Author: A. V. Meren

Title: Why Hawkeye is a Bastard, a Matchmaker, and an All-Around Great Guy

Email: avmeren@yahoo.com

Feedback: Yes, please.

Archive: Sure! Just email me, please.

Dedication: This is for Katie, who called me a slash pioneer, which flattered me unbelievably (though I do have issues with "some kid". Oh, well. At least people remember the fic and the title, if not the author.) and made me resolve to write *something* with her favorite pairing. And since she's the "Mother of EH/T"...which I *think* means Frank/Trapper... Sorry if it doesn't; remember, new girl! And in that case, I'll write her something else...

Authors Notes: Fluff. Pure and utter fluff. Also one of my first attempts at fanfic.


Why Hawkeye is a Bastard, a Matchmaker, and an All-Around Great Guy



The thing about Frank is that he is totally and absolutely such a complete turnoff that I can't help but *want* him.

At first, I had been fascinated. Come on, think about it. It's not like there's much to do here, stuck in the middle of the war. Either it's mind-rippingly busy, wounded everywhere, or mind-numbingly boring, and after awhile Hawkeye, though fun, is like six-inch nails on a blackboard. Or Frank's voice works, too. Too much time with someone, and you get obsessed. You know everything: what they do in the shower, where they hide whatever they consider contraband, how much they can drink before passing out.

Though admittedly, Hawkeye is a persistent exception to the last rule. And I think that Frank would pass out after one good slug of the *really* good stuff.

That aside, living with someone else, no matter who...it's like living with yourself.

You know how you *really* hate yourself sometimes?

And Hawkeye...God. That man makes good swill, and is one hell of a good kisser, but we're just too damn much alike to be "exclusive".

Rather like me and my wife. Or me and my secretary, for that matter. But that's back home.

Here, Hawkeye is my wife. And God help me, *Frank* is my secretary.

Oh, God. Now I have this mental image of him done up in one of Klinger's crazy outfits...

What's worse? The image, or the strange attraction?

It's finally happened. I've gone as nuts as Hawkeye.

I wonder if this will up my sex appeal?

I mean, if *Hawk* gets to sleep with anything that moves...

Ok, ok. Unfair.

But I'm still pissed at him. Smug, all-knowing bastard. I've really started to hate that damned *smirk*...

***

But at first, I wasn't considering any of this. Mostly, I was just fascinated by the sheer...*absurdity* of Frank's mental processes. I'm a surgeon, and I'm proud of my skill, but I always wondered about being a shrink. It's an interesting field: you get to meet and talk to a lot of interesting new people, you get paid big bucks, you can generally make up whatever the hell you feel like...

Well, maybe not always the last. Sidney, for instance, wouldn't do that.

Not without a good reason, anyway. I don't think. He *does* mess with Hawk a lot...hell with it.

It's a moot point. I'm a damn good surgeon, and I think I prefer digging around human bodies to digging around human minds. I mean, I *know* what's in *my* mind. I sure as hell don't want to know what lives in other people, though this war seems pretty damn intent on showing me.

Take Frank, for example. (And I'd like to.) A whiny, annoying little suck-up, whose eyes aren't brown because of heredity. (Whose eyes, in fact, aren't brown, but a whole other color--but I refuse to moon over him like a lovesick teenager.)

Pain-in-the-ass Frank, holier-than-thou adulterer. Now, I've got nothing against a little honest adultery; most people, if they don't have an arrangement with their spouse, at least have the decency to keep it on a...decent level. Hell, I don't know. I mean, even though he fails astoundingly at keeping his thing with Hot Lips quiet, at least he's trying. Even so, there's just something so...*tacky* about it.

Or maybe I'm just jealous.

Could be both. Probably is.

Goddamnit.

***

Frank's belief in Army, God, and Country would be easier to put up with if it weren't so transparently *fake*. Don't get me wrong. He tries. God, how he tries. He wants to be everything that he pretends that he is, and fails so badly that it's pathetically funny. He wants to believe so badly, like all of us, and like all of us, he looks around, and just can't.

But he also just cannot, just *cannot*, *not believe*. He *has* to believe, even if he doesn't.

Now part of that is setting a good example for us heathen troops, but I honestly think that Frank's need to believe is deeper than his real belief ever will be. I don't know why, and I don't think I want to know. There's probably a real sad story somewhere there, and I don't want to pity Frank any more than I already do.

We live on animosity, we Swamp-Rats. Like real rats, we scrabble amongst ourselves over trivial tidbits of nothing, only to turn on any outsider as one disease-ridden pack. Everyone in the 4077thknows this: it's Hawkeye and me against Frank and Hot Lips. More against Frank. Hot Lips is fun to mock, but Frank...he's a Swamp Rat. Our own Ferret Face.

*My* Ferret Face.

Hawkeye knows. I will never underestimate that man. He knew before either Frank or I did. Little smiles, little looks...he'll never say anything, but he approves. Frank is a good man, for all that he tries too hard not to be.

Still, I may love him, but I'll never say anything like that to him. It wouldn't be right, would ruin everything. We've got a good thing here, all of us: the jokes, the pranks, the tale-telling and blackmail. It's like being in college, or some strange version of what I imagine boarding-school to be like. Two pain-in-the-ass roomates that you would die for, but would die before telling them that. Well, Hawkeye I might tell, but we have a different relationship. We all do, each with the other two. It's a complicated dance, interesting, creative, distracting.

However much Frank and I may fuck, we'll be damned if we fuck that up.

***

It started one night when Hawk was off with two pretty nurses, doing something suspiciously like matchmaking. Hawk's got one hell of a big heart; it's backfired on him more than once, and will again, but it's worth it. To know Hawkeye is to love him, and in five minutes, want to kill him.

I had been feeling that urge a lot lately. Hawk'd been not-so-subtly trying to push me and Frank together, and I was fed up, and so was Frank, even though he didn't have the slightest damn clue what was going on, not that he ever did or does. Probably a good thing, I thought at the time. If he *did* he'd probably be at Henry so fast that he'd trip over Radar. After the incident with the rope, scotch, and that goddamn Hawkeye smirk, I'd been avoiding both Hawk and Ferret Face.

Alright, I was sulking. Frank'd been spending a lot of time with Margaret lately, trying to avoid Hawk's stranger-than-usual behavior, so I was pissed at them both. But that night Margaret apparently opted for the nurse rotation files over Frank, so he came sulking back to the tent.

Hawkeye sat there, looking at the both of us, each trying to dramatically out-sulk the other. Smirking that *Goddamn* smirk, he took off with his two nurses to do his good matchmaking work (in more directions than one, the smug bastard, as I realized later) and left us alone with no-one to sulk at but each other.

I was pissed. Hawkeye definitely had something nasty in his future. Sticking me here with Frank, who would do nothing but complain all night!

I might love him, but that didn't mean that I loved his whiny voice. That whiny voice which was starting to reach a pitch that raised all the hairs on the back of my neck. And not in a good way. And once he reached that particular pitch, it was too late for there to be any hope of shutting him up. Even threats of bodily harm wouldn't distract him, and if I tried other bodily distraction, I'd find myself in front of a court-martial so damn *fast*...

But then, there was the fact that I was damn tired of pining. Trapper McIntyre doesn't pine. Other people pine for *him*...and I was talking about myself in the third person. Plus, that *whine*...and he was moving on to Henry, now, and the fifty-seven reasons why Frank'd be a better C.O. It got so that I started thinking that if I murdered Ferret Face, no one would even look for the body and variations on that oh-so-tempting theme...I really hate that whine.

So I figured, what the hell. I stood up, causing him to pause for only a moment before he lost interest in my movements, continuing that mind-bending whine and ignoring me as I moved up next to him.

"You know, Frank," I said suggestively, causing him to jump and stutter himself into silence as I reached over to wrap my hand around his shoulder and leant down to breathe on the back of his neck. "If you want to kiss someone's ass, how about mine?"

I felt more than heard him smile, much to my surprise. He turned, I kissed him, and he jumped me.

A little later, I jumped him.

Later on, we both jumped Hawkeye. Unfortunately, however, in Hawkeye's case, he got the short end of the stick, though not literally. Instead, a tame prank, unworthy of my skills: saltpeter in his gin (me) and gin in his bed (Frank). (Which just goes to show you--Frank's idea was ok, but the execution left a lot to be desired. The gin dried up before Hawk got back, and Frank never thought of that, or checked the bed when we heard Hawkeye coming. And it's not like Hawk'd notice the smell. Though knowing him, he actually would notice, and probably did.)

He came in whistling from a night on the town, and looked disappointed when he saw the two of us sitting on opposite sides of the tent, conspicuously ignoring each other. He shook his head, moved to his bunk, picked up the glass that was ready and waiting, toasted us silently (and mockingly, I fumed, pretending to be absorbed in a book), and tossed back the gin.

He spat, choked, looked at us...and smirked. "Figured it out, huh? Finally. You don't surprise me, Frank, but you, Trapper..." He shock his head in mock sorrow. "I expected better."

I would have replied, but I was trying not to strangle him. Frank just ignored us both.

Turns out, Hawk had been having a little fun with both of us, in more ways than one (I cannot believe that he got Frank in bed before I did!), and having a great deal of fun watching us moon like teenagers over each other. The bastard. Apparently, he watched me become more and more fascinated with Ferret Face, and eventually had pity on the both of us, leading to far-fetched matchmaking stunts that I don't know anything about because I have blotted them from my memory. That damn smirk, however, won't go away.

He smirked whenever I talked about Frank or to Frank, and smirked when Frank talked about and to me. The bastard *knew*. And goddamn me if he wasn't setting up a threesome. Is there anyone in th 4077th that he hasn't, in some way, fucked? Hell, scratch out the 'in some way' and it still fits.

I feel better about Frank, but I'm still pissed at Hawkeye.

But he *did* matchmake. Eventually. So maybe I'll go easy. Maybe the saltpeter's enough.

Maybe not.

Either way, though, things will be the same as they always are. Hawkeye will smirk because he got us both good and all three of us know it. I'll smirk because Hawk's going to get it, and good, and because I'm getting it, and good. Frank will whine, because he's not getting anything good until he stops whining. Well, unless I feel like it. And I always feel like it, so...still. It's the principle of the thing.

And I owe Hawkeye, so I'll probably show him my appreciation one night soon. Maybe Frank will join in, maybe he'll be with Margaret. I don't know. All I know is, Hawkeye and Ferret Face keep me sane in the middle of this war, and would even if we weren't fucking, or making love. We won't stay like this forever. Someday we'll all go home, and we'll wind up old war buddies telling stories to our grandkids about the guys with the funny names that we lived in a tent with. We probably won't say anything to our wives, but they'll still know. Mine will, at least, and any woman who finally catches Hawkeye...but that's the future. Right now, the three of us are the same as always, the same as we always will be, the same as we always were.

And life at the 4077th goes on.

*End*