A/N: My first non-humorous fic, so I don't know how this turned out...

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all. I know. I'm pitiful. T.T Well, I guess I do own a calculator...but that's about it ;)

"WHY?" Ed shouted, furious, as he banged his automail fist on Mustang's desk.

"Hey, easy," Mustang chided lightheartedly, "This is a new desk."

"Now's not the time to be cracking jokes, Colonel," Lieutenant Hawkeye reprimanded softly. Al remained silent, unsure how to calm his brother, as he was rather agitated himself.

"I don't understand! Nina should have resisted. And she—she—"

"Perhaps she was forced into it by Tucker," Mustang offered. "We'll never know."

"But she still tried to stop me from hurting Tucker! She still cared! How? After all he's done to her?" Ed's jaw tightened. He raised his fist again, but after a few seconds, it fell limply by his side once more.

The lieutenant opened her mouth to give comfort to the distraught alchemist, but she paused as she became lost in faraway memories…


The young girl looked up from her book. It was rare that he was the one to initiate a conversation. "Yes, Father?"

"Do you care for my research?" Hawkeye gazed deep into his daughter's eyes.

"Very much, Father. It's basically your life, isn't it." The last line was a statement, not a question.

"Would you do anything for me, for my alchemy?" This question would lead to a change that would forever influence Riza's life.

She paused for a moment, considering the consequences. But eventually, she gave a small nod. "Of course, Father."

And Hawkeye's eyes showed a maniacal gleam that Riza had seen only a few times before. And those instances hadn't produced good memories. "Good. Come with me."

The pain. It was excruciating. It lanced up her spine and back down again. It spread along her collarbone to the tips of her shoulders. Her whole back burned, stung with a stabbing, tortuous pain.

But she dared not cry out. She'd already given consent. Her father was humming. Humming. It was the first time since her mother died that she had seen him happy. She didn't know whether to be glad or terrified. Glad that her father was finally smiling. Terrified that she had to get an enormous tattoo embedded with the deepest secrets of flame alchemy in order for her father to be cheerful.

Why had she agreed to this? She could have backed out once she had discovered what he'd intended to do. He had warned her. This would hurt. So why…?

"Why?" Edward asked again, gritting his teeth. "Nina was such a sweet girl…and to give her life to some sicko like Tucker…why?"

Riza whispered, "Because she loved him."

A/N: Short. I know. But I got out what I wanted to say, so yeah. How was it? I'd like to know. Review please! :D