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One-Trick Pony


Roy Mustang came into work on a Tuesday morning and was dismayed to find the front row of saplings on the lawn had been charred to a crisp.

He was more dismayed to discover, via the disciplinary letter in his mail box, that he was the one being blamed for it.

Havoc had the nerve to chuckle, and Mustang gave him a look that said, with great subtlety, that This Is Not Funny, Do Not Chuckle Or You Will Wish It Was Just A Demotion I Gave You. But Havoc pointed out, with a pointed somber look, that there was no one else who could have turned an entire row of saplings to dust in a flash of fire.

Mustang suspected differently.

When he walked into his office, he was vaguely bemused to find he was right.

"Fullmetal, get out of my chair."

Fullmetal smiled a long, slow smile, the sort that promised evil things were in the near future, and put his boots up on Roy's desk. "You know," he drawled, rocking the swivel back and forth a little, "it wasn't that hard, once I thought about it."

"You've seen the array for it. I'm surprised it took you as long as it did," Roy answered. "My chair, please."

"I mean, really, it's all in the wrist," Edward Elric continued, ignoring him, pressing his palms together and lifting his metal hand. "Just a little flick, and—"

Mustang was impressed that Edward could get a spark off the smoothly polished metal of his finger joints. He was also impressed that Fullmetal's demonstration did not include setting Roy's hair on fire.

There was a whiff of ozone in the air following the gout of flame, and Mustang raised his eyebrows at the pure, smug smirk that seemed embedded into Edward's face. "—and 'boom' it goes." The smirk stretched wider. "You're kind of a one-trick pony, aren't you, Flame Alchemist?"

Mustang crossed his arms. "My chair."

"Okay, okay, geez," Fullmetal put down his feet and rolled out of the plush seat, surrendering the desk to its owner with the pride of a snubbed cat, but although the smile had left his lips, it hadn't left his eyes.

Mustang settled into his seat and leaned back, taking a moment to appreciate just how comfortable his swivel chair was. "I have another job for you," he stated, deciding on the direct approach, and Edward scowled his irritation that the Flame Alchemist was refusing to acknowledge the trespass on his name. "It's not hard, but I think it is most appropriate for you, Fullmetal."

"Yeah, what is it?" he asked without ceremony.

"Please replant the saplings in the front row of the lawn. It seems somebody burnt them to a crisp sometime in the night."

The word Fullmetal used would not usually be considered appropriate for use in the presence of one's superiors, but when it came to Edward, certain exceptions had to be made.

"One-trick pony my ass," Edward growled after a moment.

"Sometimes," Roy drawled, allowing a smirk to drift across his features, "it's more about the playing field, Fullmetal."