ZaKai Stonewall (zakai_) wrote,
ZaKai Stonewall
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Object of Gossip - Chapter 14

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

14

The Second Night




“A dirty book is rarely dusty.” ~ Author Unknown



Ed shifted the book under his arm as he walked. He didn’t want anyone to see it and know what he’d been reading, but he felt as though everyone knew anyway. It was more the way people glanced at him from the corner of their eyes, or whispered to each other when he passed, that made him feel uneasy and exposed. No... not ‘people’—women. It was women in general who did this, though there was the occasional man.

The women watched him silently, and the girls giggled a little when he passed. Ed wasn’t privy to their conversations or their meaningful looks. He wasn’t included in what seemed to be private jokes passed between his onlookers. On occasion he would hear a word or two, but for the most part it was an undercurrent of energy that he could literally feel pulsing around him.

And it was getting stronger day by day.

Ed had spent an unbearable afternoon with Alphonse in the library. Al’s silent treatment was driving Ed mad just as quickly as the whispered curiosities. When he finally couldn’t take it anymore, Ed had left, found a tree to sit under, and read the book he’d borrowed from Mustang until the light began to fade.

In truth, he’d read the book completely through before the day’s end, but he’d revisited his favorite parts several times. He took note of the author—Amanda Smockmer—and decided he’d be asking Mustang if he had anymore of her works. As Mustang had said, the men in the book were... not exactly realistic, but the story itself had been good and the more personal scenes had been extremely arousing and interesting.

And so, it was with some embarrassment that Ed found himself walking down the hallway of Mustang’s apartment building, book tucked under his arm, and stomach growling. He was almost there, when Mustang’s neighbor—Kari—stuck her head out and grinned at him.

“Back again?” She seemed amused and almost pleased; though at what, Ed didn’t know.

Surprised at her sudden reappearance, Ed looked around, wondering if there were hidden cameras in the hallway, or perhaps someone had cued her in on his arrival, then he looked back at her.

“How did you know I was here?”

“Easy. I can hear you walking. These walls aren’t exactly sound proof.” Kari reached around and patted the wall. “Also, the floor in the hallway creaks, and you just have heavy foot steps; or, at least, one of your footsteps is heavy. That’s how I can tell it’s you. Everyone has their own way of walking.”

Ed cracked a smile. “You’re pretty observant.”

“Yeah, well, I like to know who’s outside before I leave my apartment. There are some people I try to avoid.” Her eyes flitted toward Mustang’s door, then back at Ed, giving him a quick grin.

That brought a chuckle from Ed, and he nodded. “Okay, good point.”

“So how about coming to visit me instead? I can cook you a homemade meal instead of feeding you takeout,” she said in a tone that promised more than just dinner.

“I... uh...” Ed began, then cut off when the door to Mustang’s apartment opened and he stuck his head out.

“Are you trying to steal my boyfriend again, sweetie?” Mustang asked with a lecherous smile.

“All’s fair in love and war, asshole,” Kari said, her voice dripping with fake affection.

He rolled his eyes, then looked at Ed. “Come inside. I already bought dinner.”

“Is it home cooked?” Ed asked. “Cause she said she cooks.”

“She also sets off the smoke alarm,” Mustang pointed out.

There was a derisive laugh, then, “I believe the last time the smoke alarm went off on this floor, someone decided to set their furniture on fire in the middle of the night.”

Mustang’s mouth opened, then he closed it and glared at her. “Come on, Ed.”

Ed glanced at Kari, who looked smug with triumph, then followed Mustang into his apartment and closed the door. Instantly the smell of burgers and fries met his nose, making his stomach growl again, and Ed looked at the table to see two bags of fast food waiting on the table. The paper bags were grease stained, and Ed was sure that whatever was inside was far from healthy.

“You call this ‘better’?” Ed asked, plopping down at the table and looking in one of the bags. Mustang shrugged, pulled a beer and a soda from the fridge, then came to the table. He gave Ed the soda, then opened his beer and took a drink.

“I see that hasn’t stopped you from drooling all over it.”

Ed quickly brought a hand to his lips as if to wipe away something, then scowled. “I’m not drooling.”

“You’re practically foaming at the mouth,” Mustang said, pulling a burger out of the bag and tossing it to Ed. “Eat something before you go rabid.”

“You’re such a jerk,” Ed muttered, but unwrapped the food and took a bite anyway. He glanced at the pile of books and papers on the far end of the table, still where they’d left them from the night before. “You go over any of those today?” he asked, motioning toward them with the burger.

“Sure,” Mustang said dryly, pulling out a burger for himself. “Between my meetings and paperwork, I reviewed all our notes and equations and came up with a theory to redefine space and time as we know them.”

Ed looked at Mustang in surprise, took in his deadpan expression as he took a bite of his dinner, then said, “Oh, you’re joking...”

There was a roll of the eyes, then, “I had time to come home, shower, and get dinner before you came over. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m actually pretty busy during the day.”

“Yeah... it is hard to believe,” Ed muttered, and pulled some fries out of the nearest bag. Mustang looked on the table where Ed had put the book he’d borrowed, then smirked and looked at Ed.

“Did you finish it?”

Ed nearly choked on a fry.

“Yeah...” he muttered, embarrassed by Mustang’s knowing look.

“Did you enjoy it?”

Ed’s face flamed and he looked fixedly at his soda.

“Yeah... it was okay. I liked the... plot.”

“The plot?” Mustang made the question sound like a statement.

“Can we not talk about it?” Ed asked. “I’m trying to eat.”

“You want to borrow another one?” Mustang asked, completely ignoring Ed’s attempt to deflect the questions.

“No,” Ed snapped, then immediately asked, “You have anymore by Amanda Smockmer?”

“Several,” Mustang confirmed. Ed glanced up from the soda and looked at Mustang silently. The clock ticked away ten seconds before Mustang said, “Yes, you can borrow them.”

“Okay, thanks,” Ed mumbled, looking away again.

“No problem,” Mustang said. There was a pause, a grin, and then a belated, “Love Muffin.”

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


Dinner came and went, talk turned toward more academic subjects, and soon enough dinner was cleaned up, greasy hands were washed, and out came the research. Time flew by and before Ed knew it the clock was chiming out that ten o’ clock was upon them.

“Maybe we should stop here,” Mustang suggested. Ed stretched and pushed away the book he’d been looking over.

“You’re right. Al will flip his shit if I’m not home before midnight.” Although, Ed was sure that the very fact of him coming over to Mustang’s and staying there late was cause enough for contention.

Standing up, Mustang said, “Let me grab those books for you. I’ll be right back.” Ed watched him go down the hall to his bedroom. There was silence then a small cry of pain and a curse. Frowning, Ed walked down the hall to Mustang’s bedroom, and looked inside to see him kneeling on the floor by the bed and rubbing his head.

“What are you doing?” Ed asked.

“I hit my head on the nightstand,” Mustang complained.

Stepping inside and around the bed, Ed saw a bag of books half under the bed, and realized Mustang must have hit his head while trying to get to the books.

“You keep them under your bed?”

Mustang glared at Ed, then started going through the bag. “It’s a place to keep them,” he muttered.

Ed glanced around, then back at Mustang, but his eyes were pulled to the man’s bed; or, more specifically, his pillow. The fingertips of gloves were sticking out from beneath Mustang’s pillow. Ed was sure they were ignition gloves, but what were they doing there?

“Alright,” Mustang said, stuffing the bag back under the bed. “Here’s three. There are a few more in the bag, but you’re not going to get through more than this before tomorrow anyway.”

Ed took the books with a murmured thanks, then turned to go and stopped when he saw scorch marks on the bookcase and wall directly across from the bed.

“Is this what Kari was talking about?” Ed asked.

“Just ignore her,” Mustang said dismissively.

“But...” Ed touched the wall. “What happened?”

“Nothing.”

Ed turned and looked at Mustang, then his eyes flitted toward Mustang’s bed where he’d seen the gloves. He wanted to ask, wanted to know what happened. After all, Mustang’s position when this took place had most likely been in bed.

“Yeah...” Ed said, slowly pulling his gaze back to Mustang. “Okay. If you say so.”

“I say so.”

There was an uncomfortable moment of silence, then Ed said, “I... gotta go. See you tomorrow at work?”

“Of course. Don’t forget we have a staff meeting first thing in my office tomorrow morning.”

Ed groaned. “I hate those...”

“Suck it up. We all hate them. Deal with it, and be there first thing or I’m going to write you up.”

“You’d write up your own boyfriend?” Ed asked.

“You’d better believe it.”

“Well, aren’t you just full of flowers and kittens,” Ed said, rolling his eyes and starting down the hall.

“I mean it, Ed.”

Ed reached the front door and put his hand on the doorknob. “So I get written up. Big deal. What are you going to do? Kick me out of the military?”

“I could.”

“But you won’t.”

“Don’t test me.”

Opening the door, Ed took a step out into the hall, then turned, “Are you trying to fuck with me or something?”

“I’m always trying to fuck with you,” Mustang said with a smirk. “You’re just that fun.”

Ed scowled. “And you’re boring. I swear, if I come I’ll just fall asleep anyway. I’ll get nothing out of it.”

“You’re being paid for your time; you could at least provide the services you’re being compensated for.”

“I provide lots of services. I haven’t had any complaints yet, except for you.”

Mustang stepped forward out into the hall toward Ed. “You know what?” he began, then looked up and frowned. Ed turned and saw an older woman standing by her door, keys in the door as if she’d been planning on going inside, but got side tracked. She was staring at them curiously, and listening intently to their conversation.

“Good evening, Mrs. Philips,” Mustang said blandly.

The woman looked from Mustang to Ed, then back to Mustang before murmuring a, “Good evening, Mr. Mustang,” before hurrying inside and shutting her door.

They looked at each other, then Mustang sighed. “Just come to the meeting... on time, and save me the trouble of having to discipline you.”

“You sound like Pinako,” Ed muttered. “Only she’d spank us when we misbehaved.”

“If spanking is what it takes to get you to behave...” Mustang began, exasperated.

Ed snorted in annoyance. “I’ll be there.”

“You’d better.”

Turning, Ed waved. “See you tomorrow. Thanks for the books.”

“Have a nice night,” Mustang said back, and Ed could practically hear the amused smile in his tone. With burning face, Ed hurried down the hall and left, telling himself that he was hurrying home so that Al wouldn’t be worried, and not so that he could read the books he’d just borrowed.


Tags: object of gossip, oog, stories
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