Author's note: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or its characters. This is for the 30 Kisses challenge using list epsilon. This is set during the war in Ishbal. Theme 10: Red Light.

Holding On

Nights in the desert were cold. Roy sighed and scooted closer to the small fire by his tent. He couldn't really bring himself to care. Physical discomfort meant very little anymore. He couldn't sleep, and he was sick of staring at the beige walls of his tent. The fire bathed everything in a red light. It didn't help his thoughts any.

This was not what he had wanted to do. This was not his dream. He didn't want to be a monster. He didn't want to have failed his teacher and Riza. Riza. Just thinking her name made him shudder. She had believed and trusted in him. And he had taken that trust and become exactly what her father had feared. Moreover, her trust in him had brought her to this bloody desert and stolen her innocence too. Roy wasn't sure he would ever forgive himself for that. Riza deserved better.

Movement startled him out of his thoughts. Roy looked up from the flames to find Riza standing across from him. He couldn't me her eyes. She carefully skirted around the fire before taking the seat beside him, nearly tucked up against his side. He could feel the warmth of her skin even through the layers of uniform that separated them. She leaned her head against his shoulder.

Roy carefully wrapped an arm around her. There was something comforting about this. Somehow, there was something about Riza's presence that made the pain in his chest lessen just a little. The wind blew around them, making the fire dance a little.

"You did not cause this," her voice was barely audible. "This was no more of your doing than it was mine. This was done to us."

To hid complete surprise, Riza took his face in her hands, forcing him to meet her eyes. "If you die now, I will never forgive you. You have to survive this if only to prove that flame alchemy can be used for something better than this."

She kissed him then, and Roy let himself fall into it, clinging to the small hope she offered. Riza still tasted sweet like he remembered, but he could also taste the salt of her tears. She pulled away, the kiss only lasting a brief minute, but he understood. It was too dangerous. They didn't need the trouble of being caught. Still, she stayed by his side all night, and Roy would hold on to that.