Five Times Roy Mustang Drunk Dialed Riza Hawkeye
The phone is like a klaxon when it wakes her. Riza is startled, then annoyed. She fumbles for the lamp on the table next to her bed and flips the switch on the third try. Even the light from beneath the shade hurts her eyes just now.
She doesn't put on her slippers when she gets out of bed, bare feet and bare legs. The living room slash kitchen is only half a dozen steps away. The phone is on its seventh ring when she snatches it off of the hook.
"Hullo?" Her voice is groggy.
"Hey, there." The voice on the other end is low, perhaps excessively husky, but still immediately familiar.
"Colonel?" Riza is instantly alert. "What's wrong? Has something happened?"
She calculates how long it will take her to dress and arm herself, considers whether to wear her uniform or her street clothes.
"No, no, not at all," he assures her. The way he drags out the syllables sends suspicion curling through her thoughts.
"…Are you drunk, Colonel?"
There is silence, followed by a faint humming sound and the jostling of the receiver on his end.
"I can't see you shaking your head, Colonel," Riza says after a moment.
"Maybe a little bit," he admits.
"Who were you trying to call, Colonel?" Riza follows up with a sigh. "This is Lieutenant Hawkeye. You got the wrong number."
The silence is even longer this time, but he's not moving. She can hear him breathing, steady, into the receiver.
"Yes. I suppose I did," he says finally. He sounds far more sober than he did before. Perhaps embarrassment works as well as hot coffee. "Good night, Lieutenant."
"Good night, sir," Riza replies, but he's already hung up.
It's not that often. It's not that he has a problem. He's a social drinker. Never drinks before five, never drinks alone. It's just that after he's knocked back a few—unfortunately, few enough that Havoc and Breda think it worthy of ridicule—things that he knows aren't a good idea when he's sober undergo some alteration.
Well, just one thing really.
Which is why he finds himself sitting in his car, chin on his hands on the wheel, keys at rest in the ignition.
The White Dragon isn't that far away from Hawkeye's apartment and he likes to think he wouldn't have called her otherwise, but he doesn't know if he believes that himself. It's not so late, but his vision doubles every once in a while and he wavered on his feet on the way to the phone booth. He hadn't woken her up. Her voice was clear and alert, not muffled by sleep, so Roy isn't surprised when she appears at his car window in less than half an hour.
She raps her knuckles on the glass and he doesn't roll down the window, just opens the door. He slides over to let her sit in the driver's seat, but not far enough. Her thigh presses against his; her elbow jabs his arm as she puts her hands on the wheel. Maybe he misjudged the distance and maybe he didn't, but she doesn't complain so he stays where he is, greedily soaking in the heat of her body.
She starts the car and the engine hums. Roy closes his eyes and lets his head loll back against the seat.
"You're so good to me, Lieutenant," he says and cracks his eyes back open, lets his head lean towards her.
"Yes, sir," she agrees mildly, eyes on the road.
Her hair brushes her shoulders now, just past the adorably awkward length it hit a few months ago. He's asked her about the change, but she just shrugs noncommittally. The curtain of blonde obscures the line of her neck. He thinks of sweeping it back over her shoulder, touching his fingers to her pulse point. Luckily, his hands aren't responding to his commands as they might otherwise, and so his gloved fingers bump clumsily against her shoulder before falling to his lap again. Her hands are firm, strong, as they grip the wheel. She looks at him questioningly out of the corner of her eye, thinking that he meant to tap her shoulder.
"The music was great tonight," Roy says, as though it is very important that she be aware. "The food wasn't bad either."
"You should have been there," he adds.
"You were on a date, sir," she reminds him, turning smoothly at an intersection.
Roy shrugs, expansive and lazy.
"You still should have come."
"I don't think so, sir." Her knuckles flex around the steering wheel.
He likes her hands. He imagines her palms and fingertips are callused, hardened by her years of training. He never has reason to touch them and find out for himself. He knows for a fact that her hands are steady. He'd trust them with anything. He's already trusted them with everything,
It comes out as: "I like you," even though he was thinking about her hands.
"Thank you, sir," she says wryly.
"No, I mean- I think that you are very, very-" he begins, summoning up his charm like a viper ready to strike.
"I think that you are very, very drunk, sir," she interrupts.
Roy wilts. Roy snorts.
"Not that drunk," he says petulantly, but lets the moment pass.
There is a ghost of a smile on her lips—the one she wears when she finds something amusing in spite of herself. It's usually reserved for him and that should bother him—it's not really dignified to be the butt of the joke—but it doesn't. When they arrive at his building, she helps him up to his apartment. She doesn't touch him or hold him up. Time has taken off some of the edge so he doesn't need that, but she stands very close. Even closer than she normally does. Or maybe it just seems that way to him because he's so aware of her in the moment. Alcohol is supposed to dull sensations, but it never seems to work that way for Roy when she's around.
He unlocks the door and goes in. He doesn't close it. Instead, he turns and tosses Riza the keys before she has a chance to walk away.
"It's late," he says. "Drive yourself home."
His throw is off, but she catches the keys in midair with ease, then looks at them dubiously for a long moment.
"Please," he says and he doesn't know why.
She blinks or maybe briefly closes her eyes—it's quick but perhaps not quick enough—before she lowers her hand, saying nothing.
"Thank you," Roy blurts as if she's only just done him a favor by taking the car home and not by coming for him in the first place.
Riza doesn't smile, she rarely does, but she tilts her head just slightly and it gives her mouth the look of a smirk.
"I'll pick you up at 0700 for work tomorrow, Colonel," she says before disappearing down the stairs, ignoring his groan.
He watches her go, leaning his head against the doorjamb.
"You know, this is really late to be calling a girl up, Roy," Riza trills.
"Don't tell me you're bored of talking to me already, Elizabeth," he responds.
Riza can hear faint music and the hum of casual conversation on the other end of the line. There's dinnerware clinking together and the whisper of cloth as people shuffle around. He's still in the club, using their phone, which is conspicuous in and of itself. She's not worried exactly. The Colonel is good at pretending to be more inebriated than he actually is, which can excuse a lot. And, from what she can tell, not much artifice will be necessary on that count tonight. The problem is that nothing Riza has divined thus far seems worth the trouble—a few suspicious transfers coming down, a general lack of movement as far as getting him to Central. But his voice is too jovial, artificial, and he's still calling her Elizabeth.
"Of course not," she says, then affects a pout that can be heard over the line. "I just heard from Jacqueline that you were busy tonight."
He chuckles loudly.
"Maybe I was, but I missed you."
"Jacqueline didn't make it sound like you'd be particularly lonely."
It's no great chore to picture his shit-eating grin.
"I'm always lonely when you're not around, Elizabeth," he effuses.
His voice gets lower and she can imagine him hunching over, jealously cradling the receiver more closely to himself. It occurs to her that he might be dragging this out because he's drunk enough to think it's fun.
"You know no one holds a candle to you."
Riza bites her lip and the pause is too long.
"Do I?" she asks, but doesn't wait for an answer. "Do you want something, Roy?" She means for it to sound teasing, but instead it just comes out annoyed, Elizabeth receding and Riza making her presence known.
He laughs. "Yeah. Tell me what you're wearing."
It starts as a joke, but the end of the sentence catches in his throat, the words taking on too much weight. There's a breath he draws, short and sharp, that's nothing but genuine anticipation.
It wouldn't be half as bad if part of her didn't want very much to tell him, to lean back in her chair at her kitchen table and whisper the kinds of things she's always found extremely silly, except when she thinks about the prospect of making Roy Mustang flush from the top of his head to the tip of his… toes.
Instead, Riza laughs high and loud—the least authentic laugh, perhaps, that anyone has ever laughed.
"You're so bad, Roy," she manages. "Joking like that, and when you've got company too."
"Not that bad," he replies. "You can't believe everything you hear, Elizabeth."
"Careful. If you keep talking like that I might start to think you're serious." Her voice has dropped an octave, out of her control, and she's never sounded more like herself. But then, maybe this performance isn't for anyone but them.
"Who says I'm not?" Roy asks and pitches his voice low. "I'll tell you a secret, Elizabeth: when all is said and done, I'm a one-woman man."
Her laugh sounds like she's gasping for breath.
"Pull the other one."
"Is that an invitation?"
It probably was, which means the time to hang up has come and flown right by.
"Oh look at the time. I have to go, Roy," she rails off over a protest that starts a few words in. "You enjoy yourself."
She slams the receiver down and stares murderously at the phone for five long minutes, terrified that he'll call back—daring him to.
"I'm telling you, it's not going to happen," Roy protests. He suspects that it's futile, but he'll be damned if he gives up that easily.
It's his own fault. He'd agreed to this outing in honor of Hughes being in town, despite the knowledge that a drunk Hughes was exponentially more meddlesome and obnoxious than a sober one, assuming that there wasn't really anything his friend could do in one night to put him out too much. Clearly, this is Roy's punishment for that bit of hubris.
"Of course it is!" Hughes exclaims cheerfully.
He has one arm thrown about Roy's shoulder, ostensibly for support despite the fact that Hughes seems to be walking just fine and, indeed, is carefully herding Roy forward.
"Why do I have to go first?" Roy demands.
At his right, Breda trundles along contentedly and Roy gets the distinct impression that he has no intention of participating in this farce.
"Because you're our leader," Breda offers.
Roy splutters and Hughes slaps him on the back, sending Roy stumbling forward a few steps on the sidewalk before Hughes clasps hold of him again and resumes herding.
"Exactly! You have to set a good example for your subordinates, don't you?"
Roy doesn't understand how something like this could be considered a good example for anyone, but then there are a lot of things he doesn't understand about tonight. Chief among them is how Hughes managed to take perfectly respectable barroom conversation and turn it into relationship counseling for relationships that none of them have.
One anecdote about how he'd almost let Gracia get away—Roy didn't think waiting an entire hour after meeting her to ask her out qualified, but details—and the value of holding tight to true love when one finds it and suddenly Breda's nodding along, Falman's looking extremely dour, and Havoc's misty-eyed about an ex-girlfriend or six. Which, granted, that last part was pretty normal.
But he still doesn't know how exactly Hughes' admonitions to "seize the day" resulted in Roy being the first to call up The One That Got Away and start "building his beautiful future."
"Women don't get away from Roy Mustang!" Roy declares with one last desperate grab for dignity. Hughes just shoves him bodily into the phone booth.
"Come on, Roy, there's got to be at least one," Hughes says and Roy could swear the man's eyes are fucking twinkling.
There is a long pause as Roy looks over the expectant faces of his comrades, flushed with alcohol and evil as can be.
"Fine," he says even though he outranks all of them which you would think meant there were rules against them bullying him into things. He holds out a hand and Falman has the coins ready.
He means to call Vanessa—who will happily play along as he puts on a show to appease his subordinates' bloodlust and be genuinely glad to hear from him besides—but his fingers must be even more drunk than the rest of him because it's somehow Hawkeye's number that he dials.
It rings five times during the course of which Roy, on the edge of panic and in quick succession, hopes that she doesn't answer because he doesn't want to have to explain, then hopes that she does answer because he knows that she can hear the phone easily from anywhere in her tiny apartment and that she always answers if she's there, and then hopes that she's there because if she's not there then that means when she declined to go out with him—them—it was to go out with someone else and Roy doesn't like the way that feels.
She picks up on the sixth ring, slightly breathless.
"Hello," Roy replies and attempts to come up with a new code on the spot through which he can communicate to her that this is something he's been put up to after his supposed best friend decided to take advantage of his indisposed state.
Nothing's really coming to him, but when Riza speaks again it no longer matters.
"Is there a reason you got me out of the shower, Colonel?" she asks, on the edge of a sigh.
It's high on the list of the worst possible things she could say at the moment and for a long stretch every part of his slightly hazy, currently defenseless brain shuts down. Except, of course, for the part lost in a very vivid imagining of Riza standing in her kitchen, dripping wet, holding an indecently tiny towel to herself as errant drops of water trail down her neck and her shoulders, fall into the valley between her breasts and trace the curves of her hips with the slow patience of a lover's hands.
"Uh," he says.
"Colonel, are you all right?" If a person didn't know her, they might think that she's asking by rote. But Roy knows her better than anyone—better than anyone else knows her and better than he knows anyone else. He can hear the soft concern hidden in the terse question, the undercurrent of alarm banded through with resolve. And there's one bright, pulsing moment when he can't deny it anymore, push it down, or think around it. He knows what he feels for her and the words are thick in his throat. The feeling beats a staccato rhythm through his veins and makes him want in a way he's never wanted before. (In a way he's always wanted because it seems as if he's always known her.)
Still it's not as if he lied to Hughes and the others, exactly. Roy Mustang doesn't let them—her—get away. He keeps her as close as he can without touching, then tries to ignore the fact that he still feels the distance and the silence that hangs between them.
"I'm fine. How are you?" he replies robotically as if he's practicing proper etiquette.
"Colonel," she says and it's all she says. A question, an entreaty, a command.
"I- I- you-" Roy tries and then swallows without saying anything, because there isn't a single thing he would like to say that he should.
Then, Havoc snatches the receiver. Roy takes a moment to pray to a god he doesn't believe in that Riza's already taken his previous silence as a cue to hang up.
"What the Colonel is trying to say, miss," Havoc shouts into the receiver, "is that he looooooves you and you're all he thinks about and he wants to-"
The color drains from Havoc's face as he stops abruptly and his eyes go comically wide.
Roy doesn't look at the others' reactions. He just keeps his eyes trained on Havoc's face as the man nods his way through a few mumbled "yeah"s and "all right"s, a nervous laugh and a "good bye."
He tosses the receiver back to Roy, eyeing him shrewdly before poking his shoulder with one finger.
"You're such a cheater, Colonel!" Havoc exclaims as a huge grin breaks across his face. "Calling Lieutenant Hawkeye to get out of it. Come on, you could have put on a better show than that!"
Havoc laughs and that seems to break the dam. The others have been teetering dangerously between shock and hilarity and they all simultaneously decide on the latter. Roy half walks and is half pulled out of the phone booth so that Havoc can take his turn. Falman's laugh is a little wheezy, like he doesn't use it enough, and Breda is bent double as he guffaws. Roy's probably going to have a bruise from how hard Hughes is slapping his back, but that's not nearly as worrisome as the fact that the damnable twinkle in Hughes' eyes has grown notably more dangerous.
Roy laughs as well—too loud and a little bit hollow—like the joke isn't on him and tries to convince himself he's imagining the knowing looks that he catches each one of his men directing at him before the night is over.
Rebecca Catalina's favorite bar is always a few notches too loud for Riza's tastes. It strikes an annoyingly imperfect balance of being just enough to make her mildly uncomfortable, but never enough to drive her away. Riza suspects that Rebecca is well aware of this, which is why she knows that she can always get away with bringing Riza there. Tonight, Rebecca is feeling lucky, as evidenced by the presence of her favorite earrings and a particularly flirty skirt that Riza is half sure actually belongs to her.
They buy their first drinks, but none after that, and Riza makes only slightly awkward conversation with a medical student. He's doing his level best not to peer down the front of her blouse and if he thinks anything untoward when she tells him that she's an officer, it doesn't show. He's handsome in an offhand sort of way—he isn't really trying for it and it probably hasn't been that many years since he grew into his features. Unfortunately for them both, Riza soon realizes that she's having one of those nights. One of those nights when her chest is heavy with want and she can't stop mentally editing every man that she looks at. The future doctor's eyes are too light. The guy who's been eyeing her across the room all night has hair that's too short. Even the bartender's face is shaped wrong.
So, once Rebecca has signaled that she's squared away, flirting outrageously with a monstrously tall man with very red hair, Riza politely rejects the med student's invitation to coffee sometime, excuses herself, and heads home early.
She doesn't even have her shoes off before the phone rings.
His is the last voice she wants to hear at the moment, so of course that's exactly who it is. There aren't many people who call her late in the evening.
"My favorite lieutenant!" he greets her.
"What do you want, Colonel?" she snaps.
His laughter rumbles across the line.
"Well, I was just leaving The White Dragon—a wonderful establishment—and I briefly saw two of my car. I couldn't decide which one I wanted to drive and so I thought maybe my lieutenant would be willing to assist me."
There have been nights when she would almost have found that charming, and he clearly knows it. But this isn't one of those nights. Riza considers just hanging up. Ignoring everything else—and there's a lot of it to be ignored—she's been a little lightheaded herself the entire way home and she doesn't really know how much use she would be to him, anyway. But she's never been as good at telling him "no" as she likes to pretend. And right now she can't pretend at all that she doesn't want to see his face. Though whether it's a desire borne of frustrated affection or sheer irritation, she can't tell.
"I'll be there," she declares, then slams the receiver down.
The brisk night air does nothing for her disposition as she makes the short journey to the nearby bar that Colonel Mustang ends up at too often for it to be coincidence. By the time he comes into view, leaning against the wall a few yards away from the door of the little pub, Riza's stomach jumps and that just makes her irritation turn into anger.
He twirls his keys in his hand as she approaches, and his eyes cast over her outfit.
"You look-" he begins, but stops short when his gaze roams up to her face. "Harsh. That is a harsh expression, Lieutenant," he finishes with a smile. "Did I disturb you?"
"When have you ever cared about that?" Riza asks tightly.
His expression darkens through the slight flush the alcohol has brought to his face. His brow furrows, but his jaw is still loose, lips slightly parted. He wants anger, but hurt is winning out.
"You didn't have to come," he responds.
"Of course I did." Riza steps closer to him and holds her hand out for the keys, but Roy doesn't budge. He stares her down, defiant, keys still clenched in his fist.
"You really didn't," he insists. "Not if you didn't want to."
"What I want doesn't matter." Riza realizes all too late that she's much more drunk than she thought. Her voice gets high-pitched somewhere in the middle of that sentence and she keeps stepping closer to him, bearing down on him, despite it being wholly unnecessary and a terrible idea besides. "Someone has to babysit you!"
"And that someone is you?" he asks, tone dangerous.
His back is straight and he peers at her, their close proximity making it easier for him to extort his height advantage.
"Of course it is!" Riza barks, then grabs his tie and yanks hard, until they are eye-to-eye. He nearly stumbles forward into her, both intoxication and the suddenness of her movement catching him off-guard. His voice doesn't waver though, when he speaks. However, it has dropped low enough to qualify as a whisper.
"And why, Lieutenant, is that?" he asks.
Their noses are inches apart and she can smell his aftershave, the same kind he's been using since he was seventeen, and it's like a slap in the face. It doesn't cut through the haze so much as bring on an entirely different one. Riza deflates. She'd been like a cat, hackles raised, but that all melts away in an instant, heat and tension snaking through her abdomen, up her spine, down to her fingertips.
"You know why," she answers and is too far-gone to even attempt to modulate her voice.
He searches her face, eyes even darker with nothing but the moon and the light from the bar's sign to illuminate them. The moment stretches out, her hand still holding onto his tie, then he finds whatever he was looking for. His keys drop to the pavement with a jangle and his hands cradle her face as he kisses her.
It's not what she expected. Not the kiss itself. Some part of Riza always expects that, from the tone of his voice when he addresses her, the way his gaze lingers, the way he tries very hard to act as though it's not. They've been together too long for the kiss itself to be a surprise. It's the way he goes about it that defies expectation. When she's imagined it—and Riza has imagined it—it's been desperation and hunger to rival her own. Roy's kiss is passionate, no doubt, but he starts off carefully. He kisses her with deliberate slowness, moves his lips against hers and slips his tongue into her mouth as though he wants to memorize each individual second.
Upon consideration, Riza understands why Roy expects the spell to break at any moment. Even as she loops her hand more tightly in his tie, pushes closer to him so that his back is pressed against the wall, all of the reasons why they don't do this beat against the inside of her skull.
They break apart eventually, out of what Riza hopes is a mutual desire to keep their knees from buckling. He still has her face in his hands, the pads of his thumbs pressed against her cheekbones. One of them sighs, Riza's not sure who, and then they're kissing again.
This time it's not careful. There is no vigilantly restrained ardor. There's no restraint at all. Riza tugs at his tie, urging, and Roy's hands slip from her face only to find her waist. He half-lifts and half-slides her as he turns them around, switching their positions so that it's her back that's to the wall. Her hands are in his hair and at the nape of his neck and he tastes like vodka and apple cider. Roy's finds the split in her skirt and his fingers trace along it until the top, where he slips his hand under, his palm warm against her thigh.
The door to the bar opens, noise from inside spilling briefly out onto the street before it's cut off again. Riza is distantly aware of footsteps approaching, then stopping short. There is laughter and some whispering before the footsteps continue on past Roy and Riza's position in the shadows. If Roy has noticed at all, he gives no indication, much more interested in peppering Riza's mouth with quick, nibbling kisses. But Riza is forcibly reminded of where they are and what they're doing. She only lives a few blocks away. She imagines her landlord or one of her neighbors wandering by, to or from, and seeing her groping her superior officer in the shadows outside of a bar. East City has always had a small town mentality.
Riza flattens her hand out where it has worked its way past his coat and jacket so that nothing but his crisp white dress shirt stands between her and his chest. She pushes lightly and tries to speak when her mouth is briefly free of his.
"This is- probably not a good idea," she says, only panting once. She hopes he listens because she doesn't know if she can say it again.
Roy leans in again, pressing their cheeks together before he kisses her neck softly enough to make her shiver. He mumbles something and all Riza can make out is "wonderful."
"Sir," she says firmly.
He kisses her neck again and when he speaks his mouth is right next to her ear.
"I guarantee you, Lieutenant, that this will be highly beneficial to our working relationship," he says and presses his lips to her temple.
Riza groans, a profoundly frustrated sound and fists her hand in his shirt. It's not simple, even now, even when they've come this far and are in this condition, there's still so much that they aren't saying, can't say.
Roy leans his forehead against hers, his eyes screwed shut.
"You want to," he says quietly, then again.
It's not a declaration or an encouragement. It's a question desperately seeking confirmation.
And he's right. She really, really wants to—she always does, but especially right now. Riza wants Roy tonight and tomorrow night and every night from now on. She wants to wake up next to him and muss his hopeless bedhead, make fun of the coffee he makes, and watch him fight with Hayate over the morning paper. Roy has never been subtle—not to her—and he's made blatantly obvious what it is he longs for. But they haven't earned that, they may never deserve it, and there are far too many more important things they could jeopardize by trying.
Roy's eyelashes are dark against his cheeks, eyes still closed as he leans into her. Riza opens her mouth to croak out "we shouldn't." She can already feel the emotion clogging her throat.
"Not here," she says instead.
Roy kisses her once more, swift and hard, then turns to look for his keys.
The night air chills her with the absence of his body heat, but Riza still finds his keys first. She tucks them into his coat pocket.
"My place is closer," she says as she takes his hand. He grins.
It's a ten minute walk, but they make it in half that, sprinting through the streets hand-in-hand like teenagers. Riza shushes him when his footsteps are too loud up the stairs, which he seems to find amusing enough that he makes her caution a moot point by laughing loudly enough that anyone keen to listen is sure to hear. Roy has her in his arms again before she's even turned on the lights in her apartment. Black Hayate's inquisitive bark is the only thing that prevents them starting right there, her legs around his waist, propped up against the wall next to her front door.
"Bedroom," she commands.
"Right, right," Roy agrees, dazed and delighted.
Riza manages to get his coat onto the back of one of her kitchen chairs, but the rest of their clothing ends up in the general vicinity of the piles on the floor that she's still supposed to be sorting for the laundry. They stumble twice during the short trip through her apartment. Once over something Riza cannot identify in the dark—though Black Hayate's eyes gleam reassuringly from the kitchen by his bowl—and once over nothing at all.
They're both drunk and eager enough to be sloppy. It is a convocation of heavy breathing and laughter, just right and near misses—mouths open, hands greedy, and limbs akimbo. It's still better than it has any right to be. Nothing can dull the way that it feels to be with him: the comforting weight of him above her and the sensation of him hard, solid, and broad beneath her. He's present and constant, like he's always been, even if their roles have changed yet again.
Even if they can't afford to let them.
He clicks on the lamp on her bedside table when they're done. The dull light reflects off of the sweat on their skin. Riza doesn't see why they should turn the lights on now. She doesn't want to know about in the look he has as he turns back towards her, pulls her closer with one arm as they lay on their sides facing each other. Riza waits for him to say something, she can see it all churning behind his eyes, but nothing actually makes it out. Sometimes, Riza thinks that they've spent so much time not needing to say anything to each other that they just don't know how to anymore.
"We shouldn't," Riza says finally and far too late.
"But we did," Roy manages. He's acting nonplussed now, but they both know better.
Riza nods and wonders how many ways they'll find not to talk about this in the morning.