Sorry for the delay. Didn't get around to spending more than some random thoughts on the challenge as I'm still recovering from last weekend's trip to FedCon (synonymous to indulging in claustrophobia J) and consequently an influx of Enterprise-plotbunnies which I had to beat off with a stick…or a phaser, if you will.


I apologize for the title, but I couldn't think of anything better. This is for the "Sleeping with—" 5-min-challenge.


A little T.S. Eliot, some Latin and a leisurely linguistics lecture later (all right, I'll stop the alliterations alreadyJ)


"Actio, Reactio"

by Jimaine


Rating: PG

Pairing: Hawkeye/Trapper, Trapper's POV

Archive: at mash-slash as well as at T'Len's & Lady Charena's place

Disclaimer: None of it is mine, it all belongs to 20th Century Fox, I'm just having

a little fun here. And I'm not making any money of this, though I damn well ought

to; that way I could buy myself a certain TV-station and save mankind!


'Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.'

(Perhaps even these things will some day be pleasant to remember).

— Virgil




Sleeping with the knowledge of an uncertain future is worse than sleeping alone. Or not sleeping

at all. Where there's sleep, there's dreams, eventually, but not necessarily…we tend to avoid



Dreams are far too dangerous.


Slaves to the rhythm of silence that beats through our minds, we reach across in the darkness, not

looking, but vision is not needed for our hands to meet…for fingers to link.


Sometimes I think that it's these fleeting seconds of physical contact that I'm living for.

That my entire raison d'être is a touch unseen.


I need to feel that he's here. Yes, here he is. Every day, for some reason I'm thinking that I've lost

him somewhere, in the shadows that dominate this place, but the truth is that he's never really

here at all. He's elsewhere. Always. Maybe on another side of time.


There's the barest brush of my fingertips against his, a caress across the knuckles, the hollow of

the palm towards the wrist. And just like he does every night when the shadows provide sufficient

protection, he silently copies the gesture, assures me without words (tongues, like hands, can tire

during a twenty-hour session in the OR) of his presence in the dark as we descend from the

anxious high of the day into gin-dulled tranquility and wait for sleep.

None of us wants to dream, though, doesn't want to need to dream.

So much for wanting and needing, two paradigmatically related terms which, in the right context,

are actually opposites.

We cannot resist the dreams, we are lured back in night after night. After all, they're all we have.


The better angel of his nature tentatively spreads his wings to come closer still, but like mine, he's

had his wings clipped in order to survive in a place where the only angel with any say whatsoever

is the Angel of Death.


"Meet me in my dream", he whispers. Just a faint sound easily mistaken for an exhalation, then his

hand drops away. And a few heartbeats later, I find myself struggling to recall the sensation of

that touch.

_Meet me in my dream._

It's the only place where more than hands are allowed to touch. And we don't want this dream to

get lost. It's too beautiful…too painful…and too real. Just touching him, I'm still inside…can't go

no further now that I can almost see his face, in me.


So I fall asleep, knowing that he's never more than one step behind me, never more than a breath



_Meet me in my dream._


I'm ahead of him, I'm already there. Here. Me is here, and so is he.

Most of the times anyway.

On some occasions, he deliberately distances himself from me and withdraws to that otherplace,

that place where I cannot follow, cannot reach him. Nothing can. It's not a dream, it's something

else, something far more dangerous than dreams.


Not tonight, I'm grateful to notice.


We have to be grateful for every time that we can use sleep as a cover for our dreams.


Dreams…the actions the mind takes in reaction to reality.


On some days, we're forced to dream with open eyes.


It makes our dreams even more dangerous.


For if we slept in reality, and dreamt reality, and woke up from reality to reality…there'd be

nothing left.


_Meet me in my dream._


The fear of that loss is as overwhelming as the fear of the dream itself, and I pray that we never

learn how to live with that fear. It kind of puts things into perspective. All kind of things. The

continuous chimerical effort to make love and war and loss synonymous. The dark pre- and

unconscious ironies of human existence that, in fact, are realties beyond death. The stirring of

another person three feet away…and the anxiety with which you listen for his next breath or a

soft murmur. Maybe even your name. Some days are easier than others. There are times when

I'm hardly aware of being afraid…at least not in the light of day. The tears start again in the



He can make me cry. Only he can do this to me. Actio, reactio, it's as simple as that. No

touching without being touched, no looking without every look being met. We are doctors, we

should know. Knowing, though, is the easy part, saying it out loud is what's difficult. Impossible


We would have accepted hell rather than this; come to think of it, we've seen hell on a daily basis

for a year now, so we know how to make a comparison. But, as it seems, a higher power wants

to point out to us that there's more than one hell.


And that we haven't seen all of them quite yet.

Hell…funny how many people can have the experience but miss the meaning. Not us.

No, definitely not us. And for us, this meaning can never be final since the pattern of hell is always

changing, the system always developing.

To every action its reaction, every situation requires its own solution even if that solution is

impossible…or can only be expressed once every day in a fleeting touch between waking and



I want to really love, Hawk, I want to know the meaning.


I know I say it's friendship I want…but I feel myself moving on to something more.

I know it's wrong, for it's something I haven't felt in a long time.

That something's burning, twisting inside of me.

That something has questions attached to it.

And we can't find the answers where we are.