This way

 
"Somewhere Between Hell And A Turning Point"

 

by Jimaine

 

 

5-min-fic to August 29th challenge

 

 

 

 

Very short and posting a fic within ten minutes of receiving the challenge is a (still exciting) second for me. J

Pairing: Hawk/B.J…almost.Very short and angsty, and I don't know where it came from.

Archive: mash-slash and at http://tostwins.slashcity.net/jimaine.htm

Disclaimer: Don't own MASH and the characters, unfortunately, but 20th Century Fox would like to make a donation of, say, one Hawkeye, I wouldn't say no. Oh, and no money is made:-((

 

 

*******

 

 

"I'm sorry."

 

No words in human language should ever sound that hollow. That miserable.

Or that frightened.

Maybe they are sincere, maybe the speaker only lacks the ability to convey the appropriate emotion…who knows? Or, as for that matter, who *cares*? He's tempted to laugh in spite of the undiminished pain. Ironic, oh how ironic.

 

"I'm sorry." Shaking hands are lowered, freeing him.

 

"It's all right. My mistake." He draws a rattling breath, willing his body to move (away, away, away) towards his cot. Distance is safety, safety is isolation, isolation is absence of hurt. A doctor's (make that 'very much distraught doctor's') mind comes up with the most interesting (and ridiculously semi- if not *il*logical) equations. "I…I didn't mean to lead you on – I mean, to suggest that I might –"

 

"Hawk, I…."

 

"Don't apologize. We got carried away."

 

"No, we didn't…I mean, yes, maybe we did…or didn't… kind of…not…  Anyway, I… Hell, I thought that…that you, ah, needed it." A shrug. "Sorry…you, ah, you must believe me, I really didn't mean for it to land on your mouth. Didn't think much of it at all. Frankly, I had no idea you'd, well—"

 

Ah, it's always a sight to see the man groping for the right words…

 

"— appreciate it this much." Guilt-filled, blue-gray eyes remain glued to the floor. "I'm truly sorry…"

 

"Will you stop it…please?" The request couldn't be any softer, any fuller of unshed tears. "Can't go back in time and change it, now, can we? And if anyone has to say he's sorry, it's me." Defiantly, he looks up to meet B.J.'s gaze, sees the question in the rigid posture. "What?"

 

"Where do we go from here?"

 

"Shouldn't that be my line?" It should be. A last, fatalistic attempt at humor where none can exist. "I suppose that's up to us. Or rather you. Say no, and I won't mention it again. Ever. Everything will be as it was. Say yes, however…and we'll take it from there." Although he already knows what the answer will be, he asks anyway. "What was it, Beej?" he wants to know, clenching and unclenching his trembling hands, unable to look at his friend. "What was it to *us*?"

 

"Dammit, Hawk, what do I know?" Instantly, B.J. lowers his voice, afraid that it'll carry. "A lot of things…maybe a turning point."

 

"It's only a turning point when you've got something to turn to", Hawk tells him quietly. "Do I have that?" He used to be afraid of dying… but not anymore. Now he's more afraid of what happens to the people who *live*, especially as he tends to forget that he's still one of them.

That the blood isn't his.

He just needs someone to remind him every now and then.

 

B.J.'s silence isn't simply 'silence'. It's far more silent than that.

 

"*Do* I?" Despair in two syllables.

 

Answered by a breathed, "No."

 

The 'not like this, not this completely' remains unspoken.

 

How to tell him that it's just the 'now' he wants and *needs* more than anything?

He never would ask him to deny his wife and daughter…all he wants is something to call his own for the time being. For the time they're doing in Hell and not a minute beyond that.

 

But the uncomfortable silence continues to grow, swallowing first the seconds, then the minutes, and finally…them.

 

If you've missed the first turning point, Hell doesn't seem inclined to offer you a second one…

 

 

FINIS