Disclaimer: If I owned FMA, there would be no fraternization laws and Roy would have married Riza long ago. As it is, I don't own FMA.
I leaned back in my chair, playing with a pen and awaiting the imminent arrival of the lieutenant. Not that her arrival was a bad thing, but once she did show up, I'd have to do my paperwork or get a faceful of lead.
Well, speak of the devil. The door opened and she walked in, leading me to quickly reword my thoughts. Speak of an angel.
I can't help myself; Riza Hawkeye is beautiful. That first time I see her every morning, I think two things. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and If I meet that guy who first invented the fraternization laws, I swear I will turn him into crispy fried human.
"Good morning, Lieutenant."
"Good morning, sir," she replied in her usual tone. I smiled, pulling a sheet of paperwork toward me before she saw that I hadn't started until she came along. She walked over to her desk, sinking into her chair a bit faster than she normally did. I blinked, thinking that I must have hallucinated what she did next. Riza pressed a hand to her forehead and another to her stomach, looking like she had a headache and a stomachache. She never showed any signs of sickness. That just...wasn't her.
"Are you all right, lieutenant?"
"Yes sir." Her voice was normal, at least. Riza has good judgement; if she was really sick, she would have stayed home.
"You sure?" Breda asked, looking slightly disbelieved that she actually didn't look healthy.
"Yes, Second Lieutenant."
In any case, she didn't seem to want anyone to keep pestering her about her health, so I shut up, as did everyone else. If we annoyed her, she would react like she always does: Pulling a gun.
However, this time she was possibly sick. If she was possibly sick, she wouldn't have as good of aim as she normally does. Riza with a gun and less-than-usual precision would not be a good thing.
The next few hours went by uneventfully, and I fully took in Riza's appearance. She didn't look good, to be perfectly honest. She was pale, so pale, except for her flushed cheeks and the darkness underneath her eyes. Every now and then she'd put down her pen and press a hand briefly to her head or her stomach, as if trying to relieve pain there. A few minutes later she stood up, a paper in her hand.
"Sir, this document needs your sig..." Riza trailed off, leaning heavily on her desk for support.
"Lieutenant?" I stood, reaching out toward her. Damnit, she is sick. I should have sent her home.
"I'm fine, sir." She took exactly two steps before her legs gave out completely underneath her, sending Riza crumpling to the ground.
"Lieutenant!" I ran to her side, gently pulling her up into a sitting position. Her face was completely, unnaturally flushed and her eyes were closed.
"Colonel...I'm fine..." She whispered softly.
"Like hell you are!" I growled, brushing back her hawks' wing bangs to feel her forehead but jerking back almost immediately. "You're burning up!"
"No sir, you're the one with the flame alchemy..." My eyes widened in shock, as did the eyes of everyone present. This is Riza Hawkeye. She doesn't get confused. She doesn't answer questions somewhat incoherently.
Except she just did.
"Yes, that's right, I'm the Flame Alchemist," I said gently, slowly helping her to her feet and half leading, half carrying her over to the couch. "Havoc," I added, turning to the tobacco covered second lieutenant. His mouth was still open in shock, and his cigarette was teetering on the edge of his mouth. "There's a thermometer in the first aid kit."
"On it, sir."
I gently swept back Riza's trademark hawk's wing bangs, feeling again that unnatural heat radiating from her body. She didn't pull a pistol on me for touching her so gently.
She has to be really sick.
"Sir." Havoc held out the thermometer and I took it, speaking soothingly to Riza.
"Hawkeye, I need to take your temperature, okay?" She blinked, looking like she was just waking up.
"I'm going to take your temperature," I said again, worry crossing my face. "Do you understand?"
"Of course, sir, but I don't think that's nec-" Taking advantage of her open mouth, I gently pushed the thermometer inside.
"Keep that there, understood? That's an order." She nodded, closing her eyes briefly again. A few minutes later I pulled out the thermometer, squinting at the numbers.
"Right, Hawkeye, you've got a fever. We're going to the hospital."
"No, sir, that's completely unnecessary," she said, looking like she was going to try to get up. "I was just dizzy, I'm fine."
"Damnit, Lieutenant, you've got a 104 degree fever and you can't stand!" I snapped, showing her the thermometer. "104 degrees is dangerous!"
"Sir, it's really-"
"Do I need to make it an order?"
"No, sir." I took her arms-god, when had she gotten so skinny?-and helped her to her feet, wrapping her arm around my shoulders for support.
"You men stay here and take care of things!" I ordered as I slowly walked with Riza to the door.
Riza was leaning on me far too heavily for comfort. She was barely able to stand, even with my help. I was torn between wanting to get her to the hospital as fast as possible and not wanting to push Riza too hard. Finally, after ten long minutes, I was able to gently settle her in the passenger seat of my car.
"How are you, Lieutenant?" I asked as I got in on my side, giving her another worried look. She looked mostly the same as in the office, maybe a little paler after the long struggle down to the car.
"Fine, sir." She leaned against the seat, looking absolutely drained. "I still think you're overreacting."
"Yeah, yeah. Complain when you're better."
I started the drive to the hospital, glancing at Riza every few minutes. She seemed to be getting paler, if that was even possible, and she kept her eyes shut tightly as we continued.
"Colonel." Her voice was more strained than I could ever remember it being. "Stop the car."
"Please sir." I pulled over, not sure what was going on. She stumbled out of the car, falling to her knees on the curb.
"Lieutenant?" She didn't respond, but I saw her body jerk forward. A horrible gagging sound escaped her mouth and I bent next to her immediately, holding back her bangs as she heaved.
Oh god. I've never seen her in anything other than a composed and perfectly healthy state, and here she is throwing up next to me.
I rubbed her back, averting my eyes to what was coming out of her mouth.
"Breathe, Lieutenant. Shh." We stood there for nearly ten minutes before she stopped, breathing heavily and looking like she might collapse again.
"Damn.." She hissed, leaning back into me for support. "I didn't even eat anything today..."
"You didn't eat anything today?" I asked, looking at her sharply.
"Can't keep anything down." She didn't sound like herself. She sounded so weak, so tired.
"I can see that," I murmured, rubbing her back again. "How did you even get to work this morning?"
"You walked? All this way?"
"If I drove, I wouldn't make it," she moaned again, leaning forward and heaving again.
"You shouldn't have come at all!" I scolded when she sat up again, though I couldn't bring myself to be truly mad at a sick person. "Are you ready to keep going?"
"Mmhm." I helped her to her feet and back into the car, mentally planning the smoothest route possible.
"Will you be all right the rest of the way?"
"I believe my stomach is empty now, sir." I winced, trying not to think about what that statement meant exactly.
"How long has it been since you've eaten, Lieutenant?" I asked seriously, remembering how thin she felt when I was helping her walk.
"The last time I ate or the last time I kept it down, sir?"
"The last time you kept it down," I said, becoming more and more concerned by the minute.
"A few days ago, sir."
If I hadn't realized that it would have made Riza's fragile stomach even worse, I would have brought the car to a screeching halt right then.
"Days? You haven't been able to eat for days, Lieutenant?"
"Only a few, sir." She leaned back into the seat again, looking absolutely exhausted. There was a light sheen of sweat on her face, and judging by the redness of her cheeks, her fever was a little worse.
We pulled up to the hospital then, and I've never been so relieved to see it.
"Come on, Lieutenant, we're here." I stopped in the emergency room and called over a couple of nurses that were by the doors, asking for a wheelchair and some help.
"She's got a really high fever, 104 when we checked, and she threw up several times on the way here, she said she hasn't been able to eat for a few days and she nearly passed out earlier." The words came out in a rush as the nurses moved Riza from the car to the wheelchair, calling for a doctor to come right away.
"Miss? Can you hear me, miss?" Riza's eyes were blank and glazed as she turned her head.
"No...I don't want...Where...?" Oh god, she's hallucinating. The nurse nodded, writing something down on a clipboard and then wheeling her away to an examination room. I tried to follow, but the other nurse stopped me.
"Sir, I'm afraid you can't go with her right now. Could you give us identification or something on her, please?"
"Why can't I go with her?" I snapped, staring at the door they'd taken her through.
"Sir, we'll let you know when you can go in. Please, sir, what's her name?" I let out a long breath, willing myself to calm down even though every cell in my body was screaming to go get her.
"Hawkeye. First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye."
"And you are?"
"Her superior officer, Colonel Roy Mustang."
"Roy Mustang? The Roy Mustang?" The nurse's eyes became wide, and I nodded briefly. I don't have time to deal with her right now, and I'm sure it showed on my face.
"Sir, if you'd just wait here." She showed me to a waiting room with no one else, and I sat myself on a hard plastic chair. "We'll be sure to let you know when you can see her."
I ran a hand through my hair, trying to figure out how I had let her get this bad before noticing that something was wrong. I'm her superior officer, damnit! I'm supposed to notice these things and protect my subordinates, not let them run themselves ragged until they collapse in my office. Looking up, I glared at the clock, willing it to move faster so that I could see her, make sure she was okay, and apologize.
After what the clock said was 30 minutes (it felt more like several years), a nurse came out.
I jumped up, walking over to her immediately.
"How is she?"
"Um, you brought in Riza Hawkeye, right?" She asked, looking at her papers.
"Yes, now how is she?" I demanded, desperate for information.
"Well, sir, other than the fever she's also dehydrated and probably malnourished as well. She needs to be put on a fluids and an antibiotic IV right away, only..." The nurse trailed off, biting her lip.
"Maybe its best if you come see for yourself, sir." I blinked, then followed her quickly. This can't be good.
She lead me to a standard hospital room with one bed and an IV in the corner. Riza was sitting cross-legged on the bed with both arms crossed on her chest, though it looked like it was taking her a lot of effort to do so, and two nurses were talking to her, a hint of desperation in their voices.
"Miss Hawkeye, please."
"Lieutenant, it will only hurt for a second."
"What's going on here?" I asked, all three pairs of eyes turning to me. The nurses looked relieved, while Riza looked triumphant.
"See? He won't let you." she said, smiling.
"Miss Hawkeye won't let up put the IV in," One of the nurses explained as I walked over. "Please talk some sense into her."
I nodded, walking over and standing by Riza's bed.
"What's the matter, Lieutenant?" I asked gently, smiling at her.
"They want to put needles in me," she said, sounding like a small child instead of her usual calm and composed self. "You won't let them, right?"
"It'll help you, Lieutenant," I said soothingly, trying not to show how taken aback I was at her total change in demeanor. "I promise."
"I don't want them to!" She reach out, grabbing my sleeve. "You won't let them, right? Colonel?" Her voice became more desperate when I didn't respond right away. "Right? Colonel? Colonel?"
"Could you give us a moment?" I asked the nurses and they nodded, one of them saying something about finding a pediatrician who was good with little kids. Once they left I sat down next to Riza on the bed, gently pushing her hair out of her face. Damn, she's seriously burning up.
"Lieutenant, tell me what's really going on." She looked down and didn't answer. "Lieutenant." No answer. "Lieutenant Hawkeye." She picked at a loose thread on her hospital-issued pants. "Riza!"
She looked up, surprised at me using her first name.
"Riza," I said in a gentler tone. "Why don't you want an IV?"
"I don't want needles," she said in a near whisper, looking down again. Her hands were shaking slightly, and her voice shook. "No needles." I wanted, so desperately, to tell her okay, no needles, we can go home now. She just looked so...pathetic. I know that she'll kill me if I ever use this word to describe her under normal circumstances, but this wasn't normal. She looked so frightened, like a small child afraid of getting in trouble.
"Don't let them tattoo me again, please."
I jerked, staring at her. Tattoo? She hugged herself tightly, shaking a little. "I don't want another tattoo..."
"Oh." I let out a breath as I realized what she was talking about, and I thought for a moment of her back, covered in the symbols tattooed into her skin. That's why she's so afraid. She looked up at me, hope in her caramel eyes. She wanted me to protect her.
"It's all right, Riza. They won't tattoo you."
"There will be a needle," I said slowly, seeing her shrink back at the words. "But there's not going to be any tattoos, and it'll only hurt for a second."
"Promise?" The voice was so vulnerable, so fearful, and yet somehow so Riza. She was reaching out for comfort when she was confronted with her past.
A doctor came in then, smiling and talking gently to Riza. She still trembled at his approach, so I wrapped an arm around her gently.
"You're all right, Riza. You're all right."
Slowly, she wrapped one arm around me and buried her face in my chest. The doctor took the other arm and, after a few slow and nerve-racking minutes, managed to insert the IV.
"Good, Riza, good job!" I said, kissing her head gently. I began to lie her down, but she grabbed onto me tighter.
When the work day finally ended, all of Mustang's subordinates (and Hughes, who insisted on coming along) hurried down to the hospital to visit the lieutenant, Hughes saying something about how his newest pictures of Elicia would make anyone feel better. After getting lost several times, they finally made their way to the correct room, and Breda quietly pushed open the door.
Roy was sitting on the bed, not noticing the men at all. He was gently holding Riza in his lap, stroking her hair gently and singing softly to the still feverish and very sleepy lieutenant.
Hughes slowly reached for his camera.
Thanks so much for reading! It's my first FMA fanfic, my first Royai fanfic, and my first story posted on this site! Review please! You know you want to...