Disclaimer: Obviously not mine – based on the manga by the talented Arakawa (speaking of which, how awesome was Ch. 94?!)

Warnings: Citrusy. A little angsty. Spoilers...mostly for Ch 30-31. Alludes to stuff throughout the manga, up to Ch. 89.

Timeline: Takes place after Ch. 31, a few hours after Barry's been shoved off on Falman.


Roy Mustang possessed a noted (if embellished) appetite for vice, but he took solace in the one virtue he had painstakingly honed over the years, the one virtue that would propel him to the top of the country.

One virtue that had, apparently, deserted him. He pressed his ear against the door, but all he could hear was her dog barking. He knocked on her door for a third time, and hoped that perhaps she just wasn't home, but the back of his mind was already furiously arranging a potential transmutation circle that wouldn't damage the lock too terribly. Metals had never been his forte, and it would take some finesse, and there were so many damned circles to balance...or should he go with a creation base, and hope that his skills were up to par?

He wished Fullmetal was there.

At which point he realized that he had completely lost his mind.

Roy stepped back from the door and placed both twitching hands on the manila folder he'd brought from the office. He would force himself to be patient. His lieutenant was more than capable of looking after herself, as she had just proven hours previously, and it was an insult to her skill as a soldier to be carrying on like this outside her door.

That said, he knew his limitations. If she didn't answer the door in two more minutes -

"Colonel?"

Riza Hawkeye looked at him quizzically, and her eyebrows jumped at the sight of a possibly work-related material in his hands. Her hair was wet from the shower, and seeing as how her shirt was inside out, he imagined she'd dressed hastily.

She knew his limitations, too.

"My apologies, Lieutenant. I tried to call, first, but I couldn't get a signal..." He trailed off. She'd frightened him enough this evening, placing a call from a public telephone, and then he'd found her struggling with a homicidal suit of armor. Of course, said serial killer had been thoroughly put into his place by the time Roy had arrived, which he should have expected.

She'd called him from a phone booth, and she'd been in trouble, and for an instant he'd thought...

Riza ushered him inside and locked the door. "It's an interesting turn of events, you bringing me paperwork after hours," she teased. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"Ah..." A flimsy excuse to make sure she was okay, that she had undoubtedly already seen through. Hayate yipped at his heels and Roy bent down to scratch the little guy's ears. "Falman's vacation forms. I couldn't figure them out," he muttered lamely.

She accepted this with a brisk nod, and he handed her the folder gratefully. "I'll have the phone service up by tomorrow. The company men were supposed to hook it up this evening, but of course," she sighed, "of course that weirdo had to show up. I'm...sorry if I worried you."

Roy remained on his haunches. Not a muscle in his face twitched, but he kept his eyes averted because she had always been able to see right through him. "Not at all, Lieutenant. I had thought that might be the case, but I needed to make certain these forms were prepared as soon as possible."

He actually had never considered that her phone lines wouldn't be operable, and he felt like a complete fool. Boxes still littered her tiny apartment, he didn't see much in the way of furniture...and some of her groceries had spoiled while she accompanied him and Falman in their interrogation of Barry the Neighborhood Disembodied Serial Killer.

He'd tried to be nice and give her at least one day off to put everything in order, and he'd wound up just giving her more of a headache. And paperwork. And now, to top it all off, he was interrupting any opportunity she would have to put her things in order before she went back on duty.

Roy gestured for her to hand him the folder. "I'm sorry for bothering you, Lieutenant. I'm certain I can figure out something as simple as a vacation release form."

"I'm certain you can." She smiled. His heart twisted as her lips curved, and he wondered how she could break his heart so sweetly. "If it's all the same to you, sir, I would prefer to finish the paperwork on time and correctly."

"I'm perfectly capable, Hawkeye." He stood, and he swayed a bit.

He hadn't been sleeping well.

(He hadn't been sleeping.)

She looked concerned, but she held her tongue. She knew when to push him, and when to protect his pride. She'd been gentle on his ego, since Maes...Since Maes.

Thanks to her discovery tonight, he knew what to research in order to root out his best friend's murderer – knowledge that would likely implicate someone high up in the government. The pieces were all falling together, and soon it would be time to make his move for the top...but he was terrified that after all of the years of planning and waiting and plotting weren't enough, that he wasn't enough, that he was going to get them all killed.

He'd promised her dying father that he would keep her safe. He still wasn't sure how that got so twisted, how she became the one protecting him (mostly from himself).

His thoughts were unraveling. He was unraveling. He was breaking, slowly, and those damned sniper eyes read him like a target. He was breaking and yet his hands did not shake and his voice did not quiver and his jaw did not clench.

Perhaps he had already broken.

Riza frowned. Her forehead creased in concern, and he hated himself for twisting her face into something so...sad. In a few years time, if they had years, those lines would be permanently etched into her face, and it would be all his fault.

He walked towards her and rubbed the center of her forehead with his thumb.

Her frown became even more prominent, so he rubbed harder, and her eyes nearly rolled in the back of her head as she looked at his hand, to make sure she wasn't imagining things.

"What in the world are you doing?"

He wasn't certain of that, on many counts. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation talking, but it just felt so damned good to touch her, finally, without anyone scrutinizing him, that he just wanted a few seconds to enjoy the tactile sensation. She'd frightened him so many times in one night, and it had killed him to remain aloof and professional when all he'd wanted to do was hold her against his chest and breathe a sigh of relief.

"Stop worrying so much," he murmured. His thumb left her forehead to traverse across her cheek, dipped across the corner of her lower lip, and settled beneath her chin.

"I haven't said anything."

"You don't have to," he countered. "You're going to get wrinkles."

Perhaps that wasn't the most elegant way to put it. He didn't have much in the way of elegance when it came to her. She saw through the social veneer, anyway.

She tried to glare at him, but his thumb resumed its deft strokes against her forehead in an attempt to fight her aging process. "At some point, yes, I imagine I am," she said. Her voice was cautious, and a bit testy. "I wasn't aware you were so concerned."

"I just don't want them here," he explained absently. "I want them here," he tapped the sides of her lips. He wanted laugh lines, crow's feet, a map of a life well-lived. He wanted her to survive long enough to be a happy, shriveled prune, but he didn't think she'd take well to his description.

She seemed to understand anyway, or perhaps she just gave in. Her anger abated. "You're...an odd man."

"At least my shirt's not inside-out," he shrugged.

She looked down. "I was in a hurry. You sounded like you were planning to burn down my door."

Roy's other hand began tracing light circles against her hip. "It might have been under consideration."

Her cheeks slowly flushed a rosy pink. He knew he should stop, that he was crossing a line they had drawn years before – one that he had firmly drawn, come to think of it - yet he couldn't stop touching her, assuring himself that she was okay, she was safe, she was still alive. "And you're telling me not to worry about you," she said.

The tip of her tongue darted across her lips. Roy almost died. "Yes."

"You're a hypocrite," she accused, but her voice carried no disdain. She brushed his bangs back and allowed her hands to linger against the nape of his neck, and Roy pulled her even closer, and they'd been weak before but there had always been some semblance of control.

His mind was reeling, and he hadn't even kissed her yet. His body ached for her, and she was still centimeters away.

He half expected her to stop him as he finally pressed his lips against hers, but he was met with a soft, encouraging murmur instead. He sucked gently against her bottom lip as if he were savoring a peach, and he lingered there until her tongue brushed against his, after which he just tried to remember how to breathe.

He had missed her.

He would never tell her that, of course, because it was foolish to miss someone he saw everyday. He would never tell her a lot of things, because if she realized how often he nearly broke his own fingers to keep from smoothing her hair back after she returned from the shooting range, or brushing against the small of her back as they walked, or a million other small touches that millions of lovers shared, then she might give in, and he couldn't afford that.

He would never tell her these things, because they were not lovers any longer; they were merely in love.

She traced the shell of his ear with her tongue, and he lost his ability to reason. His hand moved inside the slit of her skirt and began dancing against her silky, muscular thighs. She remembered how to drive him crazy, how to nibble at his ear just so, and he buried his face in her neck to suppress a groan.

She tasted...clean. A little like soap. Soft. Sweet. He pressed gentle, open-mouthed kisses against her throat and slowly moved his fingers upwards until they were so close that he could feel her heat, but he kept them suspended until she drove her hips against his hand.

Roy smiled against her neck. He slid his fingertips back down to her upper thighs and slid his other hand underneath her shirt.

She pulled his chin upwards and kissed him again, thoroughly, and despite his intentions of teasing her, his hand slid back upwards and underneath her underwear, and his other hand massaged her breasts rhythmically. Her head fell back once his thumb began to circle her around her most sensitive spot, and her knees buckled so suddenly he had to remove his hand from her shirt in order to support her weight.

He stopped.

Riza lifted her head to glare at him, but her eyes were so glazed and unfocused that her threat fell flat. Roy brought both hands around her waist, and unzipped her skirt.

They stared at one another for a moment after the fabric slid against the floor, and Roy smiled softly, but he didn't speak.

(If he spoke, then he'd have to think, and if he thought, even for a second...)

He pulled her towards her living room wall and kicked a few boxes aside in order to position her against it. She opened her mouth to complain about his rough treatment of her belongings, but in that instant he sank to his knees and then she could no longer speak coherently.

He propped her left leg over his shoulder and loving caressed her with his tongue. He lapped at her slowly, and soon her military issued underwear – black and old and cotton and the sexiest thing he had ever seen - was completely soaked through.

Riza tangled her fingers roughly in his hair, and nearly yanked it out from its roots when he stopped again.

He smirked.

She hissed in frustration, but he ignored her protest and languidly slid her leg back down and began raining light kisses against her stomach. Her body jerked with each touch of his lips, and her fingers slowly relaxed against his skull. His kisses migrated lower, and lower still, until he tugged her panties down with his teeth.

When he reached both hands to assist in removing the offending garment, she took the opportunity to shove him to the floor.

"Oof."

"You're a tease, Colonel," she murmured against his ear. She reached down between them and ran her nails along his length.

He meant to purr something witty and seductive, but all he could do was move his hips helplessly against hers and pant broken curses.

And she smirked at him. "You're not going to leave me unfinished like your paperwork, Colonel."

Oh, God. If she used his title one more time, he'd never be able to be alone with her in the office again. "Riza..."

She pulled his hands from her waist and pressed them on either side of his head. Her lips brushed tantalizingly against his as she whispered, "Yes, sir?"

"Do you...ah...have any preventatives?"

Riza released his wrists and pressed her fingertips against her eyes.

Roy hissed out a sigh. "I'll take that as a no, then."

"I thought you..." she trailed off, still frustrated. "Roy..."

He sat up, pulling her with him. "You thought I'd carry some on me?"

She wrapped her legs around his waist and gave him a look.

He kissed her. "Maybe sometimes," he admitted, guiltily. "Most of those girls are just informants, but I'm not a complete saint."

"I'm not, either," she admitted softly.

His shoulders tensed at her admission, but he let the matter lie. He kissed the tip of her nose and sighed, "It's good, just holding you."

She nodded.

He looked away. "We...shouldn't be doing this, anyway. If we're caught..."

"Roy," Riza's palm gently reoriented his face. "We're plotting treason."

"I've noticed."

"If you can't hide a relationship with your aide, like half of your superiors are doing," she whispered, "then maybe you shouldn't take on such a heavy burden."

Roy shook his head. "It's not only that. If they realized how important you are to me...They already took Hughes, and I can't risk..."

Riza wrapped her arms around his shoulders and tugged him close against her chest as his voice broke. "Roy..."

"Please don't die." He looked up at her plaintively, and if his eyes weren't marked by such heavy circles, she wouldn't believe he was thirty. "Promise me."

She smiled at the memory he invoked, and asked, "If I did, would you stop worrying so much?"

"Probably not."

She kissed him. "Would you go to the store and buy some prev-"

He chuckled, and a glint of heat worked itself back into his gaze. "Are you trying to seduce me, Lieutenant?"

"'Trying' is probably not the best verb choice," she rocked against him. "But I promise I'll give up if you eat something."

"I...huh?"

"Your ribs are digging into me." She pushed off of him and tugged her skirt back on. "I know I'm not the best cook, but my neighbors brought me a casserole as a housewarming gift, and it's not too bad. Have some."

Roy scowled half-heartedly. "You used to tell me I was getting pudgy from sitting behind my desk all day."

"Well, now I'm telling you that you're almost a skeleton. You need to take care of yourself."

He followed her into the kitchen. "You sound like Madame Christmas."

"She's a sensible woman."

"She's a nag," Roy complained affectionately. His stomach growled. "What kind of casserole? Housewarming gift? Didn't you move in last week?"

Riza frowned as she placed the leftovers in the oven. "I'm not sure...What temperature do you use to reheat things?"

Roy rubbed his jaw. "Ah...as much as I would enjoy a burnt mystery casserole of uncertain age..."

She turned around slowly and narrowed her mahogany eyes in warning. Her hair was askew, her shirt was still inside out, her skirt was a little sideways, and her "Yes?" sounded much more like a threat than an inquiry.

She was beautiful.

And she wasn't wearing any underwear.

Roy studied her, longingly. She was beautiful, she was strong, she could kick his ass any day of the week, and he didn't want to wait for the end of his goal to spend time with her, because at that point there would be no more time left.

He cleared his throat. "There's a tunnel, under Madame Christmas' place, that leads to a few safehouses. If I give you an address, will you meet me there? I promise I'll bring food and...other supplies."

She raised her eyebrows and deadpanned, "That afraid of my cooking, Colonel?"

He tactfully refused to answer. "I'll see you in an hour, Lieutenant."


It was a little awkward, finding Fuery manning the radios in the safehouse, but they managed a somewhat plausible excuse for Riza arriving there in a wig, and Roy following minutes later with dinner and a bag of 'top-secret' supplies. He told himself that there would be other nights...and preoccupied subordinates.

Fuery talked excitedly about his new communications interceptor, and Roy gamely allowed the young man to demonstrate its capabilities. He filled Fuery in on the recent developments with Falman, and how there might be a bit of vacation time in everyone's future...they would be compensated under the table, of course. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Riza smiling softly to herself as she chewed.

He wouldn't let her die.

He forced his attention back to Fuery, only to catch the sergeant smiling to himself as well. "Is something amusing, Sergeant?" He asked sternly.

The young man shook his head and bit down on his lips to suppress a grin. "No, Colonel. Not at all."