Series Rating:: PG - NC-17
Main Characters:Edward Elric, Jean Havoc
Other Characters: Various other members of the Peanut Gallery called Fullmetal Alchemist
Warning Yaoi; consensual, underaged sex (once they get around it); potential overdosing of crrrrack.
Synopsis: Jean learns that he has to stay on his toes when he takes a couple of Elrics under his wing.
Author's Notes: Companion/Sequel to Games Without Frontiers. I think you can read this without having read that (especially if you’re not into het!fic), but here's the link to the GWF.
The story is completely AU. My own little private timeline; my own private little world. Yeah, and, just to add, my own little crackpot theories. Nothing else related to any episode of any kind, except the usage of the character(s) in question, though some events in some episodes will be used out of context as artistic license. I try not to make the events I use too spoilerish, but if I can’t help it, you’ll get a warning. Commentary is certainly welcome and tends to make me go “you like me! you really like me!”
Part 10: Put up Your Dukes; Let’s Get Down To It
The jangling of the phone cut clear through Jean’s consciousness and completely disrupted the wonderful dream he was having about a picnic at his parent’s house.
“Mmmph... blueberry tarts and lemonade.”
“With the clotted cream.”
“What did you just say?”
“Hughes, Lieutenant. The guy with the daughter who masquerades as a perfect ray of sunshine?”
“Oh... oh!” His rank was all it took to shake sense back into his sleep-fuddled mind. “Sorry, sir. I was having a dream –”
“I’m sure I don’t want to know,” Hughes’s voice held a hint of laughter. “Look, you’re going to have to take over the running of the office tomorrow. Roy needs to be in Central first thing.”
Jean frowned into his phone. “What’s going on?”
“I’d tell you, but then I would have to kill you,” Hughes laughed. “Just kidding. It’s nothing to worry about. And tell Edward he’s going to have to wait until Mustang gets back to leave for his mission.”
“Gee, thanks, sir,” Havoc grumbled.
“Then find something to keep the guy busy so he doesn’t get impatient and hop out of a window or something.”
“No chance of that happening. He’s here.”
“... Oh... really?”
“The Colonel had a good idea that the Elric Brothers would do just that and leave without me, so we thought it would be a good idea to let them flop on my couch. My front window and the hinges on my door squeaks.”
“Hey, I like it that way. At least I have the place to myself.”
“Well... so he’s there? Fullmetal, I mean.”
“Yeah. And his brother.”
“And he agreed with that?”
“No.” Jean grimaced in remembrance of that argument. “But the Colonel being the Colonel...”
“Edward is still no match against Roy when he feels like pulling rank. Bet that wasn’t pretty, though.”
“Fullmetal isn’t the kind to keep his hand close to his chest.”
“I certainly hope not.”
“What was that, sir?”
“Ah, nothing. So, you’re accompanying them on the mission to find Scar?”
Jean sat up and rubbed at his head. As much as he would have liked to, he couldn’t very well tell the man to stop rambling and leave him alone. “Uh-huh. Even with Al as a back up, Edward is still no match for that nutcase. So, he figured it would be a good idea for me to be at his back.”
“Are you all right, sir?”
“Ah, oh yes... just... ah-hem... paper dust... ah, in any case, just hold down the fort until Roy gets back.”
Jean hung up and swung himself out of bed. After lighting up, he padded toward the front room. Ed was sitting up on the couch; Al standing by the window. Jean was warned by the scowl on the older brother’s face. He sympathized; looking out of the window he noticed that the sun was barely making it over the horizon. He held up a hand. “Before you chew me out, remember this is the Colonel’s idea,” he started.
Jean took a drag and blew out a perfect smoke ring. “Our departure is delayed another day.”
Edward groaned and sat upright, swinging his legs until they touched the ground. “What for?”
“Colonel has to go to Central, so I have to stay in the office.”
“Can’t Lieutenant Breda take over things?” Edward complained, looking up at him.
Jean frowned as he watched the young man’s eyes linger for a moment over his bare chest, then shook his head. He was getting soft; now he was starting to see things. Perhaps this mission would sharpen him up. “Probably, but Mustang wants me to stay. And if I gotta stay, you gotta stay.”
“Me or him?”
“Both of you.” Edward yawned and stretched. Jean saw beneath the bottom of the shirt raising, the taut muscles of Fullmetal’s stomach. And shook his head again. Definitely getting soft. Or maybe he was hungry.
“Brother!” Al admonished.
Jean turned toward the front door. “Hey, only following orders.” He opened the door and looked, tossing the finished cigarette butt out into the street. The milk delivery was right on time, and he heard the bike bell coming up the street. He picked up the bottle of milk and dozen of eggs and leaned in the door, waiting for the baker boy to ride into view.
Edward appeared at his side, rubbing at his own sleep-rumpled hair. “You get delivery service for your bread too?”
“Military perk,” Jean said. “The new baker saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. He makes a little extra money from the delivery service, and all us officers don’t have to trudge down to the bakery in the morning.” He smiled and took the warm, crusty bread from the boy’s basket. “Breakfast is served,” he said, holding up the bread and milk.
“Well, you can keep that white stuff,” Ed growled, moving back into the house after him. “Not trying to drink vomit first thing in the morning.”
“How appetizing,” Al said.
“Really, you sure are a cheery bastard in the morning, Fullmetal,” Jean chuckled.
“I’m pretty agreeable if I’m not woken up before sunrise!”
Jean snorted. “You have a point.”
“So, what are we going to do all day?” Al asked, following the two of them into Jean’s smallish kitchen. Interesting. Even though Al towered over him by a good head and shoulders, the younger brother had a light step, and didn’t seem as hulking as he physically was.
“Well,” Ed started, “we could go over that book of Marcoh’s we found. Or...”
Then the sudden silence drew Jean’s attention. He turned from his kitchen table and took in Edward’s speculative expression. “Don’t even think about it. I’m not in the mood to hear it from the Colonel if you take off without me. Don’t make me drag you into the office with me; I’m not in the mood to be a babysitter today.”
“Don’t worry, Lieutenant,” Al spoke up, giving his brother a look that could have been nothing less than a warning. “We’ll wait until the Colonel returns.”
Jean snorted. Sometimes he wondered if Edward remembered he was older when dealing with Alphonse. The younger definitely held enough common sense and restraint for the two of them. “You two are welcome to stay here for the day if you want,” he offered. “I haven’t got much to do in here, but at least it won’t be Headquarters.”
“Nah,” Edward answered. “We’ll hang out in the library.”
Jean nodded, cracking a couple of eggs into the hot pan and shoving them around with the fork. “One of you want to cut that bread?”
Al actually took the honors. Again, Jean was amazed at the grace Alphonse showed. One of those gauntlets could have pulverized the bread back into the flour it came from, yet he handled it with a casual delicacy that belied his current form. Jean was curious but didn’t want to ask how the younger brother felt about being around food all of the time and not being able to eat. Did the guy ever get hungry? Or sleepy for that matter. Under the cover of fixing the simple breakfast, he indulged a bit of his curiosity and watched the two interact. Edward treated Alphonse as if he were fully flesh and blood, teasing him like he supposed an older brother would tease a younger brother. Alphonse held his own, however, giving back as good as he got. They even wrestled good-naturedly over who would set the table; Al of course winning through sheer mass and the obvious fact that it was hard for Ed to deny his brother anything.
Jean chuckled to himself as he shook the finished eggs out onto a plate and looked and the smallish pile. Then he looked over at the smallish young man sitting at the table, looking at him and the eggs eagerly, shook his head and cracked the rest of the dozen into the pan.
His guess was right on the mark. Edward swallowed three-quarters of the offering before coming up for air and glaring at the glass of milk Jean stubbornly put in front of him.
He seemed to remember something about his mother telling him that milk was good for growing young men, but that glare looked down right dangerous. “C’mon. Drink up.”
Never had he heard anything more mutinous. He couldn’t resist. “C’mon... just a little sip? You know it does a body good.”
“Brother hates milk,” Al volunteered, as it appeared that Edward was visually willing the glass to disperse into a puff of smoke or a burst of flame. “I mean really hates milk.”
“Didn’t the doctor tell you that you needed your milk to get all growed up?” Jean swiped up the ignored glass and swallowed it in two gulps. Then calmly waited for the storm to pass.
“Don’t remind me about that!” Ed wailed, pushing back from the table and crossing his legs at the knee, probably in remembrance.
Jean quirked an eyebrow. He could well sympathize. He remembered his first encounter with a doctor on those terms and remember his own mortification when the man decided that he had to make sure that everything was in working order. “Better get used to it. Gonna have to go through that every year from now until you’re old and gray.” He poured another glass and turned it up.
He should have expected it. These two had been around for three years; despite the fact that they spent more time out on the prowl than in the office, Edward Elric was a person who didn’t know how to keep his hand close to his chest. Jean should have been able to read him like a good book by now. And Jean knew the two of them were more curious than a couple of cats on a midnight prowl. He also knew about the lack of male figures in the lives of these two. And there he sat, completely harmless in his rumpled pajama bottoms, offering them his hospitality, talking to them in a easy manner that belied the fact that the younger man outranked him by a couple of levels. So, when Edward looked over at his brother, then at him with that guarded expression, and opened his mouth, he should have known something would be coming that would probably blind side him right into the next week.
“Look... can... can-I-ask-you-a-question?”
Jean blinked at how the last part of that came out as one word. “Shoot,” he said, leaving himself wide open.
“I mean, I think I know what you meant... back at the doctor’s office, I mean. I guess I can figure it out. But – Al and I talked about it and...”
Jean leaned forward, suddenly concerned at the flush that rose up Ed’s neck. “What did I say at the doctor’s office?”
“Come on, Boss. Tell me. I don’t bite.” He took another gulp.
“What... exactly what the hell is a handjob?”
Damn, he could learn to hate milk too. Especially the way it burned as it came out of his nose.