Edward Elric stopped and stared for what felt like the tenth time that day. The damn thing really must have been malfunctioning. It never gave him so many readings at all in a day, much less the kind he was getting.
Ever since he'd left his most recent boyfriend, Ed had been feeling a little lonely. It had been nice, really, having someone there to talk to. There were other things about it that were nice, too, but what he missed most was the company. And so he had begun doing something he hadn't done in a long time.
A while back, when he had turned eighteen and decided he really wouldn't mind finally getting intimately involved with someone, he had transmuted his watch so that instead of telling the time the second hand would function as a kind of radar. It certainly helped when Ed wanted company and couldn't quite tell for himself if a person's preferences ran along the same lines as his. Ed smirked. Yes, the "gay-dar" had been quite a marvelous idea on his part. It had really been the perfect birthday gift to himself.
There was only one problem, though. Lately it had been malfunctioning more and more often, simply pointing at anyone who had a silver watch from the military. And Ed just knew that several of those people were not gay.
For example, he was sure that the first person that day was happily married with kids. If he did swing the other way then he was doing a marvelous job of hiding that.
Then there were a couple of people that Ed would never consider even if they did prefer men. People like Armstrong, for example. Ed had run the hell away within two seconds of getting that reading. Unfortunately Armstrong had spotted him and proceeded to touch his sternum to his spine in a crushing hug.
Really, it was just so inconvenient that his "gay-dar" was failing him now of all times. At this point he didn't care if he was out to find a life partner or just some one-night fling, he would really like to find someone who might share his interests.
Walking into the office, Ed sat down at a desk and promptly began doodling on some random piece of paperwork. He was bored, and it wasn't like he couldn't just transmute the doodles off the paper anyway.
Suddenly Ed's world had narrowed to a single sound: that of a gun being cocked. "Really, Edward, I might suggest it would be healthier for you to stop defacing that paperwork. That'll be going to Mustang shortly."
"It's not like he'll do it anyway," Ed muttered as he clapped his hands. Figuring he'd just save the bastard some time, he used the ink he'd already applied to the paper in his doodling to forge the colonel's signature instead.
Hawkeye, however, was not amused. "Since when can you forge his signature?"
Ed smirked. "Since I wrote crude letters to half the women in Central and signed his name to them as a joke."
Hawkeye's lips twitched upward at the corners, but she gave no other indication of amusement. "If he finds out that was you—"
Ed cut her off. "Yes, yes, he'll kill me. Who knows, maybe this time he'll actually put a nice effort into it."
"Oh, and he didn't last time?"
Ed grinned widely. "Nope. He's really been slacking off, it's like he wasn't even trying the last three times he's tried to kick my ass from here to next century."
Suddenly Ed's open watch caught his eye. The second hand was pointing straight at Hawkeye.
"No way in hell," he muttered, eyes wide, ignoring Hawkeye's questioning look and standing up. Walking so that she was on his other side, he realized it hadn't been pointing at her, but into the colonel's office. Looking back at Hawkeye, he asked, "Who's in that office?"
Growing more and more puzzled by the second, Hawkeye replied, "Just the colonel, why?"
Ed shook his head; it wouldn't do for her to know exactly what he had done to his watch. "It's nothing."
Hawkeye stared at him for a moment before leaving the office on one of her many errands.
Meanwhile, Ed picked up his watch and slowly made his way toward the colonel's office. He had to find out if this was yet another misreading or not.
Not that he'd mind if it was true. The colonel was a very good-looking man, Ed thought with a grin. More than once he'd idly wondered how getting involved with him might turn out, but he'd never let himself consider even the slightest possibility that it would happen. It just… wouldn't.
No, even now Ed was reasonably certain it was just another misreading. Less likely, but still plausible, was the possibility that someone was in that office that Hawkeye didn't know about. One way or the other, he had to find out.
And so, he gracefully kicked the door open, interrupting a Roy Mustang who hurriedly tried to look like he had been working. "Oh, stop it," he declared. "Hawkeye's out doing something."
Mustang sighed in relief and put the pen back down. "Good. She's scary."
Inspiration struck. Suddenly Ed had the perfect idea to find out if this was just another malfunction or not. "Hey, can I see your watch? Mine stopped working for a while and I want to double-check that it's showing the right time now."
Mustang gave him an odd look, but tossed his watch over all the same.
Thanking him briefly, Ed flipped both watches open and pretended to compare times. Really, he was watching the second hand of his own watch.
Had it been another malfunction, the second hand would've followed the watch and been pointing off to the right. But the second hand stayed exactly where it had been, resolutely pointing at Ed's commanding officer.
"Shit," Ed muttered. "No fucking way."
"What, did something happen to your watch?" Mustang asked.
"I… it… you…" Ed stumbled.
"Oh, very articulate, Fullmetal." Ed flinched slightly at the colonel's scathing sarcasm.
Ed sighed. He'd have to explain himself, but he wasn't quite sure how to begin. "Eight months ago, when I turned eighteen, I transmuted my watch."
"You do realize that what you just admitted to is of questionable legality at best, right?"
"Shut up. This is hard enough without your comments," Ed quipped. "Anyhow, this was rather… unique, and didn't have any obvious effects to anyone except me."
"What did you do to your watch, Fullmetal?"
"Well, the second hand serves as a kind of compass or radar now," Ed said nervously.
"Somehow I doubt it points north. How does it work?"
"It…" Ed paused for a moment.
"Spit it out. Don't make me sit here all day while you stutter."
"It… points out people who, like me, prefer men." This had to be the most embarrassing moment of Ed's life. While most people knew his door swung the other way, no one knew that he'd facilitated meeting others who shared his preferences by alchemically altering his watch. He had intended to keep it that way.
"And what exactly do I have to do with any of this?" Mustang asked.
"What makes you think you're involved in this in any way?!" Ed snarled defensively.
"The fact that you're standing in my office grudgingly explaining yourself, maybe?"
Ed knew then that there would be no easy way to do this, and it was a 'now or never' situation. "It pointed at you, just now," he admitted, hoping in vain that the heat on his face wasn't a blush.
Mustang smirked, the bastard. "Surprised?"
Surprised didn't cover half of it. Stunned into silence, Ed just stood there staring, not even noticing his superior's approach.
He did notice, however, when the colonel's lips lowered to his.
Ed gasped. This was by far the most wonderful feeling he'd experienced in recent memory. Spurred into action, he began kissing the older man back as his left hand found its way into his hair and his right arm locked around his waist.
Dimly he noticed Mustang's… no, Roy's… hand working his hair out of its braid. Before he could notice much else, though, the other man deepened the kiss and Ed lost his train of thought completely.
All too soon Roy moved away, smirking once more. Ed struggled to breathe regularly again. "Why…" he panted, not exactly sure which of his many questions he wanted to ask first.
"Why? Because I've wanted to do that for a while now."
"No, Fullmetal, I was kidding." Really, this wasn't the time for sarcasm, but Ed couldn't quite find the breath to point that out.
"Call me Edward."
"But that leaves absolutely no license for funner names, like—"
Ed cut Roy off. "No. Don't get any ideas."
After sitting in awkward silence for a few moments, for Roy didn't seem to have a reply to that, Ed smirked. "I don't know where this is going, and at this point I don't really care. I just know that that's the best damn thing I've felt in a long time." With that eloquent statement made, he locked the door and launched himself back into Roy's arms to finish what they'd started.
Yes, the "gay-dar" really had been a marvelous idea. With any luck, though, he wouldn't need it for a while.