A/N: Alright, here is an experiment. I love MASH and I love X-Men so I decided to combine them.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters at this current stage. Except for the CNC in the beginning. The story line so far as I know is mine though.
Chapter One – A New Life Begins
He looked out across the farm. He was home… and he wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to be here. He sighed a little and leaned on the porch rail, looking out at the dusk-gilded land. The sky had become a mingled hue of orange and purple, pink and blue. Beautiful. Beauty in a world that simply did not deserve it. He had been to Korea; he had seen what greed… what thirst for destruction men possessed. He slammed his fist into the rough woodwork. This was not right… they needed his help to get through it all. He shouldn't be here on this farm, living in the ignorance that swallowed America, living with the lies of the media and the generals. He was a corporal, a company clerk. He was Radar O'Reilly and he was quite bored with his life on the farm… or at least he would have been if he hadn't been running around trying to get everything back in order after the death of his Uncle Ed. That had been six months ago and still he was busy. Radar looked up suddenly, knowing before really hearing it that a car was approaching from the road. He frowned… what was a car doing here? At this time of night? He straightened a little and looked into the darkness, waiting for the headlights to appear from over the hill. He wrapped his blue dressing gown around himself and began to walk towards the driveway. He almost yelled out that wounded were on their way, but the lack of ugly smells wafting from the kitchen restrained him. It felt strange though… like there would be wounded in that car. He straightened his glasses and shielded his eyes as the headlights blazed over the hill. Something felt wrong… and yet… so right.
"Hey, hey kid! You gotta help her!"
Radar started at the harsh urgency in the man's voice and ran over to the slowing car, determined to do whatever possible. The man jumped out of the car and knelt on the ground, praying. Radar felt a sharp pang of something he didn't recognise as he was reminded of father Mulcahy. He shook his head slightly and pushed the image out of his mind, running over to the car where he discovered a most unusual and strangely amusing sight.
"Have you had a close look at her yet sir?"
He asked, looking at the wounded person in the car who had sat up suddenly at the sound of Radar's voice.
"You go inside and my ma'll get ya a nice cup of tea. I'll fix everything else up."
Radar watched the young man go inside, still shaking compulsively. Radar made certain he was out of earshot before turning on the watching cross-dresser inside.
"How'd you do it Klinger?"
Klinger smiled at Radar and moved out of the shadows of the jeep to better look at him. Radar had his arms crossed over his chest and was finding it extremely difficult to hide his amusement and general curiosity.
"Ah, Kid its good to see ya again" He replied, slapping Radar happily on the arm. "It is a tale of daring and suspense and…"
"And you used a combination of the raft and big red bird with fluffy pink feet idea didn't you."
Klinger looked a little put out but nodded slightly in affirmation anyway.
"I didn't think it was going to work… so when I woke up I thought I was still in Korea. Then I"
"You used the Whiplash Wang technique in the hope that you would be sent home instead."
Klinger smiled in a downhearted and yet glad way.
"There's no fooling you is there kid? Good ta see ya again."
Radar stayed silent for a while, watching his friend and fellow ex (or if not yet, soon to be) ex corporal. It was true he was greatly amused that Klinger had not only tried again to escape the iron grip of the army but he had actually succeeded using a combination of two former failed techniques… but Radar was also extremely worried. If Klinger was caught he would surely find himself in a court marshal situation. Besides that, how was the 4077th supposed to be able to manage without a company clerk? Now that he was gone, there was no one who knew or understood how to run the unit. Radar turned and walked away from Klinger a little, knowing that any minute his ma would come running out of the house in fluster wanting to know what happened and take the person to a hospital. Klinger rushed up beside him, tapping him lightly on the arm.
"Hey, kid, you aren't gonna report me are ya?"
"Well, I dunno Klinger! Why did ya do it huh? Now I gotta say somethin'!"
Klinger gave him an exasperated look and flung his fox skin over his shoulder, straightening out his dress as he did so.
"Well fine, mister civilian! If you think the 4077th needs a company Clerk, why don't you go back and leave me here to live a normal life." He stared Radar down, which wasn't hard as he was about a full head taller than him. He continued a bit more urgently "I just had to get outta there kid! You have no idea what it's like when you have to wear the same dress every day because of a shortage of water…"
"Klinger, I was there for two years remember?"
"But never with the dresses! You didn't have anybody to impress. What would people think of me if I wore the same outfit two days in a row?"
"Klinger, The whole outfit wears the same thing two days in a row. In fact, the whole outfit wears the same thing every day!"
"Yeah… I guess you're right. But I'm not going back! I'll never go back! Never!"
Radar jumped back slightly as Klinger raised his fists dramatically to the sky, yelling out the word 'never' soon followed by a bout of maniacal laughter. He didn't really know how to handle this situation… an escaped corporal, hiding from the US army. He shook his head trying to clear it. Something niggled at the back of his mind, telling him that this arrival from Klinger was to be treated as a warning… that this was just the beginning of a sequence of events that would completely change his life. He pushed these thoughts away, telling himself to stop being paranoid.
"I've gotta go tell Colonel Potter"
"You can't tell him kid; I'll be sent back there and shot for desertion! You wouldn't want my blood on your hands would you?"
"Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem, I mean… it is possible that Potter will vouch for you… it's like a family back there." Radar looked away from Klinger, focusing on the large hill behind the house before adding quietly to himself "a family that I am no longer a part of…"
Klinger sighed and sat back against the truck, watching Radar intently. He didn't really see how that would work. He watched for any change in the boy's resolute face, but Radar had grown up in those last few months. He had seen many horrors as a nineteen year old that many men would not see in a lifetime. He had stared death in the face, many types of horrible deaths while other boys his age were sitting at home romancing a girl and mooching off their parents, all living in the ignorance that the government and media spread about the war.
"Fine, Radar. Call Colonel Potter… but no one else. I don't want to go to Korea."
Radar said nothing, thinking about everything… how his civilian life had been turned upside down by this one encounter.
The quiet utterance from Klinger made him look up sharply. Something deep inside him told him that Klinger's coming was just a few stones rolling down the mountain before the avalanche… that something else was coming, something that would change his life. Radar folded his arms, biting his lip, weighing up the two courses of action. Distant thunder sounded.
He had not let his gaze shift from Klinger's face, which fell considerably at his call. A woman who looked older than what she really was came bustling out of the house, frowning slightly.
"What is it Walter?"
Radar stayed silent, watching Klinger's face. On the one hand he was amused it had worked and happy for him… but on the other hand…He shook his head and looked down at the floor. Hawkeye would be ashamed of him if he found out that the farm boy from Iowa had finally bowed to the Army's will.
"A storm's brewing… we should get this," he looked Klinger over with some degree of confusion "woman into the house…"
Klinger's face relaxed considerably as Mrs. O'Reilly bustled away to make room in the farmhouse.
"Hey, thanks kid, I really owe ya!"
Radar shifted a little uncomfortably, looking at the distant storm clouds with some degree of apprehension. Something was coming… he just knew it.
"We are in way over our heads now Klinger… what ever happens we're in this together."
Klinger frowned, confused.
"We're in Iowa now, what could happen?"
Radar shot him a doubtfully hopeful look before turning back to watch as the storm, the dark clouds obscuring all the stars from view as they raced ever ominously forward.