We Meet Again

by Katie

None of the characters are mine. I haven't been alive that long. I wish they were though, and if anybody can find a son of Hawkeye's, tell him I'm available. : ) I think they belong to Larry Gelbart and Fox, maybe Columbia house, I don't know, but not infringement is intended and the only thing you'll get from me by suing is my taped copy of Goodbye Farewell Amen. This is my first fan fiction, and probably my last. I'm new to M*A*S*H, I just started watching it in reruns and I wasn't alive when the series' finale ended, so I'm sorry if I don't get all the details right. I've watched most of the episodes up to season 7 and I've seen the finale, so it should be fairly accurate. If you like it please e-mail me, and if you don't, well, like I said it's probably my last. Enjoy!

"Hawk!" yelled B.J. (noticeably without the mustache). He ran to meet the other man as Peg and Erin stood by. It was six months after Beef had come home, but for Hawkeye it was the first time in America for four years. He'd been on his way home, almost to Tokyo, when they called him back to help out clearing an aid station. It had taken six months. Now that he was finally on his way home he was going to spend a day in San Francisco to meet the woman and little girl he'd spent two years hearing about. He'd catch a flight to Boston that night, and be in Crabapple Cove in time for lunch the next day. He wanted to get home, but he couldn't resist the urge to meet these people, and to prove to himself that Beej was right, that they would see each other again.

At the sight of this rather tall, rather unkempt (he hadn't had a chance to shave since leaving Kimpo three days earlier) man, Erin wrapped herself more tightly around her mother's leg. "It's okay babe, come meet your Uncle Hawkeye," crooned B.J

"Gee, usually women are a little happier to see me," said Hawkeye, with a grin. But she wouldn't budge, so B.J. moved on to the other girl in his life.

"Peg, this is my best friend. Benjamin Franklin Hawkeye Pierce. Hawk, this is my beautiful wife Peg." Hawkeye stepped forward and gave her a little hug, then backed away a little with a comment about not wanting to get any "residual Korea" on her.

"I feel like I've known you forever," said Peg, "B.J. wrote me so much from Korea, and he's been telling stories about you since he got back."

"All sickeningly sweet, just like me, I hope," joked Hawkeye, with a smile, "I feel the same way, I'd know your handwriting upside down and backwards." Then he knelt down to Erin's eye level for minute. "Hi, I'm Hawkeye, you're Daddy is my best friend, and I'll have some stories to tell you about him when your older," he said, shaking her tiny hand (the only thing not stuck to Peg), with a mischievous glint in his eye. He stood up, and because most of his luggage was being sent straight home, they headed straight for the Hunnicutts' blue Chevy. "My first ground transportation that's not olive green and roofless," Hawkeye exclaimed, rather excitedly.

Along the way B.J. had been telling him what he knew about the rest of the 4077th, and he was glad to hear that Potter was enjoying his semi-retirement and Radar was successfully running the farm, with the help of the Korean man they had been able to get to the states, and engaged to a girl from Ottumwa. He was even more excited to hear that Margaret had been sent stateside three months ago and was busy and happy at a Veterans' Hospital in Portland... Maine. They continued to talk all the way to Mill Valley, B.J. in the drivers seat, thankfully not crashing or finding any surrendering North Koreans. A fact Pierce did not forget to note.

They arrived at the house, Hawkeye commenting that it was the first he'd seen been in, in four years, and B.J. grabbed towels and pointed him to the shower, knowing it would be the first thing he'd want.

"By the way," Beej yelled, as Hawkeye shut the door, "What kind of cold cuts do you like?"

"Anything but bologna," came the reply.

Hawkeye came down the stairs half an hour later, still relishing the feel of warm water. He discovered all three Hunnicutt's preparing a picnic. Peg had made sandwiches, (turkey, roast beef, and tuna) and Erin and was helping her Daddy pack all of it into and a red checked blanket into a large picnic basket. " Do you remember a year and a half ago? Two hundred dollars?" asked B.J. "We're taking you on a picnic to our land."

"How could I forget that? You showed me that picture so much I think my eyes bore a hole through it." Hawkeye walked past them into the entry where his one bag was. He pulled out a rather thick white envelope and stuck it in his shirt pocket. Walking back into the kitchen he found B.J. just fastening the lid.

"Let's go," said Peg, simultaneously picking up Erin and the basket, while Beej grabbed the cooler. Hawkeye followed them to the car, and got Erin buckled into the back seat while Peg and B.J. arranged things in the trunk.

They talked about the land, and the house planned to be built on it, the entire way there. As they reached their destination Hawkeye remarked, "I think this place is worth all the junk Charles put you through for that two hundred."

They unloaded the car, and spread the blanket out where Peg swore the dining room was going to be. "No roof, no table, yet certainly better than the mess tent," said Hawk.

They dug into lunch, accompanied by California red wine, that Hawkeye proclaimed much better than the fire water from the Still, even if it could be used to start a fire or run a car. "Wait until you've been back a week and you won't believe we ever drank that stuff Hawk," was B.J.'s reply.

They talked awhile about the practice Hawkeye was planning to start up in Crabapple Cove. He didn't think he could leave his Dad alone by going back to Boston, not after leaving him for four years. B.J. told him about the surgery staff he was on at San Francisco General. No one was as arrogant as Charles, quick and efficient as Hawk, or kind as Potter, but they were all 'good eggs' and skilled surgeons who wanted to help people. And there was no meatball surgery. Everyone got taken care of totally, not stitched up just enough to get back to Seoul.

When lunch was over, and Peg had pointed out for the seventh time just where each room in the house was going to be, and Erin was tired of chasing Hawkeye (whom she'd warmed up to nicely) around the acre, they all came back to the blanket and sat down. Peg lifted a package wrapped in brown paper out of the basket. She handed it to B.J.

"I made this back in Ouijongbou. I wanted to make sure I'd have an excuse to see you again," he said, handing it to Hawk. Pierce unwrapped the paper and opened the box. Inside was a blue hawaiian print shirt, amazingly similar to the one in his luggage headed to Crabapple Cove, worn throughout Korea.

"Um, well," he said. Then he held it up, and in red thread on the back, in what Hawkeye knew instantly to be B.J.'s stitching, were the words THANK YOU. Around it in various places were stitched name of people from the 4077th, Margaret, Potter, Klinger, Nurse Kelly, Charles, and many others.

"It's from all of us, to thank you for your humor, because it got us through a war that could have driven us all mad, and nearly did you," said Beej quietly. "We all knew you'd be okay, you got us all through, we knew you'd get yourself through." Now Hawkeye's eyes were getting moist, but he said a low thank you and reached into his pocket.

He pulled out the envelope and turned to Erin. "This is for you," he said, "but I'll give it to your Mom for a while for safe keeping, until you need it." He handed the envelope to Peg and said, "This is a list of all the kids your husband saved in Korea, what he missed the first two years of Erin's life for. I thought if she ever wanted to know where her Dad was then and why he wasn't in any pictures of them when she was a baby, you could give this to her, so she knows it was important work that he was doing."

Peg was crying by now, she eeked out a thanks, and gave Hawkeye a hug. Now it was near four, and time for them to get Hawkeye back to his six o'clock flight. He took advantage of this drive to tell Peg stories about her husband she hadn't heard before.

When they got to the airport the two men embraced, and B.J. said, "We'll try to get to Crabapple Cove at Thanksgiving, and tell your postmen I'm sorry for the hernia he's going to get from my letters, I'll operate for free. Call if you need anything, or want to talk. I know what it's like."

"Yeah, I will. And you better visit."

"See, I told you we'd meet again."

The End