Authors: a_big_apple, sky_dark and bob_fish
Characters: Roy/Ed, Al/Riza, ensemble
Rating: R this chapter
Word count: 5891 this chapter; 19, 934 total.
Summary: Welcome to the Central City Charity Dance-off. Where Roy sees an opportunity to take his relationship with Ed public via a classy tango, Ed sees an exciting new venue for brotherly oneupmanship. Will Ed invent breakdancing several decades too early? Will Roy's back survive the experience? How itchy can Riza's trigger finger possibly get? Join us for an epic tale of determination, sweat and very frilly shirts.
Notes: Set in sky_dark's Better Living Through Alchemy 'verse, which is a few years post-anime #1 and very, very AU on the ending.
Picture by the lovely Japanese doujinka Cucumis. This pic inspired us to write the fic!
Roy tugged the cuffs of his black silk shirt. At first, this outfit had been rejected. Ed wasn't into silk, Roy was too slippery, it was too clingy, it made Ed think things he shouldn't think on a dance floor. This, of course, was the very reason Roy had argued energetically to be allowed to choose his own wardrobe. Look, he'd add a little vest for traction. Thinking those thoughts would be good for the dance. He looked good in black, he looked good in silk, and finally, he'd worn Ed down.
Of course after that had been the explosion about Ed's own outfit. Roy had insisted ruffles were sexy. Ed had said he didn't care about sexy, he didn't want to look like a ruffly banana. Then Roy had explained that the outfit was made with loving devotion by the children of Cretan tango masters in the hopes that one day a new master would come along to make them all look good.
Ed had called bullshit. Roy had turned on big wounded eyes (at being called out on his bullshit, mostly).
Ed had then called bullshit on the big wounded eyes.
Roy had, amazingly, finally managed to win this particular argument. His winning move had been to reuse Ed's own justification of his garish red coat of fond memory. The outfits were, Roy argued, intended to motivate them, to get them in what Ed would probably refer to as 'the zone' and to remind them they were going to win. In all honesty, this argument sounded pretty ropey to Roy himself - but murmured into Ed's ear after a particularly devastating blow job, it had done the trick.
And now here he stood, primping in the dressing room mirror on competition day, a mere hour away from a dance routine that, likely as not, was going to result in him slipping a disc in front of most of Central's high society, about half the brass, and a good few newspaper reporters, some of whom seemed to have cameras. Truly, you couldn't win them all.
By now he'd nearly done all the "getting ready" he could get away with before his manic lover came looking for him, and was steeling himself for a bout with Ed's pre-performance jitters, when the perfect excuse to tarry a little longer came gliding toward him in aquamarine, trailing tendrils of chiffon behind her like seaweed underwater. He couldn't help but boggle a little at the effect; he'd seen Riza dress beautifully for military functions, but never anything quite like this. Her bemused smirk at his expression, though, was a familiar one.
"I'm seriously considering switching up partners," he told her with his own bemused smirk. "That is simply stunning, Riza, is Alphonse lying in a heap somewhere?"
Riza just responded with a shake of the head and her usual small, teasing smile. "Alphonse is," she admitted, "a little keyed up about the performance."
Roy gave a small laugh, moved over to get closer and looked around a moment.
"I would trade you a week of Alphonse being 'keyed up' for fifteen minutes with the blond blast furnace. He's set to explode," Roy looked around again. "You're lucky, you have the easy Elric and you know it."
Riza's lips twitched for a moment. She looked around herself, then said, her voice very slightly lowered, "Ordinarily - well, yes. But this whole business of the competition - or rather that he's competing against Edward … " She blew a forceful little breath out. "Confidentially, he's been driving me a little bit insane."
"I could offer you some advice, but I think it would be a bit harsh to practice on Alphonse," Roy commiserated. "Like foot stomping; Ed's used to it by now, but I think Al might take more offense. In some ways I have the easier Elric, as in he's less sensitive." Roy patted her arm.
Riza smiled. "I'm not so sure about that. But"- she sighed -"what gets into them with this spirit of competition? Ordinarily they'd defend each other to the hilt, but then something like this comes up and beating the other becomes obsessively important? I can't understand it, but then again I'm an only child."
"I don't think any siblings could possibly prepare you for Elrics," Roy returned, amused.
"ROY! If I'm gonna wear this damn frilly thing, the least you can do is help me with the damn zipper!!" The yelling was quickly followed by the angry stomping of dance shoes, one heavier than the other as always, and Roy briefly pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Speak of the devil. Break a leg, Riza."
Riza gave him a graceful smile, Roy nodded at her, and then he went to meet his fate.
"Do you think they do beer pitchers here?" asked Breda, glancing over to the bar.
Havoc followed his gaze. The bar in the corner of the dance hall was long and polished and expensive-looking. Behind it, a bartender with slicked hair and a bow tie was pouring something from a great height into a martini glass. Havoc couldn't see any beer pumps. "We might be out of luck," Havoc concluded. "You should go ask the bar guy in the penguin suit, though."
"This is the problem with high society, as a whole," Breda grumbled, shoving his hands into the pockets of his pants and rocking back and forth on the heels of his shoes. "It's too full of itself. I mean, come on, it's dancing, like that makes any difference to anything. What is dancing without beer? At least then it might get interesting."
"It's a sport," Falman pointed out. "A sport which demands great technical skill from its participants. You wouldn't expect a gymnast to compete inebriated, would you?"
"Exactly my point," said Breda. "High society takes a thing that is fun, i.e. dancing, sucks all the fun out of it and turns it into a competitive sport. Like those two who were on last, they were dancing like they both had brooms up their asses."
"I thought they showed a lot of skill," said Falman sniffily.
"So!" said Havoc, hoping to change the subject. "Who are we betting on to win? Not that we're betting or that there's already a twenty cen pool or that Breda and I have already paid into it or anything."
Sarah came charging up then, huffing and hair slightly fluffed out as if she'd been running or something (which she probably had, knowing her and despite all her and Jean's 'discussions' on the subject of running up on and/or jumping on people).
"There isn't any beer here," she said and looked accusingly at Jean. "But I took a little survey of the block and there is a bar about three doors down."
"I'm there," Breda said, "let's go."
"But we haven't even seen anyone we know dance yet," Havoc interjected and grabbed his wife's arm to keep her from latching onto Breda and then making off with him. "As soon as the General and the Boss dance, we'll get out of here, come on, I need some inner office ammo to tease the big guy with."
"It better be worth it," Sarah warned him, then she seem to switch up, like always. "You know, watching Blondie and Formerly Eye-Patch Sex rub on each other while dancing sounds kinda hot. I miss the eye-path sometimes," she lamented. “Something about a man with accessories is really hot.”
Havoc gave an eyebrow twitch.
"You know first I was kinda miffed that you didn't tell me she came home early and you'd be bringing her here," Breda told Havoc, "but then I was okay with it when I found out she was as ticked about there not being any beer as I was. I knew she'd find some, so it was getting ok, but now you make her stay and she brings up that General and Ed stuff I don't wanna know about, so I'm back to being miffed again."
"Hey, look, I knew if I told you she got back in time to come you'd be all pissy, and you are, so it's a no win situation for me. The beer isn't my fault," and he directed that at both of them.
"I came back early as a surprise, I wanted to see if he was screwing around on me," Sarah interjected. "And he was, with you and I wanted my return to be a surprise to you too just so I could watch you scowl so I told him not to tell you and it worked. It's just a bummer I didn't get back in time to enter us into this shindig; we'd make them all look bad. Isn't that right?" And she grabbed Havoc by the ears while he was sputtering over the 'screwing around' comment, kissed him soundly and silenced any further protest.
Breda just rolled his eyes.
Fuery happened upon the scene by accident and ran into Breda when he closed his eyes as to not to intrude on Havoc and Sarah's private moment (in his mind, anyways. No matter how old Fuery got, he would always be about twelve).
"Hey, watch it, it's not like they don't suck face at any given chance, you need to get used to it," Breda groused, giving Fuery a little shove back.
Sarah freed her mouth from Jean's long enough to add, "I like sucking face. Mainly I do it because Kain has the cutest blush."
Kain made the little whimpering sound he always made when confronted with human pheromones, and shuffled around behind Breda to use him as a shield.
"They need to get on with this already," Breda complained further, "so I can get my beer and go the hell home already."
But no one answered him. One of them was hiding, and the other two were trying to deflate each others’ lungs.
Al checked his bow tie and then ran a finger around the side of his stiff collar. Okay, he thought to himself, breathe slower. Nice and easy, we can do this. He tried one of Teacher's breathing exercises: cover one nostril up, breathe in for the count of three, cover the other nostril, breathe out for three. Okay, still nervous. Try again. Left nostril, one two three, right nostril, one, two -
"You still do that nose thing?" said a very familiar voice behind him. "It never worked for me, I felt like too much of a dork."
"Well, maybe you should have stuck with it, back in the day," Al returned. "If you'd found a reliable way of calming yourself down, it certainly would have saved me a lot of time placating people's offended feelings while holding you back under one arm so you wouldn't charge at them."
"Some people needed to be charged at, you were just overly sensitive," Ed sniffed, he brushed at a ruffle on his shirt front and eyed Al's bow tie.
"So, uh, did you practice a lot?" Ed asked, not meeting Al's eyes and Al found that somewhat suspicious.
"What was required. Riza and I have a natural synchronicity, so it made most practice effortless," Al said, watching his brother shift.
"Well, are you going to try anything like ... creative? Or like stick to the same boring stuff as everyone else? I mean it would just bore the judges to sleep, right?" Ed still wasn't looking at him. In fact, Ed seemed to be counting the buttons on Al's vest.
"I'm pretty sure the judges award points on technical merit," Al started and he saw Ed visibly wince. Interesting.
"So," Ed started again, still looking fixedly at Al's buttons, "I guess you guys -" But he was interrupted by a burst of applause from the audience. He looked around, and then he finally met Al's gaze. As the audience continued to clap and shout their congratulations to whoever it was Al had to follow, Ed and Al exchanged nervous looks.
"Wow," said Ed. "Looks like they were pretty popular."
Al nodded stoically.
Ed looked down at the buttons again. "You guys will do good for sure," he said. "Great. I mean, you know." He dragged his gaze up. "Good luck."
And on that, competition or no competition, Al had an overpowering urge to hug him. After a moment, Ed returned the hug with his usual fierceness, as if he thought Al would vanish into smoke if he didn't hang on tight enough. And then Riza was gently tapping Al's elbow, and he parted from Ed, and took his wife's arm, and - oh crap, now it was time.
They walked onstage.
There was a moment, as they stepped out onto the floor amid scattered cheers and catcalls, when the lights blinded him and Al's ingrained fight-or-flight instinct grabbed hold. He certainly had no problem speaking in front of crowds, or dancing at military functions. This was an entirely different animal, though, and a cold flash of adrenaline through his limbs gave him a fraction of a second's pause.
But that was Riza's hand in his, tugging him along, and where she led, he trusted to follow. He fell into position easily once she was in his arms, and once the music started, muscle memory took over where poise in the spotlight might have lacked.
They were doing this the classical way: Al led. But really, he thought, as the waltz started to sweep them in slow, dizzy spirals across the stage, Riza was leading him, backwards and in heels, confident and sure. The gauze of her sleeves rose and fluttered as they whirled around the floor. One of his hands rested on the cool bare skin of her back; the other was held out. He hoped he wasn't sweating too much.
It was only after the first few moments, when he'd recovered a little from his nerves, that he realised that she was counting under her breath, eyes looking past him with that slight frown that was the vanishingly rare sign of Riza nervous. The last time he'd seen it had been when they stood up to take their wedding vows.
Al squeezed her hand, just a little. She looked into his eyes; and he looked back, into the lovely, deep brown eyes of the woman who'd married him. She smiled, just a little. He grinned back like a lunatic.
The rest of their dance went as smoothly as a dream.
"That's … Hawkeye," said Havoc, and took a reassuring chug on the whisky-and-something he was drinking as a poor substitute for beer.
"Certainly looks that way," said Breda. His mouth was hanging open. He stuffed a couple of peanuts into it.
"Wow," said Havoc. Then he realised, that, whoops, he was sitting right next to his gorgeous wife. "Sorry," he tried.
Sarah snorted. “Like I give a flip. You really think, for even one moment, that think you just had in your imagination would go anywhere? PUHlease. You'd be dead and I'd be living on military benefits, which by the way, aren't that hot, so don't get killed by one of your superiors, okay? Besides it just looks bad on me, like I couldn't control you or something.”
Breda looked at Havoc, who was working his jaw and not saying anything because Breda knew that Havoc knew better than to say anything.
“But I can, like, have dirty fantasies about her, no matter how brief?” Breda asked Sarah.
“EW, poor Hawkeye, keep her out of your stinkin' head,” Sarah cried.
Roy watched Ed watch the stage. He shifted a bit, as if mimicking a step or two. His lips moved and his hands clenched and unclenched. He caught Roy looking at him and did his best to scowl, but it didn't seem quite right and he looked away again before Roy could question it.
It wasn't that Edward Elric was never frightened. There were many times in his short years that Roy was sure fear was what kept him alert, sharp and strong.
But it was something else to see Ed terrified. He kept moving as if he couldn't hold still, his eyes darted from his brother and sister-in-law on the dance floor to the audience. Then every now and again to Roy, and he quickly tried to hide it, these little glimpses for reassurance; these little checks to make sure he wasn't about to face this alone.
Roy moved just behind Ed's shoulder, leaned down close to Ed's ear.
"This outfit makes your ass look fantastic," Roy murmured to him and lipped the edge of his ear and that earned a true scowl and he watched Ed give himself a shake.
"You better not put your hands on it in front of the creme of Amestrian society, either," Ed hissed back at him, trying to wave him off.
"But I'm a mere mortal and you are a god, what am I to do?" Roy lamented.
"Stoppit, why do you always pull this shit when something important is going down?" Ed hissed further, looking more at ease than he had all evening.
"it's a nod to your charms," Roy assured him, grinning.
And it was, but was also a nod to Roy's own abilities to calm a frightened Elric.
"Rolling Pin Dip,” muttered Ed, nodding to himself.
"The Rolling Pin Dip!" Ed craned his head around to look at Roy, eyebrows twitching a bit. "Al and Riza's dance incorporated more lifts than I was expecting - well, than you made out there would be - so we should respond by adding in some of the tougher lifts the spots where I wanted to. The Rolling Pin Dip would totally add that in. You see, I was right to make you practice it!"
Roy blinked. It's not like a chemical formula, he wanted to say, but that was the same argument they'd been having for weeks - and here was Ed closer to panic than Roy had ever seen him, muttering under his breath. Roy wrapped his arms around Ed and kissed him behind the ear. "It's fine," he said, dropping his voice a bit in that way that always seemed to soothe Ed. "After everything you've been through - come on, love, this is nothing."
"No - it's - " and Ed seemed to twitch all over and then he stopped short, leaving Roy to parse his meaning. Was it competing against Al (prodigy, second self, center of Ed's universe)? Was it dancing in public (because a small but significant part of Ed remained forever a virginal teenage prude)? Was it dancing with Roy in public (because they'd never done that, and because they were shielded by the love and acceptance of their immediate circle, and because really, really, Roy himself didn't quite know what would happen)?
"It's okay," said Roy again. Because - because Ed needed to hear that it was okay, which was the same thing as saying that Roy would do everything to make it okay.
"Yes," said Ed, distractedly, sweat breaking out on his forehead. "Only - do we add in the Rolling Pin Dip straight on after that back flip? Or maybe about a minute before, you know, you know just after we -"
"You're on," said a voice nearby, and then a small hand had each of them by the elbow, and the stage manager was walking them onto the stage - or maybe it had already happened. All Roy knew was, that a spotlight was on them, there were dim shapes moving out there in the audience - and that his lover had frozen, mouth open, staring out at the audience. He didn't even seem to be breathing.
Roy had never, despite everything Edward Elric had faced, seen him panic before.
So, this was what it looked like.
Automail fingers clamped down around his own, so tightly that Roy would swear he could hear his knuckles creaking. He tugged once, then again, but Ed was as motionless as a deer in headlights, so Roy moved close to block his view of the lights and the crowd with his own body.
"Roy, Roy, I can't remember how it starts, what's the first move, Roy--" Ed hissed, eyes unfocused.
A recalcitrant Ed, Roy knew how to deal with. An angry Ed, a moping Ed, a stubborn Ed--these were all familiar. But a stage-fright-stricken Ed? There simply wasn't time to coax him out of his panic and into the routine they'd practiced. At the side of the stage, a bored-looking teenager in charge of the phonograph was setting the needle in place; at the first strains of their piece, Ed gave a full-body twitch like a startled rabbit.
Luckily, Roy Mustang was a man who could think on his feet.
"Just follow me," he murmured, quickly tugging open the buttons of his shirt. Ed blinked at his suddenly bared chest, then up at his face, and Roy pressed closer, touching their foreheads together. "Don't take your eyes off me, Edward. Trust me."
After a tense fraction of a moment, Ed gave one sharp nod, his flesh hand snaking up around the back of Roy's neck.
There wasn't a moment more to lose as the music's slow introduction slid into an energetic tempo; Roy spun, and Ed spun with him, instincts and natural Elric grace taking over. There was a chorus of catcalls from the crowd, and Ed flushed, but stuck close and didn't break their gaze.
Roy lunged low, sliding a leg out to catch Ed's beneath it, pressing nose to nose so that Ed arched back over Roy's arm. The crowd had gone quiet now. Very suddenly, Roy felt a pang of terror. So everyone in Central already knew, he’d told himself. He and Ed could take their relationship public without fuss. But this – he’d just taken their dance beyond anything that could be explained away as an amusing act for a charity competition. Now everyone in Central really knew, beyond denial or dismissal. What if Roy had made a dreadful mistake? What if it wasn’t all right after all?
But – there was no time for that now. Ed was in his arms, and Roy – literally - couldn’t let him down. The flush spread across Ed's nose and cheeks and down his throat, and suddenly everything condensed down to Ed's eyes, widening dark pupils ringed with gold, eclipses drawing Roy in.
In each others’ arms, backs upright, they danced rapidly across the stage. Roy could see the concentration on Ed’s face, but the panic was leaving him now he had a focus. His footwork was magnificent. As the music reached a moment of tension, Ed’s leg snapped up to curve around his hip – and Roy turned, braced an arm under his leg, gave Ed the quickest of looks – and then raised Ed up in a single high, elegant lift.
There was a whistle from the crowd – Roy felt Ed’s muscles tense incrementally – and then a scatter of unmistakable cheers. Roy swung Ed down again, his arm muscles panging with the effort – and he saw that Ed was smiling now. Roy smiled back. The tempo of the song shifted, picked up speed – and together they took their cue, and moved.
Whole minutes later they came to a stop, Ed's flesh leg curled around Roy's waist and the automail looped over Roy's trembling thigh, both of them panting with effort, fitted snugly chest to chest.
Behind them, around them, a million miles away, the crowd roared: whooping, cheering, applauding thunderously. And Ed - grinned like the sunrise bursting over the horizon, touched his nose to Roy's, and kissed him.
Head pillowed on his folded arms, Roy made an appreciative little noise. Straddling his back, just visible from the corner of Roy’s eye, Ed wet his left hand with more ligament oil, relocated the knot of tight muscle behind Roy’s shoulder blade, pressed, rubbed, and at length applied an automail elbow. Roy made a painful groaning noise.
“Good or bad?” said Ed, leaning cautiously forward.
“Good,” Roy replied, a little strained. Ed gave good massages, but – well – vigorous. “Carry on.”
“You know,” said Ed, elbowing Roy’s back some more, “some people would say you were really milking this for all it’s worth.”
“Some people,” Roy mumbled into his folded arms, “would have some appreciation for a spouse who – oooh - wrecked his back in the pursuit of charity dance competition glory yesterday.”
“You’re not wrecked,” Ed said. “You’re just kind of tense. You should try some stretches.” He moved his hands up to Roy’s shoulders and started to knead with his thumbs. Roy felt a knot of muscle by his shoulder blade crunch under Ed’s automail thumb. He winced and then sighed in satisfaction, hoping Ed hadn’t taken any bone with it.
“Oh no,” said Roy. “I’m not – mmm – going anywhere near any form of physical exercise for at least a month. I plan spend all my spare time lying – aaahhh - on this couch, with R.D. and possibly with you, listening to the phonograph and catching up on all that sleep I missed when we were getting up at six to practice.”
Ed went to stretch on his back then, but stopped short. Roy could guess – Ed had some thing about not liking the smell of ligament oil. Instead he sat back on Roy's rump with his own.
"I can't believe we didn't win it," he half-grumbled.
This was Ed's competitive streak talking.
"At least Al didn't win it, either."
This was Ed's competitive to the death streak with his little brother talking.
"It wasn't like we didn't give it a good showing," Roy said, craning his neck around to meet Ed’s eye. "I just think the field was really tight. Everyone was on top of their game."
Ed folded his arms, careful not to touch himself with his still one ligament oiled hand.
"Okay,” Ed said, a note of tension creeping into his voice, “you get to hear this from me once, so listen good. I know I fucked that up, with whatever that was that happened ..."
"Stage fright," Roy supplied.
"Let me finish! Whatever! It's never happened before and I don't know why it happened then, I mean, for fuck's sake, I'm used to making a spectacle of myself ..."
"I can attest I was surprised," Roy offered.
"In a minute! So yeah, all that time in practice, all those fucking fancy moves, wasted! And when will I get to show them off again? Never. I think something in my brain came unhinged if you want my honest opinion. I mean I kissed you like ... in front of everyone ..."
"That was lovely," Roy sighed.
"Shut up perv, I mean ... I mean ... well I don't know what I mean now. At least it's over," Ed finished, shoving his hands in his armpits, apparently forgetting one of them was ligament oil coated.
“I’ll tell you one thing, though,” Roy offered. “You seem to have been right that classical moves weren’t all the judges were after. I swear some of the moves Major Armstrong and his little sister pulled defied the laws of physics, let alone the rules of ballroom dancing.” Roy flexed his butt with Ed’s butt sitting on it, which was very nice, and gave him ideas, and he hoped might give Ed ideas too.
“I can’t believe they won,” Ed sighed. “I mean, it was impressive, and all, but that dance was just weird.”
“I quite enjoyed watching Havoc try to hide under the table when Catherine Armstrong walked on stage.”
“Didn’t they date or something about a million years ago?” Ed wriggled a bit on top of Roy. Roy enjoyed it.
“He still won’t tell me what happened. I really need to worm that out of him somehow.”
Ed shifted again, snorted.
"Why the fuck do you keep flexing your butt? Trying to trap my balls between your butt cheeks?" Ed groused.
"Do you really think that's possible?" Roy asked with a tone of lust-baited wonder, "Imagine the possibilities."
"Imagine my foot up your ass, but you might like that you perv job. I can't believe I kissed you in front of a fuckton of people. There weren't any camera flashes or anything, were there? The whole experience is a blur. I can claim temporary dementia or something. Maybe food poisoning - or you looked like you were about to pass out so I was giving you mouth to mouth. Fuck. There better not be any pictures." Ed sighed.
Roy kept flexing his butt cheeks, still intrigued by Ed's off-handed idea.
"I don't know what you are so put out about it," Roy said and sniffed when Ed scooted back some to sit more on Roy's thighs, perhaps fearing a pinch of his balls. "We are gorgeous. I think I saw swooning. We are tight and sexy and young and dynamic. I hope we have a picture on the front page center of the social section of the paper, that's what I hope. Then I can show you off like the fine piece of ass you are and everyone will be jealous." Roy sighed a little at his fantasy. "Then I can campaign for same sex marriage and by the sheer force of our incredible magnetism on the dance floor, we'd manage to get it adopted into law. Then my love, I will wed you properly and have a big drunken celebration to attest to the fact I've survived you all these years. It's a miracle of love, everyone should know it."
"Did you slip and fall and hit your head without me knowing?" Ed asked from the area of Roy's back. "What the fuck are you going on about? I don't know if competition is good for you, it makes you funny in the head. Besides, you proposed to me before, remember? I said yes. There, we're married, that's all the married we need." Ed folded his arms then and Roy would have bet anything that he was studying the crack in the ceiling he always studied when he thought he said something remotely sentimental. It didn't matter that Roy would have to turn his head almost an entire 180 degrees to see him. The crack was just fascinating.
"But I didn't get to walk you down an aisle, or give you a big reception," Roy said, voice a little more subdued now.
"What does that matter? You said 'I do', I saw you do it and we're still here and still together and still alive, just like you said. We survived. What does it take to be married, why do you need someone else’s word? I say we're married, you and me, and I'll fuck up whoever says different. How about that? HEY, that was romantic wasn't it?" Ed sounded pleased with himself. "I whipped out the romantic on you! You can't say I don't say romantic things ever again."
"No, I can't, you're right," Roy said, voice going warm, and Ed squirmed around on his perch on the back of Roy's thighs. "I think I like your version of married more than the state’s," and Roy pushed up then, turned his head some to peer at Ed over his shoulder. "You're all that matters, in the end."
"Damn straight," Ed said, really scrutinizing the crack.
"But you can't deny a man bragging rights," Roy continued. "And I love being in the paper. If we are, I'm going to buy a lot of copies and hand them out as if they were our wedding announcement."
"I think my being romantic has unhinged you even more than you were unhinged before," Ed growled.
"Edward Elric-Mustang," Roy sighed.
"The fuck, it's Mustang-Elric, dickhead," Ed snapped, "I mean it's just Elric! Stoppit, you're making me do it now!"
Roy did manage to roll then, onto his back, and Ed did an amazing job of leg work and kept his seat. He was sitting on the front of Roy's thighs now and looking put out about the situation. Roy grinned at him, and Ed put his nose in the air and worked his jaw.
"Just ... just so you know, I'd be okay with that," Ed said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "with the hyphenated name thing. Only I want to keep my last name as the last name in it, you can do the Elric-Mustang version if you want."
"Can I pick our anniversary?" Roy asked, entranced.
"Sure, I don't care, whatever," Ed said, cheeks flushed, still not looking at Roy. "Only you know, make it in the summer so you can take me to the beach. I like the beach, so if you want to have an official anniversary, then do that. Whatever, I don't care, whatever." There was a lot of tucking of hands in armpits and shrugging of shoulders from Ed now.
"Can I buy you a ring?" Roy pressed, reaching for Ed, trying to get hold of his arms, to pull him close.
"If you gotta," Ed huffed, letting himself be grabbed and pulled, lying down on Roy's chest.
Roy held him, rubbed his back and made all these little pleased noises, and Ed kept his face hidden, mostly in his hair and listened to Roy's heart beat where his ear was pressed against Roy's chest.
"Can I buy you a ring?" Ed finally ventured. "So you know, everyone knows I gotta ring, you gotta ring, it's a permanent thing and stuff. And... and so, you know, if someone is jealous and asks you can say you know, I gotta ring..."
"I like platinum," Roy purred, "maybe with a diamond or two, you don't have to be extravagant."
"Good, because I can't on a teacher's salary," Ed snorted. He poked Roy in the ribs a little. "So I'm an honest man now."
"You weren't honest before?" Roy asked. "I'm stunned. This is a whole new side of you I didn't know. What haven't you been honest about? I should have asked for a pre-nup."
Ed poked him harder in the ribs and Roy half-yelped and there was a brief rolling about on the couch that almost landed them both on the floor. Ed had his wrists now. Roy was happy to let him have them, and he decided to show him how happy by flexing his hips up into Ed’s.
"You want honest, eh? I'll give you honest! You're honestly a bastard!" Ed informed him. "And I'm married to you! I'll give you a pre-nup alright, there is only one condition on it, the condition where I let you live!" He pushed his weight further down on Roy, crowding him.
"Oh is that your only condition?" Roy asked, grinning madly, "I'm getting off easy! My condition is we live happily ever after, think you can handle that?"
"If you can dish it, I can handle it. Welcome to the rest of your life, bastard!"
There was more wrestling, then Ed's lips found Roy's and there was a settling. And as Roy lay there, everything in his life perfect, he knew he'd always dance to Edward's tempo.
Quick, quick, slow.