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Edward Elric lifted his head and took a deep sniff of the air. He had just stepped out of the shower - a nice long, hot one that left his skin red and the bathroom full of a thick layer of steam. Something in the air smelled like … peppermint.

He pulled a towel down from the rack and cinched it around his waist. Roy was still asleep in the bed, buried under the comforter somewhere - it was still daylight out, exceedingly early for even Edward to be up. While werewolves did not need quite as much sleep as most normal people to get by … Edward could gladly spend all day in bed curled together with Roy, but he did not earn cash by sleeping.

The television was on in the living room. Edward sighed, one hand keeping the towel in place and the other landing firmly on the back of the couch. Rian did not even have the good grace to jump, he just tilted his head back, the candy cane dangling from his mouth. “‘Sup. Thought you’d still be asleep.”

“How did you get in here?” Edward asked, irritated.

“Door was unlocked,” Rian said nonchalantly, crunching on the hard candy.

“It was not.”

“Well, I unlocked it.” He shrugged, and Edward belatedly remembered that Roy had given Rian a key so he could drop things off if no one was home - which saved the trouble of Rian letting himself in and then having to repair however Rian let himself in. Rian held up a manilla envelope that had been sitting on the couch cushion beside him. “Your hot chick friend gave me this to give to you, thought I’d crash out and watch some movies. It’s supposed to be pretty cold out tonight.”

Edward scratched his hand through his wet hair, somewhere between amused and exasperated. He had picked up Rian to work for them, to run errands during the day and generally be a third set of hands to pick up some work. What he did not realize was that Rian would very promptly make himself at home on their sofa. Roy was fine with this, and encouraged it - they both knew that Rian did not have much else to go home to. All the same, it was an adjustment.

It was pretty weird to Ed how completely in a stride Rian had taken everything. His new bosses (and now apparent roommates) were gay? No sweat. Oh, and one’s a vampire and the other’s a werewolf? So long as they are not going to eat him in his sleep, he is okay with that too. Although Rian had made it very clear that he was not going to be anyone’s snack or chew toy, all the while looking very nervously at Roy’s fangs. Edward found that strangely adorable - if Roy wanted to feed on Rian there was very little to stop him, but Roy was not like that.

Apparently, Rian was Roy’s newest hobby. Edward did not know what Roy did most of the days when he was not there - sometimes Roy picked up shifts as a bartender, but … that was all he knew. Edward assumed that Roy went off and did vampire things, like securing his network that provided him with (kind of, if he was lucky) fresh blood bags. Now that Rian was in the picture Roy had someone to work on - which was already obvious by the fact that Rian’s hair had started to behave and actually appeared to be staying combed.

Edward took the manilla envelope. “Her name is Winry, if she hears you calling her hot chick, well - she’s a witch, buddy, you figure out the rest.”

Rian still had head head back on the couch. “Really? She’s a witch? Not just a figure of speech, but an actual hocus-pocus hoodoo witch?”

“Yup. Just don’t ask to see her broomstick, you will regret it.” Inside the envelope was a slew of documents about a wealthy family from outside of town. Edward had been called in last week to “consult” because the wife had been having fits of some kind. It seemed like she was being haunted by the ghost of someone-or-another, he had not been sure and she was drugged to the gills so questioning her was fruitless. Turned out it was not a ghost at all, but an actual ghoul - which made the whole process one hundred percent nastier.

“This is so cool,” Rian said. “All this shit is real, all of it. What about demons, ever run into those?”

“There’s no such thing as demons, kid.” Edward closed up the envelope and tossed it on the table behind the couch. Roy was not going to be pleased at being woken up before sunset to help Edward corral this damn ghoul. Unless....

Edward cocked his head thoughtfully. “I might need help on this job, you up for something interesting?”

“Depends on how interesting.” Rian’s dark eyes were startlingly intelligent and calculating; definitely out of place in what Edward initially took as a common street thug. “It’ll cost you.”

“Cost me?” Edward said, slightly insulted. “Cost me what?”

Rian tapped the hard candy hanging out of his mouth. “It’s Christmas,” he reminded Edward smartly. “I never got these things growin’ up. I want a shit-ton of them. I want to be eating candy canes for fuckin’ Easter.”

“You are such a weird child,” Edward said, hands on his hips and far too amused.

“Fuckin’ stop calling me that, I’m almost seventeen.”

“And you want to be paid out in candy canes.”

“Yeah, so?” Rian shrugged. “Simple pleasures.”

Edward laughed out loud at that, covering his face with one hand. What had he started, dragging this kid into this mess? “Fair enough, I guess. Be ready to go in ten minutes, we’re going ghoul-hunting.”

“GHOUL-hunting?” Rian repeated, as Edward disappeared into the bedroom. “Fuckin’ SWEET.”


Promises to Keep: Prompt 8 - "Candy cane"