They made their way through the crowd, finally reaching a crowded table.
"Margaret!" BJ stood up and hugged the woman warmly. Margaret smiled brightly and touched the side of his face.
"Oh BJ, it's so good to see you again."
"It's good to see you too Hot Lips." Margaret laughed and sat down beside the man.
"Margaret," Hawkeye began. "This is my son Danny, and his wife Laura."
Danny eagerly reached across the table with his left hand. Margaret awkwardly extended her left hand and Danny grabbed it enthusiastically, smiling in satisfaction at her bare ring finger.
"It's nice to meet you, Margaret." He said sincerely before flashing BJ a triumphant smile. Hawkeye put a hand on Margaret's shoulder and leaned over.
"I'll let you catch up with BJ; I have something I need to do."
Margaret nodded and watched curiously as Hawkeye disappeared.
Hawkeye quickly made his was towards a young couple at a table. He smiled as he approached them. "Hi, would you happen to know where I can find the bride's mother?"
The young woman nodded and pointed to a table not far away. "The woman in the grey dress…do you see her?"
Hawkeye nodded and thanked her kindly as he made his way over to a middle-aged woman who looked amazingly like Margaret.
"Do you mind if I talk to you for a moment?" he asked politely. The woman looked at him in surprise, but quickly recovered and indicated to and empty seat beside her.
"You are Margaret Houlihan's daughter, Elaine, aren't you?" he asked, just double checking.
"Mmmhmm," she responded warily as she took a sip of champagne.
"Well, I know this is going to sound strange but I want to ask your permission to marry your mother."
The woman's face went white and she began choking on the bit of champagne she swallowed.
"Who are you?" she asked in shock.
Hawkeye smiled, "An old friend of your mother's. I worked with her for over three years in…"
"Hawkeye," she interrupted, a large smile creeping across her face. "You're Hawkeye, aren't you?"
Hawkeye nodded in confusion, trying to decipher how this woman knew him.
"Oh, Mr. Pierce…"
"Hawkeye, I can't even begin to tell you how often I've heard about you through the years." Elaine smiled happily and shook her head in disbelief.
"I have no idea what you've said to my mother tonight, but my daughter already tells me that's you've been next to her constantly…" Elaine paused and grabbed the old man's hand.
"I know my mom can be a pain in the neck to talk to, but please, ask her. I know you mean the world to her."
Hawkeye's mouth dropped open in shock and he looked at Elaine strangely. "Let me get this straight, your mother has told you about me?"
Elaine laughed and nodded. "When I was little, instead of bedtime stories, I loved it when she would tell me stories about working with you and the rest of the staff."
"Staff?" Hawkeye asked in puzzlement.
Elaine nodded, "Yeah, the rest of the surgical staff at the hospital."
Hawkeye nodded, pretending to understand, he realized Margaret must have tweaked the truth a bit to keep from bringing up painful memories.
Hawkeye sighed and looked at the woman gratefully. "So, if there's anyway I can convince you mother to … well, you don't have a problem with that?"
Elaine smiled and shook her head. "She's lonely, and I know you'll make her happy."
Hawkeye impulsively leaned over and hugged the woman slightly before standing up and hurrying back to his table.
Before Hawkeye reached the table, he could hear his son's distinctive laugh mixed with Margaret's. He smiled when he saw the small group, almost in tears over some unknown joke.
Hawkeye chuckled as he made his way towards Margaret and pulled her to her feet. He guided her a few feet away from the table and then handed her the ring again.
"Marry me, Margaret, please?"
"Oh, you said please," she said laughingly, "how cute." Hawkeye raised his eyebrows hopefully and Margaret rolled her eyes. "No, Hawkeye."
Hawkeye glanced towards the table and BJ caught his gaze, winking playfully.
Hawkeye chuckled and looked back at Margaret, grinning happily right before he dipped her in a long, hard kiss. When Hawkeye finally let Margaret up for air her face was bright red. She looked around frantically, turning an even deeper shade of red at the stares she was receiving.
"You didn't have to do that," she hissed.
"Of course I did," he countered quickly. "Marry me."
Margaret looked up and him and laughed cynically. "God, you're stubborn."
Margaret smiled and sighed, "Well, so long as I get another kiss like that." Hawkeye threw back his head and laughed, slipping his arms around her waist.
"Any time, darlin'."
Danny looked up at BJ and saw him smile broadly and then wink. He twisted around in his seat just in time to see his father dip Margaret in a passionate kiss. His eyebrows raised and his mouth dropped open, he turned around quickly as he heard Michael and Caren giggling beside him. BJ smiled victoriously and Danny put his head in his hands.
"Damn," he muttered, gaining a disapproving look from Laura. He looked up at BJ and shrugged. "Looks like I need to write you a check."
"I have to take you home no don't I?" Hawkeye asked quietly. They were sitting on a couch inside Hawkeye and BJ's hotel room, not far from where the reception was held. BJ had gone to bed long ago, leaving Margaret alone with her fiancé.
Margaret nodded, and pulled her head wearily off his shoulder.
Hawkeye reached out and quickly pulled her back down beside him. He wrapped his arms around her stomach let his hands trace up and down the button on her blouse.
He heard her snort slightly as she swatted away his hands, but Hawkeye persistently continued, moving his hands down to her sides, caressing her gently.
"Don't you know you're an old man?" Margaret teased laughingly, shifting her body so she could look into his face.
"No, I don't," he picked up her hand, twisting her ring around her finger. "And you're not old either."
Margaret grumbled an incoherent answer, making Hawkeye laugh. "It's true," he argued. "I'm looking at you right now and you still look twenty-nine. Your hair is long and silvery-blonde, curling slightly at the end," Hawkeye began stroking her hair gently and then began playing with her bangs.
"You have cute little wisps of hair framing your face, and those sparkling sapphire eyes, that have a tendency to flash like ice whenever you're angry with some insolent soldier for calling you Major Baby."
Margaret laughed as she stood up. "Come on, dreamer, you have to take me back to my hotel now."
She picked her coat up off the coffee table and slipped it on. Hawkeye grabbed his own coat and they headed for the door. He paused at the door and cupped his hand around her chin, leaning in and kissing her nose quickly.
"Yup," he flashed her a large smile. "You're still twenty-nine."-The End-
Well how did you like it? I really enjoyed doing this story and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Oh, and I'm thinking of changing the title to "Always 29" let me know what you think about that. Love to all my reviewers!