AN: It's been a long, long time since I've written fanfiction. But this has been on my computer for several weeks, and I thought it might be fun to post something. Comments are appreciated!
Disclaimers: I solemnly swear that I do not own FMA.
He is beginning to realize how far down in his memory he'd buried down his teenage years. Over the course of his teacher's drawn-out death and his life in the military, he had forgotten that Riza Hawkeye could cook. Though she rarely fussed over presentation (and her food contained no surprising twists in flavor), Riza could be relied upon to produce something simple and satisfying.
For the past hour, he has been sneaking glances at her from over his pile of paperwork. She shoots him reprimanding glances and hides her smile, thinking that nothing has changed. When she was sixteen and he was eighteen, he would pretend to be wrapped up in his homework but Riza would catch his reflection in the small mirror that hung over the kitchen sink. She has known- since their youth- that any sound and any scent could distract the man. If anything, he was always looking for an excuse to stop working. Some things do not change, she decides.
Back then, she would make him a cup of tea and he would feign surprise when she set it before him. He would look up, his long black bangs brushing the tips of his brows, a shy smile spreading across his lips, his dark eyes brimming with warmth. Their hands would brush against each other and the young Riza would stumble back, her cheeks bright pink and her heart bursting with giddiness. And although years of passing him documents and making him cups of coffee has taught her to tame her blushes, the same could not be said of her heart.
He looks up eagerly when she approaches the table, but is quickly alarmed at the sight of her with two steaming bowls. He makes to take them from her, but she shakes her head and her eyes warn him that he will do more harm than help.
"Those documents might get soiled," she cautions as she sets down the bowls.
Roy shifts over his paperwork with one arm. He upsets his coffee mug in the process and is in no hurry to right it, as the dregs barely slip from the position they've occupied for the past two hours. Riza refuses to over-caffeinate him (or so she says), but he suspects that she is not overly fond of coffee's loquacious effect on him.
The moment Riza turns her back to him, a stealthy spoonful of soup finds its way to his mouth. A loopy smile crawls across his lips at the familiar taste and he is grateful that her back is turned.
But he is a fool for thinking that Lieutenant Hawkeye was anything but overly aware of her surroundings.
Softly, she commands, "Put down the spoon."
Roy obliges, but not without comment, "What can I do? Your cooking is impossible to resist."
His sycophantic comment goes unanswered by her as she places a sliced baguette and a slab of better between their bowls. To this, she adds a verdant salad that they both know Roy will not touch.
As he inhales his soup, she spreads butter onto a piece of bread and wrinkles her nose distastefully at the slurping noises he is making.
"It's like you've never eaten in the mess hall," he teases between mouth-fulls.
"It's like you've never eaten in public," she deadpans.
He reconsiders mopping up his bowl with a piece of bread, lest she refuse to cook for him again. That would make their future marriage quite complicated, he decides, since she is clearly the superior cook.
It is only after he has refilled his soup bowl and is half-way through it that he realizes that he has just admitted to himself that he wants to marry Riza Hawkeye. No, not wants, but plans on it. He sputters on his soup and she is quick to hand him his water- which goes down the wrong way, of course.
"Maybe you should slow down," she suggests, her tone mildly exasperated, "Your food is going down the wrong pipe"
Hacking dramatically, he holds out his hand in protest, "No, no-" he croaks, "it's important"
With thinly-veiled impatience, "What's important?"
He sets his spoon down, finally managing to clear his throat, "Lieutenant," he begins, "er… Riza?"
His decisiveness wears off as she lets her spoon slip in the bowl, her warm brown eyes shifting to him.
"I'm thinking about proposing some changes to current legislation," he decides this is the best way to broach the subject, "I want to get the paperwork to the Fuhrer as soon as possible"
Riza picks up her spoon again and Roy is worried she has lost interest. His worries subside when she begins to stir her soup thoughtfully and Roy is reminded of the many quirks Riza Hawkeye portrays when she is lost in thought. He remembers the young girl with cropped hair who would dunk the tea bag in and out of a mug until the tea was too bitter for even Berthold's tastes. More frighteningly, he remembers the click of the trigger of her gun- on and off- in the Ishvallan camps, worried that someone will come across them. He wonders if their daughter will inherit those traits.
Thoughts of their daughter draw him back to reality where Riza Hawkeye is looking at him expectantly.
"I want your opinion on the changes," he continues and a part of him thinks that perhaps this is the cowardly path. But then again, she has always been the courageous one.
"Of course, sir" she responds seamlessly, "When can you give me the first draft?"
"I'll write it after dinner." He promises.
If she is surprised at his uncharacteristic promptness, she hides it well. Nodding resolutely, she says, "then we can get it into the Fuhrer's office tomorrow."
They finish their meal in comfortable silence and Riza graciously accepts his offer to wash the dishes. It allows Roy the privacy to ponder his recent decisions and though he marvels at the urgency, he is overcome with a sense of relief. No matter what Riza has to say to him, he is selfish enough to want the weight off his own love off his shoulders.
It is nearly midnight when Riza gets up to make them coffee (he cannot help but smirk at her.) He has managed to evade her prying eyes and to write the first draft. It is one of the best first drafts of anything he has written in his life and he grudgingly accepts that passion certainly produces fine work.
Riza lingers as she gives him his cup of coffee and he slides the paper directly underneath her gaze. It takes her a few seconds to read the title and even less time to comprehend the meaning.
Proposal for the Revocation of the Amestrian Anti-Fraternization Laws
He was not expecting her reaction.
Riza's hand smacks his head- her arms are muscled and she is neither gentle nor playful.
Much to his embarrassment, he shrieks and she lifts her brow, unimpressed.
"Lieutenant, " he grumbles, brows furrowed and red-faced, "What the hell was that for?"
Her hand is still at the back of his head and a shiver crawls up his spine when the tips of her fingers began to rummage through his hair. Despite her ministrations, he cannot shake off his anxiety-will she strike again?
"That," she states, "was for the worst proposal I've ever received in my life"
"That" he matches her tone, "was the only proposal you've received in your life"
He regrets the words as soon as they leave his mouth. Her silence is disarming. Roy's heart drops into his stomach when her fingers stop moving against his scalp.
"Riza?" he manages.
"Fine," she says.
Eloquently, he asks, "huh?"
Her eyes rest on his, calm and secretive, she murmurs, "I said fine, colonel, if you can pass that amendment to the legislation, that is"
Roy Mustang has never been anything but clever and suave. In fact, if not for Fullmetal, he would have been Amestris' youngest State Alchemist. But never in his life had he been so slow to comprehend something.
He takes a deep breath and in false nonchalance murmurs, "So just to confirm, lieutenant, you're saying that if I can pass this legislation"-he points at his legal pad with a shaky finger, "…You will marry me?"
Riza Hawkeye has never been anything but cool and decisive. In fact, if not for the emotions elicited by a certain colonel, she would have had no problem remaining detached. But never in her life had she been as forward and brash as in that moment.
Her fingers pull his head towards hers and she confirms, "Yes" before taking a moment to savor the look of shock on her colonel's face- before, inevitably, it is overtaken by his trademark smirk.