Title - The Right Words
Author – D M Evans
Disclaimer - Arakawa owns them, not I
Summary - He needs to find the right words to tell her how much he loves her.
Author's Note - So, one poem just wouldn't do. In order of usage the poems are: She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron, A Dream with in a Dream by Edgar Allen Poe, Beauty XXV by Khalil Gibran, and Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare. Thanks to SJ Smith for the beta (and I'm not an overachiever, I just can't make chose). Written for fma_fic_contest for the prompt 'use a line of poetry.' It won second place.
Roy had practiced the line in front of the mirror for hours. He'd adapted it from something he had heard one of the regulars in his aunt's club say, and it seemed to have turned more than one of his 'sisters' to jelly. He had tried to get Riza alone and try it six times already, only to turn into a weak-kneed gibbering idiot every time. He rationalized it with it being the wrong time of day, or not romantic enough, or Master Hawkeye might hear.
Tonight, he had planned it perfectly. Master Hawkeye was at Mr. Place's house and would be there most of the night. A beautiful cool breeze came through the windows, carrying with it the promise of autumn and a break from the heat of summer. He had even made dinner, the very best one he knew how to make, before escorting Riza out onto the big house's slightly sagging porch.
"Pretty moon," he said, and, as she glanced up at the full, silvery orb, Roy added, "She walks in beauty, like the night."
Riza turned her attention back to him. In the pale light filtering out from the window, he watched her face pinch up. "What?"
"She wa…wal…you're like night," he babbled.
Riza rolled her eyes. "You're very strange, Mr. Mustang." She slipped past him, going back inside.
Roy gaped. It had worked on his sisters. What the hell did he do wrong?
Roy saw Riza out of the corner of his eye, creeping up on the camp fire he huddled near. The desert had gone quiet in the wee hours of the morning, but he couldn't sleep. He might never sleep again. He wanted his Master's daughter to spare one of her bullets for him.
"May I sit with you?" She didn't wait for his answer. "I can't sleep. The dreams are horrible."
Roy nodded. "Nightmarish."
"I know." She scooted closer. "I just want to wake up from it."
He swallowed hard. "That's what this place is, whether or not our eyes are opened or closed. I have to wonder is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?"
Riza scowled. "That's depressing."
"That's all I have in me now."
She favored him with the strangest look, then got back up. "Do you remember that time on my father's porch? I realize now you were trying to seduce me. I missed my chance. Tonight, you missed yours."
Roy watched her leave, not entirely sure what Riza even meant. He went back to staring at the fire.
Roy had finally come to terms with his exile to Eastern Command. It wasn't what he had wanted. He loathed the distance between his aunt and sisters and him, not to mention Maes. He liked the team he had assembled, however, and trusted them to take him where he wanted to go. His solace came in the form of Riza. He had tried to dissuade her from joining him, half hoping she would retire and spare him the worry he felt. Worry, or was it guilt over the things he had done with her gift, the things he had done to her?
He knew he wanted her still, and invited her to dinner after a long day of over-time to finish reports. Riza had reluctantly accepted, and only after he agreed to allow her to go home and change. She knew of his sisters now and they had obviously taught her things, like wigs and make up. He had barely recognized her when she entered the restaurant. As a brunette, she seemed warm as coffee. Roy didn't register the food, looking ahead to walking her home.
After a lingering dinner, and a leisurely stroll, Roy stopped her at the walk up to her apartment building. "I wanted to say this all night, something I read somewhere. It fits so well. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror, but you are eternity and you are the mirror."
"I'm not sure I'm the right woman for those kinds of words, sir. I've never been beautiful." Riza walked primly into the building, leaving him to contemplate how he messed up his chance, yet again. How she could possible not know how beautiful she was?
Roy fumbled for Riza's hand. He had gotten them both released into his aunt's care. She might have lost the bar, but not her big house. He was supposed to be asleep, but his wounded eyes ached. He probably should have let Riza sleep, after all the blood she had lost. She had fought like a warrior-queen of legend at his side in spite of it.
"You couldn't sleep either, sir." Her hand closed over his.
"I think I finally have the right words, Riza." To hell with military propriety, he needed to use her name and there was no one to overhear. "It took me almost losing you in order to find them."
"Roy, you don't have to say anything." She put her other hand against his lips.
He moved his head. "How you stood with me through that nightmare made me think of it. Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom."
He felt her lips press against his, light as a promise.
"You're right. Those are the right words."