A lovelier toy sweet Nature never made;

A serious, subtle, wild, yet gentle being;
Graceful without design, and unforeseeing;
With eyes - O speak not of her eyes! which seem
Twin mirrors of Italian heaven, yet gleam
With such deep meaning as we never see
But in the human countenance.-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Chapter One

Absence - that common cure of love.- Lord Byron

It was over, the life she had grown accustomed to over the years, the war, was finally over. There was nothing left but to figure out what to do with the life. And that decision was going to be harder than agreeing to go to war. Her singularity being was gone, she wasn't the same woman she was three months ago, three years ago, she was changed, and was so happy with that. She loved to smile more, she loved the things that made her smile.

Margaret Houlihan sighed a long sigh as she looked into the mirror. Her naked form reflecting back at her. She looked healthier, curves started to form again, she looked healthier than she ever did in Korea. Her skin was smoother, less callus, she had a few more lines, a few grey hairs, but nothing diminished her appearance, or told of the horrors she saw. The small appendix scar-he had promised it'd be invisible- across her lower abdomen.

Her fingers moved to slightly caress the scar before moving to cover her belly. Pressing her fingers lightly into the skin, she felt the hardness, and tears came to her eyes. She couldn't decide whether they were good or bad tears, but they were tears that belonged to her. And were caused by the tiny life form living in her, growing, taking up residence, and that was all she could do was cry every time she thought of the unborn child residing in her body.

The product of a war that she never wanted to remember, and from a man she never wanted to forget. The conception was not a drunk encounter, it was not quick, it was slow, sensuous, and built on passion and attraction. He had offered to help her finish pack up the storage room, she wanted to give her nurses a night off, and accepted his help, as a hand touched the small of her back as they moved towards the storage room. The heat from his hand wreaking havoc through her body. Thoughts of never seeing him again, never hearing his laughter, or giving her the hug she needed all too often.

It wasn't an attack, it was an attack on her senses, she could hear the blood pounding in her ears, breaths raggid, their skin sweaty, as he held her around his waist, pushing into her at a slow pace, never stopping for second. How it started, she couldn't remember, but how it ended, was not in words of mutual confessions of attraction, but a simple "love" out of his lips, and a tender kiss before the door opened and they walked into the cool wind that was Korea in the summer time.

No conversation, no forwarding address, no phone number, just a hometown he left her.

Well baby, it looks like it's just you and me. I don't know how good of a mother I'll be, but I will try my best, you don't have to worry. She thought as the flutter in her stomach brought a smile to her face. She used to be scared of being a mother, she was still scared, scared she would be a bad mother, that her baby wouldn't get anything he or she wanted, that she would let him or her down. But being faced with becoming a mother to the unborn child she carried was a lot scarier, because she was alone.

Showing up on his doorstep with a smile and a "I'm pregnant" was not in the cards that were being dealt. She knew why he was placed in the clinic, she knew it was the baby, and she couldn't, and wouldn't settle him with a child that he couldn't handle. She'd have to do it, herself. And although that seemed scary, and she needed the chance to be the woman, and the mother that she knew she could be. Taking a breath, she caressed her stomach again, before she glanced at her clock. Thirty minutes exactly before she needed to be at work.

It was going to be a rocky road, and she was okay with that. She was okay with the small person growing, and that she would be the only caretaker for the small child, but couldn't wait to meet the child that was half her, half Hawkeye Pierce.

Closing her front door, Margaret set down her purse and keys on the table beside the door as she started to sift through her mail. She was still getting forwards from the Army, and smiled as she saw a few familiar handwritings on the envelopes. Although not the one she wanted to see the most. Walking into the kitchen, she pulled out a glass and turned the tap on, pouring herself some water before moving to the table, and sitting down. Placing the letters on the table, she opened the first. From Klinger.

She smiled brightly as she read through his letter-he was still in Korea, searching for Soon-Lee's parents, but he was happy, and they were making progress. He described people he had run into and his dealings with the army, all dealt in the very Klinger way-deception.

The next was from BJ, pictures fell out, him and Erin, and Erin and Peg, and Erin smiling brightly from the yard. He looked happy, healthy, moustache still on his face, but it seemed appropriate for BJ to have it. BJ rambled on for two pages of all the things he and Erin have been doing since he landed in San Francisco. And how he planned to keep everyone updated on the little girl, because they had been kept up on her progress since he arrived in Korea. A good threat to keep in touch or he'd hunt her down brought a smile to her face. BJ was incredible like that, he tried hard, and wouldn't stop until he got what he want.

The third letter was from Colonel Potter, who insisted on sending weekly letters since arriving back home. She looked forward to those letters. Detailing the Honey-Do List he was still working on, it had been eight weeks. He kept asking her how she was, and how he was waiting for her letter to arrive in reply each week.

Her pregnancy was still her secret, she wasn't sure it was appropriate to write it in a letter, afterwall what would she say, "oh by the way, I'm pregnant, and Pierce, you remember him, yeah he's the father". It wasn't that simple, but then again her life wasn't simple, and she guessed that it would never be so. But that child that was soon to come into her life was not going to make it simple. He or she was going to be a Pierce, and a Pierce would never give her rest. Smiling softly she shook her head, as the fluttering in her stomach took her away from her thoughts, as she placed a hand on her stomach.

Being pregnant scared the living shit out of her, but being a mother, for a child that was not that of Donald Penopscot. Although the prospect of being a mother had its perks. She had been skimming through the sears catalogue and had circled several things she needed for the baby. Had started to empty out her spare room, putting the few things that were in there into the livingroom, where they belonged. It was not like she had a lot of thing, after spending her life in the army, where her entire life could be packed into a trunk. Her life now would consist of a life that couldn't be shoved into a trunk and moved around. Stationary, she needed to be stationary. For the sake of her child. But the bedroom would be painted, and her apartment would have more toys, and laundry would be mostly diapers, and purees and spaghetti were going to be the meal of choice for the next few years.

Being pregnant was not the worst thing in the world. In fact, as days went on, it started to get better, as the idea of someone small calling her "Mommy" and running around with giggles, with spaghetti all over their face. Scraped knees, broken hearts, dentist appointments, braces, report cards, all the things that scared her at the beginning, was becoming things that made her smile.

"I wish, I wish he wasn't so far away," Margaret spoke softly to her stomach. "And I'm sorry baby, that its just gonna be you and me."