Disclaimer: I don't own MASH. Obviously.
Also, the timeline is so confusing anyway, I'm not going to stick to full episodic accuracy.
Stepping into camp, a tall doctor takes stock of where his orders place him. Amid the dirt and army green tents displaying the number of his MASH unit, the man manages to find his way to the Colonel's office where a short bespeckled kid asks who he is.
"Hawkeye Pierce," The man replies before correcting himself. "My papers will say Benjamin F. Pierce."
The younger man looks at the roster of names and leads him to a tent with four bunks.
"Captain Pierce? This is Trapper," The clerk explains.
"Thanks Radar," Trapper states hoping this man is nothing like his other bunk mate. "Welcome to The Swamp."
Hawkeye smiles at the name, easily noticing how well it suits his messy, new abode. Trapper lets Radar leave and begins to show his bunk mate around the camp. Walking around and getting the Grand Tour, as Trapper calls it, Hawkeye jerks his head when he sees a certain blonde nurse walk by. Laughing, Trapper replies, "That's Major Margaret Houlihan. She's head nurse. Careful though, she's taken by old Ferret Face over there."
"Yeah, what's he like?" Hawkeye asks trying to dismiss the memory of Margaret leaving him alone outside his hotel holding coffees and breakfast. Shrugging, Trapper replies, "Dull? Lifeless? Our other bunk mate. His real name's Frank. He's a major, too. I got a feeling the majors like to stick together."
Nodding, Hawkeye watches Margaret laugh at something Frank says. Smirking, Hawkeye motions Trapper to follow him before he catches the Majors' attention. Stunned to find Ben Pierce in front of her, Margaret stands with her mouth open as Frank asks, "Who are you?"
Ignoring his bunk mate, Hawkeye extends his hand to the nurse. She takes it out of reflex, and is soon locked in a seering kiss. Pulling back, Margaret whispers, "Hi."
Now she remembers how they end up sleeping together two years ago.
"How dare you!" Frank exclaims breaking the moment as Trapper nearly falls to the ground laughing. He and Hawkeye are going to have fun.
"It's okay, Frank," Margaret replies cooly before she stalks off with the man. Trapper and Hawkeye watch the pair leave, the latter wanting to run after them. Hawkeye has no idea seeing the blonde again can stir up so many feelings he is unprepared to deal with. Instead, he forges a friendship with his new bunkmate and begins to silently observe his former one night stand. Every so often he makes a flirtatious remark or outright flirts with her, but every time she brushes him off. He wants to talk with her alone, but Frank is always around. For a bit of sanity, Hawkeye needs to know why Margaret leaves all those years ago, and why she is so cross with him. Instead, he digs as deep a hole as he can find via sarcastic comments and jokes hoping that she will fall in with him one day. Maybe then they will actually talk.
For Margaret, seeing Hawkeye is too hearbreaking. All she sees is a man who left and a burning image of her son. Somehow, Michael has his father's eyes from day one. She never gets to see what else her child possesses. Indifference and Army superiority are what keep her going. Every so often, Hawkeye glances at Margaret. He knows there is something different about her, but cannot figure out what it is. She is obviously more serious than their first– only– encounter, but he chalks that to Army life. Working with her in surgery one day, he detects a possible hint of sadness in her eyes. He tries to nonverbally ask her what is wrong, but she merely shakes her head and proceeds to pass him another instrument.
"Margaret," He whispers sincerely. The glare he receives keeps him quiet a moment as he switches to a lighter subject. Appreciating the change, Margaret wonders how she can be so transparent. Hawkeye does not need to know he is partially to blame for her pain.
However, from that surgery session, the pair realizes there is more of a connection then just their one night stand two years ago. To both Chief Surgeon and Head Nurse's dismay, they find they work well together. Usually that is helpful, but not with so much unsaid tension.
On the anniversary of her son's death, Margaret is surrounded by the chaos of the OR. She tries to keep focused on everything that happens which results in her critiquing the nurses just to know she is actually doing her job and not thinking of her son.
"'And I'd like to make an announcement! Major Houlihan and I are getting married! Right sugar?'" Hawkeye asks bringing her out of her memory as well as ending her tirade.
"'What?" She yells adding, "'We are not!'"
"'Then go ahead and have the baby alone.'"
His words are like a punch in the stomach and her eyes glass over for a moment. Thankfully everyone is too busy to notice Margaret's quickly masked grief. No one needs to know about her three month old's death. Receiving a letter from an old friend later that day finally sends the nurse into a rage. Ranting to Frank, Margaret finally goes to Colonel Blake's office to request a transfer naming Hawkeye and Trapper as the main cause. In reality, Hawkeye is the only cause. Without him she would not be grieving. As if she declares late November her own personal holiday, Margaret steadily drinks herself into an unfeeling mess.
Saddled with a drunk nurse thanks to their barbs, Hawkeye and Trapper guide her into the showers. Being closest, Trapper pushes Margaret into a stall and keeps her still while Hawkeye pulls the shower cord.
"'I could've gone for you'," Margaret admits staring at Hawkeye once she is a little sober. He smirks replying, "'It's been known to happen.'"
Dismissing his remark, the head nurse immediately turns to Trapper signaling to Hawkeye that the shower is definitely helping. Deciding the thoroughly drenched Margaret is fit to dry out in their tent a few minutes later, Hawkeye and Trapper keep her company. Giving the nurse a shot of B10, Hawkeye can see the confused look in her eyes as she remarks, "'I didn't get you anything.'"
Bitterly, he thinks about her leaving instead. Dragging the nurse to her tent to let her get dressed, Trapper asks Hawkeye, "What was that about?"
"What was what about?"
"You and Margaret. That look you shared."
Shrugging, Hawkeye answers, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Before Trapper can say anymore, Margaret throws her tent door open. Eyes wide, she asks, "Did we have wounded?"