HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
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Pegasus, I just can't help myself...
hagane_no_tokage
post Feb 15 2005, 03:16 AM
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okay, gang, i've done it again... i have failed to finish the next chapter of my already exitsing hagaren fic because i have been blindsided by another roiai idea... u_u this one was intended for valentine's day, but as i worked on it more i realized i had gotten in over my head far too close to the holiday, so i'm swirling it around the time between valentine's and st. white's day...

hee...the title is a double entente... cookies to anyone who can figure it out on their own. XD junshou, you don't count, i already told you about it... you too, quis, no telling! laugh.gif hee, i guess you guys can have cookies for beta-ing for me anyway. ^o^

anyway, here is the prologue... it's pretty short, but it's really just to set up. i'll have the next bit up in a couple days. enjoy!



Pegasus
A roiai for February and March...

March 12th, 1916
1942 hours
Riza Hawkeye’s Kitchen





“Dammit! Why is this so difficult!?”

Black Hayate lifted his chin from his paws and glanced lazily toward the kitchen before stretching and rising slowly from where he had been sprawled out on the floor. He cocked his head to the side and blinked warily at the doorway into the kitchen.

His mistress didn’t raise her voice like that often, and so the canine supposed that something must have had her greatly frustrated this evening to prompt such an outburst. He decided to go investigate.


Riza Hawkeye dusted off her hands and then heaved a sigh, blowing her bangs off her forehead dramatically.

This really shouldn’t have been as difficult a task as it was turning out to be… Scowling at the haphazard arrangement of bowls, pots, ingredients, and cooking utensils strewn across the counter of her modest kitchen, Riza dithered a moment with her flour-dusted hands on her slim hips, trying to figure out where to go from here. She reached out and plucked from the countertop a little piece of paper, and turned it on its side, frowning at it, willing the message upon it to reveal its secrets when inclined at such an angle; as if glaring at it from this new viewpoint would give her some enlightenment to the riddle within its content.

She tried turning it upside-down.


Nope. No luck.


She tossed it back down on the countertop and puffed another sigh.

“Why~~ is this so hard?” she groaned, glowering at the word on the paper.


‘♥ Winry-chan’s Super-Secret Chocolate Valentine Cake! ♥’ it read gleefully, and proceeded to list off fewer than a dozen ingredients and below them a paragraph of deceptively simple-looking instructions on what was meant to be done with them. A woman of logic and reason, Riza had gratefully accepted the recipe from young Winry, figuring that a recipe so simple-looking would be…well…a piece of cake! She had had high hopes of using these directions that appeared so deceivingly effortless to concoct a confection that would put a smile on the face of a special someone this year…


…but after several botched attempts just tonight and four inedible cakes over the past two days…after three boxes of chocolate bits and nearly a dozen eggs later, Riza was starting to lose hope. She was flustered and downright embarrassed by her lack of success. Why, Riza Hawkeye was good at everything! There wasn’t a single order she had failed to carry out perfectly! Not a one task about the office she couldn’t handle! And she couldn’t bake something as unpretentious as a chocolate cake?


She took a deep breath, held it a moment, then let it out in a growl, and glanced up when there was an answering sigh from the doorway. Her eyes softened a little as she saw Hayate sit down primly in the kitchen ingress, his head angled slightly in bewilderment at his mistress’s strange behavior.

“This shouldn’t be this hard,” Riza complained softly, “right, Buraha?”


The black-and-white dog yipped quietly, his tail thumping lightly against the floor encouragingly, and Riza cast her chestnut eyes back to the little bit of paper she had tossed unceremoniously back onto the counter.


‘Ganbatte! Riza-san!’ Winry’s bubbly round handwriting cheered inspirationally from the bottom of the recipe.

Hawkeye set her jaw, rolled back her sleeves, and nodded her head.


She was going to make this cake, and she was going to get it right! Even if it took all night! She still had a few days until her time ran out...and she was determined not to arrive empty-handed this year...



the meat of this story will be another pre-hagaren setting... so i'll be taking lots of liberties... heh heh...and i figured that...since riza is so good at...well...*everything*...i had to make her bad at *something*. baking seemed appropriate. i just can't envision her baking pies. O_o

CC me?


EDIT: just putting in the timestamp. happy.gif

This post has been edited by hagane_no_tokage: Jun 7 2005, 08:56 AM


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Chiyo
post Feb 15 2005, 03:44 AM
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I like it...I can just see her stressed face.


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Hex-Sama
post Feb 15 2005, 05:58 AM
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@Tokage: I might have said this before... But I'll say it again, your Da fanfic Master! laugh.gif *drags other people to come and read this fanfic*


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hagane_no_tokage
post Feb 15 2005, 12:35 PM
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LOL! thanks hex, you're the best! ^__^

ah, btw, chiyo you have the CUTEST pics in your sig! where do you get them??[/random]


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Tobu Ishi
post Feb 15 2005, 02:33 PM
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Aww, sweetness! (Literally. happy.gif;;) As usual, you're sounding good, Tokage-san. Is the pegasus a reference perhaps to the birth of said lovely horse from a hideous medusa's neck, referring to the hopefully tasty result of Liza's ill-fated endeavors? That's the only entendre I can think of...

In other news, welcome back! I haven't seen you around the F&F forums much lately...I've got some new stuff up. <3


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The Restoring Earth Alchemist
Big Sister to Chiyo, Little Sister to Tokage, Edward to WrenchFreakWinry

An Appetite For Grief Dividing the Bones Elysium FULLMETAL FOLLY
Good Neighbors Jaybird Letdown Mater Familias Mea Culpa Play With Me
Rosarium Seven Years The Shadow of Him Some Assembly Required Wired Wooden

<3 The EdWin 100 Themes <3
She remembers the way her inexplicably riveted gaze slid unbidden
down the curves of his back, slowly, like honey. And she particularly remembers
the rush of prickly heat, the unfamiliar melting sensation that made her duck
her head to hide a blush that caught her entirely by surprise; as she realized
for the first time, in an entirely new way, that Ed was a
boy.

Click here to read more...
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hagane_no_tokage
post Feb 15 2005, 04:45 PM
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LOL! tobu-san that's the best guess i've heard yet! XD hee, i may have to add that to the reasonings behind the title...but that's not one of the two i had in mind initially when i named the story.

heh, you get a cookie for that guess tho. ^__^

and thanks, i've been really busy lately, it's good to be back... i will definitely go check out your new stuff!


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hagane_no_tokage
post Feb 15 2005, 11:22 PM
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pardon the doublepost, gang, but i have the next piece, and i thought that warrented its own post. from this point the story takes place in a falshback setting, just FYI... enjoy!



February 14th, 1905
0302 hours
North Hallway, Quicksilver Dorms




Her light was on again.


It was three in the morning, and there was that familiar slender bar of light emanating from beneath the door of room 307. Of course…considering the hour, he supposed he was no less in breach of the Lights Out rule, either…standing out in the hallway beyond the felonious doorway with the light on beyond it. As it was, he knew he should have been in bed asleep by now (what, with the 6am wake-up call and everything…), but somehow, the idea of her still being awake despite the hour had him intrigued, perplexed, and perhaps even a touch anxious all at the same time.

He was dying to know what was so important as to keep a straight-laced cadet like Riza Hawkeye in disregard of such a sacred regulation as Lights Out. Especially when she was the only first-year who had been graced with a single room. Everyone else had been forced to double- or triple-up…but Riza, for some reason, had been granted the honor of a single: something that was almost always reserved for the senior students in the academy. Even for a third-year to get a single was almost unheard of!

So what on earth could be so dire that Riza Hawkeye would dare to infringe upon the rules and risk losing such a sweet setup?


It was driving him nuts!


Third-year cadet Roy Mustang cast uneasy eyes behind him over his shoulder. The academy dorms were co-ed, but divided into gender-specific floors. If he was caught on the girls’ floor at this hour, he’d be drop-kicked all the way to the barracks and probably made to do a thousand-and-one push-ups. With weights on his back. In the rain.

He shuddered, wondering if this was really worth it…


Then he cast his black eyes to the door of room 307 again. They narrowed deviously.

Ah…on second thought… Yes. It was worth it, indeed.


He scratched the back of his neck and sucked his teeth a moment, trying to figure out where to go from here. He had to debate his next move carefully…as it could very easily dictate the path the rest of this semester went down.

Roy had already established himself as the stallion his surname suggested. At nineteen, Roy was one of the top third-year cadets at Aurora Mercury Academy. The students had lovingly dubbed it Quicksilver, for that was about as heavy and potent as the curriculum it supplied its apprentices…not to mention that if you screwed up, you’d be out on your aurora borealis faster than…well…quicksilver. The academy had a strict no-nonsense procedure, and a zero-tolerance-for-shenanigans policy.

So…what would make a clever young up-and-coming pupil like Roy Mustang brave the shadows of curfew breach?


Why…a woman, of course.


There was an age-old tradition at Quicksilver… It was a bit of a game among the senior cadets to see who could catch the most eyes at first-year orientation night.

Granted, the game had quickly become significantly less entertaining for the upperclassmen when Roy had joined the ranks. With his square jaw, chiseled profile, and exotic, Asian features, the fact that he was in the top five percentile of his class seemed a secondary attraction in most cases. Quite plainly speaking…in the eyes of his juniors (and, sometimes, his seniors) Roy Mustang was the prime cut of beef. He had been petted more times as he loped gracefully down the long, tiled hallways between classes than most of his peers combined, it seemed.

And, as much as he was loathe to admit it, it was starting to get old.

If he was pawed one more time en route to his next drill…if he was ogled by one more spacey classmate during study hall…



He clenched one fist and swore to God if he found one more anonymous love letter shoved beneath his door from yet another fan girl who lacked the courage to come forward and address him in person, he was going to scream!



…Er…not at this hour, of course… But still! As much as he acted like he adored all the attention, it was really beginning to get tiresome. Certainly Roy had never been one to turn away a compliment—or an admirer, for that matter—but the fact of the matter was, all he really wanted was someone with a little substance. Someone who would advance without the hesitation the others seemed stranded in. Someone who had the brains to look past his visage.


Of course, he knew he was good-looking as well as anybody else did…but the idea that all of these people fell so quickly in his wake because of his striking exterior left him rather concerned for their mental states.


For goodness’s sake! So he had a dramatic profile… That didn’t make him a good person, a great date, or a perfect boyfriend to whomever he deemed worthy.

He chuckled to himself.

Even though he was confident he was, without a doubt, all of the above…


He knew well enough that his personality was not without flaws…and the fact that nobody bothered to look deeper than his ebony eyes and dashingly handsome countenance was endlessly amusing to him.

Ugh, but even amusement had its limits in this case.

He had taken up lamenting his popularity woes to his roommate. However, the sessions hadn’t been too therapeutic. The fourth-year he had been bunked with—Maes Hughes—seemed far too preoccupied with showing off photos of his beloved girlfriend Glacier to lend much of a sympathetic ear. Hughes had done less listening and more crooning over his sandy-haired Aphrodite than Roy would have hoped, but the younger man supposed he would take what he could get… It was, after all, better than having no one to listen at all…

Besides, at least Hughes had been good for some advice. The bespectacled upperclassman had torn his attention away from his sonnets long enough to straighten his back and stare fraternally at his junior.


“Don’t you ever settle, Mustang,” he had said shrewdly, his bright chartreuse eyes flashing mischievously from behind rectangular glasses. “A young, smart, good-looking guy like you…you’ve got potential to do great things, my friend…” With that, he had clapped the younger man soundly on the shoulder (nearly knocking the wind out of him) and thrust his other arm out grandly, leaning close to Roy’s face as he continued, “There are many lovely women here… Strong, disciplined, intelligent women. Military women. The kind who are the tops of their classes—la crème de la crème, as they say…and you could surely have your pick among them.” He paused, and then chortled softly as he tousled Roy’s wiry black hair like any good reprimanding senpai should. “Just make sure you choose wisely.”


Roy unconsciously ran his thick fingers through his hair to smooth the imaginary cowlick that the memory had conjured, and then fisted both hands at his sides.

He had assured Hughes that he had no intentions of settling.


A Mustang never settled.


In fact, Roy already had his sights set…and they were set on only one creature within the walls of Quicksilver Dorms… The creature locked soundly behind the door to room 307—his junior classmate; the sharp-witted, tow-headed, brown-eyed Riza Hawkeye.

He was absolutely fascinated by her and—to his credit—it wasn’t just because she had a pretty face and a trim, athletic figure. He had cast aside all other callers in the hopes of getting to know Riza better. There were so many things about her that left him scratching his head…


For one, she had been admitted into the cadet program early. While Quicksilver accepted students as young as twelve, to enroll into the military cadet program, one had to be sixteen years of age…but Hawkeye had only turned sweet sixteen earlier that month—well into the winter semester of the year. With a February birthday, it was usually mandatory to wait for the following spring…but Hawkeye had somehow managed to sneak in below the radar. Some said it was because she was a weapons prodigy; that she could shoot you between the eyes blindfolded from a hundred yards. Others said it was because her grandfather was the General of East City. Mustang personally didn’t really care why she was here so early…it made no difference to him. All he knew was, there was something very remarkable about her.

She was an amazing student, for one thing. Two years his junior and in all fields his intellectual and grade marks match, he had been instantly intrigued by young Hawkeye. From the moment he had laid eyes on her, she had been on his mind. There was a sense of terrible pride and fierce privacy to her… Her short blonde hair and bright chestnut eyes had only sweetened the pot.

But what had hooked Mustang more than anything else…was her indifference.


The cool, aloof demeanor…the aura of superiority and apathy she radiated was like the pull of a magnet. The first day of freshman orientation, Mustang had been assigned to a group of newcomers, to show them around the quad at the far northern corner of the campus and familiarize them with the older sections of the dorms. Hawkeye had been in that group of first-years.

And she had paid Mustang absolutely no mind whatsoever.

When she breezed right past him without so much as a glance, or—like so many of the other young female recruits had graced him with—a swooned craning of the neck or a lascivious wolf-whistle as he sauntered by, she had ensnared him, and he wasn’t about to be tossed back.

She was cold. She was untouchable.


She was positively irresistible!


Roy Mustang had never been able to turn down a good, clean game of hard-to-get…because Roy Mustang always got what he wanted.



And so, there he was…standing outside in the hallways of the girls’ floor of the old dorm building he (and she) lived in, clad only in jeans and the button-down shirt he had worn to class several hours ago…freezing his ass off because it was February and he hadn’t thought to take his coat with him. While Quicksilver was one of the most outstanding military academies Amestris had to offer, it was surely one of the oldest. The dorms were the most ancient of all. The main lecture halls and shooting range had all been refurbished within the past seven years…but the dorms were still the original living quarters that had been used from the day the academy had opened…

All of the individual rooms had climate controls…but not so the hallways between them. Needless to say, they got pretty goddamn cold in the wintertime…and…pretty goddamn hot in the summer. Er…not that it really seemed to bother anyone that much, in the long run. So long as the actual living quarters were climate-controlled, no one really had any complaints about the halls.


After all…there shouldn’t have been anyone wandering the halls at 3am on a Tuesday night anyway, right?


Roy scowled.

Apparently, the bastards who had designed this place didn’t have late-night liaisons in mind…

He thought about returning to his room to retrieve his jacket, but decided against it almost as quickly as he had considered it. It was too risky. He’d have to go back to the stairs; and thus, back past the girls’ RA’s room. He’d chance waking her—or worse, Hughes—if he was to return to his room now.

No, he’d just deal with it.



Rubbing his arms in the chilly hall, he moved to stand before Hawkeye’s door.


And…there he stood.



A minute ticked by, then another.



And still he stood there, as if frozen by the cold calm of the dim, empty corridor. He shuddered.


Okay… So… What was he supposed to do now?


Dammit…he hated it when he neglected to think things through.

Option One: Knock on the door. ‘Uh, excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice your light was on…’


He snorted. Yeah, that would knock him right over into ‘stalker’ territory. She’d think he was insane, for sure.


Option Two: Knock on door and…ask to borrow a cup of sugar?



He shook his head adamantly.

Idiot. Like that would make you look any less crazy… She’d probably report you to the commandant!


He shivered again in the bitter stillness of the corridor, and contemplated slipping into the gloves he always kept in his pockets. Not for the warmth of them, mind you… These were his alchemy gloves. But he decided chances were that he would just end up in a worse situation if he did… The last thing he needed to do was set off the sprinkler systems on top of breaking curfew and trespassing on the girls’ floor of the dorm. Alchemy majors were forbidden from using their art on-campus except in classroom examinations or drills. If he was caught in the act of any of the above, he’d be expelled for sure. He was already certain the commandant didn’t like him much as it was.

He glanced at Riza’s door again, and scowled, thinking it was probably nice and warm beyond that closed door.

Then again…it was also probably nice and warm in his own room… Perhaps it would be best to just head back and try this again some other night when he’d thought about it a little more.


A light overhead flickered, popped, and then died, casting shadows across his feet. He lifted his eyes in the sudden onset of darkness, and then sighed.

Yeah, this had been a bad idea. Even if he was interested in her, it really didn’t give him the right to intrude upon her this way. Spying on her sleeping habits definitely put him in that psycho stalker category.

He rubbed his arms again and started to turn to head back to his own room. Perhaps he’d try again tomorrow… Or maybe it would be better to wait until the weekend when curfew was a little more relaxed? He needed to give this a little more thought. The cup of sugar bit wasn’t going to work on Hawkeye, so he would have to come up with something a little more believable.


He sucked in a sharp breath and shivered violently when a chill raced up his spine.

Okay, yeah, leaving now. It was too damn cold to keep hemming and hawing about this out here. At least next time if he was going to be indecisive, he would endeavor to remember his jacket.

Pausing but a moment longer before her door, as if in the hopes she would magically emerge and invite him in for coffee, he sighed and took a step toward the stairs.


But, as luck would have had it…someone was just out to get Roy in trouble that night. Before his foot even hit the ground to take that first step away from Riza’s door, the cold air and lack of sufficient weather attire got the better of him. He sneezed loudly, then froze in horror as the sound echoed off the walls around him.


Oh…crap…

Gods he hated wintertime!


His stomach sank when a light came on at the end of the hallway, and it took up residence at his feet when he realized where the light was coming from. The RA’s room. And the only way to get to the stairs to get back to his floor…was past that very same room.



SHIT!!



He contemplated flailing about in a panicked frenzy but, as much as it struck him as appropriate at the moment, he decided it wouldn’t really help his case in the long run. Instead, he backpedaled the half-step he had taken away from Riza’s room, thinking perhaps if he sprinted, he could make it to the restroom at the other end of the hallway and hide there until the RA went back to bed…


Or until he froze to death, whichever came first.


The doorknob to the room at the end of the hall slowly began to turn. It was now or never.

He whirled to make a run for it—



“Yah~!”



—and let out a rather unbecoming yelp when something snagged the back of his shirt and yanked him backward sharply.


Crap! Caught!


A warm hand covered his mouth, and a smooth voice hissed heatedly in his left ear, “Shut your mouth, do as I say, and I’ll get you out of this…but you’d better have a damn good explanation when the RA’s gone!!”





and...scene. working on the next bit right now...should be up in a few days. happy.gif heh, you can prolly guess who nabbed him... XD anyone have any guesses about the title yet? ^ . ^

ah, and...well, most of this fic is just going to be my take on how i think things may have gone in their pasts, since we've been given no real official info to go on. the name of the academy was made up, and having never attended one, i am going on what little information i know about military academies. if someone notices something that is inaccurate, please bring it to my attention.

i hate inaccuracies... ~_~


EDIT: timestamp!

This post has been edited by hagane_no_tokage: Jun 7 2005, 08:59 AM


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Tobu Ishi
post Feb 16 2005, 01:13 AM
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Hmm...from this further information, could it be that Roy (what with all the horse metaphors) is Pegasus, and Riza is Perseus, the one and only fabled rider who was able to tame and ride the winged horse? happy.gif


--------------------

The Restoring Earth Alchemist
Big Sister to Chiyo, Little Sister to Tokage, Edward to WrenchFreakWinry

An Appetite For Grief Dividing the Bones Elysium FULLMETAL FOLLY
Good Neighbors Jaybird Letdown Mater Familias Mea Culpa Play With Me
Rosarium Seven Years The Shadow of Him Some Assembly Required Wired Wooden

<3 The EdWin 100 Themes <3
She remembers the way her inexplicably riveted gaze slid unbidden
down the curves of his back, slowly, like honey. And she particularly remembers
the rush of prickly heat, the unfamiliar melting sensation that made her duck
her head to hide a blush that caught her entirely by surprise; as she realized
for the first time, in an entirely new way, that Ed was a
boy.

Click here to read more...
THEY'RE STILL UPDATING! PLEASE DON'T FORGET THEM. ;_;
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hagane_no_tokage
post Feb 16 2005, 01:27 AM
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hm...another good guess, tobu-san..., you're getting warmer, but you're thinking too hard. hee, it's one of those cases where you just have to think linearly. for one reason anyway. the other one is rather obscure, many people prolly haven't even heard of it... XD

*gives another cookie*


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Elderberry
post Mar 5 2005, 06:33 PM
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Uwaa! Tokage-san, you're such a good fanfic writer~! laugh.gif *bows*

A gift for your fine efforts! biggrin.gif
*presents tokage-san with basket of peanut butter cookies*


Um, I also have a few small questions...

Do both parts of the fanfic so far take place in the past? If so, is the Black Hayate mentioned a former pet of Riza's? happy.gif;; Also, I was wondering about how Winry fits into the timeframe...rolleyes.gif

Ganbatte ne, with the rest of the story! laugh.gif


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Chiyo
post Mar 5 2005, 06:40 PM
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You certainly do have a skill with writing. This is a long enough piece and most of it is Mustangs thought as he stands in a corridor. At no point did that get boring.

I await the next installment with great anticipation. You are going to make me a hard core Roy/Riza fan at this rate.


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WrenchFreakWinry
post Mar 5 2005, 06:41 PM
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Waaaai, neechan! You've done it again~ all your RoiAis kick efart bootay, but this one in particular kept me reading. I love the insight you took on chibi brat-Roy! <3. ...I'd make a guess at the meaning for the name, but I already know what it is 'cause you told me. So... I won't say it, 'cause I don't wanna give it away. ph34r.gif Ima ninja.... Okay I'm done. <3


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hagane_no_tokage
post Mar 5 2005, 06:56 PM
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From: the dark corners of my mind
Member No.: 2,565



sorry this took so long, kids... i've been caught up in a lot of stuff of late. heh, didn't mean to leave you hanging like this. as it turns out, i doubt i'll havethis monster done by white day, it's turning out longer than expected. *shrug* oh well. XD

EKE, thank you for the cookies! XD yaaay! and in answer to your question: the prologue is present-time, the subsequent bits are flashback. i guess that was unclear, my apologies. i'll edit the posts so the timeline is more pronounced. ^__^






Lowri Schaffer poked her head out the door of her dorm suite and squinted in the semidarkness of the long tiled hallway. The 22-year-old senior cadet pursed her lips and made a low growling sound in the back of her throat.

Someone was in infringement of curfew.


Lowri was taller than most of the girls she oversaw. At 6’2”, she was quite the Amazon among her peers and juniors. With her long dark brown hair and large bright green eyes, she was a rather eye-catching giant amid her cohorts, that was for sure. But, as the Resident Advisor, her stature often proved helpful. Of all the women’s floors in all the dorms, Lowri’s was the one with the least amount of policy violations.

All the girls on her floor were afraid of her. Er…all, that was, except for room 307. Hawkeye. That child wasn’t afraid of anything…


Her eyes scanned the hallway. She was certain she had heard something… It had sounded suspiciously like a man’s voice, too… It had surely been too loud to be one of her girls… She spotted a line of light beneath the door of room 307, and put a hand on her hip, furrowing her brow.

Ah…wait…307? That was Hawkeye’s room.


Lowri made a face. Of all the residents she oversaw, little Riza Hawkeye was surely the last one she would have expected to catch in violation of Lights Out. That girl couldn’t misbehave if her life depended on it…

Throwing her mop of dark hair over one shoulder, Lowri stepped out into the chilly hallway and marched over to Riza’s door.


She stared at the door a moment, contemplating her course of action.

This could be a tricky undertaking… Riza was surely a favorite among the staff on campus… With her good-girl attitude, high GPA, and eager-to-please approach to any task given her, it was no wonder she had become a teacher’s pet. And moreover, being the East City General’s granddaughter put her in a class all her own. Nobody could touch her…


Well...just because she got special treatment in class didn’t mean Lowri was going to lose her dorm record of having the lowest infraction rate.

She was going to bring Princess Hawkeye into compliance right then and there!

Nobody got away with curfew breach… Not on Lowri Schaffer's watch.







Riza snapped her head up when there was a knock at her door, and she quickly turned to address it.

“Hai~!” she called softly when the knocking came again. “I’m coming!” She ran a hand through her short blonde hair before tightening the sash that tied her long cotton robe around her hips and reaching out to open the door. She was met by a pair of stern green eyes. She jumped a little—feigning surprise—and smiled lightly. “Ah, Lowri-senpai!” she gasped, and her eyes became serious. “Did you hear it, too?”


Lowri blinked.

“Hear…?”


Riza’s face took on an expression of astonishment.

“But, Senpai, I thought that was why you got up!” she cried. “There was a loud sound: the bulb at the end of the hall shattered in its socket! It was so loud!” Riza looked horrified. “But, if you heard something else…!?”

Lowri grimaced.

“No, no!” she gasped. She hadn’t meant to alarm the younger girl! She held up her hands. “I didn’t… I mean…” She shook her head quickly, her long dark hair swishing at her back. “I was certain I heard a…”

Riza impulsively took Lowri by the shoulder and pointed out into the hall.


“But, Senpai, look!” the blonde said in a low, serious voice. “There’s glass all over the floor!” Riza shook her head. “Someone should come sweep that up, one of the girls could step on it on their way to the restroom and hurt themselves!”


Lowri frowned and started to go get a closer look, then hesitated and cast a dubious look back at Riza.

“Hawkeye, what are you doing up?” she asked, and Riza pointed to herself.

“Me?” she asked dumbly, and looked at the floor. “I’m…a very light sleeper, Senpai…”


Riza chuckled to herself. It wasn’t a lie. Not really. She was a light sleeper…


“I heard something and decided to check it out,” she added for good measure. “I wasn’t sure if you had heard it.”



Lowri’s green eyes narrowed skeptically, and she hastily turned back to the younger girl. Riza blinked innocently at her and, without asking permission, Lowri pushed past Riza and into the doorway, casting mistrustful eyes about the room.


She facefaulted. It was immaculate.



A place for everything and everything in its place, indeed… From the shelves that lined the walls from end-to end, stacked with reference books (and, she was amused to see, a few romance novels), to the rows of color-coordinated clothes on hangers in the closet; from the row of tiny houseplants on the far windowsill—all of them no doubt impeccably watered and cared for—to the line of shoes beneath the bed, each pair arranged as if standing at attention… Lowri was amazed. It seemed Riza kept house as flawlessly as she kept her grades.

Shaking her head, her suspicions forgotten, Lowri retreated back out into the hall and gently bowed her head to Riza.

“Ah…forgive the intrusion, Hawkeye,” she apologized sheepishly. “I…guess my ears were just playing tricks on me…” She snerked a laugh. “Imagine…a boy daring to trespass on my floor…”

Riza joined her chuckling with a rather fake induced laugh, and then watched as Lowri waved and started back toward her own room.


“Well, get some sleep,” the older girl said sternly, “you’ve got an early wake-up tomorrow, don’t you?”

“Yes, thank you,” Riza replied politely, and Lowri faded into the shadowy hallway, grumbling something about lousy wiring and having to call the Super in the morning.



Riza breathed a sigh of relief and closed the door, locking it quickly. Then she cast venomous eyes toward the closet.

“She’s gone, Senpai,” she said in a hushed voice, “you can come out now…”


Roy poked his head out from between a rack of pressed pant-suits and gave her a desperately grateful look.

“Oh, wow, Hawkeye, that was amazing,” he said with a grin. “You’re quite the little actress, you are. I can’t believe you managed to bust that light bulb with a coin from your doorway—that was incredible! You’re one helluva shot, that’s for sure!” He laughed and detangled himself from her business attire and stepped out into the main of the room. Then he sighed and ran a hand back through his hair, puffing a sigh and arching his back. “Ah~, that was close…” he groaned. “I really owe you one, Hawkeye…”


Her eyes flashed.

“Indeed,” she concurred, “an explanation. Start talking.”


Roy squeaked in alarm. He hadn’t expected her to be quite so…down-to-business. Though he supposed he probably should have expected it, with the way she acted in class. She was as no-nonsense as Quicksilver itself, and he presumed it was foolish of him to assume anything else.

She sat down on her bed and crossed her legs at the ankles, then tilted her head and looked at him expectantly. He shook his foot to remove a stray knee-high that had managed to attach itself to his sock (since Hawkeye had insisted he immediately remove his shoes upon entering the room—they had been stashed deftly beneath the bed…), then leaned on the closet door.

He swallowed. It just occurred to Mustang that he was in highly uncharted waters. He had successfully gone where no man had gone before…Riza Hawkeye’s single dorm suite…


Er…not that many of the others on campus would have dared to dream to brave these wilds…but the point remained that not only had he infiltrated female lines…he had actually been pulled into the room by force! Oh, he would have a grand old time twisting that fact to his advantage when he re-told the tale the next day.


Hesitating a moment before he spoke, his dark eyes flicked about the room, and he was a tad taken aback at just how organized it really was. Not a book was out of place, not an article of clothing (save the rogue trouser sock that had assaulted him) lay prostrate out of its drawer. His head swiveled slowly to scan the walls (which were alarmingly devoid of artwork or posters), and then lingered a moment on the little sofa setup below the window.

Hm. Cozy. But more like a ritzy hotel room than a teenage apartment. He hypothesized then that Miss Hawkeye was not the average sweet 16-year-old by a long shot.


His gaze wandered from the belongings to the owner, and traveled slowly across the lines of her slender frame. Her face was lean, her cheekbones high, her eyes large and a warm, inviting mahogany. Her flaxen hair was swept across the left side of her brow, a few locks falling stray over her long eyelashes. A long neck gave way to graceful shoulders draped in a pale blue cotton robe that was tied tightly at her elegant hips.

Before his eyes could travel any further south, there was the sharp, pointed clearing of her throat, and his gaze snapped back to her eyes, which were narrowed slightly.


“Explanation, Senpai,” she clarified coolly, adjusting the collar of the robe, “not exploration…”


He glanced away, trying madly to hide the fact that her comment had caused his cheeks to flush slightly.

My, but she was far more candid than he had imagined…


He coughed once into his fist, squared his shoulders, and then moved to lean on the closet again.



“Gesundheit, by the way…”

“Huh?”


She lifted her eyebrows.

“Gesundheit…” she repeated, and he looked confused.


She rolled her eyes.

“It was you sneezing in the hall that woke Lowri,” she scolded in explanation. “You really shouldn’t be out in this weather with no coat.”

He frowned. Now she was chiding him?


He brushed it off.

“That’s German, isn’t it?” he asked offhandedly, and she nodded without elaboration. “You speak German?”

“Fluently,” she replied. “Aside from English, Japanese, and German, I also speak some French and Latin.” She rubbed the tip of her nose in a fidget. “But ah…I think you’re the one who should be answering questions, Senpai…not asking them…”


He winced.

She was quite crass, it seemed. Sharp as a tack and guileless to a fault, to boot. No pussyfooting around the bush with this one, he presumed, and opened his mouth to speak.


“I…uh…” he began slowly, and one of her eyes narrowed slightly when he hesitated. He cleared his throat and tried again. “I was…just a little worried, is all…” he admitted, and her brows crashed down into her eyelids in an expression of utter incredulity.

“Beg pardon?” she questioned, and he fidgeted.

“Ah…well…you’ve seemed kind of out of it in class the past week,” he told her, “so I was curious as to why. Then when I saw you had been staying up past 3am on a regular basis—”


She leapt to her feet, and Roy backpedaled instinctively.

“Do you mean to tell me you’ve been spying on me?” she gasped, and he threw his hands up in front of his face in defense.


“N-No, I just—”


“You skeezy pervert!” she spat, reaching for something to throw at him. Luckily, the nearest inanimate object happened to be a little stuffed dog…because Riza was a remarkably good shot.

“Hawkeye, hear me out, I—oomph!” He peeled the dog away from his face and set it forcefully down on the desk. “Will you listen?”


“I will not!” she said angrily, reaching for more ammo. “I had heard that you were arrogant and cocky—”

“Cocky!?”

“—but I never dreamed you’d take up spying on girls and lurking outside their dorm rooms.” Her eyes bored holes into his face. “Just because we have a few classes together and we’re on the same squad at the shooting range doesn’t give you jurisdiction to hold stakeouts of my apartment.”



He moved so quickly she didn’t have time to dodge, and she suddenly found herself pinned between his frame and the foot of her bed, one of his large hands wrapped round both her slender wrists, and the other over her mouth. His tapered eyes twinkled impishly.

“Shh,” he said gently, and she contemplated biting his hand for good measure. His mouth twitched up into a half-grin, and he continued, “I’m going to let go of you now…” He moved a step back from her. “But if you start throwing things again, I’ll be forced to—”

“To what?” she demanded harshly, sitting primly on the edge of the bed and folding her arms. She closed one eye and focused the other on him coldly. “I totally rescued you back there! If Lowri had found you in the hall, you would have been suspended for a month, and that’s being lenient.” She rolled her eyes. “And what kind of idiotic git goes traipsing about in the middle of February without a coat, anyway?” A sardonic scoff. “Are you trying to catch cold?”


Her eyes flared when he laughed, but he couldn’t help himself. She sounded so angry it was comical. She glared daggers at him, then rolled her eyes and looked away.

“I’m glad you find it so amusing…”

“I…I’m sorry,” he guffawed. “Thi…This is the first time we’ve spoken outside of class…”—he sniggered again—“and you’re not at all what I expected.”

One brown eye narrowed in inquiry, and Roy snorted and covered his mouth with one hand as he continued laughing.


“You…You’re so violent!” he crowed. “You’re brash and feisty and…and downright malicious! And you even lied to the RA!”

She frowned.

"I didn't lie..." she corrected. "I merely participated in a campaign of misinformation."

He put his palm on his forehead and his shoulders shook with more laughter.

“You’re like a completely different person than you are in class.”

A sigh fell heavy from her lips and her gaze moved sideways toward the window.

“Good. Does this mean you’ll go away and leave me alone now?”


He immediately stopped laughing and looked at her seriously.

“No,” he told her, his voice stern, “and I’ll tell you why—”


“Oh goody.”


“—because I—hey, shut up!—because I think you’re doing this on purpose.”



Now it was her turn to laugh.

“Oh, very good,” she snerked, “did you figure that out all by yourself? I act rude and sassy on purpose in a social atmosphere to keep perverted senpai like you from pursuing me simply because of the strictly coincidental color my hair happens to be. What a shock.”


Roy gave her a flat look.

“Oi, oi…” he scolded. “You just take all the fun out of it when you say it like that…”


She shook her head and got to her feet.

“Look, senpai, if you really must know,” she told him with a sidelong glance, “I’ve been pulling all-nighters studying. Mid-terms are coming up, and I want to make sure I’m prepared.”

“There’s a shocker…”


She scowled.

“Well, pardon me, Mr. State Alchemist,” she started to retort, and Roy’s face contorted in alarm, “but not all of us have it so easy. Some of us actually have to work to stay here.”


He started to snap back, then her words sunk in fully, and his face drained of color.

“How did you know I was a—?”

Riza’s smile was sly.


“Having a high-ranking grandfather has its perks, after all,” she said deviously, and placed one finger on her chin. “Thumbing through the files of my classmates is an easy task.” Her eyes sparkled wickedly. “Of course, yours was a trifle thicker than others…” She began ticking the points off on her fingers as she named them. “Roy Mustang, born November 19th, 1885; the only child of the Western Mustangs. At age 13, you took and passed the State Alchemist exam, and were dubbed the ‘Flame Alchemist’ for your ability to manipulate fire through your alchemy.” A long thin smile crept knowingly across her face. “You became the youngest State Alchemist in Amestris’s history. Congratulations, Senpai,” she said, and the look of horror on his face had waxed to a twitching ill mask of green. He looked like he was going to throw up. “I wonder…” she said slowly, walking in a leisurely, deliberate arc in front of him, “what all of our classmates would think if they knew that Cadet Mustang was actually already a major…? What do you suppose everyone would think if they knew you were a State Alchemist, and your staying here in the academy was more for face and record purposes than actual studies?”

He swallowed hard, his face white as cracked ice, and Riza chuckled at how disconcerted he looked.


“Don’t worry, Senpai,” she assured him, “I’m not going to tell anyone…” Her eyebrows lifted. “But I think that perhaps it would be in your best interests to start minding your own business…”


The color slowly began to return to Roy’s face, and he cleared his throat nervously, folding his arms over his chest to give her a rueful look.

“I was merely investigating as a concerned upperclassman,” he sulked, and Riza shook her head. He fought the urge to stick out his tongue in a spectacular display of immaturity. “Well excuse me for caring, but as a senior cadet I was troubled by the recent decline in your attentiveness in class. I decided to investigate it.”

“Among other things,” she concluded wryly.

He pursed his lips.


“Hawkeye, studying or partying, staying up till 4am when wake-up is at 6 is eventually going to catch up with you,” he chided sincerely. “The fact that you’re doing it for honorable reasons won’t change the results.”

“Au contraire,” she reciprocated sharply, “but aren’t you just as guilty?” She gave him a wily smirk. “Participating in espionage over the opposite sex is so much more appropriate when done in the wee hours of the morning, wouldn’t you say?”


“You make me sound like a dirty old man…”

"Hey, if the shoe fits..." she grumbled. “You’re just lucky I’m not going to tell Lowri-senpai about this…”


He snorted.

“Oh, so you’re an actress but no snitch…” he grumbled. “I’ll have you know that any of the other girls on this floor would be elated to see me outside their door at 3 in the morning.”

She rolled her eyes again.

“Fine, go loiter outside their rooms, then,” she said, waving one hand at the door. “Let them drool. I’m busy…”

She jumped visibly when he was suddenly right in front of her, his nose nearly touching her.


“Ah, but you see, the chase is so much more enjoyable,” he whispered provocatively, “when the prey is elusive…”


She wrinkled her nose and shoved him backward, and he stumbled, tripping over a footstool and crashing to the floor with a cry. Riza was momentarily startled, afraid she might have caused him to injure himself, but her worries quickly faded when he started laughing. She looked at him a moment, where he sat on the floor giggling like a lunatic, and her face shifted from concern to confusion.

Then she shook her head.


“Senpai…you’re nuts.”


Then she offered her hand to pull him to his feet.

She immediately regretted this action when Roy’s mammoth hand closed around her wrist and he yanked her forward, spilling her on top of him, her hands now pinning his shoulders to the floor.

She was suddenly very grateful she had made certain to lock the door…because should anyone have opened it to this scene, she would have been the talk of the campus the next day, that was for sure…

She gave him an unperturbed frown as he grinned coyly up at her.

“Admit it,” he purred, “you find me as irresistible as everyone else…you’re just too proud to come clean.”

She made a choking sound and put one hand over his face as she moved off of him.

“Right, as alluring as a toothache,” she snapped, getting to her feet again and glaring down at him. “Are you just going to sit there on the floor all night?”


“I’ll make a wager with you…”


The statement was so random, so utterly irrelevant to anything that had just been said that it caught her completely off-guard.

“Excuse me…?” she begged clarification.

He sat up, then leaned back on his hands.


“I’ll bet you,” he challenged, “that by the time we go into our first real combat situation, you’ll be giving me chocolate on Valentine’s Day…”


Her eyes reeled heavenward as if in request for patience.

“Oh for pity’s sake…” she grumbled, and he stood up, dusting off his rump (though he doubted Riza would have allowed there to be any dirt on her spick and span carpet).

Roy rubbed the bridge of his nose and turned away from her.

“Of course…if you’re scared to lose…” he said slowly, and was pleased to hear a flustered growl from her. He turned back and smiled winsomely. “If you fear you are not strong enough to resist my charms, my dear…”

“If you’re charming I’d hate to come across someone obnoxious,” she jabbed, and he almost winced. She sighed and gave him a look of irritation. “Fine, fine, what are the stakes, then?”


He smiled like a fox given the keys to the chicken coup.


“If you win,” he said, “and you still hate my guts by the time we’re shuffled off to the front, I’ll be out of your hair forever. Cut, print, that’s a wrap, period. That’s all she wrote. You’ll never hear from me again.”


She looked intrigued, but then her eyes narrowed.

“And…if you win…?” she asked flatly.


His grin only widened.

“Well, winning your affections is surely prize enough on its own…”


Her jaw fell open, and she quaked.

“You arrogant pig!” she growled through clenched teeth, lunging at him and wishing she had something else to throw. “I’m not some flashy door prize for your taking, Senpai!” She bared her teeth at him and then snapped her arm out to take his hand in a crushing grip. “You’re on!” she hissed, shaking his hand once, firmly, to seal the deal. “Let the games begin…”


He grimaced and flexed his hand when she released it. Damn! The girl had a grip like a vice! He stared at her a moment, black eyes locked on brown, and then cracked a cynical smile.


“So little Good-girl Hawkeye’s a gambler…” he chuckled. “Who’d’a thunk it?”

She rolled her eyes.

He winked at her.


“I have a feeling this is the starts of a beau~tiful friendship,” he cooed, and she threw her hands in the air.

“Why are you still here?” she demanded. “Are you always this overconfident, or only after you’ve been awake twenty-plus hours?”


She stalked past him and kicked his shoes out from under the bed, sliding them toward him, and then walking toward the exit. She closed her fingers round the doorknob, unlocking it.

“I think it’s time for you to go now,” she said, pulling the door open and poking her head out into the hallway. She looked left, then right, then over left again. The light under Lowri’s door was out again. Good. She looked over her shoulder at Roy. “Lowri-senpai has gone back to bed,” she told him, pulling the door open wide and motioning for him to exit by way of it. “The coast is clear. Good night.”


Roy was momentarily rooted to the spot; a little shocked by the bite to her words, then took a deep breath, and dared make no retort with it. He stepped into his shoes and shuffled slowly past her like a dog that had been caught chewing on a favorite pair of loafers, his tail tucked soundly between his legs.

Riza watched him trudge out into the hall, almost felt bad for having scolded him as she had, then thought better of it. She put one hand on her hip and rewarded him with a small, honest smile.

“You owe me big time,” she said, and he ventured returning the grin.

“I always repay my debts.”


“Good to know.”

“Perhaps…this will be a start?” he offered, and reached into the breast pocket of his shirt to remove a small, thin box wrapped in white paper and garnished with a thin red ribbon. He handed it to her, and she looked at him as if he had grown a third eye.

“What’s this for?” she asked, accepting it gingerly, as if in fear it would bite her.


“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he said, his eyes genuine, and she felt two pink spots form on her cheeks.

“But…you’re not supposed to give until White Day!” she spluttered, now completely embarrassed. “Valentine’s Day is when the girl gives chocolate to the boy she likes!” she explained superfluously.

He cocked a dark eyebrow.

“I figured if I waited for you, I’d be waiting forever,” he admitted with a shrug. “No harm in doing things backwards for once.”


Her face turned pinker.

“Stop toying with tradition!” she scolded, and he laughed, folding his arms over his chest in the chilly corridor. She looked at him reproachfully, then sighed. “Good night, Senpai,” she said. “I’ll see you in class tomorrow…”



And then she was gone. The door closed silently, and he heard the tumblers fall into place as she turned the lock above the knob. Silence enveloped the hall again, and Roy sighed. He watched the puff of condensation rise, white, in the air in front of his face, and knit his brow together.

He wasn’t sure if this had been a successful undertaking or not…? He would have to ask Hughes’s opinion. Hawkeye was going to be a tough nut to crack, that was for certain. Perhaps he had gotten in over his head with this one?


He glanced at his wristwatch. It was 3:52. He had spent nearly an hour with her, and all he had learned was that her attitude was nearly as wicked as his own.


He sighed.

It seemed it was a failed mission after all. This was going to be far more difficult than he had initially suspected. He shivered and wrapped his arms more tightly around his torso. The hallway seemed all the colder now.

Trudging slowly down the hall toward the stairs past Lowri’s room, he was momentarily pulled from his tragic musings of botched plans when the sound of a doorknob turning met his ears.


Oh, jeez…all that just to get caught now?


He wished himself invisible.



“Mustang!” a voice hissed in the darkness, and he spun.

It was Hawkeye, glaring at him from her doorway. He blinked at her, confused, and she snapped her arm out into the hall, flicking her wrist to send a small, thick blanket made of blue fleece soaring down the hall toward him.

He caught it easily in his left hand, and shot her a perplexed look. She scrunched up her face tauntingly.

“And I expect you to return that!” she whispered loudly, then vanished again, and he waited until the light had gone out beneath her door before he came out of the trance he had fallen into.

He glanced down at the blanket in his hand, smiled lightly, then shook it open and quickly wrapped it round his broad shoulders. It smelled like vanilla and lavender…



His steps were lighter now as he made his way toward the stairwell again.


“Oh yeah…” he said softly to himself, a furtive grin stretching across his face, “she’s totally into me…”


And with newfound resolve, Roy Mustang trotted down the steps to the ground level and trekked across the courtyard back toward his wing of the dorms to proclaim his preliminary victory to Hughes.


hee, that was fun. i believe that some of the greatest of friendships have been forged out of an initial downright hatred for one another. heh. i know that Riza may strike as a tad OOC in this chapter, i'm doing this on purpose, let me assure you. just watch as our young cadets mature and i think you'll see what i'm trying to accomplish. also, the line about Roy being the youngest State Alchemist... this is still just an unconfirmed rumor, i have never read it officially, but i like rumors and that one fit the scene nicely, so i used it. ^__^

hope you liked it! concrit is appreciated!!! ♥♥♥

and thanks, chiyo! it's always nice to have the opinion of another writer. i have enjoyed your stories as well. ^__^ and as much as i love reading ed/win, i will *always* prefer to write the roiai. hee, it makes me all girly and fluffy. XD

...and yes, winwin, dear, you are a ninja. "ninja of the ni~~~ght!" XD and if you tell the meaning of the title you will be efarted by sachi. repeatedly. bwahaahaha! ph34r the wily eel.


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Fullmetal Fangir...
post Mar 5 2005, 07:29 PM
Post #14


State Alchemist (Major)
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Very NICE!


"Oh, yeah...she’s totally into me…”


Buahhahaha laugh.gif


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Mira
post Mar 5 2005, 09:43 PM
Post #15


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All I can say is wow,you've rendered me speechless. biggrin.gif

Hmm...I don't think that Riza is very much OOC here as nobody knows exactly how she was like when she was younger. She would have(and most probably did) mature over the years,especially after the war, well at least in my opinion. Plus a childish Riza is a nice change from the normally cool woman whom we see. laugh.gif

Keep up the good work! ^^
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