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.
Wonderful chapter as always! ^^ I was so desperate for this one.
Oh, and if you don't recognize who this is...*points at previous chapter reviews* It's the lurker.
And I'm so happy Riza pwned Runa. I can't wait until she slaps her one day...>D