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B.J slowly opened his eyes, blinking a few times against the bright lights. Confused for a moment to why he was in bed in Post-Op and then it all came flooding back to him. His heart beat sped up when images of blood flashed in front of his eyes.
"B.J?" Margaret said softly, leaning over him.
B.J closed his eyes again and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. He was safe...He was back at the 4077th and it was all over. He opened his eyes again when he heard Margaret tell one nurse to get Hawkeye and Colonel Potter.
"How do you feel?" Margaret questioned, sitting beside the bed.
"Like I've been hit with a bus," he groaned as he slowly sat up.
"Ah, Hunnicutt, good you're awake." Charles walked over.
"My head is killing me." B.J rubbed his eyes carefully. "Concussion?"
"Yes, along with some broken ribs and severe bruising," Charles informed him.
B.J lead back down. "And the others?"
"They're all recovering nicely."
"They've been asking about you," Margaret smiled widely at him. "According to them, you're a hero."
He sighed and closed his eyes. "I didn't do anything...I just... I guess, I was just there at the right time."
"Beej?" Hawkeye practically pushed Charles out the way. "You're awake!"
"Really? I feel like I've died and gone to hell." He muttered in reply.
"That would be the concussion," Potter added. "How you doin', Son?"
B.J opened his eyes again, looking up at the people crowd around him. Margaret on a stall beside him; her hand still on his arm. Hawkeye had moved to sit on the edge of the bed. Charles was stood behind him; trying to look unconcerned. Colonel Potter was stood at the foot of the bed along with Klinger and Father Mulcahy.
"Other then my head feels like it's going to fall off and feeling like a fool, I guess I'm okay."
"Why in heaven would you feel like a fool?" Margaret questioned.
"In the O.R...Or after...I lost it, I'm sorry."
"Are you kidding me?" Hawkeye let out a small laugh. "Beej, you have nothing to be sorry about."
"And after everything you went through, your reaction is understandable," Sidney stated, stepping into B.J's eye line.
B.J looked from Hawkeye to Potter. "You called Sidney in for me?"
"Actually, he was already on his way when you arrived back," Potter informed him. "But we figured, it would be a good idea for him to stick around."
"What he means is that, they called Sidney in for me," Hawkeye cut in. "You know what I'm like, they take away my best friend and I go a little bit crazy."
"Well, what about me? I spend one night away from home and I lose it." B.J quipped back. "We make a good pair."
Hawkeye grinned widely; over the last couple of day, he had missed the banter that he shared with B.J. "What do you say, Sidney? Will you give a group rate."
"How about I do the first session for free." Sidney smiled. "But I don't think, I can handle the both of you together...I'll start with B.J."
"Hey, I think he likes you." Hawkeye turned back to look at B.J.
"It's my charm and boyish good looks."
"Oh, how I missed the witty retorts..." Charles said dryly.
"Don't listen to him, he missed you really." Hawkeye claimed. "He even called you a super-hero, yesterday."
Charles glared at the captain. "Well, it appears I am no longer needed for babysitting duty, I will be in the Swamp."
Both B.J and Hawkeye burst into laughter as Charles turned on his heels and headed for the door. It wasn't long before the others were laughing too.
"Laughter really is the best medicine." Father Mulcahy stated.
"You're right, Father...This is the best I felt in days." Klinger added.
"As much as we're all having a good time, there is work to be done." Potter told them.
"Aw Colonel, just ten more minutes," Hawkeye whined.
"Pierce." Potter gave him a look.
"Okay, Beej, I'll be back later." Hawkeye stood up. "Be good for the nurses and don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"So, that pretty much leaves me to do anything?"
"Pretty much." Hawkeye shrugged and grinned at him then walked across the Post-Op to one of his patients.
Margaret leaned over and fixed B.J's pillow and then helped him to sit up. "I'll be back to check on you soon."
"Thanks, Margaret." B.J said softly and watched her head towards Hawkeye to reprimand him for fooling around instead of treating the patients.
"Is there anything else you need, Son?" Potter questioned.
"She doesn't know what happened, yet." The Colonel told him.
"But I thought the Army would have notified her?" B.J frowned. "I mean, they must have given up on me if they sent someone to replace me."
"I called in a few favors...I didn't want her to know anything until we were certain what had happened." Potter told him. "I just asked them to hold off on contacting her."
B.J stared at him for a moment. "Colonel, I don't know, how to began to thank you..."
"There's nothing to thank me for...We were all feeling completely helpless here, it was the least I could do." Potter claimed. "However, I think a phone call to her now would be a good idea and talking to her would probably do you the world of good."
"I'll get to work on getting a line in here for you, Captain." Klinger cut in.
"Don't mention it...I'm happy to do it!" He grinned. "I'm just glad you're feeling better."
Klinger quickly headed for his office and Potter followed, telling Hawkeye and Margaret that they were in a hospital and to stop arguing. B.J laughed and shook his head, some things never changed. His eyes then landed on Father Mulcahy, who was still stood at the foot of the bed.
"Thank you, Father."
He looked at him in surprise. "What for?"
"I know, you must have been doing a lot of praying for me while I was missing." B.J replied. "So, thank you."
"Everyone in the camp was doing a lot of praying." He smiled gently. "And thank God, our prays were answered."
Father Mulcahy moved forward and shook the Captain's hand before heading out of the O.R.
B.J turned back to Sidney, who was stood waiting patiently.
"So, I guess you'd like to talk about what happened."
Sidney moved to sit down on the stall. "That's what I'm here for."
"I don't know where to start."
"The beginning is always a good place."
B.J took a deep breath. "It was meant to be my day off...I wanted to go fishing."
"It would have been but we came across an injured solider and then another one while we were on our way back here." B.J informed me. "There was no where to land and he was struggling with the rope, so I climb down to help him."
"Why?" Sidney cut in.
"Why?" B.J repeated, with a frown.
"Yeah, why did you climb down...Why not let him do it for himself?" Sidney asked with a shrug.
"I...I don't know...He couldn't do it and he was hurt...What else was I meant to do?"
"You didn't think about the danger you was putting yourself in?"
"No, I mean...it all happened so fast," B.J replied. "I just thought, I'd go down and help him."
"Okay, so what went wrong?"
"Priore said that the rope wouldn't be strong enough for the both of us... After he pulled out the solider, I was going to meet them in a nearby field where he could land."
"You didn't make it to the field?"
"We came under fire...I guess, they had to leave."
"He had to get the wounded to safety."
"Okay, so you got the field and found that they had left..."
"I didn't get to the field."
"I didn't get to the field...I saw the chopper flying away, so I turned and ran in the opposite direction, away from the shelling."
"Okay, so then what happened?"
"I just kept running...I don't know how long for." B.J replied. "I couldn't hear anything any more so thought it might be safe to stop...To catch my breath."
Sidney sat silently, waiting for B.J to continue when he was ready.
"Y'know, I remember thinking about my shirt..."
"Yeah, my pink shirt...Well, when I dyed it, it was red but it faded...I dyed it because I was sick of green, I was sick of the army...we all were." B.J said, distantly. "I wanted to rebel...I didn't want to be apart of the army...I never ever wanted to be a solider... but..."
"But what?" Sidney prompted when B.J trailed off.
"But while I was out there...I would have given anything to be wearing regulated army clothes, so I could hid amongst the trees and bushes...I would have given anything to have the training a combat solider has..." He admitted. "I had no clue what I was doing... I didn't know whether to run, to hide or to stay put."
"Seems like you did the right thing."
B.J shook his head a little. "I came across Eddie by mistake and followed him back to the others."
"But you didn't need to." Sidney told him. "You could have carried on walking but you decided to help those soldiers even though you were in a war zone."
"I'm a doctor...Doctors save lives."
"Exactly! You may have been wishing you knew all about combat but I bet those guys are so happy that you were trained to attend their wounds."
B.J didn't reply, instead he thought about what Sidney was saying. He had never given much thought to fate before. Even so, he still wished that it was someone else and not him, in that situation.
"B.J?" Sidney broke his train of thoughts. "Are you okay to continue."
"Huh?" He looked up quickly at the Major. "Oh yeah, sure...uh right, so I met Eddie and followed him back...I assessed and treated all their injuries..."
"How serious where they?"
"Nothing to bad...The main concern was blood loss." B.J replied. "But they were all alert and well enough to move into a nearby cave."
"So, when you were moving into this cave... Was that when you were hurt?"
"No, that was after...I was worried no one would find us and they would all bleed to death so I went looking help." B.J told him. "I wasn't walking long before I heard the shelling and I was just about to turn around when one went off right by me."
"Do you remember anything about that?"
B.J shrugged. "Not really... I must have black out but when I came to, I went back to the cave."
"What happened then?" Sidney questioned.
"I checked all their wounds again," B.J replied. "There was nothing else I could do."
"So, you just sat there?" Sidney waited for B.J to answered but the Captain looked deep in thought. "B.J?"
"We...we talked." He claimed, still with a faraway look on his face. "We just talked...We had to stay alert."
"What did you talk about?"
B.J sighed and ran a hand down his face. "We talked about home."
"Did it bother you?"
B.J looked across at him. "Why would it bother me?"
"Why don't you tell me?"
"They told me about their families...Matthews told me about his son, who's just started baseball...Jones told me how his daughter dances...Hendrix is going to propose to his girlfriend as soon as he gets home...he even invited me to the wedding...I can't remember the last time I went to a wedding...I think it was my own."
"Did you talk about Peg and Erin?"
"A little," B.J answered. "I just wanted to keep them awake and alert... I couldn't tell how serious any of their injuries were and I didn't want them going into shock..."
"Were you scared?" Sidney questioned, cutting B.J off.
"We were in the middle of no where! Anyone would be scared!"
"But were you scared?"
B.J looked at him for a few seconds before slowly nodding. "Yeah...Yes, I was scared."
"What was you scared of?"
"Everything," he whispered. "I was scared of everything...Of not being found...Of dying...Of the others dying...Of never seeing Peg and Erin again..."
Sidney paused for a moment, watching B.J closely. He could see the Captain thinking about what he had been through. He wanted to give B.J time to remember everything he felt while he was lost. There was something about B.J that fascinated him. He thought back to the two weeks he had spent hiding out at the 4077th and how B.J had pulled all those pranks. When Sidney had asked why he chooses to play the jokes, B.J had just shrugged and said the camp was too tense and it helped lighten the mood. The man sat in front of him now, seemed like a whole different person and Sidney wondered how long this guy had been trapped inside the captain.
"She wouldn't even remember me..." He whispered, so quietly that Sidney almost didn't hear it.
"If I were to die...She wouldn't even remember me...She wouldn't know who I was...Don't you worry about that with your kids?" He asked. "I mean, everyone says they understand but how can they? How can they understand all the feelings, all the plans you make when you find out you're going to become a father...How can they understand that when you look at your child, that you see yourself in them...that there is a part of you living inside them...but if I were to die, that part would die too because all I'd become is a memory that would fade over time."
"You're scared that Erin is going to forget you?" Sidney questioned but he already knew the answer.
"How can she forgot someone, she doesn't know." B.J mumbled.
"But you didn't die." Sidney told him. "Not only did you survive but you also saved four other guys...That's something to be proud and I bet that your wife and little girl are proud of you too."
B.J didn't say anything, his eyes were transfixed on his hands. He may have saved four men but he lost one and to him, that was one too many.
"B.J?" Sidney reached out touched his arm.
"What?" His head snapped up. "I'm sorry, Sidney..."
"Are you okay?" Sidney questioned.
"I guess, I'm just tired..." He sighed. "I've been over here for almost two years now and I still wake up, expecting to be in bed back in Mill Valley...There are days when I think I have seen it all, that I won't be surprised ever again to look at a wounded solider except the next day, someone much younger and much more hurt gets carried in."
"I just, I never thought I'd ever see the things I've seen."
"I don't think anyone would." Sidney told him. "Even the people that sign up for this...I don't think, they can prepare for seeing all this destruction with their own eyes."
"Tell me it'll go away." B.J pleaded. "Tell me that when I get back home, that I won't be seeing all the wounded, all the blood, all the death..."
"I can't promise you that, B.J." Sidney said softly. "But I can help you deal with it...You need to talk about these things, you can't just bottle them."
"I know, Thanks Sid."
Sidney smiled. "It's all part of the service...I'll let you get some rest."
"How the patient?" Potter asked, as he entered the Post-Op and saw Sidney standing up.
"He'll be back to causing trouble in no time." Sidney replied.
"Glad to hear it!" Potter grinned down at his captain.
"Colonel, there is something I've been meaning to ask you."
"What's that, Son?"
"While we were at the aid station, there was a rumor about the 4077th..."
"A rumor about us?" Hawkeye appeared beside Potter. "Whatever it was, I didn't do it."
"We were told that Marilyn Monroe was coming here."
"Jumpin' Thermostats!" Potter yelled. "General Schwerin is probably on his way here?"
"It's actually true?" B.J mouth fell open.
"I think, I arrived at the right time." Sidney grinned.
"Not now, Pierce!" Potter told him. "I've got work to do!"
The three of them watched him march out of the Post-Op, ordering two orderlies to follow him.
"Okay, this is a problem..." Hawkeye put his hand to his forehead.
"I'm sure the Colonel will get everything done in time," Sidney replied.
"Oh, I'm sure he will since he will have plenty of time."
"What are you talking about?" B.J asked.
"It's all a joke...She's not coming."
"What do you mean?" Sidney questioned. "A General is on his way."
"Charles and I were messing with Klinger and somehow the entire US army has fallen for it."
B.J and Sidney exchanged looks before both bursting out laughing.
"Hey! I have a serious problem here!" Hawkeye placed his hands on his hips. "Everyone think Marilyn is coming here!"
"Everyone except Marilyn." B.J quipped.
"Well, yeah..." Hawkeye agreed. "I need to fix this."
"What are you going to do?" Sidney asked, still laughing. "Call her and ask her to drop by?"
Hawkeye snapped his fingers and pointed to Sidney. "I think, I've worked out it!"
"Hawkeye, you can't just call her!" B.J told him.
"I've got to find Charles... He helped start this, he can help finish it!" Hawkeye ignored them and started to walk away but then stopped and looked back at B.J. "You get some rest, I'll be back to check on you later."
"There's never a dull moment at the 4077th." Sidney commented.
B.J led back down with a sigh. "It's good to be back here...I never thought I'd say that."
Sidney smiled and patted his shoulder. "I'll let you get some sleep."
"Thanks, Sid...I really appreciate you listening."
"That's why pay me the big bucks." He replied before leaving B.J to his own thoughts.
He stared up at the ceiling and he could feel his heart beat sped up a little but he forced himself to calm down. He was at the 4077th... he was safe and so was everyone else. He had tried his hardest and there had been nothing more he could do. In his head, he knew he was right... he just need to convince his heart of that.
B.J's back but yeah, that's not that end! Please review and let me know what you think!