The Brightest Star @geradsredskittle666
Chapter 3

The Brightest Star

Disclaimer: I do not own MASH or any of its property. I make no profit off this work and do not intend to. I write to entertain.

Pairings: Hawkeye/BJ

Warnings: goodbyes, war, depression, anxiety, panick attacks, repression, ptsd, trauma, war related trauma, period typical homophobia.

Summary: The war is over and everyone has gone home. Our two local idiots in love are idiots (in love). Hawkeye finds it hard to adjust and BJ is busy pretending the war never happened. Can BJ make up for it by saving Hawkeye? Well, Peggy will surely give a go! ADHD!Hawkeye, Autistic!Hawkeye, Neurodivergent!Hawkeye, Autistic!BJ, Neurodivergent!BJ

Spoilers: none

AN: Set after the series finale. The war is over and everyone has gone home. ADHD!Hawkeye, Autistic!Hawkeye, Neurodivergent!Hawkeye, Autistic!BJ, Neurodivergent!BJ

A traveller rests far from home

His pack is heavy

He is weary from the storm

A traveller dances again

But he dances with another's soulmate

But they weather the storm together

Two travellers bleed

And no one can bind the wound

But the others half

How much blood can you really lose?

Before you lose it all

Hawkeye:

A numbness had settled over him.

He thought he had been numb before, but that apathy was nothing compared to this numbness.

He was sick of being rejected. He was sick of others leaving. He was sick of asking 'why me?'. He was sick of searching for whatever character defect had caused them to leave.

But maybe that was the problem. He was nothing but character defects! He wasn't good at much; surgery, drinking and jokes. That was it. Maybe poker. Why would anyone want him as a friend?

The thought brought more tears. Trapper had just left. Never a note. Not even a letter. BJ had said goodbye but that had never been followed up with further notes. Both had wives, both had families. Hawkeye had nothing. Just a father. He loved his father of course, but after his father died who would he have? No one. He was essentially alone.

That thought just brought more tears. But he could do alone. Sure he would miss sharing that special bond. Sure he would miss the laughs. Sure he would miss the soft reassuring touches. But he could do alone.

What other choice did he have?

BJ:

He was struggling today. Last nights dream had been particularly awful; the camp was being bombed. There was chaos. Somehow in the chaos, he had lost track of Hawkeye. When he had gone back to look, he found the body, face down in the dirt helmet on. Blood covered Hawkeye's form and his shirt and pants were soaked through with blood. Too much blood loss. Still BJ checked vitals. No pulse.

He had woken up throughly shaken. Peg had taken the time to calm him, then gave him the morning off. She could handle Erin.

He hadn't eaten all day, he couldn't. He threw up anything he kept down.

When he had told her about the dream, she had smiled and found the box of unread letters. She found the stack written by Hawk and given them to her husband. "You don't have to reply, just read them, okay?" She asked.

She ended up giving him the whole day off.

He found himself reaching for the letters, for once without the same fear. He read each letter he had ignored. It calmed him. Hawk wasn't dead. His nightmare had been just that. As he went through the stack of letters, became uncomfortable. The first few letters were as he would expect. Then they seemed to lack the same excitement. As each letter was rejected, they seemed more withdrawn. The last letter was hardly personal at all. Even the writing was neat and showed no emotion. He checked the post mark, it was a month old. No letters a week to just none? It made him uneasy.

Should he write back now? Was it too late?

Hawkeye:

His stomach growled loudly. When had he eaten last...he couldn't remember.

He managed to get to his feet. He looked through the fridge. He decided on scrambled eggs. He automatically went the motions.

He did feel better after eating. Much less dizzy. Coffee had helped too.

He felt like crap. He was pretty sure he looked it too. He took a shower and shaved, putting on clean clothes. He needed to go grocery shopping. He took a quick look in the mirror, he still looked awful but he looked less like a bum. Probably smelled less like a bum too.

So he made his way to the supermarket. He didn't miss the concerned looks he received but he ignored them. He just wanted to get in and buy what he needed and leave. He put a packet of bacon in the basket, and was now looking at the egg section. He felt someone politely tap his shoulder. He ignored them.

"It's Peggy Hunnicut." She said.

He almost dropped his basket. There she was, just like in her picture. "Hawkeye Pierce" he managed.

She nodded knowingly. "I recognised you from the photo. I didn't expect to be seeing you around here though" she answered calmly.

"I'm not staying here long, just a few monthes. Maybe longer." He answered awkwardly.

"Where are you staying? BJ would love it if you could visit! It might do him some good to see a friendly face! I'm arranging a meet up with all his friends from the 4077th. Maybe we can exchange details so I can keep you updated?" She spoke.

A sudden sensation washed over him, pinning him to the spot. His chest felt too tight and he felt dizzy. He didn't remember falling, but he felt the cold floor against his knees. Someone was holding him. He desperately wished it was BJ. Despite knowing that he had been rejected, he still craved anything he could get. A voice told him to breathe, told him that everything was going to be okay. When he could breathe again, he became aware that she was holding him close. The contact felt good and he didn't have the energy to reject it.

He had a question that was burning him up. "What did I do to make Beej hate me?" He asked, hating how he sounded like an emotional child.

She paused and looked at him disbelievingly. When it became clear this this wasn't some kind a joke, she answered. "BJ doesn't hate you. I don't think he could hate anyone." She assured. "Was that why you stopped writing?" She asked.

He didn't want to believe. "Yeah, I thought he done with me. He wouldn't be the first." He commented.

"I know he misses you. He just doesn't know how to say it. He had a nightmare that you died in Korea, he needed the day to recover." She told him. I

It didn't sound like a lie. "He doesn't hate me?" Was all he could come up with.

She smiled softly at him. "He does not hate you." She confirmed patiently.

Then he was sobbing again. Hard sobs that shook his tiny frame, muffled by her shirt as she pulled him into a fierce hug. When he finally settled down, she had already made her decision. She was adopting this one. She was taking him home and no one could stop her. This was her husband's best friend. This was what he had left behind. This beautiful man would be just what they all needed.

He was exhausted. She didn't bother asking if he could support his own weight. She didn't care how it looked; she merely picked him up and carried him to the car. The store owner looked relieved. They knew Peggy so they helped her out by opening the car. There eyes went to the tags around Hawkeye's neck. "Korea?" They asked.

She nodded. "Thanks, I'll be by tomorrow. I have a more important delivery to make first I think" she said.

BJ:

The car pulls up, it's early though...did something go wrong?

Peg hovered by the door. "I found something at the supermarket that I think you should see..."she said, voice full of affection.

He followed her out. He stops dead in his tracks, "Hawkeye" he whispers and suddenly everything felt right again. Suddenly everything was okay. His asleep, but even asleep I can tell his in rough condition. What was I thinking leaving that idiot alone?! With a head full of Korea, no less!

"I knew it." She says.

I pause. "Knew what, Peg?" I ask.

"You left half of yourself back there, now his here. Now you can be whole. Both of you. Oh and before you object, the spare room is his. His staying and that's final. And you can make the adoption official, because his mine now too." She says confidently. God I love this woman!

I pick him up, and can immediately tell that his lost weight. His definitely too light. He leans into my touch, smiling. It's like he knows we are finally together again.

When I try place him on the bed, he digs his bony hands into my arms, refusing even in his sleep. Peg is smiling. I would normally just sleep beside him, but there is a vast difference between a camp of accepting friends and back home.

She waves off my concerns, "Join him, it's okay" she assures. "He needs you" she adds and looks so sad that there has to be a story. I'll find out later. "Besides, it's okay. It's okay to love him. His very easy to love." She assures. I love this woman! My wife is amazing!

I manage to settle us in the bed, and put my arms around his waist. He settles closer against my chest and relaxes. There is no way to explain how much I love the man in my arms. How right it feels to have him against me. I feel the warmth of his skin. I feel his heartbeat. I drift off into nightmare free sleep.

I wake from the best sleep I have had since coming home. His awake and smiling. He is calm. "I knew it was you. You smell good." He says softly.

"I'm glad your here. Can you forgive me? I got caught up in my head. I should have just written back" I apologise.

He nods. "I thought you hated me. It hurt" he says softly. There is no anger. No blame. Just a cold emptiness.

The words hurt. But I know better than to place blame on him for his reaction. His always felt rejection strongly. He is so quick to assume someone has abandoned him. Like if a friend didn't reply to multiple letters for monthes. I should have known better. "I could never hate you. Even Peg loves you already. I'm sure Erin will too" I reassure.

He yawns. "Is it really okay? Us, I mean. I don't want to get you into trouble. Peg is a good woman. And Erin" he says, so honestly concerned that I laugh.

"Peg wants to adopt you. Peg's attached. We are safe here. We can discuss everything later." I assure. "Besides, I'm more concerned with what's going on with you. You really don't look all that good. When your healthy, all three of us can decide what we are going to do" I add. He seems satisfied with that.

He yawns again and settles against me. It doesn't take long before his sleeping.

Peg comes into the room a few minutes later. She smiles at his sleeping form, but she looks worried. "How is he?" She asks.

"He should be okay now. His on the right track anyway. It's best to let him sleep." I answer easily. "Tell me what happened" I ask.

She nods. "He was at the supermarket. I recognised him from the photo you sent. I introduced myself, he didn't seem interested but he didn't seem interested in anything. I could tell he wasn't okay. I was talking to him when he had a bad panic attack. As I was calming him, I could tell that despite needing touch, no one had held him a while. He asked what he had done to make you hate him. It was awful. He just assumed that he had caused the rejection. When I told him that you didn't, he just released all that emotion. I don't know where he found the energy. I was sure the panic attack would wipe him out. He still needed reassurance that you didn't hate him. Poor child. After all that, how could I not take him home?" She explained.

BJ listened, and tried to ignore the guilt. Hearing that Hawkeye had had a panic attack almost sent him into one! The man was constantly anxious but he had seemed to mediate that by staying in close contact with him. All the touches, holds and closer than normal contact had served to anchor him. With no one serving that role, panic attacks were to be expected.

Not paying attention to surroundings could be many things...he would need to investigate that further.

He felt guilty; Hawkeye had assumed that he had been rejected, that he was hated...and this had gone on how many weeks?! No wonder Hawk wasn't looking good! No wonder he had lost weight!

All this would be fixed. It had to be. First task: catalog the damage. Only then could they make a battle plan.

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