After Hours.

AN: My first foray into the FMA fandom. For Squeak! Roy/Riza, unrepentant fluff, mangling of characterizations and spoilers all the way to the end of the series, and no proof-reading anywhere in sight. If you're still here after all those confessions, I applaud your bravery.

And now! Into the lion's den…


"Hawkeye…" he said softly, trying and failing to lift his left arm from his bedside. He wanted to shake her awake, to stall the quiet, intermittent whimpers and the rapid movements of her eyes behind their lids. If he didn't know better, he'd say she was having a nightmare. To the best of his knowledge, Riza Hawkeye didn't have nightmares, because the Riza Hawkeye he knew simply wouldn't tolerate them. By now, she should have woken up, gone to shoot something perhaps, because a few discharges of her gun always seemed to make her such a happy woman. But this Riza Hawkeye had been at his bedside without fail for the last five days, she hadn't eaten much of anything and every time he'd woken up and looked at her, she'd been awake.

Well, except now, of course. But he supposed superior officers could make allowances, once in a while. "Hawkeye," he muttered again, somewhat annoyed at how raspy and low his voice was. Fire usually didn't bother him, but the choleric combination of sulfur and smoke hadn't boded well for his lungs or his voice, amidst blood-loss and chaos. At least he was alive.

And if there was one thing he remembered of being poked and prodded while laying prone in a hospital bed, it was the poignant memory of Hawkeye hovering over him, clutching his hand hard enough to hurt, and threatening him with dismemberment and much pain if he so much as dared set one toe across the boundaries of life and death.

Roy Mustang was a military man, born and raised. He knew how to follow orders.

So Roy had lived, and Hawkeye hadn't stopped berating him once for his foolishness. It wasn't in anything she said, because in that respect, she was as proper as ever. It was her eyes, he decided, that lead him to believe he was either sporting some sort of malignant fungus (likely not, as one mildly interested look in the direction of any number of nurses still set them to swooning) or had demonstrated an idiot's righteousness in stark black and white. As much as he hated to admit it, it was probably the latter. They'd both known the risks, but…

She had very beautiful eyes. Even when they were angry, especially when they were concerned (and for him, no less). She herself could perhaps be considered beautiful, but on the same hand, she was an officer under his command. Fraternization was not exactly encouraged in the military, after all. Most of the time, he never saw her as beautiful, because Hawkeye being beautiful presented him with a bundle of problems so utterly irritating that it was about all he could do to stop himself from snapping his fingers and incinerating them. Hawkeye being beautiful was dangerous, because he couldn't touch her, couldn't tell her, couldn't do anything to assuage that annoyingly emotional response she so invoked in him.

Well, he could change that. A nice new rule, tacked on the wall right next to that all women must wear mini-skirts requisition, stating that cross-fraternization was allowed. Of course, he'd have to do it several months in advance before he said anything to Hawkeye, or else she'd think that he'd manufactured it all along. …She'd probably think that anyways, though. She was smart like that. She'd probably give him one of those Looks, and then she'd sigh, and he'd make sure he was within healthy running distance to something solid to hide behind, because she was also a noteworthy shot. She probably wouldn't assault a superior officer, but he wouldn't be taking his chances, thankyouverymuch…

Roy had a knack for collecting remarkable personnel. The best and brightest, the strangely loyal. They'd follow him anywhere, and he knew that he'd abused that privilege more than he should have. They did it anyways, and as much as he hated to admit it, as much as he wanted to take responsibility for every hurt they'd suffered, and for every late night that they'd spent because he'd been too evasive to do…whatever it was that he was supposed to have done, he realized that they wouldn't have done it unless they wanted to.

That …almost bothered him. That he, blood-stained and entrenched in guilt, could garner such blinding loyalty. It was both a blessing and a curse, because he wanted to tell them he wasn't worth it, yet he didn't want them to actually take that as being the truth. He'd decided a long while ago that of all the people in the world, only the opinion of a select few actually mattered. Hawkeye was one of those privileged few.

"Lieutenant Hawkeye!" he barked hoarsely, and with as much militaristic command that he could inject into his voice in his current state.

Riza Hawkeye was a military woman, born and raised. She knew how to follow orders.

She snapped awake, and her hand immediately went to the gun that he knew she was carrying. And then she blinked, rubbed her eyes and focused on him. She looked…a combination of grateful and annoyed. "Sir?"

He twitched his hand, found to his utter dismay that he still couldn't move it. He frowned down at his hand and curled a finger until it touched his palm as she spoke again, "Problem, Brigadier General…?"

He sighed, leaned back against his pillows and…well, pouted. Not that pouting was a particularly Roy-ish pastime, not like skirt-chasing or setting things on fire, but…well, Roy was never above a little reconnaissance, especially when it had the potential to get him something that he wanted, and at the moment, what he wanted, was… "Lieutenant, you realize I'm not in uniform, and that you don't have to address me like that, yes?"

"Yes sir," she said reflexively, and then she smiled, just a little. "Sorry…ah…Roy."

He almost choked. Having her call him 'Roy' was an improvement, sure, but she said it so strangely, like the word was unfamiliar and exotic, and like she was testing it on her tongue for the first time in her life. "Er…"

"It does sound funny, doesn't it…?" She laughed a little, pushed an errant blonde bang out of her face. Her right arm, still in its sling, she rubbed and then flexed. "Sorry, sir."

He twitched his hand again and tried to telepathically convey the fact that yes, please, ma'am, I would very much like for you to see my distress and hold my hand right about now, but she was either not getting the message or ignoring it. With Hawkeye, either was possible.

"You were dreaming," he told her, for lack of anything else to say. "About?" An eye-brow quirk followed that. The patented Roy Mustang Smile, the one that charmed all the women except the one he actually wanted to charm. Not that he'd ever turned his efforts upon her entirely, because that was Not Allowed, after all. But for the time being, Roy Mustang and the military were two entirely separate entities, almost as if he'd severed a part of his body with the Fuhrer's death. He knew that when he was recovered, he'd go back to being what he'd always been, but maybe this time he'd get to play master instead of dog.

Even so. Right now, he wasn't a uniform, a squeaky-clean set of Brigadier General's tabs. He was just Roy, and Roy was an injured, romantically frustrated man with a wounded pride and no access to anything resembling his alchemist's gloves, or any other potential means to salve his stress.

Hawkeye's eyes narrowed somewhat at his question, and he reasoned with himself that she wouldn't shoot an injured, unarmed man, and then she sighed. Leaned back in her chair and slowly undid the sling that had held her arm. He had to admit, for the split-second that he'd caught sight of her before his untimely…accident, he'd thought her absolutely fetching. Not many women could pull off being blood-spattered, gun-toting and beautiful, but it was something that Riza Hawkeye had taken to an art form.

And that funny little squiggle in the pit of his gut was the fact that he was hungry and hadn't gotten to light anything on fire for the last seven days, not the fact that thinking of her made him…well, squiggly.

"Sir…do you ever have dreams that feel more real than when you're awake?" She gave him one of those dead-panned, earnest sort of expressions that always made her seem every inch the soldier, like they were talking together over a tin of re-heated, week-old stew, sitting out in amidst the mud and blood of a battlefield. She was a very…intense woman, his Hawkeye. (Yes, his. She was part of his militaristic entourage, after all, why shouldn't he claim her as belonging to him?)

He flexed the second finger on his hand, working it until it too curled to touch his palm. Progress, at last. "Well, Lieutenant…"

"Because…" the pitch of her voice sounded almost desperate. But that was nonsense, because he knew her better than that. "Because…I dreamed that you died. And it felt real…more real than this…" Briefly, she gestured around the hospital room, at the single window, at the spider-silk-fine cracks on the ceiling, at the beaten old heat-register that groaned with protest every time someone had to kick it into functioning.

He blinked at her. Blinked again, and then smirked coolly, because he was Roy Mustang, and even though he was a Flame Alchemist, everyone who knew him knew that he was all about being suave. "Lieutenant, I hate to disappoint you, but I am very much alive, and this is very much real. Unless of course, it's some sort of bizarre dream that the both of us are experiencing." His hand moved. It ached, but it moved. Ached all the way up to his arm, to the unhealed gash that the former Fuhrer had left there in that oh-so-painful fashion. But it moved. And so he lifted it, damned the fact that it was trembling rather more than it should, and he brushed his knuckles past Hawkeye's cheek.

She stared at him, and then realized that staring is impolite when A) one is actually doing it, and B) when one is doing it to a superior officer. She looked down and away from him, but there was a very tiny little smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Roy fancied that he could read Hawkeye quite well, given all his experience with women, and so he took that as a good sign.

"Of course," he continued smoothly, "dreams are what you make of them, after all. And if there is a dream out there that we can share, well, then…" She looked up sharply, and so he gave a graceful half-bow (difficult to do when one is as mangled as a piece of hamburger, but he managed it because he is Roy, and Roy is not adverse to bearing a little pain once in a while) in her direction. "I hope at least that said dream will let us out of this bloody hospital room." He sighed, clearly miffed, and glanced around piteously. Fury and Havoc had brought flowers, in an effort to brighten the place up, but no one had watered them and so they were rather…withered, now.

"Oh, eventually," she said, still with a hint of a smile. And then, just as he neared the limits of his strength and his hand was about to fall, she caught it. Brought it up before her face to look at, and studied it. His hands were much like the man himself. The nails were neatly kept, short and blunt, and his fingers were long and elegant. To someone that might call Roy Mustang a bureaucratic pencil-pusher, they would never be able to imagine the calluses on the pads of his fingers, nor the numerous scars across his skin. And then, as he winced a little at her handling, she set his arm back upon his bed and frowned at him. "Roy Mustang, are you trying to seduce me?"

He hesitated minutely. On the battlefield, hesitation kills. And Hawkeye was armed, after all. "Why would you think that, Lieutenant?"

"Because you're an idiot," Ouch… "And idiots sometimes do unfathomable things."


"Because," she overrode him without much consideration at all for the shiny-sparkly-newness of his rank. "If you are…" She stood up. It was amazing how much menace that woman could produce with one small little flicker of expression, but she was astoundingly adept at it. Flame Alchemist or no Flame Alchemist, all Roy wanted to do at that precise moment in time was hide under his blankets and imagine that he no longer existed.

"Nonsense, Lieutenant," he said in lieu of pretending he was young enough to actually hide under his sheets. It would be rather unflattering, after all. "I don't know why you would have - mmphht!"

Hawkeye kissed like she lived. With all the honed intensity of someone trained to kill. Roy wanted to believe that he put up at least a little resistance, but that hand he'd raised to stop her had somehow gotten tangled in her hair, and those words on his lips to firmly but gently remind her of the fact that this was in fact fraternization were somehow transmuted into a blissful cadence of rhythm and necessity. Roy forgot that he was a mangled lump of hamburger, and that he'd been in the same damned hospital room for far too long to be healthy. In fact, Roy forgot pretty much everything, up to and including his own name. Roy who? Oh, you mean that idiot that's currently utterly and hopelessly taken with Riza Hawkeye? Yeah, I think I met him once or twice. He's a little spacey, don't you think?

And then Hawkeye pulled away from him, eyes narrowed again. She was still frowning a little, but it was a Hawkeye-ish sort of frown, and he hadn't died yet, so he assumed that it was simply Hawkeye being Hawkeye. He blinked, trying to orient himself, trying to dismiss (but not forget, no sir) the sensation of her dry, very un-feminine lips being pressed to his.

"You're not in uniform, sir," she said finally as she settled herself back in her chair, re-arranged the hair that he had mussed, and re-tied the sling about her arm. "Therefore, seeing as that makes me ranking officer here, I assumed that showing some initiative and taking matters into my own hands would prove…" their eyes met, hazel and gray, and Roy reminded himself that yes, he had a name. "…To be an interesting endeavor."

He regained his composure, because he is Roy, and Roy does not go without composure for long periods of time in the same sense that people cannot go without air for long periods of time. "Well, Lieutenant…" he began, and then he coughed to clear his throat. "You perform…remarkably, when you take initiative."

She snapped a salute with her left hand, looking straight ahead and most definitely not at him. "I try, sir."

"But your method could use a little fine-tuning," he said cautiously. He wasn't quite poking a sleeping tiger, but an alert and armed Hawkeye instead. The two were not mutually exclusive.

"Oh, sir? I'm sorry. I'll have to work on that."



"We're not doing anything else, at the moment, are we?"

"No, sir."

"Then yes. I believe now would be perfect."

That faint little smile was back. "In that case, sir, I'll have to ask that you refrain from speaking until this procedure is over, seeing as how you might break my concentration, and that in itself could prove…disastrous."

Riza Hawkeye was a military woman, born and raised. She knew how to follow orders.

Happily, she also knew how to give them.