This is my first M*A*S*H fic and any criticism (constructive) is welcome! Tell me how you like it and I'll continue.
It takes place (at the beginning) directly after the finale, so spoilers for the entire series, or at least you need to know what happened at the end.
Disclaimer: I don't own the show. It's owned by Larry Gelbart and whichever network owned it at the time. FOX, I think?
Hawkeye smiles softly as he questions his actions toward Margaret on his plane ride back to the states. He laughs a little as he thinks of the reaction he would have received when Frank was still around. A satisfied smirk replaces the laugh as he compares the differences between early war Hotlips and later war Margaret. Early war Hotlips would slap him for kissing her. Later war Margaret kissed him back. She reacted like a woman rather than a major.
Hawkeye then wonders if he will see his friends again. Beej said they would, but he still has his doubts. Charles will be in Boston, but Hawk doubts the man would have time for visits. The former army surgeon sighs as he rests his head against the plane seat. A broad smile crosses his face as he remembers he is on his way home. After three years of meatball surgery with a side of shelling, he is going back to Crabapple Cove and lobster. Hawkeye has no idea what else he is going to do once he gets home, but one thing is for sure. Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce is not going to work as a surgeon again.
Five months later, Hawkeye is elbow deep in plaster bandaging a broken bone when a nurse comes in with the fifteen year old patient's mother who frantically prattles over her child's condition. Becoming irritated at the woman's worry, because a man was given worse than this on his operating table, Hawkeye keeps his cool and smiles his most charming smile.
"Ma'am," He starts, "your son will be fine. Five weeks in plaster and he'll be good as new!"
The boy's mother smiles and thanks him before happily leaving with her son. Letting out a sigh of relief, Hawkeye goes to scrub the plaster from his hands and arms. When he leaves the facilities, he hears a few nurses gossip about a new nurse and shakes his head as he thought back to the 4077 and various nurses complaining about Houlihan. The thought of the camp makes the man wonder about the other members of their unit. If Beej were around he would talk of Peg and Erin. Charles would talk about books and himself. Klinger would be talking about Soon Lee and Toledo. Then, Margaret would be—
Hawk shakes his head again. He needs to work. Reminiscing is for home. As he walks down the hall he is stopped by a man on a gurney who is being wheeled directly past him. He shudders as memories of the war flood back. When he first came back home, Hawkeye questioned if he should even work in a hospital at all. One week at a general practice however, made him decide the vivacity of the hospital was where he needed to be.
He is about to stop at the reception desk, but a nurse stops him by handing him a chart for his new patient. The child is eight with a broken arm. Putting a smile on his face, Hawkeye walks into the patient's room. What the doctor finds surprises him. The little boy is holding his left arm and no parent is present.
"Hi, I'm Dr. Pierce. What's your name?" Hawkeye questions with the smile still on his face.
"Danny." The boy mumbles glancing up at the dark haired man. Hawk pulls a chair up to the patient's table and asks the standard, "What brings you here today Danny?"
"My arm. I fell off my bed. The lady next door babysat me 'cause my parents are out. She's outside arguing with a nurse if you want her," He brightly tells him, wishing to watch the scene. Much like the boy, Pierce thinks the same and smirks as he pictures Margaret and her nurses.
"Alright, well I'm going to bandage your arm, tell me if it's too tight on your arm," The man explains as he rolls out a bandage. Realizing he has no scissors, Hawkeye tells the boy he will be back. To his surprise, when he steps into the hallway, there are few to no nurses. He is about to approach the only unoccupied nurse when he hears a voice yell, "I don't care how big your workload is, you could at least tell me where the boy is!"
If he closes his eyes, he can envision the voice belonging to a certain fiery blonde. Shaking his head, the former surgeon goes back to his work. To his surprise, once he is given scissors and is mending the boy, Hawkeye hears the same voice from down the hall. Not looking up, the man pretends the woman is his former Army companion.
"Is he alright?" The woman says cordially yet excitedly.
"He'll be fine. Just a few weeks and he'll be good as new. Were you watching him?" He answers looking up. Seeing who the woman is, Pierce cannot help the smile that spreads across his face. She notices his grim and confused expression and states, "Yes, I thought he was asleep when I left him. The next thing I knew—"
Hawkeye gives the woman a reassuring smile as Danny supplies from his seat, "That's when I broke my arm."
"Danny, we should probably wait outside for your parents. I'll be out in a minute." The woman responds sweetly after exchanging an amused glance with the other adult in the room. Danny nods before going outside the room. Once the boy leaves, the woman is about to turn, but shocks the attending physician by walking toward him and giving a kiss that rivals his good-bye kiss at the end of the war. Knowing the kiss is an odd form of retaliation, Hawkeye simply smiles as he says, "Nurse, I hope you know that was highly unethical."
The woman smiles as she says, "Shut up Pierce."
Unable to help himself, Hawkeye answers, "Five months out of the army and the states have already softened you major."
The major gives a playful, exasperated gesture at the man's antics while stating, "Still the same Pierce, I see."
"Yep, same old, same old. Are you my new nurse, Margaret?" He questions teasingly. Margaret shakes her head giving her friend a confused glance.
"Sorry. We're short staffed. One of our head nurses decided to get married last month," He answers slightly emabarrassed. Nodding, the woman answers, "I just moved here. I have an interview tomorrow for an opening, but it's in surgery."
There is a small bit of silence as Margaret and Hawkeye simply stare at each other.
"I need to get back to Danny." She says adding that the boy's parents should be at the hospital soon. The man nods and adds that they should get together and talk when they are both free.