Information Gathering

"He's going on a date again; he's got that look."

Roy ignored his subordinate's comment and swung his coat around his shoulders. The Flame Alchemist's dates were a strange cross between a constant joke around headquarters and an inevitable annoyance. Roy forced himself not to smile as he walked out of headquarters and down the street. It would be surprising for his subordinates to know that most of his dates – at least once a week – were with the same woman. Hughes in particular would have been ecstatic to find that out and would undoubtedly start rambling on about the joys of being married.

The likely hood of that happening was so small it was almost unable to be calculated. Especially considering he didn't even know his date's true appearance.

Robin was a master of disguise. She could look like any one, or just about anything. This talent proved invaluable as her position as head of Roy's spy network. Robin managed all of Roy's informants, from old women to young children, collected the intelligence and managed to keep other government officials from finding out about it. Even Roy himself didn't know all of her connections. She provided intelligence of the nonmilitary world to match the knowledge Hughes gained of the military workings.

"Roy!" Blond this time, Robin quickly approached the Colonel. "I was beginning to think you weren't coming."

"I was held up at work," Roy replied, placing his arm around the woman's shoulders, his "bored but vaguely paying attention" face firmly in place. They walked into the restaurant, and were quickly seated.

"I've been watching birds lately," Robin replied cheerfully. "The other day I saw a really small one take down a fat hen. It was quite astonishing."

"Indeed." So Edward had gotten rid of Cornelio. Good.

"It was the strangest thing," Robin continued blithely chattering as if it was nothing unusual. "The bird was passing though. I think it might have gotten a bit lost though. It seemed to go away from its home, not towards it."

Edward was off gallivanting across the country, still looking for clues.

"I was sad though. The bird wasn't carrying anything. I was hoping it would find something shiny."

No major clues about Philosopher's Stone had been discovered.

"I saw a Hawk soon after…" Robin switched topics from the Elric brothers to some of the military officers who had been oppressing those under their jurisdiction. Roy nodded in the appropriate places and took care to look completely bored, even when some of the news was startling. To onlookers the woman appeared to not even have two brain cells, blathering on about this and that. Her physical physique, however, made it obvious why a man would want to date her.

Finally the pair left the restaurant, and as was Roy's habit, went to Robin's house. Even these changed weekly; Roy didn't know how she did it and quite frankly didn't want to. Once inside, Robin dropped her act. "Fullmetal and his brother should be back within a few days. They had a brief encounter in Xenotime and Aquroya, though neither was badly hurt." A faint smile crossed her lips. "In fact, Edward ran into an old compatriot of mine: Psiren."

"Psiren?" Roy blinked in surprise. "The alchemy thief?"

Robin nodded. "We trained under the same master. I believe she has taken a liking to the boy."

Roy shook his head at that; he couldn't believe it himself. "Anything else I need to know?"

"Nothing that Hughes won't tell you tomorrow," Robin replied, once again demonstrating that she knew everything happening in Roy's life as well as much of the country. "I did manage to gather some rare alchemy books in the back room however." Roy quickly moved over to the room she gestured towards, looking forward to the chance to read up on his science. After a suitable interval, he regretfully abandoned the books and artistically disheveled his appearance. "Next week then?" Robin asked from her place by the doorway, outfit also in disarray.

"Of course." The colonel paused. "When this is over, we should go on a date for real. I would like to get to know you better."

Robin laughed. "Colonel, you are not my type. But the thought is appreciated. Now go, please."

Roy nodded and stepped out into the night, his mind already preparing for the next day. Fullmetal would be home soon; it would be important that he was ready to welcome him…appropriately. A smirk crossed his face. This would be fun.