Pairing: Gen... attempted some random girlxEd XD
Disclaimer: I don't own FMA or it's characters and all that jazz
Summary: A gift for feriowind in return for art because she is awesome like that. Totally crack!fic.
Author's note: Thanks to cryogenia for helping me make sure I didn't fail too hard at this.
Two weeks before New Year’s brought copious drifts of snow, frigid cold that made everyone rather grateful that their uniforms were so ridiculously heavy. Along with the very definition of winter, December seemed to finally drag Edward Elric home from whatever world he’d found himself exiled to. Three years found him taller and a little more mellow, and very nearly pretty when he smiled, which was more frequently than anyone could remember before.
It seemed that the comfort of being home had warmed him to the idea of being marginally social, and he allowed himself (with Al of course) to be dragged out for New Year’s revelries.
And that, was how Al found himself sitting at a bar he probably shouldn’t even be in, watching Ed throw back his third beer in an hour. How his brother could drink the stuff was beyond him, but Ed was grinning like a loon, his cheeks flushed with alcohol. If it made him in that good of spirits… well it was New Year’s Eve.
Truthfully, he blamed Havoc for insinuating that automail would make it difficult for Ed to hold his liquor. Ed, of course, had not matured so much as not to take that to be a challenge, and immediately. His brother immediately downed the glass in front of him, barely stopping to grimace at the taste. It seemed to be something he’d picked up in the time he’d been gone, but Al didn’t ask, and Ed didn’t volunteer to talk about it.
One beer, and Ed noticeably relaxed. His shoulders lost their tension, and he sank in his seat, smiling amicably at just about everyone. He hugged Al, murmured something about being so very glad to be home, and even in the dim bar room lights he was blinking a lot, his eyes a little more shiny than usual.
Al sighed. With that silliness out of the way… There was the bartender, again, though, shoving a tall mug at Edward.
“What’s this for?”
“The lady down there,” the bartender nodded offhandedly at a young woman who was staring quite unabashedly at Ed through long, chestnut spirals of hair. Ed didn’t really seem to get the significance, just waving amiably with a broad smile in her direction. He thanked the bartender and threw it back with no further adieu.
Two beers had Ed talking, holding a very animated conversation about nothing in particular. He even deigned to talk to Mustang. He waved his arms about as he told stories about some other Alfons, and though he looked very far away for a moment, the expression was gone in an instant. Ed laughed more than Al ever recalled happening before, like he’d faced down all his demons and finally, finally won.
“You should have a drink with me!” Ed announced rather loudly, clasping his arm around Al.
“I’m not sure that’s such a great idea,” Al responded warily. Ed was already pink cheeked and grinning and kept burying his face in Al’s shoulder like he was going to eat it or something. If he hadn’t had two beers in him, it might have been disconcerting, but now it was mostly just entertaining.
“Of course it is,” Ed insisted. His voice had the edge of a slur. “It’s New Year’s…and… and I’m home… and everything we worked for…”
Ed’s words stopped as he ran out of breath, and Al couldn’t help but chuckle, even as Ed called to the bartender. He found he couldn’t say no when Ed shoved one of the mugs into his hands.
There was something fascinating about the way Ed drank. His beer was gone before half of Al’s, like he’d just opened his throat and dumped it down. It seemed to Al that maybe he wasn’t the only one who’d noticed, because his brother was getting a few stares that he could only define as… appreciative. Ed, however, was oblivious to everything but the fact that Al still had an inch or two of liquid in his glass, and prodded him to drink it. Time and alcohol were slurring his voice a little more, though he still seemed surprisingly lucid. He just seemed very relaxed, like for once he wasn’t worried about a thing in the world.
Three beers in and Ed was starting to complain about it being too warm. It didn’t seem like such a good idea to Al, when his brother flicked the first button on his shirt open, and then another… and another. Ed was an adult, though, and who was he to reprimand him. Surely the way people were looking at him, like they were imagining a few more of those buttons undone, would bring him to his senses. Ed didn’t so much as notice, and Al found he was blushing hard enough for both of them. Honestly, what was he even supposed to do about this?
Ed leaned back on his bar stool, facing the room, his elbows perched on the bar. He cocked his head to the side as he talked to Al, something inane about snow and fireworks or something. Al wondered when the girl on the other side of his brother was going to either stop staring at him or tell him his ponytail had come mostly undone, leaving the majority of fine, golden hair in pools on his skin. His shirt was slipping down over his flesh and blood shoulder, and Al scrambled for a polite way to tell him to please put his clothes back on before someone noticed.
“You know, if you don’t want half the bar trying to go home with you, you may want to consider abstaining from undressing in public,” Roy suggested, with a barely contained smirk. Al was sort of grateful that Ed’s former commander had no qualms about being polite to his brother… even if his words were accompanied by a look that made Al shiver.
“What? My clothes are fine,” Ed retorted. He had the decency to at least look confused, and glanced down at himself in an attempt to understand what Mustang was saying. In the end, though, he just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, obviously deciding that everyone else was just being silly. The movement of his shoulders slipped the shirt down a fraction more, and Al watched, utterly embarrassed as someone a few seats over visibly followed the fabric with her eyes as it shifted and settled against his arm again.
Al looked elsewhere, striking up a conversation with Havoc, who was at least still relatively sober and not embarrassing the life out of him. In retrospect, he rather wished he hadn’t. He watched Jean’s jaw droop somewhat, cigarette falling to the floor, unnoticed. Al took a deep breath before turning around to see what had caused the reaction.
Ed tilted his head back, baring his throat as he threaded fingers through his hair. The ponytail holder fluttered to the floor, unnoticed. That was about the point that Al decided he was never going drinking with his brother again.
Ed left his head where it was, lips parting in a way that might have been sensual if it wasn’t his brother doing it. Everyone else seemed to take it that way. It took Al a moment to realize his brother was humming along with the music, head bobbing gently from side to side. His shoulders swayed despite his balance against the bar top, and his hips rocked, side to side on the stool.
Al turned his head away again to find that apparently Ed’s admirers were not confined to strangers and a rather shocked Havoc. Even Hawkeye was not above an innocent glance or two as Ed bobbed to the music in his seat.
Alfons was fairly certain, as he tried to go back to talking to Jean, that he was blushing enough for Ed and himself combined.
He wished he’d been paying more attention. Al turned around to the sound of a stool scraping against the floor. Ed was already off, though. How Ed managed to even walk straight was something like a miracle, but his brother almost managed to be the slightest bit graceful about it. That might have also been the fact that he was being held up by a second pair of hands, though.
There was a girl out there with him, the one with the curls who’d had a hand in getting Ed to this state to begin with, and Al scowled a little at the implications. Not that Ed couldn’t do whatever he wanted, but for pity’s sake, he was half drunk and… and oh god Al shook his head because he could not watch this anymore.
Al started to get out of his seat, because someone had to go rescue his brother. Edward was drunk, and didn’t dance, and this was just painful to watch. but there was a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to find Mustang smirking in amusement.
“Leave him be.”
“But he has no idea what he’s even doing!” Al insisted.
Roy raised a brow at him, “Are you sure? After all, he was gone quite a while.”
Reluctantly, Al sat back down, watching closely, because he was still fairly certain that, had Ed been sober, not only would he not be dancing. He was also pretty sure that if someone had managed to talk him into going out there, he wouldn’t have his hands all over some girl. He seriously questioned the wisdom of not dragging Ed away somewhere safe until the beer was out of his system, but… well, no one else seemed to think anything was amiss.
It seemed, despite being oblivious to all her advances, Edward had decided the girl in question was doing something wrong. Surely, he had to be trying to flirt or something, because there was no way his brother could be this incredibly dense. Maybe Mustang was right…
Ed, though, seemed either entirely unaware or uncaring of how it looked that he was pressed against her, mouth inches from her ear, presumably to speak over the music. Mismatched hands rested on her hips, and she, at least, was blushing somewhat at the contact.
Once Ed seemed content that she was doing whatever it was he’d been telling her to do, though, he moved his hands away. Maybe he hadn’t been flirting at all… She followed them, backing against him, and though Ed blushed brightly and looked very confused, he did not push her away.
She was behind him now, ridiculously close, and Ed looked stiff and frozen, but still did not push her away. Al almost got up again, because really, Ed looked awfully embarrassed and awkward, but if he was wrong, he was pretty sure Ed would not be happy about his ‘rescue’ attempts.
Al was seriously considering another drink himself, anything to ease his frayed nerves. How was it that his brother had been back a few short weeks, and already he was being driven insane by Ed’s ridiculousness?
Al risked another glance at where Ed had been, and panicked when he found the place empty. A quick look around found the girl laughing about something dragging Ed across the floor towards the back of the bar. Al stared, wide eyed, and almost got up again, because there was no way his brother was going to go off to the bathrooms with some strange girl.
Ed wasn’t putting up a fight, though, and Al looked around nervously. Everyone else seemed to find the whole thing pretty amusing, and maybe his worries were completely unwarranted.
Uneasily, he allowed his brother to disappear from view.
Al was just about to write off the whole thing as intentional, and just try not to blush too hard whenever Ed decided he was done. Ed, though, seemed to have entirely different ideas. He came stomping back just as Al was about to try and find something to distract himself with, all wide eyed and red faced.
“Are you okay?” Al asked worriedly.
“I… she… she… Do you have any idea what she wanted?” Ed squawked, flailing his arms so wildly that Al was sure he was going to fall over right there.
“You mean you didn’t?” Al responded, mortified now, that he hadn’t gone after Ed immediately.
“How was I supposed to know she was gonna take off her shirt?” Ed squeaked, blushing harder.
Ed nearly jumped out of skin when Havoc sidled up beside him, resting an arm amicably around his shoulders.
“So, how was it?” he was practically leering at Ed, and Al wanted to die just being associated with all of this.
“How was what?” Ed growled, waving about to dislodge Havoc from his shoulder.
“I didn’t do anything!” Ed insisted, flushing with embarrassment all over again.
“But you did go off with her,” Havoc pointed out.
“I didn’t know she wanted me to… do that,” Ed replied, obviously flustered.
“What else would she have wanted?” Havoc asked.
“I… I DON’T KNOW, OKAY?”
Al looked around nervously, wondering if maybe there was some way of slipping out without anyone else noticing what had happened. Apparently, though, any luck they had had run out ages before, and even if Mustang’s entire staff was not laughing at the scene in front of them, if Havoc knew, there’d be no end to the teasing Ed was in for.
Ed looked nervously at Al, “Why is everyone staring at me?”
Al took in the sight in front of him. Ed’s hair was disheveled. His clothes were askew, and the last couple of buttons on his shirt were undone. Al shook his head because even he knew why Ed was getting so much attention.
He didn’t get the chance to say anything in regards to it, though. There was a woman who looked to be a good five or six years older than his brother, whispering something at Ed’s ear. Al couldn’t hear what it was, but he saw the way she dipped her body suggestively, her tongue almost touching the shell of Ed’s ear as she spoke. He also saw the way that Ed’s eyes widened in something like horror.
Without warning, he scrambled away from her, much to everyone but Al’s amusement. That was it. Al sighed heavily, wishing he’d glued Ed to the bar stool or something to begin with. She looked a little put out, but much to Al’s relief, she didn’t press whatever her topic of conversation was.
Al decided it was most definitely time to go, before anything else happened. He was too horrified by the whole spectacle to even spare a chuckle at the way Ed yelped and nearly fell off the barstool when he grabbed his arm.
In the morning, he was going to kill his brother. Failing that, he was going to tell him just how much of an idiot he was until he was sufficiently ashamed. In the meantime, he patted worriedly at Ed’s back, ignoring the laughter of their companions, and pushed his brother as gently as he could and still get the point across, out the door.
He was never letting Ed near alcohol again… ever.