It was not the piles of paperwork waiting for him at work that kept him up that night. It was not the rain pouring on the roof above him. It was not the lack of covers due to the blonde blanket-hog beside him. It was the dresser. It was the dresser, which contained a top drawer which contained shirts which were shoved carefully around a box that contained a ring.

It was, of course, a simple ring. Riza was not one to boast something gaudy. It was smooth and silver, with a single small diamond inlaid in the front. It was perfect.

But Riza … she had a knack for refusing his gifts. Many years ago, she would scoff at whatever he'd bought for her and wave it away. If he did this at work, she'd eye him stonily and say, "Not the time, Colonel." Over the years, his giving became left frequent, but when it occurred, the lieutenant found herself quietly accepting them – a bracelet, a fountain pen.

But a ring … the humiliation and disappointment would be unbearable if she refused this gift. Of course, they'd discussed marriage before. Roy wouldn't dare spring the question on her. When they were younger, it was a joke, and Riza laughed along lightly. A few years ago, the topic became more serious. Each time he brought it up, her expression became hard and she said, "Wait until you're Fuhrer." But now he was the Fuhrer, and she didn't elaborate on her promise.

So what was he going to do? He'd considered what Havoc said – do the usual, take her out to dinner and ask here there – but the usual wouldn't do, not for Riza. The alternative was to leave the ring somewhere she'd see it and wait for her to find it, but somehow that didn't seem right either. He was worried – worried he'd say something wrong, worried she'd say no, worried, as stupid as it sounds, that she'd get angry that he'd even suggest it. His mind began to race and he thought if he didn't do something now, he'd never do it -

That was it. If he didn't do something now … so he'd just do it now. What other options did he have? He quietly left the bed and dug the box from the dresser.

"Riza," he said after he'd returned to her side. He poked her shoulder gently. "Riza, wake up."

She rolled over irritably and blinked. "What the hell, Roy? It's two in the morning."

His neck grew hot and he had to get it over with. "Riza, will you marry me?" He flipped open the box and showed her the contents.

"Oh," she said quietly. She leaned over to examine the ring. She squinted, as if thinking about it. "Yeah, okay."

"I … what?" he spluttered. Riza rolled back over the buried herself in the covers. "Riza?"


"You'll do it? You'll marry me?"

"Didn't you hear what I said?"

"Was … was that a yes?"

She smirked. "Affirmative."