A few days before the transfer back to East City HQ, Riza and the rest of Roy's team were invited to a farewell party at Madame Christmas's new bar. She had been wanting to have a look at it, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
By the time she and Roy reached The Red Daisies, the preparations were already finished. Roy's "sisters" immediately welcomed them with hugs and kisses on the cheek. Within an hour, Breda, Fuery, and Ross made it to the party while several more people showed up a little later. The Elric brothers, Winry, Gracia, and Lt. Col. Armstrong had also been invited.
The new building had more space and better carpet than the old one. Several tables filled with food and drinks were spread out and upbeat music from the phonograph played loudly. Different groups scattered around, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Riza and Ross sat next to the bar having a conversation together.
"This is a very nice place," Ross said. She joined Roy’s team shortly after the Promised Day and had been with them several months now. Since then, the captain got along nicely with her.
Riza sipped a drink from her glass and said, "It is. I visited the Madame's old bar a couple times before and I think this one is much lovelier."
"The women here are very nice. I talked to Candice for a while and was surprised we have a lot in common."
Riza smiled as she thought about the few instances she interacted with the Madame's ladies. Their stories concerning Roy were always fun to listen to, much to his embarrassment. She liked that all of them got along well and they were easy to talk with.
"Sounds like you made a new friend."
Ross chuckled. "Perhaps." She drank some of her wine and said, "I think I'll go talk with Colonel Armstrong a bit. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him!"
She climbed out of her seat, taking the glass with her. Riza glimpsed around to see Winry and Gracia having a conversation while Roy was with the Elric brothers. She decided to head over to where the men were at.
"For the last time Edward, I was close to the woods back when I stayed at my teacher's house," Riza heard Roy said when she joined them.
"I still think you're lying," Edward said. He then noticed Riza joining them. "Oh, hello Capt. Hawkeye."
"Hi Edward, hi Alphonse. What are you three talking about?"
"Brother doesn't believe the General when he said he knows how to hunt," Alphonse said.
"My father would take us on hunting trips sometimes when we were younger,” Riza said, “so he's telling the truth."
"Really?" Edward made a shocked expression. He then sighed in defeat, his hand rubbing the back of his neck. "Fine, Mustang, you win."
Roy tossed him a smug smile. "Next time don't assume I'm not telling the truth."
“The General probably forgot to mention how he had trouble skinning and cleaning the kills,” Riza added, “because he couldn’t handle the sight of blood. I always had to butcher the rabbits we hunted.”
The brothers laughed loudly at that story, causing Roy’s eyes to widen. An embarrassed look crossed his features.
“Did you have to tell them that?” he asked when glaring at her.
Riza shrugged. “Thought they’ll be amused by that.” Looking back at Edward and Alphonse, she asked them, "Are you boys enjoying the party?"
"It's great so far!" Edward said, grinning.
"Glad Madame Christmas invited us," Alphonse said, having a similar expression.
"I suggested that since she doesn't know you guys at all," Roy said and looked at Edward. "I should've warned her about you, though."
"You wish," the former alchemist said as he stared at him. “At least I didn’t faint at the sight of rabbit’s blood!”
The uncomfortable look on Roy’s face appeared once more and he drew in a heavy sigh. “I would appreciate if you never mention that again.”
Alphonse laughed nervously. "I think Brother and I will be seeing Ms. Hughes and Winry now. Nice talking to the both you!"
"Same here," Riza said.
After the brothers left them alone, Riza faced Roy. As he looked at her back, his face relaxed a little.
"Your mother sure knows how to throw a party."
"She’s done a few in the past. I would sneak in and stay a while, even though it was past my bedtime. And yes, I had gotten in trouble for that."
"I already figured that would be the case."
All of a sudden, the sound of Madame Christmas chiming a glass with a spoon brought everyone’s attention to her.
"First off, I want to thank everyone making it to the party. This really means a lot to me and the girls, since we worked very hard putting all this together." She stopped a second to clear her throat. "With that out of the way, I want to congratulate Roy-boy on becoming the commander of East City HQ and wish him and his team the best of luck there."
As everyone clapped, Riza stole a glance at Roy to offer him a proud smile. He returned it with a smile of his own.
"You better come visit us once in a while, Roy!" Vanessa said, which made him chuckle.
"Don't worry, I will," he reassured her and grinned. His face then softened. "I really appreciate all of you coming here before my departure to Eastern Command. Without any of you guys, I wouldn't have made it this far on my road to become Fuhrer."
"You still have a long way to go, General Jerkface," Ed said, smirking. Behind him, both Winry and Alphonse rolled their eyes. Roy narrowed his gaze at him while Riza refrained from sighing.
"I'll take that as you being supportive in your own way, Edward. Anyways, I look forward to the next part of my journey." Raising his glass, he said, "To a brighter future!"
The guests raised their glasses also and echoed Roy's words in unison.
" You all enjoy yourselves, everybody," Madame Christmas said. "We still got lots of foods and drinks around I don't want to go to waste!"
Everyone went back to what they were doing. Riza felt Roy's fingers intertwining with hers and she met his eyes as she smiled at him.
"The speeches you and your mom made were great," she said.
"Would've been better if Edward was quiet while I was talking."
She hummed in amusement. "Like you said, that's his way of being supportive."
"At least Alphonse and their friend are keeping an eye on him." Roy's smile grew wider. "Hey, I want to show you something."
Riza let him lead the way while no one was paying attention to them. They stepped into another room with slightly dimmer lighting and soft carpet on the floor. The walls were painted dark brown. Upon seeing two pool tables inside, she arched a confused eyebrow at Roy.
"The Madame wanted a pool room, so I bought her a building that could fit two tables, at least."
"I see. Have you played pool before?"
"A few times with Havoc and Breda. And you?"
Riza shook her head. "I haven't, actually. I watched Rebecca played it once."
A grin stretched across Roy's face. "I can teach you if you want."
As she considered Roy's offer, Riza believed it would be fun to at least try pool for a little while.
"I have no problem with that."
Roy grinned and immediately grabbed two cue sticks for them to use. He first explained the basic terminology and rules, some of which Riza already knew from seeing Rebecca playing it, and showed her the suggested hand positions when making a stroke. When he let her break, she hit the cue ball straight on and managed to sink a few balls in the pockets. Riza did another shot, one ball sinking in, and after she missed the next shot, they took turns. Feeling more confident with every turn, she thought she got the hang of pool now and that it was actually very fun.
Soon there was only the eight ball left and she took a moment to line up a shot. Roy stood and watched, his arms folded against his chest.
"If you're able to sink that last ball, that's it."
"I think I can handle that," she said, not tearing her eyes off the pool table.
While she tried to find an aim, Roy suddenly pressed himself against her from behind and she flinched. His hands gripped onto her hips and he began kissing the back of her neck.
"Let's see if your concentration is up to par," he whispered hotly into her ear. "Very important in this game."
"Isn't it cheating to be distracting me?"
"Not if I'm still giving the lesson."
Flustered, Riza felt her cheeks burning. Roy was a fairly decent teacher so far, but this caught her off guard. His tender touches always left her shaking in anticipation. She now wanted to push him onto the pool table, take off his shirt, and kiss him senseless...no, she wouldn't give into that temptation just yet.
She regained her focus, her thumb and forefinger softly cradling the stick. Riza made a few practice strokes before striking the cue ball. As she watched, it hit the eight ball and it sank into the nearest pocket. A proud smile tugged onto her lips.
"Looks like I won."
"Indeed you did," Roy said, still holding her. "I have to say, you learned quickly."
That aroused feeling Riza had from Roy's distractions earlier came back when he nibbled on her ear and she shivered. She responded by turning around in his grasp, locking her lips into his for a deep kiss, and roaming her hands into his hair. She could still taste the sweet wine they drank from the party on his mouth. Lesson now done, she allowed herself to share this moment with Roy.
As they continued kissing, Roy pulled her up onto the pool table so she could be seated there. Riza's heart quickened and she looped her arms around his neck. A groan escaped from Roy, which made her smirk knowing she could do that to him. They caught their breaths after they parted, Riza feeling heat spread all over her face.
"I thought you would want to wait until we leave the bar," Roy said, sounding very smug.
"It's your fault for distracting me," she said as she loosened his tie and took it off of him. "Now kiss me."
He gladly offered her an open-mouthed kiss, their tongues pressing together. Roy then broke his lips from hers to trail his kisses from Riza's jaw down to her neck. That caused Riza to gasp and her fingers pulled his hair hard. Roy unbuttoned Riza's blouse quickly, then slipped it off and pressed his mouth to her collarbone. He began caressing her breast, his hand underneath her bra, and she moaned in satisfaction.
Unfortunately, they abruptly stopped when the door suddenly opened. Riza's eyes widened when she saw two of Madame Christmas's girls, Violet and Lynda, step inside.
"There you two are!" Violet said, giving them a cheeky grin.
"Told you they would sneak into the pool room," Lynda said and snickered.
"I was teaching her how to play pool and we just finished the lesson," Roy said.
Lynda didn't look convinced. "Sure doesn't look like it."
Riza caught a hint of a blush on Roy's cheeks, certain he was embarrassed they were caught. She too felt silly this had happened.
"All right," Violet said, "we'll leave you two lovebirds alone. Again, good luck at East City, the both of you!"
The two women left the room and closed the door. Roy dragged in a heavy sigh.
"I probably should have locked the door."
"Maybe," Riza said, grabbing her blouse and putting it back on. She began fastening the buttons while Roy put his tie back on. "Either way, this is not the best place at the moment for some alone time."
"I agree. Your place or mine?"
"Let's go to mine." Riza jumped off the pool table and kissed Roy on the cheek. "It's closer."
"Fine by me."
She and Roy shared a small kiss before leaving the room. They let Madame Christmas know they were heading out early and she said good night to them. Tonight was fun for Riza as she got to spent time with her friends and be intimate with Roy after being taught pool by him. She was certain there would be more nights like this and she would cherish them.