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Better Living Through Alchemy

chapter 2.

Daniel Stanton, age thirteen, profession: note passer.

The steady click of the chalk connecting with the blackboard
didn't waver, but the yellow eyes of the Professor moved suddenly, running over
his temples, above his ears and onto the back of his head, where they parted
the ponytail hanging there with their incredible telekinetic eye-beam rays and
stared right at Daniel Stanton, hand hanging between his and Eric Danvers' desk,
pinning him mercilessly.

"Mr. Stanton," the Professor said, "would you care to
share the wisdom you've so dutifully jotted down on that piece of paper, and
seem in desperate need to share with Mr. Danvers, with the rest of the class?"

Daniel swallowed and fidgeted nervously, eyes darting
to his companions. Eric sat rigid, eyes straight ahead, all too familiar with
the cold wrath of their teacher's yellow eyes. They seemed to have the ability
to peer deep into one's own cranium to instantly decipher any off topic thought
lurking there. The way he could sniff out mischief, fear or a hidden sandwich
were uncanny reminders of just who their teacher was: the legend of the dime-store
novels.

Duffy, (that would be Henry Duffy, but looked so little
like a Henry and so much like a Duffy, everyone just called him that)
, was
also sitting at attention now, practically saluting. Daniel thought the lot
of them traitors and knew he was to face the firing squad on his own. He sat
back up slowly, tucked his hands into his lap, wet his lips and then braved
speech.

"No, Professor Elric," he said to divine retribution's
back, "I would rather not."

Eric darted him a quick sidelong glance that spoke of
his admiration for Daniel's bravery and how he would prepare an eloquent speech
for his funeral.

The figure at the black board continued out its equation
to the end and then pocketed its stick of chalk. It turned to its desk and laid
down the open text book it had been balancing in its right hand. Then, with
a casual stride, it rounded its desk and started down the row of student desks,
each heel step clicking out the doom of its intended victim. Said victim, in
a fit of insane bravery or suicidal resignation, worked his hands furiously
in his lap, tearing the small square of paper into as many tiny bits as he could,
crushing them tightly in his sweaty fist. He saw the lower half of the Professor
stop just before his desk and tried to lift his head to meet those strange eyes,
but the magnet of fear had already worked its magic on his chin and was drawing
it hard, down to his chest.

A white, gloved hand extended (the real hand, Daniel noted).
The Professor always saved the scary (but really cool) metal hand for
special occasions. Daniel saw the fingers move slightly, just once, the
signal that patience was ending and a hauling out of the classroom by the ear
would be imminent. Daniel swallowed and overcame the magnetic fear-field surrounding
his body and lifted his hands slowly, gritting his teeth as he struggled against
the foot soldiers of doom guarding the pathways of his nerves. He managed to
get a message through to central command to tell his hand to unclench, which
it did, dropping the ball of paper shreds into the white, gloved palm.

"Ah, what's this?" the Professor said above his head,
"it seems your note has had a mishap. I think this can be remedied... and used
as a practical demonstration at the same time."

There was now general (if polite) excitement as
the Professor kneeled next to Daniel's desk and the whole classroom began to
gather around. Daniel found himself meeting the gaze of the man, raging inwardly
at the smirk on his features, and realizing just what a pointless gesture tearing
up the note actually was. Not only had he done the forbidden off-topic
gesture, it would now be even more of a spectacle than if he'd just handed the
note over quietly and took what was coming to him. The Professor was a man who
loved to revel in audacity, for he had plenty of it himself, and he wasn't above
a little public humiliation to get his point across. In fact, he seemed to be
living out some vindictive streak in that direction, seeing as how many a boy
in the class had worn shame-reddened cheeks since the beginning of the school
year, and that had only been a month ago.

But Daniel despaired of this particular shame, knowing
it was not only going to cause trouble for himself, but for a friend, a friend
he would give anything to protect. If he'd only handed the note over, not tried
to mask it in useless subterfuge, he might have stood a better chance of reasoning
the Professor out of reading it aloud. The man was, no matter how rigid on certain
things, very fair. He watched gloomily as the Professor drew a simple chalk
circle on the floor and then began to add into it the elements needed to reconstruct
the paper.

"What are we doing?" the Professor asked the class in
general.

Seth Winston, age twelve, profession: suck-up.

Seth's hand was in the air almost before the questions
left Professor Elric's lips. The Professor hesitated a moment, waiting for other
hands (of which he got a few) before calling on Seth, because his hand
was up first and fair is fair.

"Understanding, deconstruction, reconstruction!" the boy
in the thick glasses chirped, looking hopeful and leaning over his desk.

"Very good, it's nice to know the lot of you do pay attention,"
and he looked pointedly at Daniel as he said it, drawing another symbol in the
circle. "What is this symbol?" he asked in general again. This time he skipped
Seth and instead looked at Daniel's own little gang of supporters, of which
Duffy had begun to sweat profusely.

"Henry," the Professor said, "would you care to take a
closer look and hazard a guess?" he prodded.

Duffy squirmed around in his chair, his already straining
uniform pulling at his middle and opening the vista of the white undershirt
beneath the buttons wider for all to see. Daniel set his jaw, it was really
unfair of the Professor to make his mistake Duffy's as well. Daniel's peripheral
vision caught movement and so must have Professor Elric's, because he turned
his head to look at Eric across the isle and Eric's face went a shade paler
than the fish belly white it already was. His lips became a quivering line,
he'd been pantomiming to Duffy, or at least trying to. Daniel doubted Duffy
would have a clue as to what the word pantomime meant, but now he was caught
out as well.

"Is there something you'd like to add, Eric Danvers?"
the Professor's voice was just this side of frigid and Eric shook his head frantically,
pleading to Daniel with his eyes for a brief second.

I am not a coward, Daniel Stanton told himself
and with that, found his voice.

"It's the symbol for 'earth', Professor," he said loudly.
The yellow eyes swung to him and the matching eyebrows rose slightly, "because
paper is made from wood and that would be the... equiv... equiva..." he tried.

"Equivalent," the Professor supplied, looking thoughtful
for a moment and then let Eric and Duffy go, "That's partially right, at any
rate."

The Professor placed the little ball of shreds in the
circle and everyone (Daniel included. How could you not hold your breath
and feel the rush? The FullMetal Alchemist was about to perform Alchemy for
your own private viewing pleasure!)
leaned forward in wide-eyed anticipation,
many jockeying-for-position battles ensued.

Like he always did, the Professor waited for the room
to settle before touching his fingers to the edge of the circle. White and blue
flares arced up and leapt for the ceiling, there were many appreciative gasps
and one small groan of denial.

The folded note lay good as new in the middle of the circle.


Alphonse strode into the office, saluting as he walked.
The Colonel was elsewhere in the building, but it was always polite to offer
acknowledgements. First Lieutenant Pharr gave him a jaunty one right back as
the young alchemist came over to the table and took a seat.

"How was the trip?" Pharr asked, eager to take a break
from his paperwork and leaning on the table.

"Did you find out anything about our mystery creature?"
Second Lieutenant Marilyn Harper asked from her end of the table. Alphonse grinned
at her; she was pretty and sweet, always proficient and inquisitive, and just
as hungry for knowledge as Alphonse in some things. If she wasn't a fellow officer,
he would even consider asking her on a date, but this woman was being molded
under the formidable eye of her idol Colonel Hawkeye (and a very impressive
idol to have... next to the Pirate)
and would recite to him by rote military
protocol, just as the Colonel did. So, Alphonse has already placed her firmly
into the category of 'friend', as he had the General's friend Anna Wagoner,
when he'd first met her.

"No, it was a bust," Alphonse sighed, and since the Colonel
wasn't in the office, he allowed himself the luxury of leaning his chin on the
table, "Whatever it is, the locals all have varying stories about it. I'm hoping
it's not some suffering chimera. I felt bad I had to leave and come back to
make the trip to Central this weekend, but it's waited this long, it can wait
a little longer."

"Been out with April again?" Pharr asked, thrusting work
aside for the more important things, at least the more important things while
the Colonel wasn't in attendance.

"Oh," Al said with a shrug, "No. She was nice and all,
but I've been busy and well then there was this mission..."

Pharr sat back in his chair and folded his arms, studied
Al frankly and rubbed his chin.

"I think it's the ponytail," Pharr said, "It makes you
look pretty young. Maybe if you cut it off?" he suggested.

Al sat up and reached back to finger the length of hair
hanging down the back of his neck. He hadn't even thought about it for a while,
as long as it was tied back it was easy to keep out of his way and he trimmed
his bangs himself. Would cutting it off really make him look older? Wait, what
was Pharr inferring here? Was his ability to score zero written so plainly on
his features?

"I like Al's ponytail," Marilyn offered, "his hair is
lovely, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't show it off by wearing it long,
his brother does."

That was a double edged compliment. On one hand, Marilyn
liked his ponytail, the justification he needed to keep it; on the other hand,
Marilyn inferred it reminded him of Ed, an association he didn't want to break
in the brotherly sense but one he wanted distance from. He wanted to be Alphonse
Elric, not Edward Elric's little brother.

The Colonel came striding in then and nodded at the table
with a slight smile; Alphonse always liked to think the smile was there because
he was. He tapped his fingers on the table a moment then, made a decision, stood
and walked to the big desk.

"Sir, have you a moment, if you're not busy? It's more
of a personal question as opposed to military business," he said.

The Colonel gave him a nod as she slid into her seat behind
her desk and laid her meeting notes in front of her.

"Of course, Alphonse. You know that I'm here for you,
is something bothering you?" she asked with polite sincerity.

Alphonse fidgeted now, feeling ridiculous from bringing
up such a frivolous subject, but she's gone to the trouble of giving him her
attention, he had to follow through. Why is it she could make him feel twelve
again without even trying?

"I was wondering if you," he took a deep breath and plunged
ahead, "think my hair would look better short?" he tried to look very sincere
and contemplative on the subject, as if it held great weight and only the wise
counsel of his superior officer could help to ease his burdened mind.

Her eyebrows lifted just a fraction; Alphonse knew this
was 'surprise'. She was so frustratingly hard to read he was surprised he had
any categorized facial references for her at all, but this was most definitely
'surprised'. He'd seen it before when he was fourteen and had been caught hanging
upside down from a vent duct outside the mess hall that he'd tried to crawl
through to prove to himself that he could. For some reason he always thought
he was too big... and pointy.

"Well Alphonse," he got a little thrill at her use of
his given name, but she always used it when the business was personal and not
military, "I think that decision really lies with you. I think you have nice
hair and you always wear it so neatly that it's not a true breach of dress code
since longer hair is allowable in the ranks."

Her advice was really no advice at all, just a gentle
nudge for him to make his own decision, which was proper and in the long run
the only one that mattered. It was so typical of her to be so wise and caring,
but wait; did she perhaps intimate she liked his long hair? She said it was
'allowable' and 'not a breach of protocol', and that in itself spoke volumes
of her acceptance. If she took the trouble to notice she liked his longer hair,
then perhaps in that turn, she meant she liked him. Unbidden, his mind
turned to this incredible revelation.

If she liked his hair (and therefore liked him),
then maybe she was just biding her time, waiting for his decommission and resignation,
and then, on that very day, he could rush back to East City and ask her on
a date
. He would be eighteen then and he just wouldn't tell Ed what he was
doing. His mind's eye suddenly traipsed to a scene of him entering her office,
dressed in a dark and somber, conservative manner to her liking, hair pulled
back neatly and shoes shiny. He would approach her desk and salute her out of
respect even though he was no longer enlisted. Magically, his voice would have
dropped even further by then, perhaps he'd be even taller (even though he
was a bit taller than she was right now)
, and he would have coached himself
through his proposal of dinner and movie?, dancing?, firing
range?
, by then.

She would do her surprised eyebrow twitch and then she
might hesitate, considering her options, but in the end, because she had always
liked him, (and his hair) she would agree. Then Alphonse Elric
would truly be a man, not a boy or a shadow of his famous brother. He lifted
his clenched fist and put it over his heart, eyes shining, sucking in his bottom
lip. Yes, these could be the happiest moments of his life (next to getting
Ed back)
and he would cherish them forever.

"Lieutenant Colonel," a voice lifted him from his haze
of euphoria, "was there anything else you needed to ask me?" she said in a prodding
manner. Alphonse snapped to and saluted, feeling his cheeks heat up. He wondered
miserably how long had he been standing there looking like a complete fool.

"Nu... no. Thank you, Colonel. I need to go pack and get
to the train station," he said faintly, feeling the heat of his blush skip gleefully
from his cheeks to his neck.

"Very well then, you are dismissed for the day. Catch
an early afternoon train, and say hello to your brother and the General for
me," she said in her usual conversational tones, a blessing she was not making
him twitch since she had him pinned. Ed needed lessons from the woman.

Alphonse dropped his salute and bowed forward a bit, turned,
avoided looking at the big table as not to meet Pharr's mirthful, glinted eyes
and fled the office as fast as an orderly walk would take him.

Unlike home, or the General's office in Central, no unbridled
shout of laughter that had just been barely contained in his presence erupted
after he got into the hall.

She was the consummate professional, after all.


Practicing arrays should be illegal. It was so very, exceedingly,
dull.

At least to a group of boys in a classroom in an academy
where a man with yellow eyes watched them like they might be edible, seeming
to smirk when they trembled.

The note incident had ended with a surprising anti-climax.
The Professor had opened the note, scanned it quickly, refolded it and stuck
it in his pocket with a brief look at Daniel Stanton that said discussion was
clearly to follow, just not in front of the class. Daniel had watched the Professor
walk back to his desk with his own jaw slack in amazement. When the Professor
told them to get out their sketchbooks and practice arrays, he leapt to do so
out of gratitude and a sudden feeling of camaraderie. He would have to thank
the Professor profusely after class for not making him into a laughing stock.

The classroom door swung partially open and every pair
of eyes in the room, including the Professor's swung toward it. A man leaned
in the doorway and looked around, then stepped into the classroom and put his
hands on his trim hips, smiling at the boys.

He had on a tailored looking sweat suit of all
things. His dark hair was immaculate and his jaw was square; his smile was shiny,
white and bright and when he spoke, his voice was deep and authoritative, but
a touch jovial and soothing, like he was your best friend, or your father, or
idol.

"Say boys," he said, "I'm looking for Professor Edric,"
he intoned, "has he stepped out of the class?"

Bernard Martin, whose desk it was the Professor had stopped
at when the door opened, made a sound like a small trapped animal and tried
vainly to become one with his wooden chair, cringing away from the figure in
front of him. Steel fingers drummed once on his desktop. There was a small collective
gasp and scooting of desk chairs all around that vicinity, they all knew what
a slighted Professor could do, having witnessed it themselves on the very first
day of class.


Daniel and his gang were all hanging around a center group
of desks they had pushed together when he walked in. He was dressed in
civvies, not a uniform, and he had a ponytail, like a girl. It had been
one long, endless summer of his mother's social gatherings and his father's
attempts at bonding; he was just itching to get back into the swing of academy
life, where his could flex and posture and impress his companions, effectively
shaking off all the culture his parents had rubbed all over him during his free
months. So, when the new kid walked in, looking a little lost and inquisitive,
he was sure his school year would be far from dull.

They'd gestured to him. He had funny yellow eyes, kind
of like a cat, and he arched his eyebrow once before heading over slowly, walking
up to the group and looking at them one by one. He and Daniel stood eye to eye,
while Eric towered over them both in his gawky fashion, but the new guy didn't
look up at him either. Duffy was almost eye to eye with him, and Seth, actually
being a year younger than the rest of them, came just to his nose. They all
eyed him back, taking in his clothes, his hair, and offering in return a challenging
smirk, well practiced in the tradition of schoolyard pecking order.

"What's with the clothes," Daniel said, "uniform in the
wash? It's first day, you know, you had time to get it clean, or you ain't got
one yet?" he drawled.

A lazy smirk of his own cut across the guy's mouth as
he put his hands on his hips. That's when Daniel noticed the gloves and his
own challenging grin widened.

"Did your Mom dress you? You know we aren't that formal
around here, would hate to see those dainty white gloves get dirty," Daniel
furthered before the new guy got a word in edgewise.

The other three chuckled appreciatively. Daniel was the
wittiest among them, capable of deadly, lightening fast come backs. They rarely
challenged him.

The new guy's grin had gone slowly into a scowl and his
yellow eyes seemed to brighten. He seemed to have trouble with his jaw, because
he had it clenched real tight and he had just a bit of a shake, like he was
holding something in. He flared his nostrils to release the steam of his inner
turmoil and Daniel folded his arms, wondering how long he could hold out as
he started preparing another round of barbs for the next step into the ring,
but the class bell rang first.

They were soldier's kids after all. Immediately, desks
began to realign themselves and everyone had already scuffled over where they
were going to sit, but Daniel had an idea for the new guy and thought he should
share it.

"Why don't you sit up front, Ponytail," he snickered,
"with your girly looks and fancy suit you got teacher's pet written all over
you," his gang of three snickered along with him as they gave the new guy mocking
glances before retreating to their own seats.

Ponytail stood stock still for several long moments, still
with that tight-jawed look of struggling for control, then he began to stalk
toward the front of the class. He got a few catcall whistles and comments about
his hair on the way, other boys picking up on Daniel's glee, but he threw himself
into a desk at the very front of the classroom and stared straight ahead, panting.

They all waited in silence, but after long moments had
slipped by and no Professor seemed to be forth coming, a low murmur descended
over the class again.

"Do you really think it's the real FullMetal Alchemist?"
Boyd Harding said from the back of the room, "I mean, you know, like the one
in the books?"

Ponytail made a visible jerk at this, but remained silent,
staring straight ahead. Daniel leaned back, lacing his fingers and putting them
behind his head, stretching his legs out as far as he could.

"Let's ask Ponytail. A guy dressed up like that should
be really smart," he threw out. Now that he had a victim, his school year would
be complete, "do you know if he's the real FullMetal Alchemist, Ponytail?" Daniel
called up to the front of the class.

"If it is, he's got to be really old," Seth supplied,
"my older brother read all those books forever ago," because when you are twelve,
two or three years is forever.

"Do you think he'll have Alphonse with him, or we'll get
to meet him?" Richard Timbers asked, "I always liked Al, but they never did
much with him. You think the FullMetal Alchemist will let us meet him and see
his steam-powered suit of armor?"

There was much pondering and speculation about that, with
general murmurs and knowing nods, crossing of arms and teenage beating of chests.
Even if their teacher was the real, legendary, FullMetal Alchemist, they
were still younger, smarter and in Academy (even though it would be really
cool to like, brag that your teacher was the FullMetal Alchemist)
. They
hadn't met a professor, doctor or instructor they couldn't drive to distraction
yet.

Ponytail suddenly stood up and Daniel locked on target.

"You're going to get your pansy-ass in trouble if the
FullMetal Alchemist catches you out of your seat when he comes in," Daniel offered
with evil glee, "no matter how pretty you are in your ponytail," he chortled.

Ponytail seemed to have gotten himself under control,
for he marched to the big desk, turned to face the class and shrugged of his
jacket, lying it on the desk. As he began to unbutton his vest, every eyebrow
in the classroom climbed rapidly and all attention became riveted at the front
of the class where the new guy, dubbed Ponytail, seemed intent on giving them
a strip tease.

The vest followed the jacket onto the desk, then a tie,
then the dress shirt was untucked and unbuttoned, but before it came off, Ponytail
slowly and methodically peeled off his gloves one by one. The front of the class,
that could see better, let out a sudden explosive gasp. Daniel watched as Ponytail
shucked out of his shirt and glinted in the dull overhead light. His teeth became
sharp, his tongue long and forked, and his eyes turned from cat-yellow to scary,
fire-molten orbs. He held up his right arm, his automail, METAL, right arm and
with volume enough to cause the desks to jump, Ponytail proclaimed once and
for all.

"YES, HE IS THE REAL FUCKING FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST", his
forked tongue slithered in and out of his cavernous mouth. He walked around
his desk then, bare-chested, raised the arm and slammed it down on the desk.
The desk shrieked like a girl, making a sound like every tree in the vicinity
was crying out in pain, as he pinned them again with evil light seeping from
under his eyelids.

"ARE THERE ANYMORE QUESTIONS?! ABOUT MY HAIR, ABOUT MY
CLOTHES, ABOUT MY HEIGHT (even though no one had mentioned that) THAT
I NEED TO ANSWER BEFORE WE GET STARTED?!" he howled.

No one could think of a blessed one.


The man barging in on his class (marked for death,
obviously)
came in and looked the Professor over with an indulgent chuckle.

"You can go on back to your seat, I won't tell him you
were wandering about," he said in that, 'I'm your buddy' kind of way adults
do when they think they are doing you a favor, "and what's with the civilian
clothes? Uniform in the wash?"

Gibbers of fear were heard all around. The man looked
around, confused, as the Professor turned to face him slowly. Bernard appeared
to faint and slump over his desk, and the man raised his eyebrow, looking at
the Professor again.

"Is there something wrong with this boy? Should we fetch
the school doctor?" he asked.

Maybe for YOU, several minds though at once.

"He's fine," the Professor hissed in a voice that made
every adolescent nightmare half remembered in every adolescent brain in the
room writhe in jealousy, "I'm Professor ELRIC," the Professor annunciated loudly,
"to what do I owe this pleasure," he snarled.

The man looked Ed up and down for a moment, then held
out his hand and grinned. There were several more gasps and winces because the
boys had never seen a real live dismemberment before and watched through opened
fingers even as they covered their faces with their hands.

"I'm Professor Thaddeus Taylor, but you can call me Thad."
he grinned a most charming grin and yet still managed to make it look slimy.
The Professor forced his hand up and took the other man's, shaking it once before
releasing it and looking like he wanted to wipe his glove on something.

"Edward Elric, Professor Elric is fine. You are standing
in my Alchemic Basics class and I'm wondering why," the Professor grated out.

"You know, from your rep I thought you'd be taller, but
as they say, big things in small packages. You caused quite the buzz in the
staff room, let me tell you," and he patted the Professor's shoulder in that
manner one does when one is humoring someone they are looking down on. The man
continued on, seemingly oblivious to the gathering storm clouds in the room
and several boys wondered if they could make running dives through the window
in time to avoid the blast, but one boy was becoming more and more incensed
with the casual and condescending way this man was treating their Professor.
Ok, their Professor? When did that happen? When he didn't rat you out to the
class, you dork? You know if that equivalent exchange thing was really true
you had that coming for the whole 'Ponytail' thing, but never mind that, he
can't talk to him like this, what does he think he's doing... Before Daniel
Stanton knew it, his voice rang out loud and clear, silencing the man standing
with the Professor.

"He's the FullMetal Alchemist," Daniel said, proud and
defiant, "Just who the heck are you?" he flung out. His eyes widened when he
realized he was talking to teachers and that he had stood up while he was doing
it. He started to sink back down before Divine Retribution could light into
him, but from the look on the Professor's face, the odd little look, Daniel
got the feeling that wasn't going to happen.

"Yeah, " the Professor said, suddenly with a big cocky
grin, "Who the hell are you anyway, Thad?"

The man removed is hand from the Professor's shoulder,
looking a little taken aback, but then his grin returned full force.

"Why, I'm the physical education instructor," he said,
"I'm here to see if you'd lend me my boy Boyd there," Professor Taylor pointed
and Boyd, as large as he was (a good head and half over the professor and
just as broad, if not broader, at the shoulder)
, tried to make himself small,
as not to provoke the Professor's ire, that this person who was harassing him
in his very own classroom was acknowledging an acquaintance with him.

"Why?" the Professor said, looking at Boyd in a reassuring
fashion that said 'Just because this man is a moron, I won't hold it against
you'.

"He's our new lineman and we're having a meeting down
the hall. My assistant coaches and I wanted to introduce him around, won't take
a sec, glad you're such a sport, come on Boyd," Professor Taylor called.

Professor Elric looked askance and started to object,
but Professor Taylor was already striding for the door. Boyd had not moved a
muscle, eyes glued to the smaller man in front of the classroom, deferring him
authority to the interloper, but Professor Elric nodded and Boyd stood up to
follow the other man glumly.

"If you don't make it back before the bell," Professor
Elric said to Boyd as he passed, "make sure to read chapter eight tonight. I'll
have one of the others share notes with you so you won't be behind."

It was the kindest thing the Professor had ever said to
any of them and the whole class gazed in wonder, but then a few knowing
glances turned to the visage of their emancipator, a one Daniel Stanton, who
has stood up, spoke out of turn and defended their teacher, and in doing so,
delivered them all.


The General unlocked his front door, opened it quietly
and stuck his head in. Silence greeted him, but he stood a moment more before
moving in with stealth and gently shutting the door behind him. He took off
his great coat, trying to suppress the rustle of fabric as he hung it on the
hall hook and then with the lightest steps he could, he started down the front
hallway.

He urged himself to be extra quiet near the door of the
den, but in only a month's teaching time, Edward the prodigy had already developed
the fine tuned senses needed to keep track of a gaggle of teenage boys... ironic,
that.

"Roy?" came the voice from the den. The General sighed
and turned to lean in the doorway. Ed smiled at him engagingly, then with the
fingers of his flesh hand, he scooted a pile of papers back and forth on his
desk.

"Help me grade papers?" he asked pleasantly, smile still
in place.

Roy leaned on the doorframe and sighed, letting his temple
rest against it too.

"But I'm a General," he said plaintively, "you're the
teacher," he tried to do it charmingly to wiggle his way out of a dull evening
with a red pen in his hand, but the smile on Ed's face faded abruptly and Edward
looked down at the paper he was working on.

"Fine," Ed said flatly, "dinner is ready and in the oven,
I'm sure you can handle getting your own," he made a mark on the paper.

Oh no, he made dinner. He had been smiling and nice, and
Roy alternately loved and hated Ed's maneuverability in the get-the-General-to-do-what-he-wanted
department, but what else was there for it? He made Roy dinner, not bought
it, made it. His cooking skills had improved so much (thank you Alex),
he had his hair loose, he was wearing a t-shirt that was slightly too big for
him and he had on his glasses.

Edward really was good at this heart-string thing.

"Alright," Roy said, "let me change out of this uniform
and I'll help you. Will you at least eat dinner with me?"

The smile reappeared twice as bright. Ed took off his
glasses and got up, walked around the desk to him, wrapped his arms around him
and leaned up for a kiss.

"I'll do you one better. While you change, I'll heat it
up and get the plates out," he purred and got a second kiss for it. Then he
let the General head for the bedroom while he headed for the kitchen.


"Something happened in class today," Ed said, waving his
fork momentarily, "I met one of the other teachers, he like just barged in and
demanded one of my students for some sports thing... I mean the kid was in alchemy
class..." the way Ed said it, Roy knew that Ed thought his was the only class
in the whole of the Academy worth anything. Naturally, it made Roy smile.

"That's shocking," Roy said, and took a sip of his tea,
"to think they'd pull a boy out for just sports, out of your class," he grinned.

"Okay you sanctimonious bastard, enough already. It was
really what sort of happened before I let Boyd go with Trevor, no wait, Taylor.
So this guy comes in and I get mistaken for a student again," Ed growled,
"and he's being all touchy feely on my shoulder," Ed snorted.

Roy knew that Edward disliked being touched by strangers
and was impressed that he wasn't talking to Edward from a jail cell, where he
had been incarcerated for breaking the man's arm.

"And you know I have to be polite in front of the kids
because they pick up all kinds of shit and then, you know, you get in trouble
if the kid goes home and uses a curse word in front of his parents..."
Ed grunted.

Roy kept his mouth firmly shut, knowing that in the month
Ed had been with the Academy, he'd had to 'chat' with the Dean twice on that
subject.

"So Daniel stands up and yells out to this guy that I'm
the FullMetal Alchemist, acting all offended. Not sure what that was about,"
Ed said, but looked pleased nonetheless, and sort of proud. Roy's smile grew
as his own mind gestured to a tall, lanky, blond Lieutenant Colonel who stood
with his hand on his hip in a slightly cocky manner, staring the rude officer
down and saying in causal defense, "You might want to watch what you're saying,
this is a General, you know", in that mess-with-him-mess-with-me tone.

"Daniel and Boyd? Those are first names, I don't believe
I've heard you refer to any of your students by their first names before," Roy
said causally, warmth spreading through his belly, patting himself on the back
for such an excellent decision when the opening had come to his attention.

"Well, it's not like they don't have them," Ed said, starting
on his salad, " I just have them listed on roll call by their last names," Ed
shrugged, "anyway, after the whole thing, Daniel comes up to me because he had
been in trouble earlier for note passing, but I gave him his note back and we
sort of nodded at each other. I don't know, I always read way too much into
situations," Ed said off handedly and reached for the pepper.

"Alphonse called me today. He's on the train, he'll be
here Friday," Roy said, "do we have any plans?"

Ed grinned at his younger brother's name and shook his
head, finishing with the pepper and reaching for the salt as he sucked salad
dressing off the tip of an automail digit. Roy often wondered if Edward no longer
had the ability to taste metal, the way he was always jamming his automail into
this mouth was his first clue. The couple of times the automail had found its
way into Roy's mouth during love making, the older alchemist had a metallic
aftertaste for about an hour.

"I have no plans," Ed said, "other than being happy my
brother is home. Should we make some? Maybe go out or something? Or wait and
see what Al wants to do? Let's do that, let Al pick something for us to do.
He's here for a week, right? Did he tell you?"

Roy was used to being the buffer by now, the way the brothers
occasionally communicated. Little by little over the last year, Edward had accepted,
if not with grace, that this 'new' Al leaned a bit more on the General than
himself. Plus, it was disruptive to call during a class, but not disruptive
to call a General trying to avoid paperwork, so during the workday, if Al had
to call, he called Roy. They'd both agreed Ed having a job was a fine way of
making it so they could communicate by phone again.

"Two weeks, I believe," the General said, finishing off
his meal and wiping his mouth, laying the napkin on the table, "he mentioned
wanting to spend some time at the library, which will be fine during the times
you're in class," Roy said.

"Really? Two?" Ed grinned. It was more of that heart-string
thing, the way Edward looked forward to Alphonse's visits, the way he measured
their time together and tried to think of how it could best be spent by the
two of them. He wasn't so methodical with he and Roy's time because they had
all the time in the world now, but each moment with Alphonse was precious to
him, because Roy knew that Ed was sensing that the older Alphonse grew, the
shorter these times might be. Alphonse was going to go off at some point and
start his life, which was good, right and natural, but for an elder brother
who missed so much of seeing him grow to begin with, it was a little hard.

"Let's go grade papers and have dessert after in bed,"
the General coaxed gently and his lover smiled in appreciation.

"Ummm," Ed said, "chocolate covered General, my favorite!"

Roy laughed.


Their fingertips hit the same last paper at the same time
and they grinned at each other. Ed started at the bottom and Roy started at
the top (grading upside down). They met in the middle, did a brief mock
pen battle over the last question, then they both snorted in laughter and then
they were kissing.

Hot and wet and tongues surging, Ed crawled up onto the
desk and slid his arms over Roy's shoulders. Roy wrapped his hands around Ed's
waist, pulling him against his body, and they ground against each other, both
moaning and delving and tasting.

Roy yanked him over the desk, got him on his feet and
walked him backwards into the wall beside the door where he could brace him
while trying to suck his soul out through his mouth and where he could grind
his hard, hot cock with more power into Ed's crotch and lower stomach. Ed made
deep sounds, hungry and aching as he arched hard into Roy's pelvic gyrations,
adding his own and bracing his back on the wall for more leverage to push against
Roy. They continued in this manner for several long moments before Ed shoved
him away forcefully and dragged his flesh arm over his mouth.

"You get in the fucking bedroom," Ed growled, "I need
to stop by the kitchen," he said, yanking off his glasses that had miraculously
stayed on the entire time and tossing them at the desk, not caring if they missed
and skittered across the floor. "What the fuck are you still standing here for?"
Ed snarled, "You better be naked when I get in there."

So, it was to be this way tonight. Roy couldn't suppress
the shudder that ran his frame any more than he could keep from backing away
from his advancing lover. When he gained the hall, he turned and forced himself
to walk to length to the bedroom, hearing Ed's distinctive footsteps follow
him partway, but turn off into the kitchen area.


Roy pulled his shirt over his head and let it drop. He
kicked out of his pants and thigh long briefs in the same manner, letting them
stay where they fell. Ed liked it that way, he liked to walk in and see the
clothing he commanded be shed lying on the floor.

Before his disappearance, Ed's lovemaking had begun subtle
changes. His simple yielding had started to give way somewhat, his lips and
hands had become more attentive and his wants had started to surface. He had
just come to the edge of demand, which to Roy was a signpost of the advancing
sexual maturity he had wanted to develop in his lover. Ed had just begun to
force Roy's hands where he wanted them to go, to tell Roy in low, husky growls
when it was not hard enough, not fast enough, when he wanted more and when he
wanted less. All these things that Roy savored disappeared with the boy that
fateful night, never to return.

What had returned was sculpted and molded by Ed's own
desires and experiences where Roy could not follow. Ed had come into his understanding
on his own, he had a pronounced aggression that had just been budding, but was
harder chiseled now than it might have been had he stayed in Roy's bed, under
Roy.

It was unnerving at first, the clench of metal on his
wrists, the grit of teeth and flash of heat in his lovers young face, the way
he demanded what he had never asked before. In the beginning, when Ed
was new to him again, it was almost like being in bed with a stranger. Roy was
not used to surrendering his control and in the beginning, even without intention,
he fought against it. But Ed was physically stronger, more combat agile and
his need much heavier and harder to deny than it had ever been in his youth.

Roy pulled the covers down on their bed, moved up onto
it and settled back in the pillows. He didn't pull the sheets up, there was
no point. Ed would hiss and snatch them away if he came in to his lover covered;
it seemed to anger him to no end, like it was defiance. He settled into the
pillows, arranging them under his neck and pulling one out to the side, in easy
reach of an automail hand in case he decided he's rather not see Roy's face
in his passion. But, the norm of it was that he usually preferred it, as he
called it, 'sweet side up'.

Roy still wasn't sure how he felt about this. He enjoyed
it, Edward could make him shake and cry out, make his body arch and tremble
and feel, but he wondered if it was perhaps a bit unfair of him to still
harbor doubts after all these months. This was hardly the first time Edward
had made it clear who would be servicing who in bed that night.

You are never satisfied, ah this might be true,
Roy decided. He distinctly remembers yearning for his lover's maturity, but
now he finds a part of him longs for his lover's earlier vulnerability, when
he lay trembling in a Colonel's arms after having been brought to completion.

Edward stopped all further musing by his mere presence.
He strode into the room with an aura of oppression surrounding him; his eyes
clawed at Roy's form on the bed as he tossed a bottle onto the foot of it, dragged
his shirt up and off, and kicked off his pants without ceremony. He stalked
to the end of the bed and climbed onto it, pushing the bottle before him as
he went and pressing its cold surface to Roy's side as not to lose it or let
it roll away.

"The honeymoon is definitely over," the General snorted
and shied a moment from the coolness, "maybe I should like, pre-lube for you
and just have my knees up around my ears when you walk in," he said dryly.

Ed hung over him a moment, scowling down at him. He made
a snort and looked off to the side a moment, like he was thinking, then he looked
back at the General and grinned.

"Hey baby, you're looking really hot lying here all naked
and waiting, I guess you couldn't wait for me, huh? You look really fuckable,
I promise to make it good," Ed said and leaned down to kiss Roy's bare stomach.

Roy rolled his eyes, sighed and spread his legs.

"Here, dig in, who am I to stop you? After all, you're
going to smear Al's homemade chocolate sauce all over me and lick it off while
growling like an animal. It's not like that's a bad thing, but you know I'd
like a little change up in your routine every once and while if you don't mind.
Not that you fucking me senseless doesn't have it's appeal, but really Edward,
I'm a bit hurt. I never taught you how to be in a rut in bed," Roy stretched
then, put his arms over his head and raised his eyebrow at the blond who had
lifted his head and was regarding him wryly, his bangs hanging in his eyes.

Ed sat back on his heels and put his hands on his hips,
puffed up his cheeks and blew upwards toward his bangs with no real effect.

"Are you calling me sexually dull?" Edward demanded, "Is
that what you are getting at? Now I'm the one who's hurt, you certainly howl
like a fuckin' banshee when I'm going at you! I've never heard you complain
before, I thought you liked chocolate sauce! Why are you bringing this up now...
wait, you want to be on top tonight, that's it, isn't it?"

"Noooo," Roy said, "what I'm saying is that you don't
have a romantic bone in your body," Roy lifted his hand back to his face and
studied his nails, "I suppose I never got to properly teach you to woo anyone
besides giving gifts, each one I enjoyed immensely I might add," he said to
forestall the hurt huff that had threatened.

"I just told you that you looked fuckin' hot," Ed complained,
"how is that not romantic?"

Roy clasped the bridge of his nose with his thumb and
forefinger and rubbed in a circular motion, closing his eye.

"Your vocabulary has its time and its uses. Your proclivity
to color the air with many a colorful epitaph can serve, at times, to set the
mood when I'm feeling the need to be 'jack hammered', one of your more colorful
descriptive phrases I might add, or if I wish to be 'pounded through the mattress',
another of your delightful descriptive phrases that is a particular favorite
of mine. But perhaps one night I might appreciate a bit more..." Roy waved his
hand, "seduction? Amour? Allurement? I don't know, surprise me. I'm not saying
that I am better at topping than you are, before you get that silly notion in
your head, but I am saying I have better variety. Instead of being insulted
you should take it as constructive criticism," the General said.

"You are the master of fucking bullshit," Edward snarled,
"you can't whoop me in a fair fight to be on top, like it should be. I say he
who pounds all comers gets to be king of the hill, so you try to confuse me
with that simpering fuck-headed double talk you use around the office that makes
everyone think you're so smart, we'll I'm smart too, ass-wipe and I'm not letting
you on top because you decided to complain with pretty words."

Roy sat up, leaning back on his hands and they glared
at each other for a few moments. Roy regarded Ed with his mouth drawn flat.

"Let me give you a better example," Roy said, "do you
remember a night, perhaps a couple of months ago now, when I thought it would
be nice for us to walk though the plaza near Central City Square and talk and
have dinner before we went home for the evening? I was trying to set a mood.
But instead, you found the one person in the whole of Central that I not only
knew, but had to deal with on behalf of my position the very same week and you
made fun of his pants, where he could hear you doing it, I might add."

Ed made a helpless shrug, wiggled his fingers and sucked
in his lower lips.

"It is not my fault it looked like the guy had taken a
dump in them," Ed said, "if you don't want baggy pants, go to a better tailor.
I swear they were swinging back and forth on his wide load ass; he looked like
he was carrying cargo! I shouldn't have pointed and laughed, I admit that now,
but come on, you thought it was funny too, I know you did. Plus I gave you three,
count them, three make up blowjobs that week, I even did one on my knees in
the living room, and you said you forgave me. But oh no, here you go bringing
it up again, just like I knew you would, because that's how you operate, you
save things up to use them at times like this. I am going to be on top tonight
ROY," Ed emphasized, "and you are not talking me out of it."

More glaring came next and then Ed moved. His hand
came up and blocked the foot aimed at the side of his head and he slammed the
leg down, lunging onto the General, knocking him back into the pillows and grabbing
one of his wrists to pin it. Roy arched and bucked beneath him, lips pulling
back in a snarl as he slammed his free hand against an automail shoulder in
an attempt to dislodge his lover, but to no avail. He merely got that hand caught
and similarly pinned above his head. With both wrists secured in an unbreakable
steel grip, Ed's hand was free to roam and conquer. He shoved his steel knee
between Roy's legs with a tsking noise as Roy attempted to close them.

"And you call yourself a General," Ed leered in a nasty
grin, "that was a piss poor ambush, sir," he exulted, "I expected much better
than that," Ed's flesh fingers dragged through black hair, coarse and heavy
at the juncture of Roy's legs. He caught the head of Roy's cock between his
thumb and forefinger, and squeezed. Roy gasped and shuddered, tried to twist,
but remained pinned. He swung his face back to glare up at the golden eyes grinning
down at him in a smug and hungry way.

"You little shit," the General hissed and Ed grinned wickedly
as he slid his hand down Roy's hardening cock, gripped it as he gave a hard
tug and pull. Roy gasped and resumed struggling to free his wrists, twisting
his body, trying to avoid the hand even though it was, they both knew it, as
hopeless as it was inevitable. Everything Roy had said leading up to this, Ed's
'routine', was a ruse to entice him, to bring forward the aggressor he both
had fear of and craved. He knew when the playfulness ended and the true seduction
began, the change in Ed's eyes, the way his breathing deepened, the pressure
on Roy's pinned wrists and the slide and pull of dry friction that was quickly
becoming uncomfortable. Roy knew the game now; he'd have to play good for a
moment, to allow Ed to get oil, so they could continue comfortably. He signaled
his acceptance by relaxing and licking his lips, arching to those squeezing
fingers. Ed eyed him a second, then slowly released his wrists, hand hovering
a moment in case Roy moved. When he didn't, when he was a good boy, Edward reached
over to snag the bottle of oil from the bedside, stopped the delightful and
torturous manipulation of Roy's cock long enough to slick up his hand, then
the steel fingers gripped his wrists once more and the flesh fingers captured
Roy's cock again.

Ed had strong fingers and a firm grip. He knew Roy now,
knew the pressure he liked, the speed he desired, and he always held off to
just the edge of what Roy wanted, enticing sounds from the older man, half gasped
directions, arches and twists of his slender, defined body and a dark eye that
demanded and pleaded in the same look. Ed had made his own, slow, painstaking
map of his lover's places, what got the best moans, what got the best pleas,
what got the snarls of lusty outrage. He studied them, tried variations, worked
Roy's body as he would work an array, striving for perfection and heat and sweat.

Roy's open mouth, throaty sobs, complete with arched neck,
was what Ed liked best. He would attack the exposed throat with his lips and
tongue, hand never slowing in its conquering. Roy began a rhythmic thrusting
upwards. This told Ed his time was nearing and so Ed gave in to him then, gave
Roy all the things he liked as he pulled up to watch his lover's face when he
came, the agony that was ecstasy, the way his throat worked as he looked, for
just a moment, like he might cry. Ed would kiss him then, all over his face
and lips and even his eye patch, although Roy still mumbled half hearted protests
to it, then down his throat and over his chest and nipples before pulling up
to release Roy's wrists and watch him pant, waiting for the dark eye to flutter
back open.

Ed as a seducer was a sight that would almost make his
heart stop at times. After he'd been brought to his first completion, opening
his eye and looking up at his lover glowing faintly in the dim light of the
bedside lamp was a treasured thing. The look in Ed's eyes, the slight smile
pulled at the corner of his lip, there was nothing in Roy's world to compare.

To be wanted as Ed wanted, to be craved as Ed craved...
with Ed, nothing was half way. Everything was his spirit and determination,
and it made Roy feel weak. Sometimes he would cringe from it, but he always
in the end gave into it, letting Ed have him as he always let Ed have him and
not just in body.

Ed murmured to him loving endearments and retrieved he
bottle from the bedside once more, this time lying it by Roy's side with the
abandoned chocolate sauce (for which Roy was glad not to be smeared with.
Ed's claimings were always sleep-inducing affairs that left him too drained
to want to rise and bathe afterwards. He was always a sticky, stale mess in
the mornings, and he hated that)
. With his fingers thus oiled, he raised
Roy's legs and hooked his knees over his shoulders, sliding his fingers behind
Roy's raised and offered balls, down the cleft of his ass and pausing to circle
the ring there once, twice, before introducing the first slow finger.


Ed had been Roy's first. Never before had it occurred
to Roy that he would be giving up control, it was just not something he was accustomed
to. He remembered the night Ed had made his desires clear. At first, Roy had
considered it just a tease that Edward had played at for a time, but always
let Roy top in the end. Finally though, one night, Edward had made his stand.

"I'm on top tonight," the blond had husked, "I want equal
time, bastard," he groaned. Roy had chuckled softly as he always did, returning
his lips to that sassy mouth, his fingers already buried to prepare Edward for
taking. But, he'd pushed away suddenly and with force, twisting himself free
to sit on the side of the bed, flushed with masculine beauty, fixing Roy with
a hard look. "I'm serious."

Roy was stunned to silence momentarily. His brain halted
in its lust-bound tracks and he could think of not one thing to say. He made
a helpless gesture, reaching for Ed, thinking that if he could just get him
to lay back down he'd make him forget, but Edward had grabbed his wrist and
held it firm, mouth a determined line, eyes glinting.

Edward was serious. Roy tugged his wrist and Ed released
him. Roy sat up on his hip and pushed back his sweaty bangs, groping for how
to start this conversation, but Edward plunged ahead for him.

"I can make it good for you, I know how. You taught me,
mostly," he said, " I want this, Roy. I want to be inside you, I want to be
the one to watch your face as you cum and know that I did that to you with my
body, not my hands and mouth. I want what I give you freely; I want you to give
that to me too."

How could he refuse? How could he explain? Never once,
and he'd had a couple of male lovers before Ed, he never given up enough of
himself to let another person inside him. He was capable of it emotionally,
obviously, but physically? Something inside him rebelled. It was a sign of weakness,
but that wasn't right, he didn't think of Edward as weak and never had. It was
a double standard that he had fooled himself into believing and now it was threatened
by the only person that could threaten it. He felt... trapped, betrayed,
and maybe a bit afraid.

But he wasn't in the habit of lying to Ed and he wouldn't'
start now, so he shrugged and said simply, "I've never done it before, been
on the bottom. I'm not sure I'd like it."

Edward, as usual, was not easily swayed by mere words.

"I didn't like it at first either, but you made me like
it, now let me make you like it. I'll be gentle, it will be good, I've done
it bef..." he stopped himself then and they both stared at each other. There
was a slip there, a reference to the ether that hung between them sometimes,
that realm that Ed had visited and refused to invite Roy into.

There was uncomfortable silence now and each party shifted
a bit on the bed. Roy felt a bit chilled as the sweat he'd accumulated earlier
began to cool. His cock waned as well, sighing in disappointment, thinking that
it had finally overcome this stumbling block with its beloved Edward, but seemed
doomed to repeat it time and again, like a bad penny turning up unwanted. Edward
hung his head, bangs obscuring his profile and half turned his back on the General.
Roy wondered if it was because of the admission. He reached out and touched
a smooth back and Ed looked at him then, over his shoulder, his scotch eyes
sad and apologetic.

Did Ed actually think Roy would hold an affair while he
was trapped wherever he was, against him? The look in his eyes said he must
and Roy cursed mentally that Edward still hadn't outgrown the thought that he
deserved all his suffering, that it was always a bad thing he'd caused. Roy
ran his hand under the blond hair, gripped the back of Ed's neck and began
pressing to turn him around.

"Stop this, Ed," he said softly, "that means nothing.
All that means anything, is us here and together, do you understand?" he gave
Ed a small shake, "Do you think I'd want you to be lonely? I told you about
Hawkeye, remember?"

Ed nodded, letting himself be turned and drawn against
Roy's chest. Roy rubbed his back and kissed his blond head and sighed, wondering
if he'd ever be able to work up a formula to finally rust to a halt that Edward
Elric guilt machine. After a few moments, Edward's hands began to wander and
trace over Roy's abdomen, his thighs and finally his cock, stroking and dragging
lightly with his short nails. Roy smiled and kneaded his shoulders, letting
Edward explore and touch, because it felt good and his cock stirred hopefully,
thinking maybe the evening wouldn't be a total bust.

They were lying face to face, touching and kissing. Edward's
hands trailed around Roy's hips and began kneading his ass and parting it, a
fingertip touched Roy's anus and he jumped and pulled back.

"Let me," Edward husked, "I want you, I need you. Let
me Roy, please."

Roy swallowed. He wanted to please Edward, he really did,
but he had to come up with a way to conquer this force inside him that blustered
and groused and said he was the man in this relationship (not that Edward
was a woman, but he wasn't a non-man either. He wasn't really sure what category
Edward was really, but Roy was the man. Definitely. No doubt about it.)

and as such, he should claim chest-beating dominance. Before Roy could stop
it, he flung out a challenge.

"If you can take me," Roy heard himself say, "you can
have me."

Edward Elric had laughed then, in a very frightening way,
and Roy made a sudden wild flail, trying to throw himself off the bed, but it
was too late, it was far too late.


The second finger moved in easily and Roy panted through
it. Ed stilled and waited, then moved with Roy's unconscious signals. Ed kissed
the inside of Roy's knee where it rested over his automail shoulder and worked
Roy in slow circles, stretching him.

For all the bluff and fluster, posturing and foul language,
Ed was an extraordinarily gentle lover, especially with his skittish 'stallion'.
(Roy had groaned and rolled his eyes over that one, Ed had snickered and
they both said at the same time, 'I've heard that one about a million times!'
then both had laughed about it some more)
He always took an immense amount
of care making sure Roy was ready. The third finger met resistance that was
gently and quickly overcome, and Roy's breathing began to deepen, preparing
himself mentally and physically. It was good, it was always good with Ed. He
told himself that over and over again, because it was true and he wanted Ed.
He wondered how long it would take, how many times Ed would top, before this
thing in his chest was banished once and for all.

Edward liked for Roy to lube him. Roy offered up his palm
and Edward anointed it with oil, then thrust himself forward enough that Roy
could fist his cock. Ed thrust a couple of times into the hot tunnel Roy made
with his fingers before pulling back, resettling Roy's legs and looking down
between them, tugging his own cock for a moment before lining up and raising
his eyes to meet Roy's.

Edward always asked permission with his eyes and that
always made Roy feel warm and tight in his chest. He licked his lips and smiled,
and Edward smiled back and moved forward, pushing in very slowly. Roy closed
his eye and relaxed, giving himself up as always.


Roy's surrender was always stirring to him, because he
knew despite the many times they had done this reversal of sorts, he still had
some reservations. But Roy was always giving, always compassionate and always
there for him. Sometimes, if he thought about it too much, it made it hard to
breathe. There was heat and tightness and Edward trembled with it, his restraint
was always just on edge, he always just wanted to bury himself the moment he
gained entrance, but he couldn't, it had to be good for Roy, and Roy needed
slow.

He reached between Roy's legs with his flesh hand, gripped
him and began a slow stroke as he sank to the hilt. He waited there for a few
moments, stroking, listening to Roy's low moans and hitched breathing, waiting
for that unspoken signal. When he received it, he began to move, slow and steady,
long strokes that brought him almost all the way out, then sinking back in to
the hilt.

This is the pace he would give Roy until he couldn't stand
it anymore. From his vantage point, he would watch the man he loved as he loved
him. He would take in the sight of Roy Mustang, pliant and flushed, sobbing
and panting, for he knew that no one else ever had this sight. It was his alone
and he would keep it his alone, or die in the effort. Roy touched him in ways
even his brother didn't, because Roy was his, because Roy had given himself
up and let Edward drown him, because no one had ever touched him in body and
mind like Roy. No one loved him in the way Roy loved him, no one would ever
love him like Roy. Roy was the second center of his universe, to be protected
and loved and hoarded like a precious gem, beyond even the red stone he spent
half his life chasing.

His need was becoming pronounced and his own breathing
more erratic. His hand stroked faster, so he allowed his hips to catch up. Roy
grimaced once, but remained relaxed and began to pant himself; his fingers working
furiously in the sheets to either side of his hips, his tongue skating out wet
his lips. Edward groaned at the sight, his memory flashing a jumbled myriad
of images at how that very tongue had brought him so much pleasure.

His pace increased yet again and he began voicing his
lust with heavy groans and Roy's name. He voiced his lust and his love in a
set of stuttered words, throwing his head back as his automail hand gripped
Roy's leg, leaning back as if he could bury himself deeper. Roy's cries joined
his own frantic calls, begging. His voice caressed him, pushed him, pleaded
with him and Edward opened his eyes wide, looking up at the ceiling as everything
he was, all his love, rushed forward. His last thrusts were perhaps a bit more
brutal than he intended, but it was so much and he had to get it out before
his heart exploded. He slammed his eyes shut and bowed forward, pushing Roy's
knees toward the hollows of his shoulders as Roy half screamed. There were a
few more hard jerks on both their parts, then stillness and nothing but the
sound of harsh gasps and struggles for air.


Fear, love, lust, pain and pleasure; Edward always gave
him everything he could ever desire. They looked at each other, Roy reaching
up to wipe sweat from his eye and then reaching out to touch Ed on his nose.
Ed was hanging against his legs and grinned when Roy's finger lighted on the
end of his nose, crossing his eyes momentarily, then shaking his head and pushing
back. Roy groaned because it made Ed's cock (flagging, but still buried deep)
shift and he was sensitive now.

Ed made a soothing noise and slowly pulled free. Roy grunted,
then relaxed and Ed moved over him, leaning down to kiss him softly. They did
this for a few long afterglow moments until Edward pulled back again, reached
up and stroked back sweaty, black bangs. He cupped Roy's cheek and sighed, lowering
himself to lie on his lover. Roy grunted again and shifted just a bit as he
ran his hands down Ed's sweaty back, resting them on his butt and Edward lowered
his cheek to Roy's shoulder.

Roy drew idle circles, heaving a few heavy sighs. Edward
smiled and all but wallowed as Roy turned his head and snorted in his ear, tonguing
it once.

"What are you sighing about?" Ed said finally. He always
hated breaking the afterglow silence.

"Well, I was thinking that you are damn hot and I was
being smug with myself because I taught you how to be damn hot," Roy teased
and Edward half laughed.

"I sometimes miss my shy and blushing teenager," Roy continued,
"who would look at me with his big eyes and always say rude things, but still
flop adoringly on my bed with his legs spread and his arms stretched out to
me," Roy kneaded on Ed's butt cheeks.

Edward groaned in natural embarrassment and flexed his
butt to Roy's attentions.

"Don't bring that up, that's embarrassing shit. What did
I know, you were always the one who knew everything, I was a sucker," Ed said,
"So now I'm on equal footing and you want to use that old stuff to make me feel
like a kid again."

"Not true," Roy said, a little strained beneath him, "I
like to think about it at times like these because you were so much lighter
then," he quipped.

Edward snorted and suddenly raised his arms and legs off
the bed, making Roy support his entire weight for a few seconds. He chortled
vindictively as the man gasped and tried to roll him off, with no success.

"Are you calling me fat again?" the blond asked, dangerous
and low.

"No," Roy said feebly beneath him, "unless husky is fat."

Edward lifted his arms and legs again, this time he waited
until Roy turned blue before he put them down.