Look who it is! Yep, I'm back with another small entertainment offering for my lovely readers! And this time it has...MULTIPLE CHAPTERS! Amazing, isn't it? At the moment I've got this divided into five separate sections and I'm planning to update them every 3 - 5 days. The story is pretty much finished, so that means no lags in between chapters. Isn't that nice?
Oh, this is inspired by the "Sake" prompt from my 100 Themes collection. Heh...
I hope everyone's in character. If not feel free to fling abuse at me. Or constructive criticism. Actually, any feedback at all would be awesome.
Disclaimer: I may may wear glasses and be plump, but I am not a bespectacled bovine.
"Um...excuse me?" Winry tapped the shoulder of the man at the table. She was fairly certain that this was Mustang's office (every woman in the building had been only too eager to show her the way). Now that she was here, however, she didn't see the man himself. It was late now and she wanted to get to the hotel. She just needed to find out where Ed and Al were first. When they'd asked her to come to Central the morons had forgotten to tell her when to meet them at the hotel. They weren't there yet and she couldn't get her key without them. That, and having to go by headquarters gave her a good excuse to visit Miss Riza and see what kind of trouble they'd been getting into. Winry smiled as the soldier at the table slowly looked up at her, his eyebrows moving away from his blue eyes in surprise. The faint scent of cigarette smoke wafted from him as he stood politely.
"Is there anything I can do for you, miss?"
"My name's Winry, I'm a friend of the Elrics," she offered as introduction. He nodded. "I was hoping to find Colonel Mustang or Lieutenant Hawkeye here. See, I'm not sure where they are now and I need to find them to get into my hotel room. I was hoping one of them could help me."
"Well, I haven't talked to the boys myself and the lieutenant's already left. The colonel should be back any minute now, though. You're welcome to have a seat and wait if you like."
"Oh. Thank you, Mr...um..."
"Havoc. Jean Havoc." They smiled at each other and Winry took one of the empty chairs across from him. For several moments the sound of shuffling paper was all that could be heard. Winry heaved a sigh and Havoc looked up at her. "So...are you from Resembool too?" he asked, feeling a need for some sort of conversation. She smiled again.
"Have you known the boys long, then?"
"All my life. I haven't gotten to see them much lately, though." She trailed off a little sadly, leaving her unspoken thought hanging between them. Recognizing a valid distraction when he saw one, Havoc seized the chance.
"Oh yeah, I'm fine." Winry looked away from him, tugging absently at her sleeve.
"You sure? You sound upset..."
For a moment she was quiet. "I'm just worried. That's all they make me do anymore." she gave a frustrated groan. "Ed's constantly getting himself beaten up and in the hospital. He won't tell me what he does to tear his arm and leg up that way. And Al...if something awful were to happen to Ed, he'd be a wreck! I swear, one of these days they're going to get themselves killed or something and I probably won't even know about it...do you know, Mr. Havoc, that I don't even know why they asked me to come here?" Havoc had sat silently through the torrent of speech the girl was throwing at him and at this point he had to shake himself a little to respond.
"Miss, do you think maybe they wanted to see you? They can't always go running off without requesting leave first. It makes more sense that you come here."
"That's just it, though. They never just want to see me. They come to me when they need something fixed or someplace to stay. They seem to automatically think I'll be there waiting for them anytime they need me "
"Aren't you, though? You do always come."
"Yes, I am." Another groan escaped her and she slumped forward, leaving Havoc to stare at the back of her neck as it darkened a little. He wanted to ease her mind, but this was quite a bit to be throwing at him. She must have been sitting on all this for quite a while. What an open person she was, just like those boys. He watched her back rise as she took a deep, steadying breath and lifted her head. Her eyes held an odd shine and she looked extremely irritated. "I'm sorry, Mr. Havoc. I don't know what's wrong with me. I guess I'm just tired from the trip. I didn't mean to ramble like that." She leaned forward again, pressing her forehead against the tabletop, just as the door opened.
Havoc turned as the colonel sauntered in, a pleased smirk pulling at his mouth. A good-sized paper bag was tucked under his arm. Naturally, Havoc zeroed in on it. "Needed a drink, Sir?"
"It was a gift...token of affection from the secretary downstairs. Since Hawkeye's gone, I thought we should seize the oppor...tun..." Halfway through his sentence, he had noticed Winry's bowed head. Silently, he stared at her in much the same way Havoc had. The lieutenant could practically see the gears turning in the man's head. Young girl...pretty young girl...pretty young girl in distress...in his office...
"Colonel." Havoc put quite a bit of emphasis on the title and Winry's head instantly shot up. Roy stepped back in surprise, disappointment clear on his face as he recognized her. "Miss Rockbell's been waiting for you." Winry didn't miss the grin on Havoc's face as he returned to his paperwork. She smiled politely.
"Colonel Mustang, Sir?"
"Huh?" Roy smirked again and bowed slightly. As much as he loved getting under Fullmetal's skin, he wasn't heartless enough to pick up the girl he was after. It still didn't hurt to be friendly, though.
"You can just call me Roy, Miss Rockbell." She nodded. Roy set the bag carefully on the table where Havoc was (pretending to be) working.
"Okay...uh...Roy? I was hoping that you could help me with something. You see, Ed and Al asked me to meet them here in town today. When I went to the hotel, though, the clerk said they hadn't been there at all. You wouldn't have any idea where else I could find them, would you?"
"They weren't there? Do you think maybe they just haven't checked in yet? Or it's possible that no one noticed his arrival. Being so small, I'm sure he's easy to miss. At any rate, I wasn't aware that he and Alphonse were returning to Central anytime soon." Roy said with a small smile. Vaguely he wondered if Fullmetal was going into spasms somewhere. Still in her seat across from Havoc, Winry nodded understandingly, the movement causing her ponytail to bounce against her neck.
"You're right...geez, I was so mad at them I guess I didn't really think of that. They were calling from somewhere in the west..." She looked immensely relieved as she stood, pulling her bag onto her shoulder. Havoc also rose from his chair.
"Are you going, Miss Rockbell?" he asked. She nodded, smiling at him again.
"Yeah. I guess I'm going to go back and wait for them. Thank you for the help, Mr. Havoc. Colo-er...Roy."
"Hold on." Roy called as she began to move toward the door and a thought struck him. There was no telling how long those two were going to take...no sense in sending her off to sit by herself for half the night. Easily, Roy put on his best smile. "Why don't you wait here?"
I really love Havoc, but I never really use him for anything...Excuse the random spilling of Winry's innermost feelings to the poor, caring lieutenant. She's always struck me as one of those people who tells anybody anything. :)