Ed threw himself into the fight with utter commitment, a swirling vision of black and red cloth and long blond hair. It reminded Ling of the entertainers in his father's palace who danced with long silk scarves. There was grace in the young alchemist's abandon, Ling wondered wistfully what he could say to get Ed to do a mock fight while wearing silk streamers.
Ed's head craned upward. His ferocious golden eyes met Ling's through sweat slicked bangs. "Well," said Ed. "Are you going to help? Or do I have all these guys to myself?" He ducked a fist.
Reluctantly, Ling dropped from the roof of the building and joined Ed in the fight. It wasn't that he didn't like to fight—it was just—for a bit there—he just wanted to watch.
A flash of color caught Mustang's eye and he turned to look out the safe house window. What the hell?
He hurried out the door and found Ling sitting on a box, a huge smile on his face and a bag of peanuts in his hand. Ling glanced his way and then offered up the peanuts in an offhand gesture. Mustang looked from Ling to the spectacle taking place in the courtyard and then back again.
"Is this your idea?" Mustang asked.
"Oh yes," said Ling.
"How in the world did you manage to convince Fullmetal to do it?"
"I told him it was a Xing training technique. The ribbons are to better see the flow of chi."
Mustang looked back at Edward. The 16 year old was shirtless and his blond hair loose and wild. Those two things alone were remarkable, but far upstaging that were the long silk scarves attached to his wrists, upper arms, ankles, knees and waist. As the teen sparred with Ran Fan, the scarves took life of their own and writhed around his body like red and gold snakes. It was utterly breathtaking.
"He is going to kill you when he figures it out," said Mustang after a bit.
Ling laughed. "I know!"
Others from the house gathered round to watch Ed spar. Ran Fan teased Ed, ducking and weaving, and generally eluding his kicks and punches. Mustang noted with amusement that she seemed in on the gag. Her fighting style seemed more aimed at eliciting movement out of Fullmetal, than it was aimed at "winning."
Eventually, even Al had come out to look. "Niisan?" he called out in amazement.
Ed turned his focus away from Ran Fan and suddenly noticed his audience. He looked down at himself, then up again and colored.
"This is crap," he said to Ling. "How am I supposed to fight effectively with all these things tripping me up? I'm not seeing any chi, or whatever!"
Ling, Mustang decided, would never be good at poker. The smile called his bluff.
Ed's eyes widened, then he launched himself at the Xing prince.
Ling evaded and soon the performance was back on. Mustang retrieved the peanuts and idly munched. Even Al seemed to have gotten over his surprise and was settling down to take in the unexpected entertainment.
Ling's own curiosity and sense of humor undid him. While he was looking back to watch the alchemist flutter, he tripped on a rock fell down. Edward was on him in a heartbeat, straddling his hips, pressing the prince's wrists into the dirt to either side of his shoulders. Ed lowered his furious face until his nose almost touched Ling's, and the profanity that issued form the teen's mouth was quite blistering.
Ed might be on top, thought Mustang, but Ling won that bout. He started to clap and the rest of the audience followed suit. Once more, Ed looked around, then at himself, then at the prince, then himself again.
"The SHOW is FUCKING OVER!" he said, jumping to his feet, trying to undo the ribbon at his automail wrist. He then stomped off into the house.
Applause followed him all the way in.
Ling watched Ed eat. The blond was really amazingly beautiful, and intelligent and talented, too. Ling was glad he found him.
Ed paused with his spoon in his mouth and stared back at Ling. He let the spoon drop from his lips. "What?" he asked.
"I'll let you kiss me," offered Ling with infinite generosity. "If you want."
Ed's jaw dropped. "Why the hell would I want to kiss you," he said when he could manage to speak again.
Ling drew back with surprise. Why WOULDN'T Ed want to kiss him? He was, after all, quite beautiful and talented in his own right, and on top of that he was a prince. He was a catch!
"I know many beautiful women who would kill to kiss me," said Ling, a little hurt.
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A WOMAN!" screamed Ed and launched himself over the table at Ling.
In the end, Ed didn't kiss him, but in the process of trying to beat him up, he did manage to rub his rather enticing body all over Ling's. It was almost as good.
Winry sighed as she manipulated Ed's automail. "I wish you'd be a bit more careful, Ed," she growled. "I put my soul into your arm."
"It is amazing work," said Ling from the armchair. "He really ought to respect it."
Winry beamed and Ed glowered. "Why the hell are you here?" he snarled at the Xing prince. "No one invited you."
Winry gasped at Ed's rudeness. "I'm so sorry," she said to Ling. "He's never learned manners."
Ling smiled and crossed the room to kiss Winry's hand. "You will make a good consort," said Ling. "Our children will be beautiful and strong and smart."
Winry colored, embarrassed but pleased. "Oh—"
Ed frowned and suddenly snatched Winry's hand away from Ling. "Maybe she doesn't want to be a consort. Maybe she'd rather be someone's wife."
Winry giggled excitedly. It was fun to have two attractive men fighting over her.
Ling's smile just grew larger. "Ah, Ed, you are so pretty when you pout. You'll make a good consort, too. But I'm afraid we can't have children together. A pity."
Ed dropped Winry's hand and leaped on Ling. "I'm A MAN, goddamn you! A MAN, A MAN, A MAN!!!!"
Winry hauled Ed off of Ling. She felt a little put out. "We aren't even together yet and you are already cheating on me with Ed!"
Ed gargled something incoherent.
Ling pulled himself up off the ground. "But my sweet flower," said Ling, innocently. "When I am Emperor, I will have lots of consorts. My father has fifty; there is enough of me for both of you."
Somehow Winry's fist connected to Ling's face. How it happened, she would never know.
Ed flinched awake when mattress shifted. It was too dark to see, but Ed knew exactly who had crawled into bed with him.
"Stop mooching off of me and get your own room," Ed growled.
A snuffling laugh confirmed his suspicions. Ling again. It had been almost a week since he'd seen the stealthy bastard. He's like a cat, Ed thought. Always wandering in and out of my life. You get used to seeing him there at your elbow and then blink and he's gone. Then after getting used to him being gone, you wake up and there he is lying next to you in bed, hogging the covers.
Ed sighed. He'd long since given up on chasing Ling off, the guy was too quick and too persistent, and even a good beating didn't seem to phase him. In fact, Ed thought with a start, Ling seemed to like it when Ed beat him.
The only thing that seemed to distract the Xingian was curiosity and pretty things. Ed wondered if he bought something shiny and threw it, say, down a cliff, if the prince would follow.
Ah well. Ed mentally tallied the money in his pocket. Between Ling's mayhem and his appetite, it did go through Ed's per diem pretty quickly. Perhaps it was for the best he wasn't putting another hotel room on his tab. For a prince, Ling was certainly cheap.
Ed closed his eyes and wandered back down to sleep—until a hand slipped over his waist and stroked his belly. Ed's eyes flew open again. "Hey," he squawked.
"I'm cold," murmured Ling. "Warm me."
Ed rolled his eyes. "You are hogging the blankets again, you have no right to be cold."
"Well then, I'm very generous. I will keep you warm." Ling snuggled against his back and held him tighter.
"It's a warm night," said Ed struggling to move away. Ling held him tighter and it became something of a wrestling match that ended when Ed fell off the side off the bed onto the floor.
"Niisan? Are you alright?"
"See, you just woke Al," said Ed, angrily. A light suddenly turned on and Al was standing at the switch. Ed and Ling both blinked.
"I've been awake ever since he came in the window. Hi, Ling."
Ling arched up and smiled at Al. "Hi there!"
"Ling, if you can't share nicely with Niisan, you have to go." Al's voice was young, but there was a threat in it that Ling seemed to respect.
Ling sighed and picked himself up. "Ah well, I guess I shall sleep somewhere else tonight." He leaned over and kissed Ed on the mouth. "Until later."
Ed blinked. Twice. By the time he found his mind again the Xingian was already out the window.
"Niisan," said Al hesitantly. "Did he just kiss you?"
Ed jumped up and ran to the window. "I'M NOT A WOMAN!" he screamed out into the night air.
It was almost three weeks before Ed saw Ling again, and although Ed had VOWED the first thing he'd do when he saw the prince would be to put his automail fist into his mouth, it turned out that he was rather too busy to do that.
There were five thugs on him, and Al was inconveniently elsewhere. Ed had cut the feet out from under one of the ruffians, but then found someone else's arms looped under his. In the next breath, he was up in the air, his arms pinned and his feet kicking impotently at nothing.
Ling leapt down into the middle of the fray and proceeded to turn three of the men into hamburger. The man pinning Ed was so amazed that he lowered his arms and allowed Ed's feet to touch the floor. That's all Ed needed to throw his weight forward and slam the man over his back and into the ground.
It was over in moments and the men were retreating. Ed and Ling panted, back to back, scanning for more enemies.
Finally, reluctantly, Ed turned around. "Thanks, man," he said. Punching Ling wouldn't be right now, he realized.
"I couldn't let them manhandle you," said Ling, standing very straight and looking with haughty distain down the alleyway at the thugs' stumbling retreat. "An emperor must be able to stand up and protect his consorts."
Ed felt his stomach burn. "Don't make me hit you, Ling," he warned.
Ling's eyes were wide and innocent. "Why would you want to hit me? I just saved you."
"How many times have I got to tell you I'm not a woman?"
Ling's eyes widened and his brows rose up. "I don't know, how many times do you feel you need to?"
"I don't understand this compulsion. I've seen you naked. I know you are a man."
"You've—" suddenly Ed took a step back. "When have you seen me naked?"
"When you showered."
"When I—you've been spying on me?" Ed was incensed.
Ling seemed utterly bemused. "I've been following you for months, this is a surprise to you?"
"Why?" was all Ed could ask.
"You are very beautiful, Edward Elric. I think I'm in love with you. I think I've loved you ever since you danced for me."
"I've never danced for you."
"You wore ribbons and danced. It was lovely, you seduced my heart."
"I—you tricked me into doing that—I was training, not dancing." Ed felt his fist forming again.
"Is there a difference?" Again, Ling was all innocence.
Rescue or no rescue, Ed didn't think he could hold off on hurting Ling for long and Ling seemed to sense this. "I do not understand you sometimes," he said, a pout in his voice. "I compliment you and you treat it like an insult. I save you and you act like you want to punish me. Do you always treat your friends so harshly?"
Ed's mind stumbled.
He had helped him. Ed hadn't wanted the help, and maybe he hadn't even needed it, but it didn't change the fact that Ling had helped, and he'd done nothing for the Xingian in return.
"What do you want from me?" he asked. "Name your reward."
"I would settle for a kiss," said the Xingian.
A kiss. Ah hell, might as well. Sighing, Ed stepped forward and Ling eagerly embraced him. Ed tilted his head up the way he imagined he should, but was still surprised to feel Ling's lips touch his. They were warm, soft, and a bit ravenous. Ed breathed a little quicker, feeling an odd prickling in his groin as Ling's tongue glided between Ed's teeth and deep into his mouth, exploring, stroking, possessing—
Ed felt Ling's hands slide down from his shoulders, over his sides, down to cup his ass, then suddenly push, driving Ed's hips against Ling's. The kissing was getting a bit more violent, straying from Ed's lips to his cheeks, chin, and ear. The hands on his ass were kneading and something rather hard suspiciously poked at Ed's lower belly.
"Ah, see, I'm a very good kisser," Ling whispered in Ed's ear. "You are lucky to have me for a lover."
I'm lucky—? I'M LUCKY!?! Ling was the one pushing his luck here. One kiss is all he had offered, and Ling had already taken much more than that.
Wait a minute—Ed didn't owe Ling! Ling had been mooching off of Ed for months! Ling damn well OWED Ed a helping hand. Hey!
Ed broke off and backed away, gasping. "That's enough."
Ling laughed and climbed the garbage up to the rooftop. Like a cat, thought Ed. "That was wonderful," he called down. "Maybe next time I'll let you do more."
Let ME do more?
"You are his closest living relative," said Ling. "What do you say?"
Al didn't have a collar, and even if he had one, it would probably not be too tight. Nonetheless, he felt an urge to put his gauntlet up to the top of his chest and loosen SOMETHING. "I don't know. I guess I think it's weird that you would even ask me. It's Ed's life, it's Ed's decision."
"Then I have your permission to marry him, yes?"
Al looked around. They were standing in the ruins of a small town and there were bodies hiding in the wreckage. Of all times to ask such a ridiculous question.
"If it's what Ed wants, then I don't really see how I could say no," Al said at last. He thought that the chances of Ed saying yes to being one of Ling's fifty consorts was somewhere between slim and none, so his permission was pretty much a moot point. However, it seemed to make the little hyperactive Xingian happy, and Al liked to see people happy.
Ling slapped his arm jovially. "Excellent, I shall start wooing him with ardor."
"Uh—yeah." Al felt a sudden pang of regret. "Listen Ling, if he ever says no—" Al raised a fist in a menacing way.
Ling shrunk back a bit, but then BOUNCED back to his normal cheer. "Oh, what a wonderfully loyal brother you are, always looking out for him. You will make an excellent brother in law—" A sudden wicked gleam caught Ling's eye. "And maybe when you get your flesh back, I could marry you as well. What a neat family we would make."
Al loomed up. "Ling," he said in a quiet, but somehow very carrying voice.
"Leave me out of your fantasies."
There are things a guy just can't say no to, Ed decided. Even when it meant being woken up against your will in the middle of the night by the biggest mooch in all of Amestria. A mooch who would likely be expecting a free meal in the morning. A mooch who hadn't even shown his face in almost a week. A mooch who had somehow slipped Ed's cock out of the slit in the front of his boxers and was even now pumping it in an utterly inappropriate way.
It was wrong, so terribly, terribly wrong, but there was no way Ed was going to stop it. Because, damn it, it felt good, and a hand job was a hand job. Oh god, where did Ling get the oil for it? Unbelievable.
Ed gritted his teeth and tried not to moan, hoping that Al was asleep and hadn't noticed the way the bed he and Ling were sharing had begun to rhythmically shake. He tightened up his stomach and tried really hard not to grab that hand and force it to move faster, rougher.
Ed felt Lings mouth on the back of his neck. Ling's tongue drew a lazy circle over his shoulder, and Ed COULDN'T stop the whine that had crawled it's way out of the back of his throat and was even now beating it's way against his teeth.
Finally he couldn't stand it any more. "Faster," he whispered as quietly as he could. Oh God, don't let Al wake up right now. Please don't let Al wake up.
Ling's hand moved faster, and oh, yes, it scratched that itch that Ed never realized he had. For years he'd been jacking himself off with quiet efficiency, in a perfect biofeedback loop. If only he'd known how much amazingly BETTER it felt with a not quite perfect rhythm that he couldn't control. The sheer suspense of Ling's hand drove Ed's pleasure into an entirely new plane.
He was going to come now, no stopping it. "Ahhh!" The almost scream was out before Ed had a chance to bite it back and, for a second, pure adrenaline-spiked terror mixed with utter ecstasy to produce an almost seizure-like shaking.
Ling's hand withdrew, and Ed gasped and panted. It was over and there was nothing left but the fury. That little shit, who gave him permission to even crawl into his bed in the first place, much less jerk him off—
Well, no, that wasn't exactly fair. You don't wait until after you come to play the wronged virgin. Shit. Now he probably owed the guy.
Ed reached back to return the favor, only to find Ling brushing his hand away. The front of Ling's pants were damp with come.
"Your pleasure is infectious," Ling murmured in his ear. "Ah what you do to me."
"Er—thanks," said Ed awkwardly.
Then Al's voice came up out of the darkness. "Are you two done yet? Some of us are trying to sleep."
Mustang wondered if he heard right. "What did you just call Fullmetal?"
Ling blinked. "My wife."
Mustang covered his mouth and suppressed a laugh.
Ling just looked confused. "There is no corresponding word in your language. There is consort, but most people seem to think that that is some kind of advisory position. Then there is wife, which is a bit closer to the true definition—"
"Has Fullmetal agreed to this?"
"Well," said Ling. "Not yet. But he hasn't said no."
Mustang's eyes widened. He couldn't imagine Fullmetal NOT saying "no."
"What DOES he say when you call him that?"
Ling elaborated with a look of vague surprise and bafflement. "Usually he screams something incoherent about not being a woman, and then tries to press his body all over me. I will have to work on his manners before I can bring him back to court."
"Ah yes, which is where I come in, I see," said Mustang.
"No, Ed doesn't get out of his service contract just so he can marry a Xingian prince. His ass is ours for the next eight months, until it's time for his next review." Roy laced his fingers under his chin. "Though, if he should decide to retire in eight months, good luck to you." Mustang smiled.
Ling looked disappointed. He stood up from the couch in Mustang's office with obvious reluctance. "Very well, there is no hurry for me returning to Xing anyway."
When he left, Mustang started laughing. Hawkeye poked her head in and gave him a curious look. "Is there something, Colonel?"
"No, just Fullmetal owes me. Make sure you tell him that next time he reports in."
"Why are you so angry," Ling asked, gently. He didn't want to provoke an all out scrap on the top of this building. It was a rather long way down to the pavement, and Ling really had no desire to injure his future spouse.
"You told MUSTANG I was your wife!"
"Yes," admitted Ling. "I did."
"MUSTANG!" Ed repeated, as if Ling hadn't understood the word the first time.
"Yes, Mustang," said Ling again. "And this bothers you—why?"
Ed's jaw dropped. "I—am—not—your—WIFE!" Ed grabbed the lapel of Lings shirt and drew him close. "I will never BE your wife, do you understand? Don't go telling BASTARDS like Mustang that I'm your wife. He'll think we are screwing or something."
Ling laughed. "Well, we are screwing," he said. "Or at least I thought we were going to. Does this mean we aren't going to screw?" Ling was disappointed.
"Of course we are going to screw," said Ed. "Because damn it you OWE me. First my brother and now Mustang, how many times do you plan on publicly humiliating me?"
"I thought it was important that the people who care about you most know and approve of our relationship. Your brother is quite formidable, and Mustang could separate us."
Ed laughed. "I don't think anyone can scrape you off my back. Mustang is going to lord this over me for months to come. Now I have to do that asshole a favor to get him to shut up about it."
Ling frowned. "I'm sorry." He then cast his most puppy-doggish love sick eyes in Ed's direction. As silly as it was, it never failed to get Ed to react.
"Aw fuck, Ling." Ed sighed.
Ling took that as his cue to get more intimate, gathering the slightly shamed alchemist in his arms and covering him with kisses. These days, Ed responded favorably—mostly because kisses lead to sex, which Ed had decided he rather liked.
Ling wanted to bend the teen over the nearest—well—anything that he could bend the teen over, and take him long and slow, but that look in Ed's eyes meant that some appeasement was required. "You can top this time," said Ling in a fit of ultimate generosity.
Well, perhaps not completely ultimate. Although it was more seemly for an emperor to be to always be the aggressor, Ling rather liked the way Ed used his cock. Being fucked, he decided, was a decadence worthy of those of a high station. Not that he'd even hint this to Ed. The alchemist would take that to mean that he could always top.
Ed was busy pulling Ling's clothes off. "You so owe me," he muttered. "I SO get to top you." Ed's mouth trailed down the side of Ling's throat in a hungry fashion, searching out the newly exposed flesh, worrying and gnawing it in a way that Ed NEVER allowed Ling to do.
That was fine by Ling. Having a few battle scars from their sex would merely serve to heighten his reputation. In fact, maybe if Ed marked him particularly well, perhaps he could make a side trip to Mustang's office and casually show it off. It never failed to make the older man twitch every time Ling hinted at his relationship with Fullmetal. Ling wondered if Mustang might actually be jealous.
Of course he would be. After all, what a desirable thing Edward Elric was. Ooh, especially when he did that.
Ed's tongue was flicking Ling's nipples. It sent shivers of pleasure though him. Ed drove him backwards until his back rested against an air vent. Then came the somewhat awkward collapsing to the cement-covered roof. Ed was fighting with Ling's pants now, managing at last to unhook them and get them off.
Ling reached to undo Ed's jacket, but he slapped away Ling's hand. "I gotta make this quick," he muttered. "I've got a job to do, as you WELL know."
Ed grabbed the zipper at his fly and drew it down, then brought himself out. "I don't suppose you remembered the lube," he said suddenly, awkwardly.
"Oh, no, I thought you were bringing it," said Ling and then waited.
Ed's eyes opened wide, then he let out a pained groan.
Ling laughed. "Of course I brought it." Ling scrabbled a bit through his clothes until he found it. "Go gently with me, lover," said Ling.
Ed snorted. But he was gentle, patiently using his fingers to open the way. That's what Ling liked most about Ed. For all his fierceness, he had such a gentle, tender side to him. For all his rough pretensions, he never failed to warm Ling up or bring him off.
Ed was really so lucky to have him, Ling decided. Who knew how much longer the alchemist would have remained a virgin if Ling hadn't taken the time and care to show him the delights of sex, and what a waste that would have been. Such beauty languishing untasted—it would have been a crime.
Ed pushed Ling's back against the ground, bringing Ling's flexible legs up and over his shoulders, and then pushing his way in and filling Ling delightfully up.
Yes, this was sweet, Ling decided. Ed was a quick learner and had figured out how to rub his cock in just the right way, angling it upwards, and using smooth strokes at first. Every bump took Ling a notch closer towards ultimate fulfillment. Degree by degree, yes, that was the way. The feel of Ed's flesh hand stroking the shaft of his cock in time with each thrust made Ling wiggle with delight. Ed leaned over and claimed Ling's mouth, invading it with his tongue, bringing yet a third axis of pleasure to their lovemaking.
Ling could imagine this moment repeating on a large soft bed, covered in silk sheets and strewn with pillows. Ed, perfumed and powdered, his hair loose, flowing over his shoulders, his nipples rouged. Perhaps earrings, yes, amber earring's to match his eyes, dangling like raindrops from his earlobes. Yes, and silver bangles on his wrists, with little bells attached to jingle every time he moved.
In Ling's mind Ed was saying, "I love you, beautiful prince."
"I love you, too," Ling imagined he'd say back. "Aren't you glad I made you my wife?"
"Yes," said fantasy Ed. "Oh, how I love it when you call me that! I'm yours forever."
"Do you miss your old life?"
"No, not at all. How could I want to be in the military when I can live in luxury and feed you grapes with my mouth?"
Ed sped up, signaling his closeness.
"Ah," said Ling, clinging to the fantasy, but opening his eyes to see Ed's face. Ling found Ed's orgasms absolutely earth-shatteringly erotic. Something about the way he grimaced and threw his head back, the way his sweat made his skin shine, it was intoxicating. Ling felt his own cock shudder with excitement. Then that final notch was achieved and Ling came violently.
Ed collapsed on top of him, spent. Then sat up suddenly, looking down at himself. "Oh shit, I got your come all over the front of my jacket."
Ed clapped his hands and the stain was gone.
"Now, stop calling me your wife. Or consort. That's almost as bad."
Ling looked hurt. "What do you want me to call you? Betrothed? Lover? Lifemate?"
Ed finished wiping himself off and zipped up his fly. "You can call me Ed."
Ling smiled. "Very well, Ed."
Someday, he would wear Ed down. He was a prince, and therefore could be patient. In the meantime, even if Ed didn't like the words, he didn't mind the actions. Eventually, Ed would come to his senses and realize just how silly he was being, denying their relationship.
Until then, Ling could wait.