AN- This is my response to a challenge between myself, skywalker05, and Argenteus Draco. The challenge was for each of us to write a one-shot in our respective fandoms, using the title below (Remember Tomorrow). Generally, I'm pleased with it--I almost NEVER write first person, but I think it came out pretty well nonetheless.
(Also...never fear, readers of Every Missing Irony! An update is coming soon! ...Sorta!)
"…We are not gods but wounded creatures…"
--Salman Rushdie, "Imaginary Homelands"
(You look like you cannot go on.)
Sir. Please. Remember what you swore you'd change. Remember what your mission is.
Remember what we are fighting for.
You are hunched over your desk right now; it is early morning and yet you look as though it has already become a never-ending day. I can tell from the bloodshot way your eyes, red and haggard and weary-looking, stare at your paperwork without realizing it's there. Last night must have been a Bad One. Your dreams must have been nightmares, all.
I should be able to comfort you. My place is at your side, always, and so it should have been last night. I should have been there, should have been able to wipe the sweat off your brow when the memories returned yet again. I should have been able to help.
But I couldn't. And for this I feel guiltier then you will ever know.
But, sir…please don't give up.
You remember, of course, that incident with Lust. I know you do. I know—Havoc has told me—that you regret yelling at me, the way you did afterwards, for losing hope.
But you shouldn't feel bad. You had every right to raise your voice.
I failed you, sir, and by all logic you should have cast me aside. What good is a subordinate who crumbles into tears? But you didn't remove me…you allowed me to continue to protect your goals, and I have learned the lesson very well.
Do you still remember what you told me? 'Keep fighting, don't just give in!' Don't let the enemy conquer it all, don't let them tell you your efforts are in vain.
I trust you. I believe in you. And so does Jean, so does Kain, so do Vato and Heymans and Alex Armstrong. We all believe in you, it is why we continue to follow your shadow. You can change the world, sir. You can right your wrongs.
You told me once…you croaked (the night before a Bad One that still lingered in your mind), that it was all your fault. That you had allowed the military's gauzy tales ('See interesting people, then burn them to a crisp!') to bewitch you, to turn my father's teachings into an alchemy bastardized. But you alone do not bare the weight of that crime.
Colonel. Please don't forget: it was on my back that you found your method of destruction. I enabled you to kill, and I killed alongside you all the while.
I bare the blame for every scar on your body. For all the times I should have protected you and yet failed. I can never repent enough for allowing harm's slimy reach to find you.
Sir, do you recall that time you were drunk—'Sir, I'll stand by you…Sir, you've had enough to drink.'—and you told me I was a fool? A fool to believe you could do what you said. It was all a cover, you slurred, a pipe dream of eons ago you couldn't bare to forget. No sense in dragging everyone down because of your senseless wish.
And so you ordered me to request a transfer (forgive me, Colonel…it was the only order I never obeyed). You told me to abandon you, but I refused.
('You promised I could watch your back.')
And you were angry, and you threw your glass, and I said nothing as I cleaned up the mess (but that night was a Bad One for us both).
It's just that…I couldn't abandon you, sir. I couldn't, and I can't. If you were—are—to die, I could not—cannot—bare the rest. That scar, so faint and meaningless, along your arm…for that minor shrapnel wound along I'll blame myself forever. How could I stand it if you died?
So you see, Colonel Mustang, why I can't turn away from you, no matter how desperate and gloomy your dreams become. You are a part of me. Your life is mine, and we cannot be separated. Not until your mission is accomplished.
(You are looking at me now. You are smiling faintly.
You look miserable.)
Please…remember tomorrow, Colonel. For though we are criminals and murderers the both of us, we are not without redemption, and I will follow your shadow anywhere, if it means bringing peace to your nights at last.
Tomorrow is coming, sir. I will save you if I can.