Ed involuntarily sucked in a breath as Mustang towered over him. Suddenly the Lt. Colonel seemed taller, broader, stronger and in every way more intimidating then he'd ever seemed before. Ed fancied he smelled something indefinably different about the man, something musky and disturbing. The coldness of Mustang's expression sent chills down Ed's spine.
"You know where the exit is," Mustang said, quietly but firmly. For emphasis he looked pointedly to the door of the conference room he'd sequestered. "I believe we are done here."
The urge to turn and run was almost overwhelming, but Ed stood his ground. He'd never backed down from any challenge before, he was damned if he was going to take "no" for an answer on this.
"I want back in, Mustang." He glowered up at those narrow dark eyes. "You can't turn me away. You've heard my reasons."
"I have, and I believe I just did. Here, I will do it again," Mustang said. He walked over to the door and for added effect opened it up and gestured broadly towards the empty hallway. "Good-bye. In another 11 months you can take the test again. It's possible you'll pass the interview."
Ed's heart hammered. "No! You owe me. You asked me to come here. I did that whole train thing for you. I PASSED the exam. You can't just turn your back on me now."
Mustang quirked an eyebrow up. "You were the one who turned his back on the military, not the other way around. You resigned because you didn't like an order, because being in the military was no longer convenient for you. Well, the military has no use for soldiers who quit when faced with orders they don't like. Go back to Rizembool and grow up a little."
Ed noted the intensity of Mustangs gaze and felt a nervous flutter in his stomach. He was being judged. As final as Mustang's words sounded, this was in fact a test.
"I'm not leaving," he said firmly.
Mustang tilted his head. "Ed, do you know what a reputation is?"
"What do you think your reputation in the military is right at this moment?"
Ed's mouth gaped open. He was at a loss. "I... I think they think I'm a good alchemist, and I'm strong," Ed felt confidence creeping back. "And I don't back down from a fight. I'm not scared. And I'm smart and powerful."
"You are unreliable." Mustang spoke each word crisply. "You can't be counted on."
"I..." Ed's eyes drifted to the floor. It was true. He'd quit because the military had gotten in the way of his agenda. He wasn't a soldier, he'd told himself. He was just using the military for their resources. The moment they ceased being useful, he'd dropped them like a stone. But now... now he needed those resources again. But the military had needs, too, and if he couldn't fulfill them, they had every reason not to want him back.
"So, do you still want your position back?" asked Mustang after a long pause.
"Yes," said Ed. "Yes. Please."
"If I take you back, Ed, and I'm not saying I will, but if I do, what reassurance do I have that you won't quit again the moment I give you an order you don't like?"
Ed looked about the room, trying to find some words to prove his case, but his mind remained mercilessly blank, and the sofa and chairs, the water cooler and the long table yielded no particular inspiration.
Abruptly Mustang closed the door and crossed his arms. "You are very young, Ed. Not even a teenager yet. The responsibility of being a soldier may be beyond your capabilities. I suppose I was wrong to ask you to come here, to become a State Alchemist. I saw your talent, and I thought I detected a greater maturity in you. But the military needs more than just soldiers who fight well—they need soldiers who can guard a door. They need soldiers who can wait. They need soldier who can follow assignments even if they can't fathom the reason behind them. When it comes to war, Ed, a soldier must be relied upon to do his duty, or else his comrades will die."
"I can go to war," said Ed firmly. "I don't want to kill, but if it comes to it, I can do it. I canbe relied upon."
"But what if you are asked to do something else? There are other assignments, some of which may seem despicable, or onerous, or dirty, but they are needed in order to win. Could you spy? Could you lull the other side into believing lies? Could you spread misinformation?"
Ed nodded. Yes, he could do all of those things, easier in fact than killing. "Please, let me have another chance. I know you want to."
For the first time a hint of Mustangs gentle side peaked through. "You are right. I do want to. But I don't know yet if I should." Mustang rubbed his chin.
Ed stepped forward until he was once again only inches away from Mustang. He looked up into those eyes. "What can I do to prove to you that I won't quit?"
Mustang's lips spread a bit in a cold grin. He turned and locked the door to the conference room behind him. "Take a seat, Ed." He gestured to the couch.
Ed walked over and sat down. Mustang followed and sat in one of the overstuffed chairs facing him. "Lesson one, " he said. "Is secrecy. Much of what you will be asked to do will be top secret. And much of what isn't secret, still should not be blabbed about casually. So, Ed, can you keep a secret?"
"Yes, sir," Ed said, sitting stiffly erect. He felt hope take root. This was another test. He could pass it.
"What I say and do in this room stays in this room, do you understand?"
"You won't talk about this to your friends, your brother, not even other officers. You won't write it down. Do you agree to this soldier?"
Mustang smiled. "Very good, though perhaps it won't be as easy to keep that vow as you think."
Ed frowned. He'd never been a blabber, and he'd been privy plenty of secrets before. "On my honor, I won't breathe a word of this to anyone."
"Very well, " said Mustang. "Then Lesson Two: A soldier will follow orders, even those he doesn't understand or approve of, without question. It is not a soldier's place to second guess the logic or the use of those orders."
Ed sucked in a breath. This would be much harder to agree to. Ed felt a spike of warning stab him in the gut. Ever fiber of his being rebelled at the idea of mindlessly following orders. What if they were wrong? What if they were stupid? What if they lead to nothing but meaningless hurt?
"Well, " said Mustang, tilting his head. "If you can't agree to this, you might as well get up now and walk out that door."
"I can do it."
"Excellent. Then I shall test it right now. Remove your clothes."
"What?" Ed's mind went blank at the sheer absurdity of the order.
"The door is over there, Ed."
"No!" said Ed, feeling the blood rise to his face. "Why the hell do you want me to take off my clothes, you pervert?"
"No questions, Ed," said Mustang. "Either follow my orders or leave, those are your choices."
"I don't have to answer the why," said Mustang. "That's the whole point. There will be times when I, for one reason or another, will not be able to explain to you why you are ordered to do something. You will have to TRUST me because I am your commanding officer." Mustang settled back a bit further into his seat. "Well?"
Ed blushed so hard his face hurt, but he undid the clasp that held his overcoat on. He then stood and shrugged it off. "How much of my clothes."
"All of them. Until you are naked. You may keep the automail on." The thought that Mustang might have insisted the automail go to made Ed shudder. This was a dare, to see if he had the courage to put up with being humiliated. Ed swallowed hard.
Ed reached for the zipper to his black coat. His hand was shaking so hard he found it difficult to keep it on the metal tab. His breath shuddered in and out. "This is embarrassing," he muttered.
"Stop!" Mustangs said sharply. Ed's froze, his coat half unzipped. He looked over at Mustang's face. The smile was gone and that intense look was backing his eyes. "Lesson Three: a soldier does not complain about the orders he is given."
Ed's stomach clenched. Not complain? But that was all he had left, his ability to protest, to assert that he was guiltless because he didn't want to be doing what he was doing. Everyone complained.
"Complaining is undisciplined. A soldier with poor morale is useless to the military. A detriment even, because he can infect his fellow soldiers with his negative attitude. If you can't suck it up, Ed, then the military has no place for you."
What would Al say when he returned and said he couldn't get his position back? Al... Al... every day he took finding a solution to their problem, was a day Al would be imprisoned in that body, his life permanently on hold. Worse, Al was a lot more vulnerable as armor than Ed dared let on to anyone, even his brother. Especially his brother. At any time his soul could slip from the array that bound it and be lost.
Ed frowned and looked sightlessly at his hands. Getting naked wasn't so hard.
With a deep breath he grabbed the zipper and pulled it all the way down. He put the coat next to his overcoat and then pulled his black tank top up over his head. His nipples hardened against the cold.
He glanced over at Mustang, but the man's face was inscrutable. I will pass your test, he vowed. Ed pulled off first one boot, then the other, he stuffed the socks in the top. He swallowed hard and pulled the belt loose.
Mustang spoke in dry tones. "A soldier's body is no longer his own. It becomes a tool of the military, to be used in whatever capacity the military sees fit. Look at your own body and see it as a devise. See the possibilities it offers."
Ed unbuttoned his pants and let them fall. He hesitated then. The only thing left on him were his shorts. He looked up at Mustang to see if he'd relent now that he'd stood up to the dare so far, but Mustang simply waited.
Ed yanked his shorts down quickly and placed them with the rest of his clothes. He stood, his hands automatically cupping his cock and balls, shielding them from view.
"Hands at sides," said Mustang.
Ed forced his hands to his sides. He felt cold and very exposed. His stomach tensed up. Why did Mustang want him like this.
"You feel pretty vulnerable right now, don't you?" said Mustang.
"But the truth of the matter is that you still wield great power."
"You are beautiful."
The statement boggled Ed's mind. How could anyone think he looked beautiful? Ed looked down at the thick white scars that marred his skin, the harsh gleam of the automail. He was lopsided, imperfect, ruined. His automail spoke of even deeper flaws. Hubris. Arrogance. Failure. He was not remotely beautiful—and in any case if an adjective was attached to his looks, he'd rather it be "handsome" or even "rugged" rather than such soft term like beauty.
"No, sir. I'm not."
Mustang frowned. "Don't disagree with me. When a superior officer tells you something, you say, 'yes, sir,' and you believe it. It's not your place to question him."
Ed's mouth felt numb. "Yes, sir." How can I give up my perceptions? I have to believe what my eyes tell me. If I stop, the world will cease to make sense!
"There are people out there who would like to look on you, the way I am looking at you now. They would like to touch you and have you touch them. And if you let them, you will find that doors will open to you. People will tell you secrets, they will trust you, they will believe you when you tell them things, they will give you objects, information, help. It's a very useful to have a beautiful body."
Ed heard the words, but they meant nothing to him. "If, if you say so sir." Ed felt his gut twist. His nerves were on edge. He didn't know what Mustang wanted from him. He wasn't sure he wanted to.
"Ed, go over to the cooler and fill a cup half way with water and return here."
Ed sighed in relief. At last an easy order to follow. He felt the tension break within himself. He brought the small paper cup back to Mustang and held it out, but older man made no move to take it. "Can you transmute the water in that cup to oil, Ed?"
"No, sir. Oil requires carbon and nitrogen. I can take the nitrogen from the air, but the carbon would need a source."
Roy put a hand into his pocket and removed a pencil. "Will this give you enough carbon?"
"Make sure the oil is non-toxic, though it need not be edible."
Ed opened his mouth to ask why Mustang would want this, but then closed it again. A soldier doesn't question orders. Ed placed the pencil in the cup and then put both on the end table near Roy's elbow. He clapped his hand lightly together. The pencil disappeared in a flash of white light and the water took on a golden hue. Roy reached over and carefully dipped the tip of a finger in, then rubbed it against his thumb. "Good."
"May I ask what this is for, sir?" asked Ed.
"No, you may not."
Satisfied Roy pushed the cup away. He went back to staring at Ed.
"I want you to kneel between my knees."
Uncertain, Ed complied, but then gasped when Mustang pulled the zipper down on his pants and fished around inside, bringing out his erect cock.
"No," said Ed. He stood up. "No, this isn't right." Ed felt bile rise in his throat.
"Why are you objecting?"
"Because, kids don't do that ... that kind of thing. Not with adults. It's disgusting." Ed turned away looking over at his clothes. This was a mistake. Mustang was crazy. There was no way there could be any military use in making him do... that....
"So, you admit you are a kid now."
Ed froze. He sucked a deep breath in.
"You can't have it both ways, Ed. You can't claim that you are an adult capable of doing an adult job, and yet at the same time hide behind your youth. It's one way or another. Are you grown up enough to be a soldier, Ed?"
Ed brows knit. He spun around. "I've been taking care of myself and my brother for two years now. You've watched me do adult jobs."
There wasn't a shred of shame or embarrassment on Mustang's face. He seemed if anything quite casual. "This is an adult activity, Ed. Just like every other adult activity." Again Mustang gazed on him with a stony watchfulness. "If you can go to war, you can certainly take a penis in your mouth."
Ed sucked in a breath again. The logic inescapable. How could he on one hand be old enough to fight and kill, and yet claim to be too young to have sex? If anything sex should be easier. No one got hurt. Adults enjoyed it, so why did it make his belly roil?
"You can put on your clothes any time you like," Mustang continued. "You don't have to be a State Alchemist. You can search for your stone on your own. You simply won't have the libraries, or the money, or the access to other State Alchemists that you otherwise would have. It is your decision. I'm not making you do anything."
Ed looked down at the cock lying incongruously pale against the deep blue of Mustang's uniform. The man stroked himself with an idle hand, keeping himself erect.
The library, the alchemists, the money. It was easy to say he could go without them, but could he really? The money their father left was running out. He'd need to take a job soon, and that would tie him in place. And without the libraries, the alchemists who had the understanding, what hope did he have of finding the information he needed. Amestria was a huge country, where would he even start to look?
Steeling himself Ed walked back and knelt. He felt Mustang's hand on the back of his head pushing him in. "Lick it."
Ed darted his head forward and gave it a tentative lick. It tasted like skin. It was warm and smooth and silky and not really all that offensive after all. The smell was a bit musky but not unpleasant. He licked it again, more firmly now. "All over, Ed, until I tell you to stop"
Ed grew bolder. He tried to imagine what he'd like done with his own cock, but he really wasn't sure, and thought of someone licking his cock made his groin stir in a disturbing way. He wasn't supposed to like doing this to Mustang. He just was supposed to do it. Ed pressed his thighs together around his growing erection and prayed that Mustang couldn't see past his head and back.
"Now take the head in your mouth. Cover your teeth with your lips."
Ed did. He felt Mustangs hand grip his hair painfully, then push and pull, directing him to bob his head.
"Lesson Four: A soldier takes pride in his work," said Mustang. His voice was only a bit breathy. "Put some effort into this, Ed. Own what you do. No matter how dull, or dangerous, or unpleasant a job may be, there is great satisfaction in knowing you did that job well. Do you understand?"
Ed released his cock and nodded. "Yes sir." He went back to sucking, trying to do as good a job as he could in hopes of feeling that satisfaction that Mustang had told him. Mustang was quiet for a bit and Ed dared roll his eyes up to see his expression. Mustang's eyes had closed and his mouth was opened somewhat. Ed noted a faint sheen of sweat on his skin, and the quickness of his breaths.
He smiled a bit around the cock. Mustang was right, there was some satisfaction in knowing you were doing a good job. Ed may not particularly want to suck off Mustang, but at least he could do it.
Suddenly Mustang pulled his head roughly away. "That is enough for now."
Finally, thought Ed. It's over.
But Mustang reached out and grabbed Ed's forearms lifting him up and spinning him around. Ed faced the couch for a second, wondering what was going on, then he felt Mustang's hands pulling him backwards, forcing him to sit on Mustang's lap.
The skin of Ed' belly crawled. He felt that hot wet erection pressed against the crevice of his ass and Mustangs breath against his ear. "Stay still." Mustang said. He reached over and dipped his fingers in the oil Ed had transmuted earlier, then reached between Ed's legs and found his semi-flaccid penis. Mustang's bare hand slid over the shaft, up to the head, then down again.
Ed gasped at the sensation. "No.' he said. He could feel traitorous flesh responding. The blush that had never really left deepened yet again.
"Lesson Five, Ed," said Mustang. "A soldier enjoys his work. Concentrate on the parts of your duty that you like most. That will help you overlook those parts that you don't enjoy. By keeping a positive attitude, even the most unpleasant jobs can be rewarding."
Mustang was using firmer strokes now, faster. Ed felt terrified, out of control of even his own body. He had no defense against the pleasure, nor the uncomfortable emotions that came with it. He wanted to grab the hand and pull it away. He wanted to shout no, somehow make it stop. But this was the test. He was sure of it. If he could get through this he would prove his worth.
Al needed this. Who knew how long Al had in that form. Every day, every minute counted. He couldn't let Al down.
"This isn't really all that unpleasant a job so far now is it? It certainly doesn't have to be. Give in to the feeling, Ed. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Let go of your preconceptions."
Ed tried. Though his belly told him that he wasn't ready for this, and his mind told him it was wicked and wrong, he pushed those thoughts away. A soldier trusts his commanding officer, thought Ed. Mustang must have a good reason for this. I need to trust him.
It felt good. It felt really good. Getting close now. Almost there.
Ed let out a whining gasp, and suddenly Mustang stopped. He rested his hand loosely, but possessively, around Ed's hard cock. Ed wondered if he dare push that hand away and take care of himself.
Ed was lost in his own thoughts when he felt Mustang's left hand slide under his thigh. Ed had no idea what he was up to until he felt that rough digit pressing against his sphincter, pushing the oily tip against the muscle with small slow jabs. His right hand resumed stroking him.
No. Ed tightened up and squirmed. He felt vulnerable and scared. His hands balled on his thighs, then reached back and clawed at the fabric of the chair. He heard a noise as his automail tore through the fabric, and half expected Mustang to admonish him, but the older man didn't,
No this was too much, it had to stop now.
"Please," said Ed. "Let me just finish you with my mouth." Ed didn't want to go back to sucking on Mustang, but it felt safer. He had felt more in control then.
"Be patient, Ed." Admonished Mustang. "It will feel better in just a moment." At that moment Mustang pressed the oily digit in to the second knuckle. Ed gasped and straightened up, pushing up away from Mustang's lap, trying to stand up. The older man responded by letting go of his cock and wrapping his arm around Ed's waist, holding him still. Mustang then withdrew his finger, only to dip it again in the oil and return. The second time it slipped it easily with only a faint ache.
"Relax, Ed, relax."
"I can't." Ed clenched.
"Yes you can." There was gruff impatience in Mustang's voice. "Your body is your tool, its muscles obey your will. If you tell yourself to tense up, you tense up. If you tell yourself to relax, you will relax."
Ed closed his eyes and concentrated on relaxing. He felt Mustang push until the finger was entirely seated, then withdraw, then push again. He became used to the strange sensation.
"Deep breaths," said Mustang. "This will start to feel good soon."
Ed jerked his head down and panted as deeply as his tight chest would allow him. Just as the finger stopped feeling so bad, he felt a second finger join the first and the struggle started all over again.
Mustang's baritone continued in his ear. "This is another tool in your arsenal, Ed. You will find that alchemists guard their secrets carefully, and people in general tend to be less than open when it comes to objects of great worth and rarity such as the philosopher's stone. There will be times when spreading your legs will get you what you can't get any other way.
"When you give a man pleasure, his defenses go down. It doesn't matter if you are passive or active; you are the one in control. It is your body affecting his. And with his pleasure go his defenses, his reason. He will do anything to experience what you can give him. He will promise you promotions, support you when you are in trouble. You will be come slick and untouchable, able to get away with whatever you choose. The world will open up to you."
It was hard to concentrate on Mustangs words. The feel of being penetrated and stroked seemed to take up every bit of thought in Ed's brain. He felt the fingers inside press and rub against something that made the stimulation to his cock even more intense. He was close. He was going to come.
Abruptly, both Mustangs hands were gone and Ed sobbed out a breath. He reached down to stroke himself but Mustang caught his hands. "Turn around and face me."
Panting Ed stood up and faced Mustang. He was flushed and sweaty, his eyes softer now. "Come," Grabbing Ed's hips, the man guided him back onto the chair. Ed knees sank between the cushioning of the chair arm and Mustangs decidedly hard legs. Mustang's erection brushed his inner thigh. This was it, Ed thought. He knew what was coming. He tried to calm his uncontrollable shaking.
Mustang ran a well-oiled hand over his own erection, then lined it up. Pressing hard with one hand he pushed Ed down. Ed gasped and resisted with all his might.
"Deep breaths," said Mustang. "Relax, don't fight me."
Ed sucked in as deep a breath as he could then held it. Mustang used both hands now to push him down. The head pushed past the ring of muscle. Worse than the physical pain was the emotional wrongness. Deep in his mind, he felt that warning again saying this wasn't right. No matter how reasonable Mustangs words may sound, he shouldn't be doing this. This didn't just violate Ed's body, it violated their trust, it was an abuse of position. Twelve year olds shouldn't have sex.
But there was no backing out now. He was already trapped, impaled. Even if he left now, there would be no way to recapture his virginity. The fastest way out was to carry this through to the end. If he left now he'd have lost everything for himself, and gained nothing for Al.
"There," said Mustang softly. "I'm all the way in. When you are ready, lift yourself up, just a bit, not so far that I fall out, then let gravity bring you back down. I'll let you set the pace this time. Next time we can work more on your technique, but for now, just concentrate on making it feel good to yourself."
Ed complied. He didn't want to think about the "next time" part of the sentence. He was relaxing, because there was no point in being tense or making this worse than it had to be. The pain wasn't bad at all, nothing like automail surgery, or even the training Izumi gave him.
"A soldier finds pleasure in his work."
Mustang's hand was back, rubbing him in time with his moves, encouraging him to go faster. Each lift of his hips meant another stroke. Pleasure assaulted his senses, inside and out. Faster.
"A soldier takes pride in a job well done."
Ed panted his eyes screwed shut. He gripped Mustang's shoulders harder and used it as leverage to draw himself further out, and make each stroke more forceful. It did feel good. It felt good to his body; it felt good to his pride. If he was going to do this sort of nasty thing, he was going to damn well do a good job.
Mustang moaned and that made Ed push harder.
"I'm close, now. Come for me, Ed."
Ed hadn't been waiting for permission. He was using all of his concentration to reach that spot. Despite the sickness in his belly, despite the fear in his mind, despite the outrage and anger that waited for a safe moment to express itself, Ed came.
The moment after he did he felt Mustangs hands grip his hips and take over the pacing. Bringing him up higher, Ed held on tight to Mustang to keep from being pushed backwards off his lap.
Finish up, finish up, finish up, thought Ed.
Then Mustang let out a strangled growl and everything stopped. Ed tried to lift off, but Mustang held him still a moment longer, then lifted Ed himself. Ed felt the other slide free, leaving him with a strange empty ache.
It really was over this time. Ed staggered a bit, his muscles ached and quivered, exhausted from the unusual exercise. His bottom felt sore and bruised. He wiped his hand across his belly, spreading his own come into his skin. He felt disgusting and dirty and weak and used.
Mustang stood up and held him steady, helping him to the couch and laying him down. Ed felt himself push and a moment later his thighs felt wet and sticky. He was cold. The reek of sex assaulted his nose.
Mustang covered him in his red overcoat. "Relax for a while, I signed this room out for two hours. We won't be disturbed for some time."
"Why did you make me do that?" asked Ed, the suppressed outrage finally bursting through. "You perverted old man. Why couldn't you have just said yes or no? Why did you make me have to give up my innocence like this?"
Mustang laughed. He used a handkerchief to clean himself up. "Ed, I don't know what claim to innocence you feel you had, but it was not anything worth holding onto. What I did here was nothing out of the ordinary. You are lucky you were shown it so early. I was in the military two whole years before someone was kind enough to clue me in on this technique. I didn't think at the time I'd ever thank him for the lesson, either, but I can't argue with the results."
Mustang seemed relaxed and pleased. He sat back down in the chair, zipping his fly up. "In order to get your brother back, you will have to use every resource available to you. Including this one. Don't be upset. It is really better that you learn it by my patient hand, then to have to figure it out on your own in the field."
Ed didn't want to think about having sex with strangers in order to gain the stone. He never imagined that that could be part of the job. It wasn't fair... but then the world never was fair, and everything Mustang said made sense. He would use everything in his power to get Al his body back, even if it meant using his body in this degrading fashion.
Is it worth this? Ed thought of Al waiting patiently outside in the courtyard, already full of ideas for how to pursue the philosophers stone. For a hideous moment Ed imagined the array within the armor giving out, and Al's metal body growing still a moment before collapsing. Ed imagined being alone in the world, facing a long lonely life of failure and regret. Yes, there was no question. It was worth it.
Mustang smiled warmly at him. "Ask me again to join the military, Ed."
"Sir, may I rejoin the military?"
"Welcome back, Fullmetal."