Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or MASH~~~~~
Xander woke up with a start, and tried to sit up, but was pushed back down quickly by a man in glasses, khaki fatigues, and some kind of scarf over his shoulders.
“You need to lie down, son,” the other man urged earnestly. “You've got an IV in your arm, and I really don't think Dr Pierce would be happy if you undid all his fine work.”
“Dr Pierce?” he asked frantically. “Work? What work? Where am I?”
“MASH 4077, and Dr Pierce is one of our finest, if a little irreverent, surgeons.”
“What?” Xander knew he was on the verge of hysteria, but really felt like just going with it. Who, what or where was MASH 4077? And why did he need the work of their finest, if a little irreverent, surgeon? Inquiring minds really freaking needed to know. “What happened?”
“Your unit came under fire. You were injured, and sent here. You've been fixed, now, but you'll need some time in Tokyo to heal up properly before … going back.”
“My unit? What...” He looked around again, and saw the drip, and the bunks of wounded men, and the men and women wandering around all wearing khaki fatigues, just like the man beside him. “Sorry. I'm sorry,” Xander murmured, “but who are you?”
“Oh, I'm Father Mulcahy. I didn't know what faith you are, but thought you might appreciate a prayer or two.”
Xander looked up at the gentle-eyed man, then shook his head. He tried to think about what had just happened, but couldn't figure it out. The last thing he remembered was escorting the kids... Crap! The kids! And Buffy swore tonight was supposed to be 'dead for the undead.' “Hey, uh, Father, what day is it?”
“Oh, uh, November First, All Saints Day,” the good Father smiled. “Not long till lunch, if you're up for it.”
Xander frowned. “Huh. Last I looked, it was Halloween. Guess I've been asleep a bit, huh?”
“I'm afraid so,” the older man nodded.
“So, um, not feeling too bad,” Xander considered, as he looked at the drip. “Guess that's to blame?”
“Anaesthetics are a gift from God.”
“Amen to that, Father.” Xander plucked at his sheets. “So where am I? Exactly?”
“Uijeongbu. We're still in Korea, though.”
Korea. There was a war there, wasn't there? His dad was born after his grandad came home from Korea, yeah, that was it. For some Hellmouthy reason, he had been sent back to Korea, to the war that his grandfather had served in. He rubbed his face, and grimaced at the feel of his stubble. “Hey, Father, is there any way to get a shave? I'm feeling pretty mucky here.”
“Certainly, son,” the priest smiled as he got up. “I'll be just a little bit.”
Xander watched as the priest walked off to collect supplies, and then returned several minutes later with an old-fashioned razor, a stick of soap, a shaving brush, a towel, a mirror, and a basin of hot water.
“I'll just get you sitting up, then I'll shave you. How does that sound?”
“I can't do it myself?” Xander asked hopefully.
“Sorry,” Father Mulcahy shook his head. “I really wouldn't be allowed to let you do that. But I can do this for you.”
“Thanks,” Xander said with a sigh.~~~~~
“So he gave me a shave, and then had to go talk to someone else,” Xander nodded. “He was really nice. Hey, do you think he might be still alive?”
Giles frowned worriedly. “Well, I dare-say he might be, if he survived his time in service. But I wouldn't, er, go looking him up,” he cautioned.
Xander thought about that, then sighed. “No, I can see that. Heh. I can just imagine, he's in his rocking chair, and some kid comes up saying, 'Hey, remember me? You gave me a shave on All Saint's Day, 1950-something.”
Giles lips twitched, and he shook his head. “Yes, I don't think that would be wise. But how are you after your time away?”
Xander sighed. “I got really worried there for a while. I mean, what if I'd been stuck there, or something? I'm just a kid; how can I go to war?”
Giles gave the young man a singularly penetrating look, then shook his head sadly. “I do wonder that,” he sighed.