A/N: Very short drabble. Another BJ/Hawkeye. This isn't slash, just a friend story. Not really connected to my other story though I suppose they could go together as like a prequel or something.
Timeline: This isn't based on any particular episode, as the last story was. So, it would be a few months after BJ arrived, but way before "Hanky Panky".
Warnings: None really…um…sad?
Disclaimer: I don't own. Why? Because I was born like 9 years after M*A*S*H was taken off the air.
Beta: FirstLaugh-LastTears who rocks and stuff.
To Whom This May Concern,
I'd like to begin by saying that I hope you're a good guy. I would hate to think I've been replaced by an asshole.
I've lived in this bunk, the one that now belongs to you, for a very long time. Or at least it seems that way. In actuality it's only been a year, but here, well, it's just one big unending trial.
I'm going to give you a few pointers. One, drink often and a lot. It helps. Not for long maybe, but long enough to take the edge off all the misery. Two, take whatever sleep you can get. You're on call 24/7 and we almost never have a lull in customers. Three, keep your heart guarded against this place. It'll poison you, slowly, bit by bit. Four, hold on to the letters from home. They're one of the few things that will keep you going, help you stay sane.
Now that I've given you all this terrific advice I want you to do something for me in return. The man in the bunk next to yours is a man by the name of Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce. I'm sure you've met him by now. Bit of an odd ball, huh?
He was my best friend while I was there. It was him more than anything that got me through the days and nights and utter nothingness in between. He made me laugh when I wanted to cry. He kept me grounded when I felt like deserting. He pulled me back when I tried to kill myself.
I owe him my life. If he hadn't been there for me, I would've never gone home. I shudder whenever I think about what I almost did to my family. Hawkeye pulled me back from the brink. For that I owe him everything.
He is not here now, as I'm writing this. He's on leave. He won't get back in time for me to say goodbye. That is my only regret. It will hurt him, but I'm not being given an option. And, honestly, I'm desperate to go home and can't bear to wait any longer. So, I wanted to take the time and do this one last thing for him.
I know he seems strong, but he's not in a lot of ways. Hawkeye feels things too deeply. He takes injustices in this world personally. Every patient he loses…he feels responsible for. He's one of the few doctors that doesn't understand that you can't save everyone. He feels it's his duty to save them all, and when he loses one, well, to him it's the worst kind of failure.
One day I'm afraid that's going to hurt him. Hurt him so deeply that he'll never recover from it. All I ask, my dear replacement, is that you look out for him. Protect him if you can. But most importantly and above all, please be his friend.
He needs one, more than anything.
My deepest and most sincere thanks;
"Trapper" John Francis Xavier McIntyre
BJ looked up from the worn piece of paper. Hawkeye was currently taking a nap in his bunk, just across the way. He'd actually become friends with the man long before he'd found the letter from his predecessor.
Still, the letter had really gotten to him. He unconsciously payed closer attention to Hawkeye. He found that the letter didn't lie. While Hawkeye was a selfish and rather insecure person, very set in his ways, he also had a very big heart. It was soft and wounded easily. Out of necessity, Hawkeye had built a wall around himself, so that nothing could get in and he could make it home alive. But there were a lot of chinks in his armor.
So BJ, whether it be the father or friend within him, had become rather protective. He stood by Hawkeye and did what he could to help him. They became close companions. As close, if not closer, as Hawkeye had been to Trapper.
For whatever reason, BJ never told Hawk about the letter. He had tried several times before, but always found that he couldn't do it. This letter had become special to him. He wasn't sure exactly why he held it so close to his heart. Just that he did, and that he didn't share it with anyone.
Hawkeye sometimes asked what the paper was, but he never pressed the issue when BJ refused to tell him. He understood the need to have something that was just your own. BJ knew that Hawkeye's one thing was BJ, just as it had been Trapper before him.
It was a responsibility BJ took very seriously. As he watched Hawkeye sleep he silently vowed to Trapper that he would always look out for him. If ever Hawkeye did something he couldn't condone, or went somewhere BJ couldn't follow; he promised to be there afterwards to pick up the pieces.
He would hold Hawkeye close, heal him when he hurt, and talk to him when he was down. He would drink with him when he needed a friend, and hold him when things got to be too much.
He refused to let Trapper down. Hawkeye had become very precious to him. BJ refused to lose him.