Hawkeye dumped his suitcase on the bed and surveyed the room around him. It was a nice room, and he nodded in appreciation. It was certainty a whole lot better than what he had dealt with at the 4077th. While The Swamp had grown to become home, it had not been the nicest place to live. Except for the people. The war had been over for a year, but Hawkeye knew that he would never forget the people had formed a family with. He smiled to himself as he remembered some of the crazier things he and BJ had done. But his amusement faded as he though of the man he had roomed with and had grown to be a very dear friend. Hawkeye decided that it was time to go down to the bar and drink a toast to remembered friends and to all of people from the 4077th, wherever they may be.
Hawkeye was at the bar and on his second martini. He sipped it cautiously, tasting a small sip. He smiled appreciatively of the good drink – so much better than the rot gut he used to drink… Hawkeye stopped himself from following that train of thought. He had spent too much time in the previous year comparing his life to that of the 4077th. No matter what he did, his thoughts always seemed to return to Korea. Hawkeye frowned down at his martini, swirling it in his hands. That's when he heard it – surrounded by a crowd of doctors who were also there for the medical conference tomorrow, he heard that unmistakable laugh. He knew it because he had heard it so many times during that year in hell. Hawkeyed scanned the room, looking for the source of the sound. Finally, he located it. There in the back corner, reading a book was his room mate and dear friend, BJ Hunnicutt. Hawkeye gaped in pure astonishment. Sitting there in the same room as him! Hawkeye's mind scrambled to process this sudden revelation. Then he broke into a wide smile, mentioned for the bar tender to fill his now empty martini glass, and when it was full, he took a large gulp then headed towards the table in the back.
As Hawkeye approached the table where BJ was sitting, he couldn't help but smile when he saw the book that BJ was reading. In BJ's hands was a copy of "The Rooster Crowed at Midnight." His was friend was staring at the last page with a smile on his face. "Good Lord!" thought Hawkeye, "he still has the ridiculous looking mustache!" Hawkeye stood there for a moment, before finally breaking the silence and announcing his presence.
"So, who did it?" BJ looked up startled. Then his eyes found Hawkeye, and his smile grew impossibly wide.
"Hawk!" BJ put down his book and stood up to embrace his friend. Hawkeye returned the hug then gave BJ a playful push.
"Hey Beej." Hawkeye said. He could not keep the smile from his face. Man, was it good to see Beej! BJ's smile was just as big though, and they were starting to draw attention from the other doctors. BJ motioned for Hawkeye to sit down.
"So, who did it?" Hawkeye asked again, eyeing the book on the table. He really was curious to know who the murderer was. The whole camp had read that book, but the last page had been missing and they had never been able to figure out who the murderer was. BJ laughed.
"You'll never believe it." BJ said and laughed as he pushed the book towards Hawkeye. Hawkeye picked up the book and read,
"A hush fell over the drawing room as Inspector Langley lit his pipe and said,' I can now reveal to you the identity of the murder,' Inspector Langley said as he lit his pipe. 'The killer is…" Hawkeye hurriedly turned the page, now really curious to know who the murder was. Avery Updike" Hawkeye smiled as he set the book down. After all this time it was great to finally have that mystery solved. Then he looked up and saw BJ sitting there with this goofy grin and ridiculous mustache and for a moment he found himself transported back to the Officer's Club at the 4077th. He shook his head to clear the image then smiled at BJ.
"So how ya been Beej?" He asked leaning slightly forward to be able to hear over the noise of the crowd.
"I've been good Hawk. I've been spending a lot of time with Peg and Erin. Erin's so big. I think I've got a picture somewhere…" Hawkeye smiled as BJ dug around in his pockets. Some things never changed. "Here it is!" BJ finally found what he was looking for, and proudly thrust the photograph across the table for Hawkeye to see. Hawkeye picked up the picture and found himself confronted by the smiling faces of his friend, Peg and Erin.
"They're beautiful Beej." Hawkeye said, handing the picture back to BJ. "Erin sure has grown."
"Yeah…." BJ half sighed. He seemed lost in thought for a moment. He snapped himself out of it though and asked,
"So what about you Hawk? What have you been doing?"
"I've been helping Dad out with his practice." Hawkeye smiled. "You know, getting Crap Apple Cove to stick out their tongues and say 'Ah!'" BJ couldn't help but smile at the reminder of that last dinner the 4077th had had together as a whole group before everyone had started going home.
"That's great Hawk! And I told you it wouldn't be goodbye!" BJ couldn't resist that not so subtle 'I told you so.' Both of them laughed.
"Yeah, who knew we would actually end up at one of these things?"
"Really!" Both of them smile and they talked for the rest of the night until the bar tender finally kicked them out at closing time. So reluctantly BJ and Hawkeye bid each other goodnight, but made places to meet each other for the seminar the next day.