Hawkeye broke off the kiss and jumped to his feet, his expression was one of complete shock at what he had just done.
"I'm sorry…I uh…" he didn't finish his sentence; he only fled from her tent as fast as he could.
"Damn, what the hell was I thinking?" he muttered angrily. He couldn't believe he did that. She was crying over the death of her husband and child and he kissed her. Hawkeye could have kicked himself a thousand timed over.
Margaret stared at the door as Hawkeye rushed out, also completely shocked. He kissed her, she couldn't believe it. But unlike Hawkeye, she smiled slightly and climbed onto her cot. She closed her eyes and fell into a deep dreamless sleep, the pictures on the floor completely forgotten.
Hawkeye shivered as he walked into the mess tent early the next morning.
"Oatmeal Captain?" Igor asked. Hawkeye only frowned as he threw his tray down in disgust. After grabbing a cup of coffee he sat down by himself in the corner of the tent. He stared wearily into his cup and felt his eyelids growing heavily when a small package was placed in front of him.
He turned around and saw Margaret standing behind him, her hands clasped behind her back in a professional manner.
"I know it's supposed to be anonymous but you'd probably know who it was from anyway." She said quietly.
Hawkeye smiled slightly, feeling uncharacteristically embarrassed as a result for his actions the night before. He picked up the lumpy package and stripped off the white tissue paper.
He sighed deeply as hundreds of memories flooded into his mind. He laced the ribbons around his fingers and rubbed the sides of the shoes gently with his thumbs. "It's been a long time," he muttered.
"I know it's not the same, but it was the best I could do." Margaret's voice was still detached and cool.
Hawkeye stayed put, for once in his life he was unsure with what to do. He wanted to thank her but he wasn't sure if he could trust himself at the moment. He stood up and smiled.
"Well I'm not sure if they'll fit but thanks anyway Hot Lips." He grinned and began to walk off when he realized that he left his coffee on the table. He turned just in time to see Margaret turn her head, a small tear sliding down her cheek.
A rather large pang of guilt stabbed him and he called her name as she quickly headed outside. "Margaret hang on," he pleaded. She stopped and turned back, the tears gone and replaced by anger.
"Give me those," she hissed as she grabbed for the shoes. Hawkeye held them up, out of her reach.
"They're my shoes and I want them," he said quietly. Margaret looked up at him, wondering how he could jump back and forth from jokes to sincerity so quickly. "It was a very sweet gift, thank you."
"Don't look too deeply in to it," she warned. "It was just something that was lying around and I thought you might like to have them." She held her breath, wondering if he would buy that pitiful lie.
"Margaret Houlihan you are an awful liar."
"Why did you kiss me?" Margaret dared to look into his eyes.
Hawkeye sighed and returned her gaze. He wasn't sure how to answer her question, he wasn't even sure if he knew the answer.
"It hurt to see you crying, even though I hadn't caused it. I really care about you Margaret and…" he stopped and chuckled. "Now I'm starting to sound like a cheesy movie I saw once."
Margaret smiled, "I'm a real sucker for cheesy movies, so feel free to continue."
Hawkeye laughed as he tried to decide what to say. "Well, so long as you don't mind a cheesy line or two…" Margaret nodded so he continued. "I found out that you're an amazing woman. Then I found out that you can be a very cute little girl."
Hawkeye laughed at her expression. If you really want to know why I kissed you, I'll tell you. I love you. Even when you're screaming at me I still love you."
Margaret looked down at the ground and took a step backwards. "Hawkeye I think you're confusing friendship with…"
"No I'm not." He grabbed her arm and held on tightly. "I'm not asking you to love me, or even befriend me. All I'm asking is for you to tolerate me enough to let me stick around." Hawkeye took a deep breath and began to address an issue that had been bothering him.
"Now I know that you still miss your husband and…"
"That was a long time ago," she whispered. Margaret paused and then looked back up at him, a sly smile on her face. "I refuse to tolerate you Captain," she told him coolly. "But I may be persuaded to love you."
Hawkeye smiled and took a step, closing the distance between them. "Well let me persuade you." He wrapped his arms around her and dipped her in a long, deep kiss; while a small group gathered at the door to the mess tent, watching in amusement.
"Are you persuaded?" he asked. Margaret nodded and jumped up, wrapping her arms around his neck.
Margaret leaned up against the wall wearily, trying to steady her breath. She hated this goddamn place.
"Margaret, why don't we go somewhere private?" Frank whined in her ear. Margaret swatted him away as his he was a bothersome fly.
"Not now Frank," she hissed angrily. The day before she had been so close to getting out of this unruly unit. Now here she was, trying to keep her eyes open after another grueling OR session. And what for? Because those two morons got her drunk and managed to keep her here.
Margaret turned her head, and looked towards their chief surgeon. Well maybe she could tolerate staying after all. Not that she would ever let him be more than a friend but…Margaret grinned happily to herself, losing herself in a fantasy of a time after the war with a husband and maybe even a family.
"Yes," she whispered quietly to herself. "He certainly could be a good friend."
"Hawk have you lost your mind?" BJ asked that night in the officer's club. Hawkeye finished his martini and smiled broadly.
"Yup," was all he said in response.
BJ banged his fist against the table in frustration. "I honestly think you have," he mumbled. BJ leaned across the table, trying one last time to convince his friend what a mistake he was making.
"Margaret Houlihan? Damn Hawk, do you realize what a roller coaster she is going to send you on every single day for the rest of your life?"
Hawkeye grinned and nodded. "She probably will," Hawkeye turned around, his gaze falling on the object of their discussion who was laughing drunkenly along with some of her nurses.
"Actually, she definitely will," he corrected himself, turning back towards BJ. "But it sure will be fun."
Well there you have it! Please let me know what you thought of my story! I loved working on this one, and I've been at it for quite some time. Thanks to all my faithful reviewrs! I always looked forward to hearing from you!