"Ready?" Brad asked Hawkeye as he pulled his car into a driveway.
Hawkeye looked over at his friend, a confused look in his eye. "What?" During the last hour of the trip into Boston he couldn't get his mind off a certain blond Major that had turned his life not to mention his heart upside down. He was just picturing the way she'd looked the last time he'd seen her, how soft her lips were when he'd kissed her, how she'd just seemed to melt into his arms as he held her.
Ever since his conversation with BJ the day before his thoughts were even more filled with Margaret. With the prospect of actually locating her ahead of him, he couldn't help but remember what his life had been like since he'd met her and would be like with her in it again - forever.
"Are you ready?" Brad repeated, giving his friend a look of concern.
"Yeah, sure." Hawkeye replied with great uncertainty. He took a deep breath and got out of the car.
"How do I look?" Brad asked for the hundredth time as they walked up the path to the door. "Do I look all right?"
"You look fine." Hawkeye chuckled gently. "Carrie won't know what hit her."
"Neither will Carrie's cousin." Brad returned the compliment. Then ringing the doorbell he added apologetically. "I'm sorry I forgot her name. I know Carrie told me, but I can't seem to remember it. I think it starts with a 'B' - Babette...no, Bernadette or maybe it was Harriet, I don't remember. I swear some days if my head wasn't attached to the rest of me I'd lose it."
"It's okay, Brad." Hawkeye assured his friend gently. "I'm sure she'll be able to tell me what it is. It's not like it's imperative that I know it before I meet her."
Before Brad could reply the door opened, revealing a very elegantly dressed young woman.
"Brad!" The woman exclaimed with delight as she flung her arms around his neck.
"Hello Carrie." Brad smiled broadly and then bent down to brush a kiss on her smiling lips. Hawkeye's heart gave a painful beat as he thought again of the last woman that he'd kissed. Boy did he miss her!
"Come in." Carried urged, stepping aside and letting the two men in.
"Carrie, I believe you remember Dr. Pierce." Brad remarked as he gestured to his friend.
"Ah, yes." Carrie smiled warmly and extended her hand. "It's Harry, isn't it?"
"Hawkeye." The young man corrected with a gentle smile as he shook her hand.
"Hawkeye." She repeated and then gestured for them to take a seat.
"Are you girls about ready?" Brad asked as he settled himself on the couch. "We should be going before too long. Dinner suppose to start at seven."
"I'm ready." Carrie replied. "I think Magpie is too." She headed towards the staircase that led to the upstairs floor. Standing at the foot she called up. "Magpie, are you ready? Our dates are here."
"Magpie?" Hawkeye whispered to Brad, a mischievous smirk on his face. "Your right Brad. Her name is either Babette or Harriet." Before Brad could reply there was a response from 'Magpie' upstairs which caused the teasing expression on Hawkeye's face to change dramatically.
"I'll be right down." The voice called.
Hawkeye rose slowly, his eyes fixed on the staircase, waiting for the appearance of the woman that belonged to the voice. Was he imagining things? Was his longing for her so strong that he was starting to hear her now? He walked slowly, as if in a dream, until he finally caught a glimpse of her coming down the stairs. At the sight of her he froze, the only thing about him that moved was his heart and it was now working at triple the normal rate. He was starting to feel very light headed all of a sudden.
When the young woman reached the bottom of the stairs she caught sight of who was standing in the doorway of the living room. She too froze at the sight of the man that she had been trying for months to forget, but had not been able. She couldn't believe that he was standing there, just a few feet away, his eyes fixed firmly on hers. It was like one of her many dreams. Gently and unnoticeably she pinched herself to make sure that she wasn't dreaming.
"Magpie, I'd like you to meet Brad's friend from work Dr. Hawkeye Pierce." Carrie's voice slowly penetrated the frozen couple's thoughts. "Dr. Pierce, may I present my cousin, Margaret Houlihan, formerly a Major in the United States army."
"Margaret." Hawkeye finally managed to whisper his tone full of pent-up emotions. Margaret, who picked up on them immediately, felt her heart skip again.
"Hawkeye." She whispered, as she tried to keep her own emotions in check, but Hawkeye could still read her feelings like usual. He felt his heart skip.
They stood staring at each other for another moment before, without another word, they almost ran into each other's arms, kissing like they had done the last time they had seen each other. This time, however, the kiss was full of mutual love and longing, which had been kept in for so long.
Carrie and Brad looked at each other in shocked surprise. Neither of them could believe what they were seeing.
"What is going on here?" Carrie whispered urgently to Brad as they watched the couple kissing hungrily.
"I wish I knew!" Brad commented, just as perplexed as his girlfriend was.
"I've never seen Margaret do anything like this before." Carrie added, her eyes widening as she watched them.
Finally the pair came up for air, but unlike the last time they kissed, neither one stepped away from the other. It was as if neither one of them wanted to let go - ever.
"Shall we go?" Hawkeye finally asked, his voice still husky from all the emotions that wanted to pour out.
"Let's." Margaret nodded, her eyes reflecting all the feelings she was trying to control. Loosening her hold on Hawkeye she looped her arm through his and turned to look at her bewildered cousin. With a gentle smile she asked. "Are you ready?"
"Ah, yeah, we're, ah, we're ready." Carrie stumbled, her tone showing her surprise. She'd never seen anything like she had just witnessed, especially not from her cousin. She couldn't believe it. And Dr. Pierce, what was with him? Carrie just couldn't figure it out.
Putting his arm securely around Margaret's waist, Hawkeye turned and led her out of the house with Brad and Carrie following closely behind, eyeing them both carefully.