The Way to A Man's Heart Isn't by Crushing His Ego
Chapter 1: A new Transfer?
Within the massive building of Central Roy Mustang sat, hard at work. He was very happy with himself. He'd just been promoted to Lieutenenant Colonel and nothing could stop him from getting to full Colonel now. There he sat at his desk, in his office, sorting through all the papers and daydreaming about his next promotion. His office wasn't a big one, not as big as he would have liked anyway. His desk was centered at the far end of the room. It was large, heavy, and covered in files and shuffled loose-leaf papers. In front of it facing inwards were six more desks. They were in two rows of three and perfectly allied. They belonged to his subordinates, but two sat empty. The room was bare and quiet, white walls with just a hint of light blue. A few windows allowed sunlight to spill across the green tile floor, but rarely did anyone bother to look outside. Roy was doing very well for himself until there was a knock at his door.
"Knock, knock," a familiar voice called as a figure walked through the door. It was Major Maes Hughes, Roy's long time friend. He was tall with black hair that was somewhat spiky, or messy, depending on who was looking at it. He wore the standard dark blue military uniform and some rectangular-shaped glasses that the light reflected off of when he cocked his head at the right angle.
"What is it?" Roy asked as he looked from the Major and back to his papers.
"How's the big promotion feel?" Hughes asked as he leaned against the doorframe. His arms were folded over his chest and he had a big grin on his face, as he usually did.
"Don't you have some work to do in the Investigations Department?" Roy grumbled as he shuffled through the never-ending stacks of papers that were said to be 'important documents', but didn't amount to squat.
"Sure," Hughes replied, "I was just working on it a few minutes ago, and I found out something you might want to know."
"What?" This caught Roy's attention. He stopped doing his work and looked up at his friend. I wonder… if I'm getting promoted again already…
"I was looking through the reports for the new transfers over here. There was someone on the list who will be working with you. A new Second Lieutenenant."
"Who is he?" Mustang asked as he looked over at the row of tables. The desk on the front left sat empty. He knew a new body would be inhabiting that chair soon.
"I dunno. Name was Hawkeye," Hughes shrugged as he pulled a picture of his wife, Gracia, from his shirt pocket and stared at it. His face gained a gentle smile as he lost himself in her beautiful face.
"Hawkeye, huh? If he's getting transferred, then he must be good. I think I should find out more about him. Just so I know he won't be a threat to me and my promotion."
"You can ask King Bradley about it. He has all the records on the soldiers here," Hughes suggested.
"Good idea," Roy replied with a smirk. "I think I'll go see if he's free right now."
"Don't you think you should ask for an appointment first? He might get angry. I'm sure he has a lot to do. He is the Fuhrer you know," Hughes said as he looked up from his picture and to Roy. The future Colonel had his elbows resting in his desk. One hand was next to his face, his chin resting on it. His deep blue eyes stared down at his other hand that lay on his desk. His mind wandering through thought as his eyes traced the red lining of the alchemy circle that was printed on the fabric of the white glove.
"I can always go there and see. If he's not there, then I'll make an appointment," the Lieutenant Colonel got up from his desk and walked toward the door. The sound of his black boots on the green tile floor was all that was heard until...
"Hey, Roy," Hughes cooed with a smile just as Roy was passing him.
"Yes?" he replied as he stopped and looked at him.
"ISN'T SHE JUST SO HOT?" Hughes asked as he shoved the picture of Gracia in his face.
Roy jumped back a bit surprised, but quickly stopped himself and regained his cool composer. His eyebrow twitched as he walked away from Hughes, an annoyed expression on his once calm face.
"Ah come on, Roy. You think she is too, don't you?" Hughes asked as he followed Roy down the hall. He voice was in its high excited tone. He was going on and on even though Roy wouldn't respond to his rambling.
"We're here," Roy said. His voice filled with annoyance as they stood outside the door to the Fuhrer's huge office. It was the same office he was working so hard to take.
"Yeah, I can see that," Hughes replied as he stared at the door, somewhat leaning over Roy's shoulder.
"So you can leave now," Roy said not looking at Hughes. His eyes were closed and his eyebrows were beginning to come together, like two cars about to hit in a head-on collision. This told everyone around that he was getting angry and to stay away.
"Do I have to?" Hughes wined, somewhat disappointed.
"Yes," Roy growled. He was doing all he could to maintain his composer and not torch those annoying pictures Hughes carried around with him. He knew everyone else in the building would be grateful for it, but they were Hughes' pride and joy. He couldn't just burn it all…or could he?
"Alright," Hughes sighed. "But I'll be waiting in your office. I have to tell you all about what Gracia did yesterday!"
Roy's eyebrow twitched again as he walked into the Fuhrer's office, not bothering to say goodbye to Hughes. He simply just slammed the door in his face.
"Geez. You'd think he'd be a little more family friendly," Hughes grumbled, rubbing the back of his head as he slowly turned to walk away. Just then he saw one of his workers walk by with a huge stack of files. His grin once again returned as he dashed over to the tall man with gray hair. "HEY FALMAN! LOOK AT MY WIFE! ISN'T SHE BEAIUTIFUL?"
"That Hughes… sometimes I wonder why any of us put up with him," Roy grumbled to himself as he walked through the large room and to the secretary behind the desk. The room was very spacious. It was surprisingly empty for the room belonging to the Fuhrer's security. It was very dark. Only the light from the outside world lit the large area. On the walls hung fabricated scrolls of a green shade, on them the symbol of the military was printed.
"Can I help you, sir?" the woman behind the counter asked. Her brown hair was brushed nicely, and sat calmly on her shoulders. She had ivory green eyes that stood out vividly against her pale white skin. She wore a pink-ish tan blouse and had a skirt to match. On the left side of her chest a nametag was pinned to the fabric. The white of the nametag was a nice contrast to the pink of her blouse. It read a common name, Juliet Douglas.
"Yes, is the Fuhrer in?" he asked as he stared down at her. She didn't seem to want to make much eye contact with him. She kept her eyes on the papers stacked neatly on her desk.
"No, I'm sorry, but he's in a meeting now," she replied as she looked at a book filled with small neat notes. Her face held no expression as she flipped through page after page.
That must be her appointment book. The Fuehrer really is a busy man. Roy thought to himself. It did look pretty full, not something he was too happy about. "When can I see him?"
"He has an opening…" she continued flipping through the pages looking for a time when King Bradley would be free. "In about four months."
"Four months?" Roy gasped, "Are you sure it will be that long?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so."
Four months…. He'll be here before then. The Lieutenant Colonel growled to himself. A bit of a disgusted look appeared on his face, but he hid it well.
"Would you like me to put you down then?" she asked as she watched Roy drift off, lost in thought.
Roy noticed the cold emotion-less tone her voice held, but he didn't pay it any mind. He had more important things to worry about. "No, thanks anyway," he said shoving his hands into his pockets and heading for the door. His face held a hint of displeasure, but noting too extravagant.
"I'm sorry I couldn't have been of more help," she called to his back as he left. Her voice still cold and the tone was very flat. No life appeared in it at all.
"It's alright," Roy replied, not bothering to turn back to the woman. He opened the large door and closed it behind him. Then he stood in the seemly empty hall and stared out the window across from of him. He could see a courtyard outside. It was a lovely day; the sun was shining brightly, coming through the windows and spilling across the tile floor. What do I do now? The only one who knows about transfers if the Fuhrer. Roy thought to himself, standing still as a statue. After a few moments of picking his brain a smirk appeared on his face. "Hughes…"
"WHAT DO YOU THINK? ISN'T SHE JUST ADORABLE?" Hughes asked as he sat on Jean Havoc's desk. Havoc was one of Roy's many loyal followers, and a Lieutenant. He had short sandy-blond colored hair and blue eyes. He wasn't exactly sure what to do at this point. All he could think of was to nod and grab a cigarette.
"Hey, Hughes," Roy's voice along with a door opening and closing, was heard from the other end of the room.
"Roy, back already? Did you get to see the Fuhrer?" he asked not bothering to get off Havoc's desk. Havoc didn't really care about that though. He was just glad the Lieutenant Colonel was able to get Hughes off his back. The sandy-blond man gave a sigh of relief and began enjoying his already half smoked cig.
"No, he was busy," Roy replied in his usual calm tone as he walked across the room and sat down at his desk.
"I told you he would be," Hughes said before looking back to Havoc. "I guess I'll have to tell you about Gracia later."
"Umm… sure," Havoc mumbled uneasily as a burnt piece of cigarette fell onto his pants. He was unsure if that was a good thing or not. Either way Hughes jumped off his desk and headed over to Roy.
"So what are you gonna do? Wait until he arrives?" Hughes asked.
"Nope," Roy replied with a smirk.
"Then what?" Hughes asked somewhat curiously. He laid a hand down on Roy's messy, file covered desk and leaned over toward his friend waiting for an answer.
"You're going to find out for me."
"What?" the Major exclaimed, surprised and standing upright.
"You are in the Investigations Department. I'm sure you can handle it," he replied narrowing his eyes and giving off another one of his trademark smirks.
"Hold on. When do you think I'm supposed to do this? I have a lot of work to do!" Hughes retorted.
"It's your fault. You've been here talking instead of working. Just do it after work."
"But Gracia is waiting for me. Plus she's making her famous apple pie for dessert. I don't want to miss it."
"I'm sure she'll save you a piece. Thanks a lot," Roy patted him on the back with his usual smile that all the women would die for.
"But..." Hughes trailed off then smiled. "I can't escape the future Colonel now, can I?"
"Nope," Roy repiled as he leaned back in his chair. "Oh, and I'm not as cold as you think. I'll stay after and help you. I have nothing better to do and I want to find out about this guy."
"Would you stay if you did have something to do?" Hughes asked.
He laughed a little. "You had me worried for a minute there. Who'd of thought the great Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, would pick up a pen and do actual book work? I guess miracles do happen after all."
"Yeah… sure… whatever you say, Maes," Roy mumbled. "I'll see you after work, meet me in the library."
"Alright, see you then," Hughes left Roy's office, and then headed back to his own.
"Are you really going to help, chief?" Havoc asked as he rubbed his thumb across the spot where the burnt cigarette had fallen on his pants. Roy picked up another paper and began reading.
"No," he said as he read, "But I like to think I made Hughes believe in miracles for a few hours."
"I see," Havoc smiled as he picked up another cigarette and they both got back to work.