"Do you have to work tomorrow?"
Kyong nodded. "But I took the evening off. I'll give you a ride to the convention center tomorrow morning, then I'll go to work and after the convention we'll meet at 'Antonio's', a very good Italian restaurant only two blocks away. Okay?"
"Sounds fine." BJ answered.
It was pretty late when they all disappeared into their rooms. Kyong and Mrs. Collins had prepared the spare bedroom of the house for BJ.
Next morning Kyong dropped BJ in front of the center and drove on to the clinic. The convention was about to start at 9 a.m., so BJ still had time to look around and wait for Hawkeye. They wanted to meet at entrance.
And no one could have missed Hawkeye. He walked through the door, a big grin on his face and wearing his so highly loved Hawaiian shirt in the middle of winter. Many people in the lobby stared at him but he didn't care, he just grinned more.
"Hawkeye!" BJ hollered laughing and approached him.
"Beej!" He hugged his friend. "Great to see you!"
"Ditto. Have you been wearing this shirt since our departure from Korea? I hope you wash it at least every two months." BJ enjoyed seeing his buddy again after 6 ½ months. And this scene fitted Hawkeye. He had not change at all.
Hawkeye was still laughing. "I though this event could need a little more color. And so you couldn't miss me."
"Now that's true."
They weren't able to talk much more because the seminars began. The convention was mainly about thoracic surgery and cardiology. None was a special field of the two doctors. BJ worked at the San Francisco General Hospital. He was head of the emergency room while Hawkeye, next to the general practice he ran with his Dad, also did vascular surgery at the hospital in Portland. But during their duty in Korea they had seen so many chest wounds that they would like to be up to date concerning the medical techniques.
"I mean it's interesting but to be honest that's not my style." BJ told Hawkeye after a while on their way to the next seminar.
Hawk nodded. "And didn't I said back in Korea that we will never meet at a convention?" He shrugged. "We owe this to Kyong."
"Hey, what do you think about skipping the next seminar?" BJ asked.
"What do I have to hear?" They suddenly were addressed by somebody. "But you can't really expect anything else from two cretins."
"That can't be true." Hawk and BJ said in one voice. "Charlie!"
"It's still 'Charles' for you!" Dr. Winchester grinned and shook hands.
"What are you doing here?" Unnecessary to ask but BJ did it.
"Well, since I'm the chief of thorax surgery at the Boston Mercy this should be an obligation." Charles answered snobbishly. "Well, since you prefer to skip class would you please allow me to pass. The seminar is about to begin. I suppose we will meet again later this day."
"Yes sure, Charlie." Hawk replied.
Charles glanced at him and then the door fell shut behind him.
BJ and Hawkeye walked back to the lobby. They weren't the only ones to skip a seminar.
They talked for a long time, revelled in memories of the 4077th MASH and the practical jokes they had played back in Korea.
"I really would like to know what Frank's doing now." BJ said thinking of their former victim.
"I'd rather not know." Hawkeye replied. "He might be a General by now or if not in the army anymore the head of a hospital somewhere."
Suddenly someone interrupted the conversation. "Hey, Hawkeye! Nice shirt but isn't it a bit cold?"
Hawkeye was shocked. He somehow knew this voice but who was it? He turned around and saw Trapper John approaching.
For the first time this day Hawkeye was speechless and he just embraced his friend.
"Trapper! I can't believe it! Is it really you?" Hawkeye had to take a closer look while Trapper stood in front of him laughing.
"You mean, this is... I'm standing face to face with the famous Trapper John McIntyre?" BJ was astonished.
"The one and only!" Trapper answered and they shook hands. "And who are you?"
"He was your successor in Korea." Hawkeye explained.
Of course, Trapper knew that already but he didn't betray a thing. He was happy seeing Hawkeye again. It was almost like a time leap back to Ouijongbou, they still had a connection. He also liked BJ at the first go. And when he talked about his practical jokes, Trapper knew that he had had a dignified successor at the 4077th. Why the hell had he been so scared of meeting his former tent mete again?
Together they attended some seminars and kept on talking during the breaks.
Hawk and BJ learned about the death of Trapper's wife and the problems he had had thereafter.
"I was mad!" John said. "Mad about being drafted. I could have stayed 1 ½ years longer with Louise if I hadn't been in Korea. Without my two little girls I wouldn't be here right now. Kathy and Becky showed me that life is worth living when I was about to give up. And my current girlfriend helped me a lot. We often talked all night through. She had had a heavy blow herself."
Then BJ told them how mad he was while in Korea. He had missed a important time in the life of his little daughter Erin and he could never bring it back. Her first steps, first word...
He talked about knocking down Hawkeye a few days after Radar's departure and getting drunk with Klinger.
Trapper grinned. "I bet it was one of the few moments that Hawk didn't have the last word."
"That's right!" BJ laughed and glanced at Hawkeye.
"Yes, yes, put more salt into the wound." He said but then grinned also.
The three surgeons had a good day. Besides some very interesting and informing seminars they just had fun sitting together and talking of old and present times. Trapper had to be careful not talking about things that revealed the relationship between him and Kyong. The more he was amused when Hawk and BJ told him about her.
"There's a big surprise waiting for you two." He thought.
The convention ended at 6 p.m. and they headed for the door. There they met Charles again and talked. McIntyre and Winchester knew each other by hearsay. Charles didn't know about Trapper's stay at the same MASH unit.
When Charles was gone Hawkeye and BJ asked their friend if he was busy this evening. Trapper shrugged.
"Hey, why don't you join us?" Hawk suggested and BJ nodded. "Kyong wouldn't mind. And I tell you, you will love her!"
"You bet!" Trapper thought and he couldn't help grinning. Then he said: "Sure, I'd like to come with you."
Hawkeye, BJ and Trapper went to their cars and drove to "Antonio's". They parked in a little by-street, got out and walked over to the restaurant. Kyong-Lee was waiting in front of it already. She was wearing her Korean dress and looked beautiful. The three men were speechless.
"Hawkeye!" The girl shouted and rushed into his arms. "It's wonderful seeing you again!"
"Same with me!" Hawk said and held her close.
"Oh." He suddenly said when they parted. "May I introduce you to Trapper John McIntyre. You know, he was BJ's predecessor in the MASH."
"Yes, we met accidentally at the convention. Isn't that something?" BJ added and kissed Kyong on the cheek.
But then he asked searchingly: "Where is your boyfriend? I thought he wanted..."
"He's here." Kyong laughed, looked at John and took his hand. "And both of you know him."
Trapper couldn't stop laughing when he looked into Hawk's and BJ's puzzled faces. And to top that he put his arms around his girlfriend and kissed her passionately.
"You two ... a couple ... I mean ..." Hawkeye then stuttered. "I can't believe it!"
"How did you first met?" BJ, who had recovered from the shock, asked.
"Well, like I told you - at the Medical Center. He's surgeon there and I'm a nurse."
Trapper laid a hand onto the shoulder of a still shocked Hawkeye and smiled at him. "Let's go inside and we'll tell you everything."
And they did. While eating dinner Kyong and Trapper told them their story. The other two men at the table realized that Kyong and Trapper were flirting like hell.
Hawkeye and BJ were glad that Kyong found her happiness in Boston. They hadn't expected such a surprise.
The four of them spent a marvellous evening. They were eating, drinking and laughing about a lot of MASH stories. Very often Hawkeye's gorgeous laughter was heard throughout the restaurant.
But they also recalled the not so nice moments of the war.
They hoped this to be the beginning of a lifelong friendship - a friendship that would have never existed without the war, as terrible as this may sound.
Written by Iris F.
5/4/2001 - 5/28/2001
(Any comments or questions? Don't hesitate and send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)