Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with MASH or the Knights of the Round Table. The only profit I make from writing this is my own increased happiness.
Summary: Trapper never left, Henry still died, and Potter's been there a while. Now, BJ's been assigned to the 4077th, sparking a number of emotions in both Hawkeye and Trapper.
- In Love And War -
Chapter One: Lancelot
Trapper and I were trying to coax open Potter's liquor cabinet—it'd been a tough day in surgery, and I felt we were entitled to some real booze, and Potter either hadn't noticed yet or agreed with my unspoken decision that we needed it—while he addressed his Knights of the Surgical Table. Guinevere was loudly complaining about the general atmosphere in Camelot, as usual, while trusty Dagonet the ferret-faced and cowardly jester sat uselessly at her side; the resident monk looked like he was reciting prayers in his head, which was probably much more exciting than the current conversation, and near-sighted little Merlin was working his magic with the filing cabinets. There!—the cabinet doors swung open, and I passed a bottle of scotch to Bedivere and grabbed three glasses. King Arthur accepted his with a grateful nod—Guinevere was still rambling on as if anyone besides Frank cared—and after downing it, he stood up and planted his fists on his desk, and glared Margaret into silence.
"I called you all here," he said, "because there is something important I needed to talk to you about." Margaret gave an affronted little huff, which Trapper and I mimicked. "With all the wounded we've been getting lately, and the even bigger push they're predicting, I've requested that another surgeon be assigned here, and I-Corps approved the request. Our new surgeon will be coming in later today."
Trapper choked on his scotch, and I felt the need to point out, "Colonel, the Round Table is already full. How do you expect us to fit Lancelot in?"
Six sets of eyes turned to stare at me, and I realized that I'd let a little of my psyche dribble out my ears. A cozy little silence as they all tried to figure out how to react to my nonsense. Potter took the initiative and said, "We'll manage, Pierce—or is it Galahad today?"
"Sir Kay, actually," I corrected. Trapper shoved his fist against his mouth to keep from laughing.
Potter chose—wisely—to ignore me. "Right. Radar—"
"Here's the papers on Dr. Hunnicutt, sir."
"Thank you, Radar. Dr. BJ Hunnicutt," Potter said, reading from the file. "Stanford University, just finished his residency. A top-notch doctor."
"He's coming from the states?" Margaret asked excitedly.
"That's right. Flying in to Kimpo—when's he due in, Radar?" Potter asked a second after Radar had started to say, "His plane just landed, sir, and the MPs'll pick him up on their way back with Klinger."
"That degenerate," Frank muttered.
"How can you say he's a degenerate, Frank?" Trapper demanded. "You haven't even met the guy yet."
"I was talking about that dress-wearing fruitcake."
I asked Potter as I refilled his glass, "What'd he try this time?"
"He nailed himself into a box of skivvies we sent back to Supply."
I grinned at Trapper. "How appropriate."
"He might've made it, too, if his beads hadn't jingled so much," Potter said with a wistful smirk.
"Colonel," Frank whined, "that man is a disgrace to this man's army."
"He's doing his best," I said, raising my glass.
"To disgracing the army," Trapper agreed with a lift of his own glass.
"I'll drink to that."
"You'll drink to anything," Frank snapped. "You two are even more of a disgrace than that sicko."
Margaret reached out to rest her pretty little fingers on Frank's arm, silencing whatever idiotic comment would've come out of his lipless mouth next. "Is that all, Colonel?"
"Yes, yes. Dismissed."
Frank and Margaret left the office with their heads together, no doubt plotting how they were going to "mold the new surgeon in their image." Trap and I hung around for a few more shots, and to look through Hunnicutt's repertoire. "We'll have to get to him first, you know," I said to Trap. "A young, impressionable thing like him… If Hot-Lips and Ferret-Face dig their manicured claws into him before we do, there'll be no hope."
"Well, we are the welcoming committee."
"But he's not a nurse. I've never had to welcome anyone of the male persuasion."
"It can't be that different, can it?"
"We'll just have to forgo the usual ending to the welcome."
"But that's my favorite part."
"I don't want you two making Hunnicutt into another terror I have to deal with," Potter interrupted tiredly. "I told you, I want a nice, peaceful stay here until my retirement, and the two of you are already making that difficult enough."
"Don't worry, Colonel," I said. "We'll raise him right."
Trapper wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me against his side. "He'll be the son we never had."
"Our doctor said we couldn't have any of our own," I explained.
"You don't have the figure for it anyway."
"Boys," Potter groaned, "could you kindly take your banter somewhere else? I've got the mother of all headaches."
"Of course, Colonel. We'll kindly take this scotch somewhere else, too—"
"Oh no you don't. Take your mouths, and leave the scotch."
"But Colonel," I said persuasively, "it's for the party."
"The one we're throwing Captain Hunnicutt," Trapper explained.
"I didn't authorize any party."
"Then we'll scratch the party and just take the booze."
"Nice try, Pierce, but no dice."
Trapper took his turn: "Colonel, we don't want to kill the new surgeon on his first night here, and that's just what'll happen if all we have to give him is our lighter fluid. Besides," he added with a grin, "you owe us."
"How's that?" Potter asked suspiciously.
"We put Klinger in the box of underwear."
Potter's eyes narrowed, and his voice rose angrily. "And you expect me to thank you for that?"
"He wanted to tie himself to the bottom of a jeep," I explained.
"We saved his life."
"And saved you a lot of paperwork."
Potter sighed, shoving his fingers into his eyes. "If I let you have the scotch, will you leave me in peace?"
"Of course," I said soothingly, wrapping my fingers around the neck of the bottle.
"Then take it, quick—I hate sentimental goodbyes."
I shoved the booze inside my bathrobe, and Trap and I hurried off to get everything set up.
To Be Continued