This is based on the CBS television show M*A*S*H, not the original movie by the same name. Pairing is Hawkeye/Trapper. Originally published in the zine Nothing to Hide (Get-The-Boys-Together Press, 1998).

written spring 1998; posted to the web July 14, 1999


Three-Day Pass

by Arduinna


It had been a long, miserable, bloody day at the MASH 4077th, with too many patients (as usual) and too few supplies (also as usual). But, as usual, they'd done their job, done it well, and the recovery ward was full of recovering patients, all of them someone else's responsibility for now.

And best of all, they were in for three nights and three days of relative peace and quiet, since Henry had agreed to let the pass start a night early. Okay, so maybe they'd overdone the bit about needing this break, and Henry would get it back out of them somehow -- the next bottle of 12-year-old scotch they wangled out of someone was probably going to wind up in Henry's liquor cabinet -- but damn, it was worth it. The two exhausted, yet elated, army surgeons shut their eyes and leaned back as the jeep roared out of the compound.

"A three-day pass. What a beautiful phrase. The only thing that would make it more beautiful would be if it were my three-day pass," Hawkeye said dreamily.

"You mean our three-day pass."

"Our, of course, our."

"Yeah, but Frank's three-day pass isn't anything to sneeze at, either," Trapper pointed out, the grin evident in his voice. His cot creaked slightly.

"Imagine. Three whole days and nights without him. Heaven in Korea. So what shall we do with our little vacation, Trap?" Hawkeye's eyes snapped open and he stared expectantly at his friend, who was propped up on one elbow to see him better. Strawberry-blond curls gleamed in the low light, and tired blue eyes were starting to dance.

"I don't know. I hadn't thought about it yet -- I've been too busy enjoying the silence. Listen... nobody's whining."

"Nobody's reciting Bible verses."

"Nobody's saying 'I'm gonna tell!'"

"No little 'snick' of nose-hair clippers."


"You know, even in Korea, life is sometimes good. Drink?" Hawkeye asked, tossing off his blanket as he got to his feet, and picking up the freshly filled pitcher in invitation. Trapper, amenable to the idea, stood up and held his glass out. Hawkeye poured a generous measure into his own and Trapper's glasses, and lifted his in toast. "To Frank's three-day pass. May he never return."

"Amen," Trapper agreed fervently, and they simultaneously tossed back the first drink of the evening. Hawkeye refilled both glasses and put the pitcher down near the still.

The two settled back onto their bunks and into their blankets, glasses of Korea's finest moonshine in hand, and beamed at their tentmate's empty cot.

Companionable silence reigned for a while, finally broken by a muttered, "Oh, damn!"

"Hawk? What's wrong?"

"I'm freezing, that's what's wrong. Damn. I almost wish Frank were back here now; at least the extra body heat would help."

"Nah -- Frank wouldn't be in here, he'd be over at Hot Lips' tent sharing body heat with her. He'd only show up here long enough to annoy us, dousing himself with that godawful cologne he wears." Trapper's bright grin drew an answering smile from Hawkeye.

"Yeah, you're right. Think Hot Lips would go for some alternate doctor-type company to keep her warm?"

Trapper choked on his drink. Wheezing, he replied, "You go right ahead if you want to. What do you want me to say for a eulogy?"

"What makes you think I'd want you to say my eulogy? The nurses here would be lined up three deep to say a few words about how my presence in their dull, drab lives made all the difference in the world, bringing joy and passion to..."

Gales of helpless laughter cut him off. Hawkeye looked offended, then grinned, sat up properly, and threw his pillow at his friend. Trapper promptly caught the pillow and stuck it behind his head, closing his eyes firmly and cradling his drink on his chest, lips still twitching. Hawkeye glared for a moment, then looked resigned. He got up to steal Frank's pillow -- well, Frank wouldn't be needing it for a few days anyway -- and did a few half-hearted jumping jacks while he was up to try to warm up a bit.

"Why don't you add some more wood to the stove instead of jumping around?" Trapper suggested lazily, his eyes still shut.

"Oh, there's an idea," Hawk said, a bit sarcastically, but added wood anyway. "If it gets any colder, I'm going to burn Frank's cot," he announced.

"Good, you do that."

Stove replenished, Hawkeye returned to his cot with his purloined pillow. "Damn, I'm still freezing," he complained a minute later. "Aren't you cold?"

"Of course I'm cold! It's the middle of winter in Korea, what do you expect? But there's not much we can do about it. Here, have another drink, that'll warm you up a bit."

"Yeah, thanks," Hawkeye said, distractedly, as he took the proffered pitcher. "You think we could get a couple of nurses in here to cuddle up with?"

"Not a chance. They still haven't forgiven you for last week, and I'm guilty by association. For which, by the way, thanks loads."

"What do you mean, they haven't forgiven me?? It was your idea. And anyway... it was worth it," Hawkeye said, smirking, mood completely brightened by the memory. Trapper responded with a filthy chuckle, agreeing.

"Still leaves us alone for the weekend, though," Trap added, abruptly gloomy, as he stared into his almost-empty martini glass. "And cold."

"True. But, after all, we have each other," Hawkeye said expansively, beaming at his friend. "Who needs anyone else? Especially when we don't have Frank!"

"Absolutely," Trapper agreed firmly. "You and me, together against the world. And no Frank." They each leaned precariously over to clink glasses to seal it, toasting each other with solemn determination.

Silence again, while they sipped at their drinks contentedly, trying to build an internal glow to counteract the external chill. Then:



"You still cold?"

"That's a stupid question, Trap."

"I know. I mean, I was just thinking -- it's stupid for us to be in two bunks. Sitting next to each other would be a heck of a lot warmer."

Hawkeye thought about that for a minute. "You're right. Move over."


"Your bunk is farther away from the door -- fewer drafts. Move over."

"Oh, okay. Bring your blanket. And Frank's pillow; I'm keeping this one."

Grumbling quietly about thieves with no honor, Hawkeye did so, and after a bit of maneuvering they got comfortable. Then they had to re-maneuver, because neither of them could reach the still. Necessities thus attended to, they settled down to some serious drinking, slowly warming up.



"This was a good idea. I'm almost warm again."

"Yeah, me too."

Hawkeye nudged his friend happily with his shoulder; Trapper nudged back, grinning, and they settled more comfortably against each other, drowsy and relaxed.

"My Dad says they had a 20-pound turkey for Thanksgiving, with all the trimmings," Hawkeye commented dreamily a little while later. Trapper moaned. "Mountains of fluffy mashed potatoes, lakes of gravy, cranberry sauce, squash, cornbread, sweet potatoes -- " A sharp jab in the ribs interrupted him.

"Do you have to talk about real food when we're stuck here?" Trap demanded.

"May as well; God knows we never get the chance to eat any. Wanna know what else they had?"

"No. ... What?"

"Pie. Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Mincemeat pie. Squash pie. Raisin pie." The recitation was in a tone of pure worship, and Hawkeye drew in a deep breath and shut his eyes, trying to smell the pies he remembered from his childhood. Trapper moaned again.

"Do you know how long it's been since I've had apple pie? My god..."

"With homemade vanilla ice cream. Trapper, it's incredible. When we get back to the States, you have to come to Maine for Thanksgiving. We'll stuff you so full of dinner you won't be able to move, then the pies come out, and you'll eat so much of that that you won't be able to breathe. It's heaven. Pure heaven."

Lost in childhood memories of gustatory delight, Hawkeye settled more firmly against his friend, snuggling deeper into the blankets. Glancing up, he noticed a wry, indulgent smile aimed his way, and smiled back happily, accepting the hand that lifted to ruffle his hair. Cold rushed in a second later as Trapper moved to get up, but before Hawkeye could protest the other man had tucked the blankets around him with a grin and a teasing, "Don't want you getting cold, sonny."

Shaken out of his reminiscences, Hawkeye grinned back with a cheery, "Thanks, Dad!", the look in his dark eyes shifting from bright amusement to warm affection as Trapper turned away. The blankets were warm, but not as warm as Trapper. If you'd asked him what he thought of the idea of spending a cold winter night curled up under a blanket with a buddy instead of a nurse, he'd have laughed, but this was one of the nicest evenings he could ever remember spending. When you got right down to it, time alone with Trapper, just the two of them with no other people or interruptions, was rare, and he was enjoying it. He watched his friend -- his best friend -- fussing with the stove, filling up another pitcher of moonshine, stealing Frank's blanket... He raised an eyebrow at that. Trapper noticed, and grinned unrepentantly.

"What the hell, we already have his pillow!"

"Good point," Hawkeye agreed. "Trap..."

"Yeah?" Trapper asked, sounding a bit distracted. He'd just noticed Frank's sweaters, there for the taking.

"Trap." Hawkeye's voice was warm, but quiet, serious, and it instantly caught Trapper's complete attention. He turned fully to face his friend, smile fading slightly at the sight of Hawkeye's serious face. "Hawk? What is it?"

Hawkeye didn't reply for a minute, busy just looking at the other man from the warm nest of blankets. Finally, he said softly, "I was sitting here, thinking how much I'm enjoying myself, how nice this all is, how comfortable, and wondered...Do you have any idea how important you are to me? How much you mean to me?" Trapper opened his mouth to respond, but Hawkeye went on before he could speak. "You're my sanity, Trapper. If you weren't here... if we hadn't found each other in this hellhole of a country... I would have gone crazy. Stark staring bonkers. You're my lifeline." As he spoke, Hawkeye had shed the blankets and risen to his feet, coming to stand close to the other man, who was staring back at him as intently. Hawkeye put both hands on his friend's shoulders. "I needed you to know that, Trap. Needed you to know that I need you, that you're the most important person in my life. The best friend I've ever had." He pulled his friend into a hug, holding him close. Instantly, Trapper's arms came up around him, returning the tight embrace.

They stood there for a minute, just holding on, then: "You think I don't know that? You think I don't feel the same way about you, you dumb crud?" Trapper said quietly into Hawkeye's ear. He pulled back slightly, just enough to look into his friend's eyes, but left his arms where they were. "Hawk, what we've got... it's special, you know? It's the kind of friendship that lasts forever. Hell, I'm always gonna be grateful to this damn war, because it gave me you. Oh damn." Trapper sniffed once, and blinked back a trace of moisture in his eyes.

Hawkeye smiled, a bit damp-eyed himself. Without thinking about it, he leaned forward and brushed a light kiss across Trapper's lips, then hugged him hard again. Trap laughed, a bit muffled in Hawkeye's sweater, and hugged back, then drew away. "Come on, let's get back under the blankets. This is keeping my front warm, but my back is freezing."

Bringing Frank's blanket with them as another layer against the cold, they moved back to Trapper's bunk, settling themselves comfortably with no fuss. Still caught up in the closeness of the moment just past Hawkeye leaned more deliberately into Trapper, who leaned back; where a few minutes ago they hadn't been particularly conscious of the physical contact between them, now they actively sought it out, the length of long legs pressing together, sides aligned. Hawkeye scooted down a bit, turning slightly so that his back was pressing against Trapper's side, his shoulders just below the other man's. Trapper made a soft, approving sound, and wrapped his free arm around Hawkeye's shoulders, holding him close as Hawkeye's head came to rest on his chest.

"This really is nice," Hawkeye murmured after a few minutes. "I just may have to kiss you again."

"So who's stopping you? Go ahead, if you want to," Trapper replied drowsily.

Hawkeye tipped his head slightly to look up at his friend consideringly. Trapper's arm was a solid warmth around him, the point of a strong shoulder a convenient resting place for Hawkeye's cheek, the round face above him quiet and content. Blue eyes blinked slowly open, smiling down at him.

"Well?" Trapper asked, amused. "You gonna kiss me or not?"

"Yeah," Hawkeye replied slowly. "Yeah, I think I am." He reached up to place a hand behind Trapper's head, tilting his own chin up as he drew the other man down to him, and caught his lips in a soft, gentle kiss. "There," Hawk said, supremely content, as he started to draw back.

"Uh-uh," Trapper denied, holding him in place. "My turn now." He kissed Hawkeye in his turn, friendly and undemanding, and smiled as he released his friend. "Now, 'there'," he said easily.

Hawkeye smiled back, perfectly at peace. Their eyes held for a minute, then Trapper, with a curious half-smile, cupped the side of Hawkeye's face in one hand, stroking his thumb down the stubbled jaw. "You look beat," he said wryly. "You sleeping here tonight?"

"Looks that way," Hawkeye agreed, having no intention of venturing back out into the cold of the rest of the tent until he had to.

"Right," Trapper said. "So if you're staying, would you mind shifting a bit? I'm not spending the whole night sitting up so you can have something to lean against."

Hawkeye pouted, but shifted, yelping as a booted foot caught him in the calf. "Boots," he said, poking Trapper.

Grumbling, Trapper sat all the way up and leaned forward to tug his boots off. Hawkeye yelped again at the rush of cold air from the displaced blankets.

"C'mon, pal, you too. Get 'em off," Trapper ordered.

"In a second," Hawkeye answered. "If we both lean like that we'll break the cot."

"Good point," Trap agreed, with a last heave. "There! Okay, your turn." He lay back onto the cot to give his friend room to maneuver. Hawkeye dragged his boots off as fast as possible, dumping them on the floor, then dove back under the covers, shivering.

They spent a few minutes adjusting themselves to fit two tall bodies in one narrow cot, finally ending spooned together with Hawkeye's back pressed against Trapper's chest. Trap's arm circled around, holding Hawkeye firmly, as he murmured, "'Night, Hawk."

"'Night, Trap." Lucky, Hawkeye thought to himself drowsily, to have a friend like Trap, someone to understand, to hold onto in the night. Totally comfortable in the cramped cot, he drifted off to sleep, not noticing when his hand crept up to clasp Trapper's.

He woke up slowly, aware that he was warm, and comfortable, but that something was tickling his nose. And his arm was numb. By the time he'd figured all that out, of course, it was too late to fall back asleep, so he sighed and opened his eyes, glancing downward. He smiled.

They'd shifted during the night; Trapper was half on top of him, most of his weight on Hawkeye's arm, with his head on Hawkeye's shoulder. When Hawk had moved his head, he'd gotten a faceful of curls, which was what had woken him up. He moved his face away again, taking a relieved breath, then started to ease himself free of Trap's weight, but with a quiet murmur the other man clutched him closer.

Hawkeye's smile softened, and his free hand drifted along Trapper's arm, over the curve of his shoulder, and across his back. He started rubbing gently, a motion that gradually changed to long sweeping strokes, soothing the other man back into a deeper sleep. No reason for them both to be awake this early. Gradually his own eyes shut, and he drifted off into a light doze that soon became true sleep.

His next journey to awareness brought with it the feeling that he was being watched. Hawkeye opened his eyes cautiously, looking up into a sober face staring down at him. "Trap?" he asked, confused. "What's wrong?"

Shifting his elbow to prop himself up more comfortably, Trapper didn't answer for a moment. "You know," he said thoughtfully, "you're the flattest-chested person I've ever slept with." His expression didn't change as his free hand swept across Hawkeye's chest in demonstration, applying just enough pressure to be felt through the layers of clothes.

Hawkeye gaped for a moment, then caught the twinkle lurking in the blue eyes and burst into laughter. Trapper held out for a few seconds, then joined in, collapsing into the cot again, his face buried in Hawkeye's shoulder.

"You," Hawkeye announced as soon as he'd got his breath back, "are an idiot." He wrapped an arm around his friend and hugged tight, still smiling.

"Takes one to know one," Trapper retorted, but hugged back. "C'mon, we should get up. I want a shower before breakfast."

"An idiot, but a clever idiot," Hawkeye decided. Tossing back the blankets, they got up, hunting around for clean clothes, changing quickly. Bundled to the eyebrows in parkas and hats, they grabbed the toiletries they'd need and headed out into the freezing cold morning.

They hustled into the shower tent, relieved when the door shut behind them and cut off the biting wind. Before either of them could do more than take off his parka, there was a knock at the door, which opened just enough to let Radar's face show around it.

"Cap'n MacIntyre? Trapper?" he asked cautiously.

"Shut the door!" bellowed two voices in unison.

"Right, sorry." Radar slipped all the way in and shut the door.

"All right, Radar, what's up?" Trapper asked.

"It's Private Michaels, sir. You said you wanted to know..."

"If there was any change, yeah. Damn."

"Michaels... I thought that was a pretty straightforward case," Hawkeye said.

"The surgery was, yeah. But he was filthy when he got here, been lying out there in the dirt too long. I've been worried about infection."

"You want me to come along?" Hawk offered, reaching for his coat.

"Nah -- this is probably nothing. Take your shower -- and save me a seat in the mess tent."

"Right. Good luck."

"Okay, Radar, let's go," Trapper said resignedly, shrugging back into his parka.

"Yes, sir. I'm sorry to keep you from your shower," Radar said earnestly.

"Not your fault, kid," came the easy reply. Trapper slung a friendly arm around Radar's shoulders for a moment as they walked out.

Hawkeye watched them leave, feeling almost bereft. Ridiculous, he told himself. Besides, you'll see him again in a little while. Satisfied, he finished stripping and stepped into the nearest cubicle, showering as fast as he could in the chill air.

Breakfast, as always, was its own little adventure. He eyed the so-called food on his tray dubiously as he moved toward the table where Henry and Margaret were already sitting.

"Good morning," he greeted cheerfully as he sat down. "And isn't it a beautiful morning here in sunny Korea? Do either of you know what this is, by the way?" he added, holding up something vaguely tan-colored on his fork.

"Put a sock in it, Pierce," Margaret growled.

"Now, Major," Henry began, trying to avert the inevitable argument.

"What's the matter, Major," Hawkeye interrupted, "didn't you sleep well last night? Nothing to cuddle up to? Lose your teddy bear, or something?" He smirked as he picked up his coffee cup to take a drink.

"Oooh! Colonel Blake!"

"Yes, Major?" Henry replied, resigned.

"Did you hear that?" the irate major demanded. "That disrespectful tone, the insinuation..."

"What insinuation?" Hawkeye asked innocently. "I just asked a perfectly simple, perfectly civil, question. You heard me, Henry."

"I wish I hadn't heard either of you," Henry muttered. "Do you two have to start in this early?" he added plaintively.

"Morning, sirs, ma'am," Radar greeted as he sat down next to Margaret and started digging in to his food.

"Morning, Radar," chorused Hawkeye and Henry. Margaret ignored the young corporal.

"Colonel Blake," she said icily, "I demand that you do something!"

"What would you like me to do, Major?"

"Show some backbone! Tell him," she said, pointing her fork at Hawkeye, who lifted an eyebrow at her, "to apologize!"

"Pierce, apologize to the major," Henry said obligingly.

"I'm sorry, Major," Hawkeye said.


"It was unforgivable to say something like that."

"Well..." Margaret began, slightly mollified.

"At least, without offering some sort of alternative," Hawkeye finished brightly. "Radar, would you consider loaning your teddy bear to Major Houlihan for a little while?"

"Pierce!" Henry exploded.

"Loan my teddy bear?" squeaked Radar, wide-eyed. "Ma'am..."

Margaret didn't say a word. She just stood up, slammed her tray once on the table, and marched out the door, brushing by Trapper as he came in with no more than a snarled, "Get out of my way, you juvenile delinquent!"

Trapper shot a startled look after her retreating back and laughed, then got a tray and some breakfast, walking across the tent to slide into the spot she'd vacated. "So what's wrong with Margaret?" he asked, still clearly amused.

"I dunno," Hawkeye said innocently. "She was in a terrible mood and I tried to cheer her up, then she stormed off."

Trapper was chuckling again. "You tried to cheer her up."

"Yeah," Hawk replied, grinning. "I figured she had a tough time sleeping last night, all alone in her cold bed, so I suggested that Radar loan her his teddy bear to keep her company."

Chuckles turned to full-blown howls of laughter, and Trapper had to put his fork down before he stabbed himself with it.

"I can't believe you offered her my teddy bear," muttered Radar.

Trapper, who had just almost gotten his breath back, collapsed again, nearly falling into his tray. He lifted his head and looked straight at Hawkeye, eyes warm and affectionate behind the laughter. Hawkeye grinned happily at him, and for a moment the world consisted of just the two of them, in perfect accord. Hawkeye's grin softened into a smile, happiness bubbling up in him, and he started to reach across the table to touch his friend.

A voice shattered the odd moment. "Are you two done now?" Henry demanded.

Hawkeye blinked, and looked over at the older man, dropping his hand. "Are you okay, Henry? You look upset."

"Upset! I'll give you upset... Look, guys, could you please just try to be civil to Margaret? For me? She's gonna be on my back constantly if you act up the way you do." He shot them a pleading look.

Hawkeye opened his mouth to answer, but Trapper beat him to it. "C'mon, Henry, we're just having a little fun. Frank and Margaret do their best to make our lives miserable -- it's only fair that we should enjoy ourselves as much as we can while one of them is gone."

"Yeah, Henry," Hawkeye chimed in. "It's just a bit of harmless fun." He widened his eyes innocently.

Henry shut his eyes for a second. "Fine, enjoy yourselves! Just do it quietly, and not in front of Margaret, okay?" Opening his eyes, he looked entreatingly at the two surgeons.

Trapper raised his eyebrows at Hawkeye, who lifted one shoulder in a careless shrug. They nodded, chorusing, "Sure, Henry."

"We'll try," Hawkeye amended hastily. "But you know what she's like. We can't make any promises."

"I'll settle for try. But try hard, huh?"

"Scout's honor," Trapper said virtuously, holding up three fingers in a scout salute.

"Uh, yeah, scout's honor," Hawkeye agreed, waving a hand in the air, not noticing that it was the hand that held his fork.

"Oh, jeez," Henry sighed, and turned back to his breakfast.

Trapper caught Hawkeye's eye and pointed to the fork, still in mid-air.

"Oh, that's where that went," Hawkeye said brightly, winning a quick grin from Trapper.

Henry just moaned quietly.

Taking pity on his commanding officer at last, Hawkeye changed the subject. "So how's Michaels, Trap?"

Henry sat up straighter and looked sharply at Trapper. "Problem, MacIntyre? What's up? Anything we need to worry about?"

"Nah, I think he's gonna be okay. Have to watch him, of course, but thanks to Kelly I don't think it'll be a big problem. Infection set in, like I was afraid of, but the nurses did a terrific job of keeping tabs on him, and Kelly sent for me as soon as he started running a fever. I pumped him full of penicillin."

"Good," the other two doctors said in unison.

"You gonna eat that, sir?" Radar interrupted quietly, pointing to the mound left on Hawkeye's plate.

"Eat it? I can't even identify it. The cook swears it's eggs, but if anything there has ever been within 5 miles of a chicken, I'll eat my hat," Hawkeye declared. "You want it, take it. On your own head be it."

"Careful, Radar," Trapper warned. "That stuff'll stunt your growth."

"Yeah, and you can't afford to have any growth stunted," Hawkeye chimed in, on cue.

"Cut it out, you guys," Radar muttered, taking the food.

Trap and Hawk grinned at each other.

"C'mon, c'mon, leave the kid alone," Henry said. "Eat your breakfast, Radar, just ignore them."

"Yes, sir," came the muffled reply.

"And don't talk with your mouth full!" Hawkeye chided.

"Kids," Trapper said sadly. "No manners any more."

"Pierce, MacIntyre... Oh, jeez, why do I even bother? C'mon, MacIntyre, fill me in completely on Michaels. Pierce, you keep quiet."

"Yes, Henry," Hawkeye said meekly, hiding his grin behind his coffee cup. "Ugh! Cold. You guys want any more? I had to ask..." he finished on a sigh, as three mugs were thrust at him. As he walked away to refill them, he heard Trapper settle in to a full account on Michaels, and smiled to himself. It was going to be a good day.


"I can't believe Father Mulchahy won sixty-eight bucks off me," Hawkeye groused after the poker game that night. 

"You know he gives all his winnings to the orphanage, Hawk -- you lost in a good cause," Trapper said soothingly.

"Easy for you to say, you came out ahead tonight, too," Hawk grumbled.

"I know," came the smug reply.

Hawkeye glared at him.  "Well," he said pointedly, "at least Father Mulchahy doesn't gloat when he wins, unlike some people."

"I didn't gloat," Trapper protested.  "All I did was offer to give you some pointers."  Twitching lips were the only things that gave away his amusement; the tone of voice was pure innocence.

"And that's not gloating, of course," Hawk said sarcastically.

"Of course not."

Hawkeye maintained the glare as long as he could -- about another five seconds.  A wry grin took its place.  "Well," he said, philosophical as ever, "as long as you've got the money, you're buying the drinks at Rosie's tomorrow."

"Done!" Trapper agreed promptly.

Honor satisfied on all sides, Hawkeye stretched hugely.  "Man, I'm beat.  You ready to hit the sack?"

"Yeah.  You sleeping in with me again tonight, then?" Trapper asked.

"Unless you'd rather sleep in with me," Hawkeye said comfortably.  "But like I said last night, the farther away from the door we are, the fewer drafts we'll have to deal with."

"No, no -- here is fine," Trap said hastily.

Hawkeye grinned, and moved to bank down the stove.

"Nightcap?" Trapper asked, holding up the pitcher of moonshine.  "We may as well finish what's here."

"Sure, why not," Hawkeye agreed.

Trapper poured them both a glass, and they toasted each other silently before they drank.

"Aaaah.  Thank God for booze," Trap said as he put his empty glass down.

"Amen," Hawk replied, copying the gesture.  They smiled gently at each other.  Something very warm started glowing in Hawkeye's middle, and his smile deepened, met with an answering look.  The moment stretched, unbroken until a piece of wood shifted in the stove.  Both pairs of eyes flicked to it, startled, then Trapper yawned.

Hawkeye grinned.  "C'mon, time for bed."

"Yeah," Trapper agreed.  "Gotta get my beauty sleep, after all."

"No argument from me," Hawkeye said unwisely, automatically ducking the dirty shirt that Trapper swung at his head.

In companionable silence they moved to Trapper's cot, pulled off their boots, and settled down under three layers of blankets.

"I'm gonna be sorry when Frank comes back and we can't bunk in together anymore," Hawkeye observed idly.  "I can't remember the last time I got this warm this fast."

"Mmm, me too," Trapper said, already sounding sleepy.  "Between body warmth and all the extra blankets, this is actually kinda comfortable.  Maybe he won't notice we're sleeping in the same cot if we don't mention it," he finished hopefully, visions of an almost-warm winter dancing in his head.  The cot started shaking dangerously from the force of Hawkeye's answering laughter. 

A few minutes later Hawkeye raised a reddened face, gasping desperately for breath.  "Oh, god," he finally managed to get out.  "He already calls us perverts; can you imagine what he'd say??"

Trapper stared at him for a moment.  "Given Frank's lack of imagination, I suppose he'd start calling us 'perverted perverts'," he decided, thoughtfully.  He looked straight into Hawk's eyes, clearly trying to stay serious, but couldn't hold it; Trapper's lips twitched once, then he started laughing, setting Hawkeye off again.  Slowly they settled down into occasional giggles, then eventually drifted into a comfortable silence, both still smiling.

"You know what the best part of today was, though?" Hawkeye asked a minute later.

"No, what?" Trap asked, sounding amused.

"The best part," Hawkeye said clearly, "was being in a good mood, and doing exactly as Henry asked, being perfectly civil to Margaret all day, and knowing that it was driving her insane waiting for some smart crack that never came."  He smiled smugly as Trapper burst out laughing, shaking the cot in his turn.

"Oh, God, yeah," Trap gasped after a minute.

"But wait, it gets even better," Hawkeye promised.

"Oh, c'mon, what could be better than that?"

"Even better than that, is that we spent the whole day driving her batty -- and she can't complain to Henry about it, because we were treating her exactly as she wanted to be treated."

Trapper didn't even breathe for a few seconds, then suddenly howled with mirth.  "Oh my God, Hawk, that's absolutely beautiful!" he gasped finally.

"I thought so," Hawkeye agreed complacently.

Silence reigned for a few minutes, broken only by an occasional brief fit of the giggles from one of them, which inevitably sparked an answering fit in the other.

"We should get some sleep," Trapper said a little while later, after they'd both calmed down completely.

"Yeah, I know," Hawkeye agreed.  He shifted so that Trap could spoon behind him again, then suddenly twisted back, ignoring Trapper's surprised yelp at finding an elbow where an elbow hadn't been a moment earlier.

"Hawk, what are you doing?" Trap complained.

"You forgot to give me a goodnight kiss," Hawkeye said earnestly, laughter lurking just below the surface, as he stared into blue eyes just a few inches away.

Trapper blinked.  "A goodnight kiss?"  Hawk nodded.  "Then we can go to sleep?"  He nodded again.  "Right.  C'mere."  Trapper pulled him in closer and brushed a kiss across his lips.

Hawkeye looked thoughtful.  "Do that again."



"Okay."  Trapper shrugged, looking puzzled but willing, and bent his head again.  This time, though, the kiss was more of a mutual effort, and it caught them both by surprise. What had been pleasant was now pleasure, something to be savored. 

They drew slightly apart, staring at each other out of bemused eyes.  "Yeah," Trapper said again, softly, and brushed a kiss against Hawkeye's nose, then trailed his lips along a cheekbone.  Hawkeye started returning the light kisses, tracing a path along Trapper's stubbled jaw, laughing softly at the feel of it against his lips, wanting to lick but not quite daring.

They shifted on the bed, getting more comfortable so they could reach each other more easily, and settled in to the serious business of learning each other's faces through touch, using hands and lips.  Hawkeye buried one hand in Trapper's curls, twining them through his fingers; Trapper ruffled silky dark hair in turn.

Every inch of each face was covered, fingers and lips trailing delicately, until finally their mouths met in another kiss, as sweet as before.  Both were content to leave it at that for the moment, and they snuggled up next to each other, exchanging an occasional soft kiss while they reveled in the closeness.

"... Trap, do we know what we're doing?"

"Not really, no," Trapper said, amused.  "Does it matter?  We've been building up to this all day, I think.  This is right. Anything that feels this good has to be right."

"Yeah.  It is.  And we have, haven't we?" Hawkeye replied, thinking back over the day and how he had kept wanting to touch this man, even more than usual, using any excuse -- leaning on Trapper, or letting Trapper lean on him, as they bent over a patient or a chart during rounds; squishing in next to him in the mess tent so they were pressed up against each other at lunch; more of the Siamese-twin act during afternoon round -- and when he couldn't touch, he'd looked.  He'd barely had his eyes off Trapper all day, and Trapper had always been looking back.  Why hadn't that struck him as odd?  Then he thought back even further, and realized how often he and Trapper reached for each other without even thinking about it.  A shared look, a touch, a pat, a hug -- there was no one he looked toward more to make him feel good, and there never had been.  "Maybe longer than all day," he added thoughtfully. 

Reassured, Hawkeye leaned down to kiss the hollow of the other man's throat, pulling the neck of Trap's sweater down to do so.  The rasp of stubble along the warm neck reminded him of something.  "Hold still a second," he commanded suddenly, lifting his head and catching Trapper's face between his hands, weight resting on his elbows.  Trapper blinked, but obliged him, smiling.

"What is it?" he asked.

"This," Hawkeye said, leaning down to kiss him on the lips lightly, then on the point of his chin, then licking along his jaw to his ear.  "Hmmmm," he mumbled happily against the rough skin, working his way back and lapping up along the other side of Trapper's jaw, "that's nice.  I wanted to do that earlier but didn't dare.  I've never licked beard stubble before," he finished brightly, pulling back to look merrily into his friend's eyes, grinning.

Trapper, who had been caught between shivers at the erotic sensation and giggles at the absurdity, found himself bursting into laughter at that, and caught Hawkeye up in hard arms, hugging him tight.  "You maniac," he chuckled into his friend's ear. 

Hawkeye moved his head enough to kiss him again, taking the laughter into himself, and slid his tongue forward without thinking, tracing the curved lips delicately.  A moment of stillness, and Trapper opened his mouth more, welcoming the new touch.  Hawkeye's tongue slipped inside, and someone moaned, laughter turned to deeper delight.  Hawkeye explored the new territory, making sure he didn't miss anything -- the shape and feel of the teeth, the softness of the tongue that started to firm against him, the arch of the palate, the slickness of the inner cheek, all were given careful attention.

Finally they had to break apart to breathe, and stared at each other in wonder, panting.  "My turn," Trapper managed to get out, reaching for Hawkeye and doing some careful exploring of his own, making sure he didn't miss any spots either.

When the kiss broke, Hawkeye dropped his head into his friend's neck and just panted for a minute.  Strong hands swept up and down his back, soothing and arousing at the same time, and suddenly Hawk very badly wanted to feel those hands on his skin.  Without a word, he sat up and started stripping off layers, staring at Trapper, who was watching avidly.  As his t-shirt came off, the cold air struck at him full force, hardening his nipples into tight peaks.  Trapper reached out a careful finger and brushed one of them lightly, and Hawkeye hissed in pure pleasure at the sensation that jolted through him.

Looking fascinated, Trapper sat up and leaned forward, flicking his tongue against the same nipple.  Hawkeye gasped and clamped his hands around the other man's head, holding him there, pleading silently.  Trapper took his time, licking and kissing, before sucking the nub into his mouth.  "Trap," Hawkeye moaned softly.

The curly head lifted, a thoughtful look on the round features.  "It's different, but the same.  Weird.  Nice -- very nice -- but weird."

"Yeah?  How 'bout letting me find out for myself?" Hawkeye asked pointedly, if a bit breathlessly, tugging at his friend's sweater.

"Sure," Trapper agreed, starting to pull it off.

"No.  Let me," Hawkeye said quietly.

Trapper looked at him for a second, then smiled.  "Sure," he said again, gently, and sat still while Hawk started undressing him.

Hawkeye couldn't quite believe he was doing this -- couldn't quite believe how much he wanted to do this -- as he watched his own hands undressing his friend.  He was shivering, and couldn't tell if it was from cold or arousal, and didn't care.  His whole self was focused on watching as pale skin was slowly exposed to his gaze, and something inside him twisted almost painfully as his hands settled at last on Trapper's bare torso, stroking gently.  This was where he belonged, this was what he needed.  With an almost silent sigh, he leaned forward, tasting the nipple that seemed to rise to meet him.  Trapper tumbled back onto the bunk, pulling Hawkeye with him.  Twin moans rose into the chill air as the tight bud was sucked into a warm, wet mouth.

Finally, Hawkeye raised his head and propped himself up on his hands, staring down at Trapper.  "I don't think 'nice' quite describes it," he murmured huskily.

"I said 'very nice'," Trapper pointed out, a bit husky himself.

"Well, that comes closer, I suppose," Hawk agreed thoughtfully.  "It's going to take research to get the exact description, though."

"Lots of research," came the fervent reply, accompanied by a finger tracing patterns on his torso.

A sudden shudder racked Hawkeye's body, which he was attributing to extreme arousal until an amused voice said, "Do you realize you're turning blue?  Come on down here, and bring the blankets with you!"

Hawkeye started to do so, reaching back for the blankets, when he realized that both of them still had their pants on.  He stopped, unsure; what they'd been doing was fun and friendly and exciting, and didn't necessarily mean a damn thing other than some moonshine-induced cuddling -- after all, they had been drinking all night, even if they weren't really drunk.  A bit unorthodox, maybe, but then they'd always been a bit unorthodox, and it wasn't really that unusual, under the circumstances... probably.  But he wanted more than that.  The question was, did Trapper?  Really?

"Trap," he began softly, and halted.  How the hell did he ask this?

"Hawk?  Hawk, what's wrong?"  Worry crept into Trapper's expression as he reached a hand up to cup Hawkeye's face.  "Hey, it's okay.  It's me, remember?  You can trust me, just like I can trust you.  Tell me."

Taking a deep breath, Hawkeye plunged in, praying he was doing this right, and that he wasn't about to get kicked back into his own, very lonely, bunk.  "It'll be warmer if we take our pants off now, instead of having to get out of the blankets later.  If we're taking our pants off, that is."  He kept himself from wincing somehow -- that had to be the most inept thing he'd ever said in a situation like this -- and waited, barely breathing, for the reply, not daring to look at his friend for fear of seeing... of seeing.  God, if he'd pushed too far....

A moment, then he heard:  "Good thinking," in a fairly steady voice.

Hawkeye's breath whooshed out of him, and he dared to risk a grin at his friend, who grinned back.  They were committed now, and both of them knew it.  It was too cold to spend any time on undressing, now that they'd bothered to notice the temperature again, and they each stripped off as quickly as possible.  As soon as they were naked, Hawk dropped down to the bunk, pulling the blankets over them both, with a rueful, "All this time together, I never bothered looking at you properly; now that I want to, it's too damn cold!"

Trapper laughed, saying, "C'mon, Hawk, you've seen thousands of guys naked."

"Yeah, but none of them were you, and none of them were now."

"No.  No, none of them were now.  Christ."  Trapper's arms locked around Hawkeye's back, crushing them together, and Hawkeye reached almost desperately for his lips, needing to kiss this man again.

The desperation eased quickly, and they drew apart again.  "You ever done this before?" Hawkeye asked huskily, one finger tracing Trapper's jaw and ear.

"Not really," Trapper admitted.  "Fooled around a bit when I was a kid, you know?  But nothing serious."

"Yeah, same here.  Tommy Lynch's dad's barn was very popular the summer I was fifteen, but it was all just kid stuff, and by the next year the girls were actually agreeing to go out with us, and that was the end of it.  Mostly.  I mean, there was this one guy in med school, but... nurses were so much easier, you know?  So nothing ever happened with him.  It's kinda too bad; I was hoping one of us knew what he was doing."

Trapper gave him an engaging grin.  "What's to worry about?  We're both doctors, we can figure it out," he said confidently.

Hawkeye grinned back, and kissed him again.  They gentled down into caresses, laying side by side on the narrow cot, long deep kisses alternating with light kisses on each other's faces.  Hawkeye trailed a hand along Trapper's side, over his hip and flank, then curving slightly and back up the back of his thigh and over his buttocks, stopping there to rub, loving the feel of it settled into the curve of his hand.  Trapper's hands were roaming freely, seeming to want to touch every part of him, going from tricep to back to butt to thigh to belly, never stopping anywhere for more than a second or two.

They explored each other almost lazily for several minutes, wondering at the feel of hard muscle and angles and hair where they were used to softness and curves and smoothness, murmuring in delight at the new discoveries, tasting wherever possible, building up to full arousal.  Each avoided the other's groin, wanting this to last as long as possible, ruefully aware that more intimate caresses would guarantee a fast climax.

"You know what I want?" Trapper asked eventually, lifting his mouth from Hawkeye's shoulder.

Hawkeye reached down a searching hand at last, carding through wiry curls to find hard heat and settling there.  "Mmmmm.  I think so," he said, amazed at how good it felt to hold another man's cock like this.  He'd done hundreds, maybe thousands, of short-arm inspections, and it was like he'd never touched another penis in his life.

"Jerk," Trapper gasped, half-laughing as his body arched helplessly into the warm hand.

"Okay," Hawkeye agreed cheerfully.  He wrapped his fist around the hard cock and started stroking, slow and firm. 

"That's not what I meant," Trapper protested, a bit feebly.

"Oh, sorry."  The hand sped up obligingly.


"You want me to stop?"

"No!  Yes... no... I don't know.  Jesus, Hawkeye."

Taking pity at the sight of his friend's anguished face, Hawkeye stopped his hand, but didn't let go, holding on firmly.  "Okay.  What do you want?"

"Well, I knew a minute ago before you distracted me!  I want... Christ.  I want to feel you, want to touch you..." Trapper trailed off, frustrated. 

Hawkeye waited, giving him an encouraging squeeze, and murmuring, "Want it to be good, Trap -- want to make you feel so damn good, do anything you want me to do." 

Trapper groaned.  "C'mere, then," he growled, and rolled onto his back, pulling Hawkeye on top of him, spreading his legs to let his friend settle between them.  With some judicious wriggling, and a little help from Hawkeye's cleverly placed hand, they got themselves aligned, erect cocks resting against each other.

Oh, god.  That felt so right.  Hawkeye gazed down on his friend, and said admiringly, "Who's a clever boy, then?" without a trace of mockery.  He held both cocks in his hand for a moment, then with one last stroke let go, letting his hand drift up over Trapper's belly and chest, stopping to toy with each nipple. 

"Don't start something you don't intend to finish," Trapper warned him breathlessly, half-laughing and half-groaning at the touch on his over-sensitized flesh.  Hawkeye grinned and swooped down to catch one nipple gently between his teeth, nipping lightly, twisting the other one with his hand.  Trapper bucked under him, trying to get more of his chest into Hawkeye's mouth, rubbing their cocks together in the process.

Hawkeye stopped dead, shocked at the sensations brought simply by his cock rubbing against Trapper's, and raised dazed eyes to see an equally stunned expression on his friend's face.

They stared at each other for a moment, then instinct took over, and they started to move slowly against each other.  They reveled in the sensation, kissing and licking at whatever bits of each other they could reach.  All too soon, though, it wasn't enough, and Hawkeye groaned in frustration.

"Here, come here," Trapper gasped, sliding his hands down Hawkeye's spine to curve around his ass, pulling him in tight while arching his own pelvis up. 

"Yessss," Hawkeye hissed against his friend's mouth, sweet pressure building inside him.  The rhythm picked up, faster and faster, and Hawkeye dropped his head to rest in the crook of Trapper's neck, kissing and nipping, barely feeling the answering nips on his ear as their bodies surged together.

Trapper's fingers on his ass suddenly turned to steel, holding him still, as Trap cried out and arched hard against him, sending spurt after spurt of hot liquid between them.  Gradually his fingers loosened as he slumped bonelessly into the mattress, and Hawkeye started driving frantically against him.  Somewhere in the back of his head he realized, "Trap just came all over me, because of me," and the shock of that thought was enough to send him over the edge.  With a wail muffled in his friend's hard shoulder, he came, hard, shooting for what felt like forever.  As always, though, it was over far too soon, and he collapsed on top of his friend, who grunted softly but wrapped warm, comforting arms around him.  They just lay there for a few moments, lost in the wonder of what had just happened.

"My god," Trapper breathed reverently at last.

"Amen," Hawkeye said, just as reverent.

They looked at each other soberly for a moment, then smiles of pure delight crossed both faces.  The world outside was dark and cold, the camp quiet as its denizens sought what warmth they could find indoors.  Trapper and Hawkeye were alone in their own private cocoon of warmth and wonder, laughter and love, secure in their privacy and each other.  Hawkeye stirred himself enough to kiss the tip of Trapper's nose, then slid off of him with a murmured apology.

Trapper kissed the nearest bit he could find -- the edge of an ear -- and braved the cold long enough to reach out an arm and snag a discarded t-shirt to mop up their chests.  Hawkeye looked on, interested, and a bit disappointed; he'd meant to get a taste of Trapper while he had the chance, but now it was too late.  Trapper, catching the disappointment, explained, "We'll freeze to death if we go to sleep wet."

"Can't argue with that," Hawkeye agreed, waiting for the other man to toss the used shirt back out into the cold and pull the covers tight around them.  They cuddled in comfortably together, legs entwined and each with an arm around the other, sharing a pillow.

"I think we just came on Frank's blanket," Hawkeye muttered sleepily a few minutes later.  Trapper's startled laughter gusted across his cheek, and he grinned, drifting off to sleep with a smile still lingering on his face.


Waking up completely happy was something new in Korea. Happy was good. Wait -- why happy? Warm naked body next to him -- that's usually a good thing, a happy-making thing. Warm naked male body next to him -- hard and strong and with hair in all the wrong places that felt so right. So damn right that it had taken him this long to translate "warm comforting presence that belongs right where it is and thus doesn't need to be noticed/acknowledged any more than my left arm does" into "warm naked male body lying there next to me". Oh. God. There we go -- happiness fading into a faint trace of fear. Had he just fucked up the most important friendship of his life? And why the hell wasn't the happiness going away completely? Dangerous, this was dangerous. This was terrifying. There, that felt more right for Korea. Dangerous and terrifying. The question was, how did he feel? Happy? Terrified? Appalled? Ashamed? Only one way to find out. Oh, damn, he's awake. And just as tense. Oh, god, and he's talking...

"So," Trapper said, trying to sound casual, managing only to sound as scared as Hawkeye felt, "is this where we realize how much we had to drink last night?" He kept flicking little glances at Hawkeye, never quite meeting his eyes.

"Could've been drunk," Hawkeye agreed neutrally, his tone matching Trapper's in not-quite-casualness, his eyes flicking at the round face next to him as well.


Silence fell -- neither man talking, but neither man moving, either. It was astonishing how loud breathing could be. As the silence dragged, the tension in both bodies started to build, until they were almost thrumming with it.

Hawkeye took a deep breath, and said quietly, "Except I wasn't drunk."

Tense muscles went limp with relief as Trapper relaxed against him. "Me either," he admitted.

"So now what?" Hawkeye asked, finally able to look Trapper fully in the face, in time to catch an almost shy smile aimed his way. He smiled back, suddenly very happy, fear vanishing as though it had never been.

"Well," Trapper said consideringly, tilting his head and pretending to ponder the question, never even noticing his own terror fading into nothingness, "saying 'good morning' seems appropriate." He leaned toward Hawkeye, and with his lips just barely above the other man's, murmured, "Good morning, Hawk," closed the distance, and kissed him.

Hawkeye moaned and parted his lips at the touch, reaching to hold Trapper close, rolling to pin him and kiss him breathless. "Good morning, yourself," he said finally, sounding a bit smug as he surveyed his friend. "Wore you out last night, did I?"

"Worn out?" Trapper demanded indignantly. "I'll show you worn out!" He shoved lightly, overbalancing Hawkeye, and pounced happily, tickling until Hawkeye, breathless, called "Uncle". Grinning triumphantly, Trapper demanded a kiss in payment, and got one with interest. That interest being returned, the two got down to some more serious business.

They kissed and cuddled for a few minutes, but the sounds of an awakening camp soon intruded. They pulled apart, sharing a rueful look.

"You do realize, don't you," Trapper asked, "that if we start anything Radar's bound to walk in and catch us at it?"

"Yeah, I know," Hawkeye agreed with a sigh. "Still -- that kid's so innocent he probably wouldn't even know what he was seeing!" He brightened at the thought, and reached eagerly for Trapper, who fended him off, laughing.

"Yeah, well, maybe he wouldn't, but Henry sure would, when Radar told him what he'd seen."

They both sobered rapidly at the thought.

Trapper managed to raise a grin after a minute, and found Hawkeye's hand, twining their fingers together. "Look on the bright side; if we get caught, we'll be out of this man's army, right?"

"Right," Hawkeye agreed.

Silence for a few more minutes, their clasped hands the only point of communication between them.

"We can't get caught, Trap," Hawkeye said softly at last, looking his friend straight in the eye. "If it was just getting kicked out of the army, I'd shout it from the rooftops, but --"

"Shhh. I know," Trapper said. "If we get caught, it goes in our permanent records. We'd never get hired anywhere with a dishonorable discharge for homosexual behavior on our records. Our private practices would disappear, we'd never work in any hospital... we can't risk it."

"Not to mention your wife would kill you," Hawkeye added, suddenly depressed.

"Hey. Hey, come on, look at me. Hawk?"

Hawkeye dredged up a smile. "Sorry. But I've always tried to make it a point not to get involved with married women, and now I find myself involved with a married man."

"Look, Hawk," Trapper said firmly, cradling the back of the dark head in his free hand, "I love my wife. I love my kids. But you're my best friend and I just happen to love you too. Okay? When we get out of this hellhole we're both going home -- you know that. But you'll always be my best friend, and I'm always gonna treasure this. You're the only person in the whole damn world that could've made Korea this... special."

Staring into clear, unshadowed blue eyes, Hawkeye nodded. "Yeah, okay, Trap," he agreed. "Sorry -- it's just all been a bit much, you know? I know this," he gestured around at the cot and the pair of them, "isn't going to last very long -- it can't last very long. It's a miracle we've gotten this much time in private together already. And when we've both gone home I'm gonna treasure it too, you know I am. Hell, I already treasure it." He leaned forward and brushed a light kiss across warm lips. "And I promise not to be jealous of your wife," he added ruefully.

Trapper grinned. "Good."

"Besides," Hawkeye continued, as lightly as he could, "She may have you back home, but you're all mine in Korea."

"All yours," Trapper agreed sunnily, fingers caressing the back of Hawkeye's head.

"Part of me actually really likes the idea that this is just between us, that it's our secret that no one else will ever know about," Hawk admitted a minute later. "But the rest of me...." A bitter smile twisted his mouth, and he tightened his fingers on Trapper's, looking down on their joined hands. "It's just so damned unfair, Trap! This is the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to me, and if anyone else finds out about it, they'll just think it's tawdry, sordid -- disgusting."

"Well, it wasn't disgusting, and it isn't disgusting, and it never will be," Trapper said firmly. "Jesus, Hawkeye, since when did either of us care what the rest of the world thinks about us? This is us, and it's just us, and if we have to keep it between just us, so what? We know about it, and we know how terrific, how special, it is, and that's all that counts, right?"

Hawkeye could feel the slow smile spreading across his face, as he agreed, "Right. So. We don't tell anyone; no problem there. We don't let ourselves get caught out -- that's going to be a bit tougher. So help me, Trap, I don't think I'm going to be able to stop smiling all day."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Trapper agreed, raising a hand to rub at his nose, not noticing that it was their joined hands. "I suppose it would help to get out of bed, though."

"Do you think we have to?" Hawkeye asked hopefully. "Maybe they won't notice if we don't show up. For, say, 36 hours or so."

Chuckling, Trapper hugged him hard, then threw the covers back determinedly, stifling a curse at the frigid air on his skin. "You mean until Frank gets back?"

"Sure, why not?" Hawkeye asked, shivering as he grabbed for the blankets. Trapper snatched them away before he could cocoon himself again.

"Uh-uh -- if I'm getting up, you're getting up," he said warningly.

Resigned -- and, more to the point, freezing -- Hawkeye got up and started hunting for reasonably clean clothes to put on.

"Well," Trapper continued, going back to the subject at hand, "for one thing we have rounds to do. For another, if we disappear into the Swamp without any nurses for a couple of days, people are going to start wondering what's going on, and stopping by to see for themselves. I don't know about you, but I'm not that much of an exhibitionist!"

"Oh, yeah. Good points. Hmmm," Hawkeye said, stopping with one leg in his pants and one leg out, then hurriedly pulling them on the rest of the way as a draft blew in through the cracks around the door. He glanced over at his friend, smiling at the look of sheer happiness on his face, then grinned. "I was right, you know -- people are going to wonder anyway."

"Huh? Why?"

"Because if I look anything like you do, they're going to assume we're up to something."

Trapper looked closely at him, and blinked. "You could be right," he admitted. "Maybe we can just pretend to be overjoyed that Frank's gone?"

"Maybe," Hawkeye said doubtfully. "We were smiling all day yesterday, after all, but it didn't look quite the same. Oh well; we just refuse to answer when anyone asks us why we're so happy. It'll drive them crazy," he added with a wicked grin.

Trapper walked over and reached for him, laughing. "I knew there was a reason I loved you," he murmured, kissing him gently.

Before he could pull away, Hawkeye caught him and held him fast. "Trap?" he asked softly, looking into clear blue eyes. Trapper smiled serenely, and Hawkeye kissed him fiercely. "I love you, too," he murmured against warm lips. He drew back, staring directly at his friend. "I mean it," he added clearly. "I do love you."

"I know that, you idiot," Trapper said affectionately, and hugged him hard.

A few seconds later, Hawkeye said shakily, "This may not have been the best time to have admitted that, considering that we're supposed to be figuring out how not to look like there's something going on, and I have a terrible feeling I'm just broadcasting it all over the place."

"Yeah, me too," came the muffled reply. Trapper sniffed once, hard, and lifted his head from Hawkeye's shoulder. "Come on," he said briskly. "We're supposed to be going to breakfast." With that, he grabbed his coat and stood ready, clearly defying Hawkeye to say anything else. After a moment though, his almost aggressive stance softened. "Jeez, this is ridiculous," he said wryly. "I feel so good right now that even the food in the mess tent sounds wonderful!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Hawkeye agreed, equally wry and amused with it. He took a deep breath. "Okay. We can do this. We go out, we get cold, we run for the mess tent, we get some unidentifiable slop that's masquerading as food, we eat. We do this every day, we can do it again. Right?"


"And after breakfast we do our rounds, and keep our hands off each other, and flirt with the nurses, and keep our hands off each other -- "

"You said that already," Trapper pointed out.

"I don't know about you, but I need to keep saying that to myself," Hawkeye admitted. Trapper just nodded. "So, we keep our hands off each other during rounds, and then maybe after lunch we can get back to the Swamp and just be with each other again for a while before late-afternoon rounds. We can do this. Right?"


Hawkeye put on his coat and moved determinedly toward the door. "Right." He reached for the handle, and hesitated for a moment, turning toward the other man. "Trap..."

Trapper leaned over and kissed him, murmuring, "For luck."

Hawkeye smiled at him, took a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out, Trapper right behind him. Side by side, they headed for the mess tent.


By mid-afternoon, there they sat at a table in Rosie's, laughing at Henry's lame jokes, wishing desperately they could leave but not daring to. Hawkeye sighed, and glanced at Trapper, then quickly away again, afraid of what he might give away if he looked too long. So much for their plans for an hour or two alone.

Breakfast had turned out to be the easiest part of the day so far. The weather had cooled them both off enough that by the time they got to the mess tent all they were thinking about was hot coffee, and lots of it. Margaret had been in a snit, supposedly about the supplies inventory (and not about Frank being gone), and had badgered Henry the whole time they were eating, so he and Trapper could get away with just making the occasional smartass remark. Radar had given them a couple of weird looks, but then Radar was always giving people weird looks.

Rounds had been tougher. Dealing with the patients was no problem; they were both too professional to let anything interfere with that. It was talking to each other, and to the nurses, between patients. Only years of flirting experience under any and all circumstances had kept him sounding even remotely normal, kept Hawkeye teasing the women when all he wanted to do was tease Trapper. And from the way Trapper kept starting to say something and then stopping, he'd been having the same problem. But they got through it at last, and headed for the mess tent with pure relief for a quick lunch. Hawkeye had almost lost it, though, when Trapper muttered, "Have to keep our strength up!" as they grabbed their coats in the entryway before leaving the recovery ward, having to settle for a glare at the olive-drab-clad back instead of the more... personal attack he wanted to launch.

Lunch was eaten quickly, and Hawkeye had been at his best, expounding at length on any and all subjects, too wired with anticipation to remain silent or still. All the time he was talking, he could feel Trapper sitting there, answering or arguing or just listening silently, but there, hovering just on the edges of Hawkeye's nerve endings. He'd been there all day, but the feeling kept getting stronger and stronger, until Hawk was half-frantic to get back to the Swamp to taste and touch and smell all over again, to wrap himself around that hard strong body, to feel it wrapped around him...

Hawkeye blinked himself back to the present, grimacing as he stared into his martini glass. Damn Henry, anyway...

"You want another one, Pierce?" asked a friendly voice, and Hawkeye looked up into the face of the friend he was currently damning to hell. He sighed.

"Yeah, sure, Henry, why not. One more, dry as dust."

"Okie-doke! How 'bout you, MacIntyre?" Henry asked, turning to beam at Trapper.

"Sure. Thanks, Henry," Trapper said, with a notable lack of enthusiasm. Two pairs of rueful eyes met across the table, and Trapper mouthed, "soon." Hawkeye nodded.

"Heeeere we go!" Henry announced, positively bubbling over with good cheer as he deposited their drinks on the table. "Two dry-as-dust martinis. I watched him make 'em myself."

"Thanks, Henry," they chorused dispiritedly.

"C'mon, guys," Henry urged, "drink up! Didn't I tell you this was the best way to spend a cold afternoon in Korea?? Good company, good booze -- there's nothing like it."

"Nothing at all, Henry," Hawkeye agreed, taking a dutiful sip of his martini.

"Yeah, Henry, this was a terrific idea," Trapper added.

"Yeah. I can't believe you two were just going to go back to the Swamp for the rest of the day! I mean, what kind of a life is that? I ask you," Henry said, shaking his head at them. "This is much better. Wuh-oh," he added suddenly, sitting up a bit straighter. "Here comes Margaret. Now, please, guys, don't make any trouble, okay? Can we just have a nice afternoon, having a nice drink, for once? Please?"

"Sure, Henry, no problem," Hawkeye said instantly, eyes innocently wide.

"Yeah, Henry; you know us, we never cause trouble!"

"Yeah, it just sorta... happens."

"Yeah, happens," Trapper agreed. He lifted his glass in a silent toast to Hawkeye, who clinked his own against it and drank.

"Good afternoon, Major," Henry said pleasantly.

"Colonel," Margaret replied with a cool smile as she sat down, ignoring the other two surgeons.

Hawkeye and Trapper looked at each other, trying hard not to laugh.

"Hello, Margaret," Hawkeye said smoothly.

"Nice of you to join us," Trapper chimed in.

Margaret's jaw tightened slightly, but she responded civilly enough, "Pierce. MacIntyre."

Hawkeye opened his mouth, then caught the pleading look in Henry's eyes and reconsidered. Besides, driving Margaret crazy yesterday by being polite had been kinda fun. "Pretzels, Major?" he offered politely, holding the basket in easy reach.

Giving him a suspicious look, she declined. Hawkeye smiled and offered the basket to Trapper, who took a handful, and then to Henry, who was looking at him very oddly. Hawkeye's smile widened. "Pretzel?" he prompted.

"Thanks," Henry said slowly, reaching for one, still staring. "Pierce, are you feeling all right?"

"Me? I'm fine," Hawkeye assured him.

"Oooh-kay," Henry said.

Trapper grinned approvingly at Hawkeye, eyes twinkling, then lifted an eyebrow in query - 'how are we going to play this?'

Hawkeye considered their options for a minute while Henry managed to start a conversation with Margaret, somehow steering clear of both Frank and the supply situation. They could continue to be perfect gentlemen, leaving everyone wondering when the other shoe would drop, or... they could drop the other shoe.

Better to drive everyone crazy wondering, he decided. Besides, it would be more of a distraction, since they couldn't be alone, and would help explain the joy simmering just under the surface in both of them. Everyone else would figure they were setting Margaret up for some huge fall, and were delighting in the anticipation. And how much sweeter, knowing that she'd be winding herself tighter and tighter waiting for it.... He couldn't restrain his grin, and tipped Trapper a wink.

Trapper settled back, smiling, clearly content to follow his lead on this.

Hawkeye glanced over to find Margaret staring at him suspiciously again. His smile brightened; her scowl deepened. Noticing her empty glass, he got to his feet with a polite, "Another?"

She stared a moment longer, but couldn't find anything to actually object to, so replied grudgingly, "Thanks."

"My pleasure," Hawkeye assured her happily. "Trap? Henry? How 'bout you?"

Laden with glasses, he headed for the bar, whistling softly. This just might be an okay afternoon, after all. As he turned back with the drinks, he nearly ran into Trapper, who grabbed two glasses and muttered into his ear, "What are we doing, anyway?"

Hawkeye chuckled, explaining softly, "Driving Margaret crazy, first of all. And giving everyone a reason for our being so happy - they'll all think we're setting her up for something huge. We, my friend, are going to be perfect gentlemen until Frank gets back."

Trapper burst out laughing, trying unsuccessfully to smother it into a cough. Hawkeye grinned, and they made their way back to the table, sorting out the drinks as they sat down.

They spent the next half hour chatting pleasantly about whatever came to mind, beaming as they watched Margaret get twitchier and Henry get gloomier. The major finally couldn't take any more when Trapper, noticing her slight shiver, promptly got up and offered to switch seats, since his was out of the line of the door. Margaret muttered something about rounds starting soon, and left.

As soon as she was gone, Henry demanded, "What are you two up to?"

"Us?" Hawkeye said, amazed.

"What do you mean, Henry?" Trapper added. "You asked to be nice to Margaret, so we were. I don't think he trusts us, Hawk."

"Me either," Hawk agreed. "That hurts, Henry."

Trapper nodded, wide-eyed.

"I mean, you ask us to do you a favor, and we do, and you instantly start suspecting us of God only knows what," Hawkeye went on, warming to his theme.

"All right, all right," Henry said hastily. "I'm sorry I said anything. But if you guys are setting her up for something..." his voice trailed off warningly.

Hawkeye and Trapper looked at each other across the table, faces mirroring perfect innocence. "Henry," Trapper said seriously, turning to face his CO, "we were just doing like you asked."

"Honest," Hawkeye said earnestly, one hand on his heart to prove it.

Henry looked from one to the other, shook his head, and said, "I still don't trust you. But Margaret's right, it's just about time for rounds. Come on." He stood and shrugged into his coat, then headed for the door.

"He didn't believe us," Hawkeye said mournfully to Trapper.

"No, I noticed. It's your fault, you know."

"My fault? Why is everything always my fault?"

"Because it is," Trapper said firmly. "Besides, that hand over your heart was a bit much, don't you think?"

"You think so?" Hawkeye asked, interested. "I don't know, I thought it was a nice touch, myself." He grinned happily. "Doesn't matter anyway, it worked."

"Yeah," Trapper agreed, grinning back. "That was beautiful. Not quite how I wanted to spend the afternoon, but..."

"Don't start," Hawkeye said hastily. "We still have rounds to get through."

"Right. Speaking of which, we should be going."

Hawkeye nodded and finished his drink, then grabbed his coat. They walked out together and headed for the hospital, shivering in the freezing wind. Hawk dared an arm around Trapper's shoulders as they walked, and the other man leaned into him for a second. "At least we've got one more night before Frank gets back," Hawk said quietly into Trapper's ear.

A shudder wracked the solid frame. "Don't mention him, please," Trap begged. "I'd rather not think about him until I absolutely have to."

"Right," Hawk agreed, "sorry. Ah, here we are, another afternoon in Paradise," he added as they reached the hospital.

"Once more unto the breach," Trapper agreed, and they went in.

Afternoon rounds were a bit easier than the morning had been, fortunately; they'd had the whole day to get their equilibrium back, and settled into teasing the patients and flirting with the nurses as usual. Trapper spent some extra time with Michaels, keeping an eye on his infection, while Hawkeye checked medications with Margaret, each sticking to the informal truce they'd declared around patients.

Father Mulchahy managed to brighten everyone's day, as usual, when he showed up for his 'rounds', taking the time to chat with every conscious patient and finding a word or two for each of the MASH personnel as well. Hawkeye looked up with a smile as the priest approached him. "Father Mulchahy! What brings you out on such a cold day?"

"Now, Hawkeye, you know priests are like postmen - neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night, nor incredibly freezing cold shall keep us from our appointed rounds."

Hawkeye chuckled, then wagged an admonishing finger at the other man. "I shouldn't even be talking to you, you know."

"But whyever not?" Father Mulchahy asked, aghast.

"After the way you fleeced me at poker last night?" Hawkeye demanded, mock-aggrieved.

The priest relaxed, laughing quietly. "All in a good cause, Hawkeye, all in a good cause," he assured Hawk cheerfully.

"Yeah, well," Hawkeye muttered, grinning. "I just wish I could figure out how you did it, that's all."

"Friends in high places," came the complacent reply, as the priest looked devoutly toward the ceiling.

Hawkeye started to make a cheerful retort when he noticed Radar. "Radar? What are you doing skulking around back there? Are you looking for me?"

"No, Hawk, not you. Actually I'm looking for Father Mulchahy." The corporal turned a beseeching look on the priest, who instantly reached for his shoulder.

"Of course, Radar; how can I help?"

"Well, you know Fluffy?"

"Your rabbit?"

"Yeah. Well..." Radar hesitated, twisting his cap in his hands and looking down at the floor for a minute.

"What is it, Radar?" Mulchahy urged.

"Well, I know this is going to sound dumb, but..." He stopped again, turning pink.

Hawkeye and Father Mulchahy exchanged a look, and the priest drew Radar a bit further away, murmuring, "It's all right, Radar, you can tell me. What is it?"

Radar took a deep breath and blurted out, "Do you know any blessings for rabbits? See, she seems real depressed, and she isn't eating right, and I just figured if you could put in a good word for her..." His voice trailed off as he looked hopefully at the priest.

"Of course, Radar," Mulchahy agreed warmly. "I'm sure I can come up with something. Come on, let's go see her." He wrapped a comforting arm around the boy's shoulders as they left, with Radar thanking him and describing Fluffy's condition every step of the way.

Hawkeye just stood and watched them go, a wide smile on his face. Margaret stepped up to him with a chart for him to sign, which he took absently. He glanced down at her, still smiling, and said quietly, "Thank God there's still some innocence in the world." He signed the chart and handed it back.

Margaret looked at him thoughtfully, then at the door where the two men had gone out into the cold to take care of a rabbit, then around at the hospital full of bodies recovering from gun- and bomb-inflicted damage. "Thank God," she agreed, and walked away.

Once rounds were over and the patients settled in for the night it was time for dinner, and the surgical staff headed en masse for the mess tent. Hawkeye managed to sit next to Trapper again; at this point, he'd take whatever physical closeness they could manage.

Radar showed up a few minutes later, tray heaped high as usual. Hawkeye looked a bit disbelievingly at all the food -- how could the kid eat this slop? -- then gave himself a slight shake and inquired after Fluffy.

"Oh, she's much better, sir," Radar replied, looking relieved. "I don't know what Father Mulchahy did, but it worked. She even ate her whole dinner! And she hasn't done that in days!"

Hawkeye couldn't help the smile that crossed his face. "That's good, Radar," he said gently.

Radar nodded earnestly, mouth already too full to speak.

"There was a problem with Fluffy, Radar?" Henry asked, overhearing the conversation.

Radar swallowed hastily. "Yes, sir, but she's okay now. Father Mulchahy prayed over her."

Henry blinked. "Oh. Good, good. Someone pass the salt, please?"

The conversation drifted after that, and Hawkeye let himself be more aware of Trapper sitting at his side. The mess tent was too public to dare touch him at all, but dinner would be over soon, and they could finally escape back to the Swamp for the one night they had left before that rat Burns came back.

"... going, Hawk? Hawk?"

"Huh? Oh, sorry, Henry, what did you say? I didn't hear you."

"I asked if you were going to the movie tonight."

"Movie? Umm..." Shit! Two more hours in public, and both he and Trap would be expected to be cuddling up to a nurse.

"I don't know about you, Hawk," Trapper broke in, "but I think I'm just going back to the Swamp. Without Frank snoring I actually got a good night's sleep last night, and I want to take advantage of it while I can."

Hawkeye shot him a grateful look. "Yeah, me too, I think. Maybe catch up on some letter-writing while there's some peace and quiet."

Trapper nodded. "Good idea," he agreed.

Henry shrugged. "All-righty, but you're going to miss out on a good one," he said. Radar nodded happily in agreement, and the talk turned to movies.

Having made a firm decision to go back to the Swamp, Hawkeye could feel anticipation curling in his belly. He glanced over at Trapper, just in time to catch Trapper looking at him. Hawkeye cocked his head slightly; Trapper nodded minutely, and they both drained their coffee cups.

Hawkeye stood up, grabbing his empty tray, Trapper just a moment behind him. "Night, kids," he said cheerfully. "Enjoy the movie."

"Yeah, have fun," Trapper said as they maneuvered away from the table to dump their trays. "Don't do anything we wouldn't do." They walked out, grinning, and walked to the Swamp, exchanging greetings with the people they passed.

Hawkeye let out his breath in a whoosh of relief as the Swamp's door shut behind them. "Alone at last," he declared, then grimaced. "Sorry, didn't mean to sound..." He broke off, not sure of what he was saying. "My God, I think I'm nervous," he realized.

"Yeah? I know I'm nervous," Trapper shot back. "I feel like a kid on his first date!"

A reluctant grin curved Hawkeye's lips as he watched his friend shed hat, coat, and mittens, then move to stoke the stove. "Me, too," he admitted. "Can't figure out why -- I know you better than anyone in the world, and I've been wanting to be alone with you all day. But..."

Trapper closed the door to the stove and stood up, eyes warm. "Yeah, but," he agreed. "C'mon, get that coat off and come hug me," he commanded.

"Your wish is my command," Hawkeye said lightly, getting rid of his outer layer and walking into Trapper's arms. The embrace was tentative for a second, then both men settled into it with a sigh. "Oh, yeah," Hawk said quietly. "This is what I've been needing all day."

Trapper's arms tightened around him. "Me, too."

They just stood there for a minute, reveling in being able to hold each other. "There's one other thing I've been needing," Hawkeye said finally, lifting his head to look into Trapper's face.

Trapper smiled. "Yeah? What's that, I wonder?" he teased gently.

Hawkeye smiled back, leaned forward, and kissed him. Delicately at first, then more urgently, re-learning the taste of the warm mouth. Somebody moaned. After a thorough exploration, Hawkeye shifted his focus, kissing along Trapper's jaw then working his way down the corded neck.

"God, Trap, this could get addictive!" Hawkeye murmured a few minutes later into the join of Trapper's neck and shoulder, licking delicately.

Trapper shivered and clutched the dark head closer, angling his head to give Hawkeye better access. "Yeah, know what you mean," he gasped out. "This is an addiction I can live with, though. God, you're good at that. Here, let me... Hawk, c'mon, let me at your shirt," he pleaded. "Wanna touch you."

Hawkeye reluctantly released his friend's neck, determined to get back there and taste every square inch of skin, and let Trapper take his sweater off. Then his shirt. Then the other shirt. By which time, mild frustration had turned to giggles.

"My God, I feel like I'm unwrapping one of those Russian nesting dolls," Trapper laughed, " -- every time you get one of them open, there's another smaller one inside. How small are you inside all of this, anyway?" he teased.

Hawkeye drew himself up in a show of indignation. "Small? Sir, I'll have you know that I am exactly the right size! Why, I -- oh!" Mock indignation was forgotten in the touch of cool fingers on his warm torso as Trapper finally peeled off his undershirt. "Oh, yeah."

"Mmmm," Trapper said happily, "that's better." He leaned down to lick one nipple, tugging gently on it with his teeth when it hardened.

"No fair," Hawkeye gasped, fingers clutching his friend's shoulders. "Come on, stand up, you've got way too many clothes on. And it's way too cold to be standing here half-naked," he added, flinching as the barely warmed air in the tent struck his moistened flesh. "C'mon," he said, tugging Trapper toward the cot as he started pulling the other man's clothes off.

"Jeez, you ain't kidding!" Trapper said, shivering as his skin was bared to the air. He reached for his fly, unzipping it carefully before sitting down on the cot to pull off his boots.

Hawkeye followed suit, tossing his boots in the corner before standing up to shed his trousers. He slid under the blankets, holding up a corner for Trapper to join him.

Good intentions flew out the window as Hawkeye felt his friend's body pressing against his; he'd intended a slow, sweet loving, but urgency gripped him instead, and he pulled Trapper on top of him. Trapper gasped, but responded, as quick to harden as Hawkeye. Within seconds, they were thrusting fiercely against each other, hands holding each other's bodies tight in bruising grips.

"God, I need you," Hawkeye gasped, reaching down to cup Trapper's ass, pulling him in as tight as he could. Trapper just groaned and kissed him, hard, almost biting.

Another minute, and Hawkeye was coming, thrusting up into Trapper's groin. He slumped back into the cot when it was over, panting, then forced leaden arms to work. He started pulling Trapper in closer on each thrust again, helping to provide enough pressure and friction for the other man. Part of his mind was wondering at the feel of the hard cock rubbing against him, sliding against semen-slicked skin; this was the first chance he'd really had to notice it. Then he felt Trapper tense further, and focused back totally on his friend. "C'mon, Trap," he whispered, "c'mon, for me..." Trap came with a soft cry, grinding his cock into Hawkeye's damp belly, then collapsed on top of him. "Yeah, yeah, that's it," Hawk crooned into sweat-dampened curls. He wrapped his arms around his friend and cuddled him until Trapper slid off to one side.

"So much for a slow, lazy seduction," Trapper said ruefully a few minutes later, when he'd gotten his breath back.

Hawkeye grinned when he realized they'd been thinking along the same lines before they got sidetracked. "We can still have a slow, lazy seduction," he promised. "We just have to wait a few minutes until we recover, that's all."

Trapper considered this for a moment, then conceded the point. "Yeah, I guess we can do that."

Hawkeye laughed softly. "Good, I'm glad you agree. I don't know about you, but sex always wipes me out -- I could do with a nap."

A wry grin tugged at Trapper's lips. "You read my mind," he admitted. "And since we have all night..."

"Yeah, but not too long of a nap," Hawkeye cautioned. "Everybody else is at the movie for the next couple of hours, so we really have some privacy for a bit. I don't want to waste it."

"Good thinking," Trapper agreed. "Just for a few minutes, then."

They started to settle themselves more comfortably, then Hawkeye remembered something. "Don't move," he said urgently.

"What?" Trapper said, worried.

Hawkeye reached out of the cot and felt around on the floor, coming up with a t-shirt a minute later. "We're going to drip all over everything if we're not careful," he pointed out. He wiped them both off, then tossed the shirt within easy reach and lay back down again. "C'mere," he said, reaching for Trapper, who cuddled up willingly.

They drifted off into a light doze wrapped in each other's arms. Hawkeye woke to the sensation of a pair of lips and a very talented tongue playing with his nipple, and shivered happily.

"Come up here," he said huskily, reaching under the blankets to haul Trapper back out for a deep, searching kiss.

Trapper was a bit breathless when it ended. "I thought you'd never wake up," he said. "I've been working on you for half an hour."

"Liar!" Hawkeye replied, laughing. He ran one hand up along Trapper's spine, watching the other man's eyes half-close when he hit the back of his neck. A sensitive spot -- he'd have to remember that.

Trapper kissed him again, sucking on his lower lip for a minute. "It was worth a shot," he said easily when he let go.

"Now, where were we before you so shamelessly took advantage of me...? Ah, yes, I was right... about.... here," he said, wriggling around until he could get back to licking Trapper's neck. He'd been wanting to get back there ever since Trapper had first pushed him away to take his shirt off. God, but that man tasted good. He smiled against the warm skin as he felt a hand cradle his head, stroking his hair.

"I thought I was supposed to be tasting you," Trapper said warmly, breath tickling across Hawkeye's ear.

Hawkeye lifted his mouth long enough to say reassuringly, "You'll get your chance," then turned his attention back where it belonged, fastening on the strong pulsebeat and sucking gently. The fingers in his hair tightened, and he grinned to himself. Another place to remember...

He found lots of places to remember, places that had Trapper gasping and arching under his hands and mouth. His whole neck seemed to be one big erogenous zone -- but it certainly wasn't the only one. The man responded to touches practically anywhere. And he tasted good everywhere Hawkeye could reach.

Trapper seemed to find all of his places, too, as they worked at the slow loving they'd promised each other, taking their time. Arousal built gradually thanks to their first climax, letting them savor the sensations coursing through them.

Hawkeye knew a brief moment of regret that the cot was too narrow for them to try anything more than they'd already done, but knew it was probably for the best; neither of them had a clue how to do anything more involved, and the middle of winter in an army camp in Korea probably wasn't the best place to be experimenting. No matter how much he wanted to taste more of Trapper. A warm hand cupped his cheek.

"Another time, Hawk," Trapper murmured, reading his mind again. Hawkeye kissed him.

"Another time," he agreed.

Trapper's other hand slid downward, wrapping around Hawkeye's cock and squeezing once, then moving further down to cradle his balls. Hawkeye moaned, thrusting forward.

"You like that?" Trapper asked, chuckling. He rolled Hawk's testicles lightly, letting his thumb stroke the underside of the hard cock.

"Yeah," Hawkeye managed to get out, "that's not bad." He grinned shakily.

Trapper laughed again, softly, and after one last gentle squeeze released Hawk's balls, reaching again for the shaft. He ringed it and started stroking firmly. Hawkeye got one hand behind his friend's neck to pull him in for another kiss, thrusting his tongue as far into Trapper's mouth as he could. Trap moaned, welcoming the intruder, and his fist tightened slightly.

Needing to share this, Hawkeye reached for Trapper's cock as well, finding it straining toward him eagerly. He eased a knee between Trapper's legs, pressing it up lightly against the other man's balls. Trapper gasped, and wrapped his top leg around Hawkeye's thighs, pinning him in place.

Their tongues dueled briefly in the kiss, then Hawkeye broke it, trailing his lips down along Trapper's neck again to settle at what had fast become one of his favorite spots, the join between neck and shoulder. Trap moaned happily at the gentle suction. His hand sped up on Hawkeye's cock, pumping strongly.

Hawkeye matched the pace on Trapper's cock, shivering as Trap's free hand stroked down his back to his ass. He bit down unwittingly as one finger slid into the crease and across his anus, his own hand tightening on Trap's cock in reaction. "Jesus!" he gasped, shocked at the sensation.

"Want me to stop?" Trapper asked, his voice tight.

Hawk raised his head, staring almost blindly at his friend. "Stop?" he asked shakily. "No, don't stop. Do it again."

Cautiously, Trapper did it again, and Hawkeye breathed out, his eyes closing. "My God, I had no idea," he murmured. He opened his eyes and looked into Trapper's anxious face. "It's incredible," he assured him. "Do it as much as you want."

"Yeah?" Trapper asked, sounding intrigued.


"Okay. You do it to me, I want to see for myself."

Hawkeye grinned, and shifted so he could reach around more easily. A thought occurred to him, and he put his index finger in his mouth to wet it, then brushed the finger lightly across Trapper's anus.

"Dear God!" The cock in Hawkeye's other hand jumped.


They stared at each other for a minute.

"The things you learn..." Trapper croaked out finally, then cleared his throat.

Hawkeye grinned. "Any day you learn something new is a day worth living," he announced sententiously. Trapper squeezed his cock tighter in warning. "Hey, easy!" Hawk yelped, outraged.

"Stop reciting cliches and kiss me, then," Trapper demanded.

"I can do that," Hawkeye agreed, and did so, then gave a squeeze of his own. "But I think this needs a bit more attention, hmm?"

"Mmmm," Trap replied, heavy-lidded.

They each started stroking the other again, matching rhythms, gradually picking up speed. No more teasing, now; they were both too close to the edge, every nerve ending sparking. There was silence except for harsh breathing and an occasional soft groan, until...

"God, Hawk, I'm almost there," Trapper gasped.

"I've got you," Hawkeye panted back, "just let go, c'mon..." Trapper took him literally, releasing Hawkeye's cock and grabbing the edge of the cot.

He sped up his hand, using short fast strokes to bring Trapper to orgasm, grinning in pure triumph when the other man gave a choked cry and jerked in his hold, liquid heat pouring out over Hawkeye's hand and belly. He milked the twitching cock steadily, getting every last drop out of it, then soothing it with a gentle pat before he let go.

Trapper went limp next to him, breathing hard as his cock softened. Hawkeye ignored his own ache for a minute to watch his friend, loving the absolutely debauched look on the round face. He lifted his hand to touch it, stopping when he realized he was still covered with warm semen. Caught once again with the urge to know how this man tasted everywhere, he brought his hand to his mouth, licking experimentally. Not bad, he thought. He tried it again, deciding he liked it, then started licking his whole hand clean.

A sound caught his attention, and he glanced over to find Trapper staring at him, wide-eyed. "That's the most incredible thing I've ever seen," Trapper said, hushed.

"Wanted to know how you taste," Hawkeye said. The hell with embarrassment. "You taste good," he added.

"Jesus, Hawkeye... come here."

Hawkeye went willingly into the other man's arms. Trapper kissed him, then leaned back, licking his lips. "Is that me?" he asked wonderingly. Hawkeye nodded, smiling. "Huh. I've never tasted me before," Trapper said, going in for another kiss. As they shifted, Hawkeye's hard cock prodded Trapper's hip. Trapper deepened the kiss and reached down to grasp it, bringing a shudder of pure relief from Hawkeye.

"Easy, easy," Trap murmured against his mouth. "I'll get you there."

"Please, Trap," Hawkeye panted, aching again, "I need..."

"I know, it's all right," came the soothing answer. Trapper's hand moved strongly on him. "Okay?"

"Harder," he groaned.

The hand applied more pressure, moving faster. "Now, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, that's it, don't stop..."

"Not gonna stop, gonna make you feel perfect," Trapper promised. His thumb slid across the glans on the next upstroke, wringing a moan out of Hawkeye. "C'mon, Hawk, give it to me," Trap encouraged, then leaned to bite the nearest ear.

Hawkeye's cock jumped at the quick pain, and he hissed in pleasure. "Yeah, yeah... Now, Trap, God..."

He came explosively, shooting all over Trapper's torso. Trap kept hold of him till it was all over, muttering soft obscenities until Hawkeye was drained dry. Hawkeye fell into his friend, shudders still wracking his body. He rolled off a couple of minutes later, settling beside Trapper, trying to get his breath back. Managing to get one eye open, he glanced over and smiled -- Trapper was licking delicately at his hand, tasting Hawkeye.

"No sense letting it go to waste," Trap said cheekily when he noticed Hawkeye looking at him. "You want a taste?" he offered.

"Yeah," Hawkeye agreed. Ignoring the offered hand, he managed to lean up and over enough to kiss the other man, tasting himself in Trapper's mouth. God, that was erotic. Too bad he was so completely exhausted.

He flopped back carefully, not wanting to overturn the cot, ignoring Trapper's knowing grin. He watched as the other man finished licking his hand clean, smiling faintly. If anyone had told him four days ago... he chuckled.

Trapper cocked his head at the sound, smiling and curious. Hawkeye waved his hand around, grinning. "Would you have believed this a few days ago?" he asked.

Laughter bubbled up out of his friend. "Now that you mention it, no," he agreed. "Damn, I'm still sticky... and so are you," he said, having run a hand down Hawkeye's torso to find out. "What'd you do with that shirt?"

"It's over there somewhere," Hawkeye replied, gesturing.

Trapper hunted around a bit, trying to keep as much of himself as possible under the blankets, and finally found it. Shivering, he wiped both of them off and disposed of the shirt again.

Hawkeye caught him close when he settled back in, rubbing at chilled flesh to warm it.

"Thanks," Trapper said sleepily. "I could get used to this."

"Me too," Hawk agreed. "Hey, you going to sleep on me?"

"Yeah, I think so," the other man admitted, trying to stifle a yawn. "You wore me out, lover."

Hawkeye hugged him fiercely, until both of them grunted from the force of it, then relented. "Have to admit I could do with some shut-eye myself," Hawk said ruefully. "I was hoping to make this an all-night thing, but I guess I'm getting too old for nights like that."

"I won't tell if you won't," Trapper promised.

Hawkeye kissed him on the nose. "I'll hold you to that," he said lightly.

Sated and content, they wrapped themselves around each other, murmured quiet good nights, and fell asleep.


Waking was a bittersweet joy; wrapped in warmth and comfort and love, and knowing it couldn't last past this waking.

"Frank'll be back in time for afternoon rounds." Soft, barely a breath in the air.

"I know." Just as soft. Neither looked at the other for a minute.

"Dammit, Trap - what are we gonna do? I don't want to lose this, lose us," Hawkeye said fiercely, propping himself up so he could stare down at Trapper.

A warm hand traveled up his arm and settled around the back of his neck; Trapper started rubbing lightly, absently. "I don't either, Hawk," he said soberly. "But I can tell you this much: even if we lose this, we'll never lose us. We're forever, no matter what happens. We were forever before this weekend, we'll be forever after it."

Hawkeye lowered himself down again, half on top of Trapper. "I know. I know. And I know that somehow we'll make it work. If it means never being able to touch you again, well, at least I could touch you for two nights, and that's a gift lots of people never get, and one that I'll cherish the rest of my life. But I hate the thought that the very existence of that sanctimonious prig can make us have to make it work somehow. It's not fair."

"Life --"

"--isn't fair, I know. But allow me the luxury of wallowing in self-pity for a minute." Even as he said it, though, a self-deprecating smile tugged at his lips. "God, but you're good for me, Trap." He hugged his friend tightly, draped himself more comfortably, and said, "Do you think anyone will notice if we don't make an appearance today?"

"Well, other than the fact that we're supposed to be making rounds in a little while, no, I don't think so," Trapper replied breezily, laughing at the groan that emanated from the general region of his armpit. "Come on, lazybones, time to get up," he said, determinedly cheerful. He sat up and looked down at his friend.

"That's what I was hoping to do," Hawkeye said mournfully, looking back with his most pitiful expression, "but then you said we had to go face people."

"Up! Up, you... you..." Trapper sputtered into helpless laughter, collapsing across his grinning friend. Hawkeye hugged him close, kissed his nose, and tumbled them out of the bunk. The icy floor cut off most of the laughter, but they were both still grinning as they shivered their way into several layers of clothes.

Hawkeye's grin faded into a grimace as his hand swept across the flaked semen on his torso that the t-shirt had missed last night. "Think we have time to grab a shower first?" he asked.

"I think we have to make time for a shower first," Trapper said wryly.

Hawkeye nodded, and tossed Trapper his shaving kit before putting on his final layers.

"Ready?" Trapper asked at last, muffled to the eyebrows as he stood by the door.

"As I'll ever be," Hawkeye agreed, similarly clad. They headed out, ducking their heads before the frigid wind.

Luck was with them; they had the showers to themselves. Hawkeye stripped off quickly, catching a speculative glance aimed his way as he turned to drop his clothes in a pile in the corner.

"Come here often, sailor?" Trapper asked in his best sexy voice, eyeing him up and down.

Hawkeye shivered. "Don't do that," he complained. "We don't dare..."

"No, I know," Trapper agreed in a normal tone laced with regret. "Was worth it to see your face, though," he added with a grin.

Hawkeye threw a bar of soap at him and stepped into the near cubicle, moving through it to the far one. "Are you just going to stand there all day?" he demanded. "And toss that soap back, willya?" He turned the water on to wet himself down, then caught the soap and started lathering up. He heard the door to the other cubicle open and shut, and sighed. "Sorry," he apologized. "I didn't mean to -- "

"Hey, it's okay," Trapper said easily. "I shouldn't have said that, not when we're in public."

"And I shouldn't have overreacted," Hawkeye said firmly. "Just that all of a sudden I had a horrible mental image of Radar sticking his head in here again right then...."

Trapper shuddered. "Here, pass me the soap," he said. "And you're right, that's a horrible image."

Hawkeye leaned over to hand him the soap, pausing to look his fill. "As long as we're here," he murmured.

Trapper somehow managed to look outraged and amused at the same time. "After what we just agreed??"

"I know," Hawkeye admitted, turning back to his own shower with a stifled sigh, "but I still hadn't looked at you properly. And who knows when I'll get another chance!" He jumped slightly when a hand touched his shoulder, looking over to find Trapper leaning on the wall between them, a fond smile on his face.

"C'mere," the other man said huskily, sliding his hand around Hawkeye's neck to urge him closer.


"C'mon, just for a second. Like you said, it could be our last chance."

Knowing it was foolish, Hawkeye stepped toward his friend anyway, letting himself be drawn into a kiss that deepened for a minute before both men drew back.

"That was dumb," Hawkeye said, one arm wrapped around Trapper's bicep.

"And risky," Trapper agreed, thumb tracing Hawkeye's jaw.

"And worth it," they chorused.

Hawkeye grinned and stepped back under the spray, rinsing off completely. "C'mon, we're gonna freeze if we stand around here any longer. Let's see if there's anything worth eating for breakfast."

Risky though it had been, that final kiss had brought Hawkeye enough measure of serenity that the rest of the day was less painful than it might have been. He'd had a weekend of almost pure joy where he'd been expecting no more than "less hideous than usual", and for that alone he'd love Trapper forever. Even if Frank was coming back soon, and even if he could never hold Trapper that close again.

That afternoon, Hawkeye found himself smiling at the sight of Trapper bent over Michaels' cot, teasing the young man whose fever had broken and who had been pulled out of danger.

"What are you looking so happy about?" a nasal voice asked abruptly from next to him. Hawkeye gave himself another moment of watching Trapper work, then turned his head, smile still on his face.

"Hello, Frank, back so soon?"

"Obviously. And you haven't answered my question, Pierce: what are you so happy about?"

"What's not to be happy?" Hawkeye asked with a shrug. "The sun is shining..."

"The birds are singing..." Trapper chimed in, coming to stand solidly at Hawkeye's shoulder.

Frank stared from one to the other. "The sky is completely covered in clouds and there hasn't been a bird around here in three months!" he exclaimed.

"Really? Are you sure, Frank?" Hawkeye asked, wide-eyed.

"Of course I'm sure!"

"He's sure, Trapper."

"So it would seem. Huh. Wonder what that means."

"Wonder what what means?" Frank asked suspiciously.

"Nothing," Trapper said hastily.

"Yeah, nothing," Hawk agreed, shaking his head to prove it.

"You two are crazy!" Frank declared.

They grinned, leaning comfortably against each other. Hawkeye sent up a silent, fervent prayer of thanks that they hadn't lost that, their ease with each other, then went back to Frank-baiting.

"We're happy because you're back, Frank," he said seriously.

"Yeah, that's right," Trap agreed, willing as ever to play along.

Frank stared at them both even more suspiciously. "You're up to something," he muttered, "I can tell. And I'll find out what it is, too, you wait and see!"

"Us?" Hawkeye asked, wounded.

"Up to something?" Trapper added. He shook his head. "It's a terrible thing, Frank, to be so suspicious of people. Why won't you believe that we missed you?"

"Because you hate me," Frank said.

"Frank! You wound me!" Hawkeye replied. "Did you hear him, Trap?"

"I heard him. Here we were, covering for him for three whole days while he went off to do god knows what --"

"--with God knows who --" Hawkeye put in quickly.

"--and when he comes back all he can do is say nasty things about us. I'm hurt," Trapper announced.

"Me, too," Hawkeye agreed. "I think I need a break to recover from this terrible shock."

"Good idea," Trap said. "Come on; let's get some dinner. Maybe if we hurry we can get tepid slop instead of cold slop."

"Tepid slop! My absolute favorite. Lay on, MacDuff!"

Frank was staring at them, clearly trying to figure out just what they were up to. Hawkeye grinned, and spoke just loudly enough to be overheard. "Hey, Trap... Think if we get Henry two bottles of twelve-year-old scotch that he'll give Frank another three-day pass?"

Trapper grinned brightly back, slinging a friendly arm around his shoulders. "Ya never know," he said easily. "It's worth a shot."

They left the hospital, ignoring Frank's plaintive requests for an explanation of what had happened while he was gone. As the door shut behind them they could hear him calling to Margaret. They burst into quiet laughter, making for the mess tent and the stuff that passed for food there.

Frank and Margaret joined the usual dinner crew a few minutes later, looking confused and a little flushed. Hawkeye nudged Trapper and gestured discreetly with his coffee cup toward Frank's pink cheeks, murmuring quietly, "Looks like he got a proper welcome home after all - he practically has lips right now!"

Trapper inhaled his coffee, and glared at Hawkeye through tears of pain and laughter as he tried not to choke. Hawkeye smiled innocently at him and applied himself to what looked like it was supposed to be mashed potatoes.

Conversation drifted around him until he caught one thread of it. "Radar? Did you just say the movie was being repeated?"

"Yes, sir - lotsa people liked it last night and wanted to see it again, and some people like you sirs missed it, so we're showing it again."

"Good! Means I can see it after all. Trap? You going to the movie?"

"Yeah, may as well," Trapper agreed. "It sounded pretty good."

They had some time before the movie started, and Henry suggested a drink at Rosie's. By unanimous consent, they ganged up on Frank to buy since he hadn't brought back any presents for anyone. Even Margaret backed them on that, a glint in her eye that boded ill for hapless Major Burns.

Settling in on the benches a while later to watch the movie, Hawkeye looked up when Trapper nudged his arm. "What?"

"No Frank and Margaret," Trapper said, grinning.

"The happy couple gone to celebrate their reunion, huh?" Hawkeye asked, managing not to sound bitter.

"I doubt it," Trapper said cheerfully. "Did you see Margaret's face when we mentioned that Frank hadn't brought us presents? I don't think he brought her one, either... and I don't think she's happy about it."

Hawkeye started to laugh quietly, barely getting himself under control as the movie began. A few minutes later he nearly started up again when he noticed Margaret stalking in, the picture of righteous indignation, with no Frank in sight. He could feel Trapper shaking with silent laughter beside him. He grinned through the entire film.

When they arrived back at the Swamp, Frank was already in bed, seemingly asleep. Trapper and Hawkeye looked at each other, looked at Frank, sighed in unison, and got into their separate bunks. Hawkeye lay there for a while, listening to Trapper breathe and wishing it was the night before again.

"Hawk? You asleep?" Trapper whispered.

"No. And neither is Frank," Hawkeye whispered back. "Are you, Frank?" he added in a normal tone, shocking after the quiet.

"Uh? Huh? What... Pierce! Pierce, you woke me up!!" Frank said, trying to sound like he'd been asleep.

"Nice try, Frank," Hawkeye said. "Why aren't you asleep?"

"Why won't you guys tell me what you did this weekend?" Frank whined in response.

"What we did?" Trapper asked disbelievingly. "Frank, you're the one who had the pass. You're the one who went to Tokyo. We just stayed here. What do you think we did?" He shot Hawkeye a quick 'can you believe this guy?' look; Hawkeye shrugged back.

Frank said suspiciously, "I don't know. All I know is you don't want me knowing about it."

"You're out of your mind, Frank," dismissed Hawkeye. "Go to sleep."

Frank subsided, mumbling and shooting glares their way; his tentmates ignored him, making a big show of tugging blankets up higher, shifting position, thumping pillows into shape... all the normal bedtime rituals.

After he'd settled himself comfortably, Hawkeye turned to look at Trapper one last time before sleeping, to find a wide-eyed, serious gaze locked on him as well. They just looked in silence for a minute, then broke into matching smiles.

"'Night, Hawk," Trapper said softly.

"'Night, Trap," Hawk replied, unable to keep the warmth out of his voice.

Frank, who had been watching all this, sat up. "See? You were up to something while I was gone, I can tell! C'mon, fellas, tell me! Please??"

"Good night, Frank," they chorused.

"But --"

Frank's next words were muffled by the thuds of two soft objects striking him with some force. Silence reigned for a minute or two, then:

"Hey... this is my pillow! Which one of you had my pillow this weekend?!? Pierce? MacIntyre? C'mon... Hawk? Trap? Guys?... answer me..."

Soft snoring, belied by twitching lips, was his only answer.

~ fin ~

Feedback of any sort, from one line to detailed crit, is always welcome, at arduinna at trickster dot org.


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