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Pages: 1, 2, 3
Nil-chan
A/N: So, this is sort of based on stuff from manga chapter 58, contains spoilers.

Disclaimer: FMA is not mine. If it were, Roy and Riza would have been married by now, Envy would have his head on a spit, Greed wouldn’t have died, and Ling and Ran Fan would be rulers of Xing.

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“Riza, come on, stand up straight.”

A young girl with chocolate brown eyes and short cropped blond hair stood behind her grandfather. She had one hand clasped firmly to her grandfather’s pants, while the other was curled tight into a fist.

“Don’t be so shy, magomasume (granddaughter), this isn’t like you at all.”

“Ji-chan, I don’t normally have to stand out in my yard in my best dress. You and daddy know I hate them!”

“I know, sweetheart, but you have to look good today, first impressions are important.

Riza humphed, but stood up straighter stood out from behind her grandfather, and looked at her father who was standing in front of the both of them. He was talking to a tall man with black hair and dark eyes that looked like the ones of the people farther east. The man’s hair was a little grey, like her own father’s, but he still had some sort of awe around him. Behind the man was a boy. He looked almost her age, but maybe a little older. He was a split image of the tall man, but his hair was messier and his eyes were darker. His hands were shoved into his pockets, and he had a scowl on his face. He noticed her eyes scrutinizing him, and he raised his own eyes to meet hers. He stuck his tongue out at her.

She glared at him, and stuck her own tongue out in return. “Riza,” Her grandfather scoffed. “Manners.”

“But ji-chan, he-”

“You know better.”

She remained silent and glared at the boy, who continued to glare at her in return. She was torn away from her awkward starring contest by her father’s voice. “Riza, come here.”

She snapped up straight and walked to her father’s side. “Hai, chichiue (father)?”

The tall man reached down and took her hand.

“Mustang-san,” He said, “This is my daughter Riza. She turned nine this year.”

The man smiled, and held out his hand, which Riza willingly took and shook firmly, just as her grandfather had taught her. He was a Brigadier General in the military, and so instilled his firm policies into hiss granddaughter.

“Pleased to meet you, Mustang-san,” She said.

“Not at all, Riza-chan,” He said, smiling. He turned to the boy behind him. “Roy, come here, please.”

The boy walked sulkily up to the man. Riza’s father turned to her. “Riza, this is Roy. He’s going to be studying alchemy with me for a few years, and is going to be living in our home. He’s one year older than you, and I expect you will treat him with respect.”

Riza nodded, and extended her hand to the sullen boy. “Pleased to meet you, Roy-kun,” She said, a hint of bitterness in her voice, remembering the rude gesture he had offered her earlier.

He took her hand somewhat reluctantly and shook it firmly, much like his father had. “Pleased to meet you, Riza-chan,” He mumbled.

Riza removed her hand from his grasp and stepped back to her grandfather. Her father leaned in to discuss something with Roy’s father. It was probably that alchemy stuff. He’d been obsessed with it for as long as she could remember, but she didn’t see why it was so great. She loved her father of course, very dearly. He had always been with her, and when her mother had died all those years ago, he took it more upon himself to care for her in every way imaginable. Her grandfather, her mother’s father, had been with them a while as well.

Her father began to walk towards them and motion them into the house. Riza complied, she wanted desperately to be rid of this infernal dress. It was so annoying, she would much rather be climbing trees in her jeans and a t-shirt than playing tea-party in frilly dresses like all of the other girls at her school did. She was about to walk into her house when she heard a noise behind her. She turned her head slightly, and saw Roy tugging on his father’s suit. His father bent down, and Roy said something to his father that Riza only just managed to hear.

“Dad, do I have to stay?”

“Roy, you were the one who begged me to get you an alchemy teacher.”

“I know, I know, but there’s a girl here.”

“Young man, Hawkeye-san is the best alchemist in the area. His techniques are exquisite, and he can help you learn things you can’t from those books. I don’t want a single complaint out of you because he happens to have a daughter. Is that clear?”

There was a pause, and then a small ‘yes sir’ from Roy.

“Good.” His father said. “Now, go on in. I’m sure you will be at home here. Your mother and I will write often, and you’ll write us back, right?”

“Course.”

“Good. I love you,” He bent down and kissed his son’s cheek, who quickly wiped it off, mortified. “Dad,” he groaned.

His father laughed, handed him his suitcase, and walked back down the front walk into the waiting cab. Roy didn’t even look back, and walked up the steps to the house. He noticed Riza looking at him.

“What are you looking at, you ugly girl?”

She glared at him, and marched up the steps into the house. “Stupid boy,” She muttered.

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Riza pulled on some jeans and sighed contentedly. “Thank god, I don’t have to wear that dress any more!” She said to no one in particular. She pulled on a grey t-shirt, and put on her red baseball cap, and grabbed her slingshot and shoved it in her back pocket.

She was in her room, solitude. She thought she would be spending more time here now. Roy had the guest room that was unfortunately right across the hallway from her. She wanted to avoid him as much as possible. She walked over to the window and opened it. She climbed out on the ledge, and grabbed the tree branch of the old sycamore that was right out side her room and swung herself into its branches. She loved having that tree there. She used to always climb out this way whenever she and her father had a fight and run into the field behind her house. Even though she lived close to Central, her father had a house on the outskirts, and so their house was pretty secluded. Their nearest neighbor was a couple of blocks away.

She shimmied carefully down the tree, avoiding a few cuts and bruises. As soon as her feet touched the ground, she took off running in the direction of the field in the back. There was also a small creek that ran near her house, and she felt like fishing.

She stuck her hands in her pockets, and wandered in the field, looking for a good stick to use. Her eyes caught sight of a particularly good-looking one, and she bent down to pick it up. It was about as tall as her, so she snapped off a small portion. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a length of twine, and tied it to the stick.

“Now we need some worms,” She said to herself. She wandered closer to the creek until she found some dirt that was pretty soft. She sat down, and started digging at it with a small stick on the ground. The dirt fell away easily, and she pushed it aside with her hands. She saw what she was looking for, and stuck her hands into the mud and pulled out a particularly fat earthworm. She smiled, and began to stand up.

“What are you doing?”

She turned around. Roy was standing there. Did he follow her out here? Boys were so weird. “I’m getting worms for fishing, what does it look like?” She said swiftly and turned her back, and marched up to the creek, and sat down on a rock.

“I thought girls didn’t like getting their hands dirty.”

She turned and glared at him. “What, are we not allowed?”

He shrugged and stood there silently.

Riza focused back on what she was doing and tied the worm to the sting. It squirmed there, and she held her homemade pole out over the water. The current tugged slightly at the string, but it wasn’t so strong that it completely floated away.

“You won’t catch anything without a hook.”

“I don’t care.” She snapped.

He was silent. Riza didn’t bother to look back, but she hoped he’d gotten bored and had gone back inside. A few small fish swan cautiously up to the worm, but none really touched it. She moved the pull back and forth, watching her small following trail after the bait. A crawdad poked out from under a rock, and latched onto the worm. Riza yanked it out of the water, and carefully removed her prize. “Sugoi (wow)!” She exclaimed, fingering the small crustacean and poking it with her fingers.

“Those pinch, you know.”

He was still there. She set her stick down, and stood up and turned to face him. “Don’t you have alchemy or something to be studying?”

“No. Your dad said I could have tonight free.”

“Well then go somewhere else. I thought you didn’t like girls.”

“There’s nothing else to do.”

“Well then find something.”

She sat back down and picked up her rod.

“Why do you have a slingshot?”

“Because I like it.”

“Can you shoot anything?”

“Probably better than you can.”

“Do you shoot animals?”

“No, stupid. I shoot targets my grandfather gave me.”

“How far away can you hit them?”

“Pretty far.”

“I bet I can go farther.”

“I bet you can’t.”

“I bet you I can.”

“You’re on,” Riza said standing up. She set her pole down where she could find it again and returned the crawdad to the water.

“You have to let me use your slingshot.”

“I don’t care, I’ll beat you anyways.”

“Nuh uh,”

“Yeah huh!”

“So where are the targets?”

“On those two trees over there.”

“Let’s go, then.”

They marched over to the trees, and Roy looked at the targets.

“So what do you shoot them with?”

“Pieces of chalk, so I can see where I hit.” She reached into the nook of a tree and pulled out two pieces of chalk, one red, and one blue. She broke off a pebble-sized piece from each, and handed the red one to Roy. “There. Go back from wherever you want and shoot the target.”

“I want blue.”

“Fine, take it. Now go shoot.”

Roy stuck his tongue out at her, and marched back thirty feet from the target. He carefully aimed the slingshot, and let it fly. There was a crack as it collided with the tree, and a blue smear was seen slightly off center.

“Beat that, you stupid girl!” He called from where he stood. Riza growled, walked up to him, snatched her slingshot, and proceeded to walk fifteen feet farther back than he was.

“You can’t make that.” He jeered.

“Watch me.”

She raised the slingshot to eye level, and pulled back the rubbed band between the two prongs. Carefully, she slipped the red chalk piece inside, and narrowed one eye. She measured the distance to the target, pulled back the band some more for good measure, and sent the chalk sailing. A small thud was heard. Roy began to run to the tree. She ran after him, and skidded to a halt by the target.

On the target, a piece of red oblivion was all that was left of the chalk. It was a perfect circle, dead center.

Roy stared at for a moment. He looked at her, then back at the tree, and at her again. “Lucky shot,” he said.

“Was not, I’m just better than you.”

“You are not!”

“I am so!”

“You’re a girl!”

“So? You want to fight over it?”

“I’m not afraid to hit a girl!”

“Neither am I!”

“Are you calling me a girl?”

“You called me one!”

With that, she took off running back to the house, looked over her shoulder, and stuck her tongue out once more. He took off after, both yelling at one another, all the way back to the house.

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Brigadier General Grumman looked out the upstairs window at the two children running after each other and yelling in the back yard.

“So,” he said, turning to his son in law. “Shall we call the Mustang’s and arrange a dowry?”

Mr. Hawkeye just chuckled.

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So, what do you think? Comments? Questions? Flames? I love my reviewers! Next chapter should be up soon!
Frozen Ice Alchemist
I just loved that bit when Roy was so dumbstruck when he saw the mark the red mark left on the target! I liked it alot~
Nil-chan
CHAPTER 2!!

He was sitting in his new room, hunched over a book. His new teacher and flung open his door early that morning and shoved a book in his face. “Three days,” He had said. “You have three days to read that book and them summarize what you learned.”
Roy sighed and tugged at his hair. He knew all of this. The entire book was written on equivalent exchange. This was child’s play. He had known about equivalent exchange forever! It was easy. To get something you had to give something. There. No questions asked. He didn’t understand why he had to be here, reading five hundred pages on it. There wasn’t even a single description of an alchemy array, or anything. And to make things worse, he couldn’t concentrate. That stupid girl across the hall was making to much noise.
His room was empty and barren, the walls a dull white, a brown fan on the ceiling that spun lazily in the afternoon breeze coming in from the window. It hardly felt like home at all. He doubted he would ever get used to it here. And then there was that girl.
Of course, he had three older sisters, but they were hardly ever home. One had already moved out and was married, and the other two were always out and busy with boyfriends. They didn’t bother him much and he hardly had to even spend any time at all with them.
Roy tried vainly to concentrate on the boring work set in front of him, but his mind kept wandering back to yesterday’s slingshot contest. How had that girl beaten him? She was a girl! Automatically inferior. But she had beaten him. Of course, pride would ever prevent him from admitting it, but his heart kept shoving it under his nose that she was better than him at something. She didn’t even act like girls were supposed to. She had really short hair, wore pants and played with bugs and slingshots. He found this unbelievably infuriating. Who ever had heard of a girl who didn’t like dolls? She thought she could do what she wanted and act like a boy? It was disgusting!
He closed his eyes and began to read the same sentence again for the umpteenth time. The purpose of the awareness required of alchemists’ equivalent exchange is to promote the mechanical understanding of science. Alchemists are human beings, subjugated to the laws of Nature, and as such beings under the physical requirements of science. Mass cannot be diverted, rather, only volumes may be exchanged. Elements that are broken down into subatomic particles must be rebuilt using the same material of the original piece of matter.
Roy resisted the urge to fling himself on the ground and scream. He was supposed to be learning alchemy, not reading stupid stuff like this!
WHAM.
A loud noise entered his room from across the hall.
Thud. Smash. There was the sound of something like marbles rolling across the floor. He couldn’t take it anymore. He threw the book down on his bed, marched over across the hall, and threw the door open. “What in the world are you doing, idiot?”
Riza was crouched on the floor, one hand extended under her bed. There were pencils scattered on the floor, and the chair at her desk was knocked over. At the sight of Roy, she stood up straight. “Why are you in my room?” She demanded.
“I’m seeing what you were doing that was so loud.”
“It’s none of your business-”
She was cut off as a frog jumped out from under her bed, and leapt up onto her desk.
“There you are!” She exclaimed, and quickly scooped him up. “Do you know how much trouble I had to go through to find you?” She said to the frog.
Roy stared at her. “You catch frogs, too?”
“Is there a problem? And why are you sill here?”
Roy turned to walk out, but at that moment, something landed on his head. He jumped suddenly, and Riza laughed.
“Wait!” She burst out. She ran up to him and scooped the frog off of his head. “Sorry about that.” She had to hold her sides to keep from laughing.
“Its not funny,” He said sourly.
“Sorry,” She giggled, pushing him out of the room. “Now, go study your alchemy, and knock next time.”
He watched her slam the door in his face, and he walked back to his room. “Girls are so weird.” He muttered to himself.
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Roy sat at the diner table sullenly. Riza’s father had ordered them some carryout, and he poked at it quietly. Riza was eating her food rather quickly. Obviously, she was eager to get back up to the frog hidden in her room. Mr. Hawkeye was eating with one hand while studying book in the other. Roy leaned over to see what it was. The title on the book was Theories on Advanced Alchemy and the Usage of Equivalent Exchange of Personal Items.
Mr. Hawkeye noticed the boy staring at the book and folded it shut. “Does this interest you, Roy?” He asked in a friendly manner.
“Yes, Hawkeye-sensei.”
“It’s nonsense, really. The theories here are idiotic theorems based on nothing but psychic gibberish.”
“Couldn’t it help to further your research, sensei?”
Mr. Hawkeye chuckled. “No, not really. I was reading this for my own amusement.”
Riza looked up. “That’s about all you ever read, Chichiue, you don’t read any normal novels at all.”
“It’s what I enjoy, Riza. You’re mother was the one who loved novels.”
“Ji-chan said you always argued with her about whose hobby was better. He also said you always backed down.”
Her father laughed, reached over and tousled her hair. “Yes, that’s true. Your mother was quite persuasive in those respects.”
Riza smiled, and continued to eat. Mr. Hawkeye turned his attention back to Roy. “How far are you in that book I gave you, Roy?”
“I’m about halfway done, sensei.”
“Very good, very good. When you finish, I expect a written paper on the significance of equivalent exchange. Since it is such a broad topic, I assume you will be able to cover the subject easily.”
“Yes, sensei, but, I must ask, why do I have to read this? I’ve already studied equivalent exchange and I know what it’s about.”
Mr. Hawkeye put his fork down.
“Tell me, Roy. What was the most complicated alchemy attempt you have ever performed?”
“I made a garden statue for my mother, once.”
“Out of what?”
“Sandstone, I think.”
“And what was the final product?”
“Sandstone as well.”
“Why not granite or marble? The same rock and sediment in sandstone can be compressed into other types of rock.”
“I didn’t know how.”
“And why not?”
“Because I hadn’t studied that yet.”
“You have just told me that you have.”
“I said I studied equivalent exchange, sensei, not-”
“Equivalent exchange is the lacking principle in your work there, Roy. All you needed to do was exchange a large particle of sand for a smaller more compressed one. Equivalent exchange is the basis for all alchemy. With out it, alchemy would not exist, and it wouldn’t work. If you can’t understand every detail on equivalent exchange, then you have no hope on mastering alchemy.”
Roy fell silent.
“Roy, I have spoken with your father. You have potential, but you lack patience. I have no doubt that you will become a great alchemist.”
“Thank you sir. When will I be able to go on to more advanced things, like all the other books in your study?”
“When I think you are able. In the meantime, I will give you your own study, I’m sure it will be more comfortable than your room.”
Roy’s eyes lit up, “Really? Thank you sensei!”
Riza sighed and laid her face on her hand. “Aww, is his all you two are ever gonna talk about? At least when ji-chan was here we could talk about interesting stuff.”
“Shut up, you stupid girl, you don’t know anything.” Roy said. Realizing instantly the atrocity he had committed in front of his teacher, he quickly covered his mouth and his eyes widened.
“Roy,” Mr. Hawkeye snapped. “I suggest you apologize to my daughter. You are going to be living in the same house, you had better learn to become civil to one another.”
Roy bowed his head. “Forgive me, Hawkeye-sensei,” he said.
“Don’t tell me, young man, tell her.” He motioned at Riza.
“Sorry, Riza-chan,” Roy mumbled.
Riza smiled, resisting the urge to mock him and stick out her tongue. Instead she turned to her father. “That’s it? You’re not gonna make him do his paper a day early or anything?”
Mr. Hawkeye smiled at her. “No, more than likely I would have done the same thing at his age. In fact, when I first met your mother, I acted much in the same way. I called her stupid for not understanding alchemy.” He laughed. “Maybe you two will end up married one day.
Both shot him looks of surprise and disgust. “Dad!” Riza cried, mortified.
“Sensei!” Roy groaned.
He laughed at their reactions and began to clean up the table. Riza handed him her plate and ran back up the stairs. Roy handed him his own plate as well, and began to follow her. “Don’t go just yet, Roy,” Mr. Hawkeye called. “I want you to see when I make your study.”
“You’re gonna use alchemy?”
“I was planning on it, yes.”
“Cool!” He shouted.
Mr. Hawkeye laughed and pointed up the stairs. “Now, go study.”
“Yes, sir!” Roy said, and ran up the stairs to his room.

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“Ughh, I hate this!!” Roy said, pulling at his hair. He was once again trying to immerse himself into the book on equivalent exchange, the first of many, he assumed. After the lecture at dinner that night, he got the impression that he would be doing this for a while. Mr. Hawkeye had promised to do the alchemy to make his study the next day, and this was about the only thing that kept him going. He liked his sensei, even though he hated having to do this. And it wasn’t even the third day.
There was a knock on the door. “Come in, “ He mumbled. The door opened and Riza stepped in, carrying a tray with a glass of milk and two cookies. He looked at them longingly before asking, “What do you want?”
“Dad wanted me to bring you these and make sure that you were studying.” She said, setting the tray down on his desk. “I didn’t come to say hi or anything.”
She was about to walk out the door when a croak sounded in her pocket. She froze.
“You still have that thing?” Roy asked, somewhat amused.
“You got something against it?”
“Why do you act like such a boy, you dumb girl?”
“Why do you like alchemy so much, you dumb boy?”
“You wouldn’t understand it, you’re too stupid.”
At this she fumed. She marched right over and stood in his face. “I understand it perfectly. I even know how to do some. You think I could have a father who is one of the best alchemists in the world and not know anything? I just don’t like it. It’s stupid. And I don’t act like a boy. Boys are idiots!” She shouted and slammed the door.
Roy sat flabbergasted. What the heck was up with this girl? She wasn’t like any of them he had ever met before. She was completely crazy! He didn’t know how he was going to survive in the same house as her for a few years while he studied alchemy with Hawkeye-sensei. She would be the death of him.
“Girls are so weird,” He said, taking a bite out of one of the cookies she had brought up for him and a huge swing of milk. “They must be aliens.”
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Tada, chapter 2!! Please Review, I love reviewers!! If you review, I’ll update sooner, wink.gif
Reika
yay!! Wanna see more!! XD
Valérie
I want to know what's going to happen too! biggrin.gif
Nil-chan
Thankyou, reviewers! now for chapter 3!
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“Dad, why do I have to go? Shouldn’t Roy have to go by himself?” Riza whined at her father. He had given the order that the two children would have to walk into town to collect some of the materials needed for Roy’s new study. Riza wouldn’t have minded going alone, but having to walk with that boy into town would more than likely drive her crazy. He would ask stupid and annoying questions and refuse to do any work at all.

“No, Riza, you will need his help to carry things home, and he will need you to help him find the way. You help him do one thing; he will help you to do another. It’s equivalent trade.”

Riza groaned. “Chichiue, I don’t really care about that stuff.”

“Just go on, Riza.”

Riza groaned and began to walk down the path in front of their house. “Come on,” she said to a sullen Roy who didn’t look at all too pleased to go shopping with a girl. “I don’t want to do this any more than you do, but what chichiue says goes. Now lets get moving.”

She strode ahead of him, and he followed her from behind with hands in pockets. Town was about an hour away, and she wanted to get there and back as soon as possible. She had been working on building a habitat for her frog that she had caught yesterday when her father had called them down, and she didn’t want him escaping. Roy wasn’t really helping considering he was going as slow as physically possible. Finally, she was fed up and stood in back of him and began to push him.

“Come on, walk faster!” She mumbled.

Surprised at her actions, Roy complied, glancing over his shoulder at the girl pushing him down the path. Not only was it a girl, she was younger than him, too. He was to surprise to react at first and it took him a moment to shrug her off and walk forward himself, although this time he went at a decent speed in order to avoid incurring the wrath of this crazy girl.

They reached the town in less than half an hour, and not much passed between the two of them except for glares and un spoke anger with the other, although the anger had died down from when the two had first met, and had shrunk from vehement loathing to civil dislike. This was probably because they both feared the wrath of Mr. Hawkeye more than they disliked one another.

Riza took the list from her pocket and read over it carefully. “Lets see… we need some iron nails, steel plates, two bags of sawdust, a 30 foot length of copper wire, and some apples.”

“Apples?” Roy asked questioningly.

“Well yeah, we don’t have any,” Riza scoffed. “Jeesh.”

Roy sighed. “Well, where do we go first?”

“The hardware store,” Riza said pointing to the store in the distance. She reached into her pocket and pulled out some bills and some coins. “Lets see, Dad gave us one thousand five hundred cens, so… lets see. The sawdust we can get for free from the hardware store, the steel plates will be about 700 cens, the wire 200 cens, nails about 50 cens, and the apples are normally ten cens each, so if we get two dozen, that’s 240 cens, which makes the total-”

“1200 cens. Three hundred cens to spare.”

“I’m not stupid, I could have figured that out.”

“Whatever.”

“Lets just go,” She said grabbing his arm and pulling him towards the store. He yanked his arm away, slightly put off that she had just grabbed him like that, but followed her anyways.

The store wasn’t that crowded, but the streets outside were, so it was a nice break to be inside away from all the people. It was extremely spacious, and the walls were piled high with merchandise. Riza began walking to the back of the store and Roy swiftly followed suit. She turned corner after corner, and Roy found himself loosing sense of direction. Finally she stopped in front of two large swinging doors and pushed them open. This place was much more claustrophobic; the walls were tighter, and the room reeked of damp wood and construction.

“Hello?” Riza called. “Anyone here? Anderson-san?”

An old man appeared out from one of the piles of wood and plates. “Ah! Riza-chan. Running errands for your father again? What’s making this time, huh?”

“Actually, Anderson-san, he’s making a study for him,” She said, indicating Roy, who was trying his best to look passive.

Anderson-san smiled. “Ah! And who might this be?”

“He’s dad’s new alchemy student.”

Anderson-san walked over and extended his hand to Roy. “Nice to meet you. And your name would be…?”

“Roy Mustang.”

“Mustang…? The name rings a bell. Well, I’m an old man; my mind’s like a sieve. Anyways, what can I do for you two young ones?”

“We need some sawdust, 20 feet of copper wire and some nails.”

“Of course, Riza-chan, follow me, please.”

The two trailed along behind the man as he paraded them around the store giving them everything that they needed. He carried everything for them as well, and when they had finally achieved their goal in the hardware store, he rung them up. “One thousand, one hundred and forty two cens, please.” He said. Riza handed him the bills and he returned her the change, which she stuck into her pocket. He handed the bags to roy, who slung them over his shoulder and groaned at the weight,

“Are you sure you don’t want to rent a cart to take that home, Riza-chan?” Anderson-san called as she walked out the door.

“No, thank you, Anderson-san, we’ll manage!” She called as she held the door for a straining Roy. And with that they were gone. Anderson-san watched them leave, and then returned to his work in the store. “Children,” He chuckled under his breath.

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“Alright, where to next?” Said Riza, surveying the area around them. Roy stood next to her, panting. “I thought we needed apples,” He breathed.

“Oh yeah,” Riza said, a look of realization dawning on her face. “Right, we’ll go to Hikari-san’s stall. She always has the best apples. Come on!” She shouted, and pushed him ahead.

“Will you cut it out? I can move by my self, you know!”

“Well, you weren’t doing a very good job, hurry up, I want to go home.”

Roy complied, although somewhat unwillingly. He eventually went from carrying the bag on his shoulders to dragging it behind him on the ground. They reached the apple stand, and Riza greeted the old woman who sat there, unfortunately, she was somewhat deaf.

“Hi, Hikari-o-bachan,” She said politely.

“What?”

“I said hello.”

“Ah, Riza-chan, hello, how are you today?”

“Fine, thanks, I need a dozen apples.”

“What?”

“A dozen apples,”

“Oh, ok. That will be one hundred and fifty-four cens, please.”

“Here’s a two hundred note.”

“A blue hounded foot? Speak up, dear, I can’t hear you.”

“A two hundred note,” Riza said slightly louder. The old woman nodded, handed her the change and the apples. “Take care dear!” She called as she watched them walk away.

Riza led Roy back around the town until they reached a small café. She set down the apples on a table and motioned for Roy to do the same.

“Since we have money left over, why don’t we have lunch? I’m really hungry.”

Roy shrugged, and set down the package from the hardware store, and sat across from her. A woman noticed them sitting down and walked up to the table.

“Can I help you two?” She asked politely.

Roy opened his mouth, but Riza beat him to it. “Can I have an iced tea and a salad please? Any dressing is ok,”

“Sure thing,” The woman said. “And you sir?”

“Um, I guess I’ll save a ham and cheese sandwich.”

“You want anything to drink?”

“Water, I guess.”

The woman smiled and went to get their food.

“Can’t you be more polite?” Riza berated him. “You could have said please at least. Boys are so rude.”

“Well sorry, your highness.” Roy said sarcastically. “You’re the one who wanted to stop and get something to eat, you know.”

She stuck her tongue out at him. “Well excuse me for being nice.”

“You’re excused.”

She glared at him, and would have proceeded with a retort, but at that moment the waitress came with their drinks, so instead, she took her iced tea and sipped on it while continuing to glare. He sipped his water as well.

So passed the meal. Sip, glare, bite, and glare.

When she had finished eating, Riza stood up and began to walk away, leaving Roy still sitting there. He scrambled up from his seat and ran after her, throwing a string of curses after her.

The walk home was about as uneventful as the first. Roy tried to move as fast as a ten year old with two giant bags of construction supplies could move. Riza walked ahead of him as all she had only to carry the apples. The walk took longer than the walk there had been, but that was to be expected since the children had about fifty more pounds to carry home with them.

When they finally reached the house, Riza dropped her apples off in the kitchen and ran up to her room. Roy dragged the bags in and set them outside Mr. Hawkeye’s study. He knocked on the door, and his sensei opened the door.

“Ah, Roy, come in, come in. I see you got everything, good.”

Roy carefully stepped inside to the study. The room was small, and books lined the walls. In the far left hand corner there was a desk covered in papers. There were transmutation circles scribbled all over the papers that were almost everywhere in the office. Although messy, it was extremely cozy; a perfect environment for studying.

“Do you like it?”

Roy nodded.

“Well, yours will be similar to this, then. By the way, Roy, your paper was due today. Do you have it ready?”

“Yes, sensei.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper that was folded a few times over and handed it to Mr. Hawkeye, who took it. He opened it, and began to read it over. Roy silently stood there, awaiting judgement. Mr. Hawkeye finally set the paper down, and looked at him. “It’s good, now doubt.” He said. Roy smiled brightly. “You have a good mind, Roy. I can tell you have put effort into it since our talk two nights ago. You have improved.”

Roy smiled even brighter. “Can we go on to my next assignment, then, sensei?”

Mr. Hawkeye nodded, smiling. “Very well.” He walked over to his shelf and pulled off two large books. Roy watched excitedly, but his heart dropped when he saw the titles. Terms and Definitions Relating to Equivalent Trade and Equivalent Exchange: The Basis on Which Alchemy is Built. Roy’s mouth hung open. “S-sensei,” He stammered. “I thought that-that we’d be able to study actual transmutation now that I finished-”

“Brilliant and impatient, like your father said. Do you remember nothing that I said Roy? With out equivalent exchange, nothing is possible. Read those in one week, and I expect another paper. Take notes as well.”

Roy dropped his head as he accepted the books from his teacher and trudged up the stairs.

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

When he reached the top, he noticed the door to Riza’s room was closed. Once again, there was banging and rustling heard. He walked into his room, set the books on the bed, and went over and slowly opened the door.

Riza was standing there, frog in one hand, a slab of glass in the other. She looked at him. “Didn’t I tell you to knock last time?” She said, disapprovingly.

“Sorry,” He said quickly. “I can’t believe you still have that.”

“Well, I like him.”

Roy scanned her room. On her desk was an aquarium filled with some creek water and plants. There were a few sticks in there as well, and crickets sat in it also.

“Did you make that for him?” He asked, amused.

“Yeah. But the lid is too small, and he keeps getting out,” She said, holding up the glass slab.

“Let me see it.”

“Why?”

“Just give it.”

She handed over the glass to him, and he sat down on the floor. “How big is the top of the container?”

“24 centimeters by 14 centimeters,” She said slowly.

Roy nodded, and drew a piece of chalk from his pocket and drew a circle on the floor. HE carefully then drew some patterns in it and other geometrical shapes. Carefully setting the glass panel down on it, he took his palms and pressed them to the circle. A blue light shined throughout the room. The moment it faded, Roy picked up the glass slab, now slightly thinner, but longer and handed it to her. She watched all this with quiet anticipation.

“See, you dumb girl? Alchemy isn’t so stupid after all.”

She set the frog back into the aquarium and put the panel on top. It fit perfectly.

“Thankyou,” She said quietly.

He shrugged, and walked out the door back to his own room.

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

He had been reading for an hour now. It was even worse than the first one. All this was was some stupid definitions of angles and other boring stuff on equivalent trade. He sighed loudly.

There was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” He said.

Riza entered, once again carrying a glass of milk and cookies. She had done this last night too.

“Here, from my dad,” She said, walking forward. Unfortunately, Roy had left the other large book he had received from his sensei right in the middle of the floor. Riza stumbled over it, causing the milk to slip off the tray and shattered the glass. Milk sprayed all over the room. Riza’s eyes widened, and she set the tray down on the desk and began to pick up the broken glass.

Roy watched her for a minute, and then said, “Here, give them to me, I’ll fix it.”

She nodded, handed him the fragments and ran to go get some towels.

When she reentered, Roy was sitting on the floor and about to press his hands to the circle he had drawn. “Stop!” She called, and rushed over to his side.

“What?” He asked, wondering what in the world was up with this girl.

“See?” She said, pointing at a line that dissected the circle. “You don’t want it to connect there, it has to be only a third of the way to the center.”

Roy looked at her, then at his circle. He traced a finger over the line he had drawn to erase it, and then re drew it as she had said.

“Like that?”

She nodded. He pressed his palms to the circle once more, and when the light faded, the glass was there, as good as new.

“See? If you had kept the line there, the glass would still have been cracked,” She said matter-of-factly.”

He nodded, took the towels from her, and proceeded to clean up the milk on the floor. Riza walked from the room, but before she left said, “Oh! And Thankyou, for earlier. I mean, fixing the lid.”

He nodded. She began to close the door.

“Hey, you!” He called. She opened the door.

“What?”

“Um, thanks for the tip. And the cookies.”

She smiled. “No problem,” And closed the door.

Roy leaned over and took a bite of a cookie. You know? He thought to himself. Maybe she’s not so bad after all. For a girl, at least.
Tombow
It's sooo good!! Thank you for sharing this with us!! happy.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Yay! Roy is starting to get interested in Riza~ And I really like this fic~ Keep it up!
Nil-chan
CHapter 4!!!

It had been a week now. An entire week staying at his sensei’s house. He had to admit; it wasn’t as bad as he had thought it would be, living with this girl. She didn’t get on his nerves so much anymore. At least she didn’t go around asking him to tea parties or anything gross like that.

To tell the truth, he actually looked forward to hearing her coming up the stairs at night, because that meant there would be cookies. Sensei always sent her up with cookies and milk after dinner while he was studying. At least that was one thing girls were good for, bringing up cookies.

He had finished the book on equivalent exchange definitions and had moved on to the second one. This one, if at all possible, was worse. Probably because it was written in Latin. He didn’t know Latin! Probably because he was only ten. And yet sensei still expected him to finish that book in a week. Riza had given him a Latin-English dictionary, but it was still so boring! At least this book had pictures of transmutation circles in it that took up a good five hundred pages, but he also had to memorize them. All of them looked the same to him, but of course there was some thing different about each one. Where the lines connected, the distances between shapes. It went on and on… but at least they were pictures, not Latin.

He looked at the clock on the wall. 7:30. Great, another day almost gone. Less time to finish this stupid stuff and write a paper. He turned the page. Great, more Latin. He groaned and banged his head on the table.

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

Riza heard a loud bang echo from upstairs as she helped her father wash the dishes. At first she thought that the frog had escaped once again and was reeking havoc in her room, but then she realized that it was coming from Roy’s room.

“Don’t you think you’re being just a little bit hard on him, Chichiue?” She asked. “I mean, he’s only my age.”

“You knew all that stuff a while ago.”

“Only because you read it to me as bedtime storied when I was five. Mom always yelled at you for that.”

Her father remained silent and began to scrub a particularly stubborn stain off of one of the plates.

“Why don’t you just use alchemy?” Riza asked quietly. “You could get it done a lot faster.”

“We can’t be dependant on alchemy for everything, Riza. Normal people clean their dishes like this everyday.”

“Yeah, but if you used alchemy, then I could go play sooner.”

Another bang and a curse word that was normally not used by ten-year-olds echoed in the house.

“When are you going to build him his own study? I have to hear that every night and I can’t sleep.”

“When he gives me that report I assigned him.”

“I think you’re being to hard, Chichi-ue,” Riza reiterated. “You weren’t this hard on the other students you had.”

“I’m surprised you remembered them, I kicked a lot of them out pretty quickly. Roy has caliber. They were idiots looking for power. Therefore, since I’m serious about teaching Roy alchemy, he deserves more work.”

“Yeah, but all those other guys were old and wrinkly; Roy’s only a year older than me.”

Mr. Hawkeye reached over and ruffled his daughter’s hair. “Maybe you’re right.” He pushed her gently away. “Go on, take those cookies up to him,” He said. Riza nodded and picked up the prepared tray and walked carefully up the stairs.

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

She walked into his room quietly. He knew she always came, so she never knocked. She found him, his head slammed onto his desk, small moaning noises coming from him. She set the cookies and milk down and walked from the room. Normally he would have just let her go and start on the cookies and milk, but when he looked at her, something was really… weird.

“Are you wearing a skirt and blouse?” he asked incredulously. She turned and looked down at her self. “Oh, yeah, I guess I forgot. Today was ‘take your daughter to work day’ or something, and so Ji-chan took me to Eastern Headquarters and he made me wear this. I guess I just forgot to change.”

“You look like an actual girl. For once.”

“Oh, please, just go back to studying.”

“Ugh… don’t say that. I hate this. Work sucks.”

“Well, you’re gonna have to do it when you get a job you know.”

“Yeah right, no one’s gonna make me unless they hold me a gun point. I’m gonna be everyone’s boss where I work, and no one will be able to make me do anything.”

He was silent as something whizzed inches from his nose. He looked over at Riza who had apparently pulled out her slingshot and shot a pebble at him. He looked at her, eyes wide. “What was that?”

“You really should stay on task. Dad’s kicked out plenty of students before you, you know.”

“But this stuff is so boring!” He whined.

“Let me see it.”

He handed her the book and she started to read it over. She looked at him. “Do you have any paper?”

He nodded.

“Then take notes.”

“What?”

“Take notes. I’ll read you the stuff translated, and you take the notes.”

“And why are you doing this?”

“Because if I don’t, you’ll probably be staying up late pounding your head on the table and I won’t be able to sleep.”

He nodded, somewhat dumbfounded.

“Roy, Riza! Come down here for a minute, please.”

The two children scrambled up from the table and ran down the stairs. Roy tried to beat her to the stairs, but she tripped him and fell down the stairs while she leapt nimbly over him. She ran up to her father, who had arranged all the materials that the children had bought three days ago on the floor in front of him, along with a few other things that had already been available.

Roy walked over too; hand on his head, covering a bruise. He groaned seeing the pile of stuff. “Do we have to clean that up? Because it wasn’t me.”

Mr. Hawkeye shook his head. “No, Roy, this is your study.”

Roy raised an eyebrow, and then said “Oh.”

Riza looked at her father. “You’re gonna make his study! Thank you! Now I don’t have to help him study!”

Roy and her father looked at her awkwardly, but they both soon recovered. Mr. Hawkeye turned to face the pile of supply. “Roy,” He said. “Watch.”

Roy turned obediently to watch his sensei. Mr. Hawkeye bent down and pressed his palms to the transmutation circle. Instantly, a blue light filled the room as the supplies fused together, sawdust compressing into oak planks, wires infusing into the wood and creating an electrical circuit. The room grew larger and moved apart to accommodate the new space. A marble topped desk rose out of the floor, and bookshelves began to line the walls.

Roy’s mouth flew open. This was amazing! Everything fit perfectly; the walls were perfect, the room was neat, and there was no sign of the pile of rubble. “Ah! Sugoi!” He exclaimed, running around the study extremely excited. He examined the bookshelves, and ran his hand over the marble. “Thankyou so much, sensei!” He exclaimed.

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

Riza buried her head into the pillow. The sound of rain outside was somewhat calming, but the sound of the thunder was driving her crazy. She hated thunder, she couldn’t sleep.

She rolled over. And again. Alright, she’d had it. With determination that was only characteristic of a nine year old, she marched down the hall to her dad’s room. She gently pushed the door open. “Daddy?” She asked, in the sweetest voice she could muster. She approached the bedside, she noticed there was no one there. “Ugh,” she moaned. A clap of thunder sounded. She let out a small scream and covered her ears. She slipped out of the room and snuck downstairs to see if her father was in his study.

She opened the oak door and looked inside. Nothing, only darkness. Of course her father had chosen to leave tonight. Of course he often went out at night, Riza was used to it, but he only seemed to be gone at the most inconvenient of times.

So, here she was, in her house, the rain was pouring the thunder was sounding, and she was completely alone. No, wait, a small voice said. Roy lives here now. She snapped up straight. How dare the little voice even suggest such an idea? There was absolutely no way she would go into his room and ask to stay there until the storm passed. Nope, wasn’t going to happen. He was a boy, for goodness sake. He’d probably call her stupid for being scared of thunder anyhow.

Lightning flashed, and she covered her ears in anticipation of the loud noise. She ran up the stairs. Ok, she would only ask him where her dad was, that’s it. Yeah, that’s it.

She slid open his door, and quietly stepped into his room. “Hey, are you awake?” She asked quietly. Roy sat up. “What? What do you want?”

“Do you know where Dad is?” She said softly.

“You know, I’m already awake, you stupid girl. And he told me he had to go out and get some supplies for some experiment or something, now go away.”

She glared at him, but began to walk away. At that moment, another peal of thunder sounded. She shrieked, and covered her ears. Roy snickered. “Your scared of thunder?” He asked, smiling.

“It bothers me, ok?”

“Why?”

“It sounds too much like gunshots,” She said softly.

“ I thought your grandfather was in the military,” He said, rubbing his eyes. “Aren’t used to stuff like that?”

“I… I want to join the military to help ji-chan, just… I’m scared I’ll have to kill someone. That’s what thunder reminds me of.”

“So, thunder makes you afraid you’ll have to kill someone.” She nodded. He laughed. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

He was silenced by a pebble that lodged itself between his eyes. He rubbed his forehead. “You don’t seem to have much of a problem with hurting people,” He said.

She lowered her slingshot. “It was your own fault. Forget this, I’m going back to my own room.”

“Wait,” He said. “You can stay, if you want.” He said softly.

She turned. “What?”

“I used to be scared of lightning,” He said. “I stayed in my sister’s room when I was scared, so, I guess you can stay until it’s over.”

“Oh.” She sat on the floor and wrapped her shirt around her legs. “Thanks,” She said softly.

Roy lay back down and looked at the ceiling. “Stupid girl,” He muttered.

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

Riza’s eyelids fluttered open. She was sitting on the floor beside Roy’s bed, and the night was quiet. Roy was asleep, snoring softly.

She had a vague recollection of coming in here to escape the storm and falling asleep on his floor. She stood up and slipped quietly back into her own room, closing the door silently.

She curled up into her own blankets and closed the door, listening to the soft patter of the rain left over from the dying storm. You know, he’s not so bad, she thought to herself. For a boy, at least.

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A/N- Whew… that took longer than I expected. Oh well, I like this chapter, it’s cute. Sorry for those who wanted Riza to do alchemy here, but I don’t like giving powers to characters that aren’t explicitly stated. It only implies that Riza has an extensive knowledge of alchemy, not that she can actually do it, so I decided not to include it. And, please remember, Riza is only nine, so im not bashing her by making her scared of thunder or anything. Ok, that’s it. Thanks for all the kind reviews!!
Knil
that was so good!! It was PERFECT as a matter of fact!! that was the best sentence what Roy said.

“Yeah right, no one’s gonna make me unless they hold me a gun point.
I’m gonna be everyone’s boss where I work, and no one will be able to make me do anything.”

It feels like an actual story book please up date soon!!I cant wait!! biggrin.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Yea, I can't wait till the next update, Nil-chan~
Nil-chan
Chapter 5: The Instructor

Dear Roy-
I’m sorry we haven’t written to you earlier, things have been quite a bit hectic around here. Tae is engaged! Her boyfriend, the one she has been seeing for two years now, proposed to her a few days after you left. We’ve been so busy with the preparations; it completely slipped our minds to write to you!

I hope your study is going well. It hasn’t been the same around here without you requesting all those books and drawing those alchemy circles all over the place. The small things you’ve transmuted for us though are all still here.

Your father has been telling every one of his friends how proud he is that you are studying with such a prominent teacher. I hope you are as proud as we are at your accomplishment. One day, you may be so good as to be able to become a state alchemist, now wouldn’t that be exciting?

I’ve heard that Hawkeye-sama’s daughter is about your age. I hope you are treating her well, I know that you are a bit rude sometimes. You show your good nature and be a gentleman, understand?

I miss you here, all your sisters are never home, especially Tae, she’s been out much more often with her boyfriend. I miss holding you at night and I wish that you were here. I hope you’ll be able to come home for a visit soon.

XOXOXOXO-

Mom

PS: I’ve sent you some of the chocolates that I bought at your favorite candy store, the ones you always beg me for. I hope you enjoy them and think of me when you eat them.


---

Roy read and reread the letter over and over again. He was sitting in his study late at night when his sensei had brought it to him along with a small package that he assumed must be the chocolates his mother had mentioned in the letter.

He hugged the letter close to him, leaned forward in his chair, rested his head on his desk, and sighed. He hadn’t really felt homesick until now. Hawkeye-sensei was very good to him, apart from his rigorous teaching and homework he assigned the boy, and he was even beginning to tolerate Riza. He hated to admit, (I mean, what self respecting boy would?) but he did miss his mother.

“Hey,”

A voice broke his thoughts. He tried to ignore it and kept his eyes closed.

“Hey!”

He buried his head deep into his arms.

“Hey, you stupid idiot, I’m talking to you.”

Just ignore her; maybe she’ll go away.

WHAP. Or maybe not. Roy reached up and rubbed the spot on his head where she had ruthlessly berated him with a rock from her slingshot.

“What?” He groaned.

‘Dad told me to bring you these,” She said, dropping two enormous books on his desk. Roy groaned loudly. “Don’t tell me-”

“Yeah, it’s more on equivalent trade.”

Roy moaned and slammed his head onto the desk. “But this is the seventh book on that since I’ve started,” He whined. “I’ve been here for a month, and all I’ve done is read! I haven’t even been allowed to practice alchemy or draw arrays…” He took the smaller of the two books and opened it onto his desk. It looked to be the same as the other ones, all defining and explaining down to the last detail the purposes and uses of basic equivalent trade. There were some arrays drawn into the book, but they were simple, things Roy had known for years now.

“Dad says you’ll probably be studying this sort of stuff for the first year before you move on to transmutation.” Riza said, looking over his shoulder at the book. He looked back at her, and his mouth hung open. “For the first year?” He asked, clearly stupefied by this latest development. An entire year? He’d be old by then!

“Don’t look so upset,” She said, suppressing the urge to laugh at his expression. “He also says these are the last books he’ll force you to read. Eventually, he’ll be teaching you personally, just he wants you to have the background knowledge. I think that means you’ll be writing more papers.” She patted him on the back. “Have fun,” She smiled. He just growled and pushed the books away. As he did that, something else fell off of his desk. Riza bent down to retrieve it.

“What’s this?” She asked as she looked at.

Roy’s eyes widened and he snatched it from her. “It’s nothing important, go away, it has nothing to do with you!” He said, stomping his foot in the ground for emphasis.

She put her hands on her hips. “Why can’t I know?”

“Because, it’s not like a stupid girl would understand it. It's top secret, no looking,” He said, shoving the letter into his pocket.

She folded her arms. “Jeesh,” She grumbled. “See if I bring you cookies and milk tonight,” She said scowling, and stormed from the room.

A look of realization dawned in his eyes. “Hey, wait! Are you gonna make me get my own stuff while I study? Come on, you stupid girl, I thought your dad wanted you to be nice to me!”

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

Riza sighed as she walked up the front steps to the house. She had just gotten back from the first day of school for the year, and she was pretty exhausted. After a three month summer break hand having nothing to do in the past month but watch frogs and annoy Roy, school was pretty rough.

“Geez.” She sighed as she set her backpack down on the ground. “Chichiue, I’m home!” She called out. No answer. “Chichiue?” She called again, running into the kitchen. No one was there. She walked into the main room and peered into his study. Nothing. She walked over to the other side of the house and stuck her head into Roy’s study. “Hey, have you seen dad?” She asked the boy who had his head bent over some paperwork. “He went into town to get some food,” He grumbled.

Riza walked over and stood behind his desk. “What are you working on now?” She asked, trying to read the book that was lying open. “How far are you in the book I gave you yesterday?”

“Page five,” he mumbled, still not turning around.

“Really,” She said, slapping her forehead. “If it weren’t for me you wouldn’t get any work done at all. What did you do all day while I was gone?”

“Tried to read.”

“And failed, right?”

“Hey,” He said turning around to face her. “You’re not the one who-”

He stopped in mid sentence and looked her over. His face turned beet red, and he burst out laughing. Riza pouted. “What are you laughing at?” She demanded, her voice laced with poison that would more than likely have stricken fear into any boy near by. Roy tried his best to contain himself, but just pointed at her. She looked down at her self. “What?” She demanded again, not seeing anything unusual about her appearance. Roy laughed again. “Y-your, heh, your cl-clothes!” He managed to choke out.

Riza looked at herself again. “You think my school uniform is funny?”

Roy nodded with tears in his eyes. Somehow seeing the annoying tomboy who caught frogs and went fishing in a green plaid skirt with knee high socks, a white blouse with an emblem on the chest pocket, and a headband that held her short hair in place was too much for him to handle. His gleeful mirth was silenced however when Riza decided that I was annoying her slapped him, knocking out of his chair.

“Really.” She said walking out the door. “You are such a freak.”

She was about to turn around when she noticed that something had fallen onto the desk when she had knocked Roy out of his seat. It was a plain white piece of paper, folded into thirds. The handwriting on it was neat and feminine, and Riza didn’t recognize it. She realized that it was the letter he had been so against her reading yesterday. She reached to pick it up, and looked at it carefully before beginning to unfold it. She slowly lifted up the flap. At that moment, Roy sprang up from on the ground and snatched it from her. “Hey! I told you yesterday you can’t see it! Go away!”

“Why can’t I see it? What’s so special about it?”

“N-nothing! It’s just something you can’t see! Go away?” Riza reached over and deftly snatched the paper. “I wanna see it!”

He snatched it back. “No!”

“Why, is it from a girlfriend?”

“What? No way! Eww!”

“Then who is it from?”

“I’m not telling! Go away!”

This went on for a few minutes, both children tackling each other to try to get a look at the note, until the door to Roy’s study swung open and Mr. Hawkeye stood there, looking rather upset. “Riza! Roy! Stop it this instant!”

Roy and Riza froze, and it was a rather awkward position. Roy was on the floor with Riza’s foot on his chest pinning him there while she held high the letter. Roy meanwhile, was left with a full view up Riza’s skirt. Both realizing the dilemma, Roy shielded his eyes while Riza proceeded to kick him in the face and jump away from him.

“Gross,” Both sighed at once.

“Both of you stop it.” Mr. Hawkeye scolded. Both turned to face him immediately, Roy sporting a large bruise beneath his right eye, Riza having her hair messed up and her headband snapped in two. Mr. Hawkeye groaned as he looked the both of them over. “My goodness, you two, I leave the house for an hour and I come home to find this?” He exclaimed. “Sorry, daddy,” Riza said.

“Sorry, sensei,” Roy added.

Mr. Hawkeye grimaced, then sighed. “Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Both of you go wash up for dinner.”

“Hai!” They said in unison, taking off for the stairs, both racing for dominance of the bathroom. Mr. Hawkeye smiled brightly as he watched them go. “Now, what will I do with them?”

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“What?” Riza exclaimed as she sat down at the dinner table, fork in hand, prepared to dig into the array of food before her. “You’re doing what, chichi-ue?”

“That’s not fair,” Roy added in, looking very much disgruntled at the mere proposal that Mr. Hawkeye had made. “I can understand it, but, still, why does she have to do it?”

“Hey, I have just as much right as you do,” Riza growled.

Mr. Hawkeye grimaced as he looked at them. “Riza, you’ve asked me to do this before, I thought you would want to do something like this.”

“Well, yeah, I guess…”

“And Roy, you obviously have too much energy to be cooped up in the house all day.”

“Maybe…”

“Well then, why not?”

“Well, because-”

“Because-”

The two looked at each other, both unable to come up with a good reply for the man. “Because… I don’t know,” Riza finished lamely. “I guess it’s a good idea.”

“You give up to easily,” Roy snapped.

“Shut up, I do not. I always wanted to do this anyways.”

“Then why were you arguing in the first place?”

“Cause I didn’t want to do it with you-”

Mr. Hawkeye slammed his fist on the table. “Both of you, be quiet, or so help me I will lock you both in the attic for the rest of the night!” This snapped the two children back to attention. They looked with astonishment at the man, and then at the other. “Both of us at the same time?” They whispered in unison. “Yes,” Mr. Hawkeye said sternly.

“Eww!” The two exclaimed.

Another slamming of a utensil onto the table made them quiet down. “Anyways, you two, you’ll be starting tomorrow.

“Who is going to be the instructor, chichi-ue?”

“I’ve found a man from a very prominent family. His family has been in the military for generations, and he is especially skilled in what he will be teaching you. He himself is in the military academy. Your grandfather recommended him especially, Riza.”

“I thought you hated the military, chichi-ue.”

“I have nothing against the people there, only the organization.”

Roy spoke up. “Is he some old guy?”

“No, in fact, I believe he is only seven years older than you, Roy.”

“Is he qualified?” Roy asked skeptically.

Mr. Hawkeye chuckled. “Oh, you’ll find out soon enough…”

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

Roy followed sullenly behind Riza as the two made their way to the park in the center of the town. “Hey, Riza,” Roy asked.

“What?”

“So why did your dad sign us up for hand-to-hand combat lessons again?”

“I asked him to let me take karate a while ago, and I heard you have to be strong in body to do alchemy, anyways. Dad trained with someone when he was learning.”

“Why do you want to do this? Aren’t you enough like a boy already?” Riza shot him a glare over her shoulder that shut him up.

“I’m gonna join the military like my mom and my ji-chan, so I have to be strong, right?”

“I thought your dad hated the military.”

“He doesn’t know yet.”

“Oh.” The two continued in silence for the rest of the walk. The park was somewhat close to the house, so it didn’t take the tow kids a long time to teach their destination. They walked along the path in the park until the reached the field that Mr. Hawkeye had told them to wait at. Riza sat down on the grass and threw her feet out before her. “If he’s in the military, he shouldn’t be late.” She said.

Roy sat down beside her. “Yeah, but if he’s seventeen, he’s probably really immature and irresponsible.

“Ah! You have arrived! Greeting, children!” A voice boomed from behind the two. The children’s hair stood on end as they jumped around to face the young man who had addressed them so ceremoniously. He was extremely tall, and he dwarfed the two easily. He looked young, but he was fully sculpted as an adult. His white shirt that covered his body depicted every single bit of the young man’s muscle perfection. His eyes were a brilliant blue, and on his head was a full covering of thick blond hair. He looked to have the beginning of a mustache. His arms were crossed, and his gaze was imposing. But none of this was what disturbed the children the most.

“Hey,” Riza leaned over to ask Roy. “What’s with the sparkles?”

The man walked over and embraced the children in what could only be described as the jaws of death. Roy and Riza were shoved into the man’s chest and both struggled for breath. “Sir!” Riza gasped trying to escape the man’s grasp. “Could you please let us go?” She managed to squeak out.

“Forgive me, young lady,” He said, setting her down carefully, while dumping Roy onto the ground unceremoniously. “I am your instructor in combat! He declared, while switching poses every five seconds. “Look at this perfection!” He cried. “Soon, you too will have such beauty as this! I can tell you are excited,” He said, mistaking the look of horror and disgust on the children’s faces for one of awe and astonishment. Riza shook her head and found her voice. “Um excuse me, Mr. Instructor, sir, but um, what should we call you?”

“My name is Alex Louis Armstrong!” The man said in a shower of sparkles. “But you too will address me as Private Armstrong!”

“Yes sir,” Riza said, attempting to snap to attention. She elbowed Roy who had just gotten to his feet after being thrown to the ground by the shimmering bear of a teenager. “What?” He asked. “Oh, yes sir.” He said, seeing the man looking at him.

“Very well,” Armstrong replied. “Now, let us begin!” With that, he rushed head first at Roy, who stared at him in astonishment as he collided with the boy. Roy was thrown back into the dirt a good fifteen feet, and lay there for a second, groaning. Riza stared at him, but quickly snapped out of it as she noticed the sparkling herald of death rushing at her as well. She jumped aside, barely managing to dodge him, and turned to kick him as he passed by. Honestly, she thought later, she might as well have been kicking a mountain. “Ow!” She exclaimed as her foot collided with the man. He quickly turned around, grabbed her, and threw her in the same direction as he had thrown Roy. She skidded along the dirt. She looked up to find Roy throwing himself at the man and landing on his shoulders. It looked like he was attempting to tame a wild bull. Armstrong merely turned his head and Roy was thrown off in a messy heap. Riza stood up, panting and turned to Roy who had landed next to her. She offered him her hand and yanked him up off the ground. They nodded silently, putting aside their differences for the moment in order to fight off the giant sparkling teddy bear that become their enemy. Both yelling, they charged at him.

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“Ow….” Roy groaned, walking home an hour later. Both the children were exhausted, covered in sweat and bruises and both emotionally injured. They trudged along silently, both just barely raising their eyes from the road in front of them.

“I can’t believe we didn’t even scrape him,” Riza said sullenly.

“I know,” Roy muttered. “It didn’t even phase him when I threw that rock at his head.”

“You shouldn’t have done that, you know. It’s supposed to be hand-to-hand combat, not ‘lets all throw rocks at people’,” Riza grumbled.

“Hey, he’s a soldier, right? Soldiers are supposed to use all materials available to them in combat, so why not? I only wished I’d had time to draw a circle, he woulda been sorry then.”

“What would you have made, a club? He would have snapped it like a twig.”

Roy sighed. “You’re probably right,”

They walked up the steps to the front door. Riza pushed it open and walked inside, kicking off her shoes. Roy did the same.

“Chichi-ue, we’re home!” Riza called with a hint of bitterness in his voice. Mr. Hawkeye appeared from the kitchen, wiping off a dish. “There’s leftovers on the stove, you two. You can have some after you bathe,” He said, noting that the children were covered in dirt. “Then you two can tell me about how training with Armstrong-san went.”

At the mention of the name, both children glared viciously at Mr. Hawkeye with a malice and evil laced into the glare that would have sent Mr. Hawkeye up a tree is there had been any in the house. Both then turned and climbed the stairs to the shower, neither in the mood for racing, since they knew they could lay down while they waited for the other to finish.

“Hey, Riza,” Roy grumbled as they marched up the steps.

“Huh?” She asked, all malice and anger toward him because of letter incident forgotten.

“I think we should stop listening to your dad’s ideas from now on.”

Riza nodded. “I’m with you.”

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Muahahaha! I’m so evil to poor Roy and Riza… so yeah; I took a few creative liberties in this chapter. I looked up character profiles and it said Armstrong is between 35 and 40 while Roy is 29 and Riza is 28, so him being seventeen isn’t off, right? Anyways, the next chapter might not be up until this weekend since my dad has to demolish our computer room and redo stuff and it will take a while before I can post it. It will be longer though, since I will have more time to actually write (I’ll do it on my nifty tablet) Hope you guys enjoyed this one, it was a lot of fun to write.
Knil
I will try to remain patient I cant wait for the next chapter but Good Lord you added Armstrong? Poor Roy and Riza you'd already see me looking for an escape path. laugh.gif Keep up the good work Nil-chan.Your story PWNS my own. biggrin.gif
Keoni
I love it! Great stuff happy.gif
You an evil person setting Private Armstrong on those poor children tongue.gif ( just kiddin' I love i Jeeej sparkles! laugh.gif )

Looking foreward to your next chapter!
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Poor Roy and Riza!! Although the bit about the giant teddy bear with sparkles is really funny~ biggrin.gif
Nil-chan
It was nice out today. The sun was bright, and all seemed right in the world. Since it was fall, the trees were beginning to turn shades of gold and orange. The whole street was bathed in a shimmering golden light. Everything about today had been perfect, Riza thought as she marched down her street on the way back from school. There was nothing to worry about; her teachers had assigned almost no homework since it was the weekend. The only thing she could think of to worry about when she got home was making sure that Roy was actually working. Her father had told her that he was going to begin teaching Roy personally very soon as long as he kept up the effort that he had been showing. Riza was actually beginning to feel protective of him, sort of like an older brother, especially since their plight with Private Armstrong. They were supposed to train with him once a week, and the children had something to dread together, which brought them closer as allies.

Riza pushed an errant bang that had escaped the clutch of her headband back behind her ear. Of course, she still didn’t enjoy Roy’s company all the time. He was, as of now, a brotherly figure, and as such, got on her nerves quite often.

She walked up the steps of her house quietly, as she always did, swung open the door, and began to announce her arrival. “Chichi-ue,” She called. “I’m ho-oof!” She cried as she was thrown off her feet by Roy, who had tackled her as soon as she had began to call out. Needless to say, she was startled, and struggled to throw the intruder off of her. He clasped one hand over her mouth as she struggled. “Shh!” He pleaded with her. “Quiet, you dumb girl! Quiet!”

She threw him off of her. “Why?” She whispered loudly.

“Because!” He whispered back. “We’re supposed to go train with Private Armstrong today, stupid!” Riza’s eyes widened in remembrance. “And,” Roy continued, “I really, really don’t want to go, I’m still sore from the first time, and the time after that was the same, so its worse, and last week was just plain awful!’ He whispered with as much emotion as he dared. “Your dad won’t notice if we leave by our selves, but if we told him we were leaving, he’d want to walk with us. I think we should leave now and do something else.”

Riza was about to protest when suddenly her father’s voice called across the hall. “Riza? Are you home?”

Roy immediately pushed her out the still open door and pushed her to go hide the sycamore tree on the side of the house. She uneasily complied, to startled to do anything else. From the corner of her eye, she saw her father stick his head out from the side of the house. “Roy?” He called. “They must have gone off to their lesson…” He mumbled and stuck his head back inside.

Roy uncovered Riza’s mouth, and she turned and slapped him. “What in the world was that for! You shouldn’t have done it!”

His face reddened. “I thought you hated going to those lessons with him!”

“I don’t hate them, and besides, they’re good for us! I've gotten loads stronger in just three weeks, look,” She said. She dropped to the ground and proceeded to kick him off his feet, knocking him flat on his back. He stared at her with surprise. “Why don’t you ever do that to him then? And you’ve ben practicing extra, haven’t you?”

“Because doing that to him would be like doing it to this tree,” She said, resting her hand on the bark. “And what’s wrong with me practicing while you’re in there doing alchemy stuff?”

“Because it’s not fair! You’d get to far ahead!”

“Which is why we should go. You need to get better.”

She began to walk away, but he called out to her. “Hey, Riza!” She turned. “What? She snapped. “I’m going to go, and if you don’t come, I’ll-”

“Wait, wait, how about, if we fight, here, in your yard. If you win, then you’re right, I need more training and we’ll go. If I win, we go back into the field until our lesson is normally over, and then come back.

“Dad will be able to tell.” She said.

“We’ll roll around in the dirt a lot, or something. I’ve still got bruises, so it won’t matter.”

She sighed. He looked at her and gave her the saddest eyes a young boy could conjure. She slapped her forehead. “Alright! Fine. But I’m not going easy on you.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to. When have you ever gone easy to me since I’ve lived here?”

She smiled. “Then it will come to no surprise to you when I beat you. Then you’ll have my bruises and Private Armstrong’s.”

“Ok, then. Let’s go.”

“Wait a minute, Roy.”

“What?”

“This is a hand to hand combat fight. No alchemy, no throwing rocks.”

“I’m not that low that I’d throw rocks at a girl.”

“Ok, then. I’m glad we’re understood. Let’s go.”

The two walked out to the center of the field in the back yard. The grass was longer now, the highest blades coming up to the children’s waists. “You go over there,” Riza said, pointing. Roy walked over and stood to face her. “You ready?”

“More than you will ever be.” She said, smiling.

“Alright then. Let’s go!” And with that he rushed at her, fist raised. She side stepped him easily, then held out her leg to trip him. He dodged, and turned around and swung his fist at her head. She ducked, reached down and pulled up his leg, causing him to fall over. He coughed a little as he hit the ground, but then swung his leg out and kicked at her feet, sending her down as well. “You ready to give up?” He said, standing up and wiping his mouth. She looked up at him and smiled. “Not on your life,” She said. With that she jumped up and threw a fist at him. He caught it in his hands and threw her away from him. At the last moment, she turned and caught her elbow in his back. He gasped, and then turned around to kick her. She ducked, and dropkicked him off of his feet, much like she had done back at the sycamore tree. Once again he landed on his back.

She turned and smiled down at him. “You lose,” She said, satisfied. He glared at her. “Not yet!” He growled. Quicker than she would have expected, he jumped up off the ground, and leapt at her. He wrapped himself around her, and threw himself onto the ground, pinning her beneath him. Needless to say, she was a bit surprised at his last minute attempt at tackling her, so it took her a moment before she regained her composure and lifted her leg and kneed him in the stomach. He groaned and rolled off of her and lay there clutching his stomach. “Dang,” He muttered.

She stood up and looked down at him. “You lose,” She said again, this time unafraid that he would leap up and tackle her again. “We’re going to go train.” Roy sighed and rolled over on to his stomach. “You have no heart,” he murmured. She didn’t look back at him. “It was a deal. We’re going. Come on, or I’ll tell dad.”

“You wouldn’t,” He said, slowly regaining his breath. “You’re no tattletale.”

“True,” She said, turning and kneeling down net to him. “But I will bring Armstrong here if you don’t come.” Roy whimpered. “Fine,” he said slowly. “I’m coming, I’m coming.”

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The children returned that night much sorer than usual. They had already een worn out by their mock battle in the back yard, so their reactions had been slower and Armstrong had beaten them quite easily. It also hadn’t helped that the two had been more divided than in their previous encounters with the shimmering bulldozer. The two had been less willing to lend a hand to one another.

When they walked into the house that night, Mr. Hawkeye had been waiting for them. He saw they appeared much more haggard than usual, so, after ordering them to go bathe, he reheated the food that had been prepared, and sat and waited for them to come and eat. When the two children reappeared, now clean, he asked them to sit and eat while he kept them company. “So,” He began. “Why so tired today? Normally you two still have some fighting spirit left in you when you return from training.”

Roy grunted. Riza shot him a glare, and then turned to her father. “Well, Chichi-ue, um, we were already pretty worn out when we had to go leave to train with Private Armstrong. We, um, had a mock battle to sort of see how far along we were.”

“Ah. So you two had a fight before you left. How typical.”

Riza blushed. “Um, maybe, I guess…”

“And who won this battle?” Her father asked, amused.

“I did,” Riza said, a hint of pride laced in her voice.

“And I assume Roy was a sore looser. That would be like him.” Roy grunted. “And am I also correct in assuming that you two did not cooperate as well while you went through training?”

Both children nodded, somewhat ashamed. Mr. Hawkeye nodded. “ I see… well, I believe that you two must really learn not to let such differences affect you in the heat of battle. When the time comes, you two will have jobs of your own. There will be people there that you will not always agree with, and there will be people who you will not like. However, you must never let this fact distract you from the task at hand. If you do not agree with someone, but it is imparative that you work with them to accomplish a common goal, you must put aside your differences and work with them. If not, the entire purpose of whatever it is you are trying to do may be lost. Am I clear?”

The two of them nodded. Mr. Hawkeye continued. “Now, I have said it before, I will say it again. The two of you will be living here for a while. You must learn to put aside your differences every once in a while and be willing to work toward the common goal. I have noticed effort on both of your parts, and I am impressed at the closeness you two have developed in the past three months. But you two still bicker like children. I expect more from both of you. Roy, you are older, act responsible. Riza, you are my daughter, and I expect much from you. Now, both of you are excused. Roy, go work more on that paper for the books I gave you three weeks ago. I know you are closed to being finished, and I expect the final product tomorrow. Riza, please come help me with dishes.”

Roy and Riza both nodded and stood. Roy went to his study and Riza followed her father into the kitchen.

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There was a knock on the door. Roy lifted his head from the paper and turned to the door. “Come in,” He called. Riza entered carrying the now traditional milk and cookies, but this time she was followed by her father. After setting the cookies on his desk, she came and stood behind Roy to face Mr. Hawkeye, who turned to the both of them. He cleared his throat, and spoke to them.

“Upon further reflection of our conversation at dinner, I have decided to send you two into town again tomorrow to get some supplies. I was going to do it myself, but I think it would be best for the both of you to do it.”

Roy nodded. “What do we need to get, sensei?” He asked as respectfully as he could. Mr. Hawkeye turned his attention to the boy. “Paint and chalk,” He said simply. “Don’t think your progress goes unnoticed, Roy. You are coming along very well, and I believe you are ready to move on. From here on out, you will be studying transmutation circles with me. You will be learning the basics of how to draw them and each one’s purpose. Don’t look so excited,” He said, seeing the look in Roy’s eyes. “You will still be reading one book a month, which I guess is less than you are doing now. You will also submit one report a month to me on how the type of circle that we are studying relates to equivalent trade. As I told you, it is imperative that you understand this concept completely, so almost everything we will be doing the first year will relate to it.” Roy’s eyes dimmed. “Oh,”

“When you reach twelve years of age, Roy,” Mr. Hawkeye continued, “We will begin actual transmutation.” Roy smiled at the mention of that, but then he quickly realized something. “That’s not for another year and a half!” He exclaimed.

“I am fully aware of the amount of time until then, Roy.”

Roy glared at his paper, pouting. “Yes, sensei.”

Mr. Hawkeye nodded and began to leave the room. Riza, who had been silent until then, called to him. “Chichi-ue, when do we leave?”

“At noon tomorrow.” Mr. Hawkeye answered, and once again turned to leave. Just as he was about to walk out the door, Roy realized something. “Sensei!” He called out. The older man turned around. “Yes?”

“Um, thanks for the cookies. They’re always really good.”

Mr. Hawkeye smiled. “You’re always welcome, Roy,” He said. “But, I’m not much of a desert cook myself; Riza is the one who makes them.”

Roy looked at astonishment as his teacher, and then at Riza. When the teacher had left the room, he faced her. She was blushing. “Well, when you first moved in I had made them, and dad said to take them to you so I did, and, um, well, I liked them so I kept making them.”

Roy stared at her. “Jeesh, Riza, when do you have time to do anything? Catch frogs, go fishing, training, school and baking cookies? When do you sleep?” He asked incredulously. She turned and walked from the room. “Goodnight, Roy.”

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The next day at noon he children were sent in to town as it had been ordained the night before. Riza walked slightly behind Roy for once, and Roy, taking this to has advantage, walked pretty fast, knowing she wouldn’t be left behind, but, as long as she was behind him, he could choose any speed he so desired. “I like having this sort of power,” He thought to himself as he walked along.

Riza, who was tired this morning from the episode of the night before, didn’t notice that Roy was attempting to sway her under his power, but she followed his speed anyways, always staying slightly behind him.

“So,” Roy spoke aloud, looking over his shoulder. “Where is the art supply shop?”

“ A little further into town than the hardware store was,” she answered automatically. “But it isn’t to far. We should be there soon, we’ve already been walking for half an hour.” And they could already see the shops starting to emerge along the road, hailing the arrival of the city. The two walked in silence until they reached the shop, stopped, and went in. It took them almost no time at all to find what they needed. The person in charge of the sop helped them pick up what they needed, and of course the load was lighter this time.

The two stepped out onto the street, and began to walk back. They both wanted to get back to the house, so they walked home as quickly as possible. This in turn turned into a race, which in turn resulted in Roy running straight into another person. Riza skidded to a halt behind him, trying to catch her breath. Roy sat up, rubbing his head. “Ow,” He whined.

“Did you spill the paint?”

“Oh, so I fall and you’re worried about the paint?”

Riza didn’t answer. Instead she walked past him and offered her hand to the boy that had run into Roy. He was sitting on the ground, rubbing his messy straw colored hair. His blue eyes were squinted in pain. He had what looked like a toothpick sticking out of the corner of his mouth. He was also holding his head in pain.

He noticed Riza offering him her hand, so he took it and she pulled him up. “Thanks, missy,” He said dusting the dirt off of his shoulder. Riza nodded her welcome and walked past him. “Whoa, whoa,” The boy said, grabbing her arm. “I didn’t even get to introduce myself,” He said. “Jean Havoc, and you are?”

“Riza Hawkeye,” She said slowly and tried to walk away. At this moment, Roy was glaring at him. “Um, excuse me? We really need to get home, so buzz off, quit touching her.”

Jean looked at Roy. “You sure have a protective brother, missy.”

Riza looked at him like he was an alien specimen. “He’s not my brother,” She said quickly. Jean looked from one to the other. “Oh, forgive me,” He said quickly. “I didn’t realize he was your boyfriend, little missy.”

At this remark, Jean found himself faced with glares that were so poisonous and caustic they would have melted steel. “Eww!” Roy and Riza exclaimed. They shivered. Riza yanked her arm free of Jean’s grasp, grabbed Roy’s arm and marched off into the distance. “It was nice to meet you, Jean,” She called back at him, somewhat stiffly. He smiled and waved back at her. “You too, missy,” He smiled. “Maybe I’ll see you around sometime?”

“I doubt it,” She called back, and they were gone.

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Yay, another chapter done! And insert Havoc. I don’t think he’ll be comeing back, though, not until Riza joins the military academy, and then she’ll meet him again, I think. Ok, now for a few corrections:

--I have seen and been told multiple ages for Roy and Riza, anywhere between roy is six years older to they’re the same age. I found these ages (that Roy is a year older) on and ive read fics in which these ages are correct, but Im not sure these ages are 100 correct. I’m going to use these in the fic, though, cause that’s the ages I see them as, so yeah.

--I have a question for all of you… how long ago (from the present day FMA, preferably the manga) did the isbalan war break out? And how long did it last? If anyone can tell me, I’ll send them something, I dunno, a cookie or something like that. Thanks a lot!
Knil
It lasted for seven years straight and another good chapter always you added little Havoc at least he hasnt gotten that cig yet at least not till he is older. laugh.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Roy and Riza make me think they're still 7 and 8 years old. biggrin.gif Because I have a friend that is 10 and she never says: Ewwww. At the mention of Boyfriends or Girlfriends. XD But this took me quite a long time to read through >.<
Animeoldtimer
Great! Such a good, well thought out story. The characters are true to the manga and I can visualize each scene. To me that's a sign of good writing. Keep up the good work! biggrin.gif

Karen the state alchemist
soo cute you even added jean you should be a writer,or a artist...or both! i love the way you make them act like they most likely would as children smile.gif
Nil-chan
Chapter Seven!!!

“Gah! I can’t concentrate!” Roy cried. He was, once again, hunched over some paper. It had been a month since he had begun to study transmutation circles with Mr. Hawkeye, and now he had an enormous paper due on how transmutation circles that changed the density of matter related to equivalent trade. So far, all he had was that it was equivalent trade because it was alchemy, and all alchemy was based on equivalent trade. He honestly couldn’t see how he was supposed to write an entire paper on this. It was absurd! All this paperwork, it sucked. “I can’t wait till I become the boss of everyone at my job. No one will be able to make me do anything then,” He grumbled, tapping the pencil on the desk.

Just as he finished speaking, Riza walked through his study door, carrying the now ritual cookies and milk. He smiled when he saw her, and grinned evilly when she set the cookies down on his desk. “Finally! A break!” He exclaimed. Riza looked over his shoulder at the meager sentence on his report that was due the next day. “It looks like you’ve been taking enough breaks,” She said.

“For your information, I have been working extremely hard to get that right. I had to go through twenty different ideas before I could get that sentence down.” He retorted. “Besides, that’s about the only thing that I can think of for this paper. Riza sighed. “The transmutation circles used for the compression and decompression of mater relate to equivalent exchange because they are alchemy, and alchemy’s basic rule is equivalent exchange.” She read in a monotone. “That’s a real convincing paper, there.”

“I’d like to see you do better,” He said. She groaned in exasperation and walked from the room. “That's what I thought!” Roy called after her. He turned back to his paper, dropping a few crumbs on it from the cookie he had just shoved into his mouth. “What else is there to put?” He muttered to himself, taking up his pencil again and using it to brush the crumbs from the page. He didn’t even notice Riza reenter the room until she slammed three large books onto his desk. He jumped about a foot into the air. “What the heck are these?” He asked. She didn’t respond, but opened one of the books, skimming through the pages. Smiling when she found what she was looking for, she ran her finger along the page. “Here,” She said pointing. “Read this.” She shoved the book at him and moved on to the next one. Once again, she flipped through the pages, found what she was looking for and shoved them at him He looked at her dumbfounded. “What is this?”

She sighed. “What do you think? It’s about how certain transmutation circles relate to equivalent trade.” She said matter-of-factly.

“Oh,” Roy said quickly. “I knew that.”

“I’m sure. “

“Where did you get these books?”

“Dad’s study. Don’t you go in there, though. He hates people taking things from his room.”

“Why are you allowed in, then?”

“I’m his daughter. Sheesh, I didn’t think you were that thick.”

She walked from the room and he stuck her tongue out at her. He turned to look at the passages she had pointed out for him. His jaw dropped. “Holy crap, I can actually use this! Who knew a girl could be so helpful? And I guess her cookies are good, too.” He said, taking an enormous bite out of said cookies.

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The next day, after walking home from school, Riza noticed a letter sitting on the doorstep. It looked to be rather thick, but then again, it might just have been the envelope. She picked it up and looked at it. The envelope was indeed what made the letter look thick. It appeared to be homemade, she noted. On the front of the envelope was some very well written script, obviously written by a woman’s hand. It had the same sort of appearance as the letter Roy wouldn’t let her see had had. It read To William and Riza Hawkeye and Roy Mustang. (A/N- I have no idea what Mr. Hawkeye’s real name is, so it’s going to be William, ok?) This was surprising to Riza. Who in the world would be writing to all three of them? And a woman, no less?

Riza held the letter firmly, and opened the door to her house, deposited her things near the door and ran to her father’s study. Pushing the door open, she ran to a cabinet to retrieve a letter opener. Finding what she was looking for, she carefully pealed apart the seal and pulled out an ornate looking piece of parchment. She unfolded it carefully and read;

“Dear William, Riza, and Roy,

We would be honored by your appearance at the wedding of Tae Eliza Mustang to Alexander Chaser Madrich on the fifth of November of this year.”

It was elaborately written in gold letters across the parchment, with an exquisite border running along the sides. “Well, this is kind of weird…” She murmured, looking over the parchment. But then again, if it was someone from Roy’s family being married, it was natural that he go. And if they were going to send an invitation, they might as well invite Riza and her father, right? Right. Ok, so it wasn’t that weird. Riza put the parchment in the envelope, and walked out of the room. She figured it was best to ask Roy about his, since it was someone in his family.

“Roy?” She asked, sticking her head into his study. The boy was fast asleep on his desk, drool threatening to destroy the now finished paper that was do today. Exasperated, Riza walked over and smacked him. “Wake up!” She yelled. He snapped to attention, but then noticing it was only her, relaxed. “Oh, good morning to you, too.” He said groggily, laying his head back down. “I still have five minutes though.” He was rudely awoken once again by another generous slap from Riza. “What?” He whined, rubbing his head. She shoved the envelope in his face. “Did you know someone inn your family is getting married? They invited Dad and I to go too.”

Roy snatched the letter and pulled out the parchment. “Oh, yeah,” He said reading over the paper. “Tae? Yeah… I knew.”

“How? You never get any calls, oh,” She said, stopping herself. “Was it in that letter you wouldn’t let me read? Were you embarrassed about her getting married?”

“No! It’s not that,” He said, fiddling with the envelope. “It’s just-” He cut himself off as another paper fell from the envelope. Both stared at it, and then rushed to grab it, which resulted in a small brawl, in which Riza proved victorious. Holding Roy at arm’s length with one hand, and holding the letter with the other, she began to read.

“ ‘Dear Mr. Hawkeye, it is nice to finally get to write to you. As you have probably already discovered, you and your daughter (and Roy, of course) are invited to my daughter’s wedding. Roy, being the youngest in our family and Tae’s brother, is expected to be the ring bearer. As such it would be ideal for him to arrive early. Also, if you would so desire, Tae requests that Riza be one of her bridesmaids. Our family feels that including your daughter in the wedding is the least we can do for you. You have done so much for us already; taking Roy under your guidance and roof free of charge. Yours truly, Carol Mustang.’” Riza paused. “Bridesmaid?” She said skeptically. “Would I have to wear a dress?” She asked.

“Yeah,” Roy said, smiling. “A big pink frilly one, with lace, and sparkly sequins!”

Riza looked disgusted for a minute and then glared at Roy. “Shut up,” She growled. Roy just chuckled.

“What’s going on in here?” A voice came from the doorway. “Are you two fighting again?”

“No,” Riza said, running over to her father and handing him the two letters. “Roy’s mom invited us to Roy’s sister’s wedding. Roy has to be there early, and Roy’s sister wants me to be a bridesmaid.”

“She wants you in the wedding?” Mr. Hawkeye said. “Well, then, I guess we have no choice but to go.”

“I warned her that she’ll have to wear a dress,” Roy said.

Mr. Hawkeye smiled. “I think that Riza can make an exception from her normal dress code. Besides, I would like her to see what a wedding is like,”

Riza pouted. “Ok, fine, I’ll wear the dress.” She said. “But you owe me, chichi-ue.”

“Yes, yes, fine.” Mr. Hawkeye said, waving his hand. “Now, Riza, you go write a nice RSVP.” Riza nodded and ran from the room. Mr. Hawkeye turned to Roy. ‘Now,” He said. “Let’s see that paper.”

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Time always flies before an expected event. As it happened, November the fifth had been one month ago when they had received the invitation, but now Roy and Riza found themselves in the back of a car driving out to East City to attend Roy’s sister’s wedding. They had been driving for an hour or so. Riza was deep in thought, but Roy couldn’t stop fidgeting. “Are we there yet?” He asked. Riza groaned. “You asked that five minutes ago.”

“Yeah, I know, I mean, are we there now.”

“Does it look like it?”

“No…”

“Then quit asking.”

Silence. Riza closed her eyes and returned to her musings.

“Are we there yet?”

“For the ten zillionth time, no!” Riza exclaimed.

“How much longer?”

“I don’t know! Just, quit bugging me, or something.”

Roy turned around and looked out the window. “Whoa!” He exclaimed. “Hey, Riza, look at that!”

“It’s a cow.”

“I know, but look at the spots, it looks like a smile face!”

Riza rolled her eyes and turned away from him. With any luck the smiley-faced cow would keep him occupied. She was about to nod off when she felt a finger in her ribs. Her eyes snapped open. She looked at Roy whose hand was an incriminating two inches from her side. “What?” She snapped.

“I just wanted to see if you were awake.”

“Well, I am now.” She tried to close her eyes, but again, she felt a finger in her ribs. She turned on a surprised Roy. “For god’s sake, sit still!” She hissed. Roy shrunk back into the corner. “I was just gonna ask you if you knew how much longer,” He said. She growled at him. “I do not know! We will get there when we get there, ok?”

“Hey!” Mr. Hawkeye’s voice called from the front seat. “Am I going to have to pull over here?” He asked.

Roy shook his head, and turned to look out the window. Riza did the same, praying desperately that they would arrive soon.

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“Ah! Hello! You must be William-san,” A tall woman with black hair was saying. Riza stood silently behind her father, while Roy now stood next to his mother. “It is an honor to finally meet you.” The woman concluded. She turned to Riza. “And this must be Riza-chan!” She said smiling. Riza smiled and offered her hand. “Nice to meet you, Carol-san,” She said.

“What nice manners!” The woman exclaimed. “Now dear, you must come with me. William-san, please do make yourself comfortable and find yourself a place in the chapel. Roy, go with your father; he has your suit.” Mrs. Mustang now turned to Riza again. “Come with me dear, the tailors have to have your dress fitted. And you must meet everyone else. Come along, now,” She said extending her hand. Riza had the urge to say that she was nine years old, thank you very much, and perfectly able of following her without having to cling to her hand like a toddler, but she resisted and took the woman’s hand. Mrs. Mustang led her down multiple halls until they reached a small room in the back of the building. Inside, there were three other girls, all at least five years older than she, sporting white dresses. All of them each held a single white rose, and were standing still as another person busied themselves around their dresses.

Mrs. Mustang hurried her over to another woman at the very back of the room that Riza hadn’t seen before. Her dress was much, much, much more elaborate than the others, and she had a simple white veil covering her face. Her hair, jet-black, was pulled behind her head in a series of intricate curls and knots. Riza stared in awe at her, and, even though she absolutely despised wearing dresses unless it was an absolute necessity, couldn’t help but feel a bit envious of the beautiful woman. “Tae!” Mrs. Mustang called out to her. The woman turned and smiled. “Tae,” Mrs. Mustang continued. “This is Riza-chan. Can you please get her set up with the dress? I need to go back out front and help with the greetings.”

The tall woman nodded and turned to Riza. “So you’re Hawkeye-san’s daughter. Dad told me that you were cute.” Riza smiled and extended her hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Tae-san.”

The older woman shook her hand pleasantly. “Now,” She said. “Your father had called to warn us that you and Roy would both be unable to make it to the rehearsal, that’s unfortunate. Roy was in my older sister’s wedding before, so we aren’t too worried about him. But, Riza-chan, have you ever been in a wedding?”

Riza shook her head. Tae sighed. “Well, then, we had best get you informed. Come with me.”

Riza followed Tae out of the room to another room next door. There were a few chairs scattered around, and Tae made quick work to arrange them to create a sort of isle. She turned to Riza. “Ok, Riza-chan, you will be the first one to walk out. Someone will tell you when to go, so don’t worry about that. Now, this is how it works…”

The next fifteen minutes were spent explaining to Riza how to walk down the isle and where to stand. Then, she was shown when she walked back and where she went. It was very simple; the only thing she was worried about was whether or not she might trip on the walk up the isle, considering what Roy had told her about her dress. “Ok, Riza-chan, lets go back, we need to fit you into your dress. Don’t worry about it,” She said, seeing Riza’s face. “You won’t trip. You did very good practicing.” Riza nodded and followed Tae back into the other room. Tae spoke to another woman, who quickly pulled Riza aside and began to undress her. Riza’s face paled, the last thing she wanted was to be undressed in public. None of the other girls paid any mind, however, so Riza calmed down a bit.

After she had been stuffed into a dress, the woman proceeded to brush her hair and tie a ribbon around her head. Riza felt like a doll, to tell the truth. She was then forced to put on makeup, of all the god-forsaken items. She suffered all of this silently, and when the strange woman had finally released her, she was shoved in front of the mirror, where she stood in shock. The dress was a shimmering white, and it fell to her ankles. There was a bit of lace and some layers, but no frills or sequins like Roy had taunted her with. A simple white ribbon held her hair in place, and she noticed even the makeup didn’t look so bad. Tae came and stood behind her. “Aww! Kawaii, Riza-chan!” She exclaimed. Riza blushed slightly at the comment.

“Now hurry up, the ceremony starts in fifteen minutes!” A voice called from outside the room. The next thing Riza knew, she was walking down the isle to the end where she was supposed to stand.

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“Pictures?” Roy whined. Riza couldn’t help but giggle softly at him. The ceremony was over, and truth be told, it had gone very well. Nothing had happened, and Riza had even enjoyed herself. She had almost burst out laughing when she saw Roy coming down the isle, though. The normally messy boy had had his hair combed back and was wearing a small tux. It was completely different from the Roy that she was used to seeing.

“Why do we have to take pictures?” He whined again. “Because,” His mother said, a little harshly. “It’s your sister’s wedding.”

“Exactly! It’s not mine! Can I please go change? Can I, please?”

“No,” Mr. Mustang said, more forcefully than his wife. Roy grunted and shoved his hands into his pockets. For the next hour or so, the children were shoved in and out of pictures. Pictures with the bride, pictures with the groom, and pictures with both. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime to both, the photographer allowed them to stop. Both sighed in relief, and Riza turned to go to her father.

“Wait a minute, Riza-chan!” Tae called. “Come here for a second.” Riza turned and obediently approached her. “Can you take a picture with Roy, please?”

Hearing this, Roy burst out in anger. “What? No way, you said it was over! I want to go change! No more pictures.”

Tae glared at her brother, who sullenly walked forward and stood by Riza. “Hurry up and get it over with,” He said.

“You have to smile,” His mother said.

“And stand up straight.” His father added. Roy complied sluggishly, and the picture was snapped. Roy slouched back to his original self and asked, “Ok, now can I go change?”

“Yes, fine, go.” And he was gone.

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The reception was a small one, and it didn’t last very long. There was cake and some music and dancing, and that was it. Riza actually found herself enjoying it.

When all was said and done, Riza watched as Roy said goodbye to his family. It was weird seeing him being somewhat emotional as he hugged them each in turn.

The car ride home started off uneventful, and both children sat staring out the windows at the darkening sky. All was quiet, until, “Are we there yet?”

Riza pulled her slingshot out from under the seat. “Ok, ok!” Roy said, holding up his hands. “Jeesh, do you have that thing everywhere?”

Riza smiled and set it down. “I never know when I’ll need it.” She said smugly. Roy was quiet for the rest of the way home.

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Knil
How awesome!! and was this one LONG blink.gif You story is awesome Nil-chan I thought the bible was long!But I favorite anyway keep up the good work!Oh and here is a Royai comic to make you laugh. biggrin.gif

IPB Image
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Yay~ Update soon! And it's so funny when Roy keeps on asking: "Are we there yet?"
Nil-chan
The night was unnervingly clear; each brilliant spec in the distance was visible in the velvet black oblivion of the sky. The moon was amazingly bright, a globe of unadulterated ivory in against the speckled horizon. The constellations moved quietly and slowly across thee universe, each in turn lazily casting light on the small house. Small waves of light quivered across the ceiling of the room whenever a stray car passed by, mixing with the illumination provided by the stars that had already illuminated the small room. One particularly brave star had decided to glare obtrusively against the window, creating a dance of lights that played throughout the room as the shadows of the braches of the old sycamore tree joined in a waltz across the barren floor.
It was for all the reasons that Riza found herself unable to sleep. The silent symphony so generously provided by the night sky was not in the least bit annoying, but was in a way so calming that it became distracting. She rolled over in her bed, trying to hide her face from the illuminating spectacle that the night tried to put on for her, but there was something that kept whispering in her ear and causing her to roll back over and face the silent music of the lights. She was, for all intents and purposes, wide-awake.
Deciding that she would come back up to bed perhaps when the night decided to not be so generous in its performances, she slipped silently from the bed and made her way to the door. She twisted the knob slowly as not to wake the houses other sleeping inhabitants, one of which was just across the hall and the other a ways further down.
She walked on her toes down the stairs, balancing her hands carefully against the railing to keep from tripping in the darkness in the hall. The light of the stars had abandoned her, seeing as the cruel hallway had provided no window for them to come in and dance around the girl’s bare feet.
She reached bottom of the stairs and tentatively put one foot upon the carpet. Deciding that it was safe to continue, she made her way to the kitchen for a glass of milk, and perhaps one of the cookies she had made earlier that day. It was relatively easy for her to find her way, there was a light on in the kitchen, she noticed, and that was odd for this hour. Normally her father had turned off all of the lights, but it seemed that either he had been up late again with his research and perhaps completely forgotten the light before heading up to bed.
She walked into the kitchen, shielding her eyes from the bright light that had obliterated the soft dance of the stars. She walked to the refrigerator to retrieve the milk, and turned to the table in the corner to find someone already sitting there. Said person was busy swirling a cookie in a tall glass of milk as well, and hadn’t noticed the new comer. Riza smiled to herself, proud that she had managed to enter unnoticed, even if the one who might have seen her was sleep deprived and not in the least bit capable of noticing her unless she had barreled into the room on an elephant.
Quietly as possible, she walked up to the oblivious boy who sat engrossed in the cookie and milk. Leaning down next to his face and breathing quietly, she came as close to his ear as she dared. “What are you doing up?” She asked in a whisper.
Roy jumped about a foot in the air and turned to face her. “Geez!” He cried in a loud whisper. “What the heck was that for?” He asked irritably. She simply smiled at the look of anger on his face. “I just wanted to see if you were awake.” She replied in a cheery whisper.
“You’re never gonna let me live that down, are you?” He said.
“Never. Who knew you could be so immature in the car?”
“Hey, now, that was two years ago.”
“But you’ve done it in every long car ride since.”
Roy simply glared and went back to his cookies. The now twelve year old looked almost identical to his ten-year-old self, although his voice had become slightly deeper and his hair, if possible, messier. Riza, now eleven, was pretty much the same as well. Her hair was still short, she had insisted on keeping it close to her head. Roy had teased her the first time she had asked for it cut, saying she was gonna go bald soon, but he had received a pebble between the eyes from Riza’s slingshot and had since remained silent the next time she had requested a trim.
Riza moved to the table and sat in the seat across from him, also dipping a cookie into the milk and twirling it inside the tall glass. “So,” Riza repeated. “Why are you up?” He lifted his eyes from the glass of milk. “I was hungry and couldn’t sleep. Your dad woke me up when he left.”
Riza looked up from the cookie to meet his gaze. “Where’d he go?” She asked. This was normal. Her father would leave in the middle of the night and come back the next morning. Roy glanced down at the cookie, which was steadily turning to mush. “Where’d you think?” He asked, taking a huge bite of the dilapidating cookie. “To get some stuff for his alchemy. Like always.”
Riza sighed and nodded. “Like always,” She concurred. Both sat in silence for a while, Roy trying to piece his cookie back together, Riza watching with mild interest. Roy broke the silence as he stood up to retrieve more milk. “So, did you ever tell him that you wanted to join the military?”
“No…”
“Well… you might want to think about it soon. You’ll have to enlist in the academy pretty soon.”
“I have a few years.”
“Yeah… I guess.” He sat for a moment. “Why do you want to join, anyways? Apart from your mom and grandfather being in the military?”
Riza shrugged. “That’s something I’m still deciding. I know that I have to do it, and I know I want to do it to change the country. I don’t know exactly how or why, but I figure I’ll know when I sign up. I’ll figure it out. Maybe I can request to work under ji-chan, or something.”
Roy didn’t answer. He sat engrossed in his new cookie, mulling over her words. “That seems like you,” He said finally. “Rush into things and then assess them calmly. At least you know what you want to do.”
Riza looked at him oddly. “Are you feverish or something? You’re acting nice. It’s kind of creepy.”
He looked at her with sleep-deprived accuracy. “I’m not that bad, am I?”
“No, but you’re not this good either.”
“I guess sleep deprivation and sugar rush is getting to me.”
Riza shook her head. “Nah,” She said softly. “I just think you like me more now, Roy no nii-san.” She said slyly.
“Don’t call me that!” He snapped at her. She giggled. “You like nii-chan better?”
He stuck his tongue out at her and returned to his cookie. “Fine. Maybe I won’t be so nice to you anymore.” He took a sip of milk, leaving him with a streak of white across his upper lip, which he quickly wiped off. “Maybe I’ll just start calling you a stupid girl again.”
“Alchemy freak.”
“Boy wanna-be!”
“Idiotic male!”
“Ugly!”
“Moron!”
They glared at each other; each prepared to spring upon the other if they would dare utter another insult. Each held a glint of malice in their eye, laced over with one of amusement. Then both burst out laughing. Roy leaned back in his chair and wiped a tear from his eye. “I actually thought you were gonna attack me,” He said.
“Nah, it’d be to pathetic to watch you suffer,” Riza said after catching her breath. “Besides, then how would I beat Armstrong tomorrow?”
“So you admit you need my help?”
She grinned. “Well, when you help, we get a lot closer to beating him, right?”
Roy nodded. “Yeah… I guess.” He grinned at her. “Ok, so I admit it. You’re not that bad, for a girl.”
“Same to you.”
“What?”
“You’re not to bad for a girl, either.” Roy threw his cookie at her, which she dodged. She looked over in the corner where it had scattered into oblivion. She looked back at him. “You’re gonna clean that up, you know.”
“I’d like to see you make me. Ok, wait, no I don’t,” He said seeing her reach into her pocket. He got up from his chair to fetch the broom from the corner. He began to hastily sweep up the cookie crumbs. “God, do you sleep with that thing?” He asked, dumping the crumbs into the trash and sitting back down. She smiled at him evilly. “No, I didn’t even have it. It’s nice to know you listen to me, though.”
Roy sweat-dropped. “That was unfair.”
“A soldier uses all tactics available. Deceit is a perfectly legal tactic.”
“Good god, you sound like a stupid militant officer already.”
“Good,” She said. She took her glass over to the sink and began to rinse it out. He stood up and walked beside her, setting his own glass in the sink. “Your dad wouldn’t think so,” He said, turning his back on her and walking from the room.
“He doesn’t really have a say. If he says no, I’ll get ji-chan to back me up. Roy shrugged. “Whatever,” he said.
There was silence for a few minutes, both children staring into nothingness from the lack of sleep. Roy suddenly looked thoughtful. He glanced at Riza, and said, “I thought your mom was in the military,”
“She was.” Riza said.
“Then, why can’t you be in the military? I mean, if your mom was allowed-”
“She wasn’t allowed,” Riza interrupted. “She joined before they were married. If he loved her, he wasn’t gonna not marry her just because she joined. And, it’s not like she was corrupt like a bunch of the people there or anything. I think she joined because she wanted to change the military, sorta like ji-chan, and like I want to.”
Roy nodded sleepily. “How did she die?” He asked.
Riza looked at the ground. “I’m going to bed,” she said. She turned and walked out of the room, and Roy heard her footsteps climb slowly upstairs. He slapped himself and his insomnia for inhibiting his decision making and making him randomly ask a stupid question like that. “Why do I even care?” He muttered to himself. He put his glass into the sink, and followed Riza back up to bed.
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The next morning, Roy dragged himself out of bed, and headed groggily down the stairs. It was too early, he thought, he really shouldn’t have stayed up eating cookies and milk the night before. But he needed to get up, Mr. Hawkeye was taking him out into the woods today to practice some simple transmutation; they had actually started a while ago, but before, it had involved him watching his teacher transmute some substances into different ones. Today was the first day that he would actually be allowed to perform a transmutation.
He walked into the kitchen and absentmindedly grabbed some cereal and started to eat it dry. He sat at the table, shoving the cereal into his mouth. He looked up to see Riza sitting down in front of him with a glass of juice and some toast. “I’m sorry,” She said, and he looked at her, mouth hanging open slightly.
“Huh?”
“For last night, I shouldn’t have just ignored you like that. It was really rude,” She said, taking a bite of her toast. Roy shook his head. “No, I shouldn’t have asked, it’s probably personal, and-”
“No, really, I shouldn’t have responded that way,” She said, setting the glass down on the table with a soft thud. Roy just stayed silent. Riza shifted uncomfortably, eying her toast, sometimes shifting her gaze to Roy. Things went on this way for a little while, Roy every once and a while popping some cereal into his mouth, and Riza sipping cautiously in her juice. Finally, Riza plucked up her courage and spoke softly. “She left really late one night, urgent call or something. I don’t remember exactly what it was.”
Roy looked up at her for a second, opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it deciding he wasn’t going to let insomnia burst out something stupid again. Riza continued in a small voice. “They didn’t want to wake me up, I was four, and so they figured it would be good for me to sleep or something. Anyways, when I woke up, Dad told me that she had gone on a mission with a group of people and she’d be back tomorrow.” She took a long breath. “When I got home from school the next day, though, Dad was reading a letter, and he was crying. I think that’s the only time I’d seen him cry.” She said, her own voice trembling. “She got shot.” Riza inhaled jaggedly. “They said in the letter that it was quick, so she didn’t suffer or anything.” She wiped her face. “I’m sorry,” She said as she stood up and left the room.
Roy stared after her for a minute. He stood up, and ran to the door. “Riza!” He called. He ran after her, but he didn’t see where she had gone. He ran up the stairs and looked into her room, but she wasn’t there. After a thorough yet fruitless search of the house, he ran outside. “Riza?” He called again, not really expecting an answer. He rounded the house, and ran out back into the field. He saw her, sitting on a rock by the stream, just like he had found her on his first day there. “Riza!” He called and ran to her. She had her legs tucked into her chest, and her head was resting on her kneecaps. It didn’t look like she had been crying, though. She was just staring off into space. Roy walked up and stood behind her. “Are you gonna be okay?” He asked tentatively.
“Yeah.” Her voice was vacant. Roy sat down beside her. “You know,” He began. “You really didn’t have to talk about that.”
“I know.” She replied softly.
Roy sighed. “So, um… I guess that’s why your dad would never let you join, right?” Oh great, he thought to himself. That was real smooth.
“Yeah,” Riza said. “But, that’s why I have to join. It’s kind of in my blood, you know? Like I have to carry on where she left off.”
Roy nodded dumbly. “Well, um… I can go, now, if you don’t want me here.” She didn’t say anything, so he stood up and turned to leave.
“Roy?”
He turned and looked at her. Her position hadn’t changed at all. “You can stay, if you want.” She said under her breath. Roy smiled ever so slightly, but went and sat down next to her. “Ok,” He said.

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Knil
YAY!!!! Now we are getting to the Royai mushy stuff laugh.gif She has him on bending knee with that slingshot its gonna be the same thing when they get older its gonna be hell another flawless chapter Nil-chan keep up the good work. biggrin.gif
Keoni
Jeeej! laugh.gif Update! I love this story!

I know you like lenghty reviews, so I'll give it my best (sling)shot wink.gif
have a cookie while you read it.. laugh.gif

I love your style, it's very easy to follow, to the point, but still very rich in it's details.
Your Roy and Riza are obviously children, but also very true to the adult Roy and Riza, it's easy to imagine them being like this when they were young. Great job! happy.gif

I also like the fact that they're actally 'growing', they are now older than they were in your last chapter, right? You made them act older too, that's really impressive, and it shows that you know what your writing about. Instead of writing them as mini-adults, you actually write as children, which is realy good!

About the story: Poor Riza! sad.gif Roy's reaction was so really sweet. Yup, I sense the Royai drawing nearer happy.gif And she's got him trained well with her slingshot laugh.gif

I love this bit:
QUOTE
A soldier uses all tactics available. Deceit is a perfectly legal tactic
It reminded me of what Roy said to Ed when they were 'fighting' LOL laugh.gif

Well, that's about all I have to say happy.gif

Keep it up! Can't wait for the next one
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Yep, I have to agree with Keoni~
Nil-chan
Sleeping must have been the world’s greatest bliss. He honestly would have stayed in that bed for all of eternity if he had had the choice. The must have been no greater feeling in the world than to be snuggled tightly into a cocoon of blankets on a cool spring morning as sun drifter through the windows.

Roy’s mouth hung open slightly and a tiny sliver of drool hung from the side of his mouth. The sun was not too bright in his face, rather, it was gently and lulling, adding to the boy’s sedated state. His eyes were still firmly closed and his breathing was regular. He was dead to the world.

He would have gratefully remained that way for the rest of the day He probably would have stayed there, too, if the door had not swung wide at the moment, banging the wall and leaving a small dent, and causing a noise loud enough to wake the boy from his slumber. He sat bolt upright, throwing his hands in the air, fear reminiscent on his face from a lost dream. “What?” He screeched.

Riza smiled at him, and walked over and stood right next to him. He watched her as she came and stood next to his bed, and his eyes followed hers as she bent down next to him.

“What are you doing?” He asked slowly really quite unsure of her behavior. She flashed him another smile, bent down to his ear as if to whisper something to him. She said something inaudible, and so Roy leaned in closer to try to hear what she had said. “What?” He asked softly.

“”GET UP!” She yelled at the top of her lungs into his ears. Roy jumped out of bed and nearly hit the ceiling. His hands flew to his ears and he squinted his eyes. “What the hell?” He said angrily.

Riza was already up and at he door. “Dad made you breakfast, he said for me to come wake you up.” He stared at her. “He made me breakfast?” He repeated, unsure of what he had just heard. “Yeah,” Riza said, as if speaking to a slow child. “It’s gonna get cold, so you better hurry up, or I’ll eat all of it for you.”

Roy looked at her, puzzled, as she headed from the room. Why was Hawkeye-sensei making him breakfast? All the while he’d been here, he’d had to fish his own breakfast out of the cabinets downstairs or ask Riza to make him something, which rarely succeeded. He then snapped out of his reverie, realizing he was standing only in his boxers in the middle of the room. He began to blush, and quickly threw on some clothes that had been left on the floor. After a quick sop in the bathroom, he walked down the stairs to the kitchen, where a tempting aroma awaited him.

As soon as he stepped into the kitchen, he noticed that there was a multitude of pancakes and fresh fruit on a plate in the place he normally sat, as well as a large mug of hot chocolate. Riza was filling her plate at the stove, and Mr. Hawkeye was washing out an enormous pan that must have been used to make the pancakes. He turned as he noticed Roy had entered the room, and smiled at him. “So, you’re finally awake. Good.”

“Um, sensei, is that for me?”

“Who else would it be for, it is in your place, isn’t it?”

Riza sat down in her normal spot across from Roy’s place. “I wasn’t joking about eating that stuff if you don’t.” She said, motioning toward it with her fork. Roy nodded without thinking and quickly sat down at the table. He tentatively picked up a strawberry and popped it in his mouth. Deciding the fruit wasn’t poisoned; he quickly polished off the remaining strawberries, bananas and grapes that had been in the bowl. He then turned to the pancakes. He reached across his plate and grabbed some butter and lobbed it onto the warm cakes and spread them around. Cutting off a huge piece, he looked at it thoroughly before showing it into his mouth. He grinned broadly. “Delicious!” He said, shoving some more into his open mouth. He then noticed Riza looking at him with a look of horror on her face. “What?” He asked, his mouth still full of pancake mush.

“You think you can fit anymore in there?” She asked disapprovingly.

“Riza, let him be for today,” Hawkeye-sensei called from the sink.

When Riza backed down, Roy looked from one of them to the other. “What’s the catch?” He said suspiciously, mouth still crammed full of carbohydrate-goodness. “Nothing,” Hawkeye-sensei said.

“Um, isn’t this a little… nice of you, sensei?”

“Isn’t it also normal that other people in the house are nice to a person on their birthday?” Riza said, standing up to retrieve more fruit. “What?” Roy said, looking thoughtful for a minute. “Is that today? Hey, it is, isn’t it? Wow, I forgot.”

“Really? Wow, I couldn’t tell,” Riza said sarcastically, sitting down again. “Have you lost track of time completely with your alchemy studies?”

“Well, I haven’t really looked at a calendar recently, and I sort of base my months on whenever my research papers are due. So… I knew my birthday was around now, but not that it was today.”

Mr. Hawkeye arrived at the table with a plate of pancakes all his own. “Well, since you obviously don’t know your days of the week very well, I’ll remind you that you that you two have a lesson with Corporal Armstrong today.”

“I knew there was a catch,” Roy groaned.

“Oh come on, it’s not so bad,” Riza pointed out. We’ve gotten loads better, and we don’t get bruised so bad any more.”

“But my dignity is always injured enough as it is.”

“You had dignity?”

Roy glared at her, but then returned to shoving pancakes in his mouth. Training wasn’t until tonight; he might as well enjoy himself until then. “Oh, and remember, your report on circles that expand solids into gas is due tomorrow, Roy.” Mr. Hawkeye said.

Roy slammed his head onto the table, narrowly missing the pancakes. “I knew there was a catch,” He mumbled.

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The soft spring air danced along with the two young people as they walked down the streets. Roy was in the lead, something he had begun doing more often, and Riza didn’t really mind. It was normal to her now that he would lead the way. A particularly strong gust blew the hair into Roy’s eyes, causing him to stop and stumble for a minute, which in turn caused Riza, who had been looking at the ground to run into him, knocking to the ground with her falling on top of him.

Roy rubbed his head as Riza clambered to get off of him, blushing a little. “Sorry,” She said, “ I wasn’t looking.”

“Naw, s’ok, I tripped.”

She offered him her hand and yanked him up off of the ground. He brushed himself off, and smiled at her, and the two continued their walk towards the center of the park to wait for the sparkling bull of a man they called ‘Instructor.’ They didn’t have long to wait. The moment the set foot into the clearing, they heard an enormous voice behind them.

“Children! You have arrived before me once again! Your punctuality is most admirable!” He crossed the field in one fell swoop, scooping Roy and Riza into his arms. Twenty-year-old corporal had hardly changed at all, and, if at all possible, had acquired more sparkles with age. His hair was still thick and luxurious, and his mustache had grown out to meet and accommodate it.

Roy and Riza each struggled desperately for breath against their captor. “Corporal, sir,” Riza gasped. “Can you please let us go?” Armstrong flung his arms wide and bent down to Roy and Riza who lay sprawled across the ground. “Forgive me, children! I was carried away! Now, I will give you each a moment to regain your breath, and then we will begin. You have one minute!” He bellowed, and sat down on the grass and began to stretch, although it looked more like he was putting on a show of muscle to each passerby.

Roy and Riza also began to stretch. “Hey, Riza,” Roy whispered to her, looking over to make sure Armstrong was thoroughly engrossed in his body building. “Do you have your slingshot?”

“Yeah… but I’m not going to use it.”

“I know, I know, it’s hand-to-hand combat, not ‘let’s all throw rocks at people’,” Roy said. “You don’t need to use it. Could you make it look like you were gonna use it, though? Like a distraction, or something?”

“Well, I guess I could, but I don’t think…”

“Weren’t you the one who said, and I quote, ‘deceit is a perfectly legal tactic’?”

Riza nodded. “Yeah, I guess. But, what would you do when I distract him?”

Roy sweatdropped. “I hadn’t gotten that far yet.” Riza slapped her forehead. “Of course you haven’t. Why would you?”

“Well, I figured you would be able to come up with the rest.”

“You can’t count on me forever, Roy! I’m not always gonna be beside you, you know! (A/N-yes you will, muahaha) But you’re in luck now. Ok, remember the punch I taught you?”

“Um, the one with the half open fist thing?”

“Yeah, the one ji-chan showed me. Ok, so, I distract him, you’ll be behind him; you go do that to the back of his neck, ok? It’s supposed to render someone unconscious, but I think with him it might just give him a minor bruise.”

“That’s good! Ok, so when do we do it? Right away or what?”

“No, get warmed up first,” Riza said, stretching her arms over her head. “You won’t be any good without any blood flowing.”

“Right,” Roy affirmed.

Armstrong had finished scarring people and had turned back to the two. “Are you prepared?” He demanded and rained sparkles onto them. They looked each other and nodded, and turned to face the shimmering bulldozer. “Begin!” Armstrong declared.

He rushed at them, and if one was standing nearby, they might have called to the children to avoid the pink sparkling meteor that was plowing toward them. And then one might have cringed as the two were thrown off of their feet and scattered into opposite directions.

Roy groaned and heaved himself off of the ground, panting. He glanced at Riza who had also pulled her self off of the ground and turned to face their aggressor who was currently posing in multiple positions that made him sick too his stomach. He saw Riza rush him, and he did the same. Armstrong turned to them again, and just as Roy and Riza were about to reach him, a giant fist headed straight for Roy. He didn’t have the time to duck, but just before the fist collided with his face, he felt his feet knocked out from under him. Riza had dropped to the ground and knocked him off of his feet with a side kick, and then nimbly slipped underneath and between his legs so she was behind him. Armstrong, having missed Roy, flew right past him, and turned to face Riza, who had her slingshot out and at the ready. Armstrong paused for a moment, a little confused as to why this small girl was threatening with a stick with elastic tied between the tongs. Roy took this moment and threw himself at the back of the monstrous man’s neck. Armstrong, however, heard his footsteps, and turned his head slightly, leaving Roy to collide with his forehead.

Roy gasped in pain, feeling like he must have just broken his fingers. Armstrong stood up straight and rubbed his forehead. He laughed. “Wonderful! Wonderful! You both have come a long way! Congratulations!” And he began to laugh again, switching poses every five seconds.

Roy and Riza just stared at him blankly, Roy rubbing his sore knuckles. Armstrong began to move forward to bring them into his mandibles of death, and did so in shimmering glory. Roy and Riza were once again plunged into suffocation and mass struggling. After about a minute, they were free. “We will end here today as a reward for your great progress! Farewell, children, until next week!” And he was gone in a flurry of pink scintillating goodness.

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The two walked home together in higher spirits than normal, partially because they were much less bruised than they normally were, and also because it was still daylight. Roy was ahead once again; hands tucked behind his head, his face alight with a smile. “I guess today wasn’t such a bad birthday after all,” He said, looking over his shoulder at Riza. “I mean, it was a good breakfast, I bruised Armstrong-”

“You mean we,” Riza corrected.

“Right, that’s what I meant.”

“Sure.”

They arrived home with Mr. Hawkeye waiting for them. While they had been out, he had prepared some cake. Roy entered the kitchen, drooling. Shoving Riza into her seat, he took his place as well and eagerly awaited some cake. Mr. Hawkeye served a hunking slice to him, and he dug into it eagerly. Riza ate her piece slowly, and Mr. Hawkeye did the same.

So the night passed, relatively calm and peaceful. Climbing into bed, Roy sighed contentedly. It had been a good thirteenth birthday; the only thing that he regretted was spending multiple hours on a paper due the next day. He closed his eyes and began to drift off, but, just as he got comfortable, the door opened slowly and Roy noticed a small figure slip in.

Roy sat up and rubbed his eyes. “Riza?” He asked. “What are you doing here?”

“Sorry,” She said softly. “I completely forgot until now,” She came and stood by the side of his bed and began to fish inside of her pocket. Roy watched her for a second; unsure of exactly what she was doing. “Ah,” She said, finding what she was looking for. She pressed something small into the palm of his hand and walked out of the room. “Happy birthday,” She whispered, and she was gone.

Roy opened his hand to look at what it was. He squinted in the dim light, but he could just barely make out what was in the palm of his hand. It was a miniature horse, captured in motion, carved out of a small piece of wood. It looked extremely real and vivid in the night, Roy stared at it for a long time before getting up and going to his dresser, placing it in the same small chest he kept all the letters he received from his mother.

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Tada! Chapter 9! I'm so excited. Thankyou so much for all the reviews I’ve gotten from everyone-
Knil
Your story never fails to have me running for the gallery when I get an email saying you updated this. laugh.gif

Armstrong could bring the earths apocolypse with those killer sparkles rolleyes.gif I loved this sentence.

''I’ll remind you that you that you two have a lesson with Corporal Armstrong today.”

“I knew there was a catch,” Roy groaned.

“Oh come on, it’s not so bad,” Riza pointed out. We’ve gotten loads better, and we don’t get bruised so bad any more.”

“But my dignity is always injured enough as it is.”

“You had dignity?”

Looks like when they were kids riza was the ones who provided the flames. laugh.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Awww~ The ending was so shweet~ He kept the minature horse in the chest where he keeps his 'secrets' in~
Keoni
Jeeeej! Nil-chan wrote a new chapter! laugh.gif

"You had dignity?"Priceless! I laughed so hard! This really made my day! Can't wait for next!
Nil-chan
The sun blared through the window in a blast of brilliant white light and shown into the simple white room, illuminating the corners and giving life to all the objects in the room which were few and far between. It was only a single bed, an old oak dresser and a desk. The floor was regular hardwood, and it was spattered with chalk and dabs of paint. Books lay scattered everywhere, papers were scattered haphazardly into the corners and dust was gathering. The shimmering tendrils of sunlight crept onto the bed, tentatively crawling over the white sheets that were massed together in the corner of the bed in an attempt to escape the heat. One beam cautiously poked at the face of the boy who was sprawled over the bed.

The blaring heat that had arrived the previous spring heralded the arrival of the summer season. School was closing, people retreating into the cool shade of their houses while others left on vacation to the mountains and other such desirable cool places. Roy, however, had taken none of these measures and woke finding himself drenched in sweat and even groggier than he had been when he fell asleep. Unsticking himself from the sheets and putting a hand in front of his face to shield his eyes from the intrusive sun, He pulled himself from the bed, stood up and yawned. He crossed over to the window and threw it wide, regardless of the fact that he stood in the room in only his boxers, in an attempt to coax a non-existent breeze. Finding no wind to soothe him, he walked over to the armoire and pulled out a shirt and pair of jeans and threw them over himself and opened the door and walked into the hallway.

Insomnia still plaguing him, he leaned against the closed bathroom door and pounded on the door. “Hurry up,” He mumbled, pressing his sweaty forehead against the doorframe. A voice came from inside. “You’ll have to wait. You overslept, I’m taking a shower.”

Roy pounded his head on the door. “You always get to take one first!” He said, inserting a bang every now and then for emphasis. “I’m sweaty, gross and hot, and I want to take a shower.”

“You can wait.”

“No I can’t! I’m gonna come in here and drag you out or something.”

“You do and I will hit you so hard, you’ll be knocked into tomorrow.”

Roy groaned and slid to the floor. “Then hurry up, I need in there!”

There was no answer, only water started running. Of course, that sound was absolute pure torture to Roy. His throat grew dry and he thirsted after the sound of the water running. “Please hurry…” He moaned.

Either she didn’t hear him, or she decided to ignore him. Roy closed his eyes and drifted off into a sweaty uncomfortable sleep until he heard some footsteps behind him. He sat up and wiped the sweat from his eye to stare at who was behind him. “Roy, you can go downstairs while you wait, you know,” Mr. Hawkeye’s voice spoke.

Roy shook his head. “Naw, I’ll wait. I’d rather not be swimming in my own sweat while I wait,” He said.

Mr. Hawkeye nodded and walked to the door and rapped on it. “Riza,” He called. “Hurry up in there, please, we’re leaving in one hour.”

Roy stood up. “Leaving? Leaving where? Are we going somewhere?”

“I’m not staying here, we’re going out to the lake for today. Your lessons will be suspended for today. When you get out of the shower, go change, and we’ll get there.”

Roy smiled and jumped out of his heat stupor. “Hai!” He ran to his room and began to delve through his drawers for his swimming trunks. Finding what he wanted, he threw them over his shoulder and ran into the now vacant bathroom and quickly washed himself.

When he finally finished, he ran downstairs to the kitchen where Riza and Mr. Hawkeye stood packing a cooler with some food and drinks. “Grab one of the sandwiches.” Mr. Hawkeye said, motioning to a pile of sandwiches on the counter. Roy obediently went over and grabbed one and began to devour one. “When are we leaving?” He asked.

“As soon as we’re packed,” Mr. Hawkeye replied. “You can start taking some of the stuff out to the car.” Roy shoved the rest of the sandwich into his mouth and picked up one of the giant towels draped over the back of the chair and carried it out to the car. When he got out there, Riza, who was carrying the giant picnic basket, soon followed him.

“Dad’s coming,” She said. “Get in the car.”

Roy complied and got in quickly. Riza came in and sat next to him. After she fastened he seatbelt, she turned and looked him in the eye. “Now Roy, what do we do in the car?”

“Not fidget,” He answered lazily.

“And what do we not ask?”

“If we are there yet because we will get there when we get there.”

“Good boy.” She smiled.

HE rolled his eyes and rested against the window, figuring it would be quicker to doze off in the care than to sit still and stare out the window like Riza did. Soon after he closed his eyes, Mr. Hawkeye opened the door and started the car. “Ok, we’re off.”

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When they got to the lake, it was extremely hard to find a place to park. It seemed everyone in Central had decided today was an opportune day to come to the beach and had all piled into the small parking lot. Roy emerged from the vehicle and squinted in the sun. He had slept the entire way up there, and by doing so had avoided Riza’s wrath.

When they had finally found a spot on the beach, Roy removed his shirt and sighed. It had been so long since he had been to the beach; the last time he had been when he was five years old. HE turned to look around the beach, and smiled at what he saw. There were a bunch of children running around playing in the small bit of surf that the lake provided, and their parents were sitting in the shade of their umbrellas. Here and there, a young couple walked by holding hands, and in other places he saw them just sitting together. But what really caught his eye were the girls on the beach, his age and a little older, all in skimpy bathing suits. He chuckled softly to himself.

“What are you gawking at?” A voice said from behind him as he watched a particularly bosomy girl walk by. “Hehe, bikinis,” He said smiling. As soon as he realized what he said, his eyes widened, and before he could turn around, he felt himself knocked to the sand with an enormous lump on the back of the head. He rolled over and looked at the offender who had knocked him over. Riza stood there, brandishing the umbrella. She herself was in purple two-piece, and when he saw her like that, Roy blushed. He covered his eyes and turned his attention back to the sand. “What?” Riza demanded. “Your gawking at those girls, and when you see me, you act like it’s gross?”

“No! Just, you shouldn’t be dressed like that,” He mumbled, sitting up on his knees but still not looking at her.

“Why not?” She demanded. “Am I not girl enough or something?”

“No,” He said, looking at her, but still not directly at her. “Just, guys will stare…”

“Oh, I see, so they are not allowed to stare at me, but you can go stare at anyone you want. My god, you are so perverted. I thought you hated girls anyways.”

Roy stood up. “I don’t hate girls, not anymore. I’ve known you for three and a half years, I hated girls when I first met you.”

“Ah, I see. You’ve been deprived of girls for so long, that, now that you are a teenager, you have an uncontrollable lust for them. Makes sense.” She turned swiftly and walked down the sand to the waves. Roy stared after her for a minute. How come all he could do was make her angry? Here was the girl who was like a sister to him, and is the one he cares about as if she really were his sister, and all he could do was drive her crazy. He sighed, and proceeded to walk down the beach after her, leaving Mr. Hawkeye to sit under the shade of the umbrella with yet another alchemy book.

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It didn’t take long for him to find some friends. There were a bunch of guys there his age that were messing around with a hackeysack in the surf, and when it flew at him he caught it. “Hey! Give it here!” Called a boy with messy blonde hair. Roy ran over and threw it back at them. “Mind if I play?” He asked.

“Sure,” Another one said. “All the more fun, I guess.”

“So, you here cause it’s hot?”

“Yeah.”

“See anything neat here?”

“Some of those girls,”

“How old are you?”

“Thirteen,”

“Dude, me too! Well, actually, he’s fourteen, but we’re all gonna be freshmen in high school next year.”

“Yeah,” Another one put in. “Where do you go?”

“I have a private teacher,” Roy said slowly.

“That’s gotta suck,” One of them said.

“Naw, it’s not so bad, I get cookies every night.”

“For what?”

“I don’t know, my teacher’s daughter makes them.”

“IS she hot?”

“Um…”

“Dude, how’s he supposed to answer that?” Another one of the guys said, elbowing the first in the ribs. “You can’t have a crush on your teacher’s daughter!”

“He’d probably kick me out,” Roy said. “Besides, she’s more of a sister than anything.”

“Right,” They said disbelievingly.

And so the hours passed, Roy with his new buddies running along the beach, sometimes standing to stop and look at a couple of girls nearby. “Hey,” Said the blonde boy, nudging Roy in the ribs. “What do you think of that one, there?” He said, pointing out a girl who looked to be about thirteen or fourteen with long brown hair who was wearing a green bikini. Roy nodded. “She’s pretty cute, I guess.”

“I dare you to got talk to her.”

“No way, man!”

“Awww come on!”

“You do it!”

“What? I’m not going!”

“You chicken or something?”

“Hell no!”

“Then why not?”

“Why won’t you?”

“Cause, man, I’ve got some dignity!”

“Hey guys, look, over there, at that one,” Another of the boys pointed out. “Check her out! She looks about our age, you might have a chance with her!”

“Who?”

“The blonde, over there, in the purple suit,”

“Her?”

“Yeah, the one in the short hair.”

“Hey yeah, I wonder how old she is, I’m gonna go talk to her,”

Roy opened his mouth to stop him, but then thought better, considering Riza would more than likely blow up at him for being overprotective. So he just stood back with the rest of the boys as the blonde one ran up to talk with her. He bit his lip nervously. He knew the guy probably didn’t mean any harm, but still, he didn’t really like the thought of any guy liking Riza that way.

Riza looked up from the small pool filled with some of the lake’s shells she was sitting at to the blond boy running over to her. She raised her hand to shield her eyes from the sun. “Can I help you?” She asked politely.

“Hey,” The guy said. “I noticed you over here all by yourself, and I thought maybe you’d wanna come-“

“I’m twelve, you know, I have no interest whatsoever in you or a boyfriend for that matter.” She said swiftly.

The guy raised his hand in defense. “Sorry, missy, I didn’t mean anything that way. But you know, you should come hang out with me and my friends anyways.”

“I’ll stay here.”

“Oh come on, why not?”

“I enjoy my solitude.”

“You’re pretty sophisticated for a twelve year old, you know?”

Roy bit further down on his lip as he watched him. He didn’t like that this guy was talking to Riza like this, and he started to step forward to pull on the guy’s arm. “Come on, let’s just leave her ok?”

Riza looked at him. “I’m perfectly capable of handling myself, Roy,” She said, standing up. “I don’t need you to protect me from him. He didn’t do anything wrong.”

Roy stared at her open mouthed.

“I didn’t-”

The blonde guy laughed. “Oh, is this that girl? Don’t worry, I won’t steal her from you or anything,” He said, and turned back to the group, leaving Roy standing there in front of Riza.

“You can go now,” She said, her eyes returning to the pool of shells.

“I-”

“Look, Roy, it’s nice that you are looking out for me and all, but, I really honestly can handle myself, you can go hang out with them or whatever.”

HE shrugged. “I’ve been with them all day, I might as well hang out with you for a while.”

She raised an eyebrow at him. “I mean it Roy, I can handle any guy or anything-”

‘I know it,” he said. “I’ve learned that enough times over the past three years. I want to stay with you.”

“Even tough I’m dressed like this? You sure you won’t freak out or anything like the first time?”

He nodded. “I know that you’re a girl and everything, it doesn’t really bother me,” He said softy.

“Ok, good,” Riza said, standing up and smiling at him. She grabbed his arm and led him to the water. “Let’s go swimming, then.”

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Mr. Hawkeye smiled from where he sat underneath the umbrella. Maybe he would have to call up his father in law and tell him that they may need to call the Mustang’s about a dowry after all….

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OK, so there’s chapter ten! Sorry if it’s a little short, I had to study for my evil AP US history exam tomorrow… grr. So let me know how I did. Did I make Roy to mature for a thirteen year old? I tried to base him and the beach guys off of my friends, so let me know how I did. I also tried to add some fluff in here this time. tongue.gif Thanks so much to Knil, Keoni and Frozen Ice Alchemist for your reviews!
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Yes, Mr. Hawkeye! Instead of a dowry, just get them engaged biggrin.gif

Anyway, this chapter isn't short, it's pretty long! But its just that it's not as long as the ones before I think.
Knil
You did an awesome job with the guys at the beach and it makes sense for Roy to be acting mature at this age make sense seeing as since he is such a tight-ass when he gets older. laugh.gif He already gets defensive when seeing hawkeye with those other guys.
tyguy
ohmy.gif Great writing!!! ohmy.gif

You sure show potential for your age! You really have a way of bringing a realistic feel to these characters. Each and every scene is beautifully painted into my imagination. Keep up the outstanding work!




Oh...and here is a sketch of mine that I just had to create after reading chapter seven. This is how I imagined what the picture of Riza and Roy that was taken after the wedding (against Roy's will) would look like. I hope you enjoy it! (...If you do I might send more...)


[attachmentid=5503]
Nil-chan
He’d really gone stronger over the years. It was probably the thing he noticed most right about now. After nearly five years of studying with Hawkeye sensei, he stood in front of the mirror and studied himself. He smiled at his reflection that looked back at him. His chest had become well sculpted from all the sparring with Armstrong and Riza, and the two of them found they were able to hold their own against the giant Corporal. He had left a while back though, saying he was planning on studying alchemy as Roy did. Now that he was in his twenties, he was responsible for some age long tradition that had been passed down in his noble family and what not, and thus had to go study. He had nearly murdered Roy and Riza when he told them good bye and good luck, but the two had managed to survive. Now he sparred with Riza, though not as often. She had been busy with school quite a bit, and he had been working hard on his alchemy.

Although he had been studying with Mr. Hawkeye for five years, they had covered only the basics. Mr. Hawkeye said Roy had nearly perfected them, and Roy had asked if they would ever begin studying any specialized type. He was always told they would when he was ready, but for now, there was no more he could teach him. He’d been ready for years, he claimed, but Mr. Hawkeye laughed at him, asking what a fifteen-year-old boy would know of being prepared. So he let it die, and went on perfecting alchemy as best he could.

The past year had been bland, nothing enormous had happened that stuck out in his mind, nothing worth remembering. His days consisted of waking up, eating, reading for three hours, and then practicing transmutation with Mr. Hawkeye until Riza came home. Then they would eat, and he would ask to be excused to go work on another paper, and then Riza would bring him cookies. After all of these years, she still did that for him. On occasion, Mr. Hawkeye would send them on an errand into town, but normally, the days were monotonous.

On Saturdays, though, he would spar with Riza. She still always beat him when they sparred, even though he was probably stronger than she and older. She was too quick, and he did admit her strength was admirable. And she was even calmer nowadays, and her stoic attitude puzzled him some. What puzzled him more though was when she smiled. Sometimes Roy would see her come home from school and she would be smiling at nothing whatsoever.

That was about as interesting as life was right now, although he was enjoying it. It was calm and easygoing, and he might have stayed like that forever, but now there was something in the back of his mind that wouldn’t leave him alone. He couldn’t place a hand on it, but it was starting to drive him crazy. He noticed that his reflection was frowning at him, so he sighed and turned away from the mirror. Throwing a shirt on, he headed downstairs to breakfast. It was sort of cloudy today, but that didn’t bother him. It was Saturday, which meant he wouldn’t have to read this morning, and instead would be forced to fight with Riza.

As he entered the kitchen, he saw the object of his thoughts already sitting at the table with a glass of iced tea and a piece of toast. She had grown much taller, although Roy was still about four inches taller than she. He had to admit, she looked much more womanly now, and although her hair was still short and the only time he saw her wear a skirt was when she had to wear her school uniforms. But her body had developed nicely, Roy noticed, and he even began thinking that she might even be cute if she wasn't such a sister to him. The fourteen-year-old girl had one hand on the glass, and the other was thoughtfully holding a piece of notebook paper and humming softly to herself. A small smile was on her face. Roy eyed her nervously. This was not usual. She was always up before him, of course, she had to leave early to get to that school of hers, but she was almost never sitting at the table and humming. Glancing at her every once in a while, Roy made his way around the kitchen, getting some milk for some cereal. He sat down in his space at the table across from her, his bowl making a soft thud as it hit the surface of the table. Riza looked up suddenly, folded the note she was holding and set it in her lap. “Oh, good morning,” She said.

He nodded at her, but then lifted his eyes to see what had become of the note, trying to look in her lap. Riza watched him nervously. “Um, Roy? What are you doing?” She asked him skeptically. He snapped back to reality and looked at her. “Oh, um, nothing… I was just wondering, um…” He stopped in mid sentence. Riza looked at him expectantly. “Yes?” She prompted him.

“Well, um, that is, I noticed that… you were, um, looking at something, and, that is, I just was thinking… that it was a little weird, that is, I mean, to um, see you…humming and, um, reading a note, and um, that is to say, I just… wanted to know what it… was, and um… maybe… why you were, um, I mean, you were looking at it all… weird…and smiling, and I dunno… I thought maybe…”

Riza sighed at his roundabout way of saying things. “Roy, you make no sense.”

“Well, I just, um…”

“Spit it out before I’m tempted to throw this glass at you.”

“I wanted to know what you were reading.”

Riza stared at her lap for a moment before looking up at him. “No,” She said simply, taking a sip of her iced tea. It took a moment for Roy to comprehend what she had just said. “No?” He repeated disbelievingly. “Why not?”

“It’s not something I think you should see.”

“But-”

“No.”

“What if-”

“No.”

“Can’t I just-”

“No.”

“What if I-”

“No.”

“Is it about me?”

“No, Roy, give it up, I’m not gonna tell you.”

“But… but… I showed you that letter from my mom when I first moved in!”

“Actually, I had to attack you to let me read it. And if you even try anything like that, I promise you will not be able to move for the next month.”

“Aww, come on, Riza! Please?”

“Roy, the more you ask me, the less likely I am to show it to you.”

“Is it from a boy?”

Riza’s eyes widened ever so slightly, and a shadow of a blush crept over her cheeks. “Why would you say that?” She asked slowly.

“Oh, god it is isn’t it?”

“Why would that matter to you, Roy?”

“Because! You don’t know guys! They don’t want a relationship, they want you! You’re getting into a sinking ship, Riza! Sure, it will start off innocent, we’ll write you notes, say cute things, yadda yadda, but all we really want is a kiss or something, and it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you bear some resemblance to femininity! Some guys want more! This guy doesn’t like you; he’s not someone you can trust! You should throw that away and then go beat the crap out of him! He’s gonna want you, he’ll keep asking for more and more!” Roy was up and pacing now, Riza looking at him as if her were some specimen from a strange planet. “Trust me, Riza, I know, guys suck! They don’t care about you at all. They only like you cause your pretty, I mean, when I see a really hot girl when we go into town, I don’t think, ‘hmm, I bet she has a great personality’!” Riza’s mouth opened to say something, and then closed it deciding she would beat him for it later. If he said more now, she could go harder on him.

“Guys see girls as property! Property! You should dump him right now, or he’ll take advantage of you! We only want you and your hot body!” He exploded.

At this moment, Riza’s jaw dropped slightly. “Did you just say I have a hot body?” She asked incredulously, a blush forming over her cheeks. Roy’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. His mouth opened to say something, but no sound came out. He shut it, opened his mouth to try again. This happened several times before he found his voice. “No! No, I was referring to girls as a whole… I mean, I um…” Riza folded her arms and glared at him. “What I mean is, I don’t think of you that way at all…”

“Then why did I just get a lecture on from you about why guy’s are so dangerous?”

“Because… you’re like a sister to me… I think…”

“Ok, then, let me ask you this. According to what you just told me, it’s ok for you to go lusting after girls and wanting out ‘hot bodies’, but no one is allowed to like me and I’m not allowed to like them. Am I right?”

“…Yes… I mean... no… I mean… did I say that?”

“Not in so many words.”

“Ah, well, ok, I think I’ll skip sparring for today, and maybe I’ll just-”

“Oh no you will not,” Riza said cracking her knuckles threateningly. “We aren’t breaking schedule today. I’ll be outside waiting for you.”

Roy gulped.

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

Half an hour later, Roy limped into the house sporting a black eye, a twisted ankle, and a very sore back. He was mentally beating himself for trying to ever step into Riza’s personal life. Riza walked in behind him looking rather pleased with herself. She walked past him to the sink to fill a glass with some water. She then turned to Roy who was sitting on a chair massaging his sore leg. “So, tell me, Roy, what did we learn today?”

Never, ever, ever try to lecture you on guys. In fact, never lecture you period. Never say you have a hot body, never say you don’t have a hot body. Don’t tell you what goes on inside my head. Don’t tell you what I think of girls.

“Umm… Leave you and your personal life alone?” He asked carefully. Riza nodded. “Good boy,” She said, emptying her glass and setting it in the sink. Roy sighed in relief that he had survived this beating. At that moment, there was a knock on the door. “I’ll get it,” Riza said, and headed to the front of the house. When she opened the door, she smiled. “Ji-chan!” She said excitedly. “I haven’t seen you in a while, come in, come in!”

Lieutenant General Grumman smiled at his granddaughter and entered into the house and sat down on the sofa in the living room. “How are you, Riza-chan? He asked, looking at the array of books spread out before him. “I’m fine,” She said, sitting down in the chair across from him. “Did you come to see dad?”

“As a matter of fact, I did. Is he here?”

“No, he ran into town a few hours ago, he should be back soon,” She said. “You can stay, though, I’ll go make some tea.” She stood up and went into the kitchen to find Roy who was still nursing his sore leg. She walked past him and started to put some water into a pot to set on the stove. “Ji-chan is here,” She said over his shoulder. Roy grunted. Riza continued. “Go out and sit with him while I make lunch, keep him company or something.” Roy wearily stood up and obeyed. Now probably wasn't the best time to get on her nerves.

When he entered the room, he saw the old man setting up a chessboard on the coffee table. He looked up as Roy came and sat down across from him, and smiled. “Ah, hello there young man. Can I interest you in a game?”

Roy nodded and sat down and began to arrange his pieces. The old man spoke. "I haven’t seen you in a while, now, Roy,” He began. “How old are you now?”

“Fifteen, sir.”

“Fifteen, my goodness!” The man exclaimed. “Almost a man, now, aren’t you? I remember when you first came here; ten years old and quite a brat of one too.” He chuckled. Roy blushed slightly. “Oh, I don’t mean a word of it,” The Lieutenant General said. “Old men like me, we make jokes that young people may never understand.” He moved his pawn. “So, tell me,” He continued. “How are your studies coming along?”

“Well, I’ve covered all of the basics, now. I think I might be doing relatively well.” Roy moved his knight onto the field.

“Ah, but of course. My son in law tells me you have great potential. Says you’re a natural. Brilliant.” He deftly captured one of Roy’s pawns with his bishop. Roy smiled and blushed slightly. “Did he say if we would be moving on to any specialized types of alchemy, soon?” He positioned his rook to take the bishop.

“Ah, no, he did not. But I am curious, why do you learn alchemy?” He moved the bishop to evade attack, and at the same time cornered another of Roy’s pawns.

Roy thought for a moment. “Well, I guess it’s because it’s something I enjoy. It’s something that can be put to good use in the world, and it’s something that I could use to help people.” He moved his piece out of the way.

“And what sort of job do you plan on taking once you are out of this place?” The old man said. He moved his queen forward one space.

“I… hadn’t really thought about that yet. I was going to travel for a while, I think, and then find something I really want to do.” He moved his rook to capture the Lieutenant General’s pawn.

Grumman stared at the chessboard for a minute. “Ah, of course. Young people always want to travel. Where do you plan on going?” He captured Roy’s rook with his queen.

“Hmm...” Roy said, squinting at the chessboard. “I really have always wanted to see Xing, or the ruins of Xerxes.” He pulled his knight back to a safe place.

“East, then, eh? You should be careful. There’s rumors of discontent among the Ishbalans, some of our troops have already been sent there.” He placed a pawn deeper within the field. “Have you ever considering joining the military? You receive a good education, and you get to travel all over. We have need of skills in alchemy like yours.”

“A state alchemist?” Roy queried, looking over the board. “Sensei would never teach me if I were to do something like that. Besides, I couldn’t pass the test with just the basics of alchemy.” Roy moved his queen up and took a pawn.

“But that is your decision, isn’t it? Your life is your own, you control your own future.” He moved a pawn to capture one of Roy’s.

“I guess,” Roy said. “But before I make any decisions, I’d like to travel and see the world some.” He retreated his rook from the wrath of the Lieutenant General’s queen.

“Of course, of course. When do you plan on leaving?” He took the rook Roy had moved with a pawn.

Roy sighed. “Well… I wanted to leave when training was over, but it seems like Hawkeye sensei has taught me all that he can. He said so yesterday.” Roy took the pawn that had snatched away his rook with one of his pawns.

“Well, fifteen was when I left home. I traveled around for a while too, until I met my wife. And then I joined the military. I don’t regret anything that I’ve done from there.” He closed his queen in on Roy’s bishop.

“Maybe I’ll leave now then. Tomorrow. Yeah… I think I’ll do that.” He saw an opening. Moving his knight, he placed it before the king. “Check,” He said.

“Well, I wish you the best of luck Roy.” He moved his queen back and took the offending night. He smiled. “Checkmate.”

Roy looked at the board incredulously. Then he smiled. “Good game, sir,” He held out his hand. The Lieutenant General shook it. “You too, son.”

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The rest of the day was spent in his room. He had the door shut, so Riza assumed that he was studying. She let him alone, and retired to her own room to read a novel she had been given a while ago by Roy on her birthday.

As the day grew later, however, she heard him moving things around, things were rustling, and she was about to go storm over there to keep him quiet, but then decided better. She’d tortured them enough today.

At dinner, Roy hardly spoke. He rushed back up to his room as soon as he had finished. Riza watched him go suspiciously. He was acting strangely.

The next morning, Riza heard voices from downstairs. “… you are sure?” Her father’s voice.

“Yeah, I know it is sudden sensei, but it is something I have to do, I guess.” Roy.

“I understand. I was young and ambitious, but I expect you to come back.”

“I know sensei, I will. I have to finish training.”

There was silence for a while, and Riza thought she had dreamed the whole thin, but then her father spoke again. “I’ve given you five thousand cens,” he said. “That should be enough to get you started.”

“Thankyou, sensei.”

“Riza will be mad at you.”

There was silence again.

“I know,” Roy’s voice said, “But I don’t really want to wake her up.”

“It’s fine, I’ll tell her.”

“Thankyou.”

“Goodbye, Roy.”

“Goodbye, sensei.”

Riza sat up suddenly, her mind realizing what was happening. He was leaving.

She jumped out of bed and threw on a shirt that had been left on the floor the night before. That jerk was leaving and he wasn’t even going to say goodbye! She hadn’t been that hard on him, had she? She threw on some pants and flew down the stairs to the kitchen. Her father was sitting at the table with coffee and the newspaper. He looked up at her. “Riza-” He began, but she rushed past him, grabbing a cookie out of the jar and shoving it into her pocket. “Riza, wait!” but she didn’t hear him. She was already out the front door and sprinting down the road.

He hadn’t gotten far. He had a large pack on his back, and he didn’t hear her footsteps behind him. Riza felt anger building in her. She pulled the slingshot out of her pocket and picked a pebble up off of the ground.

Roy felt something slam into the back of his head, and he stumbled forward. He dropped his pack, and reached up and rubbed the back of his head. “Ow…” He murmured. He turned his head and saw Riza running after him. He stood up slowly and turned to see Riza running after him. “Riza…” He said.

She caught up to him, her breathing slightly heavy. “You jerk.” He looked at her softly. “I’m sorry,” He said. “I didn’t want to wake you up, and I thought…”

“You jerk,” She repeated. She dug into her pocket and pulled out the cookie. “For the road, ok?” She handed it to him.

“Thanks,” He said dumbly, accepting the cookie like it was time bomb. “You aren’t gonna kill me or anything?”

She shook her head. “No, you still have your black eye, it wouldn’t be fair.”

He smiled. “Thanks.”

“You’re coming back, right?”

“Of course.”

“Ok, see you then.”

He smiled. “See ya.”

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There you go, a longer chapter to make up for the short one. Sorry for the giant time lapse since last chapter, but I felt that this was the best way to continue things. And it is not over! Not yet! There are at least five more chapters coming!

Thanks to everyone who reviewed last time!
Knil
How cute she ran out there to give him a goodbye cookie!! Before she smacked him with that rock so awesome!! Another five more chapters? WHOO!! Alright!! I dont care if the chapters are short or long as long as you continue with good chapters like this one. Another awesome chapter and several more to go!! cool.gif
Nil-chan
It had been a week since he had left. The house had fallen uncharacteristically quiet. It had taken a while to completely register in Riza’s mind that Roy wasn’t going to be home when she got there. The first day she had arrived home from school she had nearly called out to him that she was home, and had to stop herself. Even though there was no one there to hear her call out, she still felt like a fool.

The days were relatively boring now, Riza had no one to spar with, and her dad was always too busy with alchemic research to give her any time. Her friends at school were great, but she still felt rather alone now that someone who had lived with her for five years was gone.

She was walking home today, the sky was dark and the breeze was stronger. The air smelled like rain and the clouds above were full of tension. She walked slowly, letting the humid air calm her, just a little bit at a time.

“Chichi-ue, I’m home!” She called as she walked into the door. She set her backpack down and ran her fingers through her hair slowly. There was no answer from her father, so she walked into his study to check and see if he was in his study, absorbed once again in his notes. She peeked her head around the door, and saw her father hunched over a piece of paper. She decided not to disturb him and turned to leave, but he called her name. “Riza,” He turned toward her. “I need to talk to you.”

She turned silently and reentered the room. “What is it?” She asked slowly. It wasn’t normal that he asked to talk to her, and when he did it was normally serious. The last time she remembered him asking her to speak with him was the day before Roy had moved in. She came and stood next to him. “Is something going on?”

“Well, there is, in a way. Come here.”

He extended his arms to her and offered his lap to ask her to come and sit with him. Now, this was strange. He was being unusually fatherly, and this would normally mean something bad had happened. She didn’t crawl into his arms though, as he had expected her to. “Chichi-ue, you don’t have to do that. I’m fourteen,” She said.

He sighed. “Of course. I still see you as my little girl though... I have been so busy lately, Riza, please forgive me.”

She nodded and moved a bit closer to him. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

He took a deep breath. “Riza, do you remember when I was sick, all those years ago? You were three years old, and your mother… she was worried so much, and you... you must have been to young to understand then-”

“I remember,” Riza said slowly. “If only a little. You were coughing a lot, and mom kept telling me that it would be ok. I think she was more telling herself, though.”

Mr. Hawkeye nodded. “I know. She was always lecturing me then… But, anyways, Riza, I went to the doctor again today.”

A small fear slowly began to grow inside her chest. Why was he telling her this? He went to the doctor often enough, he was very healthy, it seemed, what was he trying to say? “Chichi-ue, I don’t understand.”

“Riza,” He said, setting an arm around her shoulder. “Do you… do you remember me from before your mother died?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

“Do you remember what I looked like?”

“Pretty much like you do now, I think, but why does this matter?”

“Well, when I was younger, I was handsome, believe it or not,” he said smiling. “I used to chase girls around, and I had a few running after me as well. But, when your mother died… I… The doctor says I let myself go. He kept telling me I needed to try my best for you, Riza, but god, Riza, it’s been so hard lately. You look so much like your mother… I…”

Riza swallowed, still not comprehending where in the world this was going. “The doctor says that once people have the disease I had when you were young, they become prone to getting it again.” He took a breath. “When I saw him again today, he said I had become worse. He thinks that I’ve contracted it again.”

“But it’ll be okay, right? You’re gonna be okay?”

He shook his head. “Riza, my girl, listen to me. The doctor says the strain of the virus I’ve contracted is not treatable. Most people who get it normally only live a year or so.”

Riza bit her lip, fear in her chest becoming stronger and more violent. “But... you can fix it with alchemy, right? You know everything there is to know, it’s all gonna work out, right?”

“I need you to listen to me. I’m trying my best for you right now. But I need to ask you something. You know all of my research, right? You have it memorized, right?”

“Chichi-ue… I know it, I know the basis and everything, and you taught me-”

“This alchemy is my life’s work, Riza, you understand this?” His hands were on her shoulders now, and he was squeezing her. “I need it to live on, but I cannot right it down. I can’t risk it ever being discovered by anyone else.”

“I don’t understand,” She said, her voice quivering. He was scarring her. “Chichi-ue, please, what-”

“I’m not sure I’ll be able to pass this down to another alchemist, I’m not sure I’ll be here long enough-”

“Roy,” She said. “You should be telling this to Roy, not me,” She said.

“He’s still a foolish boy, I can’t give him this to him until he’s ready, but I don’t know if I’ll be here to do that.”

She nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes. “I think I understand, Chichi-ue, but, I don’t know everything you have.”

“You do, Riza, I know it. You’ve read all the manuscripts, right? You know how it all works. Do you know the circle?”

She shook her head. “You never showed that to me,”

“I wasn’t sure you would know.” He leaned away from her and shuffled through the papers on his desk, pulling out an extremely old piece of parchment. On it was an exquisite circle. It was so much more complex than the ones that she was used to. There was more to it than just the circle, there was also writing that went around it and things out side of it. “You see it?” Her father asked. She nodded. “Good.” And he tore it into small pieces and threw it into the fireplace. “Chichi-ue!” Riza exclaimed. “I don’t remember it, draw it again o I can study-”

“It cannot stay in writing for you to study, my dear,” He said softy. “There is no way for you to learn or memorize it.”

“But then, how will I-”

“I know it. For now know it. I could draw it at anytime, if the need should arise.”

“But that still doesn’t explain how I’m supposed to learn this so I can continue what you started.”

“I know, Riza, I know. We’ll figure it out. I just needed you to know that much for now. We’ll think of something.”

Riza sighed. “I can’t think of anyway I could give anyone the knowledge is I don’t know it and it’s not written anywhere. But I can’t just let it go either, Chichi-ue, please, write it down, just give me a week, if I’m supposed to do this for you-”

“No!” He said with such force she was thrown back. “It can’t be left on paper.”

“Then…”

“Don’t worry about it for now.”

“No, chichi-ue, this is your life’s work, I don’t want-”

“It’ll be ok, don’t worry so much for now, I told you, we have time-”

“You don’t know that!” She nearly exploded, tears threatening to crack the mask she wore. “We don’t know how long…” She trailed off, unable to bring herself to say the words she needed.

“Shh, shh,” he said soothingly. “It’ll be alright. I promise.” He held out his arms again, and this time she accepted it, letting him enfold her into an embrace. “It will be ok, I promise.”

She was silent for a moment, just enjoying this closeness she rarely received from her father. He had been so cold and distant to her, but she loved him. She was his daughter after all. She would help him to carry on his legacy. “Use me,” She murmured into his shoulder.

HE pushed her away. “What?”

“Draw the array on me.”

“Riza, no, I couldn’t do that to you, there would be people who would try to-”

“And how would they know that it was on me? I’m not going to go around showing it to people, I’m not so careless.”

“Where, though, there isn’t somewhere it could go without being seen, I-”

“Put it on my back. No one will see it, chichi-ue, and I would never show it to them.”

“What if something happened, though? What if someone tried to take advantage of you?”

“I can look after my self, I promise. Please, chichi-ue, it’s the only way, right? You can’t explain it, right?”

“No, you’d have to see it…”

“Then this is the only way without putting it onto paper, right?”

He nodded solemnly. “You’re right,” He said softly. “I don’t want you to have to do this for me, Riza.”

“But I want to, chichi-ue. I’m our only child right? It’s what I’m supposed to do. Don’t worry.”

“Alright. Alright,” He said shakily. “We’ll do it tomorrow night, ok? I’ll have to figure to exactly how to do it right… I can’t hurt you…”

“I’ll be fine. I promise.”

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

“Are you ready?” He asked softly.

She nodded. To be honest, she wasn’t to keen on having him perform alchemy on her back to infuse the paint with her skin, but she knew she would do it. It was her father, after all, and she loved him. She had to continue what he had begun.

“Ok, I’m going to do it now. It won’t hurt, I promise.”

She nodded again, and she felt him press his cold fingers against the bare skin on her back.

It was possibly the most eerie sensation in the world.

She could feel the light of the transmutation circle. It ran down her spine like mercury, a thin line of fire that did not burn. It then spread over the whole of her back, and she felt the paint meshing with the cells of her skin. It was cold, as if someone was pouring ice water through her veins. She shuddered slightly, but it wasn’t visible. It was over sooner than it had started. She felt completely normal, nothing felt out of place.

Her father stepped back from her and looked at it. “It’s perfect,” He said, and she could hear him smiling. She reached a hand back and gingerly rubbed the skin. It was smooth, and there was no pain or anything.

She pulled her shirt the rest of the way on and turned back to face her father. He beamed at her and held open his arms again. She hugged him. “Thank you,”’ he whispered in her ears.

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

“You fool,” He said, his voice seeping with venom. “Why would you do such a thing?”

He was yelling at her. She held her ground and stood still. “I had to.” She replied in a monotone. “Why would you be so foolish, Riza? Why would you go against everything I taught you, why would you throw away your heritage?”

“I’m continuing my heritage.”

“Don’t give me that bullshit, Riza. You know damn well I would never let you do this!”

“Mom would have. Ji-chan wanted me too as well.”

“Your mother is dead!” He howled. “And your father is the one who should be able to decide what you do with your life.”

“It’s my own life,” She retorted, her voice rising slightly.

“Not anymore it isn’t, you’ve thrown it away! You are a foolish little girl, you don’t know anything! You know what happened to your mother!”

“It’s because of her,” She said.

“After all I’ve done for, entrusted you with everything that I am-”

“I’m not throwing you away, chichi-ue!”

“You cast off my name the moment you signed that paper, you didn’t even ask!”

“You wouldn’t have let me. Ji-chan signed instead.”

“He is senile! You can’t expect-”

“Don’t you insult him! He’s the one who practically raise me after mom died; you were locked in your room with your books! You don’t know who I am, you don’t know anything! All you cared about were your books. If you knew how I felt, what I’ve been through, if you listened to Ji-chan, you’d know why I have to do this!”

“Riza…”

“Don’t! Don’t try to come onto me all fatherly now! I know who you are, you’re selfish! You tell me your dying, and before you even comfort me, you insist I carry on your alchemy! I don’t regret what I did because you’re my father and I love you, but you don’t even understand who I am or what I need!”

She turned on her heel and left the room. Mr. Hawkeye fell backwards and sat in his chair. He rubbed his head and sighed. He looked again at the paper he held in his hands.

Amestris Military Academy

Dear Sir or Madam,
We are pleased to inform you that enrollment has been confirmed for your child,
Riza Hawkeye.


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A/N- Ok…There we go. I think this was the hardest chapter to write…. Sorry for the lack of Roy, he’ll be in the next chapter. So, yeah, that’s my theory. Hope it’s not too out there,

Thankyou reviewers for the last chapter! I love you all! You each get a cherry tart this time!
Knil
blink.gif Whoa this is like reading it from Arkawa herself the writing is hardly liable for a difference!!! It's amazing to read I can picture it all in my head clear as day now that we have Riza with the military it should get more interesting more so then before it was OK that there wasnt much of Roy in it Good chapter Nil-chan. biggrin.gif cool.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
Awwwww, Roy left! But anyway, it's still good chapter even eith the lack of Roy. Keep it up!
MeLRizA
great chappie... i wonder what will happen next... laugh.gif
Keoni
Whoa, that was quite the chapter!

I like your theory on the tattoo. Don't worry, it's not too far out. It is logical, who else then her father would have put it there?

The other chapters where bright and happy, this one was a bit darker, with a hint of supsense. Very well done!

As for the scene's, you really write them well. Like Knil said, when I'm reading, the images of your story start to form in my mind. That is the sign of a great story! happy.gif

Well, keep it up! Can't wait for the next one! happy.gif
Now hurry up and write the next one with more Roy! Yihaa!laugh.gif
Nil-chan
The train car was nearly empty. At first there had been a multitude of people and Roy had been crammed into a back corner and squashed into a wide variety of uncomfortable positions. But most everyone had gotten off by now. At the moment, there were only two people left on the car. There was an old woman who was snoring softly as well as a boy about his age. Normally, Roy might have gone over and tried to strike up a conversation, but he was still a little confused and dazed. He had never really traveled on his own, and was sort of unsure how to act. Normally he had Riza to annoy, and before that his sisters and parents. But now he was alone. Part of it was a relief, and part of it was sort of depressing.

He didn’t regret his choice now. He was going east now. He couldn’t afford to go as far as Xing or even Xerxes, but he missed the east where he was born, and decided to go sightseeing around the town and once again become familiar with the surroundings. Perhaps he would find an odd job and a small in to stay at since has family had moved west since he had gone to study alchemy.

Meanwhile, he was still on the train, comfortable, but still bored stiff. He noticed the boy a few seats up looking at him strangely, an amused look in his eyes that were hidden by square framed glasses. Roy looked back at him and raise on eyebrow. “What?” He asked, just a little nervously. It was strange having someone look at him like that.

“Are you Xingese?” The boy asked, his eyes remaining fixed onto Roy’s.

“What?”

“Are you Xingese? You have slanty eyes. And really dark hair. You look like the Xingese people in my books.”

“…I don’t know. Maybe. My family is from the east… so… I don’t know.”

“Oh you wanna see pictures of my family?”

“No, really, I don’t-”

But before he could resist at all, he had multiple pictures of a man, a woman, and the boy shoved under his nose. “That’s my mom. And that’s my dad. And that’s me!” The Roy said, pointing to each of the people in turn.

“Oh really, I would never have guessed.” Roy sighed angrily, leaning back into his seat. “And that’s why I was pointing it out,” The boy replied, obviously not catching the sarcasm or implications of Roy’s gestures and tone. “I have more, wanna look?”

“N-no thanks.”

“Are you sure? I’ve got so many-”

“No.”

“Oh, ok.”

Roy closed his eyes and tried to shut the boy out. Maybe he would go away now. “Hey, hey!” Or not.

“What’s your name?”

Now he knew how Riza felt. When he saw her again, he’d have to tell him he’d found someone more annoying than himself.

“Well?”

“Well what?” Roy snapped.

“What is your name?”

“Roy.”

“Really? That’s not very Xingese-ish. I thought it would be something like Rei Fan, or Ling, or San Ho, or Ming Ran, or Yang, or Chi Han, or-”

“Ok, ok, I get it”

“Oh. Well, where are you going?”

“East.”

“To Xing?”

“No, I don’t have enough money.”

“But if you’re from there-”

“I don’t know if I am or not!”

“But, you said your family was from the east-”

“As in East City!”

“Oh…”

Silence again. Maybe now he would leave.

“I’m Maes, by the way.”

Or not. Again.

He opened his eyes and squinted at the boy. He was maybe a few inches taller than him, it seemed. His head and jaw were squarish. Over all, he was relatively funny looking, and plenty annoying.

The train gave a small lurch and began to slow to a halt. “Oh, this is my stop.” Roy said, starting to stand up. Maes stood up as well. “Really? Mine too!” And so Roy was followed off the train by an annoying picture wielding maniac.

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“So, are you staying anywhere?”

“I dunno yet.”

“You should come stay with my family. Mom would be glad to have you.”

“No, really it’s ok, I was gonna stay at an inn-”

“No, come on! My mom’s a really good cook! She can make all sorts of stuff.” Maes said excitedly. Of course, at that exact second, Roy’s stomach grumbled. Maes smiled. “Come on, I’ll take you to my place.”

“Um, are you sure your mom wouldn’t mind? I mean, I just met you, and all, so-”

Maes waved his hand. “Naw, she’s pretty cool for a mom. I mean she let me enroll in the military academy. I’m on leave right now.”

“You’re in the military academy? How old are you?”

“I’m fifteen.”

“Whoa,” Roy said. Maes raised an eyebrow. “I mean… I sort of thought you were younger than that, cause, um…”

“I’m immature?” Maes said. Then he smiled. “I know. I’ve heard it enough from my parents. And to be honest, I don’t really care.”

Roy almost smiled. “SO, um, why did you sign up for the military, anyways?”

“Um… I think cause I wanted to travel, and be a part of the government. That’s pretty cool. I’ve always been into stuff like investigations and stuff. So, yeah, I guess.”

“That’s a creative way to end a sentence.”

Maes glared. “Shut up. I’ll say what I want.”

This time Roy did smile. This kid was weird, to be sure, but more than defiantly interesting.

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In truth, this school wasn’t too much different from her old one. The courses were maybe a bit more rigorous, not to mention P.E. had developed into all out training. Since it was only her first year there, they did not have marksmanship yet, rather, they would have that class when they turned 16. Still two more years. She didn’t mind though, she actually didn’t want to have to pick a gun until no other choice presented itself.

The classes were large, but very rigorous. She found that studying became a much more nightly task, even though the curriculum was similar to her old school. People were mostly nice, though. There was a girl who shared four of her classes, Melanie, who she had become relatively good friends with. She contrasted Riza in several perspectives in looks and personality; for example, her hair was long and very dark, and she was much more open and talkative than Riza herself, but Riza got along quite well with her.

Other than that, Riza hadn’t made much of an effort to get to know very many people. Rather, she buried herself in her studies and her training. She hardly talked to her father anymore. All that remained was a simple nod or hello, but he had all but disowned her for joining the military. Some of this hurt her, but she knew what she was doing was what she wanted to do, and so, rather than spending time with her father, she would often talk to her grandfather.

This morning, she was tired from studying for an exam the night before, so as she headed through the crowded halls, she didn’t really notice where she was going, and as a result, ran straight into someone, knocking them on the floor, and dropping her books her self. She mumbled an apology, and bent to gather her books, not even really looking at the person’s face.

“Well, if this isn’t a familiar sight,” A voice said. Riza stood up off of the ground and looked at the person she ran into. Although he was older, she recognized the bright blue eyes ad blonde hair.

“Well, missy, I believe this is the second time you’ve knocked me over.”

“For all intents and purposes, I believe the last time I was merely an observer.”

“Ah, of course. Your bodyguard was the one who did it last time. By the way, I’m not sure I remember your name.”

“Riza Hawkeye,” She told him again. “And you are Havoc-kun, correct?”

He smiled. “To be sure. So, Hawkeye-san, what is your next class?”

“Math.”

“Ah, then let me escort you,” He said, bowing, a smirk evident on his face.

“I appreciate it, Havoc-kun, but I can handle myself.” She said, somewhat sarcastically.”

“Naw, I’m heading there anyways too. Guess I never noticed you had the same classes I did.” And so they walked.

“Say, Hawkeye-san, why’d a pretty little girl like you join the military academy?”

“It runs in my family,” She replied coolly. “And just so you know, flattery will get you nowhere.”

He held his hands up defensively. “Hey, can’t blame a guy for trying, can you?”

“Perhaps, it depends on what his endeavor is.”

“Damn, you sound sophisticated.”

“Adding profanity to your vocabulary, while colorful, does not make it any more appealing.”

“Fine, fine! You’re a tough nut to crack, you know that?”

“Thank you, I know. So, I have told you why I joined, why don’t you tell me your reason?”

He shrugged. “I grew up in the country. I lived on a farm with my parents for a while, and I decided I was sick of it and came to the city.”

The two had reached the class, and Riza walked in and sat next to Melanie. Jean took a seat across the room next to a larger guy with red hair, but tried to catch her attention and winked at her. Riza rolled her eyes. “Guys and their hormones,” She muttered to herself.

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Roy sat at the dinner table with an enormous plate of delicious looking food in front of him. Maes had brought him to his house, and it seemed his mother was just as willing to befriend Roy as her son had been. She had immediately invited him into her house, and insisted on serving him dinner.

“So, Roy-kun,” She said, looking at him form across the table. “What brings you here to East city? Are you on a vacation?”

He nodded after taking a huge bite of food. “I guess I’m sort of taking a break from studying with my teacher,” He said, shoveling more into to his mouth.

“Oh, do you have a private teacher, or something?” Roy nodded. “Is he a specialty sort of teacher?” Roy swallowed and nodded again. “Yeah, I’ve been living with him and his daughter for five years, studying. I just wanted to get out I the world a bit before I decided what to do with my life.”

“That makes sense. Well, you are most defiantly welcome to stay here for as long as you like.”

“Thank you.”

“Actually, if you are looking to earn money to travel some more, I know a small shop in need of some help.”

“Thanks again.”

She smiled at him with that ‘mother knows all’ sort of smile. “Any time.”

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“So, what did you study?”

“Huh?”

Roy was climbing the stairs in the Hughes’ house to the guest room, or rather, his room for the time being. He looked now at Maes who had posed the question. “What sort of stuff did you study with you teacher?” The square-headed boy repeated.

“Um, well, we did a little bit of math and other stuff, like regular school, and I did training a lot, like physical training-”

“I thought you said he was a specialty teacher.”

“Well, yeah, I mean, I learned most everything I know from him.”

“Most everything of what?”

“Oh, alchemy.”

Maes nearly dropped the suitcase he was helping Roy carry. “You’re an alchemist?”

“Um, yeah, sort of. I only know the basics and stuff, but-”

“You gotta show me!”

Roy huffed a bit as they reached the top of the stairs. “Umm, ok. Sure, but, really, I’m not that good.”

“At least you can do it!”

“Yeah...”

“Then come on, I’ve got a ton of stuff for you to fix!”

“Fix?”

“Yeah, isn’t that what you guys do?”

“Well we can-”

“Great, I’ll get all the stuff!”

Roy sighed. This was going to be a long night…

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A/N: Ok, so I was defiantly watching lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, EXTENEDED EDITION! while I wrote this. It would have been funny to watch me. I always squealed and almost drooled whenever I saw my favorite sexy Elf. –drools- Elrond…. Lol, j/k, Legolas is the one and only Elf hotness in the movie. (The book though, Glorfindel is pretty darn smexy sounding) Ok, there’s my LOTR rant.
Thankyou all for reviewing. Hope you like this chapter! feed back is arreciated.
Knil
Hey I know what you mean legolas is like the spitting image of Link-san. wub.gif *Fangirl sigh* AHEM anyway Maes and his pictures even as a child he still has bathtubs to drown his unfortune victims with those things. Another awesome chapter nil-chan awesome work. cool.gif
Frozen Ice Alchemist
-claps- FANTASTIC CHAPTER~ Keep up the good work! biggrin.gif
MeLRizA
~*\(^o^)/*~ still as great Nil-chan happy.gif i cant wait for the next one... laugh.gif
tyguy
Once again, great work!!!

Nice use of the "tie-in" with Hughes and again with Havoc. Looking forward to the next chap.

Here's another sketch of mine of what I thought one of those routine nights might have looked like.

[attachmentid=5570]
Nil-chan
The days passed quickly now. He had been away for a few weeks, and all the while he had been staying at Maes house. It was sort of strange, being able to spend all of his time with a guy his age, and truth be told, it was a nice break. He had enjoyed living with Riza and her father, but he still loved getting time with some other guys.

So far, he had been all over the time. He had obtained a few odd jobs, mostly helping to repair things. Once he had fixed the thousands of old broken cameras Maes kept in his room, the over eccentric boy had run around town giving the news to all the old acquaintances of the genius alchemist prodigy who could fix anything.

The jobs paid pretty decently, and Roy had saved up a decent sum, and so he began to pay Mrs. Hughes for letting him stay at the house. At first she was unsure of whether or not she would let him, but when he insisted, she finally let him. It was strange how fast he had become friends with Maes. Although he was an annoying, camera wielding maniac, there was something about him that sort of passed normal judgement. He turned out to be an extremely loyal friend, in all reality. He worked hard at things, and it was something he couldn’t really have found in many other people.

He still studied alchemy there. At nights he would stay up and reread some of the older books that he had received to brush up on some of his skills. He didn’t write papers, though. It was one of the few things he absolutely did not miss.

This particular morning, he lay in bed contemplating the possibilities of what was going to be done today. It was still early, and the sunlight that filtered through the curtains promised a nicer day out than the rain that there had been yesterday. If he had still been living with Mr. Hawkeye and Riza, he might have gone out and sparred that day. As it was, there was no one really to spar with. Well, Maes, maybe. He would have to remind himself to ask.

He stood up from the bed and walked over to the small dresser that he had alchemized out of some driftwood. He pulled out an old shirt and threw it on. Waling out into the hallway, he knocked on Maes’ door. “Oi, Maes,” He called. “Are you up yet?”

“Yeah,” Came the sleepy reply. “I’m coming, I’m coming.”

The door opened to reveal the other teen standing there in just some jeans, rubbing his glasses. “What?” He asked groggily. “You’re up early, did someone die or something?”

“No,” Roy said, leaning against the doorway. “Nothing happened, I just was wondering if you wanted to spar or something, today.” The other boy put on his glasses and looked at him. “Are you trying out for something, or what : I mean, I kno I would want to spar, I’m at the Academy, but-”

Roy blinked once and rolled his eyes. “It’s something I always used to do at my sensei’s house. And, it’s nice out, so why not?”

Maes ran a hand through his hair. “Agh, fine. Just let me take a shower, ok?”

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The weeks passed very quickly for her. Days at school blurred into fuzzy memories. Her most recent memories was of one day in her PE class. She and Melanie had come from the locker rooms and were waiting for the teacher to give them the assignment. They sat together on the end of the room, discussing classes and classmates. They were slowly being paired off into groups of three, she noticed, so the tow girls had stopped talking and moved to the front.

“Hey, missy,” A familiar voice said. Riza turned to look over her shoulder at the blonde-haired blue-eyed boy who stood behind her. “Hello, Havoc-kun,” She said politely, not really paying him all that much heed. She turned back to her friend and awaited the assignment.

“Missy,” The voice repeated. “It think we’re in the same group. You, me, and Breda here.” He said, indicating a rather large red haired boy behind his shoulder. “When did you find this out?” She asked, turning to face him.

“I talked to sensei before class. Hope you don’t have anything against it, missy.”

“No, not at all.”

Havoc flashed her a toothy grin. “Good. Lets go get or assignment. I heard it was some wilderness survival thing. Hope your not scarred of bugs, missy.”

“If I were afraid of bugs, then I do not believe I would have signed up for something as serious as the military.” Melanie tapped her on the hsoulder. “Riza-chan, I got assigned to another group, so I’m going to go with them, so I’ll see you around, ok?”

Riza nodded t her friend, and turned to Havoc and BReda who stood behind her. “Alright, so today is a planning day, so I expect you two to cooperate. ‘Breda-kun, please get some paper for me, Havoc-kun, get pencils.”

Havoc chuckled. “Quite used to giving orders now, are we?” Breda smiled along with his friend. “Yeah, why don’t you go get the stuff?”

“Because, I will be the one doing the writing. Now if you do not mind, I would appreciate if you would go and follow orders.”

Havoc put up his hands defensively. “Yes, ma’am,” He chuckled. “We’ll go.”

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“Damn, Roy,” Maes said rubbing his sore neck. “Where did you learn that sort of stuff?”

Roy smiled at his friend. For once he had emerged the winner of a fight, and he was feeling elated and proud of himself. “Well, I guess you could say I’ve learned from a variety of places. My old instructor used some pretty… unique moves, but most of those I actually picked up from my instructor’s daughter.”

“A girl?” Maes laughed. “To think you would be beaten by a girl…”

Roy regarded his friend strangely. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked defensively.

“Well, see, most of the girls around here hav been talking about nothing but you.” Maes said, sighing. “Ots rather annoying lately. Do you have any idea how many people hae come up asking me who the handsome alchemist was who was staying with me.” He shook his head. “I can’t understand it, though.”

Roy smiled. “They think I’m handsome?” He laughed. “Well… maybe I’ll have to pay them a visit…”

Maes laughed at his friend. “Oh, no, dear god, not a sixteen year old playboy. It’s the last thing we’ll ever need.”

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“Have you finished yet?”

Riza said, standing over the two other boys out in the middle of the forest. They were busy trying to build up a fire out of some dead brush, but so far, all they had managed to do was make a tiny bit of smoke. Riza, however, being both supervisor and constructor of their lodgings, was beginning to lose her patience.

“You realize that you are doing it wrong.”

“Well, then by all means do it for us, missy.” Havoc said, looking up at her.

She sighed, bent down and took the sticks and fliont from the two of them. “While I do this, why don’t you go and find some food, please.”

Breda and Havoc sighed and righted themselves and trotted off to find some food. Riza then turned to her attention to starting the fire. It was slow, but, steady. Finally, small tendrils of smoke began to appear, and the embers of the fire began to glow. Satisfied, she turned to go find the boys.

She found them sitting in the tent she had constructed playing cards. It seemed Breda was winning, because Havoc was glaring and Breda grinning brightly.

“What are you two doing?”

Both boys sat up instantly and looked at her. “Ummm..” They said uneasily. Riza sighed and placed her hand on her forehead. “Forget it. Both of you get to work Now.”

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

“So, Roy, what are you gonna do with your life?”

Roy looked over at his friend who was looking at him over his sandwich. “I mean, Maes continued. “You’ve been here for a while, and I thought you said you had to go back to your teachers, but from there on, what are you going to do? Personally, I think you should sign up to become a state alchemist.”

Roy raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not? You make good money, and you’d have all the privileges and such.”

“No.”

“Come on, I thought you said your girlfriend was planning on joining the military, and I’m there too, so, why not?”

“Well, I mean, she said she would, yeah, but her dad-”Roy stopped himself. “Wait, she’s not my girlfriend, she’s my teacher’s daughter!”

Maes smirked. “Sure, sure.”

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The next morning, the groups received their evaluations for their projects. Riza’s group had the highest scoring. Breda and Havoc, however weren’t impressed. “Never again,” Breda said.

“Thank god this is only training, the odds of us working or the same man with her is pretty low,” Havoc said, smiling. “Although, you gotta admit, she’s got a pretty nice-” He didn’t get time to finish because at that moment, some thing hard collided with his skull. He looked at Riza, who was standing about twenty feet behind him, a pebble in her hand.

“You know, Havoc-kun, I appreciate that you find me attractive, but, please, do not discuss my looks with others.” Havoc rubbed his sore head and watched her go. He whistled. “Damn, she may be one crazy woman, but dam, she is amazing.”

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Gomen! Gomen! I am so late in putting this chapter up and it’s so short! Forgive me!It’s sort of a transition chapter to set up for the next one, which I cn promise will be very long, and very very important. ALso, let me apologize in advanced for any blatatnt spelling and grammar errors...

Thanks to all the reviewers!
Knil
Great chapter Nil-chan Riza is becoming the boss of them already. laugh.gif I dont have a problem with short chapter's I'll take whatever I can get from your story keep up the good work Nil-chan. cool.gif
MeLRizA
wheeee~ XD great chapter as ever Nil-chan Roy and Riza's behoviour in your fic are so alike to theirs in the comic, especially Riza's happy.gif.
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