This was a mistake. He knew it was a mistake going in, but that never seemed to stop the infamous Edward Elric. Maybe it was why he was so infamous... Ed shoved those thoughts out of his mind and knocked hard at Mustang's office door, steeling himself.
Roy quickly hid the trashy dime novel he was reading and sat up straight in his chair. "Come in."
Ed swung the door open, entered, then pulled it quickly shut behind him. He considered transmuting a lock, then decided that was going a bit too far. "Are you busy?" he demanded, indicating the proper answer was 'no'.
"Very much so. This had better be important, Fullmetal." Roy, of course, wasn't busy. However, the piles of paperwork on his desk made it seem so.
Ed grimaced. "Well, it is. I need advice, and you seem to be the paragon of knowledge where this subject is concerned."
"Women? Is it that special time finally?"
"Well, not so much women as corrupting people in a sexual manner." Ed tried to be as blunt as possible, realizing he was probably as red as his coat.
Roy stared, dumbfounded. He tried several times to reply, but the only result was baffled squeaking. Finally he choked out something that could pass for "What?!" and hoped it was good enough.
"I've been told you're good at that!" Ed snapped, wringing his hands, the automail squeaking in protest.
"Who tells you these things?!"
"People around the place!" Ed avoided his eyes. "You know, all the secretaries are all aflutter about you all the time and the other men here say some nasty things, so I figured the two went hand in hand."
"Just ask me your damn question." Roy's patience was wearing thin. Trust Edward to interpret everything in the worst way possible.
"Okay, fine." Ed crossed his arms over his chest. "If you know what you're doing is morally corrusive to someone else, but they're perfectly consenting and aware, is it your responsibility to not do it anyway?"
Roy scowled and rubbed at his temples, "So, in layman's terms that involve words you didn't just make up to sound important: 'If you know what you're doing is considered wrong, but the other party is all for it, should you not do it anyway?'"
"Yeah, that's it."
"Well, it all depends on what you would be doing. If it doesn't hurt you or anyone else, I'd say go for it."
Ed stared at him disbelievingly. "But if something's wrong... isn't it harmful on some level?"
"Well, rules exist for a lot of reasons. Usually, they're good reasons, but there are always cases where what the rule is trying to prevent wouldn't occur in certain situations that break said rule. Does that make sense?"
"Hm... I think so..." Ed thought for a minute. "So, you're saying that certain things are viewed
as wrong because of things that happen sometimes, not all the time?"
"So, if that thing doesn't happen, then it isn't wrong!" Ed waved his hands, getting excited.
"Right. Good luck convincing anyone of that, but that's how it is."
Ed sighed heavily, and it looked like three tons lifted off his shoulders as the air rushed out. "Good. Good. I... I knew you'd know what I was talking about."
"I have absolutely no idea. How much are you paying me for this?" Roy grinned.
"You'll certainly benefit from me not blowing my head off, thanks!" Ed snapped, still looking ecstatically relieved.
"How so?" Roy was actually quite happy to have been able to help, but if he let Edward off too easily, he'd end up the boy's therapist and that was about the last thing he wanted.
"I'll get my work in on time, and you won't have to write out those pesky 'a subordinate has commited messy suicide in the lunchroom' forms. I know you hate those." Ed flashed a sharp grin.
"Nonsense. I haven't filled out a form in years. Seriously, how much are you paying me for this?"
Ed started to scowl a little. "Nothing!"
"Then I'll just have to take it out of your pay, then. We do have therapists you can go to, you know. They get paid for listening to you whine."
"I wasn't whining, I was asking you a damn question!"
"I don't get paid to answer your existential queries!"
"Well, as a commanding officer, isn't it your job to make sure I don't go on a bloodly massacre of property damage?" Ed eyed him threateningly.
"It's my job to tell you what to do and punish you accordingly if you don't do it. If you kill large amounts of bloodless concepts in an inexplicably bloody way, you'll get thrown in jail and I'll get someone more mentally stable to do your job." Roy was losing his patience and it was beginning to show.
Ed scowled. "Well, fine. I'm outta here, I don't want to take up anymore of your precious time."
"Good. The next time I see you, you'd better have something useful for me."
"FINE then." Ed slammed open the door. "See if I ever think you're a decent human being again."
"I'll eat a baby tonight and think of you, Fullmetal!"
"I'LL CORRUPT AN INNOCENT AND NOT THINK OF YOU!" Ed slammed the door shut after him.
Roy shrugged and retrieved his novel. He had a whole afternoon of pretending to slack off ahead of him.