Author's Note:

This story is not a 'yaoi story', nor is it a 'het story'. Basically it's a gen story with some yaoi and het sexual situations. While the focus is on Roy and Ed, they are not a couple. This is not a romance nor is it about people getting together. If you're looking for something with pairings, this might not be what you're looking for. This is not to say that you still might not enjoy this story, but it isn't focused on anyone getting together.

Also, while this story does have some intimate scenes, those situations are more for plot device than trying to make them hot and smexy. For the most part, this story is rated R for the following: Horror, Psychological, Dark, Language, Mature situations.

I have tried to give adequate information on this story, but please note that I'm not going to warn for every little thing that could possibly be offensive as I feel that it would take away from the plot—especially considering the type of story this is.

This is really the type of story I love to write. My first ever fanfiction (Dead Ground—a Gundam Wing fic) was also in this type of genre. While I know this type of story isn't for everyone, I really enjoyed writing it and I hope you will enjoy reading it as well.




Ed stepped out of the inn, shutting the door behind him, and rubbed his gloved hands together as if it would generate more heat. After a moment, he stopped and looked around with a frown. Turning, he stared at the door in confusion, then glanced up at the inn's sign before nodding.

He'd forgotten for a moment, but now he remembered...

Snow and ice crunched under his boots as he stepped heavily onto the sidewalk. Ed sighed, his breath puffing out in a little misty cloud before it dissipated. The day was cold and the snow of the night before was already a dirty sludge piled up at the side of the street from a day's worth of cars driving through it.

Absentmindedly, he pulled his worn, red coat tightly against himself and started walking toward the large military building that was so prominent in Central. He brought his gloved hands up and breathed in them, trying to warm up his face a little before stuffing them into his pockets.

There was a slight, frigid breeze that made his bangs tickle his forehead and cheeks, but he paid no mind to his hair or the air temperature. It was cold—bitterly so—but despite the cold creeping into his clothing and how quickly his exposed face seemed to numb, he didn't mind that much. This cold was natural and made sense. Besides, the bitter, wet weather seemed to harmonize with his inner feelings.

In a way, it felt a little strange being back in Central City. It had been about two years since he'd restored Alphonse's body; and, originally, Ed had believed that he would live happily with his brother for the rest of his life, but that wasn't what was meant to be.

They'd lived together for a time in Rizembool. It had been... good, he supposed—what he remembered of it, in any case. But he'd felt restless and... there was something... Al hadn't wanted him to leave. He'd always tried to make him stay, by saying that he could be everything Ed needed, that he would protect him, but he couldn't...

It soon became apparent to him that Al and Winry were getting close, and that he was somehow... interfering... in their relationship. Al never said so, and firmly denied it whenever Ed brought it up; but Winry... Winry never said anything, but Al had said that she was just jealous of how close they were and not to pay it any mind. Perhaps that was so. Ed thought he remembered her seeming... worried... though he couldn't say he actually remembered her seeming jealous. Sometimes he thought it had been something else... something he couldn't understand. He'd known it was important, but he'd never been able to grab a hold of it...

That was when Ed had decided it was time to go.

He'd traveled for almost a year—most of it was lost in fuzzy memory—but he knew he'd gone from place to place, seeing things he was sure he'd already seen at some point in his life, doing things he'd already done; or, at least, that he vaguely remembered doing before... He'd fixed things with alchemy, and done... other... things, when he was hungry or needed a place to stay...

Then two weeks ago, for some reason he couldn't quite remember, he'd ended up in Central. In all the traveling he'd done since leaving Rizembool, he'd never come to Central. Whether there was a subconscious reason or not, he didn't know. He'd slept on the streets for a couple of days before finding a broken down tavern in the forgotten alleys of Central's slums and getting himself a room by promising to fix it up for room and board.

Ed absentmindedly kicked at a pile of sludge as he trudged slowly toward the building that he'd thought he'd never set foot in again.

Why was he going there?

He didn't know.

Perhaps he wanted to see someone who knew him. Maybe see the face of someone who was familiar and real...

His resignation from the military had been a sudden one. Ed knew he must have left quite a mess for his commanding officer, but at the time he hadn't cared. He'd achieved what he'd set out to do and had decided, along with Al's urging, that he no longer needed the military. Ed had left his pocket watch on his superior's desk without any sort of note or explanation.

He didn't say good-bye to anyone.

Just left.

Ed had thought, at the time, that he'd get a call from his bossy, arrogant superior telling him to get his ass back to Central, but he never had. Maybe it was because the man didn't care about him and had been glad to get rid of such a subordinate as himself; or, perhaps, he'd been hurt and upset with Ed's callous exit from military life. Either way, Ed knew what he'd done had been wrong.

Perhaps he came to central to apologize.


Ed stopped and stared down at the dirty snow in thought for a moment before continuing on.

Perhaps not.

Without looking, he began crossing the street and when a car honked at him, Ed lifted a hand and made an offensive gesture. He had a right to walk here, and if they didn't like it, that was their problem…

He knew it was rude, but he really didn't care. Being polite was never something he had acquired, and during his time on the road he'd become even more unrefined in his actions toward others. He spent most of his time alone, so what did he care for being civil?

After stepping off the road and back onto the sidewalk, Ed let his gaze run over the large expanse of undisturbed snow that covered the frozen lawn of Central's main military headquarters. In the summer, the grass was a deep green and made a striking contrast to the white building behind it. Now though, with the snow, the building almost seemed to be camouflaged.

As he approached the glass doors of Central Headquarters, Ed glanced at his reflection and frowned. He was a little taller than he had been the last time he'd passed through those doors, but not by much. He'd finally come to accept the fact that he wasn't going to get any taller. He still didn't like it, but he no longer threw fits about it. In fact, he rarely showed much emotion over anything anymore…

As he came closer to the glass, his reflection became clearer. He still wore black, but the leather pants had given way to a softer polyester-cotton type material. The legs of the pants were also looser on him than the leather had been. It didn't last as long, but it was more comfortable and easier to maneuver in.

The downside of it was that if a person looked close enough, they could tell that one of his legs was automail. This was one of the main reasons he had stayed with the leather for so long. He'd always wanted to hide his automail. He'd been ashamed of it, ashamed of why he had it. However, this was also something he no longer really cared about.

He'd grown out of his previous silver lined jacket, but had been lucky enough to find a seamstress who was willing to make him one in trade for services rather than money. Of course, the services she'd wanted didn't involve alchemy...

He didn't mind it.

In fact, he preferred it.

He felt a driving need to be close to other people, to become one with them if only for a short time. It made him feel... whole... in some odd way that he couldn't explain. He always felt as if some part of himself was gone... missing... and it was only by being with another person that he felt close to being whole.

Ed thought that perhaps he should be ashamed of the things he did, but he wasn't. Those feeling just didn't seem to exist in him anymore. The only thing he cared about was not feeling so damn lonely. He hated the loneliness that seemed to constantly be with him; a dark and cold companion that haunted his waking hours like a nightmare...

He still wore the long, red coat with the black flamel on the back. His coat had been altered for him by said seamstress to accommodate what little growth he could claim, but that had been a while ago. Now his clothes held a shabbiness to them that told of long days on the road and of a person who really didn't care much about being presentable.

When he reached the door, Ed pulled it open and walked quickly inside. He didn't like looking at himself, and he tried to avoid reflective things whenever he could. Sometimes when he saw himself, he was shocked and surprised at his appearance. Other times he didn't care. Sometimes he didn't even recognize himself, and sometimes when he looked close enough, he saw himself... his real self looking back at him and he was afraid.

He feared that look because in those eyes was the truth. In those eyes was who he really was. In those golden spheres he saw the golden-yellow that seemed to surround him and engulf him in hopeless despair. It was as if not only he was looking back at himself, but as if all the others were looking at him as well.



Ed shook his head and tried to clear it, tried to make the dark thoughts and feelings go away, then absently ran a gloved hand over his hair to dust off the snow that had accumulated there. Finishing with that, Ed tightened his ponytail—he'd ceased wearing his hair in a braid after he'd left Rizembool.

Why? He didn't know. He couldn't remember... but it probably wasn't important anyway.

After three flights of stairs and wandering through the halls, Ed finally asked for directions to the office he was looking for. He knew where it was... really... it was just that right now he couldn't remember. Ed frowned at that. He hated it when that happened. Why was he like this? He didn't know, or perhaps, he couldn't remember. Ed had a vague thought that perhaps Al knew, but...

When he reached the office, Ed looked at the name and rank that was etched into the nameplate on the door and frowned. The man was a colonel? Ed frowned, trying to think. Perhaps he'd already known that, but it just didn't seem right...

For almost five full minutes, he stood there, pondering, desperately wondering why he'd come. But there was no reason... he had no purpose... he was simply there.

Or perhaps he'd had a reason, but forgotten it.

Fully intending on walking away, Ed softly knocked on the heavy wooden door.

"Come," came a distracted reply.

His voice hasn't changed... the thought ran through his head, but he pushed it away. What did he care about the man's voice? Opening the door, Ed let himself in and shut it silently behind him.

The colonel was sitting at his desk, completely absorbed in whatever it was he was reading. The mahogany desk was clean with only a telephone, a pen, a picture frame, and a few papers. For some reason that he couldn't explain, Ed found this slightly disturbing, as if the desk shouldn't be cleared off... Instead of interrupting, Ed patently waited in silence.

Finally, with a sigh, the man at the desk grabbed a pen, and signed whatever he was reading. "Nicholson obviously thinks that…" the colonel began as he looked up, but trailed off when he saw who was standing in his office. As the silence stretched on, Ed had a chance to study the man more fully as he was studied in return.

Roy Mustang looked older than he had two years ago. His fine black hair was marred with strands of white, and Ed wondered how long it would take the man to lose the pigment in the rest of his hair. Mustang also looked tired. Dark circles were clearly visible underneath weary obsidian eyes, and Ed wasn't sure if that was from lack of sleep or stress. Perhaps it was both…

The man's chair made a small squeaking noise as he sat back and folded his arms while continuing to quietly study him. Finally, after several minutes of silence, Mustang murmured, "This is a surprise... to say the least. I never thought I'd see you again."

Ed nodded.

He'd thought the same...

"To what do I owe this... honor?" Mustang asked, his voice sounding almost bored, but his eyes radiated...




Good humor?


Ed shook his head. "I don't really know... I'm actually not sure what I'm doing here in Central at all..."

The colonel grunted, then asked, "Where's Alphonse?"

"Rizembool," he said shortly. Ed didn't want to talk about Al. They didn't really keep in touch. Oh, once in a while Ed would send a letter or make a phone call, but the calls never lasted long, and Al never sent him reply letters. Perhaps he would if Ed stayed in one place, but he didn't... Talking to his brother was a bit uncomfortable. Al always demanded to know where he was. Sometimes Ed told him, sometimes he didn't. When Ed had left Rizembool, he'd done it rather suddenly, again not telling anyone.

No, Ed was quite happy with the amount of contact he had with Alphonse. It was better this way. He couldn't go back to Rizembool. There was something he needed to find, and for some reason he felt as though Al was stopping him from finding it. What it was that he needed to find, Ed didn't know; or, maybe he did know, but he just couldn't remember...

"I see," was all Mustang said to Ed's response. When he just stood there, the colonel said, "Have a seat," and pointed to one of the couches.

"I'll stand," Ed replied. He didn't plan on being there long. After all, he really had no idea why he was here anyway...

"As stubborn as ever," Mustang mumbled and stood up. "Well, I planned on leaving after this." He pointed at the form he'd just signed. "It's been a long day and I want to go home. If you don't want to talk here, you could walk with me—or not—whichever you'd like."

Ed watched the colonel walk nonchalantly to the coat rack and slip into his heavy black overcoat. Mustang turned around and stared at him for a moment before crossing the room, opening the door, flipping off the light, and shutting the door behind him.

Ed stood alone in the office and looked around. The window let in the cold, gray light of a winter evening that suddenly seemed unnatural and oppressive. A shiver passed unbidden through is body.


Alone in a gloomy room that represented his past.

It seemed ironic in a way. Standing where he was, in the muted light, it was difficult to make out much, but he knew it was there. A perfect representation of his memories... and something else... Suddenly, leaving seemed like the most important thing in the world to him.

Ed walked to the door, laid his hand on the handle and lightly rested his forehead against the smooth wood. He could leave this dark office, just open the door and walk out into the lit hallway beyond, but he'd never be able to escape the bleakness in his own mind.

Roy walked toward the glass doors of Central's main military building and smirked mirthlessly as he saw the figure of Ed approaching him in the glass's reflection. He hadn't known for sure if the boy would follow—though he'd felt pretty confident that he would.

He shook his head, opened the door, and stepped out into the cold. Ed was no boy. At eighteen, Ed was legally a man, and from what Roy had seen in his eyes, Ed was mentally no longer a boy either. The childish impertinence was gone, leaving a very depressed and tired-looking ex-Fullmetal.

Sticking his hands in his coat pockets, Roy started down the sidewalk listening to the pavement salt crunch beneath his boots. Moments later, Ed caught up to him and walked beside him. Roy glanced over at the person he'd thought was out of his life forever and pressed his lips in thought.

At first, he'd been angry—furious—that Ed would just leave. No notice, no note, no goodbye... just a lone pocket watch on his desk. It had been quite a shock. Ed needed to get his brother's body back, and that's why he'd become a State Alchemist; but then he'd suddenly left without obtaining his goal. He'd wondered, at the time, why his young subordinate would throw away everything he'd worked so hard for.

Had they found a way to get Alphonse back to normal? Roy didn't think so. He was sure Ed would have told him. Maybe they'd decided it wasn't worth it and they'd try to make the best of their situation... or perhaps the young alchemists had decided that they didn't want anything to do with the State. That wasn't unfathomable, given how much Ed despised the military, and how much Alphonse hated the fact that Ed was sacrificing so much for him.

In any case, Roy had decided that it was Ed's choice and had resolved to let him be. If the teen had wanted to talk to him about leaving then he would have. Instead of dragging the boy back to Central to resign properly, Roy had taken it upon himself to do it for him. There had been quite a bit of paperwork to fill out, and he'd been called into several meetings to explain what had happened to the military's genius child.

Roy was pretty sure Ed had gone to Rizembool and could have told them where to find him, but he didn't. He'd lied and covered for his ex-subordinate, even though the kid hadn't deserved it. Roy glanced over again. Ed was definitely no kid now. He'd grown a bit and was more filled out. He also had the mature look of someone who had seen the world, seen all the ugliness that existed, and had finally come to accept it, or at least come to not let it bother him. Ed had never been able to accept things before; he'd always thought that he could change all the bad in the world.

A childish view.

The Edward Elric who walked beside him had definitely changed.

Neither of them spoke as they walked. Roy had many questions, but he really didn't feel like talking. If Ed wanted to speak, he would. If not, then he wouldn't. So Roy waited.

As they neared his apartment, the sidewalk became icy and slick, and Roy irritably wondered if the owners had ever heard of salting the walk. Suddenly he slipped slightly and a hand reached out and steadied him.

"Thanks," Roy murmured as he awkwardly resumed his footing, then frowned when Ed didn't immediately let go of him. The teen looked up at him with an unreadable gaze, tightened his grip momentarily, then with slow reluctance let go of his sleeve.

Ed watched absently as Mustang pulled his keys out of his coat pocket and unlocked the deadbolt. The colonel turned the doorknob, walked in, then looked back, making a 'come in' gesture with his hand.

Did he want to go in? Maybe... He wasn't sure. Why was he following the man anyway? He didn't really have anything to say...

Hesitantly, Ed walked into the apartment and Mustang closed the door. The apartment was small, but tidy and well taken care of.


Ed shrugged dully. He could eat, but he didn't feel particularly hungry. He had a feeling that his body had decided to stop growing and therefore it would no longer need the amount of food he had eaten when he was younger.


"Delivery sound good?" Mustang asked him, as if surprised not to get an answer to the first question.

"Whatever you want..." he replied vaguely. Ed watched the colonel press his lips together in thought before picking up the phone. Why am I here? he numbly thought again.

Roy set the box his food had come in on the coffee table and took a drink of his beer. He glanced along the length of the table at the empty bottles. This was his second; Ed was on his fourth.

It was almost depressing, being out-drunk by someone smaller and fourteen years younger. Ed seemed to be holding his liquor quite well, surprisingly enough, though Roy was a bit worried that the teen had only finished about a third of his food.

Roy would have never believed when he woke up this morning that he'd be eating cheap delivery and drinking beer with Edward Elric. It was almost incomprehensible, but at the same time it didn't feel all that awkward.

Actually, it felt like a dream.

It didn't seem real, so why should it be awkward?

He finished off the bottle and reached over to grab another one. He'd given up on only bringing out one bottle at a time for each of them and just brought them all. He opened the bottle and glanced over at Ed who was setting his empty bottle down and eying the full one in Roy's hand. With a sigh, Roy handed it over and got himself a different one.

"Why are you feeding me?" Ed asked, breaking the silence.

Roy shrugged. "I don't get much company."

"That's a stupid excuse," Ed said and took a drink. "No one does anything for free..."

Roy smirked slightly, "Equivalent exchange?"

Ed shook his head, "Just what I found with experience."

"I see..." Roy said.

"So what do you want?" Ed asked.

"What do you mean? You're the one who came to me," he reminded the teen.

"I mean in exchange for feeding me..." Ed said slowly.

Roy shook his head. "I don't expect anything for it." He paused, then said, "Perhaps you could tell me why you're here."

Ed seemed to consider this for a moment, then whispered, "I don't know..." He took a deep swallow from the bottle, then put it on the coffee table before continuing. "I don't know why I do anything anymore. I feel like I'm just..." He raised his hand and wiggled his fingers. "Drifting... from one place to another. Like... a ship with no course, or a leaf in the wind."

Ed dropped his hand and stared forward blankly. "I don't have a purpose. I don't live... I just exist. I do things, but I don't know why I do them. I go places, but I don't know why I do that either. I see people and I think I know them, but I don't... It's like they're not even real... I dream, but then I don't remember and eventually I wonder if it wasn't a dream at all... I go places and it's like I'm a phantom, a ghost that no one sees... invisible."

Ed turned and looked at Roy with wet eyes. "I don't want to be invisible anymore. I want someone to know who I am, but... but I'm not even sure who I am sometimes."

Roy shifted on the couch and said, "Why didn't you go to Rizembool?"

"I can't..." Ed whispered.

Roy frowned. "Is that why you came here?"

"I don't know..." Ed answered, then looked at him for a moment before scooting across the couch to where Roy was sitting. "I really should pay you for dinner... I don't feel right about taking something for nothing."

"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal."

Ed stared at him with bloodshot eyes for a moment, then said, "You look really tired. I can help you relax..." This was followed by Ed laying a hand on Roy's knee.

Roy shook his head and sighed. Perhaps Ed wasn't holding his liquor as well as he'd thought... "Ed..." he began as the teen started sliding the hand up his leg. Roy reached down and grabbed the hand. "Ed... You're drunk."

The teen's face took on a hurt, confused look. "You don't want it...?"

"Ed," Roy said with practiced patience. "That isn't the point. Even if I slept with men—which I don't—I still wouldn't feel right about having sex with you while you were drunk."

"I'm not drunk," Ed protested indignantly, then said, "Besides, being with a man isn't all that much different than being with a woman."

Roy sighed again. "I'm not even going to ask how you know this... It's really none of my business..."

"I'm not drunk," Ed repeated defensively, and put his other hand on Roy's thigh. "You should try it at least once. You never know, you might like it."

When the hand on his thigh began moving toward his groin, Roy grabbed that one as well and realized that he was being put in a rather compromising position. Here he was, on the couch, with an eighteen-year-old male leaning over him and trying to feel him up.

The age and gender were definitely strikes against this. Roy generally didn't like to date anyone under twenty-five, let alone sleep with them; and, of course, he didn't sleep with men. He'd never even considered it. His penis, however, seemed to not take notice of these details. In fact, the newness and forbidden nature of this seemed to turn him on even more.

Damn it.

Dammit all to hell...

"Ed," he tried again, but his protest was weaker this time.

"Stop fighting it," Ed whispered. When he tried to move one of his hands away from Roy's grip, the colonel held tight. "I can tell you want it. You should experiment a little. I promise you'll like it."

When Ed tried again to free himself, Roy reluctantly let him go. This was wrong on so many levels, yet he was allowing it... Ed paused for a moment, looking down into Roy's eyes. Then he felt the hands slide slowly in toward his groin.

Roy breathed in quickly, and exhaled sharply at the stimulation. He hadn't been touched like this in quite a while, and even though the touch was lessened by his pants, it still aroused him like...

Shaking his head as if to clear his mind, Roy again grabbed Ed's wrists and said, "I don't think this is a good idea..." He couldn't let him do this. It just wasn't right.

"Why do you keep trying to stop me?" Ed asked in confusion and Roy suddenly realized that perhaps Ed had never been refused before. Perhaps there was more going on here than he knew, and for some reason he felt a bit frightened.

"Do you do this often? Have sex with people, I mean."

Ed gazed at him with a look that said everything, then looked away, and asked softly, "I don't know. Why?"

"Why are you doing this?" Roy asked, matching Ed's tone. "If you're not drunk, then tell me, why do you want to do this?"

"Why not? Don't you like it?"

What could he say? Of course the touching felt good, but... "Let's not go back to that. It doesn't have to do with any of that."

"Then you do like it." It wasn't a question.

In frustration, Roy growled, "Yes, I like it. Okay? It feels good, but..."

"Then why not just let me do this?" Ed interrupted. "I want to... I need to..."

"But why?"

Suddenly, Ed looked back at him with a fierce expression, "I don't know! Okay? I don't know!"

"Perhaps you just don't want to know," Roy said and lifted one of his hands to touch Ed's face.

At the caress, Ed looked down, but not before Roy saw tears in his eyes. "Why are you doing that?"

Roy's lips quirked into a humorless grin when he heard his question on Ed's lips. "Doing what?"

"This!" Ed cried and slapped his free hand against the one on his cheek. "Why don't you just treat me like everyone else? Don't you hate me? Don't you want to get back at me for leaving without telling you? Why not just take this one moment to relax and just let me make you feel good?"

"You don't deserve to be treated badly, Ed," Roy said gently.

"Yes, I do," Ed whispered. "I'm... I'm a horrible person..."

"That's bullshit," he growled. This, at least, was something that hadn't changed. Ed had always thought he deserved less, or deserved bad things because of what he'd done. The fact that it wasn't true hadn't changed either.

Ed looked up at him and Roy could see tears shining in the golden eyes. "Don't I? Then why? Why am I here? What is this all for?" Ed grabbed onto Roy's shirt, gave it a hard yank, and stared at him with frightened eyes. "Can you tell me? Do you have the answer? I've searched everywhere, but I don't know what I'm looking for! It's just so lonely here! I feel like I'm being watched all the time and I just can't handle it anymore! I just want this all to end!"

A sob broke from him and he buried his head in Roy's chest. Roy pressed his lips together and wrapped his arms around Ed's shaking body. "It's alright..." he soothed.

"Is it? Is it really?" Ed asked softly.

Roy opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything, Ed lifted his head and put his mouth over his. Roy's eyes widened as Ed pushed his tongue into his mouth and gave him a sloppy—yet erotic—kiss.

Pulling away, Ed murmured, "Please... I need this," and reached down to fondle Roy again.

"No," Roy said, more firmly than he felt.


"I said 'no'," he repeated, and this time he pushed Ed away. "Look, if I can help you I will, but this is not going to help. I still don't know why you're here, but..." A sigh. "You can stay here if you need to."

"You're giving me a place to stay?" Ed breathed out sounding slightly confused.

"That's right. You can stay here if you need to."

"Whenever I need to?"

Roy's frowned at the strange question. "Yes, you can stay here whenever you need to," he said slowly, wondering what he was agreeing to.

"Do you want me to pay you for—" Ed began, but Roy cut him off.

"No payment is needed, especially not what you were just offering."


"No. Absolutely not. If you stay here, you sleep on the couch and we will not be having sex or doing anything close to it. Do you understand?"

When his alarm clock went off, Roy smacked at it and groaned. He didn't really want to get up... He snuggled deeper into the blankets, trying to avoid the chill in the morning air. It was colder than usual this morning and Roy wondered tiredly if his furnace was broken...

The alarm buzzed again.

Roy grabbed at it to turn it off, but it slipped off the nightstand and fell to the floor. Growling in irritation, he moved out from beneath the covers, grabbed the alarm, and turned it off before replacing it on the night stand.

He yawned and stretched before standing up and heading quickly toward the bathroom. When he got there, Roy grabbed a towel from the rack and threw it on the floor in front of the toilet and stepped on it to avoid having to stand on the cold tile with his bare feet.

He really needed some slippers.

After finishing his morning business, Roy scooted the towel on the floor over in front of the sink with his foot and washed his hands. He looked into the mirror and sighed at his reflection.

He was getting old...

Roy flicked unhappily at the white strands in his black hair. Hawkeye was kind enough to say it made him look dignified, but he wasn't so sure.

At least he wasn't losing his hair.

He sighed and pulled out his razor. At thirty-two, he shouldn't be getting white hair. That was something that happened when you were fifty or sixty... right? He lathered up his face and dragged the razor down his jaw.

Maybe he was pushing himself too hard.

Maybe he should slow down.


He'd wanted to become fuhrer to somehow atone for what he'd done in the war, to make up for all the people he'd killed, to not have to follow orders but to give them; however, he was beginning to wonder if it wasn't a lost cause. Perhaps there was a different way he could atone; but, if so, he didn't know what it was.

After shaving, Roy combed his hair, then headed back to his bedroom to get dressed. Stripping off his pajamas, Roy pulled a white shirt out of the closet and put it on. As he began buttoning it, his thoughts went back to the previous night; to images of Ed leaning over him, fondling him, wanting him... It would have been so easy to let him have his way, but there had been something in his eyes... Roy didn't know quite how to explain it.

Ed said he wanted it both in words and in actions, but his eyes... His eyes had told a different story. It was as if he were a drug addict whose body needed another fix, yet his mind knew something was wrong, knew it would harm him, but felt powerless to stop it.

He pulled on his military pants and tucked in his shirt.

No… that wasn't quite right. It was like Ed was there physically, but not completely mentally.

Roy pulled his military jacket from the closet and put it on before peeling the blankets off his bed and dumping them on the floor.

Something's just not right about this whole situation, he thought and pulled the top sheet up to where the pillows sat, then grabbed those and tossed them off the bed as well. Ed leaves without saying goodbye to anyone... He folded the bottom corners of the sheet into ninety degree angles. ...and then out of no where he just shows up for no reason at all...

Roy pulled the sheets tight and inspected it quickly to make sure everything was how he wanted it before grabbing the first blanket and laying it over the bed. Then he follows me home and wants me to fuck him... His hand paused momentarily on the second blanket as he tried to think about this.

He and Ed normally hadn't gotten along very well. Oh, they'd had their passable moments, but they'd both known that they were using each other. Ed had been using him to find a way to get his brother back to normal, and he'd been using Ed to advance his career.

Roy laid the last blanket on the bed and smoothed out the wrinkles before fluffing the pillows and laying them at the head of the bed. Stepping back, he ran his eyes over the bed, but he really wasn't seeing it; he was seeing the past and the present, and trying to put all his jumbled thoughts together.

There were a lot of things here that just didn't make sense. Of course it had been almost two years since he'd seen the young alchemist. Two years can make a big difference, but... It was almost as if Ed were a completely different person. The teen had always been so vibrant and alive. This 'new' Ed seemed like a dull, washed out shadow of who he'd once been.

Roy looked at the clock and frowned. He'd need to leave soon...

Sighing, he opened the nightstand drawer to get his watch, then stopped. Inside the drawer lay his silver pocket watch, his reading glasses, a couple of books, and a few papers. Everything seemed normal except for one thing...

When Ed left the military, Roy had gone through and filled out all the forms and documents that the teen should have done before leaving, but he'd never returned the watch. He'd kept it for some strange reason. Perhaps it was because of what was engraved inside. It seemed such a personal thing. Perhaps even he shouldn't have known what was inside, but it had been left to him, and as such he'd felt that it had become his property.

Until now.

He'd kept the watch inside the nightstand drawer with his own. It had never been difficult to tell the two apart given that his was polished and well taken care of, while Ed's was dull with scratches and dings.

Now, though, only his watch remained.

Someone had taken the other one since he'd gone to bed.

Snatching his own watch, Roy shut the drawer and walked swiftly out of his bedroom. When he entered the living room, his eyes instantly fell on the couch and his lips pulled down into a deep frown.

Just as he'd thought...

There was no one there.

This first chapter is probably the most 'normal' chapter that you'll find in this story. I hope you're enjoying it thus far. I'll get the next chapter up soon.


Comments are always welcome. :)