scimitarsmile

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It had been a bit of a shock the first time he had actually seen Roy Mustang, Ed remembered. The first time Mustang had seen him didn't count. Ed had been playing possum, despite a feeling that the owner of that deep, smooth voice he listened to wasn't taken in. But a year later, in Central Station, it hadn't been the casual display of Mustang's power that had frozen Ed in place until the man was on his way out.

Instead his feet had stuck for want of directions from his brain, which was busy tallying Mustang's features. Black hair; dark eyes narrowed consideringly at the world; pale skin; long, thin lips; long, winged brows; round face and pointed chin and high cheekbones. And the name echoing through his mind hadn't been Roy Mustang, but Sensei. The timbre of their voices was even similar. Only months of familiarity had blunted the shock of how much Mustang resembled Ed's teacher.

Ed was deeply thankful that they didn't speak in the same manner at all.

Well... not unless the Colonel was really angry. Then they spoke in very much the same manner—all bark and however much bite they thought he deserved.

And there was a certain look they shared, the one they both used when they thought Ed was being unreasonably stubborn. It was faintly weary, and slightly annoyed, and something else that Ed categorically refused to name. If he named it, then the knowledge that he had betrayed his teacher's trust would crush him, and the the idea that his commander gave a damn what happened to him would betray him.

All told, Ed found the Colonel easier to deal with than Sensei. Mustang demanded less of him. Admittedly, Sensei was straightforward, while no one in their right mind would call Mustang any such thing. But what the Colonel wanted from Ed was far simpler. Go here, meddle there, whack this person over the head with a heavy hammer. Whether the hammer was metaphorical was generally left to Ed's discretion.

Whereas, with Sensei, the hammer was always real. It was the action that became a metaphor, a meditation, always leading Ed's thoughts up an inward spiral until he was dizzy with the spinning is and might be and can and should.

The really, truly unfair part was that his twisty Colonel had that quirk of eyebrows that made him look, for just a moment, like Ed's agonizingly straightforward Sensei. And when that happened it made Ed think about what metaphor, what meaning, what pattern the actions he took under Mustang's command made. And that gave him a headache.

"Ed."

Ed opened his eyes and looked up out of the grass into the dark eyes above him.

"It's dinner time. Come in."

"Yes, ma'am," Ed murmured, looking aside as he rose.

He'd never thought he'd want to have that headache, but it would have been much better than the brutal twisting in his chest and throat every time he met his teacher's eyes.

Really, he should have stayed in Central.