All righty, this is not the fic I will be updating daily. I will continue to update on it once Please, Stay is completed. I just wanted to get this up here because I am evil like that I suppose. So get attached to it, but not too attached just yet. I have a feeling this one could end up longer than Return to Amestris, but I'm not entirely certain about that yet. I suppose I'll have a better idea later on in July... I'm taking my time really working on this just because I want to portray the more angsty stuff correctly. Or as good as I can. Which is why I am saving updates on this for after Please, Stay has finished. So I have more time to work.
Anyway, I am going to forewarn you that a lot of you may not like Mustang right away. You'll probably curse his idiocy, I know I do, but I am writing it the way I am for a reason. It is an Ed/Roy Roy/Ed whichever fic. Life just doesn't make it easy for them. Gradually you'll be able to see him change as certain things happen.
So, you may read the first chapter, and then curse me for making you wait for more, tehehehe. :runs for Antarctica:
Edward Elric was sitting in his rather prominent armchair, a book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other. The crackling flames in the fireplace before him threw off a comforting heat and a pleasant background noise to accompany his reading. His golden eyes scanned the pages, their depths clear of any hazy effects of the alcohol he was consuming.
It had been a long, frustrating day at work. As soon as he'd gotten home well past dark he'd changed into black cotton pajama pants, no shirt, and had immediately gone into stress relief mode. That meant a good book in front of the fire while drinking a nice glass of wine to lull his irritation away. It truly wasn't that difficult to understand the reasons for his bad mood upon arriving home.
He'd just gotten back from a two month long mission that had proved cumbersome and thankless for the majority of the time. Those people did not like State Alchemists. He hadn't been able to blame them for their sentiments once he'd learned the reasons for their dislike and mistrust. In the end he'd won them over by saving their previously ungrateful skins. Now he was certain he could go back their this instant and be welcomed with open arms, marriage offers, and as much wine as he could drink before he passed out. Not to mention a feast reminiscent of a sacrificial offering banquet.
Come back he had though from that town that would have hoisted him upon their shoulders and called him their god. He'd written his report on the train, taking careful time to make sure it was first of all legible, and secondly, the best damn report he'd ever written. Though he left out his comments about how he could have been made their god. He doubted Mustang would have appreciated it. Now however he was regretful that he hadn't put it in. What difference would it have made? Mustang had still proclaimed it a piece of last minute waste of papers, and by now probably had it locked up in a room down some forgotten hallway in a file cabinet that read "Beware of Dragons."
Edward had then been forced to endure several painful hours of lecture which he'd eventually tuned out. The first five minutes seemed to have been placed on a loop, so after that it was happy thoughts for Edward! …Not. He'd actually been wondering if he could get away with transmuting Roy's desk into a rhinoceros. He'd ended up deciding against it, but just barely. Instead he had left without a word once dismissed, and swept from the room like a frosty wind.
Now he was here, back at his military given home near the outskirts of Central, trying to put his frustrations aside. He rather liked his home, it was not too big, but it was large enough that he was able to play host to the wed Alphonse and Winry Elric when they came to visit. His brother and mechanic had been married about a year now, and he couldn't be happier for them both. But back to his home, it was rather decent really. He liked having a place to call home when that insufferable bastard wasn't making his life a living hell with his accursed missions.
So much for hoping that things would have changed between them once Edward and Alphonse had returned through the gate due to a strange phenomenon neither of them understood. Al had just chalked it up to something about pigs flying and cows jumping over the moon. Ed had taken that moment to wonder if the gate had not kept his younger brothers brain as some sort of toll. But back they found themselves, both four years older. Both four years changed by a life spent trucking around Europe seeing the sights and hanging out at carnivals while the gypsies they'd ended up with danced at the shows. They weren't precisely gypsies, nor dancers or singers, but they had seen a lot in that time.
If Mustang had noticed a change in Edward besides the fact that the blonde haired alchemist now stood as tall as him, he'd not mentioned it. He still treated Ed the same as always. Well, scratch that. Their professional relationship was probably back to square one these days. It was like none of what had happened those last few months before Ed was sent permanently to Berlin for so long had occurred. While Ed kept hoping that Mustang might come around again, for Ed was there waiting for him, he realized that those pigs might have to fly again, and the cows jump over the moon once more before Mustang ever even offered to shake Ed's hand again.
Shame alchemy had limits when it came to that sort of thing.
Edward took another sip of his wine, willing his mind away from thoughts about the vexing Fuhrer. He didn't even want to get started on what he thought about that unfortunate happening. He'd already spent a night like this fuming about how the bloody hell Mustang had managed to soar to the top so easily. Now Mustang could get away with doing whatever the hell he wanted to Ed as far as military life went. Ed sometimes found himself wishing he would just turn in his State Alchemist pocket watch again, and this time for good. Yet he never did, and unfortunately he knew why. That was another thing he didn't even want to get started on. He figured if he ignored it, it would go away.
Ed contemplated the now empty wineglass he held so delicately in his automail hand. Evidently wine was not doing the trick tonight. He needed something stronger. Scotch, brandy, whiskey? Maybe some of all three…
Ed dog-eared his page in the book, and set it on his seat as he vacated the armchair. He made his way into the kitchen, setting the wineglass aside on a marble countertop before moving over to his liquor cabinet. He never drank much, but it sure helped to have a wide selection when he did drink. He had finished pulling the bottle of brandy and the bottle of whiskey, and was just about to grab the scotch when a knock sounded on his front door.
Edward's hand paused on the scotch, and finally pulled it out, setting it next to the other two he'd be mixing and downing. He was hoping whoever was at the door would take a hint and leave, figuring he wasn't home. That was not to be the case.
Another four knocks in rapid succession rang out on the oak door.
Ed suppressed a groan and turned from his liquor bottles to stalk his way over to the door. He didn't even bother to pull on one of his jackets on a coat rack in the entrance hallway. As far as he was concerned, his relaxation time was being disturbed, and he would go around bare chested if he pleased. He unlocked the deadlock as well as the normal one, and yanked the door open. "Wha-" He trailed off as he saw who it was. "Can I help you?" He asked curtly, golden eyes narrowing as he leaned against the door frame with one elbow, effectively blocking the doorway.
"She shot me."
Edward raised a neatly arched eyebrow at Mustang who stood on his front porch stoop, right hand clasped around his left arm. The hand was darkened by blood, and the liquid shone under the soft light ebbing from his house. "Why?" He merely asked.
"Something about being an ass." Mustang growled under his breath, while trying his best not to stare at the blonde man shirtless before him as he leaned on the doorway. He wasn't sure if Ed realized how sexy a pose that was with his hair unbound for the night. Wait… he did not just think that. Annoyance at himself, and for Edward standing there like that set in, and his face turned into a scowl.
"Well, she's right. You were an ass today. So why tell me about it?" Edward replied as he ignored the scowl on his superiors face. He'd noticed those black eyes drifting back and forth between his chest and eyes, it had made him smirk. "Enjoying the view?" He inquired sweetly through his smirk.
"Ye-no-wai-what?" Mustang stumbled, causing Ed to snort amusedly.
"Why are you here?" Ed asked as his smirk faded with a sigh. He wanted to get back to his book and drinking away his frustration. Having the source of said frustration here on his doorstep ogling his naked torso was not conducive to his end goal.
"I can't go to the hospital for a gunshot wound caused by one of my own!" Mustang snarled as if it was obvious.
"Your point?" Edward asked, not the least bit disturbed by the tone of voice. He'd tuned it out for a good portion of the afternoon.
"I need your help." Mustang admitted. He actually didn't know what had possessed him to seek help from Ed of all people. But for some reason his steps had led him here to the blonde's doorstep. He actually couldn't blame Ed for the cool indifference he was showing, he'd chewed the man out rather grandly this afternoon. In truth, he actually had felt rather down about it once Ed had stormed out like a frosty enigma. But pride kept him from having gone after Ed to apologize. As a result of his pride, Hawkeye had shot him for "being an ass."
Edward eyed him critically for several moments before shaking his head. "I can't believe I'm even doing this." He said and stopped leaning against the frame of the door to stand aside. "Come in, bathroom's down the hall to your right. Clean yourself up then come find me. You can leave your stained clothes on the hamper for now."
"Thanks." Mustang said as he entered the house and headed off towards the bathroom.
"I must be insane." Ed admonished himself as he walked back into his kitchen. Grabbing a rather large brandy glass he began to pour equal amounts of the scotch, whiskey, and brandy, then just for good measure added more whiskey. He put the bottles back where they belonged before grabbing his concoction and sniffing it. It smelled terrible. Good.
Ed made his way back into his sitting room and picked his book back up before easing down into the chair. Snuggling back into the cushioned comfort he propped his book open again and took a swig of his drink. He made a face, but it actually was bearable. It gave his insides the brutal kick he felt he needed and made him feel as if a fire had been lit inside his veins. It was wonderful what a good whiskey would do. His eyes began scanning the pages of his book once again as he tried to settle his mind. Battling Mustang inside his own house, and wrecking his things in the process, was not something he fancied trying.
Mustang meanwhile had finished cleaning the worst of the blood from his arm, and made his way down the hall again to find Edward. He did so, and stood for a moment in the doorway watching the man read his book and take occasional drinks of a very dark liquid in a brandy glass. "What is that?"
"It's mine." Ed said, and looked up at him. "Come over here, let's see the damage." He sighed, setting his book and drink aside but not moving from his seat.
Mustang obeyed, looking just a bit annoyed about being bossed around. Even if he was in Ed's home.
Edward looked at the bleeding area for only a moment before rolling his gold eyes. "It's only a bit more serious than a graze. Just keep it clean and put a gauze pad over it. You seriously needed someone to tell you this?"
"I hadn't had a chance to really look at it." Mustang growled.
Ed tsked under his breath, "you'll find what you need in the cabinet above the sink. Then you can go away, I've had enough of you for today. And that's the nice way to put it."
Yet Mustang did not move from where he knelt, and Edward continued to stare at him, somehow managing not to reciprocate Roy's previous actions and stare briefly at the unclothed chest before him. "It occurred to me today that I was unfair with you."
"If that's how you want to put it." Edward shrugged noncommittally.
Edward considered him for a moment before deciding why the hell not. Evidently Mustang didn't plan on moving anytime soon. "Why do you treat me like I'm a kid again?" He asked, and reached back for his drink to sip on it while he thoughtfully watched the black haired man beside his chair.
"It's better this way." Mustang sighed and shook his head, suddenly standing.
"It's better, for whom?" Edward challenged, setting his glass aside once more, and staring up at the man now before him. "Do you think I like it? I'm a grown man, in case it slipped your notice. I wouldn't doubt it since you've always got your head in the clouds of egocentrism. But I'd appreciate it if you'd treat me like an adult again. It's like I fucking moved backwards in time, instead of forwards."
"I have realized you're an adult. This is why it's better for the both of us if things are this way." He said, and turned to head for the bathroom again. His rise in emotion had made his wound begin to seep blood once more.
"So you've said." Ed muttered under his breath and practically downed the last of his drink in irritation. He had picked up his book once again and was reading for all he was worth when Roy emerged again. "The door is the other way." Ed growled, not looking up from his book. "And for the record," Edward continued, looking up, "if this is how you intend to keep treating me, one day I'm leaving and I'm never coming back. Then perhaps things will finally be perfect from your point of view."
Mustang felt his insides wrench at those haunting words. He wanted to explain to Edward, he did. But it wasn't that easy of a thing to do… at least as they were now he had a guarantee that he could still see Ed. But if Edward were gone, again… he didn't want to think about that. Just the knowledge that Edward was considering leaving made him anxious. But he couldn't give in to it, he'd just have to find something else to keep the alchemist tied to him. "That'd be far from perfect, Edward."
"Then sort out your priorities, and get out of my house." Edward told him, turning his glaring eyes back to his book.
Mustang hesitated, opening his mouth as if to make a retort, then closed it suddenly and with a look of frustrated disappointment. "See that you're not late tomorrow." He said, striding towards the front door and yanking it open so he could leave the residence.
The door slammed childishly hard, and still quiet enveloped the house aside from the merry crackling of the fire nestled behind the steel gate of the fireplace.
Edward cast a saddened glance towards the door, and he slowly got up to walk over. Resting his head against the cool stability of the wood he sighed heavily, and clenched the book he still held in his left hand. He'd hoped Mustang might have been stupid enough to try and stay longer, or even saunter back in in a rage. His emotions and feelings were one jumbled mess because of that man. Backing away from the door he locked it again before going back to resume his seat.
Flipping his book open again, his golden eyes stared at the words, but did not read.
His thoughts were with the black haired, black eyed alchemist who tortured him so. In more ways than Mustang probably realized. He felt somewhat badly for threatening Mustang with his departure if things did not change even a little bit. He knew he wouldn't leave, but Mustang didn't. It was proof enough to Edward that Mustang did not harbor the same feelings of devotion and love.
Love, yes love.
Edward knew that he loved Mustang, it had taken him a few months to realize it, but he had. He loved the man, and that was why he wouldn't leave the military. Being a direct subordinate under Mustang was the only way he ever got a chance to see the man. It was a chance he wasn't willing to let go of. But Mustang didn't know that… he didn't know of Ed's feelings… if he did, things would not be so damn complicated and aggravating as they were now.
If he knew… if he only knew. Then maybe Ed would have found some peace, even if Mustang didn't reciprocate. Then maybe he wouldn't be here now feeling irritated at the treatment he got, while trying to alcohol away his troubles. A thing he knew would never work, and was foolish, but he was so very much a fool. At least, what else could he be for hanging on so long like this?
Ed hung his head, and shut his book before setting it aside. Downing the rest of his drink he got up to douse the fire and turn off all the lights before making his way to his bed. Alone.
While the blonde alchemist slept, the black haired one went home, and in the main military building in the city of Central, the security alarms were going off in blares.