March of 1953....Ouijongbou, South Korea... three miles from the front at the 4077th MASH unit.
Margaret Houlihan was asleep...she didn't hear the person open the door and make his way in. The tall captain moved to the light switch and turned it on. He leaned down and kissed her. She moved to sit up and looked at him.
"Shh.. " he pulled her on his lap.
"I wanted to tell you that I'm considering doing something really nice for you."
"You're playing games with me.. Hawkeye."
He put his fingers in his shirt pocket and touched the ring."I am?"
She scooted off his lap."May I please go back to sleep?"
"You know what that means.. don't you? Our engagement is off."
"We are not engaged... do you hear me... and I can do a lot better than you..."
"You're going the wrong way... the Colonel's and Generals are the higher ups."
She pushed her door wide open."I don't want you…. "
Hawkeye walked into the Swamp and pulled the covers up. He had to calm down or he would feel the effects of his broken heart..
She lay down and felt the tears and pulled her blanket over her... she hurt inside and she loved Hawkeye with all her heart.
"Rise and shine.." BJ stood there with Hawk's boots in his hand.
"Hey.. I'm sleeping." Hawk pulled the pillow over his head"And I don't want any."
"Hawk.. are you dreaming of Margaret?"
"Yes.." Hawk closed his eyes."My heart is broken."
"Hmm.. poor Hawk.. listen did you have a fight?"
"A fight.. you think we had a fight!" Hawk sat up."I don't know what's gotten into her... "
"Well... go and talk to her."
"I am not going to crawl to her... either."
"Hmm. Hawk .. each of you need a medal for putting up with each other."
"No medals.. why not a promotion? That would get her out of here and she'd realize what she doesn't have and that's me. So why did I get her a ring?"
"I'd take the ring over a promotion."
"The Colonel is never going for a promotion... "Hawk muttered
"What's this I hear?" Charles walked in the Swamp.
BJ shook his head. "It's not nice to eavesdrop."
"You're helping Pierce with something… probably collecting votes. I'm surprised because he isn't home long enough to roost."
"That's right... and someone around here is getting something that they deserve."
"No doubt it's you, Pierce… trying to cozy up to Margaret...thinking she'll help you and be on your side."
"It's not for me.. oh.. you think it's for you... well. wrong... Charles. Your ego is so high.. you could build a statue of yourself with it"
"You agree with me."
"I resent that.. " Charles walked out.
Hawk tried not to smile. "That gives him something to fume about.. he's going to get it in his head that he's getting a medal. I really want to see his face.... "
BJ shook his head. "Someone will get stepped on... and I know it won't be me."
In the mess tent... Margaret sat there and she pushed her tray away. She hurt and she felt the tears. Maybe she was too harsh.. but still.. he had to open his mouth.. she was mad now. She felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Pierce.. I told you.. it's over."
The Padre frowned."Margaret... I'm sorry.. but I'm not Hawkeye."
She looked at him. "Can I talk to you?" she whispered.
"Whatever you say to me.... you know it's in confidence." he sat next to her.
She shook her head."Yeah."
Charles came to them and then sat down. The Padre got up and looked at her. "If you need to tell me anything..."
"Father.. please stay."
Charles sighed. "She's right.. I need your opinion too."
The Padre sat down and looked at them. Margaret looked at Charles.
"You want to talk to me?"
"Has Pierce said anything to you about a promotion?"
She frowned. "Figures.. it's worse than I thought."
The Padre sighed. "He hasn't said a thing to me. And I haven't heard word from the Colonel about one."
Charles shook his head. "Maybe he and Hunnicuttt were teasing…do you think?"
"There is nothing teasing about a promotion... but I can't think of Hawkeye getting one…"
Charles shook his head. "You know those two…they're trying to pull rank."
"Seems.. Hawkeye is doing a good job of it.. "she muttered.
"Father... do we have a lovesick Major?" Charles stood up.
"I think we do." Father Mulcahy got up too.
"Lovesick... listen.. I am not lovesick....and I'm going to get to the middle of this promotion business and now."
"I'll go with you. "Charles got up. "So Father.... you want to go too?"
"I'd like to." The Padre stood up.
The three of them walked to the office and waited outside the door.
"Margaret.. about this promotion... could you put in a good word for me?"
"Charles, a promotion, well...that's very nice..."
"You think I know?"
"So you want to know too?"
Hawk and BJ were sitting in the outer office when Margaret and Charles walked inside. Hawk looked the other way and got up to block the door.
Radar was in the office with the Colonel getting a pass. Potter sighed. "Radar...."
"Sir... I need this.. pass... really."
"Alright.. three days.. Radar.. remember what happened the last time for Soldier of the month."
"This is a different place sir.. um.. well.. you know."
"Radar.. are you meeting someone there?"
Radar shook his head. "I can't tell you that."
"I'm your honorary father..."Potter stood up.
"Yes, Dad." Radar nodded his head. "Please don't let a word get out.. okay.. it's meeting someone.. but she's staying in a separate room.. "
"Radar... is that the Patty that you met?" Potter opened the door to see the two sitting on the desk. Klinger stood there and looked at them.
Radar nodded his head and put his fingers to his lips. Potter smiled at him and opened the door.
"Klinger.. guess what you're in charge of this station until I get back." Radar handed the stack of files to Klinger.
Klinger sighed. "Oh that's wonderful... I'm in charge... you're leaving me in charge."
"I'm not going anywhere. "Potter sighed.
BJ looked at Radar."Well. Radar."
Hawk smiled at Radar."So, Radar."
Radar picked up his bag. "Hey, I'm only going on R and R.. not like what you do."
Hawk frowned. "How do you know what I do?"
"Hawkeye,it's all over this camp... shoot.. you and...."
BJ whistled. "Well. Hawkeye.. your secret is out."
Margaret and Charles stood outside and saw Radar. He looked at them and got in the jeep. Charles shook his head.
"I got a leave... it's business." Radar held up the paper "And don't say a word."
Margaret frowned. "Radar..... go do whatever.. don't mind the Major."
"I'm not sir.. I mean ma'am" Radar started the jeep.
Margaret pulled the door open. "This means I'm next in line."
Hawkeye got up and blocked the door.
"I'm here first."
"Move it." Margaret walked to him.
Charles sighed and leaned against the other door. Klinger was filing and he tried to ignore this. He was going to take bets on who would win. BJ moved away and wanted to stay out of it.
The door opened and Potter stood there. "Well?"
Margaret walked in and stood by the desk. Hawkeye came in and sat down. Potter moved to sit down.
"Colonel... Pierce is collecting votes.."
Hawkeye moved his chair closer. He leaned back and waited. She moved back and landed on his lap. She pushed and tried to move. Hawk held her tight.
Potter looked at the two. "Why don't you and she kiss and make up?"
"I am not letting a big ape like him... kiss any part of me."
"Major, I think you got out of bed in the wrong tent."
She opened her mouth and then closed it. "Colonel.... he's not that great." She realized she said the wrong thing.
Hawkeye tightened his grasp on her. "So that's it... listen. I'm not letting a little tiger like you bite me."
She had it. "Let go of me."
The phone rang and the Colonel looked at them. "Can you two just be quiet for five minutes.. I need to answer the phone." He listened for awhile and sighed. "I have some people.... yeah.. okay.. thanks."
Margaret sighed and turned her head away. She felt Hawk's fingers in hers and she looked at his face. He moved his head and then kissed her jaw. She shook her head."No."
"Colonel... you need someone?"
"How dare you... that's just what you're looking for. isn't it.. to be the best... well.. you're not... " she felt his fingers grip hers. She took a breath. "I'm going…sir and alone."
"Pierce…let her go." Potter sighed and watched the Major walk outside.
Hawkeye leaned back and shook his head. "She's a lot of trouble."
"And you can't handle her?"
"I gave my heart...."
Potter smiled at him. "So that's it."
"You want to go up there with her?"
"I do... she shouldn't go up there alone."
"I swear, Pierce you and she are just like... " Potter smiled."So…you want to ask me something?"
"Get me a transfer... to be away from that woman."
Hawk walked out and saw her in the jeep. She ignored him and then saw the Colonel.
Potter looked at them. "The chopper will be here any second... so maybe I can send you two up there."
"I am not going with Hawkeye."
The Colonel got in the jeep. "If that's what you want.. Margaret."
She nodded her head. "I'll be careful.. I promise."
"The forty fourth is being evacuated.. and all. They're sending them to the One Fifty first. and then I want you to go and help and get out.. and no heroics."
Margaret went up there to the forty fourth and helped and she got the patients loaded. She did what she had to do and bandaged the injured when it was needed. She was exhausted... and hungry... she held supplies in her hands and she had wiped faces.... held hands.. talked to the patients... she wanted to be held... and by Hawkeye... yeah...
It was morning and Margaret hadn't slept.... she kept seeing Hawkeye in her mind and was calmed by that.... she had a blanket over her and opened her eyes... she stood up and looked around... not home.. not in Hawk's arms.. she really was going nuts.. but she decided to back to find a phone.
Hawk sat on the bunk after surgery and he sighed.. He heard the door and he saw the Colonel.
"Hawkeye... she's been gone near twenty four hours."
"You're asking me to do something... and what if I refuse."
"Hawkeye.. just try growing up... and get over this feeling sorry for yourself."
In the office.. Klinger picked up the phone."Say what? Who.. the Major... she's not here... what.. oh Major.. you're where and we should do what? " he listened." I can't hear a word you're saying."
Margaret held the phone.. it was dead.. she was sure it was working.. she came back here to wait and use the phone.. and she felt the building shake and she dived under the table for safety... soon.. someone would be here.. how long....
Potter walked in the office and sat there and frowned. It had been three more hours and he saw Klinger."Any word?"
"Well. sir.. I think.. but someone wanted the Major.. I couldn't hear it.. or maybe it was the Major?"
"When was that?"
The phone rang and then Klinger picked it up."Who.. you want who? Oh Captain Pierce.. well.. um.. he's .. say who is this?
Trapper... really. I'll tell him.. and he can call you up... you bet."
Potter frowned."Who is Trapper?"
"Captain Pierce's ex bunk buddy.. "
"Hmm. well. find Hawkeye and hurry."
"I heard the forty fourth... sir.."
"Move it and take blankets.. or whatever we can use and first aid kits... "
Klinger ran out and saw Hawkeye."Captain Pierce.. this is an order.. we have to go to the forty fourth and get the Major."
"She called. or it sounded like her.. and it was scrambled and the phone went dead..."
"They did what? She's stuck out there alone?"
"Hawkeye. calm down.. don't take it out on me.." Klinger grabbed Hawk's wrist."Just because you and she are..."
"I need a swig of gin... "Hawk went to the Swamp and took the glass.
Klinger walked in "You shouldn't have drunk any gin.. you need to be alert. for her."
"You got a call from Trapper...and when you can.. he wants you to call him."
Klinger went to get blankets and supplies.. and came to the jeep. Hawk leaned back and sighed.
'The forty fourth is what I heard.." Klinger kept driving and he finally got there. They got out and Hawk stood there."She can't be here.. look at this place."
"I think they got everyone.. is what I heard.. just look over there and I'll go over here."Klinger moved and shook his head. Hawkeye saw a building and then ran in He saw something sitting there on it's side and then pulled the cord.. a phone..so she used it.. he hoped she got out.. he tried to pull the desk and it nearly fell over. He crawled under it half way and saw something green. it looked like a uniform.
"MARGARET...." he pulled the person's feet and saw the face."Oh help us all." he felt the tears on his face."If you die…I'm going to die.. too." he whispered. He pulled her up and kneeled and then stood up with her over his shoulder and made his way out of the door.
Klinger ran to him."Hawkeye."
"She's hurt. Klinger.. help me get her in here."
Klinger sighed."Is she breathing?"
"Slightly.. which means she's unconscious." he had tears on his face."It's my fault... see what I did."
"No it's not.."
"If I went with her.. she wouldn't be lying under a desk half buried in rubble and have blood on her shirt."
Klinger got in."Well.. here's a blanket."
Hawk pulled the blanket around her."She needs to be kept warm."
The jeep pulled in the camp and Klinger ran to the office and saw Potter.
"It's about time."
"Sir . it's the Major.. she's.. injured.. and Hawkeye is going to pieces."
Potter ran out."Get Charles and BJ and the Padre... " he stopped near the jeep. He looked at Hawkeye.
Hawk looked at Potter."Colonel...I'm doing it."
"Pierce.. let me take her.." Potter gently lifted up Margaret.
BJ ran out."Colonel..." he took Margaret's feet.
The Padre stood still."Hawkeye... you need to get up."
Hawk got out of the jeep."Father.. I'm going in there."
Charles stood there."Pierce.. you need to sit."
"I am not sitting... I'm going in there." Hawk washed up and put on a gown.
BJ had taken the x-rays and held them up. "I don't see any broken ribs.. just bruised.. and gashes.. no organs injured.. so she needs to be stitched... "
"Her wrist.." Potter held her hand. "Did you check it?"
"Yes.. I think it's a slight fracture. but it looks bruised.. .. "
Hawk stood there and clenched his fingers. "Aren't you doing anything?"
Charles took Hawk's arms." Pierce.. out... we don't need you trying to crawl on the table... and being like a barbarian."
"I am not.. a barbarian.... for your information.. I'm in love with her." Hawk backed up.
"Hawkeye.. get out of here." Potter went to the door.
The Padre sat out there. "She's going to be fine."
"Yeah.. I guess.." Hawk sighed. "Father Mulcahy... I love her."
"Go and get some rest.."
Hawk walked out and to the Swamp and lay there and took a drink. He held the glass and frowned.
The door opened and Charles and the Colonel stood there.
"Figures you'd be drinking." Charles took the glass out of Hawk's hand.
"Excuse me... " Hawk sat up.
"Colonel.. you tell him... he's acting like a drunk."
Potter sat on the bunk. "No he's not... if I were in his shoes.. I'd do this.."
Charles sighed. "Remind me not to fall in love."
Hawk sighed. "Is that wrong.. I mean.. tell me.."
"Pierce.. just go to sleep and try not to drown in your sorrows..." Potter walked out.
Hawk went to Post-Op the next morning and sat there... he took her hand and looked at her. He would be sitting here until she woke up.. if he had to.
BJ came in and stood there. "Hawk.. go get some rest."
"I want to be here when she wakes up."
"How about I come and get you?"
"Yeah." Hawk walked out and to the Swamp. He just tried to get through the surgeries and his rounds and he tried not to go near her bed.. he paced outside and finally gave up.
BJ stood there and waited for Margaret to wake up. He thought he saw her move her head and he sat on the chair. She opened her eyes and looked at him.
"Margaret.. you feel okay?"
She shook her head. "No."
"You have some stitches and bandages.. but you'll be up in a few days."
BJ got up to find Hawk in the Swamp. "She's awake."
"On my way." Hawk headed out the door and to the Post-Op and came by the bed. He looked at her.
She turned her head. "What do you want." she whispered
"This is the thanks I get for going up there and bringing you back."
"Go away." she whispered
"You know... I really don't need you either." Hawk walked outside.