By Henrika

Henrika- Wrote this while pulling an all-nighter. Yes, I am tired. No, I don't know why I bothered staying up. Just enjoy the fic. It took a rahter interesting turn towards the end. Enjoy and review!

He's tired, dead tired, but he can't sleep. He knows if he falls asleep he won't wake up and that kind of defeats the point. He's not ready for eternal rest, though he still doesn't see why a nap is going to kill him. So he keeps going, walking because it's what his feet have decided to do.

He wants to sleep; desperately he wants to sleep. He wants a nice, soft, warm bed to fall into and rest the muscles that are threatening to give, the bones that have begun cracking with his every jolted step and the mind that refuses to shut off and just let him survive on instinct. He sees lights in the distance and wonders vaguely if there is a village up ahead. A brighter thought occurs to him and he wonders if there are any open beds. But his mind admonishes him to keep going and not for the first time in his continually waking state he wishes that his conscience or whatever it is driving him on would just shut up.

He points out that he would have a better chance of surviving if he went to the village, but the voice tells him he has something important to do.

The lights fade behind his back. He misses them even before they are out of sight. The path ahead of him is completely dark and he fumbles his way along, ignoring his body as it screams in protest at his mind.

But his body has the final say in this matter and he is unable to save himself from falling as he trips over a rock that remained unrevealed in the blackness. He tries to get up and fails. He tries relentlessly to force his battered body back on its feet and meets with failure every time. His mind starts to slip and suddenly he doesn't want to see it go. He begins clawing at the dirt in the same attempt he is using to hold onto consciousness. He is failing.

He wonders if he will really die if he falls asleep.

He doesn't particularly want to find out.

He tries again and manages to force one of his feet under his body. The other yields to his determination and he rises on shaky footing.

He starts cursing when he falls again.

He knows he won't get back up. He can't.

He wonders if the village will find him in the morning. His mind short-circuits and he remembers his mother sewing, her fine stitches nearly invisible to anyone without very sharp eyes.

He remembers flames, great torrents of them. He remembers gunfire. He remembers the smell of smoke.

He remembers smiling faces and blood.

He forces a hand into his pocket, stuffing down the agonized scream that bubbles up with the movement. He manages to draw the two items he is looking for from his pocket and shifts to one side. His fingers are slightly numb, but the motion is so engrained into him that he manages it with little trouble.

He takes a drag from the cigarette and tries to figure out what was so important that he couldn't sleep, even as it closes in on him.

He remembers a battlefield. He remembers comrades with familiar faces, though their names refuse to come through the haze. He remembers that he had a job to do.

A message to deliver that the lives of those comrades depended upon.

And for what's left of his rapidly fading life he can't remember what that message is.

Jean Havoc takes one last drag on his cigarette and knows regret as sleep carries him away forever.

Henrika- Yes, I killed off Havoc. No, I didn't know I was going to do that. I blame my muse.