Spoilers: None, really.
Fifteen-minute scribble. Done after thinking about how it is that I occasionally let my fondness for Riza/Jean slip into RP: despite how I usually try to keep pairings only to fic, and out of RP. Thoughts that naturally led to ficbunnies about a Massive Cycle of Repressed UST.
I still cling to the thought that Riza/Jean is possible from canon, because I am silly and it is my OTP. Unfortunately, this scenario is also all too possible.
For the last five years, he has watched her and thought without emotion that she is beautiful. He can contemplate the curve of her throat coldly, without heat and without passion; he can watch her fluid grace with no thought in his mind but the cover fire he must provide for her. He can speak of her as a curator would speak of a lost work of art; she is beautiful and she is unattainable.
He still feels a thrill whenever her hand brushes his, but it is the empty thrill of contact that will go nowhere and lead to nothing. It will not lead to first date, first kiss, first marriage, first child. It will lead to nothing but a parting of ways. He will return to his work, and she to her life: a life named Roy Mustang.
If Second Lieutenant Havoc has ever had any feelings for First Lieutenant Hawkeye, they now survive only as vagaries in his subconscious. Loving Riza Hawkeye is a betrayal-- both of her and of Roy Mustang-- and so Jean Havoc represses those feelings away, until his conscious mind makes it a habit to continuously forget that he loves her. Only his subconscious bears the memory of them: mere longings that he can no longer name or define, so fervently has he sought to wipe it away.
But sometimes they still speak with some measure of clarity, even from the muffling shadow they have been wrapped up in. They ask of him why he cannot let them out. They ask of him why he cannot act on them. They ask of him why he cannot touch her hair, her face—just once—
He tunes them out. Because he loves her, he cannot love her.
She can think only of Roy Mustang. And so he defers always to Colonel Mustang: in rank, in precedence, and in love.