Word Count: 1511
Genre: Drama, Angst
Characters: Roy, Riza
Disclaimer: I don't own Hagaren!
Author's Note: Originally written for the lj community, "Notemeetsletter" for the challenge, "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls. (They just happen to be my favourite band haha.) It didn't place or anything but I still enjoyed writing it so I hope you like reading it. I kind of plagiarized myself in this, in that I used a line from my other story, SinkSankSunk in it that I liked. You'll find lyrics from Iris and other GGD songs, (Naked, Bulletproof) interspersed throughout this. Hope you like!!
"Hold on Roy-boy, we're gonna get you home."
Stupid Hughes. Stupid glasses.
"Stay with me, okay? Roy?"
I don't think I want to, anymore. Maybe I've finally given up. There's a bullet in my side; burns on my legs. There's a hole where my chest used to be.
I've finally given up.
"Roy? Roy, open your eyes. Open your eyes, Roy. Wake up."
His voice comes in, blurry, distant… Distorted… I don't want to listen. I don't want to wake up.
"Damn it, don't do this to me. Roy!"
My friend leans in, checking my pulse with his rough fingertips. Maes Hughes - the family man - we all called him. A nerdy guy with glasses and the perpetual book under his arm, he's always been there for me. He's obsessed with his wife, in a way that starts out as endearing and then becomes annoying until he leaves, and then you realise you miss him and it becomes endearing again. He vowed to help me to the top, but he's got his work cut out for him because now I'm pretty sure I've hit rock bottom. He's trying to save me, but I don't know if he can.
He leans closer. He smells strange, not like his usual cologne – "It's my wife's favourite!" – but instead, he reeks of gunpowder and regret, and it's wrong, so wrong - just one more thing so sick, twisted, and damaged like the rest of this place. This place… This mistake… How did I get here?
I know how I got here.
"He's fading. Someone get a medic!"
There was a girl.
Blonde, quiet… I liked her. She was the daughter of my teacher. When I was a teenager, learning how to control the ways in which I played with fire, I lived with her. Her father was an ornery old thing; eccentric and rather demanding of her. Rather than speak to her, or even beat her, he carved his work into her back – a magnificent alchemic array with all the secrets of wielding fire entwined in the strange maze of lines and symbols. He told me to memorize his masterpiece as he was on his deathbed. I don't know that I'd wanted to follow in his footsteps, but I wanted the truth, and so I ran my hands over the surface of her smooth, smooth skin and burnt the image into my mind.
Later, she asked me to burn the array off of her skin, scarring it beyond the recognition of any alchemist. I did.
It was the best and worst use of my abilities at the same time. When we were young, so young, it made no sense at all. How could someone so knowledgeable, so great as her father was, be such a terrible man? And how could I help her forget him and move on, by leaving her a charred souvenir, a branding upon what he'd left for her?
I didn't understand it, but she'd wanted it that way, and so I did it.
There was so much shame in me afterwards, and so much remorse for still thinking her a child – stuck on Daddy's past, his late nights and early abuse – that I left. I chose my career over her, and left.
The army always had a need for alchemists, and I had a want for power and control. I decided to get to the top, and so I went, moving forward all the way.
…She followed me.
They sent me here, to this place called Ishval, to end a rebellion. Civil war, they said. It happened after shots rang out from empty guns; the two sides had been on the verge of this for years, and it was inevitable. Calm the riot, they said. Stop the fighting. Make peace.
But really, how the fuck was I supposed to do that? I'm a glorified pyromaniac. The only thing I could do was burn the entire country of Ishval to the ground, and you can't make peace with the shattered pieces of the lives you ruin with war. I remember asking what I was to do here, in this place where everything is made only to be broken. What can I do? I'm not even from this country. I shouldn't even be involved.
I remember thinking that. The next second, an Ishvallan kid was dead because of a misfire from one of our own, and then we were the enemy. I became evil in a heartbeat, simply because of my uniform, and completely without my choosing.
When they sent me to the field, I was untouchable. At first, I think it was simply fear. Once the Ishvallans saw the lightning that came from just the snap of my fingers,
they ran for the hills. Then, when they started getting brave enough to combat me, they never got far. Always, after reaching a certain distance from me, they dropped like flies.
"Gotta love those snipers." My subordinate had said. "That Hawkeye's really got your back, sir." Hawkeye?
It was her father's name. I guess that was the one thing she kept from him.
At first I think I was creeped out. This chick basically followed me across the world, and at that point I hadn't spoken to her in years. She'd sent me a message once, but I hadn't responded. It was all too weird, and responding meant that I was interested, which of course I wasn't. Not then.
But now, as I'm lying here bleeding and fading away, I realise that she had done me both disservice and favour by making me invincible. She'd protected me for so long, and without any words or repayment, but she'd missed this one. Now without her, I didn't know what to do. Usually the Ishvallans couldn't catch me, but this time they'd found a damn good aim and taken their shots. My flames had backfired afterwards, when my vision went spiraling downward from the pain.
She'd made me bulletproof. When she wasn't watching my back with that gun in her hands, I was so stupidly mortal again.
Maybe I should have married her, or something. Maybe Hughes was right; I needed a wife. Someone to wait for me to come back from my battles, with scars and stories to tell as she cooked for me. Someone back home.
But the thing is, she followed me, so even though she wasn't like any of my other girls, I don't think she could have done that for me. I don't think she could have kept house while I went off and played with the big boys.
"Lieutenant Havoc, go get Crenshaw. He's got more bandages than me."
Then again, we'd been through a lot together. Maybe… maybe it was good that she came here. Maybe it was comforting for me to have someone watching after me, even if it was without my permission.
"What the Hell happened, Hughes?! He looks awful… Colonel? You still there? Colonel?"
…Maybe I didn't need her to wait back home for me, because she was already home to me.
"Just go get Crenshaw! Roy, wake up. Roy! COLONEL ROY MUSTANG, OPEN YOUR EYES!"
I don't want to open my eyes to this place. I don't want the world to see me like this. I don't think they'd understand. They wont get why I gave up.
She wont get why I gave up.
"He's tending to three other guys, Hughes, but they wired a medivac. It's on its way. I took this stuff from him –"
I hate this, and I'm can't hold on much longer, but I'm not going to open my eyes, and I'm not gonna cry. I'm a man, damn it, and I can't fight tears that aren't even coming anymore.
"We need to cauterise his wounds. Fuck, irony, he's the fire guy!"
Don't let her see me like this…
"Havoc, give me your lighter."
I'm so tired, so damn tired, of all of this. And if I wake, I wake not to her, but to the hot Ishvallan sun, and not even the desert sands will stop me from drowning in this ocean of regret I'm sinking in now. It's all over.
I'm sorry, Riza.
Since she joined after I had risen in rank, she had ended up being my subordinate. I guess I never could have touched her anyway, with her being beneath me.
"Just do it. Roy, don't turn to ashes, we're fixing you now."
I just want you to know who I am, but who I am is gone.
"Hughes, the medivac's here."
"I'm almost done."
It hurts. It stings.
"Okay, get him up. Come on, Colonel. I can't help you rise to the top if you're six feet under. You'll be okay."
I am fading.
"You okay, boss?"
I am fading.
"He'll be alright, as long as we can get him out of here. Get Hawkeye, I'm sure she'll need to see him. Hold on, Roy-boy. We're gonna get you home. "
…I fall apart.