Knight in Shining Armor: Alphonse Elric and May Chang

Alphonse Elric pushed open the door to the small Xingese street café, the tinkling of a bell sounding above his head. The matron of the café bowed to him and showed him a table where two gigantic men sat, already waiting for him. He had a strange sense of déjà vu… hadn't it been just like this three years ago in Amestris?

Three years was a long time. Al had done some serious growing; mentally and physically. Mentally, his alchemy and alkahestry were better and stronger thanks to his studies and lessons with May. Physically, well, he'd wager he was taller than Ed now, but there was no guarantee as he hadn't seen his sibling in years. He was definitely broader now, though. Every time he looked in the mirror, he felt like he was looking at a clean-shaven, short-haired version of Hohenheim. Broad shoulders, broad chest, narrow hips. He looked good…

Al seated himself across from Zampano and Jerso, both chimeras who accompanied him to Xing as "bodyguards". He saw them a couple times a week, though they insisted that they were always watching him from the shadows. He wasn't convinced.

"How you guys been?" he asked, ordering a drink from the waitress that approached their table.

"Oh, ya know, the usual, sightseeing," Zampano shrugged. Al mentally chuckled; these two had been "sightseeing" for three years. aka, drinking at the bars and picking up women, "How about you? You seeing May today?"

The waitress returned with his milk and he took a sip of it, "Yep, she just went to see Ling at the palace. I'm meeting up with her this afternoon."

Jerso smirked and traded a glance with his companion, "More Alkahestry?" the lilt in his voice suggested anything but Alkahestry and Al nearly spit out his beverage.

"No, we did that this morning," his declaration was greeted by some heavy guffawing.

"Suuure… Alkahestry. We're onto you, boy. No one does that much studying with a girl."

Al flushed furiously and pouted at the table, "No… really. We study and learn how to improve our skills…" he blushed harder as every word that came out of his mouth could be misconstrued. And it was, as the chimeras laughed and elbowed each other, "Guys, seriously…"

"No, man, we're cool," the laughing simmered down to chuckles and tears before Jerso finally leaned on the table and whispered loudly, "So, ah, when are you gonna, you know, do it?"

"Do what?" Al squeaked, clutching his milk glass so hard his knuckles were white.

"You know… pop the question. Ask her to get hitched with you."

"Married," Zampano butted in, "When are ya gonna ask her to marry you?"

Al visibly deflated a little as his nerves relaxed, "Uh… I dunno. I hadn't thought about it," lies, naturally. He thought about it all the time, was researching Xingese wedding ceremonies in his spare time, actually.

"Well, get on it, kid. You don't want someone else stepping in on your territory."

Al downed his milk and set his glass on the table, avoiding eye contact with his chimera companions, "I'm not worried," he replied, "I gotta go, now. May and I are going to the beach today."

"Oooh… beach. Romantic."

He felt that that didn't deserve a comment in reply and stomped out of the café, much to the amusement of Jerso and Zampano.

May sighed and swung her basket up and onto her shoulder. Things with Lan Fan and Emperor Ling turned out just as she'd expected. The news of the new Empress was already starting to spread, and it was causing both happiness and unhappiness.

But to May, it was good news.

Even better news? She was about to see Alphonse!

May hummed happily and skipped down the stone steps that lead to the beach of the large private lake that was property of the Emperor, but that had been offered to public use since Ling's ascent to the throne.

She was alone today, without Shao Mei. She'd wanted some quality alone time with Alphonse, which was different from their normal routine. The panda cat followed her everywhere, but when Alphonse and her had gotten even more close, she'd begun to feel awkward with her around. Nonetheless, she loved her like a sister and was glad when Shao Mei had agreed to stay behind. She loved Alphonse as much as May did.

Alone, just the two of them... May sighed at the thought and plopped her basket down a safe distance from the water, reaching in to grab a large blanket out. She tossed the sheet up, straightened it out, and laid it across the soft white sand.

Knowing she was early, she decided to lay out in the warm sun a little. So she stripped off her clothes, leaving herself in a light pink bikini, and stretched her arms above her head, wiggling her toes in the sand.

After leaving the café, Al headed to his house – because after so much time spent here in Xing, ya, he had a house – and picked up his bathing suit and made lunch. He'd been practicing his cooking skills ever since he got his body back. He tried his hand at baking… and he was absolutely terrible at it. He could do alchemy without an array… and yet a cake was a disaster.

It was a short walk to the Emperor's private beach. And when he got there, he spotted May right away… alone. No Shao May today? His mind jumped to what Zampano and Jerso were talking about at the café and instantly, his face flamed. Just because May decided not to bring her pet panda along didn't mean anything… sometimes Shao May didn't come along…

For the life of him, he couldn't recall another instance of when.

He kicked off his shoes and stepped into the sand, rubbing the grains between his bare toes. He could truly appreciate the trivial sensations like sand between his toes and the smell of summer. He still had nightmares where he woke up thinking he was back in his armored shell.

He paused, mid-stride, as May settled a blanket on the beach and stood up, shimmying out of her clothes, revealing a pink bathing suit underneath. Holy moly… his heart stopped beating in his chest for a fraction of a second as she stretched her arms up over her head. Long shapely legs, the slight flare at her hips… it shouldn't disarm him so easily. How long had they been dating? Forever. Years. And yet… here he was, stumbling and panting like a preteen.

"Hey," he greeted, swallowing around his bundled nerves and stealing a quick kiss from her, "Sorry I'm late. I met the chimeras earlier," he held up his bag, "I brought lunch," he plopped it on the blanket and pulled off his shirt, stripping down to his swim trucks.

May grinned as he kissed her and then proceeded to strip down to his swim trunks. He looked a little flustered to see her in her bikini, and she was equally happy to see his body exposed as it is. Since he'd regained his body, he'd worked on it hard, and down his abs was tight and his muscles defined. She practically melted, just looking at them.

With a sigh of happiness, she reached out and grabbed his arm as she darted past him, yanking him towards the water with more force than a small girl like herself should have. She yanked him hard enough to propel him all the way to the water.

"Let's swim!" she said with a loud laugh, giving him no choice as she basically shoved him into the water. She grinned and stood at the edge of the water with her hands planted on her hips and a smirk of triumph on her lips.

"I win!" She announced, but she was too busy watching the water sluice down his beautiful body to really appreciate her victory of dunking him in the water. Her eye gleamed with appreciation.

And suddenly he was heading towards the water, liquid splashing him, kicked up by their legs as she tugged him into the lake and shoved him hard, trying her best to dunk him. At best, he stumbled forward a few steps, his arms windmilling to catch his balance as the water wrapped around his knees, slapping into his face and he sputtered.

He spun to face her, blinking water out of his eyes and running his hands over his face and hair, spiking it up. She stood in the shallows, her hands braced against her hips, a smug look on her face. She crinkled her nose at him and the sunlight brought out the array of freckles sprinkled around her cheeks.

Well, she wanted to play that game, did she. He was a firm believer in equivalent exchange. You get what you give.

Al rushed her, linebacking her and snaking his arms right around her waist, hoisting her into the air, right over his shoulder. She screamed playfully, pounding her little fists against his back. He spun around with a chuckle and headed for deeper water, lifting his knees and sprinting. And just when it was just starting to get tough to move forward, he forced himself to fall forward, submerging under the water, taking her with him.

Okay, so he dunked himself in the process, but he got her real good. They both resurfaced and he shook out his hair, "Got ya," he smirked, flicking some water in her face.

May sputtered a little as she resurfaced, then glared at him as he shook out his hair smugly. "Enjoy your victory now, my love, but soon... soon you will know defeat…" she muttered evilly to him, loud enough for him to hear, her eyes glinting with amusement as she twiddled her fingers together like she was hatching a diabolical plan.

In the end, she just splashed him really hard and dove for the shore. She was laughing as she walked out of the lake, over to her towel, then spread out on it with a contented sigh. Yes... the sun on her skin felt beautiful. She smiled and closed her eyes.

"This was a great idea!" she called over to him as she reached over and pulled out a drink from her basket. She took a sip and sighed. "Come have lunch with me!" She called again, sitting up and waving her arms at him.

He trudged out of the lake and joined her on the blanket as she dug through the lunch bag for food. He sat with his knees propped up, his arms draped over them. She handed him a sandwich and he watched as she laid down on her stomach, propped up on her elbows, sandwich beside her, water propped up by the sand and a book under her nose. Actually, it was his journal of alchemy, written a long time ago when he was travelling around with Ed, back when he was a suit of armor.

Around them, a few people drifted onto the beach, taking advantage of its publicity and the beautiful weather. A young Xingese woman kneeled in the sand, coaxing a small toddler to build potentially his first sand castle. Further down the beach, another couple was walking along the coast. Between them, they were swinging a little girl, who was laughing in delight as the water kicked up over her.

Alphonse glanced back at May, watching as she mouthed the words from the journal, a frown furrowing her brow. His mind jumped; what would their kids look like? Would they have his golden Xerxes coloring or the rich blacks of the Xingese? Would they have alchemic abilities too?

Holy shit… why was he thinking about this? Kids meant having sex first… he could feel a flush creeping up his neck, but then marriage came before kids…

"So, ah, when are you gonna, you know, do it?"

"You know… pop the question. Ask her to get hitched with you."

"When are ya gonna ask her to marry you?"

"Let's get married!" he suddenly blurted. He paled when he realized what he just spit out before his face flamed, "I didn't mean it like that…" he corrected, "Uh, well, I mean, I did, but… like, only if you, ya know, want… I mean, but I want to too! It's just… yeah…" he finished off really lamely, turning his eyes to the sand at the edge of the towel, drawing little alchemic arrays in the grains.

Stupid… he pouted. Real stupid. That was just genius. Real smooth, real cool, Alphonse. How can you expect any kind of answer with that kind of question? Sooo… stupid.

May looked up sharply as Al blurted out the topic of getting married.

She stared straight ahead, her mouth slightly parted and her eyes wide. Get married? Them?

She turned her head to stare at him, blinking. He had his eyes trained on the sand, looking thoroughly embarrassed and miserable about it. He wanted to marry her?

May shot to her knees, grinning, and tackled him to the sand. "Dummy!" she yelled, laughing, "Of course I want to get married!"

She was laying on top of him, and they were both essentially naked. She could feel the ridges of his stomach against hers, and she blushed a little. She grinned down at him through the blush and kissed him soundly on the lips.

"I was wondering when you were going to ask," she told him, gazing down into his beautiful golden eyes, enjoying the feel of him, enjoying the glow in her chest that he proposed to her.

"I love you, Alphonse," she informed him with a happy smile.

He caught her instinctively, wrapping his arms around her when she tackled him back into the sand. The closeness of the skin to skin contact was rattling his brains around in his head a little, but he understood the gist of what she'd said.

She'd said yes.

A/N:

Up Next: Roy and Riza

This story contains spoilers from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Read at your own risk.

All characters belong to Hiromu Arakawa.

Credits:

May Chang: Goldensomething

Alphonse Elric: Jesachi