10. The Neighbour

He was the new neighbour. Edward had finally left the shoddy military dorms, in search of greener pastures. He found what he wanted in a small house, ten minutes walk from Central Headquarters. It wasn't expensive, which was a bonus, considering he sucked at saving money. The moving day was pretty casual, considering he had very few moveable possessions - he spent most of the day buying new things. He soon settled into a routine, one that was quite interesting.

Over the course of a day or two he'd spotted, living just across the road from him, a dog. One that looked suspiciously like Lieutenant Hawkeye's, though he didn't say anything.

It was a warm morning, and Edward was unable to stay in bed. He had an hour left on his alarm clock, which he normally would've killed for. Instead he got an early start. It was just on six when he went outside to grab the newspaper and check his mail. He looked up, and caught a glimpse of his blonde co-worked feeding the dog. So, Edward was right. He must've been watching her for a while, because when she turned to go back inside, Riza too paused. Recognition dawned, and she offered him a small smile before return indoors.

Now, Edward knew Riza quite well. She was a woman of routine. Or so it seemed. He had a plan. He would convince himself to give up precious sleeping time in order to come out at the same time. If she was there, well… he'd look like a creep.

At the crack of dawn the next day, Ed forced himself up. The rational part of his mind didn't try to keep him in bed, because his interest was piqued, and there was little to settle that. Besides, somewhere inside, there was a little person laughing at him for liking her.

He ventured outside, kicking the newspaper onto the curb so he could go closer. Again, Riza was there, though her back was to him. When she turned, Edward too turned, trying not to look like a scary stalker-pervert kind of person. He fled back to the safety of his home, getting ready for a pointless day of work.

And so it became a silent ritual. Neither spoke of it at work. It was never brought up in conversation; it was as though it didn't exist. To anyone else it would've been but a friendly coincidence, but to them it was their tradition.

A tradition borne from real estate.


A/N; I dislike the last line. My friend suggested it, and it was the best thing I could put in. Enjoy people. This came out so quickly because of the feedback on Like Younger Brother.