Sundays are their special days. They arrange to be off call together on Sundays as often as they can. BJ's surgical partners are surprised to think that he's fallen into organized Christianity; he's never seemed the type. Although he's new, Hawkeye's group knows for a fact that he's not religious, but have decided that it's prudent not to question him too directly on anything he does outside of patient care. Perfect afternoons often find them touring along the Pacific Highway; the exact 'where-to' sometimes leads to a minor spat. BJ likes to go north into the quiet of the Sonoma countryside: a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou. Like he and Peg used to do when they were courting. But he never tries to sell it to Hawkeye like that.

Hawkeye likes to go south into the heart of San Francisco, where BJ hates the noise, the crowds and traffic. The simpler the better is BJs mantra these days.

"Humor me. The city's old hat to you, but I'm still a tourist," Hawkeye argues. "I like going out and watching people. We can be alone at home."

"I like it when we're alone in public," BJ says. "I like having a secret everyone sees but no one knows."

"I'll make it up to you later." Hawkeye caresses high on his inner leg and wins; BJ puts on the blinker for the turn towards the Golden Gate.

Where ever they decide to visit, to eat they always hold out for a place with a view of the ocean. They both agree on that. Not the bays and estuaries, but the great dividing Pacific itself--waves lapping against the coast, wild and free. Across the horizon is Japan, and beyond that Korea, five years and six thousand miles away, although it seems much farther than that.

They both like to sit and drink and look toward it, although it's not always clear whether it's to remember or to take comfort in just how far away it finally is.

"I swear, every day there's more people here." BJ grumbles as he scans for a place to leave the car.

"I know," says Hawk. He rubs his hands. "Isn't it great?"

"I thought you missed your hermit's cabin in the woods."

"Not so much," says Hawk. "There's a spot." He points a ways down the street, not at all near the restaurant. He chooses this place as much for the walk as for the view.

They stroll slowly to eyeball all the girls, most of the women, and some of the more comely men. Hawkeye looks longest at the Asian women of a certain age. With Little Osaka making a resurgence, there are a fair number. Certainly more than in Marin or Sonoma. It's why he pushes for this place despite the indifferent menu, though he tells BJ it's because they have the prettiest waiters in town. He suspects that BJ knows he's full of crap, but as long as he gets his way, Hawk's all right with that.

A Korean--no, Chinese--woman with two boys walks on the other side of the street. Although it's not her, Hawkeye's thoughts and gaze follow them for a while. He typically imagines it would have been a boy. He's not sure why. Perhaps he doesn't believe he's capable of producing something as pure and good and miraculous as a little girl.

But Kyung Soon certainly was. She was good enough for the both of them. Yes, it could have been a girl. If there was a girl, Hawkeye hopes she looks like her mother, but has her father's taste in men.

He knows in his head that Kyung Soon's not here—she's still far away over that ocean with every orphan she can round up safely tucked under her wing. But it's his heart not his head that keeps searching women's faces, especially those with a kid or kids in tow.

She moved before to give the children a better life. This is America: your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to be free. He feels the sun on his face, the breeze on his skin, the smell of the ocean--how can you get better than this--and he has a resurgence of hope. Maybe, just maybe--

"How old would he be now?" BJ asks, although he knows that well as he knows Erin's own age. "Six." The answer spills out without thought, and Hawkeye startles to realize he's been busted.

BJ chuckles. "Don't look so shocked. You're not the great enigma you like to think you are. At least, not to me."

"Don't tell." Hawkeye responds glibly, relieved at the subject change.

"My mystery is my secret weapon. Drives 'em crazy with desire." He rolls his eyes and sends and a ludicrous shimmy down his torso.

BJ risks squeezing his hand for a moment. "Don't worry. You're safe with me." Their eyes connect, and Hawkeye is acutely aware of the appeal of less public places. He's no longer hungry for dinner, but figures BJ will bean him if he asks to go back home now. Hawkeye's eyes dart around. Personally, he wouldn't be opposed to a few minutes in a bathroom, but that is out of the question with BJ. Ah, well. No one ever said that life made perfect deals.

"You would have made a great father," BJ says.

Hawkeye scoffs. "When I'm not being a selfish, cynical, abrasive, workaholic slut?"


Hawkeye agrees, although he'd rather not. It doesn't hurt so much if he tells himself it never would have worked. These days it doesn't hurt nearly as much as it used to, though he's sure he'll continue scanning for her face in perpetuity because it's his nature to want to know.

He walks near enough to BJ to let their arms brush as they swing. Every day the uncertainty gets a little easier to bear.

They've reached the restaurant. The maitre d' is pretty, and Hawkeye flirts as he requests a table with a good view of the ocean and the sweet sixteen party as well. They can hear the squeals and giggles from the behind them, but it's the ocean, Korea, and the dipping sun they choose to face as they sip their martinis on the deck. "Do you ever wonder about all the ways your life could have gone differently?"

Hawkeye asks. Absently, BJ thumbs his fourth finger where the flesh is indented at the base. "All the time," he says. He scoots his chair a little closer and, beneath the tablecloth, rests his left palm on Hawkeye's thigh.

Below them the ocean splashes and breaks against the rocks jagged rocks, splattering the water borne from half a world away.