Chapter 4: Moment of Truth

"What do you mean, the Fuhrer gave the assignment to the newer lieutenants? I don't give a damn if he wants them to earn experience points and feel the thrill of catching a real live fugitive, I was looking forward to some action, and then..."

There was a thump as Roy kicked the desk with his foot and swore loudly, unmindful of the stacks of documents he nearly toppled over. "It's been two weeks since I got any outside jobs! Two - weeks!"

"Calm down, sir," said Riza, standing in the doorway and looking as cool and collected as usual. "Easy on the desk." She glanced at Black Hayate, who was hiding behind her legs, flinching when Roy struck the poor, defenseless desk.

At first he stared at her with a glowering look, but he finally threw up his hands and sighed, sitting back into his chair. "I can't understand why the Fuhrer keeps assigning me to paperwork," he said, his voice a great deal calmer than before. "All of us here on the military are willing to risk our lives to help keep Amestris safe from harm. The Ishbalan war was proof of that. Chasing Scar, even though we knew that there was a chance he'd turn our brains into mush - literally - was also proof of that. Doesn't he trust any of us, those who dedicate their lives to safeguarding the people we know and love, not to mention an entire horde of strangers who condemn us for choosing this path?" However, his voice rose again as he said that last statement.

Roy breathed deeply, as though he had finally forced a huge load off his chest. He felt something on his back and saw that Riza was gently patting him, calming him down. At last, he finally let himself fall into his chair, with Riza hovering over him. He felt as though the mere fact of knowing that she was there to absorb all his rants and make sure he didn't end up setting his office on fire out of anger was already enough to suppress the simmering frustration within him. As much as he'd like to say it out loud, he kept his mouth shut instead, knowing what happened when he started opening doors for her.

"Perhaps he has his own reasons," Riza offered, patting a stray strand of her hair into place.

"If I were the Fuhrer..."

"But you're not. Not yet."

"Oh yeah...when I become Fuhrer, I wouldn't even be experiencing anything like this! I can give these stupid filing assignments to anyone else!" Roy stood up abruptly, making a dramatic gesture as though he was in a play. "Wait...I CAN give these stupid filing assignments to someone else!"

Riza crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. "Don't start abusing your power, sir," she reminded him. "Or else you won't have a shot at becoming Fuhrer at all."

There was nothing Roy could say to counter that statement. But as much as he hated it when Riza was right about things like that, it seemed to attract him more to her.

"So, are we going to get back to work now, Colonel Mustang?"

"Yes, we - actually, I'm the only one going back to work," he said, absently picking up a sheaf of papers and thumbing through them before setting them aside with a sigh of disgust. "Don't you have better things to do? Target practice, perhaps?"

"Been there, done that for the day, sir," said Riza. "I don't have much work to do, so..."

Roy put his hands on his hips and interrupted her. "Oh, no, Hawkeye," he said slowly. "No, I'm not going to turn you into a secretary for a day...again. I can't allow you to lock yourself in here with me and these papers." Or maybe I can, he added to himself, smiling at the thought of being alone with Riza again.

"Sir, you seem happy to dismiss me," she pointed out.

He quickly changed his wicked smile into a stoic look, scolding himself mentally for having such crazy thoughts, and scolding himself even more because this wasn't the first time. "You are NOT a secretary. Just...get out of here and have some fun."

"I want to help you get that mess out of your way," said Riza. "Okay, so maybe it's not exactly 'fun', but - "

"No, Hawkeye," said Roy. "I shouldn't be using you like this."

"You're not using me!" his subordinate burst out. It was hard to tell if she sounded more furious or hurt. "Once again, I will offer my services, whether you want me to or not."

For a moment, both of them stared at each other, neither of them knowing what else to say. Roy wanted to swoop down on Riza and assure her that he just didn't want to depend on her all the time, but he kept his position, not wanting to think of her reaction if he even placed an arm around her shoulder. Riza's eyes were wide, but she didn't show any sign of crying. She was no longer leaning on the wall - she was standing straight and tall, looking the colonel in the eye. Roy could tell that she meant what she said.

"I...I don't want to keep relying on you," he finally stated in a low voice. "You do understand, do you?"

"Well, you aren't relying on me, I'll tell you that," said Riza, not moving an inch from her spot. "I will tell you when you're going too far with relying on me, and I'm going to tell you now, that you're not. You know I'll never lie to you, Colonel Mustang. You have my trust."

There was no use arguing with Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye when she had made up her mind, Roy knew that. He desperately tried to figure out an argument, but came up with nothing. He fingered the cord on the telephone, looking at it instead of her. "Fine...but you're welcome to bail when you've had enough."

"Fair enough," said Riza. "Okay, first, we start with these papers on Laboratory Five..."

---

"Thank goodness that's over," said Roy, leaning back against his chair.

"It was my pleasure," said Riza. She didn't look as winded as he did; it was as if she was merely finished with clipping her nails. "Now then...what's next?"

Roy shrugged. "Nothing, I guess," he said. Although I'd like to get to know you a little better, he thought, holding his tongue before the words actually came out.

"Well...I guess I can go now, can I?"

He paused. Part of him told him that Hawkeye had done enough and she deserved to hightail it out of his stuffy office, but another part of him - a somewhat larger part - wanted her to stay just a little while longer. He had to tell her how he felt, somehow. It had been several days since that nagging feeling inside him wanted to burst out and yell to the entire world that Riza Hawkeye belonged with Roy Mustang. Of course, he had never spoken up, but now it seemed as though the time was right...

"Sir? I guess...since it's all finished..."

He stood up, brushing imaginary dirt off his uniform. "Hawkeye...I..."

"You what?" She looked mildly surprised, and she motioned for Black Hayate to stay. Riza stepped forward so she was facing Roy, and the desk was the only thing between them. Roy was standing up as well, and he seemed a little unsure of himself.

"Hawkeye...we've known each other...for a long time..." A strange feeling told him that Riza knew what he was going to say, after more or less a couple of weeks of bottling it up. And he couldn't put it off any longer...this was an entirely different matter from the matter they had been organizing several moments ago...

She stayed silent, much to his relief, but the expression on her face told him she was listening.

I'm going to say it...I'm going to say it...Roy could feel an invisible force urging him on. He slowly reached out for Riza's hand, which had been resting idly on the tabletop. Her fingers quivered underneath his gloved hand, but she didn't try to pull away, which was a good sign.

"Lieutenant Hawkeye," he repeated, "I...have been...quite taken with you for a while now, and I guess I...want to be...more than just friends or compatriots on the military..."

"What?" Riza didn't sound outraged, but was a little taken aback. "You mean - "

It happened in a split second. Roy leaned forward and touched Riza's cheek with his lips, in a gentle kiss. As he pulled away, he saw her still-surprised expression slowly change into a little smile.

"Sir…"

"I love you," he said, his heart leading him on. "I want to be yours…I want you to be mine. But if you don't –"

"I do," said Riza. She watched Roy walk towards her, making sure that not even the table would separate them. "I really do. I never knew…"

"Now you know," he said softly as he took her into his arms and kissed her again. At first she was a little hesitant, but she returned the embrace, and they held each other for a long time, each not wanting to let go of the other. "Now you do, Hawkeye. I love you, and nothing, not even my becoming Fuhrer, will change that."

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm sorry for the ultimate cheesiness of this fic, especially the last chapter, but it's my first Roy/Riza story-slash-lovey-dovey drabble, and I hope you liked it.