Author's Note: Well, here I go again. Because my fic A Hundred Ways to Say You're My Brother (in which I used the Royai 100 Themes to explore the Elric brothers' relationship) was so successful, I decided I should do a similar fic with the EdWin 100 Themes. I didn't want to do another one with the Elrics (though I could easily have written 100 more oneshots), so in the end I decided to write about Roy Mustang and Edward Elric.

For some reason I've never been able to fathom, RoyEd is one of the most popular pairings in this fandom. If you're a fan of that, then you probably won't want to read any of this, because there will be absolutely no romance between those two characters in this fic. No yaoi. Period. The trouble I have with RoyEd is threefold:

1. Generally, non-canon pairings make me go o.0 Especially ones between characters who already have an established canon romance. I usually remain pretty skeptical unless someone can convince me it would work. Such a decision is obviously pretty subjective, so while I've never been able to see how RoyEd works, I understand that other people do, which is fine by me. (Examples of non-canon pairings from this fandom that I've been able to understand - to a certain point, if the circumstances are tailored minutely to make it work - would be AlXElysia and Havocai. I still don't support them, but I can kind of understand where they're coming from.)

2. Ed and Mustang are fourteen years apart in age. If that doesn't sound at least a little odd to you, then I hope you'll forgive me as I inch slowly away XD Sorry, that just smacks a liiiiitle too close to "pedophilia" for me to be comfortable with it. I mean, if you think about it, when Ed becomes a State Alchemist, he's 12 and Mustang is 26. At the time of the story proper, Ed is 15 and Mustang is 29. No? Okay, moving on.

3. Ed and Mustang have one of the most fascinating relationships I've ever seen. It's somehow simultaneously boss-employee, peer-peer, father-son, uncle-nephew, and brother-brother with a complete lack of respect for each other that somehow gets on each other's nerves but doesn't ruin their relationship completely. I've never seen a relationship quite like theirs in any other story, and it fascinates me. If you ask me, adding in romance doesn't add a single thing to their relationship - rather, it detracts. I guess some people think it adds plenty, but to me romantic attraction changes the whole slant of a relationship. Sometimes it works and makes the relationship deeper than it would be otherwise. In this case, I feel it takes away some of the nuances I like best in their relationship. That's my view, and if you hold a different one, I promise I won't bite your head off about it if you do the same, because I'd like to keep my head, plzkthnxbai. It's kind of necessary to keep writing fanfics XD

That being said, though I will never really be able to understand RoyEd shippers, I'm content to not run around bashing them over the head for writing the pairing if they'll do the same for me ^_^

Anyway, suffice to say there will be no yaoi in this fic. There will probably be quite a bit of Hawkeye, Hughes, Al, and Winry, since you can't have Mustang and Ed without the people who are most important to them. From what I've written so far, this is going to be very fun indeed XD Since I chose such a weird title, and because this whole thing is so easily misunderstood, I decided the only way to do this was to explain the title in the first chapter. At first I thought it would be impossible with this theme, but somehow I made it work. I also experimented with weird structures, loose grammar, and strong beginnings and endings, which is always fun.

Timeline: Midseries

Theme 1: Childhood friend

Roy Mustang stared at the slight bulge of his feet under the sheet and thought about how stupid he was. He made an assessment, from the feet up.

His feet were stupid, for not running fast enough. For stumbling at precisely the wrong moment. For making him sprawl on his face, saving him from a bullet to the stomach.

His legs were stupid, for seizing up and getting tired even though he dutifully did his exercises every day. Even someone with thighs as thick as Armstrong's couldn't run that far, that fast. Couldn't pound down the streets of Central swiftly enough to escape his own curses. Devoid of oxygen, tightened with lactic acid, they still ached and they were stupid.

His abdomen was stupid, for heaving with mocking laughter. For not jolting with terror or even squirming with guilt when he heard that Edward had sneaked out of his hospital room.

His lungs were stupid, for pushing out the air it took to tease the boy. His heart was stupid, for not halting right in its tracks before he could speak and sparing them all. His hands and his arms were stupid too, for making mocking gestures. For not reaching out to stop Winry Rockbell when she ran, sobbing, from the room.

Even his face was stupid. His lips, for curling up in a smirk just because that was what annoyed Edward most. His ears, for not hearing what was really going on when Edward yelled at the top of his lungs, "SHE'S JUST A CHILDHOOD FRIEND, OKAY?" His eyes, for being so blind. So pathetically, stupidly blind.

Roy sighed and covered his face with one arm. How simply the day had begun, with Lieutenant Hawkeye rescuing him from the endless tedium of the office by saying, "The nurse just called to inform you that Edward Elric is conscious now, sir. Apparently, he is having a rather loud...conversation with Miss Rockbell and is disturbing the other patients."

And so they'd traipsed off to Central Military Hospital, ostensibly to put his subordinate in order, but in reality just to tick him off further. Who would miss such a rare chance as teasing the most sensitive teenager in existence in front of the girl he wouldn't admit he liked? Not Roy Mustang, oh no.

YOU'RE NOT PRETTY, YOU'RE NOT CUTE, AND I WOULDN'T GO OUT WITH YOU IF I HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN YOU AND KING BRADLEY! That was what the silver-tongued Full Metal Alchemist had bellowed at Miss Rockbell right before the nurses kicked all the visitors out, saying that he had to rest. And Roy hadn't thought anything of it, not until they received a ransom note from the very criminals who had landed Edward in the hospital in the first place.

Slowly, Roy's arm slid back down by his side and he turned his head to look at the bed next to his. Edward's face was still pale, and his eyes looked groggy and drugged, but at least they were open now. He'd looked dead when Roy had finally relinquished him in an ambulance. Grey and dripping, like a dead fish.

The bullet had hit his right shoulder, thankfully. And ricocheted. And fractured his collarbone. And almost caused him to bleed to death. The criminals' hideout was so far from any main roads... But at least it hadn't hit the poor boy's heart, as it very well could have. The kid was just too short, that was all there was to it.

As if he could hear Roy's thoughts, Edward frowned and looked groggily back at him. Roy turned his head away again, unable to meet those eyes clouded by pain the drugs couldn't completely eliminate. How was it fair that Roy had escaped with nothing but a sprained ankle and a bad scrape on one arm? Stumbling painfully out of that hideout, leaving behind the whole gang so badly burned they wouldn't be able to move before the police got to them, lugging a bleeding and possibly dead boy along with him... That made the picture of a heroic man going to rescue his incompetent subordinate. Which was completely the reverse. Because it was all his fault, every bit of it, and Edward deserved so much more than the constant teasing hospital calls he received from his superior.

Squeezing his eyes shut, Roy sighed into the empty air. They hadn't spoken since Edward had let out a surprised little, "Ouch," before losing consciousness as Roy shouted his name. He wanted to apologize, but he had no idea where to start because now the time they'd known each other stretched out behind him and he realized he would have to apologize for every single thing he'd ever said or done to him, or it would be meaningless. Like an excuse. A lame excuse that could never cover up what their relationship had led to. He could only make things worse.

So what he said instead was, "How long are you going to put up with me, Edward?"

He snorted. "Till I'm a hundred, you idiot."