15

"What did you do to him?" McIntyre asked, deeply curious at what his three companions found so funny.

Hawkeye tried to explain, despite the fact that he was almost gasping for air as it was. "Charles and I put Beej in the nurses' tent while he was asleep."

"He must be a heavy sleeper not to wake up while you moved him." Trapper remarked, still not understanding what was so funny about the story.

Charles and Hawkeye exchanged wicked looks. "He's a very heavy sleeper." Charles replied causing the two men to go off on another laughing fit.

"But what's so funny about putting him in the nurses' tent?" Trapper asked, still deeply puzzled. "The guy probably enjoyed it."

"Not this time." Hawkeye replied, still laughing heartily. "You see, before we put him in their tent we stripped him of everything but his dog tags and his cheesy mustache. Then we pinned his blanket to the cot and moved him to the nurse's tent."

"So that he couldn't use the blanket as a cover up." Trapper replied, seeing the wonderful possibilities that this story had. "So what happened?"

"Well, apparently Beej decided that he was just going to stay put until we came to his rescue." Hawkeye commented, a broad smile spreading across his face as he looked at his co-conspirator and added. "But we anticipated that."

"Oh?" Trapper looked at him expectantly.

"We got a Corporal to make a phony 'Incoming Wounded' announcement." Charles continued picking up the tale, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "Hunnicutt then had to get up and leave the tent. Though he did manage to make use of a pillow." The two men exploded into amused laughter at the memory.

Looking at Hawkeye Trapper asked curiously. "What did this fellow do that could have brought on such a scathing prank?"

"He made me the laughing stock of the camp." Hawkeye replied a trifle indignant.

"At my expense." Charles added, also indignant. The two men quickly related the story of the stunts that BJ had pulled to receive such an embarrassing punishment.

"No wonder you put his through the ringer." Trapper remarked after they had finished. "Sounds like he deserved it."

"Oh, he did." Hawkeye acknowledged eagerly.

"I'm surprised he still talked to you after that stunt." His friend remarked with mild amazement in his voice. "I probably would have killed the both of you."

"Well, you were pretty safe." Hawkeye assured his old friend. "Because there was no chance in hell that I would have ever teamed up with Frank Burns to play a joke on anybody."

"Speaking of Frank Burns." Trapper remarked with a mischievous smile. "I wonder what his reaction would be if he knew that you and 'Hot...'" At his friend's frown he corrected. "...Margaret were getting married."

"His beady little eyes would probably pop out of his head." Margaret remarked with a laugh. "As far as he's concerned I'm still in the Army and married to Donald."

"You mean you're not in the Army any longer?" Trapper exclaimed in surprise. "I thought the Army was everything to you."

"Well, so did I at first." Margaret admitted honestly. "But I've since discovered that the Army isn't everything." She looked warmly at Hawkeye and reached over to squeeze his hand. "There are other things much more important." Hawkeye smiled and squeezed her hand back.

Trapper shook his head and looked at the pair. "I still can't believe that you're marrying Hawkeye. I would have said that hell would freeze over before you'd fall in love with him."

Margaret looked at her fiancee lovingly for a moment before looking back to her old comrade. "There was a time, not that long ago in fact that I would have agreed with you, but not now. Believe it or not I feel very lucky to have met Hawkeye." She squeezed his hand again.

"So I can see." Trapper chuckled with amusement. "So when's the big day?"

"Like Margaret said before, we haven't really set a date yet." Hawkeye replied, squeezing his beloved's hand back. "We only got engaged last night."

"Not to mention the fact that you only found each other again last night." Charles added, with a slight chuckle.

"What does he mean?" Trapper asked Hawkeye curiously, nodding towards Winchester who was sitting beside him. Hawkeye and Margaret looked at each other and laughed, still greatly amused by the irony that had brought them back together. "What's so funny?" Their old friend pressed eagerly.

Hawkeye managed to control his laughter enough to answer his friend's question. "Margaret and I were reunited last night because I agreed to go on a blind date to help out a friend."

"A blind date?" Trapper exclaimed in surprise, then pointing to Margaret added. "And Margaret turned out to be your date?"

"That's right." Hawkeye nodded his face still holding an amused smile.

Trapper's eyes widened at the unbelievable coincidence. "That's incredible! I mean what are the chances of that happening one in a million?"

"At least." Hawkeye agreed, then putting his arm around Margaret's shoulders he added. "But then so is Margaret." Trapper's eyebrows shot upward as Margaret leaned forward and planted a loving kiss on his buddy's lips. The kiss lasted a few moments and finally ended when Margaret pulled back and whispered to Hawkeye.

"And so are you."

Trapper could only shake his head in disbelief. Charles on the other hand was more vocal.

"If you two don't mind, I'm trying to eat my lunch." He pretended to be thoroughly disgusted but the twinkle in his eye belied his words.

"Okay Charles, we'll behave." Hawkeye told the other man with a mild chuckle.

"Don't make promises you can't keep, Pierce." His old tentmate replied, his tone deadpan.

As Margaret and Charles chuckled at Hawkeye's mock insulted look Trapper shook his head again in disbelief and asked his old buddy. "How did you ever do it?"

"Do what?" Hawkeye questioned in confusion.

"These are not the people that I know." Trapper exclaimed, pointing to Charles and Margaret with a look of amazement on his face. Looking at Margaret he said. "When I was in Korea you were just like Attila the Hun in olive drab." Then turning to look at Charles he continued. "And everyone at the hospital says that you're nothing but a stuffed shirt with no heart or funny bone."

"Is that so." Charles frowned and folded his arms across his chest.

"Looks like the famous Winchester first impression strikes out again." Hawkeye teased the man knowingly. Having personally witnessed Charles' rougher exterior used to keep those he considered inferior at bay he could easily understand their opinions. In fact Hawkeye wouldn't be surprised if selected members of the 4077th staff were the first, and not doubt only 'inferiors' that Charles ever let close enough to witness the other sides of his complex, and actually fun-loving personality.

Margaret rose in defense of her friend. "Well whoever said that about Charles obviously has no respect for his amazing surgical skills or his high sense of honor and fairness." Even though it had been several months since the incident had occurred, she still felt deeply indebted and grateful to Charles for the time that he had stood up for her to that wretched Colonel Baldwin, defending her honor when that creep had tried to make Colonel Potter believe that she had attacked him, when it had been the other way around. Even though Charles lost the chance of being reassigned back to Tokyo, he had stood up for her and placed the blame in its rightful corner. She had learned then that even though Charles pretended that the people of the 4077th didn't mean anything to him he was obviously very attached to them and cared for them very much. So much so that he gave up the chance to leave it behind in favor of helping one of its inmates.

"Maybe not." Trapper conceded, slightly surprised by her defensive tone. He had a feeling that Margaret had also come to appreciate Dr. Winchester's amazing surgical skills and high sense of honor and fairness. Glancing at Hawkeye who sat with his arm around the back of Margaret's chair he silently hoped that her appreciation for the other man didn't run too deep.

Changing the subject Charles looked at Hawkeye and asked curiously. "When did you say Hunnicutt was coming to visit?"

"He and Peg are arriving on Monday afternoon." Hawkeye replied, a mild not of excitement in his tone. "I can't wait to see him. I can't believe it's been six months. I've really missed the big lug."

"Me too." Margaret echoed enthusiastically causing Trapper to raise an eyebrow in surprise.

"I bet you didn't say that about me when I left." Trapper commented watching her carefully for a reply.

"Of course I didn't." She rewarded him with the expected reply then added. "But then BJ wasn't as annoying as you were. He wasn't constantly chasing my nurses either."

"He wasn't?" Trapper exclaimed in surprise. "What was wrong with him?"

"Nothing!" Hawkeye replied a little defensively. At Trapper's surprised look he softened his tone and added. "Beej is just very devoted to his wife and little girl." He looked at Margaret and smiled. "And I intend to be the same way." Margaret returned the smile.

Watching them for a moment Trapper suddenly shifted in his seat uncomfortably. His views on marriage and fidelity hadn't changed since his return from Korea. It never occurred to him that his friend's thoughts on the subject would have changed so much, that he would start to see things so differently.

Trapper's musings were interrupted by their waiter who suddenly appeared at the table and said. "There's an urgent phone call for a Dr. John McIntyre. Would any of you gentlemen be Dr. McIntyre?"

"I'm Dr. McIntyre." Trapper replied, giving the man an expectant look.

"If you'll follow me sir." The waiter requested as he gestured towards the entrance of the restaurant.

"I'll be back in a minute." He told his friends as he rose from the table. "Try not to have too much fun without me."

"I'll just tell Charles some interesting stories about you is all." Hawkeye teased lightly.

"Please, I think I've heard them all already." Charles moaned as he shot the other man a joking look.

"I'll be right back." Trapper smiled in return and turned to follow the waiter.


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