A light flashes on the other side of Roy's eyelids. Before he has them open, he's imagined guns and bombs and fire, a hundred horrible things.
What he sees is Rebecca Catalina, holding a camera.
He's not awake enough, yet, to know exactly whatshe's taking a picture of, so he tries to sound stern as he growls a preemptive warning. "Lieutenant. . ."
"Colonel?" says a sleepy voice from a different direction. Roy slowly becomes aware of a weight lying across his knees. He looks down and meets Riza's eyes. "When did this happen?" she asks.
Roy is starting to get a sense of his surroundings – civilian clothes, which are most definitely still on, a few overturned bottles on the floor, which is starting to resolve into his own living room – when the camera flashes again.
"Catalina!" Roy barks. Riza simultaneously throws an arm over her eyes and says, "Becca!"
"Donkey artichoke," mumbles the body pressed against Roy's other shoulder.
"That's so cute," Catalina squeals, snapping another picture. "Lieutenant Colonel Hughes is talking in his sleep!"
"He does that," says Roy.
"Not the giraffes," mumbles Hughes. "Take the wildebeests if you have to."
"We used to be roommates, before he was married," Roy says, providing an explanation no one had asked for. "That's how I know. About the sleeptalking."
"I don't exactly know how we ended up like this," Riza says, hand still covering her eyes against any further luminary assaults. "We didn't drink that much."
The salesman had promised this sofa would be sinfully luxurious - Roy had, in fact, purchased it with various forms of sinful luxury in mind – but he's fairly sure last night didn't veer any closer to iniquity than a little beer and some Arugeon jazz records.
"We were just talking," Roy says. "We all stayed up talking."
"I know. I was there." Catalina moves to photograph them again, and Roy makes a halfhearted lunge for the camera. He doesn't get far because he doesn't want Riza out of his lap yet. He doesn't want Hughes off his shoulder, or, rather, he doesn't want to extract his back from the curve of Hughes's body.
Roy gives up, sits back. "How come you're so bushy-tailed?"
Catalina shrugs. "Sleeping is giving in." The camera flashes.
"Elephant," mumbles Hughes.
Closing his eyes, Roy leans his head back onto the cushion. "Of course, I'm going to confiscate those pictures."
"She'll make copies," Riza says. "She's very good at blackmail. You can't stop her."
"You always assume I'm thinking in terms of strategy," says Roy. He rests a hand in Riza's hair, and leans back to feel Hughes's warmth against him. "Maybe I'm not. Maybe I just know that one day I'll want these pictures."
It's a very long time before any of them tries to move, and Roy wonders when he will ever love a moment this much again.