I don't own FMA
Spoilers if you don't know who Roy's alchemy teacher is.
Riza jolted as a shrill ringing cut through the otherwise silent air of her father's study—the occurrence so rare that she'd nearly forgotten what it meant.
She turned her attention to the phone and watched as he pulled it closer, positioning the mouthpiece in front of himself, then cleared his throat as he plucked the receiver from it's spot, and held it to his ear.
"Hawkeye Residence," he answered in a sharp, crisp tone that reminded Riza of his lectures about touching his alchemy books, and she immediately looked back to the sheet of word problems her math teacher had assigned for the night.
"A favor?" he asked the sultry voice coming through the receiver.
"Mhm, I do recall you owing me one," she purred.
"No games, just get to the point," he demanded.
Spotting Riza sprawled on the floor he covered the mouthpiece with his hand. "Riza, I've got an important call, finish up in your room," he ordered.
Riza was quick to gather her book, pencil, and papers.
She may have been only eight, but she knew well enough that something important was going to be discussed and her curious mind almost wished she hadn't noticed the hesitant way her father had said, "A favor?"
Giving him one last glance, she pulled the door closed behind herself. He was frowning as he removed his hand from the mouthpiece.
Hawkeye grumbled under his breath as he scribbled away in his notebook, irritated by the fact that looking up at the clock every few minutes was slowing down his research on the most powerful alchemy of all.
"That woman is always late," he muttered, furiously jabbing the dried out quill into an inkwell.
"How can you say that when you're so engrossed in your work that I had to let myself in?"
Startled at her voice(and presence) he jerked, and a black puddle spread across the desk.
"Dammit, Chris," he hissed, scrambling to move his notes out of the ink's path.
Her eyes widened as he dipped his finger in the ink, and started to draw a circle around it. "Wait!" she insisted as he was about to lower his hands to the circle.
He hesitated, but only for a moment, the ink was going to ruin the circle in seconds.
"Roy-boy, come in here," she called.
He slowly lowered his hands, keeping a critical eye on the circle and the other on the door.
A scrawny boy with a mop of jet black hair and Xingese eyes entered, face lighting up when he saw the pose Hawkeye held.
A flash of light filled the room, revealing a mostly ink free desk, a wooden inkwell stood where the center of the circle had been.
The boy looked at Chris, a star-struck grin on his face.
"This is your teacher, Mr. Hawkeye. Hawkeye this is your apprentice, Roy Mustang," she introduced, giving the boy a shove forward when neither party moved.
As Roy stumbled forward, Hawkeye had a feeling he was going to regret ever having been in the debt to the woman who ran the largest information network outside the military for keeping his location secret from him father-in-law.
For the first time since her mother's death there was a car in front of the house.
She ran, trying to push away the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Her pace didn't slow as she climbed the steps to the doors, and she didn't bother to close the door behind her as she ran inside.
"Father," she called out, not noticing the gaggle of girls in the den.
She pushed the study door open, about to call out to him, but the words she'd been summoning died in her throat. Her father was crouched over a boy kneeling on the floor, drawing on the cold cement floor with a piece of chalk where a rug had been thrown aside.
A new question formed on her lips as her father threw candlestick holders from his desk and wood stacked next to the fireplace into the circle, but a woman draped in furs shook her head and put a finger to her mouth.
Riza didn't know why, and would later wish she hadn't, but she obeyed the woman and watched in silence as the familiar glow of transmutation took her breath away. When the light faded a beautiful wooden chair stood in front of the boy.
Riza scowled as her father's eyes twinkled at the boy.
"It'll look better with some polish," the boy said sheepishly to the silence that surrounded him.
Her father ruffled the boy's dark hair. "I thought you said he'd only looked through—" he stopped his inquiry mid-sentence when he noticed Riza, face still flushed from running.
"And who is this lovely little girl," the woman asked, hand resting on her shoulder.
Riza shrugged the woman's hand off, and took a step toward her father.
"My daughter, but you already know that, and I'd rather not have you playing stupid in my house," her father snapped, and Riza saw the boy's eyes go dark for a second.
"Roy, go join your sisters, Mr. Hawkeye and I have a few things to discuss," the woman said, voice growing sharp with the last few words.
Roy nodded, already on his way out when the alchemist spoke. "Take that chair, boy. Riza show my apprentice to the guest room, it'll be his, and get him some polish for that chair," the alchemist ordered, voice just as demanding as his mother's.
The girl, Riza, waited for him, holding the door open as he carried the chair out ahead of himself.
She started to lead him towards the back of the house, but he could hear the voices at the end of the hall, and stopped.
"I want to show my sisters," he said, already turned around and on his way to the den.
He heard an exasperated sigh, but she followed him anyway.
The four girls, all beautiful, but as different from each other as he was from them, flocked around his creation.
"It looks just like the chairs at home, Roy-boy!" Christine pointed out.
The others nodded in agreement, but the girl clearing her throat turned his attention away from their praises.
"I'm supposed to show you to your room," she reminded him, arms crossed, foot tapping on the floor.
Roy briefly wondered if every girl learned that stance in school, he'd seen his mom and sisters take that pose before.
"His room?" Christine inquired, pulling him backwards to her.
He looked up at her. "Yeah, I'm an apprentice now," Roy bragged, pulling himself free.
Their congratulations followed him down the hall as he ran after his apprentice's daughter already halfway down the hall.
Riza glared at him over her plate of scrambled eggs and toast. He had an alchemy book, one of her father's alchemy books, at the table.
She waited for her father to take his seat, but when he did, she was sorely disappointed.
"Still studying?" her father asked, giving the boy a smile of approval.
Riza stabbed at her eggs, upset that her father hadn't told his apprentice to keep his books out of the kitchen where they could get soiled. There was no reason why he should be allowed to touch them when she couldn't.
Her eyes narrowed, and she shoveled her breakfast down. "I'm ready to leave!" she announced when she was finished, smiling sweetly at her father.
"Roy, I'll have something ready for you when you get back," her father said, prompting Roy to leave his unfinished breakfast and escort her to school.
Roy looked at his plate with a frown, he wasn't even close to finished…he's spent most of his time reading...and left the table with a sigh.
The moment they stepped outside, Riza blew a raspberry at him and took off running.
Roy sighed, and started after her. His sisters hadn't trained him for an encounter with a girl like this, but he did the best he could to follow his teacher's orders, even if some of the tasks were mundane, like taking and picking up his daughter from school, and checking her homework.
His flushed face lit up at the thought, he'd make sure she got a few things wrong on her next assignments; she'd stop giving him a hard time then.
Roy huffed as he scaled a fence she'd disappeared over…never had he seen such an athletic girl, either.
He made it to the school in time to see her slip inside with a pack of girls her age, her hair sticking out ever which way and clothes with dirt spots on them.
He held his stomach the whole way home, trying to ignore it's demand for food.
He wasn't stupid, he'd known what was going on…to some extent. Riza was provoking the boy, he was reacting, and vice versa.
Their games had gone on too long.
He hated games.
He stroked his worried temples as he recalled thinking he was going to regret taking on an apprentice, and sighed. It wasn't that he regretted it, he just hadn't foreseen that it would cause this kind of trouble, he thought the trouble would be different, that the boy and his daughter would grow closer than he wanted them to, now that theory made him laugh, he'd be lucky if they were civil to one another.
He sat on the porch waiting for their return. He squinted when he saw to dark spots moving along the road against the setting sun.
He blinked in surprise—surely they weren't walking at that speed.
He ventured off the porch, protecting his eyes from the sun with a hand at his forehead. As they got closer, he could make out Riza sprinting just steps ahead of Roy, he frowned…so that was why he was always exhausted at the end of the day.
Riza ran with all her might and twisted around to make a face at Roy. Seeing the length she'd put between them with her last bit of effort, she turned around all the way and ran backwards.
Hawkeye scowled as the boy noticed him, and shook his head in disapproval. He watched as his daughter threw her arms up in victory when Roy slowed down.
When she got close enough he reached out and touched her shoulder before she walked into him.
He'd never seen her spin around so fast in her life.
"No more of this!" he demanded, making sure to look at both his daughter and apprentice. Both of them hung their heads at his scolding.
"From now on, you're to treat each other with the respect of peers. You'll address each other with the proper formalities, just as you'd do classmates at school. Mr. Mustang and Miss Hawkeye are the only way I want to hear either of you refer to the other. Riza, since you're so capable of making it home and to school on your own, you will from now on and I expect you to get home just as quickly on your own as you did when Roy was escorting you. Roy, you'll do extra assignments, ones like those Riza has to do for school. Since you've been helping her with her homework she's gotten more marks off than ever before, so you must be having trouble if you can't help her. You don't want me to think of any punishments for breaking these rules. Is that clear?" he asked, eyes challenging them to reply with a "no".
"Yes, Sir," both of them answered together. For a moment he thought they were going to glare at each other, but he only saw the clenching of fists and blazing of eyes.
Days later Hawkeye found himself rubbing his temples again. He didn't know what was better, their games or the tension that now filled the air.
A.N.- This was written not only for the theme premonition, but also for the theme of the RoyAi Day Festival, New Beginnings, over at fullmetal-alchemist(dot)com. I figure that I usually see fluffy/cute stuff about their childhood (am guilty of writing it), and wanted to explore other possibilities, like Riza being jealous of Roy getting her dad's attention. My goodness, this turned out much longer than I expected, 1985 words, where I thought maybe I'd get 500. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Happy RoyAi Day(in advance)!
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