I don't own FMA, but I do own the character Ken, Jeff, and any other original character that creep into the following chapters.
He often sat in coffee shops marinating in the inspiring ambience. It was a regular occurrence for him to be listening to the variety of people milling about in each café. He paid careful attention to the way each person spoke, soaking up the syntax, and searching for new voices. It was a good way for him to create new characters his readers could relate to.
It was during one of his trips that he discovered two new characters. It had been a while since he had written anything that remotely resembled romance, but this pair had him itching to give it another try.
His numerous journeys had taught him that the evening crowd was most diverse. There were people on dates, teenagers who thought it was cool to grab coffee with their friends, adults that had just come from dinner or work, and the unfortunate people just on their way to work, or on their break. He was rapidly getting bored with the quiet group that filled the softly lit room. The soft tinkle of the bell signaling the opening of the door caught his attention. He almost laughed at the sight he beheld. A woman in military blues held open the glass door for a flustered man wearing the same uniform.
"Hawkeye, I'm capable of opening the door, even if it's raining," the raven-haired man told his companion. The woman gave him a stern glare that clearly meant get your ass inside before I make you. The man quialed under her glare, entered the dimly lit room, and muttered his thanks. She followed two paces behind him. Her eyes roved around the room in a practiced manner. The presence of the military officers commanded everyone's attention, but her gaze made them all turn away.
He watched the way her blond hair glinted in the amber light when she turned as he called her name.
"Sir?" she responded.
"Tea?" he asked.
Her head titled slightly upward to better read the menu board. The writer decided to play a game—to build the character he was creating in his head. It was cold so she would probably get a warm tea—something a bit sweet, but familiar.
"Cinnamon Apple, please," she told the clerk.
The writer occasionally glanced up at them while jotting down notes. He was reflecting about the man's comment on rain, and he finally realized who he was—The Flame Alchemist, and surely the lady with him was his Lieutenant. She was said to have the best aim in all Armestris, but she probably wouldn't agree with that. He had heard about her modesty.
During the writer's musings the alchemist had ordered his own drink and was handing his money over to the clerk.
"I'll pay for my—"
The man silenced her with a look, "Hawkeye, if you insist on opening doors for me, then I must insist on paying."
"Fine, but don't expect this to get you out of your paperwork tonight, Sir." She had crossed her arms and was staring at him—challenging him.
He stared back and laughed. The writer desperately whished he was sitting closer to the pair, because the alchemist leaned down to whisper something into her ear that made her go pale and avoid eye contact. If only he could have been closer he might have heard a snatch of what was said.
They didn't have to stand in the awkward silence for long before their drinks were served. The alchemist led the way to the door and made a point of holding it open for her.
Once they were outside the door the man pulled an umbrella out of his coat pocket and opened it. She looked at him disdainfully when he pulled her under the umbrella and stepped away. Their exchange was unheard through the glass door. The man put the umbrella in her hand and walked away. The woman's shoulder's slumped in defeat, and she ran to catch up with him. The writer watched them walk down the street, standing shoulder to shoulder under the umbrella, until the black umbrella and blue uniforms melted into the sea of people walking in the downpour.
He raised his mug for a refill. The clerk was beside him with a fresh mug of hot chocolate in seconds. The clerk's eyes glanced at the man's weathered journal. "You finally got somethin' Ken?"
Ken glanced up at the clerk, a man he had come to know well over the past month of nightly visits to the small café. At first, Ken had thought Jeff a simple man, but that had changed the first time he had a conversation with him. Jeff was quiet, but a natural born observer. Ken found Jeff was a great help when he needed someone to bounce and idea off, a sounding board of sorts.
"Yeah, I'm going to give romance a try this time," he answered stirring the whipped topping into the rich, brown liquid.
Jeff pulled off his black apron, and called out to his co-worker, "Hey Jill, I'm gonna' take my fifteen." He slumped down into the chair across from Ken and sighed, "The Colonel and Lieutenant?"
Ken was no longer surprised by Jeff's accurate guesses. As a matter of fact he would have been disappointed if Jeff hadn't been correct. He nodded and took a sip of the rich drink.
"Good, they need a bit of romance, even if it is fictional. It's always amusing to watch their interactions. You know who they are, right?" Jeff asked.
"The Flame Alchemist and his steadfast Lieutenant Hawkeye, but I can't recall his name. The only reason I know hers is because he used it. I've got some research to do anyway. Do you know if that Anti-Fraternization Bill is still in act?"
"Colonel Roy Mustang—a hero of the Ishbalan War, and he's the youngest colonel in the history of our nation. Somethin' tells me he's gonna' change this country. Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye—saved many men during the Ishbalan War, including that of our famed alchemist. Her aim is the thing of legends. If she wasn't working as the bodyguard of an alchemist she would be climbing the ranks faster than a monkey climbs a tree. As you can tell, she's fiercely loyal and her presence commands respect."
Ken looked up at Jeff from the notes he had been scribbling. "Thanks, that's good to know."
"Oh, the law, I haven't read anything about it being changed, and that would surely make the papers," he answered.
"Thanks. You know I'm dedicating this book to you, right?" Ken told him.
Jeff frowned. "Jus' don't use my name. I like people to think I'm none the wiser. All I want is a simple life."
"It's a deal," Ken said. "You want to hear the pitch?"
Ken looked down at his notes. "It's going to be about fighting the corruption of the military-"
Jeff interrupted him, "Ken, I recommend you go in a different direction, unless you don't mind winding up six-feet-under, cause the M.P.'s will be all over you."
Ken was silent for a few minutes. "I can't have them pounding on my door day and night. What if I set it in another world?"
"Better, but be careful," Jeff replied.
"He's a war hero, a great General of the Drachman War, but the Drachmans that he defeated are eager to kill him, and many spies infiltrate Armestris to accomplish this task. After he escapes the first attempt he is appointed a bodyguard. She's a sniper, a military assassin, because you need an assassin to find one," Ken took a deep breath.
"No more corrupt military?" Jeff asked.
"No, it's too risky. I enjoy breathing," Ken explained.
"It sounds a little cliché, but romance is. You can make it work," Jeff approved.
"Thanks again. I'll write up a plot summary tonight and take it to my publisher tomorrow," Ken said. He closed his notebook and finished off the now cool drink.
Jeff wished him good luck, tied the apron around his waist, and relieved Jill. On his way out Ken dug into his pockets and dumped a generous tip into the plastic container by the registers.
A.N.-And thus ends the first chapter of Military Affairs. I was going to post this in Random One-shots, but it's going to be at least three chapters long, so it get's its own story. Royai will occurr in future chapter, but the next chapter has more Maria RossxDenny Brosh. Thanks for reading, please review!! ((edited 4/30/07
Character names: Ken is named after my creative writing teacher. Jeff is named after my older brother. Both the character and my brother are extremely insightful, but most people wouldn't think so. Jill is named after my good friend. We were notorious for being found sitting in various coffee shops talking about nothing and everything.