Toast, clink, gulp, thunk, repeat.
Drink to remember, drink to forget.
Rating: R (for Language)
Summary: Hawk/BJ strong friendship, Hawk/Margaret romance… (Heeheehee) I'm new to the whole MASH scene, I don't know episode titles or numbers, so this is roughly a few days after the episode where Hawkeye falls for the Korean lady who took in all the kids. (Name: Yun Soon?) peculiarly enough, I had this plotline in my head, and the next day there was that episode where Hawkeye and Margaret get stuck together in an abandoned shack and end up snogging… Odd really… Anyway, Hawk and Margaret get hammered for completely different reasons. One thing leads to another and eventually…. Well you get the picture. I warn you, I'm a hopeless romantic, (Much like Hawk) and I usually root for the underdog. (That's why I love this show!) Also, I haven't been out on a date in over three months.
A/N: (AKA: Author's Rant) I resent the implication that all individuals who share close quarters, hug, and take care of one another are automatically dating or homosexual. My best friends (Female) and I (FTM Ifyoudon'tknowwhatthisisI'mnottellingyou) are very close. We hug, they take care of me (and vice versa) sometimes share the same bed (but no hanky panky), but they are nothing more than sisters to me. I think my relationship with my friend RJ closely resembles Hawkeye's and BJ's, and therefore, thinking of them as a gay couple gives me the heebie jeebies. In the words of my illustrious bi-sexual friend Rena "If they're not gay, don't make em' gay". I lurve ya Rena dear!
A/N 2: Did anyone else find themselves filled with a certain sense of self-righteous glee when Hawk snogged Margaret? He deserved a little "light" in his world!
A/N 3: I went out and rented the MASH movie, you know, the one with Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye. I still like Alan Alda as Hawk, but I kinda see the Margaret from the movie as being more of a love interest for him. So if you've seen the movie, let's pretend she's the Margaret in the series.
A/N 4: Ooh! Ooh! Obscure bit of knowledge! The guy who plays Radar (Gary Burgoff) his babysitter was my chiropractor's babysitter! Isn't that awesome?
The scene that had unfolded in Rosie's Bar was a both comical and morose one. The ever-rigid Major Hoolighan was drunk out of her mind, and sitting at a table with a -very sullen looking Hawkeye Pierce. She was toasting anything and everything enthusiastically; he was muttering toasts along with her, shoulders slumped; everything about him describing utter defeat.
"To Lovers!" Margaret cried jovially, holding up her glass.
Hawkeye feebly clinked her glass with his and replied.
"To Leavers…" he muttered.
The pair swigged down their whiskey. Hawkeye winced. Straight liquor was disgusting, but at the moment he was too depressed to do anything but get smashed.
"To warm beds where lovers lie!"
"To cold army cots where morons sleep."
Another glass downed, another wince, another clink of the bottle as the shot-glasses were refilled.
"To life, love, and the pursuit of happiness!"
"To death, solitude, and the quest for loneliness."
Clink, gulp, wince, thunk, clink, toast, repeat. And that was the rhythm of the evening. Two hours passed by this way, the whiskey bottle was replaced with gin, then with a liquor that neither of them could place; mainly because they were both hammered out of their minds.
BJ Honeycutt and Charles Emerson Winchester entered the dingy little excuse for a bar sometime later. They took their seats at a table not far from the toasting couple (let's face it, there's not a lot of places to sit in Rosie's), and watched the proceedings with interest.
"To love, and all the happiness that goes with it!" Margaret cried, sloshing alcohol all over herself.
"To love…" Hawkeye agreed. "And all the pain it brings when it leaves…" he frowned for a moment, thinking about that sentence, then gave up and went back to filling up his glass and then draining it.
BJ nudged Winchester, nodding over at Hawkeye and Margaret.
"How long you think they've been here?" the Hawaiian shirted man asked.
"Pierce left sometime after breakfast. Major Hoolighan…" he trailed off, shrugging.
"To Donald Penopskopt! The most wonderful man in the Army!" Margaret was exclaiming, downing another glassful of nondescript moonshine.
"To Yun Soon. The most beautiful girl in Korea." Hawkeye said quietly, staring contemplatively into his glass of clear liquid.
BJ raised his eyebrow knowledgeably; he glanced at Hawkeye, then at Margaret, then settled his gaze on Winchester.
"You reckon we should get them out of here?" BJ asked nonchalantly.
Winchester sighed exasperatedly.
"I suppose." He stood up and strode over to the other table. "Come on Major, we need to get you back to your tent. Whatever were you doing here with Pierce? He's wallowing in his own self-pity over a snit of Korean girl! She was no different than any other gook."
Very suddenly, Charles found himself at the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich. The blow swept him off his feet and knocked him out momentarily. When he came to, Hawkeye was standing over him, swaying precariously with a furious gleam in his eyes.
"You shut your mouth Winchester! She was a wonderful woman! And I loved her! And it's thanks to men like you that she had to run… It's thanks to you and your-your-your damned precious politicians that we're here in the first place." He spat the word 'politicians' out like a dirty swear word. "Goddamnit."
Hawkeye's face suddenly took on a panicked look.
"BJ? You here?" he asked faintly.
"Yeah Hawk. I'm here."
"Good, then catch me."
BJ understood just in time and caught Hawkeye under the arms before he collapsed onto the floor.
"Ok! Time to get you back to the Swamp. Come on Hawk, wakey wakey." he patted his friend's cheek patiently.
Hawkeye looked up at him, bleary eyed and drunken beyond all comprehension.
"Wouldja stop moving for a moment. I can't focus on the three of you…" Hawkeye said quietly.
BJ slung his best friend's arm around his shoulder and began to half carry him outside to the jeep.
"Get up Charles, you're alright. And bring Margaret, I think she's had it too."
Charles blustered angrily for a moment before begrudgingly relenting and escorting Major Hoolighan out to the jeep. They loaded the semi-conscious cargo into the back and secured them so they wouldn't fall out during the brief ride.
Back at the compound, Charles unloaded Margaret and left her in the capable hands of one of her nurses. BJ then proceeded to steer Hawkeye into the Swamp. Charles parked the jeep, leaving Honeycutt to put the inebriated doctor to bed.
"Beej?" Hawkeye mumbled as BJ struggled to remove his boots.
"Yes Hawk?" he grunted, tugging the boot off his friend's foot and stumbling back a few inches. "Wow Hawk, you need to change your socks." he winced.
"Beej… I'manidiot." Hawkeye Pierce admitted.
"Yes you are Hawk. Remind me why?" he started unlacing the other boot.
"I'm an idiot for letting her go… I shoulda gone with her… What if somthin' happens to her?"
"She'll be fine, Hawk. She can take care of herself."
"Yeah… yeah I s'pose your right… She can take care of herself…"
BJ put Hawkeye's shoes next to his cot and pulled the blanket over his friend.
"Get some sleep, Hawk, who knows when the next batch of wounded comes in."
BJ stepped out of his slippers and got into his own cot, fully clothed. He blew out the only remaining candle and burrowed down into his pillow.
"Beej?" came Hawkeye's quiet voice.
"Yea Hawk?" BJ sighed.
"Who's gonna take care of me?"
Captain Honeycutt sat up and looked over at his one true friend in all of this, but he was already dead to the world.
"I dunno Hawkeye…. I dunno…"
The earsplitting racket of Radar blowing the morning bugle cut into Hawkeye's peaceful sleep. He had just been dreaming he and Marilyn Monroe were alone together on a desert island when Radar's persistent bugling sliced into his thoughts.
"Wha-Where! What's goin' on! Ack! Owwww bad light bad light! Someone turn off the sun!" Hawkeye yelped, bolting upright in bed and doing a sort of aborted pirouette in midair. "Ouch!" he cried as his head collided with one of the tent beams.
A series of shouting and a stream of curses erupted from the Swamp as Benjamin Franklin Pierce attempted a hasty retreat under his bed, where it was dark.
"Come on Hawkeye, we've got triage in five minutes. Pull yourself together man!" BJ exclaimed, mocking Winchester.
"Come now Pierce, stop being childish and get dressed, you look positively native." Charles said haughtily.
"Winchester, I flattened you last night when I was smashed I can flatten you today when I'm sober." Hawkeye called warningly from the safety of his bunk. "Ah, that's where all my socks have been going!"
"Lovely, well when you're sober, feel free to try." snorted Charles Emerson Winchester the Third sarcastically.
Hawkeye Pierce growled angrily and shook his fist at his archenemy from under the cot.
"Put these on and come get to work." Honeycutt laughed, tossing a pair of dark sunglasses to his friend, who was currently playing hide-and-seek with the sun.
Severely grumpy and muttering the whole way, Hawkeye emerged from under his cot, put the glasses on and clumped out of the tent with BJ, his boots in his hand.
"If this is a false alarm, I'm going back to bed." he grumbled, wincing at the sun, even through the shades.
Just then, Major Hoolighan bounded out of her tent.
"Good Morning Doctors! And how are you this fine morning?" she cried exuberantly.
Hawkeye winced and scuttled to hide behind BJ.
"Jeez Margaret, not so loud. You'll wake the earthworms." Pierce begged. "If what happened last night actually happened, why haven't you got a hangover?"
"Hoolihans don't get hangovers Captain Pierce. Besides, I had a letter from Donald last night! He's coming to take me to Seoul. All I have to do is get a three-day pass from Colonel Potter and it's all set! He said in his letter that it was vitally important that we speak immediately! Oh, I wonder what it's about!" she bubbled happily.
"Beej, she's bubbling. Can't you turn her sound off?" Hawkeye asked with a pained expression.
"Sorry Hawk, beyond all of our control. Penoftskopt's the only one strong enough to take her on. Good morning Colonel Potter." he said to someone over Hawkeye's shoulder.
"Morning Honeycutt, morning Pierce. Jeez Hawkeye, what in the name of sweet potatoes happened to you?" the old cowboy exclaimed.
Hawkeye frowned a moment, trying to translate the sentence into hangoverspeak.
"Officer's club… shot glasses… oh the paiiiinnnn…." Hawkeye moaned dramatically, hiding his face with BJ's back.
"Well, we're all entitled. We're not scheduled to have wounded today, so you're all free to do what you want. But when has the Army ever scheduled anything right? Just be on your guard folks, I'll be in the mess tent." Colonel Potter said cheerfully, heading to the large grey mess tent.
"What's on the menu today?" Hawk asked.
"Grey slush, with a side of barely cooked red stuff. Coming?"
Hawkeye turned green and covered his mouth.
"I think I'll go back to bed. Wake me up if anything interesting happens, like the war ending."
He then hightailed it to the Swamp and took refuge on his cot, blanket firmly tucked around his face. Today he was content to ignore the world and all the painfully bright things in it.
"Oh thank you Colonel! You don't know how much this means to me! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!" cried Major Hoolihan.
"You can start by getting this whole shindig set up. I don't want you crying to me if something goes wrong. Comprendez?" Colonel Potter said with a fatherly grin.
"Yes, of course! Thank you!" Margaret bubbled happily, grabbing the poor Colonel and kissing him on the cheek.
Sherman Potter turned bright red, embarrassed by her show of emotion. He watched her burst out of the CO's office and race into her private tent. Other than himself, he didn't know anyone else in camp lucky enough to have their own tent. Sure, Radar had his own bed, but it was in the corner of his office where people tramped through at all hours. Pierce, Honeycutt, and Winchester all shared quarters, and perhaps it was for this reason all three were on the brink of insanity.
Potter sighed and ran a hand through his sparse white hair.
"I'm gettin' too old for this." he murmured, straightening up and hearing his back pop in several places.
Margaret Hoolihan, her three-day-pass, and her four bags of luggage were in a jeep with Klinger, who was looking rather fetching in a tea-length dress of blue tulle with a matching pillbox hat. There was a strand of pearls around his neck and corresponding pearl earrings in his ears.
"Shall we, Major?" Klinger asked.
"We shall! And let's get a move on, ok?" she said, unusually chipper.
"Certainment mon capitan. That's French you know." he added brightly, starting up the jeep and shifting it into gear.
With a smile and a wave, they were off, leaving a cloud of dust behind them.
Meanwhile, in the Swamp, BJ was involved in a rather one-sided argument with the lump in a cot that was Hawkeye.
"Come on Hawk, you've been in there three days. You haven't been to breakfast, lunch, or dinner in all that time, god knows how you're holding your bladder. Have you even moved in all that time?" BJ exclaimed.
The only reply was a low brunt from somewhere in the vicinity of his pillow.
"Hawk she had to go. It wasn't safe for her here anymore. You've got to get over it. It's just lucky we've had no serious wounded this week, or Potter'd have you on a platter!"
BJ exhaled exasperatedly, ruffling his hair and beginning to pace. Suddenly strode over to Hawkeye's cot and yanked the blanket back. His friend was laying on his stomach, a pillow firmly clamped over his head.
"I'm depressed, lemme alone." Hawkeye protested.
"You've forced me to take drastic measures, Hawk. I give you fair warning!"
Captain Honeycutt grabbed his buddy's ankles and tugged him out from under the pillow.
"Ack! Nooo, lemme alone! Lemme go Beej! Lemme go!" he yelled.
Hawkeye had his hands clamped tightly onto his cot and was fighting against BJ with all his might.
"At least come and eat something." BJ sighed, finally letting go of Hawkeye's ankles.
"Not hungry. Go ahead and eat. S'fine. M'fine. Go 'way." Pierce mumbled, tugging his blanket over his head again.
Somewhat annoyed, BJ marched angrily out of the tent and into the mess tent. He grabbed a try and got his share of food, then went to sit with Col. Potter, Winchester, and Radar. He slammed his tray down next to Radar, frightening the living daylights out of the poor boy and causing him to leap several feet into the air.
"Damnit! Isn't there something we can do to snap him out of this!" BJ growled.
Colonel Potter took a bite of his mystery meat and gazed at Honeycutt levelly.
"Honeycutt, I've always found that a man comes around in his own time. Pierce'll snap out of it eventually." Potter said knowingly.
"I don't know. He's been in there three days, hasn't budged. Not even when Winchester tried to get into his wallet. I had to stop him." he glared at Charles.
Everyone glared at Winchester, who choked unexpectedly on his mouthful of mashed potatoes.
"What? I asked first! He didn't say anything." Charles protested pompously.
"I've always though Captain Pierce couldn't really get involved with a lady. I mean he's always joking and f-flirting with the nurses… but he's never been serious with anyone like he was with Miss Yun Soon." Radar piped up.
Everyone turned to stare at Radar.
"You're right, Radar." Colonel Potter agreed praisingly. "Let's give him a couple more days… if he doesn't snap out of it…" he trailed off.
"We'll send him to the head doctor." Honeycutt finished firmly.
It was eight-o'clock the following evening when the phone rang. Radar answered it.
"Hey Sparky, yeah? Yeah? Major Hoolihan? Yeah, ok, patch her through. Major? Major what's wrong? Wait, let me go get the Colonel."
Moments later, Potter was on the phone and trying to console a hysterical Margaret Hoolihan.
"Now calm down- Major! Pull yourself together-No I can't-Major Hoolihan- MARGARET CALM DOWN!" that seemed to quiet her. "Now, what's wrong? Oh? Oh… Oh no. Well I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do- Certainly. We'll send a jeep for you right away. It should be there in the morning. Yes-Don't worry Margaret. Yes. Everything will be ok. Yeah, ok, bye bye."
Colonel Potter handed the phone to Radar, who held it to his ear a moment.
"Yeah Sparky. Ok, bye. Over an' out." The corporal said, setting the headset down. "Gee sir, what was that all about? I mean, if it's not too personal, sir."
The older man put a hand on Radar's shoulder.
"Major Hoolihan's husband asked for a divorce. She wants to come back. Who's free to drive to pick up Major Hoolihan?"
"Well, sir, Captains Honeycutt and Winchester are in triage right now and most of the nurses are in there too… Klinger's at Rosie's. I could-"
"No, I want you here, in case I need someone to work that-that-that thingy over there." he motioned to the phone. "Pierce still in his tent?"
"I'm afraid so, sir."
"Well we need a driver and Hawkeye looks like our best bet."
Radar suddenly looked anxious, Colonel Potter grinned and patted the boy affectionately on the back.
"Don't worry, I'll go wake him up."
Radar gave an audible sigh of relief and flopped down in the nearest chair.
"Thank you sir, he almost took my head off last time you sent me in there. Truth be told, I'd rather be sent to the front, sir." Radar said with conviction.
Colonel Potter strode out of the CO's office and marched toward the Swamp with resolve. He was going to get Hawkeye out of that bed, come rain or hellfire! He pushed open the door to the swamp and looked down at the lump that was Hawkeye Pierce.
"PIERCE! GET THAT COTTON PICKIN' HIDE OUTTATHAT COT PRONTO!" he bellowed, taking hold of one side of the cot and flipping it over with a strength unusual for a man his age.
A minor scuffle ensued, Hawkeye trying desperately to stay asleep and dead to the world and Colonel Potter just as determined to get him out of bed.
"What in the h-"
"I'd advise you not to finish that sentence, Captain Pierce. Now get out of that bed, get dressed, and get ready to go to Seoul. DO YOU HEAR ME!" Sherman Potter roared.
Hawkeye's head appeared from under the blankets, groggy and red eyed. Begrudgingly, he pulled himself out of the remains of his cot and wobbled toward Colonel Potter.
"What exactly is it you want Colonel." he asked, annoyance clear in his voice.
"I wan you to go to Seoul and pick up Major Hoolihan. Everyone else is busy." Before Hawkeye could protest, Colonel Potter handed the startled surgeon his boots and pants and shoved him toward the door. "Get moving!"
Ten minutes later, Hawkeye was in a jeep on his way to Seoul, grumbling and complaining the whole way. The ride was bumpy and uncomfortable, the threat of gunfire always present in his mind. Hours and hours later, he arrived in Seoul. He found Margaret sitting outside on a bench at the Army HQ. Hawkeye parked the jeep on the side of the dirt road and whistled to her.
"Hey Hotlips! Your ride's here!" he called loudly.
"SHUT UP PIERCE!" she screamed back.
Hawkeye winced at the shrillness in her voice, but got out of the jeep to help her with her luggage all the same.
"What took you so long?" she demanded, marching to the jeep and leaving Hawkeye to take care of her bags.
"Sorry Madam, I'm afraid I was a little delayed, you see, one of the roads was blown up on my way here." he quipped dryly.
She shot him a dirty look and then returned her attention to the road, waiting for him to secure her luggage.
"No, no! I'll take care of the bags! Please, don't get up." he quipped sardonically. "Say, I thought you were all excited to be here with Donald? Why are you coming back so early." he asked.
"None of your business!" she snapped.
Hawkeye shrugged and climbed into the driver's seat, turning the key in the ignition. Then they were off, bouncing around in the pathetic tin can excuse for a jeep. An hour passed, then two, in complete and total silence. Margaret was used to the silence, but not from Hawkeye. He was usually ready with a joke every moment, now he was silent and solemn as the grave.
After an unnerving moment of realization that if Hawkeye was quiet, something was gravely wrong; Margaret built up the nerve to ask her driving companion what was wrong.
"You haven't said anything in hours. What's up?" she asked, nonchalantly.
He remained in stony silence, eyes fixed on the road ahead.
"I asked you a question." she persisted.
"Yeah, well I don't feel like answering." he retorted.
She thought for a moment.
"Is this because I didn't answer your question back in Seoul?" she asked.
"Not everything's about you Major." he said with quiet venom.
That hit her hard. For most of her life, everything had been about her. Now two men had told her the same thing, and in the course of two days.
"I know." she replied just as quietly.
The silence stretched on for an eternity.
"Donald asked for a divorce." she said finally.
"I'm sorry." Hawkeye said, actually feeling a little sorry for her.
"Now what's eating you?" she inquired.
"Nothing's-" he sighed in surrender. "That's a lie, there is something eating me."
"You want to talk about it?"
"It's not your problem." he said, by way of an answer.
"No, but maybe we can help each other."
They drove on in silence for a while. Road markers flashed past in the afternoon light, the burnt out shells of jeeps and shacks littered the surrounding area.
"I think I let the woman I love, leave." Hawkeye said, very quietly.
"That woman who came to the compound with the children?"
"Yeah, her name's Yun Soon." Hawkeye murmured sorrowfully.
"She was a very nice lady. I only spoke to her once, but she seemed very well educated."
"She was." Captain Pierce sighed. "She was beautiful, smart, funny, articulate. She spoke French, you know."
"Why don't we pull over and have a break?" Margaret suggested.
Hawkeye nodded and drove the jeep over to an abandoned shack, parking it in the shade created by the house.
"Wouldn't want hot seats when we take off." he explained, seriously.
Margaret laughed, turning her body towards him.
"You really are funny when you want to be, Captain." she smiled. "What happened with Yun Soon?"
"Her mother… had pneumonia, she got worse and I promised I'd come when she called me. But I was in surgery and I got there to late. Her mother was the only reason she stayed in that house. But they had to leave… If I had any balls I'd have left with her." He ran a restless hand through his hair.
"You couldn't leave. Colonel Potter would have declared you AWOL and you'd have been court marshaled."
"It would have been worth it. So what happened with you and Donald?" he asked, neatly changing the subject from his love life to hers.
Margaret's face hardened.
"The bastard found another woman."
"The bastard." he agreed.
"The ignoramus thought he was going to get away with using me to pay for his little 'get togethers' with his girlfriends!"
"Exactly! Well! I showed him! I smacked him across the face and then he-he-he" her eyes suddenly filled with tears. "He asked for a divorce!" she wailed.
Hawkeye looked panicked, he didn't know how to deal with crying women. He attempted to comfort her by patting her on the shoulder, but the effect was no use.
"Hey, hey Margaret, he didn't deserve you! He was a slimeball! You deserve someone better, someone military who can make you feel a special as you are. Hey, don't cry." He begged.
Margaret grabbed Hawkeye, who had no choice but to put his arms around her. She sobbed into his shirtfront, all the stress of her months in Korea finally breaking through.
"Beej'll never believe me…" Hawkeye muttered to himself.
"I don't understand!" Margaret moaned. "What is it I do to drive men away!" she hiccoughed. "I try to dress nicely, I put on makeup I-I-I don't understand."
Hawkeye pushed her away a little so he could look her in the eye.
"Listen to me, Margaret, you're a beautiful woman. That Penoptskopt bastard doesn't know what he's missing with you. You're warm when you want to be, you can control your nurses better than anyone, and if I had my choice, it'd always be you assisting me in the O.R." he growled fiercely.
Margaret's crying quieted, she looked up into his eyes. For once he was absolutely serious. For once he wasn't joking about everything. And for once, she didn't have to put up that barricade to keep everyone and anyone out. She wanted to kiss him, her eyes closed and-
A shot rang out, followed by several more in quick succession. Hawkeye put himself in between Margaret and the danger as they stumbled out of the jeep and into the abandoned shack. Hawkeye was looking out the window, trying to see from what direction the shots were coming from. Margaret came up behind him, standing on her tip-toes to see over his shoulder. One hand came to rest amicably on his shoulder, the other on his side. Her right hand hit something wet and Hawkeye twitched.
"Captain Pierce I think-"
"Yeah, I know. I can feel it." Hawkeye replied tersely, still not looking at her.
Margaret stared at her hand, it was stained with blood, Hawkeye's blood. She looked down at his shirt where a stain was appearing on his right side.
"Pierce! Come here and sit down before you fall down!" she ordered, panicking slightly.
Hawkeye's hand was clamped firmly over his side, but he didn't move from his spot at the window.
"I think they've left. If we leave now and I floor it, we can get to camp before nightfall." he said flatly.
"Pierce! You've been shot, will you please come here and sit down?" she begged, the shrillness coming back into her voice.
He wasn't listening to her, so she stomped over to him and tugged on his arm. He swayed precariously and Margaret had to throw an arm around him to prevent him from falling. Hawkeye proved to heavy for her and they both collapsed onto the floor, panting for breath. Margaret and Hawkeye sat there for a moment, her arm around his waist, his head listing toward her shoulder.
Hawkeye suddenly felt tired. Very tired… He wanted to rest… Just for a little while. His head dropped onto Margaret's shoulder, causing her to look up with fright.
"No no no! Hawkeye come on, you've got to stay awake. You've got to help me get out of here!" she pleaded.
Hawkeye made an effort and tried to stand up.
"If I get to the jeep, you'll have to drive…" he mumbled.
"Ok, ok. That's fine. Just don't die on me Pierce." she insisted, giving him her shoulder to lean on. "Who am I going to scold if you die?"
"Margaret… I'm really tired…"
"I know honey, I know. Just stay awake. We're nearly home. When we get back, BJ can fix you up. Just don't die one me."
Margaret half hauled her companion out to the jeep and tied him into place so he wouldn't fall out of the jeep. Before she knew it, she was hauling ass down the road, pushing the poor little army issue jeep to its limits. She looked over at the unconscious surgeon next to her, he was bleeding out all over the place, even with his hand pressed against the wound.
Losing Hawkeye was unacceptable, not singularly because he was a central part of M.A.S.H. 4077, but because she had just discovered a part of her that felt something more for him than just medical appreciation. He couldn't die now, before she had a chance to work out what exactly it was that she was feeling. She floored the accelerator and tore down the dirt roads. She recognized some of the landmarks they were almost home. Margaret looked over at her patient again, his face was grey, a stark contrast to the red-black blood staining his jacket. She reached over and grabbed his hand, squeezing it tightly. The M.A.S.H. unit came into view and she honked the horn frantically.
Colonel Potter came rushing out of triage, clad in his white army regulation scrubs.
"Colonel Potter! Colonel Potter!" she cried.
"Holy horse fritters! What happened to him!" the older surgeon exclaimed. He rounded on Klinger. "Get him into OR pronto!"
"Yessir!" Klinger cried.
"Honeycutt! Honeycutt, where the hell are you?" Colonel Potter yelled.
BJ came strolling out of the officer's club, still in his scrubs.
"Yes sir? You bellowed- Jesus Christ! Hawk? What the hell happened!" he ran toward the jeep, stumbling once and nearly falling in his worried haste.
Winchester came out of the showers wearing a robe and a shower cap.
"What is all the ruckus out here? Can't a man take a shower in peace!" the balding man snapped. "What the devil happened here!" he exclaimed upon seeing Hawkeye in his current condition.
"WILL YOU ALL STOP GAWKING AND HELP HIM!" Margaret roared furiously. "HE'S BEEN SHOT!"
"Margaret… Stop shouting…" Hawkeye murmured deliriously. "There's enough of me to go around…"
For some reason this heartened Major Hoolihan, jokes were what made Hawkeye himself. If he had the energy to joke…
"Damn!" Colonel Potter's voice cut into her reverie. "I think it nicked a lung. BJ-"
"Already on it." the worried blonde man said.
Before she knew what was happening, Margaret was watching them take Hawkeye away on a stretcher and into the O.R. But this time Captain Hawkeye Pierce would be on the receiving side of treatment. It was just lucky there were no enlisted men wounded at the moment, or Hawkeye would've had to take a backseat to the proceedings.
What felt like hours later, BJ and Colonel Potter came out of O.R., looking thoroughly tired and worn out but happy. Margaret nearly attacked them as they came through the double doors.
"How is he! Is he alright!" she demanded.
BJ and his C.O. exchanged curiously amused glances before answering.
"He'll be fine, Margaret. I promise." Colonel Potter said soothingly.
"It's all my fault he got hurt!" she moaned, her chin wobbling a little in that precursor to tears. "I told him to pull over and-"
"It wasn't your fault Margaret." BJ insisted. "Hawk knew the chances. Don't worry about it." he put an arm around her in a friendly one-armed embrace. "Now come on, you can't have eaten yet, let's go get some food."
"No-I think I'll just go visit Pierce if you don't mind. Is he still under?" she interrupted.
"Yeah, but he should be awake and annoying us in about a half hour or so. Are you sure you don't want anything to eat?" BJ asked, cocking his head slightly.
She shook her head no and went to check on Pierce. Post Op was nearly empty except for Hawkeye and a few wounded soldiers. There was an empty bed next to Hawkeye's cot, and she sat down on it, watching the unconscious surgeon carefully. She watched him sleep, a strange medley of thoughts racing through her mind. On the one hand, she was furious with him for getting wounded in the middle of their moment together, on the other she knew it was beyond his control, and then she was irritated with herself for a) never seeing this-this-this thing they had going on; and b) letting her emotions rule over her mind (which she had never allowed herself to do before). All-in-all, the whole ordeal had been an exhausting trauma to her body and to her mind.
"Hey," a quiet voice to her right said. "Penny for your thoughts?"
Her eyes snapped back to the man in the bed, Hawkeye was awake and staring at her curiously. She quickly searched for an excuse for why she was here, she didn't want to seem to eager.
"I-um, came to check your temperature." she lay a cool hand against his forehead. "Yes um…"
"I had a dream about this once. Mind you, I hadn't been shot and you weren't wearing that." he joked, referring to her dress uniform.
She blushed furiously red and began to get up, but a hand on her wrist stopped her.
"What are you so afraid of?" Hawkeye asked with a frown.
"I'm not afraid of anything." she insisted.
"Yes, you are. Now explain to me why you think you need to have an excuse to be here and leave right when I wake up?" he demanded, his grip on her wrist tightening firmly.
"Damnit Pierce I-"
Before she could get another word out, Hawkeye pulled her down onto his cot and kissed her sharply on the mouth. She protested fiercely for a moment before giving in and melting into the kiss.
"I've wanted to do that for the longest time." he growled intensely. "Now, you were saying something?"
"I was saying that- you're bleeding again!"
Hawkeye looked down at his bandage uninterestedly.
"So I am. Must have ripped my stitches. Now about this-"
"Hawkeye! You're bleeding, don't you understand! I need to fix your stitches."
"Fuck my stitches." he swore irritatedly, tugging her down next to him when she tried to get away. "I don't care about that right now."
"No! You could bleed to death!"
"Margaret, I'm not going to die."
"I can't let you- I have to take care of you. I-"
Again he silenced her with a kiss.
"Quit doing that! I can't keep my train of thought when you kiss like that." she pouted.
"That good, huh?" he waggled an eyebrow at her suggestively.
"You're a brilliant surgeon, but you're an ass when it comes to being a patient." she snapped emphatically.
He gave her a wounded expression, sticking out his lower lip in a pout. She sighed in defeat. Margaret leaned down and kissed his cheek affectionately.
"Sit still, I'm going to fix your stitches if it kills me." She ordered.
Hawkeye flopped back with his hands under his head.
"Yes, dear." he sighed, grinning with the knowledge that he had defeated the great and powerful Margaret Hoolihan. "I hate being the wounded one."
Some time later, after Margaret had re-sewn the torn stitches and redressed the wound, she found herself lying next to Hawkeye in his cot.
"Does this mean we're goin' steady now?" he asked quietly, only half joking.
"I suppose it does." she murmured from her spot on his shoulder.
"You don't think this is just post trauma shock?" he asked uncertainly. "Or are we just on the rebound?"
"Nope and nope." she planted a kiss against his throat to prove it.
"Good. I don't want it to be."
Hawkeye leaned down to kiss the top of her head.
"You smell good…" he murmured. "How is it that with all this blood and death, you manage to smell like a flower?"
"Because I am one." she replied smugly. "Now go to sleep, the faster you heal, the faster we can move on to… other… things."
He raised an eyebrow, looking down at her in the dimly lit room.
"Heal, damnit, heal!" he muttered at his gunshot wound.
She laughed, snuggling into Hawkeye's shoulder and sighing contentedly and before long they were both asleep.
Colonel Potter and BJ were making the morning rounds and it was the C.O. who found them.
"BJ." he whispered, trying to get the surgeon's attention without waking the sleeping couple.
"Yeah?" he replied distractedly as he filled out a chart.
"Come look at this."
Not looking up from his clipboard, BJ walked over. He looked at his C.O. and then at his friend. He frowned, rubbed his eyes, and looked again.
"Colonel, is that-"
"Yep." he said calmly.
"But she hate's-"
"Apparently not." Sherman Potter said with a grin. "Get a screen around them, or we'll be hearing about this from everyone all week. It's a good thing they're in the corner."
"Uh… Yes sir… I'll just… go do that…" BJ replied, feeling slightly confused.
The "couple" in question woke up an hour later. Hawkeye woke up first and looked down at the sleeping woman on his chest. He lay there watching her for a while, as if she could feel him watching her, she woke up a short time later.
"Hey." she mumbled sleepily, looking up at him.
"Good morning. I think we've been found out." he said motioning to the screen around them.
"So we have." She replied, apparently uncaring of the fact that her honour was at stake. "How'd you sleep?"
"Very good. You think we could convince the Colonel to let me move back to the Swamp?"
"I prefer not to have Klinger and Radar standing over us all the time." he said with a half annoyed smile.
There was a scuffle at the end of the bed outside the curtain, and Klinger and Radar's voices apologizing guiltily.
"I'd better go." Margaret said, not really wanting to leave.
"Yeah. I know."
"I don't want to go."
"I know that too."
"You know everything, don't you?"
"I try." he looked at his watch. "They're going to send someone to look for you if you don't show up soon."
"Yes, yes, I know." she sighed, sitting up and combing her hair through with her fingers.
She felt warm, not just from the heat, but with the feeling of being in love. Pierce, meanwhile, was feeling the same emotion, but a different sensation. Margaret got up and stretched, straightening her clothes and turning around to look at him.
"I'll see you later, ok?" she said uncertainly.
"Of course." he replied, suddenly feeling that all his insides had been thrown in a blender.
She smiled, his heart jumped into his throat. Margaret leaned down and gave him a quick kiss before maneuvering her way outside the screen. Hawkeye sighed and relaxed back into his pillow. He closed his eyes and let himself drift off to sleep.
What felt like an instant later, but was actually hours, Colonel Potter was shaking him awake.
"Pierce, I hate to do this to you, but we need you in the O.R. Do you think you can manage?" the older man was asking, a guilty expression on his lined face.
Hawkeye rubbed his face groggily and sat up, ignoring the twinge in his middle.
"Yeah, of course, let me just get some pants on." He turned around to see a change of clothes on the tray beside his bed. There was a folded note from Margaret, he could tell by the perfume, but he wouldn't get to read it till later. "I'm right behind you." He mumbled, tugging on his trousers and stumbling out of bed.
"I'm really sorry about this Pierce, but we need the extra hands." Potter was saying, feeling all the more guilty.
"Not a problem."
He yawned and followed Potter into the O.R. scrub room. There he scrubbed up and went into the surgery where his best friend and mortal enemy were both already working.
"Where do you want me?" Hawkeye asked.
"Find a table. There's a bowel resection there, and a shrapnel wound there." Colonel Potter said, pointing to both cases.
"Don't mind if I start with the shrapnel wound, do you?"
And so began the nights work. Midnight turned into one o'clock; then seemed to skip one, two, and three completely and went on to four; but the wounded kept coming. Hour after hour went by; to Hawkeye it was a blur of blood, bone, and metal that yielded many saved lives but also many lost limbs.
It seemed inhuman to everyone but a M.A.S.H. unit, but the five-hour workday morphed into a thirty-six hour stint in the O.R., in which the almost dead became the living and the doctors became the living-dead. The work was so constant that Hawkeye didn't have time to consider his own wound; it faded to nothing more than a dull ache after the first three hours, and the only thing that kept him going was the thought of eventually getting away for some much deserved time alone with Margaret.
Then endless day finally ended with the last patient, a young man with a badly broken arm. Hawkeye volunteered to take it, knowing his friend had been up far longer than he; Potter had enough paperwork to do; and Charles was already gone.
An hour after the O.R. had been cleared of all patients but the last, Hawkeye was finally finished.
"Alright nurse, it's ready to for a cast." he sighed, snipping off the thread he had used to sew up the stitches and head for the scrub room once more.
Hawkeye pulled off his gloves and threw them in the hazardous waste bin, then struggled out of his mask, cap, and gown and tossed them in the laundry bin. BJ was still in the changing room, sitting on a bench with his eyes closed and his hands hanging between his knees.
"Thanks Hawk. I appreciate you taking that last case." BJ sighed tiredly, rubbing his forehead.
"Not a problem." Hawkeye said just before his legs went out underneath him.
"Hawk!" BJ exclaimed, hurrying to help his buddy up.
BJ helped him to the bench.
"Have you checked your bandages yet?" he asked, brotherly concern taking over.
"No. Haven't had a chance yet. I'll look at it later, right now I just want to sit." Hawkeye replied shortly, leaning back and closing his eyes.
"Margaret's going to kill you, you know that." BJ murmured as they rested their tired eyes.
Very suddenly, the double doors banged open.
"Hawkeye, what are you still doing here. It's bad enough they made you be in O.R. but you should be in bed now!" Margaret Hoolihan raged, an expression of fury and worry on her face.
"White as a sheet! You've been up for thirty-six hours straight and you're hurt." she interrupted irritatedly, moving toward him like a mother protecting her young. "Now you're going back to bed, this instant!" she ordered, sliding an arm around him and tugging him in the direction of the recovery ward.
"No, I'm going back to the Swamp. They need those beds for the enlisted men." Hawkeye said firmly.
Margaret shot BJ a dirty look, he held his hands up in supplication.
"Hey, don't yell at me! It's not my fault." he cried, trying to look innocent.
Hawkeye put an arm around Margaret's shoulders, wanting to comfort her more than anything.
"I'm fine. I'm just a little tired, ok? Beej? Shall we adjourn to the Swamp?" he inquired.
"My eyelids are announcing it's sleepy time." BJ replied, by way of an answer. "Wanna join us Margaret?" he teased.
Margaret turned tomato red, but did not move away from her newly found attraction. BJ got up and led the way to the Swamp, miming the part of a bandleader.
Hawkeye finally sank down on his own cot. Margaret tugged his shirt open and looked at the bandages anxiously. They were stained with blood, but none of it seemed to be terribly recent. Nevertheless, she took on the role of the concerned girlfriend with ease.
"Get some rest, please Hawk? For me?" she begged.
"Of course. You too, ok?"
Hawkeye pulled her down, hugging her tightly, then kissing her (something he had been wanting to do ever since he had woken up the previous night).
"Love you." he murmured.
"Love you too. Now get some sleep."
"Will you two please keep the inane simpering to a minimum. For all our sakes!" Charles exclaimed verbosely, sounding scandalized.
BJ, however, was watching the couple with increasing emotion. This was very much like the exchanges he and his wife, Peg, had had before he had been drafted. At that moment, he missed her more than he had ever missed her before. He sniffed quietly and wiped away a tear of homesickness.
While he had been in his reverie, Margaret had slipped quietly out of the tent. Hawkeye was sprawled out languorously on his cot, still in his clothes, too tired to move.
"Night, Hawk." he called quietly.
"Night Beej." came the slurred reply.
And then the tent went silent, the only sound was the distant crowing of a cock in a farmer's yard and the occasional movement of it's occupants in their beds.
Aaaaand… CUT! So, what'd you think? Should I continue this or do you not give a crap? Feedback people, I CRAVE IT! Incidentally, does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach a female of the species to inquire out the possibility of a relationship beyond the obvious "Hi, and how are you today?" If you have any idears, please feel free to email me at: I want your input, who do women want? Heyyy…. Isn't that a movie? Anyway, I hope you liked the fic, there don't seem to be a whole lot of Hawkeye/Margaret shippers out there, but hey, this is a free country. REVIEW, CONFOUND IT ALL!