by Fiona Williams
Author’s note: I don’t own the characters (except for Abby), they belong to Fox. The story is all mine and if I’ve unknowingly borrowed part of your story, I’m terribly sorry. This is my first fan-fic, so any comments or constructive criticism are welcome, just e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, also I’ve taken certain “poetic licences”, so to speak, so please don’t get on my case about that!
Abby took a deep breath to calm herself. Exhaling slowly, she self-consciously tidied her hair, while at the same time chastising herself. “I’m insane,” she thought. “Here I am in an unknown country in an unknown town about to introduce myself to a man I’ve never even met! Maybe I don’t really want to meet my father after all.”
Then without further hesitation, she rang the doorbell. A few minutes passed, and just as Abby turned to leave, the door opened. A petite blonde lady nursing a baby answered the door, then did a double take. The young lady standing at the door looked curiously like her husband. “Can I help you?” she asked politely.
“Yeah... um, hi. Does a man named Hawkeye Pierce live here?” asked Abby, rather uncomfortably.
“Sure, I’ll get him. Would you like to come in?” said the lady more kindly. Abby obliged, and stepped inside. Meanwhile Hawkeye, having bolted down the stairs with a toddler on his back, saw Abby and stopped dead in his tracks. Swinging the child down, he said, “Adam I think Mommy’s got some cookies! Why don’t you go and get one?”
The child ran off squealing for cookies.
“Well now I’ll be in trouble,” Hawkeye said with a wink. Then he grew more serious. “I feel like I’m staring into a female mirror! Would you mind explaining a few things, like who you are and why you’re here?”
“Sure,” said Abby. “My name is Abby Pierce, and if you couldn’t tell by my accent, I’m an Australian. You knew my mum Elizabeth Williams. In case you’ve forgotten, you knew her in 1951 when she was posted in the 4077th M*A*S*H unit in Korea. You both enjoyed a brief but passionate relationship, during which I was conceived. I was born 16th of February 1952. What I’m trying to say is, I’m your 15 year old daughter.”
Hawkeye slowly sank down on the couch, digesting the information.
“Oh, crap,” thought Abby. Then she said aloud, “Don’t worry, I’m not after your money or anything like that. It was Mum’s dying wish that I at least find and meet you. So now that that’s done, looks like I’m going.” And with that she stood and headed for the door.
“Hold it! No one’s going anywhere yet, unless it’s to wherever you’re staying to get your things. Do you really think I’m going to let my daughter walk away like that? We’ve got 15 years of catching up to do!” exclaimed Hawkeye, jumping up and dragging Abby to the couch. Abby secretly grinned to herself when he said the word ‘daughter’.
“Well,” she began, and talked for hours, with Hawkeye listening intently and savouring every detail of his new-found daughter’s life. When Abby came to her precious mother’s battle with cancer, Hawkeye fought the lump in his throat, as did she. Finally she drew her story to a close.
“So there you have it – how I got to be standing on your front porch. Anyways, it’s late so I better be going,” she said, glancing at her watch.
“Oh don’t you want to stay for dinner? I’ve already set a place for you,” said Margaret, poking her head out from the kitchen.
“Well... only if its not too much trouble,” said Abby.
“No trouble at all. Hope you like spaghetti and peas and beans,” replied Margaret.
“No peas for me thanks,” said Abby and Hawkeye at the same time.
“God, not you too!” groaned Margaret.
“Get used to it babe,” said Hawkeye, planting a kiss on the side of her head. “This could be interesting.”
Later on, the three of them sat around over coffee and talked.
“So what’s the deal here?” said Abby. “Mum told me that during the war you pair hated each other and now you’re bloody well married! What’s going on?”
Hawkeye grinned at Margaret, who in turn squeezed his hand affectionately.
“We used to hate each other,” said Margaret, “But towards the end we were all we had and we fell in love without the other knowing it. I got transferred here to Crabapple Cove hospital in 1957, completely forgetting that Hawk lived here. Well, to cut a long story short, we caught up and fell in love all over again. We got married in September 1959 on the beach and since then we’ve had two kids, Adam and Michelle, the baby.”
“Wow, that’s just like in the movies,” sighed Abby. Then she frowned. “Hawkeye, you won’t have to go to Vietnam will you?”
“I sure hope not kiddo,” Hawkeye said, turning deadly serious. “It’d be murder to go through it a second time.”
Margaret suddenly stood up and ran from the room.
“What the...?” said Abby.
“She’ll be alright, she gets like this whenever the possibility of me going to Vietnam is mentioned.”
“Hey, I didn’t mean to start anything,” said Abby.
“It’s alright kiddo, you didn’t know. Plus it’d be awful for you to find your father then have him sent away.”
“You’ve got that right,” she whispered, her voice going wobbly. Shortly, the tears started rolling.
“Hey, what’s up?” Asked Hawkeye, pulling her towards him.
“It’s feels kind of funny to hear the word ‘father’ used with me. I’ve never had one, and to think that I could lose you is just too much,” she sobbed.
Hawkeye hugged her to him tightly. “There’s no way in hell I’m letting any of my girls or my boy get away from me, that’s a promise.”
The next day, Abby arrived at the house and rang the doorbell. Margaret answered the door in tears.
“Jesus Margaret what’s wrong?” asked Abby, alarmed.
Instead of answering, Margaret stormed up the stairs, pausing only to yell, “I’ll let you explain things to your daughter, you rotten bastard!”
Abby threw her jacket on the couch and wandered into the kitchen. Hawkeye stood there with a painful look on his face. Abby knew instantly what was wrong. “When do you leave?” she asked softly.
“In three weeks,” replied Hawkeye. “I’ll be chief surgeon in a MASH unit. Margaret has been on the phone all morning, pulling all her old army strings but to no avail. Looks like I’m going kiddo.”
“Shit,” said Abby, then grinned remorsefully.
“You said it kiddo. Shit.”
“Well there’s only one thing for me to do,” said Abby.
She was about to blurt something out, but held back and thought fast. “Move in here and look after Margaret and the kids,” she replied lamely.
Hawkeye pulled her close and hugged her. “That’d be wonderful, honestly,” he said, kissing the top of her head.
Meanwhile, Abby’s mind was racing ahead at a million miles an hour. “All I’ve got to do is get my qualifications certificate out and doctor my birth certificate. I’m a qualified surgical assistant in a rural hospital at home, what’s the difference over here? I’ve just got to pretend I’m over 18 and I’m there,” she thought.
“I’m going up to talk to Margaret – she’s pretty upset and angry about this whole thing,” said Hawkeye, heading for the stairs.
Abby’s eyes filled with tears at the sight of her father walking away. “He looks so old,” she thought. “How can the army be so stupid to send a man who’s done his duty away?” And with that she picked up her jacket and left the house.
“Hi, I’d like to sign up as a nurse,” said Abby rather nervously to the major sitting in front of her.
“Very well,” he said, “Let’s see your papers.”
Abby handed over her newly adjusted birth certificate and held her breath. The major studied it for a few moments, then said, “You’re only 18? I thought you said you were a nurse.”
“I am sir – a rural nurse. We’re better trained than any city nurse and we’re trained a lot younger too,” Abby said.
“Very well – we need qualified nurses anyway. OK, fill in these forms then report over to that man standing by the wall. He’ll conduct all your tests and decide whether or not you’re fit for this man’s army. Dismissed!”