Of Fire and Flowers

Chapter 17

Eirnin cursed, and punched the wall. How could this of happened? He had spent ages planning this, years planning this, and that man was going to ruin it all. He had hired people to kill for him, left notes, made it seem like Mustang was the prime suspect. He had manipulated those Elric brothers to do his bidding, and successfully at that. He had managed to convince everyone in Central that that Mustang was the murderer, not that he wasn't one already after Ishbal. Eirnin had had Riza right in his hands, and now he was going to lose her again if he sat back and did nothing.

He couldn't make her hate him though. The key to making her want to stay with him was to make her like him. He was kind to her (Most of the time, anyway), made sure she was safe, and this morning he had even let her go out with Mustang for one last time. He was trying to be nice to her.

Sometimes he wondered whether it was worth it. He had done so much to become perfect for her. He had lived everyday trying to make himself someone she would love. He had been through so much, all for her. But she still didn't look at him the way she looked at that bastard.

Maybe it was time to give up; time to throw in the rag, put his arms up, walk away. He knew he was walking down a road that came to a dead end; he just didn't know how long he would be walking for until he got there.

There was a knock at the door. Eirnin walked over, and opened it. He was met with the sight of a large man in military uniform. Peering around him, Eirnin saw that there were three or four other men here too, also in military dress.

"Good afternoon, Sir." The soldier outside said. He was very tall, and even more muscular. He had a bald head apart from one small cluster of hair at the front, and he seemed to sparkle.

"Please, come on in." Eirnin smiled gleefully, happy that Mustang was finally going to get what was coming to him "He's out at the moment but he should be back soon."

Sure enough, Roy and Riza got back about an hour later. Roy had his arm slung around Riza's shoulders, and they were laughing carelessly about something. Roy threw open the front door, and let Riza in. It was only when he turned and saw the soldiers looking round at them did his laughter stop and his face fell.

"What's wrong?" Riza asked, turning "Eirnin's not-" she stopped.

"Colonel Mustang. Lieutenant Hawkeye." General Armstrong said, standing up "It's good to see you."

"And you." Roy replied, eyeing him suspiciously.

"You know why we're here, right?" Armstrong asked. Roy looked at the other soldiers. With a sigh, he realized they were his men: Furey, Havoc, Breda and even Falman were there too.

Roy nodded.

"I do." He said "And I will go with you without a fight."

"No!" Riza said, stepping forwards. All eyes turned to her "No. You can't take him."

"Lieutenant-" Armstrong started.

"I'm not a lieutenant." Riza cut in "I'm just me."

"Miss Hawkeye." Armstrong corrected himself, and then supressed a smile "Or perhaps Mrs Mustang?"

"Whichever one you feel comfortable to say." Riza smiled and put her arm around Roy's. She saw Eirnin pull a face.

"Mrs Mustang." He said "You seem to be a little confused as to why we are here. We are not here to arrest the Colonel, nor are we here to take you two back to Central. We are here to relay the information that the case has been lifted."

"Lifted?" Roy echoed. Armstrong nodded.

"It turns out it was all a mistake. Someone framed you, Sir, and we never doubted your innocence for a second. Even if it did seem like you did a runner."

"That was because-"

"Because Mrs Mustang is pregnant, I can see." Armstrong smiled at Riza "Congratulations."

"Thank you." Riza smiled back "But that's not why we went to Briggs. We were given a letter saying that the Major General, your sister, had asked for us."

"Oh?" Armstrong said, deep in thought "So what the Elric brothers told us was true."

"The Elric brothers?" Roy echoed, and then smiled "I knew they wouldn't let us down."

"So, Eirnin Payne." Armstrong turned to him "We are putting you under arrest for hiring assassins to murder thirteen women, holding hostages, kidnapping, and also trying to frame a highly-ranked military personnel for a crime they did not commit. You will be coming to central with us."

"I will not go!" Eirnin cried, moving to clap his hands together. In a spilt second, the four men that made up Team Mustang jumped on him, restricting him from performing any sort of alchemy.

"This isn't fair!" He cried as they handcuffed him in a special sort of handcuffs that meant he couldn't clap his hands together "I worked so hard for this! You can't take me away!"

"We have all the evidence needed to put you away for a long, long time." Armstrong explained "You better come quietly and save yourself the hassle."

"But how?" He said. Major Armstrong chuckled.

"Let's just say we're not as stupid as you thought we were." He replied "And we never doubted the Colonel's innocence. We knew he wouldn't do something like that, and that made us suspicious. After doing much research, and with a little help from the Elric brothers we were able to trace everything back to one person. You."

"It's not possible!" Eirnin let out a cry of anguish as the men hauled him out of the house "I'll be back! I'll take my revenge!"

"Get in the car." Falman told him.

Eirnin did not put up much more of a fight. The men left him in there, and went back into the house.

"It's been too long, Miss Riza!" Havoc said. Riza smiled.

"Riza is fine." She said. Havoc laughed.

"Wow, your pregnancy really has made you soft!" He said. Riza laughed.

"Just you wait." She said "As soon as the baby it out I will show you just how soft I am. I bet you've all been slacking off!"

"No." Breda said quickly "Well, okay. Maybe a little."

"As I suspected." Riza sighed "We'll have to find you someone to take care of you all. Since I obviously will have my own baby to look after, I won't be able to look after you big babies."

"That was rude." Havoc said, mocking hurt. Riza smacked him lightly.

"Oh, speaking of looking after babies." Furey piped up. He went outside, and Riza heard the van door opening and closing. There was the sound of skittish feet, and then barking.

Riza's face lit up as Black Hayate ran through the door and up to his master. She dropped down carefully onto her knees, and grabbed the dog into a hug, stoking his soft fur.

"Hayate!" She said "I missed you so much! Have you been taking good care of Furey for me?"

Black Hayate barked, as if he understood the question. Riza smiled.

"You're going to have a new friend soon, Hayate!" Riza said, fluffing up his fur "How does that sound?"

He barked again. Riza let him go, and stood back up.

"So, what's going to happen now?" Roy asked no in particular "Are we going to go back to Central?"

"I don't mind." Riza said.

"It would be nice to see you more often." Armstrong offered.

"It would be nice to have my old drinking buddy back." Falman said with a smile.

"Maybe you can get Breda to stop drinking himself into bankruptcy." Furey said, eyeing Breda nervously.

"Maybe you can stop Furey from being such a goodie-two-shoes all the time." Breda replied, ruffling Furey's hair rather hard.

"You should come back." Havoc put in "Apparently the Führer has something he wants to see you about. And it's not linked to the murder case or anything."

"Not linked?" Roy repeated "Well, there's a change."

"Are you okay to travel?" Breda asked Riza. She nodded sternly.

"I'm absolutely fine." She said "Let's go."

The van was actually quite small, especially now that the back was occupied. The seven of them (And of course, Black Hayate) piled in along with the bags of Riza and Roy's stuff they had brought with them from Feirme, along with a few things from the Hawkeye manor, namely photo albums. Riza hadn't had a reason to bring them along before, but now she wished to show her child what her grandparents had looked like.

The drive back to Central was long, and Riza got very uncomfortable. Her stomach kept twinging, not painfully but very uncomfortably.

"Roy." She said quietly. Riza was next to the window and he was on her left.

"What is it?" he asked, looking into her eyes.

"I feel weird." She said. Roy suddenly looked alert.

"What kind of weird?" He asked "Is it the baby?"

Riza was silent. She didn't want to cause any more trouble.

"It- It might be." Riza admitted "My stomach keeps twinging."

"Are you going into labour?" Roy asked, his voice loud and panicked. This got everyone else's attention.

"You're going into labour?" Armstrong, who was driving the car, asked. Riza nodded.

"I think so." She said "But it's only early signs."

"We should go to a hospital." Roy said, his voice still panicky "We should go to a hospital right now."

"We don't need to." Riza replied "Like it said, it's only early signs. It'll be hours before it even progresses to that."

Roy counted on his fingers "But you're only 36 weeks pregnant!" He said "Doesn't that classify as premature?"

"Wait, if you're 36 weeks pregnant…" Havoc (who was sat next to Armstrong in the middle of the front) turned and shot Roy a surprised look "That means you and Riza we doing the dirty whilst you were in Central!"

"Don't put it like that!" Roy crossed his arms "You may have your legs back, but I will not hesitate to put you back in your wheelchair!"

"Okay, okay!" Havoc held his hands up "Calm down, Mr. Angry Man! I can't believe we didn't notice anything though!"

"Well, I've been up in Briggs most of the time so I wouldn't have noticed anyway." Falman said gloomily "It's still as cold as ever up there."

"Is the coffee still as bad?" Roy asked. Falman shivered and nodded.

It was another four or five hours until they reached Central, and the whole way Roy could feel Riza squirming. He put his hand on her knee, and Riza laid her own hand over the top of his.

When they finally arrived, Armstrong dropped Roy and Riza off at Riza's apartment, saying he would tell the Führer they were back in Central.

"Are you nervous?" Roy asked. Riza laughed.

"About what?" She replied.

"Going back into your apartment." Roy smiled softly "It's been a while after all."

"It'll be fine." She said with a smile "The first thing I'll do though is have a bath. I really need a bath."

They walked up to her front door, and Riza unlocked it and pushed it open. The inside was a bit of a mess, and it was clear someone had been here. But that was to be expected, the Military had probably searched her first.

"Wow, home sweet home." Riza said, and then paused "Actually, I think our house in Feirme probably counts as home now, but oh well."

"We can go back there soon." Roy said, wrapping his arms around her "After all, this place is hardly big enough for a family of three and neither is my place."

"You're not quitting the military, idiot." Riza said, smacking Roy playfully "You can just file for a family house. Or add it to the list of things you want to ask my grandfather."

"If you say so." Roy kissed her softly "Let's get you into that bath, okay? I'll find you something to eat. I bet you're starving."

Riza nodded, and went to her room to find a change of clothes. There wasn't much there that would fit now, only a few stretchy t-shirts and a pair of trousers that had an elastic waist. She went into the bathroom, dumping all her clothes (Including the ones she was wearing) outside so they would not get damp from steam.

She ran the taps, and waited for them to get warm. She had missed this little bathroom, more so than she thought she would. When the bath was at the right depth and temperature, she shut off the taps and climbed in, shuddering as the warm water ran over her body and made her skin prickle.

"Ahhh." She said as she sunk lower, letting the water splash over her shoulders and neck.

There was a knock on the bathroom door, and Roy called into her.

"I'm going to go get some dinner." He said "Will you be okay for a few minutes?"

"I'll be fine!" Riza called back "Please get something with lamb in it!"

"Lamb?" Roy replied "Okay! I'll be right back!"


Riza heard the front door open and close, and settled back down into the water. The twinges in her stomach were getting stronger, and she could call them painful now. They felt like someone was pushing down on her stomach, but under her skin. It was the strangest feeling ever.

Riza washed her hair, surprising herself as her hair turned back to blonde as she rubbed the shampoo in. She felt now like the thing with Eirnin was a dream, so long ago. There was nothing on her that bound them together now.

Riza was still soaking in the tub when Roy got back. He knocked on the door again, and told her that the food was hot and to come and get it. Riza got herself out of the bath, got dried, and then opened the door to get her clothes. She got dressed, and walked over to the table.

She sat down heavily into a chair, and smiled up at Roy when he placed a plate in front of her. Finally, they would be able to eat a meal together.

"It's nice to be able to do this." Roy said, speaking Riza's thoughts. She smiled.

"Yeah." She replied "It's very nice."

That night, they both slept in Riza's bed. She was still having contractions, but they were still not that painful.

Halfway through the night however, Riza woke up to a sharp pain in her stomach that made her cry out.

"Roy!" She gasped shaking him awake "Roy, wake up!"

"Riza!" Roy exclaimed, his eyes shooting open "Riza, what is it?"

"It hurts!" She moaned "My stomach, it hurts really badly!"

"Is it time?" He asked. Riza glared at him.

"I don't bloody know, do I?" She said "I've never done this before!"

"We should get you to the hospital." Roy said, getting out of the bed and hauling Riza to her feet. Riza took two steps before she felt something inside of her burst. Liquid began to trickle down her thighs.

"Did you just wet yourself?" Roy asked, going into panic mode. Riza frowned at him.

"No! My waters just broke." Riza said, a little too harshly "Get me some clean underwear and something to wear!"

"What does that mean?" Roy raced around the room in a flurry, finding clothes for Riza to wear "Is the baby coming now?"

"No, not yet!" Riza waddled out of the room with Roy hot on her heels "But very soon."

"I'll call Rebecca." Roy said, rushing to the phone and dialling the number of Riza's best friend "She'll know what to do."

"I know what to do!" Riza grumped back whilst cleaning herself up. She didn't have any bottoms that would fit, so she was wearing a long maxi dress that Roy had found buried deep in her wardrobe. It was stretchy, so it was good.

"Hi, yes, is that Rebecca?" Riza heard Roy ask. There was a pause "Yes, I know it's the middle of the night but listen Riza's waters have broken and I don't know what to do… You didn't know she was pregnant? Well, she's pregnant… Yes, it is my child… Yes, I do plan to take full responsibility… No! This isn't even the time to be talking about this!... I'm taking her to Central hospital now… The main one… Yes, I'll see you there… Bye."

Roy put the phone down, and walked back to the bathroom.

"We're going to need to take some baby stuff." Riza told him "Remember we have the clothes Marge gave us? Wow, that feels like forever ago. We'll need to take some of that stuff."

"Okay." Roy went back to where he had dumped their bags earlier on when they had got in, and rummaged through them for baby clothes. He picked up a cute yellow onesie with a duck print on it. Perfect. He took some cloth nappies as well, and put them all in a separate bag. As an afterthought, he grabbed some of Riza's nightclothes as well.

Riza was having another contraction when Roy came back in, and he let her squeeze his hand whilst it went on.

"I'm going to kill you." She muttered when it was over "I swear, I am going to kill you."

Roy got her down the stairs and into the car, and then drove like a maniac to the hospital. When they got there, Rebecca was already stood waiting. She looked like she had just rolled out of bed (Which she probably had) with her hair sticking up and no make-up. When she saw Riza, she smiled.

"Riza!" She cried, pulling the other woman into a hug "It's been too long! What strange circumstances we're meeting under today, huh?"

"It's good to see you." Riza replied as Roy checked her in. There seemed to be a bit of a fuss since Riza hadn't had any appointments throughout her pregnancy, and they had not booked a room for the birth either.

"So, you finally did it with the colonel." Rebecca laughed. "We were all taking bets as to how long it would be until you did. I guess I win. Havoc isn't going to be pleased!"

Riza smiled, and then scrunched up her face at another contraction. Rebecca sat her down quickly, and they let it pass.

"I just want to have this baby now." Riza said, putting her hands on her stomach.

"I think the baby just wants out, too." Rebecca laughed "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?"

"No." Riza shook her head "We don't even have a name. Me and Roy never really got round to talking about it. He didn't even know it was his child until yesterday."

"Yesterday?" Rebecca exclaimed "What?"

"It's a story for another day." Riza chuckled as a nurse bounded over with a wheelchair to take her to the room.

"I got you a private room." Roy told her as they walked down the halls "I thought it would be more appropriate for you, since we still haven't seen your grandfather and explained the situation."

"Urg, I forgot about that." Riza pulled a face "Oh well. I guess we can invite him in once the baby is born."

"Right, we're almost there!" The nurse said cheerfully, wheeling Riza around a corner. She had refused to get into the wheelchair at first, saying that she had a perfectly fine pair of legs she could use. The nurse had managed to convince her to get in it though, and because of this Roy respected her. No-one could make Riza do something she didn't want to, except the military but that didn't count. Riza, for all he loved her, was like a stubborn mule; you could take her to water, but you couldn't make her drink.

They reached the room where Riza would be staying, and the nurse let them in. It was a fair size, with a big white bed where Riza expected she would be giving birth later on. There were various machines set up around it, with wires and cables trailing everywhere. There was also a sofa, and a few chairs around for visitors.

"Right." The nurse said, picking up something wrapped in a plastic packet. She opened it, and shook out a hospital gown "Let's get you changed into this."

Riza nodded, and dropped her dress. Both Roy and Rebecca had seen her naked before (Thank communal showers for that) And she was about to be on display for all the nurses to see anyway, so now was no time to be self-conscious of her body. The nurse helped her into the gown, and then set her up on the bed.

"I'm going to go and get the midwife." She said "She'll come and check you and the baby's stats. I'll be right back, call if you need anything before that."

"Thank you." Riza replied. The nurse left, leaving the three of them alone.

"Urg." Riza groaned as another contraction hit "These are getting worse and worse now."

"The baby will probably be born soon." Rebecca said "You just got to hang in there a little bit longer!"

"That's easy for you to say." Riza replied.

"It is, isn't it?" Rebecca chuckled "I don't think I will be having kids for a long time!"

"I don't think Havoc will be pleased at that." Riza smirked. Rebecca blushed a little.

"Hey, there is nothing going on between us!" She argued, crossing her arms and then smiling a little "At least, not yet."

"I knew it!" Riza laughed "You can't hide these things from me."

"We all knew it anyway." Roy put in "It's so obvious."

"As obvious as you and Riza were?" Rebecca smirked. Roy grinned.

There was a knock on the door, and the midwife came in.

"Hello there, my duck!" She said, smiling at Riza warmly "I go by the name of Mama Leanbh. You can call me what you wish though, most women do as they push out their babies."

She laughed, and Riza couldn't help but laugh along too. Mama Leanbh reminded her a lot of Marge.

"Right, I'm going to need to check you." Mama Leanbh said "It's going to feel uncomfortable, but please bear with it, okay?"

"Okay." Riza nodded.

Mama Leanbh put on some sterilized gloves she had just gotten from a packet, and pulled down Riza's blankets.

"Please put your legs up." She said. Riza did as she was told, putting her legs up and baring all her parts down south for what might as well have been the whole world to see. Quickly, Mama Leanbh checked her, making Riza squirm uncomfortably.

"I told you it would be uncomfortable, didn't I?" Mama Leanbh chuckled when she was done "But the good news is, you are about 9cm dilated, which means that you are very close to having this baby."

"Nine centimetres dilated?" Roy asked "What does that mean?"

"It means that the cervix, the bit which holds the baby in-" She pointed to the cervix on a poster that was stuck to the wall "Is almost stretched enough to allow the baby through. As soon as Miss Riza here is at 10cm she can push."

"And then we'll have our baby." Riza said.

"Exactly." Roy smiled.

It did not take long at all for Riza to get to 10cm, and finally ready to push. Her contractions were so bad now that if anyone even so much as touched her whilst she was in the midst of one, she would scream insults at them. Roy had been called every name under the sun, and a few more he swore Riza had made up.

"I think we're ready to go!" Mama Leanbh said with a smile. Riza exhaled loudly.

"It's about bloody time!" She said "I'm sick of this all now!"

"As soon as you feel the urge to push, push hard with your contraction, okay?" Mama Leanbh smiled. Riza nodded.

"Okay." She said.

There were a few seconds of silence, and then Riza's contraction hit.

"Push now!" Mama Leanbh said. Riza did so, grabbing a hold of Roy's hand and squeezing it so hard he though she was going to tear his hand right off.

"Roy, I hate you! I hate you so much!" She screamed as the baby crowned "I'm actually going to kill you! You are going to die!"

"Do you want to see?" Mama Leanbh asked Roy. He shook his head quickly, making her laugh.

A few more pushes (And death threats) later, and the baby was finally born. Riza heard the child screaming, and started to laugh.

"The time is 3:46, and it's a…" Mama Leanbh said, pausing for effect "It's a girl! Congratulations!"

"A little girl!" Roy smiled, watching as Mama Leanbh handed the baby to Riza. He had to admit, at the moment it was an ugly little thing, all wrinkled and covered in goop. It looked a bit like a potato.

"She's beautiful." Riza breathed, stroking the tufts of black hair that adorned her daughter's head "Hello, little one! Welcome!"

"She has your hair!" Rebecca said to Roy. He smiled.

"I bet she had Riza's eyes, though."

"Well, all babies are born with blue eyes, so we won't know." Mama Leanbh smiled "Mr. Roy, would you like to help bath the baby?"

Roy's eye lit up, and he nodded. Mama Leanbh took the baby back for Riza, and handed her to Roy. He cradled her like a china doll, worried he might drop her.

"Look, you do it like this." Mama Leanbh told him "Make sure the water is not too hot, and put her in carefully whilst supporting her head. Gently wash her. That's it!"

Roy smiled, pleased he was getting something right. Maybe being a parent wasn't going to be so bad.

Once the baby was washed and dry, Riza was able to give her her first meal. Mama Leanbh told them she would let them have some time alone, and left.

"What are you going to call her?" Rebecca asked. Riza and Roy looked at each other.

"Do you want to name her?" Riza asked. Roy smiled.

"It's fine. Any name you choose will be perfect, I can tell." He replied.

"Then…" Riza thought "How about Euginea?"

"Okay, most names you choose will be perfect." Roy chuckled as Rebecca burst out laughing. Riza smiled.

"How about Rosie?" She asked "Like the girl in 'Where rainbows end'."

"Rosie or Roisin?" Roy asked "Pronounced Rosh-heen. Rosie is the nickname for it."

"Roisin sound beautiful." Riza smiled "Hello, little Roisin!"

After Riza had finished feeding Rosie, Roy took her back so Riza could sleep. She was exhausted, and Roy didn't blame her. Rosie fell asleep as well, so Roy put her in the little cot in the room and got some sleep himself.

The next morning, both parents were woken by Rosie screaming. Riza got up, and fed her. After that, she calmed down a bit and Riza sat and watched her baby as Roy went to find something for them to eat.

There was a knock on the door, and thinking it was Roy or a nurse, Riza told them to come in.

However, it was not Roy or a nurse who came in. It was her grandfather, Führer Grumman. He came in with a big bunch of flowers, and set it down on the bedside table.

"Congratulations, my granddaughter." He said, taking her hand and kissing it "A new baby in the family is a very special thing."

"Her name is Rosie." Riza told him with a smiled "And thank you."

"You're most welcome." Grumman chuckled "Though I guess this means we're not going to be seeing you back in the field for a while?"

"I'm afraid not." Riza forced herself not to frown. Roy came back in, carrying a try of food.

"I saw the soldiers outside." He said "Is everything alright- Oh! Führer Grumman!"

"Roy Mustang." Grumman laughed "I should've guessed. You're the father of my new great-granddaughter, correct?"

"That is correct, Sir." Roy replied, nervously. Grumman laughed.

"Congratulations." He said.

"You're not angry?" Roy asked. Grumman shook his head.

"Well, two of my finest broke the fraternization rule and should both deserve un-honourable dismissal." He paused "But, I am willing to overlook it going by the fact that my granddaughter will be leaving the military now to take care of her child."

Riza and Roy exchanged a smile.

"So Roy will be able to carry on?" Riza asked. He nodded.

"He will be. And he will also be able to hire a non-commissioned personal assistant, if he so wishes. That personal assistant will also be allowed to bring her baby to work with her every day, is she so wishes."

Riza looked at her grandfather in shock.

"You mean…?"

"You two can still work together." He said with a chuckle "Isn't that just grand? And also, don't worry about living arrangements; I've already prepared you a nice three-bedroom house in a good part of town."

"Thank you, Sir." Roy said, his face breaking into a huge smile.

"It's no problem." Grumman laughed "Could I please hold my great-granddaughter now?"
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