lilang_luha (lilang_luha) wrote,

[FIC] Underneath - Part 19

Title: Underneath – Part 19: “Sweet Grapes”
Author: Lilang Luha
Rating: PG-13 here, R overall
Genre: romance, shonen-ai, comedy, fluff, drama, eventual AU? eventual smut?
Pairing: Roy x Ed, others
Author Notes: Don’t own FMA. Blah, blah, blah. See the Prologue.
xposted in: fma_yaoi, fm_alchemist, fullservicefma
Beta’s: jadedsilk
Status: Continuing
Spoilers: None
Summary: Ed in schoolgirl outfit. Love triangle, or octagon. Amestrian school. Drama and Quirk. Yadda yadda…

Previous Parts: Underneath-Prologue, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18,

A/N: Russell Tringham cameo for the Russell fans?? LOL

Part 19: Sweet Grapes

Edward did his best to avoid speaking to the Colonel. He didn’t want to face the man, and recently, the Colonel abided his silent request by keeping conversation to a minimum. The man even stopped his attempts to apologize and instead, emanated a rather quiet, cold façade every time they ran into each other. Ed, convinced that this was the way their interaction should be, didn’t question the abrupt change in manner. With Alphonse keeping himself busy with Ms. Steltz, the club, and Mr. Ho, the Colonel’s residence was like a graveyard inhabited by nothing but empty air. Hence, Edward kept as much time away from the place, busying himself with the after-school activities despite his hunch that nothing suspicious went on in the school.

Edward walked alongside Emily in the courtyard adjacent to St. Augustine and East State University. They were on their way to the Alchemy Club, which met with some of the university’s Alchemy students at the Alchemy Department in East State University (ESU).

“They conduct a number of different types of research,” Emily informed Ed. “it’s mostly research on how alchemy can help aid medicine. It’s a wonder what new-found technology can do.”

Edward frowned. Researching alchemy for medicinal purposes was always controversial in the Alchemist’s world. While politicians used it as leverage for people’s support and the people saw it as an action benefiting the common good, highly knowledgeable alchemists drew a skeptical eye to the whole spectacle. Though the research started with good intentions, the very idea also instilled a false belief that alchemy can cure illness. Alchemy can aid in disease prevention and alleviate symptoms, but it can never be able to cure anything. If it did, it was borderline human transmutation and there wouldn’t be a probable equivalent exchange.

Ed chose not to voice his opinion and merely nodded. Perhaps this was what the whole investigation on “suspicious activity” was about. “What exactly are they looking into?” Edward asked.

“Depends on which professor you speak to. Professor Foxx focuses on natural herbs as a means to prevent disease, while Professor Delaney focuses on hormone therapy for patients. They’re currently working together on a collaborative project regarding the Zonodreyne treatment. It’s all rather complicated and I wish I understood more of what they all talk about.” She shrugged. “Either way, being exposed to this kind of stuff is really enlightening.”

“Zonodreyne? Why in the world would a university research treatment that alleviates erectile dysfunction!?”

“Well… What? Oh! OH!” She blushed profusely. “They told me it was a fertility related drug!”

“I guess it’s half-true,” Ed sighed. Perhaps even the University staff was as dysfunctional as the ones in St. Augustine. “They must be researching it because they’ve got good funding on the project.”

“That’s true. Someone from the military is really driving the research.”

“Oh really?”

“I think it’s General Hakuro.”

Ed suddenly had a disturbing image of the General rigorously jacking himself, failing miserably, and then cursing his flaccid cock. Ed choked then cringed.

Emily and Edward arrived at the meeting, greeted by a small group, some college students and two girls clad in the Academy uniforms. The one thing that stuck out was the fact that every one of the members wore glasses.

Oh, God. I really am a nerd. the boy thought, admitting that his eyesight was growing weaker as he grew older. He knew eventually, he’d have to succumb to the curse of reading glasses at a young age.

“Emily! You brought someone new?” a university student said. He leaned close to Ed’s face. “Wow. A pretty one too!”

Ed wanted to yell that he wasn’t pretty. Instead, he coughed, saying, “Uh, thanks…”

The other students gathered around him, eager to introduce themselves and excited to see a new face. Initially, Edward felt overwhelmed by such scrutiny and excitement, but eventually found comfort once someone began a conversation about the new research findings and periodicals recently published by the ESU’s Alchemy Department. Edward found the entire ordeal fascinating but it also confirmed his initial suspicion that nothing illegal was going on at the after-school associations. The only fact worth reporting to the military was General Hakuro’s desperate funding on research for a cure to erectile dysfunction (and even that wasn’t illegal).

“Hey, guys! Sorry I’m late,” a voice by the doorway greeted. A tall figure with short blond hair smiled graciously. “Did I miss anything?”

Edward bristled upon seeing the person by the door. “IT’S THE FAKE!!!” he shrieked, earning bizarre looks from the rest of the group.

Russell Tringham stood rooted at the spot, gawking at Edward wearing the infamous Academy uniform. He burst out laughing on the floor with tears threatening to run down his face.

“You two know each other?” Emily asked. “Why is he laughing?”

Ed’s face reddened in anger and embarrassment. “Excuse us for a moment.” He dragged the laughing boy to the walk-in closet before kicking the door shut. Bottles and several glass tubes filled with thick liquid and solid pills shook from the impact. Luckily, none fell from the disorganized, rickety wooden shelves.

He let the laughter fade, having grown used to his attire as a source of everyone’s amusement.

The taller boy wiped the tears from his eyes. “What in the world are you wearing?”

Ed crossed his arms over his chest. “You know exactly what I’m wearing. Now answer my questions. What the fuck are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be home with your brother? Why are you posing as a university student? Aren’t you a little young to be here?”

“I’m here for research on herbal substances. I figure it’d be a good place to find information on how to grow better lemons back home. No, my brother is perfectly capable of taking care of himself at home; he needs to oversee the fruit production there while I’m away. I’m posing as a university student because it’ll be much easier to gain access to periodicals and research material. And, yes I’m too young, but because I’m so tall for a fourteen year old, everyone thinks I’m of college age and accepted me for this semester.” He grinned at seeing Ed’s scowl. “Now my turn: why are you posing as an Academy girl? Shouldn’t you be with your brother? Why are you here?”

Ed made an exasperated sound then explained the situation.

After a moment, Russell commented, “Hmmm… looks like we’re both frauds. But I think your Investigations Department is a little confused.”

“No kidding.”

“I don’t think Alchemy club has anything to do with suspicious activities,” the taller boy informed. “But I do hear the university students talking about the Lacrosse Team involved in shady business.”

“The Academy Lacrosse Team? I wouldn’t think that just because most members are either the most prestigious of East City or extremely talented players.”

“The fact that the members are the richest and most talented is reason enough to become involved in something criminal. St. Augustine is known for its reputation on the field, so you never know how far people will go to upkeep that. Also, the players are probably spoiled enough to cause their own set of troubles.” Russell shrugged.

There was a faint, timid knock on the door. “Um, Edlynn? Russell? Are you still talking? We’re all about to start.”

“Yes, Emily, we’ll be right out.” Russell answered. He glanced at Ed. “I didn’t know you were good friends with Emily.”

“Yes, she’s actually a lot of fun.”


“What’s with that ‘hmmm’?” Edward demanded. “I hate it when people do that.”

“She is interested in alchemy, which is great, but I don’t know if she’s interested because she finds it fun. She always seems too eager to learn and just… desperate.” Russell scratched his blond head. “I don’t know, maybe I’m just being paranoid.”

“She’s just an intense learner,” the shorter blond said.

“Yeah, you’re probably right, but just letting you know…” He sighed. “We’d better head out; they’re probably wondering what’s going on.”

Edward nodded, sudden worry lines covering his forehead. Emily would never do anything bad.

“Oh yeah,” Russell said. “I’ve also been working with Professor Foxx on developing this.” He grabbed a corked tube from the shelf. “Here, it’s approved by the university and set into production for mass market.”

Ed eyed the contents of the tube, which looked like nothing more than thickened, slick water. “What is it?”

“A form of painkiller created by extracting oils from Phen Yung leaves. Specifically, it’s for aching joints, which probably happens a lot with all that automail you have. Rather potent, so only have half a tube at a time.”

“Oh.” Ed frowned. “Why are you being nice to me? You want something?”

Russell beamed gaily. “Equivalent Trade. That’s payment for making me laugh so hard. Truly, Ed, I never thought someone like you would make my day.”

The older boy tucked the tube in his breast pocket. “Jerk.”


The group lost track of time, and it was already dark once Ed began his trek home. He shivered, hugging himself from the cold as his breath clouded against the dark. The night bit through his skin, causing his automail ports to ache in protest. He now regretted not buying a new jacket sooner, because keeping warm tempered the pain a little. The distance from the school to the Colonel’s residence wasn’t too long, but his painful joints made five blocks seem like five miles. Perhaps it was good timing that Russell gave him the painkiller. He uncorked the tube and sniffed it. Despite the clearness of the liquid, it smelled a lot like grape juice.

Ah, hell, who cares? he thought while he gulped down half the contents.

The liquid was tasteless, almost like water, until a slight after-taste of sweet grapes burned in his throat. After that, nothing happened. Maybe the effects of the drug wouldn’t take effect until later. Or perhaps Russell didn’t know what he was talking about in the first place. Ed shrugged his shoulders and continued along as best he could.

After a few minutes, he began to feel oddly warm. The warmth spread from his belly to his entire body, making his joints feel much better in the process. He rejoiced in the fact that the pain went away and that he finally had a solution to his long, cold nights of aching joints. As he trudged on, his body temperature continued to rise until he was almost feverish and slightly dizzy. His joy faded when he felt his burning head and winced. His skin felt sensitive, almost tingly. Possibly it was a side-effect of the medicine.

He hugged himself a little tighter, vainly willing this strange sensation away. In spite of his sensitive skin, he found himself yearning to be touched. He was appalled to feel his cock pulsing between his legs and slowly hardening.

Oh, fuck. What’s happening? His mind spun. It wasn’t as if he’d never had horny nights. He was a normal fifteen year old boy who occasionally masturbated in the bathroom; but this feeling was intense and rather unnatural. He’d never felt so horny in his life.

He walked faster. He needed to get home to take one long, cold shower.


End Chapter 19: Sweet Grapes
Chapter 20: Lonesome Masturbation


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