Of Petty Tantrums

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"I— hate— this— suit!"

Colonel Mustang looked up just in time to see his office door be violently thrust open, leaving a large indention in the wall behind it. An irate young blond tromped into the room, fists clutched at his side and countenance twisted into a livid visage.

Mustang quirked a brow, an obdurate frown arching on his face. "Edward, how many times have I told you to knock before you enter?" he chastised the young boy. "And what did I say about slamming the door? One of these days it's going to go flying right off its hinges."

"I don't care! I'll slam it if I wan'ta!" Edward contradicted, jerking violently on the rumpled tie tangled around his neck. "Don't change the subject! I hate this suit and I'm not going to wear it!"

"We discussed this already," said Mustang with a noisy sigh. "It's a formal dinner, Edward, and it'd be rude to show up wearing slacks and a jacket. You need to dress properly."

"But I don't wan'ta! There's nothing wrong with wearing a jacket!" Edward retorted, as he continued to battle with his tie.

"Ed, I'm not going repeat yesterdays fight." The colonel stood from his desk stiffly, lethargic lines creasing his brow, as though he'd gone through a fierce war a thousand times over. "Now, tell me what's wrong with the suit."

"It's stupid!" Edward said bluntly, tearing at his coat. "It's too big, and the buttons are stupid! And the pants are too long; look, the bottoms drag on the floor! And it's itchy inside! The material is too rough!"

Mustang walked over and crouched on one knee in front of the ranting, flailing boy and surveyed his attire. Edward was dressed in a navy pea coat that, Mustang concurred, was bulky on his small frame. The sleeves dangled off his hands and the hem ended at his bottom. The dark blue trousers underneath sagged, the ends falling over his shoes and dragging on the floor.

At the amused expression Mustang donned, Edward's cheeks burned even more. "See! It looks ridiculous! It's too big and it looks stupid! I'm not going to wear it, and you can't make me!" he crossed his arms defiantly over his chest, daring his superior to change his mind.

"Edward.." Mustang paused, exhaling heavily. "It doesn't fit because you're wearing it wrong. See?" He raised Edward's arms and pulled on the sleeves, slipping the jacket over his head. "You've got it on backwards. The buttons are on the wrong side."

The blond glowered and pursed his lips. "I thought the buttons were supposed to be on the back," he admitted stolidly.

"You've got the necktie all tangled up. Don't you know how to knot a tie?" Mustang proceeded as he wove his fingers into the knotted necktie and nimbly unraveled it. He unwound it from Edward's neck and smoothed out the creases with his fingers.

"Why would I learn how to knot a tie?" Edward retorted briskly. "I never wear ties." He grabbed his slipping trousers and pulled them up to prevent them from falling down to his ankles.

"This suit's too big. Doesn't it come in sm— less larger sizes?"

Mustang gave a nasal sigh. "This was the smallest.." —Edward's brow twitched— "..size they carried."

The blond alchemist crossed his arms in his adoptive gesture of insolence. "Fine, then. I guess I can't go. 'Cuz I'm certainly not gonna go dressed in this dumb thing. I'll get laughed at."

"Don't be so childish," Mustang chided, threading a hand through his dark hair. "Look, all we have to do is improvise and you'll look fine."

Edward raised a brow daringly. Mustang took hold of the blond's trousers and pulled them up, then started to fold up the bottoms. "Wear a belt to hold the waist up," he said.

The colonel then took Edward's pea coat and slipped his arms through the sleeve. "It isn't that long. Roll up the cuffs and it'll fit fine." He took the boy's hands and rolled back the sleeves, then buttoned up the front.

"And with your tie, just tuck it in your coat and don't pull on it." He wound the necktie around Edward's neck and tied it into a simple half-windsor knot, then straightened it out and tucked it into Edward's coat.

"There. Done." Mustang slipped Edward's braid out of the coat and then stood up to examine his work. "I think it looks good. What about you?"

Edward inclined his head, scrutinizing his outfit. He bent over to fix the rolled-up bottoms of his trousers and straightened the cuffs of his coat. His expression became dismal and sullen, his lip protruding in a small pout.

"Oh, no. Now I have to go to the dinner, don't I?"

-- --

Not my best work, but the mind can only operate so potently when under the negative influence of a virus. Speaking of which, I revenged myself by giving my cold to my brother and mum (though that only made me more angry. Mum's real divvy when she's sick).

Not only that, but since the weather has gotten better, the kids have dug out their baseball bats and hockey sticks and I've buggered up my ankles and wrists something fierce trying to hit the balls my minor-league-star little brother lobes at me. I swear, I'm doing the best I can!

Squees at the mental image of Edward in a pea coat— OhmyGod, he'd make just a darling paper boy!