Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist.

Contains spoilers for the manga, and a little for the anime.

Malady - this one is for... well, the last time I checked, she was still known as The Candy Holic, but she might have changed nicknames since then. XD Thank you so much for the FMA eps!!! This story is for you!

If he was alone, Roy Mustang would admit that he was being haunted. He was being haunted by ghosts, various, blurry outlines of people he didn't know; the smell of burning, cooking flesh tingling his senses. He ignored it. He always did. There were other more pressing matters to attend to.

And then his latest companion, someone he had known very well. Someone whose dead body had been found in a phone booth. Someone whom he couldn't ignore.

"Roy!" Hughes exclaimed with glee, floating around the air and doing backflips, just because he knew it annoyed the Flame Alchemist. "Look at the rain! It's pouring down today!"

Roy sighed, deeply, and buried himself in his paperwork.

There was a knock on the door, and Roy called out, "Come in."

Then she entered, looking as she always did: Blue uniform crisply ironed, not a wrinkle or a button out of place. Blonde hair, tied neatly in a bun in the back of her head. If he was honest with himself, he'd admit that he'd wondered, on more than one occasion, how she'd look with her hair down.

"Ooh, Roy, pining after the First Lieutenant?"

...and it was really bad to have such thoughts with ghosts floating around.

Shut up, Hughes.

"Good morning sir," she greeted him, placing the stack of papers on the corner of his desk.

"Good morning, First Lieutenant," was the reply. Carefully, carefully quiet. He raised his head to meet her eyes, a startling reddish-brown. Amber, some voice in the back of his head whispered.

"I'll leave these here for you, sir," she said, referring to the papers. With quick, brusque steps, she exited the room, closing the door quietly behind her.

Leaving Roy to his thoughts. He pointedly ignored the papers on his desk Hughes hadn't left him. Instead, he was perched on the floor, staring up at his dark-haired friend.

"Hughes," Roy wondered, "what's wrong with me?"

"You mean besides the usual?" The Brigadier General stretched his long arms upwards so they cracked; "You want me to read off the list or what?"

"No, Hughes." Roy turned his head to narrow his eyes at his friend, "what's really wrong with me?"

"It's not like I'd judge you or anything," Hughes said offhandedly, not quite answering the question, "she is pretty. Hottest woman in the military."

"What?" Roy furrowed his brow. Hughes never made sense when he was alive; had he expected that to change now that he was dead?

"Probably the most beautiful girl you'd laid your eyes on, right?" Hughes removed his glasses and wiped them on his sleeve. "Next to Gracia, of course. And Elysia, once she grows up a bit more. Right now, she's just at the 'cute' stage; she'll get to the 'beautiful' part in a bit. The boys will be knocking at the door, and, I'll probably scare them all the way... no dirty boy's going to get his hands on my darling Elysia..."

The Flame Alchemist swiveled around in his chair. Behind his desk was a large window, covered with blinds. He stood and pulled them up, revealing a dark gray sky. Rain. The small water droplets slid down from the top of the window to the bottom, down, down, down..

"I hate the rain," he said out loud to no one in particular. This stopped Hughes in mid-sentence.

"Really? Some people do." He put his glasses back on, "I find it rather soothing, myself."

"Maybe, sometime ago, I liked it too," Roy stated, "but not anymore. What was it she said? I'm useless in the rain."

"Geez, Roy." Hughes shook his head at him. "You can't stop thinking about her, can you?"

He frowned. "About who?" Some nagging voice in the back of his head said, About whom, kindly pay attention to your grammar, please and thank you, and he chalked it up to the glass of wine he'd had beforehand.

But the ghost shook his head. "Figure it out yourself."

Roy was going to make some pointed, nasty remark, when another knock sounded on the door. "Come in," he said, swallowing the crude words he'd been getting ready to say.

She appeared at the door again, looking curiously at him. "Sir," she began, clearing her throat.

"Yes?" She seemed...uncertain, hesitant. It was something new.

"Were you talking to anyone?"

Roy pasted a fake grin on his face, "Myself, that's all."

She opened her mouth, and he knew what she was going to say, but then she closed it, and bowed her head. "I see. Sorry for interrupting." She retreated, and Roy shot Hughes a dirty look.

"What are you looking at me like that for?" Hughes asked, innocently.

"Now she thinks I'm crazy," said the Colonel, sinking into his chair and wishing he could melt into it. "God, Hughes, you moron."

"Now she thinks you're crazy?" Hughes echoed. "Well, that raises her standards of you by quite a bit, doesn't it?"

"Hughes.." Roy picked up his pen and started up on his latest report, which was really bad, considering he never did so, "why are you here?"

The ghost feigned a look of hurt, "Don't you want me here? I'm hurt."

Roy shot him a Look.

"Ah. Not in a good mood today." Hughes raised his hands defensively, "well, you know how it is. Ghosts, souls, spirits, whatever, they can't cross to the other side if they have unfinished business."

"Unfinished business?" Roy arched an eyebrow, and then decided against saying anything, "Well, whatever it is, it's got nothing to do with me. Right?"

"You wish," was the reply.

"Then," said Roy, through gritted teeth, "why don't you just tell me what your unfinished business is so that I can fix it and you can get out of here?"

"But that wouldn't be fun." Hughes had the nerve to grin, even though Roy was already pulling on his glove. "Hey. Hey. I'm already dead. You can't hurt me."

"What a shame," said the alchemist dryly. He sneezed suddenly, and reached for a tissue from one of the drawers underneath his desk.

"Gesundheit," Hughes offered kindly.

"Damn," Roy murmured, "I think I'm catching a cold." And he blew his nose.

"Maybe someone's talking about you." The ghost Hughes floated up towards the ceiling, a knowing look on his face. "Say, maybe it's her."

"Give me a break," mumbled the Colonel, "it's this damn rain."

---

The night that he'd received the call from her regarding Barry the Chopper, he'd made his way over to her as soon as possible. Her tone was annoyed, and there was some voice in the background, sounding suspiciously like he was flirting with Hawkeye. The idea sent an odd feeling coursing through him.

"I was just there," Hughes informed him. "Your dear Riza was looking very lovely, in a skirt, but of course, it was around her knees, and --"

Roy expertly tuned him out.

When he first arrived at the scene, he'd had to stop for a second. She hadn't seen him yet. But Hughes had been right; she wasn't wearing her military uniform, and she was dressed rather attractively. And, her hair was down.

"Looks good, doesn't she?" Hughes whispered, right into his ear.

"Shut up," he hissed; he'd never admit it out loud, but he'd wanted to just sort of linger there for a moment, watching her. But damn her and her keen senses; she'd turned and seen him. Roy regained his composure, reluctantly, and gazed imperiously at her.

"Who's this guy?" asked the floating...thing, throwing in some other colorful adjectives as well.

"That's the Colonel!" Hawkeye exploded, beginning to berate him on disrespect and other similar topics. Meanwhile, Roy pulled on his glove.

"Jealous, Mr. Flame Alchemist?" Hughes hit the nail dead-on.

"Don't be an idiot, Hughes," he murmured out of the corner of his mouth.

"Just telling the truth." Hughes whistled. "Still. She's looking awfully pretty, hm?"

He knew he shouldn't have, but his neck turned of its own accord and he found himself staring at her. Again. Barry was following her around, saying something about how "cool" and "strong" she was and how he was "in love" with her. She had made a few, biting, well-chosen remarks, but Barry was still -- well, stalking her.

Still, the way her hair fell at her shoulders, and the way her skirt flowed about her legs..

Hughes laughed, loudly. "How do you think she'd look in a mini-skirt?"

---

He sneezed.

"Another sneeze?" Hughes asked, looking just a tad bit worried. "I think you're coming down with something. Think you should stay home?"

"Mrm. Nah." Roy retrieved a tissue from his pocket and blew his nose into it.

"That's your fifty-sixth sneeze, you know."

"I didn't realize you were counting."

"I'm a ghost. Not much else to do."

Roy sighed, placing his signature on the dotted line of some paper -- he'd vaguely glanced at it. How long had this been going on? A month? No, two..

"Hughes. Why is that only I can see you?"

"Hm?" The Brigadier General blinked slowly. "I guess it's because you're the one I'm haunting."

"That doesn't make any sense."

"Because you have a really strong spiritual sense?" Hughes tried.

Roy sighed. "Forget it." Why was it that these things only happened to him?

He placed the last piece of paper on top of the stack -- which really wasn't very neat; the corners stuck out here and there at odd angles. And sneezed.

Another knock, and Roy called out, "Come in," in a hoarse voice.

In she came, stepping towards the front of his desk, taking the stack of papers. "Are you all right?" she questioned, "I thought I heard you sneeze."

"Oh, yes." Roy waved off her concerns dismissively. "It was just -- ah-choo!" A loud sneeze, then fumbling for another tissue to wipe his nose with, " -- one sneeze."

"Fifty-eiiight," Hughes sang.

Hawkeye noticed the nearly empty box of tissues. "Would you like another box of tissues, sir?"

"Yes, please." He offered her a small smile, and he swore he saw the corners of her mouth twitch up, almost invisibly, in return.

"With all due respect," Hughes said, for even if he was dead, Roy was still his friend and still the Colonel, "you've got it really, really, really bad."

"Shut up, Hughes."

"Here you are, sir," she said, reentering his office and depositing a box of tissues in front of him. As she turned to leave, she paused, and said, with as little emotion as possible, "I hope you feel better." He noticed she'd dropped the "sir."

Hughes, upon noticing the look on Roy's face, shook his head. "You've really got it bad."

---

He'd dragged himself out of bed. Not that he didn't want to stay in bed and skip out on work. But he'd tried it once, and it had been horrible -- the dreams, drifting in and out of consciousness, remembering the pleading eyes and the shrieks of his victims as he'd snapped his fingers and --

"Stop," he told himself. "Stop."

So, pale face flushed, uniform not as straight as it could have been, Roy Mustang pushed open the front door, headed straight for his office, slammed the door shut, and sunk into his chair.

"Charming," Hughes commented.

"I feel like hell," Roy stated bluntly.

"You look like it too," his ghost friend added.

"It's the damn rain," Roy insisted, rubbing his temples. The rain hadn't let up. "And -- dammit, Maes, if you don't get that grin off your face I swear I'll bring you back to life and kill you myself."

"I'm the Brigadier General now, you know," Hughes said haughtily, "I don't think you should be speaking to your superior in that tone of voice."

Roy was not amused.

"What's wrong with me smiling? Can't a guy be happy?"

"Oh?" Roy narrowed his eyes. "And what, may I ask, is the bright and joyful occasion?"

Hughes didn't reply; he just made his grin wider. "She's coming."

"Wh --" But the door swung open. She hadn't bothered to knock. She knew that there couldn't be anything relevant he could be doing after just having arrived.

"Good morning, sir --" Her eyes widened upon seeing him. "Permission to speak freely?"

Roy nodded. He didn't feel like talking. His throat hurt.

"You look awful," she deadpanned, "sir."

"I know it." He fell face-forward on the desk. "It's this damn rain," he repeated.

She stepped closer. He could smell her. Perfume? Lotion? Soap? "Why don't you stay home sick?" He could just imagine the slight tilting of her lips as she said, "you of all people would love the day off."

Perhaps he was delirious as he answered, "No.. too many memories come back when there's nothing to do.."

There was a pause. Long, awkward silence. He could hear her footsteps, growing louder as she drew nearer. Slight hesitance, and then her hand, her slender fingers, reaching for his shoulder. Instinctively, he jerked his head upwards, and then her other hand came to rest on his forehead.

A voice in his head cried out, Breach of protocol!

And yet another voice shouted, Shut up!!

Strangely enough, Hughes was silent.

"You have a fever," she said, quietly. "Shouldn't you stay home?"

"No, it's fine." Her hand hadn't left his forehead. It was warm, and slightly calloused. "Really, Riza, you don't need to worry."

And then, stunned silence. Her hand jerked as she withdrew it from his forehead, and he suddenly realized what he had said. Blinking stupidly, he opened his mouth, then closed it, like a fish just thrown into air.

"I mean, First Lieutenant," he quickly amended himself, though he knew that there was no use. Then, desperately, "it must be the fever. I'm sorry."

She seemed to accept this. She lived, through and through, by the rules. Always.

"Yes, sir. I'll be leaving you to your work." She departed, and although to most people she seemed like the same, stoic First Lieutenant, Roy had known her well enough to know she had been ruffled.

"Do you want me to say anything, or do you want to just wallow in your own misery?" Hughes asked, kindly giving his friend an option.

Not for the first time, and certainly not the last, the reply was:

"Shut up."

---

The phone went dead. "First Lieutenant? Hawkeye?" He clutched the phone tighter, in anger, "Riza?"

"What happened?" Hughes looked genuinely concerned.

"I don't know," the Flame Alchemist muttered, "and I don't like it one bit."

For a minute, he simply sat there, grabbing paper after paper after paper, barely glancing over them before signing his name at the bottom.

"Roy?"

"Dammit," he cursed, standing up. He grabbed his glove, swung open the door, and burst out of there.

"Hey. You're not seriously going there, are you?"

Roy said nothing. He climbed into his newly acquired automobile, and drove at the fastest possible speed.

"You got a car? Geez, all I got was that lousy horse carriage thing." Hughes sighed and deposited himself at the passenger's seat.

"I just hope I get there in time," Roy muttered, hands gripping the wheel tightly.

Hughes said nothing.

When he finally did get there, he saw her, backed up against the wall, with Fury. Their shots had no effect on their enemy, and Roy had had just about enough. With a quick, practiced snap of the fingers, he sent a tornado of fire at the enemy, burning him to a crisp. He watched, with mild sadism, as he plummeted to the ground. He turned, and he didn't know exactly what he'd expected -- perhaps a small "thank you" or even one of those rare smiles of hers...

But instead, she'd started yelling at him, waving her arms around wildly. He couldn't remember seeing her so riled up before. It was unlike her.

"I find that women always seem to look prettier when angry," Hughes helpfully added, "because of the rosy cheeks and all."

Ah. Now she was calling him an idiot.

"Yes, yes," he said, halfheartedly, "I'm an idiot. I know."

God, but he did.

And then, when it was just the two of them -- minus Hughes, but he couldn't do anything about that -- he'd turned away, so that she wouldn't see his expression, and said, "I'm glad that you're all right."

Hughes proceeded to do backflips in the air.

Hawkeye was silent for a moment, and then said, "Thank you."

Later on, when they got back into his car, following Barry, he glanced at her, just to make sure she was all right. She didn't seem to be harmed physically. Her hair was slightly tousled, but that was forgivable... however, she kept coughing and swallowing loudly... and constantly kept reaching up to massage at her neck..

He turned away, and then once a passable period of time had gone by, he turned his gaze on her neck again.

There were small, dark bruises, as if someone had tried to strangle her.

His grip on the wheel tightened as they drove on.

---

He must have drifted off again, the small part of him that was still conscious realized. The right side of his face was pressed uncomfortably, awkwardly, against his desk. Part of him knew that if anyone, if she walked in here, he would most likely never hear the end of it.

Then, the smell of something warm, something delicious, reached his nose. A smell he hadn't smelled in a long time, not since those long-gone, old days of sitting in the kitchen with his mother...

He heard something being placed on his desk, and the smell grew stronger. It enticed him. Wearily he opened his eyes, and was greeted with the sight of a white, porcelain bowl, adorned with painted-on leaves. He sat up.

"You're awake," she stated. "Your door was open, sir, so I just came in." He heard the apologetic tone in her voice, and dismissed it quickly.

"It's all right, Hawkeye. It was my fault."

Everything was his fault. It always was.

Then he remembered what he had woken up for in the first place. Glancing down, he saw a bowl of warm liquid... damn, but his eyes were beginning to give out. He rubbed at them, and then he was able to see bits of meat -- chicken? -- floating around with steamed carrots and celery, and noodles.

"Chicken noodle soup?" he said, hoarsely.

"Yes, sir." She nodded slightly. "You didn't want to go home. So I thought that, at the very least, this could make you feel better."

What was he feeling now? Warm. Yes, warm.

"Thank you," he said, unable to keep the surprise out of his voice. He'd never expected this...this, this sudden gesture of kindness and hospitality, that she'd genuinely cared for him. He reached for the spoon. "May I?"

She nodded.

He brought the spoonful of soup into his mouth, and a sudden smile graced his features. "Why, Hawkeye, this is delicious."

A tiny, tiny blush. One that no one else would have noticed. "Thank you, sir."

"Did you make this? Or did you buy it? It tastes like you might've bought it."

"I made it, sir."

"Really? Wow." He took another spoonful, appreciatively. He'd never thought of her as a cook before.

She said nothing. She simply stood there, watching him. He finished the bowl with a last slurp.

"Thank you." He dropped any honorifics. Hopefully the message was conveyed.

"You're welcome, sir." She took the bowl. She was halfway out the door when he called her.

"Hawkeye."

She stopped. "Yes, sir?"

He smiled. "You should consider wearing your hair down."

In shock, she reached up at the bun behind her head. "Really?" All formalities lost, gone, down the drain. "But, it would get in the way of work..."

"Out on the battlefield, maybe," Roy conceded, "but here, at the office, I think you'll survive."

"I see." She was still fingering her hair. Then, as if realizing exactly where she was, and who he was, she nodded curtly, "Yes, sir."

Once she was gone and the door was shut behind her, Hughes chuckled. But not even Hughes could disrupt this scene, and Roy proceeded to ignore him, the taste of the chicken and noodles still lost in his mouth.

---

"You idiot!" Roy was yelling at her, and somewhere beside him, Hughes tried to calm him down. Hawkeye stood straight, eyes downcast, taking everything he fired at her. "What do you mean you lost the nerve to fight when she told you I was dead?!"

She said nothing.

"You're being a little hard on her," Hughes said, quietly.

"I accept the consequences for my actions." Her tone was cold, and monotonous.

Roy sagged down on the hospital bed, running a hand through his unruly hair. He could never tell her that he had been so worried about her; the fact that she'd given up sent frightened shivers down his spine. What if she'd been killed? It would have been all his fault, entirely...

"If you're going to follow me," he began, softer, "you have to be stronger. You can't believe what the enemy says. You have to have a little more faith."

Her eyes flickered. "Yes, sir."

He wanted to reach out for her, to do something, anything, but it wouldn't have worked. It wouldn't have been proper, the military side of him said, and another side shot back, as if anything is proper anymore.

So he let her go. He watched her exit the door, staring at her back. Hughes was silent, which unnerved him more. God, he would have taken five hours of photo albums at this point.

The door creaked open, and the head of the suit of armor peeked in. It was Alphonse Elric.

"Colonel?" he began. "Are you all right?"

"Yes," Roy answered. And, again, "thank you for protecting my subordinate." He hated saying that word, subordinate. It sounded so formal, so fake.

"I...I, um.." Sometimes, Roy was startled by the differences between the brothers. Fullmetal would have said anything, without stopping to think about it. But Alphonse always stopped to think about his words.

"Go on," he encouraged the boy.

"Well...I heard you yelling at First Lieutenant Hawkeye," he replied.

Guilt sunk in. "Yes, well.."

'It's probably not my place to say," Al said, voice muted, "but you might have been a little hard on her."

Why was everyone saying that? It wasn't like he'd wanted to yell at her. No, far from it..

"I shouldn't say this. The First Lieutenant would hurt me if she found out." A dry laugh. "But when she heard that you were dead, and believed it.. She lost control."

Roy's eyes widened.

"She shot at her, on, and on, and on. And..." Alphonse's voice grew fainter, "she cried."

Everything started to spin. Roy clutched at the sheets. She'd cried? For him? Hawkeye cried for nothing, for no one...

"How about that?" Hughes stroked his chin, deep in thought. "The tables have turned, Mr. Flame Alchemist."

---

His apartment wasn't far from work. By car, or carriage, it took less than ten minutes. But riding in a car or carriage made him conspicuous, and he didn't need that right now. So at the end of the day, he stood, glaring moodily at the droplets of water that relentlessly fell from the sky, and started on his way, splashing through the puddles.

"Wouldn't it have been wiser to take an umbrella?" Hughes asked.

"Didn't have one," Roy replied through gritted teeth. God, he hated the rain.

"You could've swiped one, couldn't you?" Hughes continued the banter. "That's never stopped you before."

"I'm not you," Roy said, accusingly.

"But you're already sick," Hughes said, matter-of-factly. "This isn't exactly going to help your condition, you know."

"Rrgh." Roy trudged on. This rain just wouldn't stop, with it? Like God was doing this out of pure spite. He sneezed.

"Seventy-four."

"Shut up."

They walked in silence for awhile, listening to the rain. And then, in an uncharacteristically quiet voice, Hughes asked, "How's Gracia? And Elysia?"

Roy started. "They're fine. They're coping."

"Oh? Good."

Awkward stillness.

"Why don't you go see them? You can, can't you?"

"I could." A sad smile warmed the ghost Hughes' lips, "but it would be too sad. And hard. You know, I did, once. I reached out for both of them, but my arms just passed through their bodies. And they didn't even know I was there."

Roy stared down.

"But, hey." The optimist was back. "I lived a good life. Married a beautiful woman, had a darling kid. And now, even in the afterlife, I'm provided with free entertainment. I've got no regrets. You, on the other hand, had better get yourself a wife before it's too late. Gray hair isn't very attractive."

"Mm. Yeah."

Then Roy noticed that he wasn't getting wet anymore. He turned, and saw her there, holding an umbrella over his head. He blinked, and said, stupidly, "Hawkeye?"

"Sir," she acknowledged him. "You were standing out here in the rain." She frowned. "That's not going to help your cold."

"Ah." He raised a hand apologetically.

"Should I walk you home, then?" she asked, sounding the tiniest bit amused.

"No, don't bother." Roy shook his head.

"I'm not going to let you walk home in the rain without an umbrella." Strange, how she could be so obedient and yet headstrong at the same time. "You're sick, sir."

For a brief moment, he imagined talking to her without all the damned formalities.

"Very well." He gave into the temptation. "I'll walk you home. And then, if you don't mind, I'll take your umbrella, and walk back to my apartment. Then, tomorrow, I'll return your umbrella."

Her mouth curved up, just a little bit. "Yes, sir."

They began to walk. "I wish," Roy said, out of the blue, "that this rain would stop."

"You do?"

A cynical smile graced his lips. "I hate the rain."

"I see.."

"You were the one who said it, right? I'm useless in the rain."

"Well, sir.."

"No, no. Don't apologize. It's the truth, after all." He stopped. "Men hate admitting their weaknesses."

"I think we all do."

"Ah. Right as always."

How long had he known her now? Years. Many years. Strange, but he was so used to having her by him now. Without her, he'd never get any work done. She'd been the one who'd given him the valuable experience of wanting but being unable to have..

She stopped outside her apartment door. It was a modest sized building, although smaller than his. She reached inside her pocket for the key and emerged with a simple, blue keyring. She turned the key in the keyhole. He stood outside, closed umbrella in hand. Her next words nearly caused him to drop the said umbrella, however.

"Would you like to come in?"

Roy Mustang, quite literally, gaped. This was the man with a million, no, two million retorts in his mouth, the flirtatious Colonel who'd been with countless women -- and was definitely no stranger to those words. But when she said it, he froze, and he could hear his heart pounding in his ears. Talk, dammit, he shouted to himself, say something! And so he opened his mouth, but what came out wasn't exactly what he'd planned; hell, it wasn't even a word --

"Ah-choo!"

The damn rain.

"...for some chicken soup?" She was smiling -- although to others it wouldn't have looked like it. But her eyes had softened, and he knew she was smiling.

"Yes," he answered, "I'd love to."

---

The next day, that damned rain still hadn't let up. Shrugging off the extra raincoat he'd donned that morning, Roy muttered "Good mornings" to his subordinates and sunk gratefully into his chair. He deposited the umbrella -- her umbrella -- at his side.

"Happy, aren't we?" Hughes said, gleefully.

Roy didn't bother to grace him with a reply.

In a few minutes, she entered, daily stack of paperwork in hand. Riza strode to his desk and placed the papers where she regularly did. He looked up to thank her, and realized that something was different.

"Your hair is down," he stated, for lack of anything better to say.

"Yes," she replied, tucking a strand behind her ear. "I thought I might like to try something new."

"I see." But he was smiling already.

"Are you feeling better, sir?" Carefully concealed emotion behind her eyes.

"Yes, yes. Loads better. Thank you, for everything, by the way."

Surprise flitted across her face, "You're welcome, sir, but it was only chicken soup."

"It was a lot more than that," was all he said. Riza blinked, but didn't press the matter. She nodded, then proceeded to exit.

"Hawkeye," he called, on a pure whim.

She turned. "Yes, sir?"

"Later, after work. Let's walk home together again, shall we?"

Riza furrowed her brow. "I suppose we could, but why?"

He smiled, perhaps a little secretively, but that was all right. "I'd like to try something new, that's all."

---

"And they all lived happily ever after," Hughes announced, waving around his arms wildly to make a point. "And it was all thanks to moi."

His audience, all sitting on various different dark gray clouds in the night sky, eyed him skeptically. "Really?"

"Sure, they did!" The dark-haired man pointed down to the military building in Central. "Look at them!"

His companions squinted, and then narrowed their eyes. "Hughes, they haven't changed a bit. They're still skirting around each other like idiots. Haven't even kissed yet!"

Hughes winked, mischievously. "Oho, that's what they want you think."

Doubtful murmurs.

"So!" The Brigadier General stood up, clenching his right hand to a fist. "Who wants to go visit Gracia and Elysia? All of you? Oh, how sweet! Let's go, men! Then, after, photo albums!"

A not-so-quiet whisper from one of the men: "I think I'd have been better off in hell."

"Come on, come on." Hughes shook his head. "I know that Roy's a bit of an idiot and Hawkeye's not much better, at least when it comes to this stuff, but they'll get it..." He was greeted expressions of you've-got-to-be-kidding-me, and hastily added, "...eventually."

"First Lieutenant," Roy suddenly said, out of the blue, "would you ever consider wearing a miniskirt to work?"

Riza checked to make sure she had her gun in her holster. "When pigs fly, sir."

:: fin ::

Rrrrgh. Roy/Riza was hard to write! XD I was like, Hrmm, would Roy really do something like this? And is this how Riza would react? Blech. I understand that at some times, Roy has called Riza by her first name, but by my understanding, it's for "undercover" reasons, or something. In the manga, he calls her Elizabeth, but I think, again, that's for undercover. Or whatever. :shrugs:: I looooved adding Hughes in there. Inspired by Sundial by Angrybee, a Rurouni Kenshin story in which Aoshi is haunted by the members of the Oniwabanshuu. Ahh. It's been fun. Although it was hard to write, I enjoyed it. It's my favorite story I've written so far! Please review!