Was it Ed's imagination, or were they enjoying it just a little too much?

He frowned and idly turned a page of his book. In theory, they could just be really good actors. Always a good quality to have on a stakeout, which was the reason they were out here, sitting at these little circular tables on the sidewalk in front of a busy café. The mission was a relatively simple one. A State Alchemist was suspected of passing along military secrets to somebody he shouldn't be, and the objective was to catch him in the act. And since Colonel Bastard didn't trust Ed to stay below the radar—whatever that meant—he and Hawkeye had opted to accompany Ed, which he had had no problem with at the time.

He was starting to change his mind now.

While they waited for their suspect to make an appearance, Ed sat by himself and pretended to read and Mustang and Hawkeye put on the act of a civilian couple having lunch together...except there seemed to be an awful lot more flirting than eating going on. Ed had had the misfortune of seeing Mustang put the moves on other women, and it was all the more sickening now because he couldn't walk away. He had to sit there through all the inviting sidelong glances, all the flattery and sweet talk that made him gag. It was a wonder Hawkeye hadn't shot him yet.

But then, she was probably focused on the mission. It would certainly explain how she managed to keep smiling whenever the colonel laid a kiss on her hand or swept her fringe back from her eyes. Appallingly, Hawkeye submitted to it all without a single protest, actually leaning into it a little. Any closer and they would be sitting in each other's laps.

Ed shifted in his seat, discomfited. Mustang was one thing, but it was just plain weird to see Hawkeye acting like a woman for once. Most of the time, she was all business and all military and so damn daunting that he had a hard time resisting the urge to salute when she marched by. Ed had never seen her with her hair down and wearing civilian clothes. Though her blouse still had a conservative air, her skirt was slitted and allowed a glimpse of her crossed legs and her sandaled toes stroking Mustang's calf.

What the heck, why are you staring at her legs? an inner voice scolded. Eyes elsewhere, mister!

Ed slumped lower in his seat, eyes burning holes in the pages of his book, but Hawkeye's light, tittering laughter was distracting. That had to be an act. There was no way Mustang was that funny. Hawkeye tossed her hair over her shoulder, lips dangerously close to the colonel's ear as she murmured something secretive and most likely seductive if Mustang's rakish grin was anything to go by. A very uncomfortable heat began to gather in Ed's face. He cleared his throat and tried discreetly to inch his chair around so he wouldn't have to watch, and he ended up banging his knee rather badly. That worked almost as well as a cold shower. Jeez, who knew Hawkeye could flirt like that?

Idiot, she's like ten years older than you! Get your hormones under control!

Yeah right, like it was that easy. God, Ed thought he had left this behind when he was twelve. Mortifying as it was to own up to it, he could admit to having once had the tiniest crush on the same way he'd crushed on Teacher before she flipped him over her head that first time. Neither of those mini infatuations had lasted longer than a week or two, but now it seemed this one was determined to come back in full force.

Swallowing dryly, Ed put the book between him and the suddenly very pretty Hawkeye. He just had to get this mission over with as fast as possible. The sooner that happened, the sooner he and Al could set off on their next lead, and the sooner Hawkeye could go back to her uniform and her usual no-nonsense attitude. Intimidation did wonders for killing misplaced adolescent lust...

...holy crap, did she just run her hand up his thigh? How was Mustang not a puddle at her feet by now?

Wait a minute, they were standing up. Why were they standing up? The two soldiers strolled casually toward another table, and by the time Ed realized one of the men at that table was their suspect, Hawkeye had her gun drawn and Mustang was reclaiming the classified military documents from the rogue State Alchemist. Things happened quickly after that. The MPs were called in, the two criminals turned over to them, and then it was just the three of them with a few curious civilians looking on.

"Huh...that was easy," Ed said, book tucked under his arm.

"They were careless," Hawkeye remarked. Her gun was holstered again, but the aura of professionalism remained, and Ed felt a little less awkward for it.

"You, were pretty good, Lieutenant," Ed blurted out, acutely aware of the look she was giving him and wishing he had just kept his mouth shut. "I-I mean with the acting and all. Not that I thought you'd be bad, but..."

Hawkeye smiled slightly and nodded. "Thank you, Edward, I appreciate that."

"Uh huh, no problem," Ed mumbled, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

Unexpectedly, a heavy hand landed on his shoulder. "As long as we're handing out praise," Mustang said loftily, "I just want to say that I'm proud of you, Fullmetal."

Ed did a double take. "Huh...?"

Mustang cast him a wicked grin. "I knew you were a leg-man!" he exclaimed.

Ed blanched, caught between the urge to transmute the ground from underneath him and killing Mustang on the spot. He compromised by socking him in the gut and running for all he was worth, barely catching Hawkeye's jaded sigh over the wheezing behind him.

"Sir, must you be so shameless...?"