This takes place during the episode Fallen Hero.
Hawkeye had been pacing the confines of the tent for a few minutes. B.J. felt for his friend, although he understood why he was on edge. Radar was recovering from his injury, one which Hawk personally felt responsible for. To deal with his feelings of guilt, Hawk had had drunk quite a bit after he'd found out what had happened. He'd been hungover and unable to finish Radar's surgery. Radar later had confessed to Hawkeye that he'd put him on quite a pedestal. Unable to deal with that revelation, Hawk had snapped at his friend. He'd just been chewed out by Potter, Margaret and Father Mulcahy.
"Wanna talk about it?" B.J. asked his best friend, holding out a drink.
"What is there to talk about? If there was something to talk about, you'd be the first to know. I've talked to everyone. Or, more accurately, everyone has talked to me. Father Mulcahy has talked with me. So has Colonel Potter. So has Margaret for that matter. Radar has refused to talk to me if you want to get technical." Hawkeye sighed as he gladly accepted the drink.
"Fine. I just thought...well, I'm here if you find that there is something you want to get off your chest." B.J. poured himself a drink. He knew there was nothing he could do to ease his friend's burden, although he would in a heartbeat if he could. For a moment a drink would have to suffice.
"I'm fine. Just peachy, I tell you. Although I'm certain at some point before this day I will have insulted, offended, or otherwise verbally assaulted you. Please forgive me in advance . I have officially made a habit off these offenses."
"Come on, Hawk. Don't you think you're being a little bit harsh on yourself?"
"Oh and let's not forget that I sent a kid off to what could have been his death. How can we forget that? I literally have had Radar's blood on my hands. Forget about my being unable to perform my surgical duties, although that is completely inexcusable. I sent Radar out on a joyride that could have killed him. How could I have been so careless? He came to me for advice and now he's lying there with his chest wide open. Do you have any idea...forget it. I don't know what I would have done if his jeep had been off to the left just a few inches..." Hawkeye cringed as he thought of Radar lying in the O.R. with his chest cut open. "He's so young. He does not deserve to be in there. He didn't do anything wrong. I take that back. The only thing he did wrong was listen to my stupid advice."
B.J. watched his friend polish off his drink and then slide down into his bed.
It is not your fault that Radar was shot. You did not put him into that jeep. You did not shoot at him. And most certainly Radar himself couldn't be blaming you for what had happened to him. So why do you?
Instead he settled on a more concise question. "Have you tried talking to Radar again?"
"I did, earlier! Right after the good father, Colonel Potter and Margaret all raised holy high water with me. I don't have to tell you about it. You were there. I went to talk to Radar but he wasn't much up for talking. Not that I can hardly blame him. In fact, I don't blame him if he never wants to see my lousy face again. I almost get him killed and how do I handle things? I yell at the poor little guy. What's wrong with me, Beej?"
Hawkeye was now sitting straight up, looking to his friend for answers.
"Hawk, what did Radar actually say to you? Did he say that he didn't want to see you again?"
"No, he was ready to have a go at someone who insulted a boy from Iowa. He's putting up a brave front. He's so good, he's not even blaming me for getting hurt! He's sore that I left him in the O.R. He'd be even sorer if he put two and two together and figured out that the reason I left was because I was hungover. I don't have the heart to explain that to the little guy."
"So he doesn't blame you for the shooting incident. He's just hurt about the OR episode. He'll get past that in a day or two. I'm sure you'll be able to smooth things over with him pretty quickly. You are his hero, you know."
Hawkeye stood up, "Why does everyone keep saying that? I'm not here to be a hero! I'm not here to be a role model. I'm here to be a surgeon and keep the insides of a person on the inside of their body. I'm here to do a job. And if that means I've let someone down, well then I'm sorry. I didn't sign up for this job looking to be someone's hero."
"And maybe Radar didn't sign you up to be his role model. It just so happened that you are the kind of person he wants to be. Maybe he can see past the surgeon and see Hawkeye. He's a kid doing his job- being a kid. He's trying to figure out who the heck he is. I'm not saying what he's doing is right but maybe you could cut him some slack." B.J. commented as he poured himself a drink.
"Whose side are you on, anyways?" Hawkeye asked as he tried to make sense of what his friend just told him.
"I've been around since this whole incident began. I'm not going anywhere. That's all I'm saying. It's not about sides. There are no sides to choose from. He just got a big dose of reality. He's got some thinking to do. Just give it some time." B.J. finished his drink and sat down to play some cards. Intuition kicked in and told him it was time to give Hawk some space.
Hawkeye poured himself another drink. Might as well. Half the camp was mad at him anyways. Before he drank it, he opened his foot locker and pulled out some old letters from his father. If ever there was a time he needed some comfort from home, this was it. He was tired, his head hurt, and he just felt lousy all over. Maybe B.J. was right. Maybe he could straighten things out with Radar. But could he make things right with himself?
Sleep evaded Hawkeye the way peace avoided the war. It just wasn't going to happen any time soon. B.J. napped peacefully, and Charles was working post-op. Hawkeye had finished reading his dad's letters over an hour ago, and had been momentarily comforted by the words from home.
But the respite was all too brief.
The kid came to me for advice. All he wanted to know was how to land a girl for a night. And now he's lying in post-op. Tokyo, I told him, was where his problems would be solved. One weekend in Tokyo and he'd be good to go. All he wanted was the one thing I take for granted- a little luck with the ladies.
Radar was the polar opposite of Hawkeye in that department. Quiet and unsure of himself, he hadn't had a steady girlfriend since arriving in Korea. It wasn't unusual for him to turn to Hawkeye for advice with the ladies.
Why did he have to come to me yesterday? Why does he have to come to me at all? Who am I, really?
Who do I think I am?
He turned over in his bed yet again, quietly, as not to wake B.J. Part of him hoped he would wake, just to keep him from the overwhelming feelings of aloneness he was experiencing. But just having B.J. near was almost good enough for the time being. He watched B.J. as he wondered what he should do next.
Meanwhile Father Mulcahy was visiting with Radar.
"I don't understand, Father, what happened? I was just talking to him and then he yelled at me. He yelled at me! He had no right to. I was so mad at him I could have decked him if I felt any better."
"I understand your frustration, son. But anger is never the solution. I do hope you realize that."
"I know. Everyone keeps telling me not to be mad. But I can't help it. Hawkeye walked out on me in the middle of surgery. Something bad could have happened to me! He wouldn't have done that to any of his other patients. Why'd he have to go and pick me to do that to. Ouch." Radar rolled over to his other sighed as he winced in pain.
"Is there anything I can do for you? Do you need me to get a doctor?"
"Anyone but Hawkeye." Radar muttered.
"Now, don't you think you're being a little hard on him? After all, doctors are only human. There was only one human who was perfect, let's not forget. Hawkeye bleeds like the rest of us. He's bound to make mistakes now and then."
"It sounds like you're taking up for him! How would you feel if you were me?"
Father Mulcahy sighed. "I imagine I would forgive Hawkeye. The pressures he's under are unimaginable. He is a fine surgeon, as is the rest of the team. Charles also did a remarkable job assisting in your care. You have the best medical team at your disposal, a group of people who care about you. I would not be so quick to pass judgment on Hawkeye." He paused to gauge Radar's reaction.
"How are you feeling?" the priest asked.
"Not so good, to tell you the truth. I hurt all over. My chest hurts. It's kind of hard to breathe."
"Perhaps I had better find Charles." He said, referring to the on-call doctor. "Do you need anything else?"
"Do you think you could bring me my...."
Radar wanted to ask for his teddy bear. But then he remembered Hawkeye telling him to grow up. Perhaps he was right. Maybe it was time to act like a man. Real men didn't need stuffed animals to help them in times of trouble. Or at any time, really. It was time to act like a real man.
"Never mind. Just tell him I think I need some pain medication."
"Of course. I'll be praying for you, son."
"Thanks, Father." Radar half-smiled as he turned over to his other side. He would worry about Hawkeye later. Right now the only thing he was worried about was finding relief from the pain in his chest. The pain was definitely getting worse.
"I hear some more morphine is in order." Charles walked in while studying Radar's chart.
"Yes, sir. Just a little. Not too much. I'm only feeling bad just a little."
"If I didn't know you I'd suspect you'd already been prescribed more than your fair share of morphine. The nurse will administer the drug. I'll monitor your progress. Is there anything I need to know?" Charles asked while checking the wound. "If you continue to have problems breathing we may have to operate again."
"But sir, I'm feeling great. Ready to go back to work as a matter of fact."
"That, my vertically challenged friend, is not going to happen in the foreseeable future. I recommend you try to sleep. If you cannot do so on your own, the morphine will assist you. I will see you shortly. Nurse, I want his vitals in fifteen minutes." Charles ordered as he left the room.
The medicine kicked in quickly. He would heavy doses of morphine, IV fluids, and other drugs, as infection had set in. Overnight, Radar would take a turn for the worse.