He ran across the compound and rushed into the 'Swamp'. Inside he almost pounced on the sleeping Hawkeye in his excitement.
"Hawkeye! Hawk!" He shook the sleeping doctor rather roughly.
"Leave me alone." Hawkeye mumbled, still half asleep. "I've already been drafted."
"Telephone, Hawkeye." Radar pressed, continuing to shake his sleeping friend. "It's from the States."
"Telephone? The States?" Hawkeye repeated, opening one eye to look at Radar questioningly. "What time is it?"
"About three-thirty." Radar replied anxiously.
Hawkeye closed his eye and rolled onto his side, putting his back to Radar. "Unless it's President Truman apologizing for sending me to his place forget it."
"Hawkeye, its Trapper." Radar informed him.
Hawkeye rolled back so he could see the other man's face. "Trapper John McIntyre?" Radar nodded in confirmation. Hawkeye threw back the covers and jumped out of bed. "Why didn't you say so before." Grabbing his robe and his boots he quickly rushed out the door.
As the pair headed to Radar's office they spotted a lone figure anxiously pacing the compound a few feet away. When Hawkeye noticed the look of extreme agitation on the pacer's face he stopped in his tracks and turned to address her.
"Margaret?" He called as he walked quickly towards her.
She looked at him blankly for a moment before giving him a weak smile. "Oh, hi Hawk."
"Is everything alright?" He asked her, his tone full of concern.
"Yes...no...everything's fine." She quickly replied, though she refused to make eye contact with him.
"Margaret." Hawkeye scolded gently. "You can't fool me, you know that." He put his hands on her arms and forced her to look at him. "Now what's the matter? Something is obviously bothering you."
She was about to deny it again, but when she saw the concern in his face her resolve broke down and she finally exclaimed her tone fearful. "Oh, Hawkeye, I don't know what to do."
Hawkeye felt his heart go out to her as he noted the fear in her expression. "Did you have another nightmare about Donald?" He pressed gently.
Margaret hesitated for a moment before she slowly nodded her head. "Hawkeye I don't know what to do." She admitted desperately. "I'm...I'm scared of what he's going to do. He was so angry when he got the divorce papers..."
"What right does he have to be angry?" Hawkeye exclaimed in annoyed disbelief. "He's the one that ran out on you."
"I know, but he blames me for everything that happened between us." Margaret told him honestly. "He said that if I had been a better wife then he wouldn't have left me." There was a look in her eyes that Hawkeye had never seen before. It could almost be described as vulnerable.
Hawkeye felt his anger rising towards the uncaring man who had managed to crush her spirit so much, who had taken the fire from her eyes and who had left nothing but feelings of betrayal and confusion behind. Ever since Margaret had first turned to him with the news of Donald's desertion and her subsequent decision to divorce him he had silently set himself up as her comforter and protector. It was an easy thing for him to do since he was always deeply concerned for the welfare of his friends and over the last few months he and Margaret had become very good friends. In fact, unbenounced to anyone, he had secretly fallen in love with the blond haired Head Nurse who not so long ago had been nothing but a thorn in his fun-loving side. But life and war had changed them both, slowly closing the gap of difference that used to lie between them. And it was due to his changing feelings for Margaret that he was greatly angered by Donald Penobscott's callous treatment of her.
Putting a reign on his temper he instead commented calmly and gently. "Margaret, you have to forget about him. Put him out of your mind, he's not worth it."
"But what if he decides to get back at me for divorcing him?" Margaret exclaimed desperately, her eyes spilling over with fear again. She quickly averted them so that he couldn't see her expression.
"Margaret." He said softly, waiting for her to look at him again. When she did he continued. "Don't worry about him. You have a camp full of people to look out for you. Plus you have my personal guarantee that nothing will happen to you." Margaret gave him a soft smile. "There's no way I'd let him harm such a close personal friend as you." He added as he returned her smile.
"Thank you." She replied as she gently slid her arms around his waist. "I appreciate your concern, I really do. You are a great friend, Hawkeye. I'd say that you've turned out to be one of the best friends I've ever had."
He pulled her into his arms and hugged her to him. "I promise that louse won't get anywhere near you." He said and pressed a couple of soft kisses against her hair. Margaret responded by tightening her arms around his waist, relishing the feeling of his arms around her. There wasn't anything else in the world that made her feel so safe and loved as having Hawkeye hold her in his arms.
After a few moments Hawkeye pulled back and looked into her smiling face, a mischievous look on his.
"What is it?" She asked, recognizing the look immediately. "What are you thinking?"
"I think I may have just the solution for your bout of blues." He remarked, his smile growing as he continued to mentally hatch his plan.
Margaret gave him a mischievous smile of her own. "What did you have in mind?"
"How would you like to help me play a good joke on an old friend of mine." He asked, still grinning.
"Who?" She asked expectantly.
"Trapper." Was his simple reply.
"Trapper?" Margaret repeated in surprise. "As in Trapper John McIntyre?"
"The one and only." Hawkeye nodded excitedly. "What do you think his reaction would be if we told him say...oh, I don't know, maybe the good news of our upcoming wedding?"
"Our upcoming wedding?" She repeated with an amused chuckle to which Hawkeye nodded. "Okay, sure, but two questions: how are you planning on telling him about our so-called 'wedding'?" Then glancing at her watch she added. "And why are you telling him about it at three-thirty in the morning?"
"Because he's on the phone right now." Hawkeye explained as he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards Radar's office.
"He is?" She exclaimed in amazement. "McIntyre's on the phone? Why I haven't heard from his since the day he left for home."
"Well I haven't heard from his since the day I left for R&R before he left for home." Her friend told her as he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards Radar's office.
"You're kidding!" She exclaimed, her eyes wide with surprise. "I thought you guys would have kept in better touch, especially since you were such good friends here."
"So would I." Was his only remark as he opened the door and ushered her into Radar's office. Then with two long strides he reached the desk and grabbed the phone.
"Trap?" He greeted uncertainly.
"Hawk, hi!" The other man greeted instantly, his tone full of delight at hearing his old friend's voice. "Where were you, Seoul?"
"No, I was in the 'Swamp' - sleeping!" Hawkeye replied, a broad smile lighting up his face. He sat down on the edge of Radar's desk as Margaret sank down in Radar's chair. "So, how's life back in the States? Glad to be a civilian again?"
"Things are great here." Trapper replied. "Louise is good and the girls are growing like little weeds. How's things on your end?"
"Oh, things are going as well as can be expected." Hawkeye commented as he gave Margaret a mischievous wink. He couldn't help but smile as she reached over and took his hand in hers and gave it a supportive squeeze, indicating her compliance with his devious little plan.
"Well, I must say you're looking good." Trapper commented, causing his friend to frown in confusion.
"How would you know?" Hawkeye asked curiously. "Do you have a high powered spy glass or something?"
"No, I know because I saw you on television tonight." His friend replied.
"You did?" Hawkeye broke out into a huge grin. "You saw Clete Robert's interview I gather."
"Yup, it was on just a little while ago."
"Ah, so that's the reason for the sudden phone call." The receiver of the call teased with a hearty chuckle. "I was wondering why you called so out-of-the-blue."
"Hey, I missed you." Trapper protested. "I was also wondering how you were getting along without me."
"Oh, I'm struggling." He joked, giving Margaret another sly wink.
"So what sort of riffraff do you hang out with now?" Trapper asked curiously. "What's my replacement like? Hunnicutt's his name, isn't it?"
"That's right." Hawkeye confirmed with a smile. "BJ Hunnicutt."
"So, what's he like?" Trapper pressed. "I have a feeling from the fact that he likes to pull practical jokes on people as a form of relaxation that he's not another Frank Burns."
Hawkeye laughed at the thought of his best friend being like old 'Ferret Face'. "No, Beej is a good egg - funny, caring, easy going. I couldn't have asked for a better tentmate, present companies excepted of course." Margaret gave him an amused smile at the comment.
"Is he a good doctor?" Trapper asked, trying to find out all he could about his replacement.
"One of the best." Hawkeye quickly replied. Then in a teasing tone he added. "Next to me, of course."
Just then the outside door to Radar's office opened and in rushed BJ, a look of concern on his face followed by Radar.
"Speak of the Devil." Hawkeye commented to Margaret and Trapper.
"Hunnicutt just walk in?" Trapper asked, wondering what Hawkeye was meaning.
"Yeah." Hawkeye confirmed as his best friend addressed Margaret.
"Is everything okay?" His tone matching his expression. "When I woke up and found Hawk gone I thought something was up. Then when I bumped into Radar he told me he was on the phone to the States and I got worried that something might be wrong. Is everything alright?"
Margaret smiled and nodded. "Hawk just got a late night phone call from Trapper."
"Trapper?" BJ repeated with a great surprise. Glancing at his watch to confirm the time he added. "At 3:30 in the morning?"
"He just watched the interview with Clete Roberts and thought he'd give him a call." Margaret explained as BJ gave a sigh of relief.
Sitting down on the edge of Radar's desk beside his friend he said. "I'm glad it's nothing serious."
"Hey, Hawk." Trapper commented, his tone full of excitement.
"Yes, Trap." His friend replied, recognizing the tone in his friend's voice.
"Is that Margaret's voice I hear?" The other man asked curiously.
"That's right, Trap?" Hawkeye smiled greatly anticipating the conversation that was coming.
"What's she doing there?" Trapper exclaimed curiously. "Is she there with you or is she just in Radar's office at 3:30 in the morning because she has nothing better to do, like sleeping."
"Well, she's here with me, and Beej and Radar." Hawkeye replied, giving Margaret, BJ and Radar a huge grin indicating his great amusement. The three of them looked at him expectantly.
"That reminds me, what was all that business about Margaret being really something on the interview tonight?" Trapper asked, his tone deeply curious. "Is there something going on over there that you're not telling me?"