It's a bird, it's a plane, it's out of character Hawkeye… Sorry this part isn't as good as the first.


II

They retrieved the few pieces of luggage that they had brought, before stepping off the train to be greeted by a somber looking Major Armstrong.

"I apologize again for the phone call," he said, after saluting them.

He looked at the Colonel, then said, "I informed the Fuhrer of your arrival and managed to get you rooms in the dormitories. I'll drive you to headquarters and show you to your rooms. We'll discuss things in the morning."

Riza felt relieved as they followed him to the car. She was fairly sure that the Colonel couldn't have handled talking about it tonight and she was glad the Major had thought of that.

The ride to headquarters was short, only a few blocks. Still, Riza found herself wishing it were shorter. She was tired and wanted to go to bed, and she knew the Colonel would feel better after he slept.

Armstrong parked the car outside of the dormitory building and they followed him to their rooms. They were next to each other as they always had been when she had lived in the dorms, since there were no separate dorms for men and women and she preferred to be where she could keep an eye on him.

Armstrong bid them good night and left, presumably heading to his own room.

"Good night," Riza said, opening the door to her room.

"Hawkeye?"

She turned. "Yes?"

He looked unsure of himself. "Would you like to come in?" he said, "I mean, I'm not sure I want to be alone right now."

"Alright," she said. She was exhausted, but would stay up if it meant he would feel better.

She opened her door and set her luggage inside, then closed it and followed him into his room. She wrinkled her nose at the sanitary smell of the room. She had forgotten what the dorms smelled like when you moved in.

Instead of turning on the overhead light, he clicked on the small desk lamp. He went over to the window and opened it a crack to air out the room, then proceeded to unpack his luggage.

She sat down in the chair by the desk and watched him. Out of the large trunk came a spare uniform and his dress one, which he hung carefully in the wardrobe; a couple pairs of socks, some white dress shirts, and some pants, which he put in a drawer; and assorted other objects, like a toothbrush. There was one thing he left in the trunk, a picture frame. She didn't have to look at it to know who was in the picture or why he left it.

"We move around too much," she said, noticing the precise way he unpacked things.

He didn't reply, but she hadn't expected him to. He closed the trunk and pushed it under the bed.

He removed his uniform jacket and the holster that held his seldom used hand gun and threw them on the bed, then started in on the suitcase.

She followed suit, removing her own jacket and draping it over that back of the chair. She unbuckled the holsters that held her weapons and set them on the desk, ensuring that they were within reach as she always did.

When he had finished with the suitcase, he sat down on the bed. He sighed, running a hand through his hair, then he pulled his watch out of his pocket and opened it with his thumb. He frowned at it, before closing it and unhooking it from his belt.

"It doesn't look like I'll be getting any sleep tonight," he said, setting the watch down on top of his jacket. "It's already 3."

They would have to be up early to meet Major Armstrong, so they could get things taken care of.

"You look tired," he said.

She nodded, not very pleased that he noticed, as she made an effort to hide fatigue.

"You can lie down if you want," he said, gesturing to the bed, "I won't be using it."

She was about to object, but the yawn that came out instead made her reconsider his offer. She started untying her boots as he collected his jacket and watch and stood up.

After she got her boots off, she went over and laid down. She watched him set his jacket and watch down beside her guns and then walk over to the window.

After awhile, when she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer, she gave in and let herself fall asleep.

Riza awoke, feeling like she had only slept for a few minutes, but the sunlight pouring through the still open window told her otherwise. She turned her head and saw the Colonel seated on the floor by her legs, his head resting on the bed, asleep. She felt guilty for taking his bead, but then told herself that he had given it up willingly, so she shouldn't feel bad.

She took her hair out of the clip, and regretted not taking it out before she laid down when more than a little bit of her hair came with it, then slid out of bed on the opposite side, trying her best not to wake him.

As soon as her feet hit the floor, though, she heard a soft groan and turned to see his eyes open. He lifted his head from the bed and blinked a few times before looking at her.

"Good morning, sir," she said, feeling more than a little strange being in his room, now that she was awake enough to fully realize what was going on.

The realization hit her then, harder than before. Hughes was dead. He wouldn't come barging into the office anymore, giving them all a much needed break from paperwork. It was like he knew exactly when he was needed, but he wouldn't be there anymore, no matter how much they needed him.

She fought the tears, telling herself that she had to be strong for the Colonel's sake. He was in enough pain without having to deal with hers.

He pushed himself to his feet, using the bed for support. "You don't have to hold it in, you know," he said.

She just looked at him, wondering how he could have possibly known.

"I'm more observant than you give me credit for," he said, "I'm an alchemist; it's the way we are."

He came to stand directly in front of her, just as he had done on the train. "Now," he said, looking at her the way he did when issuing commands, "Cry."

She looked at him like he'd grown an extra head. This was absurd!

"That's an order, Lieutenant," he said.

Well, she thought as the tears welled in her eyes, she'd never disobeyed an order.

He hugged her again, but it was different this time. His arms were gentle and comforting, as she rested her forehead against his shoulder and cried.

When the tears stopped coming, she stayed in his arms. He didn't seem to care, which she was grateful for, because that meant she could finally enjoy being close to him.

"I realized something last night," he said, running his fingers through her hair, "I need to appreciate the things I have and I shouldn't hesitate to tell people things."

He sighed. "I never got to thank him," he said, "and I won't make the same mistake again."

He pulled away from her and placed his hands on her shoulders. He was looking at her in a way he never had before. She could see it in his eyes before he said it, "Thank you."

She smiled and was pleased to see a smile appear on his face as well. It was that smile that made it all worth it.

I shouldn't hesitate to tell people things, his words ran through her head. She realized she might not have another chance to tell him how she felt and she would never forgive herself if he died without knowing.

Swallowing her fears, she moved closer to him and pressed her lips against his. That was when her mind kicked in and she pulled away, embarrassed.

He stared at her, mouth slightly open, for a moment before his lips curled into a smile. "You didn't let me finish."

"I have one more thing to say." He gathered her into his arms and kissed her.

She knew, as she returned the kiss, that wherever Hughes was now, he was smiling and thinking, Well, it's about time.