Hawkeye always keeps his promises. But does BJ?
An established relationship story.
Written: May 2012. Word count: 1,328.
He waited. The wind was cutting through him, but he waited.
The wind was whipping up discarded paper and bags, turning them around in the air and then abandoning them again, letting them fall to the ground, before grabbing them once again.
As he waited, he watched the papers flutter around him and wondered why people couldn't be bothered clear up their own rubbish. Sure it was nice to bring flowers to a grave, but how much effort would it be to put the paper they'd been wrapped in into the trash or take it home with them?
He hadn't brought flowers. His dad had made him promise not to. Just as he'd made him promise he wouldn't visit his grave every week or even every month. It wasn't as though his dad was there; all that was under the earth was a coffin containing a decaying body. That wasn't Daniel Pierce; that was just a body.
Daniel Pierce was the man his son remembered; the kind, caring, loving, do anything for anyone man. The man who was good at listening but who rarely gave advice, unless it was on medical matters, but when he did give advice outside of medicine, he expected it to be listened to and taken. He was the man who had raised his son to be a good man, an honest man, a doctor, a man who remembered he was a doctor first when it came to treating the enemy. The man who had loved his son so dearly that when Hawkeye had told him about the true nature of his relationship with BJ when they'd been in Korea, Daniel Pierce hadn't been bothered. He hadn't ordered Hawkeye out of his house, or disowned him or treated him any differently. 'You're my son, Hawkeye', he'd said. 'You're my son and I love you. That's all that matters'.
And that's why Hawkeye was waiting, standing in front of his dad's grave, letting the wind cut through the material of his heavy overcoat, letting it blow his now completely grey hair over his forehead and face. He was waiting to see if BJ Hunnicutt was a man who kept his promise - just as Hawkeye had kept his.
When they'd parted in Korea for BJ to return home to Peg and Erin and Hawkeye to go back to his dad and Crabapple Cove, they'd made promises to one another. Hawkeye had promised to let BJ go, not to contact him, not to write or call unless BJ did first and not to put pressure on him to leave Peg. In turn BJ had promised that once Erin had gone to college, he'd leave Peg and come to Crabapple Cove to be with Hawkeye.
And Hawkeye had kept his promises; he'd kissed BJ goodbye, told him he'd always love him and let him go, let him ride away on the darn motorbike without letting him see how devastated and broken Hawkeye was. And he hadn't written or called; at least he hadn't until the letters started to come from BJ. Letters that had both hurt and angered Hawkeye at first as they were full of how BJ had made a mistake; how he shouldn't have gone back to Peg; how their marriage was over; how they were just staying together for the sake of Erin, but that he didn't know how long he could stand being there; how he loved Hawkeye and wanted to be with him.
The letters should have made him happy as they'd told him what he'd wanted to hear, but they'd had the opposite effect. How dare BJ write such things to him, when he had no intention of leaving Peg? They'd angered and hurt him so much he'd written back: 'Then leave her. Be with me'. Six words, cold, bitter words and he'd mailed the letter. That had been when he'd broken down and told his dad about BJ and their relationship.
Six months had gone by before he received another letter from BJ. It had taken him three days before he'd opened it, and then he'd only done so because his dad had threatened if Hawkeye didn't, then he would. And it had been the kind of letter Hawkeye had hoped to receive. No mention of love or leaving or being unhappy, just of memories of the M*A*S*H unit and the other people who'd shared the hell with them. And so Hawkeye had written back and they'd fallen into corresponding regularly, sharing news with one another about Margaret, Charles, Klinger, Radar, Colonel Potter and some of the others.
But he hadn't written first; he wouldn't have written; if BJ hadn't written to him, he wouldn't have written. So he had kept his promise. The only time he'd written in effect first was when he'd written another short letter. 'Dad died two days ago. Don't send flowers'.
BJ had replied, almost as briefly. 'Erin leaves for college on the 12th. Will meet you by your dad's grave on 16th sometime after 3:00 o'clock'.
Well today was the 16th and Hawkeye was standing by his dad's grave waiting to see if BJ would keep his promise; would turn up and tell him he had left Peg. It was now past 4:00 o'clock and there was still no sign of BJ. Hawkeye didn't even know how he'd planned to get to Crabapple Cove, to the graveyard and to his dad's grave - he'd never told him where his dad was buried. Not that Crabapple Cove was big enough to support more than one cemetery and that wasn't vast - BJ wouldn't have been walking around it for an hour trying to find where Daniel Pierce was buried.
It was getting colder as the wind began to blow even harder, paper from a bunch of flowers whipped up and hit Hawkeye in the face and topsoil from a recently dug grave was thrown up into the air and whirled towards Hawkeye as the wind increased even more. Staggering slightly under the force, Hawkeye turned his back to the wind and wiped his eyes, blinking to clear the dust that had flown into them.
And then suddenly the wind seemed to cease; just like that it went from pretty much gale force to nothing. Hawkeye looked up and there standing only a short distance from him was BJ, in one hand he had a case, in the other he held a paper wrapped bunch of flowers.
Hawkeye swallowed hard; suddenly he didn't know what to say. 'Have you actually left Peg'? was what he wanted to ask. Sure BJ was there, but it didn't mean he hadn't just come to visit, did it? But he couldn't say the words. So instead he found himself saying. "I thought I told you not to send flowers."
BJ put his case down on the ground and shrugged; he began to unwrap the flowers as he walked towards Hawkeye. "I didn't," he said, pushing the now balled paper into his overcoat pocket before squatting down and putting the flowers on the grave. "I brought them." He stood back up and put his hands into his overcoat pockets as he stared at Hawkeye.
He'd aged, but then so had Hawkeye; he'd lost the fresh-faced innocence he'd always had in Korea, for a fleeting moment Hawkeye mourned the loss. His moustache had gone (that Hawkeye didn't miss), his hair was a much darker blond now, he had more wrinkles on his face, but one thing that hadn't changed were his eyes and the way he looked at Hawkeye. The way he said without having to say it 'I love you, Hawk'.
"Well," BJ said, "are you going to take me home or am I going to have to kiss you here?"
Hawkeye didn't even bother saying 'you wouldn't', because he knew BJ so well. Instead he just put his own hands into his overcoat pocket and nodded. "Yeah. Let's go home."
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