Hey:-) Mangaged to squeeze in some more HH before the new year.

It might be kinda confusing as it is mostly pronouns instead of names but you guys are smart, youll be fine!

The poem is by Erich Fried, a german poet. Since that was my grandpa´s first name, too, I´m gonna dedicate this to him (and wouldn´t he be horrified? lol)

Kinda sad, I guess (goes along with my winter depression) (JK.) (Sorta)

ANYWAY, enjoy and please review :-)

What it is

January 19th, 1942

Some days he forgets how long he has been locked up an ocean away from home.

Some days make it easy, like when they are sitting together in the barracks, playing cards, listening to records from home and laughing together.

Most times he is glad for that oblivion because it soothes the ache.

Other times it scares him, because it means the faces of his family and friends are slowing fading in his mind, their voices becoming thinner and softer over time until he can't hear them over the constant sound of planes flying over their heads these days.

It is just these feelings that make him doubt those other ones, the ones he likes to bury way back in his head behind missions and camp routine.

Because he knows how depraved of love, of affection, of those simple gentle and tender touches they all are.

Because it makes him doubt his feelings for Robert E. Hogan are real.

It is nonsense, he tells himself on his better, more lucid days.

Nonsense to even think he would feel so drawn to him if it weren't for a year long dry spell and the fact that they are cooped up together 24/7.

Nonsense to read anything into those fleeting glances he sometimes receives from Hogan. Nonsense to pray so desperately for them to be more than just friendly ones.

"It is nonsense
says reason"

October 6th, 1942

They would both be court-martialed immediately, he knows that.

And yet it´s hard to focus on that as he stands in the empty, dark tunnels, Hogan in front of him with that intense yet uncertain look upon his face. No one else is there for some reason he can't think of right then; it is just the two of them and this time he isn't interpreting anything into Hogan's look, doesn't have to because it is all in plain sight.

It is all there. Longing, desire, affection -but also barely masked fear and uncertainty.

No one would understand, his mind whispers as he instinctively steps closer to his C.O., almost afraid to break the silence.

No one. Not their friends, not their families if they ever get to go home.

They will never have a future together, he realizes.

Yet that doesn't stop him from opening his lips when Hogan gets up his guts, crosses the remaining distance between them and kisses him almost desperately. It doesn't stop Hogan from pulling him further into the dark tunnels either.

So what if they get shot tomorrow? At least it will be for something worth dying.

"It is misfortune
says calculation"

November 1st, 1942

You should have known better, he tells himself when he is crouched on the cold ground down in the tunnels, his cheeks wet with what he won't even admit to himself are tears.

He can't bear to be up in the barracks now, to even pretend that he isn't bloody heartbroken, barely holding on by a threat.

He doesn't know how Hogan does it, how he managed to get through the whole day without batting so much as an eyelash after what he did just the night before.

It´s for the best, that was the C.O.´s reasoning. It is so cliché that he almost wants to laugh, but can´t because he knows he will really start crying then.

He bloody knows it's for the best, that Hogan just wants to protect them both but that's not what he wants. He´d rather be dead and happy than safe and miserable.

He doesn't know if Hogan understands that, or if he just couldn't keep up the charade any longer, he never finds out.

But he nearly cries again three nights later when the two of them come home from a solo mission and Hogan stops him in the woods, pulling him close and kissing him wordlessly, fervently, until they are both breath and speechless. He doesn't know what made Hogan change his mind and he doesn't care any way.

No, he doesn't even care that he will likely try to push him away again for some screwed up, oh-so-noble reason, that the pain will never be completely gone.

He doesn't care that the panic of losing Hogan someday presses the air out of his lungs along with the man's kisses. He is right to be afraid of course, because he will someday lose him for sure.

But even knowing that he prefers feeling the pain if it mean he also gets to feel the utter bliss of lying in Hogan´s arms.

"It is nothing but pain
says fear"

September 7th, 1943

He doesn't know what he expects from whatever it is they have.

He can't expect anything really, probably shouldn´t. It's not like they expected anything to come out of all their encounters with the ladies in Hammelburg before this thing started. After all they are young men, bachelors with their life ahead of them.

Maybe Hogan was just living up to his part back then like he himself did with those girls, but he can't really believe it. He looked to comfortable at it to be faking it.

He almost wishes the Hogan isn't because that would mean there is still hope of a normal life after the war for him. If they are the same, they are both just as hopeless.

Strangely though, Hogan doesn't seem to mind that much as he tries to talk to him about it. He merely pulls him into a hug, his hands finding their way under his pullover and soon he has forgotten his own questions and doubts thoroughly.

"It is hopeless
says insight"

August 5th, 1944

Don't be ridiculous, he scolds himself but can't fight the gnawing feeling in his chest as he watches Hogan flirt with Hilda right on the compound.

Hogan holds the car door for her as she leaves the camp, giving her a flirtatious smile as he waves goodbye.

He knows better than to be jealous; after all Hilda only gets flirty eyes while he sees those same eyes filled with true, burning desire night after night.

He knows that it is just a cover Hogan maintains along with so many others.

Still he can't help but think about how well those two would fit together, what a perfect couple they would make. How little he has to give Hogan in comparison.

Sometimes, Hogan catches on to the brief frown marring his face on those occasions, sometimes he asks if everything is alright. He always nods, smiles and kisses Hogan to make the questions go away.

He can't ask him, he knows, because he is too proud. And because, against all logic, he is too scared of what answer he might get.

"It is ridiculous
says pride"

October 14th, 1944

It is a miracle they haven't been caught so far, he ponders briefly as they sneak back into camp after one of their longer nightly missions including a little detour to a nearby barn.

In a way, it is highly irresponsible to jeopardize their mission by staying out longer, going out of their way to be alone.

Every second more out of camp puts not only them but the whole team in greater and greater danger.

Every longing look, every tender touch, every sweet stolen kiss when they are out of sight, behind the barracks or in Hogan´s office, even if it is just for a couple of minutes. It is all dangerous.

He can't recount all the times they were almost caught by the guys, by Schultz, by blind Klink even.

Still, they don't stop, never even consider it anymore after those first excruciating, lonely three days.

"It is careless
says caution"

January 22nd, 1945

They will never see each other again after this, he realizes.

Sometimes, more often than he´d like he catches himself hoping the war will last just a bit longer, just a bit…and then he hates himself for being so terribly selfish.

But what can he do when his heart nearly bursts with the knowledge that their time is running out?

He wonders if Hogan feels that same melancholia sometimes when he thinks about them.

He doubts he feels the same gut wrenching dread though because Hogan is just not like that. He is better at living ach day, better at adjusting, better at moving on and surviving life.

That's why he is surprised when Hogan starts talking about them one night, one of those alone times that are getting rarer and rarer with the front closing in every day.

Surprised to hear him talk about little farms in the countryside, and houses for the two of them, smiling as he leisurely strokes his lover´s hair out of his sweat-dampened face.

For a moment, he is so breathtakingly happy that Hogan even considers it - that the realization that it still won't ever happen is all the more crushing.

He has to bury his face in Hogan's chest for a moment until he is in control again; he can't let him see what he is doing to him by giving him false hope.

The worst part is, Hogan is not even doing it on purpose.

Maybe it´s just pillow talk, maybe he actually considers it, hopes for it –still, it will never be reality.

Even if it weren't for a ocean dividing their homes. There are just some far greater distances that can't be crossed.

He knows that and Hogan will realize it, too, if he hasn't already.

And yet, he can't bring himself to get a clean break, to cut those strings binding him to false hope because without them he knows he will fall apart.

"It is impossible
says experience"

March 1st, 1945

They live day by day.

Loving, laughing, falling silent when reality comes too close for comfort.

It happens much more often now and they cling to each other with even more need and desperation, refusing to see what has been right in front of them all along.

In the end it doesn't matter.

It doesn't even matter that it will probably destroy him in the end, kill him when all the bullets of the war couldn't.

It is all he has and he is not giving it up until someone rips it from his grasp.

It is insane and pointless and utterly self-destructive and yet it is the best thing that´s ever happened to him.

"It is what it is
says love"