"What happened?" Leo asked once B.J. had caught up with him.
"Nothing, just got run over. That was all it was.. to.. it.. ?," he looked in the direction Hawkeye had gone, and shook off the sudden odd feeling. "That guy's a doctor headed for Korea."
"That's rough. Aren't you glad not to be going?"
"Oh, yeah, but you never know."
"Trapper!" Hawkeye ran full steam to one of the information desks. "Trapper!!" He yelled again, for Trap had one of those lady desk attendants in quite a conversation. And Hawkeye knew it wasn't about the departure of their plane.
Just as he was nearing the desk, the announcement came over the PA for the final boarding call to Tokyo. Hawkeye threw Trapper's duffel to him and managed at long last to get his friend pried away from the much amused young woman.
They made it onto the plane, just barely and they were the last ones to board. They tried to be as careful as they could with their duffels, offering aspirin to anyone who got knocked in the head with them.
"Oh boy, Trap, do you see who I see? Hawkeye pulled up short, pointing to a seat just ahead. "This must be the only flight to Tokyo."
"That's the doctor from... this is good," Trapper grinned in reply. "Boston's together again."
Charles saw them about the same instant as they spotted him. He dropped his head in disbelief. Hawkeye and Trapper settled into seats directly behind him.
"Miss," Charles stopped a passing stewardess. "Tell me, there is positively no first class section on this airplane?"
"No, I'm sorry sir. There is not."
"Fine. I'll just have a seat far away from this area as possible."
"My apologies again, sir, but we're about to take off, and we need for everyone to remain seated." She looked around the cabin. "And I don't believe there's an empty seat to be had."
"Too bad, major," Trapper leaned forward, and with a little laugh, "guess you're stuck with us lower ranks."
Hawkeye dug out the information pertaining to the new MASH unit # 4077.
"Okay, it looks like we meet with a Lt. Colonel Henry Blake, and a Major Frank Burns at the camp."
"How much put together is this 4077?" Trapper took the documents from him.
"Very new. Real new. So new it's old." Hawkeye said with a little chuckle. "They're probably building the hospital as we speak. That, or the latrine."
"Hawk! This says we'll be three miles from the front? Three miles? You know how far that is? Or should I say, how close?"
"Calm down, we'll be fine," he reassured, then added, "I hope."
"Yeah, I hope, too," came Trapper's sarcastic reply.
"Here, amuse yourself with this," Hawkeye handed him a memo.
"What is this?" Taking the paper.
"It's the nurse, the new head nurse of the unit. We're to meet her in Tokyo."
"And she goes on with us?" Trapper's eyes danced.
"Yeah, it says so right there," he slapped the piece of paper. "She goes to Kimpo, then to the 4077th. With us. What does it say her name is, again?"
"Oh, Houlihan. Major Margaret Houlihan. And a major! Wow, and me being just a captain!"
"What? You can't tell me you're not excited about meeting this new nurse?"
"Well, head nurse."
"Okay, okay," Hawkeye snorted, making a show of wiping his chin. "Does my drooling show that much?"
Hawkeye and Trapper eyed the sandwiches on the tray before them with less than partial anticipation.
"The food at the 4077 is probably going to be better than this." Hawkeye said, as he lifted a piece to his nose, then placed it back on the plate with a grimace.
"I don't know about that," Trapper dared to take a bite. "Then, I could be wrong."
They gave each other a quizzical look at the sound of muffled laughter coming from the seat ahead of them.
"Hey, Hawk, he's got tea," Trapper whispered, quickly looking over Charles' shoulder. With a broad grin, he pointed to their uneaten food, then over the seat in front.
"I gotcha," Hawkeye chortled with equaled deviousness.
"So with hushed glee, they tore off bits of bread from the sandwiches, rolled the pieces into little balls and began to lob them over the seat. After about five shots, Charles finally turned around.
"Would you two delinquents knock it off!"
"Delinquents? Us?" Hawkeye acted with effrontery. "How can you call us delinquents?"
"Yeah! We're not delinquents," Trapper echoed. "We're juvenile!"
"That's obvious," Charles agreed, then warned, "not one more wad to be thrown, you understand?"
Once Charles had turned back, Hawkeye and Trapper exchanged mischievous expressions. They couldn't resist a challenge. So both tossed a bread ball at the same time. Nothing. All was still from up there.
"Pardon me, miss," Charles quietly called to the stewardess."I am finished with this, thank you."
"Yes, sir," she took the cup, puzzled at the strange balled up substance floating in it, but said nothing and went on her way.
Then without a word, Charles precisely flipped his chair back in the full reclining position, hard. And onto the lap of an unaware Hawkeye.