"He is NOT a Communist, Flagg!"
"But he's North Korean!"
"He's a person and he has the right to live just like you and me and the rest of the people here. No, I'm sorry. You don't have that right, Flagg."
That said, Margaret Houlihan who was a lot shorter, but a lot smarter and possibly stronger than Colonel Flagg, hit him so hard, he fell to the O.R. floor, unconscious. She walked back to the operating table where she and Captain Hawkeye Pierce had just finished a North Korean soldier who Flagg thought should have been left outside to die. The operating room had been silent until that momeant. All of the people in the O.R. praised her for ridding them of Flagg. None of that meant anything to her. "Good work, Major." That whispered complimeant was the one that meant oh, so much to her. Hawkeye had said it. They slipped out of the O.R., having finished the last of the wounded. Neither bothered to take of the surgical scrubs they had on over their fatigues. "You did good showing Flagg's snoz the floor in there," he nodded in her direction. They continued to trudge along the dirt path that led to the field just outside of camp. Hawkeye sat under a huge tree.
Margaret was still standing so he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her into his lap. She was exhausted, he could tell. She was asleep after about a minute of laying there in his lap. Hawkeye was content to just stare at her still form as she lay there in his lap, her head supported by his firm, yet gentle hands. This gives paradise a new meaning, thought Hawkeye. That's when he saw a figure coming towards them. Can't we be alone for just a little while? wondered Hawkeye. That's when he recognized that the figure was Flagg. He was only a few steps away from them. When he got closer, Flagg grabbed Margaret before Hawkeye could say or do anything. She awoke, but not enough to do anything before Flagg threw her back to the ground. He then took off. "Margaret, are you okay?" Hawkeye asked. He already could tell she wasn't. When Flagg threw her, he did it hard. She landed on her back. "No, my head, back and neck hurt," she answered weakly. "Oh, Margaret," he said in an upset voice. He lifted her into his lap and rocked her back and forth for a little while. Then, he dared to ask her. "Can you move?" She did, a little bit, but she did.
"It hurts...bad," she said. He brushed her pale blonde hair out of her face. "I know...I know, darling." He was afraid to take her back to the camp because Flagg could be waiting for them anywhere. What if Flagg managed to get to her somehow? If Hawkeye knew Flagg, he'd get back at Margaret worse than he had already. Hawkeye felt Margaret go limp in his arms. She had stopped breathing. Hawkeye checked for a pulse. None. He was too late. She was gone. But how had that happened? Suddenly, he sat bolt upright. Oh, good. It was only a nightmare. She was still sound asleep in his arms. Time for her to get up, decided Hawkeye. He leaned over and kissed her. She stirred and mumbled something that wasn't part of any language he'd ever heard of. "Hey, Margaret...wake up. We have to see what Colonel Idiot has in store for us," he added the last part when he saw Flagg coming towards them. "Do I have to get up?" she asked. "'Fraid so, hon," he replied. By this time, Flagg had gotten closer. "You should get up before you die of loss of oxygen," he said as he started to kiss her. She pushed him away. "Wha-?" Hawkeye was interrupted by Flagg. "You two Commie lovers aren't gonna get together," Flagg said. "You're right," said Margaret, "we are together." As if on cue, Hawkeye pulled her into a bear hug. Flagg stormed off. "Shall we go inventory the supply room?" he asked after Flagg was gone. She nodded slightly.
"BUG OUT!!!" blared the P.A. speaker. In a little more than an hour, the 4077th was leaving for the cave. That's right, a cave. It was the best shelter they could find. Once there, Colonel Potter discovered not everyone was there... Hawkeye Pierce and Margaret Houlihan were missing in action, it seemed.
"Oof." They landed on the concrete floor. They automatically moved to the far side of the cell and huddled together. "Margaret, are you okay?" asked Hawkeye. "I-I think so," she was scared stiff. Hawkeye reached out to hold her and comfort her. "Shh...it's okay, baby. It's okay." That's when he noticed she was shaking. Oh, God. Pull yourself together, Margaret. He hated how she was so upset and he couldn't do anything to help her. A North Korean who seemed to be in charge of the prisoners came in. He grabbed Margaret, slammed her up against the wall and left. As soon as he was gone, Hawkeye rushed over to Margaret. "Margaret! Oh, hon, how did I get you into this?" he asked no one in particular.
"Ben?" she asked weakly. "What hurts the most?" asked Hawkeye. "My head." She wanted to cry; it hurt so much; but she was too weak to even cry. Hawkeye pulled her into his lap and rocked her back and forth until she fell asleep. Oops. He then realized what he did was a mistake. He was about to awaken her, but changed his mind when he saw her. She had a little stuffed kitten in her arms. Where had that come from? wondered Hawkeye. Then he noticed one of the pockets on her jacket was unbuttoned and presumed that she had it in her pocket the whole time!
Hawkeye awoke with a start. Something was up. Margaret wasn't in his lap anymore. She was on the other side of the room unconscious. How? That didn't matter right that second. He ran over to her and checked her pulse. Weak, but it was there. At that exact momeant, everything he had learned in med school flew right out of his head. All Hawkeye could do was stare at her. What had happened? Hawkeye couldn't see anything wrong. Wait a minute. There was a deep gash on her shoulder. How had it gotten there? No time for dumb questions. Help her, he thought. She lost a lot of blood. Hawkeye ripped some strips of fabric from his coat and bandaged her wound. What was that? Was it...??? No. Couldn't have been. He heard it again. It was gunfire. He instinctively threw himself over Margaret. If she got injured anymore, she might not make it. The gunfire stopped as quickly as it had begun. Now if Margaret would just wake up... he picked up her almost lifeless body and moved her to the area right next to the door.
"Hawkeye?" she asked weakly.
"Am I gonna die?"
He didn't have an answer for that. He just hugged her closer to him. After a few minutes, they fell asleep. Hawkeye woke up and wondered why Margaret was asleep in his arms. "Oh, yeah," he sighed. "Margaret, wake up...hey! Maggie! Get up!" she stirred. "Mmmph." "Time to wake up." She threw her arm over her eyes. Hawkeye couldn't take it any longer. He tickled her. That got her up really fast. "Argh! Stop it!" she exclaimed quietly. "Nope." She tried to get out of his grip. All that did was make him hold on tighter. Oops. The makeshift bandage on her shoulder came off and the gash got ripped open. Hawkeye quickly put the bandage back on.
"I'm cold...and hungry," said Hawkeye. "Me too," agreed Margaret. It was winter in Korea and the cell didn't provide much warmth. The opening that covered a quarter of the wall which only had a few iron bars over it, didn't help keep the temperature up, either. The pair were huddled together for extra warmth. The two of them had something to say so they turned to face the other. As they did so, their lips brushed. That led to a long, passionate kiss. Then, another. Then, they realized where they were and that it was no place to carry on like that. They pulled apart, unwillingly, as though they were parting with life itself. The only thing left to do now was sleep. The pair positioned themselves as comfortably as possible on the tiny cot (which was fairly worn) that had just been thrown into the cell. Literally, thrown, that is. According to Margaret, they were only sharing the cot for warmth, but Hawkeye knew that was only half of the reason.
"I don't feel so good," said Margaret. "I have a feeling it's from what we didn't eat," said Hawkeye. "We should get used to it. They're either going to starve us, or when they give us food, poison it."
"In other words, we're going to die because of how they distribute the food?"
"Not necessarily. They might just kill us."
"Thanks, so much for that encouraging information."
"Hey, they might not kill us....they might just torture us..."
"Not if we break out of here..."
"I was hoping you'd know."
"Hawkeye, we'll have less of a chance if we try to get out of here together. You try to get out, and go for help."
"No, you go, I'll stay."
"Hawkeye, I'd feel better if you'd go."
"Ben, please, listen. I don't want you to have to stay here. I'd give my life for you. Please. Go," she turned away and fought back tears. He took her hands in his. "Margaret, I can't leave you here. You said you'd die for me and I can't help but say I'd do the same...I'd gladly die to save you. There's nothing I've got that I wouldn't give for you're well-being."
"Hawkeye, please, go," she started crying like never before. It made Hawkeye's heart ache. "Oh, Margaret, please, tell me, is this what you really want?" She nodded. "Do you really want to risk this?" "Yes," she was still sobbing. "I'll try to pull this off tonight around one, okay? If it's what you really, really want." "It is, Ben, it is," she didn't stop crying for almost an hour. Hawkeye was nervous and felt horrible about leaving Margaret behind and risking her safety for his.
They had just heard the horrible news. Actually, they just had the news confirmed. Margaret Houlihan had been killed at the POW camp because she would not tell where Hawkeye had gone. The whole camp was crowded into the mess tent for services. After services, Potter walked up to Hawkeye. Hawkeye had been taking it very hard, thought Potter. "I know you two were good friends, I'm terribly sorry, son."
"We were more than friends, Sherman. I proposed to her that night. I told her as soon as we got back here we'd get married. Well, we didn't get back," Hawkeye was crying even harder than before. "I'm really sorry, son," Potter was crying as well. What do you say in a moment like this? he wondered. He knew he didn't have to say anything. He just let Hawkeye cry on his shoulder and promised to be there if he ever needed to talk. Hawkeye was eternally grateful, but he was still torn from losing his Maggie. Good night, baby. I'll see you again, someday. I love you, he thought. She had heard him. She hoped he knew the feeling was mutual. He knew, he knew.