Chapter 1: I will pursue this dream, 'cause I know it's expected that I be serene
Ed was proud of the fact that Alphonse had surpassed him in almost every way. What with perfecting alkahestry, learning the Xingese language, representing Amestris as an ambassador, marrying a princess, obtaining a few college degrees, and… oh. He was taller than Ed. But that's beside the point. Ed was proud of his little brother. They had accomplished so much since the Promised Day. Ed had successfully traveled and researched alkahestry and aided Alphonse in his studies. He retired from the military. Goodbye General Mustang, hope to not see you again. Oh yeah, he did have that little breakup with Winry. That was mutual though. Ed was still trying to cope with his trauma while traveling, and Winry was making a name for herself in the automail industry. They broke up to focus on themselves, of course, they still loved each other… As friends. He had discovered his true feelings for Winry during a therapy session. Alphonse suggested that they should attend therapy sessions to strengthen their minds and move forward. It had taken Al many attempts that may have included him physically dragging Ed into the therapist's office. But it worked! Which was something Ed also considered an achievement. At the age of 20, Ed and Winry broke up. Al, 19, was married to May and lived in Xing. The couple would visit a few times a year, not enough for Ed’s liking. He had always thought that Resembool was his home. At one point it was. But after ending things with Winry, he felt out of place. Winry was busy working with clients and potential investors, her career was taking off and Ed was so proud. He didn’t want to slow her down or get in her way. They would always be best friends and things weren’t awkward between them. But that left Ed with one question: what was he going to do now?
Ed did not have a job, a license, or any way to perform alchemy. Alphonse had suggested (many times) Ed to come to Xing and work in academia. Ed’s knowledge and expertise in alchemy and alkahestry would be able to land him a job as a professor or at least a lab researcher. As tempting as that was, Ed wanted to create his own path. He and Al’s destinies had been intertwined for years, and as grateful as he was for his sibling, he wanted to do something different. Al’s notable work was something Ed was proud of. But if anyone asked Ed what he was proud of accomplishing since the Promised Day? Well… He would ignore the question. He was glad he wasn’t Hohenheim, that’s for damn sure. He was proud that he retired from the military. However, some days he missed the action and adrenaline, pissing off Mustang, traveling from city to city. Okay and maybe some military hotels had great dining halls. And occasionally having unlimited access to research materials. Oh and the money. Fuck, did Ed miss the money. So, Edward Elric, age 20, decided to suck up his pride and return to Central and the military. Even if Ed would no longer be a state alchemist, he was positive there was another role for him. First thing’s first: he had to contact Mustang. Ed felt sick to his stomach just thinking about it. His guts twisting with disgust and not anxiety. All he had to do was tell General Bastard he was ready for work again and tada! Easy as pie. Foolproof plan. So easy a baby could do it.
“Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me,” Ed muttered as he found himself at the gates of Central Command. Colonel Hawkeye arranged a meeting with the General and Ed. So instead of a quick phone call, he was now forced to see Mustang after almost five years. No, he was not scared! If anything, Mustang should be scared of him. Ed still considered himself to be a total badass (his own words) that didn’t have to listen to authority. He may have matured a bit, but he was still stubborn and bullheaded at heart. Could you blame him? He lost almost all of his childhood to tragedy after tragedy.
Making his way through the buildings, Ed was able to navigate his way to Roy’s office. He stood at the door, calculating all of the possible outcomes. For a moment, Ed did consider leaving. But he would never be accused of running away. Letting go of a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding, Ed gathered the courage to barge into the room. Fuck. He didn’t mean to do that. He wanted to present himself as an adult so he could be taken seriously. Guess that’s out. Roy’s onyx eyes opened wide for a moment as Ed burst into the room. Roy blinked and regained his composure so he could take in the sight in front of him. Ed’s presence was breath-taking, to say the least. Standing at 5’6, hair in a ponytail past his shoulder blades, broad shoulders, and two flesh arms, Edward Elric made his official entrance. The first thing Roy noticed was how much older Ed looked. His jawline and nose were two prominent features that he inherited from his father that he now grew into. Ed’s right arm was slightly less muscular compared to his left arm, according to what Roy saw. Ed’s shirt covered his biceps, his pants and boots didn’t give Roy any glimpse at his automail leg. Overall, Ed looked good. Healthy. Alive.
Ed looked at Mustang, who didn’t look that different from when he last saw him. His hair was pushed back, not the usual mess Ed had been accustomed to. He looked tired, or older. Probably both, Ed decided. One thing that would never change about that bastard, would be his stupid condescending smirk and voice. Did he have to act like that?
“Oh. Hey there, Fullmetal. Thank you for entering so politely.” The bastard said.
Ed felt his blood already beginning to boil. For the sake of his intentions, Ed decided to ignore Mustang and get right to the point.
“Tch. Hi, General. I’m here because… I’d like to come back to the military. And I just figured you of all people would be willing to allow this.” Ed looked to Roy with a determined scowl on his face. So far, he was off to a good start, all things considered.
Roy looked to Colonel Hawkeye, who already seemed to have an idea or two. After a moment of consideration, Roy gave Ed a small smile. “Well, I can’t promise you a guaranteed position, but the investigations department is looking for a new hire. I’ll have the Colonel and her Lieutenant look into it and arrange something for you. But I’m curious as to why you’re back? I thought you had retired?”
Even though he was anticipating that question, Ed looked taken back. The military felt like his place in the world. Simple as that. Golden eyes glanced at the floor before going back up at the General. “I… Just feel that my skills are best suited for the military, is all.” Ed rasped out. What the hell? Why did he just lie? Roy wasn’t even trying to be smug, he just asked a question. Roy nodded, clearly understanding that Edward wasn’t telling him everything. Ed wasn’t his subordinate at the moment. He couldn’t force more information out of him, and he knew that Ed was more than likely having a tough time swallowing his pride to come back to the military.
“Alright, Fullmetal. I understand. This process will take a couple of days. We have to get the right paperwork started and set up a meeting with the investigations department. What hotel are you staying at? I’ll have someone come by to deliver some documents to you.”
Ed froze. He hadn't even booked a hotel for the night, his suitcase still in hand. “Oh uh, guess I didn’t get the chance to do that yet. I kinda hopped on the first train to Central.” He said stupidly. Hawkeye cast a soft smile in Ed’s direction. After all these years, Ed was still the same kid who was constantly on the move. Roy shook his head with faux disappointment. “I would suggest the military hotel, but it’s all booked up. Southern Command soldiers are here for training exercises. Colonel Hawkeye doesn’t have an extra room, but I do. If you’re comfortable with it, you can stay with me.” He suggested and Ed gaped at him. He barely even liked the bastard, and now he’s supposed to share a place with him?
Ed was about to not so politely decline but stopped when he remembered how much money he had in his bank account. He wasn’t fucking broke, but it would probably be best if he saved some cens. His face turned red, unable to look Mustang in the eye. “Uh yeah, that would be fine, thanks.” Roy grabbed his keys from his uniform’s pants pocket, taking the house key off of the chain before holding it out to Edward. Edward took the key and looked at it in his palm. He didn’t particularly know why he was staring at the key, but after a few seconds, he nodded to Roy and Riza. He pocketed the key and exited the office, a sigh leaving his body.
Chapter 2: What I want is place where the sky is alive and like home to me
Roy does some thinking. Riza does some lecturing. Ed and Al do some talking. The usual with some angst sprinkled in.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“I’m not forcing you. I’m merely offering you the possibility.
“-But noooo, you had to go charging right after him-”
“Yeah, yeah! I get it, alright? I’m sorry. Kay? Whatever.”
“We choose our own path, knowing full well what we’re doing. That’s the way it is. Right, Fullmetal?”
“Why, Colonel?... Why didn't you say anything?!”
Roy opened his eyes at that final memory. The desperation and pain that filled Fullmetal’s voice were like a knife plunging into his conscience. The raw emotion that fueled the blonde’s rage was justified. The look of disgust. Fullmetal grabbing his collar, Mustang punching him. God. He punched a kid . Ed’s distrust seeping through his words as he explained the situation to Alphonse. I don’t blame you, kid . Roy thought to himself. He didn’t necessarily regret his intentions or overall actions but he did regret how he treated Ed. Ed, who was just 15 at the time. Ed, who had lost his parents and his brother’s body. Ed, who had just found out about Hughes’ death. Ed, who only ever wanted answers. Roy’s goal of becoming fuhrer had turned him into a merciless man who would do anything to climb to the top. However, he did have a soft spot. The facade he put up was required, he knew Ed would try to involve himself and get into more trouble. Perhaps, that was enough mercy … He wanted Fullmetal to grow up to be a strong man. His harshness would pay off, Ed would be thanking him later. It was for the best. God, what a load of shit . Ed had already been through hell and back at that point, and it only got worse after that. Military life (life in general) had not been kind to Ed. The terrain Ed was forced to endure allowed him to restore his and Al’s bodies, but he would never wish anyone to go through that. And now Ed wanted to return? Albeit, a completely different circumstance that was nowhere near as dangerous. But all Roy thought of was Ed at 15, his eyes filled with distrust and agonizing wrath. The general propped his elbows on his desk and cradled his chin in his folded hands. Ed’s a good kid. The world can’t risk losing him . He thought to himself, letting out an audible sigh that caught the attention of Hawkeye.
“Everything, alright, sir?”
“Mmm? Oh. I’m just pondering Ed’s options.”
Riza quirked an eyebrow. “You mentioned the investigations department. Would you rather place him somewhere else?”
“No, no. It’s not that. I just think that maybe Ed should consider other careers besides the military. He’s talented, he has options.” Roy muttered. Riza fixed him with a hard look.
“You’re going to decide that for him?”
“What? No. I just don’t think he should spend his entire life in the military. He has a home in Resembool, with a nice family waiting for him. Why would he give that up?”
“Sir, have you considered the idea that maybe this is Edward’s home? If the newspapers are correct, Al is in Xing. You’ve seen advertisements for Rockbell Automail, I assume Ms. Rockbell is busy managing a business now. Who else does Edward have around here? He has grown up in the military with our support. Edward never wants to be a burden, by rejoining the military, Ed can see us and feel that he has a family. He won’t feel as if he is burdening us. Havoc, Breda, Fuery, and Fallman treated him like family. Would you really want to deprive him of that?” Riza said, full of composure.
When Riza lectured, Roy listened. Even after all of these years, he was not ashamed to say he was whipped. Riza had never once led him astray. He would be eternally grateful for her presence. Roy couldn’t help but laugh. She was right, as usual.
“Even after five years, Edward is returning on the same path, hm?” He asked.
Riza shook her head and offered Roy a small smile. “It’s different now. With Grumman in power, we live in a time of peace.”
The answer had taken Roy back. Of course, he knew they were living in peaceful times. But peace and Edward Elric did not coexist.
Riza let out an exasperated sigh. “Please remember to complete the stack of papers on your desk.”
“IT’S NOT MY FAULT THAT EVERYONE IS DISTRACTING ME!”
Edward made his way through Central, running into a few familiar faces. He had bumped into Jean who gave him verbal directions to Mustang’s home. Central felt so familiar , he remembered the streets and landmarks. The last time he was here, he was submitting his retirement paperwork. Funny how things turn out . Ed continued his walk until he came to his destination. In front of him stood a large manor, if he had to guess, it was probably the size of Shou Tucker’s home. The house was ivory, the windows, roof, and door had black trim. The gated yard looked well kept. The grass cut evenly, a row of white flowers outlined the perimeter of the home, or of what Ed could see. Could this guy try to be more basic? He fished the keys out of his pocket, his right hand reached out for the gate, touching the warm steel. The afternoon sun coating the world with its warmth. Ed savored the feeling, he never took the feel of touch for granted. He opened up the gate and walked through the yard, following the cement path to the door. The blonde looked around before finally entering the house. What would neighbors think of some random guy entering the general’s home? Tch. As if Ed cared about what they thought. Ed explored Mustang’s home. It was just as dull on the inside. No color, only black, white and grey everything. Boring. After snooping around, Ed found one spare room with a bed. The other two spare rooms contained miscellaneous items, Roy probably never had visitors. Ed dropped his luggage on the floor and took his shoes off, making himself comfy. He walked around the house and found what he was looking for. A phone! He needed to call Al.
“Hello?” Al’s gentle voice spoke, making Ed smile widely.
“Hey, Alphonse! I’ve finally made it to Central!” Ed’s bold voice announced.
“Oh, Brother that’s good to hear. How is it going over there?”
“Uhh, so far so good. Talked to the general who said he’ll try to figure something out. He’ll probably place me in the investigations department.”
“Wow. That seems like a good fit for you. Was he surprised to see you?”
“You know that smug bastard, always putting on a show. He was shocked for a moment.” Ed ignored the part where he just burst into Mustang’s office. “Catch this. He’s letting me stay in his house. Something about the military hotel being all booked up.”
“Really now? Brother, you need to remember to behave!” Al scolded, making Ed laugh.
“Relax, I just got here. I don’t think he’d offer me the place if he didn’t trust me. I am the guy who saved the country and all.”
“Could you at least try to humble yourself?” More laughter.
“You know, Brother, you can still work with me in Xing. It’ll be like the old days! I understand you want to do your own thing, but you don’t have to. It’s okay to rely on others.” Al said softly.
Ed swallowed and bowed his head, his bangs a curtain over his eyes. “Yeah, I know, Alphonse. But this is my choice. I just- I don’t know. I feel comfortable here. There are so many familiar faces, it’s nice.” Ed thought for a moment. “I just feel like I should have done more by now. I haven’t done much after we finished our research and I hate it. I feel useless. With the military… I’m needed.”
Al’s eyebrows knit together in concern. It took a lot for Ed to talk about his feelings. The fact that Ed was doing so now, over the phone, made Alphonse worry. His concern must have been loud enough for Ed to hear over the line. Ed’s head snapped back up. “Hey, you stop with that look of despair, alright? I’m gonna be fine, Al. I’d feel better knowing I didn’t take a handout from my little brother. Edward Elric will be known for his amazing alchemical talents and investigating skills!” He declared triumphantly. Al gave a soft chuckle.
“If you insist, Brother. I haven’t failed many times in my life, but trying to talk you out of things? That is probably my biggest failure yet. You’re just as stubborn as you are short.” He teased.
“HEY, YOU SHUT UP!” Ed screamed over the phone, making Al laugh again. Ed recovered from his outburst and smiled. He loved to hear his younger brother laugh.
“So how has Winry reacted to all of this, hm?”
“Well, I told her I was trying to come back to the military but I haven’t been able to get a hold of her for a few days. I haven’t even told her I left. Granny said she’s in Rush Valley doing some stuff for her business. I don’t want to bug her unless it’s important. You know what a workaholic that girl is. But enough about me. How is May?”
Al had a huge smile on his face, his body trembled with excitement, he was bursting at the seams. “Well, I know I should tell you this in person, but I don’t know when I’ll see you, Brother. But… May is pregnant!” He announced. Ed’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline, eyes wide. “ARE YOU SERIOUS?! You’re going to be a FATHER?! ” Al laughed with excitement. “She’s about 13 weeks along. We’re so happy, Brother. So happy.” He gushed.
Ed smiled softly. Hearing his brother speak this way warmed his heart. And now, the Elric family would expand! “Congratulations, Alphonse. Mom would be so proud. You’ve accomplished so much.”
The siblings spoke for another hour or two, finishing their conversation around 5pm. Alphonse… A father. Ed thought. He was so happy for his brother. So happy. Al had everything. He was starting his own family. Without Ed. The thought terrified him. If he rarely saw Al now, what would happen when the baby is born? His brother was moving on without him. It was an amazing thing, but terrifying all the same. At least here in Central, he had a little slice of home.
Somewhat dialogue-heavy. Again, if anyone would like to beta read this fic, please let me know. I'm open to criticism. Some things to establish: I normally hate seeing all caps used in fanfics, however, because these characters tend to yell a lot in the anime, I felt that it would be fine to have some lines in all caps. Normally, I wouldn't go for that thing, but Ed is loud as hell. Sorry, the chapters aren't long. I write better in short bursts like these, it helps me look forward to writing the next chapter.
Chapter 3: I do not see an end to this labyrinth
Roy and Ed establish ground rules. Roy's inner monologue is dramatic. Ed gets all tingly.
When Roy returned home at 6pm, he had documents in his arms. The molten sun just began to sink into the purple darkness of night, illuminating the entrance of his home. He began to remove his coat at the doorway, his usual routine. Ed appeared from the room, his damp hair was free from his usual ponytail. He didn’t feel the need to put on a new outfit after his shower. He was wearing a baby blue tee shirt and black boxer shorts, his typical pajamas. Roy glanced at Ed as he removed his gloves.
“Good evening, Fullmetal. Have you eaten yet?”
“Nah. Haven’t really worked up an appetite yet.” That made Roy pause. He distinctly remembered that Ed used to be a bottomless pit.
Edward scowled. “What?! I don’t have to eat as much since I’m not providing nutrients for Al’s body. Geez.” He blushed.
Roy chuckled and shook his head. “No need to get worked up. I’ll make some dinner and afterward, we can look over the documents. Sounds good?”
Ed nodded. “Wow. Being general agrees with you. You’re not the same uptight bastard you were when you were a colonel.”
Roy clenched his fists in mock anger. “Need I remind you that you are a guest in my home?” He growled.
“Tch. Whatever. It was a compliment. Guess you don’t receive many of those. Oh well. Talk to me while you cook. What’s happened in the past few years? Have I missed anything wild? Have you finally grown the balls to ask Colonel Hawkeye on a date?” Ed moved his eyebrows up and down, a shit-eating grin plastered on his face.
Roy rolled his eyes and made his way to the kitchen, rolling up his shirt sleeves. “You misunderstand our relationship, Fullmetal. We aren’t romantically interested in one another. Even if we were, the military forbids two senior members from marrying each other.” The flame alchemist began to take out steak from the refrigerator. He didn’t know what else to eat, so he decided to make steak and potatoes. Filling and simple enough. “Fallman’s wife had their third child, a boy named Warren. Cute kid, he’s about a year now. Breda is now First Lieutenant. Major Armstrong is still crazy as ever.”
The blonde blinked childishly. Ed always thought Mustang and Hawkeye would end up together. They always seemed rather protective of each other. Although, he and Winry are protective of each other, and look how that went. “Wait, so you don’t feel any romantic feelings towards Colonel Hawkeye?”
Roy shrugged. His attention mainly focused on seasoning the steaks. “At one point... we might have felt something. Our intentions were different. I want to become fuhrer, she wants to protect the ones she loves. In order to do so, we don’t have the capacity or time to be in a relationship.”
Ed nodded. “Guess I can understand that. Winry and I… We decided it was best for us to remain friends.” He mumbled, looking down at his metal leg.
Roy picked up the hint of gloom in Ed’s voice. He would have commented on it but he knew Ed would have an explosive reaction. Or he would just lie. He could read Ed like a book. So instead of asking if Ed was okay, he instead asked, “How do you like your steak?”
After dinner, Roy and Ed were in his home office, reviewing the documents required for the rehiring process. Government ID. Any criminal history? Have you ever served in the Amestrian Military before? If so, please explain why you originally enlisted. Just straight up boring shit that was typical of any job application. It was annoying to fill the forms out, but it was just one step closer to Ed’s new path. The entire time they worked on the forms, Roy desperately wanted to ask, are you sure this is what you want? When Ed was determined, he was an unstoppable force. He never hesitated. It was something Roy admired. It was also Ed’s biggest weakness. Roy thought this decision was made hastily, he knew Edward did not think the plan all the way through. Jesus, the kid didn’t even bother to check into a hotel. He just assumed Roy would take care of it as if he owed him a favor. So what now? Roy was supposed to pull a few strings so Fullmetal could feel something? Roy was going to potentially risk everything he’s worked for? He didn’t have any doubts as to Ed’s work ethic. He knew the kid would be the best damn investigator or researcher or whatever. But he also knew that Ed was reckless and never hesitated. When he was his superior officer, Ed was a nuisance. He produced damn fine work, but he was still a kid. Part of Roy thought that maybe, just maybe, Ed wouldn’t be mature enough for this job. Sure, Roy would put up with Ed’s antics, but would anyone else? Perhaps Roy just wanted to show Ed some mercy by sparing him the job. Ed had already seen enough horror in his lifetime. Would it be so cruel to spare Ed, just this once?
Ed had lost his entire childhood but he had the rest of his adult life to explore and do literally anything else. Despite what Ed had experienced, he still had his golden glow. His eyes weren’t dulled with the memories of being a killer . Roy remembered seeing Hawkeye during the war. Her once radiant brown eyes were replaced with pain and despair. She looked miserable and empty inside. It made Roy sick. The war turned some of the best people he knew into hollow shells of their former person. They were never the same. But Ed. Fuck , Ed was different . Even after losing his mother, limbs, and Brother’s body, Ed still had fire in his eyes. When Ed discovered the truth about a philosopher’s stone, he kept going. Even when fighting some goddamn pseudo god, Ed never once gave up. He never shriveled into nothingness. Ed had overcome so much. Was this his life’s purpose? To be thrown tragedy after tragedy and expect to be okay? How much could the kid take? What if he was one tragedy away from self-destruction? Given Ed’s volatile nature, it very well could be a reality. All Roy wanted to do was protect him. He owed him that much. Ed always had Al to look after him, but with Al so far away, who was going to look after him now? Of course, the blonde never asked to be babysat. He was 20, capable of taking care of himself. But he doesn’t have to . Roy just wanted the kid to be happy. And not turn out like me . He thought. Roy’s own desires blinded him, he never once questioned his own morals and actions until it was too late. The damage had already been done. There was no fixing it. But maybe…
I can’t be responsible for any future mistakes.
Ed glanced around the office. Tons of fire alchemy books. Books about the human body, the legend of Xerxes, Xingese culture, and a bunch of other shit that seemed important to Roy. Ed couldn’t help but feel… respect? Roy was dedicated to his work, and as annoying as it was, it was an admirable trait. It reminded him of Al. Of Winry. It felt like home . Taking jabs at Roy was so familiar. It was comforting to have some things stay the same. Mustang was still a bastard. Not an uptight bastard, but a bastard nonetheless. But now that Ed was older, he had the maturity to deal with it. Ed looked to Roy’s onyx eyes and suddenly felt a tingly sensation in his chest. It felt good. Ed didn’t know what brought this feeling on. Maybe it was just the fact that Roy was helping him out? Yeah, that’s gotta be it.
Roy noticed Ed looking at him, and not at the papers. “Is something the matter, Fullmetal?” He asked smoothly.
Ed blushed and quickly looked away. “Ugh, no. Can we just get this finished so I can go to bed? I’ve had a long day.”
“Right. You were just staring at me because you’ve had a long day.” Roy said as he turned his attention back to the documents. He could practically hear Ed’s brain short-circuiting.
“Oh my god. You are so full of yourself. I was just looking at you. God. Haven’t seen your face in years.” Ed pouted, his blush growing redder.
That was a weird response. “My face? Fullmetal, can you just behave yourself? You may be an adult but you still act like a child.”
Ed immediately stopped blushing. He slammed his hand down on the paper, spreading out his fingers as it landed. He fixed Roy with a sharp stare. “Hey. We have some shit to establish if I’m going to be here. Rule number one-”
“You’re giving me rules in my own house?”
“JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN!” Ed seethed. He took a breath and continued. “You are no longer my superior. You don’t get to belittle me. I’m an adult, damn it. I’m not 11,13, or 15. I am fucking 20 years old. ”
Roy nodded. That was fair enough. “If that’s the case, then the same goes to you. There’s more at stake for me now. I have to watch my every move, I don’t need some kid-uh you , insulting me. We’re both adults that can act civil around each other. Do you understand?”
Ed stared at Roy with that hard look and didn’t say anything. Roy didn’t know what he was thinking. Hell, Roy didn’t even know if Ed was going to agree to his terms. After several moments of staring and silence, Ed nodded. “Fine, General. I will give you the respect that you deserve. I just want to be treated as your equal.” He mumbled softly, not breaking his eye contact with Roy. He removed his hand from the desk and let his arm rest at his side. “Hell, maybe we can even be friends?”
Roy considered it. Being friends with Fullmetal would probably earn him some support from the younger generation. Ed was beloved by all in the military so being his friend seemed to have its advantages. “I would like that very much, Ed.” Roy smiled.
As friends, Roy and Ed finished the paperwork and decided to just talk. Roy made tea and the two sat in the office chatting about old memories. Roy going on about how boring the meetings are, Ed rambling about encounters he had while traveling. As Ed spoke, Roy couldn’t help but notice the twinkle in Ed’s eyes. His stories were exciting, to say the least. Ed’s animated narration made it all the better. Hell, he could have made a story about a wet blanket sound interesting.
Ed was so happy to have someone to tell these stories to. Of course, he had Winry, but she was so busy. Ed didn’t want to waste her time with nonsense. Al had such an exciting life, he was a fountain of stories to be told. Ed hardly had the chance to squeeze in his own story. But that was also his little brother, he didn’t want to blab about himself or disregard Al’s own memories. Granny listened, but she also lectured. Ling often sent letters to Ed, but some memories just don’t make it onto paper. Having Roy chuckle at his comments made Ed feel… He had that tingly feeling in his chest again. But now it felt fuzzy? Fuzzy would be a better word because the fuzziness made Ed feel warm. The warmth traveled from his chest to his belly. It felt comforting, having a good, fuzzy, tingly sensation envelop the core of his being. Ed didn’t know how else to explain it. He didn’t even bother to understand it. It felt so good that he silently begged to be drunk off of it. Ed had never experienced this feeling before.
I wonder what that’s all about…
Chapter 4: 'Cause I'm looking for the me that is still honest
Roy takes care of Ed. Ed panics. Roy does something selfish. Ed panics.
The two men said goodnight to each other, Roy retiring to his room, Ed to the guest bedroom. The warm fuzzy tingly sensation still present, Ed didn’t even realize he had a grin on his face. He settled into the bed laying on his back, arms stretched beyond his head, his hands connected by his intertwined fingers. That grin never left his face. He tried to sleep, but all he could think of was his exciting, not-so-new life.
Truth be told, he did genuinely miss the military. The comradery provided him with a sense of belonging. Ed loved being depended on. He loved the adventures he and Al used to go on. He loved hearing Havoc and Breda argue over something simple. He loved it when Hawkeye would lecture all of the team for goofing off, Mustang included. Of course, he knew things would be different now. He’d have to work with a whole new team, learn to play by their rules, and probably be expected to stay at work.
Come to think of it… Mustang let me get away with a lot of shit. Ed chuckled to himself and let his eyes flutter closed. The wind outside began to pick up ever so slightly, leaves on tree branches rustling and swaying. The sound was relaxing, it was helping lull Ed to sleep.
A dull ache in his stumps made its presence known. Ed opened his eyes and groaned. That good tingly feeling was gone. His grin was gone, and an annoyed scowl plastered his face. The dull pain was so minor, barely even noticeable, but Ed knew that it could get worse. He moved his arms and propped himself up by his elbows to look out the window. There weren’t many clouds out, the sky looked bare. Probably nothin' serious.
Ed laid down once more, laying on his back, one arm behind his head, the other raking its hand under his shirt to rest on his bare stomach. The ache subsided slightly, enough for Ed to fall asleep comfortably.
Roy laid in his bed, lying down on his side, staring at the empty space. It was always empty, nothing new there. Ed’s question about his relationship status did leave him thinking. Of course, Roy got lonely, he’s a human being after all. Random bar hookups satisfied his sexual appetite, but not his emotional needs. Ever since he became general, other senior members would give him shit about settling down with someone. He wasn’t opposed to the idea at all, as it would help his image. There was Riza. Strong, caring, and loyal. The history they shared connected them in ways that made Roy question the meaning of friendship. But their careers and the needs of Amestris were far greater than their feelings for each other. Both of them have made peace with that.
The morning air was crisp, the world was azure but that would change soon as dark clouds threatened to roll in. The dull ache in Ed’s stumps had grown worse throughout the night, waking him up just about an hour or so ago. He knew the pain would only get worse once it started raining. Fuck. What shitty timing.
Ed hissed in pain before throwing the blanket off of himself, he slowly got out of bed, wincing at the pressure in his leg. He needed to start getting ready for the day- he had to deliver the paperwork to Central Command. He could worry about the pain later. Ed rummaged through his suitcase, his movements slow and calculating. Every movement he made only made him feel worse. His brain felt foggy, his throat rough, stumps felt stiff and pressurized. By moving strategically, Ed would be able to dress with minimal pain. It wasn’t that simple. The weather sensed Ed’s distress and decided to fuck with him even more. He groaned and decided to allow his body a moment of rest. I am not going to fuck this up.
Roy began his daily routine. Wake up at 6am. Take a shower and get dressed. Make coffee and breakfast. He was in the final phase of his routine, enjoying a scolding hot cup of coffee. He made enough breakfast for him and his guest, but Ed hadn't gotten up yet. Roy knew Ed wasn’t a morning person, but he figured Ed would want to be up and ready so he could leave with Roy. The blonde had a long day, and they didn’t exactly go to bed early.
Roy looked out of the kitchen window from his seat at the table. The rain began to pour down. The once azure sky was nowhere to be seen, a shadowy grey took its place. The rainfall was soothing to hear, it made Roy think of the time he stopped Scar from killing Ed. The boy was so young and broken. His arm completely shattered. He accepted death and was anticipating Scar’s vengeance. That was also the day Ed learned Nina died. And Roy told him to suck it up. Roy told a kid to get over a traumatic experience and to get used to it. Fuck, he was the one who put Ed in the military in the first place.
Roy put his mug down on the table, so forcefully that some of the coffee splashed out. If he was going to move any further to the top, he had to stop dwelling on the past. He had to make things right for the sake of his own conscience.
Roy stood from the kitchen table and walked upstairs to Ed’s room. Ed was the first person he needed to talk to, for someone so young, he was still pretty wise. Last night’s conversation was proof of that. He knocked on the bedroom door, waiting for a reply. A long period of silence passed, Roy knocked again. Nothing. “Edward?” He called, his voice raised with the slightest bit of concern. Another hard knock. “I’m coming in.” He warned before turning the doorknob and stepping into the room.
Ed was sitting on the edge of the bed, clutching his left leg. The middle of his thigh, where skin met metal, was slightly swollen. His eyes were closed, his forehead resting on his knee, while the other leg dangled over the bed. He heard Mustang calling for him, but he was waiting for the pain to pass before he could answer him. He didn’t trust his voice at the moment.
Roy stared at Ed as he stood in the doorway of the room. For a moment, his brain stopped working. Shit. Shit. Shit. He completely forgot about Ed’s condition. “Edward, talk to me. What do you need?” He knew the blonde was consumed in pain, but it wasn’t like Ed to shut down because of the pain. He usually just pushed through it.
Ed let out a pained noise before looking up at Roy, his golden eyes open wide. “Hurts.” He rasped out, his voice rough and unsteady. It almost sounded as if he were going to cry. “It hurts.”
Roy was taken back. He had never seen Edward look this vulnerable. Even on the Promised Day when he yelled at Hohenheim, Roy was blind so he couldn’t see Ed’s distress. Hawkeye said Ed was crying, but Roy couldn’t imagine it. Even when Nina had died, Ed’s face was covered. Roy walked closer to Ed and kneeled in front of him, his expression soft. Now that he got a good look at Ed, he realized his shirt was discarded. “Is it just your leg?”
Ed shook his head and slowly lowered his leg. “..shoul’er too. Where my-” he winced. “Where the automail used to connect.”
Roy nodded and looked up to Ed, who was still hunched over the bed. “What can I do?”
Ed looked to the clean shirt he pulled from his suitcase. “Just help me get dressed. It’ll be faster. Once I’m dressed we c’n go.” He said, preparing his body to move again. He was determined to keep going. He was so close to starting his goal.
Roy sighed and helped Ed put on his shirt. It was awkward and took a few attempts, but he got it on. “Can you stand on your own?”
Ed paused, placing his feet on the floor to test his weight. It still hurt, Ed felt as if his joints were going to explode. His stomach twisted with nausea. The pain was bothersome but he didn’t care. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.” He said and slowly put more pressure on his feet, moving his legs until he was standing, knees bent slightly to alleviate some of the weight and pressure.
Roy examined Ed’s state. Pale and so fragile . It was as if Ed’s golden glowing aura was put out. Like water to a flame. “Alright.” His mind was made up. Roy managed to pick Ed up, carrying him over his shoulder in one swift movement. Roy carried Ed out of the room and to his study, preparing for Ed to bite his head off.
Ed’s eyes opened wide in fury. “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? PUT ME DOWN, YOU BASTARD!” He screamed, he wiggled, he tried to kick Roy but his body wasn’t cooperating. He was fuming even as Roy placed him on the sofa in the room.
Roy put Ed down and immediately went to another room, returning with blankets. He was ignoring Ed’s protests as he laid the blankets over the blonde. Roy turned to the fireplace in the room and with a clap, followed by a snap, the fireplace was lit. “You are in no condition to leave the house in a storm. You’re to stay in this house until your pain goes away. Warmth helps with the pain, right? Stay under the blankets. Read a book. Draw an array. Just stay put. ”
Ed’s face was red. Whether he was blushing or angry, Roy didn’t know. “Are you fucking serious? I have things to do, I can’t just lay around all day!” He swung his legs over the couch to stand up, groaning in pain when the joints radiated a burst of pain.
Roy frowned and moved Ed’s legs back on the cushions. “You can’t even stand. How do you expect to have a meeting? How do you expect to walk to the car?”
Ed’s scowl and glare were so sharp, Roy was expecting him to explode at some point. “So what? You expect me to just lay here and blow off work?”
The flame alchemist sighed and went to his desk, retrieving the papers from last night. “I’ll represent you in the meeting. I’ll turn in your documents, I’ll speak with the director of the department.”
Ed wasn’t having it. “No. I’m an adult, I can take care of my own business. Thanks for the help, but I can manage.” He said, getting ready to get up from the couch.
Roy walked to Ed and stood over him, hovering close to his face. His face was stern. “Stay here.” His voice was deep and commanding. Ed looked into Roy’s onyx eyes, testing to see if the older man would back down. Roy didn’t budge. “I’m not playing games here, Fullmetal.” He warned.
Ed’s eyes narrowed with frustration. “ Fuck! Fine! Have it your own goddamn way. I’ll sit in this stupid room and rest.” The blonde crossed his arms over his shoulders and looked away from Roy.
Roy moved away from Ed and began to leave the room. “I hope for your sake, you’re telling the truth. I’ll send Major Armstrong down here, later on, to keep an eye on you.” He smirked and left the room. Ed’s face read: you piece of shit. You wouldn’t dare.
At Central Command, Roy stood in front of Colonel Henry Douglas. Director of the Investigations Department, and officer of the police department. Douglas’ hard scowl met Roy’s cool stoic face. The Colonel saluted the general. “General Mustang. It was my understanding that you were to bring the former Fullmetal Alchemist with you to this meeting. Will he be joining us?” His voice was cold and antagonizing.
Roy’s expression did not change. “I apologize for the inconvenience. After careful consideration, Fullmetal has decided to pursue a less intensive career option. He is grateful for your consideration.”
Douglas narrowed his eyes in annoyance. “My department does not have time for such disruptions.”
“I understand. Thank you again.”
“Oh, General Mustang! I didn’t expect you to drop by. Can I help you with something?” Sheska chirped from the library’s front desk.
Roy placed Edward’s documents on the counter and slid them towards Sheska. “I was wondering if you could help me out?” He smiled innocently. “You see, Edward has moved back to Central and is wanting a job that suits his skill set. The Investigation Department had rejected his application, but I was hoping you would need some help around here.”
Sheska was surprised, to say the least. She didn’t question the story. “As a matter of fact, I’ve just found dozens of texts that needed to be translated. Some of them may be alchemical equations, but they’re written in some other language. I know Ed would be a great addition to the library staff. His skills would be highly valued here.” Her sweet reassuring words were all Roy needed to hear.
“Excellent. One thing, actually. Let’s keep this conversation between you and me. Ed isn’t taking the rejection well. You know how that kid’s pride can be. I will inform Edward of his employment here and have him call you. From there you two can set something up. Remember, I wasn’t here.” The General left the library, leaving Sheska very confused.
Roy sat at his desk, smiling with satisfaction. Edward would be thanking him later. He’d tell the kid eventually, but for now, what he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him.
Colonel Hawkeye entered the room, smiling at Roy. “You seem to be in a good mood. Is Edward’s position secured?”
“Turns out Colonel Douglas didn’t need a new hire after all. Edward’s application was immediately denied. However, I did find a position in the library for him.”
Riza frowned and raised an eyebrow. “How convenient for you.”
Roy’s happy bubble popped. “What are you talking about? Ed said he wanted to come back to put his skills to use. There are some texts that Ed can decipher.”
“And where is he? Is he here to consent to that choice?”
Roy sighed. “A job is a job. The less horror that kid has to see, the less fucked up he’ll be as an adult. Don’t you remember Ishval? Do you not remember the months of nightmares?”
“Edward is an adult now. I don’t know if there is anything else out there that he hasn’t seen. He’s well aware of the risks he takes.”
“Weren’t you and I aware? Yet I recall many nights of suicidal contemplation.”
Riza stayed quiet for a moment. “You’re trying to save his life. Your intentions are meaningful, but I do not agree with how you handled this.” Roy looked into her eyes. She smiled at him. “This won’t leave the room,” Riza promised.
“Thank you. He’s done so much for this country… For me. As the future fuhrer, it is my duty to protect the citizens of Amestris. I need to know Edward is safe.”
“Where is he, anyway?”
“Stupid fucking Mustang. Stupid rain. Stupid joints.” The blonde grumbled to himself as he lay curled up on the sofa. The weather hadn’t let up, the pain hadn’t eased, his stomach still churning.
The warmth from the fire was nice. The crackling combined with the rain provided sound in the otherwise silent home. Roy letting him stay in his home was nice. Roy setting up a job for him was nice. Roy taking care of him was nice. Roy was nice. Ed hadn’t felt taken care of since he was a child. He wasn’t used to this, just laying around and resting. He wouldn’t describe this experience as nice, but it was different.
Roy picking him up and commanding him to relax… Ed felt tingly again, his chest was bursting with fuzziness. He used to think of Mustang as a pain in the ass, but he’d never seen this side of him before. He’d known Mustang was a caring man, his care for his subordinates in the past was proof enough.
Roy Mustang was a self-obsessed war criminal. He was a selfish, arrogant bastard who invited Ed into the hell that was the military. But…
The chaos of the past that lived in Ed’s mind was silenced. All of that led to this. His heart began to thump faster. Roy was taking care of him. Roy was taking care of him! Roy was taking care of him.
All Ed could think about was Roy. Every good and bad interaction they had. The good memories outweighed the bad. Roy taking care of him outweighed everything else. Roy picking him up carrying him. That good tingly feeling. It was overwhelmingly amazing and spread throughout his body. It distracted Ed from the pain. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. “Fuck!” Ed yelled as he realized what this meant.
Chapter 5: I am running but I don't even know why
Ed being stupid. Roy being smooth. Wine and pasta. Some feels.
Ed’s face flushed a deep crimson red. He felt delirious as if he were having a fever dream. Wait a minute… A fever dream would completely explain Ed’s feelings! This was all just going to blow over once Ed woke up. None of this was real.
Roy was able to push through the rest of the workday with minor difficulty. He had a nagging voice in the back of his mind. He acknowledged that his plan may have been a little excessive, but justified nonetheless. It was a win-win for everyone. Ed would be thanking Roy once he found out.
And it’s not like Roy was going to hide this information from Ed! He just had to plan for an appropriate time to tell the blonde. If that moment happened to be a week or month from now, so be it. But that wasn’t Roy’s concern at the moment. He was more concerned about Ed’s health. Seeing him so vulnerable made Roy’s heartache. Edward Elric: a damsel in distress? Those words didn’t make sense together yet that was the current situation. If Roy was being honest, seeing Fullmetal submit to him felt rather… satisfying.
Roy smirked at the memory of Ed pouting. His blushing face framed by his amber air, his honey eyes filled with obedience. The image was sweet as saccharin.
The General looked to his pocket watch for the time, 5pm. It was Friday, meaning Roy would get to spend the entire weekend with Ed. In the past, Roy may have tried to avoid this situation but he was currently looking forward to it. He filed his paperwork and locked up his office for the weekend. Roy planned to stop by the market before heading home. A bottle of wine seemed like a perfect celebratory gift for Ed’s new job.
The two could have a nice dinner and a glass of wine. The two men had been busy lately and-
Wait wait wait.
This was not appropriate at all. Roy having feelings for Edward? The annoying blonde kid who didn’t know how to shut his mouth. The former alchemist who saved Amestris. The young man who was waiting at home for him, just begging to be taken care of. Even if he didn’t know it yet.
It appeared that the Flame Alchemist, General Mustang, had developed feelings for the Fullmetal (former) Alchemist. Appropriate or not, Roy couldn’t help himself. Edward grew up to be a fine young man. His body sculpted to be slender but masculine, his awful habit of swearing, his mind thinking of a million things at once. Roy wanted all of Ed. Roy just wanted Ed.
He smirked to himself as he left Central Command, desire fueling his body.
After several unsuccessful attempts to wake up, Ed came to the conclusion that he was indeed awake and not dreaming.
Man, this is terrible… I can’t be having these types of feelings! He’s my former boss. And he’s a guy at that! What the hell am I supposed to do? Roy’s not- hell, I’m not either, I don’t think? What do I do? What do I do?
Ed’s brain continued to fry as it desperately tried to operate. Ed was so not panicking at the moment. He was not muttering nonsense. He was not sweating nervously. And he was most certainly not thinking of Roy’s stupid, handsome face.
He wasn’t so good at expressing his feelings. Alphonse was. Alphonse was always able to talk about his feelings and communicate well with others, it was something Ed always admired about him. He was also jealous of it too. Alphonse was also able to calm Ed down in almost any situation. He would just call Al and hopefully Al could just coach Ed on what to do next.
Except Ed didn’t know how to tell his brother he’s having feelings for a man. He didn’t know how his sibling would react. Sure he would still love him, but wouldn’t he treat Ed differently? He would never look at Ed the same if he knew. If he knew-
“GAH!” Ed screamed in frustration. This fucking sucked. He felt like a little kid again. That rush he felt whenever he would burst into Roy’s office and give a half-assed report. The feeling of electricity in his chest whenever Roy would chew him out. Ed’s heart crunching whenever Roy would pat him on the back or tell him good job.
The pain in his stumps had subsided slightly. But it would have to be enough for Ed’s brilliant master plan. He was going to find somewhere else to stay. It wasn't considered running away because! Because…! Oh! This arrangement was temporary. Roy never said Ed could stay the entire weekend. His time was up.
Ed removed the blankets from his body and stood from the sofa, making his way to his temporary room. His joints weren’t as swollen and he could probably walk around town before he had to stop for a break. He would just see if any hotels had any vacancies.
Ed hobbled around the room, gathering his belongings as fast as possible before heading down the stairs. Ed was wearing a button-up shirt that was supposed to be for the meeting and his pajama shorts. He managed to put on his boots that definitely were not platform shoes and was ready to head out the door.
Roy entered through the gate securing his house and looked at the bottle of red Moscato. He genuinely hoped the younger man would enjoy it with dinner. With some excitement in his steps, Roy walked to the front door, unlocking the knob and opening the door. He frowned when he heard a loud thump.
Ed had just put his hand on the doorknob when Roy swung the goddamn door open, hitting Ed in the face and pushing him aside slightly. Ed’s hands flew to his face to hold his nose which was throbbing in pain.
“Hey what the fuck, Mustang?! Haven’t you ever heard of knocking?!”
Roy was surprised and confused. He didn’t understand why Edward was half-dressed and at the front door. Roy put the wine bottle down on the entry table and shrugged off his uniform’s coat, hanging it on a hook. “This is literally my home.” He retorted.
Ed let out an annoyed and angry breath. “That’s a shitty excuse if you ask me! Fuck, were you trying to hurt me?”
Roy sighed. “I’m sorry, Edward. Here, let me see your nose.” He tried to reach towards Ed’s face.
Ed’s eyes went wide. “You stay the hell back!” He was blushing and freaking out. He wasn’t even in that much pain, he was just nervous to face Roy after rediscovering his feelings for him.
Roy lifted his hands in surrender. “I just want to make sure it’s not broken. Can I do that?”
Ed considered the request. He knew his nose wasn’t broken but he also knew that Roy wouldn’t let up until he knew Ed was okay. “Fine.” He muttered quickly and removed his hands from his face.
Roy stepped closer to Ed and studied his face. He tapped a single gloved finger on the tip of Ed’s nose and smirked. “You’re fine.” He declared.
Ed’s face and ears were completely red. His golden eyes were still wide with surprise. His heart was thumping so hard against his chest he thought it would burst out of him. His belly was filled with warmth as if someone lit a fire inside him. It felt so fucking good and Ed wanted more of that feeling. He looked at Roy’s smirk and his lips trembled, his brain trying to function and come up with a response.
Ed was stammering out words. “I-you… BASTARD!” He mentally slapped a palm to his forehead. What the fuck, Ed?! Is that how an adult acts?
Roy laughed and picked up the bottle of wine and began to walk to the kitchen. “Yeah, I know. Tell me, why are you dressed like that? And why do you have your suitcase? Running away already?” He teased.
Ed gave Roy a vicious frown but followed him to the kitchen. “Fuck you. Your home is cold and sterile, forgive me if I wanted to stay somewhere that was inviting.” He lied.
Roy raised an eyebrow at Ed. “And you plan on walking around town in that? While in the rain?”
“... So maybe it’s not the best idea. Whatever. You gonna make fun of me s’more or what?”
Again, Roy laughed. He pulled out ingredients from the refrigerator, pasta seemed like a comforting dish. “Alright, I’ll let up. I forgot how hot-tempered you were. If I’m being honest, I sort of missed it.” He admitted, glancing to Ed to see his reaction.
Instead of raging about Roy’s comment, he chose to focus on the last bit. He missed it? Ed was pleased to hear that, he felt validated. He felt like a lovesick teenager. He felt like those girls who fall in love with their teachers or something. Ed decided to roll his eyes and move onto more important matters. “So. How did the meeting go? When do I start?”
Roy paused from his prep work, trying to find the right words. He had to stay as consistent as possible.
“The Investigations Department has rejected your request. Even with my recommendation, they were unable to hire you. However, when I mentioned this to Hawkeye, Sheska had been passing by. She heard you were looking for work and insisted that you work with her in the library and archives. She knows you’re very skilled in language and codes. I told her that you will call her tonight about the position.” Roy’s voice was stiff and unattached.
Ed was surprised to hear he had gotten rejected. That didn't make any sense, he thought he was qualified. Maybe they needed someone with more education. “Oh okay… Well, I guess this works too. Thanks for helping me out with a job. Guess I should start looking for an apartment?” Ed’s tone of voice was unsure. He didn’t know how to react. He was disappointed but relieved at the same time.
Roy’s attention went back to cooking. “There’s really no need. You’re welcome to stay here as long as you’d like. I’m sure staying here would help you save up some money.”
Ed didn’t expect Roy to offer this. He really wished he hadn’t. He can’t just live with Roy while pretending everything was normal. That bastard. “Mustang, I can’t ask that of you. Even just doing this is too much.”
“You didn’t ask me. I’d be happy to have you as a roommate.”
Ed gulped nervously. He imagined more nights talking to Roy in the study. More dinners with Roy. More of Roy taking care of him. “I uh... I left my suitcase by the door.” He started randomly.
Roy turned to Edward. “Do you want to leave?” He asked seriously.
“I don’t know.”
I think you do know.
“How do your joints feel?”
Still hurting a bit.
“They’re better now. I feel fine.”
I wish you would tell me.
“Think it over dinner. You still need to call Sheska.”
Please don’t go.
Rigatoni noodles in a vodka tomato cream sauce paired surprisingly well with the wine. Roy wasn’t the type of wine snob to know what foods paired with specific types of wine. If it tasted good it tasted good.
Ed devoured his plate of food, he had felt nauseous all day and didn’t eat. But the smell of pasta got his appetite going again. However, he did avoid drinking his glass of wine. He had never been one for alcohol, the smell alone was a turnoff.
Roy noticed this. “You don’t want your wine?”
Ed shook his head. “No. I don’t really care for drinking. Alcohol smells and tastes gross.”
“Ah. I see. Well, I promise you that this isn’t gross. It’s actually quite sweet like juice.”
Ed hesitated. He did like juice. Normally he wouldn’t have given in, but he knew Roy bought it just for him. Sighing, Ed raised the glass to his nose and smelled the drink. Sweet and slightly floral. He drank from it as if it were water, which was a huge mistake on his part.
After nearly choking on the drink, Ed swallowed what was left in his throat and coughed. The wine made his mouth feel slightly dry and bitter. “I thought you said it tasted like juice?!”
Roy gave Ed an amused smile. “I said it was sweet like juice. You’re supposed to sip it, not gulp it. If you sip it slowly, you can enjoy the flavors and aroma.”
“You think I’m stupid enough to fall for that twice?”
A sigh left his lips. “You don’t have to drink it if you don’t like it. I’ll grab you a glass of water.”
“Wait, no! I’m not going to let some liquid defeat me!” Ed said with determination. He drank from the glass again, slower this time. It didn’t make the wine any better, but it did make it easier to swallow.
Roy laughed. “I’m glad to see your courageous attitude hasn’t changed.”
Ed finished off the glass and smiled with triumph. “Yeah yeah. Just don’t ask me to drink milk and we’ll be golden.” He laughed, his face flushing the slightest bit of red.
“I’ll remember that. So, have you decided to stay and accept Sheska’s job offer?”
Ed wasn’t in any position to decline. But he really didn’t want to live with Roy while he felt this way. It would be too uncomfortable for both of them. He didn’t want to witness Roy bringing home any random women.
“Can we set up some conditions for my stay?”
“Of course. What did you have in mind?”
Ed took a deep breath. “I just don’t want to see any of your random bar hookups. I know this is your home and I have no right to tell you what to do in it, but-”
“I don’t do that anymore, Ed.”
Ed looked at Roy's serious face. “You what?”
“Do you really think someone at my rank would be doing something so scandalous? I want to become fuhrer, I won’t jeopardize that just for sex.”
Ed sat there and absorbed what he had been told. He felt so much better knowing that. “Okay then. Do you have any conditions for me?”
Roy thought about it. He didn’t have any off of the top of his head but he knew that was bound to change at some point. “I just ask that you respect my home. No messes, no parties.” He joked.
The blonde rolled his eyes. “Gotcha. Welp. I guess I can stay for a bit longer. Just until I get enough money saved. Would you like me to pay some rent, or?”
He shook his head. “I understand money is more than likely tight for you so I’ll be merciful and allow you to stay here rent free.”
Ed scowled. “Okay, what’s the catch? You’re being surprisingly nice to me. I know you’re up to something.”
The General stayed cool and collected. “No catch. I just want to help out a friend, is all.” He said. It wasn’t a complete lie. If Ed found out what Roy did, he would freak out and leave. Roy had to have Ed trust him.
Golden eyes inspected Roy suspiciously. “I’m not an idiot, Mustang.”
Roy gave Ed a quizzical look.
“I know you just want me here to be your live-in maid!”
He laughed. “Sure, Edward. That’s exactly what I want.”
Ed drank another glass of wine after dinner, the two men once again sitting in Roy’s office. Ed had called Sheska and initiated the hiring process. It wouldn’t start until Monday because Personnel was closed over the weekend. He had a couple of days to himself before he was a working man again.
“So, how are you feeling? Has the wine eased your pain?”
“I told you I’m fine.”
“You’re not a good liar. You never have been.”
Ed’s face was still flushing from the alcohol but also from Roy. He never knew the man cared for him this much. Ed had always made sure everyone else was taken care of before himself, but now he realized Roy had been caring for Ed the entire time they’ve known each other.
Ed looked away from Roy. “Seriously? Fine. Okay. Yes, the wine has helped a lot.” He made eye contact with Roy again. “You really care if I’m in pain?”
“Of course I care. Edward, you are one of the strongest people I know. I don’t like seeing my men in pain. I’ll help them if I have the power to.”
There it was again. That good feeling. The warmth, the fuzziness, the heart beating, the electricity. “I’m not one of your men anymore.” He couldn’t help but remind Roy.
Roy nodded. “Of course you still are. I never stopped considering you one.”
Ed was positive his heart was going to break free from his rib cage. It would be on the floor, beating and gushing blood. Ed would have gladly picked it up and put it in Roy’s hands for him to keep.
He didn't know if these were his raw emotions or if the wine had affected his state of mind. "Roy, I-"
Ed stopped himself. He wanted to tell Roy how he felt but he knew it would be a mistake. Roy doesn't feel the same. Roy saw Ed as a son, he was sure.
Boy, do I have some father issues I need to resolve.
"I'm gonna go to bed now. Night." Ed said quietly, leaving the room without looking at Roy.
Chapter 6: I will always remember the depths of the darkness
Roy and Ed do some talking that leaves them both anticipating their futures. TW: Vomiting, drug reference, mentioned sex.
“Edward,” Roy called out, his voice laced with authority and exasperation. He was left alone in his office, confused as to what just happened. Had he upset the blonde?
Ed was standing in the hallway when he heard his name. In that instant, Ed had two options. Run to his room and pretend he didn’t hear his name. Or, he could face Roy and deal with his emotions.
Roy pinched the bridge of his nose before deciding to follow after Ed. He knew Ed wouldn’t tell him what was going on underneath his surface, even though it was clear as day. It was painfully obvious that Ed hadn’t outgrown his crush on Roy. He was acting like a lovestruck schoolgirl. Roy would be lying if he didn’t find it attractive on the blonde. Seeing Ed so un-Ed-like, reduced to a blushing, stuttering mess.
Ed remained in the hallway, standing, waiting for Roy but unable to turn and look at him. He hated how he felt. Roy wanted to take care of him but it just felt gross now. Ed wanted Roy romantically while Roy only thought of him as a son. Ed cursed Hohenheim. Again, that bastard was still fucking with his life. If that asshole didn’t leave, he wouldn’t have these stupid father issues. He wouldn’t be terrified of abandonment. He wouldn’t feel disgusted with himself because even though Roy saw Ed as a son, Ed was okay with that. It didn’t change how he felt about Roy.
“Edward,” Roy said again, snapping the blonde out of his thoughts.
“What?” Ed spat.
Roy rolled his eyes and walked towards Ed so he was facing the blonde. Ed looked down to avoid Mustang, his bangs covering his eyes. Roy quirked an eyebrow. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothin’s wrong. The wine is making me sleepy. Is that okay with you?” Ed said through gritted teeth.
“Edward, why are you running away from me? Did I say something to upset you?” Roy was looking down at Ed, who still refused to look the older man in the eye.
Ed hated this. He hated being weak. But Roy didn’t deserve the satisfaction of thinking Ed was going to run away from this. “I just don’t get it. I haven’t seen you in years and now that I’m back you’re all nice to me. Letting me stay here and taking care of me… It’s weird.”
Roy had enough. He gently put his thumb under Ed’s chin to tilt his head upwards, forcing him to look him in the eyes. “I already told you. You’re one of my men. If this is too much, I can back off.”
Ed looked into Roy’s dark eyes to see if there were any signs that he may be lying. Anything. Ed’s own eyes were wide, his eyebrows raised, mouth slightly agape. He couldn’t move. He was frozen in place, Roy’s thumb holding him still. The warmth from Roy’s thumb was exhilarating. Ed desperately wanted to pull Roy’s hand and cup it over his own face. It was so so so wrong but Ed wanted more.
Roy expected Ed to push Roy away, call him a bastard, smack his hand away- something like that. Roy furrowed his brow in confusion, he didn’t know what Ed was thinking. He wished Ed would snap out of it so they could finish their conversation.
After a few moments of waiting for a response, Roy removed his thumb and rested his arm at his side. That seemed to get Ed’s attention. The blonde looked flustered, almost panicked.
“Don’t go. Please.” Ed begged softly.
Roy had not expected that reaction. Deep down, he had been hoping Edward would say that. Ed’s reaction filled Roy with a sense of... pride? Protectiveness? Belonging. “I’m not going anywhere, Edward.”
“Hah. Yeah, I wish I could believe that.” His words couldn’t be any more dry and bitter.
Roy frowned. “I don’t run away, Fullmetal. You’re the one who is pushing me away. Every time I try to offer you help, you put up a wall. If you don't want my help, I understand that. But you don’t get to push me away and not tell me why. I’m confused as to what you want.”
Ed sensed Roy’s frustration. That was fair. Ed was frustrated with himself as well. He didn’t know what he wanted, or why he was even arguing with Roy.
“I’m waiting,” Roy said expectantly.
“You’re such an ass, you know that?! Ever since I was a teenager you’ve treated me this way! You bark at my face one minute, the next you’re coddling me. I’m the only one of your ‘men’ who was treated this way. You never held me to the same standards as them. You never let them run off for research or let them wear whatever the fuck they wanted. Was it because I was a kid?”
Roy knew this would come up someday. He was prepared to explain to Ed his feelings.
“I’m grateful that you threw me into the military. Al and I got our bodies back. But back then..” Ed let out a humorless laugh. “I always thought you hated me. Treatin’ me like a dog, even telling me good boy when I did something right.”
He didn’t give Roy a chance to speak. “I was so confused every time you were nice to me. I was used to you bein’ an ass. Because it made it easier…”
“Made what easier?”
“Before Hohenheim left, he was nice. He played with me ‘n Al more. He was acting like a good dad. An-and then-”
“You thought I was nice to you because I was going to leave you?”
“When you were nice to me, it felt like I had a dad again. I could handle you barkin’ orders at me. That’s what a colonel does. But a colonel... They’re not supposed to bend the rules for one person. So you obviously treated me differently. You saw me as a son.”
Ah, that was it. Ed’s childhood abandonment issues. Ed’s valid fear of being left by a male figure. Ed’s fear that his romantic feelings towards Roy were one-sided. Roy’s face softened, his body relaxed with relief. He understood now.
“Edward, I don’t see you as a son. I treated you differently because you were different. None of my subordinates had gone through the hell you did. I wanted you to get your body back. I made you go on missions that I thought would help you. I would never encourage a kid to join the military. But for you, I knew it was your only option.”
“But that still doesn’t explain your random acts of kindness. What, did you take pity on me?”
Roy thought out his answer carefully. “When I first met you, I felt sorry for you. Until I saw your eyes. I knew you were determined. Later, I did cut you some slack because I didn’t want to hinder your search. And then everything happened with the homunculi. Because of you, we overthrew the military and government. You got Al’s body back, you got your arm back, you gave up your alchemy. I would never make the mistake of pitying you.
Ed listened silently. “Again, that doesn-”
“Not everything has to have a motive behind it. You and Al challenged equivalent exchange, you should know this. I just care about you. Isn’t that enough?”
Ed’s heart was beating so fast, it was all he could hear. That familiar heat ignited in Ed’s stomach and spread to his chest and face. He felt hot and heavy like he needed Roy’s support just to stand. Every fiber of Ed’s being, every atom that made up his body, desired Roy. Ed felt as if he were running out of energy and Roy’s presence could heal him.
Roy, who smelled of bourbon, cedarwood, and musk. It was comforting. He smelled like a bookstore, he smelled like comfort and home. Ed realized he was standing awfully close to Roy. He had never been able to actually smell him before. Or maybe he had, and he just never appreciated it until now. In any case, all Ed wanted to do was press his face into Roy’s chest and take in his scent.
The two men stood in silence. It wasn’t uncomfortable. Roy was busy trying to figure out how Ed would react, how he would respond. Ed was too busy mentally gushing over Roy.
Roy had an ongoing debate in his mind. He wanted to tell Ed that he was trying to help him by sparing him. Protecting Ed from the horrors of the military, of adulthood, seemed like the least Roy could do for him. But by admitting his intentions, it made Roy look like a liar. Roy couldn’t risk that. Not with his career at stake.
At some point, Roy noticed a metallic sound. Like something metallic was trembling. It pulled him out of his thoughts and he focused on where the sound was coming from. It was right in front of him but also a few feet below him. Roy frowned when he realized the sound was coming from Ed’s leg. Ed noticed he was trembling as well, wincing when he realized what it meant. God. He was so caught up over Roy that he didn’t notice the ache coming back.
“Looks like the rain isn’t letting up.”
Roy looked at Ed with mild concern. “Let’s get you back to the study. I think the warmth from the fire will help you.”
Ed exhaled, trying to relax his body. “I can walk on my own. I don’t need you to pick me up.”
Roy rolled his eyes. “I told you, Ed. You don’t need to put up walls. Let me take care of you.” He spoke softly.
Ed looked to Roy and studied his face for a moment, contemplating his situation. Ed being taken care of like this was foreign. He was always traveling, he never had time to stop and rest. He rarely had someone to take care of him. Alphonse did when they traveled together, but that was so long ago. Winry tried to, but she was always busy working. Granny tried but Ed knew she needed to be taken care of herself.
Ed accepted. He nodded to Roy. “Fine. But you’re not picking me up. Just let me lean my body weight against you.”
Roy crouched slightly so he was even with Ed’s height, he placed Ed’s arm around his neck, wrapping his own arm around Ed’s waist. Roy looked to Ed’s face to make sure he was okay to proceed. Ed nodded to him, shifting his body weight and allowing Roy to support him.
Together, the two men walked back into the study, Roy gently helping Ed back onto the sofa. “Can I get you anything? How’s the pain?”
“Do you have a heating pad? Hot bottle of water? 40 kilos of morphine?” He quipped with a smirk.
“That is an oddly specific measurement. I’m almost afraid to ask.”
“I’m just kiddin’ around. I usually don’t take anything for the pain because I would need way more than what any doctor could give me.”
“Has it always been that bad?”
“Yeah kinda. Right after I tried bringing mom back, it was unbearable. It used to terrify Al and Winry. But after a few months, I was able to adjust. But now that I’m gettin’ older, it’s gettin’ worse. And unfortunately, I have a high tolerance for painkillers.”
Come to think of it, Ed had a ridiculously high pain tolerance. If he were in that much pain earlier in the day, it must have been pretty severe. The weather had been harsh all day. Roy never realized that this was something Ed had to constantly endure.
Roy cleared his throat. “I’ll grab a heating pad. You’ll be okay for a couple of minutes?”
Ed rolled his eyes. “I’ll try to manage.”
Ed was snuggled comfortably on the sofa. He was in a cocoon of blankets and had the heating pad on his leg. Roy insisted that Ed stay bundled up so he didn’t catch a cold. Indeed, Ed was as comfortable as one could be in his situation. He was so tired from the wine, that he fell asleep easily.
Sleeping uninterrupted was rare for Ed. Tonight was no exception. Ed’s stomach began to churn in his sleep, forcing him to wake up suddenly. Ed sprang forward to sit up and took a few deep breaths before opening his eyes.
He peered around the room, it was still lit by the dull fire. Ed raised his eyebrows in surprise when he realized Roy was sitting at his desk.
Slumped forward in his chair, his arms crossed on the desk, cradling his sleeping head. Roy was snoring loudly. Ed couldn’t help but smile softly. Roy looked so peaceful, sleeping in his work shirt and trousers. It made Ed feel like there were butterflies in his stomach. Bleh. What a cheesy feeling.
Ed’s stomach lurched and he realized the butterflies were not the ones he wanted. Fuck. He quickly unraveled himself from the blankets and jumped from the sofa, looking for a wastebasket, pile of papers, or something that didn’t look valuable to Roy. Ed managed to find a small wastebasket, he ran to it and fell to his knees, emptying his stomach into it.
Roy woke up to the sound of someone retching. It sounded miserable. He blinked the sleepiness away from his eyes and looked to where the sound was coming from. Roy gasped and got up from his seat when he found Ed.
Roy was at his side in an instant, holding Ed’s hair, which had managed to escape his hair tie. Ed was blushing furiously, he was grateful his head was in a bin. He knew Roy had seen his fair share of ick, but Ed would have loved to avoid puking in front of his crush.
Ed let out an undignified squeak when he felt a strong warm hand on his back, moving up and down soothingly. God this was not fucking happening.
“Just relax, Ed. You’re alright.” Roy tried his best to soothe Ed. He remembered Ishval, and how he would be so horrified with himself that it physically made him sick. He remembered Maes at his side, comforting him every time.
After a few dry heaves, Ed’s stomach seemed to settle some. He lifted his head and wiped his mouth with his wrist. “M’ sorry, Roy.”
“Shh. You have nothing to apologize for.” Roy smiled at Ed reassuringly. It made Ed feel the slightest bit better. “Let’s put your hair up, okay?”
Ed nodded and stood up slowly, being careful not to put much pressure on his leg. He went to the couch to get his hair tie that fell between the cushions.
“Let me do it, okay? Your shoulder must be aching.”
“Uhh. Yeah… Thanks.” Ed blinked.
Roy stood behind Ed and tried his best to put his hair in a ponytail. He raked his fingers through Ed’s hair, trying to get a tangle out. That earned him a groan from Ed.
“Fuckin’ ouch! Don’t do that. Just put my hair in a low ponytail. I don’t give a shit how it looks.”
Roy pouted. “Forgive me. I’m not experienced in hair styling.” He defended.
“I can fucking tell.” Ed spat, but there was no malice in his tone.
The older man finished Ed’s hair. He was missing a few pieces and the ponytail wasn’t as secure as it should have been. But it was done.
“Thank you,” Ed whispered.
“Hmmm? What was that? I couldn’t quite hear you.” Roy teased.
“I SAID ‘THANK YOU’,” Ed yelled.
Roy smirked and laughed. “Alright, relax. I’ll grab you some water and we can go back to sleep.”
Ed sighed and nodded. He didn’t really want to sleep on the couch. He didn’t want to be alone. He remembered his childhood, being sick and having his mother cuddle him until he felt better. That was so long ago it almost felt unreal.
Roy quickly went to the kitchen to get a glass of water for Ed. He couldn’t help but smile to himself once he was alone. There was something so fulfilling about taking care of Ed.
He returned to the study and held the glass of water out to Ed. “Drink up and get settled in. I’ll stay in here just to be safe.”
Ed accepted the water and drank from it. He was dehydrated and the water felt like a gift from a god. He gulped down the water and looked to Roy. “Actually, um… I was just wondering if maybe..” He trailed off, unsure if he should proceed or not.
Roy took the glass from Ed and set it on his desk. “If maybe? What do you need?”
Ed inhaled deeply, preparing for the worst. He was still blushing and knew it was only going to deepen after his question. “If maybe… M-maybe I can. MaybeIcansleepwithyouinyourbed.” He mumbled.
Roy was stunned. He did not expect that. For a moment, he thought he heard Ed wrong. But Ed’s face told him all he needed to know. All Roy wanted was to make Ed feel comfortable, he was happy to oblige him.
With a soft smile, Roy nodded. “Sure. Let me put out the fire first.”
He was in Roy’s bed. Roy Mustang’s bed. The General of Amestris. Roy fucking Mustang. Ed stared at the ceiling. This was one of the greatest, most terrifying things to happen to Ed. He had dreams of this moment. Well, not exactly like this. Some dreams were more explicit. But he was in Roy’s bed nonetheless. His heart was pounding with adrenaline. He couldn’t sleep now.
“Hey, Roy? You up?”
Roy’s eyes were closed, his back facing Ed’s shoulders as the blonde laid on his back. He was close to drifting off to sleep before Ed called his name. “Mmm? Did you need something?”
Ed paused to think about it. “Kinda.” He answered vaguely.
Roy sighed and rolled over to look at Ed. “What is it?”
“I just wanted to say thanks for all of this.”
“Is that really it?”
“Would you like to continue?”
Ed let out a frustrated sigh. “Well yeah. I just don’t know-”
“Edward. Just spit it out.”
“What do you think of me?”
Roy sat up and looked at Ed. His own heart beating rapidly. “W-what do you mean?”
Ed sat up and looked at Roy with solemnity. “You know what I mean.”
Roy swallowed nervously. Ed was glaring at Roy.
My, how the roles have reversed.
“Mustang. You said you didn’t think of me as a son. What do you think of me?”
“I think you’re strong and determined. You’re-”
“That’s not what I’m askin' and you know it.”
Roy never expected this moment to happen. He expected his and Ed’s flirtation to go on forever and maybe just maybe, in an alternate reality, they would be together. But this? Roy allowing Ed to stay in his bed? Ed allowing Roy to see him vulnerable? This was a completely different universe. Something so foreign and Roy wondered how he managed to travel here.
“Did it really take you this long to notice? I’ve been damn near courting you for the past few days.”
Ed’s face softened, his body relaxing as he looked at Roy with fondness. “I guess I’m pretty bad at these things?”
Roy chuckled. “Edward, you’ve made it obvious since you were a teenager.”
Ed gave a half-hearted groan. “Was I really that bad?”
“Not to me. You’re perfect like this.”
“Don’t be so sappy. It doesn’t suit you.” That earned a laugh from Roy.
“I will admit, Ed. I didn’t always feel this way about you. I have always cared for you, but not romantically. Not until now.”
“Jeez, you can fall in love with someone in a matter of days?” Ed teased.
“I’ve known you for years.” Roy pointed out. “And I know you’ve felt this way for years. Is this why you and Ms. Rockbell-?” He didn’t want to finish the question.
Ed sighed and shook his head. “No. I’ve always loved Winry but as a friend. Growin' up, everyone always said we would get married and stuff and I just assumed that my feelings for her were romantic. But the way I feel about you is different.”
Roy felt a sense of pride in that. God, he was pathetic. “You’ve never felt this way towards anyone else? Men? Women?”
Ed thought about it and shook his head. “No. Nobody else.” He stated.
“You’ve never dated anyone else? Slept wi-?” Shit, maybe that was too personal because Ed blushed angrily when he cut him off.
“When the fuck did I have time to date growin' up?! Oh hey, Al, I know I’m trying to fix our bodies but there’s this really cute girl and!” Ed raised an eyebrow in annoyance, he assumed he proved his point enough to not continue.
Roy rolled his eyes. “Even after everything?”
“What is this? 20 questions?”
“You don’t have to answer. I was just curious.”
“I get that. I guess I owe you some explanation. Winry and I had sex a few times, but I just didn’t see what the fuss was about. I mean, it's just science when you think about it.”
Roy laughed a deep belly laugh. “Only you could break down sex for what it truly is and not pretend it's something more.”
Ed crossed his arms against his chest defensively. “What? What’s that supposed to mean? Sex is just procreation! And Winry and I didn’t even create life, so I guess technically-”
Roy shook his head in mock exasperation. “Ed… What am I going to do with you?” He asked fondly as he looked Ed in the eyes.
Ed dropped his arms to his side, sliding the arm closest to Roy even closer, his hand searching for Roy’s. “I have one idea.” The blonde suggested his voice a low murmur.
Roy glanced at Ed’s hand. The smaller hand gently touched his and laced their fingers together. It felt as if they were always meant to be there. “Edward.” He whispered.
“Roy.” He whispered back and the two leaned forward, inching their faces closer together. Ed glanced from Roy’s eyes to his lips before taking a leap of faith. He pressed their lips together as if there was an invisible force pushing them in.
Said invisible force intertwined their lips in some sort of invisible string because they couldn't pull away. Roy closed his eyes and allowed himself to savor the moment. Ed’s eyes fluttered closed. He wanted this moment to last for a million years and then some.
Everything came rushing to him at once. The fuzziness. The warmth. The butterflies, the good kind! The electricity. That hot and heavy feeling in his stomach. His chest swelling with passion. All of Ed’s thoughts came to a halt. All he could think of was Roy.
And he was okay with that.
Chapter 7: 'Cause pain's better than the emptiness
Ed and Roy engage in some soft moments. Roy realizes just how much Ed means to him. Ed learns it's okay to trust people.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
It felt like the world stopped. Time and space on pause while the two men kissed. Ed had never experienced this before. Kissing? Sure. He’s kissed Winry before but it didn’t feel like this. This felt like an alchemical reaction. The blue lightning crackling from Ed’s hands as he clapped. That explosion of energy and matter. Ed missed it desperately. And here was that same feeling, right in front of him. Kissing Roy felt familiar. He felt like home, he felt like a transmutation.
Roy caressed Edward’s cheek, slowly making his way to the blonde’s neck. This was wrong but he couldn’t help himself. He was 14 years Ed’s senior, his former superior officer, none of it made sense. This is what Roy wanted and he definitely knew it was what Ed wanted. In this exact moment, Roy wanted this more than anything. Realistically, this wouldn’t go much further. Maybe they fuck, maybe they establish some sort of arrangement, but that was it. Roy had crawled his way through the ranks, kissing ass and jumping through hoops. He was not about to risk everything by dating Ed. Even though Amestris did not have laws against same-sex relationships, the military did have rules. As much as he wanted to, it wouldn’t be worth it. His conscience got the better of him and he slowly began to pull away from Ed.
Ed whined in protest and opened his eyes. Roy had on his thinking face. “Roy? What’s the matter? If you’re concerned about earlier, I brushed my teeth when you were cleanin’ up the study.”
Roy let out a soft, sad chuckle. “No, it’s not that.” He looked at Ed and admired the blonde’s appearance. Messy ponytail, eyes glowing, red cheeks, his overall expression screamed hunger. “Edward. Do you remember what you said a few minutes ago?”
He tilted his head and thought back. “Uhh… You gotta be more specific, Mustang.”
“You asked if I could fall in love with someone in a matter of days.”
Ed felt something in his stomach drop. His expression changed from hungry to troubled. This was embarrassing. “I-I didn’t mean it like that. I shoulda used a different word. I-” Ed was stammering out words trying to explain himself.
Roy hunched his shoulders forward and the corners of his mouth turned downward. He looked like he was about to deliver bad news to someone. “Edward. I know you have strong feelings for me. I’m flattered. But you need to understand th-that I-” He stopped to carefully select his words. “I do have romantic feelings for you but I don’t know if I would say we are on the same page. Do you understand where I’m going with this?”
There was a multitude of different ways Roy could take the conversation. Ed already had arguments lined up, he was just waiting for Roy to start. Whichever way Roy led the conversation, Ed was already on the defense. “Keep talkin’.” His voice was even despite the millions of thoughts going through his head. He crossed his arms against his chest.
“Edward, I’m not… Hell. I’ve never been attracted to men. But you’re different. Kissing you right then, it felt different. Good different. It felt like pressing on a bruise with the right amount of pressure. Ever since you came back, I’ve felt this way. If I’m being honest, it terrifies me. It just feels so goddamn good . But this is… this is different.”
Ed gave Roy his signature glare as he thought about how to proceed. He knew this was new for Roy. It was new for him. “I get it. You think I know what I’m doin’? Listen, I get that you don’t feel wildly in love with me. Sometimes I wonder if I even feel that way about you. All I know is that I really fuckin’ like you, Mustang. And I know you like me. So-”
“We can never be more than this, Edward. We cannot be in a relationship. We cannot hold hands, go on dates, any of that. Everything we do would have to be in private.” Roy bluntly cut Ed off.
“Tch. You act like I don’t know all that.”
“Ed, I can’t risk my career. Or your career for that matter.”
He already knew that. He calculated every risk while Mustang was at work earlier. Did he really think Ed was stupid or something? “I know all that. I know the risks. I know the military would throw your ass out in a heartbeat. I know my position would be terminated. I fuckin’ know everybody in Central would stare at us if we stood too close to each other.”
“If you knew all of that, then why did you kiss me?” Roy couldn’t help but ask.
“Because I fuckin’ wanted to!” Ed exclaimed childishly. Roy raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“I get it, Roy. I’ve thought this through. Every outcome, every possibility. If you’d get your head outta your ass, you would hear me out.”
Roy sighed, he was starting to feel irked. “Then explain.”
“You think every person in the military is straight? You honestly believe that? Roy, I know we’re guys. I know this isn’t accepted. I’m okay with privacy because this shit is supposed to be intimate. I have no fuckin’ clue what I’m doin’, and I know you sure as hell don’t know what you’re doin’. That’s fine. We can learn together.”
Ed’s glare remained. Roy’s eyes looked down as he explored his options. It was dangerous. Being caught could cost them both everything. But it also made things exciting. It was like a game that could go on forever. Would that be the objective? Roy’s onyx eyes focused on Ed's determined eyes.
The younger man swallowed, unable to break his gaze at Roy. This is what he wanted. He’s wanted this for so long. But now that it’s right in front of him he can’t help but feel selfish. Roy was a general, his position required a lot of him. How could Roy possibly have time for a relationship? A private one at that.
There was no going back once it started. It would take time, hard work, and nurturing. It would require all of Ed’s determination and Roy’s compliance. Kissing Roy felt like seeing the Truth for the first time. It was too much all at once. It was everything and it was so terrifying. It made little sense but Ed was willing to try. He would do it for Roy.
“Well? You gonna say somethin’?”
Roy huffed out a laugh and leaned forward to kiss Ed. Ed’s eyes opened wide for a moment as he wasn’t expecting the sudden action. Once he made sense of the kiss, Ed allowed his eyes to close and bask in the feeling. Roy pulled away and studied Ed’s face. He was positively glowing, the moonlight illuminating Ed’s golden hair. Ed looked like a divine being that only existed in dreams. He knew he needed to respond to the blonde but all he wanted to do was worship the divinity that seeped from Ed’s being.
Edward absolutely melted under Roy’s kiss. The bastard was an excellent kisser. So when Roy pulled away to stare at Ed’s face, it left him wanting more. Ed let out an impatient growl, making Roy laugh.
“Alright, Ed. Your little speech has convinced me. We’ll give this a chance but I want you to set the pace.”
That was fair. He could do it. “Alright then. I’m gonna let you know right now, Roy. I’m not comfortable with havin’ sex with you, not yet. I need time to think about it. But I swear if you bug me about sex I will leave this place.”
“Understood.” Roy nodded. From what he gathered, it seemed Ed wasn’t comfortable with sex in general. He knew it wasn’t anything personal. “What are you comfortable with?”
Ed’s eyes roamed to the ceiling in thought before focusing back on Roy. “Kissin’ is fine. This? Sleepin’ in here with you? I like it.” He picked up Roy’s hand and moved it so Roy would wrap his arm around Ed. “This is good too. I don’t mind physical contact.”
Roy gave Ed a devilish grin. “So you won’t mind if I do this?” Before Ed could even respond, he removed his arm from Ed’s waist and pushed the blonde down so his head gently hit the pillow. Ed’s bewildered expression was a sight to behold. Roy would have spent more time savoring it, but he had to work quickly. The General lightly pinned Ed in place by straddling his waist, leaning down to kiss him.
It took everything in Ed’s power to not push Roy off of him. It was like a knee-jerk reaction. Even though he wasn’t used to this, he found himself loving every second of it. He had only ever imagined this side of Roy and now that he was living it… Ed felt as if he teleported to a different universe.
He grabbed the collar of Roy’s shirt with both fists and pulled him in closer, the heat from Roy’s body affecting Ed’s, making his forehead sweat the slightest bit. Roy tasted like everything delicious on the planet. The searing kiss ended when Ed broke apart from Roy, panting slightly.
“Kay. Now that that’s taken care of, go to sleep. I’m fuckin’ tired.” The blonde said and lightly pushed Roy off of him.
The Flame Alchemist smirked and laid on his side so he could pull Ed against his body, despite the blonde’s protests.
“GAH! Let go of me, you sap!” Ed screeched and wiggled, trying his best to move from Roy’s embrace. Roy only smiled with content.
“I thought you were okay with physical contact?” Roy asked mockingly, keeping his arms wrapped around Ed.
The younger man feigned a groan. He knew Roy was just trying to be stupid, and Ed not-so-secretly loved it. He loved that Roy chose this . “Mustang, you are such a jerk!” Ed may have been mushy on the inside, but he still tried to keep a hard exterior.
Roy closed his eyes. “That’s nice. Good night, Edward.”
“Good night, you bastard.” Ed’s voice was filled with resignation as he closed his eyes.
He had to admit, it was nice waking up in Roy’s arms. The ache in his stumps had dulled quite a bit, a sign that the weather was clearing up. The sky was grey and partly cloudy, but the sun was peeking through gaps between the clouds. Some sunlight poured into the room, directly at Ed’s face, making him scrunch his face in protest. Ed’s eyes fluttered open when he realized the sun wasn’t going to let him fall back asleep.
Edward’s vision slowly focused on Roy’s peaceful face. The man looked relaxed, something that he normally wasn’t. Ed smiled softly as he watched Roy sleep. It had been a long night and he was sure that Roy’s position as General was mentally and physically exhausting.
Just how stressful was his job?
If it was so stressful, did he really need to be in a relationship right now? Well, that came out of nowhere. Don’t start psychin’ yourself out. Don’t ruin it. Don’t fuck up what you just started.
What is our objective? Why am I with him? All Ed wanted to do was protect his loved ones. That was his mission. Even without his alchemy, he could at least do that. He owed it to Roy, to Al, to everyone he had ever met. He put so many people in harm's way, he was always amazed that people still put their trust in him. Roy lost his sight because of him and now the two were cuddled up together. Ed would always carry that guilt, that nagging voice in the back of his head that screamed Roy resents you.
It was painful and there were times when Ed wished he could tell that voice to shut the fuck up because something that feels this good can’t be constructed from falsehood, right? Everything worked out eventually. Roy regained his vision, Al was able to come back to his body. It was a painful journey and Ed valued the pain because it made him stronger, it taught him a lesson, it shaped who he was and how he saw the world. Ed could endure a little more pain as long as it meant he could be with Roy. Ed could ignore the nagging voice in his head because he was strong enough. Having Roy next to him gave him the strength he needed to endure one more day of paranoid thoughts.
Ed lightly pushed his face into Roy’s chest, his own arms tightly wrapping around Roy’s body. He just wanted to indulge the older man’s scent and enjoy the serene morning. At that moment, all Ed wanted to do was hold Roy close. He knew that this wouldn’t be a frequent occurrence, at some point all of this would cease to exist. Instead of worrying about the what if’s, Ed chose to cherish what he currently had.
Feeling Ed’s embrace, Roy slowly managed to wake up. He blinked the sleep away and let his eyes linger on the sight in front of him. Edward resting in the normally empty spot in the bed. His face was hidden away, his ponytail loose from sleep. Roy smiled tenderly and moved an arm so he could free Ed’s hair. Once the ponytail fell, Roy gently ran his fingers through the golden hair.
Ed firmly pressed his face into Roy’s chest, an act of gratitude. “Mmmf mmm.” He mumbled into the man’s chest. The heat from Ed’s breath and vibration from his voice made Roy chuckle.
“Good morning. Are you feeling any better?” Roy’s voice was soft as his vocal cords were still adjusting to a new day of use.
“Mmmph hmm. Mmm.” Ed mumbled into Roy’s chest.
“It’s not as cute the second time. Use your adult words, Ed.” Roy chastised.
The blonde groaned and separated from Roy, looking up at the man with an annoyed expression. “You’re no fun. I’m just tryin’ to savor a good mornin’ and you have to go and ruin it. I said I’m feelin' much better, thanks.”
Roy kissed the top of Ed’s head, which earned a huff from the younger man. “Thank you for telling me how you feel. What do you say to some breakfast?”
Ed blushed when Roy had pecked his head, but it quickly faded when his stomach rumbled with hunger. After puking up his guts, he was feeling hungry. “Yeah sure. I could eat.” He grinned.
“Alright. Why don’t you get ready for the day and then we can go to a cafe?”
“A cafe? You wanna go out together? Won’t that look bad?”
Roy shrugged. “I don’t think two roommates going out to eat is a bad thing.”
“Oh. Roommates. That’s a pretty good cover.”
“Ed, even if we aren’t dating, we’re still roommates.”
The cafe was small and offered outdoor seating, which Roy suggested was a good idea. The two men ordered coffee and toast with marmalade. Simple breakfast, simple cafe, simple mundane activities.
Simple simple simple.
“So simple,” Ed muttered, his right cheek cradled in his hand, his elbow propped on the table. Stupid Roy wasn’t even talking, just reading the newspaper while Ed sat in boredom. “I know we can’t do much but can’t we do more than this? I hate silence.”
Roy sniffed, not acknowledging Edward.
“C’mon. This is so boring.” Ed complains childishly.
“You need to learn to enjoy little moments like these, Edward. It’s nice to have silence.”
“That’s stupid.” He sulked. “I’m not old like you. I still have a lot of action and adventure left in me.”
“Old? I’m only 34. And I’m a general. I see plenty of action and adventure.”
“Really?” The blonde asked skeptically. “I thought the generals just sit in a tent and blab about politics?”
Roy took a deep breath, clearly annoyed. He exhaled and put his newspaper down. “We relay information from our superiors and watch over our specified divisions. I’m usually in meetings, however, I do visit some sites to ensure the colonels are running a tight ship.”
“Sooo you’re a babysitter?”
“Sure. A high-ranking babysitter.” He deadpanned.
And the two men would carry on like that. They would readjust to being in each other’s lives again. There would be so many fights, reconciliations, tender moments, all the gushy mushy sappy shit that neither man thought they would ever have. But now that this was in their grasp, neither man would want to let it go.
There was the unspoken I love you’s that both men exchanged. These often came in the form of a knowing smile, or even a simple “Let me do that for you.”
Seeing each other every day, anticipating the other man’s presence, was the highlight of their day. It was the thing they looked forward to the most. Roy often woke up early for work and would leave early, well before 8 am. Edward liked to sleep in until the last possible second, typically leaving the house at 7:50 and coming running into the library at 8:17. While the workday ended at 5 pm for Ed, for Roy, it usually went to 7 pm or later. If he really wanted to go home, he would leave his office by 6:30 and finish the rest of his paperwork in his study, with Ed’s presence motivating him to finish faster. Coming home to Ed was what pushed Roy. Becoming Fuhrer was always the endgame because Roy would be able to protect Ed even more.
Protecting Ed was his second goal. Roy realized this the day Ed went to Xing to visit his brother. The couple had been together for 4 months at that point. Something happened to Ed while he was in Xing. Roy would never forget that feeling he felt when Ed called. That day was bittersweet.
“Hey, it’s me.” The blonde’s voice was small like he didn’t want to talk to Roy.
Roy glanced at the clock on his wall, the time in Xing would be midnight. It was 8 pm in Central. “Is everything okay? It’s a little late, isn’t it?”
There was a sigh and a long pause. “Yeah, it-mm. Things are fine now. Don’t worry. Al is fine. Mei is fine.”
“You. I’m talking about you.”
There was some shuffling noise. “Well…”
“Edward.” Roy’s voice was dark full of worry. He didn’t know what to expect Ed to say, he was hoping it was nothing. There was silence. Not even Ed’s breathing could be heard.
“Edward?” He asked again. The lack of response immediately sent Roy to the past. Not picking up the phone in time. The call ending suddenly. The bloody phone booth, the funeral, Elicia crying. “Edward, answer me, damnit!” Roy barked, slamming his fist down on his desk. He didn’t know what to do. Xing was at least 7 hours away. If he left right now he could probably make it there by 7 am Xingese time.
“Mm sorry, Roy. I didn’t mean for this to happen. It just happened so fast I could hardly- I’m fine now. I’m good, I promise.”
Some relief came to Roy, he was able to calm down slightly. Just enough for him to listen patiently. “Tell me what happened.” He asked softly.
“I was with Al, Mei, ‘n Ling. We were just sittin’ at the tea house. Lan Fan was there too. I don’t know what happened but all of a sudden someone tried t-they tried to get Ling. It was a few people. Al was able to fight one off, he told me to get Mei out of there. But you know her, she’s stubborn as hell. Shit, I even think she hurt one of them.” Ed explained as he spoke, he slowly recounted the memory from earlier in the day. As if he were gluing the memories together.
Roy was beginning to worry again. Ed sounded tired and he didn’t like where the conversation was going. “And then what happened, Ed?”
“Mei was able to get herself out no problem so I tried to help Al. I know he has his alchemy but I just had to help him. I couldn’t let them get my little brother. So one of the bastards came outta nowhere, trying to get behind Al with a kunai. He didn’t see it but I did. I pushed him as fast as I could, but well…”
“Where? Where did they get you?”
“Collar bone close to my scar. I might’ve lost a lot of blood. I dunno, I passed out after Al and Lan Fan got me outta there. Everyone else is good. Mei healed me up. It hurts a little but I’m okay now.”
“And that’s the only injury?”
“The only one that mattered.”
“Edwa-what? What else happened to you?”
“Just typical fight injuries. Geez. I said Mei healed me, I’m good.”
Roy pinched the bridge of his nose and inhaled sharply through his nose. “You need to come home now.”
Ed did not like that response. “What? I need to make sure everyone else is okay! Mei is due in a month or so. This could have been bad fo-”
“I understand that. But I can’t risk losing you.”
“You know I can protect myself just fine.”
“I know, Ed. But… I can’t protect you if you’re not here.”
“You can’t always protect me, Roy!”
“The hell I can’t. As long as you and I are together, I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. I can't let this happen again.”
Ed swallowed and softly said, “It won't.”
“Come home now.”
“I’ll leave in the evenin’. Kay?”
“Just make sure you come home safely.”
“I know, I know. Ling wants to talk about today’s incident though. Turns out those guys were from Aerugo.”
“That’s pretty far from Xing.”
“Yeah. I asked Ling what he plans to do and you know what that idiot said?” Ed asked but didn’t give Roy time to answer. “A good emperor should never thirst for war, but should always have his men ready.”
Not a bad philosophy. “Wise words. Glad we’re officially allies.”
Ed gave a soft chuckle. “Yeah yeah. So, now that you know I’m okay, I’m gonna go to bed.”
“I love you,” Roy admitted.
There was a long pause, but Roy could still hear Ed breathing. He heard the way Ed’s breath hitched. “I love you too, bastard. But you already knew that.” Edward spoke quietly,his voice full of affection. Roy could practically hear Ed's grin over the phone.
“Before you go there is one more thing…”
“What is it?”
“If you are comfortable with it, I think we should tell Al and Riza.”
Ed almost dropped the phone, Roy could hear a lot of fumbling. “Are you sure?!” He whisper-shouted.
“Only if you are.”
Even more silence and then, “I’ll tell Al before I leave. G’night.”
Roy could have lost Ed. Ed could have never come home after that trip. He had to tell Ed he loved him. He had to protect Ed because he deserved it. The world was so harsh and cruel to Ed. It was the least Roy could do.
I'm so sorry this took me a long time! I'm about to finish University so finals have been killing me! @_@ I wrote this instead of working on my second to last final. Please let me know how you guys like this! This story will be concluding soon, but it will lead to the next story in this universe.
Chapter 8: The story is set, our destinies too
SMUT TOWARDS THE END OF THE CHAPTER! Ed's reaction to being told Roy loves him goes just as you'd expect it. Ed telling Al goes just as you'd expect it. Ed spirals and he and Roy somehow end up having sex.
As Ed sat on the train back from Resembool, his brain couldn’t stop thinking about the last 36 hours. Lunch with Al, that stupid fight, talking to Roy, talking to Ling, accidentally running into Winry. It had been an eventful time and deep deep down, he missed it. There was something so fulfilling about being a part of the action, the adrenaline flowing through his veins. It all brought back good memories that Ed would have loved to indulge in more, but the last 36 hours kept dominating his mind.
It was as if Ed were sitting in front of a huge movie screen, and he was the only audience member. His eyes were unable to look anywhere else. He was only allowed to look at the screen and watch the events of the previous day.
Ed had tried to tell Al, but he just couldn't bring himself to say the words. Also, there was the attempted assassination of the Emperor of Xing. The window of opportunity was pretty much nonexistent. Ed tried to tell Al on the way to the emperor’s palace, but that didn’t work. Al was much too focused on Ling. And when Al was focused, it was nearly impossible to change the topic.
The two brothers were allowed entry into the gates of the palace, personally escorted by a servant. Ed and Al kept a good distance behind the man. Ed thought that maybe he could just blurt it out right now. At least then Alphonse would be forced to keep a calm reaction.
The ever so slightly taller brother glanced at Ed. “Yeah?”
“There’s somethin’ I have on my mind. I should talk to you about it.”
“I already know what it is, brother.” Ed paused, his eyes wide with fear.
“You do?” Oh god, how did Al know already? Was he listening in on Ed’s phone call? No. Al wouldn’t do that. But maybe Mei would? It’s a possibility that Ed didn’t want to throw out.
“This seems much too amateur. These men made this a big spectacle. Whose attention are they trying to grab? It makes no sense to assassinate an emperor just to make a statement.”
Ed let out a sigh of relief. “Yeah. Besides, there’s no conflict between the countries. I’m pretty sure they have a good relationship.”
Al nodded. “When I was still an ambassador, I met the Aerugonian ambassador. He and Ling seemed to get along just fine. Although they didn’t really interact much. I wonder if anything happened between them behind closed doors.”
“That could be a possibility. But no countries are currently at war, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to start somethin’...”
“We can’t be certain it’s war. Maybe it's just a political move.”
The servant stopped just before a large door. He turned to Edward and Alphonse.
“The Emperor will see you now.” He announced before opening the doors. The brothers walked in, straight towards the throne Ling was on. He sat at the throne, back erect and feet planted firmly on the ground.
“Thank you for coming to see me. I would like your input on this situation. You two are my most trusted advisors.” Ling gave the two men a grin.
The doors closed and Ed rolled his eyes. “We’re not your advisors. Al already told you he resigned as an ambassador and is back at the university. I’m just a librarian.”
Ling gave a small laugh. “But you two know so much about diplomatic affairs. It would be a waste to not use you.”
Al gave Ling a polite smile. “We’re honored that you think so highly of us, Emperor. With all due respect, may I ask you a few questions?”
“Go right ahead.”
“Xing doesn’t have any tension with Aerugo. I remember the foreign policies and acts that are set in place. Are you certain there isn’t any information you have that would contradict what I’m saying?”
Ling’s grin faded into a serious look. “Of course not. Jingwei would have told me if something were to arise. The Aerugonian Prince and I have kept a neutral agreement.”
“What if it’s an underground extremist group outside of the regime?” Ed asked. Al and Ling looked at him in surprise.
“Brother? Where did that come from?”
“Well, think about it, Alphonse. A random group of men suddenly attackin’ a leader? Ling has been emperor for almost two years now. That’s enough time to piss some people off.”
Ling frowned and sat forward. “But again, my regime hasn’t done anything. Even before I was crowned, we have remained neutral.”
Ed crossed his arms against his chest. “So maybe that’s it? What if these guys are tryin’ to start somethin’ with you because you haven’t done anythin?”
Al frowned. “That’s still too flimsy. Anybody could see through that plan.”
“Well do you have any better ideas?”
“We need more information to go off of. Ling, where are you holding them?”
“Kai is holding them in the prison. We’re trying to get in contact with some people from Aerugo.”
“Right. You should have some of your informants do an investigation on these men. Nothing about this doesn’t seem right.”
“Of course. Thank you, Alphonse.”
Ed shifted in his seat and looked out of the window. He would be arriving back in Central within the hour. The meeting with Ling was brief but there wasn’t much else the brothers could do. Ed didn’t want Al to get involved, not with his baby being due soon. That kid doesn’t deserve a father who was always gone. Ed groaned at the thought of coming back to Xing once the baby was born. Not because of the baby or Al or Mei, but because of Winry. They sort of had an interesting conversation when Ed was jumping to the next train.
“Ed? Is that you?” Winry called out, poking her head out of her bedroom door. She had just come back from Rush Valley and was resting at home. Her sleepy blue eyes blinked at Ed, she was so tired she had slept in her clothes from yesterday.
The other blonde didn’t expect Winry to be home. What the hell? She was hardly ever in Resembool. Ed was just exiting the bathroom when Winry noticed him. “Uh yeah. I’m on my way back to Central. I went to see Al in Xing.”
Winry narrowed her eyes and frowned. “I know all about your trip, Ed. I read the newspaper.”
Word travels fast. “Oh uh yeah.” Ed nervously scratched the back of his head. “Crazy how that just happened huh?”
“I thought that you were done fighting? I thought that working in the library would calm you down.”
“Yeah well.” Ed dropped his hand. “It’s not like I was lookin’ to fight. It happened out of nowhere and Ling is going to get to the bottom of it. Relax.”
“I’m just worried about you, Ed. We never see each other anymore.” She said, her huge blue eyes looked sad. She grew up with him, she loved him as a brother, a friend, a lover, and friend again. The thought of anything happening to her always worried her.
Ed’s eyebrows knit together as sympathy overtook him. “Winry, I’m okay. I have enough people who worry about me.”
“I know that. I just wish I could be there for you too.” Winry’s voice was soft, her words almost stuck in her throat.
“You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. This is your dream, right? Owning some automail shops, mentoring some kids. Don’t let me get in the way of that.”
The sadness disappeared from Winry’s eyes, there was a twinkle to them now. “Just promise me you’ll be careful? Make sure you keep that leg safe.”
Ed chuckled and hugged Winry. “Of course. Why don’t you walk with me to the train station?”
Winry wrapped her arms tightly around Ed, she nodded her head that was pressed against his shoulder. “Do you have to go right now?”
He nodded and lightly pulled away from Winry. “Yeah, Roy’s gonna pick me up in Central, and that man’s strict with his schedule.”
“Are you still living with him?” Winry looked up at Ed.
“Well, I just got comfy there. He's a decent roommate I guess.”
“I just can’t believe you two can stay in the same room without getting into an argument.” She chuckled.
Ed’s eyes grew wide, his body stiff. Winry noticed Ed tense up and she tilted her head in confusion. “How did you know we stay in the same room?” His voice high pitched and shaking with worry. He was sweating bullets and he was sure he looked like an idiot.
“It’s a figure of speech but now I think you’re hiding something. Why do you two share a room?!”
“Uh we don’t! I was just messin around!” He pathetically lied.
“Edward,” Winry warned.
“Ugh! Fine!” He took a deep breath and blushed. He didn’t mean for Winry to find out this way. He didn’t want her to find out for a long long long time. “Roy and I are… We’re sort of in a relationship.”
Winry narrowed her eyes and focused on Ed’s body language. There weren't any signs that he was lying. Once she realized he was telling the truth she gasped, her eyes wide with surprise. “What?! Are you serious?! You and him…. Dating?!” She yelled.
“Sssshhh!! I don’t want the whole fuckin’ town to know!”
“Oh my god is that why you moved to Central? So you could date Roy?”
“No way! We were talkin’ one night and it just happened!”
“What just happened? Wait, you guys slept together?! Edward I can’t believe you had sex with your former boss!”
Ed wanted to pull out his hair. “No! I didn’t say that at all! I meant we were talkin’ one night and our feelin’s for each other came out. Nothin’ else!” He yelled desperately.
“Oh. So you… and the General? You’re a couple?”
“Kinda. We can’t do anything in public, obviously. We haven’t even told anyone, besides Colonel Hawkeye… I think.”
“Not even Al knows?!”
Ed’s face was red again, his eyes drifted down to his feet. “I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I was too scared.” He let out a humorless laugh. “What a coward I am.”
Winry grabbed Ed’s hand, making him look back at her. “You’re not a coward, Ed. This is a delicate situation. I’m grateful you allowed me to know. I won’t tell anyone.” She promised.
He let out a breath and smiled softly. “Thanks. C’mon. I’m gonna be late for my train.”
The two walked with each other. Ed wondered if Winry felt jealous. It had to be the slightest bit uncomfortable to see your ex move on. But she was smiling and making jokes, she seemed unphased. Ed was so grateful for her. Once they reached the station Ed looked to Winry.
“Guess this is goodbye for now.” He smiled.
“Yup. We’ll see each other soon. Take care, Ed.”
“Until next time.” He waved and boarded the train.
Ed knew he could trust Winry not to tell anyone. He wasn’t worried about that at all. He was, however, worried that he may have told her prematurely. There was no doubt in his mind that Roy had strong feelings for him. His own feelings for Roy were genuine also. But the nagging voice in the back of his mind would never truly go away. One day Roy could wake up and change his mind.
He could become Fuhrer and toss Ed aside because it was bad for his image. That wasn’t that far off because he and Ed didn’t even see each other in public because of Roy’s image. What if Roy was only in it for sex? The second Ed was ready for sex, Roy could just fuck him and send him on his way out. Or maybe Roy was trying to get information about Ed and report it to his superiors? Ed had been exposed to a lot of military secrets after all.
The blonde could spend hours trying to come up with a theory. He could just ask Roy, but Ed didn’t think he was strong enough to hear his answer. Roy was so dear to him, the thought of their relationship ending terrified Ed to his core. This man was Ed’s lifeline. Roy was so perfect, it was almost impossible for Ed to not love him. Loving Roy with every fiber of his being, every cell in his body, every hair on his head, was something Ed valued more than anything. He had the genuine pleasure of kissing the man to sleep every night or cuddling with him when one of them had a nightmare. It was painful to love Roy but in the best way. It was a good kind of pain. It was the kind of pain that teaches you a lesson, something that was impossible to forget. It was the type of pain that hurt but made you stronger. But Ed didn’t know how strong he would be without Roy.
Ed didn’t know how he would handle it if he and Roy were to break up. Ed had lost so many people in his life, he had a talent for fucking up. He fucked up Al’s life, Nina… Hughes. Even though Al constantly assured Ed that he never resents him, Roy had never mentioned it once. But Roy was the type to not talk about his feelings. He let his eyes express his emotions. Ed had caught glimpses of guilt in Roy’s eyes whenever Ishval was mentioned. Sometimes his eyes twinkled with grief whenever he remembered Hughes. These moments were so brief, sometimes Ed thought he imagined them. Emotions would fill Roy’s eyes for a second before he blinked them away, the charming but cold look would take over again.
Of course, Ed was not one to talk about his feelings all of the time, but he did do so when provoked. If something was ever eating away at Ed, Roy would persuade him into talking about it. Every time Ed would talk to Roy about his feelings, Roy would say nothing. He would look at Ed with his small, comforting, smile and hold him in his arms. That was how Roy expressed his more tender feelings. Ed figured that that was just how Roy was wired. Ed didn’t mind though, it was just another aspect of Roy to love.
Roy finally telling Ed he loved him was a big deal. It made Ed’s insides twist in a good way, his chest tightened at that memory. The blonde smiled to himself as he looked out the window, the sun wasn’t up just yet. The sky was blue, painting the world with a blue tint. He was almost to the train station where he would soon be reunited with Roy. Then another 16 minutes for the drive home, a 45 second walk to the front door, and then he could have Roy all to himself.
Well… Ed didn’t plan on Colonel Hawkeye joining them. She greeted Ed with a smile before her stoic expression returned, her eyes scanning the road as she drove the car. Roy was in the front, leaving Ed and his suitcase in the backseat. “Colonel, thank you for coming with Roy to pick me up. I’m sorry he made you go to the trouble of wakin up this early.”
Roy huffed to himself, Riza looked to Ed in the rearview mirror. “It was no trouble. I actually wake up early every day.”
“Seriously? Waking up before sunrise seems inhumane.”
Riza chuckled and looked back at the road in front of her. “You get used to it. It’s not too bad.”
There was a comfortable silence as they drove back to Roy and Ed’s shared home. Riza’s smooth driving relaxed Ed, he was nodding off in the back seat. The only thing that prevented him from not falling asleep was Riza parking the car in front of the house.
“Actually, Colonel, before you leave, there’s some paperwork I’d like to go over with you,” Roy said, glancing at Riza. The two shared a look and she nodded, turning off the car. “You too, Ed.” He added. Ed furrowed his brow and nodded. So now Riza would know.
Ed grabbed his belongings and the three walked into the home. Roy took Riza’s coat and hung it on a rack. “Ed, why don’t you put your luggage away and sit in the study with the Colonel? I’ll make us some coffee.”
“Uh sure.” Ed agreed. It’s not like he had much of a choice. He made his way to his own room that he only slept in a few days a week. He liked sleeping with Roy, his strong arms holding him were comforting. Being away from Roy for a few days must have made me a little homesick. Ed thought while he sorted through his suitcase, putting away the clothes inside. Once he finished, he joined the Colonel in the study.
“How are Al and Mei?” Riza asked from her spot on the sofa.
Ed took a seat on the sofa, as far from Riza as possible. It wasn’t personal, he was just terrified of her reaction. God, what if she shot him? He gave Riza a smile so she didn’t know how scared he was. “They’re doin good. The baby should be here soon and they seem prepared. Al is gonna be the best dad ever. You shoulda seen the way he was talking about the kid. Already spoiled rotten and it’s not even born.” Ed shook his head and laughed.
Riza chuckled. “That’s good to hear. They’re both okay after yesterday’s incident?”
Ed nodded, his laughter died down as the room took on a tense energy. “Yeah. Al is more concerned with why this happened. He works at the university again, so he can’t go stickin his nose into diplomatic affairs. He mentioned meeting the Aerugonian ambassador before. You have any information?”
The woman hesitated for a moment, she briefly glanced to the floor and then back at Ed. “No. There had been a commotion in Central about an attempted assassination on one of our allies, but the specifics weren’t released. Roy called me last night to tell me about Ling. I assume that we will have more information today.”
The other blonde picked up on her hesitation and was about to comment on it, but Roy had walked in with a tray and coffee mugs. He offered the drinks to the blondes and took a seat at his desk, picking up his own mug and sipping from it. “So, Colonel. I’ll be honest. I don’t have paperwork for you to look at. I have some personal matters that you need to be aware of.”
Riza cocked her head and raised a brow. “What’s this about, General?”
Ed felt himself sinking in his seat. He wished to make himself as small as possible. Damnit. This was one of the few times he appreciated being vertically challenged. He could feel Riza looking at him, her chocolate brown eyes burning through his skin as she
glared looked at him. His heart was beating in his ears, his palms sweaty. He couldn’t look at either adult, so he stared into his coffee mug. A liquid reflection staring back at him.
Roy cleared his throat and relaxed some. He put on that smile he always wore when he was with Riza. He could truly be himself around her and Ed. Because he trusted Riza with his life, he knew she was the few people on Earth who could hear their secret. “I’m sure you’re curious as to why Ed is still living with me.” He paused to see if Riza had any questions, but she remained silent, so he continued. “Shortly after Ed arrived back in Central, we discovered some interesting information.”
Ed looked up from his coffee. Roy looked so confident, it was confusing. How was he not scared? Why didn’t Roy have fear in his eyes? He and Hawkeye always had some weird telepathic powers or some shit. He was always showing his emotions to her, hardly any words needed to be said. Ed was still quiet, content with letting Roy do all of the explaining.
“Upon discovery, we found that we have romantic feelings towards one another. Ed and I have been in a relationship for about four months now.”
Riza gasped and looked at the two men. Roy had really kept this hidden for months? She was impressed. Once she got over her initial shock, she couldn’t help but chuckle. “Well, I can’t say I saw that coming.”
Ed couldn’t help but gawk at Riza. “You’re okay with this?!”
Riza smiled at Ed and shrugged. “Well,” she said. “Are you happy?”
The General nodded in an instant. Ed was still trying to process that Riza wasn’t judging them. Roy decided to speak for him. “I think Edward is just in shock that you’re accepting of his choice to be with me.”
“Edward. I know you’re young but you’re smart. Have you carefully thou-”
“Course I have. I understand the consequences. If this information got out, Roy would be done for. We’d both lose our jobs, home, maybe even friends. But we have each other.” He interjected.
“I see.” Riza nodded. “And you and Roy have established consent, correct?”
“Uhh yeah, of 'course we have,” Ed said as if it were obvious.
There was a look in Riza’s eyes before she said, “I’m happy you’ve finally addressed Ed’s crush on you.”
Ed was drinking his coffee but spit it out when Riza mentioned his teenage crush. “It wasn’t that obvious!” He defended. Damn it, he wasn’t that transparent!
“Yes, it was.” The two older adults said in unison.
Riza had left around 9 am, Roy left the house at 9:30 am to get takeout for breakfast. He returned home at 10:15, placed the food on the table, and called for Ed. At 10:17 Ed walked into the dining area, his hair was free of its ponytail, he was wearing a red tee-shirt and his black boxers he always wore to bed. The young man’s face looked exhausted and Roy would have suggested he sleep first, but he didn’t know when the last time Ed ate was. He had a habit of skipping meals if he were focused on research.
“I ordered eggs and sausage for you. There are some rolls and marmalade in the other container.” Roy announced, going to the refrigerator. “Would you like something to drink?”
Ed looked at the food with disinterest. “I’ll just take some more coffee.” He walked to the coffee pot and poured the last of it into his mug. It was lukewarm and the first sip made Ed’s mouth feel gross. He smacked his lips and sat at the table.
“... Alright.” Roy poured himself a glass of water. He had planned on dumping that coffee and making a fresh batch. He would just take care of that later. “That trip really took a lot out of you, didn’t it?” He asked and took his seat at the table.
Ed poked at his food with a fork, taking small bites every so often. He looked at Roy and shrugged. “It didn’t go the way I planned. I shoulda expected that. Nothing I do is ever that easy. ‘M such a fuck up.” He muttered.
Roy frowned and set his own fork down. “Edward. You didn’t mess anything up. How could you have known this would happen?”
“I’m n-” Ed cut himself off. How could he tell Roy? How was he supposed to tell Roy that he was too much of a coward to tell Al. Roy was brave enough to tell the Colonel, and she was way scarier! Roy had much more faith in their relationship and it scared Ed. Ed loved Roy so damn much. That didn’t matter if he had doubts. Why couldn’t he be cocky like Roy? It worked out so great for him. Why was it so hard for Ed to believe that he was allowed to have this life? I’m gonna fuck it up. I can’t tell him now. He believes in us so much he told the Colonel. He doesn’t realize I’m not worth it. I can’t tell him. I won’t.
Gently, Roy said, “Ed.” He knew the blonde was lost in his own thoughts. “It’s okay. Ling is going to get to the bottom of this. Al and Mei will be safe. You’re going back to see them in a month or so. Would it make you feel better If I went too?”
The fork gently clattered on the table. Large golden eyes examined Roy while his body froze. Was he serious?!
“What? I know Alphonse and Mei too, you know.”
A second passed while Ed composed himself. “Sorry, I just… You really want to go to Xing? With me?”
“Of course I do. Why is that so shocking?” Roy asked with a huff.
“Nothing, never mind. I’ll think about it, kay?” Ed gave Roy a small smile, which he returned with a hopeful one.
“That works for me.”
As Ed ate, he kept his promise and thought about bringing Roy to Xing. Even though he hadn’t told Al yet, maybe bringing Roy would put pressure on him. The baby was due soon, so Ed had about a month or so to tell Al. That seemed to be good enough. Relationships are exhausting. He’s lucky I love him so much.
Roy had finished his food before Ed did, the blonde was just nibbling on bread at some point. He seemed lost in thought, which was a common occurrence. Roy leaned closer to Ed and put a hand on his thigh. “I think you should rest now.”
Ed snapped out of his thoughts and blinked at Roy. I really do love him so much. “Yeah yeah yeah. Let me just help put this stuff away.”
“Just sleep, Ed. I can take care of the mess.” Roy said and did just that while Ed just sat at the table and watched.
Roy was always taking care of Ed. Making sure he eats, making sure his stumps didn’t ache or his automail is taken care of. Ed loved it, it was another reason why Roy was so perfect. He was everything he’d ever wanted in a partner. Roy was such a good partner. Wonder how he is as a lover? Heat pooled deep in his belly while he watched Roy clean. That was random as hell. Where the fuck did that come from?
He really couldn’t deny that he was starting to feel aroused just from watching Roy. It was as if every hormone in his body screamed fuck me fuck me fuck me . Ed licked his lips, the heat in his stomach traveling lower. Ed’s brain was full of desire and lustful thoughts.
Ed imagined Roy on top of him, kissing him, holding him, fucking him. It would probably be messy and awkward, but so so so good. Ed swallowed and realized he had to adjust his boxers if he didn’t want Roy to notice. But then again, would that be so bad? Roy had never once mentioned sex. He never referenced it or tried to pressure Ed into anything. Four months is an awfully long time to go without sex, Ed assumed. The nights he didn’t sleep in Roy’s room, he slept in his own and took care of himself. He was still young, he still had needs to fulfill.
Ed decides that Roy has waited long enough. And he had a special reward for Roy’s patience. God, he was already so hard just thinking of what Roy would do to him. “Hey, I have an idea.” The blonde was giving Roy a shit-eating grin, he couldn’t wait to see the older man’s reaction.
Roy turned to face Ed and raised an eyebrow. “...Yes?”
“You should fuck me. You’ve waited long enough.”
The other eyebrow raised and Roy’s head jerked to the side, one hand cupping behind his ear. “I’m sorry. Did I hear you right?”
“Shut up. Are you going to fuck me or not?”
“You’re sure this is what you want?”
“Roy Mustang, I want you to fuck me.” To prove his point, Ed got up from his seat and walked to Roy, pressing their bodies together. Roy could feel how hard Ed, his erection pressed against his thigh.
Ed wrapped his arms around Roy’s neck while he took in the man’s scent. Roy wasn’t expecting this but he wasn’t going to complain either. His hands rubbed down Ed’s back slowly, painfully slow. He took one hand and pulled it to cup Ed’s face, giving him a quick kiss. Ed let out an impatient whine. It was like music to Roy’s ears.
“Take me upstairs now.” Ed growled. Roy was more than happy to oblige. Ed managed to wrap his legs around Roy’s hips, kissing greedily at his neck. Carrying Ed wasn’t hard. Getting him off of his body was hard. Roy tried to pry Ed off of his body, but instead the blonde grabbed Roy’s shirt, pulling him in for a kiss.
Kiss. “Ed.” Kiss. “Ed.” Kiss. “Ed, I know you’re-” Kiss. “-excited. Just get on the bed for me.”
The blonde groaned in frustration and got onto the bed and leaned forward to take care of Roy’s belt and pants. Once the belt was unbuckled and the pants were unbuttoned and unzipped, Roy got them off, discarding them to the side. He then pushed Ed back into the mattress, running a hand up Ed’s shirt, feeling the heat bloom in his stomach. Ed made a motion to take his own shirt off, but Roy caught his arm. “Allow me.”
And then Roy lifted the top up, revealing Ed’s upper body. He really was a sight to behold. Skin glistening ever so slightly from sweat, his hair framing his head, some golden locks managed to lay on his face, some clung to his forehead due to the sweat. Ed’s face was flushing red, he was panting slightly, his eyes covered by his forearm.
Roy’s hands ran down Ed’s chest all the way down to his groin, stopping at his boxers. “I’m going to take these off now, okay?”
“Hurry. Just want you.” Ed panted. He was painfully hard now, which was a little embarrassing. The main event hadn’t even started yet.
Roy wasted no time and pulled down the black boxers, Ed bucked his hips to help get them off faster. They weren’t even completely off, they stayed around Ed’s ankles. It didn’t matter anyway. The older man pressed his hand on Ed’s erection, the blonde moaned in response. His cock was dripping and red and begging for more. “Poor Ed.”
He wrapped his hands around Ed’s cock. “Poor Ed.” He teased. The blonde moaned in frustration. Roy let go of Ed and let his hand roam towards Ed’s entrance, one finger going in. Ed gasped. He felt as if an electrical current went through his body. Roy chuckled. “Look at you, Ed. You look so perfect like this.”
Another finger shoved inside, Ed trying to grind on his fingers, desperate for more. “More.” He sobbed. “Please, just need you inside me.” Ed begged.
“Love you like this. Begging for me to fuck you.” Roy removed his own boxers and then maneuvered Ed so he could have him in just the right position. Ed’s ass on Roy’s thighs, and so fucking slowly, starts to push his own cock into Ed.
The sound Ed made should be criminal. Roy was loving every second of it. Ed didn’t know what to do with his hands. All he knew was that he needed to be touching Roy, feeling him. One hand ended up in his jet black hair, the other on Roy’s waist to steady himself. Roy thrusted, slowly and shallow, he didn’t know Ed’s preferences and didn’t want to hurt him.
“More! C’mon Roy. Please please, please. Need it bad.” Ed begged, hoping Roy would obey him. Roy smirked and thrust deeper and with more intent. Ed let his head fall back some, he closed his eyes and savored each thrust. His hands made their way to the bed again, grasping at the sheets.
Another deep thrust and Roy stopped. Ed frowned and looked to Roy for an explanation. “Keep begging.”
Ed groaned. “Tch. You’re such a bastard.”
Roy began to pull out slightly, making Ed’s eyes go wide. “Fuck! Need you in me. Want you to fuck me so good I can’t see straight. God, please. I need your cock.”
That seemed like the right answer. Roy adjusted himself and began to thrust faster into Ed.
“Oh, Roy. Roy, Roy, Roy.” Ed babbled. He knew he sounded ridiculous but he didn’t care. He just wanted pleasure.
Ed calling his name pushed him closer to the edge. “You look so perfect, Ed. My perfect little-” Roy let out an involuntary moan. “God, I could fuck you like this forever. You’re so perfect. You feel so amazing. You truly are perfection.”
“Mmm Roy.” Ed moaned. Roy fucked him faster. The bed began to creak. Ed’s toes curled, he was panting harder. “Roy, I’m- ah. Close.”
Roy could work with that. He was getting there too. Ed’s wanton moans were pushing him closer and closer. A few deep thrusts and Roy was on the edge. He briefly kissed Ed before thrusting one more time, deeper and faster. Without giving Ed a warning, he released with a guttural moan.
Ed gasped and closed his eyes, his mouth open, head hanging to the side. He arched his back and came, weeping in pleasure. It felt so fucking euphoric. There were unshed tears in Ed’s eyes. His body shuddering in pleasure before going limp. He was seeing stars and planets, the moon and the sun. Roy fucking him like that was transcendental. The two emotionally and physically connected, during that time their bodies worked together in harmony. It was more than sex. It was more than just attempted procreation.
Ed knew what it was and it made his heart ache. More tears filled his closed eyes, he was too scared to open them, too scared to talk. The lump in his throat made him feel like he swallowed crushed glass. Someone really loved him this much and he didn’t know how to accept it. He didn’t know how to tell his brain that this was good and genuine.
Roy pulled out of Ed and then collapsed next to him resting on his side, he reached his arms out to hold Ed. The older man kissed the back of Ed’s neck. “You were so perfect, Ed.” He whispered.
The blonde allowed Roy to hold him, but he refused to speak or look at him. He didn’t want Roy to see him so weak, especially after sex. He also didn’t want to ruin the post-coital bliss by talking. Ed just nodded and swallowed the shards of glass in his throat.