A FMA Fanfic
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Pairings: All implied. Sore wa
Rating: PG. Humour/Drama (sorta).
Setting: Post-series, Ed is 19. Al
is fixed, Ed is not.
were many methods of communication in the military, each with varying
degrees of usefulness and speed. Pigeons, internal memos, letters, and
messages carried by subordinates were just some of these communication
methods. But the fastest of them all was rumour.
right now, if there had been a way to time the speed of rumour, a test
would have shown that it had exceeded all previous records, as the
juiciest piece of gossip flashed through the building, arriving almost
instantaneously in every office.
Edward Elric was reading a
book when the rumour arrived in his section, and he was the only person
who paid no attention to it whatsoever, until the moment the book was
plucked suddenly out of his fingers.
Havoc said casually, as he stood over the Fullmetal Alchemist. “Who was
that woman you were having dinner with last night?”
Ed ignored the question and
concentrated on snatching the book back. “Give that back! Don’t you
DARE lose my place!”
woman, Ed, the woman...” Havoc teased, holding the book just out of
Ed’s reach, which wasn’t very high. Although Ed had gained a little
height since he had originally become a State Alchemist, it had been a
year since his 18th birthday and he hadn’t grown an inch since then,
thus dashing his hopes of one day towering over his comrades in the
military. Even his little brother had outstripped him, once returned to
human form. Ed had huffed and complained but eventually grudgingly
accepted that he was always going to be short. That didn’t mean he had
to like it though.
“What about her?” Ed snarled. “The
book! Don’t drop it! It’s old and fragile and... DON’T THROW IT!”
Unfortunately his cry was too late,
as Havoc tossed it to Breda. “Come on Ed, talk.”
THAT BACK!” Ed howled, and threw himself at the other man, who tossed
it carefully back to Havoc. “DAMN YOU HAVOC! IF YOU DROP IT I’M GONNA
TRANSMUTE YOU INTO A TRASH CAN!”
Havoc laughed and threw it to
Breda again. A blue-uniformed arm intercepted it in mid-air, and
offered it to Ed, who snatched it and clutched it protectively to his
Captain Lisa Hawkeye sent a
gimlet-eyed glare at the
men of the office, who scrambled to their desks and buried themselves
in their work. Satisfied that they were all suitably cowed (for now)
she turned her attention back to Ed.
“The Brigadier General is ready to
see you now.”
Ed grumbled something and entered
Brigadier General Roy Mustang’s office, still holding the book tightly
“Good morning Edward-kun, and how
was your trip to Metarus?” Roy asked him, smirking knowingly.
favoured him with an extensive description of just how little he had
enjoyed his latest ‘mission’. “... and it’s all there in my report,” he
finished, hauling a folder out of his coat and tossing it to Roy.
flipped the folder open and raised his eyebrows at the opening
sentence, “After receiving my orders from my fat-headed commanding
officer, I immediately went to the vast hole in the ground that is
Metarus...” he began. “Uh huh... I see. Fullmetal, perhaps you should
think about improving your writing style.”
“It’s legible and spelt correctly,
what more do you want?” Ed snarked back, throwing himself on to one of
Roy glanced at the book Ed was
still clutching. “New book?”
The snarl he got in response made
him smile. “Very well, aside from your editorial commentary, your
report looks fine.”
Ed brightened. “Then I can go?”
held up one hand... “But you seem to have left something out... this
only records your actions up until your return yesterday afternoon.”
“That’s when I got back!” Ed
protested. “And then I had some stuff to do...”
“And what stuff was that exactly?”
stuff?" Ed was confused. Roy knew damn well that most of the "stuff"
consisted of finding unimportant things to do in order to put off
reporting in for as long as possible. Ed ALWAYS did that. It was traditional. "Oh, just... stuff. I had to get my
clothes cleaned and some new outfits sorted, and then I had to eat..."
"I see, and where did you go to
eat?" Roy asked casually, making notes on the bottom of Ed's report.
"The Brass Monkey."
"A very nice restaurant," Roy
noted, pen still moving. "And can anyone attest to your presence there?"
"Huh?" Ed was completely baffled
now. "Well the waiters and the cashier. And there was Clara as well..."
"Clara?" Roy paused and looked
Things went 'click' inside Edward's
just want to know about HER!" He shouted, jumping to his feet and
pointing at Roy indignantly. "You're like the rest of those nosy
bastards out in your office!"
"I assure you, I need to know this
for official reasons," Roy said smoothly.
"Oh really? I wonder if Captain
HAWKEYE will support that?"
"That was a low shot," Roy sighed.
"Fine, you can go. If I need you again will you be staying in the
"Mind your own business!"
Roy arched an eyebrow at him. "Why
Edward, are you finally developing other interests? I trust you're
The Fullmetal Alchemist beat a
hasty retreat, blushing furiously.
"Well Edward, what did you expect?"
Clara laughed. "Your friends just want to know who you're seeing, at
"The long last comment was
unnecessary," Ed grumbled. "And it's none of their business! AND we're
not seeing each other ANYWAY! You're just planning something, and I'm trying to stop you!"
He glared at her irritably. Clara,
AKA the beautiful and notorious thief Psiren, just smiled at him.
had been a shock to encounter her when he'd returned to Central after a
long and tiring mission, and he hadn't believed her excuse of "coming
for a holiday" for a second. His main plan now was to find out why she
was here and try to remove the reason so that she would go home and not
try anything. Although he found her motives incomprehensible and her
use of Alchemy for thieving distasteful, he genuinely liked Clara and
didn't want to see her thrown in jail.
Not that he'd admit that, of course.
beautiful thief had kept a low profile sneaking around so far, but had
refused to give him even a small hint as to her target.
would ruin the surprise," she'd answered when he'd cornered her briefly
the previous evening. "You'll find out when everybody else does."
he'd spent most of his time since then trying to keep her under
surveillance. Unfortunately, she was very good at getting away, which
was why he was currently sitting in her hotel room. He figured that if
he stuck around constantly she wouldn't be able to pull anything. He
hadn't counted on the way other people would perceive this behaviour.
Edward, you're so noble," Clara said, ruffling his hair gently. "Such
dedication is admirable, it suits you well." She leaned in closer. "Are
you sure you don't want to..."
"Gaahh!" Ed shoved her away.
"You're all crazy."
"You know, you could always turn me
in," she suggested with a small smile. "You don't have to keep my
identity a secret."
Ed looked away. "That's not the
point. Psiren is my opponent, not Clara."
"Opponent? Not enemy?"
He gave her a scathing look. "Don't
"Oh Edward!" Clara hugged him
tightly, "You're so good to me!"
"ACK! Get off!" Ed struggled
furiously. "What if somebody SEES?!"
"We're in my hotel room," she
reminded him. "Who's going to see?"
"I think some of the guys followed
me back here," he admitted sulkily, glancing at the window. "They could
glanced quickly out the window. "Then let's give them a show," she said
softly, leaning in and kissing Ed on the forehead. Then she pulled the
curtains and turned out the lights.
"Shhh... I needed to sneak out
anyway and check on my target. This will give me a good excuse."
"DON'T USE ME AS YOUR ALIBI!"
next day Ed walked tiredly down to the lobby of the hotel. He'd spent
most of the evening chasing Psiren around and trying to work out what
her objective was in visiting, while not getting spotted by anyone.
finally admitted defeat around 3am in the morning, when she'd
successfully slipped away from him, and gone back to await her return
to her hotel room. Psiren had found him asleep on her couch when she'd
returned and had left him there, something about which he had
complained loudly when he awoke.
"You could always have just
used the bed," she'd pouted. "I wouldn't have minded. And you looked
like you needed the sleep. Anyway, since you're up, could you go down
to the hotel restaurant and bring me back some breakfast? I worked up
quite an appetite last night."
Reaching the lobby, Ed yawned
widely and rubbed at his eyes. Then he double-taked as Captain Hawkeye
and First Lieutenant Maria Ross stood up to meet him. Both of them
examined him minutely, and then adopted identical disapproving
expressions. Ed was suddenly very aware of his rumpled clothes, loose
hair and general tired demeanour.
"Um, um..." He searched frantically
for the words that would get him out of this.
"This isn't what it looks like!"
Ten minutes later, the phone next
to Clara's bed rang.
it's Ed. Two of my, ah, colleagues are here. They want to meet you. Do
you think you could come down and have breakfast with us?"
"But I'm tiiiiiiireeed..." Clara
moaned. "Why don't you invite them up?"
"CLARA!!! They really, REALLY want to
"Oh very well, I'll be down in a
Ed stared at his plate. "Couldn't
you have put a bit more on before you came down?" He hissed at Clara.
She smiled at him and adjusted her
mini-skirt. "I don't know what you mean."
an exhaustive grilling on how they knew each other and where they'd
met, Ross and Hawkeye allowed Clara to return to her room. Then they
escorted Edward back to base and ushered him into Mustang's office.
Both women gave their commander a meaningful glare, before saluting and
Ed sighed as the door closed behind
them. "I thought I was gonna die!"
"You're telling me?"
Roy demanded. "When Breda opened his big mouth last night about where
you were I thought we were ALL finished!"
"Breda, huh..." Ed's eyes glittered.
trust me, he's regretting it now," Roy assured him. "Unfortunately, as
you can see, Hawkeye and Ross immediately got on the case, which brings
us to this."
"What IS this?" Ed asked nervously.
cleared his throat. "Well, it appears that Hawkeye went through your
file very thoroughly and discovered that none of your commanding
officers had ever given you the official health and safety talk, which
is mandatory for all military personnel."
There was a long silence.
Ed cracked first.
"Please, PLEASE tell me that this
is not the talk that I think it is," he begged.
Roy grimaced in reply.
"Why don't we just PRETEND that we
had it," Ed suggested desperately.
"Do you want to take the risk that
they might quiz you on it?"
"They wouldn't do that to me."
"Right, just like they wouldn't
institute a third-level background security check on your Clara."
Roy sat back in his chair sulkily,
"I have to admit I'm jealous. Hawkeye's never vetted MY dates this
"I'm NINETEEN!" Ed protested. "I
don't need to have this talk, and I can take care of myself!"
"Fine," Roy grinned at him
toothily, "Go tell Hawkeye and Ross that."
"Uhhh..." Ed balked.
thought not." Roy sighed in resignation. "Well, we might as well get
this over with. Pay attention Fullmetal, because I'm only going to say
this once. Now, there comes a time in a man's development when... you
aren't going to need the diagrams are you?"
agonisingly long minutes later, Ed finally escaped. No one dared to
meet his eyes as he walked through the outer office. Even Hawkeye
diplomatically gave him some space as he plodded away, face beet-red
from the base of his neck to the tips of his ears.
Outside, he put his hands over his
face. *I have never, EVER, been so embarassed in my entire LIFE!*
had to give whoever put "the talk" together credit. It was very
comprehensive, ranging from the workings of the reproductive system to
a full list of the risks involved in unprotected intercourse, and
including suggested preventive measures as well as "alternate
activities" for BOTH genders, with full descriptions. Apparently there
were diagrams for those too, but Roy had thankfully left them in the
The only consolation Edward had had
was that Roy was almost as mortified at having to explain it as he was
to hear it.
*Wonder who delivers it normally. I
would have hated to be the person who gave that talk to Mustang. Or Hawkeye!* Ed flinched at the mere idea.
does it, if Clara doesn't tell me what her objective is when I get
back, I'm turning her in! Nothing is worth THIS level of humiliation.*
Ed looked up to see Hawkeye looking
at him sympathetically. "The Brigadier General needs to see you again."
went white. *Don't tell me he FORGOT something! There wasn't anything
LEFT to discuss! Oh no... they wouldn't really give me a quiz, would
Slowly he trailed back in, dragging
his feet despondently. *If he even TRIES to show me the diagrams...*
"Ah, Fullmetal," Roy looked up from
the piece of paper he was perusing. "Thank you for responding so
blinked in incomprehension for a minute, before realising that Roy was
giving him the option to pretend the previous meeting had never
"Uh, yeah, well... what is it?" He
Roy's mouth twitched. "I've just
had an interesting delivery. I take it you haven’t seen this morning's
Ed blinked at the odd topic choice.
“Noooo...” he said slowly, afraid of a trap.
“Well, it seems that your old
acquaintance Psiren is in town...”
while she’s here, she’s decided to do some shopping," Roy continued, an
evil glint in his eye. He threw the newspaper on his desk to Ed, who
glanced at it warily.
Psiren Announces Target in Central
A message from the mysterious thief Psiren was received by all the
papers early this morning:
‘Tonight I shall steal the Fullmetal Alchemist.’
is a renowned thief, normally based in Aquaroya, and considered to be
of unearthly beauty. A talented Alchemist as well, her career first
began in early...
Ed stopped and skipped back to the
beginning, then skimmed the rest of the article.
“Steal the Fullmetal Alchemist’s
what?” He demanded. “Steal my what?! This note is incomplete!”
Roy snickered. “She’s not going to
steal your possessions,” he said finally. “She’s going to steal YOU,
“WHAT?!” Ed shrieked. *I can't
believe she did this! This is the LAST STRAW!!*
you saying I’m so small I can be put in someone’s pocket and carried
away??!!!” He ranted, reverting back to his old habits.
Psiren thinks so,” Roy grinned, his amusement with the world restored.
“Naturally we must take this threat extremely seriously.”
felt a sense of doom overtake him for the nth time that day. “We must
NOT take this seriously at all!" He protested. "Psiren’s just playing
around!” *I'm going to KILL her!*
“Oh no,” Roy said, shaking his
head. “How would it look if we, the military, were unable to keep a
common thief from stealing one of our most well-known Alchemists?”
"I am NOT something that can be
"So I'm putting you, and your
friend Clara, into protective custody for the night," Roy announced
"It's for your own good."
"It's for YOUR own amusement!" Ed
“I REFUSE!” Ed howled. “I
ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY REFUSE!”
Clara has already agreed," Roy said happily. "And YOU don't get a
choice. I hope you haven't unpacked yet, because you will both be
guests of the military until tomorrow. Or my guests, as the case may
be, since it's MY house you'll both be staying at!"
*I'm in hell,* Ed thought. *It's
the only explanation.*
reconsidered his situation. *Psiren says she's going to steal me, and
her secret identity and I, who everyone thinks are sleeping together,
are both staying at Mustang's tonight in "protective custody". I'm
going to be stuck in a house with those two nutbars all night. Yes.
There's no other conclusion. I'm in hell.*
*Maybe I can set them up together.
They DESERVE each other.*
mood had been getting progressively darker as the day had worn on. As
if the events of the morning hadn't been bad enough, Mustang had
callously dumped him into the hands of Maria Ross and Lieutenant
Colonel Armstrong "for protection" for the afternoon.
had immediately rushed him into hiding in a secret location. As far as
Ed could tell, the “secret” location consisted of an abandoned
warehouse on the outskirts of town, with no books, very little food,
and nothing to distract him except his guardians. Armstrong had spent
the entire time telling stories about his family’s noble past, and Ross
hadn't said a single word all day. Ed strongly suspected that she
disapproved of his "relationship" with Clara, and was giving him time
to really regret it before she said anything.
"Women," he muttered under his
now it was evening, and he had been escorted, and then locked IN to,
Roy Mustang's heavily guarded house. Roy and Clara had then proceeded
to flirt constantly with each other during dinner, occasionally taking
breaks in which to tease HIM. Ed was certain that Mustang knew damn
well that Clara and Psiren were the same person, and was merely
exacting revenge for having to give Ed "the talk" earlier that day, as
well as enjoying watching him squirm on general principles.
if THAT'S not enough, I still have to worry about whatever stunt CLARA
has planned for the evening.* Ed debated the merits of bothering to get
changed for bed. *Maybe I could just lock myself in a room somewhere.
No, no... I won't give them the satisfaction. I can handle this. I can
face Psiren... AND Mustang... and not lose any face or sleep or...
I think there was a closet on the
ground floor that I could fit into. If I seal the door they'll never
get to me.*
"Oh Edward..." Clara carolled
cheerfully. "Aren't you coming to bed?"
ground his teeth together. Roy, sadistic bastard that he was, had put
both Clara and Ed into the guest bedroom. And it's lone bed.
"Clara-san," he said levelly.
"Would you please STOP acting as though we are in a relaionship!"
Clara pouted briefly but ceased her
aggressively sexy posing. Ed sighed in relief.
"Come to bed?" She asked him
let out another heavy sigh and slowly walked over to the bed. "No funny
stuff," he said warningly. "No kidnapping, no thieving, no nothing. I
am NOT going to let you steal me."
Clara merely scooted over to give
him some room and patted the empty space encouragingly.
*I'm going to regret this.*
lay down gingerly on the indicated spot and waited, tensely. Clara
slowly moved up until she was spooning against him, and put an arm over
"There," she murmured. "That's not
so bad, is it?"
Ed sighed. He seemed to be doing
that a lot today. "I don't understand you."
"Of course not," Clara's voice was
amused. "Where would the fun in that be?"
"Are you really going to try to steal me?"
"Mmmm..." Clara snuggled into him.
"I said so, didn't I?"
"You know, theft is bad."
"Are you falling asleep?" Ed asked
Clara chuckled. "No." Releasing him
she sat up in the bed and picked up a folder she'd earlier been
"What are you reading?" Ed was
happy to make conversation if that kept her too busy to steal him.
"Oh, just some papers I took off
Mustang's desk when I was looking at the window locks after dinner,"
Clara said nonchalantly.
twitched slightly at this evidence of potential theft, but sat up also,
vaguely curious. *Maybe if I get something on him I can get out of this
mess. Or at least get revenge later on.* "Can I see?"
Clara passed him a few pages at
random. Ed glanced at the top one.
"Insert Tab A into Slot B..." he
read, and then glanced at the picture below the text.
was a long, ominous, silence. Ed felt very distant and light-headed. He
flipped to another sheet of paper and studied it carefully. His eyes
glazed slightly at the third sheet of paper, and for the fourth he
blanched completely white, before turning it sideways and re-examining
"I quite liked that one," Clara
remarked, laughter sparkling in her voice.
Ed took a slow, deep breath.
"Clara-san... get the hell away
stormed into the Roy's bedroom and slammed the door behind him. Roy,
wearing only his uniform trousers and a white shirt, could only stare
at the sudden invasion.
"I can't take it any more!" Ed
at Roy. "She's driving me CRAZY! I'm sleeping in here tonight, and you
don't get a say in it because this is ALL YOUR FAULT!"
Roy arched an amused eyebrow at the
angry young man. "Lover's quarrel?"
"SHUT UP! AND I'm taking the bed
too! So there!" Ed stomped over to the bed, threw himself onto it, and
closed his eyes.
Roy controlled his desire to laugh
before attempting to evict the younger man. "Fullmetal, I'm sure if you
"Edward... this is MY bed!"
"Not any more it isn't!" Ed curled
into an angry ball and proceeded to ignore Roy.
"Very well then," Roy swung himself
onto the bed and made himself comfortable. "At least you don't take up
Ed ignored the implied size insult
and let out a fake snore.
The two men lay there for a few
minutes without speaking.
"So... what did she do this time?"
Roy asked, finally.
know, I went back to my office a little while earlier, and I couldn't
help but notice that there was a folder missing from my desk..."
Roy's mouth twitched. "Did you get
a chance to examine diagram 8?"
"If you say ONE MORE WORD I swear
I'll kill you."
grinned at the ceiling and remained silent for a few minutes before
casually rolling over to face Ed's back. Gently he stroked a hand down
the younger man's side and purred seductively as he reached Ed's hip.
"How about diagram 14?"
There was a long silence and then a
In the morning, Mustang opened his
door, fully dressed, and grinned at his team.
accomplished," he announced proudly. Havoc and Breda congratulated each
other while Fury sighed in relief and Hawkeye allowed a small smile to
cross her face. Mustang let them enjoy it for a few minutes before
raising a hand for silence. "Havoc, you can go tell the papers that the
Fullmetal Alchemist is still very much unstolen."
"That's a relief," Breda said,
peering behind him. "So, uh, where is he?"
"And where's Clara-san?" Havoc
asked, his eyebrows rising. "Having a lie-in are they?"
Hawkeye glared at him.
cleared his throat, a slight blush coming to his cheeks. "Noooo... you
see, it turns out that Clara-san in fact WAS Psiren. She left sometime
during the night, after being unsuccessful in her mission."
There was a storm of questions.
"WHAAAT?? She was PSIREN??!!" Breda
shouted. "No WONDER she was into him..."
"How long have you known?" Havoc
"And WHERE is Edward-kun?" Hawkeye
yes," Roy had the decency to look shamefaced. "About Fullmetal.
Apparently Miss Psiren and I teased him a little bit too much last
night, and, well... he's locked himself in the downstairs bathroom, and
is refusing to come out. Hawkeye, perhaps if you and Maria Ross could
see your way clear to convincing him to leave sometime today?"
and Ross nailed him with twin disapproving glares, and Roy sidled off
to one side. "If you need me, I'll be in my office!" He called as he
Later that day, when Ross and
Hawkeye had finally
convinced Edward to come out of the bathroom and into the office to
file his reports, a note arrived for the Brigadier General.
from the local newspaper," Roy said in amusement. "They want to know if
we have a comment in response to Psiren's letter." He held up an
enclosed piece of paper.
"I send my best wishes and love to
the military staff of Central City, and in particular Edward Elric and
Roy Mustang, who successfully resisted my attempts at theft last night.
I wish to admit my total defeat to the hands of the Flame Alchemist."
"That's nice of her," Fury said
cheerfully. "How polite!"
frowned at the paper in thought. "Uh, shouldn't that be, 'at the hands
of' the Flame Alchemist, instead of 'to the hands of'?" He questioned.
Ed blanched and looked over at Roy,
who winked at him.
"Diagram 8," he said loftily, and
sauntered back into his office.
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