All We Are
A/N: Well, I apparently posted the contents of "Daydream" here instead of the actual story that was supposed to go here. Many, many thanks to Starry Pink for pointing that out! (I blame haziness from the flu.) For future reference, if this happens again, PLEASE, PM me or write a review telling me I messed up. I would like to actually provide you with the right story! :)
Inspired by "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men
In the days following Mr. Hawkeye's death, Riza seemed to wander from room to room with a sad sort of purpose. How she was keeping it together, Roy didn't exactly know—he'd been too young when his parents died to mourn much, and had just adjusted to the idea that his parents weren't going to be there.
On a particularly gray day, he found her in her father's study, valiantly trying to keep the tears at bay as she sorted through her father's notes, taking more time to read them than usual as the threatening sobs blurred the words and shook the paper.
"Hey," he called softly from the door. "Want me to help?"
At this, Riza burst into tears, and Roy wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Did Riza think Roy was trying to take her father from her, even in death? Was she so unused to the kindness? Or was it just time to mourn?
Riza set aside the tome she'd been perusing and motioned for Roy to come over. She stood carefully, then, in the most shocking display of vulnerability Roy had ever seen, she wrapped her arms around his waist, buried her head in his chest, and kept weeping. The decision to comfort was nothing less than automatic, and Roy pulled her against him, one hand rubbing small circles on her back, the other softly stroking the back of her head.
Roy guessed that they'd stood there for a good ten minutes before Riza's sobs showed any sign of abating. It was another three before she was able to speak, and, at first, he couldn't quite tell what Riza had even been trying to say.
As it turned out, it was "thank you".
"Of course," Roy murmured. "Whatever you need, I'm right here, Riza."
"I don't think I could even do this without someone else here," Riza admitted, stepping away from Roy and wiping her eyes on her sweater sleeve.
Roy made a gentle dismissive noise "I know I couldn't."
They both picked through the room silently for a while before Riza spoke up again: "I don't really know who I'm mourning—my father or a great alchemist. It hardly seems as though he could be both at the same time."
Roy shrugged. "I think that's the thing about people: they're amazing in that they can be what the world needs them to be to a certain extent. Part of that is the perception of others, but still, we change who we are for those we care about, so that we can be the best person for them." He noticed Riza smiling at him just a little mischievously through her sadness. "What?"
"Kind of counterintuitive to the 'devil may care' attitude you've got. You have the tendency to be yourself despite what people think." This was punctuated with a sort of hiccupping giggle.
"And who says I'm that way when you're not around?" Roy shot back a little grumpily.
"Chris," replied Riza without looking up.
"She would." Roy shook his head.
Riza's next remark was both serious and sincere: "I think it'll get you far. Just don't forget: masks can be more useful sometimes. They can keep you from getting hurt."
Roy couldn't tell just who they were talking about now. "I… uh… I'll go make some lunch."
Riza rose and dusted her skirt off. Roy just about told her she didn't need to help before realizing that she probably just wanted company, and he certainly wasn't going to deny her that. God knows he probably would've grown lonely before too long, himself. And—there was no denying it—he was kind of a terrible cook. While he got the feeling neither of them cared too much about that right about now, there was also comfort to be had in routines, in normalcy. And normalcy around here was good food.
Roy shook his head. "Sorry, Hawkeye. Just old memories. Care to dance?" The radio was already playing softly in the background.
"Sir…" This time it was an exasperated sigh.
"No one's around to watch. Anyway, we're safe now." Roy extended his hand to meet one of Riza's. They'd walked a long road, and though it was far from over, they deserved a break, didn't they? It helped fill the empty office, at any rate—Fuery, Falman, Breda, Havoc… they'd all stuck around as long as they'd needed to. Riza, however, he still needed. And he'd like to think she still needed him in some way.
Riza rested her head on Roy's shoulder, and he realized she'd simply been objecting to the childish nature of his request. Of course they still needed each other—who else would put up with him, and who knew her as well as he did?
Well, whatever the case, at the end of it all, they were still together, and nobody was going to take that from them again.
A/N: So, I was totally going to finish this and post it on Royai Day. Unfortunately, life had other plans for me, namely a middling bout of spring flu. Awesome, right? Yeah, no, didn't think so. But I'm on the mend now, mostly. Hopefully I was coherent enough to write this decently.
Let me know what you think!