From that day on, they were inseparable. Whether in post-op, eating in the Mess, listening to his phonograph in the Swamp, or in her tent, with her playing the flute she kept in her duffel. It wasn't until Thanksgiving that he discovered that she sang in addition to playing the flute. She had a deep contralto that was as vibrant and beautiful as she was. She hit low notes that came out sounding sweet as sin. Her soprano register wasn't terribly high, but enough so that she could sing just about anything she wanted to. Hawkeye had serenaded Margaret with "Do You Hear What I Hear", and Maggie had joined him, harmonizing. Margaret had mentioned loving Christmas music, and said it was a shame that it was never played before Thanksgiving. Hawkeye had said that it was Thanksgiving now, and started singing. Maggie had joined him, partly because he needed a harmony, but mostly because it had been so long since she had last used her voice like that. Jaws had dropped around the mess as she had accompanied Hawkeye in a lilting voice that caressed the cold and homesick crowd.

She smiled at the memory as she listened contentedly to the music wafting from the phonograph. Beethoven's 9th. Possibly the most volatile and beautiful piece ever written. Composed during a particularly bad episode of depression, caused by a bipolar disorder, it had dramatic ups and downs that built almost to a climax, only to drop off to sweet notes washing through the tent. Soon, it would build back up to a booming crescendo, and fall back down again. Maggie adored it.

Charles adored her. He knew that his family would have a hard time with his marrying an Irish physician, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He doubted that they'd try to stop him; they couldn't. She had not a trace of blue blood, and was like Hawkeye, in that she had certainly not gone into medicine to get rich.

Maggie studied him quietly. Something was bothering him, it was obvious by the deep crease in his brow. When she could remain silent no longer, she asked "What's wrong?"

He looked at her, troubled by how he was going to say it. "There's something I have to tell you, and I know I'm going to botch it up, so bear with me. I love you, Maggie, and I want to marry you. I know that we're from different countries, and I know that you probably don't want to leave your home any more than I want to leave mine. I don't want to have to leave Boston, my sister is there. But if it's the only--"

She cut him off, taking his hand between hers. "Charles, darling, I love you, too. But you don't need to be leaving Boston. There's nothing left for me in Ireland. My family is dead, except for my ex-husband, who hates me. Aye, I love the land there, and I'll never sell it, but I can still visit it." She held her breath, hoping that he wouldn't hold her first marriage against her, or the fact that she hadn't told him about it. When he showed no outward reaction, she pressed on. "If you be wantin' to marry me, I'd love to marry you. We can live next door to your sister if you want to."

He clasped her hand in his, not believing that things could actually work. There was one more thing. "There's one more thing, Maggie. I live in a society that might not accept you. I think they will, because they wouldn't dare to snub a Winchester. But I can't be certain that you won't encounter any snobs. In fact, I can guarantee that you will."

"Charles, love, I don't give a fig what people think. I never have. Will it matter to you?"

"Only if it hurts you. You think it won't, but what if it does later? Will you be sorry you married me?"

"Charles, we both love music. You listen to it, and I make it. Nobody can tell you there's only one song worth singing. You've got to make your own kind of music, even if nobody else sings along. Do you understand? I don't give a damn what people say. And I'll never regret being with you."

He closed his eyes and buried his face in her hair.

*Christmas Eve, in the mess tent*

Charles and Maggie shared a table with Potter, Father Mulcahy, Klinger, Hawkeye and Margaret. BJ was playing Santa for the kids.

Maggie stood up and so did Father Mulcahy. "Excuse me, everybody. There's a song that I'd be wantin' you to hear." Maggie cleared her throat, and Father Mulcahy sat at the piano, for once playing extremely well, doubtlessly due to Maggie's relentless badgering of him to memorize it. She stood a bit straighter, and began to sing. She sang words in Gaelic that nobody but she understood, but it was beautiful. When she finished, she held up a hand to quiet the murmurs or approval. "I recently gave a friend a spot of advice, so I decided I'd best be following it. I composed that meself, following my own order to 'make me own kind of music.' " She smiled down at Charles, whose eyes were glistening.

"I love you," he mouthed.

"I love you back," she whispered, squeezing his hand.


Potter, BJ, Hawkeye and Margaret occupied a table in the Officers Club, each absently swirling the booze filling their glasses. Charles and Maggie sat together in a corner table for two, heads bent, talking. Each was thinking his or her own private thoughts about their impending marriage. Finally, Potter spoke up. "They have so many obstacles in their path." When nobody agreed with or disputed the point, he continued. "Logic says they'll never make it."

Margaret laced her fingers through Hawkeye's, and smiled over at Charles and Maggie, who were oblivious. She answered Potter. "Love says they will."

The End

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