Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist is not mine. It belongs to our wonderful Arakawa-sensei. If it was mine, it would be called The Flame Alchemist!

A.N. Heya! Wow, my first FMA fic! It's just a little theory that's been niggling at me for a while. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FROM CHAPTER 57 TO 59 or so.


Shades of Grey

Part One: White

Everything was black and white. Good was white and pure, like the snow that covered the grass at her feet. Evil was black. Her black dress, her father's suit and the black clothes of the people gathered at the graveside represented this perfectly. It wasn't fair, thought four year old Riza Hawkeye, that her mother, Annabel Hawkeye, should be taken from this world when she should have so many more years to live (and for a child as young as Riza, the dawning of a new year seemed such a long time away).

But today, little Riza realised for the first time that nothing was so clear cut. Like the grey sky that was threatening to open and cry along with her and wash away the perfect whiteness of the snow, nothing was black or white.

There was only grey.

Less than a year had passed since the death of Riza's mother. Things had changed in the Hawkeye household. Granted, that was only to be expected- Annabel Hawkeye had kept the small family together, caring for her only daughter and easily pulling her husband away from the alchemy research that he was so engrossed in, when it all became too much.

But that scene had changed. The only person left to care for Riza was her father. But Nicholas Hawkeye was a lot harder to pull away from his research these days. He rarely emerged from his study and both father and daughter sometimes ended up going without a proper meal for days on end.

His research, too, had changed. It was no longer flame alchemy that he focused on. He had been playing with fire for years, occasionally delighting his beloved wife and child with a simple trick or two. But the light from that flame had been extinguished, at least temporarily, and he was now surrounded by the shadow of death.

His research was taboo. It was forbidden.

But if he could bring one woman back from the dead, maybe the darkness that had enveloped the Hawkeye household could be lifted.

It was complete! It was perfect! Nothing could go wrong! All those other fools who had attempted Human Transmutation did not have the wisdom that he had! They didn't have the stamina to see their research through to the very end!

They didn't have the same desperation as he had.

Nicholas could feel his heart eroding over the past year. It was a slow process that prolonged the pain of the loss. He could barely look at Riza, whose young face was so like her mothers.

He had prepared supper for the two of them that evening. He had watched her smile sweetly, watched for the light that invaded her eyes when she saw him emerge from his study, all the while thinking how much happier she would be when he returned her mother to her. The childish happiness that he had witness tonight would be enhance ten- no, one hundred fold!

He knelt beside the transmutation circle, anticipation bubbling in his stomach and rising in his throat. He had the most absurd compulsion to laugh, something he hadn't done in such a long time.

He couldn't wait any longer.

He began.

There was a storm outside. That's what was causing all the noise. Nothing to be afraid of.

Nevertheless, Riza could feel the- what was this feeling? She really wasn't sure- rising inside her.

Father had been in such a good mood tonight. She could feel the light return to the house after so many months. Everything had been grey since her mother's death. There was no such thing as light anymore. Just darkness.

But tonight she had felt something change. Even at five years old she could tell from the aura that her father emitted that everything would be alright.

Another crash sounded, but this time it wasn't from outside.

Riza leapt from her bed, scurried out of her room and down the staircase, only pausing when she reached her father's study. Behind that door was a forbidden room. Behind that room was the source of the crash.

Her small hand that was resting on the door handle press downwards and the heavy door opened a crack. No more. What Riza saw made her freeze.

A blue light illuminated the room and she could see that the source of the previous crash was the big thick books that had fallen from the shelves around the room. But that was not what held Riza's eyes.

Nicholas Hawkeye was bent over a transmutation circle, hands planted firmly on the chalk lines as though they were glued there, his back arched in pain. His head was thrown backwards; his eyes wide, unseeing and his mouth open in a silent scream.

Riza could hear a voice, although there was no one in the room, speaking. From the back of her mind she could hear the words, not directed at her, but instead at her father.

"It's not enough! Foolish human! You think you can gain everything and loose nothing! What will it be that you lose?"

Riza trembled in the doorway as she heard a voice she recognised scream back. Her father's voice, that she had heard so many times, no longer sounded human.

"Then take my heart! It hurts so much!" The pain in Nicholas's voice was evident. "Please, take my heart! Get rid of it! I can't bear it any longer!"

"Heh, as you wish. But you may regret it." The unearthly voice replied. "Since it's such a burden, I'll do you this favour. But you won't get what you desireā€¦"

"No!" Nicholas's voice was now nothing but a low moan.

Riza stood, transfixed with horror as she watched her father's heart being ripped out of his chest by an invisible hand. Blood flew everywhere, but even as the still beating heart disintegrated the flesh that surrounded the hole in his chest healed.

The accursed light that had flooded the room was now gone, and in the darkness that now returned, Riza could feel thousands- no, millions- of eyes staring at her. But there was no one there to look at her.

The demonic voice returned, invading her mind. "You have no business here, brat. Shoo!"

Riza Hawkeye wasn't even aware that the power had returned to her legs until she was halfway up the staircase.

She just kept running.

A.N. Okay, this was originally going to be a one-shot, but now I think it'll be a three parter. Part Two will explain everything a wee bit more.

As much as I hate Riza's father, (He was such a git! Who uses their daughter as notebook paper? Really?!) I can't imagine him always being so heartless.

Okay, so the whole thing's gonna be washed down the drain when Arakawa-sensei proves me wrong, but hey, it's fun!

Okay folks, tell me what you think! Please be nice! I promise the next couple of chapters will be better! Roy'll show up next time!

Please review!