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Scenes From The Korean War

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He'd been so looking forward to it. Radar's wedding. He hadn't heard that the man was going to be there. But he could hope. Hawkeye loved Radar, and maybe he would surprise them all by showing up. That's the kind of thing he would do, even if he had never responded to the invitation.

But then Radar showed up at Colonel Potter's house and no one actually made it to Iowa. Francis hadn't realized how high his hopes had really been until they were crushed.

They had never discussed this. What to do after the war. Hawkeye had spent the years they had been together, whispering sweet nothings into his ears. But he had never lived more than a minute into the present. He simply couldn't. It was part of how he coped with war. Francis had always assumed that when peace was reached, they would discuss things. They were in love after all.

But then Hawkeye had snapped and Francis lost his hearing. It was all so sudden that by the time he had had a breath, Hawkeye was gone. They hadn't talked. He made some joke that Francis couldn’t hear, and then he was just gone.

He had taken the other man’s warmth and love for granted. He has simply waited for Hawkeye to come to him. To make plans with him. What had he really been expecting after all? That they could form a life after the war?

He had never admitted to Colonel Potter or Klinger that part of the reason he had fallen to drink was Hawkeye. His trying to come to terms with the loss of his hearing and his heart. Now he had his hearing back and he stayed away from liquor.

All he wanted was to see the man. Maybe place a hand on his arm and feel the warmth there. Just be around him. Soak in his presence a little. But it wasn't to be.
When he got home that night. He sat down at his little desk and wrote a letter. He had written countless letters to his love and had never sent them. He was terrified that he would get some meaningless polite response. But Hawkeye was going to get this one. It had been a long stressful day. And he was angry. Angry at himself, at Radar, at Hawkeye. So he wrote the letter. And sent it before he could calm down.

---

When Hawkeye strolled down to get the mail that Saturday he was trying to be chipper. Dad had suggested a vacation, but neither of the really wanted to leave Maine or their patients. Hawkeye had always had big plans for himself as a surgeon, but Korea had left him shaken. So, he helped put out the family shingle. He was trying to get over the unexpected shift in his life. Not knowing if he would get through it. He sorted through the letters, until he saw one with his name on it. The return address was Missouri, but the name. It couldn't be. Francis? He tucked the other letters into his robe pocket and opened it right there in the yard.

Dear Hawkeye,

I've written you many time these last few months. Since returning from Korea, I wanted some connection with you. I never sent those letters. I must admit, I was scared you wouldn't respond, or far worse, your response would not be you. That it would be some form of a polite brush off. And that would hurt more.
But today I'm angry. At myself and at you. So, I'm mailing this before I can think better of it.

Radar got married today. I have no idea if you were invited. I assume you were as the Colonel, Klinger and myself all were and Radar loved you most. I don't know.
All I know is that I wanted to see you very badly. We never made it to the wedding. Radar came to us instead. I ended up officiating the ceremony. She's a lovely thing.
When the war ended, why didn't you come to me? Anything would have been better than the nothing I'm left with. If you never wanted to see me again, at least I would know. My heart would break, but I imagine it would hurt about as much as it does now. Yes, I could have come to you, but that's not how this arrangement of ours worked.

I think about you always, what your doing, how you are. I look at the photo I have of the two of us together. I like to imagine you cooking and laughing. I like to imagine you reading a book. Curled into a chair and ignoring the world. Listening to the radio softly, maybe. Maybe just sitting, staring out the window, listening to the ocean.

I've moved from Pennsylvania here to River Bend Missouri to work at General Pershing. I will tell you, it’s because I had a drinking problem. I felt so useless as a priest because of my hearing, when I got back that I tried drowning myself in scotch. My sister came, called Colonel Potter and he and Klinger pulled me up by my bootstraps, as it were. They went in and repaired the damage to my ears and I've recovered most of my hearing. Sherman also rescued Max, getting him a job here at General Pershing. Soon Lee is going to have a baby very soon now.

If I write anymore, I'm going to end up down at the bar across the street. When you respond to this, Hawkeye, please just be to the point. I don't want a lot of nothingness on paper. If you’re going to do that, I’d rather you not respond at all. I just don't want to hurt anymore.

Maybe if I get closure, I can start to heal my wounds.

Francis

 

Hearing problem? Hawkeye read the letter again. If the priest had this trouble before they left Korea, since before he- Hawkeye turned and ran up the driveway.

8 hours later he was pulling into the parking lot of General Pershing Hospital. He had gotten the last seat on a flight out of Portland to Saint Louis. His father hadn't tried to talk any sense into him, just thrown some clothes into a bag and made him change. He had been in such a state he was ready to fly all the way here in his bathrobe.
It was late, and he knew Francis wouldn't be here now but it was the only place to go. The return address on the letter was here. He had clutched that letter in his hand all day. Read it countless times. He hoped it wasn't too late.

Hawkeye made his way inside and found the information desk. A tired young woman sat there flipping through a magazine.

"Excuse me, sorry to bother you." Hawkeye said, keeping his voice low.

"Yes sir? How can I help you?" She looked up, her smile thin.

"I'm looking for someone." He said.

"I'm afraid visiting hours are over sir." She folded her hands together, looking up at him.

"No, I'm sorry, not a patient. A priest. Father Francis Mulcahy? He works here?"

"Oh yes." Her face brightened a touch at the name. "I don't believe he's in right now."

"Do you have a home address or number?" He asked.

"I can't give out that information sir." She said, her smile turning down. "You can leave a note for him if you like. He should be in tomorrow."

"Can I wait here for him?"

"I'm afraid that would be against regulations." She bent at the waist and opened a drawer, pulling out a yellow legal pad. He took it, and an offered pencil.

Hawkeye had gotten no further than Francis when he heard his own name called. He turned and there stood the Colonel.

"What the devil are you doing here?" He came down the hallway and stuck out his hand to shake. Then he pulled him into a hug.

"Colonel, boy, am I glad to see you." Hawk said when they stepped back. "You must know where he is."

"Who?"

"Francis, Father Mulcahy. He wrote me a letter." Hawkeye still clutched it in his left hand.

"A stamps a whole hell of a lot cheaper than a plane ticket, Pierce." The Colonel lead him away from the desk.

"He was deaf! And drinking and, and," Heartbroken he wanted to say but couldn't. "I was worried. I am worried."

"Calm down, we got that all sorted out now." He said, walking Hawkeye back down the hallway.

"How is he Colonel, really?" Hawk tried to keep that plaintive note out of his voice.

"He seems to be fine and dandy."

"I'd like to see him." He squeezed the letter.

"He will be in tomorrow at 8am sharp. Always is." They were walking past a ward of sleeping patients now.

"Does he have an office I can wait in?"

"What's going on Hawkeye?" Potter stopped walking and turned to face him.

"I just really need to talk to him." Hawk put his hand together, as if praying. "Please."

"Okay, don't tell me but I can't let you into his office."

"Where does he live? I rented a car, I'll drive over there."

"He just moved out of the seminary. Don't know where he is now." Potter clasped his hands behind his back. Hawkeye made an awful pained sound and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Are you okay?" Potter laid a hand on Hawkeye’s shoulder.

"Yes? I don't know. I screwed something up very badly and I have to talk to him as soon as I can. I want to fix this. I need to." Hawk felt tears begin to prickle in his eyes.

"Come stay with me and the missus. We'd be glad to have you." Potter squeezed his shoulder.

"No, I couldn't." He shook his head and swiped at his eyes with the back of his hand.

"What are you going to do, sleep in your car waiting for him?"

"No. I don't know. Maybe."

"Don't be stubborn, come back to the house with me. I’m due the same time as the Father. You can come in with me."

"I'll never sleep." Hawk dropped his arms, losing the battle.

"At least you won't be sitting up in the car all night."

---

The Colonel's house was spacious and homey. He had expected nothing less. There was a light burning in the kitchen.

"Mildred usually leaves something for me to eat when I'm stuck late at the hospital." Potter hung up his jacket and hat. "I'll split it with you. How about a belt?"

"Best idea I've heard all day." Hawkeye shrugged off his jacket and followed the man into his kitchen.

"Looks like tonight's fair is cold roast beef. How about a couple sandwiches Pierce?"

He had a plate in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other.

"And a scotch if you have some." Hawkeye sat down laying his letter on the table in front of him.

"So, what's in that letter that you had to fly all the way out here?" Potter asked, pouring a drink and setting it in front of Hawkeye. "You said you screwed something up."

"I don't really want to talk about it until I talk to Francis." Hawk sipped on his drink, resisting the urge to simply down it. This was no time to get drunk. No time to wake up hung over.

"Okay, I'll give you that." The Colonel set down a plate in front of him.

"Looks good." His stomach rumbled. "I haven't had anything since breakfast."

"In that much of a hurry to get here?" He sat down with his own plate.

"Yes. I got on a plane as soon as I got his letter." Hawk said.

"I think there's something going on. But I'll wait till you want to tell me." Potter took a bite of his sandwich.

"Thank you. And for the food too." Hawk took his own bite.

---

Later, after Potter had shown him to the guest bedroom, Hawk laid on the coverlet. He toed off his shoes and curled in on himself, staring at the wall. The wallpaper had little daisies on it. Somewhere in this town, Francis was curled up in his bed. Was he sleeping, or was he maybe reading a book? He could get lost in a book and stay up late into the night. Sometimes, when Hawkeye snuck over to see him, he would be asleep on his bed, a book in his hand. He would always take a long moment to watch the other man sleep. Lost in the thoughts of the Father, he surprised himself by falling asleep.

---

Father Mulcahy woke up late and missed the first bus. By the time he got to the hospital it was quarter after the hour. As he hurried around the corner to his office he could hear raised voices. In front of his office stood three people. There was the Colonel and Klinger talking to a taller man. He had a head of salt and pepper hair. His shoulders were stooped and he was very upset.

"You said he would be here at 8. It is now 8:17 and I see no priest!" The man waved his hand at the office door. He looked familiar.

"Calm down Doc, he takes the bus!" Klinger said, shrugging his shoulders, gesturing with the clipboard.

"I believe I see the man of the hour." Potter had seen the Father coming down the hall towards them. He raised his hand.

"I apologize for being late," Francis started, but then the figure turned and it was Haweye.

"Francis," Hawkeye said, sagging with relief. "I got your letter."

"I didn't expect you to respond like this!" Francis rushed down the hall, and took him by the upper arm. "What are you doing here?"

"I need to talk to you." Hawk said. "You're hurting my arm."

"If you'll excuse us please gentleman." The priest dug his keys out of his jacket and opened his office. He hustled the taller man through and shut the door behind them.
"What the heck was that?" Klinger asked.

"I've been told we'll get the full scoop soon." Potter said, shaking his head and walking off.

---

"I thought you'd be happy to see me." Hawkeye pulled the now crumpled letter from his pocket.

"You overwhelmed me." Francis took off his jacket, slamming it onto the door hook.

"Why didn't you tell me? About your hearing?" It was Hawkeye's turn to grab the Father.

"I didn't want you to send me home. I needed to finish my work with the orphans." He wrenched his arm out of Hawk's grip. "And I'm fine now. Thank you."

"But Francis, I would have wanted to examine your ears. I still do!" He took him by both shoulders now, crumpling the letter.

"Why are you here?" Francis turned his head and shut his eyes, unable to look him in the eyes.

"To explain to you why you think I never talked to you about our future." Hawkeye's voice shifted down, low and gentle.

"Hawkeye-" Francis started.

"No. Look at me. Open your eyes." Hawkeye said. The Father did, slowly. "There they are, so blue they make the sky look grey."

"Hawkeye, please,"

"Just listen to me." He slid his hands down and took the Father's hands in his. "When I got back from Tokyo, I was in a very bad place. But the first second I had after they called an end to the war, I went to find you. We were still at the other camp, the one we went to to escape the fire. You were sitting on a log, watching some ducks on that little stream there. I came up behind you, and asked if you would consider, maybe, coming to Maine with me. There are a few Catholic churches in town and I thought maybe you could find a place there. You didn't say anything. So I went on. Explaining about how nice Maine is. And you didn't say anything, so I said if that wasn't good, then I could wrap things up in Maine and get a job wherever you wanted to go. I was trying not to get angry. But you weren't saying anything. Then I told you, I would follow you anywhere if that's what you wanted. And you started shaking your head and you put your hands over your ears. It must have been a complete coincidence. But at the time. Francis, it broke my heart. I started to cry and I asked you, if you even loved me like you said you did. But you were just shaking your head. You didn't hear me, did you?"

"I remember the ducks." Francis's eyes had gotten very wide. "I sat there and I wanted so badly to hear them. But their beaks kept opening and there was nothing."

"You didn't hear me." Hawk squeezed the Father's hands.

"Not a word. Not a single word." He took a step towards Hawkeye.

"And I spent all these months, just. Destroyed."

"Both of us. For no reason at all." Francis moved his hands up and took Hawkeye's face in his hands. Hawk slipped his hands down and grabbed the priest’s waist. And then they were kissing.

It had been months. Hawkeye had coffee and sugar on his tongue. It was wonderful. He couldn't help but whimper just a little from the feeling.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the accident." Francis breathed.

"You're forgiven." Hawkeye said, and kissed him again. He pulled the Father's hips against him.

"Oh my, it's been so long." He laid kisses on Hawkeye's neck.

"We need to be alone. Now, Francis." Hawkeye turned his neck into the other man's questing lips.

"I have to work." But he didn't stop kissing the sensitive spot at the base of the Doctor's throat.

"Take a sick day, a sick week. I'll take you to Hawaii." He moaned.

"I can't without notice." He felt himself growing hard against Hawkeye.

"Then at least take today. Please."

"Darling," He pulled away and looked up at the other man.

"I'll just have to get on my knees and beg then." Hawkeye dropped to his knees and began fumbling with the Father's belt.

"Oh goodness, Hawkeye!" He said, stifling his moan with the back of his hand. Hawkeye worked the Father's cock out of his shorts and didn't hesitate to swallow it down. He worked his lips back and forth, circling the base with one hand.

"You taste amazing." He ran his tongue around the head, lapping up a bead of precum.

"I'm not going to last. It's been too long."

"Then take me," Hawkeye took Francis's cock again, all the way down to the base, his nose buried in the soft hair there. Francis buried his hands in Hawk's hair and held him tight. He tried to resist but couldn't help himself, he started thrusting into the surgeon’s mouth.

"You feel so good. That hot little mouth." He moaned softly. He pumped his hips and Hawk tried to keep up. "I'm going to, to," Then he was cumming and Hawkeye swallowed every drop. He wiped his mouth with his hand.

"I missed you so much." Hawkeye said and got to his feet. There were tears in his eyes.

"Darling, I missed you too." Mulchay said, and wrapped the other man up in his arms. Hawkeye cried and Francis rubbed his back.

 

When he finally got himself under control, they sat down in his office chairs.

"Sorry, I couldn't help myself." Hawkeye wiped his eyes. "And I shouldn't have cried like that."

"It's been a long few days. It's understandable." Francis leaned over his desk and took the man's hand. "I can't believe you're actually here."

"In the flesh."

"I'm terrified this is a dream. I had a lot of dreams like this when I first got back to the states."

"When you were drinking?" Hawk asked softly.

"No, they, well. I would wake up in my bed at the rectory, and it would take me a moment to realize I wasn't in Korea. That it had been a dream, and you weren't just next door. I would start to cry, and I couldn't hear myself doing it. So then I would drink. It got so I was drunk almost all the time. I just didn't want to feel anything." Francis turned his eyes away.

"Hey now, don't do that." He took his free hand and turned Francis back towards him. "There's no reason to be ashamed."

"I shouldn't have reacted like that. I should have been strong."

"Want to know what I did when I got home? My family threw me this huge party, and I got plastered. Because I had convinced myself you would be there with me when I saw them all next. That I would be introducing you around to all my family. And every person who came to welcome me back reminded me that you had rejected me. I drank so much I almost fell into a fire place." He shifted his grip and cupped Francis's cheek. "Don't be ashamed of heartbreak."

"You wanted me to meet your family?" Francis asked, amazed.

"Oh yeah, of course. I was going to tell them about how amazing you are as a priest and how you helped out so much in OR. How everyone appreciated you. And how you were going to be taking up the mantel at the Catholic Church just down the street from my Father’s office. You could live in the church, or with Dad and me." He gently ran a thumb over the other man’s cheek.

"I always thought you were a live in the moment kind of guy. And here you were, making plans for our future."

"I tried to live each moment as my last in Korea, but with you. I couldn't not think about those things. You made my whole world into something new."

"And do you still want that?" His eyes were bright, hopeful.

"I'll give you the world if you let me." He leaned forward and kissed him gently.

"Oh my." Francis blushed.

"Let me take you home. Let me make love to you." Hawkeye whispered against the priest’s lips.

"Colonel Potter and Max. They'll want to know what's going on." He kissed him again.

"Trust me, they’re already on the war path. Take one day for us. We'll face reality tomorrow." Hawkeye said between kisses.

"Yes, Hawkeye yes. Ok. Take me home." Francis buried his hands in the surgeon’s hair and captured his lips again.

---

Francis made one stop at reception to leave a message for the Colonel saying he was leaving for an unavoidable emergency. They managed to keep their hands off each other until they made it into the car. Then Hawk scooped up the Father’s hand and kissed it. The priest directed him a few miles over to the apartment block he lived in.

"I'm afraid it's rather, modest." Francis cast his eyes down when they stepped into the lobby.

"As long as it has a bed and a door we can lock, it'll be wonderful." Hawkeye put his hand on the back of Francis's neck and squeezed.

They walked up three flights and Francis unlocked his door. It was just a small room with a full sized bed, a small desk and bookshelf. It was crammed with books and that made Hawkeye smile.

"I bought some new sheets, the old ones were very scratchy." Francis had his back to Hawkeye. He set his bag down on a chair. Hawkeye took him by the shoulder and turned him around.

"It's perfect. It's you." He wrapped one arm around the shorter man, fitting one hand into the small of his back. Their hips slotted together and Hawkeye leaned in to kiss the other man.

"Let's go to bed." Francis pulled from his grip and started to undo his collar. Hawkeye stepped around behind him and stilled his hands.

"Let me." Hawkeye pulled the collar free and set it gently on the desk. He worked his hands down the the hem of the shirt. The Father raised his arms and let him pull it off over his head. He couldn't help himself, that neck looked so delicious, he bent down and kissed it.

"Oh, that's the spot." Francis reached up and undid the ties on his dickie and let it fall to the ground. Instead of letting his hand drop he cupped the back of the surgeon’s head holding him to his neck. Hawk slipped his fingers under the hem of the Father's white undershirt and played with the bare skin there. His breath hitched and caught in his throat.

"You like that Francis? Me touching you?" Hawk bit gently at his neck.

"Leave a mark." The words were moaned out.

"What?" Hawk pulled back completely, his hands stilling.

"In Korea we couldn't. Because anyone could walk into the showers at anytime and see me. But. We're home Hawkeye." His fingers scratched lightly at the surgeon’s scalp. "I want to be able to touch the mark and feel it. Feel it ache and know you love me."

"Yes, please." He stripped the Father out of his undershirt, and latched onto the skin where neck meet shoulder. He worried and laved the mark, biting and sucking. Francis moaned and gripped Hawkeye's hair.

"Don't stop whatever you do." Francis started to go weak at the knees and Hawkeye wrapped an arm around him and held him up. He sucked harder, using tongue and teeth. His cock responded, growing hard against the crack of Francis's ass. He rutted against the other man, moaning into his skin. Not stopping. Trying to make the mark as vivid as he could.

"Oh yes." Hawkeye breathed in, pulling back from his lover to take a look at his handiwork. A deep purple bruise. He ran his tongue over the mark, smiling as the smaller man melted against him.

"I must express a similar sentiment." Francis breathed. He had collapsed completely, letting Hawkeye hold him up.

"Francis," Hawkeye whined into his ear, thrusting his hips against the priest. "Bed."

"You are wearing way too many clothes." Francis steadied himself and turned in Hawkeye's grip to face the man. He stepped on tip toes and kissed him.

"Help me with this." Hawkeye said, shrugging off his jacket, and fumbling with buttons. Together they stripped him out of his shirt and undershirt. They striped off their own pants.

"You're so beautiful." Francis stepped forward, pressing them together and laid a hand onto Hawk’s chest. With his other hand he gripped both their dicks, stroking them together.

"Fuuuuck." Hawkeye breathed, harsh. "If you don't stop I'm going to cum all over your hand."

"Get on the bed." Francis's voiced dropped, rough and gravely. He let the surgeon go.

"Yes." Hawkeye dropped onto the bed, spreading his legs wide, gripping his cock and stroking.

"No. Don't touch." He was standing at the end of the bed and watching, a hungry look in his eyes. The doctor whimpered but pulled his hand away. "Good."

"Francis, please," Hawkeye's voiced cracked just a little.

"I love when you beg." The priest pulled a drawer on his desk and brought out a container of Vaseline. He scooped out a generous amount and started to pull on his cock.

"Have I ever told you I love how you look when you do that?"

"Not lately."

"I love it. Filthy." Hawkeye clasped his hands together in an effort not to stroke his dick.

"I love you." Francis said kneeling on the bed, running his fingers around the pucker of Hawkeye's asshole.

"I love you too." He moaned, pushing into the touch. Without warning, Francis pushed two fingers inside him.

"I need you." The shorter man gasped, scissoring his fingers while thrusting in and out.

"Baby, I'm already yours." Hawkeye thrust into the touch without shame, deciding if he wasn't allowed to touch his dick, it didn't mean he couldn't put on a show. He pinched both his nipples and was rewarded with a low growl from his lover.

"You're beautiful." Francis twisted his fingers up and touch that sensitive bundles of nerves. The surgeon moaned and arched his back, leaking precum onto his stomach. "That's right. Moan for me."

"Please!" He wantonly thrust his hips for the man above him.

"You only had to ask." Francis shifted forward and pushed the head of his cock into Hawkeye. "Tight. Oh. Tight."

"It's been so long." Hawkeye whimpered.

"Oh my love. I'm so sorry we've been apart." The priest pushed forward, inching into Hawkeye's willing body.

"No, it's my fault, I should have tried harder." Hawkeye let go of his nipples and gripped the Father's hands.

"We both should have." He pulled out slowly. "Forget all that. We're okay. We made it." He shifted his hips and pushed back in, running over Hawkeye's prostate.

"Don't leave me." Hawkeye laid kisses on both of Francis's palms.

"Never again." He stroked forward again and again and again. Speeding up his thrusts till he was pounding into the pliant body under him.

"Oh yes, like that!" For once they didn't have to worry about noise, or being caught. They only had to concern themselves with each other. Francis gripped Hawk's left leg and pushed it up to his shoulder.

"You feel so good." Francis leaned into Hawkeye, pressing his leg down and tightening him up. They kissed for a brief moment.

"Baby, I'm going to," Hawkeye panted into the Father's mouth.

"So soon? I love it." He reached down and stroked the hard cock between them. Hawkeye went rigid and screamed out the Father's name, cuming. Francis’s thrusts became ragged and broken, his hips stuttering against the surgeon. "I'm going to cum too, going to fill you up."

"I want it. I want all of it." Hawkeye gripped the man's hip and thrust up as if trying to get more of him inside.

"So good." Francis kissed him again spreading his lips. He came into him, pushing against him, shooting as deep as he could. He collapsed in a heap on top him. Hawkeye peppered the top of his head with kisses.

Some minutes later he rolled to the side and stood, long enough to get a towel to clean them up. They resumed the old position, Hawkeye spread out and Francis pillowed his head on his chest. He bent down and pulled the blanket at the foot of the bed over them.

"That was wonderful." Hawkeye kissed the top of Francis's head again.

"It's been so long." He sighed and snuggled further into the lanky man.

"And you were so filthy." He clapped a hand to Francis's shoulder and squeezed. "It was amazing."

"Well, I must admit, I didn't know if I would ever get to be with you again. And now that I have you here. I just couldn't help my mouth." He chuckled.

"I meant what I said in your office, I want to build a life with you."

"Hawkeye," Francis started.

"I know we can't have a normal life. I just want you around. Same house or same town. Anywhere. Whatever you want. As long as I can see you. Touch you. Be near you."

"And if I wanted to stay here in Riverbend?"

"That's fine. Is General Pershing hiring?" He kissed the top of the priest's head.

"You're serious." The shorter man turned and looked up.

"Of course. It doesn't have to be Maine. You're what's important." Hawkeye threaded the fingers of his free hand through one of the Father's.

"You love Maine. What about your Father? And your job?"

"Trying to talk me out of it hun?" Hawkeye's voice softened.

"No. No. I just want to make sure you thought this through." Francis shifted again, to look more deeply into Hawks eyes.

"Do you want me here?"

"Yes. More than anything." He kissed him again.

"Then that settles it. I'm only working with my Father right now. He's been pushing me to do anything at all. If I tell him I'm moving he'll understand."

"And. If. You tell him about us?" Francis got very quiet. "I'm not saying you have to. I'm just asking."

"My Father knows." Hawkeye was just as quiet.

"About, you and me?"

"He already knew about my, deviant tendencies. And he knew I was seeing someone during the war. He guessed simply from how I wouldn't talk about it, and my actions at the party that it had soured. He'll be ecstatic to hear different." The surgeon smiled softly.

"He knows and doesn't care?" Francis's voice perked up a little.

"Not even a little bit. Dad's progressive."

"I just didn't want to come between you and your father." Francis smiled.

"If I had to choose between you, and my father, I love my father, but I love you more." Hawkeye kissed that broad smile.

"You can't mean that."

"Darling, it's true. I want to spend forever with you."

"Oh, Hawkeye," Francis shifted and pressed and Hawk could feel him hardening against his thigh.

"My father gets you all hot and heavy hmm? Maybe I should introduce you two." Hawkeye laughed and Francis smiled.

"You get me all hot and heavy." He pressed his growing erection against the other man. "All that talk."

"Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" The surgeon wiggled his hips, grinding against the Father.

"Oh that mouth." In a move he must have picked up from Hawkeye himself, he turned and flipped up Hawk’s legs, pressing against him in the most obscene way. He lent down and sealed lips over the surgeons, rolling his hips. Hawkeye whimpered.

"Oh, watch I'm still sensitive." He moaned against the priest’s lips.

"Can I have you again?" The shorter man panted, now fully hard.

"Yes," He spread his legs further. They kissed again.

---

They surfaced later for lunch. After talking about it, they had called General Pershing and scheduled to meet up with the Colonel the next day. He didn't want to be put off another day, but accepted.

"Will anybody mind if I stay here tonight?" Hawk asked later, snuggled up in bed with Francis.

"The building is a home to gambling parlors and prostitutes alike." His eyes were touched by sleep. "We're tame by comparison."

"You know this will be the first time we spend the whole night in bed with each other." Hawkeye said.

"The first of many I hope."

"Although, I have to say, maybe we could get a bit of a bigger place? I don't want to insult you're taste..."

"It was simply all I could afford." He shrugged.

"We can afford something nicer now." Hawk kissed his loves forehead.

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch, The Colonel hasn't hired you yet. Right now, I'm the bread winner." Francis smiled, rather cheekily.

"My sugar daddy." He threw his arms around the other man.

"Speaking of Colonel, you mentioned earlier that he and Klinger would want to know what was going on." Francis said.

"I didn't know where to find you. He found me at the hospital by pure chance."

"And?"

"And I was out of my mind. I needed to see you, needed to fix this." Hawkeye scrubbed a hand over his face.

"Did you tell him about us?" Francis took him by the hand.

"No, and if we're not going to tell him the real reason I flew across country on a spur of the moment, then we've got to figure out what to tell him." He squeezed gently.

"We should be able to tell the people we love, that we're in love." Francis said.

"Not everyone sees what we do as love." The surgeon sighed.

"Do you think telling them is the right thing to do?"

"I know you want to stay here at the VA, so maybe we should hold off saying anything."

"The world is not exactly a tolerant place." Francis sighed himself. "It's not very Christian.”

“No, not really."

"I think we have to tell them." Francis said.

"And if they are less than receptive?" Hawkeye asked.

"You said there's a church down the block from your Father's office right?" Francis kissed the tip of Hawkeye's nose. "There's always Maine."

"Now who said I was that easy?"

"Oh that mouth." Francis kissed him to shut him up, not for the first time, or hopefully the last.

---

"Alright Pierce, are you ready to tell me why you were running around my hospital in a tizzy?" The Colonel sat behind his desk studying the pair of them, with Klinger standing behind him.

"Well. I got a letter from Francis." He gestured with his hands. "It might be easier if we just showed you." Francis turned sharply to face Hawkeye, his eyes harsh, warning against shenanigans. Hawk simply threaded his fingers into Francis's.

"Oh, wow!" Klinger's voice cracked out.

"I always thought there was something special between you two." The Colonel crossed his arms.

"I didn't know that Francis was deaf. When we left Korea, that fact caused me to accidentally leave him behind." Hawkeye said.

"That explains why you busted a gut getting down here." Potter said.

"I had to. If there was any chance of saving what we had, I had to try."

"You two are like together, together?" Klinger sounded incredulous.

"Yes we are Max." The Father's voice was quiet compared to the clerk’s.

"And I'm guessing that by the hand holding here, that you two made up? This was your emergency yesterday Padre?" The Colonel asked.

"I apologize for the lie, Colonel. I must say, I shared Hawkeye's urgency." Francis said, squeezing the surgeons hand, as if for reassurance.

"I feel like I should have been informed." Klinger said, crossing his arms.

"I'm with Klinger on that one, you could have told us years ago."

"B.J. knew," Hawkeye said. "He kept it a secret for us."

"So all those nurses?" Klinger asked.

"Cover." Hawkeye shrugged. "There hasn't been anyone else for me since Francis."

"Just like me and Mildred." Colonel Potter smiled.

"You're not going to be hitting on me are you?" Klinger threw his hands up palms out.

"Is your name Francis John Patrick Mulcahy?" He glared at the clerk.

"No-"

"Then no." Hawkeye crossed his legs.

"I'm happy for you two, but advertising this might not be the best thing." The Colonel uncrossed his arms but clasped his hands on the blotter.

"That's not really part of the plan," Francis said. "But those who are close to us deserve to know."

"And you didn't tell us before why?" Klinger crossed his arms again. Hawkeye started to answer but the Father cut him off.

"Because, in the middle of a war zone, you need to keep some things for yourself. I clung to Hawkeye some days like a drowning man. Yes, it was partly due to not knowing if anyone would accept us, but it was also selfishness." He ran his thumb over Hawkeye's.

"Some days Francis was all I had. He's right about clinging to each other. I didn't want to give up any piece of us."

"That's beautiful!" Always over emotional, Max came around and wrapped one arm around each of them and hugged them all together.

"Everyone needed something there. I'm just pleased as punch that you two had each other." Potter smiled again.

"Does this mean you don't think we're sexual deviants?" Hawkeye tried to pry himself out of Klinger's grip.

"Nope. Just people."

"Happy people in love!" Klinger said.

"Let them go Klinger." The Colonel waved his hand at his clerk. "Will you be staying in the area? Or going back to Maine?"

"Looking for anyone here?" The surgeon let go of Francis's hand and extracted himself from the embrace of a happy Lebanese puppy.

"Always, if that's what you want."

"Francis wants to stay here, at least for the time being. He's here. I'm here. Simple as that." Hawkeye smiled at his partner.

"That's wonderful! You'll be here when Soon Lee gives birth! Did the Father tell you she's pregnant?" Max still had his arms wrapped around the Father's neck. He was more polite then Hawkeye, and couldn't seem to get out of the exuberant man’s grip.

"He mentioned it, congratulations." Hawk clapped him on the shoulder.

"I want to say it again, though. This isn't the most tolerant town." The Colonel clasped his hands again.

"We understand completely." Francis pulled on Klinger's arm.

"So when can you start?" Potter waved the clerk off again and this time he let go.

"Give me a week, to wrap things up with my Dad. I also want to find a better apartment. No offense Francis." Hawkeye took the Father's hand again.

"Oh, none taken." He had an amazingly wide smile.

"Beautiful." Hawkeye couldn't help himself.

"Oh, Hawkeye," Mulcahy blushed wildly.

"Who couldn't love that face?" He squeezed his love’s hand again.

---

"What do you think?" Hawkeye had caged the key off the landlord and brought Francis up after work. It was a small two bedroom place, with a balcony overlooking a quite street. It had its own bathroom and kitchen unlike the Father's room at the boarding house. It even had a washer and dryer.

"What's the price per month?" Francis asked, looking at the oven.

"If we get this unit with the washer and dryer, it’s $400." Hawkeye said, looking into the fridge. Francis let out a low whistle.

"A bit much."

"We could get the unit without the washer and dryer that's $350." Hawkeye pulled the other man into him, back to chest, resting his chin on top of his head.

"Are there any other places in town you liked?" Francis gripped Hawk's arms, looking around the place.

"I've seen a few, but I like this one the best." He rocked the priest side to side just a little.

"Why’s that?"

"Look at the way the light filters through that sliding glass door there." He tilted them around to stare out the balcony. The light slanted in, illuminating a patch on the carpet. Glowing warmly in the late afternoon sun.

"Looks cozy." Francis smiled, tilting his head around to look up at the doctor.

"When I first saw it, all I could imagine was you curled up right there, in a soft chair. You fell asleep in the sun reading a book." Hawkeye pressed his forehead to the priest's.

"We could make this a nice home." He let his eyes fall shut, enjoying the embrace.

"I'll sign the papers, then." Hawkeye murmured, bringing his lips to Francis's. It wouldn't be easy, but at least they were together.

---

Vermont, 2000

A car slowly pulls up in front of a courthouse. A young girl steps out and opens the back door helping one man step out, who in turn helps the other. They are both dressed to the nines, suites and ties. The taller one, uses a cane and offers his other arm to help support the shorter one. Age has taken its toll of both men, and it takes them awhile to get going. But when they do it's mostly smooth sailing. Both of them stand strongly upright, not letting age bow their shoulders.

Finally they reach the top of the steps up to the courthouse, slow going but managed. The young girl runs ahead and opens the doors for them. It's been almost 50 years. The taller one wanted to bring a sign that said it took you long enough, but the shorter one vetoed the idea.

Today in the great state of Vermont, two old men in love, are finally getting married.