Roy: "Why in the hell are you avoiding me, Fullmetal?" I demanded, glaring at him from behind my desk. As I continued to glare at him intently, I watched his adam's apple bob up and down in his throat. "I'm not avoiding you, Mustang. Avoiding you would mean failing to show for reports or mission briefings, neither of which have I done." Fine. If he wanted to be all technical about it, I supposed he was correct. He wasn't avoiding me, per say, so much as avoiding any circumstance that would leave him alone with me. After three months of this behavior, even Havoc was noticing something wasn't right. I may have made the decision to love him in silence, but this… this was ridiculous. I had no idea what was going on in his head, but enough was enough! The things I'd thought I'd be preserving by not telling him how I felt about him were going up in smoke, anyway, and I couldn't see any way to stop it if her wouldn't even talk to me! "If you called me in here to ask that question, then I'm going home, Mustang. Have a nice weekend." He was already off the couch and three foot from the door before I could blink. Have a nice life, was what I heard. It was the same tone of voice, the emphasis was on the same syllables. "Sit down, Fullmetal," I spat, snapping my gloved fingers as if summoning a flame to show him just how angry I was. The flame flickered to life quickly enough, eagerly drinking of the oxygen in the room like a famished man. I didn't like being dismissed so easily by anyone, let alone by him, the object of my desire for such a long time. It hurt that it was so easy for him to walk away from me, for him to turn his back on me, for him to ignore me as though I were nothing more than an annoying insect. Even Edward Elric knew better than to ignore that tone. When he turned around and glimpsed the flame growing in my hand, I watched those honey-gold eyes widen slightly and his hands began to tremble against his stationary thighs. He knew what the fire meant –there was no way that he didn't know, not with how long I'd been his CO, not with how angry he used to make me just because he could. As he walked back toward the couch, I studied him intently. His gate was just as fluid and sensuous as ever, but each footstep was measured, precise. For once in his life, Edward actually recognized a situation in which he needed to tread lightly. "Anything else, Mustang?" he inquired sarcastically as he dropped down onto the couch. Alright, fine. Now he was going out of his way to provoke me. For a genius, there were some things he was pretty stupid about, and knowing when to push and when to comply was definitely one of them. I stared head on into those golden eyes and repeated my question. "Why are you avoiding me?" Opening my hand wider and splaying my fingers, I allowed the flame to enlarge further. It might have been because I was staring into his eyes as if they would be able to tell me something, but this time my inquiry was met with a rich blush and an answering unflinching stare. "It's none of your damn business, Colonel. Is that all?" Closing my eyes, I counted to ten. Backwards. In German. I released a sigh when I realized it wasn't working: I wasn't getting any less angry. Next up were deep soothing breaths. Instead of the usual technique, I inhaled deeply once and held it. Silently, I tried to feed all of my anger into the flame to be eaten up and consumed. When I exhaled and opened my eyes, I felt a bit better. "I want to know why, Elric." No, something in my mind taunted cruelly, you need to know. Losing the attention of a single child has reduced you to almost begging for answers. How pathetic. "I'm not going to tell you, Bastard, so you can go straight to hell," he returned evenly. It never ceased to amaze me that he would resort to some of the most childish tactics when he wanted out of something. Then again, it never stopped stunning me just how much it hurt each time he told me to go to hell. Hm. Should I tell him I'm already in it? That he should stop saying such a useless phrase because he already put me there? I wondered almost absently. By this point, the flame I'd tried to feed my anger overwhelmed my hand in size –it was still in a contained shape, still bound by my will. I allowed my eyes to stray back to his face, noting that he worried his lower lip between his teeth. I repeated my inquiry. "Why are you avoiding me, Edward?" My voice came out soft, almost timid. I hated that I wanted to know while at the same time, I was scared of whatever truth might slip past his lips. I hated that he had so much control over me. No one had ever had so much control over me, because I'd never let them. But Ed… he just snuck in past my guard, and I was something ten times worse than wrapped around his little finger. I hate how easily he can destroy my cool. One little look, one cocky statement, one terse report and I'm so inflamed that I can't control my emotions at all! I wanted to shake my head. I'd decided to love in silence, and it hurt. How was it that maintaining the silence hurt so much more than rejection? Or maybe the pain I was going through was because he was rejecting me, without even knowing how I felt. What did I gain by choosing silence?
Edward: Oh fuck, he's pissed! If there was a relationship between his rage and the size of the flame in his hand… Well, I wanted to know just how screwed I was if that was the case. I did three quick calculations in my head. Sucking in a breath, I decided that it would be best if his rage was inversely proportional to the flame for the time being, but in all actuality, it was more likely to be directly proportional. All calculations aside, I had no doubt that I would be toast –or perhaps a charcoal briquette– if I chose to keep the reason hidden from him any longer. And, much as he did look like an idiot child next to me when it came to alchemy, he tended to make me look like the idiot child when it came to deductive reasons in relation to people and long term planning. Unfortunately for me, he was not going to miss the 'coincidence' in the timing. I was surprise he hadn't picked up on it yet, actually. Those obsidian eyes widened slightly and the flame shrunk to the size of a small marble in a matter of moments. "Three months… Edward, did I… did I do something… inappropriate… three months ago?" I hated the look that crept into his eyes when he thought about Ishval. It put distance between us and glimmered sadly, as though to show only a mere fraction of the melancholy and guilt that consumed him at points. You just put a ton of distance between you, the voice in my head told me conversationally. Yes, I snipped back in reply. Hence me hating myself. I couldn't let him leap to horrific conclusions while I simply stewed things over in my mind. I swallowed hard. "No. You didn't do anything wrong." Some would consider that a lie. After all, he had come on to me and had sex with me. Yet I believed the blame lay heavily on my shoulders. I'd known he was drunk, that he was just reaching out for the nearest body, that he just needed to drown the pain away for the night. It was my thoughts, my actions, my poor judgment which continued to trouble me so. I had taken advantage of him. He turned to me when he was vulnerable, and I took advantage of him, Though advantages were obviously taken on both sides, I was the sober one. I was the one who knew exactly what I was doing. "Then why, Ed?" He looked so sad, I realized. But why should he be so saddened and at the same time so enraged by me simply avoiding being alone with him? I mean, that shouldn't cause pain to anyone but me! "It's nothing. Really," I assured him, still puzzled by his reaction. "Just… don't worry about it, alright?" "It's obviously not 'nothing', Edward," he returned, arching an eyebrow as he restlessly ignited a second fire in the palm of his hand. This time I knew that the fire didn't signify anything but restlessness. Roy Mustang was, in the simplest terms, a pyromaniac. I knew him well enough to know that he lit fires when he was angry, happy, frustrated or bored, and I knew how to distinguish one fire from another. The size of the fire varied with each mood –as did the fuel for the fire– so it was the simplest gage of his emotional state. The angry fires were sizable and normally maintained in the palm of his hand despite the apparently uncontrollable size. His happy fires were smaller, more controlled, but still in the palm of his hand. Bored fires tended to consume objects –like sizable piles of paperwork, charred down to nothing more than ashes. But a restless fire… well, it was a lesser observed phenomenon. As far as I knew, they were new and pretty unique in the fact that they only occurred when I was in his office with him. They were normally more medium sized fires, always in the palm of his hand and always without any additional fuel than alchemy and oxygen. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the fact that said fires only happened near me, but I could still tell them apart from the others, so I was tentatively okay with such things. "If you continue to refuse to answer me, I will keep you in this room all weekend." The normal smirk was back in place and I wanted to wipe it off his smug face. You fucking bastard, I raged in my mind. I've barely returned from a mission! Al is waiting on me –waiting to hear how the mission went, waiting to see for himself that I'm okay. Of course, that was when I actually thought about the connotation of the words more than their effect on my plans. Oh, gods, I really don't think spending a weekend alone with him is a good idea in any universe… Molten desire pooled in my veins and my cock began to harden against the tight restraint of my leather pants. In a single instant, I was so hard that it hurt. I was torn between being thankful for my preference for leather pants because it concealed something I'd rather not show and being angry because it really freaking hurt! My restless mind wandered into the area I never wanted it to head. Sensual images flashed before my mind's eye and I wondered if there was any real way to stab it and blind it, because it certainly was not helping anything about this situation. I had to fight against my arousal, on the side of survival instincts, and hide the moan that curled up into the back of my throat and begged to be voice. I had to keep him from noticing my arousal –which was an almost impossible task, considering that this man had to know arousal better than almost anyone else, considering the amount he caused and luxuriated in. I had to hide my response to him, to his words, because I would not be able to stand it if he looked on me with disgust. So I kept it all to myself, hidden within my treacherous mind. I kept on wanting him, kept on loving him, kept on needing him –all in order to maintain the silence. Because if I broke that silence, I knew my control would shatter then and there, as well.