“Good afternoon, students!” a cheery old man drawled from up on the stage. “My name is Dr. Grumman, and today…” Roy slipped in his earbuds and tuned Grumman out. He knew this speech; he’d heard it every year he’d gone to the camp. Well, “every year” wasn’t that accurate, since it really only meant “one year as of now”. Still, in his book, it was long enough (for him, at least) to know what he was doing.
He squeezed Maes’s hand surreptitiously and Maes leaned in slightly to listen. “Hey, Maes, if he says anything noteworthy, just lemme know, okay?” Roy whisper-shouted, projecting over the furious percussion pounding in his ears.
Maes smiled softly and nestled his head in the crook of Roy’s elbow. “He’s not gonna say anything new, but I’ll keep watch for you anyway. But only because I love you. We could get in trouble for this, y'know.”
Roy snickered, placing his arm around Maes and gently ruffling his hair. “Says the guy who used a college phone - and not only a college phone, a work phone - to call me in the middle of my violin lesson.”
Maes punched Roy's arm halfheartedly. “I thought we agreed not to talk about that anymore.”
“Mhm. Sure,” Roy whispered, raising his eyebrows in incredulity. “As if you don't constantly remind me of the...” He trailed off into silence and winced. He could pick out that starchy, perfumed smell anywhere. “Good afternoon, Dr. Raven.”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Mustang. And Mr. Hughes, too, I see,” Raven said, his stern tone barely masking his disdain. “I’m sure that Dr. Grumman, myself, and all of your fellow students” - he gestured conservatively to the small crowd of campers, all watching Grumman’s speech intently - “would appreciate you not using this introductory speech as an excuse to catch up on all of your summer happenings.”
Roy resisted the urge to roll his eyes and snort. As if tons of other people weren’t doing it, too. He just had to pick on us. “Yes, sir, Dr. Raven,” he said, using the politest tone he could muster.
Raven stared down his glasses at Maes. “And Mr. Hughes? What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I’m very sorry, sir. It won’t happen again,” Maes mumbled, adjusting his glasses clumsily and flushing bright red.
“Good. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but adherence to the rules is what keeps this university running smoothly. No one is excepted from this, either, not even my students.” Raven patted Roy stiffly on the shoulder and Roy did his best not to flinch. God, why couldn’t he have just left us alone -
Roy felt the pressure lift and breathed a small sigh of relief when he turned to see that Raven had gone back to policing the auditorium. “He’s gone.”
“Jesus. What kind of stick does he have up his ass?” Maes grumbled, glaring at the back of Raven’s head and his thinning gray hair. “You’d think he has it out for every one of his students. We weren’t even that disruptive - were we?”
“Nah, I think it’s just me. He pretty much sucks up to a lot of his students. Especially Bradley and his lot. It’s infuriating.” Roy shook his head in frustration. “Plus, he’s always so passive-aggressive to everyone, regardless of whether he hates you or not. Would it kill him to not be such an ass?”
“In all seriousness, I think it might.”
“Yeah. You know, he really didn’t like it when you called me during my lesson that one time,” Roy whispered, laughing quietly. “I think that was the beginning of the end.”
Maes swatted clumsily at Roy’s face and Roy ducked expertly out of the way. “C’mon, you know you love me,” Roy said, smirking.
“I would sell you to Satan for one corn chip, Roy Mustang.” Maes sat up and planted a kiss lightly on Roy’s cheek. “I think we had better go and check our room and group assignments, though, before Raven comes back and bites our heads off again.”
They wove their way through the velvet seats and over to the scuffed whiteboard where a milling crowd of campers had formed. The laminated assignment sheet eventually made its way to Roy and Maes, although in far from pristine condition. Maes snatched it out of the air and scanned it quickly, searching for his and Roy’s names. Nodding in satisfaction, he passed it on to Roy.
Roy quickly found his own name. Roommate - Maes Hughes. Orchestra - fifth chair, first violin, Chamber Orchestra. So far, so good. He braced himself for the final assignment category - his chamber group. Chamber Group - first violin of the Central Trio, with Maes Hughes (second violin) and Riza Hawkeye (cello).
He blanched and swallowed nervously. Maybe his mind was fucking with him - it did that a lot. He read over the assignment again. And again. It said the same thing. “Shit,” he whispered.