"Joined Together"

By Lilith

Author's note: This takes place in September 1952, after BJ and Potter arrived, after Margaret married and Frank left, and after Radar left. The title, which is somewhat odd, will later be explained. Until the end, however, the only clue you get is that I love literature. I'd like to say that while Fox owns the characters, I own the lines written--and I copyright!

Hawkeye roamed aimlessly through the camp. It was hot as blazes, as usual. "Damn this weather," Hawkeye muttered. He wiped sweat from his forehead. He briefly considered getting a small pool, but nixed the thought quickly. Potter had confiscated the bathtub. Well, not really, but demanded it's immediate removal from the camp. What he really needed was a new nurse, Hawk decided. A pretty one, who liked to drink and had no compunction against sleeping around. Particularly with him.

He frowned. Unfortunately, there was no sign of life in the camp. All except Klinger, trudging from tent to tent, delivering mail. He perked up. Mail! Maybe something from home, maybe a letter from I-Corps to Potter, signaling the arrival of new personnel. Nursing personnel. He sighed. He sure did have a one-track mind.

Fade out...

Hawkeye tossed a ball into the air over and over again. He was in remarkably better spirits. His dad had written. Nothing new in Crabapple Cove, but several friends of his had included recent pictures of their kids. He had them displayed next to Erin's picture, by the still.

The door opened and Potter came in, trying to look cheerful, but failing miserably. "Hey, gang. Got a drink?"

"Sure, Colonel. What's going on?" BJ poured Potter a martini and moved his feet so Potter could sit down.

"Well, BJ, you and Charles aren't going to like this one, but the eighty-double-nickel wants to exchange a doctor and nurse with us. Pierce went last time, and Able with him, so one of the two of you get the honor this time. You get to choose which nurse goes, if you want, so long as it ain't Able or Houlihan. Margaret's got R&R coming up a couple days after the switch starts, and Able already paid her dues. I'll leave it to the two of you to duke it out, but remember that he who doesn't go now, goes next time." Potter drained his glass and left, hoping to avoid the bickering that was sure to ensue.

To Hawkeye's surprise, each man began to offer to go.

"Charles, I know how you hate to travel, so I'll save you the inconvenience and go myself." BJ tried to look helpful.

Charles wasn't buying it. "Hunnicutt, I was born at night, but it wasn't last night. I hated that odious Dupris just as much as you did. You're insane if you think I'll stay here and endure yet another ill-mannered hick, while you bask in the relative peace of another unit. This one's sure to be just as moronic as Dupris, if not more so. I demand that I be the one to go."

Hawkeye tried to tune them out as an idea formed in his head. New doctor...new nurse! He silently celebrated as his tent-mates nearly came to blows.

Fade out...

BJ waved triumphantly as he drove away in his jeep. Charles had drawn the short straw. How fortunate, BJ thought.

Charles scowled from inside the Swamp. Blast this miserable place. All Hawkeye could talk about was the nurse coming, while all Charles could think of was being forced to endure the company of another submoronic imbecile like Dupris. Maybe he'd reread Honoria's last letter. She, at least, had some culture. She was his only link to the civilized world.

Hawkeye waved to BJ, who, along with Kellye, was going to the 8055. The other people were due at any moment. He couldn't wait. He'd gotten the name of the nurse from Potter, and started asking around. He'd heard from two patients who'd just been sent from the 8055 that one Rose Genovese was definitely known to spread her favors among the male staff, and that she was beautiful. He smiled with anticipation. He could hardly wait. It never occurred to him that she might rebuff him.

Fade out...

There was no need for him to think that she'd reject his advances. She made it clear that she was very interested in him. And whoever'd said she was beautiful wasn't lying. 5'9" with dark brown eyes and even darker hair, she was lovely. And, best of all, she was waiting for him in the VIP tent. He could hardly believe his good fortune. They had only been there two days, and already Hawkeye was going to score!

He stepped jauntily into the VIP tent that she occupied. The doctor, Martin Colt, was as serious and quiet as the infamous Dupris had been obnoxious and loud. He and Winchester politely ignored each other.

"Hi, Rose! How's it goin'?" He sat the bottle of "wine" on the table by the bed and sat down.

"Great, Hawk. Is that for us?" she asked, nodding at the bottle.

"Sure is. Made just this morning." He grinned proudly.

"Oh. Well, open it. We need a toast." She smiled and lit a candle.

"To what?" he asked conversationally as he opened the bottle.

"We'll think of something later." She grinned and shifted closer to him.

He smiled, pleased with himself. "So, what do you do with yourself? Any hobbies? You collect anything?" He wondered what other people did to amuse themselves during the war.

"High-ranking men. I collect them." She tossed her long hair proudly.

"I see..." He trailed off. What do you say to that? "Any good ones recently?"

"One good one right before I came here, in Seoul. Some Lieutenant Colonel. Donald something."

Hawkeye's face began to cloud. Margaret's husband was a Lt. Colonel. His name was Donald, and he had been in Seoul recently. In fact, she was scheduled to go there to meet him in two days. She had found out that he'd be there, and wanted to surprise him.

Rose continued. "In fact, my friend, Becki, is there with him for a few days now. He got a couple weeks R&R, and boy did he put it to good use. Including me, he's been with three nurses since he arrived there last week. And, to top it all off, he's married. To some blonde Army nurse. He's pretty good, if you know what I mean. But, why are we talking about this? Lets have some fun." She smiled suggestively, not realizing what she'd done.

She's just screwed the husband of my good friend, and I'm going to sleep with her? Hawkeye thought this sounded somewhat lousy. He moved away from her. "Look, Rose, I don't think this was such a great idea. Maybe we should get to know each other better." He felt uncomfortable now. He wanted to fool around with Rose, but that seemed disloyal to his friendship with Margaret.

"What?" Rose looked first bewildered, then furious. "Fine!" she exclaimed. "Please leave. Now." She glared at him and pointed to the door.

He got up. "I'm sorry, Rose. But I know that Colonel's wife. And I can't do this, knowing that you slept with her husband. And knowing that some friend of yours is there now, and he's cheating on her right now. I'm sorry." He left the tent, making his way slowly back to the Swamp. He had to stop Margaret from going to Seoul and really "surprising" Donald. She'd be so humiliated. Somehow, he'd stop her.

Fade out...

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