Forbidden Hearts: A twist on "What's Up Doc"

By Rena

Author's notes: This story is stretching wishful thinking to beyond belief, but it was fun. Also, I'd like to thank a couple of persons, even though our opinions on this particular subject matter is total opposite, they have been there to bounce around ideas with.

Positive. He said it was positive. It was positive.

Margaret stepped away from Hawkeye and his life-changing diagnosis. She had to think. Divorce final yesterday, and now this. Oh, no. Almost too much to bear. What was she going to do?

"Well, congratulations! It is a miracle!" Hawkeye chimed, ecstatic, first not realizing Margaret's distress. Sensing something amiss with her, he assumed it was because this news meant a halt to her Army career. But hey, look at what she and Donald were getting. Great compensation.

"I lied." She muttered weakly, not turning around.

"Uh, what?" He replied casually, putting away the equipment. "You what?"

"I lied," Margaret summoned the courage to look him straight in the eye and boldly tell him, "I lied."

"Lied?" Hawkeye repeated. "What did you lie about? As I recall, earlier you suspected you were pregnant, and it is true. So, how could you lie about that?"

"It isn't that."

"Then....?" he prompted for her to reveal a little more.

"I... we... uh, Donald and I.. we didn't..." Oh how to say this, but she needed to confide in someone and right now, there was no one better than Hawkeye. For he had held her hand since her first suspicion of her condition. The words needing saying tumbled from her lips. "When Donald and I were in Tokyo, we didn't.. all we did was talk. We sat in the room and talked. We didn't get any closer to each other than across the table. It was an amicable discussion. It was over. Our marriage was over. We were, are, too different. I've always been attracted to men different from me, but this just didn't work. You know I got the papers yesterday, so it's now final. But there, in Tokyo, he didn't even hug me. He didn't."

"Margaret, are you telling me that you and he didn't do anything?" Hawkeye was beginning to worry about her. "Not a thing?"

"Nothing. Not even a kiss, or a hug."

"Oh, well, something had to have happened. If not with Donald, then.. ?"

"Then with someone else." She finished.

"Will you tell who?"

"I can't."

"You don't know his name?" He cracked, not ducking in time to miss her punch at his shoulder. "Sorry, I'm sorry."

"Yes, very well do I know his name," she lamented. "I didn't do this on the rebound."

"Okay, all right, but you need to tell him."

"I don't know, it's not that easy." Margaret couldn't at this point, imagine telling the potential father that... that... he's about to become just that. A dad. Or should she tell him? That strong, independent streak of hers was never failing. "Thank you for helping me with this."

"Wait, wait," Hawkeye jumped up to block her exit from the lab. "What's not easy? You just sit him down and tell him that beginning next Father's Day, he'll be getting lots of presents and hugs and stuff."

"Yeah, now, please let me by."

"Where are you going?"

"If it's any of your business, right now, to my tent."

"Margaret, you don't have to go through this alone, you have all of us to lean on." He offered nicely. "If you don't want to talk with me, what about Col. Potter? Or Father Mulcahy? I would recommend the Father, but since the colonel is aware of this, and he can help you more with the wonderful military regs, maybe it would be better if it was him. Please."

"Maybe. I don't know. Thanks again for, uh, your help with this."

Hawkeye watched Margaret go out into the compound, wishing she wasn't so stubborn as to let him, or any one help her more. He had an idea. Once out in the camp, she felt those personnel passing by her all knew of her little predicament. They didn't, of course, but Margaret could not wait to reach the safety of her tent.

A knock came on the door, making Margaret jump. She sat perfectly silent, for the moment, afraid to move. What if it was him? The knock came again, whomever it be, was not going away. Shaking, she went to the door, and slowly opened it. Breathing a tremendous sigh of relief to find it was Col. Potter. She quickly ushered him in.

"Margaret, Pierce said there is something you might like to discuss."

"What? He did what?" Margaret was immediately panicked. "I.. I can't believe he would do this."

"He just wants to help," he gently said, taking a seat. "He's very concerned about you. Pierce didn't say, but I get the notion this has something to do with your test."

"Yes," why hide it now? "As you can guess, it was positive."

"Well, great galloping geldings!! This is terrific, I hope." Potter was so happy for her that Margaret felt bad at dampening that sentiment. "Have you gotten in touch with Donald yet? Perhaps the divorce can be reversed."

"I won't be getting in touch with him."

"Margaret, you have to," his manner serious, "he's gotta know. I realize this puts what you want out of the Army on an infinite hold, but it is his responsibility, too."

"No, it's not," she paused, letting her words sink in. Then tearfully continued, "I mean, the baby isn't Donald's."

"Not Donald's?" The colonel replied stiffly.

"No," Margaret retold what happened when they met in Tokyo, as Potter sat patiently listening. "I'm sorry for lying. I was frightened, not knowing where to turn, what to do, and hoping, at the time, I wasn't pregnant."

"I hate to hear that, Margaret. That you were so scared. Please, always remember that we are here for you." As he spoke of this, she was reminded how Hawkeye had told her the very same thing. She should pay heed to that more.

"You hoped you weren't pregnant? How do feel now, that you know?"

"The Army means so much to me. It's always been my life, but this child. I want it. I truly want it." Margaret was hoping she sounded braver than she felt. "I want this child, and perhaps someday when he or she is older.. I can.. Listen to me, I'm planning out my entire life, and I don't even know what I'm going to do in the next twenty-four hours." She sobbed, finding comfort in the colonel's fatherly embrace. After a few moments, she felt stronger to continue. Revealing to him the cold, hard facts.

"Sir, you put it into perspective back in your office," Margaret confessed. "Remember the other day, when I, Pierce and I came to tell you about this. You hit the nail on the head. Right on the head."

"Refresh the ol' memory, what did I say?"

"It was the question you asked Pierce," she could tell that he wasn't quite following her. "About my problem, sir. Well, it's not, of course, the nurses and it's not Pierce."

"Yes," he remembered now. "Are you saying... ? Him? Oh, my sweet Lord."

Margaret nodded, began to tell how this 'blessed event' all came about. After she left the meeting with Donald, and feeling rather melancholy about it, she remembered how the colonel had sent Charles to Tokyo General for the session with the other thoracic surgeons of the MASH units and aid stations. Instead of making the journey home to the 4077 by herself, she thought she could ride back with him if he was through. He was just finishing up when she got there, and not happy with the way it had all gone with the young chief surgeon in charge of the conference. Too much of an upstart in his thinking.

"We went back to his hotel room to get his things, and then head off." Margaret's voice was faltering. "Before we left, we had a drink of cognac. You know he doesn't go anywhere without that. We sat awhile to commiserate over our present stations in life. He was actually sympathetic to my ordeal. If you can believe it."

"It is tough," Potter agreed. "Continue, please."

"As I said, he was understanding and," Margaret pretended not to notice the colonel's eyeroll. "We talked more, but honestly, we didn't have more than one drink apiece." She became fidgety, "and it just, well, happened."

"Oh, dear," he wasn't sure how to proceed with this. That had to begin with Margaret. "He needs to be told. You can't just let myself and Pierce know."

"He doesn't know. Pierce, I mean," she gasped. "Just that I am, well, you know. Oh goodness, what is my dad going to say? What will he do? And my mother?" Margaret was up and pacing. "His parents? They're going to hate me."

"Hold the reins, Margaret, let's let Winchester know first."

"Oh, yeah," she paused. "I cannot."

"Yes, you can do that."

"What if he thinks I'm trying to trick him or something?" With all her self-opposition, voicing her worries did ease them a little.

"You won't know unless you do it, and I suggest ASAP. Also, he might surprise you."

Margaret decided to sleep on it, but there really was no chance of that. The little she did get, though, she dreamed everything was all right. The war was over. Charles knew, and everything was good.

When morning finally broke, she quickly discovered differently. Although, was a bright, sunny, unassuming day. On her way to breakfast, the feeling of everyone around knowing what's going on with her was still there, but she had a bit more confidence, knew it wasn't so.

"Good morning, Margaret," the greeting came from behind her. She had her hand on the mess tent door and was about to enter. Frozen, all breath going out of her. "Are you going in, or stand there and prevent the rest of us from indulging in masochism?"

"I'm not hungry," she muttered, "I've changed my mind."

"A few, not many, parts of it can be edible." Charles said as she brushed past him.

Margaret was nearly back to her tent when the fateful announcement came over the PA. Incoming wounded. She managed to put her troubles on the backburner, and be the professional she was. In the OR, that was put to the test. Thankfully, she assisted Col. Potter, and they had light casualties. Although, Charles was directly behind her, and the slightest brush was torture. Plus, the CO kept making curious faces and nods at her.

"All right, major," Potter requested, "let's get this closed up." He leaned close, with a whispered urge, "you need to.."

"I know!" She snapped. "I will."

"What are you two hatching over there?" Hawkeye piped in, and B.J. joined with, "yeah, no fair keeping all secrets to yourself."

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