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Rather Unfathomable

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"It’s funny, but I like being ‘pink and helpless’ - When I know I seem that way, I feel terribly competent - and superior. I keep thinking, 'Now those men think I’m purely decorative, and they’re just fools for not knowing better’ - and I love being rather unfathomable."

Zelda to F. Scott Fitzgerald, her then fiancé, dated May 1919

 

~

 

"Is this your first time?"

Olivier has never slept with a virgin. She had sex for her first time when she was sixteen right before she was shipped out to basic, because she knew the statistics, and knew how much of a threat her presence would be to every testosterone soaked, skinny-armed military man she'd be forced to serve alongside. She didn't need her first time to be special, she just wanted it to be her choice. So she went to a bar, let the most attractive man there buy her a drink, and then fucked him in the back room. She didn't remember his name - couldn't even be sure she'd known it then.

"Yeah," he grins, only the twitch of his shoulders giving away his nerves.

She growls and slams him against the wall, "I'm not going to be gentle."

Edward Elric laughs, not fighting her at all, "I didn't think you would be."

~

"Fullmetal is here," Miles announces, and Olivier considers killing him and not having to deal with it. But dear Fuhrer Mustang would probably be irritated if his pet alchemist went missing. She's not sure if that's a positive or not

"Still a disgrace to his rank," she observes, looking at the red and black clad figure below her. He looks up and waves. Still as much of a brat at seventeen as he was at fifteen, too.

Miles coughs to hide his grin, "He's rather popular in Central."

"This isn't Central," she snarls, "This is Briggs. Tell him if he wants to speak to me, he'll do it in uniform."

She turns on her heel to stalk back to her office, barely hears Miles's "Aye, Sir," at her back.

Olivier knows that Fullmetal hasn't worn a proper uniform in the entirety of his career, and it was one thing when he was a snot nosed joke, the Major below enlistment age who never spent time in the office, always on a mission, never on a base. But that is not how a proper member of the Amestrian military conducts himself, and for better or worse Lieutenant-Colonel Elric can hardly be considered anything else these days.

She leans back in her chair, pinches the bride of her nose, and almost wishes Mustang had sent her broth - well no, she guesses Fullmetal is better than the alternative. Barely.

Two quick, perfunctory knocks on her door. "Enter," she calls out.

Fullmetal does, closing the door behind him before offering her a neat salute, still with that damned grin. "General Armstrong."

"Elric," she says evenly, and regrets ordering him to report to her in uniform. She hadn't realized that he'd - changed, since she'd seen him last. His golden hair and golden skin are only enhanced by the deep blue, and the stiff lines of the jacket force him to stand straight (something he rarely does, even though it would add inches to his height, ironically) and draws attention to his trim waist in comparison to broad shoulders. Then again, she briefly considers tight leather pants and a tank top low enough to see his collar bones, and the uniform is definitely the better option. "What was so urgent that Mustang sent you here personally? He usually keeps you closer to home." Which Olivier considers a waste of recourses, because Elric would always be a better fighter than he would an officer, and sending him to round up the last Bradley supporters would be a far better use than - whatever the hell he has Fullmetal doing in Central. Nothing important, or she would have heard about it.

~

She doesn't sleep with men who are shorter than her, either, but she ducks down to kiss Edward, pulling at his hair to tip his face toward her, and he's not completely new to this, at least, lips and tongue sure as she presses them together. She tugs at his uniform jacket, opening it and sliding it off his shoulders, and fuck, does the brat have nice shoulders, two flesh ones now, wide and muscled, and with skin so smooth and firm she wants to bite it.

Well, nothing's stopping her, so she does, bending down even further to wrap her teeth around the juncture of neck and shoulder. She doesn't quite bite quite hard enough to draw blood. Edward's gasp cuts off into a moan, and Olivier smiles against his skin. Edward's hands are pressed to the wall, and not on her, and she bites down harder this time before catching his golden eyes and demanding, "Why aren't you touching me?"

"I... didn't want you to cut my hands off," he says, cheeks stained red and swollen lips red and the imprint of her teeth on his skin red. She likes leaving marks on him.

She reaches under his shirt, finds more tantalizing skin, and says, "You can touch me."

Olivier was expecting hesitant virgin touches. Edward grabs her by her hips and jerks impossibly closer, runs calloused hands up under her jacket and shirt to the skin of her back, says, "You're strong," where another man would have told her she's beautiful, and she kisses him again to shut him up.

~

Fullmetal quirks an eyebrow at her and hands her a file. She feels like he's laughing at her, and it makes her want to stab him. "Roy wants an alliance with Drachma."

She doesn't take the file, glares up at him and says, "No."

"Don't hold the years of war against them," Elric cajoles, "We did start it after all." That's the kicker isn't it, Amestris always starts it, has always courted bloodshed and discord and now Mustang is trying to bring about peace. The hero of the Ishvalan War acting like a diplomat - disgusting.

She was always a better fighter than anything else too, and only sometimes regrets supporting Mustang instead of making her own bid for Fuhrer.

"Well, what does he expect me to do about it?" she still doesn't take the file, and Fullmetal places it on her desk.

He falls into parade rest, "Well, considering you've been the face of Amestris to Drachma for the past decade, it would be best if you spearheaded the negotiations." He pauses and smirks, and the kid has definitely been spending too much time in Central with goddamn Mustang, "Figuratively spearheaded, of course."

"Of course," she says, "How does our grand leader plan to form an alliance with a centuries long enemy?"

"Trade routes," he answers, and she can tell he wants to roll his eyes but doesn't.

She sneers, "Peace through capitalism. How original."

Fullmetal laughs, and this is the first time she's heard him do that while not covered in blood. It's nice.

~

Olivier tugs up at Edward's tank top, but he won't stop kissing her long enough for her to take it off, and fine if that's how it's going to be -

He jerks away, "Did you just rip my shirt off?"

She drags her nails over his chest, and his scars shine milky white and angry pink. She rolls a rosy nipple between her fingers, "It was in my way."

"Oh, well in that case," his arms wrap around her like a snake, then tugs up and over, taking her jacket, shirt, and tank top all in one smooth motion. She cocks an eyebrow, and he dives forward again, skin against skin. He licks a stripe up from her neck to her ear, whispers, "Can I?" and runs a single finger under the back of her bra.

She bites his earlobe, and might have drawn blood that time, but Edward only laughs and unhooks her bra. He tosses that on top of her jacket, and Olivier gets a look at his face and it's - hungry. He grabs her around the hips again, slides his hands down to her thighs and jerks her up. She wraps her legs around his waist and places her hands on his shoulders. She's about to ask what the hell he thinks this position is going to accomplish, because she's way too tall for them to kiss like this, when his mouth closes over her nipple, tongue and teeth on sensitive flesh.

She bucks into him and keens, grabbing the back of his head to pull him closer. He's laughing again, she can feel the twitches of his stomach. She's never been with someone who laughed so much, but before she can get properly angry about it he's sliding a hand between them to start undoing the clasp on her pants and using the other massage the breast he's not attacking with his mouth, and she doesn't know who the hell taught Edward Elric to multitask, but she owes them a stiff drink.

~

"It's not going to work," she says, "Drachma is a land of war mongering people; they are used to brutal, never ending winters and are - backwards in their traditions, towards women and children and science. There can be no peace, only a stalemate."

When she looks up at him he isn't grinning anymore, and when he's serious he looks older than his seventeen years, looks older than her even. "Don't lie to me."

Her lips part and her eyes widen, but she remembers who she's talking to and almost smiles herself, "Whatever do you mean, Lieutenant-Colonel Elric?"

"Roy isn't Bradley. Weren't you listening? He wants peace."

"I'm not sure how that's relevant to anything. I'm trying to tell you -"

"General," Elric says, soft and pleading, and she stands and turns her back to him, because he shouldn't be able to read her this easily. No one else ever has.

Unfortunately that puts her face to face with a map of Drachma. She drags her fingers across the borders, and she learned young that everyone bleeds red when you cut them open. No matter how many people you hack apart, no matter what colors they appear on the outside, on the inside they are all red. "Drachma is a vast and powerful land - their summers are hot and their winters are brutal. They border us, but also Creta, The Great Desert, and Xing," she touches each country as she names it, "In spite of its immensity, it is a remarkably - concentrated land, in a way. There is only one dialect of Drachma, although there is regional slang, of course. Xing, the only other country comparable in size and population, has seventeen major dialects with an untold number of subset 'village languages'. Not Drachma." She spreads her hand flat against the map, and it's so much easier to remain ignorant about people when they're not your neighbors, "Their medicine is mostly plant based, and due to the harsh and varied elements they have the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Babies are not given names until they are one year old, to avoid becoming attached to children that may not live."

"General," just as soft as before, "you don't have to -"

"Their artwork is gorgeous," she speaks over him, "They have the most vibrant paint colors, and have particularly talented wood carvers. The alcohol - have you ever had Drachman spirits? Diluted to the point of science, but still sweet, for all that. Powerful stuff. Their architecture isn't art though, although I'm sure it could be. It's practical - painfully practical, which is really the best way to describe Drachma as a people. Their buildings, from peasant log cabins to the grandest mansion, are made to withstand gale force winds, sub zero temperatures, and the occasional wandering bear." Her hand curls into a fist over the map, "Not bullets, though, or bombs. Their weaponry is impressive, they have a talent for metal work. The automail carbon base design we use is something we stole from them. But they have yet to produce semi-automatic weapons on a large scale, and their understanding of bombs has yet to take into account the complicated electrical engineering that is now standard here. They are a strong, brave people, who produce strong, brave warriors. While their sheer numbers may seem overwhelming, I am confident that within a year Amestris could defeat Drachma in war. How we'd hold a country of that size is another matter, but in a year we could easily destroy Drachma, leave it so ravaged and broken that their people would beg to be allowed to surrender," she tries to sneer, but she's frozen looking at the neat borders on her map. She can feel it thrumming through her veins to the beat of her heart they bleed red, thump, they bleed red, thump, red, red, red, thump, thump, thump.

~

Her pants are loose around her hips, and her nipples are sore and swollen from Edward's mouth. She wants more. "Bed," she orders, because while she's not adverse to fucking against the wall, if they don't get horizontal she will never get him out of the rest of his clothes.

He quickly crosses the room, Olivier's legs still around his waist and her breast in his mouth. His shins hit the bed, and they fall. She yelps, but he doesn't make any effort to stop their fall, just puts out his hands so he doesn't land on top of her and laughing, always laughing. He kisses her again, and it's probably messed up that it's his sheer delight that's confusing her. Confusion just makes her angry, so she bites into his kiss and tugs at his pants, because if he doesn't stop touching her for five seconds they will never get naked.

"Okay, okay," he says, breaking away and kicking off his boots and taking off his pants. She pushes everything down at once, pulls off her boots and throws the whole mess to the corner of the room. Respect for the uniform can recommence after sex.

She flings herself back on the bed, and wants to slap herself when she catches sight of Ed. He's gotten the cavalry skirt caught in the pants, and is trying to remove the whole mess and mostly failing. "The rumors of your exploits have to have been exaggerated."

"Rude, and untrue," he protests. He turns to look at her and freezes. She quirks an eyebrow at him. She's never been one to be overly concerned with physical appearance, likely because she knows she's gorgeous. But spread out on blue military sheets, all blonde hair and pale skin and naked as the day she was born, she must be a sight to see. It doesn't hurt her ego any that she can still make a man twenty five years her junior speechless.

She cants her legs open. Ed's face turns bright red. "Hurry up. I'm not going to lie about waiting for you all night," she's barely finished speaking when there's a loud ripping sound, and for the first time tonight she laughs, looking at the tattered remains of his military uniform. "And you were complaining about a measly shirt," she says.

He runs calloused fingers up from her ankles to her hips, and he's still blushing when he says, "The shirt was mine. The uniform was a loan."

"And you're less concerned with destroying things that don't belong to you?" she asks.

He presses a kiss to her stomach, to the dip of her hips, "Not usually," he hesitates over the space between her legs, catches her eye and asks, "Can I?"

"Yes," he nearly face plants into her, eager lapping tongue making up for the lack of finesse, and the pleasure curls from the base of her spine all the way up, "but not now!"

He jerks away like he's been burned, lips and chin shiny in the weak moonlight. It almost makes her order him back. "Sorry! I'm sorry, I didn't mean-"

Olivier growls and jumps onto him, knocking him onto his back and they're connected hips to hips with her hands pinning his wrists to the bed. She can't believe he's still in his boxers. "Edward, shut up, that wasn't a complaint," she grinds her hips into his, and he moans and strains to meet her, rubbing them together. "But I would like to get to the part where we actually have sex, if you have no objections."

~

Fullmetal steps closer, she can feel the warmth of him at her shoulder. "The wall was always as much for their protection as it was ours, wasn't it?"

"Of course," she turns again to face him, and he's too close but she refuses to be the one to step away, "Amestris is the war mongering country, we are the ones who are backwards. Battle is glorious, Elric, I know I don't have to tell you that. The adrenaline, the skill, the synchronization of you and your men - there's no better high." Her foolish, stupid brute of a brother never should have entered the military, not when he did, he was always too soft hearted, "War is never glorious. It is bloody and painful, days become weeks become months, and all it ever leaves behind is broken bodies and broken children and the corpses of both."

He knows, she can tell by his eyes that he knows, and he spreads his hands wide and says, "Roy wants to end the wars, General. I've never been in a war, but he has, he learned in Ishval that nothing is worth it. There is no equivalent exchange in war, it's never a fair price for what you gain." He takes another step forward and gently cups her elbows, watching her like a snake about to strike, but she allows his touch. "You don't have to protect Drachma from Amestris anymore. He wants your help to bring us together, not to tear their country apart."

He's gotten taller, she thinks distantly, although he's still a head shorter than her. She looks into determined golden eyes and thinks, what the hell. Olivier grabs his upper arms and pulls him to her, closes the distance between them to press their lips together. She's chaste, for all the force she'd used, and Fullmetal - no, if they're doing this, he's Edward - responds gratifyingly quickly. He presses her close and she only breaks the kiss to ask, "I'm going to my rooms. Are you coming?"

He blinks, licks his lips, and says, "Yes."

~

"No objections," he says, and she rolls her hips once more before climbing off him.

"Take off your boxers," she opens her side drawer, grabs a condom, and slams it shut. She's so wet she doesn't even consider the lube. She looks back, and the arousal hits her all over again like a punch to the gut. He's kneeling back on his heels on her bed, automail leg glinting and gorgeous tan skin. All his scars look like directions to where she should lick him. He's taken his hair out of its braid, and it flows around his shoulders, thick and golden. Speaking of, her eyes trail down, and his cock is hard and flushed a dark red. It's bigger than she would have thought, and she almost want to make a joke about that, but now more than anything she just wants.

He swallows and holds out his hand, "Olivier?" She slinks forward, kisses him again, and guides his body down. She kisses his ear where she'd bitten him, licks at the blood there, and kisses down and down. She trails her hands where her mouth was, and the brat is built, firm and hard all over for her. She kisses against either side of his waist, and the tip of his cock drags against her chest.

"Can I?" she echoes, the swell of her breasts against the base of his cock.

He swallows and croaks, "Whatever you want."

"Dangerous," she mutters. She tears off the foil of the condom and considers it for a moment. She hasn't attempted this since - god, she must have been in her twenties, but she wants to try it again, and if she fails miserably it's not like he's in any position to complain. She places the condom in her mouth, holding it between her lips. She dips forward, sliding her mouth down Edward's cock and rolling the condom on. He breathes in sharply and twists her sheets in his hands, but keeps his hips steady for her.

He really is a lot bigger than you'd expect, so she relaxes her throat and takes him down all the way, until she gets to the base. "Oh my g-god," he chokes out, and his stomach twitches but he stays still. She hasn't been with a lover with that amount of consideration or control in - a long time. She leans off of him slowly, making sure her mouths leaves him with and obscene pop. He's breathing heavily and his eyes are so wide they're making perfect circles.

"You gonna make it, soldier?" she asks.

"No," he says, "but what a way to go."

She grins and straddles him, her long hair spilling around her hips. Rubbing against him this way is so much better when they're both naked. "Ready?" He nods, eyes and cheeks stained with lust. She lifts herself up enough to guide the tip of his cock in, and then slowly sinks down onto him. Olivier breathes in, shifts herself to get used to his girth and his length, and then breathes out. He's staring, and his hands are fisted into her sheets again. "You can touch me," she repeats, and she'll laugh about this later, the gallant teenage boy who always needed permission to touch her. Too bad he's the exception in the military, not the rule.

His hands come firm on her hips, and she starts to move, pumping up and down on his cock. He struggles to meet her rhythm for the first few trusts, but then gives up and lets her do what she wants, lets her set her own pace. It occurs to her, looking down at Edward as she fucks him, that he's pretty. Hair spread around him like a halo, delicate cheekbones atop a firm jaw, and those gorgeous, expressive eyes, staring into hers as she rock their bodies together. Men don't normally meet her eyes during sex, claim they find it unnerving, but Ed doesn't flinch from her gaze, only sharp, gasping breathes between them. She grabs the hands that are making bruises on her hips and moved them up, and his arms aren't long enough to reach her breasts like this, so she leans down, places his hands on her breasts, and trusts him to hold her up. He's the taking a significant amount of her body weight like this, and the change of angle causes delicious shivers up her spine, but she's also lost momentum. She squeezes him inside her and says, "Come on, I'm not doing all work here."

"Oh, sorry," he says, and starts moving, eyes wide.

"Yes," she hisses, and scratches down his arms, trying to get him in her faster, harder. Edward swallows, and this is almost perfect, if she can just - She grabs Ed's wrists and pulls his hands from her breast to pin him to the mattress, nearly lying on top of him. She has no control of the pace like this, but the angle is divine. "Faster, faster, come on."

He tries, but he loses the rhythm, and it's so close to being perfect that she snarls in his face. He pauses, startled, but then his grin returns, and in one neat move he's flipped them, pushing her up and then down instead of trying to roll them over. She's on her back, stunned at the reminder that without her sword and without his alchemy, here in bed naked together, they are almost evenly matched in strength. He cups her cheek and kisses her, and it's soft, and she doesn't want soft right now. Before she can yell at him, he's picked up the pace, is fucking her like she wants. She lets out high, cut off cries that she'd never allow with a normal lover, but with Edward it's all right. "Like that?" he says in her ear, that absolute brat, and he's laughing at her again. She punches his shoulder, and if he stops she really will kill him, but he only grins down at her, bright and happy.

He leans down to kiss and bite at her neck, and she can feel her orgasm building low in her gut. "More," she demands, although she's not sure what she's asking for exactly. Edward fucks into her harder, and her headboard bangs against the wall. His cock is hot and heavy inside her, and he's gleaming with sweat from the exertion of thrusting into her. Olivier bites his shoulder to muffle her scream as she comes, clenching and spasming around him as the waves of her orgasm leave her shaken and breathless. Edward stops as she gasps, her chest heaving, and she can still feel him hard inside of her, but he waits for her to catch her breath and wipes the sweat from her brow with a careful hand.

"Okay?" he asks, biting his bottom lip like's he's actually worried it wasn't. Olivier stares. Edward pouts.

She rolls her eyes and throws her legs around his waist, pulling him in as far as he can go. He makes a sound in the back of his throat that she almost wants to label a yowl. "Come on," she says, "however you want it is fine with me, I got mine."

He smiles at her, shy and painfully sweet, and how he can pull that off when he's buried to the hilt inside her she has no idea. "You're sure?" She glares, and he ducks down to kiss her again. He thrusts into her, but keeps the pace slow, maddeningly slow, rolling his hips into hers and kissing her lips, her cheek, her neck, her shoulders - any bit of skin his mouth can reach while he fucks into her slow and steady. She's past the age where she can get horny again that fast, but it's - nice. If they do this again, maybe she'll let him set the pace for all of it. Ed grinds against her, lets out a soft "Oh," eyes wide like he's surprised, and she feels his cock twitch inside her as he comes.

Ed collapses against her, panting. "Okay?" she smirks.

"That was great," he says, grinning. Olivier shoves him by the shoulders. He rolls off, removing and tying off the condom with the care of someone who's never done it before.

She clenches her hand, and the palm of her hand is sticky and red. "Edward, you're bleeding-" She pushes herself up into a sitting position and Ed looks at her over his shoulder, blood leaking in small rivulets from where she bit him.

"It's okay," he says. He grabs a piece of the ruined uniform pants and wipes it off, "Worth it." He holds what's left of the pants up and sighs, "I don't suppose you have a spare pair I can borrow, just to get back to my room?"

"They'll be too long on you," she says automatically, and he scowls but doesn't protest. "You can borrow them in the morning, if you want."

"But I have to go now," he says, before pausing and starring at her. Olivier glares at him and crosses her arms, he's more than welcome to make something of this if he wants to die. "Thanks," he says, and drops the pants to crawl back into bed with her.

"Whatever," she snorts, pulling the blanket from where it had been kicked away and curling it around her, lying with her back to him. He lies beside her, unmoving for a moment, before he rolls closer and throws his arm around her waist, warm flesh all the way down her back except for the cold automail of his left leg.

She doesn't push him off, and he sighs against the back of her neck before falling asleep.

~

He sits down across from her during breakfast at the next day, hair still damp from a shower they may or may not have taken together. If he acts weird she will run him through with her sword. "So, trade agreements," he says brightly.

She sighs deeply. Miles edges away from her. She takes a long sip of coffee, then says, "Trade agreements."

Ed opens his jacket and takes out a pencil and paper, "What does Drachma have that we want? And vice versa?"

"If Mustang is serious about this," she grabs the pencil and paper from him and sketches out a quick map of Amestris and Drachma, "then the first thing he's going to have to do is set up railroads. There is no viable way to make a direct exchange of Drachman goods."

"How do we do it now? Some of it gets through, I know that."

"Creta," Miles says after throwing her a questioning glance, "They trade with Drachma, and then we trade with them."

"We must be losing a fortune to the exchange," Ed says, "Not the least because Creta overcharges literally everything, anyway."

"It's not pretty," Miles admits, "luckily the only thing we actually buy in any real quantity is the liquor."

"Railroads," Olivier says firmly, "then trade."

"But we need a reason to build the railroads," Ed protests.

She glares at him, and he glares back, and she'd like to blame the sex for making him so fearless, but the truth is he's been an extra obnoxious little shit ever since he restored his brother. "Most of what is most valuable cannot be easily traded," she admits, "Artwork materials, medicine, food - all things that will enrich Amestris, but nothing we need. They have a robust supply of wood and iron, but Amestris has never lacked for natural resources - we are precisely placed in the world so that what one part of Amestris lacks another can supply."

"That's a hard sell," Edward mutters, "Especially seeing as the money to pay for the railroad has to come from somewhere."

"Make it a national railroad," Olivier says immediately, "Reconstruct Amestris's system - it's moronic that all trains go through Central, what a waste. Connect the East, South, West and North without Central, and then expand the railway to other countries - through the desert to Xing, to Creta and Aerugo."

Both Miles and Edward are staring at her open mouthed, and she clenches the pommel of her sword and growls. "That's ambitious," Ed says, but he's dragging his finger across the blank page, mentally mapping where the tracks would go, "It'll take - years. Decades, maybe."

"War is easy," she says, "peace is hard." It takes nine months to create the beginnings of life, and less than a second to take a life. It's obvious that all good things require time, and effort, and can be ruthlessly destroyed and taken away in spite of all that.

Edward taps the paper and says, "I'll bring the proposal to Roy."

It's later, tangled in her sheets and flushed with exertion that she asks, "Roy?"

"Hmm?" he mutters, shifting his head from pillowed in his arms so that a single golden eye watches her brush her hair.

"You call him Roy," she says, and she doesn't particularly care, but she is curious, "Have a thing for older men?"

"Well clearly I have a thing for older women," he mutters and buries his head back in his arms.

She taps the brush against her chin, "I suppose I am old enough to be your mother."

"Gah!" Ed throws a pillow at her, and she's just barely amused enough not to kill him for it, "Don't say stuff like that, it's weird."

"I am forty two, Edward," she says, smiling.

"Well, you don't look it," he grumbles.

"And Mustang doesn't look thirty one," she starts the arduous process of twisting her hair up in a bun; when she doesn't it gets everywhere.

Edward gently pulls her over to the bed and pushes her down. He gathers up her hair, and unlike most of her lovers he probably actually knows what he's doing. "I - the thing with Roy is - it's old, I guess. It's been building for - since I was fifteen. I'm not dumb, I know how he feels about me. The problem he doesn't know how he feels about me."

"That sounds like Mustang," she says, leaning her head back as Ed plaits her hair into one of his infamous braids.

"He gets all caught up on our history, and the guilt," he says wearily, "So much guilt, and I don't know if it's over my age or my gender or his position of authority, but regardless it's fucking annoying. You don't feel guilty for fucking me, do you?" he asks.

"Wouldn't have done it again the half dozen times afterwards if I did," she says, "You're over the age consent, and you've done far too much in your life to be anything less than an adult. And I've seen how you regard authority that you don't agree with, it's not a particular concern of mine."

Edward holds out his hand, and she hands him the hair tie. "See that makes sense, but then there's Roy who can't fucking figure out what he wants to do with me, and Hawkeye-"

"Yes," she pulls her completed braid over her shoulder and runs her fingers over the smooth, tight coils, "Tell me how Hawkeye fits into all this."

He goes silent for a moment, and she looks over at him. "They love each other," Ed admits, "They would kill and die for each other, but I don't think they're in love with each other."

"What do they think?"

He rolls his eyes, "Guilt, guilt, guilt," he chants, like it's an answer. It is, if you know Roy Mustang.

"Early bird catches the worm," she leans back on the bed, and Ed's eyes track the lines of her body, "If you scoop the Fuhrer up now, you can probably keep him."

"I," he cups her face, and she sucks his thumb between her lips. His eyes darken, "I don't want to be - I've had to fight and bleed for everything I have. If Roy wants me he'll get his head out of his ass and fight for me," he decides.

"Or he'll remain a spineless, pathetic coward and never do anything," she surges up to push him down and swings her leg so she's straddling him.

Ed grins up at her, "Or that."

"You're leaving tomorrow?" she says, and they did this less than an hour ago and she is forty two years old, but this stupid virgin brat teenager is the best lover she's had in years.

"Weather permitting," he cups her breasts and flicks the nipples until they pebble.

She shifts, can feel him hardening beneath her, "Better make the most of it then."

~

She doesn't hear from Edward in a month, until she's back down in Central reporting in about 'her' train proposal. Ed had written the damn thing, she'd just given him the idea.

"General," he greets when she enters the Fuhrer's office, surprise and pleasure coloring his voice. He's back in that damn black leather monstrosity - she was right, the combination of leather pants and low cut tank top is deadly, even with the ridiculous coat thrown on top of it. He's sitting on the edge of Mustang's desk, and she raises an eyebrow. He shakes her head, and well, if Edward's still unattached this visit may not end up being a complete waste.

"Lietenant-Colonel Elric," she says, "Fuhrer."

"I'm sorry about this, General Armstrong," Mustang says, looking between them speculatively. She knows he can't read her at all, but Edward's an open book. "We were just finishing up."

"You're far from Briggs," Ed turns on the desk to face her and makes no move to leave, "What are you doing down here?" His eyes light up, "Are you staying for the ball?"

She's almost certain Mustang made her report in person so that she'll be in Central for the military ball and he'll get the opportunity to harass her while she's in a dress. "I suppose I could stick around for it." Edward waggles his eyebrows at her, and she almost refuses on principal of the sheer ridiculousness. However the thought of Edward in a suit - and the thought of getting to peel him out of said suit - is certainly compelling. "Very well. Can you manage to pick me up, or should I send a car for you?"

"I'll make Havoc drive us," he says cheerfully.

"Acting as your personal chauffer is a bit below Jean's pay grade," Mustang manages between clenched teeth, and this whole visit is getting more and more worth is every second. He's nearly spitting he's so jealous.

Edward shrugs, "It's not like he'll have a date anyway. He owes me a favor or twenty."

Mustang looks like he's sucking on a lemon, and she will soon find herself in bed with a very limber and attractive man a quarter of a century younger than her. There are few moments in life as sweet as this one. "You're dismissed, Fullmetal," she says. He must know what this whole thing is doing to Mustang because he winks at her on the way out. The boom slam of Edward kicking the door closed echoes as Mustang works up a proper fury, and then realized there's not logical way he can direct it at her and deflates.

"General Armstrong of Northern Wall Briggs reporting, sir," she salutes. When she smiles, it's all teeth.

~

She wears black as a tradition. If she were to wear anything else, it should be the bright Amestrian blue that is both the color of her uniform and her family's crest. However, she is meant to be a spectacle, mostly to drive Mustang insane, and it would infuriate her if it didn't promise to be so much fun.

She slams her closet doors shut and marches over to her sister's room. "Catherine," she says, and the younger girl turns to her with bright, curious eyes, "Come shopping with me."

"My pleasure, Olivier," she stands and brushes off invisible dust from her skirt, "Perhaps we should leave the sword at home while we explore the shops?"

Olivier glares.

"Of course," Catherine sighs, "my mistake."

Shopping consists mostly of Catherine picking her way through dresses and chatting cordially with the attendants who clearly know her while Olivier glowers in the corner. The last person she expects to run into is Riza Hawkeye, but as they enter yet another shop - with every dress Olivier rejects Catherine becomes more and more delighted - she hears a familiar, "General?"

"Major Hawkeye," she turns, and the other woman is in civilian clothes. "Getting a dress for the ball?"

"It is the first one held since Bradley," she says, sizing Olivier up in way that makes her hands twitch for her sword, "I heard the Fullmetal Alchemist was escorting you?"

"Not much of an alchemist these days," she sneers, which isn't fair because no one is much of an alchemist since the Promise Day, "What's it to you?"

"Nothing," Riza says evenly, running her hands down a green silky dress, "Bit young, isn't he?"

Automail limbs dripping in blood, soldiers falling under a shining blade, a twelve year old weapon of war, a ten year old with his mother's blood on his hands, a debt so heavy it would crush the average adult but a short mouthy child carries the world on his shoulders and doesn't flinch. "Not really," she says, and whatever Riza sees in her face has caused her to go pale.

"Sister!" Catherine calls from across the store, "I found it! The perfect dress!"

Olivier salutes, and Hawkeye returns it's numbly, "If you'll excuse me."

Riza has had ten years to claim Mustang, but now there's too much between them and Edward will end up winning by default. Idiot. Mustang's guilt could be twisted to her advantage, if Hawkeye would just ask then Mustang would take her.

Edward and Riza both, giant idiots waiting to be chosen by a coward.

~

The dress is indeed perfect, and Olivier is reworking her will so that Catherine inherits everything. "You have to let me do your hair," Catherine says, standing in her doorway and beaming. She raises an eyebrow. "You can't leave it down, it'll cover the dress." Olivier sighs, but sits. Catherine's over like a shot, gathering up her hair and twisting and pulling it to pile on top of her head. "You must borrow Mother's chandelier earrings, the yellow diamonds, it'll be perfect."

"Yellow diamonds go with a red dress?" She runs a hand down her side to her hip, and she's never worn a dress like this in her life. Bright red lace, like blood on snow, high against her throat but dipping to leave her back bare all the way to her tailbone. Tight all over until her knees, where the material flows out like a star around her ankles.

Catherine sticks the final pin in her hair, artfully swept up and contained, "Well, they are his colors." Her eyes jerk to her sister's, but she only grins and squeezes Olivier's shoulders. "Put on your makeup. I'll go get the earrings."

Olivier's definitely leaving her everything.

Alex catches sight of her as she walks down the stairs and promptly bursts into tears. "My beautiful sister, acting like a woman at long last-" She punches him so hard he goes flying into the wall. She's probably ruined his suit, but it's what he gets for speaking to her like that.

"You look very nice," her father pats her shoulder, and Olivier looks down at him. She hadn't noticed he was there. "Have fun with your young man."

"How do you all know everything?" she sighs.

"A father knows all," he taps the side of his nose. She glares, and he laughs, "The military rumor mill is a robust and fearsome thing!"

Oh god, this is why she never comes home. She hears a low whistle, and he she looks to front door. Edward stands there, hair swept up in a high tail and the lines of his tailored suit make her mouth water. Dark charcoal pants and waistcoat with a red dress shirt underneath, his jacket over his arm. She wants to lead him back to her bedroom by the skinny tie around his neck. He looks her up and down slowly, "Are you sure you want to go to the ball?"

She smirks, marching past him out the door, "Hurry up, Fullmetal."

"Bye Alex!" he calls out before following her. Her brother whimpers in response.

Olivier slides into the idling car, Edward following her in. "Wow," Jean Havoc says from the driver's seat, mouth open.

"Told you I wasn't lying," Edward leans back and throws his arms out along the back of the seat.

Olivier catches his eye, and grins in such a way that it's clear that if they were alone in the car she would have him right here, right now. He turns bright red and gulps.

~

"Do you know how to dance?" she asks, leaning closer than she has to talk directly into his ear.

Ed blinks, "Not ... really, no."

Olivier rolls her eyes, "Come on." She marches onto the dance floor, confident that he's only a step behind her, "Just do as your told."

"Sir, yes sir," he murmurs, but he's smiling at her. She places one of his hands on the bare skin of her back and clasps his other hand in her own. The top of his head would come to her chin if they were to press their bodies together.

She puts her free hand on his shoulder, and takes a step back, "Forward," and Edward complies, "Left, back, back, right, forward," his face is screwed in concentration as he does his best to follow her lead. Eventually, it evens out - Edward has clearly never met a physical activity his body didn't adapt to immediately. Olivier catches sight of Mustang over Ed's shoulder and wants to laugh. He's in a black tuxedo, and if she could be killed with a look she'd be dead on the ballroom floor. She winks at him, and he blinks, seemingly just realizing what he'd been doing. His face smoothes out into expressionless ice, but it's too late, and she says, "He's watching us."

"What?" Edward looks up from counting their steps, "Who?"

"Mustang," she says, "Looks like using me to make him fly into a jealous rage is going to be pathetically easy. Typical."

"What?" Edward stops moving, and she just keeps from knocking into him, "I'm not - that's not why I asked you! I didn't, I don't use people!"

He looks so offended at the suggestion that she has to believe him, but that just means the brat clearly has no sense of strategy. She sighs and leans down so their lips are an inch apart. "Well, I'm using you. Watching him pout and glare over not having something that I do is fun."

"Oh," Ed blinks, and they're hypnotically close. He goes on his tip toes to close the space between them, and there are too many people around them for it to be anything heavy, but it's nice anyway.

He leans back and Olivier raises an eyebrow, "You might want wipe off the lipstick."

Ed rubs his lips together to spread it around and then grins at her, "I don't know, I think it's my color."

It should be funny, but the thing is that it is his color, and she's not sure what the look on her face is but it makes Edward flush. She looks and Mustang is speaking to the Xingian ambassador, but he's still flickering his eyes over to their direction every couple of seconds. She pulls Edward after her and says, "Come on."

It doesn't take long to find a side room in the Fuhrer's mansion, and she kicks the door shut and starts pulling her dress up. "Now?" Edward says, voice high.

"You can help, or not," she says finally getting the bottom of the dress to her hips reaching a hand down to touch herself. She's not wearing underwear, like she could hide the lines in this dress, and Edward swallows. "But there's no way I'm dealing with the rest of the night like this."

He dives forward, but instead of getting ready to fuck her goes to his knees and pulls one of her legs over his shoulder. "I never did get a chance to do this," he rasps, and he wipes the lipstick off against her inner thigh before pressing into her with his tongue. It's hot and wet, and she bucks into his face and tries not moan. She's against the door with Edward going down on her with enthusiasm. His hair is easier to fix than hers, so she buries her hand in his hair and uses it to keep him where he is. He moans into her and Olivier can already feel her orgasm building, with the Fullmetal Alchemist on his knees and licking and thrusting into her with his tongue, clumsy and eager. Edward reaches up to rub at her with his fingers, fast and rough touches counterpoint to his soft mouth and Olivier slams the back of her head against the door as she comes, thighs shaking.

She blinks a moment later, and regains the presence of mind to stop holding his face in between her legs. He leans back on his heels, looks up at her, and licks his lips, "That was fun."

She laughs, and he gently starts pulling her dress down again, careful with the delicate lace, "Don't you want?" she gestures to his bulging pants and he shakes his head.

"Anticipation," he breathes, briefly mouthing at the skin behind her knee before he finishes tugging down her dress.

Olivier is very much looking forward to getting him back to the mansion.

~

Edward's hair is smoothed and back into a perfect hightail when they reenter the ball room, her hand delicate at the crook of his elbow.

"Brother," says a voice behind them, and Oliver is treated to the sight of Edward wincing before he turns them both to face his brother.

"Hello, Alphonse," she says, "you're looking well." He is, his body standing straight and strong. He shares Edward's coloring, but his jaw is broader and cheekbones wider. While he is still an exceptionally handsome young man, he doesn't pull off 'pretty' quite as well as his brother.

"Thank you, General. You two were missing for a while," he continues, glaring at Edward, who waggles his eyebrows back. Alphonse sighs deeply. Edward tilts his head to the side, and his brother purses his lips. Ed shrugs.

Olivier has been treated to the silent language of the Elric brothers before, and it's just as boring now. "What are you doing here, Alphonse?"

"Yeah Al," Ed pipes up, grinning evilly, "What are you doing here? This is a military ball, not meant for civilians. Unless your date -"

"Shut up!" Alphonse blushes, "You know who I'm here with, so feel free to shut up."

Olivier looks to Edward, who says, "He's dating the crazy Xing princess."

Oh, yes, the ambassador Mustang had been speaking to. "We're not dating!" Al squawks.

Edward stares. "Do you want to tell her that?"

Sibling arguments: also boring. "Come on," she pulls Edward onto the dance floor before they can really start fighting, leaving Alphonse blushing in the corner.

"I'm hungry," he says, but follows her.

She rolls her eyes, "We'll go to the buffet table after."

He hums, easily pleased. He doesn't need any instruction this time, easily falling into the simple steps she'd shown him, and she finds herself relaxing. She's always loved dancing, it's like fighting without the blood. Something she'd always admired about Drachma was their dancers. She'd seen a show once in Creta on a family vacation, during a time where relations between Creta and Amestris were almost friendly. They were Drachman dancers known as ballerinas, who danced on their toes and flung themselves into the air like gravity was a cumbersome burden they'd long abandoned. "May we cut in?"

Olivier blinks, looking at Mustang and Hawkeye at their elbows. She's not sure if Mustang is asking to dance with her or Edward, but Ed makes the decision for them all when he says, "Of course," and offers his arm to Hawkeye. She takes it, and they walk away from them without a backwards glance. Olivier is way more interested in watching them interact than anything else, but when Mustang holds out his hand she takes it with only a minimal amount of glaring. He and Edward have to be almost the same height, since he's a good few inches shorter than she is. His hand hovers over her back for a moment, but then he delicately places his hand against her clothed hip.

She laughs, and Mustang nearly trips, shooting her a glance that's pure terror. She shakes her head, and Mustang actually knows how to dance, so she allows him to lead. "You're pretty good at this," she says.

"Yes," he says stiffly, "thank you. My mother taught me."

She smirks and they dance in silence for a while, Mustang staring so intensely over her shoulder that he must be looking at Edward. "Doesn't he look gorgeous tonight?"

"He always does," Mustang murmurs, before his brain catches up with his mouth and he pales. "I mean-"

"You meant just what she said," she leans at the song rises, and Mustang obligingly dips her, "You're pathetic. Ruler of Amestris, with everything you want in your reach if you'd just take it, and you act like there are chains around your wrist."

"It's not so easy, to just take what you want," he glares, subtly separating them by another inch even with his hand still on her hip."Especially when what you want isn't - available."

Olivier raises an eyebrow, "I hold no claim on Edward past tonight. He's yours for the taking. Unless, of course, he's not what you want."

Mustang's whole face twitches with the effort not to snarl, and this really is so much fun. He twirls her, and his hand slips and touches her bare skin. He yanks it back, "I'm sorry-"

"You can touch my back," she reaches around and repositions him so his hand is in the proper place against her smooth skin. "God, you two deserve each other."

Both so careful with their hands, always needing permission to touch. She bets Mustang fucks all stupid-slow like Ed does. The giant pyromaniac probably likes to have sex by candlelight, god - he probably holds hands during sex.

She snorts, and Mustang is starting to look afraid of her again, which is her favorite look. "Edward!" she calls, twisting them to get the younger man in her sight. He and Hawkeye are dancing slow and close, heads bent in conversation. He raises his head and catches her eye, "Come here."

He bows to Hawkeye before walking over to them. Both he and Mustang have twin looks of confusion. "What's up?"

"Take my spot, I'm hungry," she announces, disentangling herself from Mustang and elbowing Edward in the back so he stumbles into him. She marches off to the buffet table. When she chances a glance back, Edward's dancing with Mustang with his hand on the small of the Fuhrer's back. They're both moving awkwardly, and Edward won't look the older man in the eyes.

"Idiots," she sighs, reaching for the alcohol instead of the food. The champagne is fine for what it is, but she would kill for some Drachman vodka right now.

"Thanks for trying," she looks over to see Havoc slumped at a table next the buffet, "I know the boss appreciates it."

She hears familiar raised voices. Mustang and Edward are arguing. Loudly. She pinches the bridge of her nose, "This is ridiculous."

"Less creepy than when the chief started perving on a fifteen year old, though," Havoc offers. She snorts a laugh, and Havoc smiles wide and easy. He holds out the silver flask he'd been nursing, and she takes a swig no questions asked. It burns pleasantly down her throat.

"FUCK OFF!"

She chokes and starts coughing. "Oh shit," Havoc says quietly. Edward is storming away, and Mustang is pale and wide eyed. He looks like he's watching the rest of his life walk away from him, and Edward's eyes are suspiciously wet.

"How?" she demands, despairing, "How can they do so much damage in such a short amount of time?"

"Fucking alchemists," Havoc pats his chest down for a cigarette that he clenches in between his lips and doesn't light.

Mustang darts after Edward, grabs his hand, and pulls Ed to his chest. Before Edward can start swearing again, Mustang seals their lips together. Ed immediately softens, practically melting into Mustang while they kiss.

Olivier was right. Mustang is all soft touches and gentle movements. Disgusting. "Well, looks like I'm going home alone tonight." On one hand, that's incredibly disappointing, because Edward is amazing in bed. On the other hand, Edward probably would have been all sad and cried during it or something if Mustang hadn't kissed him.

Havoc's mouth is open, cigarette forgotten on the floor. He clears his throat and bends to retrieve the cigarette. "Well, I do have to drive you home anyway, you know, if you want."

Olivier blinks, then glares. Havoc grins and rubs the back of his head, but doesn't back down or burst into tears. She looks him up and down, and sighs. "Very well."

She whistles, high and sharp, and Edward wrenches himself from Mustang to look at her. She waves and grins in a way that she thinks is rather tame, but he thinks is dirty. Ed blushes, and she turns on her heel and walks away.

Havoc's footsteps echo hers. This time away from Briggs wasn't a complete waste, at least.