Three days before
Large or small grows and dies, death await us all. With bravery I face the end, with truth I carry and with love I shall leave to those who cared.
"Havoc…" Falman called out gently, to his friend. They were both standing along the side of a medium sized hill; the sunset orange lighting cased a long serene shadow upon them. The younger soldier glanced at his immediate superior to better said second lieutenant slightly worried about his queer demeanor, it had not been the best day for Havoc. Falman was having much difficulty finding the correct comforting words, when the other spoke in a voice so soft and weak, it sounded as though he had been sick for weeks.
"Go back to them, I'll join you later." It was Havoc pleas, or the dead pan voice which caused Falman to beat a hasty retreat. The voice was neither nasty nor rude; somehow it felt desperate to be alone. The grey haired man saluted quickly, informed dutifully that the party was at seven before racing down the hill towards the gate that surrounds them.
Jean Havoc watched the last of his subordinates helm disappear at the corner, he placed his hands deep into his pockets and sighed. Large or small grows and dies. Her words struck him like lightning on a roof, he had already knew all living things live and dies, it was a process of this world; a rule which governs them all. However, what if death was to be a cover up? Lies to protect someone else even if that person was dead? What if death was unfair? Just like now, this case. She made sure everything was solved cleanly and sharply, even to the point of admitting to all the offences while the rest of them knew it was for her 'brother'.
He did not have a single say in her decisions, her unstoppable determination and profound willingness to accept death. That was the reason why he stood unwaveringly on this hill; his own guilt, failure to protect her or stop her. Why was he so weak? It was not the first time; he had let death take away the people he cared. How he had wished to exchange his life for hers for she was still so young, kind hearted beneath all those masks…
"How do you like the apples?" Havoc was in the hospital again, more exact to be written; it was the confinement ward. He was visiting her again; as usual she greeted him with a joyous smile and infectious laughter as she saw him carry a large basket of bright red apples in. A terrible weight which nearly pulled him to the ground, the dear girl giggled as he approached her bed.
"You know, you need not bring apples every single time you visit me…" Havoc blushed at her words, not really knowing what to say. He was so determined on the fruits as Kathy once said, she loved them. That single sincere sentence was the one which made him slightly obsessed over the crunchy snacks.
Kathy Belle who was a criminal charged for many horrible crimes, murders and deception grinned happily at her visitor when she noticed the latter had his tongue tight in a knot, she was extremely joyful that day; most would find it hard to comprehend her happiness so did Havoc who shrugged as he pulled out a chair for himself next to her bed. They spent a while glancing into each other eyes before noting that it was harder and harder to pull away, it was then; Kathy decides to speak.
"Hey, Havoc…" She placed her hand over his gently, and shook it.
Jean Havoc looked at her face and traced its gaze to her fingers, she smirked in a way which could be a tempting flirtatious one. He could not help it but to return his hands around hers; the two held on tightly.
"You know, right? What day it is tomorrow…" The grins on her face slides off quickly, but she kept her hands around his as she continued, in a firm or stern voice. Havoc's feelings dropped speed fast; he was hoping that she might not mention it. Just like he was, trying to forget that it would never happen. "Kathy…"
"No, let me finish." Her voice was neither shaky nor anxious, it was clear and insistent. "I won't be seeing you any longer, from tomorrow onwards…"
"Kathy, don't continue please." His fingers were trying to pull away now, just like his soul and mind at that moment. He would not be able to bear it, the truth. Kathy opened her mouth for a second but closed it afterwards, she took a moment to observe his face, in the best of her ability to take in everything she could remember about him. Havoc was a special and different person from other men she had encountered before, he seemed to be a happy go lucky guy with little thoughts to his manners and presentation but truthfully, he was such a kind soul who thinks about the people around him, one would go to every extra lengths to protect the persons he cared so much. Such a beautiful person, an ideal companion… if she could have more time, where would they be in the future…
"Havoc, I know it's horrible… but you need to listen to me, I really need you."
I really need you…
The sun had finally set over the horizon, blue tinted skies and brown clouds were out to decorate the night with their own glamour. Havoc had been running, sprinting in fact across the wide green plains of the hill. His fist clenched tight, breathing heavily as he raced passed some pine trees along the boundaries. His mind spinning, as he recollected the memories he wished was buried. I need you, listen to me. His eyes burned painfully, her voice soft but strong… he remembers everything, her death.
It hurts, when you can hear the echo of her final moments, behind that wall and that door. The last drop of silver down her throat as she shuddered to coldness, it was silent to everyone else but Havoc heard something more; it was her desperate screams for air. A ghost which would haunt his every waking moment, why was he the only person who heard her sadness when others heard nothing. The administrator even commented that she had a smile upon her face even in the face of death. So why, is he hearing her cries…?
"I DON"T UNDERSTAND!" Havoc punched the ground as much as he could, shouted as loud as his lungs would allow it the exact same words. It was starting to rain, and it drops pelted the ground and him, as hard as the heavens wanted it to; it drenched his coat and his skin but Havoc did not bother. All he ever wanted was an answer, an answer for him from her. It happened in a quick second, a conscious second which the soaked man realized; he wasn't getting hit by rain drops any longer. He peered upwards; there was an umbrella over his head sheltering him from the water and the cold.
"Havoc, you will get sick if you keep staying in the rain." It was a voice, he had not heard in days. He glanced at her as though he was looking into a bright light, with an eye closed and another opened. He jumped up to his feet immediately when he could see well enough, as the same time brushing away all the other water unrelated to the rain from his face. An attempt to show that he was alright, but what were the chances of her not noticing the reddened eyes or pink nose; after all it was the queen of their office.
"Lieutenant! You should not be out here, aren't you with the colonel? He was supposed to bring you home, why are you here?" Havoc demanded the answers, in a tone tough as steel planks; he would not forgive the colonel for letting the recovering lieutenant roam this area without company and furthermore in a rain such as this. The lieutenant said nothing, for that moment; they were in an awkward silence, until she pulled out a piece of paper from her coat and passed it to him.
"She will be very sad, if she sees you in this manner…" Havoc took a deep gulp of air, attempting to clear his thoughts and head. Kathy would be really angry if she sees him feeling sad over her, it is just how she was… At the same moment, she passed him another umbrella before proceeding towards a white marble stone near to Havoc.
"Miss Belle… Thank you, I owe you my life…even though we did not know each other for long, I am extremely grateful for everything you have done…"
Havoc opened his umbrella stood a distance away from his superior and the grave; he was unwilling to be near. Her bones rested beneath the white stone, he could still hear her screams if he was too close. Maybe it was that hesitation or fear, which caused the lieutenant to walk towards him; looking at him in a way similar to disappointment.
"Read it, it is meant for you…" The lieutenant stride pass the stunned soldier, she stopped a feet away. "I will be seeing you later…second lieutenant…" Havoc did not turn around or respond, all he ever did after the lieutenant left was to read the note given to him.
He sat in front of her grave, reading that note again and again and again till the rain drops smudged its letters and it could not be read anymore did he stop being in a trance.
"Will he be alright?" Falman asked hesitantly as the lieutenant approached him, she was stoned faced and stiff however she did give a small reassuring nod before boarding the car which Falman chauffeured. The younger subordinate breathed in deeply and peered to the direction where Havoc would be at the moment, it was the second time he had ever seen Havoc break down like this. The first was the death of his parents six years ago, and now the lady which entered his lone heart taken away so cruelly by death. It must be hard for him, Falman thought deeply as he opened the door to the driver seat and took his place.
The lieutenant wiped off the rain drops which had fallen on her coat and glanced to the gloomy horizon, she heard Falman releasing the brakes while whispering something. Riza knew what it could be, but did not question. The car warmed the motors and it began to drive down slowly through the paths. The bumpy roads were a bother; it made her feel slightly sick. The lady held her chest tightly in hope to keep her lunch within her, she grimaced a little as she recalled the faces of horrified Doctor Knox when she told him that she wished to see someone who was probably at the cemetery; he was so much against the idea seeing that she had just recovered not long ago from a successful organ transplant and even more petrified as she pleaded to keep it a secret from the colonel knowing he would flip out if he knew.
"Lieutenant Hawkeye, are you alright?" Falman asked anxiously when he noticed her pale face and her clenched fist, the motor of the car died down immediately; he spun around looking at his superior concerned. She sat up straighter and nodded again; firmly this time to convince her junior that she was alright. Falman tend to worry too much, in fact she had caused much of her juniors and in charges worried sick about her. It was something she wished she did not do, a solider such as her does not dream of attention. Several seconds passed, Falman was still at the brink of anxiousness; Riza smiled and assured that she was alright and reminded gently that they were going to be late. It was then, Falman seemed to click back to normal, the colonel would be at the hospital soon; if he does not get his lieutenant back, there is no telling how much trouble he might be in.
He passed her his own coat; telling her to keep herself warm before stepping on the pedal hard without another word; the car spun into action and drove on through the bumpy roads.
At the same time, miles away, a lone shadow stood before the white marble grave; in his hand was a piece of paper with smudged words. Havoc put away the umbrella which the lieutenant had given to him; the rain had stopped and a cool breeze was blowing through the cemetery. He seemed to find comfort with the gentle winds, it felt like her; beckoning him.
I'm sorry, Havoc but I've to take responsibility of my brother's doing; it is unfair but not for vain. I had my life planned out for me by him; everyday seemed to be going through the motions without feelings. All those preparations stopped by you and your courageous friends; I'm thankful for the intervention. It made me feel free for once, and has allowed me to meet you.
I've been protected by you, cared by you. These two weeks meant everything for me; I was a normal person; enjoying laughter and company; the only regret was that it was so short; my time with you.
If, I could have another life; when we meet again… can we just talk? We can talk till the sun goes down, just to make up all the opportunities we have missed in this life… okay?
"Where on earth, did you take the lieutenant!?" The seething voice sharp and loud echoed throughout the lobby, the other patients stared at the source, which was a dark haired man confronting a grey haired man with a lady sitting in a wheel chair.
The lieutenant noticed the stares, she shifted uncomfortably in her seat as the dark piercing eyes scanned her quickly; she knew he would be mad however she did not expect him to confront them in the lobby where everyone from the head of departments to a small child sitting on her mother's lap could see.
"Colonel…I…er…You see, the lieutenant…" Falman tried to put across his defense but was flattened out just by his superior's razor sharp glare.
Riza Hawkeye gripped the sleeves of her subordinate, indicating that she wished to speak. The colonel glared at her, she returned him the favor. All the misunderstandings which had plagued the two seemed to have mixed quickly forming a large dark ball filled with miscommunications.
"You should know better, leaving the hospital like this. Why do you like doing this? Is making us worry; your favorite thing to do?!" Falman gasped out, he changed his glances from the colonel to the lieutenant. He had not ever expected the colonel to say such things to his most loyal dedicated subordinate. Falman observed the colonel's tone; the colonel said it with a raised voice but how come there was a tint of sorrow between them.
Riza shifted her fridge back, his words hurt… trying as much as she could, she kept her blurry gaze on the counter behind him. She knew the colonel's tendency to be tempted by anger however she had not imagined he would use his anger against his subordinate and more unexpectedly; on her. Was it just anger or was there sadness?
"I asked Falman to give me a ride, it was not his fault." She told him straight out but softly.
"I'm sorry for making you worry…" Riza added in with an afterthought. She looked away from his now bewildered eyes, placed her fingers on the wheels and wheeled herself towards the lifts. Falman lingered just for two seconds before racing towards the lieutenant's side. He offered to push her, and they entered metal door that would bring them up to her ward; leaving the colonel within all the stares of other residents of the hospital.
"What an idiot I am… why did I use that tone on her…" The colonel strode away, towards the automatic sliding door; ignoring the hushed whispers and undoubting stares behind his back.
I was worried about you, seeing you disappear again from your bed reminded me of some bad memories. I was upset; furious and afraid. When I saw you again, I was relieved but also undoubtedly angered. Please forgive me, I wasn't thinking straight… I had not meant to hurt you; even though you had played with my feelings over your secrets; I only wanted to care about you… Riza, I'm so so sorry…
Ps. Havoc –san; please protect the two of them. Tell them, that there are many couples and partners in the world who do not have enough time to talk even if they wanted to. To clear up the mess between them, they have to talk to each other uninterrupted and honestly.
I'm relying on you.
"Yeah, I understand…" Havoc said to no one, he stuffed the note down his coat and began to walk away from the grave and the hill he was standing upon. He remembered her words, her last words to the lieutenant and the block headed colonel. He would do anything in his power to repair the damage between the two which was his last promise to Kathy.
Havoc was no longer hearing her screams; in fact he was not hearing anything anymore. Just his own heart beating strongly and a willed determination fired within him, a gift learnt from the kind hearted girl.
Hi! My friends, it had been a seriously long time since I have posted anything on fanfiction. I'm so very sorry about the delays, I have been working and studying and feeling lazy to continue these few months – please forgive me!
Well, this is the new update for the story sickness, I am wondering how many of you are still waiting for this chapter. It is not a very nice chapter since I have probably stopped improving or gotten worst because of my lack in practice. It needs a while to get back on track.
Meanwhile please try to enjoy this chapter – Three days before –
Reviews are very much welcomed!