...Mightier Than the Sword
A Fan Fiction Archive
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***


The Episode.

The episode was the one where the doctors were doing a routine physical. It is discovered that Trapper has an ulcer and is eligible to be sent home.
In the episode Hawkeye and Trapper have an emotional not-quite-goodbye. Later Radar comes into the tent, where Trapper is now suddenly alone and shirtless, to tell him that he is not going home.
Trapper waits to the end of his going away party to break the news to Hawkeye and his friends. The look on Hawkeye's face is strangely horrified, presumably at the missed opportunity for Trapper to go home.
The last scene shows Hawk and Trapper joking around, with everything between them ok.

The shirtless ness, the look on Hawkeye's face and the fact that they needed to show us everything was ok (should we presume that everything was not ok before?), combined with Trapper's lack of official goodbye when he left conspired towards this fic.

This is the missing scene after Hawkeye and Trapper tell each other how much they miss them.

***

Hawkeye fought back his tears, taking no solace in his friend's own reflective gaze. This was goodbye.
Trapper walked over to Hawkeye and placed his hands on either side of his face.
"Please take this in the spirit in which it was meant"

Hawkeye looked him in the eye.

"I love you" Trapper said.

Hawkeye smiled. The words tickled the edge of his tongue.

Then Trapper kissed him. Hawkeye's smile melted around it. It was a chaste kiss, a kiss between best friends. Without passion, but with much emotion. Accepted in the sprit it was meant.
Trapper pulled away anxiously, turned his back in embarrassment. Hawkeye stood there for a moment, surprised but understanding.

Before he could say anything to hide his embarrassment at having shown such emotion in such a fashion, Trapper felt a hand on his shoulder.

"I love you too."

And his kiss was returned in the same fashion. But not.

It started simply, the same as before, but Hawkeye moved his lips *just slightly *. Ant trapper pushed forward *just slightly *. And then it became a real kiss, a physical outlet for the emotion they could not share. They focused all their pain, their loneliness into it.

"I miss you" It said, and sometimes the lips formed the words they didn't say.
"Don't go" It said, lips forming words they couldn't say.

Hawkeye's hand moved around Trapper's waist, grabbing hold of Trappers shirt. Trappers own hands repeated the gesture. Hawkeye lifted Trappers shirt over his head.

And stopped.

The moment's pause, the split second they had stood apart for the shirt to come off had broken the fragile spell. Trapper shivered a little. He hadn't wanted to stop, but he didn't know if he wanted to keep going. He didn't know if he *could*. Hawkeye stood, aghast, with his mouth hanging slightly open.

"What the *hell * were we doing?"

Trapper couldn't answer that. He hadn't meant to. And he was going home to see his kids, his wife, his secretary.

Hawkeye tried several times to speak again. In the end he just grabbed his Dress Robe and walked out.

For a while Trapper just stood there. His ulcer complained That was a mistake. That was a fluke. That was just misplaced joy at going home. That had just been misplaced...something.

That had been goodbye.
He stared at the shirt and the clenched hand that held it. And let it go. He sorted for another from his travel bags, the other vilified and canonised and wasn't to be worn again.

He was half way through putting on his new shirt when Radar come and told him he wasn't going home. All his goodbyes were wasted.

"Radar, do me a favor and don't tell anyone?"

The problem with goodbyes was that they were only meant to be made once. They said things that could only be said once because they gave too much. Some things couldn't be taken back. But Trapper was staying. He just couldn't face it yet.
Hawkeye looked horrified as Trapper felt.

***
Months later, Trapper was gone for good.

"Did he leave a note, a message? Anything?" Hawkeye begged.

Radar looked hesitant and gave him a quick, chaste kiss.
That goodbye had been made before. Only once.
"To hell with that."

He stole a jeep, a corporal and headed for Trapper.

They'd wasted all that time. All he wanted was 5 minutes more.

He was already too late.


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