Friendship or Romance?
A M*A*S*H fanfic
By RHHP Freak

Characters: Hawkeye P. & Margaret Houlihan
Setting: M*A*S*H 4077, wartime
Summary: Hawkeye muses on his feelings for Margaret. Does he love as a friend, or is it true love? HM
Disclaimer: I'm sure you are familiar with these. I do not own M*A*S*H except a DVD and some stuff on my computer. It all belongs to 20th Century Fox and they don't want to let it go.

He was sitting on his cot, his favourite drink in hand. He looked at the door, hoping that somebody would join him (preferably a nurse) but no such luck. He was all alone on this fine evening and it bugged him.

His bunkie B.J. had finally gotten some R&R in Tokyo and Charles was in the Officer's Club with Nurse Kellye. Sometimes Hawkeye wondered if there was something going on between those two, but he immediately pushed the thought away. Sure, he had seen them dancing with each other every now and then, but still, this was Charles Emerson Winchester le Snob and he would never, ever get together with a lowly part Chinese nurse.

Or would he? Sometimes the line between friendship and love was so thin you could barely see it. He sighed. Why did love have to be so complicated? Why wasn't the line clear to everyone? It would say 'this is friendship, this is love. Is that clear?' 'Yessir!'

He himself had been struggling with that problem for a while now. He was not sure if he was in love with her or just loved her as a friend. Was it just a friendly feeling or did they have more of a romantic touch. Maybe it was both. Fromantic.

He chuckled slightly at that. Fromance, what a great word. Maybe he should tell somebody about that. No, a part of him protested. What damage wouldn't it do to his reputation if somebody found out he was sitting all alone, a drink in his hand, contemplating love? They would probably thing he had turned into a sappy person and soon he would be buried in kittens and pink teddy bears... or maybe not.

He growled silently in frustration. Maybe he could ask somebody. Sidney perhaps. He was a psychiatrist, he should be able if what he felt was true love.

Nah, he should probably keep this to himself.

He slowly got to his feet, to fetch himself another drink, when he heard steps nearing the Swamp. The door creaked open and he turned around only to find her slowly making her way into the tent. Her golden hair was down and she was wearing the same old olive drab uniform, but the sight of her still took his breath away. 1-0 to love.

"Why Margaret, to what do I owe the pleasure of this late night visit?"

"I was just thinking... would you like to come over to my tent for a drink?" She looked a bit shy and strangely vulnerable. So unlike the Major Houlihan he normally saw. That simply could not be right... could it?

"But Margaret. we have the finest liquor in all of Korea right here le Swamp," he objected.

"I am not drinking that lighter fluid!" she said with determination in her voice. She had switched back to Major Houlihan mode with the distance in her eyes, the military posture and of course the feared Major Houlihan tone. It was all going so quick that Hawkeye couldn't keep up with her.

"All right, all right. Should I brink my pajamas?" At her puzzled expression he added: "So we can have a pajamas party. We can play spin the bottle and talk about all the cute guys I met last week." The last part was said in a high-pitched, extremely bad replica of a female voice. Margaret looked at him for a second, before she hit him hard on the shoulder. "AUCH! Man down! Man down!"

"Honestly Pierce, when will you grow up?" she hissed, anger evident in every part of her. Voice, face and of course the way her fists were clenched tightly.

"Why should I? Children have all the fun in life. They don't have to worry about everything," he said and quickly added: "I wanna be a kid."

She look at him for a second, groaned, then spun around and marched out of the tent, slamming the door behind her.

Oops, he thought and mentally kicked himself in the head. Him and that big mouth of his. Why on Earth did he have to say stuff like that?

Go after her! a voice in his head said. He nodded. Yes he would do just that. He would go after her, say he was sorry, kiss her and then... wait what?

When had he decided he was going to kiss her?

Since you realized this is not friendship or even "fromance". It's love.

Love...Was he, the legendary Benjamin Franklin Hawkeye Pierce was in love with none other than Major Margaret Houlihan? The woman who had tried to make his life a living hell for the first year of his stay in Korea, then turned out to be a great friend?

Yes, he was.

What was the score anyway? 10-0 to love? He really hadn't counted it, but he had all the textbook signs of being in love. How could he ever, have mistaken those feelings as nothing but friendship? He aimed another mental kick at himself. Maybe he did need to talk to Sidney, because there was surely something wrong with that thick head of his.

He quickly ran out of the Swamp, straight to Margaret's tent. He started to knock frantically on the door. "Margaret? C'mon let me in! We have to talk!"

A moment passed and Hawkeye feared she was still too angry with him, but then the door creaked open. She looked at him for a second or two, not meeting his gaze, before he gestured to him to come inside, but making sure she kept her back turned on him. Ah well, he probably deserved that.

"Margaret," he started, "I am truly sorry for behaving like a jerk, but you must know, I never meant to hurt you." She still hadn't turned around and didn't even seem to listen to him at all. "If I could turn back time, I wouldn't do it again, I swear!" He started to notice that her shoulders had started to shake. Was she crying? "Are you okay?"

But soon realization hit him. She wasn't crying, she was laughing. She finally turned around to look at him, but was only able to keep a straight face for a short moment, before she burst out laughing. She laughed for what felt like an eternity to him, but it didn't matter. He really liked the sound of her laughter and was disappointed when it ended. 11-0 to love?

"Hawkeye, you should feel a little sorry for what happened," she said wiping away a few tears which had fallen from her eyes during her fir of laughter. "but so should I. I shouldn't have overreacted, I mean that was just you being... well you. And it's all very silly, it's just..." she suddenly hesitated, turning more serious. "I just need to talk to you."

"About what?" he asked and took a small step closer to her. The smell of her perfume was intoxicating and his heart started to beat faster and faster in his chest. He wondered if she could actually see it. But she really was stunningly beautiful.

"I have been having these weird feelings lately," she finally said. "And I think I..."

"I love you," Hawkeye blurted out unable to keep it in any longer. His beating heart had slowly but surely beaten it out of him.

"You... you what?" Her voice was loud and high-pitched in disbelief.

"I love you," he repeated. He felt like he could say it a million times, and he would never grow tired of it. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love...

Hawkeye's inner voice was rudely interrupted when Margaret took a step forward and started to kiss him passionately. Okay, maybe 'rudely' was the wrong word, but it was interrupted! His eyes widened in surprise, not shock, because shock is an unpleasant feeling, and this was anything but unpleasant. He doubted there was anything less unpleasant than the kiss of Margaret Houlihan, because this was nice. Very nice. In fact.. STOP THINKING AND KISS HER BACK! the inner voice had returned and Hawkeye was only too happy to oblige. He closed her eyes and started to kiss her back, but all too soon she broke it.

"That... that was an excellent kiss," she said. Hawkeye opened his mouth, probably to say something about if 'excellent' was the best she could come up with, but she quickly clamped her hand over his mouth. "And what I was trying to tell you earlier was, that I am head over heels for you," she removed her hand. "I do love you Hawkeye."

"So what you're saying is, that if I hadn't behaved like a four-year-old we could have done this sooner?" he mentally kicked himself again. Ouch, his mental self would be sore in the morning.

"Don't be too hard on yourself Hawkeye," she said with a twinkle in her eyes. "You behaved like a five-year-old."

"Oh yeah? Could a five-year-old do this?" he asked and kissed her passionately. She immediately responded but soon Hawkeye broke it. "Maybe I don't want to be a kid after all," he remarked before he started to kiss her again. She smiled into it and wrapped her arms tightly around him.

And so, love defeated friendship and "fromance" and the rest is, as they say, just another love story

The End