Ed: Calihan High, otherwise known as High School Hell to all of the students that attend there, is a particularly strange school. They decided somewhere along the line that they didn't want to follow the American or the Japanese year systems. They chose, instead, to structure their own system: the kindergarten students were first years, the first grades were second years, and so on. Now, I will admit that personally, I found their system to be slightly more logical, but that was pretty much where I believed their logic ran out. No student had the same teacher twice, aside from the electives they decided to stick with, and their sliding grading scale sucked because they always started with the highest grade. But what else did anyone expect from a school geared specifically for the highly intelligent? And in case you were wondering, no, that is not my pride speaking. And so it really came with little surprise that when I walked through the school doors with my small circle of close friends –my younger brother Alphonse, his girlfriend and my best friend Winry, and my boyfriend Russell– on that fateful Friday that I had a sense of something closely related to impending doom. No, it wasn't because they went through the metal detectors quickly (the school board promises as safe learning environment, after all) and I was held back. Since I'd lost one arm and one leg in an accident when I was younger, I couldn't go through the detectors because my metal prosthesis set the detectors off. I would have o be insane to consider removing them, since they were properly attached to my nerve endings and my muscles. So instead, I got the joy of a strip search on a daily basis. I smiled grimly at the security guard who had been assigned to that particularly pleasant duty this morning and followed him into the small room that the school had specifically designated for this use. Closing and locking the door behind us, he nodded to me in a "you know what to do" manner. I kicked off my shoes and undid my leather pants to shove them down my thighs. My boxers soon followed, then I slid my jacket off and pulled my skin-tight t-shirt off. My gloves were next, then my socks. Painful surgeries and months of physical therapy had taken away all that really remained of my modesty. Honestly, of all the things I'd lost, let's just say I missed my modesty the least –especially since I went through this procedure five days a week. The guard had long since stopped trying to make conversation with me (by the way, "What did you get that cost an arm and a leg?" is never appropriate or funny). I spread out my arms and walked to the wall. Because the extra little joy of a strip search is a cavity search. And people wonder why I'm gay. I'm kidding: cavity searches don't turn people gay. I was gay for a long while before that ever happened. But seriously, though. You have to concentrate and force the muscles to relax for the entire process, and it sucked even though it was a relatively quick process. Despite the speed, the bell had rung and I was tardy for my first hour before I even pulled my clothes back on. The guard wrote the standard pass and handed it to me when I finished dressing again. I hurried out of the room that put a door number on one of my personal hells and hustled to my locked. Fumbling between the weight of the backpack hanging off of one shoulder and the unfortunately intricate process of unlocking my locker, I nearly dropped the back on my foot when the damn locker finally opened. I obsessively placed the texts last night's homework had required in the top shelf of my locker in the same order as my class schedule. Then I pulled out two textbooks and my copy of "The Catcher and the Rye" (the novel we were reading in class) –basically, every conceivable item I might need for English –and started down the hall and to my class. I couldn't help being late, but I certainly didn't want to be unprepared as well.
Roy: Most of my first hour class was already in their seats. There was one empty chair, but I wasn't going to count him absent yet. My eyes latched onto a certain blond student that sat in the front row and kept mostly to herself. I walked over to her. "Hey, Winry, is Ed here today?" I asked her, giving her a some-what apologetic smile. I knew she was his best friend and that she was dating his brother –it's a small school and even the teachers are privy to the student gossip. She was the one I usually asked about him, anyway, because she generally had the information I needed. She nodded. "It's the normal morning routine for him, Mr. Mustang." Despite being privy to student gossip, I still had no idea why the boy got strip-searched on a daily basis. I just knew that it couldn't be for any of the rumored reasons, because he was a very serious student. But either way, I usually submitted my attendance before he even arrived in my classroom and I never counted him tardy. Poor guy couldn't help some spectacularly horrible luck. When the bell rang, I submitted the attendance via the school's computer system and sat on the edge of my desk to wait. I saw little point in beginning my lesson only to be interrupted five minutes in by a student who was generally more eager to learn than any of his classmates. My first hour class had grown used to doing nothing for the first five minutes of class, so they chattered away, as per usual, and I tuned them out, as per usual. Our straggler was generally quite worth the wait, anyway. Despite the delay, he was usually punctual when showing up to the classroom when most students would take their time in the hallways and delay their arrival further. He arrived in the usual time, knocking at the closed door to request admittance to the classroom. Edward Elric was actually rather short of stature for a 15 or 16-year old guy, but with any luck on his part, he'd shoot up like a weed in a year or two. He kept his blond hair but always braided down his back. Despite being a serious scholar, he'd been accused of dressing like a delinquent with his tendency toward black leather pants and skin-tight black t-shirts. But even as is, there was something incredibly appealing about the golden-eyes child. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but even I could see his appear, even thought I was some-what involved elsewhere. On autopilot, I took the pass from him and sent him to his seat. He winced as he sat down. Oh, yeah, I thought. When they strip-searched a student, policy states that there is also a cavity check. I winced internally in sympathy and hoped for his sake that he knew how to deal with such a… physical intrusion. Because as uncomfortable as it could be if you did, it could be a great deal more painful when you had no idea how to handle it. Trying hard to tearing my attention from him, I launched into my lesson, hitting hard on my main points while twenty teenagers took notes. My eyes always came back to him, though, and I would see flashes of expressions he quickly covered with an impressive mask of boredom. As if I would fall for that. Not only was I a master of masks myself, I'd see his quiz scores: he was no more bored in this class than I was. As the class drew to a close and I gave them their assignment, I paused to remind them: "Don't forget that your research papers are due next Monday." All of the students nodded like little bobble-head dolls and started gathering their books. When the bell rang, they hurried out the door like a blazing fire was nipping at their heels. All of the students except for my little blond straggler.
Ed: I gulped once, astounded to be alone presence of my incredibly attractive English teacher. And then I took slow, hesitant steps to his desk. "Mustang-sensei, I really don't get the way you want the paper structured." I blushed, embarrassed. Shit. This was what I got for getting so into my Japanese class. He nodded, his jet-black hair shinning under the florescent lights. "Do you have something you have to do at lunch, Ed?" he drawled softly, his voice rich and smooth, like dark velvet. I smiled apologetically but nodded. "I have to finish my project in Ceramics." "Then after school? Immediately after homeroom, perhaps?" he suggested. "That would be perfect. Thank you, Mustang-sensei." I scooped up my books and hurried out of the room, traumatized and embarrassed and probably soon-to-be-late for my next class, Ceramics. It wasn't until I put away my copy of "Catcher in the Rye" that I realized I'd called him "sensei" a second time. I took off at a dead run down the hallway, just narrowly managing to step into the room a second before the bell rang out. "Niiice job, Elric," Havoc greeted cheerfully before taking a drag odd his ever-present cigarette. No one knew if Havoc was his first name or his last name, just as no one knew how he managed to get away with smoking in his classroom. All we really knew about him was that he loved what he taught and that he was a genuine ladies' man that still believed in chivalry. I wasn't exactly sure why, but I really liked the quirky man. I liked to believe it was because his particular zest for life was so contagious. Either that or it was the fact that he seemed to have no trouble accepting that one of his students had prosthetic limbs. He always liked to smile at me, and I never could keep myself from smiling back at him. I couldn't help but smile at him. "Uh, thanks." I hurried to retrieve my most recent project –a thrown pot that had a diameter of nearly three inches at the base. It had to be ready to be fired again after school today so that it would make it in time for the project deadline. Unfortunately, this pot would take some time to glaze –especially the interior– because the dimensions fluctuated so much. It was close to five inches in diameter at its widest point and only two inches in diameter at its narrowest. Hence me being pretty sure I would have to come in at lunch to finish it. I walked to the cart where the glazes were kept. I hadn't decided what color I wanted this piece to be yet, so I took a few moments to go through the variety. My nose wrinkled involuntarily as I came across one I had used previously on a coil-pot that I had been forbidden to smooth out. It came out looking like an intestine and even my sweet younger brother made fun of it. "Ah!" I exclaimed softly, finding one that was a lovely shade of dark green. This would be perfect! Quickly, I returned to my seat at began to glaze the outside of the pot. It only took a few strokes to realize I had selected one that had color flecks on accident. I picked up the jar and read the label fully this time. Oh, so the flecks will turn brown. Well, that won't hurt things. I'll just coordinate the glaze I use on the interior. I had mostly covered the exterior when a pair of warm, strong arms slid around my torso and pulled me back against a wall of warm chest. It compromised my balance on the stool, but so long as they didn't pull away quickly, I should survive without cracking my head open on the floor. From the feel of things, I figured that the person embracing me was male. And there should only be one male in this class with me that would be touching me this way. He placed a kiss on my cheek and I felt my skin heat. He knew I hated his public displays of affection, yet he still persisted in doing it almost everyday! "Hey, Ed," he whispered, his breath puffing against my ear and making me shiver. Ugh, does he have to go after an erogenous zone every time he does this?! I wondered, trying not to lose my cool. "H-hey, Russ," I returned. I would have been happier to see my boyfriend if he hadn't just pulled that stunt, if you want the truth. I also would have been happier to see my boyfriend if he wasn't still nagging me about sex. It wasn't like we weren't sexually active together –sometimes, it felt like that was all there was to our relationship: hand-job here, blow-job there, rinse, lather and repeat. He was just having trouble dealing with the fact that I wasn't ready to let him take it farther, even after three months together. Honestly, the attraction and the fact I really didn't want to be alone were the only things that kept us together at this point. "Russell! Stop molesting Edward and get back to work!" Havoc ordered him suddenly. "Your project is pretty far from done and it needs to be ready to fire after school." Russ sighed. "Yes, Havoc, sir." He pressed another kiss to my lips before heading back to his seat to do as Havoc bade him. I got back to work on glazing my project. I was about to get up to retrieve a different glaze when Havoc came over to check my progress. "It's turning out well, Ed." He lowered his voice a little. "Hope you didn't mind me yelling at him. You looked a little uncomfortable and a mite angry at him." I smiled up at my teacher. "Oh, it's more than fine. He knows I hate his PDA problem, and he needs to work on it. Not everyone is as accepting of our kind of relationship." I was silent for a moment. "So you really think it's turning out well?" He set his hands on my shoulders. "Would I say it if I didn't mean it?" he asked me. I could hear the grin in his voice. Like an ingrained reaction, a smile pulled at the corners of my lips."Thanks," I told him. He gave me a nod and let me get back to work. He's a little crazy, but he's a good guy, I decided. And he did a good job lifting my spirits.
Ed: I knew that Russ could be possessive, but this was getting a little beyond possessive and a little closer to ridiculous! "Havoc wasn't coming on to me! Seriously, Russ, the man is straighter than Al and just as likely to make a move on me. Where in the hell did you get that hare-brained notion?" I demanded. My boyfriend was normal very rational and lucid, but right now he seemed to be hanging out at the other end of that spectrum. My words did seem to calm him a bit. He looked at me for a long, awkward moment. "You're just so cute, Ed. I don't want anyone to take you from me." I just stared at him, passing period forgotten entirely. "Russ, I won't be 'taken' from you unless I permit it, and normally, I like being with you. So could you stop worrying so damn much about nothing?" I asked him. My eyes scanned the emptying hallway and my brain returned to the situation at hand. "Shit! I'm going to be late for Phys Ed!" I took off running, my relationship issues completely forgotten as I sprinted to the weight room. Somehow, I managed to arrive just before the bell rang, managing to startle Mr. Armstrong. He stared at me for a moment, but a smile crept across his lips when he realized just why I'd been running like the hounds of hell where nipping at my heels. "Catch your breath, Edward," he instructed me. "You know that I wouldn't have counted you tardy. You're my only student this hour, anyway." He was yet another teacher that prompted me to smile back every time he smiled at me. "I know, Mr. Armstrong. But I like this hour a lot." Havoc and Mr. Armstrong were the only teachers that were aware of my prosthetics. Havoc was aware because it took me a little longer to get out of his class room –I hated how the clay clung to the crevices of my arm and it took forever to get it out. Mr. Armstrong was aware because it became difficult to hide artificial limbs in work-out clothes. Both teachers still treated me like just another student, which was the reason I was okay with them being aware of the limbs, so long as they didn't ask many questions about them. Mr. Armstrong –I think his first name was Alex or something like that– could be a bit intimidating to look at, I suppose. He looked vaguely like a circus strongman, but he was endlessly kind and cheerful and amiable. He had an easy laugh and a sensitive heart. He was kind of like a big teddy bear in the body of a body-builder. "Are you ready to get started, Edward?" he asked. "Bring it on, Mr. A," I replied with a smile on my face.