By Henrika

Henrika- I decided I needed to return to FMA, at least for a little while. This was inspired by manga chapters 57 through 59. The scar on Riza's back is fascinating.Mentions of sex, but just that, mentions.A lot of this is my own speculation, so just blame it on that if you see discrepancies. Enjoy and review!

Oh! This is my 75th story! Wow, I write a lot, don't I? Hope it's been as good for you all as it has been for me!

Roy Mustang knows everything about Riza Hawkeye's body. He knows the curve of her hips, the soft line of her jaw, the corded muscles in her arms, the swell of her breasts, and every line carved into her back.

He knows the burn scar that obscures the array on her back. He knows the hours he spent learning that array, tracing and memorizing every line. He interprets the meaning to her as he works, explains what each symbol means.

He doesn't know that she already knows these things. Her father had explained them to her when he had given her that marking, his mind and his alchemy driving the pattern into her skin. She carries her father's research and is the only person to ever know the secrets he kept. She remembers that the first house she ever knew went up in flames. She is sure her mother died in that fire. She studied alchemy for a time, but showed no talent for it. Her grandfather trained her in guns and she became an expert markswoman within a few years.

Riza did not see her father die. She heard screaming echoing through her home and raced for her father's study. She had frozen in the doorway, seeing the blood coming from her father and his student standing over him.

Roy had told Riza her father's final words and she had agreed to honor his wishes.

He became a State Alchemist using the array he had derived from her own.

War in the East became more violent. Her grandfather had recommended her years earlier for the sniper squad. It was she that had requested attachment to Mustang's squad. They were sent to the frontlines together. She swore to protect her father's research.

He snuck into her tent one night and told her he loved her, his confession rising against the blinding sandstorm outside. She hadn't replied, just spread her blankets on the floor and pulled him down with her. He had caressed her as they made love, absorbing every moment and detail about her that he could find.

The annihilation campaign had started the next day. She swore to protect her lover and shot every Ishbalan that came screaming through his wall of flame. It's merciful in a cruel way, but she simply reloads her weapon and lines up the next shot through her crosshairs.

The war ends and she takes what's left of the Flame Alchemist and pulls him back together. She ignores her own guilt as she tries to prevent his from consuming him. She says she loves him and he asks her to marry her. She wants to say yes, but the threat of insubordination looms heavily over them both and she is forced to refuse. She swears to stay by his side. He brushes a thumb over full lips and kisses her, drawing in another memory.

He strives to become Fuehrer and she stands beside him in order to lift him towards his dream. They hide their love and she only threatens to shoot him when he sleeps with other women. He steals girlfriends for fun and she spends her time in the shooting range.

She will protect him. She will protect his perfect jaw, his broad chest, the way he smiles into their kisses, his fingers rough from snapping, and his dream.

They know everything about one another. They know they can't be together until Roy's dream is achieved.

They are united by a salamander and a circle, a daughter's sacrifice and a young man's ambition. They are united by flesh and love and heat. They are united by a circle and bound by flame.

And with what they know of each other, they wouldn't have it any other way.

Henrika- Well, have I lost my touch with FMA?