Me: I think Riza's a little out of character in some parts of this, but too much, hopefully. The ending of this wasn't what I originally thought of, but I like this twist better. Concrit appreciated, as usual!
Guiding her thumb over the lines and creases spread out on Edward's left palm, Riza watched the alchemist's fingers twitch slightly in his sleep at the sensation.
For the some reason, Riza was unable to fall asleep that night and was lying wide awake beside Edward, who had drifted off within five minutes of his head hitting the pillow.
Idly, the lieutenant drew he index fingertip over the calloused, worn skin of the alchemist's hand, noting the tiny white scars that were scattered over the surface. Turning over the hand, Riza was surprised to find that the back of Edward's hand was soft, not worn and rough like the rest of it. One or two scars dotted the blond man's knuckles, gained from fighting and thrusting his fist forward without thinking too much about the consequences.
Riza hesitated, before placing her own worn palm flat against Edward's, realising that their hands were the same size. The limp weight resting against her hand shifted as Edward fidgeted in his sleep and drew his left arm back, stuffing it under his pillow with a little sigh,
The metal of Edward's auto-mail glinted in the little moonlight streaming in through the window as it inched forward when the blond man stretched.
The lieutenant kept still so as not to wake the alchemist and waited for him to settle. When he relaxed again, she turned her attention to the auto-mail hand resting on the pillow above Edward's head. Reaching out with her own hand, she ghosted her fingertips over the cooling surface (it was once warm where it had been resting underneath Edward's head), tracing the tiny dents and scratches.
Although the auto-mail had been bare to her many times before and although she had seen it in action, the prosthetic limb still intrigued her. Grasping the auto-mail hand's index finger, she moved the joints; listening to the small squeaks as the digit moved.
She sighed. She would have to remind him to oil the joints tomorrow.
A small grunt sounded from beside her, making Riza give the alchemist an odd look. Edward snored sometimes, but she couldn't recall him grunting before. Raising herself on her forearms, her loose blonde hair sliding down her now slanted back, Riza watched him.
Twitching, the muscles around Edward's eyes and mouth twitched spasmodically and his face morphed into a grimace.
Concerned, Riza placed her hand on the blond man's shoulder, realising that he was having an unpleasant dream of some sort. Rubbing his shoulder and shoulder blade gently to calm him, she sat up a little straighter.
Edward relaxed slightly under her touch, and the tenseness in his facial muscles eased away, but he turned his head a little to bury half of his face in his pillow.
Laying herself down to lie straight and flat beside him, Riza tilted her head forwards and rested her forehead on his, humming slightly to soothe. She was relieved when he settled again but tensed when he began to stir.
Edward cracked open a golden eye, blinking sleepily. He jolted in surprise at Riza's unexpected proximity before making a groaning noise in the back of his throat and rubbing his left eye with his human hand. "What are you doing?" He mumbled; voice thick with sleep.
Riza pulled back, apologising, and gave him back his personal space. "You were having a bad dream." She told him quietly.
The alchemist grunted and rolled over onto his back. "I was?" He questioned, massaging his temples with one hand. He yawned and sat up a little, his brain beginning to return to full awareness.
The blond woman nodded in the affirmative.
"Huh. I don't remember it." Edward commented, sitting up straight and relieving an itch on the nape of his neck. Twisting around, he pulled aside one of the curtain that hung in front of the window over their bed and peered outside, squinting as the early morning sunlight dazzled him.
The sky was still pale, and he could just about see the top of the band of morning sunlight peeking over the tops of the tall Central buildings. Edward noticed the flocks of birds swooping around and squawking. He sighed. "Well. The birds aren't sleeping anymore, so I guess there's no point going back to sleep." He said, withdrawing from the window and leaning against the bed rest.
Riza followed his action and set up herself, folding her leg beneath her. "I'm sorry. I woke you up."
"Doesn't matter." The alchemist replied, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and pulling off the duvet. He shuddered in the chilly morning air and pulled the tie out of his hair, twisting it around his wrist before beginning to separate his hair.
Slender, rough hands gripped his wrists and stopped their motion.
Edward turned his head around to look at her. "Is something wrong?"
"I'll do it."
The alchemist tilted his head at her at the simple command, but smiled and nodded, bringing his hands into his lap when Riza let them go.
Finishing in separating the yellow-blond hair into three sections, Riza began weaving the hair into a neat, tight braid, as her mother had taught her when she was young. She finished quickly, holding the braid with one hand and reaching out with the other. "Hair tie."
Edward held it out to her over his auto-mail shoulder.
Riza took it and twisted it into the end of the weaving. "There." She patted his metal shoulder and something inside of her clenched when he didn't seem to notice the contact.
"Thanks." Edward told her, standing up and turning around in front of the small oval mirror hanging on the wall, admiring the lieutenant's work.
The brain was slender and neater than what Edward could achieve by himself. The weaving was smaller, and the loose tail at the end was shorter. "You can braid a lot better than me." Edward commented, sounding a little sulky.
Riza laughed softly. "But I was able to see what I was doing." She pointed out. "I can't braid my own hair."
Edward blinked at her. "You can't?"
The blonde woman shook her head, before turning and frowning at the bedroom door where a sudden muffled snuffling could be heard on the other side.
Black Hayate finally succeeded in pushing open the slightly ajar door and bounded in with a little 'yap', his tail wagging so fast it was a mere blur.
Edward rolled his eye when the black and white dog skidded to a halt beside him and begun tugging and chewing on his pyjama pants. "Get off." He muttered, shaking his leg to dislodge the dog off of him.
Undeterred, Black Hayate trotted around to his mistress, and plopped down in front of her, tongue lolling out as he panted, tail waving back and forth on the floor.
"I don't think I've ever known anything to have so much energy in the morning." Edward said dryly, yanking on a wrinkled black t-shirt to wear temporarily. "I'll go and feed him." He offered, walking around the bed over to the dog and Riza and tugging on Hayate's collar. "Come on you."
Black Hayate looked up at him, before letting out an excited bark in realisation that he was going to get fed and sped across the room and out of the door, his back feet slipping on the smooth wooden floor.
Edward stared after him before shaking his head ruefully and leaning forwards to press a quick kiss to Riza's cheek. "Tea?" He murmured to her.
"Please." Riza replied gratefully.
The alchemist nodded and headed for the door.
"Oh, and Edward?"
"Hmm?" The blond man looked over at her.
"Remember to give Black Hayate his commands."
Edward grinned at her, amused. "I will." He replied, and shut the door behind him.
Riza began to stand up in order to shower and get dressed in preparation for work. Or… she would have done, had the room not spun and melted into a swirl of colour before dissolving into black.
Her eyes snapped open moments later, and she found herself in bed, staring up at the ceiling of her apartment. She sat up, eyes wide, and turned sharply at the sudden movement beside her. Riza had expected it to be Edward, and was disappointed to find that it was Black Hayate curled up beside her, asleep.
Although still in a shocked daze, she shooed her black and white dog off gently and slipped out of bed quickly, feeling a little disorientated. "Edward?" She called.
She paused, frowned at herself and took in a deep breath, releasing it slowly. Reaching out to her bedside table, she grabbed a brown hair clip and pinned back her blonde hair into its usual style.
It was just a dream.
She continued her morning before-work tasks as normal. Having shower, feeding Hayate before drinking a small cup off coffee and eating a bowl of cereal before pulling on her uniform, setting her gun, gathering the paperwork for Roy and heading out of the front door to work.
However, even at the office, she seemed distant as she explained to her commanding officer what the new batch of paperwork was for and setting about completing her own work.
Roy had asked what was bothering her, but she assured him everything was fine, work quietly and diligently until the door to Roy Mustang's office banged open without a knock and Edward Elric came in, his new report under his arm.
Riza watched the short blond man (in uniform for once, she noted) hand the small pile of paper over to brigadier general. She watched them engage in a small exchange of insults and much glaring on Edward's part. And she sighed when Mustang finally succeeded in pushing Edward's buttons enough to raise the Fullmetal Alchemist's voice to shouting level.
Her eyes followed the blond man as he stomped towards the office door in a huff and when he whirled around suddenly to yell something else at the general before his golden eyes fell on her.
"Is something wrong lieutenant?" Edward asked, raising an eyebrow at her. He still looked, and sounded, irritated from his argument with Roy, but his tone was suddenly a lot more subdued.
Riza shook her head, returning to her paperwork, eyes downcast. "Everything's fine Edward." She replied.
She felt his presence hesitate, surely giving Roy a one final glare, before he left, closing the door loudly.
Just a dream…
The tip of her pen pressed harder onto the surface of the paper she was signing, expressing her annoyance.
But did they have to feel so real?
Me: Yeah. Kind of a weird ending. Review?