AN: I know. I know. About time I updated this right? Mhmm. Yeah. School was just cracking down hard and I had a massive writer's block. Whenever I tried to write this chapter nothing would come out. Seriously. But now I'm back and better than ever. Why? Because I have Winter Break! So yes, enjoy this chapter.

Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Alchemist.

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U L T R A M A R I N E

-7-

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"Alphonse, do you have any fours?" Roy asked, his bottom seated comfortably in a golden chair that was cushioned with a plush royal blue pillow. His dark eyes flicked up from the cards he held in his hands to the fish seated across from him. A marble table stood in between them, the surface shimmering ever so slightly when the light hit it at just the right angle.

"Go fish," Alphonse said, grinning happily. Roy cursed his poor luck and plucked yet another card from the pile. His frown grew. He'd managed to grab a ten. He didn't need that.

Sighing, the merman leaned back in his chair, turning his head to look at the expanse of kingdom before him. The two males were currently seated on the main balcony, playing a friendly game of Go Fish that was slowly becoming more a more competitive. Unfortunately for Roy, Alphonse was winning. It seemed that the younger prince had an insane amount of good fortune compared to the dark-haired one.

"Roy? Do you have any threes?" the fish asked, tilting his head to the side ever so slightly. Roy looked down at his cards and a look of absolute anguish crossed his face. Now his three threes had fallen prey to Alphonse, Go Fish Master.

"Yes," Roy grumbled, sliding his precious almost-deck over to the smiling prince.

"Thank you," Alphonse said brightly, setting down his own three – the final one – on top of Roy's and completed the set. Prince Roy couldn't help but wince as he watched his cards be claimed by the fifteen-year-old. He'd have to get some good luck at some point, no?

"You're very good at this game," Roy said, clearly dejected that he was losing. Roy Mustang was not keen on losing, nor was he used to it. Alphonse just smiled sweetly like always.

"Thanks, Roy. I can never win against my brother though," the younger of the two males said softly as he rearranged the cards in his hand – fin? Roy's eyes followed the movement of the cards for a moment before turning back to Al's face.

"Why is that?" Roy asked curiously, wondering how Edward beat Alphonse's amazing luck. Seeing the anticipation written clearly on the obsidian-eyed prince, the fish couldn't help but laugh.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, Roy, but if you think my brother has some magical skill he uses to win then you're wrong." Roy cocked his head to the side in confusion. "He cheats!"

"Oh," Roy replied softly, lips twisting into a puzzled frown. Alphonse laughed at the prince's expression.

"I can always trust Edward to cheat," the boy-turned-fish replied with a swift nod.

The two then lapsed into a comfortable silence, listening to the clamor rising from the busy city streets. Even though Rizenbull and Armestris were different in many ways, the bustling city life in the underwater kingdom couldn't help but remind Roy of his home. Once again his thoughts turned to what his parents were doing. Had they sent out all the soldiers to scour the entire land for him? Possibly even all the way out to Xing? However, his mind was more focused on if he was ever going to return. The scary part was that he wasn't exactly sure if he even wanted to go back. He'd had this mental conversation with himself already hadn't he?

"Ah, Roy," Alphonse said timidly, tapping the dark-haired male on the shoulder with his fin. Roy snapped out of his thoughts, a confused expression on his face.

"Wuh?" he said lamely, resembling someone who had just woken up. Alphonse let out an airy laugh.

"It's your turn," he said.

"Oh. Um. Do you have any sixes?" he asked, hoping that Alphonse would finally give up some of his cards. Alphonse smiled sweetly.

"Go fish."

Roy cursed his poor luck and drew another card, only to have it snatched away by Alphonse moments later. The prince sighed and leaned back in his seat, gazing down at his cards. Why was he so unlucky? He seemed to have a streak of bad luck that had stayed with him throughout his entire life. How unfortunate for him.

"Do you have any nines?" Roy asked, almost pleading with the other. Alphonse smiled and slid two cards over. The dark-haired male was elated to say the least. He felt like he could jump up and sing praises to whatever god had caused this small victory. Too bad his good mood was shattered only moments later by the younger male after he drew a card from the pile – for the first time – and Roy went again – not getting anything this time.

"Roy, do you have any nines?" the boy said with a bright smile. Roy cried out in frustration, ready to bang his head against the marble wall. However, he managed to restrain himself and stiffly slid the cards over. He'd been so close to getting a full set too.

The game continued on in relative silence. Alphonse basked in his quickly approaching victory and Roy in his imminent defeat. Of course, the younger prince was the one to break the silence once more as the game quickly drew to a close.

"Roy, do you love my brother?" the boy asked, gaze locking on the now shocked Roy. It was obvious that the younger male was being completely and utterly serious with this question. If Roy had been drinking anything then he would've spat it out. Not that it mattered though; it wasn't like the spray of said drink would hit the fish across from him in the face.

"I-I beg your pardon?" Roy asked, wondering if he'd heard Alphonse correctly. Maybe all the seawater was damaging his ears.

"I asked if you liked my brother," Alphonse repeated brightly, smiling in that innocent way of his.

"W-well, yes," Roy replied. Okay. He'd said 'liked' not 'loved'. Maybe he really needed to get his ears cleaned out at some point. "I like your brother. We're friends after all."

"Not that kind of like!" Alphonse shook his head, chuckling softly. "Do you love my brother? Do you like him as more than friends?" Roy quickly averted his gaze, choosing to focus on a rather interesting piece of coral he saw off in the distance. It was a pink one that had rather interesting purple spots. "Roy?" Alphonse asked. "Are you going to answer or not?"

"Maybe," the prince replied, blushing ever so slightly. Alphonse had skills; he'd made Roy Mustang blush.

"I knew it!" the boy exclaimed excitedly. "When's the wedding?"

"W-what?" Roy spluttered, quickly looking back at the other male. Sure he'd much rather marry Edward than Riza, but only he could know that. Besides, usually the younger brother of the person you like, who just happens to appear completely innocent, doesn't exactly ask questions like 'when's the wedding?'.

Alphonse sighed and rolled his eyes like Roy was a complete idiot with an IQ of less than sixty. "The wedding? You do realize that my brother has the biggest crush on you, right? He's been trying to tell you, but he's much too shy." He grinned, his expression brightening tenfold. "Will you have any babies? I would like to be an uncle."

"H-he does?" Roy asked, rather surprised. He hadn't noticed that. However, the babies question unnerved him slightly. "Babies?" he questioned, a quizzically.

"It's pretty obvious. The whole kingdom knows about his crush. Brother has never been good at hiding his feelings." Alphonse laughed airily. "And of course! There needs to be at least one heir to the throne. Plus I think Dad's secretly been wanting some grandkids for a while now."

"But," Roy began but let out a sigh instead of finishing his statement. "You know what? Never mind. I'm not even going to ask." He sighed and leaned back in his seat, gaze turning upwards to look at the surface. "So he loves me?"

"Yes."

"I see."

This was rather strange. Many girls had confessed their love over and over to him. So many times in fact that he had written himself a complete rejection speech to deliver each time he had to receive another love confession. But this time it wasn't even a female and the person hadn't even directly confessed their love for him. Heck. This person wasn't even human! Yet, he didn't have that unpleasant feeling of having to dish out yet another rejection. Instead he was happy in a way. He'd received love from many, but this was the first time that it had actually made him happy.

"Roy? Are you alright?" Alphonse questioned, gazing at the other male in a concerned fashion. Roy snapped out of his thoughts, eyes going wide for a moment before he let out a small laugh.

"Ah. Yes. I'm fine. I just zoned out for a minute there. Shall we continue our game?"

"Alright," Alphonse chirped and the game resumed. Roy still ended up losing.

----

Edward let out another sigh as he floated back down onto the large rock formation he'd decided to sit on this time. He sniffed and rubbed his eyes, which were red and puffy from crying. He'd been on his way to the palace, ready to stir up a storm. He'd been prepared to give Roy hell, but then he realized that he had no idea what he was going to say or how he was going to go about saying it. This ended up in him sitting down somewhere and rehearsing his speech. It'd come along nicely so far, though he still wasn't happy with it.

He absent-mindedly flicked a small pebble out of the way so he could lie down on his back and stare up at the surface, stare up at the place he longed to be. Another heavy-hearted sigh escaped his lips as he flopped onto his back, arms splayed out.

His chest was filled with a mixture of emotions. First of all there was anger. Anger for being lied to, anger for having to find out the truth this way, anger for his stupidity. Then there was love. Love for Roy, love for the human world, love for the bright future that could still be his. And then there was sadness. Sadness that Roy hadn't trusted him, sadness that he couldn't express himself, sadness that the present was turning out to be so shitty. And finally there was jealousy. Jealousy towards Roy, who was part of the world he longed to be in, jealousy towards all the happy couples out there that he longed to join in blissful partnership, jealousy towards the rock he sat on because it couldn't feel these confusing emotions.

He closed his eyes for a moment, eyelids covering up the molten gold irises. Why him? Why couldn't his life just be normal? Why couldn't he just meet some nice merboy, fall in love, and get married? Why couldn't everything just be that simple? Why did his heart have to ache every time he thought about Roy? It was making this a lot more complicated.

Another tear rolled down his cheek, floating off with the current as he lay there, eyes opening to stare at the surface. How he longed to be able to live above the waves, to be able to walk on two feet and feel the sand between your toes. He'd gladly give up gliding through the waves for that. This underwater 'paradise' held nothing for him. Edward longed to feel the sun on his skin, to dance under the palm trees, to sleep under the stars. He wanted to leave his world behind and go to the one above. He wanted to be part of Roy's world, the human world, but it could never be.

"I wish he'd just leave," he whispered, closing his eyes again. "I wish I never had to see him again. I wish Roy would just disappear." He wiped his cheek and sniffed again. All his anger had melted away, leaving sadness in its wake.

'You want him to leave?' a voice whispered to Edward, its velvety voice creeping into his ear. He quickly shot up, heart thrumming against his ribcage in panic.

"W-who's there," he stammered, looking around, eyes wide. Where had that voice come from? His eyes frantically scanned his surroundings. There was no one there, just the seaweed billowing in the gentle current. "Damn. I must be hallucinating," Edward said with a sigh, massaging his temples.

'You didn't answer my question, Prince Edward,' the voice said. Now Edward was becoming quite worried. There was no one around, so who on earth could this be? He gave his surroundings one last inspection. Nope. No one. Nada.

"Hello?" he questioned, voice quivering slightly. He frowned as he received no response. Maybe he'd just imagined it. He sighed and shook his head. "Damn. Now I'm hearing things," he grumbled. However, just as he was about to push himself off the rock the voice spoke again.

'My question is still not answered. You're testing my patience, boy.'

Edward froze. To say that the boy was shocked was an understatement. His head whipped around to look behind him. No one was there. He should've been expecting that. His frown deepened and his brow furrowed. Was he going crazy?

'Will you please answer my question? My patience has already been worn quite thin. Would you like Roy to disappear? Yes or no?'

"I-I g-guess so," Edward replied, feeling rather stupid. After all, he could just be talking to thin air. Anyone who was observing this scene unfold would be rather baffled. After all, the prince of Rizenbull didn't just go around talking to the sea currents. It wasn't done.

'Very well. I shall carry out your wish.'

"What do you mean?" Edward demanded, his voice free of its previous trembling. "What are you talking about? Who are you?" He questions met only silence. He turned around, trying to find any trace that someone else had been there. "Hello?"

Suddenly a chilly current of water rushed over Edward's rigid frame, causing him to shudder. His eyes closed momentarily as he rubbed at them. A small piece of something had managed to get in his eye and it was irritating him to end now. He finally managed to quell this irritation and opened his eyes once more. However, he was met with a shocking sight.

A woman stood before him, her short dark hair bobbing gently in the suddenly cool waters, full red lips set into a smirk. Iridescent deep purple scales ran all the way up from her fin to just below her collarbone, creating a sort of dress. Nestled within these purple scales sat a few black ones that managed to create a sort of pattern along her sides. Translucent lilac webbing lined the small fins that grew from her sides and sprouted from the tip of her tail as well. The filtered rays of sunlight bounced off her pale skin, causing her to glow ever so slightly and an onyx necklace whose centerpiece was a large amethyst hung around her neck.

She gracefully swam towards the awed prince, hands behind her back. When she was only an arm's length away from the blonde, her smirk turned into a warm smile and she held out a small ornate box that was a deep shade of ultramarine. Diamonds were set into the surface of the box, making it quite aesthetically pleasing. Edward's golden eyes fixed upon it, expression that of confusion.

'Take it. It shall grant you all of your desires,' she murmured, her long black nails clicking lightly against the box's hard surface. 'Hopefully it can grant you the happiness you desire as it did for me.'

Still at a loss for words, Edward tentatively grasped the box. His eyes scanned every inch of it, taking in each and every elaborate design that littered its surface. When he looked back up to thank the woman she was gone. His brow furrowed once more. People didn't usually vanish like that, but the prince was too excited to think about her sudden absence anymore. In his hands he held the answer to his problems, his key to happiness! But, there was one question that still bothered him: Would it work?

He stared hard at the box in his hands, the gears in his head slowly beginning to turn. It would be a lie to say that Edward wasn't tempted to open said box. The smooth surface felt cool against the soft flesh of his palms. Delicate lips twitched at the corners as if pondering on whether to smile or frown. Confusion, doubt, and excitement crowded his thoughts. Should he try it? Or was the best path to just drop the box and leave? But how could he do that? It would be like throwing away the chance to be happy.

"I want Roy to love me back," he murmured, letting out a small sigh. "That's what I want." Suddenly the boy snorted. "Damn. Now I'm starting to talk to myself. Sheesh."

He shook his head, clutched the box to his chest. He'd come to a decision. He was going to use this box. After all, only something good could happen, right? If it made Roy love him then they could live happily ever after, right? Right. It always happened in those human fairytales he heard, so why couldn't it happen to his life? He deserved some happiness didn't he?

Satisfied with his reasoning, Edward began to make his way back to the castle. Although he no longer wanted Roy to leave, he was still rather angry at the prince. How could he have kept something so big from the blonde? Edward had spent a month thinking that he was just some merman, who'd managed to get caught in a particularly strong current and end up here. He figured that he deserved at least an apology for having secrets kept from him.

----

Roy sighed as he lay sprawled out on the blue couch, belly pressed into the cushions. His expression was sullen. Today was certainly not his day. Alphonse had beaten him two more times at Go Fish and then three more at Poker. Hell, the boy had beat Roy at Solitaire. Now that was embarrassing. Too bad his day was only going to get worse.

He let out an angry cry and buried his face in the pillows. Alphonse, who was still out on the balcony, giggled at the prince's frustration. This really didn't help Roy contend with the gaping hole the other had left in his pride. Slowly the young man was picking up the broken pieces of his ego and setting them back into place with lots and lots of glue.

"Fine, Alphonse. You win. I won't ever play cards with you anymore," Roy grumbled. He was clearly not used to loosing. Alphonse let out a light-hearted laugh.

"Oh but why? It was so much fun!" Alphonse replied. Roy snorted.

"Yeah, for you. You won," Roy retorted, eyes flicking over to look at the small fish.

"Sore loser," the youngest prince replied with a small huff. Roy merely grunted in response before lapsing into silence.

The dark-haired prince sighed once more and buried his face back into the soft velvety cushions. Everything was so soft here. It was just insane.

'Ed's lips were soft too,' a voice murmured from the back of his mind. Now Roy flushed pink as the memory of his first encounter with the blonde prince resurfaced. The voice was right; the boy's lips had been incredibly soft against his, like a woman's really. However, the price immediately froze at this thought, halting all thought processes momentarily.

'Stop thinking like that,' he scolded himself, frowning deeply, 'It hadn't even been a real kiss. It was just the get me to breathe, that's all. Stop digging into things that aren't there.'

He waited for a witty retort from the voice, but it never came. Well, that was a surprise. Roy had been having a lot of these sorts of fights with himself lately. This was the first time that the voice had actually shut itself up, which actually made Roy feel slightly better. After all, it was rather disconcerting when you had a fight with yourself.

Now everything had lapsed into a relative silence, which left the prince to bask in the quiet. It was the first time in days that he hadn't had someone talking to him. Either Alphonse or Edward was at his heels, jabbering on about who knows what. Roy didn't particularly mind, but really, the silence was a welcome thing indeed. Too bad Edward had to go about and ruin it by deciding to burst in at that very moment.

"Roy Bastard!" he snarled, eyes flashing with hurt and anger. Now that sparked Roy's interest. What on earth had he done this time? Edward sure looked pissed indeed. The boy had even used the 'pet name' he'd created for Roy.

"That's Mr. Roy Bastard to you," Roy replied with a smirk, not quite understanding why he liked to tease Edward so much, but he really didn't have time to ponder it right now. He lazily lifted his head up, propping himself up on his elbow, chin resting in his upturned palm. Edward's face contorted in anger, cheeks flushing and lips twisting into a deep frown.

"You lied to me," Edward said, voice dangerously low as he set the small box down on the table. He was still carrying it. Roy let his gaze rest on the box for a moment, briefly wondering what was inside, but his attention was quickly drawn back to the blonde.

"Oh? I did?" the man asked, smirk disappearing briefly to make room for a look of shock and confusion. Edward snorted and slammed his hands down on the couch's armrest, leaning towards Roy, so close that their noses almost touched.

"Yes. You did," Edward replied. Although his angry mask covered it up, his heart was beating fast by being this close to the other male. His stomach was filled with fluttering butterflies and if he hadn't been in tropical water he'd have broken out in a sweat.

"Do tell," Roy replied, feeling a little bit of the same fluttering feeling of nervousness in the pit of his stomach. His dark eyes were once again drawn to those beautiful lips that Edward possessed and thoughts of kissing them ran through his head, but he quickly repressed them and mentally scolded himself. No. He would not go and suck face with Edward, especially not while the boy was so mad.

"You're a human," Edward hissed softly in Roy's ear. This caused the prince's eyes to widen, but he quickly collected himself and promptly released a snort.

"Edward, that is an absolutely ridiculous accusation," the young man replied, "Obviously I am not human." He flicked his tail. "See?" Edward rolled his eyes and let his stony gaze settle back on Roy. This made Roy swallow hard, but he did not falter.

"Don't judge a book by its cover," the blonde sneered. Okay, so maybe his tone was a bit more venomous than he'd intended, but at least it got the point across. Roy was starting to pale and stiffen. The young man was becoming panicky, gaze quickly averting Edward's.

"I'm not a book," Roy replied coolly, finally getting his bearings and locking gazes with the blonde. This cause the younger prince to frown, brows knitting together.

"Whatever," he snorted. "You're still human."

"Edward, did you hit your head on something?" Roy asked, staring at the boy, expression suddenly blank. The prince had set his mask in place, blocking off any and all emotion he felt from reaching the outside world.

"No, I didn't!" Edward snapped, growing slightly more irritated. "I know you're human! Just fess up!" Roy rolled his eyes.

"I'm not human," the prince replied, pushing himself off the couch. He didn't know much more hammering from Edward he could take until he cracked. If he cracked and told the truth, who knew what could happen? "I'm a merman just like you. Even if you're too small to see that."

"Who are you calling small enough to live in a sea monkey egg!" the blonde screeched as he flew into a fit of rage, golden eyes narrowing. Roy laughed at Edward's response. He smirked and turned to partially face the angry prince.

"You," the dark-haired man replied, but instantly regretted it as Edward tackled him, the weight of the other boy causing him to quickly lose his balance and crash into the table upon which the box sat.

"Take it back!" Edward snarled as his fist collided with Roy cheek. There would be a nice bruise there at some point. Roy let out a small grunt of pain as the back of his head smashed into the table again. He'd have one hell of a headache thanks to that.

"Get off of me!" Prince Roy snapped, palms trying to push the irate blonde off of him. He managed to reverse the roles. Now Edward was lying beneath him, struggling with all his might to get free. The boy snarled and spouted off the most obscene phrases Roy had ever heard. He'd never even heard of some of those words being used in such a fashion.

The two males continued to fight and roll around for a bit, both struggling to get the upper hand. Alphonse swam above, trying to calm the two princes down. Finally Roy managed to catch Edward off guard and propel him into the air using his tail. The blonde let out a cry as he crashed into the table, causing it to topple over. Edward's eyes grew wide when he saw the box smash into the ground, lid popping open.

"Shit!" Edward cursed as he lifted himself up into a sitting position, ignoring the sharp pain in his shoulder and back. The blonde let out a low hiss as a purple glow sprang forth from the box. At first one might consider it beautiful, but the deep purple quickly morphed into an angry pitch black.

"Edward?" Roy questioned, eyes wide as he watched the tentacles of black spring forth from the box. A high-pitched wailing that could easily make one's ears bleed rang throughout the room. Alphonse had chosen this time to dart behind the couch, shaking as he watched the darkness seep upwards, rising into a wispy column.

"Y-yeah?" the blonde asked, frozen on the spot as he watched the scene before him. What in god's name was coming out of that box? The screeching grew louder, like nails on a chalkboard. The blonde cringed, clamping his hands over his ears. Roy had done the same already.

"What the hell is that?" Roy shouted, but he knew it was futile. The screams were so unbearably loud that Edward would never be able to hear him. The cloud of black flashed, angry deep purple streaks piercing through the dark. "Holy shit," the prince murmured while the blonde stared in terrified awe.

Between flashes of purple and red, the dark energy began to seep out, tendrils of it creeping towards Roy. Said prince was petrified. He'd never seen something like this, ears ringing from the noise, not even his hands could block it all out. Suddenly the darkness flared and the entire column rushed towards the dark-haired man, smashing into him with immense force. All the breath was knocked out of his lungs, leaving him gasping as spluttering as he was drawn up into the air.

"Roy!" someone called out. Roy couldn't distinguish the voice. Perhaps it was Ed, perhaps Alphonse. The young man would never know for sure as he was roughly jerked upwards.

At first the man felt nothing but an unpleasant stinging sensation as he was drawn into the whirlpool of purple, red, and black. He scrunched his eyes shut, trying to ignore the nausea that was beginning to surface. Then a sharp stabbing pain in the side of his fin made itself known, causing Roy to gasp.

"Roy!"

There is was again, but Roy's attention was fixed on the agonizing burning sensation that was filling up his entire lower body, moving from the waist downwards. His vision was blurry and his breaths were sharp and shallow. Each breath was becoming more difficult and soon it felt like he wasn't getting any oxygen. He wheezed, eyes watering as he thrashed about.

"E-Ed," he gasped, clutching his chest, "W-what's happening?" He coughed again, shuddering as another sharp stab of pain hit him, piercing through the burning feeling already set in place. Roy suddenly kicked out with one of his legs. Wait. Legs? What was going on here? His eyes grew wide as he looked down. His scaly fish tail was gone, replaced with the two legs he'd known all his life.

There was this dark irony clinging to the situation that Roy just wanted to laugh at. The legs he'd been wanting back had returned to him, but now he didn't want them. He wanted his fin and tail; he wanted his gills – had he even had those? – but now he had no choice in the matter. Right now he was too busy suffocating to even think properly, brain slowly shutting itself down from lack of oxygen.

Edward gaped at the now human Roy Mustang. The black whirlpool had returned to the confines of the box, the lid closed tight. The blonde had never actually seen a human this close before. It was quite fascinating for him actually. Right there in front of him were the legs he so desperately wanted. However, he was rather confused about what was sitting in between Roy's legs. What in the world was it? Edward had never seen anything like it. He certainly didn't have one. However, his fascination was short-lived when Roy began to make small pleading noises and tried to swim towards the surface.

"Shit," Edward cursed, immediately scooping up the other male and pressing his lips to Roy's. The other prince clung to the blonde, lungs burning, mind screaming for air. He opened his mouth a bit and gratefully accepted the little air that passed from Edward's body into his.

The amount of air he received certainly wasn't enough to fuel his body with enough energy to propel him towards the surface, but it was enough to drown out the burning in his chest and the constant blare of emergency sirens going off in his head. Everything was starting to go a little fuzzy, all noise drowned out in an annoying buzzing sound and his surroundings bleeding into one giant muddle picture that was starting to give him a massive headache.

His dark eyes looked pleadingly at Edward, who had already pulled away and was moving towards the surface. Gold met black for a split second, but soon Edward pulled his gaze away, concentrating on getting Roy above water. After all, humans didn't last very long without adequate oxygen, Edward knew that much, which left one option, head towards the surface.

Roy felt helpless as Edward propelled them towards the surface. He could swim nowhere as fast now, especially not when he barely had enough oxygen in him to remain conscious. He blinked rapidly, trying to keep everything from going out of focus. Why weren't they at the surface yet? They must be almost there. They had to be. The burning in his lungs was back full force; they felt like they were about to burst. His grip on Edward tightened for a moment, causing the other boy to look down at Roy.

"We're almost there," the blonde said. His voice seemed like it was muffled by thick layers of cotton. Roy could barely make out what he was saying. Everything seemed to have slowed down, like in those martial arts movies he'd watched non-stop when he was still a child. Then they broke the surface without warning and Roy gratefully sucked in the air before lapsing into a coughing fit.

"Are you okay?" Edward asked worriedly, brow creased in concern. Roy gave another cough and a weak nod. The blonde prince let out a sigh of relief. Roy wasn't dead that was good; however, the black-haired prince was rapidly beginning to fade out of awareness.

"E-Edward?" Roy whispered, voice hoarse and slightly shaky. "I'm s-sorry. I s-should've told you." He shivered as a particularly chilly sea breeze blew through. Edward's lips pulled back into a small slightly crooked smile.

"It's alright," he replied. No matter how hard he tried, Edward couldn't stay mad at Roy forever. Besides, the other had apologized, that was what he'd wanted in any case. "Roy," Edward began, swallowing nervously before continuing. "I-I have something to tell you." He fidgeted slightly before pressing his lips to the other prince's forehead.

Now, by this time Roy was almost completely gone. His eyes were half-lidded, what he saw completely blurred. He barely even felt Edward's lips brush against the wet skin of his forehead. Everything inside him was beginning to shut down. Finally his eyes slipped closed and he fell unconscious, but not before four words drifted through the thick haze inside his head.

"I love you, Roy."

----

"Do you think he'll be alright?"

"I dunno."

"Don't just stand there! Help the prince!"

The voices pierced through the thick haze Roy was trapped in. He let out a small groan and let his face scrunch up a bit. The dark-haired prince shifted around, frowning at the rough grainy feeling beneath him. Where was he? Slowly, he cracked open his eyes and looked around, squinting in the bright sunlight.

"He's awake! He's awake!"

The cries of seagulls filled the air and the smell of the sea was strong. Roy could even hear the gentle lapping of the waves as the washed up against the shore. The water tickled the man's feet, washing up against the soles. He was on the beach. Now this just left one more question, why?

He let out another groan as he slowly brought himself into a sitting position, earning cries of jubilation from the people crowded around him. His fingers ran through his dark lock, snagging often on unruly clumps. Roy frowned when he looked down and saw his bare body cover in sand, not one inch of his pale skin had been left untouched.

"Where are my clothes?" he asked, trying his best to ignore the throbbing in his head. The cries of jubilation quickly faded as the crowd scurried about, trying to find the prince a cover of sorts. After all, the Prince of Armestris was never supposed to be completely exposed, especially not in public.

A thick forest green blanket was thrust towards him, which he took with a dignified air and pulled it around himself. Although he seemed completely impassive, Roy was completely mortified. No one saw him without his clothes. Not even his own mother.

"What happened?" he asked, carefully picking himself up off the ground. His legs shook beneath him, but that did not deter him from his mission. He wanted to stand and so stand he shall. Not even the gods could keep Prince Roy Mustang of the Armestris Royal Family from doing what he wished.

Roy's question met blank stares, which was something he did not particularly appreciate. He wanted an answer. After all, when you wake up naked on the beach with an unpleasant soreness in your lower body something must have happened.

"W-we d-don't know Your H-Highness," one of the palace guards stuttered. Roy identified him easily enough. After all, no one stuttered as much as the ever timid Kain Fuery.

Roy let out a displeased grunt. He'd figure it out later. Right now all he wanted was to go home, take a nice hot shower, and crawl into bed. The prince was too tired to do anything now, even think. Besides, the pounding in his head was becoming more and more unpleasant with each passing second. What he wouldn't give for some painkillers and a cup of nice hot tea.

"I want to go home," he said, pulling the blanket even tighter around his wet and sandy frame. Immediately after the words left his mouth, he was ushered into a carriage and brought to his castle. Once he arrived his parents had of course showered him with kisses and affection, raving about how they'd been so worried. Roy tuned them out. How long had he been 'missing' anyways and where had he gone?

Finally he managed to pry his parents off of him and slip upstairs, far away from the overjoyed crowds. Roy was in a sour mood and didn't want to be pestered right now, so his leaving was natural. Besides, he was covered in sand, which was mighty uncomfortable. He was going to wash it off as soon as possible.

The shower had been hot, brief, and exactly what he needed. Roy came out feeling refreshed, warm, and above all sand-free. Then he pulled on his pajamas and crawled into his bed, which was more like a sea of blankets and pillows. In any case it was heaven for a certain Roy Mustang.

Letting out a small noise of happiness and contentment, the prince drifted into a pleasurable sleep filled with fantastical undersea kingdoms, talking fish, and a familiar blonde merboy that laughed and sparkled with the radiance of a thousand suns.

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AN: I hope this long chapter makes up for my incredibly long absence. It's 12 pages long and 6,379 words. That's a lot for me. I hope you all with forgive me and continue to review anyways even if the author is a total bum. So yeah. I'll update when I can. Mm. This is not the end by the way. Just wanted to clarify that.