Title -The Queen's Gambit

Author – D M Evans

Disclaimer - Arakawa owns all

Warning - a few bad words

Summary - Bradley only thinks he has Roy checkmated.

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Most of the nights when he welded himself to a stool at his aunt's place so he could drink himself stupid and pretend it's over a woman, Roy was really thinking about the war and all the mistakes he'd made. Of course, until recently the club was just owned by Chris and manned by one of his sisters out east. Lately, though, he could actually be near his aunt and pour out his real troubles to her as she carefully didn't let him get too drunk. He'd blab out far too many secrets if he did that in public. His sisters still pretended his woes were about some woman when it was really about Maes, or the nagging worry about the kids he was sheltering so no one would know about the broken taboo. Not that he wasn't using Edward and Alphonse a little, too - they had such amazing power at their fingertips – and that made him feel even more like an ass, like diving into the bottle head first.

But tonight, as Chris's best whiskey slid down his throat, Roy really was worrying about a woman. Bradley had checkmated him, had taken his queen. His hands trembled ever so slightly, but his aunt said nothing to it, just pretended she didn't see the palsy born of fear. Roy had thought he'd been so fucking careful. He thought no one but Maes and Chris knew how he felt about Riza. He wasn't even sure his own men, who saw them together every day, had even guessed they were in love. How the hell had Bradley figured it out? Where had Roy tipped his hand?

It didn't surprise him that the Fuhrer had exploited his weakness. If it hadn't been Riza, it would have been Edward. If Bradley knew about Riza, then he probably guessed Roy would feel responsible for a teenaged boy thrown into a military machine that could chew him up. It was even possible Bradley would figure out Roy actually had a living relative. He might have to take precautions there.

Roy shut his eyes, letting the whiskey smoke its way down his throat. He tried not to think of Riza alone with Bradley. He knew he had overplayed his hand with Raven, but Bradley had made his move too quickly after that, stripping Roy of his men, of his queen. Bradley thought, without a doubt, that he had broken Roy. If Roy thought too much on what could happen to Riza, Bradley might be right.

"She'll be fine," Chris said.

Roy snorted. "Bradley made a mistake. Riza will use being close against him, just like we taught her." He allowed himself a smile.

Chris nodded. "The game is still in play. Your queen hasn't fallen yet."

"And she won't," he growled. Riza Hawkeye was nobody's weakness. She was strength itself.