This is my FIRST SUBMISSION to this site! I hope it is labelled right! It is a story suitable for Teens and older. Thanks
FLAME vs. FULLMETAL REDUX
Edward's eyes snapped open the second his body hit the floor. He looked up and saw he was still in the Jeep just now he was laying on top of Alphonse's metal feet instead of on the seat.
"What the hell?" He cried as he crawled back onto the seat beside his brother.
"Sorry about the pothole," the driver apologized and Edward sighed.
It was daylight, which meant they had been driving throughout the night. The scenery had changed for the better. Rolling green pastures where cattle and sheep grazed and greeted Edward's bleary-eyed gaze.
"Any chance we could stop for a cup of coffee?" Edward asked.
"Aren't you a little young to be hooked on that stuff?" The Lieutenant at the wheel inquired.
"No. If my ass is old enough to serve my country, then I can drink a frelling cup of coffee!" Edward stated flatly. "And I like it black."
"The Colonel was right about you. You are about as pleasant as an enema."
Edward smacked the back of Mustang's head saying, "Thanks a lot jerkwad!"
Colonel Mustang was awake in a flash. He rounded on Edward saying, "Sit down and shut up NOW!"
Edward cringed and slumped back in the seat staring blankly out the window. If Edward had been sitting next to him, then the boy would have felt the back of his hand on his smart mouth. He had no idea what brought on this bit of petulant behavior but it was beginning to get tiresome. Edward Elric had been on the rag since they left Central. He had been in the middle of deciphering an old codex he was sure was a significant lead to the Philosopher's Stone when their unit got called up to deal with bandits harassing villages along the Frontier. Edward didn't want to go but was ordered to so he had no choice. So he was pissed and taking it out on everyone but Alphonse who he left out of it because his poor brother was just as stuck as he was. Mustang was getting really tired of Edward. The boy was too old to be spanked but there were times when Mustang was seriously tempted to give him one anyway. However, their last mission had ended on a very sour note so the Colonel was inclined to write off Edward's current case of piss and vinegar to being the result of his part in the battle to reclaim Fort Skeleton Pass.
"What did you do this time Ed?" Alphonse asked quietly in Edward's ear.
"I asked for a lousy cup of coffee," Edward replied still staring blankly out the window.
"We're probably not going to stop until we get to an outpost or something," Alphonse ventured. "Which should be pretty soon. This place looks familiar."
When Edward bothered to look more closely he did see that they had been in this area before. He recalled they had stopped at a small supply depot on their way out to Pallet Town that was in the middle of some very nice farmland. He remembered the area because it looked a lot like where he grew up except it was much more hilly.
"Kind of looks like home," Edward remarked.
"Yeah," his brother agreed.
"How much further?" they heard Colonel Mustang ask their driver.
"Another five clicks. We'll be turning off this main road at the juncture up ahead. I think the boys will be a little less cranky after they've had the chance to stretch their legs and eat something that isn't field rations."
"Real food?" Edward piped up having only heard the part of the conversation that dealt with eating and moving.
"Yes, Fullmetal. Hot food, running water and maybe even a bed," the Colonel told him.
"Sweet!" Edward replied slouching in the seat in his usual indolent teenage fashion.
"I wonder how far we are from Resembool?" Alphonse asked.
"A three or four hour drive," the Lieutenant at the wheel stated then asked, "You have friends there?"
"Yes, it's where Ed's mechanic lives."
"I see, well if he needs his services-"
"Her." Alphonse corrected.
"Her services I think we could arrange a day trip."
"I'm fine," Edward announced. "Everything is operating according to manufacturer's specifications."
That statement made Mustang turn to face him. "No need for a tune up?"
"Nah," Edward said knowing where this conversation was headed. "I've got some time before my five-thousand mile maintenance is due."
"I wouldn't mind having Winry look under my hood."
Edward laughed. "And check for leaks!"
"You two are NOT funny!" Alphonse announced.
Edward ignored him and continued, "Hey, maybe I can get myself Hemi-powered."
"With spinners," their driver jibed getting in on the fun.
"You're hopeless!" Alphonse stated sounding really annoyed.
"Oh, relax, Al!" Edward said giving his brother an impish grin. "Pinako thinks its funny when I say stuff like this. It's the only time I can get that old biddy to laugh."
"I don't think it's very funny," Alphonse told him.
"Yeah, well, you weren't there when Winry said I had more charm than a toaster but not by much," Edward told him.
"Miss Winry is very perceptive," Mustang remarked.
"Look, Hot Stuff, you aren't exactly the cover boy for how to win friends and influence people yourself you know!"
"Maybe but I'm not the one wearing something that is an excellent conductor of heat!"
Mustang snapped his fingers and sent a spark of flame out hitting Edward in his auto-mail leg giving him a hot foot. It hurt for only a second and Alphonse had the sense to restrain Edward before he had the chance to put his hands together for a bit of retaliatory Alchemy.
"Let me go Al so I can light his ass on fire!" Edward declared as he tried to wrench free of Alphonse's strong grip.
"No, Ed. You can act like a child after we get out of the car," Alphonse admonished.
It had been a long time since Mustang had used his Alchemy for a prank. It felt good to do something mindless and stupid and fun. Watching Edward attempting to wrestle free of Alphonse's armored grip was amusing. The Colonel started laughing in spite of himself.
"Laugh it up, Flame boy! You won't be laughing after I get through with you!"
"The last time we faced off it took a week to clean up the mess," Mustang reminded him.
"Find someplace that is in need of demolition and we can duke it out there," Edward suggested.
"You and Fullmetal had a duel Colonel?" the driver asked surprised.
"Not the sort you're thinking of, Lieutenant," Mustang endeavored to explain. "Alchemists challenge or practice with each other all the time. It's how we keep our skills sharp. Usually duels are done in a controlled environment to prevent anyone from getting hurt and to keep property damage to a minimum. Las time the two of us faced off things got a little out of hand."
"Well that part of town was in need of some urban renewal anyway," Edward pointed out.
Mustang chuckled. "True, but where we are headed now is NOT. So if you are serious about this there are going to have to be some ground rules."
"Okay, so no cheap shots, no hitting below the belt-" Edward began.
"No running and hiding behind my men," Mustang added.
"I wasn't hiding, I was firing from a covered position!"
"You were hiding." Alphonse corrected him.
"Hey! Whose side are you on?" Edward said heatedly getting in his brother's face.
"Calm down, Ed," Alphonse told him making him sit back on the seat. "I was joking."
"So you really want to face me again after the spanking you got last time?" the Colonel inquired in a tone that said, "If you want to back out, now is the time".
"Yeah, I do! I'm going to plant you like a tulip!"
Mustang laughed. "All right, Edward. But let's make this interesting."
"Okay. So what's the bet? A hundred Cenns? More?"
"No money," Mustang said. "That's against regulations."
"So is having a duel but that dren goes on all the time!"
"True, but no money passes hands which is why it's ignored," Mustang informed him.
"Okay, so we have to put up stuff instead. Like, I don't know, a few good books on esoteric Alchemy."
"Hey, you can't wager my things!" Alphonse broke in.
"Yeah, but I don't have anything worth a damn!" Edward told him.
"Then bet something else! Like…like you'll do all the Colonel's laundry for a week," Alphonse suggested. "Or you'll clean his apartment."
"Great, I'm so looking forward to the opportunity to log his porn collection alphabetically," Edward quipped sarcastically.
"I do not have a porn collection," Mustang stated icily.
Edward cast a sideways glance at Alphonse, "Yeah, right," he commented snidely under his breath so only his brother could hear.
"All right, I think I'll settle this here and now," the Colonel stated his hard gaze holding the two brothers transfixed. "The loser does one task one the winner's choosing without question, complaint, argument or attitude. Got it?"
"Within reason," Mustang said. "Nothing illegal or physically endangering. Everyone stays in one piece. Agreed?"
The Colonel held out his hand to Edward to have him shake on the bargain.
"Deal!" Edward agreed using his auto-mail hand to shake on the bargain. He purposely held Mustang's hand much tighter than he needed just so he could make the older man wince.
"Any chance us ordinary folks can watch you two face off?" the driver asked.
"I think something can be arranged," the Colonel told him as they finally came to a stop inside the same supply depot they had rested at on their way to Fort Skeleton Pass.
Edward climbed out and stretched every limb like a cat on a sunny ledge. Alphonse looked at Edward a little worried when he heard sounds of all of Edward's bones snapping and popping as the elder Elric stretched.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"I'm fine. I just had to get everything back into place. I was turning into a pretzel on that seat," Edward said. Then, changing the subject, he continued, "What should I make Mustang do as penance for losing? Clean the latrines with a toothbrush? Sing our national anthem in his underwear at reveille? Come on, Al, help me think of something sufficiently humiliating!"
"We can worry about this later. I'm just wondering what he will ask you to do if HE wins."
"Probably that bucket of dren I refuse to do now," Edward said. "Like just last week he calls me into his office, hands me this receipt and orders me to pick up his uniforms at the cleaners! I tell him I'm an Alchemist not his frelling valet and then he turns around and gives me his food order from Wu Fei's down the street. I look him dead in the eye and tell him I'm an Alchemist not a frelling delivery boy. But he doesn't get the clue! He hands me a pile of folders telling me to type up his reports for him. I tell him I'm an Alchemist not your frelling secretary! He keeps trying to send me out on all these stupid errands and I keep reminding him what my primary function is and he STILL doesn't get it! I think its FRELLING OBVIOUS what is going to become of me if I lose to that guy!"
"Could be worse. He could put you in the kitchen scrubbing pots for a month!"
"True," Edward agreed. "He could have me in there in dishwater until my auto-mail rusts out!"
"I think Winry coated it with something so it wouldn't-
"AL!" Edward interrupted eyes flashing. "I know I can't rust!" He sighed adding, "Sometimes you can be such a kill-joy! I was having FUN pondering my possible future misery. Why did you have go and spoil it?"
When Alphonse realized how hard his leg had just been pulled he shoved Edward hard making his laughing brother land on his back. He loomed over his elder brother saying, "I hate it when I fall for your bad jokes!"
"You fall for them because you are always so damn serious! I wish you would lighten up a little! I miss the sound of your laugh."
Alphonse saw the love in his brother's eyes and sighed. Edward always tried so hard to be strong for both of them. He tried his best to make things bearable until they could find a way to be normal again. Edward had a warm heart that he hid behind a sharp tongue. Anyone who bothered to get to know him figured out right away all that attitude was just a shield he used to hide behind. Only a handful of people knew the real Edward Elric. And Alphonse knew it was probably going to stay that way for a long time…
"Well, I would laugh if you actually said something funny!" Alphonse told him.
Now it was Edward's turn to get teased. He got to his feet saying as he leaped into their martial arts exercise, "Okay, Tin Head. Time for you to loosen those joints!"
Sparring with the limber Edward was always fun. Even though Alphonse knew he had to restrain himself in order to keep from accidentally hurting his brother, he still managed to enjoy himself. He liked watching Edward bound around like a jackrabbit as he attempted to land well placed kicks and punches. Every time they practiced Alphonse was convinced Edward's hand-to-hand skills improved. He felt their Sensei would be proud of how much they have progressed in the years since they left the dojo.
By the time he had had enough Edward's chest was shiny with perspiration and his hair looked like it had been caught in a rainstorm. His jacket and shirt had been stripped off early on so they were still dry and sweet smelling. Their practice session had drawn quite a few onlookers and Edward blushed when he caught Lieutenant Hawkeye and several other female soldiers eying his half-naked form appreciatively. On their last mission Hawkeye had gotten to see him in a whole lot less and it was because of that Edward was so embarrassed. She was Colonel Mustang's right hand man, so to speak, and as such was in command when the Colonel wasn't around.
"You fight good," she commented when he walked past her.
"The showers are that way," she pointed out the location and he nodded. "And sleeping quarters are there," she finished indicating a long building that backed up to a fence. He nodded that he understood and she took a step closer to him to make sure only he would hear her and added with a saucy wink, "I'm in room three."
Edward took a step back quickly saying, "Thank you, Lieutenant. If you don't mind, I'm hitting the showers."
She smiled at him, "Dismissed."
Edward gave her a quick jaunty salute before heading off double time to the shower. His brother followed him to the building but didn't go inside. Edward grabbed a towel and soap from the dispensing area and looked for an empty stall. The place was steamy from all the people who had used it before and were using it now. The first unoccupied one he found he ducked into and stood under the hot water for a long time. It felt good to be clean and the hot water washed away all the tenseness in his muscles. Now all he needed was a good meal and he would be able to sleep like the dead tonight.
As he was drying off some familiar voice caught his attention. It was Lieutenant Havoc and he was going on about some camp followers who were in the bunkhouse entertaining the troops with native dancing, music and more if you had the money to pay for it. Edward rolled his eyes. He was not in the mood to hear about how to get himself a fifty-cenns a night hooker. Other people might be dumb enough to take the risk but he wasn't. A few minutes of fun were not worth the chance of getting a fatal disease. If he were going to sleep with someone it would be because he cared for them not because he paid them to do it.
"Hey, Ed, how's it going?" he heard Havoc greet him from the other side of his door.
How did he….Oh. Edward looked down and realized he was easy to pick out even if only his feet were showing. That auto-mail leg of his was a dead giveaway. "I'm fine." Edward replied. "But I'm starving!"
"Oh, there's food and some really nice entertainment in the bunkhouse. You should check it out!"
"Maybe after I eat," Edward lied.
"Okay, catch you later!"
Well no way he was going to the bunkhouse. He wanted to sleep and he had a feeling he wouldn't get any if he went in there. There was a barn in the complex. Maybe he could crawl into a mountain of hay and crash there. Wouldn't be the first time he'd done that. He quickly got dressed, fixed his hair, and left the bathhouse. Alphonse was where he left him right by the front door.
"Feel better?" his brother asked.
"Yeah, much," Edward replied smiling up at him.
"There is a party of some kind going on in the bunkhouse. You can hear it all the way from out here."
"I know, Al. Havoc told me about it."
"Are you going to go?"
"I'm tired and hungry and just not in the mood to spend a night with a bunch of drunken debauched army guys."
"Even if the Colonel was there wearing a lampshade on his head?" Alphonse jested.
"Only if I had a camera so I could blackmail him later!" Edward cracked back.
The two brothers had a laugh at Mustang's expense as they headed over to the mess hall. The duo were surprised to find the Colonel was at mess having dinner with Lieutenant Hawkeye and a couple of other officers Edward didn't know all that well.
"Guess it's an enlisted-only party," Edward observed.
"Or maybe he was afraid of you and your camera," Alphonse offered.
They got a table to themselves and Edward left his brother alone while he went to get his food. Alphonse sensed he was being watched and, when he looked over his shoulder, his gaze met Colonel Mustang's. He gave the Colonel a nervous hello wave before turning around and facing straight ahead. I hope he doesn't ask us to go over there and join him, Alphonse thought to himself. Edward is actually acting like a human being right now. I don't want that to stop.
Edward saw his brother staring blankly at the wall in front of him and asked, "Al, what are looking at?"
"Anything but them," he responded subtly indicating the table where Mustang was.
"Okaaaaaaay," Edward said not getting it but going along with it anyway.
"Fullmetal, why don't you join us?" the brothers heard Major Armstrong's booming voice invite from two tables away.
"Say no Ed," Alphonse said.
"Because every time you and the Colonel get together you both go from human beings to a pair of monkeys throwing poo at each other!"
Edward burst out laughing. "Yeah, we do have a tendency to reverse Darwin's theories when we're in the same space." He sensed Alphonse was not in the mood to listen to him and the Colonel exchange barbs so he called back to Armstrong, "Thanks but we wanted to have some brother time tonight."
Armstrong let it go and when Edward sat down Alphonse said quietly, "Thanks."
"Sure. I can understand you not being in the mood to be the shovel and bucket guy stuck cleaning up after the apes."
"A night off from that job would be nice for a change."
Edward grinned. "I can live without my daily dose of Mustang's sarcasm."
"You are no slouch in the verbal assault department yourself brother."
"Oh? Does this mean you actually find some of our exchanges amusing?"
"Occasionally," Alphonse admitted. "When the two of you don't dissolve into a couple of two year olds fighting over a single shovel in the sandbox."
Edward smiled at that. He was the first to admit there were times when he and Mustang did squabble like a couple of brats but usually their disagreements didn't dissolve into name calling and spell-casting. At least at all their public spats they managed to keep it professional. It was when they were alone in Mustang's office that things often degenerated into Mustang attempting to bully Edward into doing something and Edward telling him where to shove it. Had he been anyone else he doubted he would get away with the level of crap he often unloads on his commanding officer. He probably would have been court-martialed or shot or both ages ago.
"You know, Al, the only reason I think I still have a pulse is that the Old Man actually LIKES me," Edward observed.
"The Colonel does like you," Alphonse said. "He likes you better when you aren't acting like a jerk."
"I only act like a jerk when he starts being an annoying greebol!" Edward defended. "I'm sorry, Al, but I was never cut out to be in the military. This all just kind of happened."
"But you know what's expected of you. You're a State Alchemist and I have heard you quoting regulations whenever it was to you advantage to do so."
Edward's face broke into a devilish grin. "Of course, you have to know the rules in order to bend them."
"Bend them? Brother, you turn the rules into corkscrews."
Edward laughed, not so much at what his brother said but that deadpan delivery of his was killer. "Yeah, I know," he admitted. "I think Mustang is secretly sorry he took me on. I think he wishes it were YOU who were the Fullmetal Alchemist! I think I'm the reason he drinks so much!"
Alphonse shook his head. "There are days I'm sure he thinks you are more trouble than you're worth. But he just endures because he knows there is more to you than what you let the world see."
Edward raised an eyebrow. "You really think an old warhorse like Mustang is that perceptive?"
"Guess he shows he's got a few brain cells whenever he's around you," Edward remarked. "Somehow he always manages to spare me that."
Changing the subject Alphonse asked, "Do you really think you're ready to challenge Mustang again?"
Alphonse glanced over his shoulder at the Colonel's table and noticed Mustang was looking in their direction. However, his attention was focused on Edward. He looked like a hawk that had just caught site of a lone rabbit on an open field. Having his brother being studied like he was prey was making Alphonse nervous.
"This could be a mistake."
"Nah," Edward said cocky as always. "It'll be fun."
"It won't be fun if you lose."
Edward shrugged. "Oh, well, so I'll be stuck being an overeducated errand boy for a while. As long as I'm not playing step-and-fetch-it in my boxers I'll be fine."
The image of Edward carrying dry cleaning, books and a bag of Chinese take-out while clad only in his underwear flashed through Alphonse's brain and he twitched. "I think the Colonel isn't going to do anything that childish. Making someone run errands in their underpants is more your speed."
Edward grinned and made no effort to deny it. He did have those rare moments when he would play the odd sophomoric prank but, for the most part, Edward was more mature than many of the people in his unit. There were times when soldiers he served with would forget he was only sixteen. The he would open his mouth and make an observation that was a combination of profound and crude and everyone's memories would be instantly jogged. It was acknowledged Edward was a prodigy – actually both of them were considered gifted in the brains department – but Edward attracted more attention because he was the more vocal of the pair.
Getting Edward to shut up could at times be a challenge.
Alphonse looked back at Mustang again. The Colonel noticed him looking and gave him a sly smile. Alphonse turned back quickly saying, "He's plotting something."
"Of course he is!" Edward responded like he wasn't at all surprised. "So am I! You think we're going into this without a plan?"
"What is your plan?"
"I can sum it up in three words: Useless when wet."
Alphonse was stunned. "That's cheating," he whispered.
"No its not. It's using an opponent's weakness against them. Soak Mustang and he can't use his flame."
"Bind your hands apart and you are equally useless."
"True," Edward admitted. "So we each have an Achilles heel that can be exploited. The stratagem is not to get into a position where your opponent can take advantage of your short comings."
"I still think this has the potential to go wrong."
Edward resumed eating not thinking his brother's observation required a comment. As he was about to dive into a rather large slice of apple pie a hand giving his shoulder a paternal squeeze distracted him. Edward looked at the gloved hand and recognized the Alchemy circle painted on it was the pattern of the Flame Alchemist. Edward looked up at Roy Mustang, who smiled slightly at him.
"Will tomorrow at noon work into your busy schedule Mr. Elric?" Mustang inquired with a tinge of humor coloring his voice.
"I think I might be able to squeeze you in," Edward replied in an equally amused tone.
"One question, what size are you?"
"That measuring tape you're holding won't be long enough."
Mustang slapped the back of Edward's head sharply. "I was talking about your jacket!"
Edward was laughing in spite of the pain. "I'm a thirty-two. Why?"
"Just making sure the uniform will fit."
"The one you'll be wearing when you're my personal servant for the next week."
Edward grinned finding Mustang's attempt at a psyche out funny. "Nice try, Colonel. But after I win everyone in the company is going to find out the answer to this burning question: Roy Mustang, boxers or briefs!"
"Cute," Mustang said not amused.
"Hey, loser does what the winner wants so long as it isn't harmful or illegal. I believe those were the terms of the wager," Edward reminded him his gold eyes glinting evilly.
"You really are a little boy."
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING LITTLE?" Edward demanded on his feet and as in his face as he could get while being a full head shorter than Mustang.
Alphonse hung his head. "Here we go again."
Mustang grabbed Edward by his arms and picked him straight up so they were face to face. Edward glared at him as he hung there with his feet off the floor. "You do realize you are completely defenseless right now," Mustang pointed out.
"If you ever want to reproduce you'll put me down," Edward threatened.
Mustang glanced down and noticed Edward was in a great position to kick his Auto-mail foot into a spot that would be excruciatingly painful. "You wouldn't dare."
Edward looked him dead in the eye. "Oh?"
Mustang put him down quickly.
Once he was free Edward quipped, "Psyche!"
The look on Edward's face told him the boy would never have dared to kick him THERE. Edward got him good this time. "You turd."
Edward snickered. "See you tomorrow. Don't forget your matches!"
Mustang made a step towards Edward like he intended to bop him but Edward quickly made his escape with his brother struggling to keep up. His superiors and those in his unit often wondered why he put up with Edward's insubordination and, at times, outright disrespect for authority. They didn't know how incredibly brilliant and talented Edward was or that he could do Alchemy many practitioners twice his age couldn't do. He was barely twelve when he performed a Soul Binding. That was a working Mustang himself wouldn't dream of attempting. When he first came to Central it was because he was such a prodigy that his poor behavior was tolerated. Now Mustang put up with it because, unlike the rest of his men, Edward Elric was a challenge. Unlike the others, the only way he would ever get Edward Elric to respect him would be to do something to earn it. Outranking him was not enough.
High noon tomorrow was going to be interesting….
The site chosen for the duel was an open area used for military exercises and target practice. Even if the two Alchemists had a free-for-all there wasn't too much they could destroy considering it was starting off pretty well trashed already. Edward noticed there were many places one could use as cover, which was a lot better than the last time. The open parade ground that had been the site of their last duel had no official places to hide in. Edward was liking the look of things. Having places to secret himself from Mustang's fire blasts was a good thing.
"I might actually have a good chance," Edward remarked to his brother as he surveyed the playing field.
Alphonse gazed around uneasily. "I have a bad feeling about this."
Edward ignored him. The two Elrics met up with Lieutenant Hawkeye and the men from their unit who were looking around trying to figure out where they could watch the duel without getting fried.
"Think you can take him?" Havoc asked.
"That old warhorse is going to get broken today!" Edward teased.
Havoc sucked on his cigarette and commented. "I hope you plan on doing more than just insulting him to death."
"Yeah, well, it's a physical contest for a reason Havoc," Edward pointed out. "To lead in the state military you don't need to be a genius. You just got to have an ego the size of the Pacific and a bigger mouth than me."
"Everyone has a bigger mouth than you, Edward," Havoc remarked. "Actually a bigger everything than you!"
"Frell off, Havoc," Edward snapped his eyes flashing. He hated all the short jokes.
"Are you ready to get your buns toasted, Fullmetal?" Mustang taunted as he arrived.
"Unlike the last time, Hot Stuff, I'm ready for you," Edward said.
"The little man has a plan?"
Edward ignored the reference to his size and shot back, "I'm putting you out to pasture, Mustang!"
Some of the Colonel's men snickered. They were used to the verbal duels between these two Alchemists. It was going to be interesting to see them facing off using their powers. The last time they fought it was like seeing a train wreck. Horrifying but so cool you couldn't look away. Last time Hughes had been the one to adjudicate the battle. This time that duty fell to Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye.
Lieutenant Hawkeye stepped between the two Alchemists saying, "Okay, boys, here is the deal. There will be no damaging of government property and that includes the two of you! The first one knocked out or otherwise rendered incapable of using his Alchemy is the loser. Understood?" Both Edward and Mustang nodded and she continued, "You'll start from opposite sides of this practice field. When I blow my whistle, come out firing."
That suited both of them just fine. Edward volunteered to take the starting position on the far side saying, "Don't want Mustang to drop from a heart attack! Winning this by default would be a hollow victory!"
"I hope you like potatoes, Ed. You are going to be peeling a lot of them after today!" Mustang threatened.
"And the girls are gonna go wild when they see you jogging around the parade ground wearing only a thong!" Edward yelled back from halfway across the field.
"I'm going get that little grot!" Mustang fumed as he took his place on the field.
Alphonse had joined Edward on his jog across the field. He was going to watch the proceedings from Edward's side and be there to bail out his brother if things got out of hand.
"Getting the Colonel sore at you now was not very smart Ed," Alphonse told him.
"No, if I get him so mad he makes a mistake I can nail him!" Edward said then added as he fished the bottle of water from its hiding place inside Alphonse's armor, "Time to put my plan into motion!"
"If you miss, then it's all over!" Alphonse said in a worried voice. "He won't show you any mercy."
"This fight isn't to the death, Al, just to the total incapacitation of one of its participants," Edward reminded him. "The worst he can do is knock me into next week. The only bad side of my plan is I have to do this old school. And I know I will barely have a minute at most to draw my circle and charge it up. This is going to be tight."
Alphonse crossed his fingers. "Good luck brother."
Edward gave him a wicked grin the thumbs up sign before calculating what covered area on the battlefield he could sprint to with minimal risk of being picked off by Mustang's fire blasts. He saw a likely spot less than fifty feet away and mentally prepared himself to sprint. He could see Mustang in the distance standing out in the open completely unafraid of his much younger opponent.
Good, thought Edward. He's not near anyone else so the water bomb will hit only him.
The sound of Lieutenant Hawkeye's whistle was Edward's call to action. He took off like a shot out of a cannon, making a mad dash for the thick piece of wall he intended to use for cover while he cast his circle. Mustang saw him go and began snapping off fire bombs trying to hit him with the spheres of doom but Edward was out of range so the shots kept going wide. Edward made it to the protected area and quickly began to draw the circle. He knew Mustang saw where he had holed himself up and would swiftly close the distance between them so he had to be both quick and accurate with his casting.
He placed the water bottle in the center of the Alchemy circle and dropped his hands down along the outer edge to charge it up. As the circle glowed with power, Edward heard the sound of footsteps approaching him at a rapid pace.
This had better work, Edward though to himself as he saw the water consumed in a haze of blue mystical energy that shot up and out towards the field.
The next thing Edward heart was the unmistakable sound of water splooshing on someone and then a long string of the most colorful epithets Edward had ever heard in his life.
"Damn," Edward said to himself. "And people say I have a foul mouth!"
Edward came out from behind the wall commenting, "God, Colonel! Watch your language! Don't you know there are impressionable young children around here?"
Mustang's entire front was soaking wet. His fire starting gloves were wet which rendered them useless. His hair was dripping and he looked like he was about to explode.
Edward made an O with one hand and held up a single finger with the other saying, "Round one. Fullmetal one, Flame nothing."
Mustang angrily yanked off the gloves and his wet jacket. He checked the back of his pants and was glad to find they were dry. The pack of matches he had in his pocket was still good and he was glad he had brought them along. He had a feeling Edward would do something like this so he had the matches as a back up plan. Edward may have thought he was down but he was nowhere near out.
"Very clever," Mustang conceded in his usual emotionless voice. "But why do I have a feeling you just blew your wad."
Edward did start off with his best attack but he was still full of ideas. "Well, I wanted to start things off with a bang. Give my fans something to cheer at."
"I have only one thing to say to you," Mustang said as he fingered the matches getting one in position to strike. "Run."
Edward saw the matches almost too late. He dodged out of the way in time to avoid being leveled by a fireball almost as tall as he was. "God dammit, Mustang!" He cursed as he ran once again dodging fireballs. "What are you trying to do? Kill me?"
Mustang made no comment but kept up the barrage. He knew it was only a matter of time before he floored the runt. Edward tried to get behind yet another one of the partial walls but missed and instead got flattened by one of Mustang's fireballs. For all their seeming intensity, it felt like he was hit by a bowling ball as opposed to a ball of fire. It still stung but Edward doubted he would have anything more than a few blisters in the spot where the shot connected. Mustang was powered way down, something Edward was thankful for otherwise he would be an ash of his former self.
Edward rolled over onto his stomach and got his hands together to retaliate. He let go a wall of concussive force, the power of the energy wave lifting up the ground and hurtling it along like a giant wave of dirt, grass and stones. Mustang tried to dodge the wall of earth but it was like trying to evade an ocean wave when you were hip deep in the water. It connected with him knocking him on his face. He was covered in dirt, stones and grass and he seriously intended to stick Edward with the dry cleaning bill for his uniform.
Mustang pulled himself to his feet but before he was completely up a metal foot connecting with his bottom knocked him back down. Edward leapt on him in an attempt to keep him pinned but Mustang was much larger and stronger than Edward and knocked him off. The two of them were too close to fight using their Alchemy so the battle became one of hand-to-hand combat skills. Both of them were agile and adept fighters but their styles were vastly different. Roy fought commando style, attention focused on finding a weakness to exploit and then striking that vulnerable area. Edward, on the other hand, was skilled in the eastern style, which stressed speed, agility and striking for maximum effect.
The two of them, despite their style differences, were very well matched. Mustang was surprised that Edward was that good at hand-to-hand fighting. He had seen Edward fight after converting his auto-mail arm into a blade and also with the Alchemical spear he was fond of using. But he hadn't seen him do any bare knuckle bruising and it felt awkward to be duking it out with him in this fashion. However, the terms of their contest was until one of them was unable to compete any longer and, at the rate things were going, it looked like it would be more stamina than skill that determined the winner.
From the sidelines Alphonse could tell that Edward was beginning to tire. He was still managing to evade the worst of Mustang's strikes but the fact more and more of them were beginning to connect was a bad sign. Edward could handle himself in a street brawl but he was a much better Alchemist than he was a fighter. Alphonse winced when he saw Edward manage to get a clean shot at Mustang and strike the Colonel in the gut and then get his striking hand twisted and pinned hard against his back. Having his human arm twisted behind his back to almost the breaking point dropped Edward to his knees. From the look of things Alphonse sensed that the match was going to end here and now.
Edward tried to use his free hand to force Mustang to release him but it was useless. The more he struggled the worse the pain got as Mustang worked on that pinned arm.
"You're breaking my arm, you frelling idiot!" Edward said hotly.
"Concede and I'll release you," Mustang replied in that smug tone of his.
Edward tried again to break free but Mustang caught his other arm and shoved Edward face down in the dirt. Edward was kept down by Mustang's full weight on top of him. With his hands pinned spread apart Edward couldn't use his Alchemy to break free. He was spitting out dirt and grass and was exceeding pissed off at the man lying on top of him. Mustang was doing everything he could to make things uncomfortable for Edward, even go so far as to press himself in lewd ways against him.
From the sidelines the fight looked like it had taken a decidedly different turn. The way Mustang was laying on top of Edward it looked like he was attempting to do a whole lot more than just hold him down in the dirt. Edward's bucking around trying to get himself free only made things look worse.
"Hey, I know Mustang liked the kid but I didn't know he liked him THAT way," Havoc commented.
"They are not doing anything, you pervert!" Hawkeye snapped.
"Not now, but wait until Mustang gets him back home!"
The others snickered knowing full well their boss was an opportunist when it came to getting his needs fulfilled. It was also well known that Mustang secretly wanted to have his way with Edward, if only because it might be a way to shut the kid up for a while. Hawkeye knew Mustang got around but she seriously doubted he would ever lay a hand on Edward. For all of his sass and savvy, Edward was still only sixteen years old and not worth the jail time.
After ten minutes of watching Edward desperately try to get free and listening to the smutty comments of Mustang's men, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye decided to call an end to the duel. She blew her whistle and started out across the field towards the two Alchemists.
Mustang and Edward had both heard the whistle and they stopped what they were doing to look in the direction of the sound. They saw Hawkeye approaching them and giving them the signal to stop.
"Guess she thinks you've had enough," Mustang commented as he released his hold on Edward.
"Yeah, well, I'M not done with you yet!" Edward said clapping his hands together. However, before he could get off the spell Mustang knocked him out cold with a quick boot to the temple.
"Well, I'm done with you," Mustang remarked dryly as he surveyed Edward's motionless body. "For now…"
When Edward awakened he had a splitting headache. The cold compress on his forehead didn't do much to relieve the pain. He yanked it off disgusted and looked around the room. He was lying on a sofa in what looked like someone's room. He didn't recognize anything but he knew he was somewhere on the base because the entire senior officer's quarters had the same basic layouts. He heard the clatter of crockery coming from the kitchen so he wasn't alone. Edward got up and made his way on shaky legs to the kitchen.
As Edward entered the small room Mustang commented, "About time you got up."
"How did I get here?"
"You were carried. You're a lot heavier than you look."
"I used to weigh more," Edward began as he parked himself on a chair at the kitchen table. "This composite auto-mail I have now weighs fifty percent less than the old stuff but has double the tensile strength. These limbs are a Beta test of a new composite-"
Mustang looked at him. "Speak English."
"Don't understand Geek, huh?" Edward jibed then continued, "Okay, here it is in simple words you Army clowns can get. I'm stronger, tougher and faster than before."
"Could have fooled me."
"When the fight became an endurance test rather than a test of SKILL I knew it was over," Edward remarked. "Had it stayed in the realm of Alchemy it would have been YOU laying on that couch!"
"Hopefully you have better stamina when it comes to…other things," Roy said leering at Edward.
"You really are an old pervert."
"Like you never think about THAT," Mustang challenged.
"Look, I like getting my ashes hauled as much as the next guy but I don't dwell on it. Unlike you Mustang, I don't live my life between my legs."
Mustang laughed. Bedding this one was going to be fun, he thought to himself. Dredging his mind out of the sewer for a moment, Mustang changed the subject by saying, "Curious about my plans for you?"
"Well, if I'm not mistaken, I do recall something about potatoes…"
"Yes, well, that was just what you kids call trash talk. I never intended to give you a week of KP as your punishment for losing to me."
"Oh? And was serving you breakfast while dressed like a French maid trash talk too?"
"Well, the breakfast part wasn't but I changed my mind about the French maid outfit. I think you're more of a corset kind of guy."
"You got to be frelling kidding."
Mustang closed the distance between then and when he was eye to flashing gold eyes with Edward he quipped, "Psyche!"
Edward rolled his eyes heavenward. Mustang chuckled softly and casually walked behind Edward's chair. He began to gently massage Edward's shoulders. Edward closed his eyes. It felt good and was making up for the throbbing in his head. "Do you have any aspirin?" he asked.
"No, I have something that works much better on pain," Mustang said releasing Edward's shoulders and making his way over to the bar. He pulled out a bottle of fifteen year old Scotch and a couple of glasses and proceeded to pour each of them two finger's worth of the strong liquid. When he handed Edward his glass he said, "Acquiring a taste for Scotch shows you have breeding. However, knowing the difference between quality and rotgut shows you have intelligence. You may be a street rat but you do have a brain, Fullmetal. And because there is serious amounts of gray matter in that thick skull of yours I'm going to teach you about Scotch."
Edward blinked at him. "Colonel, in case you forgot, I'm only sixteen. I shouldn't even be HOLDING this glass let alone be drinking from it!"
"True, but I am sure you have heard of the term medicinal alcohol." Edward nodded unsurely and Mustang continued, "That is medicinal considering your current state. And it is also a fifteen-year-old blend. I have a policy – nothing younger than fifteen years will ever touch these lips."
Edward nearly dropped his glass. His brain twitched and would have hidden behind his cerebral cortex if it had the power to do so. The imagery conveyed by the Colonel's last statement made Edward feel so dirty he just wanted to leave the room and soak in the shower for a day.
As calmly as he could Edward put down the glass of Scotch and rose from the table saying, "I think I'm going to go and light myself on fire now."
Mustang caught Edward before he could go anywhere. "What is your problem?"
"Let's just say I'm a very visual person. Words spoken to me convey images and what you just said about your favorite beverage is making me feel UNCLEAN! God dammit Mustang!"
It took a minute before Mustang realized what had Edward so twitchy and he burst out laughing. "And you have the nerve to call ME a pervert! You are just as Ecche as everyone else in our unit."
"Look, my brain only goes down to the sewers when someone grabs it by the stem and drags it along kicking and screaming. I rarely go there voluntarily," Edward informed him. "I only have so many brain cells. I like to keep them from things that make them explode."
"Well, you have nothing to worry about then," Mustang said. "I won't be doing anything to make your head explode." Other parts of you maybe but not your head, he added to himself.
Edward's head throbbed and the pain made him glance down at the glass of brown liquid. He had to force the Scotch lesson out of his memory in order to even contemplate taking a sip from that glass. He steeled himself and then knocked back the entire thing in three gulps. Mustang gasped audibly at what he saw the young Alchemist do and Edward's eyes bulged out in response to the searing sensation that went from his throat to his stomach. The fire that was burning in his esophagus was beginning to spread out to the rest of his body. The pain in his head was faded and was replaced by a warm dream-like feeling.
"Better?" Mustang queried as he subtly led Edward to the bedroom.
"Once you get past the turpentine smell and the paint thinner taste it's not half bad," Edward conceded. "Mind if I have another?"
This was going better than I thought, Mustang mused. However getting Edward drunk and having him pass out before the fun began was not a part of the plan. Mustang got Edward as far as sitting on the bed before he went to retrieve the bottle and their glasses. He poured a splash for Edward and handed it to him. Mustang shook his head in disbelief as Edward downed that glassful too.
"You are supposed to savor it, not slug it back like you're doing shots," Mustang corrected him.
"Well, I'm not used to savoring. When the guys get together to do drinking its either shots or doing shotguns," Edward explained. When he saw the rather perturbed look on the Colonels face he added quickly, "I never got drunk, I swear. I'm dangerous enough sober. I know better than to get myself totally tanked. I might freak out and level the city!"
"Its good when a man knows his limitations," Mustang allowed.
"True, and mine is actually lower than normal because of this," he said indicating his Auto-mail limbs. "So I have to be careful."
"So, Mister Elric, you drink when you are off duty. Do you smoke and wench too?"
"Actually you smoke AFTER you wench," Edward pointed out and added quickly before Mustang could interject a thought, "But I don't do either. Smoking is unhealthy and, well, I won't be legal for another two years."
"That matters to you? Being legal?"
"Um, no, but I don't want someone's good time to become their jail time. I am not a heartless bastard, unlike some people I know."
The crack wasn't lost on Mustang who joined Edward on the edge of the bed. "I do have a heart," he defended. He gently caressed the back of Edward's neck under the braid adding, "It's just gets misplaced every now and again."
Edward looked up at him and was surprised when Roy's hand gently caught his upturned face by the chin and the Colonel kissed him full on the mouth. Edward was speechless. Mustang smiled inwardly as he realized he had gotten what he desired; the Fullmetal Alchemist to be stunned silent. When Edward tried to open his mouth to protest, Mustang took this as an invitation and slipped his tongue into the boy's open mouth.
Mustang took advantage of Edward's shock and gently eased him down on to the bed. Edward lay there on his back too surprised to do anything while Mustang slipped his hand beneath the boy's shirt and began to explore the supple hard body. Edward was a magnificent piece of work. There was not an ounce of fat on him and he smiled inwardly as the muscles beneath his roaming hand quivered under his touch.
When Mustang began tracing the sensitive seam on Edward's chest where Auto-mail met flesh, Edward broke free of his lips and let out a long moan of pleasure. Edward's leather pants were getting very tight and uncomfortable in a very sensitive area. Mustang let his hand continue to trace its path downward and when it connected with the straining bulge between Edward's legs the young Alchemist sat up like a shot from a cannon.
"No!" Edward cried his face flushed and breathing hard from the intense sexual tension.
"There is no refusing, Edward," Mustang told him as he tried to get him back down on the bed. "I won you fair and square."
"THIS wasn't part of the agreement!" Edward protested.
"Yes it was. Nothing endangering or illegal-"
"This IS illegal! I'm young enough to be your son!"
"If you are old enough to fight and die for your country, you are old enough to do THIS," Mustang stated as he cupped Edward's straining erection.
Edward gasped as his brain and body suddenly separated. He no longer had control of anything that was going on beneath his belt. Edward lay on his back and allowed himself to be sensuously stripped of all his clothing. Mustang had somewhere along the line shed his uniform but Edward had been too preoccupied with the startling sensations coming from all over his body to notice.
He could see why Mustang had such a bad reputation. He was GOOD at this. Edward had never felt anything so wonderful in his entire life. Every one of his nerve endings was tingling. Wherever Mustang touched him felt like a warm breeze was caressing it. He lay on his back with his eyes closed floating on a cloud enjoying the sensations Mustang's ministrations were giving him. His whole body was on fire and the sweat on his chest gave it a light sheen in the candlelight illuminating the room.
Although many people would turned off by Edward's prosthetics, they didn't bother Mustang in the least. If anything, they made the young Alchemist all the more exotic. While Edward lay there on the bed feeling warm and comfortable, Mustang reached into his dresser drawer for something to make their encounter more pleasant for Edward. Edward heard the drawer open and close and he rolled over onto his side to see what Mustang was doing.
He saw the tube of K-Y and knew what Mustang had in mind. Edward got a little pale. He wasn't sure if he should risk losing face and admit he was a complete virgin or act as though he knew this was coming all along.
Edward opted for the first choice.
"Look, Colonel, I've…never done anything like this before," Edward admitted.
"What? Been with a man?"
Mustang looked up at him. "Really?" He leered at Edward remarking, "Looking like THAT I find it hard to believe you're a virgin Edward."
Edward blushed. He never thought of himself as attractive. He sat up and shoved his Auto-mail hand in Mustang's face demanding, "You find THIS a turn on?"
Mustang took the hand saying, "Yes, but only because its attached to the rest of you."
Edward was stunned. Mustang's statement knocked all the wind out of his sails. In a quiet tone he asked, "How long have you felt this way about me?"
"A lot longer than was either right or proper," Mustang admitted.
Edward looked away. His feeling for Mustang had always wavered between grudging acceptance to outright contempt. When he first joined Mustang's unit, he thought the Colonel merely tolerated his presence because of his Alchemical skills and ability to solve difficult problems. The fact that he might actually LIKE him didn't occur to Edward until he had been under Mustang's command for a while. Edward was smart enough to know skill and savvy would not be enough to let you slide when it came to rule breaking. He was able to slide under the radar because the Colonel LET him.
And he let him because he liked him.
Mustang joined Edward on the bed. He embraced the young Alchemist saying, "You are a rare find Edward Elric."
Edward smiled slightly saying, "Guess I'm a huge jump from your usual bedtime fare."
Mustang looked at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Up until now I had you pegged as the hole and a heartbeat kind of guy. Its nice to see you actually enjoy being with a lover who is capable of forming complete sentences."
Mustang glared at him. "I do respect your mind Fullmetal but it's your BODY I won in this challenge. So, its time for me to shut you up."
Before Edward could reply Mustang silenced him with a searing kiss shoving him roughly back on the bed. Edward was soon pinned beneath his weight once again succumbing to the power of Mustang's seductive charms. Edward's innocence was his undoing. He had no way to force his mind to command his body to stop desiring the feel of Mustang's touch. The skilled hands relaxed him so much that he was not as shocked and in pain as one would expect a first timer to be.
The shock of being entered hard and fast made Edward gasp and the initial wave of pain gave way to exquisite waves of pleasure. Mustang was enjoying the sound of Edward's voice as the boy moaned his pleasure in his ear. This was the only noise he wanted to hear out of the young Alchemist for the rest of the evening. Edward may be a virgin but his body seemed to know just what to do in response to the motion going on within it. Mustang was feeling himself getting clenched at all the right moments and he couldn't remember ever being with anyone who made him feel this good.
Mustang paused from his own pleasurable pursuits to tend to his lover's needs. Edward was too lost in the moment to take care of himself and it pleased Mustang to see he had this effect on Edward. His skilled hands working over Edward's tense flesh made the youth cry out and his metal hand was digging into the covers beneath it so hard it was starting to tear. Mustang carefully orchestrated the moment so that both he and Edward would achieve ecstasy at almost the same moment.
Edward's whole body tensed like a rod of steel for the split second he climaxed and then his whole body went to jelly. While he lay there unable to move a moan of pleasure escaped his lips when he felt Mustang's own climax fill him with its warmth. When his body relaxed, Mustang slipped out of Edward and he joined him on the bed-stretching out beside him tracing the lines Edward's hard muscles etched into his chest and abdomen.
Once the feeling began to return to his legs Edward said, "I need a shower."
Roy kissed him. "You can have one if you can make it there under your own power."
"It's the cowboy who breaks the horse, not the other way around Mustang," Edward remarked as he got off the bed.
"You don't have what it takes to break me, Edward Elric."
"Oh? If it wasn't for that rule against damaging government property-"
Roy shut him up by smacking him sharply on the ass. "Go take your shower," he ordered.
Edward gave him a very mocking salute saying, "Yes sir, Colonel sir!" before dashing off into the bathroom before Mustang could take another swipe at his bottom.
Mustang was beginning to wonder if he had made a mistake. Edward Elric was always a handful. The boy was brilliant but sometimes he was too smart for his own good. He was also a subordinate, which was going to make having a relationship with him tricky. He knew he wouldn't have to worry about Edward being discreet. Mustang seriously doubted their encounter was going to suddenly turn Edward into a cooperative respectful little soldier. If anything, this whole affair was going to make him even more of a pain in the ass.
Mustang took a long pull from his glass of Scotch and then went into the kitchen to clean himself up. All that physical activity made him hungry, so he opened up the refrigerator in search of a snack. Lots of leftover take-out foot containers of varying ages stared him in the face. He began going through them one by one dumping the stuff that was obviously inedible and setting aside on the counter the possible choices.
When Edward came out of the bathroom still rubbing dry his long blond hair, he noticed Mustang was gone. Guess I wore the old man out, Edward though to himself smiling smugly. He found his clothing and proceeded to dress and arrange his hair back into its neat braid that covered the nape of his neck. Once he was clothed he left the bedroom to see if Mustang was still there or not.
He found the Colonel still naked standing in the kitchen going through boxes of miscellaneous take-out food. "Don't you know how to cook?" queried Edward.
"Sort of," Mustang replied. "But I rarely have time for that."
Edward examined a few of the boxes, "Is all of this Chinese or do you actually eat something that doesn't consist of meat and rice."
"Wu Fei's is the only place open late at night," Mustang told him. "Besides, it's a lot better than what's available on base."
"Look, convicted felons eat better than we do," Edward remarked as he scanned the contents of the refrigerator. Some of the food looked like it had been there a LONG time. He helped himself to a set of chopsticks and one of the fresher looking boxes containing meat, rice and bits of broccoli. ""You know, it's a good idea to toss out the old stuff BEFORE it gains sentience. I don't like beef and broccoli that complains about being consumed.""
Edward proceeded to stuff his face and Mustang watched him in mild amusement. "Worked up an appetite I see," the Colonel commented.
Edward noticed Mustang had also taken up one of the food containers and he replied, "I see I'm not the only one who gets hungry after exercise."
Mustang made no comment but instead began to eat his own box of leftovers. He was mildly disappointed to see Edward back in his usual black suit. He had been secretly hoping to see Edward standing before him dripping and clad in nothing but a towel and a smile. However that was asking a lot of his unimaginative young lover. Edward would need to be schooled in what to do to make a lover get hot and bothered. Being an Adonis just wasn't enough. He would have to learn to work what he had.
Edward tossed out the empty box into the trash saying, "I have to go. There is a stack in my inbox almost as tall as I am and DON'T YOU DARE SAY THAT ITS NOT MUCH!" The heated ending to his declaration made Mustang grin. "I have a load of work to do and a commanding officer who likes things done in a timely fashion."
"I think your commanding officer might let you slide this time," Mustang said giving him a knowing smile.
Edward caught the hint but shook his head saying, "I really shouldn't. We still have to work together, remember?"
"So…you LIKED it?"
Edward was still naive enough to blush. "Yes," he admitted softly.
Mustang reached out and caressed Edward's check. The skin beneath his hand was soft and inviting. "We could get together again sometime," he suggested quietly.
"I don't know. Office romances-"
"Don't work out, I know." Mustang finished for him. "We'll just have to play this one by ear."
Edward grinned and his gold eyes were pure mischief when he said, "Don't think because you're screwing me that I'm going to ease up on you."
Mustang chuckled softly and taking Edward in his arms he replied, "I wouldn't have it any other way…"
I hope you all enjoyed this bit of fluff.
Author note - If you noticed, any "cussing" the characters did were not words we use in our language. This was done because Amestris is NOT America so they would have their own swear words. I think its obvious though what their cusses translate to in English. If not, email me and I'll be happy to translate!