Ordinary World by Duran Duran

Ordinary World by Duran Duran

Fic by Animegeik

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly
I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio
Still I can't escape the ghost of you

A diminutive young man in a worn brown suit stomped in through the doorway out of the dreary weather, which now mimicked his mood. Shaking off the cold and the rain, his blond ponytail flung beads of water around him. He'd been at an unassuming restaurant. He'd been trying to have a simple meal. But in a flash, something changed him, upset him, and he'd left quickly, as if trying to escape from an imaginary foe.

Whose voice was it he thought he heard at the café? he wondered with duress. He could have sworn the voice was familiar, could have sworn he'd heard it many times before in a life almost forgotten. Almost, but not quite; the memories lingered, like an incurable disease. The voice had sent a shiver through his soul, rekindling an old, familiar ache in his chest. The timbre and lilt couldn't be mistaken. He glanced at the fireplace. The fire there had long gone out but The Flame was vivid, suddenly, in his vision, on his skin. "Roy . . . " he whispered into the dead quiet of the room. Or had his imagination and wishful thinking run away with him again?

He began to pace. He wouldn't allow the memory to haunt him again, not today. Though his ponytail dripped and his bangs leaked water into his eyes, he wouldn't dry himself, not yet. Instead, he fought an inner battle to keep his agony from overwhelming him. He flicked on lights as he labored through the small, dilapidated rooms, leaving puddles in his wake. He'd do anything to keep that voice out of his head. He rushed into the dirty, worn kitchen he shared with his brother and clicked the small wooden radio on the counter to life. He twisted the tiny volume knob until the voices drowned out the one threatening to repeat in his head. Questions plagued him. Why didn't he do something about his desires when he'd had the chance? Why didn't he say what needed to be said?

What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is the life that I recognize?
Gone away

Finally halting his futile assault on the tiny room, he stood with his hands planted firmly on his head, as if his palms were a better defence from himself. His mind flooded with memories, of a life in Amestris, of childhood friends, of lives lost. His brother had said he was getting crazier by the day. Was he? But what did Al expect? Al was never to blame. The burden of the failed transmutation always rested on his shoulders. And what did Al really leave behind? A few kittens, maybe. While he'd left behind the one person he ever loved, or ever could love. Sure, he loved his brother, but it wasn't the same. A brotherly love, even one as strong as theirs, could never replace what he'd had for a brief evening in Amestris. Damn that Mustang. If it weren't for that night, for Roy's sudden impulse, he'd have never known the truth. But then to deny it, to say it didn't mean anything, was cruel.

Ed steadied himself on the back of a rickety wooden chair. His hands clutched it a little too tight, making his knuckles scream.

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Clenching his teeth, he tilted his head upward as he felt the familiar sting of tears. He struggled to maintain control of his emotions. Not today, he thought, not now. He was past all that. He was done trying to drown his grief. It was time to move on, time to figure out how to live in this new world, the world of the present. He had to forget alchemy for good and embrace science, this world's science. And he had to forget the dark eyes and black hair that haunted him. The soft lips he'd only felt once, now relegated forever to his dreams. Though he knew, deep in the recess of his soul, Roy and what they shared that night would never be truly forgotten.

Passion or coincidence once prompted you to say
"Pride will tear us both apart"
Well now pride's gone out the window cross the rooftops Run away left me in the vacuum of my heart

Then the memory rushed back to him. The voice rang out loud and clear inside his skull. Roy's voice, with all its smugness, all it's damned determination. "What sort of a thing was that to say," he screamed at the empty room. "So, pride will tear us both apart, huh? Damn you Mustang. Damn you for not letting me say what I needed to say. Damn you for pushing me away, for making me leave without taking you with me!" he screamed, over the voices droning from the radio.

After replaying it obsessively through the years, he'd realized why Roy had said those words. Roy knew they'd incense him, drive him to complete his mission, complete the sacrifice for his brother without a second thought. "Pride? I don't have any fucking pride! You took it from me the day you pushed me away!" he shrieked. "The day you left me." His voice choked as the room became blurry once again. He flung the chair across the room, watching it slam against the wall.

What is happening to me?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is my friend when I need you most?
Gone away

Hands turning into fists, he scanned the room, realizing he'd almost believed Roy had been here with him, somehow listening to all he'd had to say. Maybe it's true, he mused. Maybe he was loosing his mind, a slow and torturous decline into insanity. He stepped a weary circle around the room. "Roy, where are you?" His voice was strangled.

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

A sob somehow found it's way out. He hadn't planned on that. Biting his lip, he swiped a hand across his eyes. "Not today." He had to be strong. There was no other way around it. His brother still needed him. Even though he sometimes longed for death, he couldn't allow it. He'd make it through, if only to make sure his brother would never have to endure the pain and loneliness he'd had to.

Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed
Here today, forgot tomorrow
Ooh, here besides the news of holy war and holy need
Ours is just a little sorrowed talk

Suddenly, the walls seemed to close in around him, suffocating him. He rushed back to the door and flung it open, exposing himself once more to the elements, the rain. Stepping out, he slammed the door behind him. Pulling his arms tightly around himself, he walked into the city street. He let the water cascade down his face, cleansing his broken heart, if only for a few minutes.

The pain dissipated as he took an absent glance into the water-filled gutter. A newspaper sat flush against the drain, an impenetrable wall for the filth building up behind it. Ed could still read the headline. It spoke of the world war in this strange place. He chuckled softly as he walked on. How pitiful he was. All worked up over a simple voice when there were so many more important things to worry about. His petty little problems didn't matter, not when there was so much suffering still going on. At least he had his brother. At least they were both still alive.

And I don't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

He continued to walk, head hung low, rain pelting him. Suddenly, his shoulder slammed into someone, tossing him backward. He hadn't seen them, but as was his habit, his anger immediately flared. Stopping in his tracks, he turned around, ready to take his frustrations out on the innocent bystander. "Hey!" He glared at the back of the tall man, dressed in a long black trench coat, who so rudely knocked into him. Ed had a hard time seeing him clearly, with the rain dribbling into his eyes and the man's collar up, covering most of his dark head.

The man's gait halted and he whirled around to face him.

Ed's heart stopped. He blinked a number of times and wiped furiously at his eyes. He really had gone mad, he thought.

The man rushed him.

Holding his arms up to his chest, Ed braced himself for a blow, but instead, felt familiar arms embrace him. A dark head lowered into his neck, soft lips brushed his skin.

"Ed."

The familiar voice rang in his ears, the same voice that had frustrated him so a few moments earlier.

"Roy? Roy!" Ed's voice wavered. Did he die? he asked himself. Did he somehow get knocked unconscious? "Is it really you? Tell me, quickly!" Ed seized the man around the waist, not willing to ever let him go.

"It's really me. Oh, thank God, I found you." Roy sighed. "I finally found you." He brought his face up and crushed Ed's lips under his own.

The force of the kiss took Ed's breath away, but he didn't care. He hungrily returned it, in front of everyone on the street, in front of the whole world. He cupped his hands on Roy's wet cheeks, scanning the stunning features he knew so well through the drizzle running off his black bangs. "God, I missed you," he said, between feverish kisses to Roy's cheeks, lips, nose, anything within reach. Pressing his body tight against Roy's, he couldn't get close enough, couldn't take in enough of the man who'd caused all his anguish, all his despair.

"Ed." Roy tried to break free, but Ed wouldn't allow it. "Ed . . . Ed!"

Finally, he released Roy's head and gazed at him with a silly smile on his face. "What the hell do you want?"

"I need to tell you something." Roy's arms were still wrapped around Ed's waist.

The rain pattered on the sidewalk.

"What is it?" Impatient and anxious, Ed's eyes darted between Roy's.

"I love you and I'm never letting you out of my sight again." Roy gave him his signature smirk.

Ed threw himself at Roy, jumping up into his arms, wrapping his legs around Roy's waist.

Taking a step backward, Roy almost tumbled to the pavement.

"You bastard." Ed sunk his face into Roy's neck, letting years of loneliness and suffering release into quiet weeping.

Then, the rain stopped.