Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist

"What are your intentions towards him?"

"Nothing honourable, I swear."

"It might be wiser to swear honour, on this occasion."

"Please, like I'd lie to you."

"You have a point."

"Of course."

"How do I know you won't hurt him?"

"He's built himself quite the shell over the years, it's take a lot more than me to crack open that hermit crab."

"He's more vulnerable than you know. It might take just one word to bring him to his knees."

"Kneeling, huh? I kind of like that."

The taller man's eyes narrowed. "You dare."

The opponent met his gaze squarely, as he always did. "Yes. Yes, I dare. He's not tied to you, he's not tied to some sort of cosy home living, so what if I'm making life more comfortable for him?"

"I'm going to assume that was a joke. You do nothing but make his life difficult."

A low growl, hurriedly reined in. "It's something of a miracle that he's so good at reciprocating that favour, then."

"If two stags become locked in battle during mating season and become unable to break free, what was once a simple instinctive, hormonal clash leads to a joint suicide- they starve themselves to a slow, agonizing death."

"Spare me the trite metaphors. There's nothing poetic about what we're doing. I'm not in love with him."

"Is he in love with you?"

A shrug. "He might be. He hasn't said. We don't do talking."

Dark eyebrows descended. "Perhaps you should start."

"Perhaps you should keep your opinions quiet. For once, my private life, and his, is none of your business. You think he'd appreciate what you're doing?"

A wry smile. "He'd hate the thought that I'm interfering. He's never reacted well to meddling in his affairs."

A bristle. "I'm not an affair!"

"So what are you, exactly? You're not in love with him, you said so yourself. You don't seem to overly enjoy his company, how could you? You're worlds apart, you're grounded in entirely different realities, and though that friction will keep you burning for a while, eventually its going to become nothing but frustration. You'll kill each other."

… "It's not exactly like he'd be the first."

Glitter in narrowed eyes, like the flash of a switch blade, the glint of light across a gun barrel. "You'd answer to me."

"Shut up. Stop being a melodramatic twat. Him and me, we're having fun, we're not hurting each other too much or too often, and we have no intention of settling down and raising a happy family. It stops us blowing each other and the city sky high every time we meet, and you've got to admit that he's mellowing since we've been together."

"That's true." Hughes suddenly let out a bark of laughter. "I feel like his father, quizzing his boyfriend like this!"

Entirely unamused, Edward Elric hopped off the barstool and huffed his way back into his coat. "You're a weird bastard," he commented, scowling. "I don't know why Roy likes you so much."

Roy Mustang's best friend, adopted brother and self-appointed guardian of the Flame Alchemist's heart, mock-saluted him with one of his wicked little knives. "You kids play nice now." The dark severity of his tone contrasted sharply with the joviality of his words. Ed snorted and turned his back on the man- he could see where Hughes was coming from, but that didn't stop the whole conversation being an embarrassing waste of research time.

He barely flinched when the knife hissed past him to bury in the door frame as he exited the bar. He tossed a vague wave over his shoulder, ignoring the laugh that resulted, and looked up into the inky sky, wondering whether Roy would be home yet.

After that ordeal, he needed a cuddle. And lots of hot aggressive man sex. And then maybe another cuddle, if Roy was nice to him. Which he probably wouldn't be. But hey, every couple had to have something to work on, right?