Author's note: This is the end of The Girl Next Door. Unlike the first one, it is from the third person pov. I hope you enjoy it!! :0) One last thing: this story has caused me a great deal of grief while writing it...you don't want to know how many times I lost big parts of it.
Margaret woke up late and even then she considered going back to sleep. She quietly got out of bed, so as not to awaken Hawkeye. "Good morning," he said. "Oh. I woke you," she said. "Nope. I was up. Just waiting for you," he grinned. Hawkeye walked over to the closet and got out the robe he had always worn in Korea. "You still have that ratty old thing," she said, disgusted. "Yes. Oh, and it seems to me that I've seen those pajamas of yours before," he commented. "Ah, yes, you had those when we were in Korea," he teased. She made a face at him. "Margaret, don't think I'm going to let you jump back into your normal routine. Uh-uh. By order of Doctor Pierce, you're to spend the day being lazy. On second thought, I'll join you," he said. He took her hand and guided her down the stairs into the living room. "Sit," he commanded. "You're forcing me to stand," she responded, impersonating him. He sighed. He sat down and grabbed her by the waist and pulled her into his lap. "Argh! Hawkeye!" she exclaimed, trying to squirm out of his grip. "Ha! You'll never get away from me," he said, starting to tickle her. "Stop!" she giggled. He didn't. So, she did the natural thing. She gave up. A few moments later, Daniel came in followed by Mickey. Both looked bewildered. "Uh," said Hawkeye. "That was the most intelligent thing you've ever said," teased Margaret. "Are you mad at Daddy?" asked Mickey. "No..." she said. How am I supposed to explain that I was flirting with Hawkeye to a little kid? she wondered.
"Hawkeye, I'd really like to go back to my house. It's been a while since I was there," she said. "But-" he started to say, but stopped, realizing that he shouldn't push her; he might end up in the same spot with her as he had been with Julia. He didn't want that, for this time he cared too much to give it all up. "If you want to," he answered. "Hey, I wasn't asking your permission. I'm capable of thinking for myself you know," she snapped. "Obviously, you have forgotten about certain times. Such as-" he was cut off. "Hawkeye Pierce, for all I care, you can rot in h*ll," she stated. He ignored her. "I'd kill you, but I just paid your hospital bills," he snapped. She glared at him. "I am going home, in an hour," she said, through clinched teeth. Not even an hour later, she had on jeans and a sweater and bid farewell to Daniel and kicked Hawkeye and left. She opened the door to her house and slammed it once inside, while muttering some choice words that described Hawkeye.
Margaret was stretched out on the couch, paging through a fashion magazine when she heard a knock at the door. "It isn't locked," she called. It swung open. Oh, d*mnit, look who it is, she thought. "What do you want?" she asked tersely. "To make out, er, I mean, make up," he stammered. "Oh, by that, I can tell you really want to," she said, hiding a smile. "Yes," he replied. "Ha! That isn't what I was saying," she laughed. "I fell for you, er, I mean it," he shook his head. Without ever saying that they were sorry, they'd become friends again. She looked at him and smiled. He sat down on the couch next to her, just looked at her for a moment, hugged her, and finally....kissed her. It didn't go any farther than that. "Hawkeye, we need to talk," she said. "About?" he questioned.
"U-S. Us. 'Nuff said."
"What? Did I spell it wrong?"
"You gonna give me a clue?"
"It's more like y-o-u. You. And only you."
"What? I don't get it."
"Face it, as far as your concerned, this is only about you."
"What's that supposed to mean? That I'm self-centered?"
"You said it, I didn't."
"Well, excuse me. You don't have the same problems. You don't have to worry about your little three year old. You don't have to think about three people's futures. I have to think about mine, my father's, and Mickey's. You only need to think about you. Margaret Houlihan. That's the only person you have to worry about. You."
"Do you think my life is easier than yours?"
"As a matter of fact, I do."
"You're wrong. We have our own things to worry about. For you, it's your son, your father, and yourself. You don't have to worry if you're going to have any money at the end of the week. Hawkeye, I moved here because of you. I gave up a terrific job and moved here. I don't have a job here. I cannot find one. I've considered moving, maybe I'd find a job someplace else. I can't. Something is holding me here. It's the thought of you. But you've changed. I cannot say for sure I am happy about the change. You don't realize what I gave up for you. I had to get all of my possessions together, get them shipped here, get myself ready and find a place to live. And a job, which I still don't have."
"I had no idea."
"Well, too bad you just can't open your eyes. I came here, and hadn't even finished unpacking before I wrote that add for the paper. 'There's a single white female, lookin' for that special lover. To put in a nutshell, a one-woman man who doesn't want no other. Oh, ya never can tell, she just might be your dream come true. There's a single white female, lookin' for a man like you.' I knew that'd catch your eye. Sometimes, I'm sorry it did. Look around. You see all of these boxes, and aren't sure if I'm coming or going. I don't know which I am doing now, either. I used to know. I used to know what was coming next. My future was all mapped out. Then, I dropped all of my plans and thought 'oh, I'll move to Maine. Maybe I'll find Hawkeye there. Maybe, we'll get along great and we can live out our lives together.' Well, so far, we've gotten along just ducky. Just once, I'd like to wake up and know what was headed my way. Just once, Hawkeye. Just once. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, it is."
"Oh, Margaret. I wish I could help you."
"I will not let another man ruin my life. Don't try to live my life for me. Don't follow along just because. For years, everyone was living my life except me. I'm not going to have that happen again. Maybe, I just don't belong. Is it possible I've fought this battle for too long, and it's just time to give in? I can think of hundreds of ways to end this battle. Move on to a new life. Let someone take over my life. Suicide. Life is not worth living. Not now, not ever."
"Don't you dare think of it."
"Just because you're older doesn't give you the right to run my life! You can't make my decisions for me! I don't even have to listen to you!"
"If you're going to be that way, just listen to this, Houlihan: your decisions aren't affecting anyone, you say. They are. If you stay here, you may do a lot of good. If you choose to leave, no one will ever know. Do as you choose. At this point, you have me so mad at you, I wouldn't shed a tear if I came over here tomorrow to find you'd committed suicide. As dedicated to life as I am, I really wouldn't give a d*mn."
"And another thing. You start to go through with it and change your mind in the middle of it, don't come cryin' to me. I ain't gonna help ya. You could just be tortured those last moments, thinking about what was. What could have been. Think about, Houlihan. Think real hard, before you do anything."
"And you, Hawkeye Pierce, can get the h*ll outta my house."
"I was going anyway."
Hawkeye stormed out. He doesn't think I'll go through with it, Margaret thought. He's wrong. This game of life is hard to play. I'm gonna lose it anyway. The losing card I'll someday lay. The only way to win is cheat and lay it down, before I'm beat. Well, the only question is, exactly how should I do this? she wondered.
Hawkeye slammed open the door to her house, waiting to hear her yell at him for coming back. Nothing. "Oh, you're really funny. I know you didn't go through with it, Houlihan!" he yelled into the pitch black hallway. Still no answer. He flipped the lights on. He searched the downstairs and found nothing. Nadda. No trace of her. Her ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time. The door to her room was closed. He knew she'd been hiding. He threw open the door and found her on the bed. An open bottle of pills was next to her. There wasn't any label on it. Quickly, he checked her pulse. It was there, but weak. "You did this...you really went through with it," he said, holding back tears. He'd realized she'd sure done it right. Took the label off of the bottle so know one would know exactly what it was and how long it'd take. One thing he noticed before he collected his thoughts was there was a note on one of the pillows. "To Whom it May Concern" it read on the front. Quickly, he opened it, heart racing. The message was simple and to the point: "To Whom It May Concern. PS He drove me to it." Hawkeye felt deeply sadden. For Hawkeye knew the "he" was him. Wait? Why am I doing this? She's not gone yet. Maybe, I could save her.
The good news is, she new exactly what she was doing and only took enough to make it so she'd be unconscious for about five or six hours. The bad news is, Hawkeye was ready to kill her after that speech she'd given him that day. By this time, she was back at home. Well, her second home. Even if Hawkeye was mad, he wanted her in his sight so she wouldn't do anything like that again. What was the matter with her? She never did anything like this before. And she'd been in many worse situations than that one.
Hawkeye couldn't understand. That was part of the reason he wouldn't talk to her. One night at dinner, well, let's just say that Daniel Had Had Enough. "Dad," said Hawkeye, "tell Margaret I'd like the salt and pepper." Daniel sighed,"Margaret, Hawkeye said-""I heard him," she interrupted. She had decided to act just like Hawkeye did so, she said,"Daniel, please pass this to His Royal Highness." Daniel wasn't happy because Hawkeye was sitting right next to her. He gave in anyway. After a few more minutes of this, Daniel said,"I'd like to see you two in the living room. Now." They followed him. "What is the matter with you?" he asked. Each pointed to the other person. "Enough. You two are acting more like three year olds than Mickey. You should know better. Now, kiss and make up," he said. Mistake. He should have known they'd take it literally. Both just stared at Daniel as if he'd told them to go commit suicide. Oops. Bad example. "Uh, then will you just shake hands?" Daniel said. "Put out your hand and I'll shake it," said Hawkeye. "Why don't you?" retorted Margaret. "Ahem," interrupted Daniel. They shook hands. He knew if they fought anymore they were only faking it. Yeah. And pigs fly. "Can I go back to my house now?" she asked. "I knew you were gonna say that," scoffed Hawkeye. "Shut up," she snapped. "The only way you can go back to your house is if you promise you'll still be alive tomorrow morning," said Daniel. "I was being stupid then. That stupidity was caused by Hawkeye," she replied. "Hey!" Hawkeye exclaimed. At this point, Mickey had gotten curios and wandered in to see what was happening. "Daddy?" he question. "Oh, Mickey," said Hawkeye as he picked Mickey up. "What are you fighting about?" he asked. "We're not fighting, but Margaret is going to go back to her house for quite a while," said Hawkeye. Mickey's lower lip started to quiver. "No! Stay! I want her to stay!" he cried, reaching for Margaret. "Don't want to say bye-bye to her like I did mommy!" he said, sniffling. He was still trying to reach Margaret, who finally took the hint and took him out of Hawkeye's arms. "Hey, don't cry. You can still come over and visit," she said. "No! Stay here!" he cried. "I-I don't know...I'll stay if you're daddy wants me to," she said, glancing at Hawkeye. He nodded and said, "Only if you don't end up sleeping on the couch any more." "Didja hear that, Mickey? I can stay," she said to him. Mickey lifted his head up to look at Margaret. "Mommy!" he cried, hugging her. Everyone looked shocked. After regaining the power of speech, Hawkeye said, "Mickey, Julia is your mommy." "I want Margaret to be my mommy," he said, burying his face in Margaret's shoulder. "Um, we'll work on that," said Daniel. Margaret raised an eyebrow at this. "We will?" she asked uncertainly. "Oh. We Will," she said. After putting Mickey to bed, Margaret had one question to ask Hawkeye. "You said you didn't want me to sleep on the couch anymore. Then, where do I sleep?" "Must we go through this?" asked Hawkeye.
"Yes indeed," interrupted Daniel.
"Well, she could stay...in the guest room?" Hawkeye suggested weakly.
"It's full of junk," replied Daniel.
"In my room?" he asked.
"Where in your room?" asked Daniel.
"On a cot, like the last time."
"Yea!" cheered Hawkeye. Margaret smiled. Daniel didn't know about the location of the cot the last time. This could be interesting, thought Margaret.
"Is this gonna be an exact replay of the last time?" she wondered out loud. "Depends," he responded. "This time better be a little less talk and a lot more action, if ya know what I mean," she teased. "Are you saying that last time wasn't memorable? It didn't meet up to your expectations?" he retorted. "Well, it was a far cry from that night in the hut," she replied, a little too nicely. "Oh, aren't you the little angel," he said. "I never did anything..." she lied. "'Never' is an understatement," he teased. "Oh! Yeah, right!"
"I know I'm right."
"Care to clarify that?"
"Well, I suppose. How about when-"
"I was being sarcastic."
"Well, anyway, I'm going to bed. G'night."