ZaKai Stonewall (zakai_) wrote,
ZaKai Stonewall
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Object of Gossip - Chapter 09

Title: Object of Gossip
Fandom: Fullmetal Alchemist
Rating: PG13
Type: Yaoi, Humor
Warnings: Language
Pairings: Eventual Roy/Ed
Summary: Roy and Ed are sleeping together, and everyone knows it! Everyone… except for Roy and Ed.

Chapter Listing Here

Fan art for this story by the talented wantingmemories can be found HERE.

 

 

Object of Gossip

 

9

 

Intellectual Attraction

 

 

“Attraction is beyond our will or ideas sometimes.” –Juliette Binoche–

 

 

When Roy’s alarm clock went off the next morning, he was already awake staring up at the ceiling.  Roy had slept for a few hours, but had woken up in the night and his brain had instantly started circulating his most recent worries.  No matter that he was exhausted from having no sleep the night before, his body refused to return him to the blissful state of unconsciousness he so desperately longed for.

 

After much thought, and after having some of the most inappropriate and arousing dreams involving himself and Ed, Roy decided that it was in that time that his resolve to put an end to this game solidified.  It had been a stupid and silly thing to do anyway.  He wouldn’t deny that it had been fun, the attention from the ladies and the flurry of excitement had added a thrill to his life, but it had still been silly, and now saw that it had also been potentially hurtful.

 

This decision was only spurred on by Roy’s confusion over getting himself off to an erotic story about men.  He’d never been attracted to men, but this whole ordeal, and perhaps the reading of the novels, had sparked his curiosity. 

 

And that’s what it was, Roy was sure.  It had to be.  There was no other explanation.  He was curious, plain and simple.  Only, Roy wasn’t sure he wanted to be curious about this.  It was just too ridiculous.  He was a ladies man.  He loved women.  There had never been a time in his life when he’d wanted to be with a man in a romantic or sexual way—and definitely not with Edward Elric as he had been in his dreams.  But whether he wanted to be or not, he was curious, and as of yet he hadn’t really come to terms with how he felt about that.

 

With a heavy sigh, Roy got out of bed, dressed, and deliberately left the book at home when he left for work.  He already had too many things on his mind right now, and he didn’t need anything distracting him or fueling his curiosities.  If he decided to act on those curiosities... well, then perhaps he would read more.  But if he decided not to, then the best thing was to separate himself from that type of stuff—no matter how much a part of him wanted to spend all day and night reading the damned books—and hope the urge would go away.

 

Roy could feel the eyes of people watching him as he walked to work.  Groups of teenage girls would look at him and giggle, some would even wave in his direction.  Women his own age would give him enigmatic smiles, as if they were in on his secret and enjoying every moment of it.  Older women would peek at him over their magazines or books, then look away quickly.  He’d even caught a couple of men watching him.  Given the fact that it hadn’t been quite a week yet since this had started, the speed at which this was spreading was almost unbelievable.

 

Normally he would have loved the attention, being one to thrive in the spotlight.  But this morning all he wanted was for people to mind their own business, and leave him alone to try to figure himself out.  That thought made him feel even more guilty for the position he’d put Ed in, but he consoled himself with the thought that without him trying to spur the rumor on, it would probably blow over soon and life would go back to normal.

 

And so he spent the morning working, though by lunch he’d told at least ten people that he and Ed weren’t dating.  He’d hoped that Ed would show up so that they could talk, but he hadn’t and Roy wondered if he’d have to go looking for him. 

 

“Sir?”

 

Roy looked up from the document he’d been looking at to see Hawkeye looking down at him with a look, of concern.

 

“Yes?” he asked tiredly.

 

“You don’t look well.  Are you coming down with something?”

 

Roy sighed and sat back in his chair.  “I haven’t been sleeping very well recently,” he admitted.

 

“Too much reading?” she asked impishly.

 

He gave her a wry look.  “That’s only part of it.”

 

“Have you started the book I recommended?” she asked, a note of teasing in her tone.  Roy was embarrassed to realize that his face was starting to feel a little warm, and he could tell by the look on her face that he must be blushing.

 

Waving a hand as if the subject was of little interest to him, he said, “I did, but I didn’t stay up all night reading it.  I do have some sense of priority.”

 

“Uh huh...” she said with an amused smile.  “How far did you get?”

 

Deciding he wasn’t in the mood to go into this right now, Roy stood up and said, “I think I’m going to go for a walk during my lunch hour.  Maybe that will wake me up.”

 

“Yes, sir,” she said, still sounding amused. 

 

Roy left his office quickly and started out for the library.  He was pretty sure he’d be able to find Ed there.  After entering the building, Roy flirted lightly with one of the librarians as he asked if she’d seen Ed, but she didn’t seem very impressed and pointed him in the direction Ed usually sat.  So, with a sigh, Roy headed back to Ed’s table, only to find that he wasn’t there.  Instead, Alphonse sat alone, pouring over one of the books scattered on the table.

 

“Where’s your brother?” Roy asked without preamble.  If he could find Ed quickly, then hopefully he’d still have time for a quick nap before going back to work.

 

Alphonse looked up at him.  Roy thought he seemed surprised to see him, but it was difficult to tell without the benefit of facial expressions.

 

“He went for a walk,” Al said.  “I think he went to the park.”

 

“Thank you,” Roy said, then turned and walked swiftly out of the library.  Central had several parks, but the closest, and largest, of those was only a couple of blocks away, so it didn’t take him long to get there.  Actually walking through the park to find Ed would take much longer.  There were many people out enjoying the nice weather.  Families and lovers were having picnics, or playing games, or taking pictures. 

 

Roy strode quickly down the pathways as he searched.  If Ed had been the type to wear normal clothes, it would have taken longer to find him, but even far off it was easy to recognize that the young man sitting on the park bench and wearing a bright red coat was Ed.

 

;-;-;-;-;-;-;

 

Ed sat on the park bench staring glumly at the people around him.  He watched the people as they passed, checking out the men and the women.  He waited for something inside of him to stir, to tell him that he was attracted to any of them.  It shouldn’t have been that hard.  Many of the people he saw were very good looking.  They were attractive, but... he just didn’t feel anything for them.

 

None of the people that he saw, no matter how little they were wearing, turned him on like he thought they should.  He’d been aroused plenty of times before, and had even gotten himself off, but it had been more of an routine response for the need of release, usually when he was stressed, rather than a response to actually wanting sex with someone.

 

A small, irrational part of himself was angry that this problem had been brought to his attention because it hadn’t been a problem before.  He’d been just fine not realizing that yet another thing was wrong with him.

 

A movement to his right caught Ed’s attention and he looked over to see Mustang coming around the side of the bench, then sitting down beside him.  Mustang’s eyes were slightly red, and dark bags were forming under his eyes.

 

“Wow, you look like shit,” Ed blurted out.

 

Mustang stared down at him for a moment, looking slightly offended, then said, “Could be worse.  I could be as small as one.”

 

“Go fuck yourself!” Ed snapped and looked away.

 

Instead of responding to that, Mustang said, “I’ve wanted to talk to you.”

 

“And I’ve wanted not to talk to you,” Ed said, letting his eyes move past the couple walking hand in hand down the path, and looking at the large pond beyond.

 

“That’s nice,” Mustang retorted blandly, then continued.  “I just wanted to say that I’m not going to try promoting this rumor any longer.  I still believe that if we emphatically deny it, then people will believe the rumor is true, and even if we try to ignore it, then it will still go on for a while.  But...”  He trailed off, and was silent for a moment, then said, “I said that I’ll tell people we aren’t dating, and I will honor that.”

 

That hadn’t been what Ed had expected to hear and he turned and looked at Mustang who wasn’t looking at him, but was looking out over the park with an expression that bordered on boredom.

 

“Why?” Ed asked.  “You seemed so intent on doing that thing to get girls.”

 

There was another long moment of silence, then Mustang said, “Because I have a lot of work to do and I don’t need this rumor interfering with that.  I already get a lot of attention from women.  I don’t need this rumor for that.”

 

Ed looked at Mustang through narrowed eyes.  He wasn’t sure if he believed what Mustang was saying or not.  Mustang did what was best for him almost all the time.  Ed’s guess was that the man had seen that this arrangement wouldn’t actually benefit him in the way he’d thought it would, so he’d decided to call it off.  Not that it really mattered why Mustang had decided against his lame plan.  The important thing was that he had decided against it.

 

“Good,” Ed grunted.  “I’m tired of people looking at me and asking me if I’m going out with you.”

 

“That’s not going to stop right away,” Mustang said.

 

Ed nodded.  “Yeah, I heard you the first time.”

 

They sat there in silence for a while, before Mustang said, “How long are you going to stay out here?”

 

“I dunno...” Ed mumbled.  “Why?”

 

Mustang pulled out his watch, looked at it, then put it away with a yawn.  “I really need a nap.  If I lay down under one of these trees will you make sure I’m not disturbed or robbed or anything, and wake me up in about thirty minutes?”

 

Ed rolled his eyes.  No one would be stupid enough to rob a soldier with this many people around, but there were people who didn’t like the military enough to try something stupid that it wasn’t unreasonable to ask for someone to keep an eye out.

 

“Yeah sure,” Ed muttered, then watched as Mustang got up, wandered over to a large tree with a lot of shade, and laid down on his back.  Ed stayed on the bench for another five minutes or so before heading over to where Mustang was now sleeping.  It would be easier to keep an eye out if he didn’t have to keep turning around.

 

Sitting down on the grass, Ed noticed that Mustang’s watch, a small notebook, and a pen were halfway out of his pocket.  Reaching down, Ed pulled the notebook all the way out of Mustang’s pocket and idly started to flip through it.  There hadn’t been any expectations of what he’d find, but Ed was surprised to find small doodles of arrays, mathematical formulas, and notes.  There were hurriedly written questions, and sometimes pages of theories for each of those.

 

Some of Mustang’s ideas seemed to be wild guesses or even fanciful ideas, but most of what Ed saw was viable or almost feasible with a little more work.  And these weren’t just little pointless ideas either.  Ed was fascinated by this small collection of complex and intellectual material.  He’d also never seen Mustang draw any arrays before, and found that his style both in alchemy and with mathematics was smooth and charming.

 

Ed had known on a very basic level that Mustang was good with alchemy, no one became a state alchemist unless they were the best of the best, but it was hard to remember that giving his every day dealings with the man.  After reading and studying Mustang’s small collection of notes, Ed found he had much more respect for the man.  This much intellect was attractive and Ed found himself wanting to wake the man so that they could discuss his theories.

 

But with that thought, Ed frantically pulled his pocket watch out and checked the time.  To his dismay Ed found that it was almost three hours past the time Mustang had asked to be woken.  Where had the time gone?! 

 

Ed got on his knees, leaned over Mustang, and shook his shoulders. 

 

“Hey,” he said, then leaned down a little closer.  “Hey, wake up.”

 

Slowly, Mustang’s eyes opened and he looked groggily up at Ed.  “Is it time already?” he asked, disappointment and weariness threading through his tone.

 

“Eh, yeah... well, about that...” Ed began, then added apologetically, “I kinda let you sleep late...”

 

Mustang just stared at him for a moment, then asked slowly, “How late...?”

 

Ed looked away, feeling more than a little embarrassed.  “Three hours.”

 

“What?!” Mustang exclaimed.  He sat up quickly, and Ed didn’t have time to move before their foreheads collided.  Mustang lay back down with a hissing exclamation of pain, though Ed barely noticed as he sat back and rubbed quickly at his aching head. 

 

“Mother fucker!” Ed snapped.  There were several other choice words he’d like to say, but succeeded in keeping his tongue.

 

Mustang sat up more slowly this time, his face holding a sour expression of pain.  “Three hours?!  What... How...?”

 

“I got distracted!” Ed said, sounding curt through the pain.

 

“By what?” Mustang growled, standing up now and brushing his uniform down with his hands.

 

Ed stood as well, but didn’t bother fussing with his clothes.  “Eh, well...”  He was still holding the small notebook in his hand, so he sheepishly handed it over.

 

With a disgruntled look, Mustang took the book and slipped it back in his pocket.  “I don’t remember saying you could read through that.”

 

“Well, you were asleep the whole time so you wouldn’t remember,” Ed pointed out.

 

“Did I give you permission?” Mustang asked, and Ed couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or serious.

 

“No,” Ed admitted.  “But your ideas are really interesting and cool,” he added, trying to make up for the intrusion of privacy.  “It would be awesome to talk about some of that stuff with you.”  Mustang ran a hand through his hair, trying to make it look less disheveled, then turned and started walking away. 

 

“Hey!  Wait!” Ed shouted and hurried after him.  He didn’t want Mustang mad at him, especially now that he’d gained a little bit of admiration for the man.  It wasn’t as if he’d let him sleep that long on purpose, and sure it might have been wrong of him to look in Mustang’s notebook, but it wasn’t as if there was anything super personal in there, and it had been really good stuff.

 

“I have to get back to work, Ed,” Mustang said irritably.

 

“Work?” Ed asked.  Work did not fit in with Ed’s ideas of talking with Mustang about alchemy.

 

“Yes, you know that place I go to make money so I can pay my bills?”  They stopped at the corner, and waited with a small crowd of people to cross the street.

 

“Forget about work,” Ed said, trying to get Mustang to listen to him.

 

“Despite what you might think, there are more important things to me than you,” Mustang returned sourly.

 

Ed scowled.  “I just want to talk with you about—”

 

“This is not the time or the place.  You know I only have an hour for lunch, but you let me sleep in anyway.” 

 

Ed sighed bitterly.  All he wanted to do was talk to Mustang about his theories.  Was that too much to ask?  It wasn’t as if they had to talk now even.  Looking away from Mustang, Ed saw that most of the people in the small crowd were looking at them.  When they saw him looking at them, the people glanced away, and at that moment the light changed so everyone began to cross the street.

 

Ed practically had to run to keep up with Mustang now.  “Okay, so we won’t talk about it now.  But let’s talk later, okay?”  Ed stoically ignored the people they were passing.  It wasn’t as if he and Mustang were doing or talking about anything of interest to them anyway.  Mustang hurried to the next streetlight and gave a small growl of irritation as the light changed and they had to wait again.

 

“I’m not interested in talking with you about it, Ed.  What you did was wrong.  I trusted you, and not only did you let me down, but you stuck your nose into something that was none of your business.”

 

“I know!  I’m sorry!” Ed said, trying to apologize.  The light changed and they walked across the street with some civilians and a few soldiers.

 

“I’m done talking about this,” Mustang said, walking onto the grounds of Central Headquarters. 

 

“Maybe we can talk later?” Ed asked.  He knew he was bordering on annoying, but he really wanted to discuss some of Mustang’s theories.  There were very few people who even came close to matching Ed’s intelligence.  Al was one of those, and they did talk a lot, but it would be great to have another viewpoint.  “I could come by tonight?”

 

“No.”

 

“Tomorrow night?” Ed asked as they walked into Central Headquarters.

 

“You may not come over tonight, or tomorrow night,” Mustang said as he stepped on the elevator. 

“But—” Ed said, then cut off as the elevator doors started to close, then said, “You can’t ignore me forever, Mustang!”  Then the elevator doors shut completely.  Sagging a little now that he’d spent so much energy, Ed turned, intent on heading back to the library, then stopped when he noticed that many of the people were staring at him. 

 

With a burst of exasperation, Ed snapped, “Mind your own business!”  At that, the people went back to whatever they’d been doing.  Either they were ashamed at being caught watching, or they knew enough not to mess with an already pissed off Edward Elric.  With a low growl, Ed stalked out of Central Headquarters and to the library to find his brother.

Tags: object of gossip, oog, stories
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  • 100moods Challenge - Bouncy

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