Background: Mangaverse *SPOILERS* for manga chapter 61
Summary: Filling in some gaps in the manga
I hope I did this right, It's my first posting here. I have to thank my Beta's Shanola22 and Gritkitty. They are the BEST!
Comments and constructive critism are welcome. Enjoy!
Also, I cannot take credit for the first three lines of what Roy says. I was trying to stay true to manga canon and used lines directly from the manga so I take no credit for that dialog.
I know it's been a while since ch.61 came out ,so to refresh your memories for this story: Riza has asked that Roy destroy the tattoo on her back that holds the secrets to flame alchemy.
"How much would it take to kill her, or limit her lifestyle?" Roy asked himself. He thought of her body size and weight. Percentages came to mind, the likelihood of infection. "I can control the depth and range of a burn now," he said as he pulled out his gloves and smoothed them over his fingers. Automatically, he began closing himself off, shutting down. Emotion had no place on the battlefield, but a thought struck him hard.
"How ironic. I’ve become too used to burning people in this war," he said coldly.
This was not how he had envisioned using his power. It was, in fact, the last thing he had imagined. He had refused the request immediately but she had not been willing to let it go so easily. How could she ask this of him? How could he refuse her? He looked at the woman kneeling before him and knew that she had once believed in him. Reluctance had begun to seep into his mind. He snuffed it out with a deft snap of his fingers.
Riza only growled at the pain. Roy had hit several places at once, focusing the burns on what he remembered as the most informative parts of the array. He inspected his work and frowned. A few key lines of the black tattoo ran deeper than he had thought. Immediately, he snapped his gloved fingers again and seared away the last faint traces of it. This time, Riza let out a low gasp. Roy stepped back and watched as she pulled in a few heavy breaths. After a few moments, her breathing slowed and he could see that she was starting to shiver, ever so slightly from the adrenalin that was now coursing through her. He tugged off his gloves and returned them to his pocket. With a quick turn of her head, Riza spoke over her shoulder to him.
Roy suddenly realized that she had expected more. Did she expect him to burn off the entire array? He wasn’t sure, but it didn’t matter. He was suddenly very aware of his surroundings, the dust and rubble around them, the smoke and the scent of burning flesh. Her flesh. The thought made him want to vomit. Instead, he reached out to help her to her feet.
"Yes," he said simply.
He walked with her to the medical unit, intending to leave her in the doctors care, but he had noticed how she walked stiffly, hardly moving her arms to keep the pain at a minimum. The guilt began to grow within him.
Instead of dropping her off, he found an empty cot for her and pulled a screen over to give her some privacy. Since the war was officially over, most of the staff was busy making transport arrangements for their patients and it was easy for Roy and Riza to be overlooked. They sat there for a few long moments not sure what to say to each other. Finally, he stood and made his way to one of the open medical cabinets. He gathered a few supplies and returned to sit behind Riza on the cot.
"Here, you’ll need this," he said handing her a papery gown. "Lean forward."
She half turned to see what he was doing. "What are you do-"
"Lean forward." He snapped, as if it were an order. Riza’s training took over, she did as she was told without question and felt a tug on the fabric of her ruined coat followed by the muffled creek of scissors. Roy cut straight up the back of her coat and then her uniform. When he was finished, he gently eased the material up and away from her burns. As she pulled the sleeves down her arms he remembered the first time he had seen this array.
It had been late one evening after a long conversation about alchemy, his dreams, and her father’s work. She had held a towel over her front out of shyness and he had traced his fingers lightly over every line that covered the top half of her back as he’d deciphered its meaning. He hadn’t become aware of the effect he was having until he began to see past the alchemical perfection he always looked for and saw the beauty of her back, the soft curve of her shoulders, the long line of her spine. He had leaned in close then and kissed the soft skin of her neck. She had leaned back into it, gently pressing his lips more firmly to her. He ran one hand lightly down her left arm as he edged his other hand under her towel. His lips feathered kisses on the sensitive skin below her ear as he brushed his thumb against the curve of her breast. She turned toward him, the towel forgotten, and smoothly unbuttoned his shirt, pushing the white cotton over his shoulders and down his arms. He remembered clearly the first touches of her warm hands as they slid up his chest to encircle his neck. The way she felt when she’d pressed herself against him and kissed him deeply. He smiled as he remembered that she had tasted faintly of herbal tea.
Roy closed his eyes then, trying not to see what had been between them that night. When he opened them again he was confronted with the evidence of what he had done to her today. Bloody red and black lesions defaced the beauty he had once known. The contrast of memory and the present moment brought him into sharp focus.
Riza had slid her arms through the sleeves of the gown. She held the thick papery mass over her front but couldn’t comfortably bring it higher. Roy leaned forward and pulled the fabric over her shoulders, careful to keep the edges far away from her wounds. He began to do what he could to ease her discomfort and clean her wounds but eventually, he went to get a doctor for her. His talents did not lie in healing. His expertise was the burn.