"Pierce, right?" Dr. Torboug addressed him, once Hawkeye had approached. He nodded. "You're headed for Tokyo, am I right?"
"Unfortunately," he answered. "Myself and Trapper, uh, John McIntyre are both headed in that direction"
"Well, I thought I remembered correctly," Torboug said. "Dr. Winchester here is also on his way to Tokyo."
"Really? Are you going on to Korea?"
"I should say not, Tokyo is as far as I go," he spoke haughtily. "Major Charles Emerson Winchester, III, surgeon."
"Uh, Haw.. uh, Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, malcontent." Hawkeye replied, shaking the major's offered hand.
"That's understandable," Charles agreed with too much ease.
Dr. Torboug chuckled. "Pierce here is going to be in Korea at... what is the place again?"
"Oui... Oui.... yeah, at a MASH."
"Don't tell me you're a doctor." Charles looked Hawkeye up and down.
"Yes, and the best you'll ever see."
"But, alas, I won't be seeing. My loss, but really yours."
"Yes, it is. Your loss.."
"Well, well," Torboug broke in, "I'll leave you two fellows to get on your way. Good luck to you both. Winchester, we'll finish this at a later time."
"Most assuredly." He quipped as Dr. Torboug made his exit.
"Major, it's been nice," Hawkeye tried his best to sound as snide as possible. "But I guess I'll be taking my leave, too."
"If you must," Charles was just as snide, and with a smirk to match.
Hawkeye walked away to rejoin Trapper. Who was finishing up his goodbyes with his family. Right on time, the call for their flight to San Francisco came over the PA.
"Things good with the wife and kids?" Hawkeye asked Trapper as they headed for the gate.
"Yeah, just fine," he gave one last look to them before going through the doors.
The plane was nearly as big as the airport itself, Hawkeye decided. He was quite surprised to see someone newly familiar come on board. Major Winchester, himself.
"Look out for that guy, Trapper."
"He's the world's best doctor."
"What? You're lying. I am."
Charles just shook his head, and went into the forward section of the cabin.
"Oh, we got to be in first class," Trapper retorted.
"You've got to have class to be in it."
Both Hawkeye and Trapper were amazed at the total cultural difference between the two coastal cities, Boston and San Francisco. Here in California, the atmosphere had a much more loose feel to it. Hawkeye felt he could adapt to it eventually. He wouldn't mind the effort. If only his dad and Crabapple Cove could move here, also. It would be perfect. But that happening was highly unlikely.
The San Francisco International airport was huge, bigger than the one in Boston. How would they ever find the connecting flight to Tokyo?
"Trap, how do we find our way around this place?"
"My guess is we ask somebody. Like at one of those desks?" He said, and hustled over to one. "I'll be right back. Watch the gear, Hawk."
"Or, you can look on your ticket for the gate number," Charles politely advised, with just a touch of smugness. "And find out where the particular gate is."
"Ah, where'd you come from?" Hawkeye looked around.
"I believe I was on the same flight as you."
"Well, you've done your good deed for the day." He didn't like the stuffy major's laugh as he maneuvered his way through the terminal. But smiled at the thought, 'at least we're rid of him.'
'What am I doing here, again?' Hawkeye sighed, walking up to one of the departure announcement boards, dragging both his and Trapper's duffel bags. 'These time differences are really... Omigosh!' He glanced at his ticket, then back to the board. According to it, their flight was to leave in less than five minutes!
He turned blindly, and in a headlong rush toward the area where Trapper disappeared, he careened smoothly into an unsuspecting fellow traveler.
"So sorry! I'm late!" Hawkeye rose, and helped up the other man, noticing he had been carrying a bunch of journals that were now scattered about on the airport floor. He again muttered an apology, and began to help pick up the books. "Medical journals? You a doctor?"
"Yep, I've just come from a seminar in Sacramento."
"Seminar? I wouldn't go to one of those if... well, to each his own, I guess." Hawkeye shrugged. "I'm on my way to Korea. It's me and a buddy of mine. We are also doctors of the same medical persuasion."
"Oh?" He chuckled.
"B.J.!! There you are, we got to go!"
"I know, Leo, I'm coming." He yelled to his companion. "Korea. Take care over there."
"We sure will. Thanks for letting me bump into you."
"Ah, anytime, I guess."
Hawkeye excused himself, and started on to find Trapper and get to the plane. But he couldn't help a pause to glance back over his shoulder at the guy with whom he had collided. Then, shook off the odd feeling, and continued on.