Theme 16: Reaching Voice & Unstoppable with a Voice

Several days after the Führer's Unfinished Speech.

7:16 P.M. Central General Hospital, Military Branch

Floor 6, Room 611

"Damn you, damn you, damn you!" Riza whispered. She might have cried, but she figured she had cried enough over the last few days. Now, she simply sat beside his hospital bed, back straight, hands folded demurely on her lap, because the windows were open, and there was not supposed to be anything between them. "Wake up, damn you!"

The doctors had told her that it wasn't a coma that he was under so many drugs, it was difficult to stay conscious. The doctors had told her that he'd woken up three times, and that he had been delirious from the pain medication when he had. She had told them that she needed to see it for herself.

Riza sighed. "You're really worrying everyone, you know that? Even Edward Elric came to ask if you were okay. You two would be great friends, if you didn't argue so much. Or maybe you are friends, at that. Why don't you stop being so contrary and wake up already?"

Nothing. He just lay there beneath the white hospital bed sheets. He actually looked quite peaceful; she hadn't realized just how much stress he had been in until now, when it was gone. "At least you're taking full advantage of your sick days."

She sat there at his bedside for a long time. She had to be one of the worst bodyguards in the history of the world. Everytime – every goddamn time – he needed her to protect him, she failed, and he got hurt. She failed every time. Every time! She should resign, and go far away, so that he could get someone who could actually protect him. It would hurt her to leave. She didn't know if she could stand it. It would hurt him, too, but she was sure he would get over his infatuation. He would, he did it all the time. Leaving would destroy her, but she would do it gladly, because he'd be safer with someone who could do the job right.

Every time he needed her, she failed.

She failed.

The room was quiet, except for the ticking clock. It ticked in time with her thoughts.

Tic. Tock. Tic. Tock.

I. Always. Fail. Him.

"Who's there? Where am I?"

Riza jumped, startled, at the sound of Roy's voice. His eyes were open. He stared sightlessly at the ceiling. She felt like crying all over again, but didn't let herself. It would have been so much easier to leave if he hadn't woken. So much easier.

"It's me, Roy, Riza Hawkeye. You're in the hospital."

"Riza?" He turned his head at the sound of her voice. "Where am I?" He sounded strange.

"In the hospital," she reiterated, worried.

"Why are you lying to me?"
" What?" A cold hand of dread seemed to clutch around her throat, her heart. "What am I lying about?"

"Everything. Riza Hawkeye is dead. They cut her throat. And I don't know where we are, but it's not a hospital. Now, tell me the truth."

She had no idea how to respond. Sane Roy Mustang was bad enough; delirious Roy Mustang…. Fortunately, she had no chance to answer – Roy's entire attitude changed.

"Riza was so strong, so beautiful. Why'd they have to kill her? Why?" He sounded completely piteous, pathetic. "They didn't have to. They didn't. Are they just trying to torture me? 'Cause they did a good job. A real good job."

Riza still felt frozen, staring at him. What was he saying? It really didn't make much sense, unless… No, it couldn't be. It was just the drugs talking, that was it, the drugs…

Roy's demeanor changed again. She was going to have a headache from how fast he was switching. "Riza, is that really you" He reached blindly for her.

"Yes, sir, it's me." She took his hand. He gripped it tightly. Then, quietly, "It's me, Roy."

"Good, I… You're thinking about leaving me, aren't you?"

"Visiting hours are over at 8:3-, sir -."

"That's not what I meant. Don't resign. I need you here."

"Roy, I can't -."

"Yes, you can. We'll talk about it later, but do. Not. Leave. I couldn't stand it if you left like a ghost, without a word. I… need you… here…" With an exhausted sigh, he fell asleep. Riza stared at him, mouth agape, for a long moment. Then she gave him a small smile.

"Yes, Your Excellency. I will stay, for now. Rest, my friend."

The hospital staff was shocked when General Riza Hawkeye left the hospital at 7:45 with a smile on her face.