Bouquet jump around






Series. M*A*S*H

Pairing: the nurses, doctors and soldiers of the 4077th MASH

Code: G, humour


Summary: Valentine's Day at the 4077th


Disclaimer: The characters in this story don’t belong to me. I only borrowed them for some fun. No moneymaking, no violation of copyrights are intended. The story is mine and it is just fanfiction. Thanks to Jimaine for the beta-reading. For all remaining errors, blame me.




"Oh, what a lovely bouquet!" With this delighted exclamation, Margaret Houlihan picked up the red roses lying right on the doorstep of post-op. Amazing! How thoughtful of Frank! How could she have thought that he would forget this special day? She silently apologized.


At that moment, he entered. "Oh Frank!" Margaret threw herself into his arms. "You *are* a sweetheart. Where did you find these wonderful roses?"


Major Burns's forehead warped. "What...?" Then he saw the bouquet in Margaret's hand. Who had dared…? Probably this impossible Pierce who never stopped chasing his darling. Or McIntyre…the man believed himself to be irresistible.


Frank was just about to swear when he realised that Margaret, still embracing him, obviously thought that the bouquet had come from him. And they did say this thing about looking into the gift horse's mouth… 


"The queen of flowers for my queen", he said gallantly – and congratulated himself on his quick reaction. 


A radiant Margaret extracted herself from his arms. "Oh Frank, I will show you my thanks. When you are done here...“


He nodded enthusiastically and she pulled him outside. 




Radar O’Reilly quickly hid behind the next corner. Damn! He had just seen his beloved Louise go into post-op. Where had the Houlihan suddenly come from? And now this unnaturally blond menace had taken his beautiful bouquet. 


Did she know what an effort it had been to get a bouquet of red roses, here in the middle of Korea?  Well, 'bouquet' was somewhat exaggerated a term for the three little roses and the already faded-looking green around them. But still, a rose was a rose. He just hoped that nobody would miss the medical text-books – of this special kind of course - he had given Sparky in exchange – not to mention Henry Blake’s good brandy. 




"Oh, Frank", Margaret sighed as Frank nibbled on her neck. At that very moment there was a knock on the door. 


"Who's there?" she snapped. 


"Err, Major Houlihan, Major Burns",  Radar's call came from outside. "Colonel Blake wishes to speak to you. Immediately."


"Major Burns is not here", Margaret answered. 


As if anyone with half a mind would believe that, Radar thought, then said, "Then please tell him when you see him." And he quickly retreated. 




A few moments later, Frank Burns slipped out the tent, carefully checking to all sides. When he had gone a few meters he stopped and waited for Margaret. As soon as she had joined him and both were out of sight, Radar slipped into the tent and retrieved his bouquet. 




"I sent for you? I? I mean…me?" Henry Blake frowned. Why didn’t he remember that? 


"At least your clerk said so", Margaret replied. If that was another joke... Certainly Pierce and McIntyre had instigated this, had asked O’Reilly to… Misfits! They just didn't want Frank and her to be happy together.. Her revenge would be terrible.


"Now", Henry hemmed, "then it's gotta be correct, doesn't it? What do you want from me?"


"Oh Sir", Margaret furiously stomped her foot. "If there only was a *trace* of discipline and order in this camp…" She stormed out, a silent Frank following suit. 




The supply tent! Radar nodded, satisfied with his new plan. He would deposit the flowers there and then send in Louise under a pretext. She would be surprised that he had thought of her.




"Roses?" Nurse Maggie Dish gazed in astonishment at the bouquet she had almost stepped on. Who could have dropped something like this out here in the supply tent? Quickly, she looked out of the door, checking the vicinity.


Her gaze fell on Hawkeye Pierce. Yes, that certainly was like him, trying to win her in this manner.  But roses…*here* – the handsome doctor had really gone to great lengths and deserved a reward for this. 


"Hawkeye!" she called. "Thanks!"


Pierce had difficulties hiding his surprise when caught in Dish's firm embrace. "To what do I owe the pleasure of this greeting?" he inquired as she released him. 


Maggie held up the rose-bouquet. "I always knew that under your rough skin beats the heart of an incorrigible romantic", she laughed. 


"Roses..." Hawk broke off. Whoever had left the bouquet there so carelessly, he owed him. He certainly wasn't complaining. And he wouldn’t contradict a willing nurse. There was nobody around but himself, he made certain of that with a quick 360-degree-check. So no one could lay claim to the flowers. 


He pointed at the tent. "Since we're already here, listen, how do you feel about thinking me properly?"




Radar swore under his breath as he abandoned his cover behind the corner. Bad enough that he hadn’t been able to find Louise, now Hawkeye was reaping the rewards of two weeks' wheeling and dealing. As if Hawk needed flowers to get a nurse!




"Whoever it is, if you don’t get lost immediately, I'll sell you to Igor for tonight's dinner", Hawkeye growled as someone knocked on the locked door of the supply tent. Why did people always have such a lousy timing? 


"Hawk?" Radar asked timidly. "You're needed in post-op. Immediately."


"Hm... I'm coming." After a while Hawkeye emerged, smoothing his hair with one hand and pulling on the red bathrobe with the other. "If this isn’t important, then…", he muttered in passing. 


Radar peered inside the room where Dish was just straightening her uniform. "Major Houlihan asked for you", he told her and held out his hand for the flowers. "I will take these to the nurses' tent.“




The nurses' tent. Yes, that was it! If he wasn’t able to find Louise anywhere, she probably had swapped duty shifts with someone and now was doing laundry, or her nails, or something. Perhaps she celebrated her special day with the other girls.  He just would leave the bouquet in front of the tent. Then she couldn’t miss it. 




"What’s that?!?" Nurse Bigelow wondered. Stepping out of the tent, she had seen the flowers just in time to avoid crushing them. She looked around and spotted Captain McIntyre heading swampwards. 


Trapper! Who would have thought that! She hadn’t known that he was even remotely interested in her.  But no harm in that. He was an attractive man. 


She called out to him. 




Behind the tent, a furious Radar bit his fist in order to keep from screaming. Were they all blind? Why didn't anybody see the note on the bouquet? That should make it clear to everyone who the rightful recipient was. After all, it wasn't everybody's birthday today. 


He approached them with uncharacteristic boldness. "Hawkeye needs you both in the OR, Trapper", he declared emphatically. McIntyre hadn't even begun to understand what Bigelow wanted from him when Radar grabbed the bouquet. "I'll take care of these.




The showers! If Louise wasn’t in the tent and not on duty, she might be in the shower. He would take the flowers there. 




"Henry, you’re a darling!" Nurse Leslie Scorch fell into his arms, smiling from ear to ear ever since she'd discovered the red roses in front of the women’s shower. "And here I'd already thought that you weren't interested in me anymore."


And an utterly bewildered Henry Blake – the towel over his shoulder an unmistakable sign that he also had planned to shower – furrowed his brow. What was Leslie talking about? 


As if to spare him the embarrassment of a reply, Radar came running.  "You are wanted on the phone, Sir", he told Henry Blake, then turned around to Leslie. "You, ahm, you sure don’t want to shower with the flowers, do you? Ahm, Ma'am?"




His head drooping about as much as the blossoms of the rumpled flowers in his hand, Radar stood in the middle of the compound. The plan had seemed so simple, so perfect. Louise would find the roses and know rightaway that he was the only one with the means to procure such a bouquet. She would come to him, thank him for his ingenuity, praise his penchant for romance and then... perhaps... 


But what should he do now? Obviously he had to deliver the bouquet directly before it got into the wrong hands again. Radar took a deep breath and scanned his surroundings. 


There! Nurse Louise Anderson exited the mess-tent in the company of Father Mulcahy. Radar patiently waited until she had taken her leave from him, then approached her, the bouquet behind his back. 


He hemmed  – and hemmed some more. Damn, why could he never think of the right words at the right moment? This super-class-miracle-woman always robbed him of his voice. Despite his reluctance, he somehow managed a timid, "Congratulations, Louise. Happy birthday." 


Louise smiled at him – and his heart-rate doubled. "That's so sweet of you, Radar, but you are mistaken. My birthday's on March 14, not February 14", she let him know and walked off. 




"Damn! Damn! Damn!!!" Furious and frustrated, Radar hurled the flowers to the ground. All that trouble for nothing!  How the hell could he have mixed up the dates?


"What's up, Radar?" Looking up, he beheld Klinger's face or rather what little of it was visible beneath the giant pink hat. Klinger patted him on the shoulder. "How can you have such a bad mood on Valentine’s Day?"


"Valentine’s Day?" Radar echoed 


"Sure. Or why else do you think I have dressed in pink and red? Red like love." Klinger did a little pirouette so that his skirt fluttered in the breeze. "Don’t tell me you have entirely forgotten that it's Valentine’s Day today?"


"Valentine’s Day!" Radar repeated, beaming all over his round face. "Gee, that means that I still can give these to Louise..."


He picked up the bouquet and shook off the dust.




And then all hell broke loose. 




"That's  my bouquet!"


"Give it back to me *right now*!"


"My flowers!"


As one, Houlihan, Dish, Bigelow and Scorch charged at the defenceless corporal.