AN: Set in the same fic-verse as 'Molten Gold', and rated T for adult shenanigans, nakedness and not-so-subtle ogling. Will I ever grow tired of writing about these characters? NAY.

Disclaimer: Fullmetal Alchemist and its characters belong to Hiromu Arakawa; I own nothing.


Exposed

by Miss Mungoe

In their defence, they were bound to be discovered sooner or later.

The thundering footsteps woke him before anything else, dragging him slowly from the depths of sleep, but it was the yelling that pulled him fully into the waking world. "Captain! Captain Buccaneer!" The frantic shouting was followed by an enthusiastic hammering on his door.

Groaning, Buccaneer pinched the bridge of his nose, wondering idly if they would go away if he just ignored them long enough. It had to be one of the new recruits – the veterans knew better than to wake a commanding officer in the middle of the night. And if he was the one they sought out, it meant Miles had directed them, the smug bastard. Why does this shit happen every damn year...

The warm shape curled against him turned over with a grunt, tugging the quilt with her and drawing the pillow over her head in the process. His gaze lingered longingly on the pale curve of an exposed shoulder, and he groaned again – this time for an entirely different reason. The gold of her hair fanned out behind her, stark against the white and grey of the sheets, and her warmth beckoned invitingly like a fire.

He drew his gaze away with difficulty. "Probably one of the cubs on watch got locked outside or somethin'," he grumbled as he rose from the bed, the cold of the room slamming against him like a physical wall, and he glared into the dark. "Damn rookies." Pulling on his pants, he rubbed the vestiges of sleep from his eyes as he stalked across the small room that constituted his private quarters, grumbling under his breath as the hammering persisted. "Yeah, yeah, I'm comin'! No need to pound through the damn door – I've got ears."

Pulling open the heavy door with little effort, the shriek of metal-against-metal annoyingly loud in his ears, Buccaneer glared at the recruit on his doorstep, whose frantic eyes were wide in the dark. "What?" he growled.

The lad – barely out of boyhood by the looks of it, looked more a hare cowering in the shadow of a bear than a recruit before a commanding officer, and Buccaneer drew some enjoyment from the sight. The punk had had the gall to wake him and draw him all the way out of bed, after all. He resisted the urge to spare a glance towards the bunk in question, and the outline of familiar curves under the rough wool blankets.

"It's–" the boy looked like he didn't quite know where to begin. "Major Miles sent me to get you – there's an emergency!"

Buccaneer's brows furrowed, and his ears caught the shifting of a mattress that told him she'd heard as well. Miles would only send recruits to him if he was too lazy to deal with their problems himself, but he'd never throw words like emergency around for the heck of it. No Briggs soldier worth their salt would, new recruit or not. Emergency was a Drachman invasion – not some greenhorn's tomfoolery.

"What kind of emergency?" he asked, when the lad looked on the verge of losing his dinner.

"It–the Major General–Drachman assassin–" the words tumbled out instead of vomit, but it might as well have been the same, for all the sense it made. Buccaneer rubbed the bridge of his nose, but then caught onto one of the words. Wait a minute.

"Drachman assassin?"

The soldier nodded wildly, and was about to say something else when another voice interrupted him from further down the corridor. "There's been a breach." The soldier saluted as he came to stand before Buccaneer, and the younger recruit immediately mimicked the gesture – no doubt realizing he'd neglected it. The newcomer had the eyes of someone who wasn't wet behind the ears still, but there was a dark look on his face that made Buccaneer uneasy.

And then there was the message he'd brought. "Breach? From Drachma?" From behind him, he heard the gentle whine of the bedsprings that told him she was wide awake, and no doubt in the process of dressing. This will be interesting.

The newcomer nodded. "Yes. A Drachman assassin, we believe. The watch on the wall didn't catch him, but one of the inside patrols caught sight of him not long ago." He paused, as if reluctant to speak further. Then, "The cut-throat is still on the loose, sir. And," and at this he hesitated again. "And we can't find the Major General, sir. She's not in her quarters." And despite the deeply ingrained and hard-wrought belief all Briggs soldiers had in their Queen, there was concern there, vivid as a living thing. And if it hadn't been an actual serious situation, Buccaneer would have laughed. For all their bluster, they were damn loyal cubs.

He was saved having to come up with some half-assed explanation from the object in question herself, striding up behind him with her head held high and her sword at her hip–

–and dressed, quite noticeably, in his coat.

And only that.

The two soldiers sprang into salutes so fast and so violently it was a wonder one of them didn't pull a muscle in the process, and the surprise was so evident on their faces he almost wanted to snort. For her part, the General calmly drew her sleep-tousled hair away from her face, and adjusted the weight of the coat. It was almost comically large on her slight frame, the hem brushing the floor, and the arms long as they were had been rolled up several times. But there was nothing comical about the way she wore it, and he mused that it might as well have been her own for the way her entire presence seemed to dare anyone to make a comment on it.

"At ease, gentlemen," she said, but didn't spare him a glance where he stood beside her in the doorway.

The two soldiers did as they were told, but didn't seem much at ease. "Ma-ma'am!"

She crossed her arms over her chest. "Now, what's this I hear about an intruder in my castle?"

Neither of the two seemed inclined to speak, and Buccaneer wondered if they'd swallowed their tongues in their surprise, but a sharp look from the General had them both jumping. "A-ah, yes! An intruder was seen in the vicinity of the Major General's quarters, but he slipped out of sight before we could catch him. We believe it's an assassin out for your life, ma'am!"

She snorted. "Arrogant Drachmans," she scoffed. "Like they'd get me in my own quarters." She didn't make a comment on the fact that she hadn't, in fact, been in her quarters, but no one would dare voice the thought aloud if they were thinking it. And it was rather abundantly clear what the two recruits were thinking, and why. The bare feet peeking out from below the hem of his coat and the exposed upper part of her collar where the fabric hung more that fit made it quite clear she wasn't wearing anything underneath.

"Where was he last seen?" she asked, voice falling heavy like a hammer and about as convicting. From the look on her face, she was more than aware of the line of thought the two soldiers were treading.

The one Buccaneer had dubbed Nervous Cub gulped visibly. "In-In the corridor leading up to your personal quarters, ma'am! He escaped into an air vent. M-Major Miles said that if he continues moving through the vents, he might find a way out." He swallowed, then added, "Sir!"

Her glare was such that the two visibly flinched. "Like hell he'll get away! Captain Buccaneer," she snapped, and he straightened, but a smirk lingered along his mouth.

"Ma'am?"

She shot him a look. "Find Major Miles and debrief the cubs on the situation at hand. I want all eyes and ears open." She strode into the corridor, and the soldiers sprang apart to let her through. The soft pad of her bare feet was barely noticeable compared to her usually heavy footfalls, but it didn't seem to make her any less intimidating. The coat should also by rights be weighing her down, but very few things could ever impair Olivier Armstrong, and so the heavy winter coat yielded to her command like everything else. She placed one hand on the curve of a hip concealed completely by the thick fabric of the coat, and he watched with a darkening look the eyes of the two soldiers flicker in the direction of the hand. He snorted softly. Brave punks.

"And you, ma'am?" he asked.

She threw a look over one shoulder as she started down the corridor, expression clearly stating that he should know the answer already. "I'll be personally dealing with the cut-throat," she declared. "If it's my head he's after, he'll get it." She straightened her shoulders, and he marvelled at her ability to look so commanding dressed only in an oversized coat. Then she smirked, and for a moment he pitied the poor assassin.

"He'll get it rammed into his skull so hard he won't remember the way back to Drachma with a map at his disposal."

Then she strode away, bare feet sure and steady against the cold floor and golden hair trailing in her wake. The two soldiers watched her leave, expressions caught somewhere between incredulity and sheer awe. Buccaneer lamented the loss of the anonymity of his personal life.

"Oye."

They jumped, gazes snapping back to his, and he raised a brow. "You heard the General. Start looking for this punk."

They straightened, almost comically in-sync. "Y-yes, Captain!"

He watched them scamper down the corridor, and sighed as he turned back to his quarters to hunt for a shirt. He snorted as he rummaged through the discarded uniforms on the floor, draping the smaller one over the back of a lone chair. Fastening the buttons of his uniform jacket and tugging on his boots, he threw a wry glance towards the smaller pair sitting innocently against the wall. The crazy woman hadn't even bothered to put them on. Constitution like a damn Kodiak, that one. And they'd nicknamed him the bear. He made for the door, shaking his head as he went.

"Damn woman's going to make me go outside without a coat."


By the time the Drachman assassin had been found and dealt with, the Fort was buzzing with the night's news.

And as he'd predicted, the news didn't have a shred to do with the infiltrator.

Buccaneer glared over his shoulder at the recruits whose eyes followed him across the mess hall with about as much subtlety as a flying mallet. It seemed the entire garrison had been raised, and despite it being the middle of the night no one seemed inclined to go back to sleep. The greenhorns wore eyes wide and bright with awe, whereas the veterans watched him pass with knowing smiles that promised a lot of drinks served in the future in exchange for details. He ignored them all as he cut across the room.

The Major General stood at the other end of the crowded hall, still dressed, he noted, in his coat and nothing else, and debriefing one of the men in charge of extracting information from the recently caught Drachman. Her hair was still in slight disarray, but her eyes were bright in the glare of the overhanging lights, and he noted with a smirk that none of the men seemed to dare let their eyes linger on anything else.

"General Armstrong."

She spared him a look as he approached, and he noted with a raised brow specks of blood on her hands and her bare feet, but she bore the signs of battle as casually as the oversized coat. "Captain. Report."

He saluted her, feeling the eyes of the room heavy on his back, but as usual, let nothing slip. If the whelps thought they could derive anything but professionalism from their exchange, they had another thing coming. Because if there was one thing he knew how to separate, it was his commanding officer from the woman who shared his bed.

"The Fort's been searched and secured, ma'am, and there's no sign of other intruders. He was working alone."

She nodded. "Good. I'll take your word for it." With a brusque nod towards the soldiers she'd been debriefing, she turned to the packed mess hall. "That's enough excitement for one evening, gents," she called, voice dark with warning, and he smirked at the double-meaning behind her words. "Those of you not on watch, get your asses back to bed!"

The entire garrison seemed to respond like a collective being, their blatant curiosity replaced by respect with a sharp salute. "Aye, ma'am!"

Then she turned, gave him a single, meaningful look, before she strode out, the coat flaring behind her in her wake. Buccaneer said nothing, but followed suit. His commanding officer or the woman sharing his bed, he knew an order when he saw one.

The trek back to his quarters was made in silence, and when they entered she went straight to the small oven wedged against the wall on the far side. He noted with a furrowed brow the slight blue tinge to the skin of her bare feet, but didn't voice his thought out loud, knowing full well the folly of doing so. When she'd gotten a fire going, she closed the small door with a sharp clank, and without preamble unzipped and shed the heavy coat, before striding deliberately over to the empty bunk.

When he didn't make an immediate move to follow, she turned, one regal brow raised in silent question and a hand on the curve of her hip, now fully exposed along with the rest of her. And in the privacy of their own space, he let his eyes linger shamelessly.

"Are you planning on standing there like a log, soldier, or are you going to come here and warm me up?" There was a clear order in that voice, but the twinge of good humour told him the command was made by the lover, and not the Major General of Briggs. Although, he mused as he took in the proud tilt to her chin, she threw about as much weight around in both roles. Which only served to underline the knowledge he'd harboured for years, that her authority had nothing to do with the embellishments on her uniform or the aiguilette that marked her rank. She'd command the same respect wearing just about anything. Or nothing, as was the case at present.

He smirked. "There'll be no shutting them up after tonight," he said casually as he began unbuttoning his uniform jacket.

She snorted as she crossed her arms over her chest, shifting her weight to one leg, and the movement drew his eyes like the tug of a string. "It's been nearly two years. They were bound to discover it sooner or later, and I'd rather it be on my own terms."

He grinned. "Aye. Lucky cubs, though."

She raised a brow. "That ludicrously sized coat left everything to the imagination," she said. "I'm afraid I don't see your point, Captain."

He walked towards her, discarding his uniform piece by piece. "You shouldn't underestimate the imagination of cold, lonely soldiers," he pointed out with a feral grin. "And you looked quite stunning, ma'am."

She scoffed, but a smile lurked along the severe lines of her mouth. "You should know by now that flattery will get you nowhere, Captain."

"And honesty?"

She smirked, and curled her fingers around his braid, tugging him closer. "It'll get you half of the pillow," she deadpanned, pale eyes glittering in the dim light.

He snorted. "How generous, and in my own quarters and everything," he quipped, and grinned fiercely at the beckoning glow of her pale skin in the lantern-light. It was a familiar repartee, a dance of suggestive remarks and good humour, that would never find its way outside the privacy of their own space. But he didn't mind, for it was far more than he was due in his long life of bloodshed and warfare. And it didn't matter that their affairs were no longer strictly covert – their privacy would always be their own, the wagging tongues of eager recruits not-withstanding.

"I am not known for being generous," she retorted smoothly.

"Permission to disagree, ma'am," he countered.

She snorted. "Denied."

"Then I'll have to disobey, sir."

She raised a brow, humour flickering in her hooded eyes. "Your insubordination will cost you, Captain."

He grinned. "I've been dealt worse punishments."

She laughed then – the throaty kind that came naturally with a voice like hers. It was nothing like the high-pitched lilts of the tavern-girls in North City that had all the men losing their wits, but he sincerely doubted those men had ever heard the General laugh quite like that. It had a way of making a man feel lucky just to be allowed to witness it.

She grinned wickedly. "Keep the commentary going and I might concede with a piece of the blanket."

He grumbled under his breath, and reached out, mismatched hands finding the familiar swell of the hips that had beckoned him all night. Fingers digging into skin deceptively soft for such a hard woman, he hoisted her up easily. She didn't start, but braced her hands against his shoulders, and her hair fanned out around them like a curtain. It was testament to how much she let him get away with, that she even allowed herself to be lifted. He harboured no misconceptions that he could somehow catch her off guard, even in her current state of undress, but he appreciated the courtesy of her hard-won patience.

She raised a brow at his antics, looking down from her new perch. Despite the goosebumps peppering the expanse of her exposed skin, she didn't let on to being the least bit cold. "Oh, really now?" she hummed, voice low like a purr.

He grinned cheekily. "You looked cold, ma'am."

She snorted. "Damn right. Were you planning on doing something about that?"

Her skin was cool under his touch, and her hair soft and yielding like liquid where she pushed back, giving as good as she got even in this dance of wills behind closed doors, and pressing her mouth to his with the intention to bruise. She'd never been one for relenting control, and faced him like she would in a duel, brandishing the sheer weight of her presence like a weapon. And Buccaneer relished in the feel of her, the scarred skin and the thick mass of her hair.

The bunk had grown cold in their absence, and with his physical bulk and the space she commanded with her personality alone it was far from a comfortable arrangement, but it didn't matter much. They weren't creatures of comfort and they flourished best under less-than-ideal conditions. It was the nature of their relationship, and he wouldn't have it any other way. He didn't doubt there'd be talk; there wasn't a garrison in Amestris without its share of gossip, and though he didn't relish being the object of conversation, he'd bear it.

But, he mused with a tired snort as he succumbed to sleep, the memories of the night's incident chased away by the warmth of the shape snug against him, it was perhaps a good thing for the soldiers of Briggs he harboured none of their Major General's notorious nerve.

Because there was no way in hell he would ever dare walk the halls of the Fort wearing nothing but the Major General's coat.


AN: Shameless humour and fluff, SHAMELESS HUMOUR AND FLUFF /sticks fingers into ears and fiercely ignores the end of Brotherhood.