Series - M*A*S*H
Rating - M
Warnings - Romantic pairings in this fic include Margaret & Frank, Margaret & Charles as well as vaguely suggested Margaret & Hawkeye.
Disclaimer - I don't own anything and am making no profit from this.
Summary - Frank Burns gets the storyline resolution he deserves.
Author's Note - None.
Word Count - 2,194
"I don't know, Hawkeye, Colonel Potter has already volunteered Sophie to help plow the fields and Father Mulcahy is working on forming a detail to help with the planting, but without that equipment I just don't see any way that they will get it all done in time." B.J. said, tossing a homemade basketball, made up of miscellaneous articles of clothing, over the copper tubing of the still to the dark haired surgeon.
Picking up the ball of dirty laundry that had landed beside him and throwing it down on the floor, Hawkeye tried to solve the problem the only way he knew how, by talking it out. "Yeah, well, if they don't get those seeds started in time, those forty kids down at the orphanage are gonna starve to death, you know, and there won't be a damn thing we can do about it." Standing up and shoving his hands in the pockets of his bathrobe, ill content with the thought of children dying of something as preventable as starvation, he began to pace around the Swamp. "I wish we could get our hands on those tools, but they're as good as gold over here, no one's going to trade them away for anything, we can't send away for them because it would take months for them to get here and by that time it will be too late."
"Not to mention that they probably wouldn't even make it here with all the black marketeers lurking about this miserable country." Charles chimed in from his corner of the tent, taking his eyes away from his novel to look nonchalantly at the duo he was addressing.
"Way to stay positive Chuck." B.J. said, shooting the Major an insincere smile.
"Gentleman, can you not see that I am clearly trying to read? Now, while I am painfully aware that you have not an ounce of decency between the pair of you, I am asking you both nicely, please, just this once can you at least try to remain quiet?" Returning to his novel, Winchester began to scan the page, trying to locate his place.
Taken aback by his words and giving him a look of utter bewilderment, Hawkeye, almost couldn't believe what he was hearing. While used to the man's inconsiderate attitude towards members of the camp, it was something else entirely for him to be so insouciant when it came to the suffering of children. Unable to contain his outrage at Charles' indifference, he walked over and snatched the book from his hands, before opening the door of their tent and hurling it at hard as he could across the compound with an arch that would have made Spearchucker proud.
"Why you inconsiderate..." Charles manage to get out before being cut off by both Hawkeye and B.J., who now had him cornered against his desk.
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU CHARLES? Children who are huddled together in a shack, not knowing where their next meal is going to come from are going to die from starvation and all you can think about is you!" Hawkeye said, talking down to the Boston Brahmin who was now rising from his chair, and glaring back at him.
"What, pray tell, do you expect me to do about it? While I am not lacking in compassion to their plight, we have no tools and no way of getting them, and I do not see what good it could possibly do any of us to dwell on that fact." Winchester said as he stood his ground, looking at both men with a sense of unease.
"Charles, if you say one more discouraging word, I'm going to get Colonel Potter, because by the time Hawkeye and I get done with you, your going to need a surgeon." B.J. said, looking directly at Charles, who was clearly about to take umbrage at his words, before Radar knocked on their door.
"Sorry, Sirs, I hope I'm not interrupting anything but Colonel Potter wants to see you two in his office on the double." Radar said, pointing to Pierce and Hunnicutt.
"What for?" B.J. asked, taking a step back from Charles, who gave him a precarious glance in return.
"You wouldn't believe me, even if I told ya, but trust me, you Sirs are not gonna wanna miss this." Radar said as he gave them a half smile.
Exchanging curious glances with one another, the two Captains mumbled their thanks and headed over to the Colonel's office, but not before sending a parting glare towards Charles, who equally returned their gaze.
The mini stand off did not go unnoticed by the Company Clerk, who tried to defuse the tension by fumbling around in his mail bag and removing a telegram. "Here's a telegram for you, Major Winchester."
"Thank you, Corporal, that is all." Charles said, before taking the telegram and dismissing the messenger with a wave of his hand.
"What's so unbelievable that we have to hear it straight from Colonel Potter?" B.J. asked as Radar caught up with them, the trio taking leisurely strides to the Colonel's office in an attempt to delay any bad news from coming their way.
"Oh no, I'm not gonna be the one to tell you, Sirs, about this." Radar said, confidently as he slung his mail bag behind his shoulder.
"Why do I not like the sound of that?" Hawkeye said as he crossed his arms defensively.
"Because it sounds like something we don't want to hear." B.J. said, answering the rhetorical question as Radar held open the door to his office for them, taking off his straw hat and fiddling with the edges before stopping.
"You ready for this, Hawk?" B.J. asked, looking over as he rocked on his heels.
"I don't know if I am or not, every time I think I have a hold on this place some new disaster comes along to prove me wrong." Hawkeye said, watching his Commander stride through the doors leading into Post-O.P..
"There you two are." The Colonel said, folding one hand behind his back, using the other to point them into his office. "We need to talk."
"There's someone else isn't there? I should have known you were that kind of man." Hawkeye said jokingly as they walked into the Colonel's office, using his humor in an attempt to shield himself from what he felt was certain to be something rather unpleasant.
"Actually, Pierce, you're not far off." Moving around to sit at his desk, the Colonel folded his arms in front of him, resting them on his desk. "I don't know how to tell you two this, so I'm just gonna come right out and say it, Frank Burns is coming back to the 4077th."
"You're joking right?" B.J. said as they looked at their Commanding Officer, waiting for him to tell them it was a comment made in jest. "You're not joking."
Exchanging looks of disbelief and outrage, Hawkeye had finally had enough. "Colonel, you can't do this to us! Can't you refuse and have him shipped off to another unit? It's unfair to have to suffer through him again, it's outrageous, more than that it's legalized torture!" Hawkeye said, tapping his finger on the desk to emphasis his disdain, before beginning to pace around the office, not entirely sure if he hadn't just pole vaulted over his breaking point.
"If you would let me finish." Potter said, gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk, waiting for them to sit down. "According to H.Q., he's only going to be here for a couple of days, on a fact finding mission, which means that you two won't have to put up with him long, just long enough for him to do his job and move on." Standing up and making his way over to the liquor cabinet, he grabbed three glasses and a bottle of whisky, handing a glass to each man before filling them up and taking a seat on his own desk.
"You know what that means don't you, Colonel?" B.J. began in a voice laced with dread, "It means he's going to go all over camp, looking for every little flaw he can find to get us into hot water, this is his way of getting back at us for all the things we did to him, only now, he's a Lt. Colonel, and is going to go out of his way to make our lives a living hell." finishing his summary of the situation, he sat his drink down untouched, too depressed at the return of a certain Ferret Face to enjoy it.
"That miserable little fink." Hawkeye spat, looking angrily down at his own drink before swallowing it all at once, knowing that even a good drink wouldn't be enough to quell his distaste for everything around him. He hated Frank Burns, he hated the Army, but most of all he hated the stupid war that was making it all possible.
"Now, boys, it would be a grand gesture to your dear old Colonel, if you two could put aside your difference for the duration of his visit, it shouldn't be too hard, as I have arranged for him to stay in the V.I.P. tent, so the only times you will see him will be in the mess tent or maybe O.R., I know he isn't the greatest surgeon, but no matter what I want you two to stay buttoned up around him because the last thing we need is to give him anything he can put into his report, okie dokie?" Potter said as he slid off his desk and back into his chair, looking at them expectantly, hoping that they would agree to not go looking for trouble.
"Alright, Colonel, we promise, but just one thing, what are we going to do about his report, you know he is going to try everything he can to make us look bad and we don't need him ruining our reputation, otherwise the Army could disband this unit and break us all up, you know." Hawkeye said, worried that Frank was finally going to get exactly what he had always wanted, to separate B.J. from him.
"I tell you what we're gonna do, we're gonna make sure that he has nothing to complain about in the first place." The Colonel said, watching as Radar walked into his office, not even bothering to holler for him, knowing that he always knew when he was needed. "Radar, I want you to get together with Klinger and I want to two of you to gather some of the men, I want you to restock everything that can be restocked, I want you to order everything we can order and I want to see this camp running smoother than it has ever ran before, you got all that, son?"
"Yes, Sir, I'll get right on it, Sir." Radar said before disappearing through the office doors.
"Now, I've got one more favor to ask of you two before you go, I need you to run into Seoul and pick him up this afternoon, Sergeant Rizzo has a jeep waiting for you down by the motor pool, I hate to ask this of you, but with the nurses helping Father Mulcahy at the orphanage and the men sprucing up the place, there just isn't anyone else around to do it, unless of course you could convince Winchester to go for you." Colonel Potter said, looking at each of them, waiting for the slew of snarky comments that was sure to follow.
"Ah, well, when you put it that way I guess we better get going, we all know that Winchester doesn't go anywhere without a chauffeur." B.J. said sarcastically as he rose from his seat, putting his hat back on and shoving his hands in his pockets, fisting them up in an attempt to let out some of his anger in a peaceful fashion.
"Besides, we wouldn't want to bother him while he's busy." Hawkeye said, moving to stand next to B.J. as they prepared to leave.
"Hold on a minute, Winchester has the day off. What's he up to?" Potter asked, curiously.
"Oh, nothing, just out hunting for Audubon." Hawkeye replied, half a smile on his face as he walked out.
"What does he mean by that Hunnicutt?" The Colonel inquired further, more confused now than he had been before, knowing that there was no such animal named audubon, at least not that he was aware of.
"We got into it with Charles back in the Swamp and Hawkeye threw out his leather bound copy of The Birds Of America by John Audubon." B.J. clarified before taking his own leave, sighing as he walked out of the Colonel's office.
"Oh, well that explains it." Potter said to himself, wondering how on earth he was going to keep the pair of them away from Burns, knowing that trouble was sure to follow the Lt. Colonel's return, no matter what orders he gave his top chest cutters.