Roy does not carry a gun around. He never carries a firearm at work, or on a date, or at home. There is certainly no pistol stuffed into a desk drawer, no rifle resting haphazardly in a locker. He carries spare gloves, of course, but they are useless in the rain. Hawkeye doesn't approve—she never says anything, but her lips thin into a hard line, and her eyes narrow whenever it rains. She tails him home, sometimes, and though Roy finds himself amused by this, he won't say anything if she doesn't.

Ed had asked him about that once, and only once. Tangled in the bed sheets on a lazy Sunday morning, neither of them in any hurry to get up, to go out and face the world. Ed had reached out and grabbed his wrist, pulling his hand closer, and Roy had merely watched him rub the knuckles of his good hand over the pads of Roy's fingers, expression as intent as if he were in the library with Alphonse, working on some new text. He hadn't said anything to the younger man (because Fullmetal is seventeen, now, and hates to think that he's anything less than an adult, damnit), just waited for Fullmetal to finish his investigation.

"Weird," Ed had said eventually, releasing him.

Roy had arched an eyebrow, cleared his throat. "Can I ask what it is about my hand that merits such an intense examination?"

Ed had slanted him an unfavourable look, and stretched out languidly, much like a cat. "I was just thinking. Your hand is different from Havoc's. You don't have any calluses or whatever."

"And since when have you studied Havoc's hand in such detail?" Roy had asked, raising an eyebrow. Ed had smirked—all white teeth and glowering, 'I think I've got one up on you, you bastard' grin.

"You're not jealous, are you?" he'd asked sweetly, lowering his head back on his pillow. Roy had snorted, his expression clearly indicating that he felt there was little to be jealous of, and Ed had jabbed him sharply in the ribs with an automail hand. "Smug bastard," he'd growled, folding the fingers of his good hand around the back of Roy's neck and yanking him roughly down for a long and bruising kiss. Roy hadn't protested, knowing from past experience that Ed tended to become selectively deaf, and instead he'd simply pushed at Ed's shoulders, rolling them both over until Ed was on the bottom, teeth bared in a wicked grin and eyes dancing with a challenge he'd never voice.

"Why, Fullmetal," he'd purred, hands slipping around Ed's wrists—he couldn't have restrained the automail, not if Ed didn't want him to, but he'd planned to make sure that escape would be the last thing on Ed's mind—"Have you only just noticed?"

Ed had rolled his eyes and tugged with his good hand, experimentally; when Roy hadn't let go, he'd shrugged and said, "I just felt like telling you, bastard."

Roy had lowered his head until his breath puffed out, hot over Ed's pinched lips, and murmured, "Guns, Fullmetal."

"What?" Ed's eyes had fixed on him, bright gold like the stars on the insignia of Roy's uniform, just as compelling, just as dangerous in what they signified.

"I don't use them. Havoc does." Roy had offered by way of explanation, and let go of Ed's wrists with one hand to touch the boy's cheek.

Ed had smirked. "I had wondered why you had such soft hands, you bastard," he'd said. "Even Winry's hands are tougher than yours. What next, you gonna start bitching when you break a nail?"

Roy had reared back, and raised his eyebrows. "I would be insulted, Fullmetal, if your hair wasn't prettier than Hawkeye's."

"Sh—Shut up! I only grew it long because, because, because Al said I should!"

Roy had smoothly backed off, understanding that his little brother was out of bounds, as far as Edward was concerned, and that applied to what Al thought or said, too. "And what about—"

"Oh, shut up," Ed had said, with a sigh. "Prick." He'd tugged again at Roy's grip on his wrists, succeeding in freeing himself on his first serious attempt; and had set his hands against Roy's chest, pushing the older man off him with a force that said he wasn't really that mad, and could be persuaded into doing a lot right now if Roy said and did the right things.

He could be so predictable, Roy had thought, and smirked.

Later, as Ed lay with his head pillowed on Roy's chest, cheek pressed out fat against his ribs, the younger boy had asked, "Why don't you use them?"


"Guns, I mean."

Roy had sleepily tilted his head and looked down at the younger boy, all heavy silver limbs and bright gold eyes half-shut, glittering in the sunset light. "That's for me to know," he'd said, "And you to find out."

Ed half-opened an eye. "Why? Some terrible trauma?"

"No," Roy had said with a frown, "It's not that."

"You spoiled by having Hawkeye and Havoc around you, you bastard?"

"It's not that, either," Roy had told him, shifting a little and pushing the heavy automail arm into a more comfortable position. Ed had just put it back the way it had been, without even seeming to think about it, and Roy had sighed.

"I get it," Ed had said, and sighed. "It's 'cause of Ishbal, isn't it?"

"... Almost, but I'm afraid not, Fullmetal."

Ed had levered himself up with his good arm, golden brows drawn together, and studied Roy's face intently. "Then what is it, you prick?"

Roy opened his mouth to speak, and then paused. "You can't tell anyone what I'm about to tell you, Edward," he'd said quietly, and Edward had blinked, caught off guard by the use of his name. "Especially not Hawkeye."

"Sure," Ed had replied, a little uneasily.

"The reason I don't use a gun," Roy had said, and hesitated. Ed had leaned a little closer. "The reason I do not use a firearm, Fullmetal, is that I never really learned how. I got skipped through basic training. I'm more likely to shoot myself than an assailant."

A pause.

"You bastard," Ed had said, and grinned as he flopped back down. "I thought it was something serious."

"Oh, it was," Roy had said, pushing again at the automail arm. It had been cold, and heavy, and uncomfortable, and perhaps that was what had caused his next remark. "It is almost as serious a matter as your height, Fullmetal one."

Ed had smacked him hard on the hip with a balled automail fist but, Roy had mused, at least that meant the automail arm hadn't been pressed over his stomach. Tch. Edward had such a passion for needless dramatics, he really did.