Author's Notes: Hawkeye has been sent off to quell a rebellion but things aren't going quite so smoothly. Instead of focusing on actions, these are letters sent from Hawkeye to Mustang. My suggestion? Pay very, VERY close attention to the wording--particularly the addressing and signing of each letter. It changes. Also take note of the dates or you'll get confused. This is NOT set during any particular time period, I couldn't pick a time to pick it in. I also didn't have a particular date, so I chose 1921-1922. Please read, review and enjoy!
Story title is based on the title of the song which inspired this, 'Travelin' Soldier' by the Dixie Chicks
April 2, 1921
Dear Colonel Mustang,
It's strange to be writing you a letter, particularly when one becomes so used to spending so much time with you in the office. As originally assigned, I am still at a military camp just a few kilometers south from the Northern boarder. Unfortunately, it seems as though the peace we were so desperate to maintain in this area will be lost despite our sincere efforts. Just yesterday evening, a new recruit was shot He was one of the fortunate ones; they are going to send him home. For now, he will be safe from the horrors of battle.
At this point it seems inevitable; I can swear I feel the trouble brewing and war starting.
It seems I haven't much to say today and as a result I've told you all of what has happened here. Take care of yourself, and do keep doing your work properly. I will write soon.
First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye
April 14, 1921
I have to admit, it was a surprise to hear from you so soon! From what I have heard, troops have already been sent to battle. My sincerest hopes that yours has not yet been deployed. Should luck have already failed you, please be careful. You are my well-armed guard and trusted aid, though most importantly—my friend. I fear I'd be mortified should something happen to you in my absence.
As promised, Sergeant Major Fuery is taking care of Black Hayate. He misses you—the dog, I mean, though Fuery does seem to miss you around the office as well—but the mutt is still behaving himself. Don't be concerned about him, of all things.
Please Hawkeye, for everyone's sake, come home safely.
May 6, 1921
Dear Colonel Mustang,
Hmm…surprising that you had already heard about the deployment. Then again, I suppose that you are in Central headquarters and you would hear such information promptly. As you must have already heard then, things are not going smoothly. What was hoping to be quick has turned into something much greater. I go to sleep every night and pray that this doesn't become another Ishbal, but each morning I wake and fear that war will be the end result no matter what.
I wish I could tell you that my unit has not been deployed, but that would be a lie.
Please sir, keep writing. It reminds me that I have a home to return to, and there are days where remembering that there is somewhere to go home is all that keeps me going.
First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye
May 19, 1921
Dear Lieutenant Hawkeye,
War and rebellion does horrible things to people. It ravages lives and breaks hearts. Is it so much to hope that your spirit stays intact through yet another war? I wonder if it is.
I'm glad you finally wrote back. I was beyond worried about you. I know that less than month really isn't a terribly long time and that things are, in all likelihood, busy and dangerous—and that taking time out to write a letter is our of the question or at the very least difficult. Still, I hope that you do continue to write. I got no word of your safety but I did get word of the escalating violence Those rumors have made me sick.
Damn it all, Hawkeye, I still can't believe you were sent without me. Frankly, things don't ruin gust as well here without you. Did you know that they deployed both Havoc and Fuery? Poor Fuery looked like he might have passed out the moment he received his assignment. Havoc said he will check up on you.
Don't worry, I've taken Hayate in, in lieu of Fuery's absence.
June 23, 1921
Dear Colonel Mustang,
Things are getting…sir, I can hardly take time to write, things are so hectic.
I miss having a trusted familiar face. I miss seeing the things I recognize day in and day out. I miss you, sir. Ordinarily I don't find myself so…so…damn it all, sir, I can't even thing to phrase this properly…find myself so bothered.
We are supposed to help these people, sir. We are supposed to support and care for them. We are supposed to represent these people. We are support to work for them. And yet, everyday I look these people that I am supposed to be working for square in the eye and shoot them.
I cannot wait to come home.
June 24, 1921
This will be short, but I wanted to tell you I saw Lieutenant Hawkeye. Sir, she doesn't look well. She didn't want to talk to me, and dismissed me shortly after I ran into her. It's going to sound foolish, but whatever this is doing to her is in her eyes. I've never seen them so empty, not even when she first returned from Ishbal. Maybe you can say something to her via mail? She's the first to meet the postman when he arrives, and waits until he's thoroughly gone through his bag.
Please do something, if you can. She spends most of her day on the field, working. She seems so far gone, not with the situation—I'm concerned that the distance in her gaze might hurt her in battle.
—Second Lieutenant Havoc
July 3, 1921
I write to her shortly after getting her letters. Thank you for letting me know. I hear you will be sent elsewhere as a result of a small uprising in the South. Be careful.
July 3, 1921
I hear that things are worse, and they are only going to continue getting worse. You sound awful. I'm sorry that things are so rough over there. Try to take comfort in that you will come home to people who miss you and care about you. They've sent Fuery back to Central; he managed to break his leg quite well. There is little concern that he will be able to walk again, it is just a matter of time. As for now, he can't walk a step.
I am so concerned, Riza. I miss you. I wish you will come home safely, and soon. I wish that you the best of luck, and only wish I had something to comfort you from so far away. Please, Riza, take care.
August 28, 1921
I….this has been…I don't even have time. I can't even take time to write. I can't.
Things are getting…beyond rough.
Please don't worry if I won't be able to write for the next few weeks of time.
September 5, 1921
I will do my best to restrain my concerns, but I can't promise that I won't. I can't say I won't worry but I will try to restrain myself. While you take time to not write, I will continue to write to you. Did you know that they've now sent Havoc back as well? The lucky bastard got out of the rebellion because things cleared up quickly. He returned just a few days ago.
Black Hayate is well. He's been spending time with Fuery, who is now beginning rehabilitation, attempting to get back into getting around again. The little mutt has taken to prancing about Fuery's feet, and tripping him up. A few chiding words and he behaves himself again, so don't worry about that. His ridiculous behavior aside, Hayate misses you. He is still staying with me, as Fuery can't commit himself to full responsibility, and has now started sleeping at the foot of my bed. In fact, last night, he climbed up onto my pillow. He is a cute thing, but I do not appreciate sharing my pillow with him. Does he do that will you? Hm…I could just imagine him sleeping on your head. That must be a sight to see!
The office is quiet without you. It seems like it wasn't what you'd expect, as you keep people in line, but in your absence everyone chooses to behave themselves. It's ironic. Perhaps you should take some time off more often. I'll be certain to schedule that in for you when you return.
Please come home safe, Riza. The longer you spend in the field, the more worried everyone gets.
October 10, 1921
I know you said you didn't plan on having time to write, but just a page with a scribble, date and signature would be better than nothing. I get no word on your well being, and the only information I do get is about the death toll. I know it won't surprise you, as you are the one in the field, but it's risen to nearly one-thousand people.
I just…hope you aren't one of them.
November 14, 1921
A piece of paper with your signature…Riza, I'm worried sick.
The death toll has reached nearly one thousand and five hundred.
Where are you?
December 2, 1921
Where the hell are you? One word, please. Give me something.
January 3, 1922
In your lack of writing for several months…almost five, now, I would think—I miss you. Not only miss you, but…I care about you. I worry about you. You're my friend and…I would hate to lose you under any circumstances but to find that you faced death in that forsaken uniform…
No, in your absence of nearly a year, I think I may have realized that you mean more to me than just a subordinate or friend.
January 27, 1922
I wish you would write. I know…I know you've been busy but please, give me something. Just a letter. Just your initials, is all I ask. Just word of your safety. I'm desperate.
February 2, 1922
To: Colonel Roy Mustang
Sent by: Personnel Affairs
It has been brought to our immediate attention that your subordinate First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye was injured during the rebellion in the North. Her health is in poor condition right now, and as soon as she is well enough to return to Central, she will.
February 5, 1922
I…I've gotten each of your letters, sir.
Personnel Affairs is saying that I may be able to return to Central headquarters within the next week or so, though I doubt that they intend to do so. I still can hardly sit up, so sending me back seems out of the question.
I can't wait to see your face, sir. I miss you.
February 14, 1922
This is ridiculous. I intend to come and take you back to Central myself. Whatever condition your health is in, I will not have a close friend staying in a war zone simply because nobody will take them home.
February 17, 1922
Personnel Affairs sent word that you are coming out here?
You are an idiot, sir. Stay where you are, in safety. There is no reason to risk your health to come and retrieve me. I'm certain I'll return to Central in one piece…I'm not dead yet, am I, sir?
February 26, 1922
To Second Lieutenant Havoc, Second Lieutenant Breda, Sergeant Major Fuery and Warrant Officer Falman,
We certainly could call you and tell you this, but at the moment we don't have time. First Lieutenant Hawkeye and myself will be returning to Central within the next few days. The train is delayed as a result of an attack, however—this attack also has brought about the end of this war.
I've stolen the pen from Colonel Mustang, you four, and considering that both of us are out of the office, I expect all of your work to be completed properly. To return and see that this is not complete upon our return will not be pleasant—the last thing we need is to see a pileup of paperwork to complete when we finally get back into Central. The trains are delayed.
Behave yourselves! I don't want to hear that you were causing trouble. Be fair to our injured First Lieutenant, she'll be in no condition to work when she returns.
First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye