She kissed his cheek and then leaned into his neck for a hug. "I'll miss you Hawk." She whispered into his hair. "More than you'll ever know, I'll miss you...." His voice trailed off and she felt a tear drop onto her shoulder. "Please don't cry." She said. "Then I'll be obliged to cry and it will just be a mess." She smiled and looked at him with tears smudged on her face. He laughed and wiped one away as it fell off of her lashes. Then sat down on the side of his cot. "I love you, you know." He said, "I know and I love you too, I just wish this whole thing was over and you could come back with me." "I'll be with you as soon as this whole thing is over, God willing." He sighed and looked down at his feet. Brushing a piece of his black hair back over to the side, he slapped his knee and got up. Pulling her toward him playfully by the belt loops, he touched her face with the tips of his fingers, he leaned in and whispered, "Wait....wait right here." "Ok." She said with a smile and questioning look on her face. He jumped over the other side of his cot and tore open the footlocker at the end of his bed. Quickly he pulled out some stuff and began to fiddle with it with his back turned to her. She smiled and shook her head and poured herself a drink at the still, she wondered what he and B.J were always talking about when they drank and discussed this stuff. She sat in the old jeep seat and propped her feet up on a box that used to hold canned peaches, but now has all of the makings of brewery in it.
Hawkeye, still hunched over the mass of things on the cot made her laugh a little, he was really the only one for her, sweet, of coarse funny, spontaneous, smart and convicted of his ideals. "Ok." She thought to herself. "Let's see what this stuff is all about." She looked at the martini glass from the side. It looked regular, clear with an olive floating next to the surface. She right out of the gate did the first thing that made Hawkeye notice her on that first day she came to the camp, she smelled it. Like she did with everything that went into her body, "You can take no chances with Army food." She smiled at him on that day. "Bless you and your lack of faith in these cooks and their suppliers." Hawkeye gleefully bounced at her, putting his hand on her arm. She laughed and said, "You can never again have faith in a person who will willingly cream hot dogs." He laughed that unforgettable and beautiful laugh, she will never forget that moment that they had together. She doubted that he would either by the look that he had in his eye. But back to this martini, smelled a little potent, but nonetheless not Earth shattering. "All right." she thought "Let her rip." Then she took a sip of the drink. "Ahhhh goo." She shouted as the drink hit her in the head like a face full of the Fourth of July. Hawkeye twisted around and when he noticed that she had tried the famous Swamp swill he laughed and said, "I tried to shield you from that stuff, but you gotta love a girl that'll try anything." She laughed and coughed at the same time. "I've had some weird and funky stuff before, but nothing that tasted quite as....how can I say this right....like licking the inside of a bottle of rubbing alcohol and the trying to get the taste out of you mouth by biting into the business end of hot pepper." He dropped what he was doing on to the cot and burst into convulsions of laughter. "I've never herd it put quite so delicately, yet so true before in my life B.J'll love it!" Rolling onto his side he giggled and sat up then he busily took up his well, whatever he was doing again on the bed.
"Hawkeye!" She finally said, "What are you doing over there?" "Just one more second." He said as he tossed the remainder of the things from the locker back into it and shut the door. Fixing his hair to the side again and straightening the olive field jacket he had on he turned to her, with a small smile on his face.
"I know that you leave day after tomorrow." "So I wanted to ask you this...." He snickered and fussed around in the inside pocket of his jacket. He pulled out of the pocket a ring that was made out of apparently all of the things that he found in his footlocker. Two gold candy foils put together by wrapping a silver gum wrapper around them in a spiral. Gasping and laughing at the same time she watched him get down on one knee. "Gilda, I love you." "I have loved you ever sense you looked at me at that mess table and made me laugh like nobody has ever made me laugh before, here, there, anywhere for that madder." "Will you marry me?" "Oh, gosh Hawk." She felt her eyes begin to tear up and she put her hand on the side of his face. "I love you too." "Yes, yes I will marry you!" He laughed and slid the ring onto her finger, crunching in the bottom to make it fit better. He then jumped up and swung her around. "Yes, this his great!" He laughed. "I'm sorry about the ring." "It was all I had, I'll get you one as soon as my foot hits the ground in the States." "No, I love it I wouldn't dream of giving this baby up." She smiled at him. "Wow." She said, "I can't believe this." "This is so great." "Korea, come for the war stay for the proposals." He joked; they both laughed and sat down in he in the jeep chair and she on his lap. "I'm going to miss you so much." "I know, I will too." "It's going to be so hard waiting for you at home." She said. "Come here." He quietly smiled at her. She felt his hand come up her back and on to the side of her neck, into her hair. Their lips touched and they kissed slowly, like they were saving it so they could really remember it clearly when they were apart. She would remember this kiss forever, the way it warmed her in this cold and terrible place and how it would warm her at home when she would miss him and worry if he would come back ok. For now everything softened around them the tent was gone the camp and everything. Just them, it was so great.
She felt his lips leave hers and his warm breath on her neck as he hugged her again. Then the door swung open and she saw Frank come in out of the side of her eye. She sighed, "Party over." Frank mumbled as he flopped into his chair on the other side of the tent. A little buzzed from that evenings rounds at The Officer's Club with everyone. "Gee Franks thanks for knocking." Hawkeye said as he look over at him brushing a piece of her long red hair off of his face. "It's my tent too you know." Frank said in his usual snitty little way. Then B.J came in, "Oh, sorry Hawk." He said as he poured him self a martini and sat on the edge of his cot. "I didn't notice he left until a minute ago." "That's alright." He said, "Not like we weren't busy in here." She smiled at him. "Guess what Beejee." She said. "What?" He smiled that blindness-enduring toothy grin at her. "We're going to get married, see?" She put her hand next to his glass and he laughed at the ring. "Congratulations Hawk and I give you ten points for creativity on that ring." "Thanks, how about the judge representing snit-land?" He look over to Frank's cot where he was now laying with his head propped up on his arms. "I think it is great." He said. "I wish you two the best." "Really Frank?" Hawkeye said with surprise and shock. "No, nasty little comments to add?" "No, I like Gilda and you I can deal with now." "So, congratulations." "Now jam it, I need my sleep." He said as he fought to free the blankets and sheet from the cot underneath him. Then proceeding to throw all of his close including his boots and except for his boxers on to the chair near his bed. He then covered up and went to sleep. Hawk and the both of them laughed. "Good night Frankie." B.J said as he finished his last sip of drink and laid down on his bed. "On that lovely sentiment I think I shall retire for the evening darling." Hawk said smiling at her. "Yeah, I will too, good night sweetie." She kissed him and ran her fingers thew his hair one last time. "Good night you guys." She said to B.J. and Frank before stepping out into the cold nighttime Korea air. "Nite." Said Frank, "See you tomorrow Gilda, good night." B.J said. "Bye." Said Hawkeye. She touched his leg and then shut the door to The Swamp heading toward the tent that she temporarily shared with Margaret.