Author's Notes: Here's one I have wanted to write since chapter 69 came out. I really am hoping to write more often in the near future, it just never seems to work out for me. Standard spoilers for the manga and use of references from chapter 62.
I'm still working on Memories of the Past, I still haven't found a beta reader for the next chapter and am unsure what to do because of the rating. I hardly got any reviews for the last chapter so I am at a loss at the moment. Feedback is always greatly appreciated, it helps me with the direction of the story and to know what needs work.
A Simple Gift
Roy Mustang gave the receiver in his hand a most displeased scowl. Something wasn't right and in so many words Riza Hawkeye had told him not to come see her right now. Her voice was a little off, but he wasn't sure that she was in any kind of danger.
He was worried but his hands were tied by the invisible chains of the enemy. He knew it would be reckless to go running right to her door at this time. She would never forgive him if he did something like that again. She was angry enough about that time with the homunculus Gluttony. He'd left the office and come running at the first sign of danger, completely exposing himself to the enemy.
She hadn't done much better herself during that mission. Normally she was not one to take risks, her job was to watch over him and keep him from taking them. Yet she played right into the hands of the enemy that day. She let her own despair consume her, she believed that Lust had killed him.
It was the only time he had seen her like that and he was disappointed in her. His life wasn't worth the amount of despair she was in. But now, they had been separated. He had to believe in her and her ability to take care of herself. Not only did he need to believe in her because she deserved that respect but also because he would never sleep at night if he thought she was in danger. Not that he ever got that much sleep to begin with but he doubted he could function on any less.
He turned from his musings to examine the flowers that he now needed to distribute. After a moment of pondering he was struck with an idea. Maybe I'll just send these over to Madame Christmas and the girls. I am sure they would love them. No sense in letting them go to waste.
A short time later found Roy Mustang entering Madame Christmas's Bar with an armload of flowers and a grin on his face. "Hi girls! I thought all you lovely ladies could use some flowers!"
Madame Christmas stood behind the bar, as usual with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth leaning on the counter. She quirked an eyebrow at Roy and then just shook her head. The other girls all flocked to him taking small armloads for themselves.
Vanessa took a bunch and arranged them neatly in a vase before placing them on the bar. The rest of the girls continued to flock and started bickering over who got what. All the flowers were quickly depleted save a small bundle that Roy had reserved for someone particular in mind.
"Girls, girls, there are plenty more flowers outside. More than enough to go around." Roy's voice broke into the bickering crowd. "I am sure you won't have enough places to put them all. Maybe you could bring some to the hospital or a nursing home?" Roy flashed them a smile they just couldn't refuse.
"Sure thing Colonel." Marie piped up and cheerily decided to take on the task. "Lucy, Nelly, will you help me out?"
"Sure thing!" Roy heard the girls answer from somewhere else in the room.
"Vanessa, can I ask you a special favor? Roy flashed his heart-melting smile that anything female shouldn't be able to resist.
"Why Colonel I thought you'd never ask!" She was at his side in a flash leaning her head on his shoulder.
"That's not what I meant, love, at least not tonight." Roy couldn't help but laugh, playing right along with her.
Vanessa gave him a pout. "Roy-san you are such a meanie!" She gave him a playful swat on the shoulder. "What is it that I can do for you?"
"Someone I know at the hospital is in need of some cheering up. Would you please deliver some of these flowers to him?" His eyes turned serious and she could tell this person was very important.
"Sure, I can do that for you." Vanessa was more than willing to help the Colonel out. All of Madame Christmas's girls adored him, and not just because he was generous with the money he paid them for their information.
"On your way would you mind making another delivery for me?" Roy put on that irresistiable grin.
"Not at all." There was no way Vanessa could refuse, even if she had wanted to.
"Good." With that Roy laid the flowers he had held in reserve on the counter and pulled some paper and a pen out of his coat pocket. He scrawled down a short note on the first piece of paper and folded it in half. On the second piece of paper he wrote down an address as well as a hospital room number and a name. "Please deliver these flowers and this note to this apartment. Also, pick out any of the flowers you think look nice and deliver a bouquet to this room. His name is Jean Havoc. He's a real nice guy but he has terrible luck. Maybe you can cheer him up." Roy handed the piece of paper to Vanessa with a smile.
"No problem Roy-san, I'll take care of everything." Vanessa gave him a smile of her own that reassured him she would take care of everything.
"Oh, and for your trouble." Roy then handed the young lady some money. "I don't have a lot left after all the flowers, but there should be enough there to buy you dinner."
Vanessa's eye's lit up as she fingered the money, taking note of the generous amount he had given her for her trouble. "I can buy more than one dinner with this! Oh thank you Roy-san!" With that Vanessa gave the Colonel an exuberant hug, nearly knocking him over.
"It's you girls that I should thank." Roy said as he righted himself. "What would I have done with all those flowers?" He flashed her yet another killer smile and turned to go. "You girls have a good night."
"You take care of yourself little Roy." Madame Christmas's gruff voice called to his retreating back. He gave her a wave of acknowledgement as he continued to retreat out the door.
Riza Hawkeye continued to sit nervously on the floor watching and waiting to see what the shadows would do. Her faithful companion still sat by her side giving her his full attention. The sudden knock at the door nearly made her heart stop. She froze for a moment in fear while trying to decide what to do.
Again there was a knock, this time she listened intently. The knock was soft and she couldn't detect any kind of urgency or strength behind it. She had at first thought it could be the Colonel but he would have been much more heavy handed.
Black Hayate eyed her nervously as she finally found it in her to rise to her feet. Cautiously she maneuvered towards the door her trusty pistol in her hand. "Who is it?" She tried to hide the fear her voice still held from her encounter with Pride.
"I was asked to deliver this to you." The disembodied female voice came from the other side of the door. Riza wondered if it was really safe to open it despite the fact that it was just a woman. The enemy had many deceptive tactics at their disposal. She decided at this point if the enemy was after her they wouldn't have bothered knocking.
She slipped the gun back in its holster before placing her hand on the knob. Cautiously she opened the door to reveal a slender young woman in a dark low-cut dress covered by a long dress coat. The girl held a small bouquet of the most beautiful roses Riza had ever seen in one arm. Her other arm held yet another larger bouquet of mixed flowers. She looked curiously at the girl; the whole circumstance seemed rather odd until she recalled her phone conversation with the Colonel earlier.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, these are for you." She genteelly handed her the small bouquet of red and yellow roses and Riza's eyes widened. "Oh, and this" She pulled the folded note out of her pocket and handed it to her. "Goodnight" She flashed her a pretty smile before she turned to go.
"Thank you." Hawkeye could barely stammer out as Vanessa turned to walk away.
"You're welcome." She called over her shoulder.
Sighing Riza moved out of the doorway and closed the door behind her making doubly sure it was locked. She held the roses up to her face inhaling the scent of the fresh flowers. Bringing the flowers to the kitchen she laid them on the table and opened up the note. A smile flashed across her face and warm thoughts danced in her eyes as she read the words scrawled before her.
I know you don't have a vase but I figured you
would at least have a glass. Be safe.
Riza continued to smile as she set the note down and went to the cupboard to find a glass. She filled the glass with water and added a spoon full of sugar for nourishment. She was still unsure where her scissors were packed so she opted to pull a knife out her kitchen drawer. She sliced the tip ends of the roses off before placing them in the glass.
"Thank you." She whispered aloud although she knew the man she spoke to could not hear her. This simple gift brightened up the plain apartment like a beacon in the night. Suddenly she felt a lot better and the darkness no longer held any power over her. At least for this moment.