At the end of the war, Hawkeye is there for him. RoyxRiza.
But stars ate themselves hollow even as they seared the space around them. Hawkeye watched him, following him like a dog's shadow through the destructive course of the massacre as it progressed, and she saw a little more of what was inside him burn away with every snap of his fingers.
He was one of the last to leave, too wrapped up in his own horrors to notice that the thing that had passed for a war was ending. Riza Hawkeye and Jean Havoc stayed with him, because to leave him alone would have been unthinkable. They were all but beyond relief when the order for the last of the alchemists to leave was issued.
What they called a train station was just a series of shadows cast on the dusty ground by the still forms waiting at the platform. The soldiers had become architecture in a house of war. Many had left as soon as they could, but others had stayed behind: the ones who knew that they were a part of this house now, in its walls and in its foundations, with nowhere to go and nothing to become outside it.
Hawkeye was relieved to go, but she did not know where she was going.
"They've got him on the train," Havoc said from beside her. She hadn't noticed him walk up.
"Good," she said. "We should get on."
"Wait," he said. "He--he was babbling. Delirious. They said it was probably a fever." He took a moment to get her to meet his eyes, so that they could share the look they'd developed together over the course of the war: Roy isn't doing well today. Sometimes even Roy is breaking down today.
She said nothing. They both knew better. Mustang's fever was perpetual. Havoc waited a moment, then held something out to her. "He made me take these. Said to keep one myself and make you take the other, because he can't touch them anymore. He wouldn't let anyone else touch them, either."
Hawkeye took it, knowing already what it was. The sparkcloth glove was rough between her fingers. She nodded at Havoc. "Let's go."
But when he turned to go, she hesitated for a moment behind him. She pressed the rough fabric to her lips, almost kissing it, and she smelled it, almost tasting it. She could smell the war and Roy Mustang's pain in its stinging reek of fire. In the near-deserted train station, with her eyes tearing up from the scent of smoke, she knew where she was going, and with whom.
They were not supposed to see him on the train ride back to Central. He's ill, the guards told Hawkeye, but she could see their fear. They were afraid of him, afraid he might combust if they let anyone get near him.
"I spent time with him in the war," she said. It felt strange to refer to 'in the war' as if it were a period of time which had passed rather than their entire world. "I know how to deal with him."
They let her through, though their misgivings showed in their eyes.
He was lying on his side across one wall of seating in his compartment, huddled in on himself. His gaze flickered to her as she stepped inside, fear and regret and shame mingling there. He didn't want her to see him like this, but he had too little power over the world around him to change it. He was trembling.
She sat down across from him. "Major Mustang," she said. "The train will be at its next stop in a few hours." She started to ask can I get you anything there? but realized just in time that he would never admit to needing help, if he were even coherent enough to do so. "I'll make sure you have something to eat. I don't trust these guards to remember to feed you."
A flicker of irritation and resentment at her easy charge of him glinted in his eyes, but it was gone in an instant. He was nearly beyond caring about such things now. Instead, he said, "I can't sleep. I close my eyes and I see--"
She knew what he was about to say. "I'll get you something to put you to sleep," she said before he went on.
"I shouldn't," he said. "I have to see--"
"Right now," she said sharply, "you have to sleep."
He sank down against his seat. "You win, Sergeant." He almost smiled, but it was a weak, sickly thing. He hesitated, looking like he might be about to say something but was afraid to voice it.
"I'll stay here until we get to the next stop," she said.
"I'm sorry, Sergeant," he said, lifting his head. "I'm a burden on you."
She looked at him, then shook her head and reached out to put a finger over his mouth. "No. I won't leave. That's final." But she could feel the softness of his lips against her finger, and she liked it too much, so she pulled her hand away from him.
They stayed there in silence, locked in their broken world.