This is the middle of a story that I have just started. If you want to see more, let me know!

Background (unwritten earlier chapter):

Hawkeye is taken by a Korean unit that needs a surgeon. They nab him from a jeep. After he saves the life of one of them, they get into a scuffle and he is shot accidentally in the shoulder. They panic and drive off, leaving him to fend for himself.

He makes his way back to the 4077, where the below chapter starts.


Margaret was still up, sitting by the window in her tent.

She'd been having more and more trouble sleeping over the past few weeks and she really didn't even try anymore. But she kept thinking that maybe he would come back, and she wanted to be ready.

But Hawkeye was gone and he was probably dead - she choked back yet another sob at the thought, and then forced herself to think it again. Dammit! He's probably dead! He's dead! Like everyone else who mattered to her in this godforsaken war.

He's dead, she told herself fiercely. He's dead. So stop hoping, please, let it go!. You have to move on with your life.

She looked around the camp in the darkness. If this is any sort of life.

She felt very, very old.

Tears were streaming down her face and she knew she didn't believe a word of what she was saying to herself. She sat in the corner of her tent, looking out at the moon, silently rocking, her arms wrapped around herself.

Out in the night, she heard rustling and animal cries, and then more silence. She found herself wondering what wildlife would move back into this field once they were all gone. Or all dead. In five, ten, or a hundred years, would anyone know that they'd been there?

Was it all for nothing?

She spent the night there, by the window, rocking, caught halfway between sleep and somewhere else. Praying for Hawkeye's life.


At five or so, she returned to herself; noticed the beginning daylight. Her head felt fuzzy and thick from tears and lack of sleep.

She moved creakily, put her head in her hands. She took a deep breath like that, feeling her lungs expand against her ribs, against the tightness she'd been holding for so long, feeling the pressure of her hands against her cheekbones. It felt good to shut out the world.

But she was too restless to stay cocooned. Taking another deep breath she pushed her head up and blinked, staring out across the deserted compound.

At a tall, thin, hunched man. Standing, swaying, at the far end of camp.

Even as she watched, in the split second before she knew who it was, before she had burst out of her tent at a dead run, he staggered and collapsed on the road, raising a cloud of dust.

She was out on the compound before she had time to think, running towards him…she knew it was him. She scared a flock of birds that weren't used to any movement so early in the morning. She was kicking up dust and her breath ripped at her throat as she ran. She heard herself whimper and grunt with fear and effort. No one else in camp was stirring. She was alone with that collapsed body, those fatigues, the bloody stains, the dirt, the filthy hair. The early morning sun was already too hot on her head.

She dropped to her knees and touched his face. Of course it was Hawkeye. It is you! It is you! She felt enormous sobs push out between her clenched teeth but they didn't slow her down as she felt for his pulse, his breath. He was alive!

Laughing, crying, she finally found her voice even as she continued to check him over.

"Colonel!" She screamed. "BJ! It's Hawkeye! Somebody! I need help now! Bring a stretcher – bring fluids – somebody!"

She turned her face to camp in a final cry. "Get your asses out here! NOW!"

He was a wreck, that was sure. He was covered in mud and his clothes were stiff with dried blood. He had three weeks of beard that couldn't hide the bones that now jutted out of a too-thin face misted with fever sweat. His hands – those long-fingered, treasured surgeon's hands – they were battered, streaked with blood and filth.

She could see bloodstains on the road beyond her, showing where he had walked.

How far had he walked? What had he been through? She didn't want to know.

"Hawk?" she called to him. "Hawkeye? You're home - Hawk, can you hear me?" He gave her no response, not even an eyelid flutter.

She felt a hand on her shoulder and then BJ was there, tears running down his own face, half dressed in a bathrobe and bare feet. "My God, My God," he kept saying, as he ran his hands all over Pierce, looking for vital signs, checking for broken bones, gently worrying at the shoulder of the jacket where dried blood glued it to Hawkeye's flesh. And then more people were there, and more, and together they all worked faster than Margaret could think.

They cut away at his clothes and began soaking the wound to work the fabric out of it; they inserted an IV. He never moved or opened his eyes until they lifted him to put him onto a stretcher - then without warning his eyes fluttered open and immediately rolled back in his head; he gasped and his body tensed and convulsed. An arm flew out crazily and slammed into Margaret's nose; she heard something go pop and felt her own blood suddenly coursing down her face. She was holding tightly to the blanket supporting him and couldn't let go or he would be dropped; her blood dripped onto her hands and down her shirt. "Seizing!" she yelled, but it wasn't a seizure.

And BJ was already there. He grabbed Hawkeye's shoulders, spoke quietly into his ears, held his arm so he couldn't break any more noses. "Shhh, it's OK, you're at the 4077, you're ok, we're here, Hawk, it's ok…" all the while helping them ease him onto the stretcher. Hawkeye's breathing was loud and panicky, his face white. BJ held him tightly. He kept his arms on Hawkeye's, kept his face near Hawkeye's, kept talking, as they lifted the stretcher off the ground and began to move towards prep.