"Anyway," Adrienne continued, "where was I? Oh yeah, I was sure no one would go to a 16-year-old doctor, blah, blah, so I went to NYU and got a few more degrees."
"In?" Margaret asked.
"Uh, mechanics, engineering, mathematics, and law. I learn fast. Only took me 2 years. Then I went back to Vegas and got a job to support my sisters. Well, a lot of jobs, actually."
"Such as?" Hawkeye pressed.
"Oh, you know, golf coach, chef, that didn't last long, singer, waitress. Then, Michael asked me to join the Army. That's about it, really."
"That didn't take three days," Trapper commented.
"That was the condensed version," Adrienne smiled under her mask.
Adrienne and Margaret moved aside as their patient was taken away by two corpsmen and another two placed a chest wound patient in front of them. She and Margaret changed their gloves. The doctors continued operating in silence, which annoyed Adrienne. She hated silence, so she began to sing, just to fill it.
"At last..." she sang beautifully. She then said to Margaret, "Scalpel."
"Scalpel," Margaret repeated and handed her the instrument.
"My love has come along," Adrienne continued to sing as she operated. "Rib spreader."
"Rib spreader," Margaret handed it to her.
"My lonely days are over... And life is like a song," Adrienne finished singing and using the rib spreader. "Sponge."
"In love, Adrienne?" Hawkeye asked.
"Nope. Just like the song."
"I thought you said you have a boyfriend," Trapper frowned.
"Yeah," Adrienne shrugged. "What's your point?"
Meet Major Ferret Face
Adrienne stretched as she, Trapper and Hawkeye left the OR.
"That was a pretty easy shift," she said. "Eight hours, right?"
"Yeah," Trapper said, looking at his watch. "It didn't cut into our schedule of lying around, thank God," he added with a grin.
Adrienne looked at him. Cute smile. Cute everything. Except for the wedding ring she noticed when he ran his hand through his hair. Damn. She looked ahead again and saw a man with no lips coming towards them. He stopped when he saw Adrienne.
"I don't know you," he said suspiciously.
"I don't know you either," Adrienne replied.
"Major Frank Burns," Hawkeye informed her.
"Or, as he's affectionately known, Ferret Face," Trapper smirked at Frank, who glared fiercely at him.
"Adrienne Jacobson," she said politely. "I'm new."
"How long's your warranty?" Hawkeye quipped.
"Well, I'm second in command here," Frank snapped. "Why didn't you report to me when you arrived?"
"Because I was in surgery," Adrienne answered a little uneasily. She wasn't afraid of him, though, he seemed too stupid. So she decided to make fun of him. "You know, how you operate on sick people? Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it."
Hawkeye and Trapper burst into boisterous laughter while Frank looked outraged.
"You, you..." Frank tried to find the words. "Guys!"
He charged off angrily, towards Henry's office. Hawkeye and Trapper continued to laugh.
"He's good with the comebacks," Adrienne said.
"Yeah, when he was growing up he wanted to be either a doctor or a comedian," Hawkeye told her.
"Which did he choose?" she asked.
Trapper and Hawkeye grinned.
"You're going to fit in just fine," Trapper said.
Hawkeye put his arm around Adrienne's shoulders. "Would you like to join us for a nightcap?"
"That's real nice of you, but I'll have to take a raincheck. I'm going to get something to eat. I'm starving."
"You'll live to regret that," Hawkeye warned.
"If you get that far," Trapper added.
"I'll see you later," Adrienne said, removing Hawkeye's arm from her shoulders.
Hawkeye and Trapper shrugged and went inside the Swamp. Adrienne headed towards the mess tent. She held a glimmer of hope as she went in, that the food would be at least a little bit better than the 8063rd's menu. Fish, liver, liver, fish. Such a wide selection.
She got in line behind Radar, who was piling as much food onto his tray as he could. Adrienne was rather surprised. How could such a small person eat so much? Then again, he was a guy. She had a male cousin who could eat a three-tier wedding cake in ten minutes. It ruined her sister Jessica's wedding.
"You wanna save a little for the rest of us?" Adrienne asked Radar, one eyebrow raised.
Radar frowned at her. "Cut it out!" He then continued getting his lunch.
Adrienne picked up a tray and looked over the food set up. Nothing particularly appetising.
"Can I interest you in some potatoes?" a man in a chef's hat asked.
"Why not? I have suicidal tendencies sometimes," Adrienne replied with a shrug.
He dished out some roasted potatoes that actually didn't look half bad. He then lifted a lid off of a plate and said...
"Fish or liver?"
Adrienne sighed. There it was.
"Got any kosher meals?" Adrienne asked.
The chef stared at her blankly.
He put the fish on her tray. She got some more food (including bread that could sand a piece of wood down to a toothpick) and coffee and joined Radar and Henry at one of the tables.
"Adrienne!" Henry greeted her. "Fitting in OK?"
"I haven't had the chance yet," she replied. "But I'm sure it won't take long. I'm a very likable person."
"Good!" Henry smiled and resumed eating.
Adrienne put a forkful of food in her mouth. She didn't even have to chew before she realised how horrible it was.
"Oh my GOD!!" she yelled.
She managed to swallow it before she pushed the tray away. She opted for a cigarette instead. She took one from her jacket pocket, as well as a match. She struck the match with her thumbnail and lit up her cigarette. Radar and Henry watched open mouthed.
"If the food continues to be this bad I'm gonna end up losing weight again," Adrienne said.
"Again?" Henry asked.
"The first 2 months I was at the 8063rd, I couldn't keep anything down. I got so sick I lost 20 pounds," Adrienne explained.
"Wow," Radar said.
"Yeah. I have a sensitive stomach. The only sensitive part of my body," she said as she stubbed the cigarette out with her thumb and forefinger.
Henry and Radar gaped at her again.
A Letter From The Wife
Frank entered the Swamp, letter in hand. Hawkeye and Trapper looked up at him from their martinis.
"Hi, Frank!" Hawkeye greeted him.
"Hiya Frank!" Trapper greeted him as well.
"That was totally uncalled for," Frank snapped.
"Whatcha got there, Frank?" Trapper inquired with a grin.
"A letter from my wife," Frank replied indignantly.
He tore the envelope open and read the letter as Hawkeye and Trapper watched expectantly. As Frank got to the end of the letter, his upper lip disappeared.
"Bad news?" Hawkeye asked.
Wordlessly, Frank got up and left the Swamp. He headed straight to Margaret's tent. The letter from his wife was bad. Very bad. Worse than bad.
Inside her tent, Margaret was just about to brush her hair. The peroxide she'd just applied to her roots had dried out, and she was going to give her hair 100 strokes. There was a knock on the door.
"Who is it?" Margaret called out.
"Me!" Frank hissed from outside.
Margaret excitedly got up and opened the door. Frank entered with a solemn look on his face.