Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Title: After School Special
Pairing: RoyxEd overall; will also include mentions of MaesxRoy and hints of JeanxRoy as well
Rating: PG (this chapter)
Timeline: Present AU
Summary: Principal Roy Mustang finds himself strangely drawn to the school's newest student, a quiet social outcast with a metal arm and leg...
AN: My first FMA multi-chapter fic. The idea popped into my head and I just couldn't shake it. I wonder if it's too late to just do an FMA fic for nanowrimo instead... Enjoy!
After School Special
Principal Roy Mustang walked through the empty classroom and crept into the small, adjoining office. There were ten minutes left in the lunch hour, but he wanted to position himself before the students started to arrive.
Without turning on the light, he shut the door until it was just barely open. The room had a large, two way mirror, as did each classroom in the building- something he still thought was a bit peculiar. He leaned against the desk and looked out into the classroom, feeling very much the peeping tom. Unless one of the students came barging into the office, they would not be aware of his presence for the entire duration of the class period, which was his preference. He wanted the students to act as they normally would whenever he observed the teachers for evaluations.
The door to the classroom opened and Roy, assuming it was Mr. Fuery, popped his head out of the office door to announce his presence. But instead of the teacher's somewhat childlike and bespectacled gaze, he was met with the burning amber glare of the newest senior class arrival, Edward Elric.
At first, Roy was taken aback by the glare, but he quickly realized that it was not a glare intended for him. Considering the boy had just returned from lunch, the daily social event of every high school in the world, Roy could only imagine the kind of taunting he must have endured not only today, but every day.
It was well known among the staff that the young man, while showing amazing brilliance in his studies, was a social pariah among his classmates. The cruelness of teenagers being what it was, there were a number of reasons for Ed's unpopularity: he was a bit short in stature, barely rivaling many of the girls in the school, and he wore his long blond hair in a braid, further adding to his frequent comparisons to the female form. But what the students ridiculed him about most, which infuriated Roy to an astonishing degree, was his... disability. Roy sincerely hated to use the word, even though that was how every other so-called expert chose to define it.
Ed's right arm and left leg were gone, replaced by automail. Roy had never seen anything like it before. Through conversations with the boy's teachers, he had come to learn that the students nastily referred to him as "Tin Man." Roy thought that he would happily and permanently suspend any student that he ever discovered calling him that... and furrowed his eyebrows at the strange sense of fierce overprotectiveness that overcame him. He shook off the feeling and returned his attention to the matter at hand.
"Hello, Edward," he said, managing to keep an authoritative tone in spite of how he must have looked, poking his head out of an empty, darkened room.
"Hi," the boy said quietly. Realizing that Roy was not a fellow student waiting to verbally attack him, he softened his glare but Roy could still see that he was very emotionally defensive- and rightfully so.
"I'm going to be doing an evaluation of Mr. Fuery," he explained.
"Okay," Ed replied with a slight shrug.
Roy stared at him for another moment, taking in the sight of his hair, his eyes, and his dingy red hooded coat, which gave him the appearance of a masculine and slightly ragged-looking Little Red Riding Hood. He regarded the young man with a small, curt smile and a nod before returning to the darkness of the office.
A bell sounded, signaling the end of the lunch period. Ed took a seat at his desk and folded his arms on the desktop, taking extra care, Roy noticed, to conceal his automail arm with his real one. Roy felt a stab in his heart and turned away from the two-way mirror, once again vowing to rain down serious world-renowned Principal Mustang vengeance on any student he caught teasing him. He then mentally reassured himself that he would do the same for any student, any student at all.
It wasn't as if Edward Elric was any exception...
"Would everyone please quiet down?"
Kain Fuery- who was decidedly less butch than the sound of his name, Roy concluded- was frantically trying to gain control of his classroom, with little success. Roy thought briefly about intervening, but decided against it. If he did, Mr. Fuery would be useless as a teacher in his school from that point forward. Any teacher who needed to rely on the principal to come to their rescue quickly gained a negative reputation and lost respect among the entire student body.
So while Fuery continued trying to take the reins of his classroom, and came progressively closer to forfeiting his pay increase, Roy found his attention wandering once again to Ed. The boy had sat studiously the entire period, reading his textbook and listening to the teacher as much as was possible through all of the noise.
A group of particularly annoying wannabe thugs, who had journeyed to and from Roy's office on multiple occasions, were talking amongst themselves and sneaking glances in Ed's direction. Roy did not like where this was going.
He didn't like it at all.
Get a handle on this, Fuery, he thought. But the bumbling man had given up trying to quiet the dissenters and instead concentrated on instructing the few studious pupils who cared to listen to him. Interesting strategy.
"Hey Tin Man! Where's Dorothy?" one of the would-be hooligans called out, prompting many of the students to snicker. Ed instinctively drew his metal arm closer to his body and stared down at his desk.
Roy felt a tightening in his chest as the first stirrings of anger began to rise within him. No student should be subjected to that kind of insensitive banter. Especially one with what was considered to be a handicap.
Cries of "Tin Man!" began to rise from the group of bullies who would soon be having an up close and personal meeting with Principal Mustang. Some of the students began to join in, while a few others had the common decency to be horrified by what was taking place.
Fuery, if you don't put a stop to this, so help me...
The cries continued. Roy's dark eyes made a mental calculation of the name of every single student participating in the debacle.
He stepped away from the desk and was about to walk into the classroom, without the least bit of sympathy or concern for Fuery's future effectiveness in the classroom. Or his future employment, for that matter...
Then everything went silent.
He glanced back through the mirror and was unsure if he should be relieved or nervous about what he was seeing.
Edward Elric was now standing by his desk. Roy couldn't see his face, but he recognized the heaving of the boy's shoulders for what it was:
"Sit down or walk away, Ed," Roy whispered, mentally pleading with the boy.
Ed did neither. He began to walk in the direction of the offending bullies, who were grinning cheerfully at their accomplishment. Everyone in the classroom, including the useless, soon-to-be unemployed teacher, watched him with silent interest.
Through the mirror, Roy could see the intent in Ed's eyes and immediately burst out of the office to stop him.
Ed curled his automail hand into a fist-
"Edward!" Roy yelled.
- and brought it down onto the desk of the lead antagonist, completely obliterating it. Shards of the wooden desktop flew into the air and the desk's frame crumbled into a twisted metal mass, effectively trapping the now terrified bully inside of it.
Cries of shocked surprise rang out in the classroom. A few students ran out of the room in fear. Kain Fuery looked as if he might faint.
Ed grabbed the blubbering teenager by the collar with his real hand and presented him with his automail fist. His friends made a move to stop him but immediately backed away when they saw the very real threat that lurked in Ed's eyes.
"Do you want to see what else this 'Tin Man' can do?" he sneered at the bully, who worked his mouth wordlessly in fear.
"Edward," Roy said softly. He stood behind the enraged teen and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, wondering what on earth he would do if Ed tried to hit him with that massive metal weapon.
Roy need not have worried. At the sound of his voice, Ed immediately let go of the kid and turned around, giving him such a look of tormented agony that Roy thought his heart would break.
There was something else present in those pained golden eyes, something stemming from more than just the adolescent taunting. Roy had an almost insurmountable urge to take the boy in his arms, right then and there, and he actually caught himself moving slightly forward to do that very thing.
It was only with a tremendous force of will that he stopped himself from reaching out to Ed, firmly reminding himself that he was the principal of this school and he had a job to do. Every eye in the classroom was now on him and, first and foremost, order needed to be restored.
"Edward," he said again, this time a bit more firmly. "Report to my office. Right now."