Title: Quid Pro Quo
Beta: fishuu
Summary: One-shot; animeverse. Because sometimes Al knows exactly how to deal with his brother's stupidity. Mild Roy/Ed.
Warning: Trauma, language, slash, overuse of italics. Read with care.

Maybe if it hadn't been raining, if the sky hadn't been so gloomy and cloudy and dark, if the sun had been shining, maybe he wouldn't have . . .

No, no, he'd been doomed from the start, bad weather or no.

The kitten stared back at him from where it was perched on top of the lid of the garbage can, all wet and matted and small and vulnerable, and mewled, and Al felt something die inside him at the thought of having to abandon it. It was so tiny, after all, and it was raining, it might even start storming soon, and it had nowhere to go. It didn't have an owner, did it?

Maybe . . .

No, Brother had made it clear last time that he wasn't allowed to keep one.

The kitten cocked its head, then licked a paw and started preening itself. Al could've cried.

It wasn't fair. Brother didn't understand, he was so heartless, he'd never really looked before because otherwise how could he say no, and why couldn't he just let Al keep one?

Maybe . . . just this once?

Al held out a hand, and the kitten stared at it as if affronted before pouncing on a finger, latching on and scrabbling its way onto the hand. It meowed again, rubbed against his wrist, and purred.

If he was lucky, maybe Brother wouldn't notice . . .


Al pulled open the door to their room. "Brother," he said loudly – or he started to say it, but the syllables never quite made it out of his armor and the only sound that escaped was a stifled squeak because –

He was not – Brother was not –

Ed pinned up against the wall, red coat pooled at his feet, hands scrabbling at the colonel's bare shoulders, and Al hadn't known you could get that close to someone, wasn't it a violation of personal space, and Ed was always so prickly and violently protective of his bubble, but – but obviously he wasn't right now because he was sucking off the colonel's face and didn't look like he was stopping anytime soon, and now the colonel was very deliberately and very slowly slipping a hand up Brother's shirt –

Al was very aware of something like horror rising from the general direction of his nonexistent stomach because how could they do that? – and he suppressed another squeak as one of the colonel's hands traveled . . . lower.

Oh god, oh god, save him, he was going to die of embarrassment.

They – they hadn't noticed him yet, they hadn't looked up, were too – um, too busy to notice, and maybe he could sneak out without them ever seeing him . . .

He edged backwards very slowly, aware of how very loud his armor was and he was almost out and he was just starting to shut the door . . .

The kitten meowed.

Two pairs of eyes snapped in his direction. Ed made a nice impression of a startled fish and he'd never seen the colonel go quite so pale quite so fast before, and Al was sure his armor was bright, bright red by now . . .

The colonel cleared his throat. "Alphonse," he said, voice remarkably steady considering the fact that just a few seconds ago he'dbeen sucking face with his brother, and Ed made a noise and started, "Al – "

"How nice to see you, we were just – "

"Wait, I can explain this, I can explain – "

Al squeaked and fled.

As he bolted down the corridor, he wanted to cry, all he could see was that. It was burned into his mind forever, and he'd never ever forget, oh god, he was traumatized and scarred for life, how could Brother do this to him?


"Fucker, you – "

"Ow, don't – "

" – absolute bastard, what was that?"

"Ed, wait – "

" – told you not to – "

"I'm sorry, Edward, please – "

" – fucking pervert – next time you're horny – "

" – ow – "

" – you are not molesting me in my room again!"


When Ed finally found Al hunkered down in the library two hours later, hunched over a text and hidden behind a huge stack of books, he almost lost his resolve.

But instead, he just took a deep, deep breath, because, shit, he wasn't a girl, Al'd already seen them, the damage was done, and there was nothing he could do but maybe smooth over the repercussions. (Fuck you, Mustang, this is all your fault, you pervert.)

So, face already warming up a little bit, Ed took a deep breath and poked his head around a stack. "Uh, Al?"

Al didn't react. Ed shuffled a bit closer and scooted into a chair beside him.

Al suddenly got up and – loomed. "Brother," he said.

Ed cringed and all of a sudden felt quite (very) small.


It took a while for the office to notice, after the Elric brothers left on another mission – it was a quiet one, it turned out – but Havoc could really be quite observant when he tried, and he realized it first when he opened the door to the office and saw Mustang gloomily messing around underneath his desk. He closed the door very quietly and sat back down.

"Hey, Breda," he said, after a moment. "When'd the colonel get a cat?"

Breda glanced up from his paper. "Now that's a good question . . ."