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Fic: A Dance on Water Part 2 of 2

Author: clonesgirl
Fandom: The Sinking of the Laconia
Rating: NC-17 for sex
Pairing: hartenstein/mortimer
Timeline: 1943 A/U
Word count this section: 3,785
Total word count: 6,385
Warnings: Historic and fictional characters, some violence
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Characters borrowed from BBC strictly for playing with, not profit. No offence intended. This is purely a work of fiction.
Summary: The aftermath brings the wrath of a certain French engineer.
Beta: None. If you find goofs please let me know.
A/N: Sequel to "A Foggy Night to Remember".



Safely berthed in Homeport, Hartenstein watched the tugs manoeuvring Titanic as they turned and pushed the great ship into her berth. Once safely moored the gangways were attached whereupon a seemingly endless stream of people proceeded to pour out of her.

Mortimer shook his head. Even accounting for the friends and relatives, did we really rescue that many people? he wondered. Additionally, there had been a fivefold increase in the number of counsellors available and all the rescue vessels now carried them to educate the new arrivals about the peaceful realm in which they now dwelled. The seemingly endless stream of departing passengers was still continuing some fifteen minutes later.

With the boat's manifests up to date and her crew on leave, her officers were finally able to depart, leaving her in the hands of a skeleton crew. Meetings at Admiralty Headquarters were not scheduled until the following afternoon to give dockside engineers time to examine both vessels the following morning.

That evening, in their apartment, captain and first officer were just beginning to relax. Dressed in civilian clothing, they treated themselves to dinner at a decent restaurant. Afterwards, Mortimer wanted to go dancing.

"You just want to lead," his companion accused.

Mortimer grinned. "Of course!"

"I think not," his lover challenged.

"It will be good for us. You know, help us to relax. Besides," he added coyly, "I want to show off my handsome lover."

"We're not dressed for dancing," his lover protested.

"We'll find somewhere," Mortimer coaxed.

Hartenstein rolled his eyes.


Sitting at the bar of the Red and Blue Club were several attractive women enjoying their drinks and looking around at what was available.

"The next U-boat man who walks down those stairs is mine," one declared.

"Says you!" her companion challenged.

"You betcha, honey!"

It was at that moment that Hartenstein and Mortimer walked down the stairs. The taxi driver, assuming that they were on the lookout for women, had taken them to a place where submariners were very popular with the female half of the population.

"Well get a load of them!" one of the women said. "If they're not U-boat men my name's not Angie Malloy."

"You're right! They're U-boat men," her companion decided.

"I bags me the bearded one," Angie decided. "He has the look of a commander."

"And I'll have the other one. He's cute!" her friend decided.

"Dance, honey?" the brunette inquired, taking Hartenstein by the arm and marching him onto the dance floor while her companion did the same with Mortimer.

Before they had time to think about it both men were dancing. Hartenstein flashed an accusing look at Mortimer who merely grinned and shrugged.

It was during the third dance that Hartenstein noticed his first officer's partner's hand slip lower to have a feel of his arse. It was at that point that he decided they were leaving at the end of that dance no matter what.

At the at end of the dance that Hartenstein said soto voce that they were excusing themselves, saying to the women that that they were very sorry but they had to go.

"Yes, we only had a spare half an hour and duty calls," Mortimer added, managing to sound regretful.

"Oh, but you can't go yet," both women complained. "The evening is young," Angie said.

"And we're only just getting to know you," her companion added.

"We're very sorry, ladies, and you are both very lovely," Hartenstein pleaded, "but we must go."

"If we don't we'll turn into pumpkins," Mortimer added, as both kissed the ladies hands and were about to make good their escape when they noticed several U-156 crew members descending.

"We're in luck," Mortimer remarked, turning to introduce them to the ladies who were most definitely interested in them, whereupon both senior officers escaped upstairs and onto the street.

"This is what I get for letting you persuade me to go dancing," Hartenstein griped.

"You enjoyed it! And you got to lead!"

Hartenstein chuckled. "You liked that young blonde - and feeling was mutual. I saw her hand on you."

"Oh, so that's what this is about. You're jealous!" Mortimer accused.

Hartenstein chuckled. "I am not," he protested.

"Oh, yes, you are! Anyway she was a good dancer."

"And no doubt she didn't demand to lead all the time."

Mortimer giggled. "We've just turned down two very willing ladies."

"Ja, the women I throw away for you is shameful."

The caught another taxi, this time requesting the driver to take them to somewhere more intimate.

This place, a nightclub called the Zebra Lounge, was much more relaxed and the crowd wore a mixture of formal and more casual attire. The place was decorated with palms and stripes with attractive but low lighting and boasted a talented band which played all kinds of music. The night was still young and the place not yet crowded as they found themselves a corner table lit by candles and shaded by palms. Drinks were soon procured as they watched various couples dancing the cha-cha-cha. The next dance was a foxtrot.

Mortimer nodded his head towards the dance floor.

"Who's leading?" his companion wanted to know.

"Who cares. Tonight we're just civilians."

"I care."

"Oh, all right. You can lead but if they play a tango I'll lead."

Hartenstein shook his head but rose to dance with his partner. They danced several dances, their bodies moving seamlessly together as they really began to relax and enjoy themselves. Later, having consumed several drinks, when the band played a tango Hartenstein did not even care that Mortimer was leading as usual.

The final dance of the night was a slow one, and they danced cheek to cheek, eyes closed, bodies in intimate contact, Mortimer inhaling his partner's cologne, Hartenstein loving the feel of the other's slender body against his own.

Soon after, riding in a taxi on the way back to their apartment they held hands in the dimness of the interior as they gazed out on the bright lights of the city and the casual evening attire of the people. They drove past a group of U-boat men accompanied by several attractive women.

"You can always tell U-boat men," Hartenstein remarked.

"As Rostau says, they score," Mortimer responded, causing his partner to laugh softly after their own experience of that very evening.

"Like metal to a magnet."

"They must like men who are half savage," Mortimer decided.

Hartenstein squeezed his hand.

As the door to their apartment closed behind them Mortimer pulled his lover into the room, preventing him from turning on the lights.

"You were saying about men who are half savage?" Hartenstein queried as his lover's soft lips covered his own. The only answer he got was an "Mmm..." of pleasure.

Between kisses Mortimer murmured, "Half savage men are damn sexy."

"Ja, the women all find us exciting."

More kisses.

"You forgot the men," Mortimer teased, lips trailing over a bearded cheek.

By this time they were thoroughly breathless.

"I never forget the men, especially men who dance sexy."

Another kiss.

"Was I?"

"You know you were. It's the way you sway your hips."

"Good job our jackets covered our enthusiasm."

Another kiss.

"Not to mention the lighting."

Hartenstein's hands strayed lower to feel his lover's firm buttocks and press their groins together through their clothing. "You are very sexy in grey trousers."

Mortimer was enjoying the hands all over his rear. "You like them?"

"Very much. I could watch you in them all night."

"Good. At least your eyes won't be straying to the ladies."

"The ladies we danced with were most attractive."

"I'll show you attractive!" Mortimer challenged, deliberately swaying his hips against his companion's groin and feeling the delightful response.

"I love dancing with you," he whispered into a willing ear, the words slow and distinctly lewd. "So come on... let's dance."

Hartenstein grinned. "And what kind of dancing did you have in mind, sexy Britischer?"

"Allow me to demonstrate, my half savage German. It's a very special dance I have in mind just for you."

So saying he loosened his lover's tie and removed it before opening his shirt. However, his fingers were trembling with excitement causing him to fumble and were soon replaced while he undid belt and trousers. Pulling each other along they soon left a trail of garments littering the floor from living room to bedroom.

Lights from the city and other apartments shone through the windows as they fell onto the bed together.

"Mm, I am dying to dance with you, my Britischer."

Hartenstein trailed kisses down the length of the throat, sliding a wet tongue around to feel the strong pulse of the neck. "Need you. Mein gott, I need you."

Mortimer grinned, enjoying his lover's attentions. "And the ladies?"

"What ladies? Need you, only you." More kisses to his shoulders. "You... just you, meine liebe. Only you. Sie sind meine liebe. You are mine, always mine."

Mortimer rolled him over to lean back and feast his eyes on the long length of his lover.

"Damn sexy German," he murmured, running one hand down a smooth chest.

"You love me just as I am, don't you," Hartenstein prodded. "You love that I use my strength against you."

Mortimer was licking at his tits before sucking avidly on them, causing him to moan in delight.

He rolled them both over so that he was once again on top of his British lover, leaning down to gently lick at a tempting ear.

"You love that I fuck you, don't you, my Britischer," he whispered.

"Oh, god..."

"Ja! You love to be fucked by a half savage German, don't you." He leaned down to reciprocate. "You always have right from the beginning!" he teased.

"You're evil," Mortimer accused in a voice breathless with desire.

Hartenstein deliberately rubbed his beard against the other's throbbing cock causing it to jerk before licking up the length of it.

"Mm... and you are a feast," he whispered, sliding lower to lick at the swollen balls and take them into his mouth to suck gently there before taking pity on the writhing body.

"I know what you love, my Britischer." So saying he took the delightful swelling of the cock into his mouth to suck ravenously but briefly before abandoning it.

"Beast!" his lover complained.

"Shh... I know what you loved from the first when you came to my bed in our dreams."

So saying he coated his swollen organ liberally before dribbling some lemon-scented oil onto his lover's arse and leaning over to lick at it.

"Oh, god..."

"Shh... You know you love it." He pushed against the opening with his tongue, listening to his lover moan softly before inserting it, feeling the other's body jerk with the catch in his breath. He dribbled more oil into the opening before pushing it deeper with his tongue.

"You are perfect," he whispered hoarsely. "So perfect. So tight like a virgin. So tight," he sighed.

When, finally, he slid slowly and exquisitely into slick heat he was forced to control himself severely lest he finish on the spot.

"Ja, meine liebe. Yesss," he hissed, settling them half onto their sides as he sank deeper and pushed a little, eliciting a soft moan.

"This is what you get for leading me around the dance floor all night," he murmured.

"I didn't," Mortimer groaned. "Well only during the... Oh, god..." he moaned softly, temporarily losing his train of thought. "I mean the tango."

"Ja, but you wanted to. I could... mmm... feel it."

"I don't know... Oh, god, yesss... I don't know what you're talking about. Ohhh..."

"I let you lead but I won't in future... ahhhh..."

"Mmm... yes, you will. You secretly love it when I lead."

"Nein. Why would I love it? Mmm..."

"Because then you won't be responsible if we... fall in a heap."

"Enough talk. You are impossible!"

"Then take us dancing, sexy captain, and I'll let you lead."

Hartenstein began to move, their bodies settling into a rhythm as he stroked his lover's throbbing hardness. "Mmm, ja, a foxtrot..."

"God yes! And a tango..."

A series of long strokes followed by quick ones sent them both over the edge and into a rapture that seemed to last and last. Afterwards they lay like statues, the only sign of movement their slowing breaths.

Eventually, Hartenstein sighed. "Sheisse, we have to be on the boat early."

Mortimer, whose mind was still in a state of bliss, managed to murmur, "Hm?"

"M. le Gonville is coming to inspect it."

"Damn le Gonville and his inspection. At least he shouldn't arrive too early if he's doing Titanic first."

"Her hull would have been flexing."

"Wonder how many rivets she's lost," Mortimer mused.

"No doubt we will hear in the morning."

After cleansing themselves they settled down to sleep, the much larger bed making no difference to their normal sleeping arrangements as they curled up closely just as they always did in their far less spacious bunk on the boat, their bodies long accustomed to the much smaller sleeping space.


The morning did indeed bring M. le Gonville, with assistants, to U-156's berth. Having come directly from Titanic's berth he was in a worse temper than usual.

"M. le Capitaine, I have little time. Your boat, she is damaged?" he inquired brusquely.

"Some seepage on the seams which my chief engineer has documented for you." Hartenstein handed him the paperwork.

The diminutive French engineer perused it before handing it over to his assistants and directing them to the damaged areas. "Hmph. Is it still leaking?"

"The crew patched it so that we were able to make it back dry. However, you must understand that we were in a particularly bad storm."

"Monsieur, that is what weather reports are for, so that bad storms they may be avoided."

"Indeed we would have avoided it easily but for a necessary rescue which unfortunately took us into the heart of it."

"M. le Capitaine, your U-boat and Titanic are... How you say... Ah! A recipe for disaster."

"And Titanic?" Hartenstein inquired tentatively, waiting for the explosion.

"Titanic, Titanic! Sacre bleu, it's a wonder she's in one piece! She needs fresh rivetting."

"You mean drydock?" Hartenstein inquired.

"Oui, drydock, and for at least a week. These old ships, they pop their corks... I mean rivets. They should not be allowed out of the harbour in bad storms. Now she will tie up the big drydock for a week or more while she is checked and repaired. I shall speak to the Admiralty about this! And as for your U-boat, Monsieur, it, too, is for drydock." He looked around for his two assistants, tapping his foot impatiently on the deck. "Now where are they? Antoine! Francois!" he called out.

Shortly, both men climbed down from the conning tower.

"Francois, see if you can book the U-boat in for tomorrow." With a farewell wave of his hand and an "I bid you adieu, Monsieur," he turned on his heel and walked briskly up the gangway to the dock closely followed by his two assistants.

"We got off easy," Rostau remarked.

Hartenstein shook his head before requesting Mannesmann and Rostau to see to it that the boat was in shape for drydock on the morrow.


That afternoon at Admiralty headquarters Hartenstein and Mortimer along with Captain Andrews sat facing the formidable senior officers.

"Ah, Captain Hartenstein and Mr Mortimer, now let me see," Admiral Strong began. "Ah, yes, that was quite a storm you weathered. I've had the report from M. le Gonville and I see your boat will be repaired tomorrow morning. Very good."

He turned to Andrews.

"Captain Andrews, I see that Titanic has popped quite a few rivets."

"Nothing to be done about it I'm afraid. Her hull will flex somewhat in seas above four metres. It's a safety measure to ensure she can't break in two."

"Hmm." Strong did not sound impressed. "And damaged plates too."

"A half sunk vessel. Couldn't be helped."

"Captain Hartenstein, did you consider conducting this last rescue on your own?" Strong inquired.

"Indeed I did consider it, sir, and discussed it at some length with Captain Andrews who advised me that Titanic would be safe. He also reminded me that I would most probably need his vessel in order to conduct the rescue. I... confess that I had my doubts about Titanic's safety but when we came on the scene I realized that the only way to effect rescue of the fifty man crew was for the damaged U-boat to be sheltered in Titanic's lee and have her utilize one of her forward cranes."

"Wasn't that also dangerous?"

"It was my only recourse."

"And you, Captain Andrews, are you convinced that this was the only way to rescue the U-boat crew?"

"Indeed, yes. I watched the rescue myself and breathed a sigh of relief when the last man was safely winched up to the ship."

"And do you consider that U-156 could have conducted this particular rescue on its own?"

"In a force eight gale and mountainous seas? Most certainly not! Whilst I never wish to see Titanic in danger I know that she can hold her own no matter the weather. I am proud that Titanic was instrumental in rescuing those poor men. I, of course, took precautions beforehand and everything that could be tied down was, especially in the hold."

"Anything of value broken?"

"Nothing that can't be replaced."

"And did you consider the danger to your passengers when deciding to take your vessel into such a storm?"

"Indeed I did and all were urged to stay within the safety of the ship's interior."

"I understand that quite a few suffered the dreaded mal de mer."

"In that respect the stewards were kept busy, yes."

"Let me see," Strong once again shuffled papers, "M. le Gonville says your ship will be in drydock for at least a week while they check plates and replace rivets."

"Quite so. However, I consider that there was no choice. As I'm sure you know, Titanic was the only rescue ship in the area and the poor souls had to be rescued."

"Oh, for god's sake, the amount of work we do on that vessel is ludicrous!" the American admiral blurted. "Another rescue, another drydocking. Now she's going to damn well tie up the drydock for a week or more - and I'm betting it's more!" he added ominously.

"Come now, Bill," Strong chided. "Titanic wasn't the only vessel to be caught in that particular storm. According to M. le Gonville there are four others as well."

"Exactly my point. Now the four others will all have to wait for the largest drydock because Titanic always takes priority. Damned if I know why!" he complained.

"Now, now, Bill, it couldn't be helped," the Irish admiral soothed. "She's an old ship but she held together good as gold in a storm that was bad enough to blow the saints out of heaven."

"Liam, if she ‘held together good as gold' she wouldn't be going into drydock yet again, would she?" the American admiral queried rather sarcastically.

"Look here, mate, she was there and those people she rescued were damn lucky she was there!" the Australian admiral addressed the American admiral. "No offence to Captain Hartenstein but there's no bloody way the U-boat could have done it on its own, not fifty people and not without them getting injured or even lost at sea. Strewth, how could you conduct a rescue when you've got twelve foot high waves breaking over your own deck? Neither vessel hesitated to enter the storm no matter how bad it got and they bloody deserve commendations for it, not reprimands for their vessels being crook as a two bob watch."

"Monsieurs, that is quite so," the French admiral spoke up now. "Where is there one ship that would come through such an hurricane undamaged - even a modern ship?" he added.

"Sì, che è così," the Italian admiral added. "My own vessel, she would be lucky to survive. When this terrible war in the Third is over - si prega Dio presto! - we can go back to avoiding storms."

"Och, you never spoke a truer word!" the Irish admiral added. "Take me own ship, the St Francis. She would have been blown out of the water! Blown out of the water, I tell you! This rescue needed a big, stout vessel and thanks be to god Titanic was there. So she had a bit of a dance on water so of course she's a bit the worse for wear. So what. In a week or so she'll be back in the water and ready to sail the ocean blue again, you'll see. Now isn't that right, Captain Andrews?"

"Quite right indeed, sir!" a beaming Andrews answered. "I am most proud of the work my officers and crew have conducted in the past week, particularly the most recent rescue. In fact I would go so far as to say it was Titanic's finest hour."

With the exception of the American admiral there was a general chorus of assent around the table, after which all voted to commend both captains for their heroic rescue efforts.

Meeting adjourned, Andrews led Hartenstein and Mortimer to lunch at The Blue Gantry where they had a great view of the harbour and could look down on Titanic at her berth.

"Let us have a toast," Mortimer proposed, gazing at his commanding officer.

Hartenstein considered it. "I confess that more than once I have cursed the size of Titanic especially when I have had to run from one end of it to the other and lost my bearings. However, with this rescue I have seen the value of her sheer size, not just in length but in height. The shelter afforded by her hull was beyond compare and we could not have conducted a successful rescue without it. So, I propose that we drink to Titanic's designer in gratitude for the size and magnificence of his creation."

Mortimer grinned. "I'll drink to that."

Andrews seemed quite taken aback. "My friends, I don't know what to say, but... Well I'm glad Titanic was especially useful in that rescue and I thank you for your kind words."

They clinked glasses.

"And now," Andrews continued, "I would like to propose a toast to the officers and men of U-156 who endure all manner of wet and wild conditions to protect Titanic. I am proud to call them friends and trust that they always will be."

Thomas Andrews gazed into the eyes of his friends as he touched his glass to theirs.

* * *