Author's Note: This fic is a very, very long time in coming and rather duel purpose. A long time ago, someone, and I could be wrong but I'm fairly certain it was auburnkt asked me for RoyxRiza. This was like... two years ago. I stopped writing before I got around to it. So here it is. Also, there's an author who has been particularly inspirational to me lately and made me appreciate pairings I didn't think I liked, so this is for her too.
She’d been there when he was young and reckless, too eager to pretend he was sure of himself to avoid the inevitable failures his cockiness inspired. She stood by, watched him make his mistakes, fall down and get up again, over and over. Despite his ego, she had to admire his determination.
She’d been there when he questioned himself over and over again, if taking the exam was really the right decision, the thing he should be doing with his talents. In the end, he seemed to settle on simply listening to his own ambitions, a decision that sent him off to war barely out of basic training. She convinced herself that she was only doing it to safeguard a project her father had started. She tried to believe it was a matter of duty and not one of some sort of affection.
She’d been there when he came home in pieces and there wasn’t a thing she could do to ease the pain or put him back together. He’d come home and everyone seemed to think he was a hero, everyone but him. The memories of cities in ashes, lives reduced to so much smoke and rubble and charred bones, gnawed at him, and she could not make him forget. She told herself it was some sort of obligation that made her wait patiently for him to recover his senses.
She’d been there when he finally had recovered, appeasing his demons with promises to change the world in his own way. She no longer tried to fool herself, knowing full well it was more than some sense of responsibility that made her follow in his wake, keeping him standing no matter what.
She’d been there when their world began to crumble and they could not pretend any manner of submission any longer. She knew now, it was loyalty that kept her beside him, but also love. It was a secret she kept safe, a truth she could not burden him with, not when the path he walked was bigger than the two of them. She would tell him eventually, she thought, but for now she could content herself with protecting the man.
Only, she couldn’t protect him from the way things ended. The best she could do was sit beside a fallen figure, listening to him breathe and wishing he’d wake up. There was so much to say, though this was not the time to say it, and so she waited faithfully at his side.
Riza jumped, woken from sleep by a soft voice, raspy with disuse.
“Riza?” Roy blinked the eye that wasn’t wrapped in gauze, sleep and pain medication addled to the point he barely recognized her. He didn’t bother to lift his head from the pillow.
“You’re awake,” she allowed the whisper of a smile to worm its way across her lips.
“Mmm,” Roy mumbled, shutting his eye again.
“How are you feeling?” she ventured, and though she knew the answer, she felt her heart tighten in sympathy at the grimace etched upon his face in response. It hurt to see him like this, a broken shadow of the man he’d been not so long ago, but there was nothing she could say or do to ease things.
“That kid,” Roy murmured, “Is he okay?”
Riza pursed her lips. “You should get some rest, sir.”
Roy frown, blowing air harshly out of his nose at the implications.
“What about Ed?” he asked after a moment, hissing through his teeth as he forced himself to sit up.
“You shouldn’t push yourself,” Riza cautioned, hoping he’d drop the question, but he only gazed silently at her.
“He succeeded in getting his brother’s body,” she paused, “but Ed is missing.”
“Al couldn’t shed any light on where his brother might have gone?” Roy asked hopefully.
“Al doesn’t remember anything from the last… few years.”
“I see,” Roy only frowned, his mind obviously still too clouded by medication and fatigue to fully register the conversation. Finally, he seemed to give up on the idea of getting his bearings, lowering his head to the pillow with a weary sigh. Riza sat silently beside him, waiting for a better day.
It was a week later when he was well enough to go home, a week later that she drove him to the house, biting her tongue upon sympathies he wouldn’t want. Silently, she stood at his elbow, pretending not to notice the way he stumbled, fighting his lack of depth perception and losing, nearly falling into her as he navigated the steps to the door.
With an angry sigh, he allowed her to take the keys from his hand, letting them inside. She supposed it seemed less humiliating than fumbling with the lock, and pushed the thought from her mind as she led them inside, guiding him to the living room couch.
“Is there anything I can get you?” Riza asked, ignoring his irritation.
“No,” he didn’t bother to look up at her, and she turned to leave.
“Wait,” he called just as she reached the door.
“Yes?” she asked looking back into the living room.
“You can get me the paperwork for transfer requests. They haven’t decided whether or not I’ll be court marshaled, but whatever happens, I don’t want any of you dragged down with me,” Roy explained.
“Permission to speak freely, sir,” Riza bit out, anger blazing in her eyes.
“You know you always have it,” Roy flinched nearly imperceptibly at her gaze.
“We followed you this far, through everything. Don’t you dare belittle that by pushing us away like this now, when you need support the most.”
“I… what’s the point in you going down with me? How many more people do I need to fail for you to be happy?” Roy asked irritably.
That was what it came down to. She should have known, she supposed, that Roy would not let this go so easily. While their friendship had been rocky at best, and Ed possessed none of the undying loyalty towards him that the rest of their team had, Roy had fought hard for the boy’s trust. It wasn’t even that it was Ed, most likely, as it was that one of his men had gone down in this mess.
“That wasn’t your fault.”
“I’m the one who got him into the military, wasn’t I?”
“You gave him an option. He’s the one who made this choice, though. Ed would have found some way, no matter what. The fact that you offered the resources to find his own way does not make what happened your fault.”
Roy gave in to her argument, changing the subject, “There really isn’t much left now. Even if they don’t court martial me, do you really think they’ll just let me go back after what happened? You should be taking advantage of my offer and getting out while you’re able.”
“But I’m still here,” she smiled, sucking in a breath and forcing her legs to propel her forward until she reached the couch and sat down.
“I’m grateful for that,” Roy admitted softly. He was so uncharacteristically open and honest, she couldn’t seem to stop herself.
“You don’t just walk away from the people you love,” she murmured. Roy’s gaze snapped up to her face from the spot he’d been staring at on the floor.
“You…” he mulled her words over for a minute and she fought the urge to either leave now, before it fully registered, or just kiss him already, consequences be damned.
In the end, he made the decision for her, reaching out and pulling her into his arms. The gesture was shaky, as if he secretly expected her to push him away. She didn’t though, allowing him to embrace her, pressing his forehead to hers. His lips were painfully close, inviting her to close the distance, offering the option still of pulling away.
When she did neither, frozen in surprise, he moved his lips over hers. It was nothing she’d expected. He kissed her as if worshiping at the alter of some savior, soft and inviting, giving to her every whim. All hint of command had fled from his demeanor, and he did nothing beyond kissing her breathless.
It was Riza who pushed them back against the pillowed arm of the couch, Riza whose years of silent devotion came to a head in desperate kisses and fingers pulling aimlessly at the buttons of his shirt. Roy sighed contentedly into her kisses, captivated by everything she did. He looked for all the world like a man who’d finally been released from an awful burden, and he smiled against her lips, fingers combing tenderly through her hair, playing down her spine in lazy motions, as if they had all the time in the world.
Riza gasped as Roy’s lips gravitated down her neck, as if he’d perceived the way she was tugging at his shirt as a silent invitation. She drank in his every reaction, shivers and sighs and soft murmurs of her name as her fingers slid over his chest, memorizing scars and unmarred pale skin alike.
Finally, finally, Roy moved his hands from where they’d come to rest at her back, gazing at her in a silent plea as his fingers paused at the bottom hem of her shirt. She smiled in response, gasping as warm hands slid over her skin, teeth and tongue worrying the hollow of her neck. It was then that she realized this was not going to be terribly comfortable for them here, not with the condition he was in.
“Where’s the bedroom?” she asked in a voice she swore was not her own. He was nudging her begrudgingly off of him though, lips still whispering against her skin. He found his feet and she was immediately sorry she’d asked, worrying that the trip between the couch and the bed would spoil a moment years in the making.
He seemed happy enough to ignore the awkwardness of his own steps, pulling her against him and drowning in the feel of her flesh beneath his fingers, mouth finding her own once more. He pulled at her shirt until she released his body and mouth, and tugged it briskly off of her, his one eyed gaze flicking over the revealed skin beneath. Perhaps it shouldn’t have, but the way he looked at her, after years of nothing more than innocent affection, made her blush. His own cheeks were a little pink, something she’d never once witnessed, and he didn’t seem entirely sure what to do with himself.
Somewhere between heated kisses and words of endearment nearly stammered from his lips, they reached the bed, tumbling gently onto the blankets. He smothered her lips with kisses, elated at finally being able to do so, and might have been content to leave it at that except for the way her fingers played over the waistband of his pants. His breath caught audibly in his throat as she flicked the snap open and worked the zipper down. She wondered at his demeanor, knowing he was no stranger to this sort of contact. It was endearing the way everything was different, perhaps just because it was them. She sighed softly as a warm palm slid up her thigh, a question once more in his expression. She rocked her hips forward, letting her eyes slide shut as his fingers slid further up her leg, the other hand pressing at the small of her back. His lips and tongue traced the contours of her body, neck, collarbone, over her breasts as far as the bra would allow. She felt his fingers work up her spine and the clasp of her bra release, warm lips brushing over newly exposed skin, tongue and teeth worrying at a nipple.
She gasped sharply and tugged at his pants. She finally managed to work them down over his hips and couldn’t help but smile at the way he shivered, as if surprised at the feel of her fingers against him despite all they were doing. Riza felt her hands slide up his sides as he shifted lower, lips ghosting over her ribs and belly, pressing soft kisses at her hips.
Roy glanced up at her, fingers hooked at the waistband of her skirt and she nodded, almost imperceptibly. He saw it though, and pulled everything off, leaving her completely naked before him. She’d hardly had time to process this much, but he was out of her grasp, dark hair tickling her skin as he pressed soft kisses to the insides of her thighs. She shivered and gasped as he made his way closer to her center, tongue flicking delicately over her clit.
One finger, then two, slid smoothly inside her, and as Roy’s hand and tongue moved in rhythm, she marveled at how something could feel so utterly fantastic and not be what she really wanted. She wriggled her hips, twitching beneath his lips and tongue, and she swore he was smiling wickedly, fingers moving faster just a little faster.
She was close, painfully close when he finally withdrew. Tongue and fingers were gone in one smooth motion and she bit her lip as he moved up her body, the heat from his own close enough that she could feel it.
Roy pressed his lips tenderly to hers, and she reached up, wrapping her arms around his slender body. She could taste herself on his tongue as it slipped into her mouth for a moment before he pulled away, smiling affectionately at her. Stealing one more, almost chaste kiss, he rocked his hips, sliding into her, eye glazing over as he did. Riza gasped against his mouth. This was what it all came down to, and she shut her eyes, drinking in the soft, pleasured sounds he made with each thrust, drowning in every movement of his hips and fingers and lips over her body.
It might have been an hour or a moment that they were like this, moving with the easy cadency that surrounded their every interaction for as long as she could remember. In the end, the shift of his hips was shoving her over the edge, bit by bit. Her body drew taut, and she tumbled into ecstasy, soft murmurs of his name tumbling from her lips. She pulled tight around him, and Roy gave then, gasping for breath as he came.
There were no words between them afterwards, and none were needed. Riza had always been there in one way or another, and though the dynamic continued to shift, they both knew she’d keep on standing by. It did not matter that they were something different, something more. They were together, and that was the thought she dwelled on as she drifted to sleep, pillowed on Roy’s chest, his fingers drifting through her hair.