A/N: This is a gift for the wonderful and incredibly talented mebh. Seriously, go check out her stories. Also, going to use this opportunity to give a shoutout to Disastergirl who has been very patient and kind with me as of late.
This was supposed to be a Christmas fic... and then a New Years fic... but better late then never right? I actually have no idea what this fic became because it's nothing like what I had planned, I barely even know what it is! It was supposed to be Roy-centric... look how I stuffed that up! Anyway, enjoy? I hope.
Every whisper of every waking hour I'm choosing my confessions.
Trying to keep an eye on you, like a hurt lost blinded fool.
She's wearing white when he meets her for the first time.
It's thin and cotton and the dress must be one size too big for her. She's wringing the fabric of the skirt in her hands and her fingers flinch suddenly.
Her eyes are wide and earthy and she shuffles to the door and closes it hastily when she realises that he has already crossed the threshold of her father's house. She retracts her hands from the wood and knots her fingers together. He can see many little cuts and gashes in her finger pads and tips.
She catches him staring and she stutters out a reason.
"I cut them when I cook," she explains quietly. "I get tired and I lose focus and I always end up hurting myself." Her voice wavers as if she feels she owes him a reason.
She smells of dust and cooking; and she's skittish and quiet.
She can't be more than twelve.
When he sees her next she wears a white blouse overwhelmed by a thick green wool jersey that he's sure must itch.
She's still just as quiet, but there's a light that reaches the bottom of her eyes when she sees him; the beginnings of a smile in the crook of her lips.
He notices that she doesn't have cuts on her fingers anymore and that her throat is elegant and her face is pretty.
He's late and the crickets are chirping outside the windows, so she makes him dinner and gives him a cup of her spiced tea that he's been craving for the past two years.
They actually hold conversation for more than a minute and he never realized that she was so intelligent. He's in shock to find that he's actually enjoying her company, and even more in shock to realize that he doesn't want the meal to end.
She checks the time on her watch, the one that he had transmuted for her before he left the first time, and she tells him that her father should be awake from his rest.
He thanks her and can't help feeling that he's hopeful that he might learn more about this girl in the following months, if everything goes well.
But moments later her father is coughing up blood and spouting deliriously about his life's work and entrusting this girl to him and she's cowering in the doorway with eyes as frightened as when he met her.
She can't be more than sixteen.
The house creaks with the gale winds and they don't know how to look at each other since the men came to take her father's body away.
She sits in her father's armchair, on the edge of the seat, and looks at the floor. He wants, so badly, to comfort her, but he doesn't know of a single word to say to her.
He finds himself trying anyway.
"I'm sorry." The words are thick on his tongue.
She looks up from the rough floorboards directly into his eyes and he feels a part of his chest clench. Her eyes are amber now.
"I don't see anything you should be apologizing for, Mister Mustang." Her wheat coloured hair falls across her eyes as she looks back down to the seat beneath and in between her legs.
His fingers lock together across his knees as he watches her.
"He was a great man."
For the first time he sees a smile come across her lips. It hurts him more than he can say because her first smile isn't a real smile, it's full of rue.
"No, he wasn't."
She wears dark blue to the funeral.
A day passes and her dark blue blouse lies beneath her feet and the only thing that's white is the skin of her shoulders.
She would have had such a beautiful back, he laments; and now he finally understands her downturned gaze, quiet lips and deep eyes.
The ink is burgundy, but all he sees is red.
He can never forget about her.
Every snap of his fingers, every pillar of flame, reminds him of her, burgundy ink and her fragile shoulder blades.
He hopes he'll never see her again, and that she will be happy.
He hopes desperately.
It takes less than two years before he sees her again.
Her hair is still short, but her eyes are dead.
Her once beautiful hands, that had been undamaged since she had grown older, are calloused and dirty.
She doesn't speak much here, in the deserts of hell, but when she does it's only of regret.
He wishes he would die and he thinks she does too.
But he's a different person now, his eyes as burdened as hers, and he feels everything selfishly. She's sitting in the ruined remains of a once proud building, a rifle in her lap and all he can think about is how beautiful she somehow continues to be.
This desert has robbed her of everything, every shred of her already broken innocence. And he is so horribly selfish that he wants to take the last shred that she has left, so that he can keep it for himself to remind himself of who she really is.
She doesn't move away from him, and she looks deep into his eyes without trepidation. Her breath is warm, her cheek soft, and her hands are strong when she pulls at his collar.
Her lips taste of dust.
Shadow looming; burns blistered across her back; she walks the desert in a cloak. It isn't white.
She follows him after the war without question.
He doesn't understand why, but he dares not question her. Her presence is a blessing because nobody understands him quite like she does and she holds his life in her hands and he would have it no other way.
She is encased in blue wool now, and her eyes are harder than granite but the true amber beneath them shines through when he says something he regrets after he's spoken it. Her smiles are few and far between, but they exist.
The first time he sees her without the uniform it's been five years since her father's funeral and she's delivering his promotion papers to his apartment.
He notices that her hair is growing out and curling past her neck and golden tendrils swirl across her shoulders and hook into her shirt's collar. Her shirt is white and crisp.
It hits him suddenly, brutally that he wants to kiss her.
The transfer to Central is complete and he helps her move into her small apartment.
It's the first time he notices that she doesn't own very many things, at least nothing that would constitute her needing help. It's only after he catches her hurried and concerned glances when she thinks he isn't watching that he realises she called him over today to keep an eye on him.
It's been a week since Maes' death and he can't remember which day of the week it is.
He's ashamed when she strains up to place a book on her bookshelf and he sees the outline of her body and he realises that she has lost weight, too. Her shoulder blades are sharp against the fabric of her dark blue shirt and her eyes are heavy.
She catches him looking and her shoulders drop because she knows (she always knows) he knows she's been found out. Her mouth is firm and thin and her eyes speak volumes of her worries.
"Stay for a bit, won't you sir?" He knows it isn't really a question.
He sits at her small table and she places a porcelain cup in front of him, amber eyes catching his for the briefest moment.
It's her spiced tea.
He almost cries.
She's gone now; in the clutches of another man.
He sees her seldom, mostly in passing and he has so many things he wants to say to her.
He wants to say words of love, regret, apology, fright.
But she won't look at him for more than a few moments and he knows something is so terribly wrong and he knows that she won't or can't allow herself to tell him with that is.
He sees her a week later and she has a cut on her cheek and welts on her wrist.
He grows desperate.
The nights are cold in Central and her arms shiver as he undresses her.
His mouth is a firm seal against hers and he works at undoing the buttons of the uniforms between them.
Her mouth is hot, hotter than in the deserts of Ishval, against his shoulder and her arm is thrown around his side and her nails are carving her deepest regrets and fears into his back.
His fingers press into her scars and her knee presses against his and he knows that he has never felt quite like this before.
It feels as if a part of him is falling through the earth.
She cries into his ear, her fingers clawing into his scalp, and her toes curl against the white sheets. He responds in kind, moaning into her skin, his arm crushing her into his body to keep her as close as she could ever be.
Her hair is splayed across the pillows, shining in the streetlight, and she whimpers into the air.
A confession locked away in a name.
She bleeds, oh how she bleeds.
Her eyes condemn his actions and he cannot go against her wishes, he has never been able to and now he's watching the blood pump out of her and onto the stones beneath her and he cannot deny her wishes.
Her eyes are closing and she struggles to keep them open, but her eyebrows are furrowed and her voice is wavering so badly it's physically hurting him.
She struggles to keep her amber eyes bright and the crimson is gushing through her fingers and he can see, deep down in her eyes, she knows she is going to die.
Her coat, that was never white to begin with, is stained red.
Her hospital garb is pale blue and the bandages against her throat a stark white.
The light is still hurting his new eyes so she has closed the curtains without him needing to say anything.
They find themselves lost in the aftermath of everything.
She looks at him with a gaze so steady, and it only proves that she's alive, that he can't help smiling at her and he's sure he looks like an idiot.
But she doesn't mind and the smallest, most genuine, of smiles graces her lips. She is still pale from the surgery and she is oh so tired, but she looks like the most beautiful thing he's seen in years.
His hand finds hers between their beds and he swears he will never let her go.
It's snowing in Eastern when they are transferred.
The air is so cold it's biting and their breath comes out in puffs of mist.
He stands before the grave of his greatest friend looking down at his name partially covered by thick snow.
He hears the crunching of footsteps and then before he knows it she's bent down before the grave and brushing away snow from the name so that it stands out, proud, once again.
Her nose is pink, her cheeks flushed, and a white scarf is wrapped around her neck. She stands by his side, looking down at the grave, and he wonders what she's thinking.
He can't help himself and he breathes her name ("Riza") and kisses her pink, dry lips.
She tastes like snow.
A/N: Lyrics taken from "Losing my Religion" by R.E.M (but I listened to the Glee rendition of it :D)
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