A/N - Um... I am afraid I may have disappointed some of my loyal readers here. If you were expecting something humourous for the final chapter, I must beg your pardon: I am unable to comply. While Gluttony and Wrath somehow turned out vaguely funny, I felt that Lust had to be serious - it's such a dangerous sin, after all.
There's nothing too extreme here... Just a bit of RoyAi lovin'. I mean, if there ever was a relationship that was essentially physical, this would be it. Once more, I would like to thank every last person who left a comment or review... You have no idea how much I treasure and appreciate them. I'd also like to thank anyone who actually read this entire set of drabbles, regardless of whether you reviewed or not. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. So. The chapter to draw the curtains on this series; The final act... For now.
Thanks for everything, guys. It's been fun.
- white lotus.
Disclaimer - You'd think, after all this time, I might have gotten somewhere in my sad, sad life. Ha. No such luck.
Thanks to - Su-chan: Done at last! Thanks for all your help! My lil helper, Aznsnowflake, Blonde-Existentialist, Hola-Meg-a-Cola, K. A. Maples, saffiremoon21, Tsunade-chan, ElasticBobaTurtle, C.A.M.E.O.1 and Only, Only Secret and Jessica. Noogen... Thanks so SO much for taking the time and effort to review. I know how hard it can be to think of something to say, and I really appreciate your opinions and thoughts. Thanks again :bows:
Sometimes, he watches her for hours on end as she goes about her daily business, updating a file, reading a book, dosing herself with mugs of bitter caffeine in order to remain alert long enough to pick her way through the tedious workload.
She knows he's watching, and he knows she knows he's watching, but he does it all the same, and she pretends not to notice, because everyone's more comfortable that way.
Roy studies his Lieutenant like an artist studies his subject, contemplating and analysing each aspect and feature of her in turn, a slow and delicious visual treat. His eyes travel from her clipped-up length of blonde hair, to her long, deft fingers - so quick at the trigger; back up to her full lips - perfect in shape, but always painfully dry and cracked; the corner of her jaw - somewhat square, for she has a slightly masculine feel to the frame of her face; her neck, just visible beneath her tall, buttoned collar and he imagines the gentle dip as it curves to become her shoulders, downwards... Downwards...
Sometimes, Roy has cravings.
Violent urges to forget himself and discard all logical reasoning for what he wants so terribly that it aches. He's weak, sick and starving, shaking with the symptoms of deprivation.
He craves Riza more than Havoc craves those nasty, cheap cigarettes. It's bad for Roy and worse for her, but he just can't seem to stay away.
Certainly, there are other women. Unfortunately, drinking water and telling yourself it's wine isn't going to get you drunk and his dependency on Riza has become such that if he withdraws now, the consequences would cost him far too much.
So Colonel Roy Mustang surreptitiously crosses a leg over the other under his desk, chin perched on the heel of his upturned palm and he craves.
It's been unusually quiet for a while now. Riza stops mid-way through reviewing an application for long-service leave to stretch and paw at her tired, blurry eyes. Releasing a much-needed yawn, she glances about her to find that time has left her far behind today; the place is deserted - and the Colonel has found his way to her side.
"Sir," She stands to retrieve several files from a draw, but before she can locate them, Roy has caught her wrist and closed the distance between them much too fast.
Riza's heartbeat, breath - chain of thought - are all rudely placed on hold as her befuddled mind frantically attempts to deal with the new number one priority of figuring out what to do without causing a complete system failure in the process.
She jerks her head back, breaks the warm, moist seal and air floods her lungs, making her head spin. Two seconds of coldness, a quivering sigh. "Colonel?"
Her lips are so dry. They're bleeding.
With a thumb, Roy wipes the scarlet stain away and realises that it's his own blood. He wants to lick at the stinging in his lower lip, but it's so funny all of a sudden that he can't help grinning stupidly, wondering how he's going to get the red out of his white pyrotex.
Her voice ventures out again, a dry leaf breaking between his fingers. "Colonel?"
"Stop looking so lost, Lieutenant. That's an order."
She can't breathe again, but she doesn't want to, doesn't need to, because this is her survival and with him, she doesn't need anything else.
It's warm - so warm - and they're both burning up; is it a fever? Some sort of wild illness? Riza's pressed up against the wall and her hair's everywhere, a limp stretch to her shoulders, over her eyes, in her face, caught between their mouths. She's scorched across her jaw, down her neck to the hollow where the buttons at her collar have somehow come undone, and hot and cold all over, with her eyes shut, she can't tell whether her stifled moans are in pain or hatred, or why they're wet with tears. She's almost certain that somewhere, Roy's snapped his fingers and set both of them, with the entire office, alight.
Gloved fingertips search bare skin as her hands, usually so skilled and able, fumble a feeble protest against the fastenings of his blue uniform.
Roy is drunk. Intoxicated by the bitter, choking scent of smoke and gunpowder, addicted to the taste of salt on her skin and he devours, drinks, drains this moment dry with a desperate sort of mania, akin to the fervour with which a starved child would consume a long-awaited meal.
He needs this.
And as suddenly as it began, all motion is ceased, and with a whimper of distress, stillness descends on the pair with such gravity that they wonder how they continue stand and why they haven't fallen, helpless and shattered like the victims of a excruciating tragedy.
She's crying, and he doesn't understand why.
With her hair in disarray, her uniform crumpled, her lips crushed and her cheeks streaked with tears, she has never looked so achingly beautiful.
Her breath sends fire down her throat, pain between her shoulders, a piercing cold to her lungs and she's afraid to blink, because he's there, before her, clouded by this shimmering veil of her own confusion, and if she dares to close her eyes, even for a fleeting moment, he might vanish and never return.
So, with the urgency of a drowning soul, Riza clings to Roy as though he's the only thing left in the universe that's real, clenches the blue fabric at his shoulders in a wordless plea to never abandon her, because he is her purpose, her world, her life, and without him, she would be nothing.
He knows this, and as sure as the Sun will rise tomorrow, he is sure of the fact that Riza Hawkeye is as necessary to him as he is to her.
One cannot breathe without air.
One cannot dream without hope.
One cannot endure without courage.
And Roy cannot live without Riza.
They hold one another with the fear of letting go, for in the other's embrace, they find a sanctuary, a small measure of peace in the cruel chaos of a world fraught with human frailty and deadly sin.
They stand: Two sides to an equation. Two halves of a whole. A symbiosis of the most curious nature, the imperfect completion of that exquisitely flawed word: Love.