An Office Relationship

The trouble with having one’s relationship as an open secret was that no one looked the other way.

As long as it wasn’t official, even if everyone knew what was going on, people would stop to gawk, or stare, or even try to catch them in the halls — though certainly they were professional as they could be in the office, and their general idea of a “date” was for Ed to bring his research books over to Roy’s house and fall asleep on his couch. He couldn’t even greet Ed now, without someone in the background laughing, or coughing, or both.

This, however, was the final straw.

“Lieutenant,” he said, his eyebrow twitching, “what is this?”

Black Hayate yipped obligingly and wagged his tail. He was stationed right inside of Roy’s door, his ears perked up and forward, looking on the alert. Hawkeye looked at him serenely, the day’s paperwork held in her arms. “Insurance, sir,” she said. “To make sure you actually get your work done, and don’t sneak off to see Edward in the meantime.”

“Sneak off,” he said. “I wouldn’t do anything like that, Lieutenant.”

She held out the paperwork, her expression unchanging. “Then, it’s to make sure you don’t smuggle him into your office,” she said. “These need to be finished today, sir. Please don’t slack off.”

Roy sighed and took the files from her; the stack felt depressingly heavy. “Do I even get a lunch break?” he asked.

If she noticed the whine in his voice, she didn’t say. “Half an hour, sir. Any longer than that, and you start slacking off again.”

He opened his mouth to protest, and she left him at that, closing the door firmly behind her. Roy set his chin on hand and studied the dog. The dog blinked back.

“I could always go through the window,” he said. “It’s a long drop, but I can always transmute an escape route first.”

Black Hayate’s ears went back, and he growled. It was the first time Roy had ever heard him make such a sound. Surprised, he stared, and Hayate growled again, deeper and more meaningful.

“… Right, right,” Roy sighed, and set to work.

Ed appeared nearly an hour later, opening the door and almost tripping over the dog. “Hey,” he said. “What the fuck?”

Roy glanced up at him and smiled, wryly. “We’re being chaperoned,” he said.

“By the dog.” Ed’s look was disbelieving. “You’re fucking kidding me.”

“I have learned, Fullmetal,” Roy told him, “that when Lieutenant Hawkeye tells you something, it’s much safer to believe her than otherwise.” He glanced at the dog, then put his pen down. “But I don’t think she’d begrudge us a greeting.”

Ed looked suspicious. Black Hayate rose to his feet and wagged his tail.

“You’re so fucking weird,” Ed sighed, though he closed the door behind him and crossed over to Roy’s desk. “They know anyway, so why –”

“Because,” Roy said, leaning forward in his chair, smiling as Ed hitched up one hip on the edge of the desk, “it’s always good to keep your options open.”

Ed scowled at him blackly. “You’re an asshole,” he said. “I’m not doing this for your ego, you know.”

“I know.” Roy reached out and caught Ed’s chin, pulling him down for a brief kiss. It tasted like coffee, unsweetened, and Roy made a pleased sound, letting his hand slide up to Ed’s nape, cradling there. Ed grumbled at him through the kiss, but didn’t fight it, and even shifted closer.

And then he yelped, breaking the kiss and sliding off the desk. “Ow! Hey, what –”

Black Hayate shook his head, with part of one of Ed’s pant legs in his mouth. He growled.

“You really weren’t kidding about the chaperone thing,” Ed said, sounding bemused. “Ow, leggo, dog.” He shook his foot until Hayate let go and sat down, wagging his tail.

“I told you,” Roy said, with a shrug. “Lieutenant Hawkeye has trained him well.”

“Yeah.” Ed blinked, leaning back against the desk. “I can’t make out while a dog’s watching.”

“You were doing fine before, Fullmetal.”

“I forgot the dog was there.” Ed made a face. “I dunno, it’d be like … like some kid was watching. Ugh.” He shuddered, then shook his head. “You got your damn greeting. I’m going to be in the library till you get off work. If I’m not there, send a search party.” He stood and stretched, cracking his neck; for such a young man, his joints popped enough that Roy’s own ached in sympathy.

“Is that all?” Roy raised an eyebrow. “One kiss and an IOU? Fullmetal –”

“I’m a lousy date,” Ed said with a shrug, “but hell, I’m a good lay.” He rolled his eyes. “Plus, I don’t wanna be on the business end of Lieutenant Hawkeye’s gun. Get some work done, piece of shit Colonel. I’ll see you later.” He tossed a wave over his shoulder and was gone, leaving Roy with the dog and a half-finished stack of paperwork. Roy blinked after him, then looked down at the dog.

“Damn,” he said.

Black Hayate barked and wagged his tail.

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