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This is the tenth chapter of the arc called "Gains and Losses". It is Havoc-centric. It is set in the mangaverse, so if you don't know what happens to Havoc around Chapter 38, then read it before you start this fic.

(Just a little pleading here. I haven't gotten a SINGLE comment on ANY of these chapters since chapter 6. I would like to think that people are reading this, so please just take a moment to make a little comment- Something you liked or didn't. Thanks)

Title: Deja Vu
Author: SeaweedOtter
Beta: the incomparable havocmangawip
Characters: Mostly Jean Havoc, but the most of the rest of the gang appears.
Rating: PG-13 for naughty language.
Disclaimer: Manga Spoilers... Set in the manga, a couple years after the end of chapter 38. Maybe AU?
Summary: It's like deja vu, all over again.


Read all the chapters so far HERE!





When the large, drab gray building that was the Central Hospital loomed in front of them, Havoc fought the sinking feeling in his stomach. He had to worry about Breda and Janet right now. He would have time to reminisce later.

That time unfortunately came a short while later, when the expectant parents were whisked away to a delivery room, and Havoc was almost alone -- with only Ross and himself in the waiting room. He’d tried to forget about those feelings, the ones that he’d kept bottled up, but they came welling back and he had nothing to stop them this time.


***********************************************************************


"That bastard! Where does he get off saying 'I'll wait for you at the top'? What the hell am I supposed to do? What the fuck does he expect me to do, just get up and walk out of here like he did? Fucking bastard!" Somewhere deep in his mind, Havoc knew that it wasn't Mustang that he was mad at. He saw his commanding officer stand up, put his hand on his shoulder and tell him that he will be waiting for him. Then walk out of the hospital, with the 'hawk's eyes' ever present at his side.

He knew he would never get up and walk out of here. He would probably never get up again. He would be lying if he said that he hadn't been terribly jealous of the Colonel, and of all the doctors and nurses that came into his room with two perfectly good legs, did what they needed to, and then left.

Sure, they were pleasant to him, and they tried to make idle conversation about the weather, not even thinking about how the only weather he saw was through his hospital window. He could care less if it was a particularly cold day or not. His room was always the same, just a little too warm and always dry, parching his throat and causing him to sweat during the night. The few times he was actually able to close his eyes and sleep, he usually saw her- Solaris- her soulless purple eyes bore through him as she ran him through without hesitation.

"You better get used to waiting, Colonel. I’m not going anywhere."

_______________________________________________________________________________

Breda came to visit him, right as he was finishing his only cigarette for the day. When he told him that Lieutenant Ross had gotten away safely, Havoc had kept a stone face, but deep in his heart he was glad. He hadn't gotten to work with her as much as he’d hoped, but he had seen her enough to know that she was not the kind of person to kill someone. Mustang had already shown that he took care of his own- Havoc knew that if that hadn't been the case, he wouldn't have been here at all. He would be just another corpse in the ground. He grinned at the irony. Maybe if he had been killed, he would have finally been able to rise in the ranks. He didn't care about getting to the top like the Colonel, but he certainly didn't want to be stuck with a First Lieutenant's pay the rest of his life.

Of course, he didn't have to worry about that any more.

He knew that the retirement papers would come through soon. He was told that he would get severance pay, a decent stipend to live on, and free therapy from a list of government approved doctors. He honestly didn't give a hoot about any of that, though. All he knew was that his career was over and there was nothing for him to do. There was nowhere for him to go, but home, with his tail between his legs like the beaten cur that he was.

Breda had left that afternoon on a cryptic note, some weird comment that was supposed to elicit hope for the broken man in the hospital bed, but Havoc just didn't see how. Ordinarily, he would have thought that his best friend had finally gone over the edge- if he hadn't seen the seriousness and resolve in his eyes. That look was enough to make the former Lieutenant wonder if there was some hope after all, no matter how far flung. 'Retired life doesn't suit you', he’d said as he left the room. For now, he didn't have a choice.

Even after Breda visited, Havoc had still believed that there was no hope. Then that smug Mustang had strode in, with fiery eyes and determination in his voice, telling Havoc that he was going to wait for him at the top. What else did he have to do? He had no desire to waste away to nothing in the Eastern countryside. He was a country boy at heart, but he wasn't suited to live there as an invalid for the rest of his life, either.

He wasn't sure how, but he had to find some way to join his colonel. That was all the motivation he needed.

____________________________________________________________________________


It didn't take long for word to spread through the office about Havoc's outburst, and the colonel's reply. Breda returned a couple of days later with a stash of smuggled cigarettes and girly magazines. He also had a couple of weird contraptions that Havoc eyed suspiciously.

"They are for toning your muscles," Breda explained. "I know when you heal up some more, you are going to do some real exercises and such, but I thought in the meantime you might want to get started." He then handed him the items and smiled. "Ya know the Colonel ain't the only one waiting for ya, Havo."

Havoc smiled back and took the odd things. Each of them had two wooden handles, with coiled pieces of metal running between them. As he took one in each hand and squeezed the handles together, the metal resisted, and he felt the muscles up his wrist and lower arm tense, then relax as he let them go.

"Thanks, Breda. I will definitely use these. My wounds haven't closed yet, so I can't do much. But I am tired of just sitting here, doing nothing but staring at the ceiling all day. I think I’ve memorized every little stain and bump in that damn ceiling by now," he said and then his face tensed. "I want to get better and see the look on Mustang's smug face when I’m taller than him again."

"Okay, Havoc," Breda said as he clapped his friend on the back. I will help you however I can, even if it is only with girly magazines and cigarettes. All ya have to do is ask."

"Thanks. You’re a good friend."

_______________________________________________________________________________

When the wounds had finally healed, Havoc was visited by a new face, a dark haired, green eyed man who didn't look much older than himself. He introduced himself as Dr. John Mitchell, and told Havoc that he was going to do some very basic physical therapy with him while he continued to heal.

At first, it wasn't bad. It was mostly range of motion and muscle building exercises in his lower legs, so he didn't have to worry about aching muscles. The doctor had explained that he wanted to wait for the upper body until it was healed a little more, something that Havoc didn't really mind. He also taught Havoc some basic things that he would need for the rest of his life, such as getting in and out of the chair and transferring himself to various places, like the bed and the toilet. He learned how to do what he needed to, to make it through a day as normally as he could.

For a time, things went well. Dr. Mitchell continued to be impressed with how determined Havoc was, and how much time he put into improving himself. After several surgeries to implant rods to stabilize his vertebrae he had only gotten the tiniest amount of something that couldn't even really be described as feeling in a couple of areas below the injury. The swelling around his spinal cord had gone down considerably and there was little improvement. It was a setback to be sure, but to the doctors, Havoc seemed to take the news fairly well. There had been very little hope for any improvement, but he had understood.

Of course, they weren't aware of how well Havoc could hide his feelings behind a wry smile when he had to.

It had hit him a lot harder than he cared to admit. He had been told not to expect much, but when one has nothing left to lose, sometimes hope is all they have. He had hoped for some miracle after the surgeries, and when it didn't happen, he was back to hoping for nothing.

When he had started to slack off a bit in the exercises, Dr. Mitchell hadn't said anything at first. He knew that Havoc had received the news about his lack of improvement, and he hoped that letting him work through it would be best, and he would return to his normal exercise routine soon.

But that was before the bad news got worse.

Mustang had been trying to visit as often as he could. Most of the time he would bring Hawkeye, but she would wait in the hallway. He would do his best to keep Havoc informed on what was going on at the office. Once they even tried to smuggle Black Hayate in, but the first time he barked all three of them were forcibly ejected.

Soon after the surgery, his visits had been coming less and less frequently. It was a grey and dreary day when Mustang came in, his face even more sullen than usual. He looked like he hadn't been sleeping well. Havoc snuffed out the last of his cigarette for the day and gave the Colonel a worried look.

"What is it, Chief?"

Mustang sighed, rubbing a hand through his hair, "Fuhrer Bradley... he... he is breaking up the team. Breda is being sent to Western Headquarters. Falman is going to Northern Headquarters and Fuery will be stationed in Southern Headquarters."

"And... Hawkeye, sir?" If Mustang caught the extra bit of worry in Havoc's voice when he asked about her, he didn't say anything about it.

He closed his eyes for just a moment, looking down as he replied sadly, "She will be the Fuhrer's new personal assistant."

"At least she will still be close."

"So close, yet so far away," Mustang almost whispered. Havoc simply nodded and continued to look at the rain that was beating on his window.

_________________________________________________________________________________

When the doctor noticed some drastic changes in Havoc, he started to get concerned. He hardly even bothered to try to do the daily exercises that he had been assigned anymore. He didn't talk anymore than was needed, preferring one word answers. He had
to be given a prescription to help him sleep, and he was hardly eating enough to sustain him. His hospital gown hung loosely off his now gaunt frame.

"Jean, we need to talk," the doctor said.

Havoc put down the hand exercisers that he had been using to try to put on a good show for the doctor, and sighed heavily, nodding for him to continue while he stared out the window, something that he had been doing quite a lot lately.

"You are stagnating here. It has been a few months, but your progress is more like after a few weeks. Your muscles are atrophying. You won't improve one bit unless you keep working at it."

"I know doc, but-"

"Please, listen, Jean. This is very important," he insisted. He pushed his glasses up on his face. "I have already arranged for you to be discharged from the hospital and sent back to your home in the East. You are well enough that you won't have to stay at the hospital, you can go right home. Your mother and I have been in touch, and she has helped me arrange everything."

"I'm... going home," Havoc said flatly.

"Yes. I know you have friends here, but right now they seem to be more of a distraction than anything else. You need to be somewhere where you can concentrate on yourself for awhile."

Havoc opened his mouth to tell his that they weren't here to 'distract' any more, but he thought better of it and closed his mouth again before asking, "And, if I said that I want to stay in Central?"

"I would say that it wasn't an option, solider."

Havoc smirked as he replied "But you forget I’m not a solider anymore." His eyes drifted to the signed documents on the bedside table, a copy of his official military resignation papers.

"That is true, but please, just take my advice. I know it's hard, but it really is for your own good. I want you to get better. I am your doctor, and I want what is best for you."

Havoc sighed, wishing he had another cigarette or twenty and then said, "All right Doc. I will."

"Thank you, Jean."

________________________________________________________________________________

"Are you ready, Jean?"

"Yeah, Ma."

A couple of orderlies helped Havoc into the wheelchair that would be his primary transportation from now on. Neither of the orderlies said anything, but they gave each other a look at how easy it was to lift this deceptively skinny, tall man. He was quickly situated, and his mother grabbed the small box that contained his personal belongings from the room, and followed behind the orderly that pushed Havoc down the hallway and out of the hospital for good.

Jean had to transfer himself from the chair into the waiting taxi that would take them to the train station. The orderlies stayed close in case anything happened, but he had to practice himself, as they wouldn't be around after this. It wasn't too hard, and even Havoc thought to himself how easy it was to lift himself with his arms. Maybe he had lost too much weight, but at least it made that easier for him.

Thankfully, it was a rather quick (and quiet) ride to the train station. Havoc passed the time waiting for the train to arrive by watching the flocks of birds that would fly overhead at regular intervals, visitors for the change in the seasons. His mother bought them some snacks for the trip, and before they knew it, it was time to head home.

Very little was said on the train ride back. Havoc really didn't have anything that he wanted to talk about, and his mother was unsure of how to start a conversation with her brooding son.

"The rest of your belongings from you dorm room are going to be packed up and they should be shipped back home soon." She tried to start a conversation about halfway through the trip.

"That's nice," was the only response she got.

An angry look crossed her face. "Jean, please. I know this is bad, leaving your friends, but it is for the best. And again, he bit his tongue, not bothering to tell her that all his friends had been ripped away from him again. He just sighed softly and continued to stare out the window at the countryside speeding past.

"I know, Ma."

The rest of the ride was mostly silence, and both of them were quietly glad when it was finally over. Havoc's father was waiting for them at the station. He tried as hard as he could when his mother wheeled Havoc off the train to not look surprised. After all, he had been told what happened, but it was much different when he actually saw it in person. Words on a paper and a voice over the phone can't prepare a father when his only child is suddenly stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

"Hello son," he managed to choke out, trying as hard as he could to hold back the tears that were trying to form in his eyes.

"Hey Pop," Havoc said as he waved meekly, and rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

"Welcome home, Jean."


*********************************************************************************


Havoc rubbed his spiky hair and closed his eyes for a moment, thinking that it was way past time for him to go smoke a cigarette.

"Are you okay, Jean?" Ross asked, bringing Havoc quickly back to the moment.

"Yeah, I guess so," he said and then let out a long breath. "This place just... well, it brings back memories and they aren't happy ones. I was just thinking about the last time I was here, that's all."

Maria nodded and stood up from the uncomfortable waiting room chair and stretched her arms upwards for a moment, her light colored blouse almost raising enough to expose the tiniest bit of stomach to anyone close enough to see her. Havoc gulped, and wished that he could squirm in his chair to relieve some pent up energy.

"I know we haven't talked about... the incident... much, but if you ever want someone to talk to about it, I will listen." She smiled and gently patted the back of his hand with the palm of hers.

Havoc blushed just slightly and smiled.

"I am gonna go out for a smoke. You wanna come?"

"I better stay here and wait to see if the doctor comes back."

Havoc nodded and started to roll towards the exit. He stopped after a few feet and turned around. "Maria?"

"Yes, Jean?"

"Thanks... for everything."

She just smiled back.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rizahawkeye_9
Mar. 22nd, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
i'm sorry ;___________;
i just love this story, and 1m so sorry i never commented early..i hardly get time to post so i usually don't comment, but this one is really good ! and i loved ! please continious !! you have a fan !!!
seaweed_fma
Mar. 22nd, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Re: i'm sorry ;___________;
It is okay. Thanks for respondng. I appreciate that. It is hard to know if anyone is reading it if I dont get any comments, good or bad. So I am glad at least you are reading, LOL.
Thanks again!!
(Deleted comment)
seaweed_fma
Mar. 24th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
I actually just set it up (so there are no fics there yet)

http://www.fanfiction.net/~seaweedfma

I think I will have to wait till I get home (I am at work, it is 11:45 am here) to post some.. but it will be all the same stuff that is on my LJ :)

But like I said, *IF* I am lucky enough to get chapter 11 back from my beta soon, it will be last- maybe for about 3 weeks while she has out of town visitors.

So that is why I am gonna work on my other fics now. It is actualyl a blessing in disguise as I was kinda ignoring them for Havoc. So now I get back to Roy and Ed... and Roy and Hughes !

Have a good sleep!
asm613
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
i was confused when i started reading chapter 10. i thought maybe it was the wrong chapter; that it belonged in the beginning. then i got to the part where it was a flash back. i think flashback notice at the beginning would have been good. i agree with the other poster about the father first seeing his son in the wheel chair. it reminded me of the first time i saw my dad after triple bypass heart surgery. hooked up to all sorts of machines and grey in color (bad thing). i think the next time havoc gets an erection during physical therapy that ross should suggest that since he hadn't gotten them in years that they should see if it works "all the way" and have her give him a (hide your eyes if your virginal) hand job. and then he would be really excited about therapy sessions if he received his "reward" after. just something to muse about. look forward to reading your next postings.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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