Characters: Hauptmann Dietrich and Hauptsturmfuhrer Erich Wiesenland

Warnings/Spoilers: none

Author's Note: The character 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. As before, my stories are told from the German perspective and I strive to maintain respect for history whilst not conforming to lectures that we were brought up in through school. These stories are not for anyone sensitive to WWII and who harbour deep hatred for the past, though I do request that you keep an open mind when reading the stories. These do NOT glorify war in any shape or form.

Summary: All Dietrich wishes for is one day of peace.

At last, a day without violence.

A day without machine gun fire, running for their lives, artillery shells bursting overhead (or directly amongst them).

A day without bloodshed.

A day without loss.

This was all that Erich Wiesenland had dreamt about but could never reach due to the constant intrusion of the war into his thoughts. Every spine-jerking mortar impact was far from mind here and not even the smell of smoke and burning petrol could find its way here.

This was a little bit of heaven, just for them.

Dietrich, who had encountered his fair share of tragedy and frustration in the last few weeks, was also glad for the retreat. Whilst the other soldiers wanted to find the nearest canteen and spend their entire pay on beer, women, and gambling, Dietrich and Erich had preferred solitude. They had talked quite a bit since discovering the presence of each other's unit in the city. They didn't need cheap thrills, only friendship.

Dietrich opened his eyes the moment he felt something touch his shoulder. Glancing over to his left, he saw that Erich had finally dozed off and was now resting his head against Dietrich's shoulder. The deep but quick breaths were lessening in strength, permitting the officer his much needed sleep. Dietrich couldn't help but smile at this. With the wind breathing life into the leaves above them so that a gentle melody played, Dietrich found no complaint with the day.

This was a day without war.

This was a day with peace.

This was a day for brotherhood, for friendship.

August 1942 / North Africa