Edward had hit the nail on the head. She was a hostage.

A hostage, yes, but not quite the way he had meant it. Riza Hawkeye smiled gently into her tea cup. For all that the Elric brothers had gone through, they were still innocents. They had never killed, and until they did, they could not fully understand the actions of those that had.

So she was a hostage, yes, and it pained her to know that if not for her life - the homunculi's trump card - the Colonel could be continuing his offensive more overtly. But Riza knew Roy Mustang, and understood two things: first, that even this would not stop him, but merely slow him down and make him move more carefully; and second, that she was not released from her orders, even now. She had a job to do.

A job. Snorting in bitter humor, Riza stood, shaking her head. It was more than a simple job, an unspoken order. It was the only thing she could give to Roy. Nothing else could be said aloud or admitted in the face of this deadly check, this insumountable separation. They could only continue to speak as professionals, consoling themselves with the knowledge that the other knew what was trying to be said.

"Please don't die." That had been the closest she'd been able to get to the truth they both knew and tried to ignore. Riza knew she'd probably stepped over a bound they'd set out, but what else was she supposed to do? No matter how mutually understood it was, she couldn't bring herself to leave it unsaid.


AN: What I'm going to be trying here is a bit different from my previous fics. This is not going a oneshot - rather, it's going to be a pair of related oneshots for new chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist. They will be Royai (duh), and they will probably not exceed 400 words at any time. The latter is because I've decided to give myself an extra challenge, on top of writing a oneshot for Roy and Riza each every chapter - I will not write more than what takes up a single page in my marble notebook.

Any and all feedback is very appreciated.

Thanks once again to Yellow Mask for beta-ing.