Hawkeye chuckled and repeated Trapper's question to Margaret. "He wants to know if there's something going on over here that I'm not telling him."

"Well, there's a war going on." Margaret replied with a mischievous smile. "But I'm sure he knows about that."

"Hawkeye?" Trapper's voice raised slightly with excitement.

"Yes, Trap." Hawkeye's voice remained neutral.

"Did Margaret just make a joke?" His friend questioned in disbelief.

"That's right, Trap." Hawkeye confirmed, a smile tugging at his lips.

"Hawkeye what is going on over there?" Trapper pressed his tone eager. "Is there something going on between you and Margaret?"

"Just a minute, I'll ask her." Hawkeye said mischievously. Looking at Margaret he asked. "Trapper wants to know if there is something going on between us."

"Between us?" Margaret repeated, pretending to be surprised by the question. "As in you and me?"

"That's right." Hawkeye confirmed, a huge smile on his face. Beside him BJ was doing his best to stifle a laugh, fearing that Trapper might catch his amusement. Radar merely stood watching, his eyes wide in wonder.

Margaret broke out into a boisterous laugh and took the phone from Hawkeye. Giving Hawkeye and BJ a sly smile she said into the phone. "Hi, McIntyre."

"Margaret, hi?" Trapper exclaimed in complete surprise.

"I'm going to tell you something, McIntyre." Margaret said, forcing her tone to be serious. "And you'd better listen and listen well. The only thing going on between Hawkeye and I is this. I think that he is the most amazing, the most caring man that I have ever met and I am head over heels in love with him." She started handing the phone back to Hawkeye but then put it back to her mouth and added. "Oh, and one more thing, we're getting married in less than twelve hours." With that she promptly handed the phone back to Hawkeye.

Hawkeye, his own eyes wide at her comments, put the receiver to his ear and said with uncertainty in his voice. "Trapper?" When there was no response he added. "Hello? Hello? Trapper, are you still there?" All he heard was the gasps and grunts of a shocked Trapper John McIntyre. Addressing Margaret he said. "I think he's either having a heart attack or a stroke, I'm not sure which." Turning back to Trapper he admonished his buddy. "Take a couple slow, deep breaths. Nice and easy. Are you going to be okay?"

"Would Margaret mind repeating what she had just said?" Trapper finally managed to squeak out. "I think we had a bad connection."

"A bad connection?" Hawkeye repeated, an amused smile on his face.

"Yeah," Trapper confirmed. "I could have sworn that she said that she was in love with you and that you were getting married."

"Is that what you heard?" Hawkeye commented in a tone of disbelief, giving Margaret another sly wink. "Here, listen again." Handing the phone to Margaret he said. "He wants you to repeat what you said. He doesn't think that he heard you right."

"What does he think he heard?" Margaret asked, playing along with her friend's game.

"He thinks he heard you say that you were in love with me and that we were getting married." Hawkeye told her, then covering the phone he added in a low tone.

"A subject I'd like to discuss with you later."

Margaret gave him a look of surprise, which quickly turned to one of amusement as she commented. "I'd better clear this up!" As she put the phone to her ear BJ almost fell off the desk as he tried to control his building laughter. "McIntyre?"

"Yeah?" Trapper waited expectantly.

"Now listen very carefully." Margaret told him, a large grin on her beautiful face. "I'm only going to say this one more time."

"Okay." Her listener replied.

"What I said was..." She paused for a moment before repeating what she'd said before. "...That the only thing going on between Hawkeye and I is that I think that he is the most amazing, the most caring man that I have ever met and that I am head over heels in love with him."

"And?" Trapper pressed almost breathlessly after she'd finished talking.

"And what?" She asked innocently, giving Hawkeye a sly wink.

"And what?!" Trapper exclaimed with great confusion. "Didn't you say that you and he were getting married in less than twelve hours?"

"Did I say that?" She questioned lightly, looking at the three men in the room with her for mock confirmation. "Yeah, I guess I did, not that that's big news or anything." She finished nonchalantly.

"Not big news?" Trapper commented in disbelief. "That isn't just big news that's an earth-shattering revelation. I never would have thought in a million years that you two would make a match of it!"

"Well, you know what they say, McIntyre." Margaret chuckled gently. "Never say never."

As Trapper attempted to digest what appeared to be the reality of Hawkeye and Margaret's engagement, Margaret handed the phone back to Hawkeye.

"So, Trap, what's new on your end?" Hawkeye asked, a mild chuckle in his tone.

"My end?" Trapper repeated blankly as he tried to gather his racing thoughts. "I, uh, I've just been appointed Chief of Thoracic surgery at the hospital...your actually marrying 'Hot Lips' Houlihan?"

Hawkeye bristled slightly at Margaret's old nickname. "Her name is Margaret." He corrected his tone firm and serious. Margaret chuckled slightly, realizing how McIntyre must have referred to her. She was very surprised that Hawkeye was so upset by the old nickname. After all he had used it on many occasions himself.

"Sorry." Trapper apologized, slightly taken aback by his friend's angry tone.

"So, what hospital do you work at now?" Hawkeye asked, changing the subject.

"Massachusetts General." Trapper replied causing Hawkeye's jaw to plummet towards the floor in surprise.

"Massachusetts General?" Hawkeye repeated, looking at Margaret and BJ, his eyes wide. "The one in Massachusetts?"

Trapper chuckled slightly. "As far as I know that's the one. Why?"

Hawkeye let out a hearty laugh causing Margaret, BJ, Radar and Trapper to wonder what was wrong with him.

"What is it, Hawk?" BJ pressed, dying to know what his buddy found so amusing.

Hawkeye tried to catch his breath so that he could explain, but only ended up going into another peal of amused laughter. Margaret tried to get the phone from him so she could ask Trapper what he'd said to make Hawkeye laugh so hard, but Hawkeye wouldn't let her have it. Finally, with tears of laughter running down his cheeks he tried to explain to his friends the reason for his great amusement.

"Guess who was just appointed Chief of Thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General?"

Margaret's eyes opened wide as she said in disbelief. "Not Trapper?" Hawkeye nodded his head as he, Margaret and BJ all started laughing heartily.

"I don't believe it!" BJ exclaimed, deeply enjoying the irony of the situation. "Oh, we've got to tell Charles."

"Oh, this is going to be good!" Hawkeye remarked as he rubbed his hands together in anticipation.

"Would you mind telling be what's so damn funny about me being appointed Chief of Thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General?" The man on the other end of the phone line asked in exasperation.

"It's not your being appointed that's so funny." His friend assured him. "It's the fact that Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester the Snob has been moping around here for the past two days because his name was withdrawn from the list of candidates because his current address is Post Office Box Korea."

"Charles Winchester?" Trapper questioned, his brow raising slightly in surprise. "As in Charles Winchester of the Boston Winchesters?"

"That's right." Hawkeye nodded. "He's the doctor who replaced Frank and he was hoping to get the position at Massachusetts General. In fact he was so upset that he didn't get it that he refused to talk to anyone in camp, that is until Beej and I loosened his tongue."

"What did you do?" Trapper laughed expectantly.

"We got Radar to give him a phony telegram addressed from the hospital telling him that they were appalled by the decision of the committee and would be glad to consider his among the candidates." Hawkeye told him.

"And that loosened his tongue?" Trapper commented.

"Especially after I told him that Beej and I had written it." His friend related. "He did more that talk then, he yelled."

"I'll bet!" His friend laughed with amusement.

"Then he gave us a beer shower." BJ added loud enough for Trapper to hear.

Margaret laughed. "That's why you two smelled so strongly of beer when I met you coming out of the Officer's Club. You smelled like you'd gone swimming in a beer keg."

"I think if Charles had of had his way we would have been drowning in a beer keg." BJ laughed gently.

"Sounds like you and Hunnicutt are just as bad a pair as you and I are." Trapper commented a hint of jealousy in his voice.

Hawkeye looked at his best friend and laughed. "Oh, yeah. Beej and I manage to scare up some fun now and then."

"I'll say." Margaret echoed her wholehearted agreement to that statement.

"I wouldn't talk, Darling." Hawkeye looked at her and laughed. "I seem to remember you scaring up some fun yourself on occasion."

"Like when?" She asked innocently, returning the smile he was giving her. What Hawkeye had called her 'Darling' she had started slightly, surprised as how nice it sounded to hear him address her in such a way.

"How about the time you had Klinger give Beej and I an impromptu shower in the middle of the compound." He commented.

"Hey, that was your fault!" She objected eagerly. "You were the ones that had refused to shower because of Charles' stupid horn. I was just trying to bring some peace not to mention clean air for the rest of us."

"What about stealing our clothes while we were in the shower." BJ added, a mock angry look on his face.

"She stole your clothes while you were in the shower?" Trapper exclaimed in surprise.

"Not only that." Hawkeye added, a wicked glance at the Major before him. "She then camped out in the 'Swamp' with the rest of the nursing staff awaiting our grand entrance!"

"I don't believe it!" Trapper exclaimed in disbelief. "Margaret?"

"That's right." Hawkeye confirmed his eyes sparkling with mischief as he looked at Margaret and slyly added. "Margaret - Major Houlihan-soon-to-be-Pierce herself." Margaret returned his smile with an amused one of her own.

"Boy, things sure have changed there." Trapper remarked, shaking his head in disbelief.

"What can I say." Hawkeye quipped. "The characters keep changing in this Korean theater and so do the actors."

"That reminds me." Trapper commented curiously. "When did Frank leave?"

"Um, Frank left about...what?" He looked at his friends. "About six or seven months ago. It was right after Margaret got married..."

Back | Forward