Summary- (Ed/Roy) The Dream Alchemist's on the loose, and when Edward's attacked, Roy and Shayla are gonna have their hands full keeping him, and themselves, alive in the most unlikely of places.

Bandit- Oh God. I'm posting a story! (throws confetti). I was gonna do drabbles, but this plot bunny threatened my pluhsie stash, so I put them on hold for a moment. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this first chapter, well... prelude, but whatever!

Ed- Are you done rambling? You need to do the disclaimer.

Bandit- Oh! Umm... do I have to?

Ed- (rolls eyes) Roy?

Roy- The Plushie Bandit does not own FMA... Thank God.

Bandit- Hey!

Ed- Shut up, and post the story!

Stars glistened in the night sky, gazing down on the sleeping people of Central.The only ones awake were the local drunkies, too wasted to let sleep ingulf them. But there was someone else. Somewhere a lone figure waited as patiently as he could muster,darkeyes scanning the alley hecurrently occupied. His deep blue cloak covered his form, hood pulled over the head to hide himself from any of the prying eyes, even if he blended in almost perfectly with the darkness surrounding him. He leaned on the building, casually glancing at his pocket watch gripped in his left hand every 5 minutes.

He's late.

Annoyance rose up his throat like a bad aftertaste. At least his prey could have the decency to be on time.

/Don't worry. He'll be here. Show some patience. /

Patience? He didn't bother with something so trivial as that. Only fools were patient, and he was anything but a fool.

Another five minutes ticked away. A sigh escaped him before he could keep it in, and the man started to fidget uncomfortably. Damn, he hated waiting.

/Would you stop that? He'll come. It's not like he's eager to die. /

No shit, sherlock! It's just… it's been a while…

/I know. Don't worry. /

Don't worry. Don't worry. He always said that! Damnit, he didn't want this to take so long. It wasn't like he actaully had a lot of time on his hands. The State Alchemists were already on his hide. And those damn reporters... The last one had been too messy. Gotten way too excited. Not that it was his fault, of course. The stupid fucker just had to make things more complicated. Of well. It had been fun... He just needed to be careful this time… yeah. Nothing would go wrong.

As if on cue, hesitant footsteps started on the far-left side of the alleyway near the street. The click of boots echoed in the darkness, and labored breathing bounced of the dirty walls. He felt all the pent up restlessness drain out of him, starting to relax. His shoulders sagged against the wall and the familiar calm enveloped him. He was here. Everything was going according to plan. No need to panic.

/I told you. Now, do you want to start, or should I/

No. Let me. I've waited too long, especially after last time.

/If that's what you want. Don't overdo it this time…/

The footfalls became more slow and cautious, nearing his spot at the end of the alleyway. He could practically smell the fear radiating off his visitor. His fear was well placed.

Deciding it was time to make himself known, he pushed off against the building and walked toward the man, letting his feet give away his position. The person in front of him stopped almost immediately. His eyes, already adjusted to the dark, allowed him to make out the form in the dead of night, and from what he could tell, the man stood about 5' 9", a bit on the scrawny side with bright red hair that stuck out in all directions. A narrow face, not exactly handsome but still appealing. The eyes seemed to be bright blue… an odd combination.

Just had to be a redhead. I hate red…

/Hush. Deal with it. /

A standstill drifted between them until he spoke.

"I'm glad you were able to come. But you are late."

Even in the dark, the man visibly cringed at the tone used. His blue eyes shifted around, trying to pinpiont the voice.

Heh. He can't see me.

"I a-apologize." He stuttered, his slightly raspy voice echoing. "My wife is s-sick… and she wa-"

"I don't think I asked you for an excuse."

The man shut up. He watched with hidden delight as the man grew more and more uncomfortable. This one obviously had no backbone.

"What's your name, boy?"

A slight pause and then, "Mark."

"Mark…" He tasted the name on his tongue, as though savoring it. "A State Alchemist, I presume? Let me see your watch."

Mark hands fumbled around in his jacket until a circular object was taken out of the left inside pocket. He didn't need light to know it was silver. Yep. This bastard was a dog, all right.

"All right, Mark. Do you know why you are here?"

"I assume you are going to kill me."

This threw him off for a second, but he didn't let it show. Instead he grinned, even if Mark couldn't see it.

"Now why would you assume that? I have not harmed you in any way."

Mark didn't miss the obvious mocking tone. "Yes, but threatening my family still hurts." Bitterness crept into Mark's tone. "I know who you are, and you won't get away with it."

He didn't even bother to hold back the bark of laughter that erupted from his mouth. This one was just like all the others, assuming he knew him, knew his thoughts, his dreams. Like they knew what he had gone through. Those dirty State Alchemists! They were the ones busy pleasing the military, making fools of themselveswith their tails tucked firmly between the crack of their ass and obeying every damn order they got, like they were nothing more than fucking animals. How dare they assume anything!

Damn them all! I'll make them all pay for what they did to me… I'll make everyone pay! They'll rue the day they dared to cast me out!

/Calm down! You're losing control/

The voice broke through his train of thought. He blinked, trying to clear his mind. His breath came out in ragged pants, and he trembled slightly. He hadn't even realized he was screaming. He quickly looked around, hoping no one had heard that little out burst. A few drunks came out of their stumpor for a moment, an then went about their hangovers as if nothing had happened.Other than that, no one else was around. The alley stayed quiet. But...

Where's that State Alchemist?

/You truly are an idiot! Look at the ground/

Dreading what he would find, he looked to see Mark's form. His back was skyward, so he wasn't able to get a good look at the face, but the neck seemed to be twisted at an odd angle...

/Congratulations. You just lost another one. /

Bending down on his knees, he took a closer look at his victim. Dawn was fast approaching, and the extra light allowed him to see the gruesome bluish marks all along his neck. His eyes swept down the length of the man's body, and he just made out the slight rise and fall of the back. He breathed a sigh of relief.

He's still alive. I didn't kill him. We can still go through the process.

/Well, do it then. You are running out of time. They will be here soon…/

The frustration came roaring back, and it took much effort to stay focused. Now that morning was near, he'd have to act fast. As usual, he'd messed up. Now he wouldn't get to have his fun.

/Would you hurry? There will be others. /

With practiced speed, he drew a quick array in the air, one only he could see. Invisible to everyone else, it glowed brightly to him wavering slightly until it stabilized over the victim's head. He repeated the process over his own head, and when ready contacted his… accomplice.

I'm ready. Are you?

/Heh. You would be wise to worry about yourself. /

A grin cracked across his hidden face. Good. It was time.

The sun stretched its long rays across Central, ushering in a new day. On the West Side of the town, in a dark alleyway, a young man, about 5' 9", leisurely stepped out. A slight smile that didn't reach his eyes showed up on his pleasant, narrow face. His bright red hair shone in the light, and if you looked closely, you'd notice a pair of blue eyes.

An odd combination.

Bandit- Well, that turned out a bit better than I thought...

Ed- If you say so...

Bandit- Next chapter, I'll bring in the cast, plus my own character. She'll be a big part of the story, so if you don't like OC's, sorry! And this is a Roy/Ed story, even though you won't even see the hints til later chapters...

Ed- WHAT! How am I supposed to wait that long?

Bandit- Shut up, Ed. To all the readers... REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! (puppy eyes) Please? I'm new at this! Don't crush my eg- err.. confidence! Ideas and critism are welcome! And if you want to see a certain pairing, tell me. Flames (unless constructive) will not be accepted. Come on, this fandom is yaoi dominated anyway! And the yaoi won't show for a while, so stick around til then!

Ed- (sarcastic) Forget anything?

Bandit- Ummm... Yeah! REVIEW:p