colonel blink

When you come back home, it’s not always you. It’s not always your home. London actually wasn’t. Everything was different. As well as the colonel himself. 

His life froze in black and white war chronicles with no sound. The voice-over was coming a bit too late, so Sebastian was still hearing the bullets flying. The colonel blinked fast as if trying to stop the sound. Nothing changed. Phantoms were unbearable, as well as Jim. 

“You don’t look flourishing,” said Moriarty, carefully studying Colonel’s face. “I hope you keep the gun close at hand and shoot yourself just in case.”

Everything was different except Jim’s killing irony. And his generosity. A welcome-back present fot Moran became a sniper riffle Heckler und Koch PSG-1.

“Miss me?” asked Jim, and Sebastian realised…

…he fucking did. 

Lamppost

Thanks to stupidsexymustang for giving me my first prompt! I get so bored with nothing to do at work, so here you go! Hope you enjoy it! :)

Prompt: Lamppost

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Stalking back to her apartment in the rain, glaring at anyone and everything in her path, Riza couldn’t quite think of a time she’d been so angry. It was the type of anger that blurred the vision, although that could have just been the rain. It really didn’t matter, however, as the fact remained, she was furious. The reason for her anger? None other than her commanding officer.

Just thinking about Colonel Mustang sent another wave of fury washing over the Lieutenant as the rain pelted her back. What an idiot! How stupid could one man be?! After everything she did for him, after all the times she all but took a bullet for him, he had to be so…so…?

“Ugh!” the sound escaped the blonde before she could bite it back.

It didn’t matter. The day was done―she was done―and now all she wanted to do was take a hot shower, change into her nightgown, and go to bed. If it hadn’t been raining, she might have taken Black Hayate on another walk to use up some frustrated energy, but she didn’t want to catch a cold. Nor was it a very good idea to go walking alone when it was so dark if she were honest with herself. Not that she couldn’t protect herself―certainly not that!―but she just didn’t want to deal with anymore people today. She’d had enough.

When her apartment building came into view, a small helping of relief came over the woman as she continued her quick march for the door. While it had been a warm day, the rain was cold, and the thick uniform she wore could only stand so much before it was soaked through. Yes, a hot shower would be just the thing to relax the stiffness.

As she went up the steps and to the door, Riza noticed the lamppost just outside flickering. Turning, she scowled at it as if it had personally insulted her. The city really should have looked into fixing that by now, yet like everything else recently, it seemed that she was cursed to live in a world of ineptitude and inefficiency. She stood a moment glaring at the light flickering and couldn’t help but be reminded of earlier, the flashes of gunfire…

No.

Don’t go down that path, Riza, the blonde told herself firmly as she walked inside and out of the rain.

It took only a minute before she was in her apartment and closed off the outside world. Once safely ensconced within her own familiar, safe environment, she sighed and leaned against the door, closing her eyes. She could hear Black Hayate’s claws clicking as he walked in to see her.

Peeking open one eye, she smiled tiredly down at the dog, still just a puppy really. “How was your day?” she asked. Black Hayate barked in response. “Still better than mine.”

Pushing off the door took more effort than Riza was willing to admit. Goal still in mind, she managed to tug off her boots, leaving the muddy things by the door, before heading straight for her bedroom. She stripped out of her drenched uniform quickly before grabbing her nightgown and a clean pair of underwear before going to the bathroom and locking the door. She set her Colt 1903 on the counter. It wasn’t as though she expected anyone to come in and attack, but in her line of work, she’d rather be safe than sorry. And after Ishval, Riza never did become comfortable not having a firearm near at hand should she need it.

When she turned on the water, and stood in the spray, another sigh escaped. Who knew warm water could feel so heavenly?

A sound at the door had the Lieutenant jumping, but just as she was beginning to reach for the Colt, she paused. It was only Black Hayate, scratching at the door. She frowned, making mental note of working with him to correct that bad behavior. But then, she couldn’t really blame him for his anxiousness. He was probably out of food and had been alone most of the day. And he was still technically a puppy. Not that that justified his actions, but still.

As Riza washed her hair, she smiled, thinking back to when she’d first seen the tiny little black and white puppy. Fuery had been so worried about the tiny little dog, it had actually taken a lot of willpower on Riza’s part not to fawn over the pup. She’d always liked animals, yet she’d never had a pet before. She hadn’t been too sure she could properly take care of a puppy. They were a tremendous responsibility, after all.

But as her mind wandered back to that rainy day when Fuery had come in with a puppy, she could help think of when the Sergeant had wanted the Colonel to take the pup. A smile wormed its way onto Riza’s lips as she pictured Colonel Mustang taking up the puppy and beaming in absolute joy at the tiny creature. He’d been so happy with that little pup, singing nonsense and praising the attributes of the canine species. Seeing him like that, completely at ease and manically cheerful had reminded her so much of when they’d been kids. The way his eyes would light up, so joyful as he hadn’t been since Ishval. It had warmed her heart to see.

Just as she was beginning to relax, Riza jolted as she realized what she was doing. “Shit,” she cursed, getting soap in her eye.

While it stung, she was almost glad for the pain. It reminded her that she’d been angry, and reminded her that she really should stay angry. While normally not one to hold grudges, this time was different. She didn’t want to forget, didn’t want to forgive. She wanted to stay mad.

Once she had scrubbed herself clean and there was really no logical reason for her to remain in the shower, Riza stepped out, grabbing her towel. After she was dried sufficiently, she threw on her night clothes and wrapped her hair in the towel. After she rolled her neck, still feeling tense and ill at ease.

When she opened the door, Black Hayate sitting there, little tail wagging back and forth. She shook her head fondly at the canine before going into the kitchen to get him and herself something to eat.

Thankfully Black Hayate was generally a quiet dog and was never too fussy. He sat patiently as she opened his food and gave him exactly one cup. She’d calculated the proper amount he should be receiving daily. It simply would not do to either underfeed or overfeed him. After all, this little one was counting on her. If she didn’t look after him, who would?

So, as her pup ate happily, Riza made herself a cup of tea and decided to just eat an apple. She really wasn’t all that hungry despite it having been a long day. Her stomach was still uneasy and churned after all that had happened. Without her leave, her mind conjured the Colonel as he fell, the gunfire shattered the stillness of the night…

Shaking her head, Riza turned her attention to her tea, cursing herself when she noticed how her hands shook.

Stupid nerves.

Stupid Colonel.

The light outside kept a steady flicker, annoying the blonde enough that she turned her glare upon it. Eventually, however, the flickering slowed. Standing up, tea in hand, she walked over to the window to look out. Was it finally dying all together? While the flickering was annoying, she hoped it wasn’t about to burn out. Some flashing light was better than none at all. Her neighborhood was dark enough as it was.

When she looked out, however, she was startled to see a figure standing out under the lamppost. Everything was dark, but Riza thought she could make out a man. The idea of grabbing her pistol sounded very appealing, but just as she was about to turn away, the light flickered back on, and she saw familiar blue garb.

A dark scowl split her face, and turning away from the window, Riza grabbed a long overcoat, stuffed her Colt in her pocket, and slipped on her boots by the door. Grabbing her keys, she walked out of her apartment and down the stairs. Of all the people in the worlds she didn’t want to see, what was it him that showed up? He had some uncanny ability to appear when he wasn’t desired.

Standing in the door, Riza decided not to step out into the rain. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.

Colonel Mustang took a step forward, frowning. He looked pathetic, soaked through, black hair matted down to his head, and she even thought she saw him shiver once. Idiot. Why was he here?

“I just…I came because I want to know why you’re so angry with me.” His voice, while it had started off hesitant, slowly morphed into something defensive. It was just like him to want to throw this all back on her.

“Why am I angry?” Riza snapped, narrowing her eyes. “How about because you’re an idiot?”

The Colonel blinked in surprise— probably because she hadn’t spoken quite so candidly to him since before she had become his subordinate— before he scowled back. “And why am I an idiot?” he snapped.

“Because you’re too stupid to see that you’re useless, especially on days like these!” Riza snarled, not caring that she was speaking to a higher ranking officer. “It’s been rainy all day, but the moment we get an assignment, what do you do? You charge into a fight with six men!”

“We had our orders, Lieutenant,” Colonel Mustang growled. “And I wasn’t going to use my flame alchemy. I am not an idiot. I had my pistol drawn, and you and Havoc were there to back me up. I wasn’t just running into a fight recklessly. What the hell was I supposed to do? Disobey orders? Not go after the deserters?”

“You should have stayed behind,” the blonde argued, stepping out into the rain, hugging her coat around herself. “Havoc and I could have taken care of them on our own. But then you got in the way!”

“How the hell did I get in the way?” the Colonel exclaimed indignantly. “As I recall, Lieutenant, you’re the one who didn’t see that the sidewalk was uneven and tripped, not me.”

“Fine, I made a mistake,” Riza threw her hands up in the air in exasperation, her anger coming to a head. This really wasn’t like her, all this emotion, but she was so angry, and she just didn’t care at the moment. She didn’t care she was getting soaked again, didn’t care that she was arguing in the middle of the street, and didn’t care that she was screaming at her superior officer.

“I made a mistake by not watching where I was going,” she conceded. “But then you shouldn’t have turned back to me. You never take your eyes off the enemy—you know that! What would have happened if you hadn’t thrown yourself down fast enough? You’d be full of at least ten bullet holes right now!”

“I was fast enough, and despite what you seem to think, I realized my mistake and corrected it instantly. Unlike you,” the Colonel sneered. Despite the rain, Riza could have sworn she saw him steaming. “You sat in that damn puddle for, what? Three minutes before you snapped yourself out of it to take care of those men?”

The Lieutenant’s face tinged pink in anger. “I didn’t get up because those deserters thought I’d been shot, and I was shocked enough that my superior officer was stupid enough to turn away from the enemy, giving them a clear shot of his back!”

Colonel Mustang took another step forward, getting right into Riza’s face, but she didn’t back down. She could see in the flickering light how angry he was, how his eyes burned furiously. She hadn’t seen him this angry in a long time. It was truly a frightening sight, yet the shiver that ran down Riza’s spine was not from fear.

“So caring about my subordinate is stupid?” his voice dipped down low, dangerous.

“It is if it risks your life, Sir,” she didn’t back down.

“So you think my life is worth more than yours?”

Riza didn’t hesitate as she answered. “Yes.”

At last the ire stalled, and as Riza looked into the Colonel’s eyes, she saw sadness, a sadness that was reflected in her own eyes. Did he really not understand? Did he really not see just how close she’d been to losing him today, and because of her own stupidity? If something were to ever happen to him, she would never forgive herself.

The two officers were silent as the rain pelted down upon them, neither really feeling it anymore. Riza was startled from her thoughts when she felt the Colonel’s hand gently take hers. Surprised, she looked up, and saw her turbulent feelings mirroring in his eyes perfectly.

“Did it ever occur to you,” his voice was tender, “that I might think your life was worth more than mine?”

Something happened then, and Riza would never know for sure who had moved first. All she knew was that one moment they were staring at one another, the next, she was wrapped up in his arms, and their lips were locked together. For several minutes they stood out in the rain, kissing desperately, the tension of the day finally washing away as they stood under the dying light of the lamppost.