He was growing a little impatient. Half an hour had passed after Havoc declared the Colonel's opinion of him with nothing more than jokes and old stories shared. His gun was digging into his back and he knew he'd have a bruise tomorrow. Looking at Havoc, he wondered what his chances were of beating the man in an out-and-out fight. He'd aced his combat exams and was a decent shot at the range, but he knew Havoc had the upper hand in experience. It didn't help that he was older, either. As Havoc leaned back in his chair again and blew smoke rings he chuckled along while surreptitiously taking a closer look at the window. He didn't think his chances of outrunning the Lieutenant were any better than fighting him, but maybe he could hide if given enough of an advantage.
He examined the chuckling man in front of him again. Havoc was still chuckling a little and his smoke rings were perfect. He didn't look as if he was thinking about murder tonight, but what do murderers really look like anyways. He thought back to the few murder cases he'd helped solve. A crazed Alchemist in the Ishabalan war he had helped court martial, a deranged butcher who preferred people to pork, a soldier who killed an innocent child after a very active year of protesting……soldiers were all crazy and Ishbal made them crazier. The files of his new comrades flickered in his vision, 4 of the 5 had seen combat in Ishbal. The 5th, the youngest of the bunch, was not spared as he listened to all of the action and relayed commands over the radio.
He focused more on Lt. Havoc in particular. He was average age, slightly better build and height than most soldiers. His parents ran a country store in a little town two train stops from Eastern Headquarters. He received medals during Ishbal for saving two other soldiers and earned special recognition for his fortitude. The man just never quit. He wasn't the smartest of the unit, but he obeyed without question and worked himself half to death. Not a man who would kill without orders, but he had said Mustang liked him.
Steeling himself to jump out of the window, he made his move. "Havoc," he interrupted the man just as he was about to launch into another story, "What are we doing here?"
The Lt. abruptly quit talking, setting his chair down firmly on all four legs. "Well, Vato-buddy. I was told by the Colonel to show you a safe place."
"A safe place? I don't understand."
"You see, the Colonel is expecting a very important guest soon." Havoc paused here and scratched his head. He seemed to be trying to remember all of the details. "Maybe two important guests. He's awfully secretive sometimes. So he said to me, 'Havoc, I like this Falman guy. He's alright. Show him.' And so here we are."
"Who are these guests? I still don't understand, Lt."
He flinched inside as Havoc's expression grew sharp over the use of his title. "Well, Warrant Officer, it's like this. Sometimes when Mustang goes away his enemies come in to play. Breda or I usually take command of the unit since Hawkeye almost always goes with him. We have safe places in case there is a direct attack on the unit. The colonel has a lot of enemies. Where we are now," His eyes followed Havoc's hands as the man gestured, "is one of them. In the event of an incident you are ordered to flee to this spot and await contact from a superior officer in the unit. Bring all sensitive materials with you if possible. I'm sure you've read the files, Falman. You know what happened to Breda 2 years ago. The colonel does not want a repeat of that incident."
In his mind he flipped to Lt. Breda's file. Kidnapping, torture specifically with canines and starvation. He was found two days later and all of the men involved were incinerated or shot. There were supposedly no serious after-effects, though how a man could stand that for two days and come out unscathed was beyond him. He shuddered a little thinking about it. Then realized what Havoc was getting at. "The Colonel ordered me brought here for protection? Why isn't this place listed in the official files? How do any of you know I'm not reporting to someone else?"
Havoc looked surprised for a minute, and then laughed. "You are smart, man. I'll give you that. I never would have thought to think about this being listed in the official files. Here is your key," A small cheap copper key on a silver chain was placed on the table. "don't lose it. I keep mine on me always. Try not to be seen coming in if you stash anything here." Havoc paused for a second and tilted his head back and to the side. "She's coming. We can leave after she does."
He was afraid to ask who she was and helped himself to another shot. It was creepy enough sitting here with Havoc, who he generally liked, without sharing the space with the First Lieutenant. A few minutes passed and Havoc got up. The Lt. went to the window, sliding the pane up before leaning half his body out of it. He craned his neck, trying to see what was going on as Havoc's head popped back in, grasping a sniper rifle, belt, and cloak. These were set beside the window before he craned his neck again to see what Havoc was doing now. A second later slender feminine arms came into view, followed by a golden head. After a precarious moment of balancing Hawkeye was standing in the room, calmly straightening her clothes. She bowed to him slightly in acknowledgement before picking up her sniper gear. It was stashed in a cabinet of the little kitchenette and she slipped quietly into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her. Havoc busied himself lighting another cigarette as he regained his seat.
They sat in silence, each man worn out from the encounter. He thought darkly about that sniper gun and was flipping through the First Lieutenant's file again when she came out of the bedroom. Her clothing had changed, a long skirt and boots replacing the combat clothes. Her cheeks had a slight flush to them and her hair delicately swept the top of her shoulders. He was a little startled at the effect. He had only thought of her as a cold officer. With different clothes and her hair down she was dazzling, even warm almost. Havoc put the cigarette out quickly and stood as she entered the room. "You should wear your hair down at the office, Riza. It looks great longer." She nodded in appreciation at the comment.
"I trust everything was arranged."
"Yes ma'am." He stood as he answered this in unison with Havoc.
A slight smile graced her lips and she headed towards the front door. "Good evening, Gentlemen." A quiet click and she was gone. He felt sweat roll down his temple as he looked at Havoc to find the man grinning.
"Stunning, isn't she?"
"Yes, I never would have thought it." A large hand clapped his back and he was pushed towards the door.
"Don't let Mustang catch you looking. The man likes you enough to protect you, but he'll harass you mercilessly for it."
He gulped as the door was pulled shut behind him, storing the information he learned tonight for later.