The next morning Trapper was humming a melodic melody as he stood in front of the mirror attached to the stovepipe, and shaved he face with a helmet full of water. Trapper disliked mornings, but he tolerated them more than Hawkeye.
Hawkeye, who usually resembled a grumpy troll in the morning, took great offence to waking up to his Swampmate's obnoxious and cheerful humming.
"Will you shut your trap – Trap? My God," Hawkeye grumbled as he sat up and glared in disgust at Trapper. He leaned over on his left side and grabbed his alarm clock to check the time, "it's 7:30 in the morning."
Trapper went from humming, to full out singing, to get on Hawk's nerves,
"I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
As I go ridin' merrily along
And they sing, "Oh, ain't you glad you're single"
And that song ain't so very far from wrong".
Trapper ducked down and to the right just in time to miss the pillow hurled at his face.
"You know getting up around revelry isn't so bad. I actually had a shower with hot water this morning and there wasn't even line in the Mess tent for breakfast," Trapper said, consciously ignoring the death glare he was receiving as he continued to shave.
"I spent a good portion of my evening, and not to mention early morning enjoying the company of Nurse Able, and a bottle of twelve year old scotch in the supply shed. The last thing me and my headache need is your off tune rendition of Jingle Jangle Jingle."
"How the hell did you ever make it through med school and residency, hating morning's so much?" Trapper asked, genuinely curious. He was always up early for classes in school, and then during residency, he was up before the crack of dawn to for rounds and surgeries.
"There was a certain blonde-haired nurse that would tend to wake me a little at a time," Hawkeye replied sarcastically, as he thought back to the days when he was in the only serious relationship of his life, with Carly.
"Uh huh," Trapper sighed not believing a word he said, ignorant to who the blonde was Hawkeye was referring to. He then wiped his freshly shaven face dry with the towel that was draped across his shoulder.
"What's the occasion anyway?" Hawkeye asked, finally decided to get out of bed. He grabbed the tin cup from his mess kit and heading over to the stove to pour himself a cup of coffee from the blue kettle. He took a sip and made a face when he realized it was stone cold and left over from a day ago.
Trapper chuckled at the scrunched up face Hawkeye made, before he answered his question, "I'm going to take Captain Morango around for a camp tour. She was very alert and responsive yesterday, and the infection is gone. I think she is going stir crazy from being stuck in the screened off hole Hot Lips insist she stay in."
"Uh huh," Hawkeye said, not surprised that the redheaded Captain in Post-Op was the source of Trapper's good mood.
Hawkeye recognized the obsession both he and Trapper had when they were involved in an intense, critical case. However, Hawkeye noticed some peculiarities about how Trapper had acted the past two weeks when treating Bobbi. First, he noticed that Trapper was a bit snippier with the nurses than usual when they would report to Trapper about Bobbi's condition. Hawkeye also saw Trapper's eyes light up in the same way they do when Trapper talked about his daughters when he talked about and interacted with Bobbi. A part of Hawkeye really couldn't help to wonder if Trapper was forming an attachment greater than just a patient-doctor relationship.
He and Trapper had not discussed the possibility that Captain Morango might be a spy, since the day it was announced that Captain Morango's record was classified. He knew that Trapper was stressed about Bobbi's critical condition and the prodding about Trapper's personal feeling wouldn't do anybody, any good.
Trapper left his position in front of the mirror and headed over to his bunk. He threw the damp towel in his hand haphazardly on the floor. He dabbed a small of the cologne his neck, and left the Swamp, with a simple, "go back to bed, Hawk."
"Now are you sure you feel up to this? Because if not we can wait until the afternoon, or even tomorrow?" Trapper asked, fretting over if Bobbi was comfortable in the wheelchair, she was sitting in.
Bobbi couldn't help but roll her eyes.
"For the millionth time, I feel fine. I'd feel worse if I don't get out of this hospital and breathe in some fresh air."
Trapper twitched his mouth side to side in thought. Seeing the determination on Bobbi's face made him give in and believe her.
"Alright," Trapper said amused by the fire in her blue eyes. He went around to the back of the wheelchair and began to push her out of her screened off section of the ward. With a smirk, he bent over and told her sweetly, "any bumps in the road that cause you pain feel free to turn around and slap me."
Bobbi smiled as she enjoyed the warm sensation the feeling of the breath on her neck and said, "you got it, Doc."
The duo proceeded out of the Post Op ward and was met by the hot summer sun. The blinding light caused Bobbi to shut her eyes for a moment. She let out a small squeak, which alerted Trapper.
"What?" he asked.
"It's been so long since I've seen the light, my eyes think they belong to a vampire," Bobbi replied as she slowly opened her eyes.
"I'll give you a second. Should have realized that."
Trapper stopped moving for a second and peer over her shoulder. When she opened her eyes fully, he began to push her again.
Bobbi took in the surrounding scene as they began to head in the direction of the entrance of the camp. There was a flimsy wooden sign with white painted letters that read, M*A*S*H 4077th – Best Care Anywhere, that amused her for some reason. It looked like a couple of grade schoolers painted it, but she liked it. It eluded to the amount of character that abounded in the camp.
"Our first stop on tour will be the famed supply shed, on the far eastern sector of the lot," Trapper announced like a snooty, high classed real estate agent.
Bobbi laughed at the absurd accent. Her light laughter made Trapper grin – this was going to be a great morning.
"And our tour of concludes with a glimpse of the mansion shared by two of the Three Stooges, and yours truly - Clarke Gable," Trapper declared, as the door to the Swamp swung open.
The sound of the wooden door slamming against its frame combined with Trapper's booming voice awoke Hawkeye for the second time that morning. He sat up with a fright and was about to cuss out Trapper when he saw Bobbi in a wheelchair.
"Well, Captain Morango – welcome to the garbage dump of the far east!" Hawkeye said cheerily. He ran his fingers through his messy hair as he continued, "I trust Trapper here, showed you the wonderful sights of our little hub of wartime paradise."
"The waft from the cesspool was especially delightful as we made our way towards the motor pool," Bobbi replied sarcastically.
"Wait, the wind was from the North – that was the kitchen you smelt." Trapper said in a dry fashion as he came to the realization.
Just then, Klinger came barreling into the Swamp, breathing heavily. His and Bobbi's eyes met briefly.
Bobbi saw how Klinger's eyes darkened with jealousy and anger when he noticed the engaged body language she and Trapper shared. She felt as if Max was judging her for enjoying the company of her doctor.
"What is it, Klinger?" Trapper asked sharply, not liking the way Klinger was staring down Bobbi.
"Wounded, they should be here within five minutes. Colonel Blake is ordering Bobbi to be moved to the V.I.P. tent to make room."
"Okay," Trapper said. His train of thought was interrupted as ambulances speed into the compound, and encroaching chopper blades could be heard in the far-off distance. He made his way toward the door when he at Klinger and ordered him, "you make sure she gets set up safely, or I'll make sure a snapped garter belt is the least of your worries."
"Yes sir," Klinger replied, fully accepting the threat. If anything happened to Bobbi again, he'd snap his own garter belt.
The two doctors then left to begin triage, leaving Bobbi and Max alone. Max grasped the handles of Bobbi's wheelchair backed her out of the Swamp without saying a word.
As chaos ensued outside in the compound and the wounded were unloaded onto the ground, Klinger pushed Bobbi toward the VIP tent, which was located five tents down from the Swamp.
"Don't you worry, the nurses already have everything set up for you in the V.I.P tent. I overheard that within a few days you will be ready to be evacuated to the 121st. I know I haven't been by in a while and I am sorry about that, but I figured I should give you your space," Max rambled on as they passed through the growing maze of nurses, corpsmen, doctors and the stretchers of the wounded men in the compound.
Bobbi listened to Max with half an ear. It had only been a few weeks since she was wounded, but the chaotic mess that was triage was distracting her. After so much exposure to the horrors of war as Bobbi had; one might think that she would have found the words of her former sweetheart more distracting than the wounded on the ground. The sight of a head of distinctly wild, curly black hair of the wounded man made Bobbi's heart almost arrest.
"Max stop!" she cried out frantically as they approached the man.
Klinger, unfortunately, was too focused on delivering the rest of the apology he had been planning and rehearsing for the past week to hear her plea.
"Max!" she shouted desperately, as he gripped the metal spokes of the wheelchair to make it skid to a stop.
One of the wheels hit a small rock, which jolted the wheelchair forward and threw Bobbi from its seat. Bobbi landed hard on the ground. She felt stabbing pain radiate down her leg but ignored it. She had only one thought on her mind – she had to find out if the wounded soldier was him or not. He was dead, but she saw him. She saw his face. Even if it was just the drugs that caused the hallucination, she had to find out for herself. Primal instinct kicked in, and she began to do a low army crawl, ignoring the searing pain in her shoulder and leg. Bobbi did not hear anything as she approached as met the wounded man. Max's desperate pleas to stop and that she was bleeding melded into the dull hum of the other background noise around her.
"Jack," Bobbi cried out as she reached the wounded man and shook his shoulder.
She saw the bloody bandages wrapped around his torso and panicked.
When the solider's green eyes slowly opened. It took a second for the drug-induced glaze to dissipate before he recognized who the person was shouting his name. His eyes widen in shock and he quickly hugged Bobbi to him, like his life depended on it. Bobbi then knew that she wasn't hallucinating.
It was in fact Jack, one of the men who had saved her life that fateful day in 1943. He was the man who helped her survive and learn to live and even thrive in the Polish resistance during World War Two. Her friend, her confidant, and brother in arms was alive.
Both Bobbi and Jack did not hold back their tears as they embraced. Jack whispered the words of astonishment and thanks to the Lord that were both on their mind, in a mixture of Polish and Russian. Confuse the outsiders, Nikolai always said, which was precisely what he did with his choice of dialect. It had been so long since she had heard anybody speaks to her in the languages of Eastern Europe, though her knowledge of the languages had not left her.
Jack was alive.
That fact made the wounds of the past war, which seeped its black ooze since she had arrived in Korea, burst fully open.
The past was no longer the past.
A/N: I do not own the song Jingle Jangle Jingle. It was first released by Kay Kyser and his Orchestra in 1942.
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