Cephied Variable

He did it on purpose, that bastard. There was no way he didn't realize what he was doing- the way he twirled his pen between long, pale fingers almost carelessly; those sly, sidelong glances; the way his bangs fell just so whenever he tipped his head. It was all a carefully arranged act. It had to be- there was no way anyone could be that perfect all of the time. And, oh, he was so good at it- so innocently unaware.of how attractive he was. All those women just fell into his lap, of course, it's not like he ever intentionally seduced any of his subordinates' girlfriends. It was all a big misunderstanding!

It was enough to make Ed sick.

Edward Elric knew that one day, girls would happen. He'd been raised around women- his mother, Auntie Pinako, Winry and his teacher- but he knew that one day he would wake up, look in the mirror and suddenly see women in a completely different light. Eyes, lips and hair would cease to be simply physical features and become objects of admiration. Breasts would become relevant. This happened to all young men at some point in their life without fail, like clockwork. It was science, after all, and science was the one truly reliable creed in an unreliable world.

Edward knew that one day he would very abruptly become attracted to women. And he was prepared... to ignore it. He had better things to do with his brain than dedicate a good chunk of it to pondering the beauty of the fairer sex. He was a scientist, a researcher, a man (well, close enough to a man anyways) with a mission. He took all the necessary precautions- he never gave any girl a second thought (women were safe- most of the ones he met reminded him of his mother in some way, manner or form. Which was a major turn off.) and he reminded himself time and time again that if he should ever feel some inkling of impure attraction to Winry, to remember that she was practically his sister and kissing her would be somewhat akin to kissing Al (not to mention she'd probably eviscerate him with a wrench if he ever attempted anything like that).

He had thought that he was reasonably safe from the fatal pitfall of biological attraction until nature decided to blindside him with the most unforseen situation. It wasn't the fact that he was attracted to men that Edward had a hard time accepting. This happened once in a while and, as far as Ed was concerned, it was for the better anyways since it meant that he never had to deal with the messy issue of girls. No, no, the problem here was that he was attracted to a man.

It was no fault of his own, of course. See, this man also happened to be an absolute bastard who really, honestly had to know what he was doing. It was painfully obvious- Ed couldn't stop fidgiting. He was drumming his fingers across the arm of the couch and tapping his right foot to the rapid flutter of his heart as he eyes darted around the room nervously trying desperately to avoid those eyes.

"If this report is correct, Fullmetal..." he drawled elegantly, his voice all dark disapproval underlined with silky amusment.

Dark? Silk? Just... no. Edward pressed his eyes closed and took a deep breath before meeting the Colonel's eyes. The man had one eyebrow cocked and was dangling a piece of paper precariously between his thumb and forefinger. Ed 'hmmed' under his breath and drummed his fingers harder.

"I am led to believe that in order to secure a rogue alchemist, you collapsed their city hall."

Oh, he was trying to sound angry. And not doing a very good job at it either- Ed knew, knew, knew that he was laughing inside and that just made it worse, "I trapped him in the building, sir, so that he couldn't escape."

The Colonel let the paper slip from his fingers and flutter to the desk where it landed smoothly on top of Ed's own report, "You weakened the structural integrity so that the entire building fell on top of him." he picked up his pen again and began twirling it. Ed could have murdered him on the spot.

"It worked, didn't it?" he asked through gritted teeth, eyes fixed on the mesmerizing movement of the pen between the Colonel's fingers.

"That hall was a very important historical relic to the people of that town."

Ed tore his eyes away from the pen and fixed the Colonel with a haugty glare, "Hey, I re-transmuted it!"

"Yes, Fullmetal." the Colonel stopped the movement of the pen and leaned forwards in his chair, threading his fingers together under his chin, "But you transmuted all of the rooms into the wrong places."

"Eh," Ed shrugged, falling back into the couch, attempting to appear relaxed even tough he was so tense you could have played lute on his tendons, "Same difference."

"Not exactly," and now he started with that smirk, "To the people living in that town, this is a great tradgedy." That smirk was condescending- the bastard always looked like he was laughing at some inside joke that nobody else was in on. Ed hated that smirk. It was so... so... tantalizing.

Tantalizing? Tantalizing? Now that one was just disgusting.

"What do you want me to do about it?" he demanded, crossing his arms over his chest. He tried not to pout- pouting was for children and the last thing Ed wanted to do was look like a child. Especially..., "What's done is done. It's not exactly like I can waltz back in, destroy the hall again and rebuild it according to their specifications."

"No." the Colonel agreed slowly, "You can't."

And that was it. Ed blinked and waited for him to add something else, something along the lines of: 'Oh, Fullmetal, whatever am I going to do with you?'. They stared each other down for a long, silent moment before the Colonel eased back his chair and sighed.

"Oh, Fullmetal," he muttered predictably, "What am I going to do with you?" he unthreaded his fingers and for a moment Ed feared that he would start that damn twirling again. Instead, he began to swing the pen back and forth, back and forth like a pendelum, "I know that you and your brother have a mission, but sometimes I honestly believe that you might benefit from staying in the city for a month or so. You could," he continued, eyeing Ed from underneath drooping eyelids, "Stay, using the excuse of studying alchemy under me. Of course, I'm certain there's not much I could teach you that you don't already know, however it might do you good to learn a little," and he tapped the pen against his wrist three times, "Military restraint."

Ed felt his chest go all tight and he really wished that the Colonel would stop moving his hands so much. And he wished that he wouldn't just let his long fingers dangle in the air like that. In the end, Ed wished that the Colonel didn't have hands period because even lying them prone on the desk was distracting. He didn't understand it, but the way those hands moved through the air and against the desk surface caused Ed's breath to catch in his throat as he wondered and wished for things that he couldn't really comprehend.

He shifted in his seat, propping his ankle up on his knee and folding his arms behind his head. Oh yes, he was the paragon of restraint, the Colonel just didn't know it yet, "I'd really rather just have sex with you."

Ed jumped when he heard the dull 'thunk' of the Colonel's pen hitting the desk surface and he was met with the sight of Roy Mustang looking, for once in his life, like a dumbfounded moron with his mouth hanging open and his eyes wide as saucers.

It took Ed a few seconds of mental invetory to realize what he had said. He froze and stared blankly at the Colonel who stared back, equally as blank. He had really meant to say: "I'd rather just punch you in the face."

"W-what did you just say, Fullmetal?" the Colonel asked shakily, slowly reaching out to brace himself on the edge of his desk.

It took Ed a moment to register it, but once he did, he forced himself back into a relaxed pose. This situation was savalgable, "I-I said." he cleared his throat and tried on his best 'aggressive' voice, "I said that I would rather just punch you in the face, you bastard."

Roy nodded slowly, "Okay. That's what I thought." he gathered the scattered papers on his desk and began piling them uniformly, "On second thought, perhaps it would be best if you continued to work out in the field." he looked solemnly at Ed one more time, his expression unreadable, before flipping the papers and tapping them against the desk into a neat, even pile, "After all, you do your best work when you're 'over the hills and far... far, far, far away'. So to speak." a pause, "Ah, Fullmetal, let's just forget I said anything in the first place, okay?"

Ed nodded dumbly; disgusted because he had just realized that Roy Mustang honestly had no idea how irritatingly sensual he was ninety-nine percent of the time, and horrified because he had decided (against his will, assuredly) that this just made him ninety-nine percent more attractive.

Ed also decided that once he was dismissed, he would go find himself a nice, hard brick wall to beat his head against for a few hours.