disclaimer: Nope, still don't own it.

A/N: It's short, it's strange. The first section is in Hawk's POV. The second is in BJ's POV. The third is in the third person POV. Reviews are always appreciated.


The nights never fail. They can break me in a way nothing else can. I am forced to lie where I am and wait for morning or wounded. I can't run if I'm not even standing. I can't save myself if I'm not awake. In time though, I will rise to defeat these demons.

Demons are sent to slay, here in the night to haunt my dreams. I can see them dancing behind my eyes. The souls they've taken are tearing my flesh as I fall asleep. The deadened eyes of both the dead and the living "soldiers" are clearly visible in all their horrifying glory. I can't fight back. I try. I try to get myself too drunk to dream. I can't. I now succumb to their darkness in the night. What's the use in fighting? There's too much of it around here anyway.

From within this plague of ghosts and shadows the sun finally rises just as the PA flares to life in the compound. The routine continues. Just as before. Just as always. It always will I suppose.

Time does not heal. Things don't get better over time. They're getting worse. The boys are becoming "men." They're shooting more accurately after so much practice. Deadlier. Becoming men and creating dead men. And as they get better, I get worse. My hands are just that much slower, that much more tired, that much older. I get worse. I get that much older watching "men" die. I get that much more tired of it all. I can't push it all away as easily as before. They say time heals everything, but I'm still waiting.

And it will continue. The time goes on and the war drags along with it. The fighting goes on and lives continue to be lost to a lost cause. And I continue to fade. I continue to lose what I once was and continue to gain nothing in return. Eternal and endless wasting.

It will continue and it continues still. I'm still standing with blood on my hands. The visible blood of the Korean child on the table, the most recent victim, and the blood of too many others. I'm still standing with this scalpel in my hand. Still I stand over their bodies on OR tables with jokes falling from my lips. I still keep up the pretense that I'm still the idealistic camp clown that the war won't get to. Still I hold onto this hope that the pretense is real. That everyone else is right in believing I'll make it through the war intact. That they're right and I'm wrong in feeling half-gone already.

Survival rests in my hands. I am the last chance fro a lot of these kids, and I hate that thought with every fiber of my being. I literally hold their lives in my hands. And I hate the fact that, for some of them, I can't keep hold of that life even for a little while longer. Yes, survival rests in my hands. As does my destiny because my destiny is tied to how many kids slip through my fingers. I think I've known that for awhile now.


We called Sydney a couple days ago. We didn't know what else to do. He's lost so many kids lately.

Most of them shouldn't have even been let into the OR; they were past help. We've got a large batch of new nurses and corpsmen though, and they don't understand wartime triage yet. As bad luck would have it, most of them ended up on Hawk's table. They always seemed to come near the end, too, just when the urgent need to rush the patients through had ended. In that space of time when we're down to the minor cases in line, Hawkeye couldn't let himself give up on the cases he normally knew to be hopeless. He would let himself believe they could be helped now that he had extra time.

Most of them stayed hopeless cases anyway.

Hawk hasn't quite been… I don't know. He's been normal enough, I guess. But there's a strange feel about him. The jokes seem a little more forced, just a little slower. He drinks a little bit more and laughs a little bit less. I'm not the only one that's noticed it.

I don't know, maybe he seems too normal. Maybe that's what's throwing us: we expected him to breakdown and he's not showing signs of it. Whatever it is Colonel Potter, Radar, Klinger, Margaret, Mulcahy and I see, feel, or imagine, Sidney didn't notice it.

That doesn't keep us from watching… and worrying.


Hawkeye stares down at the scalpel in his hand. He's not entirely sure why he snuck it out of the OR. He should have had enough of it by now, he thinks. Another forty-eight hour session. An abnormally high fatality rate. Eleven. Six on his table.

The dim light glints off the metal in his hand as he spins the instrument slowly in the semi-darkness of the empty Swamp.

Strange that he'd never really looked at a scalpel before. It'd always just been taken for granted as a tool of healing. But that's not always the case, is it? It's a double-edged blade, so to speak. It cuts both ways. The damn thing could help save lives or end them. And lately, finding an alternate use for the thing was becoming an increasingly appealing option.

Options. Choices. Judgments. Even in a structured world of military obedience and conformity where they tried so hard to strip your vocabulary of such words, they were still there. There was always a choice. And you can take or leave it if you please.

Hawkeye's voice was barely audible, even the surrounding and eager silence, as he whispered in a strange, dark tone of irony, "I must prepare for Judgment Day."

The blade drops from his fingers into his footlocker to wait. There it lies, an indifferent servant, a cool metal glint in the cool shadows of an even colder war.


A/N: In case you were wondering, the italics are the song lyrics of "Act of Sorrow" by Mendeed. I don't own them either. Also, bonus points to anyone who can spot the other two lines I don't own. They're both lines from songs and they're both the ending sentence of a paragraph. Happy Hunting and Happy Holidays.