Day Six – Jean Havoc
This Last Good Turn
He wheeled into Riza's workplace to meet her for lunch, as per an agreement from earlier that day, and was immediately on guard. The horror stories about the place had him on edge and nervous. He saw Riza filing some papers and was struck by how wonderful her poker face was. He didn't think he could hold up so well in such an obvious pressure cooker, where the slipups of others meant certain death, and a homunculus held sway as boss.
"First Lieutenant! I believe your lunch hour started one minute ago, we should hurry if you're going to make it back in time!"
"Oh, yes, of course." She seemed flustered, and spoke quietly and absently, as if she was being reminded of some fact that she had forgotten. Perhaps her façade was a little more porous than Havoc had first thought. She was clearly distracted. Despite this, she swiftly got up, threw on her coat, and walked out just a tad too fast for Havoc to keep up.
"Hey, slow down there First Lieutenant! My arms are killing me from what I have to do in physical therapy, I can't wheel around as fast as you can run!"
"Sorry, I didn't realize."
This was a different Riza, he didn't like it. Hopefully she would open up like yesterday again at lunch. They walked and wheeled out of the office in silence, Havoc starting to lead the way as they walked in the direction of the restaurant. A small boy ran from the office building in their direction, though apparently not directly to them, since he started a swift run across the street. Riza's head snapped instinctively toward the disturbance in her peripheral vision, then her eyes widened.
"Selim!" She cried out and started to run after the child. Havoc realized that the child was directly in the way of a fast-moving car, and wheeled after Riza. She was already in the road, and they were nowhere near a ramp down to the pavement – Havoc would have to jump the curb to get to her, and was not nearly able to pull such a stunt yet, not at this speed. He watched in horror as the First Lieutenant ran over, pushing the child out of the way of the traffic. She was pushed backwards in a recoiling motion not unlike when shooting a large gun. Unfortunately for her, this was one time when the recoiling motion made it hard for her to continue an intended path, in this case, her path across the street. She hovered between moving across the road and being pushed back just long enough for the car to collide with her. She fell to the pavement heavily.
Traffic almost immediately stopped in all directions, and Havoc struggled down to Riza. He yelled to someone to get help, and then gracelessly yanked Riza up by her arm so he could check for a pulse. His heart fell when he didn't find one. He yelled for someone who knew CPR, but passersby didn't break stride for a crazy cripple yelling in the street. He yelled at Riza to wake up, to keep going the way she had said she would, even without Roy to keep watch on them, in the makings of the coup… like she said! He loved her a little bit yesterday, and he wasn't going to give her up this easily! Dammit, what a creepy twist of fate! That damned Fuhrer's son, he was already gone, the rat who had caused this accident. Maybe he was in on it! No, Havoc, you can't start seeing every child as an enemy. That child in particular is the worst victim of this whole affair. No, Havoc, focus! Your new leader is dying in your arms! He snapped out of his reverie to the loud clamor of the paramedics who rushed Riza onto an ambulance. He followed, taking a shortcut to the hospital (he knew that place like the back of his hand, as well as ways to get there). Once he arrived, he pushed through the mess of doctors and nurses who were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, making him feel only less reassured, not more.
"How is First Lieutenant Hawkeye?" He tried to keep his voice steady and below a crazed yell, but he could tell he was failing.
"I don't know who you are, but you have to leave this area."
"Like hell I do! I'm Second Lieutenant Havoc, I served with this officer, and I want to know how she is doing."
"She's clinically dead." A doctor walked up to Havoc and the nurse who was giving him the runaround and asked Havoc politely if he was the man who came in with the First Lieutenant.
"Yes, I am."
"I am sorry sir, but the First Lieutenant did not survive. We did all we could. You may see her one more time if you wish."
Havoc broke through the ranks of doctors still buzzing about, brushing specks of salty water off his face. When did they get there, already inches below his eyes?
"What the hell, Riza!" he rasped almost incoherently. "You said only yesterday that you wanted to take over in a new way. And now you get yourself killed for a little aristocratic brat! What am I going to do without you? What is the Colonel going to do without you? We need you, Riza… who is going to keep the Colonel in line like you could? Who is going to keep me up to speed on what is going on? I was counting on you… we all were. Please come back!" He could have sworn he saw Riza's lip twitch. "Her lip! Her lip twitched! Doctor! Maybe she's not gone!"
"Sir, spasms aren't uncommon in the recently deceased. I am sorry for your loss. Were you and the First Lieutenant close?" As Havoc started to calm down talking to the soothingly-voiced doctor, nurses scurried over to the stretcher and started to move Riza away.
"Where are they taking her?" Havoc was immediately tense again.
"They are taking her to the morgue, where she will stay until a family member comes to claim her. In fact, I was hoping you could tell me of any family that the First Lieutenant has."
"But she doesn't have any family. I don't think she does, anyway. I can pull up a file on her and find out."
"That is appreciated."
Havoc left in shock, barely hearing or seeing the world around him. He felt like he was underwater, with everything muted and bubbling, slow-moving and dull. He went back to the Central headquarters and explained what had happened to the highest-ranking people he could find. They went off to report the news. He slowly went to Riza's station and perused the documents there, hoping to find anything on the First Lieutenant herself. This turned up nothing. Eventually he decided to request the biographical information so he could give it to the doctors to hunt down a relative. The messenger he grabbed hold of asked him if he would rather that Central Command handle the incident, and he refused. The messenger shook his head in boredom and handed over the information to Havoc after what he clearly thought was a frustrating search. Havoc wouldn't delegate this last good turn he could do for Riza. Was this really the end? They would never work together again, never complain about Mustang together again, never… Havoc shook his head, determining to shake all of this, the sooner the better. He went to the hospital again, and gave the information to the doctor who he had spoken with before.
"Here. She has one living relative, her grandfather, Lieutenant General Grumman in Eastern."