375 Degrees

Salazarfalcon

---------

RATING: PG-13

GENRE: GENERAL/FLUFF (with a sprinkling of shonen-ai)

-------

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything.

----------

It was a fine, fairly wonderful day at the military base in Central. The sun was shining, there had been a generally low amount of blood spilt on the subject of a certain physically challenged alchemist's height, and as of yet no one had threatened death and/or eternal damnation upon Hughes for his daughter-worship. Yet, all was not well in this stormy, not-so perfect paradise of firearms and snap-happy colonels.

Said certain physically challenged alchemist was currently being berated by his commanding officer, said certain snap-happy colonel. Needless to say, Edward Elric wasn't thrilled in the slightest with his predicament. Neither was the Colonel.

"Taisa, you must be kidding!" Ed protested, golden eyes sparking indignantly at the very mention of the punishment Roy was dumping him with.

"Why, Fullmetal, you know that I don't kid." Colonel Roy Mustang smirked, "This is what happens when you cause excess amounts of damage and civil reform on backwoods towns full of nothing but hippies."

"I'm going to kill you" Ed growled darkly, seething.

"I'm glad you think so," Roy commented, "It should give you a nice, impossible goal to work towards, eh, Fullmetal?"

"Shut up."

--------

And that was how poor Edward Elric found himself being dragged kicking and yelling (to no avail, of course) down the hallway by a gleefully oblivious (or sadistically aware) Maes Hughes.

"Okay, now my precious Elysia like cookies better than cake, chocolate chip with M-n-Ms and pink sprinkles they've gotta be pink but we'll make a cake anyway chocolate with white icing and pink roses and we'll have sandwiches and spaghetti because you know how much she likes it, and-"

"Shut. Up. Hughes." Ed snarled, making another futile attempt to squirm out of the man's firm grip, "And lemme go, while you're at it!" Hughes tsk'ed at him.

"Now, now, Edward-kun," he crooned, "I know how excited you are about being able to help with my darling's birthday dinner, but all in good time, you can see plenty of her when we get there! Oh, and did I tell you what I gave her this morning?"

"Yes," the alchemist deadpanned, "Three times."

"I gave the most adorable stuffed pony, life-size! She was so happy!"

"Shut up Hughes." Ed growled once more, eyes narrowing dangerously.

--------

Eventually they reached the home of the beloved Elysia and with a bouncing grin Hughes dragged a thoroughly resisting alchemist through the door, straight into Gracia. She blinked and tilted her head.

"Maes? Why are you dragging Edward kicking and yelling in here? You might want to consider letting him go, before he kills you." she inquired, gesturing to her husband to let him go. Hughes obeyed and Ed brushed himself off, scowling.

"Well, Edward-kun caused quite a bit of trouble for Roy, so he set him with a highly suitable punishment. He's going to help me with Elysia's dinner for tonight." Hughes informed her. With a start, Ed glanced around sharply at the clock. Ten a.m. He groaned as a smile grew on Gracia's face.

"Well then, I'm glad that you're here, this gives me a break." the woman bent down and whispered in a conspiring tone, "Maes can't cook worth hell."

Suddenly, Ed gulped. He had a baaaaaaad feeling about this….

-------

"Here, we're going to use mix." Hughes informed Edward later, "I don't trust scratch unless Gracia's here." From the other end of the kitchen, Ed sullenly held a bowl and a carton of eggs. "Oh, cheer up Ed, this isn't so bad. Here, bring me that bowl."

The alchemist obeyed and Hughes dumped a box of mix into the bowl and promptly began cracking eggs into it. Ed merely stared, before flinching as the elder man plugged in an electric mixer.

"No, wait a second!" the boy protested suddenly just as Hughes stuck the mixer in and turned it on. In a whirring of blades, the cookie mix and egg went flying everywhere, spattering the walls, the ceiling, and the so-called 'chefs'. Ed sighed and wiped his face off just as his companion began pacing back and forth, a very large gob of dough stuck in his hair.

"Oh, what are we gonna do? What to do, what to do, what to do!" he wailed, large Sailor Moon worthy waterfall tears threatening to drown them all. Golden eyes blinked, before Ed drew in a breath, retied his hair up into a high ponytail, rinsed out the bowl, and began to rummage through the refrigerator. "What are you doing?" Hughes inquired, "We're doomed."

"We are not doomed." the teen stated, pulling out a bag of sugar, "Pull yourself together."

Hughes blinked, he hadn't actually expected Ed to take charge of the situation, but now the sulky, short-tempered blonde of an alchemist was focused, concentrated, and above all, looking completely competent about what he was doing.

"We're just gonna have to do this the hard way, I suppose."

"What do you want me to do?" Hughes questioned, offering his help in what appeared to be a hopeless case. Dumping two sticks of butter in the bowl, Edward gestured distractedly to the carton of eggs.

"Hand me four of those eggs and measure out three cups of flour. I'm completely winging this recipe, but I think this is how mom used to do it…" he mused to himself, "So if this blows up in my face, don't blame me." With a shake of his head, Edward cracked the eggs into a different bowl whilst Hughes poured and measure out flour into another. In seconds, the flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt were nicely mixed and Edward was folding the butter into it while pouring in the eggs. As opposed to using a mixer, a wooden spoon, while more difficult, worked just fine.

Between the two of them, three more batches of cookies we mixed, set out on cookie sheets, and baked in the oven.

"I didn't know you could cook." Hughes commented as he and Ed began wiping off the countertop with sponges. Edward blinked.

"Why should you?" the boy countered, "You think I want everyone in the whole bloody military knowing I can do it? Taisa would never let me live it down!"

"Sure he would. Eventually." Hughes muttered. Edward shot him a look that could shatter steel and with stiff, angry movements that one would associate with an angry cat the boy took a box of chocolate cake mix out of a cabinet.

"Shut up."

-------

"Now, this time, keep the mixer on low as first, so it doesn't go flying." Ed instructed, watching critically as Hughes stuck in the mixer for the second go-round.

"Are you sure that you're turning sixteen?" the man inquired, staring in bemusement at the now consistent, lumpless cake mix. "Wow, it really worked!" he said excitedly, and Ed stepped forward to pour the batter in a pan.

"See, it's simple. A science, like chemistry. Or alchemy. It's just turning something into something else with what you have. Now, what color did you say you wanted the icing, again?" he asked.

"White, with blue trim."

"I thought you said pink flowers earlier."

"I changed my mind."

Edward sighed and boosted himself up onto the countertop, sitting himself down by the sink. Hughes raised an eyebrow.

"What's wrong Ed, not having a good time?" he inquired, and Edward looked up at him and blinked.

"Huh? No, s'not that. It's just--oh, never mind. Go check on the cake."

"It's only been in for three minutes, I really don't think it's done." Hughes said, just as the front door slammed open and closed. The man went racing out of the kitchen and Ed hopped off the counter, brushing some stray flour out of his hair.

"Something smells good in here!" Gracia exclaimed, poking her head in and gaping at the miraculously clean kitchen. "Wow, nothing blew up!" Ed snickered.

"Yeah, so sorry to disappoint. I was about to kill your husband, though," he commented, "Did you finish your shopping?" Gracia laughed at his previous remark, then nodded.

"Yes, I did. But I take it nothing went too awry while I was gone, yes?" the alchemist grinned slightly as she bent down and brushed the last of the flour out of his hair and off of his clothing.

"Not too bad, but a few near misses." the boy remarked mildly, and they all made some small-talk until the oven dinged. "Please excuse me."

Hughes blinked. It still startled him that Edward was always polite to Gracia; he never, ever copped an attitude with her.

"How does it look?" said woman called out, and Ed stuck his head out the door, hair mussed.

"Good," he replied, looking distinctively pleased with himself, "It's perfect." He then turned to Hughes, "Scram, don't you daretouch it. I don't trust you with icing."

"Aw, that's not nice!" Hughes whined, until Gracia grabbed him by his ear and began dragging him off.

"Oh, come on, Maes, leave the boy in peace." she ordered with a laugh, turning and winking cheerfully at Ed, whose eyes widened for a second before he smiled and receded back into the kitchen, from which he wouldn't return for several hours.

-------

"Roy, Riza, Havoc, I'm so happy to see you here! You too, Fuery, Armstrong, Al, I'm glad you could make it!" Hughes greeted that night, opening the door wider, "I'm sure Elysia will be so glad to see you all."

"Where is Fullmetal?" Roy inquired, "I was quite expecting to be run over by the little fireball the second you opened the door and never see him again. " Hughes wasn't sure, but he could have sworn that the equivalent of an armored smirk was spreading over the younger Elric's steelface.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," Hughes commented, "Edward was quite a bit of help, actually. He's upstairs right now, changing his clothes. The ones he wore all day are covered in flour."

"Talking about me again?" a voice calmly rang out from the staircase, and everyone turned, nearly all jaws dropping.

Edward was clad in an actually military standard uniform, of all things, complete with white gloves, his blonde hair brushed and done up in a ponytail that still just brushed his shoulders, courtesy of Gracia. Black boots that actually added several inches to his height completed the outfit, and at the stares, the teenager blushed, tugging anxiously at his blue coat.

Suddenly, he was pounced on by a little blonde girl, and with a roll of his eyes, Edward picked her up, setting her easily on his shoulders.

"Hughes, your kid accosted me while I was changing, you need to keep her on a leash, really. Pervert." he declared, handing Elysia fondly to her father.

"Awww, nii-chan!" she whined, "I wanted to make you pretty!"

In an instant, Hughes had gone into full "kira kira" I'm-mimicking-Armstrong sparkly mode and began snapping pictures left and right. Ed glanced at him as one would a humorously rambunctious golden retriever and just barely restrained himself from patting the man on the head.

"Yeah, yeah," Ed muttered, fingering his collar, "I'm, um, gonna go check on the-"

"Oh no, you don't." Gracia ordered, placing her hands on her hips, "You will not be lifting another finger all night, you worked hard enough since you got here. It's your birthday too, go sit down and relax, and I'll go put the finishing touches on the cake." Gold eyes blinked and Edward sat down, startled.

"Whoa, there's something you don't see everyday," Roy remarked somewhat sarcastically, but teasingly, tilting his head, "Fullmetal listens to someone. He certainly doesn't listen to me." Edward scowled at him.

"Oh, shut up." he muttered grouchily, "How do you wear these things everyday, anyway?"

"Practice," Havoc replied, "And a lot of baby powder." Edward cringed slightly, tugging on his bangs absently.

"Ouch."

--------

"Alright, alright, time for cake and cookies!" Gracia said cheerfully, later, absently shoving Edward back into his seat at the table as he tried to get up and help. "I told you, mister," she ordered, "You've done plenty. Now sit down, or I'll beat you." Meekly, the teenager obeyed her, sitting back down. "Good boy." And the Gracia was back in the kitchen, first bringing out the plates of cookies then the large chocolate cake covered in blue and white icing. Ed gaped at it.

"But that- that's not what I put!" he protested, going pink at what he saw. Obviously, Gracia had been doing things behind his back. Where what used to say: "Happy birthday Elysia!", "Happy birthday Edward! We love ya!" had been scrawled out on blue.

"Of course it isn't." Hughes told him, "It's your birthday too, you should enjoy it. After all, Roy-oops!" A pair of eyes narrowed.

"Mustang?" he growled, and Roy smirked at him. "You planned this, you sneaky bastard?"

"Of course I did." Roy answered him immediately. "Idiot." Edward snarled at him, just as a large piece of cake was set in front of him and diverted his attention.

"Presents!" Havoc demanded suddenly, setting down his cigarette in exchange for cake, "Let's do presents now, you stuffed shirts!"

Hawkeye inconspicuously pulled out her pistol.

-------

"Here."

Ed blinked, startled, as Roy shoved a wrapped box with a bow on it right under his nose. Wide-eyed, he glanced up at the normally smirking colonel (who was now looking very serious) to the gift in his hands.

"Uh-?"

"Open it." Roy mumbled, suddenly finding the ceiling fascinating.

"I know what it is!" Havoc chirped, earning a sharp jab in the side, courtesy of Riza's elbow, "I was there when he asked Hawkeye to wrap it! You dog, you." Riza promptly elbowed him again, Edward gaped like a codfish, and for the love of all things sacred, Roy actually gained a tiny tint of pink on his face.

"Don't worry, Edward-kun," Hawkeye broke in, "It's nothing pornographic. I would have stopped him if it was. Honestly."

Now Edward was the one blushing brightly and as if on cue, Havoc began to snicker.

"Oh, by the Gate," Roy grumbled, "Ignore Chimney Pipe over there and open it already."

Still blushing faintly, the blonde nodded and set the box on the table, ripping off the bow and the paper, and pulling off the top to reach inside. Inconspicuously, everyone leaned forward, Stunned, Edward pulled out what the box contained.

In one hand, he held what looked like a silver dogtag, only it was thicker and heavier, with an elegant pattern encircling the edges. In the center, however lay not the traditional snake and cross. Engraved in the middle was a large, intimidating eastern dragon in mid-flight, situated in front of an elaborate alchemic array. The tag was on a plain silver chain.

In the other, Edward held an exact replica of his red coat, with several alterations. Where the black used to be, it was silver instead, the coat had different fastenings, was a bit longer, but the largest change was made on the back.

Where his father and Dante's crest had been was now the same emblem that was on the tag, the dragon and alchemic pentagram.

Roy looked decidedly uncomfortable as Ed stared up at him in curiosity and slight confusion.

"Taisa?"

"It's well," the colonel stammered, "You've in the military for so long, and we all thought that it was high time you had something that was yours alone, not Hohenheim's. Hence, with your brother's help, we all came up with this."

Said aforementioned brother beamed and waved cheerfully as Edward gaped at him.

"Actually, it's from all of us." Hughes interjected.

"It's for the dragon that you are right now-," Havoc cut in in, in a moment of seriousness.

"-And for the dragon that you will become." Riza finished, then blinked as Ed uncharacteristically stepped forward and hugged her tight; she smiled in pleasure and returned it, understanding what he was trying to tell her. "You're very welcome, Edward-kun." The boy nodded, and grinned when Havoc ruffled his hair, a gesture he normally despised but welcomed at the moment.

Hughes quite eagerly swept his young comrade up in his arms, as did Armstrong, laughing when Ed yelped and demanded to be put down both times, giggling despite himself. When they finally released him, Gracia gave him a hug as well, as did Al (being as gentle as he possibly could). Finally, the teenager turned to Roy, unreadable and somewhat questioning expression plastered to his face.

"Um, Taisa?"

Roy blinked at him, startled, before thinking, 'Oh, hell,' and stooping down slightly from his towering 6'1" and opening his arms.

"Get over here, Fullmetal, before I kidnap you." he muttered, jolting as Edward instantly flung his arms around him, catching Roy by surprise by the sudden-ness of the whole thing. Nevertheless, his arms closed and he held the blonde close, barely hearing Ed's murmured "Thank you" against his chest. The colonel stunned himself with the grin that had begun to spread over his features.

"Thank you so much."

"You're so very welcome." Roy replied just as quietly, as Ed, now blushing an impressive red, gingerly detached himself, looking, quite frankly, as if he hadn't wanted to.

"Thank you, all of you." the boy declared, serious, "For accepting me and teaching me so much."

"You're certainly welcome," Hughes said, before smirking deviously, "Especially since you graced my Polaroid with that positively adorable 'moment' of yours just now-"

"HUGHES!" Edward roared, blushing again, "HOW DARE YOU!" Hughes whimpered as an enraged alchemist loomed up in front of him, before the boy deflated upon Roy's picking up a picture and blinking at it.

"Wow, these are cute." he mused, then smirked, "Can I have some?"

"Sure!" his friend chirruped, "I got tons!"

"Cool."

"Taisa!" Ed whined, "You're supposed to help me out here!"

Roy grinned at him.

"Why should I? I like these, they're cute."

"Ooh, lemme see!" Havoc yelled, peering over Roy's shoulder. "You're right. Can I have this one?" Smirking, Roy appeared to think about it.

"You can have that one, but not this one. This one's mine."

"No fair! You're all gangin' up on me!" Edward yelled in protest, before silencing as Roy reached out and ruffled his hair.

"Personally, Fullmetal, I would take it as a compliment."

FINITE

Yeah, I know, kind of an abrupt ending, but oh well. By the way, I have NO idea in the slightest of how tall Roy actually is, so I guessed. I'm probably wrong.