The clock on the wall struck midnight. Outside, the rain that had been falling for an hour had finally stopped. A calm, still night took over as the storm clouds parted to reveal an autumn full moon. The moonlight streamed through a nearby window of one of the town houses below; illuminating a bed and the man that lay upon it, thrashing about in his sleep. His black hair stuck to his forehead due to the sheen of sweat that covered his body. As he tossed and turned, a few shaky words tumbled from his trembling lips as tears fell down his face. "No...No dont...please!!!" The old recurring nightmare from his younger years was haunting him once again.
He was running down a dark tunnel. Something was urgently pulling him toward the end of the tunnel. Seeing a light ahead of him, he ran full speed toward it, a feeling of immense dread rising within him. As he drew nearer to the light, he saw it was coming from flames. A number of building were burning. Screams coming from the dwellings told him there were still people in them. He could hear women screaming and children crying. Looking around wildly for help, he spotted a group of soldiers standing nearby with rifles in their hands. He ran to them, but no matter how much he shouted, no matter how hard he shook them, they paid no heed. It was as if they couldnt see or hear him. Hearing glass shatter, he looked back toward the cluster of small houses. A woman had broken a window and was pushing two small children out of the inferno. One of the soldiers raised his rifle and fired three times. The mother and two children fell as the bullets found their mark.
He screamed in rage and ran at the soldiers, but before he could reach them, they disappeared as the scene changed. Before him now was a small room with almost no furniture. Hearing a sob to his left, he turned and saw a sight that made his blood run cold. A small child of about seven or eight sat on the floor in between the bodies of a man and a woman. Their bodies were riddled with bullet holes. They had to be his parents and he had obviously just watched them die. In front of the boy stood a line of soldiers with their rifles pointed right at the child. At the front of the line stood someone he couldnt quite see over the mass of soldiers. All he could make out was jet-black hair and a blue uniform, both of which looked horribly familiar. The boy on the floor looked up and in his eyes was a mix of sorrow, rage, and a hint of fear. With tears streaming down his face, the boy grabbed the gun on the floor between his parents bodies and pointed it at the men in front of him. In a voice that sounded oh-so-familiar to him, the man at the front of the line ordered the boy to drop the weapon. With a cry of rage, the boy cocked the gun and fired. In a flash of red and gold, the bullet and the boy were devoured by a jet of flame. When the blinding light from the flames subsided, nothing remained. The boy, his parents, and the bullet he had fired had been reduced to a pile of ash. The line of soldiers parted, and he finally got a good look at the man at the front. He saw the jet-black hair and the blue military uniform more clearly. "No", he whispered. The man at the front turned and, with a shock of horror, Roy Mustang realized he was looking into his own black eyes!!! He had killed that child in cold blood, but the black eyes that stared back at him now showed no hint of remorse or regret.
As he screamed in horror and denial, the scene changed again. He saw himself marching through the town; burning and killing everything in sight. The look in those black eyes was one of purpose; a soldier who was simply carrying out orders. No regret, no remorse, no feeling at all in those cold, black eyes. The eyes of a killer; a person who knows the damage he was causing, but didnt care. He knew this was wrong, but he did it anyway!!! He was a monster!!! Looking down at his white alchemy gloves, he saw that they were spattered and stained with blood; the blood of the people he had just watched himself kill. Covering his eyes, he screamed in anguish as the demons from his past that he couldnt erase tormented him once again. "Im a murderer!! I deserve to die!!" "No. Youre not.", said a soft voice from above him.
He jerked his head up in surprise and found himself staring into a pair of beautiful brown eyes. Dressed in white, and bathed in light so bright it nearly blinded him, stood Riza Hawkeye. Reaching out her hands, she wiped away the tears that had fallen from his eyes, before pulling him into a warm embrace. When she pulled away, she held his face in her hands and looked directly into his eyes. "You are not evil, you are not cold-blooded, and you are certainly not a monster! You were manipulated into following those orders, the same way I was. We are one and the same. I did terrible things too. But we have tried to do the right thing since then. We have fought on the side of good. You are not a monster! You are a hero! Always remember who you are! Remember what you stand for! But most of all, remember that no matter where you go, no matter what you do, I will ALWAYS be there at your back! I will never leave you! Remember that Roy!"
When he nodded his head, she smiled and stood. She held out her hand and helped him to his feet. She turned to walk away. "Wait!!", he called. She turned back with a smile. "Why are you here?" "To remind you of who you really are. Dont listen to what others say, and dont listen to your inner demons. Remember who you are and what you stand for. If you ever do forget, I'll be there to remind you." With that, she disappeared. The scene around him had changed from one of horror to a peaceful sunrise.
Back in the room in the small apartment, Roy Mustang rolled over in his sleep and smiled. "Thank you Riza", he whispered still in his dream. Like she had done so many times in his life, Riza Hawkeye had appeared and saved him from himself. Like an angel of mercy, she had come to him and chased away the demons of his past; easing his troubled mind. The nightmare that he had been struggling with his entire life would trouble him no longer. His sleep would forever be peaceful now.