Hi all! This is just a super short, little extra scene I thought up while watching "Sticky Wicket". In my mind, this is what would have happened right after the fight between Frank and Hawkeye. Takes place in post-o, with Hawkeye checking in on Private Thompson. This is my first M*A*S*H* fic, so I hope you all like it! Gosh it's fun to play with these characters, I wish they were mine. Enjoy!

"I haven't killed anybody this week. How about you, big shot?"

Hawkeye could still hear Frank's condescending tone ringing in his ears. He stared intently at the stat sheet in his white knuckled grip, willing it to show him what exactly was wrong with the man dying in the bed in front of him.

Kid...kid would be more accurate, he thought darkly. There's no way he was older than 18. A frustrated huff escaped his lips. This damn war.

How could he have let this happen? Hawkeye hung the clipboard back on the bed and ran a shaky hand through his unkempt hair. Private Thompson was getting worse and worse, not better like he had hoped with the first round of penicillin and infusions. This was all his fault. It had to be. He had let his ego get the better of him after berating Frank in the operating room earlier. And now it was his patient that was taking a turn for the worse, not Franks. His patient.

This damn war.

Hawkeye knew the odds; it was a damn miracle that the 4077th was able to save as many kids as they did. In the middle of a war zone, with limited supplies, and not exactly the most sterile conditions, they had the best survival rate of any MASH unit.

It still wasn't enough...it wasn't good enough.

There were too many kids dying in this useless conflict. Too many broken kids that would either die on the table, or get patched up only to be sent back to the killing machine that was the front. It was useless...pointless...like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.

Hawkeye shut his eyes as a wave of exhaustion rolled over him. Hell, he passed exhausted a few hours ago. But he knew he couldn't leave this kid. What if he had missed something? What if the poor boy died while Hawkeye was in the mess hall, or the showers, or sleeping in The Swamp? He couldn't leave him. Not when he felt like he failed him.

Hawkeye slowly lowered himself to the floor, propping himself up against the wall with a clear view of his patient. The kid looked like he'd been through hell, and Hawkeye guessed in a way he had. War was hell. Or as close to it as you could get on Earth.

I'm sure I don't look much better, Hawkeye mused. He hadn't seen his bed (if he could charitably call the Army issued cot a bed) in...what was it? 24 hours? 30? Probably more. But he knew he couldn't sleep even if he tried. Every time he shut his eyes, he'd see this kid's face. If he was being honest, he'd see all their faces. The ones he'd lost. The ones he was unable to save.

Leaning his head back against the wall, Hawkeye took a steadying breath. This place, this damn war, was getting to him. He knew it. All the jokes he'd tell, the smirks and smiles, the outrageous laughter, and all the gin in the still couldn't help that. Sure, he tried his best. Threw on that air of nonchalance, that permanent shit-eating grin, so that no one would look too close. Because then they'd see the unnerved look in his eyes, the ghosts of the men he'd been unable to save haunting his waking mind. Because then they'd notice the slight shaking of his hands and the hitch in his breath after he'd lose a patient, having to battle his whirlwind emotions and force himself to relax, so that he could get back to the painstaking meatball surgery that was tearing him up inside. Because then they'd see the deepening creases in his forehead, the growing tufts of silver coloring his hair, and the bruise-like circles of exhaustion beneath his eyes, all physical manifestations of his inner turmoil.

He couldn't lose this patient, he just couldn't. He'd lost too many others, and he'd lose too many more before this war was over. But right here, right now, he could make sure that this kid made it.

This damn war.

A pretty nurse, whose name escapes his tired mind, walks by on her rounds. She studies the kid's chart, catching Hawkeye's gaze and giving him a small smile.

"Couldn't sleep, doctor?"

"Just checking up on a patient," Hawkeye responds tiredly, hoping that the nurse would get the hint that he wasn't in the mood to talk.

A quick nod of her head and she had moved on. Hawkeye takes another long look at Private Thompson.

Some would call it ego. He might even call it ego. But in reality, he knew that what others saw as the mask of a provocative ego was, in reality, him...caring too much. He cared about all the patients he operated on. Not being able to fix their injuries, not being able to save their lives, hit him like a sucker punch to the gut. He wanted to save them all. And if that was ego then so be it. But he knew better. He knew that he just wanted to save each boy they placed on his surgical table. He wanted each kid's wounds to be healed and mended so he could live another day. He was dedicated to proving this war wrong; he could save lives faster than the bullets and bombs could take them away.

Hawkeye let out a weary sigh. The troubling thoughts of ego and Frank and shrapnel wounds pinged around his head. He got to his feet slowly, the tightness of his back and stiffness of his knees letting him know sitting on the ground was not the approved course of action for the rest of the night. Grabbing that frustrating clipboard with the worsening numbers off the bed, he paced back and forth trying to make sense of the stats. His face set into a frown when the answer didn't immediately jump out at him.

"I haven't killed anybody this week. How about you, big shot?"

God, he hoped Frank was going to be wrong. Hawkeye dropped heavily on to the bed next to Thompson, sighing yet again in frustration. Ego be damned, he was going to figure out what was wrong with this kid.

This damn war.

Fingers crossed you all liked it! I only recently started watching M*A*S*H*, and I'm really enjoying it. As always, a like, comment or some feedback is always appreciated. Thanks for reading!