Alex Louis Armstrong has decided that he would find love. Even if it kills him. However, he seems to look in all the wrong places...
FANDOM: Fullmetal Alchemist
PAIRING: Armstrong + All, Armstrong x ?
GENRE: Crack-fic, romance
WARNING: yaoi, crack, bad humor, slight language, sexual hints, very slight angst, OOC probably
DISCLAIMER: Nor Fullmetal nor its characters are mine, no money is made here so don't sue or whatever.
SUMMARY: Alex Louis Armstrong has decided that he would find love. Even if it kills him. However, he seems to look in all the wrong places...
Alex Louis Armstrong was a truly amazing human being. He came from a noble line, he was a well learned and powerful alchemist, he had a selfless and generous heart in an impressively sculpted body and luminous blue eyes to boot. That wasn't just his own opinion either. By anyone standards, he was a fine man worthy of affection. Really, he was quite the catch!
However, for all his good looks and genial personality, he had turned thirty while still coming home to an empty -but luxurious- apartment in the evenings. Alex wasn't the type of man to live alone, he was a people person and he needed love. He was to the point where he was contemplating going back to live in his parents' home. Yet, pride kept this cowardly impulse at bay. No man belonging to the famous Armstrong family would ever give up in front of adversity.
Still, enthusiasm wasn't blinding him. Alex Louis Amstrong was many things, but certainly not stupid. He had made an accurate assessment of the situation early on and so, knew precisely what the biggest problem was. Women tended to find him scary. Nothing could be more unfair as he was as tender and considerate as they come. Yet, he understood how a man with his imposing stature could be intimidating for the slender creatures.
That was the main reason why he never had a real lover. He wasn't an innocent by far but never had a relationship. All his past experiences were of the marketed sort. Generations and generations of Armstrongs had learned the delights of the flesh in the ladies' arms of Central most famous brothel, Alex Louis wasn't exception. They had taught him many things and among others, sadly, that while passionate, he could be overwhelming and able to easily crush them if he didn't keep himself in check.
That is how he came to the conclusion that he should look for a different kind of mate. If women were too frail to sustain his assaults, he would seduce a man. Alex couldn't care less either way. He was seeking true love and such feeling transcended gender consideration. But, while looking for the perfect man, he realized he had another problem.
On top of his highly unusual pedigree, Alex Louis Armstrong was cursed with a fickle heart. It wasn't like he was prone to make light of heart matters, quite the contrary even ; he was a hopeless romantic enamored of pretty things. He would constantly be picturing himself in a hot and passionate relationship with every new man he encountered, before losing interest and being smitten away with the next one coming in sight. It was a thing akin to being in love with 'being in love'.
That could have been of little importance, what with it probably being just a fluke till the day he would meet the right person. Unfortunately, nothing was ever simple in the life of such a man. When in love, he was prone to do stupidly grand things for his hapless crushes. That went from smothering them with flowers, chocolates and other such token of love to belting inspired declaration of undying devotion in the middle of official events, all with exhibition of impressive and sparkly muscles to drive the point across. That didn't bode well with the Military and along the years, he had gained an embarrassing reputation. His peers were now avoiding him and didn't any more take his crazes with the seriousness they should have been deserving of.
~ xxxx ~
Those last years, Alex had become used to being rejected. He didn't find it any less painful than the very first time, but he managed to not let it affect him too much. Always keeping the cheerful facade of the Strong Arm Alchemist, he didn't let others know how much they hurt him. That would have been unmanly and anyway, tomorrow was another day. This wonderful philosophy had however been shattered by his latest rejections. He was probably the one at fault as he should have known better than to set his eyes on people whom he was already acquainted with and as such would still meet daily, even after they broke his heart.
The first mistake had been committed mostly through circumstances. He did only have the purest intentions when he offered to arrange a meeting between his dear little sister and Lieutenant Havoc. He hadn't thought that Jean would be dismissed so offhandedly by the sweet Catherine. Yet, while bringing back the shell-shocked man to the dorms, he had been touched and had wanted to help. As the Lieutenant had looked pleased at the idea to enter his family and his parents had also approved of the young man, he had wholeheartedly offered to take his sister's place. That seemed like a good idea at the time. The poor man was heart-broken and needed a boost in confidence. Of course, he would be flattered to know that at least someone appreciated him...
That hadn't gone well. Jean had mistaken his attentiveness for pity, which it was not. He had always thought the Lieutenant charming. He was handsome with a rakish charm that gave him a bad boy look and was also funny and smart. Armstrong wouldn't have introduced him to his beloved sister if he didn't think so highly of him. If he had never before made his appreciation known, it was only because he believed the man to be 100 percent heterosexual, maybe more. That was not pity! Alex called it: 'seizing the occasion', as Havoc should have swear off of women by this point. Alas, the Lieutenant was stupidly stubborn or the Strong Arm Alchemist was really not his type -as he repeated more times Alex cared to count. Swallowing his disappointment, Armstrong had accepted Havoc's half-assed excuses as if he didn't know any better and pretended like nothing had happened.
Still, the worse was yet to come. The Lieutenant had been unnecessary cruel in giving false advice to Alex. He had told the man that while he himself wasn't interested in other men, his superior was and would surely appreciate Armstrong's advances. Alex hadn't ever seen the Colonel Mustang in this light. Of course, he had occasionally heard office gossip, but how much faith could you really have in its accuracy? Especially when, for some reason, it tended to be even worse within the Military than in any other place. It was true that the man was pretty enough to be a girl and that Armstrong wouldn't put it past him to have used his good looks seducing fellow officers into promoting him. However, as blindingly handsome as Roy was, he was also known for his amazing skills at Alchemy and that had always dissuaded Alex in making a move on the man. He didn't want to be burn to ashes for being too forward with a man not interested. All he had needed really, was a little push from a well-intentioned friend. With Havoc's encouragements, Armstrong felt finally brave enough to go invite Roy Mustang on a date.
If he had thought being dismissed by Jean had been humiliating, that had been nothing in comparison with this painful attempt. There had still been some embarrassment in Havoc's refusal whereas Roy's held only contempt and blind rage. Fortunately, they had been alone in the Colonel's office when Mustang's fury took a turn for the worst. Being the strong alchemist he was, Alex had managed to escape alive, barely, but he knew that innocent on-lookers would probably have been killed as suggested the crumbled state of the office. Mostly, the Flame Alchemist's anger had been directed toward the person who had spread such shameful and ridiculous rumors. Alex thought the man protested too much, but as he had grown quite fond of his various body parts, he wisely didn't mention it. Roy was adamant and relentless in extracting the culprit's name from Armstrong and the latter finally gave in. If Mustang's expression was any indication, Jean Havoc was going to be a very sorry man. Now, fully aware that the Lieutenant had tricked him for whatever reason, Alex couldn't fathom enough compassion to pity him.
His burns healed and he took to avoid Mustang and Havoc alike, limiting their encounters to the strictest minimum. He even managed to convince himself that the entire episode had been cruel but necessary and that it would do him a world of good ... in the long run. With the stubbornness of generations and generations of Armstrongs backing him up, he finally resume his quest for the perfect mate. There had been many a man raising his interest during the following months. However, none piqued his interest quite as much as Roy and Jean had, that is none until his searches lead him to look in the strangest place.
Developing a crush for the Fullmetal Alchemist happened to end up being the most dreaded experience of his life. As was his usual behavior when in love, he was propositioning Edward even before Cupid's arrow had finished swinging. He hadn't thought that through, obviously. The problem wasn't even the age difference, not directly anyway. But, God, the kid was really a scary one and his little brother even more so. He wouldn't ever have guessed that one so sweet as the young Alphonse knew so many curse words. And to be able to utter such inventive and graphic threats without the need to pause for breath... The advantages of being armor seemed limitless. Alex would most likely keep mental scars in addition of the physical ones Edward was responsible for.
Both the youngsters had been appalled by Armstrong's forwardness, wondering how he dared to proposition an innocent and very young teenage boy. The poor man had received extensive injuries and only escaped transmutation by a hair-breathe. Ed's rage was born from innocent indignation alright, but Alex couldn't help to think that Al's came more from jealousy than from righteous brotherly protectiveness. Would the wonders never cease?
Anyway, no matter the reasons behind the violent reactions to this particular misdirected crush, they were the deciding step in Armstrong's new path to love. He resolved that he wouldn't set his eyes on soldiers anymore and that alchemists at large would be a no-no. This particular decision, however was not easy to follow. The Strong Arm Alchemist had devoted his life to his career and when it came to that, he really had no idea on where or how to meet people outside of the Military. He pondered his options for some time and, arriving to the conclusion that he hadn't enough time to properly haunt places such as cafÃ©s to meet new people, he decided to give a try to paper advertisements...
~ xxxx ~
Two days later, in another part of Central, an incredulous voice echoed trough the silence of a rundown building amidst bouts of insane laughter:
"I can't fucking believe it. The nerve of the little shit!"
"What is it Envy?" Came from a dark corner of the room, in a tone sultry and yet bored enough to be insulting. The green-haired homunculus didn't give a fuck if Lust's inquiry was genuine or not. He just had to share the unbelievable news.
"The Fullmetal pipsqueak put an add in the newspaper!"
A delicate eyebrow was arched elegantly in an evident, if mild, show of curiosity. Envy thought enough of it to forward the expected details.
"The add is in the date-searching section. He is looking for a lover, a male lover must I add."
"Do I want to know how that does concern us? Or even better, what you were doing in this section of the paper?"
"It seems to me like Shorty has too much time on his hands, I find it insulting. But now that he was stupid enough to mention his particular tastes, I will use it."
Lust noted idly that Envy hadn't explained how he came upon the add, but as she was pretty sure she really didn't want to know, that was a moot point. However she was curious as to what the other homunculus intended to do with the -in her opinion dubiously- interesting information about Fullmetal's sexual preferences. That was why she asked sarcastically: "So what? Do you plan to date him?"
The following moments were spent in listening somewhat disbelievingly Envy's master-plan, which consisted of seducing Elric without revealing his true identity and making him suffer by whatever means before killing him, slowly. The one-sided argument was evidently strewn with colorful insults and unexplainable bursts of anger, all directed to the absent alchemist. Lust was herself convinced that the plan was stupid and would have probably as much success as the previous ones, meaning: none at all. Still, she wasn't really in the mood to reason with the insane and ultimately tuned the shrill voice out in her usual way. Once she was left to glare behind the disappearing form of her companion, she finally threw a glance to the much talked about add. It read:
Young and handsome alchemist, ranked Major in the Military.
Blond hair, gorgeous eyes, interesting stature allied to a sparkling personality
and a passionate nature. Loving books and long walks in the countryside.
Giving great importance to family ties. Would like to meet man outside of work
to share new interests and possibly develop a romantic relationship with.
Write to the paper which will forward.
That was an accurate description of the Fullmetal Alchemist, as far as she could tell. Yet, she had a foreboding feeling about all that and for all of her attempts, she couldn't point her finger on why that was.
~ xxxx ~
Armstrong received much more answers than he had expected. He would never have guessed that so many men in Central were both homosexual and in need of a date. Nevertheless, he was pleased and promptly arranged meetings with the first suitors. Unfortunately, those didn't go well. The first two were suddenly reminded of previous engagements not ten minutes into the date. Number three could have been his great grand-father and the fourth looked of a frail constitution, what with the fainting upon meeting him. At this point, he decided to screen the answers more carefully and suggested that they exchanged correspondence for some time before planning a real meeting.
Within a few weeks, only three contestants remained. The others were discarded for various reasons or had given up themselves, obviously looking for a much less meaningful relationship and judging the trials more trouble than worth. Among the three finalists, one in particular looked very promising. In all the letters they had exchanged, the man never made futile inquiries about his physical appearance or the amount of Alex's wages but rather proved genuinely interested in his love for his sibling and for the countryside of Amestris. Emery, as was the man's name, told him that he himself had lost contact with his own family and was actively searching for his father. Armstrong told him all about his latest travel to Rizenbul, amusing him with pleasant anecdotes. Soon enough, the two agreed upon meeting for a drink in a nice little pub Emery knew of.
They met at five o'clock on a sunny afternoon of April. There were dozens of birds cheerfully singing from the highest tree branches of a nearby park, but you're not interested in that of course. They had decided upon wearing a red rose at their buttonholes, which was silly, romantic and hopelessly clichÃ©. That helped them to recognize each other anyway. Armstrong was immediately smitten by the nice looking brunet with a light complexion and misty eyes. Emery was completely stunned by the blond giant who signed his letters "Al" as the diminutive for Alex and not in tribute of his little brother, Alphonse.
Honestly, Envy could have cried. He had worked so long and hard on his little scheme, carefully creating the fake Emery from scratch, be it his appearence or his background. It had all been in the hope of luring the pipsqueak into a clever trap and it had been all for nothing. He let himself be dragged inside of the pub by the mountain of a man; he really wasn't feeling like protesting and right now the prospect of any kind of alcohol sounded awfully nice, as long as it came in great abundance...
Alex had cornered his date by sitting next to him on a bench seat as he really didn't want to see yet another man slip away from him. That seemed like a silly concern however as Emery didn't look like he wanted to go anywhere. He stayed where he was put, gently listening Armstrong talk about his family, glancing shyly all the way up to the blue eyes and nodding dazedly in all the right places. Even the exhibition of muscles didn't scare him away, he just appeared slightly incredulous while his cheeks tinged endearingly pink. Emery only spoke to order a bottle of whiskey, probably to soothe his frazzled nerves. Alex found it too adorable for words and taking advantage of his date being drunk, to lead him to his bachelor apartment was a nice side benefit.
That was only when he found himself naked and on his back on an unfamiliar bed and with an equally naked body pinning him down that Envy regained his senses. He wasn't horrified. One doesn't live several centuries to be fazed by such simple things. Alex might not be exactly the kind of man he would have chosen under other circumstances, but he was charming in his own way and enthusiastic and Envy had gone without sex for far too long and maybe that was the alcohol talking. In the end he only had one concern, which he managed to make known right away.
"What makes you think I would bottom? Let's fuck alright but spread those huge thighs Blondie!"
That wasn't, by far the dizzyingly romantic thing Armstrong had hoped for, but with his hectic experience, relationship-wise, it was the most romantic he had ever heard. If the little angel wanted to be top, he would let him, the most important was that they were together. And if the brownish locks became long green strands during their climax, he wasn't petty enough to make a fuss about it.
~ xxxx ~
They didn't quite exactly live happily ever after, but from this day on, their lives wouldn't ever be the same. Armstrong could express his love full force and hadn't anymore the need to be subtle nor to return to an empty home in the evenings. Envy wouldn't ever have any rivals, could use this relationship as an outlet for his ever present bad temper and could occasionally be coaxed in shifting to the shape of Alex's past crushes. Both of them could bear a little rough handling and the other's oddities. It was a match made in Heaven ... or in Hell, depending on the way you were looking at it.