Chapter One "Transfer."
The news struck her as ironic and it crushed her completely. She had given him years of devoted service and had protected him endlessly. Backing him up when he needed it. And this was how he repaid her; he had completely ignored her true feelings for him, and gone to another woman. And now he was marrying that said woman.
As soon as she got home after hearing this news, she broke a very beautiful glass vase she had. And sank to the floor crying. Not because he didn't want her, but because she had let her love for him make her feel this way, because she let him break her heart. If, she had just stuck to her job in the beginning, and just been his loyal subordinate pushing him to the top, the broken glass on the floor of her apartment wouldn't have been there in the first place.
Her poor dog was sitting beside her on his haunches, giving her a sad look. At least it wasn't one of pity. She sighed, wiping the last of her tears away. Crying over him was a stupid thing to do in the first place, was what her pride was telling her. Her heart was too broken and hollow to tell her what to do next, and her head said to get up and move on. There were plenty of other fish in the sea besides.
So that day, she vowed never to fall for another man again. She picked up the glass, tossed it away, and made a fresh start. Little did she know, the next day would be absolute hell.
She walked into the office, her head held high, and her pride securely intact. Of course, Colonel Mustang was there, lazing about as usual, but this time bragging to the boys about his new Fiancée. She ignored that, and went to her desk, noticing a big envelope on it, and the red letters made her stop. In big, bold, red letters, the words "TRANSFER GRANTED." Was written clearly across the front of the yellow envelope.
"What is going on here?" she asked, her voice deathly calm as she picked the envelope up, and took out a single sheet of paper. The men stopped talking, looking towards her. Her eyes read through the letter quickly, trying to absorb everything in. "By order of Colonels' Mustang, Archer, and the Fuhrer, First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye is hereby transferred to be under the command of Colonel Frank Archer. Reason for this transfer is as follows: Colonel Mustang is no longer in need of First Lieutenant Hawkeye, and Colonel Archer feels that he needs someone else on his team. Fuhrer Bradley has hereby agreed to the transfer demands, and the transfer is effective immediately." She read loud. Her cheeks grew pink and her heart shattered again.
"Yeah, about that, Hawkeye. My fiancée… She doesn't care for you. She's been nagging me about it…there's a lot of pressure coming from her end…I don't want to hand you over to Archer, but he's the only other Colonel I think you'd be happy under. You two have a lot in common, and you're still in the same building. We can still be friends, I hope." Roy answered her questioning look. She sighed, and nodded her head. "Of…of course." She answered.
She slowly packed all her personal things into a box, and bade her now ex-comrades good-bye for good. She sighed as she walked down the hallway and went down the stairs. Perhaps getting a transfer was for the best. She wouldn't have to endure the pain of being around him, and she'd be able to move on easier. He was right though, she did have a lot in common with Colonel Frank Archer. Although she didn't agree with his odd fetish for war.
She nodded her head as she reached the door to his offices. He had worked with Maes Hughes, and when Maes had passed away, he took over as the head of Intelligence. 'At least now I won't have to tell people to get their paperwork done. I hear Archer runs a tight ship.' She thought to herself, her hand lingering on the door before it swung open, and an annoyed soldier went past her, murmuring curses under his breath.
She tried to look at the bright as she walked into the office, and looked around. Everything was neat and orderly. Not a single person was off task, and there was no cigarette smoke. She hesitated. She didn't want to interrupt his work, he might bite her head off. She didn't have to hesitate long though, because he came out of his private office, looking at her with a cool smile on his face, his blue eyes gleaming.
"Ah, First Lieutenant Hawkeye, welcome. I see that you're very punctual when you receive orders. Your paperwork has been transferred here already. But your desk, however is not out here. Follow me please." He said, his tone light, and smooth. Silently she was grateful for his no nonsense business. He liked to get straight to the point, no dilly-dallying around. She followed him back to his private office quickly, only it wasn't his private office. Right away she realized it was hers.
"For right now, your title is no longer First Lieutenant. I feel that, and the Fuhrer agrees with me here, that you should…earn your ranking back. After I monitor your skills, and your obedience, if I feel you're up to par, I'll have the Fuhrer re-instate your title." Archer said calmly, waving his hand around the room. She gave him a slightly confused look, trying not to yell.
"What am I supposed to be until then?"
"A receptionist. My receptionist."
"Excuse me, sir?"
"You heard me right, Hawkeye. Now, I'll let you get settled, my office is right through this door here, if you need me. I have work to get to." He said nonchalantly, walking through the door to her right, into his office. Her amber eyes filled with fury, and she nearly slammed her box of her belongings onto her new desk. She cast a vengeful glance at her new nameplate all it said was "Receptionist Hawkeye."
She silently cursed him to hell and back, and put her things on her desk the way she wanted them. She wanted to go into a screaming fit, march right into his office and shoot at him too. She had never had a list before, but now she had one. And two people were tied for first.
Finally, after she had cooled down some, she looked over her paperwork. There didn't seem to be much to look over, or sign for that matter. 'That's what I get for being bumped down to a receptionist I suppose.' She thought, still fuming. Nonetheless, she did the little work she had, and when she was finished with it all, became bored. That was…until the phone rang.
"Colonel Frank Archer's Offices, how may I help you?" she answered the phone smoothly, knowing he was listening. She looked around her desk quickly, noticing a weekly planner on the corner. 'Nice going Archer.' She said in her mind, taking it up, and writing an appointment in it. "Alright, I'll be sure to tell him about his appointment with you before Thursday." She told the caller, and hung up promptly.
She let out a sigh. Was this what she was going to be doing for the next some odd months? This was boring and she was trained to do more than a stupid receptionist's job. Clearly Colonel Archer was underestimating her abilities. She looked over at the photo she had on her desk. It had a plain frame on it, and it contained several people. Armstrong (Who was too big for the camera), Mustang, Hawkeye, Hughes, Havoc, Breda, Falman, and Fuery smiled at her. It had been their group picture taken not long before Hughes' death.
That was when Mustang still cared about her promise to him. She had promised to protect him, and push him to the top. She had devoted her life to him, and look where she had ended up. All because of that stupid whore he was going to marry. Maybe…just maybe she could kill his fiancée and get away with it. She shook her head looked at the clock, almost lunchtime. That wasn't a good idea, because they wouldn't transfer her back to Mustang now anyways.
She glared at the clock for the next five minutes until she heard the people in the front room moving around getting ready to go to lunch before coming back to work. She pretended to be doing something when he came out of his office, whistling some jazz tune, his coat hung on one arm. "You know Hawkeye, you can go to lunch to." He said coolly, walking out of the room, and through the next one, still whistling the jazz tune.
"Just you wait, just you wait Frank Archer. One of these days…" she muttered, getting her own coat to go to some restraunt for her lunch.
The rest of the day went very much the same way. Although she did receive some more paperwork, and occasionally Archer would bring out some of his paperwork for her to put in the "Out" box in the other room. 'I wonder why he can't walk all the way into the other room.' She thought angrily, throwing herself back in her chair, as it got closer to the time for all of them to go home.
The phone rang once before she picked it up promptly. "Colonel Archer's Offices." She said smoothly, leaning back in her chair. "Please put me through to Colonel Archer." The caller said, and she promptly obeyed, pressing a button on the phone, and buzzing Archer. "You have a call, Colonel Archer." She said into the speaker. "Thank you, Miss Hawkeye." He said calmly from his office speaker, and then picked up the phone. Or so predicted.
"Hayate, what do you think of mommy going to prison for awhile?" Riza asked her dog as she prepared dinner for herself. He gave her a reproachful look, and she giggled. "Okay, so I'm not going to kill them. I'm just very angry with them I suppose." She continued to talk to her canine companion. He cocked his head to the side more, giving her a curious look.
"I am moving on. It's just gonna take awhile for the resentment and contempt to wear off. But I suppose I should be thankful I got such a good, hardworking, stupid, and asshole, ice princess Colonel for a new commander. And he has the guts to demote me to a military receptionist. My father is probably rolling in his grave." Riza said scornfully.
The dog gave her a cheerful bark and scampered off. She sighed and closed her eyes for a minute. "My life has reached an all time low, and I'm taking it much better than expected. Well, I am talking to my dog, and myself so I suppose I could be going crazy…" she muttered, opening her eyes and continuing to stir her soup. Little did she know…her life was going to get a lot more complicated tomorrow morning.
"After only a day of working, she's already fallen into a good pattern." Colonel Archer informed the Fuhrer the next morning over the phone. "She answers the phone perfectly, and she's very punctual." He finished, waiting for the other man to speak. "Very well. Within the next few days, we'll see if she keeps the good work up. If she has, she gets her title back. If not…well we'll decide what to do then." The Fuhrer said good-naturedly. "Yes, sir." Archer answered before hanging up.
Frank Archer liked to think he was a good man, with good morals. And he was, he really was. He just, had some rather small things about him that threw people off. And gave them the completely wrong impression. Like the fact that he liked war, a lot. Or the fact that he ran a very tight office schedule. He also had very pale skin, a very nice pair of cold blue eyes, and you wouldn't like it when he gets angry. Now, unlike Mustang, he didn't date every girl in Central. No, Frank wasn't such a player.
Every once and awhile you'd catch him out on the town with some very well behaved girl, having a nice time. But other than that, it was a quiet night at home with his cats, and his jazz music, and perhaps some wine or brandy to go with his dinner. Occasionally he would indulge in his favorite chocolates, which he had specially imported from Creta. The man did love his chocolate.
Riza wrinkled her nose as she looked over some of her paperwork, her legs swinging under her desk idly. It seemed like the days dragged on forever, and that's when she told herself to quit it, because, she'd only been working here two days. To a lot of people, she hadn't changed since her transfer. She still worked hard, she still had that cool, calm, collected demeanor, and she wasn't surprised easily. But if they saw her now, well, they'd say she went off the deep end. But that was hardly the case.
That was just how Riza Hawkeye handled heartbreak and disappointments. She looked out her window, which she had open for the breeze, because she had found that it was rather stuffy in her small office at times, and gazed out at the view for a bit. What brought her back to her office was the sharp, rapping on her door before it was thrown open and brown hair swirled in, with a body attached, and a giggly, bubbly , annoying voice.
"Hello, hello! You must Miss Hawkeye! I've waited so long to see you here! I'm so sorry we haven't met before, I was busy in the East, doing Colonel Archer's busy work that he wasn't available to do! Well, I think what he really wanted to do was get me out of the office, but oh well, I know he secretly has interest at me, he gets that look on his face everytime he sees me." The girl said, her face rosy and excited. Riza was already annoyed.
"But I'm sure we'll get to be lifelong friends, and have fun forever! Now, tell me…do you think Colonel Archer is cute or what? I mean those baby blue eyes are just to die for!" She giggled, the sound high-pitched. 'Why me, why, why, WHY?!" she roared in her head. And she had yet to learn who the hell this girl was. Little did she know, Frank had heard the girl's arrival in his office, and was longing to bang his head on the desk. He though she would be for more than two weeks!
The continued to babble on and on, talking faster than a regular human, and Riza just sat there with a blank face, nodding. Like Archer, she too wanted to bang her head on the desk. "Frankie knows I'm one of his favorites, he just doesn't want to admit it. I'm sure that if you get to know him as well as I do, you'll be a favorite of his too! He's so good to me, I keep hoping that he'll ask me to go on a date with him anytime now. He really is a good man. I don't see why everyone else calls him an ice princess all the time. He's not even a girl. He's just really pale." The girl said, and finally stopped for a breath.
"Excuse me…I didn't catch your name." Riza finally put her two cents in. The girl giggle loudly, and smiled at her, winking. "Oh silly me, I had almost forgotten. I always forget things when I start talking about Frankie. He gets my brain scattered everywhere." The girl gushed. Riza twitched. "That still doesn't tell me who you are…I have work to do." She said calmly.
"Oh! I'm Runa…Runa Curtis."