Series Title: Battlefield
Series Rating:: PG - NC-17
Main Characters:Edward Elric, Jean Havoc
Other Characters: Various other members of the Peanut Gallery called Fullmetal Alchemist
Word Count: 3, 413
Warning Yaoi; consensual, underaged sex (well, maybe it's underaged to some); potential overdosing of crrrrack. A little bit of OOC − Ed’s getting drunk (thanks, Breda!)
Synopsis: One wonders if Ed’s brain can take much more of this kind of thing.
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 perhaps you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.</a>
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. If ever there are any spoilers, I will place the appropriate warnings. Commentary is certainly welcome and tends to make me go “you like me! you really like me!”
Part 33: Ven Conmigo
Edward sat on the couch outside of Riza’s room and wondered when his damned legs were going to stop shaking.
It had all been Jean’s fault. He hadn’t realized that the man had a thing for uniforms until he’d gotten dressed that evening.
He knew what Jean had been doing. He knew that it had been a distraction, to take his mind off of the fact that he felt like some kind of trained puppy in the damned uniform, which Jean himself had gotten tailored just for him. Even as his eyes were crossing and his body was slumping against the wall of the borrowed dormitory room in the aftermath of a mind-bending orgasm, he knew what it had been. Even as he watched Jean look up at him and lick his lips, even as the man stood up and helped him pull the blasted dress uniform pants back up, tuck him in and button him up, he knew it had all been a distraction to keep him from complaining about wearing the stupid uniform in the first place.
And he let it happen anyway. Well, he wasn’t stupid. No way he was turning down that kind of offer, distraction or not. The first tangle occurred when he tried to return the favor and Jean shook his head slowly and gave him a hooded, puzzling look. And refused to explain himself, leaving Ed feeling oddly unsatisfied and ruffled. The way he felt reminded him of the way that last cat Al had adopted looked when Ed had ruffled the fur on its back backward.
Ed leaned back on the couch and listened to Riza’s soft curses and felt slightly guilty that he was getting… bored of the mouth thing, though. Well, perhaps not bored exactly, but he definitely wanted more now, was ready to go to the next logical step in the whole physical thing.
He was ready. Hell, he was ready for a lot of things. He was ready for so many things that his brain was almost exploding out of his head with the amount of conflicting thoughts rolling around his head. His research, the trip to the laboratory, sex with Jean − well, what was passing as sex with Jean at the moment − it was a lot of stuff to fill up a brain that had been entirely obsessed with one subject for so long. Al had advised that he put it all to the side, go to the Officers’ Ball and just enjoy himself for once in his life. He’d looked at his brother as if he’d completely lost his mind along with his body.
And for the second time in about six months, Al had actually yelled at him, told him to stop being such an idiot and go and enjoy himself. Since it had been Al yelling, Ed didn’t see that he had any choice but to obey, because Al was still bigger than him, and stronger (though he wasn’t telling Al that) and he didn’t want to wind up on the wrong end of Al’s gauntlet.
So he was seated on the sofa in the front room of Riza’s guest house and trying to remember whether it was one, two step or step, one, two.
There hadn’t been much time for Jean to show him more than a dumb-assed box step; enough to get him through the first dance, which he apparently owed his escort. It had left him mortified and almost ready to join his brother on the bunk beds in the front room. Almost. He wasn’t stupid. Jean’s bed was far too comfortable for something like embarrassment to keep him from it. And Jean’s mouth. And Jean’s fingers. And−
Ed started when he heard the curse coming from the other room. He wondered what was wrong, and why it was so hard for Riza to get dressed this time. Surely slipping a gown over the head couldn’t have been that hard.
Then there came a knock on the door and Ed almost jumped completely out of his skin.
“Edward, can you get that?”
Ed glowered at the closed bedroom door, then stood and went for the door.
He barely opened it a crack when it was pushed fully open and two whirlwinds entered. Gracia’s skirts made a crinkling sound as she moved through the house like a woman on fire. Ed managed a half-greeting, which she responded to with a half-smile before heading straight to the bedroom, muttering, “I swear, leave it to men to screw things up!”
Ed looked over at the man who’d accompanied the silk and taffeta cyclone. The Lieutenant Colonel gave him his usual broad smile and moved toward him, reaching into his pocket even as he opened his mouth.
Whatever he was about to bombard Ed with was cut off by Gracia’s voice. “Maes, you wait out here with Edward. We’ll be out in a few moments.”
Hughes frowned and opened his mouth again, this time directing all of his attention toward his wife.
“No, Maes, I don’t need your help.”
Hughes mouth closed with a snap, only to open a second later.
“Yes, Maes, you may call Sheska and make sure Elysia is all right.”
The door shut then and Ed was left to wonder what mysteries the two women were going to discuss. He sighed and flopped back on the couch to watch as Hughes picked up the phone and made the call to his home to check on his precious daughter. After spurting out a few words, the man nodded and hung up the phone and gave all of his attention once again to Ed.
“Well, Edward!” Hughes said expansively, seating himself next to Ed on the couch. “It’s good to see you! And looking quite spiffy, I must add!”
Ed gave him a sideways look and growl and stuffed himself further into the couch. “The pants itch,” he muttered, only half lying. The pants were lined, but that wasn’t helping the itchy feeling hovering around about a few inches below his waistline. Which reminded him that Jean had dropped him off without letting him take care of Jean’s… problem, which reminded him of what had caused that problem in the first place. Which, of course, increased the itchy feeling. He growled again and crossed his arms.
“I know how you feel,” Hughes said blithely, completely unaware of what he was really saying. “I tell Gracia about it all the time, but she keeps telling me that it’s one of the inconveniences of rank and privilege.”
Ed turned and gave him a look.
Hughes caught the look. “What? Is something wrong?” The man shrugged. “Hey, I hear you’re bunking up Second Lieutenant Havoc. How’s that going?”
Ed blinked and wondered if his face was suddenly hot because he was blushing or whether the temperature had risen in the room. And whether that was a smirk right there in the corner of the Lieutenant Colonel’s mouth. He shook his head. He was just being paranoid.
“You and Al, I mean. More comfortable than the dormitories, huh? That's real nice of Havoc, to let you guys stay with him.”
Yes, it was a damned smirk. This man knew something. What, Ed couldn’t be sure, but he could guess that whatever it was, it wasn’t good. He started to open his mouth to tell the man to mind his business when he heard the door open and saw Hughes practically leap to his feet, a beatific look on his face.
“Good heavens, Miss Hawkeye, your beautiful!” Hughes said, grinning from ear to ear.
Ed looked, wondering who the woman was standing there in the beautiful dress, looking like… well, if he’d been attracted to women, this would probably be his ideal. Maybe it was because she was blond and… well, her eyes weren’t blue, but… the dress. It was cut so that almost all of her − bosoms − were showing. And the fact that she had bosoms took all of the moisture from his mouth.
“Please, Lieutenant Colonel,” Riza said, blushing. Then her eyes fell on Ed and he felt all of foolish, because he knew his mouth was hanging open. “Are you all right, Edward?”
Ed closed his mouth with a click, feeling vaguely guilty and not knowing why. “Uh… yeah.”
“Are we ready to go?” Gracia said. Ed would have bet all the money in his stipend that the woman was laughing.
Entering the ballroom was like a dash of cold water. Ed remembered that cold, clammy-palm feeling. He’d felt it when Teacher had dumped Al and him on that island with nothing but a pocket knife and a pack of wild animals − and crazed beasts − trying to rip his and his brother’s heart out.
He frantically sought out for a familiar face, even as he guided Hawkeye through the room to a safe point in the room, as he been taught. He saw the Colonel standing by a fireplace, surrounded by a bunch of females and frowned. Definitely not what he was looking for. He scanned around the room again and came up empty handed. He grimaced and crossed his arms over his chest. He already hated this.
Ed started guiltily and looked up at Hawkeye. “Wha–?”
“Until the music begins, we’re pretty much on our own,” she told him. “We’re supposed to socialize, but I don’t see anyone I want to say hello to.”
“Music?” Edward asked. He’d forgotten about that. Music meant dancing, and dancing with… well, he was sure that everyone would be looking at him if he was dancing with Hawkeye right then.
“Yes, music. This is a ball. You’re supposed to dance...at least three dances should be polite enough.”
“Hell, I don’t know anything about dancing!” Edward said.
“Didn’t Roy tell you this was a ball?”
Riza smiled kindly. “Don’t worry, Edward. I’m not much in the mood for dancing either,” she told him.
“Hmm,” Gracia chimed in. “Then I think you might want to tell the other gentlemen in the room. You’re practically the cynosure of all eyes.”
And as Ed watched men appeared, almost from thin air and surrounded the First Lieutenant. He backed off a few steps and observed their pack behavior and wondered how Hawkeye could handle being looked over like a fresh piece of meat. Then he saw her plastered-on smile and sympathized even more.
“I’m going to need to soak my feet for a week after this,” she grumbled, looking helplessly at Gracia. She, too, had received several shy invitations, all of which she accepted, informing them that her responsibility was to her husband first.
“One would think these men had never seen a beautiful woman before,” Gracia said.
And just as she finished the statement, the music began, quite stirringly.
Ed swallowed looking at Riza. Her mouth was slightly turned up at the corner; she seemed to understand. With a heavy sigh, he moved to take her hand and move toward the middle of the floor.
“It’s just the one, Edward,” she whispered, “then you can go and along and find your real escort.”
Well, that helped him forget his mortification. Ed gave her a glare that she returned with an implacable smile and actual laughter in his eyes.
He managed that box-step rather well after that. And as they moved in the small circle they were creating for themselves he saw a blond head standing head and shoulders above his comrades and almost tripped.
“Eyes on me, Edward,” Riza said with a chuckle.
Before he obeyed, he looked his fill. A broad smile split Jean’s face and the man threw his head back and laughed at whatever Breda was telling him. Ed swallowed. The man was immaculate − except that bit of hair in the front, which he left uncombed on purpose. Jean had told him once that it was his one little rebellion. He knew it drove the higher brass crazy, but as it was minor, and his own commanding officer said nothing, they couldn’t really call him on it. Well, they could, but there were some privileges working under a State Alchemist.
Then he saw the man’s gaze sweep the room, rest briefly on some wallflowers on the other side of the room. Ed spun Hawkeye around, trying to get back to see what Jean was actually staring at. He squinted, trying to see −
And found blue eyes locked with his from across the room.
Jean winked, a bare flutter of eyelid, just as he and Hawkeye passed within arms length of the knot of officers that Jean was a part of. Ed stumbled again, and Hawkeye chuckled, and followed his movements patiently until they reached their point of origin.
“If I take one more step, my feet are going to fall off,” Hawkeye muttered. Ed looked at her; there was a light beading of sweat on her upper lip and she looked a bit wilted. He remembered his manners and dropped her off by one of the many bowls of punch situated around the room and escaped, to prowl the perimeter of the room. He even remembered to grunt out a few words to the Generals that stopped him and asked how the Fullmetal Alchemist was holding up in the military. Actually, Ed wasn’t quite sure what he’d said to them − for all he knew he could have told them to jump in a lake. His goal was simple and direct; he wanted to see how close he could get to…
“Enjoying yourself, Boss?”
Ed almost jumped completely out of his skin. Without noticing, he gotten close to the group of officers, who parted and allowed Jean direct access to ask his question. He kept his gaze directed somewhere at the center of Jean’s chest. “If it weren’t for this stupid uniform, I might say yes.”
Jean snorted. “That’s what I said the first time they made me wear this get up.”
Ed’s eyes swept quickly over Jean, hoping no one but Jean noticed how he hesitated over certain areas. He could practically see that damned... bulge, right there under the fold of long jacket.
“But, you get used to it,” Jean finished, elbowing Breda. “Don’t you?”
“That’s the truth,” Breda said, turning up the glass in his hand. “Especially after a few of these. Maybe you should have a couple, Fullmetal.”
“You know he can’t drink, Heymans,” Jean drawled, taking a drag of his cigarette. Ed glared at him through the haze of smoke and watched as he blew a perfect smoke ring. Almost distractedly he jabbed at the ring with his cigarette, breaking it before it could dissipate on its own. “He’s too young still.”
Ed growled low in his throat. Young, his ass.
“Oh, yeah,” Breda muttered, then grinned. “Yeah, but who’s gonna say anything? It’s a ball!” The man straightened and took a few steps. “Wait here, Fullmetal, I’ll get you something. Just keep your mouth shut, Havoc, okay?”
Ed couldn’t help it; he gave Jean a defiant smirk. Jean returned it with a deep look that lasted all of two blinks before looking over Ed’s head into the crowd. “Watch Breda, Boss. Knowing him, that drink's gonna have more whiskey than punch in it.” With that, Jean brushed by him and headed off into the ballroom. Ed followed him for a moment, savoring that familiar scent, until he realized that Jean wasn’t going toward the wallflowers, but toward Hawkeye, then turned back in time to take the small glass of amber liquid from Breda.
He took one sip and saw stars, and heard Breda’s chuckle. Jean was right. The drink probably was all whiskey and no punch. He moved away from Breda before the man spiked his damned glass with something else equally lethal. He nursed the drink all the way around the dance floor, and by the time he reached the large potted plant by the picture window, his brain was happily buzzing, whispering completely inappropriate things in his head. He tried to clear it by mentally reciting the chemical composition of a human body, but realized he was failing when he added twenty grams of barley malt to the mix. He subsided then to merely watching Jean talk with Hawkeye from across the room. He saw them look vaguely in his direction and didn’t bother ducking behind the plant. If they wanted to talk about him, they were more than welcome. He even held up his glass in a crooked salute. He felt a rush of satisfaction when he noticed Jean flush − even from the distance he could see it − then saw the man say something to Hawkeye and move off in the opposite direction.
Ed made himself comfortable with the plant then. He didn’t mind being a wallflower. He was perfectly happy to spend the rest of the evening conversing with it; it was a good conversationalist. It understood all of his problems and concerns − especially those involving a certain Second Lieutenant and the way the man was flaunting the fact that he was walking around a crowded ballroom with a hard-on and wasn’t going to let Ed do anything about it − and was happy to offer input when it was necessary and was polite enough to stay quiet when he had something to say. And if someone looked at him funny when they noticed he was talking to a plant it even shook its leaves and made the over-dressed, jumped up creature go away.
But, finally, all good things had to come to an end and he was forced by the cessation of music and the random clearing of the dance floor to bid goodnight to his companion and head toward the First Lieutenant. He didn’t see Jean as he passed, but he really didn’t care. His body was nicely warmed by the drink and his legs were wobbly enough to appreciate the idea of collapsing on whatever couch he happened across on his way back home. And, no, it didn’t matter if it was Jean’s couch or not. Spending the whole night teasing and what-not and−
He heard a throat clearing as he, Hawkeye, and the Hughes’ moved out into the night. He blinked through the fuzzy darkness and tried to focus on what had drawn his three companions’ attention. His vision straightened just as it settled on the dark car parked in front of them, one of a long line of cars. It took him a moment to figure out what made this particular car so special, but when he did, it felt as if all of the alcohol in his system doubled itself and intensified. Impossible, but it was the only explanation he had for the sudden heat that flushed his body as he stared.
Standing beside the rear passenger door was a tall figure, touched here and there by the light of the moon, leaning negligently against the car. As Ed watched, the figure raised a thick cigar − a cigar? − to his mouth and took a long drag. As Ed watched the crimson glow of the burning end, Ed’s brain offered him a perfectly topical reference to remind him of what the vision of that thick, thick cigar reminded him of just as the figure’s head turned toward him.
Even in the darkness, Ed could see the bright twinkle in the blue. As he felt the others around him melt away he heard Jean say, quietly and almost casually, “Your ride awaits, Boss. Get in.”
Even though he was drunk, Ed was certainly not stupid. He swallowed and did as he was told.