With a long tired yawn, Hawkeye sat up painfully and rubbed her eye, using her other hand to keep her propped up. /Damn... What time is it...?/ She glanced at the clock, her eyes instantly widening. "Oh shit!" Her side pulled as she shot out of bed and towards the bathroom. /Oh Mustang is going to kill me!/ She grabbed her brush and ripped it through her hair as fast as she could, the knots getting stuck at the ends. "Shit...!" Riza yanked the brush through them, making a face at the pain of it. She tied her hair up quickly in her normal up-do and covered the cuts on her face and neck with makeup and powder. She held her side as she patted the powder in place. She felt her side beginning to heat up, fresh blood beginning the well up in the wound. /Dammit...!/ Riza gritted her teeth and gripped her side tightly. "Should I change it...?"
Hayate sat at the foot of her bed watching her tilting his head. A small whimper came from his throat, his eyes wide and his belly hungry. "One second boy." Riza shot off towards her closet to grab her uniform, which of course, was no where to be found. "Dammit! Where did he put it!" She rummaged through her closet, drawers, even under her bed. /Where the hell would he have put it?/ Hayate yipped frustratedly and whined. "Hayate! Shush!" Riza got up and held her head. "Where the hell is it?"
• • •
Roy yawned and walked through the hall towards the stairs. /I hope I don't look too bad.../ He stopped at a window, seeing a bit of his reflection. /Good... I thought my eyes were going to be puffy... Guess I was lucky on that one./ With a short sigh he started through the last hallway before the steps. "Hawkeye..." Roy's eyes instinctively found her door and blinked. /Should I check up on her? O-Or... No. She wouldn't... Not after last night.../ He felt a heat well up in his chest, his eyes trying to become watery. "Oh forget it... She hates me..." Roy took a deep breath a forced himself forward, his throat clenching in guilt and worry. / I can't just... Dammit! She doesn't want my help. Just forget it Roy. Just forget it.../ He shook his head and walked past her door. /I'll see her at the office.../
• • •
Riza was just about fed up looking for her uniform. "Where the hell would it be?" Hayate just sat by his bowl watching her frantically look for her uniform. He let out a short whine, Hawkeye turning to glare at the pup. "Hush! I'll get you breakfast in a moment! Cool it!" Riza ran into her bath room and sighed in relief. The bottom half of her uniform drape over the shower curtain, folded thankfully. /Well that's part of it... Now I just need the jacket.../ With a painful yelp, she quickly slipped the pants and skirt (butt-cape) on, fastening the buttons in place. She rushed into her closet to pull out a tight black turtleneck, carefully yet rushed, putting it on over her head and tucking it in. "Okay... The jacket." /Wait... Didn't Roy hang it on the chair? Oh just forget it!/ Riza quickly ran into the small kitchen to get Hayate's morning meal. She set the full bowl down and grabbed her room key. "Dammit..." She glanced down at her side, it luckily being flat with Roy's tight wrapping. "Good..." With a quick leap to the door, Hawkeye stopped. /Dammit!/ She quickly ran back to her bedside table and grabbed her gun and holster, fastening it onto the two buttons on the front of the skirt. "Ok...!" She grabbed Hayate's leash, the pup's eyes widening. He yipped and swallowed the last of his breakfast. "Come on. I am so late. You can get Havoc to walk you when we get to the office." Riza opened the door, pulling the pup with her at a painful trot. /God this hurts! Just shake it off! Shake it off!/ She shook her head and looked down at the loping pup at her side. "Good boy...!" The two rounded the corner and bounded up the stairwell, oblivious to the other officers heading down them.
"L-Leutienent! Watch it!" One of them managed out, being plastered to the railing and wall.
Riza let out an irritated growl, loud enough for them to hear, making them shut their mouths quickly. /Watch your mouth! I'm not just another officer of lower rank. Idiots... How did we get such a pathetic staff...? I can see why Mustang is so upset all the time now. They have no respect./ She pushed forward, Hayate now dragging her up the stairs. As they both reached the level in which the office was on, Riza opened the door and panted, her sides heaving. /Damn I'm out of shape... I used to be able to do that all the time without even as an increased heart beat. Damn!/ She took a deep breath as Hayate sat down beside her, his curled tail wagging slightly. When she finally caught her breath and stood up straight, Riza collected Hayate's leash in her hand, a small yelp of pain escaping her throat. /Damn those cuts...!/
"Lieutenant!" Riza's head shot straight up.
• • •
Roy twisted the knob of the door to his office, a small creak escaping its hinges. /Well time to get to work... Again.../ He took a seat at his desk which was scattered with over due paperwork strewn in every direction. Havoc, Fuery, and Breda sat at their own large table and just watched him. Roy twiddled the pen between his fingers, tapping slightly on the desk. He sighed and picked up a nearly bursting folder of paperwork, swallowing the guilt that had welled up in his throat from the night before. Sliding the contents of the folder out before him, the colonel started looking through them, his eyes distance as if focused on something else. They were dull with the whites of his eyes being a light shade of pink, having barely any sleep the night before. Roy just started signing where he saw the 'X's, letting his muscle memory do everything for him, his mind elsewhere. The officers exchanged glances, all thinking the same thing. There was no doubt in their minds that their superior was acting different.
"Hey, Breda...! ...Breda...!" Havoc nudged him under the table and looked at him. His harsh whisper slightly getting Roy's attention. Roy just acted as if he was working and wasn't paying any attention, which his mind was hardly doing.
Breda just hissed a bit at the lieutenant. "What...! Quit that...! What...!"
"He seems upset, don't you think?" Havoc whispered, looking back at Roy through the edge of his eye. Breda just blinked and thought for a moment.
"He's just his normal self. How can you say he's different?" Havoc just shook his head at the officer.
"Never mind Breda..." he sighed and looked back that the Colonel. Roy made eye contact with him for a moment then went back to work.
• • •
Edward blinked and looked at the Lieutenant in front of him. "L-Lieutenant Hawkeye? Are you alright?" He glanced down at Hayate's bright eyes and then to Hawkeye.
Riza just let out a sharp breath and nodded, dusting herself off of imaginary dirt or debris. "Of course Edward. Why shouldn't I be?" She bit her tongue hating having to lie to the boy. She never liked to lie but in some cases, it had to be done.
The short blonde tilted his head slightly, knowing the full extent of her injuries and what had happened to her. He had to play the innocent little boy that most people thought he was. "Oh. You just seemed a bit on edge and rushed. I was just curious."
Riza swallowed and gathered Hayate's lead in both hands, adverting her eyes from him. "I'm fine Edward. Don't worry about me." She took a step forward, only to get intercepted and stopped by Ed's arm. "Edward. I'm late. I need to go."
The little alchemist stood firm in front of her, his eyes sternly looking directly into hers. Something about his gaze made Riza back a step. /To be so small, boy can he pack a punch.../
• • •
Roy let out a long yawn, glancing at the clock out of the corner of his eye, his worry beginning to surface. /It's not like her to be nearly 30 minutes late.../ He shook his head and looked up. "Havoc, Breda, Fuery... Any of you seen Lieutenant Hawkeye?"
The three officers blinked and shook their heads, trying their hardest not to worry themselves.
Roy put his head in the palms of his hands and nodded in acknowledgment. /Should I go look for her? I left her in a bit of a shaken state last night... L-Last night.../ He looked down sadly and swallowed the lump in his throat. / Is she upset with me after that...? I-I can't believe I did that to her... She was terrified. I could see that and yet... I just brushed it off... I'm so sorry Hawkeye.../ He clenched his eyes together tightly, the three other officers taking notice of the colonel's behavior.
"S-Sir...? I-Is something the matter?"
Roy's eyes shot to the voice. "Fuery... I-I'm fine." He looked away and shook his head, trying desperately to hide the tears that pricked the edges of his eyes.
Fuery looked to Breda and Havoc with a worried expression. They both blinked in concern and watched their superior.
"Don't worry about me. Get that report done." Mustang swallowed and stood up. "Now if you will excuse me..." Without another word, he walked out of the office and out into the halls. He put his hands in his pockets and watched the floor as he walked.
His short tone made the three look to one another, confusion and a slight fear in their eyes. They waited till the door was completely shut before even moving, breathing, or speaking.
"Something is eating at him you see!" Havoc somewhat snapped at the other two officers.
Breda and Fuery blinked, glancing between the door and Havoc. "He has a point Breda. Maybe he just didn't sleep well." Fuery spoke, watching the door for any signs of the dark eyed colonel.
"That can't be it! He sleeps all day and does absolutely nothing but go down and eat lunch down in the mess hall! How could he be tired?" Havoc's eye twitched as he clenched his hands into fists.
Breda sighed in irritation and rested his chin in his hand. "Havoc... Shut up. You're still buzzing from that drunk state you were in last night. We know he's upset. Calm down. There's nothing we can do about it."
Fuery glanced at the usually occupied seat at the end of the desk. "Do you think something may have happened to Hawkeye again?" At that, the other two officers stopped and looked at Fuery. "I-I mean, if you think about it... He got like this after all this happened... He was a bit better yesterday with the lieutenant here. S-Something must have happened..."
Havoc and Breda exchanged glances while Fuery pointed to the door. "He probably went to look for her. Didn't you two see how he reacted just now when the subject of the lieutenant came up?" The dark haired officer blinked at the two men in front of him.
"He has a point..."
• • •
Roy shut the office door behind him and felt the tears welling up in his eyes. He pinched the bridge of his nose, desperately trying to get a hold of himself. /Deep breaths Roy... Deep breaths. Slow down... She's fine./ With a deep shaky breath, he started forward, swallowing against the lump in his throat. He sniffled and shook his head, slipping his hands into his pockets. Roy fiddled with the watch in his pocket, clicking it open and closed repeatedly. The sound of the clicking of his heels against the marble floor and watch were all that sounded. /I'm an alchemist... I am to protect the weak and ones in need... I couldn't even protect you... My lieutenant... Of all people. I couldn't even protect her.../ He looked down and tightened his grip on the sliver pocket watch, furrowing his brows in frustration. /I guess this is how Fullmetal felt about that chimera girl... I understand.../
A soft sigh escaped the colonel's lips, staring at the motionless silent halls in front of him. Not one person was there, nor outside. "Still in bed or late... Sorry excuses for soldiers..." Roy shook his head and turned towards the hall leading to the stair way. /Only one soldier has a valid excuse to be late and or to sleep and she's not them./ He just kept walking, his steps becoming slower and more of a struggle the closer he got to the stairwell heading up to the next floor.
Roy perked as he heard an all to familiar voice. /Damn you Fullmetal... I have to deal with you now... Wonderful. You are the last person I want to run into right now./ He rounded the corner to the stairwell, more irritated than anything. "Fullmetal... Aren't you supposed to be gone-"
• • •
Riza glanced in the direction of her superior's voice, a sudden wave of relief coming over her. /Oh thank god.../ Edward growled and narrowed his eyes at the dark eyed man, his temper instantly rising. Roy's eyes widened as he caught sight of his lieutenant, cornered by the short blonde.
"Oh hello there colonel." He spat out with a smart-ass tone. "What brings you here?"
Roy made his way beside his lieutenant and glared at the angry little elf of a state alchemist, Hawkeye pretty much gluing to the colonel's side the moment he was beside her. He looked at her softly, tuning Ed out to an extent. /Thank god I found you.../ Hawkeye looked up at him and blinked, her heart still beating rapidly from the sprint up stairs. Her eyes said it all to him. She was hiding the pain and fear behind them. Roy gently put his hand on her back trying to calm her the best he could. He watched her eyes soften a bit, feeling the bandages underneath her shirt. /Where's your uniform jacket...?/ He sighed and looked back at Fullmetal, his soft eyes instantly turning to stone. "First off, watch your tone! Do you want me to strip you of that certification I offered you? I can take it back at any moment I please!"
Ed held his tongue, his fists clenching tighter in anger. /How dare he! Why I oughta-!/ A soft growl still resonated from his throat, glaring daggers at the colonel.
"Second of all I came to retrieve my lieutenant from your harassment. I don't appreciate this type of behavior towards my subordinates. It's uncalled for Fullmetal." Roy growled his name in irritation. /This boy is just unruly. Why the hell did I even offer him state certification?/
Riza did her best not to be too obvious about being near Roy. /Ed was about to ask me what was wrong! I have no doubt! Thank god you came along sir! Thank you!/ She swallowed and looked up at Mustang, his hand still on her back, luckily between wounds and bandages.
"Let's get you to the office lieutenant." Roy glared at Ed as he guided Hawkeye away from him. /You damn runt. The nerve of you!/ He moved his hand off of her as they moved away from of the boy, hoping he hadn't noticed the touch. Riza just looked down and tried her hardest to stand straight, her knees shaking. Her side was on fire along with every joint and muscle in her body.
Ed watched them go and narrowed his eyes, wanting so desperately to snap at them both. /Colonel Lazy Ass is just an ass and the lieutenant is just an idiot for even trying to come to work, let alone protecting that bastard!/ He watched Roy's hand closely, noticing how he moved it when he locked eyes with him in a confused glare of hatred.
Roy and Hawkeye rounded a corner, walking down a long hallway, and stopped, Roy making sure no one was around. Riza looked at him, just about to collapse, her eyes shaking. "S-Sir..."
The colonel's eyes widened seeing how shaken and weak she really was. "Sit. You need to get off your feet." He leaned up against the wall and took her hand.
Riza flinched, the cuts on her hands sore as could be. /Sir... W-What...?/ She felt him slowly sliding down the wall to sit, dragging her down with him. "Lieutenant... Please... Be careful." Roy's voiced cracked slightly, looking at her hands, the bandages somewhat bloodied and wrinkled. He dug around in his pocket, bringing out a small handkerchief.
Riza just watched him, her hand remaining in his lightly. /I've never seen him like this before... Why is he so... Worried...? I-It't not like him.../ Roy ran his thumb over the bandages on her hand, everything about him saddening.
"You're not out of the woods just yet lieutenant... You are still hurt and vulnerable." He carefully unwrapped her hand, holding the small handkerchief in between his fingers.
Hawkeye just watched him with her hand. She was still amazed that the colonel, the flame alchemist, the one that cremated Ishval, the one that could incinerate a human with no traces of evidence left to show, could be so gentle. "I know sir... Just... Someone has to look after you in my absence, and no one is to my standard to protect you. I'm the only one that can do it correctly."
Roy stood, not letting her hand out of his, and leaned up against the water fountain that was drilled into the wall, making the water trickle out of the spout. "Don't worry about me lieutenant. You need to worry about yourself. I'll be fine." He moistened the rag in the water and sat back down beside her.
"I still worry sir. No one else seems to get you to listen or do your work when I'm not around. You always seem to find yourself in trouble." Riza adverted her eyes from him, wanting desperately to ball her fist, knowing all it would do is hurt and put Mustang into a panic. /W-Why are you being like this sir? I-I.../
"I... Don't worry about me. I get by." Roy blotted the cut on her hand softly, squeezing it a bit to let the water run through it. Riza just blinked and looked at him, the pain in her hand seemingly invisible to his touch.
"I get by lieutenant." Roy cut her off, careful of his tone. "Give me a chance." Riza looked away, feeling herself heat up, taking his words as if he was scolding her.
"Y-Yes sir." Roy ran the pad of his thumb over her scraped knuckles and down her fingers, guilt welling up in his chest.
"I'm so sorry Lieutenant... I never meant for this to happen..."
Riza blinked and looked at him. His normally strong and determined eyes were now just a pool of grief and sorrow. /Why on earth... W-why are you worried over something that was not your fault? I-I'm the one that stuck my nose into your business. If they hadn't got me they would have hurt you... I couldn't have that./ Her knuckles and hands were still very tender and sensitive, her hand and brows flinching under the colonel's light touch.
Roy looked at her, tears brimming his eyes. /J-Just do it... She needs to hear it.../ "I-I'm sorry lieutenant... I-It was wrong of me to do what I did to you last night... W-Will you ever forgive me?"
Riza blinked and looked at her hand in his. /I have haven't I...? N-No! Don't think like that! He's your superior Riza! Nothing more!/ She swallowed, her fingers hesitantly wrapping around his. /But I can't help it... I can't stand seeing you like this.../ "Sir..."
Roy's eyes widened feeling his subordinates hand tighten around his. He exchanged glances between her hand around his and her. /W-What are you doing lieutenant?/
"Don't worry about it. It's behind us. You didn't mean it." Hawkeye squeezed his hand, wincing a bit from the cuts on her hands.
Roy swallowed, a small tear rolling down his cheek. /B-But... I did mean it.../ "Y-Yes lieutenant." He looked down at his crossed legs, feeling a gentle hand on his cheek, wiping away his tears.
"Colonel..." Riza squeezed his hand again, trying her best to ignore the pain. Roy looked at her, his head hung. "You need to worry about bigger things than what happened. This country needs your strength right now."
"But I need to destroy those damn homunculi that hurt you first. They deserve the worst death possible for what they did to you." With a shaky breath, he took her arm in his free hand, it trembling in the memory of what had happened. "God knows what the after effects of that liquid stone will do to you..."
Riza stiffened and gripped his hand tighter, her cuts pulling and fear shooting through her. "I-I thought Lust said there were no side-effects..." Her eyes widened, trembling slightly.
Roy gripped her hand gently and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "I-I didn't mean to scare you... Slow down lieutenant." /I-I didn't mean to bring it up like that! God I cant do anything right around you anymore.../
Riza nearly glued to him, her throat closing tightly, ready to run if need be. She pressed up against him shaking. /W-What if it d-deforms me...? O-Or worse... K-Kills me? W-Will I turn into a stone? O-Oh god! Or one of them? What if I become a homunculus like them?/ She began to hyperventilate in worry and angst, Roy's grip tightening around her shoulders.
"Lieutenant..." He nuzzled his head against hers, trying his best to calm her down without being too lovey-dovey with her. "Nothings going to hurt you. I'm not going to let you get hurt. As long as I'm still alive, you aren't going to get hurt. I won't allow it." Roy furrowed his brow in frustration and guilt. "I can't lose you..."
Riza clenched her hands together and around his, staring wide-eyed at the floor. The only thing she could thing about was the lab. Nothing was even computing with her. No sound. No touch. No sight. Nothing. /I-I don't want to become a stone! I-I don't want to die! N-No!/
Roy gritted his teeth, hating seeing her in such a state. /Twice she's gone unresponsive this week... And it was around me... What am I doing to her?/ He wrapped his arms around her, still keeping a grasp on her hand. "Lieutenant..." His voice was just about to crack, trying his hardest not to lose control. "Please slow down..."
Riza trembled, her grasp on his hand making the cut reopen, her blood seeping out onto his hand. She shut her eyes tightly, refusing to loose control like she had last time. /N-No! I wont do it! I'm stronger that this!/
Roy pulled her in closer, "Lieutenant..." Riza shook and stayed plastered to him. Her trembling body couldn't help but ache from the wounds that Lust had so given her. Roy held her hand in his and held her close. /God she's going to kill me.../ He couldn't help but kiss her temple, heating up in fear of scaring her more.
Riza stopped and looked down at the floor. /C-Colonel.../