Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist, and I most certainly do not make any money from it.
A/N: This has been edited a little bit...so if you're giving it a re-read and some things seem a little bit off, you haven't lost your mind. Well...maybe you have. But it's not my fault. I don't think. (Please don't sue me!!)
"Sir," Hawkeye interrupted her superior officer's paperclip chain with a weary sigh. "There's work to be done today."
"You know, Liuetenant," Mustang drawled in a lazy voice, "I seem to recall quite a few occasions where you have been less than willing to get your work done."
Her lips thinned. "I wasn't getting paid, then."
"No," he conceded as she stacked more paperwork on his desk. "I suppose you've become much more responsible."
She turned smartly on her heels to leave, and he waited for her to touch the doorknob before he called after her.
"Yes, sir?" Her eyes regarded his innocent tone suspiciously, but the rest of her face remained impassive.
He smirked. "I need to give a report next week regarding Eastern's utilities consumption. I have the raw data here," he procured a folder from his desk, "but, given the amount of paperwork I've yet to complete, I don't have time to process the information. Could you crunch the numbers for me, please? I need to know what percentage increase has occured since last quarter in order to determine if the current supply will meet future demand. I have the population data in there as well, if you could..."
Hawkeye removed three-fourths of his paperwork and backed out of the office without a word.
Mustang waited until the door clicked shut before he kicked his heels up on his desk and set the empty folder across his satisfied smirk.
A few years earlier...
Roy did his best not to duck and cover as a thick math book sailed across the room and landed with eerily accurate aim against the nose on the bust of Sir Bombastus. The plaster rendering cracked against the wall with a ferocious thunk, and Roy Mustang forced a nervous smile.
"Ah, Miss Hawkeye, your father..." he fiddled with his pencil as her baleful eyes bored into his.
He scanned for anything with substantial weight nearby and sheilded his forehead with as much dignity as possible, which, judging by her expression, wasn't very much. "Hawkeye-sensei told me that I can't leave until you finish your assignment."
"I'm not doing another algebra problem, Mr. Mustang. I. Can't. My head will explode. What would my father say then, if he came home and my brain was exploded all over his fine books?"
Roy was already worried about what her father would say about Mr. Bombastus' head exploded into pieces all over his literary collection, but he pushed that aside in order to tackle his other, more pressing, problem. "Please, Miss Hawkeye? I've got work,"
"in less than an hour, and I can't be late again,"
Meghan's going to kill me this time...
"I can't afford it," he finished earnestly, looking for all the world like a kicked puppy.
Riza studied his pathetic expression for a full minute.
"Unless you are moonlighting as a gigilo," Riza replied acidly, "you're lying to me."
Roy hung his head. "Is that what this is about?"
"No! My friend Ally is Meghan's little sister, and she told me, and...I just...I really hate math!" She scowled. "It's boring!"
The scientist in Roy overcame his self-preservation, which was admittedly not all that strong on the best of days, and took offense. "It's only a tool. If you stared at a hammer, then it would be boring, too. You have to use it in order to appreciate it."
Riza looked skeptical. "I don't think hammering nails counts as quality entertainment, Mr. Mustang."
"Look," he sighed. "If I show you something, and you enjoy yourself, will you please finish your assignment so your father doesn't kill me tomorrow?"
"I'd do it anyway," she said with a soft voice and a scowl.
He smiled. She might be a little spoiled after her expensive boarding school education, but deep down she was a nice enough girl. "I know."
"Where are we going?"
"If you won't let me go on a date, then you'll have to entertain me."
Her jaw dropped. "What about math? I thought you were going to inspire me or something."
His smile stretched into a grin. "I can do both," he bragged.
The carnival was bright and festive, and Riza drank in the Ferris wheel illuminating the darkening sky. "It's so pretty."
"Yeah," he agreed, looking at her.
The passed through the chaotic stretch of gaming booths and shrieking teenagers in order to reach the ride.
Roy strolled over the the young man operating the machine with a wave. "Excuse me, sir, how tall is this ferris wheel?"
"Fifty feet!" The kid beamed. "Tallest in the county! It was built in-"
"Thank you!" Roy interrupted. "Fifty feet. You got that?"
"Y-es," Riza drawled suspiciously.
"Good." Roy handed the teenager, who all but snarled at him, two tickets. The slid into the small metal seat together and Riza grabbed his arm to settle herself as the ride jerked into motion.
"I have the feeling you've brought me here so I can't escape while you force me to do math problems," she said.
"Just enjoy the view for a while."
She did. She'd never been on a ferris wheel before - they were a relatively new invention, and had just begun to make their way from Central into the more backwater parts of the nation. She didn't squeak or squeel when their car reached the top, in fact, she peered over the edge so far that Roy reached around her shoulders and pulled her back towards the center.
"I can see our house!" She grinned. "And the school, and on into the next town. I've never been this high up before...Are you even looking?"
He kept his gaze on his watch. "Yes. Don't get so close to the edge, please."
They began to descend, and the operator stopped them. Two teenaged boys above them began to rock the car violently. Riza decided that looked like fun. She kicked the bottom of their car, making it rock.
Roy clutched her desperately. "Please be careful!"
Riza blushed slightly at the sensation of having his arms around her before she came to a realization. "You're scared of heights, aren't you?"
He had already brought his attention back to his watch. "I'm not terribly fond of them."
"Then why are you up here?"
He paused, considering. "You looked like you wanted to."
"Oh. Thank you."
"And it also makes for a great math problem. Now, it took forty seconds for us to complete one revolution."
Riza's sympathy shriveled. ""So that's why you were looking at your watch."
"What did you think I was doing?"
"I thought you were scared to look over the edge!"
"Why would I look at my watch?"
"You're stalling." He narrowed his eyes and continued. "Okay. The ferris wheel is fifty feet tall, and the wheel sits about five feet off of the ground. If it takes forty seconds for one revolution...and if we pretend that the operator doesn't make unnecessary dramatic pauses...for how long are we at least fifty feet above ground?"
Riza stared at his expectant face blankly. "You want me to do that in my head?"
"Oh." He reached into his pocket and procured a little black book and a pen. "Open it to Q. There's a sine graph in the back."
Riza flipped through the pages. "A date book?" She looked at him like he was insane. "With a list of formulas and graphs on the back? What kind of dates do you have?"
He blushed. "Ah, it's in code. Most of the names are elements."
"Most?" She began her investigation in earnest. "There's Hannah, Morianne...Meghan...Ally? Meghan's sis-"
"Stop stalling." He took the book back and entered the values in neat block handwriting. "There. Set up the equation."
"Her sister? Really? But she's my age."
"I'm not seeing anyone's sister," he lied. "Her name is one of the codes. Now, set it up."
"If it's one of the codes then why is her last name the exact same as Meghan's?"
"To make it seem realistic. Are you satisfied now?"
She shook her head, but began to study the problem. "First is height, then time, right?"
He nodded, pleased.
"This is still kind of boring," she muttered.
Roy kicked the car, and she laughed.
"I thought you were scared!"
"I felt brave," he pointed to the ground, which was four feet away.
They went around ten times before she finally got it. Roy handed the tickets to the teenager, and a tip, with infinite patience, even though she didn't even look at the notebook for long stretches of time. Every once and a while she would thrust the notebook underneath his nose, and he would just shake his head with a smile, and explain why her equation wouldn't quite work.
"...Um, is this it?" She asked a little timidly.
"Perfect!" He exclaimed.
"Finally!" She stretched her legs. "Now solve it for me. Please?"
"Are you sure that you don't want to?"
Riza rolled her eyes. "I can't do that stuff without ten hours to spare and a calculator." She handed him the pen.
He placed the pen in his pocket. "It takes approximately 15.903344 seconds."
Riza's jaw dropped. "You're making that up - you did that in your head? Just like that?"
"Uh, no," he said, feeling a little embarrassed. "I, ah, worked it out while you were setting up the equation."
"In your head. To the millionth or something." She shook her head. "No wonder my father makes you tutor me. You're a genius."
"He's just a nerd!" A drunken voice above them chimed. "Don't be fooled, beautiful."
"Maes?" Roy looked up. "When did you get here?"
"'Bout a turn ago. Do you usually make your dates do math problems?"
"I'm kinda glad you ditched me, Roy," Meghan giggled. Maes wrapped his arm around her with a grin.
"Kind of?" Maes objected. "I rescued you, sweetheart. Look at that poor girl."
"Miss Hawkeye," Roy gestured upwards, "meet my reprobate friend, Maes Hughes, and the lovely Miss Meghan Marr. Miss Hawkeye," Roy addressed Maes specifically, "is my teacher's daughter. I'm her math tutor."
"She looks so young!" Meghan exclaimed. "Ally's age, if that."
Maes coughed. "Ally, huh?"
"I'm sixteen," Riza admitted, suddenly shy.
"Pedophile!" Maes exclaimed in glee.
Crowds of people turned their heads at the joyous accusation.
"Hughes!" Roy warned.
"It's okay, Roy, you know what they say! Gra-"
Meghan placed her hand over his mouth to muffle his obscene suggestion. "Maes! Don't you dare!" She laughed.
"HUGHES! I'm gonna kick your a--!" Roy looked at Riza. "Beg your pardon, Miss Hawkeye."
This time when the ride stopped they got off, and Maes and Megan followed them to the snack booth. Riza looked at Meghan kindly. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't do my homework so he took me here so he could catch up with you without getting into to much trouble."
The redhead frowned. "So you're the reason he's always late. I thought he was lying to me."
Always? He only tutors me once a week!
Roy handed Riza a candied apple and took a bite out of some blue cotton candy for himself. "Meghan -"
She shook her head. "Sorry, Roy. Maes is punctual."
Maes returned with two funnel cakes. "And I'm more manly."
"Very rugged," Meghan assured him with a laugh. "So are you coming to Morianne's party later tonight?"
"After I've had my heart broken?" Roy mock-glared at Hughes. "No, I've got early research with Hawkeye-sensei in the morning before class."
Hughes looked affronted. "What is this responsibility business? You better not skip out on my party next week, or -"
"I'll be there," Roy assured his friend. "I've got to take Miss Hawkeye home. I'll see you guys later."
"You better be!" Hughes shouted, already guiding Meghan to another ride. "I'll find you, Mustang!"
"Bye Roy!" Meghan waved. "We'll miss you!"
"Oh, will we, now?" Maes murmured.
"I'm sorry that you lost your girlfriend because of me," Riza apologized once they had left the carnival grounds.
Roy chuckled to himself. "It's fine. She's sort of everyone's girlfriend." He remembered who he was speaking to with a start. "Ah, I'm sorry. You're too young -"
"Really?" Riza stopped walking. "I'm only three years younger than you. You're too formal with me."
"Four," Roy corrected. "And I have to be formal."
She plucked the cotton candy from his hands and took a bite. "You're twenty now?"
"Well, I'm almost twenty," he clarified.
"And I'm almost seventeen. I won't break into pieces if you talk about sex around me."
He shook his head to hide his blush and reclaimed his cotton candy. "...twenty more math problems."
"You can't do that!"
"I'm your tutor, Miss Hawkeye. I most certainly can," he replied authoritatively.
"I thought math was supposed to be fun," she objected with her hands on her hips.
He resumed walking towards the house. "Not for perverts."
"I'm not a pervert!" She yelled, and then looked around nervously for anyone who might have overheard.
Roy took a vigorous bite out of his spun sugar. "You tried to seduce me in an alley."
She ran to catch up with him. "I did not! You're the one who took me -"
"Thirty more problems."
"You're always ordering me around!"
Back at the office...
"Sir? It's almost 1900."
Roy peeled the folder off his head sheepishly and stretched. "You let me sleep this long? I had a date, Lieutenant."
Hawkeye shrugged. "You threatened me with math, sir."
Roy smirked. He'd finally found a way to exploit her weakness. He wondered why he hadn't thought of this tactic before. A lifetime of leisurely afternoon naps awaited him...
"Although I could always order Breda to do it," she mused.
"I could order you not to order Breda to do it," he countered a little bitterly as his dreams died before his eyes.
She tilted her head and politely refrained from informing him that he was sulking like a spoiled child. "There's really no utilities report, is there?"
"Of course there is," he assured her with a yawn as he collected his coat. "Somewhere. Perhaps in Central...Hughes tells me people actually work there."
"People work here, Colonel," she countered unconvincingly.
He walked with her outside. "Of course they do. Havoc worked very hard to arrange the turtle race last week. Did any of them win today?"
Hawkeye frowned. "I think they died, but I told Fuery they're just really slow."
"Oh. We'll have to take care of that." Roy shrugged. "Still well-organized, though. The signs were inspired, as was the bookie."
They rounded the corner together. Hawkeye pushed him against the brick wall of the building and drew her gun and Roy, following her lead, slipped on his gloves and prepared to incinerate the man who'd followed them for the past two blocks.
The suspect kept walking, and after several minutes she re-sheathed her weapon.
"Sorry, sir. False alarm."
"Always trying to seduce me in alleyways," he teased.
She shook her head ruefully. "I'd never try to seduce you, sir. You'd probably make me do quadratic equations in bed."
Roy laughed. "There's an idea."
They resumed walking.
"I could make you factor trinomials in the shower," he mused seductively.
"You're such a nerd, sir. Why don't you date girls who can actually read?"
"That's - I can't even reply to that," she bit back a laugh. "I don't think that poor girl would put up with you for a minute. Although she would be a vast improvement over your current roster."
"Grace is studying to be a lawyer," he announced.
"Really?!" Hawkeye stopped walking and Roy tugged her arm with a devilish grin.
"No, but Vanessa is a biologist."
"She is not," Hawkeye laughed.
"Okay, so she's a stripper, but she uses her body to make a living. That's biology."
"It's something," Hawkeye agreed.
"It's not like you date brilliant guys, you know. What about Luke?"
"He was a dentist!" Hawkeye looked at him in disbelief. "You can't even begin to compare Luke to your harem!"
"Was," Roy pointed his finger in the air, "because he was addicted to the laughing gas..."
"Well, but I'm not a nerd," she huffed. "And you're never going to let that go, are you?"
"No, I'm not. Besides, you read all the time," he grinned. "That's pretty nerdy. Maybe you should date Szeska."
"Roy!" She laughed, then stopped. "I'm sorry, s-"
"Shut up, Riza," he ordered softly. His face had gone from open to closed in a second, and her heart pounded against her chest. They stood in front of her apartments, and she fought an urge to run upstairs and lock the door. She also fought an urge...well, she fought a lot of urges. He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and then dropped his hand to his side.
He smiled, a little sad, and said, "Goodnight, Lieutenant."
She smiled sadly in return. "...goodnight, sir."
He waved casually, back already turned.