Title: Code Breaker
Pairing: Ed x Roy
A/N: So I just thought up this premise today, and thought it was too funny to not get it on paper (or computer, or whatever. meh). We all know that Ed's a genius: when it comes to puzzling out a new array or understanding hidden messages, there's nobody better (except maybe Al). But we also know that when it comes to social cues, Ed's dumb as a rock. This is my take on the aforementioned situation.
If you want to read this story at a more kid-friendly level, just stop when you hit these things: %%%%%%%
This story takes place some time after the movie. Al has his body back, though Ed is still missing limbs. Ed is 21, Al is 17 (in body, not mind), and Roy is 34. Well. that's about it. Hope you enjoy, and please review!!! I seriously appreciate it.
Btw: I was thinking of dividing this story into three chapters. Be happy I didn't.
It had been a long day out on the field, and Ed was bushwhacked. Word from intel had it that a bunch of Aerugan spies were holed up in the Gran Hotel, and Mustang's troupe was sent out to investigate.
What had started as preliminary reconnaissance work had, as usual, turned into an all-out fight for Ed's life. Ed was having a great time until Havoc and Breda finally evened the odds and the spies were taken in. They were now walking to the military trucks, spies in tow.
Overall it had been a mediocre night of events, Ed decided mulishly. A little cliché and slightly expected. Boring, even. He sighed, itching for more action.
"Ed, can I have a word with you for a moment?" Mustang asked. Ed's head shot up, intrigued.
"Yeah, sure." He returned casually. Perhaps this night wasn't going to be as boring as he expected.
Roy waited until everyone had walked out of hearing distance before talking. "Ed, I was wondering if you'd be up for a date with me."
Ed blinked. Then blinked once more, and again. "W-what?"
Mustang leaned back against the building, all cool and composure. "I meant exactly what I said: You. Me. A date."
The night, which had started out mediocre, had now definitely taken a turn Ed never could have expected. Looking over the General with almost embarrassing intensity, Ed leaned in and gently cupped the other alchemists' chin.
Roy inwardly smiled; he hadn't expected Ed to be so receptive, but he could get used to it. He patiently waited for Ed to kiss him.
Ed's face was mere inches away from his own."It must be drugs," Ed murmured.
That woke Roy up."Wait, what do you mean 'drugs'?" Roy asked, annoyance slowly creeping into his voice. However, Ed was no longer listening to him.
"Hey! Riza! I think you should get over here and help me with the Bastard-"
"What do you mean, 'drugs'?" Mustang cut in, a little louder than before.
"The spies must've slipped him something, he's talking nonsense." Ed continued as if Roy hadn't spoken at all. Ed then turned his attention back to Roy. "Don't worry, Mustang, I won't tell any of the guys about this. It'll be saved for blackmail later."
"I don't care if you tell them!" Roy growled out. "And I am not high on drugs! Is it so hard to believe that I'm actually asking you out on a date?!"
By this time Riza was standing behind Roy's back, a wide smile hidden behind her scarf. "Fine then! I tried to help you save face, but you ruined that yourself." Ed pouted, arms crossed over his chest. "Riza, help him to the hospital."
"I don't think that will be necessary, Major." Hawkeye quietly returned. Ed scrutinized the general.
"I suppose not. Talking gibberish never hurt anyone. Just keep watch over him for a while, will you?"
"Gibberish!" Breda gasped out, hitting his beer mug hard onto the counter top. "God, that's priceless!"
Roy, who was currently being 'watched over' by all of his underlings but one, looked mutinous. "It's not funny. You're not supposed to laugh. I command you not to laugh." This statement produced another round of hearty chuckles which had Roy itching for his gloves.
"This must be divine retribution or something," Havoc added in, wiping away tears of mirth. "Women practically fall all over themselves to go on a date with you, but the one person you'd actually want to date thinks you're hallucinating!" He then nearly fell out of his chair from laughter. Roy made sure he fell out of his chair anyway.
"Enough!"Roy snapped, before taking a long swig of his beer. "There's got to be some way to make him understand that I'm serious.
"You know Ed, sir." Riza said, lazily twirling the ice in her whiskey on the rocks. "He tends to tenaciously hold on to his beliefs."
"Maybe you could romance him, sir?" Fuery suggested, eager to please.
"No way. Ed'll sooner punch the General than date him after that," Falman wisely asserted.
"You should just get him drunk then," Breda chimed in after polishing off his fifth beer. A moment later he emitted a girly squeak and jumped out of the way just in time to miss Riza's gunshots.
"Jeezus, I didn't mean it!" He pleaded to Riza, who was busy reloading her gun.
Roy, too busy with his own problems to notice Breda's whimpering, continued pondering his problem. "No, that won't work. Ed just gets violent when he's drunk," Roy sighed.
"I swear, Ed would better understand my intentions if I wrote them in code than if I told him outright." He went to take another swig of beer, and paused mid-way, a gleam in his eye.
"Too true that, sir," Falman returned.
"That sounds about right," Riza contemplated, tapping her gun against her chin in thought.
"I donno why you'd go after Boss anyways, bi or not," Havoc added in. "I like the guy, but he's just a touch past crazy sometimes."
Ed sighed as he guzzled down coffee. It had been three days since the Aerugan spy incident, and Ed was glad that Mustang had returned to normal. The others however were another matter entirely.
In the past few days, Fuery had gushed his congratulations (over what, Ed didn't know), Breda had given him a pack of condoms, and Havoc had been muttering to himself about insanity. Even Riza had been giving him odd, calculating glances every now and then. It was all too much to handle, and Ed was getting the sneaking suspicion that he had been left out of something.
Ed looked up from his work to find Falman giving him a funny look, and he snapped his pencil. "Got something you wanna say to me, Vato?" Ed growled. Falman all but jumped as he quickly buried his nose in paperwork.
Ed tossed his own paperwork away in a foul mood. All this secrecy was pissing him off, it made him itch for a fight. Ed was mentally sizing his coworkers up when Mustang interrupted him.
"Fullmetal, I need to talk to you about something in private." The smug bastard said.
Ed looked between Roy and his personal office. "Okay then. Let's go."
"No, we can't talk here," Roy quickly returned. "It's not safe. Meet me at Davida's at eight tonight."
Ed grumbled as he paid the cabby, hoping that Roy knew how much of an inconvenience it was to get out here. He hadn't expected getting out to the damn place was going to cost him most of his cash, so he'd have to catch a ride from Mustang on the way back.
Ed had never been to this restaurant before. The interior was done completely in dark woods and deep hues, giving it a very quiet, personal feeling. Ed was quickly lead over to a cozy corner in the back where Roy was waiting.
Ed sat down, feeling a little uneasy. "So, whadja want to talk to me about?"
Roy ignored the question. "Why don't you pick something from the menu?" Ed gave Roy a funny look, but the Roy busily kept his eyes on the menu. With an irritated groan, Ed turned his attentions to the menu as well.
After perusing the menu for a few minutes, he looked back at Roy. "These dishes are pretty pricey, you know. I blew most of my cash just getting here."
"I'm paying for dinner, don't worry about it." Roy returned.
Ed looked at Roy strangely, then gave a wicked smile. "Fine then. I'm getting the porterhouse steak," Ed gleefully replied.
"You can have whatever you'd like." Mustang returned, a smile flickering across his face. The waitress took their orders a few minutes later, leaving Ed and Roy alone once more.
"So when are you going to tell me this big secret everyone's in on already?" Ed asked after a time.
"I already am." Roy casually stated, sipping at his wine. "You just have to be patient and let me relay it to you."
Ed thought this over for a moment, but was stumped. "I don't get it."
"Don't think about it right now, then. Just enjoy the meal."
Despite his frustration over Roy's cryptic message, Ed managed to actually have a good time over dinner. The two of them discussed work and alchemy, and Ed was startled to realize that Roy's fire alchemy was far more nuanced than he let on. Ed had always assumed that Mustang's array had fire and air elements, but never noticed the traces of water and explosive alchemy mixed in as well.
"Let me see your gloves," Ed asked eagerly.
"So you can dig away at all my secrets? I think not," Roy returned with a smirk. "Besides, this array isn't completely my own. I may have made some adjustments to it, but it isn't my work to show."
"Oh come on! Just a little peek now? I've seen it before."
"Maybe later after you've puzzled out the message."
Mustang's comment brought Ed back to earth. He took a quick look at his watch to find that a whole two hours had passed. How had he spent so much time here without even thinking about the message? So far, Ed didn't have the slightest clue as to what it was about.
"Yeah, about that message…" Ed began. "We've finished dinner. Are you going to tell me it some time soon?"
"The message isn't finished yet," Mustang responded, relaxing into his chair. "You'll have to meet up with me tomorrow at Picante for more."
So it was a two part message then, Ed thought. Well, that explained why it was so hard to understand. At least Picante's was close and had familiar food Ed liked. "Alright, I'll meet you there." Ed responded after a time. "This better be a damn important message though, Mustang."
"I think you'll be interested to hear it," Roy returned.
When they made it outside, Ed was relieved that Roy offered to drive him back home. Ed was once more struck by how well they got along together while Roy wasn't in military getup. Despite himself, Ed felt a little drawn to the lazy ass. He quickly pushed those feeling down; Ed knew it would never happen. He'd had a slightly unhealthy crush on the bastard for a long time now, but he knew better than to think it could ever happen.
With a quick goodbye, Ed got out of the car.
Alphonse was inside doing his homework. With a brilliant mind and nothing much to do now that he had his body back, Al had signed up for classes at Central University, the best school in the country. He was quickly intimidating everyone there with his "youth" and intellect, students and professors alike.
"You're late," Was Al's greeting.
"Yeah, nice to see you too," Ed replied as he dropped his belongings on the table where Al was working. He quickly stripped out of his clothes and changed into pajama bottoms.
"What were you doing out so late? I was expecting you around six."
"Things came up," Was Ed's terse reply.
"And was that Roy's car out front, Ed? Did you catch a ride with him or something?" For some inexplicable reason, Ed felt himself pale.
"Uhh, yeah, I hitched a ride." He returned before picking up his latest book (a work by Zosimus), and laying on his bed.
"Oh. It's just rather odd that you're coming home so late, and with Mustang." Al said as he began moving Ed's belongings. He stopped to pick something up that had fallen out of Ed's bag.
"Brother?" Al's concerned voice came from the other room.
"What, Al?" Ed replied wearily.
"Why do you have condoms in your bag?"
Ed shot up, cheeks blushing. "It was Breda!- he was playing some kind of joke on me or something, and-"
Al shook his head and smiled. "Wait, I get it."
"You do? Good, because seriously, that guy is sometimes a little over the top and I don't know when to-"
"That's why you came home late! And with Mustang, no less!" Al clapped Ed on the back. "If he makes you happy, I'm okay with it."
"WHAT?!" Ed cried out. "Wait a second- I think- I think you've gotten the wrong impression here-"
"Breda's right, you better remember to be safe. Mustang's been with a lot of people, you know. He might not be clean."
"I hate you Al. I hate you so much."
"Though I would have expected Roy to be a gentleman and get the condoms for the two of you. We all know how impulsive you can be, after all."
By now, Ed's forehead had made sharp contact with the surface of the table. "So I guess you heard all about that Aerugan spy mess then, havent you?" Ed grumbled. "You're going to make fun of me for it, too?"
"Wait, what Aerugan spy mess?"
"Ha. Ha. HA. I'm going to bed now."
"Now seriously, what happened brother? Is everything okay?"
Ed seriously contemplated ditching his meeting with Mustang the next day. People were starting to get the woefully wrong impression that he and Roy were an item, and Ed didn't want to feed the flames. However, Roy's mysterious message had him intrigued, and Ed loved mysteries. He was sure that with this next clue, everything would fall into place.
Edward sidled into the booth where Roy was waiting for him. "You paying?" Ed asked.
"Until you don't want me to," Was Roy's response.
"Great! I'm starving," Ed returned, eagerly looking through the menu.
Picante's atmosphere was much more relaxed than Davida's, so Ed found it much easier to enjoy himself here. Ed peremptorily asked for another clue to the message, which Roy once more brushed off. Ed was okay with that, because their food had just arrived.
Ed had a good time talking about some of the more recent acquisitions he had made to his library, and Roy had suggested a few that Ed might like. They got into a short argument over the validity of Albertus Magnus's alchemical histories, and then joked together about how they could tell from his writing that either way he was a stuffy old coot.
Ed was having such a good time, in fact, that he hadn't exactly been counting how many drinks he'd had. By the end of the night, Ed blearily realized that the world had become a might unsteady.
Roy had just paid for the check, and was now looking at Ed with amusement. "You're such a lightweight, did you know that?" He helped Ed out of his seat. "It's amusing to see you totter around after four beers."
"I 'ad more than four beers!- I think," Ed furrowed his brows as he tried to remember.
"You definitely had four beers, I looked at the tab," Roy laughed as they exited the building. "It makes sense for someone of your height to have such a low tolerance, I supp-oof!"
Roy was surprised to find himself pinned to the side of a building by a drunk Ed. "M' not so short that I can' handle a teaspoon of wine cooler!" Ed's face was once again a few mere inches away from his own, and his body was pressed close so that Roy could feel the ripple of muscle as Ed pinned him against the brick face of the building. Roy had the sudden urge to kiss Ed. Not yet.
Ed seemed to have felt the affects of their proximity as well. Roy's body was hot and hard, and the way Roy was looking at him, well… It made Ed's insides do something strange. Ed loosed his hold on the older alchemist and awkwardly stumbled back.
"Sorry, iss' the alcohol," Ed said, looking away. All of the sudden, he felt very exposed. He pulled his coat around himself tighter.
Roy's coat dropped around his shoulders, and he looked up. "What're you doin'?" Ed asked, puzzled.
"You looked cold," Was Roy's quiet response.
"Well, I don' need it." He pulled the coat off and handed it back to Roy. "I'll see you later." Ed's house was within easy walking distance, so he headed back.
"I'll walk you there, then." Roy said, catching up to him.
Ed squinted. "You don't need to do that," He said, question in his voice.
"I know," Was all Roy responded.
Ed miserably stared into his coffee mug. It was 11 in the morning and he was still feeling the hangover from last night. It had been too embarrassing to explain when Ed realized he'd lost his keys and Al had to come down to get the door for them. If being dropped off by Roy was enough to make Al think they had been having sex, Roy walking him to the door made Al think they were in love. In love! Ha!
Ed had alchemized a new set of keys in the morning, but due to his hangover he was not sure how good of a job he had done. Ed was currently staring gloomily at the piece of metal that had once been a spoon when Roy came up behind him.
"Feeling any better this morning, Fullmetal?" Ed jumped at the sound of Mustang's voice so close behind him, then gagged as a wave of nausea hit soon after.
"Urg…" Was Ed's only response.
"I was wondering if you managed to figure out my message yet," Mustang casually continued as if he hadn't heard Ed struggle to keep his breakfast down.
Despite the pain and nausea, Ed perked up. "That…Oh." Truth be told, Ed had completely forgotten about the message altogether. At some point between their discussion and drinking, Ed had completely failed to recall why he had even agreed to meet with Roy in the first place. "Well, I haven't had much time to think about it today," Ed reticently explained while trying not to look as green as he felt.
"Oh, really?" Roy smirked. "Then I suppose you'll need my last clue to help you out."
"I will not need your last clue!" Ed retorted.
"The message isn't complete without it," Roy judiciously pointed out.
"Fine then," Ed said stiffly. Since last night's meeting, he'd been feeling a little different and was getting slightly annoyed with this whole game. Whatever Roy was up to, Ed wanted it to be over. "When do we meet, and where?"
"Meet me directly after I get out of work at five on the steps outside," Roy returned. "Our last dining spot is a secret."
Ed had more or less fully recuperated from his hangover by 5 pm. As promised, he waited for Roy on the stoop by the stairs.
"You're here," Mustang breathed out, happy.
"I said I would be, didn't I?" Ed returned.
"Yes, you did." Turning to walk towards their destination, Roy held out his hand. "Come on Ed."
Ed stared at the hand for a moment looking caught off guard, but eventually took it. A small smile made it's way to Ed's face as he followed slightly behind Roy.
The final meeting place was a quaint little café called Esme's. All the food was home made, and a warm smell of baking bread permeated the entire shop. After ordering their food, Ed and Roy found a small secluded chair by a window and sat down.
"So now you have everything you need to figure my message out," Roy said quietly. Ed grabbed a napkin from the table and began scribbling onto it. "You've been pretty thick about it this whole time, but I think even you can figure it out now."
"Yes, and I think I've already figured it out." Ed said quietly, staring at the napkin.
"Well, that was pretty quick," Roy returned uneasily.
"The code wasn't exactly what I'd call hard, Mustang" Ed mumbled.
"And I wasn't exactly looking to confound you." Roy carefully admitted. "You'd already misunderstood me once before."
Ed looked back down at the paper. Davida Picante Esme. Date me. "You're serious, aren't you?" Ed asked, a hint of disbelief in his voice.
"Do you think I would have gone through with all of this if I hadn't meant it?" Roy asked, frustrated. "Edward, I honestly like you very much. You're crazy, handsome, brilliant, and funny. Half of the time I want to challenge and compete with you, and the other half of the time I desperately want to kiss you. I'd appreciate it if you took my affections seriously."
Ed gaped, unsure what to say. "But I- you like girls!" Ed protested.
"And men. I just didn't share those stories because the guys at work don't appreciate them."
"And about that!" Ed interjected. "You don't seriously think I'd be okay being your now-and-then one night stand, do you?"
"No, I don't. And I'm not asking you to be that."
"Then what are you asking me to be?" Ed asked, exhausted.
"My exclusive date, until you get tired of me." Ed stared at him, and then stiffly got up. "Where are you going?" Roy asked.
"For a walk. Wanna come?"
They quietly walked in the dusky evening light, neither speaking for a while. Snow from the last blizzard stuck in dirty clumps to the side of the street, giving the whole city a feeling of off-white.
"I'm not exactly what you'd call good boyfriend material," Ed admitted. "I'm loud, and a little rude, and, yeah, I suppose I'm a little selfish." He winced at his words, half expecting Mustang to simply walk away.
"And I don't look that great, you know…" He continued quietly, "With all my scars. I know all your dates are hot. And my automail catches in everything, and-" Roy silenced the string of warnings with a kiss.
Ed gasped in surprise before he quickly responded. Ed remembered last night, and how badly he had secretly wanted this very thing to happen as he quietly gasped into Roy's mouth. Roy growled, holding on to Ed tighter as he kissed down his neck. Ed lolled against Roy's chest at his ministrations, quietly panting as things quickly got much hotter. Ed suddenly got the compulsive urge to take his shirt off in thirty degree weather, but quickly beat it down.
"Okay! Okay, I'll date you," Ed finally gasped out. "But no sex on the first date. I have some standards, you know."
"From my count, this is our third," Roy returned, pushing Ed up against a wall.
"Oh," Ed returned, dazed. "Right."
Ed moaned as he came for the third time in an hour. "Fuck!" he panted, as Roy crawled up Ed's body to kiss him.
"We can do that again too," Roy said, his voice just a touch too happy to be normal.
"Just give me a minute here," Ed wheezed as Roy ran his hands through Ed's hair. It was hard to believe that only a few days ago, Ed wouldn't have even in his wildest fantasies entertained the notion that he and Roy might have mutual feelings.
Now they were mutually feeling, all right.
There was a knock on the door. "Ed! I'm coming in now!"
The younger alchemist's face paled when he heard his brothers voice."AL! DON'T COME IN!" He cried out.
"Sorry, but I've been waiting outside for over an hour. You guys take too long," Al locked the front door behind him as Ed desperately scrabbled to put on his boxers.
"Oh, and poor Mrs. Stanton from next door said she could hear everything. Do you mind keeping it down next time?" Ed's face turned precisely the shade of a tomato.
"Hello there sir," Al waved at Roy, who had nothing but a sheet for modesty.
"Good to see you, Alphonse. How's school been going?" Mustang casually returned, completely at ease as Ed's eyes very nearly bugged out of his head.
"Very well. I just gave a presentation today on some very interesting work by a man named Erwin Schrodinger. He's come up with a rather novel theory that-"
"Wait wait wait! Both of you are entirely alright with this?" Ed asked.
Al looked at Ed as if he were slow. "Well of course! I already gave you my blessing as long as he makes you happy and uses condoms," Al said, pointedly looking at Roy on the last bit.
"Of course," Roy solemnly promised.
"And I'd appreciate it if you two would have sex at Roy's more often than not," Al continued, "since I do the laundry. I don't want to be touching anything. And for Mrs. Stanton, I suppose." He finished.
Ed grasped for words, but failed. There was nothing that he could say that was equal to this situation.
"And you're clean, right General?"
"As a whistle."
"Good. Now get out of here, I have homework to do."
"I'll go get my clothes," Roy agreed amicably as he swathed the bed sheet around his waist, and then pulled Ed in for a kiss. "Let me put on my clothes and then we'll go out for dinner."