The second chapter is finally out. I now know what I'm going to do, writing it is just going to be hard, what with school and all. I've already decided my teachers are going to be incredibly strict and I'm going to have tons of homework. Joy. Anyway I didn't get any reviews last time. Was it really that uninteresting? I'm expecting better feedback this time kay?
(Un) Work-related Problems
To say he had been expecting this would have been an outright lie. Though of course, to say he would admit to this would be even more of a lie then the previous thought. He of all people would not admit he had been wrong in such trivial of matters. No, his pride was far to important to him to let himself be embarrassed over something like this. Then again, if it kept up he wasn't sure how much longer he could take it.
She was ignoring him. Had been all day. The only person she paid any heed to was Riza, and he supposed that was because Riza was a girl. It wasn't that he was expecting her to be all cries of joy and hugs, but he had thought she'd at least acknowledge that he had come back. Or that he was even alive as just some random person for that matter. She wouldn't even look at him when he passed. Of course she wouldn't look at the other guy (Richard? He thought that was right), so he had at least that working for him. Or so he thought until the boy decided he was going to strike up a conversation with his new boss.
"So, whatcha up to?"
This was a question Edward was not prepared to answer. In reality, he was trying to get Lark's attention. Anything to prove that she was who he thought she was. There was a small chance that there was some other Lark Rockbell with black hair and gold eyes somewhere in the world. As unrealistic as it sounded and, in fact, was. Of course, he'd be damned until he let this out. Even with her answer from yesterday he hadn't wanted to believe it. To tell the truth he was actually worried about her. He had always been protective of her. She was like a doll that all three of them (yes, even Alphonse had taken up a role as knight) protected from everything that might hurt her. To think she had gone and gotten herself caught up in the military made him extremely wary and Edward found himself skeptical that she was even who they all originally thought she was.
Richard cocked his head and leaned closer to get a better look. "Do you normally file papers by writing holes into them?" he asked, amusement clear on his face.
Edward looked down to find that the boy had actually been right. So caught up in trying to figure out if the girl across from him was who he thought she was, he had pressed the pen down to hard and tore a circle in the paper. Upon further inspection it was clear he had not only done that, but he had carved a decent sized hole into his desk. Edward coughed and slipped the paper off the desk and into the trash-can. Moving the coffee mug full of pens to hide the hole from a certain colonel, he folded his hands and placed them in the middle of his desk. "No, um, I was, how do you say, side-tracked for a moment there."
Richard nodded and walked away. Edward sighed in relief before choking on a piece of saliva as the boy pull up the chair from his own desk and proceeded to sit down in it. What in the world was this kid thinking!? Did he not know he was supposed to be working? Whatever the working was he was supposed to do.
Being his supervisor actually didn't entitle Edward to boss them around to his pleasure and he was pretty surprised to find out that they were actually more under Mustang's control then his own. This made things easier on himself though and Edward had taken a liking to it immediately.
"So," Richard began again. Edward was starting to believe the boy started everything with 'so,'. "Do you have a girlfriend? Possible love-interest?"
This not only make his choke on what little saliva he still had in his mouth, but Edward found himself practically flying from the chair, gagging all the way. Richard was stock still as his superior went through his episode, eyes wide and worried. Edward recovered quite quickly though and in a matter of seconds had reseated himself in the chair. It was then that his eyes met the eyes of the girl sitting across the room from him. Lark's eyes held worry, though she hadn't moved either. This changed when he looked at her though and she actually froze. This didn't last for long, for almost as soon as their eyes had met she had furiously bent down to return to her work.
So she really was the girl from before. There was no denying it now. Even with the cold exterior she presented the worry in her eyes was genuine. He had never witnessed that pureness in anyone else before and his fears had been confirmed. Their little girl had become a state alchemist. Or, she would be if Mustang didn't make her hands bleed from the multitude of papers he was making her skim over and forge his signature if needed.
Richard Edward's shoulder with a tentative finger, "Did you hear my question correctly?" He didn't seem to want to actually repeat that. Seeing how it had affected his superior earlier the boy wasn't prepared to deal with that again, especially if it turned out to be even worse than the last episode.
"Yes I heard your question!" Edward snapped between ground teeth. He was in no mood to answer questions such as these. The boy was becoming extremely annoying, not to mention he was interfering with his 'Lark watching' as Edward had begun to call it. He could only imagine how worried Winry was, having her little sister in danger every day. Lord knew how much of a mother hen she was with himself, and he had been her next-door neighbor.
Richard recoiled before nodding his head and sitting still for a moment. Much to Edward's displeasure this didn't last long. "So are you going to answer?"
The nineteen year old groaned and massaged his forehead gingerly. "No I don't have a girlfriend, and no I don't have a love-interest," This was becoming extremely uncomfortable, especially when these questions were being answered in front of Lark. Sure, they were respectable adults now and it was clear that the silly children's promise they had made was no longer in effect, but it was still embarrassing to answer something like this in front of what one would call a childhood crush. Heck, it was embarrassing even when he thought of her as his little sister (which was what he did now). Richard would have to be dealt with quickly if he was to keep his pride, if not his sanity in check.
The boy responded with a smirk and leaned in to whisper in the elder's ear. "I've got my eye on someone," he grinned and leaned back. His head cocked slightly to the side, gesturing towards Lark. He leaned back in to continue in Edward's ear. "I was hoping maybe I could get some tips," he started.
Edward flew up before he could finish. The alchemist's eyes were on fire as he glared down at the surprised boy next to him. "Don't you ever get any funny ideas!" he bellowed, sending many heads to swivel to stare at them. Richard himself was rather startled, he hadn't expected such a reply from the man, let alone one that loud. "Just keep your nose and you're hands to yourself and everyone'll be happy!"
There was a clearing of a throat and both men's heads turned to look at Lark. The girl opened her mouth to say something, obviously to shut them up since her eyes were dull with annoyance, but was interrupted before she could utter a syllable by the phone. The ringing caught them all by surprise and each of them gave it a wary glance. Lark seemed to ask if she could pick it up since she cocked her head towards it and positioned questioning eyes on Edward's. Edward responded with a nod, equally confused as to who would call Lark on her first real day on the job.
The girl gingerly picked up the phone and held it to her ear with dainty fingers. Of course this didn't last long, for a screaming voice hissed from the receiver and Lark was inclined to thrust the piece away from her now aching head. After a while she carefully placed it next to her ear and started to talk, trying her best to sooth the person on the other end. Her voice was soft and somewhat melodic as she spoke, glancing over at the pair across from her with worried yet guarded eyes. "Yes it's me……….I did this of my own will….stop it! I meant what I said. You can't go accusing other's of something they did not do………Winry," she sighed the last part and Edward immediately tensed. If Winry was calling her then there was no doubt that he was going to get an earful next. Something about letting their little girl put herself in the line of danger. And if he knew Winry, she wasn't going to be quiet about it.
As if answering his worries Lark suddenly held out the receiver. Edward eyed it warily and refused to move from the spot. "It's for you," she said, softly fore it seemed she would speak in no other tone of voice. Edward continued to stand there, unwilling to come anywhere near the phone. Lark just sighed and gently shook it a little, "It won't eat you. Answer it Ed. Before she decides to take the train and meet us in person."
That was enough for Edward. He albeit jumped over his desk and quickly snatched the phone from her hand. His enthusiasm was lost as soon as he placed the cool plastic to his ear. He bit his lip and practically whispered out a timid, "Hello?"
"Why the Hell did you accept her in!"
The voice on the other end was no doubt his former neighbor's. Edward found himself actually mimicking Lark's earlier actions as Winry's voice screeched through the phone. Warily placing it back to his ear he cleared his throat and started to explain. "I had no idea it was her at first. It's been about nine years. How was I supposed to know exactly how she looked like. Besides, I'm not in charge of the new recruits. It wasn't like I was the one who let her in."
"Well you better the hell let her out of there! Do you hear me Edward? Lark is not up to this kind of stuff. The military!? What in the world was she thinking?"
"That's what I'd like to know." Edward nodded and sent a disapproving glance towards the girl in question. Lark didn't seem to paying attention though, for she was already skimming through the papers again. "Listen. Winry. I'll try to talk her out of it. Who knows if she'll listen to me though. I think she's bitter about that promise never being kept."
"Anyone would be bitter about that Edward. We all thought you were dead for Lord knows how long. She wouldn't talk to anyone for days. Pushed even me away. Now make it right!" And with that last order the girl hung up.
Edward gave the phone a sour look and placed it back on it's holder. Ignoring the curious glances that Richard was now sending him he placed his hands on the edge of Lark's desk and leaned his head down to gain her attention. "You've been a bad girl Lark."
Said girl looked up and arched a delicate eyebrow. "Oh?" she asked, clearly not caring one way or another. "Well you're one to talk."
Edward matched her and raised his own eyebrow. "Really? Is it about that promise? By the way you've been treating me it looks like that really doesn't matter anymore. Is that right?" Her look gave her answer away almost immediately and Edward had to give a rather egotistical smirk. "See. So what exactly drove you into joining such a dirty business."
At this Lark slammed her hands on the desk and shot up. Edward reeled upwards and in moments Lark's nose was almost smushed against his. "I don't know Edward." she seethed. "Maybe it wasn't the promise. Maybe it was the fact that we all thought you were dead for four and a half years!" It was obvious she wasn't going to answer his actual question, but Edward didn't seem to think that was very important at this moment. He opened his mouth to speak but was silenced by Lark's index finger. "For God sakes we made a grave for you! Four years Edward. Four damn years. We thought we lost you! And now you're wondering why I'm angry at you!?"
This struck a nerve. Edward was not going to let her talk this way to him, even if she had some right to it. "That was not my fault Lark!" he argued, matching her annoyed tone and responding considerably louder. "Do you think I wanted to be where I was? Do you really think that? Because if you do then I'll gladly go try and kill myself again. My pleasure!"
"Why don't we all just go on and about our business." Richard uneasily stepped towards one end of the desk. His attempts at easing the tension between the two were obviously in vain because the glares didn't get any lighter. He opened his mouth to try once more and was interrupted by the loud sound of a smack.
Tears welled up in her eyes as Lark glared at the boy across from her. "You damn idiot!" she shouted, her voice cracked from forcing back sobs. "You really are an idiot! I hate you Edward!" With that she did hiccup and then ran. It didn't take her long to reach the end of the hall and twirl her way down the next one to disappear.
Edward fingered the blazing red handprint on his left cheek. Despite the hurt, her words had stung far more than her slap had. He had never thought she'd get so worked up over that. He knew how it felt when someone you cared about left you. He had known far earlier than any child should. And he had ended up paying for his foolishness. But he had figured that she was older when it happened, and she had also seen firsthand what had transpired that night they tried human transmutation. He thought it wouldn't hurt as much, and he knew she wouldn't do anything entirely stupid. That would have been incredibly rude to his memory of her to think she would try anything as dumb as he had. But to think that she had taken it this far to heart was almost overwhelming.
The blonde's head drooped and he let his hand fall to his side. "I'm an idiot eh?" he murmered, a dry smile gracing his lips. "Perhaps she really is right."