Ed's coat is red, Roy's is blue, I don't own FMA, so please don't sue.
"Tara-chan dump you?" Maes asked.
"I don't want to talk about it," Roy said, picking at his lunch. So I missed our date. Didn't she understand that my job is important? It was only...twice?
"Ano...Do you mind if I sit here?"
Roy looked up. A young female lieutenant, blonde hair neatly pinned up, stood by one of the chairs at their table.
"Please do," Maes said politely, kicking Roy under the table.
Roy winced at this, but did nothing. Maes shot him a look, one that Roy was becoming all too familiar with.
"So, Lieutenant Hawkeye?" Maes began.
"Hai, Captain Hughes?" she said quietly, cutting up her salad.
"What's it like, working with Major Nialsen?" Maes asked.
"He's hard but fair," Hawkeye said, not looking up from her plate. "I have to walk long hours, but I enjoy my work."
The entire speech was given in a monotone, which distantly set off alarms in Roy's head, but it was none of his business.
"Lieutenant Hawkeye, if you're interested, I could work out a transfer," Maes said.
The lieutenant's fork clattered to her plate, then she picked it up, expressionless. "Thank you, Captain, but my work is essential in my department and I could not leave it."
"If you ever change your mind, Lieutenant, please feel free to talk to me," Maes said.
"Thank you, sir."
The cafeteria food's worse than ever, Roy thought, pushing his mashed potatoes around on his plate, only half listening to the conversation at hand.
By the next day, he had forgotten it, and would have forgotten it for quite some time, had he not had to check out an inter-departmental memo. Why do some people never sign the same way twice? How am I supposed to hold up my end of things, if I can't tell who signed? Roy thought angrily, staring so intently at the offending memo, that he was not watching where he was going. Suddenly, he was sitting on the floor. The Lieutenant from the previous day, what was her name? Falcon? No, Hawkeye. "Sorry, Lieutenant," he said.
But she was not listening to his apology, she was clutching her left arm with an expression of intense pain.
"I'm sorry," Roy said again, picking up the paperwork that she'd dropped and stacking it neatly.
"Thank you," she said at last. "It was my fault, I'm sorry." She took the papers, then let Roy help her up. She still looking pained.
"Are you all right?" Roy asked, concerned. We didn't collide that hard...
"I'm fine," she said. "I slipped a few days ago and it still hurts."
"Maybe you should go to the infirmary and get it checked out," Roy said.
"No, I'm fine, thanks," she said quickly and was gone.
Roy watched her leave, then headed back to his office. It was not until he returned that he realized he'd accidentally given the Lieutenant his memo.
"Major Nialsen's offices?" the young enlisted man scratched his head. "Eto, I think it's in corridor D..."
Roy looked at the man's uniform. "Thanks, Private..."
"Fury, sir," the bespectacled private said, sounding almost apologetic.
"Private Fury," Roy repeated and left.
Major Nialsen's offices were those of the Quartermaster and Supply for Central and they were almost painfully quiet. Only one of the four desks in the main room was occupied, by a master-sergeant who came to attention the moment Roy entered.
"At ease," he said quickly.
"Can I help you, sir?" he asked quietly.
Something about him struck Roy as strange, a sort of nervous intensity. "When will Lieutenant Hawkeye be back?" he asked.
The master-sergeant's frown deepened. "I don't know, sir. May I take a message for you?"
"I got one of my memos mixed up in a stack of hers," Roy said. "I'd be grateful if she'd have it returned at her earliest possible convenience to Captain Roy Mustang."
The NCO seemed to relax a little at this. "Of course, sir."
Roy hesitated. He didn't know what made him ask what he did next. "Tell her to stop by the infirmary and get checked out, we had a bit of a collision in the corridor."
The NCO sighed. "I'll tell her, sir."
With that, Roy left.
(Insert line break here)
In the privacy of the women's restroom, Riza took an aspirin and carefully moved her arm. Full range of motion was painful, but possible. That done, she picked up her papers and walked back to the offices. "Anything happen while I was out?" she asked Farman.
"Captain Mustang says you have a memo of his in your paperwork," Farman said, then hesitated. "He also told me that you should stop by the infirmary."
"Thank you, Master-Sergeant," Riza said, rummaging through the stack of papers, and finding the missing memo. "Would you mind taking this to him? I'll continue working on the request-list for the 9th battalion while you do that."
"Hai," Farman said, taking the memo.
They both nearly jumped at the shout from Major Nialsen's office.
"Go," Riza said simply.
Farman opened his mouth to say something, then closed it and left.
Riza opened the door to the Major's office.
"Shut the door! Riza! What the Hell were you thinking filling the request list for 'C' Company!" Major Nialsen asked, moustache trembling in anger, face nearly purple in colour.
If I left the door open...no. Riza swallowed hard. "Sir, the request was marked urgent and the majority of the items were of a medical nature, I thought-"
"You damn well thought wrong!" Nialsen snapped, pounding a meaty fist against the table for emphasis. "I thought you learned from last time, but I see you're a slow learner, Riza."
"Sir, I was following established guid-"
"I don't care what the hell you thought you were following!" he roared. "You will do as I say and 'C' Company will get their supplies when I say so and not before!"
Riza shrank back against the door as Nialsen stood up from behind his desk. He was a powerfully built giant of a man. I'll scream and Farman- no, Farman's running the memo...I'll open the door...no, I'm standing against it... the window? Third floor, no...
He approached her and slammed a hand down on her injured shoulder. It was all she could do to keep from crying out. "Do we have an understanding, Riza? Or are you going to have to learn through the school of hard knocks? Again?"
You bastard! Riza bit her lip. "I'm sorry, sir" she whispered. "It won't happen again."
"I didn't hear you, Riza!"
"It won't happen again," she repeated, fractionally louder.
"Ah?" his grip on her shoulder tightened.
"Itai...It won't happen again, sir," she gasped out.
"Good," he said, then walked back to his desk. "Now be a good girl, dry your eyes and get back to work."
I won't cry in front of you, you bastard! she thought but said nothing, fleeing the major's office to the main office. She sat down at her desk, then the shaking took her and she buried her face in her hands. Nervous energy... I just need to breathe, she tried to tell herself, but breathing wasn't easy. Tears were welling up in her eyes now, tears of pain and anger. One day, Major Brian Nialsen, you will pay for what you've done!
Riza stiffened for a moment, then recognized the voice. "Master-Sergeant Farman."
A handkerchief was placed on her desk in front of her and she took it gratefully.
"Ma'am, this can't continue," Farman said tiredly. "I should..."
"No, Master-Sergeant," Riza finished wiping her eyes. "You know we can't."
"I don't care what happens to me!" Farman said tersely. "If it means that he can't hurt you any more-"
"No," Riza insisted. "Worry about yourself." With that, she picked up the request list for the ninth battalion and prepared to go to work as though nothing had happened.
Farman sighed his disapproval. "Ma'am this can only get worse," was his parting comment as he picked up his own list and began checking it against their inventory.
(Insert Line break here)
"You need to get married," Maes said.
Roy did his best to ignore the comment and concentrate on his paperwork. "I'm married to my career," he said, once Maes had repeated himself a few times.
"Your career isn't waiting for you when you come home at night!" Maes said. "I have a beautiful wife to come home to," he said, displaying his latest photo. "Isn't she gorgeous? And our children will be beautiful too! She's so kind and beauttiful- I'm so lucky! Roy, doesn't that make you want to get married?"
"No," Roy said shortly, resisting with growing difficulty, the temptation to incinerate Maes.
"I wonder if Lieutenant Hawkeye is spoken for?" Maes thought aloud. "You two would make a cute couple."
Maes playing Happy Matchmaker- if he doesn't quit soon...Roy thought, fingers twitching.
"But she's an odd mix," Maes continued. "She's the best shot in Central, I've heard and she doesn't suffer fools lightly. Except for her boss."
Something about the way Maes said that made Roy look up. From what he'd seen of her, the lieutenant appeared to be a shy, rather retiring creature, certainly not someone that Maes would describe as 'an odd mix'.
Noticing Roy's interest, Maes continued. "Almost everyone in Corridor D seems to know that Major Nialsen isn't the best of people to be working for."
"Well, he can't be the worst," Roy said,dropping all pretense of being busy and engaging in the scuttlebutt that was so integral to military life.
Maes looked dubious. "I'm not sure about that. When I drank with Farman and his friends, he mentioned that the Major seemed to have it in for the poor lieutenant."
Roy frowned. "What do you mean?"
Maes shrugged. "He didn't say much else, he's not a very talkative drunk."
"I see." Maybe I should have a little chat with the lieutenant?
"She's usually at the target range if she's not in her office," Maes said as though reading his mind.
In fact, Hawkeye was the only one at the target range, Roy found, when he went down after checking the office. She'd removed her jacket, and Roy though she looked more womanly without it. It might have had something to do with the fact that she was wearing a black, longsleeve turtleneck that flattered both her figure and colouration. But her weapon check before she began was very professional.
"Keeping sharp, lieutenant?" he asked, when he reached the bottom of the stairs that led to the target range.
"Yes sir," she said simply. "I don't think I've seen you down here before," she commented casually.
"I prefer to use alchemy, rather than conventional weapons," Roy explained. That other time... He clenched his fingers to keep them from shaking. Focus! "Do you mind if I watch?"
"Not at all," she replied, loading her handgun and putting on her ear-defenders and letting loose.
Small arms fire was a backdrop to that nightmare. They stood there, frightened, yet resigned, neither tried to plead for their lives. The woman clutched the photograph. "Winry," she whispered. Her husband hugged her tightly.
His hand was shaking horribly, but he fired, two headshots. They died instantly, but that was no comfort to him, the shots echoed in his mind over and over again as he stared at the slowly spreading crimson. He thought he would faint at first, then remembered to breathe. He remained standing, but he still felt sick. Little spots of darkness danced across his vision, but behind them was the ever-increasing red. Two lives gone forever. The red was growing darker.
"Drink this, sir, you'll feel better," a distant voice said. Then with a rush, he was back in the present. Lieutenant Hawkeye had put a cup of water in his hand. Obediently he drank it, but he didn't think he felt better.
"What happened?" he asked quietly, noticing now that he was sitting down on one of the hard plastic chairs by the telephone, behind where the shooters would be standing.
"I don't know," she said. "You nearly collapsed. Are you sick?"
"No," he said. At Hawkeye's doubtful look, he amended that. "It's not physical anyway. And it doesn't happen often." At least, not any more.
"Next time, you might want these," she said, holding up a pair of ear defenders, then walking over to her booth and hitting the control to bring her target in. She inspected it critically.
From where Roy sat it looked good, yet the lieutenant only sighed.
"I'm going to try again," she said, reloading her handgun. "If you want to stay, put on the ear-defenders."
Roy did so and watched. The lieutenant was only firing with her right hand, he noticed, and wondered why. He'd been told that two-handed firing was much more stable, but she must have had her reasons. Then he remembered their collision in the corridor. Left arm again and she's wearing longsleeves in May...her superior has it in for her... "Well shot," he said, looking at her target. Then he looked at his watch. If I can confirm this, Major Nialsen will be... inconvenienced. The easiest thing would of course be if she confirmed it, but from the way she refused Maes' offer of a transfer it seems that she's too scared. In that case. "I'd better be going now," he said, taking off the ear defenders. "Thank you for letting me watch."