Alphonse Elric had always wanted to fall in love. Though he himself had forgotten, the desperate longing for knowing what 'love' felt like, the jealousy he felt every time he saw a couple laughing and gazing into each other's eyes... even the guilt he felt every time he saw his brother, since he knew that Edward had sacrificed anything resembling a personal life to try to get his brother's body back; all of these things had kept him going while a suit of armor; the hope of experiencing true feelings had anchored him, when he felt that his soul was floating away.
And now... sitting in a private booth, in the most expensive restaurant in Central, gazing into the eye of Roy Mustang and smiling... he thought that he felt love. He didn't have any experience to go by, of course, but if the fluttering in his stomach and the way his heart was beating was any indication, he was head over heels.
For his part, Roy Mustang had gotten one of his three wishes. He had gotten to see Alphonse truly enjoy his life, and he couldn't help a small smile from creeping across his face as he gazed at the boy before him. Al was positively radiant in the candlelight, his skin shining like bronze and contrasting with his gray eyes and blond hair beautifully. He noted the slight blush on the younger man's face, and the way his eyes sparkled...
Al rested a hand on the side of his head, and whispered, "I... can hardly believe that I'm doing this. I never thought I'd enjoy being on a date with you."
Roy offered an easy laugh. "It isn't so surprising. There are women who would kill to be on a date with me. I aim to please," he added, smiling.
In response, Alphonse had to stifle a laugh. "I thought that some of the girls at the beach were going to do just that!"
Despite himself, Roy began chuckling, as well. "I think they were too busy swooning over your swimsuit to think about killing you."
"Mine?" There was a definite tone of disbelief in Alphonse's voice. "I remember hearing more than one scream of 'Marry me, Mustang!' Besides, yours were smaller than mine." The boy blushed at the memory, but managed to keep his gaze level.
"True, but you simply look better." Mustang leaned in, smiling. "You should have seen the reaction when I put the sunscreen on you."
Al shivered at the thought. He remembered what his reaction had been: remaining firmly planted, face down, on his beach towel until he could trust his body not to betray him. He had also mumbled complaints about how revealing his swimsuit had been: he was grateful, at the very least, that Mustang hadn't asked him to turn over. He didn't think he could have dealt with that kind of embarrassment.
He blushed furiously, and stammered, "A-and the play! I'm glad that you got us a private box... some of the girls in the lobby were really scary." He managed a mock-scared look, then giggled.
Once again, Roy smiled. The play, a comedy entitled 'A Scrap of Paper,' had been nothing short of hilarious. He had seen it before, of course: it wasn't a new piece by any stretch of the imagination, but he wanted to make sure that Alphonse enjoyed himself. And, judging by the reactions, he had been right: the boy had laughed until tears started flowing out of his eyes, then he had leaned against Roy's shoulder, his entire body trembling with laughter even as he complained about his aching sides. The Major General's first thoughts had been that he was grateful for the private box, so that the other patrons wouldn't have shot him disapproving glares.
The second... was that Alphonse really was beautiful, when he let his guard down. The emotions he felt were so pure, so completely uninhibited and heartfelt, that Mustang couldn't help but be drawn in. So he had snaked an arm around Al's waist, drew him close, and began rubbing the boy's side. Al had shot him one grateful look, his angelic features glowing, before he closed his eyes and snuggled closer. Other than a few helpless chuckles at a particularly funny scene, the boy didn't stir until the final scene. And yet, somehow, the older man hadn't minded at all.
Al poked at Mustang's hand, a concerned expression on his face. "Roy... are you all right?"
"Of course. I was just remembering the plot of the play."
The boy blushed slightly. "I... don't really remember that. I blanked out after the first act." He offered a helpless smile.
"I know. That's to be expected."
"I-it is?" Al seemed confused by this, which elicited another chuckle from Mustang.
He smirked. "It's actually quite common. The second act is much more sedate than the first, which encourages the patrons to spend more time interacting with each other."
It took Alphonse a moment to put the pieces together. When he did, though... "You've seen the play before! And... and... you knew that I was going to fall asleep in the second act? You orchestrated the whole thing!?" The expression on his face was a study in conflicting emotions: embarrassment at being so easily predictable, anger at being manipulated, relief that he wasn't the only one to act that way, and mingled awe and respect that Mustang would spend so much effort on him.
It took all of Mustang's willpower to not burst out laughing at this. His shoulders seized in stifled mirth, and his face was contorted with the effort, but he didn't laugh. Finally, he managed, "Yes, I did; that's part of the point of a date." Alphonse opened his mouth for a counter, but Roy cut him off. "You really are beautiful while you're asleep, Alphonse."
At a loss of what to say, Al's mouth opened and shut a few times, then he blushed and paid close attention to the candles. After a moment, he ventured, "I'm surprised that we haven't run into any of your subordinates. If you're out of your office for so long, they usually send someone to follow you."
Mustang smirked. "Oh, didn't you know? I'm busy cutting through the latest batch of paperwork. I am so busy, in fact, that I have instructed Lieutenant Hawkeye to not allow any distractions."
With a wistful smile, Al stated, "I didn't think that would work."
"Coincidentally," Roy added, "I have given Lieutenant Havoc the day off. I am told that he can impersonate me quite well."
Al's eyes widened, and his gaze snapped to Roy's eye. "You mean... you asked Lieutenant Havoc..."
"No, of course not. I couldn't possibly ask him to inconvenience himself on his day off. However," The Major General leaned in, and in a conspiratorial whisper, he added, "At the news that I was dating you, he was so overjoyed that he offered to do anything to make my task easier."
"O-oh! I see." Al laughed. "I can imagine... how this would change things."
"Ah, does that mean that I've convinced you already?" Roy's tone was light and teasing: he didn't want Alphonse to think too far into the future, not when the present was still not settled. Besides, he added to himself, For this night, we can afford to think only of the present.
"You're getting there," Al teased, "But I don't know..."
Roy smirked, because at that moment, their food arrived. "Eat first. After that, I'm playing my trump card."
"I can't wait." The boy looked down at his food, and gasped. Steak, fried potatoes with caviar, and strawberries, to name a few of the items. Al gaped. "Isn't this a little expensive?"
He looked up, saw the Smirk, and gulped nervously. Roy countered, "With my promotion came a salary increase."
"Oh..." Al looked at the food, and smiled. "I'd better not waste any, then." He took a bite of the caviar, and Roy smiled as the boy almost melted. "This... is really good!"
The Flame Alchemist was simply fascinated as he watched Al. While the boy wasn't as abrasive as his brother (It's still hard to believe that they grew up together, he mused,) the temptation of such excellent food was almost enough to override his manners. As Alphonse began tearing into the steak, pleasure evident on his face, a part of Roy wanted to laugh. To be honest, he felt like a wicked old demon: it was unlikely that the boy knew the full extent of why Roy had chosen that particular menu, and he was far too innocent to ponder the implications. Of course, Roy didn't mind that feeling in the least, and he leered at Alphonse as he began wolfing down his own food.
Far too quickly, it seemed, Alphonse had finished, and he gave a contented sigh as he looked at Roy. "Thanks... that was delicious."
Roy was stunned. Al's lips were stained a bright red from the strawberries, and in the light, with him blushing and so obviously happy... Roy found himself caught between two equally powerful responses. The first was to roar with laughter. The second... was to catch Alphonse in a brutal, possessive kiss. In the end, though, he settled for a neutral response: he grabbed a napkin, and ran it across those lips. It would have been much easier, too, if the boy didn't lean into the touch, smiling at the sensation.
Don't do anything he doesn't want you to. Don't kiss him unless he asks you to. No matter how kissable or desirable he looks... After taking a deep breath, Roy trusted himself enough to stand up and offer his arm. "Now, then... May I have this dance?"
Alphonse laughed. "Dance? But there's no music playing..." His voice faltered, as right on cue, a band began playing. "...You planned that too, didn't you?"
Roy frowned. "Actually, the cue was when I stood up. Ah, a pity that the world isn't perfect. However..." He offered his arm again. "The offer still stands."
"Hm..." Alphonse considered the offered arm like a particularly complex array: carefully and calculating all possible implications. Finally, he whispered, "I... don't know. Is it all right for everyone to see us?"
"Of course not. That would be why I rented a private balcony."
"You what?" Roy decided that he liked that expression on Al's face; wonder and amazement playing equally with incredulity and scandal. "How did you... why did you..." It was obvious that Alphonse was completely caught off-guard.
So, Roy softly laid his hand on Al's shoulder, and whispered, "I told you that I would play my trump card."
"I see." The boy smiled, and accepted Roy's arm. "I'll accept your offer." Without another word, the two strolled off, past table after table, up stairs, and across wide stone halls, until they reached a large balcony.
Alphonse couldn't stifle a gasp of amazement. Roy had planned for this night being the full moon, and the balcony was stunning: it offered a beautiful view of Central, and the wide marble area was lit only by a combination of torches and the filtered light from the restaurant proper. The soft lighting accented Alphonse's features, and he looked exactly as Roy imagined him to be: angelic. Unlike his brother, who detested any sort of formal wear whatsoever, Al looked stunning in his tuxedo, the black material setting off his blond hair wonderfully.
And Roy... was at his best; all smiles and laughs, putting the younger man at ease. He, at Alphonse's request, was wearing a dress uniform, though he had left his black coat at the restaurant's lobby. Considering the crisp, cool night air, he wouldn't have minded having it again. But, he offered his hand, and Alphonse accepted it, and they began dancing.
It was a slow song; Mustang had queued up a fair number of them, just to be on the safe side. As though by routine, Alphonse rested his head on Mustang's chest, and let the older man lead him. For the entire song, they remained that way; Alphonse trusting Roy, Roy leading Alphonse... It wasn't perfect, of course, but it was close. Mustang would settle for close. Then the music stopped, and Alphonse looked up, a faint frown on his face. "Roy... what am I doing wrong?"
Far too perceptive. Softly, Roy captured Alphonse's hands, and moved them to the back of his neck. Al took the hint, and linked them together: at the same time, Mustang encircled the boy's hips with his own hands, and he smiled. "Much better." He didn't offer any elaboration as the next song started, and they began dancing again. The older man noticed that Alphonse was blushing again: whether this was due to the fact that his entire body was now at the mercy of Mustang's hands, or because they were so close, was debatable. Still, after a moment, he closed his eyes and smiled, savoring the sensations playing across his body.
It was Roy Mustang's second wish come true. Here he was, holding Alphonse tightly against his body, and the boy wasn't objecting. No... he was enjoying it.
Slowly, so slowly that the boy didn't notice it, Roy slowed the pace of the dance, until they were both barely moving. He found himself being drawn to the boy, leaning in to drink in the warmth and the scent that was uniquely Alphonse's. The boy shivered at the warm breath on his face, and opened his eyes, but didn't object, didn't try to run away. At this gesture, Mustang narrowed the gap, judging the distance as best he could with one eye, tilting his face so that he could easily claim the strawberry-stained lips with his own...
Then drew away. Don't. He doesn't want it. Don't you dare hurt him again. It was a testament to his self-control that the only betrayal of his emotions was the slight clenching of his hands, so light that most people would never have noticed it.
But Alphonse did. He found himself staring at Roy. "What's the matter?"
For a moment, Roy considered any of the myriads of little lies he had learned over the years: 'I'm afraid of commitment,' 'You're not ready for this,' or even 'You're not my type.' Yes, he loved Alphonse, but he didn't want to cause more pain to the boy: more importantly, he didn't want to take advantage of his position, or Alphonse's vulnerability. So, he told the truth. "I don't want to hurt you, Alphonse. I won't do anything to you that you don't want to do."
"I know." The concern on Al's face didn't dissipate, though. "Why are you so worried?"
"I... almost..." Roy turned his head to the right, so that he couldn't see the expression on Al's face. It was easier that way. "I almost stole something from you. It may not mean much to most people, but I don't want to risk that chance again." He didn't add what was really on his mind, It was so easy. It felt so right. I don't think I'd be able to stop myself if this continues. Instead, he cleared his throat, and muttered, "Maybe it would be best if we..."
He didn't get a chance to finish his statement. The two hands at the back of his neck rotated his head left and down, so that he was forced to stare into Alphonse's eyes. Without any warning, the boy leaned in, and claimed the older man's lips with his own.
For that moment, Roy Mustang was utterly paralyzed. He couldn't move, couldn't think; he only felt the soft lips pressed gently against his own, and the tremendous feeling of loss when they were withdrawn. Alphonse was blushing furiously now, but there was a small smile on his face. "I... know that I did something wrong. But, I want you to show me how it's supposed to be done." He closed his eyes, and shivered in anticipation. "I trust you, Roy. I want you to kiss me. Please?"
Slowly, carefully, the Flame Alchemist leaned down, and pressed his lips against Alphonse's. There was a moment's hesitation, then Roy ran his tongue along that soft mouth, tasting strawberry and... something else. He pressed slightly, and the boy opened his mouth and leaned in, entirely at the older man's mercy and not wanting it any other way. Tenderly, now, Roy ran his tongue through that warm cavern, searching for some classification for that elusive taste that had him enthralled. Finally, after he memorized the boy's mouth and withdrew, panting, he found it: Alphonse. It's a taste that's uniquely his. Warm and sweet, and absolutely delicious.
Alphonse opened his eyes, breathing heavily and shivering. And yet, for all of that, he was beautiful. His eyes sparkled in the dim light, the blush on his face contrasted with his skin, and he was radiant. An angel, just like Mustang had wished for, and the angel was his. After a moment, Alphonse managed, "That was... perfect."
No teasing this time, simply a, "Anything less wouldn't be worthy of you."
If anything, the blush deepened. "A-again?"
Roy could only smile. "As many times as you want."
It was then, as Alphonse lay panting in Roy's arms, so needy and so real, that Roy felt his life finally snap together. The night was perfect, and it was still young: even if he didn't get his third wish, he was content with this. He had an angel; shivering, leaning, and perfect; resting in his arms. For this night, this one perfect night, he wouldn't let go. He pledged, both by the subjective full moon and the completely objective totality of his being, that he would be whatever his angel needed or wanted.
He had seduced his angel. Or, perhaps, his angel had seduced him.