Snuggled with her in a narrow prison cot reminiscent of his suit in Korea, Hawkeye realized something. When Carlye had so suddenly reappeared in Korea, he'd had a much easier time of letting her go than he had originally thought. When she first left back in med. school, he had thought that his heart would break but, when she left again, it hadn't been as hard to adjust. It was because of her. At first he couldn't understand why he so loved the idea of being married to Margaret when he had been so reluctant to marry Carlye. Then it hit him. He had finally found something, or more someone who he loved more than medicine. The thought stunned him.
As she lay in the crook of his arm, her thoughts ran close to his. "All those wasted years, first with Frank, then with Donald. But none of that matters, because he loves me, and I love him. That's what really counts."
Suddenly the guard appeared with Trapper in tow.
"Yo! Doc! Some guy's ID'd you. You're free to go."
But Trapper had already seen Hawk holding Margaret, and seen the love burning in his eyes. The look on her face took his breath. Seeing them fight, he had always known that that passion could be put to better use, but never thought it would. He was happy for the friend who he thought would always be alone.
After giving her waist a light squeeze, he got up, pulling her to her feet.
"Hey, you ID her, too?" the guard asked.
"Yeah, of course" Trap replied. "C'mon, I'll take you two back."
As they lay amongst the twisted sheets, Hawk said "We should talk."
"Hmm... I love our 'talks'" Margaret purred.
He had meant to only kiss her lightly, but the moment their lips touched, all of the yearning and desire built up from Korea and the years since exploded in an earth shattering, soul wrenching kiss. Finally, he pulled away. "No, I mean really talk. I love you. I love you more than life, more than breath, and although I never thought I'd say it, more than medicine. The thought of being with you forever makes me so happy that I want to burst. But, do you want me forever, or just for now? Because i want all of you forever. I want to give you kids and be with you until I die."
"Oh Hawk, I've loved you since the first time we kissed, right under Franks nose. Remember? It was Christmas. You've been the only one since that time near the 8063rd. I still love you, and I've never loved anyone else."
"C'm 'ere, baby" Hawk growled.
1 year later...
"Margaret! Damn my eyes! You look great! I haven't seen you since the wedding. Got all your letters, though," Colonel Potter said.
"How've you been, Colonel?" Margaret asked.
"Great. I love finally being a civilian. The missus organized this shindig, and boy, a 4077th 5 year reunion was a great idea. So, where's that husband of yours?"
"Oh, he went to help B.J. and Trapper set up a new still. I'll go meet them in a few minutes. I think I'll go visit the new rendition of my tent, first."
"Okay, I'll see you in a few."
"See ya, Colonel."
They really had done a wonderful job of remaking her tent. Every detail was correct. She stepped toward a closet in which Klinger had once hidden to trap a congressman's aide who had thought that she was a communist. She smiled at the memory. Just then, arms encircled her waist. She leaned into them, thinking that it was Hawk. "Hi Honey," she murmured.
"Hello Darling," Frank Burns's voice said. "We have to be quiet though, my wife's right outside."
"Get off me, you two-timing lech!"
"Pussycat, what's wrong?" Frank whispered. "And I know you're not married, because I ran into Penobscott, and we talked about you."
"Take your hands off me this second!"
"Get used to it, baby, because I like my hands where they are."
"Help! Help!" She yelped.
"Shhh!" Frank hissed, backing her into a corner.
"You'd better have a damned good reason for touching my wife," Pierce snarled.
"Your...wife?" Frank stuttered.
"Yeah, my wife," Hawk snapped. "I've wanted to do this for a long time, Burns, and now I think I'll give in to temptation."
Without another word, he had flattened "Ferret Face" with a right hook to the jaw. Pulling him up with his left hand, he then proceeded to break his nose with a second well placed punch. "Sorry son of a bitch" he grumbled. He took his trembling wife in his arms and held her close to him.
Alerted by her screams, half of the camp had rushed in, just in time to see Major Burns get his comeuppance. B.J. and Radar helped Burns outside, and everyone else followed. Hawk and margaret went last, arms securely around each others waists.
"You...you...creep!" Frank shouted. "You deserve each other!"
"I agree, " Margaret told him. Then, in a very un-Major Houlihan-like gesture, she twined her arms around her husbands neck, and kissed him deeply. The crowd burst into applause.
"As most of you know, two of our own have gotten married since the war," Potter said during the speech part of the reunion. "Why don't we have a few words from our favorite joker? Hawkeye, come on up!"
"Thanks," Pierce said to the applause. "Yes, I have gotten married, and to a woman you all know and love. Say hello to my new wife and best friend, Margaret, formerly Houlihan, Pierce!"
"Thanks, thank you all," she said, taking Hawk's hand. "To those of you who knew us in the early days of the war, I'm sure you are surprised. I know I am. The man I could scream at for hours is suddenly the man I love more than anything. Thank you all for your love and support, both now, and during the war. Without it, I would never have made it through. One more surprise, and this a surprise to you, too, Hawk; I'm pregnant!" she announced.
Hawkeye's mouth dropped open. Then, to the roaring applause of everyone gathered in the Mess Tent, they kissed again, holding each other as if they would never let go.