Mustang let go of her hand and Riza had to restrain herself from reaching for it again. She was just too damn tired for this. She was barely awake now that the adrenaline had worn off.

"You can stay at mine tonight. Hughes'll need your apartment for a few hours at least." Mustang said quietly as he moved to the front seat. She was too close. No, that wasn't right; he was letting himself get too close to her. It didn't help that she'd looked at him like he was some sort of white knight when she'd sprinted across the road to him. He tiredly pulled away from the curb, resigning himself to an uncomfortable night on the sofa.

"Thank you for being here sir" Hawkeye murmured sleepily before nodding off on the backseat.
Roy looked at her, leaning against the window, the passing streetlights turning her hair into a golden halo and smiled. He'd always thought she looked sweet when she slept. It made a change from fierceness and independence and glaring down the barrel of a gun.

He parked the car and gently picked her up, trying not to wake her. He was already in his living room when she stirred. She started thrashing like a woman possessed. Mustang dropped his Lieutenant as gently as he could into his sofa.

"Lieutenant! It's me! It's Colonel Mustang!"
Her thrashing stopped and she looked at him through bleary eyes, sitting up and looking around.
"Sorry sir. I forgot where I was for a minute."
"It's perfectly understandable. You go take my bed. You need it more."
"But, sir-"
"That's an order Lieutenant."
"Yes sir."
He watched her walk away from him with a tired shuffle instead of the familiar confident stride.

The sobbing woke him. He peered across the room, just making out the time. 4am should be illegal. Another sob floated down the corridor from his bathroom. He levered himself off the sofa and headed off to face down his Lieutenants' demons.

Riza sat on the edge of the bathroom, scratching desperately at her back as the tears flowed. Roy couldn't remember the last time she'd looked so despondent. Unless you counted Ishval. They'd all been despondent in Ishval. She looked up, noticing him in the doorway.

"I can feel him touching me." she confessed hoarsely, her eyes deep pits of despair. "I feel so . . . violated."
"Trying to scratch your back off is not the way to deal with that." He sighed, cursing the slimeball to eternal damnation "Let me see."

Wordlessly, Riza turned and removed her jumper. Roy winced at the mess they'd made of her. His scars stood out, but her bloody scratches were bolder. The template for Eastwoods' tattoo was across her back. Mustangs' whore, huh? Bloody idiot never did have an original thought in his head.

"I'm going to clean you up, ok?"
She nodded.
He wet a cloth in the sink and gently began to clean off the cruel words of a man who could never have understood what they were to each other. He wiped away the blood, and ran his hands gently up her back, trying to erase the unwanted touch of Jonathan Eastwood. He felt her shiver and grinned.

"Cold, Lieutenant?"
"No sir." She paused "Sir, how did you know to come back?"

"When I got back here, Hughes was waiting for me. Eastwood had left a threat against me, to draw attention away from you. When I realised, I high-tailed it back to yours." He huffed out a quiet laugh. "But you'd already looked after yourself just fine. You completely ruined my chance to be a knight in shining armour."
"Sorry sir."
"I'm sure I'll have other chances. Stay here; I'll go grab you a shirt."

With Hawkeye decent once more and tucked into bed, he turned to leave for the relative discomfort of the sofa. Her hand reached out to grab his arm, just like she had at Central Command. Mustang turned back toward the bed, looking at her with regret.

"I can't stay tonight, Lieutenant. I don't trust myself to keep my distance right now."
"I trust you. Please, sir. I can't cope with being alone tonight."
Cursing himself for being such a pushover, he climbed into bed with her. Roy let her settle on his chest and tried not to think about how good she felt. After a few minutes, she spoke

"You do have self control after all sir."
"You sound surprised." She felt his laugh through his chest. "Besides, I'd be taking advantage. It wouldn't be right of me to try anything after what you've been through tonight."

"As I said sir, I trust you. Always."
"Going soft on me Hawkeye?" He looked down at her with a grin.
"Never sir. But, you do make a pretty good knight ."

They drifted off to sleep in each other's arms, holding firm against the nightmares and the demons that came in the dark.


a big thank you to everyone who's read and followed this story, an extra thanks if you favorited or reviewed. I apologise for the rather weak ending but I've been struck by the twin curses of exams and writers' block.