Characters: Lieutenant Moffitt and SS-Captain Erich Wiesenland
Author's Note: The characters of Erich Wiesenland is my own and may not be borrowed. Everything else belongs to "Rat Patrol", which I do not own in any way.
Summary: During the harsh winter of 1944, Erich von Wiesenland, a Captain in the Waffen-SS, tries to show his compassion to an injured Moffitt as a storm approaches.
"Have you got anymore blankets?" Erich inquired to the lady of the house, who was standing just off to Erich's left side with her arms folded across her chest and a worried frown on her face.
She shook her head and replied, "Nein. He has all the blankets that I can spare. I won't make my children freeze tonight in this storm."
"Did you give him mine?" Erich asked, looking from the shivering English sergeant to the woman.
"Of course not!" she exclaimed in a voice full of shock.
"Give it to him," replied Erich firmly. He gave his head a slight shake of dismay before looking back at the man. "He's in need of it more than I am."
"But you'll freeze!"
Erich chuckled and ran a hand through his hair, hardly believing what he was hearing. "In this house, I don't think I will. If there has been one good thing that I have learned from my training it is how to survive. Do not concern yourself with my health Frau, for I do know how to look after myself. This poor man though, he will certainly die if he cannot get warm."
The woman shook her head and disappeared out of the room. Erich took this time to retrieve the hand cloth from the basin of water. He was pleased to find it still quite warm and gently dabbed at the shivering Englishman's forehead. Fear over the man's health dwelled in Erich's heart and try as he might, he couldn't find the words in his mind for a proper prayer. He only wept inwardly.
"Here," said the woman when she returned. She deposited the blankets next to Erich before moving towards the other part of the house. "I've got my children to look after you know, so I will leave those two soldiers in your capable hands."
"Danke, Frau," replied Erich as he took up the two blankets. He unfolded them and stretched them over the man and tucked him in snug with the blankets. There wasn't anything left for Erich to do so he got up and went to his other patient, this one a British officer.
"Moffitt," whispered Erich as he knelt on the floor and put his hand on his shoulder. "Moffitt, can you hear me?"
The lieutenant remained still and seemingly unconscious. Erich sighed heavily and decided that his time was better spent checking the bandages instead of seeking companionship. After checking the bandage on Moffitt's leg and shoulder, Erich looked to his hand. It had been the least of injuries but even still, an infection anywhere could be deadly.
His keen eyes spotted no complication and with a satisfied mind, he gently set Moffitt's hand over his chest to let him continue resting. Erich looked back at the sergeant and sighed quietly.
"Gott, hilf ihm." Erich rubbed his eyes as his own exhaustion was beginning to set in. He couldn't help his thoughts as they raced through his mind. "I know they are the enemy, but they are still humans too. It is far better to save a life than to take it."
"You should try some tea," a weak voice suddenly said, causing Erich to jerk his head up painfully.
"Moffitt?" Erich inquired, almost disbelieving that the man was awake. "What do you mean?"
"Give him tea, warm tea," Moffitt said. His eyes were still shut but in his voice lay that familiar jesting tone of his.
Erich eyed him carefully. He asked, "And how will that help?"
"It will warm him from the inside out," replied Moffitt steadily. He then opened his eyes and looked up at Erich, nearly smirking now. "He's also British; that's all I need to say."