"You wanna see Peg and Erin?"
Hawkeye shrugged his shoulders, "I like to call it incentive."
"Yeah, well I call that blackmail."
"Blackmail, incentive, who cares, as long as you get to see Peg and Erin."
"You play dirty."
"Only with the best of my friends," Hawkeye said with a grin, "Now, you wanna give it another try?"
BJ sighed and nodded, though more than anything he just wanted to sleep. He held out his good arm again and levered himself against Hawkeye. He grasped his shoulders and balanced himself on his good leg, grimacing hard.
Hawkeye quickly got to his feet, pulled BJ to his one good leg and placed the other up and over the seat. He grabbed BJ around the waist, when it appeared that he was going to fall again, and pushed him onto the seat of the bike, ignoring the grunt from his friend. He then got in front of him and sat down. He looked over his shoulder and waggled his eyebrows. "Hold on tight, Beej."
"Like you need to tell me that."
Hawkeye chuckled and pulled away. He felt BJ's hands jolt a little around his waist, then felt his head on his back. "You okay, Beej?" he asked.
"Mmmf! As well as can be expected," BJ replied and added, "I'm trying to figure what's worse... the wounds or your bike riding."
"Gotta be the wounds, Beej... My bike riding's almost as good as yours."
"And in whose book would that be?" BJ replied, then grunted in pain when the bike hit a pothole.
Hawkeye grimaced for him, before turning is attention back to the road and, most importantly, on missing any other potholes. "Sorry, Beej," he muttered with regret.
"S'alright, Hawk," BJ replied, "Just... just try not to hit too many of them."
Margaret Houlihan spent the first couple of minutes, since hearing the latest scuttlebutt, running in circles. Word was that a Doctor from the 4077th, who had stupidly decided to get back to civvies via a motorcycle, had been hurt and another crazy Doctor had gone back for him. She knew, she just knew, that the doctor hurt was BJ and she also knew that no-one else, other than Hawkeye, would have gone back for him. She turned once more, pushing her anxiety as far from the surface as possible and promptly bumped into a pilot. "Sorry," she immediately mumbled, "Sorry."
The pilot grasped her arm to stop her from falling, "You all right, ma'am?" he asked.
Margaret blinked up at him, unable to formulate anything other than apologising. Feeling tears of frustration and anxiety instantly take resident in her eyes, she suddenly looked away from the pilot, quickly brushed them away with her fingertips, straightened her uniform, if it could be deemed as such, and mumbled, "I'm fine... fine."
"Uh, I don't mean to disagree with you, ma'am, but... but you don't look fine to me."
She tried a smile, but her concern for BJ and Hawkeye made it brief. "It's... it's all right, uh..." she frowned, "uh, whoever you are, I'm just a little worried."
"Oh," the pilot muttered. He took off his hat, held out his hand and with a smile, he said, "The name's Tom, ma'am."
She shook his hand and tried the smile again. It was a slight improvement on the last one, but it was far from the normal face-splitting one that she had gotten used to towards the end of the war. "Margaret," she said, "Margaret Houlihan."
"So, Margaret, what's got you so worried that you bump into a gorgeous Pilot and not know that?"
Margaret suddenly let rip with a laugh that shook her whole body, "You sound just like Hawkeye," she chuckled, but the reminder was as effective as a cold bucket of water, and the tears were back again. "I'm fine," she softly re-iterated, but more to convince herself rather than Tom standing in front of her.
"Again, you don't look fine, Margaret," Tom said and added, "You wanna talk about it? My helicopter's being refueled at the moment, so I've got a couple of minutes to spare."
"Um, thank you Tom, thank you, but I'm looking for someone."
Tom chuckled lightly at that and said, with a hint of disbelief, "Oh and you haven't found him?"
Margaret Houlihan, for the first time in a long time, well two hours perhaps, blushed from the roots of her hair to her toes. Eventually she got her voice back and said, "Not unless you're the pilot that started the latest scuttlebutt."
"Oh right, yeah, the one about the two Doctors from 4077th... One stupid and the other crazy..." He looked at her at that moment and said, "Well, yeah, I started that one. My chopper's being re-fuelled so I can go pick them up."
Margaret's heart flipped and she could have sworn it had stopped, then she looked back at Tom and thought she saw just for what this was, "Yeah, right and my Aunt is called Bob... Thanks but no thanks, Tom," she snarled at him. She snappily turned away and started to move off to find the real pilot that had started the rumour. She quickly found herself facing Tom again, with his hand tightly grasping her arm.
"You think this is a pick-up?" he snarled just as angrily at her, "Take a look around Margaret, there's plenty more opportunities for that." He looked down at his hand and quickly let her go. "Look, you looked upset and the last thing I like to see is a lady upset. It's the only reason I asked."
"Whatever..." Margaret muttered with disbelief.
Tom sighed, "All right, I'll ask you something, Margaret. Why's it important for you to find this pilot?"
Margaret gritted her teeth. She needed to find the other pilot, the one that had started the rumour, not waste her time explaining a reason to this one. Still, just to get rid of him, she did so, "Those two Doctors happen to be two of my best friends and I need to get to them, make sure they're okay." She turned and started off again.
"Well," Tom said with a shrug, "you aint gonna find that pilot."
"Is that so," Margaret yelled over her shoulder.
"So, Ma'am," Tom replied, "not unless you believe me, that is."
Margaret stopped dead in her tracks, turned and huffed at him, "Look, sailor, I got your game. Now leave me alone and let me find that pilot."
Tom shrugged at that, but said, "I can't tell you what the stupid Doc looks like, but the crazy one was six foot plus, with black hair that was greying very nicely. Penetrating eyes. You know, that kinda look right through you, but don't... Uh, sorta..."
Margaret blinked at Tom, "Hawkeye," she whispered.
He shrugged, "Didn't catch his name, only that he needed to get back to the 4077th in a hurry."
Margaret took whatever steps it took to get back to Tom and started to babble over and over an apology to him. Eventually she managed to get to the root of what she wanted to say, "Will you take me with you when you go back?" she asked with a hint of a plea.
Tom smiled and said, "Like I said, I never like to see a lady upset."
Margaret flew into Tom's arms and kissed him soundly on the lips; then quick-pecked his cheek until the pilot started muttering something about a submission. She dropped to her feet in front of him, blushed for the second time in, what felt like, as many minutes and apologised.
"It's all right Margaret," Tom chuckled at her. He checked his watch and added, "Well, I'd say we were about ready to leave. You ready to go see your friends?"
She knew that all her gratitude was shining out of her eyes, but even if her life depended upon it, she wouldn't have been able to stop herself. She nodded, then thought twice, "Tom, I need to get some supplies. If BJ's been hurt, they'll need them."
"The stupid Doc?"
Without thinking Margaret nodded, but quickly amended that nod, "Though not as stupid as you think, once you get to know him."
Again Tom chuckled, "I'm sure," he said, then held up a box that was army green and had a painted Red Cross inside a white square on it. "I, uh," he began to explain, "I took the liberty, seeing as this Hawkeye guy said that his friend was hurt."
Margaret kissed him again on the cheek, then hooked her arm inside his and said, "I believe our chariot awaits us, sailor?"
Tom nodded, chuckled and said, "Yes, Ma'am."