THREE: Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something…
THREE: Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something…
Author's Note: Well here is chapter three!! Thanks for the guesses as to the answer for the next clue!! And yes the general was Riza's grandfather… probably should have made that more clear… but alas blame it on me being out of practice. I would also like to apologize to a few who stated that the emotions expressed were too subtle. But I think that is how Roy and Riza's relationship functions. Discreet military chic! And do remember these are vignettes (memories if you will) so only fond little snippets of the passing of time, emotions have to build to be strong, but I will attempt to make some things a little more bold. Once again thank you for reading and enduring!
PS: I should also mention that the timeline for this is going to be a little jumbled with both anime and manga events attempts to tie things together in a sensible knot, so please forgive me…
Roy returned to the room rather abruptly and straightened his uniform as he shut the door with his foot.
"Maes, just what do you think you are doing in my desk?" Roy raised an eyebrow.
"Just keeping it warm buddy! Just keeping it warm." Hughes popped up quickly sliding the piece of newsprint to its original place as Roy maneuvered his way back to the desk.
It took awhile but eventually all of the members in the room shuffled out for food and whatnot leaving at one point Roy and Riza alone.
"Sir… are you finished with the budget file?"
"Uh.. Huh? That would be this one yes?" Roy held up a file and Riza nodded walking over and taking it from him and her eyes finally fell on the object to blame for why the work was taking so long. It was obvious the Colonel had been filling in other blanks, and she looked at the right side of the puzzle to see four empty boxes. Lifting up Roy's pen she marked in the letters.
"Perhaps that is the correct word sir."
"Thank you Lieutenant." Roy said mildly surprised at her calm treatment of the situation. But then again it was Sunday. He looked down at the clue,
'21. Something old, something borrowed, something…'
Then one glance at her neat handwriting and Roy smiled slightly before speaking.
"Do you remember when Hughes tied the knot?"
"I was there sir."
"Well yes, of course, but…" Riza looked up so her gaze met his.
"I remember it very well sir." And with that Riza's mind left the paperwork for a short vacation to a sun filled church on the west end of Central.
… "No! Absolutely not!" Gracia's voice could be heard from the other side of the door. Riza rapped on it one more time.
"Now, Gracia. Everyone is here, you can't disappoint them. Hughes is waiting."
"Oh don't talk to me about him!!" Her voice sounded exasperated. Riza shook her head.
"Can I come in Gracia?"
"Wha? Why yes! Yes of course!" Riza heard the lock click on the door and before entering she stuck her head around the corner, and gave a curt nod to Havoc who was standing just before the chapel entrance.
Riza stepped inside the room to see it left with no semblance of organization, undergarments here and there, brushes, makeup, you name it, it was all over the room. He mind quickly jumped back to the mass chaos of only an hour before. The whole bridal party had tipped back a few too many glasses the night before and hence everyone was behind schedule and now it seemed Gracia's cold feet would set things even further back. How she hated it when things ran late. Riza gently closed the door behind her and approached the other woman slowly, her heels making no noise on the carpet. Gracia was perched on the window sill looking out over the front lawn of the church, she was dressed and ready to go but her makeup was smeared slightly. Riza grabbed a tissue in passing and sat down next to her.
"You want to tell me what's going on so that we can get things moving?" Treading lightly in feminine subjects wasn't something Riza did well, and she could tell by the way Gracia looked at her.
"Oh you haven't the faintest idea of how worried I am! I mean what if I get old! And then of course there is always the possibility of another war and I could loose Maes… or oh heavens, the things that could go wrong!!" Gracia held a handkerchief to her mouth. Riza took a deep breath.
"Do you really think that any of that would happen? He loves you deeply, he has a desk job and things are calm. Don't worry about what hasn't happened yet." Riza gently took the fabric from Gracia and wiped the small smears of eye makeup away and pulled her to her feet as the woman nodded.
"There. Okay, new gorgeous dress, your sister Marianna's veil, which might I add matches perfectly, bouquet, shoes, your grandmother's necklace… a beautiful woman. I think this wedding can go off without a…"
"A garter!!" Gracia tossed her bouquet aside and set to rummaging around the room sending items every which way. Riza followed her and searched as well for a few minutes.
"Can't we find it later?"
"NO!! It's vital! Without it… I can't it's bad luck!!" And then it hit Riza. Reluctantly she reached up under the periwinkle gown of her bridesmaids dress and tugged off her custom made new thigh holster.
"Gracia… will this do?" Gracia turned around and examined the garment in Riza's hands.
"Oh!! Perfect!! I mean it's far from traditional, but… oh Riza thank you!" Gracia hugged her and pulled and fastened the holster on her own leg before smoothing her own dress and gathering her bouquet again. Riza took a deep breath and then with Gracia on her heels Riza walked out of the room, and taking Roy's arm hesitantly began the procession down the aisle.
"What did you do Lieutenant?"
"I just talked to her."
"You mean threatened and pulled her out the door." Roy whispered into Riza's ear. Riza shook her head.
"I just had to loan her something."
"Hmm." Roy stated as they parted to stand on either side of the alter.
The ceremony seemed to go forever… at least that was Roy's opinion on things. Sure he was happy for Maes but weddings always made him uncomfortable, something about undying commitment scared him because of its complications. Granted he was the one that pushed Hughes on with idea, but at the same time the whole thing made him uneasy just the same. He slid a glance to Riza who watched as their friends exchanged vows. He had to wonder what she thought of this. She probably hadn't dreamed about it like most women he assumed did. But then again whatever man married her would be, lucky in the most unlucky sense. She was beautiful out of uniform that was for sure, and her hair had begun to grow long which was a change. But he had a feeling that it would once again disappear after the weekend festivities.
Riza only half listened to the vows. They were the same ones that were passed around at every wedding she had attended since the end of the war. Not that it made it any less special, but Riza knew the only reason she was here was because Roy was Hughes Best Man, but she didn't understand why she couldn't have just sat in a pew with everyone else. Maid of Honor was a hefty position, not to mention she was now satin and heel clad. She let out a small breath. Weddings were never truly happy occasions for her, it was pomp and circumstance, a nice dream but a really expensive reality. However for the sake of Gracia, whom she actually knew very little about, she would keep a smile and remain just as excited for the bride as the bride was for herself.
Both were relieved when the wedding march finally played and despite how Hughes took more time then would be considered polite in kissing his new bride, the wedding party slowly filed down the aisle, and Roy and Riza once again linked arms both thankful things were concluded but for very different reasons.
"And now for the battlefield." Roy murmured.
… The reception hall was packed with masses of rainbow and the stand by uniform blue. Roy and Riza had remained seated for a large part of the evening only dancing a few times, and not with each other. Roy's now slightly blurred attentions were sharpened when someone clinked a fork on their glass.
"Attention everyone! If we could have all the eligible female officers… and civilian ladies step out onto the floor the lovely Mrs. Hughes is ready to part with the bouquet!!"
"Here's your chance Lieutenant…" Roy stated as he took a rather large drink out of his champagne flute and reached for the bottle. Riza shook her head.
"I don't think so sir, that is the least of my concerns at the mom…" Riza looked over to see Gracia gesturing frantically for her to come over. Well what could it hurt? She could just stand in the back and the bouquet would never get to her. Mustang would have something to snicker about, that was if he remembered it by the morning. So standing slowly she downed the rest of the champagne in her glass and smacked it down on the table with a clink and approached the rather large giggling crowd of women. Postioning herself in the back and she let her gaze fall to the back of Gracia's gown and not really paying much attention to the count off. And as a result it was a slight surprise when a woman thin as a rail rammed into her full force and sent her tumbling towards the ground, throwing an arm out to brace herself her fingers wrapped around satin ribbons… shit.
Grabbing the bouquet and shooting up she made a hurried exit back to the table and stuffed the flowers under it.
"Nice catch Lieutenant, but I bet I can do better." Roy gave a small laugh as he looked at Riza's obviously displeased face, before he stood knowing full and well what was coming next. And as if on cue a chair was brought to the middle of the floor and the "retrieval of the garter" was announced. Now Riza did pay close attention to this. Finally she would get her holster back!
The single men gathered as Hughes knelt and reached up under the mountain of tulle and taffeta, but the look on his face went from delight to shocked surprise as he pulled out what had become the garter.
"Apparently your wife packs a punch like the Lieutenant." Roy stated thumping Maes on the back as he stood holding the thigh holster complete with gun in his hands. Gracia grabbed Maes' arm.
"Riza and I couldn't find the garter so I had to borrow that…"
"But thought you borrowed your grandmother's necklace…"
"Well no that was the old…but, never mind I will tell you later." Hughes shrugged and turned his back to the crowd of men.
"Alright here we go…1... 2... 3!!" Hughes released the holster over his shoulder and it soared up hit the molding of the ceiling before bouncing off and dropping like a rock into the crowd of men. Roy stood to one side and shaking his head snapped his fingers sending a thin trail of fire into the crowd, which was promptly followed by the gun in the holster going off. The men dove every way away from the holster leaving the still intact garment free and clear for Mustang to scoop up off the floor with ease. He then approached Riza at the table.
"Lieutenant, I think you know the tradition."
"Yes sir I do, and I believe it falls under the category of fraternization and harassment."
"But it's Maes' wedding… can we drop the rules for a bit?"
"No sir. There are plenty of other women who would just love to dance with…AGH!!" Riza let out a scream as Roy grabbed the hem of her dress and yanked the garment up her leg. Riza attempted to kick him with her free foot but failed as her chair began to slide out from under her. Roy attached the holster with an un nerving amount of ease and managed to pull her up just as she brushed the ground.
"Now you've got no choice but to dance with me." Roy gave her the best playboy smile he could muster and Riza despite her disgruntled feelings melted. Even she could be effected by him… but he didn't have to know that, now did he?
"I suppose sir."
"Call me Roy." He retorted as the slow instrumental number began and he pulled her close. They rotated slowly alone for a few moments before other couples joined in. Riza felt awkward dancing with Roy. It wasn't as if they hadn't been in close quarters before, but on her own free will was different. It wasn't the movements that were odd but the closeness made her very comfortable, and that was what made it bad.
Roy held Riza close as they danced, not close enough to appear loving but just a bit closer then his other partners of he evening. His hand rested on the small of her back and through the thin layer of satin or silk or whatever the periwinkle fabric of her dress was he could feel the beginnings of the burn scars he had placed on her soft skin to obscure the alchemic secrets she possessed. Having her this close to him was something rather new. They stood side by side and worked at some points in close quarters, but this was different somehow, well damn it he knew how, but he didn't dare even think it in the vicinity of Hughes, who had just given him a wink. He changed his attentions back to Hawkeye.
"So why did you hand over your trusted weapons to Gracia?"
"Well she had everything but the garter… it has to do with her being superstitious… luck and such, sir." Riza stated flatly not looking up at Roy, and staring at the chest of his uniform instead.
"And the holster…"
"I had it made for the occasion sir. My other one would have shown through the gown."
"And you couldn't attend a wedding unarmed?"
"With you around that is not an option sir." Roy let out a laugh and shook his head as they parted a little slower then what would be considered safe but, no one was paying them any more attention as they moved towards the table.
"You said something about luck Hawkeye. What does luck have to do with this wedding, they are head over heels for each other shouldn't that be enough?"
"Sir, for the bride, luck is like a back up for if anything goes wrong at the wedding not after it."
"So you loaned her a gun and holster? How is that lucky? So she can shoot him at the knees if he tries to run for it?"
"Well that's a possibility… but considering Gracia's nature we will go with that it fit's the rhyme,"
"And that would be?" Roy raised an eyebrow as he set down his once again empty champagne flute.
" Every bride needs 'Something old, something borrowed and something blue,' and in case you didn't notice sir, her something blue, is right here." Riza patted her leg and the shape of the holster could be seen through the satin. Roy nodded, finally it made sense to him, and shaking his head, he wondered just why bride's were so picky but as long as he wouldn't have to pull a gun holster of his own bride's thigh, life would probably be very rich indeed.
Now now, chapter three is through,
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Next Chapter's Clue: DOWN: 17. Prenatal Shindig