"She was the most incredible woman that I have ever known." Hawkeye continued, looking deeply into her eyes. "She was our Head Nurse. Beautiful, smart, hardworking...funny. When she let her guard down she had the most amazing sense of humor. I loved it. I loved her."
"What happened?" Margaret asked, knowing full well the events that had transpired, but not knowing why he hadn't told her his feelings before they'd left Korea. "Did you ever tell her that you loved her?"
Hawkeye shook his head sadly. "No, I didn't. And I've regretted it daily ever since. If I had of, then maybe we would have been married by now and 'living happily ever after'."
"Why didn't you tell her you loved her?" Margaret pressed, tears appearing in the corners of her eyes as she thought of all the time they'd wasted by not telling each other sooner of their true feelings for each other.
"I guess I was afraid." Hawkeye admitted, his tone husky with emotion.
"Afraid?" Margaret repeated in surprise as she reached over to squeeze his hand.
"I was afraid of loosing her." Hawkeye replied. "I was afraid that if she didn't feel the same way, then she would pull away and I would loose her."
"But what if she did feel the same way?" Margaret added. "Then you two could have been, like you already said, married and 'living happily ever after'."
"Oh, well, that's all water under the bridge." Hawkeye replied, giving Margaret a teasing wink. "I've lost her, but now I have you." He put his arm around her waist as the band started playing a beautiful waltz. Squeezing Margaret's waist he asked. "How would you like to take a couple of whirls around the dance floor with me while we wait for our meal."
"I'd love to." Margaret replied, giving him a soft smile. Hawkeye rose and helped her out of her chair. Offering her his hand he led her to the dance floor, leaving an anxious Brad and Carrie behind.
Hawkeye couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as Margaret moved into his arms on the dance floor. He looked at her admiringly for a moment before he said. "Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?"
Margaret gave him a soft smile. "No you haven't."
With an impish grin he said. "Margaret, you look beautiful tonight."
"Thank you." She acknowledged with a smile and then added. "You're looking pretty handsome yourself."
"Thank you." He said. Then with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes he added. "I've always been partial to this tuxedo. It got a lot of mileage in Korea."
Margaret couldn't help the amused chuckle that came forth at this admission. "That's not the same tuxedo you wore in Korea, is it?" She questioned a look of mixed feelings on her face. She wasn't sure whether to be surprised or not.
"Why not?" He asked, pretending to be surprised at her question. "Is there anything wrong with that?"
"Well yes." Margaret exclaimed with a mischievous chuckle. "If you were anyone other than Hawkeye Pierce."
"Well it's a good job that I'm Hawkeye Pierce than isn't it?" He gave her a teasing grin.
"Yes, I guess it is." She laughed, her dancing eyes meeting his. She couldn't believe how wonderful it felt to be in his arms again. For the first time in months she felt alive. She started chuckling at the irony of that fact.
"What's so funny?" He asked curiously. His heart soared at the sound of the laugh that he had come to adore so.
"I was just thinking how ironic this whole situation is." Margaret replied, still laughing slightly.
"You mean us meeting up again?" Hawkeye asked, trying to pinpoint what she found so amusing.
"Not just that." Margaret continued, looking into his handsome face lovingly. "When we first met I never would have thought in a million years that almost four years later you and I would be getting married."
"That is ironic." Hawkeye agreed with an amused smile.
"Especially when you consider all the fighting we use to do in the early days of our acquaintance." Margaret pointed out.
"True." Hawkeye nodded in amusement.
"Oh, Hawk, I've missed you so much." Margaret admitted after a brief pause.
"You did?" Hawkeye exclaimed in a teasing manner. "I would have thought that you would have been glad to get rid of me."
"So did I." She teased slyly. "But what can I say, you grew on me, just like mold did on your uniform."
"Cute." Was Hawkeye's only reply.
Margaret smiled at him and continued. "After all those years of support and friendship I really missed you. And I'm sure the fact that I was in love with you aided in the fact too."
Hawkeye felt his heart soar at her heartfelt confession. Tightening his grip on her he pulled her closer. Margaret smiled at him and teased. "Does this mean you've missed me too."
"Of course I did." He chuckled. "I already told you so."
"Just checking." Margaret laughed as she wrapped her arm a little tighter around his neck and laid her cheek against his.
They danced in silence for a few minutes before Margaret finally asked. "So, what have you been doing during the last six months? Are you adjusting all right to civilian life?"
Hawkeye chuckled gently and replied. "No adjusting needed. I'm a civilian to the core. It was army life that I couldn't adjust to."
"I can vouch for that." She teased warmly, flashing him a soft smile. Hawkeye bent down and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
"I love being able to do that." He breathed, looking at her lovingly.
"I love you being able to do that too." She smiled, and moved her hand into his thick hair. Gently she pulled his head down and planted a kiss on his smiling lips.
"I love being able to do that too." He added with a broad smile.
Margaret smiled back and then pressed. "So, tell me, what have you been up to?"
"Well, like I said, I've taken over most of my dad's practice, I'm also Chief Surgeon at the hospital." Hawkeye replied.
"That must keep you pretty busy." Margaret commented.
Hawkeye shrugged slightly. "Not too bad. But then I haven't had much going on in my life for the last six months. I work during the day and play cards with my dad at night."
"How is your father?" Margaret asked curiously. "I bet he's glad that your back home safe and sound."
Hawkeye smiled and nodded. "We both are." He paused for a moment and then in a more sober tone added. "I tell you, Margaret, I have never been so glad to see anyone in my life as I was to see my father when I stepped off the plane 6 months ago." He paused for a moment then added. "Actually, that's not true. I've never been happier to see anyone in my life, until today." He lifted a hand to her beautiful face and added. "I have missed you so much. My life has seemed so empty without you."
Margaret smiled at him and said. "Well, don't worry, Hawkeye, I'm not going anywhere. From now on, where you are that's where I want to be too."
Hawkeye's expression brightened at the prospect. "Where are you living right now?"
"At Carrie's." Margaret replied. "I just left Tokyo a few days ago. I was planning on staying with Carrie until I figured out what to do."
"I know exactly what you're going to do." Hawkeye commented excitedly.
"What's that?" She asked, raising her eyebrows in expectation.
"Come back to Crabapple Cove with me tomorrow night." Hawkeye replied. "They're always looking for nurses at the hospital, you'd have a job no problem. In fact before too long I wouldn't be surprised if you were running the nursing staff."
"And where would I stay?" She asked curiously, a smile tugging at her mouth. She was greatly amused by Hawkeye's enthusiasm.
"You can stay with Dad and I." Hawkeye replied. "We have a spare room. We'd love to have you." His expression turned mischievous. "That way when we get married you'll only have to move down the hall instead of across town or something."
Margaret couldn't keep the smile off her face any longer. "Alright, Pierce. You've got a deal."