1"I don't care what you say! I never have! I have other objectives than obeying you!"

"Major Elric! Get your ass back here!"

Stopped dead in his tracks, the young blonde slowly turned. "What... the hell... did you just call me?" he asked, a murderous look in his golden eyes.

The colonel seriously considered a smirk, but this was not the time. He could gloat later. "Were you unaware that was your title around here?" Mustang challenged him. "You are a part of this military. You joined of your own free will. And you are able to look for the Philosopher's Stone with your brother when you DON'T HAVE ORDERS TO FOLLOW!" The brunette stopped a moment, almost catching his breath. "If you don't want or are unwilling to do what I have told you, leave your watch and get the hell out."

Ed, startled and less likely of a rampage, looked the other man dead in the eye. "You know Mustang," he said. "There's only one reason I'm not gonna take you up on that offer. I'm surprised you haven't figured it out yet, really."

"You don't hide your emotions well Fullmetal, you never have," Roy informed him. "And I'm not nearly as clueless as you think I am."

The color drained from Edward's face. "Y-You know? Then...?"

"There are other reasons I haven't called you on your feelings other than ignorance. I am your direct superior, Ed. I'd prefer not to think about what the Furher would do if he found out."

"So it'd be better if I did quit the military! Why didn't you say so?"

"Because, Edward, I think you two were finished milking government resources for all they were worth," was the calm reply.

"So you kept quiet... because we weren't done our journey yet?"


"Huh. I think I finally figured it out."

"Figured what out, Fullmetal?"

"How the hell I fell for you."

The colonel blinked in surprise, then composed himself. "Fullmetal?"


"Get the hell out before this gets anymore awkward."

Ed laughed, then bowed. "Until our next verbal assault, then," he said, and left.