Author's Note: For clarification purposes, this fic is a mulligan of a previously posted fic of the same title. Various parts of the story will be different from the previous version and hopefully all parts will be more in depth. Please take a moment to review this fic. Your reviews are essential in planning the edits of subsequent chapters. Standard Disclaimer applies.
Riza arrived early to work that morning. The Lieutenant Colonel had phoned her from his home at a very early hour requesting her presence at the command center a full three hours before her scheduled arrival. Roy was investigating, digging through case files, and snooping through recordings of phone calls; all in an effort to bring Hughes's murderer to trial. As thrilled as Riza was that Roy was actually working, she couldn't help but worry for her commanding officer. The man was borderline obsessed and Riza could only hope that he wouldn't stick his nose in this business and wind up like his best friend. She had no idea what she would do if they lost Roy too. But she couldn't think about that, and so she quickly pushed the thought from her mind.
As she turned the corner toward the command center, she felt something cold and wet hit her cheek, then her hand, then her nose. Quickly, she pulled her umbrella from her tote and snapped it open. This was just wonderful. As if Roy wasn't in a bad enough mood without the added gloom of the rain.
Umbrella in hand, Riza crossed the street, careful not to splash in the quickly forming puddles. Traffic was usually heavy today and temporarily halted her passage to the command center. The boxy vehicle blocking her way finally moved, revealing two uniformed men in dark cloaks, kneeling over something lying on the sidewalk. She could see glimpses of blue peeking from between the black of the cloaks. One of the men looked like Havoc. The other one was small with dark hair. Fuery. They spoke words in hurried voices that Riza could not quite understand.
Ever the soldier, she pulled her pistol from the holster at her side and advanced with caution. As she made her way nearer, her acute eyes noticed the blue thing on the sidewalk was another uniformed officer.
She hurried now, hearing Havoc mention something about an apparent lack of pulse. He shifted away from the body, allowing Riza a clear view.
The downed man had black hair and three stars on the shoulder of his bloodied uniform.
Riza could think of only one to fit that view.
She ran now, dropping her umbrella and no longer heeding the world around her, crashing to the ground by the downed man's side. Unseeing coal eyes greeted her and it was all she could do to keep from screaming.
"Hawkeye," Jean gasped, thankful for someone that could tell him what he needed to do.
Riza didn't waste time asking what happened, or if Roy was even alive. "Doctor. Now." Those were her orders and Jean Havoc ran into the downpour in search of any help he could find.
Riza gasped as she saw the blood pooled around Roy's upper torso. He lay sprawled at an unnatural angle against the stairs to the command center, his weary visage staring coldly at Riza, as if accusing her of failing him.
Rain collected on his face and ran down his nose like false tears. A memory of Brigadier General Hughes's grave forced its way into Riza's head, attacking her concentration. Concentration was key. She had to focus. But how could she focus when the culmination of her life's work and values lay bleeding to death on the street?
Reaching into her coat, Riza retrieved a handkerchief and gently wiped the rain from Roy's face.
"He hates the rain," she muttered before finally screaming to the man hovering helplessly beside her. "Help me get him inside! Don't you know he hates the rain! Help me get him inside!"
Fuery hung his head. He didn't think there was much that anyone could do for Roy now, but he obeyed all the same, fearful of crossing the First Lieutenant in her fragile state.
Riza cradled Roy's head and shoulders while Fuery grabbed his legs. Together they managed to struggle up the steps and into the command center. They lay Roy on a table in the first empty room they came to. She tried not to notice how his arm hung limply off the edge of his makeshift bed.
Without a moment's pause, Riza went straight at Roy's jacket, snapping and ripping the material from him. It was difficult to tell with all the blood, but it looked like there were two entry wounds. As she pulled and tried to remove the jacket, Riza noticed bright red blood oozing slowly and soaking the Lieutenant Colonel's once white undershirt. As hurriedly and yet gentle as possible she removed that layer too until she could see the marred flesh.
"It's bright," she whispered, unable to look away. "Fuery, it's bright!"
The Master Sargent inched around the table to stand behind Riza. He didn't really want to see anything more. Blood tended to make him squeamish. It was a wonder he had yet to faint.
"He's alive… for now," he whispered in awe.
Jean Havoc crashed through the door to the break room without preamble, only earning Riza's attention upon announcing that he had found a doctor. A snowy headed, older man in a white coat ambled into the room, burdened by a heavy leather bag of what appeared to be tools. Riza didn't care who he was or where the man came from. All of her hopes depended upon him and she had no choice but to trust him.
The doctor turned to the Lieutenant. "It's worse that you told me. There's no time to transport him to a hospice. If there's anything to be done, it will have to happen here."
He motioned for Riza to step aside so that he could thoroughly assess his patient. The old man pursed his lips and wrinkled his brow. Sighing heavily he plopped his large bag on the table beside Roy. After retrieving a few pairs of sanitary gloves he turned to the three subordinates staring helplessly at him. "You'll have to assist me."