Gunning the Shot

Familiarity makes some things easier, like the questions that one comes up with when they have far too much time on their hands. It creates friendships and camaraderie, makes the days a little less long, a little less tiring, and offers, more times than not, a good basis for conversations.

Of course, familiarity doesn't have much of a place in Edward Elric's life, just like certain traces of tact. It wasn't that he was rude, per say, but vocal, honest, and unafraid to speak his personally valued piece regardless of company or rank. Many often wondered if one of these days, such traits would land him in the wrong place, wrong time, with the wrong group of over-sized people looking to start a fight.

Not that it would have mattered much, considering...

With this in mind, it shouldn't have been a surprise that he would run across on Jean Havoc, sitting just underneath a "No Smoking" sign outside in the afternoon sun, and boldly say, "Can't you read?" while pointing at the glaring written order.

The officer turned his face away from the afternoon sun that he had been washing it in, and looked down, down at the alchemist who was staring at him. The cigarette dangled from the juncture of his lips, the smoke binding him as it wrapped up, twined around his head, slipped into the spike of bangs that went every-which-way like Morse Coded sunlight. Ash flaked free, gray, useless, and was innocently swept up in a breeze that had started along the tunneling blocks of Central's streets.

"Yeah." He cocked his head to the side, one butter eyebrow arched. "Why?"

An indignant finger pointed at the sign over the soldier's head, then pointed again and again for emphasis. Blue irises rolled up, studied the letters, before shrugging and blowing smoke at them, taunting something so inanimate that the world ignored the proverbial poke at itself and simply spun on. The cigarette bobbed again, before thin arms were crossed over the chest of his blue uniform. "I'm sure the buildings aren't going to mind the effects it's going to have on their non-existent lungs."

An amber glare was narrowed, but Edward walked towards Havoc regardless. It wasn't the insubordination of the sign, or the disregard of general rules and health; truly, people were more than welcome to go ahead with whatever they pleased as long as they weren't harming anyone else's state of being as far as the alchemist was concerned. No, this was curiosity, this was interest, this was the wonder of someone's addiction, and why, oh why it was all so damn important. (In the same breath, someone might remark on the older Elric brother's addiction to alchemy, but that would have been shot down with another of those glares and a grinding of sharp, little teeth.)

"What's so great about voluntarily breathing polluted air?" Fullmetal asked, touching the side of the cigarette with one gloved finger before it was gently swatted away. "Especially crappy air you have to pay for?"

Havoc stared at the young alchemist for a long moment, looking almost like a father who had to have the dreaded Birds and Bees talk, before giving up. Arguing, words... they did little in the long run; actions were the key to true comprehension.

The embers flared orange at the end of the stick, bright, wild, burning away to ash, before the cigarette was plucked from the imprisonment of those tasteful lips by two impatient, skilled fingers. The free hand snuck behind plaited golden hair, threading through it, tugging him forward, closer, closer until a seal of surprised mouths was made underneath fringe of erratic bangs. An older, dexterous tongue rushed forward, cleared the blockage of stunned teeth, of shocked lips, and after the tunnel of two caverns was cleared, the captured smoke was blown from Havoc's lungs deep into Edward's, caught and twisted in his mouth, swallowed along with the stifled moan that trickled somewhere from shy vocal chords.

It tastes like...

Havoc pulled away, slow, lingering, lips damp and plump, before leaning back against the wall underneath that rude little sign that he was so flagrantly disobeying. He ignored the way that Edward was blushing, his own eyes around the street behind them, making certain that no metal brothers or crazed colonels might come out and yell something that could be the result of jealousy (one could never be too careful).

The smoke drifted through Edward's nose, wafting up in front of his eyes, making him almost, almost look like a—

a dream

—-a ghost. At least, until the alchemist erupted into a fit of coughing that had him nearly doubled over, a curled fist at his lips as if he could hold the outburst in to save some face.

"Don't worry," Havoc drawled as he crushed the butt onto the "G" of the sign over his head. "I did the same thing my first time, too." The filter, spent, was tossed away behind him as he started strolling away, hands buried deep into his pockets.

"Then why do it?" Edward wheezed after him. "If... if you did this the first time, why even try it a second?"

Havoc laughed and shook his head back and forth, his steps echoing as he languidly strolled away. "It's like sex: it always hurts when you're a virgin, but it's all the same addiction."

Edward watched the other walk away, and wondered, honestly, if he should tell him that he never had sex either, and what kind of reaction that would be. Maybe, tomorrow night...