Margaret frowned at him and stepped back. "Certainly not!" She told him firmly.

"Why not?" He asked, his eyes sparkling with mischief. "We are married after all." He gave her a teasing smile.

Secretly Margaret was amused by his smile, but she wasn't about to let him know that. Besides, she didn't want him to take their current relationship too seriously. 'As if there were any serious chance of that.' She scoffed inwardly. "We are married in name only, Pierce." She reminded him seriously. "I only agreed to marry you so that you could get custody of Maggie-Rose and send her to the States. You know as well as I do that this isn't a real marriage."

"I know." Hawkeye backed away a little then after hesitating slightly asked. "But haven't you ever thought it would nice if it was real. If we were a real family?" A brief look flickered by Margaret's features causing Hawkeye to continue. "Come here, Margaret." He took her hand and led her to the cot. Margaret pulled her hand away and glared at him fiercely. "I'm not going to try anything." He told her in exasperation. "I just wanted you to sit down with me, that's all." At her skeptical look he said. "I promise. No funny stuff. I just want you to sit down beside me." He sat down on the cot and patted the space beside him. "I promise." He repeated. After a moment's hesitation Margaret joined him on the cot.

Once she was settled he urged gently. "Do me a favor and close your eyes." She gave him a skeptical look. "Please, Margaret trust me for five minutes and close your eyes." She examined his face for a moment before giving in and closing her eyes. "Now picture a large, white house with hunter green shutters and a large bay window facing the rolling sea...a forest of tall trees behind the house - maples, beech, pines, birch, cedars stretching ten to eleven feet high. In the backyard there's a large apple tree with a swing tied to one of its branches...do you see it?"

Margaret nodded her head. "I see it. It's beautiful."

"Now picture Maggie-Rose swinging on that swing while you push her, laughing with childish pleasure." Hawkeye continued, leaning closer to her so that he was whispering into her ear. "And now look, there comes another child running past playing with a puppy."

"What kind of puppy?" Margaret asked softly.

"A...A Siberian Huskey puppy." He replied after a moments thought.

"Oh, those are so cute." She replied with a gentle smile then she chuckled slightly.

"What?" Hawkeye asked curiously.

"The child just fell and now the puppy's licking his face." She told him, much amusement in her voice.

"What else do you see?" Letting her carry on the narrative of the delightful seen she was envisioning.

"Rose is getting off the swing and going over to where the other child and the puppy are playing." Margaret related, concentrating on the scene playing out in her imagination. "I'm sitting down on the swing to watch them. Rose and Luke are now running around the yard and the puppy's following them."

"Luke?" Hawkeye repeated in surprise. "Who's Luke?"

"The little boy." Margaret explained, not opening her eyes or moving. "That's what Rose just called him - Luke."

Hawkeye remained silent for a few moments, letting Margaret's imagination play out a scene of a happy life far greater than any he could describe. Not wanting to be totally forgotten he gently and slowly slide his arms around her, pulling her back against him. Margaret responded unconsciously by sliding her hands up his arms and pulling them tighter around her, a smile of pleasure on her face.

"Somebody just put their arms around me." She said in a happy tone.

"Who is it?" He asked, whispering into her ear again.

Margaret turned her head and without opening her eyes she replied. "I can't quite make out the face...wait a minute it's coming clearer...Just a minute, Luke Mommy's busy..." Hawkeye felt his heart skip at that unexpected statement. "...Wait a minute, I can almost see his face...it's...it's..." Her eyes popped open and she looked at Hawkeye with much surprise. "It's you!" She sounded extremely surprised at the revelation and her eyes searched his for any hint of explanation.

"I told you Margaret that we could have a wonderful family together." Hawkeye told her seriously. Margaret stared at him for a few moments, her eyes still wide with surprise until she pushed herself away from him and stood up. She was totally disconcerted by the whole thing and found her mind whirling in confusion.

Turning her back on him she gripped the back of a chair and said in a trembling voice. "I think you should leave, Captain."

"But Margaret..." Hawkeye tried to object, but Margaret repeated her request.

"Please leave, Hawkeye." After a moments silence she turned and faced him. "I just would like to be alone for a while."

Hawkeye nodded his head and moved to leave. "Okay, Margaret, I'll go. But do me a favor."

"What?" She asked, her tone a little shaky.

"Don't forget what you just saw." He requested before ducking out of her tent.

Margaret turned back to lean on the chair again. "I won't." She promised under her breath.

Hawkeye's contented mood didn't last for long. Three days of being 'on the wagon' began to take a toll on even his extensive sense of humor, much to the annoyance of his fellow comrades. Even generally easy-going BJ was beginning to have enough of his bunkmates surly disposition. In fact it was getting to the point that he was secretly considering giving his friend a spiked IV in his sleep - anything to restore his cheerful attitude. The only one who still rising to Hawkeye's defense was Margaret. She couldn't explain it, but ever since the other day when she'd pictured that pleasant 'family' scene she suddenly felt very close to Hawkeye in a way that she had never felt with anyone else before. Not that she would admit to him how deeply she had been touched by what she had envisioned. But the fact of it, or perhaps simply because, for the time being at least, he was her husband - though few were aware of it, she felt a deep need to defend Hawkeye's behavior and actions to their friends and comrades.

"Places everyone for the pagan wedding march!" Hawkeye exclaimed as he entered Post-Op on day three of his self-imposed prohibition. "Nymphs on one side, stallers on the other - no mingling."

"Excuse me doctor may I dance through?" Margaret asked as she gently pushed past him.

He gave her a look of annoyance and asked. "How am I suppose to check patients if your changing sheets?" He gestured to the pillow she was stuffing into a clean pillow case.

"We change the linens everyday at 11:30 doctor." Margaret told him in a tolerant tone.

"Well you could let a person know, you know." He told her as he moved away. Margaret merely rolled her eyes in reply.

"So, Hawk, how's the world treating you?" BJ asked as his friend exclaimed in deep annoyance.

"That's my pen! That's MY pen! I've been looking for that for two days!" He plucked the item out of his friend's hand and glared at him angrily.

"I must have picked it up by accident." BJ commented, slightly taken aback by his friend's hostile tone.

"I left it on my footlocker - MY footlocker!" His friend exclaimed with great emphasis. "That is hardly a bequest to the general populous."

"I'm sorry!" BJ replied sarcastically. "I don't know what came over me."

Suddenly feeling guilty for overreacting Hawkeye handed him back the pen and said contritely. "I'm sorry. Keep it, forget it, I'm sorry."

"Thanks." BJ replied and watched as his friend walked away.

"I'll be back in ten minutes." Hawkeye told his friends, then in annoyance he asked. "What...what is that stench in here?"

"Stench?" Margaret repeated calmly as she continued to work.

"The odor!" Hawkeye exclaimed. "It smells like sardines marinating in amoania."

"It's probably the disinfectant, doctor." Margaret continued to keep her tone controlled.

"Margaret, I know what disinfectant smells like." He told her in annoyance. "That smells more like INFECTANT!" Margaret rolled her eyes as he left.

Back | Forward