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Something Just Like This

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I.

“Riza Hawkeye, are you even listening to yourself right now?”

The other woman grimaces, even from across the table.

“Becca, come on-”

Rebecca drums her fingers irritably against her crossed arms, fixing Riza with a look.

“You are not wearing dress blues to your own wedding.”

Riza opens her mouth to protest again, but Rebecca holds a hand up with such ferocity that she wisely decides to clamp it shut.

“That is final.”

Rebecca watches with satisfaction as Riza merely sighs and rubs the bridge of her nose.

“But he gets to wear them.”

“That’s because he’s not the star of the show.”

Riza’s shoulders slump and she takes a long drought of her tea, which she then proceeds to glare at with some dissatisfaction.

“This should be wine.”

 

II.

How this wedding would ever come together without her, Rebecca Catalina is unsure.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise, but she’s pretty sure she’s never met a single person in the world with fewer opinions on event planning than Riza. It’s enough to become mildly infuriating.

For what seems to be the umpteenth time, Rebecca finds herself in Riza’s living room, occupying much of the room’s horizontal space with folders, flyers, and notebooks full of every conceivable wedding-related item. She’s got several colored pens in one hand and a checklist in the other, frowning deeply at a catalogue of floral arrangements.

“What about flowers? Come on, give me something.”

Riza shrugs noncommittally from her spot amongst the clutter, scratching Black Hayate’s belly.

“No idea. The ones at your wedding were nice.”

Rebecca leans back on one arm, thumbing the pages. Upon finding the appropriate entry, she scowls.

“I don’t know. I don’t think white lilies and baby’s breath really scream Riza Hawkeye.”

Riza pats the dog’s drowsy head, considering.

“Maybe so.”

“Anything else.”

“No, nothing. I know absolutely zero about flowers. Or weddings.”

Rebecca puts an orange ‘tentative’ star next to the lilies, resigned. Smirking in spite of this, she glances up at Riza.

“You know, I’m starting to think I’d make real headway if I just cornered the General and interrogated him.”

Riza laughs at this, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear and glancing away.

“You’re probably right.”

 

III.

And thus, absurdly, Rebecca finds herself stationed outside of Roy Mustang’s personal residence the very next morning. She’s already a little perturbed; Riza was supposed to be here, but she ducked out to a vet appointment at the last minute.

“You sure about this?”

Jean’s standing slightly behind her, gazing up at the row house with some sort of apprehension.

Rebecca scoffs.

“Of course. God knows I’m not getting anything constructive out of Riza.”

He shrugs in resignation.

“I guess so. I’m just a little worried that-”

She stops him with a comically arched eyebrow.

“What? You think I’m scared of General Matchstick? Please.”

He grins a little at that, reaching out to ruffle her hair.

“No, not that. I know better than to bet against you when you’re on a mission.”

“Well, then what’s wrong?”

He scratches his neck a bit sheepishly.

“I think he might be a little…intense.”

Rebecca laughs, nudging her husband.

“I think I can manage.”

Purposefully striding up the steps, she lays a few rapid knocks to the front door. There’s the distinct sound of rustling from inside, before Mustang finally appears in the doorway. He seems preoccupied, looking at her with blatant confusion.

“Catalina?”

She glares at him flatly.

“I’ve said it before, Mustang. Rebecca.”

“Right. Sorry.”

He glances past her, confusion deepening.

“Havoc? What the hell are you two doing here?”

Jean gestures somewhat weakly to his wife, and Rebecca takes the opportunity to shove a sizeable file folder into Mustang’s chest.

“We’ve got some work to do.”

 

IV.

Rebecca will die before she lets anyone hear it from her mouth, but Roy Mustang really is an astute man.

She’d no sooner laid out her elaborate wedding plans along his kitchen counter before he’d produced a file box of schematics that were, somehow, even more intricate. Her jaw drops to the floor as Mustang spreads a stack of papers carefully along the coffee table

Jean leans in to her ear.

“Looks like somebody just got beat to the punch.”

Rebecca digs an elbow into his ribs as he stifles a laugh. On principle, she hates being one-upped, but this may just work beautifully.

Moving closer to peer over Mustang’s shoulder, she inspects the handiwork.

“Venue?”

“Central Command. Reception preferably front lawn, ceremony definitely pavilion.”

Rebecca stifles any comment. Central is far from the contemporary choice, but it is the wedding of two of the most celebrated military figures in Amestris.

“Interesting. I see you have Madame Christmas on catering.”

He isn’t facing her, but she can tell he’s smirking.

“She can work magic.”

Rebecca grills him on a few other key areas before she is satisfied. Jean, however, pipes up.

“I didn’t hear anything about flowers.”

“Ha!”

Rebecca punches the air, grinning.

“I knew I’d be doing that!”

Rustling through a few of her own files, she triumphantly produces a new florist’s catalogue, which she smacks onto the tabletop between her and Mustang.

He looks supremely sheepish at the oversight, and immediately attempts to excuse it.

“They’d be something simple, maybe what you-”

Both Rebecca and Jean roll their eyes, near simultaneous.

“Please. Do you honestly think lilies-”

“-Come on, sir, you can’t just copy-”

“- and Riza Hawkeye belong at the same wedding?”

Mustang frowns determinedly at them, but Rebecca knows they’ve won.

“Let me do this. Come on, Riza hasn’t given me anything.”

She starts to rifle through the catalogue before a question forms in her mind.

Leaning back on the couch, she narrows her eyes at Mustang.

“And how exactly do you have a nearly-planned wedding on your hands, if Riza allegedly doesn’t even know what she’s wearing?”

Mustang glaces away, scratching the back of his head. He mutters something that she can’t catch.

“Spill.”

“I said, because I told her I wanted to do it.”

He’s looking at her as if expecting some sort of challenge, but she can only stare at him.

“She doesn’t actually know any of this? This was all you? By yourself?

“Yes. I wanted to, well, surprise her after I was done.”

Rebecca gapes at him, and he scowls back, attempting to seem annoyed.

“I can do things on my own.”

She can’t hold her laughter in any longer, so she doubles over while Jean needles him.

“General, you’re a sap. Oh my God, this is incredible.”

Mustang glares at the floor, failing at hiding his reddening face.

“Shut it, Havoc.”

Rebecca wipes her eyes with the back of her hand, retrieving the floral catalogue.

“That’s so ridiculously cute. Alright, before it kills me, let’s settle these flowers.”

 

V.

“No…no…oh, absolutely not.”

Rebecca scowls.

“You have to pick something.”

Riza glares back, equally stubborn.

“Preferably not something atrocious.”

Rebecca’s shoulders slump a little, and she shoves the dress back amongst the others with resignation.

“Oh, fine. Get over here.”

Riza snaps up from her chair with some satisfaction, but Rebecca halts her before she can reach the racks.

“If you try to wheedle that awful pantsuit out of me again, there will be words.”

Riza raises an eyebrow, but accepts nonetheless.

“Fine. As long as you concede that I won’t be caught dead in lace.”

Rebecca sticks her tongue out.

“It’s classic.”

Taking Riza’s vacated chair, she monitors her friend’s progress through the racks.

“Why didn’t you tell me that Mustang already had everything planned?”

Riza’s back is turned, but Rebecca knows she’s smiling.

“I didn’t think he was being serious. He really did it?”

Rebecca grins.

“Down to the table settings. I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of adorable.”

She watches Riza’s ears turn pink, amused.

“What about that one?”

Riza holds up the dress currently in her hands, bemused.

You actually like this one?”

Rebecca lounges against the chair arm, regarding the choice.

“Sure. It’s sleek. Simple. Elegant.”

Riza ruffles the skirt around a bit in inspection. Suddenly, triumph dawns on her face.

“And practical. Look, it’s got pockets!”

Rebecca laughs.

“Naturally you find the dress that allows for firearm concealment.”

 

VI.

Rebecca sighs in appreciation as Jean kneads her back, resting a calendar notebook in her lap. A completed order for six dozen white roses sticks out of it haphazardly.

“Thanks. I’m pretty sure this wedding is killing me more than ours.”

He laughs.

“It’s a week away, you won’t be at your wit’s end for too much longer.”

“True.”

Shifting her weight on the couch to lay her head on his shoulder, Rebecca stares into space.

“I’m going to bawl my eyes out, you know.”

He strokes her hair.

“I’m pretty sure everyone will.”

 

VII.

“And that’s the last of it. All done.”

Winry dusts her hands off in satisfaction, so Rebecca moves to examine her handiwork. Sure enough, her abilities are admirable; Riza’s hair is the picture of elegance, pinned up in soft curls.

Rebecca pats the younger woman’s shoulder.

“Great work. I think we’ve covered everything.”

Riza appears oblivious to all of this, her gaze locked onto the pistol in her hands as she proceeds to disassemble and reassemble it for the sixth time. Her face is uncharacteristically pale; she’s eaten little this morning and said even less.

Rebecca sighs with empathy.

“Winry, could you go check on the men?”

The girl shoots Riza a supremely pitying look, but exits the room nonetheless.

After a pause, Rebecca sighs and dumps another pistol into Riza’s lap, quickly followed by a revolver.

Riza’s head cocks almost imperceptibly, and then she speaks.

“But I thought-”

“Just take them.”

Riza pockets the new pistol carefully before taking pause with the revolver. As if on cue, Rebecca drops a holster into her hands.

“I don’t care about decorum. I will not have you passing out at your own wedding just because you can’t function without at least three weapons on you.”

That manages to get a grin out of Riza, and Rebecca rubs her shoulders affectionately.

“Look at you. You make a kickass bride.”

For the first time since the start of the morning, Riza lifts her eyes to the mirror in front of her. She tries to mask it, but Rebecca can see the awe rise in her face.

A lump forms in her throat.

“Oh my God, you’re getting married.”

Suddenly there are tears threatening to run down Rebecca’s face. Riza’s also starting to blink rather rapidly, so she swipes aggressively at her own eyes.

“Oh, no you don’t. You’re not messing up that mascara.”

Riza laughs, albeit a little shakily, and she lifts a hand to squeeze Rebecca’s.

Any further solidarity is interrupted by Winry, who bursts back into the room a moment later with a harassed expression.

“Miss Rebecca, Ed told me to tell you that your husband said he needs you.”

Rebecca’s brows furrow as Riza releases her.

“Now what?”

 

VIII.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what she’d been expecting.

Rebecca leans against the bathroom stall gingerly. Fuery’s still looking at her, clearly unsure of the propriety of letting her in here, but he keeps his mouth shut. At any rate, Breda and Falman stand guard outside.

She knocks delicately against the wall.

“Any better?”

“Well-”

Jean’s reply dwindles as he is interrupted by the sound of retching. A dull noise echoes throughout the room as he thumps Mustang soundly on the back.

“Better here than at the ceremony, General.”

Rebecca squeezes her eyes shut for a moment before speaking.

“Fullmetal, how long has this been going on?”

The former alchemist lounges against a sink opposite her. It’s obvious that he’s been on the verge of laughing, but has just enough tact to conceal it.

“I dunno, like half an hour? He just froze up all of a sudden.”

As if to emphasize this, Mustang groans before proceeding to throw up again.

Ed cranes his neck to look over, muttering.

“Jeez, you think he wouldn’t have anything left at this point.”

He deals the stall a sharp rap with his boot.

“Come on. You think Hawkeye’s over there barfing her guts out? Get ahold of yourself.”

There’s a muffled growl from within.

“Shut up, Fullmetal.”

Ed crosses his arms, unimpressed.

“This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Stop dawdling like an idiot, and get out here so you can marry her.”

There’s a few moments’ pause intermittent with some rustling, and then Mustang emerges. Jean’s got a firm hand on his back, but Rebecca can see the fire starting to glimmer in his eyes as he glares at Ed.

“You’re a pain in the ass.”

 

IX.

Of course, Rebecca can’t hold it together longer than ten minutes.

She makes it through Mustang’s entrance without real issue, beaming despite herself as he makes his way to the center of the pavilion, escorted by Madame Christmas.

He looks significantly better than he did half an hour ago, but she can see him fidgeting erratically with the hem of his jacket. She’s gladly reminded that Jean is standing nearest, prepared to steady him in case he really loses his grip.

Any further contingency plans fly out the window, however, when Riza appears.

She is being escorted by Fuhrer Grumman himself, but suddenly no one else in the room holds any significance.

The simple, sleeveless white dress is impossibly perfect, its full back and high neck disguising any trace of old injuries, skirt drifting behind her. Winry’s hard work on her hair appears, somehow, even more immaculate now; some part of Rebecca’s brain realizes it’s really not that far off from her usual style. She wears little makeup and no jewelry save earrings, her only other accessories the rose bouquet in her hands and the revolver strapped to her thigh.

It’s just Riza, elevated.

Rebecca’s tears are gushing in seconds, and she suppresses the hiccupping suddenly threatening to rise in her throat. She can hear Fuery losing a similar battle to her left, and feels Winry shifting beside her to scrub at her face.

Riza herself, however, is doing a nearly perfect job of resisting any emotion. She’s adopted a stiff military stride down the aisle, her arm stone in Grumman’s, and her jaw is set hard. Rebecca notices that her gaze is determinedly fixed somewhere three feet above Mustang’s head.

Rebecca shifts her eyes surreptitiously to him.

In almost ridiculous fashion, Mustang’s set his face in an identically determined mask. His shoulders are stiff under his jacket and his eyes bore holes into the ground in front of Riza’s feet.

Despite her emotional state, Rebecca fights the sudden, bizarre urge to laugh. It’s just like these two, really, to try and glare their way through their own wedding.

A flush is growing dangerously in Riza’s face as she ascends the pavilion’s steps, and Rebecca spots her lip tremble.

A pause.

She releases an audible, quivering exhale.

A muscle jumps in Mustang’s jaw once, twice, and then his face is buried in his palms, the tears finally streaming forth.

Riza breaks almost as immediately, now before him; her shining gaze is locked onto his face as she reaches out instinctively.

He touches her slowly, cautiously, as if still unconvinced that this is really happening. He breathes her name and she smiles, joyful and intimate.

Breda turns away to mop his eyes with his sleeve and Rebecca lifts Jean’s prior-supplied handkerchief to her face, her sobbing muffled into the fabric. At some point, they start reciting vows, but Rebecca remembers none of it clearly, her attention devoted solely in containing her crying from transforming into a full-on meltdown.

She pulls herself together just in time to notice that they’ve finished speaking.

Mustang lifts a hand to Riza’s face, his thumb tracing the side of her jaw. She’s wearing a positively blazing expression, eyes bright enough to blind anyone in the vicinity.

And suddenly, she’s pulling him in by his lapels, and then they’re kissing, fierce and desperate and elated.

Rebecca’s certain that people cry for weeks.