AN: Sorry, guys. It's been awhile since I last updated. Real life has been quite distracting lately. But if you've had a chance to catch the most recent chapters out of Japan you know that Roy is one badass mo' fo' when he's angry. And he's been saving up a lot of anger about Envy killing Hughes…
Background: Please skip if you're familiar with the manga. Let me fill in around some of the last chapters I've written in case you've gotten lost. As I mentioned previously, Ed came back to Central determined to find a way to restore Al's body. He decides it was a mistake to refuse Greed back when he was ready to cut a deal. So he and Al decide to go fishing for homunculi, using Ed as the bait. Lin, who still wants to get the secret to immortality to take back to Xing so he can succeed his father to the imperial throne, decides to join up with them. He and Lanfan have the ability to detect the homunculi because their lifeforce is so different from normal humans. So Lin and Lanfan wait in the wings while Ed makes a big splash around Central in order to lure out Scar. He's hoping the homunculi still need to protect him and will come to his rescue. Scar shows up, followed by the homunculi, and the team manages to secure Gluttony as their captive. But, because they weren't able to sense Wrath (the Fuhrer), Lanfan loses an arm in the fight. She actually cuts off her own severely damaged arm to save them! She is probably my favorite FMA female.
Anywho, they get Gluttony stashed at a safe-house outside the city, and then convene a meeting to decide what to do with Gluttony. You get the first half of that fight in the chapter I wrote from Ed's perspective. The second half of the fight takes up after Roy and Co leave, when Envy arrives on the scene. Ed, Al and Lin try to divide and conquer the two homunculi until Lin starts seriously pissing Envy off with his highly creative swordfighting. Envy tells Gluttony to just eat Lin, but Ed moves to save him and Envy tries to save Ed. The end result is that all three get sucked inside Gluttony.
Inside Gluttony is a sea of blood that contains the bodies and wreckage of years in an endless cavern of darkness. Thanks to Roy's flames getting sucked in earlier, Ed and Lin make torches and begin walking and walking and walking. There seems to be no end, nor can Ed alchemize his way out. Ed ends up carrying Lin when he collapses from hunger and they stop to rest on a stone tablet that turns out to be remnants from Cselkcess. Envy shows up. They find out that Gluttony was Father's attempt at making his own Portal, but it was a failure. They fight and Envy reveals his true form (yuck!). Ed comes face to face with the stone inside Envy and he gets an idea. Ed decides to transmute himself using Envy's stone to pay the toll in order to open the real portal and get them out. It works.
Meanwhile, Al is sunk in a pit of depression over Ed's apparent death. He decides not to give up and goes with the now calm and gentle Gluttony to meet Father and see if there is a way to get Ed back. They venture down into the underground world below Central and Al meets Father – a being who is a dead ringer for their father, Hohenheim! Ed, et al, break out of Gluttony while Al and Gluttony are in Father's presence.
When Father realizes that they are his human sacrifices, he acts kind and solicitous toward Ed and Al, healing their damage through alchemy without even clapping his hands and chastising them to be more careful. He seems surprised that they are the sons of Hohenheim since they don't have his name, but we find out that Ed and Al's parents weren't married. But Father's apparent kindness ends with Lin and he tells Gluttony to eat him again. Another big fight breaks out, but they can't even touch Father and when he gets pissed, he generates a ring of null alchemy around himself that neutralizes all reactions both above and below the city.
Father is impressed with Lin and decides to make him his new Greed. Without alchemy and restrained by Envy, Ed and Al are helpless to save Lin. Ed pulls Riza's gun in desperation, but Lin makes him swear not to interfere. By becoming the homunculus, he will have gained his secret to immortality. A long internal battle ensues before Lin gives in to Greed's personality. Ed doesn't want to believe that Lin is gone, but the new Greed seems completely loyal to Father and unaware that he was ever Lin or even the old Greed.
May, searching desperately for her miniature panda, has gone down into the underground with Scar as her escort. They fight their way passed a sea of chimera guards and arrive at Father's chamber just after Lin becomes Greed. But the forms of alchemy that Scar and May practice are not susceptible to the null effect that Father used. Cue another fight sequence that ends with Al taking an injured May and hiding her in his armor, Scar escaping into the underground and the brothers Elric being taken captive by the homunculi and turned over to the military. And that's when Ed arrives in the last chapter I wrote, fresh from his shower and he and Al trying to hide May who is still concealed in Al's armor.
After their meeting with Wrath, Ed runs off in a panic to call Winry and make sure she's okay. They meet Greed who gives them a note for Lanfan. Despite his protests that he's Greed, Ed becomes convinced that Lin is still in there somewhere. Al goes to Dr. Knox to get treatment for May and Ed returns to the scene of his fight with Scar to repair the structural damage they caused. And that's where this little interlude (completely my own fabrication) begins…
Edward shuffled down the streets of Central, hands buried deep in the pockets of his long black coat, thoughts swirling around everything that had happened to him in the last 24 hours. He had just finished reconstructing the area they had devastated in the fight with Scar. Had it really only been yesterday? It felt like a lifetime ago. He had sent Al on alone to Dr. Knox house with May on the pretext that any of Bradley's spies were more likely to follow Ed than Al. But the other reason Ed wanted to be alone was written on a note in Colonel Mustang's handwriting and crumpled in the bottom of Ed's coat pocket. A note Roy had passed Ed along with Dr. Knox address. It contained a time and location. And though Ed was bone weary and mentally exhausted, he needed to see Roy, to touch him, to breathe in his scent, to hold him and maybe even taste him. The whole world was seriously messed up right now and he thought he might just need Roy's presence to maintain his sanity.
Ed took the old stone steps that wound up the inside of the bell tower two at a time, the tension coiling tighter inside of him the more he thought about Roy. Everything echoed inside the enclosed space, the heavy step of his automail leg, the scrape of his automail hand along the metal railing, even his panting breaths as the energy required to climb took what little strength he had in reserve. Trust Roy to pick a strategic location where they would be able to hear anything headed their way long before it reached them. Ed had to focus to maintain his hurried pace in the dim lighting because he was so tired that he was afraid of stumbling. Natural light stretched down from the rectangular opening of the door above him, beckoning him on. He rushed up the last few steps, and then paused in the open doorway.
Roy was standing next to the window, his shoulder pressed against the window frame. His eyes were closed and the warm afternoon sunlight lit the man's face and laid bare the Colonel's own weariness, fear and pain. It was a surprisingly unguarded moment reserved for Ed's eyes only, and the teen crossed the room in a few long strides and wrapped his arms tightly around the other man, pressing his face into the Colonel's chest. "Roy," was all Ed could manage to say in a rough whisper before his voice choked off.
He felt Roy's arms wrap around him and draw him in tighter against the larger man's frame, Roy's head coming to rest on the top of Ed's own. They clung to each other for a few precious moments, lost in the sound of each other's heartbeat. Ed remembered his own sense of desperation to get Roy away from Gluttony, to somehow protect him. There were so many times through the course of their long night when they each could have died, or worse, if you considered what happened to Lin. Ed pulled back and glared at Roy, before delivering a punch to his upper arm with his closed flesh hand.
"Oww, what the hell was that for?" Roy groused, his face reflecting hurt and surprise, as he pulled away from Ed and rubbed his injured arm.
"You dumbass! Why the hell did I bother saving your ass from Gluttony if you were just gonna turn around and hand it over to the Fuhrer!?! Some great strategist you turned out to be…" Ed looked away so he didn't have to see how Roy's features softened and a faint smile turned up the corner of his lips.
"It's okay, Ed. I'm alive and reasonably unscathed if you don't count my injured pride…" The older man's voice was warm and surprisingly gentle. Ed felt Roy's hand on the back of his neck, as Roy's thumb lightly caressed his earlobe.
Ed raised an arm and brushed off Roy's hand. He stormed away across the room, glaring at the radio equipment Fuery hadn't had a chance to remove yet, physically distancing himself from the person he most wanted to be near. "How can you say it's okay? This whole situation is seriously fucked up. Every time I think it's gotten as weird as it can get, something new comes up to slap me in the face! While you've been having tea with the Fuhrer, I've been – " Ed broke off. There was no easy way to summarize everything that had happened. He couldn't stop thinking about Greed walking around inside Lin's skin. "Lin, he –" Ed wrapped his arms around himself because he couldn't seem to stop trembling. He covered his face with his automail hand, overwhelmed by mental images of Roy being turned into a homonculi.
"Fullmetal," Roy's voice took on a stern edge. Ed heard the sound of his booted feet getting closer.
"Shut up! I never want to hear that name again! You dragged me into this whole mess! And that bastard Fuhrer is threatening everyone I care about!"
The sound of Roy's steps stopped abruptly. Ed thought he heard the other man hiss slightly as though in pain, but then the silence was only filled with Ed's own stuttered breathing as he tried to get a hold of himself. He was angry and hurt. When he thought about losing Roy it made him desperate like when he had lost his mother. He didn't want to be that out of control ever again. He felt like he was resisting some great tide that was pulling him back toward Roy. He wanted to run away. He didn't want another person to matter this much, damn it!
"How's Winry?" Roy asked quietly, his tone cool.
Ed lowered his hand and looked over his shoulder at Roy with a frown. "What?"
Roy wasn't looking at him. His face gave nothing away as he stared at one of the headsets on the table nearby. "That's who you ran off to call, right?"
Ed's frown increased. "Yeah," he said guardedly. He didn't like it anymore when Roy put up these barriers between them. It made him want to grab the other man and shake him.
Roy glanced up at him. "I'm sorry, Ed. I'm sorry I ever got you involved in this mess."
And Ed saw Roy trying to shoulder that burden of guilt, too, along with the destruction of Ishbal, the breakup of his team, Havoc's injury and Hughes' death. Three quick strides and Ed was in Roy's face, his automail hand wrapped in the Colonel's blue uniform jacket, He dragged the other man's face down to him. "Stop it," Ed growled. "It's not your fault."
Roy barked a short laugh, full of self loathing. He grabbed Ed's automail hand. "I might not be responsible for this," he squeezed his hand around the cold steel, "but bringing you into the military and dangling that damn stone in front of your nose –"
"Shut it! Listen, Bastard, you're far from perfect and you are a manipulative ass, but –" Ed floundered. He couldn't meet Roy's eyes. "But if you hadn't come along after we tried to bring Mom back–" Why did it still hurt so much? "You came and you saved me, don't you get it? You rekindled the fire inside me. You made me want to keep fighting, no matter how bad things seemed. You dangled temptation in front of me and I was hooked…"
"I used you, Edward. You're like a shining star, you're this amazing thing, and I dragged you to Central to show off my discovery so I could earn points with the brass."
"What else could you do? It's not like they wouldn't have found me anyway. At least you were able to claim me, to shelter me and protect me from the others. Who knows what would have happened to me if General Raven or General Hakuro had direct access to me?" Ed shuddered. He was glaring up at Roy now, willing Roy's midnight blue eyes to meet his own.
"They wouldn't have touched you. You're too much of a loose cannon…"
"A point you proved to all of them when we did that exhibition fight," Ed admitted. "And you also scared the shit out of everyone there."
Roy was looking him in the eyes now and Ed didn't miss the glint of mischief or the slight quirk of Roy's lips. "I knew they wanted you. They were practically drooling at the chance to claim you, if only for your unparalleled skill with alchemy. I just wanted them to know that you were mine and they'd have to fight me to take you away." Roy's voice had dropped to that rumbling purr that sent a shiver down Ed's spine. Those intense dark eyes looked down at him possessively.
Ed's automail hand tugged more insistently at the front of Roy's uniform, but his flesh hand joined the battle by wrapping around the back of Roy's neck. Roy's smirk widened slightly as he allowed himself to be drawn down to meet the boy's lips. A light taste and it was as though both of them surrendered control. Open mouths met as though attempting to draw life from the other. Roy tried to pull back and Ed growled and grasped his lower lip gently between his teeth. Roy's hands slid under Ed's shirt, running hot and possessive against Ed's skin. His thumbs brushing over Ed's hard nipples sent a shock straight through to Ed's groin. Ed's own hands fumbled with Roy's jacket, silently cursing all the hidden closures.
This time Ed found his back pressed against a wall, not really sure how they got there as clothes were frantically shed, Roy's jacket over the top of Fuery's radio equipment, Ed's coat flung into a corner. Roy had unbuttoned Ed's own shirt and slipped it down off his shoulders so he could run his teeth, lips and tongue along Ed's flesh shoulder, pausing to suck hard at the smooth skin stretched taut over powerful shoulder muscle. Ed groaned and squirmed against Roy's thigh pressed between Ed's own thighs, brushing with hard friction against Ed's arousal. Ed cursed the shirt that still confined his wrists, hands held captive behind his back until his mind reminded him how to undo buttons and he whipped the shirt off his wrists as Roy's tongue found the curve of his ear.
"Ed." Roy's hot whispered breath caressed the outer shell of his ear. Ed's hands wrapped around Roy's shoulders, as he lifted himself up against his Colonel's long hard form. Roy groaned a bit at the strain of Ed's added weight, one of his hands straying to his injured side as if he could physically hold back the pain.
Ed frowned and pushed Roy backwards, straining to get back on his own feet. "Idiot," he grumbled, glancing around their surroundings before pushing Roy back into one of the chairs by the table. Roy landed with a grunt of surprise before Ed straddled his lap and pressed a kiss into Roy's open mouth. Their tongues stroked and explored each other's mouths as their hands explored each other's bodies, hot and needy. Roy's hands slid down to grasp Ed's ass and press him into the hard bulge beneath Roy's uniform pants.
Ed's butt clenched with a thrill of unexpected fear when he realized exactly where his body was in relation to Roy's. Without the intervening clothing, Roy's erection would be right there, pressed against Ed's opening, straining to plunge deep inside him. Ed went very still, paralyzed with indecision. He had wanted Roy so badly. Everything they did together felt so damn good. But Ed understood the mechanics of how men had sex together and he wasn't sure if he was ready for… THAT.
"Ed?" Roy asked quietly, his dark eyes searching Ed's face.
Ed's flush of arousal was drowned in a blush of embarrassment.
"What's the matter?"
I'm afraid to go any further because I'm afraid to have sex with you. Even in Ed's mind that sounded ridiculous. "Uh-"
"Is something wrong?"
Ed shook his head and buried his face in the crook of Roy's neck.
Roy's hands slid up Ed's back and started stroking his skin in long soothing passes. He pressed a kiss to the outside of Ed's ear. "It's okay, Ed. We don't have to do anything you don't want to."
Ed didn't miss the muted disappointment in Roy's voice, the way he tried to control his breathing or the way he shifted his body beneath Ed's so the subject of Ed's sudden fear was no longer so obvious.
"I'm sorry," Ed mumbled, feeling incredibly lame.
Roy's arms closed to hug him tight. "There's nothing to be sorry about." He brushed his lips lightly over Ed's automail shoulder.
"I'm an idiot." He knew Roy wouldn't hurt him. He was probably passing up the greatest experience of his life because he was afraid. What was he so afraid of? He suffered terrible pain without any promise of ecstasy on an almost daily basis. But if it wasn't pain he feared, then what? If he were to share that kind of intimacy with another person – would it put Roy between him and Al? Would Roy become the distraction that prevented Ed from restoring Al? If Ed needed to make that final sacrifice, give himself to the Gate to restore his brother – could he do it? Would Roy let him? "I have to go…"
Roy pressed another gentle kiss against Ed's cheek before his arms dropped to his sides, releasing Ed.
Ed rose from Roy's lap, looking down into the endless depths of Roy's eyes. He wanted to say – something. I want you, I need you – I love you. Nothing could get passed the lump in his throat. He cleared his throat. "Al –"
Roy smiled gently. He took Ed's hand in his and kissed it. "I understand, Edward. Go to your brother."
"Roy, I –" Ed frowned. Damn it! He leaned over suddenly and pressed a hard, urgent kiss into the older man's mouth. Roy's hand rose to brush lightly over Ed's cheek as Ed pulled back, but he said nothing more.
Ed scrambled to collect his scattered clothes and left in a mad rush done the stairs, pulling his coat closed over his unbuttoned shirt. He knew he was running away, from Roy, from himself. But he didn't miss the look of sadness on Roy's face when he brushed Ed's wet cheek. And Ed tried to convince himself that the salty taste in his mouth was sweat and not tears.
AN2: Hope you enjoyed. Please review. I'll do review replies via the system this time since the background info took almost a page. Thanks for reading!