Honors

"Honors"

Who: Thatcher, Byrd, Brissac, Brand, Stryker, NPCs Galton & Gough, Josephine, Antonia,
When: April, 1918
Where: Gare d'Arras

What: After the carnage of the Spring Offensive, General Gough holds a medals ceremony to honor the heroes, both living and dead, who did their bit in that terrible fight.

Gare d'Arras
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[The Grid]-----> > > > > THE LOST GENERATION < < <
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Arras train station is a hive of activity at all hours of the day. The smell of sweaty horses and of oil and coal fills the air, as here is the main logistical headquarters of the Allied armies fighting in the infamous Ypres Salient.

Trains constantly shuttle to and fro, bringing ammunition, guns, and new recruits ready to be fed into the gears of battle. Horses work on heaving the guns from the station to storage or to the front, trucks and horse drawn carriages do likewise for the soldiers in their khaki. There are few civilians here, the military have monopolised the entire place.

Soldiers headed to the infamous Western Front itself must march. While there is a train line, it is monopolised by the needs of the heavy guns and shells, those with two legs and a rifle must use a more old fashioned means of transport.

It is currently daytime.

Contents
Brand
Thatcher
Stryker
Brissac
Byrd
Galton

Cafe <C> Train Station <TS>
East to Outskirts <E> North to Grand Place <N>

Thatcher stands outside of the train station, picking his nose. By the looks of things, he's working on a real good one, and he's putting in quite the effort to get it out.

Byrd is lazing outside the station himself, talking with a couple of other ANZAC soldiers. More bartering, it looks like. A pack of cigarettes is passed into the hands of a big Aussie soldier, and Byrd receives a flask of something in return. He takes a sip and says a quick "Much obliged" before slipping it into his jacket.

Galton heads down the street at a steady pace, until arriving near all the slobs lazing about here. Recognising at least one of them, he salutes Brand. "I'm Captain Galton, newly assigned here by Major Carver."

The sight of the approaching officer causes Thatcher to abandon his efforts. He pulls his finger out and quickly wipes his finger off before standing to attention and saluting the officer.

Brissac is also present somewhere, taking a sip from a bottle of wine in his hand. Standing up from where he was seated, he looks over at the new officer, studying the man a bit thoughtfully.

Brand is in new uniform and looking decidedly uncomfortable in this.. He reclines against the side of the trench as he fidgets, missing the long companions of dirt and sweat and blood on the uniform the chaplain made him throw away. After the chaplain has apparently insulted him by claiming that the uniform is so old and experienced, it would probably evolve legs soon. So here's Brand.. until the officer came and he stands to return the salute. He swear he can hear the newly pressed unifrom squeak when he moves so much as a hand, "Sir. Squad, attention!" he calls to the rest of the squad

Byrd eases up from his slouch into a respectful, enough, stance and salutes Brand and the captain. Trying to look properly staunch and military and not at all a lazy or shifty. He can't pull it off, but he tries. His uniform is clean, but only by default of him having been in the trenches for more than a few days. It looks rumpled and slept in.

Stryker snaps to a quick attention and salutes. He looks awfully comfortable in this nice clean uniform, probably more then he should be. He stands ramrod straight up, and looks straight away. Just like a true brownnoser.

Galton returns all salutes. "At ease.". He then pulls out a set of fabric sergeant stripes from one pocket. It having been suggested to him that the best way to appear is to appear bringing gifts, and he presents them to Brand. "I've read your file. You have one of the most outstanding records of service of any corporal in the sector. I must say, your appearance matches your reputation, Sergeant."

The sapper remains is his salute. Compared to the others in the line, his is perhaps the dirtiest, having a hole burned into his overcoat where the chunk of red hot metal hit him the other day. Below that, the brown colour of the coat is decidedly darker and bears a red tinge, though even that has faded, and he's now covered in a mottled pattern of dirt, blood and khaki.

At Galton's orders, Thatcher relaxes his stance.

Antonia has arrived.

Brissac stands a bit straighter, but still keeps his bottle with him. After all, one needs to use all the resources one can. He listens to what's being said, while still studying Galton rather carefully. And as he hears the words being said, he's unable to hold back a bit of a grin as he watches.

Josephine has arrived.

Byrd slouches comfortably again, giving his shoulders a shrug. As if to dismiss any residual good posture. He crosses his arms as the captain starts handing out decorations, grinning broadly at Brand's promotion.

Antonia walks down from the church area. Even though she too wears a uniform she hangs back a bit from the gathered men, keeping her hands folded loosely at the small of her back. All the grinning and happiness she glances at with some curiosity, having unfortunately just missed the promotion news.

Brand looks /very/ uncomfortably at the stripes, "I'm /not/ really suited….." he swears it's been written by countless officers he's served under. Drunkard, easy to anger… But it's a new officer and he takes a deep breath, "Yes, thank you Sir." The uniform squeaked again as he moves. A man needs old worn-in uniform. This one is just a dress one. He silently reminds himself to steal back his old torn one from the chaplain.

Josephine comes to the whole show a bit late, panting as she's been practically running to get here. And yet, she's not quite on time, moving up through the crowd, trying to see above heads of much taller people.

Galton grins a bit at Brand. "The Commanding General is holding a medals ceremony in fifteen minutes. And the townspeople have requested their own ceremony as well, Mayor Dupont is going to be there apparently. I see some of you at least have heard about it and got ready.". He eyes Thatcher. "But not everybody. You got fifteen minutes."

Antonia smiles a bit to herself when she finally is able to see the cause of the happiness. She glances over Brand and seems to nod to herself, then she looks over her shoulder as Josie comes running up. "Nurse," she greets the other woman. "Looking well."

Thatcher averts his eyes from Galton's condescending gaze. There's not much in Arras in the terms of laundry facilities, and well, Thatcher's become somewhat fatalistic about the presence of dirt on his uniform, being a sapper and it being the spring time and all.

Josephine elbows her way up to Antonia's side, peering around someone in front of herself. She beams a smile at Antonia. "How is your leg?" she asks in a hushed voice. "I'm feeling really good today." She can't help herself, she raises an arm and waves vigorously at Brand, smiling broadly.

Brissac raises his bottle in a salute over in the direction of the Corporal turned Sergeant, as he drains the rest of his wine, while looking around at the others present and waiting for the ceremony stuff. To his currently clean uniform, he's tied that handkerchief he had around his arm before getting wounded again.

Brand nods to Galton.. and the mention of 15 minutes makes him almost groan.. Fifteen WHOLE minutes more in the new uniform. He looks over at Thatcher.. Now if he wants that crazy starchy clean uniform, his gaze says, all he has to do is to ask, and this monsterous thing that feels like plate mail of the past will be sent with compliments after the ceremony. And he looks to the squad, "Squad, you heard the Captain.. Move, move, move! Double-quick! Clean the dust off your boots! Make sure those dirt are not so big that they'd begin moving on their own! Now!"

"Much better," Antonia says to Josie, keeping her voice down. "Finally getting around without that blasted cane." She turns her eyes back to Brand as Josephine waves at him so, her smile private for a moment as she glances back at the woman. "He's a Sergeant now, or so I understand. Good man."

Byrd continues with his lazing, not seeming terribly interested in the news of the medal ceremony. Not that he takes off. This beats being put to work. He finds a crate to lean against, to better accommodate his slacking, and reaches into his jacket for his flask. He tries to sip it as subtley as possible.

Brand then sees Josephine waving, and returns a quick smile at her before he retreats back to the backgrounds.

Thatcher frowns as he hears Brand begin to yell at the squad. Great, now the frog's a sergeant. He hurries off to go shine his boots and maybe wash his face, but his uniform is definately a lost cause.

There's a surprisingly large number of people braving the streets today, standing out in the open even with the fear of shelling. A celebration in the middle of misery and war, it's what people need and want and they've dressed up in their finest, holding little French flags up, little girls with spring flowers standing in the front. A girl of perhaps four is now taking some initiatives on her own, suddenly running up to give Brand a small bouquet of rather sad looking flowers she's been treating a bit harshly. You can't ask too much of a four year old.

Fifteen minutes pass. A crowd has gathered, and given the depopulated nature of Arras at the moment it must be just about everybody. General Gough is here, dismounted with his horse alongside, and his staff taking up a whole corner of the square outside the train station, with a military band close by.

Captains and NCOs do something to create order from chaos as soldiers line up, dwarfing the civilian crowd, arranged, eventually, into serried ranks, representing nationalities from all around the world.

Josephine looks outright relieved to hear the news of Antonia's leg. "Oh thank God, I was worried about that leg," she admits, keeping her attention on the doctor for a moment. "He made Sergeant? He is a good man, yes. And a good leader. But he is still a rascal."

Galton is no exception, making sure his minions - that would be Brand, and a few others - has everybody well under control.

Brand gets a little surge of patriotic pride as he sees the people turn up in their finest and with the flags. Hell, it's enough for Brand to stand a little straighter than usual, just to put on a show that no doubt the citizen deserves. As the little girl come running, the french sergeant leans down a little to take the flowers from her, patting her shoulder as he smiles at the girl, "These are lovely flowers. We're not done here, girl, but one day we will be…" and he leans down to dig a little into the ground to stick the flowers into the ground soaked with the blood of the allies, "This is my return-gift. Remember these flowers upon this land tarnished by war. One day.. return it to how it was before. With flowers and greenery. It deserves it." He speaks in french, much more gentle than usual, and then he nods, sending the girl back to the parents, and giving the citizen a good salute before reforming his formation.

Antonia stays back with the handful of medical staff that was able to free themselves up long enough to be here. Her shoulders straight as befitting someone wearing a BEF uniform, she looks at Josephine for a moment and then chuckles, arching a brow. "Is he, now. I'm sure I don't know."

Brissac is prepared for the ceremony. At least more or less. So the thing he does now is to reach for something that's hanging around his neck, and mutters something to himself.

Thatcher returns to the gathering. Most of the dirt is washed from his face, and he found a brush to polish his boots as well. He joins up with the rest of his squad of the great unwashed and the sapper stares at the general for a moment, awestruck.

Byrd is ordered into some form of discipline. He even tries to stand straight, with all the civilians about. He pays the little girl scant attention, but does eye some of the somewhat older village women appreciatively. He just waits as he is, making no effort to clean up. He's not too grimy. It'll do.

The little girl listens with wide eyes to Brand. She seems a bit confused about what he does with the flowers and she crouches down to watch him put them back into the soil, a bit concerned she's done something wrong, at first. But then she smiles a cute smile up at the new sergeant, before she runs back to her parents, quite proud.

With the increase of uniforms, the civilians back off and there's soon a well established order to the whole thing, them lining the streets and allowing room for the military. Flags are waved vigorously, and cheerful calls are made. And some more daring young ladies takes the chance to do some flirting from the security of the crowd, winking and waving at soldiers striking their fancy. Though a few gets a few cuffs to the head from older relatives, too…

Josephine smiles a bit embarassedly at Antonia. "Oh, he is nice. A nice rascal," she decides, then turns attention to the happenings again, standing on her toes to see. "Oh! Is that Gough?" she gasps out, spotting the general.

Antonia watches the crowd in their cheer, smiling absently on and off. When Josie points out the General, her eyes watch Gough for a few seconds, the smile fading slightly when she does. "Indeed," she says very quietly to Josie. "I suppose he shall be our master of ceremonies today." Her attention leaves the regal man though, and she looks away again to watch the young soldiers and the civilians that cling to the hope that these uniforms bring with them.

To the strains of martial music, the various companies march in turn towards the General and his staff. There is, despite the joyful air especially given the civilians and children present, a faint tenseness and hurriedness in the air, underlined by the fact that, as has been the case for three and a half long years of blood, the guns of the Western Front can still be heard firing in the distance.

There are plenty of medals to give out too, for the fighting for the town has been particularly fierce, and desperate, with countless tales of heroism from all formations all of which get the official nod - the thanks of a nation, condensed into a small piece of metal.

And then its your turn.

Sergeant Brand is the first to be called out in front of the cheering crowd, to receive the Silver Croix de Guerre, from the hand General Gough himself as he is the one… presiding?

"For conspicuous gallantry and heroism above and beyond the call of duty, in the defence of Arras, March, 1918."

Byrd tries to catch the eye of a pretty brunette on the edge of the crowd, though he does turn away when she gets swatted by her mother. Gough's appearance provides some distraction. A general is enough to straighten even the young New Zealander's back. He snaps his arm up to salute, keeping it up while Brand is medal'd.

Brissac just keeps his attention to the front, most of the time. He actually moves one hand to the handkerchief as he offers a smile to someone out in the crowd, but keeps most of that attention on the front, for now.

Brand looks more than a little shocked.. The man has been involved in all sorts of big and small fighting throughout France for the last twelves years or so. The world's turned over on its head on him. Fancy a medal weighing his uniform down. He got some serious thinking to do. And in the meantime, he goes into autopilot, saluting a moment after his name's called.. and marches impeccably up to the front. A crisp salute is given to Gough and then he stands stock still. Preparing to get pinned with the medal.

Josephine couldn't look more proud if she got the medal herself when Brand is awarded the Croix. She turns a broad smile at Antonia again, then decides to do whatever it takes to get to a better position, elbowing her way all the way up to the front of the crowd.

General Gough smiles at Brand with the distant look of a man who doesn't really know the one being smiled at, and pins the silver medal upon Brand's new uniform, before giving him a crisp, impeccable salute.

"My goodness," Antonia breathes almost silently as the General gives Brand the medal. She offers Josie back a smile that's much more muted than the Frenchwoman's, though no less proud of Brand. Her chin tilts up slightly as she watches, and as a few other men around them salute towards the front she raises a hand and does so as well.

Brand didn't move at all when the chest is punched with the medal.. Not a grunt. And then he takes a step back. Another salute given. Another two squeaks from his uniform.. and then he's back marching back to his formation.

It may not be the correct Military thing to do, but Brissac still offers a bit of a cheer for Brand, before quieting down again.

Thatcher watches Brand get his medal with indiffernece. He's still sore at the frog becoming his squad's new sergeant. Fancy that, the whole squad taking orders from a frog..

There follows a list of mentions, those given posthumous awards for gallantry, which seem to outnumber the awards for the living. Gallantry is bad for ones health. Among them…

the Military Cross for Corporal Singh for his part in commanding his men under difficult conditions in the period immediately before the offensive.

And the bronze Croix de Guerre for Private Chaloux, for his part in saving the live of a wounded comrade and bringing him safely across No Mans Land, only to return, braving enemy fire to rescue another. (OOC: as I recall it!)

The crowd cheers for each name mentioned, waving the flags. Some eyes have tears in them when the post-humous rewards are given. Josephine lowers her gaze to the ground when Singh is given his award and she makes the sign of the cross before looking back up and smiling, her eyes a bit blank from barely held back tears.

Thatcher 's morale sinks as the general continues awarding medals to the deceased. Sure he knows they're dead, but being reminded about how much better off they are and, well better than you are really doesn't help the sapper's outlook on life.

Antonia lowers her eyes to the ground for only a moment as the awards for the dead begin. Through most of it though, she watches Gough with a set jaw, her pale eyes saying very little as the names tick past one by one and bring their memories with them. But from her, there are no tears.

Byrd stands quiet and respectful like when the dead promotions are given out but he doesn't look terribly moved by any of it. He didn't know any of these men. His eyes shift sidewards in an attempt to find that brunette again.

Brand stands unmoving at attention back in his formation.. His face impassive though his eyes look up to the heavens as he remembers the comrades who were medalled posthumous, each of those he's sered iwth.

Brissac didn't really know those dead men. He still mutters something after each of them mentioned, looking up to the sky momentarily.

The military medals continue on, until eventually Goughs hand is sore and the medal box considerably lightened. And finally, Gough announces, "We must not forget the fine work of the nursing services and the efforts of the Red Cross, without which many more men would have lost their lives in the line of duty. They, too, will be recognised.".

And more names are called out, all female names, some military, some civilian.

Among them Antonia Young, to receive the Royal Red Cross medal, and Josephine Beaumont, to receive the Royal Red Cross, Associate grade.

Even some of these are posthumous - including Samantha.

Brand manages a smile from the ranks and file he stands in when he hears of the be-medalled medical and nursing staff. And he winks at the two as they head up to receive their medal. Now one can hope General Gough won't punch in the medal too hard on the female medallist. It can be quite distressing.

Josephine doesn't at first realize her name has been called up. Then she blinks and blushes hotly, only to swallow hard when hearing that Samantha is receiving one posthumously. She looks to Antonia, waiting for her to go first before she quickly arranges her hat, and brushes some dust off her skirt before stepping up to the General to receive the medal.

Byrd's eyes stop roaming when the women are awarded. He blinks at all those names. The posthumous one makes him swallow hard in shock. He stares at the ladies being awarded, then looks down at his scuffed boots. Maybe he should have taken the time to shine them.

Antonia doesn't seem to react at first. Her name goes by her completely. It's only when Samantha's name is called that she finally moves, her eyes watching the dirt as her chin tilts up slightly. And then down, a nod of someone who's finally heard some justice done. She looks up at Gough, clearing her throat rather uncomfortably as she gets elbowed towards the front. She meets Josie up there, her awkward walk quite apparent when she has cause to be self-conscious. She approaches Gough for the medal, being sure Josie's close.

Gough doesn't pin medals on the chests of the women, rather, the medals are presented in a small box to be taken. This is 1918, not the Sixties.

First Antonia gets hers, and then after some wait while the other uniformed nurses are bemedalled, the civilians get their turn, Josephine among them.

Josephine kneels before Gough as she receives the medal, quite awed and nervous. Receiving the box, she holds it in a cramped grip when backing away from the general.

Antonia salutes Gough crisply, turning on her heel once she's received the box and heading off the platform to let the rest g

Byrd salutes when the women receive their medals. The dead nurse beat some respectability into him. For now.

Brand draws in a deep breath as he stands straighter, saluting the doctors and nurses who had saved him from death several times over.

Stryker stands stiff attention, watching the doctors and nurses for a moment before giving a salute.

Brissac keeps silent for the moment, his expression turning quite thoughtful. Listening to the ceremony, rather carefully.

Gough does smile a bit at Josephine's antics. And he salutes her too, even though she's not in uniform. Aww.

Then the military part is over, but the civilians have things in mind too. Mayor Dupont, an aging, bent, white haired old bachelor, assumes the stand, to make a small speech, in halting English, while the civilians of Arras - those either too old and frail to leave, or wilful and stubborn - listen with wide eyes.

"There is nothing I can say or do which will repay the debt my small town owes to those who have come here - in some cases, from the very farthest corners of the globe - to Arras, to my humble town, and defend it from those who would do it harm. That strangers, who had never met any of those who live here, would come here and lay down their lives for what they believe to be right, leaves me awed whenever I think of it. Nevertheless, we citizens of Arras have asked your commanders for a chance to show our gratitude, and this is it.

We townspeople have no medals to give, and no military honours to bestow. But we will remember this day, and the great debt Arras owes to you all. We will rename this square the Place of Heroes, for this is where you all, heroes every one, made your final stand against the Kaiser, and saw his forces off. That way, those who grow up here, in peace, long after the war has ended, will walk into this square, and in some part be reminded of your great deeds of heroism which happened here in 1918, and you might never be forgotten."

Brand claps for the old Mayor then.. raising a rousing cheer for his words

A loud cheering goes out once the speech is finished and the flags are waved more vigorously. As the crowd is held back my military, the flowers are now thrown out towards them, sailing down in bright colors. Spontaneously, they begin to sing the Marseillaise, the song picked up by every able voice.

Josephine searches for Brand amongst the soldiers and she waves to him as she goes back to where she stood earlier, cradling the box with the medal to her chest.

Brissac looks like he's struggling to keep his stoic expression, and when the song is starting, he joins into the song, a bit more quietly than many of the others, while really fighting against losing that expression.

Antonia starts slightly as all the singing begins, but then she chuckles softly under her breath. Her small smile remains on her face as she listens to the anthem and watches the crowd sing so joyously. Some of her French medics join in, and of course she makes no attempt to keep order. Not right now. The medal box remains lightly between her hands, if held down slightly out of sight.

Brand begins to sing, his booming voice loud and clear as he leads in the singing of the Marseillaise. It started out as a show for the citizen, but Brand's face is soon flushed red with patriotism

Josephine joins up with some of the other young nurses of the Red Cross volunteers, keeping close to them and the doctors in charge over her part of the medical staff in Arras. They sing along and show the medals to each other in giddy pride. It'll be easier for them all to go back to duty after this.

Byrd doesn't join in the singing but he does smile as he listens along. He throws up a hand to catch one of the thrown flowers, which he promptly sticks behind his ear.

Thatcher listens to the singing, but does not share in the mirth. He's been informed that he's got the thumbs up to go back to active duty once again, and word in the trenches is that it's his turn to probe the german wire after sunset. He steps back from the gathering, and takes a look out to the east, noting the rows and rows of razorwire strung up over noman's land.

General Gough bows his head slightly as he makes eye contact with the mayor, and offers Dupont his own salute. And, given he was once upon a time a young soldier in the disastrous Franco-Prussian war many years ago, Dupont salutes back, before shuffling back into the joyous crowds, whose cheering has, for once, drowned out the background roar of the guns.

Gough turns with his staff, as he's got to answer some searching questions Haig has posed him recently about the events here, and is a busy man. The more junior officers dismiss the men though nobody is led back to billets or trenches just yet, the soldiers being given at least a few minutes off.

Though not too long - it'll be time to return to the Great War soon.

The French had a catchy anthem, at least. Antonia hums a bar or two absently, not knowing the lyrics. She smiles at a group of nurses who go by arm in arm, singing happily, then she too glances eastward with a soft sigh through her nose. She turns back to the crowd then, content to watch the celebration for as long as it can hold on.

With the leaving of the high-ups, the crowd begins to mingle about more and from hidden stashes there are bottles of nice wine or stronger drinks brought out, saved for opportunities like these. Josephine has found her father and her younger brother in the crowd, showing the wide-eyed 12-year old boy her shiny medal. He looks a bit jealous.

Brand stiffily adjusts his medal.. now.. then as the crowd mingles, the new bemedaled sergeant slinks to a side to take a big gulp of whiskey. Big GULP.

Antonia has been standing still this whole time, despite the ebb and flow of the crowd moving around her. Brand has the right idea, and she picks her way through the crowd towards him. Her medal box is behind her back as she walks, held securely in her hands. "Sergeant…" she says to Brand once she's within earshot. "Congratulations, sir."

Byrd squares his shoulders and mixes into the crowd to mingle, like the noble soldier that he is. Doing some noble swaggering. He finds that brunette he'd spotted earlier and moves in to plant a kiss on her. She's quite receptive.

Brand gets surprised as he's caught gulping on his whiskey.. and some of it goes to his nose! And he splutters before he turns, "Oh.. Doctor.. Thank you… Your award is very very deserving too."

Josephine leaves her family to go mingle with some nurses again, then to go find some familiar soldiers. Spotting Brissac, she waves at him, passing by Byrd as he kisses the brunette. It makes her smile and not blush, for once.

As soon as the ceremonial things was over, Brissac moved over to some place where he could get some privacy.

Antonia looks a little awkward at the mention of the medal, clearing her throat. "Yes, well," she says, for lack of anything better. She smiles and arches a brow at the whiskey splutter. "Well. That /was/ a new uniform, I take it."

Josephine finally makes her way towards Brand, smiling dazzlingly at him as she approaches. "Brand!" she calls out, not using his fancy new title.

Brand demonstrates for Antonia: he moves his arm up. Squeak goes the uniform. "Yah. New and it makes funny sounds. Even if I had to wear it, I shouldn't have let the Chaplain get it before I could. I almost fell full-body-length on the floor when I moved."

Brand grins as he sees Josephine coming close, "Hullo, pretty." and he beams, "You're well-adorned too now. I notice the general neglected to put it on for you. Perhaps I should. It'd look splendid on you." he teases the civilian nurse

"Looks fit to shatter, sir," Antonia says, managing to keep back some laughter by sheer willpower. She looks over as Josephine approaches, hearing the nurse calling Brand's name, and chuckles at their exchange. She slips away from them to give them some privacy, holding up the hem of her skirt a bit as she steps over some April mud.

Josephine gives Antonia another smile and opens her mouth to protest about the doctor moving away, but closes it again. She doesn't mind the privacy with Brand, after all. "I would let you do it, except you seem to have very fumbly hands that you can not keep to what they are supposed to do!" Josephine responds to the sergeant, lightheartedly joking back. Why, she's almost being a bit flirtatious, there. "You look very handsome. And… uncomfortable," she says, eyes glittering.

Byrd disappears into the crowd with the brunette. To enjoy the good will of the French people.

Brand laughs at that.. and intoxicated by the moment, and by the whiskey.. The burly man pulls Josephine to him, and gives her a good smooch! Only upon releasing her did he ask, "Think your father will mind if you date a lowly sergeant?"

Josephine is quite surprised, to say the least. Without having a chance to protest, she's given that smooch and her face is quite red as she's released. "What… well…" SHe looks around worriedly, but nobody seems to take special notice to yet another soldier kissing a French girl and her father is, thankfully, nowhere in sight. He might've gotten a heart attack had he seen that! "No, I think he won't mind," she says quietly, then leans in to give Brand's cheek a quick kiss.

Brand is still holding the nurse to him and when she kisses, he beams, "Really. Well. I'd have to ask him, wouldn't I?" he feels he can do anything today.. but.. maybe not this. Hell! He takes another big gulp of the whiskey to steel his nerves

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