It was probably considered bad form to get this intense at an engagement party, but Edward Elric couldn’t fucking bring himself to care.
Besides, it was all totally Maria’s fault, inviting him to laser tag, a skill that he took an exorbitant amount of pride in, and invited her fiancée. Who was, Ed had heard so many times, a master markswoman without peer.
And then they had been put on opposite teams.
The final straw, of course, had been Maria’s off-handed—but totally sincere—comment that she had thought that Ed would enjoy the challenge.
The expression on his face must have concerned several people, judging by a cautious, “Brother? You might want to tone it down a little” from Al.
Al, however, the traitor, did end up on Team Hawkeye. Ed ignored him. Well, not ignored—Al was the first person he went after.
And now there were only two left, one from Maria’s team, and one from Riza’s.
Taking out Riza had been a masterpiece of a plan. A taller man on her team, one with dark hair, glasses, and a scruffy almost-beard that was actually kinda cute had called her a “goddess with a gun,” and he hadn’t been lying. She had survived the slow whittling down of her own team, despite Ed’s best efforts, though he at least had to take credit for a good chunk of the whittling. He, Winry, and Denny, the last three members of their team, had pulled off a fucking gorgeous flanking maneuver that after several prayers and even more curses had ended with an annoyed, “Damn!” from Riza as her vest flashed red, then went dark.
Their cheering went silent, as did Denny and Winry’s vests, within another moment. Ed barely managed to duck and roll behind a corner, then take off running to avoid whoever the fuck it was. Apparently Riza hadn’t been the last one left.
Ed gripped his gun, closing his eyes for a moment and taking a deep breath, willing it to slow. The thought of losing this game because of his panting giving him away was downright mortifying.
He listened intently before peeking, then slipping around the next corner, heaving out a soft sigh of relief before creeping forward—
A flash of dark against the obnoxiously bright glow of the blacklit colors resolved into the telltale flashing of the vest. He lifted the laser gun and fired off two shots—
Okay, so this son of a bitch was clever. Ed dove behind the wall again, muttering a few choice four-letter words—or, rather, one choice four-letter word that started with “f” a few times. He had given away his position without stopping to aim like any non-moronic person, and whoever this guy thought he was had taken advantage of it. He had spotted the flash of light on the wall behind where he had been standing that had nearly been the disqualifying shot.
Who did this guy think he was, Erwin Fucking Rommel?
Fine. Time for a new fucking plan, one that involved gloating in this guy’s face when Ed emerged as the winner.
His mind quickly mapped out the schematics of the giant room that he had seen, corridors and walls and nooks and crannies and entrances, and he took off suddenly, not bothering to hide the noise of his footsteps.
The beautiful, answering sound of someone following might as well have been a new song from Beyonce. He grinned as Erwin Fucking Rommel followed along right into his trap.
He quieted his steps as his eyes searched the wall in front of him, looking for one opening, then—
There it was, the second. He ducked to the side, crouching as he followed the short, hidden corridor to double back on his path, listening closely to the footsteps come closer and waiting for his moment.
A little more… a little more…
The instant Ed jumped out, he knew he had timed it too early. All he could do was squeeze his eyes shut as he collided with a very muscular chest, sending Erwin Fucking Rommel staggering backwards and lifting his gun. That, of course, was the first thing that Ed saw when he opened his eyes again, so without even thinking about it, he reached out, grabbing his forearm and trying to keep him from taking aim—
And they both went tumbling to the floor.
Ed recovered first, his knees finding purchase on the floor and letting him lever himself up so he was sitting, at least. As he fumbled for his gun, however, he noticed two things.
One: He was now straddling Erwin Fucking Rommel
Two: Erwin Fucking Rommel was really fucking hot.
He didn’t even realize he had frozen until he felt the guy’s legs twist underneath him, his weight shifting, and then—
Ed was the one on his back now, this really hot guy between his legs and with a laser gun and an almost manic gleam in his eye that matched the one in Ed’s chest and it was really fucking hot and he should have been reaching for his gun and shooting but—
The sound of the laser gun firing rang out through the room, and it wasn’t Ed’s.
"Aww, you did good, Ed!"
Ed shot a black look at Winry, which only seemed to make her giggle harder. "How the fuck do you know?"
The two of them were lounging in one of the booth-couches in the much better-lit lobby, watching the party guests mingle and Maria and Riza trying to run around introducing them all. Most of them, like Ed and Winry, had chosen to sit after that kind of workout, but a few brave souls were drifting from pod to pod of people.
"Anyone disqualified gets to watch on the cameras, or did you forget?"
Ed froze. He had forgotten. "So you saw everything?" Ed could barely stand the knowledge that they had all seen his undignified defeat. The thought that any of them might suspect the reason for it meant that he might have to start eliminating witnesses.
"Everything." Winry annunciated every individual syllable with this smirk on her face that was objectively tiny but might as well have been a shark grin.
"Fuckin' christ," he muttered.
"Talking about me? Not quite, though it's an easy mistake to make."
Ed was going to fucking kill him.
He glared up at Erwin Fucking Rommel, who lived up to his namesake and was damn foxy, and that was an amazing pun and Ed was never going to forgive this guy for being the inspiration of such a great triumph, or Winry for looking at him like he was the latest, unreleased model of a Camaro or something.
Or maybe, Ed thought uncharitably as he evaluated the guy's age, a classic Corvette.
Still, even though he was probably like ten years older than Ed, he gave off this stupid boyish charm that Ed knew had to be concealing a serial killer demeanor or something, which he had missed once and would really like not to repeat the experience. He looked familiar, too, and in Ed's experience, having "one of those faces"—or being one of his prior hookups—could definitely end up not being a good thing.
“Nice to meet you,” he said, sticking his hand out with a grin that left Ed instantly suspicious. “I’m Roy.”
Roy. Totally could be a serial killer name. Ed narrowed his eyes as Winry shook Roy’s hand, rescuing it from sticking out there awkwardly, since she probably knew Ed was just going to glare at him.
“I’ll just leave you two alone,” she whispered, though what fucking good that did Ed didn’t know because it was way loud enough for Roy to hear, as evidenced by that smirk that sent shivers—of dislike—down Ed’s spine. “This is Edward, by the way.”
She deliberately turned and flounced away, towards Al, ignoring the glare that Ed leveled in her direction with the intensity of—
Okay, that voice. That voice was not fair.
“Ed,” he corrected automatically, because he wasn’t sure he could handle hearing his full name coming from that mouth again.
“Ed, then.” Roy sat down, sliding into Winry’s seat as Ed tried to place why, exactly, he looked so familiar, but Roy’s next words were, once again, rather distracting. “You did very well. For a while there, I was in trouble. Thought that I was finished once or twice.”
Ed squinted at him, trying to detect a hint of sarcasm. Maybe? But he wasn’t sure. “Yeah, well, I didn’t exactly expect to see you in the final running. Thought Riza was going to be the last person standing, and then you surprised us all like some fucking dark horse.”
Roy just sighed. “From your lips to god’s ears.” Ed frowned slightly, trying to figure out why that struck a chord, place his face, which still looked familiar, but—
“You’re one of Maria’s friends, right? In the PhD program.”
“Yeah. Biochem, though, not Communications.”
“Well, you’re all crazy to me. I've heard it sucks out your soul. Law school was bad enough.”
Ed’s ears buzzed a little. Law school? Well that was a hell of a bomb to drop. You said that kind of thing to people you were trying to impress, right? Or if you were being an asshole, but…
"Yeah, but at least we have one in the first place," he found himself retorting automatically, then winced. His sometimes caustic humor drove more people away as it didn't, and any moment now this guy was going to roll his eyes and—
"Well, I've heard an argument could be made for the business students."
Ed stared at the deadpan, completely serious face for a moment before his own cracked into a smirk.
"Have you been talking to Maria or do you have some in your coven?"
"Ask me no questions and I'll be sure that you don't end up as a mysterious victim of a blood sacrifice."
"Knew you were a serial killer," Ed muttered.
"Nonsense. If I were, you never would have walked away from that blatant opening you left me after crawling into my lap."
"I didn't—!" Ed sputtered. The fucker. "What the hell was that anyway, some sort of martial arts bullshit?"
"Might've been," Roy replied with a blithe smile, and of course he was probably some sort of jiu-jitsu blackbelt or something.
"Should've shot your face."
"But it's so pretty. You wouldn't deprive the world of my boyish good looks and charm, would you?"
"That would entail you having any of that in the first place."
Roy winced. "Wow. Now I kind of wish I had let you shoot me."
Ed glanced over at him out of the corner of his eye and smirked.
"I will next time, don't worry."
"Are you challenging me to a rematch?"
"Damn fuckin' straight."
He could have sworn he heard Roy mutter, “God, I hope not,” but when he whirled to stare, there was that carefully innocent expression again.
“Tell you what,” Roy continued, still looking for all the world like he hadn’t just been hitting on Ed, “I’ll do another game for you, free for all, we’ll team up until it’s one on one, and then we’ll have our rematch. On one condition.”
Ed raised an eyebrow.
“You agree to have drinks with me.”
A heartbeat. Then two.
Ed knew that probably sounded way too eager—really, for his conquests, he had perfected just the right balance between interested and still keeping himself open for other options—but, well, he really wanted to.
“You haven’t gotten a new fake ID yet, brother,” came an entirely unwelcome voice from behind him. Ed winced and turned to see that Al, Maria, and Riza had all apparently come to watch the two of them interact. Al was right, though; several contents of his bag had gotten the wrong end of a chemistry experiment and were now half-items, the ID being one of them.
“Fake I—wait,” Roy broke in. “Why do you need a fake ID? Aren’t you getting your—” He glanced over at Maria, then back at Ed. “I thought you met Maria at school.”
“I finished early,” Ed replied with a shrug. “Got bored at college and loaded down with courses.” He really didn’t feel like going into the details of his schooling right now, though, because it always attracted too many questions and Ed had much more important things to worry about. “Doesn’t really matter.”
“Got bored—” Roy narrowed his eyes, looking like he wanted to ask more, but then sighed and shook his head. “And how old are you?”
Ed really didn’t like how Roy asked that almost weakly, like he was expecting a seventeen-year-old or something. “I’m twenty!”
“You cannot be seen getting drinks in public with someone who is underage,” Riza cut in. "The publicity would destroy you."
"Publicity—hold the fuck up." Ed squinted at Roy, at his stupid attractive face (that could really use a hickey on his jawline, Ed was just saying), the one he swore he recognized from somewhere, the response to Ed's dark horse comment flicking through his mind as the pieces clicked together.
"Roy. Roy Mustang. Shit, you're the senator guy."
"Senatorial candidate," Roy corrected delicately. How boring. Ed had a sudden, raging curiosity what it was like to give head in the Oval Office. "I certainly hope you're intending on voting."
Ed opened his mouth for what he knew was a totally brilliant, smartass comment, but Al beat him to it.
"And saying that you will if he takes you for drinks is called electoral fraud. Treating, specifically. And contributing to the delinquency of a minor."
Ed rolled his eyes. "What the hell are you guys doing over here anyway?"
"Well, when we saw you two together, we couldn't all help but be a little concerned. This is an engagement party. No heartbreaking allowed," Maria finished warningly with a stern look in their direction.
Ed straightened with indignation. Okay, so he might have had a little bit of a reputation for going through guys faster than an American Idol judge, but—
“I promise you,” Roy retorted dryly, raising an eyebrow at Maria. “My intentions are completely pure.”
Well, challenge fucking accepted, then.
“I sure hope not,” Ed faux-muttered in a voice plenty loud enough for the both of them to hear. Roy might play that maybe-I-heard-him-maybe-I-didn’t game, but Ed didn’t see the need.
Roy had to get a cup of water after choking on his laughter left him coughing for a solid two minutes.
"Hey, don't you have to be thirty to run for senate?" Ed called to his left. The two of them had donned their gear and returned to the laser tag room again, advancing together on the last person left in the free-for-all match. Besides themselves, of course.
"Yes, you do," Roy called back, eyes steady on the route he was going to take to outflank their opponent.
Ed took his own route, barely able to hear Roy over the ambient noise in the room, but really wanting an answer. "But you can't be anywhere over thirty-five."
"I became eligible to hold office in September. Is that a problem?"
"Nah," Ed yelled as he lined up the shot on their target, who was turning between the two of them, clearly panicking as she realized their plan. "I like older guys. They're great kissers."
(Ed not only got that kiss right after, but shot Roy in the back while Roy was kissing him, so really, Ed won twice.)