Ignoring your conscience allows you to justify everything.

Inspired by the 31 Days theme for July 8, 2006.

Something that not a lot of Maes Hughes' subordinates knew about him was that during the war he'd been revered as something like a butcher of human souls. He would carve up his enemies in the way a meat man carved up pigs with his knives, and just as he was always first on the field where there was blood to spill, he was also always the last to leave the carnage. Whenever his comrades-in-arms asked him how he did it, Maes would always tell them the trick was in the mind. Make everything funny. Treat yourself like you're already did. After that, the rest was easy.

Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, was much younger than Maes and with a deeper sense of right and clearer eyes to see with than Maes and as such the war burned itself too deep in his mind, chilling him in a place that no fire or warmth could reach. Maes, being closest to him, saw the boy spinning out of control a lot sooner than Roy himself saw it, and for that reason he drank with the boy and kissed the boy and fucked the boy to make him forget all about it. Their first few times required roughness and alcohol. Their next ones only needed a bit of force and some sweet little half-truths.

It was easy to ignore the way he felt for Roy and the way Roy felt for him on the battlefield, but when the war was over truth was there to rear its ugly head at them instead. Still, Maes the man hadn't been Maes the killer for nothing, and again it was ridiculously easy to tell Roy he was going to get married and watch the heartbreak in the Flame Alchemist's eyes like he didn't see a thing.