Her father was a genius.
She knew he was an alchemical wonder, beyond most anyone she came across, and she knew, in all areas of science, he definitely qualified as a genius, but she didn't realize that he was a genius in other areas of life, until a few years after his death.
Riza Hawkeye had lived life simply enough. Her mother died when she was quite young and running the large, though mostly empty, manor became second nature to her rather quickly. She knew the Hawkeye's had been affluent at one time, but that was before her existence in this world.
Studying at home had be easy as well. Her father had rooms of tomes on every subject available, and he assigned her various bits of homework and hands on experiments each day. They both learned rather quickly that she had little natural talent when it came to alchemy, and, with a sigh, her father ceased trying to teach her his secrets.
An affinity for marksmanship did present itself, unintentional as it was, when their lack of food and money, and her Father's good sense, sent her into the woods with the family shotgun. Riza found the weapons to be easy extensions of her person, and hunting a necessity that lined up well with her personality. Her father did the cleaning and butchering of the game, but Riza was the one who brought it in. It was this uncanny ability with firearms and the prompting, though not known to him, of her father's last alchemy student, that brought her to the academy, to train to enter the Amestrian military.
Here, at the academy, she found a few things that were previously void in her life. First, she found a best friend, a girl even. Though, Riza, if asked, would admit Rebecca found her, really. Second, she found she could develop a crush on someone who wasn't her father's alchemy student. And, because of this, she discovered the third and fourth thing; that she had a type, and that her father was a genius that loved her in his own way.
It was lunchtime, and the mess was exceptionally crowed that day, probably due to a mixture of the intense physical training that had gone on earlier in the day, and the heavy rain that had set in prior to lunch time. Everyone was subdued, but, because it was so crowded, it was still very loud and a bit smelly, as no one had time to wash up. Riza and Rebecca were squished together at the end of a mess table, eating their questionable fare and discussing plans for the weekend.
"I can't wait!" Rebecca exclaimed while stretching her arms above her head to get the kinks out. "I'm glad they've given our unit an entire weekend's leave. And I've got plans from 20:00 tonight till 20:00 on Sunday!"
Riza looked at her friend from under her bands and cocked an eyebrow at her. She didn't need to say anything, Rebecca caught on.
"Oh, don't be a prude. I'll be home every night after my dates, at least long enough to get ready for the next one."
Rebecca waggled her eyebrows at Riza and Riza returned with a narrowing of her eyes and a cock of her head.
Don't judge me missy!" Rebecca laughed, "I like men, and we're swimming in a sea of them; You realize we're outnumbered 4 to 1 here. And it's only four dates...I think." Riza rushed to say something, but Rebecca started again "And at least I'm livin' it up while I'm young, and maybe I'll find a husband soon. What are YOU doing with your weekend?"
Finally Riza was allowed to speak but found she had very little to say. "I hadn't really though about it, to tell the truth. I'll probably take a long, actually hot shower, go to the firing range, and read...a lot."
"Yawn! I can't believe you're my best friend. At least the way you are leaves more men for me. Oh! I'm being summoned by date #3, I'll catch you back at the dorm."
Riza waved bye as her friend vacated her seat, noticing that the table, and room had cleared out considerably. Enough that when Rebecca yelled "Don't worry about being dateless this weekend! I'll lend you one of mine-!" it was easily heard by everyone in the mess.
Riza put her head down, letting her bangs fall in her face, while every available head turned her way. She blushed and proceeded to shovel the remaining food into her mouth.
A change in the light, and a slight bump preceded someone setting their fresh tray across from her's and sitting down. "You the one without a date this weekend?" A voice with a lazy drawl asked her.
"Yes...by choice." Riza tried to be cool and firm, to discourage whomever was trying to pick up this "desperate" woman. It didn't seem to be working.
The voice bounced back, "I don't have a date either, you think your friend is willing to share with me too?"
This shocked Riza into looking up, catching the blush on the man's face as he realized his mistake.
"T-That's NOT w-what I meant! I meant m-maybe she has room on her itinerary for on more d-date!"
The man reached up and scratched the back of his head, shrugging his shoulders a little, and looking altogether sheepish, which was all well and good to Riza. He should be feeling embarrassed.
"You must be separate for a date if you're willing to be date #4 or 5." Riza stated.
The man blushed a little more, "I'm just desperate to spend my leave doing something other than playing poker or hanging out with the same 20 guys I see every. single. day." With this the man leaned back, looking at the ceiling, arms drooping to his side, and sighed.
A couple of things occurred to Riza at this moment;
First, that this man wasn't her type (she had a type?) and second, that he was pretty good looking regardless.
Although she wasn't ever the one to make the first move, she was starting to think he might make her weekend more interesting. "I'd be willing to do something this weekend, if I were asked." Riza threw out.
The man sat more erect and narrowed his very blue eyes at her. "I thought you were dateless 'by choice' this weekend."
It was Riza's turn to look sheepish. "It was my choice to turn down anyone asking me for a date, if some one had asked me..." Riza looked off to her left.
The blue-eyed man laughed out loud and leaned toward Riza, "Consider yourself asked. Now, are you choosing to decline, or accept? Jean Havoc by the way." The man extended his hand, which Riza accepted, giving him a firm hand shake.
"Riza Hawkeye, and your offer is accepted." Riza's lips turned up slightly.
Jean's eyes widened and he said "Hawkeye!, THE Hawkeye? Girl, you're a legend around here. No one has come close to your records in marksmanship, and you've broken every previous record at the academy with every type of firearm available. You...You're...AMAZING! I can't believe I just asked THE Hawkeye out!" Jean continued to shake her hand and gush about Riza's accomplishments. It made Riza blush, but gave her a moment digest the person in front of her.
He had nice, blue, sleepy looking eyes that she found herself deeply 'admiring'. He was a consistent smoker, his fingers were yellowed and he smelled of smoke. A country boy too, if his slight drawl was an indication. Overall, Riza was more than pleased with he prospect of a weekend with him.
"...So, how about it?" Jean's expectant look made Riza realize she had missed something he said while she was thinking about how nice looking he was.
"I'm sorry, I missed that last part." Riza decided honesty was the best policy.
"It's alright. I was wondering if you'd like to start this weekend off at the firing range. A little contest perhaps..."Jean drew in a sharp breath "...u-unless that was a stupid idea because you obviously spend a lot of time there..."
Not usually a rude person, Riza cut him off regardless. "I like the idea, it's okay. I already had plans to go there this evening, and even have time blocked off. More fun if I have competition."
"I hardly think I'll be competition, but I'm glad we're going, just the same." Riza smiled at Jean, Jean winked at Riza. "Tonight then, the firing range, 19:00." They shook hands and Riza cleared her tray and returned to her dorm.