Now this time Jay fell off her chair but B.J. managed to catch her right in time. "Thanks Beej! Klinger, what the hell...." Then she realized and ran to the door. "...Klinger!!! It's good to see you again!" He opened his arms and gave her a big hug.
"Hey, Jay, my god, you look just as beautiful as four years ago." Then he turned to B.J. and hugged him too. "And you look still the same." He grinned.
"Wow Klinger but you have changed a lot. You're wearing man's clothes where are your nice dresses. I thought you'd choose an evening gown or something like that." Jay wondered.
"I quit wearing that when Potter promoted me to company clerk after Radar had left." He told her. "But hey, is this a desert party or can I get something to wet my throat??"
"Sure just tell John over there what you want." B.J. replied and they went back to the bar. "When did you return to Toledo? Did you find Soon Li's family?"
"Oh yes." Klinger answered and sipped his scotch. "We had to stay in Korea for two more years but we finally found her parents, her brother and grandma in a small village south of Ouijongbou. By the way, Soon Li's here, too. She's now staying at the hotel with our little boy Jong Patrick, he's three. - Wow but that's a nice place. I feel like I'm back in Korea, it just looks like the officers club. My god, and it's good to see you again!" His eyes were sparkling.
"You really like it?" Jay was asking. "I wasn't sure if it was okay to bring back this part of Korea to our minds."
"Yeah." B.J. agreed. "It took us quite a while to make this decision. We weren't sure how everybody would react at the sight of something that will remember us of the war."
"The war never really left me." Klinger explained. "And the officer's club was actually the best place to forget the things that happened in OR or Post-op. In my opinion it is a good idea. So how are you two doing?"
B.J. and Jay told him about everything that had happened to them. About B.J.'s wife and the birth of their second child, about Jay's work at the police academy and her relationship to Ricky Henderson, who Klinger also met in the MASH camp four years ago. For half an hour Klinger was the only guest at the club. But then suddenly more people came and the flow didn't stop until 9 p.m.. B.J., Jay and Klinger greeted them cheerfully. Almost everybody was there, happy to see so many familiar faces. Colonel Potter, Radar, Charles, Father Mulcahy and even Frank. And of the nurses, there were just Kellye, Baker, Abel, Bigelow and Dish because B.J. couldn't find out every nurse. The party really seemed to be a big hit, everyone was enjoying the event. The jukebox played and people were dancing and laughing, talking about old times as well as present things and dreams of the future.
"I wonder where he is. He definitely said he'd come." said Jay. She, B.J. and Potter were sitting at a table watching the bustle.
"You sound like Frank." Potter grinned. "Every minute he asks the same question about Margaret. Oh Lord, he's still the same. I just can't believe that he made it into politics. Well, I guess it's better than in a hospital..."
Jay laughed. "Right! The patients should be glad. But actually he's right. Didn't Margaret say she wanted to come also?" She turned her head, now facing B.J. who sipped on his beer.
"Yes, she told me. But hey, don't worry, the night's still young. Colonel, would you mind if I carry off this young girl?" When the Colonel agreed he offered Jay his hand and led her to the dance floor. They danced for a while but B.J. realized that Jay was always looking at the door. "Hey girl, it's not very polite not noticing me while you're in my arms."
"Oh, oh, I'm sorry Beej." She faced him and tried to smile. "It's just that I'm worried."
"Me too but Hawkeye is old enough to make his own decisions, don't you think?"
The girl nodded. He was right, this was a great evening why should she let HIM destroy her good mood? She enjoyed dancing with B.J. After a while they saw Radar coming to their direction.
"Would you mind if I take over?" The former company clerk asked.
"No, just go on. I have a beer waiting for me." The doctor said and handed Jay over to him.
"Hello Radar, it's nice seeing you." Jan Mei embraced him as they danced on. "I heard you're married..."
"Oh yes, she's a lovely girl. You'll like her. Her name is Patty. I met her on the airport in Kimpo when I returned from my R&R. That was a day before Potter told me that my uncle Ed had died and I got transferred back to Iowa. She's from Lancaster, Missouri and a nurse. But now we are running our farm. We are also assisting the local veterinarian. We don't have kids yet but we're working on it." Radar twinkled. He spoke with such an enthusiasm. He loved his life and wouldn't change a thing. And Jay loved listening to him. They both didn't hear the door. It was Radar who saw the new person first. A young man was standing a close to the door watching what was going on. " I can't believe it. Did you invite him?" He asked Jay, took her hand and they walked over to that guy.
"I don't know. Who is he?" The girl asked.
"I still can't believe it." They were standing in front of him now. "Trapper?!?"
"Radar?!?" The guy smiled and hugged O'Reilly. The smile reminded Jay a little bit of Hawkeye. "Are you the only one I know? Oh no, I can see Frank, Father Mulcahy and the familiar faces of the nurses, ...and is that Klinger over there?" Radar nodded. He didn't have the chance to tell him more. Now everyone suddenly noticed the new arrival, which was no other than Trapper John McIntyre. He was welcomed by those who knew him and introduced to the others.
"Now this is my famous predecessor... sit down and have a drink." B.J. said.
"Sure, where's the still?" Trapper laughed and ordered a martini. "Now, you must be B.J. but where the hell is Hawkeye? I thought he would be here waiting, ready to beat me up because I didn't say good-bye when I left the camp."
"We don't know where he is. He wanted to come." Jay explained. Trapper didn't know who she was, so she had to tell him her story. Trapper seemed to like the girl immediately, not only because they incidentally had the same last name. He himself was still living with his wife and now three kids in Boston. He was working at the Boston Mercy Hospital, that's why he knew Charles already, who was working there also. Then all the others told him about their lives.
Father Mulcahy, who had been working with deaf children in Korea after the war, had returned stateside a year ago to take over the place of a Priest in a parish in his hometown Philadelphia. He still worked with kids and teenagers and managed to build up a boxing center for them.
Klinger lived in Toledo with his wife and kid. He was working as a male nurse in a local hospital.
Colonel Potter just did what he had told the people on the last evening in the camp. He now was a retired country doctor, but most of the time he just was Mrs. Potter's Mr. Potter.
Frank Burns lived in his hometown Ft. Wayne, Indiana with his wife and their three kids. He worked as a doctor for a while but now was going more into politics. He still seemed to be the same old ferret face.
Charles lived in Boston, worked as a cardiac surgeon in the Boston Mercy, where Trapper was chief of the emergency room. He married last year.
The nurses who were there still worked in their jobs in various hospitals in the States. Nurse Kellye now lived in Honolulu and worked at the Army Hospital. She married two years ago.
B.J. talked with Trapper for a long time while Jay was dancing again with Klinger or Radar. The two doctors seemed to get along pretty well. They had a lot in common and were laughing about the practical jokes they had played in Korea.
It was later that evening when another familiar face sneaked into the room. Wearing a Hawaiian shirt and jeans he looked almost like Jays double, a little older though and of course male. His blue, sad looking eyes went from one person to another. Nobody really noticed him at first. When his eyes reached Jan Mei who was standing at the bar talking to Trapper and B.J. a smile turned on his face. Before he took the first step Jay had noticed that someone was watching her and she turned her head. The smile on her face grew bigger as their eyes met. "Hawkeye!" she said not taking her eyes off that man's figure. Both walked towards each other and they finally met on the dance floor.
"Hawkeye." Jay whispered looking him straight into the eyes. "Is that really you?"
"Do you know another man who is just as good looking as me?" Hawkeye replied laughing and embraced her. "It's so good seeing you." He hugged her even tighter. When they finally loosened their grips they realized both had tears in their eyes.
Everybody else now stared at the new arrival. Hawkeye was hugged by so many people that it was difficult for him to catch a breath. He was overwhelmed by his emotions. Tears were running down his cheeks. To him this seemed to be the first time after the war that he felt happier. He didn't know what to say when Trapper came over, didn't know whether he should be happy or angry with him. He decided to choose the first and hugged his old tent mate. Soon he, Trapper and B.J. were standing at the bar, drinking martinis and talking about the past. Only Jay realized that Hawkeye still wasn't totally happy. Where was his unique laughter? And his eyes still looked sad...
Her thoughts were interrupted when that man she worried about came up to her and dragged her to the dance floor. Hawk was pretty filled up already and Jay wasn't sober either but something of him made her even more worried.