Disclaimer: Only the plot and Janelle belong to me. These wonderful characters belong to…um… someone very talented and they should keep the credit for them.
Roy was sitting at his desk looking through the mail when he stumbled upon the letter. It was addressed to him from his hometown, suspiciously enough. Opening it, he pulled out a folded piece of paper and read it silently to himself. A warm smile spread across his face. As he begun to reread it, Riza walked into the room. Roy didn't notice until she stood behind him. "What are you reading, Colonel?"
"Nothing." He said snapping his fingers, setting the letter aflame. "Opps!" he yelled putting it out when it reached the floor.
"Colonel?" Riza asked suspiciously.
"Lieutenant, I think I'm going to go on vacation."
"Yeah. Maybe take a few days off for a little R and R."
"Don't you get that every day?"
"It's not the same. Maybe I'll go out dancing for once in my life!" He laughed and walked out of the room.
"Did I miss something?" Riza said to herself as she followed him out.
"Nope. Just some prioritizing. You like jazz, Hawkeye?"
"I'm not sure I see any relevance in that question."
"Then you definitely missed something."
Later Mustang walked toward the Keiko Club in Centrals downtown dressed in a white dress shirt and khakis. It was a jazz club, filled with dancing and jazz, the center of Central's night life. In a corner booth at the back was a beautiful red haired girl, dressed to kill in a sky blue dress that only made it to her mid thigh. Her hair was pulled back in a blue ribbon that was elegant yet playful somehow. When she saw Roy she gave him a crooked smile and asked, "Hey, cowboy, it's been a long time."
Roy gave returned the smile, "I could say the same to you, little lady." They looked at each other and laughed. "It's good to see you, Janelle."
Hawkeye, Havoc, and Fury observed their exchange from behind a car on the other side of the street. Each had their own a pair of binoculars, and dressed in casual clothes. Fury looked at his companions. "This… somehow… doesn't feel right."
Havoc, who was closest to Fury, whacked him on the head and went back to watching the pair, his eyes locked on the beautiful girl across from Roy. Riza was watching Roy. She'd never seen him act this way before and for some reason it made her stomach flip inside. They laughed and smiled without a care in the world… "Priorities" he had said. Was this girl one of Roy's "priorities"… and if so why did she care?
"Janelle, would you honor me with a dance?" Roy asked his charming date.
She got up and smoothed out her dress. "Now how could I say no to a face like that?" she asked grabbing his hand and pulling him to the dance floor.
Riza's heart fell into her stomach as she watched Roy pull the girl close as they danced. "I can't take this." she got up and walking calmly to the corner, but when she turned it she ran. Suddenly she could think of nothing but Roy and she didn't want to.
They danced for hours, sometimes fast and others slow. It was closing time when they finally stopped. They walked down the street and sat in a park filled with beautiful flowers and cherry trees in full bloom. Looking up at the star-filled sky the pair got quiet. The scene was quite romantic. But there had been something floating between them since Roy walked into the club. It was covered with dust from time apart and neither knew which would reach out for it first. Janelle was the first to speak.
"Remember that night back home by the river? It was like this one. When we first met?"
Roy continued looking at the sky. "You mean when we were five, and you fell in the river and almost drowned?"
"And you jumped in to save me even though you couldn't swim?"
"And when I pulled you on the bank you said you loved my smile."
"And you asked me to marry you?"
"And you said that the water must have gotten to my brain and you whacked me upside the head."
Then they both laughed. It died after a few seconds and the silence continued. Once again Janelle broke it. "It was like this the night you left, too."
Roy kept silent for a few minutes. Then he took a breath, "The day I left for the army… To become a State Alchemist."
"And you said you'd come home as soon as you could."
"And we exchanged letters for a few weeks…"
"Then they turned to months…"
"Then they stopped…"
"Yeah… Then I sent you a letter saying we should see other people."
"It was like this the night I got that letter."
"I have done some terrible things, Janelle."
"Like breaking my heart?"
Roy looked down so Janelle couldn't see his eyes.
"Yes, that was terrible… And I am sorry. The last thing I'd ever want is to hurt you."
"I never started seeing other people. We had no real closure."
Roy looked up at the sky again. "I just… I just don't think I deserve you. You deserve someone who can love you with all his heart and soul. I thought about it… Seeing someone else, but in the end she deserves better, too."
Meanwhile across town Riza sat at a bar drinking a Shirley Temple. She sighed and gulped it down. "Another barkeep." she called down to the elderly woman behind the bar at the other end.
The old woman walked over to her and leaned on the counter. "'Kay, girl, spill."
"Huh." Riza said looking up.
"Only girls that come in here with that look, come in with broken hearts."
"I don't know if it's broken… That'd be assuming it was whole to start with."
"Ohhh… So it's an I-didn't-know-I-loved-him-'till-it-was-to-late-and-now-I-think-I've-lost-him-forever deal is it? You have no idea how long it's been since I've had one of those missy. "
"I don't even know if I do love him."
"Aye, I think you do."
"Well, he's my boss and we've known each other a long time, but that's always been enough."
"'Till he started googol-eyeing a young lass?"
"When he did, I felt sick. I couldn't watch their date anymore and I ran. Now I can't get him out of my head and my stomach's a wreck. All that is keeping me from getting sick is the sugar."
"Poor lass. All I can tell you is you gotta' fight for the boy. He can't read your mind and he'll never know 'till you tell him."
"But I could lose his friendship."
"Well you could lose your lunch if you don't."
Riza sighed. She stood to leave. "You're right. Thanks. I definitely needed that."
"Helping our neighbors is the only way we can make this world a better place."
Roy walked with Janelle to Central HQ. They stopped at the bottom of the stairs.
Looking in her eyes Roy said unhappily. "There isn't anything between us anymore… Is there?"
Janelle met his eyes, and replied in a soft voice. "No, Roy. I believe this is our last good night. This is goodbye Roy. Our closure."
Roy smiled. "I thought so… You know, I really wanted that child, and maybe it would have turned out different, but you did what you thought was right."
Janelle's was about to break down but she was holding on to her composer. "Kiss me. Just once more, to make sure this really won't work."
Roy hesitated, and then slowly leaned into kiss her. It lasted only a second, but it was just enough for Janelle's eyes to spill over. Janelle pulled away and walked off in the other direction. "This isn't enough of a spark even for the Flame." He said as he turned away. Suddenly Roy became very pale. Standing at the top of the stairs was Riza about to cry and out of earshot of the whole conversation. "Hawkeye?"
At the sound of his voice she turned and ran. She ran hard and fast leaving Roy with a look of horror on his face. Instinctively he ran after her, not thinking of anything but the look on Riza's face. No matter what I do, he thought, I always end up hurting the people I care about. He barged into an office and exclaimed "Has anyone seen the Lieutenant?" Everyone shook their heads. Roy was out of there just as quickly as he'd entered. Where was Riza? How did she out run him so quickly?
He turned a corner and ran head long Havoc. "Sir," he said from underneath the colonial. "How was your date?"
"Your date, sir. The one with the hot red haired babe."
Roy grabbed him by the collar and glared at him. His voice was shaking with anger when he asked. "How did you know that I was on a date with Janelle?"
"Yeah-um- me Fury and-and Hawkeye kinda followed you…"
"Hawkeye?… Where is she now?"
"She left not a minute ago. Out the south exit. She looked upset." Roy let go of Havoc and slumped to the floor. "Havoc, do me a favor."
"That red headed girl. She should be down by the canal. Take care of her." Roy got up and ran down towards the exit.
Riza stood at the entrance of an alley way not far from Central headquarters. She was completely distraught. She's crying softly and sniffing loudly. Suddenly behind her there is a dark shadow. A man grabs her from behind, and covers her mouth with his hand. "Hello pretty. You look simply delicious." He pulled her back into the alley. Riza elbowed him in the stomach and scrambled to get away but he caught her leg. He pulled her back and put a knife to her throat. This time she stepped on his foot and tried again to run. This time the man was ready and stabbed her in the shoulder. "Now pretty one I'm not letting you get away that easily." Suddenly the man got kicked hard in the face and is blasted by flames.
Roy stands at the mouth of the alley and walks to the crispy man. The man looks at him horrified. Roy moved very close to his face and said coldly. "You're lucky, that would have killed a weaker man. But don't worry. Next time it will." Roy ran back to Riza. "Riza can you hear me? The usually strong Riza was now on the ground against the wall bleeding badly. She had let herself get caught off guard, and now was too frightened and in too much pain to feel ashamed. Suddenly she fell completely to the ground. "Riza!" Roy picked her up and ran back towards Central HQ.
Riza whispered weakly. "You came after me…"
Roy smiled sadly, "Of course I did. Why wouldn't I?"
"Because you love that girl."
"Once maybe… But lately I've grown fond of blonds."
She chuckled, "Oh really?"
"Yeah. You could say I even love them… More than anything." he said softly. Then she blacked out.
A few hours later Riza woke up in a hospital bed. Roy was asleep in the chair next to her. She remembered their conversation. She leaned over to Roy, kissing his cheek, "I love you, too." Then she settled back in and slept.
A month later Riza stood on a hill just outside of central. She breathed in the clean summer air and sighed. Looking behind her she saw Roy walking up the hill toward her. He put his arm around her and looked down at the beginning of the country side. "Roy?" Riza asked putting her head on his shoulder.
"Hey you two are you coming!" yelled Havoc from a jeep waiting by the road. Riding shotgun was Janelle, glowing with happiness and holding Havoc's hand.
"We're coming!" Roy yelled, irritated.
"I guess this all worked out."
"Definitely." Roy said. Then they walked hand in hand down the hill.