Me: I wrote another? Oh my. XD. Enjoy!
Black Hayate stuffed his nose in a pile of leaves, sniffing and jerking his head back when a twig made a valiant attempt to shoot up his nose. Snorting at the dead plants, piled up high in layers of rich browns and reds, the little dog turned around, lifted his tail in indignation and bounded across the moist grass, wet from melted frost to the person who had offered to take him from a walk.
"You know, most dogs jump in a pile of leaves." Edward muttered as Black Hayate trotted over to sit by his booted feet, gazing up at him with big brown eyes. A pink tongue lolled out as the black and white canine began to pant. The blond haired man rolled his eyes and started on a stroll forwards, a faint smile on his lips.
Not bothering to stop and fully regain his breath, Black Hayate raced in front of Ed having caught the smell of something interesting. A small cluster of birds came into his vision and he gave a little bark of excitement, causing the birds to look up in alarm.
"You'll never catch them like that, Hayate!" Edward called after the dog, shaking his head as Black Hayate halted in disappointment when the flock of birds took to the sky with indignant squawks.
The dog lowered his head with a little whine, sad to have lost his toys. His ears perked up, however, when his lead was clicked onto his collar and was pulled taut. Curious, he swung his head back up at Edward.
"Riza told me to make sure you don't get into any trouble." The alchemist told him in explanation, setting off in a brisk walk and pulling the lead so that the dog would follow obediently.
Black Hayate walked beside him, keeping the same pace as the blond man, occasionally dropping his black button nose to the ground for a quick sniff. His tail wagged in surprise when his nose his gravel, not ready for the transmission from leaf-covered ground to a beaten down footpath littered with tiny stones.
His books crunching underneath his boots, Edward raised his gloved right hand to smother a cough, shortly followed by a sneeze. Sniffing, he grimaced and stuffed the auto-mail hand back into the depths of his pocket, where it was warm. "I hate cold weather." He grumbled.
As it was, he was wearing thick trousers, two shirts, scarf and gloves, a jacket and a brown coat overtop. Edward Elric did not agree with the cold and vaguely wondered why he was on the hill in the first place.
The fingers of his left hand unconsciously gripped the red leather of Black Hayate's lead a little tighter, winding it more securely around his gloved hand. Golden eyes glanced down at the curious black and white dog at his feet and his grumpy expression softened.
That was why. He had promised her to take Black Hayate for a walk.
Edward raised his gaze to sweep over the park, one of few in Central, looking for the place that Riza had told him about where he was supposed to be meeting her after he had finished walking Black Hayate for a while. Using his right hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sun's glare, he let out an irritated breath when he spotted what he was looking for.
The little spot was right at the top of the hill he was standing on, and Edward didn't much fancy tramping up it. Still, he had promised, so he was going. Running his auto-mail fingers through his hair, he sighed and turned his canine companion. "Let's go then." He said, and began to climb the rest of the way up the hill.
A little wooden bench was what they were greeted with when they got there. Coated in a thin layer of peeling black paint, some places bare of any, it was sitting underneath a large tree (Oak, Edward guessed), various shadows dancing across its surface from the few dwindling leaves still clinging onto the tree overhead. Beside the bench was a small make-shift swing. A simple plank filed and sanded down to be smooth, hung from two grubby white ropes of equal length.
It was a nice little spot; Edward had to admit as he sat down on the wooden bench and drew his coat tighter around him. Even though it was cold.
Black Hayate finished sniffing about in the red and orange leaves covering the ground in a thick layer and leapt up beside Edward on the bench, turning round in a circle once, twice, before settling down beside him and settling his head on the blond haired man's knee.
Edward dropped his left hand down on the dog's head and rubbed behind his ears absently, blowing out a puff of silvery breath as he shut his eyes and tilted his head back, waiting for Riza to show up.
His little rest was rudely interrupted by a small creak and the alchemist grumpily opened one golden eye to see whoever it was that had disturbed him.
It was a young girl, around Elysia's age, eight or so. She had brown hair pulled into a wispy ponytail and was wrapped in a thick coat. She had clambered onto the little tree swing and was swinging her legs back and forth in a vain attempt to start moving. After a while she gave up, huffing and crossing her arms with a little pout.
Disappointed, Edward hoped that she would go but no such luck came when tears began to gather in the little girl's eyes.
The alchemist sat up a little straighter, alarmed. If there was one thing he didn't do, it was crying children. They were great when happy, but awful when crying their eyes out. "Do you need a push?" He questioned, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees, pushing off Black Hayate's head in the process.
The girl turned to him, surprised. Apparently she had thought he was asleep. When the shock passed, she huffed a little and shook her head. "I can do it myself!" She declared.
Edward shrugged. "Suit yourself." He replied. He leant back against the bench and crossed his ankles in a casual manner, lifting his hands to cup the back of his head. He waited for about five minutes before the little girl's voice piped up again.
"Well… maybe just a little push…"
The alchemist resisted a smirk and pushed himself off the bench, earning a curious look from Black Hayate. After a few strides to the swing, he gave the girl a boost, sending her swaying gently forward.
A delighted grin spread over her face, but faded when she slowly halted and she swung her legs in an attempt to get going again. She scrunched up her nose and turned to the blond man, "what am I doing wrong?"
"You need to push your body forward rather than just swinging your legs." Edward explained, pointing with his index finger at the girl's legs to emphasise what he meant.
Following his explanation, the girl gave it a go and grinned when she achieved slight movement. She swung back and forwards a few inches before looking back up at Edward again, "can you show me how to do it properly?" She asked.
Edward raised an eyebrow and glanced at the ropes and where they were tied to the thick branch overhead, wondering whether the tree swing would hold his weight. "Alright." He sighed, waiting for the girl to slide off before seating himself on the wooden seat. He paused before beginning to swing, remembering that the last time he had been on a swing; he was in a competition with Winry and Alphonse to see who swing the highest. He smirked as he remembered that he always won.
Swinging his legs forward, Edward began motion, soaring backwards and forwards and showing the girl how you were supposed to swing. The wind reached out and grabbed his braid, flipping it about as he swung to and fro before slowing to a stop. Getting off the swing, he motioned for the girl to get back on it.
She did so, and after a little push from the blond man, she was swaying forwards and back again in a rhythmic motion, not as high as Edward had been, but high enough to please her. She was giggling by time she decided to stop and jumped off, turning to Edward to thank him. "Thank-you, mister!" She said to him, before blinking and asking a question, "what's your name?"
"Edward Elric." He replied, smiling at her, "and you?"
"Zoe!" The little girl announced, before throwing her arms around the alchemist's waist and surprising him. "Thank-you, Edward! Now I can show all my friends that I can finally swing!" She released him when he gave her a little pat on the back and waved before running off down the hill where a small group of small, child like shapes were waiting.
Edward lifted a hand and waved after her before settling himself back on the bench next to Black Hayate, who promptly plopped his head back on the alchemist's knee. Edward was about to place his hand back upon the dog's head when a slender head dropped down onto his shoulder. Twisting around, he relaxed when he was faced with the face of Riza Hawkeye.
"I wouldn't have pinned you to be so good with children." She commented as she walked around the back of the bench to sit on the side of Black Hayate, smiling gently when the black and white dog lifted his hand and barked happily at her, wagging his tail.
Edward merely scratched the back of his head meekly, gently shooing Black Hayate off of the bench so he could sit next to Riza. The dog gave him a dirty look before curling up at his mistress's feet. "Why did you ask for us to come here, anyway?" He questioned, giving her a curious look as she crossed her legs and inclined her head towards him.
"I like the view." Riza responded simply, taking Edward's right hand in hers and trying to rub some warmth into the cold metal.
The alchemist's golden eyes followed her gaze to look at the orange sky, tinted with autumn colours as evening drew on. It was nice view; he had to admit, even though it was decidedly cold up here in the chilly wind. "Next time we come here, it'll be summer." He told her, shivering momentarily and flexing his left leg to keep the machinery working correctly.
Riza laughed softly, "You don't like the cold, Edward?"
"My auto-mail doesn't agree with it." The blond man explained, tightening his right hand's grip around Riza's, grateful for the warmth he found from it.
"We can go…"
He cut her off. "Nah. You're enjoying, the view, remember?"
"But what are you enjoying?" Was the questioning reply.
"This view." Edward replied simply, angling his head to place a small, light kiss on Riza's neck, just below her ear as she turned to give him a confused look. "This is much nicer than the hill." He murmured quietly to her.
Riza couldn't find an answer to that, simple red dashes gracing her cheeks.