Flames
By Henrika

Henrika- Wanted to do something with Roy and Ishval. Based more off the manga timeline because Maes was in Ishval there.


Roy hadn't been able to face the happily crackling campfire the first night he had returned to the military encampment in Ishval. The small flames seemed too innocent; unlike the ones he had used that day, the ones that had sent innocent people and rebels to horrible deaths. He could hear their screams among the crackles of the flames and the sound echoed over and over in his ears until they rang. He had retched in the sand before stumbling to his cot; shivering from more things than just the cold as night fell on the desert.


The same thing happened for the next two nights, until Maes finally noticed his absence and his uneaten rations. He had found him at the base of the dune beyond view of the camp. Hughes had rubbed his back while he dry-heaved, and then offered him his canteen of water when he finally stopped. "You can't keep doing this."

"I…"

"You're doing your job Roy."

"But…"

"C'mon." He pulled Roy to his feet, dragging the resistant man back to camp. But Roy was amazed to find that the fires had died in the time he had been gone, that only the embers were left. He ate that night and warmed his hands, though he still shivered as the scent of burning flesh assaulted his dreams.


She had saved his life again today. Her vigilant eyes and perfect aim had taken out a sniper who had been hunting him through the wreckage of the city. He'd had to wait until that evening to thank her, as an ambush had closed in on them even as the rebel sniper had fallen from his roost. He'd snapped his fingers as they approached, the killing motion becoming too familiar and routine now.

They walked back to camp together, Maes joining them as they walked. Roy hung back as they approached the blazing fires. He had finally been able to stop throwing up each night, but dealing with actually sitting by a full fire, not just embers, had been impossible.

Riza noticed his reluctance and somehow seemed to know immediately what was causing it. She re-shouldered her rifle and walked back to him, pulling on his arm until they both sat down on the sand. "You're afraid of it, aren't you? Of what you can do?" He found himself nodding. She reached out a hand to touch his. "You're cold." She said. "It's not wise to go through a cold desert night without some warmth." Maes casually disappeared at that point.

"What are you…?"

She cut him off by gathering him against her. He relaxed against his will, suddenly afraid of being accused of fraternization, but the though slipped his mind as he began to feel Riza's warmth seep into his body, her soft voice against his ear promising, "You're the person I'll protect."


The next night; he, Riza, and Maes ate together at the bottom of the dune.


The next night, the trio ate together at the edges of the camp.


The next night, they ate with everyone else, next to the full heat of a blazing fire.


The next day, Roy killed a young Ishvarlan man who was almost as terrified as he was; had snapped and he was gone. That night, both Maes and Riza had rubbed his back while he retched in the sand.


The next day, he had snapped his fingers and let the crackle of the flames drown out the screams. That night, he'd stared into the flames and wondered what made something good or bad.


The next night, his friends had stayed by him as he wondered if his flames would consume him one day as well. He'd let Riza hug him again and Maes console him, but he's stared at the fire as it died and found his answer.

Good or bad, he was going to burn either way.


Henrika- Ah, angsty Roy. I am happy.