When it struck, she wasn't quite sure why she let it.

It was a rock.

Thrown by a civilian- no, never a civilian. An Ishbalan.

-screams-

She was an expert with all ballistics. She easily saw and projected the trajectory of the rock.

But she didn't budge.

-Oh God Oh God Oh God what had she done-

And when blood, warm, real blood began to seep down her forehead, she didn't know what to think at all.

-redredredredredeveywhere-

She was frozen. Her control, her calm, everything was gone.

-Bloodsmokedeath-

She couldn't move.

The crimson wept its way down her face.

There was nothing she could do, caught twixt now and then.


This was a position Roy had hoped never to be in again. Facing down Ishbalan's. He barely stomached nightmares, phantasms of long dead people he destroyed.

When it came down to fighting, to killing again, the Flame Alchemist wasn't sure he could snap those fingers and do it again.

When the guns started firing, releasing death and dusty smoke, the sounds of something he knew long ago.

-shakingscreamingashesashesashes-

He froze.

Roy Mustang. Calm, always smirking and always, always in control.

He froze.

-burnburnburn-

His muscles constricted, his breathing slowed to the point where every acrid breath felt like a thousand knives, his heart felt as though a great serpent had wound itself around it, and his mind was on the edge of insanity.

-brightbrightsmokedeathashesashes-

Then Hawkeye- wonderful-always-there-beautiful-Hawkeye -began to bleed crimson.

And suddenly, the Flame Alchemist awakened. Cold, hateful rage swept over him and he pushed forward.

He was prepared to sin again.

For her.

Only for her.

His anger snapped at her, hating her for being weak in a moment that he needed her strength and he stepped in front of her.

The Colonel- not Roy- pulled his glove on tight- like a weapon unsheathed- and his face twisted into snarling hatred.

He could not look at her, not while he was so hateful, not while she was bleeding.


Mustang's words were cold water on her face.

-waterwatercan'tgetclean-

For a moment, she felt as though part of her had died, that Roy, Roy whom she had sworn to follow beyond eternity, could not look at her.

-sinsinsin-

That he was... disappointed in her.

Then... then he snapped his fingers.

And the fires of Hell itself unleashed themselves.

Hawkeye blinked, and stared, and wondered.

He had let loose the fires of Hell.

-Roy, staring at her with shaking sins on his shoulders-

Purposefully.

-Black eyes filled with endless sorrow-

Angrily.

The way his shoulders set and his back straightened. He was angry.

He was letting himself sin again.

She could do no less.

Hawkeye, shaky and feeling violently ill, wiped the crimson from her pale forehead.