Disclaimer: I do not own MASH or any of its property. I make no profit off this work and do not intend to. I write to entertain.
Pairings: Hawkeye/ Margaret friendship
Warnings: goodbyes, war, depression, anxiety, ptsd, trauma, abandonment issues.
Summary: Radar sends Hawk a letter telling him all the things he should have before leaving. Hawkeye finally lets himself grieve for the loss. ADHD!Hawkeye, Autistic!Hawkeye, Neurodivergent!Hawkeye, Autistic!BJ, Neurodivergent!BJ
Spoilers: Good bye Radar parts 1 and 2 (S8, Ep4 and 5)
AN: Set after Good bye Radar parts 1 and 2 (S8, Ep4 and 5).
Radar's letter was unexpected and, if Hawk was honest, produced a tear or two just by its very presence in his hand. He was never much good at resisting tears, and he was even worse when he was drunk...or dead tired. Of course that pretty much described his entire existence at MASH...
So he quickly rushed to his tent, and prayed that the wounded would wait just 5 minutes so he could read the letter. He debated just throwing the letter in his foot locker and never looking at its precious contents. But how could he disappoint the kid like that? He could already see the kids adorable pout and puppy eyes, hear his "but Hawkeye!".
So he opened the envelope. And poured himself a martini.
I hope this letter finds you well. I didn't like how we left things. I needed to properly say goodbye. It's okay if it takes a few weeks to get around to a reply, I know your busy helping the wounded. And if your tired, you really should sleep!
Hawkeye rolled his eyes, the kid cared too much about a bastard like him. Besides of course he would write, even if he had just come off a 70 hour session. Radar was family.
The funeral went well. You should have seen the fuss! Even the mayor went! There was a nice band, and everyone danced. My mother said I looked so grown up in my uniform. The girls were all mighty impressed too! I must have danced with almost every girl in my town!
He smiled, the kid had grown so much. He had been barely more than a child when he had started out here. A kid that had not been allowed the time to learn how to be a man. Curtesy of the US Army. His surrogate fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters had filled in.
I wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me. I would have been lost if not for my MASH family. Thanks for listening when I needed someone, and giving me advice. For accepting me without wanted me to change a thing. I think I will even miss your teasing me for being short.
He got up and made another drink, draining it instantly before making another. The quip was already on his tongue. 'Maybe I'm just a crying drunk, though your pretty arms around me might fix that!', said flirtyily to a pretty nurse of course, or a joke if it was Beej. Anything to avoid his feelings.
My Aunt said the army makes you a man, but I think it's friendship that make you a man, or woman. She says I look like I have grown another few inches but I know that isn't true. I checked. The difference I do notice is that I am more confident. I can make decisions more easily. When I need to do something, I just do it. I don't second guess myself anymore. I freeze up less. I trust myself more. I feel more ready than I ever have to step into my new role at home, the man of the family. My MASH family helped me with that.
Walter 'Radar' O'Rielly
He tried to ignore the feelings filling his chest, but he had never been any good at that. His feelings tumbled out like a waterfall every damn time, no matter what it was. He usually drank to try numb them, but he never could. Even his homemade gin couldn't and that was lethal. Alcohol only amplified things.
So of course he was sobbing. The kid was a man. The same kid that had stirred paternal feelings he had not expected. The dam had broken and there was no where else his tears could go. With some luck, he would be able to avoid someone seeing.
Of course with his luck, Major Hoolahan was walking by, and was drawn in by the sound. She frowned but didn't speak yet. She pulled him close, like a mother would her upset child. When he calmed down enough to speak, she asked him. "What's wrong, Hawk?" She asked kindly.
He didn't say anything but passed her the letter.
She scanned its contents and her eyes fell on the name signed at the end. She knew what this was about. Hawkeye kept so much in...and had not even had time to say goodbye to Radar. There was so much unspoken between them. "He wrote to all of us, you know. Even me. I don't know why, I must have had that kid terrified of me. I took out my anger on him far too many times. He still wanted to know how I was. He actually misses me." She confided.
He smiled, of course that kid would still care about her. He had even cared about Hawkeye's temperamental snobby bunk mate. The kid was a wonder.
"He is a wonder, isn't he?" She replied.
She then laughed softly. "No, you didn't say that out loud. Despite all your attempts, your actually easy to read. Your always screaming what you thinking, even without a voice." She explained.
He should have known. He still hadn't pulled away. She was soft and warm. She had always been some strange mix of motherly softness and hard army commander. He smiled, hoping to have sufficiently turned away that he could hide it. Truthfully in this moment, she was reminding him of his mother. The warmth was bringing back memories of his mother's warm hugs as a child. It was pleasant.
When he woke, it was from a good dream about his mother. He felt warm and safe, and as far away from this war as he had always strived to be. He was alone in his bunk, the blanket around him. He must have fallen asleep in Margarets arms...he hoped she would not tell anyone or hold it against him. He was a grown man, he should have known better. He should have remembered that his mother was dead, stone cold dead. Not warm like Margaret. They were not the same person and would never be. Nor would his mother ever hold him like that again. He aggressively pushed away the feeling of missing both womans warmth. He couldn't afford this. He just couldn't.
"Incoming wounded. Choppers and ambulances. Looks like a big party!" Came over the speakers.
He was greatful. Surgery was something else to focus on, and it took all his focus, leaving no room for thoughts of Radar or the damned war. So he welcomed them.