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Let Us Stray 'Till Break of Day

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The tunnel was empty except for Carter and Newkirk. They were sitting in the radio room, waiting for contact from the Underground. Kinch was feeling under the weather and was commanded to stay in his bunk to prevent him from getting worse and then causing the team to not have a radioman when they needed him the most. Carter had drawn the short straw and was volunteered by Hogan to look over the radio. Newkirk only joined him because he had to work on finishing touches on some luftwaffe uniforms for upcoming missions.

“Man, this is boring. I have no idea how Kinch can do this every night,” Carter whined. He was resting his head on his hand as he stared at the silent receiver.

“That’s just because you don’t know how to stay still for more than a minute.” Newkirk didn’t look up from his work as he responded. He didn’t mind the stillness, it was very appreciated when you were stuck in a cramped barracks with ten other men.

Carter pouted at his comment. “Gee, Peter, at least you have something to do. I can only sit around and wait.”

“Who’s forcing you to just sit there?”

“You know the Colonel chose me to wait for the Underground, I can’t just up and leave.”

Newkirk rolled his eyes and set down his work. He got up from his uncomfortable chair and crossed the room to where Carter sat. “You really don’t need to sit all night.” He reached behind the American to pick up a small portable radio on a shelf. He turned it on and took his time to find a channel that was playing music that caught his fancy. He settled on one that was playing Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade.

“C’mon,” Peter said as he took Andrew’s hand and led him to a portion of the room not obstructed with anything. He put his hand on the small of Andrew’s back and started leading him in a slow dance.

“Peter!” Andrew sternly called out. “I’m supposed to be watching the radio.”

Peter let out a small sigh, “Turn your head slightly to the left and there it is! The radio! You’re still watching it so don’t go threatening a court martial.” His voice suddenly took a calmer, pleading tone, “Please dance with me. Won’t you fulfill a request from your lowly boyfriend?”

At this Carter softened. “We really haven’t had any time together lately, have we?”

“No, and quit your jabbering, it's ruining the mood.”

The tranquil sounds of Miller and his orchestra filled the room as the couple slowly danced. Somewhere near the clarinet solo Andrew found his head resting on the crook of his partner’s neck. There, he could feel him humming to the song more than he could hear it. A smile made its way onto his face. Good things could really come from war, Carter thought of telling Peter this, but decided to keep the peace as the song ended and another started.

They continued to dance, listening to Dinah Shore reminisce about a lost lover. The world around them faded out of their minds as they enjoyed one of the few times they had to themselves. Sadly that time was up as the receiver that lay dormant on the table came to life as the faint sounds of an Underground member asking for Papa Bear came from the headphones.

“Oh boy,” Carter murmured against Peter’s collarbone. “Why can’t they call back later.”

“Who’s to say they won’t. If they don’t get an answer now they will surely try again.”

“Peter, you know we can’t do that.” Carter untangled himself from Peter’s arms and shuffled back to the radios. He turned down the music and started responding to the call. Newkirk let out a deep breath and got back to the luftwaffe uniforms. An emptiness filled the room as the two did their respective jobs and the Mills Brothers’ “You Always Hurt the One You Love” came on.