"Forbidden Dance"
A fanfiction by Erin Lightning

"Who is she?" drabbled a feminine voice nearby, but it was of no interest to Mustang. He was only eavesdropping out of boredom.

"I don't know. I've never seen her around here before," came a second voice, flitty.

"I heard that she's a countess from the North!" chimed a younger voice, and it was followed by a chorus of "oooh"s.

Roy rolled his eyes, happening to glance over at the little group of women from his seat at the table. 'Just my luck,' he thought, ruefully. 'A strapping, hot young bachelor in his best midnight blue tux is sitting here, partnerless, and all those chicks can talk about is another girl.' He sighed.

Now, don't get him wrong. Roy Mustang had taken this assignment for the good of the State, by all means. But he had hoped for at least a little action. Someone could at least ask him for one lousy dance. Or, maybe, the criminal would follow through with his pathetic threat and break in to steal...what was it again? Ah, hell. Roy should have paid more attention at the briefing.

He reached into his pocket and started to dig around for the papers on why the hell he was here, and had just grasped something that felt like paper when one of the little birdies next to him shrieked, just loud enough for his ears to hurt, "There she is!"

"I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight"

Curiosity gripped him, and Roy's head slowly inclined up the marble staircase to land on the solitary figure walking down it, and his jaw nearly dropped.

Riza Hawkeye, he was sure of it, treaded down the stairs with all the grace and elegance of an angel. She wore a beautiful, shimmering red dress that seemed almost to flow against her lightly blushed figure, and her hair hung straight and long. For all the fact that Roy knew she was unaccustomed to high heels, she wore them well. She neither faltered, nor tripped, in her steady movements.

And, covering her face, she held one of those old-fashioned white masks, that only seemed to add to her allure.

"I've never seen you shine so bright"

Under the classy light of the chandelier above her, Roy couldn't help but to think she was positively radiant on this night. But, what troubled him, was why she was here. Didn't the Fuhrer think he could handle this case on his own? Well...actually...

Hawkeye was making her way through the crowd now, as if with a set purpose, and she was headed towards the dance floor. Roy quirked an eyebrow.

"What are you up to, Hawkeye?" he wondered aloud.

"I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance"

In an instant, Riza was surrounded by young men, all dressed in their finest, offering their hands to her for a dance. Roy smirked, watching as she took her time in choosing one, but did it in a gentle manner. Not even in this atmosphere would Riza ever be able to show a completely feminine side, yet she would never be a full-fledged bossy bitch.

However, Mustang on the other hand, felt a quiver of jealousy as one of the men led her to the center of the ballroom, and commenced leading her in a slow, melodious waltzing movement.He twirled her petite figure, and she smiled kindly, letting him lead her on.

Roy's heart sunk inside him. 'Never with me...' he thought. 'Never...'

"Looking for a little romance, given half a chance"

Which is why he didn't understand when his feet started to move without his consent. His hand let the papers (Important documents, mind you) slip out of his hand, and flutter to the ground. He stood, and walked over towards Riza and her partner, thoughts and heart racing, but unable to grasp what exactly he was doing until...

"May I have this dance?" he asked, in his most gentlemanly voice, bowing to the two of them, offering a hand to Riza as the music changed now, to a slow dance tempo.

She turned her head to him, and he couldn't read her expression behind the mask, but he saw her eyes flutter for a moment on the unsure. Then, turning to her previous partner, she curtsied. "Thank you very much, Antonio."

He bowed, and walked away, and Roy found a delicate hand being slipped into his own, and his arm gently moving to Riza's waist. His heart fluttered.

"I have never seen that dress you're wearing"

As he began to lead her, he sought the words that would break the ice now, so that she wouldn't think him, Taisa, a complete fool.

"I...like your dress..." he said, mumbling in an almost unheard voice.

"Thank you," she replied. Her voice was soft, yet it held that usual formality to it. "Blue was not suiting, and black made it seem like a funeral. Havoc suggested red."

Roy mentally told himself to thank Havoc when he returned to Central.

"Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes"

"Why the mask, Elizabeth?"Roy asked, feeling himself ease into the movements, the talking. One, two left, spin...

"You know why, Taisa," she replied, shortly.

"Oh I do?"

She didn't answer, but he felt the uneasiness in her. She was on edge; he knew his subordinate well, and if there was something troubling Hawkeye, it must be something important.

"Is it because of me?" he asked, trying to guess why she might be hiding her face.

"I have been blind"

"You know as well as I do, it's against regulations for two of the military to be-" she started. She paused, rethought what she would say, then admitted,"Taisa, I shouldn't have come."


Under the gentle lighting from above, the mahogany floor beneath them ablaze with the polish that had been recently applied for tonight, Roy felt blinded. He tried to search the eyes that stared out at him from underneath the mask, and yet...he couldn't find anything.

"I'm such a fool..." Riza admitted. "I knew you would be here...but.."

"The lady in red is dancing with me cheek to cheek"

Roy pulled Riza closer to him, suddenly, so that their bodies were neatlycoresspondentto the steps of the dance. His arm, wrapped still around her waist, kept her pressed lightly against him, as his voice muttered softly in her ear. "I don't care about the military right now, Riza."

"But!" she said, seeming alarmed. She took a deep breath, seemed to relax, as if she didn't like the thought of losing her control. Calm, once more, she said, "What about becoming Fuhrer?"

"No one is going to care if the 1st Lieutenant and the Colonel share a dance, are they?" he asked, eyes shining bright with a sort ofmischievous gleam.

"And what if you're demoted?"

"There's nobody here, it's just you and me"

"Then I'm demoted."

"Taisa!" she said, in her scolding tone.

"Don't scorn me now, Riza. It's no way to get promoted," he smiled. "Oh, and, watch out. You're slipping up on your steps."

She seemed to regain composure once more, and was silent now, considerate.

Around them, everything seemed to be fading away in the background. All Roy had eyes for in this mansion was her, and her alone. He led her on, and on, not even noticing as the music changed to another song, and the beat picked up. He was still caught in the moment.

"It's where I wanna be"

"Taisa...I couldn't help but come. I wanted to make sure you'd be safe...and..."

"And you were half-hoping for this to happen, weren't you?" Roy asked, almost mockingly. For this comment, Riza shot him daggers under the mask, her eyes blazing coldly.

"Kidding, kidding," Roy said.

"No, it's true," she said. "But, I didn't know what I would say to you if I did end up as your partner. I'm not supposed to be here...so I had planned on avoiding you."

"How cruel," Roy said, taking up his usual cockiness.

"But I hardly know this beauty by my side"

"The mask suits you, Hawkeye. You should wear it to work too," he said, pointing out that she never showed anything to him. At times, she scolded him. Others, she would cry for him in worry. Sometimes, she was just emotionless. It was like wearing a thousands masks over ones' true visage.

His hand reached up now, in her silence, and gently laid against the mask, grasping it's porcelain edge and puling it ever so gently off.

"What are you doing!" Riza exclaimed, trying to pull away. But it was too late.

The mask slipped off...crashing to the floor...

"I'll never forget, the way you look tonight"

...and Roy Mustang's lips locked tight with hers.

He couldn't help but ponder the thought, 'Steal a kiss'. He didn't think that the expression meant that literally. Oh well. He had the most beautiful woman in the world in his grasp, for the first time. And how long had he waited for this moment? Years! And yet...he had never felt so inclined to be so rash until tonight.

Was it the dress? Was it Riza herself?

Or maybe...maybe it was something else. Something that couldn't be justified.

"I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight"

He bowed to her, releasing her from his grip.

"I'm glad you did come, Elizabeth. Very glad."

And with that, he turned and walked away without saying anything more.

"I've never seen you shine so bright you were amazing"

Now, as he took his seat once more at the little table, with its white linen cloth, and single rose in the vase as a centerpiece, Roy realized that he was now the center of the whole rooms attention. Ah. A bonus? He shrugged it off, and busied himself with the paperwork. He didn't want the sting of Riza's eyes, casting their dissaproving glare on him.

"I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side"

When he did look up, however, she was in the arms of another as if nothing hand happened. Her mask, now in shatters on the floor, could no longer hide that lovely red-lipped smile of hers, and those beautiful eyes that justified her whole appearence.

He found his elbow resting on the table, his resting on his hand, gazing at her with that loving look that was definately not natural to Roy Mustang. His coldness tonight would stay at bay, just as her ordering, her scolding, would.

"And when you turned to me and smiled, It took my breath away"

Riza's head turned, her eyes landing on him, as she swirled about in circles with her current partner. For a moment, she seemed almost confused, but then a dreamy look came over her eyes. Her lips parted in a delicate smile to rival his own.

"I have never had such a feeling, such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight"

His heart raced, his eyes widened, and Roy found himself suddenly fille with the ecstacy of the night. The music penetrated deep within him, and her gaze filled his entire being with a new sort of affection. But, he knew it was only for now. Come tomorrow, demotion or no, he would deny it all. And so would she. And things would return to normal.

"The way you look tonight"

Riza Hawkeye must not have been too mad at him tonight. She allowed him, hardly reluctantly, to escort her to her limosuine. (Roy wondered how she had afforded it, but decided not to ask.) Instead, as he opened the door for her, and their gaze met once more as she was seated, he sought to find some witty comment. After all, he didn't want her to think of him as 'mushy'.

Smirking, he remarked, "Well, I guess a dress is close enough to a miniskirt...?"

"I never will forget, the way you look tonight"

Roy thought Riza must have misunderstood him, because in a moment, her hand had snapped out, gave him one good hit, and then slammed the door. He noted the playful, yet angered expression on her face as she did this, but still...Riza's hits hurt!

"She hit me!" he whined.

A passerby behind him said, "Tough luck kid," and kept on walking.

"Kid?" Roy wondered aloud. His hand reached up and rubbed his sore cheek. "Ow..." he complained. "Damn. I'll be feeling that in the morning."

But, in his self-pity, he ventured a glance at the black limo retreating from his view, down the road. And he spoke to himself now, as he said, "Well, the theif didn't show up, but it was still a good night." He smiled. "And, it's a start."

The End