A/N: A funny thing happened on the way to the museum...my brain terrifies me sometimes, it really does. I mean, what exactly do dinosaurs and ancient Greece have to do with FMA? Nothing, that's right! But while I was at the Natural History Museum to see the new IMAX movie (I love the history and science-y type videos, but how cool would it be if they used that 5-story screen for anime? Awesome!), this idea popped into my brain. I kind of freaked my grandmother out because I just stopped talking the rest of the time - too busy mentally writing. And then I came home and wrote the whole thing out because I couldn't stop thinking about it. And it's sooooo flangsty - which is apparently all I am capable of writing. Al (JAG) has a theory that it's because I am a Leo, and thus melodramatic. I don't know. But just so you know, NOT A DEATHFIC! Deathfics amuse me. So do suicide fics.
Disclaimer: I kidnapped Roy and Ed and kept them tied up in my garage (we don't have basements in this state, for some reason) for a week, but they managed to loosen the ropes and escape. I'll have to come up with another plan.
Ten Kisses In A Row
The back of his hands and the ends of his hair sizzle, and then the blast hits him like a hammer pounding steel, picks him up and throws him across the room to strike the wall with a sickening thud. Lying slumped on the ground, he thinks, through the thick haze clouding his mind, that something is wrong. He should be climbing back to his feet, escaping this building, shouting for help. But his body is heavy, useless, refuses to move, and it feels as though there is a weight on his chest, and he can't shout for help because it won't let him breathe. And it doesn't matter, because no one would come, he is all alone here, and he is going to die here, all alone.
Then he hears someone calling his name, a breathless, desperate chant – "Ed, Ed, oh god, please, no, please, Ed" – and there is suddenly a face above him, looking down with wide, terrified eyes, and he thinks for a moment it is God until his eyes tell him it is Roy.
Roy has a hand on his forehead and a hand on his shoulder, and he leans down and presses his lips painfully hard against Ed's. He knows what it is, when he feels the heat of Roy's breath, the agonizing burn as his lungs inflate against their will, the slack as Roy pulls away to let him exhale before beginning again. He knows what it is, but it feels like a kiss.
He can feel Roy holding him, trying to breathe life back into his body, and he can feel Roy's fingers on his arm, tapping slowly, keeping time, counting seconds, counting breaths, and he counts along. He doesn't count seconds, though, can't bring himself to care as he lies on the ground without moving; he counts as he tries to remember how many times Roy has kissed him like this.
…and it is January, and it is snowing in Central. Al has to drag him outside, because he hates the cold and the way his automail leeches all the heat from his body. But he is outside, and he had forgotten how much he loves the snow. He remembers now, as he spins in lazy circles, laughing, and sticks his tongue out to catch the falling snow that leaves a delicate lacy pattern on his coat and his hair. He is shocked when he feels the warmth of hands on his shoulders, and someone spins him around and kisses him. When he looks up, he sees Roy, and he pushes him away.
"I can't," he whispers, as tears freeze like snowflakes on his eyelashes. "I'm sorry – I wish – but I can't –"
"I know," Roy answers. "But – just this once?"
When Ed doesn't answer, Roy pulls him into another kiss…
…and he knows that what Roy is doing isn't working, because every forced breath drags painfully like he is trying to move the earth just by inhaling, and he will not be able to breathe on his own. He wonders how long it will be before Roy realizes this and gives up on him.
…and he and Al lie on the ground in the middle of a transmutation circle they never expected to work. It had been a last-ditch effort, a hopeless, fruitless, failed from the start plan, and somehow it worked, and he has no idea how. But it did, because he is sitting on the ground in German clothes in the first familiar place he has seen in four years, and Al is sitting next to him, rubbing his eyes and grinning. He is about to stand and try to figure out what they should do next when a pair of arms pulls him into a hug tight enough to crush his ribs and leave him gasping for air. He feels wetness on his face and realizes the person holding him is crying.
"It's really you, Ed, you've finally come back. I thought I'd lost you forever, they said you were dead, they said you were never coming back. But you're here now, and I love you, and you can't ever do that again, because I can't lose you again, Ed."
The salt taste of Roy's tears lingers as they kiss…
…and he can hear Roy above him, shouting angrily that he cannot do this, he cannot leave him again, but the sound fades in and out, as if he is hearing it over a bad connection, and slowly dies away entirely.
…and it is their first date, nothing special, just dinner at a restaurant Hawkeye told them about, a nice, quiet place a few minutes' drive from the base. Ed is surprised at how unromantic it is, how awkward they both are as they watch each other across the table, both wary of revealing too much, both uncertain of how they feel about this. There are few declarations of undying love, and a lot of uncomfortable small talk, and Ed is almost ready to give up on this entirely as a bad mistake.
When they reach Ed's door at the end of the evening, they both fidget awkwardly, neither of them willing to admit it went badly, neither of them willing to be the first to walk away and declare it a failure. Just as Ed finally gives up and turns to unlock the door behind him, though, Roy grabs his hand, pulls him forward, and kisses him…
…and Roy's hands pound against his chest, and Ed hadn't known that his heart wasn't beating any more, but it can't be, because the rhythm of Roy's hands suggests that he is trying to coax it into beating again. It is so violent Ed doesn't know how it could work.
…and it is their first time together, and it is heady and hurried and Ed's clothes are gone and he doesn't know where and doesn't care that much. But then Roy pauses, and his eyes cloud as he looks down at Ed lying on the bed beneath him, and he turns away, his face unreadable.
"My obsession," he says, half to himself. "My guilty pleasure. I feel like I'm taking advantage of you."
Ed takes Roy's hand in both of his, and presses it against his chest; one finger brushes against cold steel.
"I'm not a child," he tells him. "I know what we're doing. I don't feel like you're taking advantage of me. I want this."
Roy smiles at him again, then. "I love you, Ed," he whispers, and kisses him…
…and he is starting to feel the cold seeping into his limbs, his fingers and toes are tingling and his arm and leg are like ice. It feels like the automail is taking the rest of him, like he is slowly turning into steel.
…and Ed walks into the office while Roy is flirting with the secretary, smirking at her and eying her through long black lashes. He waits until she leaves to start screaming at him, calling him a heartless, uncaring bastard incapable of a serious relationship and shattering a vase on the wall above his head. Roy stands there until Ed runs out of breath and things to throw.
"It was only flirting, Ed," he says. "I wasn't going to do anything."
"I don't care!" Ed shouts. "You act like what we have doesn't really matter to you!"
"If it bothers you that much, I'll stop," he answers calmly.
"Really?" Ed asks him.
"I promise. I don't love her. I don't love anyone. I only love you," Roy whispers as they kiss…
…and the only thing he is still aware of is Roy's mouth on his, his whole world has narrowed down to the rise and fall of his chest to a rhythm that feels unnatural and wrong, because it is controlled by someone else, and he almost wants it to stop, even though it is the only thing keeping him alive.
…and Ed is too late. He is too late to stop it; all he can do is watch the bright flash of light and hear the sound of ripping flesh and shattering bone. By the time he gets there, he is too late to even apprehend the suspect; there is nothing remaining of his presence but the broken, bleeding remnants of what might have once been a person. He kneels on the floor and cries over his failure, ignoring the soldiers who accompanied him, ignoring his orders to track down the suspect no matter what. Eventually, someone must have called his superior officer to come, because someone sits down next to him and puts an arm around his shoulder, and he doesn't have to look to know that it's Roy.
"It's not your fault," he says. "You know that, don't you?"
Ed shakes his head. "I could have done better. I should have been able to save her."
"Don't hate yourself," Roy replies. "You're only human."
Ed still looks uncertain, though, so Roy leans down and kisses him…
…and he can no longer feel his body, and it frightens him, because he knows Roy is still there, but he doesn't know what he's doing, because it doesn't hurt anymore; there is no pain, just cold.
…and he has spent three weeks away from Central on a mission, and three days on the train going back. It is the first time he has ridden the train alone, the first time he has traveled without Al with him; although Al went on the mission with him, he got off in Risembool, two stops ago, and Ed has been alone for two days, and he hates it. He hates being surrounded by strangers, he hates having no one to stand watch while he sleeps, he hates having no one he knows to talk to, he hates sleeping alone. He looks forward to getting home more than he ever has before.
He steps off the train, and before he can even begin to look around for someone familiar, someone seizes him, spinning him in a dizzying circle. He starts to jerk out of their grasp, only to recognize the gloves on the hands that hold him.
"I missed you," Roy laughs, and kisses him…
…and there are spots of light dancing in front of his eyes, gleaming circles that flare suddenly into blinding brilliance and then are swallowed by blackness, and a distant part of his mind tells him that this is from the lack of oxygen, and it is killing him.
…and it is the reception at Al and Winry's wedding, where Ed gave his brother away. Everyone is talking about how beautiful the wedding was, what a lovely couple they are, how happy they will be; everyone except Ed. He simply stares at the two, a distant look in his eyes.
"Regretting giving her up?" Roy asks him lightly. "Wishing you had married her while you had the chance?"
"No," Ed says softly. "They really love each other; I'm happy for them. It's just…"
Roy held his hand. "I know. It's hard. But I promise, one day that will be us. One day…"
"We both know that that can't happen," Ed says.
"No," Roy answers. "One day I'll be Fuhrer, and things will change, and they won't be able to stop us no matter what they think, because I love you."
"I love you too," Ed whispers as they kiss…
…and it is almost the end, Ed knows; in a few more seconds it will be too late, there will be no way to save him.
…and it is Roy's inauguration. He stands on a platform, and the Fuhrer's Honor Guard surrounds him, and normally this guard is made of distinguished generals or promising young officers but it's the Fuhrer's job to choose so no one comments when it is composed of three lieutenants, a warrant officer, a sergeant, and a major. Ed stands at the head of the Honor Guard, grinning at Roy and fidgeting at the stiffness of his new uniform, designed specially to go with his new rank. In a private ceremony before the Inauguration, he was promoted to a position discovered, or created, especially for him – Personal Guard to the Fuhrer. Alchemist of the State.
When the last words of the oath have left his lips and the bars of the Fuhrer have been pinned to his uniform, Roy looks across the platform at Ed and smiles at him. Then he does the last thing Ed would have ever expected him to do. In the middle of the stage, in front of half the population of Central and dignitaries from every country known to Amestris, Roy pulls Ed toward him, dips him almost to the ground, and kisses him…
…and for the first time since he hit the wall, Ed fights the darkness that has been gradually swallowing him, clawing at the veil falling between him and Roy, desperate to escape. Then comes a blow that reminds Ed, once again, of a hammer beating out steel, and he feels his body jerk, feels his heart start again, sluggishly, and he inhales, in a sudden sharp gasp.
For several minutes, all he can think of is breathing; it takes all of his concentration to remember how to inhale and exhale on his own. But as his desperate gasping slows to a hungry pant, and then to nearly normal breathing, he realizes that someone is holding him, that there is an arm behind him, holding him up, and a hand clenched tightly in his own. For several minutes, he is content merely to lean back against the chest behind him and feel the deep breaths moving it steadily up and down.
"You saved my life," he whispers finally. He feels the beat of the heart behind him stagger, feels the breaths grow jagged, and knows Roy is crying.
"I thought you were going to die," Roy tells him, "I thought I was going to lose you forever, and I didn't know what I would do," and Ed turns his head to look at him, and Roy kisses him.
A/N: If you review, you will have my eternal love and gratitude. And pocky! Mental pocky!