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Loyalty: A Royai Yuri fic

Rating: NC-17
Pairings: Mustang x Hawkeye (Mentions of past Hughes/Mustang)
Words: ~4,000
Summary: [Sequel to The Casualties.] AU, genderswitch.   Raye Mustang: War Hero, infamous lesbian, sarcasm artist, and epic fuckup.  Maes and Gracia are getting married while Raye is fighting off her own angst.  Fortunately for her, she has the best friends ever.  (And possibly a new girlfriend.) 

Thanks so much to baeckahaesten  for being my beta and for loving Raye as much as I do Riza does.  This fic contains some crappy sketches illustrations. :)

"Are you ashamed of being a soldier?"

    The question catches Raye completely off guard as she rifles through her bag.  The bride and groom have just taken off in their tulle-adorned disaster of a car, and of the meager witnesses to the official ceremony, only a handful are still in the court house.  Including this clown, she realizes as her gaze flicks up. 

    "Excuse me, Colonel?"  It's her superior, Colonel Roth, with whom she's been assigned to work on and off over the past few months.  He's a smug bureaucrat who never hit the front lines in Ishbal and one reason she's glad to be transferred.

    "Your uniform," he says, "For being a major witness in the ceremony, you're the only one here who's out of your colors."

    She laughs coolly.  Her reasons are none of his business, but talking amicably to him is hers, so she takes it in stride.

    "On the contrary, Colonel, I think black is the color I look best in.  It'd be a shame to show up in the wedding pictures looking less than ideal."

    He laughs, clapping her on the shoulder.

    "If only we had more women in power, maybe you could occupy your time by deciding the best seasonal shades for uniforms."
    She smirks while she'd much rather cringe.

    "Better yet, we might re-design them to include mini-skirts." 

    He laughs again, and his hand slides lower, settling on her hip.  A small slip and he'll be touching her ass.  Her hand still in her purse, Raye finds herself gripping her ignition gloves.

    "If only all our officers had your legs, it would be a brilliant plan," He says, "Tell me, the reception is in Magnolia park, right?  Will you be attending?"

    'Noooo, it's only my best friend's wedding.'

    "Of course."

    "Lovely.  I may have to stop by and we could have a dance to see you off before your transfer."

    'I'll show up uninvited to your personal party and hit on you right before you move out of town so you can't report it, is that what you mean to say?'

    She takes his hand off her hip, holding him gracefully by the wrist like a fairy-tale knight.  Her grip on his wrist looks delicate as can be, and still has enough pressure to leave a mark.

    "You would have to adapt to my needs for that, Colonel," she says, releasing him with a smile and sliding the strap of her purse over her shoulder, "I'm a lead, and I've never learned anything else."

    She turns and walks out of the building.

LMAO, I suck at backgrounds!  Wtf is that even a tree or-?

    The band is mediocre, and they're playing something stupidly sentimental.  Raye figures it's just her luck that she should have to make this approach to the accompaniment of 'A love long lost'.  The cliché of the situation is thick as treacle.

    "Corporal..." she says, her hands clasped behind her back as she pretends to look elsewhere - like a schoolgirl, nervous and indirect, "It has been quite some time, hasn't it?"

    Riza, damn her for being so calm, primly holds her clutch, and it's startling how low and sultry her voice seems, but more frustratingly, how casual.  Perhaps it's just been too long.

    "Nearly a year.  And please.  Riza."

    "Riza..." Raye says, ecstatic to taste the name on her tongue after years of formality, "You've been well?"  She can't think of anything more creative, more savvy to say.  With anyone else, yes- she can bring on the charm, the wit, the sly flirtation.  With Riza it's a bizarre storm of giddy infatuation, genuine worry for Riza's condition, and unwelcome ghosts of their most recent time together that ties up her words so infuriatingly.

    "I have been getting by.  But what about you, Major?"

    "Raye- is fine."

    "Raye."  It's a sigh through her painted lips.

    "It seems-" Raye stops herself; this is where she usually preens and waves her accomplishments boastfully.  It isn't that she doesn't want to impress Riza- dear God if only she knew <i>how</i>- it's that Riza now reminds her of another time.  Of another world, really, one she only shares with a rare few.  A world where the war is still real, raw and awful; where their duties can't be sincerely termed honorable. 

    Something so lovely reminding her of the ugliest things.  It's a tragedy.

    "Not a promotion, per se," she says, recovering from her brief hesitation, "A transfer, technically speaking.  To one of the southeast outskirts.  A smaller base. I'll still be Major, but with time..." her gaze flicks up, and she actually looks at Riza directly, all her damned humbling plain loveliness, and she chokes for a second, "Well, I'll have my own office and a bit more authority."

    "You've always been a good leader," Riza says.  Raye glows at the little hint of praise, but hesitates to respond to it directly.

    "You look lovely out of uniform," she says, just before realizing what it even means.  But she doesn't stumble, doesn't flinch to correct herself.  The words just came so naturally it seemed a shame to fight it, however non sequitur. "We'll have to share a dance this evening."

    Riza looks up without a hint of surprise rippling that implacably calm smile of hers.

    "I look forward to it."

    A song ends and Raye turns toward some significant motion in her periphery.

    "But if you'll excuse me," she says, "This is my chance to steal a waltz with the bride."

    "Mrs. Hughes."  It's all she needs to say with her hand extended. 

    Raye's eyes meet Maes' briefly, as he slumps into a chair beside the dance floor, and Gracia laughs under her breath, nodding, lifting her skirt with one hand and extending the other.

    It isn't the proper waltz she was hoping for, but an upbeat popular jazz song is just as good as any for this occasion.  Gracia's eyes are wide, her cheeks flushed, her hands fit wonderfully in Raye's.  Her perfume is something old-fashioned, almost like soap or baby powder.  Everything about her is there to make her seem lovely and pure, as a good bride is meant to be- naive and unspoiled.  Raye won't ever look half as perfect in a white veil.  But she isn't half as innocent.

    "I don't think there's a man alive who's as lucky as Maes is today," she says, "You look radiant."
    "He's been lucky since long before I came along," Gracia says.  They're barely eye level, Raye notices, but just different enough that Gracia has to look up, after a pensive moment, "When are you leaving?"

    "One week," says Raye, "You'll be having a lovely enough time on your honeymoon that you'll forget I'm gone.  I hear Creta has the finest wines on earth."

    "We're counting on it for when we tour the vineyards."  Gracia is silent for a moment, blinking slowly and shuffling closer to Raye, close enough to rest her chin on her shoulder, to drape her arms around her neck.

    "Maes told me," She says finally,  "About last year.  After your return."

    Raye can't hold her composure enough to resist flinching.  What can she even say to that?  On the wedding day, no less.

    "I'm sorry," is all she can manage in response and she's grateful to not to have to look her in the eye at this moment, "... when did he tell you?"

    "Right away," Gracia says softly beside her ear.

    A whole year... she knew for a whole year.  What must she have thought of her all this time?  How did she go so long without confronting her?  How did she smile through all their time spent together, like nothing out of the ordinary had happened?

    Gracia had still baked her pies after that.

    "We don't have to talk about this now.  This should be a happy day for you."

    "I want to talk about it now."

    Raye looks over Gracia's shoulder at the slowly shuffling couples around them, at Gracia and Maes' families gathered around tables and sipping champagne.  At Maes, picking at an hors d'eouvre while his cousin continues to offer unsolicited marriage 'advice'.  Only a few eyes are on them, most of them clearly unsure what to make of the bride's dance partner.

    Sometimes Raye feels like her life is on stage.  This is among the more vivid of such moments.

    "I should have told you along with him.  I should have been honest."

    "No," Gracia shakes her head, "I probably would have tried to kill you; I'm not as patient a person as everyone seems to think.  It was bad enough with Maes, I-"  Gracia's hand grips her shoulder and her breath hitches, "I didn't understand.  He always said he thought of you like a sibling and you-... you don't even like men.  And all I could think for the first few days was 'why me?'  What was wrong with me that even a friendship like yours could bring him to stray?"

    She sounds calm, if still distraught, as if she's rehearsed this many times and trained herself not to cry.  Raye can hardly think.

    "Gracia, it- it would take me hours to even begin to explain why it happened.  It was a mistake, a selfish one, and it had nothing to do with you.  I promise."

    "I know.  I know.  It had nothing to do with me," says Gracia, "And there's a large part of his life that has nothing to do with me.  There's so much he can't tell me about his job for my own safety.  But there's more he can't tell me about his life because it's a world I'm not a part of."

    "I've made my peace with that.  From the very beginning I understood that it was the nature of his work, that there had to be divisions, and there had to be things he couldn't tell me.  That's a part of his life that you're in and you'll always be.  That's the part where you are there for each other.  It's a place where I can't follow."

    "I would never take him from you."

    "No, but you must feel I'm taking him from you," Gracia pulls back, looks her directly in the eyes, "To be honest, today feels like the only appropriate time to talk about this.  I know about your promise with him.  It's a brave and noble thing you aspire to and he's devoted himself to your cause.  This marriage won't change that.  Maes is a loyal man."

    For sure, Gracia has a broad definition of loyalty, but it rings true and Raye nearly wants to cry, right there like an idiot on the sunset-lit dance pavilion.

    "I don't suppose it would be appropriate for me to kiss you..." Raye says, half-laughing as they continue to shuffle through the bridge of the song.  It won't be playing for much longer, and Gracia will carry on as if no such conversation happened, "Gracia, you're a saint, did you know that?"

    "You'd think otherwise if you knew me well enough," says Gracia with a naughty, somewhat wistful smile, "He does."

    And that is a part of Maes' life that Raye will never truly know.  Perhaps the universe is balanced after all.

    "You really are two insanely fortunate people to have found each other," Raye says, falling back to wedding-talk cliche' and finding comfort.  She leans in to whisper, "If you find he doesn't satisfy your needs, my first proposal to you still stands."

    Gracia laughs out loud.  Raye can see a little of the past in that joyful abandon of Gracia's smiling face.  The past from before the war.  From that time when she thought it was funny to hit on Maes' girlfriends, and when Gracia was the first girlfriend to play along with the joke.

    Gracia is a keeper.

    The song ends, and Raye leaves Gracia with a chivalrous bow.  She watches Maes take her back, watches that secretive spark in his eyes that he's never shown for her, for anyone else, before.

    They're best friends she could hope for.  And in a world all their own.

    She feels just a little lonely watching them. 

    But there is a bottle of champagne on the table beside her.  And there is an old friend putting her wallflower roots down by the far side pavilion, who she has promised a dance to. 

    Raye pours herself a glass and downs it over the course of a song.  She watches Hawkeye, chatting and swaying, hesitates before she starts on another.  She catches the way Riza watches her from the corner of her eye.  She smiles under the spotlight.

    She chooses the alternative to loneliness.

    Maybe just a word.

    Maybe just a little flirting.

    She'll allow herself just a little indulgence tonight. 

    But just a little.

    They barely make it into the hall of Raye's apartment building before their bodies are flush against each other, drawn with the gravity of need.  Raye isn't thinking straight.  She knows it.  This is what she's always wanted, and it's her worst fear.  Riza has a calloused fingertip beneath the hem of her stocking; Riza is kissing her, purposefully, heatedly; Riza is here, with her, dammit, just like she so often imagined; they're aching from dancing and dizzy from wine, and maybe it's only because Raye can't get over the thought that Maes is married now; probably celebrating his wedding in the same way at this very moment.

    Well, no, not the very same way.  Nothing could be quite like this; there's sex, and then there's sex with Riza, which is something different entirely; a fact that Raye has known for all of thirty seconds and understands as gospel truth, because there's something powerful in the way her fingers just slide-

    "Inside-" She whispers desperately, unlocking her fingers from their grip in Riza's short hair and fumbling for a key, "We have to- Unh"

    Riza's passion is so incongruous, coming from someone so straight-laced, so practical.  Maybe Raye is dreaming it after all.  Maybe she's passed out drunk and just wishing her way out of loneliness.

    No, the heavy wood door giving way behind her, under the direction of the cold steel key in her hand and the weight of soft, vaguely perfumed flesh and muscle; they're all tangible; they all wrap themselves around her.  She's alive.  She's giddy.  She has Riza- Riza, of all people, oh God!

    'I'm afraid to touch you,' she still wants to say, her back arched against the twin mattress, the unkempt blankets unprepared for a guest's eyes, each little misplaced thing surrounding them an embarrassing confession, 'I don't want to lose you.' she wants to say.  'Don't let me hurt you like this,' she wants to say. 

    It seems ridiculous, the thought of spoiling her; that persistent fear she's always had over these feelings, that they'd ruin a beautiful quiet and endlessly sensible girl like (classmate, cadet, Corporal, Riza) Hawkeye.  Ever since school; ever since the library and those failed attempts at flirting; always thought that maybe Riza really was too good for her; for her perverted affections- that tiny nagging worry that maybe nothing she's ever been or done is right; that she could only spoil those she loves by touching them. 

    It's strange to still have those ghosts lingering even though she knows better; even though she knows Riza is not an innocent or a saint; even though she knows that she is the one being acted upon, pushed onto the bed, kissed, undressed.  She wants to ask where Riza learned all this; this song and dance of sapphic sex that Raye herself knows well.  Maybe she doesn't know Riza as well as she once fancied.

    It makes her feel so profoundly unsure of herself, even as she comes, brought into the moment time and time again with Riza's hot breath on her ear, their bodies so, so, so close.  Makes her worry.

    Maybe this is just what happens when friends have sex.  No matter how good the sex is.  Maybe it's just what happens when becoming estranged to a sexual partner over time is a matter of course in life; you start to wonder if that's how it always has to be.  No matter how much love there is. 

    But maybe not, because Maes is still-



    She whispers the curse out of pleasure and frustration.  She knows better than to let herself be a martyr.  She's not nearly noble enough for that.

    'You deserve to be happy too, Raye,'- Maes' sentimental words over bachelor-party chaos- 'Maybe not just one woman.  Maybe not with another person at all.  But- well, y'know.  Don't get too down 'sall I'm sayin'.' 

    She abandoned the option to just submit to life happening long ago.  Moving forward is all she has.

    She acts.  Lifts her hands and pushes back.  Clings to, kisses Riza, flips her to the mattress, tastes-smells-sees-touches everything.  Fucks her without apprehension, just like Riza did to her.  And Riza comes, her face all flushed and contorted and blissful, and God, it's the most beautiful thing she's ever seen.

Get it, girl!

    She wakes up with a dull ache in her head.  Licks her lips, dry.  Flutters her eyelashes, assaulted with sunlight through the shutters.  Thanks heaven that this is a day  off  because she sure as hell is not in a working mood.  Her pillow smells like Riza, and in her arms is- nothing.  Her heart drops for a second before she hears footsteps.

    "You have a strong grip when you're asleep," Riza says, a towel around her torso and her hair dripping wet as she gathers up her own discarded articles of clothing, "I had a hard enough time wriggling free just to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  It's as if you thought I was going to run away."

    That's actually exactly what she feared, but Raye isn't about to say that.

    "We fit well together," she says, rolling on her side.

    Riza modestly pulls into her silk slip while letting the towel drop.

    "Do you need coffee?" she asks, "Actually, do you even have a coffee pot?"

    "Kettle's on the stove, press is in the cupb- no, damn, it's in the sink.  Probably dirty.  I think I have some instant..."  She whispers 'fuck it' under her breath and sits up, "Let me look for it."

    "Lay down, you're hung over."  Riza is as blunt and matter-of-fact as ever.

    Raye winces as the light from the window hits her eyes fully.

    "Not hung over just... dehydrated."

    "Which is hung over." Riza rummages through a drawer, "Don't you have matches?"

    Raye gives Riza a pointed look and raises her fingers to snap.  Riza sighs and picks up the robe hanging from the coat rack, tosses it to Raye.

    "You wouldn't rather have me naked and lighting fires?" Raye asks. Riza looks back at her, a little smile on her lips.  Raye considers the robe for a moment and slips it on, tying it loosely and reaching for her gloves.

    They're silent for a few moments, while Riza rinses the coffee press and Raye lights the stove, sets out a tin of coffee beans beside the grinder.

    "When are you-"

    "What happened was-"

    They both speak and stop at the same moment, finding sudden eye contact and negotiating who should speak first.  There is a faint tapping sound as the kettle begins to bubble.  Riza finally concedes to take her turn.

    "When exactly are you transferring?"

    "Five days from now.  You might have noticed the boxes.  The flat I have arranged in the next city is smaller, but it has a good outlook on the countryside."

    "That soon..." Riza says rather distantly, "-you had something to say?"

    "I did?"  Raye prefers to play dumb at this moment.

    "Yes, we both started speaking at once.  What were you saying?"

    "Oh I-" She loses her words.

    She's had no problem speaking to this woman in the past, about things far deeper and more important.  Their last real conversation had been in Ishbal, the night before the return, outside a tent as they compared in hushed tones their body counts, compared scars, compared the spiritual damage.  Together hey considered their importance in the scheme of life.  Considered the value of their own lives. 

    And yet, she can't even talk to her about something she has no problem discussing with women she barely knows. 

    Raye considers the possibility not for the first time that she's just an incredibly silly person.

    "Last night- that sort of surprised me.  I never expected-" She swallows, picks up the kettle and pours.  The smell of freshly ground coffee and steam is a wonderful comfort. "Never really expected we would."

    "You've been interested for years."

    "Well of course I have, but you rejected me right at the beginning," She sets down the coffee press, looks at Riza, "I just thought you were straight."


    Riza turns to the cupboard for mugs.


    "Well, that's.  An interesting word, isn't it?"  Now it's Riza who's tongue tied.  Raye feels only a little guilty to be pleased that she isn't the only one having an awkward time with her words.

    "You're not inexperienced, I could tell.  You were... amazing.  Words fail me on this end.  I'm just rather curious.  I never really knew that about you.  I guess your sex life was always a bit of a mystery."

    "As a lady's always should be," Riza says, "So I was taught.  Also, I never rejected you.  I always did like you, I just wanted to wait."
    "Wait for what?  The wedding night?  No matter whose wedding?" 

    Riza chuckles.

    "I don't know, really."

    She takes a sip of black coffee before giving it a thoughtful look.

    "Do you have milk?"

    Raye shakes her head.

    "It wouldn't make sense to buy some right before moving."  She takes a little sugar for herself.

    Riza looks out the window on the next sip.

    "So you're acting on your plan of moving up the ranks?"

    Raye doesn't say anything, just nods.

    "I'm glad," says Riza, "I was left wondering..." She looks away. "I could have spoken to you.  I should have.  Even if we were in different cities, there's no reason we couldn't have at least exchanged a letter or two."

    "It's far from your fault."

    "No, it's not.  I avoided you.  I avoided talking to you on purpose."


    "I was afraid."

    "Afraid of what?"

    "Afraid that as soon as we were safe again, we'd both lose our nerve and forget that we had plans bigger than either of us."

    She remembers, the little seed of revolution that grew between them, thriving on each needless death.

    "I never forgot."

    Riza sighs.

    "Who will be supporting you?"


    "Who will be on your side when you move?  Maes can't follow you.  Not now."

    "No, he can't..."

    "I'm not very good at being indirect," says Riza, "I want to come with you.  I want to follow you.  I want to protect you."

    Raye is still.  She looks at the wall.  Considers.

    "On the condition," Riza adds, "That you promise to succeed at your goal."

    "I was told," Raye says, "To choose an assistant.  A second in command for my projects."

    She self-consciously adjusts her robe to cover herself, feeling transparent.

    "They can't know about us- what we-"

    "We'll meet accidentally at the shooting range tomorrow.  We'll reminisce as old friends.  You'll be impressed by my skills.  You'll ask to have me transferred with you as an asset to your team."

    "You seem to have this planned out."

    "I'm known to do that from time to time."

    "There can't be any emotional interference.  I need an ally who will think logically.  Who won't value my safety or our relationship over our shared goals."

    Riza expression is untranslatable.  It transfixes her, regardless.

    "I promise," says Riza, "I know where my priorities lie."


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
This was wonderful as well. Gotta have that lecherous soldier, but she handled him well. I love how shy she was about Riza, and Riza informing her she was always interested. She'd obviously planned things out. It would be interesting if you carried on a bit more with this, take them a bit further. Because obviously, Riza's not quite that good at prioritizing things above her commanding officer.
Aug. 4th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Haha, yes, everyone thinks the Flame Alchemist is so smooth, but only a lucky few (like Riza) get to see how much of a woobie she is.

I would like to continue this in some capacity. It started out as a short fic for the old kink meme and I was just so in love with female!Roy (and yuri RoyAi for that matter) that I just had to write an origins story for them.
Aug. 4th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Hmmmmm, interesting portrait.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )