3 Years Later
She still carried a lot of what John did her. She still had nightmares, on a busy street, she could see his face. She'd never known pain like the pain that man put her through. The one redeeming light that came of all of that was the child. Her son, Alexander, a picture of the child hood she never had was her pride and joy. His upbringing was that of sensibility and respect, an upbringing that would have only be possible with the identity of his real father kept from him for as long as Riza could help it.
She knew her defences had been let down...the General...she smiled as she thought of him. She stopped fighting with him about his eagerness to help with Alexander.
She quoted rule after rule, law after law that regulated the relationships between subordinate and commander, but he remained insistent, he maintained his position, and had practically ordered her to accept the help that in the end, she was grateful for.
Roy stood before the Fuhrer, silent to his news. Grumman wore a broad smile, clearly pleased with himself and the astonished reaction he'd received.
"Forgive me sir, but, I didn't think you'd be retiring so soon" Roy replied after a long silence
Grumman let out a small laugh
"Mustang, I'm an old man, I should have retired years ago, I've only stayed on this long so I could make sure you were ready to take the reigns"
"I won't let you down sir" Roy replied, still letting the news sink in.
"I do have one condition however" Grumman almost giggled
The old man took a breath, almost frustrated that he had to point this out "Tell her"
Roy raised an eyebrow, knowing exactly where this was going
"I will" he answered not terribly convincingly
"I'm not getting any younger" Grumman huffed
"Sir, I don't believe..." Roy began for the thousandth time
"Mustang you know darn well better" Grumman silenced
"Sir...I don't think she wants..." Roy tried
"You've never asked" Grumman blocked again
"With all due respect, have you asked her?" Mustang asked
"I don't need to, its plain as day to the rest of us" Grumman answered, a checkmate grin on his face
"Sir I can't just ask her out of no where!" Mustang replied, almost desperately
"After all these years, there's no "out of no where" about this" with a chuckle at Mustang's nervous face
"Mommmmaaa!" yelled an excited young boy as he tore down the gravel road way of the daycare to her open arms. She folded him to her chest as he threw his own arms around her.
"Careful Alexander" she replied, releasing him "How was your day?" she asked, taking his hand and turning back down the roadway towards their apartment
"Good, we played outside alllllll day" he reported
"I can tell, you got your new pants all dirty" Riza noted
"I'm sorry momma" he grinned sheepishly
"What do you want for dinner tonight?" she asked, softly running her hand over the blonde hair he had inherited from her
"Ummmmmmmm cake?" he responded hopefully, turning his big blue eyes up to her
"How about a broccoli cake?" Riza teased
"Ewwwww!" Alexander groaned, making a sick face as they strolled up their street
Roy paced his apartment like a caged animal. Dammit, he'd never been so clueless in his life. Grumman made it clear...he'd have to man up and tell Hawkeye...He flipped open his silver pocket watch, it was 6:30pm, she would be home by now...dammit, he needed a walk.
"Momma?" Alexander asked with a bit of sad tinge as Riza tucked his blanket under his chin
"Yes?" she replied, as she moved to put away the story they'd just read
"How come Sarah at daycare has a Daddy that always picks her up and I never have one that does...Uncle Roy did once, but I don't call him Daddy...how come? And how come I don't have a Daddy that lives with us?" he asked with such innocence
Riza froze, her breath caught in her throat. She sat on the edge of his bed, carefully choosing her words
"Not everyone has a Daddy that lives with them Alexander" she gently tried to explain
"Why not?" he asked
"I.." she was interrupted by a soft knock at the door. She audibly breathed a sight of relief, she'd never tell Alexander of his father.
It was two hours later by the time he made it to her home. He was nervous and fidgety, but he had to tell her. She opened the door, and was surprised to see him..
"Roy?" she greeted, immediatly noticing something wrong
"How are you?" he replied quickly
"What happened? Did everything go alright with the Fuhrer?" she asked cautiously, moving aside to let him in
"He's retiring" he answered simply, stepping into the familiar apartment "He's giving the seat to me"
"Thats wonderful, you've reached your goal" she smiled "Why are you so concerned?"
"He's laid a condition" he said, agitated "Well, not really a condition...he just wanted me to get something off my chest"
She looked questioningly at him
"Riza...I don't know how to...I mean, I've never done this before...I've only ever said it to one person...well...you..." he ran his hand through his dark hair, trying to find the words "Do you remember, the night before I left your fathers?"
A visible blush crossed her cheeks and she nodded
"Riza...I...meant what I said...I...still mean it...I..."
"UNCLE ROY!" squealed an excited Alexander who ran towards him having jumped out of bed.
Roy spun around just in time to catch his legal son.
"Aren't you supposed to be in bed young man?" Roy asked, hiding the nervousness in his voice at his declaration being halted
"Yea"Alexander replied "But I haven't seen you in forever"
"I saw you yesterday" Roy teased
"Yesterday was forever ago! I know! You should be my at home Daddy, that way I don't have to wait for forever!"
Roy smiled and began chatting with the young child as Riza allowed her mind to wander at the sight. His face...there was that same tender look in his eyes as the first time he held him.
Riza wasn't terribly sure what to think. The night before he'd left the Hawkeye home?...of course she remembered...she remembered how he'd first kissed on the bench, the groundskeepers cottage...he told her he loved her...wait...he still meant it? Whoa...hold on a second...he still loved her? No, he must mean something else, perhaps the elation of finally reaching their goal is making him confused.
She changed her mind to focus on something else, Roy holding Alexander, smiling to him like his a proud father smiles to his son. Father...the only thing that came to her mind when she thought of fathers was her own...he was absent, at times neglectful, though she still loved him...he loved her in his own way when he was alive.
She looked upon two of the most important people in her life...the son she loved more than anything, and the man that...she...
"Momma?" his questioning voice broke her train of thoughts
"Yes dear?" she walked to his outstretched arms and took the sleepy boy from the arms of his much beloved 'uncle'.
Alexander yawned and laid a blonde head on her shoulder "Uncle Roy has something to ask you...but he won't tell me what until I go to sleep and wake up tomorrow" he mumbled tiredly, his body clearly recognizing it was well past time to go to sleep.
"Does he?" Riza asked casting a curious look to Roy who grinned back...that smirk that sent her heart racing as his dark eyes returned their confident look.
"Uh huh, he says it's important and that Grandpa won't let him do something unless he asks you, but he's not sure with how to ask you 'cause you might shoot him 'cause he might not do it right"
Riza raised an eyebrow in Roy's direction who was now looking around, deliberately not meeting her eyes, scratching the back of his head trying to look nonchalant.
Alexander yawned again and closed his large blue eyes...like his father's Riza thought with a bitter thought to the man who's touch she still felt.
With Alexander safely tucked away in his bed, and securely asleep, Riza rejoined her senior officer out in her living room.
"So, Grandfather is making you the Fuhrer" Riza confirmed with a smile
Roy nodded with a small smile, his hands stuffed nervously in his pants pockets.
"You mentioned the night before you left my father's" Riza prompted, wanting to put her mind at ease to his motives
"Ah yes...Hawkeye...Riza...I...your grandfather...there's a condition I must meet before Fuhrer Grumman will sign off on the declaration" Roy stuttered...very uncharacteristic of his calm, arrogant nature
"A condition sir?"
Roy took a steadying breath and began to pace in slow circles before her
"Riza, the one thing keeping me...us from reaching our goals is a promise I made, to you. Fuhrer Grumman sees fit to hold the office from me until...I tell you...that, when I left I meant what I said and I still do. But I don't want you to think I'm only saying this so I can be Fuhrer, I'm telling you this, because I want to tell you, but I promised you I wouldn't...now Grumman thinks I should because apparently everyone knows, and they all want me to, and so do I but I've never thought you wanted me to say it again, but I'm saying it anyways because you need to know" Roy ranted quickly, coming to a halt before her rather breathlessly
"Roy, it would help if I knew what you were trying to say" Riza smiled softly, finding his flustered speech rather adorable
"I told you" he breathed
"I'm not sure what you told me"
"That I meant what I said, and I still do" he explained
"A lot was said when you left, it would help to know what exactly you meant" she was growing a little frustrated with his clueless explanations
"I...Riza, this may come out wrong, so please, bear with me" he began, he covered her battle worn hands in his own, intertwining his fingers with hers. He looked into her startled eyes and smiled "Your grandfather gave me the push I needed today. I know during the war, I promised we'd keep it professional, but...my feelings haven't changed. I still love you and I doubt I'll ever stop" he whispered
Riza was almost too stunned to think. "You still love me?"
Roy nodded mutely "Grumman figured I should tell you" He shrugged
"He figured right" she replied
"Oh?" he questioned, taking a cautious step toward her
"Sir, I've something to admit as well" she began rather formally "I've held unprofessional feelings for my senior officer for quite sometime and I also believe that I'll never stop having these unprofessional feelings" she admitted with a soft smile
"Unprofessional feelings?" Roy repeated with an amused smirk
"Does that bother you?" she teased
"Far from it" For the first time in years, Roy allowed himself the heavenly freedom of requited love. He allowed himself to pull her to him, only several inches separating them.
"Riza, there's a question that I've wanted to ask you for a long time" he stated softly, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a very worn velvet box "I bought this three years ago and I know a lot has changed, but I want you beside me for the rest of our lives. I want you to be my First Lady, and I want to be the father Alexander deserves. We've waited long enough, and I will wait my entire life for you to say 'yes'" he pulled out the shining gold ring, a beautiful oval cut ruby set in the centre, a heart elegantly cut into the band on either side
She almost didn't believe the whole thing. Within ten minutes, Roy had declared his love, proposed and offered to be a legitimate father to her son. Of course she loved him...but...well, was there a 'but'? Why wouldn't she say 'yes'? This was a chance at happiness, and a proper family for her son.
"Yes" she managed through an uncontrolled smile.
He gathered his fiance in his arms, holding her lithe and strong body to him. He gave a happy laugh as he breathed the scent of her long, honey blonde hair and felt her heart beat close to his. She pulled away slightly and smiled to his thrilled face. He brought his hands gently to cup her beautiful face.
"Riza you know what I've done..."
"And I still accept you as you are, if you can accept me for what I've done" she cut off, a serious tone in her voice.
"When I am Fuhrer and you are by my side, we can right all those wrongs, together" he promised, pressing his lips to hers. All those years that separated the present day and the night before he'd left his Master's home seemed to melt away as he kissed the lips he'd never forgotten.