Disclaimer: The characters, alas, are not mine. They belong to Fox. But once I got the idea, I just had to write it down. By the way, spelling is in English English (not American English), 'cos that's where I am and that's how I write. Constructive feedback and comments welcome! Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cursing under his breath, Charles flung open the Supply Room door and stomped across to the shelves where the uniforms were stacked.
"Major? Is there a problem?" Major Houlihan appeared from the direction of the medical supply shelves, clipboard in hand. She gave him one of her disapproving frowns, probably brought on by his still wearing his robe, Charles suspected.
"I'd say there are two problems, Major," he said, "Pierce - and Hunnicuttt." He brandished the trousers he was carrying. "Do you know what they did? Last month, they substituted my pants for a pair that were a waist-size too big. I ate like a horse for weeks. The next ones I got into were a size too small, and I thought I'd eaten too much. This morning, the penny finally dropped when I stepped into these - and discovered I'd grown four inches!"
"Those two jerks," muttered Margaret, through gritted teeth, "They were always pulling stupid stunts like that on poor Frank. Boy, I'd like just once to see them laugh on the other side of their faces. Uh - the trousers are on this shelf, Major, help yourself."
"Thanks." He riffled through the pile of folded army greens till he found a pair his size. "Margaret - am I correct in thinking that you've taken over the laundry duties from Hunnicuttt this month?"
"Ye-es," she said, sounding puzzled, "Why?"
He favoured her with a conspiratorial smile. "I have the beginnings of an idea, Major, and I think perhaps you might be able to help…"
Quickly, he outlined his plan, and Margaret nodded, thoughtfully. "Hmm, yeah. Not a bad scheme at that. But of course, if you want me to help, I'd want a little something in return."
"Oh. So seeing those two laugh on the other side of their faces suddenly isn't reward enough?" Margaret favoured him with one of those deceptively sweet smiles that meant she was probably planning to land a right-cross on him at any moment, and he sighed. "So what do you want?"
"Do you know, Charles, I would love a new dress. One of those little oriental-style numbers in black satin, perhaps? You know, with the colourful embroidery and the mandarin collars?"
"And matching fan?" he suggested, dryly. "From where, pray, am I supposed to conjure one of those? Macy's new branch in Ouijongbou?"
"Oh, you don't have to deliver right now," she allowed, "The next time you're in Tokyo will do - I won't let you forget."
"I'm sure! Going to confide your measurements to me then, or -" he ran a practiced eye from her collar to her boots and back "- would you prefer for me to make an educated guess?"
She gave a growl that told him that right-cross might still be in the offing, but after a moment's hesitation she tore off the bottom sheet of paper from her clipboard, scribbled some numbers on the back of it and handed it to him. "I hear those measurements coming back to haunt me from anyone else, you'll be the one needing a doctor," she promised, "Understood?"
"Oh, loud and clear, Margaret," he assured her, glancing at the paper and nodding. "You should have let me guess, I'd have given you an inch more at the hips. Ow!" He rubbed his arm where she'd hit him.
"Just deliver the goods, Major. And I'll sort the laundry. Okay?"
With a smile, Charles extended his right hand and shook hers. "I do believe we have a deal."
"Your laundry, Pierce," said Margaret, handing him a pile of clothes, "And yours, Hunnicutt. I'm delivering it personally so that I can apologise to you for the little mix-up we had with your washing."
As she spoke, BJ pulled his vest and shorts from the pile Margaret had given him. "My… my underwear!" he squeaked, "It's pink!"
"Orange!" Hawkeye gasped, holding up his own things. "My undies are a pale but unmistakable orange!"
"Your laundry, Major," said Margaret, turning to Charles and giving him a smirk the other two couldn't see.
"And what colour is mine?" he asked, looking through the pile with a show of concern. "I have to tell you I don't look good in pastels."
"Oh, yours is fine, Charles, we'd located the offending socks by the time your things got done," she said.
"Glad to hear it," he said, fighting to conceal his grin, "It's amazing how many of these laundry mix-ups seem to happen around here. Do you know, last month I somehow kept getting trousers that weren't my own. But I don't think that's likely to happen again." He looked across at Pierce and Hunnicuttt. "Is it, gentlemen?"