Rating: NC-17 for adult content, yaoi and language
Parings: Roy/Ed, past Hughes/Roy, Alphonse/A Cast of Thousands,Winry/Pitt Renback from the FMA novel “Under The Faraway Sky”
SPOILERS: post manga, stand-alone story from the Half Lives ‘verse
SUMMARY: A friendly game of cards on Solstice eve is interrupted by a drunken ex-State Alchemist—and Roy’s life is about to be turned upside down by the former Fullmetal….
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FMA HOLIDAY SPECIAL: A MIDWINTER’S TALE
PART TWO: “RUNK” AND DISORDERLY
By The Binary Alchemist 2013
Solstice. “Cold as a well-digger’s ass with brass balls”, according to Havoc, who had the brilliant inspiration of having Sebastian fetch in a steaming urn of fresh brewed coffee and a tray of tall glasses. Draping a serviette over one arm, he lashed each serving with a generous dollop of warm brandy and floated cream over the top, sprinkled with fresh grated nutmeg. “Remember drinking this back at Fort Briggs during the winter war games, Chief?”
“Yes,” I muttered as my companions chuckled. “Very effective in softening the memories of how badly we were beaten by the Briggs soldiers.” Not to mention how badly I was beaten by their commander, Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong—literally. While our soldiers fought for prestige and respect, we played for forfeits. If Central was victorious, she would surrender information. If Briggs won—as they inevitably did—let us say that the Major General had no interest in any information I might have offered. I am well aware of long standing rumors of my being bound, naked, to her desk and being ill-used with all manner of penetrative devices after having my backside soundly paddled and being ordered to lick the Major General’s boots. I’m sure I don’t have a clue how those rumors got started. I won’t say that I didn’t receive some minor humiliations—perhaps some coarse speculations about my manhood and the manhood of my soldiers. But under no circumstances did the Major General ever strike my buttocks with her own sword. Beyond that…well….no comment.
At any rate, the glasses were filled and touched rim to rim in a toast to our Briggs victories—well, the one we might have on one occasion had if they hadn’t ambushed me and my officers, hog tied us at gun point and dragged us five miles through the icy underbrush before laying our battered bodies at their commander’s feet. Kain was about to deal us another hand of cards when I heard my butler, Sebastian, discreetly hemm-hemming at the doorway. As President Elect, old Grumman, my predecessor, had sent the Presidential Major Domo to the house I had been renting in Central prior to my swearing in at the new year. I found him highly competent and highly unnerving, silent and elegant as a sleek black cat, all the more so if you knew he was a Black Ops bodyguard who could probably cut your head off without spilling a single drop of your blood on his immaculate uniform.
“General Mustang, forgive the intrusion. You have a visitor. Mr. Elric is outside.”
I frowned. What the hell was Ed doing here? I hadn’t contacted him with any assignments, although he had developed an odd habit of turning up unexpectedly in Central now that Alphonse was in Xing. Considering he was now married and the father of a young son this seemed quite peculiar. He had been mustered out with a pension, having lost his alchemic abilities and was no longer able to serve in his former position, although I conferred with him in a number of research projects on alchemic history and theory. It had been assumed that he would retire to Resembool and somehow make himself useful at his wife’s automail shop, venturing out, now and then, to study abroad . If anything, he seemed more restless and irritable than ever.
“Show him in, Sebastian,” I sighed, not eager to have this convivial evening interrupted by a touchy, argumentative ex-alchemist.
“I attempted to escort our guest in. However,” he added, with a faint hint of disapproval, he informed me that he needed to be…unwell.”
“In the hedges. I shall cover it up with fresh snow as soon as he is able to navigate the stars.”
“Sebastian, I’m a soldier, and I don’t mince words. Ladies are ‘unwell’. Gentlemen vomit---and if Edward Elric is throwing up in my front yard I suggest you pick him up bodily and drag him inside before he decides he also needs to relieve his bladder. And if he gives you any crap, call and I’ll take care of him.” I tugged on the cuff of my right glove for emphasis.
“Very good, Sir.”
It took about ten minutes of persuasion—possibly a few very discreet threats—but Sebastian got Ed inside before causing a scene for the neighbors.
He looked like hell. That’s being generous. His grin was a little too tight and there were circles under his eyes. He was rumpled, as if he’d slept in his clothing during a lengthy train ride. His battered valise was hanging from one hand. The other groped for the doorjamb. Once he found it, he tried to lean against it and missed, tumbling ass over elbows across the carpet, whacking his head on the side of my drinks cabinet.
He swore and pointed furiously at the doorjamb. “It moved.”
I was raised by my father’s younger sister, who ran a very well known establishment in Central. There was a bar downstairs to entertain the gentlemen callers waiting their turn for …horizontal refreshment, as it was sometimes called in those days. I grew up in that ‘house of many sisters’ and earned my first cens carrying drinks to their guests. Once I mastered the art of mixing a first rate highball—about the age of seven---I would run back and forth from the bar, carrying orders and pocketing coins. One of the first things I learned from the bartender was the Stages of Inebriation:
Stage one: the customer is buzzed and talkative
Stage two: the ‘high’ stage. the customer’s bar stool is getting comfy and the men sitting next to him are either ‘the best pals in the world’ or ‘sodding bastards that need their balls kicked up their necks”
Stage three: the customer is drunk. They either get soppy and sentimental, whoop and dance on the tables, threaten to cut someone’s nuts off, or melt into a grinning puddle behind a cigarette and another cold pint of whatever.
Stage four: they are ‘runk. . Words don’t hang together—they spill out like a ‘vowel movement’. They try to brush something off their shoulder…and it’s the carpet. I could pick their pockets with impunity before our bouncer rolled him up in his overcoat and slung him into a cab before he threw up all over the upholstered furniture.
I had seen Ed occasionally have a beer or nurse a small brandy now and then since reaching his majority at sixteen. He held his liquor well and drank like a gentleman.
For the first time in his life, Edward Elric was well and truly ‘runk.
Keeping his volatile temper in mind, I decided to play things cool. Thankfully, my team followed my lead.
Havoc caught my eye. “I have a friend named Mickey Finn….” Old barroom code for ‘let’s give him a big slug of something high octane and knock his sorry ass out and then let him sleep it off.’ He raised his eyebrows. I shook my head.
“Ed,” I nodded to my drunken guest. “Want a Briggs Icebreaker?” I indicated my glass of roped coffee. “Falman makes them better than Havoc.”
Falman looked surprised—even more so when I booted him under the table. Havoc winked at him. Hawkeye nodded. Breda stepped over to help Ed to his feet. “Falman, Sebastian’s got the good stuff in the kitchen. Do the honors, will ya?”
A few minutes later, Falman arrived with a steaming hot glass of fragrant coffee, an artistic squiggle of whipped cream on the top. Ed nodded his thanks and drank deeply.
Falman, I might mention, is a strict teetotaler. He’s not opposed to alcohol. He doesn’t like not being in full control of himself at all times. Sebastian keeps rum and brandy flavoring extracts in the pantry and Falman uses them when he has an Icebreaker. All of the taste, none of the getting wasted. Ed’s glass had double-strength coffee, brandy extract and a whomping dose of sugar. By the time it hit his stomach he would get a caffeine jolt that could make a grown man’s hair stand on end. ..
….or it could make him throw up all over the card table before passing out, face down in a bowl of peanuts…..
TO BE CONTINUED…..