Central City Murders

Chapter Four

Hawkeye's aching hand held the pencil as she signed off on another paper. Her throbbing head was beating in time with her heart. She had been working on Roy's unfinished papers he had left behind when he went off with Mae's.

She rested her hand on the table and set the pencil down. She glanced up at the clock and sighed, her shift was now over. Exhaustion filled her and she was ready to leave. She stood and grabbed up her dark coat, slipping it onto her small frame and buttoning it up. She remembered she had to check on the kid Roy had let stay at his house.

She was still rather shocked at Roy's kindness towards the child. He had always sworn he would never deal with children. Too much work, he'd always said. She was glad that he had opened his house and heart for the orphaned child.

She always knew Roy had a good heart, as much as he tried to hide it. He'd always claimed he was never good with kids yet she'd seen him deal with children who had just lost their families to the war and how he gently spoke to them, trying to calm their raging emotions.

She could tell he'd make a wonderful father one day if he'd only give himself the chance to prove it.

She started for the door and walked down the stairs that led outside. Her footsteps fell onto the hard sidewalk as she started the short walk to Roy's house.

The wind brisked through her blonde hair, whipping it into her face and making her scowl. She had lost her hair tie earlier that day and was regretting it as she tucked the stray pieces behind her ear.

She glanced up into the sky and saw the dark, angry clouds that trailed their way through the sky, swallowing what little blue was left. She only hoped Roy put his gloves somewhere they would stay dry.

Her coat flapped at her as the wind blew into her again, making her speed up her pace as Roy's house came into view. It was an easily recognizable house with its red flame mail box and cheesy welcome mat on the porch.

She approached the door and rapped her hand against the hard surface, waiting for the person inside to come.

She heard footsteps sound through the house as they came to the door and carefully opened it. "Hello?" A voice greeted her.

"Hello, I'm a friend of Roy's. My name is Hawkeye, can I come in?" She asked gently as to not scare the child.

The boy opened the door a little wider and looked her over. "Yeah I guess you can come in." He stepped aside and gestured her indoors.

The child looked a lot different than she had imagined. The thing that shocked her was the sight of his golden eyes. They reminded her of a blazing fire, engulfing all that was near. They were both beautiful and scary all at once.

"Thank you." She said as she walked in just as the first of the rain drops fell onto the porch roof, sending pattering sounds into the house.

Edward didn't really know what to do when Hawkeye walked in. He hadn't dealt with too many women since his mother had died a few years back. He felt awkward as he stood by the door, looking up at the lady.

"Roy asked me to check in on you." Hawkeye's expression was of kindness, something Ed hadn't seen in a long time.

"Are you doing okay?" She asked him as she looked around the room. It looked the same as it always had, paperwork on the desk in the room and coffee mugs scattered around on all the tables.

Ed looked up at her, "Yeah I'm doing fine." He nodded hesitantly. "Do you work with Roy or something?" He asked her warily.

She nodded lightly and went to sit on the dark leather couch. The leather was cold as she sat on it, sending shivers up her back. Roy usually had a fire going, keeping the cold touch of the frigid air at bay.

Ed walked over and sat down on a chair opposite of Hawkeye. He intertwined his fingers and looked at her, waiting for her to break the silence. He always had been terrible at making small talk. He'd never been much of a people person.

"I'm Lieutenant Hawkeye, I've worked with Roy for many years now." She said. She didn't want to go into too much dept with her story of how Roy and her had met. She didn't want to scare him.

"So, Roy said your name was Edward, right?" She tried to get him to talk. "I used to know an Edward, he was really sweet and caring." She smiled sadly.

Ed looked at her expression and frowned. "What happened to him?" He asked as his curiosity was peaked.

"He was killed in the war. He saved many people with his sacrifice. Including my life." She said as her brown eyes went distant. "He jumped in front of me just as the enemy shot. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today." She said.

She glanced up at Ed. "But enough of that, lets try to get to know each other better." She said. "Where is your family?" She asked.

Ed scowled and looked down at his intertwined fingers. He hated talking about how his family died. It made his heart twist knowing there was nothing he could do to stop them from getting shot.

"They were a bad case of mistaken identity." He started, as the memories of that day washed over him, making him shiver.

"The soldiers showed up at our door and pounded their way through it." He said. "I can still remember the way the sound echoed through our house as they stomped their way in and looked for my parents." He stopped and took a breath.

"They aimed their guns at them, demanding they come with them. My parents said no as they tried to make their way towards me and my brother to protect us. They were shot for their troubles." Ed finished with closed eyes.

Hawkeye felt his pain. She remembered the day when her father had taken his last breath as he held her hand tightly. Her heart squeezed in her chest as strong as the day he died. She shook herself out of the memory and focused her attention back on Ed.

"You had a brother?" She asked as she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. "What happened to him?" She asked Ed.

Ed's eyes widened at his slip of the tongue and ducked his head. He didn't want to talk about his failure.

"I don't want to talk about him." He said softly as he clinched his fists.

Hawkeye could see the pain on his face and decided not to pry any further. "How about we go and make some hot chocolate to get your mind off of this?" She asked him as she rose from the couch and made her way into the kitchen.

She heard Ed following her. He stopped in the doorway and frowned. "Are you sure Roy wouldn't mind?" He asked her as she pulled down two hot chocolate packets.

"He's okay with it." She assured him kindly. "Here, you can make your own if you'd like." She handed him a mug and went back to the cupboard to get her own mug down.

Ed grabbed up the packet and ripped it open, spraying hot chocolate mix into his face and onto the floor. He looked wide eyed at the mess and looked up at Riza. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to..." He reached for a towel as Riza started laughing.

"It's okay, no need to get so worried over that." She smiled and pointed to his face. "You have the mix on your face" She snorted as she grabbed up a wet cloth and wiped the mix off of Ed's face softly.

Her kind touch reminded him of his mother's and it made his heart ache for his mother's warm embrace.

"Do you want me to make it for you this time?" She asked him as she washed out the cloth and folded it onto the counter.

He nodded and looked at the floor. It seemed all he could do was mess things up. He handed her the mug and wiped the moisture off of his face from the towel.

Hawkeye's lips curved upwards into a smile. Ed was cute with his big golden eyes and small frame. She always wanted a child but could never get married due to the regulations in the Military.

Ed was just standing there, like an invitation for her to see what it would be like to have a son.

"Are you hungry?" She asked him after pouring the hot chocolate mix into the mug and started stirring it up. The smell waded over the kitchen, making it feel homey and inviting.

Ed looked up at her and nodded. Why was this lady being so nice to him? She didn't even know him, nor what he had let happen to his little brother.

"What would you like to eat?" She gave him the choice, trying to help him fit in a bit. She knew kids liked to be involved with things. She wanted to slowly get to know him.

Ed thought for a moment, "I'm not real hungry so I guess just sausage and crackers for a snack." He said.

"How about you get the sausage and I'll get the crackers, okay?" She smiled when he nodded his head in agreement. She went for the crackers in the high cupboards while Ed pulled out the sausage from the cluttered fridge.

Ed set it down on the table and grabbed up a knife. While Hawkeye was busy with the getting the stubborn crackers opened he decided to get the sausage sliced up. He gently set the dull knife onto the meat and pressed down on it.

The knife didn't even make a mark as he pulled it away. Frowning, he tried again and pressed down harder this time. Hoping that the meat would give up its hopeless fight and let itself be cut.

He strained with the knife that was almost as dull as a butter knife and shoved his weight down on it.

He yanked back his flesh finger, "Ow!" He screeched as he watched the blood drip from his finger and onto the floor.

Hawkeye turned her head frantically at the sound of his yelp and her brown eyes widened. She rushed over and grabbed up a white hand towel. "Here, let me help you!" She pressed the towel over it, staining the once clean whiteness of the towel.

Ed flinched at the pressure she was putting on it. He hated it when people fussed over him. He hated feeling helpless at his own foolishness.

Hawkeye saw the look on his face but she couldn't tell if it was from the pain or from her being so close to him. "Come on, we have to get this patched up." She said, "I think there's a first aid kit in the bathroom." She gestured out of the kitchen door way.

Ed nodded as she drug him in the direction of the bathroom and she squatted down once she reached the bathroom sink. She glanced up at Ed, "Keep pressure on it while I find the first aid kit." She commanded him as she rummaged under the sink.

Ed tried to get his mind off of his finger as he examined the walls. They were an ugly beige color with white towels hung up around the bathroom. The floors were white and freshly swept, which Ed assumed Hawkeye did for Roy.

"I found it." Hawkeye said, snapping Ed's attention back onto her as she pulled out a small blue box and laid it down on the floor. She opened the lid and pulled out some bandages and some disinfectant spray.

She rose to her feet and unwrapped the towel from Ed's finger. She was happy to find it wasn't a deep cut and the bleeding had slowed to a trickle.

"How's it feeling?" She asked him tenderly as she wiped away some of the blood.

"It's okay." He answered her as he watched her raise a small bottle to his finger and she locked eyes with him.

"This might hurt a little." She warned as she sprayed some of the disinfectant spray onto it, earning her a quick flinch from Ed.

She smiled softly at him and rubbed his back in soothing circles. "It should start feeling better soon." She promised. "Now how about that hot chocolate I told you about?" She asked as she put away the first aid kit.

He nodded and waited for her to finish before heading back to the kitchen where blood had dried onto the table. He scowled, he was sure Roy wouldn't like what he found when he got home. Ed was pretty sure he ruined the sausage.

"Here," Hawkeye spoke in a gentle tone, making him look at her. She held out a mug of the now cooler hot chocolate. "This one had cooled off a bit, do you still want it?" She asked him.

"Yeah." He took it from her hands and cradled the mug in his hands. The heated glass warmed his flesh hand, making him wish he could feel its toasty embrace in both hands instead of cold hard metal that pressed against the glass. "Thanks." He mumbled softly to Hawkeye.

"You're welcome Ed." She said as she poured herself a mug and took a sip. She closed her eyes as if it was the best thing she'd drank all day. She reopened her eyes and looked out the window above the sink.

"It's really raining out. I hope Roy put his gloves in a dry spot, he's useless without those gloves" She thought out loud.

"Why does he need gloves? Is he that ancient that his hands get cold or something?" He asked her as he glanced out the window beside her. It was raining cats and dogs out there. He was grateful he was inside with a mug of hot chocolate instead of getting pelted by the rain.

Hawkeye looked away from the window and back at Ed. "He uses those gloves to create a spark in which he uses for his Flame Alchemy." She started to explain, "If those get wet-"

"Oh I get it," Ed interrupted her, "If they get wet then he can't create his fire and can't use his Alchemy." Ed finished for her.

He realized his mistake and looked guiltily down at the floor. "Sorry for interrupting you."

Hawkeye shook her head, "It okay. But yes you're right. He's useless in the rain and usually never thinks ahead until a fight comes up and he's left soaked to the bone unable to defend himself." She scowled at the fat drops falling to the ground as if they'd give up their attempt to flood the earth and go back to the heavens again.

"I hope he'll be okay." She sighed.

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