Disclaimer: M*A*S*H does not belong to me. I am way too young to own it.
A/N: This is a HM fic… yeah like you couldn't guess. And it's the last fic I am going to publish this year. So I hope you enjoy and please leave a review!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!
Paintings of Perfection
New York City, 1956
It was a few days after Christmas in New York, but there wasn't a single snowflake in site. Instead it was rain falling from the sky, but it didn't stop people from being happy. A few days ago they had all had a fantastic evening with their families
Hawkeye was walking down the street all alone. That was the keyword. Alone. He hadn't been alone for a long time. If he hadn't been with one of his parents he had been surrounded by friends and pretty girls. But here he was on this rainy day, the thoughts running through his head was as dark and depressing as the sky above him. There hadn't been a smile on his lips for a long time and it seemed he was going to spend New Year's Eve alone… again.
He passed store after store; man after man; woman after woman; couple after couple. They all looked so happy that Hawkeye could feel nothing but jealousy. He was supposed to be one of those people. He was supposed to walk through the streets with a smile on his lips. Maybe that was what really bothered him. He was the only one who wasn't smiling.
Suddenly he passed the store which made him stop in his tracks and he paused for a second before going closer. It was an art gallery, the sign in the door said 'Closed,' but that wasn't interesting. The interesting was the paintings displayed in the window.
They were all showing happy people. A man and a woman on a beach. Another couple hugging underneath a tree. Couple after couple. A reflection of the street outside.
And then there was the one which stood out. It was a man and even though Hawkeye could not make out his features he was reminded of that day three years ago when he had let her leave. It still hurt, and it would probably never stop. The big black hole in the middle of his heart would never heal.
He closed his eyes and was suddenly taken back to that fateful day.
Well, he seriously doubted this could be anymore awkward. For once in his life he was at a total loss for words. There wasn't one wisecrack, not even a single bad joke in his head. He had no idea what to say to her. Of course 'Goodbye' would be the obvious choice, but he just couldn't get it past his lips. He looked at her, then looked away again, never once making eye contact with her. He couldn't do that, knowing it would be the last time he would do so.
"So, um… listen," he said, mentally slapping himself. What an idiotic thing to say, but then again, he could have said worse things. Like nothing at all.
"Yeah…" she replied. Somehow the look on her face made her seem incredibly… cute was the only word for it. He had never seen her like he did now, and for some crazy reason he liked it.
Suddenly, like there had been some mental bond between them, they ran into each others' arms, kissing passionately. Hawkeye reveled in the feeling of it, feeling her arms around him, her lips pressed against his, the way they both swayed slightly on the spot, her hand slowly stroking his back. It was her, her, her.
And then, far too soon, they broke apart and stepped away from each other.
"Well, so long," he said. Well at least that was something, and it wasn't a goodbye. It was a promise; a promise he intended on keeping some day.
"See you," she said and jumped into the jeep. The engine roared to life and started to drive away, taking her away from him.
As Hawkeye watched her animage flashed before his eyes. It was himself, but he was in a strange place, he hadn't been before. As far as he could see the other him was standing in front of some store or something like that. But Hawkeye did not like what he saw. Not only was his hair greyer and there were many more wrinkles in his face, but there wasn't a smile on his lips, and as far as he could see there hadn't been for a long time. And that was what scared him the most. He had never seen himself look so unhappy.
And then it was all gone, and he could see everything clearly again. The tents coming down, the mountains and the jeep driving away. It hadn't gone too far. He looked at BJ, Colonel Potter and Charles. They were all looking at her. Why on Earth weren't they stopping her?
Because, a small voice in the back of his head said. They know it's your call. Go after her, or you'll end up as a lonely, unhappy man. And you don't want that, right?
"Margaret!" he suddenly yelled and started to run after the jeep. He hoped she would tell the driver to stop, and if she didn't he would dodge the first plane home and go to the 8063rd and find her. Yes, he would do that. And no-body would be able to stop him.
Luckily, the jeep came to a screeching halt and she quickly jumped out of it. He ran until he was right before her and he stood there for a moment, panting slightly and while he did so, he looked into her eyes, and saw something which made him… love her even more.
"What is it, Pierce," she said, annoyance in her voice, but there was also something else. Something she was trying to hide behind it.
"I…I just…" he said, trying to find the right words. "I just wanted to tell you how much you mean to me. I… I love you Major Margaret Houlihan, I really do."
Tears shone in her eyes and she leaned forward and hugged him tight and when she pulled away a few minutes later, they were running down her cheeks.
"I love you too, Doctor Hawkeye Pierce," she said, leaving the military title out on purpose. "I guess I should have told you a long time ago, but…"
Hawkeye was pulled back to the present as he felt someone grab his shoulder. He opened his eyes, and looked into the eyes of the woman standing beside him. She was even more beautiful than back then, even though she never believed him when he told her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked. "I thought you were down at the café with BJ and Peg."
"I was just on my way, but then I saw this," he said and pointed at one of the paintings in the show window. It showed a man, who looked at lot like him and a woman, looking very much like his wife, standing in front of each other, a look of deep emotion on their faces. "And I couldn't stop thinking about, if I hadn't stopped you and told you I loved you. What would our lives have been like?"
"Very bad," she said. "I can no longer imagine my life without you, and you know what happens if you ever think about leaving me, right?"
"You'll kick my… behind so hard I will never be able to sit down again, ma'am," he said and mock saluted her.
"Exactly." She laughed slightly and he couldn't resist giving her a quick kiss, his hand moving towards her growing belly. He couldn't believe that in just a few months, he would be a father. Him of all the people in the world! If somebody had told him this would happen just a few years ago, he would have told them to stuff something in their heads, to make up for the obvious lack of a brain.
"You know what?" Margaret suddenly said. "I really, really like that painting. It's perfect!"
"Yes it is," he said and studied it once again, happy memories flooding his mind. "Now, shall we go join BJ and Peg at the café, milady?"
She laughed again, before she grabbed his arm. "Of course. Lead the way, milord."
Yes, it was indeed a perfect picture. Another painting of perfection.