Title- Deep-Burning and Unquenchable
Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all
Characters/Pairing - Roy, Chris, Riza, Roy/Riza
Timeline/Spoilers - post 108 but few actual spoilers
Summary -He wants his romantic gesture to be perfect
Author's Note - The house in the story was based off the Wallingford Victorian B&B visually, and some of the romantic ideas came off the web. The title comes from a quote about love attributed (on the web) to Bruce Li. Written for fma_fic_contest's romance prompt on livejournal Thanks to evil_little_dog for the beta.
Everyone who knew the least bit of Mustang's reputation believed firmly he was an incorrigible flirt and an incurable romantic. Roy knew how they could come to believe that. Most had no idea that more than half the women he flirted with in person were his 'sisters,' and the half he flirted with on the phone were his subordinates. Truth was, flirting was like breathing; he did it effortlessly. Flirting, however, didn't always mean romantic.
He couldn't even remember when he planned a truly romantic outing. There was only one woman he wanted to be romantic with these days and, instead, their nights together were stolen, secretive but not without passion. He should have been greeting Grumman's altering of fraternization rules to allow it outside of one's immediate staff with joy. Roy knew the old man had done it because he was counting the days to the end of his reign and wanted Roy properly married off – preferably with baby in arms – by the time he campaigned to be Fuhrer. Roy would have a tough run against Olivia Armstrong and her famous family, especially when his own occasionally seedy upbringing would come to light. His work with Marcoh and Scar, no, Manasseh now, to rebuild Ishbal – after proving to be more useful alive than dead to the Ishbalans – would look good. That left Roy free to concentrate on the whole idea of romancing the woman he wanted to be his wife.
Too bad he was horribly rusty at it. Romance didn't lend itself well to the clandestine trysts they were used to and Rebecca kept feeding Riza those romance novels, which only served to make Roy feel even less ready to embark on this path. He had snuck a peek at a few of them. Did women really want men to act like this? Most of them were domineering assholes and Roy felt fairly sure Riza would shoot him if he tried some of the stuff he read. That in mind, he decided to do his research.
"You've come to the right place." Chris took a drag on her cigarette as she perched on a bar stool.
Roy sighed. "No, I've come to all the wrong places. I thought Vanessa might have a few ideas then she kicked me to every woman in here and they served me up to you, laughing as they did so. I knew I should have asked Gracia. No man alive wants to talk to his mom about this stuff."
Chris chuckled, smoke escaping her lips. "Fair enough. The girls didn't help you at all?"
"No, all their ideas were just awful. Riza wouldn't like them."
"You know the lady better than any of us. Tell me what you think you should do."
Roy nodded. "I've been thinking while listening to all the bad advice. She doesn't know it yet, but I bought that house you told me about. I thought I'd start there." He laid out his fresh and elaborate ideas, his aunt's eyes widening slowly.
Chris patted his hand. "There is no woman alive who wouldn't melt at that, but it's going to be a lot of work. Let me get your craftiest sisters to give you a hand."
Riza had higher hopes for dinner. While delicious, it had been as early as dinner could be served, and she thought maybe Roy was taking her to a show. Instead, he drove to the outskirts of town, parking in front of a large home, turreted and three-storied with gray fish-scales and deep red trim and shutters. Confused, she allowed him to take her hand and walk her around to the back.
"Remember when we were kids and you said you knew what your house would look like?" he asked, opening the back gate.
Perplexed, Riza nodded. "I said it would have a big back yard and rose garden. I loved roses and I wanted one of those Xingese fish ponds you showed me pictures of. Those sounded so nice and relaxing. Why?"
Roy swept his arm open wide at freshly dug ground dotted in a maze pattern with roses. "I know it's a little early to be planting them, but Alphonse shored them up with some alkahestry and over this way, have a look."
He took her over to a pond. There were no fish in it yet that she could see, but a fat frog had made itself at home. Riza turned to him. "Roy…what did you do?"
"I bought this house and put in your garden." Pride radiated from him.
Riza couldn't find words then managed, "Oh, Roy, it's beautiful." It wasn't yet, but it would be, she had no doubt.
Still beaming, he escorted her inside. Pulling apart pocket doors, he stepped into an aquamarine room dominated by a marble fireplace, lit and waiting for them. Rose petals dotted the carpet while fabric rose petals, dangling on fishing line, hung from the ceiling. It looked like a petal cloudburst. Riza put a hand over her mouth, trying to hold in a gasp.
"My sisters helped," he said, sitting down by the fire. A tea service waited for them. "Might be a bit warm for this but…"
Riza sat, pressing against him. "It's wonderful."
Roy poured the tea for them both, filling the air with the scent of spice. "What color would you like, green, blue or violet?"
Not sure what he was thinking, she replied, "Violet."
He picked a pine cone out of the basket and tossed it into the fire making it blaze purple. Grinning, Roy said, "Potassium chloride, it's good to know an alchemist."
Riza chuckled as he sipped his tea. His lips were warm, tasting like cinnamon and cloves as he kissed her.
"I wanted you to have a romantic night. Did I get it right?"
"You got it perfect."
"Not yet." He took the honey dipper and swirled it between her breasts. Roy licked the sweet trail. "But I will."