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Various Versions

by Am-Chau Yarkona

Title: Various Versions
Author: Am-Chau Yarkona
Summary: A series of drafts for a letter Hawkeye sent to Trapper, having missed him by ten minutes at the airport when he left for home. (Post episode for "Welcome to Korea") Feedback: Enquire about archiving to the same address. Pairing: Hawkeye/Trapper.
Rating: Hard PG-15, soft R.
Disclaimer: Not mine. This is the cause of some sadness for me; but I'm playing in someone else's sandbox, and I promise to leave it as neat as it was before.

Author's note: My first piece in this fandom (though not my first slash story). Comments welcomed, especially on the characterization.

Sheet One

This sheet is struck through with a savage cross--tearing the paper in a couple of places--and has the words "Too honest" scrawled across it. Like the others, it is written on plain white paper--probably standard army issue--with the M*A*S*H 4077 APO handwritten at the top.

This, like the next two, was gathered from Hawkeye's waste paper basket. The letters are therefore ordered for readability rather than the unknown order in which he wrote them.

Dear Trapper,

Father Mulcahy tells me that honesty is the best policy, so I'm going to be totally honest with you.

I missed you by ten minutes at the airport. Ten lousy minutes! I keep going over in my mind everything I could have done quicker, even though I know that ifI had arrived in time, you still would have gotten on that plane. Perhaps it's better this way: watching you leave would have torn me apart.

It's been tough out here--hell, it still is--but you made it a little easier. You've been my best friend, and more. I know the `more' never came to much of anything beyond a few nights of drunken sex when neither of us had managed to pick up a nurse of the totally opposite gender (and that one time when we just wanted to shock Frank). I just thought you should know it did actually mean something--a lot--to me, even if you'd prefer to forget it.

Oh, I know I say that to all of them--you've heard me often enough--but for once I actually mean it. Trapper, I've loved you over and above the call of friendship, and I'm sorry I never had the guts to tell you in person.

Goodbye, my friend, and good luck.



Sheet Two

The whole is struck through by a cross, as before, and seems to have been abandoned before it was completed (see below).

Dear John,

No, this isn't the classic "dear-John-I'm running-off-with-another-guy" letter--somewhat the opposite in fact. The new guy is a wimp, and I miss you already. I miss you in the surgery, helping me deal with Frank; I miss your wit and your laugh; and I miss...

Beyond that point the writing is illegible: the next two words are probably `your' and then `body'; although it has to be said that `baby' or `bust' are equally likely. There's then a gap, and something that carries the intent if not the exact meaning of `oh, damn this'.

Sheet Three

The writing on this sheet is considerably more controlled than on the others; while still clearly Hawkeye's, every letter is firm and clear, and especially the letters with tall stems (d, b, t, h, and in particular the k in his signature) are precise and upright, where normally they have a slight forward slope.

Again, the whole is struck through, and the words "Lying won't work" have been scrawled across the top in a very much freer hand (although a close inspection of the tail of the `y' reveals it to be Hawkeye's--these letters haven't been edited by anyone else).

Dear John,

I hope all's well stateside. The war is nice and deadly, and is missing your presence already. Can you send some more Adam's Ribs with your next letter? I've found a nurse who likes them too--a few would go a long way there.

Klinger says to tell you that the blue skirt with the pink flowers you helped him choose has been a big success.

Sorry this is so short--I have an appointment with a very dry witted martini.



Sheet Four

This letter is in excellent condition, barring a couple of thumb marks (having been kept in the original envelope, although clearly often read) and was generously donated by Dr. McIntyre's grandson.

Dear Trapper,

I'll miss you.


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Am-Chau Yarkona

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