Me: Last chapter! Enjoy.
Curled up under the blanket Riza had given him, with Black Hayate curled up on his feet, Edward was pretty warm. His left arm dangled over the edge of the couch and a clump of blond hair was spread out on the arm of the sofa, destined to be tangled in the morning. Snoring a little in his sleep, he turned his face into the worn leather material of the furniture.
Edward jolted up, his hair sticking to his face, as he looked around wildly and sleepily at what made the loud noise. Beside him, Hayate flicked one ear lazily and opened an eye.
The alchemist sat up, tugging his legs from underneath the black and white dog (earning a yelp in indignation) and swung them over the side of the settee, frowning. The clock on the wall, its surface glinting slightly underneath the pale moonlight, showed that it was around three o'clock in the morning.
Suppressing a yawn and stretching, he stood and glanced around.
Bewildered, Edward turned his head to the source of the sound; the floor.
Black Hayate jumped off of the couch to join him, sniffing at the ground with his ears perked.
"What's going on?" Riza's voice questioned from the doorway.
Edward jumped a little, caught unawares and turned to face her, shrugging. "No idea, the floor just… uh… clunked."
Riza cocked an eyebrow and crossed the room smoothly to stand beside him, before frowning herself when another ominous noise sounded from beneath their feet. "I hope the heating isn't failing again."
It took quite a bit of self restraint for Edward not to groan out loud at the thought of it being cold again. His frantic inner hopes that it would stay warm were ignored rather spectacularly, however, when a loud 'bzzt' sounded, and the lights flickered before going out completely.
"Oh, well that just fantastic." Edward commented sourly, crossing his arms in both his annoyance and the preparation to keep whatever body heat he left.
"They really need to sort this out." Riza said from beside him, her voice sounded irritated as well in the dark, "it's bad enough with no heating in winter, but for the electricity to go too…" she trailed off, thinking hard as she made her way slowly in the pitch black over the couch, careful not to trip over a whining Black Hayate. She reached out to grab the blanket Edward had been sleeping under and walked over slowly back over to him.
Edward jolted slightly when she wrapped the blanket around his shoulders. He tilted his head over his shoulder to look at her blindly in the dark with a curious expression.
"So you don't get cold." She explained, at his silence.
"Thanks." He replied, smiling despite the fact she couldn't see it. He shivered a little as the temperature in the room dropped. "Now what?"
"Wait it out, I suppose." Riza replied grimly, making her way back to the sofa and sitting down with a small sigh. "Are you going to be alright?" She questioned after a bit, remembering that it would colder now, in the middle of the night, than it had been earlier.
"Yeah." Edward replied firmly, moving back over to join her, the blanket wrapped tightly around himself. "But I don't think I'll be able to go back to sleep now." He commented grimly. He hesitated for a moment after sitting the dark silence for a while before removing some of the blanket and wrapping it around Riza's shoulders. "Can't let you get cold too." He told her in the darkness.
Riza gently, pulling the blanket closer around herself, but her eyes widened when her bare arm came into contact with Edward's auto-mail. The metal was freezing. "Edward…"
"Hmm?" The alchemist replied quietly beside her. Despite his claim that he wouldn't be able to fall back asleep again, his eyelids had drooped a little and he found himself very comfortable indeed sitting beside Riza. He was jolted out of dazed state, however, when the woman beside him tugged at his arm. "What?" He questioned, trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.
"Are your ports bothering you?" The question was short and direct and Edward could tell from the tone that she was not happy with him saying he would be fine.
"No." The blond man replied honestly, "they're warm. As long as I keep them like this, they'll be fine." He explained shortly, not wanting to discuss his auto-mail particularly. He didn't mention that his left leg felt a little stiff and leaned back into the couch in an attempt to get back to the sleepy state he had been in before.
Riza didn't press the issue further, pulling up her legs to curl them beside her.
The blonde woman wasn't sure when they had fallen asleep, but she was awoken a few hours later by Black Hayate doing his usual morning habit of licking her feet. She nudged him away with her foot and frowned when she noticed that the room wasn't any warmer than it had been last night. The lights that had been on before the power cut were on now, though, and she was relieved that the electricity was back.
Turning her head, she was amused to see Edward's face buried half in the sofa and half in her hair and neck. "You're going to have a very stiff neck in that position." She murmured, moving away gently so as not to shock him awake and shaking him gently.
Edward cracked open sleepy golden eyes and looked back at her groggily. "…What?" He mumbled, sitting up and rubbing his eyes with his left hand. "Uh… ow." He grunted, wincing and rubbing his neck.
"You slept in a bad position." Riza explained as the alchemist flexed his neck to try and rid himself of the stiffness.
Massaging the cramped muscles, Edward looked over at the clock, noting the time to be seven o'clock. "What time do you have to be in at…at…" he trailed off and began to yawn, covering his mouth with an unsteady metal right hand."
"Nine." Riza replied, removing the blanket from herself but making sure that it stayed around Edward. "They've given us extra time to get there because of all the snow and ice." She explained. "I see you weren't listening when that was explained." She commented at Edward's thoughtful expression as he tried to remember when that had been said.
"I don't listen to the bastard half the time, let alone when I'm cold and grumpy." Edward muttered, sitting up a little straighter and flexing his right shoulder, pleased to feel it working correctly. "At least my arm works fine, though." He said, missing Riza's slight headshake about his comment on listening to his superior.
When he went to stand up, however, he nearly fell over when his left leg refused to move and flopped back onto the sofa with a scowl.
"What's wrong?" Riza questioned, watching him as he tried to move the leg and frowning at the jerky movements.
"It's frozen up." He replied darkly, pulling the warm blanket from around his shoulder and rubbing the metal to try and get it warm. "It should be fine once the circuitry has warmed up, though, unless…" he made a face as a nasty thought occurred to him, "unless it's iced up and in which case, when it melts…"
"…it's going to get wet." Riza finished for him. She stood and held out a hand when she saw him moving to stand again, not wanting to fall over.
"I don't think it's that bad though. The foot's moving again." Edward said, taking her hand gratefully and allowing her to help pull him upright. He flexed his foot, satisfied when it began working fluently. "The knee, however…"
Riza watched quietly as she watched the alchemist attempt to move his knee, noticing the slight pained grimace on his face. "Sore?"
"A little." Edward admitted, rubbing it absently.
It was a moment or two before both decided that it was uncomfortable simply standing there in the living room and Riza begun to help Edward across the room into the kitchen.
Flopping down on one of the wooden chairs, Edward grabbed his left leg with both hands and begun flexing the knee joint physically with both of them. The metalwork creaked a little in protest but soon quietened after a while. "Just needs a bit of persuasion." Edward muttered dryly, setting his leg back on the floor and rubbing away the ache in the flesh around the port with an auto-mail thumb.
Riza didn't say anything in reply to that, instead walking over to sit beside him. It was at least half an hour before she said "I hope that the office is warm."
Edward nodded in grim agreement.
Stepping outside, Edward made a face at the harsh winter breeze that slapped him in the face. "I hate winter." He growled, stuffing his hands in his pockets and stepping out of the apartment block, one of feet stuck out to hold the door open for Riza.
"At least it's stopped snowing." The blonde woman pointed out, shutting the door behind them and glancing around at their cold surroundings. The snow was a good few inches deep and the places where pedestrians had walked and beaten it down were hard and icy.
Edward didn't seem to hear her, tramping through the snow and muttering darkly under his breath. Unlike Riza, he wasn't wearing his uniform as he hadn't really thought to bring it with him when he had gone to visit the lieutenant last night, and was not looking forward to crap he was going to get from Mustang when he arrived. Edward didn't really understand why this was such a problem when he had gone around in his own clothing for a good number of years before.
He turned around to address this point with Riza (who had offered to lend Edward one of her spare uniforms, though he had denied the offer), when his right foot slipped out from under him and he found himself spinning, out of control, and bumping into a nearby icy lamppost. A lump of snow that had been resting, undisturbed at its top trembled before falling and landing with a splat on Edward's head.
Riza covered her mouth to smother her gentle laughing, before walking over to him and brushing the snow and ice off of him.
"I really, really don't like winter." Edward growled darkly, walking side by side with Riza along the frozen path to Central Headquarters. Inwardly, he was glad that Riza had chosen to live so close to work, as it meant that the journey was short and hopefully to be devoid of anymore accidents.
The rest of the journey passed by in cold silence as Edward pondered furiously over the thoughts he'd been having last night in the shower, partly because they had been nagging at the back of mind since then, and partly because he didn't want to be thinking of a smirking Mustang he would surely encounter later, accompanied by a sarcastic comment about his snow-soaked clothing.
Stepping inside the warm lobby of the military building, Edward sighed in relief and kicked the snow off of his boots and rolled his joints. He noticed out of the corner of his eye Riza nodding a greeting to the secretary at the front desk and spontaneously reached out and grabbed the blonde woman's hand.
She turned, a little startled, "Edward?"
"Can I talk to you for a second?" He questioned, his words a little rushed.
"Of course…" She started, but was cut off.
"Good." Edward tugged her over to a secluded corner of the lobby, trying to ignore the curious looks of the secretary. He hesitated, fidgeted, and stuffed his hands back in his pockets and taking them out again.
"Edward?" Riza tried again, raising an eyebrow at his nervousness.
"Do you… want to go to dinner with me tonight?" Edward asked finally staring pointedly at the small space of floor between their boots and hoping fervently that there wasn't a patch of red splayed across his cheeks and nose.
There was a pause before Riza replied, "that would be lovely."
Edward blinked, a little surprised, before grinning widely. "Great! That little restaurant down the main road sound good after our shift?"
She nodded, smiling, her eyes warm.
Edward couldn't remember clearly right then when he had felt so ridiculously happy and leaned forwards to press a quick, spur-of-the-moment kiss on her cheek and saying in a voice that was too bright for the suggestion, "better head to the office then."
"Yes." Riza agreed, hiding her amusement carefully that Edward's good mood would disappear soon after they arrived at said office. She followed him down the hallway quietly, her face gentle and the corners of her lips quirked up. This earned her a few curious looks, including an inquisitive question from Roy about her oddly good mood.
"Just some good things happening right now, sir, that's all." She replied quietly and politely, handing him a new stack of papers to sign.
Me: I'm not sure whether to leave this story here or go on with it XD. Review and tell me what you think? I'm perfectly happy with leaving this here but if people would like some more I might write another chapter or two later.