Part Twelve - Never a truer word spoken.
"Hey Radar can we have a word?" Asked Hawkeye. Radar gulped. That was the last thing he wanted to do, in fact given a choice between facing that group so soon after there ticking off or dealing with a pack of north Korean armed with very big guns he would have picked the Koreans. Well maybe not that drastic a choice. He thought to himself. Come on think of a good excuse quick. Holy smokes mind freeze hush. Best deal with them then. He finally decided. He took a piece of chewing gum out of his pocket, chewed on it for a moment or to, sighed and then replied. "sure. What about sirs, Ma'am?" He already suspected what but he was trying to stall as long as possible. The group all knew about his habit of chewing gum when he was scared and so BJ took charge. "Come on , how about I buy you a Grape Nehi." He gently turned Radar in the direction of the officers club and lead him over. The rest of the group shrugged there shoulders, glanced at each other and followed them.
Igor sighed when he saw the group that walked into the officers club. Charles, BJ, Radar, Sherman, Hawkeye, Frank, Margaret , Klinger and Trapper all trouped over to the bar. They where quickly joined by Father Mulcahy and Sidney. Most of them looked hangover despite the coffee he and Radar brewed up this morning. However he used the opportunity to present there respective bar bills and ask what they would like to drink.
"Scotch with soda" said Margaret and Hawkeye.
"Whiskey" said Sherman
"Brandy" requested Charles.
"Dry Martini" was Trapper's drink of choice.
"Beer and a grape Nehi" requested BJ.
Everyone else ordered Beers to. Then Charles did something un Charles like. He said "Put them all on my tab." Everyone looked shocked. "I insist." "Okay sir" Replied Igor before Charles could change his mind. Well he always pays his bar tab on time! Was Igor's thought on the matter. After Igor had delivered everyone's drinks they pushed two tables together and crowded around.
Sherman opened up the conversation with "That incident with Donald will have to go on your records. No exceptions!" He quickly added when he saw people open there mouths to protest. "Other than that I am willing to let the matter slide."
"Yes sir, thank you" Was the perpetrators response.
"By the way Winchester just what was in that syringe of Flags?"
"Oh yes that. Well it was a mixtures of Morphine, sleeping pills and sedatives. Enough to knock someone out for a long time but not to cause any real damage. The effects would be similar to chloroform. " He said. "There is a copy of the report waiting on your desk." He added.
"Good , I will need that to send to I-Corps." Sherman said.
"Well that combined with his other actions would be enough to earn him a section eight and some time with some of my colleagues across the states. It appears he took his daughters death pretty hard." Sidney said.
Margaret went white at the mention of the daughter's death. "her death?" She exclaimed. Sidney nodded.
"Yes the mother and daughter where both killed. Apparently they where killed by an AWOL North Korean soldier. However I have no way to confirm that one way or another." Sidney supplied.
"First of all he has a two year old he never bothered to mention. Then He comes over here to visit them. No wonder our marriage was such a great success." To back up her point she took an empty beer bottle and through it very hard across the room. It narrowly missed Igor who had reacted just in time and wisely decided that it would be safer for him to be anywhere but there.
"Want to talk about it?" Sherman asked.
"Yeah there's a bunch of sympathetic ears here if you do" Hawkeye added. She was shaking with anger but shook her head no.
"That seems to be a common theme around here. Not talking about things that are bothering us that us." Charles said as he turned to face Radar. "I can understand why certain people seem unapproachable but everyone needs to get their feelings of the chests at some point."
"I think what the bug lug here, in his own unique way, is trying to say is that we should not keep things to our selves. No matter how strange or trivial or bizarre they may seem. This place is enough to drive anyone crazy, it gets to everyone at times. Hell I admit it when I think back to my own horror movie in my sleep I feel stupid for not saying something and talking to someone about them sooner. they may not have been so bad if I had." Hawkeye added.
"Gee sirs, do you really mean that?" Radar asked.
"Indeed I think they do. I am sure everyone here would say the same thing and needs to bend someone's ear at some point. " Sherman said.
Everyone nodded there agreements.
"well if every unit out here had the same attitude I would see less patients." Sidney said with a smile.
"Now before anyone else starts keeping me awake screaming in the night," (BJ)
"Or starts hitting there best friends "(Hawkeye)
"Or cries themselves to sleep at times" (Margaret)
"or writing horrible things to the ones they love" (Charles)
"Or literally drives themselves insane" (Sidney)
"Or feels that there only friend on camp is some dumb toy bear" (Radar)
"Or starts wearing dresses because they really are Crazy" (Klinger)
"Or uses the still as a crutch to survive out here" (Trapper)
"Is there anything anyone wants to talk about?" Everyone said at once with a smile.
There was a lot. Radar talked about how much he missed Henry, something which a lot of people related to. Margaret discussed her anger at Donald and at times the male population in general, Frank about how he felt everyone ignored him and dismissed him as a fool, Trapper again at how guilty he felt about not saying goodbye properly the first time around. Those who where married or in relationships talked about how they felt there relationships might suffer. BJ especially about how he regretted missing Erin growing up and not spending that much time with his wife before he got sent out here. Those who where single discussed how lonely they felt. Everyone drew the conclusion that war was horrible, lousy and just caused suffering. They also agreed that it was alright to go crazy once in a while. Everyone left the officers club much later knowing that someone else understood there personal problems and worries and the group was much closer as a result. BJ's initial fears about his relationship proved to be unfounded as the three of them got on really well. In fact BJ was going to write to peg to get her to meet Trapper of the plane when he reached the states. Everyone swapped memories about pranks that had been pulled, stories about loved ones and generally just talked. A lot of hugs where also shared and some tears shed but so where a lot of laughs. Their current circumstances may not have been ideal but they all agreed that the people that they where surrounded by where "the finest kind" As Hawkeye phrased it.
The events of the past few days had a huge on all those that where involved in them. Donald as Sidney correctly guessed did end up being treated in a psychiatric care home. Margaret wrote him a long letter at Hawkeye's suggestion and got all her feelings about her ex husband Of her chest. She decided that she did not need to send it, she felt she didn't need to. Hawkeye and Indeed Radar's nightmares became less real and Radar also stopped keeping things bottled up. Radar also eventually replaced the innocent animals with a bit of sneakiness on the part of Hawkeye Klinger and BJ. Trapper and Frank returned to the states a few days later and kept in regular contact with the 4077th via letters and the occasional phone call. They all spent them blissfully quiet few days catching up and getting to know each other and also making new friends there. Sidney also stayed around for the next few days and continued to talk to both Radar and Frank (He eventually excepted that he needed help and Sidney was only to pleased to provide it.) Although Henry may have dies his letters and gifts from hi family greatly boosted a lot of people's spirits during harder times. The 4077th maintained its record as the best M*A*S*H unit in Korea. The residents past and present remained firm friends even after they returned home. As for that pesky Coronal Flagg. Well who knows what happened to him!