Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist was created by Hiromu Arakawa and is distributed by Square-Enix, Viz and Funimation. No profit is made from this story. Nicole and Maes Mustang are my original characters.
Note: This is set post-movie, and has minor manga spoilers for Riza's past.
Like Father Like Daughter
(A Not Quite Happily Ever After story)
by Anne Packrat
Slowly Roy Mustang inched his right hand toward the stack of papers near the corner of his desk. A quick glance at the open file cabinet by the door assured him that Hawkeye still had her back to him, busy filing reports. With the stealth and infinite patience that only fifteen years in the military can teach, he slid half the pile of work in front of him off the desk. Carefully and silently he inched it toward the waste basket on the floor. He was almost there, just a little bit further and then...
"Don't even think about it, sir."
Roy groaned softly and hastily replaced the papers on his desk. "Some things never change," he thought. He was not particularly surprised to find Hawkeye's back still facing him. He asked wryly, "Did you grow those eyes in the back of your head when you became a mother, Major?"
"Actually, sir," Major Riza Mustang, nee Hawkeye, replied while gathering up the files she'd pulled, "I do believe they grew the day I transferred under your command." She punctuated her statement by slamming closed the file drawer.
Dropping half the load on her desk and the other half on his, Riza gave her husband an exasperated look. "Now would you please get started on the those committee reports? They're already several days late thanks to your slacking, and Colonel Leeds from Internal Affairs has been badgering me about them since yesterday."
Sighing in defeat, Roy grabbed the first paper in one hand and a pen in the other. His hands went through the familiar act of flipping through the papers and signing near the red X's.
"No, some things never change," he thought again as his gaze wandered over to his loyal subordinate for so many years. "And yet," his gaze drifted from the newly applied decoration on the shoulder of her uniform jacket down to the ring on her right hand, "Many things do."
His focus shifted to the small pink tote and stuffed animals gathered at the foot of Hawkeye's desk. He grinned as almost on cue he heard his daughter's giggling come from the outer office. "And some of those changes are for the better." he added onto his early statement.
A brief knock sounded on the door, before it opened and revealed Havoc. "Hey, boss, you got a visitor."
Roy opened his mouth to respond but was interrupted by Hawkeye. "Is it urgent business, Havoc?"
Havoc chewed on his cigarette thoughtfully and glanced behind him. "Nah, not really," he finally answered.
"Then it can wait until the general has finished these reports," she replied firmly. Her eyes met Roy's, daring him to protest. Wisely, he didn't say a word. Turning back to Havoc, she asked, "Is Nicole being good?"
The blond smoker nodded, then grinned, "Yeah, I had her drawing pictures of Black Hayate to give to Uncle Heymans."
Riza sighed and rubbed her temple. "I really wish you and Breda would stop using my children as soldiers in your never-ending prank-war."
Aw, com'n, Hawkeye," Havoc replied, now fully sporting his trademark lopsided grin, "You've trained them so well, that it'd be a shame not to use them!"
Sighing again, Riza's reply was forestalled by a chuckle coming from the direction of her superior's desk. She lifted her hand up off her forehead, and found her commanding officer resting his head on his palm, smirking and watching the exchange in front of him.
"And you, general," she said while reaching for the holster on her back, "Need to get back to reviewing those reports!" Seeing the sharpshooter reaching for her gun quickly caused Roy's smirk to fade, and he bent his head and began writing.
Havoc's grin faded and his tone became more serious. "You might want to know, Hawkeye, that your daughter's drawing 'em again."
Riza frowned, "She is? I guess it's time for Roy to talk with her." She inclined her head toward the man in the doorway, "Thank you for telling me."
Havoc gave a lazy salute and went back to his desk, closing the door behind him.
Looking up from his work, Roy was surprised to see his wife's worried face. "What's wrong?"
Sighing, Riza turned her attention to him. "Nothing really. It's just that Nicole's starting drawing arrays."
"Ah, that phase" Roy answered, his forehead creased in thought as he rested his hand under his chin, "This is about the age that Maes and Elysia started doing it right?"
She nodded. "Yes, I think so. You'll have a talk with her about alchemy this weekend?"
"Of course," Roy said, waving his hand. "It's too bad neither Maes or Elysia showed any aptitude for it though," he said wistfully.
Riza's expression softened at the yearning in his voice. She knew how desperately Roy had wanted Maes or Elysia to take up alchemy so he could teach them and pass on his knowledge to a younger generation. But it was not to be, beyond an initial brief phase of array drawing and some questions about alchemy in general, neither child had shown any talent for it, and soon took up other interests.
"You still have Nicole, Roy," Riza said consolingly, "And there are the classes you teach at the academy."
Roy sighed and adjusted his eyepatch. "I know, I know, but teaching the students there is different then teaching my own children..."
His wife nodded in understanding. Roy, like many aging alchemists, wanted to pass on his alchemical legacy to a worthy candidate, and what better candidate then his or her children? Frowning at the memory of her own father's madness in passing on his legacy, she rubbed at the scars and swirls of ink hidden under her uniform.
Thankfully, her general was much more stable then her father had been. He would never force any of the three children (Elysia was inevitably included among his own children) to bear such a dangerous secret. No, the most Roy ever did was emit an occasional sigh, or voice a wistful regret, disappointed that alchemy wasn't to either Maes' or Elysia's liking but secure in the knowledge that each child was capable of making their own choices.
Riza broke out of her reverie and gave her husband a slight smile. "Many people would be flattered that their children idolized them in the first place."
Roy nodded and sighed. "You know," he began, a smirk forming on his face, "It's no wonder the kids want to be like me. After all, I'm so handsome, suave," he ticked off the qualities on his fingers as he listed them, "Cool, collected..."
"You forgot modest," Riza said, suppressing the urge to roll her eyes.
The famous Mustang smirk was now out in full force. "Ah, yes, thank you, major," he replied, nodding "Modesty is indeed one of my better traits."
Riza quirked an eyebrow in response, but gave no other reaction.
Grin widening, Roy turned back toward his work.
About a half hour later, a brief flash of light and several startled yelps came from the outer office. Mustang dropped his pen and quickly pulled on the gloves. A quick glance over confirmed that Hawkeye had grabbed the gun out of her back holster and was sprinting toward the door.
She was brought up short, however, by a knock. Riza gave the man next to her a confused look. Roy shrugged in response. Another knock sounded, followed quickly by the door opening and revealing Breda holding Nicole. Both parents relaxed at the sight of their daughter safe and sound.
"Breda, what-" Roy began, but was stopped by Havoc coming up behind the portly officer and waving his hand.
"Your daughter has something to show you," Breda said, giving his superior officers an enigmatic smile. He entered followed by Havoc, Fuery and Falman.
Riza favored them with a raised eyebrow. "And why are you all here?"
Grinning around an unlit cigarette, Havoc replied, "Oh, there's no way we're missing this." Behind him, Fuery and Falman gave enthusiastic nods.
The major gave her husband a questioning look. Roy shrugged. It appeared he was as much in the dark as she.
Havoc grabbed one of the chairs and carried it over to the colonel's desk, setting it down in front. Breda lowered Nicole until she stood on the chair leaning with her hands on the desk. Fuery produced a blue crayon and a piece of paper and put it in front of the girl. The crayon was handed to the four-year-old.
"Can you show your mom and dad what you showed us outside?" Fuery asked the girl gently.
Nicole looked up questioningly at her "uncles." She'd been surprised by their startled reactions earlier and now was unsure about doing it again.
Havoc grinned and tousled the girls hair. "Come on, filly," he said, using the squad's pet name for the girl, "It'll be okay."
The girl nodded and looked down at the paper. She adjusted her grip on the crayon then began to draw on the paper. The officers crowded around to watch.
Soon it became clear that the child was drawing an array. Riza looked up at Havoc who winked at her. Turning her attention to her husband she found him enthralled by the scene before him. His tongue was ever so slightly protruding out the side of his mouth, a sure sign of his concentration. A quick glance at Nicole showed her daughter's tongue in the same position.
Finishing with her drawing, Nicole took the crayon and held it in front of her face and applied pressure to both ends With a snap the crayon broke in two. Normally, Riza would scold her daughter for breaking her toys, but she was too caught up in what the child was doing.
Nicole put both hands on the circle and stared at it, her face screwed up in concentration. Both her parent's eyes grew wide as blue light arced from her hands all around the array and its contents. A bright flash momentarily blinded everyone in the room.
As the light faded, a newly restored crayon lay in the alchemical array. Nicole grinned in triumph as she looked up at the shocked faces of her parents. Riza shook off her surprise and gathered the little girl up in her arms. Behind the desk her husband looked thoughtful as his fingers carefully traced the crudely drawn array.
Riza hugged her daughter. "Nicole, how did you-?" she began, but was interrupted by the girl giving a startled exclamation.
Nicole wiggled in her mother's arms until she was set back on the chair. "I almost forgot the most important part!" She took up a dramatic pose.
"Behold the in-cred-ee-bull alch-eh-mee passed down through general-a-shuns of the Mustang family!"
Nicole grinned in triumph at her father and mother. "I almost forgot the speech! The sparkly-man said the speech is the most important part!"
This bit of news drew the general's attention away from the array. Bemused, Roy looked from the array to his daughter. "The, uh, 'sparkly-man' taught you how to fix the crayon?"
Holding her arms out to be picked up, Nicole was soon tucked into the sure grip of her mother. "Yeah!" she told her dad enthusiastically from her new perch, "And, and he tore off his shirt too, but he said I don't have to do that part cause I'm a girl."
"Well, boss?" Havoc asked, a huge grin wrapped around his cigarette, "You got any idea of who your guest is now?"
Roy chuckled, and came around the desk. He kissed the crown of auburn hair atop his daughter's head. "I think I just might."
"Nicole-honey, daddy still has a lot of work to do, so you're going to have to go back with the others for a little longer, okay?" Riza asked.
The girl nodded. "I'm gonna draw a picture for the sparkly-man!"
Riza smiled. "I'm sure he'd like that."
With one more kiss from her father and a hug from her mother, Nicole was passed off to "Uncle" Fuery. The other officers filed out and Havoc closed the door behind him, only to stop when Roy called out to him.
"Havoc?" Roy asked his tone much cheerier now that the matter of his protege was resolved, "See if you can find the 'sparkly-man' a new shirt will you?"
Grinning, Havoc nodded and gently closed the door behind him.
This is kind of a play on the whole idea of last "chapter" where there was a "Hawkeye child" and a "Mustang child." Nicole is most definitely the "Mustang child" although Maes does inherit Roy's smart aleck attitude.
-Thanks go to the creators, cast and crew of the FMA manga and anime.
-Thanks go to my husband Ryan, who is busy watching the Galaxy lose.
-Thanks to my kidnapped beta, Snakecharmerfoxx, who would like to see me write more Scar porn.
-Thanks to those who leave feedback and reviews. I greatly appreciate it.
-And thanks to you for reading.
Anne Packrat (July 5, 2008)