would, at least, give her a reprieve. Even if she did have to spend time with the Baron. She nodded and moved past him into the passenger seat of the vehicle.
"Excellent, Mrs Dorr."
He started the vehicle, very happy that she was in there. She hoped that no one from the town would see her; she didn't want to hear the gossip that would go around if it was found out that the Baron was picking her up from clubs. Instead she just sat frostily in the seat next to him, not talking and barely moving.
The ride was slow; he seemed to be taking his time along the roads. He turned to her and kept smiling, but she remained stoic, not even looking at him. Eventually he grew impatient and turned off the main road to her house - their house - she thought with some depression. He continued to drive until she saw they were coming close to the cliff, and she thought back to his words at the senate where he had laid in motion his new plans.
"Don't worry Mrs Dorr, you are with me. My men won't shoot you."
"Doesn't mean you won't," she muttered, and watched as his face broke out into a smile. Eventually he stopped the car and moved around the other side to open her door. She stayed in the seat, looking at him and wanting answers.
"Mrs Dorr, I would like to talk with you and enjoy the sea air. I will not force myself on you; I will not harm you in anyway. I…"
"You what?" She asked cynically.
His hands gripped onto the car door and he looked at her. The moon light and the light from the headlights revealed that he wasn't in his uniform, but in merely a shirt and trousers. He wasn't the German Commander, at least not tonight.
"I missed our talks in your garden."
"Yes, your garden."
He held out his hand for her to take, which she did with some trepidation. Eventually they moved out of the car and onto the cliff side overlooking the sea. A quick glance at her watch told her that it was after curfew. She wondered if she would get in trouble, even if she was with the German Commander. She thought not, the only person who would be upset would be James. "I thought this entire island was yours, Baron."
She watched him smile at her. "Everything apart from your garden, Mrs Dorr."
They made their way out onto the cliff, overlooking the ocean. She had the strangest urge to go down and paddle in the sea, but she didn't think that would be a good idea, considering the amount of German officers around with guns. They just sat on the grassy cliff top, overlooking the sights of the sea. She tried not to sit too close to the Baron, or wonder if he had an alternative motive for bringing her out here.
"I received a letter from my son today."
She smiled. "How is he?"
Felicity enjoyed watching his eyes light up at the topic of his sons. "He is good, well. We continue to lose a lot of planes," he muttered, his face turning into shadow.
She tried to overcome every impulse to rest her hand on his, to offer him some shred of comfort. He needed it, but she didn't want to give it to him. To her, that was good news. To him it would feel like his heart was ripped in two. "I would…I can't feel sorry about that."
He smiled weakly and nodded. "I know, I know you can't." He turned to her, his face suddenly bright again. "Tell me about your son. He is in your Army too, yes? Does he write much?"
Felicity didn't know what to say. She couldn't explain to the Baron how Philip, her beloved son, had come back to spy on the island. How he had met the boy, had been fond of him as they had built a wall together. How could she explain all that? Obviously she had to lie, but she didn't know what to say, didn't know how to protect her face from the lie. How she felt joy and pain in each step with Philip, knowing each day could be his last.
"Sometimes I think I see him in mirrors, I see him in the town square or downstairs in the garden. James sent him to study in England; so much of his life has been spent away from me. I miss him; I miss him so very much. And I'm scared, every minute of every day for his life."
She could see his hand moving a little closer to her own, but like her he didn't offer comfort. "The Senator? Is he worried for his son?"
"Yes. But he doesn't understand England's war. A true islander."
They sat in silence for some time, until the Baron started telling her a story of his sons growing up. She responded with stories about Philip and about the island. The sea breeze was pleasant, and conversation continued between them. After what seemed like hours had passed, the Baron looked at the watch on his wrist.
"It is early in the morning. I should have brought you back hours ago."
She shook her head. "Its fine, I doubt James will have noticed. This has been very pleasant Baron, thank you. Sometimes I just feel so enclosed; it's just nice to break free of it all." It was more than she felt she should share with the Baron, but out there in the warm air she felt like she could trust him, turn to him. It took her brain longer to recognise that although he was out of uniform, he was still in charge and the enemy.
He nodded, and shifted on the ground. Out at sea, they could see the sun getting higher. It would rise soon, and another day on St Gregory would begin. They would go back to their opposite sides of the war, James would continue to struggle for a better occupation and Philip would continue to survive. She turned towards the Baron who was looking at her with a smile on his features, like a young boy.
"You know something Mrs Dorr? I have been here sometime now and I still have not watched the sun rise on St Gregory."
She chuckled. "Baron, I have been here many years and I still haven't watched the sun rise."
He smiled and offered her his hand. "Then may I ask Mrs Dorr that we watch it together?"
She took his hand and he picked her up from the floor. They walked along the edge of the cliff as the sun rose. Eventually they stopped and watched it come over the sea. Felicity smiled at the sight of it, so perfect and so pure and so warm. She could feel the Baron behind her watching the same scene, and felt overwhelmed by how romantic the scene was. It shouldn't be romantic; there shouldn't be any such thoughts of that nature about her and the Baron.
She looked up to see him watching her, and he smiled. As the light from the sun rose up, she could see more of him until eventually the day had begun. His hand was loosely by her waist, and she tried not to even think about how much she wanted his hand there, firmly, against her skin.
"We should get back. You know Muller makes an excellent English breakfast, very well done. If we get there early enough, he can make enough for three."
Felicity got back in the passenger seat, and the Baron reversed the vehicle back onto the road. The journey back to the house was very short, and they pulled up into the driveway. There were a few soldiers around, but not many. She got out of her door alone, and helped the Baron pull out her bicycle from the back. One of the soldiers, on the Baron's orders, put it back round the side of the house. He walked her to the door, where they stood in the foyer.
"Will you join me and Muller for breakfast?" he asked, smiling at her.
Felicity thought about it for a moment, but she could hear movement upstairs that she knew to be James. She would have to go and see him, explain about the previous night. She couldn't be having breakfast with him after; it would only rile James even more. "I'm sorry, not today. Another time, perhaps. I am very tempted by the idea of Muller cooking."
"I shall tell him, he will be thrilled."
She could hear footsteps on the stairs, and realised James was coming down to see her. Before he could see them, she leaned over and kissed the Baron on the cheek. He looked stunned at her actions, but a smile formed on his face.
"Thank you, for last night. Taking me home, it was good of you. Have a good day Baron," she said, leaving him to meet her husband on the stairs.
He did not watch them embrace; instead he went into the German side of the house and into the sitting room. He was tired, he had not slept. He wanted a drink but he didn't think it would be appropriate, breakfast would have to do. He could not think about her, about how she smelt, how she talked, how her lips felt against his cheek.
"Something to say Muller?"
The Captain was watching him from the corner. "No. Not today, anyway."
The Baron chuckled at Muller's response, and thought back to the night he had spent with Felicity Dorr. His fingers absently reached up to trace the spot where she had kissed him. He was developing a crush on the Senator's wife, something very unacceptable, but something he had known all along. He shook his head and tried to put her out of his mind, focussing instead on Eugene La Salle, and breakfast.