AN: Hi ya'll! To those of you I know, it's been awhile, huh? Sorry about that, been busy with work. To those of you who read my other stuff and know I had another story on here that was titled "The Way to a Man's Heart Isn't by Crushing His Ego" if I haven't gotten to tell you already, then I'm going to tell you now. That fic was deleted by the administrators. Cries, yes, we all cry. I'm still working on it! But anyways… now onto this story which I'm really supposed to be talking about!
This is my SECOND! YES SECOND! Royai story. Yes, I am still a newbie to FMA. So if I get things wrong, then I apologize, and if it really bothers you tell me about it in a review, and I'll fix it if I can!
This story takes place… hmmm… thinks… I would guess around episode 22 or 23 somewhere. Ed and Al are in the hospital after the whole Lab 5 incident, and Hughes isn't dead yet! Read, enjoy, and I know that was a really lame author note, but I couldn't think of anything better! To those of you who read my other fics and are wondering about this one…. yes… it will have its humorous moments… but it's more of a serious story then my other one was.
I'd like to thank Kiari the Hell Cat for the title, and a BIG thanks to RW Grimm who helped me (or pretty much came up with) the name of the homunculus. If it wasn't for her I don't think this fic would have even been writable. Thanks guys!
Chapter One: Becoming Consumed in Darkness
… In the Central Headquarters…
"Ed…" a dark haired man with square shaped glasses, who was dressed in a navy blue military uniform said as he stared at a blonde haired teen in a white hospital gown. He sat on a stool next to the boy's bed. "Just tell me what you saw in there, would ya?" the man asked with a serious expression. They were sitting in a hospital room. It was small, and had white walls. There was one window that sat across from the door. Beside the door was a misshapen scrap of tin. It was once a strong suit of armor, but that was before they had entered the grounds of Lab 5. This suit of grey and sliver plating held the gentle spirit of Ed's little brother, Al. He sat quietly, awaiting a response from his older brother. The bed the teen was sitting in was pushed up against the far wall. A white cotton-knit blanket sat on the boy's lap. He stared down into it, pondering and sneering. His golden eyes full of sorrow and desperation, but most of all, uncertainty. "Ed?" the man asked again as he continued to stare at the boy named Edward Elric. "What happened?"
Ed stared at the blanket a while longer. He didn't want to make any eye contact. His body was in the quiet bare room, but his mind was back at Lab 5, and looking into the eyes of the homunculi. He remembered their eyes. They were ugly, emotionless, and a purplish color, not like that of a human's at all. "How should I know?" he spat. His voice was not strong and confident like it usually was, but tainted with the heavy weight of failure and defeat. "I passed out, remember?"
"Don't give me that," the man replied. "Ed, what did you see?"
After a few more minutes full of silence and hesitation Ed's golden eyes rose to look at the white wall in front of him, "Homunculi…" he replied quietly.
The man's eyes became wide with shock. "You're kidding?"
Ed then looked over at his brother who sat in the corner, propped up against the wall, "Tell him, Al. Isn't that right?"
"Yes," Al replied. There was no movement. Only the sound of Al's child-like voice radiated from the corner of the room. No one would doubt Al's word. He always told the truth about everything.
"That's hard to believe…" the man said as he looked back to Ed.
After a few minutes of talking and drawing the tall man was able to get the jest of things. "Those are the things I saw in there, Hughes," Ed said as he looked down at some pictures he had drawn. They sat on the wooden table next to his bed. After a second or two Ed's gaze went back to the white blanket.
Hughes, the man in the uniform, was standing at his side, eyeing the drawings.
Ed glanced back at them and began again. "A psychopath named Envy. Tattoos of Ouroboros, the serpent that swallows its own tail, and the markings to form a Philosopher's Stone."
Hughes stared at the pictures for a few more seconds, taking it all in. "This is something pretty serious, and it's all over a little red stone."
…In the Eastern Headquarters…
"Are you almost finished, sir?" a woman with long blonde hair that was pulled back and held in a clip asked. She stared with beautiful amber eyes. She stood silently before her superior's large desk. Behind the desk sat a handsome man with short black hair and dark eyes. He was known as Colonel Roy Mustang, the famous Flame Alchemist. The two of them wore the same navy blue military uniforms Hughes did.
Roy glanced up at the woman who stood before him. A pen in his hand and a paper on his desk. "Here…" he said gruffly as he signed his name at the bottom of the document and handed it to her.
The woman took the form and looked it over. Roy watched her with an annoyed expression. "Sir?" she asked when she noticed his unhappy face.
"Why is it?" Roy began as he sat back in is large comfy black chair. He rested his elbows on his desk and interlaced his fingers. He then rested his chin atop his hands. His dark eyes closed, and his face now told her he was thinking… and thinking very thoroughly. He opened his eyes once again to look up at her. "That a Colonel has to report to his First Lieutenant? Can you tell me that, First Lieutenenant Hawkeye?"
Hawkeye's full name was First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye. Her job was to watch over Roy, and she did that very well. She was always at his side and knew what was going on with him at all times. Her amber eyes traced the black ink that was printed on the paper. Then she placed it atop a stack of files on the edge of Roy's desk. "No disrespect intended, sir," she said as her gaze went back to him. Her face emotionless as it always was as it stared into his cool dark eyes. "But you'd never get anything done if I didn't make you do it," she said calmly as she closed her eyes, already knowing what he was going to do next.
"Now hold on just a minute!" Roy snapped as he shot up from his desk. His outburst caused his chair to fall backwards on the floor. He was about to say something else when he watched Riza's hand go to her waist, and he herd the settle sound of Riza cocking her sliver pistol.
"Please calm down, Colonel," Riza replied. Her eyes not opening to look at him and her expression still remained emotionless. It seemed this sort of thing was very routine, and it in fact was. Every night around quitting time Roy would somehow manage to weave his way into this same conversation 'why would a Colonel have to report to his First Lieutenant?' He did have the right. A Colonel having to report to a Lieutenant was not justified in the military. But everyone was aware of the situation and knew Riza was in fact right. So they pretty much let it go.
"Uh? Sirs?" a little man said as he shyly and quietly opened the door.
"Hm?" Riza and Roy turned their gaze to him. In the doorway they saw a short man with spiky dark hair and glasses. He looked surprisingly child-like and had a nervous smile on his face.
"What is it, Kain?" Riza asked as she turned toward the door and folded her arms over her waist as she normally did in a relaxed fashion.
"Well, nothing really," Fury said as he kept his child-like stature. "Warrant Officer Falman just wanted me to tell you it's time to leave. He said he and Breda were going to leave now. So I'm going to leave as well, is that alright?"
"Yes, go ahead, Kain," Riza replied. Roy watched from his desk.
"Thank you, sir," Fury said with a small bow that served as a makeshift salute. He was about to shut the door when he remembered something. "Oh, Colonel Mustang?"
"Hm?" Roy glared at him. He was a little annoyed that he had been ignored by the two up until now. "What is it, Sergeant Major Fury?"
"Lieutenant Havoc said you two were supposed to go out and have drinks tonight? Are you still on for that?"
"Yeah, sure," Roy replied bitterly as he leaned over on his desk, resting the side of his face in his hand. He glared at the whitish-blue wall to the right of him. Then his eyes traveled to the bookcase pressed against the walls. He then began reading the titles on the spines of the books. There was no particular reason why, he just assumed this told his subordinates he was a little irritated at them. Then it hit him. Hey, I haven't read half of these books… I don't think I've reads any of these books. I wonder if they hold anything useful?
"Ok," Fury replied with a smile. "Well he'll be up in a few minutes. He's trying to escape the great Armstrong line at the moment."
"This will take awhile," Roy said as he looked at Riza, "There's a lot of Armstrong to escapes from."
"Yeah," Fury replied, "I guess in some sense you could say, that if he sat down in a room, then he'd be sitting next to everyone."
"Hm?" Riza and Roy both stared at him with blank confused expressions.
"It was a joke," Fury replied with his nervous smile again.
It was silent for a few more minutes as the two higher ups tried to grasp the humor of Fury's joke. A cricket chirp was heard in the quiet and motionless room.
Hughes is sitting at his desk, flipping thought books and files, looking for anything he can find on homunculi.
Just as the cricket chirped there was a flash of light off Hughes' square shaped glasses.
"CRICKET!" he shouted and sat up straight in his chair. His eyes narrowed as he began plotting for the cricket's capture. "I'll get you, Cricket. You just wait… Just because you have Roy on your side doesn't mean you've beaten me!" (AN: Sorry, if you read my other fic you'd totally get it. I just couldn't help myself. If you haven't… Hughes is bent on catching this cricket because it's the only person... er… uh... thing... in the military he hasn't shown his pictures to yet.)
"….I see…" Riza said after pondering for a few more minutes.
I still don't get it… Roy thought to himself.
"Eh he he eh…" Fury replied when he saw they had no clue what he was talking about. "I'm going to go now."
"Good night, Kain," Riza said with somewhat of a sigh.
"Good night, sirs," Fury said and saluted. Riza and Roy replied with a small nod and he shut the door.
"Well that was fun," Roy said with a bored look on his face as he picked up his pen and began tapping it on his desk. "I wonder if Havoc got away yet?"
Riza stood in her current position then turned to the Colonel. "Permission to speak, sir?" she asked.
"Uh? Yeah?" Roy replied as he stared at her.
"I'm sorry to leave you alone like this, sir. But it is late and after hours. I need to get home before Black Hayate makes a mess on my floor."
"I see," Roy replied. "Then you are dismissed."
"Thank you, sir!" Riza said in her normal solider tone and saluted.
"At ease," Roy replied as Riza relaxed and turned back to the door.
Her boots were heard as she walked across the green tile. Her slender fingers were just about to clasp the silver knob when Roy spoke up again.
"Lieutenant Hawkeye?" his voice came from behind her.
"Yes, sir?" she asked and turned back around. A slight confused expression on her face.
"Are you walking home tonight?" he asked.
"Yes," she replied as she looked at the window that sat behind Roy at the back of the room. "It's a beautiful night, and as you know I don't live that far away. I thought it'd be nice to walk today."
"I see," Roy said as he glanced back. He saw the night sky out the window. It was a nice night. Not a cloud in the sky, and the moon shown brightly. It was almost full. It was really a shame there were so many lights in the city. He could only imagine how bright the stars would have been tonight.
"Is there anything else, Colonel?" she asked.
"No," he replied as he turned back toward her. His chair squeaked a bit as its frame twisted back toward the door.
"Alright then, good night, sir," she said and left.
"Goodnight, and be safe," he said as the door closed quietly.
"You too, sir," he heard Riza's feminine, but stern voice on the other side of the door. Then he heard her footsteps as her boots clicked on the hard floor.
Once Riza left, and the room was bare and quiet Roy went back to waiting for Havoc. He began tapping his pen on the desk. His pace quickened as he became impatient. After a few minutes of this he glanced down at his desk. "Hey…" was all he could manage to murmur, "Mixed with the grey color of my desk this black ink looks purple…"
It felt good outside, just as it had appeared from the office window. The temperature wasn't to hot, and it wasn't to cold. It was just right. The streets were bare and quiet. It was late and most of the small shops had already closed. The only light Riza had access too was the light from the street lamps that sat on the sidewalk. They were spaced evenly down the pathways and one of them, the one closer to the end of the block on the left side was just about out. It flickered and cracked as it tried to best to get energy through the dying bulb. The Lieutenant walked down the street calmly and at a normal pace. Then she glanced up at the moon. The moonlight also aided her in the darkness.
"It sure is nice out tonight…" Riza said with a gentle smile as she walked down the empty street. She walked across the sidewalk as she stared up at the moon. I can't believe how big the moon is. It's almost full. Her footsteps and the sound of crickets chirping were all that were heard in the area. It was so peaceful, that is until Riza remembered one very important thing…
"Oh man…" she cursed as she looked as her watch. "It really is late. I sure hope Black Hayate can cross his legs," she said as she quickened her pace a bit. It was a quarter passed 11.
She wasn't quite at a jog, but was getting very close. She was going to fast to be power walking, but not enough to be jogging. So what am I doing? She wondered as she neared the scummier part of what was known as downtown. She was a good few blocks from Central at this point. Oh who cares what I'm doing? I should be thinking about getting home. Poor dog is probably ready to-
Riza was cut off when she heard the loud crash of a garbage can falling in an alley.
"GET AWAY!" Riza heard a girl scream as she jogged down the street. "Stop, let go!" the girl's blood curdling scream cut through the darkness.
"What?" Riza stopped dead in her tracks. She looked to the left and back down the street. Behind her and half way down the block was an alleyway… ok... there's was more then one alleyway, but she had a pretty good idea as to which one the girl's screams were coming from.
"STOP! SOMEONE HELP ME! PLEASE!" the girl screamed.
Riza ran toward the alley swiftly. Her heels clicked on the cement pavement. Once she reached the opening of the small side street she pushed her back up against the side of the wall. Then she pulled out her sliver pistol and held it to her chest. Her finger was on the trigger. She readied herself. She could hear slapping and abusive noises along with the girl's cries. She thought she was going to be dealing with a rapist or an attempted robbery gone wrong.
"DON'T!" the girl cried as another slapping noise was heard.
In the blink of an eye Riza's eyes popped open, and she launched herself into the alley. Adrenaline was pumped through her veins as her feet planted themselves firmly on the ground and her pistol was pointed directly at the child and her attacker.
"HELP!" the little girl cried again she her scared eyes saw Riza standing before them.
"Huh?" Riza's eyes widened immediately and her gun fell a bit. She's just a kid… Riza said to herself as she saw two girls in front of her. They were in the very back of the alley, against the back wall. The streetlight from the next street over gave Riza a little light to see what was going on. The girl who had been screaming was dressed in a pink t-shirt and red shorts. Her hair was a black and pulled up into two pigtails. Her eyes were brown. She was very small, maybe 5 or 6 years old. She was currently being shoved up, and held against the wall by her shirt collar, while another girl maybe a few years older the her, had her free hand raised and was about to slap the young girl again. She appeared to be about 10 years old. She had short brown hair, its length didn't even reach her shoulders, and she wore a light green dress. The dress had no sleeves and went down to her knees. She wore a pair of old tan-colored sandals that looked like they were going to fall apart the next time she broke out into a sprint. Her back was turned toward Riza, hiding her face.
"HELP ME! PLEASE!" the smaller girl cried out to Riza again. Blood was coming from her nose and mouth. Both her eyes had rings around them. They'd be considered black eyes in the morning. "PLEASE MAKE HER QUIT!"
"Huh?" Riza suddenly snapped back into solider mode. She guessed the surprise of seeing two girls out at such a late hour got to her for a moment. Her face became serious and she quickly put her gun back in its holster and stood up straight. "Stop this now," she said in a stern tone as she took a few steps toward the girls.
"Hm?" the older girl, the attacker, turned her head a bit to see who was behind her. She still held the smaller girl up against the wall. Her eyes met Riza's and the devilish smirk she had on her face disappeared. It was replaced by a look of awe and astonishment as she stared at Riza's amber eyes.
"Come on," Riza said as she approached the girl, "Let her go," she said as she was just about to lay her hand on the girl's shoulder.
"I want your eyes…" the girl said as Riza stood mere inches from her.
"Hm?" Riza asked as a look of slight confusion appeared on her face. "Excuse me?"
The girl suddenly released the smaller girl from her grasp.
"Ouch!" the small girl whined as her butt landed on the ground. She winced a little then looked up. She saw her attacker standing in front of Riza. Her face was looking down at the cold dirty ground.
"I said…" the girl replied in a quiet voice. Her face still staring at the pavement. "THAT I WANT YOUR EYES!" she snapped suddenly and her head shot up and locked on Riza. "GIVE THEM TO ME!" a devilish smile appeared on her face again as she lunched forward.
"What?" Riza asked as she put her arms up defensively. Before she knew it the girl was up on top of her. The girl's feet dug into Riza stomach and lower abdomen. She grabbed Riza's arms and tried to push them out and away from her face and chest. The sudden force of her attack and the weight of her body caused Riza to stumble backwards. "Get off!" Riza ordered as she tried to push the girl off of her upper body, but to no avail.
"I said I want your eyes!" the girl snapped again. The smirk still on her face. "Give them to me! Give then to Desire now!"
"Let go!" Riza sneered as she felt the back of her heel get caught on something lying on the ground behind her.
"Give them to Desire now!" the girl that called herself Desire snapped again, and then pushed all her limbs forward with surprising force.
"Ah!" Riza shouted as she felt her body falling backwards as she lost her balance. Without even thinking she reached out with her hands and tried to grab anything she could. Anything that she might be able to clasp and stop the fall. She found nothing.
"HA!" the Desire shouted cockily. "Now Desire will get your eyes," she said in a bratty tone as she quickly took her right hand and covered Riza's face. Her left hand still clasped around Riza's wrist, preventing her from doing anything to defend herself.
Riza fell backwards and hit the ground with a thud. Desire smirked and placed her feet on the ground on both sides of Riza's upper body. She kept her hand on Riza's face, pushing her head to the ground. With her other hand she forced Riza's arm to the ground. Riza grabbed Desire's shoulder with her free hand and tried to force her off, but Desire was spuriously strong for a child. It seemed as if she had the power of a full grown man.
"Huh?" the small girl with the pink shirt watched in horror as she saw the girl cover Riza's eyes with her hand. Then she saw a bright light appear from the girl's hand. "What's going on? Stop! Let her go!" she cried. But Desire didn't stop.
"Desire will take your eyes!" Desire said with a smirk as the light brightened the area around them. The smaller girl could now see Desire's face. She was very awkward looking. She had very pale white skin. She also had pale purple eyes. They held no emotion or life, and the black pupils were very strange. They were not circles like a normal person's but a thin slit, much like a cat's eye.
"Errr!" Riza's growled furiously as she felt warmth coming from Desire's hand. She couldn't see anything because Desire's hand over placed over her eyes. All she knew was it was very warm, and she thought she saw a bright light. It was the same way it looked in the morning when you first wake up. You close you eyes, but you can still see the light outside. It's not completely dark.
"Ah! What is that?" Riza cursed as she suddenly felt a great pain in her eyes and the area around her eyes. It wasn't like any pain she felt before. It wasn't a sharp or burning pain, but something Desire was doing was making things very painful.
"Stop, get off me!" Riza snapped angrily, but Desire didn't show any signs of releasing her.
"Desire will have your eyes!" Desire said again, the smirk growing on her face as the light got much stronger; telling her her work was almost finished.
"AHHH!" Riza's scream cut through the darkness. The pain suddenly intensified by about 80 percent. She really wasn't the type of person to scream or complain, but this new pain was too much to bare. "LET ME GO!" she shouted one last time.
"I am warning you! If you do not comply then I will not hesitate to shoot!" Riza shouted, still trying to push Desire off. Her teeth clenched together tightly as she kept herself for screaming out in pain again.
"Give Desire your eyes!" was all Desire said in reply. The other girl still sat and watched. To scared to move or scream.
Suddenly things became much, much worse. The pain got worse again, and the light Riza had once seen was beginning to fade. All she could see now was darkness. It was different from the dark she had known before. It seemed much darker and colder. What's happening? Riza wondered as she flinched again. It appears that the light is fading, but I still feel the warmth of it…. meaning it hasn't stopped. Just then Riza felt a sharp pain shoot through her whole body. That's it, enough is enough. I don't care if she is a kid anymore!
"I warned you!" Riza snapped as she quickly brought her free hand to her holster. In the blink of an eye she had drawn her silver pistol and was now firing directly in front of her. She couldn't see anything, but she knew Desire was there.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
She continued to fire until she felt the pressure of Desire leave her face and arm.
"AHHHHHH! STOP IT PLEASE!" the other little girl cried.
Riza could hear the little girl crying in the background. Seeing this, and then hearing a series of gunshots caused her to immediately breakdown and sob. She covered her eyes and cried, afraid to look up and see a dead girl lying in front of her.
How can she still be holding on? Riza wondered when she didn't feel Desire's body go limp or cold. Then she pushed her gun forward. She could feel Desire's body still looming over her.
"Ahhhhh!" she heard the girl scream. "Stop it! That hurts!" she snapped.
What is going on? She should be dead… Riza wondered in astonishment. "Get back or I'll fire again!" she shouted.
"Make me!" Desire retorted.
Bang! Riza fired again. This time she aimed a little hire. The bullet hit Desire in the middle of the forehead.
"GRRRAAAAAHHH!" Desire shouted out in pain. She immediately jumped off of Riza. The light disappeared when her flesh no longer touched Riza's. Once Desire was no longer on top of Riza, the military dog felt light headed and collapsed. "That hurt!" Desire snapped and stared down at Riza. Once she saw Riza wasn't responding she covered the bullet hole on her forehead with her finger. Tears began running down her pale cheeks and she darted forward. Running passed Riza's limp body and put of the alleyway. Leaving Riza and the little girl alone in the dark.
AN: So, what did you think? Good, bad? I hope I got everything right, like I said; I'm not an FMA expert so I don't know if I got the whole homunculi thing correct. Also, to those of you who read my other stories, I know I replied to A LOT of you, but I think that was the reason my other fic got deleted, so I'm not going to do that anymore unless it is really needed! Sorry! Bye, hope so see you at the next chapter!