He held the file just out of reach and smiled. Ed, unamused, suddenly lunged at him, and when he ducked back, Ed snatched the file out of his hand, tromped over to the couch and spilled himself across it like a can of red and black paint toppling to the ground.
After composing himself for a few moments and making sure Ed was not going to come back over for another go at him, the colonel cleared his throat.
"I have a surprise for you," he purred. The colonel of course expected Ed to light up with delight and curiosity; this was a tried and true method on ninety nine percent of the colonel's dates and it never failed to get him what he wanted.
"I hate surprises," Ed said sullenly, studying the report in his hand. "Half the time you get surprised it's with some shit you didn't even want, the other half of the time you get surprised, you barely avoid getting killed." He slouched further down along the couch, pulled his tank top up and scratched at his belly.
"Well, that's a bit unfair. You don't know what the surprise is, so why do you judge it," the colonel said, tenting his hands before him on his desk, "and it's a surprise from me, so how could that be bad?" He put on his most charming smirk.
"That's exactly what I'm afraid of," Ed muttered, flipped a page of the report, "anything you could come up with could be like twice as bad as a normal surprise."
"They say in Xing, 'the hangover may surprise you, but the drinks you downed certainly weren't'," the colonel offered.
"And that means what? Fuck, if you're going to make a point, at least make sense," Ed snorted. "Don't come at me with bullshit for the sake of bullshit. You sound like you been drinking or wait, you haven't met your stupid quota for the day?"
Roy lowered his chin, rested his forehead against his templed hands, then took a deep breath and looked up again.
"Alright Edward, I suppose you win. I was going to surprise you by telling you I was taking you somewhere special for lunch today, but have it your way. After all we can't infect you with anything like spontaneity, we all know that would be bad; and if you don't like surprises, far be it for me to force them on you."
Ed flipped the report onto the couch next to him and stood up. He straightened the hood of his coat and nodded toward the door.
"You wanna eat? Let's go then," he said.
"You are a man of many compromises," the colonel muttered as he got to his feet and went to his coat rack, "I'm sometimes humbled by your adaptability."
"Get a move on, you said you wanted to eat, I'll go with you; you're such a whiner," the teenager groaned and stomped one foot. "Where are we going?"
"Oh ho," the colonel said, shrugging his coat over his shoulders, "I guess that is just a surprise you'll have to swallow."
They'd both been around East City long enough to know all the ins and outs. The places to be seen, to avoid and to ignore. The arcade near the park was a sure bet for lunch on any occasion. Besides the carousel and other various amusements, it hosted a glorious selection of fast foods; edible and questionable; and could please anyone's palette. The train time to get there was negligible to a ranking officer who could always squeeze a few extra minutes into a lunch 'hour' if need be on the schedule.
"Ah," Ed said, inhaling deeply and tagging along at Roy's back, "should known this is where we'd end up. We always end up here, how's that a surprise?"
"Faith, Edward," the colonel muttered and quickened his pace, heading toward a row of buildings. At the end of it was a tiny corner shop, barely large enough to fit three bodies, (dead or alive), and issuing from its diminutive interior was the smell of all-pork heaven.
"Yes...Yes...YES," Ed said as they neared the place. "Fuck, we're going there, right? We're going there? I LOVE that place, fuck, get extra sauce, I'll find us a table." He stopped and looked around, then suddenly flailed and grabbed the colonel by the sleeve and pointed. "Oh MAN, there's a corn dog vendor, too, right there, ah, yeah okay, this is great!"
He looked up at the colonel, who had a sort of little half smile on his face, and then the man proffered money at him.
"I'll grab the bar-be-que, you go and get yourself a couple of corn dogs, and then I'll take you to see your real surprise," the colonel said and waggled his eyebrows and the five spot in Ed's face. Ed snatched the money without hesitation and shoved the colonel toward the bar-be-que place while he went to get fried and breaded meat on a stick. He could get use to these executive lunches.
By the time Roy had procured enough pulled pork to feed a regiment, (and bread enough to build a barricade to house them in), Ed had come bouncing back with a corn dog in his mouth and two others fisted in each hand. His eyes landed on the bag in Roy's hands, however, and his eyebrows did the dance of 'is that all for ME'? Which they often did when Roy had food and Ed wanted it.
"Come this way," the colonel said smoothly, waving the bag in front of Ed's face. True, Edward was not his usual sort of date, but if one took time to learn the object of their desire's weaknesses, (as any true military leader would tell you), one could find themselves at an advantage; and controlling a situation was what Roy Mustang did best.
Ed chomped down the corn dog in his mouth and stretched his neck toward the bar-be-que bag, took a few steps forward and was then following after like a snake charmed by a guru's flute.
"Where are we going?" he whined, "I thought we were going to eat that, what are you doing?" He ate his second corn dog in an anxiety-ridden manner, fearing he wasn't going to get any bar-be-que.
They wound through the street and through a couple of narrow alleyways. Ed kept up a soft volley of complaints going behind Roy's back about how hungry he was, and how he was being forced on this death march, and how he was going to die before he got any bar-be-que; and how maybe he should have gotten a few more corn dogs to sustain him along the way.
Ed glanced around, still sucking forlornly on the last corn dog stick. It had long ago lost any hint of flavor of the corn dog it once carried, but he felt like he needed something in his mouth to distract him from lunging at the colonel, beating him unconscious with his automail, and making off with the grub.
The alley had opened into a wider alley, almost large enough to be a hidden street tucked behind the crush of buildings. All around were signs, dull and gaudy alike, and several strangely dressed men and women adorned doorways and milled about the street talking, smoking or drinking.
"Where the fuck are we and when are you going to eat," Ed grumbled, following Roy through one of the doorways. In the entryway were many shabby attempts at Xingian decoration and the smell of stale incense. There was a counter but there didn't seem to be anyone manning it, and in a chair in the corner was an ugly, largeish doll. It looked like an old woman and it was dressed in faded Xingian silk robes. Ed walked over to investigate it, thinking it must be some mysterious eastern antique.
"You know, Xingian culture is really effigy-happy. Did you read that account of all those clay soldiers they found in that burial chamber? And giant clay horses, too, I think. I remember seeing some AAAAHHHYYYAAA..." Ed broke off, scrabbled backwards across the floor and climbed Roy like a proverbial tree.
The 'doll' proved itself to be alive as it slid off of the chair and stood upright on the floor. It made its clockwork way around the counter and its head was barely visible across it. Roy took a moment to peel Ed off his head and set him on his feet again. He managed to do this, keep hold of the bag of bar-be-que and still get his wallet out of his inner coat pocket in a timely manner.
"I'd like a room for an hour," he said melodiously, "the one with the stone bath?"
Ed finally figured out the 'doll' was actually an old woman when she thrust her hand across the counter and said something to Roy in what had to be Xingian. Roy doled out cens and was given a key attached to a short wooden rod for his troubles. He grinned at Ed and winked, nodded his head toward an archway, and started off for parts unknown. Ed, interested, followed closely behind.
"Ok, so we came all this way letting the bar-be-que get cold for what?" He challenged as they climbed some very narrow and steep stairs toward the top of the building. When the reached the first landing Ed heard what sounded like a lot of muffled squealing, and he might have asked what that was if Roy hadn't started taking the second flight of stairs two at a time.
"I'm about to show you what two-hour lunches are all about," the colonel grinned and keyed them into a room at the top of the second flight of stairs.
"Yeah, it's about you traipsing all over the sleazy part of town with uneaten bar-be-que as far as I can figure out," Ed grumbled, following him in and shutting the door behind him.
Roy smirked and sat the bag on a small table to one side of the room. Most of the room was dominated by a large bed almost completely drowned in pillows. Despite the shabbiness of the outer hotel, the room was clean and neat and it too was stuffed with Xingian decorations. Ed quickly checked around for any more 'dolls', but came up empty.
"Edward, it's all about the afternoon 'quickie'," the colonel smiled. "One of the perks of rank."
"A quickie, you mean you dragged me all over town holding out on the bar-be-que because you wanted sex? I thought we were coming here to eat or something," Ed said, sounding exasperated.
"We are going to eat, we will eat," the colonel said a little tightly, his left eye twitching a bit. "I just thought since we hadn't had a lot of time together recently that we might want to... I mean you are fifteen, and well, fifteen year olds have certain needs..."
"You're not talking about anything kinky like eating bar-be-que while we do it?" Ed said, cocking an eyebrow. "I mean that seems kind of gross and messy, I'm sure Grandma downstairs won't appreciate it if we get sauce on her bed. But still, I guess I should be up for anything when you're concerned and I suppose I'm all up for new experiences at and all."
"No," the colonel said, wetting his lips. He seemed to be having trouble both with his left eye and the eyebrow too now, they were twitching together. "I brought the bar-be-que for you to enjoy after I've had a chance to devour you. Sort of a treat to build your strength back up, possible for a second round?"
"You know, we've been carrying it around a long time," Ed said, making a helpless gesture at the sack on the table, "and when bar-be-que gets really cold? The pork fat starts to congeal in the sauce, and we don't really have a way to heat it back up here. Oh wait, there's some candles, I guess we could use those, but it would take a loooonggg time and we don't have a pot. Maybe we should eat the bar-be-que first? I mean you did spend money on it, seems a shame to let it go to waste..."
Ed's eyes darted between the colonel and the bag a few times hopefully.
Roy sucked in a deep breath. He could get a hold of this, he could. He wouldn't let this situation spin out of control. He could stay calm, he could stay cool and he could stay collected.
"You're left eyebrow is twitching," Ed pointed out helpfully, "you feeling ok?"
"I'm fine," Roy half-barked, then got control of his voice and gave Ed his best silky smile. "I'm fine. So, Edward, why do you think I brought you all this way and set this atmosphere?"
"Well, it's obvious you just wanted to tease me with the bar-be-que," Ed snapped, "it's for Havoc and Breda, ain't it? You could have just told me I was getting corn dogs for lunch instead of making me think..."
"Oh all right, have the damn bar-be-que already," the colonel exclaimed. He grabbed the bag and thrust it at Ed. "It's all for you Ed, every last morsel in this bag, all yours—do you really think I'd buy bar-be-que for anyone else?"
"Fuck yeah!" Ed said. He snatched the bag and sat right down on the floor with it. "I didn't think you would because we screw and all, but y'know, I never know. Damn, you got me a lot, thanks!"
"Don't mention it," the colonel said through gritted teeth. He could feel the entire left side of his face twitching, his eyebrow signaling a permanent left turn it seemed. "I don't suppose I could persuade you to do this quickly, could I? We are renting by the hour."
Ed looked up, already smeared in sauce and grinned.
"Oh, heh, a bar-be-que quickie, that's a good one," he acknowledged. "Damn Colonel, you can be pretty funny...and bar-be-que is as good as sex. Especially this stuff," and then Ed was quiet for a while as he shoved pulled pork and bread down his throat. The way he did it wasn't even attractive, it just reminded Roy of wood chippers or vacuum cleaners.
True to his word, it scarcely took him ten minutes to finish off what would have be about four sane portions and chase it down with three quarters of a loaf of bread. He sighed with contentment, got to his feet and did the most amazing thing with his tongue getting his face clean. Now that was attractive. Roy felt a grin spread on his face when Ed staggered over to the bed and collapsed back onto it with a sigh.
The colonel shrugged out of his coat, unbuttoned his collar and sauntered over to the bed and looked down at the slightly bar-be-que smeared vision on it. Finally, now Ed would shut up about the bar-be-que, (and he'd be damned if he ever brought food on one of these encounters again), and they could get down to business.
"Fuck, I'm full," Ed muttered, "I can't even move. This is the best quickie ever."
Roy put his knee up on the bed, stretched himself out at Ed's side and ran his hand down Ed's chest.
"I hope I can make it the most incredible quickie ever," the colonel purred. "Trust me, you don't have to move," the colonel promised, voice deepening, lowering his face.
When his face got close enough, Ed yawned in it.
"I need a nap," he told Roy with a smack of his lips. He reached down between his legs, (where Roy longed to be), and gave his balls a hearty scratch. "It's a good thing Al can't smell, because I think I'm going to be gassing the dorm room tonight."
"...you have absolutely no sense of creating a mood, do you?" Roy said, still hanging above Ed's face. "I mean you aren't pulled in by these surroundings? They don't make you feel a certain way?"
"Should they? Oh, hey, wait a minute," and Ed arched up off the bed a bit, and just when Roy's hopes were rising, the smelliest trumpet in the world cut loose with a blast to rattle windows. And suddenly Roy was rushing to open a window and hang half way out of it to draw in good, clean, untainted air.
"Oh yeah," Ed rumbled, obviously oblivious to the fact his gastric tract could make a skunk weep in shame, "that freed up some room." The he burped loudly for good measure.
Roy contemplated just jumping out the window, at this point, what would it matter?
He just needed a bit of time, to cool off, to think. He could do this...no lover could best him like this, there were still plenty of avenues open to him to maneuver Ed just where he wanted him.
"I'm going to do something civilized," the colonel said when he could pull his head back into the room, "I'm going to take a bath...care to join me?" He gave Ed what he hoped was a saucy smile.
"Wha? Nah, great, you take a bath, I'm just gonna nap, wake me in an hour or something. You know Colonel, we ought to do this more often."
"We may not get the opportunity," the colonel muttered heading for the adjoining room, "because I think I'm going to drown myself in the bath."
It feel on deaf ears, of course, because Ed was snoring before he was even out of the room.
The 'stone' bath was a rough approximation of what an imitation stone bath might have looked like were it any more fake. Roy managed to get most of the crumbling plaster out of the tub before he filled it and then just climbed on in. He figured the bits that were left, sticking to his skin, should be worn as small white badges of honor for the death of his dignity and the mutilation of his ego.
He slapped a wet towel over his head and laid back, figuring the rivets that screamed 'mass produced fixture' that were digging into his back were all part of his grim but heroic fate.
Two thousand cens, and for what? He cast his gaze gloomily at his watch, perched precariously above the masonry-tainted water on a flimsy ledge. For the honor of watching Ed eat a whole pig pulled into bite sized pieces and then have flatulence bad enough to kill an invading army.
They had barely twenty minutes left before he had to herd Ed back to the train, (passing all the food vendors on the way and reminding Ed he did just eat practically a whole hog and my god, could he at least wait until they were at the station? Yes, yes, he'd buy him a boxed lunch for the trip back), and go back to a desk he was sure Riza had sagging under the weight of a mountain of paperwork.
But was this really over? Was he, Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, so easily routed? Great things had been done in less that twenty minutes. An afternoon quickie wasn't a great thing, but it could be a great thing, and in the end, he'd rather go down swinging. He set his jaw, got out of the tub, wrapped a towel around his waist, (not too loose, not too tight, but just that right way so it could slowly slip off if jostled in the right direction), and marched back into the bedroom area. It was do or die, and he wasn't going to go down alone.
Ed was mumbling in his sleep. Roy went still at the foot of the bed and held his breath to listen. Ed seemed to be having a discussion with an unknown party about a magical mountain of mashed potatoes. It seemed unfair to Ed there was a whole mountain of them but that he hadn't been able to have a single bite; so he wasn't going to transmute a gravy tureen because what would he get out of it? Just the gravy, that's what, and while gravy alone was good to drink, it would be much, much better on magical mashed potatoes.
How could he still be thinking about food enough to dream about it? Roy just deduced that the automail leg was hollow and that's where he must be storing it up; like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.
It occurred to Roy then that sometimes, people in that place of sleep where they can talk about things, can also listen to things. They can even be suggestible given the right circumstances. Slowly, carefully, Roy climbed up onto the bed and lowered himself at Ed's side. He leaned very close to Ed's ear and whispered softly, "Edward, You are in a hotel room with the most dashing man alive, wearing only a towel, and he's more than willing to ravish you."
"Hotel room?" Ed muttered. "S'ok, can put it on the 'spence report." He smacked his lips together and snuffled the pillow.
Roy leaned back a moment. How could he connect 'dashing' and 'expense report'? But no, wait, this was Ed logic. Of course, he did associate Roy with expense reports because expense reports were part of work and Roy was his boss...yes, yes, good, that meant that he had Ed dreaming in the right direction.
"Yes, a hotel room with Roy Mustang," he decided a more direct approach with vocal reminder of who was actually there ready and willing to ravish him might be more helpful. "He's is more than ready to service you in every way imaginable. He is trained in six of the eight Xingian Pleasurable Arts, and is a master of Laughing Ox's Positions of the Swan and Donkey."
"The Colonel is servicing donkeys?" Ed said, his eyebrows drew down a moment, then he sighed deeply. "Figures," he grunted and squirmed around on the bed, rolling up on his side and presenting Roy with his back.
Roy had a brief struggle with his left eyebrow as it started to bounce up and down on his forehead again. He would not smother Ed with a pillow, he would not smother Ed with a pillow. It would be totally bad press to be caught in bed with a corpse.
"No," the colonel ground out slowly and carefully, fingers twitching and eying a pillow, "he's here to service you, unless of course you are a donkey, and considering the total ass you've been today, that would make sense."
"I don't need servicing," Ed whined, "nothing is broke, don't tell her anything is broke." He grew a bit agitated then, and rolled himself over on his back once more.
It dawned on Roy that Ed was talking about his mechanic; a lovely young girl just about Ed's age... but no, every time they saw each other Ed spent time nursing a concussion, so it couldn't be like that.
He should have known better; he just should have known. Subtle lived many countries away from Ed and it didn't like to travel, so it never visited. Direct was Ed's next door neighbor and might as well be living in his house. Roy reached down and cupped Ed through his pants, pressed and began a slow, circular rub.
Ed moaned low and soft and goosebumps began flocking on Roy's spine and swimming slowly up and down the lazy river of Roy's nerves. Ed started to stretch and it ended in an arch upwards, grinding against Roy's palm. His eyes blinked open lazily and he regarded Roy muzzily. He was rosy from sleep-flush and he licked his lips. When the colonel leaned down to kiss him, he opened his mouth and threw one arm over Roy's neck.
The colonel pulled away but kept his face close. Ed was regarding him now, tracing the colonel's features slowly. He began to pant a little, Roy could feel a slight trembling of the arm over his neck and Ed suddenly pushed closer to him, reaching with his own hand down to cover Roy's.
"Cuh...Colonel," Ed sighed, "that feels good."
He was... insurmountable. He was irresistible. He was indomitable. He was what every man in his command or any other command strove to acheive. He was Roy Mustang, and he was reputation unmatched. Ed tilted his head back, showing his throat, throwing himself on Roy's mercy. Yes, even Ed knew when he was beat.
Roy took Ed's throat, feeling primal and male, he left off stroking Ed to work at his belt. He smiled around his mouthful of flesh when he felt Ed's clumsy attempts to help him. It was easy enough to bat the boy's hands aside, get the front of those leather pants open, slide his hand under the waist band of cotton boxers. Ed jerked against him and whimpered, held trapped by the mouth at his throat.
Oh, this was a good, good place to be.
Ed's cock was hot and turgid, and the noise he made when Roy's fingers wrapped around it would carry Roy for the rest of his days. He released Ed's throat and Ed turned his head immediately, pressing his face hard into Roy's shoulder.
"It's okay, it's okay," Roy murmured to him, starting to ramp up the speed of his strokes. "I'm going to make you forget everything but who I am and how I make you feel," he husked to the boy.
There sounded on the door what might have been a knock. It was easy to ignore for Ed's lovely moaning. It sounded again and Roy might have thought it annoying, but Ed squirmed and clutched at his arm and Roy dismissed it. The knock came a third time, loud and firm, but by now Ed was pushing his pants down over his hips without being told to do it, and there was nothing on god's green earth that would tear Roy away from that.
The door of the room slammed back on its hinges causing every knick knack in the room to jump.
Whatever the little old woman shouted in Xingian, Ed took it to mean that Armageddon had come for him and he shrieked and flailed, yanked Roy's hand out of his pants and rolled off the side of the bed to hit the deck.
Roy sat up and made patting motions in the air and assured the woman, (in her own language), that he would pay for any overage of time, but Ed couldn't understand Xingian and was already jerking his pants up and redoing his belt.
By the time Roy ushered the little old woman out of the room, many, many paper cens clutched in her hand, Ed was completely dressed and standing there as if he hadn't been lying on his back, legs spread and as hard as diamond just moments ago.
Armageddon came for the colonel as well.
"No Ed, no, no, no," Roy said and slowly, inevitably dropped to his knees. "It's okay, look she's gone now, she won't be back for another hour, I promise. We don't have to go, I took care of everything, and you can't just be... I mean..." he peered toward the boy's leather clad crotch and Ed yanked his coat shut over it.
"Is that all you think about?" Ed said, voice high and strained. "We gotta get back. Al will wonder where I am anyway, and Hawkeye will skin you. Let's just go."
He kept casting fearful glances at the door.
"I should have jumped out the window when I had the chance," Roy half sobbed. "What, what have I done, tell me, what?" He appealed to the ceiling and Ed edged over to the door and opened it a crack to peek out of it.
There was no reclaiming the mood. Roy got slowly, laboriously to his feet. He went to get his coat, did a slow once over to make sure he had everything. His watch, his wallet, his keys. His dignity and libido? They had checked out ages ago. Ed darted out into the hall and back a few times, as if testing to see if the little old woman was going to leap out of at him from some cleverly concealed crack in the wall.
Miserable, despondent, thwarted and blue-balled, the colonel made his way down the two flights of stairs and past the desk with Ed practically plastered to his back.
They stood on the train platform, (Ed soothed by not one, but three box lunches. One for eating now, two for the train), and waited for their ride back to the city.
"Is food all you ever think about?" the colonel asked, hands jammed in his pockets.
Ed eyed him, mouth full and he chewed quickly so he could swallow an answer.
"I'm an anxiety eater, that's what Al says, I got the fuck scared out of me back there, gimme a break," he said, then Ed returned to stuffing his soothing box lunch down his throat.
He got the fuck scared out of him all right, Roy's blue balls reminded him with a twinge. Roy might have been, at one time, a man other men would give their left nut to be, but at the moment, he didn't feel like that man. And in not being that man, and sinking back into the realm of mortals, he found that like mortal men, he had limits; and he's reached them.
"See why I hate surprises? I told you, but you don't want to listen to me, because I'm just a kid," Ed was saying smugly.
Roy reached over calmly, then slapped Ed's box lunch out of his hands. It bounced on the platform once and toppled over onto the tracks.
Ed stood with his mouth hanging open, looking at his poor lunch, scattered useless over the metal tracks. It wasn't like the train was going to eat it!
"MY LUNCH," Ed wailed!
"MY LOVE LIFE," Roy yelled in return.
"WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO NOW? EAT ONE OF THE ONES I WAS GONNA EAT ON THE TRAIN?! BUT THEN I'LL BE ONE SHORT FOR THE TRAIN," Ed exclaimed, wringing his hands.
"I SPENT ALL THAT MONEY AND I DIDN'T GET ANY SEX," Roy screamed at a random passerby, "WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO NOW? HIRE SOME SEX?"
"BUY ME ANOTHER BOX LUNCH AND I'LL GIVE YOU SOME SEX IN THE BATHROOM WHEN WE GET BACK TO HEADQUARTERS," Ed shrieked.
"This was suppose to be a romantic interlude, a surprise for you and just you because for some unforeseen reason I WANT TO MAKE YOU HAPPY, but it's not working out like that. So I'll take your base and vulgar offer since that's all you can find in your ruthless little heart to give me," the colonel half snarled.
"Romantic surprises blow," Ed countered, "in case you haven't noticed, this is a dick," and Ed grabbed himself in demonstration, "and I ain't a girl," he snarled for emphasis. "So if you really, really want some, you better get me a big box lunch, and not a cheap one. I'll go down on you hard for a big one."
Roy made a mad dash to the lunch counter, shoving people out of the way to get there. He ignored the looks he was getting from his soon to be fellow train passengers.
One thing was for damn sure, from now on, no matter what, there would be no surprises.