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29 November 2009 @ 02:56 pm
The Sweet Taste of Time  
 Summary: What if Trisha Elric had not died after getting sick? What if the letters the brothers sent did get to Mustang and he still came? This is the aftermath.



It was another long mission, one that had dragged out, and after what felt like a thousand and eight card games, Ed relaxed back against the seat to stare out the window at the passing scenery on the way back to Central.

To report to one Bastard Colonel: Roy Mustang.

Ten year old Edward Elric sat by his brother in the kitchen, waiting for their mother to place their breakfast in front of them. Edward alone had managed to polish off two apples and an orange before eating his actual breakfast, and Alphonse Elric had eaten an apple. He had said he was conserving space for the best part of the meal.

Ed had scoffed and said there was always room. Al denied this with much flair, suggesting his brother was going to get fat because he was never going to grow…because he refused to drink milk. This sent Ed into a frenzy and he punched Al in the arm who howled at him.

They tumbled to the floor in an impromptu fight that Trisha Elric disbanded when she returned to the table. She rolled her eyes and rumpled her children's hair with love.

"Behave you two," she lectured.

Al mumbled an apology, but Ed just grumbled under his breath.

Trisha couldn't figure out how her eldest had grown up so contrary. Were he and Winry fighting? If that was it, she'd talk with Pinako…

Even as Trisha thought this, Al was gushing over how pretty Winry was. Ed listened before telling his brother, "Winry's essentially a guy. She acts like one."

The morning was interrupted by a knock at the door, and her youngest ran to answer it. Despite being only eleven he was tall, taller than his brother, and Trisha had no doubt he was going to be tall, but he still didn't compare to the man who stood on her doorstep. Decked out in the blue and gold Amestrian Military uniform, he towered over her son. She eyed his badges – a lieutenant colonel from the looks, and her eyes travelled upwards to a handsome face, eyes deep gray blue, so dark they were almost opaque, and lanky, yet wispy, midnight black hair. Thin boned too, nothing like her long absent husband she thought wishfully, but there was no doubt that he was handsome.

"Excuse me ma'am. I'm Lieutenant Colonel Roy Mustang. I came here after I received a letter from Edward Elric. By any chance, is he here?"

"Edward?" she asked suspiciously.

"Please."

She shrugged and walked into the kitchen calling for Edward. The Lieutenant Colonel looked down at her youngest and gave him a small smile, and asked his name.

Al replied wide-eyed. "Alphonse."

Edward sauntered into the living room where Roy had perched on his seat.

"Who're you?" he asked sulkily.

"I'm Lieutenant Colonel Roy Mustang. And you are…?"

"Edward." Ed replied reluctantly.

"You're Edward?"

"Yeah, so?" Petulance.

"You can't be more than six or seven!"

"I'm ten!"

Surprise flitted across the dark haired man's face. "You wrote that letter?"

"Oh!" Comprehension entered Ed's eyes. "So he wasn't there?"

"I'm afraid not. I was looking for him."

"You won't find him here. He left a long time ago, the bastard!"

"Edward," the mother's tone was patient, "you shouldn't call your father names like that."

"I don't care! You almost died!"

"I was lucky I had two skilled alchemists by my side, prepared to do whatever it took to save me." She smiled at them.

"Alchemist?" the Lieutenant Colonel yet again questioned.

"My two lovely sons. They are as gifted as their father was."

The man eyed the speculatively.

Edward spoke up voluntarily for the first time, "When I was reading my dad's notes, I stumbled on human transmutation. I drew the array and tried it. It worked. I saw it. The Gate. It was scary…there was so much knowledge and when I got back I knew so much."

Edward was awed by this fact it seemed, and the man wanted to get more out of the boy. He was curious. Had the child already surpassed the father at the tender age of twelve?

"Can I see?" he looked to Edward eyes daring him to say no to the challenge presented there.

Edward slammed his hands together almost angrily, and then slapped them onto the floor causing the wood to creak and bend, mold to his design. And what appeared was nothing simple, it was an elaborate carving of a bird, the design exceptionally exquisite.

The dark man's shuttered expression did not change for a moment, but he seemed to be considering something.

"Are you still looking for your father?" he asked.

Edward hissed a "yes" and glared.

"Then I have a proposition for you. Come to Central in two years and take the State Alchemy exam. Become a dog of the military…and get exclusive access to the National Library, find your father, gain status, power, money, fame, anything you like."

Edward looked thoughtful, mulling it over in his head. The mother was glaring at him, and the younger brother looked peacefully innocent.

"All right. I'll come to Central. Just wait there. And you'll see!"

"I wouldn't expect anything else." There was a glancing look towards the young boy as he left that Ed couldn't quite figure out, and he wouldn't for six more years until he met the man again.

For two years he had studied, and the now twelve year old Edward Elric was trying to convince his mother.

"C'mon, Mom!" he whined. "I want to go. I'll get the chance to see the world!"

"Go at the normal age of sixteen!" she snapped back. "I don't need to lose you too."

"You have Al!" Ed responded sharply. "And you'll have dad and me when I bring him back!"

His mother narrowed her eyes at him. "Don't come back then, Edward Elric, until you've found what you want!"

Her voice cracked as she turned her back on her eldest son. Small tears welled in her eyes, but there was nothing she could do. Edward had been uncontrollable at ten, and after that man's visit, he was even worse. Maybe being in the military would straighten him out. So she hoped. And maybe he would come back. And then maybe she'd tell him his father was dead. And just maybe he'd have found what his soul was searching for. She could only hope and support him afar and to do that she had to push him away.

"Fine!" Ed snarled and stormed away. Above, she could hear the clacking of a suitcase, drawers open and closing and Alphonse's pleading and finally Edward's determined voice.

When Edward came downstairs again, she looked at him. He had never grown very much, but Alphonse was only getting bigger, and she didn't know what to do with him; because lately he'd been paying more attention to Winry. Too young, she thought, but then, she'd always hoped Ed would end up with her. It seemed that would never happen now.

When Edward left, the door closing behind him seemed a final sound and he couldn't help but wince. He would come back one day – he'd come back home triumphant. He was counting on it. What he wasn't counting on was that fate had a strange way of working.

It wasn't more than a day later when he finally stepped off at the station at Central where the Lieutenant Colonel stood with his men, and woman, Edward noted. Eyes watched him carefully, and he glared.

"I'm here. Now what?"

"Now," the man murmured, "we go and let you study." He continued to eye the twelve year old. "You can use my library, but I have no doubt that you will pass."

Edward just raised an eyebrow and murmured something about "influential bastards".

He thought he caught the tail end smile on the taller blonde-haired man's face. Whoever the hell he was.

The woman however, looked stern and serious, keeping one eye on him, and one eye on her superior as if gauging whether or not he was dangerous.

"I'm not dangerous," he told her. "I'm not going to stab him in the back or otherwise cause an alchemical reaction."

The woman was so surprised she stopped short and the dark haired man barely let the corner of his mouth twitch, the but the blonde-man barked out a laugh.

"Lieutenant, you can take his word on that." He was now looking appraisingly down at Edward. "You actually may have some great potential, though it may take some honing. But I'm up for a challenge."

"I'm not your challenge!" Edward snarled, but the dark man held up a hand.

"Quiet, Edward. You must learn from the start to respect your superiors, and right now, the three of us," he motioned to his men, "we are them. Give us respect."

Ed's teeth clicked shut, and he seemed to be thinking very hard about something.

In his mind, he was debating between making the woman shoot him or behaving. He settled on behaving, for the moment. The older man nodded with an air of grace that seemed to come from always being obeyed. Sooner or later he'd take the man down - yes he would. It would be his challenge. He would be no pet project to anyone, superior or not.

It was as if a silent war was declared, and he swore the blonde-man stifled a laugh, and the woman heaved a sigh as if this were normal, but the walk to the Command Center was quiet.

Eyes surveyed everything, noted all the exits and people, Edward did not miss anything, this also pleased the Lieutenant Colonel it seemed according to Ed's deductions. It also seemed to set his two subordinates on age though. They seemed to be preparing for something else.

And it was not long after, they were bombarded by three men trying to talk over each other all at once. They seemed particularly excited, Edward concluded, that it was because someone famous a General or someone was coming by, and the Fuhrer was in a good mood therefore there was going to be a party after the evaluation exams for the alchemists.

It was about then they noticed Edward whose eyes were the size of saucers as he tried to commit all that was said to memory.

"So this is the little guy?" the auburn haired man asked.

"He is short in stature," the gray one replied confirming the firsts statement.

The one with glasses nodded.

"I'M NOT SHORT!" he shouted, drawing attention to himself, but it was already over, because he was insignificant in the eyes of everyone there.

The blonde-man spoke again, telling them all to "simmer-down and let the Chief get to the office to register the shorty".

The blonde-man found Edward had a mean right hook. His jaw was black and blue for days afterwards.

When questioned, he explained a woman he named as Teacher and her husband had come to Risembool not long after his departure and she had trained him in alchemy and martial arts. Edward also mentioned she had trained his brother as well.

This was good news apparently, because it would give him an advantage. Or so he was told. He didn't much care at that point.

He studied for weeks and weeks in the dark-haired man's library before the day of the exams.

Eyes watched him from all over the place, he could feel the acute scrutiny of the Certified Alchemists. He worried his lower lip, he knew what he had to do. He had passed the written exams with flying colors – no problems there. No, the problem lay in what he was supposed to do with the physical part of the exam.

He carefully tapped his fingers on his arms as he waited his turn, simply watching the other alchemists perform, most were little tricks that he had learned at an early age, everything like that was simple; what was he doing to do?

He thought back to all of his experiments, then to the day he had first met the Lieutenant Colonel. Would that work? Larger scale, more detail, out of metal's perhaps and their alloys? Yes, it was perfect. He would also create a spear…an impressive spear as well for the bird to grip.

And when he had created such a masterpiece, there was a collective gasp of awe. Edward tried to be smug, but couldn't quite manage it, but when he met the Fuhrer's eye, he seemed impressed because he was clapping for the first time.

Trembling, Ed gave a low bow. He though he saw the dark-haired man's approval, but couldn't be sure because he was ushered out of the room quite quickly.

But it wasn't more than a few days later the Lieutenant Colonel called Edward to his office and told him he was an official State Alchemist, a dog of the military.

And he was given his second name.

The Fullmetal Alchemist.

What a perfect name, he thought, as he mailed a letter home to his mother and Alphonse. He glanced at the bright sky and grinned. He'd just gotten past his first step and was about to step onto the next.

But as usual, fate intercepted.

Four years later…(Edward: 16; Alphonse: 15; Roy: 30)

Edward lay sulking on the black couches in Colonel Mustang's office. Promoted to Colonel only two years earlier, he had already started making a (good sized) dent in the military.

Edward simply eyed him from his position of relaxing on the couch. "So?" he asked.

"You destroyed several buildings," Mustang told him dryly.

"It was two and they were old."

Mustang stared him down and Ed looked away. "Okay. Sorry. Won't happen again."

"You say that every time."

Ed gritted his teeth and bore the comment because it was true. Sometimes he was sloppy, determined to return to Central and get on with the "interesting missions" he had coined them. Mustang was always happy to oblige because somehow Mustang always made more political allies after an "Ederference" the office had taken to calling Ed's missions.

The only one not quite happy with Ed's arrangement was Hawkeye who thought he should visit or at least send a letter home to his family. She knew that he hadn't sent a letter since he had sent the letter that announced his induction into the military.

Mustang never breathed a word of anything like that to him. He didn't think the man planned to. No, he was too conceited for that.

Ed lowered his eyelashes. He tried to avoid looking at the Colonel directly for long moments of time these days. He was slowly growing attracted to the older man, and it was by no fault of his own. The man was charming, truly kind when he wanted to be, handsome and above all, intelligent. Things Edward prized. He may not have always been honest, but Ed thought, the man wasn't half bad. He realized he was staring, blushed and looked away, embarrassed at being caught.

It seemed Mustang was eyeing him speculatively. As if he were considering…

No, Ed brought that thought up short, he would never do something like that. His position and status were too important to begin a relationship with…

He was a military man, he wouldn't dare think of something like that, even though it was allowed. (Everyone had guessed when he Fuhrer changed the law that his top Generals were causing problems)

Eyes were carefully considering him. He had known the damn bastard for four years – six if you counted the two years after Mustang had first visited him in Risembool – and he knew Mustang's moods very well, he had been on the receiving end on many of them. Happy Mustang (a rarity), sleepy Mustang (before he had his coffee), annoyed Mustang (Hughes's photo flashing), angry Mustang (the gloves come out), sad Mustang (hangover), calm Mustang (most of the day), and poker face Mustang (manipulating something/someone). However, he had never been on the receiving end of this kind of emotion which had now turned to blatant consideration.

He swallowed as Mustang stared at him.

"Edward." The name rolled off the man's tongue bathed in silk.

"Mustang," Edward replied.

"Come here," the demand was rough, with the edge of something Edward couldn't quite grasp, but the look was similar to the one he had procured from the man six years before.

Ed complied with the request before he thought it out, it wasn't like he was opposed or against what was about to happen, no, he was eagerly anticipating the event, like a child that knew he was going to get candy.

It was a light brush of lips at first, but that eventually led to a deeper kiss, one that had Ed tumbling into the man's lap and gripping shoulders to keep himself there.

And when Mustang's hands closed around his hips, all thoughts flew out of his mind.

And when he felt Mustang's finger's brushing against a nipple, he had the sense to open his eyes and demand the older man to wait.

"Wait, wait. Not here, not now. I'm –"

"Well aware you are a virgin, Fullmetal." Mustang pulled back, leaving a highly aroused alchemist on his lap. "I won't do anything to you yet. Don't worry."

A strangled gasp that was cut off as Mustang kiss him again, demanding to be called Roy.

It wasn't the commotion in the outer office that drew them apart, it wasn't the shocked male (and two female gasps) that did it. No, it was the other high female shriek that did.

Edward turned to face the woman. He went still and stared past the woman who had cried out to another.

"Ahh…" he began but trailed off, slightly uncomfortable.

He knew very well what he looked like, wanton, needy, very aroused and in the lap of his commanding officer. Overall, it didn't look good. It looked remarkably bad.

However, Mustang seemed to be used to these problems.

"I wasn't expecting…visitors."

"No shit," Havoc laugh into his fist. Breda snickered. Fuery gave a little giggle, Falman gave a low cough, and Hawkeye tried to hide he smile.

"Hello, Al, Mom…Teacher." The last was said reluctantly as Edward addressed their visitors. "It's, ah, nice to, uhm, see you, err, again."

Ed was blushing from toes to hairline, Roy was sure of it, as his hand slid from beneath the boy's shirt.

Trisha Elric and Teacher, whom, he recognized as Izumi Curtis, were glaring at him like momma bears protecting their cub. Which happened to be Edward.

Al though, seemed to take it all in stride. "I'm with Winry," he said to placate manners.

Trisha moaned. Alphonse smiled and Izumi continued to glare.

"I missed you, Brother."

Ed didn't move. Roy wondered if he were frozen. "Edward?" he inquired.

"Sorry," he grumbled and stood on wobbly legs as they both rearranged their clothes.

"That," another voice remarked from the hallway, "was a long time in coming." Hughes grinned. "You could have cut through all that sexual tension with a knife. Though it seems as if it hasn't quite dissipated yet."

Eyes narrowed comically. "Hughes," Roy growled. "I didn't ask your opinion."

"Oh, I know. I'll still offer it to my best friend though."

Roy ground his teeth together and snapped his fingers. A spark flickered and it had Mustang's unit pressing to the walls, and Ed just glaring at everybody.

"Oh, Edward," his mother finally sighed and came to embrace him. "I've missed you."

"Missed you too." Ed replied before pulling back. He wasn't as tall as his mother. And his brother. His younger brother was nearly as tall as Colonel Mustang, or as tall as. Ridiculous, he thought.

Once things had settled down, introductions made and problems solved, everyone was quite thrilled with the outcome.

Trisha was happy for her son of course, but she wasn't exactly thrilled. She had never expected her son to be attracted to men, and one almost double his age, but that wasn't a surprise, she had been attracted to Hohenheim.

She watched as they interacted, Mustang openly flirting with her son who seemed to turn shades of red at each and every comment. She pondered this. Was her son still a blushing virgin? She had turned a blind eye when she had found Alphonse was no longer one…but it seemed Izumi was on the same wavelength, but Edward interrupted before they got the chance to say anything.

"So, Al, are you thinking about how far you've decided to go with Winry?" he was smug, obviously trying to make up for his lack in height, but Al was decidedly more smug than he.

"Brother," Al was amused, "Winry and I have been having sex. We're definitely that far."

Edward went from smug to shocked in point three seconds. His mouth opened and closed and this was when Izumi closed in. "So, Ed, are you a virgin?"

Ed was turning bright red now. He didn't seem to be able to reply, therefore Hughes decided to step in.

"Sure is! I've been acting as a stand-in father, guarding over him until he was ready…"

Breda interrupted. "Sure have, you chased off all the girls and guys. I don't suppose it was because you were waiting for them to get together." The them implied were affronted.

So Edward and Roy settled on glaring.

"Come now, Edward," Trisha told him, "it's nothing to be embarrassed about, many girls are afraid to give away their virginities to someone they're not going to stick with for life…"

Ed's eyes widened at the implication that he was like a girl. He twitched and refused to comment, the blush not dying from his face though.

Roy wrapped a comforting hand around his neck, making soothing circles with his thumb. His eyes might warned them not to teased Edward, or more likely that soon Ed's virginity problem was going to be solved.

Izumi eyed him warily, as if suspecting him. Her mouth twitched as she saw Trisha Elric sit forward slightly and Hughes's look turn to absolute delight. She was betting that Edward was going to have a long night ahead of him. She had no real desire to hear about any of that, but she suspected the other men in the office might.

And Roy's eye's hadn't been lying because later that night, Edward was in Roy's arms and Roy was currently in the process of stripping Ed of his clothes.

His mouth was on the young man's neck, teeth digging deeply into the skin, tongue soothing the hurt away, and then teeth digging again, and more tongue soothing. This only had Edward moaning in the back of his throat, as he tangled his hands in Roy's hair, tugging the dark head more firmly against his neck.

He loved the possessiveness of Roy at the moment, loved the feeling of hands tweaking his nipples into hard peaks, of the leg between his thigh, rubbing.

Ed collapsed back onto the bed, Roy onto of him, briefly removing his teeth from Edward's flesh. Ed looked up at him almost dazed. "More," he demanded.

Roy obliged him as his hands dipped into the cup of oil and slid beneath Edward. Ed felt the finger there at his entrance, pushing, teasing, arousing him. And when that slipped in, followed by a second and eventually a third, he was rocking down on them begging for more. His cries were becoming louder, and Roy hadn't even touched him anywhere else.

Roy's finger's brushed against something inside him that made him jerk up and give out a half strangled scream as he came, before his arched body sank back into the mattress.

The dark haired man looked exceedingly smug, and Edward had no doubt that what he had just done was hard for an ordinary man to do. So he let him have that win. And later, when Roy's mouth was covering his own, and he felt the older man sink deep in hot into, made him open, made him feel so absolutely full, he knew that Roy was arguably the one person he trusted most.

He felt Roy thrust again and again, each time dragging him closer and closer to the edge, and his eyes fluttered closed with pleasure as a hand wrapped around his hard length and simply stroked.

Edward was very vocal, Roy realized and loved that it was his name intermixed with begging and commands that fell from Ed's lips.

He leaned down to kiss his lover, but that pushed him further in and made Ed howl with pleasure at the feeling of being driven further to the edge.

He himself was also getting close, and Edward was almost there. With another few quick thrusts and a stroke, Edward came, golden hair splayed across the pillow as he screamed Roy's name, and Ed's clenching muscles had Roy coming, moaning Ed's name in a low husky voice.

Pulling away from Edward, Roy brought back a cloth and wiped down the young man and himself so they wouldn't be sticky in the morning.

Ed acknowledged this with a murmured thanks to him, eyes opening lazily.

The golden orbs were cloudy and hazy, sleepy, post-orgasm, and Roy wanted to see that look in Ed's eyes tomorrow and the next day and the next.

His young lover seemed to be very cuddly after sex, and allowed the older man to hold him close as his long hair was stroked.

"They're going to know," he muttered into the older man's shoulder, only slight annoyance tingeing his voice.

Roy didn't dare pretend he didn't know who. "Unfortunately, yes."

"Think the whole of Central will know by tomorrow night?"

"We can probably count on that."

Ed was subdued for a moment before letting Roy nuzzle his neck in affection. "Don't worry, love. Nothing can happen to change my mind." He drew back slightly and smiled. "Sleep, and worry in the morning."

Edward slept and didn't worry until he was in the office the next morning in street clothes. (it was technically his day off, so he wasn't in uniform)

"Uhm, Boss," Havoc began and rubbed a hand across his neck before dropping it. "Have you looked into a mirror lately?"

"No. Why?"

Edward had showered and quickly combed his hair, but despite washing, Mustang's scent still clung to him.

Breda, Fuery and Falman watched him. Hawkeye ignored him.

Trisha, Alphonse and Izumi quietly sat at the table staring at him.

"What?" he demanded.

When Hughes entered, he was the one to give the young alchemist the news.

"WOAH!" he nearly shouted. "That's one big love bit you've got!"

"Love bite?" Ed questioned before a picture of Roy dipped over his neck, biting and lapping entered his mind. He groaned and dashed into the men's bathroom and stared.

There on his neck were remarkably obvious bite marks. They were obviously not a women's, and his neck was bruising slightly. The mark was a sign of Roy's possessiveness, and he was positive Roy had intentionally marked him. He could only drag up mild irritation because at the time it had felt so damn good.

He was aware of when Roy's heat was behind him, and a kiss placed on his throat. "Are you okay?"

"Mmm. More than fine." Eyes locked in the mirror, and when he turned, he found that Roy tasted good no matter the time of day. And he smiled. He could live with this life.

It was what he wished had happened; but what would never happen, Ed thought to himself as he stared out the train window. It was just the sweet taste of time.