Summary: Roy and Riza are on a “date” in order to capture weapon smugglers. Lots of sexual tension, a dose of angst, some plot and humour.
“Fuery, keep us posted if you see our man,” Roy said. “You know the signal.”
The younger man nodded. “Yes, sir.”
Roy turned to Riza and held out his arm. “Ready for our date, Eliza?”
She took his arm. “Yes, Ron, I just can’t wait.”
Fuery opened the driver’s door and came around the car to let them out. He was wearing a peaked hat and a shabby suit.
Arm in arm, Roy and Riza walked the few metres up the street to the bar. To a neutral observer, they looked just like any young couple out on a date not a General and his Lieutenant looking to make a big arrest.
There were reports of illegal weapon smuggling in East City. Roy and his team were put on the case. There were suspicions of military personnel involvement and the team had been working the case for several weeks. With the help of the Christmas girls’ spy network, they had gotten some good intelligence culminating in news of a meeting in a bar in a run-down part of East City.
Roy opened the door and let Riza walk in front of him. He was supposed to be a gentleman after all, but that didn’t stop him admiring how her butt looked in that dress.
The interior of the bar was dingy and the lighting was dim. There was barely enough room to move between all the tables and stools. It was relatively quiet at the moment, but Roy could imagine the chaos on a busy night.
Roy leaned into Riza and whispered in her ear, “If this were a real date, I would have taken you somewhere fancier.”
“If this were a real date, Ron, we would be court-martialed.”
Roy scanned the bar for anybody that might recognise them. When he looked at Riza, she nodded. Both satisfied, they stepped further inside. They found a booth at the top of the bar, where they would have a good view of the comings and goings.
Roy went to get drinks, a whisky for him and a wine for her. When, he returned to their table, Riza was fidgeting with a beer mat.
He arched his eyebrow. “What’s on your mind?”
“It’s something the Fuhrer said. I’m starting to wonder if the mole is in headquarters rather than just a low level office out east.”
Frowning, Roy leaned forward tracing his finger along his lower lip. “But all our intelligence leads us to East City not Central.”
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we need to be careful.”
Roy nodded. “Your intuition is usually spot on.”
The spots of pink on her cheek was the only sign that she appreciated his confidence in her.
Riza looked beautiful in her simple, but elegant, black dress and her hair down around her shoulders. She might deny it, but he could tell she enjoyed the chance to dress up even if it was part of a ruse. She didn’t get to do it very often.
His gaze drifted to her neck. There was still a faint scar on her neck from where she was cut on the Promised Day. It was always there, a reminder of her mortality and how he almost lost her.
He dipped his head.
Like Hughes. No, I can’t think about Hughes. I’ll drink to you later, dear friend.
“A cen for your thoughts.”
His head snapped up and he looked in Riza’s concerned eyes.
“You seem distracted,” she said.
“Just thinking about-” He reached across the table. Her lips parted a little as he traced his finger across her scar. “I’m almost surprised every time I see it.” She shivered under his touch. “It reminds me of that day.”
He pulled his hand away, already regretting his presumptuousness. He had no right to touch her intimately.
She reached for scarf to cover the scar..
He caught her hand. “No - I don’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. It’s a sign of how strong you are, that you survived. You don’t need to hide it.”
Before she could say a word, there was a loud ruckus outside.
“Come sit here beside me,” she said, “that way we can both watch the door.”
She moved in to allow him sit beside her.
“I can’t see very well.”
He wrapped his arm around her. “Move closer and we can both see.”
Their mark, Burke, entered with his entourage. Burke’s hair was cut skin tight, but he had a red beard and piercing blue eyes. His entourage was comprised of two big, muscled men and a tiny red-headed woman. The four passed them by and went straight to the bar.
“This is kind of nice,” he said.
“What’s the matter with playing pretend sometimes?” he whispered.
She slipped out from under his arm. “The harm is in forgetting that it’s pretend.”
“I know, but sometimes I want to forget. Dammit -” he balled his fists. “Sometimes, I just wish, I wish we could put aside our titles, our history and our sins. I know I’ve too much blood on my hands, but I’m just a man after all.”
He looked at her, but she said nothing. He wished she would speak, let him in. He wanted to know what she was thinking. Every time he bared his soul, she remained silent. It was those silences he hated more than any others even those when she was pissed off at him. At least then he knew she cared.
“Don’t look at me like that! It’s distracting.”
She sighed. “How much have you drunk? We’re supposed to be on a mission.”
“They’re on their way to a table.” Roy tilted his head towards the group as they passed them by. “And I’ll have you know, I’m perfectly sober..”
She arched an eyebrow.
“I always get maudlin around Hughes’ anniversary.”
She slapped her forehead. “Oh Roy, I should have remembered. Why did you agree to mission today of all days?”
“I needed a distraction,” he replied.
Her eyes were concerned.
“Don’t look at me like that. I’m fine. I want to concentrate on the matter at hand.”
She lifted her glass and took a sip. “Well - I guess once this goes down, hopefully the way we want, we will be able to have a proper drink to lost friends.”
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