This fic was written very shortly after the final episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood aired and won't really make sense unless you have seen that episode- in particular, a specific shot at the very end.

The first peculiar thing is when he runs out of razor blades. Roy rifles through the bathroom cupboard, trying not to get lathered soap on anything. There are all the usual mysterious bottles and tubes that a bathroom seems to naturally accumulate like weeds, but the unopened box of new blades he's sure he bought last week is nowhere to be found.

"Have you seen my razor blades?" he calls back through the flat, wiping a little smear of soap off the mirror. There's a brief silence.

"Hurry up, we're going to be late," Riza eventually answers, thoroughly unhelpfully. He can hear the water coming up to the boil in the percolator and smell the bread toasting. He gives her a few seconds to say something more useful then makes a face and turns back towards the mirror, angling the old razor gingerly across his cheek. If he comes into the office with a shaving cut he won't hear the end of it from Havoc for weeks.

Riza glances up at him when he comes into the kitchen with the towel still around his neck and for a moment she looks... disappointed? Roy shakes his head and sits down, reaching for the butter. The razor blades are bound to turn up sooner or later.

He has to buy new ones in the end, and this time he makes sure to put them right at the front of the cupboard where they can't get themselves lost. None of his other possessions vanish mysteriously and he's starting to wonder whether he had just imagined buying the original box when he picks up his razor handle one morning to find it covered in teeth marks and ever so slightly sticky.

"How did the dog get at my razor?" he shouts, throwing it hastily back into the mug. Riza wanders nonchalantly into the bathroom, running a comb through her still-damp hair.

"I told you before, you need to be more careful about where you leave things when you have a pet."

"I left it in the same place I always leave it! He doesn't even like to come into the bathroom after that time we had to clean horse shit out of his fur!" Roy throws up his hands. "And how on earth did he put it back on top of the sink?"

"Well, he is very intelligent," she says serenely, and reaches around him for her toothbrush. Roy huffs in frustration and rubs his fingers against his chin. He can probably go without today, and maybe buy a new razor on his way home. Beside him Riza is squeezing out her toothpaste carefully from the bottom of the tube and humming under her breath, which is frankly a little disturbing. Normally it's a task getting three civil words out of her before she's had her coffee.

"Are you feeling alright?" he asks, looking at her sideways. It doesn't look like she got an unwanted lobotomy along with her haircut.

"Oh, I'm fine," she says cheerfully, "absolutely fine."

That evening, when the stubble is even worse, she climbs into his lap at the dinner table and he finds it difficult to think about much else for quite some time.

When the bottle of cough medicine manages to somehow work its way to a precarious enough position in the bathroom cupboard to fall out when he opens the door and shatter all over his shaving brush, Roy hardly even feels surprised. Riza makes sympathetic noises and helps him to mop up the worst of the sticky goo that's now all over the sink and she's never doing it when he looks directly at her, but out of the corner of his eye he could swear she's smiling.

As Hughes would often say (or rather, grandiosely proclaim; the man was never one for doing anything by halves), the simplest solutions are often the most accurate. The answer comes to Roy in a flash of inspiration when he's doodling in the margins of the minutes from last month's budget meeting and he goes very still, the implications rushing like blood to his head. What would she... if he...

"These all need your signature by tomorrow morning, sir," Breda says, interrupting his reverie to drop a stack of papers on his desk. He pauses and frowns slightly and Roy feels a wave of irrational fear about sudden-onset telepathy amongst his staff. It's not as if there's any point where that wouldn't have been a bad thing, but right at the moment...

"Thank you, Captain." He waves his hand slightly, pretending to be very focused on the fluffy clouds that he's drawn around the table of outgoings. "Back to work now, chop chop."

"Uh, yes sir." Breda retreats hastily and Roy pulls the papers towards him, pushing the lid off his fountain pen. It occurs to him later that he might well have signed off on a beer tap for the officers' mess or a shipment of short skirts instead of womens' uniforms or any of the other things he wouldn't put it past Havoc and Breda to try and slip under his nose, but somehow it really didn't seem that important at the time.

He gets home late and Riza is standing at the kitchen sink doing the washing-up, her shirtsleeves rolled up to her elbows. She cocks her head slightly when she hears him coming up behind her but she doesn't move, and he slides his arms around her waist and rests his chin on her shoulder. She leans back against his chest, making a small, contented noise in the back of her throat, and neither of them says anything for a few moments, the late evening sunlight glancing through the kitchen window and throwing oblique patterns across the wall.

"You know," he says quietly, tilting his head to rub his cheek against hers, "if you wanted me to grow a beard, you could just have asked."

She exhales in a little huff and for half a second he thinks she's about to laugh, but when she answers it's in a different tone of voice altogether.

"Maybe not a beard," she says, turning around in his arms. Her hands are covered in suds from the dishwater and she smiles his very favourite smile, the smile that only ever leads to extremely good things, and draws one finger ever so gently across his top lip. He breathes in sharply

"I could be amenable to that."

"Good." The fingers of her other hand are walking up his arm, leaving a little soapy trail on his sleeve. "It would be nice." She's hooked one foot around the back of his leg, sliding her heel up the back of his calf, and she leans her head in towards him, her voice dropping half an octave. "I would really appreciate it."

"Permission to speak freely, sir?"

Roy raises one eyebrow. "Permission granted, Lieutenant Havoc."

The man hasn't even set foot in the office yet. He raises one, slightly trembling, hand and points directly at Roy. "Sir, what the hell is that?"

"It is a moustache, Lieutenant. There are, in fact, more ways to grow facial hair than simply letting a small mammal take up residence on one's chin."

Havoc is still standing in the doorway, staring at him. "Why?" he manages eventually.

"Some people find them quite dignified." At that precise moment Riza comes back into the room, squeezing around Havoc at the door. She's humming again. And well she should be. He glances at her and tries not to smile too smugly, leaning his head forward to rest his chin on his hands. There is a thud from the other side of the office as Breda's forehead hits his desk, and Havoc shudders visibly.

"I, um, have to go and pick up my post, sir," Havoc says hurriedly, already backing out of the door.

"I'll help," Breda adds, not even asking permission as he shoves his chair back hastily and follows Havoc into the corridor, the sound of their boots on the floor fading rapidly away. Riza turns away from the filing cabinet to look after them impassively.

"Some people have no taste."