Because now that the manga's finished and we didn't get enough the closure that we wanted, pre-manga!Royai needed to be written.

And so begins another drabble series. Enjoy!


Hot Chocolate

I

Berthold Hawkeye's home, Roy decided, was a lot scarier than he expected. Perhaps he was just nervous, but the unkempt front gate, the cracked footpath and looming shadows caused by the early morning sun made it look almost terrifying.

Rolling his shoulders and cricking his neck, he sighed. "Why are all the best alchemists so... gloomy?" he wondered aloud, pushing open the gate with an eerie creak. He looked up at the dark windows and frowned.

There was someone watching him from up there. He had heard Master Hawkeye had a daughter – perhaps that was her? He couldn't see her very well, but there was a shock of bright, blonde hair staring down at him from the upstairs window.

He squared his shoulders. At least he would have the company of someone roughly his own age, right? He sighed once again and raised a hand.

Knock, knock.


Here was another one. Another waste of time and effort. Another arrogant bastard who thought he could make the cut. Riza glared down at him from the upstairs window as he raised his fist to knock. Maybe if she stood here long enough and didn't answer, he would go away and they wouldn't have to bother.

"Riza!"

Drat. "Yes, Father," she called irritably, "I'm getting it." Scowling, she dragged herself to her feet and staggered slowly to the stairs, taking great care to take her time. Maybe if she walked slow enough, the newcomer would go away, she thought, choosing to remain optimistic.

He knocked again. Alas. No such luck. Grumbling to herself as she reached the door, she heaved a heavy sigh and pulled it open and found herself looking up into the eyes of a handsome faced, dark haired boy only a couple of years older than herself. She surveyed him once, noting his scruffy appearance, untucked shirt and slightly wrinkled vest and did the calculations in her head. One week, she thought. At the most. Then he'll be gone too.

"May I help you?" she questioned, mock-politely, not bothering to take the scowl from her face.

The boy blinked. "Er..." he began. "Hi. My name's Roy Mustang," he said, offering her his hand and a nervous smile. "I'm here to see Mr. Hawkeye – is he around?"

Riza stared at him. "Father's very strict, Mr. Mustang," she said dryly. "He doesn't take kindly to idiots."

His hand was still offered. At this point in time, Mustang must have realised that she wasn't going to take it, because he raised it awkwardly and scratched at the back of his head. His smile fell. "So... you're his daughter?" he asked, trying to be friendly. "What's your name?"

"Riza," deadpanned Riza. She stepped back and allowed him to enter the house. "Father's upstairs in the room at the end of the hallway, Mr. Mustang."

"Oh," said Mustang, "Please – just call me Roy –"

"Father doesn't like to be kept waiting either, Mr. Mustang," interrupted Riza, her eyes flashing.

Mustang winced. "A-All right, sorry," he stammered, "Nice meeting you, Riza." And with that, he inched past her and gave her an uneasy glance and a queasy "please-don't-hurt-me" smile, and hurried upstairs like a frightened puppy.

Riza smirked. One week. He would be gone by then.