When Edward opened the door to his flat, it was like walking into a stranger's home. He stood in the open doorway, confused, as the cold early autumn air crept in behind him. The foyer was empty of random shoes and books spilling out of the main room, and had actually been swept recently. The single boot-print left on the wall from Edward kicking angrily had been wiped away.

He closed the door quietly.

It wasn't that Edward was a slob. He hung his coat on the empty hangar in the closet and left his suitcase in front of the closet door. The sitting room was completely cleaned of clutter. Books were shelved properly in the bookcases, and they had been dusted. The blinds were open, the faint morning light was already drifting through the blinds.

The room looked presentable. Edward's various explosions of genius had been quietly cleaned and straightened, his notes in order on the desk in front of the window. It didn't feel like the flat Edward had been living in since he was transferred back to Central City several years ago - it felt like a different home entirely, one that Edward very pointedly tried not to emulate.

There were a few pictures that had fallen over when Edward shuffled them out of the way constantly to get at the books beside them. They'd been moved from the shelves of the bookcase to the ignored mantle - the only reason Edward could think they weren't there in the first place was the books Edward had piled on the mantle.

The armchair had been pushed back from where Edward had used it to block the fireplace, and the broken grate had been repaired. There was even some logs in the hearth.

He took a step back and looked around the room, fighting his astonishment at the transformation. He'd only been gone the weekend.

Roy had kept an immaculate household. Edward was never really sure how - he'd never seen Roy lift a finger to keep the place clean, and he'd certainly never run across any maids - but the rooms were always in order, properly dusted and the most clutter he'd see would be maybe last night's dishes still in the sink.

Edward didn't exactly live in a pig sty, but clutter was his sanctuary. He could find anything and everything in that mess of books and papers (even if it truthfully sometimes took him half the afternoon, and by the time he'd located what he was looking he it was even odds on remembering why he was looking for it in the first place). Plus, he just didn't see the point in expending the effort of cleaning when he had to figure out how to work around two obstinate colonels and a general who thought he could outsmart Edward in alchemy.

The kitchen was cleaned, too - the white tile gleaming, scuffs buffed out and the missing chair that went with the kitchen table somehow recovered. There were a few dishes in the sink - rinsed off but steal clearly in need of washing. Edward smiled and continued to the bedroom.

All Edward could see of the lump curled in the center of the bed was dark hair, spiked badly and in need of brushing poking out from under the heavy down comforter. Edward sat on the edge of the bed carefully and looked at Rian thoughtfully.

Rian, who didn't understand why Edward had all-but boarded up the fireplace in the main room. Rian, who had no reason to be here while his commanding officer was gone but chose to come over because he felt more at home here than in the military dorms. Rian, who loved Edward without reservation, even when Edward hesitated to return those feelings himself.

Rian, who rolled over sleepily, roused by Edward's weight on the bed, his dark eyes cracking open and squinting against the growing daylight. After a moment his expression lit up as he registered Edward looking down at him.

"Rian," Edward rumbled, running his hands through Rian's spiky black hair. The kid needed a hair cut. "What happened to my flat?"

"Cleaned," Rian said, then yawned. "Welcome back."

"I'm not going to be able to find anything, am I?" Edward said philosophically, leaning his weight on his automail arm.

Rian grinned up at him. "Not with the way you organize." He tugged on Edward's hand insistently, and Edward leaned down to get a good morning kiss. "Missed you," Rian murmured against him.

Edward smiled as Rian turned his head and yawned again. He was home.


Prompt #09 of 25: Clean.