Horrible Things

By Mint Dragon

Black eyes blank, Colonel Roy Mustang stared at his subordinate. Riza Hawkeye stared back.

"You're injured." He said flatly.

"I know."

"You protected me."

"I know."

Roy's eyes examined what they could see of his first lieutenant. The sleeveless shirt did nothing to conceal the white cotton bandage that wound tightly around and across her right shoulder. The light of sunset through the bedroom window gave the pale skin of her face a disturbingly red tint. Amber eyes only slightly obscured by pale blonde bangs gazed coolly back at him.

"Die, you bastard!"

It was too late. Roy had no time to move, only just turning his eyes to meet those of the man rushing at him. Bloodshot eyes. Desperate eyes.

By the time he saw the knife it was too late.

The next thing he registered was sudden jolt as his head hit the concrete, warm from the midday sun. He scrambled to his feet in time to witness his first lieutenant fire three bullets into the chest of his would-be attacker, who fell to ground. The man twitched – once, twice…then he was still. Roy turned his gaze to the back of the blue-clad figure who had pushed him out of the way.

"Good job, lieutenant. We should search and see if there were any oth-" Roy stopped short. The Hawkeye's handgun was shaking in her grip.

Hawkeye's gun hand never shook.

"Hawkeye!"

She made a half-turn towards him. He could see the handle of the knife jutting awkwardly from her shoulder, the red seeping slowly along the blue of her uniform.

His eyes caught hers, and then she fell.

She stared back at him. The dying sunlight lit her eyes with a fierce glow.

"You've always protected me."

She was silent.

"I…" Roy tore his eyes away from her, looked down at his hand. He clenched it into a fist, then closed his eyes.

State Alchemist Roy Mustang watched as the flames died down, and sighed in relief.

The sector he'd been assigned to clear had already been abandoned by its residents. By the time he and his small guard had arrived, there was not a soul in sight. Roy was glad.

A bit of sand carried by a sudden wind flew into his eye, and Roy found himself unable to see. 'Blasted desert,' he thought, trying to rub the itch out of his eye.

"Get down!"

Mustang didn't have time to react. He hit the ground, and moments later he heard three gunshots ring out through the still air.

Slowly pushing himself to his feet, he saw a figure in blue standing next to him, gun in hand. He blinked, and when his vision cleared, he could see it was the blonde woman who had been assigned to his detail that morning along with four other soldiers.

Riza Hawkeye, he remembered. Laconic and deadly. And, supposedly, the army's best sharpshooter.

Watching her stare straight ahead, smoke dissipating from the pistol held at the end of her outstretched arm, he could believe it.

She lowered the gun and turned to him. Blonde bangs slightly concealed one side of her face.

"Sorry, sir." She apologized, her voice all cold formality. "They were hiding in a storm cellar over there." She jerked her head towards his left. "Rebels. They were waiting for you to drop your guard, sir."

He glanced down at the three bodies, splayed out on the sand in growing pool of blood. "Then I guess it's a good thing I have you around, eh?" Hawkeye didn't respond. He looked up back at her.

"You saved my life. Thank you."

Almost-red eyes regarded him coldly.

"My orders are to protect the Flame Alchemist," she said flatly. "I follow orders."

She turned back towards the camp and began walking. Roy followed her in silence. And noticed that she had not yet holstered her gun.

"I..." He looked up at her, standing by the window now. He could see her reflection in the polished glass, lit by the last embers of daylight.

"I have done horrible things."

"But sir!"

"No buts!" Colonel Grand stared down his subordinate. "I have given you your orders, now follow them!" Roy Mustang stared helplessly at the two people in front of him. The man held the woman close to him. A married couple. Doctors on the battlefield. But they were treating enemies as well – enemies who might one day kill Amestris soldiers. His orders were to kill them.

Roy looked down at the pistol in his hand.

"Follow your orders, Mustang."

He looked dumbly at the two people he was supposed to kill. The woman clutched a small photograph to her chest. The man gazed steadily at him with piercing azure eyes. And though he silently begged, they didn't make a move to escape. They were just standing there. Looking at him.

"Now!"

He didn't even realize he had pulled the trigger before they both fell to the ground, dead. Roy stared in horror at the spreading pool of blood.

Colonel Gran grumbled something to him about being reprimanded for being slow to follow orders, and then left. The pistol in Roy's hand shook. He hadn't been listening.

Instead, he watched the blood, a deeper red than any flame he could conjure, slowly drown the photograph that the woman had dropped when he killed her.

"I know."

He looked up, and met her amber gaze. It was softer, now. Pitying. "I know."

She caught him, cradling his broken form as he fell to the floor, sobbing. He buried his head in her chest, trying desperately to forget, to drown out the despair in his mind. Thoughts of her filled his consciousness; the soft feel of her body as she cushioned him, the bitter tang of gunpowder that always seemed to surround her, the gentle brush of her lips against his cheek as she kissed away the tears that were suddenly flowing fast and free from his eyes.

"Riza…"

"…Hawkeye." The blonde lieutenant looked up from her desk to see Colonel Mustang looking at her, his black eyes blank. "Yes, sir?"

"You are the military's best marksman."

"If you say so, sir."

"But here you are, working a desk job doing mindless paperwork."

"Yes, sir."

"Helping me."

"Yes, sir."

"What am I to you?"

"Pardon, sir?" Roy stood up and walked over to her as she stood. He caught her arm as she raised it for a salute.

"What," he leaned in closer to her. They were face to face, now, his solid black eyes staring into her deep amber ones. "am I to you, that you would shelve your talent and come here to help me achive my own ambitions?" She looked back at him steadily.

"You are hope, sir."

He pulled himself away from her, leaving them both on their knees on the floor of her bedroom. The gleaming wetness on his cheek made his eyes seem to blaze as the last embers of daylight faded from the sky. Seeing her now, her hair down, out of uniform, looking at him like that…he wanted nothing more than to grab her and kiss her and hold her and leave the rest of the world behind. And he couldn't.

They both stood, and silently acknowledged what had happened. And what they both wanted to happen. And why it couldn't.

"It's starting to rain again."

But she would protect him anyway. She always had.

"I know."

First attempt at anything FMA – what do you think?