"Must I really attend this auction?" Riza Hawkeye sighed to herself, staring at the invitation that looked more like a requirement to her eyes. It was actually a request for her to model the prized necklace the Führer's wife graciously offered to assist the poor in need.

"It seemed quite unavoidable, lieutenant." Roy replied, equally reluctant to give such flimsy orders to one so talented at many other aspects that he grew actually fond of through the years. "At least none of us would be in great danger." He tried to crack a smile, one he could hardly give to anyone as his hands twitched at the possible embarrassment emitting from the pit of his stomach.

Riza tried to not to laugh to save his face. "None but my pride, sir," She returned back with a frown which was supposed to make her look as serious as possible. That's his lieutenant, never protesting at his orders no matter how ridiculous.

"As I myself, lieutenant," He quickly hid his short-lived smile and cleared his throat, meaning to end the conversation. He didn't want to smile pathetically again. "In return, I shall accompany you to the auction," He averted his eyes away from her and tried to make it look like it was something he was required to do. "It shall be kept as a secret between a colonel and a lieutenant." He raised his hand as a sign of an unbroken promise. Wait…why did he do that?

Riza stared at him curiously. Was he meaning to help her maintain her pride at the department? No matter, she was grateful that he'd also be risking his reputation if he went with her. "Thank you, sir." She said flatly, cursing mentally at how bland and unappreciative she must have sounded.

Roy tried to ignore her surprising indifference. "Good. I'll see you tonight then." He replied, as he resumed back to his paperwork.

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

"This s-sounds a lot harder than I thought it would be…" Riza whispered to herself as she stared at the most exquisite necklace she had ever seen. Its silver chain clasped securely around her neck with a small but carefully carved diamond perched on the center, shining brightly as its glory. Most would have found it simple, but Riza felt it was the most beautiful thing in the world. For her to model it was the problem. Hopefully, who ever will buy it; she wished that person would take great care of it.

Then she looked at the gown lent also by the Führer's wife. She had no choice but to accept the dress out of proper courtesy. It bore the softness of a light shade of blue, reaching down her ankles and forming itself with her body. Riza disliked dresses, especially with this one; seeing how dangerously seductive it looked and fearing its low neckline of terror. "Did the Führer's wife really wear these kinds of dresses before?" She tied her hair into a bun so that it would compliment the necklace more, and a pair of pearl earrings she actually found in her room. Hmm, talk about coincidence.

Riza wished she was informed earlier so that she could have prepared all these sorts of things. It was hard when an assignment such as this was given at the last minute. "What was the Colonel thinking?" She frowned slightly, as she made her way towards the front door to leave.

She gasped softly as she saw the colonel standing at the front porch, ready to knock. His mouth stayed ajar, amazed at how Riza magnificently pulled off such a stunt. "You…you look great, lieutenant." He said lamely as he averted his eyes, physically embarrassed at himself once more.

"Oh…why, t-thank you, Colonel." She blushed, brushing off a few strands of hair from her forehead. She felt embarrassed too, since Roy never really said things like that to her. Riza couldn't help but think how attractive he looked, finally wearing something besides his uniform.

Roy tried to avoid gazing any lower than her face and composed himself quickly. "Shall we?" He looked at her, offering his arm. "I advise you not to address me with 'colonel' or 'sir' during the auction," He started, his skin reflexively tingling as she accepted his arm. It felt awful for him when he took this like a mission and she had to follow the standards.

They walked towards the carriage and he not once looked at her until they reached it. "Alright…R-Roy," She whispered in reply, and stepped inside the carriage first. It felt so strange to say his name, but it also felt wonderful at the same time. Roy couldn't help but laugh in his head. The Riza he knew was far from what he was seeing now. Not that he was complaining about it.

They both took off in icy silence. Not one of them uttered a single word until they reached their destination. When they entered the building, it was no surprise that it was a ball where the richest and most foreign lords, dukes, kings and their wives from all walks of life gathered. It was immediately first instinct that they had to look like a couple but neither of them wanted to admit what they were doing now.

"Oh my! You must be Colonel Mustang, how nice to see you," A plump woman dressed in clothes of high standard laughed gaily, covering her face with a fan. Roy knew not of the woman and just bowed…gallantly. She nodded and looked at Riza. "…and you must be his wife! Dear me, I have not had the honor of your name," She smiled warmly, holding her lightly on the arm.

"Riza Hawkeye, my lady," She bowed, giving the woman equal warmness. Wait a minute, his wife? Her eyes narrowed. "N-no, my lady, we are not married, you see," She replied quickly, easing the tone of her voice as her face reddened. She looked at Roy with disbelief, expecting him to agree.

"You are quite mistaken, my lady." He replied, to her relief. "Riza is…" He continued, trying to find the right words besides 'subordinate' and 'lieutenant'. He sighed. Why could he have forgotten to say that one word. "Riza is…a close friend of mine." He smiled, remembering how much impact she gave him in his life.

Riza blushed at the last few words he said. She knew she didn't have to, but to hear it from him brought warmth back to her heart that evening.

"Oh my…well, I wish you both nothing but the best." She replied, smiling cheerfully. "If you'll excuse me," She ended the conversation and left to greet more guests.

Riza sighed, grateful that it didn't blow their cover. [a/n: if they really had any to begin with.] It was only natural to think that they were together. She kept that plastered on her thoughts and continued on with him throughout the evening. "Thank you, sir." She turned to him and smiled sincerely, removing all inhibitions from her body.

"It was nothing…Riza." He replied, a lazy grin forming on his lips. She wondered not why her heart kept beating madly. She tried to restrain them, fearing he might actually hear it.

The auction started with many different items for sale. Portraits of different sizes, furniture from the most historical homes, statues that held many hidden stories from its pasts, Riza witnessed them all, amazed at how much people bid to claim such things. Soon, she realized they were off to the jewelry section. She was first to start. She felt her stomach churn and her knees weaken at the thought of showing off the necklace to them.

She had to do it. After taking a deep breath, she walked towards the announcer and posed nervously before their eyes.

"Here now, we have Miss Riza Hawkeye to show you the wondrous, magnificent, diamond-carved necklace worn by the Führer's wife herself! The bid starts at Ұ100, 000! Anyone?" The announcer's voice boomed as Riza kept posing, putting her dignity all behind her. It was her mission to do this properly, and that's what's going to happen.

A man raised his flag and said, "Ұ210, 000."

Another woman protested with Ұ250, 000.

Then another young woman offered Ұ320, 000.

Finally, there was silence. Riza knew this wonderful necklace would be sold to that woman who looked like she knew nothing of jewelry. She sighed. Hopefully, it would be of good use to her.

The announcer looked at everyone saying, "Ұ300, 000! Ұ300, 000! Anyone else who desire to bid any higher than Ұ300, 000? Remember, all the money received will be sent to charity."

Suddenly, a dark-haired man raised his flag and monotonously said, "Ұ400, 000."

Then even longer silence emitted for no one in the room wanted to go any higher against him.

"Ұ400, 000! Goodness! Okay, any more?" The announcer asked, receiving nothing but silence from the audience.

"Going once, going twice," He continued, expecting a higher offer. Then the famous, "SOLD! To Colonel Roy Mustang!" He grinned, ending this specific item by allowing the equally surprised Riza to remove the necklace and hand it to him personally.

Then as she was beginning to unclasp the necklace, he whispered to her. "Do you like it?" He asked, smiling at her. She was completely confused at his question but answered him with a "It's beautiful," with an empathetic nod.

He shook his head. "Yes, but do you like it?" He replied, suddenly amused at the audience attention. It was the one thing Riza wanted to avoid this whole time, and wanted to end it quickly. "Yes, honestly! I-it's remarkable," She replied, forcing herself not to stammer.

He averted his eyes, feeling quite proud of himself at that moment.

"Then, you think it was right for me to buy it?"

"Of course, if you have someone to give it to." Giving him the 'I-am-soon-kicking-your-ass' tone.

"Sir Mustang, I sincerely hope the lucky lady not only appreciates your generosity but your extremely good taste!" The announcer grinned, feeling light-hearted.

'I hope she does too," He grinned, finally not caring how pathetic it might have looked. It didn't seem to matter to him at that time. Soon, he added, "Let's see what she thinks—"

Then the crowd grew in silent anticipation for they all knew Mustang never showed any sign of intimacy or affection to anyone. They watched him push his chair back and stand…right in front of Riza who seemed too preoccupied with her anger in being kept in the limelight for so long.

She reached him the necklace only to be taken from her and placed carefully back around her neck. Riza stared at him with narrowed-eye confusion. He looked at her with expected silence. The crowd rose with cheer and laughter as he whispered to her, "Well, what do you think of my taste?"

The only conclusion Riza could think of was that he was only trying to save her dignity. Many of them would soon find out that she was that strict lieutenant Mustang kept beside him always. She didn't even know how famous he was among this particular crowd. Maybe there was a lot more about him she didn't know about. The whole 'close friend' thing was nothing more than to create a façade for everyone to see! She sighed, but she had to play along. After all, he was the colonel and nothing more.

They both waited until the crowd was tamed and the auction continued off without them.

As soon as it was over, dinner was served and music filled the air as many happy couples waltz around the dance floor. Roy and Riza stayed put in their place until Riza looked at him expectantly and asked, "Okay, tell me. Who was that necklace really for?" She asked, feeling nothing for him but the usual admiration and loyalty a lieutenant gave to the colonel.

He looked at her and said, "The necklace is a wedding gift for my future wife."

Riza was baffled by that last statement, but completely felt happy that the colonel finally decided to love someone besides himself. She smiled at him with the words 'congratulations to you both' all over it. "When are you getting married?" She asked.

"As soon as I propose, perhaps,"

She laughed, feeling a bit light after releasing all that tension. "Either you're quite confident she'll say yes or when spoken otherwise, you'll sway her with the necklace. Which is it?" She teased a bit, surprised at how wine broke her stern character with him.

"A bit of both actually. I'm quite sure she'll say yes, as soon as I tell her the benefits of our marriage."

"Well, you make it sound like it's a business arrangement," She sighed, realizing that love couldn't sway the colonel into a change of heart.

He laughed. "Sorry, I've never done it before. Business is the only way to go. Even you know that, Riza."

Her trail of thoughts broke as she heard him say to her, "Let's go somewhere else where I can show you my proposal technique. Then you could suggest to me what I do to make it better." He grinned, possibly used to how carefree his soul felt after doing such daring things.

"Alright," She suppressed her laughter, surprised at the colonel's change of personality. Was he always like this out of work? That would have been wonderful.

He held on her wrist and walked briskly towards the door they entered a few hours ago. "Where are we going?" She asked, trying to walk just as fast, annoyed at the heels she just had to be wearing.

"Would a tour around Europe sound good to you? We could get married, do a little sightseeing, and be back here for lunch by next week."

Riza only assumed that he was practicing with his proposal and coolly said, "Isn't that too far?" She looked up at him. "Besides, I'm not dressed for it." She said, as he looked back and stared at her innocently voluptuous body that allowed the light blue dress to hang strategically over her body. Damn! He shook his head, removing all thoughts about that.

"Alright, we'll just stay over at the garden." He replied, as they both walked at the beautiful garden right behind the charity auction. As friends, Riza tried to tell him all kinds of advice before he steps up to propose. All Roy could do was to listen attentively, trying to grasp every detail she gave. It wasn't everyday he could see his lieutenant share her personal thoughts about his motives and goals. Problem was, they both never felt so wonderful about it.

When everyone was about to depart, Riza, conspicuously reluctant, unclasped the necklace and handed it over to him. "I better take this off before I might accidentally keep in on and take it," She suddenly replied, after looking at the time.

Roy just shook his head. "Leave it alone," He ordered, "I specifically bought it for you."

Riza felt once again he was still pretending, but it had to stop now. "Of course not, you bought this for the woman you wanted to marry—"

"That's what I just said."

She stared at him with utter disbelief as Roy stood up and looked at her with heavy-lidded eyes filled with love. "I love you, Riza…" He whispered as he brought his head near her ear, breathing lightly, unaware at how she shivered under his touch. "You'll only be the only woman I'll ever want and there's nothing you can do to stop it…" A smile curved his lips as he saw her face grow beet red with fear and confusion mixed together.

"R-Roy, I…I," She stammered, quickly at a loss for words. Her heart was beating madly, her hands shaking wildly; she didn't know what to do! Her she was, standing before the colonel, who instead of giving orders, wanted to give her his love.

Nothing stopped her but she felt scared to reach out to it because now…

…she wanted to say yes.

=FIN=

~owari~


A/N: I'm not sure if Yen was really supposed to be used since they were in Germany and all.../OTL.

I feel all you readers out there thought the same thing like, "OHOHOHOH. ROY WILL PROPOSE TO HER." /=)). Sorry, it's hard to make it unpredictable. /lol-ing.

This is for the super-kadooper awesome "IamSky" written in French! [Je m'appelle Sky] She's also a die-hard fan of RoyAi. /8D.

I apologize to all readers at the possible OOC-ness of Roy and Riza! /D8. /OTL.