Disclaimer: I don't own FMA.

You can leave the battlefield, but the war never leaves you.

Everyday he scrubs his hands continuously, to the point of where they're raw and bleeding and covered in scarlet foam. He watches the soapy mixture swirl down the drain, staining the sink the color of a newly opened wound. But no amount of washing can clean the guilt from his scarred hands.

Every night he struggles in his sleep, desperately clutching the sheets to his bed, as nightmares claw at his mind. Glazed eyes, fountains of blood, suffocating smoke. Snapshots of a different time, where killing was second nature and destruction was the main agenda. He could almost smell the repulsive stench of incinerated bodies.

And every night he would reach under his bed and pull out a bottle, and with shaking hands he would twist open the cap and take more pills than absolutely necessary. Then he would slowly melt into the realm of sleep as a symphony of bullets and pained screams would fade back into the past, where they belonged.

But the nightmares didn't restrict themselves just to the late hours of darkness. They would bleed into his waking life, distorting his perception of reality, turning an average day into a hellish wasteland. Familiar faces morphed into those of the enemy, and ordinary objects became crude weapons. He would lash out as his surroundings transformed into manmade ruins soaked in blood and littered with fallen soldiers.

There was only one person who could bring him back to the present. It was her warm embrace and soothing words that would snap him back to reality, where he would unashamedly cry into her blonde hair. She wouldn't tell him that everything would be okay, because she could never bring herself to lie to him. But she would always be there for him, as long as he needed her. And he would always need her.

They considered him to be one of the lucky ones. He made it out alive, with all of his limbs intact and with no fatal injuries. Instead he suffered from something far worse – he lost the only thing that made him human.

AN: Sorry it's so short. I know there are probably some grammatical errors, too. This was inspired by a discussion in my history class about post-traumatic stress disorder and World War II. I'm considering taking on the 100 themes of Royai... would any of you read it? There are already so many different versions of it...