Counterpoint – Home Office

Lisa unveils her own new job. Drama, I-3

Character(s): Lisa Hawkeye, Roy Mustang
Pairing(s): Lisa/Roy

Lisa looked up from the paper as Roy trudged down the front hall and into the living room. He looked rumpled and tired, which had been true for weeks now, but also pleased, which had been far more rare.

“Triumph!” He brandished a briefcase in the air.

Lisa laughed. “It’s smaller than a suitcase. Does that mean you’re caught up at work?”

“Finally. Mostly.” He sighed and slumped into his armchair, trying to kick his shoes off without unlacing them first. “Material resources for my area is still a touchy question, but I have a staff and it’s operating. Now I get to wait and see who isn’t as good as their file said they were.” He gave her a sidelong look from under his lashes.

Lisa pretended not to notice. She’d had plenty of practice; he’d mentioned what an outstanding aide she was at least once a week since acquiring his new job. “Congratulations,” she said, instead. “Have an apple.” She slid the basket across the low table with a stockinged toe.

Roy eyed the small red and green streaked fruit. “Are those from the tree out back? I thought it would be longer…”

“Mmm.” Lisa scribbled a note next to the stock report for Kitchener Industry and tapped her pencil against her lips. “These are just the first few that are ripe. But it has been that long, you know.” She looked up and smiled at him ruefully. “You’ve been working so hard I think you lost track of a little time.”

“Yes. I suppose so.” He sighed quietly and leaned forward to grab an apple. The sharp crunch of his first bite was followed by a sound of pleased surprise.

“They’re good, aren’t they?” Lisa took another for herself, the third of the day so far. “Gracia says they won’t work very well for cooking with but should keep for a long time. I was thinking of cleaning off a shelf in the cellar for them.”

“Excellent idea,” Roy mumbled around a mouthful. “Maybe I should send a basket to Werner Metals, see if I can sweeten them up a little before the next round of negotiations over Army contracts and federal standards.”

“No, you shouldn’t,” Lisa stated. She pulled a binder off the shelf beside the couch and flipped through it under Roy’s startled gaze. “What you should do is negotiate with Cary Munitions instead.”

Roy’s eyes narrowed. “It’s true Werner isn’t keeping up with the new certification and accountability as well as I’d like,” he said, slowly, “but Cary doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture as much as operations demand.”

Lisa pulled out a sheaf of papers with neat price and volume figures all laid out, and handed it over. “They do now.”

Roy ran an eye down the columns, brows lifting. Finally he looked back at her, question hovering on his quirked lips.

Lisa folded her hands and lifted her chin. “Research advances will be taken care of by another company. Building capacity will be the next issue, for more than the weapons companies; that, too, will be taken care of.” Pride lent assurance to her voice, and if she had personal reservations about turning her hand to finance and industry she refused to show it to him. “You will have the resources at the standards you need. Minister.”

She really couldn’t help a satisfied smile at the stunned realization spreading over Roy’s face. To be perfectly honest, she didn’t try all that hard.

“I’ll find some other aide,” he murmured, at last. “I doubt they’ll be as good as you. But then,” recovering some of his usual poise he smiled crookedly, “I’m beginning to doubt anyone could be.”

Lisa felt her cheeks heating and busied herself with another bite of her apple. Under that sincere praise the discomfort of her family’s ghostly presence over her shoulder faded a bit. Yes; she could do this.

They could both do this.