"BJ, Hawkeye wouldn't want it this way," Sid desperately tried to reason with Hawkeye. "He'd want you to go on with your life."
"Well, yeah, maybe I don't want to," BJ slurred back. "I heard dying of alcohol poisoning can be a good way to die," he added matter-of-factly.
"Don't do this, BJ. The M*A*S*H 4077th needs you, Peg and Erin need you, the wounded need you. Hawkeye wouldn't want you to turn your back on all of those people. Like you said yourself, he cared for every single life he encountered. Don't throw yours away like this."
BJ suddenly became very enraged. "You don't understand, do you? He was more than my best friend. He was part of my soul. He was my strength. Do you know what it feels like to suddenly have your world shattered, then have someone come along and put it back together? That person was Hawkeye, and now he's gone. Without him, the glue won't hold."
"BJ, I think you're stronger than you know," Sid quietly pointed out. "Sure, he helped you through everything. But he didn't do it alone. You helped yourself along the way."
"I don't have to listen to this!" BJ exclaimed angrily and left the Officer's Club. Sid looked after him and shook his head.
"Thanks for all your help, Dr. Pierce," the medic said. "It was greatly appreciated."
"You're welcome, and it's Hawkeye," he replied. They shook hands and he climbed into a jeep that was waiting for him. "See ya in the funny papers."
"See ya!" the medic called after the retreating jeep.
Sidney was looking for BJ everywhere. Of course, the first place he looked was in the Swamp. And of course, BJ wasn't there. He moved on to every place in camp, but he still had had no luck. No one else was in any shape to help. He decided to wander around the outskirts of camp and search for clues---footprints, anything. He started reflecting upon where BJ would have headed to outside of camp. Then the thought hit him---Rosie's! He was trying to drink himself into a stupor, and that would be the first place he would head. He quickly made his way there.
"Over hill, over dale...." Hawkeye sang happily as he bounced along the road heading to the 4077th. He was never so happy to see its drab green tents or even its trash pile. But first, he had a stop to make. He needed a stiff drink. He headed straight for Rosie's.
"You get out. You cause trouble, can never come back to Rosie's," Rosie told BJ as she dragged him to the door to kick him out. He was so drunk he was limp and easy to throw out. "And stay out!"
Just then Hawkeye walked up to the door. "Hey ya, Beej. What happened to you?" he added in alarm as he saw the sorry state his friend was in.
BJ looked up at him in shock. "Hawkeye?" he asked uncertainly.
"Yeah, who else?" he joked.
"But you're dead," BJ stated matter-of-factly.
"If I were dead, why in the world would I come back as a draftee?"
"But they said..." BJ's head was spinning. He was so drunk that what Hawkeye said couldn't get through. "But Digger came for the body and you didn't get there..."
Hawkeye stared at him in confusion. "BJ, make some sense. Start at the beginning."
BJ replied, "You didn't show up at the Aid Station, then Digger came saying you were dead and he needed to pick up the body...."
Hawk couldn't believe it. They thought he was dead? 'I certainly look it,' he thought, gazing down at his blood-stained and tattered clothes. "I'm alive and well and living at the M*A*S*H 4077th, as you can see," he replied. "Come on, Beej, let's get you to the Swamp where you can sleep. You look worse than I feel, and that's saying a lot."
"Okay, Hawk. What happened?" BJ asked curiously.
Hawkeye's eyes clouded over when he thought about what had happened to him. "I'll tell you later. I can't right now."
"Okay," BJ said simply. He was too tired and drunk to pay much attention anyway.
Sidney was arguing with Rizzo. He needed a jeep to go to Rosie's, but Rizzo refused. "You can't take any of 'em now," said Rizzo. "It's too late. You're likely to crash and bust my jeep, then where would I be?"
"But BJ's missing, and I think he may be at Rosie's. Please, I need a jeep. I won't crash it, and I'll go straight there and straight back. BJ's a danger to himself in the state he's in."
Just as Rizzo was about to give in, a jeep came driving by at a breakneck speed. Only one person drove like that. "Hawkeye?!" Sidney and Rizzo said at the same time.
Hawkeye looked back and replied, "Oh hi, Sid, Rizzo. Help me here, would you?" BJ was laying across the passenger seat and the back of the jeep, passed out cold. "I need to get him to the Swamp."
Both of the shocked men put aside their confusion and joy at seeing their old comrade again to help get BJ out. They carried him to Tent #6 and laid him on his bunk. Hawkeye noticed that BJ's things were strewn around uncharacteristically, but he decided not to pay too much attention. After all, whatever BJ had done to his possessions after hearing that his best friend was dead was not as serious as what he had done to himself.
As Hawkeye left the Swamp to head to Colonel Potter's office, Sidney trailed close behind while Rizzo returned to his jeeps. 'After all,' Rizzo thought, 'the news about what happened to him is gonna spread like wildfire. I'll hear it tomorra.' He laid back down in one of the jeeps and was soon fast asleep. Meanwhile, Hawkeye walked into the company clerk's office and was surprised to find Klinger at the desk.
"Klinger, what are you doing in here?" Hawkeye asked. Just the sound of his voice had made Klinger jump three feet in the air, but the sight of him caused Klinger to cover his eyes in fear.
"Back, foul spirit!"Klinger yelled after he uncovered his eyes to make sure that what he saw was real. He put his fingers in front of him in the shape of a cross.
"Klinger, it's me. Hawkeye. Remember? Everyone's favorite, lovable doctor." He smiled and walked closer to Klinger. "So, you didn't answer my question. What are you doing in here?"
"Radar was pretty out of it after we heard that..." he continued uncertainly, "that you had died."
"Well, as you can see, I didn't," Hawk pointed out.
"I decided someone had to run this camp, so I had to take charge."
"What happened to Colonel Potter?" he asked curiously and somewhat fearfully.
"It seems like he just isn't here. He walks around in a daze. And Margaret ran off and disappeared for a while. Luckily, the MP's found her and brought her back. They said she was mumbling something about how she should've told you something. I guess she can now. And Charles actually cried! Can you believe it? Me, I've just been working like crazy. Father Mulcahy just cried and prayed." Klinger stopped as he realized he was making Hawkeye feel bad. "Oh, don't worry, Captain. Everyone'll be so happy to see you."
"I sure hope so," Hawkeye said and smiled. "Where's Radar?"
"Over there," he answered and pointed to Radar's cot, where Radar was fast asleep. Hawkeye walked slowly over to him and shook him awake.
"Radar," he said gently.
"What? Oh, aye, geez!" he screamed in fear as he saw Hawkeye's smiling face. "Hawk? Are you a ghost?" He put his fingers on Hawkeye's face and felt it, as if he couldn't believe it was in front of him.
"Radar," he replied, exasperated. "It's really me. I'm not dead. I'm right here, alive. And I'll tell you all about it, when I'm ready."
"Oh Hawk!" he exclaimed and hugged him.
"Can I use the PA system?" he asked Radar with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
"Yeah, sure," Radar smiled.
Hawkeye picked up the microphone and said, "Attention all personnel! Hawkeye Pierce is alive and well and here." With that announcement broadcast over the whole camp, the office was suddenly overrun with people. Margaret, Potter, Charles, and Father Mulcahy pushed their ways to the front. They gaped in shock and stared at him as if they ever looked away for a split second, he would disappear.
"Hawkeye!" Margaret exclaimed happily. She hugged him tightly and was reluctant to let go. "When I thought I had lost you, I was so distraught and lost. I also felt guilty that I didn't tell you how I felt. Now that you've been 'raised from the dead' so to speak, I have to tell you this. Don't feel like you need to say or do anything. I've lived by myself long enough and I can do it the rest of my life if I have to. I love you, Benjamin Franklin Pierce. I love you and if I didn't tell you and something happened...." her voice trailed off as the tears welled in her eyes. She tried to pick up where she had left off, but was interrupted---not by words, but by a long and passionate kiss.
Hawk swept her into his arms and after the kiss had ended he answered, "I love you too, and you don't know how long I've been waiting to hear you say that." Everyone in the office cheered---not only because their lost friend had returned, but because a hidden love had been revealed.