Joined: 18-April 06
Member No.: 34,836
The following is a chapter of the developing fanfic:
It was a serene Sunday afternoon. Along the street, men and women were gathered together, walking hand in hand with their beloveds while viewing the blossoming flowers. The atmosphere was permeated with the refreshing aroma that had not merely attracted the people, but birds, bees and butterflies too. Turnips, chrysanthemum, hyacinths, lavenders, lilies; at least dozens kinds of plant species had joined the show and embellished the sunny day with bright colorful landscape they had formed.
Amongst the crowd, there was a certain couple. The gentleman was wearing a simple black suit with the outer coat buttoned neatly over his torso. His black jet hair was combed back and glistened under the sunlight. Setting off with his gallant charm was the elegant lady sauntering along with him. Her tan suit had reflected her austere character, but every time she smiled, her amicable feature would radiate like the mild sunshine. This might be the reason for the gentleman to be drawn all his attention to that lady. In fact, his eyes rarely looked on anything or anyone else besides her. He did beam, merely that once, when she looked back at him. That countenance of his remained unchanged as he made a short conversation with the lady, whose eyes later shifted away from her companion. Before the gentleman realized, she had already waltzed away. He immediately followed her. In that large multitude, it was conceivably that he would lose sight of her had he failed to catch her hand. There occurred a momentary stop. To her response, the lady turned around to see the tight clutch on her hand, gripped it, and proceeded to her course. The gentleman let her lead on getting through the throng of visitors as he did not seem to know where they were going. Fortunately, it did not take him long to find the answer. Awaited them ahead were all kinds of beautiful bouquets, setting decoratively around a wooden cart.
The gentleman stared at the bouquets in awe.
“Fascinating, isn’t it?” He heard a man said.
The gentleman did not response, simply because he found no word came out from his mouth.
Having to see the gentleman’s reaction, the elder man laughed, “Ha, ha, ha, ha! You’re not the first gentleman to be speechless in front of my bouquets.”
“Your bouquets?” The gentleman finally found his voice.
“Yes! Every single of them!” The elder man stroked his white beard. “From planting to arranging the flowers, they all are my masterpiece,” he said proudly.
“Your craftsmanship is undeniably superb.”
“Many people said that. So, what in the world for a young bachelor like you rambling here alone?”
The gentleman chuckled, slowly raised his hand. The long sleeve of his outer coat shrunk slightly as to reveal the back of his hand, as well as the sparkling golden ring which was fit comfortably on the ring finger. “I’m married,” He radiated the bliss of happiness as he spoke. He subsequently looked to his right, implicitly signing for the elder man to bring his eyes to the cart. There stood a woman. She was the lady with the gentleman a moment ago. “That beautiful lady over there,” said the gentleman, “is my wife.”
Joined: 18-April 06
Member No.: 34,836
“Ah!” Mustang cried out, as the wet cotton ball touched his forehead.
“Bear with it, colonel,” Hawkeye said, throwing the contaminated cotton ball into the trash can, “I’m almost done cleaning up the wound.” Hawkeye reached her hand to a bottle of alcohol.
Besides the rain and paperwork, the alcohol had just managed to join Mustang’s hate list, although that was just restricted to the antiseptic use alcohol. It stung so badly that he could not contained the pain under his breath. The pain was unbearable, his subordinates, however, were of his greatest concern. They were not harmed in any way. In fact, most of them were not involved in the ‘fishing’ operation. In Mustang’s overloading mind, there was regret of not having them dismissed and out of his office. Reminding himself of his subordinates, Mustang turned his head sharply and glared at them. Those watching eyes were dispersed in an instant without a word. Contented, Mustang thought it was about time to save the remnant of his pride. Looking back to his adjutant, he was ready to persuade her to surrender treating him. “Ahem,” he cleared his voice. “First Lieutenant,” he called.
“Sir,” Hawkeye called, as if she did not notice that her superior officer was calling her.
“Yes, First Lieutenant?”
“Please, take care of yourself.”
That was a plea, Mustang discerned, and he found himself trapped in the surging guilt, which had erased all resort he had in his slick wit. “I’m sorry,” he said, “It won’t happen again, I promise. Ah!” He groaned at the sudden sharp sting on his forehead. The culprit for his pain was no other than the wet cotton ball.
“I trust you,” he heard her saying. “Thank you, for the back up,” she added.
Mustang smiled. His forehead stung no more. It was all because the warm ‘thank you’ he received.
All personnel in the office put off their work in an instant as a guest came in and was welcomed with a formal salute.
“At ease, everyone,” the man with an eye patch said, “I heard that you are injured, colonel. Are you all right?”
“It’s just a scratch, your Excellency. Thank you for your concern.”
“Good, good. We can’t afford to lose you to a scum.”
“I’m sorry for not being to take him in.”
“That’s a shame, colonel. But don’t worry about that. Thanks to you and your team buying some time, the generals’ wives are freed.”
“We couldn’t have done it without your support.”
“Mm, mm.” The man nodded his head. “The generals are very grateful to you. I think you’ll be getting a promotion very soon.”
“I'm not in a position to speculate, sir.”
“Promotion is a typical business, colonel. So, you don’t have to be evasive on the topic. However, colonel, I have some advice for you.”
“I’m ready for your enlightenment.”
“It is not impossible to climb all the way up to the general ranks. However, if your goal is to be a fuhrer…”
In a state of shock, Mustang and Hawkeye looked at Bradley vigilantly. Bradley, too, was staring at each Mustang’s eyes. Both fuhrer and colonel were like the ultimate enemies looking for telltale that slipped out their opponent’s thought.
Bradley smiled and said, “you must be a better leader than I am then!”
Mustang paused for a moment. At the same time, Bradley and Mustang guffawed.
“Hahaha…! There’s no one a better leader than you are, your Excellency!”
“I guess you are right!” Laughing, Bradley turned around and headed to the door. “Great job, colonel.” He raised his hand and exited the office.
“Thank you, your Excellency!” Mustang saluted. That was a close call.
Hawkeye, watching Mustang, said, “He knew, sir.”
Still staring at the open door, Mustang dropped his arm, somehow, relieved. “Let him be,” he said, sitting back on his chair, “I did not intend to keep it a secret anyway. As a matter of fact…”
Hawkeye watched Mustang slipped on his incinerating glove.
“I am a better leader than he is.”
A better leader? Mustang sneered at that thought, as he recalled that naïve statement that he made. For one last time, his lifeless eyes were brought to focus on his best friend’s gravestone. The rain was pouring on him all of the sudden. Without an umbrella, he was soaking wet. How pathetic! Even the sky was laughing at him, or maybe it was—
He laughed disbelievingly, “very funny, Maes!” There, he heard footsteps scurried in.
Both soldiers in blue uniform saluted, “Colonel Mustang! Orders from Fuhrer Bradley!”
Months had passed since her reassignment. Still, there was not a day that she had not been anxious. It was like holding a live grenade in her hands; it only took a slight mistake before it went off. As much as she dislikes that feeling, she wanted it to end but it was not the time yet. Patience, she reminded herself every second. Mustang would keep his promise and she trusted him for that.
“I see, you have met him,” said Bradley before he sipped his tea.
Hawkeye almost dropped the portfolio in her arms. “Sir?”
“Your cheek.” Bradley put down his tea cup. “Did you not get that from him?”
Hawkeye touched her cheek and felt the healing graze.
“If you speak of this to anyone…”
“I don’t know who you are referring to, your Excellency. The scratch on my cheek was just a paper cut,” said Hawkeye, confirmatively.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha!” Bradley guffawed. “No wonder Colonel Mustang made you his aide. You are indeed a great asset to have.”
“Is that what we are to you? Some disposable assets?”
“That will depend on their talents. Certainly, those talents can turn them into loathsome trashes.” Bradley stopped, noticing underlying fear which the tight face obscured. At the same time, a major came in.
“Fuhrer Bradley!” He saluted. “His Highness Prince Claudio is estimated to arrive at Central within three hours.”
“Hmm.” Bradley nodded. Rising up on his feet, he walked pass Hawkeye and paused. “Fail this, First Lieutenant Hawkeye, and you can expect the worst.”
Hawkeye bowed the leaving Fuhrer farewell. No matter how she interpreted Bradley’s words, the result was the same; a prophecy, to her, Mustang and the rest of her comrades.
Trumpets were raised. Gallant music was sounded. Thousands of people had crowded the streets with banners and red flags holding in their hands. Watching over the crowd were the men and women in blue uniforms standing firmly on their guards. As the incoming parade is approaching, adults and children cheered for the first envoy arrived at Amestris.
Mustang was there, yawning.
“Are you okay, sir?” asked a young man, seemingly concerned. “This is the fifth day you have been working overtime.”
“I’m fine, corporal. Just a little bit tired,” said Mustang.
“You must have been very stressful, sir, receiving orders from the fuhrer more often than not.”
“I won’t call that stress.” Mustang corrected, smirking. “Chance is what it means to me.”
The corporal watched Mustang’s finger pointed to the ground before drawing a virtual line vertically at the building. Mustang too was watching the objects and people his finger directed to, saying, “Obey orders, and you will rise straight up to the—” His finger stopped abruptly at the rooftop, directly at the female military officer who was crouching with a sniper rifle holding in her hands. It was Hawkeye. “Sky…” Mustang finished his talk with slight awe, just before Hawkeye caught his eyes but awkwardly shunned the eye contact soon after.
The corporal, on the other hand, did not seem to be aware of the gaze. “So that is your secret of success, colonel?”
Eyes still gazing at Hawkeye, Mustang replied, “Maybe. Without her, I wouldn’t have come this far.”
Mustang did not say anything but breathed out and smiled in relief. “She’s fine.”
“It’s Prince Claudio!”
The cheers had been elevated to the peak as the brown haired prince waving to the crowd. Like his charming smile that melted all the women’s hearts, the prince advent changed the fate of Amestris, both good and evil.