Disclaimer: All rights to Fullmetal Alchemist belongs to Hiromu Arakawa :3
A/N: Kyaaaaa~ I am so happy to have been able to prepare for Royai Day. HAPPY ROYAI DAY, EVERYONE! Once again, I would like to thank my ever-awesome, ever-beautiful, ever-patient beta, The Knife 3 don't forget to hit her profile and check out her work :3 she's BRILLIANT, I swear.
Oneshot is set after the Promised Day and after Mustang and Hawkeye are discharged from the hospital and sent back to work.
Track: Secrets by One Republic. This oneshot was born after watching Hayaateuh's Royai video montage on YouTube. Go have a look at that, too!
Hope you enjoy :3
"Let's go, Lieutenant."
First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye blew a stray strand of blonde hair out of her hard, impenetrable gaze, which alone could burn the humanoid paper target over ten feet away from her within seconds. Not good enough, she told herself and loaded another round into her revolver.
"Let's go, Lieutenant."
Riza felt a low growl slip from behind her throat. Next round.
"Let's go, Lieutenant."
The military superior straightened up and sighed, taking in the deafening quiet that enveloped her within seconds. Riza Hawkeye did not always appreciate staying behind at headquarters afterhours, no matter if it meant keeping an eye on her charge who had a loathing passion for paperwork.
"Let's go, Lieutenant."
His deep and commanding but warm voice had been playing over and over in her head for hours, ever since the team called it quits for the afternoon and took their leave from the office. It was one of those days that Riza could not seem to have that characteristic control over her thoughts and emotions, and that meant is was one of the good days to be out at the shooting range, especially afterhours when no one else was around to be doing extra training hours, or to observe 'the Hawk's Eye' tear the place down.
Wherever he went, she would follow, exactly two paces behind him. This was her duty as bodyguard—as personal adjutant. However he moved, she would be in sync with him, if not even one step ahead, her charge still in the midst of slipping white alchemical gloves over his hands while she had two guns poised and ready, if not already shooting...and taking lives one at a time. For him, she told herself. For the man I have sworn to protect.
But even she had failed, numerous times in the past, to protect him completely, despite all her hard-pressed efforts; despite all the times she spent drilling it into her own head, that no one could ever, should ever, hurt her colonel.
Her charge had scolded her once, in front of a subordinate who shared a rank equal to hers, and almost loud enough that anyone passing by the hospital room out on the hallway could have heard.
"You idiot," was what he had said. "You believed the enemy's words and lost the will to fight?" He had been furious. She had muttered a hurt and apologetic reply. "Don't lose your composure. Do not simply accept death. If you are truly my aide, then keep your head."
"Yes, sir," Riza said quietly, and to no one in particular, eyeing the revolver in her hand and she sighed, stealing a glance down the firing range in case the intensity of her thoughts might have summoned him down here...and away from his paperwork. That simply wouldn't do. Riza smirked and began to stow away her things, two pistols and her revolver, used and unused cartridges in their respective boxes. She would have to return to him now, and see if had not already fallen asleep at his desk.
Riza would sometimes count the days when she had felt least like herself around him. This time would be part of that 'sometimes'.
First was many years ago, the night her father passed away, and his pupil came home after four years studying and training at the East City Military Academy. He was a different person from when he left. Stiff and uniformed, exhausted, and more mature, but he still had the air that hung around him that was hopeful, spirited and optimistic, and pure. Riza had felt that surge in her that made her want to throw her arms around his neck and cry into his collar, happy he had returned, but furious as to why he had taken so long coming back. But instead, Riza had held her ground, knowing he would never understand such rash actions. 'Hugging' was never something she had done to or for anyone, not even her father, although he treated her well enough and she loved him very much.
Riza began to walk up the steps leading to main headquarters, her uniform jacket slung casually over her shoulders. There would be no higher-ups at this time of the night and on this side of the building to reprimand her, and she simply did not feel like being so formal, and so Riza Hawkeye. She wasn't herself today, after all.
Crying was the second story. Both herself and her charge have shed tears in each other's presence. It was first at Lieu—Brigadier General Maes Hughes' funeral, when her charge had wept silently before the cold, silent grave. Never had Riza seen him so vulnerable, and she again had felt that odd but familiar surge in her to hold him in her arms and tell him he need not cry alone. But, no. Riza instead remained two paces behind him, and all that she did when he moved back to the car parked outside the cemetery, was follow.
Riza crossed her arms over her chest, walking down the hallway of the third floor now, and stopping to look out the window. Central City HQ was lifeless tonight.
When she first met Lust, the second homunculus who had crossed her path, she thought she had indeed lost everything. He was dead. That bitch killed him, and her satisfied smile spread across her features. Riza Hawkeye, impenetrable, strong, focused, determined...had lost all control in a sudden vicious whirlwind of anguish and self-hate; had wasted all her rounds on an undying freak of nature, had fallen to her knees, and grieved. But when she heard his voice and Alphonse Elric held her back from the flames, she screamed 'COLONEL!' and tried to fight her way towards him. That surge. He was alive. She hadn't lost him after all.
She vowed never to come close. She will protect him.
Riza continued her way down the hall, passing by office after office, not running into a single military officer. She eased herself into her uniform jacket.
The fourth time that bloody surge in her resurfaced was when she was most incapable of acting on it. Physically. She lay on the cold stone ground, literally bleeding to death at a clean slice done well on the side of her neck. Her eyes caught his, that night, and she told him she would be okay. I can't die, she had thought to herself. I can't lose the will to fight. I promised never to lose the will to fight. I swore...to protect him. But she had wanted more than ever, to hold him close. She, again, realized fear of loss.
"But even that passed," Riza muttered as she turned a corner, buttoning up her jacket. "We're here today after all."
And then he went blind. Damned alchemy. What a mess this world was in. "Sir, your eyes—" she had said, unconsciously reaching out to touch his face but he cut her off, all that was left of his dignity and gull renewed.
"Lieutenant, can you still fight?"
She could not deny him anything. She would deny him nothing. She will give to him everything. As was custom at that point, she had ignored the familiar surge, and took her charge's shoulder. If he had lost his eyes, she would serve as a willing replacement.
Riza finally arrived at the door of her communal workplace and stood an inch away from it before leaning her head against the cold dark wood. The last time that surge came to haunt her was when he had recovered his vision. How she so wanted to hold him close, happy and relieved and just so. Damned. Happy.
No, that wasn't the last time.
Riza shut her eyes tight, her fists clenching until her knuckles turned a yellowish white.
This. This ought to be the last time.
Colonel Roy Mustang yawned and stretched in his seat. "Finally done for the day," he chuckled to himself and scanned the room. He hummed. "Hawkeye isn't back yet?"
Just then the door opened quietly, and Riza came in, head lowered, footsteps heavy. Roy furrowed his brow, worry etching onto his features almost instantly. "What's wrong?"
Roy got to his feet and slowly rounded his work desk, his eyes never leaving his subordinate...his dearest subordinate. "Lieutenant, what—"
"Permission to act freely, sir."
"Of course—I'm sorry?" Roy held his breath. "Act freely?"
He never saw it coming, the way she looked up, her face tear-stained, eyes red, but lips fixed into a wide, genuinely happy smile. Riza Hawkeye rushed forward and threw her arms around his neck, half crying and half laughing into his collar.
Roy stood there, stunned.
"You idiot!" Riza sobbed, burying her face deeper into the crook of her superior's neck.
Roy felt his face slowly break into a (pretty stupid) grin, his brow creasing upwards, his arms circling around Riza's waist as he returned her embrace, and he shared her laughter.
Riza Hawkeye was never the most predictable woman, but he understood her. He turned his head slightly and spoke into her hair.
"Let's go, Lieutenant."
Riza flinched and Roy thought he heard her gasp faintly. He smiled and said softly, "Let's go home."
A/N: Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed whatever fluff this contained 3 Please let me know what you think! I'd really appreciate the feedback! =^^=