Title: Study Time
Pairing: It's Crack; does it matter?
Synopsis: Homework at the Academy was an education in boredom.
Author's Notes: Originally written in 2005-06 by The Crack Alchemist
"Seinholz has a crush on you."
"Seinholz is a guy."
Roy looked up from the book in his face at his best friend. Maybe those lenses were a bit too strong today. "Seinholz can't have a crush on me."
Maes waited expectantly, pen poised above the paper in front of him.
Homework at the Academy was an education in boredom. Tonight's sleep-fest was the History of the Eastern Empires. They had made a gallant go at reviewing the first six chapters, but gave up somewhere near chapter two. The bottle of whiskey Roy had stolen from some upper-classman's girlfriend hadn't helped matters at all. Roy had seen the words isalt peter/I and had gone off on an alchemical tangent, and Maes... Maes had sprung this bit of idiocy into the air like those pictures of his dammed dog he kept shoving into Roy's face at the stupidest moments.
"How do you know Seinholz has a – crush – on me?"
"He told me."
Roy gaped. "When did he tell you?"
Interesting, the way Maes' voice faded off into the distance like that. "What do you mean yesterday? You were with me yesterday."
"It was after you went home with that girl from the bakery."
"That was about...midnight."
"Uh-huh–so tell me, what did the Emperor do to overthrow–,"
"You were with Seinholz after midnight yesterday?" Roy asked, amazed. "After curfew?"
"You tell anybody and I'll tell about Melissande in your closet during bed check last week."
Roy flushed. "That's not fair." He pushed his book away – he was so bored he couldn't even tell an Emperor from an Empress anyway, and grabbed the bottle. "You never have a Melissande in your closet during bed check. I don't have any good stuff to use against you."
Maes looked up at him and pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose. "What d'ya mean by that?"
"Just what I said. I have absolutely nothing to blackmail you with."
"That's not fair! I do stuff!"
"Yeah, with who?" Roy cupped a hand over his ear. "What? I didn't hear you? Oh, right, no one. 'Cause you're so clean, you squeak when you walk."
"All you do is read, play chess, and play with those pointy things you call knives."
"Yeah, well, those knives are a lot more effective than what you've got. You can't even work without that dammed lighter you stole from your sister. She still smoking those cigars?"
"Yeah, right after she shaves your sister's mustache."
"Would that be before or after your mother washes out her combat boots?"
"Hey, don't go bringing mothers into this. Yours has glasses so thick she can see into next year. She can see the future, even."
"At least she has glasses. Your baby sister stole the bottoms off of our milk bottles last week, just so she could milk the cow instead of the bull."
"Hm, now that you've successfully changed the subject, what were you doing with Seinholz after midnight?"
Maes dog-eared the page he'd been scribbling on before blurting, "Stuff."
That caught Roy's attention right away. Because Maes never did stuff. It was like he said; Maes read, played chess, and practiced with those knives. He talked to that girlfriend of his for hours. Stuff – unless it was phone stuff – never factored into an evening in Maes' dorm room. "What kind of stuff?"
Maes shrugged. "Just... stuff."
Roy thought about it for about twenty seconds. After all, he was a quick study. With addition of the hot, hot blush covering Maes' face, and the mumbling, and the avoidance of eyes, he got it. His eyes grew to the size of bread saucers. "You mean... the stuff I do with... with Melissande?" He squawked. "That kind of stuff?"
Maes waved his hands and tried to bend his nose back into the notes he was trying to make. "Never mind. Forget I said anything."
Roy let his friend get away with that for a few minutes. In that time, he studied his friend's profile, wondering.
Maes and he were the same age for the moment, sixteen. Neither of them had finished growing – or so their parents had told them – so they had pretty much the same build and were about the same height and weight. Roy scowled. Well, if he were being honest, he was... less tall than Maes. By about four inches. Well, six inches. Okay, almost a foot. But with their matching dark hair and same fair skin, they could have been brothers.
Was his friend attractive? Roy squinted. He supposed so. That hair was his main feature. It had grown almost to the middle of his shoulder blades; he kept it pulled back all the time to keep it from getting into his eyes. The Academy had made him get rid of at least four inches of it, and, if he knew Maes Hughes, the rest of it would be gone by graduation. Roy was jealous of that hair; his had refused to grow much longer than it had after his mother had to shave it off. He'd been seven and his sisters had fixed bows all over his head – with wood glue.
But, with that hair and those green eyes, Roy supposed that Maes could be considered handsome. As long as he didn't give that goofy smile, or squint, as he had a tendency to do.
"So... you did... stuff with Seinholz."
"Forget I said anything." Maes reached out and took a healthy swig of whiskey. And promptly choked.
"Nope, no way, no how," Roy pounded on his friend's back until Maes could breathe again. "Can't back out of it now." He poked his friend in the shoulder. "How?"
Maes looked up at him (ah, there was that squint!). "What do you mean, how?"
"How do you do... stuff... with a guy."
"Well," Maes sat up and yanked his glasses off, rubbing his eyes furiously before putting them back on. "You kind of... and then you..." He threw up his hands, flipping the pen into the air. "Oh, I can't tell you!" He spent a good five minutes scrabbling under the table for the pen, while Roy sat there with a smirk and his arms crossed. "If you don't know, then I can't tell you."
"But. Where do you...put it?"
"Oh my good and glorious God, would you give it a rest!" Maes yanked up a book and cracked it open in front of his face and started reading studiously.
Roy reached out, took the book and flipped it right side up. "Really, I want to know."
"I told you, it's hard to explain!"
Roy looked at the glass on the table in front of him. He picked it up and downed the rest of the whiskey. "Okay. So, show me."
The book flipped out of Maes' suddenly limp fingers. "Wha...?"
"I said show me."
Maes looked around helplessly, about as red as a sunset. "Show ... you?"
"Yeah. I mean we're friends right? Almost brothers." Roy winced. "Scratch that. We're friends. Why can't you show me?"
"Oh, I guess you'd have to be attracted to someone to want to do that kind of ... stuff, I guess." He slammed the glass on the table. "You saying Seinholz is better looking than me?"
Maes looked like his brain was about to implode. "No! I mean–he's not—oh, why did I ever open my mouth!"
"Because you wanted to tell me that Seinholz had a crush on me."
"I mean, he's not too bad looking. If you like that blonde-haired, brown eyed type." He peered across the table. "You like the blonde-haired brown eyed type?"
Roy poured himself another glass. "So, anyway. Even if I wanted to take Seinholz up on his offer – not that I do, mind you – but how in the hell would I know what to do first?"
"You do the same thing you would do with the girl in the bakery," Maes gritted out.
"Okay. So if I can do it with the girl in the bakery, why would I do it with Seinholz?"
"Wait." He had to stop Maes; when the guy got on a roll like that he would talk until he passed out from lack of oxygen. "You mean it feels good?"
Maes took a deep breath. "Some people think so."
That was enough for him. "Okay. Show me."
"Nope. Show. Me. If it feels good, I want in. And I'm not letting some stranger show me, when I got my best friend ready, willing and able!"
Maes gave it a good old academy try. After searching Roy's dorm room high and low for something to 'lubricate' – as he said, quite technically, and found some flowery smelling cream ("Shut it," Roy said. "Keeps the freckles away."), he gave his friend a helpless look and got to work.
Roy managed to get almost the rest of the bottle of whiskey down his friend's throat, which helped get him relaxed enough to maybe forget this was his best friend, bosom buddy and life long pal, he was about to put his mouth on and his...into.
It took about ten minutes to get Roy naked, then another five to get him into position. And yet another five to get Maes hard enough to do the job (and then, Roy was certain he'd made some kind of mistake – you put that where?).
About five minutes after that, Roy thought he was seeing stars. He looked wide-eyed at Maes after he'd been left a limp and lifeless rag laying across the bed. "Are you kidding me?" he said breathlessly. "Seinholz wants to do that to me?"
Maes nodded, or did the best he could at nodding, because he was quite the limp and lifeless rag himself. "Well, Seinholz isn't as… as good at the mouth part." He bared his white, glistening teeth. "He bites."
Roy shuddered, thinking about teeth on that sensitive part of his anatomy. He lay there and considered the ceiling for a while, until his brain stopped spinning and everything below his waist stopped throbbing.
Then, as Maes heaved a healthy sigh and scrambled around after his clothes, he sat up on his elbows and watched his friend dress.
Maes froze in the act of peeling his glasses off to wipe them on the tail of his shirt. "Nope?"
"Tell Seinholz thanks, but no thanks."
"Oh. Then... you didn't like it." Maes tried to dress faster, which almost gave him a concussion when he tripped over his trouser leg.
"Tell him I said that I have no desire to do that kind of ... stuff... with only the second best." He grinned and bent his leg, planting his foot flat on the bed. "I've got the best of the best as my best friend."
Maes gaped, gulped, and then grinned that goofy grin slowly. Because, yes, Roy knew exactly what he looked like after sex. And as much as Maes thought he was dressing to leave, there would be no leaving until the sun came up.
"And, hell, far be it from me to allow my best friend's hand to fall off from wear and tear."
Maes dropped his jacket on the floor and this time, remembered to take off his glasses.