unigon output

August 15, 2011

Fanfiction: Strike Witches, “Dresden by Night”

Series: Strike Witches
Characters: Helma Lennartz, Gertrud Barkhorn, Erica Hartmann, Ursula Hartmann
Summary: A fluffy one-shot in which the Karlsland witches attend a make-shift charity ball at Dresden base. Erica and Ursula catch up on things, while Trude and Helma both do lots of blushing.
Words: 1,529

Any other night on Dresden base, its concrete walls would seem coldly imposing. But this night, the same walls resounded with boisterous, friendly chatter. No maps or podium cluttered the briefing room. Instead, a make-shift stage stood there. A crowd of witches and base staff milled around it, reminiscing over the past and making toasts for the future.

On a bench in the room’s back, where no one would notice her thin smile, Ursula Hartmann quietly took things in.

“Ursula~!” From across the room, her sister Erica managed to wave while carrying two huge pitchers of beer. Ursula scooted aside to give her sister a seat.

“This charity ball really was a good idea! You should be proud of yourself.”

“Oh, no, my work was only a small part,” Ursula quietly replied, while pushing her glasses back up.

“Ah, you, being so modest like that!” Erica playfully thumped her sister’s shoulder. “Want some beer?”

“Thank you, sister, but I shouldn’t. You know how I get with…”

Erica shrugged, and downed one of the pitchers. “More for me, then!”

Ursula smiled at her sister’s happily chugging face. As Erica finished the second pitcher, the two caught up on the time they’d spent stationed apart. As much catching up as they needed, Ursula could tell her sister’s attention was wandering elsewhere. Through each parting in the crowd, Erica would glance at the door.

“Really, sister. You can’t really find it that exciting, can you?”

“Heh heh. I can. Oh, and you really do do too much for me.” Erica caught something from the corner of her eye, and this time her expression perked up. “Ah, here comes the lady of the hour!”

At the door, two more witches had arrived: Gertrud Barkhorn, who Ursula knew as her sister’s good companion, and the earnest Helma Lennartz, who Ursula knew personally. Instead of their normal stern expressions, though, they were both blushing furiously as the coat man complimented them. And instead of their usual uniforms, they were both wearing clothes hand sewn by Ursula. Barkhorn wore a black formal gown, and Helma a frilly, girlish dress. The briefing room wasn’t the only thing showing a different side tonight.

Ursula lost herself in observation, somehow missing as Erica snuck up on Trude and given her a pouncing hug from behind.

“Trude~! I was almost afraid you wouldn’t come.”

“Ah! C-Captain Barkhorn!” Helma nervously stammered at Erica’s flagrant disregard of proper protocol. It didn’t phase Trude at all, though. She was used to it.

“Good evening, Hartmann. …now, you said there was a compelling reason I had to dress like this. I hope you will be revealing it soon. I can only stay until 1900 hours.”

“Please, grace us with your glamorous presence just a bit more! It’ll be soon.”

“…a reason?” Helma wondered out loud.

Erica nodded to her. “Heh, really, it’s part of the event committee’s plans. Don’t worry, It’s ~all for the reconstruction efforts.”

Helma timidly fidget with her ribbons. “If there’s a reason Captain Barkhorn had to dress this way…what about me?”

“I thought you would look cute that way.” All eyes turned to Ursula, who had spoken for the first time.

“Yup, pretty much.” Erica nodded.

“Whaaaa…? You’re not just teasing me, are you?”

Trude put her hand on Helma’s shoulder, making the young witch jump in surprise. “Don’t worry, Helma. It really does suit you quite well.”

“Really?” Helma’s troubled expression was instantly wiped away, drawing a chuckle from Erica. Ursula couldn’t help smiling either. She’d heard plenty about Captain Barkhorn, but not just from her sister. She’d been stationed with Helma for over two years, after all.

“But, Captain Barkhorn…these clothes don’t suit me nearly as…” Helma gulped down her nervousness and continued. “…as beautifully as you!”

Now it was Trude’s turn to blush, “Ah, really? Well…I’m not used to dressing this way…”

Faced with this spectacle, Helma put a hand on Ursula’s shoulder. “Ursula…”


“…Good job!” Helma’s tail waved ecstatically.

Trude eventually regained her normal composure, though her face was still a bit flush. “I’m quite surprised though…I’d never imagine the sister of Hartmann could be so domestically talented.”

“Thank you for your compliments, but it’s nothing. Learning new pursuits is the mind’s best exercise. Also, I know Helma’s measurements perfectly, from all the experimentation we’ve done together.”

“Experimentation…?” Erica grinned.

“With the Jet Striker, that is,” Ursula added, to which Helma nodded emphatically.


The short silence that followed was quickly broken by Erica. “Ah, it’s starting!”

Barkhorn followed her wing mate’s gaze to the stage. As an impromptu band cleared away their instruments, a female officer was tapping the microphone.

“Hmmm? What’s starting?”

Erica grinned shamelessly. “That compelling reason you were asking about.” Barkhorn turned a puzzled look back towards the stage.

“…let’s all thank them, they did a tremendous job. Right, and no onto the next part of our evening’s entertainment…drum roll, please…the first ever Dresden Base Charity Date Auction!” While the crowd raised an enthusiastic cheer. Trude did nothing but massage her temples.

“And our first volunteer is…” the officer scrutinized a small piece of paper. “…one of our Luftwaffe’s most honored aces, the graceful and indomitable Gertrud Barkhorn! May you please come to the stage, ma’am?”

“I’m really amazed she’s going along with it.” Ursula watched with both concern and curiosity, as Trude took to the stage amid thundering applause.

Erika didn’t seem amazed at all. “It’s for the fatherland, right? I couldn’t imagine her turning it down.”

“Yes, I suppose. Though it still seems…as if she’s far more nervous than any time she’s sortied against the Neuroi.”

Barkhorn had strode onto the stage dauntlessly. But as the officer plied her with trivial banter, she grew meek under the audience’s gaze.

“…Y-yes, that’s…so. I believe it is a witch’s duty to strive in all areas, including both war and service.”

“Well, you certainly don’t lack in the area of beauty, either, do you?


Erica let out a low chuckle, which was interrupted as someone laid a hand on her shoulder. She turned to find Helma at her back.

“Ah, Helma. I’d almost forgotten about you. You haven’t said anything in a while…too distracted basking in the radiant glow of her bea…”

“Officer Hartmann! This time you’ve…gone…too…far!”

“Oh~? I thought I’d gone too far last week…When I borrowed Generalmajor Galland’s pants…?”

Helma was too exasperated to think up a response. She simply hung her head and sighed.

Ursula patted her comrade’s shoulder, and spoke up in her place. “I do agree with Helma, sister. Is it really necessary to play so many cruel pranks on this Trude? She’s your dearest friend, isn’t she?”

Erica gave a knowing smile. “They might look like pranks, but believe me, they’re favors.”

“Favors…?” Ursula curiously repeated.

“If left to herself, Trude would be filling out paperwork right now. She needs a little lively nonsense in her life.” Erica took the last sip from her beer. “Just think of me as the saaz in her pilsner,” she added, nodding and smiling like she was satisfied at her cleverness.

“…But you also find it amusing to watch, right?”

“Extremely so! Oh, waiter…could you bring me a stein of pilsner?”

Helma’s attention was stolen away from this sister’s chatter, though, as she followed Barkhorn’s nervous performance.

“Ha ha, well, I suppose that’s enough small talk.” The MCing officer gestured dramatically. “Captain Barkhorn’s reputation speaks for itself, after all! Can any value be put upon a single day in this National Treasure’s company? Let’s let the bidding begin at 20 reichsmark, shall we?”



Oddly enough, both male and female voices called out bids.

“300 reichsmark!” *

A shocked silence, broken by the shuffling of the entire audience turning in their seats at the same time. put her

“Er…any bids to top that one?”

Well past 1900 hours, Trude held a drink in one hand and gestured eagerly with her free hand.

“To think you would go so far to protect my honor!…that was truly commendable behavior, Sergeant Lennartz.”

“Er, it was nothing. I would’ve donated that much of my stipend to reconstruction efforts anyways…”

Trude smiled, and simply patted the young girl on the head. Helma seemed almost too overcome to speak, but eventually stuttered something out.

“A-a-about our…date. Where would you like to…”

“Hmm? Date?”

On the bench’s other side, Erika grinned at Helma’s obviousness, and Barkhorn’s matching obliviousness. “See what I mean, sister?”

Ursula closed her eyes, and gave a knowing shake of the head. “I only worry about whether Helma can take it…” She had to admit, though, that any friend of Erica’s would never lack for liveliness.

* Roughly around $2000 in modern US dollars

Afterword: Isn’t it odd how Ursula has such a different personality in the TV anime than in the original novels? I guess that’s what 6 years of personal growth do to a person. Anyways, I set out to make this a totally Helma x Trude story. I love them so much together. But then the other characters ended up having a big part in it too! Well, now I have to write the uber-yuri Helma x Trude epic.

Fanfiction.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7095463/1/Dresden_by_Night


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