I'm dealing with work issues and serious writing has been sidelined, but have a fluff vignette.
Title: In the Cards
Pairing: light Roy/Ed
Summary: "If I win, you come to dinner with me, at a place of my choosing,"
"You're bending the cards."
"Give me those." Roy snatched the deck of cards and started shuffling them himself.
Ed gave him a sour look, all but sticking out his tongue. "You try shuffling with automail."
"I'm sure you'd be doing fine if you weren't trying to show off."
"You were too."
Off to the side Hawkeye rolled her eyes before going back to her filing and Roy suppressed a smirk. He was well aware of how juvenile they sounded but couldn't care. This penny-ante game with Fullmetal was just about the most exciting thing to have happened all day, if he didn't count Havoc and Breda's paper glider battle.
"Are you going to deal or are you trying to stack the deck?"
"You insult me."
"I'm not about to put anything past you, Colonel Shit."
"Takes one to know one."
This time Ed did stick out his tongue. Roy smirked and set the deck down for cutting. "How about we change the stakes?" he offered.
Ed leered. "Why? Running out of pocket change?"
In truth he was, Ed had won four out of their five games, but that wasn't the point. "Just thought we'd make things a little more interesting. If you're up for it."
The young man eyed him, wary. "What did you have in mind?"
He smiled, and pretended to think as he dealt out the cards. "Mm . . . how about dinner."
Ed visibly startled. "The hell?"
"If I win, you come to dinner with me, at a place of my choosing," he explained smoothly. "Just a chance to chat and catch up without you running off to the library or the train station."
His eyes narrowed. "And if I win?"
"What do you propose?" Roy half expected Ed to tell him to shove it but he thought it was worth a shot.
The blond chewed his lip, glancing off to the side. "Um. . . ." He looked back with a wicked grin. "How 'bout if I win, you stay off my ass for a month? No bugging me about reports and checking in."
He effected a put-upon sigh. "Very well. Though I don't see how those are equivalent." It hardly mattered if Ed checked in or not, the rumor mill always kept Roy well updated. The young alchemist didn't seem to have a clue just how much of a scene he usually caused.
"Take it or leave it."
A few minutes into the round Roy had all but given up hope. With two pairs, eights high, his chances of winning weren't great. Especially since Ed seemed to have a knack for finding straights and flushes (there was something about that).
"I call. Let's see what the damage is." He lay down his hand.
"Fine." Ed grumbled over his cards, turning them over with great reluctance.
A pair of fives.
The older man smirked. "Well. It looks like your lucky streak has run its course."
Ed glowered. "You stacked the deck."
"Hardly. My hands are talented, but not that talented. I'll pick you up at eighteen-thirty, then?"
"Yeah. Whatever." The young man stood, tugging on the sleeves of his coat.
"If you would rather renegotiate . . ." he offered in a moment of sudden guilt.
"A deal's a deal," Ed insisted. "But I guess if I'm going to get anything productive done today I better go do it now."
Roy couldn't help but smile as he watched the youth stomp out of the office. That may have been a bit underhanded, but the Elrics stayed in the city so rarely he couldn't be blamed for wanting to spend a little time with the brat. He'd known him for years yet hardly felt like he knew him at all. Besides, he had won fair and square.
He heard Fullmetal's disgruntled snarling in the hallway, and then the familiar clanking that heralded the younger Elric's arrival.
Alphonse crossed to his desk, one hand raised to point back toward the hallway, and Roy had a sudden feeling of foreboding. "Colonel? Did you just . . . win a date with my brother? At poker?"
He wondered how fast he would have to talk to make it out of this alive. "Now Alphonse, he agreed to the terms before we played—"
"Oh—no, it's not that. It's just—if I'd known you were going to play him at cards, I would have warned you: Brother cheats."
Roy's brain stalled out. "Cheats?'
"He hides cards up his sleeve and then switched them out. He's really slick about it, too; I know he does it and I still have trouble catching him."
"Is that so," he said weakly.
"I'll have him ready by six, all right?"
". . . Yes. That would be fine."
After the boy left, Roy had to threaten his men with a scorching to get them to stop snickering.
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