Brother’s eyes look like a hawk’s when they gleam like that. “You ready?”
“Born ready,” Al says.
Arms linked at the elbow, they descend on the table off to the side of the dancehall where General Mustang is sitting with his date.
“May we have this dance?” Ed asks. It’s good of him to stick to Al’s script; his original suggestion for that line was Hey, General, we want your dumb ass in our bed, and there hasn’t been a miracle, so I’m not feeling patient.
General Mustang blinks. His date is glaring daggers, but the Elric brothers have dealt with women who throw them. “I’m afraid it’s not physically possible to dance with both of you at once.”
Al lowers his eyelashes and looks at the General through them, smiling sweetly. “We’re very good at sharing.”
General Mustang’s face maintains its faintly amused neutrality, but his Adam’s apple betrays how hard he swallows. “I imagine so. Are you taking turns? Who’s going first?”
“Roy,” the woman at the table says indignantly. “I really don’t appreciate you flirting with a couple of boys on our date.”
General Mustang pushes his chair back, stands, and straightens his tie. “And I really don’t appreciate having to listen to you rant about all of the things your exes did wrong, as if the litany will make me do them right, rather than convincing me once and for all that you’re a controlling shrew.” One graceful hand delves into his breast pocket; he sets several hundred cens on the table. “That should cover our tab. Goodnight.” He turns back to Al and Ed. Brother is snickering openly. “Well?”
“We decided I get to go first,” Ed says. He kisses Al’s cheek and releases his arm. “Sit tight, okay, Al?” Brother slaps his restored hand into General Mustang’s invitational open palm. “Impress the fuck out of me, Mustang.”
“I’d be happy to impress you,” General Mustang says as he leads Brother towards the dancefloor, “but perhaps the rest should wait until we’re somewhere private.”
Brother’s cheeks flush hotly, and his sputtering carries over the ambient noise.
Al turns to the now-ex-girlfriend. “I’m very sorry,” he says. “We tried to catch him between relationships, but Brother got tired of waiting, and it seemed from the statistical analysis like you were on the way out. All the same, I apologize for the fact that we catalyzed the breakup and ruined your date.”
The woman—whose hair is not naturally blonde—opens her mouth and then closes it. She opens it again and manages, “…‘Brother’?”
Al glances over at the dancefloor, where, judging by Ed’s bared teeth and the General’s delight, the sniping continues. “We do everything together,” Al says fondly. “So once we sorted out sex, we decided to do Roy Mustang together, too.”
When he looks back at her, the woman’s jaw has dropped.
“What?” he asks. “It makes perfect scientific sense. General Mustang goes through individuals at an average rate of one every nine days, but we’re speculating that a pair of partners will have an exponential effect, rather than a cumulative one, so it should be worth the effort. Additionally, he favors blondes at a ratio of almost two-to-one to alternative hair colors, which should help our case.”
She’s staring at him like he’s some kind of lunatic. Some people are hopelessly illogical.
Al senses rather than hears Brother come up behind him, and a warm hand claps his shoulder.
“Your turn,” Ed says. “God, I forgot how much I hate that stupid bastard. And how much I hate the fact that it somehow makes him sexier that he’s an asshole. Just sayin’, Al, if he doesn’t have the biggest cock in Central, I’m gonna walk out as soon as he drops his pa—” His gaze lands on the woman’s nearly untouched piece of cake. “Are you going to finish that?”
A larger, even warmer hand settles on Al’s other shoulder. “Alphonse?”
General Mustang’s voice alone plants little sparks like fairy lights in Al’s stomach. He turns around and beams.
Three steps towards the dancefloor, he’s confirmed it: “General, are you limping?”
“Someone,” General Mustang says, “needs to watch where he puts his automail foot. Just to warn you, Alphonse, if Fullmetal kicks me with that thing at any point during intercourse—”
Al sighs, partly in the hopes of distracting from the blush climbing his neck. “You’ll walk out?”
One of General Mustang’s deft hands settles on Al’s shoulder, and the other curls around his hip. Al’s heart does a very silly, extremely unscientific fluttery thing. “Well… no. But I will probably make a derisive comment about your brother’s height, and at that point, I can’t make any guarantees that we’ll all get out alive.”
“As long as we all get off alive,” Al says.
The General trips.