Margaret woke up slowly and she quickly became aware of painful sensations throughout her body. She moaned and she heard someone beside her.

"Margaret?" She squinted her eyes in the light and saw Daniel standing tearfully over her bed. "Hey sweetheart, how do you feel?"

"Like a truck ran over me." She stated sarcastically. He smiled and squeezed her hand. "So what's wrong with me?" She asked, almost afraid of the answer.

"Remarkably, not very much. Aside from two hairline cracks in your ribs, and a very large bump on your head you're fine."

Tears sprung to her eyes as she laid her hand on top of her flattened stomach and gingerly traced the fresh scar. "Except for my baby."

Daniel sighed and kissed her forehead gently. "But you're alive Margaret."

She nodded and closed her eyes. All she wanted to do was scream and cry but she refused herself that small comfort.

"I want to see my baby." She demanded firmly.


"I want to see my baby!" She shouted loudly. Daniel pushed her back onto the bed, worried that she might rip her stitches.

"Margaret, you can't that's ridiculous…" She ignored him and pushed herself up and climbed out of bed, wincing in pain. "Margaret, what are you doing? Get back in bed!"

"Daniel please," she said as she softened her tone.

A half hour later they stood in the hospital's morgue. Daniel had managed to convince the doctor in charge to let them in.

"Please Margaret, be reasonable." He pleaded.

"I need to see my baby." She answered resolutely.

Daniel sighed, "Wait here." He walked around the corner as Margaret sat in the wheelchair. After a moment or so she painfully stood up and walked to where she had last seen Daniel. She edged slowly around the corner and she caught a brief glimpse of the baby.

Daniel's head shot up at the sound of her slight cry. "Have you seen enough?" He asked gently. Without answering him Margaret cautiously took a step towards him. He had laid the child on a metal examining table and was defensively blocking Margaret's view. "Please Maggie, don't." He took a step forward and grabbed her shoulders. She shrugged away his hands and walked around him, gazing at the tiny form. Her mouth opened slightly and she placed both hands over it as if to block her silent sobs. Daniel moved behind her and turned her around so her back was to the baby. He then engulfed her in a comforting embrace as she tried desperately to control her emotions.

Three days later, on the same day Margaret was released from the hospital, they buried her child. Daniel had advised against it but Margaret had insisted on naming her little girl; Faith Marie Pierce. Daniel knew he would never forget Margaret's inconsolable form as she watched her child being lowered into the earth. It had been a miserable day, the second day of December and it was cold and drizzling. It matched their dejected mood.

As the next two weeks went by and Christmas approached Daniel became increasingly worried about Margaret. He knew she wasn't alright; although she tried desperately to appear that way. She refused to accept that anything had happened. She seemed to be pretending as if she was never even pregnant.

On the 18th of December, one week before Christmas, he noticed that he hadn't seen her all morning. Daniel slowly climbed the stairs to find Margaret fixing her hair. He watched her curiously wondering where she was going.

"Where are you headed?" He asked abruptly. Margaret jumped three feet into the air at the sound of his voice and yelped as the curling iron burned her ear.

"Opps, sorry about that," He said sheepishly. "Where are you going?"

"Out," Margaret replied evasively.

"Fine; I'm heading for the office, I'll see you tonight." He walked halfway down the stairs then paused. "Do you need a ride into town?"

"No, I'm fine." She said forcefully. Daniel shrugged to himself and headed to his car.

Later that evening Daniel sat on the couch trying to read a book. He glanced at the clock for the third time in the last ten minutes. He looked up as the door slowly opened and Margaret quickly and quietly headed for the stairs.

"Margaret," he called. He heard her sigh as she turned around, doing her best to conceal a package of papers under her coat. "What's that?"

"Just some paperwork." She said flippantly before dashing up the stairs.

The next morning Daniel awoke early and decided to make himself some coffee. As he entered the kitchen he found Margaret, already dressed, hurriedly eating.

"Margaret it's four in the morning, what are you doing?" She looked up at him guiltily.

"I was hoping to be gone when you woke up." She stated as she motioned towards a pad of paper on the counter. He picked it up and slowly read it.

Daniel, you have no idea how grateful I am to you for all you've done for me. But now I need to…

The last word was scribbled out and Daniel looked at Margaret for an explanation.

"I wasn't having much luck with a letter." She pointed to the several crumpled wads of paper in the trash can.

Daniel sat down beside her. "Margaret what are you doing?" She looked away from his hurt gaze and tried to form a sentence.

"Yesterday I went to Augusta to a recruitment center. In four hours I'll be on a plane headed for San Francisco."

"Margaret, why?"

"From San Francisco, I'm catching a flight to Honolulu and from there I'll be flying to Tokyo."

Daniel's eyes widened with the realization of what his daughter-in-law was planning on doing. He grabbed at her hands. "Maggie, please don't do this. Do you have any idea how dangerous it is there?"

Margaret pulled her hands away as tears threatened to spill from her eyes. "Daniel, I know; but I have to go. At night I get so…so lonely and more than anything I want to be with my husband."

Daniel sighed. "How do you know you can even get to the same unit?"

"I have "friends" in high places." She paused to look at the old man before her. She lifted her hand and gently wiped a solitary tear from his weathered cheek. "Daniel, please don't. I love you so much and you'll never know how much I'll miss you, but can't you see that I have to go?"

Daniel grabbed her hand and kissed it gently. "You're my angel, do you know that? You were sent to me straight from heaven." Margaret smiled and wiped away a few of her own tears. She leaned over and kissed his cheek.

"I love you, you old coot."

Four hours later Margaret strained to look out the plane window. She could barely see inside the terminal but she could see Daniel's miniature form against the window. She wanted so desperately to run to him and give him a final goodbye. Instead she leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes.

Once in Tokyo, Margaret quickly contacted the General directing one of the surgical hospitals. He arranged to have her stationed at the 4077 but to Margaret's extreme annoyance he could not give her back her rank.

"I'm sorry Margaret, but the best I can do is Lieutenant." He had told her. After arguing about it for hours she relented. At least she was still an Officer. On Christmas day Margaret boarded a small plane heading for Seoul. Once there she nervously awaited her ride. The General had told her that the 4077th was expecting their new head nurse and that someone would be there to pick her up.

As Margaret awaited a million thoughts ran through her head. Mainly she wondered if the knew it was her. She was now Lieutenant M. Pierce. Would anyone put the pieces together?

After a half hour Margaret spotted a familiar dress walking past.

"Klinger!" She shouted as she ran over to him. While he was staring at her in shock she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him fiercely. "Klinger, it's so good to see you!"

Poor Klinger was still stunned by her kiss and he only nodded.
Margaret picked up her suitcase and dragged him towards the jeep she had seem him climb out of.

"Major, what…how…you…"

Margaret laughed rather nervously. "It's a long story."

As they drove towards the 4077th Margaret began to feel sick with nervousness. From Klinger's reaction she knew no one suspected that it was her. After driving for what seemed like years she spotted a familiar sign down the road. Best Care Anywhere; She laughed when she saw that sign; she was home. She thought about how odd that was. Here she was in the middle of Korea and yet she considered it home.

As they neared the compound Margaret saw several children being unloaded from a truck.

"Who are they?" She asked Klinger.

"Orphans; we thought it would be nice to have a party for them."

Margaret was going crazy with anticipation. She scanned the compound desperately, looking for her husband. Klinger parked the jeep and she hoped out. She looked towards the swamp when she heard a kind voice behind her.

"Welcome to the 4077th Lieutenant. I'm Colonel Potter." Margaret spun around and threw herself at the unsuspecting Colonel.

"Margaret? Well bust my buttons, it is you!" He exclaimed as he pushed her back. "It's good to see you darlin'."

Margaret sniffed as she hugged the man again. "Colonel, where's Hawkeye?"

Colonel Potter sighed. "He's in surgery. A young man was brought in a while back; they're trying not to let him die on Christmas."

Disappointed, Margaret looked at the ground and tried to smile.

"Don't worry Margaret; you'll get to see him soon." Colonel Potter gently took her hand and led her into the mess tent. He stood up on one of the tables to catch everyone's attention.

"Ladies and Gents, our new head nurse arrived a few moments ago. Say hello to Lieutenant Pierce."

The new nurses looked at her curiously; they had no idea who she was. But everyone else began to laugh in shock. Charles was the first to reach her. And much to Margaret's surprise, and delight he hugged her warmly.

"Margaret, words alone cannot express how utterly elated I am to see you here again." He said warmly.

"Were they really that bad Charles?" She asked playfully.

"Don't ask." He groaned as he rolled his eyes.

Next, Father Mulcahy reached her and also hugged her sweetly. For the next few hours Margaret was overwhelmed with happiness at being back. If only she could see her husband…

At a little past eleven, Colonel Potter walked over her and whispered into her ear. She smiled and nodded excitedly. Then she stood up and followed him away from the crowd. He led her towards the swamp and Margaret could hear Hawkeye and BJ's voices drifting towards them.

"Pierce, I have a Christmas present for you." Colonel Potter informed him, knocking on the door.

"Bah humbug!" was his playful and yet cynical reply. Margaret cringed at the harshness of his voice.

"I think you'll like this." Colonel Potter encouraged.

Hawkeye's tone was more severe and Margaret almost began to cry. "Unless you can bring me that man's life, I don't give a damn about your present!"

Hawkeye heard a woman's small whimper outside his tent and he frowned. "Who is out there with you?"

"Your present."

"Fine," Hawkeye said to himself. "If he wants to talk in riddles than let him talk, I'm in no mood for his games."

"I still don't give a damn!" He repeated.

Margaret steadied her voice and spoke up. "Are you sure? I think you'll like it."

Hawkeye's head jerked upward at the familiar female voice. He paused for a moment trying to place the voice within his memories. No, it couldn't be.

Hawk turned to look at BJ who was now laughing. Hawkeye sprang off of his cot and jumped at the door, opening it roughly. As his eyes rested on Margaret all his worries of the last seven months melted away. He had never seen her looking lovelier. She was chewing her bottom lip nervously as she awaited his reaction. He immediately flung himself towards her, encompassing her into his arms.

They slowly made their way to her tent as the clung to each other tightly. BJ walked out of the tent to see what was going on. Colonel Potter turned to him and smiled.

"I knew he would like it."

Over the next two months Hawkeye became increasingly worried about his wife. He was thrilled to have her back safely with him but she refused to tell him where she had been all those months.

One week after Valentine's Day, Klinger burst into the mess tent carrying two humongous sacks.

"Attention everyone; can I have some quiet please? Good news! I have just received our first of many…wait for it…shipments of mail!" The room burst into applause and cheering. For months now they had been completely cut off from their families, everyone was ecstatic to receive mail. Hawkeye cheered along with the rest of the crowd but he happened to glance at Margaret and noticed her pale face. He frowned as she jumped up and hurried from the tent. He was about to follow her when Klinger called his name.

"Captain Pierce; I have several packages for you in the office but here are your letters." Hawkeye eagerly grabbed for the large stack of envelopes. As he glanced through them he noticed that they were almost all from Maine, and yet very few of them were in his father's handwriting. He shrugged and decided to save them for later. At the moment he was bust trying to get at some of BJ's brownies.

A half hour later Hawkeye wandered towards the office to retrieve his packages.

"Klinger, where are those packages you said you have for me?"

"Right this way sir." Klinger reached under his desk and pulled out five packages. "One is Major Houlihan's." Hawkeye nodded and walked out, juggling the parcels.

"Oh Klinger," he stopped at the door. "Don't forget; it's Lieutenant Pierce now." Hawkeye laughed and walked towards Margaret's tent; now unofficially "their" tent.

"Hey Margaret, I've got a…" He stopped suddenly when he saw tears running along her cheek. "What's wrong?"

"Give me your letters." She pleaded.

"Why, they're from my dad, I want to read them." Hawkeye looked at her curiously.

"They're not from your dad. Now please give them to me!" With every word more tears streamed down her face.

Hawkeye sat down beside her. "How do you know they're not from my father?" He was beginning to get suspicious. He had no idea what was bothering her.

"Never mind." Margaret wiped her tears away angrily. "What did you say you have for me?"

Hawkeye rummaged through the parcels and produced the one addressed to her. He frowned as he saw the return address. "That's strange," he commented. "It's from my dad."

Margaret's eyes widened and she ripped the package from his hands. She turned her back to him slightly and quickly opened it. A letter floated to her lap and she began to hurriedly read it.

Maggie, they keep saying that the blockades will be lifted soon and you will begin to once again receive mail. In hopes of this I am sending you this package. The snow has finally begun to melt and a tow truck managed to retrieve the car. In it I found two packages, one of which I decided was meant to be my Christmas present. The other one I am sending you. I hope you found what it is you were looking for sweetheart, I love you. Daniel.

Margaret choked back her tears as she realized what was tucked inside the flat cardboard box. She tugged open one end and slid out a small framed drawing. It was divided into two parts. On the left side of the frame was the sketch and on the right side was a poem. Margaret slowly began to read it.

Sleep My Babe

Sleep my babe, and peace attend thee,

All through the night;

Guardian angels God will lend thee,

All through the night;

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,

Hill and vale in slumber sleeping;

Mother dear her watch is keeping,

All through the night.

God is here, thou'lt be lonely,

All through the night;

'Tis not I who guards thee only,

All through the night.

Night's dark shades will soon be over,

Still my watchful care shall hover,

God with me His watch is keeping,

All through the night.

Margaret gazed wistfully at the picture of her husband and child. As she finished reading the poem she dissolved into tears. Startled, Hawkeye reached over and pulled her too him. She instantly pulled away, wrapping her arms about herself. Hawkeye reached around her and picked up the frame. He gasped in shock as he saw his mother leaning over his shoulder, a baby placed in his arms. Hawkeye then began to read Margaret's letter from his father. It only confused him more. His father seemed to be writing to Margaret as if he had recently seen her. Had he?

A sudden thought entered his mind and he debated between comforting his wife and finding out why she was crying in the first place. He hesitantly stood up and walked to the desk where he had placed the letters from Maine. He sorted through the ones with his father's writing and quickly opened the most recent one.

Ben, Margaret would kill me if she knew I was sending you this article, but it's not very likely you will receive it anyway. I love you son and I miss you, Dad.

Hawkeye unfolded a newspaper clipping and he began to read an article about an accident on Thanksgiving Day. Suddenly everything clicked neatly into place.

"Oh my god, Margaret," he breathed as he moved towards his wife who was still weeping bitterly beside the cot. This time as he pulled her towards him she allowed herself to be comforted. She clung to him tightly and buried her face in his chest as he stroked her hair. Soon her tears subsided and they sat side-by-side, each being comforted by the other's presence.

"Margaret," Hawkeye spoke quietly. Margaret sniffed and pressed her body closer to his. "Margaret, I love you more than anything. You know that don't you?" She tried to smile and nodded. Hawkeye kissed the top of her head.

"Everything is going to be fine; you'll see." He picked up the frame and began to read the second half of the poem aloud.

God is here, thou'lt be lonely,

All through the night;

'Tis not I who guards thee only,

All through the night.

Night's dark shades will soon be over,

Still my watchful care shall hover,

God with me His watch is keeping,

All through the night.

See, I warned you that it was sad. Before I wrote the last chapter of A Lifetime of Regrets I couldn't decide if I wanted to end it on such a sad note. An alt. ending seemed the best wat to go. I got the main idea from a poem I read (Sleep My Babe) I'm not sure who wrote it. Please let me know what you think!