In the Officers club, Hawkeye was nursing a beer that was growing warm. He saw one of the newer nurses...Lt. Hamilton her name was...setting alone at a table and decided she would do nicely. He went over to the table and introduced himself. After a few minutes of his undeniable charm, they planned to meet in the supply room in 15 minutes. She..her name was Lily.. had left to go freshen up and he sat finishing..rather looking at his beer. He stood up and headed to the supply room where he found Lily already waiting with a bottle of wine and some soft music playing. "Hello" he said. She didn't answer but walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. He kissed her back and maneuvered her onto the nearby cot. She was unbuttoning his shirt when he stopped and pushed her gently but firmly away from him and sat up on the cot. He ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "I'm sorry" he said. "This just isn't working I am not really in the mood tonight." "Its ok" she said straightening her clothes. He stood up to leave but stopped when she said "Maybe you're in the mood alright but just not with me." Hawkeye didn't answer her but walked back to the swamp. BJ was asleep in his bunk and Frank was on duty. He couldn't believe what had just happened. He had had a beautiful willing woman in his arms and he had walked away. "Face it Hawkeye" he thought. " You don't want just any woman. You want Meagan. You want her so much its driving you crazy." When had he started thinking of her like this? When had she become more to him. She had always been special to him but he had never felt this way about her. He had to get this out of his.....mind. He didn't want to lose her friendship she meant too much to him. And he would lose her friendship if she found out what he was thinking...and feeling. After the service tomorrow he would just have to stay away from her a few days until he figured out what to do. He lay back on his cot not even bothering to take off his boots. Meagan wasn't the only one that night that found sleep a long time coming.
The next morning dawned bright and clear. The service was set for 10:00 am. Radar had done some fancy talking and gotten some fresh flowers for the service. Klinger loaned her a lovely black dress with a matching shawl. It had to be taken in a bit and she was surprised to find out that Klinger could do it. He was a great seamstress. She had talked to the men from his outfit and all of them were glad to have the service to honor their friend. He had had many friends in the company. The few that had survived the ambush were lucky to be alive. She had decided to sing Amazing Grace as a final gift to her brother. It had been their mother's favorite song and they both had had fond memories of her singing it. At about 9:00 Radar came knocking at her door telling her she had a visitor. It was a Sergeant Matthews from I-corps. "Good morning" he said to her. "I was told I could find you here. I want to extend my sincere condolences in the loss of your brother. He was a good soldier. We regret to inform you that his body was unable to be recovered." "Are you sure then that he is dead?" she asked. "I am sorry Ma'am but we are positive. We had too many men see him go down and three have confirmed that he was killed in action. Because of the heavy shell fire we were unable to recover the body. I have gone through his records and you are his sole beneficiary to his insurance." He handed her an envelope. "This is small compensation for your loss but it is yours. He also took from a small bag a folded American Flag. I understand that you are having a service for him here. I'd like to present this flag to you then if I may." "Thank you" she said. "That would be very nice." "Fine then I will see you there." At 10 minutes til 10:00, Hawkeye came to her door. She drew in her breath at the sight of him clean shaven and dressed in his Dress Uniform. "Wow " she said "You look very handsome!" "This old thing?" he joked. "I just put on the first thing that came out of the closet!" They both laughed. Hawkeye was equally stunned at how lovely she looked in the simple black dress with the matching shawl around her shoulders. She had pulled her hair back but a few tendrils had escaped framing her face with soft curls. He had never seen her look so beautiful. He pulled his thoughts back from where they were going and held out an arm to her. She stepped over to him and lay her hand on his arm. "We better get going" he said. "We don't want to be late." In the post-op ward, all the soldiers that were able were sitting up in their beds. Radar had placed the flowers all around the room. They had made a small pulpit for father Mulcahy and on it stood a portrait of Jimmy that she had had with her along with some pictures of them taken in Tokyo. The Flag was hung on the wall behind it. They had set up rows of chairs and Meagan sat down on the front row, with Hawkeye on her right and Margaret on her left. Father Mulcahy walked in and went to the makeshift pulpit and began to speak. "We are here today to pay our final respects to James Michael Montgomery. He is survived in death by his sister Meagan Marie Montgomery. Jimmy was a good soldier, a good man. He was liked by everyone that knew him. Hawkeye Pierce was one of the ones who knew him best and would like to say a few words." Hawkeye stood up and walked to the pulpit. "I met Jimmy when we were both 12 years old. The only two kids at the park that day. I had a ball and he had a bat. We decided to share. That started a friendship that has lasted for 23 years. Jimmy was a lot of fun, always loving to joke around. Which of course made him a perfect match for me. Jimmy was not quite 18 when both his parents were killed in an accident leaving him and his sister orphans. Overnight he changed from a boy to a man and took on the responsibility of raising his little sister who was barely 8. He worked hard to support them and later helped put her through nursing School. Now she's here helping nurse. Jimmy was proud to serve his country. What else can I say except...Goodbye Jimmy. We love you and we will miss you." Hawkeye voice broke on the last word and he returned to his seat with tears in his eyes. He looked at Meagan and saw silent tears streaming down her face. He put his arm around her and hugged her tightly. She leaned on his shoulder for a moment then stood as Father Mulcahy said "His sister Meagan whom many of you have come to know would like to give a final gift to her brother." "This was a song that always meant a lot to my brother and me. It was our mother's favorite song. She always used to sing it for us and now I sing it for Jimmy who is now with our Mother and father." She began to sing in a clear strong voice "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound." By the time she was finished there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Hawkeye was once again stunned by her voice. He'd had no idea she could sing like that. At that point Colonel Potter and Sergeant Matthews took down the flag and began to fold it as Radar played taps on his bugle all the soldiers stood and saluted. As Sergeant Matthews handed her the flag and saluted her, Meagan began to sob. Hawkeye put an arm around her as he too cried at the loss of his friend. Colonel Potter saluted her then turned to the men and said "dismissed!" The people all began to leave the tent, many of them coming by to give her their condolences. Hawkeye stayed near while she accepted all the condolences. He was glad it was almost other and she could get some badly needed rest. She looked exhausted. God knew he was...he had hardly slept a wink last night. She turned and looked at him and he walked over to her. "Ready to go?" he asked. She nodded and they walked out of the ward. "You wanna go for a walk? It might help." he said. "Alright" she said. More than anything she wanted to be with him. Just to be near him. "Let's get out of these clothes" she suggested. "Meet me at the mess tent in 15 minutes, ok?" "See ya there." he said. They never got to take that walk.
As they were changing the PA began blaring "INCOMING WOUNDED!! REPORT TO OR. ALL SURGICAL STAFF REPORT TO OR!" "Damn" Hawkeye muttered as he quickly pulled on his shirt and boots. He started at Triage and saw Meagan run inside to scrub up. As luck would have it she assisted BJ first. It was a very tricky case and it took several hours. Next she assisted Colonel Potter then Frank. It was late afternoon before she assisted Hawkeye. He didn't know whether to be relieved or not. It was easier not to think about her when she wasn't right there yet part of him wanted her right there beside him. They were doing a bowel resection on a young private. As usual not many words were spoken. It was almost dinner time by the time all the wounded were taken care of. Hawkeye had to stay in post-op to check on a patient but Meagan left and went and took a shower. She didn't see Hawkeye in the mess tent later but, Margaret told her that he was still in post-op with his patient. Meagan had been avoiding Margaret as much as possible, she didn't want to talk with her about Hawkeye. She had to find some way to convince her not to say anything. They ate in silence for a few minutes and then Margaret put down her fork and looked at her. "Meagan" she said " you can stop worrying. I am not going to tell Hawkeye anything." Meagan looked at her with a grateful smile. "I appreciate it Margaret." " I am not going to tell him anything" she continued " but I think YOU should. I won't stop trying to convince you to do that! C'mon! Lets have a girl's night and go to the O'Club for a drink. Whadaya say?" "Ok" Meagan agreed. "That sounds like fun" The two women left the mess tent and walked over to the O'Club giggling like two schoolgirls. Inside they sat at a table and ordered a couple beers. They were laughing and talking when Hawkeye walked in. Margaret looked at Meagan out of the corner of her eye and saw that she was looking at him, her feelings written clearly on her face, but she hid them quickly and no one was the wiser when Hawkeye came to their table. "Mind if I join you ladies?" He asked. "Not at all, Pierce. Have a drink." Margaret replied. Hawkeye ordered a beer that sat on the table right next to Meagan's. Neither one noticed that neither one had drunk theirs. Both of them seemed be doing an awful lot of looking around, neither one meeting the other's eyes. "My God." Margaret thought. "He's got it as bad as she does. No doubt he's hiding it too." Someone put a lively tune on the jukebox and Meagan started singing along. "You should go dance, Meg." Margaret said. Meagan started to protest but saw Hawkeye was looking at her. "Shall we, sir? She asked batting her eyelashes and laughing. "Its been awhile since we danced." "Let's go show 'em how its done!" With that Hawkeye stood up and held out a hand which she accepted. They danced all that song and the next one both of them laughing like crazy. Meagan looked at him. "I feel kinda guilty. I just had my brothers funeral today and here I am laughing." "Don't" said Hawkeye. "I felt that way too but I know Jimmy would want it that way. You have to take your happiness when and where you can find it." Just then a slow song came on. Without thinking Hawkeye pulled her closer to him and their bodies began to sway to the soft music. She was stiff for a moment then relaxed completely against him leaning her head on his shoulders and wrapping her arms around his neck. Margaret watched from across the room. The chemistry was so thick between them she was surprised the whole place didn't go up in smoke. They wouldn't be able to deny it or hide it for much longer. She was sure of that. Hawkeye was not oblivious to the sparks flying between them. She fit so perfectly into his embrace. He knew he should end the dance before something happened that they would both regret...he couldn't. I'll let her go when the song is over" he thought. Meagan was very aware of the man dancing so close to her. She was holding her breath and fighting to keep control of her wayward emotions. "Why did it have to feel so good to dance with him!" she thought. Just then the music ended. She started to step back away from him but was surprised that he hadn't released her. She risked a look at his face and almost fell over at the expression on his face....he..he was looking at her..like he..no that was impossible. She was powerless to do anything but stare up at him. Hawkeye knew he should let her go, he saw the confusion on her face but his traitorous body wouldn't listen to his head. For a moment...the expression on her face...no it couldn't be. He couldn't fight the urge..he just had to kiss her. He moved his head slowly towards her giving her plenty of time to turn away but she didn't. At the first gentle touch of his lips, he felt a desire so strong it almost took his breath away. He looked at her and saw the same desire mirrored in her eyes. He had kissed her! Meagan could hardly believe it...he had kissed her and now was looking at her in way she had only dreamed of. They were both oblivious to the people around them who were thankfully not aware of what was going on. They were both staring at each other when the PA blared to life breaking the spell. "INCOMING WOUNDED! ALL SURGICAL STAFF TO OR IMMEDIATELY!" For a moment neither one of them moved. Then Hawkeye released her and stepped back. "We had better go" he said. With one last look he turned and walked out of the Officers Club. Meagan followed him out the door and over to Triage where the wounded were already heading. Oh god what had she done. If he didn't suspect before he knew now! She avoided everyone's eyes and went straight to pre-op to scrub up. Radar ran into the room "The fighting is real close by! We're gonna be gettin lots more wounded! We might even have to bug out!!" By then the wounded were coming into OR so the staff didn't have time to worry about that. Luckily Meagan was teamed again with Frank Burns. She was thankful for she knew she couldn't be so close to Hawkeye right now. Thank god she was so busy that she hardly had time to think about it. Hawkeye was just as aware of the woman across the room. Oh god what had he done. He had actually kissed her! He could still feel the desire that had raced through his body. Thank god they weren't paired together right now. He would never make it!
The next 36 hours flew past. The staff was taking short sleep breaks and then coming back to OR, barely taking time to eat in between patients. Hawkeye had only seen Meagan a few times and they had had no time to talk. The wounded just kept coming. It had been a constant stream for a day and a half. After 10 more hours there was a break in the arrival of wounded. Most of the staff was dead on their feet. Almost all had returned to their tents for some sleep thinking it was over for now. They were wrong. Three hours later while most of the camp lay asleep, choppers came in bringing more wounded. The 4077 had been hearing all day how close the fighting was. They didn't know they were about to find out just how close it was! They were unloading the wounded when the first shell hit the camp. There was stunned silence for a few moments then the PA shouted "TAKE COVER! ALL PERSONNEL TAKE COVER!!" Meagan was outside when the shells started. She had never been so frightened in her life. Where was Hawkeye! She saw him coming towards her, "get down and get inside" he shouted pulling her by the arm to the nearest building. "Stay here!" he shouted. "You'll be safe here!" "What about you?" she screamed as he started back outside. "I have to go get the wounded inside." "I'll help!" she said. "NO!! you stay here" He had to shout to be heard over the shells exploding. "Please just stay inside! Radar, don't let her out this door!" with that he was gone out the door. Radar was on the phone to I-corps trying to get the shelling stopped. It was unknown whose shells they were. She looked out the window and saw that Hawkeye and Margaret were outside trying to get all the wounded under cover. Where had they all come from? Most of the staff had taken cover or were already in OR. Meagan knew that Hawkeye would be furious but they needed help!! She ran out the door ignoring Radar's shouts for her to come back. Outside the smoke from all the shells had gotten so thick she could hardly see. Where was Hawkeye?! She saw him about a hundred feet away from her and started to run towards him. Shells were still exploding all around and dirt and debris were flying everywhere. Hawkeye seemed oblivious to the shells as he bent over patients. The last one was being taken in. He was checking around for anymore men before he too went inside. Meagan was about 20 feet from Hawkeye who had his back to her when she heard the shell coming. She screamed his name, a screech of pure terror, then bolted towards him. Hawkeye heard her scream and turned, his heart in his mouth when he saw her running towards him. She threw herself into him so hard that he was thrown to the ground several feet away. He was struggling to his feet when the explosion sent him sprawling again. Suddenly the shelling stopped...the sudden silence almost deafening. Where was Meagan?! He was struggling to his feet again when he saw her lying face down on the ground at least 30 feet away from him. "Meagan!!" he shouted. By then BJ who had seen what happened was beside him. He ran to her and knelt down. "Oh god no!" He gently turned her over and shouted her name again.."Meagan!!" She moaned and then slowly opened her eyes. "Hawkeye!" she shouted. "I'm right here." he said. "Oh god are you alright? Are you hurt?" she asked him her voice shaking. "I'm fine" he answered "the question is Are YOU alright?" She was covered in dirt and blood but he didn't want to move her until he knew how badly she was hurt. "I am ok" she said trying to sit up. "No don't try to move" Hawkeye said. "Let us get a litter." "Hawkeye really I am ok. Just a few bumps I think." Despite his protests she stood up and took a few steps. She did appear to be just fine. Now that he knew she was ok his fear turned to anger. "What the hell were you doing out here?!" he shouted grabbing her arms and shaking her. "You could have been killed!" "You needed help!" she shouted right back. "I told you to stay inside! What were you thinking? I almost had a heart attack when I saw you running towards me!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!!" He shouted. "I..."she was stunned by his anger, she had never seen him so angry. "I just.." "You could have been killed! There is nothing worth you risking your life for!" "YOU ARE!!" she shouted without thinking. "If you think I am going to just stand there while the man I love more than anything is killed...YOU'RE CRAZY!" with that she burst into tears and fled, running as fast as she could away from him. Hawkeye stared after her stunned absolutely speechless by her outburst. Had she really just said... He started after her but BJ caught his arm. "Let her go" he said. "She just bared her heart to you and about half the camp. Let her gather some dignity and cool down a bit. I saw what she did. I have never seen anything like it. She had no thought to her own safety she just ran to you...that was some tackle she gave you. She sent you flying my friend. You were awfully hard on her. She saved your life. If she hadn't knocked you out of the way that shell would have hit you dead on." "I know " Hawkeye whispered. "God she could have been killed." "Let her go for now, Hawk. Give both of you a chance to think. We gotta go. The OR was knocked out and we have to send all our guys to the 8063. The shelling is stopped. It was all a mistake, they weren't supposed to be shooting at us! The choppers and ambulances are on the way to take the guys over to the 8063. They weren't hit at all." The next 2 hours Hawkeye and BJ spent loading up the wounded to transfer to the 8063. Repairs were already begun. Not too much had been destroyed in the shelling. The OR would be fixed by the next morning. As the last bus full of wounded prepared to leave Hawkeye started to climb aboard but BJ stopped him. "You're staying here. You have something that you need to do now. Go to her. " With that BJ climbed on the bus which pulled out. Hawkeye stood there for a moment then went in search of Meagan. It took him awhile to find her. He found her sitting on the hill overlooking the camp. Her back was to him and she didn't hear him coming. "Meg?" he said. "You ok?" She started for an instant then stood up and turned to face him. He could tell she had been crying. He took a step closer, then stopped as she lowered her gaze to the ground and turned away from him. "Meagan." he said, "please look at me." When she didn't she gently took her by the shoulders and turned her to face him. "Meagan why didn't you ever tell me how you felt?" "How could I?" she said softly. "I never wanted you to know. You don't want love, not from anyone. I didn't want to lose you so I just...I never let you see....I just never wanted to lose you and I knew I would if you found out how I feel." she said with a sob. "Can't you just forget what happened?" "No, I can't" he said. "Please Hawkeye," she said. "you know this isn't easy for me. I'm sorry! Please don't hate me. I can't help the way I feel. I didn't mean to fall in love with you, it just happened. I...." her voice was cut off by his finger on her lips. "Shh. don't say anymore." he said. "all this time I have been fighting what I was feeling because I was sure you would hate me if you knew..would think I was some kind of pervert if you knew that I had fallen in love with you. " She stared at him shock all over her face. "I didn't know how much I loved you until I almost lost you today. I have never been so scared in all my life as I was when I saw you running towards me. I don't ever want to lose you....ever." He pulled her to him and gently kissed her, deepening the kiss when she didn't pull away. When they stopped kissing they were both breathless. "I love you." he said reaching out and cupping her face and kissing her again. "I love you too" she whispered against his mouth. It was awhile before they made it back to camp. They were greeted by most of the 4077..word had spread fast. The crowd cheered when Hawkeye picked her up and carried her past the sign that read "Best Care Anywhere." They were home.