"You know, this really looks, well, feminine," said Ed doubtfully, stroking the heavy silk of the elaborate kimono. "Are you sure this is traditional formal Xingian wear?"
"Absolutely," lied Ling, smoothly. "I wore that very outfit many times in court." This was complete hogwash. Ling had bought the outfit four days ago in Rush Valley at an exotic imports shop. It wasn't even Xingian, it but it WAS formal wear from one of the Eastern Island nations. Formal wear for a woman.
Reluctantly Ed threw off his shirt and undid did his belt. "Why does your father even care what I look like?" Ed asked. He paused while shrugging down his pants. "You didn't tell him I'm your consort or any of that bullshit did you?"
Ling smiled, "Oh, no, not at all. I merely said you were a good friend."
"That's good." Ed continued to undress. "He doesn't know we are screwing does he?"
Ling's smile dropped. "No. I haven't told him." The truth was that Ling hadn't told his father anything about Ed. He hadn't spoken or contacted the Emperor since before he'd left Xing. But he could hardly talk Ed into modeling a dress if he said that.
One of these days this white lie was going to come back to bite him. He'd take Ed to court and present him in traditional Xing attire, and Ed would discover that not only did the men dress in long shirts and pants, but the women did as well. Then he'd look back at this photo session and probably beat the crap out of Ling. But one could hope by then he would be comfortable enough with their relationship that he'd go easy and then laugh about it afterwards.
Ed was completely undressed and Ling had the urge to take a few pictures right now, but Ed would hardly agree to Ling showing his father NAKED pictures of himself.
"Ok," said Ed. "You are going to have to help me with this."
Ling happily complied. He pulled the layers of robes onto his consort-to-be and adjusted the sash to hold it all together in place. Then tugged the top down suggestively over Ed's shoulders. "Hey!"
"It's traditional to wear make up," said Ling.
"Oh, no, " said Ed. "Now I KNOW you are feeding me bullshit. I don't care WHAT culture you live in, guys do not wear make up."
"You don't know much about Xing culture do you then," said Ling, tutting. This was absolutely true, thank goodness, or else Ling wouldn't be able to pull off this farce. Luckily, Ling had anticipated this objection and he pulled out a book and opened it up to a color plate, of a man in a kimono, that was at least vaguely similar to the very feminine outfit Ed was wearing. His face was painted white, and his eyes and lips rouged.
Ling was greatful that while Ed was brilliant, and talented, he had not had the time in his short eventful life to become well rounded. Certainly not when it came to other languages, or else he would have read the caption under the plate that read "Traditional Kabuki Actor."
Ed studied the picture for a while. "So that's what people in court wear, huh?"
Ling wetted the sponge and dipped it into the white powder. He rubbed it gently over Ed's skin in long strokes, covering his face, neck and shoulders. Soon the alchemists normally pale skin was bleached to pure white. The foundation dried quickly and Ling began to rouge the eyes and cheeks. Ed barely held still while he carefully darkened the brows and lashes with kohl. "I MUST look like a girl now," said Ed.
"Not even remotely," lied Ling, as he straightened the dress out again. "You could never look like a girl. Not even if I put you in a dress." He managed not to snicker at that, but it took will power. He brushed through Ed's hair and put it up with a very elaborate comb. He added some "proper" jewelry to fill out the picture. In the end, Ed did indeed look like a very beautiful woman.
"I wanna see what I look like before you start taking pictures," said Ed. He stood up and wandered over to the hotel's bathroom and for a long moment gazed into the mirror. "I look pretty," he declaired with disgust. "Are you SURE this is what people at court look like?"
Ling attached the camera to the tripod and aimed it towards the bed. He loaded up a roll of 36 exposures, cleaned the lens and checked to make sure the flash was operating properly.
"Oh, Ed, there is nothing short of dragging you all the way to Xing that would convince you, is there? Let's take the pictures and then I can bathe you clean and you won't have to wear that again—unless you really want to."
Ed looked over his shoulder at him. "You like the way I look in this don't you."
"Absolutely. You are stunning. Now sit down on the bed, hands in your lap and just stare straight at the camera."
Ed complied. He looked vaguely annoyed into the camera and Ling snapped the first picture off the roll.
The prince hesitated. This was a lot of fun, but it would be a whole lot more fun to see Ed in a more relaxed pose.
"Since I doubt I talk you into this outfit again—this side of court," he added hastily, "Why don't you let me get a few pictures for my own benefit?" said Ling.
Ed cocked an eyebrow up. "What's in it for me?"
"I'll let you bottom," offered Ling in his most magnanimous voice.
"Well, sure—WAIT!" Ling snapped the next picture. Ed's expression was too priceless. "I'm always bottoming. No, I get to top. For a week, how's that!" Ed's fierce smile was competely at odds with his demurely dressed body.
"If it's what you really want," said Ling with a sigh. In truth, Ling liked it both ways, but he didn't want Ed to know that. It would cease to be an effective bargaining chip if he ever let it on. Still Ed seemed to be hesitating.
"And I'll throw in a backrub," offered Ling. That threw it over the top.
"Every night," said Ed.
"For a week," agreed Ling. It would be a poor tactical choice to let on that he loved giving Ed backrubs as well. "Now, relax. Let your hair down. Be freer."
Ed smiled, and sat in more decadent position, legs slightly spread, eyes half closed. Ed knew Ling's tastes all right. Ed pulled his hair free of the comb and turned around in the bed, lying down on his back, stretched out. He was probably trying for a "come take me now" pose, but honestly he looked just a bit stunned. Ling snapped another picture.
Ed was trying to tempt him now, letting the kimono slide off his left shoulder a little, allowing his leg to peek out between the folds. He dared Ling to molest him, knowing that he was safe as long as the prince was tied to the camera.
Well, if Ed was going to be that way, it was time to show Ed a trick that he could do with this particular camera. Ling set the timer to automatically take pictures every 15 seconds, and walked toward Ed.
"Hey," said the alchemist surprised. "All done with the pictures for the day?"
Snap. Ed looked stunned at the camera.
Ling didn't give him a chance to object, he swooped down to kiss Ed and push him back onto the bed. The kimono, already loose, was pulled further open.
Ling mouthed Ed's nipples. Ed arched his back, pushing his chest more firmly into Ling's mouth. He gasped and then bit his lip, his head tossed back in abandon.
Ling worked harder to undo the kimono. The sash came free and he pulled it open, until the heavy silk slid to Ed's elbows and pooled under him framing his naked body deliciously.
Ed was working on Ling's clothes, uncoupling the knots and loops that held his shirt closed. It was difficult to do, with the kimono restricting his arms. Ed let the dress completely side off his body and sat naked, head pressed to Ling's shoulder, his blond hair cascading past his shoulder blades.
Ling helped Ed undo his shirt, then stood to remove his own pants. Ed lay on his side, elbow dug into the mattress, propping his head up with his hand.
His make up had become a bit smeared by the kissing, so Ling took a handkerchief and carefully and tenderly wiped most of it off. His mouth followed up on the cloth, to kiss his eyelids, cheeks, mouth.
While Ling dug through his bag for the lube the camera caught Ed gently stroking himself to full hardness, a look of satisfaction on his face. The satisfaction turned to surprise when Ling oiled his own fingers and slid them in. "Hey, I'm topping," he said, but then wiggled his hips appreciatively against Ling's fingers.
"You get to top for a week AFTER this photo session," murmured Ling into his ear.
"These photos better not be going to your Dad," growled Ed. Then hissed in a bit as Ling pressed himself in.
Now there was an absurd thought. "No one will see them but me, " said Ling. "I promise. I will develop them myself."
"Uh," said Ed. "Good."
"You look utterly ravishing right now," Ling muttered into his ear. Ed felt even better than he looked. "You don't know how extremely desirable you are at this very moment. But you will."
"Sweaty, uh, and smeared with make up," Ed half laughed. "I can bet I look just great."
"You will see for yourself soon."
"I'm, uh, only letting you take, uh, these pictures because, uh, I want to see YOU."
The pictures continued to snap, while Ling thrust into his willing bedmate. He began to stroke Ed as well, knowing that this would bring his passion to a peak quickly. He gently turned Ed's head so that he faced the camera, and with just a little luck, Ling would catch that amazing expression Ed always had when he came.
Ed's eyes opened wide for a moment as if startled, and then the screwed shut and he grimaced terribly. His cock became suddenly slippery with more than lube.
With great effort Ling slowly counted. At thirteen he let himself go up over the edge.
Ling collapsed on top of Ed, and listened to the camera snap it's final pictures. Then it automatically rewound.
"If those pictures end up in ANYONE else's hands," said Ed. "You are going to eat that fancy camera of yours."
"Trust me, they never will."
Mustang flipped slowly through the photos, while Ling squirmed.
"You aren't being fair here, " the Xingian prince declared. "I didn't give you permission to go through my pack. Those are private."
Mustang lingered over one photo, his trademark smirk widening into a full grin. "And I don't recall giving YOU permission to go through my files either. I'd say this was fair trade." He lifted the photograph up to examine it more carefully. Ling could see his lips flushing just a bit. "How DID you convince him to wear the dress?"
Ling sensed a rival. It didn't sit well. "That's a secret that I will only reveal if you give me my pictures back."
"No deal." Mustang leaned back in his chair, not taking his eyes off the photo.
Ling hesitated. "I'm truly sorry, but I can't allow you to keep those." He drew his sword. "We shall fight a duel like men of honor."
Mustang continued to stare a long moment at the photo, then placed it down again with a sigh. He regarded Ling's sword. "I guess Fullmetal really is yours."
Ling puffed up with a little pride. "Of course, he is."
Mustang pushed the photos together in a stack and handed them to Ling. "Very well, you may have your private moment back." His eyes hardened. "But you stay OUT of my files from now on."
"Yes, of course." Ling eagerly picked up the stack of prints and dropped them in his pack, relieved. Ed really would have been furious if he'd found out they'd been lost. And if he found out they were lost to Mustang—Ling shuddered at the thought.
"Put your sword away, Prince," said Mustang, off handedly. "I'm not going to fight you for him." There was a slightly wicked gleam in his eyes. "Its far too obvious you two are compatible. I imagine he will make a fine consort."
Ling nodded. This was true. Now if he could just convince Ed of it. He set the sword back in its sheath and regarded the Colonel carefully. Perhaps he'd only imagined Mustang's interest in Ed. If Mustang truly wanted Ed, he wouldn't have conceded so easily.
It wasn't until much later that Ling realized Mustang hadn't given him back the negatives. The man had out-manipulated him. That irked. But oh well, at least Ling had his photographs back.
Ling felt a pang of worry, then realized Ed knew very little about cameras. Chances are he wouldn't notice. Eventually it would catch up to him, like the white lie of the dress itself that started the whole thing, but that was in the future. Who knows, maybe Ed would laugh over this, too.
It could happen.