"She's asleep." Rebecca replied. "Mrs. Potter's rocking her out on the porch swing."
"Let's go get her and we'll go meet your new brother." Hawkeye commented as he handed his daughter over to his father. Rushing out to the back yard he eagerly took Beth from Mrs. Potter's arms. Shaking her gently he called. "Beth. Bethy." She stirred slightly, trying to snuggled closer to her father's chest. Shaking her again her father urged. "Come on, Shortcake, wake up." The little girl opened her eyes and yawned tiredly. Hawkeye chuckled as she blinked at him sleepily. Gently he urged. "Come meet your new baby brother."
"Baby brother?" Beth questioned with another yawn.
"That's right, honey." Hawkeye laughed. "Mommy just had the baby. You have a little brother." The girl's eyes widened more. "Come on, Shortcake, let's go see him." Each carrying one of the girls, the two Pierce men made their way upstairs and into the spare room where mother and baby were resting.
Margaret's eyes were closed when they went in, a tired, but happy smile on her lips. The baby was also asleep, having filled his tummy and now tired after his rough journey into the world.
Hawkeye leaned down and kissed his wife gently on the forehead. Her eyes opened and she smiled softly at him. "How do you feel?" He asked in a low tone.
"Tired." She replied wearily. "Tired and happy." She turned her head to look at her son. "Isn't he just so wonderful."
"Wonderful and perfect, just like his mother." Hawkeye commented as he bent down to kiss her on the lips. As he did so, Beth reached out to touch the little bundle that was asleep in her mother's arms.
"Baby brother?" She asked curiously.
"That's right, Sweetheart." Margaret nodded in confirmation. "Baby brother."
"I think he has your mouth, Margaret." Daniel commented, as he looked down at is sleeping grandson.
"He certainly has her lungs." Her husband teased gently.
"What are you going to name the little fellow?" The grandfather asked curiously.
"I've been thinking about that." Margaret replied as she smiled down at her little son. "I was thinking something like ‘Benjamin John Pierce'."
"We can call him ‘BJ'." Hawkeye smile broadened at the suggestion. "I love it!" Looking down at the baby he softly said. "Welcome to the family Benjamin John."
‘Oh, he's absolutely adorable." Klinger cooed as he held a tiny hand in his larger one. The center of everyone's complete attention was quietly sleeping in his mother's arms, totally oblivious to the stir he was causing around him.
"Oh, he looks adorable now." Trapper commented lightly. "But just wait until he needs to be fed of have his diaper changed." Soft laughter erupted from everyone in the room.
It was early the next afternoon and the extended M*A*S*H family was sitting around the living room of the O'Reilly homestead ‘oohing and aahing' over its newest member. Margaret was sitting in the rocking chair casually dressed in her night shirt and bathrobe, Hawkeye having gathered their things from their hotel early that morning. The O'Reilly's had insisted that the Pierces stay with them until Margaret and the baby were ready to make the trip back to Crabapple Cove.
"So, what have you decided to name this little fellow?" BJ asked as he ran a gentle hand over the tiny head that lay nestled against Margaret's arm.
Before replying Hawkeye reached down and gently shifted his new son into his arms. He placed a feather light kiss on the newborn's head and then responded to his bestfriend's query. "We've decided to name his after a couple of terrific guys who mean a lot to both of us and who helped bring this wonderful little fellow into the world." Hawkeye looked directly as this two dearest friends as he introduced his son. "May I present the newest member of the M*A*S*H 4077th family, Mr. Benjamin John Pierce. Or, if you prefer BJ Pierce."
Trapper and BJ looked at each other and smiled. In the back of their minds they had been expecting the baby to be named after the other. The fact that he'd been named after both of them meant more to the two men than either Hawkeye or Margaret could ever expect. Moving towards their friend and their new namesake they took turns giving the pair a warm embrace. After which they each planted a gentle kiss on Margaret's cheek.
Raising his coffee cup Sherman offered a toast to the new little fellow and his family. "May they always have as much love and be as close as they are right now." The Pierces smiled at each other and then at their friends. "And may all of us always be as dear to each other as we've been in the past. I love each and everyone of you as if you were my own children."
"Even Frank?" Hawkeye couldn't resist asking as he shot the man a sly smile.
"Ah, what the hell." Sherman commented good-naturedly as he also looked at the man in question. "Even Frank." Frank looked at the Colonel in surprise, a goofy smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"You know what I think?" Klinger suddenly piped up. "I think that this is the perfect moment to take that group photo."
The others voiced their profound agreement, except for Margaret who exclaimed. "Klinger, not now, I look awful!" She glanced down at her outfit and ran a hand through her blond hair.
"Margaret, you look fine." Hawkeye assured his wife eagerly. Then with an encouraging smile he urged. "Come on, be a sport."
"Oh, alright." She finally agreed with a sigh. She always found it hard to say no when he flashed her that smile. "But give me little BJ so that people will remember WHY I look like I do." Hawkeye chuckled and handed their son to her as Klinger rushed out to get his camera. Potter tried his best to arrange the rather large group as quickly and as orderly as possible.
When everyone was organized and the camera set up, Hawkeye took a moment to glance at the old friends that surrounded him. They wee a group of marvelous people, people that Hawkeye felt very privileged to know. Even though they hadn't seen each other in ten years and even though they had spent the worst time of their lives together, Hawkeye knew that they were the people that meant the most to him in the whole world. Clete Roberts had once observed that the war had molded them into a family. Surely he couldn't have realized just how true that statement that was. And now the family was back together again, just like they should be.
"Say M*A*S*H 4077th." Klinger prompted as he rushed to join the group after setting the timer on the camera.
"M*A*S*H 4077th." The group echoed enthusiastically. The camera clicked capturing forever that precious moment in time.
I just want to thank everyone for their patients while I finished this rather large epic. I didn't intend for it to be this long, it had started out as a short story, but it sort of evolved into a 230 full page novel! Sorry! Anyway, thanks again for your encouragement and support. I hope you enjoyed the story.
This story is dedicated to all our favorite characters and the actors and actresses that made those characters possible.