Two to be Steady – Part Five

How Roy and Hughes might have met and become friends. The starting thought was How did Roy get to be like that? Hughes seemed a reasonable answer. Drama With Occasional Porn, I-3, spoilers eps 3 and 15.

Character(s): Maas Hughes, Roy Mustang
Pairing(s): Hughes/Roy

Today it was Maas’ turn to wander aimlessly around the offices while he waited for Roy to get back. He supposed it was only fair for the boredom to be shared both ways, and he had to admit that his fidgeting was less volatile than Roy’s was these days, but that didn’t make the wait any less annoying.

Of course, it was probably just as well for the rest of the world that he and Roy had only ever been sent on the same assignment once. It had been great fun; Roy loosened up considerably once away from Central, and Maas had the pictures to prove it. But the incident with the case of beer, the General’s boots, the mess tent and the two cans of red paint had apparently convinced their superiors that Hughes and Mustang should be assigned separately in the future.

At least he could be reasonably well assured that his friend had good back up while he was away. Roy had been given command of a unit for his assignment, and accordingly had also attached an aide. A quick chat with her last Sergeant had assured Maas that Second Lieutenant Lisa Hawkeye was as competent as they came. Sergeant Morrow, whose kindest term for Second Lieutenants was usually “baggage”, had nearly gushed over her.

Fortunately, before Maas’ fidgeting devolved into writing graffiti on the bulletin boards, his ear detected the return of Roy and his new aide both.

“…see that the liaison gets a copy of the report, too.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Maas narrowed his eyes when he actually saw Roy’s face. It was absolutely expressionless. Roy passed him and continued into his office with a nod and a brief, “Hughes.”

What the hell happened out there? Maas shot a glance at Hawkeye, who was frowning faintly.

“I’ll copy it and pass it along to you, then,” Roy said to the air, his back to them.

“I can take care of that, Sir.”

Roy shook his head. “No, I’ll do it.”

This seemed to be some kind of last straw for Hawkeye and she turned to Maas. “Hughes-taii, Mustang-junsa needs to stop and get some rest. Do something about this, if you please,” she told him crisply.

Now Roy had an expression. Astonished. Maas had a feeling his wasn’t far behind.

Hawkeye gestured sharply, as if to brush the surprise away. “You’re the only one in this city he actually listens to. Now.”

Maas shook off his amazement and grinned at Roy. “You heard the lady.”

Hawkeye held out a hand for the folders Roy still carried. “I’ll take care of it, sir,” she repeated more softly.

A tiny, wry smile crossed Roy’s face. “Of course, Shoui.” He passed over the paperwork and turned for the door.

Maas, following him out, offered Hawkeye a casual salute behind his back. “Observant, that one,” he remarked to Roy as they made their way to the officers’ dormitory.


Maas was frowning himself, now, but didn’t press yet. Instead he kept up a one-sided stream of the latest headquarters gossip until they reached Roy’s room.

“All right, Roy, what happened?” he demanded as soon as the door was shut.


Roy stood in the middle of his room, staring at empty air. Maas’ mouth tightened. Something had struck one of Roy’s fault lines, and he didn’t have many that would cause a reaction like this. Killing the unarmed was one. Dealing with Gran was the other. To the best of Maas’ knowledge Gran had been completely uninvolved with this assignment, but maybe…

And then he took Roy’s arm to turn him around and revised his opinion.

Tremors were running through the whole of Roy’s body, sharp, uneven. His expression was edgy, brittle. He looked as if one blow would shatter him. Maas hadn’t seen him like this since the night they’d finally had all the secrets out. This was stress, not guilt.

“When they looked at me… they were so afraid… I could taste it…” Roy’s voice was thin, and Maas wasn’t sure his eyes saw what was in front of him.

“You can’t avoid it,” Maas told him as gently as he could. “When civilians see…”

My own men!

Oh, damn. Maas had actually been tracking the increasing alarm among the soldiers regarding Roy and his power, but it was holding fairly steady for now at the “cross him and you’re toast” level. He hadn’t expected that to have such a severe effect on Roy, but looking back on it he realized he should have. Roy took a certain savage enjoyment in making the senior officers scared of him, but this, Maas finally understood, must be included in Roy’s motto and first law.

I need to not become one of them.

And he’d been away from headquarters, with no one to say this to or get reassurance from. The first sting had obviously festered for his brooding on it. Fortunately, it didn’t take all that much to bring Roy out of these moments; logic was usually enough.

“Roy, it will be all right,” he soothed. “You can change this if you need to.”

Well, at least that had gotten Roy to focus on him. Maas tugged him down to sit on the edge of the bed, a little afraid that his friend was going to fall if that shaking kept up. “Listen,” he said reasonably, “You’ve spent well over a year cultivating the appearance of a really dangerous bastard. So it had some side effects you didn’t expect. But not everywhere. That second of yours sure isn’t afraid of you, is she?”

That actually got a short laugh. “No,” Roy agreed.

“So there’s your starting point. She’s your aide. The longer she’s with you, the more the men under your command will take their cue from her. You worry too much.”

That got a longer laugh, albeit faintly tinged with what Maas pegged as slightly hysterical relief. At least the shaking had stopped, though it seemed to have left Roy a bit wrung out by the way he flopped back across the bed.

Yet another crisis averted, Maas congratulated himself. Really, Roy was way too high strung to be allowed to run around without a keeper. Nice that Maas seemed to have been gifted with an ally who thought the same thing; he’d really have to have a chat over coffee with that Hawkeye-shoui sometime soon. Roy was taking so much on himself that the only real surprise was that he hadn’t completely snapped long since. At least he had unwound for now, even if he did do it more abruptly than seemed advisable.

“Maas, can I ask you for a favor?”

Maas snorted. “That depends entirely on the favor.”

Roy’s smile was languid, his eyes just a touch hazy.

“Make love to me?”

Maas felt a smile curve his own lips. He very much enjoyed Roy in this mood. When he truly relaxed, all of Roy’s incredible focus spread out into a tangible appreciation of his senses and surroundings. It didn’t happen often, which was a shame because Roy was clearly a born sensualist.

Maas leaned over Roy on one arm, trailing his fingers along Roy’s jaw. Roy sighed, tilted his head back, and Maas kissed down his throat before searching out his mouth.

Roy stretched and shivered under his hands as they slid over Roy’s increasingly bared skin, arching into each touch. His complete responsiveness when he was like this, his total abandon, affected Maas strangely. The soft, breathless sounds Roy made when Maas kissed the hollow of his shoulder or lightly bit the inside of his thigh called up in Maas protectiveness to match his desire.

When he finally settled between Roy’s legs Roy was panting, trembling again though with a very different tension now. Roy’s body opened for him, and the heat of it cut Maas’ breath into quick gasps. They moved against each other hard, wild, moans and soft pleas twining around each other as tightly as their bodies until the tightness broke and exploded outward.

Even as they lay and recovered Maas found himself still tracing his fingers over Roy’s shoulders and cheekbones, kissing him slowly. Roy turned into him, answering with equal leisure, flushed and undone, all but purring.

“You know, don’t you,” Maas murmured to him, “that you’re going to addict whatever poor lovers you let see you like this.”

Roy’s eyes darkened just a bit. “There isn’t anyone but you I trust like this,” he pointed out.

Maas kissed him again. “There will be.” And again when it looked like Roy would protest. “They won’t be me, no. But they will be themselves.”

Roy’s eyes were unreadable now, but he seemed to accept that and settled against Maas’ shoulder.