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and we're here with our stars out

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You're still bloody from last year's war

Your bandages, your bullet holes like mine

And I'm here with my stars out

You say you're scared, well so am I

“Last Year’s War” – Sarah Slean

 

 

— § —

 

 

                It’s two AM in what’s left of the Amestrian capital, and Riza Hawkeye is far from slumber.  She’s wide-eyed and weary and there hasn’t been sleep in the corners of her pillow for weeks.  A cup of tea in her hands and an open window and all she can see is the night and stars; damned things don’t do anything for her health but she can’t seem to stop looking anyway.  Maybe it’s the vastness, the twinkles like fireflies, hell, maybe it’s just that she doesn’t have to look at the destroyed axis of her country’s entire foundation if all she does is look up.

 

                (But she can still see it in the curve of her peripheral vision, the jagged edges of the crumbling building that cut into the atmosphere like broken bone, a break she helped to begin and continue and now the damage has been done and there’s no turning back. )

 

                Up; it’s where she’s supposed to look, towards the heavens that her lifetime has proved don’t exist, towards the uprising that tilts her head high and points her gun forward; that damned direction that gives her stars at night and the sun at midday and why does it give her both black and white when it’s hard enough to look at grey?  Grey is rainfall and uselessness and all the lines she doesn’t know how to cross but can’t bring herself to move from.  Grey is the singularity in which she stands, the area between what she should do and what she can’t bring herself to and all the calms before the storms she can’t stop. 

 

                (And maybe it’s not that she can’t stop them, only that the silence after the storm is simply the calm before the next and there is no rest, there is no pause because as soon as the river of blood slows from one typhoon, another propels it to rage again; Riza Hawkeye is only human after all, her bullets can’t dam a flood they helped to start but by God her feet can wade her through to the end.)

 

                The crisp rustle of cotton nudges her ears and she turns, the smallest of smiles penned across her face; the visitor to her sheets lays sound asleep and silent, in painful contrast to her cooling tea and wired eyes.  She sighs.

 

                                Roy Mustang will always be the cutest damn thing in existence, at least when he’s sleeping.

 

                Riza finishes off the tea like a drunkard’s last drop of whiskey (and boy could she kill for some now, there’s not enough therapy in the world that’ll help her hack it faster than man’s most fundamental ally).  Setting the porcelain on the nightstand, she sits on the edge of the bed, her white robe falling to meld with the sheets and she watches her Colonel with the eyes of her namesake.  A hand runs through his hair, baby-soft, liquid midnight in her fingers and honey in her palm.  His face is buried in the tattered pillow and his shoulders rise and fall with his breath; her hand moves from his hair to beneath the collar of the dress shirt he was barely awake enough to unbutton, and she feels the sharp slope of his collarbone beneath her calloused fingers.  Her hand moves beneath his chin, memorizing the patterns of his face in the dark: the arch of his cheek, the straight line of his nose, the curve of his eyebrow until her hand settles on the part of himself he won’t let her touch when he’s awake, but he’s asleep now and she knows through trial-and-error familiarity how not to wake him.

 

                His blind eyes are dormant under her palm, seeing forever but only unto darkness (the waters of nothingness and he can only hold his breath for so long before he’s gone.)

 

                                (But she is Riza Hawkeye, his confidante, steadfast; she’s already vowed to be his breath until he finds his way to the surface, even if it means she runs out of air for herself.  One of them must make it to the top, and she knows she’s not made for glory. )

 

                And she’s been ordered not to die.  So she will be his vision, for what better sight to have than the Eyes of the Hawk?  It’s not because she’s fulsome, but her eyes and her guns are her greatest weapons and by God she will have them used by the one man whom she knows can shoot for the moon without forgetting where the bullet will land.

 

                Her musings are disturbed by her Colonel’s movements, and she moves her hand back to her lap.  Roy’s sightless eyes open slowly, focused on nothing but Riza still can’t help but wonder if they have some kind of functioning ability because even though he can’t see where he’s looking, he always seems to be looking straight at her. 

 

                “Riza,” he speaks her name like a prayer, familiar like whispered sweet nothings on the curve of her shoulder when they’re alone and she starts when his hand touches the part of her leg not covered by her snow-white cotton.  Even his pyrotex gloves are still on and she sees just how exhausted he really is; the ignition cloth tingles against her skin and she wonders for a brief moment if they feel that way on the inside as well as she touches her hand to his in response. His voice interrupts her thoughts again, low and throaty from dog-tired slumber.

 

                “Riza, what are you doing still awake? I may be blind, but even I know I haven’t been asleep an entire night,” he says to her, and he stretches his arms to the ceiling, cat-like and languid. “I sure as hell don’t feel like I have, at least.”  She smiles at his words, and looks over at the wind-up clock on her nightstand.

 

                “It’s quarter after two in the morning, Roy,” she says softly, his first name like sugar on her tongue because she can’t use it as often as she’d like to.  He groans low in his throat, and she smiles to herself yet again.

 

                “The one night where I don’t have to worry about waking up and overthrowing Bradley or saving the country and I still can’t sleep through until morning,” he growls, and this time her smile translates into laughter.  Roy’s face turns toward his Lieutenant’s and she knows he’s following the sound of her laugh, but his unfocused eyes are drilling holes into her own and she wonders if she’ll ever get used to it. 

 

                “Also the one night you don’t have to worry about not being able to sleep through until the morning,” she replies, stroking her fingers down the line of his jaw and the curve of his neck between his collarbones.  His gloved left hand rises to meet hers and the both of them pause over his chest (feeling his heart and it’s like the pounding of the drums of war, strong and steady but this is a battle they’ve already won and all that’s left is to know that they’re both alive. ) Roy is halfway on his back at this point, and his other hand reaches blindly for her shoulder but ends up on her chest and he curses under his breath, red like strawberry wine splashing over his face in the moonlight; Riza lets out another laugh at how even blind he can tell he’s missed his target, and she moves his hand to her shoulder.

 

                “I’m going to assume you wanted your hand to go here,” she says slyly, tease dripping from her tongue like honey, “but if not, you can just tell me,” she finishes, and Roy’s fingers twitch in response and she can make out the hungry gleam in his unseeing eyes. 

 

                “You’re right that I was aiming for your shoulder, but I’m going to assume that you’d instead rather my hand go here,” and he emphasizes the word by pushing his hand back down to the fuzzy cotton covering his Lieutenant’s chest. 

 

                “You know what assuming does, but I guess I’ll take pity on you for now,” she jokes, rolling her eyes even though the effect is lost on him because he can’t see it.  She moves from the edge of the bed, getting up and making her way towards her closet.

 

                “Where are you going, Riza?” Roy asks, and she cringes at the slight tone of fear that slides along her ears; now that he can’t see, she knows he’s afraid of being left alone, he can’t navigate anywhere he doesn’t know even if he tries his hardest and quite frankly, he’s damn near helpless without someone there for him.  A little bit of her breaks inside because of this fact, but she’s not leaving the room so she puts his fears to rest.

 

                “I’m just going to my closet Roy, I’m still right here,” she says soothingly, and her Colonel’s sigh of relief is barely audible but she knows it’s there and it hurts.  She hears him sit up and when she has the few things she’s looking for she returns to her place by his side.

 

                “What do you need from there?” he asks, and for once she’s glad he can’t see her because she’d have a real hard time surprising him if he could.  She answers him with a hand on his chest, pushing him down so that he’s lying on his back again.  She moves quickly to straddle his hips as she grabs his right wrist and ties it to one of the many bars of her headboard with a small cord of rope she owns just for occasions like this.  The look of shock is still on his face and he’s only gotten a confused “Huh?” out of his mouth before she’s on to his other wrist, repeating the procedure and then leaning back on his hips to check her handiwork.

 

                “R-Riza, what are you—” he stutters (one of his most adorable qualities, she thinks bemusedly), and she puts a finger over his lips to silence him. 

 

                “What did I tell you about assuming, Colonel?” she smirks, hands folded across her chest and her face tilted down towards his. “Obviously you figured wrong about where I wanted your hands, so I’m demonstrating where I feel they belong,” she finishes, and Roy’s eyes simply blink dumbly in response.

 

                “I thought that would be your answer,” Riza smiles, rather new to playing the smartass but it’s a role she’s growing into very quickly, very easily, though she’d slice off her hair before she’d let Roy know it. No doubt he would make it into a competition and then she’d really have to shoot him, blind or otherwise.

 

                “Alright then, now that you have me at your mercy, Lieutenant,” and Roy tugs the ropes for good measure, noting how well she’s tied them and wondering where she practiced that particular skill, “what’re you going to do with me?”  He feels her body shift above him and it’s working wonders on his groin, but he’s not about to let her win that easily.  The next thing he feels are her hands parting the collar of his dress shirt and he shivers in anticipation; the fact that he can’t see anything she does is almost even more erotic than seeing everything she does. He knows for sure this is part of her tryst as her nails glide slowly down his chest and he draws in a sharp breath, and when she kisses him it tastes like sugar and honey and he can feel the smile spread lightning across her lips.  She breaks the kiss and runs her nails down his neck and across his collarbones, her breath hot in the place where his jaw meets his ear and he shudders, pulling unconsciously at the ropes binding his hands to her headboard.

 

                “Sensory deprivation, I’m sure you’ve heard of the concept,” she states as if she’s reciting lines from an academy textbook, “Take away one sense and the remaining ones are heightened because of the brain’s decreased energy output to the sense that’s no longer in use or working properly. No doubt Doctor Knox explained this to you and you’ve experienced this phenomenon since you’ve lost your sight, so I am merely taking advantage of this biological response,” she concludes, her professorial tone completely in contrast to the erotic atmosphere she’s spent the last five minutes creating.

 

                “So you’re exploiting the awful fact that I’m blind,” her Colonel whines, and Riza slaps a palm to her brow in annoyance.  She leans down towards his face again with an arm folded across her chest and a finger poking his forehead.

 

                “As an erotic element in our sex life, yes,” she huffs, as she remembers that she in fact did leave her holsters on her dresser and her guns unloaded (for Roy’s safety should he accidentally swipe his hand across one in an effort to figure out where he was).  “I am trying to use it in a positive manner to enhance your sexual experience and make your lack of sight feel less distressing,” she finishes exasperatedly, wondering why she even bothered explaining when she could’ve just continued with her erotic torture and he’d have forgotten the whole matter entirely.

 

                “Seeing as that’s a damn good reason, do continue,” Roy smirks, bucking his hips into his Lieutenant’s and mentally begging her to do her worst.  He hears her laugh as she presses her lips to his again, grinning against his mouth.

 

                “And seeing as you’re getting laid, you have no reason to complain,” she simpers, and Roy gives her an approving purr in response.  He mentally curses the fact that he didn’t undress himself more before he fell asleep, but Riza’s earlier comments about eroticism and sexual experiences and the fact that her rough fingers are pushing his dress shirt open even more are quickly proving him wrong.  Her work-hardened hands find their way beneath the stiff cotton and she’s massaging his chest and even though he can’t see it her touch is like electricity through his nerves, sparks beneath his skin and he knows she’s dangerous with that kind of fire in ways his alchemy will never be.

 

                (It’s a purging, a cleansing, a scalding they’d both kill for and could kill themselves with if they’re not careful, but Riza Hawkeye has carried the secrets of fire on her back and Roy Mustang has felt the burn of ignition for so long that they know it’s impossible to hurt themselves with something so familiar, so unholy, so deeply ingrained.)

 

                Her nails trace lightning across his collarbones and down his stomach and he can’t help but grind his hips into hers as his breath and control decide to abandon him (in his hour of need and dear god oh how he needs her).  Her lips crush against his and he moans desperately into her mouth, saying with gasps and hitched breaths what he can’t with the words he’s too tilted to put together.  Her mouth moves torturously slow down the line of his jaw and to the crook of his neck, a hot spot that sends him into a tempest of lust every time and he groans her name in the back of his throat; he’s damning the ropes that have him tied and loving it all the same, because he can’t see where she’s looking and can’t tell where she’s going to touch and kiss next—

 

                He groans in frustration as she flips a leg over to get off of him, mentally begging her to continue because holy fucking shit he could get used to this kind of sex. He doesn’t hear anything but his own labored breaths and the soft crinkle of cotton as she fiddles with something on the sheets next to him and he wonders just what the fuck would make her stop such amazing foreplay as that.

 

                “R-Ri-Riza, w-why’d you–aughh” and she doesn’t allow him to finish because she’s swinging herself over him again and down onto his hips and it’s a heat like madness; before he knows it, a fabric that’s cool and liquid-soft is flowing over his neck and chest and trickling down to where his military skirt-coat and pants meet his skin and fucking hell does it feel good.  Roy has no idea what she’s got up her sleeve but he doesn’t want her to stop; he decides she can keep going all night and he could die a happy man after this night is over.

 

                “Riza, God what is th–ohh yes, more Riza, please,” he’s begging with every bone in his body (a sinner at her altar and he prays she’s inclined to be a merciful goddess) and he swears he’ll go mad with desire if she stops, his body can’t take much more of this and his wrists are no doubt wrung red and raw from the ropes holding him down.  He hears her laugh and the mystery fabric slides tantalizingly over him again.

 

                “A son of Xing and you don’t recognize fine Xingese silk when you feel it?” she teases, balling the material in her hands and then letting it fall over her Colonel’s torso.  His hands yank at the ropes around his wrists and Riza feels a pang of sympathy; she’d planned on teasing him with more things but considering this is the first time he’s experienced sex without his sight she knows he’s definitely on a torturous sensory overload. She can feel him hard and ready beneath her as she balls the silk and tosses it to the other side of the bed, but she’s got one more thing she wants to try and she already knows it’ll send him into hysterics.

 

                “I m-may own a few things made out of Xingese s-silk,” he pants, “but it’s b-been a while since I’ve actually h-had the ch-chance to wear them,” he offers as an explanation, and she laughs.

 

                “Mm,” she answers, and his Lieutenant leans over him, her robe open and her hair hanging smooth and guardian around his face as her fingers go for the pyrotex gloves around his hands.  He’s shocked when she pulls them off, the customary tingle of flint and ignition cloth insanely more apparent in his highly aroused state.  He figures she’s removing them so she can hopefully untie him, but her actions next have him almost screaming to God and the heavens and things he knows don’t exist but yet have to if it’s possible to feel something so fucking amazing like this.

 

                “You like?” she whispers, desire like sugar melting in her mouth and Roy wishes he still had those gloves on because by god he would be burning these damn ropes and taking her over and over again until the both of them were dog-tired and exhausted.  He had no idea she would actually take his gloves and put them on to use as another of her methods of torturing his remaining senses. The ignition cloth prickles heatedly over his skin everywhere she touches: the line of his jaw, his neck, the curve of his collarbone, the dip of his too-lean waist, beneath the band of his skirt-coat and pants

 

                “Oh God Riza, pl-please, I n-need–aughh,” his throat is dry and his voice rough, he can barely get his entire sentence out and the only reason he does is because his Lieutenant stops her tantalizing torture with his gloves so that he can think enough to speak, “I will make this a-an order if I have to, fucking hell, j-just untie me, please,” he manages to say, begging and pleading and this is exactly how Riza likes her Colonel.  She removes his gloves swiftly, tossing them onto the pile of silk on the opposite side of the bed. Her hands go straight for the ropes holding him down and he’s thanking a god he doesn’t believe in that she’s really doing it, and when both bonds are released and in the same pile as the silk and gloves he grabs her hips and crushes her lower body against him, reveling in how soft she is and wanting her to feel how hard she’s made him, how much he needs her body like his fire needs oxygen.

 

(And that’s not the only thing short of air right now as he throws his head back into her pillow and grinds his hips against hers; his body is telling him he’s about to shatter but he’s not going down unless he’s taking her with him)

 

                With a growl low in his throat Roy sits up and flips her onto her back, jerking his lower body into hers and kissing her senseless, with one hand fisted in her hair and the other maneuvering the white cotton off of her body as fast as he can manage without harming the bandages at her throat.  When the both of them finally succeed in getting it off and onto the floor somewhere, his hand goes straight for her underwear, pulling them off with her help before discarding them in some corner of the room.  He can tell how much she really liked playing with his senses because of how warm and wet she is already, and he’s got three fingers inside of her in no time and she’s making beautiful noises herself and raking her hands through his hair; her back arches beneath him, cat-like and languid and she’s damn near purring for him as he brushes his thumb over the sweet spot between her legs that always makes her scream for him. 

 

He doesn’t need his sight for any of this because he’s had her body memorized forever (Roy doesn’t need his eyes to read a map his fingers and hands have already written in the countless dark nights they’ve done this before).  He can feel Riza clenching and tight around him but he’s not going to let her go that way; she gasps in frustration when his fingers find their way to her hair and he’s kissing her with all the ravenous hunger he can. He pulls her hand to the band of his skirt-coat and pants and forces her to feel just exactly what she’s done to him; he moans huskily into her hair as her hands go straight for the button at his waist, yanking the layers of cloth from his hips and sending them to join the various other articles of clothing scattered around the tiny room.  He pulls his dress shirt off in no time and tosses it behind him; his hands are at her hips and his lips are on hers as she guides him into her, ever grateful that Riza keeps track of her cycle so well because they wouldn’t be doing this if she didn’t. 

 

It’s like fire and truth and desire and the rush of alchemic transmutation all in one, and it’s only now that Roy really figures out just how much he liked being helpless under his Lieutenant’s whimsy.  Her nails run rapid-fire over his back and through his midnight-colored hair as the both of them move, never getting enough of each other, closer and apart and closer again, reaching for something not quite between them but not quite within them; her Colonel’s lips are at her mouth as one of his hands moves between them, rubbing against her clit and it’s only a matter of time before he has her screaming for him, his name hitching in her throat and the both of them are so damn close

 

                He may be blind, but Roy swears his vision goes white as all of his pent-up desire and lust is snapped in a single blissful instant, and he’s sent over the edge when Riza gasps his name into his shoulder, and she’s tighter around him and more beautiful than ever and the both of them are splintered like diamonds across her bed. 

 

                (They’re broken and shattered and a clean break always heals better than a jagged one; they know they’re on their way to recovery and if all it takes is admitting to being broken before they’ll gladly lie in pieces until the cosmos have stopped spinning and they can begin to pick themselves up again.)

 

                Roy still hasn’t regained his breath or his foothold on reality, but he pulls Riza tightly to him and she throws an arm around his neck, her lips finding his in a kiss much gentler than before. 

 

                And she’s glad she opened the window; even though Roy can’t see it, the first rays of morning have begun to peek through the sky.  It’s the dawning of a new era, she knows, and she’ll make sure the both of them are ready for it.