Written for Karen's birthday! RoyEd domestic fluff story that follows Roy around fo a day to see exactly what the future General Mustang does. (Hints of Al/Winry)
It was the door slamming shut and the sound of sneakers rebounding off the steps that finally pulled Roy from the dark blessedness that was sleep. He rolled over in his bed, curling up in the covers and burying his face in the pillow in a futile attempt to cling to sleep, groaning as he heard the water running in the kitchen.
"Roy! I know you're up!"
Roy ignored the voice, vaguely wondering how Edward always knew the moment which he slowly drifted into consciousness, and why the boy was so cruel to not allow him a few more moments of rest. He was a hard-working man who certainly deserved as much good rest as he could get!
Happily snuggled into the thick blankets, Roy let his mind drift back to dreams again.
It was half an hour later when Ed was finished with breakfast, and was already cleaning up after himself when he heard Roy stumble down the stairs and into the kitchen.
"You'll be late if you don't manage to be out the door in twenty minutes." Ed reminded him casually, piling plates into the sink as he risked a glance at the older man.
Roy grunted, and staggered into one of the chairs that had been conveniently placed for him near the counter, groping his way around for the cup of coffee that he undoubtably had smelled from the bedroom.
"I'm surprised you still need coffee to wake up."
Roy glared at the blonde blearily, hands finally finding the warm mug and bringing it closer so that he could cradle it against his chest like a precious stone.
Ed only grinned at him, much too bright for this early in the morning.
"You need to take shorter showers."
Ed smirked as he turned on the tap, rinsing the dishes in cold water. "It's your own fault for sleeping in. If you got up earlier, you might have a chance at the shower."
"It'd be easier if you wouldn't spend hours using up all the hot water." Roy grumbled, bringing the cup of coffee to his nose, inhaling the rich scent deeply. Ahh... coffee. Just the smell of it was working wonders on waking up his brain.
"It'd be easier if you would contribute to the housework once in a while." Ed countered, placing the dishes into the drying rack and toweling his hands dry. "Why is it that Al and I are the only ones doing housework around here? This is your house, you know."
"Where is Alphonse this morning?" Roy finally asked, glancing around the kitchen. He could see a leftover plate of breakfast that had been left for him, so he could only assume that it was the younger Elric brother who had cooked that morning. Ed wouldn't have left anything.
"He has an early class this morning, so he left before you woke up." Ed glanced at the clock over the kitchen door, and nudged against Roy's chair. "Fifteen minutes, General. If you're late, Hawkeye will kill you. It'll be the third time this week."
Roy frowned into the rim of the coffee cup. "No, it wouldn't. Today's Tuesday."
"No." Ed threw Roy's black coat at him, and the older man was barely able to move his coffee in time to prevent a mess. "It's Wednesday."
Roy frowned at the stove as he straightened his tie and chugged down the rest of the coffee. He hadn't been able to find his pair of white socks that morning, so was wearing mismatched blue ones instead. He had a feeling that they belonged to the brothers as Roy couldn't remember ever owning blue socks. They were also thicker than the socks he owned (and really comfortable!) so he didn't mind so much.
Roy's frown deepened, although it had nothing to do with his feet and everything to do with the stove in front of him.
"Havoc's here to pick you up!" He heard Ed from the living room call to him. The sound of footfall on soft carpet came thudding down the hall. "Hurry up!"
"Edward," Roy called back. "Is our stove broken?"
Edward stuck his head in the doorway of the kitchen and the hallway, and Roy could see that the young man had been trying to brush out the tangles in his hair as he scowled. "It's been broken the past week. You're the one who broke it, remember?"
Roy didn't recall breaking the stove.
"...Your attempt to boil water?"
Ahh. Now he remembered. Well, it wasn't his fault that he couldn't judge how high the gas had already been turned up. And that didn't qualify as breaking the stove. The stove must have already been broken if it was leaking so much gas into the air. Roy just helped along its retirement, that's all.
"It was leaking gas." Roy stated logically. "It was already broken."
"It's a /gas stove/, idiot."
Oh. Roy stared at the blonde standing in the doorway struggling to brush through disorderly hair. He blinked, mind still fuzzy from sleep despite the last two cups of coffee he had.
"You're wearing my socks." He said, pointing to Ed.
Ed only made a strangled noise and smacked his left palm against his forehead, turning sharply and leaving Roy in the kitchen to his morning thoughts.
"You know... if a cold shower and three cups of coffee that boss made doesn't wake you up in the mornings, General, I'm baffled as to what can."
More sleep, Roy thought blearily, and the abolishment of mornings. But he didn't say that as Havoc lounged on the porch, waiting for Roy to gather the stack of files that Hawkeye made him take home yesterday because he didn't finish- sure that Edward and Alphonse (Edward in particular, since he took unholy glee at making Roy miserable) would force him to work at home and finish it before retiring for the night.
Where were his shoes? He wondered vaguely, his mind finally starting to clear up. No one should be forced to function before ten in the morning. He would have to make a mental note to enforce a no-work-before-ten law once he was Fuhrer. He would have the allegiance of the military then! Well... perhaps not Hawkeye, but Hawkeye couldn't see the appeal about the females in miniskirts either, so it was okay.
"Your shoes are on top of the shoe case. You're already wearing your jacket, your files are in your hands, and your gloves are shoved into the pocket of your overcoat. Now get going already."
Havoc snickered as Roy didn't even find the energy to glare at Edward, instead stepping into his shoes before he thought of something. "Aren't you supposed to be in the office today as well, Edward?"
"I'll be there by eleven. I wouldn't have minded going now if a certain bastard General would have just settled with the fact that he knows all the details of my last mission anyway, and didn't want me to write it all down plus a report on the silver mines the last two years. It doesn't help that I already told you all of this last night."
Roy frowned again, feeling the muscles etching into his face. "I still have to file the report, you know. I'm not writing that up for you because you told me the story already."
He could feel Edward's glare from where the young man was sitting with numerous books open on the couch. "You don't file the reports. Captain Hawkeye does. All you do during the day is sit behind your chair and sign papers."
"I still sign your expense records."
"But Hawkeye oversees my expense records. You can't get petty revenge on me, Mustang."
Roy raised an eyebrow, finally turning back to face Edward. "Is that a challenge?"
Edward didn't even dignify that with an answer. "Forty seconds, General."
An hour into work, and Roy was ready to sneak out his office via the window, never mind this his office was on the third floor. The pile of papers on his desk had grown larger as the minutes grew by, and Roy made no move to read any of them. But as the stacks grew, even he knew that it would be hard to complete before noon if he procrastinated much longer.
He thought for a moment about finding Edward to tease, thinking of the reports that the young man had to write. Most likely, the older Elric brother would be in the library, looking up charts on silver mines in the north for references.
Roy's forehead lined as he thought of the last time he had encountered Fullmetal in the library.
The young man had managed to ignore him even through the height jokes and the innuendos, instead propping his book up higher to block out Roy's face.
Eyes narrowing at the memory of Ed's obsession with books, Roy decided that he would make sure Ed was out of the library before looking for him.
Now he would just have to look for some other method of entertainment.
It was nearly noontime when Hawkeye set the report back down on his desk, a no-nonsense look on her face. Roy had to resist the urge to crawl underneath his desk when she glared, his eyes darting to her sidearm.
"I'm quite sure that Edward hasn't purchased a new stove lately with his state alchemist funds." She said sharply. "If you broke it, sir, you take the responsibility."
"...And here's your next mission." Roy pushed the files across his desk, feeling oddly pleased with himself as he watched Edward grit his teeth and glare sullenly at him. Roy had prepared the files ahead of time (unlike with all the other stacks still on his desk) just so he could have it ready before Edward could turn in the report for his last mission. Fullmetal's expression whenever Roy managed to beat him in assigning missions was nearly comical.
No rest for the weary, Roy thought in an almost cheerful manner, careful to school his expression as he knew that the blonde would blow up at him if the slightest snicker were to break through. He had a reputation to maintain, after all.
Edward snatched up the files from Roy's desk and flipped through them, amber eyes taking in the information.
"There's a problem here, General." Ed said neutrally.
"I don't see a problem, Fullmetal." Roy rested his elbows against his desk, hands clasped together and hiding his smirk behind his palms.
Ed threw the files back on the desk, glaring. "This mission will take two weeks. Minimum. It says that I leave in five days. Reschedule that."
Was that the problem? "That's impossible. This case has to be solved ASAP. The next train heading that direction leaves in five days, and only passes through the area once a fortnight. You're lucky to have five days' rest, Fullmetal."
Ed gave a pointed stare. "Pull strings, then. I know you're an asshole, but even assholes have brains. Reschedule it or I'm not going."
Roy frowned. Had it been a few years past, he would have threatened Ed with a discharge from the military if he wouldn't obey orders, but now Edward didn't care if he was discharged or not. His goal had been accomplished. He didn't need the support of the military anymore- and only stayed to support Roy's ascension.
But what was in the next three weeks that Fullmetal would refuse to leave? Roy's mind ran through a list of important dates: anniversaries, deaths, research due, the renewal exam, birthdays...
Oh. Birthday. Al's birthday.
"I'll call Armstrong."
It was after noon when Roy decided to take the rest of the day off. Hawkeye glared, but had to admit that with the work that had been done the day before, he was still on time with what needed attention. He wanted to go home for a brief nap (not because he was old, damn it! It was because he didn't get enough sleep the night before and young people took naps! And no/, Fullmetal's taunts were /not getting to him) and then figure out a way to pass the rest of the day.
Hmm. Ed hadn't been as susceptible to height jokes ever since he had grown a few inches after hitting seventeen. Sure, the blonde would never be anywhere near as tall as Roy, and definitely nowhere near Al's height, but hitting five feet had boosted his confidence enough that he wasn't as irritable about the 'short' jokes.
"I think I'll walk home today." Roy informed Havoc as the First Lieutenant stood up when Roy exited his office. Havoc only gave a grin around his cigarette and a sloppy salute as Roy left, stepping out into the hall and giving a nod to various officers who passed by.
What's been working so far...?
Refusing to let him concentrate on reading? One-liners? Knock-knock jokes? Sex jokes?
.../Bad/ sex jokes?
Roy grinned as he finally stepped out into the bright sunlight.
"You're a shit General, you know."
"Language, Fullmetal. You're not a child anymore."
"I'm busy now, Fullmetal."
"Brother, I'm home!"
Al got home a little after three in the afternoon, hanging up his coat on the rack in the living room just as Ed charged out of the study, a book still carefully balanced in his hands and a dark cloud over his head as Roy followed him out the study, a smirk firmly stuck on his face.
"Al!" Apparently, despite Ed's self-proclaimed maturity years ago, he was still prone to whining, "Make him stooooop!"
"I'm most certainly not doing anything wrong, Fullmetal-"
Ed pointed an accusing finger at Roy from where he was (not!) hiding behind Alphonse. "Your only joy lately has been hassling me, old man! Everyone knows it!"
Roy smirked. "If that's true, then why are you denying this old man his only joy in life...?"
Alphonse gave a weak laugh to break up the impending argument, coughing for their attention before saying placating, "General, I didn't think you'd be home until six today..."
"I took the afternoon off, Alphonse. Captain Hawkeye didn't make any objections to it."
"More like she couldn't stand you, either!"
Al only gave a strained smile at the two glaring at each other.
Well, he did say he was home, after all.
Roy blinked. "Can you repeat that, Alphonse?"
"I /said/, you and Brother will have to do the shopping today." Al said lightly as he pulled his coat off the hanger, and stepping easily into his shoes. Al tilted his head towards where Ed was sitting facing him on the couch.
"I'm sorry, Brother, but I promised Winry I'd go with her to look for deals on scrap metal today. And she wants me there to judge if I can transmute it into something usable. You're the one who suggested doing something with all the scrap metal lying around.
"And we're out of shampoo. The grocery list has been accumulating this entire week..."
"It doesn't take that long to find a junkyard," Ed sounded a little desperate. "This is Central we're talking about here. There's at least five you can look up in a phonebook."
"Well, maybe I'd want to eat something afterward," Al responded breezily.
"Wait, Alphonse," Roy tried to cut in, "About that part when you said your brother and I would be shopping..."
"A date, then?" Ed asked, completely ignoring Roy's attention to draw attention away from Al's implications. The older blonde grinned. "Al! When were you going to tell me?"
"It's not a date/," Al stressed. "I just figured we'd be /hungry afterward."
"Going through junkyards looking for scrap metal and then dinner? Sounds like Winry's dream date to me." Ed teased, leaning dangerously far over the back of the couch. "Do I need to set a curfew?"
"...You really don't think that Fullmetal and I can actually agree on purchases, do you, Alphonse?"
"I don't need a curfew." Al said, and then grinned before opening the door. "I'll be back before tomorrow." With that, he stepped out the door and closed it behind him, laughing softly at Ed's indignant squawk.
Roy sighed. Why did they never pay attention to him? He was always the one asking the important questions.
It was nearing sunset, they had gone through four stores, and they still hadn't agreed on anything.
"How the hell did we end up needing shampoo, anyway?" Edward groused, juggling two bags of groceries in one arm. The other arm was holding a bottle of shampoo, inspecting it carefully. For what, Roy didn't know. "I was sure we had a full bottle last week."
Roy was holding two bags of groceries as well, and was well miffed as his two bags were significantly larger than Edward's. Those bags took both arms to hold. Why did Ed need so much food, anyway? Surely cooking didn't involve quite so many ingredients...
"I don't know." Roy lied smoothly. "But, uh... we need toothpaste as well..."
"Toothpaste? We don't need toothpaste- there's still half a- wait." Ed eyed the older man suspiciously. "It wouldn't have to do that noise I heard this morning during breakfast, would it? It sounded like a small explosion, but I figured you were trying to heat up the water..."
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Roy denied. "But we still need that toothpaste."
"I hate that brand."
"Why? It's cheaper, includes whitening, and still offers all the same protection against cavities as your brand. I say this is the better deal."
"That smell clogs up your nostrils when you try to use it! 'Minty fresh' is one thing, but 'cloyingly sweet' is another!"
"Your brand isn't as efficient as this one. No pain, no gain, Fullmetal."
"We're not getting that brand."
"Well, we aren't getting that ridiculously expensive brand either."
"I hate that brand."
"So you've said before."
"Why the hell do you want a taste like that in your mouth, anyway?"
"Ahh, but toothpaste is like coffee- the stronger, the better. You'll learn to appreciate it in time."
"No, I won't, because I'm not using that."
It took a few more minutes of arguing before they were finally interrupted by a sales clerk.
"Why don't the two of you buy both brands?" she suggested, hoping to add some more sales to her day.
Roy and Ed looked at each other.
"Nope, it's definitely on the top of the list."
Ed muttered something under his breath that Roy couldn't catch, but could understand the gist of anyway. "We don't need it. Let's just go home."
"In fact," Roy pretended to squint at the paper in his hand. "Alphonse wrote it in bold letters and underlined it several times."
"Don't you think we're carrying enough items?"
"And he surrounded it with several asterisks." Roy observed. "I think he wants us to get it."
"Aren't your bags heavy enough? If not, I can add more to them."
"I'd certainly miss those delectable cookies Alphonse makes." Roy mused, raising his eyes to give a pointed look to a fuming Ed. "Wouldn't you?"
Ed only pursed his lips and glared hard at Roy, apparently thinking it over for several minutes. On one hand, he could certainly do without it in the house, but on the other... Alphonse really liked making those cookies, and they were really good...
"If you must get the stupid milk, then you're carrying the damned thing home. It's heavy."
Roy fought to hide a grin, only half succeeding. "But of course."
They got home later than expected, and Edward started on dinner while Roy was given the task of putting everything they bought in their respective places. Alphonse still wasn't home yet, but Roy hadn't expected him to be home anytime soon.
A date must be handled well, Roy thought approvingly. And that meant keeping the girl out as late as was allowed.
His amusement was only heightened with Ed's inability to stop fidgeting and glancing at the clock throughout dinner.
"How about a game of chess?" Roy suggested after dinner, before Ed could retreat on the couch with one of the thick alchemy tomes he brought back from the library.
Ed frowned. "We need to set aside hours to play chess. How about poker?"
It was Roy's turn to frown. "I've seen you play Alphonse. You cheat at poker, Fullmetal."
"I've seen you play against Havoc. So do you, shit General."
Well, if they were both good at cheating at poker...
"How about upping the ante, then?" Roy asked. "Strip poker."
"...Yeah, sure, okay."
It was several hours later when Alphonse came home and found both Roy and his brother in a seriously compromising situation. The poor boy stammered and blushed, clapping one hand over his eyes before declaring that he didn't want to know! and high-tailing it back to his room.
It had been a surprisingly challenging game (as it turned out that both Roy and Ed were amazing cheaters when it came to poker) despite Ed smacking him over the head lightly for traumatizing his little brother, ignoring his own participation in the situation.
As he climbed into bed that night, Roy allowed himself a silly grin. A few years ago, he would never have believed his life to be both as interesting and mundane as this. It was nice, though. Sure, he wasn't Fuhrer yet, and still couldn't escape Hawkeye's wrath whenever he tried to escape his paperwork, but it was worth it just to have a day as uneventful as this one.
Wrapping an arm around the blonde who was already half-asleep in bed, Roy pressed a kiss against the blonde bangs.
There was a muffled laugh as Roy's breath tickled behind Ed's ears.