Hawkeye's Choice

by Paris

Author's Note: This story takes place after Comrades in Arms, somewhere in one of the last seasons (you really don't need to know when, because I really don't make any references to other plot lines, except Donald Penobscott, and just to let you know Radar has left already). I want your feedback, good, bad or indifferent!

"Pierce," Sherman Potter said as he walked into the Swamp one afternoon.

"Yeah?" Hawkeye looked up from an old letter he was reading. He was alone in the Swamp. It had been a slow day and most were out enjoying the good weather. Hawkeye was feeling somewhat depressed, and opted for the peace and quiet of the Swamp.

"I was wondering if you would do me a favor," Potter said, "That is if you aren't too busy."

"I've got nothing to do. What is it?" Hawkeye asked.

"Major Houlihan's tent needs to patched at the roof. She's been complaining about it for weeks. I was going to ask Klinger to do it for me, but he and Father Mulcahy are out giving supplies to the orphanage."

"Sure. I'll do it. That won't be a problem," Hawkeye agreed.

"Great, the ladder is over by my office, and you can get the other things you'll need over there," at that Colonel Potter left the Swamp and Hawkeye followed.

He walked slowly towards the office. Hawkeye found the ladder, and the other things and headed to Margaret's tent.

"Hey Pierce," the Colonel called to him as he was leaving with the ladder.

"Yes?" Hawkeye turned around.

"You're shoe. You need to tie it," the Colonel said, but Hawkeye was too far to hear him.

"What are you talking about?" Hawkeye questioned, "I don't need to diet!" He proceeded on and set the ladder up. He climbed it, and began fixing Margaret's tent.

"Pierce what are you doing?" Margaret screeched as she was going into her tent.

"Margaret, do I look fat?" Hawkeye asked.

"What? What are you doing up there? I demand an explanation! I am sick of your crazy practical jokes. Grow up, will you? And if you don't get down from there I will see that you and your sorry excuse for a soldier gets shipped out of here faster than you can say MacArthur!" She meant every word she said.

"Margaret you don't understand!" Hawkeye said leaning down feeling very hurt and dejected, "Colonel Potter told me to.." He lost his balance and began flapping his arms to regain it, "Margaret!" He screamed for help, as he fell. When he landed his head hit a rock.

She was speechless at first. It had happened all to fast. "Help!" She screamed, "Somebody help!" She screamed and started to cry.

BJ and Sherman came running. "What happened, Margaret?" Sherman asked.

"He was on the ladder, and I told him to get down," she sobbed, "He lost his balance."

"What was he doing up there?" BJ asked kneeling down to check his best friend's vital signs.

"I asked him to patch up Margaret's tent for her," Sherman said, "Is he okay?"

"He is unconscious, and there is possible damage to the brain. We need to get he into the OR," BJ said.

"All right lets get him prepped," Sherman said.

"You mean he wasn't in the middle of a practical joke?" Margaret asked still in shock, and now crying much harder, "He was trying to help me?"

A nurse came with a stretcher, and helped BJ get Hawkeye into Pre-Op.

"Margaret are you going to be okay?" Sherman asked.

"I don't know," she said, and went into her tent.

Hours later, Hawkeye was in a bed in Post-Op, still unconscious, and still very much in danger of never waking up again.

"Henry?" Hawkeye said, looking at the figure at the end of his bed.

"Yeah Hawk. It's me," Henry Blake said.

"Does this mean that I am dead?" Hawkeye asked.

"Hawkeye, I am your guardian angel. I am talking to your unconscious. No one else can see me, and you are still in that bed. I know it sounds pretty hokey, but you need me right now. You have to make a choice. At this point medically you can go either way. You can live or die.." He was interrupted.

"I want to .." Hawkeye started.

"Ahh, Hawk it isn't that simple. After seeing what happened with you and Margaret today, I know you might want to chose not to go on, but I have to show you a few things first," Henry explained.

"How do you know about my feelings towards Margaret?" Hawkeye asked, because he had been trying very hard not to show anyone that he was madly in love with her.

"I'm your angel. I know," Henry said with a smile, "I'm going to take you on a little tour to show you what will happen at the 4077th if you chose not to live. You have to remember that no one can see us or hear us, okay?"

"All right," Hawkeye said. He followed Henry into the office.

"Klinger?" Colonel Potter asked.

"Yes, sir?" Klinger asked obediently.

"I need you to get Sid Freedman on the phone pronto," the Colonel said.

"I'm on it sir," Klinger said as he started working on the phone.

Colonel Potter went into his office and sat in his chair. At first he stared at the picture of Mildred on his desk, and then at a painting on the wall of Hawkeye. The Colonel put his head in his hands and started to cry. "It's all my fault!" He sobbed, "Mildred," he sobbed to the picture, "If I wouldn't have asked him to fix that tent he wouldn't have fallen. I love them all, as if they were my children. Why did this have to happen?"

"Sir," Klinger said softly trying not to interrupt, "Sidney Freedman is on the phone."

Potter quickly wiped his eyes as if nothing had happened. "Thank you, son." Potter picked up the phone in his office. "Hello Sidney. It's Sherman Potter at the four oh double seven. We could really use you here. One of our doctors just died. The entire unit is taking it badly. My head nurse has locked herself in her tent, and one of my doctors won't speak to anyone. And Sidney, I am not doing well either. Please come as quickly as you can. Thank you." Potter hung up the phone, and once again started to cry.

"I think you've seen enough of this, here. Let's move on." Henry suggested.

"Is he going to be all right? I've never seen him cry," Hawkeye said with concern.

"He is filled with a lot of grief right now, and overcome with guilt," Henry explained, "Let's go pay a visit to Hot Lips, okay?"

"All right," Hawkeye said, and followed Henry to Margaret's tent. He turned he knob on the door, but it was locked, "How are we supposed to get in?"

"We'll walk through the side," Henry said, and that they did.

Margaret was on her bed with a bottle of Scotch, and two empty bottles lay beside her. "Why? Dammit! Why?" She cried in hysterics. "It was my fault. I shouldn't have been so hard on him." She took another drink from the bottle. "I loved him!" she screamed, "I loved him, but I am such a heartless bitch I killed him!" She cried in uncontrollable tears. "Dammit! Why isn't this working?" She asked looking at the empty bottle of Scotch, "I just want the pain to go away!" She screamed, and threw the bottle across the room shattering her mirror and the bottle. The tears were rushing down Margaret's face, "I loved him!"

"Can we leave now?" Hawkeye asked Henry, "I can't bear to see her like this."

"We aren't quite done here," Henry said.

Margaret staggered off of her bed and to her dresser. She picked up a piece of legal looking paper. "I did this for him! I did this, because I loved him. I loved him more than I ever imagined I could love anyone, including Donald! I did this for him! He gave me the strength to leave that bastard!" She said crying, "Oh, Hawkeye!"

"Now we can go," Henry said, "Off to the Swamp."

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