"Colonel... If you die, I won't cry."

Roy raised a questioning eyebrow, letting his arms slip from across his chest to his sides.

"Fullmetal, what-"

"I won't, okay? I won't be sad, and I won't cry."

Roy regarded the blonde sitting on their bed, dark eyes tinged with dull yellow from the streetlight outside. The usual confident, snarky shield in his gold eyes had cracked, allowing a true piece of his soul to be glimpsed. He was scared... worried... but there was a determination there, one that had always been.

The colonel didn't know what to think at that moment, when Edward looked so pleading. What... what was going to happen? Did Edward know something he didn't?

He stepped forward, silent, and gathered the small alchemist in his arms, one hand stroking through blonde bangs and unbound hair. After a moment, Edward gently pushed on his shoulder, coaxing him to let go and giving him a watery grin.

The movement of Roy's pen became slower and slower, the scratching sound finally ceasing. He set it down on what he'd been signing and leaned back in his chair, covering his face wtih one hand.Chilled fingers cooled the heat, but they let the tears slide by abd leave salty trails.

Half expecting Edward to come bursting through his office door at any moment and leave yet another dent, then cackle in that maniacal way of his about Roy being such a pansy, he couldn't help but chuckle, causing the wetness welling in his eyes to trickle away.

Colonel... If you die, I won't cry.

"I won't, okay? I won't be sad, and I won't cry.

So you're not allowed to cry... if I'm no longer here."

Roy let his hand fall unceremoniously back to the arm of his chair. A long moment later, that hand took up his pen once more and cotinued to scratch away at the documents on the desk. There were no tears to stain the paper, nor to make the ink bleed.

"It's a promise, okay?"