I don't own FMA. Continuation of the previous chapter.

Theme: Until That Day

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Riza looked over her shoulder into the old mirror, staring at the red lines that decorated her back.

A knock sounded on the door, making her jump.

"Come in," she called as she wrapped the flowered sheet around herself.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked, his eyes dark with concern as they met hers.

Her eyes narrowed, and he thought for a moment that she was going to snap at him for asking again, but they softened and she nodded. "I have to."

"Everything is ready," he told her as he turned away from her.

"Sir," she said, her voice so near a plead that he had no choice but to turn around and look at her again. Her fists held the sheet around her in a white-knuckled grip and her eyes were on the floorboards that had been full of dust just days ago.

"No matter what I say or what happens, don't stop until it's done," she demanded.

It was his turn to clench his fists at his sides. "I won't," he promised.

She walked past him, and he stared after her, trying to imagine what life would be like had he not seen the array.

"Why is he here?" Riza called.

Roy took a deep breath and joined her in what had been the living room. "I can't just burn your back and not have someone here who knows what he's doing when it comes to first aid," he explained.

"You know plenty about first aid, they taught us all," she hissed, pulling the sheets tighter around her, not turning around to face him because it would expose the top of the tattoo to the doctor.

"Not enough for this."

She glared at him over her shoulder.

"I already told him everything."

"It wasn't yours to tell."

"Hey, I'll leave if you don't want me here," Knox threatened.

Riza turned her attention back to the doctor, ready to tell him he could leave if he wanted, but Roy put a hand on her shoulder.

"If I'm going to do this, we'll do it my way," he affirmed.

Her shoulders sagged in defeat.

The doctor held out a bottle of drown liquor to her. "I'd start drinking, if I were you."

-.-.-.-.-

"The Hero of Ishval, huh?" Knox murmured as he surveyed the damage to Riza's back.

Roy glared at him. "I owed it to her," he said through clenched teeth.

"Owed her a burned and bloody back?" he scoffed, dropping a cloth into a bowl of disinfectant.

"Who're you to talk?" he snapped, forcing himself to look at the damage her father's alchemy, his alchemy, had inflicted upon her.

Knox sighed. "You're right, I've done worse to 'patients'," he admitted, trying not to recall the orders he'd followed. Her silence during the alchemist's torture had reminded him of his patients, but they'd all been out cold for their procedures while she'd endured in silence until the pain had made her black out.

"I'm going to atone for this, for everything," Roy confided.

Knox laughed. "That's going to take an awful long time."

"Until then, I won't use it unless I have to," he vowed.

"That's good to hear," Riza croaked.

Roy jumped, wondering how long she'd been awake.

"Don't make any unnecessary movements," Knox ordered.

"Yeah, I got that," she mumbled under her breath.

Knox frowned, but refrained from commenting on her attitude.

"Do you need some water or something?" Roy asked.

"Only if you've got a straw," she answered.

Roy nodded and left the room.

"So, what made you trust him with that array?" Knox inquired.

She was silent for a moment, and he thought she wasn't going to answer, but then she said softly, "His goals."

"His goals? They're pretty idealistic," Knox informed her.

"He still believes in those goals, so I'll keep going with them in mind," she shared, the alcohol and his cynicism loosening her tongue.

"You're staying on with the military?"

"Until his goals are achieved…maybe even after," she confirmed.

"You're both crazy," Knox grumbled to himself. "This is going to sting, but hold still," he told her.

When Roy returned to the room, Knox studied him with calculating eyes, wondering how many people the alchemist had roped into believing in his dreams—hoped he'd be able to see them realized.

-.-.-.-.-.-

A.N. - Hmm, there may be more to this, but not right away. Thanks for reading!

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