AN- xXsilentwhisperXx--eh, they can't all be angsty, y'know? i've always been a fan'a happy endings.
flOofymikO--see, that's why school is stupid. :nodnod: and hey, a sad pathetic sick demented fangirl is the best thing to be! XD i love your long reviews!
Lieyan--0.0 i didn't even catch that!...but you're right, though! lmao!
ThatLittleBlondAngel-- n.n;; so sorry bout the delays, life is crazy and writer's block sucks, heh...
kamaria-- ooh, thanks for reviewing. my advice? hm...make sure you plan out at least partially what you want to do from start to finish. leave room for improvisations, obviously, but know where you're going or you'll get stuck. find a beta reader! i know for a fact that typos/bad grammer turn tons of people off. (i.e. starting a new paragraph every time someone new speaks, using 'your' and 'you're' correctly, same thing with 'there, their, and they're') and listning to music always helps me break writer's block, so i'd try that if you ever do get stuck. if it's fanfic you're writing, then make sure the charas are IN chara--watch the show/movie/whatever a billion times or so. heh...was that too much info?
unexpection--...i have no idea how Finding Nemo showed up in that chaoter...but that was NOT the intent! XD heh, i'll be changing that...i love how wonderfully dirty your mind is...i SO should have added a smut-chapter!
Katalys-My Death Wish--glad you reviewed! you're the only one so far to fav A Pleasure To Burn, and i wanted to say thanks.
Phantom Kensai--er...was there anything in the world we DIDN'T go over in our e-mails? heh, don't think so. btw, big thanks for the fma ova, my friends and i are convinced that's fma on crack. lots and lots of crack.
Puddles24--oh, isn't it? i LOATH writer's block, it fucked up this capter completly!
noirRomance--why thank you!
...have i mentioned i hate this chapter? talk about going out with a fizzle...
HI! sorry for the month-long wait again, it's been...a crazy time. sad thing is, this chapter is the shortest, and it took the longest to write ;...plus, i randomly decided to change this last chapter from my typical past tense to presant...-.-...note to self: NEVER do that again! my apologies if the tensing is off a bit, i...kinda rushed that.
homigod my last chapter! this fic ended up being my fricken LIFE! wooow...
To Turn the Dream Immortal
Outside, it's raining.
It hasn't poured this hard in weeks, maybe even months—the weathermen have been squawking endlessly over the radio about droughts and heat waves. Roy can't help but find it ironic that the same towns that had been flooding this time last year are now completely parched. Everything really does come full circle, after all.
Just look at him. It hadn't been too long ago that a rainy night such as this would have meant the Flame Alchemist lying awake all night, probably with some booze to keep him company on top of it. But now…well…things are different now. Things are better.
Roy yawns, shifting a bit to get comfortable. He's careful as he does so to not disturb the slumbering figure lying next to him; she's a light sleeper, and it's extremely late. Both of them are quick to awaken, actually—one more lasting memento from Ishbal and the military conditioning that had gone with it—but Riza has it down to the point of it being slightly scary. Let him even start to fidget, or moan just once, and she'll be sitting up beside him, shaking his shoulder gently to prod him awake. She calls it her duty as his subordinate and lover, if she mentions it at all. He calls it pretty damn impressive.
Usually, though, they don't talk about it, just like they didn't talk about it during the war. Back then, the only restful nights to be found for Roy were when she was on guard….but he never told her so, and probably never will. There's no real need; he's quite sure she's figured it out all on her own.
Besides. Talking about it—or any other of the million other things Riza does for him on a regular basis—seem to make her uncomfortable; to her mind, what she is doing is nothing special. It's something she has to—wants to—do…her life is spent ensuring his wellbeing, even now that they've 'gotten together' (to quote Hughes).
Roy still can't help but be slightly scared at the fervor with which Riza clings to him. He still feels uneasy sometimes, still feels as if he's pulled her in over her head. He's still afraid of losing her.
He still blames himself for the single, pale white line above her eyebrow—a scar left over from Greed's fist.
(But Riza still blames herself for his eye, so maybe it all evens out, in the end.)
Over the past year, though, he's learned to shove those fears down deep inside of him as best he can. It's not as if he could ever attempt to push her away again like he once had—there's no way it'd be possible, not now. As tightly as Riza clings to him, well…he clings right back.
He'd asked her once: "If I did something stupid, really stupid, would you still stay?"
She'd answered calmly, without a trace of hesitation: "Of course. After all, someone has to make sure you keep the stupidity to a minimum." Her response freaked him out as much as it thrilled him.
Because it does thrill him, without doubt—here's this beautiful woman essentially telling him she'll never leave. But what on earth has Roy ever done to deserve such unwavering loyalty! Even now, he isn't sure.
Even now, he still sometimes feels like a boy who'd managed to get his hands on an adult magazine, flipping through the pages with guilty excitement. Loving Riza is like tasting something forbidden—forbidden, but oh so sweet.
He's cautious--so cautious--every single day, to make sure everything is as perfect for her as he can get it. He wants Riza to be happy, wants it more then anything in the world. He doesn't want anything to go wrong.
He won't let anything go wrong.
Early on in their relationship, filled with this crazy desire to turn the dream immortal, lest she change her mind and leave him--
(and there's no real chance of that ever happening, he knows on some level, but still…when he looks at her, feels his heart catch in his throat, feels his mind shut down all thoughts but those pertaining to her and to her beauty, he knows that he is too entwined with her to ever be able to let go—he fears having to.)
--he'd even gone so far as to try and reason with the demons that lurked in his subconscious. Because they were still there, no mistake—they're still there now. Even his Riza can't completely chase them out. His crimes, whether he deserves the blame for them or not, are too real, too large, to ever simply fade away…
But, Roy thought at the time, maybe they could be controlled. Maybe. It was worth a shot.
His chance, as it turned out, came a few weeks after he'd moved into her apartment. (Technically, his is the bigger one, but the place's so dirty it in all honesty needs to be condemned.) He hadn't been bothered by a bad dream since they'd begun sleeping together, so to find himself suddenly in the midst of one after so much time had gone by was something of a shock—and that was putting it mildly. Roy doesn't exactly enjoy having those nightmares.
Except the dream hadn't been the same, not this time. Instead of being caught in a burning maze of ruined streets, he'd landed in…well…he wasn't sure, exactly. It didn't seem to be any one place in particular….sometimes it looked like he was in front of Central Headquarters, sometimes out in the middle of a lonely desert, sometimes…sometimes in Ishbal, but not the destroyed version he was accustomed to. This was an older, quieter city….Ishbal as it once had been. And sometimes it didn't look like he was anywhere—sometimes there was only white.
Wherever he was didn't concern him, though—there were more important things to focus on.
It was weird….as far as he could tell, he was alone, and yet he could sense the presence of people besides him. Wisps of shadow, soft breathing that wasn't his—glimpses of others out of the corner of his eye. An unsettling situation…but Roy'd been in worse.
"Listen," he'd said, his voice louder then he'd expected in that emptiness, "Listen. I know I fucked up. I'm not asking to be forgiven. But, it's just that…it's different now and…" He'd had to stop for a moment to gather up his fumbling words, wanting to make sure he said exactly what he meant to. "Riza, well….for whatever messed-up reason, she loves me and…"
and I don't want her to have to suffer too. I know I can't expect much after this life, and once I'm dead I'll take whatever punishment I've got coming to me. But, right now, as long as Riza's here…I don't want to make her worry. I don't want her to have to constantly keep checking to make sure I'm alright. I need her to be happy.
It was at this point that Roy got the sense his demons—his whatevers—were listening intently, and knowing they were at least considering the idea was a helpful rush of courage to keep going.
I don't really have a right to ask this...but I'm asking anyway. I'm not asking for me, I'm asking for her. I'm asking for Riza.
He fell silent, waiting. He could almost see them weighing the idea. And then…
Then there was this wild feeling rising in his chest, and Roy knew his proposal had been accepted.
He woke up right about then, filled with the idea that there'd be no more nightmares, no more dark hours filled with insomnia and mute terror. Not as long as he had Riza. A truce of sorts had been called—his demons were willing to back off for a while. Never mind what this meant for him—Roy was just content knowing he wouldn't run the risk of dragging Riza down with him.
It's the last bad dream he can remember having, and it wasn't, truthfully, even that bad a dream. Not really.
So maybe it hadn't been a real, full-fledged nightmare. Maybe it'd been more of a warning—you've gotten your peace of mind, but don't get cocky. Everything you have can still be taken away. Careful.
And Roy's been careful, as careful as he can be. In his mind, it isn't all that much to ask, considering what he's getting. Peace of mind, for one…an easy sort of comfort…someone who's always there, no matter what, each and every single moment….god. The way his life had turned out. God…
There's a soft sigh from next to him—Riza's probably sensed he wasn't sleeping.
"Heh….you and your scary sixth sense," Roy chuckles to himself, resting his head back on the pillow. She instinctively moves over towards him; he hooks an arm around her waist to pull her even closer.
Yeah….this really isn't bad.
The funny thing is, he could have had it all so much earlier, if he hadn't screwed things up in the beginning like he had. He still finds it hard to believe that Riza could have ever doubted his feelings for her—to him, it'd been such an obvious fact of life, he's surprised the entire world didn't notice. Amazing what a change in perspectives can show you.
In the end, though, it doesn't really matter.
Maybe it all really is just a dream—it's possible, anyway. Roy sometimes still wonders if he'll ever wake up. Although, if this life's all just idle dreaming, then he's been dreaming it for over a year now….it seems some things really could withstand the test of time. And if it is just a dream, then Roy's plan is to, quite simply—keep sleeping.
"Roy." Riza's eyes are still shut, but her voice is clear. "You're not sleeping…?"
He rests his head against hers, arm tightening around her. "Just woke up for a sec."
"I would recommend getting some sleep…you have an important meeting tomorrow, remember?"
"Bleh. Do I really have to go to that?"
"Well, considering you've already blown off the last three meetings…"
"….Is that a no?"
"Roy, go to the meeting. It's not like you ever listen anyway."
"I listen! ...Sometimes."
"You never pay attention in those meetings. Never."
"I can't help it." His voice lowers a notch or two, curving seductively into her ear. "How can I be expected to focus in on all that boring political garbage when you're sitting right next to me? Some old guy is going on about the economy or something, and I'm supposed to pay attention to him instead of daydream about what we'll be doing later on that night?"
"The inner workings of the country you lead are being discussed right in front of you, and all you can think about is sex!?"
"…You make it sound like such a wrong thing to do."
"….Go to sleep, Roy."
There are a few silent moments…Riza's breathing becomes deep and even as she drifts back off to sleep. The only sound now is the rain falling against the house.
It hadn't been too long ago that Roy dreaded the rain. But now, even on a night like this, when there are bursts of lighting and roaring thunder claps every few seconds, he's ok. More then ok. Much more.
Hadn't it been a night just like this one that he'd spent struggling through a hellish dream, some ditz at his side? What'd ever happened to her, anyway? He still isn't sure what her name was. Not that it really matters all that much.
Let the storm rage all it wants to. Roy isn't anxious over it anymore. He knows there aren't any nightmares waiting for him—and even if there are, his Riza will be there to chase them away.
There are things in life that are just destined to happen. Roy likes to think of his relationship with Riza as one of them. Finally, after so many unhappy years, he can rest…
Outside, the rain thuds against the roof with increasing furor. The wind continues to pick up, and the windows rattle with every gust. It's simply a freezing, miserable night.
Inside, it's warm, inside, it'scomfortable—inside, it's perfect. Inside is Riza. Inside is Roy's only real reason for living. And as long as Riza is there, well…he isn't about to stress out over anything, storm or no.
Basking in the quiet, Roy's last few concious thoughts are sleepy musings on whether he'll be able to ditch both the meeting and Riza tomorow long enough to re-rewrite his miniskirt plan. In no time at all, he's fast asleep.
wow. the last chapter. it's been a wild ride, eh? THANKS A BILLION for sticking with me and reviewing all this time--ever since october! it really was a great way to start out my ffdotnet career, i got the courage up along the way to do a heck of a lot more then i usualy do. (usually i'm quite wary about online-postings.) frankly, i think some of you guys (you know who you are, miko!) were waay nicer then this thing deserved...rereading it makes me shiver >>;.
like i said, i don't have any other fulllength fanfics in the works till at least summer starts--but i do have some ideas now, including a M-rated one i think i might end up doing, heh. however, i'll still be lurking around here, writing one-shots and editing this story one chapter by one. i'll note in my profile when a chappy gets fixed up, and some of the changes might be pretty big (i'm adding a whole new thing on Greed thanks to Phantom Kensai's advice), so if you have the time, i'd adivse checking that out.
i wanna thank all the little people i stepped on...XD actually, i wanna thank my reviewers. YOU. ROCK. the end. i need to 'specially thank tracycoder, unexpection, and floOfymikO, for being the most awsomest--and consistant--reviewers around. plus, unexpection never killed me for spelling her name wrong a gazillion times running.
well, guess that's about it. man...it's gonna feel weird not having this to work on anymore...
one last review, guys?