Author's Note - This chapter is the one that makes it rated mature and there is still a naughty word or two in it. For those old enough to read the erotic version you can find the full chapter in livejournal under colorific or fmahet. Either way I think it'll be no mystery what Roy's up to in this chapter (no pun intended)

Chapter Three

Roy was on his second long drink of whiskey, listening to a violin concerto by Eulen on the radio when the phone rang. He glared at it until he remembered it might be 'Elizabeth.' Roy picked up. "Hello."

"Do you know what I'd be doing right now if you were here?" the beautiful whiskey-voice said on the other end of the line.

Roy's eyes widened, not expecting that hello. "Dare I ask, Elizabeth?"

"You can dare. I'm not at home. Amethyst had to go out of town. I'm dog sitting for her and no one in you know where even knows about her or where you are for that matter so we can be as free as we want," Riza assured him. He knew Amethyst well. She was a wealthy pub owner who controlled much of the entertainment in Central. "Unless, of course, you and Gracia don't have separate rooms in which case, I'll shoot you."

"Separate cottages entirely." A wide smiled spread over Roy's face as he settled in a chair. "Well, then love, tell me what would you be doing to me?"

"First, I'd start with kissing you but you already know that. Those long slow kisses where I roll my tongue in your mouth and lick the top of your mouth."

"I love when you do that. You taste so good," he said, shutting his eyes, imagining her demanding mouth over his.

"I know you do. You always get a little weak in the knees. It's so sweet. I can't help wanting to feel every centimeter of you when you get like that. I'd run my hand up your belly and over your chest. Feels good doesn't it?" Mirth and lust mixed in Riza's voice.

Roy couldn't help following her suggestion with his own hand. "Feels wonderful."

He kept following her suggestions and sultry demands, losing his clothing in the process. Riza's voice and her memories were all he needed until things went to their natural conclusion. He lost the phone in the process and had to fish it back up.

"So, was it good for you, baby?" The smug tone was back.

"Oh yeah." He laughed, picking the towel off the table. "I'm a mess."

"Poor boy and no one to help clean you up." He could visualize her trying not to laugh at him.

"Evil wicked woman," he said, wiping his torso.

"You wouldn't want me any other way."

Roy laughed some more. "No, I wouldn't and you, it's your turn now."

"You go clean up and collect yourself. I'll call back later. Love you." She kissed the phone and was gone.

Roy just lounged, loose-limbed in the chair for while, recovering before he finally dragged to his feet and made sure that he hadn't gotten the furniture sticky. Roy snagged his underpants as he headed to the bathroom. He had just finished up with the clean up and was pulling on his boxers when someone knocked on this door.

"Hang on!" Roy bellowed, running for his pants. There were only two options as to who could be at the door. Gracia, who didn't need to see him almost naked, or it was Maes running from death at his wife's hands. Roy almost took a header trying to walk and pull on his pants at the same time. It was the second option standing on his doorstep. "Should I be ducking for cover?"

"Don't be an ass, Roy," Maes brushed past him.

"Your lip is swollen," Roy said, shutting the door.

"She can punch. Who knew?" Maes fingered his swollen lip.

Roy looked at Hughes, still having to fight to see his friend hiding under the red hair and wild glasses. Where had Maes even found a shirt with so many wild shades of purple and more importantly, why? He could see the lines of pain and fatigue around Maes' mouth and felt sorry for him and more than a little guilty about his own actions. "Threw you out, did she?"

Maes nodded, scrubbing a hand through his dyed hair. "Apparently she and Elicia are sleeping in my bed tonight and I've been asked to give her time to think." A pout formed on his lips. "I know I shouldn't have expected anything else."

"Not really. So why are you here? Her cottage is next door." Roy said, glancing back towards the phone, expecting it to ring any time. What a selfish bastard he was, unable to spare time for his friend.

"Gracia didn't give me a key." Maes flopped on the couch. He picked up Roy's shirt, giving it a questioning look. He sniffed the air then made a face. "What were you doing before I got here?"

"Nothing." Roy's face flamed red, wishing he could at least make an attempt to deny what he'd been up to.

"What the hell, Roy?" Maes eyes narrowed behind his absurd glasses. "You've been only gone from Central, what? The day it takes to get here! You can't go that long without sex?"

"It wasn't me. It was Riza. She called me, not the other way around. We were supposed to be together this weekend," Roy said, as if that explained everything. It wasn't his fault Maes had lousy timing all the way around. "Instead I've managed to piss off Gracia and she's going to be ready to kill me all the way home."

"So, that means you break out the lotion?" Maes tossed his shirt at him and Roy caught it.

Roy fired it back. "Hey, take it up with Riza. She's going to owe her friend a ton of money from making naughty calls. I couldn't help it."

"Yeah, your lack of control is disgusting. How about me? I've not seen Gracia in weeks," Maes said, kicking his feet up on the couch. "Not that I was expecting her to just forgive me that easily, mind you but I expected to have you here to cheer me up."

"I'm here. Have some whiskey." Roy pointed to the bottle.

Hughes waved a dismissive hand at him. "Go clean up if you're going to stand there and talk to me."

Roy scowled. "I did."

"Think again." Maes pointed towards Roy's hair line.

Roy made a face and stalked off towards the bathroom. Maes heard the water running and then the phone rang. He knew who it had to be because Maes wasn't expecting Gracia to call him tonight. He glanced back at the bathroom then shrugged. "What the hell."

Roy's shirt in hand, Maes picked up the phone and hummed a greeting.

"Recovered, baby?" she asked and he hummed assent. "Want to tell me what you would have done if you hadn't been naughty and run off or should I tell you what else I would have done with that sweet penis of yours if you were here?"

"That second thing," Maes said and laughed, hearing the startled cursing.

"Who the hell is this?" she demanded to know.

"Damn it!" Roy came back out of the bathroom, wet-headed. "Julien, get the hell away from that phone!" Roy ran over and snagged the phone away from Hughes. "Sorry, Riza."

"Who the hell is that, Roy?" Riza snarled and Roy winced.

"Julien, a friend of Gracia's. He's probably stuck here tonight." Roy glared at his friend. Did Maes have to look so amused? "I'll try to get rid of him and I'll call you back. I know your friend's number."

"Okay," she said, sounding very unhappy.

Roy hung up and slapped Maes' shoulder. "Idiot."

"She's naughty." Maes smirked.

Roy smirked back. "Yes, and you're interrupting."

"Is that anyway to talk to a dead friend who has nowhere to go?" Maes' eyes glinted.

Roy rubbed his forehead. "Fine, go sleep in my bed."

Maes looked surprised. "Where are you going to sleep?"

Roy shrugged. "On the couch. I don't sleep much anyhow."

"I know." Maes shot him a disapproving look. "You sure?"

"I can't exactly make you sleep in the yard, now can I?" Roy flopped down on the couch, grabbing for the whiskey bottle. "Want some?"

Maes sat in a chair. "Just one hit. I still don't have a lot of energy."

Roy poured him a glass. "I can imagine so. I'm sure once she calms down, Gracia will be happy you narrowly missed death."

"I know." Maes sipped the whiskey. "It might take awhile to regain her trust, though."

Roy considered the long look on his friend's face then shook his head. "I don't think so. Once she thinks about it, understands that you were trying to shield her and Elicia, I think she'll forgive you. It's me she may never forgive for helping you do it."

Maes blew out a long slow breath. "I hope you're right, about forgiving me, not about killing you though you might deserve it for tonight." Maes ignored Roy's eye roll. "I don't know how I'm going to let her go again when you take her back to Central."

Roy's hand tightened on his glass, sympathy for his friend singing in his veins. He didn't have the heart to tell Maes that every time someone came to the door, Elicia thought it was her daddy coming home. It damn near broke his heart the first time it happened. He had no idea how Elicia would take to having to leave Daddy again. "Well, we told everyone here she was coming to New River to help a cousin who hurt himself. Cousin Julien could become needy of attention. It's not like Gracia needs me to travel with her. She can come any time."

"Especially considering what you do when you're alone in a rented room." Maes wagged his head woefully. "So, what would Riza have done with that sweet penis of yours if you stayed in Central this weekend?" Maes timed it perfectly as Roy took a drink of whiskey.

Roy choked, barely getting a hand over his face. "Damn it! You made me snort whiskey up my nose. It feels like its burning a hole into my brain."

"It'll find nothing but empty space once it burns through." Maes grinned.

"Oh shut it," Roy said as they fell back into their easy bickering. This was better than the pain and guilt. It might not be helping anything but it made Roy feel a little better. "And I'll be damned if I'll tell you all the wonderful things Hawkeye would have done."

Maes shrugged. "I'll just wait. She's bound to call back. I think I can imitate your voice on the phone."

"I take it back. I can make you sleep in the yard." Roy glared at him.

Maes laughed. "Just drink your whiskey. Maybe I'll get lucky and you'll get too drunk, and I won't have to hide in the bedroom with the pillows over my head, trying not to imagine the scary things happening out here."

"Okay, that's it, out in the yard." Roy pointed at the door.

"Make me." Maes took a sip of whiskey, waving a dismissive hand at his friend. "Even in this condition, I can out-fight a delicate doily like you."

Roy snorted. "Why fight when all I need to do is snap?"

"One or two more of those whiskeys and you'll be afraid to snap. You'll go up like dry tinder," Maes laughed.

Roy just shook his head. "I hate this, you know. I miss having you around in Central. I can't imagine how you feel being away from Gracia and Elicia."

Maes sobered instantly. "You have no idea."

"Bradley...you mistrusted him, didn't you?" Roy asked, finally putting into words what he thought Maes' investigation might have revealed.

"I'd never use that name again in that context. Look where it got me." Maes' jaw tightened. "Whatever is going on in the higher levels is very dangerous, Roy. You need to be careful."

"I have no desire to get shot. I'll be as careful as I can," Roy promised, solemnly.

"How are Ed and Al?" Hughes asked, taking another small sip of whiskey.

"Making me old before my time. You're the one who likes to play dad. I'm contemplating the wisdom of sending Fullmetal on a forced hike from here to Xing just to see if the desert improves his disposition."

Maes laughed. "It never improved yours. You and Ed are too much alike. Maybe you should think about the things that make your disposition improve and try that with him."

"Sex and whiskey?" Roy smirked.

"I see your point," Hughes replied ruefully. "Maybe you should just deal with Al and let him handle Ed."

"And if I weren't the brat's commanding officer, I'd do that." Roy licked his lips. "They don't know you're dead, Maes. We didn't tell them."

"Why the hell not?" The heat of Maes' voice shocked Roy.

"I'm a coward," Roy whispered. "I kept hoping maybe I'd be able to solve this fast and tell them where you really are but I know that isn't happening. I'm afraid. Because Edward might try to take revenge...or talk me into it. If He is really behind this, I'd be more than willing to roast Bradley like a hog."

"Edward already has homunculi after him. He does not need to get more of them interested in him," Maes said darkly. "Tell Ed to leave it alone."

"I know and he won't. You know that." Roy ran a hand through his drying hair. "I know I have to tell them. I just can't find the words."

"You will," Hughes said.

No, I really won't, Roy thought. He and Hughes talked for a good while more and he was a little tipsy when Maes finally wore out and went to bed. All the good feelings he had from earlier felt a little bruised now that it was so obvious things wouldn't get back to 'normal' any time soon. Roy went and sat at the table. He dialed the phone. "Hey, baby," he whispered. "Do you know what I'd do to you if I were home right now?"

X X X

Gracia hugged Roy after he laid a sleepy Elicia down in her bed. It had been a long train ride home. "I'm still a little mad at you for keeping this secret," she said.

"I wish I didn't need to," he said, giving her an extra squeeze before letting her go. He knew just how emotionally draining the whole trip had been on him. He couldn't imagine how hard it was to leave Hughes behind for Gracia and Elicia.

"I know and I know we can't tell anyone, even the boys. It'll hurt them so badly." Regret filled her eyes.

"It's unavoidable." Roy took her hand, giving it a pat. "I need to get going, Gracia. I have to get to the office tomorrow and I have things I need to do first. But, if you and Elicia need anything, just call me."

"I will and thanks, Roy, for everything." She squeezed his hand then let go with a soft smile.

Roy smiled back and took his leave. He stopped by the florist shop and got a different sort of bouquet of blue-purple honeywort, dove grey larkspur and white poppies. He didn't like his bouquets to be ordinary and routine. When he got to Hawkeye's place by the most roundabout route he knew to take, he saw her playing fetch with Hayate in the small yard behind her apartment building. From where he was near the hedge row, she couldn't see him.

An idea formed. He scrawled on the bouquet's card, 'about those things you promised to do to me,' and waited where he was, out of Riza's line of sight for the stick to bounce his way. Roy scooped it up and ignored Hayate's prancing back and forth saying 'throw it already' as he tied the card and a larkspur to the stick. He let Hayate take it and waited some more. Riza came looking for him. Seeing the smile on her face made the long train ride and mentally tiring trip melt away. For a moment, all was right in his world.