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Disclaimer: I own not anything involving Full Metal Alchemist. It belongs to Arakawa Hiromu.

Title: Black & Red
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Riza, Pinako, a drugged Roy, and a sleepy Winry

Contains Episode 51 spoilers. Directly follows "Ends" and leads roughly into "Family"

For the benefit of anyone just entering the RoyWin themes, I am attempting to tell one long story using 100 theme prompts generated from two different community lists. These overall are not in chronological order, although I do keep them as such within each post. Because of this, these two RoyWin themes do not include any actual RoyWin, but are going to be fairly integral to other themes chronologically late in the set. Oh, and the Bright Day concept is discussed a bit better in Family and will be explained in stuff I haven't written yet.

The world was dim and dark and fuzzy.

He knew he was hurting, knew he should be screaming, but it felt oh so far away and he was oh so tired.

There was a voice nearby, familiar though he couldn’t place it.

A voice, thick with tears, that distantly cried out, “I’m sorry Colonel, I’m sorry.”

The sound of a chair being pushed back, of footsteps running away as the feeling of his hand being held--a feeling he hadn’t even noticed until it was gone--faded away into the dimness.

Timeless waiting, in the stillness. In the darkness.

The grumbling gravelly noise of someone yelling nearby.

Soon even that faded with a growing faint horror in his gut.

She’s gone...

Pinako enters the hospital, the all-too-familiar sounds of battle medicine around her. Despite the screams, despite the sounds of fevered twitch-fighting from the barely conscious, despite the metallic smell in the air, it feels oddly like home.

She is an automail mechanic, used to these things on the small scale of individual bodies. Most of the others in the city have never seen fresh battle injuries; true war has not made it to Central since long before even her time. The true battle healers, those trained in the trenches and dartholes of Bradley’s wars, are in the north now.

The strain was visible even in the first moments of the fighting, and so she and her fellow automailers have come.

She finds Winry in a hastily constructed flop room, curled up on a mattress with three others. She’s been through a battle-line, now.

The girl stirs, blinking up into the light. “I saved a life, Grandmother,” she whispers with a sense of wonder. “I saved the new Fuhrer’s life.” One of the other healers across the room mutters in his sleep, then rolls over.

Pinako blinks, understanding. “So, my son’s daughter is finally grown.”

A dreamy satisfied smile under tossled blond hair. “No sides,” she yawns, settling back down.

Pinako walks on. She’s already heard enough to know she has to be there, has to see...

Through the hallways, past closed doors that muffle screaming. Up the stairwells and ramps, filled with worried soldiers and tired healers all trying to find a bit of space to rest on.

When she reaches that floor, his floor, she hears the cry of “I’m sorry, Colonel! I’m sorry!” Sees the blonde and blue streak that races out of a doorway and down the hall the other way, sobbing.

The old healer’s eyes widen a bit, but this isn’t anything new, really. She’s see people abandoned by loves shortly after accidents and injuries before. Sometimes they return, and sometimes they can’t.

She walks down the hallway, enters the door left open, and stops.

“She left you alone!?”

He is lying in the bed, pressure bandages thick on his face and shoulder. IV drips hang from poles. She can count the fluids and painkillers, and she doesn’t like what she sees.

She pulls the door closed, as it should have been before. He’s too vulnerable, too valuable.

He makes a hurking noise. She stares at him, muscles tense but knowing that if he’s injured enough to go into respiratory distress there isn’t much of anything that can be done for him other than give confort until either it passes... or he does.

The sound doesn’t repeat.

She sits in the chair, holds his abandoned hand. “I’m not her, but I’m here.”

The hurking sound repeats, and she knows he understands he has been left.

“Shh. You’re being taken care of. You’re in hospital now.” She reaches over and runs her other hand over his hair, petting him like the dog she’s always called him.

She knows either of the wounds should have rightfully killed him by now. Should have rightfully killed him on Bradley’s front porch.

Two deaths.

She knows the mental discontinuity Winry had been struggling through. Knows that to save his life she had to have made some sort of decision in his favor. Knows that the young girl has a healer’s pride in having saved him.

And Pinako knows her own thoughts. Her own thoughts, staring into the dark the night after the letter came. Slinking out of the house into a midnight graveyard, to celebrate her son’s fortieth birthday among the stones.

Watching out of the window these last few nights, considering things.

She knows how her world stands.

She knows how drugged he is. How immobile. How helpless.

She knows the laws the healers made among themselves as they helped pull back up what the Bright Day had helped destroy. Knows why they made them. Knows the things that came from those laws.

Knows that what she wants to do stretches ethics to the breaking point.

Knows most of all that there are a thousand ‘accidental’ deaths she could deal him without her colleagues daring to question her word.

She grabs a small, nearly empty bottle of antiseptic from a little table, along with a cotton ball. With her other hand, she reaches into her apron pocket.

“Whoever cleaned your cuts missed one.”

She hopes her voice covered up the snick of the blade guard being slid back on her scalpel.

She arranges things, gets antiseptic on the cotton before placing the bottle back on the table.

She stands on the chair, leans over him. “This will sting, but only for a moment.”

She wipes his throat with the cotton, then nicks him just below his larynx.

His breath hisses for a second as the blood wells up.

She dabs at him with the cotton for a moment, then sticks a slender piece of gauze over the new scar-to-be. “It’s over, it’s over,” as she wipes the blade and replaces the cover.

She slips the scalpel into her pocket again and sits, holding his hand and brushing his hair back.

Date: 2007-04-08 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tenshiyaki.livejournal.com
Good work here! :] I liked the way you showed Riza and Roy's relationship since it does seem like she needs to feel useful to be able to love him, and after she wasn't able to protect him, she didn't feel like she could be with him anymore. This is a situation that gets Riza out of the way I think could really happen based on their personalities.

And the way that Pinako takes care of him is sweet. :]

Date: 2007-04-09 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jalendavi-lady.livejournal.com
That ending with Pinako ties into Family, btw.

I'm glad you liked these.


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