"I wanted to ask you something while McIntyre's gone." Charles commented, his tone suddenly serious.
"Shoot." Margaret encouraged and then smiled sheepishly as her two companions visibly cringed at the word. "What is it?" She rephrased.
"I was wondering if you though that Hunnicutt and his family would be interested in coming into Boston for a day while they're here?" Charles asked, almost hesitantly. "I thought perhaps we could get together, have dinner maybe see the sights. You and Margaret are invited too. Do you think they'd be interested?"
"I'm sure they would be, Charles!" Margaret replied eagerly. "How could you think otherwise. We would all love to spend the day with you. Wouldn't we Hawkeye?" When he didn't respond she jabbed him in the ribs sharply with her elbow.
"Of course we would." Hawkeye quickly assured his old tentmate. Then looking at the other man carefully he added. "I'm just surprised at the invitation, that's all. I was under the impression that when we left Korea you were leaving all of us behind for good, that you wanted nothing to do with any of us. What made you change your mind?"
"I didn't 'change my mind', Pierce." The other man replied slightly defensively. "I just thought that I'd be polite and extend a dinner invitation. If I'd have known that I would get the third degree about it I wouldn't have bothered."
"Charles, there's nothing wrong with admitting that we miss us." Hawkeye persisted with a small chuckle. "After all we did spend the last two years living in each other's back pocket."
"Don't get maudlin, Pierce." Charles scolded a little abruptly. "I merely extended a dinner invitation. I'm not begging you all to move in with me."
Hawkeye was going to press the issue further, but Trapper's return caused him to drop the subject.
"I'm sorry everyone." He exclaimed as he gathered his belongings. "But I'm afraid I have to go. Duty calls."
"Nothing serious I hope." Margaret remarked, a worried look on her face.
"No, nothing serious." He assured her. "A patient of mine just went into labor and will be at the hospital in a few minutes so I have to get back." Looking from Margaret to Hawkeye and back again he said. "It's been great to see you both again."
"It's been great seeing you again too, Trap." Hawkeye acknowledged as he rose and gave his old friend a warm hug.
"Make sure to keep in touch." Trapper admonished. "Let me know when the wedding is. That's one event I certainly don't want to miss."
"Don't worry, Trap." His friend assured him. "You're on the top of the list."
Trapper gave him a warm smile and then turned to Margaret and said. "It's been great seeing you again, Margaret. You be sure to take care of this big lug. He can be rather annoying at time, but he's pretty special to his friends."
"Don't I know it." She replied with feeling as she looked at her fiancee lovingly. Then looking back to Trapper she surprised him by rising to her feet and giving him a big hug. "It's been nice to see you too, Trapper. I'm glad that we ran into you."
"So am I." He returned as he hugged her back. Then as he released her he admonished. "Don't be a stranger, you hear. I hope to see more of both of you in the near future.
"We'll see what we can do." Margaret promised as she sat back down in her chair.
"I'll see you at the hospital, doctor." He commented to Charles.
"Doctor." Charles nodded in acknowledgment.
"Bye everyone." And with that he was gone.
"So that was the famous 'Trapper' John McIntyre." Charles commented as they watched the man leave. "He was a bit more civilized then I had expected."
"You sound disappointed, Charles." Hawkeye gave the other man a teasing smile.
"I must admit I am a bit." Winchester acknowledged honestly. "I expected more after the stories I'd heard at the 4077th about him. He certainly didn't live up to the reputation that he had in Korea."
"Well, give him a chance, Charles." Hawkeye admonished in defense of his friend. "After all he wasn't himself today."
"Oh?" Charles raised an eyebrow expectantly.
"That's right." Margaret nodded, her eyes sparkling with mischief. "He'd had quite a shock just before you arrived." The pair looked at each other and smiled with amusement.
"Would you two mind explaining what on earth you're talking about!" Charles requested with mild exasperation as he looked at the couple expectantly.
"You know how surprised you were when you found out that Hawkeye and I were engaged?" Margaret commented.
"Yes," Charles nodded slightly, waiting impatiently for the punch line.
"Well, Trapper was about ten times more surprised." Margaret told him with a mild chuckle.
"Well do you blame him?" Charles remarked echoing her chuckle. "From the stories I've heard about you two when you first came to Korea its no wonder the news of your engagement shocked him. I mean it surprised me and I was even there to witness that farewell kiss that you two exchanged."
Hawkeye and Margaret exchanged warm smiles. "That was some kiss wasn't it?" Hawkeye commented to her.
"To say the least." Was her reply.
"I wonder how the other's will react when they get word of your upcoming nuptials." Charles remarked with a slight smile on his face.
"With great surprise I'm sure." Hawkeye chuckled slightly.
"But sure to tell me what they said, will you Pierce." Charles requested with a broader smile. "I wouldn't want to miss that for all the 'landmines in Korea'."
"Are you sure you can't stay for the weekend." Carrie encouraged Margaret as she threw her stuff in the trunk of Brad's car. "You've only been here a couple of days."
"I know, Care." Margaret acknowledged, giving her cousin a warm smile. "But Hawk is on call starting tomorrow at the hospital and has to get back and I want to go with him." Glancing over at her fiancee for a moment she added. "After six months of separation I don't think I could stand another day."
Carrie followed her cousin's gaze, looking at her boyfriend sadly. "I can't say that I blame you."
Margaret smiled at her cousin and said in a light tone. "Maybe someday you'll be living in Crabapple Cove too." She reached over and grabbed her cousin's arm gently as she added. "Our children can play together like we use to."
Carrie smiled softly. "I'd like that." The cousin's hugged affectionately as Brad announced that they were ready to go.
"Call me after you get settled." Carrie admonished Margaret as she released her.
"I will." The other woman promised sincerely.
As Brad and Carrie were saying 'goodbye' Margaret stepped over to Hawkeye and slipped her arms around his waist. Hawkeye smiled at her and put his arm around her shoulders. "Well, this weekend has certainly turned out a lot differently than I had originally expected." He commented as he pulled her closer to him.
"For me too." She echoed, tightening her grip around his waist. Suddenly a thought struck Hawkeye and he started to chuckle with amusement. "What?" She asked expectantly, her own face developing an amused look. "What is it?"
"I was just wondering what Dad will say when he hears that I'm engaged to the woman that I met on a blind date." Margaret chuckled at the thought. Then he looked at her a little more seriously and said. "Never mind what my dad will say, what will yours say when he finds out that your engaged to a man that you 'met' on a blind date."
"I don't think I'll tell him that." Margaret commented, her expression sobering slightly. "He definitely wouldn't think much of that."
"So what are you going to tell him?" Hawkeye asked curiously.
"Actually, I don't think I will tell him until after the fact." She told him seriously.
Hawkeye looked at her with surprise. "You're not going to tell him you're engaged? Why not?"
"Because my father would have a fit that I'm not marrying an Army Colonel with West Point under his belt and a full pension when he retired." Margaret replied truthfully.
This caused Hawkeye to look at Margaret more seriously. He put both hands on her shoulders and turned her to look at him. "Are you sure that you wouldn't rather marry an Army Colonel with West Point under his belt and a full pension when he retired?" He searched her face closely as he asked the question.
Margaret's heart twisted slightly at the look in his eyes as he waited for her to reply. She gave him a smile as she reached up and slid her arms around his neck. "Hawkeye, I don't care about rank or West Point or any stupid pension. I love you. I love your warmth, your caring, your tenderness. I even love your annoying sense of humor. You're worth more to me than all the Colonel's in world. I love YOU, and nothing anybody thinks or says is going to change that." Then to prove it to him, she kissed him with all the love and feeling that she could express.
"Dad, I'm home!" Hawkeye exclaimed as he led Margaret into his house.
"I'm in the kitchen, son." Daniel Pierce called as Hawkeye looked at Margaret and put his finger to his lips. "How was your date?"
"It was okay." Hawkeye called from the entry as he set down his bags and Margaret's. Then he pulled Margaret into his arms and kissed her passionately for a moment. Margaret responded by wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him back. A few moments later a voice called from the kitchen.
"Hawk? Are you still out there? What are you doing?"