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After the War

By [livejournal.com profile] jalendavi_lady

Pairing: Royai

Rating: PG

Time: Within a few months of Episode 51; some of the events in the last half of the episode have not yet occured.

Spoilers through Episode 51.

Author's Note: Intended for a challenge on [livejournal.com profile] royai_fiction. Also intended as part of my running series of Royai stuffs, so it's a little bit on the AU side when movie canon is considered.

...

Disclaimer: I own nothing that is Full Metal Alchemist.

...

Riza Hawkeye flinches as she tries to dodge the rock in the road. The thump under her and the moan behind her speaks volumes about her driving skills. "Sorry. I guess I'm just not as good driving a car as I am aiming a gun."

"You hit it, didn't you?" comes the weak half-laugh from the backseat.

"The doctors just had to give you extra painkillers before they released you, didn't they?"

"Yes."

She shook her head and drove on. "I wish I knew why." Granted, Roy did make a far better 'happy temporary user of pain medications most soldiers dearly wish they never need' than he did a 'stereotypical drunk Ishbal veteran', but it was still nearly as disturbing.

He shouldn't be like this.

He is helpless like this.

She probably wouldn't be able to protect him if he had no clue he was in danger. He would make noise at the wrong moment, need her attention when she needed to be focused elsewhere... But he'd needed out of the hospital, badly. Months staring at the same walls, the lack of control, it had all been taking a toll on him. Given the changes that had already been made, the country slowly recovering to the cheers of its citizens, it was unlikely anyone would dare try anything.

It was rather funny, really, in the most bittersweet and painful way possible, that at the moment he'd gained the most power he'd ever had, he'd lost much of the ability to properly wield it.

The house came in to view through the shadows of twilight. She'd planned on having him up here hours ago, but it had taken forever to get him out of the hospital. They would probably still be there, in fact, if little Winry Rockbell hadn't gotten involved. Roy'd probably been too drugged to remember, but Riza hoped he would. The look on the Head of Hospital's face was so amazing people would talk about it for years. Even though Winry had said they owed her nothing, it would matter that such a thing had even happened. Something was going on there, something like healing.

At least, Riza could hope that's what was going on.

Another rock, another moan.

"If Alphonse needs a training exercise, he can resurface this thing," she bites out, steering around a rock that would have made her own teeth rattle. The idea, after all, was taking Roy out of the hospital, not putting him back in it.

A groan from the backseat. She glanced back and could see the sweat rolling down his face.

"We're almost there. Just hang on a little longer."

It is dark by the time they get to the house. She takes one look at the front walk as she opens her door and knows she isn't going to be getting him inside the house tonight. She opens the door to the back of the car and eases herself inside. He is lying across the full backseat, back pressed against the far door and injured shoulder pressed into the seatback.

"Roy?"

He doesn't respond.

She climbs in further, runs a hand over his forehead, or at least what isn't under the bandage that covers half his face. "Roy?"

His eye opens. "Riza?" He starts to try to get up.

She holds him down, brushes her face against his. "Shh. We're not going anywhere else tonight. Just rest." The last thing he needs right now is to do anything but just lie still and rest.

"Stay," he mumbles.

She does.

...

In the morning, he strokes her hair until she wakes. Light streams between the trees onto them. She yawns for a moment. "Ready to try for the house?"

"Sure," he whispers. The drug glaze is nearly out of his eye and the pain glaze is starting to return. He looks beyond her. "That's it?" There is awe in his voice.

She follows his gaze with her own. The place is bathed in morning sunlight, almost glistening.

"'s like a dream," he mumbles.

"It's real. I did the safety checking myself."

"An' I own it?"

"Roy," she laughs, "you beat Bradley in a full scale coup. You own the entire country!"

They smile at each other for a moment, then start the slow process of getting inside.

They stand together, leaning into each other, once they get in the big room with the huge window and the fireplace. She hears him whisper, "Ours."

The world shifts. All those years, working behind him, and her involvement had simply been assumed. The few times he'd checked had been in private, before moments when there would be no turning back or denying what she'd been involved in. He'd even trusted her to be the last friendly face he might ever have seen.

He'd trusted her to bring him to the field of his last battle, to the pit that he might have died in...

She can't hold back the sob.

They totter over to the sofa, weaving worse than Roy had the one time he'd gotten drunk enough to forget where in his living quarters the rest of his stash was cached, and collapse. She leans against him, crying, and all he can do is whisper to her over and over how sorry he is that things had to be that way.

"It's over," he tells her as he leans closer and kisses her hair instead of her face.

And it is over, the harried days at the office, the piles of paperwork, the sighing girls falling for the strong colonel with the pretty face.

But that's okay with both of them, somehow, because something new is begining.

A bark at their feet. "Hayate! Fuery wasn't supposed to bring you here until tonight." Riza sees a note tucked under the pup's collar and pulls it loose. "So, he brought you early this morning and left you as a surprise."

Another bark as the plucky little puppy tries to climb up. She lifts him and he settles between the two humans, head on Roy's lap.

"Hey there," he whispers. When Hayate looks up. he uses his good hand to scratch under the dog's chin.

Riza sees the glaze in his eye and the sweat starting. "Pain drugs?"

"Please."

As she walks to the kitchen, she hears him mumbling, "Always need a dog for a happy ending. That's why you were outside that day, wasn't it; you knew we were gonna have a happy ending and were gonna need a dog when it happened." His words are slurring, running together. "We didn't know if we'd make it out, but you knew we needed a dog for our happy ending."

Our happy ending. Mine and his. Ours.

...

Words: tutelary (Riza's focus on her continuing role as protector)

Images: "A Moment's Peace" (the scene when they get to the house)
"rays of reflection" (the sunlight coming in the car)
"The Color Red" (the house as Roy first sees it)

Quotes: "Evil often triumphs, but never conquers." - Joseph Roux (Even though Bradley and Archer's actions brought an end to the life they had known, there is still hope for the future.)

Date: 2006-06-07 12:16 am (UTC)

Date: 2006-06-07 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cornerofmadness.livejournal.com
nice look at their potential future

Date: 2006-06-07 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simargl-wings.livejournal.com
Beautiful...

Date: 2006-06-10 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agent-honeywell.livejournal.com
Very nice. I like Roy's little thing at the end about always needing a dog at the end to have a true happy ending.

Speaking of happy endings, when can we look forward to the next installment of "A Time for Healing"?

Date: 2006-06-11 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlady-fics.livejournal.com
Speaking of happy endings, when can we look forward to the next installment of "A Time for Healing"?

Don't know.

I have Roy's bit written for Chapter 4 and a bit of 5, but I haven't started Winry's Chapter 4 bit yet. Chapter 5 and the next few after that might take a while, but once I hit the ending bits (and I honestly have no clue how many chapters it is going to take for the developments that have to happen before then) they should go faster writing-wise; I think the last day of story time is probably going to take at least three or four chapters, but I've got the entire sequence of events mapped out already.

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