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Circumstances

part 1 of level3 MF

Ed stared out a third floor window of East City military headquarters and grumbled to himself.

"Never find the damn Stone at this rate... How many years?... ratings... stupid..." Ed thumped the windowpane, left handed, to relieve his frustration.

"Hm? Does that mean you'll be staying here from now on?"

Startled, Ed tried to inhale in the wrong direction.

Once he'd gotten his choking under control he leveled a glare at the man who had sprung up out of nowhere at his elbow, and growled. "Taisa..."

Roy Mustang received the glare serenely, waving toward the window. "A fine view to console yourself with, Edward-kun. You haven't answered my question."

Ed snorted. "Don't be ridiculous."

He leaned back against the window. There wasn't much hope the Colonel would go away if ignored, but at least the cool glass might help the Mustang-induced headache. Sure enough, Mustang leaned beside him, just a bit too close for comfort. Ed rolled his eyes and took up his muttering again, internally this time.

Evil minded bastard... gets his jollies annoying people... bad karma... didn't deserve this though...

A gloved finger trailed down Ed's neck.

Ed made a heek noise and sprang two meters sideways. "Taisa!"

Mustang's slight smile never faltered. He strolled towards Ed, who backed up. "So formal, Edward-kun? Surely it isn't necessary."

Ed's eyes widened. "You can't be serious about this. You're never serious about this! All that meaningful look, personal space, knowing grin stuff, you've never been serious! ...have you?" Ed had run into a desk, and the Colonel wasn't stopping, and his tirade ended a bit higher than it had started. "You're not..."

As the Colonel's head bent toward him, Ed shoved him off to arm's length. "You can't do that! This is a shounen series!" he hissed.

Mustang blinked at him. "You hadn't heard?"

"...heard what?"

"We've been transferred."

"...what?"

"Our print-media contract was bought by another company and given to one of their contractors."

In absolute calm, Ed asked The Question.

"Who?"

Mustang rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "One of the ones who publish BL lines, I believe."

"What?!" Ed screeched.

"Mm. Maybe it was Biblios."

Ed hyperventilated.

"Or possibly Kadokawa Shoten; you know, the ones who publish CLAMP."

Ed turned dead white and clutched at the desk.

"So, you see, there's a new script direction of course. Are you quite all right, Edward-kun?" Mustang put a solicitous hand under Ed's arm as he swayed.

That's... and now... he's supposed to... I'm... Ed shook himself sharply and came to the rather abrupt realization that the Colonel still had him backed up against a desk and was now inside his guard. The Colonel was, in fact, leaning comfortably with a hand to each side of Ed on the desk.

"It won't work," Ed declared firmly.

"Really?"

Ed shot the Colonel a dirty look. "You're supposed to... well... with me? No, it's a complete miscast, it'll never work."

"How so?" Mustang inquired, conversationally, not moving.

Ed swelled with outrage. "I. Am. Not. Uke!"

"Edward-kun," Mustang said in his most patient and reasonable tone, "I'm fourteen years older than you, several ranks higher, and, while your combat skills are indeed outstanding, I still win the actual fight. As has been demonstrated. And," with the air of delivering a clinching argument, "I'm seven centimeters taller than you."

Ed opened his mouth, paused, and closed it again.

"Stupid rule, anyway," he grumbled.

"Well, yes," Mustang conceded. "It does rather put me at a disadvantage, myself, in almost any other situation. I'll help you write a letter of protest to the management, I think."

He looked down at Ed.

"Later."

Ed's mouth tightened.

"Am I so distasteful to you, Edward-kun?" Mustang murmured.

"You're not anything! I've never thought about this! You're..." Ed waved a hand as if he could catch the right words out of the air.

He categorically refused to say that he thought of Mustang a bit as a friend and somewhat as a really annoying older brother.

"You're my boss!" he finally finished.

Mustang widened his eyes. "Why I do believe you're right, Edward-kun! How nice to know that you're also aware of the fact."

A really, really annoying older brother. Ed narrowed his own eyes. "That wasn't what I meant," he clipped out.

Mustang regarded him evenly for long enough to make Ed start worrying. "Is it beneath you, then, to take some passing pleasure from a friend?" he asked, at last.

Ed froze. He's not telepathic. He's not telepathic! I refuse to believe it! No matter who's writing! On the other hand... however he'd come by it, Mustang did have a point. If he thought of Mustang as a not-distant-friend the idea almost worked. And Ed didn't actually want to think about how much trouble it would be to break his contract now.

Ed drove both hands through his hair and sighed. "All right, all right. But let's have a few things straight." He ticked off points on the fingers of his right hand. "No kinky stuff. I am not crying. I am not drooling. You don't make out like I'm helpless. And if I say no I mean NO."

He folded down the last finger and looked meaningfully at Mustang over the resulting closed fist. A corner of Mustang's mouth curled up.

"Fair enough. I'm sure there's latitude in the script for that."

"All right, then." Ed folded his arms and looked steadily off to the side.

"Well?" he prodded, after a few moments. "You're the one who gets to do all the work in this set-up, you know."

"Then it differs not at all from my day job," Mustang mused.

Ed's head snapped back around, mouth open to protest that he was the field agent, here, and Mustang kissed him.

Every muscle in Ed's body tensed, but he managed not to leap backwards off the desk, or possibly through the window, and held still. After a few seconds Mustang drew back to look at him, unsmiling.

"Edward. If you truly don't want this, I'm sure there are ways around it."

Ed lifted an eyebrow and this time it was Mustang's mouth that thinned.

"I don't want you unwilling, Edward. I've never wanted you unwilling for anything."

Ed gazed back, caught by the words. He had to allow that it was probably true. For all that he was a scheming, conniving, rat-bastard, the Colonel had rarely spoken less than the truth to Ed. He had never offered false hope. He had, in fact, given Ed unfailing, if sarcastic, support. And, Ed added a bit sourly to himself, given the Colonel's extensive reputation it was unlikely to be a bad experience. At last he looked up, seriously.

"Don't expect me to jump right in at the deep end," he warned.

Mustang's mouth softened. "I won't." And then a gleam entered his eyes. "It will make a pleasant challenge that way."

Ed swallowed just a bit hard. "Taisa. You're not actually a sex maniac, right?"

The Colonel chuckled with great good humor. "Of course not, Edward-kun. You really shouldn't believe everything you hear."

"Well, now, that's not exactly in spec either, is it?" Ed pointed out, nettled.

"No, I suppose not." Mustang's smile turned wry. "Perhaps we're both just a bit miscast. We'll have to make do as best we can, hm?"

Ed shrugged acceptance.

Mustang tugged off his gloves and curved his hands around Ed's face, tilting his head back. This time he gave Ed plenty of warning. Ed wasn't sure whether that was an improvement. The slow approach almost gave him too much time to anticipate. A shiver blew over him just before Mustang's lips touched his.

Mustang's kisses were soft, light, there and then gone. Ed heaved a faint sigh and relaxed just a bit. Mustang sucked gently, coaxing, on his lower lip, and Ed slowly opened his mouth.

Still, Mustang's lips only brushed his, open mouthed now. It felt like a feather, drawn over Ed's lips again and again.

Cool hands slid down his neck and over his shoulders, pushing away his coat. Ed tensed again, both hands closing on the front of Mustang's uniform jacket. He felt Mustang's lips curve against his own. Mustang drew back and smoothly shed his jacket, raising a brow as he did. The implicit offer of the Colonel going first calmed Ed. Not that it would come out even, considering how many layers that uniform had, but as good faith gestures went it wasn't bad. Ed let Mustang lift the red coat off his shoulders.

As Mustang stepped close again Ed looked up, biting his lip. He raised one finger in a wait-a-moment gesture. Mustang waited. Ed pulled himself up to sit on the edge of the desk behind him, which brought him almost level with Mustang. He nodded, satisfied. "Much better."

For some reason this assertion seemed to amuse Mustang. "Are you sure?"

"Yeees," Ed answered, warily. "Why?"

This smile showed teeth. Mustang took one long step forward... between Ed's legs.

Ed inhaled sharply.

Mustang laughed. "Truly, Edward, there's no need to be so on edge."

"When you like playing games like that?" Ed snapped.

Mustang sighed and lifted a hand to brush Ed's cheek with his fingers. "But don't you enjoy playing games too? Isn't that one of the reasons you've been willing to stay in my command? Think of this as another game, Edward."

Ed gave him a trenchant look.

"So. Perhaps another way, then." Mustang enclosed Ed's face in his hands again. His voice lowered and turned serious. "Edward, my friend, I will not harm you. I will not force you. If you let me I will make this very enjoyable for you."

Ed held very still between Mustang's hands. He couldn't see any spark of joking in the man's eyes, and Mustang was holding him as if he were something both fragile and valuable. Ed fetched in a deep breath that wavered only a little and let his head fall to Mustang's shoulder.

"All right," he whispered.

Mustang's arms came around him and Ed felt a hand stroking his hair. Gradually that hand seemed to leech the tension out of Ed's neck and shoulders until, with one long shudder, he finally relaxed.

When Mustang placed a kiss just below his ear it caused only a slight hitch in Ed's breath.

"Much better." There was satisfaction in Mustang's voice.

"Taisa," Ed mumbled against Mustang's shoulder, "why are you going to this much trouble? Don't tell me you couldn't wind the script around your little finger if you wanted to."

"If I tell you, will you call me by name?"

Ed grumbled about extortion, but agreed.

"Because you deserve some pleasure for the troubles you've had under my command. Because I think your sense of mischief will make you an interesting lover. Because you've grown from a pretty child into a stunning young man. Is that enough?"

Ed lifted his head. "Is there more?"

He caught just a moment when Mustang's eyes were as deep as a midnight sky, and then their expression shifted and they were merely very dark blue.

"Perhaps," Mustang answered.

A thought whispered through Ed's mind, Not yet, and he nodded. "It'll do for now."

"Good."

Mustang drew Ed to the edge of the desk, until their bodies were flush against each other, and kissed him with concentration. Not feathery kisses, this time, but still coaxing, teasing Ed's tongue. Ed's exhale became a moan, and Mustang returned a low chuckle into their kiss. It felt as if Mustang had trailed a finger down the inside of Ed's spine.

And then Mustang's fingers did find his spine, weaving down it as if Mustang wanted to braid his nerves. Ed leaned against him, shivering.

Mustang broke off the kiss long enough to shed his shirt and run an inquiring finger down the front of Ed's. Ed nodded, wordless. Mustang took his time about it, fingers brushing Ed's stomach, ribs, shoulders until, when it was finally off, Ed reached for him just to have a solid touch.

The sleek heat of Mustang's skin against his almost changed his mind. Ed dropped his head back down to Mustang's shoulder and, when the man's palms slid up his back, turned his mouth against Mustang's neck to stop whatever sound was trying to make its way out.

"Ed..."

The low breath of Mustang's voice moved over Ed like desert wind, hot enough to burn. Ed had time to realize that Mustang's voice was affecting him more deeply than the touch of his hands when those hands found his hips and pulled them tight together.

"Aahhh!" Ed arched back sharply, startled by the sudden wash of sensation, felt Mustang's hand come up between his shoulders, guiding him down to the desk, felt the surface under him cool and... soft?

Ed panted, staring at the ceiling for a while before turning his head to see that he was lying on a bed. He turned back to look very calmly at Roy, kneeling over him.

"When?"

"Just now," Roy confirmed, bemused. "A fast cut. I've heard of the technique, but our previous writers never used it."

"This isn't my bed," Ed informed him evenly. "Can I hope that it's yours?"

"Oh, yes."

"Good." Ed took another look and raised an eyebrow. "You have silk sheets?"

"Ah. Mine with some alterations, apparently."

Ed reached up and dragged one of the pillows over his face. "Alterations. Wonderful."

The bed dipped, to the accompaniment of some rustling and throat-clearing noises. When Mustang spoke it was in the tone of a man trying not to laugh lest he get nailed with a pillow.

"Shall I take it I have some work to do to retrieve the mood?"

Ed hauled off the pillow so he could glare at his companion, now leaning at ease on one elbow. "Mood!? Never mind the mood! What else is going to happen?"

Roy brushed Ed's disheveled hair back. "Nothing you don't want to happen. Will you accept my word for it?"

It's the voice, Ed decided, looking away. "Yes."

A pause.

"Will you let me take your hair down?"

Ed looked back around and blinked a few times. "...if you want."

Roy pulled him up to sit cross-legged and settled behind him. Ed felt light fingers undo his hair tie and slowly start to unwind the braid. They combed his hair out, sliding against his neck and back. His breathing started to deepen.

"You have the most magnificent hair," Roy purred in his ear. "I'd almost hate to see what would happen if you left it loose all the time. There might be traffic accidents."

Ed's breath stopped. The voice. Definitely. Please don't let him know. He leaned back against Roy, looking once again at the ceiling. "Could be useful some time."

He could feel Roy's answering laugh as well as hear it. And then Roy's mouth was warm on his neck, and he closed his eyes and released a low sigh. Roy's fingers traced over Ed's chest, outlining the muscles.

"Mm. You're right," Roy murmured against his throat.

"About... what...?"

"You're not nearly willowy enough to be a proper uke."

Ed started to sit bolt upright, and then halted deciding he'd been complimented. "Damn right."

Roy's hand slid down, brushing back and forth just above Ed's waist. Ed chewed on his lip for a moment and then made a deliberate effort to relax into Roy's arms.

"Ah. Good," came the whisper in his ear.

Roy's touch lightened as it descended, until just his fingertips danced down between Ed's legs.

"Ah... haahh..." Ed couldn't quite catch his breath. The feather touch brushed over and over him. "Not miscast," Ed husked, "type-cast... sadistic... tease..."

"Pleasure takes time, Edward."

The fingers started drawing circles and Ed lost what breath he had caught.

Two fingers slipped up the line of his zipper and paused.

"May I?"

Without the air for words, Ed nodded.

Roy's touch became, briefly, more businesslike. Ed's boots caused a sufficient delay for Ed to regather his thoughts. When he had done so he found that Roy, true to their unspoken agreement earlier, had removed his own remaining clothes. For a moment he simply looked.

Roy's body glowed where the light fell, like an ink drawing on porcelain. He moved, not like his favored fire, but like water, long currents of muscle under the smoothness of his skin.

"So," Roy's voice drew Ed's eyes back to his, which glinted, "am I worthy of my lover's beauty?"

Ed was caught between the strong desire to stick out his tongue and the sneaking conviction that this would be an unwise challenge just at the moment. Instead he did something that worked a great deal better. He lifted a hand to Roy's side...

...and tickled.

Roy collapsed with a very undignified yelp. Ed stared for one second and then, grinning in utter, evil delight, pounced on him. He even had the upper hand until Roy discovered that Ed's toes were horribly ticklish. Before too long they were both laughing too hard to do anything very effective.

"If I let go of your arm, can we have a truce?" Roy panted.

"I suppose so. For now."

They shared a smiling moment before Roy caught Ed against him and kissed him, no longer light and careful, now deep and heated. Ed wound his arms around Roy and returned it, feeling a little awkward but no longer hesitant.

Roy turned onto his back, carrying Ed over him, hands running down his arms, his back, his legs. Ed moved against him, restless, unable to be still under those stroking hands. He leaned down to rest his forehead on the cool sheets. A knee pressed between his legs, parting them. Fingers traced a tendon up his inner thigh, light and shivery.

"Roy," he whispered.

Roy's breath beside his ear hitched. He turned his head, seeking out Ed's mouth for a fierce kiss. His fingers searched higher, and a new tension pulled Ed taut. He shivered and one hand closed, hard, on the sheets.

"Roy..."

"So." Roy paused to trace Ed's parted lips with his tongue. "I wonder if the alterations to my room include a larger bath? A large quantity of hot water would be helpful here."

Ed's senses were trying to tell him that something was odd. The cloth under his hand was definitely not silk and the air was suddenly full of... steam?

They both stopped.

"What is it this time?" Ed groaned, refusing to open his eyes.

"We appear to have relocated to a hot spring."

Ed's eyes popped open. They were, indeed, now lying on stone, in a nest of towels, beside a pool of steaming water.

"A hot spring? There aren't any hot springs in this whole area! Where is this supposed to come from?!"

After a moment's contemplation Roy offered, "Perhaps this is supposed to be a dream sequence now."

Ed grabbed a towel, in lieu of a pillow, to pull over his head, but it just didn't feel the same. He tossed it off again and propped himself up on Roy's chest. "So? What use did you have for a lot of hot water, anyway?"

Roy smiled. "Let me up and I'll show you." He halted at the edge of the water, though. "Will this be any problem?" he brushed the metal of Ed's arm.

"No. I paid for the best." Ed regarded his hand, a crooked smile on his lips for the double edge of his statement. He started a bit when Roy lifted his chin.

"Yes," Roy answered, very serious, "you did."

Ed took a while finding an answer for that look. "Show me," he said, at last, softly.

Roy led him into the water, which came up to Ed's chest, and pulled Ed lightly against him. "The point of the hot water," he murmured in Ed's ear, "is to relax you."

"Mmm." Ed draped an arm over Roy's shoulders. "Working so far."

"Very good."

Roy's hands swept down Ed's body, drawing rushes of water in their wake. Ed liked it; it almost tickled but not quite. He stretched into the feeling a little.

And then one of Roy's hands touched him more firmly, sliding down his back, down, fingers pressing, parting him. Ed bit back a gasp. His hands closed hard on Roy's shoulders. The heat that surrounded him softened his muscles but tension still sang through him like a drawn wire.

Roy's touch never stilled, circling, sliding, as coaxing as his earlier kisses had been. As if Roy had heard Ed's half-formed thought, his lips brushed lightly over Ed's open mouth, drawing Ed's breath back out in short bursts. Ed shivered, his body starting against Roy's.

Finally, Roy's fingers pressed Ed open, and his mouth came down hard, swallowing Ed's inarticulate exclamation. Ed's shivering came and went, the complete strangeness of that touch inside him alternating with flickers of something.

"Ah... haa... aaah..."

"Edward, relax." Roy's voice, deep and breathless, slid down Ed's nerves like lightning grounding itself.

"Edward, my hawk, Ed..."

Heat unfurled inside Ed, spread through him until it overwhelmed the heat of the water around him. It fed the something until the flickers became a steady brightness in all of Ed's senses. Roy's touch and Roy's voice met somewhere inside Ed and left him leaning heavily against Roy, panting, completely unstrung.

"Edward... let me...?"

Ed shuddered under the heat of that resonant whisper. He must know, floated through his mind. "Yes."

A few steps brought them to the edge of the pool, and Ed leaned against it. He rested his forehead on the cool stone and ignored whatever Roy was doing to make clattering noises.

"...ah. Thought it must be here somewhere."

Ed ignored that, too.

Roy's hands covered his shoulders. "You're sure?"

"Yeah."

Roy laid a kiss on the back of Ed's neck. "Thank you."

Always knows just what to say...completely unfair. The mildly disgruntled thought didn't stop Ed from sighing as Roy nibbled his ear.

Ed leaned more heavily on the edge as Roy pressed his legs apart. The water swirled around him, and the feeling of Roy standing so close behind him quickened his breath. Roy moved still closer, and his cock was pressed against Ed, somehow softer than his fingers had been. Pressing, hard, so slow, the slowness of it strangled Ed's moan.

Harder.

Ed started as Roy's fingers dug deeply into his lower back. His muscles spasmed, released...

So slow.

Ed moaned again, lower, deeper, overwhelmed by the slide of Roy inside him, not stopping, sustained like a violinist might sustain a single note.

"Ed..." A breath, rough and tense. One of Roy's hands had come up to clench on the edge. Ed felt the other close around him, tight, knowing, stroking. Roy shifted within him.

"Aahhh!"

Pleasure burned up through Ed, he lost track of anything but Roy moving, inside him, around him, Roy's voice wrapped like fire around him, Roy's touch sliding, burning, tighter, wound tighter. He moved, hard, into Roy, with Roy, seeking the breaking point until it found him and everything snapped.

When he came down, he found himself still in the water, vaguely surprised they hadn't boiled the pool dry.

Roy was leaning against his back, which pressed the edge of the pool into Ed's chest. Ed mumbled something that was supposed to be a protest, though it didn't sound much like one in his own ears. The sense must have gotten though, because Roy slowly pushed himself back up.

Ed shivered at the brief slide as Roy withdrew.

"I suppose," Roy's voice was lazy, "that we should get out of the water before we're parboiled."

"Mm." Ed hauled himself over the edge and promptly collapsed on the towels. His legs felt like jelly. He consoled himself that Roy didn't seem to be doing a great deal better. "No pillows," Ed complained. "Come'ere."

He flopped down on Roy's shoulder and ignored it when his impromptu pillow shook with laughter.

"I was right. You make a very interesting lover, my hawk."

Ed pried an eye open. "Your what?"

Silence for a moment while Roy ran a hand through Ed's hair.

"Do you know anything about falconry, Edward?"

Ed levered himself up the better to deliver his best Excuse Me? look. Mustang wore a rather odd little smile.

"It's a fascinating study. You should look into it some time."

Ed contemplated him for a few seconds before lying back down. "You're not just a pervert, you're a weird pervert."

"A pervert?" Roy didn't even have the grace to sound concerned.

"You just had sex with someone only a little more than half your age."

"And enjoyed it immensely," Roy agreed, quite serene.

"See?"

"And does this worry you?"

Ed snorted. "I have better things to worry about," he declared.

"Such as?"

"Where are our clothes?"

Epilogue

"...ah, yes, and the municipal guard of West City seems to want a word with you, Fullmetal."

Ed stopped craning his head around, having watched Havoc close the office door behind him.

"Never mind that," he snapped. "What the hell happened? We haven't been transferred again, I checked, but the script has reverted."

"Mm." Mustang steepled his hands thoughtfully. "From what I can find out, our... interlude... was the work of one particular writer on the new team. They seem to value the incongruity of her chapters."

"Wonderful," emerged rather muffled, as Ed scrubbed a hand over his face. "You mean it'll happen again?"

"Possibly. Do you object?"

Ed looked aside. "Could be worse."

Mustang's mouth curved, but his eyes didn't smile at all.

"That will do for now."