Title: Away From You, Away From Me
Subject: Fullmetal Alchemist
Summary: Three years into their consummate relationship, Roy and Riza are found out and tried for Fraternization. Riza is transferred to the South and Roy is demoted back to Colonel but Riza isn't going to give up protecting her lover that easily.
Chapter 1Southern Military Headquarters, The office of Colonel Vincent-Bell
"Welcome to the Southern HQ, Miss Hawkeye! I'm Colonel Jessica Vincent-Bell. You'll be working under me here."
First Lieutenant Elizabeth Hawkeye glanced vaguely around the office of her new superior and saluted dutifully before going over to sit at the desk Colonel Vincent-Bell had earlier indicated, her faithful pet trotting along behind her.
"Oh my goodness!!" Vincent-Bell cried out as she dove after it- apparently as easily distracted from her work as Colonel Mustang had been. "You have such an adorable puppy, Miss Hawkeye!"
"Buraha- Sit," Riza commanded sharply, looking up from the paperwork she had brought in with her as Hayate rolled onto his back to receive the tummy-rub that was usually given to him every time Sergeant Major Fuery entered the room.
'No,' Riza thought stubbornly, her mouth a straight line as her mind drifted back to her friends in Central HQ. 'I shouldn't think about them now. I have a new team here that I have to make a good impression on.'
For the first time since her arrival, Riza turned her head to take in the faces of the other people working around her and, noting the direction of her gaze, Colonel Vincent-Bell immediately abandoned Hayate and straightened up to introduce them.
"This," she said, "is Second Lieutenant Sylia Tamarin."
The woman she was addressing was the only other among the group- a relatively small woman with deeply expressive eyes, long red-brown hair in a ponytail and a wide smile, who was quick to reintroduce herself as 'Tam.'
The other members of the team included a Second Lieutenant Tomasu Agni, Sergeant Major Sergei Maxim and Warrant Officer Dale Amiens.
As each soldier stood, Riza became aware of a girl sitting on a desk at the other end of the room, looking awkward. She was small in frame and looked very fragile and out of place. Upon catching Riza's eye she blushed deeply.
"Her name is Amelia Patton," Colonel Vincent-Bell explained with a crooked smile. "She's a sergeant working in another unit. She's also Amiens' girlfriend."
"With all due respect: Shut the hell up, Colonel," Warrant Officer Amiens huffed. "You know it isn't like that!"
Amelia only blushed deeper.
"Fraternization is against military code," said Riza grimly. "I suggest you mind yourselves."
No one could find an answer that seemed quite suitable for her solemn warning, so there was silence as she returned to work. As the minutes ticked by, the tension only mounted and suddenly Riza couldn't wait until lunch.
Odd though it was, however, just before Sergeant Patton left the room, she became acutely aware of a sympathetic hand on her shoulder, but by the time she looked up, there was nobody there. Shaking her head, Riza forced herself to concentrate on her work.
'I wonder if Colonel Mustang is in such a state of distraction back home- no… back in Central…' she found herself wondering sadly. But she couldn't let herself think of it as home anymore- not if she wanted things to work out here in the South.
"That's why you're here, isn't it, Lieutenant Hawkeye?" said a soft voice that was unfamiliar to her.
Riza turned around sharply and found timid little Sergeant Patton standing behind her in the lunch line, looking a little sad. "Excuse me?" she said, not wanting to admit that she'd been startled.
"What you warned me and Amiens about…" Amelia lowered her tiny voice even further. "You know… Fraternization. That's why you're here, isn't it?"
"How did you know?" asked Riza, turning back to face forward, but still listening.
"When you said it… You looked so upset, Lieutenant Hawkeye. Well, maybe not to the others… But I saw that your eyes sort of darkened and your shoulder twitched a bit in something that wasn't quite a shrug and your voice-."
"Okay, I get it," said Riza. "I guess I'll have to work a little more on concealing my emotions. It just never used to be so hard before."
A few moments passed in silence before Amelia spoke again. "You won't tell anyone about Amiens and I, will you? It's nothing, really- just the others having a bit of fun with us."
"I won't report you," said Riza reassuringly. "We… We had a group of close friends that managed to keep our secret from three years before it… leaked out." Her voice tightened a little and Amelia picked up on it immediately.
"I'm sorry, Lieutenant! If you don't want to talk about it-!"
"It's fine," said Riza. "Let's just get our lunches and I'll tell you whatever you want to know. I should probably talk to someone about it anyway."
"His name," Riza began with a deep breath as they sat down with their sub-edible cafeteria meals at the rather secluded table they had chosen, "was Roy Mustang."
"Th-The Roy Mustang?!" Amelia choked out immediately. "Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, Roy Mustang? That Roy Mustang?!"
Riza, whose temper had only gotten worse since her transfer, felt rather like slapping her across the face, or maybe saying 'no, the other one,' but she managed to restrain herself. "Yes," she said instead. "That Roy Mustang."
"The name loses its appeal after the first ten-fifteen years of knowing him," she said with a small smile. "Or after you figure out that he's damn near useless in the rain."
Amelia's baby blue eyes were wide.
"Well, we grew up together," Riza went on. "And our friends were always joking about us getting together as well. I never thought they might be right- It seemed impossible that he could ever fall for me… But it happened. We fell in love. We made all these plans." She looked down at her untouched food miserably. "Then all of a sudden it was our third anniversary and what should have been just a quick kiss on the cheek in the hallway suddenly had the Fuhrer breathing down our necks. He was demoted. I was transferred. End of problem in Central."
"But that's horrible!" Amelia cried, suddenly filled with the strange desire (and in was a very strange desire for such a shy person) to reach out and hug this higher-up military woman that she hardly knew.
"I'm trying to pretend it doesn't matter," said Riza, looking up. "Because we made a promise before we parted. He's going to become the Fuhrer like he's always planned and I'm going to get back to Central as quickly as possible. Then, someday…"
"…You'll be married," Amelia sighed romantically.
"Yes," said Riza softly. "We will. We will…"
-Southern Military Headquarters, Barracks
Riza looked down at the two unpacked bags on her bed, clearly wondering whether or not she could actually be bothered to unpack them yet. She was exhausted from her first day at work her and the train she had been on for all of the night before had been hell.
Placing the bags down on the floor, she sighed deeply as she climbed into bed and turned off the light.
Several moments passed in that sort of absolute silence that she really hated- so quiet that you were afraid to make a sound and risk disturbing it. She closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep- pretending it was her own bed back in Central- but she soon found that it wasn't that her bed was any different from her Central one- or even that the climate was so different in the South than it was back home… It was just the sheer magnitude of the thought that He wasn't there with her- the single thought weighed down on her mind as heavily as a thousand others.
She rolled over in bed to shake off the shadowy memory of His arms around her as she fell asleep and just how happy she had felt when she awoke in them. Restless, her hands moved up to finger the gold band with its tiny diamonds that hung around the chain on her neck.
"Roy," she whispered to herself miserably. "Please… Please don't forget our promise. I won't. I'm going to find my way home, I swear."
The emptiness of the silence didn't comfort her. She knew that nothing would- not until she could see him again.
AN- The names of new team come from-
Colonel Jessica Vincent Bell- N/A
2nd lt. Sylia Tamarin (Tam)- N/A
2nd lt. Tomasu Agni- Indi's Agni-II (A ballistic missile)
Sgt. Major Sergei Maxim- The Maxim gun
Warrant Officer Dale Amiens- The Battle of Amiens, August 1918
Sergeant Amelia Patton- General George S. Patton (and my choir director, Miss Patton, lol )