Characters: Moffitt, Werner Bachmeier, Pvt Felder, Troy, Tully, and Hitch
Rating: K+
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Author's Note: All characters from "Rat Patrol" are not mine nor do I claim ownership of them. The character of Hauptmann Werner Bachmeier is mine, however, and he cannot be used without permission.
Summary: After a deadly encounter between a freed American POW and a German informat, Moffitt struggles to comprehend the gravity of the responsibility that has been placed upon all their shoulders.

The quiet skies of the night usually comforted Moffitt as it often reminded him of his exploits in the desert with his father, but on this night, it just felt empty. Next to him was the unconscious pilot, a German Captain who had been giving the Allies information about Luftwaffe plans for a year now. Though they were by no means friends, Moffitt had found the earlier conversations with Werner to be most agreeable as Werner had spent some time in London and had much to say about his love for the city and his admiration for the English in general. Werner was educated and knowledgeable about the world. More intriguing was what he wished he could be doing instead of serving in Hitler's madhouse.

There were times that Moffitt briefly forgot his reservations about the pilot. This had been their first meeting after all. The injuries Werner sustained did little to hinder his information giving earlier, but after Felder, an army private they found prisoner with a small band of German soldiers, things were different. Felder hadn't taken kindly to Moffitt's cordial attitude towards Werner and often challenged him regarding it.

The Rat Patrol had been looking for the oasis to rest for the night and as Werner was trying to help pinpoint its location on a map, Felder attacked him with a captured knife. Though Felder disputed this with gross fury, Moffitt knew that the attack was meant for them both. There was no way to prove it however, since Werner had managed to deflect the blow enough for it to be contained between the pair of them.

With a severe puncture wound to his chest and another to his side, if Werner was ever thought of as a threat, he wasn't one now. Troy immediately put Felder under guard, despite Felder's protests, and once Moffitt had tended to Werner's wounds, they moved on. Somehow they managed to make it to the oasis. Tully was in a mood and refused to talk to Moffitt much less look at him. He couldn't take it too personally though, as Moffitt suspected that part of it was due to the same thing that troubled him.

Werner's cries worsened as Moffitt tried to treat him with the supplies that they had. Hitch had remained helpful, but like Tully, he didn't seem to want much to do with the situation at all. It didn't matter what country someone was from, hearing someone in agony was something that the human heart should never have to get used to.

Felder was the exception.

Through the whole ordeal he remained stoic and angry, and only when Werner's cries suddenly halted did he come back to life, inquiring if, "the damn Nazi was dead yet."

Moffitt couldn't reply and so silence fell across the oasis. For the last few hours he had sat there alone, watching the fire grow brighter with the increasing darkness. The fire isolated him from his friends. Tully and Hitch were engaged in a quiet discussion of sorts whilst Troy was by the watering hole. It was easy enough to move by them or to find Troy, but for the present, Moffitt felt a strong urge to stay by Werner.

There was no need to ask the question that surely the others were asking themselves, for Moffitt knew what the answer was. Werner did not represent the evil that they were fighting against, in fact, Werner was fighting against that himself in more ways than he imagined. Felder had attacked with blind hatred, one that drew parallels with that hateful Nazi leader.

Anyone was capable of such rage; the difference was, as the Allies, they were fighting against the evil that the Nazis stood for. Werner was fighting against that very same evil and now was languishing in the blood of a second betrayal. Moffitt shut his eyes and dropped his head.

They were supposed to be the heroes, not murderers.

January 1943