A/N: My first Royai fic, though my second FMA. This was intended as a birthday present for wordswithout.
Riza Hawkeye paused in the doorway of Roy Mustang's office. The power had, for some reason, gone out half an hour ago, subduing the entire atmosphere of the military base. Havoc and the others were busy lounging about in a briefing room.
But they were always doing that.
And Riza was always at Mustang's back, as she was now, even though the office floor separated them. More times than she could count, Riza had fought for him. She upheld justice and order for Amestris, but she threatened and killed, withstood killing, for him.
He was flicking his fingers on the desk as he read something. With each movement, the candle beside him would shrink, and then stretch. She watched the subtle movement of his shoulders, of his dark hair against his collar and the back of his neck.
Riza Hawkeye shows two faces to the world. The one which is more common, she gives to almost everyone. It is stern, uncompromising, dangerous.
She shows another one to Roy, after or before the battles. It is not a face under which she can be frightened, or weak, or vulnerable, although vulnerability does sometimes appear in the conversations they have about life or war. Then she touches his hair and remembers fire, from the air or from her gun, and knows that weakness is not a factor. Strength is, and what one chooses to do with it. Alchemists once seemed inhuman to her. Her father, like herself, had two sides, two faces; the alchemist, and the man. But when Roy finished slinging fire around, he was as easy for a bullet to fly through as anyone was. He held a weapon in hand, just as she did.
The second side of Riza is more complicated, but the expression in her eyes then looks simpler. Because with him, she is happy.
In the moment when she stood in the dark hallway looking at the flickering candle and Roy's back, the two aspects of Riza were forced together. Gently they melded, her work-self and her love-self, in the darkened base.
She walked on with a smile.