Disclaimer: I don't own FMA or the song Winter Sleep
Author's Note: My friend Sakura Tear Drop asked me to write a fic to this song a long while ago but I am just now getting around to it. The song that inspired it is called Winter Sleep is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and I suggest you all check it out. It's from the anime NANA and is sung by Olivia Lufkin.
He remembered the look on her face when he said he was leaving. That he was resigning his rank, giving up on all they'd worked for through the years. He remembered the tears that were collecting in her eyes when he thanked her for her work, when he said goodbye to her. She held them back and said she would see him again, her voice cracking as she enunciated each syllable of every word. She never professed understanding why he needed to go. She never questioned why he was doing what he was. Not one angry word passed her peach lips as she stood there watching him as he packed his bag. She was always his silent support, forever his understanding in the world where he thought everyone misconstrued him.
She walked with him to the station not speaking a word, the silence between them comfortable, despite the impeding events. They arrived at the station and she waited there with him until the train pulled in and people started to get off the train. The station cleared and he started to get on the train when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and stared at her, her hazel gaze burning into his, making it seem as if his coal colored eye was burning. She moved her hands up to his chest and slipped them under his coat. He felt something slip into his inner coat pocket but made no mention of it. If she'd wanted it mentioned then she would have done so herself.
As he stared deeper into her eyes, he could see the pain that filled them. Pain he couldn't rid from her. At least not in his current state, when his own orbs were filled to the brim with his failures and his own pain. He felt her move her lips to his and brush his softly. It wasn't what someone would call a passionate kiss; it was one of support, of promise, of genuine love. She pulled away slightly and whispered the three words that both had been holding back from each other.
She then turned and walked away from him, not knowing that a few of the tears that she tried to hold back had leaked onto him, burning him like acid.
He knew she wouldn't move on from him. She would wait for him as long as it took because she was that loyal to him. She loved him that much, just as he loved her. For once, Riza Hawkeye was being incredibly foolish. He laughed bitterly. No, not once. She had been foolish for following him in the first place. She followed a man that had an unattainable dream, that couldn't even protect his best friend and a boy he honestly loved like a younger brother. If he couldn't protect them then what made him honestly deserve to have her in his life. What made her love him so much? What made her risk her life for him? Yes, it turned out Riza Hawkeye was indeed a foolish person.
As he watched Havoc and Breda leave, he wondered what he did to earn their smiles. What did he do to earn their devotion? He thought he'd pushed them away by isolating himself in this white frigid desert of snow and ice. He was wrong. They were still with him, still devoted to him though he was of lower rank and so far away. He tensed when he heard Havoc mention Hawkeye, then Breda mention that she wouldn't want to see him in the condition he was in at the moment. Finally, Breda said that she wasn't the one Roy was waiting for. There was a ring of truth to his words. He wasn't waiting for Riza to come drag him back, nor would she do so. He was waiting for Ed to return. He couldn't move on until he knew for sure that the young man hadn't died. Until then he would be of no good to anyone.
Roy almost wished that Riza could hear his thoughts. So she could know that it wasn't that he didn't want to be there with her. It was that he wasn't at his best condition to be with her. That he wasn't in condition to be around anyone. In his dreams at night, he would have her in his arms; her arms warming the coldness that he let engulf his heart. That she was thawing it and he was releasing everything onto her in the form of tears, each speck of salt in them laced with his failures, fears, and mistakes.
Those dreams got him through his nights there in the small house that rattled slightly when the wind blew frantically outside. Thoughts of her were the only thing that chased away the nightmares that invaded them. Thoughts of her were the only thing that would pacify the tragic images that he saw in the vision of the socket that once contained his eye. Unfortunately, there were times that not even her small smile, her silent support, and the fact that she loved him, could chase away those visions. That was when he took out the envelope that she'd given him and the picture that she put inside it. It was a picture of the two of them when he had the pleasure of escorting her to the military ball in central after Ishbal, to "celebrate" their "victory." Even then, her silent support got him through the unwarranted celebration.
When he heard the news about earthquakes and strange things happening in the cities he knew it was time to make his leave. He knew Edward was coming back to handle things. So he left the small house in the north, boarded a train, and made his way to Central. He would help Edward with whatever he needed to do. That would be his main goal there and he felt guilty that it would be such. It should have been making everything up to Riza but he couldn't' do that until Edward was helped. He owned that young man for giving him the information to get the homunculus out of power: for helping him with the greater good.
That didn't mean that his heart didn't soar at seeing her standing there saluting him. Seeing that she was indeed unharmed. That she was still supporting him silently though her eyes and gestures. As she welcomed him back, he smiled softly at her and she gasped. He didn't know why she did such and she never spoke anything else. They turned in the same direction as they heard the clang of armor. There was no time to talk now, no time for sweet words and loving actions. It was time to deal with these abominations; it was time to fight, time to protect everything they held dear.
As he ascended in the balloon to help Edward and Alphonse, yet another regret added to the pile that was already stacked inside his raging mind. Not the regret of not taking her but the regret of making her worry. However, it couldn't' be helped. There was nothing she could do up there to help him. She didn't know alchemy and a gun would do little good against the machine. He didn't want the one person he loved the most in this entire existence to get hurt.
As he made his way down on the huge pile of rubble, the only thing going through his thoughts was Riza. He didn't care what the military did. He didn't care if they dishonorable discharged him. All he wanted Riza. Now he wondered if she still wanted him after his actions today. Did he lose her love forever by leaving her behind once more? He growled as the rubble he was on hit the ground with a crash, scooting across the pavement, causing it to fly up and hit the platform he was on. He lowered his head down and clinched his eye shut so nothing would hit him in the face. The last thing he needed was to lose his other eye and gain more scars.
He sighed as the platform finally stopped. He waited for a few minutes before the dust settled and stood up. He shakily jumped off the platform and made his way through the dust, coughing as the taste of rusted metal and dirt hit his throat and tongue. He pulled his shirt over his nose and mouth and narrowed his eye. He could barely make out anything in front of him. It finally started to clear and he could see the ruins of what was once a gorgeous city. It would take a lot of work to repair central but had faith in the people of the city.
"Chief! You all right?" Roy heard Havoc's voice say.
Roy looked to his left to see Havoc, Breda, Falman, Armstrong, and Fuery running to him.
"Yeah, I'm good," he said.
"Where's Al?" A female voice said. He looked past the men to see Winry and Scieszka standing there. He knew that she knew Ed probably wouldn't return, but she probably didn't expect that Al wouldn't either.
"He went with Edward. I am sorry Winry. They crossed the gate and probably won't be coming back."
He could see the tears in her eyes but she nodded and smiled. "At least their together. And now shouldn't you be together with someone?" Winry motioned her head behind her and Roy saw Riza leaning against a wall with her arms crossed. She was staring down at the ground so he couldn't see her eyes. Roy walked past the men and then passed Winry and Scieszka. He stood in front of her and she lifted her gaze to meet his. Tears were streaming down her flushed cheeks and her lips jaw was firmly set. Suddenly she punched him- hard. The force of the punch turning his head.
"Riza! Why did you-" Roy lifted his hand to silence Winry. He wiped the blood off his lip and turned back to her.
"Feel better?" he questioned.
"Yes," she said. She took out a handkerchief and gently wiped his now swelling lip with it. He knew the others didn't understand the actions occurring between them, and it wasn't their place to understand. It was their own language that they'd had developed over the years. That punch of hers conveyed that she was angry of course, but it also conveyed her worry, and that he would have a lot of making up to do.
"I need to return something to you," he said, taking her hand and lowering it from where it was wiping at his lips.
"The picture?" she questioned.
"No," he said, and slowly brought his lips down to hers to kiss her for just a moment before cringing at the pain the slight pressure caused.
"You will have to hold off on returning that," she said.
"All right, but you aren't getting the picture back. It helps me through my dreams."
"I can do that now . . . If you're staying."
"I'm staying," he said, pulling her into his arms. She gripped his dirty jacket and buried her face in his chest. Finally, all the pain and loneliness poured out of her. She didn't care who saw them, she didn't' care what the military higher ups might think. She just wanted to rest in his arms as he melted the heart that she kept froze until he came back.
She had no idea that she was doing the same thing to his heart and that tears were also falling from Roy's eyes. As long as they had each other to hold, they would be all right and unfrozen. Their bodies no longer in a winter sleep.