SPOILER WARNING: for episode 25/chapter 15
A/N: My second FMA drabble-oneshot-thingy. Takes place after spoiler event.
Disclaimer: Do I even have to say it? Fine, I will. I do not own FMA! I've only seen up till episode 28 and I've read the manga up till chapter 51. I download episodes since it doesn't show on television where I'm from. And I read the manga online, since you can't buy it here. It's sad I know. This country is anime/manga deprived. Do you still think I OWN FMA?
On a brighter note! I live near Central! Seriously, there's a place called Central about 20 minutes away.
Colonel Roy Mustang sat at his desk in deep thought as he stared down at the grain of his wooden desk. He had miraculously finished all his paperwork in record time. Now, all he could do was sit at his desk and think.
Actually, he could've gone home, but something kept him at the office. Something was nagging at his mind and he couldn't quite understand what it was.
He sat back in his chair and let out a sigh as he surveyed the interior of his office. Havoc had gone home already, as had the rest of his subordinates. All, except one.
She was still there. Her bronze, hawk-like eyes were focussed on the papers that were spread across her desk. Her blond hair was tied in its usual style. When she heard his sigh she looked up to see him staring straight at her.
"Is something wrong sir?" She asked.
"No." He answered shortly and softly.
Riza Hawkeye merely looked back down and continued her work. She was scribbling all sort of nonsense on those papers, or at least, that's how Roy saw it. Nonsense: that was the definition of paperwork according to Colonel Roy Mustang. Of course he never let the higher-ups get wind of that.
His eyes wandered over to his Lieutenant once more and suddenly it clicked.
"Hawkeye, what's your greatest fear?" He asked and she was taken aback by his sudden question.
"That's quite a random question to ask sir. Why do you ask?" She said cautiously.
He surveyed her and saw something in her eyes that he couldn't explain. He could see surprise, but that wasn't it. No, it went deeper than that.
"I ask, because…well…I don't know, I guess that question just popped into my head." Roy said as he stared at the ceiling. Then he continued, "You know, I always thought my greatest fear was to lose someone close to me. Then Hughes was taken, and I realised something. I realised that fearing something is pointless, because you can't tell if and when that fear will come to pass or not. But…it still frightens me."
She stared at his features; he looked as though he was in a far away place. His declaration was somewhat startling to her. Roy Mustang was not the type of person to openly admit fear or weakness.
"Maybe you should go home sir. It's been a long day." She said as she kept her eyes locked on him. He slowly moved his eyes to look straight into hers. A connection was made and she could see how tired and worn his eyes seemed. He then spoke again while keeping eye contact.
"When I was just starting to experiment with fire alchemy, I was so afraid, afraid of setting things on fire and not being able to put it out. Even so, I understood it and did it anyway. I guess nothing in life should be feared; instead we should try to understand it. I guess we should try to understand more so we can fear less. Death is so hard to understand.
"Is it better to die young than to outlive everyone you love?" He looked away as he said this and got a strange look in his eyes. Hawkeye recognised the look and fear rapidly set into her entire being. The look in his eyes spoke volumes. He was sad, broken, and what scared her most was the look that told her he had given up.
"Don't do anything rash sir." Her statement startled him. How had she known?
"Just the thought of it is sometimes a great comfort. It's a good way of getting through a bad day." He said as he rested his head in his hands.
Hawkeye was afraid to push the subject, but curiosity got the better of her, "I don't understand your logic behind that statement sir."
"Well," he continued, "Thinking about it…it makes me realise that most people don't have a choice of when they die. Why should I be any different? I'm sure if Hughes had a choice he would have wanted to live and see his daughter grow. I was so close to disregarding the natural laws Hawkeye."
"What do you mean sir?" she asked softly.
"I nearly performed human alchemy to try and bring him back. I had everything ready, and then, just when I was about to do it I hesitated. And my thoughts settled on the Elrics. They had no idea what they were toying with when they tried to bring their mother back. Their method wasn't even correct. I knew my theories were flawless and yet I hesitated. Fear. It's ridiculous!
"Men do not fear death Hawkeye, they fear the dealing blow. And for some reason, as I stood ready to bring him back, I realised that Maes wouldn't want me to kill myself to bring him back. Or maybe I was just too cowardly to meet the blow."
After he finished his confession he silently got up and gathered his things. Emotions were running high and he could not stand the burning sensation in his eyes. He needed to get out of there.
Riza was shocked that the Colonel would confide in her so much. She now saw the broken man behind the mask. He reached the door and opened it before she spoke again.
"I'm not frightened of the darkness outside sir. It's the darkness inside that I don't like." She got up and walked a little closer to where he had stopped. He said nothing, so she continued, "I don't fear the situation that causes uncertainty, depression, what ever you want to call it. I fear what happens in the mind after such situations. You become your own worst enemy. And sir, you are not a coward." She said with a slight hint of a miniscule smile.
He saw the affection in her eyes and then he couldn't hold it back any longer. Tears streamed down his face as he silently stood there. He closed the door again and rested his back against it. Then he slid down into a sitting position, and stared at the ceiling.
He made no sound as the tears streamed down his face, and he made no attempt to hide his tears from Hawkeye. Words were no longer needed, so she slid down next to him and took his hand in hers. He gripped her hand and was glad that she understood. Then as he looked to his right he saw the tear streaks that ran down her face as well.
Without hesitating he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. She put her head on his shoulder and pulled herself closer to him. The barrier of ranks that kept them apart crumbled in that moment. They were a man and a woman, nothing more, as they grieved together. Tears silently ran down both their faces.
They stayed like that, finding comfort in a simple embrace, for quite some time. When they finally got up he walked her home and hugged her good night. And as he walked away from her doorstep she told herself in a barely audible whisper that her greatest fear, was losing him. What she did not know was that he felt exactly the same way about her.
A/N: Reviews and constructive criticism are welcome.