Genre: Angsty/Fluff… Flangsty?
Rating: T for Teens
Summary: Edward and Roy live in the suburbs, but its not as relaxing as it should be.
Disclaimer: I hate this part; it just reminds me of my lack of owning such a great story.
General Roy Mustang hated living in the suburbs. All the road names were riddled with alliteration. They lived in Heritage Lakes so all the street names started with H. Hawthorne was the street he was looking for but he could never seem to find it without turning onto Hardcastle or Herbert by accident. He hated not being able to find his own house. Why had even bought a house was still beyond him. Oh yeah, it had been Al's idea. The younger Elric insisted that real couples didn't live in bachelor apartments and that he and Ed should own a place of their own.
So somehow that ended up being a house in the middle of Betty Crocker land. It was slowly dissolving the aloof and distant impression he wanted to leave on people. He went from his view of the city to a view of an ice cream trolley cycling by. That meant…
"Yes! He's here!!"
A very familiar blonde rushed by him. Unlike the Roy, Ed was decidedly adjusting to living in the pastel clone home. They could have bought a bigger, more expensive one easily but this one had an added bonus of being less then a couple kilometres from both his brother and Hughes, who both lived in similar adjacent communities, Al in Grandin and Hughes in Akinsdale. Roy was still against the whole backyard barbeque thing but all this normality came with a bonus pleasure… it wasn't even the bonus, it was the reason. Ed. They lived together now in the small house, the first symbol of how long-term their relationship really was.
It had been four years since they fist began being a couple and now here they were, living in a "Leave it to Beaver" set. Ed was apprehensive at first about living in a house… it was too much like a home but he had said that if he was going to build a life with him, he wanted it to be somewhere permanent. The house was laced with memories. Roy stood in the living room with his coffee, watching the young man get a Popsicle from the cart. They had spent months making the place feel comfortable. It was painted and furnished to both their liking. Roy smirked at the massive dent in the wall where Edward had tried to put up a lighting fixture without instructions and the ladder fell sideways. His automail shoulder had punctured the wall briefly before withdrawn with curses and throwing of random tools.
He may not like the location entirely but Roy would never leave this house to save his soul because it was theirs. Every dent and missed paint spot they did together. If there was one thing he would change it would be the mail. Instead of what sane post was like where it was put in the door mail slot, in suburbia, you had to go to the end of the street to a massive locked cupboard complex and get your mail from there. Roy despised it.
Every time they drove by Ed would eagerly, sometimes even excitedly exclaim it was time to check the mail. Roy knew for a fact the boxes were only filled once a day but he could never instil that into his lover. The blonde just wanted to use the key to open the small box. Roy had tried getting the mail on his own so that when Ed would ask to stop the car so he could go check, he would have it in hand, ready. The disappointed looks he got were enough to plague Roy with guilt for the rest of the day. So he stopped checking on his own.
"Come on. It's like winning a mystery prize every day. You never know what's in box number one!"
"Ed, I know exactly what is in that damn box. Bills. I know you like staying on top of those but really. Do you have to be so enthusiastic about giving the government money that they just give us back? Seems redundant to me."
"That's just because you're just too old to enjoy the simpler things in life."
It was now just a part of coming home from work together, their routine. He smiled at the thought. Hughes would be so proud of him. He had a relationship with routines. He was certain there would be plenty more as he watched his blonde lover fumble with his key ring to find the one to the box. Sometimes it was hard to believe that young man was one of the most influential and youngest colonels in military history and that he was the same young man would yelled at the walls he was trying paint claiming they needed to know who was boss.
House redecorating was neither of their cup of tea but the interior was too frilly for them to just leave it be. So far they had the living room and bathrooms done. They were saving the den for last. Right now the kitchen and bedrooms were being painted some form of neutral and the yard was being… un-Martha Stewart Wedding Day-afied. There were way too many archways and pink flowers. They were both bush and hedge people. Ed insisted on them doing everything themselves for two reasons. One was he didn't want other people in the house and the second was he thought it would be fun to have a project together… Fun?
Roy snickered as he thought of all the different fun things that happened. He favourite was when all the new cupboards in the kitchen feel off the wall and took massive chucks of said wall with it. The best part was it was in the middle of Ed's speech of how he was a master of all tools.
They agreed that once the yard was done they would have the Hughes Family and the Elric family over. Ed was an Uncle now and the two twins looked just like Winry, their mother. That called for a barbeque apparently. Roy cringed, he was becoming domestic… hell must have frozen over.
Moments passed into days, weeks, fortnights and all was well in the burbs. Most of their neighbours chose to ignore the fact that the two were gay and state alchemists. Roy found it interesting how it was never brought up when they were invited to community events. He hated to admit it but it was nice to be just some guy living down the street. With that thought, he and Ed took part in a lot of things for their neighbour hood, even if it was to just feel like normal people for a moment.
That's when it happened. Al and Winry were coming over for a massive food event along with Maes and Gracia, all their kids in tow. War was breaking out and they were going to have one last meal together before they had to work the next day. Roy came home with bags of various vegetables to find something was off. Where was his shorter lover? In all fairness the younger of the two did acquire some height over the past couple of years but he was still shorter than Roy, therefore he was fair-game.
Roy checked the house, stepping over buckets of unopened paint and empty Ikea boxes. He stepped on some bubble wrap that nearly launched him out of his skin. Their home was still messy but they didn't have the time anymore. Sometimes working for the state had no benefits. That's when he saw it, the large metal monstrosity that would change his life.
"Fullmetal… what the hell is that."
Ed turned to look at him with a big smile. He was standing next to a 4ft slide. It was shiny with red sides.
"Hey Roy! I thought Elysia, Jordan and Megan could play on it when they come over. Those kids need something to do while they are here. I'm more of a swing person but we don't have a strong enough tree. That pathetic thing would bend in two if even one of those brats were to swing on it."
Roy just blinked as the blonde explained why the slide was there in a very fast excited voice. It unnerved him. Did this mean something more?
"Ed… I know they are over a lot but I don't think enough to warrant owning a slide. I don't ever want to have children!"
It slipped out before he had a chance to think things over. It was one of those discussions every couple should have but they hadn't. Roy knew they probably should have before buying a home, but he didn't think it would be a topic brought up. They were both men after all.
"What-? I never said I wanted them… where is this coming from?"
"Come on now Fullmetal. What kind of person buys this type of thing for guests?! Admit it. You want kids."
He knew he was being a little overboard but the metal toy was hitting several nerves. He couldn't help it. A sense of panic was over taking his sense of reason. He was barely registering Ed's look of confusion and disappointment.
"Alright. I'll admit that someday, maybe. I never really had a proper family but I didn't expect this to be an issue for another couple of years."
"See! You're obsessed!"
"Roy, calm down. I don't want a family right now. We are on the brink of a war. We can talk about this when things cool down."
"Talk?! What is there to talk about? No kids, end of discussion."
"What do you mean end of discussion? There was no discussion! You, you won't even consider it?"
"I said NO Fullmetal."
Roy could see the other face change at the use of his state name.
"Is that an order Sir?"
The sarcasm and pure bile was hard to miss. Roy was about to respond when he heard the door bell ring. Ed left in a whip of his blonde ponytail. He had long since stopped braiding it. Roy stood fuming on the spot as he heard the blonde great their early guests. He quickly put on his smirking mask but he could feel his inside boil throughout the evening. After everyone went he sought out his lover to sit down and talk. Maybe they were both just over reacting. Ed must be just thinking about having Al's kids around more. Surely he didn't want to adopt or anything as silly as this. Ed was just being defensive because it was Roy he was arguing with. Things were always like this between them and it would blow over with a kiss and a joke, right?
Was he hiding in some corner planning revenge? Roy continued to search the house but the blonde was no where in sight.
Roy thought frantically that the blonde might have left in his rage and wondered where he should start looking. Would he just walk around until dark or would he doing something drastic. Once after a fight Ed left and went into the darkest parts of town, beating up random thugs and thieves. Roy hoped this wasn't the case. He fought to control his breathing. He should just wait. Ed would come home soon. Over an hour passed when he heard a noise outside. The door opened and said person walked in hold a handful of letters and bills.
"You left to check the MAIL?! I've been worried sick about you and you were only checking the mail!! What on earth could be so important for you to just leave like that? The only thing worth while in the box is bills, bills and BILLS!"
"I needed to cool off. But clearly you need to more than me. Why don't you leave and chill before you say more you can't take back."
Ed sat down on the couch with the oh so familiar scowl on his face. He laid the mail on the couch next to him and met his eyes. Roy was the first to speak.
"Why would I want to take back what I said?"
"Because the word never has no place in a relationship. I can't believe you. How dare you tell me what I can and cannot have! You don't own me."
"I know I don't own you! I am just telling you that we will never have kids. End of discussion!"
"Stop that! Can't you just say maybe? I don't want them now. I didn't even bring this up. Why are being difficult?"
Roy sat in the chair with a plop. They glared at each other in electric silence. He could almost hear the crackles in the still air. Ed looked away and sighed. Roy felt a twinge in his gut and spoke.
"Won't you consider my point?"
"I do, but that doesn't mean I agree."
"Come on now Ed. You don't want little brats running around anymore than I do. We just aren't fatherly guys. Won't you change your mind?"
"Will you change yours?"
"Then how can you ask me to change mine? I can live with maybe but not never. I don't want my options cut off just like that. I don't tell you what you can and cannot have. We are partners and decide things together and if you can't bend on this, then maybe we shouldn't be together. I want to be with someone who wants what I want or at least will consider it."
Ed got up and walked to their bedroom, slamming the door behind them. The mail in the couch slipped to the floor and fanned out. Roy thought Ed was being unrealistic as he gathered up the discarded envelopes and noticed one was opened. The contents looked like they were hastily shoved back into their paper home. Roy took it out a realised it was for Ed. He was being called to the front lines and was to leave the next morning. He let the official document slip to the floor. Ed was going…
"Roy! ROY!!! Open up!"
The dark-haired man sat on his couch, ignoring his oldest friend. It had been two months of non-stop battle. After that night, Ed packed up his things and left to report in. Being an alchemist was both a blessing and a curse. Since they are so powerful they had almost unlimited resources and respect yet, since they are so power, they are divided and spread out. Having them all in one spot would be unwise. The enemy would seek to target that area to cripple them. Roy understood that once. Not anymore.
"Locking yourself up won't change a damn thing Roy! I'm coming in whether you like it or not."
Maes knocked down the front door in a surprising feat of strength. Who knew the obsessed father could be so drastic? Roy barely noticed. He was sitting, littered around him were empty bottles of any kind of liquor he could find. He scratched his rough chin and blinked blurrily. He didn't understand any more. He didn't understand any more. He didn't understand any more! Why were they separated!
"Roy… I'm sorry but you need to wake up. Is this what he would have wanted, you to drown yourself in your own grief?"
"FUCK MAES! DON'T YOU DARE TALK LIKE THAT!!!!"
"Talk like what Roy?"
"Likes he's dead!! No body was found. NO BODY!! He could still be out there. If anyone could survive that bombing, it would be Ed! Nothing can stop him, nothing, you understand?! NOTHING!"
"Roy… it's been over three weeks. I know they are still digging but whatever they dig up… well… I think it's time you accept it. Edward is gone. I know it hurts but-"
Roy stood up in a fierce growl. His eyes were brimmed with jailed tears, unable to escape down his cheeks, he wouldn't let them. Ed was alive. Ed was alive. Ed couldn't die, he survived everything, even things no one else has. It was just a suicidal bombing. Ed was just waiting for a dramatic re-entry. He always liked theatrics.
The onyx eyed man plopped back down on the couch, placing his head in his hands. Even Ed wouldn't make him sweat and wait like this, regardless of their fight. This was just cruel.
"Listen. Gracia is going to come by later with something for you to eat. I have to got do some questioning to the enemy survivors. Please clean up before she gets here. She is worried enough about you as it is. We can't have our new Fuhrer-elect falling apart now."
It was hard to hear those last words. So what if he was finally getting his dream. It wasn't enough anymore. Roy sagged back into his couch as he heard to door being replaced against its frame. Maes was just trying to distract him from his sorrow but he couldn't let it go. The man had beaten him, tortured him with pictures and even had a few with him, but Roy just couldn't break free. He knew it had been months prior since he had seen Edward last but, but… in his heart, the blonde was just delayed coming home.
"Oh, Roy. I got your mail. That box was full; you really should check it daily. I had to pry out all of these with a foot against the box. You have months worth of mail in here? How have you been paying your bills?"
"I… I arranged it all be telephone. I don't check the mail… He always did. Ed would get sad if I did it without him…"
"Just go Maes. I'll be ok for now."
The large stack of mail was placed on his coffee table before the friend left him back in his world of darkness. He was alone. Looking at the pile he sorted it into piles of electricity, hydro, mortgage, pay stubs and other. It was then he noticed a dirty, slightly torn envelope. It was addressed to him and a very familiar tight scrawl.
I'm really bad at writing letters so just hang in there. I have some things to say but… well I don't know how to say them. I… I just wish could tell you instead of writing this stupid letter that will take over fucking two weeks to get to you. I think a scared the currier when he told me that. I yelled a bit… I don't think I have ever seen someone run so fast in my life. I think I know why he's a currier. Back to my letter though.
It has been too long since we last saw each other. I can't go a moment without being reminded of you. I see you in every uniform and flame. I don't even know why I'm here anymore. When I first joined the military, it was for Al. I lived solely for him then and our goal, to bring him back. After I succeeded I was lost. What does someone do if all their dreams come true? All their goals fulfilled? Truth is I didn't know. The nightmares kept coming and time slowed around me.
I would wake up in a sweat almost every night but it never stopped me from going back to sleep, no matter how many terrors waiting from me behind closed eyes because I couldn't restore Al with a clouded mind. I needed the sleep to figure things out. But afterwards I didn't know why I went back to sleep. Some nights I would just sit on my bed shivering, afraid and alone. Al was whole, gone and I had nothing to live for anymore. He didn't need me. I didn't need to suffer through it all for him because he was already safe. Then why was I still suffering?
You sent me on mission after mission but none sparked my interest. I was a zombie, a dead man walking among the living. I have done so many things… I felt like I didn't have the right to be happy. Al started dating Winry and I just keep retreating farther and farther. I didn't want to ruin his life, like I had my own. Then I woke up from my inner world where I had barred myself. You woke me up.
I still remember what you told me.
"It doesn't matter what you've done. Every soul deserves to be loved and happy."
And then you kissed me. My first. I don't think I ever told you that. Sure I'd been kissed by others but I never felt anything from them. That one was the only one that ever shook my world and left me weak in the knees. I had something to fight for again, a purpose. I still can't believe I'm writing this down. Just another piece of blackmail for you to use against me latter I guess.
Being here on the front lines has really given me a lot to think about. We are idiots. One fight about a future that may not even happen and we kill off our present. In our occupations we need to live each day like our last and here we are, wasting time on a difference of opinions on something not even applicable yet. I mean, Fuck, I don't even know what I want from my life a week from now, how can I even begin to think about a year or even a decade ahead. The only thing I know is that I want you to be there, a permanent fixture in whatever the future has in store for us.
I just snapped at you being all authoritative. I shouldn't have left until we worked it out but we'll have plenty of time when I come back. What do you think of a cat? Or even a plant? I don't care about those things as much as I do about you. I just want to be with you again. This is stupid. I should be telling you this but I can't. All I can do is write this letter and pray that it makes its way to you, where ever you are.
Do you even still think of me? It hurts to say that I don't know. I don't even know if you want to see me again and it scares me. You're my reason and if you… I can't even write it down. I'm incomplete without you. I am full of holes where you once were a part of me.
God dammit, I'm getting poetic. I'm going to stop this before I break into song. This is what happened when you spend all your time out here. The guy next to me is writing a poem.
"Between the cross, row on row…"
What? I don't see crosses. This guy has lost it. Oh fuck… he's twitching. I need to move… Far away.
So I'm off to get something to eat. I just wanted to say one last thing. Bills aren't the only things that come in the mail. Sometimes hope does.
The letter was dated the day before the bombing. Roy could at last feel the hot tears he vainly tried to withhold run down his face. What hope Ed, what fucking hope?