A Second Childhood

by Hawk

Hawkeye woke up screaming, drenched in sweat. B.J. rushed over to his cot and shook him hard.

"Wake up, Hawk, it's okay."

Finally he stopped screaming and looked at B.J.. B.J. watched him with a look of genuine concern.

"Are you okay?" He asked gently.

"Yes," Hawk lied, "I just need to go for a walk."

"Are you sure?" B.J. asked, "Cause I'd be glad to stay up with you."

"No, no, I just need some air."

Hawkeye had been having bad dreams for a week now, and B.J. was getting worried. As Hawk left the swamp, Charles awoke.

"Is he screaming again?" Charles demanded annoyed, "Why can't he sleep someplace else?"

"Take it easy, Charles, he's scared. I'm going to go find him."

Charles pulled his night mask back over his eyes as B.J. left the tent.

B.J. saw Hawkeye heading towards the mess tent. He followed quietly, not wanting Hawkeye to know he was concerned because he would pull away.

B.J. sat outside the mess tent and looked through the clear screened walls. Hawk was sitting on a table, his head in his hands. The mess tent was dark and there was no one else in it. Hawk looked really upset and B.J. was about to comfort him when something strange happened. A little yellow ball floated through the tent to where Hawkeye was, causing him to look up startled.

In the mess tent, Hawkeye looked up at the yellow ball surprised. In the center was a tiny lady. He gasped. He realized it was his mother who had died when he was ten. It must be another dream. He tried to wake up but couldn't. He screamed so B.J. would come and wake him.

"Shhh!" The thing demanded.

"What do you want?" He sobbed nervously.

"Relax, Ben, it's me, Mom," The ball said.

"What are you doing here?" He asked weakly.

"I'm here to help you."

"Help me?"

He was frightened and just wanted the thing to go away.

"You have bad dreams. You're insecuree. You close everything up inside..."

"So what," He snapped defensively.

"You need to open up more, be more dependant."

"Ok, will you leave now?" He asked.

"First I have to make you more dependant."

She did a little swishy dance around him until he was sure he was dreaming. He screamed. He really wanted to cry. That was when he realized his screams sounded different.

He looked down at himself. He was a kid again, he realized, no more that three years old. He looked across the room at his reflection in the coffee canister. He looked a lot like himself, just so much smaller. He saw the unmistakable fear in his own eyes.

"Don't do this," He begged his mother-fairy, "Please change me back."

"No," She said and was gone.

Hawkeye sat there for a minute, trying to decide what to do when B.J. walked in. He sat down next to him.

"I saw the whole thing," He said, "Are you going to be okay?"

"Of course."

"Let's go back to the swamp and get some rest," B.J. suggested, not knowing what to do, "We'll worry about this in the morning."

B.J. leaned over to lift Hawk up but he scrambled away.

"I can walk," He said defensively. His uniform had not shrunk when he did so he stood up in just the shirt and gathered the ends.

B.J. understood that he was scared and didn't want to be held just then. He walked slowly beside him so he could keep up.

"Let's go to Father Mulcahy's tent first," B.J. suggested, "He donates clothes to the orphanage, he might have some that would fit you."

They knocked on the door of Father Mulcahy's tent.

"Come in," He called.

B.J. held the door open for Hawkeye and they went inside.

"Father we need some clothes for him," B.J. pointed to Hawk.

"Sure. I've only got this." Mulcahy showed B.J. a small gray sweatshirt that was a little to big for Hawk but would have to do. B.J. took off the army shirt and slipped the sweatshirt over him. It went down past his feet.

"Where did he come from?" Mulcahy asked.

"Long story, Father, I'll tell it to you sometime," B.J. replied.

He bent down and tried to pick up Hawkeye again but he dodged. Understanding, B.J. let him walk back to the swamp.

Hawkeye paced nervously around in the Swamp.

"I think we should tell colonel Potter," B.J. suggested, "He's been around longer, he might know what to do."

"Yeah, maybe he's seen cases like this before," He snapped.

"No reason to get defensive," B.J. said gently.

"How can I not get defensive...I'm a two year old!"


"I'm sorry Beej, your right, let's go talk to him."

B.J. again tried to lift Hawkeye but he darted away.

"Hawk, why won't you let me touch you?" B.J. asked.

Hawkeye didn't answer.

"I know you're scared," B.J. sympathized,"But you have to trust me a little if you're going to get out of this."

Hawkeye knew this was true, but still didn't like anyone knowing he was afraid. This time when B.J. approached him he didn't step back. B.J. put his hands on Hawkeye's sides just to see how he'd react. When he didn't scream B.J. picked him the rest of the way up and held him against his chest.

He gasped.

"What's the matter?" B.J. asked.

"You're so high up..."

"I won't drop you," B.J. promised.

B.J. bounced Hawkeye around in his arms for a minute, thinking of Erin. It had been so long since he'd held a little child. He thought that this was helping him cope with being away from his child as much as Hawk being away from his dad.

B.J. pushed these thoughts away and carried Hawkeye into the reception room where they were intercepted by Klinger, who looked up form his typewriter and asked,

"Hey B.J., where'd you get the kid?"

"It's Hawkeye."

"Knock it off," Klinger didn't believe him, "Where did he really come from?"

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