The ground came rushing up at him, but he had been prepared for that and rolled the moment his feet made contact with terra-firma. Still the breath was knocked from him and the wind created by the rotor blades of the helicopter was making it difficult for him to catch it again. He rolled onto his back. As the helicopter moved up and then away, he did a quick self-analysis and was pleased to find himself intact with nothing broken. 'Now to look for BJ,' he anxiously thought.
He stood and started to run in the direction of where he'd seen the motorcycle.
BJ lay on the ground, blinking back the dust in his eyes. He knew he should move, regardless of whether the sniper was there or not, but each time he thought to, his body protested it and demanded another minute to recover. This had gone on for... he could not say. Now, the only thing that occupied his mind, was how alone he felt. His thoughts of Peg and Erin, Hawkeye and the rest of them, instead of consoling him, their images had only strengthened his loneliness. "I'm sorry, Peg..." he suddenly whispered, "Sorry..." He squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth against the horrible pain that that plea of forgiveness had invoked in him.
"You know, I might be gorgeous, Beej, but your Peg I aint."
BJ's eyes fluttered open, "Hawk?" he whispered with a frown of puzzlement.
Hawkeye smiled down at him "The one and only," he said with relief.
"It can't be..." BJ softly denied, "I... I saw you leave."
"You want me to touch you, Beej, to prove that I'm here?" Hawkeye then chuckled and without waiting for an answer, he knelt, leant a little forward and placed a hand on his friend's back in comfort.
BJ groaned the moment the hand touched him, "Hawk," he whispered, "you shouldn't be here... Who's gonna look after Peg and Erin?"
"You are, my friend, once we get mobile."
BJ shook his head, "Hawk please," he begged, "Peg and Erin are gonna need you."
"They're gonna need you a whole lot more, Beej," Hawkeye quickly answered and just as quickly added, "which means that I don't leave here without you. So, how about you help an old friend out here, and let me help you."
BJ turned over on to his back, groaning as he did so. He then grasped Hawkeye's arm. "Hawk, please..." he begged again.
"You know, Beej, I reckon all that shelling has finally caught up with me," Hawkeye replied, furiously waggling a finger in his ear, "I can't hear a word you're saying."
"I'm tired, Hawk."
Despite the fear he felt when hearing the desolation in BJ's simple statement, Hawkeye still forced a smile on his face and said, "A bullet hole in the shoulder and leg's bound to do that to you, Beej, you know?"
"I thought you couldn't hear me?"
"Yeah, well," Hawkeye shrugged, "I guess it's selective then... Only wants to hear what it wants to hear." Once said, he shuffled a little more forward and started to inspect his friend's shoulder wound. He could see the entry point, ignored BJ's moan as he turned him onto his side, and saw the exit wound. Neither pretty to look at but he'd seen plenty like it before. The important thing was to stop the bleeding, which he didn't have to worry about that at the moment. Though the wound was bloody, the blood there was dry.
Pleased to see that, he moved BJ onto his back again, hearing a sigh this time, and inspected the leg wound. There was an entry wound but no tell tale exit wound. He tore at an arm of BJ's shirt and when a long strip came away, he tore a tiny bit of the front of his friend's shirt, rolled it into a ball, put it onto the leg wound then tied the strip around it to hold it in place. This wound had him worried. Unless he could get the bullet out, then there was a good case for infection to set in and if that's not then treated soon enough then a fever would take hold. And if the fever's not taken care of... Hawkeye would not go there. "Okay Beej, you got a shoulder wound..." he said, then stopped a moment when he heard a mumbled reply, "What?"
"I said, tell me something I don't know," BJ snappily responded.
"Okay... Well, what you don't know is that it has an exit wound... All good..."
"Not from where I am."
"I guess not," Hawkeye admitted, "The leg wound doesn't have an exit wound..." he admitted and waited a moment for all the implications of that to sink in. Then after a time he said, "So I gotta get the bullet out."
"Or you could just leave me here."
"You see any farm animals flying, Beej?" Hawkeye retorted, then without waiting for an answer, he added, "A chopper's gonna be picking us up from 4077th. We just gotta get there."
"How far?" BJ sighed.
Hawkeye frowned, "A couple of miles or so..." he said with a shrug.
BJ squeezed his eyes shut again, willing his body to want to make the couple of miles journey, but he was beginning to think he was losing the battle. He felt a hand on his good shoulder and opened his eyes. He would have given anything not to see the worry that was evident on his friend's face, but right now he was too tired to care. "A couple of miles?" he asked.
Hawkeye nodded and leant forward to help his friend up. He stopped halfway leaning across BJ's body when a hand painfully grasped his arm and he heard a whisper,
"I wish you hadn't come back, Hawk..."
"Yeah, well I did, Beej, and there's nothing you can do about it." He continued on across BJ's body, grasped the back of his good shoulder and then heaved.
BJ cried out at the sudden jolt and immediately felt unconsciousness sipping at the edges of his sight. He gulped back any further misery, including the bile that had reached the back of his throat, and did the best he could to help Hawkeye raise him from the ground. It was hard on him and the leg he could stand on wobbled beneath him with his tiredness. He flung an arm around Hawkeye's shoulders, grateful for the arm around his own waist, and moved. He bit down each flare of pain that burnt a hot trail to and from each wound with every hop, squeezed his eyes shut with determination when his body demanded that he stop, until he couldn't take any more. He frantically tapped his friend on the shoulder and when Hawkeye looked at him, he shook his head and whispered, "Not... going to work, Hawk."
"Look I'll get your bike..."
"You... you don't know how to ride it."
Hawkeye shrugged at that, "Well it can't that hard to learn. You know how to."
Despite where they were, what had happened to him and the pain that constantly ate at him, BJ could not help the chuckle, "You, you think I'm gonna let you anywhere near my pride and joy?"
Hawkeye winced and muttered, "Uh, yeah, Beej, you, uh, you kinda have to." When he didn't get a response to that, he frowned with worry, "Beej?" he softly enquired.
"Leave me alone, Hawk," BJ snapped back at him.
"You know, I'm getting a little tired of this disgusting display of nobility..."
Hawkeye opened his mouth to add some more to his rant, when BJ suddenly said, "Will you just shut up. I'm trying to decide whether it would be better to walk or not."
Hawkeye suddenly let rip with a cackle of a laugh and shook his head with his amusement. "C'mon, Beej, it'll be a piece of cake," he assured his best friend.
BJ shook his head at that, "Nope, you're too excited about this."
"Who wouldn't be," Hawkeye muttered excitedly, then leaving his friend without a choice, he left BJ standing on one leg and moved off towards the yellow motorcycle. "Be right back..." he called out over his shoulder.
As he watched his friend move off, BJ suddenly got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He sank to the ground, unable to keep himself upright any longer. "Watch it, Hawk, sniper," he suddenly called out.
Hawkeye immediately ducked and stopped in his tracks, "Where?" he grated out at BJ, who just frowned and shook his head. Hawkeye sighed, briefly contemplated going back to his friend, but knew they wouldn't get to 4077th without the bike. He bolstered whatever courage he had and started off again, shifting his gaze all around him as he moved.
He breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he got to the bike intact and unharmed. He stooped down and hefted the motorcycle up from its side, turned and wheeled it to where BJ now sat. He looked down at his friend and grinned from ear to ear, "So, oh wise one of motorcycles," he said, "how the hell do I get this thing started?"
BJ chuckled, "Hawk, it's your riding that has me the most worried." Blinking up at his friend, he added, "I'm gonna regret this, aren't I?" He then sighed, held out his good arm for Hawkeye to take and when it had been grasped, he pulled against it and levered himself up against his friend. "Get on it," he muttered, once he stood again on one leg.
Hawkeye did as he was told.
BJ quickly informed him of where the gears were, how to change them and how not to stall the bike. To finish the quick biking lesson, he said, "Okay, Hawk, kick start the girl into action." He chuckled and shook his head when Hawkeye bounced once on the seat of the bike with obvious excitement, then sent a silent prayer of 'thanks' heavenward sighed when he heard the telltale sound, much like a chainsaw starting up, of the bike starting up.
Hawkeye turned to BJ and practically yelled, "Well, c'mon then Beej."
BJ shook his head, then nodding a little way up the track, he said, "Take her for a quick spin first... I'm not getting on her until you have..."
If anything, and if it was at all possible, Hawkeye's eyes widened and his grin grew, before he slowly let out the clutch and moved off.
BJ had to sit again. More than anything he just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. He didn't care anymore where he was or that he needed to get home, only that he wanted to get some sleep. He lay on his back, listening to the thrum of his motorcycle and closed his eyes.