Title: Counting

Author: S J Smith

Rating: K

Disclaimer: Just playing in Arakawa's sandbox.

Summary: She keeps running into this guy. Literally.

X X X

The first time, she nearly ran over the top of him.

It wasn't her fault, really! Sciezca had a stack of files in her arms and could barely see over the top of them. They needed to get to the records room, fast, too, so she wanted to take them all at once rather than have to make two trips. That was her own fault, she knew, but generally, there wasn't anyone in the corridors at that time of the morning! Maybe a straggler heading back from the coffee pot, but that was at the other end of the hallway, not where she crashed into him, sending papers flying.

He panicked, apologizing so many times for running in to her, then, after scooping up the files, he ran off in the other direction.

Sciezca didn't even get his name.

Later, she was glad of that, because all the loose papers were mixed into the wrong files.

X X X

The second time didn't involve any files. In fact, Sciezca nearly missed him because he was across the courtyard. Before she realized it, he'd disappeared with Colonel Mustang.

At least now she knew a way to find him.

X X X

The third, fourth and fifth times, Sciezca was pretty sure she'd heard his voice. The problem was, she was either around a corner or running past an open office door or entering the break room just as someone was leaving through the door at the other end of the room.

It was really frustrating.

X X X

But the sixth time, he found her. The tap on her shoulder while she was compiling a file for Captain Harker made her squeal and spin around, papers flying.

"You!"

"A-ah!" He jumped back, hands raised defensively.

"You're that man!" Sciezca leaped to her feet, poking a finger at him. "Do you have any idea how long it took me to sort out those files?"

He backed away from her finger. "I-I'm sorry!"

"Hours!" She poked again.

He took another step away. "I'm really sorry!"

"You said that already!"

Peering at her over the rims of his glasses, he said, "I know! You're not giving me a chance to say anything else!"

"Oh." Sciezca blinked. He was right. But he'd cost her a lot of time! She shoved her fists on her hips, remembering to glare. "So, tell me something else!"

He rubbed the back of his head, giving her the cheesiest grin. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry," at her growl, he hurriedly said, "andthatI'! That's the reason I was in the hall. I was coming down to see you!"

That couldn't be right. Sciezca gaped at him. "I don't even know your name!"

"Oh. Oh! I'm Sergeant Major Kain Fuery." He offered her his hand rather than saluting. "Ed and Al told me all about you."

Sciezca accepted his hand, giving it a shake. "Ed and Al…the Elric brothers?"

"Mm!"

Well, if Ed and Al thought he was okay…"All right. But just coffee!"

X X X

The seventh time Sciezca saw him, it was for coffee. The eighth, they met for lunch in the canteen. The ninth and tenth, he took her out to a local bar, where she met all of Colonel Mustang's unit.

After that, Sciezca decided she wouldn't keep count any more.

X X X