[personal profile] jarnsaxa
Beta: Ca11iope. Thank you very much! I know you´ve been busy and I am very grateful  you did the job despite RL being bossy :D
 
A/N: Please take a look here. It´s more than worth a few minutes of attention ^^

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The Bet of the Year
Chapter 25: Compromising Positions
 
It was an age old and often effective strategy that Roy hoped to prove transcended traditional gender roles.
 
He was attempting to bribe his way back into Edward’s good graces, not with flowers and chocolates, since those choices ran the risk of giving Ed the impression that Roy was casting him in a woman’s role, but with dinner.  Still risky, but a calculated risk given the dimensions Edward’s notorious appetite. Tight fitting jeans were also a factor that appeared to be tipping the scales in Roy’s favor.  So the Colonel played his hole card and mentally crossed his fingers.
 
He looked casually over his shoulder at the man he had pissed off so thoroughly, eyes a slow smolder, and innocently asked, “Hungry?”
  
Ed’ jaw dropped and he stared incredulous, Roy’s double entendre a direct hit.  Damn, Roy wanted to kiss the man, for no other reason than just to do it, but he wasn’t sure if it might result in the general being introduced to Ed’s automail knee.  Damn, if only he could read the blond a bit better.
 
Then he noticed the contemplative way Ed was biting his lip.
 
Oh, hell.  Automail knee or not, it was probably worth it.
 
Roy bent down slowly, watching carefully for any sign that an attack might be imminent, and felt a rush of excitement when he was close enough to feel Ed’s breath on his lips without suffering any injury.  He was about to take this as permission to kiss the man – and celebrate his success in earning Ed’s forgiveness – when he was resolutely shoved back.
 
The shorter man gave him a hard stare, breaking the spell, and only then did the Colonel notice Al’s voice, altogether too near at hand.
 
“…idea. Thank you for bringing the food, Roy,” the boy was saying.
 
So, they were back to his first name again, a good sign as far as Roy was concerned.  Alphonse’s obvious attempts to create a pleasant atmosphere fell flat though, as Edward’s disturbed glare sent a chill down the older man’s spine.
 
“It’s a good thing you don´t have to cook, brother. Your cooking is… well, edible. Most of the- uhm… well, sometimes.”  Al was deliberately choosing words that would not sound too insulting, and Ed slowly turned his head towards his brother and blinked.
 
“Edible?” He repeated perplex. “My cooking’s not that bad.“
 
A glance in Al’s direction revealed the reason why the younger Elric had failed to react to the almost kiss between his brother and former commanding officer.  His back was turned, searching through the cupboards.  On the third try the teen found what he was looking for, pulling out three glasses.
Roy had not even noticed when the boy entered the kitchen.  Hmm.  Was Al the reason Edward hadn´t let himself be kissed, or was the man still angry?  Roy could speculate for the rest of the evening and it would get him nowhere. He would have liked to believe that Ed had only pushed him away because of his brother’s presence, but at this point Roy had no way of knowing for sure.  He had to play this very carefully, because if Edward was still mad and Roy pushed too hard, he was fucked.
 
Not literally though, sadly.
 
Brooding wouldn´t help either, so Roy left the food on the table and moved to take the glasses from Al, setting them on a tray along with the drinks he’d brought.  The younger Elric continued to criticize his brothers cooking skills.
 
“Really brother, unless things have changed drastically in the last few months, I think ‘edible’ is a pretty generous description of your cooking,” the teen said, scooping up some napkins and setting them on the tray with the glasses. 
 
Ed crossed his arms over his chest defensively.  “I eat my own cooking all the time,” he said indignantly.  “I think it’s fine.”
 
“I’ll admit that you’ve mastered some simple dishes,” Al allowed as he located the salt and pepper, depositing them on the tray as well, “but anything at all complicated is really out of your league.  Remember the time you tried to make that Drachman dish with the herbed potatoes?  I thought we were going to have to change your name to the Charcoal Alchemist, since ‘Flame’ was already taken.”
 
Ed stopped peeking into the little packages printed with Xingese characters and shot his brother a venomous glare, which did absolutely nothing to discourage the younger alchemist. The next sentence however dropped the real bomb.
 
“You said the Colonel could cook.  Maybe he should give you a few lessons,” Al said casually as he clattered a fistful of chopsticks onto the table.
 
Both Roy and Ed froze.
 
So, the Elrics had been talking about him. Damn Riza for not letting him out any sooner.
 
And was it his imagination or was Al trying to hook him up with his brother?  Not that Roy minded of course.  It just felt rather . . . strange.
 
If I want to learn to cook, I can do that by myself.” Ed snapped as he scooped up a few of the packages as well as some chopsticks, carrying them into the living room.
 
Alphonse hastily grabbed a bottle of water before snagging two more packages, and followed his brother out of the kitchen.
 
Despite the feeling that there was more going on here than it seemed, and the distinct impression the he was about to enter a mine field, Roy loaded the last of the food onto the tray with the glasses and cutlery and followed the Elrics into the living room.
 
When he entered the room, he stopped dead in the doorway, staring at the spectacle. Both brothers seemed to have forgotten he was even there, and –
 
It was a good thing Roy had ordered considerably more that he thought he’d actually need.
 
The Elrics hadn’t wasted any time getting started on dinner.  They didn´t even appear to care about exactly what they were eating, literally inhaling the food at an astounding rate. 
 
Not that it inhibited their ability to carry on their conversation.
 
“I´m sure you’re cooking would improve faster if the Colonel gave you some guidance.” Al managed to get out, impressing Roy with his ability to speak coherently with his mouth filled to capacity.
 
The Colonel left the tray on the coffee table and went to take off his shoes by the front door, keeping his attention on the brother’s exchange.  What Roy needed was information, and listening to not only what was being said, but also how, was his best option for getting it.  He needed to know how much progress the brother’s had made in mending their relationship.  He needed to know if Edward had revealed any details about his exile in the other world to his brother.  And he had to know if Edward was still pissed off at his former commander. 
 
“I don´t need Roy’s guidance. Or anyone else’s.” Roy heard the older brother grumble.  “I can do things on my own without anyone messing in my business.”
 
Roy returned to the living room to discover the Elric’s glaring at each other while swallowing food as if it might suddenly jump up and make a break for the door.  Sitting down on the couch next to Ed, Roy felt a bit left out.  Despite the fact that he was part of what they were arguing about, Roy had the distinct impression that they had simply forgotten him.
 
Al had lowered his chopsticks to glare more effectively at his brother.  “You really should be grateful for any help a friend might offer, brother. The Colonel -“
 
“- is present.” Roy informed the blonds dryly while he took off his gloves.
 
Ed almost choked on his food, only then seeming to notice the man sitting next to him. The Flame Alchemist tried his best not to feel insulted by this. Instead, he made use of the opportunity presented by the break in this conversation to take an active part in it.
 
“It would be my pleasure to give you any lessons you might desire, Edward,” he offered with a smirk, true intentions clearly evident in his smooth tone.
 
Which earned him Ed’s undivided attention.
 
Instantly, golden eyes locked to onyx, and Roy felt himself drawn in by their intensity. The blond alchemist might still be angry, but Roy was sure the man was intrigued by what Roy was implying, however reluctant he might also be to let go of his anger.  Considering the way his gaze momentarily drifted to Roy’s lap before returning to meet his eyes, Ed was definitely giving it some thought.
 
Heavy coughing from the other side of the table forced both of them back to reality. Ed blinked and resolutely looked away from the Colonel, a slight blush spreading across his cheeks. The Flame Alchemist couldn´t say if he was embarrassed about having his resolve crumble, or if it was his brother’s presence.
 
“Okay, maybe you’re right about not needing lessons from the Colonel,” Al said once he had regained his breath.
 
What the -? Why the hell did the younger Elric look like someone had just kicked the part of his anatomy responsible for fatherhood? A few minutes ago Alphonse seemed to be shoving his brother into Roy´s arms.
 
Ed didn´t mind his brother’s sudden change of attitude. His triumphant smirk was soon wiped away however. 
 
“I mean, you do,” Alphonse amended, nervously biting his lower lip.  “Just for, you know, cooking.  Not for . . . other stuff.”  The younger alchemist’s face was beginning to resemble a silver eyed, blond tomato.  “Or well, yes, for some other stuff,” he stammered, “but not the kind of other stuff that’s, you know, private.  Or maybe ‘intimate’ is a better word.  Or not.  I, um, don’t really... ” Al’s face got even redder. 
 
Both the former and the current State Alchemists looked at him, Edward frowning, the Colonel’s right eyebrow rising at the younger blond’s strange behavior.  Roy had no idea what Al was driving at. All he knew for sure was that this conversation no longer had anything to do with Edward’s culinary skills. The younger teen was making less sense by the second, but Roy couldn’t bring himself to stop the boy.   Finally, Al threw his hands in the air and addressed Roy directly.
 
“Colonel, couldn´t you just give Brother some advice on the social aspects, and leave the physical stuff aside?”
 
“The social aspects of . . .?” Roy echoed, keeping his face completely neutral. What the hell were they talking about?
 
“Of a relationship,” Alphonse said, eyes serious. “For example, the right way to talk to someone you care about and -“
 
“I don´t need the Bastard for that!” Ed shouted in outrage.
 
“That’s what you meant when you told your brother he needed lessons?” Roy asked, working hard to keep his amazement out of his voice.
 
Al nodded.
 
Damn, this was almost as convoluted as feminine logic.  Well, Al had been living with the Rockbell women for the last couple of years, and Al’s thought processes were bound to have been affected by all that female influence.  Even so, this whole discussion was a mess. And the worst thing was, Roy was pretty certain that he was still missing something.
 
Before he could comment, Ed cut in.  
 
“What makes you think that this Bastard could teach me anything?” Ed vehemently protested his younger sibling’s suggestion.  “In all the years I was under his command, he never told me shit!”   
The alchemist turned to his former commanding officer. “You’re just a manipulative Bastard and I refuse to be treated like your damn puppet again!” Ed snarled at him.
 
“Ed, that´s not -“ the Flame Alchemist began, but the former Fullmetal was not finished.
 
“You can´t just go ahead and fuck around in my business!” Edward snapped.  “What I told you, I trusted you to keep to yourself!  I didn´t tell you so you could use it against me and –”
 
“Brother, that´s enough, the Colonel was only trying to help you!”
 
It was only through great effort of will that the Colonel did not send a sour look in the direction of his self proclaimed advocate.  “Al, I´m perfectly capable of . . . “ ‘handling your brother on my own’ was not something he should say out loud with the referred to brother present.
 
Thankfully, that strange sense of whatever it was that made Al think ‘taking cooking lessons’ might be equated with ‘accepting advice in private matters’ probably made finishing that sentence unnecessary.
 
“Right.” Al placed the almost empty food box he had been attacking on the table before addressing his brother. “I can´t believe you´re being this stubborn!” He couldn´t? Roy had no problem with that. “And if you value my opinion even the slightest bit –“ Ouch, that was way below the belt after everything that happened, but the Colonel felt no desire to tell Al that. After all, he was the one benefitting from it. “ – then you would at least try to talk with the Colonel about it!”
 
Ed opened his mouth in protest, but no sound came out. Obviously, Alphonse’s barrage had hit it’s mark. And the boy wasn’t even finished.
 
“And I mean talk,” Al stressed, finger stabbing into coffee table amidst the take-out cartons.  “No fighting, no screaming. Try to solve this diplomatically.” Damn, he was good. And as a cherry on the top, the kicked puppy was back, staring at the mean brother who just wouldn´t listen.
 
Alphonse dealt the finishing blow. “Please, Brother.”
 
There was no way Ed could refuse him. Roy didn’t think he would have been able to either. And just as predicted – or rather, planned by Al – the former Fullmetal sighed in defeat.
 
“Fine,” he said grudgingly.  “We’ll talk.”


Chapter 25 Part 2

Date: 2011-10-29 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binaryalchemist.livejournal.com
Agggghhh!! ::dies of cliffhanger disease:: MOAR!! NOW!!! Arrgghhhh!!!!

Date: 2011-10-29 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cr-jarnsaxa.livejournal.com
o.O Damn, you´re fast.... sorry to say, I´m not that fast at writing XD But I will do my best to update soon *cough* even though these days I´m rather slow u.u
Now, I should probably go search for a defibrilator or something else to reanimate you XD

Date: 2011-10-29 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binaryalchemist.livejournal.com
Death by delicious fanfic...hang on, let me look at some naughty pictures of Roy and Ed pretzled up and all sweaty and romantic...ahhh...REVIVED!! And I can't say crap about slow updating--I was just so delighted to see your update and devoured it! This is such a terrific storyline!

Date: 2011-10-29 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cr-jarnsaxa.livejournal.com
XD I´ll have to keep that "medicine" in mind ^^
I´m really happy (and blushing ^^°) you like the story so much, but seing as you comment on the first part... you did see there is part 2 linked at the end, did you? ^^ you reviewed so fast, I´m not sure it was linked yet when you finished reading :D As for your updating: Good things take time ^.~ I´m still excited every time I see your name on top of my fav or alertlist on ffnet ^^

So, that leaves only one question open: where exactly are these pictures you mentioned? XD

Date: 2011-10-29 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binaryalchemist.livejournal.com
I just read and commented on Part 2--which I will read again slowwwwly after dinner (I have one of my Official Roy/Maes Spinach Quiches in the oven ready to be attacked by a table of ravenous friends) Part two is...whooo!!
RE updates--tonight I will finish off the next chapter of Whole Lives where Ed and Roy have a little "private time" long distance before Ed and the crew of the Xerxes arrive in Drachma, with the Castellan--and another SURPRISE GUEST--in tow. Stay tuned!!

Date: 2011-10-31 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cr-jarnsaxa.livejournal.com
\o/ Yay, I saw it in my alerts list XD And after reading it, I have no idea why people consder ME mean XD You, my dear, are a master in this art :D

Date: 2011-10-29 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] binaryalchemist.livejournal.com
And as for those pictures--you need to visit the Aarin Fantasy Gallery under Roy/Ed....tons of breathtaking pictures there!

Date: 2011-10-31 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cr-jarnsaxa.livejournal.com
It might be shocking, but I didn´t know the side ^^ thank you! There are a lot of pics I haven´t seen yet ^-^

Date: 2011-11-27 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lazylamia.livejournal.com
Roy’s seduction routine did it’s magic – so far.
I wondered if Al is really so oblivious or rather he tries encourage Roy not to give up, but Al put a cat among the pigeons talking saying the words: advice, relationship and colonel in one sentence…

Date: 2011-12-30 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cr-jarnsaxa.livejournal.com
Al is trying to clear a few things ^^ he´s far less oblivious than Roy would have liked XD
Yes, that sentence was quite strange XD I bet it´s the second one in existence with these words included. the first was probably from Hughes telling that Roy should take his advice in regards to relationships ^^°

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