Disclaimer: I don't own anything from MASH, no matter how much I would love too, I don't so please don't sue me!
"Dr. Pierce." Able calls to him through the window. "Hawkeye. Wake up." She says, finally giving up, she walks into the Swamp. "Hawkeye."
"Huh?" He groans.
"You are due in Post-Op." She says.
"So why are you waking me and not Radar?"
"Because I'm off Duty and Radar is sleeping."
"You just wanted to see me before you went to sleep didn't you?"
"Get up and get over to Post-Op. BJ's waiting for you." She says smiling and turns on the light.
"I have a better idea, how about you and I let BJ wait for another couple of minutes, and we lay in my bed for a while and…."
"Now Captain." She says smiling as she walks out the door.
"Have some nice dreams of me." He snickers. He looks at his watch and sees that it is 3am. "I didn't think I slept that long." He says, but it wasn't until he got up when he realized once again how horrible he felt. "Ugg." He groaned, swinging his feet over the side of the cot. He slowly stands up and goes over to the mirror where he sees how pale he looks. "Huh, I look just as bad as I feel." He sighs before pulling on his jacket and walking over to relieve BJ.
"Hey, you're off." He says yawning.
"Thanks." BJ says smiling, and looking up from a chart he was writing on.
"One. Stevens. He's Frank's patient."
"Of course." Hawkeye says, rolling his eyes.
"He's gone through about 6 units of blood since he has come out of OR, the other night and he has a fever."
"Six units?" Hawkeye says, looking at the chart.
"Yeah. We may have to go back in on him, and I would definitely recommend either you or I do it rather than involve Frank." BJ replies.
"I'll keep my eye on him." He says.
BJ finally gets a good look at his best friend and says, "You alright Hawk?"
"You don't look too well."
"No BJ, I am fine." He says trying to put up a good front.
"Are you sure? I mean maybe you should just take tonight off. Do you have the flu?" He asks full of concern.
"BJ, I am fine. Don't worry about me. Go get some sleep."
"If you need me just come and get me."
"Good night BJ." He says sitting down at the desk.
"Good night Hawk." He says walking out of Post-Op. He runs into Margaret who is doing her rounds now. "Morning Margaret."
"Good morning BJ. Are you just coming off?" She asks.
"Yeah, are you going on?"
"No, I am just going to check on my nurses, and see how most of them are feeling."
"Maybe you should check on Hawkeye too."
"What do you mean?" She asks, pulling her coat tighter around her.
"I think he may be getting the flu."
"You have got to be kidding me." She says sighing.
"I'm afraid not. You go see him and tell me how he looks to you. He won't dare say that he's sick though, he's too proud. He wouldn't let me work alone."
"Unless it really starts to take toll on him." She says, shaking her head. "Damn, we are already short two doctors, 6 nurses, and one commanding officer/surgeon."
"I better go ask Radar to find us someone else, just incase." BJ says, yawning.
"Yeah, you may have too." Margaret says shaking her head. "I better go in and see how he is. I'll talk to you later BJ. Get some sleep."
"Will do. Good night Margaret."
"Good night." She says walking into Post-Op. "Evening Pierce."
"Evening Major." He says before adding in, "Or is it morning Major?"
"You look awful." She says to him.
"And you look absolutely perfect at three am too." He says, looking at her.
"That's not what I mean. Are you ill?" She asks.
"Why, Major what ever would make you think that?" He says, keeping his eyes down on the chart. She quickly puts her hand on his forehead. "You're warm." She says frowning.
"I'm warm-blooded." He says to her.
"Hawkeye, are you sick or not?"
"Not." He says, lying through his teeth.
"You feel fine?"
"I feel as good as could be expected." He says, standing up and walking over to check on Miller. "Hey kid, wake up." He says, shaking her a bit. "Come on Kimberly." She slowly opens her eyes.
"Hi." She says.
"Hi." He says smiling.
"You look like shit." She says.
"Hey, no diagnosing until you have a full bill of health."
"I don't need a full bill of health to know that you look like shit." She says turning her head and cough. "Are you sick?"
"Not as sick as you are." He says quietly.
"Yet." She says. "Why don't you just go and let yourself be sick?"
"I'm Chief Surgeon, and I am not about to let BJ be the only surgeon in the event of casualties."
"You did it."
"Yeah, and I hope to God no one else ever has to do it."
"You can't fight the flu."
"I know, but I can try to fend it off as long as possible."
"Yeah, I can see what a great job you are doing so far." She says.
"Well, how about you stop being a doctor for the time being, and just work on being a patient." He says, shaking his head.
"I think you better follow your suggestion." She says.
"Get some rest Miller." He says.
"You aren't going to take my temperature?" She asks.
"Oh yea. Open up." He says.
"You're slipping Pierce." She replies, and opens her mouth up. He takes her temperature and shakes his head when he sees the results. "Still high?"
"Around 102." He says.
"Now you take yours.'
"No." He says, standing up. "Get some rest."
"You too." She says, turning over.
He sighs and goes back over to his desk and sighs heavily.
"You alright Captain?"
"I am fine Major." He says frowning.
"You definitely don't look fine."
"Good thing I'm the doctor then and you're the nurse."
"What exactly does that mean Captain Pierce?"
"What ever you want it to mean Major." He relies sighing.
"You are hopeless."
Margaret then huffs and walks over to the flu patients charts; she pays special attention to Frank's chart and his bedside manor.
As the hours go by, Hawkeye feels lousier than before, and it is beginning to take toll on him. Everything was beginning to ache, even his hair. He had trouble concentrating because of the nausea he was experiencing and his temperature was drastically changing from one minute to the other. Still, he insisted that he was fine to continue. He had too. There was just no other way. He had to keep reminding himself that he was doing this because he didn't want BJ in the same position he was last year. He finally gets up and heads outside saying, "Hey Bigelow? I'm heading over to the mess tent for a little while. If you need me find me there."
"Ok, Hawkeye." She says.
He gets up, stretches and walks outside, taking a deep breath of fresh air and strolls over to the tent. He opens the doors and grabs a cup of coffee then sits down at the table. A few minutes later, Father Mulcahy comes over. "Hello Hawkeye." He says smiling.
"Hello Father." He says taking a sip of his coffee.
"How are you this morning?"
"Fine Father, how are you?"
"I am doing well. I wasn't expecting to see you here though."
"I thought you were sleeping."
"No. BJ and I have to alternate shifts all day and night until someone starts feeling better." He says, rubbing his eyes.
"And how are you feeling Hawkeye?" Father questions him.
"Fine father, how about you?"
"No flu symptoms yet." He says smiling. He looks Hawkeye up and down, and adds in, "Are you sure you are feeling well? You don't look it." He says, noticing his pale complexion.
"I'm fine Father." He says.
"Maybe you should let BJ work a bit more and you rest a bit more."
"Maybe, everyone should just stop worrying about me and let me do my job."
"Do you have the flu Hawkeye?"
"No." He says, flat out standing up, "And I am due back in Post-Op, so I will talk to you later on father."
"Hawkeye." Father Mulcahy calls to him. "Don't go too long alright? The flu gets worse before it gets better."
"I'll be fine Father." He says and walks back out of the mess tend and into the Post-Op.
BJ checks with Radar around 6:30 to see if he was able to find anyone to come help them out, "Radar… any luck?"
"None BJ. It's like a year ago all over again." He sighs.
"Well keep trying. I'm not sure how much longer we are going to have two of us."
"Right sir." He says continuing to call around.
BJ goes into Post-Op to check on his Bunkie. Hawkeye was leaning against his chair with his eyes closed, "You sleeping?"
"Nope." Hawkeye says, sitting up, "Just resting."
"You doing alright?"
"Fine. You should be home sleeping though. I heard we have a ton of causalities coming in soon."
"I'm fine." BJ smiles, "I'm worried about you."
"Well, don't be." He says, standing up to make his rounds. A wave off dizziness overcomes him and he steadies himself on the chair.
"So, are you here to work with me or are you just gonna stand around?"
"I'm going to sleep, just checking up on you." He says, "You know where I'll be if you need me."
"Quarter past dead?"
"Yup." He says, walking out of the Post-Op Ward, "Radar…"
"Nothing sir." He says, placing a call. "But I'll keep trying."
"Keep trying…" BJ says the same time as Radar. He laughs, thanks the small clerk, and goes back to the tent for a bit of shut eye.
Hawkeye is fading fast, and he knows it, but he is going to try and fight it until he can't go any more. "They are going to have to take me out on a stretcher." He sighs, pulling out a thermometer. He figures he may as well see how sick he is. It wouldn't make a bit of difference. He sticks the thermometer under his tongue and sits down, closing his eyes again, trying to keep the bile, which threatens to release itself from his throat, at bay. He willed the nausea away. About a minute later, he feels someone pull the thermometer from his mouth, "What in the hell?" He says, sitting up, opening his eyes.
"103." Margaret says, shaking her head, "You are NOT operating are you?"
"Well that is a dumb thing to ask me."
"Pierce, I can't let you go in there."
"So you can operate!"
"No, but BJ isn't sick. He can operate."
"Major, they took over hill 407. Do you know how many causalities they are expecting within the hour!"
"At least 200, I know, but most of the operations will be minor, and the nurses can suture…"
"And you can help BJ when a chest case comes through there right? You can take over a full operation?"
"Major, I have to operate. Kimberly, Potter, and Frank are all down and out. Most of your nurses are sick…"
"And you are going to get worse…"
"I am operating as long as I can stand. If I pass out at the table, I'll be sure to fall at attention."
Margaret smiles faintly, "You need rest Hawk…"
"What about you Margaret, you are looking a bit tired. Are you sick?"
"No. I have just been working a ton of shifts."
"Well, you better be careful…"
"Don't worry about me Captain."
"Likewise for me Major." He says, taking the thermometer back from her and placing it in a bottle of alcohol.
Two hours later, they were called to triage. Hawkeye has Margaret do the triage, so he and BJ can begin, right away, operating.
"Ok Murphy, more suction."
"He's a mess." She says.
"I know." Hawk sighs, as the sweat begins to bead on his head. "Wipe my forehead please."
"You ok Hawk?"
"Fine Beej, how are you?"
"I'm fine." He says, looking over at his friend.
"How were the flu patients when you checked?"
"Kim's doing better, Frank will be fine in about two days, and Potter, he won't let me check him over."
"And you are doing awful I hear."
"Sponge…. I'm doing fine thanks."
"Beej… Um, get me some gel foam, yeah that-a-girl."
About six hours later, "Time." Hawkeye calls.
"About twenty hundred." Margaret says, looking at the wall clock.
Hawkeye sighs, "Alright, next patient. I also need new gloves."
By midnight, Hawkeye was struggling, "How many more are out there?"
"Four serious, six minor."
"Minor, how minor?"
"Fractures, dislocations, lacerations, the usual."
"Right." He says, sighing. Margaret wipes his forehead quickly, before he starts digging into the patient. "Thanks."
"Are you ok?"
"Major…" He warns.
"Sorry." She says, handing him the instruments.
"Radar! Put the radio back on." BJ calls to the clerk.
"Right." He says.
"I think it got colder in here." BJ says, rubbing his neck, "Gloves and a gown please."
"I think your right." Hawkeye says, "However, it's warm in the chest of this boy." He complains in disgust.
"I bet." BJ says.
"I know another way it could be warmer in here…." He says, looking up at Margaret, "Blow in my ear."
"That's enough Captain." She smiles behind her mask.
Hawkeye finishes the
major part of the operation when a wave of nausea overcomes him. He
swallows hard, but it isn't helping much, "Margaret can you
"Can you or can't you?"
"Yes." She says, "Why?"
"I need to step out for a minute." He says, quickly pulling off his gloves and exiting the OR as he speaks. He gets to the scrub sink and loses it. He has been fighting the flu for about a day now, and it was obvious there was no stopping it. He hangs on to the sink as he empties his stomach.
"You alright?" He hears a few minutes later.
"Will you go back to the swamp and relax now?"
"It isn't fair to you."
"You've done it before… and Radar is looking for a replacement."
"Let's just get through the next critical. Two each isn't going to hurt us."
"Yeah, but it will be pretty difficult for you to finish an operation having to run out of the OR to throw up every hour or so."
"I'll make it work."
"We might as well just hold the operations in the latrine, because that is where you will need to be."
"BJ, shut up." He says, knowing he is right. "Let's go."
"Right." He says, as they head back into the OR. He had to excuse himself four different times in two operations, before he finishes. "Thank god we have Margaret." He tells himself, "She may be a pain in the ass, but she is a damn good nurse."
After the fourth time leaving, his hands begin to cramp up and he was getting very dizzy, "Hawkeye…"
"Margaret…" He says, knowing what she is pushing at. She quickly closes her mouth and lets him do his own thing, "Margaret… you are something." He says, as she shoots her head up from the patient, "I mean really, I couldn't do this if you didn't know what you are doing."
She smiles, "Thanks."
"No, thank you." He says. Margaret shakes her head, "What?"
"Oh no, what?"
"You are sick… you would never say this." She laughs.
"Thanks." He rolls his eyes. It is another hour before Hawkeye can't go on. His entire body is hurting now, and the room is spinning, "Margaret, can you finish this?"
"Yes." She says, looking at the patient, "I think so."
"Good, because I'm about ready to collapse." He says, holding onto the gurney, closing his eyes, "I'm sorry Beej, I just cant…"
"Don't worry about it, go back to the swamp, or to post op and recover." He says.
"If you need me…"
"We won't. There is just one more critical out there… someone came in, and then we have minor ones. Go back, get sleep. Kelley, help him out of here." BJ says before calling for silk. Margaret stitches up her patient and helps BJ get the other patient ready.
"Alright gang…" He sighs, as he has Murphy close up his patient, then he works on Margaret's with her. "Margaret, get some more suction please… no, around the bowel, yeah, right there." He says, "Ok… scalpel."
BJ didn't get out of surgery until 6:00 in the morning. He sits on the end of a gurney and sighs. Margaret puts a hand on his shoulder, "You did great BJ."
"You didn't do to bad yourself Margaret." He says, smiling back at her, "Why don't you get some sleep?"
"Because I have to go check on the flu patients first."
"I'll help you." He says, and the two walk into post op, check on the patients and retire back to the Swamp. He sees Hawkeye sleeping on the cot, and quietly bypasses him. He didn't care if he was in the Swamp sick or not because chances are he'll end up with the flu no matter what. He sits down and pours himself a martini and reads the letter he got yesterday from Peg for the third time. He looks at the picture that was sent to him of Erin and smiles. The sun wouldn't be up for another hour, so BJ decides he better try and sleep before hand. It was freezing on this winter night in Korea, so he puts some more wood in the stove and goes to sleep, only to be rudely awakened just a short five hours later by the P.A. System announcing the incoming wounded. He groans and gets out of bed, Hawkeye begins to do the same, "Where the hell do you think you are going?"
"To help you."
"I don't think so. Hawk… you aren't doing yourself or the patients any good if you operate when you are sick."
"You can't do it alone… not all day."
"I can because I have to." He says, placing a hand on his forehead, "Besides, you're burning up with fever. Hawk, just stay here, maybe someone else is well enough to get back into the game."
"If they aren't."
"You'll be the last one I call." He says, leaving the Swamp. "Margaret… you too?" He asks, looking at the pale complexion of the Head Nurse.
"I'll be ok…"
"That's what Hawkeye said..." He says, checking her over quickly, "Go lay down."
"BJ… you need someone who knows their way around a body, and none of the girls can do that."
"I have Able, Murphy, Kelley, and Bigelow is back, so we will be fine. Plus, Father Mulcahy, Klinger and Radar can help out. I want you back in your tent or in Post-Op this instant… in fact, Corpsman, escort the Major back to her tent, and make sure she stays there."
"Captain! I out rank you! I can…"
"Save it for when you are healthy Major." He smiles, and sends her on her way.
"Able and Kelley, triage, Bigelow and Murphy, come on in with me." He says, walking to the scrub room. While he is scrubbing up, Miller comes in, "Looks like you can use some help." She says.
"Are you ok to operate?" He asks, putting his hand on her forehead, "You still feel warm."
"I'm a lot better than I was." She sighs, pulling on her whites. "I'll only be able to go a little bit, but it can be something."
"If you are absolutely sure… how's your stomach?"
"Haven't thrown up since last night, so I think I'm just gonna be weak. I hear Hawkeye bit it?"
"Yeah, he's not doing too well. He's in the Swamp right now taking it easy."
"He didn't put up a fight to come in?"
"Not too much of one, but Margaret did." He says, beginning to scrub.
"She's sick too! You do need me." She smiles. "How are you doing?"
"Me? Fine." BJ says.
"You sure Hunnicutt?"
"Positive." He smiles, "I am not even feeling the beginning effects of the flu… yet."
"Well that's good." She says, scrubbing quickly, but carefully. "Ok, I'm ready." She sighs, as the two surgeons head into the lions den. "Where's the X-Ray for this one?"
Klinger brings it to her, "Here you go Kim."
"Put it where I can see it please." She sighs, "Thank you. Ugh, I really wish Hawk was well." She says, looking at the hole in the heart.
"Bad?" BJ asks.
"He needs a graph… I've done maybe five before…"
"One more than I have done." BJ says, "You want to switch?"
"No." She sighs, "I'll be fine."
"Right." BJ says, and begins asking for his tools.
"Kelley, I need you to find me a graph, about the size of my finger, and bring it."
"Right Doctor." She says, heading over to find a graph.
"You're going to have to work with me Abel, I mean if I run out of here, you are going to have to kind of hold down the fort until I get back."
"That's fine Kimberly."
"Ok, now, I need a lot of suction and keep bring it. Father, can you come here and pass me some instruments please?"
"Of course." He says. "What do you want me to do?"
"Just stay there, I need Able in the patient with me, so I need you to pass us instruments… god I wish Hawkeye was well."
"You'll do fine Kimberly." BJ says.
"Alright, Metz." She says, pointing to the instruments, "Scalpel."
"I need some suction, more, more," She says, grabbing the straw and putting it where she wants it, "Hold it there. Kelley, did you find it!"
"Is this long enough?"
She looks at it, "It will have to do, thank you." She says, putting her nose back into her work. BJ checks on her during the operation, but for the most part stays quiet. In two hours, she is finished and beginning to tire, but she didn't want to leave BJ high and dry. She sits down outside for a minute to get some energy back and then goes at her next patient. She barely gets through that one before she says, "BJ, I'm sorry, but I have to go lay down."
"It's fine." He smiles, at her under his mask. "Thanks for your help with the two."
She sighs heavily, "No problem. I'll hopefully be back in a little bit."
"Don't worry about it. I'll be fine." He says, "Go on."
She leaves the OR and he busies himself in all the patients there are. Finally after another 10 hours of surgery, everyone was fixed up. BJ crashes in the Swamp and sleep till the next morning. He wakes up hoping that if they were still sick that there would be no wounded. He saw Frank up and moving, "How are you feeling Frank?"
"Like you'd care." He grumbles.
"Ready to operate yet?"
"I'm fine." He says walking into the Swamp, "What's he doing sleeping?"
"Not in our tent! Pierce! Pierce, get up, and get over to post-op."
"Hey, Frank, come on." BJ says.
" I am not getting sick again."
"Blow it out your ear Frank." Hawkeye groans, rolling over.
"Who else is sick?"
"Everyone, except for me."
"How did you not get it?"
"Oh Frank, I still have a couple more days to go before I can say that I can't get it." He smiles.
"You feeling ok still Beej?"
"Fine, how are you?"
"You'll be feeling better in no time." He smiles.
"MMMM." He groans.
It was about three days later when Margaret and Hawkeye returned to work. BJ never did get that devil's flu, and Hawkeye is jealous, but glad that it was BJ and not Frank who was healthy.
In May, Kimberly gets a letter that really disturbs her, but she has no idea what to do or how to deal with it.
I just got your letter, probably about two weeks ago or so by the time you get your letter. We are doing fine at home. Susan is getting really big. She is beautiful Kim, and asks about you all the time. I can't believe she is going to be three in a month! My mothers taking her to get her photo taken, and we will send you one as soon as we get them.
We are having a party for her on July 18, because both of our families can be there. She is very excited to turn three. I took her to the toy store the other day, which was a bad idea because I had to buy her a toy of course. She wants you home for her birthday, and who knows, maybe the war will be over by then. I am going to take a movie of her birthday and ship it up to you to watch, because I know you will love it.
Honey, I miss you a lot, and this is getting very difficult living this far apart from one another. I don't know what to do any more. Our daughter cries nightly because she wants you to tuck her in, and I don't know what to do. Your mother has had to do that because sometimes, I just don't cut it. She needs you Kim. I know that you are away, and its for a good reason, but we need you at home. I know the war can't last forever, but it's tough. Do you know how many points you have yet? Six months Kimberly, it's been six months.
I'm sorry, I must just be ranting now. I have to go put Susan down for a nap, and I'll write more later. This letter probably makes little to no sense, but its just thoughts right now.
Kimberly puts the letter down on her night stand for the fifth time. She just doesn't know what to do. She is very upset by his letter to her, even though he probably doesn't mean anything. She feels that she is losing him, and this letter makes her feel even worse. "What kind of mother am I?" She asks aloud.
"Attention all Personnel, lunch is unfortunately being served, that is all."
She sighs and gets up, placing the letter in her pocket, she exits her tent and heads over to the Mess.
"What will you have Captains?" Klinger asks.
Kimberly didn't even notice the two surgeons next to her, who have been trying to get her attention for a few seconds.
"Just the salad and bread please Klinger." She says, looking over to BJ and Hawkeye, "Hi."
"Where were you?"
"What do you mean Hawk?"
"I mean, when we were trying to get your attention. Where were you?"
"Don't worry about it. I was just thinking."
"About what?" BJ asks.
"Since when are you one to pry!" Kim asks, shocked.
"Are you kidding me! Let me tell you something ma'am, if BJ decides he wants to find something out, then he will stop at nothing to find what he wants to find."
"That made good nonsense." Kimberly smiles as they head to a table.
"I've heard that somewhere." Hawkeye laughs.
"Anyway, what's the problem Kimberly?"
"Nothing." She says.
"Drop it." She says, standing up and throwing her tray out, "I'm suddenly not hungry. I'll see everyone later." She says, and walks to her tent.
She re-reads the letter a few more times, before throwing it down on the floor, lying down on her bed, and then the tears begin to fall. She has time to think about it, and in her eyes she seems like the worst mother and wife ever. She left her family because she was a surgeon, a damn good one. She shouldn't have agreed to come here. She shouldn't have wanted to come here, but here she is, and her daughter is crying every night. "The war can't last forever Jack? It already has." She quietly cries herself to sleep. She didn't know what else to do. She needs the sleep because last night she didn't sleep at all because of this letter, and today she was utterly exhausted. She sleeps as long as she could, and then there was a knock at the door. She rubs the sleep out of her eyes, and says, "Come in."
"Ok, lets talk." Hawkeye says, sitting down on the end of her bed, "Because I'm not leaving until I get something out of you. Klinger told BJ and I that you were up the entire night."
"And you woke me up."
"So, lets talk." Hawkeye says.
She sighs and takes a breath, not knowing where to start exactly, but knows that she has to talk to someone. BJ would probably understand more, but Hawkeye was here, and she was closer to him than BJ. "I don't know where to begin…"
"How about the beginning?" He suggests.
She looks at the blue eyes and says, "Well…"
I decided to start this story up again, so bear with me!
Thanks for bearing with me! I am trying to fix grammar since this story was first written about a year ago. I hope you are enjoying the story so far! Please R&R Once again, sorry the Update took so long! The next chapter I hope will be posted soon! And my other story, Life time, will be updated sooner than that!