Title: Adventures in Babysitting
Pairing: Hints of future RoyxEd, one-sided (and eventual) MaesxRoy
Rating: PG13 (language, future RoyxEd hinting- nothing sexual)
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Roy Mustang has his work cut out for him when he takes a job babysitting the well-known and much-feared local hellions, otherwise known as the Elric brothers.
AN: Not sure how you guys will like this since it doesn't have a lick of smut in it! but it's a story I feel compelled to write nevertheless.
Please note: This story is not technically a RoyxEd pairing, given the ages of the characters. But what I wanted to do was write a story in which we, as loyal RoyxEd worshippers, could see something of a prequel to their relationship. In other words, this ain't pedo!
Adventures in Babysitting
Sixteen-year-old Roy Mustang was a rebellious yet quiet teen with a penchant for starting fires. All of the parents around town were convinced that it was just a matter of time before the brooding, black-eyed boy set the whole city ablaze. Because of his delinquency, the last thing anyone ever suspected was that he, out of all the neighborhood teens, would become a babysitter. But given the reputation of the kids in question, everyone immediately understood why Roy was the one who landed the job...
It was because no one else in their right mind would do it.
"You're crazy, dude," Roy's friend Jean pointed out as he pulled onto the road that led to the Elric house, a large, cozy-looking home that was nestled just on the outskirts of town. "I know you need money for a car and all, but are you sure this is how you want to make it? I hear those kids are fucking impossible."
"Come on, man. You of all people should know better than to listen to rumors. If I believed the ones going around about you, I sure as hell wouldn't let you drive me out to the middle of nowhere, ya big homo."
"Fuck you, Mustang, you pole smoker," Jean shot back.
"You wish," Roy quipped in jest, knowing full well Jean Havoc was strictly about the ladies... at least the ones who would have him. Although for Roy, that wasn't necessarily the-
"Anyway," he went on, staring out of the passenger window at his destination. "I'd rather babysit a couple of kids than work at some greasy shithole."
He turned back to Jean, eyeing the ember of the teen's cigarette with a look that was akin to nostalgia. "They're two little kids," he concluded. "How hard can it really be?"
"Guess you'll find out," Jean said, stopping the car for Roy to get out. "Good luck."
"Yeah, yeah. See ya tonight." Roy closed the door and watched him pull away before heading up the long path to the front door.
Nice house, he thought, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. Roy himself had never lived anywhere quite so nice, having been shuffled from foster home to foster home with no real parents to speak of. He was currently living with his best friend Maes and his family, although he wasn't quite sure how much longer that would last, especially since Maes had tried to-
Mrs. Elric threw open the door with a warm smile before he even had a chance to knock.
"I saw you coming up the path. Come on in," she said, gently taking his wrist and pulling him inside. Roy had to step quickly to keep from falling over.
"The boys will be out in a minute. Thanks again for doing this... I'm sure you may have heard some things about them..." she said with a sheepish grin and a shrug.
She had a nice smile. Come to think of it, Roy was hard pressed to remember a time when Mrs. Elric wasn't smiling. He normally didn't care much for adults, but this lady… she was a bit of alright. It was all the more reason Roy had such a hard time buying into the general consensus about her children; there was no way a woman this nice could have possibly given birth to the sons of the devil, if most of the city was to be believed.
"I'm sorry I don't have time to give you the grand tour," she said, glancing at her watch. "But help yourself to look around." She looked down at the teen's empty arms and frowned slightly. "You didn't bring anything to do? Well, I'm afraid the boys don't have much in the way of entertainment… unless you like coloring books."
"TV's good enough for me," Roy said.
Again with the smile. "Good. Let's see…" she said, looking around. "Help yourself to anything, and I mean anything, out of the kitchen. And I don't care what you make for the boys as long as there's a vegetable somewhere in there. That goes for you, too," she said with a wink.
Roy couldn't help but smile at the woman's charm. "Yes, ma'am," he replied.
"Oh. Edward… doesn't care for milk. His calcium supplements are in the kitchen, on the top shelf of the cabinet by the sink. Make sure he gets two after dinner."
The woman grabbed her purse and coat as she continued. "And he can get a little… rambunctious sometimes. If anything happens with his automail-"
"- then you need to call the Rockbells. They live about a quarter of a mile away. Their number's on the fridge, along with my work number."
Roy observed that the woman even sighed with a smile. "I'm sure I'm forgetting a million things, but I can't afford to be late on the first day. Please, Roy, call me if you need anything, okay?"
"I will," Roy promised, although he didn't think that he would need to.
Mrs. Elric stared at him for a moment. Even though she still had a kind visage, Roy could feel the question she really wanted to ask most lurking behind her eyes.
"You're not going to burn down my house, are you?"
"I'll call the boys then," she said instead, turning her head toward the stairs. "Edward! Alphonse! Come down here, please!"
Roy could hear the dutiful sound of running feet across the ceiling before descending down the stairs, mixed with a chorus of yelps and laughter. He turned his head and had his first look at the brothers Elric.
"Boys, this is Roy Mustang and he'll be your new sitter. Roy, this is Alphonse," Mrs. Elric said, kindly patting the head of the little kid who had instantly flown to her side, wrapping his arms around her waist. He smiled shyly at Roy, who immediately saw the strong resemblance between the two.
"Al," he muttered, bashfully burying his face into his mother's hip.
This kid's a hellion? Roy could not see how such an adorably shy boy could have such a horrible reputation.
Mrs. Elric rolled her eyes and corrected herself. "I'm sorry. This is Al. Only 'Mom' can call him Alphonse."
"Hey there, Al," Roy said in that ersatz and condescending way that most of the adults he'd ever known spoke to him. He felt like a jackass for doing it, but hell, if the grown-ups did it, then why shouldn't he?
"How old are you, Al?" he asked, not that he particularly cared, but because it was always one of the first things he knew adults asked of little kids.
"Seven," the young boy spoke into his mother's side.
Roy felt a stare burning the side of his face and looked at into the eyes of Al's brother. Little brother, from the size of him. He stood off to the side of his mother and Al with his arms crossed, looking up at Roy with a defiant amber glare. Roy noticed that one of those arms- the right one- was made out of some sort of metal.
So that must be automail, he thought, breaking his gaze away. He wanted to check it out because it looked kinda badass, but he knew enough to refrain from doing so… at least until no one was looking.
"And this is Edward," Ms. Elric said, running a hand through the boy's short, blond hair. "Alphonse's older brother."
"Ed," Al interjected.
"Oh," Roy said in subdued surprise, causing the boy to narrow his eyes at him in suspicion.
"Hello, Ed," he said, employing the same fake charm he used on Al. "And how old are you?"
"None of your gee dee beeswax," the little blond said stubbornly, closing his eyes and turning his head away.
A stunned snort fell from Roy's mouth, as he was torn between shock and laughter.
"Edward Elric!" the boy's mother yelled in horror. "We do not use that kind of language in this house!"
The feisty child looked into his mother's face and flashed a mischievous grin. "You mean beeswax?"
Kid's got balls, Roy thought.
"Go to your room," Mrs. Elric ordered in a low, authoritative tone not to be denied. "You may stay there until dinner."
Ed stomped away, looking at Roy as if this were somehow all his doing.
The stomping continued up the stairs and across the ceiling, followed closely by the slamming of a door.
"He doesn't know what the 'gee dee' actually stands for," she said, running her hands over Al's ears. "But just knowing that much at his age is bad enough." The boys' mother shook her head in embarrassment. "I'm so sorry about that, Roy. Edward can be… a bit of a handful." She glanced down at her remaining son and gave him a brief squeeze. "But Alphonse will help you to keep him in line, won't you dear?"
Al nodded and smiled. Roy smiled back. He didn't know much about kids… didn't necessarily like them, truth be told. But this one… he was okay.
Mrs. Elric slid out of Al's tight grasp. "I've really got to go," she said apologetically. "Call me. If you need anything at all," she reiterated to Roy, perhaps now having second thoughts about leaving him to Ed's wrath.
"Everything'll be alright," Roy said with reassurance. "We're going to have fun, aren't we, Al?"
Al took a step closer to Roy and nodded eagerly.
A look of relief bloomed on the woman's face. "I'll see you boys tonight," she said, kissing Al on top of the head. "Goodbye, Edward!" she called out to the living room ceiling.
She patted Roy on the shoulder. "Bye!" she said happily, walking out of the door and closing it behind her.
The teen stood there for a moment, wondering if a greasy shithole really would be any worse after all.
He turned his head and stared down into the inquisitive face of Alphonse Elric.
"So, Al," Roy asked with a smirk. "Can you cook?"
"Boiling water… I think I can do that without fu-" Roy glanced at his one-boy audience and corrected himself. "Fudging it up."
"I like fudge," Al informed him.
Goddammit all. Stop being so cute.
"Me too, Al" Roy said, resisting the urge to pat the kid's head. "Now take a step back for me, okay?"
Al obediently took a few steps backward as Roy picked up the large box of matches from the counter to light the gas stove. His eyes widened slightly as he watched a flame burst into life from the match in his hand.
Roy loved fire. He didn't understand his obsession and he couldn't begin to explain it, even to himself, let alone anyone else. But there was something about it that just felt… right. Natural. Like an extension of his being. And while it was true he did greatly enjoy starting the occasional fire in a remote area just to watch it burn, he thought the rumors of his pyromania were greatly exaggerated.
He ignited the stove and shook out the match, wetting it under the sink before tossing it in the trash. "Well, that's done," he said, turning to Al, who nodded in agreement.
That time, Roy did risk a quick ruffling of the kid's brown hair. Poor little guy. It wasn't fair that he ended up branded as a troublemaker because of his snot-nosed brat of a brother.
They continued preparing dinner. Roy was able to put aside his thoughts of the terror that lurked overhead and enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasted.
... because it most certainly wouldn't.
Ed had come down to dinner without argument or complaint. By the way the kid ate, Roy would have guessed that it had been days, as opposed to hours, since he'd last eaten anything.
After putting away his third helping, the sullen child crossed his arms and glowered at Roy.
"That tasted like… like...," the devious boy paused, looking for the perfect insult. "Like crap," he finished, sticking out his tongue.
Roy was not fazed. He actually found it quite humorous, and a tad bit cute, that Ed thought the word 'crap' was so scathingly insulting.
"Well, Ed," he said, stacking up the dishes to be taken into the kitchen. "You must really like the taste of crap because you had three whole helpings of it yourself."
Al giggled into his hand. "Brother likes crap," he said joyously, whispering the last word as if it were such a dreadful, awful swear.
"I do not!" Ed exclaimed, kicking at the bottom of the table with his left foot and causing everything atop it to jump and rattle.
"Don't do that," Roy said, vaguely wondering how such a tiny leg could make such a thunderous sound. He handed him two tiny white pills on a napkin and found himself secretly wishing that 'calcium supplement' was a code name for Ritalin. "Here you go."
Ed shook his head. "Don't want 'em... Gross milk pills."
"Edward," Roy sighed patiently. "You take these every single day."
"So? Now you can take 'em, old man!"
Roy set the napkin down in front of the child, willing himself to remain calm and wondering if he was old enough to get a vasectomy...
"Ed," he tried again. "It's very important that you have these."
"Yeah," Al piped in. "And remember, Mom said you have to take them."
Ed stood up and glared at the both of them. "I'm not taking 'em! Here!" he cried out, reaching up on the table and grabbing one in each hand. "One for you and one for you!" he shouted, launching a small white projectile at both Roy and Al before walking away.
For Roy, it was the last straw. He stood up and walked after Ed, taking him by the arm and speaking to him as firmly as possible without yelling. Or choking.
"You are going to come back to this table and take your pi-!"
Blinding white light.
Roy fell forward on his knees and slumped over onto his left side, where he promptly curled into a fetal position.
Somewhere… in the distance… Ed was laughing demonically as he ran up the stairs.
Somewhere… in the distance… Al was running after him, yelling at him to come back.
Roy barely registered any of it.
Because of the pain.
The fucking pain.
There was a reason that the table had trembled so mightily as a result of the little bastard's kick.
That leg… that left leg...
It was automail too.
And it had just met the acquaintance of Roy's groin with a vengeance.
It seemed he might not need that vasectomy after all...
The teen pressed his cheek against the cool hardwood floor, praying for someone, anyone, to kill him.
The good news was that in spite of the sheer, seething agony of being kicked in the nuts by a temperamental eight-year-old with a metal leg, Roy was fairly positive that everything was still in working order.
The bad news?
Mrs. Elric wouldn't be home for four more hours.
Indeed, the fun had only just begun.