Part III

Hawkeye strolled around the camp aimlessly, thinking yet again about everything that had transpired within the last few weeks. He was so deep in thought that he was oblivious to everything that was taking place around him. The sun was shining, some of the nurses were out hanging laundry, some of the enlisted men were playing football. Others took advantage of the nice weathers to play golf. He finally was able to make a decision about what to do to resolve this whole mess. He went to go find Klinger. With any luck at all, Klinger would be in his office, gabbing on the phone with someone.

He opened the door to the office and walked in. Klinger was there as he had hoped.

"Klinger, just the man I need to see. I need you to do something for me," he began, not wanting to reveal too much of his plan. At least, not yet.

"Well, Captain, I am kind of busy today. Colonel Potter wants everything reorganized so that we can actually find stuff. Can you believe that? He doesn't want to deal with my system any longer. The nerve of that man!"

"Since you look like you need some good news, how would a three day pass sound to your Lebanese ears?" Hawkeye asked, knowing that this would get his attention. A bribe usually worked with Klinger.

"Well, on second thought, maybe I can squeeze you in. What do you need?" Klinger asked him, much more interested now.

"I need you to come up with a bouquet of flowers, along with a bottle of your best champagne," Hawkeye told him.

"You're kidding, right? How am I going to find those here in Korea? You give me a week long pass back to Toledo and I could find you the cream of the crop for next to nothing," Klinger said, always trying to find a way to go home and not return.

"First of all, if I did that, you would never come back and second, I can't have that hanging over my head, too," Hawkeye was well aware of the fact that it might take Klinger a while to come up with the items he needed.

"So what's the special occasion? Some new nurse arrive?" Klinger was now very curious. Hawkeye had been so depressed the last few weeks. It was though the life had gone out of him. Klinger was happy to see his friend returning to his usual self.

"You could say that," Hawkeye responded. "Yes, you could definitely say that. When could you get these for me?"

"Well, Captain, did you or did you not promise me a three day pass? Now in all fairness, I would need to see that first. Wouldn't you agree?" Klinger drove a hard bargain, because he had learned some of the rules of this man's army. Get what you want first, then favors could be done.

"Ok, Ok, is Colonel Potter in? Give me ten minutes and it will be yours," Hawkeye promised.

Less than ten minutes later, Hawkeye returned with the three day pass, and Klinger picked up the phone to do the bargaining he did best. Hawkeye stood there hoping Klinger would be able to work his usual magic. He waited, and it felt like an eternity. He had one more thing for Klinger to do. It was to deliver a note with the flowers to someone and not be seen doing it.

"OK, Captain, you're in luck. I was able to get roses and champagne, though I don't know how good it will be. They can get here tonight. Where do you want them?" Klinger asked, his curiosity now getting the better of him.

"They need to be delivered to a certain major, no questions asked, AND they need to be left in her tent when she is out and about around camp. Got it?" Hawkeye practically ordered him. The last thing he needed was for this to become camp news, as gossip tended to travel fast.

"Yes, sir. Anything for the generous officer who is getting me out of this cesspool for three days," Klinger said.

Hawkeye then walked towards the Swamp in order to start getting ready for the evening.

"Well, well, well, look at you," BJ walked in to find Hawkeye in the middle of shaving. "Shaving in the afternoon? Who is she?"

"It is for a special occasion, and I felt that dressing up and shaving would be the least I could do for it," Hawkeye responded.

"Yeah? Where and with who?" BJ was now anxious to hear his answer, considering his bunkie had been moping around the camp for several weeks now. It was as though he had gotten a new lease on life. He wondered if Margaret knew about his recent change of attitude. Then again, Hawkeye may not be feeling good with the Margaret issue. With Hawkeye, it was hard to tell. Hawkeye remained silent as he continued to get ready for the evening he had so carefully planned.

"Well, are you going to clue me in or leave me hanging to guess what's up?" BJ felt that he was prying now. It was so unlike him not to share his plans. BJ turned toward the still and proceeded to make them both martinis. "Would you at least care for a drink?"

"Why, certainly," Hawkeye finally said something. He took the glass BJ had poured for him. "This is a celebration drink. I would like to make a toast. To friendship. I have been doing a lot of thinking recently and I have come to the realization that I have acted like a jackass the last few weeks. And that has something to do with what I am planning to do tonight. I want to show someone that I do care, even though I haven't been able to show it as of late."

"To friendship. Hawk, I think I understand and I am glad that you decided to resolve things with her," BJ was pretty sure that Hawk was talking about Margaret and was relieved. It had been a long few weeks for all of them.

"Yeah, well, I just haven't been able to face her. There was too much on my mind. I care deeply about her, always have," Hawkeye confided.

"I know," BJ said.

"My only hope is that she will listen to what I have to say and not shut me out the way I did," Hawkeye said.

"Take whatever happens," BJ told him.

"Wish me luck," Hawkeye was about ready to go. He set his glass down on the table and with a small wave to BJ, he walked out of the tent and headed to Rosie's.

As he walked over to Rosie's, he began to feel at peace with what he was about to do. She didn't know it was he who sent the flowers with a note enclosed that told her to meet someone in the back room at Rosie's for a candlelit dinner. He felt that it would be easier that way. Besides, he wanted to pique her interest and he knew that remaining anonymous was the best way to go about it. He walked in, immediately looked around for her, and approached the bar. Rosie was there, as usual, fixing drinks. He approached her and she motioned him toward the back room. "Rosie, everything ready?" Hawkeye asked.

"Yeah, she is here, waiting. She even asked who sent flowers. I didn't tell," Rosie said.

"Did she have any idea?" Hawkeye was curious, because this would be easier if Margaret suspected why she was here.

"No, but she did say that if it wasn't a certain captain, she would not be happy. She also said it better be him. What did you do to her?" Rosie asked.

"Let's just say that it is a long story," he said, not really wanting to share more.

"OK, this way," Rosie led him toward the back room. "Can I get drinks for you?"

"Yes, Rosie, a Scotch would do," Margaret said. She was nervous, angry, upset, and she hoped the drink could soothe her nerves.

"Make that two Scotches. Put them on my tab," Hawkeye said.

"Coming right up," Rosie turned and walked out of the room.

"Hi, thanks for coming," Hawkeye Said softly. He wasn't quite sure how to begin.

"I have to say I almost didn't. When the flowers arrived in my tent, I knew it was you. Who else would have?" Margaret sounded disgusted.

"I hoped you liked them," Hawkeye was hoping this would go well. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to be off to a good start.

"They are beautiful, but that isn't the point and you know it," Margaret said sarcastically.

"What is your point then and why are you here if you don't seem to be willing to listen to what I have to say?" Hawkeye wasn't sure how to break through her shield of armor.

At that moment, Rosie brought their drinks. Sensing tension in the air, she quickly departed. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she knew she didn't want to stay to find out.

"Before you get too upset, I need to say, 'I'm sorry'. I have treated you horribly the last couple of weeks, and it was wrong, and I was hoping to make it up to you tonight," Hawkeye said. He grabbed her hands and held them in his. "I care about you, more than I let on. When I saw you lying there hurt, it was difficult for me. I didn't know what to do. Then, you ordered me to shoot the gun. I was so torn between wanting to help you and not wanting to shoot that damn thing. Something in me cracked when we got back here. I guess I directed my anger at you, because you ordered me to shoot the gun and because you were here. Those North Koreans soldiers died that night, and that is still something I have to live with. But you know what, I am finally at peace with what I did. You are alive as a result as well as the others who were wounded. I'm sorry," Hawkeye looked down. He wasn't sure how this would be received. Margaret put her arms around him.

They sat together for a couple of minutes, neither one speaking. It hurt her that he struggled with this so much, and she didn't realize just how painful it was for him. She saw him in a different light. He had agonized over this for so long because he really cared about her.

She pulled away from him and said, "Let's make a toast". Picking up her glass, she said, "Truce?"

He raised his glass towards hers and said, "Truce".

"Thanks, Hawkeye. Let's go take a walk. It is a beautiful night, the stars are out," Margaret suggested.

"Sure, anything. I don't want this evening to end," Hawkeye said, taking her hand into his. Arm and arm, they walked out of Rosie's and into the night.


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