This Weapon, These Hands

AN: Ah, to draw random parallels between two characters.

Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist.

Her hands shape life.

They shape new hope, coaxing lifeless scraps of metal to form something whole, something wonderful, something worth living for. Winry Rockbell's hands give a person courage and strength, even when they do not have anything else left. She uses them to tweak a bolt or nut, to tighten a screw, to brush away damp hair from a pale, sweaty forehead.

She uses them to make coffee for her master and herself every night. She uses them to draw new blueprints, to pen down new ideas. Her hands are clean, unstained by the permanent stain of taking a human life.

Her fingers curled around the cold metal. She could hear voices shouting in the background, but she didn't care. Nothing else mattered except wrecking a terrible vengeance on the man in front of her. Tears dripped down her cheeks as her body shook, and then he spoke, and she heard, and her vision was a blur of gray stone and bright crimson…

"Don't shoot, Winry," he pleaded with her softly, his gentle hands prying her fingers from the deadly weapon. "You can't shoot. Don't do this."

And the tears kept falling, but at least there was someone with her.

Her hands spell death.

They wield firearms expertly, not hesitating to gun down a possible threat. They reach for the weapon when needed, and she has grown used to the routine by now. Even a person looking at her closely would see no flicker of anguish in her eyes, no sign of torment on her face.

Riza Hawkeye has grown adept at hiding her weaknesses. Ever since the war in Ishbal, she has known the true horror of the path she has chosen to follow. She has not backed down from it. She knows there are people who have to kill for others to survive.

Her hands clutch a gun almost instinctively now. She wonders if the incessant habit of glancing over her shoulder came from the war, or if it had been inside her all along.

Her hands have taken many lives – yet are they truly unclean, or simply covered with a tougher exterior than most?

Breath rasped painfully out of her lungs, but she kept her weapon aimed at the back of his head. "I know you cannot allow Envy to live," she said, with far more calmness than she felt, "but let me take care of him."

Her superior growled, a wild, animalistic sound. Riza suppressed the urge to flinch away from this strange, bestial man, so transformed was he by his hatred. When he told her to shoot, she felt the ground beneath her move, as if the entire world had shuddered in shock.

When he asked her what she planned to do after his death, the answer came quickly. She'd thought it over a thousand times, ever since the day he'd first asked her to watch his back. "I have no desire to live a peaceful, happy life alone… I will leave this world, along with the corpse of the Flame Alchemist."

She saw his shoulders tense in disbelief as his humanity slowly returned to him.

"Unacceptable," he muttered. "I can't lose you, too."

"Lower your gun, lieutenant." Never before had she heard him speak so gently. "I apologize…"

As his knees buckled and he fell to the ground, she felt her heart beat in her chest, reminding her that she wasn't dead yet.

They are different, and yet they are the same.




Whole, in every possible way.

Not to mention that they both had the ability to inspire uncommon gentleness from the men who brought them back from the edge.


I detest how a piece never comes out the way you want it to!

(Eww, I'm so bad at writing Riza.)