For someone who is so useless in the rain, Roy isn't afraid of the water. He righteously labels it a quirk until Hawkeye mutters es-cap-ism behind her hand, and he smiles, quotes an obscure philosopher about the natural human condition. Negative elements attract and all that. Hawkeye tilts her head indulgently and says it's okay, Brigadier General, to have hobbies.

It's Sunday, hot-lazy and sizzling the sidewalks just outside the window, and Roy can hear the spiked lilt of surprise in Ed's voice over the phone, "And how exactly do you expect me to do that?" Roy pictures him, hip leaning against the kitchen counter, plucking irritably at the sweaty line of his waistband and rolling his eyes.

"Scared?" Roy has had years to perfect Condescending Tone Number Six, it has transcended art. It doesn't disappoint, never does; Ed is standing on the corner when the car arrives, all sharp moody edges and obtrusively coloured blue shorts.

The beach is empty when they get there and Ed is snark and cross-eyed confusion, surfboard in his hands, "How do you work this thing?"

The raison d'etre. Roy imagines there needs to be a why somewhere in this equation so it didn't seem as though he had woken up this morning and said, randomly and without any precedent whatsoever, 'let's teach Ed to surf'. Except that is exactly what happened. And damn Reason, anyway.

Roy places his thumbs on Ed's hips to position him on the board, 'Like this; arms out, lean back. It's all about balance, Fullmetal, you should know that. You need to distribute the weight of your automail or you're going to fall.' Ed scowls and stares down the ocean, again and again, carves out a nice pattern of slip, splash, curse, repeat. There are angry red lines from the slap of skin-hitting-water forming on Ed's shoulders but he paddles out anyway, mouth set in a thin, determined line of "this time." Roy hadn't been expecting any less. And catching a glint of metal as Ed falls again, he knows why.

The next current is a smooth one and as it starts to peak, Roy goads, silently, go, just as Ed surges forward, uses his arms to push off. He's up, feet finding tenuous purchase on the board and he coasts along the skyline for a heartbeat which Roy knows—he knows—feels like an eternity of wind and freedom and saline victory. Ed makes a surprised sound, alive and screaming above the crash of the waves, "Look, look, look!" before plunging headlong into the water.

Ed comes stumble-slipping out of the surf a moment later, gasping, wet and wild eyed, limbs catching akimbo around Roy's neck with a whoop of elation as he stretches up tip-toe to smack sloppy, salt warm kisses all over Roy's cheeks, lips, neck. The weight is enough to throw Roy's balance and they fall back, limbs left and right, Ed still laughing as if his chest didn't have the strength to contain it. They meet, forehead to forehead, Ed's sopping and sand laced hair framing them both. Drip, drip, drip, a stray drop of water slides down the line of Ed's nose and plops cold onto Roy's jaw. Roy rubs the next one away with his lips.

"Well?" He asks.

"Better than sex!" Ed proclaims with a smooth roll of hips and a wolfish grin.

"Is that an insult, Fullmetal?"

The answer, a succinct "uh-hunh", is lost when Ed kisses him, full of sea and adrenaline. Roy nudges a knee between Ed's legs, brings them colliding in a damp shift of skin as Ed dips down, mumbling content obscenities (there is such a thing, Roy has discovered) against his collar. Ed's cheeks feel feverish against the curve of his neck, starched pink from the sun and freckling with burn. Roy slips his fingers along Ed's wet spine, palm curving into Ed's shorts and squeezing until Ed shudders, heavy and writhing slippery against him. Roy rocks up in response and Ed gasps softly, presses back, hands scorching trails in the sand beside them. Ed bites down lightly on Roy's shoulder, soothing the sting with a brush of lips and tongue. Their rhythm is languid-slow, too warm and they shift, absently; rolling, rolling, rolling into the cold shock of the tide.

Roy feels himself smiling, can't help it really, and he scoops Ed up, throws him flailing into the waves. Sputtering, Ed reaches to his board again, glances back as he paddles out and calls, "Watching?" Roy thinks it's a rather stupid question to ask but he nods, curls his toes into the sand. In the moment he disappears into the bright, blurring blue glare behind an arching swell of surf, Ed almost looks whole again.