Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist and am not making any profit from this writing.
Colonel Riza Hawkeye is not jealous. In fact, she feels sorry for the beautiful woman on Fuhrer Mustang's arm. The poor thing has no idea. She's too blinded by the diamonds against her skin and the military blue on her fiancé. She doesn't even realize what she is – a trophy.
Riza is not angry. She does not feel betrayed. It's not as though she thought Roy loved her. It's not as though she had thought herself lucky enough to ever catch the eye of handsome Roy Mustang. It's not as though he led her on, letting her believe he was hers.
She's coming toward her now. The slut – no, Roy's future bride. The Fuhrer's fiancé is approaching her, and she schools her expression to polite interest. The woman – no, the girl, for she can't be much older than Edward – smiles brightly, and Riza smiles back. Because she isn't jealous, she isn't angry. She respects the Fuhrer's future – young – wife, and she's only thinking of shooting her because she's tired. She's tired, and the wine must be getting to her, though she's barely taken a sip.
"Your dress is lovely," Riza compliments. The girl positively beams, and twirls so Riza can see it. It strikes her that she knows a hundred ways to kill a man, and it would be so easy – no, such thoughts are unbecoming of a military woman.
"Isn't it?" the girl giggles, "Roy bought it for me."
"How…sweet." She means it. Really. Only a small part of her, and it's surely the alcohol's influence, wants to tear the dress to shreds.
"Are you quite alright, Ms. Hawkeye?" the girl asks, sweetly concerned, "You look pale."
She's fine, thank you very much. She might feel a tad bit better if she could shoot anyone she pleased, but she can't and she won't. And she doesn't want to!
It's just that this girl could be a threat to Roy. She could be a spy, or a traitor, or any number of things. Riza isn't jealous; it's her duty to protect him. Except it's not her duty, not anymore. She's no longer his Hawk's Eye, the one he wants at his side always. No, the one he wants now is standing in front of her, looking up at her with wide, anxious eyes.
"It's nothing," Riza shakes her head, smiling gently, "I'm just a little tired, is all."
"Oh, alright," she excuses herself, though she still looks worried. The Fuhrer is calling her to the stage at the end of the ballroom. She twirls and runs to him, immediately attaching herself to his arm. He turns to the crowd proudly.
"I have an announcement," he declares. He's looking straight at her, but Riza isn't holding her breath. She's not.
"We will be married on the first day of summer."
There are hoots and congratulations, but Riza hears nothing. She's stuck on one word – married. Her wine glass breaks into a million pieces. No one seems to notice, except the Elric brothers.
Edward and Alphonse are racing to her side. Alphonse is sweeping up the glass in a napkin and Edward is grabbing her arm, leading her away.
She wants to yell. She wants to yank away and scream at him – I'm okay, I'm okay, just leave me alone – but she doesn't. Maybe it's the sad expression on their faces as Edward pulls her away, or maybe it's something else.
"Thank you, Edward, but I'm alright," she says when she's free of the ballroom.
He doesn't protest. He looks like he wants to, but he won't. He lets go of her, and she flees.
Years of practice are all that keep her from tripping on her long dress as she runs down the hall. She slides into the bathroom, pushing the door shut behind her. She takes a deep breath and walks to the mirror, but the woman that stares back at her is not Colonel Riza Hawkeye.
Blonde hair is swept back into an elegant bun, but her eyes are red-rimmed and glittery with tears. Why is she crying? She's not jealous. She knows how to separate work from her personal life. It's Roy that doesn't know how. He's never known how.
She yanks the pins out of her hair, letting it fall around her face. From the skirt of her dress, she pulls her pistol. She steps back. She doesn't bother to push her hair out of her face; she hardly needs to see to hit her mark. The Hawk's Eye never misses.
Her reflection shatters. Outside, she hears Alphonse's shout of surprise, quickly followed by Edward shushing him. She can't quite bring herself to care that they've heard her outburst.
Shards of glass cover the floor, and a wild-eyed woman stares back at her from each shard. She is not Colonel Riza Hawkeye. Riza does not shoot inanimate objects and break mirrors.
She bends over and begins picking up the glass. She doesn't stop until the floor is completely free of debris. She throws it all in the trash, and looks back at the floor. The white marble tiles are stained dark red.
Her hands feel wet, so she wipes them on her dress. She looks in the remaining mirrors mournfully. It's such a pretty dress. The woman in the mirror doesn't deserve such a beautiful dress.
Her hands are slippery, but the silk skirt tears easily. She lets the torn strips fall to the floor, wondering if she should use them to clean up the spilled liquid. It's not blood, because Colonel Riza Hawkeye does not injure herself, intentionally or otherwise. She is not clumsy.
She decides to leave it be, she's too tired to clean it up anyway. She walks to the door, turns around, and slides to the floor. Her ruined dress pools around her as she hugs her knees to her chest.
She rubs at her teary, red-rimmed eyes, but she's not crying. She has something in her eye, that's all. Colonel Riza Hawkeye does not cry over such silly things.
She assumes the Elric brothers have left, until she hears breathing on the other side of the door.
"Edward?" she barely whispers, as if speaking would break the spell.
"Yeah. I made Al go back to the dance," he whispers back. She lets her arms fall to her sides and leans back against the door. Somewhere in her haze, she realizes that something is wrong.
"Why aren't you dancing?" she asks, her voice just slightly louder and tinged with concern.
"I asked Winry to come," his soft laugh is humorless, "I was a little late, I guess. She's dating some mechanic guy in Rush Valley."
For a moment, she doesn't know what to say. Colonel Riza Hawkeye is speechless. She never thought Winry would give up on Edward – Winry loved him. It was clear as day. They were perfect for each other. Then again, hadn't people always said that about her and Roy?
"I had this dress custom-made," she finally says. She's not sure why it suddenly seems so important that he knows this, but it does. She doesn't say who it was made for, she won't admit it out loud, but she's sure he knows.
"I bought her roses," Edward replies.
"I want to shoot her," she admits.
"I want to fist his face," he answers. And she can't help it, because she can just picture it. She can see him screaming curses and punching the living daylights out of the other boy, who won't stand a chance against the Fullmetal Alchemist.
So she laughs. She fists her bloody hand in her mouth in a vain attempt to stop herself. Finally, she calms down.
"I'm sorry," she says.
"No, you're not," he answers, but she can hear the smile in his voice. She wipes her hand on her dress again, and then she slides it under the door. Her fingertips brush against his.
And they sit there together, fingers entwined under the door.
Colonel Riza Hawkeye is jealous. But she knows there is one thing she has that Roy's fiancé will never have, and that is her sons. One in the ballroom, and one on the other side of this door. She didn't birth them, but they are hers as surely as if she had. And not just hers – Roy's too. These are the boys they raised together, and they give her the strength to pull through.
And she thinks that, just maybe, she still has a chance.
Huh. This was supposed to be just total angst from start to finish, but I just couldn't do it. Anyway, hope you liked it! Please review!