The sigh made her look up.
Roy Mustang glanced from the window he'd been staring out of and gave a small grin to Riza. She was surprised to see how gentle a smile it was, not at all like his usual rakish smirk. Her pen halted in its progress across the page in front of her.
"Look out the window," he said, and Riza did, after a moment of hesitation. It was a beautifully crisp fall afternoon, the breeze coming through the window like a cool sigh. Outside she could see a clear blue sky dotted in places with puffy white clouds, and having fruitlessly scanned the scene several times to discover what the Colonel was sighing over, she turned away from the bright light with a puzzled expression.
"What am I supposed to be seeing, Colonel?" Riza's tone was skeptical, but she was fairly curious. It was rare to see Roy so unguarded, let alone tender-looking. The sunlight on his face had softened the hard lines of it, and when his far-off gaze was coupled with this, he looked almost sad.
"Fall." The word surprised Riza out of her contemplation of the Colonel's face. Roy hadn't noticed her lingering gaze, fortunately, and she quickly regained her composure. She couldn't see where her superior was going with this, but it was obviously important to him.
Lifting an eyebrow, she asked, "Fall, sir? It is October…"
"But it's not fall." Black eyes regarded the lieutenant intensely. Riza couldn't have looked away if she had wanted to. "There are no trees here, Riza, no turning colors…" He seemed not to notice the sharp, questioning look she gave him at the mention of her name. Roy sighed again and lapsed into silence, and after a moment looked out the window.
"You miss the Eastern Headquarters." It wasn't a question, though in her gentle tone it was far from an accusation. Roy sudden, subdued smile was answer enough. Both were silent for a beat, and then Riza's chair scraped against the floor as she stood. When the colonel looked up in question, she gestured towards the door. "Let's go, Colonel."
He didn't ask where she was heading, or about the paperwork still unfinished on both of their desks. Riza led him out, past Havoc, Fuery, and Falman with a generalized grin that seemed to be an adequate reason for the unscheduled walk. As the door shut behind them, she was almost certain of the sound of hushed laughter.
They walked in silence though the building and out onto the busy streets. Riza was giving herself no leave to think over her actions, keeping her eyes on the surrounding crowds instead - though it was little more than pretense, it made her feel better to fall into the routine. They continued in this companionable silence for some time, and when Riza stopped it came almost as a shock.
"Here?" asked Roy, raising an eyebrow.
"Here," confirmed Riza, and led him into the cemetery.
It was utterly peaceful among the gravestones - almost achingly so. The breeze was gentle and cool, fresh and alive, and Roy closed his eyes to lift his face to its touch. Riza shivered at the images and the feel of the fall wind, breathing deeply and exhaling slowly, mingling her breath with the air. The trees in the near hills sighed in the breeze, and Roy echoed the noise again, opening his eyes.
"Thank you," he said quietly, a small smile on his lips, and Riza smiled back. The breeze playing around them tugged insistently at her stiff, starched uniform and teased locks of hair into dancing around her face. The feeling made her heart ache happily. Roy's hair, untidy-looking at the best of times, was now unrepentantly, changeably messy, and this coupled with his grin made him look more like a student from the academy than a seasoned officer.
"You're welcome, sir," Riza said softly, and smiled into the breeze. It caught at her again, and she let it wrap around her and cosset her. It detached her to a certain extent, made time slow down and become something else. It was as if she could see each distinct movement as the colonel stepped up to her. The touch of his hand against her cheek, the look on his face as it came near her own - none of it felt quite real, until the kiss came.
Riza snapped back into herself in time to feel Roy pulling away. She followed his lips reflexively for an instant before willing herself still, looking up into his smiling eyes questioningly. The cool fall wind continued to tug at them, trees whispering as the two were still.
The colonel's grin was gentle as he touched her hair. "It's messy," he noted, and gave a half-hearted attempt to smooth it back. Giving up to the breeze's insistent fingers, Roy said quietly, "I missed this."
He didn't elaborate, and Riza didn't need him to. They walked for a little while longer through the cemetery, listening to the wind and the rustle of leaves. By unspoken agreement, they left before too long, and from the utter peace of the graveyard reemerged into the noise and movement of the streets. Immediately, both regained the stiffness they had let the wind ease from them.
Riza realized as they walked back towards the office that it had been a long time since she'd seen Roy relax like that. The kiss had been impulsive and needed, and it was only possible in the absence of the threatening worries that flanked them all at every step. These shades had only appeared recently, though - only since they'd been switched to Central.
Never before had she needed to wait until autumn for Roy's cares to fade, for a kiss.
AN: A little oneshot for Fall, my favorite time of the year. This meandered into Royai territory I'd never before thought on, and I'll have to keep in mind for future pieces (:
Thank you to Yellow Mask, my wonderful beta-reader :D