Ok, if you have been looking for this fic for the last half a day, I guess, I'm sooo sorry! I was trying to delete another one of my stories because no one's reading it and I accidentally deleted this one. It was really not pretty, said some pretty bad words…anyways, I fixed it now, but I don't have my little beginning/ending blurbs, which included my notes to my reviewers. So, reviewers, thanks for reviewing. Ok, anyways.
WARNING: MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 25. Major. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not FMA, Maes, Roy, Riza…nothing.
Hours later, Roy Mustang was still standing by his best friend's grave, although it had long been covered with dirt, dirt that still carried the echoes of Elicia's screams. Roy sighed, reading Maes's gravestone for the twenty-fourth time.
"Getting a double promotion for dying in the line of duty…Brigadier General Hughes, huh?" he asked the air, and the air seemed to answer with an Ishval memory Roy hoped he'd forgotten, a memory that brought with it painful images of blood and mistakes, a memory that included Maes. He glared at Maes's grave.
"You said you'd support me from below," he spat at it, angry that Maes's long past words had become a lie. "Just what are you going to do now that you've gone higher up than me?" Roy didn't like to show emotion, but that didn't matter anymore. He was so angry at Maes that he didn't feel the grief, nor did he seem to realize that Maes couldn't hear him.
"You idiot," he spat. He could feel the harshness of his own words on his tongue. They tasted like blood.
"Colonel?" came a voice from behind him, and Roy didn't even need to look back. He knew that voice; sometimes he thought he knew it too well. There were moments he heard that voice when he shouldn't have; moments in his dreams and sometimes inside his own head. But Riza never called him Colonel in his dreams, and he never called her First Lieutenant in his imagination. Sometimes Roy wished he could live in his fantasies. Maes had always seemed to live partially in his.
"It's gotten cold. Aren't you going to go back?" Riza's voice cut through his reverie almost cruelly. Her words weren't different from anything she would've spoken normally, but Roy could hear the emotion in them. She wanted to talk to him, to listen to him, to make him feel better. She wanted to help him. He was glad; there was no one else he would've talked to about anything remotely serious or emotional. Riza was the worst person for being non-feeling and cold in the military, but Roy knew that it was only part of her personality. He hesitated, then answered her previous question with a, "Yeah, I will." He wasn't sure yet if he wanted to see the other part of her personality, but she moved so that she stood beside him, gazing at Maes's grave with him. He understood at once. She didn't want to help, she needed to help. He also intuitively knew that he would have to come to her- she would never push him.
"Alchemists are horrible people, First Lieutenant," he told her, coming to her with the words he'd hardly dared think, even to himself.
"Right now part of me is desperately trying to develop a theory on human transmutation. Now I feel like I understand what those boys felt when they tried to transmute their mother." He hated the words the second they were out of his mouth; he knew Riza was the only one who would understand such a confession from him, but he'd crossed a taboo. He wasn't allowed to say things like that, even to her. He doubted he was allowed to think them. Riza looked at him penetratingly, however; her eyes were trying to understand him, not judge him.
"Are you alright?" she asked finally, trying to ask him so much more than those three words, but she knew that saying anything else would no longer be breaking the taboo, it would be dancing on its pieces. Roy couldn't ask her to do that; he wanted to dance with her, but that was neither the time nor the place.
"I'm fine," he assured her, trying to answer everything she'd asked. To his dismay, he couldn't. She wasn't asking too much, nor was he telling too much. They'd been the wrong questions, and the answers had no chance at truth if the questions were full of lies. Roy felt a tear drip down his cheek, and decided to attempt another coded conversation with Riza.
"Oh, no, it's raining," he muttered, gazing at Maes's tombstone, finally feeling the grief. Riza looked confusedly up at the sky.
"It isn't raining-" she began, but Roy shook his head.
"No. It's raining," he assured her, finally looking at her. Her breath seemed to catch in her throat as she watched the tear make its solitary way down his cheek.
"Yes, it is," she agreed softly. Roy tried to smile; it came out as more of a grimace. He knew Riza would understand, though- if she'd understood the rain thing, she would know he was trying to smile.
"Let's go back," he suggested. "It's getting cold." Riza nodded, still hesitant, Roy supposed, about this new way they had of talking. However, she showed quite clearly the next second that their code talk wasn't what she was unsure about. Reaching out, she grabbed his hand. Roy could do nothing but gape in astonishment. Riza had to be the least affectionate person he'd ever met in his life. This wasn't normal for her.
"I'm so sorry, Colonel," she told him, speaking honest, sincere words that matched her eyes. Her eyes were looking right into his. Without thinking, without even considering the possible consequences of what he was about to do, Roy reached out and touched her face, gently cupping her cheek and brushing his fingers against her hairline.
"Thank you, Riza," he whispered, saying exactly what he wanted to say for the first time that evening. Riza smiled, moving a tiny bit closer.
K, well, hope you liked. R&R, please and thank you. Later, Brooke