Chapter 1: Battle of the Fly
Some things take getting used to.
Written by enemytosleep for the FMA_Fic_contest prompt: Fly.
Ling was convinced that Greed was setting him up for his own amusement.
Of course, if Ling were honest, he enjoyed seeing the homunculus as the butt of a joke now and again. Ling certainly would be the first to smirk and say, "I told you so," when Greed's schemes went sour ... but that didn't mean he enjoyed the reverse. Thinking back on it, he'd never had to deal with being laughed at like this - or at all - until he'd come to Amestris, which probably played a part in his current displeasure. Amestris was a very fascinating country, if nothing else.
Greed laughed quietly in the corner of their mind, and once again Ling couldn't help but feel this had been planned.
"If you think relinquishing control like this will stop me from fighting you, you're wrong, Greed."
The homunculus barked out hard, quick laugh. "I wanted a break and some entertainment. Don't go reading into things that aren't there, kid."
When Ling said nothing in return, Greed laughed again. Ling ignored him - and sorely missed Xingese closures. He had to figure out how to get these pants unstuck and closed back up before the others came looking for him again. Ed always got upset when they "took too long to piss."
Chapter 2: A Breath of Fresh Air
Sometimes getting even can be all sorts of fun.
Written by enemytosleep for the FMA_Fic_contest prompt: Tear.
"You people have gone mad." Ed pulled his eyebrows down tight and scrunched his nose in a little scowl.
"Just fix the damn zipper, kid. I don't want to see anyone's junk out here."
Ling attempted to appeal to Ed's sense of brotherhood. "Ed, please? Greed is getting mad about his pants being ripped, and I don't want him taking over before we eat. It doesn't taste as good when he eats it."
"You do realize that in order for me to alchemize the zipper, I need to actually put my hands on it?"
In the moment Ling hesitated to answer, Greed took over. "Haha, you're such a funny, little shit, Prince. Now sit back and let me handle this."
Greed said aloud, "Just do it quick." Then he crossed his arms and looked away from everyone. "And no lingering touches or anything, either."
Ed made a spitting noise. "And why would I want to do that? The only reason I'm even considering this is because I don't want to see that shit flopping around out here. We just left town - it'll be awhile before we could get new pants-"
Darius interjected, "Just do the alchemy thing already."
"We don't need to see his shit," Heinkle added.
"I believe I ordered my subordinate to fix my pants."
"The breeze is sort of nice," Ling said to Greed. He hadn't meant to rip the stuck zipper, but Ling had to admit this was all working out pretty nicely: Greed was no longer the one laughing.
Chapter 3: Despite Appearances
For a few tedious minutes, the conversation ran in circles: everyone begged Ed to fix Greed's pants, and Ed stoutly refused. Greed's teasing had not really helped matters. Then Darius and Heinkel had stalked off, and Greed had retreated, leaving Ed and Ling thankfully alone once again. Ling liked this new habit of everyone's. He should encourage it.
Ling gave Ed a big, big smile. "I would love for you to alchemy my pants," he said sweetly.
Ed snorted. "Only so your junk isn't waving around in public. No one wants to see that."
"I'm sure I could name a few who would."
Ed narrowed his eyes, and his ears flushed pink. Ling offered him a warm grin, then slung his arm around Ed's shoulders. He said, "Explain to me how alchemy works again?"
Ed shoved his hands deep into his pockets. "Fuck," he said, " I already explained it like eight times. You're going to be a crappy emperor if you can't remember a fact more than ten minutes."
Ling shrugged and gave Ed the charming grin that usually got him out of these things. "Scientific process is more difficult for me to grasp than the arts." Honestly, Ling thought to himself, he just liked watching Ed. In the corner of their shared mind, Greed muttered an obscene comment, and Ling refused to give him any attention.
Ed cycled his shoulders as if to shrug off Ling's arm. "Yeah, well. For like the three hundredth time: alchemy is taking an object made from one element, and transmuting it into another object made of the same stuff. Even if you're transmuting at a molecular level, the same principles apply …" Ling focused on Ed himself; he was far more interesting than whatever dull theory he was explaining. He was really getting into his stride here: eyes fierce, brows furrowed, talking with the confidence he always had when it came to his science. "The function of a transmutation circle is to - hey, are you even listening?"
Of course Ling wasn't listening in the slightest. Instead, he was staring at the side of Ed's neck, and vaguely contemplating putting his mouth on it. "I'm sorry?" He wasn't. "Hey, did you know you have a freckle on your neck? Is that the right word? Freckle?" Ling stroked the little brown mark on Ed's skin with his index finger.
"I guess?" Ed craned his head down to look. "Why would I even be looking at my freckles?" Then he eyeballed Ling. "And how the hell do you not know how alchemy works anyway? I mean, didn't you at least learn the basics behind rentanjutsu when you were studying all that qi and lungmei stuff?"
Ling waved his hand dismissively, still staring at Ed's pretty, pretty neck. "That stuff is boring - thankfully a lot of it just comes naturally to me. So," Ling drew a circle around the freckle with his finger, "do you have more of these?"
"I dunno. Why are you so interested in freckles anyway?" Ed licked his lips, then scowled.
Ling leaned in closer. "You have one in your hair too," he said, parting the hair in front of Ed's ear a bit with his fingers.
"Uh-huh." Ed looked around distractedly. "What the hell are you doing, is there actually something in my hair, or are you just being weird?"
"You have another one of these freckles right here," Ling said happily. He planted his index finger over it, now buried in Ed's tied-back hair on the side of his face.
Ed gave him a scrutinizing look. "So, what's so fucking fascinating about freckles?"
Ling just shrugged his shoulders. What's so fucking fascinating is you, he wanted to say - but Ed never took well to direct compliments.
Ed looked him full in the face, a hint of a smile in his eyes. "Weirdo."
"That's enough of this bullshit," Greed said. Abruptly, he was surging to the forefront. Ling could feel his body tensing as he tried to fight him off, but Greed was good at this and Ling had let his guard down just enough - damn him. He felt himself flung back into the recesses of his own mind, and resigned himself to another stint as spectator.
"Are you going to fix these pants or not?" Greed asked Ed aloud. "I'm starting to think you like my dick hanging out."
Ed rolled his eyes, then took a swift look around - probably to make sure they were alone - then he dropped to his knees in front of Greed. He obviously had not caught on to the switch yet. "Be nice," Ling warned. "He's going to fix our pants for us."
Greed snorted. "That's a good dog." Then he flashed Ed a toothy grin while squaring his stance and pushing his hips forward, mockingly. "Make it good."
Ed spluttered and flailed backwards, landing on his ass. He looked up, sour and comprehending. "That you, Greed, you dick? You want that fixed, or you want a steel fist in the teeth?"
"Now now, mind who you're talking to like that. I'm your boss, remember?"
Ed turned his face and spat. "Ling and me were in the middle of talking, you ass."
"Talking, huh? That's cute that you call it that."
"Have you got a fucking point to make, Greed?" Ed folded his arms and glowered.
"You two were getting too cozy for my liking. Now fix my pants before my balls freeze. You and the prince wouldn't want that, would you?"
"That was a low blow," Ling said, watching Ed's hackles raise from his front row seat in Greed's consciousness.
"Was not," Greed retorted. Ed clapped his hands and pressed them to Greed's hips, lighting up the clearing with blue alchemical crackles.
When he was done, Ed leaned back and muttered, half-audibly. "Since when are they your balls?"
Greed kicked out fast at Ed's chest. Ed went down on his back, and Greed planted his boot firmly on him, pinning him to the ground. "This body is mine, bub." Greed jabbed his thumb at himself. "Be sure and remember that."
Ed snarled and glared up at Greed, pushing against the boot. "Yeah, it's yours if Ling gives up. Does it seem like he's doing that to you?"
"He gave it to me, because he wanted power more than he wanted anything else. I own everything of his - he's got nothing else to give up." It was an old saw of Greed's, but Ling still felt a pang of something.
Ed pushed up with his elbows again, then grabbed Greed's ankle with his automail hand and squeezed, hard. Ow. Ling could still feel that. Greed brought up his shield immediately.
"So he fucked up," Ed barked. "But do you seriously think he's the type to just roll over just because he fucked up once? Don't write Ling off just like that."
"Don't think I don't know he's sitting in there, waiting for his chance." Greed punctuated the statement by pressing down with his boot again. Ling tried not to laugh too loudly - he wanted to hear this.
With a fanged grin, Ed sneered, "Better watch yourself, Greed."
In one swift move, Greed let off of Ed's chest with his boot, then reached down and fisted both hands in his shirt, hauling him up to look him in the face. "Same to you," he threatened.
Ed planted his feet, then reached over to twist Greed's wrist with his flesh hand, coming down with an automail elbow to break Greed's hold. Once free, he scrambled back a bit, pulling in rough breaths as if he was trying to control himself.
"I didn't upset you, did I?" Greed mocked.
Ed looked up and grinned at him dangerously. "You want to go, Greed? Want me to beat your ass down the way I did at Devil's Nest?"
Something flashed in Greed's mind: loud, sharp and full of static. Greed lowered his voice to a quiet growl. "I've told you before - that was the old Greed. You wouldn't stand a chance against me."
"Yeah right. Just one clap and your special weapon is gone. Without that, you're nothing."
"I'm nothing?" Greed tutted, "you humans always think so highly of yourselves when you're just powerless mortals -"
"Like you Homunculi aren't full of yourselves?" Ed cut in. "A bunch of fake humans -"
Ed stopped mid-sentence to block Greed's fist. "When you said you were going to kick my ass, I thought you were going to fight me, not spend all day talking about your fucked-up world views."
Ed pushed back against Greed, the pair of them still locked together in a thrown punch and high block. "This is pointless. I don't need to trash my automail over your bullshit -"
This time Ed stopped talking because Greed's other fist had connected with his stomach.
"At least you had the decency to leave the Shield down," Ling spat.
"I'm not looking to hurt him - he's my minion after all, and a pretty useful one - I just need to put him back in his place."
Ling sneered and folded his arms as Ed went down to the ground. Ling laughed when Ed's metal leg swung out and swept Greed's legs from under him, taking him down as well.
"Shut up!" Greed snapped at Ling.
When Greed hit the ground, Ed sprang at him with both fists curled. Greed hardened his palms and grabbed them, using Ed's momentum to flip him over onto his back. Keeping hold of the automail fist, Greed spun on the balls of his feet and planted his ass behind Ed's right shoulder, automail held tight between Greed's legs as he pinned Ed to the ground with his arm out straight. Greed lifted his hips, the joints of Ed's arm squealing in protest. There had been a distinct ripping sound somewhere in there.
"You'd better stop now if you want Ed to fix that, Greed."
Greed ignored Ling's jab. "Know your place yet, little dog of mine? Or do I need to break your arm first?"
Ed grinned dangerously and let Greed lift his hips a little higher. "A normal arm would have broken by now, but Ed's automail is fairly resilient. You won't get anywhere with this."
Ed relaxed into the hold, then threw his weight away from Greed, the gears of his arm screaming as he used it to toss Greed over on his head. Ed grabbed Greed's flailing leg and hooked his left arm behind Greed's knee, leaned forward and placed his right knee on Greed's other thigh, pinning his hips down.
"When are you gonna give it up, Greed? I've got you beat."
Greed sat up and wrapped his claws around Ed's throat. "Like hell you do," he grated out, his forehead inches from Ed's.
"Oh for fuck's sake," Darius whined. "When are we going to stop walking in on this shit?"
Greed jolted in surprise, his hold on Ed's neck slackening. "Hey!" Greed called out. "There's no way I'd let him up there!"
"Let's go," Heinkel said, putting a hand to Darius's arm. "No point in hanging around to watch."
Ling watched with Greed as the chimeras turned on their heels and left the clearing, a rope of caught fish slung over Daruis's shoulder. Ling had really been looking forward to dinner, too. "Hey, get back here! You know I'd never do that with the kid!" Greed yelled to them.
"I bet you'd like if I did, wouldn't you?" Ed said, glaring. "You're so messed up."
In the space of time it took Greed to try and dance his way around that, Ling pressed in and took hold of their control. Greed fought back at first, but soon retreated to sulk like a child. It suited Ling's purposes just fine.
Ed seemed to sense the change and loosened his grip on Ling's leg. "That you, Ling?"
"Hey, yeah! Thanks for the opening there."
Ed smiled and sat back, releasing Ling from his grapple hold. "You're getting better at fighting him. That's cool."
"It's a little of both I guess. We're getting to know each other rather well, getting to know the other's weak spots." Ling sat up on his elbows and let his knees fall outwards, legs spread wide. There was a nice new hole in his pants on the inner thigh, probably from Ed's arm. "You could alchemy my pants again now!" Ling waggled his eyebrows. "Or maybe you could wait?" He tilted his hips to see how much this new hole revealed.
Ed gulped, then closed his wide eyes tight. His face was turning red again. "How fucking long is it to the Promised Day again?" Despite the grumbling, he was already leaning into Ling's body space, breathing a little faster.
"You're the best, Ed!"