Author's notes: This little fic is based on chapter 101 so it does contain spoilers and it's obviously mangaverse too. This is my first FMA fic and the first fic full stop in quite some time. The quality is a bit patchy I think but we'll see how we go.

Please read and review.


Somewhere far away in the darkness she could hear his voice, quivering with a subtle blend of anxiety and fear. He was calling her, but her strength had flowed away until even breathing was an effort.


She wondered how long it had been since he had called her by her name. She rose towards his voice, through the layers of darkness and pain. Her body felt heavy and weak, her mind drifted. It hurt, but she was a soldier, pain and injuries were par for the course. Besides he was calling her.

She concentrated on his voice. On breathing, inhale, exhale. The horrible sensation of her strength literally bleeding away had ceased but when she tried to move her body would not respond. Pain flooded her and all she could do was moan. Through the haze she was aware of him, of strong arms that lifted her. That cradled her heavy, boneless body like a child.

She knew it was Roy, his careful dance of keeping up appearances shattered by his own desperation. His arms encompassed her, his chin pressed lightly into her hair. His fingers coiled against her arms, pressing down through her clothes. Had he forgotten? She would follow him anywhere into the centre of hell if it came down to that. She could smell the soap from his woollen uniform and the familiar over tones of his aftershave. His emotions assaulted her, burnt into her at every point of contact, and he trembled. A faint almost imperceptible quiver. She knew in her quiet clinical way that it was the rush of adrenaline that caused it but the odd note in his voice bothered her. He was blaming himself again.

"I'm sorry..."

"Thank you...!"

He coiled her against his body, the words, the tone almost gasping with relief. She could feel his heart mere inches away throbbing in her ear. A quick staccato beat that matched the one she felt against her arm. Who was he to be sorry, when she had placed him in such a position? She exhaled, and forced herself back towards the light.

"Colonel, I'm so..." It cost her to speak, her voice barely wobbled above a whisper. He cut her off, his fingers tightening against her shoulder.

"Just rest! Don't talk!" Clarity came back into her mind. She opened her eyes and looked up into his dark ones, noting the little glitter of panic that had come so close to the surface. She breathed something quiet and normal and business like was needed.

"My eye signal you recognised it well."

"We've been together for a long time after all." She could almost have laughed at his expression, at the little sigh of relief and the tight ruefulness of his smile. If he was expecting the fair maiden to flutter her lashes and cascade her thanks upon him then he was sorely mistaken. She wasn't made that way. His lips twitched, rueful was definitely the word.

"Besides, 'if you do human transmutation I'll beat you to death.' That's what your stare was telling me right?" She couldn't help but smile at that, if it hadn't hurt so much she'd have laughed. At least he'd got the message. She wasn't ready to die yet, he had places to go and he needed her at his back. And maybe when he got there they wouldn't need to keep that careful distance anymore. Then perhaps she wouldn't need to push him back into place with a business like comment, she would just let the bond they shared reach out and encompass them.