He'd always been a sucker for a pretty face.
He knew that they were, effectively, using each other. He knew that she certainly wasn't in love with him; in fact he knew exactly who she was in love with, and he was pretty sure he knew whose body she closed her eyes and imagined during the late nights when their hot skin was pressed together. He tried not to think about that. Instead he chose to stare at her, always keep his eyes open and feast in her beauty and rawness and the way she looked like a completely different person once he got her out of those stupid military uniforms. But every day when they went back to real life, he reminded himself: she doesn't love you. He knew that fact very well.
What he didn't know – what he chose not to decide – was whether or not he loved her.
He knew he loved her body. And the taste of her skin. And how it felt when she bit his lip and her fingernails scraped across his sweaty back in the heat of the night. He knew he loved that feeling. He knew he loved her hair, and her eyes, and the way she walked and never smiled and the way that everybody else looked at her, because only he knew who she really was.
But he tried to ignore the fact that there was something on the tip of his tongue, something that he had always been dying to tell her, but never had because he wasn't quite sure what it was. Maybe it was, "Don't go to sleep just yet." Maybe it was, "Kiss me again." Maybe it was, "Next time, let's try using handcuffs," although when it came to that sort of thing, she was always the one to suggest it, not him. It had surprised him, really, how much she was willing to try. How perfectly their bodies fit together. How right it felt to be with her.
It was when she was emotional that she needed him most. You'd never be able to tell at work; she'd make it through the day without a smile, but then again she never smiled anyway so no one could tell. But the second they were alone in her small apartment (small, but bigger than his, and that's why she always insisted he come to her – or so she said), she would throw her arms around him and hold back tears, or she would tear off his clothes like an angry hurricane or she would silently make love to him, every dip and contour of her body filled with regret. He tried to kiss the regret away from her, he tried to help her sweat it out, to wash it away with his gentle touches. He knew that if she opened her eyes and looked into his, she would remember somehow that he was there too, that he had always been a soldier just the same way she had, and that she didn't have to bear it all alone. He knew that if he were more than just a body to her, she would open her mouth sometime to speak, instead of to kiss or to cry.
Jean Havoc was perfectly fine with being Riza Hawkeye's plaything. The relationship went somewhat deeper than that, but however he looked at it, he always came to the same conclusion. It was sex, no strings attached, completely devoid of sentimental meaning. It was carnal, it was simple, and it was the most human desire. Nothing complicated about it.
Except – damn him – he made it complicated. He always had to make these things more complex than they were. Could he never enjoy what small pleasures he got? What was wrong with him? Why couldn't he just enjoy the things he had?
He stood in her bedroom. She was still asleep, it seemed. He opened the blinds, letting sunlight shine into the room, illuminating the tendrils of smoke curling from the end of his cigarette. He took a deep drag. The warmth in his throat and his chest was soothing. He looked back at her. It was in moments like these that his fantasies ran away with him, and he imagined waking up to this every morning. He imagined leaving everything else behind and having her, her and nothing more. And then he was brought crashing back to reality as she shifted slightly and her eyes opened the tiniest bit and she said, "You're going to kill me if you keep smoking those, you know."
"Kill you?" he replied, amused. "What about me? I am the one who's smoking them, after all."
"Well," she said quietly, something almost like a smile on her face. "If you're anything like I think you are, you don't care about yourself half as much as you care for other people."
He wanted to say, It's only you. I only care about you, but he didn't.
He laughed softly and took another drag.
She said, "You should quit."
He said, "What is there to quit?"
"It's a bad habit."
"It's not a habit at all."
"Yes," she said lowly, dangerously. "It is. And you should stop."
He took a deep breath and turned back to the window. So stubborn. He shouldn't reply to her. He should probably get dressed and leave.
Instead, without looking at her, he said, "Why should I stop? Does it bother you?"
"Yes," she replied icily. "It bothers me that you're essentially killing yourself."
He almost laughed at her. "Hey, you and I both know that there are easier means, babe."
Silence. He didn't know how much that hurt, how deeply that had scratched her stone heart. He did know, however, that she hated to be called babe. He had done it on purpose. He was hoping that maybe she'd get angry, so she'd angrily take hold of him and dig her fingers into his skin and crash her lips down onto his. That was his favourite. When she was angry, she could never stay quiet. That was what he liked best.
Instead of getting angry, she stood up and walked over to him. She took the cigarette out of his hand, her liquid amber eyes deep and somehow sad. He looked at her silently for a moment.
Then he said, "Fine. I'll stop." And before she could walk away he added, "For you."
She held his gaze a second longer than she should have, and then she left to dispose of the lit cigarette.
And then somehow it was almost but not quite a year later and she sat in her kitchen, a cup of steaming coffee in her hands, and he was once again looking out a window, except this time he didn't want to be stuck in this moment forever because this moment was breaking his heart.
She took a sip of her coffee and then she said, "Everyone knows."
"And what's wrong with that?" he demanded, turning around to face her, his anguish painted in every line of his face. "Why shouldn't they know?"
"There are laws," she said quietly.
"So?" he asked. "Mustang breaks laws all the time, nobody gets on his ass."
Silence. She looked at him, waiting for him to understand.
He said, "Mustang."
She took another sip and said, "He knows too."
The silence became drenched with tension. Jean Havoc had the unreasonable urge to drive to Roy Mustang's apartment and punch the man in the face. And shoot him in the gut.
Jean sighed, "I always knew this would end because of him."
"It's not the end of the world, Jean."
He let out a bark-like laugh. "You kidding me, Riza? For a guy like me, there is no world except for a girl like you. Of course it's the end of the world."
Silence. Did she look guilty? Of course not. She didn't have the normal capacity for human emotion. She never did. What a dirty slut. What a little whore. God, how did he ever think she was beautiful? She repulsed him.
She said, "It's just sex, Jean," and despite himself he fell in love with her all over.
"A year and a half of being with you every night, of stupid half-drunk late-night conversations, of waking up every morning holding each other – you think that was just sex, Riza? Well, damn, I'd love to see what being in a relationship is like with you. Guess I won't, though. Guess you're too good for that. Guess you're too good for anyone but him." He punctuated his last word with as much venom as he could muster, an ugly grimace on his face. He shook his head. Nothing. She was still looking at him.
He said, "Sorry."
She replied, "I forgive you."
He hated the way she said it.
He hated everything about her, especially the way he wanted to kiss her so badly.
"I should quit," he said. She almost raised an eyebrow.
"What should you quit?" she asked, almost cautiously. God, he hated how everything was always almost with her.
"My damn job, what the hell else is there to quit?" he retorted. "Then I wouldn't have to be around you all day."
"Do you mean that?" she asked.
"Yes," he breathed lowly, dangerously. "I do. But fuck, I should stop."
"Loving you, what else? I always knew you'd be the death of me."
A long, long silence. He had to come to terms with this. He wouldn't, not tonight, and maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for a week or a month or a year. But he would, because once she chose to do something, she couldn't be budged. So stubborn. But there were no words that she could say tonight to make letting go easier for him.
So she said quietly, almost tenderly, "There are worse ways to go," she paused and looked at him, "than loving someone to death." Another pause. Something like a glimmer shone in her eyes and she added, "Babe."
He almost laughed, but decided that it was too risky that he would start crying if he did that, so he didn't. He dug in his pocket for something. With trembling hands, he took out a cigarette and a lighter. How long had it been? Months. But he always had one on hand, just in case. He lit it. Angrily, he stuck it in his mouth and took a deep drag.
And he said, "No. I'll stop." He met her gaze with unrestrained honesty in his eyes one last time. He said, "For you."
And then he was gone, after giving her so much of him. After giving her so many promises. After loving her and making love to her and watching and waiting tensely, just in case that damn Lieutenant Colonel Mustang decided to make his move. It had been inevitable but now it was unbearable. But he bore it. For her.
He'd always been a sucker for a pretty face.
I am falling madly, deeply in love with Havocai. I love it and hate it at the same time, because it's disrupting my OTP - Royai - but at the same time, Havocai is hardly a relationship. They're both quite aware that she's going to end up with Roy. I figure they'd be like, "meh, let's do it anyways."
Painting Riza as more of a bitch than I usually do right here. I feel like it's probably more realistic. I can imagine her being a little bit of a bitch, after all the crap she's been through.
I feel like I put some subtle things in here (besides the obvious) that really made me, as an author, happy with it.
What do you think?