I don't own FMA. Set during the Ishval War.
Riza grimaced as she scraped out the sand that had collected under her fingernails.
The worst part of the day was always returning to camp—hearing the other soldiers brag about their kills, or worse, having them recite her "heroic" accomplishments. In an attempt to avoid soldiers like Crimson, she usually went straight to her tent. Most of her unit considered her a recluse already, but she didn't mind.
Even from inside the canvas wall she could still hear the men swapping tales. She much preferred the solitary silence of the abandoned Ishvalan buildings that kept her hidden from others until a replacement picked their way through the battlefield to her.
The tent flap moved aside and Cadet Jamison ducked in, a damp towel slung around her shoulders. "Your turn."
Riza nodded. Being one of a handful of females on the war zone had its perks—separate bathing quarters.
She didn't make eye-contact with those gathered around the fire pits, but kept her gaze on the big tent at the other end of the camp.
"The Hawk's Eye, that's her," she heard someone murmur and picked up her pace. She didn't want to hear what they were saying about her.
The soldier outside of the tent saluted her. "The water should still be warm."
She saluted back and nodded her head in thanks.
She gingerly sponged the off the dirt that had annoyed her all day long, thankful that she'd been fortunate enough to be at the camp when the day's water had been delivered.
The cold wind of the Ishvalan night whipped through the tent and sent shivers down her spine.
Alone in the tent, she let her mind wander, asked herself what her father would think if he knew his precious research was surrounded BY thousands of soldiers, was just a gunshot from being exposed to all.
She shivered again.
No wind this time, but the thought a thousand Flame Alchemists at the disposal of the military. For as long as she could remember, Amestris had been expanding, and it would be all that much easier if the military had her father's research.
It had to be destroyed. The look she'd seen in her eyes when they'd met told her he would understand, he would help.
A.N. - This is the extended result of two drabbles written for a summer drabble challenge. The next chapter is a companion piece. Thanks for reading!
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