Hi guys! I know I haven't posted in a while, but I come bearing gifts. Well, one gift. This gift. But a gift's a gift, right? And this particular gift was inspired by the fact that I started watching ER a couple years ago, and decided that Julianna Margulies totally looks like she could play Hawkeye and Margaret's daughter. And how fun would it be if she were working alongside some of the other 4077 kids? So, here we are. Disclaimer: I have zero experience with the medical field (other than having been a patient) or the military. Anything I know I learned from watching tv and doing a little research online. If I've made mistakes, that's why. Feel free to correct me. Politely, please. I am but a fragile writer with fragile writer feelings. Also, the flogging sign was borrowed from/inspired by Goran Višnjić. It seemed appropriate. I hope he doesn't mind, and I hope you enjoy. ~SG
It was cold and flu season and the emergency room at Chicago's Gelbart-Reynolds Memorial Hospital was packed. The waiting room was full of grandparents hacking into tissues and small children whining about tummy aches and stuffy noses. Parents were growing impatient, and every bed was full. A new doctor was supposed to be starting today, but he was late so the department was currently short-handed. That meant the staff was stressed, which meant the patients were stressed. But none of that was going to cause Katharine O'Hara to lose her composure because she was the ER's head nurse. If she fell apart so would everything else. Luckily she'd spent eight years in the U.S. Navy before returning home to Chicago to work in the very hospital she'd grown up in, and she had the military training to keep her head on straight.
On top of that, she'd been raised by Hawkeye Pierce and Margaret Houlihan. Both had served in the Army at a M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War, and her mother had served in WWII as well. After Korea they had both ended up at Gelbart-Reynolds where Hawkeye had worked his way up to Chief of Trauma and Margaret had filled the very same position her daughter now held. Katharine O'Hara—who preferred to be called Kit—was a Gelbart-Reynolds legacy with a military background, and she wasn't about to let an understaffed and overcrowded Chicago emergency room get the best of her. She just needed to remember to lead like her mother and laugh like her father, which was easier said than done because no matter how much she looked like Hawkeye, there was no denying that she was Margaret Houlihan's daughter.
Luckily, someone had posted a handwritten sign on the bulletin board at the nurse's station announcing that the floggings would continue until morale improved, so it wasn't too difficult to find something to smile about. She'd considered taking the sign down because someone might not understand that it was a joke, but she recognized the handwriting. Twenty-one year old Henrietta O'Reilly was the culprit, and Kit simply could not bring herself to tear down the silly attempt to lift people's spirits because that might lower her young friend's spirits. And that was the last thing she ever wanted to do.
Etta's father, lovingly known as Uncle Radar, had served right alongside Kit's parents at the 4077th M*A*S*H in Korea, though he hadn't been part of the medical team. Like Etta, he had served as the unit's highly efficient company clerk, and while he may not have been the one in charge, he had been the one who kept everything running smoothly until he was sent home after the unfortunate death of his uncle. But maybe it was a good thing Uncle Ed had died. If he hadn't Radar probably would've stayed at the 4077 until the war ended and likely wouldn't have had the family he had. That meant Etta probably wouldn't exist, and Kit didn't like that idea at all.
Not only was Etta a dear friend whom Kit considered family, but she had also inherited her father's skills as a clerk. She kept the ER running smoothly just like her father had the 4077. Kit needed Etta just like her parents had needed Radar, and she would never regret the day she'd demanded that the shy, sweet nursing student from St. Louis be hired even though she'd never held any sort of administrative position before this. Lucky for Kit, Etta had taken to the work like a duck to water, and the ER had never run smoother. At least, not since her mother had been in charge.
Kit smiled as she leaned over the counter to grab a new pen since hers had run out of ink, thinking that there must have been something in the water at the 4077 that its members had brought home after the war and passed down to their children. She was about to call Etta's name so she could ask her to see about getting someone in to fill in since the new doctor was nearly two hours late, but the girl took the words right out of her mouth as soon as she opened it.
"You need more hands." Etta said, turning to reveal that she was already on the phone as the long spiral cord wrapped around her. "I'm trying to track someone down now, sir—ma'am! Sorry."
"You're living on my couch, Etta, and I'm no longer in the military." Kit reminded her. "You don't have to call me ma'am. Kit is fine."
"Yes, ma'am." Etta said out of habit, and smiled sheepishly as she corrected herself. "Kit."
"Keep up the good work, soldier." Kit teased, and no sooner was she turning away from one M*A*S*H "cousin" than she was running into another.
"Oh!" she exclaimed as she collided with Dr. Rosalind Winchester and the two cardboard takeout containers of coffee she was carrying, spilling the hot brown liquid all over the Boston-bred trauma surgeon's crisp white blouse and her own pink scrubs. "Roz! I am so sorry! I didn't know you were there! Are you okay?"
"I prefer Rosalind." Dr. Winchester replied, correcting Kit in the precise manner she had inherited from her socialite parents as a mask of resigned irritation settled over her lovely face. "And it's nothing a good dry cleaner can't fix. I suppose it's my own fault, really. I heard you were a little short-handed down here, so I decided to come down and help out since I don't currently have any patients. Since none of you know how to make a decent pot of coffee I thought I'd bring some from that little coffee shop down the street, but I guess next time I decide to volunteer my services for non-surgical reasons I'll save my wardrobe and let you settle for that swill you call caffeine."
"I don't care for your tone, Dr. Winchester." Kit informed her, planting her hands on her hips and channeling her mother's leadership instead of her father's humor for this particular situation. Despite her coffee-stained hospital scrubs, she suddenly looked every bit the Naval lieutenant she had been just two years ago. "I've been on for twenty-four hours straight, and thanks to budget cuts and the fact that I have two nurses out of town for family emergencies I still have another eight hours before I can go home and hug my kid. On top of that our new doctor who was supposed to be here two hours ago has yet to show up, and we have a waiting room that's practically overflowing with patients. We don't need your fancy coffee. The swill we have down here works just fine. If you want to help then I suggest you throw on some clean scrubs and get to work."
"Aye-aye, Lieutenant." Rosalind said, punctuating the statement with a mock salute.
"I prefer Kit." Kit replied, wondering how their fathers had managed to get out of Korea without strangling each other. Thank God Etta was the one sleeping on her couch and not Rosalind. If it were Rosalind she wouldn't survive, though at the moment Kit wasn't entirely certain which she would be the one to end up sgetting mothered by a pillow in the middle of the night.
"Aye-aye, Kit." Rosalind corrected, leaving out the salute.
"Incoming!" Etta yelled as Kit was trying to decide whether or not she should slap Rosalind, demonstrating the precognitive abilities she had inherited from her father along with his talent as a clerk.
And just like that, Kit forgot that she was tired and Rosalind forgot that she was superior. Suddenly they were no longer snipping and snapping at each other. Thanks to one little word from one little clerk they were now ready and willing to work together in order to save the life or mend the wound of the patient who was being delivered to them by ambulance. Except it was an ambulance that was arriving. It was a motorcycle with only one passenger, and it was apparent that the passenger was no longer in control of the motorcycle as it came crashing through the sliding glass doors of the ambulance bay and into the building.
Suddenly Kit's busy but efficient ER plunged into chaos as people screamed and dove for cover. The motorcylce was flying down the short hallway between the two trauma rooms, headed straight for the nurse's station. Kit tackled Rosalind to the ground, effectively getting herself and the snooty surgeon out of the way of oncoming traffic, and any coffee left in the paper cups from the cafe down the street rained down on Etta as she scurried around the corner of the little ER pharmacy just as the long-legged biker whose face was hidden behind the helmet protecting his head jerked the front wheel to avoid crashing through the nurse's station. Somehow he either managed to jump off the seemingly possessed machine or was thrown off—it was impossible to tell during the chaos of the moment, but the now riderless bike careened down the hall in the direction it had been pointed, and somehow managed to steer itself into a patient bathroom where it finally came to a stop after taking out the sink and/or the toilet. The engine was still running and the bathroom was flooding, but at least the threat was now contained as those in hiding began to cautiously peek out from behind whatever barrier they had found to shield themselves from the danger.
In one particularly terrified medical student's case that barrier was a member of the housekeeping staff who had been in the process of mopping the floors and had frozen in place due to panic. Truman had simply ducked behind him. He was now peering over Fred's shoulder to see if the coast was clear, and Kit would have laughed at the comical scene had she not narrowly missed becoming roadkill herself.
"Are you alright?" she asked as she untangled herself from Rosalind.
"I don't think you broke anything," Rosalind replied, putting her hand to the back of her head as she sat up. "Though it is possible I have a concussion."
"Etta!" Kit shouted as she began to check Rosalind for a concussion. "Call housekeeping and get them down here to clean up this mess!"
Etta was repeating the words almost before they were out of Kit's mouth as she emerged from her hiding spot, making Kit sound like an echo.
The man whose motorcycle had caused this mess was alive and seemed alert as he sat up while Kit finished her exam and cleared Rosalind to treat patients instead of forcing her to become one.
"Sir, I need you to sit still so we can make sure you're not injured." Rosalind ordered politely as she and Kit crawled over to him.
"I'm fine." he said as he removed his helmet to reveal a head full of thick brown hair that almost reached his shoulders and a handsome face that Kit recognized in an instant.
"Ben!" she exclaimed, forgetting that he may be injured in her excitement and pouncing on him to greet him with a bear hug and a smacking kiss on his lightly bearded cheek. She hadn't seen him since she'd left San Diego two years ago, and there was only one reason she could think of that he would be in Chicago. "You're our new doctor?!"
"Surprise!" he said, and winced when she punched him in the shoulder. "Ow! What was that for?"
"You're two hours late, and you've destroyed my ER!" She kissed him again despite her anger. "But I am really glad to see you."
"It's good to see you too, Kitty." he replied as she helped him to his feet. Once he was upright and seemed to be capable of keeping himself that way he shifted his attention to the pretty surgeon glaring up at him with her arms folded over her stained blouse, her dark ponytail having been knocked loose when Kit tackled her. "Hey, Rosie. Long time, no see."
"It's Rosalind, Dr. Hunnicutt. Rosie was a bar owner in South Korea." Rosalind corrected and turned to Kit. "Now that he's here, can I go?"
"I'd rather you stay." Dr. Cory Wilson, the one who was actually in charge of the ER as the hospital's Chief of Emergency Medicine, said from behind her. He also happened to be Colonel Potter's grandson, and like Rosalind and Etta, had come to hold his current position because the Powers The Be trusted Kit's reccomendations. "We're still a little short-handed around here, and you did come in to help. So get changed, and get to helping. And Ben? Welcome to what Kit likes to call the ER 4077."
Rosalind sighed and went to go change into a pair of clean scrubs, and Kit finally did laugh as Truman suddenly came running down the hall and slipped in the water that was still flooding out of the bathroom, landing on his back with a splash and a grunt as the impact knocked the air out of him.
"You should really watch where you're going, Truman." she warned as she walked over to help him up.
"Yes, ma'am." he agreed, giving her an embarassed smile.
"Don't call her ma'am, Truman!" Etta supplied.
"Much better." Kit said, smiling. "Go on."
Her smile became a grin as Truman rushed off to wherever he was going, and took a moment to survey the scene. The ER was a mess, but Etta was getting things back in order, Cory was giving Ben a quick tour, and Kit was happy to be working with family.
So, how are we feeling? Did we enjoy it? Do we want more? Will there be a riot if I tell you there is no more? Because, unfortunately, there is no more, but please PUT DOWN YOUR PITCHFORKS! There's no need for violence! I'm more than happy to give you more, but first I have to come up with more. So...my suggestion box is open. Because at the moment, I got nothin'. But perhaps we can come up with something together? And yes, my dears. If your suggestion sparks something you will get full credit for the inspiration. Anything else would just be rude, and I like to think I'm not rude. Anyway...thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, goodbye, farewell, and amen. ~SG