Written for YukinoKara, whose birthday was over a week ago on April 9th. This goes to show that I should ask about birthday presents before the actual day. Actually, come to think of it, I asked her what she wanted two days after the fact. Anyway. This is rather short, I'm sorry, but it's my first (second) actual, serious, canon EdxEnvy. Aand I kinda like it. I hope Kara likes it too... Ahaha. Anyway.

Sickroom Curtains

Envy finds himself delivering a message to Ed in the hospital. His hands aren't shaking. He's not nervous. [implied EdVy, canonish]

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The curtains aren't lace, not really. They're more like cheap sheets of paper cut with fanciful patterns, and the shade they cast streams across Envy's hands and arms in whirls of curlicues and silly flower shapes. His hands are shaking. The shadows are dancing across his palms.

He curls his hands into fists and hides them behind his back. He's not shaking. He's not strangely, inexplicably nervous.

There is the clicking noise of boot heels across the floor outside, approaching and then receding - the lieutenant guarding the door has done his rounds and won't be back for another fifteen minutes. Envy turns toward the bed, at the same time shifting from an innocuous nurse to his preferred form - longhaired, sleek, feral. The shape shifting is a tingling feeling against his skin and a grinding in his bones. It leaves him breathless, giddy with euphoria.

Edward Elric is lying on the bed, face pale and wan. The fake lace curtains cast their shadow on him as well, creating a speckled pattern of light and darkness that makes him look like something alien, unreal. Envy's hands are still shaking.

No, they're not.

"Cold water's not good for you, huh?" Envy asks Ed's sleeping form, thinking of the time they last met - Ed being shoved into the puddle of recently melted snow, his hair hanging limp in his face, his eyes spitting rage. "How weak. How human."

He takes a step forward, then hesitates. The sunlight seems to pool in Ed's golden hair, throwing off glints from each individual strand and creating an aureate halo about his head. His golden eyelashes are resting softly on one smooth cheek, flickering with every breath. Everything about him is so pure - so disgustingly pure, and it makes Envy want to grab him by the shoulders and kiss -

It makes Envy want to grab him by the shoulders and kill him, shake him back and forth until those golden eyes snap open and then grow dim, until that hair falls into messy disarray and his perfect face is marred by death. He takes another step forward.

Ed isn't allowed to die. But if Envy just - if he could just stretch out his hand, if Ed could just lie there, gasping and dying… No one would know. His fingers reach out.

Golden eyes snap open, and Ed is up on his feet in seconds, hands out, ready to fight back. His automail gleams in the sunlight filtering through the curtains, light and dark and light again, a masterpiece of artifice. Envy's eyes are drawn down to it, as usual, and then back to Ed's face.

He's breathing hard and standing slightly hunched over, as if he's in pain. "Why - what are you here for?" he asks between ragged gasps. He doesn't look very well at all.

"You're sick," Envy says, crossing his arms over his chest to hide his shaking hands. He sneers. "Pathetic."

Ed's guard goes up, even though he's broken into a cold sweat.

"Don't worry." Envy's laughter is harsh, not humorous at all. "I'm not allowed to hurt you." He clenches his fingers tightly into fists until his nails are digging into his palms. "I'm supposed to tell you - supposed to -" He bites his lip angrily.

Seeming to realize he's in no immediate danger, Ed sits on the bed with a sigh, massaging the bridge of his nose. "Supposed to what?" he asks, sounding annoyed. Envy wants to hit him so badly....

He takes a deep breath and looks at the floor. "Supposed to tell you, 'Get well soon.'"

Edward blinks, then bursts out laughing. His merriment is loud in the small room and at first Envy jumps back, startled. Ed's eyes are crinkled with laughter and Envy feels a surge of anger in his chest. He wants to spit in that stupid, smiling face.

"Oh - you - for you of all people to say that -" Ed manages through bouts of laughter. He's rocking back and forth on the bed, holding his sides. Like he's going to explode from the hilarity. Envy glares at him. That would be nice.

"It's not like I mean it," he replies, as nastily as he can under the circumstances. It's hard to be acerbic when you're being laughed at. Envy wants to join - he wants to hurt Ed and then maybe he can start laughing. Because that would be funny.

Ed looks at his face and his laughing redoubles, only to transform into a fit of racking, chest-deep coughs. Envy starts - almost starts forward, out of surprise more than anything - when he doubles over, gasping and clutching at the bed sheets. "Ah - I -" he manages between a fit of coughing.

"Pathetic," Envy sneers again. The nails of his right hand are digging into the flesh of his left wrist so hard that it hurts. The pain keeps him in place. "Poor baby."

"What happened -" Ed says, regaining his breath, "to all that get well -" he coughs again "shit?"

Envy looks away. "I told you I didn't mean it."

"So you're just the messenger boy. As usual." The remark would have been biting if Ed's face hadn't paled rapidly as he leaned back against the cushions. His golden eyes are dull and flutter closed even as Envy watches.

He hopes -

He knows that Edward is going to get better, because he's young and stupid and golden and human. So there's no reason for him to want to lean forward and smooth the hair away from Ed's fever-tinged face as the alchemist climbs back under the covers. There's no reason at all.

"Anything else you had to tell me?" Ed asks, raising an eyebrow. He's lying down with his head on the pillows again, his body at ease even though he's still eyeing Envy warily. "Like, you know, who you're working for?"

Envy snorts. "Stop playing in the snow."

"Hey! That was your -"

Ed stops when he hears the lieutenants' footsteps resume their march down the corridor. He glances at Envy once, then settles back into his pillows and closes his eyes in a semblance of sleep, his arm thrown across his body in a futile gesture of self-defense. Envy glares at it. Like that would help if he - if he -

He walks to the bed and tweaks the covers a bit so they cover Edward's shoulders and are smooth over his chest. Then, as the lieutenant begins to open the door, he shifts back into the form of the nurse and faces the window with its patterned curtains.

His hands - pale, long-fingered even though he has taken on another shape - are still shaking. The lengthening shadows dance across his palms in whimsical arabesques, jittering with the spasms of his immortal muscles. If anything, he's the one that's -

It's pathetic, really.

When the lieutenant finally leaves, Envy turns back to the hospital bed to find that Ed has truly, inexplicably, fallen asleep.

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Really, I just wanted to write about the curtains. ...So, regardless, reviews are appreciated and constructive criticism, adored.