Counselling

Bastian has not been idle. Off the line, his uniforms are cleaned, pressed, and polished (the reflection taken out with some lanolin, which also helps the leathers' water resistance). He sits in the church, accompanying a pair of men on watch here. Logistics troops, most likely, glad to be standing watch instead of loading wagons all day. It works for Bastian; gets him out when he's not on a KP shift.

Erwin seems to have cleaned himself up slightly as well… or rather, if you consider a fresh haircut, a shave, and a change of undershirts a change. Luckily his midnight black uniform manages to hide the stains and smears that accumulate inside a tank. His MP40 slung over his back, the Feldwebel approaches the Church, seeming to be looking for a certain Private.

The soldier is sitting in a pew, tapping fingers on the arm. In one hand he holds a Polish hymnal, little humming sounds escaping his throat periodically. Bastian pauses, scratching something on the page with a stubby pencil before returning to his humming.

Erwin pauses a moment just within the church to remove his Panzermutze. This isn't the SS, religion is still tolerated afterall. "Private…" the Sergeant says sternly, summoning the rowdy recon soldier.

One of the watch soldiers starts to respond, but hesitantly. Bastian has put the hymn book down by then and rises to attention. With due decorum he marches up to Erwin, posting smartly. Being indoors and in a warzone to boot, he doesn't salute of course. "Feldwebel Meier," the man says, a touch more formal than conversational. "Schutze Hertz reports as ordered."

Erwin dosen't look at all impressed, "Have you learned your lesson, Hertz?" he asks, his emotions remaining hidden, "Has your tongue.. learned its lesson?"

Bastian opens his mouth, but Erwin's appended clarification cuts that off. The soldier looks thoughtful, considering before he speaks. "I have learned those appointed above me have different command styles. Yours, sir, is clearly not one which relies on vigorous debate with junior members." He remains at attention, having spoken in a rather stilted, controlled manner.

Erwin smirks dryly, "I am sure you have heard of such a concept as that of discipline… I will not tolerate junior leaders, or Soldiers, questioning commands in the middle of a battle.. If I ever hear of such an incident, the consequences will be dire.. and if anyone should question an order of mine, in battle, I will shoot them myself…. clear?"

"I would not have been kept in the Heer without discipline, sir. You will forgive my lapse under fire as combat stress, I hope, Herr Feldwebel." Bastian bows his head; the words are much more heartfelt. "Very clear, sir, save one detail." He raises his head, swallows, and seems bout to speak when his mouth snaps shut. "I am sure the proper time to ask will come," he decides, "and I shall err on the side of caution until such a moment."

Erwin chuckles at that, "I do not mind conferring with my juniors, and you are more than welcome to voice your opinion during planning, but you will obey your orders once they are given… clear? Gefreiter? Now, you are to rejoin the platoon tomorrow, this evening I want you to remain in hospital and look after the wounded… and the nurses…." he says, a tiny little smile evident on the corner of his mouth.

It has never been said that Bastian Hertz was stupid. Arrogant? Self-important? Lazy? Perhaps even foolish? Yes. His intelligence, on its own, has never been in question. The Feldwebel's overt endorsement tears a noticable weight from his shoulders; the man seems to stand an inch or so taller. The latter, more subtle blessing nearly knocks him off his feet… all the more for showing a side to Erwin that he hasn't even surmised before. "You are too kind, Herr Feldwebel," the man says softly, bowing his head in classical obeisance. "And yet," he adds slowly, head still lowered. "I rudely must prevail upon your better graces yet again, sir."

Erwin raises an eyebrow, "How so, Gefreiter?" he asks, reaching up with a hand to adjust the strap of his MP40, "You may speak freely, of course."

"I understand a noncommissioned officer cannot perform marriages, but can forward a memorandum of marriage ceremony with his signature to a Field-grade officer for processing. Acting in lieu of the officer, essentially." He takes a fast, deep breath. "You understand I would ask someone else were it not for the respect I hold for you, sir." Bastian stands as stiff and nervous as a first-year recruit on blast.

Erwin narrows his eyes. Nearly 10 years in the army has taught him to be a little suspicious about a soldier that wants to marry in times of stress, "I can look into it.. if you have all the papers in order, I can submit it to the C.O and he will sign off on it, should not be difficult, as long as you can find a priest to do the ceremony.. and if you can find a wedding dress in this… country."

"She's radiant in the simplest of clothing, Herr Feldwebel," the re-minted Gefreiter says breathily, stars in his eyes. Then, more practically, Bastian adds, "Volksreich of course. And speaking of matters of course, we would be most honoured with your presence at the event, if you've the time, sir. At any rate, I've worked Company Staff before, I am familiar with the necessary documents." He strikes to attention again. "Thank you, Sir!"

Erwin nods a little, "Yes, well, don't wear yourself out too much." he says as he turns, heading towards the door, "And see if she can bake something, cookies to wonders for morale of the platoon." he calls over his shoulder, stepping out the door.

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