"Yes....." Jan yawned. "......okay, that's the way we do....." She fell asleep on the couch sometime this evening.
B.J. looked at her with a smile on his face. It already was an hour past midnight. He stood up, stretched himself, walked over to the sofa and lifted the girl into his arms. He carried her up the stairs into her bedroom and laid her onto the bed. He stood there for a while in the door-frame watching her nervous sleep. She was turning around from side to side. B.J. wasn't surprised to suddenly feel a warm draft of air at his neck. Peggy was standing behind him wearing a bathrobe. She placed her chin onto his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his hips. She was wondering not for the first time in the past four years how she had survived the time when he wasn't here. When he was a thousand miles away in Korea how could she have survived without feeling his warmth and his daily embrace? She didn't know but she was happy having him back at home. But right now he again was a thousand miles away in his thoughts, back in the past. She looked at Jan. The girl murmured something that sounded like "Hawkeye".
"In dreams the war comes back." Peg was whispering.
B.J. nodded, took her arms and pulled her closer. "I talked to her about Hawk and the insane asylum." He murmured. "Maybe I shouldn't have done that. It's hard enough for her to get over all that Korea stuff. Damn, she lost her mom over there."
"But she also found a lot of dear friends. She'll overcome, she's strong." Peg soothed her husband. "The meeting with all of your friends will do good to both of you. But now come on, let's go to bed."
B.J. turned to his wife and kissed her. He looked back again at Jan. She was now sleeping more peacefully. B.J. closed the door and then followed Peggy into their bedroom.
It was almost noon when Jan came yawning into the kitchen the next morning. "Good morning" She moaned.
"Good morning!" Peg replied "How did you sleep?" She just poured herself a glass of milk.
"Well, okay, I guess. Not too good though." The girl sighed. "I think I had a weird dream which I can't really remember. I guess there's just too much going through my mind right now. It confuses me..."
"The reunion, he? And the memories of the people, am I right?" asked Peg.
Jan nodded. That was it, exactly. Somehow she was afraid of seeing the people from the 4077th again. Even Hawkeye, no, especially Hawkeye. She didn't really know why. She actually was looking forward to it but it just seemed so strange...after four years...
"Don't think too much about it. It will turn out to be great!" assured B.J.'s wife. "Now take a seat. Here's some coffee and you know where you can find everything else, okay. Take what ever you want. I'll be in the living room with Mike."
"OK, thanks. Hey, where's B.J?"
"Oh, he had to go to the hospital for a couple of hours. Sometimes I hate his job..." Peggy went off to the room next door.
Jan ate her breakfast then joined the two others. Erin was outside playing with the neighbor's girl.
It was almost supper time when B.J. returned from work.
"Hi folks." He kissed Peggy and his kids and stopped in front of Jan with a big smile on his face. "Now guess who I just met in the hospital??"
Jan raised her eyebrows, she had no clue. "Don't know...Santa Claus, Bugs Bunny....I don't know."
B.J.'s smile got even bigger. "No, no, ....You won't believe it..."
"What???" Jan and Peg said in unison.
"I met Margaret..."
"Major Margaret Houlihan???" Jan Mei couldn't believe her ears. "Did you just say Margaret?"
"Yep, there she was standing in front of me in the corridor. Boy, she hasn't changed at all. She's the new head nurse of the surgical teams. She just moved to San Francisco two weeks ago." B.J. was really excited.
Jan Mei didn't know what to say. She sat down in the chair mouth wide open.
"Hey girl, close your mouth it's getting cold..." B.J. laughed. "And by the way, Margaret is coming to our reunion. She definitely said yes. Isn't that great?"
"Yes, that's fantastic!" Jan said and suddenly smiled. "That's really great. How is she?"
"Oh, fine. I invited her for tonight but she can't come. Maybe sometime next week."
"Did she hear anything from the others?" asked Jan.
"Yes, she's still in contact with Charles, you know, the surgeon that replaced Burns, and with Colonel Potter. She gave me their addresses." B.J. explained.
The next days B.J. and Jan Mei were very busy making phone calls to the former MASH members. Jan called those people she knew best and B.J. took most of the nurses, Potter, Winchester, Klinger and Mulcahy. Everybody was astonished to hear from them but also very delighted. Most of them immediately liked the idea, with two small exceptions. Charles who still sounded as snobbish as ever at first didn't agree with the date but somehow managed it finally, said B.J.. And Frank Burns. But the young girl finally convinced him by telling him that Margaret would come as well. The last one she called was Hawkeye. She was a little afraid, didn't know how he would react but he was actually pretty happy to hear her voice. He seemed to be not as strange as she had thought some days before. He still sounded a bit tired or to describe it better sad but he said he would love to come and see her and the others again.
"He even asked about Margaret." Jan told B.J. with a grin on her face. The doctor lifted one eyebrow smiling. "He sounded better I think but still not as he used to. Maybe this event will help him. What do you think?"
"I think it will help most of us. I hope!"
"What do you mean?"
"Maybe it helps us to get over the war finally, over the nightmares and bad dreams. I still have them sometimes but talking about it helps. I know that you haven't..."
"What do you mean?" Jan indeed was angry at him. But he actually hit the nail on the head.
"Come on Jan, I could her you several nights moaning and crying in your sleep." B.J. took a seat next to her on the couch and faced her. "You are not alone. Talk to me or Peg. Believe me it helps. I know from experience."
Jan was looking at him strangely. He had just looked into her soul. Her eyes were filled up with tears. "I thought I worked everything out. Ricky helped me a lot. There were nights we just sat and talked about Korea until the morning came. And it really helped - me and him. The dreams still came but not as regularly as they used to. But now, this whole reunion stuff stirs everything up again. I hope it gets better when I finally meet those people. It's just too bad that my mom can't be with us..." Tears were rolling down her cheeks.
B.J. gave her a tight hug. "I know. It still hurts. But you should know that I will be there for you always and Peggy too. You're my friend. Always remember that. It's not easy to forget this goddamn war, it will always be somewhere in your mind but maybe the bad events will fade away."
"I mean that was four years ago. Why can't the pain just go away? I miss my mother, in my dreams I see her lying next to me on the ground - dead. Just like it happened. Will I ever forget this horrible image?"
"I have no idea. But you'll get over it one day I'm sure. Just let it out, talk about it, don't swallow everything down. It catches up with you one day." B.J. loosened the embrace and wiped her tears away with his palms. "Are you okay?"
Jan took a deep breath and nodded. "Yes, I feel a lot better. Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek.
And this night she slept really good. No bad dreams were haunting her. She knew she had the best friends in the whole world, including her boyfriend and father.
Jan drove home to San Diego one week after she had arrived in San Francisco. She met Margaret on the day before her departure. They had dinner together at B.J.'s house. Both were excited seeing each other again, they had fun and talked all night long.
B.J. and Jan Mei had already arranged everything for the big event during this week. Jan Mei rented a nice club for that one evening in July, she even got it cheaper because the owner was a friend of hers. B.J. provided a hotel close by where the guests could stay at night. They also wanted to write invitations to everyone to make it official. Everything was planned and settled, they even thought of a special surprise for Hawkeye - to cheer him up...
The next months went by pretty fast. B.J. and Jan had long talks on the phone once in a while. They were looking forward to the event.
It was noon when Jan arrived at B.J.'s house. The doctor, his wife and kids welcomed her.
"Hey, where is your better half?" asked B.J.
"At work." Jan Mei replied disappointed. "His Sergeant wouldn't give him two days off. He'll try to come to the party tonight. And tomorrow he'll be here for sure."
"You still look angry. Is there something wrong with you two?"
"I don't know. We've been fighting over a lot of things lately. It's so strange, it wasn't that bad in all those four years. A couple of hours ago we had a fight about his job and why he couldn't come with me. I was so mad at him, I left without saying a word. And I'm still mad." Jan looked questioningly at his friend.
"Sounds familiar." B.J. said and Peg nodded. "That's normal in a relationship. Fights come and go. But you love him and he loves you." The doctor hugged his wife.
"Yes, I guess." answered Jan. 'I love him but does he still have the same feelings for me? Sometimes I doubt that.' she thought and followed her friends into the house.
She soon forgot all her problems. She was so nervous about tonight. This afternoon she and B.J. drove to that club and decorated everything for the reunion. They had a lot of fun. They had decided that this night was just for the 4077th members and everybody else, spouses, kids and whoever came with them, would go to the picnic tomorrow.
"I can't believe it. It looks like the officer's club." B.J. was amazed. They really did a good job.
"Yes, I hope it turns out to be a fantastic party!" She wrapped her arm around his waist and they both were standing in the door-frame looking at the room.
"Now the guests can come." B.J. grinned. "Lets get back home. We still have time. Oh, did you think about the barkeeper?"
"Yes, I called him this morning. He'll be there on time. Everything's arranged. You know what, I'm really happy!" Jan Mei was smiling.
"Me too. Now lets go."
It was around 6 p.m. when the two got into B.J.'s car. Peggy said "Have fun!!" and waved as they drove away.
They were the first ones who arrived at the club like they had intended. B.J. wore a pair of jeans and the shirt from his green army uniform. He didn't forget his dog tags either. He fitted perfectly into that scenery. The club room looked almost exactly like the o'club at the camp in Korea: the bar, the jukebox, the tables, the piano and of course the sign on one wall that read:
Jan looked around. She seemed to be pleased with the whole background. They really had done a good job decorating that place. It was as if somebody had transferred them back into the year 1953 before the war ended. Jan's clothes were a pair of jeans and the Hawaiian shirt Hawkeye and B.J. had given her on the day she had left the camp.
"That shirt looks nice on you." B.J. said smiling.
"Well, I guess this time you and Hawk showed a least that you can have some taste. I just love that shirt!"
They sat down at the bar and helped themselves to a bottle of beer. Just at this moment the door opened and a young man entered the room. Terrified B.J. and Jan almost fell off their chairs. They turned their heads but it was only John, the barkeeper. They looked at each other and laughed. Both of them were really nervous.
An hour later the door opened again. John, B.J. and Jan were that deep involved into a discussion that they didn't hear a thing.
"Hey, what's that all about? I thought there's a party going on right here!" a familiar voice shouted.