Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations that belong to Twentieth Century Fox, not me. I am also not making any money off of this story. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you enjoy!
Hawkeye Pierce glanced carefully through the screen walls of his tent, making sure no one was watching. B.J. Hunnicut kneeled at his feet, working busily with a saw. "You done yet?" Hawkeye asked.
"Not yet," B.J. muttered. "I knew I should've taken that woodshop course in high school. Just give me a minute." The worn saw they had managed to find was sluggish, and it didn't cut the cot's legs very well. He was careful not to cut all the way through, though; leaving the cot looking completely normal when casually gazed upon.
"There," B.J. said with a smile as he rose to his feet. "All done. That didn't take too long."
Hawkeye grinned in anticipation. "Charles won't know what hit him."
"Except for the floor," B.J. noted with a grin.
Charles suddenly appeared walking towards their tent, causing Hawkeye and B.J. to scramble for their respective bunks. B.J. shoved the saw under his cot, and laced his fingers behind his head in his best casual look. Hawkeye was calmly lounging on his bunk when Charles entered.
"Afternoon, Charles," he said with a smile. "Enjoy your walk?"
Charles didn't comment at first, staring straight into Hawkeye's face. "Pierce, that was almost a normal inquiry." He glanced between them with suspicion. "What are you two up to?"
"Nothing, Charles," B.J. said. "Why would you think such a thing?"
"Because the thought of you two attempting to be normal frightens me," Charles snapped. He turned to his bunk. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to escape from you two and sleep." Hawkeye bit his lip to keep from laughing as Charles sat on the edge of his bunk, laid back, and closed his eyes.
Hawkeye glanced at B.J. "What happened?" He whispered.
B.J. shrugged. "I guess my beaver skills aren't the best. Look, I'm sure-"
He was cut off by the sound of splintering wood. They turned just in time to see the back legs of Charles bunk split, sending him headfirst into the screen of their tent.
Hawkeye was in hysterics when Charles groaned and sat up in his broken bed. B.J. followed suit, filling the tent with laughter. Soon spectators from around the camp came to see what was going on, and only added to the laughter.
There was no point in even responding. Charles merely laid back into his slanted position, put his pillow over his face, and sighed.
Company clerk Radar O'Reilly had heard the crash coming from the Swamp, and the following laughter, but he decided not to even look and see what happened. He was far too busy delivering the unit's mail, and it was a job he took pretty seriously. Being twenty thousand miles from home was bad enough, but not getting and word from home would be far worse.
Once he had made his way around the camp, he finished his deliveries back at the camp's office. Walking into Colonel Potter's office, he handed Potter his mail from home.
"Thanks, Radar," Potter said as he opened a letter from his wife. "In Mildred's last letter, she told me all about the new jam she was going to make. Maybe this letter will hold the results. Anything else?"
Radar handed him a telegram. "This came in from Tokyo," he said.
Potter's eyebrows raised as he read the message. "You better call a senior staff meeting," he said. "They're going to want to hear this."
Ten minutes later, the senior staff of the 4077th was assembled, the group consisting of Fr. Mulcahy, Margaret Houlihan, Colonel Potter, Claire Morgan, and the surgeons. Radar stood behind Potter's desk with a clipboard.
When they had all taken their seats, Hawkeye asked, "Colonel, what's this all about? We were all taking naps in the Swamp." He and B.J. chuckled while Charles shot them a deadly look.
Potter ignored the comment. "I just got a telegram from Tokyo today, and it seems that we're going to have a visitor here in a few days."
"I knew Truman was going to show up with our release papers," Hawkeye declared.
"Too bad we won't get out for good behavior," B.J. replied with a smirk.
Margaret rolled her eyes at them. "That's for sure," she snapped. "Now will you two please let the Colonel speak? Some of us are actually interested in what he's saying." She elbowed her assistant head nurse. "Right, Claire?"
Claire, more interested in her own thoughts, looked up in confusion. "Sorry, did you say something, Major?"
Potter sighed. "If you're done, children, I'll continue. It looks like Major Carter from Tokyo General will be visiting us for a few days."
Claire's eyes widened in shock. "What? Did she say why?"
Charles spoke up then. "Excuse me, Colonel, but I seem to be in the dark on this matter-"
"And on a lot of other matters," Hawkeye muttered.
"-might I ask who this Major Carter is?"
"She's my old boss," Claire said, crossing her arms over her chest. "Luckily I escaped from her clutches. Or at least I thought I did."
Potter shrugged. "All she said in the telegram I got was that she was coming to observe our surgical technique."
Claire scoffed. "The only reason why Carter would ever come here is if I was in trouble. Frankly, I have a bad feeling about this."
"Well," Potter said with a sigh. "All I can say is we better shape up a bit. Brass like Carter are big on discipline."
"Something we threw out the window a long time ago," B.J. muttered.
"Don't worry, we'll help," Hawkeye said. "We can sweep some of the crud beneath the scum."
Potter frowned at him, but continued. "The bottom line is we all know exactly what we have to do to get this place looking decent. So let's hop to it. Meeting dismissed."
When the faded green jeep rolled into the main part of the compound three days later, Claire was ready for it. The camp had been cleaned considerably in the past few days, and she hoped that it would please her picky former commanding officer.
The jeep stopped beside her, and a thin older woman stepped out. "Ah, Captain Morgan," she said as the driver ran to get her things from the back of the jeep. "I'm surprised you came out to meet me personally. Knowing you, I expected your commanding officer would have to drag you kicking and screaming to see me."
Claire fought a smirk. "Well, I like to think we've all grown a bit in the past few months, Major Carter."
"Yes, of course." Pulling off her brown gloves, Carter gestured towards the 4077th's office. "Now let's go see your CO." With that, she strode off without another word.
The driver of the jeep came up to Claire and handed her Carter's things. "Just between you and me, after driving her for half an hour, I didn't think I'd make it. I've never heard anyone nag more than her. Good luck, ma'am."
"Thanks," Claire muttered with a frown. "I'm gonna need it."
"And here's the form so we can order more forms to order more tongue depressors."
Radar handed the piece of paper to Potter, and he signed it quickly. "I just don't see why the Army can't be a little simpler," Potter muttered. "Why can't there just be one form for everything?"
"I'll see if I can find a form for that, sir," Radar replied, making a note on his clipboard.
The swinging doors to Potter's office burst open as Major Carter strode in, Claire at her heels. "Colonel Potter, I'm Major Carter of Tokyo General." She gave him a stiff salute.
Potter returned the salute and gestured for her to take a seat. "Glad you could make it, Major. Tell me, how are things in Tokyo?"
"Quite well, Colonel," Carter. "I'm very happy to have this rare opportunity to observe your staff in action. The patients my staff and I receive from your unit are always in wonderful condition considering your situation here."
"Thank you, Major," Potter said. He turned to Radar. "Radar, help Major Carter get her things in the VIP tent."
"Colonel, we'd like to meet our guest!" The office doors swung open again and Hawkeye and B.J. entered. Carter rose and turned to greet them, but stopped short when she saw their unmilitary stance. Giving them a hard glare, she said, "Aren't you two forgetting to salute a superior officer?" Claire, who had taken a position off to the side, sighed silently to herself.
"Sorry," Hawkeye said with a smile. "But we only salute superior officers on Sundays. Come back for the Early Bird Special and you might get two."
Before Carter could respond, Colonel Potter stepped in. "Major Carter, these are two of my surgeons, Captains Pierce and Hunnicut. They're the best in Korea."
Carter's frown of disapproval remained, but she turned back to Potter without another mention of it.
When a session of wounded arrived two hours later, Major Carter insisted upon helping in the OR. Claire was assisting B.J. as he reconstructed a patient's large intestine, with Carter leaning over her shoulder the entire time.
"Uh, Major Carter," Claire said delicately. "I'm sure the other operations are a lot more interesting than this one."
"Nonsense, Captain," Carter said with a chuckle. "Your work is fascinating. Dr. Hunnicut is just as skilled as Colonel Potter said. But I think you could use a little work yourself."
Claire gave B.J. a look, and he simply shrugged his shoulders and smiled. Across the room, Charles called to Major Carter. "Major, if you wish to see something a little more interesting than a simple intestine, you should make your way over here to see this chest wound here."
When Carter left to observe, Claire sighed. "This is the one time I'm glad he's so pompous," she muttered to B.J.