"Yes we have." Hawkeye nodded with a broad smile. "Beej is doing just fine. In fact he, Peg and Erin are coming out to Crabapple Cove to visit me this coming week."
"Really?" Margaret exclaimed in delight. "That'll be wonderful, I've been dying to meet Peg. I've heard so much about her. And Erin too, she must be growing like a little weed."
"She is." Hawkeye exclaimed as he fished is wallet out of his back pocket. "Beej sent me a family picture a few weeks ago." Flipping the wallet open he showed Margaret and Charles the photo of the Hunnicutts.
"I see Hunnicutt still has that cheesy mustache." Charles remarked with an amused smile.
"Yeah, I noticed that too." Hawkeye commented. "I completely expected Peg to insist on him getting rid of it when he got home. But apparently she likes it."
"No accounting for tasted I guess." Charles shot back.
Carrie's voice interrupted Hawkeye's retort. "So, am I to understand from your comment Margaret that you're going back to Crabapple Cove with Brad and Hawkeye?"
Margaret looked at her cousin and nodded. "That's right. Hawk says that I'll be able to get a job at the hospital there and I can stay with him and his father since they have plenty of room."
"If you're looking for a job, Margaret." Charles broke in. "I know that Boston Mercy is looking for a Head Surgical Nurse in the Pediatrics Department. They tend to go through a lot of nurses in that department. Seems the Chief Surgeon there just won't leave them alone. Maybe you could knock some sense into the man, I'm sure that you'd be a shoe in and, despite it's rather annoying Chief Surgeon, it's no doubt far better then any position you'd receive at Crabapple Cove's back woods hospital."
Margaret chuckled lightly at the comment, but after giving Hawkeye a loving smile looked back to her old comrade and replied. "Thanks for the offer, Charles but my life is in Crabapple Cove, not Boston. I'm sure any position I get there will be perfect."
Hawkeye smiled and put his arm around her again. He kissed the side of her head just as the waiters appeared with their meals.
"Look Margaret, real food!" Hawkeye joked as he eyed his plate carefully. He picked up his fork and skewered a piece of meat.
"Just promise me one thing, Pierce." Margaret commanded, her tone firm, but her eyes dancing as she placed a hand on his arm.
"What's that, Margaret?" He asked looking at her expectantly.
"Promise me you won't sniff your food." She warned. "You do and our engagement is off!"
Hawkeye chuckled in amusement. "For you, darling, anything." With a mischievous look he popped the piece of meat into his mouth.
"They stole your tent!" Carrie exclaimed in amazed disbelief. "Dr. Winchester and Hawkeye stole your tent?"
"And Hawk's best friend, BJ Hunnicutt was also in on it." Margaret added. "But of course Hawkeye was the ringleader, he always was."
"I still can't believe it! Dr. Winchester never struck me as the type that would pull tricks on people." Carrie commented, shaking her head in wonderment.
"Oh, believe me, he can be just as devious as Hawkeye can." Margaret laughed as she exchanged knowing looks with her old nemesis and new fiancee.
"Thank you, darling." Hawkeye commented sarcastically as he put his arm around her shoulders and then chuckled.
The four of them had just finished their supper and were enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee with their dessert. Charles had returned to sit with his family for his meal, but promised to rejoin them later. During dinner both Margaret and Hawkeye had been regaling Brad and Carrie with some of the funnier moments of life at the good old 4077th.
"I still can't believe that you two actually knew each other in Korea." Brad commented, his tone reflecting his amazement. "I mean out of the how many millions of people in the good old US of A how weird is it that I would ask Hawkeye to escort you to a charity dinner."
Margaret and Hawkeye looked at each other and smiled broadly. "I'm just glad that it did happen." Hawkeye commented gently. Then looking at Brad he said. "And I'm glad that you and Dad talked me into coming tonight. Sure beats staying home and being miserable."
"Miserable?" Margaret asked, her face showing concern. Hawkeye looked at her and nodded. "Miserable. Miserable and lonely...for you."
Margaret smiled lovingly at him and then leaned over to plant a quick kiss on his lips. "I've missed you too." She quickly told him. They smiled at each other for a moment before being interrupted by Charles' return.
"Margaret," Charles quickly addressed once he'd reached the table. "I was wondering if you would do me the honor of dancing the next dance with me."
Margaret looked up, a trifle surprised by the offer, but quickly gave her old friend a smile. "I would love to, Charles." She replied. Addressing the others she said. "We'll be right back."
Hawkeye jumped up quickly to help her out of her chair before Charles had the opportunity to do it. "Hurry back." He whispered as he planted a loving kiss on her cheek. "I'll miss you."
Looking into his eyes she saw a hint of apprehension in their blue depths. "I will." She promised and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. "Why don't you tell them about the time that Charles and I sent you and BJ streaking across the compound."
"How about I don't." Hawkeye remarked with a sly smile. "I could tell them about the time that BJ and I made Charles go bareback in the OR."
"How about you don't." Charles replied as he put a hand on Margaret's arm and directed her towards the dance floor.
Hawkeye watched as the pair moved towards the crowd of dancing couples and couldn't help the mild pang of jealousy that rose into his heart as he watched Charles put his arm around Margaret and pull her to him.
"You've gotten yourself quite a catch there, Hawk." Brad remarked gently, bringing his friend back to reality. "No wonder you were pining away for her so much."
"She's one in a million." Hawkeye agreed as he sat back down, still unable to tear his eyes off the couple on the dance floor.
Meanwhile, Charles, with his usual tact was voicing his rather bias view of Margaret's choice of lifemate.
"When I saw you, I was kind of hoping we could get together tomorrow and have lunch. I know this quaint little restaurant near Boston Mercy. The shrimp is to die for."
"Why, Charles that sounds lovely." Margaret replied eagerly, a warm smile brightening her face.
"Really?" Charles questioned hopefully.
"Sure, Hawk and I would love to have lunch with you tomorrow." Margaret assured him.
"You and Hawkeye." Charles repeated in dismay.
"Of course." Margaret nodded in confirmation. "I'm not about to leave him behind. We are engaged after all. Besides, I've missed him so much over the last six months that I may never let him out of my sight again."
"You may have to keep him in sight just to keep him out of trouble – or away from other woman. He does after all consider himself to be quite a Romeo."
"Oh, Charles, I'm not worried about that." Margaret replied dismissing the suggestion that Hawkeye would ever betray her.
"Even after what you went through with Donald?" Charles remarked in surprise.
"Hawkeye is nothing like Donald." Margaret retorted firmly. "He would never betray me the way Donald did."
"Are you sure?" Charles pressed, trying to work on whatever doubts may be lurking in the back of her mind. "He sure went through enough women in Korea."
"But he hasn't had a single date since he's been home." Margaret replied causing a look of surprise to spread across Charles' face. "He told me that he hasn't had the desire to go out with anyone because he couldn't get me out of his mind. Tonight was going to be his first date since Korea and he only agreed to come to get Brad and his dad off his back."
"And you believe him?" Charles asked, his tone incredulous.
"Charles, Hawkeye may have been a lot of things, but a liar was not one of them." Margaret replied, her tone rising slightly in anger. "He would never hurt anybody that he cared about and I know that he cares about me, that he loves me. And I love him."
"I hope that you're right, Margaret." His tone emphasizing his great doubts. "I really hope that you are right."