It had been a week since Riza was found and brought to the hospital. Roy hardly ever left her side, and when he did, he would only allow Maes to stay with her. He refused to let her be alone, in case she woke up. He wanted a familiar face nearby when she did. He spent every evening by her bedside, holding her hand, his head resting on the bed as he sat in the chair.
It was also discovered that Riza had named the Colonel as her medical proxy. As such, all the decisions made regarding her health and care where to be made by him while she was unable to make them herself. This had come as a shock Roy. She thought enough of him, trusted him enough to make such important decisions? To basically chose whether she lived or died?
Due his newly discovered role, Roy was granted a temporary leave of absence until Riza was recovered enough to care for herself. He was sure it infuriated Bradley, who had tried to force him back to the office the day after she had been found, but at this point, he could care less. All that matter was Riza.
This day was no different from any other. Roy sat by her bed, holding her hand, same as always. He had told Maes to go home. He had a wife and daughter who needed him. He---he had no one. No one who really cared whether he lived or died.
Except for the woman lying unconscious in the hospital bed.
He had been by her side every day since she was brought to the hospital and had still not been able to figure out why she had done it. Why hadn’t she just told whoever did this to her what they wanted to know.
Probably because she didn’t know, he told himself.
When Riza had showed him the array on her back all those years ago and allowed him to study it, to decode it, she had never asked questions. She would sit there for hours, her shirt off, her back to him, reading while he studied and decoded it. He had offered to explain it to her once, feeling she deserved to know what the symbol branded into her skin meant, but she had declined.
Then, when she came to him again, several years later, and begged him to burn it, he had initially refused. He couldn’t do that, not to her. But when tears began to flow from her eyes and she told him why, he agreed. They meet in secret; she had taken off her shirt and lay on a table. He had asked her if she was sure, and she had replied yes. It had taken everything in him to do as she asked; to put fire against that soft, perfect skin. He remembered her whole body paling, her knuckles going white, the little sounds she made in the back of her throat, trying not to scream. She had wanted him to burn more of it, but he assured her that he had burned the important, significant parts of it. Afterwards, he had dressed the wounds and she had allowed him to hold her while she cried.
There really was no point in torturing her, since she had no information to give them. Still, they had…
‘You didn’t deserve to go through this…not for me…’ He reached over and gently stroked the side of her face with his hand.
Her eyes flew open. “Don’t touch me!” she screamed. She moved away from him as if he had burned her, rolling on her side, curling up in a ball. She inhaled sharply and cried out, unaware of her injured ribs. The beeping of her heart monitoring indicated her heart rate had spiked.
“Riza---“ He tried to touch her, to take her in his arms, but she screamed louder and lashed out at him. “Riza!” he shouted. Fearing she was going to hurt herself, he pinned both her legs to the bed with one of his knees and pinned her left arm to her side, gently holding her right arm against her chest. “Riza! Riza, it’s me! It’s Roy…” Her eyes were squeezed shut, her head tossing from side to side, her entire body tense. “Riza, it’s Roy. You’re safe now. It’s over, I’m here.”
“What the hell is going on?” a voice cried from the door way. Maes had dropped by and started towards the bed.
“She’s awake, I think,” Roy said softly. “But she thinks she’s still in that hell hole,” Maes nodded and took a step away. Having another male presence so close to her might only serve to further terrify her. He watched as Roy held her down, not using his full strength, but enough to keep her from hurting herself. He made soft hushing noises and kept telling her that it was over, that she was safe, that he was there. Then, Maes was surprised when the Colonel leaned down and whispered in her ear, “I won’t let them hurt you anymore, Riza,” and pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth.
Riza screamed, screamed as if her life depending on it and began to fight back. Roy was momentarily thrown to the side, but quickly recovered, re-pinning her to the bed. She continued to scream, attempting to physically hurt him. But in such a weakened state, Roy didn’t even need his full strength to immobilize her.
Maes had run out of the room, calling for a doctor. Two came, slightly taken aback by the sight of the Colonel on the bed, fairly straddling the patient. “Sir, can you hold her still?” one asked. Roy nodded and the other doctor quickly left the room, only to return with a syringe.
“What the hell is that?!”
“It’s a sedative,” he replied, pulling Riza’s left arm out of his grasp and stretching it out. “It will calm her and put her back to sleep. As it is, she may have re-injured her ribs and her heart can’t take this sort of stress,”
“Sleep?!” Roy cried. “She just woke up after a week! You want to put her out again?!”
“Colonel, she isn’t actually awake,” the doctor explained, pushing the needle into Riza’s skin. She moaned softly. “Something caused her to think that she was back in her previous situation. Her fight-or-flight instinct kicked in, even in an unconscious state,”
Roy nodded and watched as the sedative gradually took affect. Riza’s struggles grew less and less as he felt her relax. The doctor’s took their leave, telling the two men to be gentle with her and to let them know if anything changed.
“Roy,” Maes said quietly once they were alone again. “Roy, you can get off of her now. She isn’t going anywhere and she won’t hurt herself,”
Roy nodded and moved off of her. He sat back down in the chair, his hand near hers, but not holding it. He didn’t want to upset her again. She was muttering as the sedative coursed through her system, mostly nonsense.
“I---I won’t let you hurt him…” she murmured softly.
Roy looked at her, anguish in his eyes. He buried his face in his hands. It was confirmation coming from her own lips. This had happened to her because of him…
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