Al winced. "Niisan..."
*thump* "Shut up, Al."
Al shook his head. "Niisan, that' s really not..."
*thump* "I said, shut up."
"But niisan, just because you like the Colonel doesn't mean you should—"
*thumpthumpthump* "AAARGH! I don't like that stupid bastard! No way!"
Al sighed. "Niisan...I'm going to hang you from your feet if you don't stop, or you'll hurt yourself."
"...you wouldn't dare."
"So..." Havoc tried to look nonchalant. "Fullmetal's hair is, uh...bright."
Roy arched an eyebrow. "Is there something you'd like to ask me, Havoc, or will we play this game of beating around the bush for a while? Because I do have work to do."
Havoc rubbed the back of his head. "Well...we're just wondering if it's natural."
Roy's lips curled into a predatory smile. "Why do you think I'd know?"
"Well, that smile, for one thing," Havoc pointed out, and waited to be fried to a crisp, but the Colonel just smiled wider.
"The secret of Fullmetal's hair is not mine to divulge. You'd best ask Edward himself. Don't you think?" And with that, he returned to his writing.
"...Colonel, do you really expect me to dare?" Havoc asked, his toothpick nearly falling out of his mouth.
"If you haven't the courage to ask, I suppose you have no right to know," Roy answered evenly.
No more questions were asked about Ed's hair. Although Havoc was found embedded in the bathroom wall a few days later, apparently transmuted there.
And Edward was in a bad mood for days.
"What's wrong, Colonel? Suddenly you don't seem so confident," Ed drawled, not even bothering to look up at Mustang.
Mustang cleared his throat, buttoning up his jacket and trying to banish the blush from his face. "If you kiss me in front of the Fuhrer, Fullmetal One, you will somehow end up with all the jobs that require you pander to frightening voyeurs twice my age," he threatened politely.
"Nothing could phase me after pandering to you," Ed snorted in reply.
"I'll kiss you in front of Winly," Mustang corrected himself.
"...truce?" Edward replied hopefully, as Mustang's blush migrated to Ed.
"Watch this," Ed said to his little brother. "I'll get us the information." And with that, he shed his coat, undid the clasp at his throat, and started unbuckling his pants.
"Niisan!" Al cried, a bit traumitized, but Ed snickered and pressed a hand against his brother's armored chest.
"Don't worry Al. It's damn funny, actually." He finished unbuckling his pants and undid the zipper, then pulled his hair halfway out of his braid. And with that, he sauntered into Mustang's office.
Five minutes later, Ed came out a little more rumpled than before, and a folder in his hands. "Told you I'd get it," he said breathlessly, buckling his pants again.
"Niisan, you're amazing," Al breathed.
"Fullmetal, stop that. Come here," Roy ordered, pressing his lips together.
Edward obeyed reluctantly, as if one-ton wieghts were attached to his ankles; his shoudlers were hunched against a cold reality he was still rather too young to face; his features were frozen in the sort of depressed agony of someone who had faced death and had to do something horrible to escape.
Hawkeye was right, Mustang reflected. There wasn't much to do for him.
So he gently put his arms around the boy, drawing him closer, until it was more than just the brotherly hug men gave men—something warmer, and deeper.
"Shh, Edward," he said, awkward with offering comfort. "You must forgive yourself."
Slowly, slowly his shoulders relaxed; his hands came up to fist in Roy's uniform.
"I'm so tired, Taisa," he said softly.
It was a measure of how much he meant it that he did not pull away.
—-notes:The third moment was inspired by this picture.