Why can't Ed or Roy swim? it's not just because they never had time to learn. and what happens when Winry and Riza decide to get payback??
"What do you mean, you don't swim?" Winry asked.
Ed sighed; how the conversation had come to this, he didn't know. She'd merely been explaining the qualities of his new-and-improved automail. 'That's right,' he remembered; she had said it was sturdy but light enough to allow him to swim, in which he'd muttered, "I don't swim," being bored with the topic, yet again. It was just an arm to him, a weapon at best, but nonetheless temporary. She still didn't understand that.
Here they were in the East Headquarters' infirmary; he had gotten into trouble looking for the Philosopher's Stone, as usual, and had escaped with scratches and a busted arm. That was all; he was fine. He hadn't needed Winry to come to him, but Armstrong had insisted on it. And when the Major insisted, it became an ultimatum.
"Well?" she prompted.
"I mean I don't swim, plain and simple," he replied, crossing his arms and closing his eyes in impatience; he didn't see why it was such a big deal.
Al snickered from the seat next to him. Ed sent his brother a warning glare, trying to stop the truth, but it was too late.
"Brother's afraid the fish will eat his toes," he snitched, still laughing.
"Is that true, Ed?" Winry asked humorously.
"Of course not! That was a long time ago!" Ed protested.
"Then you're not denying it," she teased.
"I'm not the only one; Al believed it too," he said to get back.
"Well, I didn't know how ridiculous it sounded...and toes do look somewhat like worms..." Al insisted.
"You're both ridiculous," Winry laughed, "The fish won't hurt you any!"
"I know that!" Ed snapped, irked by how much she was enjoying this.
"What's this, Fullmetal, your puny brain actually knows something?" came a deep, smooth voice from the door.
Roy Mustang stepped over the threshold, followed by Riza Hawkeye. The man smirked, knowing his insult was empty, for Ed knew more than him on the subject of alchemy; he merely wanted to create an explosion.
"WHO'RE YOU CALLING PUNY!!?!!" Boom, fireworks.
"Ed's afraid of swimming," Winry said.
"I am not!!"
"Is that so," the Colonel said almost evilly, smirk in place, "I should think shrimp like water."
"WHO'RE YOU CALLING SO SMALL HE THINKS A DROP OF WATER IS AN OCEAN!!!?!!" Ed exploded.
"Now, Colonel, it goes against equivalent exchange to make fun of him when you yourself are afraid of water," Riza cut in, a slight grin on her face.
"That's absurd, I just don't like water," Roy corrected with as much dignity he could muster, silently vowing to pay Riza back for her act of disloyalty.
"Is that so?" Edward said, chuckling maliciously under his breath, "And why's that, Colonel Flamey?"
"Simple, it puts out fire," Roy replied nonchalantly.
"I wouldn't have thought that the two most accomplished State Alchemists I know are afraid to swim," Winry giggled, "Never in a million years," she added.
"I never said I was afraid to swim," Mustang pointed out in vain.
"Neither did I!" Ed exclaimed.
"Then I suppose you two won't mind taking swimming lessons," Riza proposed, continuing at the silence and two gaping mouths she received, "Excellent, in that case, I'll sign you up."
The two alchemists could do nothing but protest mutely at her sudden change of character.
Now they were standing in front of the swimming pool, in nothing but trunks, both feeling weary of the task at hand but neither wanting to let the other know it, especially Roy, who was eyeing the instructor as if she was a piece of candy. Ed elbowed him hard in the ribs, purposely with his right to snap him out of his trance.
"Ow! Damnit, Fullmetal!" he cursed, rubbing the spot.
"Get your mind out of the gutter," Ed mumbled.
"Are you ready?" the instructor, Lisa, asked.
"Anytime, Sweetheart," Roy replied charmingly, receiving another elbow, "Ow!"
They got in, shivering at the cool water, both thinking different things. Ed was dreading the task of drying his automail so it didn't rust, then reminding himself he could do it with alchemy, and Roy was relishing the idea of asking Lisa out after class.
"First, I want you to float on your backs; make sure to suck in your breath and keep your toes above the water," Lisa instructed, as was her job.
"Damn it all," Ed muttered under his breath; he hated how the tone of her voice treated them as kids.
They obeyed, as the dogs they were, floating perfectly on the surface of the pool. It was a little tricky for Ed with his automail, but he didn't let it impair him.
"Good, now try this," she demonstrated treading water, "Don't fight the water, work with it."
It went on; she demonstrated and instructed, and they matched her. It was easy, they both realized, and quickly getting boring. Both were beginning to despise Riza and her idiotic idea, knowing this was her equivalent exchange for listening to them bicker all the time.
As they exited the pool house, Roy somewhat depressed from getting turned down for a date and Ed wearing a smirk because he knew what had happened, Winry and Riza were waiting for them in a military-issued automobile.
"That's what you get for acting like you know everything," Winry told Ed matter-of-factly.
"Think of this as a lesson to teach you to keep your ego under control," Riza told Roy coldly.
As they drove away, both alchemists wore deep scowls on their faces and set to work nursing the wounds to their dignity.