This is the first in a series of stories behind the supplemental rules and regulations. I promised my 100th reviewer (a lo-o-o-ong time ago) that I would write her a story centering on the rule of her choice, and this was one of the two she chose. The other was the story behind August 13th. I'm still not entirely sure what happened with that one, and the characters aren't talking, but this one was actually fairly easy.
So, at this point, I'm willing to throw the floor open to requests. If you want to see the story behind one of the rules, drop me a PM and let me know which one. Sooner or later, it will show up here. If it's long enough, it may even get posted on its own. To give you fair warning, though, the songs will probably never see the light of day beyond the occasional reference. I can tell you right now that I suck at writing poetry.
As always, FMA and all associated characters and situations are not mine. Reviews (and requests) are much appreciated, and I will reply when and where possible.
Two Drink Minimum
For Wanna Be Alchemist. I hope you like it.
"I have to tell you, Riza," Gracia Hughes said as she nursed a whiskey and soda, "I think this prank war is good for them."
Riza Hawkeye nearly choked on her drink. "How – " she gasped, " – How do you mean?"
"Maes and Roy, they're almost like they were before the war," she explained. "It's like they've only just remembered they could have fun."
"And turn the office inside out..." Riza added.
"True. Maes has come home with some…interesting…stories."
"...and traumatize Fuery and Fullmetal," Hawkeye said as though Gracia hadn't spoken. "I think they're both going to need a psychiatrist before this is over."
"I know a few people if that happens. Just because I'm married doesn't mean I'm not still connected." Gracia finished the rest of her drink, and changed the subject. "So, is it true about you and Roy?"
Riza paused with her drink about halfway to her lips. "What about me and Roy?" Her tone promised bloodshed at the minimum.
"That you and Roy have finally become a couple."
"WHAT?" The younger woman was staring at her as if she'd just grown a second head.
Gracia sighed and ordered another round. She had a feeling they were going to need it.
"…it's not that I don't like Roy Mustang," Riza said. "I do, but I just can't see myself married to him. Not yet, anyway…"
"So you're just his – what? – faithful assistant?" The alcohol was definitely starting to have an effect, of that Gracia was sure.
Riza finished off her drink and beamed at her. "I'm more than that," she said. She gestured expansively, only to end up spinning on her stool. "I'm…his bodyguard."
Gracia was singularly unimpressed. "And that means…?"
Riza finished off the rest of Gracia's drink. "It means…" She hiccuped, and blinked in surprised at the sound. "…it means that I am the only one allowed to shoot him in the back."
Gracia looked in annoyance at her empty glass. "And that's a good thing?"
Riza nodded enthusiastically, and nearly fell off her stool. "It means that nobody else in the whole wide world can do it. Just me." She paused. "That should go on the rules list."
"I think it already has."
"Good." Riza picked up the glass in front of her, and only then seemed to notice it was empty. She stared at it for a moment, held it up to the light – such as there was – then turned it upside down to make sure. "Gracie," she said, sounding remarkably like Elysia when she was disappointed, "my glass is empty."
Gracia snickered and flagged down the bartender. They definitely needed another round.
"It isn't that I mind this whole prank war thing," Gracia said, fumbling for the glass in front of her. The damn thing kept moving every time she took her hand off it. "…it's the influence it's…it's having on Elysia."
Riza nodded wisely. "The Bucket Incident," she said, and giggled. "I didn't even know Maes knew that kind of language."
"I did," Gracia said. "I just didn't expect him to teach it to her."
"She had to learn sometime," Riza said.
"Not," Gracia said, "from her father, she didn't."
Riza took another drink. "It can't be that bad…can it?"
Gracia scowled at her. "Do you know," she said, "that my daughter wanted to know what a motherfucker was? A three-year-old should not know that word even exists, much less use it."
Riza couldn't agree more, but the fact that Gracia knew that word existed suddenly struck her as funny enough that she fell off her barstool laughing. "What did you tell her?" she asked between giggles.
"I asked her where she'd heard it," she said. "Then I explained to her that she shouldn't use that kind of language." She hiccuped and stared moodily into her whiskey. "Then I yelled at Maes for a while. Then I yelled at Roy even longer."
"Did it help?"
Gracia thought about it for a moment. "I scared Roy, but yes," she said, "I think it did."
Riza regarded her friend with a new respect. "What did you say to him?"
"I told him that if he cursed in front of Elysia again, I'd tell his men about the time he almost blew up the university when we were in school," she said.
Gracia brightened at that. "Oh, he never told you?" She flagged down the bartender again. Storytelling was thirsty work, and this definitely called for another round. "Well, here's how it happened…"
Colonel Roy Mustang hated staying at work any later than he had to, but considering that he'd heard movement in one of the mountains of paperwork on his desk, and that Fullmetal and his brother were out of town so it couldn't have been him, he figured he should find the source and kill it before it spread. He'd made a fair amount of progress, and was just thinking about heading home when the phone rang.
"This is Mustang," he said.
"This is Smokey Joe's Bar and Grill," the man on the other end of the line shouted. In the background, Roy could hear the refrain from the song about the one-armed alchemist and the girl with the chainsaw, known popularly as That Song. "We have one of your people here…I think."
"What do you mean, 'you think?'" he demanded. "Do you or don't you?"
"Well, sir, she hasn't given her name, but she claimed she was your bodyguard."
Roy paused. "Was there another woman with her?" he asked suspiciously. In the background, he could hear two familiar voices swing into the verse about the attachments to the alchemist's automail, their uses, and what the girl thought of them.
"Yeah, there was. Pretty little thing, too," the barkeeper said. "Never would have thought she could hold her liquor like that."
A memory stirred in the back of Roy's mind, of another late night, nearly a decade ago, and an unexpected welcome at a bar he and Maes were still banned from even now. "Was this woman's name Gracia?" he asked.
"Your bodyguard – " Roy hadn't thought anyone other than Captain Jack Harkness could put so much innuendo into just one word. " – called her 'Gracie' but it could be."
The teenage boy he'd been a decade ago would have cackled and started plotting a campaign of teasing that would have warranted at least five attempts at murder. Time, maturity, and responsibility, however, had tempered his response to a smirk, and a note to himself to hide Riza's ammunition until she'd recovered from her hangover.
"I'll be there to collect them shortly," he said. "Just let me make a call first."
"Closing time is at midnight," he said. "I want those women gone by then."
Before the barkeeper hung up, Roy could hear in the background the beginning of the song about the Ishbalan priest with the magic hands, a song almost as filthy as the one they'd just finished. For the first time, he was grateful nobody was there with him. He was reasonably sure his face was red as the proverbial beet.
He took a moment to get a hold of himself before he picked up the phone and dialed.
"Hwzzt?" came the incoherent answer from the other end.
"Maes, it's me," he said. "We have a situation..."