Disclaimer: The characters in this story are owned by ABC
Television. I am not profiting from this story in any way. It is
written strictly for pleasure.  Copyright 1992, 1994 by Nancy Durgin.

[ I started this "Survival" sequel back in 1992 and never did finish
it.  Here's one of my favorite scenes from that unfinished story.  I
just pulled it out of the unfinished story with no edits or
polishing, but I think it should more-or-less stand alone, if you are
familiar with the episode. ]

        Kirby visits Saunders in the hospital
      (A scene from an unfinished sequel to "Survival")
                 By Nancy Durgin

  "Hey, Sarge!" It was Kirby's voice -- pitched low,
almost a whisper.  Saunders started out of his doze,
reaching automatically for his Thompson.  But the sharp
pain in his hand as he clenched his fist made him realize
where he was even before he'd opened his eyes to confirm
it -- he was in a brightly lit hospital ward, not out on
night patrol.
  Kirby was standing there grinning at him.  "Hey, you
weren't sleeping, were you?"
  Well, of course he'd been trying to do just that, but
actually Saunders was glad for the distraction.  Sleep
should have been the best way to escape the pain that made
being awake so miserable, but every time he managed to
achieve that state, the blissful oblivion was invaded by
weird fever-enhanced nightmares, and he found himself
struggling back awake.  At least then the pain in his
hands served to reassure him that he *was* awake.
  Anyway, a visitor was a welcome relief.  The grin was
beginning to fade from Kirby's face as he realized that he
*had* actually woken him up, so Saunders quickly managed
a reassuring grin of his own.  "No, it's okay," he croaked
out hoarsely -- the exquisitely intense head cold was
another little legacy from his recent mis-adventures.
  "Oh, here Sarge.... You want a drink?"
  Saunders nodded.
  Kirby found a glass on the small table next to Saunders'
bed and filled it with water from the pitcher next to it. 
He glanced surreptitiously around the room before leaning
over and helping Saunders sit up to drink.
  The water felt good in his dry cottony mouth, even if it
did hurt to swallow it.  His head and neck ached from the
low-grade fever he was still running, and the effort of
sitting up to drink drained him. He slumped back down
when he was through.
  "I snuck in," Kirby explained with a triumphant grin and
a conspiratorial tone as he took the glass away.  He
pulled up a chair and sat down next to the bed, facing
  Snuck in?  Saunders looked at him questioningly.  He
didn't have the mental energy for riddles.
  "They wouldn't let us in yesterday.  That head nurse
said you weren't ready for visitors."  Kirby snorted. 
"She thinks she's a general or somethin'."
  Saunders grinned, wondering briefly which one was the
head nurse.  The fact was, he wouldn't have noticed if
he'd had visitors yesterday or not.  Up until his fever
had broken last night, he didn't really remember much of
anything very clearly.  It was all a painful, nightmarish
blur.  But it didn't matter anyway -- he was happy just to
let Kirby talk for now.
  Kirby laughed -- enjoying his own joke.  "Anyway, I
figured out how to get past her.  I just came in as a
patient!"  he gestured meaningfully at his leg.
  More riddles.  Kirby pushed on with his story without
giving Saunders a chance to puzzle it out.
  "So, after one of the other nurses finished changing the
bandage, I just snuck out the back door of the treatment
room and came in here," Kirby finished triumphantly.  "A
piece o' cake!"
  The bandage.  Saunders slowly put it together.  Yeah,
Kirby had been hit in the leg -- Hanley had sent him back
with Doc and Anderson before the rest of them had been
pinned down by the Krauts.  It had been a minor wound, but
the bandage would still need to be changed every day.
  Kirby took out a cigarette and offered it to Saunders,
who nodded gratefully. Smoking was high on the growing
list of simple tasks he couldn't manage by himself with
his hands like this -- even for that simple pleasure he
was dependent on one of the busy nurses finding the time
to help him.
  Kirby probably hadn't considered all of that -- lighting
a smoke for a wounded comrade was just second nature to
the soldier.  He lit the cigarette, took a puff, and then
stuck it skillfully between Saunders' lips.
  Saunders took a deep drag and relaxed, listening as
Kirby chattered about some girl he'd seen in a bar.  "Of
course she doesn't speak English.  I tried to get Caje to
introduce us, but he's been in one of his sulks."  Kirby
grinned.  "It doesn't matter.  I'll go back there and win
her over tonight," he said confidently.
  "Or," Kirby said thoughtfully as he took the burning
cigarette back from Saunders and tapped off the ashes.
"Actually that nurse who changed my bandage wasn't half
bad.  I wonder if 'the General' ever lets her off duty."
  Saunders laughed, then immediately regretted it when it
caught in his throat and turned into a painful cough. He
croaked out his warning anyway: "She's an officer, Kirby. 
You'd better stick with the French girl."
  Kirby grinned and gave the cigarette back to Saunders. 
"Oh, she'll get over that!"  He sobered and glanced around
nervously again, then lowered his voice.  "Hey Sarge,
maybe you shouldn't try to talk.  If you get laryngitis
and they decide to court martial me for breaking in here,
I won't stand a chance with her...."
  Before Saunders could respond, Kirby looked again
towards the other end of the room, where the door was. 
"Oh, hell....  Now I'm doomed.  Here comes the General!"
  Saunders' view of the room was blocked by a cloth screen
that was set up between the head of his bed and the next
one.  He knew he was in one end of a fairly large
ward-room, but there was no door in this end.  So Kirby
could probably see the nurse coming well in advance, but
there was no way for him to escape a confrontation with
  Kirby opted for nonchalance.  He turned back to Saunders
and relieved him of the butt of his cigarette, stamping it
out on the floor.  "Okay, so it's the French girl.  She's
prettier anyway."
  Saunders grinned -- the French girl might have something
to say about that....
  He was still grinning when Kirby's nemesis appeared from
the other side of the divider screen, carrying a cloth
covered tray.  Saunders had been prepared for a
middle-aged matronly type -- he was surprised to see that
"the General" was the same nurse who'd brought him
breakfast earlier that morning.  How could he not be
favorably disposed towards the angel of mercy who'd taken
away the uncomfortable IV, and then patiently spoon-fed
him his first solid food in...well, he wasn't sure how
many days?  And if that wasn't enough, she was even kind
of pretty.
  The nurse took in the scene at a glance and then marched
over, put the tray down on the bedside table, and looked
accusingly at Kirby.  "What are you doing here, Private?"
  "Just keeping Sarge company, ma'am."  Kirby was doing
his best to look innocently unconcerned -- he was pretty
good at it.
  "I thought I made it clear to you and your friends
yesterday that the Sergeant wasn't ready for visitors."
  "Sure, but that was yesterday.  I had to come in today
to have a doctor check out this leg wound..." Kirby
gestured towards his right leg, which was now stretched
awkwardly in front of him as he sat on the chair.  He used
both hands and adjusted the leg with a grunt.  "So I
figured it would be okay to drop in and see how he was
  The nurse looked Saunders over with a critical eye. 
"Well, what he *should* have been doing was sleeping," she
said firmly.  "He can't very well do that if you're here
bothering him."
  Kirby looked ready to protest, but she cut him off. 
"Well, I guess there's no harm done.  But you'll have to
leave now, Private," she added firmly.
  "Yes, Ma'am,"  Kirby hopped obediently to his feet. 
"Hey Sarge, take it easy.  I'll bring the other guys
around later...that is if the Lieutenant here says it's
alright, of course," he added quickly.
  "*Maybe* this evening," the nurse said firmly.  "But
check with me or one of other nurses first."
  "Yes, Ma'am," Kirby agreed.  He flashed Saunders a
triumphant grin and sauntered out of view.
  The nurse watched for a moment and then turned back to
Saunders.  She took a thermometer from the tray and popped
it in his mouth.  As she started to take his pulse with
two fingers at the side of his neck, Saunders realized she
was suppressing a laugh.
  "What's so funny?" he croaked around the thermometer.
  She smiled, shaking her head in amusement.  "Sergeant,
when you see your friend next time -- tell him he forgot
to limp."