By: Darcy Elizabeth Webster
"Relax, Pierce, it's only me." Hawkeye's alert stance visibly softened at Margaret's weak voice.
"How are you?" he asked anxiously, worried that she would fall unconscious again.
"I feel a lot better then you will if you keep mutilating your coat. You need it more than I do." She tried to sit up, but Hawkeye made her lay down again. He said, "In case you haven't noticed, you're bleeding badly and the only bandages are on my foot. I'm improvising."
"It's not as bad as it looks," Margaret said sincerely. "You know cuts to the head are more ugly than severe."
Hawkeye started wrapping her head in make-shift bandages. "Still, you've lost a lot of blood. I don't want you to lose any more."
Hawkeye looked down. The pool of blood had gotten bigger. For the first time, he realized that he, too, was bleeding.
"Oh boy," Hawkeye groaned, "What else can go wrong?"
"Well, your coat's already ruined, so I'll just use the rest of it to replace these bandages." Margaret unwrapped his foot and then passed out again.
"What the--" Pierce stared down at his foot in horror. It had swollen to twice its normal size. The blood was coming from a small bone poking out of the crushed appendage. He hastily rewrapped it and turned to Margaret.
"Come on, wake up!" He gently slapped her face."I'm sorry, but I have no choice but to do this now." He scooped up a handful of snow and let it fly.
"Incoming!" Margaret yelled as she jolted into consciousness. "Why'd you do that?!"
"It was the only way to wake you up." Hawkeye laughed at her forced smile. "It worked, didn't it?"
"Pierce, you moron!" Margaret shouted, half laughing, half screaming. "Prepare to die!"
She dumped an armful of snow directly on top of Hawkeye's head. Soon snow was flying everywhere. After a while it slowly stopped.
"A lot of good that did. Now what are we going to do for warmth?" Margaret panted.
"Well, my coat's unusable, and yours is too small for both of us. I guess we'll have to huddle together," Hawkeye said after a moment.
"You don't look very depressed about this arrangement," Margaret wisecracked, poking him in the stomach.
Hawkeye gave her a lopsided grin. "I'd be safer sleeping with a grizzly bear. Don't make this any worse than it is. I'll do anything to keep from freezing at this point."
They huddled together on the seat of the jeep. "You feel like a pillow," Hawkeye said to Margaret.
"I wish I could say the same," She muttered back to him, rolling her eyes. they sat in silence for a few moments, and it was Hawkeye who spoke first.
"Margaret, what are we going to do?" He waited for a moment then tried again. "Margaret?" He poked her. No luck. She was out cold.
"Oh, well," He muttered. Hawkeye kissed her good night on the forehead. It was only a few moments before he, too, was asleep.
Margaret snapped open her eyes and stared at the lightening sky. How long had they been asleep? Suddenly she heard a faint sound coming down the road. It almost sounded like a ...
"Pierce, wake up." No sign. "Hawkeye?" Still no response. she poked him.
"Just five more minutes, Radar. Then I'll go on duty," He mumbled, rolling over.
"Benjamin Franklin Pierce, this is a direct order from a superior officer: Get up! And if you ever call me Radar again I'll deck you! Understood?" She yelled.
Hawkeye sat up with a start, cutting a small gash into his forehead. "Great," he yawned, "I'll go buy a blond wig and we can be twins."
"Quiet," Margaret hissed. "Listen to that." The jeep sounds had gotten closer.
"Korean?" Hawkeye asked warily.
"No, It's either from the psycho ward at Tokyo General or the north pole!" Margaret explained as the vehicle broke into sight, revealing two sheepish Santas and several strange-looking reindeer.
"Need some help?" Radar yelled as he and Henry pulled up.
"Well, Pierce can't walk and I can't carry him. How'd you find us?" Margaret walked up to the jeep.
"Well, we were going to bring some morphine and extra bandages to your village, when we passed a little old man pushing a cart. When we asked him, he said you had come this way," Henry explained as he and Radar helped Hawkeye get up and walk over.
"Watch out for Blitzen!" Radar yelled right as Margaret started to sit down. He let go of Hawkeye and grabbed the antlered rabbit she'd almost crushed.
Henry was left supporting Hawkeye by himself. Without the extra help, Hawkeye lost his balance and fell. He laid there, sprawled in the mud. "You and your rabbits."
"Good news," Trapper said after he had checked them over. "Margaret, you can get to work immediately if you feel up to it. Hawkeye, I want you to stay put. In a couple of days, you can start using crutches. By the way, good thinking with the coat. You saved Margaret's life. Unfortunately, Requisitions says it can't get you another one until April."
"Merry Christmas," Hawkeye said to Margaret. "I'm naming my first frostbitten limb after you."