Hawkeye's expression of mirth froze on his face as the other man's vicious comment hit home. The sting of the remark struck so deep, that he couldn't even think to respond, he could only look at the other man with hurt and surprise on his handsome face. He knew that Frank was a senseless, uncaring twit, but he didn't realize that he could be so heartless. Fortunately for Hawkeye, his best friend came to his defense.
"Frank, why don't you shut up before I give you a free face lift." B.J. threatened angrily. Peg looked at her husband in surprise. She had never seen him so upset at anyone in her life. By nature he was a quiet, soft-spoken person who wouldn't even dream of harming anybody, which is one of the reasons he became a doctor. B.J. had told her a little bit about Hawkeye's mental break down before the war had ended , but she hadn't realized how deeply it had affected B.J. or how sensitive he was about it. He was being incredibly protective of his friend. She glanced over to Hawkeye and noticed how withdrawn his expression had become, he looked like he'd gone into his own little world. Margaret had turned in his arms and was hugging him, trying to comfort him. B.J.'s voice got Peg's attention.
"Besides, Frank, I wouldn't talk yourself." B.J. was saying. "There are plenty of things that you have done that I'm sure would have earned you a Section Eight had Potter been so inclined."
"Oh, yeah, like what?" Frank exclaimed in a defensive tone. "Name one time that I did anything that would resemble something crazy."
"One time!" B.J. exclaimed in disbelief. "Frank, I could name a thousand times. How about when you rigged the toilet seats in the latrine to rise to attention during inspections. Or how about the time you were convinced that all the South Koreans around camp were saboteurs and you thought you saw them burying a bomb - while you were checking your toothpaste for explosives. Or, how about the time that you went out and captured that South Korean family that was having a picnic because you thought that they were guerillas. "
"Or how about the he took the tank for a spin and nearly took out half the camp. " Klinger commented, giving Frank a disgusted look. "Or how about the time that you wanted to make a profit by selling the camp's garbage to the local merchants." Radar added, also shooting Frank a dirty look.
"What about what Pierce did with that garbage?" Frank shot back defensively. "You call me nuts, at least I don't go dumping garbage on visiting Colonels."
"Frank, that Colonel had it coming." B.J. retorted in his friend's defense. "He was a maniac who got more people killed than I'd like to think about. I think Hawkeye gave him a perfect 'adieu'. "
"I agree Burns." Colonel Potter chuckled heartily at the memory. "If you ask me, Pierce was one of the sanest people in camp."
"I agree." Sydney remarked, looking at Frank seriously. "In fact I told him that time he was having problems with nightmares and sleepwalking that I thought he was one of the sanest people I'd ever met.
"And I wasn't, I suppose?" Frank spat out in an angry tone.
"To be honest, Frank." Sydney told him. "I have seen you do many things that has caused me to severely doubt your sanity."
"Like tearing down the camp and moving it across the road and them back again for no apparent reason?" B.J. asked with an amused chuckle "Or searching the camp for the $300 that someone lost playing poker because you considered it stolen?"
"Was it his money?" Sydney asked curiously.
"No, Zale's." B.J. replied.
Looking at Frank Klinger piped up. "Definitely crazy." Sydney smiled in amusement.
"And don't forget what he did when Margaret got married to that jackass Penobscott." Potter added, giving Frank a disgusted look.
"Oh yes, that one is my personal favorite." B.J. smiled at the Henry and Trapper and explained. "He went on leave to Seoul and started chasing all the blond women he saw because he thought that they were Margaret. And then, and if you ask me this is icing on the cake, he followed an officer and a blond into a public bath, jumped into the water after them and grabbed the woman and started crying. Apparently Mrs. Kester yelled bloody murder."
"Mrs. Kester?" Sydney laughed heartily. "As in Mrs. Brigadier General Kester?"
"The one and only." Potter remarked with a hearty chuckle.
"Nice going, Frank." Sydney commented, looking at the other man and shaking his head in disbelief.
"Even the army in its infinite insanity couldn't help but wonder at Frank's mental fitness."
"That's what you think, Hunnicutt, but they cleared me of all the charges and sent me to a Veteran's Hospital at home in Indiana." Frank pointed out. "They even promoted me to Lieutenant Colonel, Bub. "
"Can I help it Frank if the army is even crazier than you are." B.J. replied with a mischievous smile.
"They have to protect their own, you know." Trapper added, shooting Frank a sly smile.
"Oh, shut up, you Smartskis!" Frank exclaimed as he walked away in a huff.
"I wish there was something that we could do to get rid of him for good." Klinger replied, shooting an annoyed look at Frank's retreating back. "Why did you ever invite him anyway, Radar?"
"Well, I wasn't going to." Radar admitted, looking over at Hawkeye who was starting to come around. "I know how much everyone dislikes him. But then I got feeling sorry for him and so I broke down and invited him."
"I just wish that he would learn to hold his tongue a bit more." B.J. exclaimed angrily. He looked at his friend who was starting to look better. Margaret had pulled him to one side and was talking to him in a low tone. The rest of the group couldn't hear what she was saying, but whatever it was it was obviously having a good affect on Hawkeye, because a small smile began to creep across his face. A few moments later the smile got larger and he leaned down to kiss her, wrapping his arms tightly around her.
"They really do seem to love each other." Henry commented as he watched the pair closely for several moments. "I never would have thought it was possible!"
"They do make a great couple." Potter agreed as he watched the pair. "They sure made one hell of a team in Korea." After a few moments he began to clear his throat uncomfortably. "I'm getting a strong sense of 'deja vu'." B.J. and Charles smiled in agreement as they watched the Pierces continue to kiss. "Why don't we leave these two lovebirds alone and get this fellow here some food."
"Sounds good, Colonel." Henry smiled gratefully. "I'm famished."
"Being dead probably takes a lot out of you." Trapper remarked, shooting Henry a teasing smile.
Potter looked at Trapper and then at B.J. and back again. With an amused chuckle he commented. "It looks like you were saddled with as bad a pair of jokers as I was."
"You can say that again." Henry agreed, giving Trapper a sly smile. "Though I think the reason for that was Hawkeye was the ringleader."
"I would have to agree with that." Potter laughed as he shot B.J. an amused smile and added. "Though, I think his co-conspirators were just as bad as their leader."
"I suppose they were." Henry nodded, looking at Trapper and B.J. mischievously.
"What's say we sit down and swap some stories about life as CO of the good old 4077th?" Potter suggested, giving Henry a friendly smile. "With this bunch of misfits, I bet we'll both have some dandy stories to tell."
"Oh, boy, Colonel do I have some doozies." Henry replied, rubbing his hands together.
"Good!" Potter exclaimed in delight. "Why don't you grab yourself some grub and then we'll share some of our most memorable 'MacIntyer-Pierce' and 'Pierce-Hunnicutt' stories."
"Sound good, Colonel." The other man agreed eagerly.
"Let's go then." Potter lead him to the buffet table and talked excitedly as Henry loaded his plate. When he was through, they headed for a couple of abandoned chairs and settled themselves down.
Not wanting to miss any of the conversation the others all grabbed a chair and quickly made their way over to where the two former commanding officers were sitting.
I want to thank everybody who sent in guesses for my little contest. You all have great imaginations, your ideas were wonderful. I hope the surprise lived up to your expectations. Here's the results of my little poll: (Some people sent in a couple of different ideas, so I included them all.)
5% guessed the jeep that Radar mailed home in the episode "Dear Dad."
5% guessed the much used, much beloved Still.
5% guessed the Time Capsule that was buried at the end of the episode "As Time Goes By."
10% guessed Colonel Flagg (who would either get beat up or try to arrest Hawk and Margaret).
20% guessed Colonel Potter's mare Sophie. and, last but not least.....
55% guessed Henry Blake and/or his family.
Congratulations to those of you who guessed correctly and thanks again for sending me your ideas!!! Keep watching for the next section which will hopefully be ready soon. And for a future section (Section 10) where Radar, and Klinger have another surprise up their sleeves (and it's not 3 aces!).