My muses wanted to frolic off and do something silly and different for a while. This apparently is the result. That and of watching the first anime over again, for reasons relating to At Gate's Edge to make sure I've my facts straight. And I do. But it spurned something else.

Parts of the dialogue are from the actual episode - 44 - but I think you'll all be able to figure out what it is, and what is purely mine.

I hope you all enjoy the random fruits of my muses grabbing the reins.


"My son is prone to having blinders on, in regards to matters outside his own objectives."

Roy startled, whipping around from where he stood at the porch railing of the Rockbell home to land eyes on Van Hohenheim. Still obeying, it seemed, the exile that Edward had imposed on his own father. "I thought you went somewhere else to sleep for the night. Didn't Alphonse go with you?"

Hohenheim didn't answer immediately, only walked up to join the Colonel at the railing and rest his hands upon it as he stared out into the darkness. "He's asleep, and safe. And I must soon leave," and saying this, he looked over to fix the dark-haired man beside him with a stern look, "of which you will keep to yourself. I have matters of my own to see to now, to try and keep my boys safe."

"Edward will be furious with you." Roy replied, a frown pulling at his mouth. "You should at least tell him you're leaving. He'll see it as you abandoning them again, no matter what your reasons. You surely must see this! Don't you want to mend things with him?"

"What father wouldn't?" Hohenheim asked back simply, but looked back out to the countryside. "Suddenly it feels as if I have no time left." He spoke softly, more to himself than to the man sharing the railing with him.

Roy shook his head marginally, confused. "You could ruin your only chance. What could be more important than that?"

Hohenheim's fingers tightened on the railing, knowing what he would soon leave to do. Knowing that this was the final crossroad in his life, and that the one he wanted to take was not the one he needed to take, for the sake of his sons. "I don't expect anyone to understand my reasons why I've done anything these past ten years." He turned to Roy again in that moment. "That's not why I sought you out again tonight. I only wished to tell you that you need to be more upfront with my son if you wish to ever have what you're hoping for. He's too engrossed in this search for the Philosopher's Stone that subtle cues like you're sending off might as well not have existed at all."

Roy was entirely taken aback, and he blinked blankly several times before opting for an intelligent "what?"

Hohenheim gave a coarse snort of a laugh, lifting one eyebrow a fraction at the stumped-looking Colonel. "I realize that this is not exactly the standard "talk" a father should be giving, but in your case, and with Edward, I'll make an exception."

"What?" Roy echoed himself, realizing absently somewhere that he really should find another word. But as it was, he was battling back shock and a wide-eyed look.

"You do have feelings for Edward, do you not?" Hohenheim asked conversationally, before his eyes twinkled with a sort of perverse delight as he furthered, "or have I been misreading the fact that you could barely take your eyes off him and are exuding this possessiveness over him that wouldn't go amiss with a few lustful looks? Which you were sending him all through dessert anyway, I was watching through the window."

Roy felt the heat and color rise to his face, and he abruptly looked away with a sad pull to his faint smile. "Even if he knew how I felt, he'd never return it."

Hohenheim frowned, "the problem is that he doesn't know how you feel. As much as I love my son, he can have a one-track mind. Your subtle ways won't work on him, he's not like any other person you'll have dated." Here, he took a breath. "If you want my fatherly advice regarding my son, you have my blessing to drag him off somewhere and kiss him until he passes out from lack of oxygen if that's what it takes to get your point across to him that you like him."

"Love him." Roy corrected with a hint of more red to his cheeks. "Doesn't it bother you that I'm so much older than him? And why do you care so much?"

Hohenheim looked surprised at first by the correcting confession, yet it only served to make him smile in a relaxed manner as he answered. "I'm the last person who should ever lecture on a difference of age in matters of the heart. And I care because he deserves to be happy like that. And you seem capable of doing that for him. You know his personality, and that's going to be most of the battle to a strong relationship with him."

"And if you know his personality, and you knew how intolerant he can be of me, you'd know that the moment I confessed to him that he'd more than likely attack me." Roy pointed out a bit glumly.

The perversely delighted gleam was back in Hohenheim's eyes, "depends on what sort of attacking, and how good a kisser you are, how bad it will end up."

Roy's blush was back in full force. He couldn't believe he was standing here talking to Edward's father about his insecurities in regards to ever having Edward think of him as more than 'that bastard Colonel'.

"You'll never know unless you find wherever your courage ran off to." Hohenheim pointed out, "but I don't think he dislikes you. If he disliked you, he'd never have tried to avoid you in coming here."

Roy nodded slowly, working on getting his blush back under control. "I know. I know that he is only trying to keep us all safe. People who get close to him have a tendency to get hurt, we all know this. If he wanted me hurt he'd not have tried to escape me. Even if it hurt not to have him ask me for help."

Hohenheim straightened away from the railing with a small smile, and rested one hand on a bowed-forward shoulder of the uncertain Colonel. "If you choose to be more upfront with him, you have my blessing." And as dark eyes were turned on him, he drew his hand away. "I wish you luck, and whatever else happens, keep Edward safe."

Roy only gave a small nod, and as Hohenheim turned to leave, he called a quiet "good luck" after the man before turning back to new thoughts.

When morning finally came, the breakfast table was rife with Edward's displeasure that he'd not been able to assault his father three ways from Sunday before the man skipped out again. And it only simmered down long after the dishes had been cleared away.

But by that point, as Roy was still trying to think of a way to get Edward alone without the blond's guard being up, he and Riza received word that the search party to locate the Elrics had arrived. And he knew he had to try and turn them away at whatever cost. He knew Edward wasn't guilty of anything! Even if the blond still wouldn't tell him why they'd run in the first place.

"Come on." Roy finally spoke aloud to Riza, and led them out into the main room where Alphonse was announcing his intentions to leave the house. To do what, he didn't know. Only knew that he couldn't allow it.

"Hold it!" He quickly ordered the towering suit of armor, quickly adopting every air of superiority. "You can't leave here for a little while."

And as both Alphonse and Edward fixed him with either confused or piercing looks, began to explain. And when he was finished, it was Edward who spoke first, a smug smile and humor in those golden eyes.

"You sure you want to be harboring wanted men?" Edward asked in that same impish manner, finding amusement and some measure of relief that Roy wasn't entirely a loyal military dog.

Roy sent him a slight frown, "it's not as though I believe every aspect of your story." And inside him determination rose up, reflected clearly in his expression. "I plan on ascertaining the truth about the Fuhrer in my own way."

What Edward might have said was lost as Sheska took that moment to make herself known again, coming through one of the doors and fixing him with an unreadable expression. "And if you find out that it is true…?"

Roy merely gave her a smile, but did not answer as he began to make his way to the door so that he could leave. Yet he might have predicted the abrupt scraping of a chair, and the voice calling after him with an inflection of anger.

"You can't keep us caged up here!" Edward argued, striding around the table after him, even as Winry and Pinako rushed out to see what he was riled up about now. "You know they won't believe we're not here!"

Roy stopped, turning back around to level a stern look on the blond. "I can and I will keep you here, for your own safety. Do as I say, Fullmetal. For once."

"He's right, we should get all of you into the cellar." Pinako agreed in between a drag from her pipe. "You'll be safest there."

But Edward didn't hear. "You know the military will just set up spies until we show ourselves! What point is there?"

Roy tilted his head, and slowly turned around to begin making his way back to the blond. "What point, you ask?" He repeated carefully, in a low voice that almost verged on threatening. "Are you so blind and self-absorbed that you've not realized I'm trying to protect you? Your father was right, you walk around with blinders on, oblivious to anything else unless it hits you across the head!"

Edward couldn't even decide what he was more enraged at, that Roy seemed to be insulting him, or that Roy had apparently talked with his father about him. And suddenly he was back to that river, fighting the impulse to strangle the infuriating man and have done with it!

Roy quickly snagged the blond by the arm, dragging him forward and intending to drag him all the way to the cellar himself if necessary. "You will go to that cellar, and you will stay put." And as an afterthought added, "that's an order."

"Fuck you!" Edward growled in retaliation, swinging a closed fist at the man.

Roy quickly caught the hand, and swinging Edward around to face him, he yanked the blond close to gaze fearlessly back into the wrathful golden eyes. "Fuck you, sir." He corrected, right before he silenced Edward's next tirade in the only way he could think of as suitable.

Edward's shriek was muffled by the crush of lips against his own, and valiantly he struggled to wrench away from the perverted bastard. And at one point he must have succeeded, only enough to get out an angry "pervert!" before Roy was kissing him into silence again.

Roy knew the moment Edward gave in, when with the most subtle of trembles, the blond relaxed from anger into a slight nervousness as the once unresponsive mouth hesitantly let him in. There was always the risk of it being a trap, and Edward was just waiting to bite off his tongue, but he took his chances. Knowing when a soft whine met the first stroke of his tongue that he was safe, and slowly he began to release his holds on Edward for ones more beneficial to kissing.

And he smiled into the kiss as he felt Edward nervously grip onto his shoulders as the blond did his best to kiss back. Gathering Edward close to him, he brought their bodies together as he used the new angle to deepen the kiss further and coax more of those soft little noises from Edward.

He kissed Edward until even he could no longer go without proper amounts of air, not long after Edward finally gave in fully and buried hands into his hair to help guide the kiss. As he drew away he had to smile at the whimper of protest he knew that Edward would never admit to making, and he brushed his lips lightly back down against Edward's before resting their foreheads together. "Please, Edward," he whispered as he looked down into dazed golden eyes, "stay here and trust me to protect you."

Edward closed his eyes with a shaking breath. "The hell…?"

"That bad of a kiss?" Roy asked in light humor, his eyes shining in amusement.

Edward looked back up at him, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly in a smile. And for Roy, it was nearly as wonderful as Edward kissing him back had been, to for once have Edward smile at him. "I think it bears repeated investigation."

Roy couldn't help the smile that came over him then, and as he drew away, he nodded. "I'll be back, just stay hidden until I return." And once he felt certain that Edward would be able to stand on his own again, he stepped away from the blond in order to stride towards the door, outwardly ignoring the open-mouthed and wide-eyed stares he was getting from all but Sheska and Winry, who appeared to have fainted to the floor.

As Roy exited the home, Riza finally managed to pull herself back together and hurried after him.

For several minutes it seemed, the Rockbell home was absolutely quiet. Alphonse and Pinako still quite petrified, Winry and Sheska still in a heap on the floor, and Edward standing there with a hand raised to his mouth in his own manner of shock.

"I think… to the cellar with you all." Pinako finally managed to say, "Alphonse, help me with the girls. Starry-eyes, move your arse."

Edward blushed despite himself, and allowed himself to be herded down into the cellar where he sat there with the others – Winry and Sheska had eventually come to – thinking back on that kiss. Try as he might, he couldn't get it out of his head.

"You okay, Ed?" Winry finally couldn't help but ask. "You sure he didn't drug you or something?"

Edward gave her a miffed look. "He knows it wouldn't work."

"Then what is it? You practically swooned!" She accused.

"He's very… focused. When he kisses." Edward explained swiftly with an increasingly redder face. "Focused." He repeated, before thinking back on all she'd said. "What do you mean, I swooned?"