a thousand apologies...

The pulled him outside and Hawkeye struggled to ignore the pain as he breathed in the fresh air. The sun was out as he made sure that his face was warmed by the rays, if only for a second. Before he knew it, the sunlight was gone as he was tossed into a filthy, windowless hut. As his eyes readjusted to the darkness he spotted sex other forms inside the tiny hut.

"Congratulations," a young man greeted sarcastically. "You made it outside."

Hawkeye painfully examined his leg, finding that it had become even more disfigured. "What are you talking about?" he growled.

"They brought you out here; they're not going to kill you."

Another man decided to pipe in. "Well, be prepared for the hell that's to follow."

"Trapper?" Margaret disentangled her arms from around his neck as he laid her into her bed. "Why re you being nice to me?"

He grinned and tweaked her nose. "I'm hoping to get lucky."

"Really, McIntyre, why?"

"I can tell that you changed, Margaret." His grin faded into a sloppy smile and he tilted his head to one side as he surveyed her. "You care about people as people, not just because of their rank. You miss Hawkeye even though he was a lowly captain."

"He was my friend," Margaret replied stiffly. "Of course I miss him."

"Yes, Major, ma'm." Trapper rolled his eyes and headed for the door. "I'll leave my door open; call me if you need anything."

Margaret sighed deeply and closed her eyes, wishing that she could rewind her life to four years ago; before the war, before McIntyre, and most of all, before Pierce.

"Come in, Honey." Margaret's eyes snapped open as she heard Daniel's voice. Was he talking to her? She glanced at the door but saw no one.

"I'll go get Margaret." This time the voice was Trapper's. She heard his steps echoing in the hallway and she offered a half-hearted smile as he popped his curly head into the room.

"Ride and shine, grumpy." He grinned, somewhat nervously Margaret noticed, and grabbed a dress from her suitcase. "This is going to be fun," he wiggled his eyebrows and moved towards the bed.

"I think I'll take over."

Margaret's eyes snapped to the door and she saw Lorraine standing there, her hands on her hips. "Put down the dress and back away slowly."

Trapper chuckled and handed the woman the dress. :'I'll get you, my pretty," he warned Margaret, with a smile. "And your little friend too."

"What on earth are you doing here, Lorrie?"

Lorraine smiled slightly and dropped her head down as if she were embarrassed. Margaret struggled to sit up and Lorraine hurried to help her.

"Can I come to Washington with you?" she blurted out suddenly, as she leaned Margaret up against the headboard. "Please? I promise I won't drive you crazy, and I'll clean up after myself and if you want you can get the army to pay me to help you out rather than some complete stranger and—"

"Lorraine, have you gone mad?" Margaret stared at her friend in shock. Lorraine hung her head once more and began to sob quietly.

"He's dead," she sobbed. "He was driving a jeep to Seoul and the engine exploded." Lorraine lifter her tear-filled eyes to meet her fiend's. "Please let me come with you, Maggie. I couldn't stand being alone right now."

Margaret offered her friend a sympathetic look and though about it for a moment; wondering at the face that someone actually found her presence comforting. "Do you really think you can put up with me?" she asked hesitantly.

Lorraine threw her arms around Margaret's neck and hugged her tightly. "Thank you, thank you so much."