”Attention all personnel. Due to circumstances out of our control, lunch will be served today.
Corporal Isaac Lahey looked up at the speaker and shook his head. “Honestly.” Knocking on the door he stopped in front of, he leaned in. “Captains, are you awake?”
“No, Isaac, we’re both sleeping,” A voice said from inside.
“Then how are you sir’s talking to me... sir?” Isaac stepped back and looked at the ground slightly confused, one hand on his chin.
“Come in Isaac. We’re awake,” A second voice said through the door.
Isaac pulled the door open and stepped inside the Swamp. “The new Colonel is here, he wants to see you.”
The two men inside turned to face Isaac from their respective cots. “Lieutenant Colonel Hale’s replacement?”
“Yes Sir, Captain Stilinski. He’s regular Army,” Isaac said, shuffling his feet and absently brushing off his uniform shirt.
“Stop fidgeting, Corporal. You’re making me nervous,” the second man said, rising from his cot and brushing his pants off.
“Sorry, Captain McCall.”
“Don’t worry about it. Let’s go see the new Colonel.” Captain Scott McCall clapped Isaac on the back as he passed the Corporal and walked out of the Swamp.
”If we all don’t go crazy once in a while,
we’ll all go crazy.” ~Capt. Hawkeye Pierce
“Captain Scott McCall, Surgeon. Been here for about three months. Is that correct, Captain?”
“Yes sir,” Scott relaxed a bit on his feet as the new Colonel stared at him from across the desk. The man was older than Lieutenant Colonel Hale had been, but not too old.
“It says here that you and Captain Stilinski were written up for setting fire to the officer’s latrine?” Colonel John Stilinski looked at both of them, his face twisted with confusion. Isaac just shook his head and placed the file folder he was holding into the file cabinet next to the door.
“We were having a weenie roast,” Captain Stilinski piped up, stuffing his hands in his pockets and shrugging.
“In the latrine?”
“We aren’t allowed to cook in our tent, sir,” Scott said apologetically when suddenly there was a commotion and Isaac yelled loudly. “Peter, NO!”
Suddenly the door slammed open and a man sashayed into the office wearing a gold evening gown and tiara.
John looked up from his file folder. “You must be Corporal Hale.” He set the folder on his desk. “No, this will not do, you get out of those civvies and into a uniform.”
Peter just stood there, a shocked look on his face. “But...”
“But nothing. Into a uniform, Corporal. Now.”
Peter snapped to attention and saluted. “Yes, Sir.” He spun on his heels and stalked out the office door, muttering to himself. Isaac just shook his head and pushed through the door. “Major Martin reporting, Sir.”
Isaac stepped back to allow a short, red haired woman through the door.
“Major Lydia Martin, Head Nurse,” John looked down at the file folder in his hand. “You’ve been in the Army for ten years? Spotless record it seems.”
“Yes Sir,” Lydia stood at attention, her chin out, head held high.
“Alright, dismissed,” John said with a wave of his hand. “Except you Captain Stilinski. I want a word with you.”
Scott looked at Stiles as he walked out the door, Stiles just shrugged and waved him through the door.
“In the latrine, Stiles? Really?” John said, exasperation evident in his voice as he pressed his fingers to his forehead.
“Like Scott said. We can’t cook in our tents, we had to cook them somewhere,” Stiles said plopping down in the chair across from John. “But honestly, Dad. If you had been here when Dahler was in charge you would have hidden out in the latrine with fire and a bunch of hot dogs. He was a menace.”
“Stiles.” John pressed his hands to his face, peeking between his fingers to look at Stiles, who had his feet propped on the edge of John’s desk.
“Alright, I’m sorry. I’ll stop having weenie roasts in the latrines,” Stiles said standing up from his seat.
John opened his mouth to say something else when Isaac burst through the door. “Colonel, Captain. Choppers!”
John looked at Stiles, a question on his face. “It’s just what Isaac does. Give it a second and you’ll hear them too.” Just then they could hear the rhythmic thumping of the choppers in the air. Stiles rushed through the door, John hot on his heels heading toward the helipad.
"Attention all personnel! Incoming wounded! Coming by chopper and jeep! Repeat, Incoming wounded!”
”You just have to kill germs, you don't
have to hang around for the funeral.” ~Captain Hawkeye Pierce
“How long since the Colonel’s been in an OR?” Scott asked as Stiles tugged his scrubs on over his pants.
“About two years, but he practices on slabs of pork when he’s not in the office,” Stiles said absently, turning on the water so he would scrub his hands.
Scott stopped with his scrub top halfway over his face, only the top of his head and eyes poking from the neck hole. “How do you know that?”
Stiles elbowed the water off and grabbed a towel to dry his hands off. “Because he’s my dad.”
“He’s your...” Scott pulls his shirt on all the way and stops, before turning the water on to scrub up. “Colonel Stilinski! Oh Christ, I’m fucking dumb.”
Stiles laughed and tied his mask on. “Ready to dance, Captain?”
“You lead, I follow,” Scott said following Stiles into the OR. Pushing through the door they see corpsmen bringing in litters with wounded on them, nurses being directed by Lydia moving fluidly through the controlled chaos.
“Tell me what we got,” Stiles said, walking up to Lydia and her group of nurses.
“Lieutenant Reyes, glove up Captain Stilinski,” Lydia said, turning back to Stiles. “Mortar went off at the aid station about six miles from here. Mostly wounds to the extremities, one chest. He’s here on the table and he’s yours.”
Stiles nodded and stepped up to the table with the wounded soldier on it. He put his hands out toward Reyes, who slipped gloves over his outstretched hands. “Scalpel.” She handed him a scalpel from the instrument tray at her elbow. “So, Reyes. What are your plans after this?”
“Really, Captain? Propositioning my nurses over a body?” Major Martin huffed, stopping at Stiles’ right side.
“Well, Major. Seeing as we’re always over bodies, and the only other time I see them is when they’re in my tent. It seems that this is pretty opportune for me,” Stiles snarked at her, putting his hand out to Reyes. “Deaver retractor.”
“Lech,” Major Martin spit back at him.
“I really try,” Stiles said, turning back to Reyes. “Do you think I’m a lech?”
“Only in the dark, Doctor,” Reyes said with a smirk in her voice.
“That’s what I’m aiming for, Reyes.” Stiles tucked his hands back into the chest of the man on the table, trying to find where the blood was coming from. “That’s what I’m aiming for. Can I get more light?”
“Captain?” Isaac knocked lightly on the door to the Swamp. Looking around, he straightened his shoulders and knocked louder, clearing his throat. “Captain Stilinski, The Colonel wants to see you in his office.”
“Right now, Isaac?” A female voice asked from inside.
“Captain? Your voice is awfully high today.” Isaac stared confused at the dirt around his feet.
“My shorts are too tight,” Stiles called back, voice carrying out over the sound of clothing rustling. “Tell the Colonel I will be right over.”
“Yes Sir,” Isaac said as he turned on his heel and headed back to the office to let the Colonel know what Captain Stilinski said.
Stiles listened to Isaac walk away before pushing the door to the Swamp open and ushering out a small brunette nurse as she tucked in her shirt. “Until next time,” he said with a wink as she walked away, a slight skip to her step.
Stiles knocked on the office door and heard John call out for him to come in. Pushing the door open, Stiles stepped inside, letting the door swing shut behind him. “You wanted to see me, Sir?”
Colonel John Stilinski waved him in, standing from his chair to walk to a cupboard and pull out a bottle of whiskey. “It’s better than that rocket fuel you and McCall brew in the Swamp.” He poured a glass for himself and one for Stiles. Setting the bottle down, he handed a glass to Stiles and sat back in his chair. “So, tell me about this place.”
Stiles sat back in his chair and sipped at his whiskey. “You wanna know about this place or the people?”
“Whichever one will help me understand all of you here,” John said, watching as Stiles pursed his lips and set his glass down. “No secrets, Stiles. This isn’t like when you were a kid.”
Blowing out a breath, Stiles ran a hand over his head. “Some of them aren’t exactly what they appear to be.”
“You’re talking like I’m an idiot, Son. I know that Isaac’s a werewolf. Who else is?” John smiled at the shocked look on Stiles face. “He heard those choppers when no man or woman should have heard them.”
“How...” Stiles sputtered into his glass, looking at his dad with wide shocked eyes.
“Please, kid. I’ve been in the Army for over twenty years. You think I haven’t seen a werewolf or two in my time? I also know that the late Lieutenant Colonel was a Were, as is our resident crossdressing Corporal. Who else?” He leaned back in his chair and just watched Stiles think, his face extremely expressive as he ran his fingers around his glass.
“Captain Boyd, Lieutenant Mahealani,” Stiles took a drink, looking back up at John. “Lieutenants Hale and Reyes...”
“And Captain McCall, am I right?” John watched as Stiles choked and then slowly nodded. “Why are you so afraid of me knowing, Stiles? Having them here... It’s good for the men and women. Your survival rate is the highest in all of the MASH’s. Your chopper pilot – don’t think I don’t know about Captain Hale too – is the best, unafraid to go into a hot zone to get the wounded out. Why didn’t you want to tell me?”
“The last person who found out...” Stiles scrubbed a hand over his scruffy face. He groaned at the memory.
“The last person who found out is in pieces that were scattered from a chopper. Am I right?” John poured more whiskey into Stiles’ glass and his own. He wasn’t a stupid man, he knew what happened to those who tried to harm pack. He was witness to it a time or two during his time in the Army. He chuckled at the shocked look on Stiles face. “Like I said, I have seen a lot in my time. Not saying that I condone it, but I am assuming that it was not something that came about lightly.”
Stiles shook his head and took a slow drink. “Major Daehler poisoned Lieutenant Colonel Hale, tried to poison the others. Major Martin caught him and it was dealt with. He went AWOL,” Stiles said, his voice tight.
John just nodded and took another drink. “I understand. Just know that I will die for you and this MASH. No one will know.”
Stiles nodded and set his glass on the desk. “So, how’s Mom?”
John smiled and touched the picture on his desk. “She’s doing good, says you need to write home more.”
Stiles laughed, kicking his feet up on the desk.
”Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It’s Oh-Seven-Hundred and all is hell. Incoming wounded, folks.”
Isaac rushed through the door. “Captains, wounded coming in. Jeeps, ambulances and choppers.”
“Hale?” Stiles asked, pushing his feet into his boots.
“He’s coming in with two. It’s bad, an aid station to the north was hit. On top of that there’s a push on. We are looking at a flood of wounded.” Isaac hurried to catch up with the captains as they rushed toward a jeep.
Skidding to a stop at the helipad, Stiles and Scott waited for the chopper to land.
As soon as its skids hit the dirt and the pilot powered the rotors down, Stiles and Scott rushed over with corpsmen at their backs.
“Captain Hale, what do we have?” Stiles asked, unlatching the head cover from the patient on the right skid.
The pilot hopped from the pilot’s seat and helped lift the litter from the skid. “From what I saw, it looks like chest on this guy and mostly extremities on the other. The area was hot when I went in. I loaded and was gone.”
“Looks like you took a couple rounds in your bird,” John said, helping lock down the litter on the back of the jeep idling just behind Stiles and Scott’s jeep.
“Nothing she hasn’t handled before, Colonel,” Captain Hale said, pushing his sunglasses to the top of his head. “Captain Derek Hale, sir.”
“I know who you are, Son. I’m sorry to hear about your sister. She was a good soldier and an even better surgeon.” John slipped behind the wheel of the jeep. “You going back?”
“Yes, Sir. It’s bad over there.” Captain Hale pulled his glasses back over his eyes, deliberately ignoring the comment about his sister.
“Be Careful, Derek,” Stiles said, Derek settled in his seat, pulling the safety straps across his chest.
Derek smirked down at him. “I always am, Captain.”
Shaking his head, Stiles glared up at Derek. “No you aren’t. You’re reckless, cavalier and a hot shot.”
“I get my job done and get them to you so you can do yours.” Pulling on his headset, Derek grabbed at the stick. “You should go do yours now, Captain Stilinski, and let me do mine.”
Stiles turned on his heel and headed toward the jeep, so they could get their patient to the OR. As they rushed back to the camp, Stiles muttered, watching the chopper fly off. “I better not see you on my table you asshole.”
“He has no regard for his own life.” Stiles angrily tossed back his glass of gin and handed the empty glass to Scott to refill.
Scott didn’t say anything as he filled the glass and handed it back. Stiles took the glass back and sipped at it. He glared at the floor, waiting for Scott to ask the inevitable question.
“Why are you really upset, Stiles? It’s not like it bugs you when the other pilots do the same thing.” Scott kicked his feet up on his cot and pulled out a letter from home. Scott peered over the paper at where Stiles was turning his glass between his palms. “But then, you didn’t sleep with any of the other chopper pilots, did you?”
Stiles glared up at Scott and quickly drained his glass. “I’m going to meet Reyes and Boyd. Don’t wait up.”
Scott just raised his eyebrow knowingly and turned back to his letter. Stiles paused at the open door. “Tell Allison I say hi, will ya?”
“Of course. Vickie says hi, well at least I’m pretty sure that’s what these green scribbles mean at the bottom here,” Scott said to Stiles’ retreating back, the door quietly banging closed.
The OR shook as a mortar landed not far from the edge of the camp. Dust rained down as corpsmen and nurses rushed to cover patients and make sure there was light for the doctors.
“Kelly clamp,” Stiles said, putting his right hand out, his left inside the chest of his patient. The nurse across the litter from him slapped a clamp in his hand. “Thanks Mel. So you seeing anyone?”
Melissa stared at Stiles, who had an eyebrow raised. “No, Captain. Still single.”
“Really? So, you wanna have a drink after surgery?” Stiles eyes twinkled as he winked at Melissa before turning back to the body. “Irrigate and suction please.”
“Have a drink with you in the tent you share with my son?” Melissa irrigated the incision and suctioned the wound, waiting for Stiles’ response.
“Suture needle, and can I get you to retract that side there, I gotta get in to stitch that hole.” Stiles probed around the wound, making sure the only hole was the one he could see. “Okay, so maybe not in the tent, how about the storage building? Drinks by generator light? Lots of plasma and blankets.”
“Stilinski! Stop hitting on my mom, it’s grossing me out,” Scott called from the table behind them. Stiles grinned at Melissa through his mask and turned back to his patient.
“Come on, McCall. Your mom is hot,” Stiles yelled back with a laugh, stitching the hole in his patient’s diaphragm.
“I can’t disagree with you there, Captain.” Corporal Peter Hale whistled through his teeth as he brought in more bags of plasma, his shoulders hunched as he limped through the OR.
“Corporal Hale, you look terrible,” Stiles responded, tying off the last stitch in his patient. “Mel, cover this and get him to recovery.”
“It’s this uniform sir. My whole body itches.” Stiles pulled his gloves off and stepped closer to Peter, pulling the collar of his uniform aside. Scott finished his patient and walked over to where Stiles and Peter were standing. “I have a rash where no rash should be.”
“What’s going on?” Scott asked Stiles as he pulled his gloves off and tossed them into the trash.
“What’s this look like to you?” Stiles asked, showing Scott the rash covering Peter’s chest.
“Corporal, have you been visiting the working girls and boys at Lucy’s?” Scott asked, peering down the gaping collar of Peter’s uniform.
Peter glared up at Scott. “Please, Captain. I wouldn’t be caught dead over there. Not to mention, we can’t catch that shit,” Peter dropped his voice to a whisper. “I’m a werewolf remember.”
“Does it cover just where the uniform covers?” Scott pulled at the back collar of Peter’s uniform shirt. Stiles nodded. “Psychosomatic?”
“Looks like it,” Stiles said as he squeezed Peter’s shoulder. “Has this been going on since the Colonel made you wear the uniform?”
“Yeah, what does that mean though? Can you fix this?” Peter asked, impatiently scratching at the back of his neck.
“You should cover your unmentionables with your unmentionables,” Stiles said waving a new patient onto his table.
“Are you telling me to wear my...” Peter’s eyes lit up at the suggestion.
“Yes, Corporal. Wear your panties and camisoles under your uniform.” Stiles slipped his hands into the gloves that Nurse McCall was holding out to him.
“Is that an order, Sirs?” Peter asked, nearly bouncing on his feet at the idea of getting rid of the irritating and painful rash and itch covering his delicate parts.
“Sure,” Stiles shrugged, turning to his patient. “That’s an order Corporal.”
Peter clapped his hands together and limped out of the OR to help with triage.
Stiles had his feet propped up on the box they used as a table just outside the Swamp. His sunglasses on, martini in hand, he watched the camp at work. It was better than listening to Major Martin blather on about her fiance Lieutenant Colonel Jackson Whittmore. Stiles had met the guy; he was a pretentious ass, walking around like he was better than everyone else because he was intelligence. Stiles snorted into his glass. Intelligence, like Whittmore would know intelligence if it bit his ass.
A shadow fell over Stiles as he sipped at his drink, a shadow that he knew well. “Good afternoon Captain Hale.”
“Captain Stilinski,” Derek said, looking down at Stiles. “Got enough left in the still for a friend?”
Stiles smiled and gestured to the empty chair next to him. “Always have enough for a friend. Have a seat, I’ll get a refill and a glass.”
Derek settled in the chair as Stiles came back out and handed him a glass. “Stiles, I want to apologize for being a dick.”
Stiles flapped a hand at Derek, taking a drink. “Don’t worry about it. I was a dick too. I shouldn’t have acted like that, I stepped over the line.”
“Not really, I mean you’re right. I don’t really care if I get hurt, I mean if I can get more people out, why not? It’s not like the bullets can really kill me.” Derek sipped at his drink, playing with the olive at the bottom of the glass.
“But if you get killed, you can’t help anyone else,” Stiles pushed at him. More than anything he hated when Derek dropped little comments like that, like his life isn’t worth the same as everyone else’s. “I don’t want to see you on my table because your chopper went down. When I state I wanna get my fingers in you, it’s not because I want to put you back together.”
Derek hummed into his glass. “You want to get your fingers into <i>me</i>?” Derek’s voice dropped an octave, picking up that husky undertone that never failed to make Stiles’ dick twitch in his pants. Looking over at Derek, Stiles swallowed the gin in his mouth and reached a hand over to touch Derek’s knee.
“Well, considering last time you got yours into me, I figure turnabout is fair play.” Stiles felt the corner of his mouth twitch up at the blush that rose along Derek’s throat. Stiles leaned close, letting his nose drag along Derek’s neck, not caring if they were seen. “Would you like that, Captain? My fingers pushing inside you, dragging over your balls. Maybe I’ll suck you while I finger you, would you like that?”
Derek bit back a whimper, and clumsily set his glass on the box in front of them. “Yes, now.”
Stiles pushed to his feet nonchalantly, holding his hand out to Derek. “Come in my tent?”
Derek grabbed Stiles’ hand and let him pull him inside. Derek watched as Stiles moved around the tent, closing the window covers, flipping the latch on the door closed, so no one could come in. Stiles stopped in front of him, reaching out to twist his fingers in Derek’s dogtags, pulling him close.
“I really meant it, Derek. I won’t be able to handle it if you end up on my table.” Stiles ghosted his lips over Derek’s. Derek reached up to push Stiles’ open shirt off his shoulders. Letting his fingers ruffle up the back of Stiles’ undershirt, dragging the soft green cotton up, forcing Stiles to step back and raise his arms. Pulling the shirt up and off Stiles, Derek tossed it to the side as Stiles began working on his shirt, cursing at the buttons. Finally Stiles got his shirt open, dragging it off and tossing it to the side. Derek heard the soft clang of their dogtags when Stiles dragged him close, pressing hot, wet kisses to the base of his throat. Derek looked down as Stiles moved lower, slowly dropping to his knees, hands on Derek’s belt.
Making quick work of the belt and button, Derek groaned when Stiles shoved his pants to his ankles, getting them caught at his boots and proceeding to suck him down to the root. Derek slammed a hand against the side of the tent, making the canvas flap against the wood structure.
Stiles pulled off with a grin. “You should probably lie back for this, don’t want you to bring the Swamp down around us.”
Derek lay back on the cot, letting Stiles take off his boots, socks and pants. As soon as Derek was naked, Stiles had his cock in his mouth again, pressing his tongue against the vein that runs up the underside. Derek moaned as Stiles pulled off and moved down to lick at his balls, sucking one into his mouth, one of his hands coming up to rub two fingers against his perineum, slowly dipping back toward his hole. Derek shivered when Stiles’ fingers slipped over the tight pucker of his hole, catching at the rim. Stiles pulled back, reaching under his cot for what Derek assumed would be lube and a condom.
Stiles sat back on his heels between Derek’s knees, one hand on Derek’s inner thigh, Stiles pressed a light kiss to the soft flesh before grabbing a condom, tearing it open and rolling it on. Pouring lube over his fingers, Stiles pressed his middle finger against Derek’s hole, pushing gently until the muscle relented and he sank into the first knuckle. Slowly drawing his finger out, Stiles pressed back with two, curling them slightly, making Derek moan as he scissored them. Stretching Derek with two fingers swiftly moved to three fluted together, pushing inside, rubbing against his prostate before pulling out. Grabbing up the lube again, he poured it over his cock, stroking himself a couple times before shuffling forward on his knees. Hauling Derek’s hips closer, he pressed the head of his cock to Derek’s hole.
Pushing forward slowly, Stiles held the back of Derek’s thigh in one hand and with the other he smoothed over the soft skin of Derek’s ribs, moving over his chest, stopping at his collarbones. Stiles had been around enough werewolves to know that the neck, unless offered, was strictly off limits. Stiles felt a bead of sweat drip from his chin and land on Derek’s chest.
“Fucking move,” Derek whined, his hips moving minutely, trying to force Stiles into fucking him. Stiles just grinned down at Derek and slowly began moving his hips, rotating them in a circle before he pulled out and then pushed back in with a grunt.
Shaking hands flitted over Derek’s hips as Stiles readjusted how he was kneeling on the floor, lifting Derek’s hips to pull him harder onto Stiles’ dick. “Touch yourself,” Stiles moaned, his hips pistoning faster into Derek. He had done this many times before; he wasn’t going to pretend that he had never fucked, but he hadn’t felt a need creep up on him to mark like it was at that moment. It took all his willpower not to lean down and clamp his teeth into the smooth flesh of Derek’s shoulder. He wasn’t a wolf, but for some reason he wanted to mark like one and it scared the orgasm right out of him. With a growl that was far more animalistic than any sound he had ever made, Stiles gripped Derek’s hips hard and thrust in deep, holding him so their hips were tight together. He whimpered as Derek jerked himself off rapidly, his hole clenching around Stiles’ sensitive cock.
Derek came with a groan, splattering his hand and belly with come. Stiles reached out with one hand and dragged a finger through the puddle of come settling in Derek’s belly button. He could feel Derek still underneath him. He knew that what he was about to do would either strengthen what they had or it could irrevocably break it. Stiles saw horrible things every day; he wanted this one bright spot and he could only hope that Derek was on the same page.
Slowly, Stiles dragged the finger covered in come over his own belly. Derek’s eyes flashed briefly before he raised his hand to drag it through his come and added his own hand to Stiles’ abdomen, smearing the mess all over Stiles’ skin. Stiles sighed contentedly, hearing the soft rumble Derek released as he smeared his scent into Stiles skin.
Stiles held onto the base of the condom and pulled out, pressing a quick kiss to the inside of Derek’s knee as he shuffled backward. Tying off the condom and tossing it in the stove in the center of the tent, Stiles stood up and moved to the side of the cot. “Can you stay for a bit?”
Derek moved up onto the pillow and rolled to his side. “I can stay, at least until they need me.”
“We should probably talk about what just happened,” Stiles said, curling into Derek’s arms and threading their fingers together. “That means more than just scenting. I know it does, Scott explained it to me. I never asked but he likes to share. Sometimes far too much.”
Derek nodded, squeezing Stiles’ hand in his. “We should, but can we wait? Just until after the push? I know that soon we’ll both be up and working and the last thing we need to be worrying about is this.”
“Sure, but you aren’t going to weasel out of the talk. We will be talking about feelings and shit.” Stiles turned his head and pressed a kiss to Derek’s mouth just as Derek looked toward the door of the Swamp. “Time to get back to the war?”
Derek just grunted as they both rolled from the cot and began pulling their uniforms back on. Derek was tucking his shirt into his pants when his head popped up, looking toward the door. “Isaac’s coming, I can hear choppers. I gotta see if they need me.”
Stiles adjusted his shirt, untucked his dogtags from the collar and grabbed Derek to give him a quick kiss. “Be careful.”
Derek pulled the door open as Isaac rushed up. “Captain Stilinski, we have choppers coming in. It’s looking bad, sir.” Isaac turned to Derek, his nose twitching slightly, the only sign he knew what they had been doing. “Sir, they need you at the aid station. Too many injured for the choppers and ambulances they have.”
“On my way, Corporal,” Derek said, pulling his jacket on, and with a squeeze to Stiles shoulder he ran toward his chopper.
Stiles turned to Isaac, “Alright, Corporal, lead me to the patients.”
Isaac wisely kept his mouth shut about the light scent of fear that was leaking from Stiles and led him to the OR.
“Kelley clamp! And can I get some damn irrigation? It’s a mess in here,” Stiles shouted over the rattling of the overhead lights as another mortar went off close to their building. “Damn it! Can we try to keep the ceiling from getting in the open wounds?”
Stiles had just grasped the last piece of shrapnel in his patient’s abdomen when another mortar went off closer than the last and the entire OR went black. “Shit, I have my hands in this kid’s belly with a piece of shrapnel in my hand. I need some god damn light!”
“Corpsman, get the Captain some light!” Lydia yelled over the chaos. “I need light at each table, make sure that all the doctors have what they need. I will not let us lose patients because of some over enthusiastic assholes on our side that can’t tell the difference between an enemy camp and a fucking MASH!”
There was the sound of scurrying and suddenly lights began to pop on at each table. Gently pulling his hand from the belly of his patient, Stiles dropped the piece of metal in his hand into the dish Erica was holding out to him. “Alright, let’s get this bleeder sewn up and get him to recovery.”
It took nearly an hour for the generator to come back on and light up the OR. Stiles tied off the last stitch in his patient and pulled off his gloves. “Reyes, cover that and get him to recovery. Corpsman, next patient please!”
Stiles turned toward Lydia who was holding out clean gloves for him, when the look on her face stopped him cold. With a deep breath he turned to look at his patient and immediately felt his knees go weak.
“Dr. Stilinski?” Lydia grabbed his arm as he started to wobble. “Dr. McCall! Help me!”
Scott rushed over and grabbed Stiles’ other arm, setting him on a stool Peter brought over. He turned to the table and put a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “Do you want me to take this?”
“No, no. I got it.” Stiles took a deep breath, reining in his emotions, and stood up. “Gloves.”
He couldn’t let his personal feelings get in the way of his work. He let the nurse help him glove up, and turned to the body on the table. “I told you to be careful, Derek.”
Stiles pulled the sheet back to look at the damage to Derek’s torso; his belly was shredded. Stiles shook his head and held out his right hand. “Deaver retractor. I want to get this mess cleaned up and kick start his healing. There is no reason he should be looking like this.”
“Sir?” Erica said softly, handing the retractor to him. “Captain? I smell wolfsbane on him.”
Stiles clenched his jaw and nodded curtly. “Scott, do you smell wolfsbane on your patient?”
“What?” Scott stopped digging around in the belly of his patient and concentrated. “Not on this kid, but I smell it behind me. Colonel, your patient has wolfsbane in them.”
“Hell, how do we fix this?” John asked, holding his hands up away from his patient.
“Lydia, grab Danny and Peter, I need wolfsbane burned. We can figure out the concentrated area it’s in and try to get the worst out. Hopefully they will be able to filter the rest as they heal. Boyd, what about your patient?” Stiles asked, pulling chunks of metal and wood from Derek’s belly, watching as the skin tried to knit itself together but the wolfsbane making it nearly impossible.
“My kid is human, just the usual. Bullets,” Boyd said gruffly, his hand reaching out for the instrument Melissa handed him silently.
Stiles grunted, watching carefully as Lydia instructed Danny and Peter to burn the wolfsbane and take it to John and Stiles. Taking the ashes from Peter, Stiles forced them in the wound he was keeping open, watching as it smoked purple and Derek suddenly jack-knifed off the table. “Peter, go hold the Colonel’s patient while he pushes the wolfsbane. He won’t be prepared.”
Quickly, Stiles pushed Derek back on the table and patched the slowly closing wound on his abdomen. “Welcome back, hot shot. Wanna tell me what happened?”
Derek slowly opened his eyes and swallowed. “The area was hot when I went in. Mortars were landing so close to the building. There were nurses and corpsmen all over trying to load patients into the trucks. The explosions kept getting closer, it was like whoever was attacking knew that they were driving everyone closer together. I was helping a nurse load my chopper when we were sniped. Out of nowhere we were both shot. The nurse was dead before she hit the ground.” Derek grimaced, pushing up off the table to stand. “I was able to get in my bird, but I was shot again with something that spit shrapnel and tore me up. I got here as quick as I could.”
“Whoever attacked the aid station knew that there would be werewolves around. They used wolfsbane in some of the bullets. There is no reason to use that unless they were gunning for werewolves.” Stiles stripped off his gloves and let Lydia put clean gloves on his hands. He turned to his new patient. “Derek, I want you to go to recovery until I’m finished here. Help the nurses there, but do not leave this camp.”
Derek just waved a hand over his shoulder as Father Mahealani helped him toward recovery.
Stiles looked down at the young soldier on his table. “I swear you guys get younger every day.” He reached for the scalpel being held out to him. “Irrigate please, this is a mess.”
Stiles pulled off his scrub top and tossed it in the laundry bag. “Is it still today? Or is it tomorrow?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t eaten since before this started. I’m starving,” Scott said, his voice muffled through his top.
Stiles huffed a laugh and clapped a hand on Scott’s shoulder as he headed out the door. “I’m headed to recovery. Save me some coffee.”
“Let me know how my kid is doing. He needed a lot of blood,” Scott said, walking with Stiles until he turned off toward the mess tent.
“Sure, see you in a few.” Stiles pulled open the door to the recovery tent and went inside.
Derek was helping Cora haul IV poles toward a bed housing a young soldier. Pulling the chart from the foot of the bed, Stiles read that it was Scott’s patient. “Does he need more blood?”
“Yeah, since he came out of surgery he’s needed two more units,” Cora said, hooking a bag of blood on the stand and attaching it to the line.
“What’s his white count?”
“The last we checked it was normal.” Cora reached for a syringe to draw a blood sample. “I’m going to draw more to test. He’s needing too much blood since coming out of surgery.”
“Let me know what the results are. He’s Scott’s kid, we may need to go back in,” Stiles said, putting the chart back on the hook and turning to Derek. “Captain, can I check your belly?”
Derek nodded and headed toward the bed he was assigned when he came out of the OR. Pulling his shirt off, he lay back on the bed. Stiles peeled the bandage back and saw that the wound had healed completely, leaving no scarring. “Well, looks like you’re just fine.”
Stiles let his hand gently trace over where he knew the skin had just hours before been flayed open, gaping and oozing black. “Hey,” Stiles looked up when Derek put a hand on his face. “I’m okay.”
“I know that. It’s just that if Erica hadn’t told me about the wolfsbane,” Stiles closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“Hey, stop thinking like that. I’m fine. You did that.” Derek patted Stiles’ cheek lightly and moved to stand up. “I need to talk to Colonel Stilinski. Is he in his office?”
“Yeah, either there or in the mess.” Stiles took a step back to let Derek stand up and pull his shirt back on. Derek put a hand back on Stiles’ cheek after he stood up.
“I’ll meet you in The Swamp in an hour, okay?”
Stiles nodded and watched Derek walk out of the recovery tent. He pointed at Cora. “Not a word, Lieutenant.”
“Wasn’t gonna say a damn thing, Captain,” Cora snickered, turning back to her patient.
“Nice to see you up and around, Captain,” John said, sitting back in his chair. He gestured toward the chair across from his desk. “Corporal Lahey said you needed to talk to me?”
“Yes Sir. I wanted to ask about a permanent assignment to this MASH.” Derek sat at attention, waiting for John to say something.
“I see.” John stood up and walked to the cabinet that held his booze. Opening it, he grabbed a glass and a bottle of whiskey. “You want a drink?”
“Sure, I like the taste.” Derek took the glass John was holding out to him.
John sat back in his chair and poured himself a couple fingers. He took a sip and stared at Derek. “Let me ask you this. Are you wanting this reassignment because of my son?”
“Yes, but not for the reason you may think.” Derek set his glass on the desk. “He isn’t afraid to tell me to shut up, or to tell me that my plan is idiotic and suicidal. He pushes me to be here and not just exist. He’s the best damn surgeon I have seen in years and I would like to work at the MASH that he’s at so I can see that everything I touch doesn’t always break.”
“Son, I don’t know anything about you, other than what I’ve read in your file.” John took a drink and set his glass on the desk. “But what I do know is that you are a soldier and a damn good one. You’re willing to fly into zones so hot I’m shocked you make it out in one piece. I don’t know who told you whatever it was that makes you think that about yourself, but they were wrong.”
Derek looked down at his hands as John continues. “Son, you realize that you don’t have to atone for anything, right? Whatever you’re trying to fix, it doesn’t need your blood. You doing what you do, being what you are, that’s enough.”
John shuffled through papers on his desk when Isaac came through the door. “Here are the transfer papers for Captain Hale, Sir.”
“Thank you, Corporal,” John said, taking the papers from Isaac and turning back to Derek. “So, I’ll get this paperwork filled out and sent off. The transfer should come through by the end of the week.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Derek stood up and turned toward the door.
“Derek,” John said standing up as well. “Welcome to the 4078th.”
Derek smiled and walked out of the office.
“Look, all I know is what they taught me at command school.
There are certain rules about a war. Rule number one is young
men die. And rule number two is doctors can’t change rule
number one.” ~Col. Henry Blake
“Clamp!” Stiles yelled over the explosions going on outside. “Didn’t we just deal with this?”
“The difference is that last time it was our artillery and this time it’s them,” Scott called back across the OR. “Deaver retractor.”
“Well you would think they would give us a reprieve or something. They’ve already given us all these patients, couldn’t they wait to give us more?” Stiles hollered, digging his hands into his patient to find where he was bleeding. “Damn it, Reyes, give me more light. He’s bleeding out and I can’t find the damn bleeder.”
Erica pushed the light over the open abdomen of their patient. “Christ, he’s a mess.”
“Get suction in here and clean this up, I can’t see anything.” Stiles pulled his hands back and waited a moment for Erica to suck out the blood from the wound. As soon as it was clear he could see the tear. “Got it! Quick, clamp both sides while I get the suture going. When I say release, release the clamp so I can grab the edge and get them sewn together.”
After that first patient it seemed that time stood still and the patients just kept coming. Nurses rotated out as the shifts changed. Lydia stayed until she was forced out by Peter, his hand on her shoulder gently guiding her to the door. “Come on, Major. You’re falling asleep on your feet. Get some rest, Ma’am. You aren’t doing anyone any good like this.”
Lydia grunted as Peter passed her off to Isaac. “Isaac, please escort Major Martin to her tent. She needs to rest.”
Stiles snickered over his patient watching as Peter guided Lydia from the OR. “Getting a little punch drunk there, Captain?” Scott asked, wiping the back of his wrist over his forehead.
“Possibly. How long have we been at this?” Stiles asked, tying off the sutures and looking at Melissa, who he swore was Cora, but that could have been hours ago. “Can you clean him up, cover the wound and get him to recovery, while I get started on the next patient?”
“Yes, Captain,” Melissa said as he moved back, pulling off his gloves and tossing them in the bin.
Stiles was stepping up to his next patient when he looked down. Leaning close he checked for a carotid pulse. Feeling nothing, he held open the right eyelid of the patient and flashed a penlight to see if he could get a pupillary reaction. There was nothing.
“Corpsman, he’s gone. Can you move him out?” Stiles called, pulling the sheet over the soldier, making sure to tuck his hand under. “Call Father Mahealani too.”
Shaking his head, he pulled his gloves off and stepped up to his next patient, letting a nurse help him glove up. “Tell me what we have here.”
Stiles groaned as he pulled open the door to the Swamp. After thirty two hours in surgery, he was sure that he would either sleep for a week or fail at sleeping and go insane. It was a thin line.
He was dragging his shirt over his head when he noticed that his cot was not empty. Dark hair peeked out of his blankets. Smiling softly, Stiles toed off his boots and took off his pants before crawling under the blankets, wrapping his arms around Derek’s naked torso. His fingers traced over where he knew the shrapnel had torn Derek open less than three days ago.
“Hey.” Derek’s voice was scratchy with sleep, his hair a mess, half flat and the other half standing straight up. It warmed Stiles to the core to know that Derek felt safe enough in his tent to actually fall asleep.
“Hey back,” Stiles said quietly, running his free hand over Derek’s cheek. His breath caught in his throat when Derek let his head fall back, exposing his throat while rolling to his back, baring his belly.
Stiles placed one hand on Derek’s belly, just over his navel and the other on the side of Derek’s neck, his thumb brushing against Derek’s adam’s apple. Stiles had to close his eyes; this was huge. Werewolves, especially Alpha’s, don’t just roll over for anyone. They especially don’t bare their throats.
Letting out a shaky breath, Stiles opened his eyes and smiled. He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Derek’s mouth.
Stiles knew that any moment the war could intrude. There was no certainty that tomorrow would come for them, and for all he knew this was the only moment he would have. But damn it, he was going to enjoy every second he got.
Hawkeye : War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.
Father Mulcahy : How do you figure, Hawkeye?
Hawkeye : Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?
Father Mulcahy : Sinners, I believe.
Hawkeye : Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them - little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.