Jazz music. Margaret had never been one for it, never cared much for it, even when her father would insist that it was a family tradition to listen to it after a major victory. It swung too much, everyone seemed to be in a constant state of 'we have problems, but while this music is going, let's ignore it' and that was not Margaret's style. She imagined Charles would agree with her.
Nonetheless, the club was beautiful. Not the type that's adored with reds and golds and silvers, the type that gave the atmosphere that Margaret would have relished in four years ago – where only the elite, the serious, the good came. No, this was…dingy, perhaps? A step up from dingy. Neon and dark lights gently hummed their long life from the corners, the scent of beer mixed with that of tobacco, and every surface was rough in its own way.
Even as she had to fend of three different waiters with six trays of appetizers and champagne, the thought of one of her best friends in the world brought a smile to her face. Even thinking of the deplorable conditions made her giddy, to a degree, because she thought of the fun they somehow had. Watching Pierce smell and subject BJ to his 'What it Certainly Smells Like' No matter if it was scalding heat or deathly cold, they had some way to get through it together. Like playing tug of war in the mud. Why could she still recall Pierce's arm around her waist so vividly, his laughter on her neck, and her back against his chest? And why had he held onto her that way in the first place?
Now they were gone.
And she was alone.
"Scotch," she ordered the moment she sat at the bar. The barkeep, a pleasant looking man with a pleasant looking countenance, nodded as Margaret attempted to keep her spine straight. The only real light, save for the dim, romantic lights above her head, came from the neon, glowing band, and stage, where players fiddled with trumpets and blew into clarinets. People danced just at the foot of the floor, all in couples, all with a content smile on their face. How nice for them.
Being alone didn't suit Margaret Houlihan anymore. For a long time in Korea, she assumed that she would flourish the moment she stepped out of a war zone and got away from the jokers and nutty yet somehow lovable people there. That was before they got under her skin and made comfy little memories in her heart. She couldn't be alone anymore.
She missed everything. She missed Hawkeye's jokes and BJ's letters and Colonel Potter's exclamations and Charles' complaints and Klinger's stunts and Radar's pets and Father Mulcahy's optimism and…
Margaret took a hard drink of her Scotch before she got dizzy.
Hawkeye drank Scotch.
Sometimes, she missed him the least. He brought confusing, painful, regretful feelings. When she thought of BJ and Charles, she had pure, wistful longing. She missed them. Hawkeye? Sometimes she craved him likes she relied on blood. Other times she avoided his memory like the plague. It all depended on the day.
She wished she had told him. Told him right before they left. They had kissed for crying out loud, right in the beaten compound in front of all their friends because she just didn't care anymore. She kissed him, but she couldn't tell him.
Was it so much to ask to be in Hawkeye's arms, where he would stare at her with those perfect, diamond eyes of his until the end of time?
She often dreamed that, if she thought hard enough, he would find her. He would pop up at a medical conference, who knew why. He would smile at her, grab her in a huge hug, press a kiss to her cheek and murmur how much he had missed her under his breath until they could be alone.
Or, maybe he would arrive at her doorstep. She especially liked this idea. He would ring the door, stuttering and questioning why he couldn't get the words out, before grabbing her at the waist and kissing her, passionate and hard on the mouth, until they could no longer ignore their need to breathe.
This would be a nice place to meet him. As one, two, three more scotches slipped down her throat, she decided that, yes, his would be a lovely place for Hawkeye to meet her. He would spot her across the crowd, offer her a smirk, hiding a smile, and take his sweet time walking over to her. They would spend the evening together, and just when they were drunk enough to blame it on the alcohol, he would kiss her in a quiet corner of the club, the only thing she would remember the next morning.
Margaret smiled a lopsided, drunken smile. That was her favorite.
A/N: FINALLY, I'm back in the HM world XD. I may do a chapter two…any thoughts? THANKS!