Fools Rush In
2003 Papa Bear Awards - Second Place
2003 Papa Bear Awards - Nominated
Best Portrayal of a Canon Character - Tiger
Summary: Hogan clashes with a beautiful and courageous French operative
codenamed Tiger--of course, the sparks fly!
Song "Fools Rush In" by J. Mercer and R. Bloom. And as always, a
special thanks to Zoey Tranor--beta-reader extraordinaire! Any mistakes left
behind are solely my responsibility.
I got the idea for this story while beta'ing a story for Zoey, and she kindly
gave me the go-ahead to publish mine, so additional thanks to her. Finally, this
is little more than a WAFFy story, so be forewarned!
Heroes is owned by Paramount, Viacom and others; this is an original story that
does not intend to infringe on their copyright. Feedback is welcome!
Copyright May 2002
Friday 19 FEB 1943/2230hrs local
rush in where angels fear to tread
And so I come to you, my love, my heart above my head...
stumbled as she ran, her toe catching on an exposed root in the heavy
underbrush. Somehow she maintained her footing despite the uneven ground. As she
ran low branches smacked against her exposed skin unmercifully--stinging,
scratching--slowing her progress.
been on the run for almost two kilometers, ever since the last sharp curve on
the Hammelburg Road. In the split second between the staff car's headlights
illuminating the steep drop into the black night, and the driver clumsily
negotiating the sharp turn, she reached her decision.
jumped. And caught them by surprise.
second she was sitting quietly next to the hated Gestapo officer, for all
appearances meek and frightened. The next, she kicked out viciously, striking a
solid blow to the temple. Without hesitation, she opened the rear passenger door
and leaped into the night.
momentum carried her down the sheer sides of the ravine that bordered the lonely
stretch of road. She rolled several times, the jagged rocks and thick brambles
that lined the slope digging painfully into her as she fell headlong. Within
seconds, she slammed against a large tree trunk and abruptly ended her
out-of-control descent. Her breath knocked out momentarily, she lay dazed on the
hard-packed, snow-covered ground.
immediately, the squeal of brakes and rubber tires roared overhead, accompanied
by the loud voices of men raised in anger. Or rather, the loud voice of one man
in particular, the hated Gestapo officer who had captured her in the first
place, the man whom she had just kicked squarely on the side of the head--Col.
here she was, running for her life, while behind her the relentless sounds of
pursuit followed--that of angry shouts and the occasional deadly staccato of
automatic weapons as the woods were sprayed by gunfire.
the while, Feldcamp's high-pitched, enraged voice broke the stillness of the
Friday 19 FEB 1943/2310hrs local
I see the danger there
If there's a chance for me then I don't care...
As he ran
through the familiar woods, he heard gunfire and angry shouts ahead of him.
Obviously something had gone wrong--again. When Tiger had been late for their
rendezvous, he had immediately retraced her route and found the Gasthaus where
she spent the previous night surrounded by Gestapo. He did not need to be a
brilliant intelligence operative to figure out that the police dragnet was for
Robert E. Hogan was both brilliant and an intelligence
operative--although if anyone ever called him that he would have given them a
few choice words, since he felt like neither. He was a pilot at heart and missed
being up in the clouds. The war seemed so much simpler from up there. I
should've escaped when I had the chance!
thoughts returned to the problem at hand. I should've known that something
would go wrong. This was Tiger, after all. He had had a bad feeling about
this meeting from the start and almost sent her a message to cancel, but in the
end his heart won out.
wanted to see her again. And now?
remembered waiting in an alley across from the Gasthaus, helpless to do anything
about the Gestapo outside, furious with himself for letting his emotions
overrule his better sense. There was nothing he could then, except watch as she
was dragged out of the building and forced into the backseat of a staff car.
As he was
about to turn away, movement at the Gasthaus' front portico caught his eye--SS-Standartenfuhrer
Feldcamp! Might've known ol' Smiley would be in the thick of things! But
how had he known about Tiger?
second, the proprietor of the Gasthaus, a member of the local
Underground--Gunter Bormann--emerged and shook hands with the hated SS colonel.
Hogan studied Bormann carefully, noting the triumphant grin and arrogant
carriage, quite different from the mousy milquetoast Tiger had described. Hogan
shook his head in self-disgust. Bormann must have been a double agent working
for the Gestapo all along. And I let her walk right into your parlor.
Okay...I'll take care of you soon enough.
about the turn of events, Hogan had sped out of the tiny hamlet, flooring the
accelerator. He intended to set up an ambush near Stalag 13, his base of
operations, in order to whisk Tiger to safety. He also had to report Bormann's
treachery to the local Underground. Who knew how many others he had already
betrayed to the Gestapo?
course, things did not go exactly as planned.
what else is new?
He scowled in frustration. The next instant, his expression changed to a rueful
smile of admiration. Guess we don't call her Tiger for nuthin'.
recalled their first solo mission together less than a month ago, the rescue of
a French physicist from German hands--Dr. Jean Baptiste. Because the operation
was located in his territory, Hogan had technically been in command; however,
because the rescue involved a French national, Tiger--a respected leader in the
French Underground--had insisted on taking charge.
only worked together once before that, when Hogan and his men had pulled the
highly improbable stunt of smuggling a German Tiger tank into Stalag 13 in order
to draft a set of blueprints of the weapon. Tiger had been tasked with sneaking
the plans out of camp and into Allied hands. Their meeting had been too brief to
really get to know each other, so Hogan was pleased when Tiger was assigned to
assist him with the rescue of Baptiste.
the mission had not gone as smoothly as Hogan had hoped.
memory of how their personalities had clashed almost immediately was still vivid
in his mind. Too much alike, he admitted ruefully. Like mixing TNT and
nitro. Neither of them had been willing to compromise or give into the
other. The resulting explosion had been as spectacular as it had been heated.
I should say 'torrid,'
he added, recalling their first kiss. He still did not know how or why they
ended up in each other's arms. One minute they were arguing, each accusing the
other of being uncooperative, pompous, egomaniacal--the next they were locked in
a desperate, passionate embrace. Somehow, they were able to control themselves
long enough to accomplish their mission.
Hogan recalled the sensation of her warmth against him as he held her close. For
that one long afternoon, he had forgotten all else, even tomorrow. Angrily, he
shook his head. Can it, Colonel! You've got work to do!
As leader of the local Underground network, his first duty was to get Tiger out
of the Gestapo's hands. She knew too much of the local operation, as well as,
the inner workings of several other underground cells.
be close, he knew. Hogan would have to force the lead vehicle off the road--A
few well-placed bullets to the front tires should take care of that! Tiger
was being held prisoner in the second car--which meant that he would have to act
quickly. Once the first vehicle went out of control, he would then have to do
the same thing to the second--hopefully, without injuring Tiger. Then, he would
have to contend with the trail vehicle.
of grenades lobbed in its direction should take care of it. Piece o' cake!
He grimaced. Right...!
Tiger had her own ideas about how to throw a monkey wrench into whatever
Feldcamp had in store for her. Regrettably, by jumping from the car, she had
also thwarted Hogan's planned ambush. He waited as they came around the familiar
curve--'Dead Man's Curve' his men called it, because they'd succeeded in sending
so many of the enemy to their maker at that particular spot--when the rear door
had suddenly been flung open.
initial shock and concern for Tiger's welfare quickly gave way to frustration,
and now as he ran through the woods he wanted to give her a good shake. I
oughtta let 'em capture her! he fumed, irate that she had gone her own way
again. Maybe they'd be able to torture some sense into her! Of all the
idiotic, mule-headed--! Suddenly, he heard someone running recklessly
through the underbrush in his direction. Diving behind a wild thicket, he waited
tensely, trying to ignore the sharp barbs that were even now digging painfully
instant, a dark shadow crashed through a stand of new growth that was nearest
him. Quick as lightning, he tackled the shadow to the ground. Unexpectedly, the
small figure kicked out, catching him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of
he grunted. Recovering quickly, he fell on top of his opponent, and they
struggled in silence for a few moments. He received an elbow to the temple and
just managed to avoid having an eye gouged out. Finally, he succeeded in
subduing his fiery opponent and clamped a strong hand across her mouth, while
twisting her arm behind her back.
now, Tiger...is that any way to greet an old friend?" he asked in short,
low gasps. He felt her body suddenly stiffen and then relax in recognition. The
next instant, she was in his arms, eagerly returning his hungry kiss.
Colonel..." she whispered, her breath hot against his face. "I did
not think that--"
words, he abruptly pushed her away, holding her at arms length. "You're right--!
You didn't think! What's the idea of such a harebrained stunt? Are
you crazy? Jumping from a moving car!?"
what did you expect me to do?" she retorted, immediately
indignant. "Sit back and wait to be rescued like some poor, defenseless
damsel in distress--?"
that would've been a nice a change! Waiting for backup! Gee, what a
concept!" he complained. "You'd think that after you almost botched
the last mission you'd learn to follow procedure--?"
did not botch--!"
almost got yourself and Baptiste caught--!"
was not my fault! If that idiot had followed my
instructions exactly as I gave them, the Gestapo would never have
If you had followed my instructions, the Gestapo
of heavy boots tramping through the woods stopped him from saying anything
further. He held up his hand in a 'hushing' motion. The Gestapo patrol was
getting close. Glaring at her, he indicated she should follow him.
talk about this later. Let's go!"
burning with fury, Tiger nodded curtly. He gave her a hand up, and they ran
through the now-familiar woods. In the clear, moonlit night, Hogan easily found
the blazed trail that he and his men had set up months ago. Tiger's hand firmly
clasped in his, he led her confidently through the thick forest. As they ran,
the sounds of pursuit faded behind them. Soon, all they could make out were the
occasional machinegun bursts in the night.
Saturday 20 FEB 1943/0015hrs local
Fools rush in where wise men never go...
few close calls, Hogan led her to the concealed tunnel entrance. As he opened
the camouflaged tree stump, Tiger gasped in surprise. This was something new,
she realized. On her first visit to Stalag 13, she had been smuggled into the
compound inside the local veterinarian's van. Once in the camp, a fellow
Frenchman, Cpl. LeBeau escorted her to Hogan's underground base of operations
through a secret tunnel entrance located inside the dog kennel.
last month's mission with Hogan, she had not had reason to again visit his base.
During the rescue operation, they had been so busy and under so much constant
danger that there had been no time, nor need to come here.
they had finally gotten well rid of that idiot, Baptiste (as she still thought
of him), Tiger had had no interest in being anywhere other than the safe house
where they had stowed Baptiste the last day of their mission--in Hogan's arms.
The memory of that one stolen afternoon together before they returned to their
respective duties was permanently seared in her mind.
this was the first time she had laid eyes on the new entrance. "Remarkable,
mon Colonel!" Her voice was tinged with awe. Hogan flashed her a
wink and hurriedly waved her inside.
expanded," he said facetiously, climbing in after her. As soon as he joined
her in the tunnel, he led her at a quick pace towards the radio room. Entering
the warmly lit work area, Hogan and Tiger were greeted by his much-relieved men.
Hell, sir!" Newkirk called. "We were beginning to worry! What
ask!" Hogan snapped, glaring at Tiger. His momentary light mood had left
him. Tiger's green eyes flashed instantly, meeting his scowl with open defiance.
"We're just lucky that Feldcamp didn't have more men with him," he
added, heading towards his personal locker.
We are lucky that he was too stupid to guard me properly--the dirty fascist Bosche
swine!" Tiger said.
LeBeau began, worriedly placing his hands on her arms. "You were in the
hands of that filthy pig?"
mon ami," she said, her eyes softening. "The Gasthaus proprietor,
Bormann, betrayed me. He is a traitor!"
is that true?" Newkirk asked. Hogan stuck his head from behind the open
door of his locker where he was changing back into his uniform and nodded. The
door barely concealed his movements, but in deference to Tiger's presence he
felt it appropriate to at least put up the pretense of modesty.
send a message to the leader of the Wertheim Underground. Let 'em know about
Bormann. He's their boy--they need to take care of him. Today!"
He stepped out from behind the locker door, and before closing it, pulled out
his bomber jacket. As he did, he continued giving instructions. "I want to
know how long he's been working for the Gestapo." He zipped up his jacket,
and straightening it, leaned against the locker. "I want the names of
everyone he's sold out, and I want the names matched against anyone whose
disappearance or arrest we weren't able to figure out. Got it?"
nodded and was about to start transcribing the message, when Hogan spoke again,
his expression hard. "And Kinch, tell 'em I don't care how they do
it." He glanced over at Tiger and saw her caressing LeBeau's cheek
tenderly. Feeling an inexplicable stab of jealousy, he stuck his thumbs into his
jacket pockets and glared at her.
Hogan's eyes on her, Tiger leaned forward and tenderly kissed LeBeau on either
cheek. Then her eyes raking pointedly over Hogan said, "It is always good
to have friends who care what happens to me, Cherie." Hogan rolled
his eyes and moved over to Kinchloe's workstation.
ma'am...we all care what happens to you," Carter said. "Especially the
colonel." Sidling up close to her, he lowered his voice slightly and cupped
his hand over his mouth, speaking into her ear. "I kinda think
he's...um...a little sweet on you." Having said that, Carter looked down
and shuffled bashfully, blushing furiously. Tiger glanced quickly at LeBeau and
Newkirk who were each nodding knowingly.
almost forgot, sir," Kinchloe said, handing Hogan a brief communique.
"This came in while you were out." Nodding, Hogan took it from him and
started reading. Tiger watched him from where she stood and saw a look of
concern flit across his face. At this she felt a sudden cold chill.
the few months since we started this little underground operation, I've never
seen the colonel lose his cool over anything. That is...except on two
occasions." Newkirk paused, giving Tiger a meaningful look. "The first
time was about a month ago, shortly after you returned to Paris following your
Tiger's turn to blush. Newkirk and LeBeau exchanged looks of triumph. It
appeared that they were right--their commanding officer seemed to have fallen in
love with the lovely French agent.
Cherie..." LeBeau agreed, nodding eagerly.
the second time was yesterday when we received the message that he was to meet
you in Wertheim," Newkirk added slyly. Tiger turned slowly to him. As she
did, the light caught a slight discoloration under her cheek as well as several
other scratches and abrasions on her face and arms that had been hidden by the
shadows in the tunnel.
Newkirk caught her by the chin and turned her face this way and that. Then,
inspecting her arms carefully under the light, he gave a soft gasp. "Did
Feldcamp do this to you?" he asked, all teasing gone from his voice.
unsheathed a stiletto he usually kept well hidden and became abruptly dangerous.
"If he laid his hands on you, I shall personally--!"
mon amis," Tiger said. "Feldcamp did not do this--"
needs Feldcamp and his goons, when the lady can get herself all banged up by her
lonesome?" Hogan cut in. Tiger stiffened instantly and was about to retort,
when Hogan held up his hand. "That'll have to wait. I have a message from
London that concerns you." He handed it to her and waited while she read
it, his back against the tunnel wall, arms crossed in front of him.
expected explosion didn't come. Instead, she looked up at him, stunned.
"They wish me to go to London? To train new agents? I do not
understand...?" She looked at him, her eyes registering her
incomprehension. "Why me?"
looked at his men and with a jerk of his head indicated that he wanted to be
left alone with Tiger. Without a word, they quickly climbed the ladder leading
to the barracks upstairs.
you?" Hogan asked. "Maybe because you're the best. Who else but the
best to train new operatives?" He had not moved from his position against
the tunnel wall. He watched her, his face in shadow.
this is absurd--!" she protested.
me, Tiger..." he interrupted. "Why did you want this meeting with
discuss the best ways to consolidate our respective cells and to better organize
the escape routes for Allied flyers."
a meeting could've been handled by any of your operatives. Why did you come
yourself?" he asked, already suspecting the answer.
am the leader," she said, shrugging. "I cannot have others risk their
lives on an operation that I would not do myself." Hogan did not say
anything. He merely gave her a look of utter disbelief. After a few seconds of
silence, he finally spoke.
set up a face-to-face meeting that could've been handled by any of our
subordinates--risking either one or the both of us possibly being captured--over
a topic that's little more than administrative in nature?" His dark gaze
held her pinned in place. "Okay, Tiger...now tell me why you really
time, Tiger felt herself blush, and she looked down unable to meet his eyes.
Again, Hogan didn't speak but waited for her to look up once more. When she
finally did, she saw what she was feeling reflected on his face. His expressive
eyes were probably his greatest weakness, she suddenly realized. They were truly
windows into his soul. And at this moment she saw the same intense need and
desire in them that she knew he must see in hers.
what I thought," Hogan said simply. At his words, Tiger could only feel
deeply ashamed for her actions. She turned away, unable to face him.
you knew, then why did you come?" Her voice was little more than a whisper.
you even have to ask?"
whirled round at his question, and with a small cry made a move to go to him,
but he immediately threw his hands out, stopping her.
The word sounded as if it had been wrenched from his heart. "Don't you see
that we can't? We haven't the right! Others' lives
depend on us. Like it or not, we have a responsibility to those whose lives we
have been entrusted with. If we let our feelings get in the way..." He
paused, the very feelings he was trying to deny warring with his sense of duty.
"We just can't," he added, shaking his head.
stood unmoving from the spot where she had halted earlier. Sensing his embattled
emotions, and feeling the same conflict within herself, she felt her eyes fill
with unshed tears.
why do they want me in London?" she asked, hoping to change the subject.
obvious, isn't it?" he asked, not looking at her. "A cooling off
period. I don't know...maybe someone saw us acting like teenagers in the
backseat of a car and reported our unprofessional behavior." He shrugged
and finally faced her. "Who knows? Who cares?" he asked. "The
fact is that it's true. We have behaved unprofessionally--placed
our entire operation in jeopardy! And look where it's got you?" he added.
"The Gestapo knows what you look like now. Feldcamp may not be the sharpest
knife in the kitchen, but he's not entirely stupid! He won't rest now until he
finds you. Your description is going to be splattered all over the occupied
eyes widened as the implication of what he had just said dawned on her. Catching
her sudden comprehension, he nodded.
it's not such a bad idea that you go to London--"
I will not leave my operation!" Tiger said sharply.
"London cannot order me to do so, either. I am a member of the Free French
Underground! The ultimate authority rests with the FFF--the Free French Forces--not
true," Hogan admitted. "But London can have you cut out of the
loop--no information, no needed supplies, or any other kind of assistance."
wouldn't dare--!" she protested. Hogan gave her a look that
told her they would indeed. "But what shall I do, mon Colonel?"
The thought of being forced to abandon the men and women under her command was
almost more than she could bear. The tears that she had fought against earlier
began to spill. At this, Hogan was immediately at her side and scooped her into
before either knew what was happening, they were locked in a passionate kiss,
their desire almost overwhelming their senses and ability to reason. Hogan could
taste the salt of her tears as he kissed her, the warmth of her lips stirring
feelings he had recalled only in his dreams. They clung with a hopeless
knowledge that it would be for the last time.
they separated, backing off from each other. Hogan moved behind Kinchloe's
workstation, placing the table between them.
the Gestapo knows what you look like." Hogan's low voice was
ragged with intensity. "If they caught you..." He paused, and
swallowing shook his head. "I don't know what I'd do--"
would do your duty, Cherie," she said quietly. "As I know I
would, should the same ever happen to you."
we?" he asked. "Would I...?" He shook his head. "I'm not so
am." Tiger spoke with absolute confidence. Giving her a rueful smile, Hogan
guess you're right. But that doesn't help you. London still wants you to report
to Allied Headquarters." It was Tiger's turn to nod in loath agreement. She
was about to speak, when Hogan's eyes took on a characteristic faraway look.
"Maybe if we contacted them...?" he said. "...Convinced them that
you were needed here...couldn't be spared?" At her doubtful look, he
shrugged. "Couldn't hurt, could it?"
Saturday 20 FEB 1943/0100hrs local
wise men never fall in love so how are they to know...
looked curiously at his CO and then over at Tiger. They each appeared incredibly
guilty, like kids caught doing something extremely naughty. And yet, it was
Hogan who had called him down here, so Kinchloe was not entirely sure why he
felt as if he had interrupted something intimate between the two of them.
studiously maintaining a cool distance from them, her profile turned away, and
Hogan--Kinchloe's eyebrow went up a notch--was acting uncharacteristically
nervous. Neither Hogan nor Tiger spoke.
Kinchloe said hesitantly. "Maybe if you told me what was bothering
you--?" As if I don't know already. After all, he had transcribed
the message about Tiger. Hogan and Tiger exchanged glances. Again, Kinchloe had
the inexplicable feeling that he was intruding on something private. He cleared
his throat and stood. "Maybe I should just go back upstairs--?"
Stay!" Hogan said too sharply. "It's better if you stay,"
he added lamely. "Kinch...I need you to send a message to London--" He
stopped and faced his friend squarely. "First, I need to find out why they
want Tiger! Second, we need to find a way to convince them that Tiger can't be
spared. That anyone else can train new agents, but only Tiger can do what she
does." He paused, adding tentatively, "Only I'm not sure that they'll
believe anything I say--" Hogan ignored, Kinchloe's look of surprise at his
admission. "--So, we'll cross that bridge when we have to." He held
his NCO's eyes steadily. "And, Kinch...? This is Top Secret--the other
fellas can't be told."
from Hogan to Tiger, who was even now looking expectantly back at him, Kinchloe
nodded. "What're friends for?" he asked simply. Both Hogan and Tiger
gave him looks of relieved gratitude.
buddy...I owe you one!" Hogan said gratefully.
20 FEB 1943/0145hrs local
we met I felt my life begin...
end, the Top Secret transmissions left Hogan feeling drained. Someone had indeed
reported Hogan and Tiger to Allied High Command. That someone had been the
French physicist--Dr. Jean Baptiste--whom they had rescued the previous month.
However, he had not reported a clandestine love affair between the two
operatives. Instead, he had reported that the Frenchwoman had acted entirely
uncooperative during the time he had been with them. That whatever the very
reasonable American colonel had recommended, she had rejected completely out of
had added that in his considerable opinion the mission could have been
jeopardized due to her utter lack of cooperation, which had endangered their
lives a numerous amount of times. If it were not for the American colonel,
Baptiste reported, he might not have been successfully extracted from German
hands. He recommended that she be immediately relieved of her responsibilities
with the Free French Underground.
tiredly, Hogan read the final transmission aloud. "Baptiste reported that
such a woman made him ashamed to be a Frenchman." Tiger did not look
should've left him to the Bosche!" she hissed, her green eyes
blazing. Hogan glanced at Kinchloe who was studying them both with an amused
expression. Catching his CO's look, Kinchloe immediately got busy powering down
Secret, Sergeant!" Hogan growled. "You don't breathe a word of this to
the others, understand?"
a word of what, sir?" Kinchloe gave him a perplexed look. The hard glint in
Hogan's dark eyes softened instantly.
buddy." The two men shook hands, and then Kinchloe retreated back upstairs.
Neither Hogan nor Tiger spoke for several minutes after Kinchloe left. Finally,
Tiger broke the silence.
she said softly.
Hogan repeated. "Now what?"
I return to my people...and my duty," she said. Tiger glanced up him, her
lovely green eyes shining with tears she refused to shed.
yet," he said with a firm shake of his head. "There are too many
patrols looking for you...it's too dangerous--"
mon Cherie," Tiger whispered. "The danger lies here...with you.
Even now I feel a need to be in your arms. To forget the war. And my duty. If I
remain here even one more minute I shall surely be undone." She turned her
back to him. "No...better if I leave. Now, this moment!"
that's crazy!" Hogan protested. "That's like you jumping out of that
moving vehicle! I won't let you risk your life like that!" Tiger turned and
faced him then, a smile struggling to break through. Instead, a single tear
tracked its way down her cheek.
it is better to jump from a moving vehicle rather than face the greater danger
ahead," she said. "As now. It is best that I leave. Otherwise, I won't
be able to leave at all...!"
away, Hogan at last nodded in agreement.
20 FEB 1943/0230hrs local
open up your heart and let this fool rush in.
men prepared to escort her, Hogan silently stood in the shadows, leaning against
the tunnel wall. When they were ready to leave, Kinchloe came up to him.
nodded distractedly, his eyes on Tiger. Tiger bravely returned his gaze. Neither
spoke. Finally, Hogan turned away determinedly. As the sounds of their soft
footsteps faded down the exit tunnel, he began climbing the ladder to the
to work, Colonel...The war's waiting.
Text and original characters copyright 2002 by Syl Francis
This copyright covers only original material and characters, and in no way intends to infringe upon the privileges of the holders of the copyrights, trademarks, or other legal rights, for the Hogan's Heroes universe.