Part 8

"I still can't believe it!" Henry remarked, shaking his head in disbelief. "Hawkeye Pierce and Margaret Houlihan married - with children, three children even! I never would have imagined that such a thing would happen! Not in a million years!" The gang had just finished telling him the story of how the 4077th former Head Nurse and Chief Surgeon had fallen in love and gotten married. Henry had listened in wide eyed silence as they told him of the pairs blossoming friendship in Korea and how they had come to rely on each other for comfort and support. Remembering the way those two used to fight during his time as Commanding Officer, Henry was surprised that they were actually on speaking terms much less married to each other.

Glancing over to the swings where the Pierces were currently at, Henry watched in mute amazement as Hawkeye pushed his youngest daughter on one of the swings while talking to the very pregnant Margaret who was sitting awkwardly on the swing beside them. Henry couldn't help shaking his head in disbelief as Margaret laughed heartily at something Hawkeye said and then gaped when Hawkeye leaned down and quickly brushed a kiss on her smiling lips.

"Rebecca says that they do that all the time." BJ remarked when he noticed where Henry was looking, then with a chuckle he added. "And after what I've seen today, I believe it!"

"They do seem very happy." Henry acknowledged as he continued to watch the pair closely for a few more moments.

"Yes they do." BJ agreed, a broad smile on his handsome face.

Looking at BJ and Trapper Henry commented, his tone still dripping in disbelief. "I just can't believe that they are the same two people that I use to know." He looked at Sherman Potter and Daniel Pierce and added. "The Hawkeye Pierce and Margaret Houlihan that I remember always fought like cats and dogs."

"Tell me about it!" Trapper chuckled softly as he looked over to where his friend was now gently pushing his wife on the swing. "Believe me, Henry, I was just as shocked as you are. I had absolutely no idea that they had gotten to be friends, let alone had fallen in love!"

"You weren't there when all this was going on?" Henry commented in surprise.

Trapper shook his head gently and replied. "I left Korea not long after you did, or supposedly did." He nodded towards BJ and added. "He's the one that got to enjoy all the fun."

"Well, it's small compensation for having to endure that hellhole." BJ remarked in a teasing tone.

"So you replaced McIntyre." Henry stated, looking at BJ and giving him a sympathetic grin.

"In more ways than one." Trapper mumbled sourly. BJ caught the remark, but didn't comment on it.

Instead he looked back to Henry and replied with a smile of his own, "That's right, Colonel. I was hauled kicking and screaming to Korea to lend a hand."

"So you got to see first hand the beginning of Hawk and Margaret's relationship." Henry pressed, his tone full of curiosity.

"I guess you could say that." BJ laughed, glancing at Charles and Potter in amusement. "Especially if that 'goodbye' kiss of theirs was any indication of how they really felt about each other."

Charles and Potter chuckled in agreement. "Yeah that kiss was really something." Potter commented with a large smile.

"They actually kissed each other goodbye?" Henry asked in profound surprise. "On the lips?"

"That's right, Colonel." BJ laughed in amusement at the other man's expression.

"But they always fought!" Henry protested, still having a hard time accepting what he was seeing and hearing.

"I understand that they use to be quite the enemies during their time in Korea." Daniel Pierce remarked with a chuckle. "But they must have gotten all the fighting out of their system there because they certainly don't fight now."

"Not at all?" Henry exclaimed in a disbelieving tone.

"Well, they have their typical marital disagreements." Daniel replied honestly, but nothing serious, nothing that lasts. In fact, they are very good about patching things up before they get out of hand."

"How do you know?" Henry asked, looking at the other man with a puzzled expression on his face. "Maybe they hid it behind closed doors."

Daniel chuckled softly. "If they do, they must be awfully quiet about it." When the puzzled look on the other man's face deepened he explained. "If there is any sort of discord I'm the first person to hear about it."

"You are? Who are you? Their psychiatrist?" Henry asked in a teasing tone.

"No, I'm their roommate." Daniel chuckled good-naturedly.

"Come again." The other man gave him a quizzical look.

With a chuckle Daniel explained. "I'm Hawkeye's father. I've lived with them since he and Margaret got married."

Suddenly the light clicked on and Henry understood what the other man had been getting at. "Now I understand." Was all he said. Daniel couldn't help be chuckle again. He was getting such a kick out of how surprised Henry was about Hawk and Margaret's relationship.

"How did Frank take the news of Hawk and Margaret's marriage?" Henry asked curiously as he watched the pair stride slowly back towards the group, their arms lovingly around each others waist.

"He was quite distressed about it." BJ replied with an amused chuckle. "I still don't think he has fully accepted it."

Trapper chuckled softly. "I haven't seen him so distressed since the time that Hawk and I kept interfering with his dates with 'Hot Lips' to try to teach them both a lesson. Boy, did we drive them batty."

BJ laughed heartily and remarked. "That was the time that they found you and Hawk in Margaret's bed after you'd sent Margaret on a wild goose chase to Post Op."

Trapper looked at BJ with great surprise. "How did you know?"

"Oh, Hawk told me about that ages ago." BJ casually replied, his eyes dancing with merriment at the memory of the stories Hawk had related to him so long ago about the famous Trapper John McIntyre. "He told me tons of stories about the pranks that you and he pulled while you were in Korea. Your pranks were legendary."

"So what did you two do to Margaret and Frank?" Potter asked curiously, dying to hear the obviously funny story.

"We kept sabotaging their dates." Trapper related with a laugh. "The first time we struck was when we were all in the Mess tent to see some medical film. Frank and 'Hot Lips' were sitting together, of course, so we got Radar to tell 'Hot Lips' that she was needed in Post Op. While Radar was talking to her I kept Frank occupied so he didn't notice her leaving or Hawk sitting down beside him." Both Trapper and Radar started laughing when they remembered what happened next. "As the film started Frank's hand casually found its way to Hawk's knee. You should have seen the look on Frank's face when Hawk told him to remove his hand or he'd call the usher, it was priceless!"

"So, how did they end up finding the two of you in Margaret's bed?" Potter asked, an expectant smile on his face.

"We sent Radar to tell 'Hot Lips' that she was needed in Post Op immediately, then after she left Hawk and I snuck in and waited in her bed for Frank to arrive, which he did soon after, followed by a very annoyed Major Houlihan, who had just discovered that she wasn't needed in Post Op at all." Trapper chuckled again at the memory. "I'll tell you, the look on their faces was absolutely priceless. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it when we got 'Hot Lips' to say 'uncle'. It gave me a feeling of deep satisfaction."

"What gave you a feeling of deep satisfaction?" Hawkeye asked curiously as he joined the group.

"When you and I got the better of Frank and 'Hot Lips' that time she wouldn't get off Henry's back about Radar's friendship with that nurse." Trapper was the only one in the group that failed to notice his old friend bristle when he used the term ''Hot Lips''.

"Which nurse was that?" Radar asked curiously.

Trapper chuckled softly. "Have there been that many, Radar?"

"Radar." Hawkeye began as he sat down between BJ and his dad. "Ah, Bach!"

"Oh, that nurse!" Radar chuckled with an amused look at his friend. Suddenly he realized that Klinger, Potter and Charles were looking at him with surprise and confusion on their respective faces so he added innocently. "What? She loved classical music."

"Too bad she wasn't there later on." Charles commented his tone wistful. "It would have been nice to have someone who shared my passion for classical music. We are a dying breed I'm afraid."

"And you're not dying fast enough for my liking." Hawkeye remarked shooting his old tent mate a mischievous look.

"Cretin." Charles mumbled in reply.

"Getting back to your little scheme against Frank and Major Houlihan." Henry began, his eyes dancing as he looked at Hawkeye. "I seem to remember that you were the brains behind that little operation."

"So I was." Hawkeye replied, his tone dull as he looked away from his friend's dancing eyes.

Henry didn't seem to notice and continued. "I remember you ranting after the Major had chewed me out about Radar and that nurse that one day you were going to booby trap her garter belt and then you mused about what she would do if you broke up her little relationship with Burns." Henry chuckled and shook his head slightly. "And now you're married to her! I still can't believe it!"

"Well believe it, Henry because it's true." Hawkeye replied with a proud smile.

"I remember when Pierce came up with the idea." Henry continued. "I told him that if anything happened I would claim no knowledge of the event, but then I told him to go ahead."

"And boy did we get them!" Trapper exclaimed. "You should have seen Frank and ''Hot Lips'' faces, it was priceless!"

"Speaking of Margaret." BJ commented, stressing his old friend's proper name forcefully. "Where did she go, Hawk?"

"She's gone inside for a few minutes." Hawkeye replied, his tone slightly distracted.

"Is she okay, Hawk?" His father asked with a concerned look on his face. "She seems to be going inside a lot today."

"She assures me that she's fine." Hawkeye replied, his expression still thoughtful. Then in a low tone he added. "I hope she's right."

"Hawk, don't worry." BJ assured him, placing a comforting hand on his best friend's shoulder. "I'm sure she's fine. Margaret's a nurse and the mother of two healthy daughters. I'm sure she'd know if something was wrong."

"I suppose your right, Beej." Hawkeye admitted giving his friend a grateful smile. "Just new baby anxiety, I guess. I always seem to worry about Margaret and the baby until he or she is born."

"What are you talking about, Hawk." Daniel chuckled in amusement. "You always worry about Margaret and the baby even after they're born. That's what makes you such a good husband and father."

"Thanks Dad." Hawkeye smiled at his father and then turned to his old comrades. "So, what have you all been talking about?"

"Henry and I have been regaling each other with the joys and trials of CO life at the 4077th." Potter replied with an amused grin. "McIntyre here was just telling us about some of the stunts that you two used to pull on Burns and Margaret."

"I still love the one about camping out in 'Hot Lips' bed." Trapper remarked, laughing at the memory. "That has got to be my all time favorite.

"Uh-huh." Was all Hawkeye said as he looked away from his old bunkmate.

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