Title: "On the Wings of a Dream" - Riza(/Al) Ficlet (Appx. Chapter 9)
Authors:theregaltigress and crazyloststar
Characters: This: Riza, Dream!Al, Black Hayate, (The Rest of the Fic: Ed, Roy, Havoc, and more. :) )
Genre: AU (sky_dark's BLTA AU, to be precise), This particular section is some angst with a side of light romance/smut (The Rest of the Fic: generally Humor, Drama, Angst, Romance, Fluff)
Pairing(s): This: Riza/Al (pending), mention of Past!Roy/Riza, (The Rest of the Fic: Roy/Ed, Havoc/OC)
Length of this (Mini-)Chapter: 2,953 words
Length of the (Edited) Story to Date: 27,548 words
As this fic is inspired from sky_dark's BLTA (("On the Wings of a Dream" takes place somewhere approximately between BLTA Chapters 7 and 9, so it is a 'tweener fic), so if you haven't read that far into her wonderful fic, you might find a few spoilers within. To get the full impact of this story series, familiarity with "The Adventures of Roy Mustang: Sex Ed Teacher" and its continuation, "Better Living Through Alchemy" would be particularly helpful, but if you aren't, hopefully we can get you up to speed. :) This is based on sky_dark's unique AU "take" on the end of the series, so there are some post-episode 51 "whiffs" and flickers of some movie backstory within the story as a whole. Obviously, since we are not sky_dark, this is not canon to BLTA, but as writers we are trying to stay as true to the characters/events in it as we possibly can. :)
There is a high likelihood that we'll post sketches, cosplay, and other art inspired from this fic and it's inspiration too. :) Ah, creativity!
CHAPTER 1: PART 1 (Includes Summary/Prologue) + Art
CHAPTER 1: PART 2
CHAPTER 2 + Art
CHAPTERS 5 - 8+: Editing in Progress
APPX. CHAPTER 9: Riza(/Al) Ficlet
APPX. CHAPTER 10: Al/Riza Ficlet
Notes on This Ficlet:
This particular "mini-chapter" was Written and Edited by theregaltigress, and was written originally to be almost a stand-alone attempt at some light smut, after it was noted that BLTA had a short scene with Al/himself, but nothing even remotely similar for Riza so.... here is an attempt at a missing link! ;)
This is meant to take place somewhere towards the end of this "tweener" fic, but I opted to post it now since it's fairly stand-alone and not very plot-centric. Generally, it takes place after a military gala Riza (professionaly) attended with Alphonse (all which has been written, but has not been edited and uploaded yet), and before Al's eighteenth/Twenty-Second Birthday and the latter events within BLTA.
That said: Enjoy!
APPX.: CHAPTER 9
For not the first time in so many years, Riza Hawkeye awoke with a start to the sensation of something warm and wet on her toes. With an impressive groan for such an early hour, she presumed to quickly locate consciousness. This feat was more rapid than was custom, actually, for the dream she had been having included many things, but when she'd felt that familiar tickle on her toes, her reality had quickly begun to be at odds with that of her dream-self
Soon enough in the present, she opened one roan eye, "Hayate, stop it," she mumbled, squirming her foot away. The bright-eyed dog pleasantly looked up and received a pat from his master before he journeyed off the bed again, leaving Riza lying there, trying to sort out what she had been dreaming before her custom awakening.
Riza was sorely convinced that reading romance novels as a past time must have been key to her undoing. Those fluffy little novellas were always a simple, pleasant distraction from both the monotony of her days in the office and the many stresses of the world at large. They took her to exotic places, and it was no wonder that they locales and trysts sometimes followed her to her dreams…
She found with increasing frequency, however, the faces in her dreams were not the countenances of fairy-tale strangers. No, it was him.
And this wasn't the first time, either.
The professional part of Riza was aghast at this recent development. She had to remind herself once and over again that it was simply a dream. It had no impact on her present reality, and therefore meant nothing at all. It was just a dream, and sometimes minds are prone to wander simply because they can. At this point she chose to remind herself she'd had a dream once concerning custard-colored crocodiles that had grown wings and learned to talk. That, obviously, had no correlation to her present reality, which thereby supported her previous position.
The dream she just slipped from was no exception, she told herself. It was obviously just the remnants of her overactive imagination still trying to process how … "different" it had been seeing Alphonse out of the office at the gala. She wasn't sure how exactly the suit he'd worn had made him seem so much more mature, but it was a feeling she couldn't quite shake. Her impression of him had begun to take on a quantum shift.
Maybe it was the suit. Maybe it was that since his memory had returned that he'd begun to act slightly more… personable? She couldn't put her finger on it, but lately she felt she had begun to let herself be more at ease around him than she allowed herself to be before, to treat him more as a peer than she ever had.
She wondered, in hindsight, if she was TOO at ease. In the past she had always felt a need to be so professional around him. Yet, surprisingly, when she chanced to let her guard down, he had surprised her. The puppy-doglike crush he had actually almost… "subsided" in those moments, revealing a side of the Lieutenant she hadn't suspected was there.
And she knew, deep down, she'd enjoyed it. She'd enjoyed his smile in those moments, and the genuine feel of her own smile. She knew, also, that somewhere deep down, she wanted to see more of "that" side of Alphonse. She had always trusted him and confided in him things from work, concerns about Black Hayate, that sort of thing. But it now seemed as if she was invariably interesting in finding out more about "him," as if somehow now that her brain marked him as someone closer to a peer that it was now more acceptable.
The professional side of her that she had once wholeheartedly embraced shouted to her that it wasn't. That being that it was the Lieutenant, who was also so many years her junior (twelve years!), she should stop this line of thought right where it was and leave it be.
But try as she might, the other part of her, the curious part of her, trickled back up to the surface. It tempted Riza with memories of the smiles and laughter she had shared with Alphonse, and how good, how genuinely GOOD it had felt to laugh like that again.
She shifted in bed and lay on her back, glancing for a moment beside her to the second pillow to her side. This, like so much in her life, she also justified. It had been many years since she'd shared the queen-sized bed with anyone (namely, Roy), and yet each night, even if she started out laying across the center of the bed, by the time she woke up, she would inevitably be back on one side, leaving that other half of the mattress pointedly empty.
The pillows? Well, it was a queen-sized mattress, she told herself. It was proper to have two pillows to lay across it, rather than to have one swimming in the middle.
Unsolicited, however, her mind began to wander back to her latest in a series of remarkably explicit dreams. She snatched the spare pillow in her right hand and tossed it over her face and fiercely muttered into it in raw frustration.
He was ONLY seventeen! It wasn't right for her--
A pause as she defended her own honor.
--For DREAM Riza, she corrected, to allow herself to THINK of the Lieutenant in such a manner! She wasn't like Roy! Simply because Alphonse had looked noticeably handsome in a suit, or because he was convinced he should be thought of as twenty-one and not seventeen (to which he had a point since his memory had been restored), or even because he'd been so damnably sweet a companion at the gala, that he'd made her laugh and smile and spoken with her so honestly and openly. Even though he had been so professional when he needed to be, and so "himself" sometimes when it was just them, or because she knew how much she trusted him, enjoyed his company and eagerness each morning at work, NONE of it justified to waking Riza, to ACTUAL Riza, the dreams she had.
She didn't CARE about the strange feeling she had gotten when she'd been driven away from Alphonse's apartment after dropping him off after the gala, or the weird tingle she felt when he'd touched her hand or whispered close to her ear, or the way he'd LOOKED at her. Especially how comfortably secure she'd felt being at his side with her fingers wrapped around his arm. None of it. It didn't justify THIS.
He was her Lieutenant! He was practically like Roy's son! She'd known him since he was eleven! This was completely indecorous to be lying here, in bed, letting her mind wander so. Moreover, she reasoned, letting her mind wonder if she went back to sleep now, if the dream she was having might continue from where it had left off.
She grumbled in frustration to the pillow that remained securely over her face before she violently thrust it off the bed. Riza lay there looking at the ceiling, struggling to shift gears and abandon this train of thought altogether.
Try as she might, however, those pleasant moments in her dreams, just trickled back into her mind … the way it had made her feel so undeniably secure and loved and at peace. She'd liked that feeling. She wasn't used to it, that was for sure, but she'd liked feeling, and part of her longed to return to that sweet comfort and security.
She paused when she figured an appropriate amount of time had passed, and the leaned to the side of the bed to suspiciously regard the villainous pillow. With a resigned sigh, she reached down and plucked it back up, replacing it in its standard position atop the mattress before laying on her back and shifting around, struggling to get comfortable again.
She ended up on her side once more, staring at the empty side of her bed as she tried to remember exactly how long it had been since someone had been there. That was probably why her mind was so desperate to latch onto something, she told herself. Alphonse's countenance, the freshness of the way he'd looked at her, it was just new, and therefore appealing. It meant nothing, really. It was just convenient, that's why her sleeping mind had latched onto it.
When she'd stared at the pillow long enough, and had convinced herself of the explicit differences between sleeping fantasy and reality, and had thus reaffirmed that she was a pleasantly independent, accomplished and ranking woman who was entirely fine to be laying alone in a queen-sized bed, only then did she dare to grab that damnable spare pillow again and clutch it against her as she curled herself fetally around it.
In between a mutter and a soft whimper, her mind traveled back to that dream. She wasn't sure WHY on Earth she was allowing herself to think of it, but a part of her, deep down, was convinced if she just thought about it long enough, all of this would seem a great deal simpler and less distressing.
The dream, after all, had been anything but distressing.
The first thing she recalled with absolute clarity was the feel of his touch on her skin. The Alphonse in her dream had been so gentle and tentative, so empathetic as he was in life. Unconsciously, Riza's hand lightly retraced its steps along her forearm and shoulder.
The contact, however fleeting, was welcome. She missed the small things like that… touch. How much it wordlessly conveyed.
She could feel goose bumps travel over her skin at the recollection of his hands tenderly playing over her skin, gently exploring her, seeking out contact.
He'd run his fingers through her hair, around her brow and temple and then had played his fingers along the back of her neck. He'd threaded his fingers though her hair so gently, running his hands along her scalp, massaging flesh that had been abandoned for longer than she could remember.
He'd leaned in closer then, pulling her body against his own as his breath ran along the side of her face. He'd ran his lips over the side of her jaw, slowly peppering the side of her neck with kisses until he'd reached the area where her neck met her sternum. She'd gasped softly and arched her body as his caress began to travel down her bare shoulders, and his touch had turned more passionate.
The dream Riza had sought him out at this point, had wrapped her fingers around his back and played them over his the muscles around his shoulders, massaging them tenderly as all the while she pressed her torso against him, entwining one of his legs in hers.
She had lifted her head so he could get a better angle on her, and after a few more deep kisses, his hands had moved elsewhere, searching for the spots along her body that would elicit the most delicious responses. She returned the favor, of course. Her nails played over his skin, tickling him and turning their tryst silly for a moment's time. He'd tickled her back in sweet reply and they had both shared a few moment's of giggling and smiles that had them rolling along the sheets and repositioning themselves before they'd returned to even more intimate matters.
He'd touched her so tenderly. She had never felt so safe, so secure, so loved and cherished. Dream Riza remembered thinking how different it had been with Roy, how she'd sometimes feared he was thinking of someone else other than she. But not with Alphonse. His eyes, his smile, and the endearing way his eyes would watch hers in-between kisses… it made it so obvious that she was the only one ever on his mind.
She could smell him, taste him. The salt on her lips from where she'd kissed him mixing intoxicatingly with the lightly peppermint smell of his breath and the faint wisps of whatever he'd last used on his fine hair. She'd cherished every tantalizing scent, taste, and touch. She had drank in the way he looked at her and how they'd held each other close, as if somehow there was a way to get even closer than the flesh allowed, to truly become part of each other in every way imaginable.
His gentle fingers touched her intimately, making her body arch and squirm while her breath became throatier, ragged, breathless. He'd slowed his pace and broke from his attentions to catch her plaintive whimpers in between his lips. He whispered to her as he played his lips then over her ribcage before running his tongue around her nipple once as his fingers returned to deeper areas. Riza felt pleasure wash over her as Alphonse touched her, his dark blond hair tickling her as it fell over her exposed skin. She could remember those amber eyes so clearly, so certain and loving.
It was somewhere during this particular portion of their encounter, however, that she'd been unceremoniously shaken out of her dream by Hayate.
Riza realized there was nothing after that in her dream to recall, she became aware, once again of her surroundings…and more explicitly the manner in which she was clutching the pillow and the placement of one of her hands.
For a moment, the professional portion of her flared up. Revolted, it demanded she stop this right then and there.
Her body, however, craved differently. She really did have half a mind to stop, after all: this really wasn't like her, and she still remained conflicted about the dream. Yet, she could feel that emotional side of her, the part that begged for contact, for sappy romance novels and their fairy-tale endings, she could feel that side of her whining in insistence, and it was with a slight shift of her pillow and a change in position that she gave in.
She forced herself to think of other things. To try and recount one or more of her romance novels. The people, the places, the exotic locations and romantic atmospheres. They were "safe" things. As they ran through her mind, she gently touched herself with progressively more insistence. Her body, however, knew full-well where that other dream had been headed, and it cried out for its specific, very obvious completion. Her flesh didn't want to be teased; it wanted release.
And as she stroked herself, she tried to force herself to think of anything but him. Anything but those comforting eyes, that laugh, that smile, that sure and tender touch.
But try as Riza might, his face, his body kept returning to her. It haunted her not with the sappy beauty and artificial perfection of the men in her romance novels. No, it haunted her, drifted back to her because of that inescapable connection she knew she shared with Alphonse. The fact that, unlike those other men, he was flesh and real, and unlike so many unrequited loves she'd known, his eyes called out to her both in the dream and in reality.
As her passion grew and her breathing and fingers became more insistent, she convinced herself that it was okay, just this time. That it wasn't real. So it was okay. It was no more real than her stories. Just because it looked like him didn't mean anything. She closed her eyes, trying to recapture the dream she'd been having that seemed already in progress.
He was over top of her, breathing heavily as his body moved rhythmically against hers. The feel of him bid her on. The smell of him, of them enticed her, drew the moment out as she felt her breath heighten, and her body pulse with raw desire. It craved him. Craved his touch, his smile, the way he made her feel so cherished and alive.
Breathless, the Alphonse in her dream somehow managed to speak, barely louder than a whisper. His eyes gazed into hers as he sought to become one with her, "I love you," he said, with the utmost conviction.
"I … know," she heard herself gasp out as her head ground back into her pillow as her body finally spasmed in release.
She lay there, breathing heavily, letting her heart-rate settle as she basked in the afterglow. She couldn't get how his eyes had looked at her out of her mind. She'd seen that look before, at the gala …
Her mind started to speak up again when her train of thought was interrupted by the familiar pitter-patter of Hayate. "I'll get you breakfast later … go play with a ball or something," she half-heartedly complained and rolled onto her stomach.
She grabbed the spare pillow once more and smothered it over her the back of her head: she had no idea how she was going to be able to look at Alphonse the same way again come Monday.
There was a warm tongue at her toes again. With a grunt Riza's muffled voice managed to firmly announce itself from between the pillows, "Shoo!" It was a feeble impersonation of her 'I mean business' voice, but it was enough to send Black Hayate scampering away for long enough to let his master gather her thoughts.
When she finally got up, all she could remember thinking was how upset she was that she hadn't even the foggiest idea what sort of back-story or setting her dream had.
But for some reason, she could still remember his eyes.