Legends are made and broken in a breath. Light a cigar, blow your smoke rings, sit back and enjoy the show. But don't close your eyes, don't blink and don't miss it, or all that's left is a hole through the heart and smoke where the gun was.
So when Maes Hughes meets Edward Elric for the first time, there's that lightning glance of recognition, and their glances clash like steel rapiers, lightning and voiceless sparks. The audience fades away; the chatters dies, their twin breaths are the soft herald of thunder to come.
"Maes Hughes," he drawls, standing sideways and loose-limbed, head cocked and hands at ready.
"Edward Elric," breathes his opponent, gold-eyed, wild-eyed, some bright ever-coiled dragon, his lips a cat-curl and his fingers a-flex.
"Are you ready, boy?" He wants to sing; his nerves are like piano strings. Pluck one, pluck all, they're already humming.
"Any time, old-timer." Elric tosses his head, wild-eyed, the white of his eye showing, sweetly vicious and insolent.
Time stops. Hands blur.
"MWAHAHAHAHA! Youth is still no match for experience! NOBODY CAN BEAT ME! NOW, LOOK! THIS IS MY BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL DAUGHTER ALICIA!"
"Crap," mutters Ed, and stuffs his photographs of Nina back into his pockets.