Male Bonding

Jean Havoc shifted the report in his hands as he walked down the hall. That was one thing he didn't like about his job—having to write up weekly reports; though he had to admit that he was glad he wasn't the one receiving the reports.

When he turned the corner, Jean saw three of his co-workers standing near Colonel Mustang's door with their ears pressed to it. Giving them a bemused look, Jean hurried over to the door.

"Wha—" he began but all three of them pressed their fingers to their lips and pointed toward the door. Curious, Jean pressed his own ear against it.

"Here, take a look at this one, Ed," Jean heard Colonel Mustang say.

"Oooooh, nice!" Ed exclaimed, sounding excited.

There was a moment of silence, then, "I love the curves on that one," the colonel said, and Jean could hear the grin in the man's voice. He pulled his head away from the door, looked at Heymans Breda and raised his eyebrow with an amused smile.

The redheaded man shrugged and grinned broadly. They'd all figured this would eventually happen. They all knew about the colonel's stash of girly magazines in his desk. They'd all borrowed them from him at one time or another.

Jean wondered just how long Mustang had been letting Ed look at them. He couldn't think it would have been very long, since Ed was barely fifteen now. The kid had never really showed an interest in girls before, but Jean guessed that it had just been his age. Couldn't stay away from girls and sex forever though.

Pressing his ear against the door again, Jean thought with a small chuckle that their little Fullmetal Alchemist was growing up. It was sort of sweet—in a perverted sort of way—that the colonel and the kid were bonding like this.

"What do you think of this one?" he heard Ed ask eagerly.

"That one is one of my favorites, actually," the colonel responded.

"Can I borrow it?" the kid practically begged.

There was a pause, then a reluctant, "Well..." Another pause, and Havoc could imagine Ed giving him some sort of pleading look. "Alright. I suppose you're man enough to handle that." Jean nearly burst out laughing at that, but kept himself quiet with an effort.

"Oh, hey, you want to see something really sexy?" Mustang asked all of a sudden.

Jean never heard Ed's reply because at that moment, Riza Hawkeye began walking down the hall toward them, report in hand. They all moved quickly away from the door, but they didn't escape her glare.

When she stepped toward the door and rested her hand on the knob, Kain Fuery said hesitantly, "Um... Lieutenant, I don't know that I'd..." But it was too late. She opened the door and boldly walked into the room.

The other officers looked at each other, then quickly followed after her. When he stepped into the office, Jean stopped short at the scene before him. Ed was sitting on the couch with a stack of thick books resting on his lap, and the coffee table in front of him was littered with papers showing different circles that he knew had to do with alchemy.

Colonel Mustang was standing beside a blackboard, chalk in hand, drawing an array. The chalkboard was filled with mathematical formulas, graphs, and alchemy arrays. He didn't look bothered at all by their entrance.

"Go ahead and leave your reports on my desk," the colonel said absently, without turning to look at them. When he was done with the array, Mustang turned and looked at Ed with a grin. "What do you think?" he asked the teen on his couch.

Ed stood up, walked to the chalkboard and eyed the array with an impressed look on his face. "Wow, you're right, that is sexy!"

Jean glanced at the others as he set his report on the desk. Alchemy? Sexy? What the hell? Leaving the office, the four men stared at each other, unsure what to say about what they'd just witnessed. Behind them, Hawkeye shut the door to the office and gave them a bemused look.

"What?" Jean asked defensively. It was obvious that she knew what they'd thought was going on in there.

She shook her head as a smile crept over her face. "I think the four of you have a lot to learn about alchemists," she said simply before leaving them in their collective confusion.

(This has nothing to do with the story, but: Happy Independence Day to my readers in the U.S. Have a safe and fun holiday.)


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