Prologue- In to the night

The night was dark and bitter, yet the depth of wind did not register within his mind. Roy Mustang stumbled through the streets of Central, his movements unfocused and sporadic, each knock and scrape dulled by the alcohol. He was drunk. Well, drunk did not quite cover it. Drowning would probably be closer to the truth. But it didn't matter, something had to be done to block out the pain and misery he not only felt but gave to the world. The streets were quite empty considering the time of night, so he made his way slowly through the alleyways; taking himself back to the empty rooms he called a home. It wasn't as if anyone would care about his appearance now, no one would notice if he didn't bother coming back at all. Well, Hawkeye would probably notice his absence in a few days, but that would be all. No family, no one to come home to...

His thoughts stopped for a moment as he stumbled slightly, leaning against the wall for support. The world lurched forward, spinning uncontrollably, threatening to take him to the comforting darkness. He fought it off. Before he did that he must return home. He gazed up at his surroundings, frowning slightly. This did not look familiar, not at all. He shuddered slightly as the winter chill finally hit his bones. Roy stumbled forward, only to lose his balance and land painfully on the cobbled floor. His head swam, unconsciousness threatening to overwhelm him, his mind fighting, fighting, loosing...

"Well, well well, this was definitely the last place I would have picked for you." Roy groaned as he heard a voice address him.

"God, this is pitiful. Roy Mustang balanced on the edge, overlooking his own person hell, drunk in a fucking alleyway." The voice sneered. Roy turned on to his back, staring up at the speaker. The figure was donned all in black, long straight hair flowing over its shoulders. It looked tall, but not overly, its frame only small. He squinted at it, attempting to make out a face. However, the dark locks obscured it from view.

"Who..are you." He slurred, continuing to stare at the figure.

"Why do you care? Why do you care who comes across your pathetic excuse for a life form tonight?" Roy groaned and closed his eyes. He couldn't handle mind games.

"What do you think you are doing boy?" Roy's eyes snapped open. That voice, those words...He attempted to sit, to shuffle back.

"You're not... you can't be..." He hissed. The figure moved forward a few steps, letting a hysterical laugh loose.

"Of course I'm not. Do you really think I could be? More to a point, I thought you did not believe in things of that nature, oh hero of Ishbal." Roy cringed at the name. The figure laughed once more.

"Finally a reaction. Now, Mustang, answer me this. What do you think you are doing? Here. Now. What are you doing?" Roy turned slowly onto his side, pushing himself into a reluctant sitting position. He glared at the shadowy form.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" he hissed in return.

"Putting yourself in a watery grave I would say." Roy smirked at the figure, before nodding ever so slightly. The figure took two steps closer, closing the gap between them. Oddly enough, Roy could see no more distinctive features of it than when it had been at a distance.

"Now why, Flame Alchemist, would you want to do that?" it asked. Roy laughed, a hollow, empty sound.

"Why? You ask why? Why the hell not! I'm a pathetic excuse for a living creature, as you say, so why the hell not end it all! Every choice I've made has only brought pain and destruction to people. I've achieved nothing. What's left now? "he cried bitterly.

"Are you saying you could have done it differently? Made a better choice?" The figure asked.

"If I'd known... maybe. But then again, no matter what I would have done, it would have all been useless. I'll have made the same mistake." Roy murmured, turning his head away from the dark spectre.

"Is that what you think?" Roy moved his head and looked questioningly at the figure.

"Everything hangs by a single moment in time. One simple move in a different direction and it all shifts. Fate is but a fragile string, sever it and you never know what you might create. One opposing choice may be the difference between life and death. You can never tell." Roy snorted.

"Right I'd like to see that." He laughed. All of a sudden a sharp pain cut through his chest causing him to scream. He stared down to see clawed dark hands gripping at his chest, dragging him downwards. The figure loomed overhead, dark tendrils of dead straight hair, falling across Roy's face. The spectrum seemed too extended, blocking out the alley, closing off the world, smothering his pain filled cries. The world dimed, sucked into the increasing shadows. The figures head moved forward, falling ever closer to his own. But still he did not see a face.

"Let's go then." It whispered as Roy fell into darkness.


A/N: What do you think?