Disclaimer: If they were mine, I'd have LOTS of fun with them.. :o): But sadly, they're not. shucks.
Rated: G
Summary: This is from Margaret's point of view. She's having a nervous breakdown and needs a certain someone to help her get through the night.

"I Need Him Tonight"

by Shannon Hunnicutt

Sometimes the bombs exploding in the distance, and the stench of blood and death are too much for me. So it's nights when I get crazy from all of this that I toss violently in my bed, and scream into my pillow. I curl up into the fetal position and wonder if I'll ever get out of here alive. I wonder if one of those bombs I hear will stray over here and blow us all up into bits. I want to run away! I want to hide under the army cot that I call a bed and cry!

I wish I had a teddy bear like Radar does.

Well, I suppose I do....

And I need him tonight.

As I walk over to the Swamp I know that my peers stare and gossip and giggle about what I'm doing. But I can't do anything else. I feel like I'm fourteen--I'm so helpless! I think that's what scares me the most. Major Margaret Houlihan HELPLESS? My whole life has been about being strong, and hard, and in control of everything. I put on such a front all the time, when it slips away I get crazy. I have nothing to lean back onto.

Until I found I could lean on Hawkeye.

I look into his tent and see him sleeping peacefully. For a minute I'm content to just stare at him. To know he's there to lean on if I need it is enough sometimes. Sometimes I'll just watch him sleep until I'm content to sleep myself. But not tonight. The war is too near tonight.

I quietly open the door to the Swamp and pad in. BJ is sleeping also, as well as Charles. BJ. I think that Peg Hunnicutt is one of the luckiest girls alive to have someone like BJ. I nearly brake down right here in the Swamp wondering why I can't fall in love with a man like BJ. Something in me is magnetized to cheating, lying people. I love the lies they tell me. That's the problem.

I reach over and gently shake Hawkeye. He mumbles something unintelligible. I choke, and try again. God, I'm a wreck tonight. I'm having a nervous breakdown.

"Hawkeye..?" Oh geez. I sound like a lost little girl. I'm so mad at myself for being so weak. And that of course only makes things worse.

He wakes up suddenly, and sits up, looking around himself frantically, his chest heaving. He finally sees me, and starts to smile, but stops, and looks completely serious once he sees the state I'm in. I hate the fact that he can read me so well. Why build up walls around yourself when you deal with people who have x-ray vision?

All I can do is stand here with my lip trembling. I try to speak, but all that comes out is a frightened choking sob as I half shrug and hug myself with my own arms. I look down so that he can't see my eyes.

His arms are around me quickly, and he is rocking me back and forth speaking little words of comfort to me. I have no idea what he's saying, but his voice is easing my fear.

But not enough.

We exit the Swamp hurriedly, but walk separately. I suddenly need space.

We reach my tent and go inside, and I collapse on my bed. Hawkeye sits down beside me and smoothes my hair. This is what I need. I am like a child who in the aftermath of a nightmare runs into her parent's bedroom to sleep with them. Somehow they have this curing effect that makes all the monsters go away. Hawkeye has this same gift.

He's going to be a great father someday.

My thoughts are halted when I realize that he's laying beside me under the blankets and winding his arms tightly around me. I hug him back and bury my head into his chest. Now I can cry.

I bawl like crazy, and am speaking my fears as well. I have no idea what I'm actually saying, just snippets of things, like "War,," "Death..." "Home..." "No one loves me". I know what I mean, but I'm thinking too fast for my tongue.

But Hawkeye understands me. Somehow he knows my troubles and exactly what pitch of voice, and exactly how to rub his hands up and down my back, and exactly how to rock me back and forth to make them all seem irrational and silly. He is like a shield against the terror of everything that haunts me right now.

I pull him tighter to me.

He plants soft kisses on my forehead and cheek and finally mouth and I am lost. No longer afraid. I hear another explosion, but this one is not of fire and destruction but of thunder--and with it comes the rain. The rain is cleansing. We kiss each other while listening to the rain, and it is magical.

Hawkeye and I pull back and we are both grinning immensely. The thunder sounds again, and Hawkeye looks up involuntarily. I reach my hand up to capture his cheek and bring his head back down to me. Both our eyes are full or mirth and intensity. I find that I can't move. I am so caught in this moment. I never want it to end.

The pale blue light of the dawn begins to creep over us, as we stay warm with each other listening to the rain cry for me--for us. I actually laugh now.

"Shhh.." Hawkeye hushes me gently, and presses me to him. He throws the covers over out heads so we are completely underneath them, and all we can know is each other and the gentle rain outside. He kisses me then. Long and passionately and most of all truthfully. Not like the kisses of Frank's, or even Donald's. This is total honesty. He wants this, and there's nothing to be ashamed of.

My head is so clear. I am at total ease and comfort.

I never want to leave this.

And neither of us do for a long long time.

The sun rose that morning without us.