Until the End
After all this time, he was still asking her the same question. He should know by now that as long as the question doesn't change, her answer won't, either.
Written for the Royai Day celebrations on the Royai thread at fullmetal-alchemist (dot) com. The theme: "Together Until the End". (Copping out on titles? Moi? …Yeah, pretty much.)
Spoilers through chapter 107, written before the release of chapter 108. Assuming Roy is still blind.
As soon as it was all over, they made their way over to a pile of rubble and collapsed. Roy had Riza recline against him, not trusting the broken ground to be kind to any of the injuries either of them had sustained.
"How does it look?" Roy murmured, partially out of curiosity, partially to keep Riza awake until a doctor could tend to her.
"Pretty bad," Riza sighed. "Not much to see, actually, and what I can see is rather miserable."
She was glad he couldn't see it: the gigantic hole through Central Command, several more of the same in the ground, the piles of rubble, the dead bodies…
"FullMetal? Al?" Roy inquired, snapping Riza out of her reverie.
Riza squinted, but said nothing. She could vaguely make out Ed with his arm around a skin-and-bones boy with long hair, and no suit of armor, but maybe the blood loss was making her see things…
"I… can't really see them, Sir." It wasn't exactly a lie.
But Roy knew her too well. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant."
Riza shrugged. "What's done is done, Sir. We're alive, and that's more than we could have asked for." Trust her to be pragmatic even after she'd almost died for the… Roy had lost count of how many times just today, but it was a large number—that much he knew.
Roy nodded. "True, Lieutenant. Very true."
"I thought we were done with the military, Sir," Riza pointed out, though a small voice at the back of her head rather snarkily reminded her that she had just called him "Sir". "We did desert, after all."
"That might be problematic—I was supposed to make it to the top," Roy reminded her. "Now what?" Again, back to asking questions more for Riza's benefit than for his.
"You never said you had to be the head of a specifically militaristic state," Riza told him. "You just said that you wanted to protect those under you, which I know you can still do."
"And you said you'd stay with me until that day," mused Roy. "I don't suppose, even after all this, you'd still follow me?"
Riza smiled softly. "I said I'd follow you into Hell. I followed you through it, and you're still asking me if I'll follow you?"
Roy, however, frowned, tightening his grip on Riza's shoulders. "I almost lost you. More times than I can count, I've almost lost you. A part of me wants you to say that you've had enough, that you'll just stay out of it and wait for me." Now, he smiled a little sadly. "But you'd never do that, would you?"
"No, I wouldn't," agreed Riza. "I can't sit by idly and wait. I said I'd support you, and I will. Until the end, Roy, I swear." After all, it wasn't the end, they realized; it was only the beginning.
"I know," Roy sighed, a little surprised at the use of his given name. "But for now—" he pulled Riza just a little closer "—even if it's just for now, let me support you."
A/N: Wow. Nine years of this series, and I've known of it for 5 of them. I'm really sad to see it end, and it's not really even the end yet! First off, as I stated before, this was written June 1, before the release of chapter 108. Second, I still have Viz translations and Brotherhood DVDs and all that good stuff to look forward to. But it just won't be the same waiting impatiently each month for spoilers and whatnot.
So, this story kind of reminds me of the "Friends" theme song: "I'll Be There For You" by the Rembrandts. Also, "Closing Time" by Semisonic—"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end…"
And a whole bunch of other songs, too. Royai just sort of reminds me of music. A lot.
Please let me know how I did!