Kimberly, Mustang, Ishvar, and exchanging "trade secrets".
by White Aster
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours," Kimbley purred.
"You're such a prude, Mustang. Don't you trust me?"
"Why not? I'm a fellow alchemist. Call it intellectual curiousity."
A rustling sound as Mustang turned a page. "No."
Kimbley kicked up into the bottom of Mustang's bunk mattress. "What the hell? You're like those dried up old bastards in Central who won't tell you anything about their research without a signed affadavit, a family tree, and a piss sample. Why NOT?"
"You're not even listening to me, are you?"
Kimbley scowled up at the bottom of his bunkmate's mattress and contemplated whether he could explode it and Mustang along with it without impaling himself on shrapnel. Probably not. Oh well. He sighed dramatically. "Oh well. Guess I'll have to figure it out myself."
There was silence from above. A listening silence. With slight "uh oh" overtones.
Kimbley grinned cheerfully, his hands behind his head. "The array from your gloves shouldn't be hard to get. And I KNOW the theory. Enrichment of oxygen content in the air along a directed path. Shouldn't be too hard, right? I'll whip something up and try it out tomorrow."
The silence from above sunk further into "oh shit"ness, probably at the thought of Kimbley "whipping something up" involving controlled explosions. And probably remembering many FAILED attempts of Mustang's own and whatever resultant destruction they'd entailed.
Kimbley waited, grinning. Mustang's problem was that he had way too vivid an imagination.
Mustang's head leaned over the edge of the bunk, his expression distinctly displeased, complete with that cute little eyebrow frown he did. "If I show you the RIGHT way to do it, do you think you could refrain from blowing up me, yourself, the camp, or anyone in our direct chain of command?"
Kimbley thought about it for a moment. "I suppose."
Mustang sighed, the springs creaking as he moved back onto the mattress. "It's not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of practice."
"What doesn't?" Kimbley looked at the arrays on his palms with a faint smile, pressing them together. "That's why they don't have a hundred Crimson and Flame Alchemists out here. Takes a special breed of stupidity to practice until we get it right."
"I like to think of it as dedication." Another rustle. Mustang'd gone back to his book.
"Whatever." Kimbley gathered his pillow under his head. "Hey, a deal's a deal. I'll show you the biotransmutation if you want."
A shift, a slight creak in the mattress. "Thank you, but that's not necessary."
"Fair's fair," Kimbley pressed cheerfully. Mustang's voice practically BLED discomfort.
"No thanks. Really."
Kimbley grinned, grabbing the edge of the upper frame and pulling himself out and up, so his head cleared Mustang's mattress. Mustang's book was propped on his chest, a few pages tangled a bit with his dogtags. Morton's "Principles of Gaseous Ethers". Really boring shit, if Kimbley remembered right. "What's the matter, Mustang? My alchemy not give you enough space? Too messy? Too raw for you, having to feel them under your hands before they go?"
Mustang glanced over at him, something dark and oh so slightly haunted sliding over his face. Finally, he just said, "Yes."
Kimbley's eyebrows raised. Leave it to Mustang to defuse an argument with one word, and not come out of it a sissy. Well, too much of a sissy. Kimbley chuckled, letting himself swing back down onto his bunk. "I hate to tell you, Mustang, but they're still dead..." Kimbley stretched and closed his eyes. "...either way."
It was a good twenty minutes before he heard another page turn.