Has anyone else noticed this? In the scene in the manga in the tunnels where Envy grabs Riza and slams her into the ground and Roy fries Envy and saves her, Roy has this look of complete anger, his eyes glowing like some kind of creature in the dark, as he glares at Envy, but when he turns to Riza and tells her to stop being reckless, his eyes are gentle, soft, almost melancholy. And he doesn’t shout at her.
He was so completely caught up in his anger and revenge, but it’s like her presence kept some part of his normal self from being overtaken, letting it show up even for just a second. Like, despite being so absolutely furious, he still treated her gently because it’s Riza and he would never look at her or speak to her with the kind of ugly emotions he was feeling toward Envy.
And then as soon as he turns his attention back to Envy, he immediately becomes terrifyingly angry again.
“Ciamar a tha tu, mo chridhe?” he said suddenly. It was his customary greeting to her, the beginning of their evening Gaelic lesson, but his voice was different tonight; soft, and very gentle. How are you, darling? His hand turned and covered hers, cradling her long fingers.
“Tha mi gle mhath, athair,” she replied, looking a bit surprised. I am well, Father. Normally he began the lesson after dinner.
Slowly he reached out with his other hand and rested it gently on her stomach.
“An e ’n fhirinn a th’agad?” he asked. Do you tell me true? I closed my eyes and let out a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding. No need to break all the news, after all. And now I knew the reason for his taut-strung strangeness; he knew, and whatever the knowledge cost him to hold, hold it he would, and treat her gently.
She didn’t know enough Gaelic yet to tell what he’d asked, but she knew well enough what he meant. She stared at him for a moment, frozen, then lifted his sound hand to her cheek and bent her head over it, the loose hair hiding her face.
“Oh, Da,” she said, very quietly. “I’m sorry.”
She sat quite still, holding to his hand as though it were a lifeline.
“Ah, now, m’ annsachd,” he said softly, “it will be all right.”
“No, it won’t,” she said, her voice small but clear. “It can’t ever be right. You know that.”
He glanced at me out of habit, but only briefly. I couldn’t tell him what to do, now. He drew a deep breath, took her by the shoulder and gave her a gentle shake.
“All I know,” he said softly, “is that I’m here by ye, and your mother, too. We willna see ye shamed or hurt. Not ever. D’ye hear me?”
“What are we going to do?” I said softly, addressing the question to the overwhelming depths of the vast dark sky overhead.
I heard no sound but the rush of wind in the pine trees; no answer, save the form of my own question—the faint echo of “we” that rang in my ears. That much was true at least; whatever happened, none of us need face things alone. And I supposed that was after all as much answer as I needed, for now.
“I used to think of you, when ye were small,” Jamie was saying to Bree, his voice very soft. “When I lived in the cave; I would imagine that I held ye in my arms, a wee babe. I would hold ye so, against my heart, and sing to ye there, watching the stars go by overhead.”
“What would you sing?” Brianna’s voice was low, too, barely audible above the crackle of the fire. I could see her hand, resting on his shoulder. Her index finger touched a long, bright strand of his hair, tentatively stroking its softness.
“Old songs. Lullabies I could remember, that my mother sang to me, the same that my sister Jenny would sing to her bairns.”
She sighed, a long, slow sound.
“Sing to me now, please, Da.”
He hesitated, but then tilted his head toward hers and began to chant softly, an odd tuneless song in Gaelic. Jamie was tone-deaf; the song wavered oddly up and down, bearing no resemblance to music, but the rhythm of the words was a comfort to the ear.
“Do you know something, Da?” Bree asked softly.
“What’s that?” he said, momentarily suspending his song.
“You can’t sing.”
There was a soft exhalation of laughter and the rustle of cloth as he shifted to make them both more comfortable.
“Aye, that’s true. Shall I stop, then?”
“No.” She snuggled closer, tucking her head into the curve of his shoulder.
He resumed his tuneless crooning, only to interrupt himself a few moments later.
“D’ye ken something yourself, a leannan?”
Her eyes were closed, her lashes casting deep shadows on her cheeks, but I saw her lips curve in a smile.
“What’s that, Da?”
“Ye weigh as much as a full-grown deer.”
“Shall I get off, then?” she asked, not moving.
“Of course not.”
She reached up and touched his cheek.
“Mi gradhaich a thu, athair,” she whispered. My love to you, Father.
He gathered her tightly against him, bent his head and kissed her forehead. The fire struck a knot of pitch and blazed up suddenly behind the settle, limning their faces in gold and black. His features were harsh-cut and bold; hers, a more delicate echo of his heavy, clean-edged bones. Both stubborn, both strong. And both, thank God, mine.
She couldn’t live with it; it would break her. She couldn’t
live without it; it would kill her. So she had to find the balance between her
reality and her fantasy. (Takes place after the Quincy’s Arc. Paired piece to
Hello Halcyon Days. Read it first before this story! Orihime’s perspective).
So it would have been easy. So easy to slip into hope’s trap. She almost welcomed hope with open arms like a fool. And despite the way he looked at her, the way he treated her so gently, she wouldn’t give herself permission to do it. She wouldn’t hope for something more. Because…because hope was for suckers.
She knew she was a fool in love, but she wouldn’t be a sucker.