I was woken up when I felt someone touch my arm gently.
“Alex, we’re in Central. It’s time to wake up.” Edward said quietly.
“What? Central?” Still feeling groggy, I opened my eyes.
Colonel Mustang nodded. “Yes, Alex. Central. We’re home.”
Suddenly, it hit me. “Central? I was asleep for five hours?” I asked incredulously.
“Yep. You must have been pretty tired, huh?” Ed looked at me.
“You guys could have woken me up. I mean, I sleep a lot. Don’t let me do that next time. I’m sorry…” I rambled.
Alphonse shook his head. “No, Alex. It’s fine. Besides, it was kind of entertaining to watch you crash onto Ed’s lap repeatedly.” He smirked.
Edward turned bright red. I looked at him, feeling a bit confused.
“Wait… What?” I asked.
“Al…” Ed looked at his younger brother with a dangerous look in his eyes.
“It’s true! Every so often, the train would turn, and your head would fall onto Edward’s lap! And then he’d push you back up, and five minutes later, you’d fall again!” Alphonse was cracking up.
I blushed. “I did? Oh, geez. I’m super sorry! I’m a total klutz, you see? I’m kind of an idiot and I really didn’t mean to do that and it was an accident and I’m so sorry for bothering you, Ed…” I started babbling again.
Edward started waving his arms. “No, it’s fine. It’s totally okay, Alex. Don’t worry about it. It’s cool. You’re cool. I’m…” He paused. “Gonna go get off the train now. See you in a few minutes.” He said, grabbing his suitcase and dashing off.
“Wait! Ed… I…” It was too late. He was gone.
Al and the colonel exchanged glances, and they burst out laughing.
I pouted. “Really? Really? You guys are mean. What did I ever do to you?”
Colonel Mustang looked at me. “I’m sorry… It’s just…” He couldn’t finish his statement because he was laughing so hard.
“Fine. Be that way.” I stuck my tongue out at them, grabbed my suitcase, and briskly walked towards the exit of the train.
When I got outside, I immediately saw Edward sitting on a nearby bench. I sat next to him.
“I’m sorry.” I said quickly, moving a bit closer to him.
He looked at me. “You’re fine.”
It was awkwardly silent for the next few minutes. I couldn’t bring myself to look Ed in the eyes.
The colonel and Alphonse walked towards us, carrying their suitcases. Edward and I stood up to meet them.
“Well. Let’s go back to Headquarters.” Colonel Mustang said, looking at me somewhat apologetically.
I nodded and the three of us left the station. While the colonel and Al decided to walk ahead, Edward stayed with me.
“Alex, you don’t look so good. Are you okay? I mean, if this is about… You know… It’s fine, really.” He said, looking down.
“Oh, Ed. It’s not that. I’m just feeling a little out of it right now.” I told him. It was true: I wasn’t exactly feeling awesome right now. Maybe it was that chicken I had eaten. But if that was the reason, why were Edward and Colonel Mustang okay?
He put his hand on my shoulder. “What do you mean? Are you sick?”
His concern for me improved my mood a tiny bit. I shrugged. “I don’t know. It might… Never mind.”
Ed stopped walking. “What? Did you figure it out?” He asked.
“Yes. Yes, I did.” I told him, quickly picking up the pace.
“Wait, Alex! What is it?” He caught up with me.
“Nothing. Really, nothing at all. I’m super sorry for…” I started.
Edward looked at me. “Alex… Are you sure that you’re okay? What’s going on?”
“I’m fine, Ed. Really. It’s just…” I broke off.
“Just… Oh. That.” He looked at the ground.
Had he really figured it out that easily? “What? Do you get it?” I stopped walking.
“Yeah. It’s…” Edward blushed and looked at the ground. “Girl stuff, isn’t it?” He whispered.
I turned bright red. “Oh, geez, Ed! Don’t say it so loud.”
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to… Wait, Alex!” He called as I ran to catch up with Colonel Mustang and Alphonse.
Al looked at me as I hurried next to him. “Nice to see you again, Alex.”
“Hi, guys.” I smiled at them.
“When we get to Headquarters, just unpack and relax. I have paperwork, so I can’t really do anything today. You guys get another day off.” The colonel sighed.
That was honestly the best news that I’d heard all day. “I get a day off! I get a day off!” I sang, dancing around in circles.
Ed ran up to me. “What happened?” He asked Alphonse.
“We get a day off!” Al joined my song. He picked me up and spun me around.
Edward laughed. “So what? We got a day off yesterday!” He said.
Alphonse and I ignored him. “We get a day off! We get a day off!” We sang together.
We reached Headquarters and Al put me down. I hugged him, Ed, and Colonel Mustang, then skipped inside. There, I saw my fellow military members.
“Lieutenant Hawkeye!” I saluted my favorite female officer, still singing.
She smiled at me. “Hello, Alex. You’re in a good mood today.”
I hugged her quickly and moved on to my next target.
“Lieutenant Havoc!” I sang, saluting him.
Pretty soon, every person in the room had received a greeting and hug from me. I skipped over to my room. The “Off Limits” sign was still on the door, so I reached into my suitcase and pulled out the sign with my name on it.
“Alexandra Hagane.” I continued singing as I switched the signs out.
The Elric brothers opened the hallway door and walked over to me. I proudly showed them the sign with my name on it.
Ed’s eyes widened when he saw it. “Well then. How about that?”
Giggling, I put the “Off Limits” sign in my suitcase. I’d give it to Colonel Mustang later.
“We’re going to go unpack. How about we meet up in half an hour?” Alphonse asked me.
I nodded. “Sounds great! Just knock on my door whenever.”
After I hugged the brothers, I opened the door to my room and walked inside.
“I’m going to have to clean up a bit.” I realized, closing the door.
My room was a bit dusty, the fountain on my desk was low on water, and my bamboo plant was looking a bit dried out.
“All right, Nya. Out you go.” I let my cat out of my backpack. She immediately ran to her water bowl in my bathroom and got a drink.
I walked over to my closet and started hanging up my unworn clothes from my suitcase. When I was all unpacked, I put my bags away and started tidying up my room. I cleaned and refilled my fountain, dusted my furniture, warmed up the heating table, and just tidied up in general. For a finishing touch, I burned some Xingese incense in an incense burner (coincidentally, also from Xing). I flopped onto my bed, relatively worn out.
“I should clean myself up.” I realized, standing up.
All of the dusting and window washing had made me kind of grimy. So I set some clean clothing behind my Xingese changing screen and took a quick shower.
The hot water running down my body felt absolutely wonderful. One could say that I was a sucker for hot baths and showers.
I dried off, wrapped my body in a towel, and got dressed behind my changing screen. Just as I was throwing my dirty clothes into the hamper basket in my closet, there was a knock at my door.
“Coming!” I called, wringing out my wet hair onto my towel.
After I hung my towel back up and turned on my fountain, I ran to get the door. When I opened it, I saw Alphonse and Edward.
“Hey, Alex. How… Your hair’s wet.” Ed commented.
“I took a shower. Come in, you guys!” I said, laughing.
The boys filed into my room, and I closed the door behind them.
Edward smiled. “It smells good in here. And it’s warm. Your room’s super cozy, Alex. I like it.”
I fluffed the floor pillows around my heating table. “Thanks. Here, sit down.”
“Thanks. Wow! You’ve got a floor bed, too. And look at that fountain! Is all of this from Xing?” Al asked as he and his brother took a seat on the pillows.
“Most of it. The desk and dresser are Amestrian, and so is most of the stuff in the bathroom.” I told him, watching Nya jump up onto the heating table and lay down.
Alphonse’s eyes widened. “You’ve got a bathroom in here? With a shower and everything?”
“Yeah. I’m kind of in the male living area, after all.” I laughed. “It’d be kind of awkward for one girl to share a bathroom with a whole bunch of guys.”
Ed blushed a little. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Hey, why isn’t your room in the girl’s area?” He asked.
“There wasn’t an extra room. When I first came to Headquarters, there was only an extra room in the guy’s area. So I stayed there. Colonel Mustang had a bathroom put in for… Certain reasons.” I said.
We all laughed. Everyone was in a good mood, well… Because…
“We get a day off!” We all sang.