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!
Again, another corny title, this is written from Hawkeye's POV, after he's returned to Crabapple Cove. Like my others, it still works on the Hawkeye/Margaret falling in love deal. It shows that even when you say goodbye to someone, you will meet them again. It's shorter, but like all the others, I still hope you enjoy it.

Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever

by Miranda

I have to say, any interest I had in Major Houlihan at first was purely materialistic. She was the most beautiful, womanly woman I had ever seen and I wanted her to be another member of my adoring fan club. However as I came to see Margaret as a person and not just an incredibly sexy member of the fairer sex, I wanted her more. It was hard for her to see me as anything beyond an alcoholic womaniser, first impressions last. Korea came… and went. I was at home in Crabapple Cove. I was happy to see my dad, and I had all the young women I'd left behind throwing themselves at my feet. I'd settled in and began working in dad's clinic, I wanted to go private, but I needed to settle in more. I was keeping in touch with BJ and Trapper, and even phoning Colonel Potter once a month, but to my surprise I had never heard a thing from Margaret. I didn't know what to write, so I thought I'd ring her just to hear how she was. I asked Colonel Potter for her number. I knew he'd be the one to know, if he didn't BJ would, if BJ didn't Klinger would get it for me, if Klinger's cousin's, cousin's cousin didn't know it Radar would and I decided if Radar didn't know it, nobody would. Fortunately Colonel Potter knew and I got her number easily. I hesitantly phoned her, and after a few rings I heard a sweet, familiar voice. "Hello, Margaret Houlihan?" I was silent for a second. "Hi Margaret, do you recognise my voice?" There was a pause. "Umm, oh from Korea. Not Hawkeye?" she sounded pleasantly amazed. "The one and only! So how are you?" There was another pause and she sighed. "Well, I'm working in the hospital, just as I wanted, but I don't want daddy telling me what to do all the time, it's my life." I felt sorry for her, although I knew that Margaret like order, she also liked freedom. "Well, come out and visit me!" I suggested wildly. "Okay!" She gasped, "That sounds really good." I laughed, "Well, I'm sure you have my address, but why didn't you write?" Her voice told of the colour spreading up her cheeks, "Well, I just didn't know what to say. Why didn't you write?" I laughed, "Ditto, if you're serious about coming, just show up whenever you want. It won't make a difference and there's always a bedroom free here." I could hear her voice brighten up, "Okay, I'll take you at your word." We talked a little more about life generally and then said goodbye. Unlike BJ, Margaret had never been afraid to say goodbye, she knew it didn't mean forever.

Margaret turned up on my doorstep about a month later. I was glad to see her and I took her all over the town, only ever going where she wanted to next. She stayed for a week and we became closer in that week than we had in three years. Margaret loved Crabapple Cove and everyone in it. I'd taken her down to the beach, a short walk from my house, it was the last night of her visit and we sat on the sand. "Oh, I wish I could move out here, it's all so quaint and pretty." I had lain back on the sand but now I sat up. "Well, you can if you want. You're welcome to stay with dad and I as long as you want… until you get a house or an apartment or something." She looked at me, "Actually," she smiled, "I was hoping I'd move in with you." I was surprised at her boldness. "Oh, Margaret." Her response surprised me even more, "Oh Hawkeye!" Then she kissed me, I gasped and she pulled back, her face scarlet. I gazed at her, and took her in my arms before kissing her. At the airport the next morning, I didn't want to say goodbye. "I think I'll never see you again if I do." She smiled and kissed me, "I have to go, and I have some things - daddy mostly - that I need to take care of. Don't be silly, I will be back, I promise and you should know by now, goodbye isn't forever."

My Margaret came back to me. Just like she promised she would. I met her at the airport and for the first minute, we stood there just getting to know each other's kiss again. I took her home with me. Dad was pleased to see her, because in that week last time, she had become like a daughter to him and had filled the female presence in the house, which had been lacking since I was twelve.

We got closer and closer. I took her to the beach one day, to where we'd kissed the first time she stayed. "Marry me Margaret." I asked, holding her hands as waves pounded like my heart. She turned a brilliant shade of red before throwing herself at me so hard I fell over backwards. We hit the sand and she kissed me. "Is that a yes then?" I asked, amused. "It is, it is." I wrapped my arms around her and rolled so we lay next to each other on the sand. "Besides" she smiled, "I told you goodbye doesn't mean forever. In fact this is like a permanent hello!"

The End