Winter in Germany, 1940
He walked through the snow, hearing it crunch under his feet. He wasn’t afraid of anything that lurked in the woods, in fact, anything that lurked in it should be afraid of him. He was raised in the woods when he was a child and knew how to hunt and forage if he needed something. However, he wasn’t in the woods for leisure, he was hiding, hiding like a wounded wolf. He watched for the last few years his country deteriorating from the corruption that been spewing after the Great War. He, like many other Germen men fought in it and many a comrade died in it. He remembered leaving his family just to fight. He returned and promised to raise his sons to be as patriotic and strong, until he realized just as bad things have become. Soon he sons were brainwashed and he had to long flee for resisting. He was angry with himself, he told them to be strong, he told them to have country pride, but he didn’t warn them about listening to nonsense and to be strong minded. He was strong minded; then again, he was always strong minded. He groaned he hope those two idiots would be okay. He walked on. This was the hardest thing he would have to do. He had to leave the only place he called home. He had with him only a few possession and the clothes on his back. He walked to the Swiss border. He was about to leave the woods when he heard a click. In the stillness of the day and snow, the sound was unmistakable. He stopped. He could hear footsteps approaching him. He recognized the pattern of steps immediately.
“Hello Lutz,” he said.
“Hello Vater,” he said.
“Going to kill me now by shooting me in the back?”
“I’m not a coward, though that would probably be the best way to kill you,” he turned. His youngest son was starting at him wearing his SS uniform with unspoken pride, “It took me ages to track you down,”
“And the monkeys sent you,”
“May as well, Gil and I are the only ones who have the balls to,”
“You think I’m going to really let you take me alive?”
“It wouldn’t be you if you did,”
“I’m guessing that’s what they’re counting on,”
“I’m sorry but I’m not going to meet my ancestors yet,” Before Lutz could react, knife was in his arm. He dropped his gun but had the insight to grab and hold his father’s blade away from his throat. He shoved him off and took out his pocketknife. He went after him. The man dodged and blocked another attack. This went on, until Lutz gain the upper hand and managed to pin him against a tree. He went to in for the kill. The man’s survival instinct kicked in. He pulled out another blade. It went through Lutz’s face. He screamed and jumped backwards holding his face. The gash was deep and bloody. He went in for the kill but he realized he couldn’t. He knew his son long enough to know when he was doing something on purpose. He approached his son.
“If you wanted to die, don’t bring me into it,” he said coldly.
“What do you mean?”
“I know you long enough to know when you’re being an idiot. What do you get by fighting me?”
“I want an excuse as to why you escape,” he glared at his son and gave him a final slash. Lutz went down and held his chest along with his eye.
“Don’t patronize me and don’t do stupid shit that’ll get you killed,” he walked away towards the border. He was furious, not because his son grew a pair and fought him but the idea that he made it one sided sickened him and for a stupid reason. Lutz waited until he was gone. He then radioed into his base.
“Germania Beilschmidt is dead,” he said.
“Are you sure?”
“He didn’t go down without a fight. I have the scars to prove it,”
“Good, return to base,” Lutz limped back to his jeep in the woods. The pain was unimaginable but he felt a sense of pride. He lit a cigarette and took a long drag from it and blew out the smoke.
“Frohe Weihnachten, Vati…”
Tom looked to the left, then to the right. He scurried into Vati’s study and closed the door. He made a beeline to the closet and started rummaging through the chest. He pulled out military coat and hat and trudged towards the mirror. He shuffled into the coat and replaced his hat with the larger hat. He grinned. One day he’ll be big and strong like Vati. He saluted like all good American soldiers imaging being a hero someday.
“Whatcha doing, Liebling?” Tom turned. Lutz was looking down at him from behind. He grinned sheepishly at his Vati. Lutz swore if Tom was in Germany he would have been an excellent little spy; quiet, quick, and barely noticeable. However, he was too skittish and sensitive for the HJ like he was. They would have eaten him alive. No, Tom was good where he was though he wished the boy would stay away from his uniform.
“Umm…I umm…wearing your uniform,”
“Tom…” Lutz couldn’t help but smile as he took the jacket off him and then the hat, “You know better,”
“Sorry Vati but it’s just so cool!”
“I don’t want you to be like me,”
“Because I want you to be yourself,” he said, “And Mutti would be worried if you were in the battlefield,”
“How about a field doctor? That way I can help people!”
“Or you can be a regular doctor here. You can still help people in your own country without risking your life,”
“I know but I wanna be a hero! Like you!”
“I’m no hero Liebling…”
“Ja! You’re Franz and my hero along with Uncle!” Lutz looked at him. Where did they get this kid from? He beamed at him happily. Lutz scooped him up.
“Come on, we’re going to do something that doesn’t involve you in my uniform,”
“Damn kid,” Lutz came into the bedroom and plopped on his bed. ___________ looked up from her book, “I swear he’s the reincarnation of every spy I killed!”
“Tom was in your uniform again?”
“Ja,” he kicked off his boots, “I wouldn’t mind so much except him getting too attached to it and thinking it was good what I did back then,” he dragged his hands over his face and groaned, “I’m dreading the day they know which side I was fighting on,”
“Hopefully not for a very long time,” she said yawning, “As far as they’re concerned, you were a secret spy,”
“Ja, ja but I’m just worried about Tom, he’s so fuckin’ sensitive,”
“He’ll toughen up. I mean look at you and Gil,”
“Ja but that’s because we had a tough Vater,”
“You know, you don’t talk about him much,”
“Well…he wasn’t too happy with us fighting the war in the first place,” said Lutz, “He loved our country just like all stouthearted Germans but he didn’t buy into the propaganda and shit. In fact, they wanted to arrest him for treason but he disappeared, keeping in contact just to tell us he was disappointed,”
“I know, he fled and I told my commanding officer that I killed him. He put up a fuckin’ fight,”
“You weren’t going to let him get killed,”
“Nein, but he still thinks I was toying with him. The fuck I was, I knew he’d kill me faster than anyone. How do you think I got my face scar?” she winced. He lay down next to her and pulled her into his arms. She smiled and snuggled closer to him. She knew he hated talking about his past, especially so close to Christmas.
“Did the boys tell you what they wanted for Christmas?”
“Nein, I was actually thinking of getting Franz his first rifle,” she looked at him.
“Are you sure he’s ready?”
“The earlier the better, Gilbert and I used to shoot cans with Vater when we were their ages,”
“Okay…fine. But you will teach him them both the dangers,”
“Okay, I just hope Tom doesn’t wet his pants,”
“What did you have in mind for Tom?”
“A doctor’s kit because if Franz is using a weapon, we know he’s going to need first aid sooner or later and Tom’s a sensitive kid, I don’t want to throw shit like that at him too soon,”
“Just ease him into it. I’ll tag along and bring the one my dad and I used back in the day,” Lutz stared at her, “What? How do you think I learned my skills?”
“I swear there’s a cock and balls somewhere…Let me feel around…”
“No you perv!”
“That would explain why you have a male’s libido,”
“Though that backside says different,”
“Stop groping you pervert!” she said laughing.
Christmas in the Beilschmidt home hasn’t been the same recently. Lutz hadn’t been home for weeks and especially in the evenings. Everyone in the house was getting worried. It wasn’t the same without him being about. Not even Gilbert knew where he was but often kept his sister-in-law and his nephews company. ___________ often asked and the only answer he gave was he decided to put in more hours. Franz and Tom often perched at the window waiting for Vati to come home. She often shooed them away so they could eat supper. By the time Lutz came home, they would be asleep. From there, he would wolf down whatever ___________ made, took a shower and went straight to bed. In the morning he woke up before anyone, got up, got dressed and went off again, even on the weekends.
“He’s fine,” said Gilbert one day.
“I know but I worry you know,”
“Only common, besides you have the awesome me to help you take care of the Kinder,”
“And they miss the big lug,”
“So do you,” he said poking her cheek. She pouted.
“Humph, I don’t,”
“You miiiiiiissssss him,”
“I can fill the Vati and hubby role for awhile, it’s kind of fun,”
“When are you going to find that awesome wife to be with?” he reddened.
“Not for awhile. I’m actually happy the way things are now. I get to be with West’s family and be Vati and hubby without the worry,”
“I swear you two are the strangest men I’ve ever met,”
“You love us,” he snuggled her close. Franz and Tom watched the sight.
“What if Vati never comes home and Mutti has to marry Uncle?” said Tom.
“That would never happen, it would be awesome but it would never happen,” said Franz
“Because Mutti loves Vati?”
“Nein, because even though Uncle is more awesome than Vati, Mutti’s awesomeness trumps Uncle’s awesome therefore making Vati awesome by association,”
“And not to mention, Vati always comes back and everything is always set right when he does,”
“I hope so, I miss having him tuck us in at night,”
“I know, when he does it, it feels tighter. I miss him making us to the park on his cycle,”
“Remember when Mutti chased us all in the car?”
“Because Vati was trying to protect us from the dentist,”
“She chased us for miles until Vati got stuck in the mud,” they laughed at the memory, especially when Lutz and ____________ got into a mud flinging fight which resulted in __________ taking all three of her kids to the dentist, especially after he fell and chipped a tooth.
“The dentist was too bad!” said Tom.
“No but he did make Vati cry a bit,”
“That’s because Vati doesn’t like the dentist,”
“Boys!” they scurried downstairs. _________ grinned at them.
“Get dressed, we’re going to the mall to see Santa Claus,” they grinned and ran upstairs. Gilbert watched the boys with interest.
“If I didn’t know any better I’d say you’ve slept with me then Lutz,”
“What are you on about?”
“Franz acts just like the awesome me. Tom actually acts like Lutz when when he was little Kind,”
“Ja, He was quiet but still tougher than most at his age but still quiet. Maybe you were sleepwalking and slept with me and we just don’t remember,”
“You’re not allowed to speak you pervert!” Gilbert laughed hard, “Come on, you want to come too?”
“Ja! Come on!”
Lutz sighed. This year because of the union strikes and dealing with some shit from his past, he had to take odd jobs this year in order to give his family a better Christmas. Because of the results of the strike, they weren’t going to get a holiday bonus so he’s been working odd jobs for weeks. He’s been a gravedigger, he’s been a handyman, he even did a few bar bets but recently, he got one that was seasonal and degrading all at the same time, mall Santa Claus. The store thought because he was big and muscular, he could handle a few kids. He didn’t mind it that much. He had to wear a few pillows to make himself look fatter and the fake beard to look older. The kids weren’t too bad. Some peed, those he wanted to strangle. Some just cried and tried getting away. Some were shy and quiet and some made deals with him. He bore with it for weeks now. It wasn’t too bad. Then he looked up. He saw ___________ in line with Gilbert and the boys. He froze. She was bundled in hi winter coat with Gilbert having his arm draped around her. He made a mental note to kill him later. The boys were waiting to see him, Santa Claus. He wanted to run, hoping that they didn’t recognize him. But soon, it was Tom’s turn. The woman elf ushered him to him. Tom looked at him nervously. Lutz gently picked him up and puts him on his lap. Tom fidgeted a bit. He gently pats his back.
“What do you want for Christmas, little boy?” Tom looked at Santa Claus and fumbled his hands a bit.
“I-I want Vati to come home again,” Lutz froze. Tom looked down, “He-He doesn’t come home at night anymore and…we miss him. Mutti tells us not to worry but…it’s not Christmas without Vati,” Lutz stared at the little boy. He looked at him with those large purple eyes, “Uncle Gilbert has been substitute Vati but it’s not the same. We haven’t even gotten a tree yet because we’re waiting for him. So…please bring Vati home. Mutti misses him too. Please?” Luz stared into Tom’s eyes. His violet hues looked so fuckin’ innocent that he could hardly stand it.
“Is that…all you want?”
“Well…no…I just want everyone to be happy. I have everything I actually want,”
“Come ooooon, there has to be something,”
“Well…you’re St. Nick! You should know!”
“Help me along!”
“Nope…I’m fine! Just bring Vati back sir!” Tom hopped off his lap and scurried to the other side. Lutz couldn’t help but smile. The boy had a good heart. He couldn’t savor it long before another kid plotted on his lap. He was face to (e/c) eyes and scruffy blond hair.
“Okay fat man, listen up,” said Franz glaring at Lutz, “I know the Krampus is coming back for me this year, he made that clear when he possessed Vati a few months ago and almost killed me for being naughty,” Lutz had to hand it to ___________ for getting creative about what happened, “So, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to get Tom a bicycle. He wants a new one but he wants Vati back even more but Vati isn’t about and it’s making him and Mutti worried. So here’s the deal. I’ll be good enough to keep Krampus off my butt and you give Tom a bike and something for Mutti and I’ll be happy. Nothing for Vati, that jerk is never home,” it took everything in Lutz to not plop him on the ground. But he had to admit, the boys had good heads on their shoulders. He looked up at ______________ as Franz ran to join her and Tom. She looked a bit worried. He felt guilty as they walked away. He then saw a man come by and approach them. He watched as she punched him and stepped on him before joining Gilbert. He smirked. She was still feisty as ever. He sighed. He missed grabbing her ass….and he just couldn’t grab other asses, that’s why he married her so he could have own personal one to grab as he pleased. He was really starting to miss his family.
Germania got the letter a week ago. For years he thought he sons were either dead or imprisoned for the rest of their days in some kind of prison. When he received the letter from Lutz, needless to say he was shocked. He’s been living in Switzerland for years and made an okay life. When the letter came, they immediately knew where to send it to. Lo and behold his sons were alive and in America of all places. Lutz sent him some money with the invitation to come and stay. He thought about it for a long time. He loved Europe but after the war…it was literately in shambles. He’s been using his survival and military expertise to be a mercenary for a few years. It gave him food and shelter and that was all he needed. It gave him something to do to and the main thing he wanted was to retire and live out his days in peace. So, he decided to see what he wanted for years, how his sons were doing. He arrived in America two weeks before Christmas. He followed the address and was soon in the area where his sons and new family were. He had the taxi drop him off a few blocks away. He trudged through the thick snow. His hair was blowing in the cool air. However, he still heard it, footsteps behind him. He continued to walk. The footsteps were trying to mimic his in order to stop detection but he knew. The man had followed him from the airport and was going to kill him the first chance he got. Why? He killed his brother as a part of a job. He’s been following him since Europe. Germania wasn’t going to lead him anywhere near his family’s home so he decided to lead him into a secluded alley and finish him from there. Meanwhile Tom and Franz were playing nearby when a strange man walking with another following him at a distance. The boys wouldn’t have made a second glance if the man didn’t look strikingly familiar.
“W-Who was that?” whispered Tom.
“Whoever it was, he looked like Vati,” said Franz, “Only with long hair and braids,”
“But there’s something weird coming off him, like scary weird,”
“Wanna follow him?”
“Didn’t Mutti said something about spying?”
“She said don’t spy on teachers or family, she didn’t say anything about strangers!”
“Oh! Okay!” they headed the pair off at the past. The crept down and hid behind some trashcans. Soon, the blond entered the alley. The man pulled out a pistol. The pair’s eyes widened. That man was going to shoot the Vati look alike.
“Do you think I’m going to let you live after you killed my brother?!” shouted the man. He went to squeeze the pistol. The blond turned around and a knife flew and got the man in his chest. He was about to fall out of the alley but he caught before he hit the ground. The blond then slams him against the wall.
“Nein, but allow me to reunite the two of you,” he slit the man’s throat and let him slump to the ground. Luckily none of his blood fell on him. Germania looked up to see two small figures running out of the alley. He turned the corner, one was a blond and one was (h/c) headed. He sighed and trudged on. Soon he arrived at the address that was written on the envelope. He rang the doorbell. A lovely woman with (e/c) eyes and (h/c) hair answered the door.
“You must be ___________,” she nodded, “Forgive my intrusion but is Lutz here?”
“Umm…no but his brother will be here shortly,”
“Mind if I wait?”
“Sure…umm…who are you?”
“Forgive me, I’m Germania Beilschmidt, their father, so you can put the weapon away, Liebling,”
“How did you…but please come in,” _____________ puts her pistol back into the closet. She went into the kitchen and brewed some tea. A few minutes ago, Tom and Franz ran inside and up to their rooms refusing to tell their mom what happened and since they rarely get non-neighbor visitors, _________ was always cautious when she answered the door.
“Would you like something with your tea? I made cookies,”
“That would be lovely,” she was nervous. She never met her father-in-law before. She didn’t even know he was coming. She called Gilbert and told him what happened. Moments later he burst through the backdoor and ran into the living room.
“Vati!” Gilbert ran and embraced the taller man happily, “You’re here!” Germania blushed.
“How many times must I tell you to call me Herr Vater?”
“But you’re Vati!”
“You never change boy,”
“What are you doing here?”
“Lutz sent me a letter and invited me over with a plane ticket,”
“Ja,” Gilbert grinned big and immediately called the boys down. Franz and Tom came downstairs. They stared at Germania. He noticed their body language, tense and nervous. He recognized their forms and immediately regretted his actions.
“Kinder, this is your Opa, Germania. He’s my and your Vati’s Vati,” Franz and Tom stared at the man with awe and wonder. They never met anyone from their father’s side of the family. He was big and intimidating. They looked at their Mutti. She nodded at them encouragingly. Franz approached first.
“Hi, I’m Franz and this is my brother, Tom,”
“Hi…” said Tom cautiously. Germania got on one knee so he wouldn’t look so intimidating to the pair. Tom meekly went over and hugged him. Germania pats his back. Franz followed suit. He looked them over.
“They look so strong and healthy,”
“They are!” said Gilbert.
Lutz came home with a spring in his step. Because of the union negotiations, their Christmas bonus was turned into their End of the Year bonus. He was so happy when his boss announced it that day and gave them their pay. He grinned at the idea. Now he could actually get back home and finally able to stop enjoying Christmas with his family. He was expecting the boys to come running out like they usually do but not tonight. He was puzzled as he opened the door. Inside, he could smell something delicious. ______________ was making wurst and potatoes. He walked further inside to see Gilbert laughing and drinking a beer and that was when he saw long, blond hair.
“Were you in a war too, Grandpa?” said Franz
“Ja, I was in the Great War,” said Germania smiling.
“Did you fight Nazis like Vati and Opa?”
“Nein, there weren’t Nazis back then,”
“Then who did you fight?” said Tom
“Mainly the French and a few Italians over a personal grudge match,”
“What’s a grudge?”
“It means you still don’t like someone,” said Franz laughing. He looked up and got up to hug Lutz, “Vati’s home!”
“Vati!” Tom hugged his other leg happily. Germania stood up. Lutz and him stared at each other for a few moments. Franz and Tom pulled him towards Germania, “Say hi to your Vati!”
“Ja! He misses you! You hadn’t see him since we were born! That’s a long darn time!” ___________ walked into the living room and could actually feel the tension in the room.
“Umm, Franz, Tom go wash for dinner and bring down that tin of cookies I bought from the store that’s on the bed,” the boys went upstairs. Lutz and Germania stared at each other for awhile.
“I didn’t know you’d come,”
“I thought you and Gilbert were dead to be honest. I was scared that I wouldn’t see either of you again,”
“We thought you were dead Vati,” said Gilbert.
“I never thought you weren’t alive, just that you didn’t want anything to do with me after our last encounter,”
“Nein, I was actually proud after the fact that you did fight me man to man and honorably,”
“Damn right, I wasn’t feigning idiocy, you’re still good,”
“I’m proud of both of you. You got out before anything drastic happened. And managed to start families on your own or in your case Gilbert joining your brother’s and helping out raising two fine boys and I would be honored to stay here and join the Winter with you,”
“Of course Vati!” said Gilbert hugging his father tightly.
“Always!” said Lutz hugging him as well. ____________ smiled from afar. Lutz grabbed and pulled her, “Katzchen, this is my father, Germania Beilschmidt. He’s the reason why Gil and I are so messed up,”
“My dear, Schwiegertochter, you have to realized that they have warped each other in ways that I could never dream of,”
“You can’t blame us Vati!” said Gilbert.
“Oh? Who was the one who told Lutz about the killer chicken who lived in closets?”
“That one was true! You just couldn’t see it!”
“I’m with him on that one! I saw it!”
“I’m sure and then Lutz convinced Gilbert that I had two set of sexual organs the reason why I have long hair and so motherly,”
“Well, you were bother Mutti and Vati so we needed an explanation!” said Lutz. The men started to bicker about who messed up who more. ___________ dragged her hand down her face. Germania pats her back soothingly.
“I’m sorry I had pass these reigns onto you like this, Schwiegertochter,”
“I’m used to it by now, Mr. Germania,”
“Please, call me Schwiegervater or Vati,” she smiled.
“I’d wish you would have told me that your father was coming!” said ____________ that evening glaring at Lutz, “And not to mention the real reason your wurst eating ass hadn’t been around!”
“I’m sorry if it’s a bit of inconvenience for you,”
“It’s not that! He probably thinks I’m a terrible wife and horrible host! I mean if I knew he was coming, I could have picked him up from the airport or made something a little better than wurst!” Lutz laughed.
“He’s okay with wurst,”
“And I could have made a better room for him! I feel terrible that he’s in the living room!”
“How long is he staying? I want to make him more comfortable?”
“Well…about that, you see there’s nothing for him to stay in Germany for and well—,”
“You idiot! Now he’s going to think I didn’t want him here because I didn’t make a room for him!” he hits him.
“Ow! Wait you mean he can stay?”
“Of course he can! He’s your father! Ugh! Now he really thinks I’m a terrible host! We need to start talking about this as a couple! I work too! I could have helped!”
“Actually I find your hospitality quite endearing,” Germania was standing by the door with a small smile, “It’s been awhile since I’ve felt so welcomed in one place,” she reddened, “But I agree, my dummkopft son shouldn’t have been so secretive of my arrival,”
“I didn’t even think you’d come,”
“I came because you and Gilbert actually had the hindsight to finally leave and make a good life for yourselves,”
“Well, we had a good teacher that taught us to have the good sense to know when we’re in too deep and not to stay if we don’t believe in a cause anymore and even if we leave, it doesn’t mean we’re any less German,”
“And it too you years to figure that out,”
“But we did and that’s what really counts, right?” Germania sighed and shook his head and walked away. None of his sons thought about their actions, she was sure of it. Lutz had a burst of pride for a moment until _________ chewed him out again.
“Next time Lutz if you want help with something, PLEASE tell me,” he kissed her hard, shutting her up.
“Katzchen…I’m sorry but I just didn’t want you to think I couldn’t be a provider. It’s my job to make you all comfortable,”
“I know but I work too and I like helping us out in things!”
“I’m sorry Katzchen,”
“I know that but I still love you,”
“I know, so what did that man say to you when you were leaving Santa line?” she huffed.
“He asked if I’ve been naughty or nice and then go into a corner of the mall and made three children instead of two,”
“Dumbass,” he laughed.
Tom and Franz sleepily came downstairs expecting Mutti downstairs making something for breakfast. The image they were greeted with however was their new Grandpa making breakfast. He was in Mutti’s apron and still managed to look so manly, unlike Vati when he was in one. He was frying these buns in oil. They smelt delicious. He would take them out and then sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon. Franz’s mouth water. Someone who was cooking something delicious like that couldn’t be bad. Tom’s stomach growled. Whatever he was making smelt great. They were interrupted from their thoughts when they saw a plate of Berliner in front of them. They were still piping. They looked up. Germania smiled at them. They cautiously took one.
“They taste like Heaven!” said Franz.
“Yummy!” said Tom.
“If you like, I can show you how to make them, Lieblings,” the boys were slowly starting to warm up to their Grandpa. Soon breakfast was finished. Germania poured them some more milk and gave it to them, “Listen Kinder…I know you two saw what I did the other day…just know I’m not going to sugarcoat what I did and my only regret is that you two saw,”
“Why did you hurt him, Grandpa?” said Tom looking at him.
“Though we have to admit, it was awesome,” said Franz.
“Well, the man who was following me was someone from my past who recognized me,”
“From the war?”
“No…something else. He followed me when I landed in France and I didn’t want him to follow me to my family,”
“Is the man going to be okay?” said Tom
“Well…he’ll be home really soon,”
“He’s in heaven isn’t he?”
“Sorry Lieblings and I’ll understand if you want nothing to do with me,”
“No way!” said Franz, “Vati and Uncle killed people and they’re fine!”
“And you look different when you’re in angry mode!” said Tom, “Like you’re not scary now,”
“And Mutti likes you!” Germania smiled and hugs them both.
“Thank you, kids,”
________________ watched on as Germania helped Franz and Tom decorate their Christmas tree with sweets, ornaments, and candles. The boys took to their Opa happily. Now that Lutz was free for the holidays, he was home more and helping with the Christmas traditions. He took Franz and Gilbert to the woods to get a tree. Franz founds a nice size one and the chopped it down. __________ took Tom to get ornaments and do some last minute shopping. German hung back to cook. Every day they had traditional German and Swiss dishes including Jagerschnitzel and Zürcher Geschnetzeltes.
“So full…” said Tom
“I’m not surprised, you ate three bowls sweetie,” said ___________
“I think I can move either…” said Franz.
“Oh, then I guess we’ll have to ask someone else to help Grandpa decorate the tree,”
“I’m up!” said Franz, “Come on Tom,” he dragged Tom to the living room,” Germania laughed and joined them.
“Aren’t candles dangerous Opa?” said Tom as Germania and Franz placed candles on their tree.
“No! They’re awesome!” said Franz
“But it’ll catch a fire!”
“We only light them at night, Liebling,” said Germania adding the last few.
Afterwards, Germania propped the boys on his knee. He noticed Tom’s cadet hat. He sighed when he remembered when he first got that hat.
“Why do you wear that hat Liebling?”
“It’s like Vati’s hat and if I keep wearing it, I’ll grow up to be big and strong like he is!”
“You’re already like your Vati when he was your age,” he said ruffle’s Tom’s head.
“Nah uh! Vati’s brave and strong!”
“And actually talks!” said Franz, “And could probably bench press a car!” Lutz grinned from the kitchen hearing his son’s praised of him.
“Nein, your Vati was weak, puny, but scrappy,” _________ chuckled at this, “For a little while, I thought he was going to be a mute but he toughened up. It took awhile but it happens,”
“I hope I can toughen up and be like him!”
“I wanna be like Uncle Gilbert!” Gilbert puffed up and Lutz leered. __________ just shook her head and finished putting dishes away. That evening, Germania tucked the boys in.
“Gute Nacht Kinder,”
“Gute Nacht, Grandpa!” they said as he closed the door. Germania made his way downstairs. He was alone and became more at ease. He’s been alone for such a long it was taking some getting used to. He was glad he was somewhere now where he was wanted and could feel the warmth that he used to feel when the boys were younger. He looked into the fire. He’s been a mercenary for years even after he escaped from Germany and old habits were dying hard. It he wanted to continue, he was going to have to be careful. He would never want to put any of his family in danger, especially the boys. They were filled with innocence, right down to the idea of what their parents and Uncle did in the war.
“Are you okay?” ____________ walked downstairs. He looked up. She was in her (f/c) robe.
“Did I wake you?”
“No, I just though you could use some company,” she sat down next to him, “Especially since you’ve done this for the last few nights,” he smiled.
“It’s just that…I hadn’t seen either of them since the war broke out in our country,” he said looking at the fire, “For a while, I thought they both had perished in the war. When I found out I was on a list for a camp as a traitor, I had to leave, it was the hardest thing I had to do, not only because it was my homeland, but because I had to leave my sons. I was at the Swiss border when Lutz cornered me. From then on, I never thought I’d ever see them again or worst, have to be confronted with the idea of killing one of them because of a grudge from another,”
“I can only imagine how you felt, then again, you did raise them right, and as parents it’s our jobs to let them be and hopefully our teachings values follow them. Lutz didn’t talk about you much but whenever he would give the boys perils of wisdom, it was always something he got from you, not of the party,”
“I suppose you’re right. I should have had more faith in them, especially around that time; then again I knew what they were capable of, especially after working for my country in the war. I’m just glad they finally woke up and I knew you had some kind of hand in it. Lutz is a different man from the last time we’ve met,”
“Well, I was just as foolish during that time myself, Lutz save me more than once,”
“Even trade, you saved him too,” he kissed her forehead, “I can’t repay you enough for that,” she smiled at him, “Come, I’ll make some tea and maybe we can discuss what I can get you for Christmas,”
“I have everything I need, I couldn’t wish ask for anything more,”