100 Royai Drabbles (83)
You know, I love writing jealous!Roy, but I think it’s high time that Riza got her dose of it. She’s not entirely above it, after all. Also, it’s been entirely too long since I’ve written about Riza and Havoc’s friendship.
Despite the fact that the dress was perfectly fine and covered her up, Riza couldn’t help but tug uncomfortably at the material. She hadn’t wanted to wear a dress in the first place, but rules were rules, and she would be damned if they didn’t allow her in here simply because she wasn’t wearing a bloody dress. Still, it had taken minutes for the blush to leave her face when she’d stepped into the office and caught sight of Roy’s face. He hadn’t stared at her outright like that in what felt like ages. It hadn’t made her feel uneasy so much as too warm and she did not want to linger on those thoughts.
Military functions like this were absolutely atrocious. She’d secretly hoped that with a new Fuhrer that these events would go away, but they were the easiest way to fundraise money for the military. Every time a gala was held, all the bigwigs were in attendance. Almost more importantly, so were many of the prized State Alchemists that the government had in the bag. Roy was one of the most prominent guests. Not only was he a young soldier quickly rising in the ranks, but he was the Flame Alchemist. The government just loved to show him off.
Things were a little different now with Grumman as Fuhrer, but apparently not different enough where they didn’t need these ridiculous events. For a few hours, Riza had actually considered trying to use her status as the man’s granddaughter to wheedle out of having to actually attend in this get up, but the old codger had been delighted at the idea of seeing her dress up. According to him, she’d looked just like her mother when she showed up and greeted him tonight.
There would be no getting out of this. She’d known right from the start that she would be attending, seeing as how Roy would undoubtedly be there. He was one of the two full Generals in Amestris now and had been a part of the group that saved the country. If Olivier Armstrong was going to be there, he needed to be there as well. Plus, Grumman had more or less demanded that his golden boy show up.
Roy didn’t care for the galas either, but he was absolutely perfect at them. Madam Christmas had done something right in raising him. Every man with a bit of money found Roy to be an excellent friend and every woman found him terribly charming. Riza was almost certain that half the money that was donated to the military by the end of the night came from Roy’s schmoozing. He laid on the charm perfectly and came off as genuine, even when he grumbled about the people that hung over him later on.
The only problem Riza had found was that she wasn’t allowed to wear her uniform. The only people in uniform were the Fuhrer and any Generals present. She was supposed to be Roy’s bodyguard and yet she couldn’t wear her damn uniform. It was absurd. Normally, she took orders without complaint or she didn’t follow them because they were idiotic – but this time, she’d protested more than once. In the end though, she’d clamped her mouth shut and allowed Rebecca to take her dress shopping. At least her best friend got to enjoy the moment. Hell, everyone seemed to enjoy seeing Riza in a dress except for herself.
And so that was how Riza found herself in the corner of a large ballroom, eyes darting through the crowd as she tried to find the General. The man had slipped away from her when an older woman wearing what looked like the remains of a fox on her shoulders asked if he would dance with her. Riza did her best to not fold her arms across her chest and scowl, but it was a little difficult. She’d only been able to fit one gun and two knives on her person with this dress. She should’ve gone with the light green one, but…
Oh, who was she kidding? She’d loved this blue dress the moment she put it on. The color reminded her of her uniform – a rich, deep blue – but the material was soft and fit her so well. It was long and a little loose at the bottom with a slit and then cinched at the waist where the top was covered in beautiful patterns. As usual, it covered her back and most of her chest, but it was sleeveless and still managed to show off her curves. Riza could complain about not being in her uniform all she wanted, but she did like the dress still.
“You look like someone stepped on your foot.”
Riza rolled her eyes to the left. There was Havoc, giving her a stupid grin. He hadn’t been able to wear his uniform as well, but he hadn’t minded it nearly as much as she did. After all, he did clean up nice in a black suit, though Roy had had to fix his tie on the way here. When it came to choosing two people to guard him, Roy had chosen her and Havoc. Not only were they both good shots and trained for fieldwork, but they worked well together and got along.
That didn’t mean Riza wasn’t below kicking him in the shin.
“I wasn’t aware that you enjoyed these functions so much,” Riza replied in an almost snippy tone. “Being surrounded by a bunch of snotty men and women that have never served a day in their life in the military…”
Havoc laughed. “Oh, no, I don’t enjoy that at all. Getting looked down on as just a country bumpkin that joined the military because I didn’t know what else to do is never fun.” He held up a plate that was piled impossibly high with food. “But have you tried these quiches? They’re delicious. I think they flew in some chefs from all over the country.” He picked up one of the hors d'oeuvres and popped it into his mouth. The man seemed positively delighted with the food. “I’ll take free food any day.”
As a waiter passed by, Havoc picked a flute of champagne off the man’s tray. Without missing a beat, Riza took the glass right out of his hands and turned to set it down on another passing waiter’s tray. “We’re on the job,” she pointed out. Havoc didn’t even look bothered. He just grinned at her again, like he’d been aware the entire time that she would react in that way and he’d done it on purpose, and then ate some more food.
Riza turned her eyes back to the crowd, but she couldn’t find Roy. That made her heart race a little. She was sure that he was fine, but she hated losing him in a place like this. For the most part, these events were dull. The most action Roy got was rich widow squeezing his butt when she thought no one was looking. (To this day, the story of Roy getting assaulted by Mrs. Ludwig was Havoc’s favorite to reenact at bars.) That didn’t make Riza any less cautious about her job to protect him.
“10 o’clock, in front of the pillar,” Havoc pointed out, knowing exactly what was on her mind. He squinted, as if that would give him a better look. “Dancing with… I think it’s that woman that has married three Generals in the past ten years – Carla something.”
Three Generals? The woman certainly had a type. Also it was probably how she’d managed to get an invite to the gala. Riza snapped her eyes in the direction. Roy was exactly where Havoc had said, smoothly dancing with a blonde-haired woman. Though she was older, she looked remarkably attractive in a glimmering green dress and she was an excellent dancer as well. She was laughing too, most likely at something Roy said because of the way he was smirking back at her.
Riza felt something tug inside her chest and squashed the feeling away immediately. Still, it was hard to ignore how close they were on the floor, the way his hand rested on the small of her back and her hand fit in his other while her hand sat on his shoulder, idly playing with the hair at the nape of his neck. It was becoming a lot harder for her to ignore that uncomfortable feeling. The urge to snatch a glass of champagne and down it flashed in her mind, but no, she couldn’t do that. She was just being ridiculous. It was the dress and the people.
“We could make them jealous,” Havoc offered good-naturedly.
He was a good friend, and it was such a simple thing, but it did make Riza smile. “When was the last time you danced, Havoc?”
“Like this? Never.” Havoc chuckled and gave her a wry smirk. “But I can throw a mean hoedown.”
The joke was so unexpected that Riza actually laughed out loud and brought a hand to her mouth when a few people looked back at them with sneering expressions. She gave them an apologetic look and waited for them to turn back around before she slapped Havoc on the arm.
Honestly, she was grateful that she wasn’t alone here. There were a few other lower ranked people like them mingling about, like Lieutenant-Colonel Miles, who had come with General Armstrong, and also Lieutenant-Colonel Alex Armstrong, but she wasn’t nearly as close to any of them as she was Havoc. Though he didn’t say anything out loud, he knew what was bothering her and he knew not to bring it up outright as well. She didn’t want to admit that she was upset by seeing Roy dance so closely with another woman, especially one as attractive (and available) as that one, but she was and that was frustrating in itself. She had no right to be bothered by such a stupid thing. Hell, if he wanted to go home with the woman tonight, he could. He was free to do so.
God, why had she thought of that? Now she was feeling worse all over again.
Subconsciously, Riza tugged at her dress again, like it would somehow make things better. With Roy so focused on his dance partner, it was easy for her to forget the way he’d looked at her tonight. It had just been the two of them in the room, but it had felt like it was only the two of them in the world. His eyes had been dark and very open with, well… She’d thought it looked like desire, but she could’ve been seeing things.
“Oh, hell,” Riza grumbled when she realized that the song was over and Roy and his dance partner were walking towards them, arms still linked together.
Havoc set his plate of food down on the table behind them and nudged her with his shoulder. Riza gave him a small smile of gratitude. He may have been here under orders to protect Roy, but Havoc had her back right now. She hated needing support like this, but she could tell that it was going to be a trying few minutes just from the way the woman giggled and stroked Roy’s arm with her free hand.
“Did you enjoy your dancing, sir?” Havoc asked once the two of them were closer.
“Oh, quite so,” Roy responded in an almost breathy voice, as if the dance had been exhilarating. Riza tried not to stiffen at his tone or the way that he looked down at the woman and she giggled in response. She stood still and remained as impassive as possible. She was his bodyguard; she was his adjutant; she was nothing more than that. It didn’t matter to her if this woman had found her next victim to marry. “Ms. Avery here–”
“I told you,” the woman interrupted, giving him a coy smile, “Call me Carla.”
Roy smiled ever so charmingly down at her. “Carla is an avid dancer. She’s been taking lessons all her life. It’s been a while since I’ve been schooled so thoroughly.”
“I’ve just loved to dance since I was a little girl,” Carla gushed as she swept a strand of her perfect blonde hair out of her face. It was long and lovely. She’d kept it down so that it framed her face wonderfully. Riza’s own hair was still in the stages of being grown out again. It was past the extremely awkward bed head hair, but nowhere near as lovely as Carla’s. “It’s in my blood, you could say. My mother was a ballet dancer. I wasn’t quite as talented, but I still followed her.”
“Nonsense, you were astounding out there. You certainly left me breathless.”
If there was a sound that Riza never had to hear again in her life, it was Carla Avery’s giggle. It was only thanks to the slight eye roll from Havoc that Riza was able to manage to steel herself against it. Clearly he didn’t enjoy it all that much either. That made her feel a little better. It didn’t entirely take away the urge to smack Roy across the face, but then again, he wasn’t really doing anything wrong.
“If you’ll excuse me though, I do need a refreshment after that.” Roy carefully peeled himself away from her, but it was in a manner that said he was regretful about the loss of contact with her. Indeed, Carla pouted at him, her entire focus on him. In fact, she hadn’t once looked at Riza, preferring to look at either Roy or Havoc, as if Riza didn’t exist whatsoever. That suited Riza just fine. “Would you care for something?”
“That would be lovely, General,” Carla practically purred. “Surprise me!”
“As you command,” Roy replied, tipping his hat at her.
When he started for the bar, Riza turned on her heels to follow him without a word. She noticed a few seconds later that Havoc hadn’t followed, instead staying behind to keep the other woman company until her dance partner returned. She truthfully didn’t know whether to be mad at Havoc for doing that or thankful, mostly because she didn’t know if she wanted to be around Roy right now – and she didn’t know if she didn’t want to be around him. These functions were so stupid.
Once they were at the bar and out of the other two’s sight, Roy slumped against the bar, not looking nearly as charming as he’d been seconds ago. “That woman is like an octopus, Hawkeye,” he mumbled. “It was damn near impossible to extricate myself from her once she latched onto me.”
“You seemed like you were enjoying yourself just fine.” Riza nearly winced. The words had come out a lot more sharper than she’d intended. She hoped that he thought she was merely teasing him, but the sideways look that he gave her confirmed that he’d caught on. She dropped her eyes to the ground in apology, unable to say anything else. Why couldn’t this night just end?
“She’s not the one I want to dance with,” Roy spoke up. Riza brought her eyes up and found herself looking into Roy’s eyes. They carried the same look as when they’d been in the office alone together. She thought to admonish him for a moment – they were in public, after all – but she didn’t really know what to say. “I find it terribly frustrating that I have to come to these things and see the most beautiful woman in the world, and yet I can’t even dance with her. Something about it being inappropriate, I imagine is her reasoning.”
Riza bit her lip. “Maybe she’s just…afraid.”
“Her? Afraid?” Roy chuckled. “Never. She’s the most fearless person I’ve ever met.” He thought too much of her at times. It always managed to get her worked up when he did that and yet he continued to do so. She picked up a glass of wine and he picked up one as well and started their return to Havoc and the woman. “It’s also not fair that she’s here. How am I supposed to pay attention to anyone else when all I want to do is look at her?”
She wouldn’t blush. She refused to do such a thing, especially since they were in the middle of a crowd, but later on, when Riza thought back to this moment and remembered the feel of Roy’s hand just ghosting along the small of her back as he helped guide her through the crowd. It wasn’t much, but it was just enough to let her know exactly what he thought. They were in a room full of people with plenty of women willing to throw themselves at General Mustang, but the only woman he was leaving with here tonight was her.