|A Thousand to One
Author: zosimos PM
Reverse'verse: Edward just wants to get some work done, thank you.Rated: Fiction T - English - Edward E. - Words: 2,259 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6802509
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Edward tapped the point of his pen against the paper, ignoring the several drops of ink that spilled from the nib as he looked up, gold eyes narrowing. "Must you stare at me like that?"
Elbows on the edge of his desk, leaning forward with his chin in his hands, Rian Martin was watching his progress with inscrutable dark eyes. The young alchemist was staring doggedly at him; it was enough to make the hair on the back of Edward's neck stand up, especially because he still could not read the intent behind those dark eyes. They were so dark, they reminded him inevitably of – no, Edward thought firmly, nib of the pen still pressed to paper. We are not traveling down that road again.
Rian's eyes flicked up to meet his, a small smile was playing on the teenager's face. It was quietly infuriating, and he wanted to give Rian an assignment just to get him out of this office, get him out of Central and away because it was getting to the point where he couldn't deal with the brat any longer. It wouldn't take long for that confident smile to become a smirk, and once he learned that … Edward would be absolutely ruined.
"You haven't gotten to my report yet," Rian said; his voice syrupy-sweet. Too innocent. Edward glanced at the report, sitting off to the side on his desk, and finally lifted his pen.
"I have to have something to entertain myself with while you're away," Edward murmured, setting the pen back in the inkwell.
"Away?" Rian wiggled, chin still in hands and elbows still on desk. "Another mission, so soon?" His ass was wiggling as well and the movement caught Edward's eye. He sat back, and then turned in the chair so he couldn't see Rian any longer and be distracted by that wiggling ass in those tight, tight canvas jeans.
He knew exactly how good his own ass looked in tight black leather, it was any wonder that Mustang had resisted throwing him down and having his way with him as long as he had. Edward smiled at that, one elbow on the armrest of his desk chair and hand over his mouth, and then blinked in surprise.
Those sorts of thoughts didn't hurt like they used to.
"-got back," Rian was complaining still. "You've got me running across this country left, right and center, Elric, do you have any idea how long and boring those train rides are? Might as well go by horse, the rate those trains run, get stuck in a station for hours on end-"
Edward allowed himself the brief flight of fancy about taking the end of Rian's ever-present scarf and stuffing it in his mouth to stem the flow of words – how red would his face turn, bright with anger, or flushed with- and then spun the swivel chair back to face him. "I know how trains run, Major Martin," Edward said, crossing his feet at the ankle. His knee was starting to twinge again, it was going to rain tonight, and he'd really like to get home before that started. That meant getting this little distraction out of his office, and soon. "I spent the better part of six years riding the rails regularly."
Rian had straightened up, both of his hands still on the desk. He never wore gloves, and it was strange – bare hands. Pale, matched hands on his desk, slightly feminine still; the wrists hidden by the large cuffs of his dingy brown jacket. He was glowering at Edward now, openly. "You're just trying to get rid of me again."
Yes. "No," Edward said, leaning forward. He picked up a plain manila envelope, balanced on the corner of his desk. It had sat there for a few days, sealed. "I just have a courier mission for you. Nice and simple, no one shooting at your or anything."
Rian scowled, Edward grinned. "Just a courier mission?" Rian repeated. "Why don't you have one of your lackeys do it, or just post it like any sane person would?"
Edward propped his elbows on the edge of his desk, hands folded under his chin as he gave Rian a far more evil grin than usual. "You'll be taking it to East City," he said. "It's for Lieutenant Colonel Elric's eyes only; if you open it he'll know."
Rian looked at the envelope doubtfully; it had clearly been sealed with alchemy. "This isn't like the time you sent him the exploding package, is it?" he asked warily. "There's nothing in there that's going to get me in trouble, right?"
"Probably not," Edward leaned his chin into one hand, pulling one of his long, gold hairs out of the cuff of his military jacket where it must have gotten snagged earlier.
"Mm," Edward flicked the hair away. "Do you have a problem with your orders, Major Martin?"
Rian gritted his teeth, dark eyes narrowed into slits. "No, Colonel Elric, sir. "
"Good." Edward looked up at him, raised an eyebrow. "Your train leaves bright and early in the morning, Lieutenant Havoc should have your passes as his desk." Rian was practically seething with anger; this was far more entertaining than it should be. "Have a good trip, Gale Alchemist."
Rian stormed out the door of Edward's office, manila envelope clutched tight in his hand, scarf fluttering behind him. After a moment, Hawkeye leaned in to close the door that Rian had left hanging open, and she arched an eyebrow at him. Edward gave her his biggest, most innocent "what?" grin, and she exhaled and shook her head, but said nothing as she closed the office door.
The twinge in Edward's automail knee never lied. Before darkness fell it was raining, a steady drizzle that pattered against the windows of the small flat he lived in. The noise only drew his attention because of the change in the light, it forced him to get up and turn on a lamp.
Edward had never been interested in a larger home. Roy had always had a home with room, with space to grow. A sitting room, a dining room, a study – Edward didn't really need all that space. He didn't entertain, not really. He'd dated a little bit but with one notable exception they never made it back to his place.
He was sitting on the floor with his back against the couch, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up to the elbow to try to prevent getting stained by ink. He'd mostly failed with that, getting some on his glove which was then transferred to his nose and later to his shoulder when he scratched an itch with the back of his leaky pen. His various plots were laid out in front of him, disguised entirely too well, rolled in layers of alchemical jargon that took Alphonse a week to wade through. The military could go through his notes as much as they damn well pleased, if they could make heads or tails of Edward's handwriting it would take them months or possibly even years to decode it.
And with any luck at all, he would be Fuhrer by then anyway, and the point would be moot.
The knock came a little after dusk, right about when Edward's stomach was starting to let him know 'hey, you got distracted by something shiny again, FEED ME.' It was oddly timid, and at first he didn't even notice it. Then his guest kicked the door solidly, and his head jerked up. He frowned and got to his feet, shifting aside piles of paper carefully and then tripping over a book, sending his notes everywhere. He stopped and scowled at the papers, but the door rattled with another kick and Edward snarled at it. "Keep your fucking shirt on!" he hollered.
He opened the door without checking out the peephole – he'd only been attacked once at his residence, and while the idiot had caught him off guard Edward had excellent reflexes and a left hook strong enough to break a jawbone. (Never mind how much damage his right hook could do.)
Rian stood on the stoop, his hair plastered to his head with the rain. His jacket was zipped up, and the scarf tucked securely about his neck. Edward looked down at him – he should luxuriate in this feeling while he could, it wouldn't be too long before they'd be eye to eye – and leaned against his doorframe. "You look like a drowned rat," he said. "Ever heard of an umbrella?"
"Ever heard of a 'fuck you, let me in out of the rain?'" Rian promptly snapped back.
Edward stepped aside, letting Rian shuffle past and into the small, cramped hallway. Edward's military boots lay inside the door, and Rian kicked off his own boots beside them. Edward left him to shrug out of his sodden jacket and scarf, there wasn't much space for them to cohabit in the hallway. "Don't drip on the Fucanellis," Edward yelled from the den, sitting himself right back down where he had been before. "Those aren't mine!"
Rian divested himself of his scarf and jacket, padding into the living area after Edward in his socks and jeans, pulling his slightly damp tee shirt out of pants as he did so. He stopped and looked at Edward's mess. "What are you doing?"
"Work," Edward said. Without looking up from the paper he was skimming he pointed his finger at the pile of books right inside the door. "Second book in should be a treatise on architecture, if you don't mind."
"Taking up a new hobby?" Rian handed the thick, old book to Edward, who creased his notes and stuck the folded-over paper inside its pages. "I thought destruction was more your forte."
"Solve et coagula," Edward murmured. He set the book aside. "So what are you doing here?"
Rian leaned in close to Edward, setting his hand on top of Edward's hair. "You're sending me away again," he said, his dark eyes narrowed. "I don't like it when you do that, you're up to something."
Edward raised an eyebrow; their noses really far too close. "I'm always up to something," he said.
"You don't want me around for this something," Rian said. "Why don't you trust me?"
"I trust you plenty," Edward said, shifting Rian's hand off of his head. "If I didn't you wouldn't be here right now." He grinned a little. "You should stop worrying so much, kid; you'll ruin your pretty face with wrinkles."
Rian smacked Edward in the side of the head and straightened. "I'm not a kid," he snapped. "And I'm not pretty, either, you pervert. You haven't eaten yet." It wasn't a question, as Rian put his hands on his hips and looked around. Edward's stomach let Rian know his observation was correct. "I swear you are such a child."
"Time gets away from me," Edward waved his hand in the air. "It's just dinner." Rian scoffed, and as he turned Edward reached and caught him by the back of his jeans, fingers snagging in the belt loop. Rian squawked in surprise as Edward yanked him back, catching him across his lap and wrapping his arms around Rian.
Rian's hair was damp, as Edward pressed his nose against the back of Rian's neck. He exhaled against the warm skin. Rian turned his head and Edward's nose brushed against his ear. "I don't want to send you away," he said in a low voice. "I want you to stay right here with me, right beside me."
"But," Rian prompted softly.
"But it's too suspicious," Edward murmured, his teeth catching Rian's earlobe gently. "I can't show you any favors, you know that." Rian turned his head further so that one dark eye could meet Edward's piercing gold ones. The flush had risen over his nose and cheeks already, and Edward could feel his ears heat in response. He shifted Rian on his lap, pulling him a little tighter against his body –
-when his stomach chose that point to rumble again. Loudly.
Edward leaned his head back against the couch and groaned as Rian leaned forward in his arms and laughed. "That was not remotely sexy at all," Edwards said, poking his own side with a finger. "Traitor."
Rian wriggled out of his arms. "We'd probably do well to feed the monster," he said. "Before the noises get scarier." He stood up, holding out both hands to Edward to help pull him to his feet. Edward took the outstretched hands and allowed Rian to help get him to his feet. Then he looped his arms over Rian's shoulders and leaned on him. "Oof," Rian groaned. "You weigh a ton, colonel."
"I don't weigh that much," Edward said indignantly, turning his head and brushing noses with Rian.
Rian huffed at him. "Such a child, " he said again. Edward nosed at him a second time, and then kissed him gently. The rain beat a steady pattern against the windowsill, growing slightly in intensity as the light in the den was turned off behind them.