[ed/riza; pg] Second Glance Title: Second Glance Author:emilie_burns Theme: 21: Change of heart (21_Hearts) Fandom:Fullmetal Alchemist Pairing: Edward Elric / Riza Hawkeye Rating: PG Wordcount: 764 Warnings: None Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) is copyrighted by Hiromu Arakawa/Square Enix. This is a work of fanfiction for personal entertainment only. Unless outright stated otherwise, assume AU-ishness for all Ed/Riza fics by me, with Ed 17+ in age. This fic is prior to then, but the pairing hints are extremely light and subtextual. Teaser:Riza glanced at Alphonse, feeling absolutely certain now that if he were not in armor, he would be visibly sporting a broad grin which could only be described as 'shit-eating'. Original LJ Post Date: July 03, 2006 @ Chaotic_Library
It had been hard to miss them, although admittedly Alphonse was far more recognizable and easily spotted in the crowded marketplace. But once she caught sight of him, it was easy to locate the other, for she rarely saw Alphonse outside of the company of his older brother unless they were in Headquarters.
"Good afternoon," Riza said as she approached them. "I didn't know you two were in town."
"Hello, Lieutenant, we just got in a couple of hours ago," Alphonse said, and she swore she could see his smile in his voice. She'd never seen him before he was bound to the armor, but Riza was certain if she ever saw him in the flesh, all he'd need to do was smile and she'd recognize him.
"Huh?" Edward looked up from the fruit display, his expression blank for a few moments when he glanced to her, and once again, she was startled by the change in him. Alphonse still looked the same as he had the first day she saw him, as armor didn't age, and Edward wasn't much taller, if any taller at all, and his attire remained constant. In her mind, she kept expecting to see the young boy who helped thwart hijackers on a train, the boy who would be come the youngest State Alchemist of all time.
But his face had changed; it was leaner now, having lost that roundness of youth, and it always came as a little bit of a shock to notice that he was getting older when so much about both brothers stayed the same.
It took a few brief seconds, but the blank confusion evaporated from his expression, giving way to one of gruff recognition. "Oh, hi, Lieutenant. I didn't recognize you out of uniform." He started to turn away then glanced back again briefly. "You're prettier with your hair down."
She did a double-take, blinking in surprise at him as he turned back to the apples. Not only had that been nearly a non sequitur, it was delivered in such an offhand and dismissively distracted manner that she wasn't sure what to think of it at all. Feeling rather bewildered, Riza looked at Alphonse for an explanation, but none was forthcoming. In fact, she couldn't shake the feeling that beneath that rigid iron, somewhere in there, Alphonse was grinning.
The confusion combined with the oddity of the moment and the way it seemed like Alphonse was looking right at her without saying a word only increased the flustered feeling, and Riza swore inwardly as she felt her cheeks grow hot.
"Well. Ah, well, thank you?" she said, and hated how awkward her own voice sounded. Her mother had always taught her to accept a compliment graciously, after all. But the only time anyone besides older relatives had ever complimented her on her appearance, it was with deliberate intent to flirt.
Edward glanced at her, frowning in confusion. "What? Oh." He blinked and arched an eyebrow, and waved it off, dropping an apple in a bag. "Just sayin'. You don't look like the Lieutenant like that. Not like a dog of the military."
"What Brother is trying to say is that you look like a girl with your hair down, and that's a good thing."
Riza glanced at Alphonse, feeling absolutely certain now that if he were not in armor, he would be visibly sporting a broad grin which could only be described as 'shit-eating'.
"I... well, thank you," Riza said, and glanced around for an escape route to regain her equilibrium from what was evolving into an odd encounter. "I suppose I'll see you tomorrow if you're planning on coming by headquarters."
"Unfortunately," Ed muttered. "I guess I can only put off seeing that jackass for so long."
"Now, Brother," Al chided, and looked back to Riza. "We'll see you tomorrow, Lieutenant. Have a good day."
"You too," she said, glancing back as she stepped away. Al had already turned his attention back to Edward, who was shoving a bag of apples into his arms.
It wasn't until later that night that Riza realized it was perhaps the first compliment she'd ever received that wasn't socially obligated, or from a biased relation, or an effort to score. It was gruff, almost detached, rough and simple, and unintentionally backhanded in its clumsiness, but an uncut diamond was still a diamond nevertheless. As she turned out the lights, she hoped that someday, she would find someone spoke his thoughts so plainly, rough as they might be.