Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce was in the midst of field surgery just outside of an aid station. He was about twenty miles from the 4077th Mash unit he was assigned to. His friend and nemesis Major Margaret Houlihan were very ably assisting him.
"Pierce, Chest wound!" Yelled Margaret about 10 feet away from him.
"Coming Mother!" He yelled back as he rushed to her side.
"Ok, lets get him into surgery, Stat. Good catch Margaret," he said as he ran beside the litter being rushed to the aid station.
"Thank you, Doctor," said Margaret quietly beside him it was always nice to get a compliment from the flippant doctor.
Suddenly a loud noise erupted and they both hit the deck covering the patient with their bodies. Hawkeye felt a terrible pain in his head and then everything went blank.
Xena was attending the wounded in a small village outside of Corinth. She and Gabrielle were simply passing through on the way to Corrinth for a festival. Then they saw flames and they both rushed to aid the victims of a raid by a local Warlord. Xena fought and got rid of the Warlord quickly and was now caring for his victims.
Xena spotted a lump in the grass and realized it was another body. She called her best friend, "Gabrielle, come here quickly." The blonde in the sari with a mendi tattoo came running up with a Xena's medical bag. "Pull out the new salve and put it onto this arrow wound," she said to her friend quietly.
Gabrielle nodded and got to work on the wound in the shoulder that Xena had already did all the surgical work on. The arrow had gone clean through; Xena had taken the arrow out and cauterized the wound. She watched as Gabrielle gently began to clean the wound with the salve then she headed off to the next patient.
She ran to the man in the strange green clothes. She gently turned him over and saw his head wound. She started to attend to it when the unfocused blue eyes blinked open.
"Where am I?" He muttered all he saw was dark shadow over him.
"Shh, you've been wounded I'm trying to help you," said Xena trying to keep him still while she attended his wound. Hawkeye heard the low sexy voice purr in his ear but at the moment he was in too much pain to really react to it. Xena looked into his eyes and said softly, "You have a concussion it doesn't look too bad though?"
"Maybe not to you but to me it feels like tom-tom drums are being played in there. Where's Margaret? Where is she? She was right next to me?"Hawkeye suddenly panicked with worry for his friend and began to thrash about trying to find her.
"Shh, settle down. I don't know where your wife is, your all alone here?"
"She's not my wife. She's my friend and colleague. She's a nurse?could she be helping the wounded?"he tried to sit up to look for her.
"Hey lie back, come on please your going to hurt yourself," said Xena firmly holding him down as gently as she could. "There doesn't seem to be anyone other women on the battlefield besides myself and my friend.
Hawkeye's eyes suddenly came into focus and he almost fainted when he saw one the most beautiful faces he'd ever seen floating above him. She was looking down at him with real concern. "My God, Who are you Beautiful? Are you a doctor?"
"Doctor?" Xena asked the strange man. She realized that he was focusing for the first time since he was reacting to her looks she replied with lopsided smile, "I don't know what you mean by that word. I am a proficient healer though."
Hawkeye was now realizing that he wasn't in Kansas anymore. He took in the woman's battle clothes and armor. The incredibly beautiful sword on her back and the round gold and silver thing on her hip. He saw that everyone around him was dressed in the same ancient style.
"What the hell is going on around here, a costume party? When is everyone going to yell surprise?" He asked again trying to sit up agitated by what he was seeing.
"Maybe your head wound is worse then I thought. Gabrielle!" Hawkeye winced in reaction to the warrior's loud voice. The voice seemed to echo in his hurting head. The beautiful woman smiled sympathetically and said quietly, "Sorry."
"It's ok, Can you please tell me who you are and where I am?"
Xena tilted her head and studied the confused man. His strange clothes and words plus the fact he had no weapon made her realize that something was up. "My name is Xena and you are in the village of Statos just outside of Corrinth?"
"Wait Corrinth? Like in ancient Greece?"
"Ancient?" Now Xena knew something was definitely up she just wondered which of the Gods were responsible? Gabrielle came running up beside her with Xena's medical bag in her hand.
"You wanted me Xena?" Asked the bard staring openly at the strangely clad man.
Xena gently touched her friends shoulder and said firmly, "I need that new herb we got in India and some water to put it in. It should help this poor man to clear his mind."
Gabrielle gave the warrior what she asked for Xena accepted it and gently held up Hawkeye's head and said, "Ok drink this slowly it should help you?um??"
"Hawkeye," Answered Hawkeye trying to figure out what the hell was going on. He smiled at the adorable blonde in the two piece Indian sari she looked incredibly sexy in. "And who is this pretty little girl?" He asked smiling up at her charmingly.
Gabrielle's eyebrows met in astonishment, "Um, My name is Gabrielle. Who are you? Why are you wearing those strange clothes? Where is your weapon? Why don't you have any armor on? Why?."
"Gabrielle, Shh," Whispered Xena and then nodded her head toward the battle field, "Please go help the others."
"Please Gabrielle," She gave her friend a significant look.
"Ok," Said the bard with a bit of pout. Xena watched her friend with an amused smile on her face as she watched her carefully tend to the other wounded.
Then she looked down at her strange patient, "Um?.Hawkeye, Where are you from?"
"Originally I am from a town called Crab Apple Grove, Maine until just a little while ago I was assigned to a Mash unit in Korea."
"Mash? Korea? Maine? I'm not familiar with any of those places and I've been to every part of the known world." She looked down at him with narrowed blue eyes and asked, "Who are you?"
"I'm just a humble doctor from the United States."
Xena was shaking her head as she said, "You said that word before. What is a doctor?"
"A healer I guess?"
"You're a healer?" She asked her voice full of wonder. "Is your friend a healer too?"
"Yes she is?.Damn, I wonder where the hell she is? Is she here too?" Hawkeye started to become hysterical again trying to see if he could see his friend.
"Stop that. You should know better then to thrash around with a concussion," Said Xena firmly holding him back down to stop him from hurting himself. "Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle came running up followed by two warriors carrying a litter. "Yes?" She asked her friend as she motioned for the men to put Hawkeye onto the litter.
"Whoa, Hold your horses there young lady. I need to see if Margaret is ok?" He was trying to pull away from the two men.
Xena signaled the men to stop with brisk movement of her hand; "You two can wait a second. Tell Gabrielle what your friend looks like, Hawkeye." She said gently to the wounded man.
Hawkeye's eyes narrowed as he studied her carefully, "Are you their commander?"
Xena's face broke out into a huge smile as she asked him amused, "And what would make you ask me that?"
"Two years of being a goldbricker?"
Gabrielle laughed answering highly amused, "Oh boy, did you get that right. Xena is a great warrior and hero?"
"Gabrielle?" growled the warrior.
"Well you are?"
"Gabrielle." Xena gave her a friend a well known significant look that shut her up instantly. She looked at Hawkeye and sighed, "I do have?well a habit of taking command. It comes from my?.um, disagreeable past. Hawkeye describe your friend to Gabrielle she has been all over this battlefield helping the wounded.
Hawkeye now realized that the dark woman Xena was the equivalent of a doctor and her pretty little friend Gabrielle was her nurse. He smiled charmingly at Gabrielle and said, "She is about your height, with blonde hair about your color but its longer shoulder length. She has blue eyes a couple of shades darker then Xena's and she's dressed like me but she's wearing a black turtleneck sweater?"
"She's wearing a turtle?" Gabrielle squeaked.
Hawkeye laughed and then regretted it, "Please remind me not to do that again soon. A turtle neck sweater is a garment where I'm from. Does she sound familiar, Goldilocks?" He asked the beautiful woman affectionately.
Gabrielle blushed and Xena smiled, they both already like this strange man. Gabrielle shook her head sadly, "Sorry Hawkeye she doesn't."
"Hopefully she is where she belongs in Korea. So my beautiful healers what do I do next turn my head and cough?"
Xena smiled and looked over at the two waiting men she signaled them to transfer him on to the litter with a nod of her head. Once he was secure she said quietly, "Take him to the temple."
After the man was taken away Xena stood up and offered a hand to her companion asking, "So what do you think?"
Gabrielle was pulled up to a standing position next to the warrior and replied, "He's strange but very nice and funny."
"I like him too. He is a healer, he used a strange name for it but I recognize a talented man when I see one. He is a very good healer. My biggest questions are where is he from and how did he get here?"
"Do you think it was one of the Gods?"
Xena smiled and shrugged, "It could be. Shall we ask the resident of this temple?"
"You don't think it was?"
"Who knows, It could be," said the warrior with a chuckle as she put her arm around her friend's shoulders and led her to the Temple.
Xena went through the atrium of the temple were all the wounded were being cared for by herself and Gabrielle and some volunteers from the village. No one in the temple was in any danger. There were two deaths during the battle but none of the survivors were critically wounded.
They went to the center of the temple and entered the inner sanctum. Gabrielle looked up at Xena with an amused expression.
Xena rolled her eyes and then stood in the center with hands on her hips and yelled at the top of lungs, "Aphrodite!"
"What!? Yeash, the next thing you'll do your warrior cry in here."
"A strange man was on the battlefield," said Gabrielle to the Goddess of Love.
"Gabs, their all strange?"
"No," Xena interrupted, "Gabrielle means the man was dressed strangely. He speaks of names and places I've never heard of and he seems very lost and confused. He's a healer, a very nice man. He has a concussion, he doesn't know this place or anything about our surroundings," Xena calmly explained to Goddess lounging on a low divan filled with pink pillows.
"Sounds like a quite a poser, huh?"
"Did you bring him here, Aphrodite?" Asked Gabrielle upset at her friend's casual attitude.
"That's not fair Gabrielle, have I ever lied to you? And no I didn't bring him here."
Xena believed her, "Could you please find out who did? And soon please."
"So you think it was one of us?"
"Yep," said the warrior with an expression that would intimidate anyone, even a Goddess. It worked Aphrodite swallowed and said in high squeaky voice, "Your probably right. I'll go and check it out up at the big top. See ya!" Said the Goddess and then in puff of pink smoke she was gone.
Gabrielle looked up at her friend and said, "She's something else."
"Yep." Said the warrior with a smile as she led her friend back toward the atrium.
Hawkeye watched as the tall woman went from patient to patient much like he would have back at the 4077th. He was very impressed with her manner and professionalism. She was kind but firm and very sensitive to her patients.
Suddenly one of the wounded began to wheeze and choke. One of the volunteers who was helping the warrior cried out for her help. She rushed to the suffering man's side. She hit the man's pulse points with a rapid finger movement and then proceeded to perform a perfect tracheotomy. It was like a trained surgeon from his time without any of the proper equipment. He lay back against his pillows truly amazed.
"You ok?" Asked the soft voice of the blonde girl.
"For someone who stepped through the looking glass, I'm fine." He said with a smirk.
"Is that what you did to get here?"
Hawkeye smiled and shook his head, "No, I mean I feel like I entered another strange world. Gabrielle, Is your friend a trained surgeon?"
Hawkeye sighed and said, "Where did she learn to cut into a man to help a man like that?"
"Oh, on the battlefield. She is a very gifted healer. I've learned a lot from her?"
"And I've learned a lot from you too," Said a low voice from behind them. Gabrielle smiled and said; "Hawkeye wanted to know where you learned to heal like you do."
Xena nodded as she carefully began to check her patient's head to see how the concussion was. She looked into his twinkling blue eyes and smiled saying, "It looks like it's clearing up nicely. I guess it was a minor wound. You should be ok in couple of days."
"Thanks, I saw what you did over there. That's the kind of work that I do. I'm amazed you know how to do that in what appears to me to be ancient Greece."
"Ancient, huh? What time period are you from?"
"What does ACE mean?" Asked Gabrielle full of curiosity.
"You are adorable, Gabrielle. You know Xena you should keep a close eye on her she is way too cute."
Gabrielle blushed again and this time Xena did laugh. She shook her head at the grinning man, "Yep, she sure is. She did ask a reasonable question though, what does that mean?"
"After the Common Era, It is suppose to be after Christ's rebirth and the fall of Rome."
"Who's Christ?" Asked Gabrielle.
"Rome falls, Good," Said Xena with a huge smile at the same time.
Hawkeye looked at the two woman and decided to ignore Gabrielle's more difficult question. "I take it you don't like Rome, Xena?"
"You could replace that with hate Rome."
"Who is the Emperor?"
"Julius the Bastard Caesar!" Xena spit out the name with icy cold eyes.
"I'm in control, Gabrielle."
Hawkeye looked at her shocked, "You know him?"
"And despise him. Does he die a horrible and painful death, one hopes?"
"Let's just say it's not one of the nicest deaths on record."
"Oh Goody," said Xena with a delighted smile, "Who will get the pleasure?"
"Xena!" Gabrielle scolded getting very upset.
"I know Gabrielle, Okay Hawkeye you rest now. We're going to see about getting you back where you belong." Said Xena covering him up with the blanket and standing up allowing her friend to lead her out of the atrium.
"Now that was interesting, I wonder what Mr. Figleaf did to Xena?" Thought Hawkeye as he cuddled into the surprisingly comfortable bed.
"Yes?" Xena asked Gabrielle with a raised eyebrow as they got ready for bed in a private room the Goddess provided for them.
"You were suppose to be getting information from him not the other way around and?"
"I did, he is from the future and he is an advanced sort of healer who is doing the same work that we do." Said Xena as she brushed the tangles from her hair.
Gabrielle finished her scroll and looked at the Warrior who was sitting on a bed brushing her hair with an insufferable look on her face. "Oh."
Xena laughed putting the brush down and laying back onto the comfortable big bed. Gabrielle picked up the brush and put it through her own short hair as she said looking at the warrior with a sad face, "Isn't it sad that there is still war in the distant future. It's like mankind will make no progress at all."
Xena smiled up at her peace-loving friend and said, "Yes it is. You'd think we would grow up a bit but I guess not. Come here my beauty, I need you," said the warrior holding her arms out.
Gabrielle immediately went within those warm protective arms and kissed her champion passionately. When they parted Xena was rubbing both Gabrielle's cheeks with her thumbs and smiling into the beautiful green eyes, " So our guest made you blush twice? Interesting, huh?"
Gabrielle looked down and then up through her eyelashes, "He is quite the flirt."
"Yes, I'd say he is a very successful one from your reaction. Did he try to?"
"Oh no, he's really sweet. I just think he's funny and kind of lost."
Xena brought the sweet lips to her own and kissed her again. They explored each other for quite a while and then Xena pulled back and said, "Come on Love, we need to get some sleep. We have a lot to do tomorrow."
Gabrielle nodded and put her head on Xena's shoulder as they both fell into an instant sleep. Aries smiled wickedly and said, "Sleep well you two."
Then he went toward the area with the patients. He was almost beside the stranger when a pink clad body stood in front of him.
"And just where do you think your going?"
"Oh, I just thought I would have a nice little chat with that poor stranger over there?"
"Oh give me a break, you brought that poor man here, didn't you?"
"What would make you say a mean thing like that?"
"A little bird, name Discord spilled it. You want to use him for one of your schemes but not on my watch big brother!"
"Aphrodite, go peddle your love potions and leave me alone."
"Gee, I haven't seen Pop in such a long time, See ya!" She was gone in a blink of an eye.
"Aphrodite! Shit." In a flash the God of War chased after his sister."
Xena was gently giving Hawkeye a sponge bath, which he was enjoying with his eyes, closed and a smile on his lips. Xena smiled and said, "Don't they clean patients like this in your time?"
"Yes, but I'm not usually one of them. I should have gone out and bang my head a long time ago if I'd known it would feel this good to be bathed."
Xena was amused, "Oh ?"
Hawkeye laughed and said, "Well other wise I really highly doubt you would delicately be washing my whole vulnerable body this way, now would you?"
"No, I would think that would be highly unlikely."
"So I have my head wrapped like a cueball and I get all this lovely attention, not bad." He said with a smirk his eyes still closed.
"Cueball?" What's that?"
Hawkeye eyes opened and he looked at the amused pale blue eyes in the beautiful face and sighed, "You know my humor is about as effective as salt peter on a man's love life."
Xena smiled and shook her head; "Not really Gabrielle and I think you're very funny."
"Well that's something at least, I think?"
"Excuse me," Said Gabrielle next to them quietly, "Xena there is someone who wants to see you in the private chamber."
"Who?" Asked the warrior as she continued to clean Hawkeye's arms.
"A friend," there was an edge to the word friend in Gabrielle's voice that made Xena look up at her, "Oh?"
Gabrielle nodded and Xena could see in her friend's eyes who it was. "All right then, Gabrielle dry off Hawkeye and keep him company."
"Sure," Said the blonde as she picked up the towel and began to gently dry off the reclining man.
"She's remarkable. I never saw anyone so tough and was so gentle at the same time," Said Hawkeye with admiration.
Gabrielle had a very crooked smile as she said, "Well she has many skills," Then she burst out into a fit of giggles.
"Ok, I give up, What's the joke?" Asked Hawkeye with a smile.
"That's something she says all the time I always wanted to say it."
"When the cats away?"
"The mouse will play." Gabrielle finished and they both burst into a fit of giggles.
"So Gabrielle are you a healer too?"
"I have helped a lot but no I'm a bard?"
"You don't know what a bard is?"
Hawkeye's face reflected how amused he was by Gabrielle's reaction he said quietly; "Well they used to call Shakespeare the bard of Avon but no not really?"
"Oh who is Shakespeare? Is he a good bard? What kind of stories does he tell? Do you have any of his scrolls with you?"
"Shh, Gabrielle calm down. He is very famous where I come from. No I don't have any of his work. So my friend was does a bard do?" Hawkeye thought it was adorable how excited she suddenly got just from hearing the name of bard she had never heard of before. He wished he still had that kind of enthusiasm.
"Um, we tell stories and I write them too. Mine are all about Xena and my adventures with her."
"May I read one?"
"Are you sure?"
Hawkeye nodded, Gabrielle went to her bag and pulled out one of her older scrolls. She thought her new friend might like this story. Hawkeye looked at the parchment and then realizing it was actually in Greek his face fell from the disappointment.
"I can't read your language. Uh, could you tell me one of you stories?"
"Sure, This is the story called, Death in Chains?"
Xena walked into Aphrodite's private bed chamber and called turning in a circle, "Aphrodite, Are you here?"
"Hey Warrior," Said the Goddess reclining on a divan with an upset expression on her usually happy face.
"I have some interesting news."
"It doesn't look like its happy news."
Xena's eyebrow rose and she asked in growl, "Well?"
Aphrodite sighed and said, "Aries brought that man here."
"He did? Why?"
"I don't know but I think it's not for good reason."
"With your brother it never is. I'm worried about him he's so lost and I have a feeling he needs to go home. Can you?um?"
"I had Dad run some interference so we have some time. I can try."
"Come on then."
"And so I lost someone I care about to the same Goddess I had just help save from fading into nothingness. I cried and cried, Xena tried very hard to console me but though I knew that someday we would meet again I was sad for the loss of his kind heart and good soul?"
"And you did see him for a short time again too, didn't you?" Asked Xena sweetly from behind them.
"Yes, but that's another story," said Gabrielle looking her into her best friends eyes with total understanding of what she was referring to.
"Thank you Gabrielle that was wonderful, you could play the palace?"
"Oh boy, I think I need to come with subtitles?I know, I know you don't know what that is either." Said Hawkeye a bit frustrated he thought his humor could take him anywhere.
"Don't worry, my friend I have someone here who may be able to help solve your problem." Said Xena with a smile and gentle hand on his arm.
"Me." Said a musical voice from beside them.
Hawkeye's jaw dropped and he rubbed his eyes as he said, "Um Xena?I think I'm hallucinating worse then I was before?"
"Shh, no your not. This is the Goddess Aphrodite; she's a friend of ours. This is her temple and she is going to help you."
"Yeah Doc, Don't worry you'll be home doing the jitter bug in no time."
"You know what jitter bugging is?"
"Hey, I get around. Ok close your eyes and relax?"
"Wait, let me thank Xena and Gabrielle for helping me, please?"
"Sure, go for it."
His eyes widened at the Goddess's vocabulary then he looked with deep affection at the two women next to him. "I really don't know how to thank you. I don't know if I will even remember you but I really do think your both?well the kindest, gentlest most giving people I have ever met. You're both incredible and it has been an honor to meet you. I think I will look at woman differently from now on since I met you two. Thank you."
He hugged Gabrielle who happily returned it. Then he hesitated and hugged Xena, who also gently returned the embrace. She pulled back and smiled at him, "I don't think we will forget you either, my friend. Take care of yourself."
"Yes Hawkeye, be well," Said Gabrielle sweetly.
"Ok, ok lay back and close your eyes," Said the impatient Goddess.
Hawkeye did a crooked salute to the Goddess, he winked at his new friends and then he lay back against the pillow and closed his eyes.
"Xena?" Said Hawkeye groggily his head rolling from side to side.
"Who? Hawk, its Margaret. Open your eyes?please."
"Yes, Come on Hawkeye open your eyes."
Hawkeye blinked and looked up into Margaret's concerned blue eyes and smiled, "Hi."
"Hi, How do you feel?"
"Like a truck ran over me."
"Close it was a wall but it probably feels the same."
Hawkeye smiled and said, "You wouldn't believe the dream I had."
"Something about someone named Xena?"
"Yes, How did you know that?"
"You've been saying that name and Gabrielle's over and over. It must have been some dream," said Margaret with an affectionate smile.
"Well considering my reputation I don't blame you for thinking that way but no it had nothing to do with sex. They were these incredible women, so intelligent, talented, strong and kind. I?um, they reminded me of someone I knew pretty well."
Hawkeye smiled sweetly and nodded.
"Let me take a look at you," Margaret said blushing as she examined him.
"You have a strange red rash breaking out on your face?"
"Hawkeye, Shh let me take a look at you ok?" Hawkeye shrugged and lay back on the bed letting his friend examine him. "You look ok. Rest for a while we'll be going home by ambulance to make sure we make it in one piece." She said with a smile.
He nodded and turned around when he felt a something under his pillow. He pulled it out and found it was scroll. He opened it and saw it was the one that he couldn't read that Gabrielle gave him earlier.
"Oh boy, I think I did go over the rainbow."