A/N: Ice-T tweeted today that lots of people get shot on the season finale for SVU. This is what I think (not necessarily hope) will happen. Of course, they never explicitly said that George will be the one to get shot, but since BD signed on to a new show, it seems pretty likely. On the other hand, they NEVER give George any drama... Oh well. Anyway, hope you like it! Reviews are always welcome.
The sound of gunfire exploded around him as he shivered on the floor. Terrible screams of agony and fear reached him, so distant that it was as though it was on the other side of a long tunnel. There was blood everywhere, some from others and some from the three wounds on his chest. He was so cold that he was chilled to his bones, and a collapsed lung made excruciating pain flare with every breath, and his breath came in terrifying-sounding gasps. He could hardly inahle without coughing and bringing up copious amounts of blood. The weakness from blood loss made it harder and harder for him to even keep his eyes open.
Someone was sitting beside him, pressing hard on one of the wounds and demanding things of him. "Stay with me... Can you tell me your name, the date, and where you are?" And then, once he started to choke and sputter on the blood again, "Easy, just breathe, hold on..." He barely felt the cloth wiping at his bloody mouth, barely felt the pressure from where the hands were using all their force to try and keep some of his blood inside him.
Instead of the terrifying scene, he focused on the squad room, and how many stupid flaws there were with it. If the building was new, why was the ceiling so cheap and made of that corky material he'd always hated? Why hadn't anyone noticed that there was a spider the size of a quarter on the window? And why were the computers all in one place? The NYPD would have such a hard time getting new ones. The shooter had destroyed all the screens when she'd started firing at them.
His mind wandered to what had happened a half-hour ago. Gillian had been the first to be shot. She'd been the one who'd insisted on charging the shooter, a young woman, for almost killing an innocent man in her attempts to kill her abusive husband. Then, before any of them could react, more shots had come. Olivia had been shot in the shoulder. She was okay, though; it had been the outside of her shoulder, where there was a lot of fat and muscle but few major blood vessels. A few weeks of physical therapy, and she'd be fine.
But Munch had been shot a second later, one bullet to the stomach and one to the neck- at his age, almost certainly a death sentence. George had cringed when he'd seen him collapse, his doctor's mind immediately running over survival statistics and basic first-aid. But even before that, his hand had moved reflexively for his FBI-issue glock and aimed at the woman.
And then agony that he'd had never felt before had overwhelmed him; a sensation like a burning hot needle ripping through his chest, and radiating through his entire body. He'd felt it twice more- also on his chest- before he'd collapsed limply, landing in a heap on the floor. He'd gazed unseeingly at the ceiling while he gasped frantically for breath, immediately knowing that his right lung was collapsed and filling with blood. A hemopnemothorax, to use the medical term- which he usually did, when he wasn't this disoriented and distant from his mind and body.
He would have moaned when he'd felt the sensation, maybe even screamed, but he didn't have enough air in his lungs. As it was, his fingertips had quickly become cyanotic from lack of oxygen. Sweat beaded his forehead, teeth grinding against the pain as he arched off the floor, a pathetically small whimper escaping his lips. His body and vocal chords refused to cooperate, choosing on it's own accord to make him express how much pain he was in.
And then, just when he'd been sure he was going to pass out, the pain had started to ebb. It wasn't actually that the pain was less, as much as he just wasn't there to feel it. It was like he was floating, almost.
Some part of him mused that his condition had become critical, that he was closer to death than he had been while being strangled be Matthew Brodus, but this sensation was too good for him to care; there truly was nothing like the lessening of pain immediately after agony. He reveled in the sensation, latched on to it even though he knew that that could mean death. For critical wounds like his, the lessening of pain was anything but a hopeful sign.
He was dying.
The realization hit him with surprisingly little emotion. He'd always thought he'd be terribly upset to learn of his impending demise, and in the dark times when he'd actually thought about it, he had decided that he'd prefer no warning, to simply die in his sleep one day. He'd always thought he wouldn't be able to handle the fear if he'd known in advance.
And yet, once it happened, it had as much impact as if he'd been told that traffic was worse than usual, or the spider on the wall had bitten him. A slight annoyance at worst, but not the end of the world- even though for him, this was the end. He'd felt more afraid of getting teeth filled than he felt right now. He just accepted it, with the emotional detachment that had always made him such a great psychiatrist. A shrink until the end, he thought with an inward smile. He'd die without ever having shown his emotional side to anyone except his lover.
George coughed again, weaker this time, though it still brought up the frothy blood. The blurred room tipped and spun around him, overwhelming him with dizziness, and he blinked blearily at the person trying to help him. He still couldn't see or hear who it was, though it sounded feminine.
He thought about the people closest to him. How would his lover cope without him? Robbie had been with him for ten years, and George knew by now that Robbie was such an emotional person that he might never get over this. George wasn't supposed to get hurt, not this way at least. A concussion and a few broken bones from a patient had been the worst of it, until now. Robbie would be crushed, and he might not be able to find a healthy outlet to release the pain.
George wished he could have said goodbye to him. But then again, he and his lover had made sure never to do or say anything they would regret, and they had always made sure they said they loved each other before they'd gone to work each day, because even without the dangers of their jobs, the fact was that it could end at any moment. Because of that, Robbie already knew everything important; he had heard everything that George wanted to say, on a daily basis.
He wouldn't have thought it was possible to die at his age- 42- without having at least one major regret, but he truly couldn't think of one. That was strange, but a definite blessing. They hadn't wanted kids, he was completely satisfied with his position in the FBI, he had plenty of people who cared about him. He had never been an extremely adventurous person, so he didn't mind the fact that he'd never climbed Mount Everest, or hadn't even left the country. The only adventurous thing he'd done was his work as an FBI agent, but that was enough. He'd still done everything he'd wanted to accomplish.
His eyes slid shut, and he felt his heart- which had been pounding in his ears- begin to slow down. His head lolled alarmingly, falling to the side as he lost control of his neck muscles. His frantic gasps for air grew weaker and weaker by the second. He had minutes left, he knew.
Apparently realizing the hopelessness of trying to save him, the person kneeling beside him moved his hands from the wound, instead opting to give him comfort. George felt his forehead and cheek being stroked gently and heard a voice whispering vague, quiet reassurances in his ear. "It's okay... Just relax, it'll be okay."
He opened his eyes one last time and saw the vague outline of Olivia Benson kneeling beside him. George inhaled several times, trying to fill his lungs enough to speak.
"Shhh, don't try to talk," Olivia soothed. Poor Olivia, George thought. She'd been through so much, but now she was going to deal with two more traumas. Being shot in the shoulder and having to witness someone dying in his arms in the midst of a shootout- someone who had been her friend and co-worker for over ten years, at that. He suddenly felt guilty for this; he was going to die in her arms, and Olivia was not going to be able to cope well. On the other hand... he couldn't help dying.
The thought prompted yet another question. George inhaled so much it hurt, and manged, in a choked whisper, "Hey, Olivia, why're... you here? Should... be firing... at the gunman... since they... haven't taken... her out yet..." He raised a shaking hand and pointed at her holstered service weapon. "I may... be a Fed... but I know what... the NYPD says... to do..." he wheezed, giving a weak smile.
"I can't do anything- I can't shoot left-handed," Olivia explained.
George coughed again, feeling the blood landing on his face and chest, and whispered, "They okay?"
"I will be if I get medical treatment before I get an infection. Hardwicke... she's touch and go right now. If we can clear the area and get the EMT's here, she'll have a chance."
"Munch?" George asked, already knowing the answer. He closed his eyes, dreading the words.
"He's dead," Olivia said, tears forming in her eyes. "I'm sorry."
"Fin's... going to be crushed..." he whispered sadly, thinking about how much the two meant to each other. He wheezed again, and the distant feeling returned. He felt a pull, though not in any particular direction. "Need... you to promise... not to let Fin quit..."
"I won't. I'll ask to be assigned as his partner so he won't," Olivia said quietly. "We'll both need that, I think."
George smiled and tried to speak again, though now it was a gasp, even harder to hear than before. "Good. And, one more thing... when..." Another fit of coughing overtook him, and he worried that time would run out before he could speak. But he managed to get his breath back and say, "When Robbie, my lover... Identifies my body... Be there for him, okay? He'll need... Someone nice like you..."
Silence reigned for a long moment, the only sound coming from the gunfire- which was almost background noise to them- and George's labored, uneven gasps.
"I will," Olivia said. She swallowed hard, voice becoming hoarse from tears, and rasped, "I'm sorry we couldn't save you. I'm sorry we failed you."
"It's okay... That sounds odd, but-" More coughs wracked his form- "But I don't mind... I don't have any regrets... And at least... I'm not alone," George managed. Knowing that these would be the last words he'd be able to speak, knowing that he had to assuage Olivia's guilt before it was too late, he gasped, "Didn't fail me... Only human..."
He could feel the relief in Olivia's voice as she said, "Thank you."
George smiled. He'd used his last moments to help the detectives. He'd died doing the same thing he'd tried to do every day.
He took one last weak, gasping breath and let it out as a sigh- his dying breath was the last sound he heard- and he saw a blinding flash of light before his vision faded entirely. George's body went limp, chest stilling completely. His pupils dilated as his eyes glazed over and lost the spark of awareness, staring unseeingly into space.
George Huang faded away, his broken body all that remained.