Series: Brotherhood/the manga
Word Count: 1,818
Characters: Ling/Ed, mentions of Greed 2.0.
Summary: Of course his intentions aren’t entirely pure—he almost always has an ulterior motive.
Warnings: Ed has a potty mouth and Ling thoroughly enjoys teasing (there be plenty of innuendo here).
Notes: I cannot resist this pairing, and I cannot resist my Ling-muse’s puppy face. That is all.
Ling closes his eyes and sits cross-legged by the fire, breathing in deeply, trying to center himself. The longer Greed is in control, the more difficult this becomes for some reason, and it’s been over a week since Greed has let him out of the prison that is his own mind. Perhaps it was unintentional—or perhaps Greed is just as tired as he is, and is simply too proud to say it.
Either way, Greed is blissfully quiet now, and Ling is in control of his own body again, and—
His concentration is broken by the sound of a twig snapping. That particular noise is followed by a few clanks and the sound of a boot colliding with something solid. Quite predictably, Ling then hears: “Stupid fucking huge-ass trees and their stupid fucking roots! Don’t they get that they’re supposed to stay in the ground?!”
Ed’s irritation makes him smile, though he has to admit that he feels some disappointment at the fact that it is currently nature that is pushing the other teen’s buttons instead of Ling himself.
Well, he thinks to himself, I can make up for that soon enough.
He is sorely tempted to turn around just so that he can see the annoyance scribbled all over Ed’s face – he’s terribly cute when he is annoyed – but he resists temptation, instead allowing the one who is unknowingly doing the tempting to come to him.
When he senses that Ed is little more than a few feet behind him, he speaks up: “It’d be a pity if you were a member of my royal guard. You really aren’t very good at sneaking around, and when you’re irritated, I can sense your qi from quite a distance.”
“What the hell do you--” But Ed cuts himself off, stops walking for a moment, and then all but rushes forward until he is standing beside Ling. He doesn’t finish his sentence; instead, he goes with something completely different: “Well, I’m not some freaky-ass ninja, thank you very much.”
“I know,” Ling replies, very much in agreement with Ed’s statement. “I’m just telling you… it’s a good thing you aren’t; you’d be really bad at it.”
“Hey, shut up.” Ed plops down beside him and then winces, bumping his left shoulder against Ling’s right shoulder. “You would decide to come out of your damn tent and sit out here in the cold. Even with the fire going, it’s freezing.”
Ling thinks it’s a bit chilly, but it’s not too bad, all things considered. He’s wearing naught but a thin shirt and pants and boots (all Greed’s), but Ed is dressed much more warmly, with an oversized coat to boot. In spite of all of this, he is shivering. Ling is not.
Ling slides an arm around the blonde and pulls him closer; Ed squirms in protest but does little else, and then he stills and leans into the offered warmth of Ling’s body, heaving a soft (obviously non-annoyed) sigh. His easy acquiescence makes Ling smirk delightedly (and maybe just a little deviously, too).
“I can warm you up,” he informs his companion in a seductive little purr, right against the shell of his ear, and he is even more delighted when Ed grits his teeth and shivers (and this time, Ling knows that that particular action has nothing to do with the weather).
He just knows that Ed is on the very brink of caving in when Ed decides to surprise him, drawing back a bit and glaring at him. “You can’t behave yourself for five minutes, can you?”
Feigning offense and pouting, Ling replies, “You think so little of my kind gestures, Ed.”
Ed snorts. “Your ‘kind gestures’ are often just methods of getting what you want—you and I both know this. You give me that damn pleading look when you want food. You nuzzle at my neck when you want me to play with your hair. You climb all over me like some insane overgrown cat when you want to be all sappy and cuddly. You say something ridiculously cheesy that somehow winds up sounding sexy when you want to fool around.”
“You have to admit that my ‘methods’ work,” Ling happily points out, earning a soft growl of annoyance from the blonde. It is too easy to push his buttons, it really is. Irritating Ed is also quite fun, and the added bonus here is that an angry Ed equals a hopelessly adorable Ed.
(Not that Ling’s going to tell him that or anything. He would rather not go through the trouble of dodging an automail fist.)
“It’s got to have something to do with that ninja shit that you pull,” Ed retorts, as if he has to have some sort of excuse. “I swear, you do some mind tricks and make it so that I can’t think.” He’s blushing now, and he looks even more adorable. Ling wants to tangle his fingers in the blonde’s messy plait and pull him in for a kiss, but he resists that particular temptation as well—for the time being, at least.
Instead, he chuckles and smiles sweetly at Ed. “I’m afraid that has nothing to do with ‘that ninja shit’, as you so eloquently put it. That’s just how we are, hmm? Push and pull, give and take.” He knows there is a certain gleam in his eye as he continues: “Promise and deliver. You wouldn’t bend and break for me if you didn’t really want to.”
Ed’s mouth opens and closes, and then opens and closes again; he doesn’t say a word, but he glares daggers at Ling and makes that little growling noise again (which makes liquid heat pool in Ling’s belly, whether Ed realizes it or not) before scooting a foot or so away from Ling.
Ling counts down in his head, three, two, one, and Ed is pressed against his side again, teeth chattering as he holds his hands out towards the fire. Ling smiles knowingly at him, but Ed shakes his head.
“I’m not doing this cos of what you said,” Ed tells him defensively, his stare nearly as cold as the night air. “I’m just like this cos it’s freezing, that’s all.”
“Mmhmm,” Ling replies, nodding in a way that he knows is rather unconvincing. He doesn’t quite believe the blonde, and he doesn’t mind making his disbelief obvious—it gets Ed a little more flustered, and that is very much a plus.
Ed knows he’s caught, and rapidly changes subject (which often tends to be a tactic that doesn’t work for long at all): “So what the hell are you doing out here, anyway?”
Ling shrugs and then slowly rolls his shoulders. “It’s easier to think out here in the night air. Greed is quiet right now—I think he’s tired. The silence inside my own head gives me some time to reorient myself and to rebalance my qi; Greed kind of… makes everything topple over.”
Ed narrows his eyes, and his lips immediately set into a small frown. “That might be so,” he begins, tilting his head a bit to the side, “but you’re omitting something, aren’t you?”
Uh-oh. In some ways, Ling supposes, he has the capability to be just as transparent as Ed. “I checked your tent first,” he confesses, like a little boy who’s just admitted to nabbing a couple of cookies before lunch. “And then I sat down out here, since you weren’t in there.” A frown tugs at the corners of his lips for an instant, but he recovers quickly, nudging Ed with his elbow, which makes Ed softly yelp and glare at him even harder. “Where were you, by the way?”
“I had to piss,” Ed replies matter-of-factly, and then his features soften. “It’s been a few days. I was beginning to wonder when or if you’d show up again.” He leans a bit more solidly against Ling, adding, “Not that I missed you or anything.”
Ling bites back a chortle. “Well, I missed you, too.” It might sound like sarcasm, but in actuality, it isn’t. “Control over my body is a battle of wills, I suppose, and sometimes I’m lucky enough to catch him when he’s more exhausted than I am.”
“I suppose I’d rather see your doofy face than his,” Ed tells him, and then backpedals. “Well, I suppose it’s the same face, but then again, it really isn’t… you know? It’s your body, but it’s different when he’s the one in control.”
“Believe me,” Ling assures his companion, “I know.”
“How long do you think you’ve got this time?” Ed suddenly queries, and Ling raises both eyebrows, curious as to why Ed would be asking that particular question.
“Not sure,” Ling answers, which is true. They can never be certain of when Greed will decide to show back up—Ed has learned that lesson well, but Ling has noticed that it doesn’t keep him from asking every now and again. Perhaps he believes that, over the course of their journey, Ling has grown more aware of possible moments that Greed’s control may waver and then strengthen, but Ling has not had any such luck. Greed could be in control again within the next ten seconds, without warning.
Ed doesn’t reply—he just scoots a little closer, teeth chattering.
Ling’s somewhat dark thoughts quickly disappear, and he smiles broadly, eager to get back to the task at hand. “You know, it’s common knowledge that the best way to keep warm in such harsh conditions is to cuddle while fully unclothed.”
Ed draws back a bit, giving Ling a flat look. “You’re hopeless, you know?”
“It’s been longer than five minutes,” Ling informs in a sing-song voice, “and I’ve behaved since then.” And he has, for the most part.
His fingers busy themselves with tugging the tie out of Ed’s hair and letting it tumble free in long, golden waves. Ling then buries his fingers within the strands, lightly massaging Ed’s scalp.
Ed’s lids lower, and he tips his head back slightly, emitting a soft moan. This is how Ling knows he’s got him now—hook, line, and sinker.
“All right,” Ed finally agrees, and there is the tiniest hint of a smile playing on his lips. He’s adorable like this, too: all lazy and agreeable and wanting, and Ling thinks of how it’ll be a few moments from now when they are both naked and inside of Ed’s tent and moving together, panting and grinding and—
Ling cuts his own train of thought off with an involuntary noise of his own, and he cups the side of Ed’s face, leaning in for a kiss.
Victory doesn’t taste ‘sweet’, per se… It tastes a bit like the beans that Ed ate earlier, and a bit like peppermint, and a entirely like Ed, which is even better, in the prince’s humble opinion.
Good for you, Ed. I fear I wouldn’t have lasted the whole five minutes, whether Ling behaved himself or not. XD