Disclaimer: As always, I don't own FMA, and I my bank can assure you that I make absolutely no money from this hobby.

A/N: Just a little drabble that's been on my brain lately. Vanessa is actually not an OC, I stole her from Madame Christmas' fine establishment.


Vanessa didn't know much more about him than his name and rank, even after years, but she had come to learn three things: when his eyes sparkled and he smiled instead of smirked, he was drunk; he rarely said what he meant but he sincerely meant what he intended to say; and finally, that he could never, ever love her.

In her weaker moments, she could pretend that the sparkle in his eye and smile and the pretty, poetic circles of his speech was something more meaningful than too much whiskey, but she could tell the truth when he awoke in the morning. He looked right through her as he set his money on her bed stand.

His best friend had been murdered, he told her one night, and she had just held him while he stared into space. She couldn't reach him when he was like that, if she ever could. As she held him she wanted to reach into his chest and squeeze his heart to make sure it was still beating - he'd always been distant, but now...

Now, it was only a glitch, a failure of fate, that he was still among the living. She fell asleep with her head against his chest and wondered if he was really still breathing.

(He'd had similar suspicions since he'd incinerated an entire nation in the sand. He'd concluded that he'd been killed somehow in the war, but he couldn't rest with debts unpaid.)

"Have you ever loved someone?" she asked one night as she curled against his bare chest.

"I do," he said quietly into her hair.

She hadn't expected an affirmative answer, and her heart leapt for a moment with hope, but...he'd told her himself, a long time ago. She shifted so that she could see his face. His eyes were dark and sparkling, and a soft smile touched his lips, and he looked down at her for a moment before glancing back out the window. "What's her name?"

He didn't look down. "It doesn't matter."

"Is she married?"

"Something like that," he sighed and pulled her closer. "You're too young, Vanessa, to be with an old man like me."

"You're only thirty," she laughed. "Not quite geriatric, Roy."

"I feel like it, sometimes."

She reached down and stroked him softly. "You don't feel so old to me."

"No?" His laughter turned into pants as she shimmied down and ran her tongue along his abdomen. "God, Vanessa, you're going to kill me tonight."

She stopped. "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot you're an old man. I'll let you get back to rest-"

He yanked her up and she shrieked with laughter. He kissed her neck playfully and she slapped at his chest half-heartedly. "No, you're too old! I changed my mind! Ahh! You're wrinkly and disgusting and just years away from, mmph," he kissed her hotly and she almost forgot what she was talking about, but then recalled, "diapers."

Roy smacked her ass. "Hey! Be respectful of your elders!"

Vanessa grinned. "I'm thirty-one."

"Well...really?"

"Really," she sighed as his smooth hands found her hips. "Roy..."

A dark eyebrow inched upwards. "So you're the cradle-robber..."

-X-

He rolled onto his back and sighed, and she curled up against him, in the exact same position they had been in minutes earlier. "I didn't know you were into younger men," he teased.

"Oh yes. Young, emotionally unavailable, frequently intoxicated, powerful, good-looking men."

"Isn't that convenient?" he mused.

"Not so much for me," she sighed. "But I'm glad you're happy."

He didn't speak for several minutes, and she assumed that he'd fallen asleep.

"I'm not happy." His quiet confession tickled the hair against her cheek. "If I were anyone else, if...even without El... I have certain responsibilities..."

She'd never heard him stumble for words before. "Yes?"

"I can't say it right," he muttered, frustrated. "It's...If you ever feel like changing your criteria to include emotionally available men, you'll find so many men who will love you so much it'll make you teeth ache. And I'll miss you very much."

He kissed her forehead and stroked her back.

"You're a very skilled liar," she purred.

"I have my talents," he conceded.