kashiwrites: (Default)

(See Chapter 3)

He made his way along the dark hallway, guided by a wedge of lamplight that emerged from a half-opened door nearby to fall across the carpet and climb the wall on the opposite side. He could hear the murmur of voices, but couldn’t yet make out any words. The strip of light wavered and trembled a couple of times, forcing him to pause and blink until his eyes cleared.

Ed inched closer to the door, grateful for the plush carpet that masked whatever sound his steps might have made. His feet didn’t feel entirely steady right now, for some reason. He pressed his shoulder to the wall and leaned slowly forward, peering around the door jamb with one cautious eye, several strands of blond hair straying off his forehead to dangle at the edge of his vision. He saw Madam Chris and the colonel immediately, bending with their backs to him, over a thick ledger illuminated by two large lamps on either corner of a wide desk. Behind it ranged almost an entire wall of shelves filled with books.

“So,” Mustang mused quietly, “we don’t quite have enough.”

What Ed discovers )


kashiwrites: (Default)
(See Chapter 2)

Ed glanced sideways as he danced, watching the colonel a few feet away twirling Devra near the phonograph. One of the two dark-skinned women who lived and worked here, she had taken the long red scarf the man had given her and tied back her voluminous curly black hair. The ends of the scarf whirled about her brown dress as she turned, like ribbons around a may pole.

“Pay attention to your partner, Ed.” Jasmine’s fingers tightened slightly on his left hand. “When you’re just learning, you could end up kicking her in the shins if you aren’t attentive. Which could be disastrous with that metal foot.”

He jerked his head back, smiling sheepishly, and looked up at the woman currently teaching him some elementary dance steps. “Sorry about that,” he said. “There’s so much going on around here, I’m getting distracted.” He judiciously neglected to mention the after-effects of the glass of wine he’d gulped, rather too quickly, while the presents were being opened.

“But there’s always a lot going on, on a dance floor,” she reminded him. “Though in this place, things do get a bit...overwhelming sometimes.”

Further revelations )

(Chapter 4)
kashiwrites: (Roy pensive)

(See Chapter 1)

“So tell me,” Ed muttered under cover of the other conversations, “were you ever planning to explain what was really going on here, or would you have let me be humiliated the whole evening?” He finished cutting the slice of roast goose on his gilded plate, the heavy silver knife clinking on the china plate. He put a piece into his mouth, savouring the warm taste of the goose and the almost sultry accompaniment of its blackberry-cognac sauce.


Mustang, sitting to his right at the long, heavy dining room table, picked up a thick crystal goblet and took a delicate sip of his wine. His dark eyes gleamed with amusement as he replied, “Well, I probably would have stopped them if they really had started trying to undress you.”



Dinner and a revelation )
kashiwrites: (Roy pensive)

Ed pulled his red coat more tightly around his shivering body and let out a long, slow breath, watching it stream in front of him in a thin fog before it dispersed into the crisp, cold night air. There was no chance the colonel would see the foggy breath as his subordinate huddled here in the shadows: the man was too busy letting the three women on the porch of the big house next door make a fuss over him. If he’d just go inside and get it over with, Ed could go back to Al and their warm dormitory room, and this whole silly escapade would be over with.


He’d only stepped outside for some fresh air on this quiet New Year’s night, but when he’d caught sight of Roy Mustang sauntering through the quiet, gently snowing evening, enveloped in a long black coat, a canvas bag laden with presents hanging over one arm, he just hadn’t been able to resist following him. If nothing else, he wanted to see who in the world the man had in Central, to take that many presents to.


He should have guessed, when their course gradually took them outside the realm of plentiful street lamps toward the seedier, more shadowed part of town, the temperature continuing to drop as his ears and hands got colder and colder. But it wasn’t until Mustang stopped in front of a large three-story house on a corner facing a small courtyard with a little fountain in the centre (the water turned off for the winter), and began climbing the five steps up to the wide double doors, that Ed rolled his eyes with a private little sneer. Of course. That man and his women.


He knew what sort of house this was – and he knew what sort of work its female occupants did.



Ed gets more surprises than he expects )

(See Chapter 2


kashiwrites: (Default)

May 2012

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