Springtime Twitterpation

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: No owning of the FMA.

If there was one thing that Riza had found she was good at (aside from raining lead death upon evil, annoying, or unattractive people with her trusty handgun, Leonard), it was stalking Roy Mustang. It was a newfound talent, but it felt so natural and thoroughly enjoyable that Riza was surprised that she had never attempted it before, and fully intended to try it again. As often as possible.

On a normal day, it might have caused her some alarm that she was thinking such thoughts. But today was quite obviously not a normal day. Her sanity was already too far gone for her to be concerned with such petty matters as ethical behavior and general decency. Honestly, what sort of idiot would care about such things? Mentally, she laughed maniacally at the very thought of it. She was surprised to discover that such laughter felt rather good. It felt so good, in fact, that she very nearly attempted to cackle aloud—but then she remembered that she was stalking someone. One simply does not bellow out maniacal laughter while in the process of stalking. That's just common sense.

After weaving an unreasonably convoluted path (for the purpose of flower-purchasing and other such mundane activities), Roy finally led Riza to a moderately swanky restaurant by the name of Chez Jean Luc. She had been there once before—alone—when she had felt rather like splurging, but she had never imagined that she would ever be there for a malevolent reason—or, for that matter, that malevolence could be so much fun! She stifled a delighted giggle and walked briskly to a bench a reasonable distance down the street, where she could wait until a more opportune time to appear ghoulishly (for she rather intended to be ghoulish, if possible) at Roy's table.

After three and a half minutes, Riza began to grow extraordinarily impatient, and decided that it was high time for her to begin her sabotage, whether her actions were premature or not. Roy was probably not even seated, and his date may not even have arrived, but she was perfectly convinced that she would implode if she did not do something soon. An imperfect situation was a risk that she was willing to take.

As she stood, she took a few moments to breathe deeply and calm herself, for the sake of being a successful saboteur. It wasn't working. The very idea of ruining Roy's date with Alicia (or Jessica, or Trish) had Riza's mind in such a giddy uproar that there was no plausible hope of being inwardly calm and collected in her villainous role. "I'll just have to keep up appearances, then," Riza mused to herself, barely avoiding the utterance of an insane giggle.

She put on an expressionless mask and began walking briskly down the street and into the restaurant. Glancing cautiously around the dimly-lit waiting area, she was pleased to discover that Roy had already been seated—he must have had reservations. She grinned inwardly and approached the extraordinarily snooty-looking man who was taking customers' names.

"A military uniform?" he sniffed in an obviously-contrived accent. "You are the second customer today to be wearing such filthy, filthy clothing!"

While normally she might have considered waving her gun, Leonard, in the man's face for being so insulting, Riza's mind was so intensely focused on the task at hand that she hardly even noticed. Plus, she had just been hit with what might possibly have been an ingenious idea. "Yes…well, I have reservations with that very same uniform-wearer."

"Oh, a filthy uniform date, is it?" the man said, stroking his waxed moustaches disdainfully. "Fine then, I shall get a serving knave to seat you." He turned to the side and clapped sharply. "Serving knave!"

A young teenage boy in a white button-up shirt and a black waiter's apron popped around the corner and immediately began to gaze at Riza with amorous eyes. "Yes, sir?"

"Take this woman to sit with that uniformed man," the pseudo-accented man crooned haughtily.

"Hooray!" piped the serving knave, still staring adoringly at Riza. "Right this way, ma'am!" He bounced enthusiastically into the dining area, and Riza followed closely behind.

"Here you are ma'am!" the knave declared proudly, after weaving through a veritable labyrinth of tables and leading her to a small table situated by an open window.

"Ah…thank you," she said, awkwardly shaking his hand for lack of anything more natural to do.

"You're welcome!" exclaimed the knave, blushing and bounding enthusiastically away.

Her heart racing, Riza turned to face Roy, who had meanwhile been staring incredulously at her from his seat at the table.

"Lieutenant?" Roy inquired, his face the very image of bewilderment. "What are you doing here?"

Riza froze. She suddenly realized that she had not developed her ingenious plan any farther than her confrontation of Roy. She hadn't even managed to appear ghoulishly! Her mind raced frantically as she attempted to fabricate a reason for her presence at the restaurant—a reason that would covertly result in the utter ruination of Roy's date. "I have something important to tell you, sir..." she began, stalling for time.

"Here you are, ma'am!" cried the serving knave's voice from behind her. Riza whirled around to find herself face-to-face with a voluptuous blonde in a scandalously low-cut red dress. She was relieved to intuit that the arrival of this woman had bought her a few extra moments with which to hurriedly formulate a plan.

"I'm Gretchen!" cried the blonde amiably. "Who are you?"

So she's not Alicia, Jessica, or Trish, thought Hawkeye as she politely shook the woman's hand. "Lieutenant Hawkeye, pleased to meet you," she replied. She could not restrain something of a malicious grin as she reflected delightedly that Gretchen would not be spending her night as the confounded woman had hoped. But how was she going to do this?

"Oh, are you one of Roy's work friends?" Gretchen exclaimed in a manner that was so friendly that it either implied that the woman was faking…or that she was mentally subnormal. Riza merely nodded.

"Sir," said the boy, who was still hovering energetically at Riza's elbow. "Monsieur Jones—the man at the front door—wanted me to give you this." He handed Roy a small, folded-up piece of paper.

"Ah…thank you," said Roy, taking the paper with an increasingly confused expression on his face.

"You're welcome!" cried the boy. With a distressingly roguish wink at Riza, he leapt nimbly away toward the front of the restaurant.

"Read it, read it!" exclaimed Gretchen, positioning herself behind Roy and looking intently over his shoulder, the side of her face pressed flirtatiously against his ear. Riza's eye twitched.

"Just a moment," said Roy. He shifted stealthily away from the gushing Gretchen as he looked up (guiltily?) at Riza. "You had something to tell me, Lieutenant?"

Sorry, sir, but I haven't come up with anything yet, thought Riza in alarm. She made an attempt to stall further for time. "If it's all the same you, Colonel, I'd like to know what Monsieur Jones wanted to give you."

Roy hesitated, then sighed in mild exasperation. "All right. Fine." He unfolded the paper and began to read aloud in an irritated (but increasingly amused) tone: "Dear dirty man-- You impossible uniformed scum! You dress like a savage, have a larger party than the number you reserved, and date two women at once! I figuratively spit upon you, you gaudy strumpet of a man! I shall ask the chef to overcharge you! Sincerely, Monsieur Jeff Jones." He set the paper down and let out a laugh. "I don't like his moustache."

Riza smiled slightly—but Gretchen took great offense at the note. "Oh, that—that man!" she cried, stomping her foot childishly. Roy and Riza both turned their attention to her, expecting her to elaborate on her distaste for Monsieur Jeff Jones, but she just dropped abruptly into the chair opposite Roy and began to pout. Petulantly. And apparently, in this woman, petulance was manifested by the onset of distinctly annoying habits, as she began to actively twist a lock of her artificially vibrant blonde hair around a meticulously manicured finger. Riza, disgusted, attempted earnestly to ignore this indulgent display.

"Now, Lieutenant," began Roy, shifting his gaze back to Riza. "Just what is it that you need to tell me?"

For all the stalling-time she had received, Riza was still completely unprepared. She had no choice but to say the first thing that came to her mind.

"Nematodes, sir."

And Roy's bewilderment was back again. It was a look of bewilderment the like of which had not been observed in Central for at least fifty years. Or so Riza naturally assumed.

"Toads?" squealed Gretchen, snapping out of her petulant posture and shifting seamlessly into one of disgust (which, coincidentally, involved an unattractive scrunching of her face and the placement of her clenched fists over her mouth).

"No, nematodes," corrected Riza. "There's a nematode infestation in the water here, and it's making people sick." The upcoming statement was drastic, and Riza knew it—but she was on a roll, and in her present state of mind it was physically impossible for her to stop. "Sir, I believe that we're going to have to evacuate the building."


I thank you for perusing, dear readers. bows You cause me sunshine and such.


Baroness Peron.