Consequences For

Frank Burns

Disclaimer: Having recently watched the fourth season episode of 'The Gun' from MASH, I thought I'd do something like this. Also features a bit of an AU path where Frank's wife did NOT back down from wanting a divorce and was another reason Frank took that gun cause he thought it'd get him back in Major Houlihan's good graces. I also honestly can't stand Burns or Houlihan.

"You uhh, you wanted to see me, Sir?" Asked Major Frank Burns in a simpering manner.

Colonel Potter looked up from his paperwork to look at the man a vast majority in the 4077 considered more of an irritating nuisance then being Drafted. "Yes I did, son. Sit down."

Taking it as the order it was, Burns immediately did so. Not that this was anything to be surprised by of course. "Do you know why you're here, Burns?"

"No, not at all! Unless you're going to tell me that you've finally decided to do something about Pierce?" He asked in a very hopeful tone of voice.

Potter stared at him for a moment, pushing down the annoyance he was already starting to feel towards the other man as he did so. "No. This has more to do with you and a certain gun."

"What!? But you said there'd be nothing to worry about if it was returned!" Frank cried out as he shot up in his chair.

Followed by a wince at essentially snitching on himself. For once, that is not necessarily to my benefit!

"I did say that but then I got to thinking about the whole affair in addition to various other things where you're concerned."

Burns was confused by that and asked what the other man meant. "Your actions where our guest was concerned nearly saw Radar lose close to 20 years of his life to the Stockade! All because you were trying to get back in Major Houlihan's good graces! Instead of say, trying to improve relations where your soon to be ex-wife is concerned." Began the older man.

"It would have built character in the little Fink! And Louise has made it quite clear she will not speak to me or listen to a thing I say." Which was so not fair, gosh darn it!

Potter glared at him before speaking. "And with an attitude like yours, I'm inclined to think she's got the right idea of things when it comes to not having much to do with you."

"Colonel!" Came the indignant and offended response.

"Don't 'Colonel' me, Major! The fact you don't show an ounce of remorse or sympathy where Radar's concerned is sickening to me. Sickening yet not surprising given the numerous complaints that have been lodged against you."

"Oh piffle, anything Pierce has to complain about isn't worth a thing!"

Not like how his complaints were. "Oh, it isn't just Captain Pierce, its actually the entire unit. Complaints that unfortunately went unheeded thanks to Major Houlihan's interference considering the little 'liasion' you two had goin' until she wised up where you're concerned." Not that this kept her from being seriously reprimanded and being demoted in rank.

Plus, there was also quite a number of complaints against her as well that couldn't be ignored and swept under the rug. Not when he was in charge of things. Burns could only stare at him in stunned disbelief. "You… You can't be serious."

"Oh, I am."

"This is ludicrous! What complaints could there possibly be against me!?" Demanded to know Burns as he was one of the best this camp and the American Military had to offer!

Not even needing to look over the complaints as he had memorized them thoroughly for this meeting, Potter immediately started. "Disrepect towards the Chain of Command, particularly where the late Colonel Henry Blake is concerned. This also applies to the numerous times you've gone against Captain Pierce just because you've never cared for the fact he was rightfully chosen to be the Chief Surgeon of this outfit! In addition to the disrespect, there's the numerous times you've been unnecessarily harsh towards Nurses because you didn't want to man up to your own mistakes. The way you treat Radar and the natives of Korea as if they are beneath you, falsifying documents just to get a Purple Heart when you are in no way of deserving such a thing."

"C-Colonel I-"

"Bringing a weapon to an arranged meeting to retrieve a few of our men despite being specifically told NOT to do so. Something that could have caused a bucket of problems if you and the others hadn't managed to be so lucky! Putting in barely any effort to save lives when everyone else puts in the work! I'm amazed there hasn't been more lost lives because of you, Burns. It honestly makes you crap as a Doctor." Coldly informed Potter, not even allowing the boy any time to get anywhere with his interruption.

"I could go on but I won't as we'd end up being here for another hour or two and I've got work to do."

"Am I… Am I being discharged from the Army?" Burns asked worriedly and fearfully.

He didn't know what he'd do if that happened! Potter shook his head in the negative and the man felt a sense of relief sweep through him. "No, not discharged. But after discussing the matter with HQ in Seoul, you are hereby demoted all the way down to Private."

"WHAT!? THAT'S ABSURD!" Yelled Burns as he shot out of his chair as something like that meant that even Radar of all people was above him in rank!


Immediately, Private Burns did so before he could so much as stop himself. "You will remain at this rank until you have proven to me and everyone else in the 4077 that you can be a decent man that someone would be willing enough to be around. And perhaps even call friend. Is that understood?"

"But Colonel, this is unfair! I demand to talk to-"


Burns wilted immediately. "Ye-Yes sir." He got out meekly.

Nodding in satisfaction at what he heard, the good Colonel continued. "Good. Now I'm going to go over a list of things with you that you are to do and not to do. Failing to abide by any of these will NOT look good in your favor. Understood?"

"Yes sir." Near whispered Frank as he felt his life crashing down around him even more so.

First being stuck with a bunch of rule breaking idiots, not to mention being stuck in a Communist country with SAID rule breaking idiots with no respect for the Army, then losing all that he'd gained by marrying Louise and Margaret at effectively the same time because someone chose to rat him out, and now this. He didn't deserve this! Not one bit! And right then and there vowed to get back at everyone who had gone against him as the Colonel nodded in satisfaction yet again and began to go over the list of things he was to do and not do. Only time would tell how successful this whole thing would be where Private Frank Burns was concerned.

Author's Notes: I imagine he'd unlikely be demoted that far back but given how the man is, allowing him to have any sort of power despite being demoted just wouldn't be a good thing.