I love the way he smiles. There's a maniacal glint in his eye and his mouth pulls higher at one corner than the other. It's captivating, and I can't help smiling in return. Even at a time like this.
We're drunk. I've barely touched a drop since coming home to my wife and baby girl and I rarely drank before. Peg doesn't understand that it was different in Korea, that everything was different. I didn't realise how different until I saw him.
Korea was an exception to everything. It was something else; he is something else.
I'm drunk again. Death is also an exception.
We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of Daniel Pierce.
Hawkeye's laughing now, laughing and crying and we have to hold him up.
I thought of him all the time over there. Hawkeye'd smile a certain way or say something witty and random and utterly fantastic, and I'd think about the person behind those smiles, who I only met through them. I think I understand now.
I hadn't thought of him once since I got back. I didn't think, still, until long after I got the call and arrived at Hawkeye's house. We're not in Korea anymore and everything is real. He's suddenly real in a way he never was before.
Hawkeye slips and we don't have time to catch him so he hits the floor. Hawk cries, and we cry and I surprise myself by being attracted to him. We're not at our best today, but today I think of him differently. It makes me wish he was still part of that dream about Korea.
I don't want him to be real.
Today he became real.
It's too painful. It's death and life and loss and celebration and I wish it were any other circumstances, that after the war was over we'd gotten together to laugh about the 4077th.
We're here for Hawkeye, because we love him and he needs us.
Hawkeye passes out. I carry him to bed and lay him down with love and care.
Trapper smiles his hunter's smile.
BJ is caught.
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