The Green Room
(2006) No infringement upon the rightful owners of "Combat!" and the characters thereof, is intended. Any resemblance between real people and the characters in this story is purely coincidental and no insult is intended. This piece of fan fiction is for enjoyment only, and in no way will the author gain monetary profit from its existence.
"Guess Who's Coming to Thanksgiving Dinner"
by White Queen
Caje ambled through the woods not too far from the squad's Green Room. The crisp autumn air contained just enough chill to make his stroll invigorating, but not enough for him to don mittens or a scarf. Perfect fall weather. Of course, being used to Louisiana weather, Caje found it far too cold for comfort, so he wore his turtleneck for added warmth. Not to mention added studliness. You never knew who you might meet up with in those woods.
All at once, his peaceful afternoon ramble was interrupted by the ferocious barking of what sounded like a very angry dog. Caje leaped behind a tree, swinging his rifle around from where it had hung jauntily from his shoulder. Only seconds later, a gigantic German Shepherd bounded into sight, barking and baring its terrifying teeth.
Caje sighed, rolled his eyes, and stepped out from behind the tree. "Winston!" he scolded the bounding beast. "What are you chasing now?"
A small squirrel scurried up the tree that had hidden Caje. The soldier shook his finger at the dog. "You should know better! Chasing a poor defenseless squirrel!"
The squirrel pulled out a walnut from one bulging cheek and lobbed it with alarming accuracy at the German Shepherd. It struck the poor pooch solidly between the eyes. Winston whined and backed away.
"Winston! Winston! Where are you!" came another man's French-accented voice echoing through the trees.
"He's over here!" Caje called back. He walked to the docile dog and patted its head. "Maybe you're right and that squirrel deserved to be chased, eh?"
Winston cocked his head to one side and gave a wide doggie grin.
A short pug-nosed man wearing a flat beret and a very bright red sweater jogged into view. "I thought it was you, mon ami!" he cried when he saw Caje. "How wonderful to see you again!"
"And you as well, LeBeau," Caje replied. "Has Winston here been making mischief again?" Caje donned his own black beret, which he'd been carrying shoved in that little strap thingie on the shoulder of his coat that seemed made for just such a purpose. Oh yeah, the epaulet, that's what it was called.
"Oui. He ran off with three of the sausages Sergeant Schultz--" LeBeau stopped talking and looked confused. "Hey! How come I'm speaking French to you, but it comes out sounding like English?"
"It's so the readers can understand." Caje shook his head. "You know that."
"Mais oui, I forgot. Hey! How come mais oui came out French?"
"Most people know what it means. Just like mon Dieu or mon ami. I've even gotten away with merde a few times." Caje chuckled.
LeBeau raised his eyebrows. "I'm impressed -- the most I get to say is Sacre Bleu once in a while."
Caje patted LeBeau's shoulder. "That's the difference between comedy and drama."
"So this scoundrel stole some sausages?" Caje scratched behind the contented canine's ears, causing Winston to make cute little happy noises.
"Yes! He is such a pig!" LeBeau wrinkled his nose. "Now Schultz will never help me find those mushrooms for Thanksgiving."
"You're having mushrooms for Thanksgiving?" Caje asked.
"Of course! For my famous Portobello Mushroom Stuffing! Why, what are you having?"
Caje shrugged. "The usual, I suppose: overcooked turkey, canned cranberry gel, and one of the fruitcakes Kirby's mother sends him."
"Sounds terrible. But wait -- you get care packages from home? All we get are Red Cross bundles full of itchy socks and stale doughnuts!"
Winston whined and stopped grinning like a happy hound.
"You see?" LeBeau gestured at Winston. "Even our dogs don't like them!"
Caje said, "It's not so wonderful. Mostly we get fruitcake and birthday cakes, so don't be too envious. Anyway, what are you having besides mushroom stuffing?"
LeBeau beamed. "This year, I am making fish." He put his five fingertips together and kissed them. "I am brilliant!"
"Fish?" Caje asked. "But Thanksgiving is on Thursday, not Friday."
"I know that, but I get so tired of turkey, turkey, turkey. This year, it will be fish. A giant fresh salmon, I think. And of course the garlic mashed potatoes, flaky rolls with sweet cream butter, and the mushroom stuffing."
Caje's eyes glazed. "I don't suppose your Green Tunnel could hold a few extra people?" he suggested, licking his lips.
"What a fantastic idea!" LeBeau exclaimed enthusiastically. "I will talk to Colonel Hogan immediately! When I am making so much food already, what is a little more?"
Caje held out his hand. "Many thanks, mon ami. I will inform Lieutenant Hanley that he might be receiving a very important message from Colonel Hogan."
LeBeau shook Caje's hand with vigor. "Consider yourself invited." Then he turned to the German Shepherd. "As for you, Winston, I wouldn't want to be in your place when Schultz finds out about those sausages."
Winston whined but obediently followed LeBeau as he walked away through the piles of fallen leaves.
"Is it really true?" Billy asked. "We don't have to bake a turkey or eat fruitcake or anything? We just have to show up?"
Hanley nodded. "That's what Colonel Hogan said. They're providing all the food, as long as I bring along a few bottles of wine." He frowned. "I wonder what he meant by 'a few'."
"Can we bring guests? I know some people that might want to join us."
"Colonel Hogan's exact words were 'the more, the merrier', so I don't see why not," Hanley said. "I wonder if he meant just three or four, or if I should bring an even half dozen? No, more than that -- Kirby alone will down a whole bottle...." He headed for the storage room, muttering to himself.
Kirby climbed down the ladder into the Green Tunnel, turned around, took one look at the people gathered around the long table nearby, and hollered, "Sarge! It's a trap! There's Krauts down here!"
Saunders slid down the last few feet of the ladder and was quickly joined by the rest of his squad.
Colonel Hogan stepped forward and smiled, his Air Force hat pushed rakishly to the back of his head. "Don't worry, soldier," he said, patting Kirby's arm. "They're tame."
Colonel Klink smiled and clasped his gloved hands together. "Yes, yes," he said, "I assure you we are completely harmless!"
On the opposite side of the table, Newkirk rolled his eyes, elbowed Carter, and said, "You can say that again," in his very British accent.
Billy said, "Well, you might have a couple of tame Krauts, but we brought two tame vampires, a lawyer, and a... woman with blue hair!"
"Vampires?" Sgt. Schultz cried. He closed his eyes, shook his head, and declared, "I see nothing! I hear nothing!"
Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria climbed down the ladder and clustered behind Saunders and his squad.
Col. Hogan put his hands on his hips and glared at Lt. Hanley. "You brought a lawyer with you?" he growled.
Hanley held up a box containing six bottles of wine and six bottles of cognac as a sort of peace offering. "Don't worry about the lawyer, he's tame too."
Gunn held up both his hands and said, "I promise not to sue anyone, if that helps."
Angel stepped in front of Gunn. "I'm sorry to drop in on you like this." He smiled his most charming half-smile. "But Bill said it would be okay."
Col. Hogan shrugged. "Oh well, the more, the merrier, stranger. As long as the lieutenant here brought enough wine."
"Don't worry about that." Hanley headed for the kitchen with his box of booze and nearly ran over LeBeau, who entered wearing a tall chef's hat and carrying a platter of those tasty little ham-and-cream-cheese rollups on toothpicks.
"Anyone care for hors d'oeuvres?" LeBeau asked, placing the platter on the large table.
As everyone gathered around and began gobbling away, LeBeau turned toward Hanley. "Ah, Lieutenant! The wine, oui?" He took the box and added, "How are those cavalry uniforms I made for you? Are they wearing okay? I tried to find the sturdiest cloth I could, but--"
"They're fine, thanks," Hanley said, looking around furtively to see if they'd been overheard.
Nearby, Saunders grinned and popped another ham rollup in his mouth.
Blue-haired Illyria sniffed the air and declared, "I smell the sea."
Hanley frowned. "I showered and everything," he muttered, sniffing at his jacket.
"Of course you smell the sea!" cried LeBeau. "Do you think I would serve anything but the freshest fish?"
As if on cue, Dana Andrews came into the room from the direction of the kitchen. He was wearing loose, comfy-looking trousers and a striped shirt with short sleeves.
"Hey," said Doc, "you having dinner here too, Andrews?"
Andrews grinned. "No, as a matter of fact, Holden and his buddy Glenn are meeting me at my boat. We're having pancakes." He shook LeBeau's hand and said, "Thanks for loaning me that cup of flour."
"You are most welcome." LeBeau grinned.
"So long." Andrews headed for the ladder that led up to the surface.
"So long, and thanks for all the fish!" LeBeau called after him.
"Shall we dine?" Colonel Hogan suggested, offering his arm to Illyria. She stared at his arm for a moment, looked puzzled, then went to sit next to Spike. Hogan sighed, shrugged, and pulled out the chair next to his for Col. Klink's blonde secretary Hilda instead.
"Hey," Kirby said, "how come we don't get no dames in our Green Room? They got one here, and Angel's crew's got one. That's not fair!"
Before anyone could begin arguing the complexities of the fairness of distribution of female roles, Lt. Hanley raised his wine glass. "I propose a toast," he said. "To our writers. Without them, this would never be possible. If they hadn't started writing crossovers, think how many friends we would never have met."
Everyone raised their glasses and echoed, "To our writers!" They all drained their wine, except Illyria, who sniffed it and made a face.
Kirby, watching Illyria, rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, they sure do introduce us to some interesting people."
On the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Captain Kirk sat in his comfy captain's chair, arms folded. "Can you believe they invited that bloodsucker to their Thanksgiving dinner, but they didn't invite us?"
Spock raised an already-angled eyebrow. "I believe there are two vampires in attendance, sir."
"I was talking about the lawyer, but good point." Captain Kirk looked petulant. "Still. The effrontery of some people!"
Chekov looked over his shoulder at the captain and suggested, "We could always pay them a surprise visit."
Uhura said, "I'm sure if we brought dessert, no one would mind."
A mischievous grin replaced Captain Kirk's frown. He punched a button on the arm of his chair. "Scotty, ready our Green Shuttle. We might not have to eat synthesized food for Thanksgiving after all!"