DISCLAIMER: I don't own Hogan's Heroes.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I have always wondered what happened to the Heroes after the war. I have a theory that they scattered to their various parts of the globe and kept in touch as much as they could. For some reason I don't think Hogan ever really readjusted to life outside Stalag 13. Here is a fic about that.
WHAT FRIENDS DO
"Carol! Stop it!"
"Robbie, give me the wrench!"
Retired Army colonel Robert Hogan gave a halfhearted smile as he watched his children fight over who was going to fix the engine in the family car.
"Why not?" Carol asked.
"Girls don't fix cars," Robert Jr., better known as "Robbie," shot back.
Carol made a face at her twin brother, older by five minutes.
Look at them, Robert thought to himself. He was sixty-three, and his children were only teenagers. Of course you did bring it on yourself, waiting until after the war to get married. His mother had always bugged him about meeting a nice girl and having a family. "After my time in the service is done, Mom," he'd said.
Robert hadn't planned on spending five years in a German prison camp. That had complicated plans somewhat.
That was the reason for his current melancholy. Oddly enough, Robert Hogan sometimes missed his days at Stalag 13. He never mentioned it to anyone except Kinch, who lived across town. He never even told his wife. After all, who could miss being held captive?
It wasn't being held captive that Robert missed. It was the sense of purpose. That even there, as a POW, he could help the Allied Forces. And he missed the people. Kinch was a ten-minute drive across town, Carter about forty minutes. But Newkirk and LeBeau, who he hadn't been able to get away from for five years, were half a world away. Hogan hadn't seen or heard from Klink or Schultz since being set free twenty-one years ago. He hadn't expected to, but something about him missed the two Germans. Life as a civilian pilot just couldn't compare to that.
Then the war ended, and the five men known as Hogan's Heroes relocated to their respective parts of the world. Robert had received an honorable discharge from the Army and come home to learn that his mother had died and his father was ill, his older brother got married and the little girl he'd grown up with was now a drop-dead gorgeous widow.
Robert married Beth Richardson a year after returning home. They tried to have children, but couldn't conceive for three years. They'd almost given up when Beth gave birth to the twins, Robbie and Carol.
"Hm?" Robert looked back over his shoulder to find his wife standing there.
"Phone for you," Beth told him.
Robert didn't feel like talking to anyone. "Who is it?"
Beth shrugged. "No idea."
Robert sighed. "All right." He walked to the armchair and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"
"'Ello, guv'nor! 'Ow's life across the pond?"
Robert blinked as he tried to wrap his mind around what he was hearing. "N-Newkirk?"
"Right 'ere, in living color!" The cockney accent crowed.
"Well!" Robert sat in the armchair. "To what do I owe the honor of this transatlantic call?"
"Just checkin' in," Newkirk said. "'Ow you been? You sound a bit under the weather."
"No, no," Robert assured. "Just…" he didn't want to ruin the call with his woes. "Just tired. You up for any more stars I should know about?"
Newkirk laughed. He was the only Hero to have stayed in the service following the war, and was now one of the most decorated generals in the RAF. "They don't go past four, Colonel!"
"Then they'll have to make another one for you," Robert joked. "And I'm not a colonel anymore."
"Well, I can't call ya anything else," Newkirk said.
"'Mate' always seemed to work," Hogan remembered.
"All right then, mate," Newkirk said easily. "Tell me about Kinch and Carter."
Hogan's face brightened as he thought of good news to tell Newkirk. "Kinch is going to be a grandfather."
"No way!" Newkirk exclaimed. "Grandpa Kinch? 'Ow old's that son o' hos, anyway?"
"Almost twenty," Hogan answered. "Married his high school sweetheart last year. Carter's still got all his little ones running around, and the kids in his chemistry class at the high school."
"Any new members added to the Carter family since we last spoke?" Newkirk asked.
"Nope. Still only seven."
"Blimey," Newkirk said in amazement. "What about the Mrs. and the little 'Ogans?"
Robert could feel a little of his old self returning. "Currently," he looked out the window. "Robbie and Carol are fighting over who should fix the engine in the Mercedes."
"Ya tell 'em it's a German engine and all it understands is force?" Newkirk asked.
Robert let out a laugh. "Oh, remember that?"
"I do," Newkirk said. "I do. 'Ow old are they now?"
"Seventeen," Robert answered.
"Bet that Carol's a beauty," Newkirk speculated.
"She is," Hogan affirmed.
"She got a steady boy?" Newkirk's voice took on that sly edge Robert remembered so well.
Robert snorted. "Please. She's got a guy who comes around every now and then, but…" he sighed. "She's got a little too much of her dad in her, I'm afraid. She loves her freedom too much."
"What about Robbie?"
"Robbie's got a steady girl," Robert reported.
"Bit more level-headed, is 'e?"
"A bit," Robert said. "But just a bit." Truth be told, both his children had inherited too much of their old man. Robbie had just found a girl who could deal with it. Robert suspected it would take a little longer for Carol. A thought occurred to him. "Hey, you heard from LeBeau lately?"
Newkirk laughed uproariously. "Lil' Frenchie was just 'ere. Same as ever. Even looks the same."
"That's good." Robert sighed fondly. "You know who I was just thinking about?"
Robert ignored the reference. "Klink. Wonder what ever happened to him?"
"I'll be 'e's married to Burk'alter's sister," Newkirk asserted.
"Wouldn't that be something?" Robert chuckled. "Frau Linkmeyer. Boy, she was something else."
"And what about Schultz?"
"Still knows nothing, I'm sure." Robert mused with a smile. "So, why'd you call, Newkirk?"
"A man can't call a friend to say 'ello?" Newkirk asked, sounding a bit put out.
"Not across the Atlantic Ocean," Robert pointed out. "Come on, Newkirk, I know these calls aren't cheap, even for a big shot like you."
"Well, if you must know," Newkirk began, "I 'ave a letter 'ere from one Andrew Carter. Says, 'Call the colonel. 'E's feelin' low lately.'"
A grateful smile spread across Robert's face. Carter was always the tender heart of the group. "You made a call across the Atlantic just to cheer me up?"
"Last I checked, that was what friends did."
"Thanks, Newkirk," Hogan said softly. "Don't imagine you're planning any visits to the States anytime soon?"
"Well, ya never know," Newkirk answered. "Bein' a four-star general 'as its advantages. You keep talkin' about 'ow you're gonna come over 'ere someday."
"Carol! You idiot!"
Robert looked out the window. "Maybe once I get done paying for the engine my children just ruined," he commented dryly. Robbie and Carol, both soaked in what looked like motor oil, were running around the driveway yelling at each other.
"Should I let ya go, mate?" Newkirk asked.
Robert hated to do it, but… "Yeah, probably. Good talking to you, Newkirk."
"Same 'ere, guv'nor," Newkirk said. "Say 'ello to Kinch and Carter for me," Newkirk said. "Now go take care o' those little ones."
"Talk to you later." Reluctantly, Robert hung up the phone and headed for his front door. "What's wrong, you two?"
Robbie and Carol turned to look at him. Both were drenched in a molasses-like substance. Motor oil, Robert thought. How is it possible that there's enough oil in the engine to make such a mess?
"What's going on out here?" Beth came running out of the house.
Robbie pointed an accusatory finger at his twin. "She did it!"
Carol threw up her hands, flinging tiny drops of oil in the air. "I know NOTHING!"
Robert never heard the rest of the conversation. He was too busy laughing.