One Last Breath of Imperfection, One-shot
I can't say that writing this was easy, but I can't label it as hard either.
Now, I know for a fact that there are a LOT of fanfics that are in relation to this particular scene, so I naturally had to create one of my own. I have a love/hate relationship with this part in the series. Love the scene, but hate that it was even there in the first place.
Hold onto me, love.
You know I can't stay long.
All I wanted to say was, "I love you and I'm not afraid."
She didn't understand why the mission had suddenly gone wrong.
She had thought their confrontation with Envy would have been the last they would face for a while, but when they were ambushed by the failed fuhrer candidates and Edward Elric disappeared, everything appeared to take a turn for the worst.
It was slightly more difficult for her to fight this battle, to protect her back as well as the Colonel's.
However, Lieutenant Hawkeye had been given strict orders not to die, so there was no option of failure here. She must do what she could to survive.
The underground chamber they were in seemed significantly smaller judging by the amount of people that occupied it. Their opponents seemed to be appearing out of nowhere, but in reality they were merely the same ones they thought had been taken out of the fray. It took Hawkeye several moments to remember that they were just like Fuhrer Bradley was; there would be a lot of hits before these men would be down and out for good.
Indeed, one man with a bullet hole in his leg and collar bone lunged toward Colonel Mustang, his sword raised. A swift punch to the face brought the man to his knees, and Hawkeye fired once toward the man, not looking back. There was no time for that.
Whirling around and firing at a second man, Hawkeye caught a glimpse of a shorter man in a white coat standing nearby. The gold-toothed doctor who had instigated the whole skirmish was still as calm as ever. He continued to watch their fight with a look on his face that seemed pleasant, yet he also appeared to be debating with himself about something.
Hawkeye's attention was diverted once more when yet another candidate raised his sword behind Mustang's back while he was grappling with a different opponent. Just as she fired, the man quickly dodged out of the way and lunged toward her, a seemingly dead look in his eyes.
Every shot that she fired at him seemed to just miss him. This one was faster than the others. It would be more of a challenge to defeat him.
The next few moments seemed to pass by in a blur.
She vaguely registered the horrible realization that her weapon jammed. The next moment Hawkeye had been pinned to the floor, the man's arm at her throat. Mustang shouted, and the second he had used to try and help her was the only chance he had to defend himself.
Watching two men take hold of his arms and force Mustang to the floor, Hawkeye struggled against her captors' grip, desperately wanting to grab hold of the gun that was lying a few inches away. The Ishvalan Scar realized that the status quo had changed and he grudgingly stood straighter.
Colonel Mustang was being asked to open a portal of some kind by performing human transmutation, the ultimate taboo among alchemists. Hawkeye knew that he would refuse to do it, but there was the very real possibility of retaliation. Judging by their current position, it wasn't far off the horizon.
What would happen to the Colonel? Would they attack him? Find some way to permanently incapacitate him? The thought of that concept sent bile into Hawkeye's throat.
She felt no loyalty to the military, the very same organization who had ordered them to become killers in Ishval. She served no one else but Roy Mustang. No matter what happened to him here, Riza Hawkeye would still follow him to the end.
She remembered the whispers of her former subordinates and fellow soldiers. Were the feelings she felt toward Roy Mustang purely loyalty to his cause or were they something else? It was an enigma she could not solve. Oh yes, she was devoted to Mustang, no doubt about that.
But the talk of a deeper relationship? No. There couldn't be. Their careers and ambitions came first and were at stake. No romantic bonds could be formed between the two.
But why did was she so scared for him?
She caught his eye for the briefest moment, barely catching what the mad doctor had said. Something passed between the two soldiers, and Mustang snarled a second rejection to the man.
She did not expect it; the sudden flash of pain was suddenly all she could comprehend. She fell forward, and saw the blade that was held by the man who once has his arm around her neck. It was bright red, covered in blood.
There was a horrible realization that it was her own.
All she could see now was an inky blackness. Flashing in and out of consciousness, she struggled to staunch the blood flowing from her neck. She would not die. She couldn't.
She did, however, see what the doctor had done. This had all been planned. They knew Hawkeye would follow Colonel Mustang wherever he went. They used his Achilles heel to their advantage. The Lieutenant was his closest subordinate and the most important person to him. They had put her life on the line just so they could get what they wanted.
And for the first time, it looked as if they were about to.
The man who had committed the heinous act dragged her to the transmutation circle drawn in the center of the room. The blood that had pooled on the floor left an ugly streak with every inch. The pain in her neck grew worse and worse with the roughly jostled movement.
After yet another dip into the black abyss, Hawkeye heard a horrible and agonized screaming; the Colonel was yelling for her. He was screaming and calling her name. All he wanted was for her to answer him, and his yelling grew worse when he slowly began to realize that she couldn't do that.
"Well, Mustang?" The doctor said lightly, his voice smug.
"I'll kill you!" The Colonel snarled and attempted to lunge forward. He almost broke free of his captors' grasp, but they managed to regain their grips and yanked him backward. The pained look on Mustang's face was all Lieutenant Hawkeye could comprehend at that point. She had to war with the immense pain she was feeling and trying to glimpse his face one more time.
Just in case.
"But why, Mustang?" The doctor asked. "After all, she's nothing more than a liability. However, I can save her life if you will open the gate for me."
"Don't you dare call her that!" Mustang roared.
"And yet you won't perform human transmutation to save her. How very cold of you."
It took her nearly all of her remaining strength, but Hawkeye still found the will to speak.
The moment that simple word left her lips, Mustang immediately fell slack and diverted his attention from the gold-toothed doctor.
"There's no need…for you to p-perform…human…transmutation. Don't sacrifice everything…just for
She would not be the catalyst that brought about the fall of Amestris. Riza Hawkeye always swore that she would follow Colonel Mustang to hell if he wanted. That pledge had been established for years. Where they were now….may not have been hell, but it was pretty damn close. In order for him to accomplish his goals, she was willing to die for him, just the way she always was.
However, judging by the look on her superior's face, she could tell that he didn't fully believe it.
Watching them both simply stare at each other, the doctor grew impatient. He didn't see or understand the bond Hawkeye and Mustang shared. He claimed to have raised the failed fuhrer candidates from infancy, but he wasn't close to any of them. He couldn't care less about their wellbeing. How peculiar it was. This man was a human being, just like everybody else in the room and yet he still sided with those who wished to eliminate them.
Hawkeye and Scar continued to watch Mustang wage an internal war with himself. Suddenly, a movement from above her caught Hawkeye's attention.
Glancing out of the corner of her eye, she could see an enormous shape above her. It was impossible to make out what exactly it was, but still she knew. She knew that whoever it was had come to help them. Mustang continued to stare at her, sending a simple message.
What can I do?
That was not the only signal he was giving; the look in his eye was sending her all the messages he could never say. It took Hawkeye all of her willpower to break that contact. Deliberately, she angled her eyes toward the ceiling and back at the Colonel's face. She had to make him understand. Help was here.
With that notion it seemed almost easy to fall into unconsciousness again.
But was it just that?
She could no longer tell; as much as she wanted to stay alive, Hawkeye felt that the darkness was almost welcoming. So was death coming for her after all? Was it going to make her disobey an order and fail in her duty?
She could no longer force it backwards. As the darkness overwhelmed her once more, she felt one last flicker of hope that this time it wouldn't be her last.
Whether it was minutes, hours, days or weeks, Hawkeye didn't know. It was impossible to tell. The darkness was becoming increasingly overwhelming. It was like holding a pillow over your head and having difficulty breathing.
So this is it. I won't be able to tell the Colonel I'm sorry. And yet…why is this my final regret?
It appeared that her sins committed in Ishval would be finding a way to punish her one last time. The muffled voice of Colonel Mustang seemed to be reaching out and attempting to bring her back to him.
"Lieutenant! Lieutenant! Lieutenant!" The voice called out. The desperation and longing was evident. "Open your eyes! Don't you dare die on me!"
But no matter how hard she tried and how much she wanted to, Hawkeye could no longer answer him.
But then…amazingly, amazingly, she found she could breathe again. By some miraculous happenstance, a bright light had surrounded her and forced the darkness away, yanking her back down to a bleak reality. The pain in her neck had nearly vanished; not as bad as it was, but horrible enough to recognize that it was a serious injury.
But that was no longer her main focus.
A pair of arms was completely circling her. She recognized the familiar scent of Colonel Mustang. His arms were tightly wrapped around her shoulders and his cheek was pressed into her hair. Despite everything that had occurred, Hawkeye didn't want him to let go.
But she knew he would have to.
"You understood my signal," She told him weakly. "I don't know how….but I'm glad."
He smiled gently. When he next spoke, she almost couldn't catch the words over the renewed fighting that was all around them. "We've been together long enough. Besides, I know that glare. It said 'use human transmutation, and I'll shoot you."
His voice shook slightly and was a very different one that she had grown used to while they were in the office. It wasn't the cool military persona of Roy Mustang that was with her now. It was merely the man she had spent nearly her whole life growing up next to, her father's alchemy student and the person she cared about the most.
It was easy now; to return the smile and continue acting like everything was all right, even though it wasn't. Hawkeye and Mustang knew full well what could have happened, and neither one liked it.
But no matter how hard they tried, the words on how they truly felt could not be said.
Holding my last breath,
safe inside myself are all my thoughts of you.
Sweet raptured light;
it ends here tonight.
…Yeah. For some reason, I didn't like this too much. The idea was awesome in my head, but when it came to actually writing it down….no. I just couldn't do it properly. Regardless, I hope at least some of you enjoyed it. The song at the beginning and end was My Last Breath, by Evanescence.