Author: Katalin Bakonyi
A/N: I couldn't find Breda's rank for the life of me. I hope I guessed right. If I'm wrong, please correct me? Thank you!
A shrill scream of “Who are you calling a miniature bean-sprout?!” was nothing new to the personnel at Central HQ, so the staff in the hallways didn’t really pay much attention to it. State Alchemist Edward Elric screaming himself hoarse was a common occurrence, especially when he was within the office of Colonel Roy Mustang.
Inside that office, though, something new was about to happen. Something new and frightening.
Alphonse Elric just stood behind his brother as usual, armor hands clasped together anxiously as he watched the entire staff take turns at teasing Edward. Normally it was never this bad – most of the people they worked with were very nice. Frankly even the Colonel didn’t insult his brother as often as Edward felt that he was being insulted, but still, Alphonse was a gentle soul and firmly believed that if one didn’t have something nice to say, than they shouldn’t say anything at all. Even one insult was one too many, and there had already been far more than what Al considered to be his brother’s fair share of verbal abuse today. Every day. Everywhere they went. Always someone calling his brother--
“I am not short goddamnit!!”
Well, he was. And also foul-mouthed, a kid, arrogant, hot-tempered and violent.
But that didn’t mean people needed to say it to his big brother’s face. That was just rude. His brother had dozens upon dozens of good attributes that they could say something about, but it was always the negative that people were noticing! That was hardly fair.
Finally, Alphonse decided that enough was enough.
“Excuse me.” The stillness in the room was tangible as everyone, including his brother, stopped their bickering to look at the looming suit of armor that had been so silent they had almost forgotten it was there entirely. “But it’s not nice to make fun of someone for something that’s not their fault.”
Everyone was staring at him, and despite the fact that he shouldn’t be able to feel things, Al could swear that he could feel their gazes hanging on him. “Um. I mean. Calling Brother short--" He could see his brother bristling just from hearing the word uttered aloud “--is like making fun of the Colonel because he’s old, or Sergeant Breda because he’s fat, or Major Armstrong because he’s bald, or Lieutenant Hawkeye because she’s flat-chested or--" Each additional example seemed to drop from Al’s figurative lips like figurative bricks, drawing out a flinch from each individual that was highlighted by his observations.
“--Warrant Officer Farman because he has gray hair and funny eyes, or Lieutenant Havoc because he can’t get a girlfriend. Oh. Well, I guess that’s technically his fault, so um, maybe for smoking? Wait, no, that’s his fault too, um--"
“Al!” his brother’s voice was more urgent now, but Al continued to ramble on, the weight of twelve angry eyeballs on him doing nothing to restore the confidence that he was rapidly losing.
“W-well um, I guess it’s not his fault that he’s so tall and probably makes other people feel uncomfortable when he looms over them instead of sitting down in the break room and--"
“Ah…um….y-yes, Brother?” He was getting some very unfriendly looks now, and decided that it was distinctly unfair that he said things that were no worse than calling his brother short, and everyone started looking at him like he was some sort of criminal.
“I. Uh. I think they get it.” Ed was backing away from the rest of the office staff, snagging one of Al’s hands as he withdrew, dragging his younger brother along after himself.
“Oh. Okay. Well, I just wanted to say that it’s a little bit mean of them to--" The rest of Al’s words were cut off by the office door slamming behind him as his older brother dragged him to the relative safety of the hallway.
“Al, what the hell was that, huh? You were just standing there and then all of a sudden you start…start…!” Ed was making good time, dragging his brother in his wake despite the fact that Al, however hollow, weighed a good three or four times his weight. It would be wise to get both of them out of rifle range, and he wasn’t sure how far that Colonel Bastard’s sparks could travel so--
“I-I was just making examples, Brother. I mean…people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, right?” Al ran after his older brother, letting himself be pulled along like a tin can on a string. They finally came to a stop when they were three blocks away from headquarters, hiding in an alley. Edward was panting, and decided that they had enough of a head start in case retribution was coming. He glanced up at his younger brother, who didn’t seem at all sorry for what he had said, simply embarrassed to have called so much attention to himself. Ed smirked just a little in amusement. The jerks had had it coming anyway.
“And people who live in glass houses shouldn’t piss off seven feet of steel armor, huh?” If a suit of armor could blush, Ed suspected his little brother would have somehow managed it right about then.
“Ah. Yeah.” Studying his feet carefully, Alphonse caught his older brother smiling at him, and decided that maybe saying mean things wasn’t so incredibly terrible, if it was in the defense of someone important.
Comments, critiques, etc.? I live for comments *_*