Type: One-shot. Although intended as a prequel to a larger series.
Pairings: None really, but feel free to read in as much Hawkeye/Ross and Roy/Ed as you like.
Word count: 824
Summary: Lieutenants Hawkeye and Ross have a chat in the officers' lounge.
There were few things that Hawkeye loathed more than a Friday afternoon. A feeling of laziness permeated the East City base as the military personnel anticipated their two days away from the office. The Colonel had already made his escape from the dreary military base and a few of his subordinates were eager to follow his example. Hawkeye swore that she could see clouds of lethargy floating around Havoc, as he lounged with his feet on his desk, eyes closed, with the habitual toothpick in his mouth. Admittedly, most of the staff was not quite as laid back as Havoc, but the atmosphere was still casual enough to make her want to start firing shots at her coworkers.
Which is why Hawkeye frequently found herself at the firing range on Fridays.
Emptying another clip, Hawkeye squinted at the distant paper target. One of the six rounds was slightly off target. Sighing, she removed her goggles, ear protectors and holstered her gun. Clearly, not even she was immune to Fridays' lack of efficiency.
Glancing at the clock on the far wall, Hawkeye shook out her hair which had fallen loose during target practice. Pinning it carefully back into its usual bun, she left the firing range and made her way to the officers' lounge across the hall.
The halls were empty as Hawkeye made her way to the lounge. Enjoying the silence, broken only by the sound of her boot heels clicking smartly on the polished tile, Hawkeye mused about the next week and eventually found herself in front of the lounge's coffee machine.
She grabbed one of the plain white mugs on the table, placed it under the machine, and pressed a button. Watching the coffee trickle into the mug, she continued through her mental checklist of next week's schedule. Reaching beside the coffee machine for the sugar packets out of habit, Hawkeye frowned as her fingers encountered empty space.
"If you're looking for the sugar, you're too late."
Glancing over her shoulder, Hawkeye spotted a familiar short haired second lieutenantas the source of the comment. With a mug in her hand and a tired yet friendly grin on her face, Maria Ross was seated on one of the sofas opposite the coffee machine.
"This would be the Colonel's doing again?" Cursing her superior officer's sweet tooth, Hawkeye sipped at her coffee and grimaced. Bitter.
"No, this would be the fault of one Fullmetal alchemist."
Raising an eyebrow, Hawkeye asked, "Fullmetal? I was not aware that he'd returned." She took another sip from her mug and glanced over at Ross, who had put down her coffee and was now rubbing her temples in an attempt to rid herself of a headache. "I was also unaware that you were still in charge of keeping him out of trouble." Hawkeye was beginning to feel decidedly disconcerted about her lack of up to date information about Edward's situation.
Shaking her head and smiling slowly, Ross replied, "Oh, I'm not, and very glad for it. He's more than I care to handle. I ran into him while returning from another assignment and simply offered to escort him back to Central."
Relieved, Hawkeye settled onto one of the sofas and sipped at her drink. The two officers settled into a comfortable silence for a few moments.
"Strange, isn't it? That both the Colonel and Fullmetal take their coffee almost oversaturated with sugar."
Refraining from enlightening her fellow lieutenant that the two were more similar than they seemed at first glance, Hawkeye settled with a simple statement, "They certainly don't seem the sort."
Silence settled again, as Hawkeye and Ross both turned their attention to their coffee and inward thoughts.
Ross sighed unexpectedly, snapping Hawkeye's attention back to her.
"He means well and I understand that what he's doing is important to him, but the way that he goes about it causes me and all those looking out for him a never-ending stream of headaches."
It took Hawkeye a moment to remember that the other woman was talking about Edward.
"He sneaks out at any chance he gets and causes trouble everywhere he goes."
Hawkeye found herself musing over the Colonel's aggravating avoidance of paperwork.
"I can only begin to imagine the damage bills he rakes up for the military."
He'd skip work too, if it weren't for the constant threat of her perfect aim and prowess with a gun.
"Although I do care about him and his safety, sometimes looking after Fullmetal is more than I can take."
Glancing up abruptly, Ross remembered who she was talking to. First Lieutenant Hawkeye did not seem the sympathetic sort, much less someone who would tolerate others' complaints about their military duties.
"But then again, that's our job, isn't it?" Ross finished her outburst. Faintly pink with embarrassment, the second lieutenant developed a sudden fascination with her stir stick.
Smiling into her coffee mug though, Hawkeye knew exactly what she meant.