I don't own FMA or Gift of the Magi.
A blonde, young woman stood with her eyes visored, shoulders meticulously squared, and feet firmly planted. She took a deep breath, realigned her aim, and applied the proper pressure to the metal beneath her index finger. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes as the bullet reached its destination.
A young man with dark, messy hair clapped from his place a few feet behind her. She whirled around to him and glared. "Mr. Mustang, you know I don't like it when people watch me shoot," she told him as she holstered the pistol in her belt.
"Ms. Hawkeye, you know I don't like it when you call me by my surname," he retorted.
She didn't respond, but walked to the target of hay hanging from a tree branch and inspected the hole a few inches off from small, centered, black dot. Her fingers explored the broken pieces of hay around the bullet hole. She tensed as his hand covered hers and pulled away from the warm fingers. "It's what Father prefers," she finally answered.
"Do you always do as he asks?" Roy almost flinched at the emotion her eyes held at his question. He couldn't quite place a finger on it—was it sorrow, despair, bitterness, or anger—he didn't know, but it wasn't good.
"It would seem so," she answered in a voice barely above a whisper. Then, before he could go on questioning her she asked, "Why did you come out here?"
He knew that tone of voice and took her lead to a new subject. "Your birthday is in a couple days," he began.
"And yours," she interrupted.
"Is there anything you would like?" he asked.
"A better shot?" she ventured.
"That will come with practice," he said crossly. "And you know that isn't what I meant."
"I don't know what else I want," she told him and then turned the tables. "What is it that you would like for your birthday?"
"I asked you first," he argued.
"And I answered."
"That wasn't a real answer."
She didn't respond, but walked back to the spot she had been standing in before he'd interrupted her with his clapping. She took aim again.
He gave up his attempt and watched her from behind for a little while more. He noted the blue ribbon that was the only thing holding her golden hair out of her face in a limp ponytail.
Riza rolled out of bed and made breakfast. While she ate at the quiet, unoccupied table she mulled over the previous day's encounter with her father's student. She hadn't expected him to remember their birthdays were on the same day, let alone even considered that he would want to get her a gift. Usually she was the one who bought gifts for people who didn't think they'd receive them. She had planned to go into town for groceries for the feast her father usually prepared for her birthday, so she made a mental note to find something for the young man staying in the room next to her own.
Roy gathered all the change he could muster and recounted it. He sighed at the dismal findings—not nearly enough to get her something decent. He walked into town and noticed one of those traveling bookstores. He walked in and perused the alchemy section. His eyes nearly bugged out of their sockets when he saw the book containing the secret to decoding the works of Nicholas Flamel, one of the first and greatest state alchemists in all the history of Armestris. He sighed and buried his hands in his pockets. The closest he could come to the book was a brief history of Flamel's coded works that he had in his bedroom.
He left the wagon of books and wandered into the town's shopping center. What he wanted most was to stop being pestered by the girls in town. He pulled his hat down further on his head and ducked into a boutique he'd never entered before. In it he found the perfect gift, but couldn't believe the price of it. He exited and ran back to the book shop. He talked with the man behind the counter and left with a grin.
Riza walked home with her little wagon laden with groceries. She hoped that Roy wouldn't be in to help her unload, and was satisfied when she walked into the house to find him nowhere in sight. She quickly pulled out the package she had hidden between other items and ran up to her room. She stowed the parcel in a chest in her closet and barely manage to avoid being run into by Roy when she left her room. Much to her pleasure she didn't see him or her father for the rest of the day. She didn't mind putting off the inevitable for one more day. She didn't know what her father would say about her new look.
Roy woke up a little more excited than usual on the day of June 11th. He couldn't credit it to the fact that it was his birthday, but it was her birthday, and he couldn't wait to see her open his gift. He tugged a shirt over his head and trampled down the stairs to the dinning table with a small package in his hands. She always made breakfast, and her birthday was no exception. He sat the box on the table and took a seat while he waited for her to emerge with food.
Riza had the trays of food in hand and the parcel tucked under her arm as she walked out of the kitchen into the dinning room. She had decided to leave the gift for Roy on the table by his usual place. She heard a sharp intake of breath when she entered the dinning room.
"Wha-why? Your hair," Roy fumbled over his words.
"It wasn't very practical in this heat," she said as she sat the trays down on the table. She fingered the close-cropped cut with one hand as she put his gift in front of him.
When he didn't respond she frowned. "It looks horrible doesn't it?"
"No, it's not that. It's just this," he said as he nudged the box in her direction.
Riza untied the blue ribbon wrapped around the black box and opened it. Inside was an exquisite hair clip that was the same color as her eyes. There were delicate engravings of roses along its scalloped edges. "Roy," she gasped. "How'd you get the money for this? I've seen it before. Thank you, it's beautiful," she babbled. "Open yours."
He shook his head in answer to her questions, but complied with her request and tore the paper away from his gift. He laughed when he saw the cover of the book. "What?" she asked.
"Nothing, it's just a bit ironic. I sold my book to that traveling shop the other day. I didn't know it was you the man was talking about when I went back to him and found out he sold this book while I was fetching mine for him. He told me a young lady might be interested in buying the book I had, so he'd offered me a little more than the price I asked for. That's how I bought your present." He told her.
"I sold my hair," she confessed. "The man told me he was getting your book in if I wanted it. Do you have any money left over? If we go back we may be able to repurchase it," she suggested.
Roy shook his head again. "No, they left late last night."
:)-Fifteen years later-(:
Riza lifted her head from his shoulder to find his eyes closed. He'd fallen asleep reading again. She picked up the book in his hands and smiled at the first gift she'd ever given to him. Another book sat in his lap—the book he'd sold to buy her a gift. She moved the books the coffee table in front of them and used her other hand to ruffle his hair. "Roy, wake up," she told him. He slowly opened his eyes and blinked himself awake. "You'll be grumpy if you sleep on the couch all night," she said.
His reply was a weary nod, and he stood from the couch. He held a hand out for her to join him, and she gladly accepted it. Minutes later he was stripping down to his boxers in their room. She joined him in their bed wearing one of his oversized shirts. He pulled her close as soon as she lay down and made to run his hand through her hair. His face took on a look of tired disdain. His fingers quickly found the clip and freed her hair from its clutches. He held it in front of his face for closer inspection and smiled at the memory of his first gift to her. He rolled away from her and put it on the bedside table for safekeeping. He pulled her close again and whispered, "Happy Birthday."
Riza smiled and returned the sentiment just before their lips met.
A.N.-The Gift of Royai is named after the plot line it follows- The Gift of the Magi by O.Henry. Where I am June is Summer, so that explains her line that is was practical to cut her hair. I usually cut off my long hair about June when the weather starts heating up. Also, I've made their birthdays be June 11th. I hope you've enjoyed this Royai Day piece. Please Review!