It wasn’t that Lutz didn’t like kids it was just that he didn’t feel comfortable around them. In fact, the mere idea of being around a kid for more than a couple of minutes made him uneasy. He had two and even that was too much. He was proud to have two sons. One was four and the other was six. Six year old Franz looked like him. Scruffy blonde hair, strong stout features, but he had his mother’s (e/c) eyes and sharp wit. Tom was four and looked just like his mother with (h/c) hair, his violet eyes, and so far just quiet. In fact, sometimes it was hard to know where he was because he was quiet. He made him nervous, very nervous so much he didn’t want to be in the same room with him for too long alone. _________ and Franz went out shopping.
“Lutz, watch Tom, he’s upstairs playing,”
“Vhere are you going?”
“Grocery shopping. Want anything special?”
“Wurst, beer, and cigarettes,”
“That’s every week,” she said kissing his cheek. He smirked, grabbed her ass, and pulled her into a proper kiss, “You pig!”
“You know you love it,” he said.
“Franz, come on,” they heard footsteps from upstairs. A little blond blur raced and jumped from the tenth step to the floor in front of his parents.
“Franz! How many times do I have to tell you, no running in the house!”
“Sorry Mutti…but did I stick the landing?”
“Ja,” said Lutz ruffling him.
“Don’t encourage him!” she said, “But you need to work on your balance sweetheart, OUTSIDE,”
“Okay, okay Mutti,” he grinned. Lutz couldn’t help but grin. He was a bundle of energy.
“It shouldn’t take long but just be sure he’s okay and please don’t do anything to frighten him, you know he’s easily skittish,”
“Ja, ja, I know,” she kissed him again before going off to the market.
Tom was in an oversized sweater and walking about the house. He couldn’t smell his mother or hear her anywhere. He trotted downstairs. He looked around.
“Mutti? Muuuuutti?” he looked around and tripped. He whimpered a bit and got up with tears in his eyes. Then he was hoisted up but the nape of his sweater. The young boy froze. He was now face to face with his Vati. He flailed trying his hardest to get out of his grip. Lutz stared at the tiny thing flailing about.
“Your Mutti isn’t here; she’s at the store with your Bruder. So it’s just you and me and no one else,” this didn’t seem to ease the boy as he flailed some more, “Stop that! I’m not going to hurt you!” he barked. That did it. His little purple eyes had tears and he sniffled, “Hey…calm down will ya kid? I’m not going to hurt you,”
“T-Then wh-why did you yell?” Lutz had no idea where they got this skittish kid from. He rubbed the back of his head.
“I didn’t mean to. Look I’m going to put you down, okay? Don’t run because I don’t want to chase you, got it?” Tom nodded as he was placed down. He didn’t say a word but looked at his Vati expectantly. Lutz sighed and took him into the garage. He needed to work on his motorcycle today. The little boy curiously looked around the area. Unlike Franz, he didn’t explore certain places of the house if Mutti wasn’t about. The garage was one of those places. Vati’s bike was in there. It was a huge, shiny thing that he was terrified to go near, mainly because Vati loved it and it made A LOT of noise. It woke him up a few times and Mutti often yelled at him for that. Lutz looked at the boy who stood at the door.
“Come on, it’s not gonna hurt you,” Tom slowly walked into the garage. He looked at his motorcycle and touched the cold steel, “You’re going to help me change the oil and wash her. Ready?” he nodded. Lutz starts up the cycle to help the oil get nice and warm. Tom held his ears until he turned it off, “Okay, pass me that pan,” Tom trotted to the shelf and gave him the pan. Lutz held it over the oil tank and tilts his cycle. Tom looks over, “Okay, now put that over there for me,” he nodded. However, the weight proved too much for the little one as he tried to balance. Soon he toppled over and fell. Lutz shot up and went to him. The floor was a mess and the little boy was covered in oil. He looked liked an ink blot. He picked the boy up to take a bath. Tom stood by the door and watched his Vati make bathwater. Usually Mutti did all of this. Soon the water stopped running. Lutz took his clothes off and placed him in the tub gently.
“You can handle it from here, right?” Tom shook his head. He would have left the boy in there until he was through but he anything happened to him, he’d knew ________ would skin him alive and disembowel him. Lutz took off his shirt to keep it from getting wet. Tom stared at his father and looked down at his own little chest then back to his father’s. Lutz got on his knees and started gently washing the boy, being as careful as he could. He didn’t know his strength at times and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt his son. After it was over, he dried the boy out and wrapped him into a towel. While Lutz goes to find him another one of those blasted sweaters he wore. Tom in the meantime, hopped off the table and peeked around the corner. Okay, no Vati in sight. He scuttled into a room in the house, a room that was said to be off limits to the boys to find his hidden treasure, a security hat. Every time he needed to feel brave and secure, he wore the security hat. He searched through the drawer and couldn’t find it. His little heart sank. He needed his security blanket. It would keep him safe.
“Fuck! Where did he go?!” Lutz looked in every room in the house. Tom was like a little shadow. There one moment and gone the next. He didn’t understand the kid. He was young but why was he so fucking scared of him. He was never that scared when he was a kid, then again, he was pretty badass for a kid too. He caught glimpse of a little towel in the corner of his eye. He quickly grabbed and scooped it up. Tom flailed as Lutz slipped a black sweater over him. He passed him pants and underwear, “You take care of that yourself,” he nodded and once again looked at his father expectantly. Lutz was about to go back to his cycle when he heard a little growl. Tom blushed and held his tummy, “Hungry? Let’s go,” he went to the kitchen and grabbed the cookie jar. He took out a few.
“But…Mutti said not to eat sweets until after dinner because it’ll spoil our appetites,” he said matter-of-factly. Lutz dragged his hand over his face. The little boy was dead serious. He took the cookie jar from off the counter and took a few from it.
“Vell, how about I just leave the jar right here,” he puts the jar next to the boy, “And let’s just have a few cookies just disappear and a little boy will be satisfied until supper? Now, let me turn my back,” Lutz turned his back. Tom looked at his Vati and grinned. He grabbed a couple and munched on them. He wondered where _________ was. She should have been here by now. He groaned wondering if she was okay. Well he may as well make dinner. He looked in the fridge for something and decided to make burgers.
Lutz was beyond exhausted. How the fuck is taking care of ONE child so exhausting? He plopped on the couch, full, watered, and with a healthy, clean, well fed child. He wanted to get some sleep. He kicked off his boots and closed his eyes. He felt a tiny little hand and touch his stomach. He opened his eye. Tom was on his stomach. He pulled up his shirt and was curiously looking at his Vati.
“Vati…what are these bumps on your tummy?”
“Why are they hard?”
“I train…er workout a lot,”
“Why doesn’t Mutti have abs?”
“Well…Mutti is a woman and they’re built differently than men are,”
“Oh…” Lutz had no idea where this kid came from. He didn’t act like ________ at all and he sure as hell didn’t act like him. He wasn’t a smart aleck and for the most part he was quiet. Tom crawled up to his chest. Lutz stared at him, “Thank you, Vati,” Lutz looked at him, “For being Mutti while she was gone,” He was smiling at him shyly. He ruffled the boy’s head fondly. Tom smiled and noticed his father’s hat and puts it on his head grinning.
“I was wondering why there were (h/c) hairs in there. You like Vati’s hat, don’t you?”
“Ja! It’s my security cap! It gives me strength!” Lutz picks the boy up and sets him down on the couch. He went into a drawer and moved some things aside and pulled out a young boy’s cadet hat. He took his off and replaced it with the smaller one.
“That’s better. I used to wear that one when I was younger. It’s yours now,” he looked up at his father with large purple eyes and smiled brightly. Lutz grinned. He was a dead ringer for his Mutti.
“Lutz, I’m home! I’m sorry it took too long but I ran into Dad and Franz insisted that he stay and hear his Grandpa’s old war stories and he’s spending the night. I hope Tom wasn’t too much of a—,” _________ stared at the sight. Tom was fast asleep on Lutz’s chest. Lutz was snoring with his arm draped over the little (h/c) headed boy protectively. She smiled at this. She went into the linen closet, took out a blanket and draped it over the pair.
“My Vati is the greatest person ever!” said Franz smirking, “He was a soldier in WWII! He was kicking Nazi ass left and right and still had time to marry Mutti! That’s how badass he is!”
“How is that badass?”
“Have you met my Mutti? She’s tough! Even Vati backs down from her!” Franz was telling his classmates about the wonderful adventures of his greatest hero. Today’s story was about Vati being trapped in a POW camp in Germany and how his not only slaughtered like ten Nazis, he saved children from a burning building, was able to run faster than Superman, and of course punched Hitler in the face. Mrs. Wolfe, his teacher, was impressed by the boy’s stories, the ones that were believable of course and wanted to talk to his mother about everything.
“Mrs. Beilschmidt!” said Mrs. Wolfe, “We need to talk about your son,”
“Please don’t tell me he’s cutting up in class, again,”
“No, no! Actually I wanted to talk to you about your husband and the stories Franz has been telling us about him,”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh dear, you know, how he served during WWII! According to Franz, his father was high ranking soldier in the army. After hearing so many stories about him, we want to meet him,”
“Oh, no my husband is a bit…busy,”
“Please Mrs. Beilschmidt, I’ve been thinking of recommending your husband to the VA for a medal of honor and I need to know what your husband did exactly. It would be a treat and I’ve started on the paperwork,”
“Please, it isn’t necessary for you to do that. It’s just that he’s very private about this sort of thing,”
“He doesn’t need to know, until the time comes of course,” ______ sighs. This woman won’t give up.
“Okay please don’t send anything in until he has a presentation for the class. Please,”
“Of course and splendid! I can’t wait to meet him!”
Lutz was working on his bike. Because of his knack for fixing things, he had steady work; however, he loved to go back to his baby, his first and favorite project, his bike, after work. Because of the kids, they both had flexible work hours to have them come home early in an alternation so they could pick up and tend to the boys. Today was _______’s turn. While he waited for dinner, she came into the garage.
“Lutz…we have to talk,” he looked up. She looked very grave.
“What’s the matter?”
“Franz’s been talking about his favorite hero again at school,” he couldn’t help but puff with pride. Of course he was the boy’s hero. All dads were their son’s heroes. ______ knew this and loved it but she didn’t know what the boy had told his friends until the teacher called her in this afternoon. Lutz stared at her. She didn’t look happy, “He’s been talking about your war years,” as a rule, they pair decided to not tell the boys that their father wasn’t fighting for America but the other side during the war. This was not only to protect them from the truth, until they could understand, but to make sure no one wanted to take any vigilante matters into their hands and attack him or his family, “Now Miss Wolfe wants to meet you and have you talk to the kids and recommend you for the VA over here,”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,”
“I wish. What have you been telling him?!”
“Nothing! I told him about my time in the military, I’m guessing he thought I was fighting for the Americans, not the other side. It doesn’t help that he’s been hanging around Gilbert,”
“Or Dad. Franz loves those old war stories,”
“It was probably that damned Bruder of mine. He loves to tell the boys stories and of course make it as awesome as he can, not that I’m complaining,”
“We can’t tell the truth on this one,” she said rubbed her temples, “Then again, we can’t just have them think that Franz is a liar either and we can’t have you looking like some sort of war dodger either,” Lutz saw the worried look on her face. He pulled her into a hug.
“Don’t worry Kätzchen, I’ll think of something,”
Lutz stared at his uniform. At one time, it was a representation of pride, honor, and love of his country. Now it was a sign of hate, violence, fear, and even in Germany, it was illegal to be seen with it. He looked at all the markings, the battle tears and of course his medals. He loved this thing, not because he still believe in what he used to but because it just had so many battle scars and he was wearing it when he met the love of his life.
“I think your uniform looks cool, Vati,” Tom peeked through the door. He smiled at him.
“Ja, but I can’t wear this one out in public, Liebling,”
“I know but I still think it cool. I wish people didn’t think it wasn’t cool. Just because you wear it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person,” he looked at his son with a smile. He beckoned him over. Although he had his eyes, he looked just like his mother and just as smart. Tom climbs in his lap.
“Have you been spying on me, Liebling,”
“No Vati, I see you wear it when you and Mutti go to bed,” Lutz reddens. He and ______ had to be more careful…
“You’ve seen me wearing it?”
“Ja! It used to scare me but when I see you in it, you look so strong and you make me feel safe. Like it suppose to make you feel strong so that you can protect us and Mutti. It makes you able to beat up the Krampus like Mutti can beat up the Boogeyman,”
“So that’s why you don’t get scared anymore,”
“Ja! Krampus doesn’t scare me because I know if you fight him, you'll win!” Lutz ruffles the boy’s head fondly.
“It’s late you should be in bed but first Vati wants cookies and milk with his little cadet,”
_______ was sweating bullets. She loved the man dearly but sometimes Lutz was really unpredictable. She and Tom were in class waiting and Franz was literately bouncing in his seat. He couldn’t wait to hear his father’s stories.
“Students, today we have a guest speaking coming to tell us about his time in the war. Please, give a warm welcome to Franz’s father, Lutz Beilschmidt,” the class waited in anticipation. Lutz walked into the classroom. _____’s eyes widened, Mrs. Wolfe was speechless, and the children stared in horror. He was wearing a SS uniform with all of his medals. He stopped in front of the children. Mrs. Wolfe wanted to utter something but something made her stop. He finally spoke.
“My name is Lutz. I was not born in America but my job was a very dangerous one. I was a spy for the American army. I was posing as a SS general in Hitler’s army,” The class gasped. Franz looked up at his Vati with complete awe. _______ grinned. He always knew a way out of things, “I was in constant danger. If I was caught, I would have immediately tortured and put to death. In fact, was in the camp, not only as a soldier but a warden and that was where I met a man whom I helped escaped the camp. This man had a daughter. She was the bravest woman I knew who smuggled soldiers out of Germany, risking her neck like I was. Later this woman became my wife. I am not here to tell you the glories of war but the risks that many of us took to make sure you little brats have freedom and a safe home,” Lutz told them about him getting shot in a ghetto, how______ saved his life but almost getting killed by SS soldiers (omitting the attempted rape of course), the horrors of the camps, how he freed his wife from the camp, and of course how he made sure they escaped, “And that is why I would like no one to recommend me for anything with the VA. My wife and family is all I need. Their safety is my first priority and I don’t want any of my old enemies attacking them,” The class erupted in applause and questions. _______ wiped a few tears from her eyes.
“Vati you’re so awesome!” Franz said at dinner than evening. To celebrate her family dodging another bullet, _____ made potatoes and five different wurst. She giggled to herself.
“Have you been around Uncle Gil again?”
“Maybe…but still you’re the best! And Mutti! You’re brave too! You took on three SS soldiers! Did you kick their butts? I have the most awesome parents ever! So that makes me and Tom awesome by association!” Later that night, after the boys were put to bed, she flung her arms around Lutz and kissed him all over his face.
“I don’t know how you do it but you pulled it off!”
“Kätzchen, you have to remember, I’m not going to let anything happen to us, besides, it felt kind of good to wear the uniform again outside of the bedroom,” her face went red, “Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy it,”
“I-I’m didn’t say that. Besides, You don’t have that much power over—,” before she knew it, her ass was smacked with a riding crop. She turned. Lutz smirked at her.
“Last infraction, doubting your commanding officer, now you’re going to be punished, lieutenant,”
“If you can,” she said smirking and went to their room. He went after her but he stopped at his sons’ room first. He checked on them both, pulled the blankets close to their bodies, kissed their foreheads, and closed the door.