A/N: Sorry for the wait! I've been busy with many things. And several people have brought it to my attention that it seems unlikely that she would be able to read lips well, but even though I'm not deaf I can read lips fairly well without previous training or anything of that nature. Then again it depends on the person talking. Anyways! To the story!


Riza awoke in silence once more. She looked out a nearby window and saw that it was early in the morning. This came as no surprise because her body was used to getting at a certain time, deaf or not. When she stepped out of her room she noticed no lights on, she glanced towards the Colonel's room and saw an empty bed. He must have left already. She crept into the living room that directly connected to the kitchen, where she noticed a note left for her.

I'll try to get off work early.
See you soon.

She shook her head; even though he was going to have the next week off he was still trying to get out of work today. She rummaged through his kitchen and found something simple to eat, she wasn't necessarily hungry but she thought it better to eat now.

After she ate, she quickly got dressed into a long sleeve jacket and plain black jeans. She needed to get Black Hayate from her house. Fuery said that he went to her house to take care of him, but she didn't want him to do that for the remaining week when she could easily enough take care of him herself. It didn't take long to reach her apartment from Roy's house, but it was different.

Of course it was different because she couldn't hear, but it became more of a hindrance when she was out walking alone. She noticed every sound that wasn't there. No voices of people chatting, no motors rumbling as they pass, no click in shoes against the pavement, not even the rustle of leaves in the trees, every sound was absent.

This hindered her greatly. Although she could compensate by using her sense of sight more, she knew that as a solider that she was easily open from behind and that she was unsafe when no one is present. This frightened her; she is and has always been very independent. She never had to rely on anyone. When she got the tattoo, she dressed accordingly and never showed anyone the mark on her back. This was entirely different, she knew that and was foolish to compare it to that of a complex mark.

She finally reached her apartment and was greeted by her cheerful dog. They then walked together back the same path Riza had just taken to get there. Black Hayate can help. Riza thought, she knew that he would be loyal and watchful of her, she knew because he would have anyways whether she could defend herself or not.

While lost in thought she noticed that they had strayed off her previously pursued path. It wasn't a huge shift in direction, but now they were in a shopping area that was filled with people at the moment. Riza thought of just heading back to Roy's apartment right away, but standing there she felt the urge to stay outside, which completely contradicted the vulnerability that she felt earlier. Maybe it was the hope that she could rid herself of fear that drove her to stay there, either way she strayed further from her path.

Riza gazed into each shop window and glanced at what was inside and felt intrigued to look in the book shop. She usually had no time to read with her job, but this seemed like the perfect chance to indulge her hobby. Riza flipped through the number of books available on each self. She didn't like reading a lot of fiction books as much as she did when she was younger. She could no longer believe in a story where happiness was always found in the end, or where the people in the story always ended with such joy. Perhaps it was the war that changed her perspective, or maybe she simply out grew that idea. She mostly read non-fiction stories, things that she could better relate too. Riza decided on two books and looked at the price tag just before paying so she wouldn't have to decipher too much.

Not even a moment after she had paid for her books, there was a tap on her shoulder. She quickly found a very angry woman looking at her. The woman didn't wait for Riza to respond to the tap. She went on a long rant, in obvious anger and frustration. Unfortunately, the woman spoke to fast and her lips had a weird movement all together that confused Riza further. The woman took a small pause, waiting for Riza to respond, but Riza was at a loss for words. If she asked her to repeat herself, she might end up getting yelled at more, same conclusion if she up and left without saying anything. But before she could think of what to tell the woman, an arm draped itself over her shoulders.

Riza looked up to find her superior officer with his arm over her shoulders speaking to the woman. He quickly said a few words and let Riza and Black Hayate out of the shop. She glanced back at the shop only once after they left. She turned to Roy just about to ask him something when he held up a notebook. Riza looked at it, and automatically knew that he had just bought that so he could communicate her. She paused to let him write in the book. Then he handed it to her.

Sorry, I know you can rightfully defend yourself on your own,

But I thought someone should step in.

Plus the lady was rather annoying going on about her allergies that I wanted to retort with a comment needless to say.

Allergies? Then Riza realized that the woman was complaining about Black Hayate being in the shop. Riza handed the notebook back to Roy. "It is fine, I know you want to help and I can tell that it isn't completely out of pity." She replied. He wrote quickly once again.


Riza looked at him with a cocked eyebrow. "You can't honestly say that you don't pity me in the slightest because I can't hear?" He shrugged his shoulders with an expression that matched well enough to be taken seriously. He wrote his response again, with less speed.

I know you. You're a strong woman, even when you are semi-defenseless.

I'm helping you because I want too, not out of the slightest bit of pity.

The blonde read it carefully. When she was done she looked up at him with a genuine smile, which she rarely showed on a daily basis. They walked back together to his apartment in silence, even if Riza couldn't tell otherwise…


A/N: I will update soon! : D

Thanks to those who reviewed!