June, 1903. Ashford, Eastern Amestris.

Next time happened to be two days later, when Berthold Hawkeye had left two teenagers alone to speak with the local general store owner about the lack of a sufficiently brilliant pharmacist - or at the very least, a moderately adept apothecary - in town. Roy had occasionally gone on these trips with Master Hawkeye, buying chemicals here and there, and trying to mediate his Master's scowling and the General Store owner's growling about how ungrateful the 'old bat' was.

However, on this occasion, Roy had distinctly not been invited, so he had retreated to the Hawkeye's private sitting room, laying himself out across the worn plush chaise lounge. Unwieldy alchemy tome and notebook in hand, he'd set to work on what he considered to be an excellent use of his time.

He started by twining a thin black bow over his fingers as he loosely dropped the end over the side of the couch. Then he waited.

"That's not yours, you know." Riza said firmly, when she finally slipped into the room, closing the door behind her. "You should give it back." She set down a tray of shortbread cookies and tea on the end table by his head, and then held her hand out, motioning for him to hand her the ribbon. Roy pulled it just out of her immediate reach, a sure smile crossing his features.

"Are you sure it's not mine? I found it in my room earlier, and it certainly looks like it could be mine…how do you know my Aunt didn't send it to me?" He teased lightly, glancing up at her with light dancing in his eyes.

"I didn't know you were starting to accessorize with girl's ribbons." Riza retorted, shoving his knees into the couch as she made just enough room for herself to sit primly on the edge of the seat cushion. "I need that back, and my bra."

"I know. That didn't fit in my pocket." Roy said with a laugh. "But you didn't ask nicely."

Riza's brandy eyes narrowed, and she glared at him, pursing her lips. Coercion was rarely a successful method of making Riza Hawkeye do anything - and on the whole, Roy didn't attempt to try. But this time, it seemed worth it to tease her just a little. Pinching her pink lips together for a moment, she frowned, before looking away. "I wonder how upset my father would be if I told him you've been nicking my things."

"Less upset than he'd be if he realized you left it behind in my room after you removed your blouse." Roy said helpfully, pulling the ribbon to his chest.

"If I could write a list of the things Roy Mustang, alchemy apprentice and general arrogant pretty boy gets away with, I'd probably be able to make a book of it."

Greeting her with a dangerous smile, Roy leaned in conspiratorially close. "Chapter two, Roy Mustang, arrogant pretty boy, and the time his Master's daughter let him feel her up in the his bedroom…"

Leaning in as if she had decided to kiss him, Riza set a hand over his shoulder, before she reached over to snatch back the silk black tie from his hands. The loose bow unraveled as she grabbed it, and Roy was quick enough to catch the other end of the ribbon, and wrap it around their hands, lightly pulling her a little closer.

Riza tried not to show that she was amused - it would be better for him if he was a little more disciplined. "Let you." She warned, tugging back on their hands as she tried to unwind herself from his knotting.

"Allowed me," Roy conceded. "-the distinct pleasure of fondling you."

"See if it happens again if you keep that tie." Moving her hand, she found the ribbon unraveling around her before Roy moved again, quick to this time clasp her hand as he did so. Without much warning, Roy had moved to kiss her openly, less sweetly and more of an impish move that was meant to distract. Before she could even bother to sound out a noise of annoyance, Riza relented, solely, she told herself, on account of the fact that Roy was likely to give her tie back as soon as he was done kissing her so nicely.

It was rather hard to see how Roy was such a good student when he procrastinated so often, but Riza had decided there was a method to Roy's madness. Claiming he worked best under pressure - a metaphorical fire under his ass - Roy often worked on his assignments and studies at all sorts of odd hours. And when he did bother to crack open his books, he was easily swept up with distractions like his gentle caress of the inside of her wrist as he slipped his tongue neatly into her mouth, eagerly meeting her lips. The fact that he still seemed to retain and process all the information he had been learning was no small feat. Riza sometimes suspected he had perfect memory, but even that seemed like too much credit for Roy Mustang.

No, she considered as he pulled back a fraction, waiting for her to follow him, Roy was just simply that good. The fact that he knew that was why, well, it was infuriating sometimes.

Shifting, Riza tilted her chin slightly, using her free hand to slide the alchemy book and his notes from his lap, setting them against the floor as Roy moved to make room for her. Without further ceremony, Riza straddled his lap carefully, her navy pencil skirt riding up her thighs as she sat over him, making for easier access. The suddenness of the movement and the very definite and demanding weight to her presence caused Roy to grunt in surprise, hands slacking his grip just long enough for Riza to slip her tie from his hand. Breaking their kiss to laugh quietly, Riza looped the ribbon under her collar as she leaned back on his hips. Roy shifted underneath her as she finished her neat bow, somewhat crestfallen that she'd retrieved the tie.

"Well, I did ask you nicely that time." Riza said, catching his petulant expression. "You should have just given it back." She added, angling to kiss the soft spot directly under the side of his jaw. She could feel his pulse flutter under his skin for a moment before she dropped her lips further down the column of his neck. When he spoke next, wrapping a hand in her hair, she felt the vibrations of his voice.

"I was using that as a study aide." He said, tone less upset than he'd originally intended for it to be as she unbuttoned the top of his collar and pressed another kiss into his collar.

"I fail to see how articles of my clothing improve your concentration." Riza replied.

"It was a very significant help for my research, which you have interrupted for another round of theoretical implementation."

"Hands-on…?" Riza asked, kissing him firmly as she draped her arms over his shoulders.

"Book knowledge only goes so far. At any rate, I finished organizing my data tables and the key, so if you'd care to double check my work…" Roy said, reclining further into the couch as he looked up at her playfully, tugging the end of her bow. A page of notes slipped from his haphazardly placed notebook, and crinkled across the floor with Roy's unmistakeable looping scrawl.

"Maybe later," Riza said, pulling him up into another kiss.