Once More…Dear Friends – Seven

Their world has changed. Drama with Romance, I-4

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

The first assassination attempt should probably not have come as a surprise. And, in a way, it didn’t. Twelve years of being shot at for one reason and another ingrained some reflexes pretty deeply, and Roy was ducking before the motion of someone aiming to fire registered with his forebrain.

What Roy should not have let himself be surprised by was the fact that, these days, the people around him were far less able to take care of themselves. In the time it took him to pull on a glove behind the overturned buffet table, the shots tracking after him had hit two other people.

He had a lot of time to think about that while he suffered one of the Central Hospital doctors to check him over for any re-injuries and listened to the anxious voices of families out in the hall. Fate seemed to feel this was an insufficient reminder, though; just to make it all more pointed, he found Hawkeye waiting for him in the hospital lobby wearing both her guns.

“Are you all right?” she asked in a businesslike tone, eyes marking each person around them.

“Fine.”

Her eyes flickered to him, at the flatness of his voice, and then away again. “Let’s go, then.”

A car was waiting and she shepherded him briskly into it. That was familiar, but the world stretched in a moment of vertigo when she slid into the back seat beside him. She was always ahead of him, wasn’t she? Whenever it felt like the world was blowing away in ashes, she was ahead of him to arrange the details and drive the car. But no, that wasn’t what she was any more; nor what he was, any more.

The ride was a silent one.

She didn’t speak again until she’d closed and locked the front door behind them. “The doctors checked you over?” she asked quietly. He nodded. “And they’re sure there are no new injuries?” Another nod.

She stepped into him and buried her head against his shoulder and held him so tightly his ribs creaked. Roy blinked, and slowly closed his arms around her. “… Lisa.” His voice was rusty in his own ears. “It’s all right.”

“No it isn’t!” she said violently, if somewhat muffled. “Didn’t you get shot at enough when it was your job?”

He leaned his head against hers and laughed bitterly. “I wasn’t the one that got hit. Obviously, it isn’t me I need to worry about, now.”

She lifted her head to glare at him and shook him once, hard. “Yes it is! Where is everyone else going to be, if you stop worrying about yourself and it gets you killed?” She wound her arms still more tightly around him. “Idiot.”

His snort of laughter had a little genuine amusement in it, this time. “You’ve gotten a lot less polite, out of uniform.”

“Yes, now I can say it, instead of just thinking it,” she shot back, tartly.

He leaned against her with a long sigh. “I suppose you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right.”

That got another snort, which seemed to satisfy her enough to let go of him—at least until she’d steered him to the couch. He sat looking down at their fingers tangled together, and ran a thumb over the back of her hand, feeling the strong lines of tendon under smooth skin.

“It wasn’t a soldier. Or even an ex-soldier,” he said, at last, voice low in the still dark living room. “It wasn’t even someone from Lior, which would have made sense to me. He was from the North, a village just inside the old border.” He brooded for a moment. “What used to be a village.”

Lisa pressed closer against his side and her hair brushed his cheek as she nodded, silent and unsurprised. Of course, she knew the aftermath of marches and occupations as well as he did. “I’m going with you to these official functions of yours from now on,” was all she said.

Roy was silent for a moment, trying to negotiate between his undeniable relief at the thought of having another person nearby who was competent in danger, and the countersurge of protest that he didn’t want Lisa to put herself in danger. He frowned a little, exasperated with himself for such a ridiculous reaction.

“I’m going,” Lisa repeated, a note of warning sounding in her voice. “It’s obvious you still need someone to watch your back.” Her lips curved in the lamplight coming through the window. “Especially if it rains.”

Roy drew himself up, dignified. “I have no intention of arguing with that.” A corner of his mouth twitched. “Though it would seem rather difficult to hide two guns in an evening dress.”

Lisa snuggled comfortably into his shoulder and tugged his arm around her. “That’s what thigh holsters were invented for.”

Roy took a moment to enjoy the mental image of how some of the more stuffy Ministry officials and Members of Parliament would react to this beautiful woman in their midst calmly pulling out a gun instead of shrieking and fainting. And then he took another moment to savor the idea of taking down the assassins before they could shoot the civilians, and drew a deep, satisfied breath. He pulled Lisa a little closer and murmured against the nape of her neck, “You are a delight.”

“Oh, I get it; you just love me for my guns.” She poked him with a teasing finger, but he could feel the heat of her blush against his cheek.

“And someday I’ll even get you used to taking compliments,” he added.

She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. “Maybe.”

Roy laughed softly and they leaned against each other in the dim warmth.

End