Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters they all belong to 20th Century Fox and the Producers of M*A*S*H. Criticism is always and greatly appreciated. Just email it to Hotlips4Hawkeye@aol.com. Thanks and I hope you enjoy.
The crisp fall air nipped at the collar of his tux, as he stood in front of the Presbyterian Church. He was reading the invitation he held in his hand:
Colonel and Mrs. Alvin Houlihan cordially invite you
to attend the wedding of their daughter
Margaret Jane Houlihan to Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III
on Saturday November twenty- fifth nineteen- hundred and fifty- three
at Boston Presbyterian at seven o'clock p.m.
* Black Tie Affair
He couldn't believe it his Margaret was marrying Charles. It seemed like just yesterday when she walked out the door leaving him a single note that read:
Dear Ben, 8/27/53
These past few weeks have been wonderful, but I need more than just a fun few weeks. I need a lifetime. I love you and don't ever forget that. I'm moving to Boston tomorrow. I'll write you soon. I love you and I'm sorry.
Love your friend,
He still felt hurt and betrayed. He loved her still; actually he loved her even more. When she left him he realized she had left for the same reason Carlye had, but this time he wasn't going to let her get away. He had received a letter not long before the invitation. He recalled what it said:
My Dearest Ben, 10/25/53
This is the hardest letter I've ever written. I'm engaged to married! You'll never guess who it is, its Charles! Who am I fooling, I still love you and I think about you everyday. I miss you warm embrace and your welcoming smile, your infectious laugh and the way you make a rainy day, sunny and bright. I've never felt this way for anyone, but you. I can't love Charles because I love you. Our marriage is more of a convenience. If you still love me you'll prove it to me before I'm Mrs. Charles Emerson Winchester III. I need you Ben. I love you, I always have and I always will. Hope to see you soon.
Love forever and always,
P.S. I'll be the one wearing white.
He couldn't stand seeing her marry him. He wasn't going to let it happen. He walked into the church. It was decorated for the evening nuptials with candles and beautiful flowers. Familiar voices echoed through the high cathedral ceiling, as he climbed the stairs to the bridal suite. He heard her voice from outside the room barking orders in her typical Major Houlihan tone. He gently knocked on the door and she opened it. The two looked at each other with loving eyes and kissed. They were completely oblivious to those standing around them, Margaret's parents, her sisters, her niece, and Honoria Winchester.
"Could we have a few minutes?" Margaret asked and her bridal party obliged. After they left she began to speak.
"I see you got my letters."
"Are you going to say something or are you just going to stand there?"
"So uh, how are you?"
"How am I? I'm about ready to walk down the isle with a man I don't love and the man I do love just walked through the door, how do you think I'm doing?"
"It took a lot for me to come here. Margaret when you left me I knew what I should have done."
"Why couldn't you have realized that when we were together?"
"I can repeat what you just said, I can repeat what I just said, I can repeat a line from my favorite movie, but I cannot repeat the past. I want to learn from the past and build a future with you."
"How do you plan on doing that?"
"Devote my time to you."
"You know we have a problem."
"Yes, a very big on, about 6'3... Charles."
"Margaret I won't let you walk out of my life again."
"I'll only come back if you promise me I'll never be second again."
"I promise this time will be different, no more late nights at the office, no more medicine before you. You come first. I love you and I'm not going to let you get away."
"And I won't stop you... Well I have to talk to Charles."
"I'll go with you."
"No, you'll stay here."
Margaret briskly walked down the hallway to the room where Charles and his ushers were seated waiting for the wedding to begin. She knocked eagerly upon the door.
"Charles! I need to speak with you."
"Margaret, I can't see you before the wedding, its bad luck."
"I'm supposed to say that."
"I need to speak with you, so could you let me in?"
"Yes, just a minute."
Charles opened the door and went to kiss his fiancÚ, but she pushed him away. His ushers, Chase, Farnsworth, and Stone looked at each other in puzzlement.
"Will you gentleman excuse us?"
While they were leaving Margaret paced around the room while Charles saw them out.
"What's wrong Margaret?"
"I can't go through with this."
"With what my dear?"
"This! This wedding! This marriage! I can't marry you!"
"I can't marry someone I don't love."
"What do you mean, someone you don't love?"
"I mean I love you, but I'm not in love with you."
"But you do love me."
"No Charles, I don't
"Who is this man who has managed to steal your heart from me?"
"Charles, calm down!"
"CALM DOWN? CALM DOWN, MARGARET! YOU JUST TOLD ME YOUR GOING TO MARRY THAT CRETIN PIERCE!"
"I don't want to hurt you."
"Well you CERTAINLY managed to do that."
"I didn't want to do this to you at the alter."
"OH WHAT A BETTER TIME MARGARET! A HALF- HOUR BEFORE THE WEDDING, WHEN ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE ARRIVED AND WORST OF ALL ITS ALREADY PAID FOR!"
"I'm sorry, but I'm leaving with Hawk now."
"OH NO YOUR NOT!"
"JUST TRY AND STOP ME!"
Margaret stormed out of the room and ran to her bridal suite, and slammed the door. She fell into Hawkeye's arms as Charles burst through the door.
"I'M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU JUST YET!"
"OH YES YOU ARE!"
"PIERCE STAY OUT OF THIS!"
"HOW CAN I? I'M IN THE MIDDLE!"
"ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!"
"URGH! ITS NOT HIS FAULT!"
"URGH!" Charles grunted mocking Margaret.
"Come on, lets get out of here," Hawk said grabbing Margaret's arm. The two ran down the stairs and out to the street where they hailed a cab leaving Charles behind stunned and speechless in the bridal suite. When they got in the cab Margaret began to sob uncontrollably.
To Be Continued...