Colonel Mustang and Lieutenant Hawkeye have their routines at night as well as during the day. RoyxRiza.
They had late nights at the office, with stacks of paperwork substituting for bouquets of flowers. They read out orders and assignments instead of endearments. They went through the names of the wounded and the dead where other couples would have sung love songs.
Mustang would hurry to finish at first, impatient to take off into the twilight, but as the night deepened, he'd fall into the rhythm of things. He sat at his desk, his expression going more and more withdrawn as he sank deeper into the paper snares of the military.
Hawkeye never hurried and never dawdled. She did the work as it came, sitting down only when her legs grew too tired to support her. But now and then she would look up and watch her Colonel's face, study the thoughtful slant of his eyes, the weary lines threatening the corners of his mouth. If she had needed justification for all of it, which she did not, those moments would have made it all worth it.
By the time Mustang left--and he always left first, except when she was driving him home--the streets were empty. He pushed the stacks of paperwork to the side (and sometimes they would topple, but he would be too tired to care, and so she would spend another half an hour picking them up and putting them back in order) and stood. Then he picked up his coat and started for the door.
This was when other couples would kiss each other good night, blush, and shyly retreat into the safety of their homes.
He said, "Good night, Lieutenant." Sometimes he said, "Get some sleep, Lieutenant." And sometimes, very rarely, his dark eyes paused on hers before he left.
And then there were the nights when she drove him home. She never went inside his apartment, merely let him off there and watched him go. He had never gone into her apartment, either.
They were soldiers, and there were boundaries that had to be maintained. Hawkeye did not just believe this; she believed in it.
But there were some nights when he fell asleep in the car, and once, she had trouble waking him up. She shook his shoulder, spoke to him sharply, and he merely muttered petulantly and half-opened sleepy eyes.
She had already pulled over in front of the apartment building. She didn't have much choice. She got out of the car and opened the door on his side, then took hold of both his arms and pulled him out. She slipped an arm under his and started walking him toward the building.
She was not a large woman, but she was stronger than she looked. She guided his stumbling feet past the fence that marked off the small yard (not thinking about how she had never crossed that boundary before) and through the doors, then up the stairs. That gave her enough time to get over her qualms about taking his keys and using them to unlock his door. Which was good. Otherwise, she might have hesitated.
She put the keys back in his pocket when she was done, very carefully, and opened the door. Part of her wanted to just push him in and walk away. Let some lines remain uncrossed. That's what lines were for.
But now he had fallen asleep on her shoulder. His fine hair tickled her throat. She would do what she had to do.
His apartment was small and without much personality--although there was some. She tried to look away from the little black books, but that brought her gaze to the faded pictures tacked to the wall, and that was worse.
So she looked down, and that showed her a perfectly normal rug, until she got to the edge of it, and then she saw faded red stains of uncomfortable alchemical patterns.
So she looked straight ahead, because she was a soldier, and she did not flinch as she laid Mustang out on his bed.
There was a fine layer of dust on the sheets which she didn't notice until she put him down. She wished she'd paid more attention; she would have brushed it off first if she'd seen it.
His booted feet dangled off the side of the bed. She carefully removed the boots and set them down by the door of the bedroom, then moved his legs back onto the bed.
He stirred, and now one hand hung over the side. She looked at it, for a moment not sure what to do. Then she reached out to move his arm back to his side.
She should never have taken hold of his hand like that, she realized immediately. It tensed around hers. In his sleep, he sought comfort, sought contact. His fingers brushed her palm.
She quickly pushed his hand and arm back onto the bed, but maybe she leaned a little too far over him as she did so, and she saw that his mouth was slightly open. For some reason it made her wonder what it would be like to kiss him.
She had never taken off her coat while in his apartment, so it was easy for her to hurry out the door again. She was grateful for that.