Fandom: FMA (slightly AU for timing purposes)
Character(s): Falman, Sheska, and Mustang (with cameos from Havoc, Breda and Furey)
Pairing(s): None ... yet.
Word Count: ~2700 in this installment, the first of two
A/N: One year ago today, I posted my very first fanfic to LiveJournal and was gratified to discover that a few people enjoyed it enough to comment on it. (Gratified? I walked around for days afterward chanting, "They liked it! They really, really LIKED it!") That piece featured Sheska, so when this one began developing as an encounter between her and Falman, I decided to post it in honor of my first anniversary. Alas, various commitments prevented me from completing it on time, but I did manage to revise the first half into postable shape, right up to the cliffhanger, so here it is. I'll try to get the ending pulled together ASAP. UPDATE: Bad link fixed. Please note that this doesn't quite fit into the timeline, but I couldn't resist seeing what Hughes might do if his office were only a few floors away from Mustang's instead of half a country. Crossposted from nebroadwe to Höllenbeck (i.e. hagaren_manga, fm_alchemist, fullservicefma, fma_gen, fma_writers and fma_fiction).
Dedication: Specifically, to jennawaterford, master of Amestrian office politics. Generally, to everyone who read my work and left a comment over the past year. Thank you so much.
The early-warning system Breda had arranged with the offices at either end of the hall allowed them to calibrate the level of busyness in the workroom according to the importance of an approaching visitor: a drop-dead-gorgeous secretary cleared desks faster than an impending audit, but an ordinary clerk was normally greeted with bent heads and scratching pencils. It was a testament to Investigations' advantage in the war of nerves, Falman reflected bitterly, that Sheska's approach had cleared the room.