Characters: Riza, Hayate, Maria Ross, Rebecca (kinda)
Word Count: 1,031
Summary: It’s just another night for Riza.
Author’s Note written for gaia_lulia for prompt “What Riza does in her free time” in fmagiftexchange. Thanks to cornerofmadness for the quick beta!
Usually after work Riza would go straight to home, but tonight she decided to head for the bookstore a couple streets from Eastern Command. As she entered the dusty smell and several shelves of books greeted her. The chandeliers up high from the ceiling produced good lighting, giving it a warm feel inside. This was the second time Riza had been inside this place, the first time before moving to Central a couple years ago, but she was still surprised over the selection of books it had.
Walking slowly, she kept an eye on the section she wanted to go to, only to then bump someone. Riza took a couple steps back and let out a gasp to see First Lieutenant Maria Ross in front of her.
"Didn't expect to see you here, Captain Hawkeye," the First Lieutenant said, smiling.
"Me neither. You left an hour early before me, so I assumed you would be home by now."
Ross made a low laugh. "I want to check this bookstore out. And you?"
"I came to find a new book to read. I'm tired of rereading the books I have." Riza indeed grew sick of going back to her favorite books, the plot and characters predictable now. It had been a while since a story jumped unexpectedly at her.
"Understandable. What kind of books you usually read?"
Riza's words failed for a second before she managed to reply, "I read almost anything, though I had been reading classic literature lately."
"Literature, huh? I think I caught one book you might be interested in."
The two moved further into the bookstore and it wasn't long until they stopped at the literature section, the one Riza wanted to go to earlier. Riza watched Ross skimmed over the books until the First Lieutenant snatched one and handed it to her. It was a thick blue book and Riza stared at it while her fingers traced the gold lettering.
"I remember my mother reading this book to me when I was younger," Ross said. "This one is about a boy's development to adulthood and how he learns from it. It's one of her favorites."
Riza mentally chuckled. She was reminded of Roy from when he first came to her father's house at fourteen to today, now a Brigadier General making progress on Amestris's potential bright future--the book's title fitted him well, Riza mused. This might be something she would enjoy.
"Sounds interesting. Thanks."
"No problem. Also, if you like, I can give you a couple more books tomorrow. One of them I got from Xing and it's a series of fairy tales well known there."
A grateful smile tugged Riza's lips. She worked alongside with Ross for a while now, but found it pleasing whenever the First Lieutenant warmed up to her like that. "I would like that."
The two ladies bid farewells and waved goodbye to one another, Ross leaving first. Riza went to find the cashier so she could read the book at home.
In her living room Riza flipped through the pages, reading certain passages randomly. She wanted to get a feel of the writing style and the details first before diving in the first chapter. So far there were some parts she felt were heavy on unneeded description, but it hadn't bother her too much, already used to that with the paperwork at Eastern Command.
Riza was interrupted when the phone rang, already picking it up from the small table next to the couch. The instant Riza heard the voice said hello she already knew who called her.
"I thought you're supposed to be going to the restaurant with Richard now, Rebecca."
Some nights whenever she and Rebecca weren't hanging out, Riza would get a call from her, always losing track of time that way. Riza relaxed a little and had herself against one of the couch's arm rests.
"I was, but I got a call from him last minute. He told me he got sick and couldn't make it." Riza noted the disappointment in her friend's voice from the other line.
"That's too bad. I knew you were looking forward to it." A month Rebecca had told her about Richard, who works at a museum. Riza had met him once and thought he was a nice guy.
"I got very excited today, but then that call ruined my mood." Rebecca heaved out a heavy sigh. "Ah well, Richard said he'll call me when he's better so that we can arrange something else. Anyways, I'm wondering if you’re still going to see that movie Saturday night with Sally and me.”
After confirming she intended to join, Riza talked with Rebecca for another hour, time rushed by faster than she expected once more. Riza hadn't minded it at all, always enjoying Rebecca's company without her being here.
Hayate had to be fed, so Riza filled his bowl and watched him eat briefly before sitting down for a meal herself. She listened to the radio while eating her dinner, a plate of chicken and rice. Often music or a radio drama would play, the news not on this late. Tonight a blues singer sang her songs live, Riza thinking she had a pleasant and sweet voice.
As soon as the two finished eating, they both headed inside the bedroom, Riza bringing the book with her. Riza climbed into her bed once she got dressed in her sleeping clothes and began reading the first chapter. She hadn't gotten to the third page when Hayate barked.
"No Hayate, you're not allowed on the bed."
The dog whined, which made Riza narrowed her eyes at him.
"I'm sorry, but I don't want your fur all over the bed."
Again, Hayate begged. Riza's face softened this time.
"All right, but just for tonight."
Her dog yelped in joy and then jumped up on the bed. Riza petted Hayate once he curled up on her lap and yawned. Picking up the book, Riza continued off where she left off. Tomorrow she had to go to headquarters early, like always, but it wouldn't hurt to be immersed in the story a little while longer. Just another normal day gone by.