Chapter Seven “A Bath...With Truffles."
Riza frowned as she sipped her coffee. She was going to have to decline this document. The reasons for it were completely unethical and immoral. She signed the bottom line beside ‘I decline this document’ and underlined it as well before setting it in the out tray.
She sighed and set her coffee down, putting her head in her hands, looking out the window. It was well into February now, and it just rained all the time now instead of snowed. After the military ball, she’d been on a series of secret dates with Colonel Archer, but still, no sex. It was like a policy, or perhaps he was waiting for her to make the first move. Well she was damn well about to if he didn’t get a move on.
She picked her head up and opened the last drawer on her desk and took out a bottle of aspirin, popping a couple in her mouth and swallowing. She had the most annoying headache, and it hurt like hell, which meant it was slowly turning into a migraine. Wonderful.
“Still have a headache?” a cool voice came from the doorway. “Apparently.” She mumbled, signing her name to something with a flourish. “Are you positive you don’t want the rest of the day off?” he asked. “Yes, for the one hundredth time, I’m positive I don’t want the day off.” Riza said, starting to get irritated.
“Then take a break. Just 15 minutes. You’re no good to me irritated and pissy.” He said, going back into his office, the door shutting with a snap. She made a face, and pushed back from her desk, getting up and walking into the main office. Ignoring the glare she got from Runa, she strode to the door, and began to walk towards the bathroom.
Maybe some cool water on her face would help. She splashed the water on her face, and leaned against the wall as she dried her face off with a towel. She felt slightly better as she walked to the cafeteria and grabbed herself and iced tea. She went and sat outside under an oak tree, putting her head against the steel table. “Ahh, much better.” She sighed happily.
“Oh, I didn’t realize it was you, Lieutenant Hawkeye.” A quiet voice said. She looked up, and smiled in a small way at Kain Fuery. “Sorry, did I disturb you?” she asked. “No, I was just doing some quiet reading. The colonel let us out early for lunch…” Fuery replied, pushing up his glasses.
“I see. Are you guys mad at me because of my decision?” she asked quietly, her curiosity piqued. “No. We don’t blame you. The one who’s really mad at you is the Colonel.” Fuery informed her.
“I see. You have to understand. With Colonel Archer, I can…I can be happy. I still understand Roy’s reasons…but Frank…well his reasons seem so much more reasonable, logical, and rational. He’ll only go to war if it’s necessary. Yes he loves war, but that doesn’t mean he’ll kill millions for it.” Riza explained.
“I understand.” Kain said, nodding his head with a slightly smile. Riza took a sip of her tea, and closed her eyes. “It looks like we’re being watched by both our Colonels.” He said carefully a few seconds later.
Riza looked up at the windows of H.Q., and snorted, glaring at Mustang and Archer. “No doubt they both think we’re exchanging secret information.” She grumbled, standing and waving at Fuery.
“See you around, Kain.” She said, walking back towards the building, drinking her tea.
“Before you ask, we did not talk about any secret documents or anything of the sort.” Riza stated as she came into her office, setting her half-full bottle of tea down. Frank made a small noise, as he looked up form his desk, the door between their offices was open.
“I wasn’t going to ask anything.” He said shortly. She turned to him, her eyes appraising. “Somehow, I doubt that.” She said, sitting down.
“Your headache letting up?” he asked slowly, signing his name carefully to a document. “It’s clearing up yes.” She answered, already finished with most of her paperwork.
“Then you won’t object to dinner at my place tonight.” He said. She looked over at him, their eyes meeting. “I suppose not.” She answered simply. “Its settled then.” He said, giving her a smirk.
Riza checked her face again in the hall mirror before she put her coat on to go out the door. This would mark the first time she went to Frank’s house. Wearing a simply pair of jeans, a silk dress shirt, and a matching pair of shoes, she looked simple and stunning all at the same time. Her hair was down, but restrained lightly in several places with bobby pins.
“Stay in the house, Hayate.” She instructed her dog lightly, walking out the door, and into the fresh, crisp air of the full-mooned night. The moonlight glinted off of her hair as she walked the couple of blocks to Frank’s house. It was amazing how close the military people lived to one another. And sometimes they didn’t even know it.
She put her hand lightly to her coat pocket where she kept her small handgun, making sure it was there, and it was. She never went out of the house without her guns. She stepped lightly onto his porch, admiring how well kept the outside looked, and how impossibly stern it looked as well. It was just like Frank to have a stern looking house.
She rang the doorbell lightly, knowing she would be right on time. A few seconds later, the door opened, and she looked at him, a smile gracing her lips. “I do believe you were expecting me.” She said, and he took her hand, kissing it lightly. “I can’t think of anyone else I’d be expecting. You are my only friend, dear Riza.” He said playfully.
She chuckled, stepping in lightly, and letting him take her coat. “I was just admiring you lovely abode from the outside. I wouldn’t have expected anything less. It has your name written all over it.” She said in a playful tone. He chuckled, crossing his arms.
“Well then I’ll let you be the judge of the inside.” He said, sticking his nose up arrogantly. She giggled, looking around. It was…unexpected.
Several lamps lit the room, and there was a full living room set of furniture. It was all a rather dark blue, and comfy looking. The carpet was a contrasting white, and the bay window was obscured by rather nice looking brown drapes. She made a few noises, and walked carefully to look into other rooms. The house was done in much the same way, except for the artwork that occasionally decorated the walls. Very good artwork though, nothing sloppy or unattractive.
The more she looked around, the more she saw how much the house screamed out Frank’s vital tastes. And she liked them. Another similarity between them, she mused, walking back into the living room. Then she noticed something she’d completely missed before.
The piano stood in the far left corner, away from the door. It to was black, with a shiny black bench to accompany it. It was a grand piano, and now that she saw it, she didn’t know how she could’ve missed it. “You play piano?” she asked curiously, peering at it, interested.
“When I’m in the mood, I do.” Frank said, said coming up behind her. “Let me guess, jazzy music?” she said, looking at him indulgently. “Mmm.” He smirked, kissing her on the lips, bringing her around to face him fully. ‘Damn those lips…’ he thought, relishing the kiss. She felt her heart lurch, and sighed into the kiss. A good sigh. He put his cool hand against her cheek, going in for the kill when a loud meow was heard.
“Buster…” he muttered angrily as Riza pulled away. “You’d never guess that Frank Archer kept cats…your furniture has no fur on it what so ever…” Riza said, smiling at the three cats that not sat in front of them.
“Riza, meet Amadeus, Buster, and Sinatra. My three very spoiled, very nosy cats.” Frank said, his face softening as he spoke of them. “A calico, a tabby, and a very beautiful Siamese.” Riza mused, kneeling down. The first one to come to her was Amadeus, who rubbed up against her leg, purring already as she pet him. The second one was Sinatra, though he approached her with caution, he let her pet him as well.
Buster was the last one, and he gave her a reproachful look before meowing, and she smiled, petting him too. “They’re so sweet.” She said carefully, making sure each of them got the same amount of attention. Frank uncrossed his arms, and helped her up. Then he looked down at his pets.
“Go finish your supper.” He said in a cool voice, and they obeyed silently, except Buster, who glared before swishing off. Obviously he thought he was king of the castle. “Dinner should be ready in a few minutes.” He noted, going towards the kitchen.
“I’ll go wash up, then.” Riza said, walking towards where she knew the restroom was. She washed her hands carefully, making sure the water didn’t go everywhere, and dried her hands methodically. She pushed her hair back a bit more, and put a hand to her cheek, noting the faint blush. ‘Silly woman.’ She thought to herself, going towards the dining room where Frank was setting down the food.
“It looks wonderful.” She commented, slipping into the seat he had pulled back for her.
Dinner was a delightful affair. They made small talk, about almost anything they could think of. After dessert they were immersed in a deep conversation about how the government should be run as they walked into the living room.
“I agree with you on that point, but not on the other one.” Riza said lightly, sitting comfortably on the couch. “But it’s the only way that’s moral.” Frank argued. Riza shook her head, “Sometimes morals aren’t the best ways to go about doing things.” She said. He took her hand in his, sighing.
“There’s no use arguing with you, Riza. I would only get tired.” He said, chuckling. She smiled, her eyes fiery. “You’re just afraid of loosing an argument with a woman.” She challenged. He smirked his eyes cool and calculating. She could get lost in those blue eyes for hours, she thought, looking into them. “No, no, I’m just afraid of hurting your feelings when I win.” He said mildly.
“I’m gonna kick your ass, Colonel Archer.” She muttered, poking him. “Now, now, Lieutenant. Your idle threats are useless.” He smirked, crossing his arms. “No, you’re just being difficult.” She said, pushing some of her hair back behind her ear.
He placed a hand under her chin, lifting her head up to look into his eyes. “What’s wrong?” he asked softly. She gave him a faint smile. “Something, but I don’t know what, is going to ruin this for us…” she said quietly. He pulled her closer to him, putting his arms around her.
“An affair between higher ranking officers and lower ranking officers is very common in the military. Not all of them are found out about until after those two officers retire. I doubt we’ll retire any time soon, and I doubt that if anyone did find out that they would care. Besides, we haven’t really done anything, there’s nothing to hold against us.” Frank assured her.
“I know. I just can’t help but think…well never mind. It doesn’t matter now.” She said, smiling at him.
“And you’re a snobby Ice Princess.”
“Ah, but that’s why you want me.”
“In your dreams, Colonel Archer.”
“Are you going to sit here and argue the rest of the night, or what?” he asked pleasantly. “I can think of a couple things I’d rather be doing.” Riza said, smiling an evil little smile. “Like what?” Frank asked, somewhat hesitant.
She leaned in closer, her lips barely touching his. “Take a bath, with truffles.” She said softly.
A/N: Don’t ask; for god’s sake don’t ask. I believe this chapter is a little off. However, next chapter some events will be set into motion, and we’ll see a slightly darker side of a couple people. All I have to say about the next few chapters is this: Oh crap Riza!
Chapter Seven "Death"
Runa raised the shiny blade of the knife over Riza's heart and cackled. "This is what you get Hawkeye! FRANKIE SHALL BE MINE!" she screeched. And then the knife plummeted down into her stomach, blood squirting out and running over her night gown.
"You...bitch..." Riza gushed, blood dribbling out of her mouth. Frank stood horrified, the sheets wrapped around his waist. In the corner, a ghost like Hughes took pictures. "Runa...since you killed my lover, marry me." Frank said in a mono tone voice. "Oh Frankie, you mean it?" she whispered, dropping the knife.
"Yes, we can go to Vegas, and watch the Fuhrer gamble Amestris away to Mustang. Then we'll round it off by singing 'Something Stupid'" Frank said, taking her in his arms and kissing her passionately.
And so they did.
You guys really thought I would write that garbage? APRIL FOOLS! I have a twisted sense of humor... teehee XDD
Chapter Six “No Satisfaction.”
“Hawkeye, you can’t be serious, you’re going to the ball with Archer? THE Ice Princess?” Maria Ross said, giving Riza a disbelieving look. Riza sighed, and shook her head.
“You haven’t had the chance to work him, Lieutenant. He’s actually…well… Okay, I admit he is a bit of a arrogant snob, but he gets his work done, and he’s honest.” Riza said, giving Archer the best defense she could. Maria scoffed and shook her head sadly.
“He brainwashed you! I thought you were hell bent on helping Colonel Mustang become Fuhrer.”
“I thought you loved Colonel Mustang?”
“He changed…he doesn’t need me any longer. He made that clear with my transfer.”
“He didn’t mean that. He misses you.”
Riza stood up and pushed her loose hair back. “I have to go back to Headquarters. I forgot to file something.” She said quickly, leaving Maria behind in the park. “I’ll see you at the ball Saturday!” she heard Maria yell after her. She waved her hand in the hair, and pulled her coat closer around her.
She hated thinking about him. How she had devoted her entire life to just one man. Then he’d tossed her over to someone else. Thankfully that somebody that appreciated her hard work. She was sure Roy had appreciated her hard work; he just hadn’t been smart enough to know that she cared for him deeper. Everyone else had known, for god’s sake. Maybe part of her still cared for him…just a little. If only she knew how he felt about her, maybe then she’d be able to move on.
She slipped quietly into the office, not wanting to disturb anyone as she quickly made her way to her office. It felt weird being in H.Q. without her uniform on. She went to her desk, and flicked through the files quickly, biting her lower lip as she found what she was looking for.
“Lieutenant, what are you doing?” a cool voice came from the Colonel’s door. She jumped, and looked over, looking like a deer in the headlights herself.
“I was…I’m…I forgot to file this file in it’s proper place, and it’s been bugging me all day.” She said quickly, stumbling on her words. So unlike herself. It’d only been a week ago that this man in front of her had complimented her beauty and kissed her hand.
A smirk tugged on his lips as she said this, and he crossed his arms. “We’re alike, did you notice? Can’t stand to have something out of place, ever. It’s annoying to me.” He said, striking up small talk. All part of his master plan, he assured himself. Riza nodded silently, going over to the filing cabinet in the corner and filing the file away.
“Now that that’s out of my system, I can enjoy the rest of my day off.” She said, going towards the door when he stopped her. By grabbing her hand.
“Just one second, lieutenant.” He murmured. ‘No, stop now.’ He warned himself. He had a battle raging inside him. He lusted for this woman. He’d NEVER had such a lust for anything before. EVER. He knew the rules, the protocol, everything. Yet he was ready to throw it all away and just screw her. ‘But you can wait, wait until the right time, then the final pieces to the plan will fall in and Mustang will be gone, and you’ll be in the hot seat.’ His common sense told him.
“Is there something you wanted, sir?” she asked in a calm voice, though inside her common sense was telling her to put her guard up. But those eyes of his…there was something in them. “I just wanted to make sure…make sure that you had everything you needed for the ball Saturday.” He said, fighting the urge to lean down and kiss those luscious lips of hers.
“Yes, I do. Thank you.” She said, starting to leave again, but his hand held her fast. He was stronger than she thought. “I’ll be picking you up at 7. Please be prompt, I don’t like waiting.” He said, his eyes boring into hers.
“Neither do I, Colonel.” She replied, her voice a faint whisper as she realized how close he was. ‘Reckless, reckless, reckless!’ his mind roared as he pressed his lips against hers softly, their warmth inviting. Her eyes widened, his lips weren’t cold at all! They were actually kind of warm, yet they had a certain coolness to them. She closed her eyes and pulled back quietly.
“I think I should go. We need to keep our jobs if you want to become Fuhrer.” She whispered her eyes glazed over. Her mind was blurred, and she needed to get away and think. Before another mistake happened.
“Yes, you’re right of course. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Frank said, clearing his throat, his control slipping back into place quickly. She nodded, slipping back out of the office, her blond hair following. Frank marched back to his office and threw himself into his chair, angry with himself. ‘How could you loose all control like that?! How could you be so reckless! Somebody could have walked in!’ his conscience roared at him.
He took a few deep breaths to calm his nerves. He need to be in control of this. He wasn’t going to let his hormones take over him every time he got close to her. That wouldn’t be good for Saturday. Though it did help his plans. He would treat Riza like Mustang never treated her. He’d give her what she wanted, what she deserved. A real man. And he’d get what he wanted from her. A good fuck, and loyalty to help him get the Fuhrer’s chair.
Riza laid down in her bed to take a nap, but found herself tossing and turning. Her lips still burned from his kiss. She let out a sigh in frustration, and closed her eyes. She was falling into a trap, and she knew it. But did she really have any other choice? Yes, but Roy had denied her. Frank…Frank was practically offering her everything. And that’s what she wanted.
Just after she finished putting her earrings in, the doorbell rang. She glanced at the clock and smiled, walking to the door. “Right on time.” She said, opening the door, and grabbing her wrap. But he stood, staring.
“Colonel?” she asked softly, ready to giggle as he stare at her in amazement, looking her up and down. (Remember the dress from last chapter? Yeah, Frank LIKES it, A LOT. LOL)
“You look astounding tonight, Lieutenant.” He said, gathering his wits back together. “Actually, no words describe the way you look tonight.” He said smoothly, coolly. She flushed red for a minute, and took his hand as he helped her to the car.
“Thank you, sir.” She said modestly. “Please, tonight let’s be on a first name basis, Riza.” He said, opening the door for her. He was doing everything a perfect gentleman should, and she was impressed.
“Runa’s going to be there, isn’t she?” Riza grumbled as he started the car and began to drive. “Now, now. I’ll make sure we stay on the dance floor as much as possible after dinner. And we’ll sit at full table.” Frank assured her with a chuckle. “Good. The further away I am form her the better. I’m going to kill her someday, Frank.” Riza said confidently. He laughed again, making a right-hand turn.
“You don’t look so bad yourself, you know…dressed in full uniform.” Riza stated a few minutes later. “Why thank you. I try.” Frank said smirking. ‘Just as arrogant...’ Riza thought, looking back out the window. She was going to try to ignore Roy Mustang as much as possible tonight. She had made her decision. And she chose Frank. He was offering so much, and she wanted it.
As they entered the enormous ballroom, half of the military was already there. Most of the General’s and other higher-ranking officers were in attendance, and Mustang and his crew were lounging in chairs with their dates. It actually surprised both her and Frank that they even had dates.
“Just act natural.” He murmured in her ear when he sensed her falter at his side. She looked up at him, and gave him a slight smile. “May I show you off?” he asked a moment later, leading her towards the generals. And right past Mustang and the others.
“If you must.” She played along coyly. She didn’t miss the fact that half the men in the room were already staring at her. Now she was thankful for choosing the dress she wore now. She really was a knockout. She wore her hair down, but the edges were pinned back with the diamond clips to accentuate her lovely facial features.
“Gentlemen, may I introduce to you my lovely date. First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye.” Frank announced to the Generals and The Fuhrer. (They were all at the same table with their dates) “There she is! I always knew you were beautiful, Miss Hawkeye.” One of them said, and she put on a fake blush, thanking him in a murmur, looking down modestly.
He continued to talk to them for a few minutes before bidding them a good night and moving off with Riza on his arm. “There now. You made quite an impression on them.” He murmured in her ear as they made their way towards Mustang and his lot.
“So I noted.” She whispered as they stopped in front of the rivals.
“Archer, Riza.” Mustang said, sipping his champagne.
“Lieutenant Hawkeye if you don’t mind, Colonel Mustang.” Riza said simply.
“Since when?” Falman looked up quickly.
Riza looked over at Frank, locking eyes with him. She was ready to break the news. “Since I decided to take my loyalty elsewhere. The truth is, I am the sharpshooter and I choose the Ice Princess. That’s how this story of ours really ends.” She stated clearly.
Roy looked at her, his eyes wide. He was too late, he was going to tell her tonight that it had all been a mistake…but he was too late. She’d chosen, now her signature on that document to frame Frank meant nothing. Everyone around him looked surprised too.
“I don’t understand.” Armstrong said, his sparkles gone.
“I can’t make it any clearer. Colonel Archer has offered me everything I could ever dream of. And I know where my place will be when he becomes Fuhrer.” Riza said, her voice cold. Frank smirked, and shrugged at their shocked looks.
“I guess we know whose the better man, Mustang. I guess we know who’s going to win in the end. Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of your queen…I mean my queen.” Frank said his voice laced with ice and glee. You could see his happiness in his eyes. Riza smiled up at him as they walked away.
“Good job. You did it with grace, Riza.” He said, patting her hand. She groaned as they heard Runa’s voice squeal.
“Frankie! What are you doing?” she said, suddenly standing in front of them. “Making a fashion statement.” He said sarcastically. “How is bringing Hawkeye to the ball a fashion statement? Love your dress, Hawkeye.” She said, her ADD coming through.
“He was being sarcastic, brunette.” Riza said icily, her eyes fiery. “If you’ll excuse the Lieutenant and I.” Frank said quickly, sensing danger. He guided Riza over to a table that was almost completely full except for two chairs, which was perfect.
He pulled her chair out for her, and Riza noticed she was sitting right beside Maria Ross and Denny Bloch. ‘Great going, Archer.’ She thought. As he sat down on her other side, they both began to mingle with the others at the table. A few minutes later Dinner came out and the Ball officially began after the Fuhrer made a few toasts. In which it became apparent the man had already had too much to drink.
“Riza, would you do me the honor of dancing with me?” Frank asked a few minutes after everyone had finished their dessert. A few couples were already on the dance floor waltzing.
“I’d be delighted.” She answered simply, saying excuse me to Maria as he helped her onto the dance floor.
“Your eyes aren’t so icy tonight.” She remarked as they began to waltz. “I have you here with me. I can’t very well be cold to someone who’s already helped me so much.” Frank said, his tone soft. ‘Now that I have her…I’ll use her to my advantage. And make sure she gets what she wants. While keeping my emotions under control. I have a reputation to uphold.’ He thought quickly.
“You flatter me, Frank.” She murmured, looking down. His lips twitched as he noticed how well rounded her lips were. They were so close, no they WERE perfect.
“Judging by how many times we’ve seen those waiters refill the Fuhrer’s glass, he may die of alcohol poisoning tonight.” He joked, making sure no one else could hear him. Riza gasped, and giggled, following his lead in the dance.
“We have an audience, by the way. Mustang and his group, and pitiful looking Runa.” Riza murmured, casting a glance at the said people. “Let them look. If they put some jazz music on, they’d get a real show.” He said confidently.
“You like Jazz?” Riza asked curiously. Frank nodded, stopping as the music did.
“It’s the only kind of music besides Opera and symphony I like to listen to. Anything else is a waste of time.” He stated clearly. Riza nodded, agreeing. Then Frank got his wish, some jazzy music came on, and he smirked. “Follow me sugar.” He joked, spinning her out them back in and leading her about the ballroom floor.
She was breathless halfway through the song, but smiling. A real actual smile. Roy glared at them as he sat at his table, his arms crossed. “At least she’s happy.” Fuery said. Several hands slapped him.
“He’s angry.” Riza worried as she caught a glance of Mustang. “Let him. He won’t lay a hand on you. Or me for that matter…” Frank said, bringing her close and swaying for a couple minutes. She giggled as she saw Runa, fuming with her date across the dance floor.
“This is illegal.” She said, biting her lower lip as she smiled. “What? This isn’t fraternization. Just two people enjoying each other’s company. As far as any of these people know. If you wish, it could be more.” He suggested.
“Another offer to win my absolute loyalty to you?” she asked, looking up at him as the song ended.
“I’m going to give you everything that idiot didn’t give you.” Frank said, his tone hard. Then she knew. He just wanted to be better than Roy. But…there was something more in his voice that she heard that maybe he didn’t. he wouldn’t risk his career over just anyone. She let out a sigh in her head. ‘I’ll just stay on the ride for now. Screw it.’ She thought as he led her back to the table.
“I’ll be right back.” Riza said quietly as they reached the table, moving away towards the restrooms. Once she got in there, she leaned against the wall, taking in deeps breaths and exhaling them. She had to trust that she was doing the right thing. She was ensuring her future. She was making sure this country didn’t go up in smoke…
After she splashed some water on her face (she didn’t wear make-up, she’s Riza…) and dried it off, she straightened her hair and walked back into the ballroom discreetly, where she was grabbed by a pair of hands and dragged out onto the balcony.
She would’ve screamed if the person hadn’t kissed her next, she pulled away, almost falling into a rosebush. “Just what do you think gives you the right?” she hissed, looking angrily at her former commander.
“You can’t seriously choose him, Lieutenant. He’s an absolute asshole.” Roy said, his tone light and slightly pleading. She snorted, crossing her arms. “Don’t beg, it doesn’t look good on you. Havoc maybe, but not you.” She said, looking away.
“Why?” he asked simply. She looked down for a minute that was a good question.
“He…he doesn’t slack off, he’s always on task, he’s neat and orderly. He tells me that I’m beautiful, and he knows how to talk to me without pissing me off. He’s not as cold hearted and cruel as everyone thinks.” Riza said, trying not to give anything away.
“What about that Runa girl?” Roy asked. Riza laughed bitterly, her eyes glazing over with hate.
“We both would like to kill her. Or put her in the loony bin. She’s horrible. She never stops talking, and she fan-girls over Frank constantly.” She said, her tone scornful.
“You’re on a first name basis with him? Are you sleeping with him?” Roy asked, suddenly jealous and outraged. Riza glared at him.
“You think I’d just spread my legs with any man that comes along? Yes we are on a first name basis outside of work, and no we’re not sleeping together, but we want to.” She said, brushing past him to go back into the ballroom. He followed her in there, grabbing her by the arm and whirling her around, and kissing her again.
She pulled back severely, and slapped him, causing him to stagger backward. She had tears in her eyes. “Don’t…you EVER, ever do that again. You are nothing to me, anymore. You let me fall the minute you signed my transfer documents. You don’t need me, Colonel Mustang. I’d prefer it if you left me the hell alone.” She said, and stunned silence fell upon the entire ballroom as she spun on her heel, and bumped right into Runa, who shoved her off.
“Don’t you even start with me!” Riza growled, tossing her hair back as everyone continued watching.
“You took Frankie away from me!” Runa nearly screamed. Riza rolled her eyes and threw her hands in the air, ready to reach for the gun she had stashed under her gown.
“Don’t start your drama with me, little girl. His name is Frank, NOT Frankie. He doesn’t like you, in fact he wants to transfer you to the jerk that’s currently holding his cheek. That way we won’t have to put up with you anymore. The entire department hates you. I hate you. He hates you.” Riza said in a rush, her anger getting the better of her.
“You’re a liar!” Runa yelled. Riza almost let out a roar of frustration but she just closed her eyes and clenched her fists. Then a huge burst of laughter came from the Fuhrer’s chair as he broke out in laughter. He was beyond drunk now.
“I’m going home. This is absolutely ridiculous.” Riza said, walking towards the front doors and shaking her head. “She can’t get any satisfaction” Breda laughed out loud.
“If you’ll excuse me..” Frank said, standing from his seat and grabbing Riza’s wrap as he too, walked out the front doors of the ballroom. The Fuhrer continued to laugh until he fell off his chair, which caused everyone to laugh.
“Riza, wait.” Came Frank’s calm voice just behind her. She stopped in her tracks, and sighed, closing her eyes. She felt him put the wrap around her shoulders. “I’m sorry. I lost it back there.” She whispered.
“You had every reason to. Now you’re stressed and I can’t have it. I still need you in the office Monday morning. Though I doubt the Fuhrer will be in. His hangover will last a couple days.” He chuckled. She gave him a weak smile, opening her eyes.
“The nerve of him…the nerve of her…” she muttered, suddenly angry again. “You want me to go back in there and kick his ass, and have her accidentally thrown off the balcony?” he inquired. Riza chuckled herself, and shook her head.
“No…they’ll get theirs in the end. Right now I just want to go home and crawl into bed after a nice hot bubble bath.” She said, looking down at the ground. Frank’s eyes lit up, then he batted them away. Damn feelings. This woman had awakened emotions in him he’d long forgotten he’d had. Now there was a war going on in his head. He wouldn’t be rough with her…well maybe the first two times.
He growled inside himself, and thought about something else, anything else. “Let’s go then, it’s late anyways.” He said, putting a hand on the small of her back, which was bare due to her dress having no back at all. Her skin flared up, fire flaring up on the spot where his hand was. Suddenly she had a sudden desire, a sudden urge. But she tried to fight it as they got in the car and he began to drive.
Chapter Five “A Kiss On The Hand”
Riza bit her lower lip in indecision as she looked at herself in the mirror. She now had two weeks until the ball and still no dress. Right now, she was wearing a pink frilly number and she hated it. But the shopkeeper had demanded she try it on. She stepped back into the dressing room, and took it of, giving it a disgusted look as she handed it back to the shopkeeper.
“Perhaps the blue one then?” the shopkeeper said.
Riza wanted to let out a snort but resisted. She took the satin blue dress off its hanger, holding it up before her. It went straight down to her feet, with a slight train on it. It had a plunging neckline that stopped just before reaching her abdomen. It had no back; it just tied at the neck. It had silver designs all over it, and it puffed out slightly like a bell. It was perfect. She slipped into it, tying it at the neck, and smoothing it out as she stopped into the shop again, looking in the three-way mirror.
“Oh!” she exclaimed softly, noticing how well it clashed with her creamy skin and her golden blond hair.
“You look absolutely gorgeous!” the shopkeeper said.
“Thank you…” Riza managed to murmur, going back in the dressing room and changing into her civilian clothes.
She ended up buying the dress. Thank goodness it had only cost her two hundred dollars. Its original price had been five hundred. She dropped into a couple other shops, buying the necessary accessories to go with her gown. She got diamond pins for her hair, a pair of blue high heels that were the same exact color as the dress, and she bought a small necklace that had a single diamond on it.
As soon as she got home, she put everything up, and fed Hayate. Then she got herself something simple to eat. She sat down on the couch afterwards, and snuggled under a fleecy blanket, ready to continue reading her romance novel. Hayate jumped up near her feet, and curled up, closing his eyes.
Just another typical day…
Frank leaned back in his desk chair, letting out a sigh. Hawkeye’s days off were something he dreaded. Because then he had to put up with Runa alone. Having finished all of his paperwork in good time, he had extra time on his hands to be leisurely. And he had no clue as to what to do with that extra time.
He spun around in the chair, and whistled an old jazz tune as he walked over to the window. And he narrowed his eyes as he looked. ‘Just what is Mustang doing now?’ he thought, bitterness creeping into his boredom. Just outside, heading towards the barracks, was Mustang with one of his loyal dunderheads. The one that smoked all the damn time. He sneered, turning around and going back to his desk.
He’d have Mustang sacked and packing to the East in shame in no time. It was all a matter of will power. And with a little help from First Lieutenant Hawkeye of course…Somehow, she had become vital to his plans to become Fuhrer and get this country settled HIS way. Yes, he had to do it all his way.
Riza walked into a quiet office, as she did everyday, but today was special. Runa was on sick leave. ‘She’s sick!’ Riza rejoiced in her head, sitting down at her desk, shifting through paperwork and humming a happy tune. Maybe she had a foreign disease and was going to die… or perhaps she would become disabled by it.
While Riza was coming in, Frank was preparing to exit. He had business to do, top secret business.
“Just where are you going?” Riza’s light tone came form her desk. He had to suppress a smirk.
“Out, I have some business to attend to. Don’t worry the paperwork is finished.” He replied to her question, grabbing his coat and walking briskly out the door.
She bit back a smart-ass reply and got started on her own paperwork as the door shut. She bit her lower lip in thought as she looked over the first document, slightly confused by it’s contents, but signing her name to it nonetheless, hoping she wasn’t screwing up something big.
“Do you think she signed the document?” Roy asked Havoc as they shifted through some files in one of the warehouses. “Knowing Hawkeye she probably did, though she may have been slightly confused.” Jean answered, puffing his cigarette. “Ha, it’s nice to know she can still help me become Fuhrer without actually having to be under my command.” Roy mused, staring into space.
“But who’s to say it will get through everyone else?” a cold voice said from the doorway. “Because I make some excellent points.” Roy said, looking up, his eyes hard.
“Ah-ah-ah, calm down Mustang. I’m only here to see what you’re up to.” Archer said in a calm tone, his eyes guarded.
“Well it’s none of your business, you can leave now.”
“Not so fast. I’m making it my business.”
“I you must know, I’m doing some research.”
“For your own personal use, or the Fuhrer’s?”
“That’s really none of your business, Archer.”
Frank’s eyes, if possible, went colder. He pushed himself off the door jam and uncrossed his arms. He took a step forward, so that he completely blocked the doorway.
“Just watch yourself Mustang, because when you least expect it, your world is going to come crashing down. And I’m going to be there to reap the benefits.” He said, his tone cold and frosty as he turned and walked out the door.
“He thinks he’s so high and mighty…” Havoc muttered, squishing his cigarette out. Roy just glared at the empty doorway for a few more minutes before going back to his research.
“She should be able to chose at the Military Ball.” Bradley murmured more to himself than Frank. Frank nodded, a smirk firmly in place.
“You’ve done an excellent job, Archer. I’m going to see what I can do about a promotion for you. It’d be nice to have a new face at the General’s tables.” Bradley continued, smiling his friendly smile. Inside, Frank doubted that smile was actually friendly. There was something about the Fuhrer that caused him to doubt sometimes.
“Thank you Sir, I won’t let you down.” Frank said proudly, saluting and walking out.
“Ah, Riza, still working?” Frank asked as he stepped back into the office. Riza looked up, startled for a moment. “Everyone else left when it was time to go. Which was 2 hours ago.” Frank continued.
Riza flushed for a second, and looked back at her paperwork. “I need to finish up here. You’ve been gone all day. Things piled up on me…” she made an excuse as she began to pile things together.
“You look tired, would you like another day off, perhaps?” Frank offered, taking his coat off its hook. Bribery always worked, no matter how smart the person. He had Riza Hawkeye’s trust, and friendship, but he needed more. He need the kind of loyalty she had give Mustang. If that included leading her on, then so it must be. Though he had inkling feeling in the back of his head that he might fall, too. He brushed it off as an annoyance.
“No, I couldn’t. I’m fine, really. I don’t like taking days off, I get behind and it makes me nervous.” Riza stated, her mouth twitching as she brushed past him to get her coat. Frank watched as she shrugged into it, and straightened it out, brushing off invisible lent. ‘God…I feel one of THOSE moments coming on…I’m supposed to be a fucking Ice Princess for god’s sake…not a…’ he didn’t get to finish his thoughts as he heard her voice.
“Colonel, are you okay?” she asked softly, her amber eyes on his. “If you can’t beat the feelings, join them.” He muttered, taking her hand and kissing it, still keeping eye contact with her. “You’re a gorgeous woman, Miss Hawkeye. Any man is a fool not to notice it. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He said, his voice cool and suave.
She stood there as he walked out of the office, and blushed a deep red. Had Colonel Frank Archer just…kissed her hand? Dazed for a few moments, she snapped out of it, and shook her head. He still had a ways to go before she even considered giving him her full loyalty. And he wouldn’t get it by making her fall for him either.
She didn’t know how wrong she was. And neither did he.
Frank cursed himself as he entered the house and hung up his coat, going to the kitchen. That’s where Sinatra, Buster, and Amadeus were waiting for him pointedly. They were three very hungry kitties.
“Alright, alright. Let me get the food…” he said soothingly as they all meowed at once and took their positions as he gave them a mix of soft and hard food. Once all three cats were contentedly eating, he went to his room and changed into more comfortable clothes. After he took a nice relaxing bubble bath of course.
Meanwhile, across town, after feeding her dog, Riza was also relaxing in a nice hot bubble bath.
She hummed a soft tune as she closed her eyes, sinking into the water, letting the scent of the bubbles fill her head. Then her thoughts drifted back to Archer. Her hands still burned where he had kissed it. But she still refused to believe it, or the fact that she could, slowly but surely be falling for him. She had sworn she’d never give her heart so easily again.
It would be a stupid thing to do, and it would cause a disaster to happen, she was sure of it. Little did she know the military ball would be the turning point to everything that was about to happen in her future. And that future included choosing. Frank Archer, or Roy Mustang?
A/N: Sorry for the lack of update. The muses were fighting and the muffin people were taking over. So here it is folks!
Chapter Four “The First Mistake”
Riza’s daily schedule had somehow become cluttered and filled with tasks she had once had under Mustang, and she liked it that way. She had earned her respect from Frank, and she now had her title back. It felt good to have the lower officers have to salute her again.
She sat down at her desk, sipping her hot tea as the snow fell thickly outside. She had finished her paperwork the hour before, but yet she found an envelope on her desk, from the Fuhrer. She groaned as she realized it was a military ball invitation. She opened, her eyes scanning the invitation, and her eyes grew hard. This year everyone was required to come, and they had to have an escort as well?! She growled in a slightly irritated frustration. She had always gone alone, and then left early. The Military ball that the Fuhrer held was never interesting.
She stared at the invitation, and the form she had to fill out and send back for arrangements for her and her “date” to be made. She looked up, startled as Frank entered her office from his, holding his own invitation. “So I see, you’ve received yours as well, Lieutenant.” He observed. Biting back a sarcastic comment, she nodded her head. “So it would seem. Everyone is required to attend, and we have to have a date.” The words came out slightly venomous. Frank chuckled lightly, looking slightly annoyed at the information as well.
“Yes, it is troublesome, isn’t it?” he said, looking at the letter again. “I have to agree. Perhaps there’s a loophole…” she said, looking at the invitation. “No such luck, I’ve already combed it over several times.” Archer said, turning to go back to his office. “They’re going to have to wait to get mine back then, so I can find a date.” Riza said, tossing the papers back on her desk and sighing as Frank went back into his office.
And so she brooded over it for the next couple of hours until lunchtime. And that’s when Mustang came in, looking dejected and depressed. “Colonel Mustang, I wasn’t expecting you.” Riza said quickly, stashing her invitation in her desk drawer. “I needed somebody to talk to, I figured you’d be that person Hawkeye.” He said heavily, sitting across from her on the other side of the desk.
“What’s wrong?” Riza asked, noticing the floor creak on the other side of Frank’s door. “She called it all off, and left me.” He said, looking pitiful. Riza’s expression changed to confused. “But why? You haven’t cheated on her, have you?” she asked, her eyebrows furrowed. “No, I’ve been absolutely girl-free since I started dating her.” Roy answered truthfully. “Have you given her any reason to believe otherwise?” Riza asked carefully, standing slowly.
“No, I haven’t.” Roy said, putting his head in his hands. Riza rolled her eyes, “Than why did she call it all off?” Riza asked. “I told you I don’t know!” Roy said, started to get aggravated. “Don’t take it out on me, I’m trying to figure it all out.” Riza said calmly.
Frank chose that moment to step out of his office, trying to look as if he hadn’t been listening. “I didn’t expect to see you here, Mustang. Is there a problem?” Frank asked, standing up straight. He’d like nothing more than to kick Mustang while he was down. “Nothing that’s any of your concern, Archer.” Roy said, looking up, his eyes hard.
“If it’s none of my concern, then it’s not any of MY Lieutenant’s concern. Now if you’ll be so kind, she has work to do.” Frank said his voice cool, his eyes laughing, and a slight smirk grew on his face. Roy stood up, looking scornfully at Archer. “She can do whatever she wants to, you don’t run her life.” He said. “I don’t, but you shouldn’t be so foolhardy, Mustang. She’s under my command now, and she has work to do.” Frank said, his eyes going cold.
Riza’s eye twitched. ‘Men are so pig-headed.’ She thought severely, going to her desk, opening the drawer and brought out her gun and a box of bullets. “While you two continue your argument, I’m going to the shooting range. My condolences to you, Colonel Mustang.” She said coolly, walking past them and out the door. Both men stood there for a few minutes, glaring at each other before Mustang left.
Every single shot she hit, was right in the bull’s-eye. She stopped every few minutes to take a break, and then started up again. By the time her box was half empty, Archer strolled in casually, and watched her until she started another break. “To actually see you do that, is entirely different from hearing it from somebody else.” He commented lightly as she took a drink of water.
“Why are you here?”
“To talk to you, naturally.”
“What if I don’t wish to speak with you?”
“You’ll have to put up with me watching you.”
Frank chuckled lightly as she set her water down. “You knew I had all of my work finished.” She said, looking him straight in the eyes. Something inside of him twitched, but he ignored it. “What if I had had something for you to do?” he asked, leaning against the table. “You didn’t have anything for me to do, and you ran him off. He’s my friend, and we were having a private conversation.” She said, her temper rising slightly.
“Do you even know why she called it all off?” Frank asked lazily. “No, and I suppose you do?” she asked diligently. “Yes, it’s been going around Headquarters all morning. I’m surprised you and Colonel Mustang haven’t heard it.” Frank said his eyes laughing as he looked at her. “Don’t toy with me, Colonel Archer.” She said her calm voice had an edge to it. “You’re starting to get out of line, Hawkeye. Now do you want to know or not?” Frank asked, a smirk on his face.
She growled inwardly. “Of course I want to know, sir. You’ll have to forgive me.” She said, managing to give him a small but forced smile. “She broke it all off with him because of you. Now, everybody would have to be a huge idiot not to know that you’re infatuated with Mustang. He just happened to take it a step further after you left his team to be with mine. He realized what he had lost with your absence, and slipped up last night at dinner when he called her Riza.” Frank explained bluntly.
Riza stood stunned for a moment, and then regained her composure. “Well, he truly is a fool. I’ve already gotten over him.” She said, shaking her head. “It wasn’t easy either, but that’s not any of your concern.” She said pointedly. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “He’s going to become obsessed with you, and then what are you going to do?” Frank asked her. “Shoot at him.” Riza said simply, a small smile on her face.
“Ah, you’d take the old approach. Nowadays, women just file sexual harassment charges.” Frank replied, chuckling. “Because they’re afraid they’ll get killed for shooting at someone who deserved it.” Riza said, taking another drink from her water. “Politics have taken a turn for the worse. Though it’s not nice to kill someone for such silly reasons. You’d have to have a very excellent reason to kill someone.” He said, crossing his arms.
“I agree. But you also shouldn’t start wars or gang fights for personal gain or over something stupid.” Riza pointed out. “That’s all too true, but sometimes there is a good reason for wars and gang fights.” Frank defied her comment. “Another agreement we’ve come too. But lately all the reasons for war have been wrong. Yet you’ve been delighting in it.” She said. His eyes went hard for a moment. “Now, now. I have my personal reasons, and you should know those by now.” He said, tensing up.
“I do. That doesn’t mean I agree with all of them. Yet you still expect me to turn my loyalty to you, Colonel Archer.” She said boldly. “So you have figured out my plan. You’re even smarter than I thought, Miss Hawkeye.” He said, his eyes bright, and his smirk back in place. She let out a small laugh. “Did you expect me not too?” she asked, her eyes laughing as well. “No, I knew you’d figure it out eventually. With a woman on my side like you, there’s no way I can’t not get to the top.” He said confidently. “But I haven’t said I’d help you yet. What if I still feel like being loyal to Mustang?” she answered.
“I know, but it’s only a matter of time before my charm wins you over.” He joked. She chuckled, rolling her eyes, which was very unlike her normal self. “I highly doubt it. Do you know what they call you behind your back, Colonel?” she asked, trying to get back her composure. “I do know what they call me. It doesn’t affect me in the slightest. People are entitled to their opinions.” He replied.
Riza unlocked her door, coming in just as Black Hayate rushed up to meet her. “Hey boy.” She said, walking towards the kitchen. She set her coat down on the table, and went through her mail, tossing the bills to the side. That’s all she ever got was bills. She walked back to her bedroom, quickly changing into more comfortable clothes. She flopped onto her bed. She had gotten home way later than expected. She had called a neighbor to feed her dog, and that had been two hours ago. Now she was nothing but tired.
Pulling the covers up to her waist, she stared up at the ceiling, thinking. Had it really been so horrible to hope that his fiancée would break it all off? Had it been so horrible to hold on to her dreams of having him for herself? She closed her eyes. It had been horrible; it had been vile and cruel. Roy deserved to be happy no matter what it cost her. She should have let her feelings for him die long ago. Now look at where she was.
She decided she’d comfort him, but she wouldn’t let it go past that. Even if, by military regulations they could be together now. That didn’t matter. It was high time she move on anyways. She needed a fresh start, and she had that now that she was under Archer’s command. She was free to love, free to hate, free to feel the feelings she wanted to feel.
“What a fool.” Frank muttered as he practiced his piano and thought about the day. Of course, the fool he was referring to was Mustang. The man had let go of her so easily. As if she were a mere piece he could pawn off and trade with whenever he felt the fancy. But Frank knew that Mustang was smarter than that. The Fuhrer didn’t. Frank knew that Roy valued Hawkeye as his queen piece in the military game of chess. Now Frank has her, and he’d use her to his advantage.
But if he was going to do all these things with her, he’d have to keep his feelings in check. He already had an inkling in the back of his mind, very far back, mind you, what it would be like to be with her. To touch, to feel, to want, to need. He shook his head as a nasty note came out due to his blunder, and the cats all meowed simultaneously. His blue eyes were icy as he looked out the window at the falling snow. All these years he hadn’t allowed himself to feel for anyone even once.
He refused to let his barrier be broken. He had goals and dreams to achieve before he died, and he didn’t need a woman getting in his way. He stood up, putting the lid to the piano down and picked up a glass of brandy. ‘Feelings are for sissy boys.’ He thought ruefully, going back towards his bedroom.
“I assure you, Fuhrer Bradley, you have nothing to fear. Mustang will be taken care of. He won’t be in the way of your plans much longer.” Archer said, standing in front of the Fuhrer’s desk. “I’d like to think so, Archer. I’m glad I have an officer like you I can count on. In fact I see a promotion for you in the near future. Just keep on doing what you’ve been doing to Mustang.” King Bradley said, looking down at some documents.
Saluting and exiting quickly, Frank smirked as he walked back towards his offices. That smirk faded as he heard Runa’s high-pitched squeal as soon as he entered. ‘Why god, why?!’ his head yelled as she began talking.
Riza smirked as she heard Frank come back in the office. She knew it was him thanks to Runa’s squeal of delight. She bit her lower lip, going back to her entrancing romance novel. He walked in quickly, shutting the door quickly behind him. “Back so soon, Colonel Archer?” she asked, looking up her brow raised.
“As if you couldn’t tell by my over enthusiastic staff..” Frank muttered, strolling to his office door and going in. She chuckled, shaking her head. “She wants you to escort her to the Military ball.” Riza informed him. “That won’t be happening.” He said, sitting down at his desk. “You’re going alone then, I take it.” Riza guessed.
“Well, actually, Hawkeye…I was hoping you’d let me escort you.” Frank said suddenly. ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ his mind said, but he kept his sudden emotions under control, his mask firmly in place. He could blush like a pansy later. Riza stopped what she was doing and looked up at him from her desk. ‘Think fast.’ Was all she could think? She covered her shock and confusion quickly.
“I don’t believe the Fuhrer would allow that.” She stated stonily, looking away from him quickly. “Quite the opposite Hawkeye. This is one of the rare occasions the Fuhrer lets inner-office dating occur. Or did you skip that part in the rule-book?” Frank asked. He smirked as she gave him a slight glare. “Honestly, Colonel…me, go with you? To the ball?” she asked herself more than him.
“Well, what’s it going to be, yes or no?” he asked, pressing her. It gave him pleasure to see the emotions flicker in her eyes. Getting to Mustang would be much easier now. Finally, she gave in. “I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad.” She said quietly, going back to her book.
Chapter Three “Romance Novels and Truffles.”
A/N: Here's chapter three my eager fans! Please review.
Riza blinked as the bright hospital lights hit her and squeezed them shut again. “Where am I?” she managed to put out as she sat up, her head spinning. “Lieutenant Hawkeye, you’re awake!” Roy’s voice filled her head as she opened her eyes again to see him.
“Yeah, I know that, but why am I in the hospital, I only had a little cold…” she muttered, putting a hand to her head. “Then you passed out on Archer when you tried to come into work. Hawkeye, you were really sick, you could have killed yourself. It’s more than just a little cold, thanks to you overexerting yourself.” Roy said, looking worried.
“I feel fine, really. Why can’t any of you people get that? How long have a I been out?” Riza asked, taking a deep breath as the dizziness began to fade. “About a day plus a couple hours. You really needed the sleep and rest though.” Roy admitted, handing her a cup of cool water. She drank it greedily, her mouth dry and coarse.
“You should get back to work, I’ll be fine here alone.” Riza said after he visited with her awhile. “Yeah, I got a mountain of paperwork.” Roy said sheepishly, walking towards the door. “Don’t slack off, Mustang!” she called after him. She sank back against the hospital bed, and sighed. She really wished a nurse or doctor would come in telling her she could leave. She needed to hurry and get better so she could earn her title back. That and she didn’t really want to leave Frank all alone with only Runa as company.
She wouldn’t wish Runa Curtis on her worst enemy if she could help it. That woman deserved to have the stupid beat off her. She turned her head to the door as a nurse came bustling in, carrying a small piece of paper. “Miss Hawkeye, I’m glad to see you’re awake at last. This note just arrived for you from the Military Headquarters.” The nurse said cheerfully, handing Riza the piece of paper.
Riza scowled as she read the so few words her new commander had written on there. “Get back to work soon.” And his neat signature at the bottom. She rolled her eyes and tore it up, tossing it in the trashcan. “I take it someone at work named Frank misses you.” The nurse said. “Yes, I suppose. When can I get out of here?” Riza asked quickly. “In another few hours. You need to rest just a bit more with the drip running in your system. Don’t run yourself down so much next time you get sick.” The nurse said, floating out of the room.
Riza sighed again, and looked around the small white room. There wasn’t much too it except the bed, machines and a couple chairs. There was a bathroom in the far corner, and the walls were completely white with no paintings or color. How boring and dull… Her eyes widened as she heard the giggle and click clack of heels coming down the hall. The faint thought of jumping out the window to escape Runa was very, very appetizing as the woman appeared in the doorway of Riza’s room.
“OH! Lieutenant Hawkeye, You’re awake! I’m so glad your okay, someone said you were dying, and it was all Frankie’s fault!” the woman pouted, pulling up a chair quickly. Riza let out a small groan and glared up at the heavens. ‘WHY! WHY GODDAMNIT, WHY?!’ she screamed in her head. Then it began, two hours of nonstop talking blubber blabber. The woman droned on, and on, and on, and on, and on… She never even stopped for a breath. Riza’s head was filled with nothing but her voice, and she felt like she was going to go insane.
“ALRIGHT! SHUT UP ALREADY!” Riza finally bellowed, coughing up a storm afterwards. Runa looked shocked. “Oh Riza, it must be your medication, they ave you on some sort of stuff…” she made an excuse. “No, it’s not because of the stupid medication! It’s because I’m sick of hearing your stupid gossip! I don’t like you, and it’s time you get that through your head!” Riza said, feeling sick again all of the sudden.
Runa looked like she’d been slapped in the face, and the tears sparkled in her eyes. “Oh…I see…” she whispered quickly before running out of the room, crying.
Frank sighed, and turned on the water in his bathtub, making sure it was slightly more hot than cold, and put some bubbles in. He deserved a treat after all, it had been a hard day at work without Riza, they’d been swamped with paperwork about the murder, and he’d had to deal with his entire crew being lazy. Thank god Runa had left at lunch. Though he had a funny feeling she’d gone to the hospital.
He stripped his clothes off, and slipped in the tub, turning the water off when it reached the level he wanted it to. He closed his eyes, easing back and smirking. “Ahh…” he let out the small word, feeling the water warm him up nicely. This was one of the places he could simply forget about all his worries and troubles, and just let his mind drift.
The aroma of the bubble shit his nose and he sank a bit deeper into the water. He reached his hand back, and opened a drawer, taking out a box of Truffles, that he had specially imported from Creta for himself. Frank LOVED his chocolate, it was sweet, succulent, and never failed to please him. He popped one into his mouth, savoring its flavor as he closed his eyes again. Frankly(no pun intended), he enjoyed not having anyone to talk to about the day’s troubles. Or so he told himself.
His mind somehow drifted to his receptionist, and him being relaxed, began to let him mind get out of hand. He focused on how golden her hair was, the perfect color of her amber eyes, and how soft her skin looked. She was a hard worker, and strong woman. He also wanted her to support him in HIS own ambition to become Fuhrer. He had his own reasons to become Fuhrer, and they were completely different from that idiot Mustang’s. Putting all female officers in miniskirts was a ridiculous thought.
Suddenly he sat up straight in the tub, water sloshing and the truffles nearly falling. Had he been thinking about Hawkeye’s looks? He shook his head, and sighed. Now this was simply too much. The only thing he wanted form the woman was her loyalty and pledge to serve him now, instead of Mustang. He kept telling himself that as he continued on with his bath.
“Home at last.” Riza said smoothly, opening the door to her apartment as she whistled for Black Hayate. She fed him quickly, and gave him fresh water. Then she took the two aspirin pills the doctor told her too take, and slipped into the bathtub. The doctor had also told her that she needed to relax more often from now on. Which is exactly what she would start doing. She wouldn’t slack off on her work though, and she would slap Runa the next time opportunity presented itself.
She closed her eyes, enjoying the hot water and the soft music she had playing in the background. She bit her lower lip, and let her mind wander. She wondered why Archer had wanted her to be in his unit so bad. She wasn’t much of an asset except where her shooting skills and loyalty were concerned. Her nose twitched and she let out a chuckle. Of course, why hadn’t she realized it before?
He wanted her for her loyalty. He wanted her to be loyal to him, and promise to get him to the top instead of Roy Mustang. She smiled, and chuckled again. She’d bid her time to see if he was worth her loyalty. If he was, then there was sonly one thing to do, pledge her loyalty to him, and start anew.
She arrived in the office early the next morning, feeling one hundred percent better. She smiled a small smile at everyone she passed, and walked into her office, and threw the window open. She wanted to hear the annoying twitter of the birds outside today for some reason. She settled down at her desk, and got straight to her paperwork, which seemed to be piled on her desk. She inhaled deeply, and picked up her pen.
“No nonsense her first day, I’m proud.” Archer’s voice came from the doorway of his office. “Your note was very clear, Colonel.” She said simply, signing her name to a document and going on to the next one. “I did, yes. I’m glad to have you back. Although…since Runa left to visit you in the hospital yesterday, she hasn’t been back.” He said, his tone hinting at something.
“I let her have it.”
“Because I dislike her strongly, and she does nothing but talk.”
“True, but she is a member of this unit, Hawkeye.”
“She’s not a very good asset.”
Frank sighed inwardly; the woman was even more stubborn. “I already asked the Fuhrer to remove her, and replace you on Mustang’s crew, but it’s a no go right now.” He told her. “I wouldn’t inflict her on my worst enemy, sir…I’d just put her out of her misery.” Riza said truthfully. Frank chuckled, “Thank you for being honest, 1st Lieutenant Hawkeye.” He said, smirking. Her pen paused about the signature line of her paper.
Was he just kidding her, or did he really mean it? She looked up at him for confirmation. “You can put your old name plate back up, and your paperwork will be switched over tomorrow. Runa has your old job now. Luckily, you get to keep this fancy office. Decorate it however you like.” He said nonchalantly. He waved a hand around the office for emphasis, and went back into his office.
Riza close her eyes and whispered a thank you, holding her excitement in as she got back to work. Things were starting to even out, and Frank Archer didn’t seem like so much of an asshole anymore. Though she should know better, he probably still had a trick or two up his sleeve to throw at her.
Frank sat idly. Something he always did when he was finished with his paperwork. He had no meeting set for today, and lunch wasn’t for another hour. He stood up, putting his hands behind his back as he looked out the window. He looked out across the courtyard, and across the whole of Central City. He pondered on how to tell Hawkeye he wanted her on his side, or maybe, being the sharp woman she was, she was already on to him.
He really shouldn’t underestimate her. Perhaps if he observed her more…but how to do it without her noticing? He walked over to his door, peeking out at her. She was reading…a romance novel? He closed his door quietly, and processed his thoughts. Had she spent so much time mooning over Mustang that she’d become a romance addict? He smirked, well, well. He had found something to hold against her during a confrontation, if he ever needed the leverage.
Maybe while she was off to lunch, he’d have a poke around in her drawers, see what other “Literature” she had in them. So he waited till lunchtime came and he heard her leave. Then he quietly, and stealthy went over to her desk, and opened each drawer and shutting it, just browsing. When he got to the last drawer he was slightly disappointed that he couldn’t find a diary or something. All he had found were books and pictures.
As he opened the last drawer, his eyes widened and he suppressed a groan. She had a stash of truffles…the woman liked truffles. He shut the drawer quickly and walked back into his office, and sat down, suddenly tense. He tapped his foot on the floor for a few seconds. He had to stop now, while he was ahead, because if he poked any farther into her life, he was sure something would happen, and the outcome wouldn’t be good.
He refused to let anything mar his spotless record, and that included an affair with a Lieutenant. He closed his eyes a chuckled. The idea of it was already sheer stupidity. He only knew she liked truffles and romance book, and he admired a couple things about her, so what? That didn’t mean he wanted to have sex with her, or have a relationship with her. It just meant he was curious.
He kept telling himself that for the rest of the day.
Chapter Two “Sickness”
The woman was unbearable. Everyday Runa Curtis walked in the door, Riza wanted to cry and bang her head on the desk. Runa Curtis had to be the most annoying person Riza had ever met. She didn’t know how Archer, let alone the rest of the unit could put up with her. She never stopped talking, she always had to express her every thought, and she never stopped bugging anyone.
Riza was about two weeks into her receptionist job. And if you asked her, she was doing a pretty damn good job too. The phone never rang often, her paperwork was always done on time, and she never once complained. She was very quiet to, and generally kept to herself…unless of course Runa was there.
Some days, when Runa was busy at her own desk outside of Riza’s office, Riza would sit and fantasize on how to kill her and the other two people on her list. She would of course, do no such thing, but when it came to Runa, the idea was very tempting. Today was different however, because she had been invited into Colonel Archer’s office.
“How do you like your job?” he asked, not looking up from his work. She looked around his quaint office, noticing he had a lovely selection of books, and that everything was in neat and precise order. It was almost as if nobody worked in the room itself. Like a stage prop in some play. “It’s fine I suppose. Not much happens.” She answered back softly.
“I see you’re getting along with Miss Curtis.” Frank said, deciding to get a reaction out of her. It worked, partly. “Getting along with her, sir? I’d call it more like…her talking non-stop and myself sitting there trying to figure out how to shoot her without you coming out of your office, if you don’t mind me saying so.” She said politely. He chuckled, looking up at her, his blue eyes piercing. “No, I don’t mind. I don’t have much of a tolerance for her on most days. The fact that she thinks she’s in love with me, and worships the ground I walk on, is no help.” He said, his lips twitching as he went back to his work.
She couldn’t help but let out a small laugh of her own. ‘He’s rather, pleasant. I suppose I misunderstood him. This is turning out better than I thought.’ She thought to herself. “Permission to speak freely, sir?” she asked. “Do I dare grant it?” he asked, smirking as he looked up at her again, nodding his head. “What did you do to make her think that, that she’s in love with you?” she asked quietly.
“You know, I’ve been trying to figure that out for myself. I’ve been trying to get the Fuhrer to transfer her, but to no avail. But, really…if we’re to be stuck with her, we might as well make the best of it.” He said, his tone sounding final. Riza nodded. “You may go now. Thank you for your time.” He said, giving her a small smile before returning back to his work. Well, well… it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as she thought it would be.
He had been rather pleasant, and subtle. Still though, she didn’t know if she wanted anything to do with him. He still hadn’t given her title back, and she didn’t know why he wanted to become Fuhrer. She’s talked to Mustang during lunch the other day, and it turned out he wasn’t so dead set on becoming Fuhrer anymore, which was a shock to her. Maes Hughes must have been rolling around in his grave. And it was mostly because of his precious Fiancée that he wasn’t so interested anymore.
She sat down at her desk, and the phone started ringing. “Colonel Archer’s Offices.” She answered it promptly. “Yes, yes. Of course. Thank you.” She said quickly after a few moments. She stood up, going over to his door, and knocking on it promptly. “Yes?” his voice came from behind it, and she opened it quickly. “The Fuhrer requested your presence in his office immediately sir.” She said quickly.
“Hold my calls, I’ll be back in a awhile.” Archer said quickly, standing up, and walking past her out the door. She rolled her eyes to the heavens as Runa came rushing in. “Oh my gosh, what happened? I just saw Frankie go through there like his office was on fire!” she said, her hands on her cheeks.
“He was summoned to the Fuhrer’s office. There’s nothing to worry about.” Riza stated calmly, going back to her romance novel. “Are you sure? Maybe there’s a fire in the Fuhrer’s office they called him to put out…he could do that you know.” Runa said anxiously. “Or maybe his secretary is choking, and they need Frankie to save her.” Runa said. Riza let out a snort, rolling her eyes, “I highly doubt it.” Riza muttered, settling back down at her desk.
“I should get back to my work…” Runa chirped, walking quickly out of the room. “Good idea…” Riza said lightly, picking up her pen. She got started on the rest of her paperwork, watching the minutes tick by on small clock as she waited for the Colonel to come back. When he did come back, he looked grim and unhappy. “Come on Hawkeye, we have a case to do, and I need you to take notes.” He said in a formal tone, getting his coat off the rack, and she stood up quickly, getting her own coat and a pen and notepad.
“Where are we going?” she asked him quickly as he grabbed a couple other people and they headed out of the building. Thankfully he had left Runa behind. “We’re heading to a crime scene. The Fuhrer wants us on it, because everyone else is full, and we’re the only ones available.” Frank answered their questions curtly. Riza wrote down the date and day, then the time as they all got into a car and another officer drove them to the crime scene in the drizzling rain, which was slowly turning into snow.
When they got to scene of the crime, there were only several officers trying to fend off the crowd, and Frank looked irritated as he took Riza by the arm and led her to the body. “Take notes on whatever I say, and don’t listen to anyone else.” He instructed quietly, and she nodded. He called one of his officers over, instructing them to lift up the sheet on the body, and his eyes scanned it quickly, looking over it.
He muttered a few things here and there, and Riza took everything down quickly, her neat penmanship scrawled across the page as she wrote it all down. When it was over, and the body was loaded up and taken to the morgue, they all piled back into the car and went back to Headquarters.
“Leave those notes with Runa, and tell her to type them up on the typewriter. Then go get me some peppermint tea; I don’t want to catch a cold. And get yourself some, you’re looking pale.” Frank told Riza as they entered the building. The officer beside Riza coughed “Look whose talking.” The officer said. Frank gave him a scornful look as they entered the offices, and Riza walked slowly to do her assignment, not really in a hurry.
“Sir, who do you think murdered that woman?” Riza asked quietly as she set his tea down in front of him. The dead body was still fresh in her mind, no matter how hard she tried to get it out. “Somebody sick, obviously. Other than that, I have no clue as of yet.” He said taking a sip of his tea. Riza watched him, before pulling her eyes away. The way he did everything was so…elegant. Well, his pinky didn’t stick out when he sipped tea, but when his eyes closed, and he just looked so…peaceful.
She excused herself quietly and went into her own office, sitting down and getting back to her work. She had of course, forgotten her own tea. It’s not like she was going to get sick. But towards the end of the day, she was starting to get a headache. It wasn’t because she was getting sick, no--It was probably because Runa wouldn’t stop talking. Looking miserable, She collected her things as the time came for everyone to start heading home, and Frank came out of his office, looking fit as a fiddle.
“You didn’t get yourself tea, did you?” he asked her in a sort of mocking tone. She gave him a rueful glance as she walked through her office door, into the empty office ahead of it. “No. It’s not like I’m going to sick. I only have a headache because of Runa’s constant prattle.” She stated firmly.
“If you come to work sick tomorrow, I’m sending you back home.” He warned her. “That’s an order I’ll refuse, thank you, sir.” She said, trying very hard not to be insubordinate. “That’s one of the things I like about you, Hawkeye. One of the reasons I wanted you in my unit. You’re loyal, you’re a strong woman, and you have good morals, positive attitude…” He said, ticking off reasons.
“Does that mean I can have my title back?” she asked quickly. He chuckled, shaking his head. “No, not quite yet, Hawkeye. Prove yourself to me a little more, and perhaps then you may have it back.” He said, his eyes looking at her teasingly as he walked off in the opposite direction she used to go home. She looked after him, wanting to pull her gun out and just shoot a bullet past his head. But again, she resisted temptation.
Frank set his house keys on the in table with his coat, and walked into the kitchen, seeing immediately that all three of his cats were waiting by their food dishes, looking up at him hungrily. “What’s this? Are we that hungry today?” he asked, giving them a fond smile as he opened a cupboard and took out three cans of cat food, opening them, and dropping them in their proper bowls.
Sinatra, his Siamese cat, only liked chicken flavored food, and Buster, his fat tabby cat, only liked fish flavored food. Amadeus, the kitten calico, liked any kind of food Frank set down in front of him. He was a growing boy after all. After he fed his pets, and gave them some fresh water, he went to his room, shrugging out of his military jacket, and unbuttoning a couple buttons on his undershirt.
She tugged off his boots and wiggled his toes in his socks. That uniform did get uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing it everyday. He then walked back out into the living room, pouring himself a glass of brandy from his stores, and put on a nice jazz record. He settled onto his couch, leaning back after taking a sip of his brandy. Listening to the music for a minute, he began to hum along with it as his cats entered the room one by one, purring after their dinner.
That was basically what he did when he came home. He lived by himself, and he had come to terms with the fact that he might as well keep it that way. He had his pride, and his pride told him that he wouldn’t find one person in this world that could hold an intelligent conversation with him long enough to make him believe anything less than that. Of course, his pride was wrong, and so was he. Because there someone across the way thinking the same exact thing.
Riza read her book quietly in the lamplight, coughing every now and then. She refused to believe that she was sick. Of course, she was sick, but it was just barely coming to her notice. In the morning it would hit her full-fledged and she would go to work anyways, at least try to hide that fact that she was indeed sick from Frank.
She made herself some soup, and some mixed berry tea, and then took some medicine before she went to bed. She lay awake in her bed though, just looking up at the ceiling. Hayate was already asleep at her feet, and she gave him a happy look. She had a nice, quiet, simple life. She didn’t really need a significant other. In fact, she could live this way the rest of her life, if she wanted. But in the back of her mind, she knew that wasn’t the case.
The next morning, She coughed heavily as she entered the office, trying to cover it up with her scarf as she walked to her desk, feeling light headed. It had taken her longer than she thought it would for her to get dressed. She felt like she was going to faint, but she’d never taken a day off in her life, and she wasn’t about to. Screw Archer, and the rest of world. And if Runa even opened her mouth today, Riza would do something mean to her, of this, she was positive.
She sat down at her desk, her head throbbing and her eyes wavering for a minute. “I thought I told you not to come in today if you got sick.” Archer’s voice came from his doorway. “I’ve never taken a sick day in my life, I refuse to start now, Colonel Archer.” She said, giving him what she hoped was a rueful look.
“Come on, get up. You’re going home.” He said firmly. “No, sir--leave me alone.” She said, resisting as he tried to get her out of her chair. “Hawkeye, don’t make me do this.” He said firmly, coolly. “I can’t go home. I have a job to do, I want my old job back. I have to…have to protect him…” she said, her breathing increasing as she fought to keep her eyes open. “Simmons, call for a doctor, Miss Hawkeye is about to faint.” Frank said calmly, lowering Riza to the floor.
“You’re at the top of my list, Archer. I wouldn’t be passing…passing out if it weren’t…weren’t for you...” she said as the world began to fade black.
“OH! Frankie, What happened?” she heard Runa’s voice and managed a groan. “Everyone back to work.” Frank said, his tone final as he shut the office door on them. And that was the last thing she heard before the entire world went black and she fell into a deep slumber.
A/N: Decided to write this story out of the blue. I really like how it came out. Stay tuned for next chapter!
Chapter One “Transfer.”
The news struck her as ironic and it crushed her completely. She had given him years of devoted service and had protected him endlessly. Backing him up when he needed it. And this was how he repaid her; he had completely ignored her true feelings for him, and gone to another woman. And now he was marrying that said woman.
As soon as she got home after hearing this news, she broke a very beautiful glass vase she had. And sank to the floor crying. Not because he didn’t want her, but because she had let her love for him make her feel this way, because she let him break her heart. If, she had just stuck to her job in the beginning, and just been his loyal subordinate pushing him to the top, the broken glass on the floor of her apartment wouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Her poor dog was sitting beside her on his haunches, giving her a sad look. At least it wasn’t one of pity. She sighed, wiping the last of her tears away. Crying over him was a stupid thing to do in the first place, was what her pride was telling her. Her heart was too broken and hollow to tell her what to do next, and her head said to get up and move on. There were plenty of other fish in the sea besides.
So that day, she vowed never to fall for another man again. She picked up the glass, tossed it away, and made a fresh start. Little did she know, the next day would be absolute hell.
She walked into the office, her head held high, and her pride securely intact. Of course, Colonel Mustang was there, lazing about as usual, but this time bragging to the boys about his new Fiancée. She ignored that, and went to her desk, noticing a big envelope on it, and the red letters made her stop. In big, bold, red letters, the words “TRANSFER GRANTED.” Was written clearly across the front of the yellow envelope.
“What is going on here?” she asked, her voice deathly calm as she picked the envelope up, and took out a single sheet of paper. The men stopped talking, looking towards her. Her eyes read through the letter quickly, trying to absorb everything in. “By order of Colonels’ Mustang, Archer, and the Fuhrer, First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye is hereby transferred to be under the command of Colonel Frank Archer. Reason for this transfer is as follows: Colonel Mustang is no longer in need of First Lieutenant Hawkeye, and Colonel Archer feels that he needs someone else on his team. Fuhrer Bradley has hereby agreed to the transfer demands, and the transfer is effective immediately.” She read loud. Her cheeks grew pink and her heart shattered again.
“Yeah, about that, Hawkeye. My fiancée… She doesn’t care for you. She’s been nagging me about it…there’s a lot of pressure coming from her end…I don’t want to hand you over to Archer, but he’s the only other Colonel I think you’d be happy under. You two have a lot in common, and you’re still in the same building. We can still be friends, I hope.” Roy answered her questioning look. She sighed, and nodded her head. “Of…of course.” She answered.
She slowly packed all her personal things into a box, and bade her now ex-comrades good-bye for good. She sighed as she walked down the hallway and went down the stairs. Perhaps getting a transfer was for the best. She wouldn’t have to endure the pain of being around him, and she’d be able to move on easier. He was right though, she did have a lot in common with Colonel Frank Archer. Although she didn’t agree with his odd fetish for war.
She nodded her head as she reached the door to his offices. He had worked with Maes Hughes, and when Maes had passed away, he took over as the head of Intelligence. ‘At least now I won’t have to tell people to get their paperwork done. I hear Archer runs a tight ship.’ She thought to herself, her hand lingering on the door before it swung open, and an annoyed soldier went past her, murmuring curses under his breath.
She tried to look at the bright as she walked into the office, and looked around. Everything was neat and orderly. Not a single person was off task, and there was no cigarette smoke. She hesitated. She didn’t want to interrupt his work, he might bite her head off. She didn’t have to hesitate long though, because he came out of his private office, looking at her with a cool smile on his face, his blue eyes gleaming.
“Ah, First Lieutenant Hawkeye, welcome. I see that you’re very punctual when you receive orders. Your paperwork has been transferred here already. But your desk, however is not out here. Follow me please.” He said, his tone light, and smooth. Silently she was grateful for his no nonsense business. He liked to get straight to the point, no dilly-dallying around. She followed him back to his private office quickly, only it wasn’t his private office. Right away she realized it was hers.
“For right now, your title is no longer First Lieutenant. I feel that, and the Fuhrer agrees with me here, that you should…earn your ranking back. After I monitor your skills, and your obedience, if I feel you’re up to par, I’ll have the Fuhrer re-instate your title.” Archer said calmly, waving his hand around the room. She gave him a slightly confused look, trying not to yell.
“What am I supposed to be until then?”
“A receptionist. My receptionist.”
“Excuse me, sir?”
“You heard me right, Hawkeye. Now, I’ll let you get settled, my office is right through this door here, if you need me. I have work to get to.” He said nonchalantly, walking through the door to her right, into his office. Her amber eyes filled with fury, and she nearly slammed her box of her belongings onto her new desk. She cast a vengeful glance at her new nameplate all it said was “Receptionist Hawkeye.”
She silently cursed him to hell and back, and put her things on her desk the way she wanted them. She wanted to go into a screaming fit, march right into his office and shoot at him too. She had never had a list before, but now she had one. And two people were tied for first.
Finally, after she had cooled down some, she looked over her paperwork. There didn’t seem to be much to look over, or sign for that matter. ‘That’s what I get for being bumped down to a receptionist I suppose.’ She thought, still fuming. Nonetheless, she did the little work she had, and when she was finished with it all, became bored. That was…until the phone rang.
“Colonel Frank Archer’s Offices, how may I help you?” she answered the phone smoothly, knowing he was listening. She looked around her desk quickly, noticing a weekly planner on the corner. ‘Nice going Archer.’ She said in her mind, taking it up, and writing an appointment in it. “Alright, I’ll be sure to tell him about his appointment with you before Thursday.” She told the caller, and hung up promptly.
She let out a sigh. Was this what she was going to be doing for the next some odd months? This was boring and she was trained to do more than a stupid receptionist’s job. Clearly Colonel Archer was underestimating her abilities. She looked over at the photo she had on her desk. It had a plain frame on it, and it contained several people. Armstrong (Who was too big for the camera), Mustang, Hawkeye, Hughes, Havoc, Breda, Falman, and Fuery smiled at her. It had been their group picture taken not long before Hughes’ death.
That was when Mustang still cared about her promise to him. She had promised to protect him, and push him to the top. She had devoted her life to him, and look where she had ended up. All because of that stupid whore he was going to marry. Maybe…just maybe she could kill his fiancée and get away with it. She shook her head looked at the clock, almost lunchtime. That wasn’t a good idea, because they wouldn’t transfer her back to Mustang now anyways.
She glared at the clock for the next five minutes until she heard the people in the front room moving around getting ready to go to lunch before coming back to work. She pretended to be doing something when he came out of his office, whistling some jazz tune, his coat hung on one arm. “You know Hawkeye, you can go to lunch to.” He said coolly, walking out of the room, and through the next one, still whistling the jazz tune.
“Just you wait, just you wait Frank Archer. One of these days…” she muttered, getting her own coat to go to some restraunt for her lunch.
The rest of the day went very much the same way. Although she did receive some more paperwork, and occasionally Archer would bring out some of his paperwork for her to put in the “Out” box in the other room. ‘I wonder why he can’t walk all the way into the other room.’ She thought angrily, throwing herself back in her chair, as it got closer to the time for all of them to go home.
The phone rang once before she picked it up promptly. “Colonel Archer’s Offices.” She said smoothly, leaning back in her chair. “Please put me through to Colonel Archer.” The caller said, and she promptly obeyed, pressing a button on the phone, and buzzing Archer. “You have a call, Colonel Archer.” She said into the speaker. “Thank you, Miss Hawkeye.” He said calmly from his office speaker, and then picked up the phone. Or so predicted.
“Hayate, what do you think of mommy going to prison for awhile?” Riza asked her dog as she prepared dinner for herself. He gave her a reproachful look, and she giggled. “Okay, so I’m not going to kill them. I’m just very angry with them I suppose.” She continued to talk to her canine companion. He cocked his head to the side more, giving her a curious look.
“I am moving on. It’s just gonna take awhile for the resentment and contempt to wear off. But I suppose I should be thankful I got such a good, hardworking, stupid, and asshole, ice princess Colonel for a new commander. And he has the guts to demote me to a military receptionist. My father is probably rolling in his grave.” Riza said scornfully.
The dog gave her a cheerful bark and scampered off. She sighed and closed her eyes for a minute. “My life has reached an all time low, and I’m taking it much better than expected. Well, I am talking to my dog, and myself so I suppose I could be going crazy…” she muttered, opening her eyes and continuing to stir her soup. Little did she know…her life was going to get a lot more complicated tomorrow morning.
“After only a day of working, she’s already fallen into a good pattern.” Colonel Archer informed the Fuhrer the next morning over the phone. “She answers the phone perfectly, and she’s very punctual.” He finished, waiting for the other man to speak. “Very well. Within the next few days, we’ll see if she keeps the good work up. If she has, she gets her title back. If not…well we’ll decide what to do then.” The Fuhrer said good-naturedly. “Yes, sir.” Archer answered before hanging up.
Frank Archer liked to think he was a good man, with good morals. And he was, he really was. He just, had some rather small things about him that threw people off. And gave them the completely wrong impression. Like the fact that he liked war, a lot. Or the fact that he ran a very tight office schedule. He also had very pale skin, a very nice pair of cold blue eyes, and you wouldn’t like it when he gets angry. Now, unlike Mustang, he didn’t date every girl in Central. No, Frank wasn’t such a player.
Every once and awhile you’d catch him out on the town with some very well behaved girl, having a nice time. But other than that, it was a quiet night at home with his cats, and his jazz music, and perhaps some wine or brandy to go with his dinner. Occasionally he would indulge in his favorite chocolates, which he had specially imported from Creta. The man did love his chocolate.
Riza wrinkle her nose as she looked over some of her paperwork, he legs swinging under her desk idly. It seemed like the days dragged on forever, and that’s when she told herself to quit it, because, she’d only been working here two days. To a lot of people, she hadn’t changed since her transfer. She still worked hard, she still had that cool, calm, collected demeanor, and she wasn’t surprised easily. But if they saw her now, well, they’d say she went off the deep end. But that was hardly the case.
That was just how Riza Hawkeye handled heartbreak and disappointments. She looked out her window, which she had open for the breeze, because she had found that it was rather stuffy in her small office at times, and gazed out at the view for a bit. What brought her back to her office was the sharp, rapping on her door before it was thrown open and brown hair swirled in, with a body attached, and a giggly, bubbly , annoying voice.
“Hello, hello! You must Miss Hawkeye! I’ve waited so long to see you here! I’m so sorry we haven’t met before, I was busy in the East, doing Colonel Archer’s busy work that he wasn’t available to do! Well, I think what he really wanted to do was get me out of the office, but oh well, I know he secretly has interest at me, he gets that look on his face everytime he sees me.” The girl said, her face rosy and excited. Riza was already annoyed.
“But I’m sure we’ll get to be lifelong friends, and have fun forever! Now, tell me…do you think Colonel Archer is cute or what? I mean those baby blue eyes are just to die for!” She giggled, the sound high-pitched. ‘Why me, why, why, WHY?!” she roared in her head. And she had yet to learn who the hell this girl was. Little did she know, Frank had heard the girl’s arrival in his office, and was longing to bang his head on the desk. He though she would be for more than two weeks!
The continued to babble on and on, talking faster than a regular human, and Riza just sat there with a blank face, nodding. Like Archer, she too wanted to bang her head on the desk. “Frankie knows I’m one of his favorites, he just doesn’t want to admit it. I’m sure that if you get to know him as well as I do, you’ll be a favorite of his too! He’s so good to me, I keep hoping that he’ll ask me to go on a date with him anytime now. He really is a good man. I don’t see why everyone else calls him an ice princess all the time. He’s not even a girl. He’s just really pale.” The girl said, and finally stopped for a breath.
“Excuse me…I didn’t catch your name.” Riza finally put her two cents in. The girl giggle loudly, and smiled at her, winking. “Oh silly me, I had almost forgotten. I always forget things when I start talking about Frankie. He gets my brain scattered everywhere.” The girl gushed. Riza twitched. “That still doesn’t tell me who you are…I have work to do.” She said calmly.
“Oh! I’m Runa…Runa Curtis.”