Out of the Closet

Havoc shifted himself carefully in his chair, bracing his boots
against the desk and tilting it back on two legs. Leaning over, he
shoved open the window and then settled back into his seat, pulling a
cigarette from his pocket with a satisfied sigh.

The click of the lighter carried across the office, and Breda
looked up from his own work. "Hey, Havoc," he said. "You'd better not
let Hawkeye catch you smoking that in the office, or she'll have a fit."

"I've got the window open," Havoc objected, "so the only way
she'll find out is if you tell her." He flicked the lighter closed,
and slipped in into his pocket.

"Yeah, right." Breda turned his chair around, and leaned over his
desk towards Havoc's. "She's got a nose like a bloodhound, you know, and
there's this look she always gets when there's something she disapproves
of, I swear—"

Havoc took a pull on his cigarette, reasoning that even if Hawkeye
were to burst in at this moment, he would get a few lungfuls of smoke
first. "You're imagining things," he said loftily. "Lieutenant Hawkeye
always has that look."

"Maybe when she's looking at you," Breda grinned at him. "Havoc,
have you thought that maybe those smoke-sticks you carry around are the
reason you can't get a girl to look at you twice?"

"Hey!" Havoc snapped, and his chair thumped forwards onto the
floor. "I can get any girl I want to look at me twice, I just don't
happen to want any girl. I have some taste, unlike—"

A knock resounded through the room, cutting off the conversation,
and Havoc cursed softly as he fumbled his cigarette away from his lips
and out of sight. It was the outer door that opened, though, not Hawkeye
from the inner office, and it was only the Fullmetal Alchemist who
opened it.

"Edward?" Havoc managed a surprised salute. Ed waved him down,
though, before he could start to get up. "Oh, good morning."

"Good morning, Edward," Breda echoed. "What are you doing here at
this time of day? I thought you were between assignments."

"Morning, Breda," Ed seemed in a surprisingly cheerful mood, or he
wouldn't have bothered responding. "Havoc. I am on down time right
now, though that's between me and the Jerk. Speaking of which, is he in
right now?"

"Uh, he should be." Havoc glanced at Breda for confirmation, who
shrugged. "I don't know if he's taking appointments though, ask Hawkeye."

"That's okay." Ed snickered. "I don't want to talk to him for very
long, I just want to see him face-to-face."

That made no particular sense to Havoc, so he only shrugged again.
"Well, go on in, then," he said.

"Sure." Ed took off across the office; Havoc reached for his
paper. As Ed passed his desk, though, he could have sworn he heard the
Fullmetal Alchemist mutter, under his breath, "Damn, how do they walk
in these—"

Havoc frowned, and looked up again. He could have sworn there was
something odd about the way Edward was walking today – as though he was
constantly in danger of losing his balance. Ed wouldn't come into the
office drunk, would he? No, wait, he was only fifteen—

He frowned again, and looked across the space to meet Breda's
puzzled eyes.

Hawkeye looked at the clock on the wall again, and then at the
half-open door to the Colonel's office. Roy Mustang had precisely seven
and a half minutes to finish his coffee, before it was time for Hawkeye
to come in and brace him into doing his paperwork. She scowled down at
her stack of papers that all needed signing off; was it all men who
needed to be prodded into taking responsibility, or just this one?

She almost missed Edward's entry into the room; he didn't stop,
but just kept going in towards the Colonel's office. "Hey, Lieutenant,"
he greeted her in passing, and made for the door.

Startled, she dropped the stack of paperwork. "Ah, Edward—" she
said. "I don't think the Colonel is—"

She stopped, and looked at the half-open door. From what she could
see, Mustang was folding papers into origami figures. She sighed. "Go
right in, Fullmetal," she said.

"Thanks," Ed said. "This won't take long." He sounded positively
gleeful about something, and as he passed, he smiled down at her.

Wait a minute. Smiled down at her? Even when sitting, Hawkeye
was still taller than Edward.

An alarm began to go off in her head, and she pushed her chair
back from her desk and stood, just in time to see Edward disappear into
the inner office. Suddenly worried for the continued health of her
fellow officers and the structural integrity of the office, she followed.

The noise Lieutenant Hawkeye made then was not exactly a shriek,
but it wasn't exactly a word, either. Still, it was quite enough to
bring Havoc and Breda, followed shortly by Fury from outside, tumbling
into the office. They nearly ran headlong into Hawkeye, standing frozen
in the doorway, and a few moments of muttering, cursing, and elbowing
for positions ensued.

Finally, everyone had gotten sorted out, enough to get a clear
view of Colonel Roy Mustang, a half-folded crane in his hands, blinking
in a sleepy and puzzled manner up at Edward.

Up at Edward.

At Edward Elric, who, as he turned towards them, afforded them a
very nice view of his new boots.

His glossy black, patent-leather, six-inch stiletto heel boots.

"Well?" Ed planted his hands on his hips, smirking. "What do you
think of that?"

Hawkeye found her voice first, having had the most time to
recover. "Um, Edward," she sputtered, and started again. "Fullmetal—
you appear to be... er... wearing some rather non-regulation footwear."

Ed turned towards her with a sarcastic quirk of his eyebrows.
"Since when do I wear that stupid uniform anyway?" he said.

"Edward," Fury half-whispered. "You do know that those are, uh,
women's boots?"

"Mm-hmm!" Edward beamed as he nodded. "Impressive, aren't they?"

There was another moment when nobody knew quite what to say. Roy
carefully set the half-finished crane on the desk, and leaned forward to
get a good look at the boots. In addition to the monstrous heels, the
ball of the shoe also had a several-inch platform, which explained the
considerable boost to height. The leather was stamped with stars and
flowers. "Fullmetal—" he started.

"Edward!" Havoc burst in. "Don't you think that wearing something
those, to a military base of all places, is a little bit, well,

"Uh-huh," Edward nodded again. He was smiling, the same sort of
smile he wore right before he turned roads into holes.

"Edward," Hawkeye put in kindly, "has it occurred to you that you
and Alphonse may be spending too much time alone?"

Edward just snorted, and rolled his eyes. "Don't be ridiculous."

"Then why in God's name don't you even have the grace to look a
little embarassed?" Breda shrieked, losing his cool entirely.

"Because," Edward said, voice full of suppressed glee. He
swivelled around, very neatly managing to keep his legs from fouling up,
and pointed across the desk at Roy. Roy had a half-alarmed, half-bemused
look on his face, like a man not quite sure if this was caused by eating
too many enchiladas before bed.

"Fullmetal," he said mildly, "we need to have a talk about exactly
what regulations forbid taking clothes out of one's superior officers'