"Wait a minute!" Trapper interrupted. "Margaret got married already this year? To who? Not Frank I take it?"
"No." Hawkeye quickly replied, a sharp edge to his voice. He still couldn't think of Frank Burns or Donald Penobscott without a strong surge of anger or annoyance. "Margaret married a Lieutenant Colonel that was stationed in Tokyo. But he ended up being a real live jackass. Cheated on her right, left and center."
"Like she was doing with Frank Burns on his wife." Trapper pointed out honestly.
Hawkeye bristled slightly at his friend's comment. He knew that Trapper was right, but it was still a very cold and unfeeling thing for him to say. After all, he wasn't exactly innocent of such things himself. Letting the comment slide he instead continued his story. "Anyway, after Penobscott got himself transferred to San Francisco without letting Margaret know she decided to divorce him."
"And now she's marrying you." Trapper remarked with an ironic chuckle. "The biggest Romeo-wanna-be of the 4077th."
"Actually not anymore, my friend." Hawkeye informed him seriously as he looked almost longingly at Margaret. "My nurse chasing days are over. I've hung up my running shoes. From now on I'm a one nurse doctor."
Margaret felt her heart beat a little quicker at Hawkeye's comment. She had noticed that lately Hawkeye had greatly curbed his nurse chasing antics, but she wasn't sure the reason behind it. Trapper too was curious on this subject causing him to ask:
"Why the sudden change? Old age catching up with you?"
"Nope." Hawkeye replied as he unconsciously reached out and touched Margaret's cheek gently. "I just finally caught my favorite nurse." Without thinking Margaret reached up and placed her hand over Hawkeye's, giving him a soft smile. BJ and Radar exchanged looks of surprise as the other pair suddenly realized what they were doing and blushed hotly as they dropped their hands away from the other.
"Well, I must say that I'm eager to hear all the juicy details." Trapper commented expectantly, bringing his friend back to the present.
Before Hawkeye could reply the operator came on to inform them that their time was just about up.
"I got to go, Hawk." Trapper said, his tone sorrowful.
"It was great to hear from you, Trap." Hawkeye told his friend sincerely. "And we'll be sure to tell Charles of your new position at Massachusetts General. You may even be able to hear his reaction as far as Boston."
"I wouldn't be surprised." Trapper chuckled slightly. "And by the way, congratulations, Hawk. I'm sure you and Margaret will be very happy together. You tell her I said to make sure she takes good care of you."
"I will." Hawkeye assured him, looking at Margaret again for a moment before adding. "And you take care, you hear."
"You too." Trapper remarked seriously. "Come home in one piece. Don't make a young widow out of Margaret, okay. And tell her I look forward to kissing the bride when you get back."
"I'll tell her." Hawkeye promised with a chuckle this time giving Margaret a mischievous wink. "And hey, send me a letter sometime. Let me know what you're up to."
"I will." Trapper assured him. "And make sure you send me one giving me a low down on you and Margaret. This is one story I got to hear, you miserable fink."
"Talk to you later, Trap." Was Hawkeye's only reply.
"Bye, Hawk." Trapper returned as the two men were disconnected.
Hawkeye stared at the phone for a minute, his mind going at break neck speed until BJ's voice finally broke in.
"So, how's the infamous Trapper John McIntyre?"
"Huh?" Hawkeye looked at his bestfriend blankly for a moment, causing BJ to repeat his question.
"Trapper, how's he doing?"
"Trapper?" Hawkeye repeated, still slightly puzzled. Finally the name sunk in. "Oh, he's fine. Just got that promotion." Hawkeye paused for a moment, looking at Margaret. Suddenly he slid off the desk and grabbed Margaret's hand. Pulling her out of her chair he said to BJ and Radar. "Will you two excuse us for a moment, there is something of major importance that I have to discuss with the Major."
Margaret shot BJ and Radar an extremely puzzled look as Hawkeye pulled her into Potter's vacant office. Once the two were alone she looked at him and questioned curiously. "What was that all about?"
Hawkeye paced before her for a few minutes before turning to look at her. After running his fingers through his hair in agitation he finally decided to voice what was on his mind.
"Margaret, there's something that I want to tell you. Something that I need to tell you."
"What is it?" She prompted curiously as she looked into his eager face.
Taking a deep breath he continued. "Margaret, everything that I told Trapper was the truth. Somewhere along the line I have become a one nurse doctor. I mean I know I still date some of the nurses here, but in reality there is only one nurse that really means anything to me." He stepped a little closer to her and said softly.
"You're that 'one nurse' that I want to be the doctor for." At Margaret's surprised expression he continued. "I don't know exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the line I fell in love with you..."
"You did?" Margaret remarked with surprise to which Hawkeye nodded. Taking another hesitant step towards her he placed his hands on her arms and looked deeply into her eyes.
"Margaret I think that you are the most amazing, the most wonderful woman that I have ever met." He paused for a moment before adding. "I have never felt this way about another woman in my life. All you have to do is walk into the room and my heart spins and my head feels like it's going to pound right through my chest." Margaret couldn't help by smile at his feeble attempt at a joke. He paused for another moment, trying to figure out what to say next. Finally he decided to just lay it out on the line. "Do you think that there's any possibly future for us?" Margaret's smile broadened slightly as her own heart started beating wildly. That was a question that she'd been asking herself for months. Anytime she'd thought of having to leave him behind for some reason she felt a pang of sickening fear wash over her. Now that she and Hawkeye had gotten so close she couldn't imagine life without him.
Before she could tell him any of this though he rambled on, his tongue nearly tripping over his words. "I understand if you don't feel the same way about me as I do about you. I mean after all those nasty stunts that I pulled on you, you have every reason to hate me. But I was kind of hoping that we could..." Margaret did the only think that she could think of to shut him up - she kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck as she did so.
Hawkeye, extremely surprised by her unexpected act of affection, responded the best he could, lifting his hand to the back of her head as they kissed. When they finally broke apart he looked at her and asked. "Uh, what just happened here?"
"I was trying to shut you up." She replied, her eyes dancing with fun. "You wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise."
"I'll have to remember that." He remarked with a nervous chuckle. "Shall we try again."
"Don't you want to hear my answer to your question?" Margaret asked with an amused smile.
"Later." Hawkeye said. "In case it's bad news I want to have something to remember your lips by."
Margaret smiled but didn't comply. Instead said rather firmly. "What I was going to say, Captain is that I think there is a very good chance that we could have a future together."
"You do?" Hawkeye looked at her, his eyes wide with surprise and his heart beating expectantly.
"It might shock you to hear this." Margaret commented, sliding her arms around his neck again. "But I told McIntyre the truth about you. I happen to be very much in love with you."
Hawkeye's eyes sparkled mischievously as he put his arms around her again. "You are, are you?"
"You'd better believe it, buster." She smiled broadly. "Now kiss me you fool." She said with a chuckle. "And that's an order."
"First order I ever obeyed." He murmured as he lowered his lips to meet hers. Both were oblivious to Radar's shocked exclamation from the other room.
"Holy smokes!" He exclaimed as he and BJ watched the pair through the windows of Colonel Potter's door. BJ merely grinned delightedly as he watched the new couple kiss.
Boston, Massachusetts - McIntyre Dwelling.
Trapper hung up the receiver and stared at it for a moment.
"So, how's everyone at the 4077th." Trapper's wife asked as she set a plate of food down on the table in front of him.
"Very good." He replied as he sat down at the table. "And you're not going to believe what I learned." Quickly he related to her how Charles Winchester had been one of the candidates for the Chief of Thoracic Surgery position, but had been eliminated because he was in Korea. He also told her the surprising news about his buddy and their former Head Nurse.
Louise gave him an amused smile as she placed a cup of coffee on the table beside his plate. "I told you that a lot could happen in a year."
Trapper looked at her and returned her amused smile. Popping a piece of meatloaf into his mouth he thought back to the events of the last hour. He was glad that he had caught the interview on television that night. He was glad that he had finally made contact again with his old buddy, to finally find out just how he was doing.
He let his thoughts wander back to the memories that he had of his year stay at the 4077th. He couldn't help but smile when he thought of all the pranks that he and Hawkeye had played on Frank Burns. One of his favorite was the time that they had crated Frank in his sleep. The panic in Frank's voice when he realized what they'd done to him was priceless.
Another memory that stood out in his mind was the time that he and Hawkeye had tried to break up Frank and Margaret's little romance to teach them a lesson. He loved the look on their faces when they found them in Margaret's bed. Margaret! He shook his head slightly as another memory came to mind. It was one that he hadn't really recalled at the time, but that his subconscious had obviously picked up on. It was a little incident that had occurred during a picnic that they'd had to raise money for the orphans. The officers had gotten into a game of tug-of-war against the enlisted and most of the participants had ended up landing in the mud. He clearly pictured Margaret and Hawkeye squirming and laughing together, completely covered in mud. Just as he slipped and started heading for the mud pit, Hawkeye had put his arm around Margaret's waist and pulled her protectively to him. Trapper wondered why he hadn't remembered that before. Was it possible that his best friend had actually been attracted to their Head Nurse even then? He remembered Hawkeye's words after he, Margaret and Klinger had returned from helping out at an Aid station. 'A man and a woman can have a constructive relationship that's built on mutual respect.' Hawkeye had gravely informed him. Suddenly he felt very anxious for Hawkeye's letter to arrive.
Lifting the coffee cup he made a silent toast to his long distant friends. To Hawk and Margaret... He thought, chuckling slightly to himself. Margaret Pierce. Well I never would have believed. Lifting his cup again he said to himself. To Hawk and Margaret and to the wonderful years they have ahead of them. As he took a sip from his cup his heart said a silent prayer of thanks that he had seen the interview that night and had been reminded of that distant place that he'd once called home.