This story is dedicated to Moonrise31 and AnimeFallingStar. I promised them both a Royai fiction, and I finally got off of my lazy ass and wrote it. So this is for them. =3

Disclaimer: I am nowhere as brilliant as Arakawa-sensei. I couldn't own FMA if I tried.

This story is inspired by chapter 95, and has been stewing around in my mind for quite a while.

Commence with the story.

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"I'm such a fool."

"Lower your gun, Lieutenant. I apologize."

Some words you don't forget. Some words sound in your head over and over, like an echo that will not cease. As each echo sounds, reverberates across your mind, they bring back pain you wish you could eliminate from your memory. But sometimes the pain is a good pain. The pain that comes with the echo is a pain that reminds you of things that you still have in your life – things that have not left you behind to travel on through the one-way stream of life. That was the pain that some words brought to First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye.

"Lieutenant?"

Riza's musings were cut short as her commanding officer's voice pierced her thoughts. "Yes, sir?"

Roy gave a glance to Edward and Scar up ahead of them, surprisingly making small talk while searching for the exit of the underground labyrinth in which Envy gave his dying breath. He subconsciously slowed down to put distance between them. Riza imitated his actions.

"Lieutenant… I want to apologize for my actions earlier."

Riza looked surprised. "You already did, sir."

Roy nodded quickly. "But does an apology really suffice for what I did?" When Riza gave no answer, he continued. "I lost myself in my anger. My whole body was filled with bloodlust, and I lost all notion of rational thought. I became an animal, hunting my prey, until either it was dead or I was. There was no other option – no other choice."

He looked up to the ceiling, as if expecting to see the sky above them. His eyes held none of their usual arrogance – only pain. "So many things have happened, haven't they? I lost every one of my closest friends (1), whether to death or reassignment, it didn't matter. Everybody was gone. I had nothing left to cling to in this ever changing world. I lost the anchor I was clinging to so desperately." He chuckled dryly. "It's funny. I always said that when I became Fuhrer, I would change the country, and here I am, desperately attempting to hang to what thread of normality I have left."

When he did not speak again, Riza opened her mouth to speak. But he spoke again before she could. "Everybody needs something to hold on to, don't they? Whether a child their stuffed animal, or an old man his photographs, it doesn't matter. Don't we all need something to hold on to?" He turned to her for an answer. She simply nodded in response. "I have nothing to hang on to, do I? Everything I had has been taken away, swept away in the current." He stopped walking suddenly, and Riza had to turn around to see him. He covered his face with his hand. "Lieutenant…" he started. Then he paused. "Riza… please, be something that I can hold on to. Be my normal in this changing world. Please, Riza – be my constant." He faced her at last, and his eyes were full with pain, and now, a small flicker of hope.

She took a moment to respond. His request had caught her off guard. Then she smiled. "I believe I promised that long ago, sir."

The flicker turned into a flame.

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This is really short, I know, but it says what I want it to say. It actually turned out way better than I thought it would. It just took off on it's own.

(1) I believe that Hughes, Riza, Breda, Falman, Feury and Havoc are his closest friends. They seem to be the ones he would jump in front of flying bullets for.

I hope you liked it, Moonrise31 and AnimeFallingStar~ I'm open to more requests, too. If you have some challenges, requests… anything! =D And it doesn't have to be Fullmetal Alchemist, either. I do all sorts of stories. =3 Oh, but if you request a yaoi or yuri pairing, it will turn out to be crack. You have been warned.

- Sil