ZaKai Stonewall (zakai_) wrote,
ZaKai Stonewall
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Object of Gossip - Chapter 12

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



Object of Gossip

12

The First Night


--

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. — William Styron

--
At five minutes to six, Ed found himself walking toward one of the apartment buildings close to Central Headquarters. He’d known for some time that Mustang lived here—it wasn’t exactly a secret where his co-workers lived—but he’d never had any reason to visit them before.

Pulling open the door to the main lobby, Ed walked in, glanced around, then headed straight for the elevator and pushed the button. The building was nicer inside than he’d supposed it would be. It wasn’t anything really fancy, but it was clean and in good repair. And then the elevator door opened and Ed stepped inside, immediately pressing the three.

With a small sigh, Ed leaned against the elevator wall. He hadn’t gotten to talk to Al like he’d wanted. When Ed had reached the library, Al had been no where to be seen. He’d asked around, even gone home, but there’d been no sign of him. It wasn’t as if Ed was his brother’s keeper, it was just that most of the time they let each other know where they’d be. He tried to shrug it off and do some research, but Ed found his mind wandering more often than not and finally gave up.

With a ding, the elevator doors opened and he walked out, heading quickly down the hallway until he found Mustang’s door. He looked both ways down the hall, took a deep and nervous breath, then knocked loudly on the door. Ed stood there, looking determined and trying not to show his nervousness, but the door didn’t open. Frowning, Ed knocked again, waited, then grunted when again there was no reply.

“Hey!” Ed shouted, banging on the door. “Open up, Mustang! Don’t be a fucking jerk!”

This time a door did open, but not Mustang’s. One door over on the other side of the hall opened and a young woman stuck her head out. She looked at Ed, grinned, and said, “Having a lover’s quarrel?”

“Wha—no!” Ed snapped. “I’m just supposed to be here for dinner at six and it’s...” He checked his watch. “It’s like five minutes after six and he’s not opening up.”

“Well, he is kind of a jerk,” the young woman said. “I’m not really sure why you’re with him. I mean, he’s such a womanizer. Do you know he’s always ogling me and my friends and making inappropriate noises at us when he’s drunk?” She rolled her eyes.

“Yeah that sounds like him,” Ed muttered.

“You should dump his ass and find yourself a nice girl to settle down with.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

She grinned. “I’m single, just so you know.”

Ed flushed instantly. “Uh, okay...” He wasn’t quite sure what to do with that comment. The girl grinned wider and was about to say something else, then stopped as the elevator made another ding, before glancing past him and making a look of disgust.

“Sorry I’m late.” Ed turned and saw Mustang carrying a couple bags of what looked like cheap Xingian takeout. “They were busier than normal.” He looked past Ed and grinned widely. “Hi Kari.”

“Fuck off, asshole,” she spat, then disappeared and slammed the door shut.

Mustang cleared his throat as he dug in his pocket for the key to his apartment. “She’s probably just having a bad day.”

“Or she just doesn’t like you,” Ed put in.

“I doubt that. All women like me. But sometimes women go through these monthly cycles and they get kind of... well, never mind,” Mustang said as he pulled out the key.

“She just doesn’t like you,” Ed repeated.

“She loves me.”

“Like a kick to the head.”

Mustang gave Ed a flat look, then unlocked the door and pushed it open. “Ladies first,” he said as Ed walked through, then laughed as Ed snarled something profane.

Ed turned, getting his first look at Mustang’s apartment. The place wasn’t spotless, but it wasn’t really very messy either. ‘Lived in’ was probably the best way to put it. There were books here and there, and some dishes in the sink. There was also a dirty coffee mug and a newspaper on the table. But overall the place was clean. It was obvious that the dishes in the sink were recent and the coffee mug was probably from that morning. The floor was swept and vacuumed, and what dust could be seen wasn’t too thick.

“Home sweet home,” Mustang said, shutting the door behind him and putting the takeout on the kitchen table.

“It wouldn’t pass inspection,” Ed said.

“Neither would your dorm room,” Mustang returned, then grabbed the coffee cup and newspaper from the table, dumped the newspaper in the trash and set the coffee mug in the sink. “Given that you’re living on military property, I think you should be more worried about that than me.”

Ed shrugged and started taking the boxes from the bags and opening them. “Wha’ddyou get?” he asked curiously, more to himself than to Mustang. There was rice, meat, some breaded fried stuff, vegetables, and a couple cookies.

“What do you think?” Mustang asked, coming to stand beside him.

Ed glanced up. “Meh, it will do. It will be enough to feed me, but what are you going to eat?”

“Ha. Ha,” Mustang said sarcastically. “You can have half of what’s there. One of those cookies are for you too.” And with that he handed Ed a plate. “There are wooden chopsticks in there somewhere, or I can get you a fork.”

“I can use chopsticks, stupid ass,” Ed snapped as he dished some of the food onto his plate and fished a pair of disposable chopsticks from the bag.

“Someone is touchy tonight,” Mustang said irritably as he filled his own plate with food.

Ed looked around. He felt like something was missing... And then it hit him. “Drinks?” he asked.

“In the fridge.”

Taking that as an invitation to help himself, Ed went into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and looked inside. There was milk, which Ed instantly passed over; juice; orange juice by the looks of it; and some bottles of beer, something Ed had never had before. Deciding on the juice, Ed pulled a glass from the cupboard and filled it, then walked back to the table and sat down.

“You didn’t get me anything?” Mustang asked.

“You didn’t say you wanted anything,” Ed answered, feeling a little annoyed.

“You didn’t ask.”

“Fridge is right there. Go get yourself something.”

Mustang rolled his eyes, got up, and a moment later returned with an open bottle of beer. “You’re not a very thoughtful boyfriend, you know that?”

“Maybe if you weren’t so cheap, I’d care more,” Ed said. “Besides, we’re just pretending to be dating in front of everyone else. It’s not like we’re really dating.”

“Hey, I’m not cheap. I did pay for everything myself after all,” Mustang said, then took a bite.

“Whatever,” Ed muttered, then took a bite of his own food. “What if I didn’t like Xingian food, huh?”

“You didn’t say you didn’t.”

“You didn’t ask,” Ed shot back.

Mustang smirked, pointed at Ed as if to say ‘didn’t we just have this conversation in reverse?’, then took a sip of his beer. Ed grunted and took another big bite, trying to hide his annoyance to which Mustang just laughed.

“Ed, you’ll eat anything. I wasn’t worried about whether or not you’d like what I bought.”

“Okay fine. Can we start talking about your theories now?”

And so they talked about Mustang’s theories. It was a rocky start because they’d have to stop and grab books or paper or pens or any other number of items as they went along. Ed’s food was quickly eaten along with a second helping, and Roy’s first and only helping was pushed aside after he’d eaten all but the last several bites. Plates and take out boxes were exchanged for more paper and books. And, after about four hours, three glasses of juice and two bottles of beer later, the phone rang, bringing them out of what they were currently discussing.

Ed watched as Mustang answered the phone, then blinked in surprise when he held the phone out to him.

“Alphonse,” Mustang said simply.

Ed got up and took the receiver. “Hello?”

“Brother, it’s ten o’clock. Are you coming home tonight?”

“Uh...” Ed hesitated, eyeing the messy table full of theories, equations, and arrays regretfully. “Yeah I am.”

“When?” Al asked. “Before midnight?”

Ed watched as Mustang cleared off the extra bottles from the table and pulled another from the fridge. “Yeah. We’re just wrapping up here anyway.”

“Uh huh... Wrapping up your ‘discussion of theories’?” Al asked skeptically, referring to the note Ed had left him.

“Yes,” Ed said, annoyed.

“Right. I guess I’ll see you whenever you’re done,” Al said, then promptly hung up the phone.

Ed sat the receiver down, feeling a little disgruntled, then walked over to the table where Mustang was starting to clean up.

“Time to go home?”

“Something like that...” Ed said, looking down at the table in disappointment.

Mustang picked up the bags, looked inside, then pulled out the two cookies and tossed one to Ed. “Open it and see what your fortune is.”

Ed shrugged and opened the strangely shaped cookie, popped one side into his mouth and pulled a slip of paper from the other half. He read it to himself, then out loud. “Your life is about to get very complicated. Be optimistic and accept change with an open mind.” He looked at Mustang. “My life is already complicated.” He ate the other half and tossed the paper into the garbage. “What does yours say?”

Mustang read his, laughed, then handed the paper to Ed and started eating his cookie. Ed looked over the paper and scowled. “It is good to seek out the best things in life. Just remember that the best things often come in little packages?” he said in annoyance. “Why is that funny?”

The question only brought more laugher, and Ed was sure it had something to do with his height, but before Ed could demand more answers, Mustang said, “You could stay a little bit longer. You don’t have to leave right now if you don’t want to.”

“And do what?” Ed grunted. Mustang shrugged and Ed rolled his eyes before walking over to the couch and plopping down. “You’re already putting away all the good stuff. I want to come back over tomorrow again so we can finish that equation we were talking about.”

“That was part of the deal right?”

“Yeah...” Ed mumbled, disappointed that he couldn’t spend the rest of the night at that table. Mustang’s theories and views were good ones, and he had intelligent answers for everything, which was surprising to Ed given how much of an asshole the man was a lot of the time.

Ed glanced over at the end table and saw a book sitting by the lamp. It had a book mark inserted about halfway through; and, out of curiosity, Ed picked it up and started reading. The first paragraph he started on made his eyed go wide, his mouth drop, and his groin start to burn with something more private than what he wanted made known on Mustang’s couch. He didn’t know who the characters where, but by the end of the second page, Ed was hooked... and in need of some private time...

“Like what you’re reading?” Mustang asked, and Ed slammed the book shut feeling even more embarrassed knowing that Mustang knew what it was he was reading. Mustang sat down on the opposite side of the couch and smirked knowingly at him. “You can borrow it, if you want.”

“I... I’m not really interested...” He trailed off. It was true that he’d never had much of an interest in relationships and the like before, but this book... what he’d read...

“Yes. You are,” Mustang said, amused. “It’s not mine, so don’t lose it. I’m borrowing a bunch from... well, it doesn’t matter who I’m borrowing them from... but I just wanted to... eh... do some research on how women see men in our situation... or... something...” It was Mustang’s turn to look embarrassed. “Just don’t expect to find realistic men in there. Women write pretty much all of these types of books, and the men tend to get a little feminized,” he added.

Ed nodded, then stood up. “Yeah... okay...” he said, not looking at Mustang. I guess I’ll borrow it for research too...” He paused, then said, “I gotta go.” Ed walked to the door, opened it, then looked back at Mustang. “Be sure to get something better for dinner tomorrow.”

Mustang scowled. “I never said I’d buy dinner tomorrow night.”

“But you’re the ‘man’ in the relationship, right?” Ed asked, deciding to take advantage of his so called ‘role’ in this to get more free food.

“Go home,” Mustang said in annoyance.

Ed grinned and walked out, shutting the door behind him. He didn’t see Mustang’s neighbor, Kari, stick her head out of her apartment, or have any idea that yet another phone call was about to be placed to The Gossip. The only thing he had on his mind at the moment was the book in his hands. The four hour discussion had been amazing, and he’d dwell on all of that later, but right now he was eager to go home and re-read what he’d just read. Perhaps... he’d even take a shower and have some alone time afterwards... or... something...
Tags: object of gossip, oog, stories
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