Teddy Bears and Kisses
"Taisa, you don't celebrate Valentine's Day do you?"
Eastern HQ was buzzing happily as Valentines Day drew nearer. The office of Roy Mustang however, was the exact opposite. As usual Havoc, Breda, Furey, and Falman complained about not having a girl for Valentines Day while the Colonel had practically all the girls in Eastern after him. While they ranted Riza Hawkeye, the only female officer under the Colonel, noticed again that her superior hadn't said a word. This always surprised her as he usually would have been bragging about the different girls he could choose from. When the other men had left for their eagerly awaited lunch break, she asked him her question, making him smile.
"What gives you that impression Chuui?" He asked in return, giving her a half smile.
"Well Sir, you didn't brag about which girl you would take out on Valentine's Day. It was most unlike you and then I figured it's most likely because you are afraid of commitment." Riza stated pulling up a chair in front of her superior's desk.
"I'm not afraid of commitment. It's just that…" He trailed off scratching his head as she pulled out their lunches. "Thanks." He murmured as he took the brown bag she was holding out for him.
"It's just that what?" Riza asked before taking a bite out of her sandwich.
"Well," he began but then looked at her curiously. "Since when have you cared about what I do on Valentine's Day?"
"I've always wondered. This year I decided to ask." He nodded in response, thinking, and they ate in silence until he spoke.
"Women associate Valentine's Day with love. They assume that if you go out on a date on Valentine's, you're serious about them. I'm not serious about any of the women I've dated so why go out and break a woman's heart when I can sit at home and read about alchemy?" He shrugged. He wiped his mouth and pulled out a small Tupperware with potato salad in it and he dug in.
There was silence again and as Riza finished her lunch she asked, "Does that mean you're not looking for a woman to marry at all? You just go along dating women for the ride?"
Roy finished chewing slowly and he looked at her oddly. After he swallowed he said "I guess. Dating has been the same way for me since high school. Girls flocked to me and I took whoever I wanted out one day, someone else the next. No one ever killed me for it I guess it stuck."
There was an odd silence as Roy handed the Tupperware back to Riza who took it, avoiding his eyes. He pulled out the homemade chocolate chip cookies from his bag and he noticed the inner war that was going on inside Riza through her facial expressions. She looked as though she wanted to scream but she then sighed and looked as though she wouldn't say anything. This disturbed Roy because he wanted to know what upset her.
"Okay Riza spill it. What are you upset about?" Roy asked taking a bite out of the chewy cookie. She looked up at him surprised and he goaded, " 'Cmon. When was the last time we talked as friends? You shouldn't keep you thoughts locked up Riza, it's bad for your mental health."
Shock spread across her face and it soon gave way to an ironic kind of smile. "I shouldn't keep my thoughts locked up hmm? Is that a Maes Hughes line Roy?" She asked softly, allowing Roy to see the rare sight of her chuckling slightly. Before Roy could respond she spoke again, looking at him straight in the eyes.
"Roy, if you don't look for a woman seriously you'll never find the perfect woman for you. No one's ever killed you for being a playboy because the women you've dated aren't serious. They're sleezy women who just want to have a good time for a night and possibly stay with him if he doesn't get rid of her he next day. I'm not saying you've slept with any women but I do know that those are the types of women you usually take out. All they look for is a handsome face, not a handsome heart. I personally think it's wrong the way you date women. It's almost like you're going to the store and buying a new toy every night. I-" She paused and turned away from his surprised gaze in an attempt to hide the blush rising in her cheeks. "I- I hate it how you date because you're worth so much more than those women. So much more." She added softly, and to Roy, speaking to herself.
Roy didn't know how to respond. He had no idea she felt this way about his dating life that he boasted about every day. He couldn't think of anything to say, so he didn't say anything but instead studied her. Her cheeks were a light rosy color making it unnecessary for her to wear makeup. She looked sad almost and Roy was about to reach out to her when her eyes lit up. He looked at her curiously and she asked brightly,
"May I take tomorrow off Sir?"
Roy scratched his chin. He didn't understand how she was upset one minute and then happy the next. He sighed, deciding that he would never truly understand women and gave her an okay.
"Thank you Sir." She replied simply, giving a small salute.
As she moved the chair she was sitting in back to its original place he asked, "Chuui, do you ever date?"
She stopped moving and paused before she responded, "No."
Roy looked at her back confused. "Why? You're pretty and you have a good personality when you're not shooting at someone." He saw her stiffen as she finished putting the chair away. She turned around and was about to answer when Havoc opened the door to the office with the other three men following behind him. She went back to her desk and began to work again and the other men followed in suite, even though Roy was upset that she didn't get to answer him. The rest of the day passed quickly and they were soon headed home. He didn't ask Riza what she was going to say as she drove him home. There was something in his gut that told him he would find out soon enough.
The next day, Roy clicked his pen impatiently. He was sick and tired of hearing his subordinates complaining and Riza wasn't there yet to get them back to work. He glanced at the clock and saw that she was an hour late. He picked up the phone and dialed her phone number. She picked up and he heard her say,
"No, get down Hayate, down. I'm sorry, hello?"
"Lieutenant, why aren't you in the office?"
"Sir, you gave me the day off. Remember yesterday during lunch I asked you?"
Roy said "Oh yeah," as he remembered. He was so wrapped up in thinking about their conversation from the previous day that he forgot she asked for the day off.
"I'm coming into the office a bit later to deliver some things so I can do what ever-"
"No, I'm sorry Chuui. I forgot. Wait, today's Valentine's Day. Are you skipping work to make chocolate?" he asked grinning slyly.
"Well, yes and no. I have other things I'm doing today as well. Now get back to work Taisa!"
Roy heard the click of the phone line going dead and he lazily went back to his paperwork wondering what she could possibly be doing besides making chocolate. His thoughts were answered when just around the lunch break, Riza opened the office door.
"Ah, there… you… are…" Roy was stunned, a blush painted on his cheeks. Riza was wearing a pink three-quarter sleeved blouse with a two layered white peasant skirt. She had light pink strap heels on and some of her blonde hair was tied back with a pink ribbon tied in a bow. Her face was flushed from the cold and her eyes were accented with a little pink eye shadow. In one arm she held her white jacket and in the other hand, she held a large red bag.
"Do you mind if I give out chocolates Sir?" She asked Roy, who could only nod yes in response.
She set her jacket down and Roy followed her every movement as she bent over and began handing out chocolates to the male subordinates. As she was giving her chocolate to Furey, Havoc pounced on her and hugging her as he rubbed his head against her back saying "Thank you thank you thank you!!!!"
"What's going on here?!" Roy demanded his ignition gloves on. Havoc let go of a nearly squeezed to death Riza and showed Roy the card Riza wrote for Havoc.
Go to the Amestris Military Hotel tonight around 6:30 pm. Take Furey with you. You should see two dark skinned girls, one tall with an afro the other shorter with straightened hair. The tall one is my best friend Deej who has expressed interest in meeting you. She's a big name fashion designer and she loves to dance, so be prepared if she drags you to a club. Don't worry about date arrangements, I've taken care of it. I set Furey up with her younger sister Anna Maria which is why you are going to meet them together.
Have a great Valentines Day,
"Huh?" Roy asked looking at Riza curiously.
"Hey! A-are you kidding me Hawkeye? You set me up?!" Breda asked, tears glistening in his eyes coming in between Roy and Riza.
"Of course. Why would I joke about a thing like this?" Riza asked him and tears to joy streamed down from his cheeks.
"Did you set us all up with dates tonight Hawkeye?" Roy asked nervously, hoping that she didn't set him up.
"Everyone but you Sir. I didn't think you would have a problem finding a date if you wanted one anyway." She replied, digging in her bag for more chocolates. She pulled out two bags and was going to speak to Roy again when Major Armstrong came into the office.
"HELLO! HAVE YOU ALL GOTTEN CHOCOLATES FROM BEAUTIFUL WOMEN TODAY?!" He asked in his loud, proud voice.
"Actually, yeah. And she set us up with dates tonight!" Havoc exclaimed happily winking at Hawkeye, who blushed.
"It was nothing really. I just know the right people. That and the fact that I couldn't stand you guys complaining anymore." She walked over to the Major and held out her chocolates for him. "Happy Valentines Day Major."
"Thank you Lt. Hawkeye. I'm sure they will taste as wonderful as your thoughtfulness!" He declared grasping her hands.
"Hey! Let go of-" Roy began angrily but was cut off as a loud voice from down the hall interrupted them.
"WHADAYA MEAN I OWE YOU MONEY?! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO THE GIVING TODAY!"
"EDWARD YOU JERK! JUST BECAUSE IT'S VALENTINES DAY DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN SLACK ON YOUR AUTOMAIL PAYMENT!"
"WELL I WOULDN'T IF I COULD GET MY PAYCHECK FROM THAT DAM-"
Ed's voice stopped at the sound of a gun being fired. He looked into the room and saw Riza with her gun out pointed at the ground and the other officers, except for Major Armstrong, peeking from the desks they were hiding behind.
"Edward, please refrain from yelling in the office as well as using profanity. Hello Winry. How are you today?" Riza asked as she noticed Winry sticking her head in the doorway.
"I'd be great if he would pay the money he owes me." Winry said glaring at Ed.
"Oh, Taisa, do you have the checks?" Riza asked remembering that she had specifically taken out the money that Ed owed Winry from his paycheck. Roy grumbled as he went back to his desk and he began to rummage through papers while he and everyone else ignored Ed's rantings. The other male subordinates and Major Armstrong began to talk about the dates they had later that evening and so Riza took the opportunity to give Alphonse, who had stayed out of the room for fear of thrown items, his chocolate. Alphonse too jumped for joy when he found out he had a date with the florist's daughter, a pretty black haired girl whom he had his eye on.
" 'Cmon Al, we're leaving now THAT I HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY YOU WINRY!" Ed yelled at his blonde friend who was fuming silently. "HERE!" He thrust the check out at her and he stormed out mumbling a curse word here and there about rude and moody women. As Al and Winry silently began to follow, Riza remembered her chocolates for Ed.
"Ed! Wait! I have chocolates for you!" Riza called and caught up to him in the hall way. "Here." She said gently as she held them out. She gave him a hug and whispered "You'll never get chocolates from Winry with that attitude. Remember, if the woman isn't happy, then neither is the man."
"Don't I know it." She saw him scratch his head as she pulled out of her hug and he pouted. "Thanks." He muttered to her and began to walk foreword but he stopped and looked back.
"What are you guys lagging for? I want to get to the automail shop before it closes." He gave his brother and Winry a half smile.
Winry gasped in delight and squealed as she pounced on Ed. "Oh Ed! Thank you!"
"Yeah, yeah… lets just get going already." He said offhandedly looking away from her to hide his rosy cheeks.
As Winry skipped off with the Elric brothers behind her, Riza internally wished Winry and Ed the best of luck. She just hoped that he didn't open her chocolates in front of her. Poor Winry would have to deal with "SHE'S JUST MY MECHANIC!" Riza turned and walked back into the office to find Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes clutching her bag of chocolates as Roy was pulling on it.
Riza quickly pulled out her gun and fired. Roy let go of her bag and darted behind his desk as Hughes ran up to her.
"Not to worry Hawkeye! I have successfully protected your bag of chocolates from unwanted hands!" He held the bag out to her and as she took it he whispered to her. "Roy was trying to cheat and see what chocolate was in there for him."
"I see. Thank you Hughes. Oh! I have chocolate in here for you too! Here it is! There's enough for you to share with Elysia as well." She said giving Hughes his chocolate.
"Thanks Hawkeye! I'm sure it's wonderful chocolate. But I gotta skiddadle before I become heart broken over the fact that Roy still hasn't found a steady girlfriend. Ta ta!" Hughes waved a handkerchief, pretending like was going to cry.
Riza looked down in her bag and saw the only thing left was- she quickly slammed her hands together as her face began to turn red. She looked up to see Roy, poking his head above his desk, checking to see if the coast was clear. When he saw it was, he sat in his chair and starred at her, clicking his pen anxiously.
She knew that he was waiting for his chocolate but she wasn't going to give it in front of everyone else. She quickly scanned for a pile of paperwork to bribe him with and sure enough, a stack that was as tall as Ed (from the floor to the top of the stack) was sitting in the IN box.
She looked at her watch and realized that she had to leave or else she would be late. "I'm sorry, I have to leave now. I have a lunch date an-"
"With who?" Roy demanded shooting up from his chair making everyone except for Armstrong and Riza jump.
"My Grandfather. I'll see you all tomorrow! Oh and Havoc, if you don't treat Deej well tonight you will no longer be a man and I clear?" she said icily glaring at him, which caused him to pale considerably. After he managed to squeak a yes, Riza exited the office only to glance back in at the sound of her superior.
She looked back in and boy, was Roy ever a Dog of the Military now. His face reminded her of a dog begging for food. It was a cute face but it was a face she never gave into.
"What about me?" He pouted, looking at her expectantly.
"Finish your paperwork Sir, then we'll talk." Riza said in her work tone and turned and left, ignoring her Taisa's complaints.
Riza sighed as she entered the café where her Grandfather sat waving. She smiled and happily took a seat.
"Good Afternoon my Princess!" he greeted and she grinned.
"It's nice to see you too Grandfather."
"You know, Riza dear, I received this rather interesting parcel this morning. Shall I open it?" He asked, a mischievous glint in his eye.
"Of course." Riza said, her tone feigning ignorance.
Her Grandfather chuckled as he took the wrapping off the paper and uncovered the box of chocolates and the card she handmade with Hayate.
"Thank you Riza darling." Her Grandfather said, reaching across and kissing her on the cheek while she waved a 'you're welcome.'
"So, who else was lucky enough to receive chocolates from my beautiful Riza today hmm?"
"Well," Riza began taking a sip of her favorite lemon tea, "everyone at the office really along with the Elric brothers, Hughes, Armstrong, you know, that whole bunch."
"And did anything else come with those chocolates?"
"Dates for everyone in my office. It was the least I could do for them and I'm sure that I would have blown up at them sooner or later from listening to their whining for so long before and after Valentines. It will make the office a lot more pleasant."
"And the Colonel? You got something for him too right dear?" The General asked pryingly.
Riza was unable to hide her blush and said "Of course."
She had liked Roy for a long time, ever since she first met him in her father's house when he was studying to be an alchemist. She was sure he was somewhat aware of her feelings but he hid his true feelings well. Nonetheless, she still wanted to give him something nice, no matter what his feelings for her might be.
Their time together passed quickly and soon they were out walking together on the main streets watching all the young couples. Just as the sun disappeared beyond the horizon, the General had walked Riza most of the way to Roy's apartment. She hugged her Grandfather goodbye and walked up the stairs slowly. What was she going to say to him? Everything she had thought of sounded ridiculous. She was so lost in thought that her brain went onto autopilot and she was shocked to realize that she was standing in front of his door. Well, there's always improvisation right?
Riza sucked in air and knocked on the door. She heard someone bustling about and the clicking of the lock coming undone from the door. She smiled as a shocked Roy in pajamas saw who his visitor was.
"Hawkeye! Sorry for opening the door in this. Please come on in." He opened the door wider but she shook her head.
"Sorry, I don't mean to be very long. I just wanted to give you this." She held up the red bag and he took it gently.
"Thanks" He said, his eyes never leaving hers. She gestured for him to open it and he pulled out a brown teddy bear holding a heart that said "I love you" and a bag of her homemade chocolates.
Feeling rather brave she kissed him on the cheek and smiled at his stunned handsome face as she softly told him "Happy Valentine's Day."
The next day, the men in the office discussed their dates from the previous night which had gone well to some degree. Roy however, made no mention of Riza's visit to any of the men but listened as he ate some of the chocolate that had been given to him by one of his many admirers. The woman in Riza secretly hoped that he would pull her aside and tell her what he felt but the soldier in her told her that such an action would be absolutely ridiculous. So, the days dribbled on into weeks and Riza figured that if he was going to say something, he would have by now and maybe he didn't feel comfortable or he didn't feel the same way so she did what she usually did; admired him from afar.
One morning, she ran into the office late. She had accidentally overslept and didn't have time to finish dressing into her uniform all the way so her jacket was buttoned haphazardly while her hair was down. She saluted to her Taisa, quickly explaining her tardiness, which was dismissed with a wave, and immediately began to unbutton her jacket to fix it. As she buttoned the last button, something on her desk caught her eye. A bouquet of roses, a pink gift bag, and a card lay on her desk. The whole office had gone in silence as she picked the cards astonished. She took it out and recognized Havoc's messy scrawl.
For White Day, none of us knew what to do so we all figured we'd all pitch in and get you something. So have fun and if Chief doesn't give the time off, we'll make sure you get one anyway.
With tons of Love,
Havoc, Breda, Furey, Falman, Ed, Al, Hughes, and Major Armstrong
Enclosed in the envelope was a full expense paid trip for the Southern Spa
located in the southern part of Amestris. She looked up and saw Havoc, Furey, Falman, and Breda grinning at her. As she thanked them, her head was racing. White Day? She completely forgot! Then maybe…
She found a card in the roses and saw that they were from her Grandfather. She carefully placed them in the corner of her desk so she could take them home. Riza then moved on to the bag. When she grabbed the handles, she noticed that every man, including Roy, was watching her expectantly.
There was no card in the bag so she pulled out the tissue paper and gasped at the contents. She slowly pulled out the brown stuffed dog that was sitting. At it's feet was a rather heavy heart that read 'Be Mine'. Riza noticed that the heart opened and she unzipped the zipper, causing chocolate kisses to fall out. She took them out slowly, trying to hold back tears. She then noticed a piece of paper sticking out. She took it and it read '…for a Long Time' For a long time? Wait. It was a continuation from the front! 'Be Mine for a Long Time!' But who sent it? Could it really have been-
"Ahh, lunch. How I love thee!" Breda said standing up and stretching. The other three men followed suite and soon they were on their way to the lunch room. As soon as the door was closed, Riza felt warm breath tickle her skin.
"Well, what do you say?"
She turned to face Roy and once her eyes caught his tender and loving ones, the tears couldn't be held back. Her soldier mindset suddenly kicked in and she looked frantically around the room for prying eyes and ears but Roy brought her visage back to face his.
They heard scratching from the door and they rolled their eyes. She knew that they really hadn't gone to lunch and that Havoc, Furey, Breda, Falman, and Hughes were probably listening to every word they said. Riza picked up a kiss and said
"It would have to depend on how the kiss tastes."
"Oh really?" Roy asked, his face nearing hers as she made sure that those on the other side of the door could hear the foil unwrapping the chocolate.
She just finished as Roy's warm lips met hers. Inside, she was bursting with joy that was simply indescribable. How could she form the right words to describe her love finally being fulfilled when she didn't have the right ones?
When he pulled away from her he asked "How was that?"
She paused for dramatic effect for those on the other side and then said "Tastes just like chocolate."
They both grinned as their lips met again and those on the other side of the door yells of frustration were heard, believing that the kiss really did taste just like chocolate.