The Letter

Disclaimer: I don't own M*A*S*H or any of its characters I only own the plot.

Summery: After getting a letter Hawkeye does the unthinkable- he requests a transfer. Can anyone convince him to stay? Or find out what the letter actually said? Before it's too late?

Authors Note: I know this sounds like the episode plot where Margaret put in a request for a transfer but it is different.

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Chapter One

There where times like these when Radar wished he didn't double check mail. It was only because he was looking out for his family- he reasoned with himself but he knew he couldn't go to Colonel Potter with this simply because he also knew that would get him in trouble. Yet when he'd seen a letter to Captain Pierce in a person's handwriting that he himself hadn't seen in a long, long time he'd been worried- simply because he knew that particular person would never write to Captain Pierce.

So he had opened it and instantly regretted it.

He looked to Captain Pierce as an older brother. From the moment he met him he'd grown to like the man. He felt for him when Captain McIntyre left saying goodbye to everyone but Captain Pierce. Felt bad when he'd had to take away his still and even when Captain Pierce had been under house arrest. He gave him good advice and to be perfectly honest Rader didn't know what he had done without Captain Pierce before he came.

Re-reading the letter a second time Radar sighed he looked over at Colonel Potter's door debating on going in and showing him but Colonel Potter wasn't like Colonel Blake and Radar didn't think he'd approve as much as Colonel Blake had. He bit his lip for a second and then resealed the envelope making sure it didn't look like it was tampered with it was all he could do.

Until Captain Pierce read it and reacted in the way that Radar knew he would because Radar knew that Captain Pierce would do as the letter was requesting him to do.

"Radar!" Colonel Potter's voice broke him out of his thoughts and he looked up slightly sheepish glad that he had already resealed the envelop and put it on his desk, "What have you got there?"

"Letter for Captain Pierce, sir. Just going to give it to him." Colonel Potter studied him and Rader could feel him starting to sweat and he prayed that the Colonel wouldn't spot him sweating, "and I've got some forms for you to sign sir." When in doubt distract the Colonel with forms. Rader thought dryly to himself, when Colonel Blake had been alive it had worked with him and it had worked for Colonel Potter as well.

"Alright just. . ."

"Put the forms on your desk" Radar said half a second before the Colonel did. The Colonel shook his head at him slightly in surprise.

"I'll never get used to you doing that."

"Yes, Sir, I'll just go deliver Captain Pierce his letter now" Radar was out the door before the Colonel could say a word and was on his way to the Swap where he knew the Captain in question would be. He sighed he hoped that Captain Pierce wouldn't do what he thought he was going to do but Radar's well. . Radar was going off and his mind was already thinking up ways to stop it from happening, the only problem? None of them seemed violable enough to work.

He knocked nervously on the door at that particular moment he hated that person with a fiery passion- even more than he had ever before and Radar didn't think that was possible. He wondered if the rest of the camp was going to feel the same way. The door opened to the swamp and Radar looked up slightly surprised as the Captain occupying his thoughts came into view.

"Radar, we said you could come in." Captain Pierce said sounding amused and then looked at him slightly concerned, "Radar, what's wrong?"

"Yes Radar, come in and tell Brother Pierce and Brother Hunnicutt all about it." Captain Hunnicutt spoke up.

"It's nothing Sirs, Just some mail for you Captain Pierce"

"Radar, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Hawkeye?" Radar felt heat rise up to his cheeks but chose to ignore it he handed over the letter.

"Sorry Cap- Hawkeye. Here's your letter, Sir." Radar corrected himself instantly. He hated it when he did that. He knew Captain Hunnicutt was watching on amused, "Colonel Potters waiting for me back at the office." He knew Captain Pierce hadn't recognized the handwriting yet and Radar briefly wished he had because he knew that if Captain Hunnicutt had known who had written the letter he would have tried to stop Captain Pierce.

"Bye Radar." Both Captain's chorused and Radar was out of The Swamp in almost an instant. He couldn't help it. He headed to the Colonel's office and started getting forms ready for the impending visit, while ignoring The Colonel s questions as to what he was going?

"Captain Pierce is on his way sir." It was all he could do to warn The Colonel of the incoming storm that Radar was still trying to find a way to stop from turning out the way he didn't want it to and unfortunately couldn't.

"He is? Why? I didn't send for him did I?" Before Colonel Potter could say anything any thing more or Radar himself could respond Captain Pierce was going through the doors.

"Pierce, what can I do for you?" Radar watched as Captain Pierce shot a look at him, looked as though he was toying with what he was about to say but then decided to go on with the words that Rader just knew where about to come out of his mouth.

"I'd like to request a transfer." Although he knew it was coming Radar dropped the papers he had busied himself in and he knew that Colonel Potter had done the same as well. There was a silence that went on for so long that Radar dared himself to look up. Colonel Potter was staring at Captain Pierce, stunned.

"Son, are you sure this is what you want?" Suddenly Radar had a flash back to when Major Houlihan had been standing in Captain Pierce's position and the late Colonel Blake was sitting where Colonel Potter had been. It was almost the same effect but this time Radar didn't want to announce it over the camp's speakers.

He didn't know if he could.

"Yes Colonel, I'm sure." Radar could count the number of times that Captain Pierce had sounded that serious and now he'd found one more and he didn't know if he could. Colonel Potter gave Captain Pierce a long look and then he sighed.

"I would normally be fighting long and hard to give my best surgeon up, Pierce but I can't change your mind can I?" For a moment Radar thought there was a flash of longing on Captain Pierce's face but it turned hard again.

"No Sir, You cannot." Radar sighed and started finding the papers knowing what was coming next in a few moments he found the correct papers.

"Radar, find me the transfer forms."

"Here are the transfer forms, Sir." They said at exactly the same time. Colonel Potter just shook his head.

"Sir, I'd like to request permission to keep this on the down low for now." At this Captain Pierce shot a glance at Radar who gulped.

"I'm sure we can keep it between the three of us can't we Radar?" Colonel Potter questioned and Radar nodded his head.

"Right, Sir. I won't tell anyone anything, won't hear a peep out of me." Radar said remarkably quickly that he wished his mouth would stop moving. Captain Pierce chuckled and gave Radar a smile.

"You're a good kid, Radar." Although Radar generally hated being called a kid he knew he was going to miss hearing Captain Pierce saying it if he did end up leaving, "Thank you Radar, Colonel. I'm due in Post Op." Radar couldn't help but watch Captain Pierce leave the room unsure if he should say anything more.

"What the heck just happened?" Colonel Potter demanded once Captain Pierce had left, Radar looked up at him with slight surprise.

"Captain Pierce just asked for a transfer, Sir."

"But why? He's never asked for one before. What's making him request one now? He didn't have a fight with Hunnicutt or The Major did he?" For what seemed like the thousandth time that day Radar bit his lip wondering what he could say without revealing what he'd read.

"No Sir. But it might have something to do with the letter he got today." He found himself saying Radar gulped as The Colonel studied him for a moment and then got up and started to pace around, "Radar get Hunnicutt, Winchester, Major Houlihan and the Padre in my office. I'm not loosing my chief surgeon with out a fight. We're just going to have to convince him to stay." For the first time since Radar had opened that letter he felt a smile come on his face knowing that the 4077 might just have a fighting chance in doing so.

"Yes Sir."

To Be Continued.