Radar - by silver_sunn101

licenseartistic: August Prompt

Title: The Horse
Fandom: M*A*S*H
Character: Radar O’Reilly
Word Count: 754
Rating: General Audience
Spoilers: Set during Dear Mildred.

Disclaimer: M*A*S*H and its characters are the property of the writers, actors, and Twentieth Century Fox. No copyright infringement is intended.

Prompt:

When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
-- Author Unknown

Radar knew that Hawkeye didn’t understand – and that Captain Hunnicut was thinking merciful euthanization – a word Radar guessed probably meant killing – might be the best option. But it didn’t matter because Radar had convinced them, and they were helping, however reluctantly. Holding the sedated horse’s head in his arms and rubbing his cheek against her skin, Radar closed his eyes, relieved in his victory.

The procedure was simpler than anyone had anticipated once the sedatives had taken effect. Within a day, the horse had nearly kicked apart the rest of the shed, and Radar was forced to sneak her to a new hiding place.

From that point on, Radar spent every free moment with the horse, disappearing for hours at a time - and even, on some evenings, falling asleep on the straw beside her. Hawkeye woke him up from this position once, concerned, but Radar, self-consciously brushing pieces of straw out of his hair, assured him that he was okay and no, he was not becoming a single-minded fruitcake.

That’s probably why Hawkeye and Captain Hunnicut came by one day and encouraged him to give the horse to one of the local farmers. But Radar remained resolute, Hawkeye and Captain Hunnicut left, night fell, and Radar stayed with the horse, brushing her beautiful hide and feeding her vegetables he’d pilfered from the mess. Deep down, he knew that his friends were right – that he couldn’t hide her forever. But the thought of giving her up filled him with the strange choking sensation he’d been fighting ever since –

The horse shifted restlessly, releasing a low whinny of complaint, and Radar wrapped his arms around her muscular neck, burying his face in her mane. “’Sallright, girl,” he murmured. “Don’t pay me no mind at all. We’re gonna be just fine.”

That was something most folks didn’t understand – animals could hear your ghosts. The others had heard them, too, when Major Burns ordered Radar to release them all. “I won’t have your filthy vermin contaminating the compound,” the major had said. “This is a hospital. If Colonel Blake – God rest his soul – had cared at all about regulations, he would’ve shipped these creatures out months ago.” And Radar obeyed because Major Burns was his commanding officer and no amount of righteous hollering from Hawkeye was going to change that one bit. Radar obeyed, loading every single cage into a jeep and driving them up into the hills where, he hoped, they wouldn’t be hit by any ambulances barreling down the road. Hawkeye had gone with him then, and he didn’t say a single word. He just silently fumed as Radar said goodbye to Black Beauty, Mungo, Fluffy, Dopey, and all the others.

Before he released them, Radar remembered, they’d skittered about in their cages, nervous and expectant. And when Radar picked up the last possum and rubbed his - by then - wet face against her fur, he had felt her little heart racing beneath his fingers. Yes – they’d known. It was like they could smell it in Radar’s skin.

Radar hoped – oh, he hoped – that Colonel Potter – even though he was regular army - would turn out to be different if he found his clerk harboring an abandoned horse. He was cavalry once, after all, and seemed to have a love for horses in particular.

Then a noise startled Radar, and he squeezed the horse tight, willing it to hush. It was Majors Burns and Houlihan walking towards the colonel’s office. Dispensing with his usual reluctance to deliberately listen to people in every way he could, he concentrated on their conversation – and the not-words beneath. That’s when he remembered – and felt his heart flutter with excitement.

Later, as Radar watched Colonel Potter lead his gift through the compound, he felt genuinely happy for the first time in a long while.

“You know, Radar,” Hawkeye mused, resting his hand on the top of Radar’s cap, “before we get that drink, you may want to stop by the showers.”

“Huh?”

“You smell like horse.”

“Oh, yeah?” Radar squirmed out from under Hawkeye’s touch and glared at him indignantly. “Well, when’s the last time you washed your socks, huh?” He jumped up and tried to snatch his cap from Hawkeye’s hand. Grinning, Hawkeye pulled it away, then wrapped that arm around Radar’s shoulders, ruffling Radar’s hair with his other hand. His chin stiff, Radar worked his hat free from Hawkeye’s grasp and pulled it back down over the tops of his ears.

Hawkeye’s laughter could be heard for miles around.
Radar - by silver_sunn101

licenseartistic: July Prompt

Title: Arrival
Fandom: M*A*S*H
Character: Radar O’Reilly
Word Count: 492
Rating: General Audience
Spoilers: Pre-Pilot

Disclaimer: M*A*S*H and its characters are the property of the writers, actors, and Twentieth Century Fox. No copyright infringement is intended.

Prompt: First

Squished between two privates, Radar held on tight to the edge of his seat as the jeep bumped over the hill, careened into the skeleton of a compound, and skidded to a halt beside an empty flagpole.

“We just pushed them back behind the 38th,” one sergeant had said when Radar had landed, airsick and shell-shocked, in Kimpo with the group from Fort Riley, “so there probably ain’t hardly anything there yet.” The guy wasn’t really wrong, though it looked to Radar like they’d already gotten a pretty good start.

After the others clambered out of the vehicle, Radar reached behind him to grab his duffle and attempted to do the same. His bag tore open as he climbed down, spilling some of his belongings into the dirt.

“Aw, jeez!” he cried. But there was no time to pick up the mess. Radar heard someone approaching and he froze, locking himself into a salute.

“For God’s sake, Henry,” said a voice. “They don’t even look old enough to shave. Especially not the kid in the middle.”

It was coming from a tall fellow wearing rumpled scrubs - one of the surgeons, Radar guessed. But there was something about his eyes – and something beneath them, too – like an unspoken joke that just stayed and stayed - that made Radar think he was a little wicked.

“Corporal O’Reilly reporting for duty, sirs!” he bellowed at the top of his lungs, and the sound of his voice made him even more conscious of how small he felt.

“At ease, son,” said the second, older, man.

“Yeah, no regular Army stuff around here,” added the first. “We’re just a hospital. Can’t you tell? We even make the cockroaches scrub in.”

“Relax and get your gear in order first. Corporal – Captain Pierce will show you to your bunk.”

Radar exchanged a look with the man he now knew as Captain Pierce, then bent down and started to gather his shorts, stuffing them back into his ruptured duffle. “Actually,” said Pierce as he knelt down beside Radar, “it’s Hawkeye. And what do they call you besides Corporal O’Reilly?”

“Radar,” Radar replied shyly. “And I do too.”

“You do too what?”

“I shave.”

“Who said you didn’t?”

Radar looked up, confused. Then he registered the sincerity in Hawkeye’s eyes and realized what he’d heard before wasn’t out loud. “Um. Nothing. I mean, nobody.”

Radar sensed that Hawkeye thought he was a bit funny, but, surprisingly, he didn’t seem scared off by it. And finally, after a tense and terrifying journey, Radar began to relax – just a little.

“So why Radar?”

“Because sometimes I know what’s gonna happen before it happens. My ma says it runs in my dad’s family.”

As Radar turned to pick up his bag, he noticed one ragged ear peaking out from the tear in the duffle's side. Surreptitiously, he pushed his teddy bear back in. He wasn’t ready to tell anybody about that just yet.
Radar - by silver_sunn101

Loose Ends, Scene Three (with major_hotlips and trapper1013)

Continuing from here.

Radar watches Hawkeye and Major Houlihan bicker as they head for the door, relieved that they were able to sort things out with the general. Major Burns is probably the most disagreeable person Radar's ever met, but leaving him to face a court-martial for something he didn't do just wouldn't have sat right deep down. During all those Sundays he spent as a kid listening to preachers and trying not to squirm in his scratchy dress shirts, the teaching that everybody should love their enemy, turn their cheek, and be kind and honest is one of the biggest things Radar's taken to heart.

Well, that and all the scary stuff about Satan and going to hell.

But even though Radar's glad Major Burns isn't in trouble anymore, something feels unsettled. Well aware that his inklings and notions aren't perfect when it comes to most folks, he is still compelled to follow his instincts. Before Major Houlihan steps outside, he calls to her.

"Major ma'am?" Then, with a little more hesitation: "Can I talk to you in private?"
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Radar - by silver_sunn101

Loose Ends, Scene Two (with major_hotlips)

ooc: The first scene of this story can be found here. The entire roleplay is set after Welcome to Korea and before Colonel Potter's arrival.

For the next few days, Radar has very little opportunity to think about his late night with Hawkeye and Major Houlihan. In fact, he has very little opportunity to think about much of anything beyond Major Burns, who orders him to rearrange the commanding officer’s tent (six times), reorganize all of his files (three times), scrub the floor, polish the furniture, wash the windows, clear out the liquor cabinet, and arrange his desk supplies in neat, even rows.

Then, one afternoon, Hawkeye ambles into Radar’s office, seizes Radar by the back of his fatigues, and lifts him to a standing position. Surprised, Radar drops the old toothbrush he was using to shine the screws under his desk, and it clatters to the floor.

Then Hawkeye tells him the news, and Radar’s jaw drops.

"But he didn’t steal that general’s jeep!" he protests. "We did!"

"Radar – "

"They’ll throw him in the stockade! Holy cow!"

"Radar!" A firm hand on the back of his neck stops Radar mid-dial. "Relax. We have a whole unit of witnesses here who can confirm that Frank wasn’t at Kimpo the other day. They won’t keep him for long." Then, after a beat, Hawkeye adds, "Unfortunately for us. In the meantime, we can try to make our escape."

And on that, Hawkeye starts to steer Radar towards the door.

note to n: I think this is a good place for an indignant Margaret to storm in. And while she’s here trying to spring Frank, we can call Boston. ;)
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Radar - by silver_sunn101

licenseartistic: June Prompt

Title: Without Their Whispers
Fandom: M*A*S*H
Character: Radar O'Reilly
Word Count: 333
Rating: General Audience
Spoilers: Post-Goodbye, Radar

Disclaimer: M*A*S*H and its characters are the property of the writers, actors, and Twentieth Century Fox. No copyright infringement is intended.

Prompt:

"We wake in the night, to stereophonic silence."
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Walter awoke with a start, his heart racing in his chest. While groping for his glasses with one hand, he disentangled himself from his sheets with the other and swung his bare legs over the edge of the bed. The images of his interrupted dream were already fading, but the disorientation still lingered. It wasn't until he slipped his glasses over his ears and registered the floral pattern of the wall paper that he remembered where he was.

He was home – he had been for several days now. And Mitzy, his cat, was perched on his dresser peering at him, her eyes reflecting moonlight.

Walter scratched the back of his neck, then padded across the room and gently lifted Mitzy off the dresser, pulling her to his chest. “You know you're not s'posed to be up there, honey,” he murmured. Stroking her fur, he carried her into the hallway, set her down at the top of the stairs, and watched as she darted out of sight. Then he righted his overturned trash can and crawled into bed.

Sometime later, he was still awake, mentally tracing the cracks in the ceiling and breathing in the remnants of an early evening rain shower that periodically wafted into his room on a light breeze that whispered through his open window.

In Korea, Radar – or Walter – very few people called him Radar here, yet it was difficult to stop thinking of himself in that way - had once told Mr. Clete Roberts that sometimes he wished for a room of his own. But now it seemed wrong to be alone in this quiet place. There was no artillery fire in the distance. There were no choppers, no late night phone calls, and no frantic arousals. And the ebb and flow that existed at sub-hearing – those murmurs and impulses that he could somehow catch on their way to speech - was vastly diminished.

The last, Walter was beginning to recognize, was the sound he missed most of all.