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peace be upon us
G, pre-slash. It's snowing, but Radar is out delivering letters. Hawkeye has the flu.
Snow muffled sound, so silence reigned supreme. It was almost as if the feuding armies had called a snow day, or so Radar observed, tramping across the compound with a bundle of mail in his arms. His footsteps were nearly silent, but the snow crunched, and so BJ looked up when he reached the door of the Swamp.
“Mail call, sir,” Radar called, and BJ kicked the door open for him, more as a gesture than anything else. Frank sniffed and swatted at a passing creepy-crawly.
“What’ve we got?” BJ asked in anticipation.
“One from your wife, sir,” Radar told him, “and one for you, sir.” This was directed at Frank, who sniffed again before taking the letter from the company clerk’s hand.
“I think that’s from your wife, too, sir,” Radar added, but Frank gave him a look.
“It’s none of your beeswax, corporal, who my letters may or may not be from.” He stopped, and then went on, “This letter’s been opened!”
“Steam can do that,” BJ informed him, looking pointedly at Radar.
“I never!” began Radar indignantly, but BJ shushed him. “Who’s the other letter for, Radar?”
“That’s for Hawkeye, sir.”
In the corner, Frank’s inner alarm bells went off at the use of Hawkeye’s first name, but he was distracted by a cockroach in his shaving kit before he could say anything.
“Ah…” BJ said, and leaned back. “Hawk. Letter for you.”
There was a phenomenon vaguely reminiscent of the earth folding during the subduction of an oceanic plate, and Hawkeye’s ruffled head emerged from the blanket. He grabbed the letter without ceremony, glanced at the postmark, and sank back into the depths.
Radar watched this in slight alarm. “What’s wrong with him, BJ?”
“Sudden onset of seasonal coryza,” BJ said blandly.
“Oh…” Radar’s eyes were wide. “What’s that?”
“Common cold,” BJ explained, smiling. “Or, as in Hawk’s case, a dose of carnal flu.”
Perhaps it is indicative of Hawkeye’s state of mind that BJ received no retribution for this remark.
“Oh…” Radar said again. “Gee, Hawk, I hope you feel better soon.”
Hawkeye re-emerged, this time with somewhat more to say for himself. “Thousands of years of human history,” he said with barely concealed wrath, “from Hippocrates to Jesus Christ, from William Harvey to Joseph Lister to Alexander Fleming to Hawkeye Pierce, and there’s no-one who’s come up with one single damn cure for the most common illness there is!”
“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong, Hawk,” BJ told him. “We have a cure for it now. It’s called “rest and fluids.” After a pause, he added, “I could throw a glass of water at you if you like.”
“Try it, and I’ll kiss you,” Hawkeye threatened, and disappeared again.
“What did he say?” Radar asked worriedly.
“It’s a very contagious disease, Radar,” BJ said. “The quickest way to spread the virus is through physical contact.”
“Oh,” said Radar.
Frank swatted at another cockroach. It failed to die. BJ considered telling him the insects could survive a nuclear holocaust, but decided against it on the grounds that Hawkeye needed him around and he wouldn’t be around if, say, Frank killed him.
“I’ve got to go, sir,” Radar said apologetically. “I’ve got the rest of the mail to deliver.”
“You do that,” BJ said, amused. “Careful you don’t get buried in a snowdrift.”
“I’ll try, sir,” Radar said, straight-faced, and departed.
Once he’d gone, BJ lost his air of comfortable nonchalance. Stopping to make sure Frank was still firmly engrossed in cockroach genocide, he pulled at Hawkeye’s blanket. “You’ll kiss me?” he demanded. “You’ll kiss me, Hawkeye? What, are you delirious now?”
Underneath the layers of blankets, Hawkeye was laughing to himself. “No, I’m easy,” he murmured sleepily.
By the time BJ had managed to take the covers off his head, he was sleeping soundly, but the smile still lingered.
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