Likely Be The Death Of Me

Who: Alice, Henrik, Roberts
What: Something that could us both killed
When: The morning after the downing of the RAF bomber

Arras
Coordinates : 16 4

A fine example of a French town, despite the signs of modern warfare with several buildings completely ruined by German bombs. One area of this block is almost completely wiped out, other areas are completely untouched and makes a stark contrast to the ruins.

It is currently dawn.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Air Raid Shelter
2. Alice's Sew Shop

As soldiers and dogs had scoured the streets of Arras overnight, with the sunrise (and the passing of curfew), Henrik has stepped outside, and is walking with a bucket carried in one hand. Preducatably grim in manner, his narrowed blue eyes regard the street around him periodically before fixing again on the walk before him.

Ah, morning. Alice yawns, as she steps up to the door of her shop. Her keys jingle, as she opens the door. Click. The shop's windows all have curtains pulled over them. She pauses, to spot her kitties trailing along. A little smile and she crouches to dole out the morning ration of snuggles and scritches. Miao, miao. Yes, Alice has somehow assimilated the female white kitty into the herd. They turn circles, offering their backs for scritchins. "Those mean puppies aren't here now, it's okay!" She chirps at her kitten. Then she blinks, noticing Henrik with a bucket. "Monsieur Henrik!" She waves to him.

Henrik turns as his nam is called and he is waved at in such a friendly manner. No bonus for guessing who is to be found. "Madame," he returns in his deep, even voice. Steps pause as he inquires on a linguistic point, "It *is* correct to say 'Madame', yes?" whatever the answer, he shrugs once, causing the water carried int he bucket to stir, but not slosh over or spill. "You are well this morning?"

"Yes," Alice nods. "But just Alice is fine," She smiles. Her kitties are circling her, and unfortunately, they have spotted Henrik and look up hopefully at him. Miiiaaao? She pauses, "Well enough, given what I saw yesterday…" Alice, for a moment, doesn't seem quite so damn cheerful a moment. "Where are you off to with a bucket?" She tilts her head.

"Every morning," Henrik notes simply to the question of the bucket. Elaborating a moment later, "Water pipes broken by bombs. Draw water to shave, clean up." A moment later, he asks on the subject of the prior day's events, "Is there a graveyard in Arras?"

"Close by, but they left-" Alice hesitates. "I see, well, if you could come back after you shave, there are - somethings you should know," She looks worried, furrowing her eyebrows. The kitties are closing in on Henrik, now sniffing at him, little triangle noses wriggling.

Henrik nods once, with a wordless grunt. "Hrm. Yes, well I don't imagine the fascists will want to leave a dead man in the street forever. Rotting bodies are bad for.." There's a word which escapes him for a moment, before he chooses, "Healthy." Only belatedly does he really look down to peer at the felines. "Have I *ever* given you food?" the big man rumbles at the persistently friendly cats. "Should dump some water on you, that would cure you." Despite the threat, he doesnt pour water over the 'kitties'. Blue regard coming back up to Alice, he nods. "Will be by again later."

"Is that what you were told?" Alice seems bemused, her voice low. She giggles, as the cats keep sniffing at him. Ignus is even bold enough to begin headbutting Henrik's shin, and give him an innocent smile. Water? On moi? "They like you. And please, do come by. I'd be glad." She nods. "I will be here in the shop okay?" The white kitty is a bit more reserved, but her tail is wiggling too.

Henrik repeats flatly, "Hrm," as he nods once to Alice in parting and muttering at the cats, "Move. Unless you want to be stepped on," shooing the cat off with one boot before resuming his walk down the street.

"Come, my little miaos," Alice herds her kitties inside. "No staying out here, when there are German dogs about…" She keeps a tighter leash on her feline friend(s) these days. Time passes, with Alice in her shop, probably mending some officer's garments.

Henrik returns in about the time it takes Alice to mend a torn seam and a few loose buttons. Clean shaven, his short cropped hair still damp and a fresh(er) shirt on, the big man's steps pause outside the shop, a heavy hand knocking three swift, even times on the door.

Alice sets down the thing, a black officer's shirt, and opens the door. She smiles, "Henrik!" A chirp. Two kitty heads peer out too. She scoots them back, "Non, non, bad dogs out there. Kitties stay inside. Come in please," She invites the big man in.

Henrik nods curtly once as he steps inside, the moving boot used to herd any outside-seeking cats into the house again with his passing through the portal. Blue regard fixes once again on Alice, as he waits quietly.

«Game» Henrik moves into Alice's Sew Shop.

Alice glances around, then shuts the door. "So what have they told you about those fallen pilots?" She asks quietly. There's a bit of worry in her voice, and knowledge. "At least, the second one? Or others?" The felines sigh, pout and move back to their sunbeams and curl into fuzzy balls.

Henrik frowns a bit as he answer, low and even, "They're still searching. Saying nothing. Would guess there are still English to be found." His blue stare narrows a tick further at the woman's weighted question.

Alice takes a deeeeeeeeep breath, curling her fingers. Her eyes are wide now, "Henrik. What I am about to tell and possibly show you will likely be the death of me. I only ask you remember me fondly, as a friend and find someone to take care of my cats. Do you think the blood outside is human even?" She tilts her head, motion for Henrik to follow her.

"Then keep your goddamn voice down," Henrik advises simply, without ire as he follows the seamstress' steps deeper into the house.

"I am!" She whispers. Alice does drop her voice though, she leads him through the shop, past hanging dresses, dummies and odds and ends. There's a walk-in closet type affair, next to a small bathroom and a washer. "Ssh… he is asleep," Alice will open the closet, just a crack. Lo, she found Officer Roberts, the second fallen Brit. "We - had to deal with the dog that found him, that's the blood," Alice murmurs, and Henrik may have problems hearing her.

Henrik takes in the sight of the sleeping man for a silent moment before asking low and intent of Alice, "Have they searched this place yet? Where did the dead dog go, and goddamn it, that blood needs to be cleaned.." Questions begin clicking into motion as soon as the man of the RAF is observed.

"Non, no one has come by, I am stupid and they leave me alone," She replies. "He put the dead dog in the hospital's trash, no one sane would search that, it's a hazard…" Alice adds. She will close the door, just in case, to let the RAF man sleep. "And we should … do you want me to grab a bucket of water?" Alice offers.

Henrik nods once. "Maybe drop a flower pot on the place, in passing. Dirt will be good. Soak it up," he notes crisply, drawing a thoughtful breath. "They will come here before long. You have a cellar here? Back door? Need to be able to move him. Can try after dark, but.." He frowns, violating curfew comes with a whole different set of challenges. "Your husband know of this, yet?"

"Yes, an attic, and the back door…" Alice points. "Okay, dirt and water," She murmurs. "Non, non, we were in such a hurry! The poor man was strung up by his parachute, we cut him down- and seeing what happened to his friend," Her eyes water again, "That's all I could think of, I did not want the same to happen to him. And non, Gabriel does not know, he was asleep when I came home. they work him very hard," She frowns. Her voice is still low. "I am not sure what now, I -am- dumb, I'm sorry."

"No more of that," Henrik mutters curtly to Alices last. "Save that for fascist ears, not mine." Drawing a fresh breath he nods. "Talk to your husband, when you can. Fascists may use him to help search; may be able to tell you when the germans intend to search this district.." A drawn breath, blue stare still holding Alice's as he notes further, "What now, is he needs to be kept safe, until we can get him out of town. The English must have some.." Damn, whats the french word? "…Plan, for being in enemy ground. does he speak french?" Henrik asks with a jerk of his head toward the closet.

"Okay…" Alice murmurs. She pauses, then nods. "Good idea," She smiles. Thank god at least one of them has two brain cells to rub together. "I will fetch some dirt and water, but I have to finish that shirt, the officer was /so/ insistent on it," A sigh. "Yes, that's why I brought him here and not to my home. The cafe was considered, but they go there. This seemed like the safest place, at the moment of happening," She squints a bit. "Non, he does not speak French. I can only manage a little English," She slips a French-English dictionary from her pocket. "This helps," She offers it to Henrik. "I hope he has a plan. God help him otherwise."

Henrik nods once sharply, frowning in quiet thought throughout Alice's answer. "Take care of the blood *before* a fascist officer comes to collect a shirt, Alice," he 'advises' in a non-negociable sort of tone. "Yes, here was a good choice. I'll need to speak with him, then. Your little book may not have the words he'll need to use." His eye slips toward the closet again, "God will do little, madame. We must help him, instead. Quickly, go."

"Okay!" Alice smiles at Henrik, "Thank you…" She murmurs. She seems happier, for the Swede's help. "Well, you can stay here. If anyone asks, you are repairing things and helping me clean the clothes," She offers. "Nazis have a lot of laundry," Her nose wrinkles. "And no, but it may be of some help if you don't speak english." She shuffles around, grabbing a bucket. It's old, and looks hardly used.

Henrik nods shortly again, noting in a deadpan tone, "At worst, people think you're having an affair. Go," he repeats, before starting toward the closet to wake the as-of-yet unknown Allied airman.

Her eyes widen at that. Alice tries not to giggle. An affair with Henrik. Oh that's … hee! She goes, to collect some dirt and water. She faithfully sets to her task.


Within the seamstress' shop, in the back room amongst hanging dresses and nazi uniforms awaiting mending, Henrik has been speaking with Alice. The tone is low and the volume wary, but gradually steps approach the door to the small closet where the ultimate contraband had been left asleep and the door is opened. Henrik fills the frame, looking in with a frown.

Roberts languishes in the closet, hiding and dozing. It's not like he has much else to do and he's not exactly up for dancing 'round the shop. While his wounds aren't life-threatening he was involved in a plane crash and mauled pretty fiercely. His time in France has not been fun.

Alice would take care of the chap, bringing in a bucket of water, one of her husband's razors… lunch, at least, if he asks! But she's not waking him up if he's dozing. Her kitties would also scritch at the door and once Henrik opens it, they nose on past, to sniff at this silly English k-aniggit- Er, wait! Well, they still sniff him. "Allo?" Alice whispers behind Henrik, although she is keeping watch. "That man got his shirts- so he won't be back today. He was so impatient, always with the raus, raus," Alice mutters to Henrik.

Henrik nods curtly once to Alice's words, although he doesn't look backward to the woman. His deep voice speaking with a harsh accent, the big man rumbles, "You awake, English?" The cats padding past his boots do not draw Henrik's eye downward, as of yet.

Roberts stirs as Henrik opens the door, standing up and stretching. He's an active chap by nature. As much sleeping as he's doing, he's listless being cooped up. 'Hello, love,' he says to Alice in English, trying to grin at her. Though Henrik's looming form causes him to become warier. He straightens up, dignified despite being hidden among Alice's skirts, to face the Swede.

Sniff sniff. The kitties have figured out Henrik does not love them! They shake their butts once disdainfully at him. Alice smiles, and waves at him. "I am sorry- about small space," She seems genuinely apologetic. "But …" She pauses, as the cats have begun inspecting Roberts with tiny wet noses. "Oh! Bad cats!" She chides them in French, then looks to Henrik. "Henrik- The Nazis are still looking. I spoke to Gabriel here today. He was a bit surprised. They told him to look for this man. He thinks we should move him to a farm perhaps."

Henrik nods again to Alice, taking in the information with a deepened frown. He regards Roberts with an even eye. A slowly drawn breath, before the big man states plainly, in his brusque english: "Have questions for you, soldier. Need to know what is English procedure for when cut off behind enemy lines. Where you need to be. What message need sending. How much ration you need. Everything." Fortunately, Henrik's vocabulary of military terminology is superior to his grammar and sentence structure.

"It's a damn sight better than the Krauts'd provide me, I'm sure," Roberts says to Alice. But he doesn't have the energy to be too light. Henrik's military bearing intrigues him, though he's not sure what to make of it. He doesn't immediately answer him. "You'll forgive me if I ask a few questions of my own. I take it this man's no Hun?" He addresses the question to Alice, who he seems to trust. What with her rescuing him from Nazi dogs and all.

"Is one of us. Stuck here," She inclines her head to Henrik. Alice seems to trust the man. The felines are still giving Roberts the one over. Ignus even headbutts him. "He helps me sometimes," Alice explains. She smiles at Robers then her eyes seem sad, then she looks to Henrik, murmuring something in French, the word 'friend' might be pickoutable. "I … didn't mention his friend yet," She seems deeply troubled, probably dredging up painful memories. "Sorry for French, it's … English not my first language, but," Alice seems resigned. "I will be quiet." To let the men talk of course. She's dense, at times. But at others, she's gifted with a simple sort of intuition for things.

Henrik's frown doesn't warm at Roberts' caution toward him, but it's hard to begrudge the man a spot of concern. As Alice answers, Henrik simply observes the man before him (or as much as can be seen amongst the skirts and such), offering no further speech.

"Stuck, eh?" That brings a chuckle from Roberts. "Well, we've that in common. I suppose if you're going to sell me to the Krauts there's little I can do for it. So I may as well trust you. First things first. I've got to find Trip." He adds, "Sergeant Trip, rather. He was the tail gunner on my bomber. He and I both managed to get out alive. Did you see where his parachute went down?"

"…" Alice whimpers, at that. Her blue eyes begin to water a little. She shakes her head, "No no no. No one deserves to be handed over." Which may be Alice's most coherent english sentence ever. "No-" She grits her teeth. She looks to Henrik, in French, "Should we … tell him? About- Trip?" She looks worried. Poor Alice, going from cheery to distraught so fast. It's a point about her resilience, but it's likely a memory she'll carry forever.

Henrik nods curtly once, the big man's manner stonefaced as he reports in flat, colorless english, "John Trip is dead. The fascists found him before we could move. Broke foot in fall, and was executed in street. No other English survivors seen." He pauses only long enough to draw a fresh breath before asking, "What procedure comes second?"

Roberts gets the sense that something is wrong fairly quickly from Alice's manner. "The Germans haven't got to him already, have they love? Trippy always did have the worst luck…" He trails off at Henrik's words, though. Well. That answers that, then. He swallows, stiffening his upper lip. "The worst luck. Poor lad. Well. That makes surrender a far less attractive option, doesn't it?" He takes a moment to digest this. "Have you got access to a radio? I've got to make contact. Let my superiors know I'm alive. Not much they can do for me here but if I can make it to the coast…there are rescue boats patrolling the Channel. I might be able to slip through." He does not sound very hopeful. But what choice does he have?

Alice seems saddened by it. She nods quietly. "They were fast, and cruel," She is trying to stifle her own reactions, noticing the effect on Roberts. "So no … no surrender, is death," Despite the comical setting of the words, it's a meaningful thing, and the nickname only makes it worse. Alice looks thoughtful. "We found paper… have ordered radio, ours broke anyway, I miss the news. Gabriel says we should get you to farm. Is bad in the city, they patrol," She points out. At least there is some hope right? "Still… I do not know how to use the radio to send, would have to ask another." Ah, poor Alice.

"You know how to operate radio?" Henrik asks curtly of the airman, one brown brow briefly raised with the question, adding a moment later, "Can maybe make diversion, to get out out quick. But need to move. Fascists know you landed. Will look," before lapsing again into french that his coarse english makes seem smooth by comparision, to ask of Alice, "Is there a farmer you know who is trusted?"

Roberts nods, just as shortly, back to Henrik. "The radio I can manage. It's the patrols I'm concerned with. Bloody hell. Lost my pistol in the fall." His face has hardened since he received word of Trip's death but that is pushed to the back of his mind. There's no saving the tail gunner now. It's all down to him. He looks to Alice. A farm sounds nice.

"They ARE looking, even having our own look," Alice points out. "Dog … we killed it, well, I did- is hidden in hospital trash, no sane person sticks hand in there." She seems to approve of Roberts' clever tactic. "I cleaned up blood outside…" Alice pauses, "Not really. Pierre seems okay, is fond of thumbing nose at Germans and has their attention," She frowns. "Is an empty farm I think," She offers in English. Then, she produces a cleaned knife from her pocket. "This is yours," She offers. "Patrols fewer outside of city. They usually leave me alone," She finishes. Being dumb has its perks, although it may well spell her end.

Henrik notes crisply to Roberts at the welcome news, "Need you to teach radio to another before you move. Quickly. We handle patrols, you be ready to move after dark." Expression remaining stoic and stern, he advises Alice without ire, "If Pierre is watched, then his is a bad destination. Where is an empty farm?"

Roberts nods to Henrik. "I'll need a map and any information you can give me about German activity in this area." He's probably going to die here. Might as well make himself useful while he's about it. He just leaves them to their discussion of where to stash him.

"Is a curfew," Alice adds, quickly. "They wait at night, like hungry dogs. So- no night. Dawn seems to be when they are slowest," She points out. She seems a bit more hopeful for the man. "These things, never easy. Have happened before. We will keep hopeful," Nodnod. The kitties still sniff Roberts. "There was one, I think, a ways from his. They grew strawberries before it was bombed. The house is gone, but the barn is standing. Everything is dead there though, I was friends with them," She frowns.

Henrik rumbles to Roberts' query: "Fascists occupy hospital, town hall. Many patrols, all hours. With dogs, when searching. Fascist barracks and airfield in wheatfield, north of east Arras. Fence, many patrols, number of fighter planes kept there. No map here- fascists make paper illegal," he mutters without the edge of jest, "But Madame will show you where to go.. but it is west, away from most fascists," he notes, indicating Alice and her much greater familiarity with the nature and location of fields around Arras.

Roberts frowns, nodding shortly to Alice. Everything is dead, indeed. Maybe he will be too, soon enough, but not now. "Away from fascists sounds fine by me. I'm at your mercy, love." He looks to Alice. His life is in her hands. For better or worse.

"Yes, cafe too," She adds. "The dogs are horrible… they are as mean as their owners," She wrinkles her nose. She takes a deep breath. She smiles a bit at Roberts, and nods. "I will do my best. It may be hard to sneak through town, but riiiight at dawn may be possible," Alice notes hopefully. "Still, even when you are at the abandoned farm, keep eyes open. They don't seem to follow reason." Alice is /trying/, even if her brain cells may start smoldering and pop like so many light bulbs. She does seem amused by the love title.

Henrik draws a fresh breath and recounts in french, since Alice is the one who will most need to remember this part: "Need to get to radio, if no one else then you need to learn use of radio, Alice. Show him where this farm is, and make sure he has food enough to get to the coast. Understand?" Regarding Roberts again for a long moment, he simply inclines his head shortly once, and turns to depart.

Roberts smiles weakly at Alice. His life depends on a sweet but dim French woman and a gruff…whatever the hell Henrik is. Stiff upper lip. He watches Henrik go, remaining in the closet for now. But before the man departs he does have to ask, "And just who the devil are you? No German, no Frenchman. A soldier, though, plainly enough. But from where, and why in God's name are you risking your neck to help me?"

Alice smiles back. "Is never over till it's over," She offers hopefully. She goes quiet, as Roberts asks and Henrik gives her memo. "Get to radio, learn to use it, show him to farm and give him food and water. Okay!" She understands. Although, she ticks off on her fingers to remember.

Henrik pauses and looks back over his shoulder, to regard Roberts in profile. Half a frown still marks his face as the big man's shoulders and chest rise with a drawn breath, "I am a veteran of the war in Spain. I am one of the men your government left to the fascists. I will 'risk my neck' not in God's name, but because you fight fascists. As long as I can, I fight fascists."

Roberts just nods silently at that. Spain, eh? That didn't turn out so well. Stiff upper lip.

Alice is quiet, "I will bring you lunch soon, but then I have to finish more things. They get so mad if I don't finish uniform on time… or dress. The bathroom is next to this closet. If you hear things, don't peek…" She manages, but it takes her nearly a good 6 minutes to get that out. "They may come here and look so -" So stay in the closet! "Be careful, I will do my best." She looks ready to get going, it would seem.

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