You don't know why you're here. All you know was that your bastard of a father ran off and left you and your mom struggling to pay rent. So now you've come to live with her brother, Colonel Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, at the East City Eastern Command Center, while she tries to make ends meet. Since it's not working very well, she has handed him complete guardian rights.
There's no telling how long you'll be here, but you try to make the best of it anyway.
You sigh heavily as you drop onto the couch, throwing your head back and saying, "Fire, is there anything I can do?"
"It's Flame, _____. Not Fire." he corrects you. You scowl and sit up straighter.
"But there's nothing to do here."
You grit your teeth. He's being helpful. You stand up with a sarcastic eye roll.
"Can I go find some lunch? It's after noon, Uncle Mustang."
"Don't call me that." His tone is softer as he says this. "Call me Roy or Mustang."
"Alright, Uncle Roy."
He looks at you with those fathomless eyes, raising fine eyebrows. "I can see you're going to be difficult." Mustang scratches his head. "I don't know why my sister sent you to me, though." He shrugs. "Go get something to eat, then. You can hang out with the others outside if you wish."
In the cafeteria, you get a hamburger with fries and a water before heading outside, munching on a fry.
The black-and-white Shiba Inu notices you first, and alerts the others with a loud bark.
Riza Hawkeye smiles at you. "_____," she says. "Good to see you. Did you just get away from your uncle?"
"Yeah," you respond, sitting at the base of a tree and unwrapping your hamburger. Black Hayate sits loyally at your side and stares, panting, at your food. You scratch him behind the ears. "He's being an ass lately."
"He's just under a lot of stress," Vato Falman responds, pulling a leaf from Kain Fuery's head, who is asleep at the bottom of a neighboring tree. "He'll get over it. When he realized you were coming to stay, he had us clean the whole Command Center from top to bottom and back again."
"He does think highly of you," Heymans Breda says, smirking.
You're glancing around at your newfound friends—okay, you revise, maybe not 'friends', not yet. Acquaintances, at most right now—when your gaze rests on the one man who hasn't said a word.
He has blonde hair, longer and spiked at the front, and thoughtful blue eyes over gentle features. A smoking cigarette dangles from his lips as he picks a flower and tugs off one of the petals.
"Who's that?" you ask Hawkeye, not taking your bright _____ eyes off of the blonde man. He cuts soft eyes over at your question.
"The name's Jean Havoc," he says. "Second Lieutenant under Colonel Mustang."
"I know," he says, a faint color tickling his face. "You're _____. What's your last name?"
"Mustang," you say. "Mom refused to keep on using Dad's last name after he left. It's ____ Mustang, if you will."
He smiles. "Welcome to the Command Center, _____ Mustang."
You can feel your face warming up and look away quickly.
"…Say, Uncle Roy?"
"Is Second Lieutenant Havoc single?"
"Hard to tell," Mustang says, pushing one paper to the side and working on another. "He goes through girlfriends so fast sometimes we can't remember if he's on one or another."
Your heart sinks to your toes. The prospect of him being single is slighter than you would have liked to hope. Even though you've only known him for about two hours, you've already taken a strong liking to the amusing, adorable second lieutenant.
"Why?" your uncle questions.
"Oh…no reason," you lie, turning away and tugging on a strand of your ____ hair. His pen stops and he sets it down.
"What makes you think anything's wrong?"
"Your mother would act like this whenever something was eating at her." You can feel him watching you as you begin to braid a few strands of your hair. "Do you like Havoc?"
"No," you snap at him. "He's just a nice guy. A bit hard to figure out…but a nice guy." A nice guy who has very pretty eyes and looks like he has soft hair and lips.
Your face goes crimson.
"I'm going to go find Aunt Riza," you say suddenly, standing up
"Don't call her that or she'll come after me," Roy sighs.
"Alright, Uncle Fire."
"It's Fl—! …Never mind." He sits back with a low groan, rubbing his head with both hands. "She's probably in the shooting chambers."
You tramp down another set of stairs and emerge into a well-lit room divided into many long aisles. Riza Hawkeye is standing at the third one away, holding a semi-automatic rifle, and is busy aiming her shot as you approach.
"Hey, Aunt Riza."
Her finger slips on the trigger in surprise. "Aunt Riza?"
"Uncle Roy said not to call you that, but I don't want to call you Hawkeye," you explain. "Is Aunt Riza okay?"
"Sure," she says, smiling down the barrel of the rifle. Shooting one bullet, she cocks the gun and the shell clatters to the floor. "Something you needed?"
You sit down in one of the chairs behind her. "Can I ask you something?"
She fires another bullet before setting the gun down and saying, "This sounds important." Riza begins unloading the firearm, and as she is, she says, "I'm listening."
"Promise you won't tell anyone?" you ask, _____ eyes widening in emphasis.
You take a deep breath. "I think I like Havoc."
"Everyone likes Havoc," Riza replies. "Sure, he's hard to get to know—"
"I mean more than that," you interrupt. "Like… Like how Mom used to like Dad before he walked out on us."
A bullet slips from her fingers. She bends down and picks it up. "So you have a crush on Havoc? Is that it?"
You glance around, glad to see the rest of the chambers are empty. "Yeah," you admit. "He's really smart, and witty and funny, and he's handsome. Not ruggedly, rebel-without-a-cause handsome like Uncle Roy, but…"
"I know what you mean," Riza says, setting down the empty rifle. "You didn't want to tell Colonel Mustang?"
You shake your head. "He would tell Havoc, I'm sure of it."
"And you decided to talk to me about it." She smiles and sits beside you. "Do you want me to talk to Havoc for you?"
Your eyes light up. "Would you do that, Aunt Riza?"
"Of course I would," she says, ruffling your hair. You laugh and bat her hands away. "I'd do anything for my favorite adopted niece."
"I'm your only adopted niece."
"Which makes you my favorite by default," she says, winking.
The two of you laugh.
It's not a week later when you're in the library alone, reading an alchemical guide. You turn the page to start a new chapter when the light over you is blocked out and a heart-racing voice asks, "Is this chair taken?"
"No," you say, and Havoc sits beside you, smiling around his smoking cigarette.
"What's that?" he asks, nodding to the book you're reading.
"Flamel's Alchemical Guide, first volume," you say, looking up at him. He pulls the book slightly towards him and his eyes skim the page.
"You can understand this?"
"Kind of. Dad was an alchemist. He taught me a bit before he walked out. I'm trying to learn everything I can."
There's a silence between the two of you—not awkward, just a soft silence in which Havoc seems to be gathering his thoughts.
"_____," he finally asks, "are you free tomorrow night? There's a good play showing uptown and I didn't know if you wanted to go. I have two tickets—Fuery and I were going to go, but he got busy—and I don't want them to go to waste."
Your face gets warm as you touch one hand self-consciously to your cheek. His oceanic blue eyes meet your _____ ones and you see that the pinkness on his cheekbones makes him that much cuter.
"I'd love to," you say. He smiles and takes your hand in his.
"Great," he says, pressing his lips against the back of your hand in a soft, lingering kiss. "Do you want me to pick you up at your apartment tomorrow evening?"
"Of course," you say, your hand cupping your cheek as you smile shyly. "I'll see you later, then?"
"Yeah; my break's almost over." He lets your hand fall to your side as he stands up, brushing your hair from your eyes. "I'll see you later." His hand lingers at your jaw for a moment before he pulls back and heads out of the library, hands in his pockets.
You leave Flamel's Alchemical Guide on the table as you dash out of the doors, darting toward your uncle's quarters.
As you burst in, you cry, "Uncle Roy!"
Mustang, who is standing precariously on the edge of his desk and straining to fix a light bulb, crashes to the floor with a yelp.
"Uncle Roy, can I go shopping this afternoon? Like, soon? Like, right now? I need an outfit for tomorrow night," you say, helping him to his feet. He rubs his back as he looks at you.
"What's tomorrow night?" he asked.
"I've got a date," you say with a bright smile. "Can I have some money for a new outfit? Please?"
"Who are you going on a date with?"
Oh no. Don't you start going all parental Roy on me. "Someone," you reply. "Please can I have some money?"
To your relief, he pushes the identity of your date no further. "How much?"
He heaves a sigh and walks to his desk, picking up the phone. "Find me Lieutenant Hawkeye."
There was a long pause, and he said, "_____ wants to go shopping, but I can't leave. I have a good amount of paperwork to do and I can't get away from it. Can you take her out, Riza?" Another long pause. Mustang sits in his chair, stroking his jaw. "Can you or can't you?"
He sighs and smiles slightly. "Thanks a million, Lieutenant. I'll have her meet you outside." He hangs up the phone with a click.
"Go on out; Riza's bringing a car around."
You throw your arms around his middle and squeeze him tight. He lets out a small yelp and is frozen for a minute before he relaxes and hugs you back.
"You're so much like your mother," he says, kissing the top of your head. "Go on. Don't keep Aunt Riza waiting."
The next night, you stand in front of the mirror and turn in multiple circles, biting your lower lip. You've got on a black dress with a low V-neck, your hair braided down your back. The dress swoops down low on one leg, but is pulled up on the other, so that it's longer on one side. The subtle sparkles catch the light in all the right places, and your sandals with the tall straps match the dress perfectly.
Thank you, Aunt Riza.
She had taken you to get your nails done, as well as your hair, not to mention buying a couple new outfits so that you could pick one. She went all out, and didn't seem to mind your indecisiveness at the stores, being endlessly patient with you.
You have just left your room when you heard a knocking on the door and your heart leaps. Mustang, who is sitting in his armchair and reading, stands up and looks at the clock against the wall.
"Your date's here, _____," he calls as you dash out into the kitchen, stopping to check your makeup in the coffeepot.
Mustang opens the door—and you hear a badly stifled exclamation of shock.
"Second Lieutenant Havoc?!"
"You're the one she's got a date with?"
The second lieutenant's response is too quiet for you to hear. Shyly you look around the corner.
Your uncle has one hand on the doorknob and is leaning against it, running one hand through his short hair. Havoc is wearing a black tux with a white undershirt and a black tie with the military lion pin attached to it. His bright blue eyes are locked with Mustang's dark black ones, but they flicker to you as you come around the corner, smiling.
"You look nice," he says; although you know he wants to say more, Mustang is staring at him with suspicious eyes.
"Uncle Roy, I'll see you after the play," you say, hugging him. He hugs you back and looks at Havoc.
"Don't try anything funny," he hisses under his breath to the second lieutenant. "Seeing as how I'm her legal guardian now, anything that happens to her reflects on me."
"I understand," Havoc said, saluting him shortly. He holds out a hand to you. "Are you ready, then?"
Your hands are interlocked the whole walk to the theater, and when you reach it, you push one arm through his and hold his arm with your other hand, leaning against him.
"What's the play about?" you ask, looking up with shimmering ______ eyes.
As he softly explains it to you, you head inside and find your seats in the theater.
It isn't very long after he finishes speaking when the lights die and the curtain pulls back.
After the play is over, you emerge into the night and shiver a the coldness the dark has brought. He notices this.
"Are you cold?" he asks, one hand rubbing your upper arm. You smile up at him, hands gripping your elbows.
"A bit," you admit. He pulls off the dark jacket of his tux and drapes it over your shoulders, smiling. You hug it closer and breathe in the warm smell of slight cigarette smoke, cinnamon, and something that smells like scented cleaner.
"Would you like dinner before I take you home to Colonel Mustang?" he asks as you set off down the street. "I can take you somewhere if you like."
"Are you sure?" you ask, looking up at him.
"Yes, of course," he reassures you. "Anywhere you like."
After you eat, he takes you back to Mustang's apartment. You pause out in the hallway and look up at him, handing him his tux jacket back. "Thank you for a wonderful night, Havoc."
"Call me Jean," he whispers, brushing your hair from your eyes. "We needn't be so formal, do we?"
"I suppose not," you say with a smile as your _____ eyes meet his oceanic blue ones. "Jean, can I ask you something?"
"I was going to say the same thing," he says. "You go first."
"No, you can."
He takes a deep breath. "Miss Mustang, would you do me the favor of being my girlfriend?"
Your face flushes as you look up at him, smiling. "I would, Jean."
He smiles and leans in, his lips meeting yours gently.
You put your arms around his neck and close your eyes, feeling his hands on your waist. One of his hands slides up your side and his fingers touch your chin, angling your head up so to deepen the kiss. You feel him part your lips with his and feel his tongue touch your lower lip.
His tongue pushes into your mouth and you let out a soft gasp against his mouth, pulling him tighter. His hand moves to your back and presses against your shoulder blades, pulling you closer to his chest.
It's only when your head is spinning with the lack of oxygen that you break apart, panting, and you see the flush on his cheeks.
"You should get inside before Mustang thinks something's happened to you."
You run a hand up his side, tugging on his tie. "I don't want to just yet. Can I go home with you? I can call Uncle Roy from your apartment…"
He smiles, catching you around the small of your back, the other pulling on your braid gently. "Are you sure?"
"Of course I am. I love you, Jean."
"I love you too, _____."
With that, he scoops you into his arms and heads away from your and Mustang's apartment, down the hall and toward his. You two will spend the rest of the night in each other's arms, the way you've been longing for since you first laid eyes on him.
Maybe this stay with Uncle Roy won't be too bad.