Author Talk: Wow, I got a lot of responses since I threatened to just post on my websites. I even got two nice long ones of encouragement. I mean wow people. Anyways, it took me awhile to get over that flame. I have one thing to say to the person who had the nerve to put me in a foul mood for the couple of days I was in it: UP YOURS YOU LITTLE FREAK! ... Maybe that was a little harsh. LOL like I really care. Anyways, I have to say sorry to Lena for taking it out on her mainly and thanks to Jon who beta-ed my Full Metal Alchemist Preview… although he was angry there wasn't more. By the way, Anime and Manga have something to say too. Lord help me with these two…
Anime: Harsh! Harsh I say! The authoress is Harsh!
Manga: We get the point Anime.
Anime: No you don't, Harsh!
Manga: Anyways, besides Anime's also bad mood, I must say to the flamer: Our Authoress may suck with about three fourths of her work…
Manga: But at least when she flames someone, she has the nerve to sign it and not leave it anonymous.
Anime: Yeah! So anyways, this one was for her dad who is retiring from the Navy. Yay, inspiration sure does kick in at the weirdest times. Like one time I was inspired to review this one story while I was…
Manga: Anime! This is a PG story.
Authoress and Manga: sweat drops
On with the show, sorry the note is so long.
Roy stood at attention. He had done what he set out to do. Roy had become the Fuhrer. His first act was to remove those who were corrupted and wicked. His next act was to right the military's wrongs. His last and final act was to relieve himself of his position and give the people a chance to rule this country. Restoration was still taking place although he was retiring. Armstrong's speech wasn't doing any good either. He couldn't stand at attention forever. A slow, soft clicking of a gun safety got him to wrap it up. Rou looked out of the corner of his eye to find her still looking out for h. A usual cocky smirk played at is lips.
The retiring ceremony was well orchestrated. Everyone he knew and helped with the restoration was there. As his last night in the public eye, he was obligated to dance with every woman. He held conversations with the men. However, his duties were once again keeping him away from a lovely blonde bodyguard of his. He kept a close eye on her while she kept a close eye on the perimeter.
Roy looked at everyone as he prepared to leave. His once subordinates laughed and joked at each other's antics. Politicians and their wives made small talk with one another. A tap on his shoulder made him turn around and take the door out. E walked a couple of feet ahead of Riza. Their foot falls fell in rhythm though. Roy got in the passenger side of the vehicle. They drove in total silence. He had many things he wanted to ask her.
It was terrible that by the time he found his voice Riza had parked in front of his small house. He had moved into the house as soon as it went up for sale. It was pretty large but compared to other homes it was small. Roy opened the door and then leaned in to look at Riza.
"Would you like to come in?"
He had longed to ask her that question on numerous occasions. Those times however were never right. Now since they both left the military, it seemed right to ask her. Riza's face gave a different story. The question true shook her, but the though of going in that house terrified her.
"No thank you, I hate that house."
Roy watched her drive off as soon as he closed the door. He looked over at the house. Roy had moved in a week ago. Riza had been one of many to help move him in. She was jumpy that day too. The bullet hole in his ceiling was proof enough. He never had it repaired because he wanted a reminder to ask her about it. Tonight was the first time he remembered though.
Roy woke late due to him being retired and all. A headache was already rolling around. The direct sunlight he got opening the door did not help. With his newspaper was a white envelope addressed to him. The curvy neat handwriting he recognized to Riza. He immediately tore into the letter.
Due to some recent incidents, I have been forced to leave Central for a couple of days. However, even after my return I can no longer protect you. Things have changed for us both, on my part, I have to deal with some old memories. Due to my unableness, I have enlisted Havoc, Breda, Armstrong, Farman, and Fuery to look after you.
P.S. Could you take care of Hayate for me?
Roy crumbled the paper in his hand. What was going on? Where did she go? What made her think she was no longer qualified to watch after him? A sharp bark from Hayate had Roy upstairs getting dressed and heading to Riza's apartment in no time. He thought life was supposed to get easy once you retired.
Riza watched the scenery go by and small tears fell down her cheeks. She felt lonely without the usual barking and companionship that she received from Hayate. Hayate knew when to leave her alone and when to sit beside her. He learned fast and was easy to raise after the first couple days.
Roy quickly came to mind and the thought of him began to blur as sleep and tears clouded her mind and vision. She clutched to the hair pin and that he had given her when her old ones failed her. Roy Mustang was one person she would never see again.
Roy busted down her door basically. He frantically searched her apartment. Everything was gone. It was like she almost never existed. Havoc came in seconds later.
"I checked the station. Someone remembered seeing her early this morning. She took a west bound train that goes to a small town called Synphia. Apparently, the town is known for the lunar flowers that grow there."
"Yes I heard of it. That's far out west. I wonder why Riza would go there?"
"So are we heading out that way too?"
Riza stood at the side of the tray. The cold body, in front of her, needed identifying. Her hands shook as she carefully and slowly peeled the cloth from his face. Such a handsome face showed restful peace. A small scar lay on his right eyebrow. A small upturned nose and high cheekbones defined this man. The featured were all familiar, too familiar. Riza lost her balance and she cried for the man on the tray.
Three days had passed and Roy was becoming more and more tempted to take a train out west. The phone behind him rang and Roy turned in his chair to receive the call.
"Hey Roy it's Ross. How's your home office?"
"It's fine. Any news?"
"You're in luck. Riza just got off a train…"
Roy had dropped the phone and grabbed his jacket. Hayate and Roy were out the door in no time.
Maria Ross placed the phone down gently. Jean Havoc stood behind her.
"Did you tell him about the item in question?"
"He dropped the phone before I could."
"This is bad."
Roy had been knocking on her door for over five minutes. After about the first three Hayate joined in by barking and scratching. His temper was rising beyond critical levels. Roy reached for his gloves. The door was disintegrated in no time. Hayate sniffed the air and moved backed. Roy curiously tried to get Hayate to follow but he wouldn't budge. The apartment was dark, cold, and uninviting. Roy didn't blame Hayate.
The first step inside crunched. Roy looked down at broken glass. Glass shards covered the floor massively. Every other piece seemed to have blood on it. Was it Riza's blood he wondered? He walked more into the darkness and the smell of blood became more overwhelming.
Roy's pace picked up tremendously and he quickly flashed on the lights with each room he passed through. The glass led upstairs, the blood also followed. Roy took the steps two at a time. He busted into Riza's room and the smell of blood almost knocked him over. She sat there with her head down cast. Blood covered her hands and arm. Her bloody hand clutched onto one of her guns. Riza raised it to the mirror across from her. One shot shattered the glass. She slowly brought her hand down. Riza closed her eyes and collapsed into darkness.
Roy rushed over to help Riza. He reached for the phone in the room. Quickly, he dialed for help and then dropped the receiver not caring for their questions. Riza had lacerations all over her hands and arms. Glass was embedded in her shallow cuts. Hand she done all this damage herself.
Her voice was soft and hoarse. She was obviously weak by the way her voice wavered. Riza was trying desperately to stay coherent.
"Yes Riza it's me. Just hold on till the emergency unit gets here."
Just then bullets were fired and the windows were shattered. Riza pushed Roy away and a bullet grazed her arm. Another shot razed Roy's shoulder. Riza pulled her arm into her as she yelled in pain. Roy landed on shattered glass. He could feel warm blood seeping from his back. The firing stopped as the siren of an ambulance got closer. Roy couldn't remember much after the paramedics reached them.
Her vision was too blurry to make out much. Her logic told her she was looking at a hospital ceiling. Riza could barely move her fingers. Energy was escaping her like water goes through hands. It was most unwise to move from the bed. Logic was telling her to stay. Instinct was telling her to get out of there.
Riza's first attempt out of bed was a total failure. Her legs were too shaky for real support. Riza's knees gave out instantly. Falling hurt her even more, especially since she took with her equipment near her bed. Gripping the chair beside the bed, Riza made another desperate attempt to stand. Her weight on the back of the chair made it rise on the back two legs. It eventually slid free and Riza took another plummet to the ground.
Riza noticed a change of clothes were on the nightstand. She used all the strength she had to crawl over and change. She kept a close eye on the curtain. Who knew who was on the other side? No one knew when a doctor or nurse might walk in. Placing her back against the nightstand she gave herself a couple of minutes to breathe. Roy came to mind. Was he there somewhere in the hospital? Did he really come to her place? Did he have any bad injuries? Did Roy get shot or worse was he dead?
The last thought scared her but something warm overwhelmed her. As if it was telling her, her worries were wasted.
Riza took a more firm and steady stand this time. Her legs wavered a bit but not as much. She ripped the curtain away to see him sleeping in the bed. Roy looked stressed and his right shoulder had been bandaged. He was shot. A heavy guilt weighed on Riza. Once again she had failed to protect him. She blamed herself for not being more cautious while she was in that condition. She blamed Roy for coming to her apartment in the first place. He seemed stabilized none the less.
Riza stood at his bedside watching him breathe. Slowly bending over she laid a light kiss on his cheek. A thank you for coming to see her. Another kiss was placed on his injured shoulder. A sorry for getting you hurt and putting you in danger. Riza took something out of pocket and placed it in Roy's hands.
Roy woke to the sound of shouting and rushing footsteps. The curtain beside his bed had been pulled aside. An empty bed with sheets pulled aside had everyone panicking. Roy wondered what kind of person they were now looking for. He congratulated whoever made the great escape. Roy Mustang was not fond of hospitals.
"Who was supposed to keep an eye on Ms. Hawkeye?"
The mention of Riza's name had Roy bolting up. How could he have forgotten? He went to see Riza to clear things up. Shots had been fired at them and Roy didn't find much out after that. He could still remember the state she was in when she found her. She had surrounded herself in the veil of darkness. The broken mirrors told him that her own image tore at her. Riza could not bear the site of herself. She had left him with the question: why? Why did it bother her so? Why did she fall into a state? Why had she been shot at? Why was she cutting him out? Riza should have known that Roy could help.
With as much strength as he could muster, Roy tried to pull himself out of bed. The nurses noticed and coaxed him back in. A silver object fell from the bed and onto the floor with a loud clang. A nurse picked it up and gave it to him. They then left to get him dinner.
Roy looked at a silver State Alchemist's pocket watch. He would have thought it was his if it wasn't for his was at home on display and this one had gone through some tough times. It was battered and it seemed to have stopped ticking long ago. Roy flipped it open and confirmed that it no longer ticked. The displayed date showed about a week ago.
On the inside of the cover, a small picture had been taped to it. A young man had a small blond girl with him. Her small arms circled his neck and her face close to his. The only thing that matched between them was their eyes. Their smiles were bright and it seemed to reach their eyes. Roy pulled it out and turned it over. Small words were scribbled on the back. Riza and me in Synphia for her sixth birthday.
Roy almost dropped the picture. He turned it back over. This was a picture of Riza and her father. He wore a military uniform. Had Riza's father been a State Alchemist? Why did she never mention him? Where was her gather today? Was he still in the military? If so what was he doing with this man's watch?
Riza stood to the side. She had no one at her side. She had no one to comfort her as the man's body was lowered to the ground and prepared to be buried six feet under. Grief was a good word to use at this time. Anger was high in the category as well. Riza felt as if she would never feel a smile again. Nor would she have the privilege of getting to know Mustang. Grief was overwhelming but anger fueled her full of energy. As two men began to over the coffin with more dirt, Riza cocked her guns.
"I will avenge your death."
How could anyone expect him to sit still? Riza was out there somewhere in her condition. He knew grief all to well. Roy knew what grief could do to a person. Anger walked hand in hand with grief. No one knew what Riza Hawkeye would do in such a delicate state. He had seen the worse of grief in her eyes. Her eyes were so lost desperately looking for a way out, a small flicker of light. She was frantically crying out for it. Roy had never seen her grieve so much.
The rain had begun to fall and Roy was in pain. Both his heart and his shoulder hurt. He was desperately searching for Riza like she was searching for help. Every time he though he found her, their hands would be ripped apart. Roy wanted to burn grief with his alchemy. He passed the cemetery without a second glance.
Roy jolted around. Was that Hughes' voice? That would be impossible. Hughes had died long ago. A smirk crossed his lips.
"Are you haunting me Hughes?"
Just then Roy's eyes caught the sight of a lone figure standing in front of a new grave. Even from that distance he could tell the dirt was still fresh. The figure turned to him. Her face was unreadable and her eyes were clouded dark. It was Riza. Roy took off towards the grave. He passed a line of trees. By the time he made it to the grave, no one stood there. Roy read the newly craved tombstone.
Brigadier General Grayson Hawkeye
"The Wind Alchemist"
The Protector of Synphia
May the Lunar flowers continue to bloom for him.
Roy had heard that alchemic wind made the lunar flowers grow. Was it Riza's father who made them bloom? Roy now knew why Riza grieved. It was for this man who had loved her, and she had loved hi. Roy saluted the fallen alchemist.
Edward and Alphonse Elric stepped off the train. They were greeted by the now retired General Armstrong. The one Mustang subordinates were there to greet those seconds later.
"Evening all!" proclaimed Ed.
"Evening Ed! Evening Al!"
"So what's this about needing our help?" questioned Ed. "So Mustang finally needs my help huh?"
"Brother please, this could be bad."
"Oh stop worrying so much Al. So we're supposed to meet him at his place right?"
"That's correct." responded Armstrong.
"Off we go the men!"
"Brother you're too cheerful for your own good."
"Alright men, let's start off with what we do know. Now Riza took a recent trip to Synphia." started Roy.
"Where she identified a man's body." interrupted Havoc.
"She brought the body back in a coffin." finished Ross.
Ed raised his hand. "Who was the man?"
"Her father." answered Roy.
"Did you tell him?" asked Havoc.
"No, did you?" answered Ross.
"If I did it I wouldn't be asking you now would I?" countered Havoc.
"Enough! I was at the greave. It was the last place I saw Riza at."
"Oh!" chimed everyone.
"Is he head over heels or what?" screamed Ed.
Edward would truly regret opening his mouth in the next few moments. A large BOOM was heard all over Central.
"Okay… I'm sorry." coughed out Ed.
"Do you think she could have gone back to Synphia?" asked Fuery.
"Why would she?" countered Farman.
"Unfinished business perhaps?" asked Armstrong.
"Havoc! Call the station and find out!"
Riza was once again on a god forsaken train. Train rides did not make her day at all. She placed her head onto the cold window. How strange that everything always felt cold to her. Perhaps the rain was causing the never-ending chills? The rhythm of the rain against the window provided Riza with a link to the present world around her. The pain and blood loss she was suffering from was making the darkness grow. The pain was beginning to deepen. She wondered if her empty heart could keep the memory of Roy in it. God forbid she should ever forget him. It was just too bad she could no longer stand to his side keeping a very critical eye on him. Riza laughed a little before falling asleep.
Mustang opened his eyes to a blue sky. He moved his eyes to his speaker. Riza sat next to him letting the sun mingle with her golden locks. The softness of her exotic eyes put him at ease. The wind blew gentle taking both of the hairs for a slight lift.
"Did you have a bad dream?"
Roy sat up from lying down. A dream? A good question. It was too cruel to be real. So yes he was having a bad dream. He reached his hand over to lightly touch her hair. Once again he was surprised to find how silky soft it was. This was the second opportunity he was given to touch it. The feeling had been burned into his fingers ever sine. After that incident, his hand would twitch when he saw her. He would use everything he had to restrain himself.
"A bad dream indeed."
Riza gave him a warm comforting smile. It warmed Roy's heart to see her smile. A very rare occasion it was to ever see Riza Hawkeye smile. But suddenly tears formed in her eyes.
"I'm in pain Roy."
That simple declaration sent worries through him. He reached into his pocket for a handkerchief. He pulled out an old silver State Alchemist's watch. Roy looked up to find Hughes standing over him. The scenery was becoming darker. It was hard to see. It was hard to breathe. Roy desperately reached out for his friend.
Maes Hughes placed a smile on his face. The smile reached his eyes in a way and in another it didn't. As if saying I'm glad and disappointed you haven't forgotten me. I'm glad you remember me, Maes Hughes, you're best friend. I'm disappointed that you haven't forgotten, Maes Hughes the Brigadier General, who died in the line of duty.
"Wake up Roy. Riza needs you now."
Roy Mustang bolted up from his train's seat. Sweat rolled down his face. The silver watch fell to the floor with a large clang. Everyone looked at him with intense worry. Roy looked down at the pocket watch. Once again it wasn't his own he was looking at. Curse it all! Why couldn't it have been his? Why couldn't Riza be there to pick it up? Why couldn't she kneel by him giving it back saying all the while it was just a dream? Why did things have to go so wrong in his life? Roy buried his face in his hands. Riza is this really the end of us?
Riza Hawkeye woke with a jolt as it was announced that they were now arriving at Synphia. She grabbed her duffel bag and walked off the train. She looked out onto the beautiful city. Busy during the day, slow and peaceful at the growing night. Just a bit ways out of town would be the fields, a gorgeous site to behold when the Lunar flowers were in bloom. During the rest of the year it was plain. This town only seemed to be able to shine in glory the short time the flowers were in bloom. Riza knew differently however. For her, the town was always beautiful. Her birth town. Her second home town.
She wished she could share the blooming with Roy. The legend was that the Lunar flowers in bloom signified true everlasting love. Since it took till fall to bloom the flower also meant a long awaited love. Legend had it that the goddess who brought the flowers to this world laid and bloomed them only on her birthday. She later fell in love with a God on the same day. Even now the flowers only bloom on that day.
"It's coming soon. The day of blooming. May the blood that needs to be shed before that day."
Riza placed a hood over head covering her cold facial features. She walked into the darkened city streets.
Mustang and company finally were able to get to Synphia. The train ride had been too long for their likings. They left the train station and walked around the town looking for some clue of Riza. The city and descended into night so there wasn't much going on. They all agreed to retire to the hotel for the rest of the night. The rain began to fall as soon as they made it inside the hotel. The clerk, who also turned out to be the owner, gave them the last of the vacant rooms. She explained to them that the flowers would soon bloom and they were booked everywhere in town. Everyone turned in except for Roy. He sat in the dining room with a cup of coffee. The owner came to sit with him. She was his age, brunette, and pregnant it seemed. She was medium height and beautiful. Not as beautiful as Riza, but than again no one was more beautiful than Riza to him.
"So what brings you to Synphia?"
Her kind smile made Roy trust her.
"I'm looking for someone."
"Someone special to you?"
"Very special. Perhaps you can help me. Have you heard of a young woman by the name of Riza Hawkeye?"
The owner was quite astonished that he was looking for her. She seemed quite excited in the next couple of seconds.
"Would you be by any chance Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist? The one Riza's always writing about?"
"She writes about me?"
Roy's usual cocky bachelor smile came back. Riza actually talked about him! Two points for the smashing Flame Alchemist!
"Oh yes! She's always writing how you can be so irresponsible, and how you're always trying to ditch work."
Negative two points for the Flame Alchemist…
"Even though she complains, I know she actually quite worried about you. If she didn't care she wouldn't waste her time with you. Am I right?"
Roy nodded his head as he smiled a small smile.
"Can I ask you how you know Riza?"
"Oh, we grew up together, Riza, me, and my husband. We were inseparable a long time ago. Well when she was allowed to stay in Synphia. Bu tthen she joined the military. She never came to visit cause she said she had to look after a certain superior of hers."
"What do you mean when she was allowed to stay in Synphia? Didn't her father live here?"
A dark feature crossed her face.
"Yes, but you have to understand that her parents were divorced. Riza was constantly pushed between Synphia and Central. She spent most of her time in Central with her mother. Her mother was a tyrant. I hear ever after the divorce that she forced him to still pay for their house in Central. Since he died not too long ago, I heard the house went up for sale in Central."
That explains Riza's hatred for the house, but what happened in that house?
"Why did he still have to pay for the house?"
"Riza told me that he had held out on the first payment but when her mother threatened to hurt her, Riza's father still refused. He never thought that she would do it. But Riza's mother locked Riza up after she had beaten her. Her father came for a visit and found Riza chained to the wall sitting in her own blood. After that Riza's father paid after that."
Roy banged the table with is fist. It sent his mug to the ground in shattered pieces.
"Why did he leave her with that woman!"
Roy was outright angry and astonished at the man he had seen in the picture. The owner, who had expected his reaction, waved a hand at him.
"I don't know. He never told Riza that. I always felt like Riza was searching for something."
Roy slowly got up and bowed at the wiser person. He silently left the room.
"I believe she was always searching for you."
A soft knock came from the side door. The woman slowly got up and answered it. A drenched figure stepped into the warm hotel room. The owner gave the person a dry towel.
"Thank you Glory."
Riza pulled back the hood to look at her childhood friend.
"I would hug you but risking giving you a cold and getting chewed out by Joseph… I'll pass."
Glory laughed at her friend.
"A man is here looking for you."
Riza's body went rigid.
"He just went to bed but his name was Roy Mustang."
Riza was so surprised that her jaw dropped.
"He's in room 313."
With that, Glory left the room as Riza toweled her hair contemplating whether or not to go see him.
Riza had sat at his door for two hours before calling it safe. Slowly getting up from her position, Riza turned the knob quietly. He was tossing and turning. He violently thrashed at whatever imaginary thing he was dreaming about. Riza placed her cool hand on his warm forehead. Ice meeting fire. She melted at his body's warmth. Roy's thrashing had stopped as well. It was like he could sense her too. Riza bent down close to his ear.
"Adieu Roy Mustang."
Roy bolted straight up. A cooling wind blew at the side of his face. His bedroom window was wide open. The breezes played with the white curtains. Roy threw the sheets to the side as he made his way downstairs. He noticed everyone was awake.
"Hey, good morning." greeted Roy.
"Morning! It's six o'clock in the afternoon! Do you realize how long you slept?" complained Ed.
"Brother, please calm down." assured Al.
"Calm down! We lost a whole day because this guy had to sleep it away." continued Ed.
"Well Ed, did you ever think about starting the investigation without me?" argued Mustang.
Roy wore his triumphant smile. Two points for the Flame Alchemist. Roy turned to realize it truly was getting late.
"Alright let's leave here and try to find out a little bit."
Everyone got up and left leaving Mustang behind. He wanted to talk to the owner first. Mustang found Glory in the kitchen watching over some food. She hummed a cheerful tune. Upon hearing his arrival, Glory turned and greeted him with a smile. She ushered him to a table by the windows. Roy sat as Glory placed a plate of food and a cup of coffee in front of him. She accompanied him with a cup of tea. Roy took a bite and smiled at the flavor. It must have been well prepared. Riza would have liked it.
Glory smiled at Roy's compliment. A soft creak of a door opening came through the kitchen. A tall, slender man with ruffled brown hair and warm blue eyes entered. Roy and Glory watched him pour a cup of coffee before making his way over to them. He first kissed his wife then shook hands with Roy.
"Joseph Leway. It's a pleasure to meet Riza's flame."
Glory stepped on Joseph's foot. A yelping from her husband followed suit.
"Riza's flame?" questioned Roy. Roy's smirk was back. It was an intriguing title.
"Oh well you know, you're the only man..."
Glory slapped her hand on the table startling both men. She was obviously doing the best she could to handle her anger. She placed a forced smile on her face.
"Now, what can Id o for you Mr. Mustang?"
"Um… I was wondering if you might know where Riza would go in this town?" replied Roy while cowering from the pregnant housewife.
"Hmm…I'm not real sure."
"She might've gone to the house." gave Joseph.
"Yes, her father's house. It's past the Lunar flower fields outside of the town. It's a four mile walk."
"Ah, I see! Thank you!"
Roy was out the door in a flash. The two occupants of the room looked at each other and then looked at his plate.
"Wonder when he had time to do that?" asked Joseph.
Glory shrugged and got up to take it to the sink. She mumbled under her breath.
"Men are idiots."
It was indeed a four mile walk, but for Roy Mustang's pace it was a two minute run. The house was huge. It was beautifully made with no vegetation overgrowth, except at one spot. A white balcony overlooked the garden. Although nothing was in bloom, the overgrowth looked intentional though. Vines crawled their way up to the balcony. It gave the house an ancient beauty. Roy continued to admire the craftsmanship as the second story windows shattered. Mustang was moving towards the house in a split second.
Riza walked around the house slowly. It was all familiar. This was her second home after all. She took the wide staircase to the second floor she turned right and went down the hallway. She entered through the last door. Hawkeye looked upon her old bedroom. Large stuffed animals in one corner. A large canopy bed with soft frilly white sheets sat in the middle of the room. A tattered bear sat lonely against the many pillows. Riza went over to pick him up. A present she received on her sixth birthday. She enjoyed getting stuffed animals. Now she enjoyed a gun cleaning kit. How things change as you grow up.
It was then that Riza felt it, the lingering darkness in the house. Hawkeye took her gun out of the holster in a flash. Quickly, turning and bending, Riza met with her assailant. Auburn eyes meeting a cold blue. The woman held a hand up.
Without a second hesitation, Riza shot a bullet. The bullet instantly disintegrated. The woman then used a powerful alchemic wind to blast Riza back, shattered all the windows on the second floor.
Roy bounded up the stairs and went to the open door down the hall. He quickly pulled both alchemic gloves on. He was there to witness the next part of the fight.
Riza quickly changed the magazine for another. Roy could tell she only used one in the last magazine that was now on the floor. Why didn't she use the rest before changing? Once again, the opponent used her alchemic wind to send Riza up against a wall. Riza grunted on impact to the wall and floor. She dodged the next attack. She then fired a perfect shot at her mother. Her wind was only able to deflect it but not before grazing her arm. She cried in pain.
"You little bitch! What did you do?"
Roy was glad to see Riza smirk. She had the upper hand somehow. Riza connected her eyes with her mother.
"Anti-alchemic bullets, it's a present from grandpa."
The woman's anger could not be contained. She unleashed another powerful wind. Riza shot off another bullet. It broke through landing into her shoulder she fell in pain. She then used her power to knock Riza off her feet. Riza found herself looking at a merciless tyrant. She raised her hand to unleash another powerful wind. Wind met fire. The roar of flames and cries of agony had Riza looking at raven eyes. Riza quickly moved to a safer location, beside Roy.
"How is she able to use alchemy without a circle?"
"Her necklace. It has a small wind circle."
Roy noticed the piece of jewelry. The now composed enemy shot off another wind. Roy used his flames to deflect them. He used the other hand to make sure Riza was safely behind him. As powerful as Roy was, the next wave broke through his flames. It sent both of them through the door way. Riza landed on top of Roy. A more powerful wind came at them quickly. Riza reached into Roy's pocket. As the wind reached them another broke through it sending the woman flying through glass and over the balcony. Roy could feel the powerful wind surrounding Riza. Then he noticed it, her eyes were totally white. Her hand had a circle that overlapped another and another one. She clutched to her father's State Alchemist's watch. Was it the watch that made her strong or her own natural talent? Roy got up and made his way to her. He reached his hand out to her. She shot him across the hallway. He grunted on impact.
"Damn it Riza, what was that for?"
He then realized that she couldn't control herself. She must have given her sanity to save them, to save him. Roy raised his gloved hand, perhaps the watch was the key. An alchemic circle appeared under Riza. It lit at one point, traveled around, and met at the point once again. In a blinding instant, Riza was there and then she wasn't. Roy made his way to the balcony quickly. The woman had used her dying strength to do something to Riza. Roy left the grounds quickly making his way back to town.
Ed threw himself into a chair. Everyone followed suit but more quietly. Glory brought them something to drink. They all thanked her graciously.
"Man, what a waste of time! Are we even sure Riza is here?" questioned Ed.
"It was our best lead, Edward." stated Armstrong.
Shouting came from outside and in an instant the hotel's front door flew open. Roy Mustang busted through without a second thought to damages. He spotted Glory instantly.
"I can't find Riza. This woman, who looked like her, used a form of alchemy I'm not familiar with."
"Do you remember it al least?"
Roy nodded his head. He was exhausted from running and being thrown around. The image of that woman's alchemic circle was burned into his memory. Roy quickly made a copy of it and showed Glory.
"That's a teleportation circle."
"Do you know where she is then?"
Glory thought deeply. Roy grew impatient but he kept it in check all the same.
"I need something of hers."
Roy quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out the watch that had been left behind.
"Will this do?"
Glory nodded. She made the exact same circle around where Roy stood.
"Hold it close and imagine her."
Roy did as he was told. He saw her in regular clothes with her hair down. A beautiful smile lighting up her face. When he opened his eyes, he was no longer at the hotel in Synphia. He now resided in his house in Central. Why would Riza be here? What significant reason would come out of sending Riza here?
Then he heard a strange sound, large echoing thumps. This house was in perfect shape. Mustang had never had problems before. The next thing he heard was a faint cry. It was low but he heard it none the less. The sounds were coming from below. The next sound sent him bolting to the basement. It was a bone-chilling shriek. Mustang would have stayed away if he didn't recognize the voice of Riza Hawkeye.
The basement was dark and cold. It was barren since Roy had nothing to store. He looked to the far wall that was newer than the others. The noises were coming from behind it. Mustang could hear her muffled pleas. It was as if Riza was trapped inside a memory.
"Mother please let me out! I promise to behave. I won't try to run away again. Let me out!"
Mustang placed his hands out to the wall. Small alchemic signs resided on each brick. It was a barrier. How many different types of alchemy did her mother learn? Mustang stepped back from the wall. He yelled for Riza to do the same. Roy snapped his fingers to try and break the barrier. His flames bounced off its wall. The barrier was strong. He repeatedly tried to break it.
His voice chocked back. Riza had woken from whatever she had been under. It was nice to hear calmness in her voice.
"I'm here! I can't break through this alchemic barrier."
"I need you to get away from the wall."
Riza stood and unholstered her second gun. She switched out the magazines. She steadied her aim. Riza gave off a quickshot. It shattered through the barrier and landed in the wall. Five seconds later the barrier reformed itself.
Roy saw it. The barrier had a momentary opening. He heard the cock of Riza's gun again. He raised his hand. Riza shot off another round. The barrier broke once again. Roy unleashed a powerful flame destroying the wall and barrier. Riza coughed from the smoke that quickly entered her lungs. Her vision finally cleared to see Roy sitting in front of her. He wore a large proud smile like a child that had just proven an adult wrong. Tears filled her eyes. The nightmares were finally over. Roy reached out for Riza and pulled her close. Riza cried against her rock for the next few minutes.
Riza sighed with great contentment. She leaned into Roy more. Roy held her closer to his own body. They sat on the balcony together looking at the lunar flowers. Today was a good day for both of them. The Lunar flowers had bloomed in full glory under the full moon and Riza was alive to see another birthday. This was the best birthday ever though. This birthday she got to spend it with the one man she loved in the whole world. As the new lovers continued staring out onto the beautiful flowers, the two watches's ticked together in perfect harmony.
Sorry the end was so rushed. I wanted to finish this before I left tomorrow. The end was made up in like twenty minutes while the rest was made up in like three weeks. Anyways, I don't know if you guys caught this but in the beginning I said that Riza's father's watch had long stopped ticking. In the end, both Roy's and Riza's father's watches are ticking. I wanted it to start back up with the renewal of Riza's new life. I know it was a dumb idea.