Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Type: Yaoi, Humor
Pairings: Eventual Roy/Ed
Summary: Roy and Ed are sleeping together, and everyone knows it! Everyone… except for Roy and Ed.
Previous Chapters Here
Object of Gossip
Riza read over the article for what must have been the fiftieth time that day. She wondered if it was true. There was a good chance that it wasn’t, but there must be some kernel of truth in all of this because almost all the stories in The Gossip were based on something. And then there was the picture... It was hard to discount something like that.
She’d talked to several people that day about this subject. It was a hot topic at the moment and she was surprised that neither the colonel nor Edward seemed aware of it. But then, both of them seemed to lean toward more intellectual reading material.
Looking up from the magazine, she glanced around the office, not able to keep herself from imagining the colonel and Ed in this office together. Had they ever used this room for more... indecent activities? Her imagination was running wild with scenarios and she felt herself being affected by it.
Riza rubbed at her eyes and shook her head. She felt so dirty for allowing herself to think of them like that, but they were both very good looking and she really did have a fetish for sexy men together. It had embarrassed her at one time, even admitting to herself that she liked such things; but over time she’d found that many women felt the same and she didn’t feel so out of place.
She thought about the discussion in the break room earlier and gave a mirthless laugh as she remembered the men’s reactions. Was it so difficult to imagine that there might be a flip side to enjoying the thought of two people of the same sex together? Why was it ‘okay’ for men to like specific things and not for women?
Ridiculous, she thought. If men had any idea how many women there were like her and Maria Ross... Riza smiled as she imagined their reactions, then her thoughts were interrupted when Colonel Mustang walked into the office. He glanced at where she was sitting on the couch, then walked over to his desk and sat down.
“How was lunch?” she asked.
“Disturbing,” he grunted as he looked over some of the work that had been dumped on his desk while he’d been away.
Riza glanced down at the tabloid, trying to decide if this was a good time to ask him about this. But she couldn’t handle not knowing if it was true. Even if it wasn’t, she had a feeling she’d never look at the two of them the same way again.
“Colonel?” she said cautiously.
She stood, walked over to the door, and shut it. That got his attention. He looked up at her questioningly as she moved to his desk.
“We need to talk...” she finally said.
“If we were dating, I’d be afraid,” he said with a smirk. When he saw that she wasn’t amused by his joke, he became more serious. “Alright, please continue.”
“Have you read this?” she asked, holding up the magazine.
He glanced at it then shook his head. “I don’t read that kind of garbage,” he said, then added, “I’m surprised that you do.”
“That’s not the point,” she said, choosing to ignore his words and the disapproving look he’d given her. “The point is this.” She opened it to the story and set it down on the desk in front of him.” He gave her a bewildered look, then glanced down at the tabloid and began to read. She watched as his look of mild disinterest turned to one of shock and horror.
“Did you get my message?” Ed asked as he plopped down into the chair and looked at Al. His brother was reading some magazine and didn’t answer right away. “Al?” Ed repeated.
“Yeah I got it,” Al said, his voice ribboned with displeasure.
“You’re not mad are you? I mean, I was starving and I did wait for you for a long time,” Ed said, feeling a little uncomfortable now.
Al looked over the top of the magazine at him and said, “Why didn’t you tell me about you and the colonel?”
“Eh... what?” Ed asked, feeling suddenly off balance. “I did... I left a message with the librarian... You said you got it...”
Al made a sound of frustration, then said irritably, “Not that, I mean this.” And with that, Al flipped over the magazine for Ed to take a look at what he was reading.
The first thing that caught his attention was the picture of him and Mustang that Hughes had taken of them last week. He frowned as he began to quickly read the article, and with each sentence, Ed felt his temper rise as his stomach dropped—making him feel sick with embarrassment.
He looked up into Hawkeye’s eyes and was shocked to see the question there. How could she even believe this for a moment? Had he ever given any indication that he liked Fullmetal in that way? Ever?
“Sir?” Hawkeye asked after several minutes of silence.
He shook his head, trying to come up with something to say to this. “This is ridiculous,” he finally said. “This is... No one actually believes this, do they?”
“Actually...” Hawkeye said hesitantly. “You do have quite the playboy reputation...”
“Not with men!” Roy said defensively, looking over the picture and trying to decide how best to fry Hughes’s ass for ever letting that picture get into the hands of this foul magazine. This was his reputation that was on the line! How would he ever get a date now? He had a sudden vision of the soldier in the cafeteria and corrected himself. A female date!
“Well, some of the men think it’s disgusting, but you’ll always have intolerant people like that. Some think it’s a little odd, but most a lot of them are... well, sort of amused. And then there are the men whose preferences run along those lines. They’re actually kind of happy about it,” she said.
She nodded and said, “I’ve heard some are a little upset with it since Ed is so young, but he really is almost an adult now...” She trailed off for a moment, then continued. “Some are a little disappointed that they won’t even have a chance with you now.” She rolled her eyes at that, then said, “But there is a large portion of women who are...” She paused as if trying to decide whether to say something or not.
“Who are what?” he asked, feeling a little worried.
“They’re... well... they’re quite enamored with the idea.”
He stared at her for a moment, then said, “Are you insane?!” She couldn’t be serious. Why would anyone find the thought of him and Ed together attractive?
“Well, sir...” she said, her tone taking on the air of a school teacher. “Think of it this way...”
“I’m going to kill this bitch...” Ed seethed. He would! After he killed the librarian and Hughes.
“So it’s not true?” Al asked in a tone Ed couldn’t place.
“No!” he snapped, then lowered his voice when several people made hushing sounds at him. “Of course not! I’ve never been with anyone, let alone Mustang!” Okay, a little embarrassing to admit, but it was the truth. “When would I have had time to be... what they say... with Mustang?” Ed asked as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
“Well... there are lots of times when it’s just you and him in his office...” Al explained.
“Don’t even go there,” Ed said warningly, pointing a finger at his brother. “Don’t even go there...”
He listened to her explain about men liking more than one woman and it being opposite with growing interest, then asked, “Women actually think that way?”
“Well... yes. They do.”
“Sir, it’s not just about sex,” Hawkeye said, seeming to understand where this was going. He glanced up at her and raised an eyebrow in question. “While it is pleasing to see two very good looking men together, those women who enjoy this sort of thing,” she began, sounding a little cautious, “they like to believe there’s more there than just the sex. There’s a romance factor, and many of them believe that those types of men are more in touch with their feelings that other men. They’re believed to be more emotional and understanding.”
Hawkeye searched his eyes for a long time, then with a sigh, she said, “Not really, sir...”
“But you would tell me if...” Al began, then trailed off when his brother narrowed his eyes at him.
“There is no way in hell I’d ever sleep with Mustang,” Ed snapped.
Al wanted to believe that, but he wouldn’t put it past Ed to keep something from him if he thought it was in his best interest.
Without warning, Ed stood up quickly, knocking his chair over. “I’m going to find Mustang,” he stated. “If he knew about this and didn’t tell me...” Ed gritted his teeth together. “I bet he was laughing at me the whole time...”
“Brother...” Al soothed, suddenly worried about the colonel’s well being should Ed get to him in this state of mind. “Maybe you should tell me how this rumor—” But Ed cut him off with a wave of his hand.
“I’ll be back...” Ed said resolutely, the turned and ran off.
Al watched his brother go, wondering if he should follow. In the end, he decided against it. He wasn’t in the mood to watch the colonel and Ed fight, and he really did hate seeing his brother embarrass himself.
Nope, he’d just wait right here in the library and research... Picking up the tabloid, Al looked at the picture with a mixture of confusion and curiosity. Yes... he’d stay here and research... after he reread the article...
Riza watched as the colonel stood up and walked around the desk toward her. She’d known him long enough that she could tell when he was up to something. So far, she’d yet to get a straight answer from him concerning the rumors. She’d also watched him go from surprised and shocked, to cool and collected. Most likely he really had been surprised by the article, but he’d had enough time to figure out what he wanted to do with it now.
“I am in touch with my feelings,” the colonel said, putting a hand to his heart. “I’m just... It’s not easy to be so open about it...”
She gave him a bland look. “It’s not true, is it—about you and Ed.” It wasn’t a question. He stared at her with a slightly hurt look, and opened his mouth to say something, when she raised her eyebrows and gave him a disbelieving look. The Roy Mustang she knew would never say what he had just said.
He frowned, and then the hurt look was gone, replaced by one of resignation. “Well, I can’t convince you if you don’t want to be convinced...”
“Right...” she said disbelievingly. “So is it true or not?”
He gave a small half smile and opened his mouth to say something, when the door burst open and a heaving Edward Elric stood in the doorway. The teen pointed at the colonel and snarled through gasping breaths, “You... talk... now...”
“If you’ll excuse us, Lieutenant...” the colonel said politely. “Ed and I need to have a private discussion...”
She glanced at him, then at Ed who looked furious, before nodding and walking out the door. After shutting it behind her, Riza stared at the door for a long moment. The colonel was up to something... she was sure of it... She glanced down at the tabloid in her hand and wondered again if it was true.
After the discussion she had just had with him, Riza was more inclined to say that it most probably wasn’t, but... She looked at the door again. He wasn’t one to let things happen without trying to turn it to his advantage.
Riza opened the magazine and looked at the picture of the colonel and Edward. Did it really matter if it was true or not? Even if it wasn’t, there was always her imagination, and if it was... so much the better.
She remembered the colonel’s initial reaction, then had a thought. Riza looked at the office door. He wouldn’t... She pondered on it, then a small smile tugged at her lips. He would... Not sure if she should be pleased or not, Riza walked away, wondering how long they’d have to wait for a definite answer from the two alchemists..