Gasp! I just realized that, as much as I love anime, and as many fan fictions as I have published, I have never written an anime fan fiction! More gasp! Sooo let's give this a go, eh?
Theme:: 50. Fingertips
Inspiration:: "Seeing Eye Dog," by Ani DiFranco (only slightly; will post lyrics later)
Disclaimer:: I am not Hiromu Arakawa. If I was… I would have said, "私はHiromu Arakawaです!"
Pairing:: This, of course, is Roy/Riza. The OTP!
Note:: This was just going to be a oneshot, because I want to do all 100 Themes and I can't do multi-chapters for a lot of them, but this was getting really long! Leave feedback, please! ::HEARTS!::
A dog of the military. Depending on who you asked, that was all Roy Mustang was. A sell-out alchemist with a god complex in one hand and a death wish in the other. A blind man, they called him. A fool. Roy Mustang was, incidentally, none of these things, but this fact was obscured by his unorthodox actions to the average passing glance. Yet his team followed him loyally, without question, each willing to step in front of a bullet for him…if they thought for one second he'd allow such an act. It was often speculated on base that Havoc, Fuery, Falman, and Breda were all lacking in a few essential brain cells, to follow the haphazard Flame Alchemist so faithfully. No one ever said this of Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, however; no, they categorized her as bats-in-the-belfry insane.
And sometimes, she wondered if she really was.
"Sir." Her hand stiffened and her middle finger brushed against her eyebrow as she saluted her commanding officer, "Permission to speak freely, sir?"
"Eh?" Mustang looked up from his paper-littered desk--more specifically, the box of fresh pastries he'd just opened--to his always-serious subordinate. "Permission granted, Lieutenant." He watched as she dropped her salute to her side, those perfectly feminine fingers balling into a tight fist that he'd grown to recognize as his best friend and his worst enemy. "Now," he started, a slight chuckle in his voice, "What did you want to s--"
His thought was interrupted, however, when said fist collided with dead-bolt precision on the top of his skull, flattening his jet black hair and making him momentarily cross-eyed. "Worry less about snacks from your girlfriend and more about the paperwork that's due to the Fuhrer in less than two hours!" Hawkeye's voice reverberated off the walls and hit Mustang a second time, and then a third, and the lieutenant pulled back her fist and reached up to brush a strand of loose hair from her eyes as if nothing had just happened. Even through his dizzy double-vision and splitting headache, Mustang couldn't help but watch those deceivingly delicate fingers once more, wondering what it would be like to feel her fingertips against his jaw, his neck, his chest, his--
Ah, wait--what am I thinking?! His eyes widened and he shook his head violently, then brought his own hands up, tangling his fingers in his hair and pulling, trying to claw the dirty thoughts out. No. Riza was his subordinate, his right-hand--such thoughts were unacceptable. She wasn't just another woman off the street. He respected her, he valued her, he genuinely cared for her. He couldn't turn her into another one of his victims. Another telephone number lost beneath the bottles of bourbon and roses red with empty promises.
Hawkeye stared at him with raised eyebrows. Surely I didn't hit him that hard, she thought, watching him cradle his head between his hands. She gasped when he turned his coal-coloured eyes up at her, a wide grin now replacing what was moments ago chaotic and pained. "You're right, of course, Lieutenant." Her eyebrows raised even further, and she wondered if they were even visible below her hairline anymore. "I'll get right on that." The blonde woman nodded slowly, suspicious and not believing for one second that he meant his words. But she was too tired to fight him over it, and she turned to start back for her desk and her own pile of paperwork. "Oh, and by the way," she stopped at her commanding officer's voice and glanced over her shoulder at him. He was still grinning, but his eyes had an inexplicable seriousness to them as he picked up a pastry and waved it around. "These are from Gracia; there's no girlfriend."
Hawkeye watched as he gobbled pastry down in just a few short bites and then licked the remnants from his fingers. As he did so, she couldn't help but stare at those long fingers, as she found herself doing every time he signed a piece of paper, or used his alchemy. She never knew why she did this, but the was sure she would if she actually allowed herself time to examine her own fascination. She didn't, however; she couldn't risk having those kinds of feelings for her colonel.
"Lieutenant Hawkeye," Falman saluted, approaching the woman in question as she headed for the door. It was almost 1800, which was earlier than she usually got to leave. True to his word, Mustang had buckled down and finished his paperwork, with only a few stare-off-into-space-while-reveling-a-homemade-pastry moments that were easily cured with a well-placed stapler launch. Now she was on her way home to feed her dog and put up her feet, or so she thought.
"Yes, Falman?" She nodded shortly, giving him permission to drop his formal salute.
The man shuffled nervously; he was always so uptight. "Well, it's just that… Lieutenant Havoc said I should invite you to the pub tonight. We're all going there to celebrate Brosh and Ross's return to Central, and he--he being Lieutenant Havoc, I mean--knows you're good friends with Ross and thought you might like to come."
Hawkeye opened her mouth to answer, then promptly snapped it shut. Her eyes narrowed as she saw four heads peeking around a doorway about fifteen feet away. Havoc, Fuery, Breda, and even Mustang were all staring, waiting for her answer. She chuckled lightly, giving Falman a smile. "I assume you drew the short stick, Falman?"
His face tightened and all the colour drained from it, "What? No! I just… I mean…" Under her knowing gaze, the warrant officer broke and sighed, "Yes." Seeing the look on her face, he quickly launched into an explanation, "Well, it's just that we've asked you to come out to the pub before. Y-you have a tendency of accusing us of trying to invade your alone time and pulling out your gun, so…" He abruptly shut his mouth and began backing up. After two steps, he turned and ran down the hallway, ducking into the room where his comrades were.
Hawkeye chuckled, rolling her eyes. "I'll be there," she called with a little smirk, "After all, Maria is my best friend."
In the office, Havoc patted Falman on the back, eyes wide, "Wow. She actually said yes?"
Fuery looked equally astounded, "Ross or no Ross, Lieutenant Hawkeye never says yes."
"Ain't that somethin'?" Breda smiled and gave a thumbs-up, turning to his superior, "Weird, right, Colonel?" But Mustang wasn't paying attention. The yes wasn't the part of the response he was focused on. He was too busy trying to figure out why it had bothered him so much when she'd called Maria Ross her best friend; why he'd felt that annoying little pang in his chest. They were colleagues; had he really expected a different response?
"My Bonnie lies over the ocean. My Bonnie lies over the sea. My Bonnie lies over the ocean. Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me." Brosh's beer sloshed over the rim of his glass as he waved it back and forth as the soldiers all sang the song together. They'd been drinking for a good two hours and had slowly dissolved into the drunken-singing-state. Hawkeye had yet to show, and Mustang couldn't enjoy his stupor until she did. Instead, he just watched as Breda, Falman, Havoc, Fuery, Hughes, Armstrong, Brosh and Ross all rocked back and forth, bouncing from one folk song to the next, all incoherent and careless.
"You there," Brosh said suddenly, leaning forward over the table so quickly that Mustang threw himself back against his chair. "How come you've got Mister GrumpyManScowly Face on?" He mimicked a deep, miserable frown and stuck out his tongue. "This is supposed to be a festive event!"
Ross grabbed her partner's shoulder and pulled him back against his chair with such gusto that it tipped him back, almost spilling him onto the floor. "He's sad because Riza isn't here." She laughed sloppily, winking at the officer, "Isn't that right? Oh, look at him!" She pointed to his face, "I'm right, I'm right!"
Mustang opened his mouth, face pink with a mixture of embarrassment and outrage. "No, that's not right!" Everyone at the table just laughed at him. He slammed his hands against the table and stood up; how dare his subordinates treat him with such disrespect?! "Shut up! You couldn't be more wrong!"
"Couldn't be more wrong about what, sir?" All heads turned, voices silent, jaws dropped, and eyes wide. There, clad in a pale yellow tank top and a short black skirt, long smooth legs running down to three inch stiletto heels, hair down and wavy over her perfect shoulders, was Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye. Mustang's pink face filled up a deep shade of red and his jaw hit the table. She looked so amazingly beautiful that he couldn't even contemplate composure at that time; he could only stare.
Luckily, Ross drew attention away from his current state. "Riza!" The drunk woman bounced up from her seat and threw her arms around the blonde woman, who looked slightly uncomfortable and the informal physical contact, but returned the hug nonetheless. "You are just in time. We're singing songs and making fun of the colonel because he's so completely and hopelessly in l--" She was cut off by a thin line of fire shooting past her face. When she turned, horrified, Mustang held up his hands with an innocent expression.
"Accident, accident." He pulled on the fingers of his alchemic glove before removing it completely and shoving it deep into his pocket, "See there? No harm done."
"My eyebrows beg to differ!" Ross shouted.
Hawkeye put a hand on her friend's shoulder, "Now, now." She lowered her back down into her chair and smiled kindly at the group--a side of the lieutenant none of them were used to seeing. "Everyone settle down. I'm sorry I was late, Maria; some last minute paperwork landed in my lap and I had to get it finished before I did anything. Lieutenant Colonel Hughes, Major Armstrong," she nodded to the two men, the latter of which was stuck in a shirtless flex-arm pose, "Good to see you. The next round is on me, all right?" She walked away, toward the bar, and Mustang couldn't help but document her every move. The way her hips moved beneath that tight skirt, the way her long legs stretched, the way her back arched and she leaned over the bar to place an order. The way those slender fingers spread across the bottom of the tray of drinks the bartender handed her. Of course she wouldn't let him carry it to their table himself; always the stubbornly self-sufficient one. She turned and started back through the busy pub, avoiding the dozens of crowded bodies, not spilling a single drop.
"Here we are," she said softly, passing the drinks around, "Beer for Ross, Brosh, Havoc and Breda. Wine for Falman, Hughes, and Fuery. Moonshine for Armstrong. Martini for me, and," she picked up the last glass and handed it to her superior, "Bourbon for the boss." They all stared at her, stunned. Thus far, they'd all been drinking beer alone, for lack of funds. Hawkeye, however, not only knew their drinks of choice without asking, but was willing to use her own money to see that they drank what they wanted. It was one of those reminders that she did indeed have a heart and, to those that earned it, wasn't afraid to let it show every once and a while.
Mustang reached to take the glass from her and, whether consciously unintentional or subconsciously intentional, his fingertips covered hers and then tightened, holding her in place. He decided immediately that he loved this feeling--the cool brush of her skin against his, the smoothness where he'd expected calluses from years of gun slinging, the way she gasped almost inaudibly and then let out a shaky breath, signifying that the sensation was as stunning to her as it was to him.
"Thankyou, Riza," Mustang said lowly, and she knew he wasn't talking about the drinks. She couldn't speak. She simply nodded and pulled her hand gently from his before anyone could spot them and begin to question the innocence of their current position. She sat down in the seat someone had placed between Ross and Hughes, and took a long gulp of her martini. This was going to be an interesting night.