Disclaimer: FMA isn't mine.
Song: Die Alone - Ingrid Michaelson
"Will you write?" she asked, though she already knew the answer.
"Of course," he replied automatically, though they both knew it was a lie. Though he had the address of the old house memorized, though he would think of a thousand things to tell her, they both knew he would never put pen to paper.
Still, she couldn't help but hope that he would. The old house would be lonely when he was gone, emptier than before. His absence would show in the dust in the corners, the fact that there would be far fewer dirty socks to clean and the fact that she would drink her tea alone most days. He was her only friend. Was it too much to ask that he would write to her?
She knew better than to think he would keep in touch. He was off to bigger and better things. He would have little time for a lonely girl in an empty house.
Thus she was surprised when a letter arrived the week after her birthday, addressed to her in his sloppy, lopsided hand. Dear Riza, it read. Happy Birthday. Hope you're well. Here the ink was smudged, and there were several crossed out lines. Miss you. You always had much more sense than any of the women here, and most of the men too. His name was signed at the bottom, illegible as ever.
Saying goodbye was something that had never come easily to him. Looking at her, dressed in black with eyes red from crying, he knew this would be one of the hardest he ever had to say.
After all, he'd already said goodbye to her once. The second time would be harder.
He thought of her attempting to cut his hair one time with a pair of less than qualified scissors. He remembered how much she loved the rain - the way it smelled before, after and while it rained, the way it changed the way the world looked, distorted your perception of things. He thought about the way she never yelled when she was angry, but instead she just shut everyone else out.
He thought of the lines inked into her back. He thought of the softness of her skin under his fingers, pale from the lack of sun exposure. He thought of the enormity of the secret she'd kept from him for so long.
"Will I ever see you again?" he found himself asking without thinking.
"Of course," she answered, tasting the lie on her tongue.
He was surprised, and more than a little terrified when it turned out that it was she who had saved his life during the war in Ishbal. He was even more terrified when he realized how much she had changed.
Goodbye, she thought. She had repeated the words over and over in her head for the last few hours, trying to convince herself that this wasn't going to really be the end. Now that the time had come, she opened her mouth and found that her voice had fled. She couldn't bring herself to say it. One little word. Two syllables that she had said almost every day for the past three years.
If she said it, things would seem final.
"I've just come to...collect some of my things, Sir." She peddled away another lie instead of the words she had come to say. He nodded, looking back down at his paperwork. She moved around the room, gathering what few belongings she had left behind. A book, a coffee mug, a pair of scissors. Such trivial things.
"Lieutenant," he began. She focused down at the book in her hands. "Please..." Then he stopped and let out a long breath. "Take care of yourself." He wished he could take those words back, and say something that really mattered, that would convey some part of how much she meant to him. He wished he could say more. He closed his eyes and prayed that this goodbye wouldn't be final. He didn't want it to end like this. Please come back safe. If she was hurt because of him...
When he looked up, she was gone.