A/N: Small edits as of 25 July, 2009.
The Secret Life of Mr. BJ Hunnicutt
He had two lives. There was the one that existed before the war where Peg was his partner in all aspects of life. There was the one during the war where all he had was Hawkeye.
And now there was the balancing act. When he'd first gotten to Korea, all he longed for was Peg, the warm cradle of her hips, the sweet haven of her mouth, the throaty hum her voice became when they made love. But as time went on... He hadn't missed her less, just with less frequency and intensity. Or maybe he had missed her less. Did that make him a bad husband?
He was sitting at the bus depot in downtown San Francisco, where he would take a Greyhound that made a stop in Los Angeles so that he could take a plane to Boston and meet Hawkeye. He told Peg he was going to see a friend. He told her he was going to see Hawkeye. He never found the words to adequately explain their relationship beyond that.
They were sharing a room in a Boston hotel. It would have been strange not to share, not to talk in to the middle of the night, not to get dressed across a room that echoed with their friendly repartee. It would have been strange to go separate rooms at two in the morning and then meet each other over breakfast.
So they met, and they touched, and they laughed at inside jokes and generally avoided the war. They'd smile and make thinly veiled lewd suggestions that BJ would never repeat to Peg. It was -- for lack of a better word -- flirting, intimate but chaste play. They loved, and they were in love. Not the way BJ was in love with Peg, or the way he was in love with Erin. Not the way Hawkeye had once loved Carlye, not the way he loved his father.
Once they had each subconsciously been substitutions for what the other couldn't have. And when the war was over, BJ realized that he had to find a substitute for Hawkeye. But how could someone ever know him the way Hawkeye had? Not even Peg had seen him at his most drunk and selfish. They weren't proud moments. He was sometimes afraid that if Peggy ever saw him like that, she would leave him. But Hawkeye wouldn't, because Hawkeye knew.
That's how he ended up on a bus, on a plane, in a hotel room thousands of miles from home. In the dark corners of his mind, he used to run to Mill Valley, but now there was a part of him that sometimes seemed like another person, another life, that had to go to Korea to be real.