Title: What's the Meaning of This?

Author: Seraphim Grace
Archive: if you want it ask, I just like to know where they are. Always appreciated and replied to.
Rating: PG

Pairings: Roy+Ed
Warnings: I have a sick sense of humour

Ed looked at the book on the shelf then rechecked the reference number. It was the right shelf so it should, by rights, be the right book, but for some reason it just didn't look like a treatise on the medical applications of water. Al wasn't allowed in the First Branch library because he wasn't a state alchemist and there was even times that Ed had to bellow and shout to get let in himself, though he spent so much time there you'd think that they'd know him. He was half convinced it was a cunning plan by the Taisa to annoy him. The taisa seemed to take an unhealthy amount of enjoyment in annoying him. He didn't put it past him to calmly inform the guards at the gate that a certain blonde state alchemist wasn't allowed in the library until he flashed his watch. He couldn't imagine it was because he was the youngest state alchemist in Amestris' history and certainly didn't look like he was a dog of the military.

He pulled the book down and slapped it on the desk. It was a very nice book; it just didn't look like a textbook. Most of the really good books here had linen binding and were well thumbed, and this book looked brand new and had a beautiful leather cover embossed with what appeared to be a mermaid chimera twisting through it's own tail which covered her bosoms.

Ten minutes later he burst into headquarters looking for all the world like there was a homunculus on his tail clutching the book. He was red faced, he had lost his red duster somewhere along the way, Al would find it, he always did, and clothes-lined Hawkeye on his way past, something that drew gasps of astonishment from everyone else and burst into Roy's office.

Roy would have liked people to believe that he was doing paperwork, and he was, of a sort, he had folded several important looking pieces of paper into a small zoo and was proceeding to play with it. He looked up at Ed when he burst in rather surprised. "I hope this is a short visit." He said brightly moving his lions behind the pile of paperwork and hoping that fullmetal would be so distracted by the comment that he wouldn't notice them. Fullmetal didn't react.

Ed slammed the book down on the table, "What is the meaning of this?"

"Not everything that goes on in Central is my fault, you know." Roy said, moving the giraffe behind his coffee mug.

"No," Ed repeated as if he was talking to a small child, "what is the meaning of this?" He opened the book.

Roy looked at him, then the book, then the book some more, then he turned a page. "Ah," he said. "Well," he added after what he felt was a suitable pause. "Perhaps Hawkeye can explain better than I can."

"Look you bastard colonel, you can explain this to me, or, I'll, I'll." Roy thought he looked rather cute like that, he looked like a toddle about to explode into a huge tantrum. It was adorable really. "I'll..."

"Calm down, fullmetal, take a seat, I'll get the coffee, because this is going to take a while."

"So," Havoc said, sidling up to Roy where he was pouring two cups of coffee, he made sure to half fill one with sugar, he didn't bother with the spoon and just poured it straight from the bowl into the cup. "What is it this time?"

"He found a book," Roy answered calmly, "he didn't understand it, he just wanted someone to explain it to him."

"Really, is that all?" Havoc asked, chewing on his cigarette.

"you didn't see the book." Roy told him, "I have confiscated it."

There was a short silence, then Havoc went "oh," as he understood it. "And he's what, fourteen now?"

"Fifteen." Roy corrected.

"And no oneā€¦" Havoc left it open.

"Obviously not." Roy told him. "Where's Hughes when you need him?"

"Third floor, boss." Havoc answered as Roy glared at him carrying both cups of coffee.

"Fullmetal." Roy said to the boy sitting on his couch as he handed him the coffee. "I realise that you are at an age when certain things are happening." He looked for the words, hoping possibly that the window might help, by now Havoc would have told Hawkeye so the door was not a viable escape route. "You're getting strange urges, hair is showing up in new places, and I understand you need someone to talk about with this, and I'm honoured you chose me, no really." A pair of golden eyes widened in confusion, "you see it's all part of growing up."


"No one is saying anything, Fullmetal, this is all perfectly natural, it's normal to be curious." Ed's eyes were almost as big as his head now. "And with curiosity comes questions, I'm sure that's why you bought the book." Ed was now making choking sounds. "And I hope I can answer your questions." He paused, and drank some coffee. "You see when a boy gets to a certain age, and there's a girl he likes, he and she might start talking and go on a few dates and then, after they're married."

"You're not married." Ed pointed out.

"Yes, well after they're married, when they love each other very much then."

"Colouel, where are you going with this?"

"This isn't easy, Edward, do you mind if I call you Edward?" He put his cup down on the table, "it's very warm in here, don't you think?" Ed shook his head, "you see when they love each other very much."

"Colonel." Ed said, "What on Amestris are you on about?"

Roy decided to take a different tack, "in the spring all the sheep and cows have babies you see because when a mummy cow and a daddy cow."

"A bull," Edward interrupted.

"Okay a bull, when they love each other very much."

"I appreciate the effort here, colonel, but I don't understand what cows have to do with this?"

Roy lowered his face into his hands. Surely the boy couldn't be this dense. After a while and a deep breath he lifted his head. "Edward, if you had questions, why didn't you just come to me or Hughes instead of buying that book, though if I find out who sold it to you I'll have his shop. Selling things like that to an underage boy."

"Colonel." Ed repeated, "you're not listening, what is the meaning of a book like that?" he gave the volume a rather dirty look, in fact it should have made the rather glossy and beautifully illustrated book spontaneously combust. It didn't.

"Well, sometimes daddies don't like mummies, they prefer other daddies." He said exhaling, "and when the daddy that they really really love and are married to," he was quite adamant on that, "are away they use books like that to look at so they can remember." Roy put his hand on Ed's shoulder, "Edward, had you come to me we could have gotten you some more varied material so you could see where your preferences lie."

"Now you're trying to take me out to buy porn?" Ed asked, "I just wanted to know what a book like that was doing in the library, I thought you'd done it."

Roy sat back and blinked, then he blinked some more, finally he gaped like a fish. "You mean you didn't buy the Illustrated Boy Love Compendium volume 4 currently sitting on my desk?"

"No," Ed continued, "I found it in the first branch library, I wanted to ask you why it was there."

"So you know about."

Ed smirked, "Mummies and Daddies?" He asked, "I grew up in the country." He added with a smile, "I know all about daddies and daddies too."

Roy decided in that moment that being Fuhrer wasn't his dearest wish as much as for the ground to open up and swallow him. After a few seconds where his goldfish impression got much practice he opened his mouth, "so," he said, "you don't prefer men?" He didn't know where that question came from.

Ed just smiled and sashayed out of the office, making sure to pick up the Illustrated Boy Love Compendium volume 4 on his way out.