Characters: Riza, Al
Word count: 464
Summary: Several months after the Promised Day, Hawkeye pays a weekend visit.
Notes: written for gaia_lulia for fmagiftexchange.
There was only one train a day from Central, and this was Saturday, so there was a small crowd at the station. After she'd stepped down to the platform, Riza made her way to a clear spot by a bench, and cast her eyes through the thicket of people, the reunited couples, the soldiers on leave with kit bags slung over their shoulders, the pancake sellers passing their wares to travellers through the train windows. She was looking for a flash of blond hair, a red coat, a shout. But when she heard a voice calling "Captain Hawkeye! Hello!", it definitely wasn't Edward. She turned in a semi-circle, turned back again. A lanky young man was waving at her from the doorway to the ticket office.
It took her a full second to realise who it was.
She stepped towards him and said, tentatively, "Alphonse?"
He beamed at her. "You didn't recognise me!" He sounded delighted. His voice was deep and scratchy, nothing like the little boy's voice that had echoed from the great suit of armour. She'd only seen him once, briefly, in his human body, and there had been so much chaos around them ... He'd seemed so much smaller then, raw-boned, pallid and starved, swamped by the army greatcoat someone had found him. Now there was healthy colour in his face and freckles on his nose and arms. He looked delicate, still, but firm on his feet, full of energy: an ordinary teenage boy.
For a moment she wasn't sure whether to shake his hand, but then he took a step forward and wrapped her in a firm hug. He felt so wiry and skinny. He needed feeding up.
They broke away from each other. He reached down for her case and she held it out of his way, smiling. "Please. You're still recovering, and I can manage this quite easily."
He shrugged easily, let her take it, and they walked out of the station together. He said, "I walked here across the fields, but Mr Saunders said we could get a ride home on the back of his cart once he's dropped off his wool. If you don't mind. It might smell kind of like sheep."
Riza didn't mind at all. They sat cross-legged in the back of the cart. She watched the clouds and the fields roll past, and watched Alphonse watching them too. She felt a perfect, uncorrupted happiness, seeing him miraculously whole on this beautiful day in the middle of nowhere. She thought of the mess she had left in Central, the civil war they were struggling to prevent, that oleaginous rat Hakuro. Worth the trouble, she thought. God, she was exhausted. She closed her eyes, leaned against the side of the cart, listened to the birds.