Characters: Hauptmann Dietrich and Hauptmann Arnulf Rosenthal
Rating: K+
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Author's Note: This was written for yesterday's prompt of "sleep" and I definitely had fun writing this. I also blame Laurence Rosenthal's "Princeton Days" score piece from "The Young Indiana Jones collections" for this humourous oneshot.
Summary: In war there are few instances where a soldier can find peace and it is in those moments that the little light of life can be found. Laughter is needed just as much as rest, as Dietrich discovers when his friend is all-too-eager to maintain the captain's standing order of the morning.


"Hallo, mein Freund…" Arnulf called cheerfully as he pushed open the door for Dietrich's room. It was nice staying in the city for a change, instead of sleeping outside in a tent half buried underground. Here, the officers had billeting indoors, which sadly wasn't extended to the lone Fieseler Storch pilot that ferried the wounded out of the battlefield and to the hospital. The ornate trim leading to the door had intrigued Arnulf for his Austrian eyes never missed the fine quality of artwork that the locals displayed throughout the city and in the businesses and homes.

"Hallo… guten Morgen…" continued Arnulf as he wandered into the quiet room. He felt around the edge for a light-switch of sorts when suddenly his shin connected with a small table in the middle of the floor. A lamp wobbled and threatened to fall over but the quick reflexes of the pilot saved it from disaster.

His shin still throbbed from the encounter and as he felt for the switch he hissed, "Aua! Idioten!"

A dim light filled the area, allowing Arnulf to finally see where his friend was. Arnulf grinned and limped over to the bed. Dietrich was still sound asleep, resting on his stomach with his arm hanging over the bed. There had been some attempt to pull the covers up, but from what Arnulf could see, Dietrich had fallen asleep the moment his head touched the pillow. This made sense to Arnulf, as none of his calls from outside, the loud stomping, or even running into the table had stirred him from his rest.

"In that case," said Arnulf to himself, "There's only one thing to do, mein Freund!"

Arnulf snuck over to the other side of the bed and grabbed hold of the spare pillow. For all the rude awakenings he got from Dietrich, revenge was going to be so very sweet!

In a quiet voice Arnulf sang quietly, "Guten Morgen, Hans! Guten Morgen die Sonne! Guten Morgen die Mülleimer und die Teppiche! Guten Morgen mein.. beste.. Freund…"

Whump!

The pillow hit Dietrich square in the back and Arnulf laughed loudly as he pulled the pillow out of grabbing reach.

"Wach auf, Hans! You wanted me to wake you up and well, here I am!" Arnulf hit him again with the pillow, just to make sure he had gotten his attention.

"Geh weg…"

"Nein!" Arnulf's eyes lit up in amusement. "This is what you get for asking me to do it! Today was your one day to rest, we all knew this so all your men were going to leave you alone and I said, "Aha, gut! You need the sleep!' But then you said, 'Nein, I want to wake up at my usual time.'"

"Arnulf… ich bin müde…"

"Neeeee! Wach auf, schnell!" Arnulf hit him once more. "Don't tell me you finally changed your mind! You of all people!"

"Bitte…"

In his amusement over finally getting to extract some revenge on his friend, Arnulf failed to note the pain in Dietrich's voice. Arnulf trotted around the bed and gazed around at the room. "Das ist ein toller Zimmer, Hans!"

"Arnulf, bitte…"

"Was?" Arnulf turned his attention back to Dietrich and quickly bounded back to the bed, jumping into it. Dietrich groaned and pulled the blanket over his head.

"Du bist zu nichts zu gebrauchen!"

"Useless? Me?" Arnulf pretended to look hurt and gazed about him. "You know, this is a terrific bed you have, much better than that rotting cot that I have to sleep on. Did you know that they don't think much of the Storch pilots? I have an important job, bringing in the wounded and sometimes I fly all.. day.. long, and I just get that scrap of… rubbish… whilst you, Hans… have this luxury!"

Arnulf placed the pillow behind his back and settled against the headboard. "No wonder you don't want to leave it this morning. I wouldn't want to either. So nice and cozy and warm."

Dietrich sat up suddenly and glared at Arnulf, "I am awake now! Are you satisfied?"

Arnulf took one look at the hair that was sticking out in all directions and the barely-awake-but-still-deadly glare that Dietrich was giving him. Arnulf sniggered, then laughed. "Klasse! I don't think the commander will approve though!"

Taking in a moment of silence for what Arnulf suspected was contemplation of the many ways in which Dietrich could retaliate, Dietrich stared hard at his friend. After a moment, he asked in an unnervingly collected manner, "What reason did I give for you waking me up at this hour?"

Arnulf's mouth twisted and he rolled his eyes towards the ceiling in mock thought. "You didn't want to deviate from your schedule just because it was your day off. It doesn't matter that you've been running across this desert playground all week long, getting shot at, nearly blown apart, diving into shelter, and putting up with this obnoxious pilot!"

"I agree to all of that," said Dietrich smoothly, the corners of his mouth turning upwards slightly in amusement.

"Gut! Sehr gut!" Arnulf looked at him. "Does this mean you're going to get up now?"

"Nein."

"What about your schedule?"

Dietrich sighed and lay down on the bed. "This is my one morning to sleep in. I don't know when I'll get another one."

There was no mistaking the fatigue in Dietrich's voice this time. Arnulf's cheerfulness transformed into concern. "You're not getting sick, are you?"

"I hope not, Arnulf."

Arnulf's mouth pulled at the side as he bobbed his head in thought. "I might be the ambulance pilot, but I qualify as something of a field medical personnel … something… so I would definitely prescribe sleep!"

"Danke schön."

"Bitte." Arnulf sighed and looked about him, then back at Dietrich. "Do you want your pillow?"

"Nein." Dietrich looked at him and motioned at the door, "I don't want you trying to wake me up again before nine. Raus!"

"Nein! I like it here!" Arnulf protested. "I didn't get a lot of sleep either! I was out there in the cold and on the ground, shivering whilst you had this nice warm home to sleep in with your posh blankets and pillows and-"

"Gute Nacht, Arnulf," said Dietrich as he rolled onto his side, away from his friend.

"Schlaf gut!" Arnulf leaned his head against the headboard once more and smiled. "But don't think your little 'pity me' speech is going to save you past nine! I will make sure you are on your two feet if I have to drag you out myself!"

Dietrich chuckled as he shut his eyes and settled for slumber once more. "Arnulf, Du spinnst wohl!"

"Ja-wohl, mein Freund!" Arnulf grinned and shut his eyes. "I am a pilot, of course I am crazy!"

November 1941
North Africa