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Better Living Through Alchemy

chapter 26.

Edward grinned as he leaned into the door, and then held it open for the General to pass. It was a pub. A small, slightly dingy, dim interiored place that was packed wall to wall. The buzz of conversation ruffled Ed's bangs as he stepped in behind the General and he couldn't help the pricking up his spine as they made their way toward the crowded bar.

Occasionally Havoc could talk the General into anything.

It's not as if the General wouldn't indulge him in a bit of elbow rubbing with the populace if Ed were to ask, it was just more likely he'd try to sweet-talk Ed out of it. And it always worked!

Yes, the Spitting Serpent Tavern sounds like an adventure, but I was rather hoping for something a bit more intimate; we rarely get to go out anymore. You know, something with a terrace and good wine...

Damn stupid romance. He was ruined.

Gone were the days of swinging his fists wildly while his eyes were tightly shut. Gone were the days of Al's shrill apologies, even as he’d flatten some bozo aiming a bar stool at Ed's head. Gone were the days of being thrown out of the bars before he could pick a good fight, because he was underage.

The General pushed in between the instigator of this venture and the instigator's trusted henchman.

"General!" Havoc grinned, "Glad you could make it."

"We don't get to see you much outside the office anymore," Breda added, then looked at Ed, as if this was somehow his fault.

"Gentlemen, you know how it is. I have a home now and responsibilities. One of us has to be the role model now that Hawkeye is gone," the General grinned smoothly, then signaled the bartender.

Breda kept giving Ed the eye and Ed squared his jaw and jutted his chin out.

"What are you looking at?" he challenged, then shoved into the space between Roy and Jean and resisted going on his tiptoes.

"Nuthin', but I know what's coming," Breda then turned his eye on Havoc. "It won't be too much longer beforeyou got 'responsibilities’ and it will be me in the bar alone."

Havoc snorted and lifted his half full beer mug.

"Not likely," he said. "She respects I need my guy time, just like she needs her girl time. It won't change at all."

"Wait a minute," Ed said, "am I being compared to Sarah?"

"I'm just saying," Breda continued, insistent on digging his grave, "that every guy says this. ‘Nothing will change just because I got some chick...’"

"Chick?" Ed snarled.

"Heymans," the General interrupted loudly. "Let me buy you a beer."

"But still, it changes. Suddenly they can't go out and get a beer after work, or they can't go to the track on the weekends, or they can't even come and play poker with someone they've known a hell of a lot longer than the piece of ass they got in their bed. It's just pitiful, and you are heading down that road," Breda pointed at Havoc. "She's tasty and she's got you by the nuts, I already see it coming, you're gonna be just like the General."

The General then said: "Please don't kill a member of my staff."

Ed was trying to climb up on the bar so he could get around Roy, but Havoc grabbed him by the waist before he got halfway up. The General backed himself in front of Breda and spread his arms.

"I'll have to die for him," the General pleaded. "It's in my nature to protect my staff, no matter how badly they need to be pounded into a greasy puddle. If you'll forgive him this once I'll get him sensitivity training!"

"He won't need any training, in fact you're gonna have a surplus on your payroll," Ed howled. "It ain't ME that keeps you from doin' whatever the hell you want! I'm all for it! Wanna go swilling beer every night, be my fuckin' guest! Let me have five minutes with him, no make it three! I just wanna explain a few things, that's all, I won't kill him much!"

The General looked over his shoulder at Breda and the man shrugged.

"What? I was just sayin'," Breda said.

The General considered stepping out of the way.

Havoc turned Ed, backed him against the bar and shoved his beer mug under his nose.

"Here, drink a lot of this," he told Ed as Ed tried to push the beer mug away and drain it at the same time. "It always makes you feel better, and if you have enough of it, you won't give a damn about what anyone says. When are you going to lose that beard?"

Roy reached over then and upended the end of the mug. Ed probably got as much beer through his nose as his mouth at that point.


He carried the suitcases up the stairs and tried not to watch her walking just ahead of him. His eyes seemed to rivet to one spot, between her upper thighs and lower back and no matter how much he protested they would not look away once fixed.

He supposed the room was nice, and he heard Riza make some exclamation about it. She sounded pleased and that made him happy. But now, his mind had strayed to the edge of the desirable, yet forbidden territory of the 'Riza Hawkeye' fantasy.

All this chatting about going out doing things that he could not for the life of him remember right now; were they really necessary? They could just spend the entire three days in this room. After all, they would not starve in three days, they would be occupied and he would be... dead, probably. But the manner of his demise would only heightened the glorious legend; the one he'd already painstakingly penned in his ‘Riza Journal,’ (yes, he kept one, just like he kept a journal for his other observations. After all: she was the subject of many internal discussions he had with himself, and he had to keep his notes somewhere).

He heard his name from a distant place. A place where there was no alluring woman in a uniform jacket and mini-skirt, (oh my Pirate, you were so, so right), who was beckoning him with a sweet and savage smile and saying something in a coy tone about 'breaking in the bed'. He frowned a little, wanting to block out this other voice, but it was suddenly accompanied by a touch, (and the touch was not long, slender pale digits working the buttons his pants, but a rather normal touch on his shoulder).

He turned to see Riza looking at him, one side of her mouth quirked up and her eyebrow half raised on the opposite side. If she called him 'sailor', 'sport' or 'stud' at this moment, his head would explode. No, he meant it: he would damn well explode. All the talk leading up to this moment, this meeting, this place where they would tryst, (and OH how he loved that word. That noun...an appointment to meet at a certain time and place, especially one made somewhat secretly by lovers... to tryst, trysting, use tryst in a sentence! I want Riza to tryst all over me! YES, my god, what a word!), that was nothing compared to the moment of actually being there.

"Are you alright?" she asked, her tone seemed amused and Al wondered; was he alright?

"I don't know," he confessed honestly. "I mean here we are, we're here. We talked about it, we planned it, we got in a car and drove all the way out here and now all I can think about is staying right here in this room."

When Al was candid, he pulled no punches. He gave her such a lovely baffled look, and it was almost impossible to keep her hands off of him. Yes, she was entertaining the same ideas, how could she not? In their, long and leisurely courtship, there has only been one instance to date where she had gotten a taste of him. It had left her hungry. Starving if she wanted to be melodramatic; but it was there, a constant niggling reminder of what she could have, if only she could pin him down. Not that she was one to talk. To break years of self-conditioning was not something that was going to happen over night. Yes, logically she knew Al was not: 1. Her subordinate any longer, 2. As young as he looked, nor 3. Experienced in intimate matters.

To say she was intimidated at first was a mild understatement. Yes, she was use to taking charge. She'd lived her whole life based on the fact she had more common sense than most anyone else around her. Conceited? True. A proven fact? Yes. But there were some matters that should simply not be by rote. There should be the special situations where all protocol and decorum was tucked away in a nice out of the way nook if not heaved bodily out the window.

Roy had been good at this. She knew it was extremely unreasonable and unfair to Alphonse to give him such a model to measure up against. But in reality, Roy had been, at one time, her most sought after goal. She believed in him, (and she still did), despite himself. And she would not deny that she resented Edward, once upon a time, because to deny hard facts was to fall into delusion, and that was something a leader could not afford to do. She only wished that Roy had instilled some of his aggressiveness in the more intimate matters into Alphonse. He's practically raised Alphonse after the boy's return to Central, and had made it a point to be part of his everyday life. How could Alphonse be around such a strong and unrelenting personality and not absorb any of his traits?

Alphonse must have had an innate immunity to such things. It wasn't hard to see that, once it was remembered who Alphonse's elder brother was. Still, she remembered the office talk of the 'passing of the little black book', and she knew that Alphonse had been deemed the inheritor, (much to Havoc's despondent flailing).

"I'm messing this up, aren't I?" Al's voice suddenly broke her from her reverie.

No, this would not do. Alphonse was no longer the boy who trailed her to the file room, saying how he was happy to help. He was no longer the smiling face in his brother's coat, or the boy her office staff doted on whenever they thought she wasn't looking.

He was a man, and he was to be her lover. She would give this every opportunity because it was right, and fair...and she wanted it. She wanted him in a way that surprised even her.

So Alphonse had to be taught to be more...assertive. She didn't think he could handle aggressive, and if she were to suggest it he might get all flustered. So assertive would do for now.

"There is nothing to mess up, Alphonse, because neither of us have been here before," and by that she did not mean the location. He understood, he nodded slightly and smiled a little. She tried to make herself look, well, inviting. But she wasn't quite sure how to accomplish this. Teaching assertion in rank or on the battlefield seemed a much less daunting task.

"Do you remember the chicken?" she asked him suddenly.

"Chicken?" Al said, eyes glazing over. He loved chicken now. Roasted chicken that was slightly over done, a bit dry and had almost blackened skin. With dry, over cooked potatoes and shriveled carrots and Riza's tongue down his throat for the first time. He remembered the chicken, oh yes.

"Good," she said and moved closer to him. There, perhaps that little bit of a reminder would get him going again. She watched his eyes travel from her own, to her chin then lower and she watched his cheeks heat to a charming pink. He clenched and unclenched his hands a bit, but they remained stubbornly at his side.

"Eating chicken has become something of a special occurrence for me," she prodded. "Sometimes it's best if I avoid it in mixed company."

"I make you think of chicken?" he said in such a hopeful way. She had to encourage him, and keep the amused smile off her face at the same time.

You make me aware of the things I want.

"I suppose that is a joke between us," she said, and how that made her smile. She'd never had a place in her like this to share before.

You make me aware of the things I need.

"Riza... I had all these grand things to say, all these plans. You know me, I had my whole strategy mapped out, but it can't be like that, can it?" he asked, meeting her eyes.

You make me aware of myself, like no has ever done before.

This young man, standing before her with his heart on his sleeve and his soul in his eyes; he always wore his soul there. For a long time it was the only way he could still feel part of this world and his life. How many times had she looked into them and had never seen what she need to see; what he wanted her so desperately to see.

"Alphonse...", but that was all she got to say. Because he took a breath and a step forward and then his lips were warm against hers. She allowed her eyes to slide closed, because here, finally, is where she could let go.

His hands were moving on her back, in circles, starting out small and growing in radiance. She opened her mouth to him, hoping he took the initiative. He always exceeded expectations. His tongue stroked the roof of her mouth, and he shuddered then, swallowed hard. He had the book knowledge, but not the experience yet; he was trying not to gag himself. As absurd as it seemed it endeared him all the more at that very moment.

She stroked her hands slowly, up and down his sides. A move to encourage him, but nothing overt at the moment. This was to be Alphonse moment. This was to be his aspiration, his inspiration, and his triumph. She wanted to give these things to him as much as she wanted to become what she didn't know she had wanted.

And that was something precious.

His rubbing pulled at her shirt and after a moment, he bunched his fingers into it and pulled up. She felt the fabric of her shirt pull free from her pants. The motion of the cotton over the skin between the waistband and her pants was all the more erotic because of the perpetrator of the deed. He moaned a little, into her mouth, and she felt his fingers brush her skin, lightly, on the small of her back. Now it was her turn and she smoothed her hands around his waist, flattened her palms against his back and pulled him closer, molding her body against his frame. The shiver that ran through him charged into her own flesh, making her tingle, making each brush of his hand, each sway of her freed shirttails against her own flesh, a catalyst.

She turned her head, to free his mouth, to take in his sounds; but in reality she was hungry. She had been starving, and her mouth moved over his cheek to the side of his neck. She reached up to pull his shirt collar down. His hands shot up her back, under her shirt and his fingers came up against the strap of her bra. They paused there, pushing and testing and he tilted his head to the opposite side.

She tugged his collar hard, finally able to get her fingers to the button and nudge it open. She then hooked her fingers in the collar of his undershirt and pulled it down; extending her tongue to the divot in his throat. His Adams apple worked, brushing the top of her nose.

"Riza," he said, soft and husky and rushed. No one said her name like that. No one had ever dared; but she wanted it, she wanted it from him.

His second button gave way, and then his third. His undershirt was pristine and still smelled of the sizing that new shirts were doused in to keep them stiff and unwrinkled in their packaging. She let herself have a dizzy, heady moment that his boxers would be brand new as well. He was really more than she was prepared to handle and everything she'd ever wanted if only she had known it.

He broke his own spell of immobility, the one he had fallen under when her tongue touched his skin. He began to work her shirt up, boldly, without even asking if it was alright. She regretted having to lift her head away, and then her arms to allow him to pull it free. He started to drop it on the floor, then caught himself and stretched to put it over the back of the chair sitting at the writing desk near the door. All these things that made him who he was, all these details that spoke of him and his reverence would be her undoing.

She couldn't get her hands back to his shirtfront fast enough. His buttons were a matter of annoyance now and she tugged impatiently. He looked down, then hastily grabbed his own shirttail and yanked it out of his pants. He started at the bottom and their hands met in the middle and then his shirt was off his shoulders and hanging at his elbows. Riza herself took the pleasure of yanking his undershirt up and then flattening her palm on his bare stomach.

She felt his stomach jump under the hand, felt the ripple of muscle that traveled in a wave toward his sternum and she heard his hissed intake of breath. It was like a symphony, the movement and the air around them like their own music. His breath the melody, his movements the harmony, and her hand the conductor.

But he didn't want a solo, he wanted a duet. She felt his hands on her shoulders, felt the pull of her skin as the straps of her bra moved. She felt the light slap of fabric against her upper arm when they were pushed aside and then his arms were around her again, his hands sliding up her back again.

She indulged herself, pushing his undershirt up, pressing herself to his half-bared chest, listening to his soft grunts as he tried to figure out the mystery of the modern bra.

"How do you...?" he began, but then he looked down and saw her ever-baring cleavage and was struck momentarily mute.

"It stretches," she cajoled him. "It's easier if you push the ends toward each other, it has a little hook and eyelet." She wanted to help him and she wanted him to do it himself. He could make her feel so contradictory. That in itself made her wet.

Al continued to work it. The feel of the bra rubbing back and forth against her back, pulling at her breasts and then sagging forward as he snorted with frustration, was tantamount to fire. She couldn't help it, her hands slid down to his butt, she cupped each cheek, then pulled him against her, grinding her groin to his. His throaty almost wail of surprise and the hardness of his erection against her mon was bliss.

He was hard, he was hard for her. He gave a little whimper and she squeezed his butt cheeks and refused to help him with her bra. Alphonse Elric was a grown up now, that was all she needed to know. He was a grown up, with a grown up man’s needs, desires and wants. She was a desire and want, and she wanted to be a need. She wanted him to need her so desperately that he would chew through her bra strap. He could turn her around, shove he down on the bed and simply bite though the hooks and eyelets in lust. She groaned at the image as it lay wantonly across her mind and she slid up against him again.

Somewhere in this overwhelming state she'd come to be in, this place where he had put her, she realized the absurdity of these thoughts. But she didn't care, because she had found the man who could give her exactly what she wanted – freedom from rational. It was inconceivable, she supposed, that she would be with him in the first place. There was the age difference, the rank difference (not such a problem now that he was retired), the very fact she'd know him since he was a boy of eleven. In fact, she'd know him twice at that age.

This was about letting everything to do with your reservations slip right through your fingertips. Like intoxication, it was the impairment of all reason, but far more sweet, far more seducing. His lips were suddenly on her shoulder, working there. She could hear him complaining about her bra in soft tones, and he was now looking over her shoulder and down her back.

She had to touch him, she shouldn't have to wait.

She released one butt cheek and shoved that hand between them. They were pressed so closely together for a moment she had a hard time turning her arm, so just the back of her hand was wedged up against his cock. He sputtered and tried to press closer, which made it even harder to get her hand turned around so she could palm and appreciate his cock appropriately.

"Al, let's...ah move to the bed, Al? Are you listening?" she asked.

But despite his brilliance, he overwhelming ability of observation and his incredible attention to detail, he was in this respect, like any other man. He started to thrust against the back of her hand.

She was rather upset he'd given up on her bra, and trying to turn and maneuver him across the room wasn't as easy as it seemed. He made it difficult, but he was so adorable as he did it. He hooked his chin over her shoulder, as if this could pull her even closer than his arms were already doing. She tried to take a step back and he made a choked sound of anguish and moved forward to keep their bodies pressed close together. It caused her to half stumble, and they both teetered for a moment before they caught their balance again.

"Let's move to the bed," he said as they clung to each other in the wake after the near fall.

"I think that's a good idea," she said, because really, Al should be encouraged.

Instead of releasing her, he just walked her backwards. When the back of her knees touched the mattress, she tightened her hold on him and just fell backwards. The weight of him on top of her was brief, because he recovered himself quickly and was able to get his hands on the bed to brace himself before he bounced on her a second time.

"It's so much better than when I dreamed this," Al said and she felt her chest tighten and her breath hitch. "My fantasies do you no justice," he shyly confessed.

"I'm glad to know you thought about me," Riza told him, her stomach twisting in knots. Why could he do this to her? Render her so helpless with only a few words, a few simple touches? She wanted to surrender, she wanted to give in; she was scared but she was determined.

Al was as frightening a thing as she'd ever faced.

"I have thought about you since I've known you," he said and smiled. There was no way he could know how his simple honesty laid waste to all her defenses. "I've always thought about you, I just never though you would want this... I mean with me. "

"I will admit that it's a surprise; to both of us," she began to rub his sides again, slowly up and down. "I had doubts, but you know that. I think I'm past them now."

"Good," the smile could have lit a city block. "I just want to be good to you. I just want to make you happy," he lowered himself as he said it and she tilted her head back and parted her lips. She would have never applied the terms 'defenseless' or 'vulnerable' to herself; in fact, she would be the first to challenge anyone against such a gross misconception.

But when his lips visited hers only briefly; when they broke away to trail over her chin and down her offered throat; when they traveled lower and the tip of a nose traced the edge of the bra Alphonse had failed to remove; she wasn't sure what to think. What term could describe this feeling of being laid bare and unguarded? There was nothing like lying to yourself.

She actually jumped when his tongue touched her, tracing the same path his nose had. She felt his fingers then, how they skimmed the edge of her bra and then gently began to nudge it down. Her nipple, already peaked and sensitive reacted by shooting waves of electricity straight to her crotch when he pulled the fabric over it.

He made a small sound when he uncovered her breast. It was like surprise and curiosity and she reflexively bit her lip and curled her fingers against his sides in alarm when he dragged his tongue over the very tip of her. To be something she was craving, it was so unexpected. He flattened his tongue for the next stroke, pressing her nipple upwards and then sweeping his tongue all the way over the swell of her breast.

Her fingers worked nervously against his sides, but she caught herself, and thanked some of her practicality for saving her, (and damning it for not just letting her abandon herself to the moment), and she moved her fingers where they would be more productive; his belt and the button of his trousers.

He closed his mouth over her then; his lips pressing the sides of her nipple, his tongue nudging the tip. His eyes slid shut as he started to suck.

But she couldn’t close her eyes. His face was half obscured by his soft dark blond bangs and he kept raising and lowering his eyebrows. She was so riveted that she had his belt undone and his pants open, that it took many long moments before she remembered why she had unfastened them in the first place. But it felt so good, and the temptation to just spread herself out for his leisurely pleasure was almost unbearable. But her hunger burned.

She pushed at the elastic of his boxers. The fabric, as she predicted, felt scratchy and new under her fingers. She got her hands inside his pants on either hip, and as she used her fingers to push his under garments down, the backs of her hands helped his trousers along as well. His balanced on his other hand now, and he reached up and dragged her bra down. Though it was still fastened around her, it now bunched under her exposed breasts. He laid his palm over her unattended one and the flesh of his palm spiked pleasure in that nipple as well.

When her palm slid over his cock and he bucked with an involuntary sound, but didn't release her from his mouth, she knew that she was conquered. She stroked his entire length, cupped her fingers over his balls for a moment, letting them rest in her hand. He squirmed and whined. She slowly dragged her fingers back up before wrapping them just under the head of his cock, stroking the pad of her thumb over the tip. He was hot and sticky and it couldn't have been more of a compliment. He made strangled sounds and his suckling became ravenous as she handled him.

She cupped the back of his head with her free hand, and he released her then, looking up at her. His hips jerked and he pressed his face into her throat, just under her chin. She let him hide there, but only for a moment, before tucking her chin down to make him pull back. He was breathing hard. She moved her hand from the back of his head to his cheek and he turned his face into it, licking at her palm before kissing it; his hips jerked again.

She was a little surprised when he reached between them and covered her hand with his own, curling his fingers over her and pulling it away. He groaned as if the effort cost him dearly and she knew in that moment she loved him in the way she needed to love her lover.

"I'm so close already, just from that," he begged her. "I don't want...I've read romance novels," he got out in a rush. "I try not to let that mix with the reality of human sexuality I've read about, but I can't help it. I want this to be like those books, all heated and perfect, but I know, if I don't stop you now; I'll be embarrassed and you'll be unsatisfied," he bit his lip and pleaded with her with his eyes.

She wanted to eat him alive.

She spoke not with words, but with motion. She sat up, pushing him back and he stood on the floor then, between her spread legs. His pants were low on his thighs and his cock was prominent; angling up from a thatch of dark curls toward his stomach. She thought she wouldn't mind being unsatisfied if she got the satisfaction of watching him writhe under her hands, to fell his cock jerk and throb as he came in her mouth; but no, this was Al's victory and she was the spoils of his conquest. She would do things his way.

His eyes were fixed firmly on her breasts, then he seemed to notice this and hastily pulled them back to her face.

"Can..can you take your bra off?" he asked with pink cheeks.

She immediately obeyed. She reached around to undo it, but his frantic attempts to relieve her of it had left the trap all twisted. She grunted in frustration and looked at him and almost laughed out loud at his look of vindication.

"Why are they so complicated to remove?" he muttered.

Again she let actions speak for her. She got her bra off, held it up to show it to him before letting it drop on the floor between them. Then she reached up, grabbed his pants at his hips and pulled them down to his knees. She leaned over as she did it and his cock practically leapt at her, resting on her forehead before he sputtered and stumbled back. He almost fell over, hopping around to get his pants the rest of the way off; and then there he stood in a slightly wrinkled new t-shirt and his socks and nothing else.

She noticed they were both without shoes and Al's dress shirt was gone. When did that happen, and why didn’t she care? She started to undo her own belt and he made a sound of protest and came over to her. So she flopped back on the bed and he set his jaw and managed to get her belt undone. He tugged it off of her, tossing it triumphantly over his shoulder. Next, he plucked nervously at her trousers before sucking in his bottom lip and undoing them. But being as they were women's trousers, and not men's, they had an extra catch he was unfamiliar with. He struggled with it for a few moments, before whining in frantic irritation.

"This isn't fair," he sobbed. "It's not like I spent my formative years sealed in steel; why wasn't that enough for you?" he appealed to the ceiling.

Riza took pity and reached down to help him. He leaned over and kissed her hands as she did it, then when she got them open his kissed her bare stomach once or twice as he worked them down. Riza raised her legs for him and he merrily shucked her trousers off and gave them a casual toss. It was nice to see that impending sex made Al less of a tight-ass, too.

He reached down and pulled his socks off and then he gave her a most lovely vista of his body, stretching upwards as he pulled his t-shirt off over his head. They were almost there, Al was naked now and Riza only had on her panties. Al licked his lips, his fingers actually twitched and Riza put her heels on the bed, ready to lift her hips to help him get them off.

He looked at her, then back to her panties. He licked his lips again and then did it as one rushed motion. She barely had time to get her hips up before the undergarments were around her ankles and off.

It was done: they were alone together, naked, and one of them was on a bed.


"She's taken him off into the country to make a man of him," Ed sobbed into the bottom of the fourth beer mug that had been thrust into his hand.

"AL'S GOING TO BE A MAN," Havoc and Breda sobbed together.

"He's all grown up now, he doesn't need me anymore," Ed slobbered.

"AL'S GROWN UP NOW, WHAT WILL WE DO?" Havoc and Breda commiserated, throwing their arms over each other’s shoulders.

Roy was fairly certain Alphonse would not be pleased his most important male rite of passage was being shouted drunkenly by Ed and the dork twins across a crowded tavern. At least no one was trying to kill each other. It was amazing what slights a man would forgive if you got him shit-faced enough.

"Wait a minute, this isn't a time to be all sad and shit," Havoc reasoned, then burped. "Al's getting some, go Al!" he waved his beer mug around and doused Breda's shirtfront. Breda grunted then lifted his shirt to smell it, then went back to drinking his own beer.

Ed laid his cheek on the table, and then turned big, pitiful eyes on Roy.

"Don't look at me, I'm on the ‘Al's-getting-some-go-Al-woot’ team," Roy told him, arms folded over his chest.

"It's not that I'm unhappy," Ed slurred. "I think it's great. Now he'll go off and be happy, that's the happy ending, right? Yeah, that's good shit, that's what I want for him...and kittens," Ed rubbed his cheek against the scarred wood of the table, making it rock back and forth slightly.

Havoc reached over and pounded Ed on the back like he was trying to put out a fire that had started there.

"Don't be sad," Breda cajoled. "The Colonel is one nice piece of ass, ask the General, he knows. Al will be yodeling to the rafters. I'd almost be jealous if the woman didn't make my balls pull up into my body every time she walked by," Breda then drained his mug.

"The General cheated on me," Ed slurred. "He cheated on me with her, and now she's got my baby brother in her clutches. Did she make you do it at gun point?" Ed asked, looking at Roy again but not bothering to lift his head.

"I'm so glad you won't remember this in the morning," the General said, studying his nails.

Havoc and Breda both gave gasps of shocked disbelief. "He cheated on you?" Havoc said, then he made a mournful sound and looked at Roy like Roy had just kicked several puppies he'd had lined up in a row for his kicking pleasure.

"That bastard," Breda wheezed, (never mind said ‘bastard’ was sitting right here listening to every word), "He found something else when he had you at home? You're too good for him," Breda nodded, and then seemed to get distracted by a stain on the table. It amazed Roy that not half an hour ago Ed was the villain for keeping Roy from going on these little soirees. Considering this was how they typically went, Roy rather thought Ed was a hero.

Roy then noticed Ed had fallen asleep and quickly jumped on the opportunity to make a break for it.

"Ed's passed out, I get to go home now," the General said with a certain amount of glee. He got up and pulled Ed upright, then onto his feet, and then finally just over his shoulder.

"Got him drunk just so he could take him home and take advantage of him," Havoc said in a very loud, conspiratorial whisper to Breda.

"Typical maneuver for the big guy, as much as I admire him, he can be real scum," Breda nodded.

"You two do realize I'm standing right here," Roy said.

"Ed could have had anyone he wanted," Havoc continued, "but it seems he's a poor judge of character."

"You know how it is, someone pays a little attention to you, makes you feel like the top of the world, then you get all dependant on them and they think they can lead you around by the nose," Breda supplied.

"I'm right here," Roy said again, shifting Ed a bit on his shoulder. "I'm standing right here."

"I never pegged Ed for the co-dependant type," Havoc said, finishing up his own mug. "He sort of seemed hyper-independent if you ask me."

"What the hell with the big words? Stop it already. Damn woman of yours putting ideas in your head and shit," Breda snorted.

"WHAT? You don't say nothing about my woman!" and Havoc jumped on Breda. Breda yelped and fell over and then they started to fight and the table fell over with them. The General left with Ed over his shoulder before the cops arrived.

There would be a lot of begging, and he did mean a lot, before he bailed anyone out of jail the next morning.


When he first remembered himself and he realized that he wore flesh again, even though he knew he wore flesh again, he wanted to drown himself in sensation. All sensation, good or bad, weak or strong. He was glad of the indulgence of those around him as he tasted, smelled, and felt everything in his path. The world was rich and alive and he was reborn into it; his exploration was endless in those first days when he came back to himself.

Now, the way her skin rebounded to his fingertips was wonder. The very texture and scent coming from her skin threatened to overwhelm him. He watched the muscles in her neck tighten and relax when he touched her in certain ways. She was an experience he intended to chronicle in his mental journal in the most minute of detail.

Beneath him, on the bed, was the woman he loved. Yes, he loved her, he knew this to be a fact. He would tell her, but she had just come to him like this after overcoming her own doubts. She was as reborn into this, as he once was into flesh. She needed time before the next revelation.

When he and Ed had tried to... when they had done what they did; he had studied the female anatomy in it's every detail. Internal and external, function and purpose. He could easily recite every molecule she was made of; he could know her in her most base elements. He could name the bones that made up her frame and specify which organs she could live without. This was his knowledge of a woman, and despite he had once penned a paper on female anatomy, he knew nothing about women.

His close acquaintances, Granny and Winry, were, as he knew, family. He couldn't compare any interaction he had between them as a basis on how to act with a woman. Not that they weren't women, (he would never intentionally insult either of them, and he apologized profusely to his mental homages of them), but his behavior with them would not be a good example of behavior with women outside of his family. Like Riza, for instance. But then again, right now he was getting along splendidly with Riza. So well, in fact, that she was about to let him do what all men wanted to do with women since the dawn of time.

Except his brother, who always had to do things the hard way.

"Stop thinking," she said to him, looking up at him from the sheets.

"What?" Al asked, baffled.

"Stop thinking, Alphonse. This isn't the time or place for it, this is where we feel," she told him.

He stilled for a long moment, absorbing her words and just the sound of her voice.

Stop thinking, just feel.

Could he do it?

That would be spontaneity, wouldn't it?

That is what he wanted.

Stop thinking.

She grabbed his hand, slid it over her stomach and pushed it between her legs. She even tightened her thighs against his wrist.

All thought left his body.

The curls between her legs weren't soft, like the hair on her head. They were almost the same shade, however, not that it mattered. His fingers encountered moisture and when he probed at it, she made the most breathy little gasp and it shot straight to his cock. His fingers sank inside her body and he shook with amazement.

This was sex. This is how it was suppose to be; two people sharing their bodies for the purpose of pleasure. It was natural and Al though it should come naturally. But here on the cusp of his final hurdle into adulthood, he trembled with hesitation. He could feel her, warm and slick on his fingers, she throbbed, inside, and it made his stomach quiver and his cock bounce.

Here was his chance, his moment, his dream. He knew all about dreams, he'd experienced them often. He'd seen them come to fruition. The very flesh he caressed her with was a dream spanning many years. It was a dream he shared, with his brother, it was the reality of what he lived now.

Dreams did come true.

And here, again, there was a dream to share. A dream of a life, and love, and companionship. A dream to be together with someone else who had come to be as close to his heart as anyone could possibly get, (and not be named Ed).

He heard her take a breath, perhaps she was opening her mouth to speak; but he didn't want her words, he wanted her lust. He wanted the sensations he dreamed about when he towered over the rest of humanity. When he was unfeeling and above them, when he longed to join them and have all there was of happiness and pain.

He moved his fingers and she made a mew that shot straight the center of his brain that said: I can't hold out, we have to have it Now. And Al was not one to disobey, no he wasn't. He was fairly certain he knew where to stick what, and they were already naked, which was helpful, so he helped himself by moving over her.

She made all kinds of encouraging sounds, and that was good, because somehow he'd gotten blinders on and just his cock could maneuver now, although it had no eyes, it tried valiantly to see where they were going. His hand decided to help out by withdrawing from her and grabbing his cock and pulling on it as if to show it where to go. After all, his hand had already been there; it knew the way.

Riza was helping too; she put her hands on his hips. She also lifted her knees and pressed them to either side of his body, offering them like guide rails along the side of the road, so he wouldn't slip off and could keep on heading in the right direction.

His hips decided his hand might know what it was talking about, so they arched forward and the head of his cock met dampness and the brush of almost coarse hair, then Riza's hand joined in the expedition and her fingertips trailed along the underside of his cock and nudged the head up at the same time her knees tightened and urged him forward.

And then, just like that, he was there. Riza's hands griped his forearms, her body arched back as her hips angled up and for the life of him he could not breath. He felt her heels dig into the small of his back when she wrapped her legs around him, felt the bite of her nails against the skin on his arms, and he felt his cock jerk and constrict and expand and it was nothing he could have ever imagined feeling, (and he had imagined quite a bit of feeling not so long ago when all around him every word he uttered echoed).

He wanted to tell her all these amazing things, because he wanted to share everything with her. So he opened his mouth: but he didn't manage to say quite what he had on his mind.

"Can't...breathe...," he started, and then he detonated. He really couldn't breathe for long, agonizing moments, and when he finally could he did it so hard and fast he made his head swim.

He just wanted to wallow, to drop and rub himself against her and purr. When he lowered himself, she let him. When he rubbed against her, she held him close, and when he purred she kissed along his forehead.

Sex was great.

"It's great," he said airily, "it's really, really great," he told himself out loud.

"I'm sure it will be," Riza said in a slightly terse and tense sort of way. He wondered at it hazily, but he afterglow fairies came, then, and clubbed him on the head with their wands until he feel asleep.


"I love you," the blond crooned. "I love you so much, I wanna tell everybody, let's get a billboard."

"Yes, yes," the dark haired man replied, eyes never leaving the road.

"Do you love me?" the blond simpered. "You do, don't you? You better say you do because if you don't, and you like someone else, I'll find them and kill them."

"Yes, yes," the black haired man said, squinting up at the road sign above their exit.

"Are we there yet? We're almost there, aren't we?" the blond questioned.

"Yes, yes," the other man said, sounding tired.

"Oh good," said the blond, and then promptly threw up on the floorboard.