Manga based fanfiction. May be slight spoiler for chapter 72, though I doubt it.

"…I have to wonder why he has such good timing", she said as she stroked her furry companion.


Roy stared at the phone receiver momentarily before he put it down. Feeling overwhelmed with worry, he hurried to the car and drove towards her apartment when he suddenly stepped on the brakes.

An inner battle, he wondered if it were wise to rush to her side just because it simply sounded like something was not right. He remembered the last time he did so, nearly compromising the team.

But she's at home, not at some mission.

That was a good enough reason and he sped off to her apartment.


Riza stood up and headed for the bedroom. Black Hayate stopped just shy of the room, looking up at his mistress. Still a little perturbed from earlier events, she allowed the dog in. She left the door ajar and started taking off her clothes and wrapping herself in a bath towel.

Just as she was about to step into the shower, she head knocking on the front door. Black Hayate bounded for the door. Riza grabbed the bathrobe hanging behind the door and followed Black Hayate.

She looked through the peephole, one hand resting on the gun on the table beside the door. Seeing the familiar messy black hair, she sighed in relief and opened the door.

"Riza, are you…what happened?" he asked when he noticed the scratch on her cheek.

"I told you I'm fine sir. It's just a scratch. I'm sorry but I was about to take a shower".

He furrowed his brow and stepped into the apartment. He bent down to pat the dog. She closed the door behind them and turned towards him.

"Why are you here Roy?"

He stepped closer and gently brushed a finger over the wound.

"Roy…it's just a scratch. I've been through a lot worse. You know that".

"Something happened. Tell me what happened." he persisted.

"Nothing. Nothing happened Roy." Riza moved away from him.

"I know you are lying. Something happened that you are not telling me". He approached her from the back and circled his arms around her waist.

"Nothing happened", she said, but her tone betrayed her.

She turned in his arms and leaned close to his ear. "The shadows are watching", she whispered and the feeling of trepidation besieged her once again.

He looked questioningly into her eyes and saw something he had hoped he would never see again. She was afraid.

"What the hell happened to you? Did the Fuhrer do something to you?" his voiced laced with anger.

She remained silent. Roy grabbed her hand but she flinched when he gripped her bruised wrist. "Shit, who did this to you?"

"No one did this to me", she reply adamant and she walked back to her room. Beads of sweat were appearing on her forehead. Roy followed her.

"I'm going to take a shower", she said simply and she went into the bathroom. "You have to go, let yourself out", she said before she shut the door.

Riza stepped into the shower and let the warm water massage her body. She leaned her forehead against the cool tile and tried to clear her head, with little success. She slumps to the floor, and hugs her knees, the water cascading on her back.

Roy stands momentarily in the middle of her bedroom, torn between leaving and staying. He walked towards the bathroom and leaned against the door. He knocked on the door but heard no reply. He knocked harder but all he could hear was the shower.

He opened the door slowly. "Riza?"

"Please leave Roy", she said in a muffled voice, barely audible over the shower.

"No" he said as he stepped into the bathroom. He could see her huddled on the floor, head buried in her arms.

As slight as it was, he could see her shivering. He tossed his coat aside and sat next to her, uncaring that his clothes would be drenched.

"You shouldn't…you can't be here", she said. She looked at him with frightened eyes, and with no second thoughts, he put his arms around her shoulders. He could feel her shaking and pulled her closer.

"You can't tell me, can you?" he said, a hint of sadness in his voice. The anger it once held having ebbed away, seeing her the way she was. She shook her head slowly.

What happened to you? I've hardly seen you afraid, let alone…seeming so…vulnerable and…so afraid.

He moved so as to sit behind her. He wrapped his arms around her naked being. The water was shielded by him but it felt like such a long time since she felt so warm and protected. Her eyes darted for a moment towards a movement at the corner of the bathroom, her heartbeat increasing tenfold. She sighed in relief when it was merely the towel slipping from the bracket.

Roy could feel the sudden increased tenseness and relief of her muscles. He began kissing her neck softly, assuring her that, at that moment at least, she was safe.

"Come on, let's get out of the shower", he suggested and Riza complied and he slowly helped her up.

He grabbed the towel off the floor and wrapped her tightly.

"Let me get out of these wet clothes", he said as he began unbuttoning his shirt. Riza went into the room and got him a towel, which he wrapped around his waist before joining her.

After towel drying her hair, she slipped into an oversized t-shirt, his t-shirt, and her panties. He simply pulled on a pair of boxers before he joined her in bed. She had slipped under the covers and curled up to one side of the bed. He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.

His warmth was comforting, his presence security.

The shadows…never have I feared them so. Oh God, please let him stay with me for as long as possible…

She turned around and looked at him. A look of worry was written on his face but he said nothing. She leaned forward and kissed his lips softly before tucking herself in his embrace.

She ignored the moving shadows about the room, each motion a painful reminder of the prison she had been forced into, each step carefully monitored and scrutinized.

"Please be here when I wake up", she pleaded.

"I am not going anywhere", he replied. His arms instinctively tightened around her.

She drifted off into a painful sleep, perturbed by living shadows and hidden monsters. He could feel her heartbeat increase, and he would kiss her temple and whisper words of comfort. He would hold her close till her breathing leveled once more.

Roy hardly slept that night but each waking moment he comforted her, protected her. He felt that it was hardly equivalent trade, after all those years she had comforted and protected him.

She awoke the next morning with him holding her hand, and somehow, the shadows become nothing more then creations of light.

R&R please. I beg you, no flames. Even if you think my story really really suck, no flames but constructive criticism is appreciated.