"Yes it is."
As they walked back to their table, Roy couldn't help but feel disappointed that she didn't seem at all affected by their brief moment of passion, as if she just brushed it off aside. He probably would've been elated if she had initiated another kiss, or said that she had loved him since the moment they'd met but was too afraid to say it (he inwardly scoffed at that fantasy… as if that could ever come true). If she had smiled that would have sufficed, too. But she didn't do any of that; in fact she didn't do anything. She just ignored it… just treated it—treated him—as if it were nothing and that act alone was working him up into bits.
And it wasn't only her rebuff that was vexing him, it was the fact that he was, indeed, bothered about her reaction, or lack thereof. Why should he, Roy Mustang, be perturbed by something as trivial as a simple kiss? It was just a kiss, dammit! Just one measly little kiss. It's not like he meant it or hoped for something good to come out of it. And it wasn't like he was aiming to prove something, right?
His mind drew out a blank card as a response to his questions and doubts. Evidently, even he didn't know his own reaction to the kiss. Sure, it was a nice kiss and he definitely felt happy (and blissful and elated and euphoria-induced), if not smug, for being able to kiss and be kissed by the Riza Hawkeye… but was that even the real reason? Was that the bona fide explanation as to why he felt the way he did? Or was it something more…?
But before he could answer his own question, they had both reached their table, and Riza was still avoiding his eyes. Truthfully, he would've preferred it if she were holding a gun to his head while scolding him for doing such a reckless and embarrassing action as opposed to this cold shoulder. He had begun to walk to the other side of the table to pull out her chair and seat her, as a gentleman was supposed to do, but she had already taken her seat, now unfolding her napkin and placing it on her lap. Roy sighed and plopped himself down in his own chair. He watched as Riza kept her eyes on her food and ate it, daintily scooping a forkful of chicken into those pink lips… those oh-so-luscious pink lips… those same lips that he had kissed. Roy, still staring at Riza—or more specifically, her lips—watched as she unconsciously licked her lips and he suddenly felt the room heat up. He himself licked his own lips—albeit a bit hungrily—and wondered what it would be like to kiss her again.
At this thought, Roy proceeded to mentally berate himself, asking his own conscience, Did you not see how she reacted before? or Do you want her to stay mad at you forever? or even What the hell were you thinking that for? He knew he was out of his mind to hope for another kiss from her, but he couldn't help it. Her lips were just there, almost as if egging him on, teasing him, seductively toying with him. He sighed again and ran his hand through his hair in exasperation.
Riza watched from the corner of her eye as Roy combed a hand through his hair and immediately, she knew something was irking him. After knowing him for years, she knew how to distinguish his nervous habits. She briefly wondered if she was the cause of his frustration. She figured she probably was, seeing as she was probably the first woman to have treated him the way she did after he had kissed her. It was his fault, anyway, for ruining the moment with a kiss. They were having a good time, weren't they? She thought so and Roy probably did, too… but maybe he thought they were having such a great time that he had deemed it possible for him to kiss her and have her swooning over him. She inwardly scoffed. No way in hell, buddy. The man had clearly embarrassed her, taking advantage of their situation on the dance floor, not caring how she would feel for taking on such a reckless action.
And what's worse, she had kissed him back. Riza inwardly groaned. It was still his fault for that, too. If his lips weren't so soft, and his kiss wasn't so gentle, and if he wasn't so good at kissing… and if he hadn't looked at her in that way, his eyes so full of emotion and wanting, making her believe that maybe he did truly and deeply care for her… maybe she wouldn't have kissed him back…
…then maybe she wouldn't have to accept the fact that she enjoyed kissing him.
The silence was unbearable. The atmosphere around them felt so dead and fake… so plastic and, not to mention, uncomfortable. Roy stared at his food, appetite lost. It was like eating dinner by himself in restaurant full of lovers.
After minutes of uncomfortable silence, Roy couldn't take it anymore. He slammed his hands down on the table, startling Riza, and causing some of the other couples in the garden to stare at them. Noticing this, Roy turned around and grinned sheepishly, "Sorry… it was just… um… a bug on the table. Hehe." (At this, Riza felt like slapping him upside the head for his pathetic excuse, despite her whole 'Let's Ignore Roy' charade.) He turned back towards her and took her hands.
"Riza… I'm sorry for what I did back there. It was stupid of me and I wasn't thinking. I know I just totally ruined the moment, and we were having fun, right? I'm sorry. I probably deserve to be ignored like this, after all I did kind of take advantage of the situation (Damn right you did, Riza thought.) and I'd ask you to dance as compensation for what I did, but I figure you wouldn't like that, since that was what led us to the current situation. And, again, I'm sorry, Riza. It was my entire fault. I know you probably think I'm a total bastard and…"
Throughout Roy's rambling apology, Riza kept a straight face, although it was rather hard for her to do. Based on this past day's events, she had accumulated a total of two of Roy's traits when he was making a sincere apology: 1) a very serious face and 2) rambling. Looking at the scene in front of her, she knew he was being honest from the latter trait. And also the usually calm and collected colonel was looking pretty much like a fool (She tried to keep herself from smirking.) from where she was sitting. So that's got to be another hint as to the authenticity of his apology.
"…so will you find it in your heart to forgive me, Riza?" Dark eyes probed into hers and Riza found herself immersed in them. Wow. Her whole life she had never seen eyes like his. They were just so black… And the intensity. Wow. Even with one glance, she could sense his piercing gaze, just burning, burning, burning… (His title really was fitting for him.) She could almost feel herself being pulled in by his stare. She had never really noticed how deep the darkness of his eyes was. She felt as if she could see the whole world in those—
"Riza?" Oh. Oops. He was done with his apology already? She blinked and the connection between their gazes dissipated as she suddenly realized she had been staring into his eyes for quite a while. Woah. She hadn't been that unaware of her surroundings in a long time. That wine must've gotten to her.
"Roy!!" A woman in her mid thirties came sauntering towards their table, all the while calling out for Roy. "Roy!! Hey, Roy! Come on, I know you hear me!"
Roy sunk a bit in his chair, looking a bit embarrassed. "Why does she have to be so loud?" Then out of the blue, a spatula appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to hit him on the head.
"I heard that." Roy and Riza both looked up to see a smiling face of a rather pretty brunette.
"Hi, Anne," Roy greeted her somewhat dully.
She gave a pout and huffed. "It's been at least five—or maybe even six—months since we last saw each other and you don't even seem the least bit excited to see me? I give you a place to eat and this is what I get, little brother?"
Little brother? Riza vaguely recalled the conversation she and Roy had earlier in the evening, and realized that this lady was his "adopted sister"—the one who had offered him a permanent reservation in her restaurant.
"If you weren't so loud and embarrassing maybe I could be a little more appreciative," Roy mumbled, looking away from her.
"Oh. So now you're embarrassed to admit that you personally know me, the owner of this restaurant?"
"Who wouldn't be embarrassed knowing someone like you?"
"Why you…! I should ban you from this place."
"Go ahead. See if I care."
"You ungrateful little… I should call Mama Mustang and let her know how your manners have worsened…"
Riza smiled as the bickering continued. She never had any brothers or sisters to fight with, and her parents died when she was young, so it was amusing to watch the two fight over nonsense.
Suddenly, the arguing stopped and Anne faced Riza. "I'm so sorry. That was so rude of me to interrupt your evening. Forgive me."
Riza laughed it off. "It's alright. I was enjoying watching you two argue like that."
Anne extended out her hand. "I'm Anne, by the way. Roy's adopted sister."
Riza grasped Anne's outstretched hand and shook it. "Riza Hawkeye. Roy's first lieutenant."
"First lieutenant? Wow. That's a prestigious title you got there. And to have obtained it at such a young age… you must be pretty good."
"So, how'd you end up in the military? I mean, guessing from your age and your rank, you must have been really young when you started there. And it's not like every little girl dreams of becoming a soldier… a wife of one maybe, but hardly ever a soldier."
Roy looked at Riza, alarmed. He knew that this was an uncomfortable topic for her, and therefore, begun to stare at Anne, trying to warn her through telepathic messages. Change the topic! Change the topic! his mind screamed. Oh, if only they were actually blood-related! At least then, it would have a greater chance of actually working…
"Well, both my parents were in the military, and I… wanted to follow in their footsteps. I entered the academy at sixteen, was drafted into the war as a sharpshooter at the time, and I guess that's how I rose up the ranks."
Roy watched Riza the whole time she spoke and she seemed unfazed by telling her life story to Anne, who was a complete stranger to her, regardless of the fact that Riza seemed to like her.
"Wow. So young and already faced with the traumas of war."
"I've learned to deal with it."
Anne nodded sympathetically, but brightened up as she changed the topic.
"So, you work under Roy, right?"
Riza nodded in reply.
"What do you do?"
"Oh, this and that. Paperwork and field trips to crime scenes. But mostly, I watch out for Roy here and make sure he and the rest of the crew do their work."
"Ah. So you're like the babysitter."
"More or less." Anne smiled. She was beginning to like Miss Hawkeye.
"Hey! I do my own work by myself." Roy interjected.
"Only when you have certain kinds of motivation," Riza said, referring to her gun-toting abilities.
Anne chuckled. "By the sound of it, it seems like you're more fitted to be the boss instead of Roy-boy."
"Aaanne!" Roy whined upon hearing the sound of his childhood nickname.
She turned to him, face stern. "What? You want me to call you Roykins instead?"
"Stop calling me that. I'm not a kid anymore."
"Well, from the way you're acting, you might as well be." Anne turned her attention back to Riza. "You know, if you have any problems dealing with him, just send him to me, and I'll teach him some discipline." She slapped her spatula against the palm of her opposite hand and smiled at Roy somewhat sinisterly.
However, Roy laughed, which took Anne a bit by surprise. If there was anything that could get Roy Mustang to submit to orders it was lessons in discipline, usually threatened onto him by his mother or one of his older sisters. To have Roy laugh it off, as if he was completely unaffected by it, was, to put it simply, startling.
"There's enough disciplining at our office, especially with Riza around," he explained.
"Oh, really?" Anne grinned secretively.
"Yeah, she's great with guns. That's all you need to know."
Anne chuckled. "You sure know how to keep your men in place, don't you?" She winked at the female lieutenant, whose cheeks had turned pink at the comment.
"Well, I hope you guys are enjoying your time here."
"Actually…" Riza glanced at Roy, who seemed to have tensed a little at the underlying question, and remembered his sincere apology moments ago. She gave him a small smile and looked back at the brunette. "We're having a wonderful time."
"That's great!" Anne beamed. Roy relaxed and threw a grateful glance towards his date.
"Anyways, I have to head back and make sure my crew hasn't destroyed my kitchen yet." Anne bent down to hug Riza. "It was really nice meeting you."
"The feeling's mutual," the blonde smiled.
Anne turned to her "brother" and gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek, to which Roy reacted with a scowl. "Remember to call me, okay? I get worried about you. And while it's nice hearing about you from Maes, it gets a bit tiresome hearing about Ely—"
"You talk to Hughes?!"
"Well, you never care or have the time to call me, so how else am I going to know what goes on in your life? …Unless you want me to call Riza instead and ask her how you're do—"
"Fine, I'll call you if I can."
Anne beamed and hugged him again. "Oh, and Roy?"
"What is it now?"
Anne lowered her voice down to a whisper loud enough for Riza to hear, even though what she was about to say was directed at Roy. "She's a real keeper."
Anne watched in amusement as both faces turned red. "Enjoy your dinner, you two," she called out as she walked away with a spring in her step.
Roy only stared after his "sister." He couldn't believe she just said that, and in front of Riza, too. He could only imagine what Riza was thinking and mightily hoped that she wasn't offended by it. He turned to Riza and gave a nervous laugh. "Sorry about that. Her thoughts tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to dates. Not that what she said wasn't true. You're really… I mean… You…"
Riza chuckled at his bumbling apology. "It's alright. She's just having a bit of fun with you. If I had one, I think I would tease my little brother, too."
She smiled that gentle smile of hers, and, for the second time that night, Roy was overcome with the urge to kiss her. He clenched his fist under the table and tried to suppress it. He needed some sort of distraction from the thoughts that kept wandering to her lips. He forced out a smile and hoped that it didn't come out like a grimace. "Well, I guess we better finish our dinner. Wouldn't want our food getting cold, right?"
"Right…" Riza, being observant as she usually was, noticed that Roy was unusually tense. "Is something wrong, si—Roy? You've been staring quite hard at your food."
The alchemist's gaze shot up and met Riza's concerned look. "Yeah, I'm okay. I was just… thinking…"
"I really meant what I said a while ago, if that's what you're worried about."
Roy gave her a puzzled look, which prompted Riza to continue. "I'm honestly having a great time here, eating dinner… with you."
Roy stared at her and her cheeks pinked under his gaze. She averted her gaze from his and her tone was slightly harsher as she addressed him.
"But you know, it's going to get boring and uncomfortable with you all tense. So, I'm just letting you know, I wouldn't be having that much of great time if you were sitting there brooding."
Roy laughed, which caught Riza by surprise. She narrowed her eyes in suspicion: something was definitely affecting him. The Colonel Mustang she knew would have protested that he wasn't brooding. But the man seated before her was different now.
"Don't worry Hawkeye. Like I said, I was just thinking." He smiled at her, his eyes gentle as he reassured her.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure! There's no harm in thinking is there?"
"If it's you that's doing it, there's always a chance."
Riza chuckled. So maybe he really was just thinking after all. He was still the Colonel Roy Mustang she had come to know…
…or maybe not. The blonde lieutenant looked down at her hand, which the man in front of her had taken a hold of.
"But really, thank you. For worrying about me."
"I wasn't…" Riza started to protest, but her words died down as she noticed that Roy wasn't listening to her. He was poised with a knife and fork in his hands, ready to devour his meal, which, unlike hers, hadn't been touched since it arrived.
"Let's eat! I'm starving!"
Riza only stared at Roy. What was that all about? One minute, he was Mr. Nice and Sensitive and the next thing she knew he was acting like a three year old.
"What? Do I have something on my face?" Roy had looked up to Riza's gaze fixed upon him and began to self-consciously pat his face with his napkin.
"Oh, no. I was just…" She shook her head, ridding herself of her distracting thoughts. "Never mind." She smiled. "Let's finish our dinners, shall we?"
A pair of eyes watched as a couple exited the restaurant in a happy and satisfied mood. A hand picked up the phone and dialed a number that was obviously well memorized. A smile blossomed as a familiar voice chimed a greeting.
"Mama Mustang, I think it's time to start making wedding preparations."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! This one's different from the others. I'm absolutely positive of it."
"She's got guns!"
YES!! I finally updated! I'm just as excited as you guys. This chapter has been sitting in my computer three-fourths of the way finished for six months, yet I just couldn't get my creative juices flowing to finish it. So it took me even longer to get this up.
But thank you Adult Swim for airing Fullmetal Alchemist again. Watching it has definitely motivated me.
Of course, also thanks to you all who have reviewed. It means a lot that you're enjoying it. You're the ultimate motivation.
Now go on and motivate me with your wonderful reviews.