Title: Failed experiments in fluff, angst, and other things
Fandom: FMA. I swear I'm going to write more HP in the future. I think.
Notes: 10 Roy/Hughes themes. In which I have little too much fun with writing snippets that don't like to end themselves. There's no consistency between themes. They're just sort of thrown together. Unbetaed cause I'm feeling lazy.
1. Resting on a shoulder
Roy nearly collapsed onto Maes' shoulder. He usually didn't see much fighting, his talents as an alchemist leaning toward long range destruction, but today, they had put him on the ground near Maes' unit. That was one of the stupidest moves ever made.
A bullet had clipped his shoulder before he knew what was happening. He wasn't cut out for this at all. Luckily Maes was in falling distance, which made it easier to indicate that he needed medical assistance. He was a commanding officer, after all.
Maes dragged him toward cover and set him down. "Stay here, kay? Oh, and if you see anything getting hairy, take care of it."
"Take care of it? Are you ordering me around?" Roy was about five seconds away from punching the other man.
"So what if I am?" Maes was primed for the skirmish and a little challenge never failed to rile him up.
"Don't make me pull rank," Roy threatened. Humiliation was the last thing he needed.
"Don't make me use you as a human shield," Maes replied before heading back out into the fighting.
He didn't see the rude, gloved gesture that Roy gave him
Sometimes, Roy forgets.
He'll be at the office and thinking about the new private assigned to him that seems sketchy, and he'll pick up the phone to ask for a favor. There will be an awkward pause, and Roy will pretend the thought never crossed his mind.
He'll be finishing up paperwork for the night and glance at the clock. It will be innocent, of course. It's prudent for colonel's to know the time. He will process it for a moment and wonder if he agreed to have dinner with them tonight. He'll need to make sure he gets out in time. The memory of the funeral will still be vivid when he will leave, several hours later.
He'll be sitting in some restaurant, across from a beautiful woman, and glance over his shoulder to make sure no one is hiding behind a plant with a camera and a bucket of water. There won't be. His date will ask him what's wrong and he'll shake his head and say, nothing.
He'll be in his bed at night, halfway between sleep and wakefulness, and he'll reach for empty air. His hand will find the sheets instead. He won't be very conscious at the time, and the moment of confusion will last a little longer. It'll hurt more, the realization fresh and new. In the morning, he'll tell himself that the moisture on his pillow is just drool.
Sometimes, Roy remembers, too.
3. Knife blade and fire
Each soldier has a Weapon of Choice. It's the one that fits just right, gives you the little thrill each time it just works.
Roy keeps two gloves with him at all times, though he usually just wears the right one. He's right handed, of course, and he's always just a little bit off using the left one because of it. He let Maes try them on once, but they were too small for his larger hands. They fit, but it was tight.
After a few seconds of snapping his fingers, Maes pulled it off awkwardly, the glove flipping inside out. Roy had turned it back the right way and placed it back into his pocket, patting it for reassurance.
Maes' knives are close to his heart. Quite literally. They're not easy to throw, and he spent days on days on end perfecting technique. There were days when the knives had a mind of their own, embedding themselves in the wall behind the target, days when he didn't think he'd be able to get it right.
The first moment one tore through an enemy's shoulder was perfection.
Roy thinks they're amusing. He snickers whenever Maes pulls one out, but there's a certain grudging respect in his eyes whenever Hughes throws them.
It's not about death, yet, and there's still a certain passion for their modes of destruction.
It won't last very long.
4. Conversation over a drink
Mustang and Hughes can relax if they feel like it. They can sit in a bar or restaurant with a glass of the finest Asmestris beer, and instead of talking about Central's going-ons, they can talk about the past.
Mustang can say something like, You were such an ass as a lieutenant.
Hughes can be all indignant and say, You just got off lucky not ever being one.
Mustang can snicker and point out that, There was that time that Major Roberts nearly kicked you out of Intelligence for correcting him all the time.
Hughes can give derisive snort and say, Roberts was a prick.
Mustang can laugh and agree.
They can walk off into the dark night discussing Roberts over compensation issues, their bodies a little too close together. But that could just be the alcohol.
5. In fascination
Maes likes to watch people. Not in a voyeuristic way, not really. He just likes their quirks, their little habits. The things they do unconsciously.
Kimbley would trace the alchemical symbols on his hands when he was feeling particularly bored or narcissistic that day.
Hawkeye always removes the jacket of her uniform before she practices her aim on the firing range.
Haruko will clasp his hands behind his back whenever he's preparing to kiss the Fuhrer's ass.
Seska likes to fiddle with the edges of the pages of the books she read.
Armstrong doesn't have any small quirks.
He's picked up nearly all of Roy's by now. The way he'll lean back and cross his legs when something's gone precisely as planned. The way he'll place his left hand into his pocket and never ever ever put his right one in. The way he'll lean over his desk and put his elbows on the table when he's feeling especially aggravated.
He's seen parts of Roy's body language disappear or change. Roy used to scratch his ear when he felt excited or nervous. He used to kick rocks for the hell of it. He used to always eat the meat first then start on the other parts of the meal.
Maes collects these little things like pocket change. Each useful in their own way.
6. To sing an enchanting song
"ON top of OLD smoKEY..." Maes warbled. He hugged Alicia to his chest. She gurgled.
"For the love of God, Hughes," Roy said, "stop singing." Maes contemplated kicking the whiner out of his house. No, bad idea. Roy did seem a bit worn out, but it was still his fault for coming here.
"If you can't handle singing, you should probably go home and get a little sleep." Maes bounced Alicia on his knee. She seemed to like it. A huge smile appeared on her face.
"It's not the singing. It's you singing." Roy was slumped on the chair, and his hair was falling into his eyes. Maes was tempted to brush it away, but this wasn't the time. He had an armful of baby.
"Hate to break it to you, Mustang, but you're not any better."
"I'm plenty better."
Maes held back the grin as much as he could, but the edges still shone through. "I'd like to see you try."
Roy never could resist a direct challenge. Maes knew he probably should be using his knowledge for good and not evil.
"Old McDonald had a farm..." Roy began. It was somewhat low and mumbly. Even a challenge could pull Roy out of his childhood discomfort with singing.
Alicia interrupted with a laugh that was probably more like a gurgle, but Maes never passed up an opportunity to rile Roy up.
"See? Alicia finds your singing amusing, and she's the best judge of character I've ever seen."
Maes pretends not to hear Roy mumble something about her running away as soon as she gets old enough.
7. In the middle of reading
Surveillance is some of the dullest work in the world. Luckily Maes managed to get Roy to help out. Misery love company and all that jazz.
It's tough, though, sitting around being bored all the time. There's a war waging between the moments when something interesting happens and the things that occupy the time between them.
Roy brought a book with him today. Principles of Air Alchemy and Practical Usage as far as Maes can tell. He peers through the telescope as General Kelly gets the morning paper. Blah, blah, blah.
He wishes he had something to do. Behind him, a clock ticks away.
His orders were to make sure that Kelly wasn't attempting any funny business toward the Fuhrer, and so far he thinks the brass are just being paranoid. Assholes.
He can hear the scratching of a pen behind him. Roy taking notes, probably. The State Alchemist test isn't easy by any standards. Maes thinks Roy's becoming a little obsessive about this. There's absolutely no reason for him to prove himself in this way.
Your head hurts after staring through a lens for too long.
"Hey, Roy! Get over here!"
Roy holds up a finger and continues to write. When he finishes, he looks up. "What?"
"Can you stare at Kelly's wife for the next hour? My back hurts."
Roy glares. And glares. And glares.
"Fine," he snarls after a minute of Maes' most innocent and charming look. "But not one picture and I get to top tonight."
8. A cold warmth
Autumn comes soon after summer. The leaves turn orange and red and yellow, causing everything to glow. The days grown shorter, and a certain melancholy hangs over the entire city.
Roy doesn't understand it, really. Sure, the days are getting shorter, the wind cooler. There's a sense of finality to it all, but Roy likes it.
Maes seems more at ease in autumn than at any other time. His easy-going cheerfulness a great contrast to the larger coats and cooler weather.
They walk together amongst the leaves in their black wool jackets. Talk turns to nothing, because it would otherwise distract them from the leaves that surround them.
Autumn is the world in transition from summer to winter, and Roy can't help but feel that they are, too. Things are getting more and more dangerous as they move up, on every level. They probably have enemies they don't even know about. But here, now, he doesn't think about that.
These are the only times Roy notices the world for how beautiful it can be. Sure, green grass and tall, stately trees have their own beauty, but it can't compete with the fiery colors of dying leaves.
Maes smiles and it's just cold enough to see his breath. His cheeks have turned a bit rosy. Roy almost wants to kiss him, but this a public park.
When they get back to Roy's apartment, Maes holds Roy's face in his hands, and they're cold. Like ice, really.
It's hot and cold at the same time. Maes' lips are cool, but his tongue burns and scalds the inside of Roy's mouth. The strangeness of autumn still clings to them from outside. That combination of golden colors and crisp wind. Roy loves that feeling and wishes that it would last forever.
9. Across the distance of the telephone
"Have you heard? Alicia can crawl now!"
"I mean, isn't that the cutest thing you've ever heard of?"
"At this rate, she'll be walking in a few months. She's such a prodigy."
"Right. Enough of that. Calm down, Mustang. You're going to give yourself a migraine at that rate."
"You're going to give me a migraine."
"Oh, Roy. You say the sweetest things."
"I'm sure you don't want to know what Haruko's been up to, then."
"What's he been doing now?"
"There's plans to send troops East. Watch out for that."
"Look, Maes...Thank you."
"Love you too, Roy."
10. The words I want to tell you
There are things they don't talk about. Things that could possibly break through this little area of unreality around them. Things that could make this real, and not just a figment of Roy's half deranged imagination.
Roy doesn't mind, really. It makes it easier for him to walk out of these little bubbles of time with his denial intact. Outside, Maes is just his best friend and co-conspirator. Married and happy with one kid.
Here, things are a little different. Here, Maes doesn't say,this is wrong. we can't keep doing this. and Roy doesn't ask, why?
Roy sometimes will try. He'll open his mouth to say something, but Maes will swallow any of the words with his mouth, and anything Roy meant to say will slip his mind. Whenever Maes looks pained with guilt and confusion, Roy will shove him against a wall or onto the bed and nibble at his throat until he groans softly. There's little noise, and less eye contact.
They don't talk at all, for their own protection. Silence is a necessary part of its survival.
If they don't talk, it isn't real.