The hanging clock on the wall was impossibly loud. Only years of military training and personal resilience could keep Riza from fidgeting here. She hated hospitals.
It had only been ten minutes, but she was already starting to feel the tinges of frustration set in. She had to make five separate calls (each one echoing the others questions; each answer always the same, I don't know), and none of them had yet to appear. Though every one of them had fervently assured her they were dropping everything and on their way right this second, for nothing they had planned could possibly outweigh this.
She had always feared this, in the back of her mind; and how foolish she had been to think she was prepared. There was a lead balloon expanding in her chest; matching the one blocking thoughts in her head. She wanted to wonder if she had turned off the stove before driving him over, but in all honesty her entire apartment could burn to the ground and she wouldn't give it a second thought if he was alright.
Rebecca was the first one to appear. Riza would have smiled if she felt she had the ability. Rebecca took one look at her and practically cleared the hallway in one leap, throwing herself onto her friend and almost choking back a sob.
"Is he —?"
"We still don't know anything," Riza said with all the calm she did not have.
Rebecca made a very unsatisfied noise. "What happened?" she asked desperately.
Riza shook her head. "I don't really — "
"Lieutenant!" Breda shouted across the hall. He and Havoc had arrived together. Their faces wore matching expressions of something close to anguish, but nothing so reserved. They stopped in front of them, panting.
"What happened?" Havoc asked, echoing Rebecca.
"I don't. Know." Riza said, for the hundredth time. "They think it might be his heart."
Rebecca's hands flew to her mouth. Breda's face made an undistinguished tremor, and Havoc allowed himself to fall into the seat beside her.
Riza grit her teeth. It had been easier to keep her composure when she was alone and arguing only with her own thoughts; but now that she had other people to ease her aplomb slowly began to break. Havoc seemed to sense it, and put a hand on her shoulder. "It's going to be alright, Riza," he assured. The three of them shared a glance; they were worried, but they knew they couldn't be anywhere near as distraught as she was.
Something about the sound of her name caused her posture to strengthen. Now was not the time for Riza. Now was the time for Lieutenant Hawkeye, cool, stern and mechanical; the perfect soldier. Lieutenant Hawkeye would be stronger for him than Riza ever could be.
"Lieutenant!" someone else shouted, and Fuery came dashing towards them. "Do we know what happened," he asked, and there was more worry and torment etched into his young face than in all the rest of them combined.
"His heart," said Rebecca.
"They think," Lieutenant Hawkeye said quickly upon seeing the unrestricted horror appearing on Fuery's face. "It might have been food poisoning. We don't know anything yet."
Fuery sat down on her other side. They were only waiting on one, now.
It took almost twenty minutes; more time than Lieutenant Hawkeye cared to admit frightened her. But after millions of impossibly loud clicks from the hanging clock above them that all of them had threatened to shoot at least once; a white-coated man came out and was immediately battered with voices. "Is he alright?" "Is he okay?" and a hundred variations thereupon were uttered before the doctor held up his hands to stem the flow.
"He's fine," the man said. "Absolutely fine."
After Havoc and Rebecca shared a hysterical hug, their last party member came skidding down the hallway, calling Riza's name. It was only then that she allowed herself to fall just a little; matching his embrace to the second and soothing each of his anxious mutterings. "He's fine," she repeated for the both of them, "he's fine, he's fine."
"Thank God," Roy said, and he allowed himself the small luxury of stroking her hair, for the situation seemed to allow it; no one argued. Each of them had an extreme air of palpable relief as they walked in the other room to visit their recuperating patient.
After all; they each knew that East Headquarters would fall apart if something were to happen to Black Hayate.