DISCLAIMER: All main, recognized characters belong to William Broyles, Jr., John Sacret Young. and Warner Bros.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This show truly captured my attention, but it was the characters of Colleen McMurphy and K.C. Koloski that kept me coming back week and week. A special thanks to Debbie for the beta and the kind words.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
New Year's Eve 1969
Kicked back in my chair drinking a beer, I closed my eyes and allowed myself a rare glimpse back in time, to a time that I tried to keep locked away in the furthest recesses of my mind. Tonight, however, the memories wouldn't stay at bay. Tonight, I allowed them to seep through to the forefront, amazed that they came through so sharp and so clear. It was as if it were only yesterday . . .
Walking back to my tent, I cursed my luck as of late. I couldn't believe I fucking missed the last ride into Da Nang and all because of a broken heel. Hell, I wasn't going to need the damn shoes anyway; once I met up with General Stratton, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been wearing them for long.
I threw off my substitute shoes, cursing yet again as I took great joy in hurling them across the tent, and I didn't even bother to hang my new dress back in my makeshift closet, allowing it to simply crumple to the floor. Climbing onto my bed in my new lingerie which also won't be unveiled to the general tonight, I closed my eyes and sighed. What a great New Year's Eve this was turning out to be.
An hour later, I was tired of feeling sorry for myself so I got up and put on some jeans and a button up shirt as there was certainly no one here that I needed to impress. Stepping outdoors, I headed over to get a drink; I'd be damned if I was going to ring in this new year sober.
The minute I stepped into the room, I knew things had gone from bad to worse. There were only four people in the place, and they were already coupled together. Shaking my head, I moved to the bar in hopes that someone would come in, and I wouldn't have to go home alone.
Of course, I had to go and jinx myself by thinking of being alone. Instead of hoping to find a New Year's Eve fuck, I should have just allowed the night to progress naturally. It seemed that everyone and their dog had snuck off somewhere because they sure as hell weren't here.
I slipped the substitute bartender a hundred dollar bill for a bottle of Jack Daniels, and he didn't bat an eyelash as he placed the bottle in a bag and slid it over to me. With no prospects in sight, I dejectedly left the bar and headed for my tent. At least, I had my bottle and my right hand to keep me company tonight.
Slipping out of my clothes, I opened the bottle and grabbed a nearby glass. Happy Fucking New Year's to me.
As I poured my second glass, the bottle slipped and I miraculously caught it before even a drop could spill. As befits my luck that night, when I reached for the falling glass, I trapped it against my hand and the ground, and I screamed in pain as the glass shattered, cutting the skin between my thumb and index finger. Shit, that really, really hurt.
I quickly grabbed a nearby towel and applied pressure to the cut. It was obvious the cut was fairly deep and bleeding quite profusely as my towel was turning a nice shade of red. Hoping that Doctor Dick wasn't on duty, I made my way over to the infirmary, thankful that I was still sober. When I stepped through the doors and saw Colleen McMurphy sitting behind a desk, I quickly changed my mind about where I wanted my level of sobriety to be.
My relationship with Colleen could be described as volatile at best. Granted, we'd been in some pretty hairy situations in the past and always stuck together, but we still managed to snipe at each other as soon as the danger was over. We simply didn't get along, ever; sort of like oil and water.
Looking down at the blood soaked towel, I wondered if I could just tape the cut back together until someone else was on duty; however, the decision was taken out of my hands as I slumped to the floor in a dead faint. To this day, I'm not sure if it was because of the blood loss or because my adrenaline had worn off and I'm not too keen on seeing the sight of my own blood.
When I awoke, I was lying on a cot, and Colleen was very gently placing a bandage around my hand. I started to sit up to tell her that I was completely capable of putting on my own bandage, but the moment I made the move to sit upright, the room became a literal spinning top.
"Hey, lie back down," Colleen ordered, although her tone wasn't as brash sounding as usual. Placing her hand on my shoulder, she slowly pushed me back to a prone position.
"What are you still doing here? I thought you were going to Da Nang?" Colleen asked as she placed the final piece of tape on my injury.
Closing my eyes, I groaned, "You don't want to know, trust me." She actually laughed aloud at my reply, and I just had to brave my dizziness to open my eyes and witness her smile. Colleen had been smiling less and less since she first arrived at China Beach, and it was a real shame, too. Her smile could truly light up a room, so now you understand why I risked the spinning room in favor of a ray of sunshine.
Turning her smile toward me, she reported, "That cut was very deep. You're lucky that glass didn't tear through to the muscle. I called Doctor Dick, but he had begun his New Year's celebrating a little early, so I sewed you up myself."
"How'd you know it was a glass?" For some reason, that's the only part of the conversation I focused in on as there was no way I was going to tell Colleen that I was grateful she didn't let a drunken Doctor Dick work on me.
"Huh? Oh, there was still a sliver in your hand. I cleaned and disinfected the cut, so it probably was a good thing you passed out. The pain would have been tremendous," the nurse in her explained. And me, I proceeded to turn white as a sheet just thinking about the prospect of being conscious during the proceedings.
Colleen placed her hand on the side of my face and asked, "Are you okay? You look like you're going to pass out again. You didn't hit your head or anything when you fell, did you?"
I fell? When the hell did I fall? Oh yeah, when I passed out.
"Um, as far as I know, I just sank to the floor," I replied, leaning into the warm touch.
There was a rustling noise behind us as someone else entered the room, and Colleen quickly pulled her hand away. Turning, she greeted her replacement and recited a report on each and every patient in the infirmary. Well, except for me.
My attention was on the skin of my cheek rapidly losing the nice warmth that had just been there, and I almost missed Colleen's next words.
"C'mon, K. C. I'll help you home and put you to bed. You should be fine in the morning," my nurse explained, and my mind took a giant leap into the gutter as I imagined exactly how I would like to be 'put' into bed.
Colleen carefully led me back to my tent, gently wrapping one arm around my waist. Unfortunately, I got my sea legs back just as we entered my tent, and I no longer needed to lean against her, but selfishly, I kept that tidbit to myself and actually pretended to lose my balance so that she'd have to put her arms fully around me.
I could hardly believe that I was being embraced by Colleen McMurphy, but the real kicker was that it felt wonderful and I didn't want her to let go, ever. Returning the embrace, I placed my arms around her and hugged her tightly to me.
Now, let me tell you a little something about me for just a second. I'm as tough as they come. I'm hard as nails, and I'll chew anyone up and spit them out without a second thought, but there are times when I'm so vulnerable that I have no control over my emotions. Thankfully, I'm usually alone when the tears flow, but as my string of wonderfully good luck continued; I completely lost it when Colleen hugged me so close I felt like I had come home for the first time in my entire life.
So, there we were. Me bawling my eyes out, and Colleen trying desperately to console me even though she had absolutely no idea what was wrong. She slowly moved me to the bed, and the next thing I knew, I'm lying in her arms, and she's rubbing gentle circles on my back.
What came next, neither of us would've ever imagined, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure who kissed whom, but the fucking that followed was fast and furious. Somehow we managed to strip off our clothes and basically attack each other, all without me re-injuring my hand.
The truly amazing thing was that once we had our way with each other, we kissed sweetly and began all over again, several times in fact. Each time seemed gentler and gentler until I could truly say that I'd been made love to for the first time in a very long time.
As dawn approached, Colleen whispered her dreams to me, and I reluctantly imparted some of mine to her. We talked freely and easily about how this was the best New Year's Eve either one of us had ever had, but even though we agreed that it was not a mistake, we also decided that it could never happen again.
And so we each went our merry little way. We still had our confrontations, but we always had respect for each other. Neither of us ever talked about what happened on New Year's Eve 1969, but I for one have never forgotten it.
The chiming of the wall clock pulled me from my memories, and I smiled when I noted the number of chimes. Ah, midnight and another year gone by.
Raising my beer, I offered my annual toast to the empty room. "Here's to you, Colleen. I hope you finally found what you were looking for."
Return to Miscellaneous Fiction
Return to Main Page