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Three Days


The first day Ed goes to live with Roy Mustang, there is an argument about, of all things, dog kibble.

If Ed had his way, his allowance (and all of Roy's salary) would be spent entirely on the most expensive brand of dog food to have ever existed. Apparently, in Central City, you can get a least twenty-seven different brands, each of which has at least ten flavours, and Ed is worriedly debating whether Nina would prefer the salmon flavour or the roast beef one. That he seriously considers Roy's snarky aside about taste-testing is enough to give Roy the chills.

To his further horror, Ed wants to buy clothes for the dog. Roy forced him to get a collar and a leash by reason that the dog catchers would think Nina was a stray; Ed now vacillates between a pink one with gold bells and a blue one with silver bells, muttering distractedly about Nina's favourite colour.

"Dogs see entirely in black and white," Roy points out.

Ed looks at him as if he were the madman. "It's Nina. She'll know. It'll hurt her feelings if I don't get her a nice one. The salesgirl said that pink is the new black, whatever that is. What do you think?"

"Black?" suggested Roy. Ed glowers and goes off to consult the fashionistas of petwear.

At least Roy has three new phone numbers and a date for next week.

It's when Ed is picking out more (pink) cushions, (three) hairbrushes and (apple scented) doggy shampoos that disaster strikes.

Lady Murgatroyd does not so much as walk in as she...blobs in. Like a fast moving...blob. Her beautifully black velveted curves are like small rolling hills, if small rolling hills threatened to erupt from the seams at any moment. She's swathed in enough fur to make every animal in the petshop wonder if their ancestors gave their lives for it, and in her arms she cradles a small, bald Pekingnese that looks smug. Probably because his ancestors hadn't been sacrificed.

And then she spots Roy Mustang, voted the Hottest Man in Military Uniform, gentleman and with a career that was Going Places.

"Roy DAAAARLING~!" she shrills ectastically, and heads for him like an oncoming avalanche.

He destroyed a whole city with a snap of his fingers. He can face the oncoming Mount of Doom like a real man. (Okay, so he doesn't feel like a real man right now.) Roy notes that small animals cower in their cages as she passes by.

"I'm so glad to see you," she breathes, seizing his hand and dragging it up towards her bosom, and Roy watches with sickly horror as it sinks into the furs like it's been swallowed by something furry and rabid. If he ever gets his hand back, he's going home the first thing and sterilizing it.

"...Nice to meet you too..."

"What a delightful surprise! Are you getting yourself some...companionship?"

Forget that, he's going to cut it off. And burn it. He can still produce a spark with only one hand anyway.

"Companionship?" he parrots weakly.

"Like my little darling here," she coos, hefting the small bald dog. The Peke gives him the evil eye, and Roy will swear before a military tribunal that the damned thing smirked at him. "They're such faithful little darlings, and sometimes when you feel a little lonely, they're there to cheer you right up."

"I have a dog?" offers Roy desperately. Next time she's in Central, Roy will beg to be posted to East City. Or possibly over the border.

"Hey, Colonel, can you help me hold onto these?" Ed demands, reappearing with an armful of unidentifiable pink things.

"Certainly," Roy says, ripping his hand free. "Is that all you're getting?"

"Yeah...I guess. They said there'll be new stock coming in next week."

Lady Murgatroyd, disconcerted by the suddenly interruption, slowly re-orientated on Ed. Who, if you didn't know any better, looked the perfect picture of a gold-braided, apple-cheeked cherub of innocence.

"OOOH, YOU'RE SUCH A LITTLE DARLING!" Lady Murgatroyd squealed.

*twitch*

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING SO LITTLE YOU COULD WALK RIGHT OVER ME?" roared Ed. He clapped his hands.

*BOOM*

"Saved," murmured Roy, before slapping down a handful of bills on the counter and fleeing like a coward.


On the second day (or rather, two o'clock in the morning), there was coffee.

"Coffee."

"Thank you," replied Roy absently and brought the cup to his lips. The liquid hit his tongue exactly the same moment the aroma did.

Roy dropped the report, stared at his ward and said, "Coffee?"

"I don't think I poisoned this batch," said Edward after awhile. "Why? Does it taste of mercury or sulphur?"

"Coffee," repeated Roy. The knuckles of his hand were practically white, and it would probably take a chainsaw to remove the cup from his hand. He rose, and Ed took an apprehensive step back. Sure, he was the one who was mildly insane, but even a sane man could snap. Presumably all Roy would do was attack him with a cup of poisoned coffee, since his gloves were in another room, but one never knew.

"This." The cup was shoved practically at Ed's chest level only to be withdrawn when Ed instinctively made to take it. "This is GOOD Coffee, Edward-kun."

"Fine, I'll pour out this batc—wait, are you serious?"

"This," repeated Roy, in all seriousness, the liquid level in the cup trembling, "Is Magnificent Coffee."

Ed, still disbelieving, tried to take the cup away. Roy backed up, free hand curving protectively over his cup. "This is WONDERFUL COFFEE, and it is all MINE."

"You're out of your mind," said Ed.

Roy, apparently operating on the principle that Ed was now hell-bent on taking away his mug of wonderful coffee, tipped his head back and swallowed the contents in well, three huge, audible, glug-glug-glugs.

Ed stared.

"This coffee, do you have the recipe for it?"

"...Yes? Coffee powder, hot water, milk and sugar?" hazarded Ed.

Roy loomed, shaking the empty cup at him. "This was Good Coffee, Edward-kun."

"Fine," said Ed. "It's this incredible alchemical secret recipe, which I recorded in code as What I Did During My Holiday in Aquaroya and I invented it when I was eight years old."

Roy beamed at him. "Will you please make more?"

"Right," said Ed, taking the empty cup gingerly, then fled for the kitchen.

Roy Mustang was INSANE.


On the third day, Roy went to work with Ed tagging along.

"Here's the report, Colonel. So, how's living with Edward-kun?" said Havoc.

"I worry about that boy," said Roy, not looking up.

"Ah?" said Havoc, eyebrows rising.

"...But he makes good coffee."

"Ah," said Havoc, and smiled around his cigarette.


"You can read at the desk here until lunchtime," Hawkeye told him. "You won't be able to access the First Central Library until you get your alchemist watch, but these should be sufficient as study materials."

"Thanks," said Ed, settling down in his seat. Nina was being dogsat by a nice neighbour with all her new toys—there shouldn't be any problems. He hoped. He'll check during lunch.

"...So, how is living with Colonel Mustang?" Hawkeye asked.

"He's out of his mind," said Edward with conviction. Then he looked up at Hawkeye. "But he's nice to Nina."

"That's good to hear, Edward-kun," said Hawkeye. "I'm glad you're getting along."