Abyssinia Is Easier Than Goodbye

Dedicated To: The Girl In The Fireplace, Ciaran The Nerdy, Eva Freak 18, Sweetprincipale and the M*A*S*H legion of fans.

A/N: During the episode where Hawkeye sleepwalks. He starts to dream about his goodbye to Trapper. Mild SLASH! Hawk/Trap

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN M*A*S*H BUT I WANT TO!

In the 4077th's compound were tents and in those tents were people whom most wanted to be home in the arms of loved ones. For Pierce, his loved one had left him for family back home, leaving him to comfort himself in the arms of their baby - their homemade still. It was a wondrous creation but one which had become Hawkeye's equivalent to sleeping pills. He rarely slept without it, which only happened when exhaustion had taken him unceremoniously from the land of the living. There was something else or should that be 'someone' else who got him through this sad excuse for a war. Rapper John Francis Xavier McIntyre self-confessed ladies man and best friend to Hawkeye. They each lived for the moments when they could just be two guys talking about the moments when they could just be two guys talking about work, women, sports or whatever was the 'big' issue in their lives. When Trap got his orders stateside it broke two hearts that day, and the Trapper in America would most definitely be different to the man who lived and loved his way through most of Korea. Hawkeye knew long distance would be difficult, painful even, but God knows he would've gave his cutting hand to keep Trapper in his life whichever way he could. This was when the dreams started, shortly after his departure to Tokyo for some R&R he awoke from from a nightmare that Trapper was leaving him in this hell-hole, and so soon after Henry's death. Everyday he wished he could reset time as if he was the 'Lord of Time' or something important enough, high enough brass that he could keep those he loved with him. The only person he'd loved but never lost was his dad. He needed his dad, much more than he said. As Hawkeye finished his drink and settled down to sleep one thing was certain – he should get a purple heart for being wounded everytime he lost someone.

About an hour after Hawkeye fell asleep he lifted himself out of bed and walked into the compound only to be confronted by Klinger,

"what's the password?" Klinger asked, rifle pointed.

"Not now mum, me and Tommy are playing."

Hawkeye started shooting hoops with an invisible basketball, he then grabbed an invisible football and began shouting,

"Trapper! Go long! Deeper!"

at that Hawkeye 'dropped' the 'ball' and broke into a run heading for the heli-pad. By this point BJ had returned from post-op to find Hawkeye gone. Leaving to find someone who might know his whereabouts he ran into Klinger.

"Klinger, have you seen Hawk?"asked Beej, concerned.

"Cap'n Pierce ran towards the heli-pad, but he was behaving rather strangely. I'd check on him, he's going the right way for a section eight."

"Says the man carrying a rifle dressed like Audrey Hepburn."

"Very true sir"

BJ broke into a run but slowed to a quiet stroll when he heard a strange murmuring coming from the heli-pad. Crouched behind some netting he saw Hawkeye sat cross-legged looking up at the sky; With his mouth moving at a strange but fast pace. BJ headed closer to catch what Hawkeye was saying clearer. 'Was he sleeping? It appeared so,' thought BJ.

"Trap? Do you remember that time Henry gave us the sex lecture? Haha, I know he was so embarrassed. I miss you Trapper, I wanted to tell you things, things no man should be burdened with himself, things he should feel free enough to speak aloud. Do you remember Private Weston? Remember why Frank and Margaret wanted him thrown out of the army? I know what that's like, I remember I came close to telling you a fair few times, just what I felt for you. But I was too scared, was never cut out for the army – too yellow-bellied. But you, John Francis Xavier McIntyre, were my Amazing Grace, my saving grace, my sanity throughout it all, you were my be all and end all. With you I was in Nirvana, and always will be whenever I think of you. To tell you goodbye is too hard but to say nothing at all is the darkest night I lived through. What I would tell you could have ruined your career, your marriage, your life and that's one thing I couldn't bear. I want you happy, remember that night at Rosie's we hid round the back of the compound, the first time I ever laid my eyes on you and truly saw you, pressing my lips to yours as we sought escape from the meatball surgery which had became so second nature to us as breathing. I never wanted more than you wanted to give. I'm being selfish Trap but I can't help it I loved you, a lot more than a buddy, more than a brother. You were my soulmate and to me it didn't matter whether you had the 'right' anatomy for this world I still wanted you. And now you're gone and Radar couldn't even deliver the message right even though I got the sentiment. I need you, I need to talk about Henry, and my mum. Beej doesn't get it like you do, he tries but he's not you, never could be. I'm just sorry I never got my goodbye kiss. So instead of goodbye I'll say this: it was something Sidney said to me, you'd like him and BJ, Sidney was around more when you left; ladies and gentlemen take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. Remember when he said that?"

BJ listened intently to Hawkeye's ramblings, one thing for sure is that it explained so much, it explained why whenever someone mentioned Henry or Trapper he clammed up or left the conversation altogether. That poor soul living with the secrets he did. If Hawkeye was halfway to crazy when Trapper was around he had no chance now. It broke BJ's heart to think that a man he considered a mentor, brother, best friend was living a lie that was clearly causing him pain. He deserved to be happy, more than anyone else in this damn camp. He hoped Hawk would find happiness in the way he had with Peg and Erin. Suddenly breaking his own stream of consciousness he noticed Hawkeye had fallen asleep in the foetal position so BJ grabbed a couple of corpsmen who brought a gurney up to the heli-pad to bring Hawkeye back down to the compound should any choppers appear. As Hawkeye was carried down BJ noticed a photograph being held in a crushing grip, he wrestled the photo from Hawk's grip and smoothed it out, in the photo was two men in gorilla costumes and one man in a fishing hat smoking a cigar. All were playing poker, BJ turned the picture over to see written in an unfamiliar scrawl " Hawk, Henry & I (1950)" and in the bottom right hand corner a small message for Hawkeye that read "and you think I didn't say goodbye Hawk, for all our times together and apart. Abyssinia, Trap X" to BJ this made sense as to why Hawk had finally come to terms with Trapper leaving but he would definitely speak to Potter about

having Sidney talk to Hawkeye. There were clearly some issues left over from Henry's death and Trapper's subsequent departure. As the morning crept over the mountains BJ went and sat by Hawkeye who had been placed in triage. Seeing Hawkeye stir BJ sat up fully alert.

"Beej where am I?"

"Triage."

"Why?" Hawkeye asked, confused

"You slept walk all the way up to the heli-pad and I didn't want to disturb Frank."

"Oh, okay"

"And Hawk?"

"Yeah?"

"Your secret's safe with me."

"What secret?"

"You and Trapper, I heard you rambling. It makes sense now. Don't worry I won't tell a soul."

"Thanks. You don't know what its like. I feel so close to crazy and then I remember Trap and how much he saved me."

BJ rested a hand on Hawk's arm.

"I think he knows"

Just at that moment far away in Boston, 'Trapper' John Francis Xavier McIntyre awoke sweating and breathing heavily. Louise McIntyre stirred and mumbled, "you okay honey?"

"Yeah just dreaming of Korea, it felt so real this time as if Hawkeye was here. I felt like I'd just received a letter from him making amends for the urgency that meant we never said goodbye. But for some reason he also found the photo I hid in the wingtips we bought for Henry's farewell."

"Uh-huh" Louise said drowsily, "go back to sleep."

"Okay," Trapper whispered whilst gazing out the window, "abyssinia Hawkeye Pierce."

Both Hawkeye and Trapper smiled as if sharing a joke, one waking up and another about to sleep again.