The first night was the worst. Ed was still baffled by Mustang's behavior, kept trying to provoke him into some kind of response other than dull agreement. It pissed him off, the way that dark head bowed before him. He heard Hawkeye's words, grudgingly accepted his duty as a recourse of being away from the front lines. He was practically on vacation, after all, staying with Al in this cozy little hole-in-the-wall in East City that some old fart had given to the Fullmetal Alchemist in his will. Ed hadn't wanted it, had outright refused it, but Al thought it would be good to have a place to rest, so Ed grudgingly accepted. It would have been torn down and turned into a pawn shop or something if he hadn't, so it was only out of consideration for the community. Or something.

But anyway, that first night had been terrible, but a close second was three nights later, when Ed hit Roy. He hadn't meant to, really; he'd turned too sharply, gestured, too widely, and he felt his right hand jerk strangely and realized that Roy's face was right there. He'd frozen, eyes wide - he really hadn't meant to, although he was yelling at Roy, and it was worse than hitting his brother because it would truly hurt Roy - but that dark eye (only one now, and oh how that had startled him) was looking at him for once instead of anywhere else, and the expression on Roy's face was both hurt and hopeful at the same time, and he looked exactly like Al did when they were little and Ed said he'd bring Al down to the river if he drank Ed's milk for him, and Ed automatically reached out to comfort his brother.

Roy's hair was greasy against his neck, but he gritted his teeth and held on, pressing that blank face against his shoulder. He almost didn't notice when the hot breath moistening his shirt turned into words, and when he listened he didn't particularly care for the words in question.

"I don't mind," Roy whispered, and Ed dutifully held back from hitting Roy again. On purpose, this time.

"Idiot," he growled. "Just because of that - You're not going to give up just like that, just because it didn't work the first time. You'll work around the depth perception shit, and they'll be begging to have you back. So shut up. It's not over." He pushed Roy away and stalked over to kick the door instead of Roy's leg. The door won't thank him for it.

"It's not that. That's not all of it." Roy shifted, catching his balance when Ed moved away, and frowned. "I'm not…"

"Not what? Giving up? Sure as hell looks like it to me." Ed scowled darkly at the unoffending door, trying to pinpoint what exactly about Roy pissed him off so much. It used to be the way he'd act so smug and lord everything over Ed's head as if he were a tiny little insignificant ant - oh. That's what it was. There's nothing left Roy can hold over him; and maybe there's nothing left for Roy. Well. He'd just have to do something about that, because this crap was pissing him off even more now that he gets it.

"I'm not… not worth -"

Ed cut him off before he could even consider finishing that. "Shut up! Don't even try to feed me that bullshit." Ed spun around to glare at him, planting both feet firmly on the ground and his hands on his hips. "You have feet, don't you? Stand on them!"

But Roy just turned away, and Ed had to leave before the urge to deconstruct the pain in Roy's eyes became unbearable.