Title- Dark Night of the Soul
Author - D M Evans
Warnings: canon failed suicide attempt
Summary Roy needs to find a reason to live
Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all
Notes First anime, which is unusual for me nowadays. Written for hc_bingo for the prompt 'attempted suicide'
Roy's hand still trembled as he sat in Marcoh's tent, while the Crystal Alchemist made some crap coffee on a little burner that was more likely to catch the canvas on fire than heat water. It had to be crap coffee. It was the only kind they had in the frontlines, more chicory weed than actual coffee, and extended with god only knew what.
He wished Maes was here, but his friend was back in Central where civilization still hung like a veil. State Alchemists had been afforded no such illusions, thrust into the war whether they wanted to or not, dogs, every one of them. It was bad enough that he killed with his alchemy, but to be sent to murder those traitor doctors for the humane act of aiding and abetting the enemy had been too much.
"I'll be punished for this," he whispered.
Marcoh looked up from fussing with the pot. "You believe in a divine being waiting to mete out rewards and punishment?"
Roy waved him off, the motion nearly sending his drunken ass toppling from the chair. "No, not that. I meant the military."
"You did what they wanted. I'm assuming you were sent to kill the doctors and it wasn't some strange murder. I'd be disappointed that I took the gun out from under your chin if that was the case."
"It was an order. I had to kill them." Roy's face twisted up, the words sticking in his throat. "The brass wanted it to be a good warning to others."
"Ah." Marcoh's eyes clouded. "You were to burn them."
Roy nodded. "I shot them instead: quick, simply." His fingers strayed to his gun, but the holster was empty. Marcoh had the gun.
"Compared to burning to death, painless, a mercy." Marcoh nodded sympathetically.
"It was a rebellion. I'm not Armstrong. No one will protect me." Roy thought about the huge alchemist and how he had broken down. The Armstrongs were important. Roy was an orphan. The only people who might even care he was gone besides Hughes and Hawkeye were his alchemy masters and friends. He didn't even know where Mr. Hohenheim was any more. Roy owed a lot to him as a friend and teacher, but he hadn't had the chance to thank him. At the moment, Roy wasn't feeling all that thankful to those who'd taught him alchemy. He wouldn't be in this mess if he hadn't been so driven to learn.
Marcoh came over with the coffee. It was as awful as Roy expected but he drank it anyway. It took the edge off. "You are right about that. The only protection you or I have is that we can do things with our alchemy that no one else can. You'll probably only get an official reprimand, or at worse a little time in the stockades."
Roy's shoulder's hunched. "I wouldn't care if they killed me." He sipped the coffee, not looking at Marcoh. "I didn't ask you to stop me from shooting myself."
"You dying too would be a waste. What good are any of us if we don't look out for one another?"
"That's all the doctors were doing and it got them killed," Roy replied bitterly.
"And that's all the more reason to keep doing it. They can not kill us all, Flame," Marcoh argued.
Roy didn't believe that. He thought the government was perfectly capable of meting out death to everyone. He would see the faces of his victims for whatever was left of his life. How could he forget the doctor trying to shield his wife with his own body? There was no forgetting the screams of the Ishbalans as they died. Earlier, he had wanted to die but now, he felt too apathetic to even accomplish that. The alcohol was wearing off, so that could be the reason why. "Doesn't make me want to live on," he replied, draining the coffee.
"If we go, who is there to stop them?" Marcoh snorted. "Listen to me. As if I'm not the biggest coward around."
Who was there to stop them? Roy didn't know. He had done a miserable job of stopping anyone. He was a pawn and he hated that feeling. Could he be something more than that? Maybe there was something in Marcoh's bluster. He felt the coffee cup slip from between his fingers then realized it was Marcoh who had taken it. Roy yawned and shut his eyes, even though he didn't want to see the nightmares lurking behind his eyelids. That thought barely lasted the seconds it took for him to fall deeply asleep.
When Roy awoke, it was daytime. He stretched and a rough, military-issue blanket slid down his torso. He was asleep on the floor of Marcoh's tent. By rights he should be stiff as hell and when he moved, Roy felt those muscles pull. His head throbbed so hard, he was afraid he'd vomit all over Marcoh's tent.
"You look awful."
"I feel it. I deserve to feel it." Roy managed to sit up.
"With as much as you drank, yes. Here." Marcoh shuffled over from where he had been reading a thick book. He put his hand, the one with the red-stoned ring on one finger, on Roy's shoulder, then touched the transmutation circle he wore around his neck. Roy had nearly forgotten that Marcoh's alchemy lay in healing. The hangover and muscle stiffness faded.
"Thanks," Roy murmured, meeting Marcoh's eye for the first time since the man had stopped him from shooting himself. "For everything. You saved my life."
"You're welcome," Marcoh said, making those two simple words seem somehow comforting.
"You've given me a lot to think about," Roy said, getting to his feet.
"Feel a little better now," he replied in his best 'doctor' tone.
Surprised by the fact that he actually did feel better, at least a little, Roy nodded. "I'll live. I might even do better than that."
"I have no doubt that you have many things left to accomplish, Flame."
Roy glanced over at the older man, not sure what to make of that. He took his leave and walked out to greet the sun he never thought he'd see again when he had stumbled out of his tent last night. Maybe he did have things left to accomplish. No, there were no maybes about it. One day he would put things right again, or die trying.