Winchester looked up with alarm, "Yes! Those! How did you know?"
"Because they are the ones BJ and I use to clean our golf clubs," Pierce replied.
"What?!" The face above Winchester's mask turned a startling shade of crimson, "Of all the stupid, asinine things. How could you?! They were a gift from my dear mother."
Hawkeye smiled under his surgical mask, "Remind me to send her a thank you card."
Winchester's face began to turn scarlet and a vein began to protrude on his forehead, he pointed a bloody finger in Pierce's direction, "You'll pay for this Pierce!" he exclaimed loudly, "I'll see you dead!"
"Easy, Winchester," Potter interceded, "let's not get carried away, they were just a pair of socks. Threats like those have a nasty habit of coming true in a place like this."
Winchester turned his attention back to his patient without another word. Pierce and Hunnicutt wisely dropped the discussion.
"How's it look Hunnicutt?" Potter called out.
"Like a mess. This kid's gonna be here awhile."
"How 'bout you, Pierce?"
"Done, Colonel. Table three is ready, no waiting, great view," he tore off his gloves and held out his hands as a nurse came over with some fresh ones. He took a step toward her and fell heavily into her arms when pain unexpectedly seared through his right leg.
"Doctor!" she exclaimed in surprise.
"Pierce, this is not time for shenanigans. We've got a room full of wounded out there."
Hawkeye pushed himself off the startled woman, "You wanna try that again later?" he asked weakly.
The nurse shook her head and turned away, "I'll get you some alcohol for your hands doctor," she called over her shoulder.
"You okay, Hawk?" Hunnicutt called out.
"Yeah, Beej, I'm fine," he said, grabbing onto the surgical table with both hands. Gritting his teeth, he attempted to try and stand on his right leg. He sucked in his breath and squeezed his eyes shut as fire tore through his leg and up to his right side. He felt as if his boot had suddenly shrunk about two sizes. The most reasonable course of action was to go into the wash room and take his boot off while placing ice on his injured foot. He realized that he'd probably sprained his foot after all and standing on it wasn't very wise, however these were not reasonable times. There were wounded that were in worse shape than he was; his sprained ankle could wait.
He blinked in surprise and realized that the nurse was standing there with the alcohol waiting for him. How long had she been there? Pierce placed his hands into the bowl and soaked them generously before putting on fresh gloves. He turned back to the injured soldier now lying before him, and after nodding at the anesthesiologist, went to work on one foot.
Hunnicutt stood back from his patient and tore off his gloves with a sigh, "Done!"
"That's it," Potter called out, "yours was the last one, Hunnicutt."
A cheer went up as the wounded man was carried away to begin the healing process. Eventually, Potter closed his man up and so did Charles. Unusually, Pierce was the last one to close. Tearing off his gloves, he turned to the nearest nurse, "How long were we in here?"
"Only thirteen hours, doctor."
It had felt like an eternity to Hawkeye. His right leg felt like one raw nerve and sweat was pouring off his face in rivulets. The room swayed occasionally and his heart was hammering to a beat of its own.
This has be one helluva sprain, he thought to himself.
Grabbing onto every available surface, the injured doctor managed to work his way into the washroom where he found Winchester washing his hands and Hunnicutt waiting for him. When BJ turned at the sound of his friend entering the room, he jumped to his feet and rushed over to him, "Hawk! You look terrible!" He grabbed one of Pierce's arms and ushered him over to the bench. Hawkeye sat down with a sigh and began removing his scrubs.
"Looks like I did some damage to my ankle today," he said lamely, glancing down at his protesting foot.
"Are you sure that's all you did?" Hunnicutt asked.
Winchester animatedly ignored them both, going about his business in stone cold silence.
Hawkeye got to his feet with a grunt and barely managed to make it to the sink without crying. He took a deep breath and began to wash his hands as Charles left, slamming the door behind him so hard the roof rattled.
Hunnicutt gestured toward the offended door, "Think he'll forgive us?"
"Sure he will," Pierce answered breathlessly, "Charles can't live without us."
BJ smiled, "Does Charles know that?" he walked over to the door, watching Pierce closely, "I think I'll go to the mess tent for some coffee, want any?"
"Only if the spoon stands at attention," Hawkeye replied, shutting off the water. He straightened and blinked as the room began to tilt and sway lazily. He suddenly felt as if the entire world were parked in the center of his chest as dark spots began to drift in front of his eyes. "BJ," he called out weakly as his friend opened the door, "one more thing."
The taller man paused and turned around with a small frown on his face, "Yeah?"
"Get the tag number of the truck that just hit me."
Hunnicutt watched in horror as his friend crumpled to the floor in a heap. Rushing back into the washroom, BJ turned Pierce onto his back, checking his vitals and feeling for a pulse; his pupils dilated easily, but his skin was cold and clammy and covered with a sheen of perspiration and his heartbeat was weak and thready.
Hunnicutt jumped to his feet and ran outside looking for some help.
Winchester walked stonily along, grumbling to himself about the boldness of his two roommates. How could they be so callous? He actually wouldn't have minded if they'd taken any other pair of socks, but the socks they did take had been a gift.
A very special gift, too.
"Help! I need someone's help!"
Charles turned at the sound of the shouts to see Hunnicutt running across the compound in a frenzy. He put his anger aside for the moment, there was, after all, an emergency of some sort. Besides, he could always continue to ignore the two of them later. He walked over to Hunnicutt and tapped him on the shoulder, breaking him off in mid-shout. "What's the problem, Hunnicutt?"
BJ turned and grabbed Winchester's shoulders, "Charles! Thank God! I need your help."
The doctor rolled his eyes and sighed heavily, stuffing his hands into his pockets, "I gathered as much, Hunnicutt, what's the problem?"
BJ started to run back to the washroom where Pierce was lying unconscious, "It's Hawkeye," he shouted over his shoulder.
Winchester pulled up short, "Surely you must be joking, do honestly expect me to believe --"
"Charles!" BJ shouted in despair, turning back around, "this is not a joke! Something is wrong with Hawkeye."
Just then, Potter came running over with Radar," What's all this ruckus about?"
"It's Hawkeye," Hunnicutt said for the millionth time as he ran over to the colonel, grabbing onto his arm. "He just collapsed and I don't know what's wrong."
"I assure you, Colonel," Winchester piped up," it's another one of their practical jokes." He sniffed in disgust.
Potter looked at BJ then down at the arm he was grabbing onto and back up at the doctor. "Well, if this is a practical joke, they're going through an awful lot of trouble." He looked up at the worried doctor, "Take me to Pierce, son."
BJ quickly ran ahead while Potter and Radar hurried close behind, Charles considered walking away but decided to follow if only for curiosity's sake.
Hunnicutt was the first to enter the washroom, he ran over to his friend and was dismayed to find that his color had paled considerably. The washroom door opened again and Potter walked in.
"Holy Moses!" he exclaimed, running over to where Pierce lay, "What in the name of Sam Hill happened here?"
"I have no idea, he just passed out." Hunnicutt said dismally.
Radar hovered close by in the background, fiddling nervously with his cap. The washroom door opened yet again and Charles strolled in, his obnoxious demeanor quickly disappearing when he saw the scene before him. "What happened?"