It's kinda funny. The moment I need it, my computer completely eats dirt and crashes Hindenburg-style. Dx I hate Vista. Note to my meager readers: if you are one of the lucky ones that still has XP, for the love of all that is holy KEEP IT. never go to Vista. It sucks serious monkey chode. Now that my ranting is out of the way, back to what I was gonna say. My beta profile just got put up, and I'm open to any and all requests. It may take awhile for me to get to them, but go ahead ands end your requests if you wish

This fic got started when myself and my friend were watching some kind of random movie in French. I'm not sure what spurred on this latest mental-diarrhea fit, but hey. It's something, right?

Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist
Pairing: Scar/Rose
Spoilers: Never.
Warnings: Mild touchy-feely stuff, but nothing too hardcore. Still, I'll give it a Teen rating just to be safe. Uhh, I don't really think that there's a lot of swearing. Language in this one is pretty mild, considering my standards and my track record.
Notes: This is the first fic from my Alphabet Challenge.
Theme Music: 'Somewhere Out There' -Our Lady Peace

It had all happened so fast. I'm not entirely sure that I even remember most of the events of that day. It all feels like it happened in another lifetime, and in all reality it was a mere month. Hmm, funny how a person's life can change so fast. After that night, I lost whatever meager naivete that I had been so stupidly been trying to hold onto. Should have known it would fade eventually. After all, things like that seem to flow through your fingers like the thinnest of shadows. If you don't watch out they'll slide right through, and you're left with empty hands and a lingering feeling of nostalgia that often makes you wanna vomit. Unfortunately, that's not all that I was left with after that night. I would have been lucky if I had gotten away with just the bruises. Even now, as I halfheartedly struggle to recollect the bits and pieces of what happened, my stomach involuntarily clenches up and I can feel the blood drain from my skin, making me look even deader than I feel as my mind's eye finds their eyes. Both were narrow and brimmed with the purest form of evil Ishballa himself could never have made: no, these two came straight from the deepest part of the Seventh Ring Of Hell itself. One was deathly pale; slivery-gray hair and crystal blue eyes with an almost chiseled face. The other was not much thicker-built, with raven hair that was yanked back into a ponytail with short spikes coming off of the top of his head. His eyes, like his friend's, were alight with the spark of evil, their molten gold making my heart knot up as I recalled who else in my life had those eyes. However, the two were only similar in color; the other pair were wide, kind, never even dreaming of inflicting harm like the ones that stared down at me that night.

They call what I have Repressed Memory Syndrome. Even though I said nothing, they still seemed to think they knew exactly what is going through my head. It made me want to stand up and scream in their face, 'Don't you see how much I'm hurting? You know nothing of what I'm going through! Don't think you can just label me with some kind of psychosomatic disease and think that will solve it!' But every time I open my mouth to say something it feels like their hands are around my throat again, clenching around my very soul and draining any kind of resolve I may have hoped to have had. So I sat in silence, eyes slowly draining of life as the world before them becomes grayer and grayer.

But then he came along. The man with vermilion eyes and russet skin. The man with the scar on his face. The mere scent of his presence made the scars seem to quiver with relief, all the nightmares that plagued my dreams when I managed to sleep sliding back into the depths of my subconscious mind as my eyes slowly slid shut, cheek pressed against his marble chest. He was always so warm; every time his fingertips would brush my arms or face it was like someone had dragged a white-hot poker across where he touched. But it didn't hurt. It felt wonderful, unlike anything that I had ever felt before in my entire life. The warmth of his skin brought the sunlight back into my cold, iced-over heart, taking my soul gently by the hand and leading it from the dark, empty pit of my sorrow and back into the glow of the sun that was captured in his eyes. Every time his lips found mine the very breath from my lungs evaporated, my legs melting out from under me and making him chuckle as his hands found my cheeks. He was alwas so gentle; even the slightest brush of a finger was purposely sweet and light against my marred, darkened skin. How he managed to look upon me without even the slighest twinge or revulsion has remained and always will stay a mystery to me. If I were him I would run. But then again, he probably knows my suffering better than anyone ever will.

The first time he came to see me I had already drifted off to sleep, my window cracked to allow the breeze to flow around the small, dark room. He had climbed up the lattice that stretched three stories up to my window, slid the window open with the utmost care not to let the wheels squeak in their tracks until he got it just high enough to worm through, then slid in and replaced the window back where it had been before. His feet pacing across the room stirred me from my troubled, convoluted dreams, his footsteps perfectly in tune with the ones that haunted me. I bolted up with a scream, a cold sweat drenching my face and causing my rosy-pink bands to stick to my cheeks and forehead. He turned, having intended to shut the door before I awoke, looked upon me with quiet, surprised eyes. I knew he was Ishballan from the moment my gaze met his; the telltale crimson pupils and coppery skin was visible even from the dim, strangled moonlight that reflected through the thin, lace curtains over the window he had just climbed through. Even though he was not one of the ones my mind's eye had just been picturing I still scooted back toward the far corner of my bed, subconsciously seeking protection from my quilt and the wall behind my back. No hint of emotion crossed his face as he stepped forward, my eyes widening as he inched slowly closer and closer.

By now my mind had retreated to the back of my psyche, setting up the familiar barricade around my remaining soul without me even having to do anything. My head already had accepted that I was to be attacked again, this time by one of my own race. That was what probably hurt the worst: to know that we shared the same blood, and yet he was about to commit the same sin that the two soldiers had. Didn't he know that Ishballa was going to punish him for this? One could safely say that that wasn't what was on his mind at that moment, that much was for certain. My heart seemed to be beating at four or five times the normal pace, beating a steady tempo against my still bruised windpipe as he turned slightly, sitting down slowly at the foot of my bed. I laid my forehead against my knees, eyes scrunched tight and my fists around my shins, pulling my legs up to hug against my chest. If he was gonna attack me, I could only hope that he would do it quickly. Just get it over with and leave. Maybe this time it wouldn't hurt as bad. He looked more built than the soldiers had been, but one couldn't ever tell what someone's true strength was until they used it against you. It completely shocked my when his strong, calloused hand found my right knee, the muscles of my thigh instantly twitching under his fingers. Dear God, it was happening again, and just like before. Here came the part where he forced my knees apart and shoved me onto my back. I swallowed hard, tears welling up behind my eyelids. This was it. I knew it. My nightmare was happening all over again.

So it came as a complete shock when his palm continued up and found rest on the top of my quivering hand, the other slowly inching down to my chin and nudging my face up from my knees. Instantly I knew that this was not what I was dreading: his touch was feather light, as if asking for my permission. Against the raging little voice that told me to run's wishes I looked up, my eyes finding his again. This time, as I looked upon his face, it was as if he had pulled off a mask while I was cowering behind my legs. His expression was kind and wonderfully soft, the lines of his face deep with concern as his eyes swept once over my cut and bruised form. His eyebrows knitted together, the red of his eyes twinging slightly with carefully concealed pain. I could tell that he knew what had happened to me without even asking: no doubt he knew who it was as well. I opened my mouth, desperately trying to force my throat to work in vain. After a few seconds of strangled whimpers he removed the hand that was on my chin, laying the finger that had nudged my head up onto my lips and silently shushing my attempts at speech. I obeyed his beckoning, closing my mouth and looking up at him with widened, albeit a bit more relaxed eyes. Now that he was so close to me I could take in just how mammoth this man was: he had to be two, maybe three times my size, with arms round and thick as tree trunks. I looked upon the thick, toned muscles that laid just below his flesh with a twang of apprehension. He looked like he could take down whole buildings with those enormous appendages.

He must have caught me staring because I heard him begin to chuckle, quivering the bed beneath us as he looked upon me with kindness. 'You don't have to worry, little one,' he said quietly, the finger that was on my lips tracing lines across my bottom lip, back and forth from corner to corner. 'I shall not harm you.' I shivered slightly as he found a bruise that rested on the right-side corner, his touch sending a jolt of electricity through my system. He felt my jump and removed his hand, eyes hardening as he took in just how many bruises that covered my flesh. His gaze stopped on the large, palm-shaped ones on my upper arms, a low snarl escaping his closed lips. At this I couldn't help but chuckle darkly to myself, wondering what his reaction would be to the ones on my legs. Surely he would explode when he saw those. God, the thought of this mammoth man exploding... there was a scary thought.

I swallowed again, following his gaze with my own as he took in my marred body. Why was he here? How did he know I was here? Were there other Ishballans in the area? Surely not. Not with all the military in this city. It would be suicide for an Ishballan to show their face around Liore with all the... and then it clicked. He was trying to kill himself. He had come to Liore in the hopes that he would be killed fighting against the soldiers. He wished to die in a hale of gunfire, much like the other rebels that came here to fight. Stupid, selfish kids. Every single one of them. And yet, even as anger bubbled at the thought of them sacrificing their lives for such a pointless cause, I couldn't help but let it all go as the man before me watched my eyes and movements. 'Who did this to you?' he asked, voice weighted and seemingly forcefully calm. He was trying his hardest to keep his cool, but I could tell that he was fighting an uphill battle. 'Was it one of the soldiers?'

I gasped slightly. So he did know what had happened to me. If he knew, why didn't he bother to help me? He looked like he could have taken both of the soldiers with ease. No, I was probably just being sensitive. He didn't know. If he did, he wouldn't be asking who did it. I whimpered quietly, eyes falling to my knees as they brimmed with tears. I felt him shift closer and lay his hand on my cheek, the warmth of his skin pleasantly therapeutic against my wet face. I met his gaze again, biting my bottom lip as I nodded. His gaze took on steel for a moment before he forced his rage back again, swallowing his anger with difficulty. He sighed under his breath, thumb caressing my cheekbone. 'I swear to you, little one,' he whispered. 'None of these soldiers will ever even dream of harming you again. I swear if before God and all his angels.'

His words sank through the layers of stone and ice that covered my chest, cutting through weeks of sorrow and agony and sinking into my stagnant heart like nothing had ever happened. His voice was low, almost down to a whisper, and yet what he said resonated through my mind as if he had screamed it in my ear. Other people had tried to comfort me during the last few weeks; everyone from psychologists and doctors to nurses and priests had tried in vain to bring me from my silence. And I had tried as well, but every time I tried to speak that familiar strangled feeling surfaced again, disappearing the moment that I closed my mouth again. It was as if my attackers had never stopped and still had a hold around my gullet, even though they were miles and miles away. I hated feeling powerless against my own mind, but what could I do? Nothing anyone had tried had gotten me to talk yet, and I had begun to feel like my silence would never end, that I would remain mute and suffering for the remainder of my existence. But now that this strange man had come, I felt that stranglehold that my memories had on me slowly ebbing away into nothingness, slowly wearing and chipping off of my heart and throat. For the first time in weeks I felt feeling return to my chest, my very blood singing with life.

He seemed to be able to sense my sudden rush of emotions and scooted forward slowly, raising his arms up toward me with his palms asking for mine silently. On any other day I would have turned and ran. That or just completely froze up. But something about the kind look in his eyes, or the inviting warmth that radiated from his arms, or his promise from before that still lingered in my ears spurred me straight into his arms without a second thought. I didn't regret it, either. The moment my arms wrapped around his thick chest all my sorrows and worries crumbled and turned to dust along with the defenses I had so carefully maintained around my heart (or what remained of it, at least). I didn't care anymore. He could have it all: my body, my soul, my heart, everything. Somehow I knew, in the deepest part of my heart, that he was sent from God Himself to protect me. This was a guardian that was summoned to salvage me from the peril of my self-created abyss.

Somewhere along the line tears had sprung up in my eyes without my noticing and before I knew what had happened my shoulders were shaking, my face buried deep within the safe barrier of his arms as I sobbed silently. Even now, I'm not sure why I was crying. Aan odd mix of extreme happiness, sorrow from the last few weeks, and the sensation of my cold heart slowly coming back to life was just too much to bear. He didn't seem to mind, though. He merely tightened his grip on me, hugging my small frame against him as if for our very lives. We sat like that for a few minutes, my shoulders shaking under the immovable wall of his embrace while his chest rumbled with his quiet, almost inaudible soothing. It was as if his words were made of the most powerful sedative: within two minutes my sobbing had been reduced to silent shivers.

Once I had stopped crying completely I felt his arms begin to slowly nudge me toward my pillow and, being in the near-dazed state that I was in, I had no choice but to obey. But even if I was fully conscious I would have gone along with his requests. All of his movements were exactly that, too: it was as if he wanted me to know that what was going on was completely my decision. I liked it that way, too. Despite how amzingly comforting his presence was, the knowledge that this whole situation was under my control was such a relief in my mind it made me want to break down again. The man gently let me go, leaning so that his back was halfway on the wall and halfway on the bed, making a perfect spot for me to lay down, and this time he didn't even need to ask. Within two seconds I had replaced myself against his chest, this time with my back to his torso and my body facing the same way as his. I sighed quietly as he laid one arm over my shoulders, his hand coming up to rest on the pillow by my head. The warmth from his body seeped through my thick nightgown and to my skin, giving me the sensation of the sun itself shining on me as I snuggled back against him. He let out a small chuckle, head shifting down so that he could kiss the skin just below my ear. The sensation of his warm breath on my bare skin made me shiver with surprise, what seemed to be a small, halfhearted laugh trying to escape from my mouth only to be overtaken and swallowed by a long, silent yawn.

The man chuckled again. 'You are exhausted,' he remarked. I tried to shake my head, tried to give him some sort of signal that I never wanted this moment to end. This was the happiest I had been in weeks, and I didn't know what I was gonna do when it ended. Because it would. It always did. But when I tried to turn my head and tell him no he merely held a finger to my lips, shushing me quietly with an amused glint in his bloodred eyes. 'I can feel it in the way that your movements are delayed and slightly drunken. Sleep now, little one.' He shifted slightly and took his right hand behind his neck, taking hold of a small leather strap that had been concealed by his shirt collar and liftring it over his head. It wasn't until he pulled it all the way off and held it before me that I could see it for what it really was: a wonderfully ornate Ishballan cross dangled on the end that had been on the side against his chest. He reached over with his free hand and took my own, lowering the necklace into my palm before clasping my fingers around it.

I could only stare blankly up at him as he moved, my jaw threatening to drop five or six inches. Once again, all attempts at speech came out as garbled, incoherent psychobabble so I stopped and closed my mouth again. The man let go of my hand and replaced his arms around me, kissing me gently on the forehead once. 'I want you to promise to keep this safe for me, okay?' he asked quietly. 'Every time you begin to think negatively, I want you to feel my presence through this. Use it to remind yourself that you're not alone.' I nodded, clinging desperately to his every word as if they were the only cure to a deadly disease. And in a way... they were. He had broken down all my defenses and layers of ice that had surrounded my heart for so long just by holding me. He'd done more in the last two hours than half of Liore could do in a month.

He laid his hand on the back of my head, gently nudging me onto his chest. 'Sleep, little one,' he said quietly, running his fingers through my hair. 'I will never abandon you. Never fear being alone ever again.' I obeyed his words, laying my head back above his heart and closing my eyes. With one last sigh of contentment I felt consciousness ebbing away, the sound of his steady, strong heartbeat lulling me quickly and gently into sleep.

It seemed like only moments later I was awoken again, this time to another voice. This one was chattery and high-pitched, one that I recognized very easily. It belonged to Isabelle, the old nurse that had taken it upon herself to become my primary caregiver while I was still recovering from the attack. I slowly opened my eyes and blearily peered around the now brightly lit room. It took a few seconds for the events of last night to trickle back into my mind... wait, were they events? Was it all a dream? It had to be. The thought of a strange Ishballan man coming to me in the night and healing me of weeks of mental damage was just too much for even my strung-out mind to wrap itself around. I turned on my side to look at where my mind told me he had been laying and, sure enough, just wall and bed laid before my eyes. It was as I had expected...all a dream.

It wasn't until I went to rub at my slightly puffy eyes that I noticed what my right hand was clutched around. In my half-conscious stupor, I hadn't even noticed that my hand had been holding anything until it was staring me in the face. I jumped slightly, opening my fingers slowly and allowing the pendant to fall from my hand. After it registered why I recognized this necklace I all but had a stroke, my breath catching in my chest and my heartbeat racing to an inhuman crescendo. It hadn't been a dream. The Ishballan man had been real, and this was tangible evidence of it! I brought my hand back down, cradling the metal pendant against my chest as tears of joy welled up in my eyes. So what the man had said was true... he wasn't gonna leave me. If he had wanted to leave for good he wouldn't have told me to keep the necklace safe. I sighed, turning to face the wall and allowing the tears to spill over and down my face.

And then the most miraculous thing happened. In a moment of complete subconscious willpower I opened my mouth and muttered three words.

'I love you.'

Kyahahaha, DONE! I've been on-and-off working on this since 4 this afternoon! (It's about 1:15 am now) I'm so proud of myself. Now, Off to dA to copy and paste! :'D

Thank you for reading my latest brainfart. Reviews are always loved and encouraged! -Exile