Based on: 'Allo 'Allo! - beginningish of series 6
Rating:  I'm not sure, sorry
Pairing:  René/Gruber and Yvette/Helga

The Lieutenant, The Lance Corporal and The Wardrobe

By Romana

"Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once..."

René rolled his eyes to heaven and sighed.  He and Edith had been summoned to the back room of Café René by a wildly gesturing Michelle of the Resistance, who had appeared like a phantom from the night and stuck her head around the door behind the bar.

"I 'ave a plan to get the British airmen back to England.  We must contact London on the radio."

"The café is full of Germans," whined René, "can this not wait?"

"No, in order for the plan to succeed, we will need the assistance of British Intelligence," replied Michelle earnestly.  "I am sure you can find a way to distract the Germans while I slip upstairs."

"You kid bring fearward the cibaret." Suggested Crabtree, as he entered the room through the window and drew the curtains.

"Oh not you as well!" René moaned.

Ignoring René's irritation, the British agent continued, "I have brought back the earmen, roddy for the escape plin. They have been heeding with moo at the poloce station." He turned back towards the window and called out "Come in, you chaps".  Two more police officers popped their heads around the curtains and cheerfully chorused "Hallo!"

"René, go and announce Madame Edith, then while she is singing, I can slip down the back passage and up the stairs." ordered Michelle. "I will take the airmen up with me, and 'ide them in the wardrobe of your wife's mother."

"Oh, very well." muttered René, unconvinced.

René walked nonchalantly back in to the bar, and as Edith headed for the piano, he beckoned to the waitresses, Yvette and Mimi.

"'Ere, take this wine over to the table of the Colonel and keep 'im and the Captain busy for a moment.  You 'ad better take this cheese as well, Madame Edith is going to sing."

Just as he was about to make the announcement, Lieutenant Gruber entered and hurried across to the bar, looking nervous.  He leaned over towards René, who caught his breath at the rather strong smell of Cologne.

"René I must speak vith you, alone." He spoke quietly and urgently. René looked at him uncomfortably.

"It is not really convenient at the moment Lieutenant, my wife is about to sing and I 'ave to mind the bar."

"It vill only take a moment, René" he insisted, "vhy do you not slip in to the back room, and I vill follow in just a moment."

"Yes, I am sure you would be right behind me Lieutenant, look, why do you not go and sit with the Colonel and the Captain, there is plenty of cheese, and I will see you later, uh?"

"Very well, René, until later then." replied the Lieutenant, and he smiled coquettishly.

René watched Gruber as he made his way over to the table by the window, currently occupied by Nouvion's Town Commandant, Colonel Von Strohm, and the Italian Captain, Bertorelli.  Yvette was perched on the Colonel's knee, giggling at something he had just whispered to her.  Mimi was similarly occupying the attention of the Captain.  Good.  René's eyes where drawn back to Yvette.  Her shiny, black skirt had ridden up a little and he could see her garter...but this was no time to get distracted, he had a very persistent Resistance leader and two British airmen to smuggle up the stairs.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he began, "it is my great pleasure to announce that it is, once again, cabaret time at Café René. Please give a very warm...a very..." It was no good, he couldn't maintain his enthusiasm.  Resignation crept in to his voice as he finished, "I give you, Madame Edith."

      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

René speaks: You may be wondering why you find me dressed in the uniform of a German Colonel, accompanied by my waitress Yvette, who is disguised as a German Captain and 'eading for the Chateau.  Well, I will tell you.  Even now, my wife, Michelle, Mimi and that British idiot Crabtree are all disguised as farmers working a night shift.  They are taking the two British airmen, who are disguised, would you believe, as scarecrows, to a field where they will be picked up by a plane and flown to England.  Yvette and I are to go to the Chateau, disguised in these uniforms made in Saville Row, to steal the plans for the invasion of England from the safe in the quarters of Lieutenant Gruber.  From there, we are to go to the field in time for the rendezvous with the plane so that the plans can be taken to British Intelligence.  It is obvious, is it not?  As if this were not enough, last night, Lieutenant Gruber warned me that both Herr Flick of the Gestapo and General Von Klinkerhoffen suspect me of working with the resistance and 'ave put the café under surveillance.  He also mentioned that the garrison would tonight be out on manoeuvres somewhere in the fields surrounding Nouvion, yet Michelle still expects that we will get a plane to land without anyone noticing.  Even I am amazed by 'ow 'arebrained this scheme is.  Still, the Chateau will be nearly empty, and with any luck, the whole thing will be ruined before I get anywhere near a field filled with German soldiers, British airmen and Resistance girls with guns.

      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

Michelle motioned for everyone to drop down and hide behind the hedge.  They had reached the field where the rendezvous with the British plane was to take place, but there was an army staff car parked in the gateway.

"We will 'ave to keep out of sight." Warned Michelle, in a whisper.  "The Colonel 'as chosen this spot to watch 'is troops." "But Michelle," Edith was worried.  "If the Colonel is 'ere, 'ow can the plane land?"

"It does not matter, I 'ave arranged a diversion.  My girls 'ave taken the last of the exploding christmas puddings from your cellar and are to use them to blow up the East wing of the Chateau."

"René is at the Chateau!" Hissed Mimi.

"The safe is in the West wing, and if 'e does not survive, 'e will be buried as a 'ero of France.  When the puddings explode, the Germans will go to investigate and we will be able to get the airmen safely aboard the plane."

The Colonel shivered and stamped his feet.  He would much rather be in the nice warm café, preferably looking forward to a visit upstairs with Yvette, the flying helmet and the wet celery.  He looked again through his binoculars at the comings and goings of the troops and sighed.  The Italian troops were out of position again, but still; at least they were there.

Henriette pushed the last of the puddings into position and attached a long fuse.  She sent the other girls away, and they melted into the shadows in the grounds of the Chateau.  She lit the fuse, ran across the lawn and dived into the bushes, pressing herself to the ground and covering her ears.  She lay there, panting.  After a couple of minutes she raised her head, puzzled.  All was still.  She took her hands from her ears and listened.  An owl hooted and then there was silence.  She peered over the top of the bush, but couldn't see any tell tale fizzing glow from the fuse.  She knew the Resistance safety guidelines - never return to a lit bomb - but by now there should have been an enormous bang.  Nervously she crept back to the explosive.  There was a strange smell, rather like…charred fruitcake.

René and Yvette had made it inside the Chateau, and were in the corridor leading to Gruber's quarters and the safe.

"Oh, René" whispered Yvette, "You are so brave, 'old me to you, press your lips to mine and reassure me that everything will be alright."  She gazed at him adoringly.

"Yvette, we are dressed as German officers, I cannot be caught embracing you in a corridor.  Besides, your moustache is all tickly.  You stay 'ere and watch for me.  If anyone is coming, you must warn me so that we can escape."

"Will it not look suspicious if I am just loitering in a corridor? I am dressed as a Captain."

"Outside the quarters of Lieutenant Gruber?  You will not get a second glance."

Michelle was getting worried.

"The explosion should 'ave 'appened by now" she whispered, "what are they doing?"

"Perhaps there has boon an almoghty cick up." Suggested Crabtree, unhelpfully.

A loud droning noise could be heard in the distance.

"I say" piped up Fairfax, pulling straw away from his mouth in chunks, "that sounds like a plane."

"I can 'ear a plane" chipped in Edith.

Carstairs nudged Fairfax.  "What did she say?" He asked. "I don't know, I don't speak a word of the language. " Came the reply.  "This straw's getting up my nose.  I think I'm going to sneeze." 

"I say, you chaps, keep it down back there!" Ordered Michelle in English, before switching back to French,  "I think we 'ave a problem."

Helga was not enthralled by the spectacle of the troops on manoeuvres.  Besides which, she didn't have any binoculars.  She wandered over to the staff car and perched on the bonnet, looking up at the stars.  The Captain and the Colonel were arguing over where the Italians should actually be and Lieutenant Gruber was arguing with Clarence over whether to stick to the road or risk getting the tank dirty by taking a direct route across a field.  She heard a buzzing noise and scanned the sky above the copse of trees behind the group of officers.

"Colonel," she said hesitantly, "look behind you…"

A large plane with British markings was visible low over the trees, and it was coming in fast.  The Germans, taken by surprise, instantly descended into chaos.  The Colonel shouted at Lieutenant Gruber to shoot at it, while he tried to hide behind the staff car and slipped, falling face first in the mud.

Captain Bertorelli shouted "I will-a protect the-a beowtiful laydy" and tried to pull Helga down behind the car, although she wondered about his motives.  All he succeeded in doing was tripping over the Colonel, who was struggling to his feet, and pulling all three of them down into the mud.  Lieutenant Gruber and Clarence where trying to manoeuvre the tank to get a better shot at the plane and as they started to reverse, they sprayed muddy water over the tangled heap of Colonel, Captain and Lance Corporal.  Helga groaned.

"I think ve had better not mention zis to General Von Klinkerhoffen," muttered the Colonel, "he might not be very pleased."

"I am not very pleased!" Roared General Von Klinkerhoffen, as his staff car tore up and screeched to halt by the little tank.  "This is a shambles!  You vill return to the Chateau now and all report to my office first thing in ze morning.  The rest of zis evening is cancelled!"

The little band of farmers working a night shift and their two scarecrows watched dejectedly as the plane disappeared into the night.  The General had sent the officers away too late for them to be able to bring the plane in to land.  It was, as Crabtree had pointed out, "a bot of a bills up".

Yvette tried to look nonchalant as she hung around in the corridor, but she could hear a lot of noise downstairs.  Cars were arriving, orders were being shouted and there were a lot of people moving around.  She sidled over to the door to Gruber's quarters and said as loud as she dared; "René, we 'ave got to go, the troops 'ave returned early.  'urry up!"

She could hear people coming along the passage towards her, they must be nearly at the corner and would see her in only a few minutes.  She hurried away down the hall and selected a door at random.  She was in a large, dark, empty bedroom.  Voices and footsteps echoed down the corridor outside and panicking, she looked around for somewhere to hide and noticed the big wardrobe.  She climbed in and quickly pulled the door to.

Helga stomped into her quarters.  She hated manoeuvres at the best of times; she was wet, cold and covered in mud and she had missed a date with Herr Flick.  She crossed to the window, drew her curtains closed and threw her helmet into a corner.  She loosened her jacket and pulled out her hairgrips.  As her long blonde hair fell over her shoulders, it glinted in the light where it was kinked from her tight plaits.  She pulled off her tie and jacket and unbuttoned her blouse.  Gradually revealed as she removed her filthy uniform was a black silk basque, decorated with jet beads and tightly laced.  Glistening at her neck was a matching choker.

René panicked.  He had heard Yvette's warning and could hear people moving around and getting closer.  He wondered, briefly, what had happened to Yvette, but decided he couldn't risk leaving the way he had come in.  He looked out of the window.  It was high up, but the wall was covered with ivy. He hesitated. It was very high up.  The door opened.

"Who is zere?" demanded Lt Gruber, querulously, as he spotted the officer silhouetted at his window.

"Lieutenant, I can explain…" started René as he spun around. "No explanation is necessary, René" replied Gruber, his voice changing from an irritated high-pitched bark to a suggestive drawl.  He quickly shut the door and smiling his little lop-sided smile, he beckoned René back in to the room.  "Let me get you a drink."

"Thank you Lieutenant, but I really shouldn't stay…" René protested.

"Please, call me Hubert."  He glanced at René appraisingly as he removed his hat and gloves.  "That uniform suits you René.  You von't be able to leave yet; the Chateau is crawling viz soldiers. Vhat vould be said if strange officers vere seen leaving my qvarters?  No, you must vait and slip out later, ven it is quiet."  Gruber took René by the arm and drew him away from the window, then he shut the curtains.

Yvette could hear someone moving around in the room outside.  The stuffy darkness of the wardrobe was claustrophobic, but she pressed herself further back, behind the coarse uniforms and pulled a heavy greatcoat in front of her.  She jumped, startled, when the door was opened.  The coat was snatched away, as an angry voice demanded: "Vhat do you think you are doing? If that is you Captain…who are you?"

Helga was more than a little surprised to find an unknown, rather nervous looking officer hiding in her wardrobe.  Yvette stumbled into the room.

"I am sorry, Lance Corporal, please, I…" she stuttered, not quite sure what to say.

"You are a voman!" Helga frowned and leaned closer to her. "Yvette, from ze café vith a false moustache! Vhy are you dressed as a German captain, and vhy are you hiding in my vardrobe?"

Gruber turned from the window and looked at René, who was standing uncomfortably in the middle of the room, looking trapped.  He moved closer to him.

"René, you know that I…have feelings for you.  I have always vanted us to be alone like this."

"I know Lieutenant…"

Gruber removed René's hat.  Their eyes met.  Hubert took a step closer to him and, slowly, he pressed his lips to René's.  The kiss lasted only a couple of seconds, but to René it was a revelation. He knew something that he had never before allowed himself to realise.  He had avoided the Lieutenant's advances because he was afraid, deep down inside, that he would enjoy the embrace of another man.  This time, he instigated the kiss.  As René kissed him, Gruber took René in his arms and pulled him close, pressing his tongue into René's eager mouth.

Helga reached out and tore the false moustache from Yvette's lip.

"Oow!" Gasped Yvette, covering her mouth with her hand.

"Tell me vhy I should not have you arrested immediately."  Demanded Helga.

"If I was questioned I might reveal the whereabouts of the Fallen Madonna which you plan to sell after the war and split the proceeds with the Colonel and Lieutenant Gruber.  Also, I know about the forgery for 'itler and the forgery for 'err Flick, which he thinks is the original that you will sell and share with 'im after the war."

"True.  But since General Von Klinkerhoffen thinks that he has sold ze original he vill not believe you."  Helga smiled.  She had always been attracted by power and therefore, particularly with Herr Flick, she had been submissive in her relationships.  Here, she was in a position of power, and she was enjoying it.  "So, vhat should I do with you?"

Yvette could think of a hundred and one things that she would like Helga to do with her, and she blushed and looked away.  She had been attracted to Helga ever since Lieutenant Gruber had stolen her uniform and Helga had arrived at Café René dressed only in her underwear, greatcoat and tin helmet.  Yvette had been a little surprised by her reaction to the sight of Helga standing up, throwing off her coat and shouting at General Von Klinkerhoffen, before storming out.  She had known that she was attracted to women, but had never thought of Helga that way before.  Helga watched Yvette blush and look away.  She stepped closer to her, lifted her chin and studied her face.  Yvette felt her heart pound.  Her breathing quickened.  She was conscious of Helga's closeness to her; the touch of her fingers on her face seemed to fill her senses.  Her lips parted.  Helga leaned over to her, her lips almost touching Yvette's, then she drew back and walked away, leaving Yvette confused and longing for the kiss that had been promised and denied.

"You vill be in trouble for impersonating an officer."  Helga spoke quietly as she turned back to face Yvette.  "Remove that uniform."

Gruber smiled to himself as he helped René out of the Colonel's uniform, allowing his hands to linger on René's body.  Much as he had longed for this to happen, he had never truly believed that he would be in this situation.  He savoured René's acquiescence and obvious excitement, following each stroke of his fingers with a gentle kiss.  It was almost as though he had to keep in contact with René to reassure himself that this was actually happening.  René thrilled to the Lieutenant's touch.  Every lingering caress and touch of his lips felt as though it burned into his skin.

Helga watched as Yvette stripped off the Wehrmacht uniform.  Outwardly she was serene, almost uninterested, but inside she was longing to go to Yvette, tear off her clothes and roughly possess her. She admired Yvette's body; her breasts were large but firm, with hard nipples pressed tightly against the shimmering cream silk of her camisole.  Her legs were long and inviting in their black silk stockings, revealed as Yvette took off the highly polished boots and rough army trousers.  Yvette, for her part, was feeling lost.  She was used to being in control sexually.  In her relations with the officers that she 'entertained', they felt desire for her, while she felt nothing for them.  With René, the desire was mutual.  Helga's ambivalence left her feeling out of her depth and unsure.  She knew that she was attractive, but unsettled by Helga's calculating gaze and her own desire for Helga, she was embarrassed.  She stood looking at the floor, trying to ignore the almost irresistible sight of the Lance Corporal in her dramatic underwear.

"Come here." Instructed Helga with the commanding tone, if not the volume, usually reserved for ushering people into the Colonel's office.  She turned her back on Yvette.  "Untie me."

Yvette fumblingly released the laces on Helga's corsets and ran her fingers over the marks denting the pale skin of her back.  This provoked the first reaction that Helga was unable to control.  Yvette felt the sharp intake of breath, almost a flinch, at her touch.  This reaction restored Yvette's self-confidence.  She brushed aside Helga's hair and kissed her shoulder, running her hand down Helga's back and gently around her waist.  Helga turned in her embrace and they kissed.

      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

René speaks: Yesterday's fiasco was not the most successful of Michelle's mad schemes.  The airmen failed to meet the plane, the girls of the Resistance failed to blow up the Chateau and I failed to steal the plans for the invasion of England.  But, despite the fact that the airmen are still 'anging around my café and the fact that Michelle was attempting to blow up the Chateau with me inside it, this morning you do not find me in my usual agitated state.  I will explain.  For once, I rather enjoyed our furtive escapades, and Lieutenant Gruber 'ad a smile on 'is face when 'e smuggled me out of the Chateau late last night.  Yvette did not make it back to the café until early this morning and 'as said very little about what 'appened to 'er, except that she took refuge in the wardrobe in 'elga's quarters.  I can think of worse places to 'ide, but I cannot 'elp feeling that she is 'iding something.  I am going to attempt to get it out of 'er later on, if I get a chance.  'opefully, Edith will be off to visit the butcher with the big chopper and she is always there a little while.

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