It was so hard to walk away from him. As she walked back to her tent which was blessedly empty with Margaret on duty that night, she could feel Hawkeye watching her. She knew he was confused by her behavior. Better confused than for him to see the truth. or even a glimpse of it. She knew she had to get away from him before she did something they would both regret. She had hid it so carefully from everyone for so long. She couldn't let her grief make it show now. Her grief. It was so hard to believe that Jimmy was dead. The pain of it had almost made it all come out. In spite of herself she couldn't help remembering how good it felt to be in his arms. How she had wanted to stay there forever and damn the consequences. and there would be consequences. Oh, would there be consequences. At times it seemed that they were of no importance. That she would risk their friendship for just one touch of his lips in a kiss that wasn't brotherly. For one night when she wasn't a sister or a friend but a lover. Hawkeye would be shocked to know her true feelings for him. The love she so desperately tried to keep hidden from him. He would turn from her and she would lose the thing she treasured the most. Hawkeye didn't want love. A good time was all he wanted. Except with Carlye. He had loved her and she had ripped out his heart..twice. As she lay on the cot, she began again to cry. "I wish I could go to him like I did when I was child. " He had always made what ever hurt there was go away. But that was impossible now. She couldn't keep it inside. She had to do it. "Oh Meagan Marie!! Stop it! You are being a fool!!" she thought to herself. "Don't lose it just cause you were stupid enough to fall in love with a man who treats you like a sister and who still thinks you're a child for christ's sake!" "Cursing herself for feeling so....vulnerable tonight she got up and walked over to Margaret's Trunk, her heart breaking for the loss of her brother, her only family. She knew Margaret kept a bottle of Scotch. Meagan wasn't usually much of a drinker but, tonight... "Margaret wont mind if I have a few sips of this. Besides it will help me sleep," She thought, wishing she could fall asleep and find it was all just a bad dream. As she sat on her cot, sipping the Scotch she thought back to the day she realized that she was in love with him. or at least starting to look at him as something other than a brother or a friend. She was 18 and Hawkeye was home that weekend. He had been doing his residency at a hospital in Boston and had been living with Carlye. She had just left him not too long before. He didn't show it much but she knew he was still hurting. She was getting ready for the Senior Prom coming up the next weekend. That afternoon, Hawkeye decided to teach her to dance, something she had never really learned. He had been teaching her to waltz. He was holding her pretty close and was showing her the steps when she looked up at him. Her heart began to pound. She noticed for the first time how devastatingly handsome he was, how his blue eyes sparkled even with the touch of sadness in them. She wanted nothing more than to kiss him. "What?" he had asked laughing. "Have I grown another eye or something?" Appalled at her feelings, she had pleaded a headache and fled to her room. She had been careful not to look at him or touch him the rest of that weekend. But from that day forward he was in her every thought. She told no one. Not even Jimmy who she could always talk to. She saw Hawkeye pretty often that fall when she started Nursing school in Boston. They took to taking long walks together or seeing movies and he helped her study. By then she knew she was in love with him, but could never tell him for he still treated her like the little sister he always had. So she was content in their friendship. Until she came to Korea. As she sat there sipping Scotch, she never noticed that one drink became two and two became half the bottle. As she lay back on the cot, she never noticed when the almost empty bottle slipped from her hand.

In the swamp Hawkeye had been pacing back and forth in front of BJ for almost 20 minutes, with a martini in his hand. "You know, that's the first drink I have seen you take in days" he remarked. "I guess that I can understand why you need it tonight. I know he was one of your best friends. It must hurt alot." "He was all the family she had left." Hawkeye said continuing his pacing. "No cousins, Aunts, uncles..nothing. She doesn't need to be alone. I should have insisted on going with her." "Hawk" BJ said. "She needed to be alone to grieve. She will be ok. She's a big girl. She's a strong woman. She'll get through this fine but tonight she just needed some time alone." " I am going to go over there and check on her." Hawkeye said putting down his drink and pulling on his boots. "Hawk" BJ said "she wanted to be alone." "I know" Hawkeye said. "I just need to make sure she's ok. If she wants to still be alone then I will go but, I am going over there and checking on her." "Want me to go with you?" BJ asked. "Yeah, maybe she wont be too angry if we are both there." With that they walked out of the swamp and over to Margaret's tent.

When they got there, they could see a soft light around the window. Hawkeye knocked softly on the door. "Meagan?" he called, "I just came by to make sure you are ok." When she didn't answer, BJ said "she must be asleep. That's good, she needed the rest." "I am just going to make sure" Hawkeye said opening the door quietly. He saw her lying on the bed but something wasn't quite right. She still had all her clothes and her shoes on. It was then that Hawkeye saw the empty Scotch bottle on the floor. "Oh my God!" he exclaimed. "what has she done?!" He went over to the bed and started shaking her gently. when that didn't rouse her, he shook her harder practically screaming her name. "Meagan!! Wake up!!" BJ caught his arm. "Hawkeye, she's passed out drunk. Looks like she drank the whole bottle. I didn't think she drank much. I usually just see her drinking grape Nehi with Radar. So this must have hit her hard. She'll have a helluva hangover come morning but, she'll be ok. Her pulse and breathing are good. Maybe we should wake her and sober her up." "I never should have left her alone. I knew how bad she was hurting but, I left her alone. Lets try to wake her up. Might increase that hangover a bit but at least she wont die of alcohol poisoning. Let me go get some cold water and some coffee." With that BJ left the tent to go get it. Hawkeye leaned over Meagan, shaking her gently. "Meg! Wake up. C'mon honey wake up!" He sat her up on the bed and began to shake her just a bit harder. At last she moaned and opened her eyes just a slit. "That's it! C'mon, wake up." "Hawkeye" she mumbled. "What are you doing? Stop shaking me. What happened??" "Looks like you had too much to drink. You drank almost the whole bottle" He said looking at her, concern evident in the way he was looking at her. "I did?" she asked, confused. "I....I was only going to have a couple of drinks...I wanted to sleep because..." .her voice trailed off as she began to sob. "Jimmy" she sobbed. "Hawkeye, Jimmy is dead..he's dead!" "I know...I know" He said to her pulling her into his arms. "It's gonna be alright. Shh..shh. don't cry." he whispered, stroking her back. "You have had a lot to drink. Why did you drink so much? You hardly ever drink." "I just wanted something to make it go away. I thought if I could sleep it would all be just a bad dream. I only meant to have a few sips...I just wanted it to all go away." She sobbed, her voice muffled in his shirt. He sat holding her in his arms, rocking her slowly, as her sobs subsided. He could tell by her even breathing that she had fallen asleep again and this time he didn't wake her but laid her back on the cot. He leaned over and took off her shoes than covered her with a blanket. Just then BJ walked back in with a bucket of cold water and some cloths along with a pot of coffee. "Thanks Beej" Hawkeye said. "How is she?" BJ asked. "She woke up for a bit but cried her self back to sleep. She said she only meant to drink a couple sips...I guess she was so upset she didn't realize what she was doing." Hawkeye said as he dipped the cloth in the water and began to gently wipe her face with it. "I am going to stay here with her just to make sure she's alright." "That's probably a good idea" BJ said." Send for me if you need anything ok?" "I will....Thanks again BJ" "No problem Hawk" BJ said as he walked out of the tent.

Hawkeye sat by the bed, occasionally wiping her face with the cool water. Right now he was just staring at her...staring like he had never seen her before. "When had she become so beautiful?" He wondered. He reached over to brush a lock of hair out of her face, his hand lingering on her cheek. He was gently caressing her face when she stirred in her sleep. He snatched his hand away as if burned..shocked to the core at the jolt of desire that had just went through him. "What the hell am I doing?" he muttered. " I am not sitting here wanting my best friend's sister! What kind of pervert am I? She's practically my sister!" Her brother just died and all I can think about right now is how much I want to kiss her!" Hawkeye jumped up from the chair and began to pace nervously around the room. Just then Margaret walked into the tent. "Pierce!" she exclaimed. "what are you doing in here?" "Didn't you hear? Jimmy was killed and they were unable to recover his body." "Oh God" Margaret said. "Meagan must be devastated. Is she alright?" "She said she wanted to be alone so I let her come in here alone. I came in to check on her and found her passed out from drinking almost an entire bottle of Scotch! I finally woke her up but she cried herself to sleep again. I think she'll be ok except for one helluva Hangover! I never should have left her alone." "It's not your fault Hawkeye" Margaret said. " You didn't know she would do this." "Neither did she..not really. She meant to only have a few sips to help her sleep but overdid it a bit. This has all hit her pretty hard. He was all she had left." "Not quite all, Hawkeye" Margaret said. "She's got you and now she has all of us here. We can be her family now. We wont let her go through this alone. I think maybe you need to get some sleep. I have to get back to post-op so why don't you sleep in my bunk, then if she needs you you will hear her. " "Thanks Margaret" Hawkeye said. "I'd feel better being closer." After Margaret left the tent, Hawkeye sat down by the bed again, just watching her sleep. Sometimes she made soft sounds in her sleep as thought she were dreaming but she didn't awaken. As he watched her sleep, he was struck again by how lovely she looked lying there, her hair lying all around her face. Once again he was hit by a bolt of desire so strong it shocked him. Unable to just sit there a minute longer, he stood and began to pace around the tent again. "I must need to take some R and R he thought. What am I doing feeling desire for her? Not that she wasn't a desirable woman but"...he had never thought of Meagan like that before. She had always been like a little sister to him. Now she was no longer quite so little nor were his feelings quite so brotherly. He sat back by the side of the bed again watching her. In spite of himself he couldn't forget how good she felt in his arms. How her small body fit so perfectly to his. He was almost overcome with the desire to just lean over and kiss her. At least as she was unconscious, she wouldn't slap him. She would be shocked to know what he was thinking. She'd think he was some kind of pervert. Better to just keep this bit of information to himself. A quick trip to one of the nurses would take care of it. Yeah ...that was it. He just needed a little diversion. But not tonight. She needed him tonight and he promised her he would always be there..and he would be. She need never know that his thoughts had run a bit rampant tonight. Feeling pretty tired he went over to Margaret's bunk and lay down. Within minutes he was asleep.

The sound of soft crying woke him several hours later. At first he was a bit confused about where he was but, then he looked over at the other bunk. Instead of seeing BJ or Frank. He saw Meagan, lying on her side with her back to him, crying, the noise muffled in her pillow. He hesitated for a minute than got up and walked quietly over to the cot. He laid down next to her and pulled her into his arms. She stiffened for just a second but, then relaxed against him, her back to his chest and her arms wrapped around his. "Oh Hawkeye what are you doing?" he thought to himself. "This is dangerous." But once again he couldn't help but think what a perfect fit she was. As they lay there together no words were spoken and her sobs slowly subsided as he stroked her hair. Within a few minutes she had fallen asleep again. Part of him knew he should release her and return to the other bunk..but it felt so good just to hold her. Surely there was no harm in his just holding her for a while. This would be the only chance he ever got to be with her like this. Soon he too had fallen asleep again.

Meagan was shocked when Hawkeye came to her bunk and laid down next to her and gathered her into his embrace. She had been trying to muffle the sounds of her crying so as not to awaken him but he must of heard. It felt so wonderful to be in his arms. She was afraid to speak and spoil the moment, afraid that her voice would betray her, afraid that if he looked in her eyes he would see. So she just kept her back to him and wrapped her arms around his. She was thankful that he wasn't talking either. It felt so natural in his arms that she relaxed and fell back asleep quickly.

The next morning Margaret walked into her tent quietly, thinking that Meagan would still be asleep after her bad night. She expected her to still be in bed. What she didn't expect to see was Pierce lying in the bed with her! She was so shocked that she dropped the tray she was carrying and it hit the floor with a loud bang. Meagan and Hawkeye were both startled awake. When they realized they were still in bed together they both jumped apart. Margaret almost laughed at the comical expressions of shock on both their faces. Hawkeye broke the silence first with a laugh. "I guess we both must have fallen asleep. Leave it to Margaret not to let us sleep in!" He looked at Meagan with concern. "How are you feeling?" he asked. "I feel a bit tired is all" she said. "Oh God! I have to get to post-op! I am on duty in 10 minutes. Are you sure you're ok?" "Hawkeye I am fine" she reassured him anxious for him to leave. " I'll be fine. I think I'll catch some more sleep while I can." "Pierce go on to post-op. I will stay with her." Margaret said. " I am off duty until tonight." With one last look at Meagan, Hawkeye left the tent and headed towards post-op.

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