"Code of Misconduct"

by Alizarin Raymond

Hawkeye Pierce awoke, 4 hours late as usual, to the general background hum of activity around the 4077th camp. And yet although the laziness routine was perfected for this particular morning, something else seemed strangely out of place.

There was an unusual soft scent in the air- Korean blossoms perhaps, thought Hawkeye....and then with a wry smile, realised that 'blossoms' and 'Korean' did not co-exist in the same sentence. But neither did such smells exist in a festering place like the Swamp, he mused. The scent was strangely intoxicating and Hawkeye closed his eyes and breathed in this new heady smell, enjoying for once an odour which did not contain "Ode Du' Feet."

His bed was unusually comfortable for some reason, and for the first time in years, he considered the possibility of sleeping in and getting up without a hernia. Lying on his right side, with one bare arm propped under his head, he looked around the green-shrouded room and lazily wondered where Beej and Charles had put their beds..... And where's the door?! It's in the wrong damn place!

Oh.....must be dreaming again, sighed Hawkeye. I'm having that fabulous repetitive dream, where I'm lying on a king size bed with silk sheets in the middle of the camp, with a cute little nurse in my arms. Okay, that explains it.

And yet, there was something else. He sensed a presence in the room, more than just the usual male festering occupancy, something much more delicate and almost....feminine. I guess Beej has taken to wearing perfume, mumbled Hawkeye, with a grin. Wouldn't put it past him- the poor domesticated guy.

All strangeness aside, it really is a glorious morning, he reflected, rolling over onto his back and resting one arm behind his head. Can't quite put my finger on it, but the sun is shining, the guns are singing and....and...

 .....then he rolled onto his left side and looked straight into the delicate features of Margaret Houlihan, asleep at his side.

For a moment, he could do little more than stare.

Well. This is an unusual twist on that old dream, thought Hawkeye.

Okay. Right. This has just gotta be a really strange, mind you somewhat fascinating dream, he conceded. Indeed it was a fascinating dream, one which lasted approximately two seconds, until Hawkeye absently reached out and brushed the soft skin of Margaret's face. And it was there. Really there.

He sprang out of bed- "Margaret's bed!"- oh damn it, what have I done?!

Creaking about the room, HER ROOM!- Hawkeye frantically searched for some clothes to put on...

"I'm naked?!" he hissed....

...but his were nowhere to be found. Grabbing the nearest robe and shoes, he gingerly lifted the back tent flap, dived through and crawled out on his hands and knees in the dirt. Little did he know that behind him, Margaret was sitting up in her silk-sheeted bed with a mischievous grin from ear to ear.

Standing up and dusting off his robe, Hawkeye realised with a start- accompanied by an entire body wince- that it was Margaret's floral nightgown he was wearing and that his feet were adorned with a pair of pink fluffy slippers, complete with chenille pom-poms.

"Oh, bugger it all!" swore Hawkeye silently. He broke into his characteristically loose limbed run, bolting back to his tent, running around the back of tents, latrines, tripping over guy ropes and tent pegs, empty medical supply boxes, before nearly colliding with a jeep full of soldiers who wolf-whistled at this exotic stranger. Hawkeye pulled the robe around himself tightly.

He dove through the door of the Swamp, ripping off the exquisitely tailored garments as he scrambled about the littered floor. Grabbing the nearest pair of dirty green trousers and a rumpled shirt, he ran two hands through his mess of hair and then collapsed on his own extravagantly uncomfortable bed.

"I can't believe no one saw me," breathed Hawkeye. "Thank goodness for small favours. And the fact that Charles is in Post-op."

"But one thing still bothers me.........WHAT WAS I DOING IN MARGARET'S BED?!"

Seated alone at a corner table in the crowded mess tent later that morning, Hawkeye kept his head ridiculously low, hair hanging over his eyes, as they wandered furtively about the masses of familiar faces. None seemed to be staring purposefully in his immediate direction, so he allowed himself a breath for the first time that morning. He gulped a cup of coffee- which tasted unusually fresh- and continued to push his fork through something vaguely resembling scrambled eggs. Missing the eggs of course.

And in she walked, with her familiar hip-swinging gait.

Margaret purposefully surveyed the crowd, as though looking for a particular person. She gave a short nod to her nurses at another table and then...............caught Hawkeye's eye as he snuck another covert glance around the room.

"Oh my god," he cursed silently. "Here she comes....she's gonna kill me- she's got a gun or...or a scalpel, and she's gonna operate on me, right here and now. Oh damn, damn, DAMN!"

Watched by the entire mess tent crowd, who sensed a particular tension in the air, Major Margaret Houlihan walked straight over to Pierce, paused for a beat, pushed his "food" tray aside, lay gracefully across the mess table and drew Hawkeye's unshaven face to hers in a deep kiss. She could taste the fresh coffee on his lips, as he could taste some sort of exotic breath-freshening toothpaste on hers. It ended with a soft brush of her lips across his and an intermingling of breath as she searched his utterly confused blue eyes for a hint of recognition.

"You were fabulous last night honey.." breathed Margaret, not moving from her graceful pose upon the table.

"Wha......err......Margaret....you know how I hate to overstate the obvious......but.......you're lying on the mess table," he spluttered.

"You're one to talk about lying in unusual places. See you tonight," she whispered. And with a seductive wink, which was perhaps intended more for the mess hall crowd than Hawkeye, Margaret stood, brushed off her crisp uniform, preened and swayed out the door.

You could have cut the tension with little more than a butter knife. The mess hall was deathly quiet- all were staring at Hawkeye Pierce with a mixture of sheer amazement and bewilderment. Then the crowd exploded with a million congratulations, laughs and one giant slap on his back. Hawkeye kept his head in his eggs, shocked at the scene which had just occurred in this place- something never even considered in his wildest fantasies....-well, maybe just once. All he could do was stand and walk unsteadily out the door with the cheers and catcalls echoing in the tent behind him.

The wounded arrived unannounced as per usual;

"How rude of them," cracked Charles in the OR later that evening. "I had a date later on too..."

Normally Hawkeye would have leapt upon such an obviously pathetic attempt at humour on Charles' part, but on this particular night his mind was elsewhere. Thinking non-stop about THAT kiss in the Mess Hall......

- and I'll never think the same way about scrambled eggs again.

Surely all in the ward had noticed the most un-subtle glances Margaret kept throwing Pierce's way also. And yet none were sure how to address this most delicate of situation. BJ gave it a shot.

"Err....Margaret.....could you give me a kis.......I mean a scalpel.." grinned BJ through his mask.

"Oh har de har Beej, you're a funny funny guy- so very original too," fumed Hawkeye silently.

"That's enough BJ," chided Colonel Potter. "Pierce has enough on his mind.....not to mention his lips.....err....hands!" Potter's eyes betrayed his naughty-child grin hidden behind his mask.

Oh come on guys! Bit of support for a dying man wouldn't hurt! Well at least Margaret isn't assisting me tonight, Hawkeye sighed. That'd just be too much to handle...

"I've finished here Colonel," piped up Charles. "Margaret, may I be so bold as to suggest that you close here and then aid Major Pierce over there. He looks like he could use a hand......or whichever part of the body you can spare...."

"Uh...no.....thanks....nearly done.." stammered Hawkeye, his voice an octave higher than normal.

"Don't be stupid Pierce," Margaret admonished, as she crossed the OR floor to where Hawkeye worked with an intense concentration. "You don't need to set any records for stamina. Least not till later..." whispered Margaret as she snapped on a new pair of gloves in the most phallic means possible.

Hawkeye nearly choked on his mask.

Stripping off his gown and blood stained gloves in the scrub room hours later, Hawkeye made sure to keep a careful watch for any particularly keen female Majors wandering about the place. After a frantic scrubbing, he almost flew back to the Swamp, almost desperate not to run into....

"Yah! Margaret!"

"Hello Pierce. How are you this evening." It wasn't an answerable question.

"Hi.....hi, Margaret. Well. I.....I have to go.....read a book. I hear Encyclopedia Britannica has got an enthralling new edition out. Well. See ya...." as Pierce moved frantically towards the Swamp.

"Oh, I don't think you need to be reading just yet," as she caught his elbow. "I could think of a few other things we could do.....to-pass-the-time." The words oozed out in sync with her seductive stride, as she purposefully backed Pierce across the compound. And with a strength that betrayed her diminutive size, she pushed Hawkeye into the conveniently open door of her own tent. She never lost eye contact with him as she closed the door softly with her foot and almost threw him backwards onto the bed.

"Whoa! Margaret....we can't.......no....but...you..."

"Sshhhh....." She pressed a slender finger softly against his lips to quiet him and then gently replaced the finger with her lips- a kiss even more fulfilling than the earlier one which had served to somewhat blow his mind. And then....with a soft sigh....his hand went to her face, caressing her cheek ever so gently, as her hands twined through his thick dark hair...

And then with a start- Hawkeye awoke- 4 hours late as usual, to the general background hum of activity around the 4077th camp.

"Wha......oh......it was a dream..." he chuckled softly. "Oh......well I guess it was just a little strange. Me and Margaret, in the same bed....ha...." he grinned through the words, his cheesy smile betraying the unusual sense of loss he felt.

And with a small sigh, Hawkeye Pierce rolled onto his left side and looked straight into the delicate features of Margaret Houlihan, asleep at his side.