The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
An Alternate Ending to ‘Aid Station’

by Beth Mott


I wrote this little sketch as an addition to the tag at the end of ‘Aid Station’. I love that episode because of its H/M theme and thought that this would be a nice conclusion to the story. -**Beth**


Margaret was sitting at her dressing table brushing her hair. She’d just returned from having coffee with everyone in the Mess tent and she couldn’t help but smile as she remembered the way that Frank was carrying on about having to put up with cold coffee and tasteless food. What would he have said after having spent some time at an Aid station.

Margaret had to admit, at least to herself, that yesterday had not been the nicest experience of her life. She was not a fan of being so close to the front lines or the fighting. She hated the loud noises and the feeling of fear that went with it. But despite all that there had been a positive side to the experience. She had gotten the opportunity to discover that there was another side to Captain Pierce beside the constant jokester and nurse chaser. In reality he was a very compassionate and gentlemanly person, that is when he wanted to be. She couldn’t help but smile at the memory of how he had wordlessly moved closer to her last night and covered her with half of his blanket when she had expressed concern about snipers. At first she wasn’t sure what he was up to and was about to reprimand him for being so forward. But when he tiredly commented that ‘chilvary wasn’t dead’, that ‘it had just been replaced by exhaustion’ she realized that he was just trying to offer her a measure of comfort and security. And to her surprise she had slept so soundly and peacefully that night, despite where they were and the possible dangers around them. She couldn’t explain it, but there was something about Hawkeye’s presence beside her that had made her feel safe and secure. It’s a feeling she hadn’t had in a long time.

She smiled again as another memory of the day flashed into her mind. She stopped her brushing and lifted a hand to touch her left cheek. She had been so surprised when Hawkeye had told her that she was his ‘favorite officer in the whole US army’, and even more surprised when he leaned over and planted a friendly kiss on her cheek. So had been so touched by the compliment and the unexpected gesture. She was glad that she’d gotten to see another side of Hawkeye’s personality. It made her realize that there was more to him than just the incurable jokester that he first seemed to be.

She jumped slightly at the sudden knock on her door. Assuming it was Frank she exclaimed in annoyance.

"Go away, Frank. I told you I have a headache." She turned angrily in her chair as she heard the door open slightly. "Frank, I warn you…"

"It’s not Frank." A voice called in quickly. "It’s your friendly neighborhood surgeon bearing tantalizing goodies."

"Come in." Margaret welcomed eagerly, quickly running her fingers through her hair and then straightening her shirt. "I wasn’t expecting you."

"It’s good to see you too." Hawkeye teased as he entered the tent. He was greatly surprised that his visit had been so warmly received. He’d expected more of an argument about his sudden presence outside her tent.

"I didn’t mean it that way." She quickly assured him. "I just wasn’t expecting you to drop in."

"Well, I promised you desert last night." Hawkeye explained, then lifting the bag he held in his hand he added. "So I thought I’d improve the choices."

"You mean something besides ‘Carmel Custer’ or ‘Napoleanic War’?" Margaret joked, looking at him mischievously.

"Well, hey, those are hard dishes to beat, but let me see what I have." He reached into his bag, his eyes dancing with fun. "How does homemade chocolate brownies sound?" He lifted a tin out of his bag and handed it to her.

Her eyes lit up as she removed the lid and the smell of the contents hit her nose. "It sounds wonderful!" She lifted one out and took a bit. "Mmmm, these are fabulous! Who made them?"

"My Dad." Hawkeye replied an amused smile on his face. "My grandmother was famous all over Crabapple Cove for her amazing baking skills and my Dad took after her."

Margaret couldn’t help but raise her eyebrows in surprise. "Your Dad bakes?" Hawkeye nodded his head. "You’re kidding, right?" Her eyes widened in disbelief.

Hawkeye chuckled at her expression and assured her he was speaking the truth. "My grandmother taught him to bake when he was young and he’s never stopped. He says he finds it relaxing."

Margaret chuckled in amazement. "The only time my Dad would set foot in the kitchen was to ask when supper was ready. He always thought it was a woman’s place."

"Well, Dad didn’t really have that luxury." Hawkeye commented sadly. "He was made a widower very young. I was only ten when my mother died."

Margaret’s expression turned sober. "I’m sorry Hawkeye. I didn’t know."

Hawkeye smiled slightly as he looked at her. "No, I don’t suppose you would have." Then to shake his somber mood he turned his attention back to the goodies hidden in his bag. "How about some fudge to go along with those brownies?"

"Fudge!" Margaret exclaimed excitedly as she set the brownie tin down on her bed. "I haven’t had fudge in ages!" She picked up a piece and sighed in ecstasy. "Tell your Dad he is an amazing baker. I could quickly get used to this." She blushed slightly at how her comment sounded.

"How about some 8 year old Scotch to wash down those goodies?" Hawkeye smiled slightly as he pulled out a bottle of the smooth liquid.

Margaret chuckled slightly. "Boy you thought of everything didn’t you."

"Pretty much." He said as he pulled two martini glasses out of his bag. He filled both glasses with Scotch before handing one to Margaret, his eyes twinkling mischievously.

Margaret caught the look and asked him about it as they both sat down. "What’s so funny?"

"I was just thinking about the look that would be on Frank’s face if he walked in a found us sharing a friendly drink together." He told her with a small chuckle.

Margaret started chuckling as well. "His beady little eyes would probably pop out of his head." Then a thought occurred to her. "What does Trapper think of you being over here?"

"He doesn’t know." Hawkeye replied honestly. "But his beady little eyes would probably pop out of his head as well." He chuckled again and looked at Margaret.

"What is it?" She asked curiously as she gave him an expectant smile.

"When we first got back Trapper was trying to dig for some ‘dirt’ on our trip to the front." Hawkeye chuckled. "He asked me how you were and nearly had a stroke when I said that you were good. His twisted little brain jumped to some pretty big conclusions."

"What did you tell him?" Margaret’s tone turned a little stony as she regarded him coolly for a moment.

Hawkeye smiled mysteriously for a moment but then replied. "I told him that nothing had gone on, but that you had worked like a trouper ‘above and beyond the call’."

"What did he say to that?" She pressed curiously.

"I think he was a trifle disappointed." Hawkeye told her honestly. "And so was I." Margaret gave him a shocked look and opened her mouth to protest before she realized that he was only trying to get a rise out of her. Seeing the teasing glint in his eye she quickly closed her mouth and bit back the rebuke that was forthcoming. "How about a toast?" He proposed, giving her a friendly smile.

"To what?" Margaret asked as she returned his smile with one of her own.

Hawkeye paused for a moment, watching her carefully. "How about to burying the hatchet?"

"And to new friendship." She added as she clinked her glass against his. They took a drink from their glasses, both smiling at each other over the rims.

The End