B.J. went back into the Swamp. Hawkeye was sitting on Charles' cot, nearest where they'd been talking and his face implied that he'd heard every word.
"I guess I get to play Daddy," B.J. said lightly.
Hawkeye nodded, "I guess."
At that moment Charles burst in.
"Is it true about Peirce?" He demanded B.J..
"Rumors spread fast," B.J. said, "He's right there."
Charles examined Hawkeye for a minute and then said cruelly,
"Get that slimy baby off my cot."
Hawkeye didn't like the attitude Charles had toward him and slid off the cot. B.J. scooped him up in his arms.
"Charles, it's not a baby, it's Hawkeye."
"I know but..." Charles was all too uncomfortable around this new version of Hawkeye.
Hawkeye watched silently as Charles fumbled through his footlocker and then left the Swamp.
"Charles, staff meeting in the colonels office in five minutes," B.J. called after him.
Five minutes later Colonel Potter, Charles, Klinger, Margaret, B.J. and Hawkeye were gathered in the colonels office.
"Okay, Hunnicutt, you going to tell us what this surprise meeting is all about?" Potter asked.
"I think you are all aware by now that Hawkeye has, well...changed." He held up the baby.
The others looked on silently. They had all been informed.
"I talked to Sidney Freedman," B.J. continued, setting the nervous baby down on the chair, "He said if we treat Hawkeye like he really is a baby, this thing will go away."
"Then that's what we'll do," Potter agreed, "It can't be too hard. I've had some kids myself."
"Somehow I get the feeling this will be a little different," B.J. warned.
They stayed and discussed new surgical techniques for a while before they broke up and B.J. carried his friend back to the Swamp.
"It's kind of late for you, do you want to get some sleep?" B.J. asked, trying to play out his role as a father pro tempore.
"No sleep," Hawkeye said.
His voice was tiny and boyish. It unnerved B.J. to see his friend sounding, not to mention looking like a child. They played a game of checkers and Hawkeye began to yawn.
"I'm going to turn in," B.J. said, "You too?"
Hawkeye nodded. B.J. helped him into his cot and pulled the blanket over him.
"You want a bedtime story?"
Hawkeye lay awake in the dark and stared across the room at his sleeping bunkmate. He tried to sort out what had happened to him but only got more confused. He finally rolled over and tried to get some sleep.
It was early in the morning when Hawkeye woke up screaming. B.J. instantly ran to his side and sat down on the cot. B.J. found that it was a lot easier to protect Hawkeye when he was small. He put Hawkeye on his lap and pulled a protective arm around him. When he stopped screaming he dug his little tiny fists into B.J.'s bathrobe and wouldn't let go.
"Did you have another dream?" B.J. asked, already knowing.
Hawkeye nodded and tried to pull away. B.J. gave him space, knowing that Hawk would come closer when he was ready.
"You want to tell me about it?" B.J. asked gently.
"Nothing to tell," Hawkeye faked nonchalance.
"Okay, do you want me to stay up with you for a while?" B.J. knew he did but wasn't sure if he'd admit it.
"If you want," Hawk replied dismissively.
"I couldn't sleep with you all alone in the dark," B.J. smiled, "Do you want to talk about anything?"
"Let's go down to the mess tent and get something to eat," He snickered as he held up the bottle colonel Potter had given him, "Your on a very interesting diet."
B.J. lifted Hawkeye up and took him out of the Swamp. They took the long way to the mess tent because the night air seemed to help Hawkeye relax a little.
When they reached the mess tent they went back into the kitchen where B.J. made himself some coffee and heated some milk in the bottle for Hawkeye. They sat down at a table and sipped their drinks.
When Margaret walked in, saying she couldn't sleep and parking her own cup of coffee next to B.J.'s, Hawkeye seemed suddenly intimidated and climbed onto B.J.'s lap, on the other side of Margaret.
"He's a little shy, isn't he?" Margaret felt sorry for Hawkeye.
"Not shy, really, just a little scared. Actually a lot scared."
B.J. talked to Margaret as he pet Hawkeye's head, who was lying silently on the bench with his head in B.J.'s lap. He seemed to constantly be fidgeting. B.J. took him little hand in his own to still it. When Margaret finally left B.J. asked,
"You seem about as nervous with her as you were with Sidney. Could it be that there's a little more between you two than..."
"No!" Hawkeye snapped defensively.
He remembered back to the first time Margaret had looked at him in a loving way, when they had given Franks purple heart to a Korean baby who'd been shot before he was born. Margaret had even come to him, not B.J., not Charles, but him, when she thought she might be pregnant. He tried not to show any of this to B.J., but he'd loved Margaret for some time now.
Hawkeye was lost in his own thoughts for a long time, and when B.J. looked at him again, he was sleeping peacefully. B.J. didn't want to wake him, but knew he'd have to be out of the mess tent before Igor came in to start breakfast. B.J. bent down and gently picked up the sleeping Hawkeye.
Hawkeye's body was warm and limp. There was nothing quite like a sleeping child. B.J. thought that Hawkeye looked like a little angel, sleeping like that. As he walked back to the Swamp with Hawkeye in his arms, he started to shake and kick in his sleep. B.J. rocked him gently back and forth until at last he seemed to relax, without ever waking up.
Once back in the Swamp, B.J. laid Hawkeye down in his cot, and was about to get into his own, when he changed his mind. He climbed into Hawkeye's cot beside him, in hopes of heading off any other nightmares before they started.
Then next day was a better day. Hawkeye and B.J. played games, like father son. Late in the afternoon the announcement came.
"Incoming wounded, all medical personnel report to the OR immediately."
B.J. grabbed Hawkeye and dropped him off in Klinger's office.
"When Klinger comes back tell him that he's supposed to watch you while I'm in OR," B.J. said hastily, dropping Hawkeye on Klinger's cot,
"You'll be okay, right?"
Hawkeye nodded and B.J. ran off to scrub.
Hawkeye sat on Klinger's cot for a while. He heard footsteps in the other room and assumed it was Klinger, but backed up into the wall anyway. His breathe caught in his throat as colonel Flagg walked in. Hawkeye hoped that Flagg would leave without noticing him, but he had no such luck.