Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, commonly known as Fullmetal Alchemist, or simply, FMA or Hagaren, does not belong to me. If it did, I would've made Roy Fuhrer, made Ed and Al get their bodies back, let Hughes live, and I'd make Royai the… uh… presidential/royal couple of Amestris or something. And if I did own Hagaren, fraternization would not exist in the Amestris state military. Hahaha!
---But then again, that would be no fun. :( I'm glad I'm just a fangirl. Hahaha! And besides, Arakawa-san's work is awesome as it is.
Ed: Yeah, yeah, we get it already. Just start the story, Ms. Medical Officer.
Me: Fine, fullmetal shorty.
Ed: WHO DID YOU CALL FLEA-SIZED SHORT SHRIMP?!!
Me: I didn't go that far. And besides, I'm short too! Join the club!!
Me: ^_^;; Ahahahahahahaaa—
Riza: (points gun at me) Edward's right. Please do get the story over with, Cadet first lieutenant. (Maan, that's a long rank. XD)
Me: Yes, ma'am!! (salute) – Uh, here's "Military Secrecy" for you all~ Enjoy!
Exactly 1200H. That only means one thing—the dining hall is once again going to be filled with a blue sea of the Amestris military men. Well, it is the Central Headquarters' dining hall, after all. It was yet another busy day at Central, what with the case of Scar on the loose, and the Elric brothers' lives are quite in a pinch. But right now, these were the least of the problems of the officers and enlisted personnel. It was lunch break; the time longed for by the people working not only in the military, but probably everywhere else in Amestris and the world. And why not? It meant a break from all the hard work, a time to fill oneself with food, and well, probably a reminder that half the day was through—just a couple more hours till it is finally time to get a good day's rest.
Although it seemed like any other day, with the mess hall noisy and cramped with people, at one certain table, things have been pretty much unusual. Time seemed to have stopped running as four men—Breda, Falman, Fuery, and Havoc—stared quite curiously at the only lady joining them. It was none other than Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye herself.
It wasn't that they found Riza to be weird, or that they found it unusual for a woman to be with them. No, that wasn't it; they've been the Colonel's most trusted subordinates and friends for who knows how long. What probably seemed rather strange about today was that Riza, who was always on the go to finish her work, always calm, cool, and well-composed, was… blank. She simply sat there, a deep look in her eyes, staring at her half eaten lunch.
With the others long finished with their meal, they had nothing else to do but simply watch her. There was no motion between them except maybe their blinking, and the steady rise and fall of their shoulders as they breathed.
"Poor lieutenant," Second Lieutenant Havoc spoke up, after what seemed like an eternity of silence between them. "She must've worked herself up too much."
"Too much she can't move," said Sergeant Major Fuery, adjusting his glasses.
"Or eat," added Lieutenant Breda, his eyes now on Riza's plate.
"Does she even hear us?" Now that hit them. Did she really? The question posed by Warrant Officer Falman silenced them once again, bringing their attention back to Riza's blank, trance-like state.
…huh? Riza looked up from her plate, and was surprised at the looks given to her by her colleagues. "Sorry," she mumbled. What am I sorry for? She asked herself. She sighed, and shook her head. Her actions only confused the group even more. "I should be going back to work now," She said, eying the clock at the wall near the door. She stood and got her tray, which she was about to return till a familiar figure made his way to their table.
"Lunch isn't even over yet, Lieutenant," It was Roy Mustang. The Colonel. The Flame Alchemist. He sat down on one of the empty chairs just beside the one that Riza had earlier vacated. "No need to pressure yourself to finish your work right away. It's still long till the day's end." He said, patting the chair beside him, prompting her to take her seat again.
"I'm fine, sir," Riza replied. "I guess I'm just not hungry right now."
What is this, really? The blonde-haired lieutenant thought to herself, her eyes closed. She rested her head on her hands, taking a few seconds off from the report she was drafting. It was unlike her to take unneeded breaks though. Riza Hawkeye, what is happening to you? She has been lacking decent sleep recently, and this need is slowly creeping up on her. As she was about to doze off—despite it being against her will—the Colonel passed by her table, checking on her.
"S-Sir!" Riza stood, startled. She immediately rendered a salute. He waved his hand in acknowledgement. "Uh… about that, I-I wasn't really…" She tried to explain herself. It was no use; she was caught in the act. What is wrong with me? She asked herself shamefully. Never in the history of Amestris did Lieutenant Hawkeye sleep on the job. Never.
"Nah, don't mind me." Roy cut her off, nonchalantly. "Here, it came with my lunch." In his gloved hand, he held a small treat—a candy of sorts, wrapped in paper. And in a voice low as a whisper, he said, "Don't push yourself, Riza." He left for his own work, dismissing all her possible protests and reactions with a casual wave of his hand.
Riza took the candy into her hands, watching the Colonel's back as he walked away. "Taisa…" She mumbled. Silently thanking the Colonel for his concern, Riza went back to focus on her work, and moreover, to contemplate on her current indescribable situation.
Every so often, her eyes would drift to the candy at the side of her desk. Every so often, she would let herself be distracted with the thoughts of that person, the man she swore to protect and follow, even to hell. And all the time, she would arrive at the same conclusion: No, it's not supposed to be this way, so snap out of it, Riza.
The minutes and the hours seemed to drag on for Riza. But until it was time to leave, she sat there, behind her desk, working without complaints. Her working dutifully without fail seemed the usual to her colleagues. It was at that moment that Riza was very grateful that thoughts could be kept to oneself. Just thinking of all the trouble her thoughts would cause… probably it could earn her a court-martial.
As they bid their goodbyes and 'thanks for the hard work', Riza cleared her table of what was left of the papers she had drafted on, and some bits of now useless staple wire. She hid her clipboard into her desk drawer, grabbed her coat, and was about to leave, when she caught sight of the Colonel's candy from earlier. For some reason, it seemed already precious to her, though Roy only deemed it as something that "came with [his] lunch". She slipped it into her coat pocket, making a mental note not to forget to take it out later.
The sun had disappeared from the sky by then, now with the moon in its place. It was getting cooler as well; the evening breeze greeted the lieutenant as she stepped out of HQ. Her steps were in a way unhurried, falling into a steady cadence. "Lieutenant," a voice called out in the cool evening air. The street in front of Central Headquarters was nearly clear of people but the few military personnel making their way home. Riza turned around towards the owner of the voice, towards her superior officer.
"Colonel," She made a sound-off, letting him know she heard him. They stood a few meters away, with the Colonel still up the concrete steps at the front of Central HQ. Instead of his voice, it was the sound of his boots against the concrete that was heard as he briskly made his way down to be on the same ground level as her. His hands buried deep into his pockets, he had a small, unexplainable grin on his face; unexplainable as to whether it was a sad or a happy one. The Hawk's Eyes were on him, as always, but on this particular instance, there was a different look in her eyes. Not the usual straight face that said would follow him to hell; it was a face that, despite still keeping its seriousness, was filled with so many… questions. As she seemed to ask so many things to herself, the Flame Alchemist wanted to ask so much as well. His dear, trusted subordinate was acting differently that day. He wanted to do something, anything. But what was there to do?
After a long silence, Roy finally spoke. "Nothing," he shrugged. "Erm, I mean… just… well, be careful on the way home. That's all." The lieutenant replied with a simple nod, raising her hand to a salute for the final time for the day.
"You too, sir." Riza added, before they finally parted ways, on their way back to their respective homes.
It wasn't like he didn't trust her. Of course, knowing her, she wouldn't just slack off. Something was probably wrong; despite her attempts to keep a strong and serious front, something was bothering her. He hadn't given it much thought, hadn't even confirmed what he would do himself, but all he knew was he wanted to help the lieutenant. She wasn't like the other women around, not so easy to please. Before Roy knew it, his feet led him to a certain florist.
"Well, isn't it Mister Mustang," said the old lady; the florist. She smirked, "Flowers for another special young lady?"
Roy gave out a quite uneasy laugh. "Eh, yes, I suppose," he combed his hand through his hair as he looked at the vast array of flowers. "The thing is, I don't really know what she'd like." The florist laughed. "Probably nothing too extravagant? She's… pretty simple." Where these words came from, he didn't know. She's really more of a simple woman; which is probably why—He had cut himself off, as the florist started asking him about the flowers.
"Any specific flowers you'd like?" She asked. There were dozens to choose from. "If you can't decide, how about a message you'd want to convey? Flowers can talk, you see. They have voices." She winked, motioning towards the varied flowers. In all sizes, shapes, and colors, it was really hard to choose. Roy paused for a bit and thought. What do I want to say?
Minutes passed. It was already deep into the evening, when all of a sudden, Black Hayate, Riza Hawkeye's famed dog, started barking at the door. It wagged its tail happily, as if it already knew who was at the other side. "Who is it?" Riza asked, as she stood from the dining table to open the door.
"It's me," came the reply. Despite the voice being quite muffled, it was a familiar one. Hayate barked, as if saying, 'It's the—
"Colonel!" Riza exclaimed. Indeed, Roy Mustang was there, at her doorstep. He was still in his military uniform, boots and all. He smiled as the lieutenant welcomed him into her apartment. "Um… make yourself at home." She said, a bit uneasy, still recovering from the shock of Roy's sudden visit.
As he bent down to pat Hayate, Roy said, "I was rather… worried about your performance today, Riza." She stopped dead in her tracks. For one thing, it was the second time in one day that he'd call her by her first name, and for another, she worried him enough for him to come around.
"Would you like some tea?" She asked, changing the subject. Riza tried to avoid contact with the Colonel. He noticed; this isn't good. What if he knows? There's no way out. She was all blank again, a cup in her hand and teapot in the other.
"Tea is fine," he replied nonchalantly as he walked around the room, taking the opportunity to instill into his memory the image of her apartment. "I won't stay for long though." Riza then handed him the steaming cup of tea, taking caution as to not spill it. Strangely though, he noticed her hand. It's shaking. What made Riza nervous at this moment, neither of them could explain. What could she be thinking of? He thought, staring intently at the dark colored liquid. He couldn't help himself but think that maybe, just maybe, it was about him. Call it conceited, but that may just be it. Of course, he wouldn't know if he's right. Not just yet.
After the last drop of tea was drained, he bid his farewell. There wasn't much conversation that evening, which came as both a close call and a dismay to both of them.
The next day didn't seem any better than the past one, but what with everyone's reactions to her acts yesterday, Riza Hawkeye was determined to overcome the haunting thoughts. It's just a matter of mind over matter. She tells herself as she fastens on her boots, getting ready for another busy day of work at Central Headquarters. As she reached for her coat, she noticed something that rather stuck out—literally—with her uniform. In one of the coat pockets, to her surprise, was a single white rose.
Who in the—There was no need for a second thought. She already knew. She stifled a laugh as she pulled the rose out of her coat. It was immaculate, pure, and white. Very funny. A ribbon was tied to the rose, with a small piece of paper. "What you see, what you hear, and what you feel," she read aloud, in quite slow diction, as she deciphered the scrawls of ink which deemed very familiar to her. "When you leave, leave it here."
What ever it is that came to Colonel Roy Mustang's mind that evening, Riza did not comprehend. A white rose, and a strange note? There are a million things a rose could mean; moreover a white rose. Eternal love, innocence… well, as much as they would've been wonderful meanings from the Roy-boy, it didn't fit into the picture. However, there was still one meaning left. The last piece of the puzzle, you could say. "Secrecy."
"Maybe this is why fraternization isn't allowed," Riza told herself, contemplating on the events of the past day. It distracts you too much. It was a new conclusion. "And maybe I should classify this as a Military Secret then," She said as she put the rose in a tall glass filled with water—seeing as she had no other choice; she had no vases after all. "Or rather, a secret from the military." She smiled, as she took her leave.
"Seems like Lieutenant Hawkeye is back," Havoc commented, whispering to the group over work. "I still think yesterday was a fake Hawkeye. Maybe a homunculus?" The others stifled their laughter, wary of the Hawk's Eye.
They eye the Colonel as he sighs and slumps into his seat; now that Riza's back to normal, it means no more slacking off. "I believe you've had enough rest yesterday. Now please finish your paperwork, sir." She prompted, and then headed back to her own desk.
Just before she sat down however, she whispered to Havoc, "Your idea earlier," she looked at him, but was smiling—a rare event that happened as they worked. "I think it's ridiculous." With Havoc stumped at her reply, she went back to work, seemingly pleased.
Hurhurhurhur. I'm finished! Finally.
I've been writing this story for two days! Yay for procrastinators! My mom will kill me if she found out. [I doubt she ever will, though. XD]
Sorry if I went out of character at some points, or at everything. X______X
It's my first FMA fic after all. (Not counting the drabble I posted earlier, haha!)
Reviews are loved.
And that last portion… it would be okay with or without it. Haha. I just felt like putting that in. XD
I hope you guys enjoyed reading just as much as I enjoyed writing it! :D
Ed: You are so cliché.
Me: So? (big grin)