DISCLAIMER As usual, none of these characters are mine. This story is written for the enjoyment of the Internet reader. Print it out if you like, but please don't reproduce it or post it on your site without notifying me first.
Phoebe felt very tired. She was sitting in a hard wooden chair peeling a potato wearing khakis and army boots. Nothing seemed right at the moment.
"Lieutenant!" called out a very authoritarian female voice.
Phoebe looked up into the face of very unhappy woman with long blond hair, glaring blue eyes and a large mouth turned down at the corners.
"Lieutenant. I DO hope you have learned your LESSON! Getting involved with that lecherous Captain Pierce will not help your career. I do not want to catch you using the supply tent as your own personal hotel room again. Do you understand, Halliwell?" she asked.
Phoebe gasped out loud "Hot Lips?"
"Well, I never. My nurses addressed me as Major Houlihan. No one can call me that name! You were in enough trouble. Now you are ON REPORT! This is going in your permanent file, Lieutenant Halliwell. Now get into the OR and scrub up!" she said furiously pointing out the door.
Phoebe dropped her potato peeler and ran out into the compound. She felt in a daze surrounded by army tents and men and women all dressed in khakis. "Ah, this looks like the 4077th MASH, but it's just a television show! Things look awfully real. Ah, Prue, Piper, can you her me?" Phoebe called out looking up at the sky and sounding very worried. Just then, someone ran into her as letters flew everywhere fluttering down around her.
"Excuse me, lieutenant!" said a young corporal slightly taller than Phoebe.
"Radar? Let me help you!" she said smiling affectionately at him.
"Oh, thank you, lieutenant. I was just looking at my copy of Rabbit Breeders Monthly. Did you know that Argyle rabbits' fur grows faster than any other kind? DO you think I can grow my mom enough fur for a sweater?" Radar asked picking up the letters while holding tightly to his precious magazine.
"Radar, you can do anything you put your mind to. God, you're cute!" said Phoebe. She had always had a crush on him.
"Ah, yea. Oh Jeez. Thanks, lieutenant. I'll see you later!" Radar said blushing.
Pheebs just could not get over seeing him in person. And speaking of being somewhere in person, what was she doing in Korea in 1950 something talking to some fictional characters? She hopped over the hospital and started to scrub up. Phoebe felt someone putting arms around her.
"Care for another trip around the world in the supply tent? This time you can fill the specimen bottles when we reach Angel Falls!" said a familiar voice.
Phoebe turned around and looked onto the big eyes of a very tall Dr. Benjamin Franklin Pierce.
"I'll meet you anywhere!" said Phoebe grabbing him and kissing him very passionately.
"Wow, lieutenant save something for the plane ride. I think maybe you've had enough for a while," said Hawkeye backing off a bit.
"Oh, Hawkeye. I'm sorry if I scared you. You're just too much for a girl to handle sometimes. I'll slow down if you your like," said Phoebe now just gently holding him.
"Well, then. Maybe after we take care of this kid's liver we can checkout each other," said Hawkeye kissing her again.
"Lieutenant! That is enough! Out! Out! I KNEW there would be trouble. You are now restricted to your quarters. Evidently you learned nothing. Baker can do your shift. Now OUT!" said Major Houlihan's eyes flashing.
"Oh, come on Margaret, lay off Halliwell. She can't help if she sees something good," said Hawkeye with a twinkle in his eye.
"Sorry, Hawkeye!" said Pheebs sweetly waving to him. "Yes, MAJOR!"
"Lieutenant. When you leave a room you salute a superior officer!" Major Houlihan reminded her nurse.
Phoebe clinked her heels, saluted and left. Army protocol was going to be hard to get used to.
After locating the nurses' tent, she found Lieutenant Kelly also coming off her shift.
"Phoebe, you are going to get busted if you keep locking horns with Houlihan," she said as both of them climbed into their bunks.
"Guess I really have to watch myself while I'm here," said Pheebs absentmindedly.
"Planning on leaving? Don't you still have a couple of years till your hitch is up?" asked Kelly
"Maybe," she replied, "But let's hope I can figure my way out her sooner," she thought. as she turned over and went to sleep.
"Lieutenant Halliwell. The colonel wants to see you right way!" a voice said though her dreams.
Sitting up Phoebe saw a very hairy woman with a large nose standing in he door of the tent wearing an old flower-print dress.
"Ah, thanks Klinger. You look very nice," said Pheebs holding her laughter.
"Thank you. It's from the Doris Day collection. Do you think it's too early for white low-heeled pumps? I don't want to look out of place," he said honestly.
"Corporal, you'll look good in anything you wear," replied Phoebe.
"Gee, thanks! If you ever want to borrow something special, just ask!" said Klinger breaking into a big smile.
Phoebe headed over to the camp office feeling like she was walking in to the principal's office.
"Sit down, Lieutenant! Look we're both new here. Major Houlihan reports that you were carousing in the supply tent with one of my doctors. I can't dictate what you do on your free time, but Major Houlihan is concerned about the morale and efficiency of this outfit. Since you are on her nursing staff, I have to support her on this. Let's try and keep this unit one big happy family. There's lot of important work going on here and we need to do our best for these fighting boys. Okie-dokie?" Colonel Potter asked in a fatherly fashion.
"Yes Colonel. I will try and watch it," said Pheebs sheepishly.
"And another thing. Please use the proper name and rank for your superior official. She has earned it and deserves her respect. Understood?" asked the Colonel more sternly.
"Understood!" said Pheebs.
"Thank-you, lieutenant," said Colonel Potter.
Pheebs had a pain in her head and winced in front of the Colonel.
"Lieutenant? Do you feel well?" asked a concerned Colonel Potter.
"Choppers coming!!!" said Pheebs and Radar as he poked his head in the office door.
"Not you too! Dangest thing!" said the Colonel. "Knew a farmer named Windham back in Missouri. When his big toe hurt you knew you were getting raining the next day. One day I see him with his whole foot up complaining that he couldn't walk on it. The next day half the town of West Fenwick was wiped out by a tornado!" said Colonel Potter as everyone headed to the helicopter pads.
Confusion abounded as two army helicopters landed with wounded soldiers. The pads were a mass of activity as doctors, nurses and corpsmen helped the wounded off the helicopters and into the OR. Phoebe found it strange, but every medical order she was given, she immediately knew what to do. With only half a dozen patients, the M*A*S*H staff was only in surgery a few hours.
Phoebe could barely walk coming out of the OR. "I could sleep for a week. Standing in one place for four hours! Whoa!"
"Holding your horses?" asked a friendly Captain B.J. Hunnicutt.
"No, just trying to stretch from here to my home," replied Phoebe.
"When you reach Mill Valley, let me off," said B.J.
"Wouldn't be far. I'm from San Francisco. We live in the old Fremont section on Carroll Avenue," said Phoebe.
"Nice neighborhood! If you'll excuse me, I have a date with my mattress. So long!" said B.J.
"Bye, B.J," waved Phoebe looking up at the tall young surgeon.
Being late, Phoebe just crawled into her own bunk and slept dreaming of home.
"Hey, Phoebe, wake up! You're due in the hospital in ten minutes. Hurry!" cried Kelly shaking her awake.
Phoebe woke up still tired and longing to be home. "Everyone here must feel the same way. Lost and far from home," Phoebe thought to herself.
Briefly she pulled herself together and trotted over to the hospital. She found Major Houlihan looking over one of the patient's charts.
"Halliwell. This man needs his bandaged changed and start a new IV for the head wound over there around 4 A.M. Good night, lieutenant," said Major Houlihan. She put back the chart and headed to her own tent.
Major Frank Burns walked through the ward. "Ah, Lieutenant, I'm..um.. going to check out the supply closet. I'll be back later. Carry on," he said heading swiftly out the door chuckling to himself.
"And I know who you're carrying on with!" said Phoebe as she went to get some fresh bandages.
Phoebe found it very peaceful in the early morning hours as the sun crept up over the hills of Korea. Hawkeye came in dressed in his red robe, unshaven and yawning loudly.
"I don't mind getting up with the sun, but why can't the Army schedule it later in the day. Say about two o'clock in the afternoon. How's my patient?" asked Hawkeye.
"Everyone is sleeping soundly. It's like a morgue in hear," said Phoebe crossing her arms and looking up at Hawkeye.
"Ah, ha. Cute. I'll have to remember that one!" replied the surgeon.
"Morgue? In my line of work that's usually what we're thinking about. It's nice to be on the other side helping these people recovery for once. I'm usually the one in the hospital," Pheebs thought to herself.
"At least these guys won't be heading there, thanks to you," said Pheebs smiling to Hawkeye.
"We try. Ah, about last night. I didn't make it after that long.." apologized Hawkeye.
"Hey, I was dead to the world, too. With the Major on my back, maybe we should slow down for a while. OK, Hawkeye?" asked Phoebe.
"Yes, I agree. But if Radar can get us a couple of 24 hour passes into Seoul. Maybe!" said Hawkeye with a gleam in his eye.
"Sounds great!" said Phoebe hoping not to be there that long. But, oh, what a date that would be!
Phoebe was broken away from her daydream when they heard a patient from the far end of the ward gasping for air. Phoebe and Hawkeye ran over.
"He bit off a piece of his oxygen mask. He's chocking. Nurse, get me a scalpel; I have to open his trachea and get him some air! Hurray!" screamed Hawkeye.
The patient looked terrified as he continued chocking and was turning blue.