Prequel to Next Best Thing. His. Roy Mustang was his...
It had been an impeccable idea.
Archer adjusted his shirt cuffs, checking for wrinkles or dust, any imperfection.
He had planned it out, every motion, every expression; every panting breath had been carefully plotted, diagramed, and gone over until he was secure in its infallibility.
After all, Roy Mustang was a loner, and loners were the easiest targets. A loner with aristocratic bone structure, dark, moody eyes, and an athletic body just this side of uncomfortably thin. Roy Mustang was the perfect person to have at his side; both as a valuable ally and a lovely prize won by his skill and brilliance.
Frank Archer allowed a small smile to spread across his face. By the time they had would be approved for fieldwork he would have a stunning supporter by his side, and in his bed.
It was perfect. Every last detail of his plan was absolutely perfect.
"Flawless." He murmured to himself, smiling slyly as he slicked back his brown hair in front of the mirror in the bathroom on the second floor the academy dormitory. Of course it was, he had thought of it.
Smoothing his uniform, Archer replayed the events in his mind.
The standoffish, aloof Roy Mustang never saw it coming, and quickly succumbed to his strategic assault of sensation, an attack against for which Roy had no prepared defense. The first sign of victory, of Roy succumbing to his to sensual guerilla warfare, was a moment of rigid disbelief and stunned silence. Archer had counted on this moment and, using it to the best of his ability, was rewarded with no retaliation. He chewed almost delicately along the edge of Roy's ear, caressed inner thigh, and pressed Roy up against the sink until he knew it was biting awkwardly into Roy's back.
And then paused, listened to nothing more than the erratic stuttering of Roy's heart, the hitch in his breathing. So beautiful. So beautifully disheveled. He had caused the break in Roy Mustang's infamous calm. He had done it. No one else.
His. Roy Mustang was his...
At least that's how it would have happened if it were not for one minor hindrance.
Archer sipped almost delicately at some faucet water, and played with yet another new and interesting way to kill Maes Hughes.
Too bad someone else had eventually beaten him to it.
That insolent bastard. Those pale eyes saw too damn much, and they didn't like him, not one bit. Hughes stared at him from those impassive eyes, pointedly revealing nothing, not even a hint of the hate Archer anticipated, not an ounce of possessive jealousy. Hughes was observing him and warning Archer that he was being observed, all the while sticking to Roy's side like some insufferable, shameless whore. Touching Roy, touching his beautiful, perfect Roy...
And Roy had the gall to allow it.
Had the nerve to revel in it, rub it oh so impeccably politely in his face. Roy took the time to lean against Hughes, to brush against an arm while reaching for a book, to brush lips against Hughes' ear as he murmured some trite, affectionate little bit of drivel or another. And those dark, calmly aware eyes, would meet Archer's; hold Archer's desirous gaze and then Roy would return his attention to the plaything he was so blatantly flaunting.
It was a base betrayal, a blithe slight. And it made him furious. The cold, seething anger he was infamous for, a fury that melted seamlessly into a calculating silence. There were things that could not be tolerated. Frank Archer did not take being made a fool well.
He couldn't attack that man. An unhappy corner of his mind acknowledged taking on Hughes was biting off more than he could chew. There was a ruthless edge beneath that idiot's smile, a glint to those pale eyes that contemplated and threatened murder even as they smiled. Hughes wouldn't fight him. Archer would feel the knife in his back the instant before it killed him, and nothing more.
No...he couldn't take on Roy's current defender, and couldn't sidle in through the defenses Hughes' camaraderie seemed to be building around what had been a sensitive, baffled bit of prey.
It galled him to admit it, but he had lost his chance with Roy as soon as Maes had grinned like an imbecile and asked Roy to pass the bread. He had lost to another hunter, another who was willing to kill his way to get to the top of the food chain. Another who had seen Roy as the means.
Archer frowned, pondering the wisdom of one last attempted conversation.
Archer scrubbed a hand down his face, catching on the bristly evidence of a necessary shave.
"That's foolishness." Roy's voice had been calm, steady... "Every man may have his motive, but not all would have the same."
Archer tried to ignore the way the anger in those dark eyes made his blood roil, his cock twitch. Now was not the time...not the time to remember what that frowning mouth tasted like, what that pale skin felt like... Helpful. He was trying to help. "You must wonder why he is so attentive." Insinuation, trying to inspire caution...anything to get Roy's attention back on him, completely on him. "Surely you must have noticed..."
It was the look Roy gave him that ended it, ended anything affectionate, no matter how skewed. It was a pitying look. It warped the last bit of desire into a desire for blood, pulled polite concern into an ineffable desire to hurt. He gathered his pride around him and took a small step back. "I see." And he did. Oh, he did.
"Good day then." Roy nodded once, stiffly, as civility demanded, then turned with perfect military precision and left.
Perfect. His Roy had been perfect.
Which of course meant he needed the perfect way in which to utterly destroy him.
Giving his head a toss, letting every hair settle back into their proper places, Archer straightened, turned to leave the bathroom, and felt the stirrings of an idea as he caught sight of a familiar blond slipping in, cigarette clenched between his teeth, intent on stealing a smoke.