Author's Note - There is very little difference between this and the adult version (like three lines) but if you want to see it and you're old enough head to livejournal under the colorific community

Chapter Three

Roy dragged to consciousness very slowly, his cheek cushioned against soft hair. He pressed a kiss into the hair then realized something was very wrong. He sat up, sputtering. His head throbbed with hangover drums but not too badly. Black Hayate glanced at him when the pressure of Roy's face lifted. "Weren't you a beautiful woman just a few hours ago?" he groaned, scrubbed a hand through the dog's thick fur. Hayate's curled tailed wagged, dragging over Roy's face. The man sneezed. "Where did you come from and why did she allow you in my bed?"

Roy rolled out of bed and flipped the cinnabar and black bedspread back over the mattress covering up Hayate, who didn't seem to mind. He padded over to the black bedroom curtains then decided to leave them drawn. It wouldn't do to let the neighbors catch a glimpse of Riza, just in case. After taking care of his business in the master bath, Roy went to look for his lover, not bothering to pull on more than his boxers.

They had never been in the same place all night and day before, barring missions which hardly counted. She had apparently opted for the same level of caution he had. All the living room curtains were drawn and a little stack of wood had been built in the fireplace waiting for him to wake up and help chase away with morning chill. It was still blustery outside. He could hear the wind against the house. Riza had a fragrant cup of tea in one hand - apparently having helped herself to the finest stuff he had gotten from a Xing trader - and one of his books off the shelf in the other hand. He grimaced, seeing she had found one of the works of fiction, an indulgence of his love of scaring himself with ghost stories.

He leaned over the back of the black leather chaise lounge and kissed her cheek. "Morning."

"That's nice." She reached back and ruffled his hair.

"Better than my first kiss today. Too furry." He smiled then dragged one of his pie-shaped ottomans over from the four piece circle of red leather ottomans. He sat in front of her, grinning like an errant boy. He knew he should at least look as hangover-ridden as he felt or she'd suspect something but he couldn't help it. He knew his friend wasn't really dead and he was getting to spend a day with the woman he loved. He'd just have to convince Riza she was entirely responsible for his lifted spirts. "Why did you let Hayate in my bed...and where did he come from?"

"I figured if I was going to spend the day, I'd better go bring him here. You were sound asleep. I decided you needed the rest." Riza smiled at him.

He leaned forward, pillowing his cheek on her warm thigh. She stroked his hair. "This is our first real morning together," he said.

"I know."

Her hand stilled on his head. Roy sat up and they both looked at each other for several long moments. Roy felt so odd, so out of place. They had never been here before when it wasn't business and suddenly he didn't know what to say to her.

"Why does it feel awkward?" she asked, finally.

"I was about to ask you that...we never really have the chance to just relax and enjoy each other. I don't think we know how." Roy's nose wrinkled. "Maybe I should...just start the fire or something."

"This is really sad." Riza shook her head. "I could make breakfast for us."

"That sounds good." Roy put a hand on the array that was on the carved wooden mantle piece and the fire blazed. He watched Riza leave the room. His eyes raked over the living room. Why did he keep this place? Sometimes he wondered, looking at all the furniture. He had a red leather couch and an overstuffed black leather cigar chair in addition to the lounge and ottoman. All this furniture in a place most people didn't know he had. He didn't really have that many friends. Who was he trying to impress with leather furniture and tables with their sweeping cabriole legs designed to look like golden vines, clawed feet and marble tops? He was a soldier who had to move often. It was pure vanity to keep a place he could be assigned away from at any moment and he had been, for far too long but he still paid for this home even if he couldn't live in it.

There was very few he could invite in to use his little bar with the black stone top dotted with fossilized leaves. No, this place was a monument to his ego and thinking about it and his utter failure with Riza just a few moments before helped crash his mood to where it should be for a man who the world thought had just buried his best friend. He knew exactly why he kept this house. It wasn't really even vanity. It was to say to himself he was better than his beginnings. He had become something, a man of taste and refinement instead of a broken creature from a mill, old before his time or worse, a used up prostitute that his father tried to turn him into. He had become an arrogant, indulgent brat.

"Roy!" The irritated tone to Riza's voice surprised him.

Roy headed for the kitchen. "Yeah?"

"This is all you have for breakfast." She shook some shriveled grapes at him. "Is this why you're so thin? You don't eat?"

"I'm not thin. I'm wiry," Roy protested and got the evil eye in return. "I don't live here any more. I just moved back. There's not much in the larder. I can run to the market."

"I think you'll have to if we plan on staying in all day. Here, have a grape." She flicked one at him.

He ducked and Hayate swooped in from nowhere to scarf it up. "I'll call my grocer and my butcher. They deliver. It'll take an hour or two."

"I think we can find ways of occupying ourselves until then," she said then propelled him to the phone.

She left him to make his call. Roy put in orders for staples, some fresh fruits and vegetables and some prime cuts of beef for later. He went back to the living room to see Riza peering into the leaded glass curio shelves that were part of the mantle piece, looking at the strange assortment of bric-a-brac he had in there.

"I always like to see if you've added anything," she said as he ran his hand over her back.

"Just a little glass piece from out east this time," he replied, pointing it out.

"I remember you eyeing that up in the store." Riza looked at him, then reached out to ruffle his hair. "I never pictured you being this casual in the morning. I didn't ask and I should have, how are you feeling now?"

Roy tried to smooth down his hair, which he knew was still sticking up all over even without her assistance. Riza was right, she had never seen him this casual. "I'm okay, well, not okay but you know what I mean. I'm hung over a little and I'm sad but...I'll be okay. How about you?"

"Okay. Armstrong didn't cry all over me in public." She smiled softly.

"Old Mrs. Brown saw," Roy said with a pout.

Riza stroked his hair. "The poor woman will never be the same."

"I'm not sure I'll be either." He managed a little smile, capturing her hand to drop a kiss into it.

"I'm sure being hugged by Strongarm while wearing nothing but your silk undies could be scarring." Riza couldn't help herself. A little laugh bubbled out of her.

"Better convince me hugging you is better than him." Roy pressed her back against the warm wall next to the mantle, rubbing said silk boxers against her.

"Convince you?" Riza kissed him. "I think you're convincing yourself pretty well without me."

Roy nuzzled her neck. "This has everything to do with you, trust me."

Riza mumbled something that might have been, 'I do,' as their lips met and their tongues fenced. Riza moaned into his mouth as he teased her. Suddenly, he stopped.

"What's wrong," she asked, rubbing herself against him.

A little frown kissed his lips. "The dog's watching."

She snorted, rubbing the silk over him. "Hayate's behind you. You can't even see him."

"I can feel his eyes. I can't do this while the dog's watching," Roy moaned, resting his forehead on her shoulder. His face had become a ruby.

She ran a hand over his cheek. "You get shy over the strangest things, do you know what?"

He kissed her neck. "Sorry."

"Hayate, go. Shoo." Riza waved a hand at her pet. Hayate cocked his head then trotted towards the kitchen. "Better?"

"Immensely." Roy sank to his knees in front of her, kissing her belly. "I wanted to make it up to you for being such an ass yesterday."

Her eyes clouded. "Roy, you don't have..."

"But I'm not getting off to a good start between Hayate and not having any food." Roy ignored her protest, sliding her pants down. "I guess I'll need to be more creative."

Riza sighed, one hand balancing herself on the wall and the other toying with his hair. "That's perfect."


"This is so beautiful," Riza purred, snuggling against Roy's chest. They were both stretched out on the couch listening to the radio, glasses of wine in hand. Hayate was curled up in a jumble over their legs. A plate of cheeses, fruits and breads was on the marble coffee top.

"It's the piano concerto in D minor by Fadden played by the Lidelphian Orchestra," Roy said, his fingers idly stroking her arm.

"Lidelphia, I know it's considered one of the homes of music and theater, have you ever been there?" Riza nestled in tighter.

"Once, I used to live there with my teacher. It was beautiful. I could live there forever, I think." Roy sighed. "The Ravensdales got me started on this music. Cinzia made sure I got a real appreciation for it and for cooking, in spite of what my kitchen looked like this morning."

Riza rubbed her belly. "You more than proved that with dinner. It'll be hours before I can even move."

Roy laughed. "Glad you liked it." He reached around her and plucked a sweet, wine-soaked strawberry out of the bowl and pressed it against her lips. Riza obligingly ate it. He loved watching her lips part just so to take in the succulent food. He'd need to watch himself. He was a little full-bellied, too, to be thinking with his loins but the desire was there.

Riza looped her fingers in his, pressing her lips to his knuckles. Roy was surprised when something like light rain started hitting his skin. He caught her shoulders, turning her slightly. Her eyes were tightly shut, lashes fringed with tears.

"Riza, what's wrong?"

"I don't want this night to end." She looked up at him with swimming brown eyes. "I want to stay like this always, me and you, together, in our house, with our dog, having our hearts free. I don't want to go home by myself."

Roy's lips trembled. He kissed her forehead. "I want that, too, Riza. More than you know. Sometimes, when Hughes would be bragging about his prefect life with Gracia and Elicia, I wouldn't have to fake being angry, like we'd do so people would think his calls were mere annoyances instead of covert messages. I would be upset because I wanted it, too, with you."

Riza put her cheek in the palm of his hand. "I know you can't resign. I know what you want, Roy, and why you want it. You don't want the power for power's sake. You want to make things better. Maybe you're a naive fool to think it can be done but I still think it's a worthy cause."

"And from the beginning I knew how much attaining your own goals meant to you. I would never ask you to resign." Roy stroked her hair. " But if you wanted to, I'd support you. You could do anything you wanted. With your talents, you could do anything. The police force in town would be lucky to get you, if you wanted to use your skills for something like that. Even if you resigned, I couldn't see you as a stay at home mother like Gracia."

Riza made a bitter sound. "Probably not." She sighed, turning to face him. "You need me where I am right now, Roy. I know that. You have those boys to look out for. You can't do that on your own and that someone's taken Hughes, you need me more than ever. If we're right and the enemy is someone in Military Command then I could never leave my post. You need me too much. If I resigned and you were the next one targeted, I'd never forgive myself."

Roy scooped her closer, shifting on the couch, displacing Hayate. He let Riza stretch out on his body. "It's always going to be your choice, Riza. I want you by my side either as we are now or as something new."

She hugged him, listening to his heart beat. "I'll stay for now. I don't have to go home yet, do I?"

"It's still early."

"Then just hold me," she ordered and he obeyed.


Roy lifted his head from the pillows, not sure what that sound was. Oh, someone at the door. Roy looked at the clock and saw it was very late. He wondered who it could be. In the last few weeks since the funeral, he had sunk back into his usual routine, work, home, work, fret over the Elrics, work, sneak time with Riza, work and do anything but think about Hughes' 'death.' Another three in the morning visit upset that routine.

Roy swung out of bed, and this time he took the few moments required to locate his robe. He padded barefoot to the door, his static glove tucked into his robe's pocket. He opened the door and was surprised once more to see Armstrong. He took a step back. "Major?"

Armstrong glanced around then stepped inside. He reached into his jacket and pulled out an envelope. "From our mutual friend."

Roy took it, his hand gliding into the silk pocket of his robe with it. If he were going to get more visits from soldiers in the middle of the night, maybe he'd need a robe other than the Xingenese silk one, black with red flames, that Jenna had sent for his birthday one year. He felt like an idiot. "How's he doing?" Roy managed to ask.

"On his feet, recovering nicely," Armstrong said, his face placid, showing no signs he noticed anything unusual about his superior officer's appearance.

"Would you like something to drink, Alex Louis?" Roy said, eager for information about Hughes.

Armstrong wagged his massive head. "Thank you but no. There is little more that I can say on the matter. It's all there in the envelope. I needn't remind you that the information would be better off destroyed once you've memorized it."

Roy snorted. "Fire consumes a multitude of sins. Don't worry."

Armstrong's eyes flicked to the bedroom door, finding it open. If he wanted to ask about Riza, he didn't have to. Roy assumed the major knew he'd never leave the door standing open if his lover was still around. "I'll be going then, sir."

Roy nodded. "Of course. It's late." He opened the door and saw Armstrong out. Roy winced hearing a yappy little dog barking. He glanced over at Mrs. Brown next door then exchanged glances with Armstrong who had the good grace to blush a little as he bustled off. Roy waved to his staring neighbor then ducked back inside. "Damn, that dog must have the world's weakest bladder."

He started a fire in the fireplace then got a glass of his best whiskey. He sat in his richly padded chair, feet up on the ottoman as he read Hughes' note. Roy committed all the details to memory, including Maes' new phone number and address to his apartment in New River, a small town between Rush Valley and Dublith. "Julien Camden? Shit, you are about as good at renaming yourself as Hawkeye is at naming dogs, old buddy." Roy let some whiskey smoke its way down his gullet, contemplating Maes' promise to call him when he felt it safe enough for a visit. Until then Roy would continue doing what he was doing, work, illicitly investigating Hughes' death and lying to the people he cared about most. Sighing, he poured himself another whiskey. Come morning, Hawkeye would kick his ass for coming in to work hung over and grumpy. So be it. He was beginning to get the idea of just how big a mess Hughes had stepped in. That alone was enough to tighten his balls and make him want a drink. The Elrics were uncovering things Roy doubted they even understood the full ramifications of. For a moment, he almost envied Julien Camden his new hidden life.

Roy poured the third hit of whiskey. It was going to be a long night.