Disclaimer: I do not own Sabrina nor Fullmetal Alchemist.
A/N: As some of you may have found out (by asking me or by reading my LJ) you know that this chapter caused me so much grief! I have several dozen—SEVERAL DOZEN!—versions of of this chapter, each one making me more frustrated the longer I looked at it. The boys didn't want to do what I felt the readers had earned (namely sex) and the more I fought with them the more they fought back. It got so bad that I became frustrated with the whole fandom and had to give it up to save my sanity because I was well and truly entrenched in my writer's block.
If you are following my LJ you know I've been recently involved in the Star Trek fandom and the Kirk/McCoy pairing since December 2009 (when I finally got past my writer's block!). You don't know how relieving it was to finally find the words again but I never once forgot about this story. I knew I would have to revisit the last chapter someday, but I'd be lying if I said that I was kinda avoiding it.
It was Greedy_lover's kind read through of the following version that convinced me that having an open ended finish was fine and that including a sex scene would not be missed. I would like to thank my first beta Zakai, my second beta, Yaoi_girl69 (now Weredragon) and Greedy_lover for stepping in at the last moment.
Thank you also to my readers and lurkers. I would have loved to hear more from you, but I'm thankful that my story continues to get such high hits, even now.
Edward's apartment was much smaller then the one Alex had chosen. The long common room contained the kitchen, which was a small galley style to the right of the door, then it was directly into the living room. It was rather crowed with the large couch, armchair, coffee table and a bureau that a small TV was sitting on. Beyond the kitchen he could see a half closed door and just glimpse a messy bed. There wasn't too much going for this small closest sized apartment other then it was where Edward lived.
From across the room, Roy watched Edward move towards the window and look out. He felt tense and nervous standing here and wondered if he should wait until he was invited to speak or if he should start talking. This was another new sensation that Edward was bringing out of him. In the past he wouldn't have wondered over what to do, rather, he would just read the situation effortlessly and worked on making his audience, be it a room full of investors or walking into a hostile company's corporate office and demanding they sell to him, bow to his wishes. But Edward was just standing there and he didn't know if this called for him to take charge, or if he should let Edward do so, thus working in his favor.
He watched Edward's body stretch forward as he planted his hands on the low window still and rock his weight forwards and backwards. Roy enjoyed the sight of him quietly; he could drop his façade and the games and simply enjoy the sight of him. But, he wondered, how long would he have to enjoy this display before Edward took that away from him?
"Why are you really here?" asked Edward, his voice almost lost in the stillness of the room.
Roy shifted his weight anxiously. "What I said last night was true, Edward. I'm here because I'm a fool and I want—I hope—that you can look past my mistake and see that you love me—could love me…and I…well, I want to say that I'm sorry for being an asshole." Looking down at his hands, he noticed that he was worrying the button on his jacket. Embarrassed, Roy quickly let the button go and thrust his hands into his pant pockets.
"And what mistake would that be?" asked Edward, still leaning against the window, his gaze focused on some point outside. Roy looked down at his feet, knowing that ogling Edward might not send the message he wanted at this point in time.
"That would be the one where I was a jerk, as your friend so aptly called me last night, and used your emotions towards me to manipulate you into a situation where I could get rid of you." Roy could feel his business persona starting to take hold of him and fought to push it back. Now was not the time to be cold and unfeeling. He needed to show as much of himself as he could in the hopes that it would help him win Edward over.
"You did do that, didn't you?" murmured Edward.
"Edward…can I come in; can we sit down and talk about this?" Edward looked at him from over his shoulder, shifting his weight back to stare at him. After a moment, Edward stood and crossed his arms.
"Yeah, alright; but you got to leave if I don't want you here anymore. This time, I will punch you…"
Roy immediately glanced at Edward's hand seeing that the bandages were now gone and reminded himself that Edward had easily punched through his wall; there was no telling what would happen to him if he was the intended target. He nodded and toed off his shoes, pulling the heels back until they were neat against the baseboard. He then moved into the living room and sat on the couch beside the arm closest to the door, twisting sideways to look at Edward.
Even this far away, Roy already felt closer to Edward. He wanted to head over to the window to stand next to him, but felt that would be pushing his tenuous welcome to the breaking point. It felt like he was dealing with an unbroken colt, young and unused to human contact. He needed to be cautious, move slow so as to not startle him and let him become used to his presence.
"So talk," demanded Edward cruelly.
"Would you please sit so that we don't have to raise our voices to be heard?" asked Roy motioning to the armchair next to the couch. After a moment of pressing his lips in thought, Edward walked stiffly over to the chair and flopped inelegantly into the worn, faded cushions. "Thank you," murmured Roy.
Before he started, Roy took off his jacket and laid it across his knee, using that time to internally steady himself. "Ah, before I get into why I'm here, may I ask how your hand is doing? I notice the bandages are gone."
Roy watched Edward's jaw work, clenching and unclenching for several long moments. "It's fine," said Edward stiffly. "Don't confuse the issue here," he added quickly. "Talk."
With a nod, Roy cleared his throat. "I must admit, I'm a bit at a loss as to what more I can say. I'm truly remorseful that I've played such a large role in hurting your feelings, but you should know—I'm sure you know—that I've been attracted to you for a long time." Roy blinked at hearing those words come from his mouth and felt as if an unknown answer to an unvoiced question suddenly clicked into place. It was true, though he hadn't even realized it until he'd said it. All those times he had chased after Edward when they were younger, all those times he'd tried to make nice at the Christmas parties...all that time, he had done it because he liked Edward, and he'd been blind to it until this very moment? Normally such a revelation would have shocked him, but now, it just rang true and that was it. He accepted that that was how he felt and continued on.
Edward was watching him keenly. It was quite the struggle for Roy to not erect his normal barriers. He wanted to be as open as he could for Edward while he talked so that he could be scrutinized, but naturally Roy wasn't open and feeling vulnerable like this was hard on him. It didn't help that Edward's intense, critical gaze was putting him on edge.
"So, what are you saying? That you followed me—stalked me as a kid; hiding in the bushes and watching me like that was because you liked me and you didn't know until just now? That sounds like complete bullshit."
Unable to devise an answer to that, Roy dropped his gaze to Edward's foot which was resting on the edge of the coffee table. "Edward, I'm a man that's used to getting his way, you know that. You've even called me on it, if I recall. I don't expect you to bow to my wishes here. I'm just hoping that you'll consider what I say as containing enough truth for you to be comfortable with giving me a second chance. And if you do give me that chance, I promise you that I won't waste a moment of any of the time you allow me to have to show you that I am in love with you."
He looked up then and found Edward's eyes fixed on him. What thoughts were flashing behind those eyes, Roy couldn't tell. He was more interested in watching the color in those eyes shift from light to dark and somewhere in-between. Finally Edward turned aside. Roy felt that some decision was about to be made and struggled to keep his seat. He didn't need to be jumping up off the couch this very moment to press his point. He had to see which way Edward was going to take this before he became desperate.
"How can you be in love with me though?" asked Edward quietly. His thumb found its way to his mouth where he began to chew on the nail. Roy recognized the habit from the tournament and every other time he'd seen Edward nervous or anxious. The appearance of this nervous tick now gave him a glimmer of hope. He supposed it was because Edward might be considering Roy's words as holding some truth. At least he hoped that's what Edward was thinking.
"How could I not?" countered Roy.
A crease formed between Edward's eyebrows. "Don't play with me!" snapped Edward, standing to pace from the kitchen to the window. "I can't stand it when you play with people! I hate it!"
Roy turned so that he could watch Edward move, awed once more at the grace he exuded even while agitated. "I am quite honest here. I am not playing with you."
"Bullshit," hissed Edward, giving him an angry glare as he stalked his way towards the kitchen. "That's what you do, after all; that's what you did to me!"
"That was a mistake," said Roy. He struggled to keep his voice level and not match the growing volume in Edward's voice.
"So you come here and just expect to get your way? That's real nice," said Edward snidely. "What if I didn't want to? What would you do to make me, huh? Try and buy me again? Buy my friends for me, too? What else will you buy to make me like you?" shouted Edward as he stalked by the couch, throwing his arms up into the air.
Roy's gossamer hold on his temper tore in answer to Edward's flaring fury. He shot up from his seat and glared across the back of the couch. In response, Edward stopped pacing and turned to face him, angling in a way that Roy recognized as the same stance he'd used during his fights in L.A. but his own temper made him ignore the warning sign.
"That may have been a part of me before; before I met you and got to really know you, but not now! I'm willing to put myself on the line for you, Edward, and I expect that you'd at least listen to what I have to say with an open mind—"
"Ha!" barked Edward. His face twisted with scorn. "'Expect'? You 'expect' me to listen to you; the liar? Well, you can 'expect' that I don't listen to your 'orders'—"
"Now see here!" growled Roy, coming around the couch.
"Don't you take that patronizing tone with me, you fuckin' prick! I can't stand it when people patronize me!" Edward backed away from Roy as he came close which angered Roy further. That Edward felt he needed to keep distance between them hit a sore point for Roy. It brought back all the times he'd followed a much younger Edward, trying to figure out what made him tick only to watch him run away at the mere sight of him.
Reaching out, Roy grabbed Edward's arm with his right hand, dragging him closer. The smell of Edward's shampoo drifted up to him. "I'm not patronizing you, you silly fool, I'm trying to make up with you!"
Growling dangerously in the back of his throat, Edward yanked his arm free and shifted away. "Silly? So, now I'm silly, too? That's fuckin' nice, that is!"
"Edward!" Roy stepped forward, taking both arms into his hands and pulling a struggling Edward back to him. "Edward, stop! Just...stop, please." Something in his desperate, pleading tone must have caught Edward's attention because he suddenly stilled in his hold. He touched his forehead to Edward's, looking into his eyes as the tension and fight slowly left the smaller man's body. "You remember what I said last night, about you belonging to me?" Roy waited for the infinitesimal nod. "Well, that means I belong to you, too, Edward. What can I do? Just tell me; name anything, I'll do whatever you want me to in order to prove to you that I'm serious. Just...tell me, please."
Edward dropped his gaze without dislodging Roy. He could see a faint dusting of pink spreading across his cheeks. Feeling as though he was finally getting through to Edward, Roy eased up on his grip and traced up strong arms, wrapping his hands gently around a muscular neck. His fingers wove into the braid holding the blond hair back. Keeping Edward close, Roy kissed his forehead, lingering there and inhaling his scent. He closed his eyes and hoped that he wasn't going to find a fist in his stomach for taking liberties.
"Are you serious—I mean, really serious?" asked Edward in a small voice. Instead of answering right away, Roy kissed along his brow, down to his temple and then pulled back. All of Edward's attention seemed to be focused on him. His eyes caught and held Roy's gaze so that he couldn't look away. There was such earnest, hopefulness in Edward's face that it made Roy wish he was brave enough to kiss Edward on the lips right now.
But he held back.
"I'm really serious, Edward. I gave my job to Winry—I'm unemployed now, so I guess that means I'll have to live off of your salary," joked Roy, his voice low and intimate.
Edward huffed a laugh. "Well, that's not going to work out very well 'cause I'm unemployed too."
"That is a problem," agreed Roy. He let his hands drop to his sides and took a half step back. As much as he wanted to prolong this moment, he needed to remember that he had to go at Edward's pace—he would go at Edward's pace. He would never force Edward into something ever again. "Well, I'm glad we could talk and come to an understanding—ah, we did, right?" wondered Roy. "Come to an understanding that is." He still feared getting punched.
"Well..." Edward crossed his arms over his chest but it didn't look defensive, rather Edward seemed slightly playful. "You said you'd do whatever I wanted you to; that true?"
"Of course," agreed Roy easily. "What do you want of me?" An uneasy, prickly sensation itched at the back of his neck as his mind raced with every possible scenario and demand Edward might come up with. He hoped that whatever Edward asked of him, it was something he would be able to give. He dreaded what would happen if he was asked to give something that was beyond his power.
"I'm not excusing what you did to me and it's not okay yet—I just want to put that out there—but that's not to say that I'm not willing to…ah…try." To Roy's amusement, Edward started to turn very red. He wondered what thoughts were racing through his mind at this moment. Edward glanced nervously at him then away, readjusting his arms tighter about his body. "Ah…what I'm saying is…I want you to be nicer—to everyone. Don't take people for granted and don't use them anymore."
Roy's heart broke and mended all at once. Before he knew it, he enveloped Edward in a hug, dipping his head beside Edward's ear, holding him close. "Of all the many things I imagined you asking for, I am ashamed to say I didn't once think you'd ask for that," murmured Roy.
Shyly, Edward's arms wrapped around his waist and Roy's heart now soared. He squeezed Edward to his chest and kissed his ear. "I promise, and if I forget, I hope I can rely on you to always remind me."
"I can do that," said Edward against his shirt. He turned his head so that it was tucked against his shoulder. Roy loved that Edward was the perfect size to fit under his chin; his little pocket sized soon-to-be-lover, he thought with amusement. He really wanted to kiss him, but not yet. He had to let Edward dictate the pace. But, damn he wanted.
With reluctance Roy pulled away from the embrace. Smiling down at Edward's curious face, he stroked a hand through his bangs. He wanted to linger here, but he should leave now and come back tomorrow in order to give them both time to process all this. In the mean time, he should head over to the apartment Alex had bought and see if it would work for as a more permanent place to stay. While he could simply move into a hotel that would be more suited to his needs, he wanted to make a break with that style of living.
"I should go soon. I have things to take care of to make my stay long-term, but before I do; I spoke to your father before I left," said Roy, stroking his thumb over Edward's cheek.
Edward looked disappointed for a moment which did wonders for Roy's ego, and then surprised. "Oh-oh, uh…did he rag you out?"
"Not quite, though he was understandably angry on your behalf. No, he let me know how much I hurt you and I told him that I'd never knowingly do that again. And then…he gave us his blessing," murmured Roy.
Edward gasped, his eyes going wide. "Really? Holy shit! He wasn't all that cool with my sexuality and now he's cool with us? Wow…"
"Us?" Roy quirked an eyebrow at Edward's choice of pronoun.
Shifting, Edward blushed again. "Well, we are 'us', right?"
"We are if you want us to be," said Roy, keeping his voice low. His heart beat a furious tempo in his chest. Thank God for Edward's penchant for being unexpected. He only hoped…
"Then we are," proclaimed Edward, smiling. Quick as silver, Edward leaned forward and pecked him on the lips.
Roy sighed. "I think I'm beginning to love when you surprise me, but that wasn't near enough. May I kiss you?" he asked.
"Why are you asking?" Ed blushed deeply. "That's so annoying—and weird, like, who asks that anyway? You should just do it and not ask—"
Roy's mouth covered the rest of Edward's burgeoning, embarrassed rant, his tongue sliding deep into his mouth, tasting. It was like a spark to gasoline. Every fiber of Roy's being now felt too hot, and his stomach flipped, twisting with excitement. He pressed up close to the body in front of him, his hands sliding back up into that golden hair and tilting Edward's head to the side, making the kiss even deeper.
Edward moaned, pawing at his upper arms and gripping his shirt to pull him down. Roy was already half hard from just tasting Edward and now with this insistent tugging he was quickly losing the rational part of his brain to his baser, hedonistic emotions. He tried to maintain a hold on himself but with each sound and move that Edward made, his valiant efforts became harder.
One hand found its way to the crest of Edward's ass, pressing the smaller body forwards until they were chest to chest, groin to groin. Wet tongues battled alternately for dominance or submission until they broke apart to catch their breath. Strong hands stoked up Roy's arms, over his shoulders and down the front of his neck. Panting, Edward leaned forward and kissed the hollow of his throat. Roy let his eyes flutter closed, tilting his head back and shuddering at the subtitle flick of tongue and the more demanding nip of teeth.
"Mm, I love the taste of your skin," mumbled Edward, licking up the side of his neck causing Roy to pull him tight to his body.
Roy shuddered at the friction generated between them, but with Edward's comment, it felt as if reality was suddenly rushing back in again. He pulled Edward away from his neck and reclaimed that lovely mouth. He resisted the need to ravish and lay claim, instead he just slowly encouraged the intensity to a more reasonable level—one that encouraged rational thinking.
"Did you bring your suit back with you?" asked Roy pulling away. The need to be close was still strong and rather than fighting it, he splayed his hands, one still on Edward's ass and the other messed up the fall of golden hair between his fingers. There was a very beautiful flush across Edward's cheeks, so he kissed each one.
"Yeah…why?" murmured Edward.
"I'd really like to take you out tonight. To a fancy place with dim lighting and fabulous French cuisine, where we'll be waited on and I might like to feed you a sample from my plate, while you do the same."
"I didn't peg you for a romantic," said Edward, leaning up to place a lingering kiss on closed lips.
"Neither did I," Roy whispered against Edward's mouth. "Apparently you bring it out in me. What do you think?"
"Always," said Roy, kissing Edward's eager mouth lightly.
"Then, let's stay in—here. In my bed…uh, well…if you want to." What started out as somewhat confident ended in hesitant and unsure.
"That sounds...perfect," said Roy very softly.