"How's that old son of a gun doing?" The doctor asked sipping his beer. "Haven't seen him in a while and it's been two months since we've talked on the phone."
"Oh, he's great. Still at Crabapple Cove running the practice. You should come for a visit one day. He'd be thrilled." Casey told him. "Have you been working at the Mercy all the time? I've never seen you."
"This is my second month." Trapper explained. "I worked at a small hospital out of town before. Then they offered me this job - chief of ER. I just couldn't resist. And you? I've never seen you before, either."
"Usually I'm working in the OR. I just helped out in ER today." Casey explained. "I worked in Portland after returning from Vietnam but now this is my fourth month in Boston."
"You have been to Vietnam?" Trapper was astonished.
Casey nodded and they talked a while about the war, about living and working in a surgical unit. Trapper came up with some of his Korea memories and Casey shared some of hers with him.
"Trap, are you on call this weekend?" Casey suddenly asked. She had an idea. If Hawkeye was going to surprise her, she could do the same to him.
"Nope, this weekend is free. Why?"
"I was just wondering if you would like to join me on a trip to Crabapple Cove. There's a big festival going on and dad invited me. Why don't you come with me? A surprise for dad, he surely would love to see you again."
"Sounds like a great idea. It isn't the famous lobster festival, is it? Hawkeye couldn't stop talking about that while we were in Korea." He smiled. "I think I have to talk to my wife first but I'm sure she don't mind." He said.
Casey grinned. She was looking forward to Hawkeye's reaction.
The next day came up with another lucky incident. Casey this time worked in the OR but went down to look for Trapper on her lunch break.
She was walking down the corridor searching for him when suddenly a young man rushed out of a room and bumped into her. Casey fell and unfortunately her head hit the floor. She heard a voice - somehow familiar - shouting: "Uncle John, quick. I need your help!" Footsteps approaching. "Casey!?!" Then she fainted.
When she came to after a couple of minutes she was laying on the couch in the doctor's lounge Trapper bending over her.
"What happened?" She asked still feeling a little dizzy. Her head hurt. She sat up and touched the back of her head. "I guess that's going to be a big bump."
Trapper handed her an ice bag and then explained. "My nephew was a little impetuous leaving my room and knocked you down."
"So." Casey said while standing up. "Is he still here. I'd like to have a few moments with him."
Trapper grinned. "Yes, he's waiting outside. Please be kind, he's really nervous."
"Why should he. I'm not going to rip his head off. Well, maybe I should." Her head really hurt.
"I think he has another reason to feel that way." Trapper opened the door. "Okay, Josh, step in."
Casey couldn't believe her eyes when a young black man appeared in front of her. Could it really be him... The nurse was on the verge of fainting again. But one look into those dark brown eyes told her she was right.
"Josh, is that really you?" She was crying and within seconds her arms were around his shoulders pulling him close to her.
"Yeah, it's me. Oh my god, I thought I'd never see you again." He held her tight, tears rolling down his cheeks.
Trapper smiled as he saw them both hugging and kissing and then he left the room.
Casey almost forgot going back to work. She just didn't want to let go of Josh. She was afraid that it might have been only a dream - no, it definitely wasn't. But since Josh had to go back to the Boston General Hospital where he did his internship, they finally had to say good-bye again. Not for long though.
This evening Josh came to her apartment and stayed overnight. They cooked dinner, talked and just enjoyed being together again. She found out that he was the son of Trapper's older sister Jamie who now lived in New York working at her own little bookstore. His dad, Lenny Turner, died when Josh had been ten years old. He practically had grown up with Trapper's family, so he and his uncle were pretty close.
"He taught me so much about medicine, helped me with my studies. Trap just is a great uncle." Josh explained and his eyes were sparkling when looking at Casey.
"Yeah, I know what you mean." She said and sipped on her wine. "My dad helped me a lot as well. Did you know that he and Trapper had served at the same MASH unit during the Korean war? They were actually good friends."
"Are you kidding? Your dad had been at the 4077th. I heard many stories about that camp. What's your dads name. It can't be Travis, Trap never talked about somebody named Travis."
"My dad's name, actually he's my foster dad, is Benjamin Pierce but everybody calls him..."
"...Hawkeye. I'll be darn. The famous 'Hawkeye Pierce' is your father. He was my uncle's bunkmate. Wow!" Josh was impressed. "As from what I've heard he must be a very special person, very funny also and sometimes pretty crazy."
The girl laughed. "Yes indeed. He's just the best." Now it was Casey's turn to tell him about her life. It was weird. There they were, two veterans that had spent only one night together in a country far away, during a horrible war, and now having the feeling that they were meant for each other. Fate had brought them together again just as Josh had hoped in Vietnam.
The ride to Crabapple Cove was a pleasant one. Trapper and Josh who luckily didn't have to work this weekend either accompanied Casey. Both were anxious to meet Hawkeye. Casey's dad knew about her affair with Josh, and he just like her thought she would never meet him again. How would he react when he was suddenly facing the man that stole his daughter's heart within one night. They were soon going to find out.
It was about 9 p.m. when Casey pulled into the small road and parked in front of a house that was surrounded by a big lawn, a small lake in the background. The three visitors slowly walked towards it. They stepped onto the porch and Trapper's eyes fell on the wooden sign which was hanging next to the door and read "Dr. Hawkeye Pierce MD". He was nervous but Josh seemed terrified, he had a big lump in his throat - what if Casey's dad didn't like him. Casey smiled at him and took his hand.
"Don't worry." She whispered. "Dad won't do you any harm. I'm sure he'll love you." She gave him a kiss, then knocked at the door.
Hawkeye opened the door. "Casey, great..." He hesitated. "...to have you here." He continued slowly and kissed her cheek without taking the eyes off Trapper who was grinning.
It took him a couple of minutes to finally realize who he was facing. "What the hell...Trapper, how...I mean why...???" He stuttered, then smiled and hugged him tight. "It's good seeing you again."
"Yeah." Was Trapper's short answer. He evidently enjoyed meeting his old friend.
"Now, who's this young man at your side? Casey?" Hawk then wondered pointing at Josh.
Casey blushed a little, then cleared her throat and told him. "Do you remember me talking about a certain doctor I was with at the aid station in Vietnam, Josh?"
Hawkeye nodded. "Now, don't say that is him? How did you manage to meet again."
"Yes, this is Josh." Casey answered while her dad and her boyfriend shook hands. "And he is actually Trapper's nephew. By the way Trapper's also working at the Boston Mercy. And I happened to bump literally into Josh at the hospital when he was visiting his uncle."
"I guess fortune has favored us." Was Josh's comment.
Hawkeye still seemed kind of distraught. He still couldn't believe what he was seeing and totally forgot asking them to come in. "I guess you got a long story to tell us."
"Hey, Hawk!" A voice very familiar to Casey shouted laughing. "Are you going to spent the whole evening with your visitors on the porch?"
Suddenly another man appeared at the door.
"Beej, hi." Casey hugged Hunnicut, then introduced him to Josh.
"Oh, you really mean 'that Josh'?" BJ shook his hand and blinked at him grinning. "I heard a lot about you."
Josh felt slightly uneasy. "What did you tell them about me?" He whispered.
Casey shrugged her shoulders, grinned and then continued introducing now Trapper.
"You are the infamous Trapper John McIntyre? Wow!" BJ was amazed. "It was kind of hard to follow into your footsteps at the 4077th since you had that certain repute of being one of the best practical jokers. But I did the best I could."
Trapper was no less amazed. "So I finally get the chance to meet my famous successor. It's a pleasure!"
Finally they entered the house and sat down in the living room where Daniel was already waiting. Hawk vanished into the kitchen to get something to drink.
"Hey, dad!" Casey shouted. "Now where's the big surprise! I'm curious!"
"It's coming." Hawk shouted back from the other room. "I guess it's quite interesting for Trapper also."
A minute later he reappeared in the living room, holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and having a big grin on his face. A woman was following him.
Casey's eyes widened, she stared at the new person and smiled. Then she rushed towards her and embraced her former chief nurse. "Margaret, you finally made it."
"Major Margaret Houlihan?" Trapper was shocked.
"No, my last rank had been Colonel but I resigned my commission and now I'm a civilian." She said laughing and hugged the astonished doctor.
The seven people talked all night long. Everyone had so much to tell and was quite surprised to find out that Margaret now worked and lived in Portland. Trap wondered if it had something to do with Hawkeye. Who knew? He hadn't seen Margaret since Korea and was surprised how much she had changed during the years. He now liked her much more.
The whole weekend was very cheerful. They enjoyed the festival, the lobster and never stopped talking whether about the past, present or upcoming future. The wars always were an important topic, everyone shared their memories with the others no matter if good or bad. Usually they ended up talking about the pranks that happened in the various units - Hawk, Trapper and BJ definitely took over the lead role - and everybody had fun. Hawkeye very much enjoyed being with the friends he made during his stay at the 4077th and he hoped they never lost touch because he cared very much for them.
Casey just loved this weekend. She saw her dad as happy as could be together with dear friends. And she wondered as well if there was something going on between Hawk and Margaret. She wouldn't mind.
Fate had treated her well. Josh and her finally were reunited and in love, what else should she want? And with the help of her new and old friends she should someday manage to get rid of the nightmares, that had been created by a war that on one hand was horrible, on the other hand gave her the love of her life.
Written by Iris F.
Hamburg, February/March 2003