Hawkeye rose from his cot and paced a few steps. Turning to look at his friend he replied. "When I suggested this whole marriage idea to her I told her that if and when the adoption came through she was free to ask for a divorce if she wanted. I told her that I wouldn't hold her to anything or expect anything from her since the whole thing was my idea. So if the adoption goes through I'll take Maggie-Rose back to Crabapple Cove with me and Margaret will be free to do whatever she wants."
"So you'd rather have her marry you temporarily just so you can adopt a baby than for a lifetime because she really loves you?" BJ remarked in amazement.
"Actually, I'm hoping for both." His friend confessed. At the other man's puzzled look he explained. "We'll get married this morning and start the paperwork so that we can adopt Maggie-Rose as planned. But what I'm hoping for is that while the Army work on the adoption I'm going to be working on showing Margaret how much I care for her and what a wonderful family the three of us would make. Then, if all goes well, we can all return to the States as a loving, happy family."
"Well Hawk." BJ rose and held out his hand to his friend. "I guess congratulations are in order. I hope that things work out as you planned."
"Thanks Beej." Hawkeye accepted his friend's hand and squeezed it warmly. "I was hoping you'd feel that way. I was also hoping that you'd do me the honor of being my best man."
"I'd love to." BJ replied and pulled his friend into a warm embrace.
"Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to join in Holy Matrimony our dear friends and comrades, Hawkeye and Margaret." Father Mulcahy began then shook his head gently in disbelief. Looking at BJ who was standing beside Hawkeye he commented. "I can't believe I just said that." BJ chuckled in amused agreement as Potter and Klinger, the only other witnesses to this remarkable event, chimed in.
Margaret and Hawkeye had decided that it was in everyone's best interest if they kept their marriage to each other a secret. They decided it would be a prudent course to only let those who had to know know. Which was basically only those in the room. Every one else could get along very nicely without having any knowledge of what was currently happening.
"If there is anyone here that knows of any reason why these two should not be wed may he speak now or forever hold his peace." The good padre paused for a moment and then continued. Looking at Hawkeye he asked. "Do you Benjamin Franklin Pierce take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife? To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"
Hawkeye looked deeply into Margaret's eyes and replied solemnly. "I do."
"And do you, Margaret Houlihan take this man to be your lawful wedded husband, to love and cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Margaret promised, smiling softly at Hawkeye.
"With the powers vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife." Mulcahy announced, then looking at Hawkeye with a mischievous twinkle in his eye he said. "You may now kiss the bride."
Hawkeye gave Margaret a sly smile as he grabbed her and tilted her backwards. Margaret responded by wrapping her arms around his neck. As the new couple kissed cheers of appreciation erupted from their friends.
After several moments the new pair finally came up for air, at which time Mulcahy said. "May I present Dr. and Mrs. Hawkeye Pierce." Hawkeye and Margaret smiled a little shyly at each other as the others started hugging them in congratulations.
After the congratulations ceased Klinger plunked a couple of file folders on the desk before them. "Now if these lovely newlyweds would please put their John or Jane Handcock on these few million forms I'll send them on to I-Corps." A quick glance at the forms revealed them to be their Marriage Certificate and the adoption application forms for Maggie-Rose."
"There you go, Klinger." Hawkeye exclaimed as he picked up the two folders after they had both signed them and handed them to their company clerk.
Klinger accepted the files and scanned them quickly. Shaking his head slightly he started chuckling.
"What's so funny?" Hawkeye asked, wondering at his friend's sudden look of amusement.
Klinger opened the file that held the adoption application and read. "Margaret Pierce." Looking at the pair he said with a large grin. "I just never thought that I'd ever see those two names together that's all."
Hawkeye and Margaret looked at each other for a moment and smiled. Then looking at Klinger Margaret warned firmly. "Just make sure that you don't repeat what you saw. It's not something that I want the whole camp to know about."
Hawkeye looked at Margaret slyly and put his arm around her shoulders. "Are you saying that I can't go up to someone and say 'I'd like you to meet my beautiful wife, Margaret and our adorable daughter, Maggie-Rose."
"I wouldn't recommend it." She advised, then looking at Klinger she added. "But I would recommend that you get those adoption papers on their way to I-Corps."
"Yes sir, Major Houlihan." Klinger saluted as he did his best imitation of an obedient soldier. His friends chuckled as he turned and marched stiffly out of the office.
Hawkeye turned and wrapped Margaret in a big bear hug. "Thank you, Mrs. Pierce." He whispered in her ear before releasing her and taking little Maggie-Rose from BJ. Lifting the little girl to eye level he asked her. "How about we have a celebration drink." At Margaret's mild look of disapproval he smiled mischievously and added. "Cold milk for everyone on me."
"You keep holding her like that Pierce and the milk will be on you." Potter teased lightly, a large smile on his amused face.
Before Hawkeye could reply a voice suddenly came over the PA and announced. "ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL. INCOMING CHOPPERS. AMBULANCE IN THE COMPOUND. LOOKS LIKE A LONG ONE FOLKS!!"
"Great! Wounded!" Hawkeye moaned audibly. "Not quite the party that I had in mind."
"Come on folks." Potter urged as he moved towards his office door. "Let's get cutting."
"What should we do with Maggie-Rose?" Hawkeye asked Margaret, a look of mild panic on his face.
"Don't worry, 'Daddy'." Margaret teased as she took the baby from her new husband's arms. "Abel's on duty in Post-Op. I'll ask her to watch Maggie-Rose while were in surgery. Come on, Rose darling, let's go see Lieutenant Abel." She smiled at the child for a moment before saying to Hawkeye. "Go scrub, I'll be there in a minute." Hawkeye smiled at her for a moment, deeply touched that she would choose to call the child by his mother's name. Noticing the look on his face she exclaimed curiously. "What?"
"Oh, nothing." He shrugged his shoulders absently.
Margaret was not convinced, but let it slide for the time being. "Well, then hurry up and go scrub before Colonel Potter has both our hides."
"Yes, Ma'am, Major Pierce." He gave her a mock salute and a sly smile.
Margaret rolled her eyes and pushed him out of Potter's office. When they reached the outer office they turned and went in separate directions. Before entering the OR Hawkeye stopped and called Margaret's name. When she turned to look at him he said, his voice full of feeling. "Thank you, Margaret. For everything."
She smiled brightly at him and replied. "You're welcome."