Author's Note: This bit of seeming randomness is actuallythe alternate ending to a story I'm working on. I'm so very mean to PoorHavoc in that story that I decided to write him a happy ending to make myself feel better! I haven't posted that story yet, but in the meantime I decided to go ahead with this. It beginsin the middle of things,but basically it's alot like your standard blanket scenario, just in a cabin with a fireplace!

Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist. I do own this story though I won't be making any money from it.


"They call me the fireman - that's my name;

Makin' my rounds all over town

Puttin' out old flames." - George Strait

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that," Jean Havoc apologized, blushing miserably. That has got to be the second stupidest thing I've ever done! It was surpassed only by bringing a superior officer to a romantic cabin in the woods in the first place.

"Try it again," she said.


Instead of repeating herself, Riza wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hesitantly, their lips brushed against each others. His head spinning from the unreality of the situation, Jean teased her mouth open and deepened the kiss. After a moment though, he realized that she had stopped kissing him back. When he pulled away from her and looked into her eyes he saw tears there.

Blinking rapidly she shook her head. "It's not you, Jean - it's me. I'm sorry," she whispered. "This is all my fault."

"I'd say it's Falman's fault for making that stupid bet," he quipped, smiling sadly and pushing her hair away from her face. "But really it's mine for taking him up on it. I knew I was already halfway in love with you"

Riza put her hand to his lips to stop him from saying any more. Knowing this was the only chance he would have to argue his case, Jean took her hand and held it. "No, I know you didn't mean for this to happen," he said. Neither of them knew what to say anymore.

Standing, Jean began to nervously pace the tiny room. "I know you think there's someone else; that there's Mustang." He paused, wondering if he should go on, then decided that he had to. "But he's just another man, in spite of all his showing off!" She smiled a little at that, and Jean plunged on, "I know what he's like and I know you too now. I've seen how he is with you, what you put up with!"

He turned to face Riza fully. "He's never going to make you happy," he declared. Bitterly he added under his breath, "He can't even make himself happy!" Riza stared, still silent.

"We've had such a good time today! Don't you even want to find out what we could have together?" he asked. This isn't working. Since when does begging ever work? he wondered.

Riza was watching him with wide eyes now, her lips parted in shock. Kneeling and taking her shoulders in a fierce grip, Jean shook her a little and told her, "I know you're loyal, Riza. Hell, we all are. There's just something about him that makes us believe in him, and as far as politics goes, he deserves that loyalty. He's going to save this country and I'll do whatever it takes to help him accomplish that."

Jean looked at the fire for a moment, then back into Riza's eyes with a new resolve. "But I am not letting him have you without a fight!" he declared. "He's too much of a selfish bully to ever deserve you!" Riza's eyes widened, but then she turned her face from him.

"And I'm too much of a coward to deserve you either," he added, dropping his hands.

For the longest moment of his life Jean stared at the fire, waiting for Riza to either say something, or pull out her gun and shoot him on the spot for insubordination. Instead, she placed one her soft hands on his and sighed. The fire was low in the grate, making it hard to read her expression. She still didn't say anything, seemingly content to just sit beside him and stare at the fire. Why the hell did I light the stupid thing? he berated himself. Flames probably just make her think of Mustang. He turned his hand and laced his fingers with hers to remind her he was still there. A log popped and she finally spoke.

"See how the fire is dying? Any moment now that log is going to crack and collapse. All this time it's been burning and getting more subdued. When it finally does collapse though, it will send a huge shower of sparks in all directions. Flames will reappear and burn, but smaller than they were before. It's a big show, but all it means is the fire is getting weaker and weaker. Before long the flames won't be able to rekindle at all."

She turned and looked at him before continuing. "Then, just when it's about to go out altogether, someone throws a new log on. All it takes are a few puffs of air and the log catches and the fire is burning brighter than ever. It can't help it; as long as there's fuel it's going to burn." Turning back to the flames, she whispered, "But what if the fire wanted to die out?"

Jean was shocked into silence, trying to digest what she had said and separate the symbolism from the meaning. Damn! Why can't a woman just say what she means for once? There was only one way to know for sure. Direct action was what was required.

"I know just the thing we need here," he said, flashing her his trademark boyish grin. He stood and crossed to the corner of the room. There was a heavy bucket of sand kept there for putting out the fire in an emergency. Picking it up easily, he dumped the contents into the fireplace and watched with satisfaction as the fire was instantly smothered. No smoke, no sputtering, just a pile of dead sand with some ash settling down onto it.

The room was plunged into sudden darkness, and Riza waited for her eyes to adjust. Slowly she could make out the dim outline of Jean standing before her with his hands on his hips. "I never did think fires were very romantic," he said and she giggled a little.

He reached down and took her hand, pulling her up against him. She could make out the traces of a self-satisfied grin on his face. Licking her lips instinctively, she felt his grip around her tighten.

"I think you need some lessons now, Ma'am," he told her. He bent his head and whispered in her ear, "Lessons in forgetting." His warm breath on her skin sent a frisson of anticipation down her body. Lifting her face to his, her voice quivered a little when she answered him, "Forget what?"