Howdy! I've had this bouncing in my head for a couple months, so I thought I'd finally write it out for everybody. Please be kind, I'm not much of a writer!
Warning: Spoilers for 102
Disclaimer: Of course I don't own anything.
"They hate me," Riza said plainly.
Roy's mouth opened in surprise. "What? That's crazy. Why would they?"
She looked away from him, ignoring the fact that he couldn't see the action. "Because I failed to protect you, and you lost your eyesight because of it."
"You almost died yourself; you lost so much blood in the attack," he pointed out, pulling her closer against his chest.
"I don't think that matters to your sisters, Roy," she retorted, his name still sounding somewhat odd after so many years of formalities and titles.
His hand found her chin easily, tilting her head up as if to make eye contact. "Then that's their problem. I couldn't be happier that you're alive and safe and right here."
He wrapped his arm tighter around her waist, bringing her close enough to kiss her.
Roy had been devastated four months ago when he'd lost his sight. Upon being released from the hospital, he'd sunk into a depression, drinking heavily and hardly leaving his room. And yet, no matter how much of a bastard he was, Riza never left his side. He yelled at her, said the most horrible things to her, did everything short of physically harming her to get her to leave him, but still she stayed.
He'd been perfectly content with wallowing in his misery for nearly a month, until one day when he managed to stumble his way to the bathroom on his own, a personal victory considering how drunk he was, only to hear her crying. He could just make out the small words she was mumbling to herself. "...my fault...so stupid...hates me...such a useless aide..." He was completely floored. Call him selfish, but he truly hadn't thought about how hard that day must have been on her. Of course she would blame herself for everything; she had always been wholly devoted to keeping him safe. Suddenly entirely sober, he silently turned to leave, but tripped over the sleeping dog in front of him. Hayate yelped, Roy hit the ground with a thud, and Riza went silent.
"Co-colonel?" she asked, her voice sounding strained as she hurried to help him up. "Are you hurt?"
"No, I'm fine," he said, placing his hand on her shoulder to steady himself. He immediately heard her inhale sharply; he realized he was pressing his fingers against her still-healing wounds. She deposited his disoriented form into the nearest chair, and he knew she was now rubbing the spot. He took a deep breath, preparing himself.
"Hawkeye," He shook his head, deciding to drop the formalities. The military still had not decided what to do about them, placing them on indefinite leave while they debated. "Riza, I...I'm sorry," he finished lamely.
"It's alright," she told him as he felt her touch his arm. "You didn't know."
"No, that's not it," he placed his hand around her own. "I mean, I am sorry about your shoulder, but that's not all." He turned his sightless eyes to where he knew her face would be. "I'm sorry I've been such an ass to you. I really do appreciate it that you've been here with me, and that you have the patience of a saint. I'm sorry I've been such an idiot. You have to know that I've never blamed you for anything. You saved me, Riza. Things would have been so much worse if not for you. You have to stop beating yourself up about this!" His fingers had progressed, he was now holding both her hands tightly in his. Roy knew he was rambling, but he couldn't stop himself. He had to make her feel better, the sound of her crying, especially that he was the one that had made her cry, hurt him like a knife.
...And obviously he hadn't been successful, as he could hear her crying again. "God, I must be really bad at apologies," he thought out loud.
She let out a small laugh, to his surprise. "No, thank you," she choked out. "I needed to hear that." She began to move away, and he instinctively pulled her body closer into a hug, taking care not to put pressure on her injuries. "It's good to have you back, sir. I've missed you," she spoke into his embrace.
Riza was truly amazing. In the month that he'd spent moping about, she'd started learning Braille and begun training Black Hayate on how to be a seeing-eye dog. Before long, he was able to move around the house without much trouble and could help her cook. Even the doctors and physical therapists were impressed with his progress. They still couldn't tell him if he'd ever see again, but they were pleased that he was adapting so well. It came as a surprise to no one when Riza officially moved in with him; she'd practically been living there since they checked out of the hospital anyways.
...Well, not everyone was happy about it. His sisters kept calling and begging him to move back home so that they could take care of him. No matter how many times Roy insisted that he was fine and improving quickly, they still wanted to baby him. He'd always figured they were just being protective of him; he hadn't even considered that they might be hostile to Riza. Hell, he couldn't understand how anyone could dislike her after everything she'd done for him.
At the moment, they were laying in bed, his arm wrapped lazily around her waist as she read a book aloud to him. He wasn't really listening to the story, instead he was more preoccupied with the sound of her voice, the feeling of her pulse as he lightly drew small circles across her bare stomach with his fingers. He began tugging the sheet off of her, a very different activity in mind, when they were rudely jerked out of their pleasant afternoon by the shrill ringing sound of the phone. He let out a small groan of disappointment when he felt her slip out of the bed and heard her tugging on a robe before picking up the receiver.
"Hello?...Oh, hello Sophia..." Roy turned his head towards her upon hearing his oldest sister's name. "Yes, he's doing well. Dr. Straussman believes he'll be reading entirely on his own before the end of the month...Yes, I'm sure he'd love that. It has been too long...No, that's alright...I appreciate that, but I am still his aide. It would be my pleasure to accompany him..." His brows furrowed, he could tell by her town she was forcing herself to be polite. "...That sounds good. We'll see you then. Have a nice day," Riza finished the conversation and slammed the receiver down rather violently.
"Is everything okay?" he asked, feeling her sit back down next to him.
She took a breath to calm herself. "It's fine. Sophia called to invite you to dinner next week. She said she has a friend who's visiting from university, and is apparently gorgeous and single."
Roy's face paled in horror. His sisters had tried to fix him up several times in the past, and were always forceful about it. He had once been shoved into a locked closet with one poor girl who had immediately begun crying. The lady had hyperventilated and passed out before they'd unlocked the door. "You told her I fell down a flight of stairs and died, right?"
She gave him a small chuckle. "They only want what's best for you, you know," she said, running her fingers through his dark hair.
He caught her hands and pulled her into his lap. "I know, but that doesn't mean they have any idea what's best for me."
She laughed at him, brushed her lips against his temple. "I think we have some unfinished business to take care of," she said playfully, trailing her hand down his chest.
The woman in question was currently sitting on the back porch, petting her ever-faithful canine. Riza smiled faintly as Black Hayate wiggled onto his back for a belly scratch. The dog yipped happily when she obliged him, his tail thumping loudly on the ground. Because of her excellent sniper training, she was not surprised to hear the door open behind her to reveal Christmas' elegantly dressed form.
"Shouldn't you be inside with the others?" Riza asked her.
"Shouldn't you?" Christmas replied.
Riza looked away and stopped scratching Hayate. "Sophia's made it very clear that I am not good enough for her little brother and am not welcome around them."
The older woman's eyes narrowed. "And you believe she knows what she's talking about?"
Riza offered a small, sad smile. "With all due respect, your daughters would prefer if I stayed away."
Christmas flicked a clot of ash into the wind. "With all due respect, my daughters have less sense than pigeons when it comes to what Roy-boy needs." Riza's gaze perked up towards her as she continued. "Good lord, girl. I thought you of all people would have the brains to see that. I've known that man his entire life, it's obvious that no other woman would make him happy."
"I'd like to think that," Riza said lightly. "But what if they're right? After everything he's gone through, doesn't he deserve someone better?"
"Better than a woman who constantly risks her life to protect him? Who's willing to give everything she has to support him? Who's clearly been in love with him for years?"
Riza blushed. "I just don't want to be a problem for them."
"They'll get over it," Christmas said simply. "You'd better come inside, poor Roy-boy's probably gone crazy from all the chatter by now."
The younger woman picked herself off the steps, unable to hide her grin. "It's been nice talking to you, madam."
Roy was angry. Very, very angry. In fact, he couldn't remember the last time he'd been that angry at his sisters.
"Don't make that face, Roy," Mary, the second-oldest sister, had her hand on his shoulder. "We're only saying that you should keep your options open, that's all."
His middle sister, Lucy, agreed. "Do you know how many single women there are in this city? Why tie yourself down so soon?"
Caitlin wrapped her arm around him in a hug. "I mean, she's not even that pretty-"
"In case you hadn't realized, looks aren't really too important at this point," Roy snapped, feeling his blood boil. "And for your information, I always thought she was beautiful."
"But she's so...butch," April giggled. "I mean, it's better now that her hair is longer and she actually wears a skirt sometimes, but really. Is it true she was the top sniper in her class?"
If his eyes worked, he'd have been glaring daggers. "Yes, and I happen to find a strong woman attractive. Now if you'll excuse me," he felt around for his cane and stood up, "I need to use the restroom."
"Do you want us to help you find the way?" the girls called in a chorus.
"No, I'm perfectly fine on my own. You see, I've spent the past few months with a wonderful aide who's helped me figure out how to get around," he explained crossly.
"Don't be mad at us," Sophia commanded. "We're only looking out for your best interests!"
Roy turned around toward them, almost shaking with rage. "My best interests? How is acting like a group of absolute hags to Riza in my best interests? Do you know how many times she's put herself in harm's way to protect me? Do you know that one of the last things I saw was her being very nearly murdered in front of me? Do you know that I'd be dead several times over by now if she hadn't been by my side? How could you think that trying to drive her away could ever be in my best interests?" He was practically shouting at them by this point, "Not to mention the fact that I love her!"
The room was silent for a few moments until the black and white dog bounded into the room and came to a stop in front of Roy, letting out a small bark of greeting. His master soon followed, acutely aware of the stares of the other women. "Well," she said gently, "I hope I'm not interrupting anything important? Dinner should be ready in a few minutes." She bit back her laughter at the shocked looks around them, Roy smirking unabashedly.
"Perfect timing, I'm starving," he said pleasantly, crossing the room to stand next to her without trouble. She didn't object as he tilted her face to his in order to give her a deep kiss in front of his family.
"I know what my Roy-boy needs," Christmas laughed to herself, a self-satisfied gleam in her eye.
Yeah, I know. Riza may be a bit out of character, but I like to think that we'd see more of a fun, playful side to her if horrible monsters weren't trying to kill everyone she cares about.
Also, this series needs more of Christmas and Royai in general.