[Author] Lily Potter-Malfoy
[Series] Fullmetal Alchemist
[Spoilers?] Not in the first two chapters...you might be confused if you haven't seen episode 37
[summary] What would happen if, instead of giving Havoc to Armstrong in episode
37, Farman had taken an opposite course and, urged by a bet, invited
Lemon 01: In which there is Pie
It lies curled and dormant within every person, sleeping and waiting for the right time to awaken. And when that time comes it begins to unfurl, spreading slowly but surely through the heart, painful and burning like thousands of white hot needles. Yet it is also beautiful, like the petals of a flower slowly unfolding as it blooms. Suddenly the heart overrides the brain and everything feels like it may be the end or the beginning and it’s exhilarating and terrifying and you want it to end but you also want it to keep going. It’s the kind of feeling that tears you apart from within and makes everything seem like it’s irrelevant next to it. It’s love unlike any other. The kind that can live forever or die painfully. It’s love with two sides, a sweetness and a sting.
It’s love like a lemon…
It was the general consensus of the entire office under the command of Colonel Roy Mustang that it was a monumental mistake to ever allow one’s significant other within a ten foot radius of said commander. Roy Mustang had an effortless charm that seemed to paralyze women and render them dumb and drooling over him with a single glance. It was also agreed among the men in the office that, though they all knew not to bring their significant others to meet their commanding officer, it always seemed to happen one way or another. And the one it had happened to countless times among the men under Mustang’s command was Jean Havoc.
The tall blonde chain smoker was not unattractive as it were, but he seemed entirely unable to compete with his somewhat vertically challenged, pale, dark haired commander. Every time he got a new girlfriend she always ended up meeting Roy one way or another and dumping him because she was infatuated with the commander.
“It really isn’t fair” Havoc muttered as he drooped in his chair on a snowy Monday. Breda looked over and sighed sympathetically,
“Mustang Taisa again?” he said, Havoc groaned and whipped out another cigarette. Fury laughed and patted his dejected coworker on the back,
“That’s alright Havoc, you’ll find another one” he said, but the effect was slightly ruined as he was snickering. Breda smirked at Fury,
“Stop laughing you idiot, you haven’t even HAD a girlfriend yet…EVER!” he said. Fury flushed bright red and retreated to his desk muttering. Farman, ever the stick in the mud, looked up from his paperwork
“Well Havoc, if you want to keep your girlfriends why don’t you try getting a woman who isn’t shallow and air-headed enough to just drop you for someone they find more attractive.” Havoc groaned and rolled his eyes to the heavens,
“But that’s the problem” he said mournfully “all the hot ones are air-headed and shallow! All the other ones are weird and clingy and nerdy! I like my women a little more…sexy than that” a smile appeared on his face as he thought of his multitudes of girlfriends. All had been physically attractive, Havoc considered himself a man whose biggest turn on was a nice body. He loved holding on to a nice behind, or subtly ogling really nice breasts. It was just sad that all the attractive ones were in love with Mustang.
“You know Lieutenant, looks aren’t everything” Hawkeye said tersely from her desk. Havoc glanced over at her, Hawkeye was an attractive woman, he decided, only he didn’t go for gun toting drill sergeant types. Also it was some sort of unspoken rule that no one touched Hawkeye, partly because all the men wanted to walk out of the office every day with their genitals intact and partly because everyone was sure that Mustang and Hawkeye were meant for each other but were far too much in denial to realize it.
“They are to me…” Havoc mumbled and stood up.
“I’m off…gotta go walk off this depression.” He said and exited the office. The remaining officers exchanged looks
“How much do you want to bet he’ll come back with another one?” Breda said, immediately three hands holding money appeared before him, all of them looked shocked at Hawkeye who smiled slightly and shrugged,
“No need not to take part when I know it’s true” she said. They all broke into a laugh. Just then Mustang walked in and saw them all laughing and holding money in their hands,
“Did Havoc lose another one?” he asked. Everyone started laughing again.
Down the hallway Havoc was having a hard time relaxing. It seemed that Mustang had just made his way down the hall and all the women, attractive and not, were outside squealing gleefully with each other over him. Havoc made his way unnoticed by the multitudes of girls towards the cafeteria, deciding that absolutely nothing but a slice of Myrtle’s, the grisly old military chef, special lemon meringue pie could clear his depression.
Sheska couldn’t believe her bad fortune, just as she had found it, the book she had been on the trail of for months, a horde of her fellow female coworkers had stampeded out of the library…including the librarian. The book she wanted was nestled safely behind the two locked strips of metal (there to hold the books in the shelf in case of attack on the city) and the key to the lock was dangling off of the missing librarian’s waist. The frizzy haired girl sighed and turned to leave the library, a frown marking her bespectacled face.
She had woken up feeling very good that morning, so good, in fact, that she had felt it absolutely necessary to wear her prettiest and most flattering white shirt to work. She had specially pressed her skirt and worn the nice new high heeled shoes her mother had sent her (in hopes that some man would notice how lovely her feet looked in them).
“And all for nothing” she muttered, slouching to the cafeteria. No matter how many calories it had, nothing but the head chef’s special lemon meringue pie could make her forget her depression.
“Lose another one?” Myrtle tsked and sliced out a large piece of pie from its foil dish. Havoc gave her a sheepish smile half annoyed that she knew him so well and half grateful that she did know him well enough to always have a pie on layaway.
“I tell you Havoc-san, you need to find a nice girl who will stay with you. That last girl you brought in here was nothing but blonde hair, big tits, and no brains. You need someone smart since you’re such an idiot” the old woman smiled fondly at him as she served him his pie.
Havoc felt his heart rate increase and smirked, yes, Myrtle’s lemon meringue pie was his one true love, forget women!
“Sumimasen…Myrtle-chan?” Havoc looked over in the direction of the dejected voice.
‘Where have I seen her before…?’ he thought as he studied the girl who had walked in. She was around his age, maybe younger, her hair was almost embarrassingly frizzy and her face was dominated by a pair of enormous square black glasses. He shrugged and went back to his pie; the girl wasn’t his type anyway.
“Ano…excuse me….um…Mr.….?” Havoc looked up and nearly spit out his mouthful of pie as the girl who had previously been at least five feet away from him was now standing hardly three inches away.
“I-it’s Havoc…Lt. Havoc” he managed to cough out, regaining his composure. Up close the girl had a sprinkling of freckles across her nose and very light circles around her eyes, as if she didn’t sleep very much.
“Ah…um, Lt. Havoc, sorry to pry but…is that…is that Myrtle-chan’s lemon meringue pie?” she pointed at his half eaten confection, Havoc nodded hesitantly.
“AAAAH!” the girl screamed, flinging her arms up in the air and waving them about madly, Havoc jumped for the second time in a few minutes and watched as she did a little dance right in front of him,
“Isn’t it the BEST THING EVER!” the girl was very close to him again and suddenly she wasn’t so very shy.
“The flavor is just right! The extreme sweetness with just the right amount of lemon zest! Sweet but sharp at the same time, dissolving and slowly becoming even sweeter in your mouth as the enzymes in your saliva begin to break it down!”
“Oi Sheska-chan, you’re scaring the man!” Havoc turned and nearly sighed in relief when he saw Myrtle emerging from the kitchen.
“But Myrtle-chan, I was only trying to share my love of your pie with him! Why should he be scared?”
“See Sheska-chan, this is the way you scare off all those nice boys I line up for you”
“They couldn’t have been very nice if they all stood me up!”
“They wouldn’t run off so fast if they knew you outside of your…moments”
“But…moments are part of my essential being! Having moments is part of who I am!”
Havoc stared back and forth between the two females and, deciding that neither seemed to be making much sense, went back to eating his pie.
“Who is that girl?”
“I don’t know…but she sure isn’t his type…”
“That’s Sheska…she’s the one who restored all those library documents and books that were burned in that fire.”
Fury, Breda, and Farman stood clustered behind the door to the cafeteria. Wanting to complete their bet in a hurry (and to watch Havoc wallow in his rejection as that was always amusing), the three men had followed their depressed coworker to the place everybody knew he went when he was unhappy.
But instead of watching the tall blond lieutenant inhaling lemon meringue pie like it was oxygen while looking appropriately glum for one who has just been dumped for another man who-happens-to-be-their-commanding-offic
As disappointing as not seeing the look of utter rejection on the blonde’s handsome face was, his “friends” wanted to see what exactly was going on. The girl who was talking to, or rather at, Havoc wasn’t the busty, generically pretty type the man usually went for. Fury took in her huge square glasses, Breda raised an eyebrow at her thick frizzy hair trying to escape from the elastic band holding it, and Farman observed her lack of makeup and frilly female accessories. In fact, the girl looked to be exactly the bookish, weird, and clingy type that Havoc avoided like the plague.
“So what’s he doing with her?” Fury asked, watching as Sheska stopped dancing to rant about something or other.
“I don’t know…maybe he’s desperate” Breda sniggered and Farman hit him over the head,
“That wasn’t very nice Lieutenant Breda…I’m sure Lieutenant Havoc could fall in love with her without being desperate!” he cried.
“Do I smell a bet?” Breda smirked as he held the top of his head. Fury smiled,
“Smells like a bet to me” he said eagerly. Farman tried to keep the disapproving frown on his face but a light of interest was creeping into his eyes,
“What about our other bet with First Lieutenant Hawkeye?” he asked cautiously.
“Pfft, we can tell her that he didn’t get a girl so none of us won” Breda said dismissively. Farman hesitated for a minute,
“There’ll be big money on the line…” Breda wheedled. Farman’s eyes lit up,
“How much are we talking?” he asked, Fury whipped out his money
“10,000 cenz that he’ll forget about her within a month!” he said.
“10,000 cenz that he’ll forget her within a week!” Breda said confidently, both of his coworkers looked at him incredulously
“Aren’t you giving Havoc too little credit?” Fury said. Breda just smirked,
“Come on Warrant Officer…place your bet!” he said, Farman thought for a moment before smiling and bringing out his own money
“10,000 cenz that he’ll remember who she is for longer than one month for purposes other than getting into her skirt.” He said. Fury and Breda stared at him, mouths agape, for around five full minutes and then…
Then they both broke into laughter.
“Lieutenant Jean Havoc under the command of Colonel Roy Mustang the lady killing girlfriend stealer? Jean Havoc who has dated over fifty different women within one year? Jean Havoc who HAS to have a girlfriend or he feels like a failure? THAT Jean Havoc not wanting to get into a girl’s, even hers, skirt? That’s so laughable it’s sad” Breda gasped through his laughter,
“Farman-san, I think you’ve giving Havoc too much credit!” Fury said. Farman shrugged and turned back to the scene in the cafeteria,
“We’ll see...” he murmured
Lemon 02: In which there is plotting
“Do you think he’s dying?”
“No idiot he can’t do that”
“Because then the bet would be off!”
Fury and Breda sat in the office throwing glances at Havoc every so often. In the past week, Havoc-the-recently-dumped had slowly become Havoc-the-mindless-vegetable. Not having a girlfriend was really taking the life out of the chain-smoking lieutenant and everybody, even Mustang-the-Oblivious-woman stealer, noticed.
“What’s wrong with him?” Hawkeye peered into his unfocused eyes and waved a hand in front of his slack face.
“He hasn’t had any female comfort for a whole week…he’s going into withdrawal” Breda said carelessly. Hawkeye immediately drew back, a disgusted look crossing her features before returning to her usual impassive face.
“Very well, as long as he makes up his work later on…” she said a little stiffer than she usually would have. Breda shrugged and turned to his own work.
“No, that won’t do at all!” everyone (but the halfway comatose Havoc of course) turned to Mustang who had suddenly slammed down his hand on his desk and begun to talk.
“Warrant Officer Farman!” he cried, Farman stood at attention,
“This has gone on long enough! If Havoc is too pathetic to get a woman on his own then, for the sake of his work, you must find him one!” Roy pounded the desk again for emphasis.
“m-me…sir?” Farman asked,
“YES! This is a mission!” Roy sat back down in his chair, picked up his paper, and began to read.
“b-but sir…” Farman tried to protest, Roy rattled the paper warningly and Farman straightened and saluted,
“Permission to begin mission sir!” he said miserably. Fury and Breda snickered behind his back and Hawkeye cast disapproving looks at them.
“Permission granted…oh and, you have the rest of the week to do this, I’m sure Lieutenants Fury and Havoc could do your papers…” Roy responded absently. Farman fought to contain his smirk and gathered his things. Coffee shops were always good places to er….”start missions” (aka get a late breakfast).
Sheska groaned and dragged a hand through her hair. It had been a terrible morning. She had stayed up reading three or so books and had only gotten half an hour of sleep since she forgot that she had to wake up earlier than usual and open the office for some higher-up in the military…some Archer something. So she had awoken to the blaring of her alarm and had hurriedly thrown on some clothes and brushed her teeth promising to take care of everything else during her lunch break.
Now she was slumped tiredly over her desk, face greasy and wan, hair a bristle bush sticking up from her scalp, and clothes a wrinkled and sloppy mess.
The clock chimed twelve and her tired eyes shifted eagerly towards the noise.
“Ah! Thank goodness! Now to run back home!” she cried and dashed out of the office.
Farman sighed and sat back to enjoy his tea. Sometimes Mustang’s natural “evade-doing-actual-work” instinct could really come in handy. Finding a girlfriend for Havoc wouldn’t be any problem. There were so many young women in Central who would probably love to date a handsome young man like Havoc, it also helped that he was in the military. All he had to do was proposition one innocently enough and show them a picture of the blonde and they would instantly be love (or lust) struck.
“Havoc that lucky bastard…the pretty ones really do have it easy” Farman muttered, sipping his tea.
“IIIITTTTAAAAIIII!” a crash and the sound of several books, and perhaps a human body, falling disturbed the quiet atmosphere of the café. Farman looked over and nearly spit out his tea when he saw what was going on.
On the floor were several heavy books and some papers, and along with them, desperately trying to save her precious treasures form getting dirty, was Sheska. The man she had bumped into was scowling down at her,
“Hey little girlie, you should watch where you’re going!” he snarled, his friends joined in with a chorus of affirmative grunts.
“If you like to read so much, read up on how to make yourself prettier!” he continued, his friends roared with laughter and he smirked.
“Yeah! Ugly girls like you should have to wear masks or something!” one of the man’s goons said, and the whole group of them erupted in cruel guffaws again. Farman frowned, never one to encourage bullying, especially bullying of a girl, he found the situation deeply upsetting. He could see the beginnings of tears in Sheska’s eyes and marched over.
“Excuse me gentlemen, is there a problem over here?” he said in his best imitation of Mustang when he was mad. At once the men’s leers disappeared and the one who had started all the mockery nervously stepped back,
“We weren’t doing anything sir…” he said, beady eyes looking anywhere but Farman.
“Then why…” Farman asked, his voice full of Mustang-esque scorn “is this girl crying?”
And indeed Sheska had been silently crying on the floor, shivering over her dirtied books.
“I don’t know! Ask her!” the man clearly did not know how to handle the contained fury Farman was directing at him. The warrant officer observed, with an outwards cold smirk, that the man had broken out in a sweat and his eyes were getting dodgier.
“Sir, can I ask your name?” Farman said, injecting menace into his voice and, if possible, directing an even colder glare at the man.
“b-but we weren’t doing a-anything a-and” Farman smirked and decided to deliver his last blow,
“Sir…if you won’t give me your name then, perhaps you’d like to take a stroll with me…” he said. The man and his friends gave a shout and ran off.
The café erupted in cheers and Farman let his Mustang façade slip off. He smiled down at Sheska,
“Sheska-san…are you all right?” he asked, extending a hand to help her get up. Sheska looked at him, tears in her eyes, and presented him with a slightly dusty book with a scratch in its cover
“L-look! Look at what those jerks did to my b-book!” she said. Farman relaxed, leave it to Sheska to worry more about her books than what people said about her.
“Well, now that I know you’re ok, I’ve got to be getting back” Farman smiled at her once more and turned to leave the café.
It was only when he was in the office removing his jacket and getting down to work that he remembered his bet.
Suddenly he stood up and rushed out of the room.
“Must…find…Sheska!” he muttered. He was so focused on finding her that he didn’t pay any attention to where he was going or who strayed into his path. That’s why he ended up bowling into someone as he ran and hearing the sound of books dropping for the second time that day.
“AAAAAGFH!” a familiar squeal reached his ears and when he regained his balance he turned and saw, for the second time that day, Sheska bent over picking up a book.
“Gomen-nasai Sheska-san…” he said and picked up her book for her. The bushy haired girl adjusted her glasses and smiled at him,
“No-no, it’s fine! Oh! I forgot to thank you for today at the café! You really saved me! Those guys were so scary!” she said. Farman regarded her as she spoke.
Sheska wasn’t ugly…not exactly. She could be more accurately described as frumpish, lacking the frills and sparkle that made most other women attractive. Without the layers of makeup and without the hair clips, and shiny things other women wore, Sheska was like a wooden doll that had yet to be painted. But behind her enormous black glasses she had lovely wide eyes of a deep green color, and Farman was sure that somebody could tame the slightly horrifying tangle she called her hair. What was it women did with it? Starking? Starching? Straightening! That was it! He was sure someone could maybe straighten it and brush it…at least so it resembled hair more than a thorn bush.
Sheska also had nice facial features, she would never be beautiful like Winry or Gracia (or even Hawkeye which no one would ever utter out loud for fear of death) but she could be very attractive. The best part about Sheska was that all of her womanly assets were visible and somewhat attractive even without all the lace and frills. Farman sighed, but Havoc was an idiot who needed blatant visual evidence.
‘but all that comes later…first he needs to get to know her without dating her…now how to go about making that happen…’ he thought.
“Farman-san? Are you okay?” Sheska was speaking; Farman shook his head and smiled at her,
“I’m sorry…am I keeping you from leaving? Actually it’s about time you went home right? Got a hot date tonight?” he said, smiling. Sheska snorted,
“I wish!” she said and immediately blushed.
“I MEAN! Er…no, I haven’t….I don’t have anything to do tonight really so you’re not holding me up,” Farman felt a smirk begin to creep onto his face and he stopped it. No need to make her suspicious.
“Say Sheska…if you’re not doing anything tonight, why don’t you go somewhere with me? I’ll be bored without anything to do or anyone to do it with,” a plan was already forming in his head as he spoke and that smirk was getting harder to contain.
Sheska thought for a minute,
“Okay!” she said happily.
“Well how about we meet at C’est l’amour at 7:00?” he asked and once again she agreed.
“Then I’ll be seeing you tonight! I’ve gotta get back to work so I’ll let you go now…” he waved at her and she happily skipped off.
The smirk he had been slowly losing against won its battle and slid across his face.
“Ah Sheska-san…I hate to do this to you but I’m afraid it won’t be me you’ll be dining with tonight!” he mumbled, a diabolical look in his eyes
“There’ll be a surprise waiting at that restaurant tonight; for one frizzy haired Sheska and for our little blonde you-know-who!” he laughed a little and turned back to his office, ignoring the strange looks everyone who had overheard his “internal” monologue.
It was going to be a long night.
*C’est l’amour means “its love” pretty much…*
that's all for now