Disclaimer -- Arakawa owns all
Rating -- teen
Characters/Pairing -- Roy, Riza, Alphonse
Timeline/Spoilers -- post 108
Word Count 1102
Warning -- none
Summary -- Al has a huge favor to ask
Author’s Note Al wanted me to do something from the moment he saw the prompt. I didn't think I had time with NaNo and all but this wrote in under a half hour. Guess Al really wanted to get it out there. Thanks to evil_little_dog for the beta. Written for fma_fic_contest's 'sweet' prompt
Roy glanced up as Riza stepped into his office. He still wasn't used to seeing her with her hair shorn. He didn't really like it, but what could he say? It reminded him too much of those frustrated teen days, where his master wouldn't let him so much as look at her. Of course, back then the boyish hairdo was a little less triggering of the need to spend quality time locked in the bathroom than, say, a lush fall of hair like his 'sisters' sported. What really bothered him about the new haircut was that he could easily see her scarred neck during those times they were alone, and that cut him to the bone.
Realizing she was giving him a look, Roy cleared his throat and asked, "Something wrong?"
"Alphonse Elric is here to see you," she said, a hint of bemusement in her tone.
Roy's eyebrows climbed. "He wasn't supposed to come by to compare notes for another week."
Riza glanced over her shoulder. "I don't think he has alchemy on his mind, or at least, he doesn't have any books or notes with him."
Curious, Roy closed the file he was working on. "Send him in."
Al came in, folding himself into the seat in front of Roy's desk almost primly. Hell, Riza's new haircut nearly looked like Alphonse’s. That would be all he'd be thinking about for the next hour. "Sorry for just dropping by, sir."
"Not at all, Alphonse. Is there something wrong?"
Al twisted in the uncomfortable chair, gazing back at the now-shut door then turned back around, surprisingly red-faced. "I was hoping it would be okay to come over to your house tonight and talk. I know I should have called but I was in the area."
"It's fine, Alphonse. What did you want to talk about?" Roy had a feeling this was about to get a little strange, judging by the rate Alphonse's face was gathering crimson.
"I'm tired of being the sweet brother!" he blurted out.
Roy blinked. That was not what he was expecting, or maybe it was. He sort of thought maybe it would be the big sex talk. After all, the boy had no father and Ed was useless in that department. "I'm sorry?"
"I'm too sweet. That's what all the girls say. ‘Oh Al, you're so sweet’, then they leave me standing there. It was embarrassing the last time I was in Rush Valley to visit Winry, and let's not even get into my last trip to Xing." Al slammed his hands down on the desk. "I don't want to stop being a nice guy but I….I don't even know."
"You want to be sweet and spicy?" Roy tried not to grin. The poor kid looked utterly flustered.
"Yes, damn it, that's what I want! I'm tired of getting treated like one of the girls. I'm always the guy the girls want to talk to, but never even think I might like to go out with them." Al brushed his bangs back. "I didn't know who to ask at first but you do have a certain reputation."
Roy leaned back in his chair, rubbing his fingers against his puffed chest. "A well earned one, yes."
"You were like sort of a big brother to us growing up, not that Ed would ever admit it. Besides, Ed is hopeless about this sort of thing, judging by Winry's grumbling. I tried asking Ling but he just handed me a picture book that was… uh, a little more advanced than I was aiming for." Al's bangs wouldn't need Roy's alchemy to catch fire with how hot his forehead was getting. "If you know what I mean."
"Oh trust me, my mother's people have a certain reputation in that department. I have a pretty good idea what book the young emperor handed you." Roy couldn't stop the smirk this time and Al scowled.
"I don't even see why being sweet is a bad thing," Al huffed.
"It's not, Al. Not at all. You're a delightful young man, and I'm pretty sure it's not your easygoing nature that's the problem. You spent your formative years in a very unique condition. You're still learning to relate to people again, and your biggest influence in learning to talk to women has been your brother. Let's face it, that was not helpful."
Al snorted. "No. Ed has no clue how to talk to women, not even ones he's known his whole life."
"We can assume Miss Rockbell will eventually straighten him out. As for you, you've been stuck with Edward as your main source in how to approach women and whatever you might have picked up hanging around this office. Damn, that leaves Havoc yammering to whoever was listening as a role model. Edward is almost better. No matter what Havoc says, staring at a woman’s breasts only infuriates them. You have to be sly about checking out their attributes." Roy wagged his head.
“I know, sir. I’m not sure Miss Hawkeye or Winry has ever caught me.” Al smirked.
Roy snorted. “You’re not allowed to look at Hawkeye,” he said, then got a piece of note paper out of his desk and penned a quick letter. Folding it, he handed it to Alphonse. "I'll meet you here later tonight."
"Madam Christmas at the Honey and Clover Pub?" Al shot him a quizzical look. "Is this any less advanced than Ling's book?"
Roy beckoned Al closer with a finger then said lowly, "She's my Mom, well my aunt but the only Mom I remember. She runs a hostess bar. I'll get my sisters to train you up right. You'll be a perfect gentleman when they're through with you. They'll teach you to capitalize on the sweet and add in the heat. I'll be there to give you a few pointers."
Al smiled. "Thanks. It's really okay, isn't it? I didn't overstep any boundaries, did I?"
"Not at all. I grew up with way too many adopted sisters. It's sort of fun to have a little brother." Roy grinned.
"Thanks, sir. I guess I'll see you tonight."
"See you later, Alphonse."
Roy watched him scurry out, obviously still a little embarrassed. Riza popped back into the room and leaned on the door jamb.
"Be gentle with him, sir," she said.
"Were you eavesdropping, Hawkeye?"
"You're not the only one who always wanted a little brother." She smiled faintly then headed back to work.
Roy picked up his abandoned file, his mind already on all the things he and his sisters could teach Alphonse. This would be fun.