Roy Mustang leaned back in his chair and looked out his office window. It was a sunny day outside, and the air was filled with the hustle and bustle of townsfolk shopping, playing, living. It was a healthy, happy noise, and one that Roy was glad to be hearing again after the chaos of the previous year.
The buzz of the intercomm on his desk interrupted his musings. "General Mustang?" His secretary's voice sounded tinny through the small speaker grille. "Alphonse Elric has arrived for his appointment."
Roy glanced at the clock on the wall. "He's early."
"Yes, sir." There was another buzz of static, and then the woman continued, "I thought I'd let you know he was here. I'll tell him to sit and wait for his appointment time."
"No - tell him to come on in, Lorraine," Roy said.
"Sir? He's a half hour early."
"That's okay. Send him in."
Roy let his chair spin lazily back to face his desk, and he swung his feet up to rest on its paper-strewn surface. He always looked forward to meetings with this Elric.
"Good afternoon, General," Al said as he entered Roy's office. "I'm a little early, sorry about that."
"Don't give it a second thought," Roy said. He watched the young man remove his jacket, appreciating the way Al's muscles shifted under the crisp white shirt he wore. What a difference a year makes, he thought. "What do you have for me today?"
"I've found some information on what looks to be a fire-based form of alkehestry called 'Breath of the Dragon'." Al set a thin, crimson-bound book on Roy's desk, and then he walked over to a blackboard stand that had been set up by the window and began covering it with exotic chalk diagrams.
Roy sat up, his feet landing on the floor with a clack. "Go on," he said. He picked up the book, half-listening to Al's summary while he thumbed through the crisp pages. Obviously a copy, as there was translation beneath the text; he would definitely have to get another one made for his personal library. It was exciting to think that there was a different way to manipulate fire ... maybe even without ignition gloves. He would love to work flame alchemy on a rainy day and see the look on Riza's face.
His musings were interrupted by the creak of Al's chair when the young alchemist sat back down.
"... and that's pretty much what I gleaned from the book. May thinks there may be another, older book on the same subject, and she will send me a copy as soon as she locates it."
"Very good work," Roy said. He held up the slim volume. "May I borrow this to have my own copy made?"
"No need, sir," Al said, waving his hand dismissively. "I knew you would want a copy so I requested an extra - that one's yours."
"Thank you, Alphonse; that was thoughtful of you." Roy brushed his thumb over pebbled leather, and then he tucked the book into an inner pocket of his jacket.
Al laughed. "It'll be on my next expense sheet."
"Well worth it, in my opinion, and I'm the one that signs the damn things. Your Xingese research has been invaluable."
"Thanks." Al stood and stretched, wiggling his fingers toward the ceiling. He glanced at the clock. "We finished early," he said. "Time for chess, General?"
"Absolutely." Roy retrieved the chess set while Al seated himself at the small table by the wall of bookshelves. "Forget the 'General' nonsense, Alphonse - we've been through enough together that you can call me Roy when we're in private." Roy said, uttering the same request he made every week.
Al shook his head and gave the same reply he did every week. "Nope. At Central Command, you're 'General.' Sir." He was grinning, though, and the grin had a decidedly cheeky bent, reminiscent of the way Fullmetal would look when Edward would stage some flagrant piece of insubordination.
But unlike his brother, Alphonse was being stubbornly respectful.
A smile quirked at the corner of Roy's mouth; Riza was the same way, steadfastly adhering to proper address. But the lieutenant was his subordinate, and Alphonse Elric was not. Roy wished that Edward had the same respect for his rank that his younger brother did.
They made quick work of setting up the board and were soon absorbed in the game.
"This is my favorite part of our meetings," Al said while he moved a pawn into position. "I'm glad you taught me how to play."
Roy moved a pawn. "You certainly picked it up quickly enough." And he had, so much so that Roy now had to stay sharp while they played. Al's easygoing demeanor hid a razor-sharp intelligence, and Roy had to remind himself that the young man sitting opposite him was every bit a genius as his brother was. "I was pleasantly surprised that you wanted to play - your brother has no patience for the game."
"I'm not my brother, General." Al slid one of his bishops across the board.
No, you're definitely not, Roy thought, and while they continued to move pieces he contemplated the differences between the two young men. There was no denying the Elrics were brothers, but Al had filled out in the year or so since he returned to his body, and had added a few extra inches in height. He was a full head taller than his older brother - a fact that Roy took great pleasure in pointing out to Edward every time he saw the Fullmetal Alchemist.
It was in their personalities that the greatest difference showed. Alphonse was open and cheerful where Edward was closed and grumpy - although Roy freely acknowledged that he was a significant source of Ed's grumpiness. The two young men were a yin and yang of sorts, and while Edward irritated him Roy found that he thoroughly enjoyed Al'scompany.
At first the young man had been reporting to him on a quarterly basis, briefings on his research that were supposed to be less than an hour. But they would end up talking about this and that, and one hour turned into two or three. Roy had then decided on a monthly schedule, and the meetings continued to lengthen until they took up an entire afternoon.
Books were loaned and discussed. Afternoon tea was had.
Roy taught Al chess, and the young man had proved a worthy replacement for Grumman.
The meetings were increased to once a week.
Now Lorraine knew better than to schedule any other appointments on Friday afternoons. Roy wondered if he could stretch these afternoon meetings even further; make them spill into the evening, and share a meal with Alphonse.
"Checkmate," Al announced triumphantly.
"What?" Roy stared at the board.
"I beat you."
"You did not." But Al had, indeed, beaten him. "How did that happen?"
"Well, sir, even brilliant military tacticians can have an off day." Golden-brown eyes danced with mirth.
Was Alphonse flirting with him? Roy's pulse raced at the thought. One way to find out. "Perhaps I'm lulling you into a false sense of security," Roy suggested, running a fingertip over the mane of the black knight that threatened his king. Knight. Armor. Alphonse. "Or perhaps I'm distracted by the fact that you're wearing short sleeves. I'm used to seeing metal, you know ... not bare skin." His finger drifted down to run along the horse's neck.
A faint blush colored Al's cheeks. "Distraction is a valid tactical maneuver," he said, slowly brushing an imaginary speck of dust from a lightly-tanned forearm.
Oooh, he was flirting. Roy fought to keep a smirk off his face; he didn't want to discourage the young man, after all. "It is," he agreed.
Their game was over, and a companionable silence fell between them. Usually Al left shortly after their chess matches, but Roy didn't him to leave just yet. He didn't want the afternoon to end. Maybe dinner ... drinks ...
"How old are you now, Alphonse?"
The young man blinked at the unexpected question. "Eighteen, sir. My birthday was last month."
Eighteen. My God, how the years have flown by. Roy had never seen Al as a flesh-and-blood child, but it had definitely been a little boy trapped in that armor all those years ago. A man sat across from him now; a young man who had lived through unspeakable tragedy and yet had never lost his positive outlook on life, who had never stopped living even when he had been just a soul attached to a metal suit of armor.
He was a very attractive young man, both inside and out.
"Eighteen," Roy said, smiling. "I wish I'd known. Did you go out and celebrate?"
"Not really. I'll be going back to Resembool for a visit in a few weeks, and Winry said that she and Granny Pinako will make me a birthday dinner. My brother will be there too."
"We'll have to remedy that, then," Roy said. "Let me take you out tonight - an eighteenth birthday deserves a night out on the town, with good food, even better music and lots of booze." He remembered his eighteenth birthday - a gloriously drunken affair that had left him and Maes hungover for two days, tangled in bedsheets and surrounded by empty bottles.
Al laughed. "I don't know about the booze, sir ..."
"Pffft. Don't be like Fullmetal - your brother is a light-weight." A challenge.
"I'm not my brother, sir," Al said again, and the gleam in his eyes told Roy that the challenge was taken.
"So I can expect you to keep up, then."
"I'll do my best. Sir." The gleam deepened.
Roy wondered whether they were still talking about dinner at this point, and the thought that they might not be caused his trousers to feel considerably tighter. He cleared his throat. "Is that a yes, then? For dinner?"
"Very good." Roy plucked the knight off the chessboard and leaned back in the chair, lightly tossing the carved wooden horse in his hand. "I'll come for you at six-thirty."
"Okay." Al stood and shrugged back into his jacket, and then he headed for the door. His hand still on the knob, Al turned and smiled at Roy. "I'm looking forward to tonight."
Roy watched him leave, and then he slowly brushed his thumb over the piece's carved muzzle. "I am too."
* * *
"I really like this lager you picked out." Al raised his pint glass to Roy and downed the remains of his fifth beer.
Roy watched, mesmerized, as Al swallowed the golden liquid, and he bit back a groan when the younger man set the glass down and licked the foam from his lips. "I ... I'm glad you're enjoying it," he managed. He signaled the waitress for another round. "It goes perfectly with our steaks, don't you think?"
"The whole meal is wonderful, General."
"Roy. Sorry, it's habit." Al picked up his fork and resumed eating his steak.
Roy took the two fresh pints from the waitress' tray and set them down while the girl collected their empty glasses. "Well, that just means we should do this more often." Watching Alphonse eat his meal was incredibly arousing; the younger man was savoring every bite and sip, and the flush the alcohol gave his cheeks was adorable. Roy enjoyed his own meal as well as the heat that was slowly coiling in his groin.
"I'd like that," Al said.
"Perhaps we can make dinner part of our Friday meetings," Roy suggested.
"Oh, that's a good idea!"
Roy smiled. He loved it when a plan came together.
They lingered over their meal, drinking two more pints and sharing a candle-laden slice of apple pie a la mode. A small dollop of vanilla ice cream lingered on Al's upper lip, and it took every bit of self-crontrol that Roy possessed not to lean across the table and lick it off his face.
It got to where they were the only patrons left in the little restaurant, and the bus staff milled around them, cleaning tables and setting the chairs on top of them. "Guess we'd better go," Roy said, and after he settled the bill the two men stumbled out of the restaurant in search of Roy's car.
It wasn't a long drive, and Roy was glad of it; he had a good buzz going, so he drove with extra care. Soon, Roy pulled up into the driveway of his townhouse and cut the ignition.
Al peered through the windshield, blinking, and then he turned to face Roy. "This isn't my place."
"No," Roy said, "it's mine. Would you like to come up? I've got an incredible eighteen-year-old whiskey I'd love to share with you."
"Eighteen? There's liquor that's as old as I am?"
"Some even older," Roy said. "But this one is exceptional." And so, he thought, was the young man sitting next to him.
"Okay, I'd like to try it." Al sat back and shifted on the bench seat, twisting around a bit so that he was facing Roy. He leaned back against the door and draped an arm over the seat back. "I've really had a lot of fun tonight," he said, lightly rubbing his fingertips against the smooth leather of the seat. "I've been wondering what it would be like to spend an evening with you, outside of your office."
"You have, have you," Roy said with a smile.
"And? Was our evening as enjoyable as you imagined?"
"Better," Al said. His fingers continued to trace lazy spirals on the black leather. "I figured we'd go to a really nice restaurant, and that our dinner would be amazing."
"I do like fine dining," Roy agreed. He was intrigued by the teasing note in Al's tone and the direction the conversation had taken. "So what made it better?"
"The way you've been looking at me all night," Al replied, his voice husky.
Roy's pulse began to pound in his ears. "And how have I been looking at you, Alphonse?" he asked softly, knowing the answer.
"Like you want me." Al shifted again, drawing one knee up onto the seat while he let the other one relax against the dashboard. The movement spread his legs, and afforded a clear view of the generous erection that was tenting the soft wool of Al's trousers. "Do you want me, Roy?"
Roy groaned. "God, yes," he said, and he moved closer and brushed his mouth against Al's. Roy kissed him deeply, slipping his tongue into the parted mouth beneath his. Al let out a strangled noise and kissed Roy back, and his tongue was soon sliding against Roy's, darting past to explore Roy's mouth.
They broke apart, gasping for air. Al's eyes were so dark that Roy could only see the barest rim of gold.
"I want you too," Al whispered. "I've been hard all night."
Join the crowd, kid, Roy thought. "Mmm, I can see that," he said, and he pressed his palm against the front of Al's pants, reveling in the moan that resulted. He kissed Al again, and while their tongues thrust against each other he undid the button on the trousers, slid the zipper down and worked his hand inside Al's boxers to wrap his fingers around the hard, thick length he found there. Oooh, a big boy. Roy leisurely stroked him while he let his mouth wander along Al's jaw and neck, enjoying the gasps that spilled from Al's mouth with each flick of his thumb.
"Roy ... oh, shit, Roy." Al clutched at Roy's shoulders, groaning when Roy began to suck on his earlobe. "I'm gonna come."
Roy licked at the tender flesh between his teeth. "Then come," he said, and bit down.
There was a thunk as Al's head banged against the window, and he cried out, bucking against Roy's hand as he came. Roy kissed trembling, panting lips, his hand still slowly stroking while Al rode out his climax. When Al was still, Roy released him and retrieved his handkerchief to clean themselves off. He brushed damp fingertips against Al's swollen, reddened lips. "Did you like that?"
"S-shit, yeah," Al replied shakily. He scooted closer to Roy, and sought his mouth while his hand pressed against Roy's erection. "I want to do it for you," he said between kisses.
Al's fingers were fumbling with the button on Roy's trousers, and Roy covered Al's hand with his. "Wait," he whispered. "Let's go inside."
"Okay." Al hastily did up his trousers and followed Roy into the townhouse. Roy led them to the main living area on the second floor, and while Al shrugged out of his jacket Roy went to the carved wooden bar that dominated one corner of the room. He tossed his jacket over a chair and took out two glasses and a cut-glass decanter from one of the cabinets. He filled the glasses halfway with the honey-colored liquor and when Al walked over he gave him a kiss and handed him a glass.
"Happy Birthday, Alphonse."
They clinked the glasses and raised them to their lips. Roy took a generous sip, while Al swallowed his in a single gulp. Al then dropped to his knees and yanked Roy's trousers open.
"Oh, fuck, yes," Roy gasped, and he knocked back the rest of his drink and took in the glorious sight of Al's mouth engulfing his dick. Roy clutched at the bar for support when his knees threatened to buckle under him. He threaded his fingers through dark blond hair and watched while Al's lips and tongue moved over his erection, licking and sucking. The sensations were exquisite, and as heat quickly pooled and coiled in his groin Roy knew he wouldn't last long. He began to shudder as his orgasm overtook him, and with a moan he came hard into Al's mouth.
Al released him and lurched to his feet, and he grinned at Roy while he stood in front of him, swaying slightly.
Roy pulled him close and kissed him, and Roy tasted himself on Al's lips as their tongues tangled together.
Al started pulling at Roy's shirt, and several buttons went flying, hitting the bar's mirror with a ping and then clattering around the bottles of liquor. He worked his hands under Roy's undershirt, and while he explored the muscled planes of Roy's stomach he pressed his lips against Roy's ear and whispered, "I want to fuck you."
Things got a little fuzzy for Roy after that point.
Roy stretched luxuriously, letting the bedsheet pool about his waist. He was sore, but very pleasantly so, and Roy figured by the time all the alcohol wore off, the soreness would too. The bedside lamp was on low, and Roy held his watch up to its dim light and glanced at the time.
Two a.m. They'd been asleep a little over two hours.
He rolled over onto his stomach and watched his still-sleeping bedfellow. Al lay stretched out on his side, facing Roy. Roy let his gaze wander over broad shoulders and a muscled chest, then further down to linger where the bedsheet covered slim hips, and Roy admired the generous outline of Al's dick beneath the soft cotton. The lamplight played on his hair, lighting up glints of gold on messy, tangled locks.
Roy reached out and brushed shimmering strands away from Al's face, and moments later a sleepy golden gaze met his.
Al smiled. "Now this is how we should end all our meetings, General," he said, leaning over and dropping a kiss on Roy's shoulder. "I think this officially beats chess as my favorite part."
"You really should be more casual in your address, Alphonse," Roy said. "You're in my bed, naked, and you spent a considerable amount of time fucking me into the mattress just a few hours ago."
"Mmm, I did, didn't I ... Roy," Al said. He slid his hand down Roy's back, letting his fingers trail over the hills and valleys of his spine until they rested lightly on the small of his back. "It was awesome, too. Just how I'd thought it would be."
Roy raised his head and stared at him. "This was your first time?" He blinked at Al's nod and blurted, "But how - ?"
Al grinned. "There's other books in libraries besides alchemy books, and I had a lot of time to read when I was in the armor."
"You little pervert."
"Says the man who jacked me off in his car."
Roy cupped his hand behind Al's neck and gently tugged him forward to give him a lingering kiss. "Not bad for a beginner, not bad at all," he murmured against Al's lips.
The lips beneath his curved in a smile. "Just 'not bad'? You made quite a bit of noise for 'not bad'."
Roy nipped a plump bottom lip. "Well, for the most part I recall that it was extremely pleasant-"
"'Pleasant'?" Al pulled back and scowled at him. "You almost screamed when you came."
Roy struggled to keep a straight face. "Well, you see, things got a little hazy once we started drinking the whiskey... especially when you started licking it off me." And the second, mind-erasing blowjob that had followed, Roy mentally added.
The scowl was replaced with a decidedly predatory smile. "So, you feel that you need ... debriefing ... from me." Al's hand drifted across his ass and slipped between his legs. "On what I did to you."
"Definitely," Roy said, and he groaned with pleasure at Al's playful, intimate touches. "In fact, I think it would be beneficial to be ... debriefed ... several more times over the course of the weekend."
"You're suggesting a weekend-long meeting, General?"
Roy smirked. "If you're up to it, of course."
Al looked down at himself and grinned. "I believe I am. Sir."
Minutes later, Roy was being slowly, thoroughly fucked, and he had to wholeheartedly agree when Al thrust deep inside him, nipped at his earlobe and whispered, "Best. Meeting. Ever."