Notes: Spoilers for ep 25. Seska does refer to Gracia as Mrs. Hughes, right? Or am I projecting?
They give Seska the job of cleaning up his office. It's a mess, scattered books and papers everywhere, wreckage from the night he died. Even though she knows this place well, almost as well as he did, she barely knows where to start.
The papers are first, because they're covering everything, the top layer. She stacks most of them into piles, hoping that she hasn't completely misarranged them. She places the papers onto a corner of his desk, the only empty spot on it. She can't help but read the top page (damn her compulsions), and it's a report on General Hakuro's invasion of Lior. Briefly, she wonders when he'll tell Colonel Mustang about this, before realizing her mistake and looking away so she wouldn't read any more of it.
Next are the books, which are all hers now, at least all the ones he personally owned. ("I'm sure he'd want you to have them," Mrs. Hughes had said with that little smile at the funeral. It was a generous gift, but Seska couldn't even squeak out a thanks in response.) Now, she neatly piles them into a corner of the room, resolving to bring them home tonight. She wants to do something special for his (her) books, some small way of honoring him. She doesn't know what she can do.
The three books he was looking at that night are still on his desk, one still open to a page on the Ishbal War. She reads the information again and again, though she doesn't understand what it means. If someone asked, she could recite it by heart, but the reason why this one thing was so important that they had to...
She can't finish the thought. Instead, she begins gathering all the other odds and ends and sorting them out. He had twenty-seven pens. Spread out on the desk, they look unorganized and chaotic, all different sizes and colors. She doesn't know what to do with them. Put them into a box and give them to Mrs. Hughes? Keep them? She leaves them there and gets to work on the pencils.
After she's packed it all up and the room looks bare and empty, she double checks the room for anything she could have missed. She opens all the drawers, checks all the shelves, to make sure no trace of him is left behind. Under his desk, she finds a photograph. It's of Alicia, looking into the camera with a wide grin and big eyes. There is no mistaking the adoration in her eyes for her father. Seska has seen it before, they all have. Of course, it didn't mean much then, just another one of his pictures.
She almost packs it into one of her boxes, the one she's going to give Mrs. Hughes. Instead, she places it into her pocket. It's a reminder of sorts, of what they've lost. She's sure Mrs. Hughes won't mind.
After another run through, everything is set. She leaves the boxes labeled with the intended recipients. Two are for Mrs. Hughes, full of pictures, various office supplies, and one of his shirts that he inexplicably left in in one of the drawers. One is for the military, with a few of the books, nearly all of the papers. She carefully picks up all of her new books. They teeter a bit, but she's had plenty of practice, and they don't fall.
After one last look and goodbye, she leaves.