Yes, I am allowed to have a dorky title.
And of course now FFnet stops being a retard after I spammed up my LJ getting this up over there. Love how this all works. Anyway, this was a story request by a reviewer/wife of mine. I meant to have it up ages ago, but between my laptop going away again and my dad two steps from dying I didn't quite have the time. So... I present to you my Merman Roy in all his adorableness, and now I shall wonder how exactly I got convinced into making a non-emo oneshot for this pairing.
Yes, the cheesy ending was needed. -grin-
It was difficult to pinpoint the catalyst that had allowed for this chaotic fray. Somewhere along whiskey shot one and three, the darkness and the tide, the deck of the schooner became little more than a battlefield against a sudden uprising of nature.
Edward's hand shot out to grapple for a hold on the taffrail, fingers scrambling for traction on the salt water slickened wood. As he caught hold, his body jerked to a halt from its forward plummet off the stern of the ship, and he slammed hard against the stern knocking the breath from his body. Choking, and muttering an expletive, Edward quickly reached up with his automail hand to grab the deck and he began to bodily haul himself up.
He nearly lost what progress he'd made when the schooner gave a shuddering jerk as a particularly nasty wave caught the hull. With the spray of the sea blinding him and making his grip tricky, he somehow managed to get himself onto the deck where he was promptly bounced several meters as another wave smashed into the stern. Rolling to a halt, Edward finally scrambled to his feet even as the schooner gave a shuddering jerk under him.
It was the smell of smoke on the air that warned of the explosion that had gone off near the keel. Accompanied by another rough lurch that sent several sailors tumbling across the deck, and some over the edge of the schooner.
Edward was forced to grab a hold of one of the many coils of rope mounted to the cabin of the boat in order to keep from being tossed about again himself. The rough rope snagged on his gloves, nearly tearing them from his hands and causing him to fall backwards. Somehow he managed to keep his feet and find his balance again.
"That can't have been good." Ed muttered darkly to himself as the schooner gave a groaning lurch, shuddered, and stopped.
The engine was out.
"Mister Elric, sir! We have to abandon ship!"
Edward looked over at the sailor. "I think you'd be right!" He shouted back over the roar of the ocean assaulting the slowly sinking vessel.
"Come on! The lifeboat!"
"I'll be there!" Ed called over, already heading for the door that would lead below deck. "I have to get my suitcase!"
The sailor stared after him, aghast. "There's no time! Mister Elric!"
But Ed was already gone.
Edward bounced off the walls around the staircase as the schooner careened violently side to side. The smoke from the explosion choked the air, and he put one gloved hand over his mouth, coughing. His eyes watered against the fumes, and water was slapping up against his legs. But he kept going. He couldn't afford to lose that suitcase!
Half-blind by smoke, and coughing almost constantly, Ed found his way back to the small cabin he'd been given for the duration of the journey. The door was hanging on its hinges, creaking ominously as it swayed with the current of the knee deep water.
Stumbling through the door, Edward quickly located the suitcase, floating on top of the water. Without a moment to waste, he sloshed towards it, and seized it up with a relieved sigh. Turning, he hurried back towards the door even as the water reached his waist.
He stumbled his way back up the stairs, having a difficult time maintaining his balance as the schooner tipped so far to the left that he was afraid it would flip. But he refused to give up now, and he made it onto the deck again.
Quickly, he began to run for the opposite side of the schooner to reach the lifeboat.
All he remembered next was a deafening explosion, and then everything went black.
It was nothing short of nightmarish on the ocean's surface, and below wasn't much better. The currents were reaching at least halfway to the ocean floor. But they were more a gentle rocking, than a violent surging.
"You're such a dork, what are you doing? I've been looking for you for hours." Roy said in exasperation as he glided on one of the currents over to a large red and black spotted crab that was bouncing and twirling around through the water.
Breda stopped twirling long enough to sweep a bow with one claw to the merman that was eyeing him in exasperation. "It's fun!" He protested.
Roy sank down to sit himself on a rock as his fin tapped against the sandy bottom showing his annoyance. "I don't care if it's fun or not. You were supposed to be there for Havoc's birthday party. And where were you? Here! I had to deal with all eight hundred of his spawn on my own and keep Riza from eating them." He scowled as he crossed his arms over his bare chest. "You're completely unreliable."
"I'm a crab, I get easily distracted." Breda reminded the annoyed merman as he swam over in his ungainly way. "You know I'd have been there if-oh! Look, Roy! A shiny!"
Roy watched, not at all amused, as Breda swam off after a sparkle of light in the water. "One of these days I'm going to let one of those fishing nets catch you." He muttered to himself, shaking his head.
"Look! Lots of shiny!" Breda squealed delightedly, his claws clicking as he tried to grab them.
"You're mental." Roy sighed, and suddenly blinked.
Breda was right, there were lots of shiny things in the water.
Looking up, Roy slowly drifted up off his rock. "What the hell is that?" And without waiting for an answer from his distracted friend, Roy began to swim up closer to the surface where a bright ball of light was glowing and sparking.
He was only meters from it when he spotted one.
He'd never seen one before.
He'd never been curious enough. That, and interaction with humans usually ended less than peaceful. So his knowledge about them was relatively basic at best.
What he did know without a shred of doubt, was that humans couldn't breathe under water. And this human was clearly no exception to that rule. Not to mention unconscious.
Without even thinking about what he was doing, Roy gave a hard flick of his tail to shoot up and catch the drowning human around the arms. With no time to waste, and panicking that the human might be dead, Roy swam to the surface.
Bobbing on the angry water, Roy kept the human's head up as he looked around. The schooner was now well below the water, and he couldn't see anyone else about. But he had to do something.
Roy frowned, and fought against the waves to keep their heads above the surface. With a groan, he wished there were another way, but there wasn't. So he began to awkwardly swim for the nearest shore, towing along the human man who'd finally begun to breathe again after a coughing fit he didn't wake from.
It took Roy until just before dawn, but he finally managed to haul the limp man to a beach. It took a creative effort, but he flopped himself onto the sand so he could begin pulling the human far from the water. He kept pulling until there was no way the water could catch the human again, and there was nothing but sand close by.
As the sun finally broke fully against the ocean horizon, Roy finally was able to catch his breath. Something that was harder above the water, but he was managing. As he sat there on his tail, the fin slapping idly against the sand, he looked over at the human.
Even unconscious and partially dripping wet, Roy couldn't help but notice how the dawn sunlight caught the drying blonde hair until it glowed. Reaching over speechlessly he brushed a lock of it away from the human's face, his eyes drawn to every perfect feature. Glancing down the strong body his eyes eventually found there way back up, and to those lips that were blue from being cold.
Roy blinked, and drew away a bit as he frowned at himself. What was he doing admiring a human? This was ridiculous. His gaze soon returned to the human's face despite his questions, and he smiled. Did it matter? Human or not, he was the most beautiful creature Roy had ever seen.
Tilting his head, Roy smiled again and laughed a bit. Flopping down onto one side and propping himself up on one elbow he gazed wistfully at the man as his tail swished contentedly. He could gaze at this beautiful human for hours and never tire.
But he was not contented to merely gaze for much longer, and Roy reached out with one hand to trace the cold lips with a finger. "I wonder if humans kiss." He wondered aloud quietly.
It took him all of two seconds to decide that he should go for it anyway.
And it took all of two-and-a-half seconds for Edward to suddenly wake up with a cough that caused him to sit up sharply and nearly decapitate Roy in the process.
"You're awake!" Roy grinned delightedly, forgetting for now about kissing the human. He shifted so he could raise himself up a bit more. "I was worried you'd be unconscious for hours. I'd probably have shriveled up under the sun."
Edward startled at the voice, nearly falling over he whirled so fast to see who had spoken. And his eyes immediately seemed to gravitate to the black and green scaled tail and paper-thin fins. But it was not a very large, and very powerful fish he was looking at, and his eyes slowly slid up to where the scales disappeared at the pale waist of what clearly looked to be a man.
With a frantic movement Ed tried to flail back away.
"No!" Roy reached out and grabbed his arm, stopping him from scooting away. "I won't hurt you, I promise."
Edward eyed him uncertainly, trying not to stare at the dark-scaled tail that took the place of what should have been legs. It took him a minute to gulp down his shock at what he was faced with, and look back to those black eyes. "You're not…"
"Like you?" Roy filled in with a smile. "No."
Putting a hand to his head, Edward took a deep breath. "I must be hallucinating. Or dead. Something… you can't be real."
Roy tilted his head with a smile and a light laugh. Even when being ignorant, this man was absolutely beautiful. Drawing his hand away from the man's arm he propped himself up better and flapped his tail idly. "I am real. And you're beautiful."
Edward froze as the blood rushed to his face, his golden eyes wide. And he stayed like that until his ability to speak returned to him. Turning to the merman he spoke rather quickly, while ignoring the fact he was blushing. "You can't just go around saying stuff like that!" He protested rather feebly.
"Why not?" Roy asked curiously. "You are. You don't think I go around saying that to every human I save from drowning, do you?"
Edward's eyes narrowed suspiciously as he stared at the merman. "Do you?"
Roy smiled and shook his head. "I've never saved a human before yourself. Never actually seen one until now." And he looked Edward up and down appraisingly before meeting those strange golden eyes again. "But you are beautiful. It doesn't take much to see that."
"If you've never seen a human until me, how do I know that other merpeople aren't just very ugly?"
"Does that mean you think I'm not ugly?" Roy asked teasingly, enjoying watching the man blush again. "I don't have to see another human to know when someone is beautiful. What's your name?"
Edward paused, before answering. "Edward, or Ed. Yours?"
"Roy." Roy answered, still smiling. "Well, Edward or Ed," he smirked at the man's eye roll, "if I'd known someone like you was up here on the surface, I'd have tried to find you a long time ago. But I'm glad I did, even if it took a while."
"Find me for what?" Ed asked uncertainly as he sat there in the sand conversing with Roy. He realized how odd it must look to anyone who might have spotted them. But he didn't try and leave again, convinced somehow that the merman was really there, and it would have been a waste to let such an opportunity pass him by.
Even if said merman seemed to think he was beautiful… he tried not to blush even more at the thought. Or dwell on the thought that Roy wasn't exactly hideous himself. It was hard not to admire the muscled upper body, the flawless pale skin, or even the powerful tail that started from low on the waist.
Roy, not about to admit to knowing he was being checked out by the human, even if he did know, merely smiled as he gazed right back. "For my mate." He said simply.
Whatever Ed had been expecting, it was not that. "For your what?!" He gaped, hoping that clarification would prove he'd misheard what Roy had said.
"My mate." Roy repeated, "unless you have objections? Am I not good looking enough?"
Edward gulped again, and realized that by now the blush seemed to be a permanent thing. "It's not that…" he corrected, even as he raked his eyes slowly down that body. Even with the tail, it was hard to deny that Roy was in possession of some very desirable-stopping that train of thought!
Roy smirked, and his tail began to swish back and forth through the sand as easily as if it wasn't there. "Then what is it? Oh!" He grinned at his sudden idea, "are humans like seahorses? Is there a proper courtship ritual?"
"No-o! No." Ed shook his head quickly before the merman started going into what exactly seahorses did. "There's no ritual."
Completely confused now and out of ideas, Roy heaved a heavy breath and frowned at the man. "Then what is it?"
Edward fished around quickly for ideas. "Well first off you're a merman, and I'm a human." There, that seemed like a pretty good one. "We live in different places, and you can't just go around asking someone to be your mate like that. You just think I'm beautiful, what sort of premise is that for me to want to be your mate?"
Roy wasn't thrown by any of the claims, but he sighed, feeling a bit deflated. "I don't need to know you're beautiful to know that it's you I want. I've looked, believe me. There's something you humans seem to have forgotten in all your years on land, and that's that not everything can be explained. The heart has reasons that reason does not know. And I just know that you're the one I want. Human or not, it makes no difference to me."
Ed, for all his logic and reasoning, could not find it in him to protest that. The downcast look on Roy's face, and knowing he'd done that, tugged at his heart painfully.
Roy looked back towards the ocean, and then at the man still watching him. He could hardly even explain it to himself, much less Edward. All he knew was that he wan- no, loved, this human. It sounded absurd even to his own ears, but he knew that only Edward would do. "I can't stay out of water too long. I should go." He said quietly, "but my heart's yours to keep."
It took Edward up until the time that Roy had flopped himself back into the water with a flash of fins, and had just ducked under to swim away, to suddenly bolt from where he sat and dash towards the shore. "Roy! Wait!"
From under the surface, Roy floated on his back, he'd been hoping that Ed might chase after him. Slowly he righted himself, and even while feeling apprehensive about what his human wanted, he broke the surface while pushing his wet hair from his face. "Yes?" He asked, hardly daring to be hopeful.
Edward knelt down on the sand, looking across those few yards that separated them. "Thank you, for saving my life." He said quietly.
Roy swam closer until he was resting in the water with his forearms against the bottom. "I couldn't just let you die." He replied with a small smile.
Edward smiled back, "I suppose not." He agreed, before suddenly looking around him in panic. "Oh shit!"
Roy frowned at him. "What's the matter?"
"My suitcase, it's gone!" Edward groaned and his hands fisted angrily. "I can't get that money back soon, Al and I'll starve before I could."
Roy's head tilted as he considered his distraught human. He wasn't sure what this money thing was about, but it did worry him that Ed was worried about starving. And who was this Al? He sure hoped he didn't have competition, he didn't want to share Edward. "Who's Al?"
Ah, no competition. This was a good thing for Al, because Roy was not good at coming in as second place. "This money stuff will help feed you and your brother?"
"Would have." Edward sighed bitterly. "Doesn't matter much now, I can't get it back."
Roy slipped back farther into the water. "A suitcase?"
"Yes. Hey, wait!"
Roy paused in moving back towards open ocean. "I'll be back in a few hours. You wait there." And he dove under the water, his tail splashing in after him as he swam through the water as quickly as he could.
Edward stared after him. "Yeah, sure. Why not." He muttered as he went to plop down on top of a mussel encrusted rock. Propping his chin on a hand, and his elbow on a knee, and his foot on a rock, he sat there staring out at the ocean.
He was doubtful that the merman would come back, but even so, here he was waiting. He was hopeless, positively hopeless. And all because Roy had said all those things that had made him blush. Things that had been sincere, else he would have stomped off and merman be damned. It was the first time anyone had ever said such things to him in that way. A way that had more meaning behind it then just trying to get laid.
And so like an idiot, he was sitting on a rock in the middle of Gate knew where, waiting for the return of someone that had before now, only existed in fairytales.
Meanwhile under the glittering surface of the ocean…
Roy swam for almost an hour to reach the site where the wreckage of the schooner had come to rest against the ocean floor. It looked ghostly in the pale light that managed to filter down this far. He had always thought sunken ships looked creepy, and this time was no exception.
Fighting back a shudder, Roy began to scan the sand looking for the suitcase his Ed had lost. Flitting his way through the water, he circled almost the entire vessel before he spotted the corner of it sticking out of the sand. With a smirk of success he swam over and began to dig it free. Edward might not be able to get it back, but Roy certainly could. And if getting it back meant Ed's happiness, Roy would gladly fetch the lost item. He wanted Edward to be happy.
Roy struggled with the sand for a few minutes before he managed to find a handle. Grabbing onto it he braced his tailfin against the sand and shoved his weight backwards. The suitcase pulled free with a beige cloud of sand that only grew as Roy sped away with sharp flicks of his fins.
Yet Roy had one more stop to make before he brought Edward back the missing suitcase.
Ed had made it to "six hundred and two bottles of beer on the wall," when the water broke in a spray as a familiar head of black hair surfaced. It took a moment to get over his surprise that Roy had actually come back, as well as a moment to shove away that absurd warmth that had spread through him at the reappearance of the merman. Ungracefully he scrambled down from his perch and hurried at a slow jog towards the water's edge.
Roy pushed the suitcase in front of him as he worked on swimming closer. It was more difficult the closer he was to land. As usual, his tail didn't have much room to work. But he got it in reach of Ed's thrilled hands and took to sitting on the sandy bottom with his tail out to one side, the fin slapping against the water merrily. "Is that the right one?"
Edward had picked it up and opened it already, finding the money still dry. With a relieved sigh, sounding as if the world had been taken off his chest, he closed it again and turned to the merman. "Yes, thank you. But how did you ever find it?"
"I know that part of the ocean very well. It's part of the territory my clan watches over." Roy explained with a smile. "So is this island… but I've never really had a reason to come this close to land before."
The suitcase clutched to his chest, as if he was afraid it would vanish, Edward knelt down in the sand again. "Thank you, really." He shook his head in relief. "You have no idea how badly I needed it back."
Roy continued to smile, glad to see Edward happier. "No," he agreed, "but you wanted it, and I could get it for you. I just want my mate to be happy."
Edward blushed again, far beyond the point now where he was going to feel annoyed with himself for it. Besides, the odd flutter in his chest made being annoyed seem like a fantasy. "But I'm not."
"Then," Roy compromised, his smile turning wistful, "I want the one I love to be happy." And he raised one of his hands out of the water, offering out what was clutched in it to his human. "These are for you."
Edward reached out hesitantly to take the dripping wet, but still beautiful white flowers from Roy. They had stalks like they grew on land, but they seemed… different. They had an odd texture, almost silky to the point of being slippery. "What are they?" He asked quietly as he looked them over.
"Flowers don't just grow on land." Roy explained as he watched Edward gaze at them. "These flowers are beautiful and rare. They're special to me, just like you. And these are for you. Whether you want me or not, like them, I am yours."
Edward looked at them for a long while before he set the suitcase down on the sand, and lay the flowers on top of it. Turning back to Roy, he bit his lip for a moment before speaking at last. "I'm poor, even now I'm losing money being lost out here. I can't afford to think about things like you're suggesting."
Roy slipped through the water to climb his way up onto a rock sitting just off shore. All it took was a heave with his arms to sit him up on the slick surface. He balanced on his hands as his tail swished through the water. All the while he was watching his human. "I don't understand." He admitted at last.
"What's not to understand?" Ed asked, letting some of his anxiety show in his tone.
"This money thing."
Ed sighed and scratched his head to try and find some way to expla- no this was ridiculous! It didn't matter. He shouldn't matter. And yet here Ed still stood, still in the company of one merman under the delusion that they should be mates. He needed to have a long talk with himself. "It's nothing I'm sure you have ever needed to be concerned about. The ocean seems like a pretty nonrestrictive place. No one telling you what to do or anything like that."
Roy tilted his head, "but it is."
Edward gave him a slight frown.
Roy continued without further prompting. "We do have rules, nature itself is a rule. The ocean is restrictive. Either by its very life, or by the rules that are placed upon those who reside in it so that we can keep having a home."
"Who sets these rules then?" Edward asked as he walked a bit closer to the water's edge.
"In this part of the ocean, I do." Roy admitted. "My parents both recently died, my coronation isn't for another week."
Edward stared at the merman wordlessly, before giving a short sort of laugh sounding breath. "Wait, you're telling me you're a prince?" He asked in a strained voice. Could this get any more damn strange?
"Crown prince, yes." Roy sighed, and looked back towards the ocean. "I'm not sure I'm ready to be a king though. It's a bit lonely, even being what I am now is lonely."
Edward couldn't find any words to answer such a thing. All he could do was watch Roy stare off into the distance. He was aware of the fact that Roy's words could have been intended to gain sympathy, and Edward agreeing to what Roy continued to desire. Yet Ed couldn't bring himself to believe such a thing. Roy's words were sincere, and Ed genuinely felt that the merman was being completely honest.
Hang on… "I'm on a what?!"
Roy startled as he looked quickly back over at the wide-eyed human. "A beach. Sand and stuff." He explained with a casual wave of one hand.
"No, no!" Edward's head shook so fast his hair couldn't pick a direction to fly in. "Earlier, you said this island is part of your territory. Island?! I'm on an island?!"
Roy blinked, and nodded. "Yes. Yes, you are. It was the closest thing. But don't worry, there should be fresh water. It's a large island and I've seen rabbits in the short time I've been around here today. So you have water and food. I can bring you fish though if you would prefer them. Or lobster. Whatever you like."
Edward felt like his head was spinning from the panic that had set in. "But I can't be on an island! I want to be on the mainland. You know, so I can get home."
Roy held back a sigh. He wanted Ed to stay with him, but all his human seemed to want to do was get away from him. Was he that terrible a choice for Ed to be with? He'd just have to try and win Ed's affections… somehow. "I'm not sure where it is exactly. I'd have to ask one of the whales in a few days when they come to this region for mating. Until then, please don't be upset. I'll take care of you."
"And take me home?" Edward persisted.
"I only want you to be happy." Roy replied only loud enough to be heard. "I'll take you home if that is what you want."
Ed flinched guiltily. "I'm sorry I can't give you what you want." He said, not seeming to be able to look at the merman. "You're… but I… we just can't."
"Forgive me for saying so," Roy said as he stared down at his scales, "but that's the worst logic I've ever heard." He looked back up at his Edward. "I want to mate with you, I want you to be mine forever. I always will. You can't tell me seriously that what I want is the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard."
Edward bit his lower lip as he shook his head. "No, I suppose not."
Roy smiled at him softly. "I love you, Edward." And he took a deep breath. "I must go take care of some things back home. But I'll be back to check on you tonight. Believe me, I wish I didn't have to leave you, but even a prince can't do whatever he wants. Do you need anything before I leave?"
Edward shook his head, biting back the urge to ask Roy if he was sure he had to leave. Instead asking, "you promise you'll be back?" He asked hesitantly.
Roy nodded, and slipped back into the water. "I won't abandon you."
And then he was gone.
Edward stared after the vanishing ripples that the merman had created, and sighed. Well, this was certainly shaping up to be one hell of a day.
Looking around, Ed grabbed his suitcase and the flowers Roy had given to him. He then began to make his way off the sand and towards a palm not far off the beach. "Well, here goes nothing." Ed muttered, and began to try to set up some semblance of a camp.
Once he'd dug himself a bunker against the spray of the sea, and securely half-stuck his suitcase into the sand, Edward went to find this freshwater. All the while wondering absently if the flowers Roy had given him would die if they came into contact with freshwater. He didn't want them to die after all, not too soon anyway.
He found a dark blue pool that was most definitely freshwater. So he drank, and washed the salt off both his clothes and himself. He dried fast enough out in this direct intense sunlight anyway. Shielding his eyes against it, Ed set off in search of one of those rabbits Roy claimed to have seen.
Roy finally reached his home, though he was considerably grumpy. He didn't like leaving his human mate. Rather, the human he desired for his mate. But he had been telling the truth, he did have things to take care of. Else he'd have more trouble on his hands than just his chosen mate who didn't want him.
So he swam back to the human city that had been swallowed by the ocean hundreds of years ago, and the stone castle fortress that had been his home since he was a child. He greeted those he passed with nods, or the more liked ones were given a short wave. But he made a beeline to the castle, slipping in through one of the glassless windows and into the throne room.
"All right, let's begin then shall we?" Roy commanded succinctly as he sank onto the throne his father had once sat in.
"Where have you been?" Maes hissed from his right side as the meeting discussing the finer points of the upcoming coronation party got underway.
Roy glanced briefly at the merman who'd been his best friend since before he could remember. "I met someone." He muttered out of the corner of his mouth.
Maes's eyes widened to the size of seashells. "You did?" He asked, hardly daring to believe it.
"I'll tell you after this is all done." Roy told him to tide his friend over.
And once the coronation details had become the latest reports on Envy's dastardly deeds, to the latest jellyfish migration, the meeting finally came to a close. All the merman and mermaids who had been in attendance were politely shooed away by their crown prince. All but one.
"So tell me about them!" Maes practically squealed as he sat up on the arm of Roy's throne.
Roy smiled, "his name is Edward."
Maes nodded along gleefully.
"He's the most beautiful creature I've ever seen."
Maes continued to nod eagerly.
"He's a human."
Maes fell off the throne arm while a "what?!" echoed around the empty hall.
Roy rolled his eyes, and yanked his friend back upright even as he took to floating up off the throne. "He's a human, Maes. And I love him." He said firmly, gripping Maes's arm tightly.
"Roy…" Maes sighed, and then shook his head with a small smile. "Well, it's hard to say you are being an idiot. We don't exactly wait around for the right one to come along for no reason. Our hearts know who our mate is. Even if it doesn't make sense."
"I know." Roy released his friend's arm. "I don't care if he has legs. I can change that, you know I can. If he ever wanted me to."
Maes frowned, "what do you mean? He doesn't feel the same for you?"
Roy sighed and dragged a hand back through his hair. "Humans seem to have lost touch with what their hearts tell them. They try to reason everything out far too much."
Maes smiled bracingly. "Well, if anyone can win your mate's heart, it's you. So win him over. Let him rediscover the part of him he's lost living on land. Show him what it's really supposed to be like."
"I have only a few days." Roy replied, "so I may need you to cover for me. Keep my retainers from thinking they should start following me on my little trips."
"I'll do what I can." Maes promised, "but just know it might be difficult. With Envy getting more bold, your private time outside this castle could become limited. None of us want to see the only heir to the throne die before he has given us an heir. So good luck with your mate."
Roy smiled brightly, and suddenly tackled his friend in a somersaulting hug. "You're the best, Maes! I'll try and win Ed's heart, with any luck I'll have a husband by tomorrow."
Maes turned a slight shade of green as Roy finally stopped spinning them. "I hate flipping over, you know that!"
"I do?" Roy teased, and swam out of range of Maes's swat.
"Go on, your Highness." Maes chuckled weakly as he fought for control of his stomach. "Go win over your human."
Roy grimaced. "Have a stop to make first. I'll see you tomorrow." And he swam out of the throne room with a wave to his best friend.
Neither noticed the single krill that slipped away through a crack in the stone wall.
Roy swam down towards the patch of seaweed that blanketed the north end of the city where his clan stayed. Yet he was not here to visit other merpeople. "Hey, where's Riza?"
A gray and black clam popped open with enthusiasm, "she went to follow the orcas south. She said something about seals."
Roy groaned, he didn't mind his shark friend eating. But he did wish that she'd leave some animals alone. Like the cute ones. "And what are you doing, Falman?"
The clam scuttled back and forth in the seaweed. "Trying to play hide and seek, but you're blowing my cover."
Roy smirked, "I'll go see if I can't turn-" he paused.
"Fuery." Falman the clam filled in.
"Fuery around." Roy finished, while rolling his eyes. That shouldn't be too difficult. Fuery had probably already forgotten that he was playing a game. And he swam off in search of the goldfish as Falman snapped back closed again.
Roy found the goldfish bouncing on a blade of seaweed while squealing happily and giggling. "Hey, Fuery." He snapped his fingers in the goldfish's direction.
Fuery squeaked and tumbled backwards into more seaweed.
"Fuery, it's me. Roy." The merman sighed tiredly.
"As in Roy Mustang who will kick your gills into Riza's three thousand razor sharp teeth if you don't get out here." Roy filled in casually.
Fuery swam out slowly, looking very sheepish. "Sorry."
Roy waved a hand around as if to brush off the apology. "Call off the game for a minute."
"Game, what game?" Fuery asked with a very confused expression. Something that didn't look much unlike the way a goldfish normally looked.
"Hide and seek." Roy prompted patiently. Goldfish had a short term memory span of a rock, and he was used to it by now.
"I like that game!"
"Yes, but I want you to call it off."
Fuery blew bubbles in disappointment. "Okay." And he twirled higher into the water. "Game time-out!"
Roy waited until everyone else had appeared; Havoc the seahorse, Breda the shiny loving crab, Falman the… well, clam, and Armstrong the octopus. "I have a favor to ask of all of you…"
By the time Roy had finished explaining, he doubted that anyone but Havoc would be of any real help with this task, but at least it'd been said. Now he could go back to his mate, and he could hardly contain his excitement.
He swam as fast as he could back to that island.
When he surfaced he found the beach empty of the human, but he suspected that he was close by. It was dark now, the moon had been shining for almost an hour and a cool night breeze teased at the water. Feeling eager and with a smile, Roy splashed closer to the shore.
Edward was roused from his slight doze by the soft calling of his name. With a sleepy smile, he began to sit up. He knew that voice, and he welcomed some company again. It was rather lonely being here on this island alone. And though he'd not easily admit it, it was just a bit scary. However by now he was beginning to trust that when Roy said he'd come back, he'd come back. And it was nice to be able to finally trust someone like that who wasn't his brother.
No, Roy was definitely not his brother.
Ignoring the faint blush, Ed hurried back down to the beach, spotting Roy drifting just off shore. "Hi." He said after a moment, feeling almost shy.
Roy smiled happily, "did you eat?"
"Then come here." Roy's smile did not fade.
Edward paused, blinking, before laughing almost nervously. "Wait, out there?"
Roy nodded. "Yes, don't worry. It's not like I'll let you drown. Come here."
"Why?" Ed asked with a fluttering feeling somewhere in the region of his stomach.
"Do you have anything better to do?" Roy asked pointedly, and drifted farther back. "Don't tell me you're scared of the water?"
Edward shook his head. "No." And at Roy's smirk, he felt some of his indignant side come out. "Okay then." He said and pulled off his boots to wade in until he was up to his knees in water. "Now what do you want?"
"Only you, my beautiful Ed." Roy replied honestly, before he ducked under the water.
Edward looked around in confusion. "Ro-OY!" And he crashed into the water with a gigantic splash, and came up laughing. "Roy!" He managed to berate the merman between laughs.
Roy surfaced, laughing as well. "You look good wet." He grinned, and grabbed Ed by both hands, slowly bringing him out deeper until he knew the human could barely touch the bottom.
Ed blushed, and he found it hard to get rid of that blush when he couldn't seem to look away from those black eyes. Those eyes that seemed to burn him with a strange fire. "I'm not as beautiful as you think I am." He replied quietly. "My brother is a lot better looking than I am."
"I'm not looking at your brother, Ed." Roy answered softly, and released one of Ed's hands to slip his fingers through those golden locks hanging wetly around the man's face and neck. "I'm looking at you, and you are beautiful."
"Why couldn't you have been a human?" Ed whispered without even really thinking about what he was saying. Or the fact that he was leaning into Roy's hand that was stroking through his hair slowly.
"So one day you could ask me that." Roy replied and smiled reassuringly. "I'm not as crazy as you seem to think. We can be together, if you trust me. But for now, just think about it. Take as long as you need, I'm yours whenever you choose to have me."
Ed looked away and laughed softly, but it was a happy sort of laugh. "Does the ocean have some sort of spell that makes me-"
"Open up to what you subconsciously want?" Roy finished.
Ed nodded slowly.
"The water is relaxing." Roy explained with a gentle smile. "Maybe you aren't so opposed to me as you'd like to think."
"I'd like to think I'd have the sense to get out before I catch a cold." Edward muttered.
Roy laughed, "you won't. It's a warm night, and the water is hardly cold."
"So says the one who lives at the bottom of the ocean."
"You may have a point there."
Edward smirked at him, "I just might. But Roy," his smirk faded, "seriously, I have to think about what I need to do. And I need to take care of Al. I'm not a prince like you, I'm like… the sediment to your castle. I can't be selfish and begin to think it could even be remotely okay to abandon him."
Roy blinked, "you know I have a castle?"
Ed rolled his eyes, "it was rather implied with the whole 'prince' thing."
"Ah." Roy could see the logic in that one.
"Can you understand that?" Edward asked, his golden eyes searching Roy's face.
Roy thought about it for a second or two. "I understand." He accepted quietly. And he did. He could understand not wanting to abandon family. "When your brother can take care of himself, though," Roy continued, "please remember you hold my heart. Maybe one day you could give me yours in return."
Edward gazed at him in a sort of wordless awe for a moment. "You really do love me, don't you."
"It's an inadequate word for what I feel for you, but yes, I love you." Roy replied with sincere honesty and a slight smile. "I'll forever love you." And taking advantage of Edward's speechless moment, he did what he'd been wanting to do since he'd hauled the unconscious human onto the beach. Pulling Ed closer he caught the surprised lips against his own in a desperate kiss. Desperate to at least once know the taste and feel of his mate.
Any protesting Ed might have done flickered and faded as he found himself kissing Roy back. He clung to the merman tightly, desperately. The erratic fire in his veins fueling his want for more. And he nipped at Roy's bottom lip demandingly, moaning into the kiss as their tongues slid against one another.
It came as no surprise to either of them that it was Ed who needed to pull away for air first. And he pulled away panting unevenly, his golden eyes over bright as he gazed into Roy's black ones. "Roy, I-"
Roy quickly cut him off with another kiss, and felt the blonde melt into him even as he was kissed back hungrily. He pulled away before either of them was ready, only to move his mouth to Ed's ear. "What is it my mate?" He whispered seductively before beginning to nibble along Ed's ear.
Edward shivered with a low moan, both from Roy's words and actions. One of his hands was clutching at the merman's bare shoulder, the other buried in Roy's hair, encouraging Roy to continue what he was doing. "I forgot." He admitted, having lost all coherent thought under Roy's touch. Those hands running over his body were very distracting.
"Good." Roy replied against Ed's neck before straightening so he could look his mate in the eyes. "Now stop thinking. It's a lot less fun when you're thinking about serious stuff while we're making out."
"I shouldn't be doing this." Edward groaned even as he moved forward to catch Roy's lips in an open mouthed kiss.
Neither could help thinking for the briefest of seconds that they were glad Ed was.
The krill that had snuck from Roy's castle had finally reached its destination. After all, krill were not fast swimmers. They were like… half-functional sperm. Completely reliant upon a current in the proper direction and the salvation of not being annihilated by an outside force of some kind.
"Report! You unviable creature doomed to be swallowed by an abyss of acidic darkness." Demanded the krill's owner, a half-human, half-seaweed looking being. Only the torso was human, the rest was long strands of seaweed that functioned as appendages and hair.
Envy the Evil Seaweed.
And evil he was. He was so close, so close to getting his hands on that bastard Roy's throne. The parents had been easy to knock off. But their son was proving a bit more irritating. And once that bastard mer-spawn assumed the throne, it would be even more irritating to get rid of him. That's all the merman needed, a bloody crown.
"Sir," the unviable creature doomed to be swallowed by an abyss of acidic darkness, otherwise known as a krill, began, "his highness has fallen in love."
Great, the bastard just got even more irritating. Envy really could not stand all that mushy romance stuff. It was ridiculous. Give him a hatchet, a prince, and the prince's whore mate, and that was pure poetry right there. With some blood as the finishing touch to the canvas of what was truly romantic. Death. And lots of it. Yes, yes this little heart-stealer must be invited to the fun. "And who's the lucky mermaid who gets to become capture number six?"
"You've only captured-?"
"I asked you who!" Envy shrieked as blood flushed to his face.
"It's not a mermaid."
"Merman then." Envy twirled a finger in the water idly. "Never quite thought that having a sausage shoved up my non-existent ass would feel nice, but who am I to judge what my victims want to do in their last minutes of life?"
"It's a human, sir."
"A WHAT?!" Envy shrieked, raising sand from the floor in the process. "He's gone and fallen for a human?! Bloody two-legger is giving me competition! Humans only want to kill merpeople, deep, deep down. And I will not share the glory of knocking off the whole family line!"
"The human must be close." The krill continued as if not hearing Envy's psychotic rambling. "Roy seems to be swimming back and forth."
"Get my map! You unviable creature doomed to be swallowed by an abyss of acidic darkness, hurry!" Envy declared with an upward punch of one fist. "Shit!" Envy whimpered as he patted his head where his sudden movement had ripped several seaweeds from his head.
The krill complied with the slowness of a sea slug, somehow managing to balance the map that was the size of a whale over to where Envy waited impatiently.
"Finally!" Envy snarled, snatching it away and opening it with a decisive sharp movement.
The krill squealed in terror as it was knocked for a spin by the opening map, right into the waiting mouth of Gluttony the whale.
"Shut up, you disgusting fat whale of a bad guy!" Envy growled, "go let Bradley chase you. Burn off some calories. Just remember to do reps of ten!"
A swordfish streaked with a mad cackle after a slowly fleeing Gluttony.
Envy pondered over the map. "Aha!" He had found where the human must be. With a grin he tossed the map over his head and went to make ready for his kidnap.
It was near dawn when Envy broke the surface of the water near the island. "Hello-o?" He called out in his sweetest voice.
Edward frowned as he slowly sat up, stretching stiffly. That voice… it wasn't Roy's. And he smiled when he thought about the merman. Last night had… really given him a lot to think about. The way Roy touched him, and the way it felt, it was the most perfect thing Ed had ever known. But that other voice...
He rose and began to make his way back to the beach, frowning as he saw what was out there in the water. Definitely not Roy. It looked like someone covered in seaweed. Old seaweed. "Who are you?" He asked, staying back away from the edge of the shore. He found he didn't trust anyone but Roy out here. Especially when the next individual he saw looked like that.
"My name is Envy..tra." There, that sounded like a much more normal name.
Edward blinked blankly. "What do you want?"
"I want you to come with me. We're going to go meet Roy." Envy persuaded.
Ed frowned, and backed away. "What are you, an idiot? I'm not going into the water with a homeless looking merman."
"I'm a seaweed."
"Even more reason."
"Just come with me, and no one will get hurt."
Edward glared. "Why don't you come close and we'll see who gets hurt? I'd like to kick your ass across this whole ocean. Creep."
Envy glared, "you humans are far too stubborn for your own good. I promise I won't drown you."
"You're really starting to backpedal into deeper sh-shit!" Edward clamped his hands over his ears as the gunshot sounded. Looking around he saw a boat much like the one he'd been on pulling closer, one of the men on deck toting a rifle. Looking back to the water he saw green blood as Envy sank below the surface.
"I got that-!"
"Please excuse his language."
"Woo! I am King of the Freak Killers!"
Edward eyed the men uncertainly. They had anchored the boat and come ashore to fetch him. They'd heard of the wreck possibly happening, and come to search out survivors in the nearby areas. And they'd just so happened to go gunpowder-happy on Envy the Freak.
Which he wasn't so sure was a bad thing.
As long as it wasn't Roy. But Roy did look more human from the torso up. But still…
"Come on, we should get you home Mister Elric."
Edward bit his lip, an internal war going on inside. Flashes of Roy, flashes of his face, his touch, his voice, it all was clashing at him. Begging him to stay and not leave the one he knew now he loved. How could he not? When it hurt this bad to leave him behind.
And Edward had no choice but to leave him behind. Because it was what he needed to do.
"Right." And so Edward fetched his suitcase back, trying not to drag his feet even if it felt surreal that he was actually leaving so soon. So soon after realizing that he'd found someone he could be with. Be with the way Roy was offering for him to be. It didn't feel real to leave now, and childishly he wished it weren't real. But he knew better.
He hid the flowers away in the suitcase, clutching the suitcase to him as he climbed aboard the boat. As the vessel made sail again, heading for home, Edward had never before felt the strong urge to jump off. He walked to the railing to watch the island slip away. "I'm sorry I never could tell you… I love you." He whispered as the reality of where he was going and what he was leaving hit him full force.
Back at the island…
Roy stared at Havoc numbly after the seahorse had finished reporting. His eyes drifted to the dead carcass of Envy, who would be causing no more trouble or taking up time in the meetings. Humans had shot Envy and taken Edward away.
No, taken his mate back home.
Away from him.
"What will you do?" Havoc asked the merman quietly.
Roy looked towards the direction Havoc had said the boat went. "The only thing I can do, I'm going after him."
"I love him, Havoc." Roy cut him off absently. "And I don't want to be without him. Tell Maes I've gone after him, he'll think of a good excuse to cover my absence."
"They shot Envy, what do you think they'd do to you?" Havoc called after the merman as Roy turned to leave. "You're supposed to be our king in less than a week now. You're our only heir."
"With Envy dead, there are no more risks." Roy replied gently, pausing to look back at the seahorse. "And there won't be any more heirs unless I get my mate back one day. But I have to know, I have to tell him how to find me when he's ready."
Havoc sighed, "then good luck, my prince."
Roy gave the seahorse one last smile before speeding off through the water after the boat.
It was two days before the boat docked, and a melancholic Edward with it. Everyone on board had assumed it was just because he'd been shipwrecked. And Ed didn't ever want to tell these people the truth. No, he couldn't. Looking back out towards the ocean he felt a deep sadness steal over him. The first time he'd ever truly loved anyone, and the ocean separated them so effectively.
With a twinge of aching pain in his heart, he turned away and began to walk across the dock. It would take him most of the day to reach the small home he shared with his brother. A long time to spend alone with only memories of what he'd held for a short time.
The tears hit the dust as he walked the long road home.
By dusk the tears had finally abated, though Ed suspected he probably looked like he'd been crying the whole walk. Which he practically had. He didn't know why it hurt so bad, but it did. And he was helpless to stop it. He supposed that this was what gave people a sort of dignity, having lost someone they loved, but he'd rather have Roy than any sort of dignity.
When he walked through that front door of the small shack he shared with Al along the river they fished and farmed for money, the relief of being home didn't hit him. Instead his spirits only seemed to fall more, but he affixed a smile to his face and set down the suitcase. "Al?"
"Brother! You're back!"
Edward was nearly knocked off his feet as his younger, but still somehow nearly taller, brother, tackled into him with a massive hug. "Al, careful!" He protested with a small laugh, a real one. Well, it was good to see Alphonse again, that much would never change.
Al laughed and pulled away. "I'm so glad you're okay. I was really worried! I-" Al paused, his face turning concerned. "You've been crying, what's wrong?"
Ed startled, and gave himself a rough shake to try and snap him out of his depressed state. "Nothing, just really relieved to be home." All of which were half-lies.
Al frowned, not really believing, but not about to doubt just yet. "Well come on, let's get you fed!" And he dragged his brother off to the small table they shared.
Edward ate mechanically, not really tasting the food he was chewing and swallowing. His entire being felt heavy, lethargic, but he didn't feel like sleeping. With a sigh, he looked to the suitcase, and looked away as he felt the tears prickle at his eyes.
Al had followed his brother's gazes, counted the sighs, taken note of everything. And finally he smiled softly. "Who did you meet?"
Ed jumped at the sudden voice, and blinked at his brother with big doe-eyes. "What?"
"Who is it that you've been sighing over since you got home?" Al pressed with a reassuring look. "Do you love them?"
Edward blushed faintly and looked down at his plate. "You wouldn't believe me even if I told you."
"Try me." Al said, sitting back with a smile still in place.
Ed paused, before he finally stood up and went to pick up the suitcase. He brought it back over to the table and laid it down in front of Alphonse. "Open it. Do you know what those are?" And he went to sit back down.
Alphonse unlocked it carefully and pried it open. His eyes widened, a faint gasp coming out of his mouth before he delicately picked one of the flowers up. "Brother, where the hell did you get all these?"
"In a moment, do you know what they are?" Edward repeated.
Al nodded, "they're worth a lot more to herbalists than this cash is worth to the bank." He admitted, and laid it back inside the case reverently. "Where did you get them?" He asked in awe, looking back across the table to his brother.
"From Roy." Edward replied simply, trying to hide the pain in his voice at saying that name aloud again. "We… I… he asked me to basically marry him."
Alphonse considered his brother for a moment, before snapping the suitcase shut and laying it aside. "Listen," he said, turning back to his brother, "this Roy, do you love him?"
Edward nodded mutely, his heart seeming to be in his throat right now.
"Does he love you?" Al asked further.
Edward nodded again.
Al nodded and sat back in his chair. "And what was your answer when he basically asked to marry you?"
"What the hell do you think?" Ed asked bitterly and stood up. "Sorry. I just need some fresh air."
Alphonse sighed, and smiled knowingly as his brother left. Only his brother would sacrifice something like love to do what Ed saw as his duty. And if Al were any judge, it seemed like this was not just any common love that was between his brother and this Roy.
Outside Ed was pacing back and forth across the short wooden deck that overshot the river. It was nice to be home, he supposed. But he desperately missed Roy. If he closed his eyes he could still feel Roy's touch, see his face. But it only made him long for what he no longer had, so he opened his eyes while recognizing that he may not sleep for some time.
With a sigh he sat down on the edge of the deck and stared glumly up at the moon. This time last night he'd been in Roy's arms, and he shivered as he remembered every detail. Last night Roy had opened him up to what he had been fighting against, awakened the side of him that seemed to know just as instinctively as Roy knew, that they were meant to be together.
"I miss you." He sighed, and his head fell into his hands.
"Then come back with me."
Edward half-yelped and half-gasped as his head shot up and his eyes shot open. He barely even knew he had moved before he'd tipped off the deck to tackle Roy down into the water in a possessive hug. When Roy managed to get them back to the surface, Ed was laughing happily even as he cried while still clinging to Roy.
Roy smiled tenderly, and held his mate close to him with a contented sigh. "Are you always this much of an emotional mess?" He asked gently as he soothingly ran a hand through Ed's wet hair.
"Yes, you asshole." Edward muttered, and put a stop to his crying as he pulled back to gaze at the merman. "Are you really here?"
Roy smiled again, and caught Ed's lips in a gentle kiss. "I was hoping you'd come back with me."
Edward bit his lip uncertainly. "Roy…"
"Go with him."
Both of them looked over quickly to see Al smile and walk closer to sit on the edge of the deck.
"I'd thought you'd fallen in, but I see someone was already there to catch you." Al smiled at Roy. "You must be the one who asked my brother to marry him."
Roy looked at the blonde human he held, and then back to Al. "I am, if he'll ever have me."
Edward blushed, "Roy, this is my brother."
Roy nodded, and looked back to Ed with a decisive smile. "You were wrong."
"What?" Ed frowned at him, even as he stayed in Roy's arms.
"He's not more beautiful than you."
Alphonse grinned with a bit of a laugh as he watched his brother turn red from the compliment, and tried not to roll his eyes as Roy kissed him soundly. He had to clear his throat though to keep things from going much farther too soon. "Go with him, brother. You two obviously want to be with each other. Even if I have to wonder about his methods of showing up and keeping you in that freezing water."
"Not so cold here." Edward muttered from where he was pinned up against Roy's warm body. But he gently extracted himself and got back onto the deck dripping wet. "Al, I won't just abandon you."
Roy swam over, and hopped up as well, though the deck was a bit slippery under his scales. Damn freshwater made everything more slippery. "I can't exactly stay out of the water too long, as you can imagine." He told Al even as the youngest sibling stared wide-eyed at the tail and fins. "I couldn't exactly ride up on a white horse or something."
Al suddenly grinned, and stood up. This was the most exciting thing to ever happen to his brother and Ed was just sitting there. One of them needed to shove his brother along. "How do you propose Ed can live with you?"
"But Al, you need me here!"
"No, brother," Al shook his head somberly. "For once in your life, be selfish. You want to be with him, and he wants to be with you. With the money you brought back I'll be fine, believe me. So go with him, it's what you both want."
Roy turned to Ed, taking both the human's hands in his. "Edward, I love you. I want you to be my mate."
"But Roy," Ed turned his attention away from his stubbornly grinning brother, "we're not… alike. I can't go to your home and you can't stay for long in mine."
Roy squeezed the hands he held. "I can give you a tail in place of your legs. Just say the word and we never have to be apart again."
"Does it matter?" Al interrupted, "go with him Ed. You'll be happy, I know you will. You deserve to finally be happy. And it's not like you couldn't come visit."
Edward looked over at his brother, then back to Roy. "Al, could you give me a few minutes alone?"
Alphonse nodded, and quietly went back inside. Though he instantly planted himself at a window to watch.
Ed turned where he sat so he faced Roy. Taking a deep breath, he met Roy's curious black eyes and smiled. "I'm sorry I had to leave like that before."
Roy shook his head, "no, I know why you did. I was having some of my friends keep an eye on you. For the very reason of that creature you saw get shot. Envy would have tried to use you to get to me, and I wanted someone to be able to come get me if that happened. They were about to when there was no longer a need for it."
Edward grimaced, "I thought there was something seriously wrong with that thing."And he gave himself a mental shake. "Anyway, that's… the thing is when I left I didn't want to. I wanted us to stay together. It hurt to leave, even though I had to."
Roy smiled at him gently, and raised one hand to touch Ed's cheek. "You cried."
"Yeah." Edward wiped at his eyes roughly. "Don't remind me."
Roy chuckled and leaned forward to rest their foreheads together. "Are you finally falling for me?"
"Been there, done that." Ed replied softly. "I love you." He barely got the words out before he was kissing Roy quite thoroughly.
When they finally pulled apart just enough to get in some air, Roy laughed quietly, happily. "I want you to be my mate."
"I thought you'd never ask."
"I've been asking!" Roy protested as Ed laughed.
Edward kissed him quickly again and pulled away with a wink. "It's just taken me some time to get a clue."
Roy smiled, and traced Ed's lips with a finger. "So, will you let me get rid of those legs of yours?"
Ed bit his lip, and looked towards the shack. "Al…"
"Al wants you to be happy. You heard him." Roy reminded his mate patiently. "I think he'd be mad if you stayed and didn't want to."
Edward looked back at him, knowing Roy was right. With a small smile, he nodded. "Will this hurt?"
Roy slipped back into the water with a small splash, and urged Ed in with him. "Shouldn't. I've never done this before. But don't worry, I do know what I'm doing. It's kind of instinctual knowledge."
The water was a bit cold, and Ed shivered as he sidled closer to Roy. "Well if it hurts I'm not mating with you for a month."
Roy rolled his eyes, though he did not like the sound of that threat. "Don't make me nervous now."
Ed smirked, "how do you propose this mating thing happen anyway?"
"I'll just have to show you, you eager little human." Roy replied, and kissed Edward lovingly. "Now close your eyes, this'll be a bit bright."
Roy waited to be sure Ed wasn't trying to peek before he took a deep breath and focused on what he wanted to do. His own eyes slipped closed as a glittering silvery light swirled from the water. It lit up the surrounding area as if it were daylight again before vanishing all in an instant. Once all remains of the light were gone, Roy opened his eyes, and kissed Ed's forehead. "Did it hurt?"
Edward's eyes snapped open, and he was suddenly glad Roy was holding him because he nearly fell backwards into the water. "Tingly." He answered, and somehow managed to figure out how he was supposed to get the foreign feeling appendage above water a bit so he could see the result. The glitter of dark gold met his eyes, and he swished it around curiously while ignoring Roy's quiet laughter.
"We should be going, as soon as you're ready. We're going to miss our coronation at this rate." Roy informed him, still not releasing his hold on his mate. He knew very well what would happen if he let go right now. He was saving that amusement for later.
Edward blinked at him, and his tail slipped back under the water as he stared at Roy. "That's right, you're going to be king soon."
"As will you." Roy told him, "as my mate you have as much authority as I do."
Edward smiled at that, "so Al really does never have to worry about money again."
"If there's something valuable to humans down there, take what you wish when Al needs more of this money stuff."
Ed nodded, and looked back over to the shack. "Let me say goodbye first… hey, Al!"
Alphonse walked back outside, smiling when he saw them both in the water together. He didn't need to be told to know that his brother had finally made the right choice for his own happiness. He walked to the edge of the short dock, still smiling. "Just make sure you come back and visit. I'll be fine. Promise."
"I will." Edward promised. "I'll miss you, Al."
Al chuckled. "You'd miss Roy a lot more, you know you would." He teased, and then looked over at Roy. "Take good care of him, or I swear I'll peel every scale off one by one. Slowly."
Roy smiled reassuringly. "I don't plan to put him in danger now that I finally have him." And he looked at Ed. "Are you ready to leave?"
Edward shook his head, "one second." And he smiled at Al. "The flowers are yours. I'll settle for this guy." And as he jerked his head over at Roy, said merman promptly smirked while releasing his hold on Edward.
The new merman yelped and flailed as he fell back into the water with a large splash. It took Edward several tries, but finally he was able to figure out how to get some control back and surface again. He did so coughing only by habit, because he had had absolutely no trouble breathing under the water.
Roy had just finished telling Al something when Ed finally managed to come back up. With a grin and a nod to Al, he grabbed Ed by the arm. "This way, my beautiful mate. Time for us to go home. I'll teach you how to swim on the way. It's easier in open water."
Ed shrieked and laughed, waving to Al even as Roy hauled him off.
It didn't take Roy long to get them back to the ocean. He was a good swimmer, and hauling Ed around was much easier the second time around now that his human was no longer a human. Pulling Ed farther below the surface he gently stopped them.
"It'll start coming naturally, but just watch what I do. And don't fight currents, either go with them or around them." Roy informed him, while looking the new merman up and down appreciatively. "I did a good job."
Edward blushed and swatted at him, finding that there seemed to be no water resistance. He felt like the water was nothing more than wet air. "What happened to my shirt?"
Roy grinned, "you don't need it anymore. Besides, it's not like I haven't gotten your shirt off before."
Roy laughed and ducked easily as Ed lunged at him. "You're not too bad right off." He noted, and flipped out of the way again.
Edward somehow managed to stop, though it was rather jerky and he had to figure out how to turn himself vertically again. Putting his hands on his hips he stared down the other merman. "Won't I be stared at though?"
"Not in the way you're thinking." Roy smiled. "We don't exactly have eyes for others mates." And he beckoned to his beautiful mate. "Come on, we'll take the scenic swim."
Grinning, Edward swam after him, his ungainly movements slowly molding into a semblance of ease.
When he'd first gotten onto that boat, he'd never dreamed he'd end up like this. He knew he wouldn't have it any other way though, than swimming to his new home beside the one he loved. And beside him Roy could never have thought that rescuing a pathetically drowning human would have given him someone to cherish and love. But it had. And he knew he'd spend the rest of his life making sure his beautiful mate was happy. It was all he needed.
They were all that they ever could have needed.