Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist was created by Hiromu Arakawa and is distributed by Square-Enix, Viz and Funimation. No profit is made from this story.

The Imperfect Little Soldier

by Anne Packrat

Riza Hawkeye's father, with the scientific and regimented mind of an alchemist, had a specific procedure for everything from alchemical experiments to household chores. Early on he taught them to his daughter, and like a good little girl she did them exactly.

But when an intriguing boy came to study with her father, Riza soon found herself rushing through each step in the hope of gaining a little more time to spend with the newcomer.

Her strict upbringing served Riza Hawkeye well in the military. She obeyed orders without question, a perfect little soldier.

In Ishbal, Riza obeyed every order she was given, but cursed those giving orders, vowing never to follow another command ever again. Then she reunited with her father's student and went back on that vow.

In its place she made a new one, to do whatever the man asked of her, for she had formed an absolute and unshakeable faith in the man called Roy Mustang. Many times since she had pushed herself to the limit in order to accomplish what he asked.

And now, once again, she had gone above and beyond, taking the bullet meant for her colonel.

That colonel who knelt next to her desperately trying to stop the bleeding.

"Don't you dare die on me, Hawkeye!" he cried, "That's an order!"

As her breath rattled in her throat, and darkness clouded her vision, Riza knew with a sad certainty that this would be the one order she would have to disobey.

--Anne Packrat (March 25, 2009)