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jackilyn hughes

On Dating Demons


He wasn’t an ass. Really, he wasn’t. Honestly. Okay, maybe just a little. But that wasn’t the point. The point was, Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc had horrible taste in women. He always had, and probably always would.

However grim it seemed now, Roy did have some modicum of faith that one day Jean would find a nice girl (a real one, not a harpy) and settle down and be happy for the rest of his life, blah blah blah. Maes would be proud.

However, the latest girlfriends did not hold this faith. That wasn’t exactly new, most of the girlfriends ever had not held his faith. Maes had once decided to get all psychological on him at the bar about it. Roy had pointedly ignored him.

Yes, Roy was bisexual. Yes, he had a thing for blondes. Yes, he let Havoc smoke in the office. But he let Breda eat in the office, too, and if anything was a disgusting habit that was.

He didn’t mean that. He was just irritated. It was raining. He’d stayed late doing paperwork. Again.

Besides, there were better blondes to take notice of. Even just in the office. Not that he was allowed to account for those. The legality of a potential relationship was something one unfortunately had to consider.

More importantly, Havoc’s new girlfriend was a bitch. Not that he’d met her or anything, but still.

For the past week and a half, Havoc had been meandering around the office seeing to his duties in a hazy, distracted way. Day by day, he would alternate between smoking much less than normal and smoking much more than normal. He’d gone out for lunch every day. He’d stopped jokingly flirting with Hawkeye. The whole situation was beginning to set Roy’s teeth on edge.

The signs said Flavor of the Month (a.k.a. Amber) was clingy, jealous, and had mood swings. Those were, as far as Roy was concerned, some of the absolute worst qualities for a lover to have.

Maes had once pointed out that Roy was in possession of all of those qualities. Roy had pointedly ignored him.

Roy had come across this M.O. before. It was swiftly devastating to every day life and, for Havoc especially, made it impossible not to think of the Flavor constantly after she had gone. Girls like these, Roy called the soul-eaters.

Soul-Eater the First was known by the naïve and/or bewitched as Sam. Her parents called her Samantha. Roy called her The Witch. She had Havoc completely spellbound from the very first second. For weeks, he wouldn’t hear a word against her.

She used him up. All of him. He was tired and sluggish at work, with bags under his eyes and only the energy to raise one side of his mouth in a smirk when asked how his night had gone. She’d taken up all of his time as well. Every day, he had to have lunch with her, had to pick her up from work. Every night, he had to call her before he went to bed. He had to ask her for permission if he wanted to hang out with the guys. And his money, too. Expensive dinners, fancy dates, consolation prizes, make-up gifts.

The worst though, was the emotional draining. She was almost always mad at him for something, and he was always stressing to figure out what it was, figure out how to make it up to her. And then the mood swings would give them all whiplash. One second, Jean was the devil, next he was the best thing since sliced bread. Even when she was happy, she was exhausting.

Eventually, Roy had to take things into his own hands. Was it really his fault that it had ended up so literal?

The Witch had been a good lay. Roy had made sure she hated him enough afterwards that she’d never come back. And she never did. Slowly, the bindings of her curse on Havoc had faded away.

She was not the only one, though. Soul-Eater the Second had been just as bad, if not worse. She may not have used up all of Havoc’s money, but she wore him to the bone in every other way. Roy called her The Succubus.

There was no denying that Lisa was a sexy beast. But a beast she was, insatiable and inescapable. The symptoms were nearly the same, bar the pennilessness, and adding in a few more impromptu naps at work. Quickly, lest Havoc die from lack of sleep, Roy stole The Succubus away too.

In bed, she kicked his ass a little bit. Just a little bit, though.

Then, of course, there was always the opposite end of the spectrum. The worst of those had been Allison. Allison was the kind of girlfriend that only liked you when she wanted you, and if you ever needed her you were quite out of luck. She gave empty thanks for gifts, she was always too busy for dates, and she put forth zero effort to make Jean feel wanted.

He was there for her convenience, but only when convenience was necessary. She put Havoc on her leash, often leaving him tied to a tree when she wanted to go off and have a good time. He came when she called and waited morosely for her when she didn’t, wondering what about him wasn’t good enough. Roy called her The Siren. She was one of the hardest to get rid of.

There had been others too, of course. There was Brianna. She would always point out other men and tell Jean what was attractive about them. And she held grudges. Fortunately, that made her easy to dispatch. There was Teresa, the “Well If You Don’t Know I’m Not Going to Tell You” and “Why Can’t You Just Agree With Me?” woman. Roy hated those. There was Roxanne. She was just a bitch, plain and simple. Katie was a slut; she’d had four other boyfriends at the time she was dating Jean. Stacey took whatever she wanted and never gave back.

Maes, of course, had gone to great pains to detail how similar Roy was to all of those women. He was shallow (sometimes!) and revengeful, he was stubborn and manipulative, he made it a point to bait and tease, he cheated more often than not, and he was certainly greedy.

But that was not the point. The point was Roy had already caught Amber looking at least twice. It was only a matter of time.

She cornered him outside of the bar after a night out, Jean already waiting for her in the car (escorted by Breda, so he didn’t end up drunkenly lost).

“You got my boyfriend drunk,” she said.

“M’lady, I did no such thing,” Roy assured her. She shook her head and smirked, and Roy began counting down the seconds. Soon, she would ask him what he was doing next week. Was he busy? Was he single? How much did Colonels make around here anyway?

“He’s told me about you.” It came out as a purr, and Roy wondered what Jean had said to give her that look in her eyes. She patted him condescendingly on the cheek. “Don’t think you’re such hot stuff, Colonel. There isn’t a single thing you could offer me that will make me disappear.” She walked away and Roy watched her go with a small, defeated smile.

Maes would be proud.

The "brotherly" got a little UST (very, very subdued) thrown in. All Roy's fault.