Author's Note: Currently I have no life and no job so I figured I would do a writing exercise to try to tune my very rusty skills.

Fun(?) Drinking Game: Drink every time you see the word "time" or a word related to time. I guarantee you will not remember this story if you do.


Time

It felt like so long since she had really seen him.

The first day she had been assigned to work as the fuhrer's personal assistant she had met him in a rarely used room in one of the smaller libraries to discuss the predicament they had found themselves in and what to do about it. After telling her everything the fuhrer had told him after his attempt to penetrate high command had been an epic failure, they came to the conclusion that they were trapped. She would be playing the part of the willing hostage and he would be the unobtrusive officer who happened to lose his former team with his transfer. Bound by the system and being watched they would follow their new roles until the time came to attack.

They decided it would be best to not see each other at all outside of work even if new information was gathered, which was a distinct possibility with her new position. They briefly questioned if it was something the fuhrer had considered when he decided to make her his assistant or if he had thought that even if she did find out anything, it wouldn't be enough to stop their plans. They concluded it was probably the latter but that wouldn't keep her from looking even if they could only speak casually if they got the chance to speak at all.

When an awkward silence fell between them, unsure what to say when they parted for who knows how long, he grabbed her face in both his hands and smiled slightly saying, "I just want to make sure I remember your face."

She rolled her eyes at him and replied dryly, "If you're afraid a few months apart will make you forget what I look like after all these years, I don't know how I ever counted on you to remember anything."

He chuckled and let go of her, the time limit she had placed on their separation not lost on him although he knew neither of them could really anticipate how long this arrangement would be in place. Something was coming, that was a surety, but when was still a question they would have to search separately for an answer to.

"Good luck lieutenant," he said, adopting a business-like tone. "And congratulations on your promotion." The minutest twang of bitterness was unmistakable in his voice.

They hadn't spoken freely to each other since.

Every once in a while she would get a phone call from him that was always kept short and frivolous. She would search his speech for signs, code words and would only come up with frank concerns about her well being of which no details could be given outside of, "I'm fine, sir. How are you?"

Sometimes he pretended to be drunk dialing her as an excuse and since she had learned long ago to tell the difference between the Colonel drunk and the Colonel pretending to be drunk, she just played along and scolded him for his immature behavior.

Most errands that involved walking into his neck of the woods were handed off to other assistants but by pure chance, she had passed him in the hallways of Central HQ once, both of them so shocked to see each other that they had almost forgotten to be nonchalant in their greetings.

She had even noticed a subtle shift in her break times and the length of her work days, a measure the fuhrer had surely put in to make sure she was occupied at the usual lunch time even though she felt like she had less work now than she did working under the Colonel. These changes gave her little time to sit down in the cafeteria and ensured that she was not getting her lunch at the same time as the Colonel too often. She sometimes did see him eating, alone but for a few stacks of paperwork that he was focusing on more than his food, and had even had the opportunity to sit with him a few times. But there was a barrier in their conversation. They were sitting across from each other, worlds apart and somehow it made her feel even more confined than when she went weeks without seeing him.

But now he was standing in front of her, Breda, and Fuery, the strength having returned to his voice as he gave out orders like the last few months hadn't even happened.

And while she had been confident that the fuhrer taking her hostage had not meant she would never be back under his command, it was now that they were entering into the battle that would affect the future of all their countrymen that she couldn't shake the fear that this would be her last time seeing him ever again.


Everything was meticulously planned down to the second.

Hawkeye had memorized the Bradley family's personal itinerary and mapped out every area the Central troops will come at them from once they are informed. Mustang had devised the plans, timed everything perfectly with the information she gave him. Breda and Fuery had set the traps. All of them called everyone they knew to help.

The four of them weren't safe individually with Mustang being trailed by a team of investigators, Hawkeye being watched by Pride, and Breda and Fuery being hunted for being deserters from the Western and Southern fronts so they decided to leave their underground hide-out in teams. Being caught together at this point would be too much of a risk to take and would ruin the entire plan but everyone heading in a different direction meant a higher probability that one of them wouldn't make it.

After changing into his uniform and reviewing the mission that his men already knew by heart, Mustang reminded Breda and Fuery that they had to arrive at the first trap before the estimated time at least a few minutes in advance and that even if he and Hawkeye didn't make it within thirty seconds of them completing their own portion of the abduction, they had to take over and move on without them. They agreed firmly, a slight hint of worry in Fuery's face at the idea of having to continue without them after Mustang had so fervently declared that they were not allowed to die.

Mustang and Hawkeye had a few seconds of leniency in their arrival as long as they were within Hawkeye's shooting distance (which was really a rather large window) when Mrs. Bradley's car came around where they would be hiding. If she failed to shoot out the tire or, as it was more likely to happen, if she didn't arrive on time that job rested on Fuery, hiding further down the road, since he had better accuracy and more experience with firearms than Breda.

With those final instructions, both teams headed through the underground tunnels in opposite directions.


They came above ground in the outskirts of Central, away from the bars that were still running at this time of night sure to be full of people who might be able to identify them if asked later. In most other locations of the city everyone was home or heading there. The street they currently ran down was home to nothing but abandoned buildings, mostly factories, their only hazard being the possibility of running into broken glass or mice but this didn't make them any less vigilant.

Hawkeye kept her gun ready but generally concealed to avoid looking too suspicious in case they were being watched, her eyes constantly looking ahead of the Colonel, to the side, over her shoulder. Nothing so far.

She craned her neck over her shoulder again when she felt a hand grab her arm and pull her forcefully into a narrow alley. Fighting her instinct to break away from the hand, back up and shoot, she glanced up and reaffirmed that the person who had grabbed her was indeed Mustang and that there must be some reason they needed to take shelter. Pressing herself against the brick fa├žade of one of the buildings they were hiding in between, she raised her gun and looked at the Colonel in confusion. He seemed strangely calm, his lips slack and his eyes focused squarely on her and not in the direction of the threat outside.

"What did you see, sir?" she asked curiously as she started inspecting the area from behind the wall. She had been maintaining constant awareness of their surroundings. She couldn't possibly imagine what he had noticed that she hadn't.

Before she could find her answer, she felt the rough texture of his glove against her cheek, turning her head towards him. Caught off guard by the action, she gazed up at him, his eyes determined in a way she had only seen them a few times before as if she could see the flames he so aptly produced burning brightly behind those pools of black.

So quickly she didn't have time to react, he stepped towards her, sliding his other arm around her waist to pull her flush against him and crushing her mouth to his with enough force to push a whimpering sound from her throat.

Eyes open in shock, she could only think, Why did he have to do this now when they have an operation to complete and no time to talk it over?

Since Ishval their private lives have run under a simple, unspoken code to keep their positions in the military secure and their concentration focused solely on making Mustang fuhrer. The first rule was that they could never engage in romantic physical contact. Since they had unofficially established the rules almost six years ago this was the only rule that had been broken. It had been after Hughes died when they were both feeling vulnerable and they mutually decided it was best to neither regret nor reflect on what they had done. The next rule kept them from ever referring to each other by their first names for fear that the wrong title might slip out among someone who would take notice and put their careers in danger. The last rule kept them from expressing how they feel about each other outside of their working relationship. As it happened, those words they couldn't say always ended up seeming superfluous when they could so wholly express everything through glances and actions.

But here he was, holding her head in place with one hand while his other arm molded her body against heavy wool and hard muscle and she could feel his heart pounding in his chest against her own and why was he the only one who could really catch her off guard and lower her defenses?

In an effort to gasp for air she only succeeded in parting her lips for his insistent tongue and she was unable to stifle a moan low in her throat that encouraged him to continue, her eyes finally closing in submission.

The dominance of the two arguing sides of her brain shifted, the weaker one arguing about fraternization laws and inopportune timing while the ruling voice could only sigh and think about how much she wanted him, giving into her subconscious fears that this might be the last time they are together like this. Sliding her right arm around his neck, gun still in hand, and running her fingers on her other hand through his soft black hair, she announced her defeat with panting breaths and red cheeks.

Not long after she had succumbed to that fire, he pulled away from her entirely leaving her shaken and aroused, even taking a small step backwards to put a notable distance between them. For a moment of silence they tried to regulate their breathing and clear their heads before he finally spoke.

"That was an extremely inappropriate thing to do and I apologize," he said, his tone assertive as if nothing unusual had occurred. They both knew what he really meant when his words were stripped of formality: I shouldn't have broken the code but I'm not sorry I did. Are you mad?

Why did he have to lose his mind and his discretion now of all times? She thought, finally remembering that they had a rendezvous to make. Or maybe I have the wrong pronoun.

"I didn't try to stop you, sir. There's no need to apologize," she tried to say with the most even, professional voice attainable. No, but we shouldn't make this a habit even though I wanted it too.

Mustang stepped towards her and placed a glove on her cheek again only to find that this time she leaned into his hand gently, grasping one last bit of comfort and feeling safe in the fact that the determined look in his eyes was replaced with one of sincerity.

"Just so you know this isn't a goodbye," he said self-assuredly, more like an order than anything. He brought his face down to hers, his voice low and husky: "If I had thought either one of us was going to die tonight I would have wanted to do much more than just kiss you."

Hawkeye straightened her back to try to hide the shiver that ran through her body at his words, but she put the inappropriate thought he had conjured out of her mind even if she did think for the briefest second what would happen if she were to press herself against him again.

But they had more important things to think about and even if his confidence in their survival was feigned for her sake, she couldn't help but feel a little more prepared for the oncoming battle because of the confession.

They still have time.

Her voice now composed and attentive she nodded slightly in acknowledgment.

"Well, I have been ordered not to die so it's a comfort to know that you have no intention of doing so either."

In the darkness she could see the slightest curl of a smile at her response as his lowered his hand from her face and stood up straight. Turning to face the empty street, he pulled out his silver pocket watch to check how much longer they had to get to the shooting point.

"Are you ready to go, lieutenant?"

"Yes, sir."