KissMeDeadlyT-T: This is a gift fic to PreventPersuadePervert for being the 100threviewer on my Flame fic. Well, technically, PreventPersuadePervert was review 101, but the actual 100th reviewer was anonymous and so I couldn't write a fic for them.
This was supposed to be a oneshot, but it got really long and so I decided I'm going to split it into more chapters. I don't know when the next parts will be up, but I'll try to get them done as quickly as I can.
I don't own FMA and the plot is based off of the request. Fluff was what was asked for but I'm a freak and always add some form of angst and confusion in there. Because I like to think that Ed would probably have an emotional breakdown if he had a crush on someone. I know I do. Can't handle that shit. Hopefully it's still fluffy enough.
And there is a part where Al is kind of OOC and vulgar but meh I think he needs to be a little bit more... blunt. Yeah, that.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy,PreventPersuadePervert! Everyone else, too!
Do you ever just want to stab your eyes out? Or maybe rip out your brain, because it's making you think really fucking stupid things? Or even your heart, when it starts beating like it's trying to win a damn marathon and makes you feel like you're going to pass out all because of that one personthat you really fucking love but really fucking don't want to?
Yeah, me too.
I've never really had experience with things like this— like this stupidlove if that's what you want to call it. I was too young before It happened, and now that I'm old enough to start going past the 'Ew, you have cooties!' phase and into the'Holy shit fuck me sideways he's so hot and why is my heart fluttering like this and fuck off stupid butterflies in my stomach and why the hell do I justwanthim'phase, I've been too busy trying to get Al's body back. On top of that and dealing with the Homunculi and Scar and whatnot, I didn't really think it was super fucking important to go and think about falling in love or anything.
Everyone thought I had a thing for Winry, but even though I do love her, I can't bring myself to see her as anything other than a really annoying but awesome sister. Trust me, I've tried.
Many times. With other girls, too; Sciezka, Paninya, Rose, hell, even Hawkeye— but I could never find one inkling of attraction in that way.
In other words, I had started to believe that I was just emotionally and sexually stunted— that I'd never fall in love with anyone, never want anyone to touch me, never want to let anyone in. And I was fine with that. Really.
So the first time that I notice my heart begin racing and blood start flooding my cheeks and my palms become inexplicably sweaty while I'm having a heated argument with the stupid colonel, and he grabs my collar in anger, I (naturally) almost have a heart attack. My insult dies before it can even come into existence, and I freeze up completely, my brain only able to register stupid things like Roy Mustang's face is less than a foot away from mine oh my fucking god. What the hell is going on here? I don't like Mustang,not like that! Is that what this is? It is, isn't it? I may not have experienced it before but I know how it's supposed to feel! He's a jerk! I know he's doing everything he can to help Al and I get our bodies back, and it's not like I hate him—but there is no way that I likehim! He's a womanizing perverted hydrophobic pyromaniac asshole with a God complex. He is Roy Mustang.
And everyone knows how I feel about him.
He pisses me the fuck off.
He stops giving me shit about how I'd beaten up a baker (hey, he called me shortie and had it coming, fat bastard) and my lack of a properly written report for a second. He glares at me with those black eyes that were making me angry earlier, but are just freaking me out now because I can see the flecks of dark blue in them and it's making my heart feel funny. I try to look away, or put on a normal face, or at least unfreeze, but I can't even bring myself to make a sound. His lips twist into a nasty smirk, the one he wears when he thinks (or knows) he's won an argument. It makes my breath quicken, and again I try desperately to say something, but I can't.
I like to pretend that this is the first time this has happened— but deep down I know there's always been something different about him, something that made me really uncomfortable and inexplicably emotional and shaky. Sometimes, I'd left his presence blushing furiously and my heart beating too fast, but I'd always assumed it was just because he pissed me off so bad.
Oh, fuck. He's so close. And he sort of smells nice. Oh, fuck no! I did not just think that!
"What's wrong, Fullmetal? You look like you're going to cry." If he didn't sound so damned smug, I'd probably believe that he was actually concerned. "Aw, am I being too hard on you?" he coos, reaching to pat my head mockingly. "You're solittle, maybe I should be nicer."
I snarl at his mocking tone and shove him back. "I'm not little, you bastard!"
"Well, your temper certainly is."
"Just shut up, okay? I'm not in the fucking mood." Oh my fuck, did my voice just tremble? Please tell me my voice didn't tremble.
I turn my back and storm towards the doors with the goal of getting the fuck out of here and maybe getting Al to punch me in the head and knock some sense into me. I have no idea what to do with this. Like I said— I've never had experience with these types of stupid, girly feelings! And towards someone like him— someone so experienced and fucking straight— Oh Gate this is the worst day I've had in a long time.
Yes, I may be having a mental breakdown, but can you really blame me?
I was too busy panicking and trying to flee without making it look like I was trying to flee that I didn't notice him catch up to me and grab my wrist. Automatically, I whirl and raise my hands to transmute (I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but it was just instinctual), but he grabs my other hand and stops me. My heart does another stupid jump thing like it's trying to commit suicide. I don't blame it.
"What the hell!" I blurt. Inside, I punch myself. Wonderful. Because that wasn't obvious that something is up at all.
"Ed, I was just teasing. Are you okay?" He actually does sound concerned now. Fucking bastard. Why does he have to go and be nice all of a sudden? It's making me want to do really stupid girly things. Like let him wrap me in his arms or something. Aw, hell no!
I force myself not to look up at him, because I know I'll probably continue with my emotional breakdown then and quite possibly start screaming like an escaped lunatic. My stomach feels funny and I forcefully tug my wrists out of his grip, crossing my arms and glaring at the ground. I know it's my standard pose when something is bugging me, and that now he'll definitely know something is up, if he somehow hadn't caught onto that before. I find it kind of disturbing how he knows me so well. But still, having my arms crosses and a glare on my face makes me feel more like myself, which is a relief, because I'm sort of wondering if I've been possessed by a demon or something.
"I know," I respond shortly, forcing those thoughts out of my head. "It's fine, colonel. Can I go?"
"Edward Elric, look at me."
"Don't be a brat."
I raise an eyebrow at him. "Fuck off," I repeat.
"No," he says evenly. "You look like you're going to cry."
It's his damn fault for being so— so— agh! I don't even know. Glaring, I look up at him with the intent of telling him to fuck off again, but the words catch in my throat and I freeze up. He's looking right at me. And he looks really worried.
A crease appears between Mustang's eyebrows when I just stare at him with wide eyes, my lips clamped together and my shoulders hiked up to my ears, and he stoops to my level. "Hey," he says, waving a hand in front of my face. "Edward?"
"Um," I manage to get out, trying to back up but really just frozen staring at him. No. I refuse to let myself think it, I won't think it— Oh my Gate he is fucking beautiful. Damn it! I said I wasn't going to let myself think it! Fuck you, brain! Just fuck you!
"Are you sick?" He slips off his glove and presses a cool palm to my forehead and I swear to whatever god there might be that I almost fall over and pass out. Thankfully, though, it manages to tear me out of whatever I am stuck in, and I jerk back, so fast he looks alarmed.
"Maybe you should see a doctor," he says slowly.
"No," I say, shaking my head and backing up, "I'm okay, Mustang, really, but uh— I just remembered, I have to meet Al at the hotel, and—yeah, I'll give you that report tomorrow, okay?"
"Bye!" Before he can say anything else, I turn and run out of there as fast as I can, slamming the doors shut behind me and leaning on them for a second, my heart racing and my mind whirling.
What the hell?
I guess Mustang must have really thought I was sick or something, because he gives me the next week off. It's not like I do anything when I'm on the clock anyway, so I don't really get why he called me into his office to tell me that I didn't have to come in this week, but whatever. At least now I have an excuse to not go talk to him.
The problem is that I'm—oh Gate—starting to miss him. I have this stupid nagging urge to go and see him all the time, but since I'm stubborn and I want to nip this ridiculous crush before it turns into anything else, I refuse to give in and instead avoid him like the plague.
East city is busy today, people walking down the streets in shorts and t-shirts, soaking up the rare spring sunshine and sitting at little cafés, sipping iced teas and lemonades. We haven't had a nice day like this since winter started in October, and since we have nothing on our schedule, Al and I decide to go shopping for Winry since her birthday is coming up. Secretly, I think Alphonse has a crush on her, but I never asked because he gets shy really easily and I don't really fancy the idea of him swinging his giant armor fist at me.
We've been walking around for a while now, me sipping at a smoothie and Al squealing over random stray cats, and I have to say that it's nice to just hang out— to not have to worry about anything, even for a few hours. It's been a while since we've done anything like this, so we're both in a pretty good mood considering how badly life sucks right now.
"Brother!" Al's excited voice brings me back from reality and away from daydreaming about random stuff. Not Mustang or anything. Mostly just how yummy this strawberry-banana smoothie is.
"Yeah?" I ask, noticing he'd stopped at a window a bit ahead of me at a store with a simple sign claiming it to be an automail shop. I head over, vaguely excited that maybe, we finally found something to get Winry that isn't another pair of earrings. Despite how much she liked the last ones, I don't think she has much room left on her ears for another pair. "What, Al?"
"Look at that! Winry would love it!"
He's pointing at something that seems to be on the top of the highest shelf, and being me, I can't see it. To avoid breaching the subject of my lack of tall-ness, I grin and say, "Hey, how about we go in and you can ask the shop owner 'bout it?"
"Can you even see it?" Al asks in a condescending way.
"Uh, yeah, I'm not that short…"
"You have no idea what I'm talking about."
"Oh shut up Al, what is it?"
He snickers and blatantly ignores the death glare I give him. "It's that new oil she's been talking about, the one that she saw in a magazine in the shop in Resembool but couldn't afford. She was going crazy about it!" He all but drags me into the store. I stumble as I try to keep up with his longer steps and struggle the whole way until he stops at the counter and begins excitedly asking questions to the clerk. Leaving him to that, I walk further into the store, glancing at a bunch of random things that I really have no clue about but am sure would cause Winry to have a spontaneous orgasm and die.
My stomach does an unpleasant twist. I really wish I could just be in love with her instead. That's what everyone is expecting, and I know it— but as much as I want to, I never picture her when I think of sweaty palms and pounding heart. It never has been her, and now that I think about it, I think it's been the same person ever since I first saw him in Resembool. All I can think about is him and his stupid smug smirk and stupid cold eyes and his stupid bastard self who, for some reason, had taken Al and me in and had been there for us no matter what.
Shaking my head to clear my mind—I really have to stop thinking about him—, I come upon a shelf full of wrenches. I don't know which ones are the best, but there's one that looks really big and shiny and that I'm sure Winry would love to throw at my head. I've got no other ideas and she's always bitching about how she needs more tools, so I grab it and head back to where Al is waiting with that bottle of oil and still talking with the store clerk.
"Oh, Ed!" he says when he sees me. "Did you find anything?"
I hold up the wrench with a slight grin. "Just this. What do you think?"
"Did you even put any thought into it?"
"Come on, Al!" I groan. "It's Winry. She's a girl. I don't know what girls like, but Winry seems to be a different breed of girl and would probably have sex with everything in this store. I don't think it requires much thought."
"You're right," Al says with a slight chuckle. "She's so crazy about this stuff. Maybe we should just get her a gift certificate or something instead."
"Let's just give her this stuff and buy her more stuff when she comes up next time. We always end up doing that anyway."
After we buy the automail junkie stuff and leave the store, Al suggests, "Hey, why don't you go get something to eat? We've been walking around for a while. We could go to that little café on main."
"Huh? Oh, that's okay. I'm not hungry," I say distractedly, my mind drifting again. It's been doing that a lot recently, and I can't seem to stop it. It's getting worse.
I vaguely notice that the heavy clunking of Al walking beside me has stopped, and I look back to see him standing there, looking at me with his glowing red eyes. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, Ed… just… are you okay?"
"Yeah," I respond, feeling uncomfortable. I shouldn't be so surprised that he's noticed there's something bothering me, but I'd thought I was doing a good job hiding it. I turn to hide my face and say in a forced cheerful voice, "On second thought, you're right, Al! I'm starving. Come on."
"Don't change the subject!" I hear him say exasperatedly as I start hurrying away. I pretend not to hear and keep walking until I hear him sigh and start following.
If this keeps up, I don't know how I'm going to be able to handle even looking at Mustang ever again. Which is a huge issue, seeing as how he's kind of my boss. It's not even like I can just quit the military— I'm on a contract, and plus, I know Mustang would scold my ear off and turn me to ashes for being a moron if I tried. Plus, I need this position. There is virtually no way I can avoid him for the rest of my life, and I have this awful feeling that if I don't, this crush is just going to get worse and worse until I won't even be able to be in the same room as him without having an emotional breakdown.
Aw, damn it. I don't believe in fate or any of that bullshit, but it really seems like life is determined to kick me in the ass.
After the café, Al and I head back to our hotel. It's cooler out now, the sun starting to set and people beginning to go home. The streets slowly empty until there are only a few passers-by, and the setting sun casts shadows that grow longer and longer by the minute. The cool breeze makes my automail, which was out in the open since I'd decided to forgo my red coat and black jacket today, feel cold against my skin. I start to shiver. We're only about a half-hour away from our hotel, though, so it's not a big deal.
"So," Al says hesitantly, like he's afraid I'm going to turn and attack him. I feel so jumpy that he was anyone other than my brother I probably would. "Brother… I know I already asked, but is there something bugging you? You've been… different, for the past few days. I talked to lieutenant Hawkeye, and she mentioned that you and the colonel had another fight… Is that it?"
I laugh a bit bitterly, because it's so appropriate that this would start with something as petty as another squabble between us. "Don't worry about it."
"No!" Al says angrily, stepping in front of me. "I'm tired of you trying to brush me off, Ed! You don't have to deal with everything alone! You can talk to me, I'm your brother, damn it! Don't try and tell me that there's nothing wrong, because I know you, and I know when there's something upsetting you. You get all quiet, and it's really freaky. So," he says, huffing stubbornly and clenching his fists, "tell me. I want to help."
Startled, I hesitate and open my mouth to speak, but it occurs to me that I don't know what to say. It's not that I don't trust Al, it's just… I don't know how he'd feel about this. I'm his older brother, I should be setting an example for him— not going and falling for someone twice my age and not to mention the fact that he's my commanding officer and it's so illegal it's not even funny. And he's a guy. There is absolutely nothing feminine about Roy Mustang, unless you counted his unusual vanity about his hair. I mean… It's really frowned upon. Homosexuality. I'm not completely sure that Al would still look at me the same. He's my little brother. He's all I have.
I look up at Al, and he looks so determined and worried, even though he has no means to express emotions, that I feel myself give in. I know he won't hate me, but… I'm still nervous. Maybe if I just be sneaky and don't tell him who is bothering me.
"Al," I say before he can go any further, looking up at him hesitantly. "Do you… you know… like anyone?"
He seems taken aback, but eventually nods, and I imagine he'd be flushing if he could. "Yeah… why? Is that what's bothering you? Is it 'cause we haven't seen Winry in a—"
"It's not Winry," I interrupt curtly. "It's— well, I'd really rather not tell until I know that you won't think any different of me."
"What? Oh come on, you could be in love with like, Paninya and I wouldn't care!" Al says exasperatedly.
I shift uncomfortably, my throat feeling tight. "It's just… Do you ever… Get confused? I mean, I don't know why I feel like this, I hate it…"
"Well, you can't really control who you like," Al says.
"I know, I just… I… I don't know how to fucking deal with this!" I finally explode, punching the wall and not giving the slightest of fucks when the wood splinters around my hand and cuts into it, making blood sting and run down my wrist. Al looks alarmed and starts, "Ed—" but I keep going before I can stop myself and then suddenly it's like a dam is broken and I can't stop talking. "I don't fucking want to want him, but I can't help it, damn it, why him, he's so out of my reach and there's no way he'd even ever fucking look at me like that and I just can't take it anymore, he won't get out of my fucking head and I'm gonna go crazy thinking about him—It's so wrong, Al, but I can't control it and I'm starting to just not want to control it! I don't know what to do." My throat tightens, and suddenly I can't breathe. "I-I j-just— I want him out of m-my head—but I can't, I can't stop thinking about him and I-I—"
"Brother, calm down!" Al's huge hands grab my shoulders and shake me softly. I'm shaking so hard I can barely stand, and I feel like I might have another panic attack at any given moment now. Al bends to my level slowly and says softly, "Ed, it's okay. Just breathe."
I struggle to take a shaky breath, trying to ignore the tears beading at the corners of my eyes and how pathetic I probably look. Finally, I'm calmed down enough to say in a weak voice, "Al, I'm so fucking screwed."
"It's okay, Ed. Just try to stay calm, alright? It's gonna be okay."
"No, you don't get it…" My throat tightens again, and I nearly choke on the painful lump forming under my Adam's apple. "It's not okay, Al, it's anything but okay and I—"
"Brother." Al's calm voice interrupts me. "So you like someone. You're sixteen. It happens." I still don't meet his eyes, and he sighs. "You're scared, aren't you?"
"I'm not—" But the words die in my throat when I realize Al is right. I am scared. I don't want Mustang to find out because I know there's no way he'd ever feel the same, and I'm scared to admit that I like him because of that. Even to myself. I seem to deflate, all of my anger leaving me, like I'd finally accepted it. "Yeah," I say quietly. "I am, Al, and I don't know what to do."
"Well, first of all, you've just got to accept that you like… you said him, right?"
My ears burn and I avoid his eyes. Al shrugs. "Doesn't make a difference to me what way you roll, Ed, so don't be all awkward."
I stare up at him in disbelief. "You don't care?"
"No. You're still my brother. You're still Ed."
For some reason, I feel relieved— I think a big part of this was worry about Al's reaction. "I was scared you would hate me," I breathe, rubbing at my temples to try to diminish the headache that seemed to have made itself permanent.
"I could never hate you, so don't worry about it. Plus, why would I hate you just 'cause you like guys? That's a stupid reason." I love Al for this— he always manages to calm me down when I'm almost at breaking point. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have him. And he never beats around the bush, he just gets straight to the point— another thing that I am grateful for, because if not for that we would probably be still standing here tomorrow morning and I'd still be screaming my head off.
"Thanks," I breathe, some stress leaving me in a big whoosh of air. "Thank you, Al, I mean it. Damn it," I say, laughing to myself and wiping at the tears that had beaded in the corners of my eyes. "I'm such a mess."
"There's no need to thank me, you know that. We have to have each other's backs, and I'll always be there. Are you in denial about this, though? I mean… you seem like it."
"No," I say, shaking my head. "I know I like him. I just don't want to."
"Wrong?" Al says it expectantly. I shrug.
"Yeah." I kick at the ground with the toe of my boot. Al makes a sound of exasperation.
"Brother, come on. Tell me why it's wrong."
"Damn it Al! Because! Because it's just—It's wrong okay!"
"Oh my god," Al mutters. "Just tell me who it is and I can figure it out on my own."
"I don't wanna say…"
Al sighs. "It's the colonel, isn't it?" he says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. My jaw drops.
"How the hell did you know?" I demand, horrified. Oh Gate. Have I been that obvious? I've been trying so hard to hide it, there's no way he could have figured it out! Hell, I've been hiding it from myself, let alone the whole world! "Oh fuck, Al, is it obvious? Please tell me it isn't, I don't want him to know—"
"Calm down, brother," Al laughs. Laughs. As if I'm not in the middle of having the millionth mental breakdown this week! "You're not obvious. I could just tell from the beginning."
"The beginning?" My eyes bug out. "What do you mean the beginning? I just fucking realized it a couple days ago, how the hell did you know it from the beginning? When the hell is the beginning, anyway?"
Al shrugs, his big armor making an echoing clank in the empty streets. "I don't know, Ed, I just had this feeling. You always got into ridiculous fights with him and you're always really touchy about him. Not to mention you two are so fiercely protective of each other, and that you can't even be in the same room without getting mad at one another. And before you even say anything, I know the reason you decided to get automail and start living again after the accident is because of what he said to you. Before he came, no one could pull you out of your stupor— even I couldn't. I just… put it together." Al seems to smile. "Well, good choice. I like the colonel."
I stare at him, my mouth hanging open and my eyes huge. He figured it out before I did. That must mean it's really true, and that I didn't just hit my head and wake up fucked up one morning— I really have been festering stupid feelings for that bastard for a while. My stomach feels funny again, and for a moment, I'm afraid I might throw up. Then I realize it's more of a warm, fuzzy feeling— that ridiculous feeling I've only ever read about and scoffed at because I didn't think it was possible to have such a feeling.
"Wait…" I say slowly, my throat thick. "You almost made it sound like you think that that bastard… feels… um, like he—"
"Hm? Oh, I think he does."
"What?" I demand again. "You know who we're talking about right? Roy Mustang? Playboy of Central and East city? The guy who sleeps with a different girl every night and, oh, by the way, thinks I'm an annoying brat who only causes trouble and more paperwork? Who is fourteen years older than I am? Who has an unnatural and slightly creepy obsession with miniskirts? You think he likes me? I didn't know it was possible, Al, but I think you're fucking high."
"Well, wear a miniskirt. I'm sure he'd bend you over and—"
"Al!" I blurt, face heating up at the words I never thought I'd hear my little brother say. He snickers a bit.
"I'm no love expert, so don't take my word for it, okay? I just have this feeling that he's so hard on you because he cares about you."
"There's a difference between caring for someone and— wanting them, Al." It almost hurts to say it, but I accept that pain, because if I remember that Mustang is a womanizing pervert who does not like me in any way except for maybe as a friend, then maybe I can get over this dumb crush. "I know he cares about me, otherwise there's no way he'd risk his ass for us. But I also know he doesn't lov—like me."
"I know there's a difference, moron, but I really think that the colonel has a soft spot for you."
"Don't be ridiculous," I say warily, feeling drained. I realize then how cold it's gotten, and how the stars are beginning to shine in the dark sky. Shuddering, I begin walking towards the hotel again. "He'd never look at me like that, Al. I'm too young, I'm not a woman and I'm too immature." He starts to say something, but I interrupt him with a short, "Just drop it, okay?"
Al sighs. "Fine."
We walk in silence for a bit more. I know I probably shouldn't have snapped at Al like that when he was just trying to help, but I'm so wound up right now it's not even funny. I didn't mean to, and I feel really bad— he seems upset. Still, I keep quiet, because right now, I just don't want to think. I focus on putting one foot in front of the other on the cracks on the worn-down sidewalk, and force myself not to think of anything except for nothing.
"Are you cold?" Al asks suddenly as we pass under a flickering streetlight. Teeth chattering, I glance up at him.
"What gave it away?" I ask sarcastically.
He seems to roll his eyes. "We could stop in a shop for a minute so you can warm up."
"I'm fine, I just want to get back to the hotel. We're almost there."
"You'll catch a cold, Ed."
I'm just about to tell him again that I'll be fine when the sound of a car approaching distracts me. Normally, I wouldn't look twice, but the engine hums lowly as the vehicle brakes to a slow crawl. By the time I look to see, Al is already saying, "Ah, it's the colonel."
The colonel?My heart begins pounding and I get that nervous, shaky feeling again when the old car pulls up next to us, and Mustang rolls down the window. I try to appear normal, but I'm sure the way I'm half-hiding behind Al is giving away the fact that I really don't want to see him right now. "Hey," I hear him say from the driver's seat. I refuse to look up. "It's chilly out, do you guys want a ride?"
"Sure," Al starts, but before I can stop myself, I snap, "No thanks, we'll be fine. Come on, Al." I begin storming off, but I don't get far. Al sighs, then he's grabbing me by my waist and dragging me back to where Mustang is still parked and watching me with slight concern and confusion and a whole lot of amusement. I struggle, but I admit it's kind of half-assed because I really am cold and the idea of a warm vehicle is really appealing. Especially since it's Mustang driving and he's not in his military uniform for once. Instead, he's just wearing a simple white shirt and black jeans, and he looks so good that I feel myself heat up and try to stomp away again.
"Just get in the car, brother, the colonel is being nice and I'm not going to let you ruin it by being a little shit."
I square my shoulders. "Fine," I mutter, opening the passenger door and flopping into the seat. I make sure to avoid looking towards Mustang and instead glower out the window, but I can see him giving me this odd look in the reflection and shift uncomfortably, looking his way. "What?" I ask, more snappishly than intended.
Mustang shrugs and looks back to the windshield, taking the car out of park as Al closes the back door behind him. "Nothing," he mutters, and if I'm not mistaken, he rolled his eyes at me. Whatever. "Where are you guys headed?"
"Our usual hotel, please," Al says, a lot more politely than I would have. "You know where it is, right?"
"Yeah. I've had to give Ed a ride a few times after he got lost and called." Mustang's voice holds a slight smirk, and I grimace.
"Shut up. I only call you 'cause I don't have to pay you."
"One of these days I'm going to ask for payment, you know" he says smoothly, shooting me a sidelong glance. "I'm not your personal taxi."
"I'm not giving you money, asshole. You've already closed my account a zillion times and borrowed from me even more."
"Money isn't the only form of payment, Edward." His voice is completely innocent, but my mind twists his words and I turn bright red, turning my head to face the window. I ignore Al's snicker from the backseat.
The rest of the drive is in silence, but it's such a tense silence that I might as well have taken out a butter knife and cut the tension because it's thick as butter. For me, anyway. I'm sure Al and the colonel are fine.
I have to get over this. I can't keep being like this around Mustang, otherwise my job is going to suffer, and it's not like he deserves it. I just have to calm down and accept that I have these feelings and just deal with them. Of course, I've never really been all that great at controlling my emotions, and so it's really hard— but I manage to take a few deep breaths and my shoulders relax a bit until I'm not quite as wound up as I was.
Maybe it could work— I could just harbour this little crush on him, without him ever knowing, and if I do that, it'll eventually go away. Crushes fade. Right?
"So… colonel," I say in the steadiest voice I can manage.
"Yeah? By the way, you know you don't have to call me that when you're not on duty, right?"
"Yeah," I mutter, staring down at my fists, which were curled into balls on my lap. "Fine… Mustang. I'm just wondering, why did you give me this whole week off?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I see him frown. "You've been really off ever since we had that fight the other day, and I'm worried. I thought maybe you could use some time to relax, especially since everything's been so hectic lately."
This makes me get that warm feeling inside again and I have to duck my head to hide a smile. "Thanks," I say quietly. "Sorry I've been so…"
"Bratty?" Mustang suggests. I grimace at him, but sigh.
"It's fine." He's turning into the hotel parking lot now, and for some reason, I'm disappointed. I hesitantly look up at him to see him smirking. "It's not like you can help being what you are, pipsqueak."
"Don't call me that!" I snap automatically, punching his shoulder.
"Don't distract the driver, idiot!" Al pipes in from the backseat. I stick my tongue out at him and flop back into my seat.
"You're both so mean to me," I say in a pouty way.
Mustang snickers— actually snickers, damn it!— at me and says, "Deal with it, Ed. We're not going to be leaving any time soon."
Aaaand now I'm feeling all blushy and girly and warm and shaky again— whatever part of me that was still refusing to admit I fell for him shatters, and I feel myself fall all the way. The worst part is that I don't actually care anymore— I'll just have to accept it for what it is. In the backseat, Alphonse giggles.
On hindsight, it was probably incredibly pointless for me to go for a walk fifteen minutes after we returned to our room, but my thoughts were scrambled and my mind whirring. I couldn't bring myself to just sit still, so I'd grabbed my red coat and was just about to leave when Al emerged from the next room. He seemed to look at me curiously, but it was hard to tell. I'm sure I looked guilty, not that I'd had any reason to.
"Where are you going?" Al had asked.
I didn't really have a place in mind, so I'd just shrugged. "Dunno, just around the hotel I guess. I just need some time to think."
"Oh, okay. Well, be careful, brother."
"I will," I said with a grateful smile. Al's patience was golden; I really didn't want to talk about anything right now, and he seemed to understand that. "I'll be back in a bit."
Now, I'm walking down a dark street, only some of the streetlights working and most of them flickering. The moon casts a sort of silvery glow on the empty streets and makes the white buildings glow in an almost surreal way, but as pretty and mysterious as it looks, I can't bring myself to focus on it. All I can think about is the mess I'd landed myself in, and how I could get out of it. No matter how I looked at it, I couldn't, unless I left the country or something. Even then, I know that I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about him. It's driving me up the wall, because the knowledge that he will never feel the same back hurts in a way I've never been hurt before.
Especially after what had happened in his car. He probably had no clue how much those words meant to me. Deal with it, Ed. We're not going to be leaving any time soon. He probably didn't know how much they hurt, either. If I had to deal with not being able to have him for the rest of my life, and see him find someone else that isn't me… Well, I don't want to think about that.
Sighing, I look up from the ground, only to realize I have absolutely no idea where I am. I glance at the giant clock on the Eastern command centre, surprised to see that it's ten o'clock at night—I've been walking around aimlessly for almost two hours. The whole time, I've been brooding and thinking about what I'm going to do about Mustang. Fuck. Being in love is annoying.
An inexplicable lump settles behind my Adam's apple, and my eyes are burning suddenly— I don't know why, but I want to cry. Maybe it's out of sheer frustration, or maybe it's because I hate feeling so helpless. I grit my teeth and bash my head against a lamppost, refusing to let myself cry over this. It's like ever since I acknowledged to myself that what I have is a lot more than a stupid crush, it's just gotten worse and worse, steadily falling in a downward spiral that I have no idea how to get out of. I somehow feel like I'm being pulled in a bunch of different directions, even though I know it's simple— I love him, and that's that. It just feels like someone has a firm grasp on my heart and is trying to rip it out.
Hitting my head against this lamppost seems to help take out my anger, and so I keep doing it, letting myself mutter insults and curses under my breath. It makes me feel a bit better, because I can at least pretend that I still hate him. Even though I really, really don't. Ugh. I hate this. I'd love to hear Winry go on about this— she has a serious weak spot for tragic, unrequited love stories.
Which this kinda is. I mean fuck! It's tragic and unrequited in every way! How could I be stupid enough to fall for someone so— so— so goddamn unattainable! Fuck!
"You know," a voice says dryly from behind me. I'm so caught up in my dark mutterings that I almost don't hear it. "I really don't think you can handle anymore brain damage. You might cause it to forget how to grow and be stuck the size of a shrimp forever."
It's like I'm on autopilot, because without even needing to look, I snap, "That doesn't even fucking make sense, you pyromaniac douchebag bastard colonel dick fucknut. Go away!"
Now I'm really convinced that life has it out for me. Two times in one evening? What the hell is he even doing out here?
I can practically feel his smirk, but I still don't turn around. I'm still in the middle of having my biggest emotional breakdown yet, damnit!
"That was an impressive amount of insults. Congratulations. Perhaps you should smash your head off of lampposts more often."
"Oh shut up," I sigh, but it's a lot more automatic than heartfelt. I finally turn around, crossing my arms in my typical I'm-getting-real-tired-of-your-shit-colonel pose. I am trying to clear my mind of all my thoughts and confusion about him, and then he goes and shows up. He's good. It's like he knows exactly what to do to make me not stop thinking about him. My irritation spikes when I catch the widening smirk on his perfect mouth. "What?" I gripe. "Stop staring, you freak."
"You really should be more polite," he says condescendingly, frowning. "I amyour superior."
"Well, we aren't on duty right now, and as you pointed out earlier when you gave Al and me a ride, I don't have to treat you like my superior when we're not on the clock. And plus, I really don't give a shit. I'm going to stick with insulting you, because I like it." I really do. It's the only way I can actually take my irritation for making me fall for him out on him without physically assaulting him and getting arrested or something.
He gives a little chuckle. "I guess it would be weird if you did otherwise."
It kind of falls silent then, but it's not really awkward— well, it is, but it isn't. I don't know how to explain it. It's not tense or anything, but it's stressful enough for me to talk to him at work, never mind in a random, casual place like this. Add the fact that I don't really know where to look or what to do with my hands (crossing my arms seems too hostile now, and it's awkward if they just dangle there, so I kind of just start adjusting my braid for something to do), and I can say that this is successfully one of the most awkward scenarios I've ever had with Mustang. Ever.
Why do I call him Mustang in my head, anyway? I could call him Roy. Hm… I don't know, it's weird. It feels too… familiar. As long as I call him Mustang in my head, I feel like I can still keep a distance from him. Shut up and don't judge me. It's working for me so far. Ish.
I realize then that he's staring at me, his slanted eyes guarded in a way that makes me unable to read them but somehow incredibly nervous. Why is he so hard to understand?
"What the fuck is your problem?" I demand in an attempt to cut the butter-thick tension between us. I try to ignore the pounding of my heart in my throat, and the nagging fear that maybe, somehow, Mustang found out I have a thing for him. The worst thing is that if he knew, he would tease me to no end— he wouldn't outright reject me, he would just play with me like a cat swatting at a dangling string. He's sadistic like that.
However, my rude question did its job, and the weird tension disappears, just like that. His lips curl back up into his usual smirk, and again I am extremely uncomfortable in my own skin.
"Oh, nothing… I was just thinking to myself that you really are tiny."
My eyebrow twitches, but I manage to keep my temper in check— mostly because when I get mad, I say things I don't mean to, and that's not something I can afford to do right now. Plus, I know he wasn't really thinking about that, because as smooth as Mustang is, sometimes he's as easy to read as a book. He wasn't thinking about my stupid lack of height, and while I don't know what he was thinking… I can tell it was something different. Again, that fear that he knows I like him arises, but I swallow it down.
"What are you doing out here anyway?"
Mustang's smirk fades, and he shrugs. "I had stuff on my mind, so I decided to go for a walk. I could ask the same, anyway. You're pretty far from your hotel, which if you don't remember, I went out of my way to drop you off at."
I can't help but grin at his annoyed tone. "Hey, you offered. I had the same idea as you, though. Needed to clear my head. I guess I got lost." I let out a short laugh. "Well, tonight officially sucks ass."
Mustang raises a curious eyebrow at that, but thankfully doesn't pry. "It's cold," is all he says, turning around. "My house is nearby. I can make coffee, if you'd like."
My heart does a strange little stutter. "You mean you want me to come over? To your place?"
He throws me back an odd look. "You're far from your hotel, and it's cold. So yes, Fullmetal. Would you like to come to my place for a cup of coffee before I drive you back to your hotel?"
"You're driving me back?" I say stupidly, still a bit shocked. His lips quirk up, and I quickly cover that idiotic moment by saying, "Um, sure." And then, "Wait, Mustang."
I jog to catch up to him. "You walk faster than me."
"Oh, is that all?"
"What? Oh, no. Actually… I don't really drink coffee. You know."
"Ah." A smirk curls his lips and he glances down at me. "Caffeine stunts your growth. You can't afford for that to happen, right?"
I glare at him, but it's more of an automatic response than actual anger. "Yeah."
"I have hot chocolate."
I swear to fucking god something inside of me just died. I love hot chocolate. My eyes widen and I can't help but let out a short burst of laughter. "You? Hot chocolate?"
Mustang's eyebrows furrow. "Why is that weird?"
"Dunno. I just… never really pegged you as a hot chocolate kind of guy."
We pass under a streetlight then, and his eyes seem to sparkle in amusement. It's a really good look for him. Once he loses the whole colonel façade and just lets himself be Roy Mustang… mm, yeah. I can totally see why I fell so hard.
"Clearly you don't know me as well as you think you do," he says with a grin. My stomach starts doing backflips. He gestures for us to turn onto the cracked cement path leading up to a tall, narrow, two-story house, and the backflips turn into full-on pirouettes as I realize I'm actually going to go into his house and spend time with him outside of work. In his goddamn house. It's going to be all Mustang-y and it's going to smell like him and it's going to have his stuff everywhere and it's where he fucking lives, goddamnit. I can't decide if I should grin like an idiot (in my head, of course) or start having a panic attack.
"Clearly," I echo, my voice sounding just a bit weak.
"Well," he says over the jingling of keys and the click of the deadbolt sliding out of place, giving me a smirk and a raised eyebrow over his shoulder, "I'll make us both some hot chocolate, and maybe we can change that."
KissMeDeadlyT-T: FUCK YOU FOR NOT BEING REAL ROY MUSTANG JUST FUCK YOU SERIOUSLY
Anyways, I hope this was a good first part… I worked pretty hard on it, actually. I hope everyone liked it, 'specially you, PreventPersuadePervert. :) Please leave a review, I eat those things like candy! I'll try to get around to the second chapter as soon as I can.