Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters of M*A*S*H they all belong to Fox, although I wish I owned them! Also, the people I create are my property, and I don't mind people using them, just ask me first please!
NOTE: I haven't seen all the episodes of M*A*S*H, as in Australia, reruns are patchy, so if I've got anyone's existing parents, spouses, siblings, hometowns, or children's names wrong or other details incorrect please tell me at mirandabelle@bigpond.com Any other comments would be greatly appreciated!

Desperation Leads to Love

by Miranda

This story, please excuse the corny title, is written as a slightly alternate ending to Goodbye Farewell and Amen. I think I actually read a very similar story by someone else late at night, but it inspired me enough to write this one. It's, continuing on the Hawkeye/Margaret romance line, it is written from a narrator's POV, and shows how a desperate act, like hitchhiking several hundred miles when your father throws you out of home, can lead you straight to love

Hawkeye and Margaret embraced, broke apart and then looked at each other. They had spent years together as friends, and enemies and now they were going back to America, alone. Margaret coolly climbed into the jeep, with Hawkeye helping her, both of them absurdly wanting to cry. "Here's my address, write me sometime, okay?" He slipped her a piece of paper. She nodded and kissed his forehead; she pulled his ear close to her lips. "Love you," she whispered. He took a step back, surprised but before he could reply, she gave the word to the jeep driver and she left, waving. "She'll be back Hawkeye - even if you don't want her to. She loves you, I've never seen a woman care so much for one man." Colonel Potter said firmly. "You just mark my words she will." With that, he mounted Sophie and galloped off. BJ and Hawkeye looked at each other, "I'll give you a ride up to the chopper pad?" Hawkeye nodded and climbed on the back of BJ's bright yellow motorcycle and soon he was in the air, looking at the white stones. "Where to, Kim Po?" asked the pilot. "Yeah…" Hawkeye nodded and craned his neck to see goodbye written one last time.

The 8063rd was a mess, with people everywhere. In the middle of it all, Major Houlihan was calmly directing nurses. She paused to read the letter he had given her. As promised at the top, in painfully neat writing was his address, and underneath, lapsing into his doctor's scrawl was a scribbled letter. "Dearest Margaret, there's my address, please write me. And remember; don't hesitate to come visit if you need a friend, a confidante, a doctor… or a lover. Just ask for a train going east of the middle of nowhere. All my love and best wishes, Hawkeye Pierce." A tear crept to her eye, but she still smiled at Hawkeye's boldness. She composed herself, wiped away the tear and tried to continue her duties, but found she was able to keep Hawkeye off her mind.

It was Christmas night, 1953 and in his large home, Daniel Pierce and the son he shared it with Benjamin, celebrated Christmas together. Rain and snow fell outside in a violent blizzard, when over the wind, they became aware of a knocking at the front door. "This better be good, because it's interrupting me in the middle of doing nothing, which is what I am best at." Hawkeye grumbled, but still going to answer the door. Margaret stood there, dripping wet, blue with cold and crying her heart out. "Margaret!" he exclaimed, briefly hugging the sodden woman to him, but as he looked at her he realised her condition may be a little more serious than a thorough soaking. Her lips and face were blue, she trembled non-stop and there were rivulets of water dripping from every inch of her body. She was clothed in a pair of jeans and a white blouse. She had a jacket on, but it was so thin she may as well not have been wearing one at all. Without a second thought, he lifted her, and carried her to a blazing fire where he had been sitting a few moments before. He put her on the rug and took a glass of scotch from his father's startled hand. "Dad, get me blankets, towels, warm clothes, yours, mine mum's whoever's you like, we're going to be fighting hypothermia. I want some hot food, and then one we've stabilized her, a hot bath…" Hawkeye ordered, feeling rather like he was back in Korea. Daniel was surprised, but his sense as a doctor took over and he was out of the room before Hawkeye had finished his request. With his father running to do his bidding, Hawkeye hastily pulled off Margaret's dripping clothes while she sat there shivering. He pulled off her blouse, and her white bra, now a dirty shade of grey was also soaked through. Awkwardly he removed it and began rubbing her with a towel while encouraging her to drink the glass of scotch. As the warmth of the fire, scotch and eventually food, when Daniel brought a large plate of reheated Christmas dinner to her, Margaret slowly turned from blue through to pink and ceased her incessant shivering. She had become aware now, that Hawkeye had completely stripped her and wrapped her in several thick blankets. She swallowed another mouthful of food and pushed the plate away. "Hawkeye… I'm… I'm so sorry." She murmured. "Don't be, just thank the Lord, you didn't get hypothermia, but another hour out there and you might well have frozen to death. Dad, is that bath ready?" Daniel nodded and went to bed. Hawkeye lifted Margaret and took her into the bathroom. Although he had never done it before, with cool skill he disentangled Margaret from the blankets and lowered her into the bath, without getting the blankets or himself wet. When he was satisfied, she was thoroughly warm he gave her some soap and shampoo and then left to change his clothes, which had got wet when he hugged her.

"Hawkeye?" Margaret's voice was hesitant as she came back to the lounge where Hawkeye sat in front of the fire. "Margaret," Hawkeye's voice was pleased, and then amused. Margaret looked ridiculous in a pair of his large pajamas and his purple dressing gown, which a few months ago she would have gladly burnt. "I'm sorry, I must have ruined your Christmas, but I had nowhere to go. She sat down beside him. "That's okay, and you're lucky I've got no idea how to say no to a lady…" But she was asleep, curling into him warmly. Daniel had retired but when in the early hours of the morning he got up to get a drink of water, he came downstairs to find his son and Margaret sleeping in front of the fire. With a smile, he stirred it up again so it flared warmly and pulled a hand knitted blanket from the sofa over the couple.

In the days between Christmas and the New Year, Margaret stayed with Hawkeye and Daniel. She never talked about why she'd come or even if she'd had any intention of leaving, but Hawkeye didn't care. He loved Margaret and her company, and as she became increasingly comfortable around him, they'd have long talks about everything. But, out of sheer respect, he never laid a hand on her. Margaret loved Hawkeye too, and she never said a word, at risk of ruining the trusting friendship that had been blossoming. But after about five days of strained cheerful behaviour, on New Year's Eve, she snapped, weeping hysterically into Hawkeye's chest. "Margaret, shush, what is it?" Hawkeye stroked her blonde hair. "My dad," she sobbed. "He hates me, I'm leaving the army and he won't hear of it… he threw me out, and disowned me. I hitchhiked most of the way here, you were the only place I could think of going." Hawkeye smiled, "BJ's only a couple of hundred miles closer than I was." But he hugged her tightly, and she cuddled closely, enjoying the warmth and nearness of his body. "Hush my Margaret, it's okay my love." Hawkeye crooned, "It's okay, my love, my sweet, I'm right here. I don't hate you and I never did." He kept up a steady stream of words, "It's perfectly alright, I don't hate you and I'll never leave you." He continued to soothe her, he had seen Margaret cry before, and he knew how she'd need someone cling to. She looked up, her face tearstained, "Never?" She asked, "Never ever my Margaret." He promised kissing her forehead. As midnight, the New Year struck their lips met and all Daniel saw as he came to wish his son Happy New Year, was their heads as they slid down onto the rug. He smiled and went to bed.

The next morning, Hawkeye stirred. He and Margaret lay in front of the dimly glowing fire, naked and twined in each other's arms. He disentangled himself enough to pull a blanket over them and then lay back down. Margaret woke then and smiled at Hawkeye, he smiled back. "Was it a dream?" she asked, running her hand through his hair. "What?" Hawkeye asked. "That love we made, just a few hours ago." Hawkeye put a finger over her lips "Oh god, I seriously hope not. Oh, and Happy New Year." She smiled and kissed him, "Same to you." They snuggled close and Hawkeye was able to feel Margaret's breath on his cheek as she whispered, "I love you."

Margaret stayed with them for longer. After the night of New Year's they didn't touch each other again. Margaret had begun to mope, spending most of her days in bed. She and Hawkeye trusted each other amazingly, and when Margaret was at her saddest, Hawkeye was able to creep into the spare bed beside her and they'd talk for hours. If she woke from a bad dream, Margaret used to sneak into Hawkeye's bed in the early hours of the morning, and although sleeping Hawkeye would feel the slight shift in the weight of the bed and he'd cuddle her to him, and they'd sleep, taking comfort in the safety each other offered. Daniel would wake Hawkeye in the morning, smiling at the way he slowly and quietly got ready for work, so as not to disturb Margaret. One night, Margaret called to Hawkeye, as he got in from the clinic that connected to the house, that Daniel owned. "Hawkeye, is that you?" Hawkeye called back, following her voice, to where she soaked in the tub he paused outside the door, but as tears were wet on her cheeks and her voice trembled suspiciously, Hawkeye went straight to her, ignoring her nudity. "Oh, Hawkeye, I'm so sorry, I've been moping, but I'm going to take care of you now, I promise." Margaret wiped tears from her face, and Hawkeye sat on the edge of the bath and stroked her damp hair.

Margaret kept her word, and cooked and cleaned for the two men, despite their protests. The two men had looked after themselves well since Hawkeye's mother had died, and they didn't really need someone to take care of them. She still slept in the spare bedroom, and there wasn't a repeat of New Year's Eve, although both Margaret and Hawkeye would have liked there to be. It wasn't till the summer of 1954, nearly six months after Margaret had first come that either of them made a move. Hawkeye had taken Margaret down to the beach, and lead her to a sheltered bit behind some rocks. "This is my special place, I've come here ever since I was a kid." He said, offering Margaret a seat on a smooth curved space between two tree roots and he propped on a rock, "I used to come here and think, and pull the moss off the rock while I did, it's so sheltered, it barely gets touched by the rain or wind." Margaret smiled, she felt special to have Hawkeye let her in on a special secret like that and from the looks of the rocks, and their moss-less state, it seemed as if Hawk had been doing a lot of thinking lately. "It's nice, so… so… private." She murmured he nodded, "I know, that's why I brought you, because it is private." Margaret flushed red, she had been staying with Hawkeye for six months and she still wasn't sure how he felt about her… or how she felt about him either. Hawkeye moved to sit just below Margaret, and took her hands. "Margaret, my dear, we've been living together for six months and everyone in Crabapple Cove has seen us together, we're practically an item… do you think that you will marry me?" As unsure as Margaret had been a few seconds ago, she was now never more sure of anything in her life. "Yes, yes, oh god yes!" She smiled and they embraced.

Hawkeye smiled and riffled through the mail, "A letter from BJ!" Margaret looked up from her book, "Yeah?" He nodded, handing her the envelope, she accepted it with a smile, the diamond ring on her left hand catching the light. She opened it and read the first bit aloud, "Hawk, I couldn't believe it, you and Hot Lips!" Margaret had the good grace to laugh along with Hawkeye who now hooted with laughter. "When's the wedding, I need to know, because I'm going to get Peggy and Erin over there too!" Margaret smiled and looked up at her fiancé. "October 23rd 1954 - right?" he asked, she nodded, and scanned the letter, "He goes on to tell about Erin and all that…" Margaret squealed as Hawkeye literally swept her off her feet and into his arms. She kissed him and smiled, "Oh I'm so happy! I never thought I could find happiness, with you." He laughed, and set her back down. "How about some close-dancing lessons?" He pulled her dangerously close and she squealed with delight.

Margaret Jane Houlihan floated down the aisle on Colonel Potter's arm. Her father still refused to talk to her and wouldn't walk his eldest daughter down the aisle. She looked beautiful, with the white lace veil hanging delicately over her face. Colonel Potter lovingly squeezed her elbow, and handed her to Hawkeye. Later that night at the reception, several familiar faces gathered around the happy couple, BJ, Trapper, Radar and Klinger. They had brought their families, or in Radar's case a fiancé. Frank Burns had been invited out of goodwill and courtesy and his wife Louise had dragged him, and his three daughters to the wedding. While his wife and daughters danced the night away, Frank sat sulking in a corner. Everyone danced and sang, Margaret had so many offers of dances, she had to split her dances between partners, each person wanted to dance with the beautiful bride. Father Mulcahy was not there, he had married the couple but was not at the reception, which was somewhat reminiscent of a M*A*S*H 4077 happy hour. Colonel Potter tapped his glass and slowly everyone fell quiet. "Now when I first met Margaret and Hawkeye, I said that Margaret was as stubborn as a regular old army mule and that Hawkeye needed nothing more than a good kick in the pants!" Everyone laughed, "But I also knew, as obvious as their hatred was, it was also possible that there might be love - and even if they parted Margaret would come back to Hawkeye. I was right! Now, it does an old man good to be right sometimes, but it does me even better to hand the army mule over to the poorly disciplined man. Margaret has been like a daughter to me, and I'm proud to give her away to Hawkeye Pierce, who has not only won my praise as a damned fine surgeon, but has won my heart as a damned fine man!" Colonel Potter choked a little, and wiped a tear from his eye, as Margaret ran as fast as was possible to hug the Colonel warmly. He hugged her back, trying not to crush the yards of silk, lace and chiffon. Hawkeye joined them, kissed his bride and Colonel Potter saluted him. Hawkeye returned the salute smartly. "I have a special gift for you both." He said and led them to where Mildred Potter, his wife was sitting. He handed them a painting he had done. It was of Hawkeye, Margaret and Winchester shouting at each other in the OR, it was well painted and scarily realistic. Margaret admired it, while Potter handed them another. BJ, Margaret, Klinger and Hawkeye played cards in the Swamp. Klinger was wearing a dress, Hawkeye his purple gown, Margaret wore her black jumper with her chain on top and BJ wore his traditional uniform with sneakers. It, like the other one was scarily realistic and it brought a tear to Margaret's eye, "Oh, they're lovely, but I don't remember those." The Colonel smiled and kissed Margaret's blushing face. "I have a whole lot that you guys haven't seen, I'm keeping them as gifts for special occasions. "Margaret hugged him again, "Thank you. Thank you for these, thank you for giving me away, thank you for being a father, thank you for being a teacher, thank you for being you, for being Colonel Potter." He kissed Margaret's face again, his voice cracking with emotion, "You're welcome Mrs Pierce."

"Here's to peace!" Trapper John raised his glass. It was 1955, and the first of many annual reunions of M*A*S*H 4077th to come. "To peace!" everyone echoed, "To peace!" Called Father Mulcahy, who was now deaf. Hawkeye slid his arm around his wife's waist and rested his hand on his wife's very pregnant belly. "Speech!" He called, "Speech from the host!" Trapper stood up, "Thank you, I can't say how glad I am to see you all here…" In the back Hawkeye began murmuring, "For he's a jolly good fellow," Slowly Margaret and Radar joined in. They sang louder, as BJ and Klinger also started singing. They sang louder still and Trapper gave up as the whole group burst into song. Trapper sat down and Colonel Potter stood up. "It's time we all told everyone else what we're doing now, like we did before we went home." He went to sit down, but a nurse called, "Your turn first sir!" and so he stood up again, "Well, as you know, my Mildred isn't here tonight, god rest her soul. But I spent the last 20 months of her life being Mr Potter. Now I live alone, ride horses and paint. Major, your turn." Major Winchester stood up, "I'm the head of thoracic surgery at Boston Mercy and the divine Veronica has accepted my invitation to become my wife." He motioned to a young woman who sat next to him, elegantly sipping her drink. BJ stood up, "Well I left the little cookie I met at the airport and returned to Peggy and my girl Erin." He lifted his daughter onto her shoulders. "I'm also now working back in the local clinic and I'm the very happy father of, stand up Peggy honey, Grace." Peggy stood up holding a newborn baby. "What a name, Stand-Up-Peggy-Honey-Grace!" Hawkeye laughed. BJ grinned under his moustache. "Yeah, I know, but Erin was so insistent on that name. Your turn Radar!" Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly stood up. "I'm a farmer now, and this is my wife Rebecca. You've met her before. And this little guy…" He paused to coo at a 7 or 8-month-old baby, "… is my son Henry Blake O'Reilly, hey little fella, whoops that's daddy's glasses. Go ahead Hawkeye." Radar sat down as his son, who looked somewhat like his father, yanked his glasses off his head. Hawkeye stood up, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm getting Crabapple Cove to say 'ah' with my dad in our private clinic, and I've got my beautiful wife and I'm about to be a father any day now. Margaret my angel, your turn." Margaret hauled herself to her feet, "Well, I married my worst enemy, I work in his clinic and I'm going to have his baby. Oh… and the best bit, no one tells me what to do with my life!" She beamed, and Trapper stood up. "Well, I went home to Louise, and my two girls Becky and Kathy. I work in Boston Mercy, under Chuck Winchester, and Louise had my son Andrew a little while after I got home. That's pretty much my story, Klinger you old coot what are you up to?" Klinger stood up, "We found Soon-Lee's parents and her brother. We settled them into a town and we came back here. We've also brought Kim home, he's a war orphan and we thought we'd do our part." Embarrassed, Soon-Lee smiled and blushed as Klinger kissed her cheek. "Ferret Face, I guess it's your turn." Frank Burns stood up; his wife had again dragged him to the occasion. He spoke a few words in a husky voice, a result of throat cancer. Hawkeye stood up, "Drinks on me!" He announced loudly.

"Colonel is there anything I can get you?" Margaret asked loudly. He cocked his head, "Suffering sheep-dip, why does everyone have to talk so softly?" Margaret reached and turned on his hearing aid, "Is there anything you want?" The Colonel's eye's brightened as he heard the familiar voice. "No Margaret my dear, thank you though, go and look after your baby." The Colonel had moved in with Hawkeye and Margaret on a 'mercy mission' his health was failing, his children were unable to look after him properly, and he would have been put in a home. Margaret, who had become good friends with Jeanette, one of his daughters immediately offered to take the Colonel into her house. Hawkeye agreed to the Colonel's coming at once, and now the house was full again, as Daniel, Colonel Potter, Hawkeye, Margaret and their children, Caroleanne, Henry and Marian now occupied it.

"Margaret push, push, push! It's a girl!" Daniel Pierce proudly held up his seventh grandchild, his fourth granddaughter. Margaret lay back exhausted, every year since 1955 she'd given birth to a child, it was now 1961. As she looked lovingly at her granddaughter, she smiled. Hawkeye whooped with joy, as Margaret cradled her baby to her. "Annie?" He asked "Annie Margaret?" "It's beautiful Hawkeye, I love it, but seven is enough for me!" Hawkeye nodded, "Caroleanne Maria, Henry John, Marian Sarah, Louise Isabelle, Anthony Sherman, Daniel Ben and Annie Margaret, we've been blessed Margaret my angel." Colonel Potter stumbled in, "What in the Sam Hill is going on here?" Daniel gently led the half-blind man to Margaret's bedside, and Hawkeye lovingly put his newest miracle into the Colonel's aged arms. "Oh… Margaret it's a baby. Your baby?" Hawkeye smiled as the Colonel ran a finger over Annie's face, "Annie Margaret," The Colonel chuckled as Annie was handed back to her mother. "Annie Maggie!" Hawkeye chuckled too. "Okay, Colonel - sir, I think it's time you went back to bed." He helped the man to his feet and led him from the room.

In 1990 only a few people gathered in the Pierce household. Radar and Rebecca, now in their 60's, and without their son or daughter in law. Peg Hunnicutt had come; BJ however was not there. He had died in 1987, in his 70's; he was very much missed by all. Neither were either of his daughters, Erin and Grace now both married and mothers. Henry's daughters and son had stopped coming to represent their father when they had also become parents. Father Mulcahy was there, aged and deaf, but still blessing everyone nonetheless. He couldn't hear a word anyone said to him, but his lip-reading skills had much improved. No one had come to represent the Burnses or the Winchesters, but their presence wasn't greatly missed. The Potters however were missed; no children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren had come in honour of him. Klinger and Soon Lee had come, their son Kim had chosen to stay in Toledo with his wife and child. John and Louise McIntyre were there, but none of their children, all grown up and well and truly moved out of home had joined their parents. Without the Burnses, Winchesters, Potters, Blakes, BJ and none of the previously mentioned people's children, the event was consequently a very somber one. The hosts of the party refused to let age stop them. Hawkeye and Margaret Pierce, with their seven children, seven children-in-law, eleven grandchildren, plus three grandchildren-to-be, were making the most of the party. Although there were less people than there had been in 1955, it was obvious, as Margaret and Hawkeye danced, Hawkeye's pants around his ankles, that their love was as strong as ever… and so was their sense of fun.

The End