It was Riza Hawkeye's birthday. It was the one day she had no chores to do. The one day she kept her own hours, which generally stayed pretty reasonable, anyway, but it was nice to have the cushion. However, even knowing the rules, one of the people in her father's house could not allow for her to sleep late.

"Riza… Riza, wake up…" Roy Mustang whispered as he shook his teacher's daughter's shoulder lightly. "C'mon," he pleaded. "I got up early to make you breakfast and everything!"

"Go 'way Roy. Lemme sleep…" Riza swatted at the black-haired young man.

Roy backed off for a moment. "Oh no you don't… I worked too hard to have you oversleep and let this get cold." He bent over Riza again. "If you're not going to wake up on your own, I'll wake you up."

He started tickling her.

Riza jumped about two feet off the bed and landed on Roy, who continued to mercilessly assault her with light fingertips. Between her laughter, she commanded, "Stop! Stop it, Roy!" She somehow managed to flip around and clumsily attempted to stop him, but in the end, she wound up glaring him as he straddled her thighs so she could not kick, and pinned her arms so she could not throw any punches.

"I try and do something nice for you, and I wind up having to straddle you to calm you down! If I'd known that you'd fight back, I'd have never done something for you on your birthday, even if you're nice to me on mine!" Roy barely even noticed that she had stopped struggling and was staring at him curiously until he stopped ranting.

"Well, you could've woken up later. I wouldn't hold it against you, you know. I don't do things because I expect to get something in return. I do things because I feel like it, birthday or not." When his grip loosened, she pushed him off. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe there's breakfast waiting for us." She got up and walked out of her room.

Roy sat back and blinked for a second or two, then lurched after her. "So you're not mad at me?" he asked.

Riza gave him a half-smile. "Mad, no. Frustrated with your lack of understanding of women, yes."

Shaking his head, Roy sighed. Sorry sweetheart. I don't know if I'll ever understand you. But it's worth a try.

END