Golden

Just a little something on the spot. Not one of my best but this was really made for the sake of writing. Takes place somewhere after FMA movie... slight humor, angst, and fluff…what can I say? I got carried away. A reminder... italics means dreams... just so no one gets too confused. I'm perfectly aware of the time line...I'm just messing with location of characters. So here's some Royai for the fans who are depressed like me with the fact adultswim replaced our show with some other anime… we need some kind of kick…

Disclaimer: FMA is owned by its creators, those lovable suckers.


XxX

What course of action should there be? When a subordinate blatantly disregarded an order; he had every right to stomp and fume, to duel out the appropriate punishment he saw fit. But how was he supposed to do that when his subordinate was unconscious?

Daylight swallowed every accursed corner of the tiny resting room; scorching white blinded his weary eyes accustomed to the semi-darkness most buildings kept, blinking back spots in his vision to settle upon a lump swathed in also blinding sheets. Cream yellow, normally held firmly to the scalp, freely spilt out on the sterile pillow; silky locks strung color of pearl around her thin ashen face.

In spite of his drowsiness, the high temperature the glowing room created was not helping, his hardening eyes traveled down from her head automatically to the only uncovered limb sticking out of her sheets. Her right arm unceremoniously flung out her side taped to an IV. His assistant had lost a lot of blood.

Quietly, he slid off his heavy trench coat, folding it in his arms and placing it on the end of the mattress before seating himself in a small tight chair beside her. The door shut behind him so that no one would disturb his private visit.

Quite deliberately, his large bare hand slipped around her cool wrist, savoring the wonderful guarantee of a pulse, sliding upward to have his fingers press against her insistently.

So fragile. So not…her.

They had caught a spy red-handed in Central several days earlier, resulting in his unit facing down the mole in the middle of a busy military cafeteria of all places. Shots came from everywhere; literally anything within range had been a target. He had stopped plenty of bullets, reducing them to chars when they got too close to some of his men but cared not for his own safety.

Someone had.

He had expected the feeling of shattered ribs, guts, not the warmth of another human being falling against him. She crumpled forward to take the hit only after getting the bastard straight between the eyebrows; she took it right in the kidneys. Her head lolled onto his shoulder, blood specks decorating the edge of her cheek whether they were her own or not. His gloved thumb smearing maroon as he had half-caught her in an awkward embrace to his chest.

As soon as the bullet ripped into her flesh, chaos flew on all sides. The traitor's corpse had been dragged away and the doctors cowering beneath the cafeteria's tables crawled out gravely to attend to the fainted woman in Roy Mustang's arms.

She had tried her hardest to stay awake, they assured.

It didn't matter if she had lost control of her body, tough to imagine any loss of control knowing her infamous stern reputation; she had disobeyed his direct order.

The hand cradling her slender fingers loosely decided to intertwine them and gripped harshly without meaning to, not that her hand would respond.

'I told you to take care of yourself…..'

Angrily, her superior lifted her arm a moment to close his other hand around theirs entangled.

'Not me.'

Drowsy eyelids slipped shut, the back of his head softly tilted back. Still clutching her, the man succumbed to a sort of weightless dream state. Somewhere between paralysis and actuality.

He refused to let another person he loved die without his permission.

XxX

From the corner of his attentive eye, he saw her silently reach for her gun belt.

Without thinking on it, an offhanded comedic sigh pushed through his lips loudly and her superior elbowed his card house he had been working on for the two hours before she got in to a haphazard mess on his disregarded paperwork.

Her hand did not remove itself from her waist.

"Sir. . ."

Flashing an easy grin in her general direction, staring her straight in the face and shuffling his paperwork into a neat little pile (rather difficult with the hefty amount he had been putting off) the procrastinator held up his pen in compliance.

As fair warning, the click of the safety went off.

BANG-BANGBANG

Both heads in Colonel Mustang's office jerked up to the implacable sound pounding, a First Lieutenant running in through the doorway panting and beet red. Forgetting to salute, something they believed was unimportant, in part being unsettled by the haunt in the man's rapidly blinking gaze held on them. The Lieutenant gasped soundlessly before managing to choke out, "Something's happened outside Central….!"

Jet black met with astute sienna, synchronously reading each other's actions, both officers hurried out into the hallway to keep up with the stumbling and heaving man. Crisp night air burned their lungs, the precious ability to ventilate being stolen as the lone scene neared.

Just past one of the phone booths, another First Lieutenant knelt down on the sidewalk, busy taking off his military coat and pressing it into the torso of the figure lying hidden in the shadows to notice more arrivals. In the weak light he could pick out how the cloth folded to the stature, the dark hairs dusting his chin, the victim definitely male. Bullet wound probably. A good quantity of blood pooling around them…more of less, least likely chance of survival.

They were fuzzy, programmed judgments, cold and harsh chipped into Roy's mind from years of being in the military, viewing merciless killings and being the cause of them himself. By then, nothing could shock him.

A noisy crunch came out from underneath his boot.

Rims of thin metal glinted furiously on the concrete, thousands of tiny fragments…sharp glass scattered around a twisted pair of glasses.

"General!"

The call came from the officer Kinsley kneeling, gesturing to his frozen form only six feet away frantically. His throat closed. Before panic could set in, a strong palm jammed into his shoulder and threw his chest forward. Hawkeye repeated the action, this time keeping a firm clasp on his coat and letting him walk on his own. Thankful for her assistance…why he had allowed himself to hesitate in front of those below him of all things….he went to aid the bleeding man.

"What happened he—" Mouth snapped shut.

Hawkeye's composure shrank slightly. She tried to grab the back of her superior's uniform once more but only fisted air as his legs and gloved palms smacked onto the pavement, gravity, a raging active disbelief winning over his body.

Small gold eyes half-lidded, a line of red emerging from the friendly smile he cast, "..Riza…"

Behind the men, knowing that her companion would not see her, that no one would remember her failure of self-control, a single stream quietly trickled and blemished the right side of her face.

"…Roy, I don't have time to tell—"

Voice breaking off, Maes Hughes shivered from a creeping iciness that his best friend couldn't feel, even with his sympathetic arms wrapped around him. Indifferently, Roy whispered, half burying his face into the top of his dark head, "Use the time you have. You're not dying."

Someplace in the deepest part of his conscious, he knew this was a dream. That his mind was reliving what could have been...what he could have done. He had buried him goddamnit, he watched this man's coffin get put six fuckin' feet under, none of this had to be real.

Not the real caress of foreign liquid soaking to his shirt, not the real taste of bile rushing up his esophagus.

"What happened to being a realist. . .you….."

When he felt Hughes stiffen against him, panic came back with no reprieve. Roy pulled away to take hold his arms and shake him harshly, "Maes! Maes dammit!" He tensed his already stringent grip he had on the blood-soaked motionless form in his lap and lost control of his voice as it echoed all the way through the now deserted avenue.

"You can't do this to me! Do you hear me! Who did this to you? TELL ME!"

Preparing to scream out his aggravation, alone, he beat his balled up hands against the chest of his deceased friend and jerked back wide eyed. In his place, Riza Hawkeye glared up at him on the ground, with one steady hand, pressed a black gun to his upper lip.

"Would you do the same for me Sir?"

Sir. . .?

XxX

Hotter then…fire right behind his eye sockets. A sickeningly tempting burn, itching to be released, a dangerous monster wishing him to reveal…emotion. Maybe even the worst type to experience…sorrow.

"Sir."

Erasing the stupor, ultimately it was dread that yanked him awake. Sitting up in her cot, a stray strand of yellow falling over her left eye, Riza asked once more blandly, "Sir, as much as I appreciate the visit, I must ask you to return my hand before you bruise it anymore."

He practically shoved it back at her, scooting his chair a few inches away from the bed, and turned away to compose himself.

Roughly, the dark-haired man rubbed his nostrils, clearing his throat in a vain attempt to ignore those mental pleas for flimsy and pathetic deliverance. Better to be numb to that kind of pain, he eluded the track of restless days and squandered nights of giving way to that darkness of sentiments. All isolated in his apartment. To tolerate that behavior, a man of his status, was not something to openly admit.

Men don't cry. Men wanting to make it big, men that would one day rank as Führer didn't pay any mind to those flaws in himself.

He was no such man. And his position, well, it could throw itself to the sharks. What he was at this point in his life, upon realizing it with age, was human. And he would die as every human did. . .a screaming, bleeding, eager death to follow every one before and after him in quality.

Becoming genuinely concerned at the oatmeal color tingeing what she could see of his face and the impression of a rattling his chest gave off, the woman pursed her mouth.

"If you're going to insist on torturing yourself in my presence, at least have the decency to explain what's wrong."

"If you're going to insist on prying into my personal business, then I should at the least be able to take you out on a couple dates," he countered with a cynical smile.

Not amused at the slightest, especially in taking the care to get a good look at the disquiet in his glance, the First Lieutenant barked, "That's hardly the issue here-!" Startled, Hawkeye stopped mid-yell at the returning pressure of a hand encasing hers.

Pleased inwardly that he got her to shut up, and completely flustered to top it off, Roy stated calmly, "You disobeyed me Lieutenant. As a higher ranking officer, I should have you properly punished for committing such a deed against me." Shaking his head in mock sadness, he clucked his tongue to the roof of his mouth after leaving a tiny kiss against one of her knuckles, "Indeed, indeed this can't be put up with. After all, if I let one beautiful inferior get away with this treason than what's stopping the other…less beautiful inferiors from making the same mistake?"

"Is there a reason why you're saying this to me," she whispered dazedly.

"Despite what anyone else might say, my first priority is always to ensure your safety Lieutenant," an even charming grin, "I can't do that if you're willing to throw your life away for mine."

"I signed myself up to protect you Roy Mustang; I knew what I was setting myself up for."

He admitted out loud, grinning broadly, "I didn't."

Unspoken, the radiant truth finally blossomed between them, an impassive expression, and the other too sincere. Twin patches of pink stung her cheeks.

Settling down somewhat, Roy leaned frontward to somberly release her and curl an index finger under her chin, somehow understanding how much trouble he was going to be in later for all this violation of individual space. Sienna brown remained unyielding by the gentle motion.

"I asked for an assistant, thinking I could boss this person around to feel superior and hopefully they wouldn't care with what I did with my time. I didn't get what I wanted. And I never expected to care this much for someone in my life."

"Firing you wouldn't protect you from all the evil of this world," at the possibility of a firing her feminine eyebrows twitched in astonishment, "so I'll just have to trust you."

Taking her absolute silence as agreement (he would never know what she truly thought), her good-looking better stroked her skin thoughtfully with the side of his long finger before withdrawing.

"I do have some good news; I've already made up my mind on your punishment. If you feel that the punishment I name doesn't fit the crime, I will respect your rebuttal," a mischievous sparkle in midnight eyes, daring her.

Suppressing the identical upwards tug on her lips mimicking his, she humored him.

XxX