It's rather peculiar, come to think of it.
Thought Colonel Roy Mustang as he sat behind his desk in East city headquarters. What did the Lieutenant Hawkeye do during those odd days off, she took every month? She was always regular and on time, putting the rest of his subordinates and himself to shame.
She never slacked off her work and continually made sure that they did theirs as well. Without her presence in the office the place was in complete chaos with everyone doing whatever they wanted to do.
But Mustang had noticed that almost every month she would go missing for a day, sometimes two in row. The others never seemed to mind since they found it a welcome change from her cold, hard glares and those berating remarks they'd get, if they didn't get their paperwork done on time.
Even the Colonel was of like mind at first, but that was before he noticed it had become some sort of pattern. Now his curiosity had gotten the better of him and he wanted to find out the reason of her absence and what was she did while she was away?
Today apparently was one of her missing days, and as he sat behind his desk, and watched his men laugh, fool around and not do their work. Enjoying the lazy, carefree day they were having without their slave driver.
Roy sat with the side his head resting on perched arm, his other hand was idly drumming the top of his desk. His eyes absentmindedly fell on her empty desk and a huge scowl crossed his face.
I must find out the reason of her mysterious absence, since she is the only one who can handle those apes!
Breda looked up from the game of betting chess he was playing with Fuery and turned towards the Colonel. He noticed the scowl on their superior's face as he stared at Hawkeye's vacant desk.
With a wide grin, Breda nudged Havoc and when he looked at him, cocked his head towards Mustang's direction. He gave Havoc a knowing look and the other man nodded with a sheepish grin, then the pair snickered like children with a secret. Making Falman and Fuery wonder what they found so amusing.
It was his lunch hour and so he decided he would make use of that time to go and pay his Lieutenant a visit. With a loud sigh he stood up from his chair, narrowed his eyes as he looked at his subordinates, then placed both his hands in his pockets and walked toward their direction.
He loomed over them and then with his most stern, authoritative tone, informed his men that he was going on an errand and added, that they had better have their work finished by the time he got back or else! Then strode out of his office, leaving behind him a pair of surprised faces and another pair foolishly smiling.
Moments later he was standing outside her door, waiting for a response to his knock…no answer, not even the dog's bark. That's strange. He raised a skeptical eyebrow and tried again, much loud this time and waited.
Ten minutes had past, and he was just about tempted to use his spare key to her apartment, which they had exchanged in cases of emergency, when the door opened abruptly. The sight he saw before him took him off guard and he had to stop the opened jaw reaction he was about to make.
Riza Hawkeye had a big old frown plastered across her face. She wondered why anyone would come and bother her today of all days. Black Hayate looked up at his mistress and whined slightly as knelt back down, conscious of her mood. She did not feel like to interacting with anyone and that was one of the main of the reasons why she took this day off almost every month.
She knew that if she didn't then her already stern reputation would have an addition of being overly aggressive and unreasonable. Every little thing annoyed her immensely and she was afraid she'd shoot someone right in the head if she went into work. It was for the safety of the others as well as her own that she stayed away.
How I hate this time of the month… she sighed loudly. She went to her kitchen and opened the cupboard reaching for the top drawer and pulled out her gun from an empty tin can, then padded toward the door. She quickly opened it and pointed her gun straight at whoever stood behind it her auburn eyes filled with menace.
"Don't shoot, it's me Colonel Mustang, remember?" he said with a slightly shaken voice…what is that crazy look in her eyes?
She slowly lowered the gun at the familiar sound of her superior's voice and then just stood there staring at him blankly for a long moment.
"um…I came to see if things were alright with you since you didn't come in to work yesterday and today. Are you alright?" He asked his voice filled with concern.
She blinked and then nodded, standing to one side to let the man into her apartment. He entered the warm flat, turned around and waited for her as she closed the door. She walked past him not bothering to answer his question or say anything and went into the kitchen to replace her weapon, while Mustang followed her with a bewildered expression.
Something is off about her.
"Tea?" she suddenly asked after a moment and he nodded, then seated himself at the kitchen table and watched her fill the kettle with water and place it on the stove.
"So, the men are enjoying your absence at the office and it's very chaotic without you around to manage it." He said with an amused tone and a sheepish grin.
"I see..." the Lieutenant answered without interest, as she went about with the tea making process.
"Is everything okay, Lieutenant? Are you alright?" he asked once again after many minutes had passed in awkward silence.
"How many teaspoons of sugar?"
"er two…" he replied confused, since she knew how many teaspoons he took.
She walked over to the table and placed the hot steaming mug in front of him and then brought her own and flopped down in the chair before him. Riza stared at the brown liquid in front of her, intentionally avoiding to make eye contact with him.
The Colonel frowned at her strange behavior, it wasn't like her to be so subdued and avoid eye contact, especially when she was with him. He reached out to touch her hand and was surprised when he saw her jump a little at his touch.
"What's wrong, Riza?" he asked with concern etched across his features.
"Nothing Sir, I'm just not feeling like myself today." She answered as stared at her cup of tea in front of her which she held in both her hands, an unreadable expression upon her face.
"Is it Ishval?" he asked his voice a little hoarse.
She shook her head, her eyes still downcast.
"Then?" He was starting to get worried now
"It's nothing…I'm fine, Sir."
"There's clearly something, why don't you tell me what it is?" He snapped, aggravated with the she was acting.
"You wouldn't understand, besides it's nothing to concern yourself with." She looked up and stared blankly at him.
He was stunned by the bite in her tone, and raised an eyebrow before opening his eyes wide as a sudden realization dawned upon him. The weird mood, the uncharacteristic behaviour, the short answers and her usually eery silence, all pointed to one thing. He sighed inwardly and then nodded.
Ah, I see…it's all due to that delicate womanly thing they called the period…or PMS to be more precise.
"You're on your monthly aren't you, Lieutenant?" He asked with a hint of caution
Riza shot her head up and stared at him with a look of surprise mixed with mortification, a deep shade of red graced her cheeks and she couldn't stop herself from blurting out, "how did you-?"
He smiled at her and gently patted her hand, finishing off his last bit of drink then rising from his seat. He then walked over to the sink placing his empty mug within it and stood there for a moment with his back turned towards her deliberately, allowing her time to recover from her uneasiness.
"No need to feel embarrassed, it's a normal physiological occurrence." He said with a wave of his hand he turned around with a wide smile on his face. "You should probably rest now. I'll come back later in the evening."
After regaining her composure a small smile formed on her lips then she looked up at him and she said in that familiar tone she used whenever she mocked him, "I've forgotten how perceptive you could be, Colonel," then added sternly "But there isn't any need for your return in the evening since I can manage quite well on my own."
"Of course you can, but I'll come by anyway, and at seven. So please don't point that gun at me again when you hear the door knock." He smirked, glad that she had loosen up a bit. He strolled over to the hallway and headed towards the front door, she was a few steps behind him.
"Why are you inviting yourself over, Sir?" Riza asked bewildered.
"Because you need the company." he simply stated.
"What if you irritate me enough to the point of making me shoot you?" Riza said slyly, a hint of amusement in her voice.
"I'll have to take my chances..." He shrugged, that trademark smirk of his still shinning brightly on his face.
"Oh and I'll cook you dinner, and if there's anything you need done just let me know, okay? I suggest you make full use of my offer since it's not one that happens often." he added teasingly.
Riza couldn't help but smile as she followed him out the door and then bid him farewell, closing the door with a sigh and returning to the kitchen to clean up. She found herself smiling again as she washed the mugs. It was that charm and the roguish smirk of his that could somehow always melt her cold demeanor and she was grateful that he'd paid her that short visit.
Lieutenant Hawkeye was looking forward to the arrival of seven o'clock, and wished that it would come soon...
Poor Riza, PMS can be rough... Anyways don't forget to review!~ =)