Hawkeye and Margaret were lying on the beach of Crabapple Cove, Maine in pure bliss. All physical traces of the accident had disappeared. Margaret's head rested against Hawkeye's shoulder as they watched the water lap up onto the beach. As she looked up into his piercing blue eyes, she felt him move underneath her. He smiled down at her in happiness, love, and an emotion she could not quite place. Apprehension, perhaps? He sat up and turned around to face her. "Margaret Houlihan, will you marry me?" He brought the velvet box up to where she could see it and opened it for her. She stared at him in shock, then reached up and kissed him. "Is that a yes, I hope?" he asked anxiously. She nodded, still unable to speak. She picked the ring up and put it on her finger. He kissed her on the cheek, but she turned and kissed his lips once again. She was happier than she ever thought she could be in her whole life. Once they parted, Hawkeye heard Margaret's voice saying his name softly. "Hmm?" he muttered.
"What?" she asked, grinning.
"That's what I want to know," he replied.
"Huh?" she said in bewilderment.
"Didn't you say my name?" he asked, watching her face for a sign of a joke.
"No," she answered, searching his face for a clue as to what was going on. He was still watching her when he heard her voice saying his name again. It seemed to be coming from far away, and her lips hadn't moved. It disturbed him, but he shook it off. He would not let anything ruin the happiest moment of his life.
As Margaret Houlihan heard the Wedding March, the butterflies in her stomach completely disappeared and she felt as confident and self-assured as she ever had before. She marched down the aisle and tried to look serene, but she was unable to hide the smile spreading across her face. She thought she would laugh when she saw the grin Hawkeye was wearing. It stretched from ear to ear and looked like it could've split his face in half. After their vows and the kiss that sealed their bond, one of Hawkeye's hearty laughs split the air. It was so contagious that everyone in the wedding party started laughing and couldn't stop. As he was laughing, he heard his name again. He didn't know whose voice it was and it seemed to be coming from a distant place. He searched the church with his eyes but everyone was talking to Margaret or standing in line to give the bride a peck on the cheek. He had heard this kind of voice before, but nothing had ever come of it. He closed it out of his mind and went to join his blushing bride.
"Hawkeye! Hawkeye!" Margaret yelled as she ran down the hall of their house, which also happened to be Hawkeye's boyhood home.
"What's wrong, honey?" Hawkeye asked, then demanded, "Tell me what's going on, Margaret, please?"
She just looked up at him and smiled. He looked at her curiously and, noticing his impatience, she replied, "It looks as if the Major's having a minor." She grinned up at him, but he just furrowed his brow.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, then everything seemed to click. "Do you mean..."
"Yes, I'm pregnant. We're having a baby!" she cried in pure joy.
His smile stretched from ear to ear and he started laughing hysterically. "Are you positive?" he managed to gasp out between laughs.
"I'm a nurse, remember?" she reminded him and joined her husband in laughing. He picked her up and twirled her around, then set her down carefully.
"I love you," he whispered in her ear.
"I love you too," she said.
Hawkeye looked around in shock. He had heard a voice telling him to wake up, and somehow he knew the voice. 'Charles? Couldn't be.' He looked down at his wife, who he noticed was glowing. "I'm not dreaming, am I?" he asked Margaret.
"If you were dreaming, would I do this?" she asked playfully and gave him a passionate kiss.
"You might, but it wouldn't be that good. I couldn't dream this up," he smirked. He once again got caught up in pure bliss and put off worrying about the voice until later.
"Dr. Pierce, meet your new son," the doctor smiled and handed him his new child. Hawkeye smiled contentedly. He kissed his freshly cleaned son and smiled at his exhausted wife. She smiled back.
"Meet Benjamin Franklin Pierce, Jr.," she said stroking her baby's arm. The new father hugged her with one arm, careful not to squish the newborn, and they looked at their little miracle. He heard a voice which sounded very much like Colonel Potter's say his name. He turned his head, hoping somehow Potter had found out about the birth and had come to join them. His face fell when he realized it wasn't him, but the voices he kept hearing. He could hear them as if they were beside him, not in his head. He shook his head as if to rid it of the cobwebs and looked back down at Ben Jr.
"What is the matter with you, Hawkeye Pierce? Lately all you do is look off into the distance and then stare at us, your son and wife, as if you don't believe we exist. You wake up in the middle of the night, yelling 'What? What? What do you want with me?' like there are voices talking to you. I'm taking you to see Sidney Freedman, and that's final!" She may have sounded furious, but really she was worried to death. She had thought that his bout of insanity at the end of the war had been temporary, a result of a traumatic event, but now she was afraid he had never really recovered and was losing his mind again.
After hours of this same argument, he had given up. His pride was not worth his marriage, his family, and even perhaps his sanity. "Okay, honey. I give up. I never could say no to you," he said, trying to lighten the mood. She just looked at him in concern.
"So, Hawkeye, I see things have changed a lot since we last saw each other. Your son is beautiful, and motherhood definitely agrees with Margaret," Sidney said cordially.
"Yeah," Hawkeye answered noncommitally.
"What about you? Is the stress of fatherhood getting to you, or are you finding that settling down is becoming confining?" Sidney gently probed.
"No," he replied firmly.
"Well, then, what's the matter?" he questioned, then noticing Hawkeye's bright blue eyes clouding over, added, "You can tell me, Hawk. Margaret's in another room, she can't hear you. Come on. I can't help you if I don't know what's wrong."
"Sidney, I..." he stopped and with great effort continued. "I hear voices. Not all the time, and not all the voices at once. I hear voices of people I know saying my name and sometimes ones I don't recognize. The first time I heard one was when I was leaving in the helicopter. It sounded like BJ was talking right in my ear, but like it was far away too. Like maybe through a wall or something. Then I heard one after I found out Margaret had been hurt a couple of months after I got home. I couldn't make out who it was. Then again when I proposed to Margaret. I heard her say my name, but she denied it. Then I watched her mouth and heard it again. Her lips didn't move and she's not a ventriloquist. I've even tried to trick her into revealing if she has the talent, but she doesn't. Then at my wedding I heard another voice. Then after I found out about Ben Jr. I heard Charles' voice. After that, I could've sworn I heard Colonel Potter at his birth, and then they started coming more and more often. Now I hear them every other day or so, and at night." His words came out in one great rush. Hawkeye looked somewhat relieved but scared, as if he were afraid of the truth.
"Hawkeye, you've just taken a major step whether you realize it or not. I don't want to push you too hard, and I don't have to because I'm not doing meatball psychiatry. I have the time to help you, and if you keep making this kind of progress I believe things will work themselves out. I would like you to stay near here in case you need me between appointments. There's a hotel near here. I'll see you tomorrow," he said.
"Bye, Sidney," Hawkeye told him. He looked for all the world as if a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders. There was even some of the old bounce in his step. Just confiding to someone about the voices had given him new hope.
"I don't want to! NO! I like it here!" Hawkeye yelled in his sleep. He tossed and turned and nearly pushed Margaret off the bed.
Margaret picked up the phone and dialed Sidney's number. "Sidney, I think it's an emergency," she urgently told him.
"They want me to leave. But I can't! I won't!! I belong here, not there!" Hawkeye screamed, fear in his eyes.
"Hawkeye! It's not real! Wake up!" the normally quiet Sidney yelled.
"Why won't he wake up?" Margaret asked tearfully. "Maybe it was a mistake to tell him about the end of the war."
"No, I think it was for the best. I'm of course concerned that he has been here through the end of the war and still has not even showed an inkling of differentiating between reality and fantasy. But I still think we were right to tell him. At least his delusions are happy ones now," Sidney said. Hawkeye had been at the clinic ever since the incident on the bus, and had been delusional since. He had managed to delve into a new life. He had incorporated his deepest fantasies (the kiss with Margaret, a life with her, a child of his own) into his dream life. The voices he had heard were not fantasy, but the actual reality. His friends had been trying to wake him up, to reach him for months. They called his name out and told him to wake up, to no avail. He was too deeply rooted in his dream life.
Note: In case you did not understand the end of this, I'll admit, confusing story, here's the scoop. "Goodbye, Farewell & Amen" was a figment of Hawkeye's imagination. He never recovered from the insanity that was a result of the baby being killed on the bus. The final Margaret/Hawkeye kiss was pure fantasy, BJ's goodbye to him, his marriage to Margaret, his child, all delusions. The voices he heard were his friends trying to wake him from these delusions. I'm sorry if I confused anybody, and if I have some mistakes (I've only been a fan for a year and a half, being only 16 years old). If you find mistakes or just want to leave a comment, my e-mail address is CLWshorty01@Yahoo.com. Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed it!