Dawn in Central was an event that few individuals bothered with experiencing. The frantic pace of the military, even after five years of constant warfare, made sure of that. This being said, those few souls that had an eye for beauty made sure to get up early; dawn cast the entire city of Central in a golden light, and for that time, it seemed that the world was worth the effort of fighting for.
Roy Mustang, of course, had an eye to beauty. He had once had two, but he had sacrificed that in an effort to buy peace... both for his nation, and for himself. He hadn't gotten exactly what he had asked for... but sometimes, he thought that the new state of affairs was better than he had hoped.
Despite what most individuals thought, Roy Mustang was a morning person. While he was preparing himself for the day, or going through any of the mundane tasks that he had assigned for himself, he could bring himself to care about their completion. It wasn't until he arrived at headquarters, and the guards gave him a glare that spoke volumes about what they thought about his attempted coup (it always made Mustang want to scream, "Five years after the fact!",) that he began sinking into the despair that would last well after he went home.
It was for that reason that he had decided to purchase a mansion three years ago. The expanded hallways and near-labyrinth of rooms kept him far more entertained than his previous, drab apartment had offered. And, although he wouldn't confess it to anyone, it had given him a fleeting hope of improving himself: since he couldn't hope to advance in the military, he settled for improving the one aspect of his life that wasn't under constant scrutiny.
Though those days have changed, Roy thought with a smile. He pulled out one of his duty uniforms from his closet, and smiled as he saw the two golden stars shining on the shoulders. This day, unlike all of the others for the past five years, was actually worth the effort of preparing for. So, prepare he would.
Roy's manor, for no other term would suffice for a house of such magnitude, had been constructed with a definite purpose; to distract his mind from the futility of his struggles. Therefore, there was no definite plan to its layout; every so often Roy found himself lost in his own house, and he had even found himself savoring the sensation, as he strolled through room after room until he finally found his destination.
Even still, it was his house, and he only found himself lost when he allowed his mind to wander. That morning, he did not allow any wandering of any sort; he marched straight to the bathroom, two floors down and seven rooms over from his bedroom, on the other side of the hall. As was normal, he gently closed the door behind him.
It wasn't until he had finished his shower, and was staring at his face in the mirror, that Mustang realized just how far he had let himself degenerate. His face, unshaved since his date four days ago, had become stubbly; his hair was even more of a mess than usual; on top of that, his face was far more hollow and burned-out that he had realized. He frowned, and reached for a razor. If he was to make himself presentable, then there was no time like the present.
He frowned again, though, as he finished shaving the right side of his face. To deal with his left, he'd have to remove his eye patch; Mustang didn't relish the thought of seeing one of the few wounds that didn't improve his looks. Still... it would be best to get it over with, and shudder in private, than to walk around Headquarters half-shaved. So, he carefully peeled off the eyepatch.
There was a gasp somewhere on his blind left side. Mustang wheeled around, and saw... Alphonse Elric. The young man (with the body of a teenager, which confused Roy to no end,) was still in his pajama pants, a change of clothes and a towel draped over his right arm. He was breathing heavily, probably due to having gotten lost in the halls, but his eyes were wide as they gazed directly at Roy's left eye.
With a smooth motion, Mustang grabbed the eyepatch and put it on his eye. It took him a moment to regain his composure; when he did, he stated, "Alphonse. I didn't see you come in."
"I'm sorry. The door wasn't locked, and when I saw you shaving..." He was blushing, Roy noted, and his attention was fixed directly at the older man's face. "I'm sorry," he added.
"It's all right." Roy looked back at the mirror, and frowned. "I probably should have locked the door." He didn't add that there was a part of him that was glad that Alphonse had found him, and that the younger man had been entranced by his looks. Speaking of which... "Is shaving really that interesting?"
A nod from Al. "I've never seen anyone do it before. Brother... never grew old enough to need to. He might be doing so now, though." There was a hopeful tone to that voice, Roy noticed, as though Al was trying to convince himself that his brother was still alive, was still needing him... Even after five years of hearing no word.
Roy nodded, then reached for his razor again. It was at that point that the quandary hit him: he still couldn't shave without removing the eye patch. After a moment, he sighed. "Al, I can't do this while you're watching."
In typical Elric fashion, Al dodged the implication with a question of his own. "How did you... what happened?"
"A cyborg. A cyborg with a vendetta against me and enough firepower to act on that vendetta." He offered a bitter smile. "He caught me by surprise. He would have killed me, if Hawkeye hadn't killed him first."
Roy turned his face just in time to see Alphonse reaching for his eye patch. He didn't offer any resistance: he had learned that trying to deny Al was like trying to stop a tidal wave: offering more resistance only made the end result that much more dangerous. No wonder Edward always gave in to him. Roy stiffened as gentle fingers disappeared into his blind zone, and couldn't suppress a shudder as those fingers followed the line of his jaw.
"Rough," Al closed his eyes temporarily, the better to savor the sensation, then opened his eyes and reached for the eye patch. Once more, Roy didn't offer any resistance, though he was severely tempted to. Slowly, the cloth was lifted up, and Al stared into what had once been a pearly orb with an onyx circle superimposed on it. Now... he shuddered. "I'm sorry. We should have helped you."
Roy gave a very brief shake of the head, slight so that he wouldn't dislodge Al's fingers. "Your brother was rescuing you at that time. He was the one that made the correct decision."
Innocently, Al's fingers roamed back down, and softly rubbed the stubble. "That's... strange. It's rough, but..." His eyes narrowed in concentration once more, a slight blush appearing on his cheeks once more. "It... feels kind of good. Scratchy, but good." It was with a frown that he moved over to Roy's right side, and felt his smooth skin. "But this side is soft."
Roy had to stifle a chuckle. Quite obviously, Alphonse hadn't gotten used to his body, even after five years: most of that time had probably been spent in searching for a way to find his brother. Just like them, he thought, One sacrifices his life to give the other one a complete body, and Al wastes it trying to give his brother a body in return. He did sigh, though, as he looked into Alphonse's eyes. He should be happy. He shouldn't be so overriden with guilt that he can't enjoy what his brother gave him. Someone should teach him what he's missing.
Mustang was stunned as he considered the implications of what he had thought. Then, there was a smirk, the trademark Roy Mustang Smirk that appeared so suddenly that Al stopped moving in bewilderment.
It had been a long time since the Flame Alchemist had a challenge, when it came to the battlefield known as love. Most women were more than happy to be wooed by him, and he found the difficulty always came with the inevitable breakup. With Alphonse, though... the smirk widened. An innocent angel? Living with me? Old enough to be legal but not old enough to have really given a thought to a relationship? Alphonse was starting to get worried: Winry had always complained that Edward's troubles started with a smirk, and if that was any guideline to go by... There might be a god, after all.
So thinking, he gently grabbed Al's hand, and rubbed it across his face, from right to left. The transition between the smoothness of his skin and the roughness of his stubble was pleasurable enough to deepen Alphonse's blush. He repeated the gesture, with a similar result. "Does it feel good, Alphonse?"
"Yes. Yes, but..."
"Hm?" Roy ran that soft hand across the line of his jaw once more, this time continuing past the wrist and rubbing against the forearm.
At least, he was, until Alphonse wrested his arm out of Mustang's grip, and stammered, "I-I need to get breakfast ready, and you n-need to get ready for... for... work." He took a deep breath, and bowed. "Forgive me for intruding!" And with that, he bolted, blushing furiously and nearly tripping over his own feet.
Roy sighed, and leaned out into the hallway. Al was long gone, of course, and in the maze of hallways, he could be anywhere; from up in the attic to all the way outside. Roy blinked his one eye: the sun had become quite bright, and the sudden light attacked his nerves without mercy. As Al had said, he would have to get ready soon, or he would be late... and that was the last thing he wanted, considering the opportunities now open to him.
Still, as he went back to the mirror, and observed the blush on his own features, he had to sigh again. The problem with angels, he told his reflection, as he finished shaving; Is that the real ones, the pure ones with beautiful souls, can't really be seduced. They're too shy for that, and they don't think about their own bodies in that way. It's almost impossible.
The Flame Alchemist smirked as he walked towards the new day, and he cracked his knuckles in anticipation. I've always been one for a challenge.