Disclaimer: I do not own M*A*S*H… obviously!
(Author's note at the end)
"Oh Sherman – do you really have to go overseas? Isn't there some other way?"
Colonel Sherman T. Potter, felt like his heart shattered into a million pieces, upon hearing his wife's plea.
"Mildred, you know that if I could – I would tell command to shove my orders up their behind. But you know just as well as I do, that can't if I want to retire honourably."
The light from the overhead light fixture above the kitchen table where the pair was sitting at illuminated the tears that were welling in Mildred's soft blue eyes, so that they gave off a slight shimmer.
"Mother, now there is no need for that," Sherman said softly as he reached across the small round table, and placed a hand over his wife's. "We've done this once before – it's going to be alright. I know that after I came home from WW2, that I swore I'd never leave you again. Never in a million years would I have thought that those dimwitted buffoons in Washington would allow the ole' star spangled banner to be pulled into another pointless killing match… well at least this soon, anyways."
"Sherman, I knew what I was getting into the day you proposed to me in your cavalry uniform. We have spent more years apart, on opposite sides of the globe, than I care to admit. But I was okay with it because I knew that it was what I agreed to. The day I said, I do – I knew that I was agreeing to wait upon a travelling solider." Mildred paused to wipe the tears that were running down her cheeks away, with the back of her free hand. "But we are so much older now, Darling. Emmy's all grown up and gone, and married herself. I'm not sure what I am to do with myself for the next eighteen months."
The sight of his loving wife upset turned on the waterworks, for Sherman as well. He knew that he couldn't control the situation – but that didn't change the fact that he felt responsible for making the strongest woman he had ever met, weep with sorrow.
"It's going to be hard for me too. I'm no young pup anymore. As a man ages sweetheart, he depends upon the love of his wife more and more. I'm not going to lie to you – they are sending me to one of those new types of field hospitals called an M*A*S*H unit. I am going to be only a few miles behind the frontline… I ship out the day after tomorrow."
A small, strangled cry of astonishment escaped Mildred's throat. With Sherman's age and experience, she had just assumed that they were going to assign him to some rear echelon post.
She pulled her hand out of her husband's grasp, and covered her face with her hands as she began to cry harder.
Acting on instinct, Sherman sprang up from his chair and walked around the table to Mildred. He knelt down on his knees, and gently grasped both of Mildred's wrists so that he could pull her hands from her face. He then entwined his hands with hers, and gave them a firm, yet, gentle squeeze.
Mildred raised her bowed head so that her eyes could meet with his. She was surprised to see the remorse and hurt in his steely eyes. It was very seldom that he allowed his emotions to be displayed so blatantly.
With an emotionally, shaky tone of voice; Sherman explained, "I am kneeling here before you and promising you this – I swear on everything that I hold dear that I will come home to you. You are everything to me, Mildred Ethel Potter. When I come home from my last tour of duty; we are going to live the happy life that I promised you all the way back in 1918. I love you more than anybody ever has, or will."
The sincerity in her husband's voice made a small smile creep across Mildred's lips. She slowly nodded her head up and down before telling him, "I love you too – and I know that you are going to keep your promise. I can feel it in my heart. You have always had a strong sense of duty, which is one of the reason I love you so much. If you need to go away to a far off land once more – I can manage."
Sherman smiled at his wife, amazed as always by just how compassionate she was. He then stood up, andwith his hands still joined with Mildred's, also brought her up onto her feet.
"Tomorrow night, I am going to put on my best suit and you are going to put on your best dress and set of pearls. We are then going to go out for supper at that new fancy restaurant that just opened up across town, and eat and drink wine until we can't stomach anymore. How does that sound?"
Mildred broke away from Sherman's grasp and wrapped her arms loosely around his neck. Sherman in turn wrapped her arms around Mildred's waist. After placing a soft peck on his lips, she replied, "I would love that."
"But right now dear, I am going to lead you up that oak staircase, take you up to our bedroom, and make love to you like I am only twenty years old, again."
With a raised eyebrow and a devilish smirk, Mildred happily remarked, "Why Sherman Potter."
A/N: So yeah, I sat down to finish writing chapter 6 of my other M*A*S*H story; but this came out instead…
Just a few things: As far as I can remember, Mildred was never given a middle name. So, I gave her my great-grandmother's middle name!
Also, I hoped I portrayed how hard the separation would have been for our beloved Colonel and his Mrs, in a believable way.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this one-shot, and reviews are 100% welcome. Good or constructive criticism!