By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. Hope everyone enjoyed my "extended vacation" (account restriction). I'm back now so do please R/R.

It's a funny thing how we as human beings value the ability to control things. After all, our whole way of life is based on control. Civilized man taming the savagery of nature and its creatures, carving order and law out of chaos. Isn't that the way of progress? But the art of control is a very tricky thing to master. Take for example, my alchemic abilities. I control and wield a very deadly ability, have mastery over one of the most fickle elements in all of nature. Yet still, if I don't exercise proper control I could very easily kill someone without meaning to. Yes, control is a very tricky thing. It becomes even trickier, however, when you throw human beings into the mix. Controlling a thing is one matter, controlling a person is an entirely different matter.

I've been accused of being a manipulative bastard. Truthfully, I've been accused of many adjectives, all with the word "bastard" after them. I suppose if one is playing politics and cutting through red tape in order to get things done, one has to be somewhat manipulative. It's a trick of the trade, a dirty game that has to be played if you want to get ahead. And I do want to get ahead, if only just so I can change things. So to do that maybe I do manipulate the system and some of the people in it. No one would do any differently in my position and there are those who would certainly do a lot worse than I have. Some of them already have in fact. But that still doesn't excuse the fact that I manipulate people, pull their strings to get what I want from them. And some of those people, well, some of them deserve a lot better treatment from me. Certainly she does.

I sometimes try to imagine what life would be like if I didn't have Riza Hawkeye in it. Certainly I wouldn't be as organized. My desk would be in disarray, my schedule haphazardly planned out without prior thought. Paperwork would be a nightmare and my professional life would be in a general state of chaos. That just wouldn't suit a man like me, a man of action seeking to create a new order. So I need Riza in my life, need someone to keep things straight for me while I focus my attention on the bigger plan. She takes care of all the small things while I deal with the larger concerns. But the level of need goes much deeper than merely clerical or professional.

I know what Maes is always telling me to do. 'Get out and date more, Roy.' 'Find yourself a woman and settle down.' 'I'm sure you'd make some lovely girl very happy, Roy.' I'm honestly surprised he still thinks so highly of me. I'm positive I don't deserve him. But I'm not dating; it's not really something I have time for. But still, I am not a man of ice no matter how much I may appear as one. Can it be then that I have fallen for Riza Hawkeye? Certainly there is some feeling in me for her. On more than one occasion, her quick thinking and her level head have saved my life. Certainly there is some affection for her in me. It wouldn't do though to become entangled in a romantic affair at this stage of the plan. Also, if I'm speaking honestly, love has always seemed foreign to me. I suppose it is because love involves a loss of control. It involves conceding to your partner's wishes, allowing them a measure of control over you. For a man like me, one who wishes to be in control of everything, love is a very foreign idea yet one that I find strangely attractive when paired with thoughts of Riza. She is quite beautiful although her beauty is more subtle than most women. Perhaps also what attracts me to her is the notion that she is quite different from other women, which she is. Other women concede so easily, subordinating themselves to the whims and wishes of their partners. But Riza is, as I said, different. She is strong, shrewd, perhaps even cunning. She keeps the others in line and keeps me organized and together. Although I outrank her, and by all rights am her boss, she has always treated me as an equal and at times she has displayed more authority than I have.

So who is in control here? One would naturally assume that I am, given the fact that I always am. But honestly, I'm beginning to suspect that she is the one in control and I am but a pawn to her queen in the chess game of love. They do say that behind every great man there is a perhaps greater woman. But is this blossoming love I feel for her? Can I really give up my control, lose all sense of professionalism in order to blindly seek her heart? It's a mystery I have yet to solve, chaos that neither she nor I have yet to fully organize. But whatever it may be, I do feel myself giving in to it. It's quite ironic I suppose. I've often been accused by Edward Elric, the oh so famous Fullmetal Alchemist, of having the world on my strings and everything under my control. But in the end, I am simply the puppet being manipulated more and more by my feelings for my First Lieutenant. Yes, in the end I think control is a very tricky thing to master.