Office Supplies


The parade-ground bellow split the office, causing the windows to
rattle in their frames and several stacks of paper to dive to the ground
in fright. The soldiers, meanwhile, cringed and braced in their
respective positions with the instincts of the well-trained and truly

Lieutenant Hawkeye marched into the office with a clipboard and a
steely glower. "Gentlemen," she addressed them in a crisp tone. "This is
the third time this month we have received a complaint from Accounting
over the quantity of office supplies that are disappearing from this
section. Explain yourselves!"

Nobody was quite willing to meet her eyes. Fury pretended to be
working hard on his firearm license application. Havoc and Breda hunched
over their cards, assiduously not looking up. Mustang had eyes only for
his coffee.

Hawkeye huffed, and brandished the clipboard. "I have here a
listing of the supplies that have consistently gone missing," she said.
"I trust you gentlemen will be familiar with the contents, but I'll go
over them again."

"Item one. Two dozen coffee mugs, plates, silverware and ash-trays."

Havoc bit down on the end of his cigarette.

"Item two. Four hundred boxes of paste."

Breda choked, and dropped his cards.

"Item three. Five office chairs and half a dozen cushions."

Fury whimpered. "I was having a party," he said in a hushed tone.
"There weren't enough chairs in my room."

"Item four..." Hawkeye blinked at the manifesto. "A brand-new set
of two-way, vibrating pagers."

There was a crunching noise from Roy's desk, as of teeth biting
through the edge of a porcelain cup.

"Item five. Three dozen sheets of top-quality, high-gloss photo
printer paper."

"Ask Hughes," the rest of the men in the room chorused. Hawkeye
glanced up and around, then shrugged and made a note.

"Item six." She frowned, and looked around again. "What could
anyone want with the office's self-sealing, hand-held laminator?"

"That thing?" Fury looked bemused. "Edward-kun saw me using it the
other day and seemed very interested in it. He asked me to show him how
it worked."

"Edward-kun?" Hawkeye's eyebrows climbed. "But he's hardly ever in
the office. Why would he be interested in a hand-held laminator?"

"You should probably write that one off as a loss, Hawkeye-kun,"
Roy said in a fair approximation of a normal tone, setting down his
coffee. There was a distinct dent in the edge. "Probably he wanted to
transmute it into something else, and it's long gone by now."

"Speaking of which, Taisa," Hawkeye turned on him, reproving.
"What use exactly would you have for a set of vibrating pagers?"

One of Roy's eyebrows twitched, but otherwise, his cool did not crack.

~An unused room in the building~

"Are you sure this is a good idea, Niisan?" Al hissed quietly.
His helmet sat on the next desk over, darkened eyes watching the
goings-on with an expression that somehow managed to convey worry.

"Of course I'm sure," Ed grunted. He was hanging half-in and
half-out of Al's chest cavity, and his voice echoed eerily like his
brother's. A moment of curses and scufflings followed, and a bang on the
inside of his chest made Al jump.


"Al, if I can get this thing to work, we'll never have to worry
about water getting in and disturbing your blood seal again," Ed
asserted. "Now... don't move."