The Best-Laid Plans

Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it's not mine.

This fic is rated T for mentions of rape (nothing graphic, which is why it's not an M). If you don't like it, don't read it.

This story is a sequel to When You Need Me Most. I highly recommend you read that one first.

Chapter One: Goodbye

He didn't know what to say.

It had brought tears to his eyes to say goodbye to Klinger and Mulcahy, but the words, the jokes he used to cover his feelings (but that was okay, because they knew how he felt) had come easily. Charles he would just pretend not to care, as he knew his bunkmate - dare he say his friend? - would want. He and BJ had their goodbye to Potter all planned out. He didn't know what he would say to BJ, but he had some idea of how to start, and he'd let it go from there.

But Margaret. What could he say to her? She was as close to him as BJ was, albeit in an entirely different way. She had been his source of strength through the hardest time of his life. And chances were, he would never see her again.

"So, uh, listen," he began, but then he lost steam.

"Yeah," she replied softly, obviously in the same bind.

He wasn't sure who started it, who took the first step, but all at once they were wrapped in each other's arms and locked in a passionate kiss. He put all of his emotion, everything he didn't know how to say, into that kiss as he held her, never wanting to let go.

They broke apart after what Hawkeye thought wasn't nearly enough time and from the looks on the others' faces they all thought had been too much.

"Well - so long," he said finally.

"See ya," she replied, and Hawkeye felt a warmth inside. At least that meant she wanted to see him again.

His eyes never left her as she climbed into the jeep. For one moment, he was tempted to chase after it, to tell her how he felt. But no, they had agreed it wouldn't work.

She turned to stare at all of them, but especially at Hawkeye. For one moment, she was tempted to ask the driver to stop, to run back to him. But no, they were simply too different for anything to ever come of it.

They maintained eye contact until she was out of sight.

Very short, I know, but it's the starting point I need. This will be the exception, not the rule.

All dialogue in this chapter is taken from Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.

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