A MASH 5 minute fic
A/N: Just watched Margaret's Wedding. Who told Margaret about the plaster cast?
"You know, someone will have to tell her," BJ remarked. Hawkeye groaned and opened his eyes to look across the swamp: BJ was inspecting the dress shoe on his foot and the rough job he'd made of polishing it. Hawkeye was lying on his cot, in full Class A uniform, except he'd not managed to get very far buttoning things up. He rolled his eyes and went back to inspecting the canvas above his head.
"She's going to go mad," he remarked at the ceiling. "You tell her, she'll take it better from you."
"Ah, but you've known her for longer."
"It was your idea."
"Alright. We'll send Frank."
"He's off trying to find a trolley to wheel the Lieutenant Colonel about on."
"OK, OK. I'll tell her."
Hawkeye buttoned up his shirt as he walked over to the line of tents. >From within Margaret's came squeals and the occasional majorly yell. He found his tie in his jacket pocket and got it at least looped around his neck before he knocked on the door.
"Who is it?" Kellye yelled from inside.
"It's me, Kellye, Hawkeye. Is Margaret in there?"
"Whaddya think, Pierce?" an annoyed voice yelled and he grinned. That was one hungover Major.
"Have you, erm, seen Donald this morning?" he tried.
"It's my wedding day, you idiot! I can't see him before we marry. It's bad luck."
"OK, well, erm. Have you heard about what happened last night?"
There was a long silence. The kind he knew meant nurses were leaping out of the way of a cross superior. The door opened and Margaret's head looked out. "What happened last night?"
"Pierce! What have you done to him? Oh my darling Donald!"
Hawkeye put his hands out to stop the door opening any further. "Please, Margaret. It's bad luck to see the groom before you're married."
There was a scream of rage and a carefully manicured fist burst through the netting in the door's window. Hawkeye wondered how quickly he and BJ could get the cast off Penobscott and suspected there wasn't time before the ceremony. Margaret was going to kill them.
"Margaret, it's OK, it's-" he patted the fist whilst his brain leapt ahead. "Margaret, could I have a word alone?"
The fist withdrew. There was a long pause, complete with whispers he couldn't quite catch. After a moment, Kellye and Peters emerged, gave him strange looks and hurried off towards Klinger's tent. He looked after them, shrugged and entered Margaret's tent. She was stood in the only clear area, her hair still in clips and her face blotchy as if she had been crying. He took a moment, as the door swung shut behind him, to look at the dress. Cream satin with a simple waist and lace about the sleeves.
"You look beautiful, Margaret."
"What do you care, you lousy rotten-"
"Listen. I admit we got Donald plastered, but that's all it is. Plaster. He's fine. A1. A fine specimen of American manhood."
She rustled as she moved. She was looking about the room as if wanting to sit, but not daring to in case she rumpled the dress. He saw with alarm that there was a fresh tear falling down her cheek.
"Hey," he said as he stepped up and took her chin in his fingers. He brushed the tear away with his thumb, surprised by how flushed she was and how bewildered he felt. He guessed it was the warmth of the stiff uniform combined with the alcohol still swirling about his system. "I've got an idea. It's too late to cut Donald free, so how about you and I turn the joke onto BJ?"
"I'll keep reminding him that he has to tell you the cast is a fake. I bet you he waits for the last moment to tell you. So when he does? Misunderstand him. And keep misunderstanding him until he becomes frantic to tell you...let Donald in on it, of course."
"He'll feel guilty, won't he?" she asked, a wicked smile starting in her eyes.
"Oh yes, and you can laugh all the way to your honeymoon in Tokyo."
She smiled, shakily, then. Then choked out a laugh and wiped at her eyes. "Gods, look at me. I'm a mess, Pierce."
Hawkeye realised that her hand had fallen onto his lapel and was toying with it briefly.
"Oh, look at this! You've not tied your tie! You're a disgrace to that uniform," Margaret said with amusement in her voice, but refusing to meet his eye. She took both ends of the tie and started to knot it. Her hands brushed against his collarbone and he shivered. He brought his hands up to clasp hers, stilling them.
She looked up and they met each other's eyes. He saw confusion and apprehension there and recognised them in himself.
"You're not a disgrace," she said quietly, "you're gorgeous. I always think that when I see you in this."
He tried to think of something to say, something that wouldn't arouse the fighting Houlihan spirit. There was nothing he could verbalise. All those leering passes, all those fights, all that time with their personalities clashing. How could he put into words the pride and regret and admiration he held for her?
He leaned forward and placed a light kiss on her lips.
Her breath hitched slightly, drawing her lips away, and then they pressed against his own. Warm and expressive and tasting of sweet regret. He closed his eyes and knew she did so too. He wanted to drop his arm to the small of her back, draw her tight against him. He wanted to run a hand up under that satin to see if she had the traditional blue garter on, and what flimsy underwear could go under that dress. He sensed her hand twitch within his own, still clasped between them, and wondered where it was wanting to go. He imagined for a moment her sensible, dextrous fingers clutching at his ass, or running short nails along his side. He wanted to let the promise of the kiss be fulfilled, to step backwards so that they could sink to her cot and find out what happened when two such passions were united instead of at war.
Opening his eyes, he saw hers opening slowly, languidly. He considered, fleetingly, taking her by the arm and running away. Then her hands slipped free of his and fussed over his tie and lapels before falling to her sides.
"Well," he tried.
"Yes," she said.
They both took a deep breath, as if emerging from underwater. Their eyes caught and she gave him a genuine smile. "I really look OK?" she asked.
"Really do," he told her and took a step backwards. "So-"
"So. It'll drive BJ wild, won't it?" she said and it took him a moment to remember the hastily improvised plan to turn the joke about.
"Yeah. Good luck, Margaret."
"Thank you, Hawkeye."