*** Please note- I don't own any of these characters. (Although I wish I did.) They belong to Fox. The story, however, is mine. Also, this is my first fanfic so I would appreciate feedback! Let me know what you think! Thanks!

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Seeing Clearly~ An Alternate Ending to Aid Station

by Danielle

After throwing away what was left of their dinner, Hawkeye came and sat next to Margaret. Exhausted after the work they'd done at the aid station, he slumped to the ground. Margaret followed suit. Klinger was already sound asleep.

Hawkeye had just closed his eyes when he heard Margaret say, "Do you suppose there are snipers out there?"

"If they're good union snipers, they are," Hawkeye joked. After seeing the look on her face, he moved close to her and covered her up with is blanket, on top of hers. "I want you to know that chivalry is not dead, it's just been replaced by exhaustion."

"Good night, Captain," she whispered.

"Good night, Major," he mumbled, already half asleep.

* * * * * * *

Hawkeye was awoken by the thunder in the distance. The shelling had started again.

"Good Lord, don't they ever sleep?" he muttered angrily as another blast shook the wall of their "shelter." He sat up. There was no point in trying to sleep now. He looked around, and grinned when he saw Klinger. That Lebanese could sleep through anything. Then he noticed Margaret. Tough as she was, she was still shaking with fear.

"Margaret, come here," he said kindly.

"I'm not scared," she said defensively. But she sat up anyway and allowed Hawkeye to put his arm around her.

"Of course you're not," Hawkeye said soothingly.

Another shell exploded, closer than the last. Both Hawkeye and Margaret jumped.

"That was awful close," Margaret whispered.

"Shh...don't worry. We'll be ok." Hawkeye said, trying to reassure both Margaret and himself. He put his other arm around her and hugged her close. Margaret held on tight, not wanting it to end.

All thoughts of Frank were banished from her mind. Frank. What was Frank? She sighed. She never loved him, not even for a moment. He was just a distraction to keep her mind off what she really wanted- Hawkeye. She frowned a little. He didn't feel the same way, though. Of at least Hawkeye's and Trapper's jokes made it seem that way...She thought back to that "Christmas present," when he had kissed her. Unknown to Frank, she had not wanted that kiss to end...but to Hawkeye it all seemed to be a joke... Hawkeye looked down at the woman in his arms. He shook his head slightly as a thought crossed his mind. He, Hawkeye, was actually jealous of Frank. Jealous because Frank had what he was crazy about- Margaret. Yes, he was constantly teasing her

Impulsively, Hawkeye did something he'd wanted to do for a long time, but was afraid to attach any meaning behind it. When his lips first touched hers, Margaret was too shocked to respond, but then she deepened the kiss. Shells went off in the distance, but both were so lost in the moment, neither heard. Margaret was the first to break the kiss. She looked at him as she struggled to find the words. He moved to kiss her again, but she turned her head.

"No, Hawkeye, I- I can't," she said.

"Let me guess," Hawkeye replied dryly. "Frank."

"No, It's you- and me...I don't' want to get hurt.

"Margaret, you know I would never do anything to hurt you!"

"Oh, I've seen you with the nurses," Margaret said icily." It's a new nurse every night! I don't want that. I want more." She paused. She hadn't meant to say that much.

"Look, Margaret, I don't want it-"

She interrupted him, continuing angrily," How do I know that this is for real, Pierce? How do I know I'm not just the nurse du jour? That your kiss is sincere? That you're only doing this so you can go back to the Swamp and brag to Trapper?"

"Margaret, it's not-"

"I will not be one of your nurses of the day! I will not be one of your little conquests!"

Hawkeye stood up abruptly. "Fine. If you want to see it that way, go right ahead." Angrily he jammed his helmet on his head and strode into the darkness.

Margaret lay back down, but she couldn't sleep. Something was bothering her. She replayed their conversation over in her head, trying to come up with it. She kept seeing Hawkeye's face as he stormed out. There had been genuine hurt in those blue eyes. She jumped to her feet, suddenly realizing what a huge mistake she had just made. She looked out into the night, hoping that in his anger, he hadn't done anything stupid.

"Klinger, wake up!" she whispered frantically, shaking him.

"Yes, Major?" he asked. He had been awake during their fight.

"It's...it's Hawkeye. He walked out and hasn't come back."

"And you want me to help find him, right? Okay then."

As Klinger got flashlights for himself and the Major, she stood by the wall and peered into the night. She prayed he was ok.

Klinger broke the silence. "He loves you, you know."

"I DON'T ca-" she stopped. "He what?"

"He loves you. He really does."

Margaret nodded. Tears shone in her eyes. If anything happened to him... "Well, let's go, Corporal."

* * * * * * *

They had decided to split up, and signal if either saw anything. Margaret had been walking for a while when she heard Klinger's call. She saw his flashlight beam and rushed over. Her nerves were stretched to breaking point.

Klinger saw her coming. "Never mind, Major. It's not him. Good thing, too...because this soldier didn't make it."

Margaret closed her eyes, telling herself that Hawkeye was okay. Again, they went their separate ways into the blackness.

* * * * * * *

Margaret swept the flashlight beam on the ground, looking for a sign of him-anything. If she didn't find him soon, she just might crack under the pressure. Every little noise made her jump. She was aware of how dangerous this was, with the enemy so close by. Again, her thoughts turned to Hawkeye. Was he okay? If he was hurt, or worse, killed, she would never forgive herself. If she hadn't been so stubborn and blind... Then she saw something. It was someone lying prone on the ground. Cautiously, Margaret walked forward. She knelt by the body to check who it was.

The person grasped her hand and weakly gasped, "Margaret?" Then he faded back into unconsciousness. She gasped. Hawkeye!

"Klinger!" she cried. She frantically waved her flashlight. "Over here! I found him!" Klinger saw her light and ran to her. While she waited for Klinger, Margaret examined Hawkeye. He was in bad shape. His leg was bleeding, as well as his head. The head wound wasn't too terrible. He might have a concussion, she judged from the way he was laying- like he had fallen. Klinger arrived, panting, "How is he?"

"He may have a concussion. And he's been shot, in the leg and the head," she said.

"Major," Klinger said, lowering his voice.


"Do you know what this means?"

"Of course! He's been shot!" snapped Margaret.

"Shh! That too...but this also means that there's snipers in the area." Margaret froze. Her and Klinger stared at each other, seeing each other's fear. Then they flung themselves into action.

To not draw attention to themselves, they worked in silence and in the dark. Klinger tore his shirt to make bandages. Once his wounds were bandaged, Margaret's coat became a makeshift stretcher. Margaret picked up the end by Hawkeye's head. Klinger nodded when she looked back to see if he was ready. Quietly they moved in the direction of their shelter. A gunshot sounded in the distance. They both paused, then doubled their speed. When it was in sight, a shell exploded off in the distance. They took advantage of the noise and ran the remaining way.

Once inside, Hawkeye was immediately placed on one of the sawhorse tables. Klinger and Margaret both readied for surgery.

"Klinger, I need you to hold the flashlight above his leg, and help me if I need assistance."

"Yes Major," he replied. "Do you know what you're doing?"

She hesitated and looked at Klinger, the apprehension visible in her eyes. Then she looked back down and began the surgery. Once the bullet was out and his leg bandaged, Margaret took a look at his head. The bullet had just grazed him. Margaret thanked God that he'd had enough sense to take his helmet with him. It had saved his life. Once that was cleaned up. Margaret checked to see if he had a concussion. He didn't. Both heaved a sigh of relief. He would be okay.

Margaret dragged a crate next to Hawkeye.

"Major, why don't you get some sleep? I'll stay up with him," Klinger offered.

"I'd rather stay with him."

"Alright. Good night, Major," he laid down.

"Good night Klinger. And thank you."

His reply was a snore.

* * * * * * *

The first rays of light were peeking horizon when Hawkeye finally stirred. He groaned, "Damn, what was I drinking? My hangover goes all the way down to my leg."

"Hawkeye?" Margaret said softly, hurrying over to his side. He saw her and immediately remembered what had happened last night. The kiss, the fight, the gunshot..."Shh, lay down. How are you feeling?"

"It hurts," he admitted,

"Well, you scared me and Klinger half to death last night...shot in the leg, and head."

"Listen, Margaret...about last night. I-"

"No, no. Don't. It was my fault. You're right, I wasn't seeing things clearly. " He grinned. She continued. "Last night, when you walked out, I realized something. Then I thought that I had lost you, and that something became even stronger. Hawkeye Pierce, I love you."

Hawkeye took her hands and spoke, his voice oddly husky with emotion. "Margaret, what I was trying to say last night is that I love you too. I always have."

She laughed. Her laughter was interrupted when Hawkeye kissed her. Hawkeye kept a firm grip on her hands when the broke the kiss.

"Marry me."

She looked into his blue eyes, not sure if he was joking. Hawkeye flinched. She was waiting to long...He prepared for the worst. Margaret continued to read his eyes. What she found was the most love she'd ever seen in anyone's eyes.

"Hawkeye, I would be honored to be your wife. Yes!"

Klinger, who had just woken up, came over to the couple. "Congratulations!" he told his friend, and leaned over to give Hawkeye a hug. Then he turned to the Major and held out his hand. "Congrats to you, too, Major." Then Margaret surprised everyone and gave him a hug.

"Thanks, Klinger."

"Now if only we could go home...what a perfect day it would be!" Hawkeye joked. On cue, one of the aid station's corpsmen came in. "I-CORPS just called. Our new surgeon's on his way. You get to go home."

* * * * * * *

"There it is. Home," said Klinger. He stopped the jeep on a hill overlooking the camp. The three looked at each other, remembering their experience.

"Margaret, you're my favorite Major, ever," Hawkeye said. As she blushed, he leaned over and kissed her.

"Yeah, you're tops!" Klinger agreed.

He started the jeep. As he drove slowly into the compound, Hawkeye jokingly asked, "I wonder what Frank will think of our little arrangement?"

"Who cares what that Ferret Face thinks? I love you!" Margaret replied.

"Love you too."

Klinger stopped the jeep. They were home. The whole camp ran over, cheering and yelling, "Welcome back!" With the whole camp watching, Hawkeye kissed Margaret. And this time, when he moved to kiss her again, she didn't object.

* The End *