A/N The bunnies won't leave me alone, and more of a plot is coming to fruition. More for the Post-Apocalyptic!Amestris 'verse.

The Flickering Light

Don't turn away / Just take my hand / And when you make your final stand / I'll be right there / I'll never leave / And all I ask of you is / Believe – Savatage "Believe"


He was hovering in that grey plane between sleep and consciousness, snuggled down in a clean bed with blankets that kept in the warmth and replaying the last fading bits of a most enjoyable dream, when Roy felt hot breath at his ear. He rolled to his side to make room on the narrow bunk and was rewarded with the weight of a heavy body flopping next to him. "Mrrff," he mumbled; still half asleep, but aware enough of the fact he'd become tightly cocooned. "C'n you get under the covers?"

There was a deep, wordless groan and more hot breath tickled Roy's ear in sharp contrast to the chill brushing his forehead from the cinderblock wall only inches away. He buried his nose deeper under the toasty covers as a shiver started at the top of his head and worked its way down to his toes. Other parts of his body started to twitch into wakefulness and after adjusting himself to a more comfortable position, he let his hand linger a little longer, languidly squeezing the shaft through the light cotton as he anticipated another hand in his place.

Roy purred as the form next to him shifted in the bed and struggled to cuddle closer -still on top of the blankets. He hadn't opened his eye yet, and really didn't want to. The threads of the dream that involved warm, tanned skin, a hard, passionate mouth, and skilled, calloused hands would be chased away if he did, and right now that ethereal mix of reality and the wisps of sleep was too intoxicating to let go of just yet.

Of course, if the person behind him had in mind what he hoped, being awake wouldn't be such a bad thing, after all.

His bed-partner gave a tiny little whine behind him, and Roy chuckled low. "Get under here with me and we can do something about that, idiot."

Instead, something cold and wet pressed into his ear and there was more snuffling.

"What the hell..?" He batted at the offensive object then jerked his hand back when he felt fur instead of flesh.

His eye snapped open and he craned his neck to glare over his shoulder. What filled his vision in the weak, morning light, was a black, wet nose and a set of rather impressive teeth. A wide, pink tongue lolled out of the side of a grinning maw that Roy was certain could devour him with a single bite. When he could force his eye to uncross, he took in the black and tan fur, brown-gold eyes and alert ears of a rather large shepherd mix.

His pleasant anticipation and erection disappeared like ice in the middle of an Ishballan heat wave the instant he realized he wasn't being playfully molested by another human. "Uh…"

The shepherd bounded to its feet, allowing enough give in the blanket cocoon for Roy to flip over and scoot back. As he sat up, trying to put some distance between himself and the strange dog, something shiny hanging from its collar caught his attention. It was a military dog-tag that had the original name scratched out, and a new one roughly etched in its place. "Ahhh. So you're the notorious Pookie," Roy said with a smile and understood the humor of Breda's comment last night. 'Pookie' was a terrible name to give such a majestic creature. He was going to have to have a talk with Jean about that.

A quick glance around the small dorm room told him that would have to be a conversation for another time. Jean was nowhere to be seen, but from the appearance of the neatly made bed, the uniform hanging on a hook at the back of the door, boots polished and at attention by the trunk between the beds -and the pack of cigarettes and box of matches next to it on top- Roy guessed the captain was in the shower.

The dog barked once in a happy greeting that echoed off the bare, grey walls and made Roy wince. Pookie wagged his tail enthusiastically and scratched at the blankets near his hand.

Roy assumed the dog was friendly -he would have to be in order for Breda to come within a mile of him, after all—so he held his hand out for him to sniff, then slowly turned it palm up when the shepherd seemed satisfied. This apparently pleased the pooch immensely, because his tail wagged harder and he slapped a heavy forepaw into Roy's hand to shake.

"My apologies for not introducing myself last night," he said. "I was a bit… spent."

Pookie made a querying sound and tilted his head curiously.

"Yes, well… It's a long story. I'll bore you with it another time." Roy smoothed the soft fur on the dog's head, pleased to discover that Jean's SAR dog was being well cared-for. He knew that Hawkeye was heading up the Search and Rescue dog training and assignments, but he assumed that the dogs would be on rations as well. More of Jean's 'people', he thoughtand was once again ashamed of himself for not paying better attention all those years. I really have been a self-centered bastard, haven't I?

Pookie laid a paw on Roy's hip as if to nudge him and brought him out of his musing. "Sorry," he said. "I'm not completely awake yet. Of course, that's no excuse to be rude, is it?" He bowed his head graciously and added, "Corporal Roy Mustang, at your service."

This elicited another happy bark and suddenly Roy had the wind knocked out of him as two large paws slammed into his chest. Pookie then proceeded to become familiar in the second most accepted manner of doggie-introductions: by nearly drowning Roy in slobber as he licked every inch of his face.

"Ugh, your breath smells like kibble," he said, then he strong-armed the dog around his neck, grasping the collar, and flipping Pookie onto his back in one smooth move.

The shepherd didn't fight or struggle. Instead he gave Roy a wary look and a couple of uncertain thumps with his tail. With his head back and his throat exposed, Pookie conceded alpha-status.

With a narrow-eyed glare, Roy kept his gaze locked on the dog's and slowly lowered his head. He knew he was taking a risk, but he could tell the dog had an easy temperament and his position in the 'pack' had to be firmly established if he was going to be spending any time with Pookie. Once he was nose-to-cold-wet-nose, he loosened his grip on the collar, keeping his hand close in case Pookie was playing possum. When the dog huffed but remained still, Roy let out a soft, breathy "Woof."

He lurched back just in time to avoid a collision with Pookie's head as the dog twisted to his feet on the bed, and then dropped his front half down as his ass stuck up in the air. Once again, his tail was nothing but an excited blur.

"You're still pretty much a pup, aren't you?"

Pookie panted and grinned gleefully, then bounced and bowed down again.

"Oh, is that how it is?" Roy said and then he flipped the blankets off and sprung onto his hands and knees, facing a shepherd that was nearly as big as he was.

Pookie responded with a playful growl and smacked his lips, then bounced again.

Roy mirrored the dog's action, then pounced and pinned the wriggling mass of fur down on the bed.

Thus the great canine/human wrestling match of 1917 had begun as the black market section of the basement dorms resonated with joyful barking and playful growls from both the four-footed and two-footed variety of military dog.

Roy would never be able to explain, in the years to come, just how they ended up on the floor, nor how they managed to roll halfway under Jean's bunk, clear on the other side of the room, but he would insist to his last breath that he did not have his teeth latched onto the dog's collar when the contest was ended prematurely.

"Well, I see you woke up full of piss and vinegar," Jean laughed from the doorway.

Roy glanced up, then quickly spat out a mouthful of fur. His brain fizzled, popped and then short-circuited at the sight of the half-naked, damp blonde, and he had an overwhelming desire to trade places with the drop of water that fell from those crazed bangs, trailed down Jean's nose, over his lips, to drip off his chin and settle briefly in the hollow of his throat. It hovered at the edge of that pit, then rolled on down his chest with a slight detour around the ID tags, down the shallow gully between the hard planes of muscle in his stomach, around his navel, then into the golden trail of hair that disappeared under the waist-band of a pair of low-slung grey sweats and into territory that Roy would very much like to explore further.

Forcing himself out of his deliciously lecherous thoughts, he blinked and cast about his non-functioning brain for an explanation. The best he could come up with was to point at the dog while Pookie continued to use his other arm as a chew-toy, and say, "He started it."

Jean snorted as he stepped over the two of them, then flopped cross-legged on his bed. "You should know better than to abuse one of your subordinates," he chided.

Roy snapped straight and huffed, "I was not abusing your dog, Jean. We were… getting acquainted."

"I was talking to Pook."

"Beg your pardon?"

Jean nodded at Pookie and grinned. "He's a military SAR dog, Boss. His official rank is Sergeant."

Roy glared down at the shepherd, who scooted back, laid his head on his paws and thumped his tail twice.

"Marvelous," Roy grumbled. "Even the dog outranks me."

"'Getting acquainted', huh?" Jean chuckled as he leaned over and stretched to grab his pack of cigarettes off the lid of the trunk. "Maybe it was a good thing I didn't come in earlier." Without sitting back up, he shook one out and stuck it between his lips then tossed the pack back on the trunk and reached for the matches. "I don't think I could live through the trauma of seeing The Flame in that position."

Roy never let Jean get those matches.

The blonde's eyes went wide in surprise when he was pinned to the mattress by his shoulders and thighs, but the expression quickly turned into amusement as Roy plucked the unlit cigarette from his lips and tossed it aside. Distant thunder rumbled as he bent his head and teased Jean's lower lip with the tip of his tongue; eliciting a sigh from the man beneath him.

In a fit of mischief, Roy denied the deep, passionate kiss the younger man was opening his mouth to receive, and chose to run his tongue along the trail that tantalizing drop of water had taken earlier. Jean's hum of disappointment became a gasp of pleasure when Roy reached the hollow of his throat and nipped lightly at the tendons around it.

Strong, calloused hands rested easily on the curve of his back and carded through his hair as he blew hot breath on a saliva-dampened collarbone. He could feel the prickling of gooseflesh and the rising heat of Jean's skin against his lips and the soft, wanting noises beneath him intensified his own breathing and arousal.

As he moved down Jean's body with agonizing slowness he felt the other man's hardness growing against his own and the desire to just rip those grey sweats off of him and lose himself in the scent, feel and taste of the man was almost overwhelming. Jean Havoc wasn't the only one with an oral fixation, after all.

It was a delight to find a lover who was so responsive to his touch and Roy allowed himself a small prideful smirk at the realization that he was making Jean react so passionately. When he lifted his head just enough to look at the other man's face, his cock twitched at the way those blue eyes were lit from the inside with heat. The need for stimulation became urgent and he ground his hips against Jean's, creating an intense friction against the cotton of his boxers that forced a shudder and moan out of him.

He was suddenly trembling at the edge of climax and he had to tear his gaze away from Jean's as he shook and fisted the blankets and fought for some semblance of control. Last night was bad enough; he didn't want to give the other man the idea that being quick on the trigger was SOP. Roy had never left a single lover unsatisfied before, he wasn't about to start now -and it was crucially, desperately important that this lover, especially, wasn't disappointed.

The hand that was combing through his hair slipped to the back of his neck and remained there. There was no demand or impatience; just waiting. "Okay?" Jean asked softly.

Roy nodded, but didn't meet the other man's gaze; choosing, instead, to focus on the steel dog-tags lying against golden-tanned skin. "Jus' gi'me a second."

"Hmm. I think I'll take that as high praise," Jean said with a touch of amusement lacing his husky voice.

Slowly, Roy brought his eye up to meet Jean's and a smile tugged at his lips when he saw that the other man's attempt at his usual sarcasm had lost spectacularly to lust. "Please do," he said with a wicked grin, then dipped his head and grazed his tongue across a stiff, brown nipple.

"Shit," Jean hissed and his hips bucked.

Roy groaned and sucked hard as he pressed his demanding cock against Jean's. Clothing, what there was of it, be damned; the stimulation was delicious and he began to rock and grind in a lazy, circular motion as he caught the nipple between his teeth.

Then Jean yelped and Roy was abruptly pitched to the side, against the wall.

He rubbed the back of his head and glared. "You know, if you're too sensitive, all you have to do is say something."

"Not that," Jean grumbled, and it was then Roy noticed the other man was glaring down at the other side of the bed.

A large furry head rested on the mattress, and where Jean's elbow had been just a moment before, was now taken over by a wet, black nose. Pookie stared back and forth between his owner and Roy, hopefully and tentatively wagging his tail.

With a barely suppressed growl, Jean snapped his fingers and pointed under his cot. "Pookie. Bed."

Clearly disappointed that he wasn't being invited to play with the two humans wrestling on the bunk, the shepherd slunk underneath with a protesting whine. There was a thump that shoved the thin mattress up as the dog settled into a comfortable position which, had it been from a human, might've been taken as petulance.

"Hey, none of that insubordination out of you, soldier," Jean said. "That was an order."

The dog grumbled once, then was quiet.

Jean flopped back on his pillow and covered his eyes with his arm.

"Well, that was a mood-killer," Roy quipped.

The other man peeked out from under his arm, glanced at Roy's erection, then down at his own; neither of which showed any signs of flagging. "Wanna bet?"

Before he could respond, Jean was up on one elbow and grabbing the back of Roy's neck with his free hand. He stole the kiss that was denied him earlier and slipped his tongue past willing lips and teeth to explore Roy's mouth.

As Jean pulled Roy on top of him, his hand slipped under the waistband of his boxers, pushing them down to his thighs, releasing his aching cock and sliding a finger along his tailbone to skate over the oh-so sensitive skin around his anus.

Caught between wanting to let sensation wash over him, and wanting to get Jean naked now, Roy fumbled to untie the drawstring of the other man's sweats and fight them off. The wriggling and shimmying and kicking to free themselves of confining fabric as quickly as possible was transcendent torture to his fervid cock; brushing against damp, silky skin, soft curls, and another stone-hard, burning penis. He was just about to give up and start rocking against Jean with his underwear tangled around his knees, but he wanted… needed… to feel bare skin touching him completely.

With one last kick to dislodge the sweats from around his ankle, Jean hooked a leg behind Roy's knee and clutched tightly as he rolled his hips. "Oh, fuckyeah," he breathed in his ear, then clamped down on his trapezius muscle.

Roy groaned and fell into an easy rhythm with the man writhing beneath him. Flesh slick with sweat and precum enveloped their cocks as they glided against each other, their balls brushing, touching, sending a bright, white thrill through him with each stroke. Panting and trembling; wanting to give in to his body's demands to move faster-harder-faster, but not willing to end the ecstasy too soon.

The thunder, continuing to rumble in the distance, was all but drowned out by the steady cadence of the springs and the tempo of their heavy breathing. The scent of their sex and sweat mingled with the bite of gun oil, and rich, brown tobacco smoke, and sweetness from all the hard candies Jean sucked on when he couldn't have a cigarette, and as Roy licked his neck, he wondered if Jean knew he tasted like his guns and cigarettes and candy.

"Roy," Jean whispered, and it became a low moan that grew into an impassioned, feral growl as he bucked beneath him unable to resist the heat and urgency and need any longer.

"JeanohJeanohgoddamn," Roy cried, giving in to his own ardor. He drove his hips faster, harder and glanced up as he felt the other man tense, to see his eyes close and his head fall back. Overwhelmed at the almost beatific rapture on Jean's face as he came pushed Roy over the edge to his own bellowing climax.

He flopped down; becoming a limp, sweaty, human blanket, and thought he could die here right now… or at least take a very long nap. He got lost in the sound of Jean's breathing and heartbeat slowing back down to normal, and the soothing touch of his calloused hands along his back, and he wondered, as he heard the thunder continue to roll, how bad the storm was going to be.

In his state of semi-consciousness, his mind wandered back to the last time he'd heard thunder in Central in winter. The capitol city had normally mild winters, but thunder storms –or rather, thunder snows—while rare, were not unheard of. Roy counted back each winter he'd been in Central, and realized the last time there was this sort of weather was the night Elysia Hughes was born. Six years ago, he thought. Gods, Maes, you should see her now. She's as beautiful and brilliant as you'd always bragged. Roy sighed and tried to push back the wave of bittersweet memories. Now was not the time for him to become morose, after all.

He was grateful for the distraction when Jean snorted a short soft laugh. "What's so funny?" he asked, without glancing up.

"Nothin' really," Jean said. "I just had this bizarre desire to ask you what you were thinking right now."

Roy scowled and his head shot up, a sarcastic retort hovering on his lips, when his voice and breath were stolen by the softness and warmth in Jean's expression. In the past, whenever any woman graced Roy with that look, he knew it was time to go. It scared the hell out of him, because it meant they were getting too attached to him, and if he allowed that, it meant familiarity, and eventually things he'd rather no one else knew about him might be uncovered.

Except Jean already knew where all his secrets were buried –he'd helped dig many of the graves. And that look didn't scare Roy this time… which, in itself, was alarming. All of a sudden, he found himself faced with the possibility of a relationship, and he had no bloody clue whether he wanted it or not, or even if it would work. Panic rose and he gaped like a grounded fish and he tried to find something to say, hoping it was the right thing, but not even sure what the right thing would be, and several emotions roiled through him. Did he love Jean? Unequivocally, yes. As a trusted friend and brother-in-arms, and the man was, quite simply, walking sex, whether he realized it or not… and ohgoddamn the things he could do to him. But was it Love?

Jean chuckled, a mix of amusement and bewilderment in his smile, and brushed the long hair from the scarred side of Roy's face.

He almost flinched away, when he realized he hadn't even looked for a patch to cover it since he woke up… and it didn't bother him for once.

"You know, it's not like I'm going to ask you to marry me," Jean teased as he lightly brushed a thumb across Roy's ruined cheek. "So don't go looking for an excuse or a lie." He shrugged. "Just roll with the punches for once, okay?"

Roy's panic dissipated like smoke on the wind and he felt the tension flow out of him. "I'm an old dog, Jean. You think you can teach me a new trick like that?"

Jean opened his mouth to give what Roy was certain would be classic Havoc-sarcasm, but he was interrupted by the bunk lurching violently, and Pookie scrambling from underneath. He danced excitedly as his ears pitched toward the door and his tail whipped back and forth.

"Shit," Jean blurted, and tossed Roy off of him onto the floor. "It's the Major."

Roy didn't need to be told twice, as he picked himself up off the cold tile and dove under his blankets.

Jean wasn't so fortunate. He'd made his bed already, in perfect military fashion, the covers being tucked in so tight a fifty-cens piece would still bounce after their impassioned wrestling. He fussed and fumbled and fought the blankets down, while he was still on top of them, gave up about half-way, and just shimmied back enough that he could slip his legs beneath.

He'd just barely managed to keep his dignity when they heard bootsteps pounding down the hall, and the door flew open. Black Hayate bounded in as soon as there was enough room to fit his head through the opening, and he instantly pounced Pookie to play.

Hawkeye took in the two men, each in their own bunks and doing a damn good imitation of innocence, but her eyes landed on the boxers and sweats tossed casually on the floor and Roy didn't miss the barely perceptible flaring of her nostrils.

To her credit, her face betrayed nothing but a slight flush across her cheeks, as she said, "Furlough's over, gentlemen. Get geared-up; we have a riot at the Base gates."

Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) was created by Arakawa Hiromu and is serialized monthly in Shonen Gangan (Square Enix). Copyright for this property is held by Arakawa Hiromu and Square Enix.