Author – cornerofmadness
Disclaimer – no rights belong to me
Rating – PG-13
Warning – some description of anatomical dysfunction
Characters – Jean Havoc
Series – Manga
Time Line – post series, spoilers to the present manga chapter
Summary – Everything rides on this hunt
Author’s Note – This comes heavily from my time as a young doctor in training in VA hospitals and all the real life ‘Havocs’ I cared for. This is for them. Thanks to evil_little_dog for the beta and title
Word Count – 1000 exactly
* * *
Some days, he cursed Mustang for saving him. Jean knew that wasn’t fair. Mustang had no way of knowing how badly he had been damaged. Later, he had heard from Hawkeye just how insane Roy got with Lust for the things she had done. He knew mostly it had been to protect Riza and Alphonse but Jean also knew that what happened to him fueled Mustang’s fiery rage.
Jean levered himself into his chair after Miss Hart was gone. All those years of chasing women, and life hands him a beautiful sweet woman he’d gladly ask out only to have her in the house to change the dressing on the pressure sore on his ass. How pathetic was this? He couldn’t even feel the wound, just knew that if it wasn’t treated it could get infected and kill him.
Rolling out onto the porch and down the ramp, Jean felt a sweat pop all over him almost instantly. He was glad to have a purpose in helping his parents’ in the store but sometimes it was hard to be home. Old friends came over, pity in their eyes, wanting him to do things, usually things they hadn’t thought out too well, things he couldn’t do any more. He didn’t even like going to the bars with them. What was the purpose of going on the prowl when he was dead from the waist down? From bitter experience, he knew it took a lot to get his cock up and it rarely lasted. He felt too embarrassed to even try any more.
Jean didn’t like having people helping him too much with anything, frankly. It was only a short roll down three blocks, the sidewalks thankfully even, to the store. He opened the door, getting in later than usual because of the pressure sore but his mom never complained. A metal fan beat the air uselessly around the counter. It was too hot to matter.
His mom ruffled his hair like she used to do when he was a kid. “When are you going to shave that horrible goat’s beard?”
Jean stroked his goatee. “Aw, Mom, you know the girls love it.” Whether they did or not hardly mattered but he had to say it, had to pretend things were as normal as they could be. It was the only way to keep from eating his gun. Jean tried not to think about that often because he did have things to live for. Mustang and all of Jean’s friends might have died if he had not sent the help he had. He might not be the smartest of men, something he freely admitted, but he had been a damn good soldier. Mustang had refused to leave Jean behind and it paid off for him.
A gaggle of children roused Jean out of his unpleasant reverie. He dispensed some beef jerky (good choice), wax lips (he never understood those) and button candy (who the hell thought it was a good idea to slap some hard tasteless sugar lumps onto paper where it was impossible to eat them without getting some paper on your tongue). Working in a store wasn’t really a bad thing, when he wasn’t splashing around in his pity pool. Everyone came here. He knew all the gossip, such as it was in a town like this. What he really wanted was for that heavy, black phone to ring and connect him to places far more interesting than an Eastern border town. Breda, Falman, Fuery, it didn’t matter. He just wanted someone to talk to, someone who actually understood.
He had so little in common with his old friends any more. What did they talk about? Their families, something he would never have now; fishing down at the watering hole, well at least he could do that if someone helped him over the uneven terrain; hunting season. Jean shuddered slightly. What was hunting rabbit compared to the things he had done? He had been a great hunter back in the day and the army used that well. What would his friends think if he talked about hunting humans, about being a sniper lying in wait, pulling the trigger and stealing someone’s life? They wouldn’t get it. He’d have to call Hawkeye to talk about shit like that and he never liked burdening her with it. She had enough of her own nightmares to carry.
Sneaking a piece of that beef jerky, Jean eyed the phone, wondering if he should put in a call of his own. It was pointless. Mustang would call him when he had news. The general was with the Elrics in Xing on a hunt of his own. He was convinced he could find a cure for Jean’s injuries. Jean knew better than to argue with three alchemic geniuses, four if he counted the boys’ father. If they said it might be possible to reverse the damage using alchemy, Jean had hope. His only duty was to survive until they found it and he was a fighter. Pressure sores could go to hell. He did for himself. He did the upper body exercises Armstrong and Breda prescribed so he didn’t just lie around waiting for pneumonia to settle in his lungs. He swallowed his pride and contacted the nurse on the times his bladder acted up and wouldn’t void, even if he couldn’t take the catheter without flinching.
He would live. He chose to believe Mustang wouldn’t fail him as he had not failed his commander. And now, he could do the one thing left for him to do, be a good friend. Hawkeye was missing Mustang because her husband was helping Jean. They had wasted no time in starting a family and Rebecca was keeping her pregnant friend company. Boy he wished he could see them both again. Damn, he would once his butt healed. Until then, he shoved a finger into hole and spun the phone dial.
“Hello, Hawkeye? Have time for an old friend?”