By Yellow Mask
Spoilers: All throughout the manga, any significant interaction between Riza and Roy is fair game.
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA.
Summary: She's his weak spot…Royai one-shot.
She's his weak spot.
As the Flame Alchemist, most assume that Roy Mustang's greatest weakness is water. They're only partly right. It is a weakness, just not his greatest one.
Roy's greatest weakness is an intelligent, strong-willed blonde with a reputation as one of the best sharpshooters in the military. His greatest weakness is a woman called Riza Hawkeye.
It's not a weakness he minds having. At least, not usually.
Sometimes though, when she bends down to give him another stack of that hated paperwork, the collar of her uniform shifts and gives him a perfect glimpse of the dip in her throat. He sees that pale skin and feels an overwhelming urge to press his tongue against it, to run the rough muscle across her flesh, taste the salt of her sweat. Sometimes the urge is so strong he has to bite the inside of his cheek to repress it.
When the weather is dry, her lips crack. He sees the chapped skin, starving for moisture, and longs to press his lips against it. He longs for it like a starved man longs for food, like the desert flower longs for rain. There are times he wants to kiss Riza so badly he has to physically fight to keep his arms by his side – to stop those treacherous limbs winding around her until they are pressed so closely together he can feel every inch of the her skin.
Roy both loves and hates the yearly physical. The day when all military personnel don combat gear and perform rigorous physical feats to prove they have upheld the military's standard of fitness. He loves to see Riza's lean, supple body flexing and twisting like some kind of blonde panther. He hates the long, ice-cold showers that inevitably follow.
Sometimes, he wants her so much he wonders how he can breathe.
But it's not just lust. Lust is simple; lust is something Roy knows how to deal with. And while lust is a part of it – as his fantasies remind him daily – but it's not the largest part. While Roy does dream of making love to Riza (he won't call it fucking or screwing. Even in his dreams, there's far too much emotion involved), far more common are the dreams of the innocuous. The dreams of sitting close to her on a couch and reading with her, the dreams of making messy biscuits in his kitchen from a recipe so outrageous she doubts he remembers it correctly.
It's not just lust…not by any stretch of the imagination.
A Valkyrie. That's what she looks like, a Valkyrie. One of those mystical, warrior women of Viking legend, the spirits who slew demons and protected warriors on the battlefield.
Riza Hawkeye. She may not be his guardian angel, but she's definitely his Valkyrie.
Okay, so she's dropped him on his ass in the middle of the street because he's 'useless' when it's raining. He'd be angry, he really would, if it wasn't so typical of her. She's stubborn, incredibly so, and no matter how much that frustrates him at times…he adores her spirit.
Dead, killed, murdered, no longer among the living.
Hughes is dead.
Roy's standing there, staring down at the grave. He doesn't know what to feel, his body seems frozen. He wants to rage, he wants to scream, he wants to bring him back, he wants to pull Riza to him and make her promise to never, never leave him…
But he doesn't. Roy stands there and he cries. He tells Riza it's raining. He feels overwhelmingly grateful when she agrees.
When he asks her to follow him, to stand by him as he struggles to uncover the truth, she doesn't hesitate. He's shaken as he realises just how relieved he is. If she had refused, he isn't sure if he would have gone ahead. Isn't sure if he could have gone ahead without her. He doesn't know when he became so dependent. So…weak.
Then he sees the fire in her eyes and smiles quietly. Who is he kidding? When it comes to Riza Hawkeye, he's always been weak. And he doesn't care.
It's times like this that he can almost admit to himself how much he loves her.
He's won the chess game. He doesn't feel the triumph he thought he would…just satisfaction. He's pleased when the general compliments him, a feeling that disappears almost as soon as the older man opens his mouth again.
'Would you take my granddaughter as your wife?'
'In a heartbeat, sir.' The words nearly make it, if for no other reason than he is surprised. He bites them back, shoving the hopeful fluttering in his chest down.
Goddammit, but why does he feel like a teenager who's just been given permission to date a girl by the girl's own grandfather? He though he was past this giddy, grinning-like-a-fool feeling.
But when it comes to Riza, that calm composure of his weakens alarmingly.
This is her day off. Why is she calling him?
Not that he's complaining, far from it. Why should he complain about hearing her voice? As far as he's concerned, if he went spontaneously deaf and Riza's voice was the last sound he ever heard…he'd still die a very happy man.
'I've caught some weirdo.'
Some weirdo? He does not run to his car, but he trots rather briskly. There was nothing in her voice to cause concern, but there was another in the background, sounding like he was…flirting with her?
Roy refuses to admit he is jealous.
When the hollow armour grabs hold of her around the waist (and Roy can almost see the surreptitious grope), every protective instinct Roy possesses screams into awareness. He adjusts his glove, ready to snap his fingers and burn the presumptuous scrap of metal to molten slag, when she tells him to stop.
It's Barry the Chopper. The wacko who cut up women for kicks. Who now, to all appearances, has a crush on Riza.
This does not quiet those protective instincts in any way.
Anyone listening on the phone would think he's just called a girlfriend for a chat. Roy admits to a small amount of selfish pleasure in such an assumption – it's what he wants with Riza, after all. Though definitely not in this fluttery, gushy voice she's putting on now. No, she would speak normally, nothing to hide, and he'd smile contentedly as they made plans for the evening…
He realises he should really pay attention to what she's saying and get lost in his fantasies later. After all, this is important.
'A guest if honour has arrived.'
A squawk and crackle through the phone, the ringing bang of the gunshot…and nothing. He waits for several seconds, hoping desperately she'll pick up her headpiece and resume their conversation. Any second now, any second…
There's nothing. He starts yelling into the phone, trying to let the sound of his own voice block out the image of Hughes's body sprawled in a phone booth. She can't be dead, she can't be…
Roy tears out of his office so quickly his papers scatter like a whirlwind.
Riza Hawkeye is no ordinary woman. Roy knows this, better than most.
Upon being rescued from an enormous creature intent on devouring her and apparently immune to bullets, an ordinary woman would fall into her rescuer's arms, gushing thanks and praise.
Riza is shouting at him.
Okay, he knows it was a stupid thing to do, he knows he's probably blown their cover…but he was so worried he couldn't think straight. When he was driving here – accelerator pressed to the floor – all he could think of was her. All he could think was that he might lose her.
He agrees wearily, yes, he is an idiot. Yes, he has allowed emotional weakness to get the best of his logical mind.
But he's not sorry in the slightest.
Because he did save her. Without him, there would have been nothing to stop that monster gorging on both her and Fuery. He's probably saved her life.
It's only on the stairs he can give even a hint of how worried he's been. Riza says she's sorry for making him worry, and it's all he can do to continue walking sedately to the car. He wants to spin around, pin her against the wall and kiss her breathless.
He wants it so badly his hands tremble.
Roy's panting from his tirade. Screaming like that, and in his current condition, is exhausting.
Riza hasn't budged. She took everything he dished out without even opening her eyes. There's a slight grimace on her face, and he knows his words must have hurt her.
He's beginning to regret it already. Not the words – they were perfectly justified – but how harsh he'd been. Surely he could have given her the same message without being so…cruel?
But, dammit, he was scared. Riza Hawkeye, losing the will to fight, giving up to an enemy? One part of his mind is wondering if he would have done any different if he'd been told she was dead, but the vast majority of his brain is occupied with the fact that, if Alphonse hadn't been there, Riza would be dead.
The idea is enough to make bile rise in the back of his throat (though that might have something to do with those painkillers he was given), and he swallows several times to try and repress the urge.
He's surprised when a nurse comes in and asks Riza to unbutton her collar. It sounds as though she's checking an injury. Immediately, he reviews the fight – at least, what he remembers of it – analysing every second when she could have been injured. Was a little too clumsy with his alchemy?
But then the collar is undone and the shirt has been pushed to her shoulders. And he sees the bruises. The thick, black marks that engulf her slender neck like spilled ink. He can vaguely make out the shape of huge, meaty hands.
Someone tried to strangle her.
Roy's mouth goes dry. Someone placed their hands around Riza's neck and squeezed, with every intention of ending her life.
Was that why she barely spoke? Because it hurt to talk?
The nurse is still fussing over Riza, asking her to speak, to hum. The final verdict is that she's been very lucky – a few moments more would have done irreparable damage to her larynx.
Riza buttons up her jacket again, her thumb subconsciously caressing the damaged skin. Her eyes close in sudden pain and Roy almost flinches on her behalf. The horrible bruises, on such a tender area, must hurt.
He shifts uncomfortably, aware of a crushing weight on his chest, growing every second his gaze remains fixed on her branded neck.
Roy storms from Havoc's room, and in a perfect world, would have continued down the corridor. But his injury chooses that moment to reassert itself, and he ends up sitting down in a hurry on the dustbin.
Riza follows him, tells him not to exert himself, says his wounds will open. For a heartbeat, Roy is viciously, inexplicably angry. At himself, at Havoc, at the entire world…even at Riza.
How dare Havoc try to give up? How dare Riza actually give up? How dare she stand there, looking at him with such quiet sadness in her eyes? It makes him…it makes him want to…
It makes him want to do things very inappropriate for a hospital corridor. But a hospital corridor is precisely where they are, so he orders her to bring him his uniform instead.
She refuses and he glares at her until she agrees. He's probably being an unconscionable bully right now, but he's still angry. Looking into her sad eyes knifes at him, especially so because he knows he can do nothing to ease her pain.
Rank usually commands respect. Rank is there to ensure that those below you will obey your orders. Anyone of rank below you cannot give you orders.
At least, that's the idea.
Riza Hawkeye is – as she always is in Roy's eyes – an exception.
She's going to provide backup, and he's been ordered to stay put. Ordered in that no-nonsense tone of hers. He's certain she has no idea how sexy that tone is (to him, at least), or she probably wouldn't use it.
He doesn't comment on the fact that he outranks her. He also doesn't mention that, while he's willing to stay put for now, if he gets the slightest inkling she's in danger, he'll be on the field faster than a terrier after a rabbit.
He smiles to himself as she leaves.
Sometimes, Roy wonders if the universe will ever cease to amaze him at the monstrosities it can conjure up.
Take now, for instance. The gaping hole in Gluttony's torso that swallows anything in its path. It's downright frightening to learn that such a creature has a personal vendetta against you.
However, seeing Riza in the creature's path is absolutely terrifying.
Her fingers are poised on the triggers of her gun, and Roy bellows at her to hold her fire. A homunculus is immune to bullets – if she fired, the most she'd do is irritate him. Which might incite him to swallow her instead of Roy.
Some part of Roy can't help thinking that devouring Riza would certainly be a far more effective revenge than devouring him. Certainly, it would hurt more. There's not even much she could do to stop him – guns do nothing, the only thing that can hurt Gluttony is alchemy.
So Roy shouts at her, urging her not to fire…and drawing the creature's attention again. He must keep Riza out of the line of fire.
After all, it is instinctive to protect your weak spot.
Roy admires Riza's will. He really does…except there are times when he can't help but be frustrated by it.
If something happens to him, he'd want to know she was safe. He tells her – no, orders her – to get out if something goes wrong. She says no, refuses to leave, claiming she can't consent to the order or some such babble.
She's not going to leave him alone.
He's never wanted to kiss her quite so much or so desperately.
Even if he does want to grab her by the shoulders and shake some common sense into her. If she's waiting for him, he's suddenly responsible for both their lives. If they take him, they take her. They'd be tortured, no doubt, and Riza…
Roy holds in a grimace.
He knows the sinister things that can happen to women captives, and Roy doesn't want to think of Riza being subjected to that particular brand of human depravity. But if he fails, if they were taken…not only would Riza suffer such horror, they'd probably make him watch.
The argument is fairly short, and he knows she's surprised. She probably expected more of a fight, he thought he saw her square her shoulders as though preparing for a long tirade. And he admits he was starting to prepare one. But then he got close enough to see her eyes.
That was all it took. The look in those amber irises told him he could argue for a decade and she wouldn't budge an inch. He could give her all the orders he wanted; it just meant she'd face that many insubordination charges.
Riza's not leaving.
God, what he wouldn't give to hold her in his arms, just once…
Instead, he sighs and tells her he admires her will. He turns away as he does it, afraid that if she looks into his eyes, she'll know everything.
The Fuhrer's face is a grim mask, but Roy can almost hear the smirk as he tells him, one by one, his loyal subordinates have been transferred. He steels himself when he hears her name, but nothing can prepare him for the devastation that crashes through his body when the homunculus tells him.
Riza Hawkeye is now the Fuhrer's personal assistant. Roy can taste the triumph Bradley's voice.
He's found Roy's weak spot.
Now all he has to do is twist the knife.
AN: LaughingAstarael has drawn a wonderful fanart for this fic - check out my profile for the link!