Roy's POV

Disclaimer: I do not own the Full Metal Alchemist or its characters, simply borrowing them for my own twisted musings.

Beneath the Blue and Flame

I wonder what he sees when he looks at me with those eyes. Those twin golden orbs filled with so much knowledge, so many years beyond his true age. I fear what it is he sees when he looks at me.

But most of all, I fear what I see when I look at myself, at what I have become.

He reaches for my weakness, my failure, this band of hidden secrets on my face, and I cannot help but jerk my head back. I don't want him to see; it is vile. It is disgusting; it makes me hate myself everyday. I cannot even look in the mirror because I know what I will see.

A man who nearly lost his life in his pride, a man who should have died at the hands of a monster, who was not that different than he.

He always told me that it was like I knew what was going to happen before he did, that I always knew everything about him. But this… this I could not foresee, this stain on my soul, this obvious scar on my face hidden behind a scrap of black fabric. This I could not have seen.

It is evidence of my failure, proof of my arrogance and my wrong decisions. I am no longer who I was, even my alchemy has been taken from me. I am lost; I am falling into darkness, brought about by that which I cannot see beneath the fabric of black, hiding my innermost shame from the world.

But he shakes his head at me, pulling closer, pulling us together as he reaches for me. He is so gentle, as if he were the man and I, the boy, instead of it being the other way around.

I should have known he would be the first to truly grow up among us. I should have known he would eventually surpass me in strength.

"Please, Roy," he says reaching again. It is Roy, here… not General, not bastard, not fucking asshole. Just Roy, as if that is all I am… not the title or the pride or the arrogance, not the alchemist or the ladies man. Just Roy. As if here, I am everything that is beneath the blue and flame… and that is all that matters.

He looks at me with that golden gaze, so full of an emotion I do not deserve. I do not want him to see what I have become, but I owe him this much. He is the better part of me: something that made me live through my failure, something I waited years for. He gave me his heart, and the least I can do is give him my darkness. But I am terrified at what he will see. I cannot even look for myself.

He reaches, and I lower my head, offering no resistance, no words. I do not stop him, just allow him to take my sin… allow him to take my secret.

I can feel the pressure of the tight band easing about my head, pulling a few hairs that had lodged in its tie. My face feels a breath of air from the releasing of the patch, and I could swear for the moment that I still see out of that one eye that had been taken from me… my sacrifice.

The scrap of fabric falls to the ground between us, and he reaches up with hands, the one of flesh, and gingerly touches my cheek just below where the horror truly begins, where the flesh has turned puckered and white from healing… where the skin has sealed over the loss of my eye turning me into some deranged form of man.

"Disgusting…" I cannot help murmur to myself. I loathe what I have become but there is no other way…

"It's the same," he murmurs, those beautiful golden eyes turning towards me as he reaches for my chin and lifts up my head to look at me. "It's no different than mine."

I hear the creak of metal on metal, grinding sounds, the smell of machine before I feel cold automail fingers wrapping around my hand. He guides my ungloved hand to his shoulder, the juncture of flesh and steel that he has worn so long it has become a part of him.

The Full Metal Alchemist… that is part of who he is, just as I am the Flame Alchemist.

How could I have forgotten that he wears his sins on his body as well? We both, in our pride and arrogance; we share the same scars.

I can feel a hotness prickling at the back of my remaining eye because I feel even more ashamed. He has lost an arm, a leg… lost his innocence in the search for returning the brother he almost lost to his true form, and here I suffer over the loss of an eye.

I feel vile. As if there is no man lower than me because I know in truth that this boy… no, a man now… this golden-eyed angel has brought me to my knees. He is stronger than I am, probably more so than I ever was, and it makes me feel pathetic. I do not deserve one such as him.

My body begins to tremble just slightly with the oncoming of my misery, and as if he knows, he grabs me roughly, pulling our naked bodies together and melding skin to skin. His own sin is cold against my flesh, but I welcome the loss of heat. The metal is smooth with no mars; yet, it is a scar nonetheless.

I bury my face in the long blond hair, breathing in his scent – that of machinery and whatever natural musk he has – and ask myself why I have gotten so lucky. Where in my past have I redeemed myself enough to deserve this boy… this man now.

I hold him tightly, my body shaking but never going past the point of tears as he nuzzles against me as well. I can feel him trembling, and I wonder why but I cannot even lift my head to look, so my heart is so heavy.

I am so wrong to take his comfort and not offer any in return. When had our roles shifted? When had he become the man with the answers, and I… the boy longing for a home?

His hands start to caress my back, long strokes, of soothing comfort as he rocks our bodies together, unintentionally starting a fire that would soon consume us both.

Or perhaps it was intentional. Maybe for men such as we, used to battle and blood, pain and suffering, looking into the eyes of death all the time and smiling sardonically as we survive day in and out… maybe words are not needed. Maybe actions are, ones that can be understood and felt more wholly than simple verbs and nouns strung together.

My fingers slide over his skin, caressing and touching. My lips seal over his neck and collarbone, kissing what I can find: that juncture between flesh and sin. And I wonder where he has been. What he has seen in our long separation? How hard he had to fight to come here, to return to his brother and me. I see new scars, new marks where there were none before, and I wonder if he had to fight his way back, clawing and screaming through the gate, or if I just was never good enough to notice them before.

I lay him backwards on the bed gently, wondering how I got so lucky as to be able to taste someone such like this. I run my tongue over dusky nipples and a toned stomach, dipping lower until I can wrap my lips around his already leaking arousal. He tastes like I always remember, the perfect blend of sweet and sour, like his personality, warm and volatile. It is a wonder he was not named the Flame Alchemist simply for his temper alone.

But I know it was a façade… as much as my arrogance is merely a mask for the trembling boy hiding beneath, for the boy still very much afraid of a war and killing and blood, a boy who still dreams in screams and crimson tears of a child not much younger than he. And a gun he refuses to put down.

He whimpers and moans, calling my name as his hands curl in my hair, pulling. I do not mind as the noises are music to my ear. I curl my tongue around his flesh, saying things with my body that my mouth cannot form, the words that elude me every time I look into those golden eyes and I see myself.

Does he know, I wonder, that when I look at him I see Edward, not the alchemist or the prodigy or the brother or the automail… just Ed. I see beneath the crimson and attitude to the man just waiting to be beneath.

And when I gaze into his eyes, it does not surprise me that I see hints of myself inside, as if I knew from the beginning, when I first saw him lying as merely half a boy, that I was looking at a reflection of me.

I wonder if he knows how much I love him when I pull his body to mine and guide my own aching arousal to his tight entrance. When I press into him and he moans and wraps his arms around me, pulling our bodies together… does he know that these are my unspoken words of love?

These things I could not be as a General in my uniform or the Flame Alchemist on the battle field or the ladies man… this man Roy Mustang who simply loves him, Edward Elric; does he know that beneath the blue and flame, there is him and only him?

He arches his back as I stroke him inside, his own erect flesh rubbing against my toned stomach as he cries out words of encouragement, telling me with his own body that my feelings are returned.

Will it always be this way? We, two men of war, speaking with our bodies what our mouths cannot? He grabs my head and forces our lips together, melting my walls with a claiming kiss, when a hot press of flesh on flesh, tongues slipping and sliding together as if they were meant to be.

He pulls back once, just once… to kiss the area where my eye should be, the source of my sin and self-loathing, my secreted scar, before returning his lips to my mouth, and I cannot help the tears that slip from my eye.

Lord, help me, Edward, but you are healing this broken man. Without you, I had become lost, merely existing in my path. I was nothing, not even my mask.

He gasps against my mouth, throwing his head back as he screams his orgasm… screams my name. Not General, not bastard, but Roy… the very sound of it enough to pull me over the edge, slipping into hot oblivion as I empty myself in his body, burying my face in his neck as I murmur much more quietly his name in a repeating mantra, paying homage to the boy that saved me… even from the very beginning.

We collapse together against the bed, a bundle of limbs and soothing kisses, automail and scars and burdens. We lie wrapped in arms, words unspoken except for whispered names and shared lips.

I wonder if I can look in the mirror again. I wonder if it will hold the same power over my emotions, over my very self-belief as it did before.

He snuggles into my body, pulling the sheets of my well-used bed over us as he wraps his arms as tightly about me as he's able, his warm breath ghosting over the skin of my collarbone.

"It is the same," he murmurs against my chest. "We are the same."

He is so much stronger than I. I wonder why I could not see it before. My hands tighten unconsciously against my hold on him.

"Yes," I respond, in a voice barely louder than a whisper. "We are the same."

Beneath the blue and flame and metal and scars and shame… he and I… we are the same, and though I should not, I take comfort in that I am not the only onewho suffers, that we share in our experiences.

It binds us with a bond that cannot be broken.

I wonder if I should speak the words lying heavy on my heart as our breath evens out in the dim light of my bedroom. I wonder as he drifts into sleep, which comes so easily to him, though I know his nightmares are much the same. Should I tell him? Should I say it aloud, that which has gone unsaid?

He unconsciously shifts, just barely enough to get comfortable, and just the small amount of flesh rubbing against flesh, metal on smooth skin soothes my heart. It restores some semblance of hope to this tattered flesh and emotional bag of pain… and I begin to realize.

Perhaps… I don't have to.