Riza fidgeted with her hands as she waited for the doctor to make his rounds. She had received a call from diagnostics, they wanted to go over her lab results from MEDPROS, the military requires from its Officers (she was an O2) whether they're active duty or in reserves. This feeling of uncertainty, however, it was something extremely foreign to her, she was always calm, assessed every situation, and had the uncanny ability to remove emotions when the time called for it.
She had joined the Army roughly 9 years ago, had done two tours in Iraq, served active duty for 8 years before she decided to switch to reserves. After the switch, she soon after married, her previous long serving commanding officer, Roy Mustang. She'd never tell anyone but the main reason she wanted to go on reserves was so they could get married…having to sneak around for 5 years was hell on her nerves, not just for her tail end, but his as well considering he began to jump ranks soon after their first duty in Iraq. They had met in TRADOC and found that they were both assigned to the same squadron, both being in weapons.
Out of the two of them, she was no doubt the specialist. Often being lightly teased that she was born to be a soldier under the military's thumb with a last name like Hawkeye, she was a natural sniper. Roy used to tease her that she had chosen the wrong branch, and should have gone to be a Marine; and occasionally would leave crayons in her lunch bag. It wasn't news that she sometimes craved action, to her, being active duty was fun and a lot more respectable than reserves, at least this way she felt like she was actually contributing to her country.
Despite the drastic difference in skills, Roy came out of TRADOC two ranks ahead of her; one for signing up for six years instead of the normal 4, and secondly because he had credits from partaking in JROTC in high school. She grew up in the north and her high school offered no such thing or she would have gladly been in it, instead she hailed from a city life that valued technology over military courses. So unfortunately she knew as much as she could ever know about how to build a computer, soldier, and even woodshop, if only her parents hadn't settled so far north…
It was during their first tour in Iraq that their feelings became known to one another. Like usual, men and women were separated at the post they made in the desert, undercover and out of sight unless one was looking for evidence of life. Their first tour cost them a lot, gifting them both PTSD as a reminder of the horrors called "commands" they had to follow, though it their disorder never interfered with their work, only sleep from time to time. So many children, hell, people in general were killed. The turning point in their relationship came when Roy tried to talk down a child who had a bomb strapped to his chest.
Riza would never forget the look of utter terror in the child's eyes, clearly not wanting to do what he was instructed. Roy hadn't given up on him, he kept inching closer and closer towards the child, commanding the soldiers behind him to stand down…he truly thought he would get through to the boy. But Riza, unlike Roy, chose to look on the logical side of things which lead her to the answer that the child was not going to back down. Surely whatever they told him what would happen should he not follow through with orders caused the boy to choose death by his own hand. He looked to be but 7 years old, collarbones were showing, face was gaunt and lacking the normal chubbiness every child had; here he was having to make a decision on how he was going to die…no child should ever have to consider such options.
Her blood ran cold and everything had slowed down almost going in reverse. She watched the boy's hand go up and grasp one of the strings that were attached to his chest. She was too late, she knew all too well that Roy was within range of the bomb and would suffer some damage, unless she killed the boy before he had a chance to make himself a martyr for his people while taking down a Staff Sergeant at the same time. She grabbed her gun and aimed as quickly as possible and shot, right between the eyes. The events that happened after that she would never forget, for it changed her life entirely.
Roy reeled on his heels as the sound of gunfire and saw Corporal Hawkeye with her gun raised. He whipped his head back around and saw the boy dead on the ground with the perfect marksmanship of his friend and college…but also his subordinate.
"NO!" He yelled in both anger and sadness as he continued to look at the child. He could have saved him, he really could…anger bubbled in his chest again.
"Hawkeye! I told you to stand down!" he yelled as he began to stomp back towards the camp where the marksmen had effectively made a line in case any more of the enemy decided to show. There was a dangerous glow in his eyes. Riza knew in that moment he would never forgive her.
"With all due respect Sergeant Mustang, that child was ready to detonate that bomb taking you down with it! I did what I was instructed by Major Armstrong, to protect you, Sergeant!" she hollered back towards him, seeing as he was making quick pace to confront her in closer quarters.
"It?! Do you hear yourself Corporal?! That was a child, a living thing! Not something without emotions…he was a child for fucks sake! I don't believe you cou-" He was on a tirade.
However, the bomb had effectively detonated despite not having the child pull the activation strap, it appeared to have been done remotely. The explosion was blinding and deafening causing sand and debris to fly everywhere. The lot of them were thrown onto their backs from the force of the explosion. They never got a chance to call in EOD to handle the bomb.
After a minute of trying to regain her bearings and the ungodly ringing in her ears, and her vertigo to calm down, Riza got up shakily and assessed the area around her. Corporal Hughes was trying to talk to her but she couldn't pay attention, she was trying to find her friend and bigot of a Sergeant. Brown eyes fell on the body of her commander and she felt sick.
Waves of hot and cold ran up her back, one repeatedly after another, her hands were hot and yet her finger tips ached and were cold as if she had been touching snow. Vision became tunneled, throat was becoming raw from calling his name as she was running towards him, she could taste electricity on her tongue and had to remind her lungs to work. She landed down beside him and turned him over checking for a pulse, for anything. She concentrated, holding her breath searching.
There it was.
She wanted to cry from relief and yet something told her something was wrong. She was eventually joined by the others in their platoon, she felt someone hoist her up away from the unconscious Sergeant. The thought of someone else moving him caused her great anxiety and she didn't know why.
"Don't touch him!" she yelled with tears threatening to break the brim of her eyelids. Her fellow soldiers looked at her in shock, knowing Hawkeye to never be one to break rules, they knew then she was more shaken that she would have ever liked to admit.
"Riza…look at me…" Maes Hughes called to her shaking her gently. He grabbed her face and forced her to look at him. "We're all here to help him too, it's us, your platoon. It's me, Maes." He said each word with a gentle shake, anything to awaken her proprioception in the field. She looked at him, finally understanding, and rationality coming back to her.
"I tried Maes, he didn't want to listen to me…" she choked out looking at one their best friends.
"I know, and it's because of you we even have an intact body with a pulse. That haughty bastard has you to thank for him being alive. I saw the child getting ready to activate the bomb as well, however you moved at speed and accuracy I don't have." He said as he swayed side to side with her, trying to calm her down while the rest of the platoon looked on in awe, never seeing the steely sniper upset, ever.
"And it was his anger at you that caused him to move the right amount of distance for him not to be human confetti. You saved him in more ways than one Riza, don't you dare beat yourself up. If it was anyone else, Roy Mustang would have been dead." He said looking her in the eye with conviction. Riza slowly began to nod, everything finally catching up to her.
"I-I'm sorry Hughes, I don't know what came over me…" She apologized and looked down in shame. Soldiers were not supposed to show such emotion. Maes chuckled and pulled her in for a comforting hug.
"I do." He said quietly. She pulled back and looked at him with a calculating stare. She was almost 100% back to being 'Hawkeye' again, her composer coming back with each second. She raised an eyebrow and looked intrigued and asked
"You do now? Please share so I know that never happens again." Maes chuckled again and began steering her back towards their camp. He grinned looking at Riza and played a dangerous game.
"Never going to happen…and judging what just happened cements further proof that it won't ever go away." He said slyly. It was never a wise idea to toy with Riza and yet, here he was, someone had to explain what she was feeling…though she was a little sister in his eyes and had to poke fun.
"Explain yourself now before I shoot you in your kneecap." She said coldly, and now she was back to her usual composed self, it would be better to tell her when she was calmer anyways.
"You love him. The way that I love Gracie, you love our Roy. Before you go shooting me, go in and just look at him with that thought in mind and think about what you felt out in the field there. Do that for me, please? Before you deny it, test it, prove me wrong." He said in a softer than usual voice as he nudged her into the tent that was currently housing their best friend.
She saw the combat medic, Marco, tending to Roy.
She did as Maes asked, she looked at him with the thought of being in love with him, picturing him again as she had just seen him but moments ago. Riza felt her heart contract in her chest and was scared of the answer she was faced with. Damnit, Maes was correct. She at some point, fell in love with her best friend and had been for a very long time.
"Ah, if it isn't the hero herself." 2Lt Marco said fondly acknowledging her as he finished up his deductions of the health status of the young Staff Sergeant.
"Please, don't give him an Article 27 for doing what he believed to be right sir, he tried to save that little boy. He never intended to get injured or-" Riza began, she didn't want him to go down for not following policies…Roy had a dreamed of serving his country and Riza couldn't stand the thought of him getting dishonorably discharged after he had come so far.
"Well Corporal, he did damage government property by not following policy. Getting damaged in the crossfire when he should have shot the child on site…" Marco trailed off. "But I cannot fault him for being human. As far as I'm concerned the suicide boy was a shock to all and none of the soldiers saw him coming." He said knowingly as he wrote down his notes. Riza let out a sigh of relief and was grateful beyond belief that Marco was their Commander at this post.
"…thank you Lieutenant." She said gratefully.
"Don't thank me yet, we won't know the length of the damage until he wakes up." Marco said cryptically. Riza's heart sand like a rock at the tone of Marco's voice, she tried to search for anything in his eyes to give her sliver of information…but there wasn't any. Marco closed his eyes and shook his head, of course he wouldn't be able to share information, even if it was a battlefield. Even if it was her friend.
Even if it was Roy.
It dawned on her shock riddled mind that because they weren't in a relationship, and they certainly hadn't reported it to the higher ups, she would not know the medical status of her best friend until he woke up. But Riza was not stupid…the effects of such a blast could cause a multitude of problems…the brain was such a dangerous place. Blindness, aphasia, motor or speech deficits…some of the possibilities came to the surface as sat down and was looked over by some of the other combat medics to assess any damages that may have happened to because of the blast.
She closed her eyes and vowed to herself, should Roy make it through this, she would not only protect him with her life until the day she died; but also for her feelings to be voiced. She was going to be with him regardless, even if she hoped it was in the romantic sense.
Her reminiscing was cut short with a soft tap on the door followed by it opening gently to reveal Major Marco standing before her. She snorted under her breath at the irony of this encounter; she had no idea that her PCM had been changed to her previous commander.
"Good afternoon Hawkeye, it's been a long time." Marco said with sincerity. She nodded at him.
"You as well Major, it sure has been quite some time."
"I see you and Mustang married, my congratulations to the two of you, though I am shocked that it took you two so long." He grinned at her and she chuckled.
"Yes we did. I went to reserves so he didn't have to be relocated after his promotion, not that I mind, I had wanted to go back to college anyways."
"I see, well there is much to be happy for indeed. Be sure to give my regards to the Major General." He said with a twinkle in his eye.
"Of course, sir."
"Now, about your results from MEDPROS, Riza you're in perfect health…" he trailed off. This confused her greatly, if that were the case then why was she even here?
"I'm…not sure I'm understanding Sir." She said cautiously.
"Everything is fine except for your testosterone levels, and you're TSH." He looked up at her and could tell that this level of medical talk went over her head.
"Okay, what does that mean Major?"
"Before we go into that let me ask a few questions alright?" she nodded for him to continue. "Are your menstrual cycles regular?"
"Not really, I just assumed it was from the stress of work and deployment." She answered with a shrug.
"How often would you say a year you get them?" she furrowed her eyebrows in thought.
"I would say 6-9, sir." He nodded.
"On a scale of 1-10, honestly now Hawkeye, how exhausted are you normally?" her eyebrows rose.
"Well sir, I would say my average would be a 6 or so…" what had this to do with anything?
"Does your hair grow unusually slow or fast?" she was thoroughly confused now.
"Actually it does…I can't keep a simple cut or color for long, it does grow fast." He nodded.
"Facial hair?" she blushed. She had been so good at hiding it, thankfully she was a natural blonde and was able to wax it before anyone noticed her abnormal "peach fuzz" on her face.
"Pain when you're having sex?"
"Pain scale when you do menstruate?"
"About an 8, sir."
"Weight gain?" she shifted in her seat uncomfortably.
"I try like hell to keep it off sir." She knew she had somehow gained around 20 pounds or so going on reserves…she chalked it up to not being as stressed anymore.
"I see. Well. From the information you've given me and your lab results…Riza, it appears you have Hypothyroidism and PCOS." Her eyebrows furrowed.
"And what does that entail, sir? What is PCOS?"
"Poly cystic ovarian syndrome…it increases the testosterone in your body and because of that you gain multiple cysts on your ovaries. It takes time to diagnose it for some individuals, usually in their late twenties such as you are. Some of the effects of it is decrease fertility or infertility." Riza paled at that information and remembered the conversation she just had with Roy this morning.
"Get up, before I let Black Hayate in here to wake you up." Riza said mid yawn. She wasn't too keen on the five alarms in a row she had to suffer through because her husband sleeps like a rock.
"Shhh, no need….'m up…" Roy waved at her and answered through the pillow. Moments later she heard light snoring again.
"3…2…1…that's it." Riza got up and sleepily stumbled to their bedroom door and opened it, where their dog happily greeted her. She pointed at Roy and said a one word command.
Hayate sprang through the door way and jumped easily on the bed where his master's mate was sprawled out temporarily enjoying being the only one in bed. He used his two front paws to push on Roy's shoulder and repeatedly nudged him, barking with each nudge.
Riza stood in the door way with her arms folded watching with humor as her husband was now being subjected to a face full of 'good morning' licks from Hayate.
"Elizabeth…why do you hate me so?" Roy groaned as he began to sit up, yet Hayate relentlessly kept licking Roy's face. He tried to push the eager dog away, but Hayate was persistent, he was given a command and would be vigilant until commanded to stop.
And immediately on cue, Hayate stopped his affection and sat dutifully and stared down Roy.
"Good to know I'm so important in your world." Roy said in a sulk staring down the mutt.
"To be fair, I've been his world his whole life until we got married…give him time Roy. Heel." And ever the obedient dog, Hayate happily ran over and looked up at Riza intently.
"Most relationships, the male is the alpha." Roy said pitifully as he began to pull himself out of the cocoon of covers he made. Riza snorted.
"We're not most relationships now are we?" she grinned and squatted down to hug Hayate, who's tail thumped on the floor showing his excitement. "Who's a good boy? My puppy! Yes you are, my puppy!" she gushed.
Roy looked at them with a fond look in his eye and smiled, he was truly lucky to be able to marry this fierce woman who had such a heart of gold. Riza and her dog did their normal routine in the morning which consisted of rough housing each other, hugs, pets, and kisses. After several minutes, Riza looked up at Roy and her look became quizzical.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Nothing…just…you're so good with him. You treat him like a human child." He mused with a smile.
"He is a child, a furry child. There's a human soul trapped in there." Riza said with a matter of fact tone.
"…we should have kids." Roy said simply.
Riza faltered for only a second as she held Hayate close to her, keeping eye contact with Roy.
"We should have kids. Financially we're sound, you just went to reserves, my promotion went into effect last month…it might be time?" Roy suggested with a slightly worried look. "Is it too soon to talk about it?" he asked, beginning to second guess himself.
"What? No! No…you just surprised me is all. If you're ready, I am." Riza agreed.
Ever since she had to kill that child on their first tour, Riza was weary on the thought, did she even deserve to have one considering she took the life of one? When the subject came up, Roy had hinted at the thought that one day he'd like to be a dad, but he too carried wounds of his own from that tour.
"Though, Roy, taking care of an actual tiny human is much different than a dog…" Roy laughed at her.
"Oh, I had no idea! Don't you dare worry about how you will handle it, I've seen you with Eli! Izumi and I were talking about how you were able to keep his attention which is quite the feat given his ADHD." Roy said with a smile on his face.
"Your sister has trained that boy with martial arts, she has all the credit, not me. By the time we get to him he's already had what, over an hour of training? I take no credit at all. Don't think I haven't noticed how much you love being around him as well." She grinned back at him.
"He's a fun kid! So eager to learn and every now and then bits of Sig come out and he's calm and wants nothing but to learn. I'm glad to have used my nephew as a test dummy to see if I could handle parenthood."
"Roy, we get to give him back though…this will be much different…" she walked over to him, arms snaking around his neck as she looked into his eyes. She was searching for any bit of reluctance, or falsehood; as always with Roy, there was none. He looked at her with a twinkle in his eye.
"Are we actually talking about this?" he asked sheepishly, almost disbelieving.
"We are." She answered.
Her lips met his and they shared a quiet moment, both excited at the thought of planning a family soon.
"We can start trying now." He said in a deeper voice.
She giggled as he threw her onto the bed, turned and closed Hayate out of the room, and pounced on her.
"Hawkeye?" Marco asked cutting into her memory.
"I'm sorry, what, sir?" she replied still in a daze.
"As I thought." He said with a knowing look. "Don’t fret yet Riza, this doesn't mean you can't have children, it just makes it a little harder. And we don't worry about that until we've exhausted all options." Marco said in a soothing voice. Riza nodded.
"What do I have to do sir?"
"I am putting you on 50mmg of Synthroid and 500mg of Metformin for a week and then afterwards, bump it up to 1000mg…if it upsets your stomach too much then just go back to the one pill. Make sure you eat at least 6 small meals a day with this, you're not a diabetic so you must maintain your sugar, the Metformin may make it drop if you don't properly eat." He rambled off.
Riza nodded and listened to his instructions, or tried to at least. Of all the timing…of course this information would come just as they decided to try and become parents. Her stomach dropped to the floor…
How would she explain this to Roy?
"Edward H. Elric!" Ed flinched as the matron of the orphanage made her way over to him.
"Brother…what did you do?" Alphonse asked with a worried look in his eyes.
"Nothing that didn't need to be done." He pouted as he crossed his arms.
"Edward, why did I just get a call from your school informing me you have detention for the next two weeks because you got into a fight?!"
"Because I do, what of it!" he snapped at the matron, she was a nice lady, really, she just didn't understand. No one did.
"Brother!" Alphonse said in shock and slight disapproval.
"He was making fun of the fact that we live here, in the orphanage! I wasn't going to sit back and take that! He even made fun of Winry, Al." Ed inadvertently answered the matron's next question.
"…did you hit him hard?" Al asked with a darkened look in his eyes. He normally was the peacemaker of the two, but when their mother or Winry were involved, at times Ed thought Al could be more vicious than even him. Ed grinned and nodded at him.
"Alphonse! Ugh, you two! If you keep this up, no one will be willing to adopt you two!" she stressed to them.
"I don't care, we don't need anyone to adopt us, as long as we have each other we don't need anyone else!" Ed yelled and ran to his bed, he didn't even have a room to go hide in. He silently hoped the matron caught the hint, he didn't want to talk about it any longer.
"Matron? Why couldn't we live with Pinako? She was our godmother after all…" Al asked saddened.
"Unfortunately the court didn't feel that at her age she could physically handle any more children in her care other than her granddaughter. I know they both mean a lot to you, but you boys should get cleaned up, you have an interview with a couple who's interested in adopting you two. Please behave." She said over her shoulder before she left them alone.
"What if we get adopted this time?"
"Pft, who cares, all adults are the same, they don't care about us kids…they probably just want us for a double tax break." Ed said bitterly, and tried not to show the tears that were stinging at his eyes.
They would never be understood, the two of them were told multiple times they were "broken". He was sick of adults, all of them. The pity filled eyes when they learn their dad had deserted them when he was two and Al a mere one year old, and how they lost their mom to cancer three years later. Most of them would say they would "Get over it" soon as if their mom weren't their whole world. They were kids! How couldn’t she be?! Or those who dared say "I understand." That always would make him blow up in anger, because they would never understand.
Riza sat across from Izumi and looked down into her tea seeing her reflection.
"Well isn't that timing just shit." Izumi said with distaste in her tone. She looked Riza in the eye and meant what she said next.
"I would be your surrogate if I could…but after Eli…"
"'Zumi…it's fine, really. Having just one child damn near killed you…besides, Marco said it wasn't impossible…just that my uterus is slightly hostile." She snorted.
"Worst case scenario is you have to adopt. And really…is that even a bad thing?" Izumi asked before her head whipped up.
"Eli! STOP CHASING THE CAT, SHE DOESN'T WANT TO BE BOTHERED!" she yelled at the ceiling. Looking back over at Riza who just had an amused look on her face. "You sure you want kids? I'll give him to you for free." She joked.
"Haha, no, I'm the godmother and the fun Aunt…wouldn't want to change that role for anything." Riza laughed.
"My little brother doesn't know how good he has it with you, don't worry about what he'll say. He's just happy you said yes and married him. You could do a horrible crime and he'd still look at you with stars in his eyes. He loves you Lizzy." Izumi said to Riza, using her nickname given to her by Roy and Izumi's aunt Christine.
"I know, I just don't know if I do right now." She admitted and effortlessly dodged the pillow that was coming from behind her. "You'll have to try harder Eli." She said in a monotone voice.
"Awe man, I can never get you Aunt Lizzy!" Eli said sadly as he hugged his aunt around her shoulders.
Riza laughed silently, she had such a supportive family through Roy, of course he wouldn't care. And Izumi was correct, they could always adopt…but it was always a secret wish of hers to have one of her own…
Only time would tell.