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M*A*S*H. Hawkeye/BJ. Homecoming

TITLE: The Letter
AUTHOR: Nikki Harrington
FANDOM: M*A*S*H
PAIRING: Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce/BJ Hunnicutt
GENRE: Slash
PROMPT: Homecoming
RATING: PG
WORD COUNT: 1,270
SUMMARY: Set ten years after the end of M*A*S*H.  BJ returns home to find a letter, from Hawkeye, waiting for him. The contents lead to a homecoming.
WARNINGS: None
NOTES: None
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.




The letter was waiting for him when he returned home from his day at the hospital.

As soon as he saw it, he knew that something was wrong.

It wasn’t that Hawkeye never wrote to him. He did. He had done so for the past ten years; ever since they’d parted in Korea.

It was just that Hawkeye never wrote in April.

Four times a year for ten years the letters had come, as regular as clockwork. You could have set the calendar by them.

March 1st.

June 1st.

September 1st.

December 1st.

Never had one been missed. Never had one been late.

Four times a year for ten years the letters had come.

Forty letters.

And BJ had kept everyone of them.

Hawkeye was his secret. His regret. And yet not.

The man he had fallen in love with in the middle of hell.

The man who had kept him sane.

The man who had held his head – on more than one occasion.

The man who had held him. Just held him. No more no less.

The man who had given him everything and had asked for nothing.

The man who had hugged him goodbye and climbed into the helicopter.

The man who he had never said goodbye to.

The man he never could say goodbye to.

The man he had never stopped loving.

The man he still wanted.

The man he still needed.

The man he still dreamed about.

The man who was Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce.

The best man; the finest man; the most honorable man; the most loyal man; the most caring man; the most loving man; the most passionate man; the most dedicated man; the most intense man BJ Hunnicutt had ever known.

The man who had now altered the habits of ten years and had written to him at the wrong time.

Something was wrong. BJ knew that.

For a moment he wondered whether -

But he pushed that thought away, refusing to even consider it.

No. It wasn’t that. It couldn’t be that. It wasn't one of  'those' letters. Hawkeye couldn’t be –

He swallowed and opened the letter.

It was short, unlike Hawk’s usual letters.

Dear BJ,

Dad died today.

The funeral will be on Monday next.

With love,

Hawk.
That was it. Fifteen words. Fifteen short words. Fifteen words that –

“Hey, honey.” Peg appeared and kissed his cheek. “Is everything all right with Hawkeye?”

She knew too. She knew the dates of the letters. She couldn’t fail to know. Never once though had she asked to read one.

He looked at her. “His dad’s died.”

She looked back at him and for a moment he couldn’t read her expression. Then she squeezed his hand and said, “When’s the funeral?”

“Monday next.”

She nodded. “That should give you time.”

“Time?”

“To arrange things.”

“Peg?” She looked at him again, and he saw tears in her eyes. “Peg honey, what is it?” He put his arm around her shoulders.

She shook her head. “It’s all right, BJ. I’ve always known.”

A chill settled over him. “Known?”

“That this day would come. Sooner or later. In some way or other. We’ll be fine, Erin and I.”

“Peg?” His mind was whirring; he couldn’t, he didn’t want to, understand her.

“Oh, BJ, don’t let’s pretend any longer. I know. I’ve always known. I think I knew while you were still in Korea.”

Now he couldn’t deny his understanding any longer. “Oh. Peg, I . . . I’m –“

“No, BJ. Don’t say you’re sorry. I’m not.”

“You’re not?”

“Well, of course I am. Sorry that I am going to lose you, that is. But you came home to me; you didn’t have to do that. You could have gone with him then. We’ve had you for ten extra years.”

Now BJ shook his head. “Peg,” he said again. “How can you be so . . . ?”

“Understanding?”

“Forgiving.”

“There’s nothing to forgive, BJ. How, if you love someone, can you not forgive that someone for falling in love? Even if it’s with someone other than you?”

BJ looked at her; again he shook his head. “Peg, I am sorry. I really am. I never wanted to hurt you. To hurt Erin. I tried. I did. I really did.”

“I know, honey. Now go and call Hawkeye. Tell him you’re coming. Tell him you’re coming home.”

“Peg.”

But before he could say anything else, she hurried away, into the kitchen.

MONDAY NEXT

He never did phone Hawkeye.

He wouldn’t have known what to say.

Instead he just packed up, made arrangements to deal with the transfer of his practice to a local man, and said goodbye to his girls. Said what he could never say to Hawkeye.

Now as he stood outside Hawkeye’s Maine home, stood waiting for the bell to be answered, he knew: he knew he had come home.

It was Hawkeye himself who opened the door; BJ had half been expecting it to be someone else.

He stood there, basically still the same Hawkeye.

The same man he had fallen in love with in the middle of hell.

The same man who had kept him sane.

The same man who had held his head – on more than one occasion.

The same man who had held him. Just held him. No more no less.

The same man who had given him everything and had asked for nothing.

The same man who had hugged him goodbye and climbed into the helicopter.

The same man who he had never said goodbye to.

The same man he never could say goodbye to.

The same man he had never stopped loving.

The same man he still wanted.

The same man he still needed.

The same man he still dreamed about.

The same man who was Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce.

The best man; the finest man; the most honorable man; the most loyal man; the most caring man; the most loving man; the most passionate man; the most dedicated man; the most intense man BJ Hunnicutt had ever known.

The same man who had altered the habits of ten years and had written to him at the wrong time.

Sure he was greyer, maybe he’d gained a few pounds, maybe he had more lines on his face, maybe the brilliant blue eyes weren’t quite so brilliantly blue.

But none of those things mattered; they were merely dressing. The man standing in front of him was the same man he’d fallen in love with, loved, and left, in Korea.

And as he looked at Hawkeye he knew that Hawkeye knew. Knew that BJ wouldn’t have come just for the funeral. Knew that he wouldn’t have done, couldn’t have done, that to either of them.

And he knew something else too. He knew that Hawkeye had not shed any tears for his father. Had not yet cried for the man he’d loved, worshipped, had been devoted to; the only other man he’d ever loved. Hawkeye, the man who cried, even if only on the inside, but all too often on the outside, over ever lost kid in Korea, the man who never minded showing his emotions, hadn’t cried.

Still without speaking, words didn’t matter, BJ gently moved past Hawkeye into the house. He closed the door behind him, dropped his cases on the floor and opened his arms.

It was a long time before Hawkeye’s tears stopped, a very long time.

But when they did and he lifted his head from BJ’s shoulder, BJ saw something new, something he had never seen before on the face of Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Franklin Pierce: he saw peace.

He was home.

They both were.

Tags: !promptathon 01: estab relationships, author: nakeisha, fandom: m*a*s*h, pairing: hawkeye/bj
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