Back in Post Op with Hawkeye Clete asked. "You're five miles from the front, on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the OR sessions must be a cause of great tension, what do you do to relax?"
"Relax?" Hawkeye repeated in surprise.
"Yeah, you do get a chance to relax, don't you?" Clete asked seriously.
"Well, for relaxation I collapse." Hawkeye replied truthfully, then added his tone mildly teasing. "And I like to stay in shape, so I drink a lot. That's, uh, that's the really big sport here."
His old drinking buddy chuckled slightly with amusement. "And he did it better than most."
"Next to you, I'm sure." His wife commented knowingly.
"Well, you know." He remarked evasively. Then curiously he mused. "I wonder if he still has the still set up?"
"Poker." Was Father Mulcahy's answer to Clete's question. Then with a small smile he added. "I know that may sound strange, but poker relaxes me. There's nothing more satisfactory then 'shearing' the flock as it were. Of course, it all goes to the orphans...well, almost all of it."
"Music is my sanctuary." Dr. Winchester replied seriously. "Classical. It reminds me that there is still some grace and culture left in the world."
Trapper laughed mischievously. "I wonder how Hawk deals with that. I don't think that he's a big classical music buff."
BJ's reply got the other man's attention. "Oh, I'd say with a lot of horse play, taking out your frustrations on other people. You know, good clean American fun."
Well, that clinched it. Trapper thought jealously. Hawkeye had indeed found himself another kindred spirit to help him get through the war. He felt a conflict of emotions over the fact, but finally his concern for his buddy won out and managed to squash his feelings of jealousy and resentment.
Hawkeye's voice brought him out of his musings. "I won't lie to you." Hawkeye was saying to Clete. "I've established some wonderful, temporary relationships with a lot of the nurses here..."
"That's the understatement of the year." His old buddy chuckled in amusement.
"...I like to think of myself as the social director of the heart." The self proclaimed Romeo concluded. Trapper merely shook his head and chuckled in amusement.
Klinger's response was a bit more cynical. When asked what he did to relax he replied.
"I don't dare. If I do, somebody will think that I like it here."
"He's the only sane one here." BJ remarked, speaking of Klinger. "It's the rest of us who are crazy."
"Oh, I don't know." John commented with a chuckle. "Klinger sure made a good stab at it."
"What did he do that was so crazy?" Louise asked as another commercial break began.
"Well, for example, a lot of the outfits he wore were absolutely insane." Her husband replied. "The one he made for Henry's farewell was totally outrageous, complete with fruit and everything."
"Fruit?" Louise repeated, raising her eyebrows in surprise.
"And then there was the time that he pretended to be pregnant her," husband continued.
"Pregnant?" She exclaimed in complete astonishment. She continued to listen in wide eyed amazement as her husband proceeded to list off the various Section Eight stunts that Klinger had pulled while he was in Korea.
Finally the commercials ended and the show resumed. More news clips were shown followed by the another interview with Hawkeye.
"How has being a part of all this, the war, changed you?" Clete asked seriously.
"Well, I'm very impressed now with the terrible fragility of the human body." Hawkeye replied, his tone emphasizing the amazement he felt. After a slight pause he added. "And the unbelievable resiliency of the human spirit."
"Amen." John McIntyre nodded in agreement.
"It's made me very, very angry." BJ admitted, his tone dripping with bitterness.
"Well, it's allowed me to work fairly closely without becoming contaminated with people of vastly diverge points of view." Charles commented seriously.
"He really is a pompous creature, isn't he." McIntyre commented, a trifle annoyed at the other man's superiority complex.
"Now, take it easy, John." Louise urged gently, a soft smile on her face. "The Winchesters have done a lot for this city."
Trapper was going to comment, but refrained when he heard Margaret's voice again.
"I've learned more about myself and how much I really care about people." She said thoughtfully causing her old comrade's eyebrows to raise with a mixture of curiosity and surprise. After a brief pause she added. "I feel as old as I'm ever going to get, older than I ever intended to be. And, um, I really can't wait to go home."
"I feel as old as I'm ever going to get, older than I ever intended to be. And, um, I really can't wait to go home."
"Well, I'll be..." Trapper exclaimed in amazement. He suddenly began to wonder if this was the same woman that he had known when he was in Korea. If he didn't know better he'd swear that he had changed, mellowed. Was is possible?
"When this is all over, when there's no more reason for you to be here, what memories will you take home with you?" Clete asked Hawkeye curiously.
"That's easy." Hawkeye replied seriously. "The face of every kid that's come through here."
"But there must be other things that you will recall." Clete pressed.
"I don't know." Hawkeye responded slowly, his tone thoughtful. " I don't think that you really remember the bad stuff as much as you think you will. I think, uh, that I'll never forget the day I go home. But at the moment I can't imagine it."
"The little Korean children." Mulcahy replied with a small smile. "Their smiles amidst all this despair."
"All the good times." Klinger replied seriously. "That's what I'll remember." After a short pause he added. "I think there were three."
"What these young people have, their dedication, their devotion almost, their high spirits has rubbed off on me." Potter commented his tone full of deep emotion. "I feel ten years younger. I'm a better doctor, and most important a better human being. And, ah, I don't have to remember that, it's part of me."
"I like this guy." McIntyre commented with a smile. "He sounds pretty down to earth. Not as scatterbrained as Henry, but a good egg none-the-less."
"One day, one very bad day." Was Radar's reply to Clete's question.
"What day was that?" Louise asked curiously.
"Knowing Radar I would say that it was the day that Henry was killed." Her husband replied as the program went into yet another commercial break. During that time Trapper related the events leading up to Henry's departure and subsequent passing. "It hit all of us very hard, but I think it hit Radar hardest of all." He concluded as the program came back on. "Henry was like a father to him."
On the television a chopper was seen landing on the pad just outside the camp, then a few ambulances came driving into the compound. In the background Hawkeye's voice could be heard saying: "...blood and it's all red and there's an awful lot of it leaking out around here."
"There's no way to summarize what you've just seen and heard save to say that God willing all these exceptional people will be going home one day." Clete Roberts commented in conclusion. "Let us hope that neither they, nor any others will ever have to assemble for such a purpose again. Goodnight."
As the list of credits rolled by Trapper sat staring blankly at the television screen.
"Are you still hungry?" Louise asked as she rose from her chair. When her husband didn't respond she placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked at her blankly as she asked again. "Would you like some supper?"
"Ah, yeah...sure." He replied, obviously preoccupied with something.
"Are you okay?" She asked in a concerned tone. She was worried about how he felt about seeing the 4077th and his friends again.
"Yeah, I'm fine." He assured her.
Giving him one more look of concern she turned and headed back to the kitchen.
John sat deep in thought for several minutes before finally rising and heading for the kitchen.
"Your supper will be ready in a few minutes." His wife informed him.
"Fine." He replied as he picked up the telephone. Upon contacting the Boston operator he said. "I'd like to place an overseas call...M*A*S*H 4077th, Uijongbu, Korea...I'll hold..."
M*A*S*H 4077th - Uijongbu, Korea. October 12th, 1952. 3:30 am.
Radar O'Reilly groaned in annoyance as the telephone started to jingle. He put his pillow over his ears in an attempt to drown out the sound, but it was to no avail. With a large sigh he rolled out of bed, grabbed his glasses from their shelf and went to answer the phone.
"M*A*S*H 4077th." He replied with a large yawn.
"Hey Radar." Trapper greeted excitedly. He couldn't believe how great it was to hear the other guy's voice. "Is Hawkeye there?"
"Hawkeye?" Radar repeated followed by another yawn.
"Yeah, Hawkeye." The other man chuckled slightly, remembering how dopey Radar could be when he was half-asleep. "Hawkeye Pierce. Can I speak to him?"
"Hawkeye Pierce?" Radar repeated then protested. "He's asleep."
"Then wake him up." Trapper told him, starting to get a trifle annoyed at Radar's sleepy state.
"You want me to wake him?" Radar exclaimed in horror. "Are you kidding, he just came out of fourteen hours in surgery! He'll tie my hands and feet together and use me as a punching bag."
"Come one, Radar, it's important." John McIntyre pressed eagerly.
"Important! What could be so important..." He stopped mid-sentence and asked. "Who's calling please?"
"Why do you want to know?" McIntyre asked, surprised that the other man had figured out by now who he was talking to. Usually he was quicker than this. His 'radar' must be asleep too.
"That way when he tries to kill me I can tell him who it is that made me wake him up." Radar reasoned as he rubbed his face sleepily.
"Radar, its Trapper." The other man told him with a chuckle.
"Trapper?" It took a moment for Radar's tired brain to recognize the name. When he finally clued in to who was on the other end of the line he exclaimed excitedly. "Trapper! As in Trapper John McIntyre!?"
"The one and only." Trapper chuckled again, this time at the sudden excitement in the other man's voice. "Now can you do me a favor and go get Hawkeye before this call costs me a fortune."
"Right away, sir." Radar exclaimed obligingly. "I'll be right back." He put the phone down and then picked it up again. "Don't go anywhere."
"I won't." Trapper promised with another laugh.
Radar set the phone down again, grabbed his robe and then picked the phone back up. "By the way, it's good to hear from you, sir."
"Thank you, Radar." The other man commented. "Now can you go get Hawk, Radar."
"I'm on my way." He set the phone down again and ran out the door.