Need You Now
II. Thinking of You
I am thinking of you, thinking of you, and what you would do.
Bright light emitted from the window around the room as two people awoke trying to get ready for the day. "You know…" A male voice spoke lowly, "This is the first time in two weeks that we have had time to ourselves." The woman lying next to him smiled and pushed herself up from the bed. He looked at her bare back and reached out grabbed her arm lightly, she turned and looked at him quizzically. He let her arm go and crawled forward in their bed to come over to where she was sitting. She leaned over to him and placed a light kiss on his cheek. Roy began to feel the guilty feeling crawl up from the pit of his stomach.
"Do you have the day off?" She asked rapping her arms around him lightly, he knew that she did not show this type of affection often and cherished it. He smiled and pressed a light kiss to her forehead, "You did not answer me, Roy, are you going to work today?"
Roy sighed, "I do not want to, Riza, trust me." He stifled a yawn and laid back down, bringing Riza with him, "I am still really tired." Riza sighed, placed her head on his chest, and sighed lightly. Normally she would not be so concerning with someone that she had been dating for little over a month. She would not even be sharing a bed with someone that she had been dating for over a month; she would not share a bed with a man even if they had been dating for longer. However, Roy was different; they had been through hell and high waters for years. She trusted him and had entrusted a special part of herself to him.
She spoke softly, "You are still tired…because you are still having nightmares, Roy." She pulled the covers around herself and sighed. Those nightmares where not only keeping him up, but was also keeping her awake at night. Riza felt his whole torso move and she looked up, "You should talk to someone about it. You should talk to Jean or Vato." He sighed and nodded. Riza sat up slowly and looked at him. "Are you going to talk to them?"
"Maybe, I don't know yet." He sighed and pulled away from her. She sighed angrily and rolled over in bed. Roy's feet hit the floor and he padded around the room. "Riza don't get mad."
Riza sighed and flipped over in bed. "I am not mad, Roy." Roy looked back at her and then he pulled some of his clothing from her dresser and then walked over to the closet and pulled a jacket out of the closet. Riza propped herself up against the pillow and brought her knees up to her chest. Roy turned to the mirror and ran his hands through his hair quickly.
Riza spoke over her knees softly, "You don't need to do that, you look like a lady killer." He turned back to her and walked towards the right side of the bed. He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the cheek; she leaned up and ran a hand through his hair. "Please try and talk to someone, soon." He smiled and pulled away from Riza. She watched as his smile fell, it seemed to be doing that a lot lately; his attitude had even changed some.
He looked down at her and spoke quietly, "I will talk to Jean." He ran a hand over her hair and she smiled. He watched as she snuggled down into her comforter, "Enjoy your day off." He sighed and gave her one last look and turned around, the guilty feeling was starting to rise up, boiling hotter this time.
He walked towards the door, he saw Hayate. The dog got up slowly as he saw his other master come towards him. Roy leaned over and patted the faithful dog on the head. He unlocked her apartment door and stepped out into the long hallway, he pulled off his key ring. Roy locked Riza's apartment back up and then started down for the service elevator. It was the easiest way out of Riza's complex without being caught.
He sighed and rested his head against the cool metal of the lift, he did not want to upset Riza and show her how guilty he felt for feeling good with her while his best friend had died. He felt that it was wrong to feel good, and that was not helping him with Riza or with work. He had to tiptoe around the good stuff with Riza. As the door opened, he stepped out of the lift and tried to clear his mind.
Riza looked at the clock and wiped her eye. She had been cleaning since Roy left. She looked around the room and smiled. She was happy at how well she had gotten her apartment clean. She heard a whine and looked towards the terrace door. The sound was Black Hayate wanting to come in. Riza sighed and walked to the terrace door and picked the dog up. He barked at his owner and leaned up to lick Riza's face. "Yes, yes I know you are happy that you are out of the heat and inside the house…aren't you pup?" The dog panted happily as his response and looked around as Riza carried him over to his bed. She put him down in the bed and he looked up at her.
"Stay, I just cleaned the carpets." The dog put his head down on fluffy bed and started to drift off to sleep. Riza smiled and walked towards the kitchen to finish her dishes. However, she was pulled from the task as the phone in her living room rang. She dropped her dishtowel on the counter and padded over to the phone. "Riza Hawkeye." Riza announced to the caller as she twisted the cord around her finger.
"Riza!" Riza smiled, it was Gracia. She and the young woman had been in close contact for the last few weeks. Riza would oft be a visitor to the Hughes home. "I have a favor to ask of you…" Gracia stated in a somewhat singsong voice.
Riza laughed and slipped onto her couch bringing the phone with her, "What can I help you with Gracia." Gracia sounded better this week, but Riza knew that some weeks would be better than others would. She heard some shuffling on the other line and then heard little Elicia laugh loudly in the background.
"Well I want to know, well Elicia wants to know too, if you would like to come over and help me around the house a little bit." Gracia paused and Riza sighed. Gracia laughed loudly at Riza's unhappiness at keeping house, "Nothing like cleaning Riza. I need help in my garden…it also might help you unwind too." Riza smiled, Gracia fully understood the pain and stress that the woman went through daily.
Riza pulled the phone back onto the end table and stood up slowly, "I'll come over and help. Gardening sounds…fun." She stated plainly. Gracia laughed and exchanged a swift goodbye and the line died. Riza replaced the phone on the hook and headed for her room. She looked at the messy bed and sat down on the left side. It still smelled like him, but she pushed that thought from her mind and pulled her shoes onto her feet quickly. The she got up and padded over to the mirror; she picked up her brush and ran it through her hair quickly. She deemed herself acceptable and walked out of her room swiftly.
Hayate raised his head lazily at his master as she stomped by in haste. He watched Riza pick a jacket from the coat rack and then walked over to get her handbag and put her guns in their harnesses. Riza looked over at her dog, pulled bowls from the kitchen, and filled them with food and water for the dog. She placed them down in the kitchen, "I'm going to Gracia's. Be good." The dog put his head down on the bed and let out a sigh. Riza smiled at her dog, walked out of her apartment, and began to head for Gracia's home.
Riza was greeted at the gate by little Elicia, even at the age of four, showed her father's love for others and her mother's elegance. She smiled at the little girl and swept her up in one of her arms. Elicia laughed loudly and smiled, "Auntie Riiiii!" Riza smiled at the young girl as she locked her arms around her neck. Riza was happy that Elicia was starting to cope with the fact that her father was gone, however Riza knew it would not become fact that her father was forever gone to her until she was older.
"Where is your mommy, Elicia?" Riza asked to the little girl sweetly. Elicia laughed loudly and pointed over to the rose bushes. That was when Riza noticed that Gracia was indeed in the front yard. Riza felt stupid for not recognizing Gracia, but the young woman had grown her hair out enough to put it a small ponytail and she was not wearing black like she had done for the last few weeks. Riza smiled and put Elicia down. Elicia ran over to the other side of the yard to go play in the other flowers. "Gracia?"
The young woman turned around and smiled broadly, "Riza!" She pulled her gloves off and rushed up and over to the other woman, "Glad you could come!" Her eyes traveled to the brown bag in her hangs, "Riza…"
"Gracia…it's just a few thinks for your pantry." Riza stated softly. Gracia sighed and crossed her arms. Riza knew that Gracia did not want her doing anymore shopping for her, but Riza had gotten so use to taking care of the grieving family she felt like she had to bring them something. "I know you don't want them, but I just wanted to help."
Gracia sighed and twisted the large gold band on her finger, "I'll take them inside to get them out of the sun." Riza put the bag in Gracia's hands, but Gracia began to speak again, "But you should give these to someone who needs them, like my husband's grieving friend. I still think he's taking this worse than I am." The words stung, Riza knew the words held all the truth in the world. Roy wanted to find whoever did this to his best friend and make sure that they never saw the light of day again.
Riza watched Gracia walk into the house for a moment and then walked over to where the woman had been gardening. She picked up the other pair of gloves and slipped them onto her hands. Riza sunk to her knees and pulled at the weeds forcefully. She tugged hard enough and ripped a lot of the dirt out of the ground with the weed. "Want to talk about it?" Riza turned around and looked a Gracia; she had not even heard the woman walk back out of the house.
"I shouldn't burden you with my troubles Gracia." Riza said softly as she pulled the dirt off the weed and put it back into the crater.
Gracia sat down next to the woman and sighed softly, she pulled on her gloves, pulled at a few weeds herself, and then spoke again, "It's not a burden, Riza." She paused and looked behind her to see if her daughter was still playing in the yard. "This is what friends do for each other." Riza stopped in mid-yank and thought for a moment. Gracia and she had become good friends in the last few weeks. She trusted the woman and Riza knew she was being stubborn by keeping everything bottled away. Riza knew she could not tell Gracia everything, but she could share a lot, she knew that Jean and Roy would talk about some of the same things.
"He's under a lot of stress." Riza said lowly. Gracia looked up and stopped weeding. The young woman had not expected Riza to be so blunt so quickly, but it was better than her not saying everything at all. "He looks tired all the time and I do not know what to do to help him."
Gracia sighed and put her gloves aside, "Does he have anyone to talk to?" She paused and looked over at her friend, "Have you tried talking to him about it?"
"We've talked a bit about it," She lied, she very well could not tell Gracia that it was one of the topics that dominated their time together because it affected his health so much, "But he's still struggling…I can see it in his face." Riza added the last part on at the tail end. It was not a complete lie, but it was not all the truth as well.
Gracia nodded and placed a hand on Riza's shoulder. "You know, you should tell him that he needs to go talk with some of the others, like Mister Vato Falman. Maes was always very fond of Mister Vato. Maybe he could confide in him or in someone else that he trusts." Gracia caught the downcast look on her friends face and smiled, "Mister Mustang…Roy, trusts you…but he needs to confide in another person like Maes." Riza's eyes widened she had let her face slip. Riza sighed and nodded, she understood what Gracia was trying to say, but she had already told Roy all of those things, it was getting Roy to do it was the hard part. Gracia picked up her gloves and shovel.
"Riza…" Gracia said brining her clippers up to some the roses that had bloomed, she cut a few as Elicia came running up behind her mother. The young woman turned to her daughter and handed her the buddle of roses. "He's not going to do it if you don't explain to him that he needs to do this or it will eat him alive, you need to also tell him that it is okay that he has other friends that he can confide in. Tell him it is okay to laugh and its okay to smile." She pulled one of the roses from the bush and put it behind Riza's hair.
Riza sighed and pulled her gloves off her hands. She ran her hands through her hair and pulled the rose out. She cradled it for a second and then pushed it into Elicia's ponytail. Elicia laughed and then ran off. Riza again and then turned back to her friend, "Do you even think that will work?"
Gracia nodded and placed a hand to her chest; she closed her eyes and began to speak softly, "Maes lost a good friend last year Colonel Jon Kormell, he was stationed East maybe you knew him, but he shut himself down for awhile, it hurt me, it hurt our family. When I told him that it was alright to laugh, Jon would want him to be happy." Elicia pushed up on her knees and stood. "It helped a lot, and maybe it will help Mister Mustang - Roy." She slapped her hand down on the other; she had to remember to call the Colonel by his given name.
"Now…" Gracia said smoothly. She smiled and then turned to Elicia, she picked her daughter up in one swoop and turned to look at the setting sun, "I think there is someone more needy than me that you need to attend to," She rocked her little girl back and forth slowly, "Maybe you can give them those groceries too." Riza stood and smiled at her friend, knowing exactly what she wanted to do.
Her head whipped around as she heard something off in the distance. Riza frowned and pulled at the bag of groceries in her arms and pulled the small handgun from the bottom of the brown paper sack. She gulped and tried to ease her nerves of being out on the street at late at night. Riza shut her eyes and thanked her father for teaching her face control so she could not show her fear. She heard more rustling in the bushes and pulled the gun father up, closer to her body. However, she continued to keep moving forward and refused to show her fear. Think calming thoughts, her body told her. However, she wanted someone to keep her company, and that person was still at work.
She heard a footstep out on the pavement and pulled the gun tighter. She really did not want to drop her groceries. They were not even for her, they were for Gracia, but Gracia told her to give them to someone who really needed them, Roy. She heard more footsteps behind her and then heard a cold voice radiate out of nowhere, "Sweetie it is dangerous to walk out here alone at a time like this." Riza looked back at the cloaked figure. She could not tell if he was human or not.
He spoke again, "Wanna escort?" She looked at him again. Giving him a twice over with her eyes. She really did not have time for the any of the stunts the cloaked figure was going to pull or try to pull on her. She turned away from the figure and began to walk again.
"Thanks for the offer, but it is okay." She began to head towards the lamppost a few feet ahead of her; she hoped the light would keep the figure a far enough distance away. However, that did not seem to be working, every step she took towards the light, he took a step out of the shadows to follow her. It was disconcerting, but she knew how to deal with it.
Riza heard him chuckle, "Don't be shy, sweetie," He cooed. She clenched the gun tighter as she heard something slip out of a sheath. She assumed it was a blade of some sort but refused to turn around to look at the figure. "There are really dangerous guys round here, ya'know!" That caused her brow to arch. "Like ME! Barry the Chopper." Her eyes widened and she turned around to see oncoming attack. He was coming at her, cleaver drawn and she had to make a choice, her life or the eggs in the paper bag. She did not choose and pulled the handgun up and out. She quickly took aim and shot twice at the armor. When he was stunned she took this time to drop all in her hands and pull out her other firearm strapped to her thigh. Riza did not think for even a second before aiming and then shooting at the armor again. Riza knew he was trying to talk to her, but she was not listening she was aiming and taking her shots. This caused the armor to fall back onto his back, but her hopped up almost as quick, as if he was hollow and there was nothing in him to worry about. Riza gulped and took a stern front, she had her theory, and she wanted him to confirm it.
"This should cause a scream outta your lungs!" He lifted his head off his shoulders, Riza gasped for about a second and then pulled her stern front back up, she shot at him again causing him to fall back and drop his head, "Why…why aren't you scared like everyone else, sweetie?" Riza lowered the gun, he was not a threat anymore, his cleaver was too far away for him to get up and run. He now knew she would shot him if he tried anything else.
She lowered her defenses and pulled the gun by her side, "I know someone just like you." Riza stated very plainly, she did not want to give anything away, but it did give a reason for her to not be frightened by the armored man. She pulled her gun back up as he sat up slowly, however he made no moves for the cleaver or his head so she lowered her gun again.
"Like…me?" He paused for a second to think. "Like Alphonse something?" She raised the gun in fear again as he reached for his head and the fact that he knew Alphonse Elric. She thought about it for a second, there might have been a whole world that she did not know about the Elrics.
Riza kept her voice steady, "You know about Alphonse?" He snickered and nodded. She took a step back, "Who are you and how do you know about Alphonse?"
He let out another snicker and leaned over the other way, "Oh so I guess you are a pal of his, huh Sweetie?" He paused and reached down for the cleaver and put it away quickly, "Ya'know, Sweetie, you sure are strong!" He paused again. Riza drew her gun to point at him, they were beginning to draw a crowd and she did not like that at all. "I like strong women!"
She sighed and spoke forcefully, "Please! Do not change the topic!" However he continued down the chain of thought that he was on. She kept the gun on him, but walked towards the phone booth, "Whatcha doin' sweetie?" She ignored the comment and the fact that she now had a large armored shadow following her. She turned around to look at him, and noticed that he had picked up her groceries and her purse.
"Ya forgot your purse, sweetie." Riza gave him a half smile, put her gun in its casing, and then pulled her coin purse out of her bag. She put twenty-five sens in the coin slot and dialed her house number, which in turn was Roy's home number. However, she stopped mid-dial, put another sens piece in, and dialed the Colonel's office number. She sighed and pulled out her codebook.
Roy watched as his subordinates struggle around with unpacking the new, much larger, office. He looked up as the doors opened to his office and Havoc came in with a few boxes in his hands, "Hey boss!" He cried happily, as he placed the box on the desk closest to the door and rested his arm on it. "This is Hawkeye's stuff, what you want to do with it?" Roy marked his place in his book before getting up to help Havoc with the box of Hawkeye's stuff. "Sir?" He asked standing up at full attention. It was funny how much of a show that Havoc could put on when he was in front of Grunts.
"It's alright Havoc. I'll unpack it for her." He picked up the box and carried it back to his desk. However, Havoc just stood there scratching the back of his head, confused at what his bass had just done. "She's on leave today, I'd like her to comeback with little unpacking to do so we can all get our work done." Havoc caught the flash in his boss' eyes and smiled. Of course, the Colonel could not say why they were there, with Grunts that they knew nothing about in the room. Havoc placed to fingers to his brow and saluted.
"Alright sir! Anything else?" Havoc smiled knowingly and Roy returned the gesture with a devilish smile of his own.
Roy placed the box on his desk and opened part of it. "Yes…tell the others that I want all their unpacking done as soon as possible." Havoc nodded and headed for the door, "Oh wait, Havoc. Drinks, Tomorrow? I'll buy." Roy thought of what Riza had said, this was a step forward. Havoc smiled.
"Sure thing boss. I'll meet you at Jay's." Havoc turned to the door and pushed it open, disappearing into the other office.
Roy sighed and retreated to his seat; he pulled the box to him and began to take things out that he knew wanted on her desk. A small box was what he pulled out first. However, the box looked like it opened. He flipped it open and he realized it was a folding double picture frame. One picture was of Maes and him. Why does she have this? There was a note taped on the other picture in the frame. He pulled the note off the picture and reached for his letter opener. He flicked the back open and pulled out the letter. However, before he read the letter in his hands he looked at the picture. It was a small golden haired girl and she was smiling. The worn picture was none other than Riza Hawkeye. Finally, he returned his attention to the parchment in his hands; the curvy smooth script brought a smile to his face.
I knew you would go through my stuff. I want you to have this, so you know that he was always thinking of you, and that I am always thinking of you. Also, thank you for unpacking my things.
He smiled and placed the letter in his desk, and then he reached for the picture and ran his hands over the picture of Maes and him. He touched his fingers to the glass, being without Maes was still difficult; the days where long and lonely without his closest friend, but having Riza stand up beside him was helping ease that pain. That brought him back to the girl in the picture. He looked at the golden haired girl and smiling broadly with a daisy brought up to her cheek. He put the picture down on the desk and pushed it away. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as the two grunts elbowed each other, "Something you want to ask me?"
One grunt spoke up quickly, "The picture." He said softly, "Who is she?" Roy smiled and pushed the picture around to show the grunts the sepia toned pictures. The smiled at the young girl's photo and waited for the Colonel to answer their question.
He picked up the picture again and leaded back in his large leather chair, a small plan was formulating in his head, Elicia looked about the same with her hair down. "Maes' daughter. This was his. Hawkeye must have acquired it somehow and replaced Gracia's picture with one of him and I." He placed the picture back down and rummaged through the box in front of him. The grunts took the silence as an order to get back to unloading the boxes and putting the books on the shelves. Roy continued to go through various papers and books in the box. He scratched his head and pushed it aside when the phone rang.
He rubbed his brow and then pushed the handbooks aside, "Yes this is he." He waited for the man on the other line to speak again. Roy had no idea who it could be calling; nobody knew his private extension in the new office expect for…one person. Riza. He grabbed the phone of the desk and turned away from the grunts so they could not see him freeze up. He took a deep breath, all of the memories were flashing back from the night that Maes died. The silence on the line was killing him on the inside, but he kept his voice low and sharp so the grunts could not hear him, "Do you know who it is?" Roy has to control his temper and his language. The man clicked back onto the phone, he made a very perturbed sound.
The man's voice on the line was cold and uncaring. Roy did not like that at all. The man began to talk again, "It is a call from the outside line." He paused, Roy felt his anger begin to rise and his mind race with worry, "Shall I put it through?" Roy thought how stupid of a question that was and then pushed the thought form his mind, the man did not know of Roy's past with calls like these.
Roy cracked his neck and took a few seconds to quell his temper before he spoke. "Put me through." He said calmly. A cool voice slipped into his ear and he let out a sigh, his worries where all gone now, she was all right, "Lieutenant Hawkeye," He paused for a second, "Wasn't today your day off? Calling in to check on us?"
"Colonel Mustang," Was her curt response. He smiled; she was a good actor, she knew that the military could listen in. "No, I'm expecting you to unpack. But…" Her pause was concerning. The thing that worried Roy was that she was unsure; an unsure Hawkeye was never a good thing.
Roy gulped; this was not good coming from Riza Hawkeye, "But, what Hawkeye?" He was hoping it was nothing bad. He sat up, pulled the phone off his lap, and placed it back onto the desk. However, he swiveled around to his left desk drawer and pulled out a pair of gloves onto his desk.
"I caught something weird." He sat up quickly and pulled his gloves on one by one. He was now most sure that he would need them. He stood up and pulled off his military jacket and put on his black dress jacket, however he cradled the phone with his shoulder and his ear to continue to listen to Riza, "Colonel calm down, take your time to get here, change, bring Falman, and take off your gloves. Meet me at Fourteen Cannel Crossing, I am at the payphone." He heard the line click and he smiled. He placed the phone back on the hook. The grunts looked back at him and Mustang shook his head at the grunts.
"It's alright; I just thought that the lieutenant was in some sort of danger." He straightened his jacket and grabbed a few things off his desk, including his discarded military jacket. He pulled his keys out of his pockets out and locked his desk up tightly. Then he reached around, grabbed his leather bound book, and slipped it in his pocket. "Alright Boys…time to call it a night." The grunts nodded and began grabbing their things. Roy pushed in his chair and headed straight for the subordinate office. As he pushed open the cherry doors with his hands, he made eye contact with Falman and nodded for him to follow. Falman put down the box and picked up his jacket. The others ignored it. They all knew better.
Falman pushed the door open for his boss and followed as the man led him down the hallway and towards the locker rooms. "Boss?" He tried to question. Roy turned to him and gave him a look that told Falman everything he needed to know. He was meant to follow his boss now and ask questions later. Falman bit his lip and followed the long, hurried strides of Roy Mustang. Falman knew he was a genius because of his photographic memory, but it did not take a genius to see that Roy Mustang was worried and that he was on a mission.
Roy stopped at Falman's locket and looked around. He then spoke quietly, "Hawkeye has something that she wants you to look at." He paused, "So get dressed in street clothes and meet Hawkeye and me at Madame Christmas' stock house at the intersection Fourteen Cannel Crossing and Thirteen Forty-Five Tames Road." Roy reached into his pocket and pulled a key off the loop. He placed it in Falman's hand.
"I'll guard it with my life sir." Falman's hand closed on the key and he looked back up at his boss, who had already dashed to his locker and begun to change into his street clothes. Falman let out a breath and opened his locker, wondering if his boss was worried for another reason.
The wait for Roy and Falman was killing her. At the beginning she was able to let her mind wander to the budding relationship that she was trying to build with her boss, however for the last month they had little time together. It did not help that Barry would pull her from her thoughts and then would ask her if he could cut open every passerby that he saw. Eventually he asked if he could cut her up. She elbowed him and he fell off the gate and down the hill. Then ten minutes later Barry climbed back up the hill and stopped asking to chop anyone else. However, he perked back up and looked off into the distance. Riza lifted her head from her hands as Barry looked off down the road.
"Hey toots, someone is coming down the street this way." Barry hopped off the fence and extended a hand, "Here, sweetie." She took the hand and hopped down off the fence. Riza brushed off her skirt and then pulled her weapon from the sheath.
However, when she stood up her golden eyes met, coal ones. "Sorry for bugging you at such a busy time Colonel." She stressed the last word and then looked back up at him. His shoulders relaxed a little and his eyes softened when their eyes met. However, he was not relaxed for long, she watched Roy stiffen and soon she knew why, Barry was slinking his cold hollow hands around her waist. She elbowed him, knocking him back and away from her, "Barry! Stop!"
Barry backed off a bit, "Hey, toots, who's this punk?" She elbowed him again and knocked him back farther that time. "Can I chop him up?"
She shut her eyes and sighed, she was sick of Barry calling her sweetie, toots, and everything else that he had called her; there was only one man that was able to call her those things and that was her grandfather back in East City. She looked at Roy and could see the flames behind his coal eyes. The other possible man that could call her sweetie was thinking about how many ways he could tear apart the armored man that was still trying to link his arms around Riza's waist. She elbowed him one last time, "Cut it out."
Roy threw Riza a questioning look and she took a few steps away from Barry. Roy reached for Riza's hand and pulled her to his side. She sent him a death glare, but his eyes where fixated on a bigger prize. "Please stand aside Hawkeye, I feel like roasting something." Riza rolled her eyes and sighed. She knew that full well that all of his pent up anger from moving, Maes' death, and keeping everything a secret was getting to him.
"Colonel, please!" Riza said as she laid a hand on his arm, he looked down at her and gave her a knowing look. Quickly she withdrew her hand and returned to speaking, "Don't. This is Barry the Chopper; he was supposed to be executed!" Roy's eyes widened as she spoke about the man in the armor. He pulled his gloves off and shoved them in his pockets.
Roy placed a hand to his head and sighed, "This explains why you said you had caught something weird." Roy rubbed his forehead and began to pace back and forth, "But Hawkeye what does this all mean?" He took a step back as the armored man took one forward.
"I'll tell ya what this all means, bub!" Barry said pulling his cleaver out of the sheath and beginning to polish it with the end of his cloak. "It means that there where people sick enough in yer stinkin' government to create people like me." Those words where cutting. Roy knew that there where deep secrets in the government that needed to come out, but this was something sickening.
Roy pulled his head from his hand and looked over at Riza, she wide-eyed from the disturbing words that Barry had spoken about their government. "Barry," Roy said calmly, "Can you come with us to Madame Christmas' stock house at the corner?" Riza raised her brow at Barry and he nodded quickly.
"Yeah, I'll go because, sweetie asked me to." He turned on his heel and started walking down towards the stock house. As soon as Barry was out of earshot, Riza turned to the stunned man and sighed. He looked at her and gave her a slight frown.
Riza picked her bag and pulled it onto her shoulders, "Roy I know that you are probably mad…" The man's eyebrows raised and then he shushed her carefully. Riza stopped in mid-crouch with her groceries still in her arms.
"I'm not mad…" He laughed and looked calmer now, "I'm relieved…I am so relieved that you are alright." Roy pulled the groceries from her hands and placed them on the bench behind him. He took a small step towards her and she threw him a look that spoke for itself. Roy shook his head and brushed his hair back.
Riza watched him as he struggled to get the words out, he was so desperate for her to lean out and touch her; he needed some sort of comfort at a time that was so distressing. She leaned up and brought her free hand to his cheek. He took a breath and calmed himself down again, "I was worried for a while, but…" He paused and smiled, "When I heard your voice on the phone, it stopped all the worries and the fears." Riza smiled, this was his calm way of saying that he thought it was going to Maes all over again until he heard her voice on the phone and knew she was fine.
Riza retraced her hand and spoke slowly, "I'm sorry for worrying you… I can't promise you that I will never be in danger again." He smiled at her comment and shook his head; he did not want her promising that she would never get in trouble or danger. Roy just wanted her safe after all of the danger.
"I know. We are in a dangerous line of work, I just want you to come out of all of the danger, all of the fights…I want you to come back safe." She smiled and reached a hand up to wrap it around his neck loosely. He just needed her there for just a moment. He rapped one arm loosely around her waist, hoping to give her the same comfort in return for those few short seconds. There was no fear of being caught now; it was late and much too dark in the area that they were standing. Slowly Riza pulled herself away and then began to walk down the street without him. He stood there in the dark and sighed. He placed a hand on the phone booth's outside and took a deep breath. He was thankful that tonight was not a repeat of what happened a month ago. He pushed away, turned away from the booth, and began to walk away, leaving the fear of tonight behind.
Roy felt worthless; he was worried and angry all the time these days. Riza kept telling him that it was natural to feel these things all the time because of Maes and it was a sign that he was on the right track. Roy took a few more steps down the street. He did not feel worried for Maes though, he felt anger and guilt. Roy felt guilty for getting him involved in with the Elric brothers, there was no denying a connection. Then he felt even guiltier because he was able to be with one that he cared for. The only reason he was worried of losing more people that he cared for. He pulled his front together; he could not let any of this show.
Roy walked out of the warehouse hours later; he ran his hands through hair. The long interrogation had taken longer than he had hoped, but it had uncovered things that he needed to. He had learned that Maes killer was still on the loose, he had also learned that it took humans to make the stones that the Elrics sought. It also brought him closer to understanding on how to get to the top. He looked over at Riza; she looked over at him and shook her head at him, she did not want him going back to HQ tonight as he had said he would be.
Falman slid the door to the warehouse and put the key in the lock to lock the door quickly. He turned back to his boss and handed him the key. "Sir I know you are going back to HQ, but you look really sick, go home for little while, and then come in early." Falman pulled his keys out and handed Roy the key to the warehouse and another key. "This is the key to the documents room; it will help you find what you are looking for." Roy nodded and put the key in his pocket.
"Thanks. I'll get your time off arranged tomorrow morning," He paused and then looked at Riza, she nodded that she would make sure that Jean coved Falman's paperwork for the next few days. Roy then returned to Falman. "Also I will make sure that Kain unpacks all your things, I know he'll be the only one that gets it done."
Falman nodded and put his hand on Barry's shoulder. The armored man looked back at the gangly man, "Are we going?" He paused and gave him a once over, "You don't look fun to chop bub." Falman pulled his hand away and then moved a few feet away.
Riza tapped her foot loudly, "Barry you cannot chop up Mister Vato, and you understand this right?" The suit nodded.
"Aye, aye Honey!" Barry put his hand on Falman's shoulder, "Well skinny, you didn't look fun to chop anyways." Falman stiffened for a second and then walked off down the road having the armored man follow him quickly down the street. Roy waited until they were out of sight to turn back to Riza. She just sighed and turned away and began to walk down the street.
Roy caught Riza's arm and then brought her to his side. She looked up at him skeptically and then sighed; it was a losing battle with him tonight. She looked around and then back at him, "This isn't the ending that I pictured for tonight."
He laughed softly and continued down the street, "What kind of ending did you expect?" She shrugged. "Well I did not expect this either, what where you doing all the way out on Cannel Crossing anyways? You live clear on Fourth and Thirty-third. This is over…where I live." He paused and looked down at her, and then his eyes fixated on her groceries, "Are you serious Riza? You risked your life to bring me groceries?"
"It's not completely my fault. If I had my way, I would have given Gracia the groceries and gone home. This all would have been avoided." She said sternly. She looked around and the streets again and then began to speak again, "Plus I needed to talk to you anyways."
He led Riza up towards the building; Roy reached into his pocket to grabs his keys. Riza reached into her bag and pulled out his ring of keys, "Where…did you? I dropped them?" Riza nodded and watched as he let them into the building. He pushed her up the stairs quickly with a few playful nudges, but eventually the burning guilt came back and he stopped, Riza threw him a quizzical look and waited for him to unlock his apartment door. He put the key in the lock and turned it, "What did you want to talk to me about?"
"Just some things that Gracia and I talked about." She pushed open the door and Roy flicked on the lights and pulled off his coat. She worked her way over to the table and placed the brown bag on the table. He hung his jacket up and then walked over behind her. "Did you talk to Jean?"
He nodded and the worked his way over to the icebox and pulled a beer and a bottled water out. She handed him the eggs and he handed her the water. "Yes, I talked to Jean; we are going for drinks tomorrow after work, so that means I will be working through lunch." She rolled her eyes and put the bread away quickly. Roy took a sip of the beer and then began again, "So what did you and Gracia talk about?"
Riza opened the bottle of water and took a small sip. "We talked about you." She watched as Roy pulled the beer from his lips. "It was nothing bad…I just told her that I noticed some changes in your personality. She gave me some advice." Riza put the bottle down on the table and then walked over to Roy. He put his beer on the counter as she pulled on one of his hands. He linked fingers with her and sighed.
"I know you are still struggling, but I have noticed a few changes in the way you've been acting at the office and at home." Riza brought her free hand to his scruffy face and sighed, "Tell me why you are acting this way." He placed a hand over her hand and sighed, he stroked the smooth back of her hand.
He closed his eyes painfully and then began to speak, "Every time I look at you, smile, or laugh I feel guilty, I feel as if I am the reason that Maes can't experience these things anymore." Roy laid his head on her shoulder and sighed, "I just want to shut down…why do I get all of this now, when he is gone?"
Riza rubbed his back slowly and soothingly. "I know that it is hard, but he wouldn't want you to shut yourself down or even feel guilty, that would be the last thing he would want you to feel." She moved away so he could look at him, "He would want you to grieve for him, yes, but he would also want you to move on and know that it is alright to laugh and smile."
"It's going to take some time Riza, it still feels like I am insulting his memory if I laugh." He said softly. She looked at him sadly and brushed his hair out of his eyes. "I just…don't know…yet." It was painful to watch him beat himself up over something that was out of his control.
"It just hurts me to see you like this." Roy's eyes widened at Riza's comment. He had been selfish enough to ignore how this would affect her. Roy sighed and shook his head. He took two steps back and then ran in to the counter. "Roy, just to let you know, if you smile and laugh that is not insulting Maes' memory. If you keep doing this, keeping everything inside...that is insulting his memory."
Roy brushed his hair back and sighed again, he picked up his beer and took a swig again, "I'm sorry. I'm still new to all of this." He waved his hands around, "I'm new to steady relationships and I'm new to sharing myself."
Riza brought her hands up to his face and brought it down close to hers, "I know you are new to this, I am too, but if we want this to work we have to try to share what is going on inside a little better." She paused and pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, "We can get through this. I promise." Roy let his arms encircle her waist; he laid his head onto of hers and just stood there, calming down. She snuggled into his chest and waited for him to calm down and pull away. When he did lift his head, she looked up and smiled. He smiled back down and no longer felt guilty.
"Still want me to go for drinks with Jean tomorrow?" He asked jokingly.
She slapped his chest playfully and wiggled out of his grasp. "You are still talking to Jean like it or not, you have to have another confidant." He gave her a knowing look, "Oh Roy! Other than me and you know that!" He smiled and picked up his beer. He leaned over and gave her a quick peck. He walked towards his room hoping that she would follow. Thankfully, she caught his eye. And followed.
A/N: Thank you for reading the second chapter of Need You Now. This is my longest chapter to date, and possibly the last time that I write a chapter over six. I hope I was able to keep you attetion through all of the chapter. Was anyone else disappointed with the lack of Royai in FMA's final chapter. I was, but the proposal that Ed made, I guess made up for it.
Read? Like? Review!