Sorry for the long wait! I had the rest of it written down for AGES but never got around to typing it up. But here you go! Hope you enjoy it!
"There we are going," Lakita announced proudly, lifting her hand off of Scar's back, where the last of the burns had been. She grinned, moving back to sit beside him again. "How you feel now, Scar?"
He traced over his palm with one finger, not quite believing that the wounds could be gone just like that. "Better, I suppose... it's really amazing what alkahestry can do."
"It is indeed," Lakita agreed with a nod. "I'm very privileged to be able to practice it. Thank you, for allowing me to heal you."
"Thank you for actually doing it. I'd still be in a lot of pain, and would be for a while, if not for you, Lakita."
She smiled, then reached over and traced along one of the tattoos on his arm; she'd obviously noticed them before. "These are very beautiful, much more beautiful than my transmutation circle. They are symbols of alchemy, correct?"
"So then why did you act so..." She rubbed her own arm. "Disgusted earlier, when you thought I was using alchemy? I mean, if you are practicing it..."
He sighed. "Lakita... it's a bit difficult to explain. The short explanation is that I'm a complicated person. The longer explanation... would just bore you."
She nodded in what seemed to be understanding, scooting a fair bit away to give him some space. "Warase. I can grasp not wanting to speak of some things."
"I appreciate it, Lakita. If there is ever anything you wish for me not to press, please let me know."
She nodded, then pushed herself into a standing position. "Well, I do not think we may stay here for long. We are sitting chickens for the military."
Scar shook his head, smiling mentally at her mix-up. "The expression is 'sitting ducks'."
"Oh... that makes no sense." She dusted her jeans off. "Well... the Amestris, they just did this to confuse us!" She reached over and carefully peeled the jacket off him. "This thing is useless now - full of holes and looking like it has been dragged through the fires of hell." She tossed it on the doorstep, taking a small jump off it. "Come, we go to my house, find new clothes. I'm not sure if I have any male things but..."
"You live here? In Amestris?" He blinked several times at this new revelation as he followed her. "You actually own a house?"
"Eh-heh, well..." He saw her rub the back of her head. "I wouldn't really say 'own'..."
"So you're renting it then?"
"Something like that." She shrugged, idly pulling her hair back into a ponytail though she didn't tie it. "I don't think it's a big deal I live there, unless someone decides to be selfish and make it so. As long as I keep to myself, I'm not minded."
Something clicked in his brain, and he stopped where he was as he realized what she meant. "Lakita... nobody knows that you're living there, do they? You sneak in and pay nothing. Is that what you're saying?"
She waved her hand dismissively. "Scar, the place was scheduled for demolition anyway - then it rained and they never picked another date. Why let it go to waste if no one else takes advantage of it?"
"Lakita, I'm not sure I like that idea. Are you really a thief for a living, or is it just this one thing?"
"Scar, really, people are starting to stare." She grabbed his hand and began to drag him through the streets, like he was a child. "You cannot honestly tell me you have not stolen anything before - necessities, at least!"
"Yes, Lakita... but only necessities. Food, water, things like that. You've basically stolen a house."
"Scar, is shelter not a necessity?" She pulled him along faster, avoiding everyone on the roads. "Come on, we are almost there."
Once Havoc and Breda left, Kimblee saw Mari ease up, dropping the hand that had been headed for her gun. She leaned against the glass. "If he wants a date, he ought to ask Scheska out. She's actually looking for a boyfriend."
"You're not?" Kimblee spoke up. "Why, you already dating someone?"
"I'm not obliged to tell you that."
Kimblee scowled. Havoc broke his toy! "C'mon, Ms. Benoit. We were just having a friendly, sophisticated conversation. We were even discussing Italian literature! Nobody's ever agreed to that before, most people think it's torture. Why let Havoc ruin all our fun? We were almost halfway to enjoying each other's company."
"You're not getting out, Kimblee, so what does it matter?"
"Well, this job would be a lot less awkward for both of us - and I mean a lot less - if we didn't want to rip each other's throats out."
She sighed. "Kimblee, get the hell over it, will you? I'm your guard, not your friend!"
"You could be both. There's no rule what states we can't be civil towards each other."
Mari blew out another sigh and sunk down to sit on the floor. "I hate this damn military sometimes."
Sensing her anger winding down and her outburst over, Kimblee got to his knees and looked out at her. She really was upset. "Ms. Benoit, I know I'm probably the last person you would pick, but... why don't you confide in me? It usually helps to tell someone else how you're feeling, even if that person is someone you really want to pump full of bullets at the moment."
She brushed her bangs back and looked over at him for half a second. "I always get the most idiotic jobs. Paperwork, bathroom duty, cleaning out offices, doing fucking laundry... and now this. I've never seen the heat of a battlefield, nor felt blood on my skin unless it was my own. No one thinks I can do anything."
Kimblee nodded. Of course he didn't know how that felt, but he was trying to comfort her. "To be fair, you can't do much for combat. But," he added quickly, reminding himself that a woman's feelings must be treated delicately, "that doesn't mean you offer nothing. You provide a beautiful face and scintillating conversation."
"Stop trying to make me feel better, Kimblee," Mari huffed, crossing her arms over her chest. "Your conversation skills are better than mine, and you're a hell of a lot more attractive than I am."
"Oh, come now."
"Really! I mean, do you think every guy in the office flirts with me because I'm hot? No! They all just think I'm easy, which I most certainly am not."
"I bet that's not the only reason, Ms. Benoit."
She scooted around to face him and her blue eyes bore into his gold ones. She placed her hand against the glass where his cheek was. "Love, I will always hate the dumbasses I work for. I despise the military, and I despise the fact that I'm a part of it. I always have, I always will. I'll always find some excuse to gripe, something to complain about. So don't try to change me, and I sure as hell won't try to change you. Alright, love?"
Kimblee mirrored her action and raised a hand to caress her face, only to be met by cold, disregarding glass. "Alright, fine. But Ms. Benoit... Mari. Just because I'm agreeing... that doesn't mean everything I've said isn't true. I happen to find you very pretty and intelligent, even if everyone else just thinks you're an easy airhead."
Miles was passing by the offices after settling Rachel back into her dorm. She'd gone into her bedroom and when he'd heard her retching again, he'd decided that was an appropriate time to give her some privacy. So he'd left.
As he was walking, he very nearly bumped into Robert, who was carrying something. "Ah! Sorry about that, soldier."
They saluted each other, and Robert fell into step with Miles. "How's Rach doing? She seem any better?"
Miles shook his head. "Headed straight for the john once I escorted her to the barracks." He eyed the item Robert was holding, which was a plate with shrimp, salad, and cocktail sauce. "Ah, so I see you made Paige go to that place too."
"What?" Robert glanced down at the plate and laughed. "Oh no, Miles, sir. I'm not a fan of seafood. This is Rach's - she didn't get a chance to eat any before she got sick, so I was just gonna throw it away."
Miles cocked an eyebrow. "She didn't eat any? But she told me she was sure that she was sick because of the shrimp. She didn't have a fever - it did seem more like food poisoning than the flu..."
Robert shrugged. "Lots of people don't have a fever when they get the flu. She's probably resistant to it, being a doctor and all - never gets fevers. Well, I better go dump this." He gave Miles a salute as he went the other way. "I'll see you later, sir!"
"Right." Miles scratched his head as he blinked a few times. "Well, something's fishy and I don't think it's that shrimp. Rachel's hiding something from me." He rubbed his chin in thought. "But to fake being sick with no one noticing how she did it...? Hmm..."
He yelped and turned to his right, suddenly realizing that he was in the medical wing. Paige, the dark-haired radiologist, sonogram technician, gynecologist, and current lunch-fetcher all rolled into one, was peeking out of her research lab, grinning at him. "Oh... Paige. Err... nice day, isn't it?"
"Certainly, sir. Do you know where Rachel went? She's been dodging me all day."
"She's in her dorm. Either flu or food poisoning."
Paige snorted. "'Food poisoning'. How long's she been using that one?" She clicked her tongue. "She was supposed to come see me two weeks ago for another sonogram. She just doesn't want to do it because I never have enough time to heat up the gel. Picky, that one."
Both of Miles's eyebrows raised. "A sonogram? Why would Rachel need a sonogram?"
Paige's eyes darted one way, then the other, then she grabbed Miles's hand tightly. "What I say does not leave this sterile room over my bloody latex gloves," she warned lowly, before yanking him inside aforementioned room and slamming the door.
Once inside, Miles's eyes took a few seconds to adjust to the dimly lit, but not pitch black, atmosphere of the room. Paige had already made a beeline for her computer, and was click-clacking away on her keyboard, about as fast as was humanly possible. He decided to break the rather awkward silence. "Paige, what is all this about?"
"You remember that week-long mission to Central we sent Rachel on about... ah, two months ago I wanna say?" She was still typing away like nobody's business.
"Yes," he answered hesitantly. "We wanted her to exchange research with Dr. Tucker - her former partner before she transferred here."
"Well, she came back not feeling so hot. So she came to me for a sonogram."
"But why didn't she just go to one of the physicians for a work-up?"
"Because she already sorta knew what the problem was - just needed me to confirm it. I'm trying to bring up her sonograms... ah! There. It might be a little hard to see, it isn't that big at the moment." She swiveled to one side to allow miles to see the screen, and circled her finger around the lighter mass in the picture. "You see that little parasite inside her stomach?" She shuddered, tapping the screen. "Terrifying."
Miles's eyes widened as he just stared at the sonogram. "What in the..."
"You see this part, right here? Looks like a little jellybean?" Paige tapped a part of the picture. "Hoo, it's a good thing Rachel didn't want a girl."
"She..." Miles shook his head, not quite believing what he was seeing. "She's pregnant? But... how? She's not married, not in a relationship as far as I know..."
Paige blew out a breath. "And to think she was only a mile from Shou's place. If she'd only run, she might not have had to come see me..." She aimed to punch at the wall, her body tensing. "Some pathetic excuse for a man who knocks up a stranger, Miles. Some pathetic excuse for a man."
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN. *cue dramatic music*
As you can tell I likes the dramatic music... and just the drama in general. Mwahahahaha!
Reviews are LOVE LOVE LOVE. I would hug you forever if you gave me a nice one! Thanks to everyone who's reviewed so far, by the way.
Oh, and some shameless self-promotion: for anybody who also likes Envy and/or Wrath, I have a bunch of Envy/OC romances also on the site, and then one with Envy and Wrath brotherly cuteness called "I Want a Mom". That's one of the only stories I have without major OC's, so I'd appreciate it if you gave it a review if you like that kind of thing. :D
Well... thanks for reading and reviewing guys! Much love! ^^