A/N: Okay, this started during a 6am conversation with my friend Ducky on the way to work this morning. I made a joke about a possible scene that –could've- been, and he dared me to write it. It's a bit of TWT, and a little off on the cannon, but it was a fun story. One shot. In other words, this one is complete as you see it.
Maybe one day, I'll write something where Havoc really does get the girl.
Never Gamble with More
Than You Can Afford to Lose
It was good advice that Sergeant Major Fuery never failed to ignore. But then, this particular betting pool had been running for so long, tossing his paycheck in had become habit. More often than not, he ended up starving for the next month because of it. At least until First Lieutenant Hawkeye took pity on him, and bought him dinner. Mind you, she never came right out and announced she would do it, he'd just suddenly find take-out in front of him, and not a word was said.
The times he did win, the pot was shared between other people in the office. It was hard for it not to be, there were only two people being bet on.
Who would get the girl this time? Havoc or Mustang? Fuery always bet on Havoc; more out of loyalty to his friend, than any real belief that the Second Lieutenant would emerge victorious. Which was why Fuery tended to starve most of the time.
It really was a sucker bet most of the time. Havoc didn't stand a chance against his commanding officer. Colonel Roy Mustang had cultivated exactly the right image and attitude that the women seemed to like most. He had rank, power, the Alchemist Mystique, and he had those hooded eyes that made him exotic and mysterious. It made the women want to figure out what made him tick.
Jean Havoc, on the other hand, was open, and easy to figure out most of the time. He was like the boy-next-door. If the boy next door lived on the wrong side of the tracks, that is.
Havoc's luck wasn't always bad, though. With the exception of that one really bad spell, where even Major Armstrong's sister rejected the guy, he didn't always do so badly. Of course, most of those women, Mustang had little interest in. Fuery sometimes wondered if the Colonel just made some small effort because it was expected that he'd at least try.
It had always been either-or in this pool. Mustang or Havoc.
Even today. It was payday, and the pool was open. There was a new waitress down at the local tavern they all liked to unwind at, and the odds were running 5 to 1 in Mustang's favor. Rumour had it, that she was quite intelligent, and had a lot more attitude than the average woman in the secretarial pool. Fuery had even heard that she'd bounced General Hakuro out one night, when he got a little too grabby.
Of course, he'd missed it that night. It was another month of starving for Sergeant Major Cain Fuery.
This time though, there were side bets going on, as well. It wasn't just who'd get the girl that night, but how soon, who got bounced, and if a fight would actually break out. Seemed that the new waitress caught Mustang's eye because of her brains, Havoc's because of her feisty nature, and both of them were practically drooling over the fact that the woman's body just screamed 'sex'. Those two were going to compete hard tonight.
For the past week, Fuery had listened to office gossip, picked out the salient points, and tallied them up. And it was with a bit of reluctance, and a lot of guilt that this time, he decided not to bet on Havoc.
"Fuery, are you out of your mind?" Breda asked when he placed his bet.
Hawkeye raised a brow and crossed her arms. "Cain, maybe you should rethink that bet. You know you can't win it."
Fuery grinned, and blushed a little. "I don't know," he said softly. "I think it's the right choice."
The Lieutenant sighed, and shook her head. "If you insist. But fair warning, if you lose, I'm not feeding you this month."
"Yes Sir. I understand," Fuery said as he pulled on his coat. He was eagerly looking forward to tonight. Not only was Mustang footing the bill for the entire office (and Fuery was famished), but it was a celebration, as well. The Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric, was reaching the age of majority.
Of course, that little tidbit was cause for a whole other set of side bets; namely, just how many beers it would take before the diminutive alchemist would have to be poured into a cab to take him home. Then there was the bet that he'd not even get the first beer down before he was bounced for going ballistic on someone for making a 'short' joke.
The whole office went as a group; off the base, and down the road to the tavern. They trudged through the melting slush of an unseasonably warm winter day, under dark, heavy clouds. It was too warm to snow again, and they all figured it was going to rain buckets before the night was through.
Mustang had reserved the private dining room, and had even ordered the meal. All of Ed's favorites, of course. Well, not all of them; that would probably clear the kitchen of any food they had, but a lot of his favorites. The hostess had led them all in, and it was all set up very nicely, which was in sharp contrast to the casual atmosphere of the main room. They had barely gotten set down, when the waitress came to take their drink orders. Fuery was hardly surprised that it was the waitress in question. In fact, he was fairly certain the Colonel had requested her specifically.
Both Havoc and Mustang started out strong, too. He had to give them points for smoothness. But the waitress wasn't taking the bait from either of them… yet. Of course, the evening had just started. Fuery knew that neither man had pulled out the big guns yet.
Along about 30 minutes later, the group was beginning to wonder where the guest of honor was, and bets were made on whether he'd gotten so engrossed in research at the library, that he just plain forgot. The Central Library wouldn't close for another hour, though, and it was decided that if Fullmetal didn't show up soon after that, a search party would be sent to fetch him. He was not going to be allowed to miss his eighteenth birthday.
The waitress had returned with more drinks, and to ask if she should get the cook to start dinner. The Colonel told her to give it 30 more minutes. At that moment, though, the hostess came in with a look somewhere between outrage, and hilarity, and mentioned there was someone who claimed to know them, and that he was supposed to be there. But, she added, he didn't look old enough.
No one needed any more details than that to know that their guest of honor had finally arrived.
The hostess stepped out, and returned a moment later with Edward in tow. The boy… well, man; legally now… was fit to be tied, and it was only with very tightly controlled restraint that he didn't explode right then and there.
As soon as she stepped out, however, he grabbed the front of Mustang's shirt and growled, "You think next time you could pick a place where I won't get carded?"
The waitress came up behind him, and set a drink on the table. Fuery could see the spark of mischief in her eyes, as she said, "You mean someplace other than the kiddie park will let you in without asking for ID?"
Edward sputtered and spun, as he said, "WHO'RE YOU CALLING SO SMA—" And that was when he came nose to chest with her. His eyes widened in an attempt to take in all the cleavage spilling out over the top of her bodice, and the furious blush crawled up from his neck to his face, even turning the part in his hair bright red.
Snickers were heard all around, as she leaned down, and his eyes followed the descent of that generous cleavage. She chucked him under the chin, and tilted his face up. "My eyes are up here, handsome," she said.
Fullmetal, who had never been at a loss for words in his life, could only manage a squeak.
The evening had officially begun, and it was off to a rousing start.
The food was plentiful, the drinks flowed, and the flirting was intense between Mustang and Havoc. But the waitress seemed impervious to their attempts. She was warm and friendly, and flirted back, but it wasn't serious. She seemed more interested in listening to their stories. Fullmetal's, in particular.
Eventually, it was discovered, that she was dabbling in a little alchemy, herself, when Breda complained good-naturedly that his beer mug wasn't frosted. She fingered the condensation on the mug, and drew a simple transmutation circle. Then she touched it, and the glass became frosty as if it had just been taken off the ice.
Mustang cocked a brow. "I didn't know you knew any alchemy," he said.
She smirked. "Why should you? I'm just waiting tables here, Colonel." That was when she explained she was working there to pay her way through university, and her major was actually agricultural alchemy.
From that moment, the conversation was dominated by Mustang and Fullmetal, as they discussed theories and practices with her. She kept up with both of them magnificently, and even managed to get into a heated debate with Edward on some obscure theory.
It was clear she was looking for ways to get under the boy's skin too, as she would shoot off little barbs that would lightly insult his school of thought. Amazingly enough… or perhaps it was the mellowing that a few good beers could cause, he took it all in stride, and got off a few well-aimed rounds of his own.
That is, until she said, "Oh, please! You're so far off on that, you need to stand on a stool to reach the right point."
Fullmetal jumped to his feet, and balled his fists stiffly at his sides. "WHO'RE YOU CALLING SO SMALL HE HAS TO STAND ON A LADDER TO SEE OVER THE EDGE OF A BOOK?"
She just calmly raised a brow, and said, "Careful there. You don't want to hurt yourself." Then she leaned in close, and pinned him with an intense look. "And you definitely don't want me to hurt you."
Fuery wondered if he was the only one who thought there were several different levels to that threat.
Edward shook a finger at her, and opened his mouth, but no sound game out. He closed his eyes, and pinched his nose, then tried again. Still, nothing came out.
For the second time that night, the waitress had rendered him speechless. It was impressive, and would be a moment to go down in history.
Eventually, the barkeep had to come in and roust them all out. The tavern had closed an hour before, and they were the last people left.
As they all gathered in the foyer to don their coats, the waitress came in, grabbed her own, and stopped to look at Edward. "I understand today is your birthday, Mr. Fullmetal Alchemist."
He froze with one arm in the sleeve of his red coat, and looked at her oddly. "Yeah. What about it?"
She smiled and said, "Well, I think you deserve a gift. After all, you only turn eighteen once."
A hint of red touched his cheeks, and he said, "Heh. Thanks. But it's okay."
"Nonsense." She leaned down, and planted a kiss on his lips. This was no light peck, but a rather long one. When she let him back up for air, he was stunned, but the expected knee-buckling didn't occur. Instead, a wicked grin crawled slowly across his face.
The rain suddenly decided to come down in sheets, and Breda said, "Damn, it's not fit for man, nor beast out there."
Edward glanced out the door, then back at the waitress. "It's pretty late. Should you be walking home by yourself?"
She smiled warmly and said, "Are you offering to walk me home, Edward Elric?"
He blushed furiously, and ducked his head. An instant later, he looked back up at her with a little more confidence, and said, "Yeah. If you'd like."
"I'd like that very much. Thank you."
They pulled their hoods up, and then Edward offered her his arm in a most gentlemanly manner. Then they were gone.
The rest of the group just stared.
Except for Cain Fuery, who grinned because he was going to be eating very well this month.