Unfortunately, this is where the (lame, cheesy, clichéd, overdone, etc.) ending comes in. Anyhow, thank you to all who read and reviewed my story…and…yeah. XD
I'm kissing him.
It was as if she had become blind and deaf to everything else except for the man – vampire – clutching her close to him, his mouth on hers. Contrary to what she expected, she didn't get a dominating, fierce kiss, but a gentle one infused with his dignified gentlemanliness. She didn't see the lightning bolts jumping from one dark cloud to another, or hear the thunder in the distance. Riza closed her eyes, feeling nothing but the touch of his lips and the warmth of his body encircling her…
I'm kissing Roy…
Her eyes suddenly snapped open when she felt him pull away ever so slowly. A strange yearning rose inside her; she somehow wanted more. Roy was no longer embracing her, but cupped her face with his gloved hands, staring at her with his deep, midnight gaze, his mouth turned up in a gentle, affectionate smile, while her arms were still around his neck. Neither of them minded when it started to drizzle, tiny droplets of water plopping onto their heads.
"My lady…never have I met anyone like you…never, whether as a human or as a vampire…"
She felt her breathing and heartbeat accelerate, as though they were racing each other. The drizzle also started to speed up, bringing more rain that seeped into their eyes and ran down their hair, but neither Riza nor Roy cared. All they cared about now was each other, their very last night.
"Neither have I…I mean…"
"Lady Riza…before you leave, there is something I must tell you." Brushing the wet bangs from his face, Roy let go of her cheeks and swept her up in another embrace, so tight that the scents of his breath, his perfume and the rain mingled together. He freed one hand and held her chin, bringing her towards him for another kiss, and she was only too glad to comply. She sensed something falling from her hair – probably a hairpin – but right now, there were more important things than her hair, from which tiny streams of water dripped onto the ground.
Once again, that sensation blazed throughout her entire being, a spark that would start a roaring fire inside her. They held for a shorter time, much to Riza's slight disappointment. The rain was growing stronger, and the lightning was like a spotlight on them, illuminating their features for a split second before everything was night and rain again.
"My lady…never have I loved a woman like you…never have I loved…"
Roy had to raise his voice over the thunder, and he reached out to touch his lady's wet face, his finger retracing its outline, just as he had done before. His other arm was entwined around her waist.
"Before you go," he whispered, so quietly that Riza leaned in to listen, hoping to get something more than just the beating rain, "I just want you to know…"
"Yes?" She urged him on, never relinquishing her grip on his shoulders.
Roy frowned thoughtfully for a moment, running a hand through his drenched hair. Whether he's wet or dry, he looks good, Riza remarked mentally as that hand went back to her chin, but not before pushing soaked strands of her blond hair from her forehead, which he kissed. Then he faced her again, wearing a serious, passionate expression.
His next few words sent her falling…falling through pools of midnight blue, and then floating. At the same time she felt like a match in his hands, set ablaze by a single stroke. The fire within her burned more fervently now, unquenched by the continuing storm, or the fact that this was their last meeting and pretty soon they would have to cut it short…
"Riza…I love you. I have loved you ever since we first met…right then and there I knew…I couldn't care less if you're a human or a vampire…"
"Roy…" She couldn't say anything more, as her voice faded into the cacophony of thunder and rain. As she blinked raindrops out of her eyes, she saw through the slightly watery blur that Roy was taking her hands, clasping them with his own and close to their chests. He held them as though he would never let her go. His face was a little sadder now, filled with a desire to always be by her side.
And she couldn't blame him; for all she knew, she probably looked the same way.
A wind rushed past them, whipping more rain into them. Riza pressed herself into Roy, and not just for the warmth, and he took her gladly, smiling the dignified, chivalrous smile that she knew melted many women's hearts…and her own. He caressed her head and her back, as oblivious to the real world as she was. For a while they stopped talking, and the noise of the storm was magnified tenfold, as though the heavens were also grieving with them.
Riza could scarcely believe what she said to break the silence between them.
"I love you too, Roy."
Just as she softly said his name, Roy kissed her again, a gentle, ardent kiss so incongruous to the inclement weather raging around them. If anyone saw them now, they would have though that nature really was trying to pull them apart, but no wind, no rain, no thunder and lightning could tear the vampire away from his lady, or the lady away from her vampire, the man who deeply respected her mortality and never made a move to turn her into one of his kind…
They held, arms around each other, and it seemed as though they would never break away…never…never…
Riza opened her eyes.
Beaming, morning sunlight streamed into them, making her wince at the sudden flare of light. She was lying down…but where? Was she still in her room in The Gracious Angel, or had something happened? Scratching her head, she slowly got up into a sitting position, feeling the mattress shift underneath her. But there was something different now…somehow…
Somehow she was no longer in Trissamé. Glancing around, Riza saw a table, a chair with something blue and gold draped on it that looked like a uniform, among other very familiar things…she surveyed her surroundings and made absolutely sure that she was definitely not in that town that had plagued her with déjà vu for a week.
Far from it – she was back in her own bedroom, her own home.
Trissamé, all that déjà vu, The Gracious Angel, and most especially the Flaming Vampire, were all a dream.
Squinting at the clock on the wall, Riza could see that it was a little past eight in the morning. She had overslept a bit, in terms of her usual schedule, but it didn't matter, as she had no work on that day. It was the 31st of October, according to the calendar not too far from the clock, a Saturday, and most importantly, the day of the Amestris military's annual Halloween party, which usually started around mid- to late afternoon and continued through the night.
But that dream…it seemed so real…
Riza spent a long while sitting in bed, mulling over her dream. Many images were still vivid, such as that of Roy, the vampire. She noted that he had the same name as her commanding officer in the military – Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist. Now that she was back in reality – as in, the real reality – she recalled the people she had met in her little fantasy world, how they were so very much like the people she knew in real life – like Hughes the knife seller in her dream and Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes, knife thrower extraordinaire and a good friend of hers, for instance. Both were married to women named Gracia, and had daughters named Elysia…
She shook her head and got up, frowning as she passed her mirror. Why are you obsessing over something as simple as a dream? There are more important things that you can obsess over.
Still…it had been so real…
Riza quickly shifted her focus on more important things – like her shooting practice in the morning and the party later on – which, she added to herself, she had only been pressured to attend by her comrades (especially the women) in the military who wanted to see her – more importantly, in a costume. Plus, she had nothing else to do that afternoon.
At this, her eyes flicked towards her closet. Before she could head for the bathroom, she walked up to it and opened the door, instantly finding the long, flowing, scarlet robe inside that she would be wearing to the party as part of her costume. After all, she was going as a queen from old monarchial Amestris.
Now where else had she seen that shade of red?
The party was held in the largest convention hall of Central Headquarters. The place was already lavishly decorated with balloons, streamers and banners, mostly with orange and black, the supposedly official colors of Halloween. Two huge buffet tables were against the east and west sides of the hall, and smaller round tables ringed a clear area in the middle, possibly a dance floor. Central's resident marching band provided the music, with members playing in shifts so everyone could have a break and experience the party, which was mostly comprised of military officers of Central, but some other soldiers from the other branches, and other invited guests, dropped by as well.
"Lieutenant, you look so beautiful!"
"I love how red your gown is. And is that a tiara? And your cape…"
"I bet all the men would want to dance with you, Lieutenant Hawkeye."
Riza wondered if she was already blushing till the color of her face rivaled that of her costume as she passed through and received compliments from many of her female friends in the military. But finally, she got to her table, and plopped down beside a black-haired man who had an arm around a woman with lighter hair. They were dressed as an ancient Liorite couple, dripping with (fake) gold jewelry. In a chair between them was a little girl in a black cat costume, grinning at Riza as she sat.
"Is this a historical theme, Lieutenant Colonel?" Riza asked.
Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes shook his head and laughed. "Not really…I've seen others. Heck, you should see Roy, his costume's a hoot! Almost all the women are fighting over who'll get the first dance with him! Of course, I know who I'll give my first dance to…actually, all my dances…"
"Awww, Maes, that's so sweet of you," said the other woman beside him, who was obviously his wife Gracia. She turned to Elysia and adjusted her daughter's cat ears. "Although you might want to save one for Elysia. And that dress really suits you – it goes with your eye color, First Lieutenant Hawkeye."
"Go on; try to guess what the Colonel's wearing tonight!" Hughes pressed on, picking up Elysia and bouncing her on his lap.
Somehow Riza already had a vague idea, and she didn't know how or why it came to her. "Hmmm…a vampire?"
"How'd you know?"
Riza shrugged and patted her bun, which was tighter and neater than usual and had two jeweled sticks stuck into it. "Wild guess. Or maybe it's not easy to miss that figure in black being followed by several women."
Another man, clad in an orange and purple jester outfit, went over to their table, but unlike Hughes, he wasn't smiling widely. In fact, he looked like he had been dumped.
"I thought she and I were meant to be!" he ranted, burying his face in his hands as he occupied the space two seats away from Riza. "She said she liked funny men, so I decided to go as a jester, but then when Mustang came around, she suddenly ditched me and practically pulled another girl's hair when they argued over who should dance first with the Colonel!"
"Calm down, Havoc," said Hughes airily. "There are so many other women you could ask. Besides, it's not the end of the world if you don't get to dance. And you can still have fun dancing on your own!" He nudged Riza after every few words, winking and glancing from Havoc to her and back again, but Gracia's husband stopped after Riza gave him a glowering look.
Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc just groaned and crossed his arms. "What do I have to do to get a date, disguise myself as Roy Mustang? Hey – maybe I could ask that girl over there, the one dressed up like an angel!" He stood up and followed said girl.
"Hey, that's a good idea for next year's Halloween! I never took up alchemy, but I still ended up with the best woman in the world!" Hughes bragged after him. "And we even had a cute little daughter together! I've got pictures of her while we were fitting the cat costume and more – wanna see? And isn't Elysia the most adorable girl you've ever seen? I mean, look at her! Gracia helped me pick out her outfit just – "
A shadow suddenly fell over Riza, briefly blurring all spotlights and chandeliers in her vision at the same time music started playing – it wasn't a slow song, but then again, it wasn't too peppy either. Hughes stopped talking and placed Elysia back onto her chair and said cheerily, "Well, well, if it isn't the ladies' man himself! You could pick out a potential wife from one of your – "
"Do you want me to take a bite out of your neck, Hughes?" asked the man who had arrived at their table, dressed mostly in black. As a few women passed, they pointed eagerly at him and whispered excitedly, some of them even forgetting to keep their voices down.
The lieutenant colonel pretended to shrink back in fear. "Ooh, I'm scared. I'll break out the garlic and the crosses and the stakes! Wait…ancient Liorites used other means to banish vampires. Heh. Nice fangs, Roy."
Riza blinked several times. She could feel the déjà vu knocking on her door again as she glanced up at her commanding officer and images from her dream blazed into life in her head – images of a vampire who came and went night after night behind a wall of flames, who treated her like a queen, and eventually kissed her one rainy night…
But this particular vampire was not Roy, the Flaming Vampire of Trissamé, but Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist and one of the most famous State Alchemists of Amestris.
Still, the likeness between them was uncanny.
But why are you thinking about something like this…at a time like this, anyway? And it was only a dream…vampires aren't real; in fact, the Philosopher's Stone is a lot more real than they are…don't be silly. You're no longer dreaming…
The music was starting to pick up, and it snapped her out of it. The first thing she saw was an outstretched, white-gloved hand extended towards her.
"I would be honored…if you dance with me, Lieutenant Hawkeye." Fangs – fake ones now, she knew – gleamed as Roy flashed a smile, so very much like and at the same time unlike his usual cocky smirk.
Riza had this feeling that Hughes was now whispering in his wife's ear – with a big, jovial grin to match. She stared at him in disbelief, wondering if he was pulling her leg. After all, there were so many other women he could choose for a dance partner, and some who would probably even kill for a dance with him. But Roy kept his position, and he wasn't laughing; just smiling. Feeling something against her arm, she resisted the urge to scold Hughes for jabbing her discreetly.
Her thoughts shifted back to her dream again, more specifically, a scene with the one called Hughes.
Don't be afraid. How can you truly know something unless you have experienced it?
Now how did that get there? Riza wondered silently.
"That is, if it's all right with you," Roy hastily added, withdrawing his hand and obviously noticing her hesitation.
The song went on as she stayed quiet, unsure of what to answer. But after a brief debate with herself, the lieutenant finally stood up, smoothing out her gown and adjusting her tiara. Riza could feel the eyes of several women on her, those who desired a dance with the Flame Alchemist. She wouldn't be surprised if they were whispering things about her behind her back as well, not that she cared.
"Of course…sir," she said. Slowly she extended her right hand for him to take. Roy took it, and once again, Riza was reminded of her dream. Was it trying to tell me something, or what?
She would have to think about it later – after all, right now she had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other as the colonel led her towards the dance floor. When they got there, they quickly got into the swing of things, and some couples even cleared the way, especially as Roy twirled her around and they slid across the floor. At first, Riza felt a little awkward, but as the music kept on playing, she started to – there were no other words for it – have fun. She couldn't help but smile as she spun away from her partner and right back into his arms, and apparently Roy was also enjoying himself.
When the song ended, he took her back to their table. Both of them were a bit tired, but continued to smile.
"Are you sure you're not up for another one?" asked Roy slyly.
Riza grinned weakly. "Maybe…later."
"I'll be back," he promised softly, winking and walking away.
But she felt a strange sensation of longing when he chose a brunette in an angel costume for the next song – the same girl Havoc was chasing awhile ago.
Maybe later, Riza told herself, sitting down again. After all, he did say he'll be back.
But why do you want to dance with him again, anyway? Does it have anything to do with my dream last night…or not?
She sighed, adjusting her tiara and watching Roy and his new partner start dancing, but she could have sworn he glanced in her general direction as they glided past her, as though also wanting to dance with her again too.