Fic: “Nocturnal Omissions: Growing Up Elric (from the Alchemic Memoirs of Edward Elric)
Rating: Soft R-ish to be safe for adult humor
Genre: Gen Fic, coming of age, Ed vs. Roy, Ed vs Havoc –and Ed vs. Mother Nature. Crack to the max!
Blindsided by the onset of puberty, Ed is too embarrassed to discuss the changes in his body—and insists he’s gotten all the knowledge he needs about the birds and bees from his research.
Unfortunately, he’s been researching in the alchemy section of the Central Library…
**Feedback deeply appreciated!***
Nocturnal Omissions: Growing Up Elric
From the Alchemic Memoirs of Edward Elric
By The Binary Alchemist, 2010
“So…what was it like growing up on the road?”
“Geeze, what the hell kinda question is that?? You were there, Al!”
That was a weird assed question—at least that’s what I thought when my brother suggested I settle down and begin the boring process of writing my damned memoirs. “Look, Ed—you need to get this story down on paper so it doesn’t get lost. I want my children to hear more than just my side of what happened all those years when we were kids looking for the Philosopher’s Stone.”
I took another swig of beer and tore though about half my sandwich before I figured out what the hell he was referring to—and when it sunk in it really pissed me off.
My devious little brother was referring to puberty. Mine, to be specific. And frankly that’s nobody’s goddamn business.
Let’s look at the facts, right? I got certified at twelve. Before that, a year in hell getting the automail. You gotta figure that was one hell of a shock to my system as a growing boy. Plus, we know now my DNA’s not exactly standard issue, thanks to Hohenheim. Maybe that’s why it took a little longer for me to …you know.
See, Mom died when we were little so she didn’t have time to really tell us anything. Pinako was too busy keeping me alive and rehabilitating me to think about anything hormonal going on. And…shit, okay…I admit it kinda took awhile. I’m not sayin’ I wasn’t normal. Just sayin’ I already had that silver watch dangling on my belt before I paid much attention to what was dangling under it.
I think the first thing that was ever said was when I came in from one of my early field assignments and as we were going up the hall to Mustang’s office Hawkeye took a left turn up the hall instead of a right and gestured for us to follow her. She motioned for Havoc, whispered something in his ear and informed us that the Second Lieutenant would take us to the Colonel in a minute.
Havoc told me to wait, disappeared into the supply closet and came back with two towels, a bar of soap and a jar I didn’t recognize…
“Uhhh….what’s this all about?”
The cigarette shifted from one side of Havoc’s grinning mouth to the other. “Might be a good idea to clean up a little before you go see the Boss. Been on the road for awhile, right?”
Ed shrugged. “Yeah, awhile. Look, we gotta get this report to the Colonel and then we got a train to catch. I can clean up later, maybe.”
Havoc lowered his voice. “Ed, you stink, okay? I was trying to be subtle but for a guy with one armpit you smell worse than Breda after running the obstacle course.
“Hey! Who in the hell are you callin’—“
Havoc cut him off. “Pipe down, Ed. Look, it happens to every guy about your age—well, maybe a little younger. Body starts changin’, y’know? That’s one of the first signs. You stop smelling like a little kid and start needing deodorant. Hawkeye wasn’t going to say anything, but you could knock a buzzard off a shithouse—and when was the last time you changed those leather pants?”
Under a thick fringe of unwashed blond hair a large vein began to throb visibly on Ed’s forehead. A heavy metal gauntlet on his shoulder kept him from taking a swing at the grinning Second Lieutenant. “Brother, we have time. It would be nice to take a shower.” There was a familiar wistfulness in Al’s voice that made Ed pause. How long would it be before Alphonse could enjoy the simple pleasure of a hot shower or clean clothing against his bare skin?
He had shoved open the shower door , vigorously toweling his hair. “My shorts. I laid out out--?”
“Here.” Ed snagged them out of mid-air, followed by a fresh tank top Al had tossed after it out of his open suitcase. “Don’t forget to use that deodorant Second Lieutenant Havoc—“
“Aw, quit nagging me.” It was on the tip of his tongue to say it’s not as if you can smell me but he bit back his retort. Al was tough as the steel his soul was bound to, but he got his feelings hurt by the simplest of things sometimes…
Unscrewing the lid, he poked the gooey whiteness with a blunt finger. “Gross.” He’d been pestered with the sniffles; they had lingered even after he’d gotten over that pesky bug that had laid him low two weeks ago when he’d wound up being treated at that country dispensary where his childhood friend Pitt had been apprenticed. Dr. Norm had warned him he could relapse if he didn’t rest and take care of himself but all that had come of it was a stuffy nose that was inconvenient but not bad enough to slow him down on his journey to find the Philosopher’s Stone. “Al? What does—“ Aw shit, that’s right, he can’t smell it either. “Never mind,” he muttered and scooped up half a handful and slapped it under his armpit. “Ewwwww…” Cold and slick and disgusting. “Good thing I don’t have hair under my arm or it would get all matted up. Do adults do this every day?” he demanded.
“I guess they do if they don’t want to make other people throw up,” Al reckoned.
Ed breezed past Lieutenant Hawkeye with a wave of one hand. Her eyes grew wide. “Edward? Do I smell---“
“Later!’ Cheeks heated with embarrassment, he shoved open the Colonel’s office and after a perfunctory bow sprawled on one of the couches, tapping his metal fingers impatiently on the coffee table.
Mustang blinked. The corner of his mouth twitched. He stifled a cough, then cleared his throat before asking for Ed’s report.
A folder was tossed on the Colonel’s desk, accompanied by a machine-gun stutter of facts and observations, rattled off so fast Mustang didn’t even have a chance to scribble down any notes, much less doodle in the margin of his notepad.
Meanwhile something warm and runny was oozing out from under the arm Ed had flung over the top of the leather couch. It itched. He reached to scratch it and found his glove covered with white stickiness that was now melted all over the inside of his shirt. A dark greasy smear appeared on the leather. Panicked, he began squirming all over the couch, rubbing his sleeve and shoulder over the stain in hopes of wiping it off before the Colonel noticed…
Ed cut his eyes to his superior officer. “Huh?”
“Spring violets from Parma province.”
There was a disgusting trickle down his side, accompanied by a waft of something sickening that seemed to crawl right through the gallon or so of snot that clogged his sinuses. “Uh, what do you mean, Colonel?” he stammered nervously.
“Ladies love violets,” the officer purred malevolently. “They’re so fragrant…and so…tiny.” He took a sip of coffee. “Same as you.”
Ed had hastily shoved the deodorant jar in his pocket on his way out of the bathroom. He yanked it out and stared at it in horror. Fem-Guard. For A Woman’s Special Needs. For External Use Only. He flipped it over and scanned the warning label. Apply sparingly. Discontinue use if itching or burning or swelling of the vulva occurs. Do not use on sanitary napkins.
Mustang sniffed deeply. He knows. Ed felt his morning coffee churn unpleasantly with the breakfast he had wolfed down on the train this morning. Perverted dickhead like Mustang would know about stuff like…that. Did women actually use…?? A hideous mental image of Pinako Rockbell shoving her hand into her size-24 bloomer and dabbing Fem-Guard over territory he’d read about only in biology texts. The blood that had burned in his cheeks made a sudden beeline for his…
“Excuse me, Sir!” Vaulting over the back of the couch, Ed knocked down Heymans Breda and three MPs on his mad dash to the showers, stopping off at the men’s room on the way down the hall where he decorated the urinal nearest the door with a half digested fried egg sandwich, half a pound of crispy bacon, three waffles with extra butter and half a pot of Fuerher’s Choice Extra Dark Roast and the eleven spoons of sugar he had stirred into it.
Havoc popped his head in the shower room door. He was about to ask if Ed was all right…
“—but the kid was pawing at his dick and screaming something like ‘what kind of sick bastard AM I ??” I think he was trying to transmute the shower water into ice so he could—“
“—get the swelling to go down?” Snickering evilly, Mustang pulled a carton of cigarettes out of his desk drawer and tossed them to Havoc. “Here. A bet’s a bet.” He glanced at his calendar. “He’s scheduled for Assessment and a physical exam in six months. It’s going to cost you. Anyone else want in on this?”
Hawkeye stiffened. “Permission to speak freely, Sir?”
“As if I could stop you? At ease, Lieutenant.”
“Sir,” she began earnestly, “I don’t think this is appropriate. Going through adolescence is difficult enough without you and Lieutenant Havoc making jokes at Edward’s expense—“
“I appreciate your concern, Lieutenant. And off the record I’ll admit that I have made several attempts to make sure a responsible male discussed the mechanics of puberty with the Elric brothers—“
“—Sir, with all due respect, Major Hughes tends to be a little too enthusiastic about the subject. It might put the boys off—“
“—and Ed told him he’d read plenty of books and to shut the hell up and he didn’t want to discuss it further. Fine. If Ed’s become an expert on all the details about sexual maturity from a book on Alchemy or a medical biology text and doesn’t need our help….” The Colonel smirked and idly stirred his coffee with his finger before taking a sip. “Fem Guard,” he chuckled. “Havoc, that was sheer genius. But how did you know Ed would fall for it?”
Havoc ripped into the carton of cigarettes, ripped the seal off a pack and shoved a a filter-tip between his lips. “’Cause I thought about you, Chief.”
“What do you mean?”
“You guys are a lot alike. You’re both damn good alchemists, both brilliant—“
“He doesn’t read instructions or orders either. Can I have a light?”
Havoc’s eyebrows grew back. Eventually.
Havoc’s eyebrows grew back almost as fast as my pubes came in. But that’s another story…
…..TO BE CONTINUED….