Ninthfeather, an unnamed friend and I were talking one night, and the unnamed friend (whom I really wish would join FanFic so I could call her by name and send you guys to read her stuff) came up with a brilliant idea to explain Roy's mustache at the end of the series. I took the idea and ran with it, and this is the result.
Thanks to Ninthfeather for betaing! Go check out her fics, especially A Recurring Nightmare with Popcorn, Heroes, Elysia's Uncle and Vulnerability. They're excellent!
If I owned them, I would be both rich and famous. I am currently neither. Go figure.
Mustang looked up from his journal to see his Captain framed in the doorway. "Yes, Hawkeye?"
"Is your paperwork finished yet?"
His eyes dropped to the desk in front of him, traitorously looking at the pile of untouched paperwork and revealing the answer to her question without a word being necessary.
Hawkeye sighed at his nonverbal response. Of course not. Would it kill you to not procrastinate on the paperwork for one day in your life? "The paperwork needs to be done before your meeting with the Führer, Sir."
"When is that meeting?"
"1100 sharp, Brigadier General." And if you'd read the note on top of the paperwork I delivered this morning, you wouldn't have to ask that.
She watched as he lazily pulled out his pocketwatch, read the time.
"So I have…" he trailed off as he registered the time. 1026. "Less than 20 minutes to complete this before I have to leave the office."
His mental swearing at this revelation was not missed by his faithful subordinate. Nor was she surprised in the least when he proceeded to question her. "Why didn't you warn me about this earlier, Captain?" he asked as he hurriedly pulled the pile of paperwork toward him and picked up a pen.
Hawkeye sighed. "Have you read the notice on the stack yet, Sir?"
Mustang lifted the single memo from the stack, reading it silently.
Of course not. You've been writing in your alchemic journal all day. When will you learn? Paperwork doesn't sign itself…
"Ah. Dismissed, Captain." Pen met paper, and the race to sign all of the documents commenced.
Eighteen minutes and 1,024 signatures later, Captain Hawkeye was in Brigadier General Mustang's office once more, attempting to collect the papers which had been strewn all over the desk, floor and bookshelves in her superior's mad rush to sign them all. Finally straightening the papers into a semi-organized pile to be filed, she glanced up at Mustang as she rose to her feet. "Are you ready, Sir?"
Mustang had collapsed into his chair, massaging his hand, as soon as he had completed the required signatures. Ink was smeared on his desk and hand – at some point, his original pen had exploded in the man's tight grip, and he'd been forced to waste a few precious seconds to find another one. He sighed as he gained his feet, muttering under his breath about "never procrastinating the paperwork again," which Hawkeye knew to be a lie. He'd be procrastinating again tomorrow, and she'd likely have to threaten him to complete it as there were no meetings or deadlines scheduled. "Yes, Captain," he said as he swiped his non-ink-stained hand across his face as if to ward off a headache and headed for the door. "It's not like I have time to get this," he gestured at the partially dried ink on his hand, "off of me."
Hawkeye fell into step behind him, on guard for any potential threats as they left their office and headed for the Führer's. Lower ranked members of the military saluted as Mustang passed, and the Brigadier General was forced to nod in response to each one so that the soldiers could return to their duties.
She watched as he lifted a hand to his face in thought. "Hawkeye?"
"Did we ever find out exactly what this meeting is about?"
Hawkeye thought about it for precisely three seconds, recalling any and all information on the subject that had been relayed to her. "No, Sir."
"That's rather odd. Grumman usually has the sense to have at least an excuse to see us…"
The military woman nodded her agreement, although her superior wouldn't be able to see it. "Indeed. The lack of explanation is unusual on his part, but I'm sure he has his reasons."
Mustang nearly laughed. "I'm sure he does! But a justifiable one? That's the real question at hand."
Hawkeye had no answer for him, and they continued to Führer Grumman's office in companionable silence. The pair came to attention as Grumman came into view, who quickly returned their salutes and ushered them in to his inner office, almost as if he had been waiting for them.
Knowing Grandfather, he probably was waiting for us…
"No need for formalities in here, General, Captain." An inexplicable grin came over the elder man's face as he gazed at the two soldiers. "Attempting to grow a moustache, there, Roy?"
The alchemist blinked. "Moustache?"
Grumman nodded. "Of the pencil variety, if I'm not mistaken. It's been a while since I've seen one like that, though."
Hawkeye tilted her head questioningly in her grandfather's direction. "Are you all right, Sir?"
"Of course I'm all right, why wouldn't I be? And didn't I tell you to drop the formalities?"
Hawkeye paused for a moment. "Yes, Grandfather. But Roy doesn't have a moustache."
Grumman looked between Hawkeye and Mustang, completely mute for a moment. "Riza, are you trying to play a trick on me?"
"I do not have a moustache," Mustang said before she could reply.
"Oh, but you do," Grumman stated. At the nonplussed look on the Flame Alchemist's face, he started searching through his desk drawers, eventually turning a small mirror in the younger man's direction. "There," he said triumphantly, "you see? One black pencil moustache." He was hard-pressed not to laugh at the scandalized look on Roy's face.
"What the hell?" was Mustang's confused outburst. "Captain," he said as he turned toward Hawkeye, "are you seeing what I'm seeing?"
Hawkeye blinked. There on her superior's face was a black pencil moustache. One she was absolutely certain had not been there when they had left Mustang's office.
Apparently her expression had confirmed it without words being said, because Mustang was reaching to touch the 'moustache' with his clean hand, his own face full of confusion. It wasn't until he pulled his hand back, slightly tainted by a dark stain, that he understood what had happened. When he'd brought his hand to his mouth during their trip to meet Grumman, it had been the hand covered in drying ink. There was ink on his face, the same color as his hair – jet black.
Hawkeye started laughing at his expression as realization hit her. "Not a pencil moustache," she managed to say through her laughs. "It's a pen moustache!"
Neither Grumman nor Riza was able to stop laughing after that comment, and eventually Roy joined them. It was quite ridiculous, after all. Who would've guessed that a mustache created with ink from a pen could look so realistic?