Roy sat on his bed and looked over at the empty bed across from him in mild speculation. As part of his last year in the academy, it was his responsibility to mentor an underclassman, a freshman to be exact, for the entire year. So the bed across from him was all prepared and ready for the arrival of the young man − because they weren't crazy enough to assign him a woman − who would be his responsibility.
He had thought his last year would be a cake walk, an easy time of it. Especially considering that he had spent an extra compulsory year in the crazy place, due to his age and special abilities. Those in power had decided that, even though he had passed the state exam five years previous and was officially, technically a State Alchemist (and a Major to boot), that he needed the extra time in study in order to fully develop the maturity necessary to perform his duty as an officer and gentleman of the Armed Forces of Amestris.
Bullshit. They wanted to make positively sure that they could control him before they unleashed him.
On the top of the crisp sheets lay all the things that the new student would need. A stack of clothing − five neatly folded uniforms and underwear to go with each uniform. Roy winced, remember his own stint as a first year student in those scratchy, uncomfortable briefs and undershirts. He wasn't allowed to have his own things until he'd reached third year. Five academy-issued notebooks − one for each lab class − and that told Roy that this new guy had some training to do that did not include the usual Academy curriculum. Most students had seven lab classes a day, along with the usual one hour of morning physical education and afternoon military instruction. That, perhaps, meant that his charge was taking some interesting electives that had nothing to do with classroom time. On top of the whole pile lay a folder that Roy knew was chock full of papers and documentation that the new inductee had to sign and read and memorize before the first day of class.
On the floor by the bed were a pair of shiny dress shoes (that pinched like a mother-fucker) and a pair of boots (that were uglier than the text book definition of ugly). Roy leaned over and took a peek to see what size shoes they were. He saw the double digit number and whistled to himself.
Each student received these basic things. The student was required to bring everything else. Toiletries, a few pieces casual clothing, and the regulation five personal, vanity items that they were allowed to bring. He wondered what this new guy would bring as personal items. Over the years, Roy had learned that observing what someone brought with them as personal items gave him a good idea about their personality. That would be important in this instance, considering he was being asked to practically live and breathe the poor guy for an entire year. It would be horrible if they had absolutely nothing in common.
He certainly hoped they didn't burden him with an idiot. Poor Maes had already met his charge − the guy was dumber than a box of rocks with no lid, and arrogant about it. Roy tried hard not to laugh at his friend, because he knew that if he did, that his luck would backfire and he'd get someone equally stupid or arrogant. And he didn't have his friend's patience for stupidity.
The door opened and he looked up… and up and up into a broad, smiling face topped with ruffled, dark-blond hair and offset with friendly eyes and freckles absolutely everywhere.
Hell, the guy was tall. Like a damned tree. Or a flag-pole. Roy nodded to himself. Yeah, a flag-pole would be a better description for the kid moving into the room, rucksack thrown over a shoulder, right hand stuck out in preparation for greeting. That explained the boat-like shoes.
The voice that greeted him was rough around the edges and held an accent that reminded Roy of a farm − not quite like the farm he'd grown up on. No, that voice reminded him of a… honest-to-goodness dairy farm, complete with the cows and fresh, cold milk. The strong grip certainly indicated a guy who'd taken care to drink his milk all his life.
And apples, Roy suddenly thought, completely illogically. He almost shook his head; as stupid as it sounded even to his own mind, he got the distinct impression of apple trees when he looked up into those blue eyes and gave back his own greeting.
Roy was smitten. With a sinking feeling in the pit of his gut, he realized that he was absolutely smitten