Title: These Rotten Lips
Rating: T (May be bordering M, for non-graphic description of adult situations, but I think it stays within a T rating.)
Summary: The girls Roy spends his time with tend to fall into one of four categories. Roy-centric, but Royai.
A/N: Good lord, where to start? Manga verse, based upon Roy's interactions with the girls in Chapters 62, 63, and 69. My usual thanks goes out to my beta, JoJoDancer, who is the Roy Girl and who really helped me finish this thing when I was too busy whining about it.
"Oh my, Colonel Mustang," the girl trills near his ear, scooting closer to him on the warm velvet that makes up the seat cushions. Roy can feel her shoulder pressing against his, feel the feathery ends of her long red ponytail brushing at his neck. "I've seen so many of you military men out and about lately."
It's late, and he should be in bed right now, especially considering he has to be up for work in all of six hours, but he can't tear himself away right now, not when her smile is promising him things that will make it worth his time. Sheska will let him nap in the archives if he's really, truly desperate tomorrow afternoon.
So he gives her his most charming smile – not his true smile; he has them all carefully divided and compartmentalized: his most charming, his most flirtatious, his most satisfied, his most polite – and he leans into her before falling back easily and casually draping an arm around her shoulders. "I'm not surprised to hear that Sadie. I don't know of many men who could resist the chance to spend time with you."
He certainly can't count himself among their number. Where once he would meet with the young lady only one or two times every couple of months, lately she's wormed her way up his list of priorities. This is the third time in two weeks he's found himself crammed into a booth with her, frantic, high-pitched jazz music playing somewhere in the background.
And he's pleased, despite himself. Roy loves women, finds them all beautiful in a variety of different ways, but when it comes down to choosing a partner Sadie isn't the type he'd typically go for. Her voice is too shrill, her giggle too grating, her appetite a little too large for him. He can feel her smooth thigh (and the hem of her miniskirt) rubbing against his, and he's pretty sure that if he would choose to reach under the table at that moment he would find that she's foregone stockings.
She's not a good choice for him, not in the long run, not by a long shot. But still, there are some things that he finds he just can't help but love about Sadie: long eyelashes that she's learned to use to her advantage, the smell of her musky perfume mixed with her much lighter shampoo, and the way she leans close to him, turns her face against his neck, and whispers, "Colonel Douglas met with some gentlemen in the back room here last Thursday."
Her hand is resting on his thigh, tiny and soft but warm through the thin fabric of his slacks. He ducks his head towards her and lets out a cheerful sort of chortle against her hair. "Well that sounds like a fun party."
"I didn't serve them," she admitted, her breath warm and smelling of the wine she's been plying him with all evening. "But Sylvia heard talk of generals when she walked in one time. They all hushed up quickly when they saw her."
Her hand is moving now, still on his thigh, and Roy can't help sighing at this information before adding, "Surely they were struck silent at the sight of Sylvia's lovely face?"
Sadie laughs and pinches him, hard, on the fatty flesh just inside his knee. He squirms and raises his eyebrows, and Sadie pulls her head away and scolds gently, "Why Colonel Mustang, I'd say that you'd prefer to spend your time with Miss Sylvia instead of me!"
Roy's smile turns into a pleading gesture; he's been with enough women to know that he should quit while he's ahead. He leans forward, as far as he can with her pinning him against the back of the seat, and just barely manages to snatch his scotch from the sticky table. "I never said such a thing."
"Hm," Sadie sniffs, but she's not mad at him, he can tell. He's heard her voice go squeaky when he's really ticked her off before, and besides, her hand is still on his thigh, and moving up this time.
Roy doesn't try to stop her, doesn't impede her progress at all even though he knows exactly where she's headed and he knows that it's not entirely appropriate for where they're currently sitting. Too many witnesses. "More wine?"
He knows his reputation. To be honest, he's carefully cultivated it. Havoc's pouting aside, he knows most find it a harmless enough: Colonel Mustang, married to his job, doesn't have time for a wife. Bachelor for life, he's been called, and he doesn't correct them because who could honestly complain about a host of beautiful women who fight to be by your side during the nights?
Sadie's hands are at the waistband to his pants now, and still he doesn't stop her. He can feel her fingers dancing along his hip, and involuntarily, he shivers. She's not his type, but she's still beautiful.
Of course, for all of his reputation as a ladies' man, there is still quite a bit about him that people don't realize about Roy – and he'd prefer to keep it that way.
Sadie's hand closes around that which she'd been seeking, and Roy shifts, arching his back a bit as she pulls away. He glances down and glimpses the black leather of his wallet before it disappears under the long tablecloth.
Roy smiles, and this time it's the satisfied smile. "How about that wine?"
Sadie bats those eyelashes at him. "I'm good."
A full quarter of the girls he spends time with are working for him.
The night is chilly; there's a dampness that indicates that spring is coming but doesn't help the freezing, breath-stealing wind that's blowing through the parking lot as he accompanies Sylvia to his car. She has to be freezing in that short skirt, despite her knee-length coat and how tightly she's holding onto Roy, as much for balance as warmth.
He opens the passenger side door and gestures, but Sylvia raises her eyebrows and with a sigh Roy moves to the backseat and opens that door instead. Haughtily, with her head held high, Sylvia folds her long legs and slides into the seat. Roy can hear her teeth chattering as he starts up the car and cranks the heat as far as it will go. The car will be broiling hot shortly, but those first few minutes of a cold rear against a leather seat and hands wrapped around a frozen steering wheel are torture.
"You've spoiled me tonight, Colonel," Sylvia says lowly, and Roy reaches out and turns the roar of the heater down to a dull hum.
"How could I resist?" Roy asks, his face content and reverberating the absolute pleasure he feels being in her company. Sadie had done her job well, and he and Sylvia had enjoyed a lovely dinner and an evening of live music. The restaurant he'd treated her to had been one of Central's higher rated, one of those where he couldn't pronounce the name of his entrée and they didn't print the price of the dishes on the menu; a bit outlandish, almost certainly, but in exchange for something equally as valuable.
"You certainly have a wonderful taste in wine," Sylvia continues, a pouting tone in her voice to convey the sheer unfairness of it all. "Not at all like Colonel Douglas and those other men – they only drink the cheapest, and leave the worst tips."
There was truth behind her statement – she'd only heard a few of the words between Colonel Douglas and the men he'd met with (not military men, Sylvia had sworn, because she knew most of the unmarried - and a good portion of the married - men in the military) – though what she had heard had been important.
Roy sighs in commiseration. "Uncultured swine, the lot of them. They wouldn't know good wine from-"
Only her squeal of "Colonel Mustang!" keeps him from finishing his sentence, but there's a very clear laugh that shines through her scandal. It's hard to shock a girl like Sylvia.
He stops at a red light, and for a moment his mind wanders; talk of dissention between generals; could that mean he might have a chance to exploit that weakness? It's too early for him to tell, and there's too little information for him to act upon. He'd have to keep his ears open, however, and see if he could pick up any more tidbits in the coming weeks.
Still, it was always best not to get his hopes up. Instead his mind drifts back to the evening; Sylvia had been a lovely date. She was the type who wasn't treated well often enough to take it for granted, but knew enough about fancy things to remember which fork went where and when the sommelier was suggesting a cheap wine.
It was also refreshing to spend time with a woman with whom he could hold an actual, true conversation. Most of his interaction with women consisted of whispered flattery and hinted promises; he could probably count the number of women he actually enjoyed talking to on one hand.
He's feeling smug, pleased with an evening that had been both pleasant and productive at the same time, a rare thing at this point in his life. As he heads out of downtown Central, he flicks his eyes at the rearview mirror and catches a glimpse of Sylvia. She's sitting crossed-legged in the middle of the benchseat in the back, her little clutch purse clasped between both hands on her lap. There are faint circles under her eyes that she's covered up well with makeup, but that's the only sign belying her exhaustion. Her eyes are both wide and alert; she's more than used to being up late. Roy thinks there's a kind of ethereal beauty gracing her as the white bands of light from the passing streetlights crawl up her lap and ghost over her face, momentarily lighting up her pale hair and disappearing just as the next one appears.
It's a combination of wine, satisfaction, and this strange, striking beauty that causes Roy to say it; he lets out a soft little sigh and asks in his most tempting manner, "So Miss Sylvia, will you be going home with me tonight?"
Sylvia lets out a snort from the backseat, and the wistful expression is gone from her eyes. She's raising an unamused eyebrow at him now, and he can feel her knee pressing the front seat forward as she leans towards him, cocks her head, and asks in what is meant to be a teasing manner (that comes across as completely serious), "And what would your Elizabeth say if she knew you had asked me that?"
Roy doesn't reply, and chooses to just keep driving, keeping his eyes on the road and nowhere else. It feels like cold water's been poured inside his chest, and he doesn't know why; it's not like he was serious.
After a moment Sylvia lets out a little humph and settles back into the seat. "You can drop me off at my apartment. It's on 10th and Merchant, if you don't remember."
A second quarter of the girls Roy spends time with never take his flirtations seriously; as he's learned their secrets, they've all learned his single great one concerning Elizabeth.
This isn't the way he'd originally planned on his evening ending.
Of course, he also hadn't planned on his original date standing him up and sending a younger, louder, and god help him prettier version as her replacement.
She was short and curvy and molded herself next to him in one of the tiny private rooms that he'd reserved, fully intent on finding out more about these mysterious men that Colonel Douglas had met with. There was only one girl in his entire network who claimed to have any information about them, and Roy had jumped at the chance to meet with her.
Then she hadn't showed and this baby-faced, blushing girl had clomped up the stairs instead, peering through the door and apologizing profusely, saying she was so sorry Christine hadn't been able to keep their date, an emergency had come up, but Christine had given her the information, and could she sit down?
Roy's permission wasn't apparently the issue at hand, because she'd sat down anyway, not just making herself comfortable but cozying up to him as she helped herself to the wine.
He'd been tolerating it at first, because she'd promised Christine's message, which had turned into nothing but muddled garbage after she'd worked her way through two glasses of wine and revealed with silly giggles and muttered slurs that she was an absolute lightweight.
And that's when Roy had started really drinking as well.
It was disappointment, really, that was responsible for his behavior. He'd never be so blatantly rude to a lady – it went against almost everything he stood for – but for all of her flirting and the outright interest she displayed in him, it took all of his self discipline to make sure he appeared engaged in her chattering conversation. He couldn't help wondering how long until he could gracefully pull away with the excuse of work in the morning. He'd left his desk stacked with paperwork, and he would probably be there late tomorrow, unless he could get there early and clear enough of it to make it look like he was actually accomplishing something.
Then his drinks had actually started to kick in. He hadn't been paying attention to how much he'd been drinking; he'd merely been attempting to keep his hands busy while he tried to look interested, but the end result was that suddenly, when the world was starting to blur along the edges of his eyes, he found that she wasn't nearly as boring or as distasteful as he had originally found.
Not his usual type, and not at all useful to him or his goals, but, he decided with a kind of vicious finality, it wasn't fair to apply those standards to her. Besides, he'd seen her around before, he vaguely remembered her, somewhere in the peripheral parts of his memory. It wasn't like he wasn't always looking for new people to add to his contact list. Just because she couldn't hold her alcohol and couldn't properly remember possibly important messages – well, it wasn't right to discount her completely.
Not with the way she was curling up against him, or the way she fit under his arm, or the ample view she gave him of her cleavage. She'd been covered up when she'd come into the room, but somewhere along the line her cardigan had been discarded.
If he'd been thinking a little more clearly, all of his alarms would be going off. He's in dangerous water, and it's his own fault for letting his childish feelings of disappointment interfere. Her hand is creeping up his chest to take a firm hold upon his tie, the other hand coming up over his shoulder to turn his face closer to hers, and the next thing he knows –
The next thing he knows she's practically in his lap and they're exchanging frantic kisses, all tongue and teeth and lacking entirely the finesse he's normally so proud of. She's leaning against him, and he can feel her breasts pressing against him, and if she keeps that up she'll have him flat on his back against the cushions – the room is spinning whether his eyes are open or closed. If she does push him onto his back, it's going to be followed with a short trip to the floor.
Then she pulls away and works her way down his neck, kissing and biting, and it isn't until she murmurs something against his neck and he suddenly blinks and thinks this is wrong, wrong, wrong, this isn't what he's come here for, and she isn't what he's come here for, and that one little moment of absolute clarity almost puts a stop to the whole thing.
It happens entirely inadvertently, of course. Her hands are threaded into his hair and her mouth is still on his neck and working it's way down to his chest and he's thrown his head back and he thinks he should say something, anything, and what he ends up doing is clenching his teeth and hissing out, "…Elizabeth…"
The kissing ends as abruptly as it started. The girl pulls away, mouthing at him wordlessly as he blinks back at her dumbly, wondering what's put that awfully sober look on her face.
"What?" he asks, rubbing his forehead and wondering if he has the dexterity to reach his watch and figure out what time it is.
The blow snaps his head to the side. He hears the crack of flesh upon flesh, and though he's long past the point of feeling pain he knows what has just happened, he can hear it by the tears in her voice and the huffy way she's gathering her stuff, and by the angry way she barks at him, "Sylvia warned me about you," before storming from the room.
Roy starts to gather himself up, sitting up and readjusting his coat and staring at the still closed door as if he expects her to come back to the room and start (rightfully) ranting at him.
The third quarter of the girls he spends time with don't know about Elizabeth but learn quickly, after he inevitably calls them by her name during some intimate moment.
His apartment is clean, for once. He's made a special effort in anticipation for tonight, would be mortified if she knew how sometimes he let his apartment get just as sloppy as his desk.
His effort will go unappreciated; the only part of his apartment that she actually sees is his bedroom, having stumbled into the front foyer, through the living room and past the bathroom with her mouth sealed over his.
They fall back onto the bed, and for all of their frenzied movement, for the demanding way she moves against him, he's taking his time, he's enjoying this night while it lasts.
This is right. This is perfect. This is what he's waited for; it's exactly what he needs.
She tastes like wine and scotch and something else, something darker – smoke, maybe? – and he's well aware he probably tastes similar, for all that they'd imbibed over the evening. He's not complaining either – when you've waited as long as Roy has waited for this, details tend to become trivial in the face of greater desire.
She's pressing his shoulders down into the bed now, and it's how Roy always imagined she would be, if they ever ended up in this position. She's assertive, she knows what she wants and she's pretty sure she knows what he likes and she's not afraid to be responsible for both of their pleasure.
His jacket was discarded by the door, and now his tie is off and she's working her way down his shirt, letting him worry about shrugging it off as she moves seamlessly to the buckle of his belt and the buttons of his pants. He reaches for her in turn, tugging up her skirt and running his hands up the backs of her thighs, over her rear and up her back to cup her neck and pull her close for another kiss. She practically melts into him, her hands distracted and her long blond bangs brushing his forehead.
He honestly can't believe how easily this is all coming – he's had far too much to drink tonight, and it's the same dull buzz as last time, the same spinning world as before, except for her, at the center of it. He is still thinking clearly enough to know that he wants her blouse off, but there's something else, in the back of his mind –
- Something he's supposed to ask her -
And he just can't reach the thought, but who could think clearly with her mouth on his neck and naked chest, the night air chilling against his skin the moment she moves on?
His fingers are drunk and stupid, and he gets the first hook of her bra before getting stuck on the second – and he's ashamed, too, because it's never been a skill he's struggled with, but he's nervous, and he's eager. He feels almost like a teenager, in how badly he wants this, in how many other women he's seen and been with and talked to and still found them lacking compared to her.
And she – bless her – laughs, but not like she's laughing at him; she's laughing like she's delighted at how he's acting, and she reaches to get that last hook and tosses the garment somewhere behind her. For a moment she just sits there while he looks at her – and it takes everything inside of him not to gawk, like he's never seen a pair of breasts before – and then he smiles at her, a real smile, a Roy smile that's his most charming and his most flirtatious and also his dumbest and most dim-witted: he's just so pathetically grateful to be here with her at this moment.
She leans over him again, and he reaches for her waist and pulls her over on top of him, his hands skimming over her hip bones and up, over her navel and just gracing her breasts before moving back down again. She's warm and soft and alive against him, and he just thinks that his stomach might drop out of his body with the way arousal has pooled inside of him.
Her hands touch him in return, her fingers touching his lips and tracing a line down his chest before spreading out over his arms to grip him by the elbows as she shifts over him, and suddenly, suddenly, Roy isn't as interested in going slow anymore. He's waited a long time for this, and he deserves it.
He pulls her down to kiss him again, and then he's reaching between them, touching her and touching himself and trying to direct the mechanics of the situation the way they need to happen, and she suddenly stiffens against him and hisses his name with a warning undertone to it.
She pulls away and he lets her, watching as she moves and reaches to the side for the bedside table. He's thinking again, and that question is nagging in the back of his head again, but it's hard to focus as she fumbles with the wrapper to the preventative and his eyes are tracing the smooth, clean, pale skin of her back.
He helps her with it, and as she settles back over him again and makes eye contact Roy blurts out the question he can't put off asking any longer:
"Can I call you Elizabeth?" he asks breathlessly, and she pauses, breaking their established rhythm.
"Honey," she pants at him, her back arching and her eyes sliding shut. "As long as you pay me I don't care if you call me Mommy."
The last quarter of girls that Roy spends his time with don't care what he calls them.