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hagane_no_tokage
something hath possessed me to bam out drabbles... i was at work today, bored out of my mind as usual, and i got to thinking about...lots of random things. these things tend to manifest themselves physically on paper. today it was in my notebook, as a roiai drabble. when i got home, i realized i had basically written a drabble on the first of 100 roiai themes. so i tweaked it to fit a little bit better, and then decided, why not challenge myself to write all 100 themes?

i know, i know, i have like 6 fics going on already... dry.gif but having lots of projects means i never get tired of them. if i get tired of working on one, i'll work on a different one. happy.gif and the best thing is, now i HAVE to write shorties. it's a double challenge. all my fics are ginormous, so drabbling has never come naturally to me. i hope i did all right with this one.

theme-drabbling is...interesting. i think i like it. this first theme isn't romantic really...but those of you hankering for some angst and fluff should be sated with some of the later themes. i can't wait till i get that far. i'll do these in order. if you want to know what's coming next...or if you're just curious about what the hell i'm talking about, go to this site. all 100 themes are listed. happy.gif



Tsuzureori • Tapestry

Roiai 100 Themes


...true love is woven of 100 stories...as a tapestry is of 100 threads...






Roiai 100 Themes

#1 軍人
Military Personnel



Central HQ was a large, imposing building. It's alabaster face was as decorated as some of the generals that had passed through its doors, and surely as weatherbeaten. But, like its steadfast employees, the face of HQ would never knowingly show the lines of age in its visage or the burden of its past on its eaves.

Riza Hawkeye stood out in front of the building, her brown eyes trained on the huge insignia that adorned snow-white facade above the front archway. How many times had she walked in through that doorway? And how many times had that doorway simply stared at her as she had done so; stoic and silent and overflowing with a quiet dignity, as one would expect a military building to be. She had never thought about it until just then, and she imagined it wasn't likely she would think about it again anytime soon...but the point remained...


They were alike.

On the outside; emotionless, cold, flat and unwavering. Appearing disinterested, apathetic, and unaffected. The epitome of an unperturbed attitude. And on the inside? Teeming with paroxysms of tension, fear, and misgivings. Filled with the narrow gaze of cynicism, the reek of distrust, and sidelong glances out of shifting eyes, but too proud to admit to any of it. Proud and strong, yet so tremulous and fragile all at once.


"Chuui, what are you looking at?"

She turned and glanced at her commander, and her eyes narrowed a little.


"Nothing, Taisa," she said, and Roy didn't believe her. "I was just thinking."

"About what?" he wanted to know, realigning the lapel of his coat and approaching to stand beside her. His black eyes followed her line of sight to the face of the building.

"How people emulate their surroundings," she said vaguely, and he made a face.

"Pardon?"


She gestured.

"What do you see when you look at that building?" she asked him, and he squinted.

"I see...a building that has stood for many years," he replied, actually giving it thought. "A building that has sheltered its employees in all weather, through all manners or crisis; a building that has become a home away from home for the people who work there..." He paused, looked at her. "I see...a big, old, faithful building that has always been there...and probably always will be."


She gave him an unreadable look.


He quirked an eyebrow.

"Why?" he queried. "What do you see?"


She lifted her chin.

"I see the people who work there," she told him, moving forward again. "They, too, have stood for many years, sheltering this country and protecting their people in crisis." She turned back over her shoulder and gave Roy a rare smile. "Ancient and faithful as the buildings they work from are the people of the Amestris military, eh, Sir?"

Roy gazed at her a moment, puzzled, and then walked ahead to join her.


"I suppose when you put it that way," he said, and jogged up the stairs to pull the door open for her. He motioned her inside. "Always been there...always will be..." He chuckled as he followed. "Sentinels to the end. Such is the destiny of military personnel..."


And the door swung regally closed behind them.




short stories and drabble snippets are hard for a loquacious chatterbox! T_T CC me?
WrenchFreakWinry
ZOMFG, neechan!! You managed to write something shorter than the Lord of the Rings trilogy!! I'm kidding. ♥ I like~ as I do of all your stuff. Try another one, ne? X3
Tobu Ishi
And of course your other "little sister" /has/ to put in her two cents. What a lovely analogy for Roy and Riza's relationship! (Or was I just reading too much into their views of the building corresponding to their views of each other?) In any case, that's how it came across to me. Can't wait to see more!

Hmm, I could use a place to put all my drabbly little ideas...I wonder if I should lay claim to the EdWin 100 Themes? XD
hagane_no_tokage
here's theme #2. this one came out kinda dark and angsty. O_o didn't really mean for it to... hm...

spoilers for episode 25.




Roiai 100 Themes

#2 銃声
Gunshot



He has been known to drown his sorrows in scotch. She has found him once or twice in his office, sprawled on one of the couches well after the building has fallen silent and deserted as the wee hours of the morning come creeping silently over the horizon to filter weak sunlight into the room. The morning shift will be coming on duty soon, and she has to wake him up before they arrive, lest someone see him in this state.

It has been nearly six months now since the death of his dearest oldest friend...yet she still finds an empty glass in his desk drawer sometimes, a ring of saffron still clinging to the bottom of it like a telltale tearstain around the base of the glass. On those mornings, when she sees him behind his desk with a cup of coffee and a wan smile, his eyes dark and bloodshot and his hair mussed from sleeping fitfully there in the office, she has to resist the urge to wrap her arms around his neck and cradle him.

She has to keep up the propriety, after all. She can't very well be caught coddling him on-duty, no matter how much he needs it. Or how much she yearns to. Someone ought to. Roy Mustang gets little sympathy from anyone, even when he needs it the most. She finds the whole ordeal terribly frustrating. She misses Maes, too...but she can't let Roy know that. She has to be strong. She has to be strong...for him.


So she finds other means of outlet.


Riza Hawkeye does not drink. She has seen the absurd things alcohol causes her associates to do, and utterly refuses to put herself in that position. And so she puts her frustrations into other activities.


Crakk! Crakk crakk crakk!!


The target at the far end of the shooting range shakes violently with the rounds she pumps into it, her steady hands locked on target. She never misses. Not even on the mornings when the colonel looks like hell and it makes her heart bleed. No, she never misses.


Crakk crakk!



He was drinking again last night. She found him ragged and reeling on the sofa in the office this morning. Half-asleep, half-awake, mumbling deliriously about how useless he was and why the hell hadn't he been able to do something?


Crakk!


She had given in to the urge to embrace him this time. And he had just hung his head, the little glass with the yellow tearstains sliding from his trembling hands and clattering to the floor. But the scotch won't bring Maes back.

She lowers the gun and removes the protective ear coverings.

Seven rounds. Seven perfect shots.

A sigh escapes her lips.

She misses Maes, too...


He drowns his sorrows in scotch... And she silences hers with a gunshot.




wow. dark. i don't usually write dark. O_o thoughts?

yay! kept this one under 500 words! 473! the first theme was 530-something. i'm gonna try and keep them under 500 words. @_@
Le Monkey
I like this one better than the first Tokage..
A class material...
Tobu Ishi
Whoo, very dark, Neesan. I like it, though. Particularly the line about the Colonel looking like hell and making her heart bleed. Very blunt, brief, and to the point--very Riza. ^^
hagane_no_tokage
another kinda angsty one. hm...i hope these themes lighten up a little soon, i'm getting...dark. O_O


Roiai 100 Themes

#3 戦場
Battlefield



Everything was grey... The sand, the sky, the very air around them... It was all gray; the shifting, swirling mass of colorlessness that dances around in the void between twilight and dark.

But there is no twilight here. There is no twilight in war. Day and night have no transition...only grey lines between one and the next.


She hated grey.


Second Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye scowled at the horizon as it seemed to grow further and further away from her, and wrapped the tan sniper-shawl tighter around her shoulders.

It had been a long day.


She had lost count that day. She usually managed to keep track--like a sort of tally system in the subconscious pocket of her brain that told her how many lives she had taken that day...how many flower petals to scatter to the wind the next time she passed a cemetery: how many candles to light in the graveyard sepulchre. But today she had lost track.

And it was beginning to bother her.


"Stop mulling," came a chiding voice, and she glanced over her shoulder, frowning. Major Roy Mustang hadn't opened his eyes where he had been sitting (and giving the indication he had been sleeping) behind her against a stack of ammunition crates. His eyebrows lifted briefly, though his eyelids did not. "You're giving me a headache."

She turned her eyes to the vanishing horizon again.

"Sorry, Sir," she mumbled.

"It doesn't matter how many," he said abruptly, and she jumped.

"Excuse me?"

One black eye opened slightly, and he looked at her severely. "You're counting again," he accused. "You're always counting them. Counting the bodies you've left behind you." The other eye opened. "This is war, Shoui...if you mourn every kill you'll be mourning forever."

She shook her head.

"That's not..." she started to say, but it would have been a lie, so she stopped.

He sat forward and draped one arm over his knee.


"Why bother?" he asked, and there was sincere curiosity rather than bitter cynicism in his voice. Riza frowned at him.

"Because I would hope someone would count us," she replied, and Roy's brow knit together. Her eyes moved back to the horizon again as it vanished from grey into black. "Because the real war isn't out there, Shousa..." She took a deep breath, and tapped her temple. "It's in here."


He tilted his head.

"I beg your pardon?"


She looked at him sadly.

"No matter who wins," she explained, "even after the 'war' is over...it still keeps going." She placed her palm over her brow. "It keeps going inside our heads, Sir. The real war is with ourselves and how we will go on knowing there is so much blood on our hands."

He looked at his hands, then at his sniper, and she gave him a sad smile.


"The real battlefield," she said, "is within us."

He had no reply.


Night fell around them, and Riza wondered if absolute black was even worse than indecisive grey...?



this is, of course, a speculative piece. we've yet to determine Hawkeye's position in Ishbal...but it looked to me like she was a sniper, so... that's my story and i'm sticking to it. 498 words on this one. w00t.

*toddles off to toy with theme #4*
Tobu Ishi
Hmm. I think #2 is my favorite so far...but I do like this one, particularly the line about hoping someone would count them. It's a very nice perspective on war and casualties.
hagane_no_tokage
w00t! two themes in one day! go me!

another episode 25 spoiler here.




Roiai 100 Themes


#4 墓
Grave




Roy shoved his hands in his pockets and scowled.

They looked silly. That was all he could think. He rolled his eyes heavenward and his brow squinched in confusion.


"I don't get it," he said to the sky. "Why zinnias? They're round and goofy, and they clash with the more tasteful flowers other people brought..." He shook his head and looked reproachfully down at the bouquet of multicolored blooms. They were far too loud, and Roy almost wanted to hide them beneath the more classic-looking carnations that had someone had left on the burial mound the day before. "I'll never understand you, Maes... To this day, I still don't..."


His gaze swept across the letters etched into the marble headstone, and traced the lines of his old friend's name. Maes Hughes.

He had been a devoted husband, a doting father, and a precious friend. But, among other things, he had been quite eccentric in his own way. He had lived every day to its fullest, whether his cohorts thought him buggy for it or not.

Roy had always admired that about him most.


His eyes fell on the bouquet again.

But...zinnias?

"Why zinnias, Maes?" he called to the clouds, and he jumped when someone answered him.

"Don't you know what zinnias mean, Sir?"

He whirled and saw Riza standing behind him, her brown eyes smiling silently. He glowered, and then noticed that she, too, had brought a bouquet of the vividly colored zinnia blooms. She walked past him and placed the bunch of flowers next to Roy's.

She turned, and he looked at her expectantly.


"They signify faithfulness, and the lasting thoughts of departed loved ones," she told him after a pause.


One eyebrow twitched.

"I still don't get it," he said, folding his arms over his chest as she came to stand beside him. "Why on earth would he ask for zinnia flowers?"


Riza chuckled, bowing her head in a brief moment of silence for the departed. Really...Roy was so dense sometimes.

"Because, Sir," she said fondly, "if you can remember something so trivial as what flowers he arbitrarily asked you to put on his tombstone in a passing conversation on a busy day...then he knows you'll always remember him."


And she turned to head back home, her list of things to do complete for that day. Roy watched her go, then jogged to catch up.

"You mean...he doubted I would remember him?" he demanded, sounding hurt. She paused.


"No, Roy," she said firmly, and gave him a knowing smile. "He just wanted to have the last laugh...one last time. That's all."


And she started walking again. Roy quirked an eyebrow, and stood still in the path a moment. Then he shoved his hands back in his pockets and, with a final sidelong glance at his old friend's headstone, he followed Riza back toward HQ.



'Riza-chan...Roy...If I die before you...put zinnia flowers on my grave. But only on my birthday. That'll be enough...'



dark and sad Maes!drama is overdone. i wanted to do something lighter with this... Hughes was so silly, somehow i think it's very IC of him to still want to get a rise out of Roy, even after he's gone, you know? XD

500 words exactly! i made it! yay!
Le Monkey
LOVE IT !!!!!

They just kep getting better and better!!!
WrenchFreakWinry
♥ I liked this one... nice touch with Hughes. ♥ He's insaaane... remember the crazy fabric we saw in the fabric store??? XD;
hagane_no_tokage
sorry this one took so long... *kicks adelphia* dammit, make up your mind...are you working or not?? -__-|||

this theme was tricky because it's a play on words that doesn't come across in english... more explanation will follow at the end of the piece.

post-episode 51 setting; small spoilers for the end of the anime.



Roiai 100 Themes

#5 兵器・平気
heiki/heiki (weapon/fine)



She decided to let him enjoy it while he had an excuse. Surely, if he wasn’t convalescing, she never would have let him get away with napping at 3:00 in the afternoon. He was sitting upright, resting against the wall, his head angled toward his shoulder, the plate of apple slices sitting next to him on the mattress.


He hadn’t finished them before falling asleep. This irritated her a little. After all, if he didn’t eat properly, he was never going to heal. She debated rising from her chair beside his bed to retrieve the plate, but then decided against it. It was such a rare occasion that he actually got to sleep anyway… She hated to disturb him. She resigned to folding her fidgeting hands in her lap.


After a moment, Riza squirmed in the chair, frowning when something poked at the small of her back. Oh…that was right… She had forgotten she still had her firearm holstered there. She supposed it was foolish to bother wearing it now. She hadn’t been to the office in weeks, and she clearly wasn’t going to be on-duty for a while. Roy still had months to go before he was recovered enough to return to work.

But she could wait. She had stayed by his side this long; no sense stepping aside now. The man was barely capable of taking care of himself healthy…what was he going to do with a blind eye and a shattered leg? So she stayed.

But…she kept the weapon. For all the good it had done her... She hadn’t been fast enough. If she had arrived sooner; seen Archer earlier; fired more quickly… Had she only been more on top of things, maybe Roy would never have gotten into this situation.


Her brow furrowed. Simply carrying a weapon wasn’t enough. Not to protect the man she loved. She had to be the weapon: The shield that remained between Roy Mustang…and all the trouble he got himself into. She wouldn’t have hesitated to step in the path of a bullet or take a knife in the back for him…but the thought simply wasn’t adequate.

Roy shifted in his sleep, and winced when his injured leg ached fiercely at the movement. She set her jaw at the grimace.


She wasn’t going to make this mistake again.


He moved again, his face tightened in pain, and his good eye fluttered open. Seeing Riza’s eyes upon him, he squeaked in alarm. He hadn’t meant to nod off. He straightened his back and grinned apologetically.

“Sorry,” he said quickly, softly. “I didn’t mean to fall—” He paused in mid-sentence to take in the somber look on her face. “Hawkeye?” he asked. She met his gaze. He frowned. “Daijoubu?”


She gave him a small smile.

She would correct her mistake.

Things would be fine.


“Ee,” she affirmed, reaching over to retrieve the plate of apples. Her smile turned sly. “Heiki…ni naru wa yo.”



And she meant it… However he chose to interpret.



okay, i'm sure ninja was cringing at that... i know she hates to see japanese in an english fic... >_< but it was kind of necessary for this one to work... ah...this theme was heiki(weapon/heiki(fine). the word heiki can mean both, depending on the kanji used to write it, so it makes for a nice play on words for this theme. unfortunately, however, the homonym does not come thru to english, putting me in a rather comporomising situation... i decided that most of you are pretty clever and would probably be able to deduce from the context of the last couple of phrases what was being said, more or less...

'heiki ni naru wa yo' could mean several things... "i'll be fine", in response to his question, "things will be fine", in response to her previous thought, or "i will become a weapon", in regards to the thoughts she was having earlier. the last line indicated that she could very well have meant any of the above...and it's left open to your (and roy's) interpretation just what she was saying.

the homonym works thus in japanese, but clearly not in english...so in order to keep the little joke, i had to put that last bit in japanese. hope the effect came across okay. CC me? this one was a challenge, i enjoyed it. ^.^

another one right at 500 words. huzzah!
Tobu Ishi
Beautiful, dear--lovely strong imagery, too, and the Japanese was spot on. <3 Better hurry up, though! I'm pulling ahead! XP
hagane_no_tokage
bammed out three themes at work today! yay!

here there be episode 25 spoilers. ye have been warned. arr.




Roiai 100 Themes

#6 死
Death



No two people mourn the same way. Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye are no exception to this. Their personalities are so different to begin with that their cohorts weren’t surprised to see that their faces returned two very dissimilar expressions at the death of Maes Hughes.


The colonel was always more animated—flamboyant and spirited; speaking with his hands more than his words. His cheer is extroverted; likewise his sorrow—though he tries valiantly to hide it—is dreadfully apparent in his eyes. Or perhaps it’s only visible to the eyes of his subsidiaries.

The lieutenant is his polar opposite—calm and level-headed; preferring not to speak at all, much less with gesticulation. She thinks too much, and says too little. Her happiness is introverted; likewise, her pain—and every emotion, frankly—is also muted.


But this they have in common: the faces they wear in adversity are identical—stoic, apathetic, unwavering. At least to the untrained eye.


The faces they see on one another are not so indifferent.


When he is with her and alone, as is often the case when he has again procrastinated too long and the piles of paperwork have risen above his line of vision over the desk, the darkness behind his gaze becomes evermore evident. Occasionally, she is permitted to see the tearstains on his cheeks—or perhaps the tears themselves, but these instances are few and far between. Usually it’s merely the darkness, but that is plenty to make her ache as if the sinews of her heart have been overstretched.


She, however, does not return this reflection to him. She can not allow herself the luxury of tears—not if she is to remain strong for the both of them. He has asked her once or twice why she does not weep, and she balks. How can she answer him that?

How can she tell him that she holds back for his sake? So that he can lean upon her as he does once those mountains of paperwork have dwindled and his eyes are tired from squinting at the tiny print for hours. To weep in front of him would shatter the very pillar upon which rests the foundation of his trust in her. He leans upon her shoulders, but she cannot do the same.

He is the commander; she the subordinate. She supports him, and to permit the opposite is inexcusable. So when he folds his hands over the desk and gazes at her with fatigued eyes and aching shoulders and asks, “How can you be so strong all the time?” she has no answer for him.


People mourn in different ways.

He grieves only to her, and it is enough for him.

For her, it is enough to simply be there beside him as he does. His anguish is more than enough for both of them to share. The death of Maes wounded the both of them more than they let on…but in each other they find adequate solace alone.



another angster. thoughts?

(500 words exactly! i am eenweenseeble!)
Tobu Ishi
Ouch...bittersweet, this one, and heavy on the bitter. I like it. <3
hagane_no_tokage
okay, here's a silly one. XD


Roiai 100 Themes

#7 罪と罰
Crime and Punishment



He scowled at the cup in front of him, at the couple seated beyond him, and at everything his angrily narrowed eyes happened across. His jaw was clenched, his shoulders tight, and his hands were fisted on the table.

This was so unfair.

It had been an accident! Why were the repercussions so dire??

His gaze fell upon the plate of pastries in the middle of the table, then slid up the form of the young woman sitting across from him.

Riza met Roy’s gaze and lifted one golden eyebrow coyly, as if asking what his sour expression was for?

His scowl deepened.


“You’re horribly cruel, Riza Hawkeye,” he told her, and she gave him a rueful look.

“I think I’m being lenient, Sir,” she said sweetly, and he made a face.

“But you know I hate lemon tea!” he complained sullenly, glaring at the mug. “Of all manners of payback, you choose this?” He gestured wildly at the café setting she had dragged him into. “I dunno how you can drink this junk anyway!”


“You brought this upon yourself.”

“But I’m rather fond of my tastebuds,” he told her grimly. “I’d rather not destroy them with this confectionary horror you’ve forced upon me.”

“I was rather fond of that vase I loaned you for the roses you received last week, but that didn’t stop you from dropping it on the floor and breaking it,” she told him, sipping her tea. “Reap what you sow, Sir. It’ll never be the same.”


He put both hands flat on the table and leaned forward.

“I said I was sorry!” he hissed.

“Fine. Drink the tea and I’ll apologize for making you.”

“You’re awful! You know I can just fix it with alchemy!”

“It was my grandmother’s vase,” she replied coolly. “You can’t repair the memory.”


“But I can try.”

“Not until you’ve learned your lesson.”


His eyes flattened.

“You are sooooo mean…”


She grinned and used her scone to push his cup of tea closer to him, and her brown eyes glimmered impishly.


“May the punishment fit the crime, Sir…”



i think riza would have a lovely meanstreak to her, don't you? XD and this one's a shorty, too! 348!
Mira
*laughs* I love the last one, it seems fitting that Riza would think of such a punishment for just a broken vase. Roy should be thanking his lucky stars that Riza did not brandish her gun.^^
hagane_no_tokage
and my third theme of the day. XD


Roiai 100 Themes

#8 街並
Storelined Streets



He despised shopping. Left to his own devices, he would probably have starved and worn the same clothes until they fell apart. Thank God Riza indulged him easily for such tasks. It seemed that, like most women, the finer points of the acquiring of new personal belongings and foodstuffs came easily to her. Roy was capable of many things…but the subtle nuances of the procurement of new goods was just not his forté by any means. Even as many times as he had accompanied his lieutenant on these monetary pilgrimages, the scientific nature of bargaining just…eluded him.

He clenched his fists and hesitated outside the doorway of the little jewelry shop, gnawing on his upper lip as if he could squeeze from it the resolve to walk inside and make an even exchange of currency for wares.


Er…perhaps this had been a bad idea. He wasn’t sure he was up for this.


But the little red circle around tomorrow’s date in his schedule book danced about inside his head, and the slender silver bracelet in the shop window was glittered seductively at him. He gripped his wallet in the pocket of his coat, squared his shoulders, and pushed the door open.

This was important…he wasn’t going to let some childish feeling of inadequacy ruin this for him.




Fifteen minutes later, a very smug-looking Roy Mustang emerged from the jewelry shop with a small blue box in one hand and a huge grin on his face.

Success!



He glanced at his wristwatch and a thoughtful expression crossed his features. 5:26. Hm…that left him ample time to swing by her apartment and ask if she had any dinner plans, now didn’t it…? After all, this was a special occasion. And even if he was a lousy shopper, flirting was something he had absolutely no qualms about…


Especially with her…


He glanced down at the little blue box with the silver bracelet inside, and smiled at the slender gold ribbon that held the lid on.

Perhaps he could get used to this shopping business after all. It was surely going to be worth the bother to see the look on her face when she realized he hadn’t forgotten. He picked up his pace a little and smiled broadly as he sauntered down the storelined streets of downtown Central, headed for a certain apartment on the edge of town to make some impromptu arrangements for the evening. Roy had always been good at spontaneity… He was rather certain tonight would be no exception.


He smiled at the tiny square card tied to the box, and then tucked the ensemble safely in his jacket pocket.

‘Happy Birthday, Riza!’ it had read cheerfully, and Roy chuckled to himself as the sun began to set over his shoulders.



He hoped it would be.



♥ a little waff is always nice. yay. 472 on this one. ^__^
WrenchFreakWinry
::dies:: Augh, the cuteness! The mental image of Roy walking out of the jewelry store grinning with the box was absolutely priceless... XD ♥♥♥
hagane_no_tokage
greetings from lovely arizona~! XD my good friend jerome was kind enough to loan me his internet connection so i can still post drabbles and try and catch up to tobuchan. yay! so, without further adieu, here is theme 9. ^.^





Roiai 100 Themes

#9 知らない過去
Unknown Past



He catches her sometimes, staring at the small photo, her eyes dark and her mouth a grim line across her face. The photo is old, he gathers from the brown edges and wrinkles set deep in the paper; but he has never seen the face upon it. She has never offered, and he does not ask. The look on her face as she gazes at the image is such that it makes him squirm. He has to wonder who could effect such an expression on her stoic features...? Riza has never been one to wear her heart on her sleeve. Rare are her smiles...rarer still her tears. And to view this Riza makes Roy ache in a way he cannot explain.


He spies her again today, by the windows of his office, when she thinks he is busy looking over the day's paperwork and hasn't the time to spare a glance her way. She reaches into the pocket of her trousers, pulling from it the tiny worn square of paper. She clutches it tightly. Only enough that someone who has known her as long as he has would see...but her hands are trembling.


She looks up suddenly, sensing his eyes upon her, and he feels as though he has trespassed on her soul instead of simply peering at her from across the room. In a flash, the photo has vanished again. She means to give him a chiding stare--'If you have time to stare at me, you should be working, Sir...'--but all her eyes reflect is pain. It is an old pain, like a twinge from mended bones that flares up in the winter, but pain nonetheless, and this makes him hurt as well.

He hates to see pain in the eyes of the people he loves.


He knits his brow; offers her a small smile. He is confident that she knows that should she one day wish to talk of this worry, he is willing to listen. She sighs, acknowledges his smile with a forced one of her own, and nods her head and snaps a quick, crisp salute to excuse herself hastily from the office. He watches her go, and threads his fingers together, resting his chin atop them.

As long as they have worked together...as long as they have been friends...it has been unspoken between them that they could confide anything in each other. And yet, there are still so many mysteries between them.

He shakes his head and dutifully goes back to signing papers--she will scold him later if he doesn't--and his hand rests atop the stack of forms a moment as his eyes drift back to the doorway from which she departed.


Who hurt you, Riza, he wonders, that you would close yourself off so completely...?

He taps his pen against his chin, lowering his eyes back to the paperwork stacked up before him.


Who wounded you so in your unknown past? In that distant time before we met...?



i figured that there must be *some* reason for riza's aloofness... *shrug* who do *you* suppose is in the picture? ufufufufu.... >:]

'zactly 500 words again. w00t.
Tobu Ishi
Fascinating and excellent, Kage-san. I particularly like how you never do tell us what the photo is. We're left as puzzled as Mustang. Very nice.
hagane_no_tokage
thankies, tobuchan you know i value your opinion above that of most, so it is always nice to know you approve. <4 here's theme 10. XD



Roiai 100 Themes

#10 約束
Promise


Riza does not pledge her word lightly. Any of her associates can attest to this. When she gives her word, she takes it seriously (…she takes everything seriously, but this is beside the point…). So when she takes ill one rainy afternoon and is therefore forced to change the plans she had vouched for the evening, it eats away at her horridly. Perhaps the only thing more stalwart than Riza herself is her Immune System—her work attendance record was nigh flawless. Consequently today’s blemish upon it is more troubling to her than even the fever that keeps her in bed. She scowls at the thermometer in her hand.

38.5º (Celcius~about 101.5º Fahrenheit). High enough that she knows better than to go into work…but not enough to really feel justified in staying home. Buraha whines softly from the foot of her bed, and she smiles. It seems even the dog knows something is well out of sorts when his mistress is truant.


She lifts her head (and it pounds spectacularly for the sudden movement) when there comes a knock at the door. Who could that be? She slowly gets out of bed and wraps her cotton robe about her shoulders. She goes and pulls the door open cautiously, a startled gasp escaping her lips at the sight in the ingress.

“Ta—Taisa!?” she cries, alarmed and suddenly terribly self-conscious. His eyes are pleasant, but worried, his hair soaked from the rain, and she feels guilty he braved inclement weather to come all this way to check on her. “Has something happened?” she wants to know, suddenly apprehensive, and he shakes his head. She notices the single red rose between his fingers, and the small plastic bag he is holding beneath his coat, and the flush over her face is suddenly not the fault of the fever alone. She bashfully accepts it as he hands the flower to her, and invites him in. She is loathe to risk sharing her cold with him, but is certain he won’t take no for an answer.

He shoos her into the room, urges her to sit on the bed. She’s ill, after all. She doesn’t understand just what he’s up to until he sets the plastic bag on the desk and removes from it two small containers filled with some manner of soup.

“You…cooked, Sir?” she asks with anxiety in her voice, and he looks reproachfully at her.

"Gods no! I want you to get better, not worse!” He hesitates. “I had Fuery make it.”

She laughs softly. He hands her one of the cups and a spoon, and says slyly as he takes a seat beside her with his own, “You promised you would have dinner with me tonight.” His dark eyes glint impishly as he urges her to eat by lifting his own soup cup in a mock toast. “Can’t have you breaking promises, now can I?” he says with a smile, and she sips at the soup.


She is starting to feel better already.



riza is always the caretaker...and i do so love a good role reversal. <3 thoughts? and in case anyone wondered, it is a canon fact that roy is a lousy cook, i didn't make this up, it was in an official fanbook. ^____^
WrenchFreakWinry
The lines "(…she takes everything seriously, but this is beside the point…)", and "Gods no! I want you to get better, not worse!” He hesitates. “I had Fuery make it.” had me laughing very hard... the fact that Roy can't cook to save his life amuses me to no end. Great job again, neechan. ♥
hagane_no_tokage
here's theme 11. another episode 25 spoiler.



Roiai 100 Themes

#11 Liar



Roy Mustang was many things. He was a soldier, a commander, a cohort and a comrade. At least…he was thus at work. He was a dancer, a joker, and an incorrigible flirt. These things he was while off-duty (and, occasionally, while on-duty, much to the staff’s chagrin). He was a social drinker, a flamboyant speaker, a devious prankster and a loveable fool…and these things he was no matter the occasion.

But one thing he had never been accused of being…was a liar.


Yes, Roy was many things, but brutally frank above most. He took deep-seated pride in his honesty and the integrity of his word. He admitted to carefully choosing those words to keep secret that which deserved to be so…but a campaign of misinformation made not a fraud.

So when the subject of how Edward Elric was going to be informed of the death of Maes Hughes was brought up, Roy had balked. How could he tell the boy that Maes was gone? It would crush him; tear him into pieces to know that jovial, reliable Hughes was gone—struck down in the line of duty.

Roy had skirted the issue.


He knew it would come back to bite him eventually. Edward’s fists were far-reaching. When the boy found out what the colonel had kept from him, his visible fury had been much more painful than any blow he could have inflicted. And yet…Roy could say he had never lied about it. He had found the loopholes.


“Hughes is…not here right now.”

“He’s away.”

“He’s incapacitated at the moment…”


Not one of them had been false. Not factually complete, certainly, but never untrue. Edward hadn’t understood this. Roy had never expected him to. After all, Fullmetal was a child. And what did children understand of the desire of adults to protect them from words that wound?



Roy had been ready for the day to end for hours now. But there were still forms to sign and papers to file. He sighed, then lifted his eyes when there was a knock in the open doorway.

“Hawkeye,” he said mildly, and she nodded at him. He waved her into the office, and she approached the desk and placed a stack of files on the corner. Her eyes told him that they were not the sole rationale behind her visit. “What?” he asked. She tilted her head.

“You take things too harshly, Sir,” she chided. He looked ruefully at her as she leaned on the desk. “Edward-kun doesn’t appreciate now all you’ve done for him. He will one day.”

Roy snorted.

“I don’t really care what he thinks of me,” the colonel remarked sourly, snatching the stack of files from the corner of the desk. “He’s just a child. As if it matters to me what he thinks.”

He jumped when Riza was suddenly behind him, her arms around his shoulders and her nose in his hair.

“Liar,” was all she said, and he lowered his head because…for once…it was true.





yay, ed's first appearance in my themes! thoughts?
Tobu Ishi
Haha, my boyo's fists are indeed far-reaching. Gorgeous word choice as usual, Kage-san. <3 I appreciate the wordplay as much as the sentiment in 11, and 10 is just plain cute. Poor Roy and his inability to cook...at least he can light the barbecue!
hagane_no_tokage
another silly one. <3


Roiai 100 Themes

#12 証
Proof



He looked at her over the rim of his coffee mug and watched a moment as she skimmed through the stack of papers he had just finished with. She read very fast, he mused, and then jumped when she spoke abruptly.

“Please stop staring at me, Sir.”

She hadn’t lifted her head, she hadn’t looked at him… How had she known?


He set the mug down on the desk and folded his hands.

“Chuui, I have a question,” he said, and she lifted her eyebrows but did not look up from the paperwork.

“I will endeavor to have an acceptable answer,” she told him, and he chuckled.

“Well, about that…” he began. He paused, and she glanced at him. “You’re so…duty-oriented,” he told her, as if she perhaps wasn’t aware of her own tendencies. “Don’t you ever…you know…act impulsively?”

She quirked an eyebrow.

“Impulsively, Sir?”

He leaned forward.

“You have never failed to carry out an order,” he said, “and you always know what needs to be done, even before someone requests it be done…” He shook his head and grinned. “But don’t you ever do things spur-of-the-moment? Impromptu?”


She frowned at him and set the papers in her lap.

“Contrary to popular belief, Taisa,” she said smoothly, “I have an exemplary grasp of extempore activities.”

He looked dubious.

“Is that so?”


A wily smile crept into her expression.

“Are you asking for proof, Sir?”

He blinked.

“Proof…?”


She rose, set the paperwork in the chair she had been using, and walked resolutely toward the desk. He instinctively leaned back when her hand snapped out toward him, but he wasn’t quite fast enough to evade her deft grasp. Riza snatched the front of Roy’s uniform jacket by the collar, pulled him forward, leaned over the desk, and planted a firm, fast kiss on his lips.


He was so very startled by this that he didn’t even have the chance to be alarmed (or allured) by her actions before she had let go of his collar and he slumped back into the chair, looking rather shell-shocked for the whole thing.

Riza folded her arms and smiled slightly at him, then returned to her chair again and unquestioningly went back to proofreading his paperwork.

Roy sat absolutely still a moment, then lifted one finger to brush across his lips. He looked at her, then down at his desk.


From that day forward, he never again questioned the spontaneity of his First Lieutenant.




you know she's been looking for an opportunity to smooch him... XD 410 on this one. yayee.
Tobu Ishi
I think Roy would certainly call that an acceptable answer. ^^ Sasuga, Kage-san. Very cute.
hagane_no_tokage
took a little liberty with this one... the speculations hereafter are simply that are are not upheld by any official canon-ness. </disclaimer>

Roiai 100 Themes

#13 背信
Betrayal



This was…awkward. He couldn’t see beyond his nose, but to rise and grope about blindly would have been terribly undignified. However…he was unnerved sitting alone behind his desk, and was somewhat for want of the sensation of another soul beside him.

There was another crash of thunder from outside, and he jumped at the sheer proximity of it—as if someone were banging a gong against the windows. He closed his eyes and placed his hands flat on the desk.

“Chuui?”

Riza responded with a monosyllabic sound of acknowledgement.

“Are you all right?” he asked dumbly. She tilted her head.

“Of course,” she replied matter-of-factly. “It’s just a power outage. Harmless. Relatively common during summer thunderstorms.”


Well, now he just felt stupid.


There was another crash of thunder, and Roy cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Chuui…?”

“Yes, Sir?”

“Where are you?”

She blinked.

“On…the couch, Sir,” she replied, confused, “where I’ve been the whole time.” She hesitated when he fell silent, and then a knowing smile crossed her face. “Roy Mustang,” she said suddenly, and he stiffened, “are you afraid of thunderstorms?”


There was an indignant choking sound from the direction of the desk.

“Don’t be absurd!”


Riza’s eyes softened, and she rose to walk toward the desk.

“Sir, don’t be ashamed,” she told him. “Lots of people suffer from bantophobia.”

He scowled.

“Bank-of-what-ia?”

She chuckled and placed a hand on his shoulder to press him back into his seat.

“Fear of storms,” she clarified. He bristled.


He despised admitting it, but the truth was, he hated thunderstorms. He had since childhood, and he supposed he had never gotten over it. 'Fear' wasn’t exactly the right word, he just…hated them. Rain was bad enough, but adding 200,000 amperes of voltage and 120 decibels of reverb made it all the worse. It had never been so much fear as general inordinate abhorrence for the complete package…they made him nervous. That was all he would admit to.

He took a slow breath.

Riza couldn’t believe that, long as they had known one another, she had never noticed this trepidation. It seemed Roy was as adept at keeping secrets as he was at getting into trouble. She chuckled when another crash of thunder jarred the walls and his back tensed up like a cat in a tree.

“Don’t tell me you have no irrational fears, Hawkeye,” he scolded darkly. She shook her head.

“That would be deceitful of me,” she said. “I have one.”

“So tell me what it is so I can stop feeling like you’re one-up on me.”

“I fear betrayal.”

He looked at her.

“That’s not irrational,” he said, and a fond smile bloomed across her face.

“It is, Sir,” she said as a flash of lightning illuminated the office, “when you are surrounded by a staff such as ours.”

And as thunder shook the building again, her fingertips absently working at the knots tying themselves into the worried shoulders of her commander, Riza supposed his silence meant he agreed.
Tobu Ishi
Ahh, lovely. Roy's twitchiness and Riza's calm...I would fanart this if it wasn't too dark to see them. ^^ And perfectly reasonable fears for them both.
hagane_no_tokage
gawd, this one was hard to shave to 500 words without making it choppy... u__u


Roiai 100 Themes

#14 伏せられた瞳
Covered Eyes



It was mid-afternoon and (amazingly) most of the work was complete. Oddly enough, the colonel had been motivated to get things done today. She’d only had to prod him once or twice to get the paperwork dwindling.

So she sat on the sofa, thumbing through one of the reports he had signed off on, wondering what she was going to do now that almost everything was finished and she wouldn’t have to poke at Roy to wrap up the filing.

She sat up, straightened her back, arched it, and yawned. As much as she ribbed him for procrastinating, Riza could sympathize with and relate to Roy’s loathing for paperwork. Of course she wasn’t going to tell him that. He was in the break room indulging in coffee, so her lethargic yawn had gone unnoticed.

She resumed reading when she heard footsteps, and didn’t look up when she felt his presence in the doorway. There was no need to acknowledge his return from a breather, and perhaps if she looked duly occupied, he would follow suit. But it seemed that wasn’t the case today. She grinned inwardly when she felt him slink into the room, thinking she hadn’t noticed him.


Ah, a game?


He did this sometimes when he was feeling particularly spirited. If he thought he had the element of surprise, he would try and sneak up on her. He had only been successful in startling her once, and she had no intention of letting his record improve.

But…there was no harm in letting him think he had the upper hand. For now.

Suddenly a pair of broad, warm hands covered her eyes.

“Guess who?” he whispered, and the hidden smile bloomed visibly.


Oh. This game. She snickered to herself. She enjoyed this one.

She rattled off the name of her favorite male musician.

An offended scoff returned a negative response.

Then…her favorite male actor from the theatre downtown?

Another indignant no.

She squirmed. Her old boyfriend from the Academy?

The hands slid away with a grunt of disgust, and Roy stalked toward his desk; sat down with a huff; spun his chair to face the window. Riza frowned at this unexpected reaction. These games had never ended with injured feelings before.

She shook her head. While it was easy to make Roy pout…he was just as easily placated in most cases. She crept up behind his chair and mimicked his previous actions, covering his eyes with her hands.

“Guess who?”


He sighed peevishly and drummed his fingers on the arms of his chair.

“My date for the evening?” he growled, hoping to irritate her back with a taste of her own medicine. He was surprised when her hands slid away and she leaned down to kiss him coyly on the temple.

“I’ll pick you up at seven,” she consented, and went back to the couch as his jaw fell open in shock.



In the game of ‘Surprise Attack’, Riza would always be a few steps ahead of her commander…


awww, roy's subtle indignation and closet jealousy is so cute. <3
Tobu Ishi
Absolutely charming, Kage-san. Riza=1, Roy=...hrm. I would say 0, but I think he just scored, too. XD
Phyco girl
You always do such great work. I really liked #14 but all the others were wonderful as well! biggrin.gif
hagane_no_tokage
sorry for the delay on this one gang. i have been busy unpacking so i can...re-pack. O_o


Roiai 100 Themes

#15 血のにおい
The Scent of Blood



He has never liked blood. His tolerance has increased since his days in the Academy, when the mere sight of a corpse had left the young cadet swallowing the bile that rose in the back of his throat; but while it doesn’t effect the urge to vomit anymore, the smell still unnerves him.


He discovered once that, like fingerprints and voice, (surprisingly) the blood smell of an individual is also unique. During one of his first missions in Ishbal, Roy had found himself in a tight spot: he’d been injured, leaving a trail of blood behind him. The wound itself hadn’t been severe—it looked far worse than it was—but at that time, even the odor of his own blood had been enough to draw the compulsion to empty his stomach. This was exactly what he needed… To not only draw the enemy to him, but to dazzle them with a show of what he’d eaten for lunch.


Then something had occurred to him. On that battlefield lay the fallen bodies of the slain Ishbalites. The stench of bitter, tinny blood hung heavy on the air; sour and pungent enough to make his lip curl in disgust. But…as he put pressure on the gash on his leg, he realized his own blood smelled almost sweet.

Odd.

He had pushed the thoughts aside then.


They didn’t resurface until a year-and-a-half later, when it was her blood that stickied his hands. He had been careless, and she—ever vigilant—had taken the fall for it. When she had told him once that she would take a bullet for the people she cared about, he hadn’t expected to be on that list.

This was not how he’d wished to be inducted.


Riza had squirmed in his arms, her eyes angry and her hand clutching the wound in her side. It wasn’t fatal; she knew this, but something about the look he had given her alarmed her.

That was the first time she had seen real fear in his eyes. And as he cradled her against him, gunfire ringing out around them, he smiled ruefully down at her.

“How appropriate,” he’d said, and she was confused. “Your blood…smells tangy, like oranges. Just a little.”

And before allowing unconsciousness to fold its wings around her and block out the pain, she had made a face.

“Shousa, you are so weird…”


He had pressed his hand over the wound, and then glared at the blood upon it, vowing that day that anyone who ever drew the tang of Riza Hawkeye’s blood again would pay by his hands, and pay dearly.


The scent of blood no longer makes him ill as it did when he was young, but he has always upheld that promise. And as he glances at her out of the corner of his eye, his gaze falls on her side, where beneath the uniform rests a thin, jagged scar from an old gunshot wound.


He has always kept that promise…and he always will…



geh, this one would have been better in over 500 words...it was like 700 before i shaved it down, and it flowed much better. ah, but this scene will be making an appearance in another story of mine, so i will be embellishing it there. i didn't really want to use the same scene for two stories, but it just fit this theme so well...so...consider it a preview? XD
Guest
Flows fine to me. Ironic that we both hit themes that were frustrating to shave down at the same time--EdWin #20 was a Herculean labor to peel off over 130 words. The end result is quite nice, though. Impressive! <3
Tobu Ishi
QUOTE(Guest @ Apr 3 2005, 07:53 PM)
Flows fine to me.  Ironic that we both hit themes that were frustrating to shave down at the same time--EdWin #20 was a Herculean labor to peel off over 130 words.  The end result is quite nice, though.  Impressive!  <3
[snapback]146543[/snapback]



Whoops, that was me. happy.gif;;
hagane_no_tokage
Roiai 100 Themes


#16 届く声・届かない声
A Voice that Carries but Cannot Reach



He’s doing it again.

Riza scowls at his back where he stands staring out the window into the rainy afternoon, and sighs as she places her mug of tea on the table in front of the couch in his office.

He broods when it rains, and she hates it.

Brooding has never done him any good, and only done her worse. There is a rawness in his eyes when he frets like this, and it makes her squirm to see it. She wonders if anyone else has even noticed…? Everyone knows Roy Mustang hates rain…but she wonders if they know just how much those rainy days trouble him…?


She doesn’t know why, exactly. He hasn’t divulged to her the details of his past, nor does she expect him to. But while the specifics of his disquiet are obscure, the generalities of it are blinding. She has seen him pouring over old texts and newspaper articles of Ishbal; he clenches his hands and grinds his teeth as if he could wring from his very body the retribution for his own sins. She knows not what old blood may stain his hands, and frankly, she doesn’t care. She would follow him beyond the edge of the earth without a second thought, regardless of what skeletons lay in his closet.


His shoulders tense where he stands, and she bristles.

She clears her throat. She just can’t take this anymore.


It’s been raining all week…


“Sir…?” she calls softly, and her voice sounds deafening against the stark quiet of the pattering rain. It seems he does not hear her, and she tries again, a little louder this time. “Sir?”

She does not believe he is ignoring her. He is not prone to this. While he pretends to pay no heed to Edward’s reports just to get a rise out of the boy, Roy is a surprisingly good listener most of the time.

She rises from the couch, approaches him slowly.

“Taisa?” she tries again, and sighs when he still appears to be oblivious to her presence. This hurts her more than the brooding itself. He allows his past ghosts to consume him so that he closes himself away from everything around him. Granted, he only recedes so far into his own psyche when he knows he’s in safe company, and she somehow finds comfort in that…but that her voice does not reach him within his shell of repentance makes her insides burn painfully.

She calls him again, and when he makes no acknowledgement, she reaches out and lightly brushes his arm.

“Roy.”

He jumps, his eyes snapping to hers in alarm. She gives him a look, and he lowers his gaze as if in apology. She smiles and squeezes his arm.

“Coffee?” she offers. He smiles, nods, turning to join her in the short walk to the break room down the hall.

She falls silent as they walk.


At least her touch can still reach him…even when her voice cannot.

That’s sufficient for now.
hagane_no_tokage
u_u no comments for me. cha~ tsumetai na~

contains some episode 51 spoilers.



Roiai 100 Themes

#17 傷跡
Scars



She never counted her scars.

She has never felt any desire to number the blemishes she hides beneath her uniform, but for some reason, he feels the need to. Sometimes at night she hears him enter her room, and he’ll sit beside her bed, his chin resting on the mattress and one hand on her side, the warmth of it seeping through the blankets into her skin. She doesn’t open her eyes, but she feels his fingers slide up to her shoulder to pull at the blanket.


Tonight he starts at her throat.

His fingertips trace the thin mark that runs from the side of her neck down to just below her collarbone. That was from a broken window she had dived through to find him when he had been cornered in the back storage room of a warehouse. He moved to the shallow pockmark on her left arm. That was from the time she had been stabbed with the tip of a broken fencepost in her rush to climb over it to get medical supplies from the car. There was a jagged gunshot scar below her ribs on the left side, and a small, thin welt from a knife wound long ago on the sands of Ishbal.


There are many others… But none that he is bold enough to find tonight. His hand lingers on the bare skin of her side where his searching shuffled the fabric of her shirt enough to let moonlight illuminate her. She opens her eyes and looks at him. His eyes ache with apology he has not figured how to speak. She sighs and lifts one hand, reaching for his face.

She isn’t ashamed of the scars, nor does she blame him for them. They are a testament to her quest; Medals of Honor she proudly wears where only the two of them can see. They are physical reminders that a sacrifice of flesh is often necessary to protect that which is dear.

But he counts them. Numbers them as if they are condemnations upon his soul. She hates it.

Her hand finds his cheek, her palm moving to his left eye.


He doesn’t move as her hand rests over his eye, and he frowns at the look her face takes on when she does this. She feels responsible for the loss of most of his sight in that eye, as well as the fierce ache that still strikes his right leg on cold winter mornings. But then, those wounds were no more her fault than the scars she wore his. She absently rubs the crown of his eyebrow, and he takes her hand to lay it down on the mattress. He places his head upon it, and she weaves her fingers into his hair.

And familiar silence lilts through the blue light of midnight.


There is often silence between them…but that silence says more than any words they could muster.



Silence is all really that’s needed to heal scars between two tangled souls.



obviously, this one is speculation. outside of my own little folly universe, even at the end of the series, roy and riza are not living together, nor do they really show any intentions of doing so... but i suppose that's what's good about post-series writing, is you can speculate all you like and nobody can really tell you it's wrong. until the movie comes along and SCREWS IT ALL UP! i still can't believe they're separated! oooOOOoh, there had better be a damn good explanation for this!! and make-up royai will eventuate!!!! *flail-suru*
Tobu Ishi
Cheers for you, Kage-san! This was really lyrical. Why is it that we're both so determined to scarify our female leads from top to toes? XP

In any case, another lovely theme...and I apologize for not commenting to #16, but you have my opinions on that already in person, you know?
hagane_no_tokage
Roiai 100 Themes

#18 「気づかれたくない」
“I don’t want to see.”


He needed to clean his apartment. Roy Mustang had never been a meticulous housekeeper…but there came a time once in a while when the piles of junk got even to him, and thus necessitated a realignment of his residential feng shui. Usually, the assistance of Hawkeye was enlisted for this endeavor, since she was the neatest, most organized person he could think of.

Anywhere.

Ever.

He had been to her apartment a few times, and had almost been afraid to enter, for fear of disturbing the purity.

But he hesitated to call on her aid today. Not because he was lazy, mind you (though that did sometimes account for the reason), but rather…because of something she had said to him last time she had assisted in the rearrangement of the mountains of…’stuff’…he had collected.

“I don’t understand how you let things get this out of hand, Sir,” she had scolded, elbow-deep in dishwater. “And what I find even more amazing is how you manage to rope me into helping you get them back in hand.”


He had chortled and made a remark that she was too good to him. She had harrumphed and set to scrubbing a plate.

“Yes, I am,” she had concurred, “and one day perhaps I’ll grow tired of how you take advantage of my generosity and what will you do then?” There was a grin in her tone. “You wait and see. You’d fall all to pieces if I wasn’t around.”


She had gasped audibly when his arms suddenly wrapped around her middle and he buried his head in her shoulder in a moment of what struck her as alarmingly out-of-character desperation.

“Sir?”

“I don’t want to see…” he had said solemnly, his words cheerless, and she had stood absolutely still a moment. She had flinched outwardly at the tone of his voice, and glanced at where his hair spilled onto her shoulder.

“Sir…I was just playing,” she told him, frowning. “I do have a sense of humor sometimes.”

He lifted his head and set his chin on her shoulder, his eyes closed, and there was a period of thick silence before she went back to washing the dishes, his warmth at her back.



He scowled at the mess around him. He wasn’t going to take advantage of Riza’s charity today…he was going to clean this place on his own! Without her help!


…this was going to be a terribly lonesome and wretched day.



He was about to start by tackling the stacks of junk mail on the kitchen table when there was a knock at the door.

“…Chuui?”

She grinned from where she stood in the open doorway, his jaw ajar at the sight of her.

“It’s been a month-and-a-half, Sir,” she said. “I figured it was about time to straighten your pigsty.”

He laughed when she brushed past him and headed for the kitchen.


What would his life be like without Riza Hawkeye in it…?

That was something he truly never wanted to see.



er...the kanji for this one can be interpreted a few different ways... this was just my take. thoughts?
Poptart
happy.gif Oh, I loved this one!
hagane_no_tokage
Roiai 100 Themes

#19 理解できないこと
Things one cannot understand…


First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye is a smart woman. She has a deep-seated knowledge of many things, and is confident in her understanding of her surroundings and the environmental setting of her daily life. Perhaps the only thing she is not assured in her comprehension of is her superior: Colonel Roy Mustang.

She just doesn’t get him at all sometimes.


For example: When he has had a good day, he is energetic and vibrant; flamboyant and often silly. She does not understand this. What is the purpose of being goofy and loud? It doesn’t seem to behoove the punctuality of his paperwork. In fact, it seems to hinder it…

When he has had a bad day, he is dark and brooding; silent and contemplative with shadowed eyes and slumped, aching shoulders. She does not understand this. What is the point of dwelling on things gone wrong? Acknowledge mistakes, fix them, and get it right next time. Sulking never solves anything.

He procrastinates in his work—putting off the papers until he is left with no choice but to pull an all-nighter to make the deadline.

She really does not understand this.

More than once she has found him asleep at his desk at 2:00 in the morning, his head pillowed on his arm and a pen still caught between his fingers. This is not healthy, she thinks to herself, and goes to retrieve his long jacket from a rack near the office door. Folding it over her arm, she straightens the pile of papers on his desk and slides them aside silently, then drapes the coat over his back, her hand lingering on his shoulder.

“You’re going to catch a cold that way…” she chides softly. He stirs, groggy, his hand finding her hip and snaking around her back to pull her next to him.


Nothing is said as his arm rests warmly across the small of her back, her side against his neck as he rests, his eyes closed as her fingers tighten imperceptibly around the fabric of the coat over his frame.

While he is an enigma to her more often than not, there is one thing she is never for wont of comprehension: She will protect him, always. She will be at his side no matter what.

And even if it’s only a warm hand on his back and a presence at his side as he sleeps, she will offer him whatever assistance he needs, whether he asks of it or not.


This is her most precious of duties…and she understands this best of all.
tempest_Strife
I can't believe I read all of these and never responded before. Bad me.

My favorite by far was... oh was it #13 or 14? "I'll pick you up at seven." biggrin.gif
RogueAlchemist
Kage, I can't even begin to describe the agony of not being able to read updated themes from you. It's just bad, okay? Loving the caring and softer side of Riza in #19, as well as the Roy who doesn't want to see what would happen if there was no Riza in #18. Happily awaiting the next theme! XD
hagane_no_tokage
this one has spoilers for...i think it was episode 25 when we found this out... i can't recall exactly. the events surrounding the death of winry's parents. i've been so dark lately... come on, i need a happier theme! O_O

Roiai 100 Themes

#20 『人殺し』
“Murderer”



His hands shook; his palms slick and clammy around the cold steel butt of his pistol. He felt like he was going to vomit.

There were two forms lying prostrate on the floor… doctors, husband and wife, their bodies unmoving in the middle of an expanding bloodstain. The gun fell from his hands and clattered loudly to the floor as he stumbled backward. What had he done?

Later he would argue with himself that he’d merely been following orders…that since he had been told to kill the Doctors Rockbell, he was absolved of the sin. But no matter how he told himself this, the sin remained, like the damned spot of blood on the hands of the mad Lady Macbeth. No matter how he scrubbed or swore at it, the blemish of damnation would not leave his palms.


Those doctors had done nothing wrong…they had saved lives while he had taken them. They had bandaged wounds while he had inflicted them.


So why…hadn’t he been able to disobey the order to slay them? Why had he allowed himself to make an orphan of the little blue-eyed girl in the photograph they clutched even in death?


He knelt now, all these years later, at the grave of an old friend, his brow resting on the headstone, guilt still heavy on his shoulders. He had met her, the girl he had orphaned. He had wanted her to strike him. To hate him. To curse his existence the way he did himself.

But she hadn’t. She had merely looked at him with sadness in her eyes.

Somehow that had hurt more than any physical blow she could have dealt him.

His thoughts trailed away into darkness, and then he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. Rattled, he jumped and snapped his head up. Hawkeye looked at him apologetically.


“I didn’t mean to startle you,” she said, and he shook his head.

“Was I asleep?”

“I think so. You’d been gone since lunch…I figured I would find you here.”


He looked at his hands, then back at her. His eyes were cloudy with unspoken discord, but this was nothing new to her. She extended her hand to help him to his feet, but he brushed it off and rose on his own, silently moving past her and heading down the winding road out of the cemetery. She watched him a moment, eager to follow but reluctant to intrude upon his inner turmoil. Grief and guilt, pent up over years of silence, pulled heavy on his posture as he walked, and it made her ache to know he still mourned silently alone. She trotted after him and fell into step, three paces behind.

She knew what burdened his bearing, and even if he saw himself a murderer, she would still follow him… To the ends of the earth she would follow him…always three paces behind.
hagane_no_tokage
episode 51 spoilers here.

Roiai 100 Themes

#21 懺悔
Penance


They are not without sin. None of them are. And none of them are so arrogant as to believe otherwise; Mustang and Hawkeye least of all. It comes with the territory. A soldier’s life is not a glamorous or passive one.

Perhaps it is in the brigadier general’s good eye that the most anger and repentance for the past rests. Or maybe in the lieutenant’s strong, steady hands as she re-bandages the injuries on his body. Possibly it lies in the electric solidarity between the two of them…but irregardless of where precisely it is, the guilt of bygone deeds rides thick on the currents of air that surround them.


A sad gaze, a somber frown, a crack in his voice as he greets her in the doorway, his good eye shining brightly with frustrated apology for something he cannot quite figure. A slight nod, a wan smile, and understanding silence as she takes a seat in the chair beside his bed and reaches out impulsively to touch the patch that covers his left eye.


He is still as she lifts it gently and presses a smooth palm over the injury that has not yet completely healed, and his good eye closes at the sensation of pleasant cool on the knitting scar. She purses her face and glares at the hand that covers the wound, as if she might conjure back his sight with her will alone.


While his current wounds remain physical and visible, hers are far less tangible. Her soul bleeds internally from rupture of poise, and her heart flutters and spears her gut with sour fear every time he grimaces at the pain in his leg.


Neither of them are guiltless. Neither of them claims to be.



But perhaps the wounds they carry inside and out are penance enough for them both…


hurray for shorth themes i don't have to shave words off of! w00t!
Tobu Ishi
Hurray for beautiful themes that are polished and rich with gorgeous descriptives! XD
hagane_no_tokage
Roiai 100 Themes

#22 神様
God


He does not believe in God. An alchemist, he has never taken part in any organized religion, nor does he acknowledge the idea of any almighty being. Atheists by nature and scientists above all, Alchemists bowed to no lord and worshipped no deities other than the numbers and atoms that made up every fiber of the world around them.


But he did wonder sometimes.


After all, can it truly be a mere random convergence of molecules that created, for example, his first lieutenant?

It is late, and she is dozing on the sofa in his office, her golden bangs having fallen carelessly over her closed eyes, a stack of papers resting in her lap. To him, she is so very lovely when she sleeps, though he sees this face very rarely. This face when all of her worries have faded and all her fierceness has calmed. He stands before her and his eyes trace the lines of her countenance and he can’t help but think to himself as her chest rises and falls in slow, even breaths, ‘no science created this creature…’


He drops to a crouch and sighs softly, resisting the urge to brush her hair off her face, lest he wake her with his actions. He questions sometimes if she doesn’t sleep even less than he does…? But he is left to speculate, during times like these, if it might not be possible for some ‘Almighty Being’ to indeed exist? After all, science, while logical, practical, and efficient to a fault, was never a very good artist…and Hawkeye was a work of art like no other.

There was such beauty in her that so few seemed to see… In her eyes—cinnamon and determined—and her hands—steady and graceful—and no mere systematic reasoning could fully account for the wonders of her resolve and dedication. She was exquisite in her complexity and magnificent n her depth…but at the same time so spectacularly simple in her wishes and goals. Roy figured that were it not for fear of her subsequent wrath, he would have no trouble just gazing at the wonderful brushstrokes of her visage for hours on end. This divine mortal being who was never more than a breath away from his side, and yet so endlessly untouchable…


He rises slowly and heads back to his desk, smiling a bit.

Thank God…he thinks to himself sometimes, grinning at the irony of it all. Thank God for her…


And he goes back to his paperwork.
Fresh_Coffee
<3 Tokage that's so good. I especially like this part:

QUOTE
In her eyes—cinnamon and determined—and her hands—steady and graceful—and no mere systematic reasoning could fully account for the wonders of her resolve and dedication.


I haven't posted in this thread before but your short sweet fics have encouraged me to write a fanfiction that's royai. Though I don't think I'll post it anytime soon. ^____________^ Please continue writing.
Tobu Ishi
Another lovely piece of work, Kage-san. Great imagery in this one, and I'm particularly fond of the third paragraph/sentence. A random convergence of molecules...I wonder what Hawkeye would think of that?

And of course, "God bless the agnostics!" ^_~
hagane_no_tokage
yes, tobuchan, god bless the agnostics! especially the dyslexic ones and their dogs! <4

and fresh coffee, i do hope you'll share your fic with us once you've finished it? i'm so flattered that my lil drabbles have inspired people! yay!! ^.^ that is my greatest pride, knowing that my writing affects other people...so thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far... and thanks especially to tobuchan and WrenchFreakWinry for beta-ing for me! luff and noodles!!



Roiai 100 Themes

#23 守るべき人
The Person I Have to Protect


He is rash, but not stupid. He is reckless, but not without thought. He is quick to rush into trouble whenever the things he holds dear are endangered…but not at the risk of other important things.

He is slow to trust and difficult to read, but easy to placate and quick to forgive and forget. He is foolish, but in a wonderful way; he is childish, but endearingly so; he is absurd and impossible and absolutely incorrigible…but this is the way he is and it seems the general consensus that we’ll keep him that way.

He has a strong face, even when he lacks the frame of mind to match, and he steels himself when he wants to shatter so that he might not waver in front of those who look up to him. He comes across as brusque and cold; sarcastic, jeering, and manipulative (well, all right, he is manipulative, but that’s not the point), but this is all in self-preservation. If anyone else knew of his true nature (and Lord save him if Edward-kun ever found out), no one would respect him anymore. If they knew that though his eyes are dark and fierce, his heart is bigger than his ego, and that while his hand is firm while giving orders it is quick to reach out to catch those who falter, his wall of dignity would easily be scaled, and then where would we all be?


I know these things…I know them because I have to. In order to preserve the safety of another person, you have to know who you are dealing with. Granted, there is much that I don’t know. His past is a mystery even to me. All I have is his present…and maybe, hopefully, a bit of his future.

Someday, perhaps I will be permitted to know more about him…but for now, it is enough for me to know that which I do.


I know he takes his coffee black and his job seriously, no matter what people may say for the latter. I know he hates rain and loves strawberries and can’t cook worth a damn. I know he fears being forgotten…but fears losing those he loves more than anything.

I fear the same.


And so I will continue in my duties. My most honorable and rewarding of obligations…to him… My colonel, cohort, and closest friend…

Roy Mustang.


The person I have to protect.


this has to be one of my favorite themes to-date. i rarely write in first-person, for the most part it feels...arrogant, to me, to assume the eyes of the character... but i've been roleplaying hawkeye for so long now that i'm in rizamode all the time, and this theme just begged to be written from her POV.

thoughts?
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