Shower Time

Edward stood under the showerhead, face titled upwards into the warm spray, eyes closed and a dreamy smile on his face. Oh, yes. The officers' dorms might have mediocre food, terrible heating, and rooms the size of a broom closet, but their one redeeming feature was definitely the showers.

One bathroom for every two rooms, with a tub (albeit a small one) and an overhead shower fixture. The water pressure was decent, and the water actually got hot in the dorms.

And when you had just come back from a two-week long mission near the Drachma border, out in the back woods of nowhere with icy mud, a farm that raised pigs, and absolutely nothing in the way of indoor plumbing, well, hot water was nothing to sneer at.

Appreciate, yes. Fall down on your knees and worship, even.

Ed sighed as he turned around, letting the hot water cascade down his shoulders and back again. He'd gotten the smell off a while ago, which had been a relief, and slowly he was thawing from the inside out. He was looking forward to the prospect of a hot meal in the cafeteria; even if it wasn't exactly home cooking, at least it was hot, and it was fresh.

But that would come later. For now, he shifted around, trying to become as one with the hot water; he jiggled his automail leg, feeling the ache of cold in his thigh finally easing. Yes. Life was good.

A knock sounding on the bathroom door broke into his bubble of bliss, and Ed grunted irritably. "What is it?" he called.

"Brother?" The echo in Al's voice was muffled, through the door. "Um, you have to come out now."

"Why should I?" Ed edged defensively closer to his faucet. No, not even over his dead body. "It's not like you need a crack at the shower, Al."

"That's true," Al replied, "but people have come to the door complaining that you're using up all the hot water for this floor. In fact, some of the people are coming from downstairs too."

"Oh, for the love of..." Ed grumbled, and turned himself around to face the faucet again. He pulled together his concentration, raised his hands, and clapped; then wrapped both hands around the faucet, and reached out.

It took him several moments to comprehend the layout of the plumbing in the building, but once he did the crackling alchemical charge raced through the pipes until it hit the hot water heater down in the basement.

There was a distant thump of escaping steam as two tons of cool water heated instantly, but Ed wasn't particularly concerned. Neither was he bothered by the faint cries of alarm that sounded all over the building as anyone using cold water suddenly found it turned hot. That wasn't his problem. He'd fixed the source of the complaint, and that should be enough.

He went back to showering in peace.