Your reviews were all lovely and I'm so excited, I'm nearing 2000 hits!! I couldn't be happier. A special thanks to RoseLight I absolutely love your reviews, you seem to put so much thought into them. I'm a more sporadic reviewer and find myself being somewhat lazy about them, but your constructive criticism and positive assurances make me feel all warm and fuzzy every time I read them. I also enjoy your analytical stance on my story, that someone would take the time to pick apart the idiosyncrasies and references that I place in each chapter in hopes someone will notices them is very flattering. Of course thank-you to everyone else who took the time to review the last chapter seeing as I took so long to update. Thankyou ascii27, MargaretAndHawkeye4Ever, Mrs-Tuttle/MajorBaby, petiteshmooette-4077celticmaggie4077 and HM4077.
I don't MASH, I just wish I did.
Margaret actually missed the person Hawkeye had turned her into and although she was regaining herself inside the old Pierce homestead it wasn't the same, not yet…
Margaret swallowed hard, pulling herself back to reality. She took a moment to remember that she was seated at the Pierce family kitchen table and not lying in the lavender scented tent back in Korea. Before her sat a concerned looking Hawkeye.
"Are you alright Margaret? You drifted away for a while there" his eyes were full of concern. Those blue orbs of emotion with their full attention focused on her, it was almost too much to take.
"Sure, sorry. I was just reminiscing…or the opposite of reminiscing. I was thinking of the food in Korea, it was no where near as delicious as this spread," she gestured to the food laden table. It was almost groaning under the weight of all the plates and Daniel was still whipping up the bacon behind them.
"I cannot believe you still insist on calling that disgusting mess back in Korea food. I am still convinced that it was refried army boot" Hawkeye shook his head, his smile taking on a definite crookedness.
"You always were a conspiracy theorist though Pierce" Margaret quipped in response, her own grin taking on an air of cheekiness. Hawkeye marvelled at the relaxed nature of their conversation. He had rarely seen her like this in Korea. There were the few times when in the presence of only each other that she had let go and relaxed. The instance involving sulfa and digitalis came to mind. He had never seen Margaret laugh so hard, except for that one time Frank had been K.Oed while refereeing a boxing match between Klinger and Zale. They'd just been enjoying each other's sense of humour, Hawkeye noting that someone had been playing with Margaret's funny bone and he had liked it. That night he had finally met Margaret Houlihan and just as quickly as she'd appeared, she disappeared. He could've strangled Kelley that night, she had chosen just the right time to walk into the storage room, that was until he realised that it wasn't Kelley's fault Margaret had clammed up at her entrance, it wasn't Kelley's fault at all. Margaret was a hurt little girl under all of her bravado and Hawkeye partly blamed himself for that. He blamed Frank Burns, Howitzer Houlihan, every General in the army, Donad Penobscott, Sgt. Scully and even regulation boots for the Margaret behaved as well, but he knew he had his own contribution to her cold nature. It was his constant ribbing of her, thousands of small put downs and even the millions of sexual innuendos he'd presented her with that had resulted in the development of Major Margaret Houlihan. He was sorry for that more than anything else.
"Far from it Margaret. I didn't need conspiracy theories, I had the army and it's infinite insanity to present me with more than a few otherwise unbelievable truths."
"Oh yes. But then what is your excuse for Captain Tuttle?" Margaret asked nonchalantly, popping a piece of pancake into her mouth.
"Tuttle? Did you say Tuttle?" Daniel turned around to face the old army compatriots.
"Why yes I did" Margaret grinned devilishly, she felt a little juvenile, dobbing Hawkeye in to his father but she could feel the on set of something deliciously embarrassing for her blue-eyed friend.
"Now Dad, Margaret-" Hawkeye looked between the two, feeling the mischievous tension rising in the room.
"Hawkeye's childhood friend who no one could see but got up to his fair share of trouble" Daniel laughed.
"Do you know I once found writing on the walls in the hall. Scrawled all over the wall paper in red crayon was Hawkeye's name, he was just learning how to write at school. Of course my temper reached boiling point and when I asked Hawkeye what he was doing he promptly told me Tuttle had done it. Tuttle had allegedly signed Hawkeye's name all over our walls, it took me hours to clean off" Daniel shook his head.
"I never said Tuttle was a foolproof invention-"
"Well Tuttle got up to his fair share of mischief in Korea as well. An honourable man he was, giving his monthly pay to Sister Theresa's orphanage, he made quite a few friends at the old 4077th. I myself even thought of him as dashing, with his auburn curls and hazel eyes. Poor man, jumped out a plane one day, attempting to aid someone fallen soldiers in the field of battle, sadly he left behind his parachute" Margaret laughed.
"Quiet a noble man that Tuttle" Hawkeye agreed solemnly. Than realisation hit him,
"Margaret as far as you knew, Tuttle's last act was jumping from a plane without a parachute. When did you discover he was in fact bodily challenged?" Hawkeye demanded. Grinning, Margaret shook her head, her golden curls flying. Hawkeye grinned back, smiling at the fact that Margaret had long ago abandoned her bleach and had settled for her natural dark blonde locks.
"Come on Margaret, tell me" he pushed, poking her arm gently.
"Well, lets just say that I had my doubts to begin with. No man is that perfect, not even you Pierce" she cut Hawkeye before he could say anything,
"That and Radar was never very good at keeping a secret under interrogation" she shrugged.
"You didn't! Poor Radar…" Hawkeye sighed, lamenting.
"Oh he was okay. He just valued that horrible grape concoction more than he did keeping Tuttle's blemish free virtue in tact" she laughed.
"Bribery, I never would've expected something so debonair from you Margaret" Hawkeye said, playing at being shocked.
"There's a lot you don't know about me Pierce" Margaret countered, raising her eyebrows knowingly at him over her glass of orange juice.
"Really?" he asked.
"Yes, really." It was truer than Hawkeye realised. He was right; he did play a part in reinforcing the growth of Major Houlihan. As much as he had succeeded in breaking down her many barriers, he was just as guilty for imbedding a sense of uncertainty within her heart. Her fears of his breaking her heart made sure she was reserved around him more often than she was open around him. She remembered getting into the jeep the day she had left the camp, if she weren't so sure he would balk at an invitation to meet up back in the states, she never would've gotten into that goddamn vehicle. God, she'd tried so many times to write to him and tell him the truth, she knew she'd never be able to stomach calling him…but than again, here she was after all this time, sitting in his kitchen contemplating telling him that he was the father of her child, so what did she know of her own strength?
Sighing, she pushed her chair back and stood slowly.
"Where're you going?" Hawkeye asked, a level of anxiety obvious in his voice.
"Just to the bathroom Pierce, don't worry, I'm not disappearing. Maybe after this you can take me for a walk around town, introduce me to the marvellous Crabapple Cove you spent so much time talking about in Korea?" she suggested.
"Of course Margaret, it'd be my honour. I just hope the other men don't get to jealous of me, taking a beautiful woman like you around town…oh, the rumour mill will go into overdrive" he sighed melodramatically.
"Pierce I'm pregnant, I'm as big as a house, what on earth are you talking about?!" she cried.
"Margaret you are the most beautiful woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, pregnant or not" Hawkeye answered, deadly serious. Margaret swallowed hard, shivering under the intensity of his gaze; she just nodded and turned on her heel, fleeing the room. Once in the bathroom, she flattened herself against he wall, not once had Donald referred to her as beautiful when her belly had started to grow. Quite the opposite actually, he'd almost started to avoid her…to be complimented so sincerely, by Hawkeye of all people, it made her head spin and brought back the familiar scent of lavender.
Okay guys, I updated quickly…well for me that is. I just want to say thanks for the reviews again and that reviewer number fifty will receive an extra big virtual hug from me. Now, now calm down there's plenty of Psychodramaqueen to go around, lol.