Hawkeye's pain, Margaret's comfort

Hawkeye looked around The Swamp. His head felt heavy and the room kept spinning. He had a hangover. The biggest and most painful one he had ever had. He didn't remember the night before. He wanted to remember, but then he also liked not knowing. For once during the war, he could forget a day of it. At least it was one day less of fighting and hell.

"Hawkeye. You have to do your rounds now." Margaret was the one telling him this, surprisingly.

"How come it's you here and not Klinger?" Hawkeye managed to say, even though the light of day was giving him a very bad headache.

"He was helping in Supply and I told him that I would get you since I have duty with you too." Margaret was telling partly the truth, but she 'forgot' to add that she volunteered to get him because she simply wanted his company.

"Oh, ok… I guess I gotta go to Post-Op now. I really hate this, you know." Hawkeye said quietly.

Margaret already knew what the 'this' meant – It meant the war, the destruction, the death – "I know Hawk, I know… I hate it too." Then she quietly said to herself, 'more than you'll ever know…'

In Post-Op Hawkeye visited all the patients and made notes on their charts. He, as usual, was wearing that darn robe and the cowboy hat. The patients smiled at his attire. He had a way with patients, with nurses, with people. Inside, however, Hawkeye Pierce was a different person. He was not happy and he did not feel like joking. Joking simply kept him in the borderline of sanity and insanity. Because of humour he didn't cross into insanity. "Will this always work? Will I be able to keep my sanity till this stupid war ends?" Hawkeye was incredibly worried and Margaret saw this everytime she looked into his tired eyes.

After Post-Op, Margaret decided to talk to Hawkeye. Maybe he would tell her his worries. She had certainly told him all her problems… "Hawkeye, wait up!" Margaret called when Hawkeye walked out of Post-Op. "What is it Margaret? I'd like to get some sleep before we receive more wounded." Margaret was now VERY concerned. She expected him to smile and maybe make a pass at her since SHE called HIM. But she did not get this response. "What's up with you Hawk? You seem lost and you seem to hurt so much. Can I do anything to help? Like you once said to me 'Two ears, no waiting'. Please talk to me." Margaret was practically pleading.

Hawkeye knew that he had to talk, unless he wanted to see Sidney in a doctor-patient capacity. "Margaret, I don't know what to do. I'm sick of the death and I'm sick of this place! Only you could possibly understand because we've both been here for the same amount of time. The lice, the rats, the dysentery, the snakes. I hate them all. Then there's Henry's death. Why did he have to die? He was a good man. One of the best. My friend Tommy. He was a correspondent. He didn't even have to fight! He died here too. All the boys we couldn't save… The arms, the legs, they never leave me. I remember every kid's face that I could not save. I'm scared that I'll never be able to move on from this. Never be able to live a 'normal' life. How about Radar? Because of the war he couldn't be with his Uncle Ed before he died. I HATE THIS LIFE!" With that, Hawkeye burst into tears. Margaret didn't know what to say, so she simply hugged him. She whispered to him that everything was going to be alright and she sang to him like a five year old boy scared of the dark. He, however, was scared of something much more serious. He was scared that he would never be able to be wide-eyed again.

After more than 30 minutes of cries and whispers, Hawkeye looked down at Margaret and said one word. "Thanks". Margaret could only smile. "Hawkeye, it's ok. If you ever need to talk, my tent is always open." Margaret realised what he would construe this as. "ONLY to talk Pierce." She couldn't help but smile. "Margaret, one day you are going to make some man very happy." With that, she walked into her tent. Hawkeye then thought to himself, 'if only that man was me.'