Klinger sat in the office while Hawkeye paced endlessly around, pestering him.
"Oh come on Klinger," he cajoled, "Can't we just open it up a bit and take a little peek inside?"
The company clerk now wearing a lavender gown with a matching sash shook his head vehemently.
"Pierce, you know that's not only against army regulations," he said, "It's a federal offense and yes I know I'm trying to get out of Korea but I'm not going to exchange it for prison."
Hawkeye sighed dramatically, fluttering his arms around as he walked. Sometimes when he got restless he'd do that like a chicken might, Klinger noticed.
And the chief surgeon with the flair for the dramatic was definitely restless and bugging the hell out of him. One of those Korean gale force winds had blown through the camp during the past two days driving everyone in its path a bit of nuts but he knew what Hawkeye wanted had nothing to do with seasonal weather.
"Can't you bend the rules a little?"
Klinger folded his hairy arms and stared up at Hawkeye.
"I mean it Hawkeye. I'm not going to do anything that gets me locked up in a place worse than here…if that's possible."
"Besides Col. Potter would find out because he's onto all my old tricks which I mostly picked up from Radar."
Hawkeye just sighed loudly and plopped himself on Klinger's cot.
"I want to know what Margaret wrote in that letter," he said, "and who's this man that she won't talk about to anyone."
"Including you I take it," Klinger said, "I think you're flirting with danger messing with the major. You might get burned and I for one don't want to be in her line of fire."
Hawkeye threw his arms up again.
"She'll never know, I'll swear it," he said, "I'm just doing this to help her. That's all, it's strictly for humanitarian reasons."
Klinger looked doubtful.
"You're doing it for Hawkeye reasons and I told you I'm not going to be a part of it," he said, "Because if you're lucky, Potter might find out and that'll be a lot better than if it's the major."
Hawkeye knew that Klinger would definitely be right about that but he just had to know what was in that letter. Just when he pestered her about the letter that he ex husband Donald Penobscot had written to her that time when they'd been driving to the 8063rd to demonstrate that surgical procedure. It had turned out of course that Donald had mixed up her letter with one he'd meant to send to his mistress.
Margaret hadn't taken that too well. But then it hadn't been all bad, he remembered with a smile.
"Now I need you to get out of my office cause I got work to do."
"Klinger…how about I offer you something in return for your trouble?"
The clerk sighed.
"That's bribery Hawkeye and it's not going to work with me…and besides you don't have anything I want except your name on a Section 8 form."
"I can't do that Klinger or they'd put me in the stockade."
"I thought so…I can't help you," he said, "and I can't believe you'd even suggest a thing."
Hawkeye looked at Klinger knowing the subject was closed…at least for now. He had to go to post-op to relieve B.J. soon. It'd been a quiet night so he'd probably gotten some shuteye in between keeping an eye on the few patients.
B.J. looked over at Margaret after checking on the comatose patient.
"Any signs he'll wake up?"
B.J. just shook his head.
"I don't know how to tell the Father this but I'm not sure he's coming back," he said, "Hard to say why the brain swelling's not receding. We checked for bleeders everywhere inside his skull."
Margaret came up and patted him on the shoulder.
"I know you and Pierce did everything you could for him," she said, "Time and good care will hopefully do the rest."
B.J. nodded looking tired. It'd been a quiet night but he'd not been able to sleep and every time she faded to sleep she ran into her dreams of her recent trip and the man…she knew that she might have been rash in sending the letter to him. But she didn't know any other way to handle it. Life was complicated enough in a war zone without letting feelings come into it. She'd mellowed out a lot since she came here but it never ceased to be a struggle for her. Hawkeye would tease her about it, with B.J. taking a gentler approach.
Hawkeye walked in suddenly telling them some joke that she vaguely remembered hearing in the past. She looked up to see him looking bright eyed.
"Good morning Ladies and Germs," he said, "How are you doing on this bright and cheerful Korean morning?"
B.J. yawned and left the comatose patient.
"You're a sight for tired eyes," he said, "I'm ready to check out the menu at the mess. Any food left?"
"Nearly all of it," Hawkeye said, "there was a protein injection courtesy of some small furry things that Igor found in the pantry."
B.J. made a face.
"I think I'll pass…or stick to that acid called coffee."
"Wise choice….what about you Margaret, what do you plan to do now?"
She sighed, adjusting her white coat.
"Get some sleep…I'm tired and Potter wants to call us into a meeting at 1400."
"Oh yeah…something to do with that salesman due here soon," he said, "I think I can fit it in before my croquet match at 1500."
Margaret just rolled her eyes and looked at B.J.
"You want to join me Beej," he said, "I still need a partner."
"I'll pass…come on Margaret," he said, "I'll walk you to your tent."
She smiled at him and they left Hawkeye behind. Margaret sighed as she left the building.
"I know he's up to something," she said "I know when he smiles like that."
"He's curious about that letter you sent out."
Margaret narrowed her eyes.
"Why….what business is it of his? Oh don't tell me he used sneaky tactics to try to read it…"
B.J. shook his head.
"No…no…I don't think he did anything like that but he wondered about it."
She looked away one moment.
"My personal life is private and none of his business…certainly if it's going to wind up fodder for a joke."
B.J.'s face softened.
"I don't think that's why he's interested," he said, "I actually think he's concerned about you."
"I'd believe that if I saw it," she said, "With him I feel set up and waiting for the punch line."
B.J. didn't comment and she knew he knew the feeling. Hawkeye was a jokester through and through and drove everyone crazy with it.
"He cares about you Margaret. We both do."
"I know you do but really there's no reason to worry," she said, "I went on R&R, met some man and had a good time. He turned out to be…married and so naturally it's over."
B.J. appeared to digest that.
"Okay then just wait until some time passes and he moves on," he said, "His attention span's never been that long unless he's in OR."
"True…well I'll see you later," she said, "at Potter's meeting."
B.J. watched her as she walked inside her tent and closed the door behind her.
Margaret's eyes widened at the familiar face. No it couldn't be but as she looked closer she saw that it was him. The emotions that swirled through her, she couldn't even begin to describe. She felt words escape her and she just stared at him.
His face relaxed into a smile but his eyes…they showed something else.